Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Bill Pullman Rocks! - Celebration Run 5k 2017
Click logo to register for this year's race
After getting Hubby to work at about 5:15, I headed directly to Jax. I skipped my Circle K stop, since I brought a can of Pepsi with me this time. The drive was pretty uneventful and I got there just before 7am (cutting it close to the start time of 7:30). I parked in front of Stonewood Grill, a little closer than I parked for the race on Memorial Day, and walked over to the store for Packet Pickup.

I'm parked to the far right, just out of sight
There are already a lot of people here
Almost 10 minutes

I was in line for almost 10 minutes, and once I got my shirt, I went back to the car to gear up as quickly as I could. On the way back to the race start, I drank my Pepsi.

Nice and soft v-neck shirt (still doesn't fit though)
One awesome perk of this race is that the race director brings out tons of HUGE American flags, for runners to run with.  I was just sure that they'd run out of flags before I had a chance to get one, but I was in luck (though, I did miss out on the Betsy Ross flag...)

Oh say, can you see?
I got into the crowd around 7:25 and waited for the start - and of course, took a few start line photos!
My shirt says "Home of the Free, Because of the Brave"
3rd time I've used these pompoms!
After the National Anthem, we were off! I didn't take very many photos this time, mostly due to the giant flag! I very much underestimated how heavy and hard to run with it would be! I would lay it against one shoulder for a few minutes, then switch to the other. Back and forth for 3 miles!

At the beginning...
I noticed one runner early on, an older (okay, middle-aged?) gentleman in tiny shorts, and he gave off an "Elementary PE Teacher" vibe to me. I couldn't keep my eyes off of his legs! Unfortunately, none of my photos came out worth a damn, so you don't get to appreciate the curly-haired-ness of them (is that a word?)

Really pretty older ranch-style home with lots of flags

By Mile 1, I decided to give up trying to run with this grand ol' flag. I would just carry it proudly, as I listened to Sousa marches on my iPod.

It's hot people. Like it's July or something...
There was a water stop between Miles 1 and 2, but I skipped it, since I still had some ice in my Nathan.

One thing I love about this course (and this area) is that they are all very patriotic. So many houses had some sort of flag decoration!

Another great house with flags
After I passed Mile 2 (no idea where the photo is...) there was another water stop, so I got a cup. I soaked my cooling towel and poured the rest on my head.

Cutie-patooties with flags!
Anyone know what TV show or movie this is from?
Finally, made it to Mile 3 and the finish line, which was right around the corner. 

So close!
It's up there!
And I finished! I held the flag high and let it wave as I crossed under the banner!

My official time was 51:59 (pace 16:43).  I was 53rd out of 59 in my age group, F35-39, and 830th out of 886 total finishers (I beat 56 people).

I got my medal then headed over to the trailer to return my awesome flag.

I'm a winner, baby... okay, I'm a finisher, baby!
Look at all the people who finished before me!

I walked back towards the after-party area and got a PowerIce and a few packs of Toast-Chee crackers. There weren't many vendor tents, and none of them had anything I wanted to look at, so I grabbed a slice of watermelon (it IS Independence Day, after all!) and watched the last few runners come in. 

I ate some of it

Once everyone had come in, I walked back up to the front to watch the awards and participate in the raffle. 

So, most raffles that I've ever participated in... they call a number and if you have that number, you get a prize. Seems pretty normal, right? Not this one!

They were using a random number generator to call numbers (rather than having everyone's bib number in a cup or something), but at the same time, there was another guy literally throwing inexpensive prizes into the crowd! Kids wised up to this pretty quickly, and they became like a fucking pack of velociraptors! Bigger kids were jumping in front of smaller kids to get all the prizes, even if they'd already gotten a prize, and the guy tossing stuff wasn't tossing very hard, so nothing ended up in the adult section of the crowd. 

And then, the guy calling actual numbers... If the number he called wasn't an exact number - like if there was no 74 in the crowd, but there was a guy who had bib 71, that guy would get the prize, since he's the closest to the actual number. I stood through the entire raffle and ended up being the closest bib for the number called, and I won some Thera-Band kinesiology tape, worth about $12 (I tried it out later that night on my PF and WOW! Boys, and girls, this shit is FANTASTIC!!!!) Ironically, my number was even closer to the final prize - a Polar fitness watch - but I'd already won, so I couldn't win again (even if I gave back the TB tape). 

Once the event was over, I headed back to my car, rolling my eyes at some little asshole velociraptor in the parking lot - literally screaming at his parents because he didn't like the prize he won in the raffle. He apparently won a book and was pissed about it. I have no patience for ungrateful people, especially ungrateful children, and I was very close to backhanding that little bastard. The only saving grace was that the parents, while not telling him to shut up, was being very logical in telling him that he could have refused the prize, or given it to someone else, or donated it to a needy person. In other words, they were only having a little of his bullshit, but not all of it. 

I hit up a nearby CVS to change clothes, and purchased some Milk-Duds and soda for the Pee Fee™

I ended up taking a wrong turn and crossed over the Main Street Bridge, which threw me for a minute... I usually am walking over it coming the other way (during the Gate River Run)! It was kind of fun to go the other way!

Oh shit - I'm headed downtown!
Oops... gotta turn around
I stopped at Daily's and got gas and a car wash and then headed over to Orange Park Mall for lunch and some shopping.

Yeah, it's hot. Damn hot. Real hot.
I scored some clearance clothes at Penney's then got some tasty Chick-fil-A  (no Moe's this time) before going over to Party City. Finally, even though I didn't have to pick up Hubby from work, I was ready to head home, so I hit up another convenience store for a fountain drink, then made my way home.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Will Run for Cupcakes - Beck's Capes and Cakes 5k 2017
Click to sign up!

I've done the Beck 5k twice now, and when they opened up registration for this year's race, there was a new theme - it was "Capes and Cakes"! Oh, I'm always down for costumes and baked goods. 

I got up around 4:30 and had some OJ on the couch (basically all my tummy can handle that early), then got dressed and woke up hubby. I took him to work and then popped over to the Circle K for caffeine. The register clerk was outside smoking, so I told her that I was going to go in and make a soda. She seemed very trusting, because she stayed outside and kept smoking. She wasn't done when I finished filling my soda, so I brought my dollar out to her and showed her it was all I got. She thanked me for letting her finish her cigarette, and I told her that I used to be in her shoes (I smoked until 2007), and knew how shitty it was to "waste" a cigarette. (Of course, I was just enabling a health-destroying habit...)

Anyway, I hit the road to Palatka. As usual, it was nice and quiet.  

And hot. It was already 70ยบ. At 6 in the morning. Yeah, it was gonna get worse.

Good god!
When I got a little closer to Palatka, I drank my chocolate milk. I find that gives me some carbs and some protein without having to actually eat food.  

Yummy chocolate milk!

I scored a pretty good parking spot on the main drag, right across from the Bingo Palace! I went over and hit the potties (before they got too funky) and got my goody bag, which included a free oil change at the Beck car dealership, for being a Legacy Runner (I've run all races since it's inception). This is now the second race where I'm a streaker, or perfect, or legacy, or whatever you want to call me.

After getting my packet, I went back to the car to pin on my cape and gear up, then headed back to the starting area.

The 501st Storm Troopers were there, getting ready for photo shoots.

Moooooo-om! I can put on my own boot!
Beck took a fun Legacy photo and posted it on Facebook. They also took a photo with everyone wearing capes, but I never heard the call for that photo, so I didn't get to join.

I love the chick on the left making out with the trooper!
 I love this photo and you can see how awesome my cape is. When I came to Jacksonville for my last race in May, I stopped at Party City and picked this up for $6.99. I added some sparkly iron-on letters from Wal-Mart. I think my grand total was about $10 for the entire thing? Love it! (And it's very light, so I wasn't sweating... well, it didn't cause me to be EXTRA-hot).

"Will Run for Cupcakes"

They also had a photo booth out, so I stopped over there to get more fun photos.

Short line for photos - will be much longer later!

My lines are tilted

There's muscle under there, I swear!

After taking those photos, I wandered around the start area, checking things out.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for Mister Fans!
Riverside Steps

This race always has GREAT pre- and post-race goodies, and from the look of the tents, this year is no different!

Abe's Finest Meats brought hot dogs


A terrible shot of the HappyCakes contact info

So much food!
And even more food! And pizza being carried in!

Shout-out to Batlady who was really proud of her "cape," which she made out of pajama pants. (She came in after me, but won an age-group award because she was the only one in her age group!)

A+ for Ingenuity

Yes! Water that was cold BEFORE they put it in the ice

Soon, it was time to line up, so I took up my place, about 3/4 of the way to the back; far enough back to be slow, but not so far as to be last!

Getting ready
After the National Anthem, we were off! We ran right by the car!

I stayed behind them pretty much the whole time, actually
I didn't take a lot of photos this time, at least while running.

They had a water stop at the first mile marker.

I hope the water's cold
We ran though some pretty neighborhoods with old Florida homes, covered in patriotic bunting (since we are, of course, between Memorial Day and Independence Day).

I love this house
I love this house, too
I made it to the next water stop, at Mile 2.

Is this one cold?
And, of course, because this race benefits ARC of Putnam County, they had the best cheer squad at the trun-around!
Thank you, ARC! You guys are awesome!
 After the turn-around, we ran up River Road to the finish line.
So... Hot...
Yup. That's definitely an over-50 finish. But lord, it's so HOT! My official time was 51:59 (16:44 pace). I was 11th out of 12 in my age group. 110th out of 131 females. And 208th out of 235 total runners. So, I beat 27 people. 

At the finish line, we got our medal, an icy towel and an even icier bottle of water. Oh, it was so cold and tasty!

I stood in front of the misters for a few minutes, cooling my body down, and then headed over to the post-race tent. I grabbed a vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting from the guy who was serving them - who loved my cape. 

Cakes and Medals
Yep, definitely not straight
After I took this, like 5 different people lined up to do the same thing!

The cupcake was divine! Okay, maybe I was just starving? It didn't taste like a Betty Crocker cupcake with homemade frosting. It was tasty as hell. I had to go back for more!

Not as divine, but still tasty

This time, though, I got a chocolate cake with vanilla icing. I also got a slice of pizza and a hot dog from Abe's Finest Meats, a local butchery and grocery store in Palatka. The pizza was Papa John's (so, in other words, forgettable). The hot dog - while cold - was delicious. The chocolate cupcake was not as good as the vanilla cupcake (but then again, I'm not much of a chocolate cake girl). I could snarf down about 10 more of those vanilla ones!

Yummmmm, tube steak
 Once I'd stuffed myself slightly silly, I walked around to get some funk out.

Veteran's fountain is filled and working this year
On the way back to my car, I passed this vehicle. Totally covered in stickers with a huge sign on the top. Fuck, yeah, 'MURICA!

Even the front!

As you can see from photos, the sky was beginning to cloud up, so my idea of hitting the beach had to be shelved. I popped over to a local Walgreen's to change clothes (and got 2 Pimpsies - 16oz Pepsi cans -  as Tinkle Tax™) and headed to St. Augustine.  Since I couldn't hit the beach (which was my original afternoon plan), I had a back up plan of grabbing a slice at Pizza Time on St. George Street, getting some fudge and then window-shopping at the St. Augustine Outlet Mall.

Well, I forgot to get cash for the pizza, and only had a credit card with me (I go Tourist Commando with just 1 credit card, my ID and my phone), so that was a bust. I picked up my fudge and returned to my car (I'd put 90 minutes on the meter, but only used 30 minutes because I didn't eat lunch... waste of a few dollars!) I headed over to the mall and checked out a few stores. They have a VF Outlet that I've purchased things from in the past, but this time around was a bust. I wandered the remainder of the mall, but nothing caught my eye. I grabbed a soda at the RaceTrac next door and my body decided I wanted a cheeseburger. Okay, Garmin, where are the cheeseburgers?

Garmin said that there would be one at Hardee's in East Palatka (where I turn off of 207). Okay, I can wait that long. So, I'm driving....

...and I'm driving.

And driving...

Okay, where the hell is my cheeseburger?

I don't see a Hardee's.

My body is screaming for food! Oh, I'm gonna pay for this.

Okay, so I know that there's some fast food places near Palatka Mall. I'm pretty sure there's a Freddy's Burgers there.

Oh, it's a Sonic. Okay, I can eat Sonic. And it's a Sonic with a drive-thru, so hopefully it will go pretty quick (I'm late to pick up hubby). So, I ordered a basic cheeseburger combo. With tots, of course, and a slushie. And I wait.

And wait.

And wait.

And wait some more.

It's not an actual "drive thru" but "a place your order and get in line and wait for the lady to bring it to you." How this is more beneficial than pulling into a stall, I have no idea. But next time, I'm pullin' into a stall!

Finally, I kid you not, after 20 minutes, I got my food. They screwed up my burger and didn't make it plain, so I had to scrape off a bunch of lettuce. The top bun was cold, so I threw it on the dashboard to warm it up under the sun. Once I was able to eat it, it was tasty as hell though (again, I was probably just really hungry).

So, because of this, I was 20 minutes late picking up hubby, but he was okay with it.

By the time I got home, I could already feel the headache coming on.


Every damn time. I plopped onto the couch with my book and didn't move until dinner time. I took a migraine pill at about 5, but it put only a small dent in the pain. I was able to cook dinner - I thought I'd be able to eat it - but once I sat down to it, I totally regretted my decision. I ended up going to bed early with two additional Tylenol PM. Yeah... this was a NASTY headache.  My night was miserable!

And ironically - the weather turned out to be PERFECT beach weather! Oh well...