Category Archives: race

Race recap ~ Gasparilla Distance Classic 5+3K

For the second time, I was outside on a Sunday morning, in crazy wind waiting for a race to start. This might be how my luck is…

Yesterday, I ran the Gasparilla Distance Classic 5+3K along Bayshore Blvd. in Tampa. This is my first time to take part in this event and I will absolutely do it again next year. This route is so pretty, a gorgeous water view on one side and beautiful homes on the other side. I met up with my good friend Terrie and we waited *patiently* in the wind for it to be time to line up at the start line.

This was an out-and-back course, 4.97 miles that started right at 9:00am. Despite the wind, it wasn’t really cold. Nothing at all like the weather at the Rock ‘n’ Rock 1/2 Marathon last month.

I started running very soon after starting. In my mind, I wanted to beat my time of 1:04 that I did last weekend when I ran the same distance around the park to see how I did. I ran more than I walked in this one. The first half, the wind was at our backs. When we turned around, it was right in our faces. I kept pushing along.

I had my Garmin on, of course, but it was a little off from my chip time. When I hit the 5K mark, I knew I was doing well as I was right around 37 minutes, which would be my fastest time yet. I wasn’t sure how off my Garmin was as I was running, but when I neared the finish line, I knew I was going to be EXTREMELY close to the 1 hour mark. Fortunately I had signed up to get a text alert on my time and I knew very quickly after crossing the finish line that my time was 1:00:16. My first thought was “16 SECONDS?!?!” Oh what I would give to have been 17 seconds faster and had my time right under 1 hour. But all in all, I am VERY happy with how I did, how much I ran, and how great I felt. I definitely push myself more in an event than when I am just running around the park. I think I psych myself out, thinking I can’t do as much as I can.

I waited for Terrie at the finish line and we were both pleased with how we did. It’s a great feeling to finish an event and celebrate with a good friend. So far this year, we’ve done 3 events together!

Here are a few pictures from the day!

Early morning and ready to go!

My running must-haves!

Back side of the start line.


Official chip time


Super cool medal.


My first half-marathon!

Today was a very a special day. I will remember it for a very long time. Back on December 29, 2011, I registered for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in St. Petersburg. I was determined to do it. I walked and ran in preparation. I expected to walk most of it and run what I could.

This past week was full of anticipation. It was all I could think about. After I picked up my bib, shirt, and swag bag on Friday – I couldn’t contain my excitement any longer. This was the weekend I would finally become a half-marathoner. All day yesterday, I wanted the day to pass quickly so I could go to sleep and wake up this morning. Like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting oh-so impatiently for Christmas Day.

The alarm went off at 4am this morning and I was ready to go. I showered, dressed, ate a good breakfast, got my stuff together, and we were out the door at 5:20am to beat the traffic to Tropicana Field in St. Pete. The only thing I was worried about was the weather. IT. WAS. FREEZING. With the wind chill it felt like it was in the 30’s and it was windy. I was shivering all the way to my bones. I started out in 2 shirts, a jacket, and gloves.

Finally it was time. The first corral started at 7:30. I was in Corral 12 based on what I thought my finishing time would be. We had to finish in 4 hours and I projected 3:25. We started at 7:46:23 am. Within the first mile, I could not contain myself and I started running. I ran off an on through the whole race. I wasn’t running to beat others or to finish by a certain time. I was just running because I could and because I was on an adrenaline high. This was the farthest mileage I’d ever put in where I was running a good portion of it. I’m not a fast runner, but I run.

Hubby received texts on his phone as I crossed certain points: 5k, 10k, 10 mile, and finish. I saw him three times during my run – right at the start,  the 5k mark, and at the finish line. He took some great photos for me.

There were bands and music throughout and lots of wonderful people cheering us on, handing out water and Gatorade. It all kept me going.

By the 5k mark, I was ready to take my jacket off, as I had finally warmed up. The gloves would stay on the rest of the way.

At about the halfway point, I realized that I was really going to do this. I was going to finish this and finish it good. For me. It was very emotional experience. I cried many times during for many reasons…. This was a HUGE thing for me, it was HARD, and I was so proud of myself for taking it on, and riding out the determination of doing it as the weeks passed leading up to it. I didn’t let my insecurities get in the way or focus on all the what-ifs, and my downfalls. I cried from the sheer beauty of the route, especially as we ran along the water. I cried because I knew there would be so many people who would be proud of me for accomplishing this. And I cried because I wished more than anything Daddy was here to hear all about it, to tell me how proud he was of me.

When I hit the 10-mile mark, it felt SO close. Never had 3.11 miles felt so far or so close all at once. When the route was closest to the finish line and I could here the music and people cheering, it made me want to push myself farther and harder. When I rounded the last corner in mile 12 and saw the 13 mile mark and the finish line just past that, I was in tears again. I was so close to finishing, so close to completing this goal I had set for myself.

I saw hubby just before the finish line and that made me cry more. He was there for me as he always is. He supports me and I love him dearly for it.

Crossing over the finish line was a blur. My official finish time was 3:11:33, coming in 6503 out of 7006. I was handed a medal, given a blanket, a bottle of water, and a banana. My picture was taken with my medal on. It was then that I realized I had not stopped my watch. I texted hubby to tell him I was waiting in the family area and waited. When I finally saw him, I was so excited. And then, I saw my mom and Jenna! What a surprise that was. I had just texted my mom to tell her I had finished. I had no clue they were there, even though I found out afterwards that they were standing right by hubby at the finish line. Me and my tunnel vision…

Again I was crying, overwhelmed at finishing, seeing hubby, and seeing my mom and Jenna. they had balloons, and were so proud of me. It was a moment I will not forget.

The day could not have gone more perfect. I started the race with my good friend Terrie, knowing that she was doing it in honor of two very special people as part of Team In Training. I ended the race, feeling extremely proud and strong and loved. And I was so excited to hug Terrie and enjoy the moment with her, knowing we both finished. We did it.

The afternoon was topped off perfectly with a great lunch, with Nick and Autumn joining us. I am exhausted and sore beyond belief, but it is still a wonderful thing. And tomorrow, the 13.1 decal will go on my car. Finally.

Terrie and I in the freezing cold this morning. Brrrr!

Starting line!

At the 5K mark.

A beautiful day for a half-marathon.

What a view!

Approaching the finish line - determined!

So excited to see everyone!


Feeling very accomplished! Terrie and I did it!!

A well-deserved beer at the end!

I’ve been bitten…

…by the racing bug. Since signing up for the Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon coming up in just 2 weeks from tomorrow, I’ve been doing alot of walking and running. Last week, I did my first “official” 5K, getting a shirt and race bib and all. I am BEYOND excited about the RNR Half Marathon, it’s just about all I can think about.

Last week I came super close to signing up for the Gasparilla Distance Classic Race weekend in Tampa in March. There was a promotion at Sports Authority, if you spend $85 in Nike running gear, you get free registration for certain events. I knew it would be going on this week as well, so I decided to think about it. Today, after our 11-mile training walk which went FANTASTIC, I decided I would splurge a little and buy some new running gear and get that free registration for the 8K on Sunday March 4. I bought a pair of super cool pants, a pair of shorts, a super light top, and a nifty water belt. I am all set and I will look fantastic doing it!

Super cool event shirt I got for registering for the 8K!

I am so excited about taking the time for myself and making the commitment to do these races. I certainly won’t be the fastest or the best, but I will be out there doing it and giving it MY best shot. I am extremely proud of myself for doing this. I CAN DO IT!