IMFL Day 1 & 2: Traveling and the expo

November 3, 2014

This past weekend I got to travel with my parents and sister as we headed to Florida to watch my oldest sister, Anna, complete her first Ironman! Let me back up and say that Anna has been training hard for the past year working with a coach as she prepared for her Ironman. She completed a half Ironman last October, her first marathon in the Spring of this year, and had a successful year of training and racing. She went through looong training weeks, some up to 16 hours. We were all looking forward to watching and supporting her through this next challenge!

On Thursday we spent the day flying to Panama City Beach, Florida. Anna and my brother-in-law had gotten there a day earlier. When we landed we went to the condo to see Anna. We stayed at the beachfront Shores of Panama condominium. When we were arriving there was apparently an undie run going on (one word: weird) and lots of athletes practicing on their bike or running the streets. Later, we walked to the expo/race start which was less than half a mile away. This ended up being the perfect location because we ended up running back and forth between the race area and the condo a hundred times.

laughing because it was so sunny I couldn't open my eye

The weather was perfect. Sunny and around 75 degrees. The expo closed early so we walked along the beach back to the condo. 

Later in the evening we went to the grocery store then out to dinner. We ate at a seafood place that I give a 2 out of 5. Anna and I shared shrimp and scallops with sides of a baked potato and corn. The seafood tasted like frozen food. Which it probably was. 

On Friday we woke up, ate breakfast, and helped Anna get her Ironman gear organized. We went back to the expo so Anna could set up her bike and place her special needs bags where they needed to go.

It was so fun walking down the streets as all the athletes were either walking towards the expo or doing their training for the day. My family and I spent a couple of hours at the expo dropping off Anna's gear, looking at all the booths, taking free samples, and making signs for Anna. My mom, Liz, and I bought t-shirts that say "Ironman support crew."

This is tacky, but when we saw this ^^^ we couldn't figure out what it was. We said it out loud and immediately covered our mouths. AHH. Haha!

When we finished at the expo we went back to the condo. The afternoon was pretty busy: we ate lunch, took a nap, walked along the beach, met up with Anna's husband's family. 

Later that evening, Anna had to get ready for race day. My dad, sister, and I headed out to find a place for dinner. We walked across the street to a pizza place (no more seafood!) and it was pretty good pizza and breadsticks. We walked along the streets to check out different stores and found ourselves at a different condo that was having a "haunted hallway" since it was Halloween night but we skipped out on that. It was back to the condo for an early night's sleep since we needed to be up around 6am (4:30am for some of us. not me). 

It was a pretty busy two days but not as busy as race day... coming soon. 

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