Warning, this is not my most positive post. I just finished the Gasparilla Half Marathon and I’m fighting disappointment. I should be proud all things considered, but I’m not satisfied with my time. The only thing I’m proud of is the effort on race day. I couldn’t have pushed any faster than a 1:47.00. So what exactly do I mean by all things considered?
1. The training just wasn’t there – I’m taking 22 credit hours in nursing school right now. Time spent in class/clinical is equivalent to a full time job but I have to go home to study and complete assignments. The fact I’ve been really consistent getting training in at least 5-6 days a week should be impressive. Sometimes I’m too stressed or flat out too tired to do my planned long run. So instead of 8 miles I did 6. Instead of 10 miles, I only did 8. Around mile 9 or 10 my body was yelling at me for not getting in the training.
2. Mixed up the start time – I was so sure the race started at 6:30. My boyfriend asked me three times and I didn’t look it up because it was definitely at 6:30. We pull up around 5:30, wait in the car for another 15 minutes, jog towards the race start, go to the bathroom, and get to the start line at 6:02. Race started at 6:00! Really?! Your official time is a chip time but there were over 10,000 people racing. I spent way too much energy weaving in and out of people for the first mile only to pull off an 8:30, almost a minute slower than my 7:38 goal pace. From there I worked my way down to 7:40’s and was could feel the energy slipping away by mile 7.
3. Weight matters – I have a healthy view of my body. I love nourishing my body with good wholesome food. Weight makes a big difference over the course of 13.1 miles. 2 lbs can make a difference and right now I’m around 10 lbs heavier than my race weight. Tired stress makes me reach for unhealthy snacks when I’m not actually hungry.
4. Training partner…or lack thereof – My competitive nature feeds off having a training partner. In Orlando, Todd pushes me to be consistent with quality/fast runs. Without a training partner to push me I am simply consistent with runs but they aren’t very fast. 7:30 miles feel like nothing when I have somebody’s shoulder right next to me.
I needed this. I needed to have my butt kicked in a race. 5 minutes off my PR isn’t bad but I can do better. I can train harder and race faster. No excuses.
On a more positive note, Gasparilla was a really fun half. So many racers and spectators to keep the energy up. The course was pretty and flat. And you get a really awesome medal because “it’s all about the medal”. A definite must do race.