Sunday, March 11, 2018

Who Gives out PENS at a Race? - Gate River Run 15k Race Report 2018

After skipping out on many recent big races of mine, The Kiddo decided to come along to this one. I'm sure it was totally for moral support for ME, not for lunch afterwards... yeah, I'm gonna stick with that.

On our way to Jacksonville, both Hubby and the Kiddo realized there would be no where to grab some breakfast while they waited for me, so we went to a Pilot truck stop and they grabbed some junk food, while the local yokel with 3 teeth looked me up and down in my running skirt and asked me if my legs were cold. Yeah, Bo Duke, they were cold. It's 6am in March!

We finished our trip, entering Jacksonville via Normandy Blvd, which makes it a lot easier to get to the stadium, and to parking. We found a spot in the parking lot by the parking garage, and walked over to packet pickup. I got my packet, my goody bag and my shirt, which was a really pretty teal this year. We got a pint glass again, as well as a really nice magnet (I love these - I stick them to my work filing cabinet, like magnetic medals of honor).

3x V-neck Gender Specific Tech Tee
Sling bag, Pint Glass and Magnet
We made our way to Wave 3 and then parted ways. They would be on the other side of the Start Line, and I told him I'd give him my jacket as I passed. It was still slightly chilly, but I knew I wouldn't' want it for the full 9.3 miles.

I love these head boppers!
Once in the corral, I walked around to warm up, went potty, got some water, went potty again, walked around some more and did some stretches. It's so boring in corrals!

Wave 3 is the biggest, and so boring
I also took advantage of the chill time to eat some breakfast. If my stomach allows me to grace it with food, I love eating BelVita. Does it give me a good amount of fuel? I don't know. But it gives me SOMETHING so that I'm not running on an empty stomach.

belVita - the breakfast of finishers
Soon, Wave 2 had gone, so it was our turn to scoot up to the line. It went better than last year - when everyone broke free of the wave and just went willy nilly (yeah, I did too). I passed the family and gave the Kiddo my jacket, telling her there was 1/2 a pack of belVita still in the pocket (she love 'em, but she totally forgot they were there!).

Movin' on up... to the start line
Mile 1 always comes very quickly, I think because you're agonizing about the first bridge.

Hello Mile 1
I love taking "Action Shots" on the bridge, because Hubby is afraid of heights, and the Kiddo is afraid of falling, so neither of them would ever come up here with me.

I decided to bust out the Zensahs to see if they'd save me a little bit (they did)
I see you, Green Monster... I'll be there in a few hours!
After you exit the bridge, you're over in a different part of Jax, near the Lexington hotel. That is the hotel that hosts WasabiCon, if you're interested in that type of thing.

Water Stop
Mile 2 (hard to see in the sunspot)!
You come around a corner and make your way into another section of Jax (I think this is San Marco?) This is also where the 5k split is! Yay, I'm a 1/3 of the way done!

5k Split (55:43 officially)
There was a cute pair of kids handing out water in this area!

Yay! Kids!
Oh nothing... just a tiny infant staring at me
Once we passed the 5k mark, we usually would turn to go down River Road, but instead we kept going straight! A lot of people were confused, but I remembered a story I'd read a few months back (when I was trying to figure out why this road had an ugly fence at last year's run): the people who live in this area are pissed that people come to the park and get all up in their way and their personal space, so the city is, I think, going to install gates or something... I don't remember the specifics, but it was something like that.

Hey wait... we usually go down there!
This is all new to me!
Once we passed this area, we were back on track.

Oh, okay, we usually come OUT of there
Good to see the community still handing out The Official Donut Snack of the Gate River Run - Dunkin' Donuts Munchkins! (Okay, so maybe it's not the Official Donut, but damn, people in Jax love them some Dunkin'!)

Mmmm, Chocolate Cake Munchkin™
 Oh, Lord... it's only Mile 4. Nah, I'm feeling okay, let's get going!

Mile 4, with some shade
Soon, we turned onto whatever road this is that has all the heavy traffic.

Hey, there, traffic jam sufferers!
She's wearing a ball gown (or at least ballgown skirt)!
And then we made it to Mile 5! Woo hoo, we've finished an 8k.

8k Done!
A-ha! I had been wondering where the Booze and Sausage was... they moved to a bigger location! As you can see, I did not partake this year. More booze and sausage for other people.

As you can see, this is a very popular spot!
Okay, so you guys know I love picking up swag or gimmies or whatever, right? When I'm at an expo, or some other event where there's tables with candy, or stick notes, or whatever, I grab some? Yeah...

What's he got? Candy? Booze?
Chris John, Accident Attorneys, had a table set up, giving out swag! Before I could stop my hand, I grabbed three pens and continued on my merry way!

Pens... he has... pens.
Mile 6 and a water stop!

Yes! Water!
10k Split (Officially 1:52:06)
A lovely family in this neighborhood was handing out homemade Rice Krispie Treats.

Sorry, lovely family... they weren't really good.

I'll stick with sausage and beer
Oh shit... my Garmin has started yelling at me... my battery is low.  Please, God of Garmin, please let my battery last 3 more miles!

Spoiler Alert: It Didn't
Mile 7!
This is pretty much the last time we'll see shade
I love this little creek. I'm sure it has a name, but I'm not a local, and I never remember to look it up. It's become my pre-Let's-Do-This photo (you can just see The Green Monster in the background over my left bopper).

Here we go!

Uphill, bitches! Knees up, head down!
Gasp... gasp... Mile... gasp... EIGHT... gasp... gasp...

Eight Miles... Not even at the damn bridge!
Goin' up the bridge! Lookin' good girl!

Why the hell am I smiling? This is miserable!
SUCCESS! I'm dying inside, that's supposed to be a smile, but I'm at the top, bitch!

I DID IT!!!!
Move! I want a picture too! One mile to go!  And it's all downhill from here! Literally!!

Mile 8.3, Now with 300% More Old Ladies
Downhill! Downhill!! Mile 9! This isn't technically a Motherfucker Mile™, but I still gave it my all.

Everyone move! Fat Chick Running Downhill!
Once you get to the end of the road, all you have to do is hook a quick left and you're in the finisher chute (much better than the firs time I ran it!)

Finished! I look so chill
My official time was 2:52:21 (pace 18:32). 5k split was 55:43. 10k split was 1:52:06. 8.3 mile split was 2:33:14. Final Mile took 19:08. I beat 393 people, coming in 12,255th out of 12,648 people.

We walked through the huge after-party, but - as usual - there was nothing left for the slow people. I think we were able to score a banana and a few muffins from Publix.

Our parking spot is beyond this throng of sweaty bodies
Once back in the car, I changed into flip flops, and then set the Garmin to take us to the best seafood place not-in-town, Safe Harbor. It's actually way out in Mayport Village, close to the FLGA line, but it's worth it!

Now, last time I was here, it was probably 11am, so it wasn't very busy. This time, we got there closer to 1pm, and the difference in crowd size was dramatic!

Line Out the Door - Photo taken at 1:06pm
It took 10 more minutes just to get inside to this sign!
This was a bad idea... my feet were KILLING ME! Perhaps waiting in line this long right after a huge race wasn't the smartest... but the food is soooooo good!

See the TV way over there? The cashier is in that area
It took almost an hour to get up and order our food! When we got closer to the front of the line, we sent The Kiddo out to snag a table, while Hubby and I ordered. It was chilly outside, so the table she got wasn't awesome. Luckily we found another one inside the patio.

Seated, waiting for our food, at 2:07pm
Hubby got chicken fingers, the Kiddo got shrimp and I stuck with the bay scallops. Our meals, and three drinks came out to about $38, which - for locally caught seafood - is a pretty awesome price for the amount of food you get!

Finally FOOD! At 2:09
We stuffed ourselves silly! Both hubby and the kiddo were impressed - which is hard - and said they would both come back again.

On our way home, we hit up a WaWa (so glad Jax has some WaWas now!!). When I got home, I vegged out with a good book until it was politely late enough to not feel bad about going to bed!

However... as I was doing what ya do in the bathroom, I looked down at my feet and noticed something... a little, white, squirmy things on the bathroom rug... Oh, good Lord.  It was a maggot...

I will spare you the absolutely disgusting details and the hell we lived in the following week, but apparently something died in our attic. Something big enough to have a LOT of worms (yeah, let's go with worms... it sounds less disgusting!). And because of where the critter was situated when it died, we were getting worms falling from a light socket in our master bedroom AND from the baseboard/wall in our master bathroom. And since we don't have a true attic, we couldn't just go up there (or hire a guy) and get it out... we had to leave it there, or cut a huge hole in our ceiling... Let me tell ya, I will forever be a Shark™ customer. I was sucking up worms here, there, and everywhere with that thing.

Monday, February 26, 2018

GASParilla Distance Classic (Pt 3 - 8k and After)

Since I was only ("only") doing the 8k today, we didn't have to get up at the ass-crack of dawn. I had the alarm set for 5:30, but that was way too early! I snoozed until around 6:15 before rolling out of bed. I hurt! My feet, my legs, my... girly bits... everything hurt!

I got up and got dressed and did some packing while drinking some chocolate milk. Woke him up and did a bunch more packing, so there is no rush when we get back (I secured a 1pm late checkout, yeah!)

We carried my run bag and purse down to the car, then popped in to get some breakfast. Some bad breakfast... the eggs were rubbery, the sausage was bland, and the biscuits were hard. The orange juice wasn't very orange-y, but the apple juice was okay. On our way out, we picked up two bottled sodas at Wawa (though I never drank it... it's still in the fridge at home!)

We set Garmin to take us back to the Whiting Street Garage, but it was blocked off by cones, so we ended up in a nicer garage on Front Street. I backed the car in so we could sit and chill for a bit. While sitting there, two different women walked by (half-marathon finisher) and couldn't find their cars. They walked up and down, pointing their little fobs, hoping to hear a honk. No luck. Then here came another random dude, doing the same thing! Three different people, walking around, pointing fobs, walking up the ramp, walking down the ramp, visibly frustrated. And then... a fourth! He was tenacious as hell. He eventually found it, but it was situated in a way that he couldn't get to it without walking all the way around - it was on the down portion of the ramp (like the ramp that takes you from 4th floor to 3rd floor). He didn't want to walk around, and he actually tried to climb the safety fences to get to his car! I'm so glad I backed into this parking spot - I was getting such a good laugh out of this show, I was breathless!

You can just see the down ramp behind the truck
I bet these would have been really helpful for these folks
Unlike them, I remembered that I was on the Green Level
Hard to see, but these guys are dressed like MarioKart characters
We made it to the start area with about 5 minutes to spare (the 8k start is like a mile away from the finish line... I always forget that part). I got a good luck kiss, and he headed past the starting line. 

Florida in February - TANK TOPS!
Already it is hotter than yesterday, ugh!
I kept up with the pace group for about 5 or 6 rounds of walk/run
At one point, I saw these two women in red tank tops and the one on the right kept wiping her crotchular area with one of the wet washcloths from the finish line. I watched them for a while, trying to figure out if she was having an issue, and finally went over to them to see if they needed help. Turned out she was chafing bad, so I whipped out my little tube of Ruby's Lube and offered it to her. (I checked later, and they beat me to the finish, so good for them!!)

Look at 'em go!
20% done!
I did a little more running today than I did yesterday, but I was still very slow. I'm fatter and more out of practice this year.  And it's REALLY. FUCKING. HOT.

Ugh... go away... 40% done
Blow Up Doll says turn around!
Lots of TPD or HCSO out today
Once I got past Mile 4.75 or so, I pulled out my 15k medal and put it on; I like to run in with my other medals, so that when they are there when I get my finish photos. 
60% done!
80% done! Blow Up Doll says 1 more mile!
Yep... that's the remnants of a water stop

I ran in the final 300 feet to "Look What You Made Me Do" and got a completely shitty time of 1:30:02. But, I got a cool 8k medal, and an even cooler challenge medal!

Bonus of being slow? Volunteers don't bum rush you out of the chute!
8k Medal
Challenge Medal
ALL the Bling!
Once I cooled down a bit, we made our way to the garage, found our car quite handily (thanks to the handy dandy color-coded levels), and headed back to the hotel. Sweaty clothes came off and we made good use of our late check-out time. 

However, we lost track of time and we were still in bed at 12:55! Whoops! We finished packing at the speed of light while the maid was knocking on the door at 1:05. Then we got a telephone call 5 minutes after that. 

You know how on TV they always show people with messy hair and disheveled clothes after they've just had a quickie romp? Yeah, I basically looked like that as I went downstairs to check out. Judging by the way the clerk asked me how my stay was, I'm pretty sure he knew exactly how my stay was! 

To refuel, we grabbed burgers at Red Robin and snackage at Wawa. As we thought about heading home, though, we really wanted dessert, so we drove up to Brooksville and hit Dairy Queen, then took US19 and SR121 all the way home (the drive wasn't nearly as entertaining as I remember it being when I was a kid). 

We got home by 6:30, and after Story Time with the Kiddo™, I headed off to take a shower, unpack,  and conk out.

This was, without a doubt, the best weekend we’ve had as a couple in a LONG TIME.  It isn’t even the Sexy Time™ that made it. It was the love between us, just relaxed and lazy, the cuddling in bed, not stressing out about the kiddo, or having to be somewhere, or anything. I honestly can’t remember the last time I have felt so in love with him. I understand now why lots of relationship gurus say to do stuff just like this.  We talked about insanely stupid stuff. We talked about extremely important stuff. We didn’t talk at all. I want more!