Hey all! I finished the Gasparilla 5K this morning and overall it was a good experience and I’m glad that I did it. I finished with a time of 31:20, which is over a minute slower than my first 5K time. I didn’t feel like I wore myself out after this race, because quite honestly, I did not have the appropriate room to do so. I was weaving in and out of a huge crowd of people the entire time and probably ran more like 3.2 or 3.3 miles because of all of the zig-zagging I was doing. I also tripped and skinned up my left knee and hands. It was just too crowded for my running pleasure and in the end, I wished I had just pushed to the front (despite the warnings of getting trampled) so I didn’t have to focus so hard on not running into people. My legs are not really sore at all (again, I didn’t get to run that hard), but my whole back and shoulders are so tight and sore from being so tense the entire time. Bah…

To top some of this off, my time was listed under the Males 20-24 age group! I emailed the registration people last week to specifically address this issue and make sure I was not listed as male. Oh well, my name is confusing so I guess it’s understandable…maybe I’ll start registering with my middle name from now on (Kaye).

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To the positives: In the end, I really am glad that I ran in a bigger race and got the experience. I’m glad that I was able to finish the race and that my feet weren’t frozen during the run (like my last 5K). In fact, it was a gorgeous day here in Tampa! The views of the water were amazing and it further confirmed how much I love Tampa and am motivated to be here after graduation. Just, when I do this kind of larger race again, I need to figure out some ways to make it more enjoyable and do-able for me. Any suggestions/tips/strategies for running bigger races effectively? I’d love to actually be able to wear myself out during the next one and enjoy the experience without being stressed (and tripping!).

Thank you to Callyn and Justin who drove me to the race and stuck around to cheer me on and attempt to photograph me in the large crowd of people I was running in! You are awesome friends 😀 They got a pic of my back, but I don’t think you guys would be able to pick me out in it 😉

We left shortly after I finished. I wanted to get my knee cleaned up because it was stinging pretty badly. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to find Meghann or Caitlin in the crowd or meet up with them afterward 😦 I searched high and low for you two before the race and looked out for you while I was running too! I’m excited to see you at lunch tomorrow, though! And, GOOD LUCK ON YOUR HALF MARATHONS TOMORROW MORNING!!!

After I got cleaned up, Callyn and I headed over to Hyde Park to walk around and browse the shops. I got to spend some time in my favorite store, Anthropologie, but I went with my better judgement and did not buy anything! Since we were in the area, we ventured over to Greenwise to explore. We parked in the garage and took the elevators to the ground floor. Both of us were shocked when the elevator door opened to the store! We just stood there, probably looking like idiots, soaking the entire environment in and marveling over the escalator cart system (you put your cart in this thing in between the escalator stairs and it keeps it flat and brings it to the second level for you while you ride the escalator). So cool! It was awesome to walk around and I was able to pick up a couple of things I cant find anywhere else, but I’ll post about those later on. I restrained myself and only spent $14! Overall I was really impressed by the selection that Greenwise had of amazing products.

Now I think we are heading out to a friends’ party and possibly Channelside. Hopefully I’m in good shape for the Blogger Lunch tomorrow at Datz Deli! Catch you all tomorrow when I’m back in Gainesville 😀

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