Sunday, July 16, 2017

I'm Here for Cupcakes and the Beach! - Bridge of Lions 5k Race Report

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I'm a glutton for punishment, I guess, so I'm back again to do the Bridge of Lions 5k. In Saint Augustine. In July. Yeah, Florida in July. Where it's 75º before the sun even comes up.

I decided this year, rather than parking at the starting line area (by the Castillo), I'd park at the finish line. I usually park at the Castillo because after the race, I walk around St. George Street, but I wasn't planning much sight-seeing, so I didn't want to take up a space from someone else.

I didn't know how long it would take me to get to the start line from the finish line, so I arrived pretty early (like 6:30am early), and ended up getting great spot on the edge of the park, where the finish line is.

The finish line is on the other side of the trees
 After getting all of my gear, I began my 1/2 mile warm-up and walked over to the start line.

Good morning, beautiful Old City
Ain't nobody got time for a drawbridge!
I never noticed that they anchor in straight lines!
Hot and hazy
Once I got over to Avenida Menendez, the line for packet pickup was pretty long! I got my goodies though, and then wandered around the Castillo. 

Packet Pickup
Sparkle Selfie by the Castillo sign
"Freak out the Family Because I'm So Close to the Edge!!!!" Selfie
Looking toward Packet Pickup from the Castillo
"I love you, wall... you totally get me!"
It's getting' CROWDED!
One thing I didn't plan for - duh! - was the packet itself. I couldn't really (well, I could, really) walk back to the car and put my stuff away... I ended up carrying it. Okay, so one con for parking at the finish line.

Bag, shirt and some other goodies
There were over 1100 runners for this race, and at the starting line, we all sang the National Anthem, and then we were off!

It might be damned hot, but the views across the water are always beautiful and today was no different.

Feelin' good, but I just started, so...
I was already tired of this damn bag by the time I got to the bridge.

Yeah, that's gonna smell pretty rank by the time I'm done!
There is a guy in a suit with advertisements velcro'ed to him!
Action Shot! The old ladies look like they're mall-strollin'
There wasn't much action in this race, so we made it to Mile 1 pretty quickly.

Mile 1, some water, and an old dude in jorts...
At Mile 2, I realized this was the area where I parked the car.

I'm gonna pass my car!
Action Shot, still wogging!
There it is! I threw my bag in the trunk and headed off packet-free.

Stop throwing trash at my car!
Soon we were at Mile 3, and the finish line was right around the corner.

Mile 3, almost home!
It's up there, I can see it.
Action Shot, Finish Line... so sweaty!
Yeah, I'm a little sweaty! But I'm finished! My official time was 56:11 (that's an 18:05 pace, ugh), by far my slowest (non-Gasparilla) 5k to date. But I finished, at 1106th out of 1171 total runners (I beat 65 people).

I grabbed some water and a bag of ice (which I promptly shoved down my bra), as well as my medal and headed into the park, where it's shady and cooler. (The high for the day was 89º, but it felt a helluva lot hotter than that!).

So. Hot. and Red. and Sweaty!
I wandered around the park for a few minutes, grabbing a post-race snack, checking out the smattering of vendor tents before heading to the opposite side of the park, where my car was. BEST PARKING EVAH!

I'm coming, car! (Wish I had remote start!)
After the car had cooled down with the AC blasting, I made my way to A1A (Beachfront Avenue), and promptly had to sit and wait for the drawbridge. Eh, at least it wasn't during a half-marathon this time! It's mean of me to say it, but I gotta say I was feeling a little haughty for being in a nice, cool car, rather than having to walk back over the bridge in this heat!

Motherfuckin' drawbridge and shit
Once I cleared the bridge, I hightailed it to a local Subway to pick up lunch (and change clothes), then headed back over to St. Augustine Beach Pier. I found a great place to park, grabbed my beach bag and my camp chair and plopped my ass down to enjoy the sunshine! I'd wanted to do this a few weeks ago (after Beck's 5k in June), but the weather didn't want to cooperate. So I was dead set to do it this time!

Weisswurst or Legs?
I dined al fresco on a beautiful Spicy Italian sandwich, some potato chips and a huge Polar Pop from the Circle K across the street from the beach.

Nothing says "beachy" like slightly warm Italian meats!
The spot I found was great - it was a little bit away from the pier itself, and close enough to the water that the sand was packed, rather than sandy (so, no sand in my food!).

Saturday morning on St. Augustine Beach - maybe 20 people from here to the horizon
For a while, there were two ladies there with their dogs, and it was so much fun to watch the dogs play in the water. One was a bigger dog, like a pittie, while the other was smaller and couldn't keep up with the pittie.

He was the happiest doggo!
While not dressed for it, I just had to get in the water. I was born steps from the Gulf of Mexico, and I never realized how much I missed the beach until I moved away from it!

I couldn't stay too long - I am a pasty white chick, after all - so about about an hour, I packed up and headed back to the car (I was still crispy by the time I got home...). I popped over to this awesome Dollar Tree - it's HUGE! - and did some impulse shopping.

Sweet! I didn't know I could recycle my kids! I thought I had to trash 'em...
Not the most... reputable... shopping center... but a great Dollar Tree
My next stop was Happy Cakes - the bakery that made the cupcakes for Beck's 5k last month. It was a bit out of the way, and in the end, I didn't feel like it was worth the trek to spend $10 on three "normal size" cupcakes. Oh well, lesson learned.

On-street parallel parking, my speciality!
Next up - St. George Street. I parked on Spanish Street (near the Columbia Restaurant), but probably won't park there again - you can't pay for only how long you think you'll be. I had to pay for two hours, even though I was only going to be 30 minutes at the most. Oh, well, again... lesson learned.

Not the smartest parking I've done
So, funny story... Y'all know I love my Savannah Sweets fudge.Y'all know that's why I'm here. I generally don't carry my purse when I'm on St. George Street (for safety reasons); I just carry my phone and my credit card. As I was paying for my treats with said credit card, the cashier (a lovely older woman) asked me for ID. I told her that I was very sorry, that I didn't have it with me. Another woman came over, whom I'd seen many times, and she looked at me, then told the cashier, "Oh, she's fine! She comes in here all the time!" Then she asked me what race I was in town for!

So, is it a good thing or a bad thing that I'm being recognized in other cities for my love of fudge and running?

Anyway, I was able to pay for my treats without having to go get my credit card, and after doing a little more window shopping, I headed back to the car, and got ready to go home.

I hit up the RaceTrac for caffeine and set the Garmin to take me to Hardee's in Palatka. I couldn't find it last time, and I was so pissed, it became a mission this time.

It turned out that this Hardee's in Palatka was inside a gas station, rather than being a stand-alone joint!

With burger in hand (which was very tasty, but who the hell puts ketchup on a burger with bacon?!?), I headed home, picked up Hubby and vegged on the couch the rest of the day!

Bacon & Cheese Thickburger... really, ketchup? Ick.

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