Tag Archives: Sarasota Half Marathon


I’m out of clever titles. So today I give you…stuff.

1. Race pictures for the Sarasota Half Marathon are in. I think that town is trying make nice with me. I know for a fact that two photographers caught me walking and one photographer caught me shoving a PB&J in my face. But, by some miracle, none of those pictures made it on Marathonfoto’s Web site. And I’m sure we’re all better off for it.

2.  Speaking of that PB&J, eating during a race is especially uncomfortable for me since I can’t eat gels or any normal “runner food.” Of course I can’t eat and run at the same time either, so it’s completely awkward to walk and eat a sandwich while tons of traffic is driving by. I look like a total lazy ass as every other runner is passing me by and I’m chowing down.

I need sugar-free PB&J Gu’s invented STAT. Someone please make that happen.

3. This Saturday, I’m running the Navy League 5k. My work is sponsoring one of the water stations and asked if I wanted to run it. I love free stuff so of course I said yes. I’d probably take a case of rabies for free if someone offered it nicely. The race proceeds go to charity. It’s basically an un-timed fun run with a raffle for everyone at the end instead of prizes for placing. I’m pretty sure there are no rules for this race either. It’s the first race I’ve ever seen that allows roller blades.

Does that even sound safe around a bunch of runners? I can’t see anything good coming of that. But the good news is that I could probably ride a pony to the finish and it would be ok.

4. My playlist is set for the 5k. It’s more songs than I need but chances are I’m going to hate life once I get out there anyway and turn it off.

5.  Last weekend, I went over to the in-laws to help my MIL to help celebrate her 65th birthday. We had cake.

Once I picked off the almond slivers (95% of the time, I don’t like nuts in desserts), that thing was pretty good. A few family members were over and as we sang Happy Birthday, I noticed that my MIL sang Happy Birthday to herself. Twice. Once in English and once in Spanish for good measure. She’s a one-woman party. I’m not even sure she needed us there.

6. Because my bunny is freakin’ adorable, here’s a picture of her trying to hide her face while I was clipping her nails. She’s never done anything like that before. OMG, I die.

7. And lastly, my friend Jim at Biking My Mass Off is raising money for Multiple Sclerosis for his upcoming MS 150 bike ride. If you’re local in Orlando, he’s having a fundraiser at the Mellow Mushroom on Colonial and Alafaya. If you mention the fundraiser, 15% of your total check will benefit MS. That means you can get fat on pizza and drink till your sloppy and not feel guilty because it’s for a good cause.

Jim even offered to buy a drink or dessert for the first person that comes up to him and mentions that you heard about it on my blog. Luckily for me, he didn’t say that person couldn’t be me. Race you there to order the most expensive drink on the menu?

P.S. If you can’t make it but would like to donate anyway, you can do that here.


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Back to Sarasota

I don’t even feel like talking about this race. But you know I’m going to anyway. So let’s just get the good stuff out of the way first and then I can bitch and moan about my race later.

Saturday afternoon, Michelle and I made the 2+ hour drive from Orlando to Sarasota individually (since we had separate plans the next day). I lived in Bradenton for 20 years and Sarasota is the neighboring city, so it was nice to finally drive somewhere where I wasn’t reliant on GPS or inadvertently getting lost in the hood. So, while Michelle was picking up our race bibs at the expo, I checked into the Best Western Midtown.

This Best Western is the hotel I worked at for almost 5 years when I lived in Bradenton. And the hotel with the thinnest walls ever.

When I arrived, I noticed the Waffle House across the street had turned into a Jeff’s.

There is only one thing you need to know about Jeff.

I’ve been looking for a place to do that. (If you don’t know what that means, I suggest not googling it at work.)

Michelle arrived shortly after I checked in, got pretty, and we headed out to dinner.

Side note: I always have to have the bed near the wall and furthest from the window. Luckily Michelle is used to how crazy I am. She will even let me have the left side of the bed if we’re sharing one (she’s a left-sider too). Since I sleep on my stomach, I like my left leg to hang off the bed. I’m telling you too much, aren’t I?

During the drive to dinner, I was pretty much blown away by how cute downtown Sarasota has become. There are so many fun places that have opened since I’ve been there! I want to go to all of them. But for now, we started with Café Epicure.

We had dinner plans with one of Michelle’s blog friends, Theresa, and her husband Ryan. Theresa and Ryan live in Bradenton and also ran the half marathon. I’ve never met them before, but now they are basically my best friends ever.

Seriously. Some of the coolest people I’ve met.

While we were at dinner, my friend Tiffany was posting all these pictures of her and her friend on Facebook. (Tiffany ran the race with us last year and also worked with me at the hotel.) Michelle and I noticed she was right across the street from the pictures, so I texted her that we were nearby but never got a response. That is, until someone creepily stood at the edge of our table and didn’t say anything until we noticed her. Oh hey there Tiffany!

Once I saw her, I mauled her with my crazy bear arms.

Tiff and I chatted for a little bit and then she went back to her friend and I got back to dinner.

Speaking of dinner, I had the grilled chicken topped with Fontana cheese and eggplant. (The menu called it something fancy, so I had to point at it. Always a classy move.)

That picture looks like a big turd, but it was seriously delicious. I don’t know why I don’t eat eggplant all the time, because I love it. The meal was small though and I was still hungry afterwards. Or maybe it was just the right size and my spoiled, American ass is used to gigantic portions for $20.

The restaurant also had a bunch of gelato flavors. So of course, we all had to get some of that.

I had the overexposed Oreo flavor. Winking smile

That’s the first gelato I’ve had that tasted like frozen yogurt. Crazy delicious.

We all had fun chatting and just like that it was over.

Michelle and I went back to the hotel and as we were walking back into our room, the lady from the room next door was leaving. I’m pretty sure she told us that she wasn’t locking her door and she didn’t want us to try to steal her man who was inside. Then, we tried to go to sleep but instead listened to the sweet sounds of that couple next door yelling at each other all night while their TV was on full blast. And to think that door was unlocked and we could have stolen that winner all for ourselves.

Next up is the race review!


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The End of the Race Season

I registered for two races today.

The Iron Girl Half Marathon in Clearwater on April 10…


…and the Sarasota Half Marathon next year on March 11. It’s a year away, but I know I want to do it. And right now, the price is $20 less than what I paid to run it this year.


I may or may not being running Iron Girl alone. Michelle can’t decide if she wants to run it or not. Go over to her blog and tell her how lonely I am without her and that she needs to run it. It’s on the beach! I think that’s reason enough.

(Edit: Ok, it’s NEXT to the beach. Not on sand people, I’m not that crazy. ;-))

After the Iron Girl Half, I will be taking a little break from running. I’ll still do one or two 4-7 milers a week, but nothing long distance. I need to get my lady-muscles back, so it’s time to start focusing more on strength training. (I might even do some before/after pics.)

I’ll worry about the running in June when I start my marathon training for the Savannah Rock n Roll Marathon.

Speaking of marathon training, Michelle is signing up for Track Shack’s Marathonfest to keep her motivated during training. It’s basically a group marathon training program. I do think running with other people and being accountable to show up for specific runs will keep my training in check. Plus, I might make some new running buddies that will eat cupcakes with me afterwards.

By the way, I googled “running while eating” in hopes of finding a funny picture to insert here. Instead, the search gave me this:

You are welcome.

Training starts June 4. The part I’m worried about: running in the Florida heat. I was really considering doing a lot of my marathon training on the treadmill. Running last year outside during the summer nearly killed me – and I only ran at night.

Biggest Pro for me:

  • The course is planned out for you and it’s different each time – so I won’t have to circle around a neighborhood 8 times trying to get a specific distance while looking like a sweaty neighborhood stalker.

Biggest Con for me:

  • Waking up at 4-4:30am one day on every weekend from June until my full marathon. (Which is almost necessary because of the heat. It’s hotter at night than in the morning because the pavement hasn’t had time to cool all night.)

What do you all think? Have you followed a plan like this when all you want to do on the weekends is drink beer and sleep in?

All this marathon talk is really making me look forward to my break in running.


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Race Review: Sarasota Half Marathon

Chip time: 2:02:41 (PR!)

We all (Michelle, Tiffany, Matt, and I) woke up at 4am for the race so we had time to get ready, have some breakfast, pick up Tiffany’s mom Connie, and get to the race early.

Even though we were really tired from only 4 hours of sleep, we managed to take some pictures. All for the love of the blog, because no way in hell would I normally take a picture of myself unshowered after only 4 hours of sleep.

I would however, take pictures of Tiffany and Michelle that way.

There is no food Tiffany doesn’t love. At all. She is proving that by showing us the nugget of actual poop she ate for breakfast.

Holy crap we look tired here. BTW, if you view this picture through the Web site and *not* on full-screen, the picture is so compressed that Michelle looks like she's got a squinty pirate eye.

On the way to the race, we made a pit stop at 7-11 so Michelle could get some coffee. I’m not sure what the chances are that out of 5 of us, she is the only one that drinks it because it seems like everyone I know lives at Starbucks.

Tiffany and I got our caffeine in Pepsi Zero form. Much healthier.

Michelle forgot her money at the house, so I went in to pay for her coffee with my credit card. I’m not sure what we did – but the clerk told us the coffee was on the house.  AWESOME! I know it was only $1.50, but still super cool. Maybe he took pity on us because he saw our race bibs.

We arrived at Van Wezel Performing Arts Center for the race start.

I didn't take this picture just in case you think I can jump really high.

Tiffany and Matt rock because they got me a VIP parking ticket, so we were able to park about 15 feet from the starting line. This turned out to be the best thing ever because it was COLD out.

I know. It’s only Florida. It’s not snowing. But you stand still in 45 degree weather for 30 minutes with just shorts and a t-shirt on and then talk to me.

Michelle and I made a trip to the porta-potty and then high-tailed it back to the car and sat in there with the heat on until 10 minutes to the start.  <—— Diary of a Wimpy Blogger

Ok, and thanks to Kirsten for totally calling me out on Facebook. 😉

Just before the race started, I decided not to take any pictures. I wanted to focus on running. But I do have some pics from driving the course the day before.

Heading to the John Ringling Causeway.

View from the top of the bridge.

Coming back from the turn around at St. Armand's Circle.

My 3 best friends. Port, A, and Potty.

Now, I know I said the Gasparilla Half Marathon had the perfect weather. But I take that back now. THIS race had the perfect weather. A cool breeze the entire time and once the sun came out, most of the course was shaded. PERFECT.

Miles 2- 4 were over the John Ringling causeway and back. The view was beautiful and the incline wasn’t so bad on the way out. But on the way back, there was heavy wind, so my pace slowed considerably and there was a woman making panting noises next to me that made me really worry for her.

The first 6 or 7 miles of the course FLEW by.

Just before Mile 8, some dbag decided to cut off all the runners with his car. Most of the cross streets were police patroled but there were so many, I’m sure they just chose the bigger intersections. I could see the guy was about to cut me (and 3 people behind me) off, so I signaled to him to stop, and he kept going anyway. I had to run around his car at the last minute and was so pissed I slammed my hand on his back window twice and called him a word that rhymes with Rick.

Around Mile 9, my stomach started to hurt. So, I looked for a porta-potty but couldn’t find one. By mile 10 when I finally saw a few near a water station, I decided that I felt a little better and since there was only 5k left, I was going to power through it.

It wasn’t easy. Or fun. But I did it. I crossed the line at 2:02:41 – a personal record by 3 minutes – all without pooping my pants, thank you. I wonder how well I would have done those last miles if my stomach DIDN’T hold me back.

I found Michelle immediately after I crossed the finish – she made a sub-2-hour half! She is a machine. Michelle finished in 1:58:something and we were both rockin’ some PR highs while we made a b-line for the bathroom.

After we got our porta-potty on, we headed back to the finish line to wait for Tiffany and Connie to come in. They PRed too – and got their first sub 2:30. Tiffany was so excited, she started crying tears of running joy. It was really cute to see.

Here’s Tiff and her mom – PRing by EIGHT minutes. Awesome ladies!

We hung around the race finish a little longer to wait for Tiffany’s friend Erika to finish with her hubby. This was Erika’s first half and she finished 15 minutes earlier than her practice half. Personal records for everyone!

The post race set up was really cute. And the food was awesome since it was sponsored by First Watch – bananas, bagels, muffins, fruit/yogurt/granola parfaits, and other stuff I couldn’t see through the mass of people.

Michelle and her bling.

I’m smiling here, but inside I’m dying. Literally. My stomach was trashed all day long after the race. 

 Ahh, one more laugh out of Charlie Sheen’s fading-fast joke.

Gotta give Sarasota serious props for it’s views.

After the race, I hung around Tiffany’s house for awhile until my stomach felt ok enough to  make the drive home. The Hubs and I already had plans to go out with the in-laws for my MIL’s birthday. We went to TGI Fridays, where we usually love the food but almost never go because the service sucks more often than it’s good.

I asked the MIL and FIL to hold up their glasses and take a sip for a picture. This is what I got.

Eh, it’s close.

Hubs lookin' cute, me lookin' tired.

I had the Mediterranean Fusion Skewers – and it was seriously good. Juuuuust not good for my stomach. 

They need to change that yellow squash for something different. Me hatey squashy.

Hubs had the cheeseburger which he said was really good.  Before you think, “man. cheeseburger. man like cheeseburger,” he’s actually pretty picky about them.

For dessert, our old favorite, that was unfairly taken away from us years ago, is back on the menu and served on a much longer plate. Oreo Madness.

Why so far away my Oreo friend?

Come closer.

The Oreo Madness wasn’t as good as it used to be. The cookie part was hard and we remember it being much softer before. Plus the chocolate and caramel drizzle used to be on top of the cookie.

Still, that didn’t stop us from doing this.


The MIL may have made a comment that I should just lick the plate already. That’s an invitation if I’ve ever heard one!

The rest of the night was pretty miserable for me. I layed down on the couch fetus-style for most of it, and my stomach still hurt this morning. Now I’m finally starting to feel normal again. Minus the stomach issues, the Sarasota Half is an awesome race. I loved it and it was so fun to run around the town I spent most of my life in. I will definitely be doing it again next year.


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The Day Before the Sarasota Half

Yesterday, I headed down to Sarasota to run the Sarasota Half Marathon. I stayed with my friend Tiffany and her hubby Matt. (Tiffany was also running the half with her mom, Connie.)

Once I arrived, Tiffany gave me the tour of her amazing house and led me to the kitchen where she had these sitting out.

Being the lady I am, I didn’t want to be rude and say no to cookies. So I ate four.

Tiffany and I decided we wanted to nerd out on the race and drive the course so there were no surprises.  We waited for Michelle to arrive and we were on our way.

Tiffany using her awesome navigation skillz. It might be fun to play Where’s Waldo with this picture, but instead of looking for Waldo, you can search for my forehead.

By the way, Tiffany’s husband Matt won about 3000+ husband points this weekend. Not only did he print Michelle, Tiffany, and I up our own large, color copies of the course map…he drove the course for us so we didn’t have to.

Tiff might be raising the roof.

The John Ringling Causeway – Miles 2-4 of the course.

There was a lot of traffic during our drive so we got to dinner even later than we expected. We hit up Venezia in St. Armand’s Circle.

Don't clean your monitor, those are indeed stains on the menu.

The place was small and extremely busy, but we were able to get a table fairly quickly. Not that it mattered, because we waited forever for our food because the kitchen was visibly understaffed.

The place had a lot of bewb artwork on the wall.

How many bewbs can you spot in this picture?  (That’s rhetorical. Please don’t count them.)

Hubby extraordinaire.

Michelle hydrating with some extremely potent water.

When Matt starts running races, I’m going to start drinking sangrias in front of him.

We started with the Bruschetta appetizer. Very delicious, but only three pieces of bread and there were four of us. Plus, Tiffany and I actually count as two large men each when it comes to eating.

Michelle and I shared the chicken salad and a penne pasta primavera, which we switched to linguine since penne is the only pasta they don’t make fresh at the restaurant.

The poor pasta didn’t even have a chance. No picture for you! Well, I could show you a picture. But it doesn’t look as tasty coming out the other way.

Oh yeah. I did. I went there.

After dinner, we headed home. I learned how to check myself into places on Facebook. So I spent the entire ride back to Bradenton checking into random places like strip clubs, a Jehovah’s witness church, a sausage kitchen, and a shooting range.

I lived in Bradenton for over 20 years…I miss Bradenton and it’s shooting ranges and sausage kitchens. If only those two can be combined somehow.

Once we got home, it was time to get a whole 4 hours sleep thanks to slow restaurant service and Daylight Savings.

Good thing Tiffany has a sleep number bed in her guest room which allowed me to kill more time not sleeping. (When I was trying to think of the name of the bed today, I could only come up with “Sleep Nasty” and I was pretty sure that was wrong.)

Michelle and I shared the bed because we’re girls and girls do that stuff. She doesn’t toss and turn so you can pretty much hog the bed if you want and she doesn’t care. If you get a chance to sleep with her, I highly recommend it.

Am I wearing clothes under there? YOU decide.

I’ll get to the race review in the next post. Let’s just say the race today was awesome even though it destroyed my stomach all day. When will my stomach issues end already?? I am seriously exhausted from today. Although I didn’t make my sub-2-hour half marathon – I still PRed by 3 minutes. Yay me! Smile

By the way, can you all stop writing blog posts for 2 days while I catch up? Sheesh, go away for a day and it’s mass hysteria on Google Reader.

Check out Michelle’s blog if you’d like another perspective on the day, or more pictures, or more talk of our bedtime snuggles.

Remember you have another day to enter my GIVEAWAY if you haven’t already.

So many colors!


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Workouts and the Weekend

Have you entered my giveaway yet? You should. It’s what the cool kids are doing.


Workout: Ran on treadmill 2.5 miles, walked .9 miles

And that folks, concludes my self-imposed 5-day challenge to get up and work out every morning this week. Feelin’ pretty good about it too, because the Thursday and Friday part of the week was rough.

Thanks for all your encouraging comments to keep it up! I think 5 days may be me asking too much of my lazy ass, but I liked Michelle’s suggestion of 2 or 3 days a week. I think I can handle that.

Last night, the hubs, Linda (our personal trainer), and I went to another Crossfit class together. This one was really interesting so I thought I’d share the workout with you.

Michael (the Crossfit trainer) had a deck of cards. Each suit represented an exercise and each number on the card represented how many reps of that exercise we needed to do. So, if a 5 of clubs was drawn in the first round, we had to do 5 box jumps.

All 52 cards were in the deck including the joker. Joker = 100 jumping jacks.


This workout was FAST. It was definitely a cardio workout. I had to skip 3 cards in the second round because I couldn’t keep up.

The entire workout took us 40 minutes. We did both rounds and Michael told us most people ask to stop after the first round. We didn’t ask to stop, but I do think we threatened to beat him with a foam roller once we had our strength back.

Tonight we are going out to the movies! I get to use the Fandango deal I bought on Living Social already. Two tickets for $9. That’s what we call a score. We’re seeing Battle: LA with a few friends, so I’ll let you know how it is.

Until then, I’ll be getting my crap together so I can head down to Sarasota tomorrow afternoon. The Sarasota Half Marathon is on Sunday and I’m reading to rock it Amadeus.

What are you doing this weekend? Tell me it’s something good like eating bon-bons and not running a race.


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