Final thoughts and race day goals for Gasparilla Ultra Amber Challenge

The anticipation of race weekend has been slowly building! And, now we’re three days out!! I’ve already got my race outfits planned out, with options for hot or cold weather, though early weather projections show it to be pretty comfortable both days. Look how cute these tanks my friend Laura from CG made me! You can check out her Etsy store here. I can’t wait to have her make my shirt for Disney next year!

I’ve stocked up on on-course fuel and have everything I need leading up to race weekend, including electrolyte water and meal preparation with balanced ratios of carbs and protein. Some of my meals this week include a breakfast scramble with egg whites, chicken sausage and Hannah sweet potatoes. Lunch is a Bacon Asparagus Pasta with a white wine reduction sauce and I added in some chicken for added protein. Last but not least for dinner I made Lemongrass Chicken Meatballs with Thai Coconut Basmati Rice.

I’m feeling very confident in my training and have no regrets. I was able to follow the plan pretty close to a T, only having to modify two weekend runs but still managed to get almost the necessary mileage needed. As I mentioned previously, Pretty Lil Mudder and I had a pretty good back to back long run (22-miler total) two weeks ago, including a 10K+5K challenge race and a 12 milers run that would have undoubtedly been a PR for both of us if we kept up the same pace for the last 1.1.  Which leads me to three potential goals I have set for myself:

Goal A) First and foremost, have fun, enjoy the miles and finish with a smile on my face. 25.5 miles over two days is not something you can just do overnight. It takes dedication and commitment to build up to that level of mileage on the body.

Goal B) Have fun, enjoy the miles and finish with a smile on my face and beat my previous time for this 15K event of 1:41:07.

Goal C) Have fun, enjoy the miles and finish with a smile on my face and beat my previous time for this 15K event of 1:41:07 and beat my overall half marathon time of 2:28:08.

I’d really like to try and PR my 15K time. 15K aren’t too frequent in my area, actually Gasparilla is the only race that occurs on a yearly basis. Last December the Hot Chocolate Run came to town with their 15K but no word yet if they will return next season.  Otherwise the next closest 15K is several hour away in Jacksonville as part of the Gate River Run.

As for the half, a new half marathon PR would be pretty sweet. My last PR for the distance was almost two years ago, only having run one other half since then. With the half being on the second day, there’s no telling how I’ll be feeling the morning of. The start time is actually earlier on the second day by about 45 minutes, which I am happy about to get a fair amount of distance before the sun rises, but at the same time I’m already not looking forward to the earlier alarm.

However, all things set aside, I’m looking forward to a wonderful race weekend! The cooler temps at the start with some sunshine, the energy on the course and the good company of my best running friend to enjoy the miles with…plus this awesome guy waiting for me at the finish…

2017 Gasparilla Half Marathon Medal Photo Credit: gasparillatbr Instagram account

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