Gasparilla Race Day 2
The Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
3:30 AM wake-up call to begin the half marathon at 6:00 AM.
Although we were sore and tired, we still tried to stay upbeat!
When we initially planned our half marathon pace, we anticipated maintaining 11:30 min/mile, which was about 1:30-2:00 min/mi slower than we would normally run 13.1 miles. We didn’t start with a pace group because we wanted to begin as close to the Start Line as possible in order to make it back in time for the 8K.
We ended up maintaining an average of 11:06 min/mile. Eric felt good throughout the half marathon, but somewhere around mile 6, my energy plummeted. I told Eric he could go ahead without me, but he decided to stick it out. The last 7 miles or so were brutal, so I appreciated having him around for encouragement. I got a bit of a kick around the last 3 miles of the 13.1, but that “kick” was negligible.
It felt great to cross the finish line of the half marathon, but it was all down-hill from there. My body just did not want to keep going and we had another 4.97 miles ahead of us!
We picked up water and a banana, but the real food was too far away from the 8K Start Line for us to consider eating anything other than GU.
The 5K+3K (4.97 miles)
With 35 minutes to spare, I dragged myself back to the 8K Start Line. Eric kept telling me to walk faster. My brain agreed, but my legs did not. Between the humidity and the countless cups of water I had thrown over my head, I was drenched, so standing in the 8K start line for 15 minutes wet and tired as my muscles stiffened was rough. I tried to look enthusiastic…
As we waited for that final race to begin, I had a conversation with myself about how the difficult part was over and we only had 5 miles remaining and it was not a big deal to walk the rest of the course. Until the moment the 8K began, I planned to walk for at least a mile, but adrenaline kicked in and I started running. My legs felt like they were full of lead, but I decided at that moment that I was going to run the remainder of the course and Eric felt good. I was going to make sure I ran ALL 30.5 miles of the Michelob Ultra Challenge and it was worth it!!
Our 8K times were extremely slow, but who cares? We just finished 30.5 miles in two days! We’ve been initiated into the world of the crazy people and we have the booty to show for it!