After showing off my bling yesterday and mentioning that I spent the weekend running, I want share this experience with you all as well. You remember that I mentioned that I thought I might be crazy for signing up for this challenge? Well, while that may still be a little true, I wasn’t completely looney, because I DID IT! Do you understand the accomplishment and pride I feel?
But another reason I want to share it: because one year ago today I couldn’t run to save my life. And one year ago tomorrow I started on my journey with Couch to 5k. To restate that: I couldn’t run a year ago. And this weekend I ran 25.5 miles.
Anyway…I’m doing this in three parts. Part One: the expo!
I love race expos. I don’t know why I love them…but I could spend hours in there. And Gasparilla’s expo was the best one I’ve been to! It was in the Convention Center, and it was huge.
My first stop was of course picking up my bib and all my swag. I am totally not ashamed to say that I love the stuff I get from the races I run. I definitely love running for so so many reasons (that I’ll just have to do another post on sometime), but I can’t deny that the t-shirts, medals, bibs, and free stuff get me.
They gave out a short sleeve tech tee for the “Gasparilla Distance Classic” which is the 15k and 5k. This was the 35th year of its running, and the tshirt is the green one in the middle. The half marathon shirts was the long sleeve blue Nike tech tee on the left, and because I was doing the Beck’s Challenge I also got a great yellow 1/2 zip jacket. It all came in a nice reusable grocery bag. The best part of that bag was that it wasn’t filled with papers like they normally are; this time they went green and did a virtual race bag where all the ads and coupons were emailed to us and we could click to use them if we wanted them.
The second best part to an expo is the free samples. They has some really good one including pirate’s booty and gelato! The line wasn’t too long, and I got a few other things too.
Publix also had a nice setup and gave us all nice magnets with the distance we were running on them as well as frames to put pictures in. They also gave us a salad shaker. They did it up right for this one, as they were the title sponsor of the weekend! Thanks Publix!
And after the free stuff, the part I also enjoy that Tim and my wallet don’t so much love is the shopping and race discounts!
Gasparilla and Sports Authority had worked with Nike, and they really had some awesome gear printed for the race! I got a super cute pink tech tee (and the color doesn’t show up quite right in this picture). And running for the booty was quite the theme of the weekend, and for me (just a lil’ bit).
And the reason for the pirate theme? Gasparilla is this huge pirate festival that takes place in Tampa multiple weekends at the beginning of every year. A pirate ship sails into the bay and the mayor of the city gives the keys to Tampa over to the pirates.
There were a lot of other booths with all kinds of fun stuff to buy, but aside from a sticker and some GU, I didn’t do too much shopping.
I did, though, sign up for another race! I wanted to run the Irongirl Clearwater, but I’m headed to Miami for a bachelorette party that weekend. But I had to take a picture of the booth because of how enticing it makes the race look!
What I signed up for was the RunDisney Tower of Terror ten miler! They wave a big active.com fee if you register at an expo, so I took them up on it! I can’t wait for that one. It’s not until September, but it should be fun; it’s at night, and there are a few girls who I know have mentioned coming down for it and I would love to run it with them!
And before heading out to carbo load and rest, I headed over to the wall of names, where they print the names of everyone running.
I was a bit disappointed that my name wasn’t on there, but I guess registering two weeks before an event could be considered last minute. Oh well! There’s next year…and there will be next year.
I left about an hour and a half or more after I got there and I headed home. I loaded up with Carrabba’s ravioli and bread and headed to bed early! I set a 5 AM alarm (or three…), and fell asleep quickly!
Up Saturday morning…a 15k and 5k!