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Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon - RunMarathon


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Tampa Bay, Florida
United States
Gasparilla Distance Classic Assoc.
55F / 13C
Sunny
Total Time = 3h 06m 47s
Overall Rank = 29/980
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 5/68
Pre-race routine:

My alarm went off and I got up around 4. Mike was already awake. I dragged myself out of bed, got dressed, and made a protein shake. I tried to eat part of a protein bar but my stomach was so nervous (OMG, you're gonna try to BQ today!!) that I couldn't eat it. I took one bite and felt nauseous. So I just grabbed a bottle of water to mix my Hornet Juice with later on, got my stuff together, and out the door we went.

Once at the Convention Center, we (Mike and I) found Christine (Lucy)...actually she found us. We hung out for a while, and then Dennis found us as well. I ate a gel and drank my Hornet Juice. I went to check my bag and Dennis headed to the start. Christine had already gone ahead as well. Then Mike and I headed for the start line too.
Event warmup:

It was chilly, but it was great running weather. Didn't feel humid out, not very windy (yet...as you shall see), and the air was clean. I tried to stretch out a bit, but I was so nervous, it was pointless. So I just walked out towards the start area with Mike.
Run
  • 3h 06m 47s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 08s  min/mile
Comments:

OK, this was the most amazing run I've ever had. I surprised even myself. Here's how it all went down...

I got myself to the start. Gave Mike a good luck hug and tried to get as far up front as possible. The national anthem was being sung and I couldn't move much further so I just stopped about 20 yards from the start line and got ready. I made sure my GPS was ready to go.

The gun went off and I was ready! The crowd moved quickly. When I crossed the mats I started my watch. I had to make sure I didn't weave too much through the traffic because I wanted to conserve as much energy as possible. Weaving makes my effort go up. Within a couple minutes we were already crossing the Davis Island bridge towards the Mile 1 marker. I got there in under 7 minutes which was my goal for Mile 1. I didn't want to be a mile in and already have to start making up time because of traffic like last year. By Mile 1, I was already out of traffic and pulling ahead into the top 50.

The miles on Davis Island went fast. It was still dark so I couldn't see my splits, but when I ran under a street light I was able to see my pace for a second or two. It never went over 7 minutes so I was doing well. I was happy I was keeping up a sub-7 pace but wasn't sure how long I could hang on to it. On I went. My nutrition plan was going well so far.

I came off of Davis Island at Mile 6 or so...but it wasn't marked. So I just clicked my GPS when it alerted me for 6 miles...even though my GPS and the mile markers in the race didn't match. As I turned right onto Bayshore, heading north, I was thinking, "hopefully I'll be back here in about 2 and a half hours"...I was 39 minutes in at that point. I was about 2 and a half minutes ahead of BQ pace. I wasn't tired or in pain. I felt great. This part of the course goes past the finish line...I tried to keep any thoughts of yay or nay out of my head and just went on. Nutrition was still on schedule and I even supplemented it with Gatorade (which was way sweet) a few times. No stomach upset.

The trip through downtown was a bit windy. I ran past Mile 7 and then Mile 8 without difficulty, and soon I lost myself in the run. I clicked my split button at each mile and soon I was at Mile 11 already! I was over 3 minutes ahead of pace!! I saw Bridget soon after that and we screamed and whooped! She looked like she was having a blast! Still though, I had more than half the race to go, so I put all "I'm going to Boston" thoughts out of my head. The one thing I did notice though, is that I was running outside my comfort zone. I was RACING. I wasn't just running fast, I was racing. I wasn't just staying ahead and keeping a good comfortable pace so I didn't get tired...I worked...I was tired...I was pushing myself outside that comfort zone I like to run in. That's what made a difference.

At around Mile 12, we merged back with the half mary and I found myself in traffic. Wow...in traffic at Mile 12...I suddenly had visions of the Disney marathon. I had been trailing a younger guy for a while and when we got on Bayshore, I passed him. We chatted for about 30 seconds and he asked what my pace was. I told him 6:55. But after I passed him I actually sped up to about 6:35 and kept it there for the next mile. He faded back. I saw Sue out there and she screamed for me. I turned around and smiled. She was smiling too! That was good to see! Soon after this, the half mary turned and headed back north while the marathon pushed further south. Here's where it got hard. I took a gel and water at the Frontrunners aid station and kept going. I downed my supplements too with the water I drank.

At around Mile 14, it became very quiet. I was up in the top 40 now so there were hardly any people around. No spectators, almost no runners. I went south for about 2 miles before I started seeing spectators at the corner of Gandy and Bayshore. Once I got down towards Ballast Point, there were spectators.

The miles down south of Gandy (Miles 16 thru 21) were pretty good. The mime at Mile 16...ok...yeah. Lots of residents down there. Lots of good energy. I even passed three people between Miles 17 and 19. One of those passed me back later, but I did take a few positions during the second half of the race. I held a sub-7 pace all the way through Mile 19. After that, I started to slow down a bit, but was still below BQ pace. I still felt good, but I knew I was slowing down. I was up about 6 minutes but I knew I was gonna need that padding once I got onto Bayshore for those last 4 miles. At Mile 20, I took a Tylenol and some caffeine. I knew I was gonna need that too!

As I passed Ballast point at around Mile 21.5, I saw the bay. OMG!!! WHITE CAPS!!!! The tree were blowing! Holy crap, here it comes. I passed Mile 22 with a 7:11 split...my last one under BQ pace.

As I got onto Bayshore the wind just freakin' BLASTED!! I could feel myself fight the wind, slowing down. But I gave it all I had. I was 4.2 miles from a BQ finish. I passed two other runners here. They were struggling. One of the three guys I passed between Miles 17 and 19 came by me here. Then another passed me. But I kept going. I remembered running up Bayshore last year when Rich showed up on his bike and cheered for me. I took some gel and some water and pushed hard. I came upon two more runners...passed them. Then I heard a friend of mine from the gym cheering for me! And in another quarter mile I heard "way to go Q!!". I turned around to find out who it was. It was hdtri! Seeing a fellow BTer really gave me a good feeling! Around Mile 24 I saw Bridget again and she screamed for me...I gave her a big double thumbs up and cheered back!

My legs were really starting to hurt and my splits were now in the high 7's...definitely slower than BQ pace but I still had lots of time saved up...I could have run 10 minute miles those last 4 and still BQ'ed. But I put that thought out of my head. I was REALLY outside that comfort zone now! Even so, I kept up a good 7:50 pace. Only 1 mile (Mile 25) out of the entire race was over 8 minutes...it was 8:02. At Mile 25 I knew I had it. I started getting teary and breathing heavy, which made me want to stop running so I immediately stopped crying and pushed hard again. I could feel that finish line. As I ran under the bridge right before the finish, I could see the line! I got a HUGE smile on my face!! I kept saying, I'm going to Boston, I'm going to Boston, I'm going to Boston!! I couldn't possibly sprint to the finish at that point, my legs were finally toast, but I ran as hard as I could and I crossed that finish line with a huge smile!! I couldn't put my arms over my head cuz they were KILLING me. Shoulders were just fused shut. But I let out a little "whoo!!" and run thru the chute. I felt absolutely incredible...like a rock star! People were clapping and cheering. I slowed down and took my chip off my strap around my ankle, walked foward a bit and got my medal, and then a woman at the finish line came over and asked to see my number again so she could write it down. I had no idea why. I walked futher, looking for anyone I knew. I figured Mike had to be around somewhere!
What would you do differently?:

OMG are you kidding me? Nothing!!
Post race
Warm down:

After getting my medal and mylar blanket I saw Mike walking along looking for me. I screamed when I saw him! I started jumping up and down but that wasn't working so I just found my way over to the side and I yelled "I'M GOING TO BOSTON!!!" and he gave me the hugest hug!! Like...picked me up and stuff! I was ecstatic! It was such an awesome feeling to realize that I had just checked off one of those "life's to do list" things. It was absolutely awesome.

After that, I really needed some Coke. And carbs. So I had some of both...lots of Coke and a plate of plain rice and bread. Then a bottle of water.

Dennis finished soon after (3:20:01...awesome!!) and then after he relaxed a bit, he took off to go change. Mike and I took a walk to get my dry clothes and we saw Christine at the convention center. Another big hug and scream and smile and stuff. She had to get home so once I got my dry clothes on, we said goodbye to Christine and she headed home. Mike and I walked back down to the finish to wait for Bridget who finished in 4:47...way fast for a girl who expected a 6-hour finish time!! WHOOP WHOOOOOP!! Everyone had a great day!

At the post-race party later on, I found out why they wrote my number down. I had placed 5th in my age group! Hardware is given to the top 5 in each age group so I got me some hardware!! Results were posted and I found out that I was 29th overall, out of 980. I was just blown away. I love marathoning!!!!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Gravity. Wind on Bayshore. Nothing else.

Event comments:

Gasparilla is the best! I always have a great time here. A total blast to run, great pre- and post-race activities. Just an overall great weekend to race. I will do this one forever.


Profile Album


Last updated: 2008-02-07 12:00 AM
Running
03:06:47 | 26.2 miles | 07m 08s  min/mile
Age Group: 5/68
Overall: 29/980
Performance: Good
Course: A nice tour thru the City of Tampa. Davis Island, Downtown, University of Tampa, Bayshore, Ballast Point, South Tampa. Non-stop scenery, and lots of cool neighborhoods.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2008-02-12 1:35 PM

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Master
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Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Subject: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon


2008-02-12 1:57 PM
in reply to: #1207520

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Veteran
255
1001002525
Atlanta, GA
Subject: RE: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon
That was an awesome report! Great job on your race. Congrats too...Boston is HUGE!
2008-02-12 2:00 PM
in reply to: #1207520

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Expert
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Fort Worth, Texas
Subject: RE: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon
WOW, what a great RR! Your enthusiasm just flowed through the report. Congratulations on going to Boston and I will be watching to see how it goes. That was truly inspiring, it makes me want to head out for a run!
2008-02-12 2:13 PM
in reply to: #1207520

Master
1741
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Boston
Subject: RE: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon
Dude, I don't even need to tell you how freaking fast you are. You had the race of a lifetime!!! I hope you're glowing all week.
2008-02-12 2:13 PM
in reply to: #1207520

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Elite
2915
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New City, New York
Subject: RE: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon

Gongrats on a great race! My legs hurt just reading that. It's cool that I'll remember racing MCM w/ you when you were slow

BQ! AWESOME!



Edited by rollinbones 2008-02-12 2:14 PM
2008-02-12 2:26 PM
in reply to: #1207520

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Champion
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5000500100
Subject: RE: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon

Top 3% at a freakin' MARATHON!!!  Against actual RUNNERS!!!!

Holy crap!  You're a TOTAL RockStar and you have hardware to show for it!!!

 



2008-02-12 2:47 PM
in reply to: #1207520

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Champion
7704
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Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon
crazy fast as always congrats
2008-02-12 2:57 PM
in reply to: #1207520

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Expert
1070
10002525
North Carolina
Subject: RE: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon
Great Race Jeff!! You killed it and kept in together those last 4 miles. I was not prepared for that....I will be back though!! Great Job and enjoy Boston!!
2008-02-12 3:22 PM
in reply to: #1207520

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Elite
3519
20001000500
San Jose, CA
Subject: RE: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon
Wooooo....Hooooooo!!!!....I have been telling everyone at work about you...some people "get it"  Some don't...they just don't understand....my cast all understood, as I have known most of them long enough that they get me!  I think because I am so excited for you, they get excited for me.  It's been a long time since I have felt this possitive about my life and I think a lot has to do with the inspiration you have given me this weekend...I will never catch you...but trying is going to be a lot of fun!
2008-02-12 3:33 PM
in reply to: #1207520

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Extreme Veteran
413
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Clayton/Raleigh, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon
Great race report and great race! You have an amazingly positive attitude and that's awesome!
2008-02-12 3:38 PM
in reply to: #1207520

Extreme Veteran
597
500252525
Atlanta, GA
Subject: RE: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon
Awesome, awesome race Jeff! I wish I could have been there to see you cross the line. I experienced that "I'm going to Boston" feeling in October - it is just such an incredible feeling, isn't it? Congrats. We'll definitely need to plan a big ol' BT party in April '09 on the streets in Boston. I'm not so sure you'll want to slow down and hang out with the 3:30 crowd, but I hope we can at least share of few miles of that famed course.


2008-02-12 3:50 PM
in reply to: #1207520

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2008-02-12 3:58 PM
in reply to: #1207520

Veteran
124
100
Subject: RE: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon
Geez. That is an amazing performance. I want to be that fast when I get younger. Seriously, an awesome day for you. Congrats.

H.

...Clowns and mimes can definitely creep me out. That was a bit,...different?
2008-02-12 8:39 PM
in reply to: #1207520

Extreme Veteran
402
100100100100
CT
Subject: RE: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon
You really rocked that course. And to think that just over a year ago you were breaking the 4hr mark. Awesome accomplishment!!!
2008-02-12 8:47 PM
in reply to: #1207520

Subject: ...
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2008-02-12 8:53 PM
in reply to: #1207520

Extreme Veteran
406
100100100100
earth
Subject: RE: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon
AWESOME job Jeff! b-Q


2008-02-12 8:59 PM
in reply to: #1207520

Extreme Veteran
527
50025
Jacksonville, FL
Subject: RE: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon
Dude! I saw you smokin the course on that downtown piece just after Davis Island, looking fast...hell of a run! Congratulations!
2008-02-12 9:15 PM
in reply to: #1207520

Member
10

Subject: RE: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon
i'm so proud of you! it's fun to think i knew you way back when . . . i'm elated for you!
2008-02-12 9:21 PM
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2008-02-13 5:04 AM
in reply to: #1207520

Extreme Veteran
330
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Latonia, Kentucky (near Cincinnati)
Subject: RE: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon
Logo
YOU ARE AWESOME DUDE!  I KNEW you had it in you!  
You're gonna do nothing but continue to get better and amaze
everyone, even yourself!!! Congrats! 
2008-02-13 8:10 AM
in reply to: #1207520

Extreme Veteran
333
10010010025
Bend, OR
Subject: RE: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon

Truly stellar performance and a great inspiration to many who dream of Boston!!  You are a beast...a true Ironman



2008-02-13 8:52 AM
in reply to: #1207520

Elite
2515
2000500
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Subject: RE: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon
So. Freakin. Awesome. Congratulations, Jeff!
2008-02-13 9:12 AM
in reply to: #1207520

Extreme Veteran
339
10010010025
Tucson, AZ
Subject: RE: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon
Jeff...you talked the talk and you walked the walk or ran the run!?! Great race!
2008-02-13 10:02 AM
in reply to: #1207520

Subject: RE: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon
OMG! You are such a stud! You looked amazing the whole race and I'm so proud of you! I totally have to go to Boston just to cheer you on. Gaspy was a blast and you make me wanna push harder and qualify too. Congrats you deserve it!
2008-02-13 11:31 AM
in reply to: #1207520

Regular
102
100
Tampa, FL
Subject: RE: Bank of America Gasparilla Marathon

Congrats on qualifying for Boston! What an awesome race you ran, can't believe anyone can run that fast for that long. Was looking at your previous races and saw that 2 years ago you ran it in over 4 hours so I am not only amazed you took an hour off your time in 2 years but also inspired now that I may hope to improve to a qualifying time some time in the future - may wait until I hit that next age group though! Again congrats and way to go - kick some A$$ in Boston!

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