I’ve been putting off writing this mega-recap of Fitbloggin‘ because I know it’s going to take hours and hours. It was such a HUGE experience and I’ve been having difficulty processing it all in my head. I know I’m not the only one. It was an incredible event and I’ve been contemplating- do I tell it chronologically? (like my race recaps, from beginning to end) or topically, thematically? I think what I’m going to do is write it chronologically, but then I’m going to have to write separate blog posts for big themes that come up. Sigh. This could take a long time. Bear with me, people!
I have to start with the plane flight there because it was hilarious, “meeting” another Fitbloggin’ attendee by realizing (via Twitter) that we were both boarding the same flight from Salt Lake City –> Baltimore. While waiting at the gate, I saw on Twitter that another blogger, Julie had checked-in at Salt Lake City. I peered at her tiny little avatar photo and tried to match it up with people at the gate. I tweeted, “Are you at C-5?” but she didn’t seem to have her phone on. When I sat down, I tweeted, “I’m in seat 22F”! and then figured it would be a mystery. About halfway through the flight, a super friendly face stopped by my row and said, “Are you Foodie? I’m sorry, but I don’t know what your real name is!” It was @Juliejulie!! I think the guys in my row were like, “Uh….wha????”
At the baggage claim, we met up with Mara of Medicinal Marzipan and the party began! My roommate Karen was on her way to pick me up and we all got in the car together. Good times! Happy Times!
Got to the Marriott. Wow, Baltimore is pretty. I hadn’t realized that during my last work trip in February. It’s totally cool! We checked-in to the Fitbloggin desk and got our GINORMOUS bags of swag which included New Balance running shoes (whaaat?), cute beanie caps with MP3 speakers at the ears, and a pile of other stuff. Also the coolest name badges ever which we got to decorate ourselves. Yay! I heart stickers! The opening social was kind of a whirlwind chaos of meeting people for the first time, eating yummy snacks, hugging (yeah I wore my Free Hugs shirt), jumping on trampolines, poking people with our Pokens (coolest little gizmo ever – you stick your little hand next to their little hand and when the palms turn green, voila! your contact info has been exchanged!) and just brain-exploding WOW WE ARE HERE!
Friday night I had one of the awesomest crabcakes ever, at dinner with my roommates in the hotel restaurant. YUMMY!
Friday morning I woke up at 6am, to get ready for the 7am 5k. Mind you, this was 3am California time, and I’d gotten up at 2am California time to catch my flight the day before. I was running on pure adrenaline fumes!
I was wearing my Totoro hat, which I’d brought two of, one to share with my Asian twin/sister/buddy Jess. But sadly Jess could not make it to Fitbloggin and I had an extra, empty Totoro hat. (insert sad face)
As other people have pointed out, Fitbloggin’ is not the most racially diverse event one could find. Which was why Jess and I were so excited to be Asian buddies together. Without her, it was lookin’ like just me and @Paolo. Did this matter? Not reallllllllllllly. But at the same time, there’s a certain comfort in not feeling like the only One of something.
A lot of people were not quite sure what to make of my Totoro hat. One person Tweeted that I was wearing a “manga cat” hat. Hahaha! NOT a cat. Then Kia (aka @bodhi_bear) went wild went she saw it! TOTOROOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! and I knew she was the one who had to have the twin hat.
The 5k commenced out back of the hotel. It was allegedly a run-walk thing, but I could immediately feel the SPEED in the front-runners and I knew people were going much faster than my norm. It’s hard for me especially in smaller race crowds to “find my own pace” and not want to keep up with everyone else. It takes a lot to FOCUS when it seems like everyone is passing you. And yet when I run too fast for my own body, I struggle, and that just doesn’t feel good.
It was a beautiful run along the water and past some cute shops and cafes. The weather was pretty much perfect, maybe in the 50s, not too hot or cold, and it didn’t rain as threatened. So it was pretty much an awesome run. But on the way back, the runners were so spread out, I couldn’t see the group ahead of me. I ended up getting a little lost (and taking a few people with me: SORRY!) and doing an extra half-mile or so.
The sponsors at Fitbloggin were absolutely awesome. From the swag to the events to the meals to the giveaways, it was just so well supported. Yay sponsors!
After breakfast there commenced a huge number of other fitness sessions, none of which I wanted to miss! But I was sweaty. And shivery from the air conditioning on top of cold sweat. And TIRED! But as I said, I wanted to miss nothing. Except the Zumba.
There was an awesome kettlebell demonstration by my roommate Karen, @fitmommy and @girl-heroes. WOW they knew how to swing those things. I was inspired.
But there was more! My hero and friend MizFitonline (aka Carla Birnberg) gave a great demo on resistance training with bands and the UgiFit ball. (a huge, soft, 8 lb medicine ball that smells just like a new car)
And… with that… I’m gonna have to take a break. Midmorning Friday! Oh man. I’ll be back. There’s so much more to talk about. But this little recap has taken the better part of 3 hours and I got much else to do this sunny Sunday.
If you were at Fitbloggin, I know you have your own recaps but please feel free to chime in about ANY of these happenings! And if you weren’t there, ask questions. It was freaking awesome.