To recap the Gasparilla, I wanted to share a few things that I learned about bigger races. The first race that David and I ran together was the Best Damn Race. This was its first year and, while they had a good turnout, it was a small race.
Here are the things I learned:
1. Lie about your pace!
If you are going to run the race in intervals or just run straight through, then lie. There were three waves for this race: 35 mins and under, 36-50 minutes, and the 5K walk. David and I both signed up for the second (36-50 minutes) wave. Once the race started, we hit a wall of people who were walkers. Even after the first mile, there were pockets of people that needed to be in the ‘walk’ wave. I exerted a lot of energy on weaving in and out of people. I would rather be at the back of the faster pack, then trying to weave through a sea of people!
2. Run with family and friends!
I ran with David, my mom and my friend, Caitlyn. While Caitlyn stayed with me, David and my mom went at their own pace and we saw them a few times (either we were passing them or they were passing us!). It was a good encouragement. I even took an opportunity to sneak up behind David and give him a ‘love pat’!
Caitlyn was a huge encouragement and let me know that we were moving at a decent pace for my second race! David slowed down at the last second to attempt to let me beat him. My mom finished shortly after us and we were able to celebrate our finishes together.
3. Eat shortly after the race!
Because it took some time to get back to the car and out of downtown Tampa, I waited too long to eat something and I ended up with a debilitating headache that sent me to bed at about 6pm. Yuck! It has been a very long time since I have been unable to function because of a headache!
4. Take lots of pictures!
We took pictures before and after, but I wish that I had some pictures during the race. Yes, I know they take professional pictures. I wish I had a taken pictures of the wall of people that were on the bridge ahead of us as we started. It was just like the pictures that you see of these packed races with a sea of color. It was neat to see! I wish I had taken a picture of some of the funny signs that people had along the way! There was a high-5 station with funny signs, none of which I remember now… but I remember they were funny at the moment!
I am not sure what the solution to this one is: I could take my phone out of its holder to take pictures or I could simply run with my phone in my hand. Not really loving either one 🙁
While these are probably “duh” things for veteran runners, it has been fun to learn them along the way! Next race: This Saturday – The Suncoast Classic. Not sure whether I am doing the 10K or the 5K yet!