Sorry. I couldn’t resist.
I am running the Gasparilla Distance Classic, 8K this weekend and I am actually really freaking excited. Despite the fact that I have probably not even run a total of 5 miles collectively over the past 10 months, I cannot wait to go tackle this race!
As I wrote last month, I really really burnt myself out training for the LA Marathon last spring. I battled illnesses while training, and suffered from multiple sprains as well as a very painful ingrown toenail during the recovery from the race.
I still have problems with my feet and since healing took so long, I took a massive step back from running and never managed to start back up again.
That all ends on Sunday.
No, I have not trained. I really have not run at all. I have a very physical job that helps keep me in shape and I am hopeful that baseline will push me through to the finish. I mean, I ran a freaking marathon last year! I can do this for sure. I have no time goals. This is a first for me (an 8K) and my only goal is to have a blast and explore my new city in a fun way. I have heard this course is absolutely spectacular!
I’m not going to push myself or do anything I’m not comfortable with. I know I have a long way to go to get back to my peak running shape, but I’m in a new state and a new apartment and I am hoping this will be a fresh start for my running. I have already planned a pretty extensive running bucket list for this year, and I am happy to be getting back out there and starting again!
Yesterday, after working an almost nine hour day, I drove over to the Tampa convention center for the Gasparilla race expo and packet pick up. This seems to be a very important local race so I was expecting a type of chaos similar to what I experienced at the LA Marathon Expo.
Yeah, not so much. Though I did arrive at around 3:15, so I assume a lot of people had not left work yet. I probably made a good call coming when I did. People work, for the most part, normal hours in Florida. I think I’m still used to the absurd hours people keep in Los Angeles.🙂
As soon as I entered the convention hall, I zipped over to packet pick up to grab my race bib and program. I was number 32334.
I actually had to do a double take. I think I initially read this number as 3234.
32334?! Okay, this is a big local race.
My line was short and I grabbed my bib and headed to the other side for my t-shirt and bag.
I’m going to go on record and say that this may be one of my favorite (if not my very favorite) race shirts I have ever received.
Besides it being one of my favorite colors, and featuring a kick ass pirate parrot (because that obviously makes it awesome), I really found that I love the material. I don’t normally run in my race shirts in the actual races, but I might make an exception. I’m really itching to try this baby out.
Also, the bag is a reusable Publix shopping bag and awesome.🙂
I didn’t want to waste a ton of time in the expo. I still had a lot to do and didn’t want to get stuck in traffic getting out of Tampa (even though I did anyway and got lost to boot!)…
So, I planned to do a quick lap and see what vendors had come. I also want to find a few more races to tackle this year, and I’m always down for a free sample or two.😉
The highlight was definitely the Publix booth.
Aside from giving out some absolute essentials (Gold Bond, portable hand sanitizer and antacids) they also gave runners this awesome towel.
I used to work for a company that sold these and I have to say, they are pretty cool! You can add water to the towels and put them on your neck or head to help keep you stay cool for a pretty long time. They are also extremely absorbent and again…Pirate Parrot. I’m a sucker for him.
I also checked out the USAA booth (my husband is a vet and we were already planning to switch insurance and banks to them in the future) and got some information for various things.
I saw Meghann (From Meals and Miles) at the Iron Girl booth (hi Meghann) and decided that if I am in town (I may have a work thing) I want to do this race for sure!
I also took silly pirate photos at the Florida Blue Cross photo booth;
(I was clearly not ready for that first shot)
tried power ice pops; and got a baked fish sample. That was an expo first, for sure! Oh, it was good!
I found a triathlon I’m interested in! I have been considering trying a triathlon for years! This one is very beginner friendly and my mountain bike is allowed, which is exciting. I don’t have the money for a road bike just yet, though I have been eying a beach cruiser.
Right now, my goal is to add that race to my tentative 2015 race calendar.
I found the coolest thing on my way out of the expo. When I first passed the giant Gasparilla banner at the front of the expo hall, I just thought it was a cool place to take photos, sort of in the style of a red carpet step and repeat. On my way out, however, I noticed that people were looking REALLY closely at the banner and taking super close up photos of nothing in particular. As it turns out, every runner’s name was printed on the banner in alphabetical order. So cool. It took a sec, but I found mine!
All in all, I thought this was a pretty neat race expo and I am super pumped up to run on Sunday! I can’t wait to hit the streets, and run along the water and just meet some cool Tampa locals.
Are you running a race this weekend? Gasparilla? Disney Princess Half?