Saturday, February 26, 2011

For the love of Gasparilla?:)

We got up at 5 a.m. on Saturday, February 26th for our second Gasparilla, the big, annual classic race weekend event in Tampa. I was signed up for the 5K and Mike for his first 15K. We were both really tired! Mike's goal was to finish in under an hour and a half and mine was to just re-engage with the whole 'love of running' thing which hasn't been there lately for some reason :(. I really loved Gasparilla last year - it was only my third 5K and among 11 thousand runners I felt part of something so much bigger than myself. It's hard to get a good time at this race with that many people which takes off the pressure too:).

The Expo at the Convention was fantastic as usual and we 'kitted out' with tons of new running clothes...:)

Here's Mike on the right going over the line at 7 a.m. for his 9.3 mile race!!! I felt so stinking proud of my hubby :).

And he's in - in under an hour and 15 mins!!!

If I ever get a medal for completing a 15K I will sleep in it for the rest of my life...

The 5K lined up for a 9:30 start and it had started to get really hot which I always struggle with. It was high 70s with the sun just beating down on Bayshore and no shade. I had to dig deep...

And then I remembered the 15K wheelchair race. The winner completed 9.3 miles in only 31 minutes. At one point apparently he actually broke the speed limit on Bayshore ;)

And then I saw 23-year-old Iraqi war hero, Joel Tavera, running with a prosthetic limb. How can you not feel totally inspired?

The winner of the 5K broke the course record at under 15 minutes...OMG!!

During my race I have never seen as many people fainting and throwing up. One guy who looked like he was in his 70s fell and had blood pouring all down his face. Several runners had already stopped to help so I kept running but it was hard to relax with so many people who looked like they were dying. One guy nearly did according to the news story they published later. Apparently the girl who gave him CPR was actually in a Wonder Woman ironic :).

I have to admit, I was grateful for all of the walkers who were in the way since I was so hot I don't think I could have ran any faster anyhow :). I was very happy when I was done! (Bib 8332 in the picture below...)

Mike had a great experience and I found out later that my chip time was 31:10 which I was actually really proud of! I didn't exactly 'feel the running love' however - I'm going to have to do some work to get used to the heat since that probably isn't going to change and I do live in Florida :).

So that's 5 events done so far for 2011 before the end of February and my goal was only 6 for the year. I think I'm going to take a little break. I think I deserve it :)

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