Sunday, February 24, 2013

Gasparilla 8K

So here I am less than 24 hours before my 8K race and I feel like…well, to say I feel like death warmed over would be an exaggeration because…cough…this cold is getting better, but I certainly don’t feel prepared to run 5 miles tomorrow morning.  God, you’re really going to have to come through on this one.  I plan to take advantage…wheeze…of all three water stations and will walk for about a minute after drinking that water to let it settle.  I don’t want to have to walk any other times, but we’ll see how I feel.  Ideally, I would run the entire thing, which I know I can do when my body is at its peak.  Wheeze…Adjusting for feeling the way I do and the fact that I ran for only 7 minutes this morning at the end of 45-minute walk and I ran only 2.4 out of a possible 3.1 miles Tuesday, I’d say walking part of this 8K is inevitable.  L  I’d rather walk part of it than do any part of it on a stretcher or in the back of an ambulance, though.  Cough.

I feel woefully underprepared to race tomorrow.  I’m not completely better from this chest cold that moved up into my head.  I’ve been eating poorly the last two days.  The weather is warmer than I’d like. 
Are you completely bummed now listening…cough…to me complain?  At church tonight we sang this song, which is on my running playlist.  I made the changes indicated below as I sang it. 

Glory to God Forever

Before the world was made
Before you spoke it to be
You were the King of Kings
Yeah you were, yeah you were
And now you`re reigning still
Enthroned above all things
Angels and saints cry out
We join them as we sing

Glory to God
Glory to God
Glory to God forever (repeat)

Creator God you gave
Me breath so I could praise
Your great and matchless name
All my days all my days
So let my whole life [race] be
A blazing offering
A life that shouts and sings
The greatness of our King

Take my life [race] and let it be
All for You and for Your glory
Take my life [race] and let it be Yours


My daughter and I headed to Tampa about 7:00 this morning so we would have plenty of time to find a parking spot, walk to the start line, etc.  No problems.  We got there before 8 and the race didn’t start until 9.  We had time to take this picture.

I had time to contemplate the size of the group running the 8K

Finally the waiting was over and the race began.  Somehow I ended up near the front of the group with the people who expected to run at a 7-minute-per-mile pace.  I run 12-13 minutes per mile.  Oops.  I made sure to stay to the side of the street so I wouldn’t impede the faster runners.  Apparently I wasn’t the only one who made that mistake because some people were walking even from the very beginning. 
Sometime in the second quarter of the race my running teammate Maria came up behind me.  That’s how we met at the 10K in December too.  We’ve never seen each other at church (it’s big) or when our team has been volunteering at a race.  We meet on the racecourse while we’re running.  J  This time we got to talk and run together for maybe half a mile.  We met up again in line for food afterward and she hung out with my daughter and me. 
During the race I coughed a few times but nothing that prevented me from running.  There were three or four aid stations and I made sure to get water and Gatorade
(Go Gators!) at each one.  I walked for a minute or two while it digested and then ran again.  Those were the only times I walked during the race even though I’ve had this cold!  Thank You, God! 

Before the race started I told my daughter it would be awesome if she could get a picture of me coming across the finish line and have the clock in the picture. 

She did it!  Isn’t she great?!  Let’s give her a hand, folks! 
I just checked the official results and my time was actually 1:08:16, 4 seconds faster than my watch showed.  I’ll take it!  The discrepancy between that time and the time on the clock is because the clock time was started when the gun went off for the beginning of the race but it was 25 seconds after that before I got to the start line. 

And I got a medal! 

I got a ribbon from the Strawberry Distance Challenge I did three weeks ago.  Other than that, I’ve never gotten a medal, ribbon, certificate, nuthin’ except the satisfaction of running, from any of the races I’ve run.  Until today.  I earned it and I’m wearing it proudly! 
There were 2924 runners in the 8K and I came in 2531st. 

After standing in line to get a few postrace goodies like water, a banana, and the tail end of paella from The Columbia Restaurant (they were completely out of black beans and rice and 1905 salad), Brianne and I came home, I showered, and my parents took us out for lunch.  Mmmmmmm!!!  BBQ!!!

It was at Gasparilla two years ago that I stood as a spectator at the finish line of one of the races and cried as God began to give me the desire to run. I came home and wrote a plan on the calendar to increase the distance I ran and decrease the distance I walked (I was still doing a run/walk combo at that point).  Last year I had a knee injury and didn’t run from January until May so Gasparilla was out.  This is a watershed event for me.  If they’d had a 10K I would’ve done that.  I think I’ll do a 15K at another event, maybe in the fall, so next Gasparilla I might be doing the half-marathon (tears as I typed that), but I really need to increase my speed before I try to increase my distance.  I like my pace and increasing my distance really isn’t very hard at such a slow pace.  Looks like I need to challenge and push myself again.  And make a definite plan for increasing speed. 
Yesterday I told God He was really going to have to come through since I was recovering and underprepared.  I think He came through in a big way, don’t you?!



  1. Michele, this is awesome!! How did you find out how many runners there were and where you placed? I'm feeling excited to push myself harder and see if I can run for longer in my training. Isn't the metal great?? It's heavy too!

  2. It is so neat to see God fulfill your heart's desire!