This year marks my fourth year running the Gasparilla Distance Classic! The first year I ran the 5K. Second and third years I ran the Lime Challenge – 15K on Saturday and 8K on Sunday.
I had been fighting a cold all week and began to feel back to normal on Thursday and Friday but knew I wasn’t 100%. So I went into the weekend not looking to push or PR – completion was the goal!
But I hit one PR on Saturday during the 15K! This time last year I set a new PR of 1:42:19. And this year, thanks to Claudia’s strength training and marathon training plan, I set an ELEVEN minute PR! 1:31:27! WOW!
I finished up Saturday by slowly jogging the 5K with a fellow Team Freedom friend that I met in the corral we chatted and made the time go by fast! No PR there (35:12), but I wasn’t even considering it would be possible with the crowds and my most recent 5K PR that I set just two weeks prior at BDR of 28:40. So I took it easy.
Sunday morning was an early morning! I headed down to Tampa at 4:30am. I was feeling sore from the day prior but knew I had to manage to get through the race. The pain and discomfort that I feel during the just over two hours that it takes to run a half marathon is nothing compared to the pain and heartache that these human trafficking victims endure on a daily basis. When you compare the two situations – I have NO excuses! As is fitting for a Gasparilla race, I forgot something! But not my shoes this time – my running watch. I had a moment of anxiety on the way down about forgetting my watch and even considered driving back, but knew that would put me too close on time. I decided I would run comfortable and walk the water stops. I started between the 2:15 and 2:20 pace groups and new that would be a good spot to stick between, if I got a wild hair and sped up, that would be ok too!
I finished Sunday with a new PR for the half marathon distance as well! Only by a minute, but a PR is a PR!
- 3 Races
- 25.5 Miles
- 24 Hours
- 15K PR – 1:31:28 (11 minutes faster than one year ago!!)
- Half Marathon PR – 2:16:30 (1 minute faster)
- $500 raised for Hope for Justice
- $162,000 total raise to fight human trafficking by Team Freedom
- Over 300 Team Freedom Runners ran from Tampa to Chicago and back in mileage!