I would say that I signed up for Gasparilla based on the medal alone. That half marathon medal is just so legit. Realistically I signed up for the half because of the medal.
But then I saw the challenges. I told myself I did it for the medals, but they weren’t as cool. They were nice but not life changing. Was it the number of medals? Crazy to say… I don’t think so. The jacket? No…
It’s the first time I haven’t been motivated by a medal or a friend to run some crazy race – or in this case a series of them.
If I’m at all honest with myself, I still signed up for the half because of the medal. I signed up for the challenge because I wanted to see what I was capable of.
I do love to test myself. Push myself. Make something of myself. I have a complex – I know I do – about being average. The irony because I’m a completely average runner. There’s nothing fantastic about my running. I’m slow and have no desire to get faster. I run one mile a day but I don’t train. Sometimes I eat to prepare and sometimes I just want to eat with no respect to my run. Completely average. Completely normal. Naturally, my complex was very high the day I signed up for Gasparilla. I needed something to look forward to. Something to focus on. Something to get my mind off of everything else.
It didn’t and I was terrified.
There was no time to train. I made no time to train. I don’t recommend doing it that way at all.
Funny thing is? I loved it.
I loved my weekend in Tampa. I loved my runs. I loved the view. I loved the fun. Adored the medals. Pushed myself and actually left feeling proud.
The weather was wonderful. The entertainment was spectacular. I didn’t think about it. I just went. I trusted my body.
A good crowd! Not insanely packed (probably because I’m slower, the front looked packed). Slightly chilly but warmed up. View was lovely. Everyone was in high spirits. Fun supporters.
If that was a first 5K for you, two things: Most 5K runs are not that amazing. They also aren’t so insanely packed. I actually wasn’t bothered by the amount of people because they were respectful, but wow did all of Tampa come out for this!
I had a hard time at first but I didn’t stretch it out enough and my gymboss stopped working. My Garmin wouldn’t locate me. Just meh. Five miles in, it’s like my mind woke up. I went with it. Let it happen. Still finished within a good time for me and exceeded my own expectations. Also beautiful and good weather. If by chance the girl that I plowed into at the finish line is reading this – I’m so sorry. I know I ruined your picture, but I was sprinting and could not stop. I hope maybe it just made it more memorable for you.
I don’t know that I would do a challenge again, but I would do the half marathon again. Tampa showed up and I was impressed.