Sunday, February 22, 2015

I Am a Pirate! Gasparilla Weekend Race Report (Day 1 - Expo)

Yay!!! My Pirate-themed race weekend is finally here!!

I wanted to do an iron-on for a shirt, but I ran out of time

I was hoping to get to the expo really early (like, before traffic got bad in Tampa), so we left home around 12:30.  With snack stop, we would get there around 2 or so.

On the way to Subway, however, we saw this:

There are sprinklers under all the weird ice structures

The temperature last night got down to freezing (yes, really, it gets cold in Florida!) and someone left the irrigation on overnight, which resulted in these way-cool ice formations.  We pulled over and took a few photos of them (because, really, how often do you see cool shit like this in Florida!?) and made a stop at Big Lots - Hubby needed a new pair of earbuds, and they are five bucks at this store.

What seemed to be HOURS later, we finished at the store (seriously, in... buy... out... what's so hard about that?!), got our subs (to eat on the way down) and hit the road.

We arrived in Downtown Tampa around 3pm, and I was WHOLLY UNPREPARED for the sheer volume of traffic. I've been to Tampa (I was raised in Seminole, across the bay), but I'd never driven there, so this was crazy to me! I had no idea where to park or where to go, so we just pulled in to the Convention Center, in a parking area near the water, and we actually scored a parking lot STEPS from the building, and it was free!

Jose Gasparilla's boat and The Lazy Lady's Nissan

The inside of the Convention Center is very (VERY) large.

Let's go to the Expo!

Our first stop, of course, was to pick up our packets.

We picked up the Kiddo's first, since her lines were shorter. She kept saying she didn't feel like she belonged here, that she was a poser. I hated hearing that, only because I've felt like that many times and it really wreaks havoc with your self-confidence.

We also picked up my mother's packet, even though she wasn't going to be joining us for the 5k. She was recovering from an Achilles Tendonitis injury and didn't want to injure it again. Not a big deal - I'm going to do the 5k in her place (shhhh, don't tell!) with the Kiddo. 

Waiting for her packet
After that, we got in line for mine - the line is much longer over here.

I think I see it
Closer...

Almost there!
With all of our bibs, we went over to the Shirt station.  The Kiddo got her shirt, I got Mom's. All shirts come in this super-awesome reusable Publix gift bag. This race is sponsored BIG-TIME by Publix, which is without a doubt the best grocery store in the universe (and they didn't even pay me to say that). 

Front of Grocery Bag
Side of Grocery Bag

Here is the 5k shirt, which the Kiddo and I got (*cough*my mom got*cough*) 

It's a heathered baby blue color
I originally went to the 8k table for my first shirt, but was told to go further down the line to the Challenge station.  Cool. 

I also got a bag, as well as an 8k shirt, a 15k shirt and a cool windbreaker jacket!

Heathered Teal
Heathered reddish-pinky color
Windbreaker running jacket
Oh yeah! I'm badass
I'm feelin' really cocky right now, like, "Man, I'm so awesome, I'm gonna run a CHALLENGE and wear this cool jacket. I'm the BOMB!"  Yeah, we'll see how I feel on Sunday!

Once the official stuff was over, it was time for the BOOTY!

This place is massive.  If it's realated to running or health, it was probably here. (No SparkleSkirts, though - they were at the Princess Half Marathon).  

We got a LOT of stuff from a lot of booths.  I think by the time we were done our bags were well over halfway full. 

Some of the stuff we got:

Cooling towels (used as backdrop in a lot of the photos below) and heat/ice packs from FL Hospital
Boxing Glove Keychain and Flashlight Keychains
B12 Energy Shots (No caffeine - very important to me) - and they tasted good
AcneFree face wash and Gold Bond Body Powder
Various plastic cups with random snackage inside
LOTS of BioFreeze!
PowerICE - They're like Gatorade popsicles - great idea and very tasty (but a box of 6 is $5 at the store, so no thanks!)
4C Tea, Lemonade and Energy Drink mixes
Rolaids, Lip Balms and Pens (the pens write really well!)
Spinich Kale Chips (Took these to work to give away)
Quick Chill towels
Hand Sanitizer and Coconut Oil
All the paperwork junkage that comes with these things
BCBS Stress Ball (for the cat), McDonald's coupons (gave to my mom), magnets, coupons for PowerICE
Race Calendar, Sports Authority Coupons, Tech Screen Wipes (the Updegraff package), beads (back in the cup)
They were only good in the surrounding counties, so I couldn't use them at home
Purchased some Honey Stinger Gels and Chews
Tea samples
(Purchased beforehand, received in the mail) - Race Stickers for each race

After finding our names on the Big Board, it was already past 5 (and Hubby was rushing us because it was Rush Hour, get it...), we hit the road to check in at the hotel.

It'd be nice to have a name like "Daniels" or "Conner" so we wouldn't have to crawl on the ground to find our names


Heading West on I-275 towards Dale Mabry... Yeah, it was busy

I had booked a Super Secret Deal via Hotels.com and it was supposed to be a 3-Star Hotel.

It was a janky-ass Ramada on Dale Mabry next to a strip club.

Can you tell how pleased I was with this?  The receptoin desk employees barely spoke English, and weren't very frendly. The lobby was tacky as hell. The rooms were small and the beds were doubles.  I was not happy. I guess I'll know better for next year.

We left, in search of dinner, and actually settled on Sonic.  On our way there, we saw that The Dollhouse had some very important information on their sign.  They were having a COMPETITION!  Also, apparently, it was Debra's birthday!

Happy Birthday, Debra!!!!

Once at the Sonic, we figured out what to eat - I got the Spicy Chicken Finger dinner. It was awesome!

#11, Super Crunch Chicken Strip Dinner - 3 Strips, Fries, Texas Toast and an Onion Ring, with a Drink
And, not to be outdone by the Dollhouse, we also had 2001 Odyssey NUDE right next to us.

"Open the pod bay doors, HAL."                "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."
The back of the establishment features what seems to be a spaceship of some sort, and all during our meal it would change colors.  It was really entertaining....

"Look Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over."

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the morning.