Sunday, December 11, 2016

Here Comes Santa Claus - Santa Suits on the Loose 5k Race Report

This weekend, I ran the Santa Suits on the Loose 5k in St. Augustine.  Yeah, I know I was just here a month ago for the St. Augustine Half Marathon, but I really like St. Augustine, and I really like races where you can dress up as Santa Claus!

I didn't have a Santa suit (they gave them out at packet pickup, though!), and I knew it was gonna be cold, so I went with classic red, black and white.  Since it was gonna be cold, that actually worked in my favor!  Black CuddleDuds base layer and the red tank I bought as a backup for the ladybug costume in October; black tights (like, actual tights, not running tights), Black Silk SparkleSkirt and silver TeamSparkle skirt with red garland trim. Also, black socks with Santa on them, and my Mickey Mouse Santa Hat!  I was decking the halls for sure!

It's cute AND it keeps my head warm!
Tights - TeamSparkle with Garland over SparkleSkirt - Santa Socks
I wasn't fully dressed up (no garland skirt or hat) when I dropped hubby off at work and stopped at Circle K, but the cashier thought that I was wearing a cute dress - it was actually just the black skirt and red tunic top - but she complemented me on it!

The drive to St. Augustine was uneventful, and the whole drive, I was watching the thermometer, hoping it'd get warmer outside...

It's cold, folks
It didn't.

And when I got to the St. Augustine Beach parking lot, I realized something else... It was windy! Like, 20mph winds!  Oh, today's gonna be fun! At least I scored a pretty good parking spot, so I can hide from the wind until it was time to go to the starting line!

You can see the Finish Line sign above the cab of the truck - I parked close!
I braved the frigid winds of Florida to get my packet, then decided to check out the beach. The sunrise was beautiful and I was so glad to have been able to catch it.

Florida sunrises are beautiful
These lovebirds braved the chill to enjoy the sunrise
She was celebrating her 50th Birthday at the beach
Back at the Start Line, crowds were picking up, and the Santa-ness of it all made me smile!  I love running races that have themes that people embrace!

So. Many. Santas!
More Santas
They're everywhere!
Hel-lo half naked Santa - you must be FREEZING!
Granted, I think a lot of people ended up wearing the hats or Santa suits just to keep warm!  Once the sun was up, it helped, but it was still really cold (at least for me). BUT - a cold race is a lot better than a HOT one!

I think they missed a huge opportunity at the start line - they should have played "Here Comes Santa Claus" (Elvis version, of course!) as we all took off. They didn't, but I heard it playing in my head... or possibly my iPod, since my running playlist was Christmas Music, of course!

Now, I hate to admit, but over the past few months (okay, since like Spring), my eating habits have gone to hell, and I've gained back pretty much ALL the weight I've lost since I started this running thing!  This, of course, means that my SparkleSkirts are a lot tighter, my shirts are a lot tighter, and my tights are a lot tighter!  For the first mile or so, my tights and skirt were rolling down because my belly was too big for the waistbands. Nothing really attractive about a fat chick hiking up her skirt while running down a road, so I gave up after a few yanks... Luckily, my shirt was long enough to let the skirt ride below my Dunlap (you know, when your stomach dun lap over your belt?)

Mile 1
The route was a very basic loop, going around in a square, with a smidge of an out-and-back. 

This woman was annoying the crap out of me with her itsy-bitsy doggie
She put him in her purse
There weren't many houses decorated for the holiday, which made me sad, but there was one house that made me smile:

Santa is hanging from damaged roofing
Hurricane Matthew came though in September/October, and from the looks of this man's roof, he got some wind damage or possibly tree damage. He decided to use it to his advantage by hanging Santa from the eaves!

Past the cute house was Mile 2, and I'm happy to still be surrounded by so many people! 

I ran on the sidewalk area - no one in my way!
Coming around the corner, I saw the Mile 3 sign, as well as a cool skateboarder decked out in his Santa Suit!

Do a 540 pop shuvit! (I played way too much Tony Hawk Pro Skater when I was young...)
I was too damn cold to run, so I walked through the finish line and got my medal (which I didn't even know we'd get).

I LOVE full finish lines like this!  So much support!
My official time was 50:14.  Not my slowest, but not my fastest. I think for the amount of wind I faced, and the amount of extra weight I was carrying, I was fine with this. I still ended up beating 58 people!

You can't tell, but I'm freezing!
Nice medal for such an inexpensive race
Finisher Certificate
Afterward, I stuck around for a while, watching others come in, but it was still just too chilly for me, so I grabbed my clothes and changed, then headed for the Historic District.

It's only warmed up 5 degrees - this photo was from 9:30am
Whenever I do an "away game," I like to check out the area, walking out the funk in my legs before driving home. I wanted to do something different today, so I had googled "Breakfast in St. Augustine" before leaving home and saw that they had a Maple Street Biscuit Company restaurant. I'd heard good things about this place, and recently one opened up in my town (though I'd not gotten there yet). It was in the Historic District, so it was walkable, and I could still explore St. George Street afterward without having to move my car.

Because I'd googled MSB, I knew that they had a fun way of calling your name; instead of asking for your name to call when your order was ready, they ask you funny questions (like, "If you were a superhero, what would your name be?") What a cute idea!

I placed my order for a Sticky Maple, which was a "Flaky biscuit, all natural fried chicken breast, pecan wood smoked bacon all topped with Bissell Family Farm real maple syrup"

The question they asked was, "If you were the 9th reindeer, what would your name be?" Well, I'm a Friends fan, so of course, I went with Regina Phalange! When I gave the name, though, the little twenty-something behind the counter gushed "Oh, I love that show! The Evil Queen is the best!" She was, of course, referring to Once Upon a Time, and Regina Miller.  I just kind of smiled and went on my way to find a table. 

I just can't with the spelling of Phalange...
Sadly, when they called my "reindeer" name, they only called the name "Regina," which took out all the fun of choosing that name in the first place!  Maple Street fail.

The place was so busy, the only table I could find was actually a window bar facing the street. I actually enjoyed that, because I didn't have to watch anyone give me The Face for taking up a full table and I could people watch (and see what they ordered, too!)

Okay, so let's dig in to this meal!  The biscuit, while delicious, needed butter. Also, the entire biscuit was sitting in a pool of syrup - I thought it would be more like syrup drizzled over the chicken... that was a lot of syrup.

The chicken was fried really well, and I loved the taste, especially with the syrup - you got a chicken and waffles vibe.  The bacon, of course, was delicious, but I'm the kind of person who could eat an entire pound of bacon for dinner and not feel guilty.

It sure does look tasty!
With a flash so you can see the details
My meal (including soda and tax) was about $10. Would I go back? Nah, probably not. It was good, but I don't think the value was there for me.

Judging by the line out the door, many people probably disagree with me.

The door is to my left, so maybe 25-30 people in line over there
Menu - Front
Menu - Back
I got a refill of my soda (they have the good pellet ice!) and headed out to explore St. George Street. I wanted to do a little Christmas shopping, especially for my mom, who had recently moved to the Gulf coast of Florida.  I remembered that 20 years ago (okay, probably more like 30), there was a store on SGS that sold kitchen and dining stuff with a nautical theme, and since her apartment was beach-themed, I wanted to find something to match her apartment.

As you can imagine, in such a tourist-driven place, that store isn't there anymore.  Oh well.  Moving on to other stores!

I found this cool store called Materialistic; Cool Eclectic Stuff Since 1989. Of course I had to go in!

Okay, this is my kind of store!  Fun magnets, quirky shirts, and the best?  BlueQ socks! I recently discovered BlueQ's website, but I hadn't ordered anything, because I didn't know what the quality of their socks were.  Here at Materialistic, I was able to feel the socks, and judge whether or not they would fit my feet. I'm happy to say that I am now the proud owner of the "This Meeting is Bullshit" socks and a cute pencil case that says "Ringmaster of the Shit Show"! As well as many other things... I have a problem.

The sock mark-up is only a penny over internet cost!
After stopping for the obligatory maple fudge and white chocolate Oreos, I headed back to my car, which I'd parked at the Castillo lot.  While waiting to cross the street, I saw a group of Castillo actors taking a group shot with a wedding party. I thought it was nice of the guys to do that, so congrats to the Bride!

Thanks for a great day, St. Augustine!  See you soon (be warmer next time, though!)

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