TBLB

Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon Health & Fitness Expo 2013

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I actually think I have as much fun picking up my race packets as I do running races. It’s fun to get your shirt, your bib, your timing tag, and free goodies. For the second year in a row, the Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon Health & Fitness Expo was held inside Tropicana Field. Hubby and I went yesterday morning and walked around for an hour or so.

Let’s just get past all my photos now, shall we?

 

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That last picture? That’s exactly how I look when I run. I can dream anyway….

Hubby has gotten used to all my picture taking and he just let’s me do my thing. He knows that I have to take pictures of everything. Nothing wrong with that, right?

We ran into a fellow blogger from the #TBLB, Beka from Rebecca Roams. Can you believe I didn’t get a picture of us? Bad blogger.

We also saw our friend Val, who actually works with hubby. She does WW also, and was at the WW booth. Everyone say hi to Val!

 

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I stocked up on GU Gel from Fit2Run and I bought some super cute headbands. This one in particular is pretty fabulous and I will likely wear it today… Fabulous, yes?

 

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We also went ahead and got our wristbands for our free beer at the finish line today. Yes, I’ve been wearing it since yesterday. It’s all about being prepared. No sense in wasting precious time dealing with my ID tomorrow when I could be enjoying an ice cold beer after finishing 13.1 miles.

 

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The race shirt this year is red and it’s great! I am so torn because I want to wear it today for the race, but I also want to wear my new Nike tank top. Given the weather, I’ll probably go for the tank top and then wear the race shirt after the race.

 

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After the Expo, we went to PDQ for lunch. I tried their new Spicy Buffalo Tenders sandwich. It had a nice kick to it. I wonder if I can get the Spicy Buffalo Tenders on a salad? I ‘m going to ask next time. PDQ is always delicious…

 

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Today was an early morning for us – up at 4am to have time to eat and get ready. I hate being rushed, so I would rather get up earlier… Shortly after I posted this, we were out the door to head to St. Pete and find parking. Here’s the weather forecast for this morning. This is a full 30 degrees warmer than it was for last year’s. Quite a difference!

 

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Go time is 7:30! I’m in Corral 10, the very last one. But it’s all good, slow and steady wins the race, right? And the race is against ME, MYSELF, and I.

Also wanted to say how proud I am of hubby… He’s doing the Mini Marathon 5K today and it’s his second timed race in just two weeks. Go hubby!

 

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Check back tomorrow for my race recap, I always enjoy writing those!

 

Are you running the St Pete Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon today? Or the Mini Marathon 5K?

Race Recap ~ Best Damn Race 2013

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What a great time! Or should I say, what a damn great time! The inaugural Best Damn Race in Safety Harbor was a great way to spend the morning of my birthday. I signed up for the 5K last year for two reasons – it was on my birthday and it was in Safety Harbor which is not too far from me. Last week, just days before the race, hubby decided he wanted to do the 5K as well. Within minutes of him saying he wanted to do it, I had him registered so he wouldn’t change his mind. Aren’t I a good wife?

Hubby and I arrived at 7:15, just as the half marathon was starting. The 10K had started at 6:30, so there were runners finishing up. The 5K would not start until 9:30, so we were early, but I was looking forward to walking around, watching runners finish, and looking at the gorgeous view of the water that I know and love in Safety Harbor.

 

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It was cold, a very crisp 43 degrees. It was reminiscent of the Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon last year, minus the crazy wind. I was so happy that I had my brand new gloves on to keep my fingers warm. I had a long sleeve Nike Dri-Fit shirt on under my race shirt. But the weather was amazing. I love a crisp morning like that. Perfect for running. I also knew that I would warm up once we started running.

 

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I was pretty excited to cross the finish line…. It was fun watching the 10K runners finish and we even saw the first finisher of the half-marathon… He finished in 1:13:50. So amazing. He could finish a full marathon in one it takes me to do just one half marathon!

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Before the 5k started, I ran into a couple blogging friends who I knew would be there. Yay for the Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers! Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, I knew who to watch out for from all the early morning talk about who would be there. First I saw Beth from Discom-BOB-ulated Running – she was volunteering and handing out medals at the finish line. Hi Beth!

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Then I saw Caroline from My Fascinating Life – she had just finished the 10K. She’s had hip pain the last several months and had to stop running. After following the Whole30 plan for almost a month now, her hip pain has been just about nonexistent. She’s working her way back into running. I am so happy for her!

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Just before the 5K started, I also ran into Debbie from Discovering Debbie. She was running the 5K also. Debbie is always full of laughter, I was happy to see her!

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Finally, it was time to start… I was ready to run and warm up. We started near the back so the crowd could thin out ahead of us. I started out running and ran for a good half mile before walking. I did a lot of running with walk breaks and really felt great. I caught up to hubby a couple times and he was doing well too. There were a couple water stops along the way, perfectly timed. Before I knew it I was hitting mile 2 and I had definitely warmed up. I almost wanted to take my gloves off but I left them on. The view along the course was beautiful, much of it along the water. I wanted to take a couple pictures during but didn’t want to stop because I felt like I was making great time. And then, there was the finish line! I ran in and looked for hubby since I knew he had finished ahead of me. When I stopped my Garmin, I realized I had finished just under 40 minutes which for me is great. I hoped that my official time was close to my Garmin!

 

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How cool is the medal? I was pretty excited to get my hands on it and add it to my others. I love that is has my birthday on it. And it’s a bottle opener!

 

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Afterwards, we went to Starbucks so I could get my free birthday drink. All morning, I planned on having a hot drink to warm up, but I was so warm after the 5K, I ended up having a caramel frappuccino. I haven’t had one in so long, it was yummy. While we were waiting for our drinks, I looked up our official times on the Best Damn Race website and I was very excited to see that I finished 6 seconds sooner than what my Garmin said!

 

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Hubby did great too, finishing in 38:25 for his first timed 5K. Yay hubby! All in all, this was a great race. Everything ran perfectly smooth, everyone was so friendly, and it was the perfect morning. I can’t wait to do this race again next year. Thank you to the folks at the Best Damn Race for a great time! And…. this puts me at 2 done for my #10in2013 challenge!

 

Did you run the Best Damn Race? What has your experience been running an inaugural race?

#TBLB Book Club: The Happiness Project

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Last Wednesday, a small group of the wonderful Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers met at Courtside Grille in Clearwater to discuss our latest book club read, The Happiness Project. It was just four of us this time, but still fun. I enjoy meeting with these wonderful ladies that I have met simply because of this blog.

 

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Beth, Caroline, Me, and Debbie

Thank you Caroline for letting me use your photo!

Much of the evening was just catching up and chit chatting and wondering why our food was taking so long. We sat outside by the bar, which probably contributed to the slow service. Ah well. Caroline has been following the Whole30 – she is a rock star for tackling that. I am not sure I could do it but she is doing wonderfully with it. There was a lot of laughter – my kind of book club. Like Caroline says, the whole book club thing is just an excuse to get together anyway.

I was able to eat very well for few points, thanks to some planning ahead and checking out the menu online. I knew what I was going to order before I even got there. I had the Southwest Chicken Salad, dressing on the side, and ice water with lemon. I also ordered a hot tea with lemon because I still have a darn cough that is hanging on forever from when I was sick. The hot tea helped immensely.

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Truth be told, most of us only read part of it. I read 37% and would have finished it if I had more time (as if the two months or whatever since the last book club wasn’t enough – priorities!!). I enjoyed the 37% that I read and will finish it. It’s written by Gretchen Rubin, writer / blogger, who decided she wanted to life a happier life and tackled it month by month, in different aspects of her life.

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(Source: Goodreads)

Of the 37% I read, what I liked most was her list of Secrets of Adulthood. So many of them apply to many of our daily lives and situations we run into. My favorite ones are:

  • People don’t notice your mistakes as much as you think.
  • It’s okay to ask for help.
  • Do good, feel good.
  • Happiness doesn’t always make you feel happy.

You can think of many ways to apply this to your life, right?

Another part of the book that jumped out at me was about defining happiness and that “the opposite of happiness is unhappiness, not depression. And much like dieting, we know what we to do, it’s the application that is challenging… You have to put happiness ideas into practice.

Ultimately, it just boiled down to the little things in life. Small gestures, self-focus AND focus on others all add up. This seems like common sense but when we get busy and rushed, it all flies out the window. So yes, I’m going to finish the book!

Thanks ladies for a fun evening out, our short discussion of the book, and lots of laughter!

Have you read The Happiness Project? Do you belong to a book club?

Favorite posts of 2012

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happy new year 2013

 

 

As 2012 comes to an end tonight and we welcome 2013, I am thinking about this year and all the things I accomplished. 2012 has definitely been the year of stepping outside of my comfort zone. I’ve done so many things that I normally would not do. I hope that I continue to face my fears head-on in 2013.

To finish out the year, I thought I’d do a list of my favorite posts of the year. This was really tough to narrow down and I’m probably forgetting something, but these posts meant the most to me. From completing not one but TWO half-marathons, meeting the wonderful women of Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers, my first blog conference, becoming Yelp Elite, starting Jingle Bikes For Kids, wonderful family time, along with several struggles I faced - it’s been a memorable year.  I hope you enjoy this look back with me…

 

 

I love my blog and I really look forward to continuing to blog in 2013 and to see how it grows. I would like to thank each and every one of you for following and showing interest in my babbling. It helps to keep me sane.

Wishing you all a SAFE and Happy New Year!!

Books of 2012

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This year, I set a goal of reading 40 books for the year on Goodreads. As we quickly approach the end of 2012, I am 5 books behind that goal. I would have loved to meet that goal and even pass it up. Alas, that did not happen but I will instead focus on the 35 books that I have read.

 

Edge of the Past (Edge, #2)    Pretty Amy    Sharp: A Memoir    Terra (Terrestrials, #1)    When it Happens to You    Love Anthony

Heart of the Matter     Twenty Weeks     Swim: An eShort Story     A Three Dog Life    Lucky Man: A Memoir    No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running

Whole Latte Life     Life on the Edge (Edge, #1)    Life From Scratch    One Good Dog     Poser   What Alice Forgot

Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir)     Something Like Normal     A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table    Dog Days: Dispatches from Bedlam Farm    Still Alice    Radiate

Starters (Starters and Enders, #1)      Dog Years: A Memoir     Home Front     The Fifth Child     The Long Run    The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The Fault in Our Stars    The Color of Heaven     Sing You Home     Chasing Rainbows    Comfort and Joy

 

As you can tell, I have a wide variety of reading interests. I enjoy YA Lit, and always take recommendations from my sister-in-law Jenna and her blog Making The Grade. If she suggests I read a book, she’s usually right and I will love it. This was absolutely the case with:

  •  The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
  • The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
  •  Starters by Lissa Price
  •  Radiate by Marley Gibson
  •  Something Like Normal by Trish Doller (read about meeting Trish here!)
  •  Life On The Edge by Jennifer Comeaux
  •  Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein
  •  Edge of the Past by Jennifer Comeaux

 

I also love books about dogs and their relationship with people. A favorite author of mine is Jon Katz and I have several books of his on my to-read bookshelf this year.

 

For all of you runners out there who feel like you’re not really a runner (ooh that’s me!), I strongly suggest you read No Need For Speed by John “The Penguin” Bingham. You can read my review on it here.

 

A new favorite author of mine this year is Lisa Genova. After reading Left Neglected in 2011, I had to read Still Alice. Both are thought-provoking, about very strong women facing medical crises that affect their lives and the lives of their families. 2012 also brought her newest book, Love Anthony, about a grieving mother, her autistic son, and new friendships. What I loved most about this book, was the voice of Anthony and her perspective on everything. Very touching…

 

This year, I also took part in my my first book club, thanks to the Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers. The theme is to read books written by bloggers. The first book we read was A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. What a fantastic read this was, I enjoyed every bit of it. The second book we read was Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess). This book was laugh out loud funny and I thought it was the perfect book for a book club setting. You can read about our night out here. What a fun time we had talking about the book!

 

I also had the pleasure of reading a book by a fellow blogger who I follow and talk to on Facebook. Terra by Gretchen Powell is a must read. I just finished it last week – you can read my blog post and review about it here and here. I’m already thinking about reading it again.

 

So you’re probably wondering which of these books was my favorite? And my answer would be, you want me to pick just one?! That is a tough question! I enjoyed so many of them, all for different reasons. But if I had to pick just one, my favorite read of 2012 would be… A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. All around a wonderful book about food and family, meeting her husband all because of her blog, and sharing a recipe in each chapter. Loved it!!

 

And because I hate just picking one, here are my top 5 books of 2012:

  • A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
  • Terra by Gretchen Powell
  • Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
  • The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
  • Love Anthony by Lisa Genova

 

I’d love for you to follow me on Goodreads… You can read my Goodreads profile here and add me as a friend! For 2013, I will set another goal of 40 books for the year and see if I can hit that goal this time. There is certainly no shortage of books on my to-read list!

 

What was your favorite book of 2012? Do you like to set reading goals for yourself?

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