Sunday, August 21, 2016

Tijuana Flats Summer Beach Run Race Report

Due to Hubby's new work schedule, he decided not to join us for this race - the Tijuana Flats Summer Beach Run.  Unlike many races, this was an evening race; it started at 6pm. 

The Kiddo came again this year, to conquer the 1 Mile Fun Run. I was going all in on the 5-Miler again.

We stopped at the Circle K for some road snacks and caffeine for me (I don't think I even ate the cookies), and the trip to Jax Beach was pretty uneventful. 

All runners prep with gas-station cookies!
Beautiful Partly Cloudy Florida Sky

I was smart enough to put in the address of the 7-Eleven (close to the beach) so we didn't have to drive around again to find it. As we were coming into town, I happened to look down at the thermometer in the car...

Yes, it's actually 103º (and yes, my dashboard is dusty!!!)
I think we're in for a HOT race today. (It topped out at 99º today).

We got a spot right near the 7-Eleven (three years in a row!), geared up and headed to packet pickup. The vibe of the area was completely different this year - since there were only two of us, and both women, we got a lot more "hey, how you doin'?" from the local beach bums.  Flattering, but annoying. 

We got our bibs and tracking chips, then headed down to the beach.

This is maybe a 1/3rd of all the runners
The Kiddo™ - toting the BEST water bottle ever! (Polar)
You betta werk

We split up after our pre-race photos; the Kiddo didn't take off until after we did, so she was sidelined for now. 

I got a shoe selfie while we waited for the race to begin.   Then I got my Garmin and tech ready.

C'Mon, Get Happy SparkleSkirt
Hanging out in the middle of the pack
Those are Warrior brand bluetooth earbuds - Big Lots, $15!
Soon, we began to storm the beach, and I could tell that there would be no PRs at this race. It was hot, it was thick and it was almost painful to run in. I was getting passed left and right.

I didn't keep up with them like I did last year
It seemed to take forever to get to Mile 1, and I was truly regretting doing this race again. I questioned it last year, but the Kiddo really wanted to do it again, so what's a gal to do? 

Yay. Mile 1. Am I done?
I was passed by the front runner between Mile 1 and Mile 2 (about 23 minutes in).

Go, Speedy, Go!

I think this photo is supposed to be Mile 2, but by this point, I was giving no fucks, so it could just be a water stop.

Could be Mile 2, Could be Water Stop, who knows?

Also, it was very windy, which can be a godsend on a race, but it was a HOT, WET wind that blew right in my face.

I made it to the turn-around and started to head back. 

Whoa, where did she come from?

There were still people behind me, so at this point, I knew I wasn't last.

Look, people!

By the time I got to Mile 3, my stomach was hurting (which has happened EVERY year I've done this). It's like major bloating or gas. Really uncomfortable, and renders me unable to run (because of the jostling). 

Mile 3?  I think so... Why is the sign so far over?

I wasn't feeling much better at Mile 4 either. Still bloated. Really hot, really ready to just be done.

There's a sign up there somewhere
I saw this sign and I truly wanted to punch it.  Go for what? See how quickly I can pass out at this sign?  See if I can throw up higher than the sign? 

How about YOU go for it and I sit on this damn beach and die?

Oh thank you Jesus, I see the finish line!


My official time was 1:34:33.  I beat a big whopping FOUR people (I think three of them were in that photo up earlier in the blog) and I came in last in my age group (F35-39).  Definitely not my best race.

Somehow I had enough energy to get a great pro photo though... and I think it's my first "flying" shot!

I got my medal and a bottle of water and immediately looked for somewhere to sit down. My heart was beating a million miles a minute and I felt like I was going to pass out.  Last year was bad - I got Heat Exhaustion. I'm pretty sure this year, I went all the way to Heat Stroke. The kiddo was there with me, and we just traded race stories back and forth for a few minutes until I was feeling well enough to walk back up to the pavilion. 

Smaller medal this year

At the pavilion, we got in line for our free Tijuana Flats tacos, chips and salsa.  I was feeling good for about 5 minutes, then I wanted to pass out again.  We got our food and took it over to a corner of the grass where it wasn't super-crowded and I just laid out on my back while the Kiddo ate her taco and chips. 

See all the people behind the tents? That's the line for tacos!
I laid there for about 10 minutes, then I tried to eat my taco, but there was no way that was gonna happen.

I got up and walked over to one of the trash barrels and kind of leaned on it. Then I bent over it. Then I hugged it. Then I, .... well, I think you can guess.

See that trash can behind Yellow Shirt Man? Yeah, I puked in that (these people just posed with it)

It was mostly water, so it didn't hurt, but I did it for a long time!  At one point - God help me if I ever find this guy - at one point, while I was actively vomiting, a guy (or gal) came by and threw a half-drunk cup of beer in the trash can, inches from my face!  Like, seriously, if you saw a fat chick hovering over a trash can puking, wouldn't you a) have the decency to NOT throw anything away in that can, and b) ask that person if they were okay? Yeah, this guy did neither. 

Once I was done with that and I was up to walking, we headed back to the car. We changed our clothes in the 7-Eleven bathroom, grabbed some snacks (I think I only got a soda, for the bubbles) and just came home. I obviously wasn't up to grabbing food anywhere, and the Kiddo had already put away two tacos (she ate mine), chips and salsa. 

I'll say it again... I really don't think I'll do this race again. At least, not until I'm in better running condition!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I Was FROZEN Today - I got my new AC and Ductwork!!!

After one hell of a week last week, it was finally time to get a new AC system and new ducts!

External Johnson AC Unit (no idea how old it is)
Any ideas how old it is?
Internal AC system
Bertie guy had told us that we needed to remove the ceiling in the main hallway, smaller hallway, the master bedroom hallway as well as Hubby's office soffit. He also said to leave the ceiling up as long as possible, and take it down at the last moment. Well, since our main hallway and smaller hallway never got repaired from whatever we'd done years ago (drywall was never finished; the screws were still accessible), we left that to take down Monday morning.

Soon to be demolished Bedroom Foyer ceiling
(Yes, the ceiling was already "unfinished" before we took it down again)
Small hallway between office and master bedroom
Sunday was spent demolishing the soffit and master bedroom hallway.

First up, the master bedroom hallway, which in a way, was a large soffit itself.  It's kind of like a hallway to the master bedroom, with the bathroom on the left.  I got in the first whack with a hammer. It felt good.

Hulk smash!

After whacking it, I took out my brand new Ryobi reciprocating saw (oh, yeah!) and we cut out a square to see what was up there (I didn't want to be whacking stuff if there were wires to look out for).

Home improvement means I get new toys!
What we discovered was a hell of a lot of duct damage. Apparently, at some point in the past, there have been, well, multiple critters up here.  I could not believe what I was seeing.

Well no WONDER it's hot as fuck in our room!
Seriously, there is an entire chunk missing!
Eww, what animal did this come from?

Hubby's office soffit, pre-demolition
I took a break once the hallway was done, while Hubby began attacking his soffit.  His office has a wall of cheap 70s paneling, so it wasn't too hard to take down. He was able to save most of the paneling and trim, too, so we can just put it back up when this is over.

With the paneling down, we could see more critter damage. We could also see how old the ducts were.  Anyone know how old this duct board might be? 

Is my duct system just a huge hamster cage?
That should be relatively easy to fix when we're done!
Exhausted from demo, I think we all went to bed early.  I took hubby to work the next morning, and around 7 a.m. started taking down the ceiling in the small and main hallways.  I was able to get the small hallway done, and part of the main hallway before the Bertie crew and superintendent showed up. He didn't seem to be all that happy that the ceiling wasn't down, and had major attitude with me, even as I was explaining why it was still up. Luckily, one of the crew guys gave me a hand to bring it down (seriously, Superintendent Jackass, it took 10 minutes).

I got all of this done before they showed up
Superintendent Jackass took the crew through the house so they could see the layout and how it compared to the plan drawings, and then he left and the guys took over. I had two baldie white guys, and a skinny white guy. I never did get their names at all...

First off, the guys ripped out all the old duct work and threw it on the grass outside. As you can see, our windows are open, letting in that beautifully refreshing 93º, 88% humidity, breezeless August Florida air.  We had I think 3 fans going in the living room all day!

It looks like a bomb went off out there!
With that done, one of the Baldie Twins devoted his day to ripping out the old Johnson unit and installing the new concrete pad and Trane unit.  It's further away from the house than the old unit was, but I think that's because they couldn't put the new pad on top of the old pad, so they put it next to the old pad. (But bonus, now we have a small concrete pad to put a grill on!)

Beautiful new Trane System
Better view of all the trash removed
I spent the majority of the day sitting on the couch, chillin' out and watching TV. I'm sure the guys thought I was watching them, which I was, but not because I thought they needed watching. I thought it was fun to watch what they were doing. 

Watching the Weather Channel
They were patient with the Kiddo, but around 11, she had to give up the sanctuary of her bedroom, so she joined me in the living room.

Day Jeopardy! (My CBS shows reruns at lunchtime)
So. Much. Mess!
During a trip to the potty (before they began on that side of the house), I was able to check out what was going on in the master bedroom hallway. Our master bedroom was an addition (my office used to be the carport); I wasn't sure what I was looking at or why it was green up there.

The wall inside the ceiling, above my master bedroom door - why is it green?
Late in the afternoon, Superintendent Jackass came back. Apparently, the guys were having problems fitting the new ducts into the boots (am I using that right?) of the old ducts.  The old boots were too small for the new boots. I was told that the boots are where the new vents go.  To accommodate new boots, they would need to cut holes in the ceiling or walls to make them fit. I was fine with that (I just wanted shit to be done - I was told this would be a one-day process).

Superintendent Jackass showed the guys how to make boots (rather than rely on pre-fab ones) and they spent an hour or so outside doing air conditioning crafts.

They finished the day by dragging out the old inside unit and cleaning up their mess.  Unfortunately, they couldn't finish the project in one day, as we hoped, but they'd be back first thing in the morning to go again. 

Goodbye, old AC unit!
Awesome! They clean up, too!
Tuesday morning, the guys arrived even earlier than yesterday! Seriously, I'd just rolled out of bed at 7:30 when I saw their truck outside.  They hit the ground running - you could tell they wanted to be done today as much as I wanted them to be done today!  The main guy said he wanted to be done by lunchtime! I like this guy (Spoiler alert - they weren't done by lunchtime).

With drop cloths back down, all three guys were inside, first in the hallway working on the Kiddo's bathroom and bedroom. Then they moved into Hubby's office, then into the Master Suite area.

Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!
Um, there's a dude in my ceiling
Looking into the Master Suite from my Office
Superintendent Jackass showed up around 10:30 to check on the progress. After looking around, he approved of the work and reminded me that we need more attic insulation than we currently have (old house, blah blah blah). Unfortunately, since they had to make all the boots on-site, they don't have matching vent grills for them. They will need to special order them, and they'll come in about 3 weeks. When they come in (and after we do all the vent reconstruction work), they can return to the house to install them.

The kiddo and I hung out in the living room for a while - she got to see the old game show Card Sharks -  but it was hotter than yesterday, so eventually we headed to my office, where the portable AC was plugged in. This was also where Clover, our cat, was hiding.

Clover does not approve of what's happening
But it's cooler by the AC unit, so she moved locations
By now, we had one guy working on the internal unit, installing it, while the main guy was finishing work on the master bedroom ducts.

I had lunch while watching Jeopardy! in the living room. AT this time, they installed the new 5+2 programmable thermostat (I've always wanted one - our old one was the rectangle with the slidey thing)!

Instruction manual for my new thermostat
I'm fancy, y'all!
After another hour or so of skinny guy working with the internal unit, they turned it ON!!  It's ON!!  It's ON!!!!  Then it's OFF. Boo...

Main guy at this point has finished with all the ducts and he's cleaning up while skinny guy is putting the finishing touches on the internal unit.  The kiddo and I went back to my office for a bit - it was stupid hot!

Hubby got home a bit later, and we all hung out and chatted about his day. Superintendent Jackass returned and officially turned on the AC.  He also has a better attitude - now that a penis is around, perhaps?  Asshole.

He reminded us - AGAIN - about getting insulation, and also about the vents coming in a few weeks.  He said it would be fine for us to drop off the check to the office in the morning (rather than give it to him then).

They cleaned up, gave us instructions on how to clean the unit, use the thermostat and how to change the filter, then packed it all up and left.  I think they were gone by 4pm. Not lunchtime, but not dinnertime, either, I guess!

After they left, I happened to look outside and I saw that they left the old unit behind.  It was beat to shit by the guy yesterday because he got really frustrated (which I totally understand), so I sent an email to Bertie to have them come pick it up.

Outside Guy went all Office Space on Johnson
And now, finally, to take a tour of our demolished, but cool, house!

Master Bedroom - One vent to replace the two on the right
Living Room - Ceiling vent to replace wall vent (seen at bottom)
Hubby's Soffit - much bigger, will need more construction
Kiddo's Bedroom - rotated 90º from original orientation
Guest Bathroom - Ceiling vent replaced wall vent
Beautiful new interior unit
My office - the ONLY one to stay the same!
Master Bath - Closer to door, replaces one in foreground of photo
By now, it was time to start dinner, I had Hubby and the Kiddo start work on fixing the smaller hallway while I cooked. 

As usual, when Hubby was trying to fix something, he would try to do it the easy way, then it wouldn't work, and he'd get pissed off that it wasn't working his way.  I tell him the correct way to do it (or in this case, the way we did it last time), but nooooooo, he won't do it that way. So after he gets to the point where he's so pissed off he quits, I came over, did it the right way and it was done in about 2 minutes.  Sigh.  Men are obnoxious sometimes.

After dinner, we started putting the main hallway ceiling back up.  At one point, we were trying to find the rubber mallet. Where was the rubber mallet?

They sealed the rubber mallet in the ceiling of the small hallway...

I see you, Mallet
Once we got the mallet back out, we finished the main hallway and then I headed for a well-deserved early bedtime. I still have to go to the dentist tomorrow, but all I want right now is sleep!