Sunday, January 14, 2018

Pay Attention, Girl! - Best Damn Race 10k Race Report

Click to register for 2019!
Click to register for 2019!
I've done this race a few times, and have always had "meh" results, but I wanted to try again... I got a good deal by registering in March 2017 - only $20 for a 10k with a medal!  By registering so early, though, I kinda forgot about it. It got overlooked by Celebration 1/2 Marathon, so when I looked at my race calendar I was surprised to see I had a race coming up! Oops... that doesn't really bode well for me...

I don't remember when I got the email, but sometime between March and January, we all got an email that the course was changing from previous years, due to construction at EverBank Field. Also changing would be the start/finish line, which was moved to the Jacksonville Landing. Ugh... parking around that area is terrible! That bummed me out, but I dealt with it, spending the few days before scoping out Google Maps so I knew what I was in for.

Early Saturday morning, flying solo, I hit the road. I left early to ensure that I could find a parking spot, but my ETA was crazy early!

I'll be there over 75 minutes early!
The drive was uneventful, and it only took me a few minutes to find an appropriate parking spot. I was about 1-2 blocks away from the front roundabout of Jax Landing.

Where I parked
I walked around the block to packet pickup, which, of course, was in the back of Jax Landing. I had to go inside, walk to the back, go back outside, then inside a weird empty bar area to pick up my stuff. I got my bib and shirt, hit the potties, then headed back to my car.

Love the shirt - it's nice and soft - but it won't fit
The temperature wasn't too terrible at 55º. I was hoping that it would warm up a bit when the sun came up.

55º at 6am is good! Should get warmer!
I had plenty of time to kill, so I ate some BelVita Bites and drank some Powerade, then made my way back towards the start line.

This was in the alley I walked through to get to the start line area
It was getting a little crowded outside at the starting line, but it was getting more crowded inside!

There are crowds clustering around the Start Line area
Most of us were smart and stayed inside the Landing
Because of the cold weather, a lot of people were hunkering down in the atrium area of the Landing, trying to stay warm before the race started. A lot more people were using the real potties available as well.

This is probably about 50-60 people waiting for a two-seater Ladies Room
I walked back outside to look around the finish line area, and to head back over to packet pickup, as I saw they had put out some cans of soda - when I can, I like having caffeine before a race (most people do, but they do coffee).

Awards area and PR Bell
Pretty! (And I don't have to run over it this time!)
How I feel before caffeine
I'm a winner, every day
Welp... so much for that can of soda
Back inside, I stood around for a bit, posting a pre-race selfie on Twitter, then just relaxing, when all of a sudden, I realized... everyone's outside! The race is about to start!!!!

This is actually a pretty good selfie!
I hauled ass outside as the 5k and 10k runners went under the start arch and hoped to God I could get there in time!
Luckily I made it (you can see me run in from the left at about 48sec), and I got my Garmin up and running while I was walking. Phew!!!

As usual, when a 5k and 10k start together, it's always crowded with people, which gives me a false sense of hope that I won't be pulling up the rear.

Do. Not. Walk. Like. This. If you have a group, move the hell over!
The changes in the course messed with me too. It was weird to see the Maxwell House logo in the dark (when I pass it during Gate, the neon is off because it's like 8:30 in the morning!)

Good to the last drop!
We ran up Gator Bowl Blvd towards Metro Park before turning around and going back the way we started.

There's usually so many bodies here!
Turn around, just after Mile 1
The wind was brutal when we turned - full blasts of cold air, right in the face. I was pretty sure it was getting colder instead of warmer.

Heading back towards the Landing
Mile 2
We passed the 2nd mile marker and headed back into downtown Jax. I passed my car!

Look at that beautiful car, parallel parked so well!
Soon, the 5k folks broke off from the 10k folks, and my field of runners got much smaller.

Bye, losers!
And, yay, the course still has me running up this damn overpass thing.

All right, here we go
Kill me.

It's deceptively easy-looking... but it's not
Head down, knees up, we've made it to Mile 3
Over in Five Points, I've made it to Mile 4.

Okay, 2/3 of the way done. I can't feel my fingers!
Then it was time for the dreaded Riverwalk segment. Most of it's great, then you have to go up a huge ramp to clear a railroad!

There's still people in front of me, yay!
So. Very. Dreary.
I saw a train go by and actually use this trestle thingy!
Stop putting locks on the fence, idiots! Why do people do that?!?
Hey, it's Mile 5!!

And I didn't even puke coming off the round-about
Oh, so close! Mile 6, by the beautiful yacht.

This is the boat owned by the Jaguars Team owner
I attempted a jump finish. It was bad. I got some pretty good air, but I think my 5 extra chins held me back.

Points for spirit fingers!
So many chins...
This one is better - only two chins.

Is that guy puking?
My time, was terrible, was on par with other terrible times at 10ks, so I'm happy with that. My official time was 1:48:27 (pace 17:27). I was 459th out of 472 total runners, 66th out of 69 in my age group, and 335th out of 345 females.

This guy had an Adidas tracksuit for his bulldog!
One of the things that BDRs are known for are their "awesome after-parties," and this one touted free Hooter's wings from Jax Landing. So, I headed back inside, where packet pickup was, to grab some grub. There was none. So many 5k and 10k people had already finished ahead of me, they cleaned the place out of anything good. Supposedly, more wings were coming, but after sitting there for about 5 minutes, and then wandering around outside, and even getting my photo taken in the dorky photo booth, there still were no wings. So, huge fail, there, BDR!

I'm so white...
The one on the bottom is my favorite
It was just too damn cold to stick around for the awards, so I headed back to the car, where it was warm.

Much better medal selfie
I was right... the temperature dropped 8 degrees in under 4 hours.

I hate winter.

My first stop was WaWa, both to change out of my freezing, sweaty clothes, and to get some gas and a cup of hot chocolate. I've never gotten hot chocolate at WaWa and I was pleased to see that they had all sorts of creamers and add-ins (okay, they were mostly for coffee, but still...) - they had a canister of little mini-marshmallows, and something called 'vanilla powder.' Both were excellent additions to my cocoa, and for a buck plus tax, it was a great deal!

It was a dollar!
I drank the hell out of this on my way to lunch
One thing I love to do for "away" races is to look for new places to eat or explore. I'm not sure how I even stumbled across this place on the internet - I probably looked for "seafood" on Yelp - but I decided to go on an adventure to a placed called Safe Harbor Seafood Market and Restaurant in Mayport. I had no idea where Mayport even was - I had to look on a map! It was about 20 minutes away from Downtown Jax.

It was a very quiet drive, once I got off the interstate, and after a little while, it got freakily empty.

Don't get me lost, Garmin
Seriously, where the hell am I?
Dude... there's a Coast Guard Station out here? Cool!

I made it to the restaurant, which was nothing like I expected. It's 90% seafood market (with some gorgeous selections!) and 10% restaurant. It only had about 5 tables inside and a bunch outside. I saw that they had patio heaters and roll-down plastic curtain thingies, so I chanced sitting outside.

The view, on a warmer and clearer day, would be awesome, but today, it was still cold, bleak, and dreary. I picked a table as close to a patio heater as possible, but I still froze my ass off. I'll know better for next time.

Which one of these is The Jenny?

I went with the combo of fried scallops and fried shrimp (Mayport shrimp, of course!), which came with fries and hush puppies for $17. It's served with coleslaw, house sauce and either tartar or cocktail sauce for dipping.

Scallops, shrimp, crinkle fries (meh), house sauce, tartar sauce, cole slaw (meh) and lemon
The meal was amazing! You could tell they were all fresh (they literally catch their own shrimp daily). The photo above really doesn't do justice to the amount of food I got. Probably over a dozen shrimp, a huge handful of bay scallops (the small ones), with a ton of fries buried underneath. Without a doubt, I'm gonna come back here a lot!

On my way out, I stopped at the beachy area lining A1A (Beachfront Avenue!) and took a few photos. It was extremely blustery, so I couldn't take too much of the cold, but I got a good couple of photos.

The water really is THAT blue. It was beautiful.
My next stop was IKEA! Yep, there's an IKEA in Jacksonville now!!!  It's over near St. John's Town Center, on the east side of Jacksonville. It was busy today, because apparently, it'd only been open for about a week, so everyone wanted to check it out!

It's artsy cuz it's tilted
I fell in love with IKEA the first time I went there in Tampa, so now if I'm in the vicinity, I make sure to make a stop.

I spent a lot of time looking at dressers. Hopefully in the next few months, we're going to be upgrading our queen-size innerspring mattress to a king-size memory foam bed, which means we'll need to adjust for the extra 16 inches of width. I've been using an old desk I got at the Salvation Army about 15 years ago for a nightstand, and I want to upgrade to something better, like a small dresser, so that I'll have a nicer looking nightstand, but still get a lot of storage. I'm thinking a MALM is what I want. 

I want this MALM, but in white
I didn't buy any furniture this time around (doesn't make any sense to buy it when we don't need it yet), but I did get a cool dish soap dispenser, a white trash bin to use as a planter, and one of their TALANDA chocolate bars to try.

Sadly, it was time to go (past time, actually... I was late getting home), but I popped back over to WaWa for some soda and snacks, then made my way home.