Gasparilla Half Marathon 2013

My last half marathon of the race season was yesterday. It makes me sad and happy at the same time. Sad because I love racing but happy because I need a little break. I gotta admit, for the past two weeks, I did not want to run this race. Once I knew how hot it was going to be, my motivation was killed. I even thought about skipping it but I already paid for the race entry and the hotel and I just can’t waste money like that.

I ran Gasparilla in 2011 and again in 2012.  It’s extremely well managed and one of my faves. Plus, the race has killer medals.

I almost missed the start because of some early morning tummy trouble. Then, because of the extreme humidity, I decided to start in the second wave (2hrs+) instead of the first wave (-2hrs) that I signed up for.

It’s really hard for me to breathe in 1000% humidity and Tampa was laying it on thick. The air even looked like you could cut it with a knife. I saw so many people in the long-sleeved race shirts (and one girl with a garbage bag on) and I just didn’t get it. It was HOT.

Thankfully, it was overcast the entire race. If the sun had peaked through the clouds, I would have surely punched someone. Or myself.

Water stops were at every mile, which was really appreciated. I started walking through them all after mile 4.

Around mile 6, my nose started bleeding. That was a first. My nose runs when I run (I guess it’s just being really supportive), so maybe I was just wiping it too much? That took a good mile to get under control.

Somewhere around mile 10, a 65-ish year old woman, who couldn’t have been more than 4’11”, passed me. I was going to get a picture of her schooling me, but I didn’t want to relive that shame.

I pretty much struggled the whole race and barely wanted to be there. It was part burn-out, part weather, and part that it just sucked to be there alone with no one to share it with. I was so happy when it was over that I grabbed my goodies and left.

I walked about a half mile back to the hotel, took a shower, packed my stuff, and made the two hour drive home.

Finish time: 2: 16: 06

You’d think with as many races as I do, there would be more good ones. I mean, I’m not even 50/50 here. I can probably count my truly good races on one hand. Anyway, the race wasn’t what I wanted it to be, but my day got exponentially better when I went to see Pink last night. But I’ll save that for the next post. :-)

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  1. Meghann says

    You were in such a hurry to get out of there that I didn’t even have a chance to give you a water bottle at the finish line! Want to know what sucks? The weather forecast for next weekend is the same as two weeks ago – lows in the 30s and highs in the low 60s – PERFECT racing weather. Ugh. Gasparilla seriously had some back luck with weather this year. At least you got to bring home a cool medal :)
    Meghann recently posted..On the floorMy Profile

    • Paula says

      I saw that! I have a few choice words for mother nature and her timing right now.
      I wish I knew you were volunteering before the race – seeing you would have given me something to look forward to at the end!

  2. Connie says

    Your experience sounds similar to mine last year at Gasparilla. I was all alone, which just totally sucks my motivation right there. Then, here was a drenching rain storm, as I was making my way to the start…alone. Then the wind picked up to tropical storm mphs. I was then so cold. My IPod got drenched in the rain, and just had to be trashed – so no music the WHOLE race…alone. I also ran the whole race with a torm hammy. I just wanted the stinkin’ pirate medal. Bad, bad race. And my finish time was dreadful. And I got lost trying to find parking both at the expo AND on race morning.

    • Paula says

      You were smart in skipping it this year! I feel like I need to wait a week before a race to register so I know the forecast. FL is too unpredictable for me. At least there was a decent breeze for about 10 miles of the race. That helped a little!

  3. Dina says

    I totally saw the girl with the garbage bag on. Was wondering if I missed the rain memo or if it was to avoid the contaminated water?

    The humidity was really bad and after about mile ten, I was just done. I do agree that the race is super well managed and the medals are probably my favorites. Although, I could do without the massive congestion in the first mile with the bridge crossing. Happened last year also where you just have to walk. Not exactly sure what they could to do improve that besides changing the course.
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    • Paula says

      You know, I had that bridge congestion the first two years I did the race but it was totally fine this year. Maybe because I was toward the front of the wave though?

  4. Melissa says

    You are so freaking hard on yourself! That’s not a bad time at all, especially considering the conditions. And you walked all the water stops? Yeah. No need to be bummed about that time at all. You can control a lot of things, but weather isn’t one of them, and you live in the state with the shittiest weather for running, you know? So hopefully you’ve gotten over this bout of self loathing and are moving on to your much-deserved rest period. MUAH!
    Melissa recently posted..Deal BreakersMy Profile

  5. amanda says

    I would kick a puppy for your half marathon time! You honestly do not give yourself enough credit my friend. And snaps for running in that humidity. I LOATHE humidity…I will take a snowstorm over that any day

    PS. So looking forward to hearing how PInk was!!!
    amanda recently posted..Friday FavoritesMy Profile

    • Paula says

      Yes! We have halves in March and April too. March can go either way but April is way too hot. Did that once and learned my lesson!

  6. Matthew says

    Just looking at that overcast, I can feel my hair curl up. I mean, moreso than it normally is. You’d think, living in Florida, one would get used to racing/training/fitness in the muggy sweltering filthy awfulness that is mega-humidity. I for one, NEVER do. Blergh. Well congratulations for soldering through, even if it wasn’t the most enjoyable of races. And Florida being Florida, this weekend there’s gonna be lows in the upper 40s down here. I’d jump out the window in frustration, but on the first floor all I’m risking is a scraped knee and some torn culottes.
    Matthew recently posted..The first Innsmouth Rowing Club team picture, or: “All the fools who lead their foolish lives may find it quite explosive…”My Profile

  7. Mz. Teri says

    My daughter started getting nose bleeds when she started running cross-country (through her high school) last year. She gets them periodically, but not when she’s running. She tends to get them during the day, mostly when she’s at school. Took her to an ENT doc the other day. They think it’s just allergy related.

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