Tag Archives: Tampa

I'm Too Old for this S!#t

This weekend was exhausting. Exhausting in a good way, but also in that way that reminds you that you’re dangerously close to 40. So. very. close.

Hubs, the bestie, and I drove down to Tampa on Friday afternoon for a couple shows we were seeing at the Florida State Fairgrounds. We checked into the Red Roof Inn across the street from the amphitheater – our usual spot to stay when we see shows there. But this time it was different.

Those rooms are nasty. Why did it take me until now to notice all the hairs in the bathroom (that were not ours) and the stains on the comforters (also, not ours)? We’ve stayed there five times and this is suddenly news to me. It also took me until now to realize there were four other better hotels right next to it. So valuable lesson: don’t stay at the Red Roof Inn and pay better attention to surroundings. Check.

We hung out in the hotel room and had some drinks and a photo shoot before we walked over to the show. We now have 50 variations of this picture.

Once we got there, I randomly ran into my cutie patootie friend, Kim, from high school (she’s the one in the Air Force shirt). I had no idea she was going, so for me to run into someone I know at a sold out concert of 20,000 is pretty impressive. Though, I am taller than most of the world so I’m kinda easy to spot.

We also got the only photo evidence that hubs was with us the weekend. That one likes to evade my camera.

Anyway, the first show of the weekend was Maroon 5. I love them. Their music is catchy as hell and only someone with a cold, black soul would say otherwise. We were in the lawn section so we were far back. Real far back.

The acoustics aren’t great on the lawn since it’s in open air and if you need to go to the bathroom, you have to wade through a sea of people to get there. Not ideal but the concert was still a lot of fun.

Kelly Clarkson opened. She is crazy adorable. I super love her, even more than Maroon 5, so I could have gone for another hour of her music. I was sad when her set was over. She needs to headline her own tour.

Maroon 5 is a hit machine and that’s basically what they did. Hit after hit. I could have gone for several songs that they haven’t released but I guess when everything you release is popular, that’s what you do.

The next day, our friends Jimmy and Linda came into town from Orlando. Originally we were planning to go to the zoo, but we ended up on a mall shopping spree instead. Poor hubs and Jimmy had to walk around the mall together like bro-friends while Linda and I tore it up in Papaya.

We all tried a Japanese shaved ice while we were there. Linda insisted it was amazing and that it “tastes just like Chinese shaved ice.”

None of us had a clue what she was talking about. I know what a sno-cone is and that’s about it. But she was right, it was delicious. I got the Tsunami, which tasted like melon with kiwi and honey drizzled on top. Delicious.

After our shopping spree, we got ready for Depeche Mode on night #2. That means drinks in the hotel room, a quick stop for dinner and drinks at Wing House beforehand, and then a walk back over to the amphitheater.

I only took one picture of Jimmy and Linda the entire night which probably isn’t appropriate for the internetz, so instead enjoy another more appropriate picture of Lisa and I.

We had seats for Depeche Mode, but were still pretty far away.

This was my fifth time seeing them and the first time I didn’t care for their show. I didn’t love the set list and they usually have a much cooler stage set-up. I mean, they always sound good but they’ve just been so much better previously. I guess it’s just wasn’t worth the travel to Tampa and the hotel cost this time. Plus, they always seem to play the only song I hate from them (< — haha, that video is mesmerizing). It’s like they do it on purpose to torture me.

Later that night, we ended up at the Hard Rock Casino some how where we ate our faces off, gambled an entire dollar, and then took a cab back to our hotel. It was a great weekend with great friends but I am wiped out and I think my liver needs a vacation.


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Blah, Blah, Blah

Friday afternoon, hubs and I made the drive to Tampa to see our beloved Ke$ha. The show was at the Florida State Fairgrounds (or whatever the place is called now) and the drive is about an hour and a half away but it took us over three hours to get there. Two of those hours were trying to get out of Orlando. If anything good came out of that annoying and stress-filled car ride, it’s that it put us directly in the mood to drink.

Once we finally got to Tampa, we checked into our hotel and got ready which basically means I put on a hooker’s worth of eye makeup and hub’s changed into his stylish new threads that he was very excited about.

All mine, ladies. And gents.

After we got ready, we met up with my bestie (who drove down separately), had a drink in the room, and then walked across the street to the concert.

The show started 15 minutes after we got through security so we basically had to run to the stage when we heard her set begin. We really thought there would be an opener before her, but nope. Nothing. It’s weird, but I feel like I need an opener to get properly excited (and drunk). Also, I’m not a fan of concerts that start when it’s still light out. It’s kinda a mood killer.

Her set was disappointingly short, but I guess that’s what you get with a double headliner. There are so many songs off her new album that she didn’t play that would have been perfect songs live. (The Beautiful Life, anyone? I mean, she tells you to light your phones up in the lyrics. It’s like that song was written to be played live.)

But still, I love her and even though the show wasn’t as fun as the last three times we’ve seen her, I still had a great time and got some great pictures.

Hubs didn’t like that she relied on a backup singer a lot this time around. You can see her in the background of the picture below.

That chick sounded just like Ke$ha. If I wasn’t watching, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. I didn’t really mind (or notice until hubs said something). At least it wasn’t a backing track (I hate those) and Ke$ha would put her microphone down when she wasn’t doing the singing so it’s not like she was trying to fake it.

By the time we were really getting into the show, it was over.

Such a bummer. Her encore only had one song. *sniff* I feel like three or four more songs probably would have made it all better.

Then it was time for Pitbull. We got a drink before he came on because you need those to listen to that crap.

Forgive the hair. It was hella humid, so it was soaking wet from underneath for most of the night. Next time, I’ll invest in a hair tie.

We watched one or two of Pitbull’s songs and that’s all it took.

We left. Sorry to all the Pitbull lovers out there, but he is one of my most hated artists. I can’t even stand looking at him. We weren’t the only ones either, because tons of people were leaving during his show.

We still had a good time overall, got some food after the show, and then hung out a bit in the hotel room. Next time we see Ke$ha, we’ll make sure she’s the only headliner so we get more songs and zero Pitbull.


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The Weekend So Far

The weekend isn’t over yet and it’s already a busy one and it’s only getting busier from here. It started last night with a little girl time with my friend K. Girl time involved a few of these. Ok, a lot of these.


I know I have a race this weekend and I shouldn’t be drinking, but if I’ve learned anything from prior races – it doesn’t matter what the hell I do. A good race is in the hands of the race gods. So let there be drink!

After I got home from girl time, I was a little bummed that I wouldn’t be able to see Dark Skies till next week since we have so many plans. So hubs suggested we go to a late show. Like, really late.


Have you ever found an old movie stub in your jean’s pocket and realized how long it’s been since you washed them? Anyone? Just me?

Ok, moving on.

Today, I drove to Tampa.


Holy hell, it’s humid here. Tampa is almost making me appreciate Orlando. Almost.

Once I checked into the hotel, I walked over to the Tampa Bay Convention Center to pick up my race packet. Then I walked over to the grocery store to get a salad for dinner, some bread and jelly for my race food, and a gallon of water. Tampa is on a boil water alert and the hotel staff told us not to drink the tap water or use it to brush our teeth. As we know, I’m already really good at pooping during races, so I don’t need any extra help from nasty water.

By the way, it’s not only humid today, it’s also super windy. How windy, you ask?


Hair bear status = achieved

I’m pretty sure I walked at least two miles trying to get all the stuff I need for tomorrow morning so I’ll call that my workout for the day.

On the way back to the hotel, I saw this quote in the sidewalk.


I feel like that quote was really speaking to me, particularly because I had just given my Greek Yogurt Pancake recipe to a lady behind me at the grocery store who was buying a ton of Chobani. She seemed really excited about it too because she asked me to repeat it. That’s right. I’m full of good deeds.

Oh, check out the race shirt.


LOVE it.

It’s hot as balls for this race every year, but I still appreciate the long sleeves tech shirt and that they change the color every year. Other races need to take note.

It’s time to get all my gear ready for the morning. I left my running iPod at home (yes, I have one I use only for races) so now I need to put together another playlist on my car iPod (don’t judge me) so I have some tunes queued up for tomorrow.

Hope you’re all having a good weekend!


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Race Review: Gasparilla Half Marathon 2012

Saturday morning, after running around trying to get last minute chores done and last minute packing done, I headed over to Michelle’s place to pick her up and leave for Tampa. The drive kinda sucked (for me) because it was so windy that I could feel my little car blowing to the side with every wind gust the whole time. But we made it to the hotel safely, checked in to our room with one king size bed (bow chicka bow bow), dropped off our stuff, and walked over to the expo.

The expo was your basic expo, and by the time we got there most of the vendors were packed up or packing up. Michelle grabbed some Cliff Shots and an iFitness belt, I drooled over the Saucony Cortana’s, and we were outtie.

After taking our stuff back to the hotel and inadvertently getting stuck in a whirlwind of 6’7” hot groomsmen (now I know what it’s like to be short!), we went back out for an early dinner – mainly because we were both already starving.

Dinner was at Pizza Fusion, a place Michelle found online a few days earlier. And man, the place was good. We both had a half salad (pear and Gorgonzola for me).

We also shared some stuffed sausage and goat cheese mushrooms.

And we each had our own individual pizzas on a whole grain crust. I was in the mood for pepperoni, which Michelle thought looked like nipples. I’m not sure what kind of nipples she’s been exposed to, but I was concerned.

After dinner, we walked back to the hotel and the weather was still super windy (wind gusts up to 30mph, I think?), which worried me about the race conditions.

We were in bed pretty early (yes, together) and after a dream that we missed the race, I was relieved when we woke up on time. Then I was pissed that we woke up on time. I realize I’m never happy. It was 4:15am after all. And this girl does not do mornings.

We got ready, left for the race, and just missed a mini-monsoon before walking out the door. We wore trash bags to keep warm and dry and ended up pitching them right before the start.

This year, Gasparilla had 2 corrals – one for finishers in 2 hours or less and one for finishers over 2 hours. It was an improvement from last year’s pace markers, but the start was still congested. I think they need more corrals and maybe a waved start next year. Also, I couldn’t understand anything the announcer was saying through the loudspeaker, so I assumed the race started when we all started moving forward. We were in the first corral, which was closer to the speakers, so I’m sure no one could hear anything behind me.

During the race, I didn’t get into my running groove until mile 4 and even then it only lasted for about 2 miles. Honestly, I didn’t feel like running. So knowing I had 7 more “meh” miles to go really sucked. At mile 5, I ran past the port-o-potties I had to stop at last year and was glad my stomach was feeling ok. Not great, but ok. That’s when I had my first half of a PB&J.

While I was running, I was trying to remember what was going through my mind when I ran all of my faster races last year. Then I remembered that I “talked” to my legs. A LOT. If I noticed I was slowing down, I would “tell” my legs to go a little faster. So, that’s what I did through the entire race. I don’t even remember most of my music which was playing the whole time, because all I can remember is talking to my legs and being grateful that the wind wasn’t that bad. For the time being.

There were no timers on the course and I didn’t see a mile sign until Mile 6. I think after that, I saw a sign for mile 8 and 12. There were plenty of water stations and a ton of awesome volunteers. I had my Camelbak on, so I only stopped at 2 water stations but they were completely prepared for the amount of runners, which was nice for a change. (Hear that Rock ‘n’ Roll Series?)

After the turnaround, the wind gusts got pretty ridiculous. At times, the gusts slowed my pace by a minute and a half and I would just try to run through them the best I could. Despite the wind, I was loving being on a familiar (and beautiful!) course because I knew when I was close to the finish and when I should push a little harder.

About a mile to the finish, I knew I was going to make my goal of beating last year’s time. So then it just became a competition with myself to get a “10” in my finish time. And I just made it, coming in at 2:10:52 with a 9:59 pace. That’s 6 minutes faster than last year and over 7 minutes faster than any half I’ve ran in a year.

I gotta say, this race was hard. There wasn’t a point where I wasn’t putting in max effort for how I was feeling. Usually during a half, I have about 7 good miles where they coast by with little effort. No mile was awesome or effortless. Every mile just was.

After the race, I collected my coveted medal.

And found Michelle.

Just like last year, there were so many goodies after the race – bananas, bagels, fruit cups, Coke products, 5-hour Energy bottles, beer, and bowls of hot black beans from Colombia Restaurant.

We only hung around for a short time. My feet hurt, I was limping from another pair of crap shoes, and we were cold and ready for a shower (not together). We left Tampa for another windy ride home. I dropped Michelle off and then when straight to the running store and returned my shoes…for the third time. So long Mizuno Wave Rider 15s.

Overall, this is still my favorite race.  I love the course, the goodies, and it’s run so efficiently. I’ll definitely do this one again.

Next week, I run the Sarasota Half Marathon which holds my PR from last year (2:02:41). I’m not crazy enough to think I can shave over 8 minutes off my time from this week for a new PR, but this is the last half of the race season, so I don’t see why I shouldn’t give it my best shot. No promises, though.



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