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Eating and Running and Animals, Oh My!

Earlier this fall, I signed up to run a 5k race at Busch Gardens benefiting the park’s Conservation Fund. It was a pretty sweet deal — for the price of the race (which wasn’t terribly high), participants got to run a race through the park before it opened, and then also got admission to the park.
Happily, my husband and our friends, Caroline and Ryan, also thought it sounded like a fun way to start a Saturday morning, so the Saturday before Thanksgiving, we all found ourselves in the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay parking lot just after sunrise, shivering in the early morning drizzle and, of course, worrying about the lines for the porta potty.
Now, I’m not normally one to stop for a mid-race selfie, but since I knew we’d be running past cheetahs and elephants and such, I went into this race with the intention of not going too hard, having a good time and taking a few pictures. To make it even more fun, Jared and Caroline agreed to run with me, and we got some great pictures.
race day eats
Oh, but this is a post about what I ate for the day, right? Okay, so I only had a Gu (Caramel Macchiato — you should definitely try it!) before the race. I’d had maybe a glass or two (or three … okay, fine. Four. Four glasses of wine while having a delicious Mediterranean dinner with my husband and his mom. Sue me.) of wine the night before, so food wasn’t sounding all that tempting first thing in the morning.
After the race (which we finished in just a few seconds over 33 minutes, despite stopping to take a zillion pictures — not bad, right?) I snagged a banana and then, a bit later, a blueberry muffin. There are no pictures because, by the time I realized food sounded good, I was famished and inhaled it all immediately.

Busch Gardens jump pic

Post-race, pre-roller coaster jump!

We spent a just a couple of hours at the park — our friends had a wedding to attend, and Jared and I had a party back in Gainesville to hit up. Jared and I split a soft pretzel to fortify ourselves for riding roller coasters. Turns out, three roller coasters in a day might be my limit these days, although I’m still totally game to wait the extra 20 minutes to get in the front row.
Of course, we had to spend a little time with some of our favorite animals, including the tigers (who were so close to the glass I could have snuggled them except for, you know, the glass part) and our elephant pals.

These elephants holding each other’s trunks were just too cute.

Jared and I swung by Einstein Bros. Bagels for a quick lunch before hitting the road home, and I got a Veg Out sammie. If you’re ever in need of a bagel sandwich, I highly recommend it. It’s quick, filling and actually packs quite a few veggies in there. Oh, and also, a big ol’ vanilla nut coffee. Yum. I’m pretty sure I snacked on a Kind bar or something on the drive, but I really don’t recall, so I guess it wasn’t all that exciting.
bagel sandwich

Veg Out. Get one.

Upon arriving home, we had big plans for … I don’t know, cleaning or running errands or something equally glamorous, but in the end, a nap won out. It was totally the right decision. Then again, is a nap ever a bad decision? It’s like exercise — I never regret a workout I’ve done or a nap I’ve taken once it’s done.
This left us a bit rushed to get to our party, but happily, it was a bonfire outdoors, so all I had to do to get ready was slap on a ball cap and some warmer clothes. I also whipped up a large green smoothie (frozen pineapple, banana, almond milk, Designer Whey vanilla powder, chia seeds and frozen kale) because, while I knew there would be burgers and hot dogs at the party, I wasn’t sure what veggie options to expect and I didn’t want to bring a whole box of veggie burgers just to eat one, you know?
I drank a Jack-O Traveler Shandy or two while visiting with friends and snuggling with dogs around the fire, snacked on some veggies (you know I brought some of these — do I know how to party or what?), and then, before it got too late and I turned into a pumpkin (so, like, 10:30), we headed back home.
bon fire

Florida in the winter doesn’t always require a fire outside, but it’s pretty fun when it does.

Not exactly a spectacularly healthy or interesting day of eats, but it was definitely a fun day! And I wanted to be really real with you guys, and it doesn’t get much more real than this, does it?
What are your favorite on-the-go meals and snacks? How about snacks for driving? Oh my gosh, I love road trip snacks so much. Kristen

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