The expo was….an expo. Big room, filled with a lot of people buying things from vendors. Do I really need to go into more detail or show pictures?
I didn’t think so.
Moving on: We stayed at The Westin-Harbour Island in downtown Tampa. If you have the opportunity to stay there – don’t. It definitely wasn’t worth the $180 we paid for it, and that’s a discounted rate for the race weekend. It’s normally like $399/night. insane. our a/c was messed up, and it was SUPER hot despite the thermostat being set on 68.
needless to say, I didn’t sleep to much Friday night and 4:45 Saturday morning came way to early. I had dry toast bc I forgot the butter at home and coffee. – We headed out of the hotel around 5:50 to meet up with the Striders at the convention center for picture time. LOVE picture time!
After picture time we made the short trek over the Platt Street bridge, hit up the porto-potties then headed out for a quick warm up.
aww yes, stretching out the IT band post warm up run
side note: I met a blog reader today! VERY exciting! Jenny & I were about to head out on our warm up, and Katy caught us and said, “I READ YOUR BLOG!” This caught me way off guard, and totally made my day. Hi Katy & Emilie, nice to meet you both today!
I’m not sure how far our warm up was, not far, but I was already sweating by time we hit the starting line…which was a cluster. We ended up jumping over a fence to get near the start line.. It was so crowded the closest we could get (without jumping the fence) was behind the 11:00 pace group. nope. not gonna work.
The gun went off at 7:05ish and we were off. Our plan was to try and run 8 minute miles, but I was a little leery of this plan since it was so hot. I’m not sure what it was at the start, but I’m guessing mid 70’s with 100% humidity.
Jenny & I stuck together for the first 3 miles, and then she made a smartass remark about me saying I couldn’t do an 8:00 today and said she was going to drop back.
mile 1: 8:17 mile 2: 8:18 mile 3: 7:57
That sub 8 pace scared me – I was really scared that if I tried to maintain that pace I’d die a slow death in the last miles. I guess I sort of just accepted my fate and kept pushing the pace.
Thankfully Run Tampa Bay puts quite a few water stops in the 15k. The first stop was at 1.4, and the next one was at 2. Since it was so hot I took water at every single stop. I started dumping water on my back/front/head at mile 4. Keeping cool, or trying to keep cool, became the name of the game.
At miles 4ish we entered a neighborhood which serves as the turnaround point. From about miles 6 – 9 there is absolutely no shade. none. The sun & the heat are just sucking the life out of you with every step. Another great thing that this race offers is sprinklers on the back stretch, and boy are they welcoming. I wanted to just stop and stand in those sprinklers.
mile 4: 8:00 mile 5: 7:57 (gelled) mile 6: 7:57
I don’t remember if was mile 6 to 7, or 7 to 8, but I thought I might just keel over right there. I swear whatever mile it was must have been long. I thought I was never ever ever going to make it to the next water stop. All I could think about was waterwaterwaterwaterwater.
Miles 8 & 9 whooped my ass. I all but gave up. I wanted to walk. I wanted to be done. I was so over it. My shoes were soaking wet from dumping so much water over my head. My toes were burning from sloshing around in my shoes (they were that wet). My KT tape was flapping in the wind. #kttapefail – I ended up ripping it off somewhere in mile 8.
Once I crossed the finish line I found a few other Striders and some water. One thing that I really dislike about this event is that the water is way to far away from the finish line. It seems like such a petty issue, but I don’t want to walk another 1/4 mile to find a bottle of water, then another 1/4 mile to get my medals. This is a 15k, not a 10mi race. I want my medal & water when I cross the finish line. #ventover
heeey paparazzi Mom
I wasn’t feeling to hot(lie: I was very hot) – I wasn’t feeling to well after I crossed the finish line; Despite drinking a lot water on the course I still had some goose bumps, and was a little dizzy. I sat on the curb for a while before attempting to make the trek up the platt street bridge for my well deserved medal.
me & the infamous David that’s a crazy eye I’ve got going on there!
There is a pretty good spread of post-race treats once you make it over the platt street bridge and into the tunnel under the convention center, but I was in a hurry to get back to the hotel room so I could change clothes and get back to the start line to do the 5k with my sisters, Cara, Shelly & Emily.
Overall I am stoked for my PR; last year my time was 1:19:05, so that’s a pretty good PR. I wanted a 1:14, but I knew going into the race that I would probably have to adjust my expectations because of the heat. Looking back, if I had run the 1st & 2nd mile just a tad bit faster I probably could have met my goal of 1:14:XX, BUT, I am not upset with my time in the least. I can’t express how disgusting it was today.
That awesome tank top sunburn is just from the 5k.
In other non-running related news: Lots of thoughts & prayer to the families that have been affected by the tornadoes in the mid-west.