Sunday, January 17, 2016

Meh Damn Race - Best Damn 10k 2016 Race Report

Foggy Morning Red Light

Today was the 2nd time I’ve run the Best Damn Race 10k in Jacksonville.  It wasn’t as cold as last year, which was pleasant.  I didn’t need to bundle up in layers.

Both the Kiddo and the Hubby decided to stay home today – the Kiddo had some schoolwork to finish, and Hubby said he slept badly. I won’t lie and say I was sad – I like doing races alone!

I had a bowl of Lucky Charms, got dressed and headed out the door by 4:30am.  It was VERY foggy out, and the fog made the drive even longer than normal.

I arrived at Metro Park around 6:20, which gave me plenty of time for packet pickup.  I also took advantage of the great potties there (real potties!), before going back to the car to gear up. 

The potty line, 12 minutes before start
I headed back to the Start Line, got my Garmin – set to 1/1 intervals – and my Nike app ready, and then we were off!
Start Line Selfie
The first 5k runner passed me before I even go to the first mile marker!

I made it to Mile 1, seemingly fast, and after passing the statue near Jacksonville Landing, the 5k people were turned back, while the rest of us 10k folks kept going. I’m always a bit saddened, and lonely, once the 5k people leave, because all of a sudden, the crowd is a lot smaller, and I’m a lot closer to the back!

Mile 1 (Breaking in a new camera, sorry for crummy pix!)
5k & 10k on our way to Jacksonville Landing
Around the statue and impatient drivers
Goodbye 5k'ers!
Where does one get tights THAT LOUD for a man?
Rather than going up the Acosta Bridge, or Main Street Bridge, or even the Green Monster, we went up the Riverside Avenue overpass.  I don’t know if I can fully put into words just how far and how steep that road is.  If I had any breath, I would’ve been cussing. And I know my photos don’t do it justice. But I just put my head down, put my knees up and conquered that beast!

Here we go...
This is painfully-steep
I don't look that bad here! I was cussing in my head
After the overpass, I made it to Mile 2, which I believe was the Riverside area of Jax.  We headed towards what looked to be an older part of town, but familiar as well, since I’ve run this way before, both in the BDR last year, as well as the Jax Half Marathon last year.  I knew what to expect.

Hello Mile 2
Getting passed by a lot of returning 10k folks now
I missed the Mile 3 turnaround spot, but I was glad to already be halfway done.

On the return trip, we were routed along the Riverwalk, and I came up on a man who I discovered, after a few moment of chatting, had bursitis in his HIPS!  I’d recently had a bit of bursitis in my shoulder, which was very painful; to have it in both hips would be excruciating to me!  I commended him for running and pulled ahead.  I also sucked down a Vanilla Clif Shot (they’re a very slimy version of cake icing) at this point. I’m getting tired and still have half a race to go.

As usual, by this point, I’m all alone.  Runners in front of me are too far to see.  I know the Bursitis Man is behind me, though I don’t know how far behind.  So, I just enjoy the run. I love this part of the course, because – usually – you can look over the river and see the different bridges.

Pretty and peaceful
Today, however, it’s foggy as hell!  I mean, really, I cannot see more than 5 feet over the water!
LEFT:  The View Today         RIGHT: The Normal View
I passed the Mile 4 marker and it was time to hit the ramp.  I did good going up the ramp, so I decided to make up some time by running down the spiral… That may have been a bad idea – I got really dizzy!

I didn't skip Mile 3, I promise!
There's a train trestle in this view... somewhere.
I missed the Mile 5 sign (maybe it was too foggy!), but that was the end of the Riverwalk, so I got back on Gator Bowl Boulevard and headed towards the finish.

So glad we don't have to run through Jacksonville Landing!
Back on Gator Bowl Boulevard
I also missed the Mile 6 sign,though there might not have been one, since the finish was so close.

Turning in to Metro Park, I was greeted by a StormTrooper (or whatever) who told me which direction to go. 

Uh, okay. Best Damn Trooper?

I finished strong and my official time was 1:42:52!  I beat my time from last year!!!

ALMOST a "flying shot" - with both feet off the ground
I picked up my medal and some water, then marched right over to ring that bell!

Glamour shot
You can ring my be-ell, -ell, -ell, ring by bell!
I also was able to get a Backdrop Pic without too much of a wait. 

Benefit of slowness - short lines for photo ops
There was still food left, so I got some Pollo Tropical, a brownie and 2 cans of soda.  As I was alone, I also got a smidgen of the Best Damn Root Beer to try (hubby doesn’t like alcohol). I was curious what it tasted like.

It really is called "Best Damn Root Beer!"
BDRB (in the Bud cup) and Pollo Tropical Chicken w/Rice and sauce
Well, if you can imagine that you had a sweaty fat guy who liked to play poker without a shirt on, drink beer then have some root beer, then give you a sloppy kiss, that’s about what it tasted like.  I had weird flashbacks to being a kid, and knowing that sweaty fat guy.  It wasn’t unpleasant, per se, but it wasn’t something I would enjoy drinking.  I don’t think I finished even the scant ounce they poured me (they thought I was weird for not getting a full cup). 

I grabbed my clothes out of the car, changed in the potties, and was ready to get out of there.  Canadian Geese on the other hand, had different ideas.  I wasn’t allowed to access Gator Bowl Blvd , and from where I parked, I couldn’t see any other way to get out.  I basically just drove over a wide sidewalk into another parking lot section, where I got blocked by a gaggle of geese! They didn’t seem to give any shits that I was driving towards them; they just casually crossed the road, taking their time. Quite odd, really.

Honk! Honk!
Hey! We're walkin' here!
Once the geese had cleared my path, I back-roaded it around the stadium until I could get back on the highway and drive to the Avenues Mall for some meandering. 

Between the fog and the roadwork, the interstate looked post-apocalyptic.

Are there zombies?
When did the bomb drop?
When I got to the mall, I was feeling achy, so I took some Excedrin, hoping to ward off the impending migraine.

I hit the food court for Chick-fil-A, then walked around the mall to get the crap out of my legs for an hour or so.

On the way home, I stopped at a Kangaroo for a drink and some snacks.  Garmin told me to go home via Blanding Blvd. I regretted listening – it was SO slow! Bumper to bumper Saturday traffic!

Carbs and protein are very important
Uh, okay
Despite the rain on the trip, I was home before 2pm though, and I spent some quality time on the couch with a book and my DVR!

It started raining when I got onto US-301
Nice ladies' V-Neck (that doesn't fit)
Larabar, Biofreeze, Advil, Kind Bar and Uber coupon

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