Posted by: Karen | February 11, 2005

Tampa Trip Part 2

Day 2, Thursday: We walked to a local K-mart and I found a pair of sandals I’d been looking for for 2 years. I knew I could find them in Florida! Nice, low heel, yet classy upper and without the thong thing between the toe. Pinch me, I’m in Florida in February and I’ve found a great pair of shoes at a very reasonable price. Is this heaven?

Shawn took us to a couple of running/fitness gear stores and we didn’t find any Brooks Addictions for me, but Dianne and Dawn found some bright pink running hats they were very happy about. We had lunch at Subway’s, and went back to Shawn’s place to change into running clothes for a little jog.

I thought I was all ready to go, when Dianne looked at me and said “You’re taking your water.” I was? But I was just going for a few little miles, a mere half hour jog, and it wasn’t that hot out there… She faced my surprised look and said, again “You’re TAKING your WATER.” Did you see a question mark back there in that sentence? I took my waterbelt with a full bottle. When you bring your Coach on a running trip, you listen to her. We went to a little exercise park that had a couple of choices of paved path loops under big, beautiful trees. I smiled at the same little old friendly hispanic man a couple of times as I jogged around.

I was SO glad I’d brought my water bottle. The sun came out and I was sweating like crazy within 10 minutes in the Florida humidity. I had a totally crappy post-flight, pre-race run, and walked in the third mile. I was kind of happy to have the crappy run over with; I hoped that meant that I would have a way better race on Saturday.

After we cleaned up and changed we stopped by a supermarket to pick up some munchies and headed to the hotel to check in and meet everyone. Judi from Jacksonville and her family helped us with our luggage. We quickly unpacked and then others started to arrive.

What joy! I had wanted to meet these people I had been e-mailing with for so long, and here we were, in the same room, hugging and looking at each other’s faces and listening to each other’s accents, sopping up nuances that didn’t come through the little letters making up the words on our computer screens. Some things about each person were very different; some were amazingly how we thought they’d be. It was almost overwhelming.

It didn’t occur to me until about 8 pm that we hadn’t even eaten supper. At one point a couple of Penguins went out for their evening walk and we invited the remainder up to our suite for munchies. It was like a big pyjama party. When it was time to sleep I could barely close my eyes. I was really HERE, in Tampa, with the PENGUINS!



  1. Sounds like a great trip so far! And aren’t you glad you listened to the coach and took your water? 🙂 Humidity is death, especially for the frozen Canadian snow bunnies, I suspect. 🙂


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