Sunday, February 27, 2011

Gasparilla Half Marathon Review

Source & Race Info
Gasparilla Half Marathon Review

Sorry for the lack of updates.  Life and training have me slammed lately.

Today was the Gasparilla 13.1 in Tampa, FL.  Gasparilla is Tampa's version of Mardi Gras but much more tame and is pirate themed.  You can read about it here.  I grew up in the Tampa/St Petersburg/Clearwater area so it was nice to be back in my old stomping grounds.

A very hot and sweaty Mr Half TRIing

Gasparilla makes a weekend out of running. Saturday there is a 15K and 5K.  On Sunday they have a 13.1 mile and a 5+3K.  For crazy folks (!! cough Bonnie cough !!) you can elect to do all 4 races.  If you did all 4 races you got a medal and t-shirt for each race.  You also got a special medal indicating your craziness.   All the races are WELL attended.  There was over 10,000 runners for the 5K, over 7,000 runners for the 13.1 mile run and I heard the grand total for all the races was 22,000.

Race Grade A+
Bonnie loves my EMZ shirt!!  Here is EMZ in Tampa, FL after the race.

This race was a great race in every way.  There is not one thing to complain about (which is surprising for someone who likes to critique races). 

The water stops were well supplied and had a ton of volunteers.  Each stop had both Gator-Aid (which was too strong) and water.  There was no food or supplements at any of the water stops but with so many runners at the event it would very costly to supply food. 

The end of the race had plenty of food and water.  The Columbia (a local famous Cuban restaruant) supplied the end of the race food.  This food consisted of a side salad, black beans and rice and paella. This was a great meal and a nice change from the normal bagels and bananas (which were also being handed out).

The medals are really well made and very heavy.  Much better quality than the normal cheapo medals.

The course is as flat as a pancake and would be great for a PR if you could break out of the massive pack.  The course also runs along the scenic Tampa Bay inlet.  It was pretty watching the sunrise over the water while running.

Jolly Roger

There were plenty of people along the race cheering the runners on.  Along the course locals provided their own entertainment. Local charities and high school bands & cheerleaders were all along the course cheering the runners on and acting crazy.  There were several people playing their guitars and singing.  There was also a mime, a banjo player, several DJs and two people juggling fire balls.

This was a great race and I would recommend it to everyone!

The Bling

??? You figure it out ???

Monday, February 21, 2011

I need your help

On March 6th I will be joining thousands of other riders at Lake Nona, FL to participate in Tour de Cure, supporting the American Diabetes Association. By making a donation on my behalf, you will be supporting the Association's research effort while also helping fund programs and advocacy.

My goal is to raise at least $1000. Help me reach my goal by supporting me for this year's Tour de Cure. Please follow the link to my personal web page to make a secure, 100% tax deductible donation.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. It is a disease that has deadly serious consequences, and there is no cure. In 2007, the total estimated cost of diabetes in the United States was $174 billion, which includes indirect costs resulting from increased absenteeism, reduced productivity, disease-related unemployment disability, and loss of productive capacity due to early mortality. You can help me help the American Diabetes Association and your company's overall bottom line by making a donation.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about Tour de Cure. I appreciate your support for this worthy cause.

Together we can stop diabetes.

This year I will be riding the 100 mile century ride!  If you will be attending please let me know.  I would love to meet you.

Mr HalfTRIing

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Happy Birthday to Mr HalfTRIing & Silly Girl Running

Two of the coolest bloggers on the web share today as their birthday.  How cool is that?!  

Mr Half TRIing making a wish on his B-Day

Today happens to be my birthday so Happy Birthday to me.  I'm 29, AGAIN!!  All gifts can be mailed directly to my home. :-)  I prefer the type that are fermented, imported and come in pint size bottles.  :-)  If you live near me a gift certificate to Total Wine or World of Beers would be a great gift.

Happy Birthday Mr Half TRIing

A big Happy Birthday to one of my favorate bloggers, Silly Girl Running!! She will gladly take any gifts that are pink, involve running or anything from Running Shirts or Moeben.

Happy Birthday - Silly Girl Running

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dance with Dirt - Green Swamp Dade City, Florida

Dance with Dirt - Green Swamp Dade City, Florida

This weekend was the famous Dances with Dirt (DWD) - Green Swamp race.  This race is located in Dade City, FL.  It is an "extreme" trail run.  There is a good description of the race here. Bonnie and I ran the 13.1 race.  Triston did the 10K.
Bonnie and Deb (the "gator bait" friend) finishing

Overall it was a great and fun race.  The run was very pleasant and scenic.  It had beautiful trees, trails, rivers, lakes, etc. Everyone was very friendly.  I found the race course to be pretty well marked (although some people did get lost).
Pretty View
Pretty River

I did not find the race as "extreme" as race directors wanted to describe it as.  Is seemed like your typical trail run.  There was sugar sand, uneven trail, beautiful wildlife, etc.  The whole course was bone dry except for the one "extreme" point that was about a half a mile from the finish.  At this point you had to walk on a board across a river that was about a foot deep.  Then you had to walk in the water for about 6 feet.

There was about 1/2 mile in the race where you had to carefully run around cypress tree roots which proved to be difficult. Cypress tree roots are like little ground stalagmite landmines.  The are very hard and pointy and very easy to trip on.

"Extreme" River Crossing

A fellow runner said the DWD in Hell, MI is very extreme and very well attended.  I will have to travel to Michigan next year to try that race.

Mr Half TRIing

After the race you had freshly made BBQ pork, veggie "hamburgers", baked beans, coleslaw and ice tea.  It was very delicious and there was plenty to go around. 

Bonnie in her Wink pack

Like most trail runs there was not a ton of water stops.  I believe the 13.1 had about 4 water stops. I would suggest carrying water on ANY trail run.  I used my Ultimate Direction Wasp water pack and Bonnie used her Ultimate Direction Wink and we both LOVED the packs.  I am considering wearing it in all my future races.  I will have to post a review about them one day but if you are looking for a water pack look no further than these two gems.
1st place awards (minus the arm)

The race directors make a big deal out of watching out for Florida gators.  The finisher awards are plaster life-sized gator heads (pretty cool) and the finisher medals have gators on them.

Bonnie was scared of encountering a gator and contemplated carrying a knife.  LOL  We both decided that was not a good idea so she invited a friend to run with her.  She decided ahead of time that if a gator came near her she was going to use her friend as "gator bait." :-)

I had multiple gator sightings.  This pack of gators try to eat me!
Another extreme scary beast I had to avoid
This one is either sleeping or Bonnie got him with her knife!  Poor Fella!

It was a great and fun race.  Not as extreme as they lead you to believe but well worth running.  The grade for this race is an A.  I would highly recommend running this race to others.

The Bling

Friday, February 11, 2011

Throwback Thursday on Friday

Throwback Thursday on Friday

Circa 1978 Christening
Sorry for the delayed Throwback Thursday.  I've been slammed for the past couple of days.

See proof that I was cute at one point in my life!  I do not know what happened after that!
Above is a picture of me in my christening outfit.  Everyone thought (more like hoped) I would be a girl so my christening outfit was really made for a girl.  My mother gave me that outfit a few years back and I still have it.  It was handmade by my Great Grandmother who lived to be past 100 years old.  Both my great grandmothers lived past 100 years old.  I would love to know their secret.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tokyo Marathon 2001 and the iRun

Tokyo Marathon 2001 and the iRun

We interrupt this Throwback Thursday for something you just have to see to believe.  For those of you who just love to provide everyone with constant data about your marathon run this man has just the thing for you.  The goes way beyond Facebooking and making phone calls during your marathon.

This man is running the 2011 Tokyo Marathon with the following strapped to his body: "four iPhones on rotatable mounts, an iPad, an Android handset, three mobile wifi routers, a wind turbine (ok, so it’s a kid’s fan that turns around…), a 4-in-one atmospheric monitor, a heart monitor, a plastic doughnut and of course the very important satellite dish for high-speed data connectivity (cunningly crafted from a bird-feeding dish). (SOURCE)".  He calls this contraption the iRun.

"This technology will allow [him] to broadcast live video on two cameras (using either skype or FaceTime to a local studio for re-broadcast), send live location/pace/heart rate data via Runkeeper on the iPhone, transmit temperature, COx/humidity/noise levels via a custom-made Android app (SOURCE)

For the entire race one iphone will be streaming video of his face and another will be streaming a forward video of his run.  The ipad will be showing twitter messages his entire run.  The Andriod will give him "a direct connection to the control center where he can find out where to meet up with his friends and where to get his next banana."

The good news is he thinks Apple will want to start selling these things very soon!  I think I will buy Bonnie one for her next marathon!

I do not know how he does this.  I feel dorky just carrying my iphone during a race to take pictures.

Maybe Silly Girl will strap an iRun onto her dog while you run.  I think EMZ's next tshirts will have one of the iRuns build right into the fabric. Bike, Bake Blog will soon be coming out with a device where she can bake a 10 course meal during her runs (yum!).  

So would you buy one of these or wear one?   Would you be interested in watching someone's entire marathon race?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Quick Update

Last week was really hectic so I did not get the quality workout I wanted. I plan on making this week much better.

Monday - Off  :-(
Tuesday - Off  :-(
Wednesday - 1 hr Chest & 1 hr on the cycle trainer
Thursday - 1 hr Back
Friday - 45 min Swim
Saturday - Off  :-(
Sunday - 34 miles cycling in the POURING RAIN!! Pace 20-25mph

Race This Weekend
This weekend I will be doing the Dances with Dirt Green Swamp 13.1.  This race is described as "Each leg has or will become legendary. Legs from the Hell event with names like "Gator Bate", "Spider Webs" and "Yikes" have become part of running legend. Each leg is described and rated in difficulty so the team can meet beforehand and choose who to abuse ... we mean, who to run what. Basically, a difficult, wicked on and off trail run with stupid spots. Stupid spots include swamp crossings, river crossings, hills too steep to climb and can only be a butt slide down. Did we mention poison ivy, thorns, poor marking, bad (no) footing, a waiver that mentions your death 3 times and that we charge you for this?" 

Bonnie's personal favorite warning from the race directors.  Beware of gators "Gators are my personal favorites, the last of the dinosaurs (Unfortunately, the carnivore type). Look both ways, right, left, up, back … before crossing water, steer clear, then dash! Big gators, give big clearance, little ones, watch for big ones!"

This should be a fun race.  I will post a race report next week.

Cycling and Swimming at the Same Time
On Saturday I went cycling with a B pace group.  It rained the ENTIRE ride.  We got soaked and covered in mud.  It was like doing a swim/bike brick at the SAME time. I figured it may rain during my 70.3s and I need to know how to ride in it.  I thought it was a great ride and I had fun.

Triston's Great Accomplishment
Triston got an Honorable Mention at the county science fair.  He did a great job and deserves to be proud of this accomplishment.

Science Fair
I did not train on Saturday because I volunteered to judge the county science fair.  I had a good time and got to judge some great projects.  I was happy to see some limnology and drosophila projects.  It was great to be able to actually use my college degree for something useful.

Super Bowl
Am I the only male on the planet that could care less about the Super Bowl.  I really did not care to watch it.  All I really liked about the Superbowl is the commercials and I missed those this year.  I did watch the halftime show and I thought it was horrible!

What was your favorite Superbowl commercial? 

I likes this one:

I like this one also.

Because I got top of the class (see proof):

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Throwback Thursday - 80's Big Hair

Serious 80's Hair
Throwback Thursday - 80's Big Hair

There some serious 1980's hair going on in this Throwback.  My mother's sporting the conservative big hair look.  My sister is going for the Motley Crue groupie look (with matching outfit).  And I am sporting some seriously feathered MacGyver hair.  I can still remember the days when my sister would throw me under the hair dryer and feather my hair till it would not poof any more.  She would than Aquanet the heck out of it.  Fun times!

Did anyone else spend too much time under the hair dryer and/or spend to much money on hairspray in the 80's?  If so, I want to see those pics on your blog and I want to hear your 1980's hair stories.  Please let me know if you do an 80's hair Throwback post.  EMZ I know you got some big hair stories to tell! :-) 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Move over GU I have a new love - Honey Stinger Waffles

Move over GU I have a new love - Honey Stinger Waffles
Image Souce

Personally I do not have much of a sweet tooth. I do not like really sweet candies, cakes, pies, etc.  If they are really sweet one bite is good enough for me.  My only downfall is ice-cream.  I can resist all other sweets in the house but ice cream is forbidden.  I would rather pay the extra money to go to the ice-cream parlor than to have it in the house. 

This lack of enjoying sweets is hard when you are endurance training.  All the supplements we take are primarily nothing but pure sugar and have a strange gel like texture.  After about my second GU I feel nauseous therefore I avoid taking them when I know I should be. The texture and the sweetness are to much for me.

Image Source

After some time and searching I found a solution.  The Honey Stinger Waffle!  These waffles are great.  They are waffle thin so they do can stack them side-by-side in your bikes stem bag.  They have a great texture and are only mildly sweet because they are made with honey.  They are also certified organic for you yoga type people.  The ingredients are easily identifiable and are not something I made in my college organic chemistry lab.

This things taste great.  I would love to have them with a small latte or some espresso.  I could eat them all day long.  My only complaint is they are a little pricey at $1.30 US each.  But in comparison that is still about the normal price of a GU.

I highly recommend you try these.  I do not think you will be disappointed.

Image Source