Gasparilla Recap Part 1

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2 races down, 1 to go!!


The 15K and 5K was a success!  It’s a beautiful day in Tampa, and I had so much fun running back-to-back races.


My day started very, very early.  I barely slept at all because I was so nervous.  My alarm went off at 4:30, and I felt like I hadn’t slept a wink!


I had two cups of coffee and 2 pieces of WW toast, PB, and a banana.


We drove to the downtown area to check out the running expo, which was HUGE and very interesting.  I’ve never been to a running expo before, and there were tons of things I wanted to buy — but somehow I said no! 🙂


The 15K race was first.  We headed to the start line at 7:00 and I got to stretching.


I was told at the running expo that tight hips throw your knees off balance, so I made sure to do TONS of hip stretches, and I do think it helped.  Meghann gave me a pep talk about my knees and it made me feel soooo much better.


Meghann decided at the last minute to run the 15K, too, which made me that much more motivated!  If she can do it, so can I!


We wrote our goal times in permanent marker on our arms.


There were over 19,000 people at the race today!  It was CRAZY!


However, more people ran the 5K than the 15K, so the 15K was a less crowded run and a lot more fun.  Which was fine by me because I was more concerned about my 15K time than my 5K time!


Right before starting…. (this is my signature photograph pose!)


The 15K went very, very well.  My goal was to pace 9:30 minute miles, and I paced about 9 minutes the entire time — which means I BEAT MY GOAL AND BLASTED MY PERSONAL RECORD!  My previous PR for a 15K is 1:27:30, and I ended up finishing this race in 1:23:30 (unofficially).  I can’t wait to see my chip time!


I learned a very, very important lesson today during the 15K.  As you know, last Sunday I aggravated my knee injury by pacing with Meghann for a 12.0 mile training run.  Although I physically can keep up with her, my knees do not like running that fast.  For this 15K, I paced with Meghann for the first 4.0 miles, and then she turned to me and said she was running at 8:30.  I KNEW this was WAY too fast for me to be running, so I said "seeya!" and dropped back about 100 yards. 


This experience really re-enforced my belief the only race that matters if the one against yourself.  I can’t let my competitive nature get the best of me when I know I need to stay slow and steady.   I was actually PROUD of myself for holding back because that’s what I needed to do.


The entire course was along the beautiful Tampa bay.  Here’s a course map:


Around Mile 2.0, I ate 3 Clif Shot Bloks (100 calories).   I ate them so early because breakfast had been three hours prior and I was already hungry when we started!


Around Mile 7.0, I hit my runner’s stride and totally disassociated myself from my body.  It such a weird and out of body experience when that happens — but I managed to turn off my brain and just RUN!  It felt great.


Once I passed the Mile 9.0 marker, I picked up the pace to 8:00-miles and finished strong and happy! :)  Meghann was ahead of me and was completely ecstatic to have also blasted her own PR.  YAY!


  • Overall 15K Time: 1 hour, 23 minutes, and 30 seconds (unofficial).
  • Calories Burned: 930 (estimate)


I was very concerned because we had 30 minutes between the 15K and the 5K.  I knew that if I let too much blood pool in my legs, I would have serious trouble starting up again, so I did MORE stretches and drank about two bottles of water.


I also ate a Chocolate Chip Clif Bar.  I was hungry enough so this didn’t feel like a brick in my tummy!


The 5k was a very unique experience.  There were so many runners that there was literally NO elbow room.  My legs felt super heavy for the first mile, but once I warmed back up, I was fine! 


Meghann and I ran the entire 5K together and didn’t take it too seriously for speed.  We just wanted to finish strong and happy!


  • Overall 5K Time: 31 minutes (unofficial)
  • Calories Burned: 250


After the race, we claimed our SECOND medal of the morning!! I can’t wait to get a third from tomorrow’s race.


I felt pretty cool walking around with two medals while most people only had 1!! 🙂


We met up with Jenna after the 5K! can’t believe we found each other!


Jenna ran the 5K and did AWESOME!! Way to go!


I immediately slammed 2 servings of Gatorade:


And 1/2 an Odwalla Bar:


And popped some OTC pain killers. :(  Right now my knees feel pretty sore, but not terrible. Let’s hope it stays like that so I can run the half marathon tomorrow!


We ended up walking around the post-race festivities for wayyyy too long, which was a mistake because I ended up almost fainting from hunger!  We stopped at Greenwise on the way home and I loaded up on yummy, greasy, delicious CHINESE FOOD!


Plus a roll:


Now, we’re back at home and I’m sipping on a glass of red wine! 🙂 YUM!  I think we’re going to head over to the hot tub and then I’m going to take a nap.


See you tonight for dinner, and stay tuned for Gasparilla Recap Part 2 tomorrow!  I’ve still got 1 more race — and 13.1 miles — to go!!



  • Jen February 28, 2009, 12:10 pm

    Rah rah! You did it AND you beat your PR in the 15 K! I’m sure tomorrow you will rock out, too!

  • VeggieGirl February 28, 2009, 12:12 pm

    I always look forward to your race recaps, since you make me feel like I’m right there with you – love all the photos, stats, and details!!

    “…the only race that matters is the one against yourself.”

    Wonderful lesson you took from the race!!

    Good luck in the next race!!!!!!!!!!

  • Shannon February 28, 2009, 12:12 pm

    Congrats. That is such an accomplishment. I have a question? Do you eat those shot block things while you are actually running? Do you chew them? I just can’t imagine eating while running. Fill me in. 🙂

  • Matt February 28, 2009, 12:18 pm

    Congrats on two great races today! And good luck tomorrow!

  • Maggie February 28, 2009, 12:24 pm

    Congrats!! Sounds like a really great experience. Good luck with the half 🙂

  • Amanda @ Fake Ginger February 28, 2009, 12:27 pm

    Congrats on the first 2 races! You did fabulous and it sounds like ya’ll had a great time!

  • Emily February 28, 2009, 12:29 pm

    You girls are seriously awesome!
    I would love to do a crazy race weekend like that!

  • Julie February 28, 2009, 12:30 pm

    Congrats and good luck tomorrow!!

  • Laughing Lindsay February 28, 2009, 12:30 pm


    I’m exhausted just READING this! You’re friggin hard core girl… you and Meghann are totally killing it! I’m so proud of you guys!

  • therunningaddict February 28, 2009, 12:31 pm

    Great recap! And way to go on blasting your PR!
    You are so motivating!

  • Red Head, Yellow Dog February 28, 2009, 12:31 pm

    SO AWESOME!! ahh your race reports are making me so excited for mine! CONGRATS on your PR!!! I love your outlook on running.

    I was searching around your blog earlier today because I had some knee pain during my long run today 🙁 I’m currently icing/elevating and will prob go get some glocousamine later. boo knee pain!!

  • hk February 28, 2009, 12:37 pm

    holyy pooo!! you’re a rockstar! way to go girrrl!!!! good luck tomorrow, rest up 🙂 you can do it!!

  • Dori February 28, 2009, 12:38 pm

    CONGRATS! Sounds like you’re doing amazing and having a great time. You make me really want to run a race myself!

  • Erin February 28, 2009, 12:39 pm

    Congratulations! This is so cool! Thinking of you guys motivated me to get my butt moving this morning too. Definitely not moving as much as yours, haha, but still moving! Can’t wait to see tomorrow’s recap!

  • BOBBI McCORMICK February 28, 2009, 12:49 pm

    Cailtin you rock!!! I am so proud of you, way to listen to your body, man I wish I could do something like this!

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point February 28, 2009, 1:11 pm

    shannon – yes you eat them while running (although im sure some people take a walking break and eat them). you can always buy gels, which you just slurp down in 1 go and its easier to eat. its important to eat the shot bloks with water, though!

    thanks for the words of encouragement, everyone

  • Thinspired February 28, 2009, 1:13 pm

    YOU ROCK, CAITLIN!!! Seriously. You are such a role model. Congrats on setting a PR for your 15k!!

  • teacherwoman February 28, 2009, 1:14 pm

    Way to go to you both! Sounds like a couple great races! Can’t wait to hear about tomorrow half marathon!

  • Brandi February 28, 2009, 1:15 pm

    Great job – in both races AND for listening to your body and not your head 🙂

  • lolaberly February 28, 2009, 1:17 pm

    Congrats girl! I’ve been following for awhile but this was truly worthy of a huge congrats!

    I’m originally from Orlando, Florida, so it’s wonderful to read about the state I miss so much!

  • Rose February 28, 2009, 1:26 pm

    Congrats girl!! So exciting. I am so amazed by what you’re doing this weekend – you are such an inspiration!!

  • Becca February 28, 2009, 1:31 pm

    Way to go! What a great lesson/message to send out as well. I just had a crap run here in PA and that made me feel much better about it!

  • leslie February 28, 2009, 1:39 pm

    congrats on your pr, completing 2 more races, and coming to such amazing realizations! i love love love what you said about the only race that matters is the one against yourself. so true! it’s so important to be patient and be kind to your body while running/training – you do that so well!

    good luck tomorrow!

  • jenngirl February 28, 2009, 1:45 pm

    I LOVED this post!! Congrats first of all, not only on your time, but also on sharing what a learning experience each race can be!

    Rest up, and good luck tomorrow!!! 🙂

  • Sarah February 28, 2009, 1:49 pm

    Hi Caitlin! I’ve never commented before, but have been reading your blog for the past month or so, and love it! I’m a runner too, so especially enjoy hearing about your runs. I can relate how some are so awesome, and others not so much! The Gasparilla sounds like so much fun, congrats on your two races so far, you rock! Best of luck in the 1/2 tomorrow 🙂

  • d.a.r. February 28, 2009, 2:04 pm

    Congrats, that is awesome!!!

  • ModelBehavior February 28, 2009, 2:06 pm

    Caitlin! I used to love love love your site but for some reason for the past month or so I can’t see any of your pictures! I still read through the descriptions but it’s not quite the same 🙁 Not sure what’s up!

  • Susan February 28, 2009, 2:09 pm

    Yay! Congrats on two races! You are totally right when it comes to running with other people, it’s the race with ourselves that matter! Good luck tomorrow!!! 🙂

  • Mica February 28, 2009, 2:12 pm

    Whoa, I had no idea that there was only a 30-minute break in between your races. That’s so hardcore!

    Great job, Caitlin (and Meghann)! You two are awesome!

  • kilax February 28, 2009, 2:33 pm

    Congrats on beating your personal record! That’s great. And good job getting out there, even though you were worried about your knee.

    Good luck tomorrow!

  • inmytummy February 28, 2009, 3:17 pm

    I really like what you said about the only race that matters is the one against yourself.

    Cute pics too. I can’t wait to hear about the half tomorrow.

  • Meg February 28, 2009, 3:28 pm

    You guys are awesome! Way to go!

  • talesofexpansion February 28, 2009, 3:31 pm

    fun post and pics. awesome job on the runS. you girls are incredible!!!

  • thecleanveggie February 28, 2009, 3:33 pm


    love the chinese food & the odwalla bar

  • Colleen February 28, 2009, 3:41 pm

    YAY! You guys are such an inspiration and I feel like I was there because I loooooove Tampa (my parents live in St. Pete). You are going to do SUPER tomorrow! Rest well!

  • Sarah (lovINmytummy) February 28, 2009, 3:44 pm

    I knew you would kick butt!!!

    You should get your money back on that permanent marker.

    I was telling the hubs about your races today and he said, “WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!”

    Uh, “beer carbo load” and “post race glass of wine” are two good ’nuff reasons for me!

    Rest up for tomorrow, sistah!

  • HangryPants February 28, 2009, 3:56 pm

    I am so proud of you for listening to yourself. Good luck tomorrow!

  • Amanda February 28, 2009, 4:03 pm

    WOW! Congrats on that 15K time – you should be extremely proud, and it’s also so commendable that you listened to your body and went at your optimal pace.

    Just think that tomorrow you will have an ever longer period of that “runner’s stride”! I am jealous of your weather … keep kickin butt, girl! 🙂

  • Meredith (Pursuing Balance) February 28, 2009, 4:54 pm

    Yay! What a great day!!! You’ll be fabulous tomorrow 🙂

  • Paige February 28, 2009, 4:57 pm

    CONGRATS!! Way to beat your personal record on the 15k! Rest up for tomorrow!

  • Breadcrumb Runner February 28, 2009, 5:46 pm

    Great job! That’s such a thorough race re-cap, I could almost imagine being there! I’ll be waiting to hear about the 13.1 coming up – I always love half-marys. 🙂

  • Leah February 28, 2009, 5:51 pm

    You all did amazing!!!!
    Way to go for blasting your PR!

  • just me February 28, 2009, 7:22 pm

    great great job lady!!! i’m so sad i coudln’t be there to cheer you on, or have run it with you and meghann!!! you’ll do so great tomorrow!!!

  • Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) February 28, 2009, 8:22 pm


  • Erica February 28, 2009, 8:50 pm

    CONGRATS! So proud of you and the Meggers!

  • February 28, 2009, 9:37 pm

    great job on the race! you took some many great pictures, love it!

  • lilveggiepatch February 28, 2009, 10:59 pm

    Congratulations you guys! And YAY for beating your PR!

  • Beadie @ What I Ate Yesterday March 1, 2009, 8:13 am

    Congratulations!!! You did awesome and good job on listening to your body!!

    Good luck with the half mary!

  • Carolina John March 1, 2009, 8:15 am

    Great job! you hit goals and a fantatstic PR. we should all be so lucky. one more race to go, good luck!

  • Andrea (Off Her Cork) March 1, 2009, 8:27 am

    Woohoo!! Way to go on your races! And awesome recap!

  • Angie Eats Peace March 1, 2009, 8:36 am

    AMAZING time! Congrats!

  • aron March 1, 2009, 5:02 pm

    AWESOME job!!!!! way to blow your PR away 🙂 love the pic of you and meghan running together – so fun!

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