2012 Gasparilla Distance Classic Expo

After work today, I headed over to the Gasparilla Distance Classic Health and Fitness Expo at the Tampa Convention Center. One of the biggest local events in the Tampa Bay Area is Gasparilla, a festival dedicated to the pirate invasion of Jose Gaspar.

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Last year, one of my first outside long runs was during the Gasparilla Race Weekend. I was so excited by the event, which takes place along my normal running route, that I knew I had to run at least one of the four races.

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Procrastination is definitely something I excel at because I didn’t actually register for this race until after the Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Petersburg Half Marathon. Most of my procrastination was because I couldn’t decide which race I wanted to run. Finally, I decided on the 15K!

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The last time I ran a 15K race was in October and it was two weeks after my first half marathon, Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  I am really excited about the race tomorrow. My goal isn’t to over do it by too much but I would love to see a significant improvement from my last 15K race.

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Once I had my race bib, goody bag and race shirt, I wandered around the Expo to check out what vendors were and if there was any awesome swag available.

Publix is one of the major sponsors (if you couldn’t tell from the race bib or reusable grocery bag). Their booth was given out the “I Did It” magnets and salad shakers. I can’t wait to put that magnet next to my Disney race magnets. I am also curious about the salad shaker so hopefully I will get to use that soon.

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I stopped by the runDisney booth (of course) and proceeded to sign up for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler in September. There were offering a pretty good deal if you registered at the Expo. They waived the active.com processing fees plus I got an extra $10 off for being a DVC member.

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Who doesn’t like coffee?!? I am a true lover of coffee so I was excited to see that there were free samples being handed out. I am usually a Starbucks girl but a good cup of coffee is all I really ask for in life. We don’t have Caribou Coffee Shops in Florida so I was a little shocked to them at the Expo. The lady was handing out coupons though because the bags of coffee are sold at Publix.

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I also stopped by the Iron Girl booth to say hello to the people who are putting on my next half marathon. Anytime I can get information about races or courses, I am always willing to stop and talk at to the people at the booth.

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I wandered through the Raw Threads booth. I have seen them at every Race Expo that I have been too but haven’t purchased any of their clothes. One of these days I probably will because their shirts are the softest shirts I have ever touched. Seriously!

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Nike is another major sponsor and their booth was right by the entrance. Unfortunately, I was really excited by any of the official merchandise that was available. The one shirt I really liked was only available as a long sleeve shirt. If there was a short sleeve version, I would have been wearing a new shirt during the race tomorrow. Winking smile

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This expo was awesome! There were tons of vendors and plenty of room to move around. One thing I did notice was that several of the “free sample” vendors were closed by the time I got there. It was a little disappointing. Oh well, maybe I will go back tomorrow after the race for my free samples.

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Tomorrow I will be running for booty!

A Blustery Day at the Beach

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On Saturday morning, we woke up to a dismal, dreary, overcast day. Grey skies blocked the sunshine and the wind was starting to pick up. That didn’t stop me from attending the Hatha Yoga class at 9:15 though. When we checked in, the receptionist gave us a schedule of activities for the weekend. I was super excited to see a yoga class was going to be offered on Saturday morning.

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After I ate breakfast and changed into some workout clothes, I met the teacher and other classmates at Eb and Flo’s Rentals in the Community Hall. We grabbed our mats and walked over to the Lakeside Pavilion. The teacher was a wonderful woman from Belgium, who was very attentive to the needs of each student. She made sure to ask each of us what style we usually practice and if we had any specific health concerns. The yoga class lasted about an hour and a half and was definitely one of the best I have been to. I am not sure if it was the teacher of the feeling of peace I felt during the class but my day was off to a great start.

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When I got back to the room, I found my boyfriend sitting on the balcony enjoying a cup of coffee. I poured myself a cup, topped it with whipped cream (fat free of course) and joined him. While I was in my yoga class, he attempted to enjoy the ocean. Much to his dismay, the weather was not conducive to enjoying the beach at all. In fact, we both wore pants and sweatshirts for the rest of the day. Around noon, we made lunch, which included turkey and cheese sandwiches and salt and pepper chips.

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After lunch, we decided to check out some of the activities available at the resort. We played two thrilling rounds of miniature golf at the Port Holes Miniature Golf Course. He may have won the game but I got the only hole-in-one!

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Then he tried to get me to ride a bicycle and quickly figured out why I have no intention of completing a triathlon in the near future. I still have a bruise on my leg for that bicycle. Since riding bicycles was out of the question, we played some of the other games. We played a few games of shuffleboard. He won again but I did score 20 points in one round.

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We also played ping pong, which I have never really played before. My hand-eye coordination isn’t the best but I ended up having a lot of fun. By the time we finished playing, we had a hit streak of 12!

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Finally, it was time to get ready for dinner. On our way to the Community Hall, we made reservations at Sonya’s, one of the restaurants at the resort.

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Sonya’s was the perfect place for us to enjoy a delicious meal and a quiet evening. I ordered coconut curried “she” crab soup as an appetizer and the vegetarian trio for dinner. My boyfriend ordered the herb-crusted ribeye for dinner. My boyfriend and I really enjoyed the meal and even splurged on dessert! The banana bread pudding with chocolate chips was absolutely amazing.

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After our amazing dinner (seriously it was awesome!), we decided to go back to the room and watch a movie. We were hoping to walk on the beach and star gaze but it was so windy and overcast that there was not a single star to be seen.