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Michelob Challenge: Part 1

by Meghann on February 27, 2010

Two races down!

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One more to go!

This morning I was pumped and ready to get this party started. :) I love race days and had no problem waking up at the crack of dawn to get my butt in gear.

Of course, no pre-race morning would be complete without the traditional bagel with almond butter, strawberry jelly, and apple.

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This combination always keeps me full and satisfied for any race distance. :)

We had a bit of a hiccup on the way to the race site this morning. Derek and I were caught off guard with having to pay for parking and were both cashless. There was a little – ok a lot – of panic on my part, but after a little begging and a few tears we made it into a garage with enough time to make it to the race site. :)

Lesson learned: always be prepared with cash when parking downtown for any event!

The good news is we made! We were stuck way in the back, but we made it!

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The wonderful Melissa had driven up from Miami last night to enjoy the weekend festivities. She was originally planning on running Gasparilla’s Bud Light Challenge, but had to back out due to an injury. However, this morning her legs felt great and in a last minute decision decided to run today’s races with me.

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Yay for friends!

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We only had time to take a few quick photos before the whistle blew.

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Derek was roaring to go for his first 15k!

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We started the race as a trio, but lost Derek almost immediately after crossing the start line. Melissa and I spent the first mile or so swerving in and out of the crowds of people, but managed to stay together in a pack.

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I was a bit bummed my Garmin wasn’t able to find a signal for the first mile or so of the race.

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I felt blind without my garmin! Luckily I had no major pace goals for this race, so being blind wasn’t too bad. ;)

All of the Gasparilla races follow the same out and back route along the river. Its a really beautiful course, but this morning all the clouds made it all seem kind of blah.

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Sunshine, where are you?

Melissa and I managed to keep a pretty steady 9:30 pace along the course. We had a blast commenting on other runner’s outfits, the million dollar houses, and what our future running plans with . Having a buddy on the course made the miles fly by!

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We hit the turn around point and managed to find Derek in the crowd. We cheered each other on and it was good to see him still running strong. :) He was on mark to smash his goal time!

After the turn around the weather started to rapidly decline. We began to run into the wind and it began to drizzle. I was cold, wet, and looking for that finish line!

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Almost there!

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We passed mile 9 and I told Melissa it was time to sprint. We began to haul ass and crossing the finish line at the exact same time!

Official Chip time: 1:26:35 !

Race #1: Done!

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After Melissa and I grabbed our medals we quickly headed back to the finish line to catch Derek cross.

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Can you spot him?

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Derek did AWESOME!!!

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His official chip time: 1:34:13

I’m so proud! :)

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We didn’t have too long to celebrate. The temp was continuing to drop and the rain was beginning to fall harder, so we headed to the bag drop for warmer clothes.

On the way I grabbed an apple snack pack for some between race fuel.

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By the time Melissa made it back to the race start the crowd was insane!

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There was no was we were going to be able to squeeze our way up front, so we stayed in the pack and tried to keep warm and dry before the start.

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I was ill-prepared for the change in conditions and decided running the 5k in my Michelob Challenge hoodie was a brillant idea. :)

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The gun started the race and 8 minutes later we were finally apple to cross the start line.

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It was hard to go too fast in the huge crowd of people. We weren’t even a half mile into the race when the seeded position starters began crossing the finish line! We didn’t care though, we were having fun taking it easy.

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I may have had a little too much fun with the camera.

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The 5k was really a walk in the park. Melissa and I crossed the finish line with big smiles on our face and then fought through the crowds of people to collect our medals and meet Derek on the other side of the corral.

Official 5k chip time: 35:27

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We were more than ready for hot showers and dry clothes! I’m not sure I have ever left a race site faster. :)

On the way back to the cake I had a White Chocolate Macadamia Luna Bar courtesy of Melissa.

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We headed home and quickly showered and changed before meeting the lovely Ashley for lunch at Datz.

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Ashley will be running the marathon tomorrow as well and it was nice to catch up with her before the big race. :)

Ashley and I picked Datz for lunch because it was the same place we ate at following Gasparilla last year. We wanted to continue the tradition. :)

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I was in a breakfast mood and was originally leaning towards an egg sandwich of some sort, but when Ashley pointed out the Maui Wowie I couldn’t say no.

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The Maui Wowi consisted of challah bread soaked in coconut milk the grilled and topped with fresh pineapple, coconut and macadamia nuts.

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It was an incredibly rich dish and tasted fabulous!

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Needless to say I cleaned my plate.

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In fact the whole table cleaned their plates. Datz serves incredible food! If you are ever in the Tampa area, I highly recommend it!

Melissa, Derek, and I said our good byes to Ashley – can’t wait to see you tomorrow! – and ran a few errands around!

One those errands included a detour to Berryism for the some post-race/pre-race fro you.

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Melissa had one request for this weekend: frozen yogurt!

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I’m glad we were able to make her Fro-yo dreams come true. :)

Derek was more interested in sleep than the fro-yo.

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I think I have some napping of my own to do! I’m exhausted!

Before I forget!

If you would like to follow my marathon journey tomorrow morning you can do so by clicking here and searching for Meghann Anderson. I’m not promising any super speeds, but it might be nice to know if I managed to survive or not. ;)

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