Saturday, February 11, 2012

Expo Day

by Meghann on February 11, 2012

Lookie what I got…

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There’s no backing out now. ;)

Call me a race nerd, but I love attending race expos. They can be crowded, they can be generic, and they can be hit or miss with free samples, but there’s something about coming together with so many of your fellow racers the day before the big race that really builds that race day anticipation. It’s that realization that ‘this is it – I’m running a half marathon in the morning!’

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The Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Pete 1/2 Marathon Expo was probably one of the coolest race expos I’ve attended. Not because of the number of booths or the quality of freebies, but because of the really cool location.

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The expo wasn’t just at Tropicana Field, it was ON Tropicana Field. It was kinda cool to walk the astroturf as we circled the expo and checked out the various booths. The spacious location made for roomy walkways and kept the crazy-crowded feeling at bay.

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I picked up my shirt, race number, and goodie bag and met my expo partner-in-crimes (Callie and the Mini Athlete) for a tour of the floor.

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The Mini Athlete stole the show. SUCH a cutie and so well behaved! How could you not fall in love?

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We found the Sports Authority booth and I got a tad excited about the upcoming Gasparilla medal and shirt. Cool, right?

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We said hello to our friend at the Women’s Half Marathon and the IronGirl Half Marathon booths.

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(pssstttt…. Stay tuned – I may or may not have a free IronGirl race entry to giveaway in the near future. ;) )

And we had our share of free samples. Free So Delicious Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches? Don’t mind if I do. ;)

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We spent about an hour wandering the floor before our stomachs took control and we realized it was time to eat. Bring on the food!

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El Cap is a greasy local burger joint that Callie had been dying to get me to try for over a year now. It’s a local favorite that’s famous for their great burgers, mini corn dogs, and onion rings. What better time to try a place famous for their greasy burgers than the day before a race, right? ;)

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I ordered the swiss-burger with everything. The burger came out piled high with onions, tomato, lettuce, pickles, and covered in cheese. It was a greasy, dripping mess, but boy was it good!

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The onion rings were equally as delicious. They were the thick cut kind with real onion deep fried inside. The fries were just ok – I think the burger and onion rings stole the show at this meal.   

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After lunch I said my good-byes to Callie and her family and headed out to run a few errands.

One of which was collecting my free birthday drink from Starbucks.

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The best part about cashing in a free-drink certificate from Starbucks is the fact you can order anything you want. So, to take full advantage, it’s best to go big or go home (aka order something frivolous and $$). I went with a grande mocha light with a shot of espresso – a $5.75 drink I only order when Starbucks is the one paying.

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Yummy.

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Dinner tonight was very low key and revolved around the fresh pumpkin ravioli I picked up at Whole Food this afternoon.

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I tossed the ravioli in a homemade butter brown sauce and topped them with goat cheese. On the side I sauteed zucchini and yellow squash with garlic and fresh dill.

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The pumpkin ravioli tasted like fall – rich and full of spice. Man, I miss pumpkin season sometimes.

My race gear is all laid out and ready to roll.

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I’ve been training in a pair of Mizuno Women’s Wave Rider 15s that the company sent me to review a month or so ago. I wasn’t sure if I would like them, but they’ve grown on me – especially the fun, bright colors. I can’t wait to race in them tomorrow and provide a full report on the shoe sometime next week.

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Let’s see if I can get some sleep. The alarm clock is set for 4:25am and I’m still wired from my 4:00pm coffee treat. Eekkk.

Good Night!

And GOOD LUCK to everyone racing tomorrow! Knock ‘em dead!

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