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Expo Day

by Meghann on February 11, 2012

Lookie what I got…

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There’s no backing out now. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰ )

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

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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? πŸ˜‰

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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!

1 meghan February 11, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Why 4:25. Now you’ve got me nervous! I was planning on leaving Westchase at 5:45…think that’s too late?
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2 Meghann February 11, 2012 at 9:43 pm

I’m just crazy about being super early to race sites because I hate messing with traffic. I think you’ll be fine πŸ™‚

3 Kara February 11, 2012 at 9:45 pm

That expo looks awesome!! Good luck tomorrow πŸ™‚
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4 Army Amy* February 11, 2012 at 9:56 pm

That looks like a super coole expo! I know what you mean about expos getting you pumped up for a race. I like ’em, too. Good luck in the morning!*
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5 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife February 11, 2012 at 10:01 pm

WHat a fun day you had! And those shoes are super cute. GOOD luck, girl! You’ll rock it, I am sure!
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6 Christie February 11, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Mmm that pumpkin ravioli looks good! Good luck for your race tomorrow!! πŸ™‚
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7 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More February 11, 2012 at 11:09 pm

What a fun day! Good luck at the race tomorrow and get some rest! πŸ™‚
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8 Lindsay @ Running the Windy City February 11, 2012 at 11:13 pm

I love expos, they totally get me in the running mindset and leave me feeling inspired πŸ™‚

Good luck tomorrow!
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9 Lee February 11, 2012 at 11:19 pm

That mini-athlete is super cute! Good luck in your race.
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10 Emily February 11, 2012 at 11:34 pm

I love expos!!! Have fun running tomorrow!!
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11 Emily @ The Swallow Flies February 11, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Good luck! I LOVE race expos, too – and definitely can’t sleep the night before!
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12 MrsSwan February 12, 2012 at 1:30 am

I don’t run (hubby does) but I do LOVE me some expos!
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13 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama February 12, 2012 at 5:42 am

I’m interested in hearing your review of the Mizuno’s. I’m in the market for new shoes and have been wondering about Mizuno’s.

Good luck with your PR!
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14 Victoria February 12, 2012 at 8:30 am

I ran on Tropicana Field when I did the Women’s Half Marathon. The only thing missing was some hot baseball players. πŸ˜‰

Good luck today!
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15 Dina February 12, 2012 at 9:30 am

Good luck!

I loved that the Women’s Half runs through Tropicana field, that is one of my favorite race memories. So cool.
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16 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen February 12, 2012 at 9:43 am

Just saw your tweet with your time. Congrats! πŸ™‚
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17 Carissa February 12, 2012 at 10:04 am

Ohhhh I’m excited about that Gasparilla medal! Good luck!!
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18 Cait's Plate February 12, 2012 at 10:27 am

That burger looks UNBELIEVABLE!!
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19 Debby February 12, 2012 at 10:43 am

Saw your results (thanks for posting your race number)! You did AWESOME! congrats

20 Sara@RunningInPinkProject February 12, 2012 at 11:44 am

Im so bummed I wont be in town for the Gasparilla runs. Next year though, its on! πŸ˜€
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21 Courtney February 12, 2012 at 12:04 pm

EXPO LOOKS RAD! My Rock N Roll Expo in San Antonio kind of sucked. =/ Not a lot of free, cool, anything.
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22 Kristen February 12, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Awww mini athlete is adorable…good luck on the race!!
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23 Kristen @ notsodomesticated February 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Hope all went well today!! I’m doing the Rock and Roll Half in Nashville in April, and I can’t wait! πŸ™‚
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24 Chelsea February 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Can’t wait for your race day recap!
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25 Joss February 12, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Good luck!!

26 Dana @ the Big Fat Skinny February 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Good luck, and have a GREAT race!
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27 Prathiba @ Vehemently Vegan February 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Good luck! Hope you kick butt! Looking forward to reading the recap.
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28 Shanna February 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Those So Delicious bars are indeed, SO DELICIOUS! They were giving them out at the post-race party at Bay to Breakers last year and the bf and I definitely had our fare share… πŸ™‚ Congrats on the race, btw! YAY!
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29 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats February 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm

I really need to run a big race! I’ve only been to one expo out of all my races and it was pretty small and no free samples or anything. That looks like a lot of fun! I hope your race this morning went great!
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30 Katie February 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Can’t wait to read your race recap! Saw your splits and they looked awesome!! Great job!

You have been looking so awesome lately. I know you did a post recently about the changes you made. But just out of curiosity, if you had to pick one thing you’ve done differently over the past few months to make the changes to your weight and body, what is it? Is it more exercise related or diet related? I need to refer back to that post and take some of your advice! My weight has slowly creeped up…the pants have gotten tight. It is discouraging!

31 Lisa (bakebikeblog) February 12, 2012 at 4:54 pm

GOOD LUCK and HAVE FUN!
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32 Amanda February 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I wore the rider 14’s and just got my 15’s in the mail for my upcoming marathon! They are bright ass yellow and blue and I looooooove it (and them!) Hope you do, too!

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