Monday, February 27, 2017

Yo, Ho - Gasparilla Distance Classic Weekend (Arrival, Expo)

Guys, I was not feeling really good about this weekend. At my last race, my Plantar Fasciitis was really acting up, and well, you know I’ve gained back pretty much every single pound I’ve lost in the past year, so I’m going into this weekend fat and maimed… Not a good combination for the BIGGEST race challenge weekend I’ve ever done!

We left around lunchtime, and hit up the Circle K for gas and drinks, then drove through the McDonald’s right by the interstate for car food. I got a Filet o’Fish and stole fries from each of them. 

We got to Tampa around 3pm and just parked in the South Regional Garage (the one attached to the Embassy Suites). It’s close, and relatively cheap, I guess.

The kiddo didn’t want to go into the Expo, so she hung out in a little seating area by the windows while Hubby and I did packet pickup and wandered.

5k Race Tee
15k Race Tee
Coveted 1/2 Marathon Long Sleeve Race Tee

Unfortunately, due to some sort of factory snafu, the Challenge Jackets were not available for pickup at the same time the shirts were. We were told that they would be mailed to us later (at no additional charge).

First Email about Jacket Issue
Follow Up Email about Jacket Issue
Second Follow Up about Jacket Issue

This year, the Expo seemed even smaller than last year (which seemed really small). Not a lot of actual vendors/booths; lots of other races to sign up for and lots of raffles. I did pick up a cute sweat towel from Publix, and a few other items.

A really nice-sized towel - I use it at at the gym or on the treadmill

Reusable Publix Grocery Bag and Various Swag

We only stayed about 20 minutes before heading back to where the Kiddo was. I took a pit stop at the potties. 
Ain't no selfie like a pottie selfie
On the way to the hotel, we stopped at Publix for some snacks (three pints of milk and candy bars for the “kids”).

We checked in at the Hampton Inn Veteran’s Expressway again, which is a nice hotel for a decent cost in Tampa. Our first year we stayed at a Ramada near the airport (on Stripper Drive, apparently), and it was over $100. This Hampton is only about $30 more, a little farther away, but so much better than the Ramada! It’s become my go-to-hotel for Tampa.

King Bed + Sofa Bed

Of course, another bonus of this hotel is its proximity to food and a WaWa!  We had dinner at the Arby’s, which is literally 500 feet from the front of the hotel.  As like last year, it wasn’t very busy at all.

We stopped at the front desk for nightly cookies, but I was sad to see that the cookies were store-bought (I’m thinking Sam’s Club) rather than freshly baked. Fat girl sadness. The “kids” still each took a cookie for themselves.

Upstairs, while they munched on cookies and played on their phones, I got all my race stuff laid out and ready to go for the morning.

Tomorrow, I'll be tackling the first 2/3 of this weekend's challenge - the 15k followed directly by a 5k! Yeek!

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