Twitter + Bloggers= Famous(ish)

I have just recently increased my Twitter usage in hopes to put my little blog on the map.
In a little under 30 days I have gone from 15 followers to 120, and have reached over 2,000 tweets posted. I love how informal Twitter is: no pressure to write anything long, and hashtags are fun ways to connect with like minded people.

I also recently stumbled upon (no really, try out www.stumbleupon.com) a website called Bloggers, which is a great way to network with other bloggers and get traffic to your own!

This morning as I sleepily grabbed my phone to see what time it was (it was 9, I’m on Spring Break people!), I noticed an email from Bloggers, a Twitter mention AND numerous “congratulations” messages in my inbox.

Am I?

That’s right kids….
Check me out:

See me?? I’m right ^ there!
It’s exciting, to say the least. I can’t wait to see what this “fame” brings. Maybe I’ll hit 10,000 page views by the end of today? Time will tell. For now, I’m going to sit here and relish my moment and enjoy my first day of vacation.



Brunch with the chicas

It’s Sundays like today that make accepting the the hour I
lost last night due to daylight saving time a little easier to
swallow. My friend Monica is a natural born
entertainer. Her get togethers are always warm and
inviting- filled with scrumptious smells, delicious drinks
and of course her cozy home. When she sent out an
invite for a brunch with the chicas, I knew this event would be no
less than amazing. You see, it’s not about gourmet foods, fancy
china or expensive decor that make a foodie get together memorable.
And Monica knows that. It’s the little things- the conversation,
soft cloth napkins, rustic self-serve dishes and Rufus (we’ll get
to that in a second) that make a get together worth carving out
time for.

My new best friend Pinterest led
me to what I thought would be a fun and easy dish to bring to
share: baked eggs in bread bowls.

It’s pretty easy to pull together. I wasn’t sure
what kind of bread to use, but finally decided on these:

After proofing
for about 4 hours,

they became perfect crusty
little vessels for the eggs!
I followed the recipe to a
T, only modifying the size of the eggs (the breads were a bit
small, so I thought medium sized eggs would work better than the
large ones suggested in the recipe.
Next time (and there
WILL be a next time), I will cook these little
guys about 10 minutes less than the recipe suggests to ensure
runni-ness, as these eggs were more like soft boiled. I tihnk, per
Monica’s suggestion, I’d add a bit more cream as well. Other than
those modifications, I thought they were quite yummy and would love
to play around with cheeses and herbs.

Here is the recipe once again if you’d like to try
it out for yourself! Make sure to comment on this post with your
own versions of these baked eggs!

As for the
rest of the brunch? Well there were other scrumptious dishes:
quiche, hashbrown casserole, spinach dip, pull apart lemon bread
and homemade peach bellini’s (I had four. Don’t judge).

Combine the above with great
conversation, lots of laughs, a bit of wedding planning (go Monica
go!) and tons of head pats given out to Mr. Rufus, and you’ve got
one perfect Sunday.

Oh, and
let’s not forget our parting gift. Monica never fails to provide us
with a little touch of home. She’s a classy lady I tell ya! (rum

So how was YOUR Sunday?

Tis’ the season

I’m dying for summer. Spring is just “ok” as far as I’m concerned. It’s still too cold (even in FL) for summer fruits, beach swims and crabbing. Some of the things that I LOVE.

I was, though, quite surprised to see a great, BIG pile of seedless watermelons at my local Sweetbay this afternoon as I stopped by for some groceries.

I LOVE WATERMELON, so of course I bought 2 (they were 2 for $5.00). Just smelling the flesh after the first initial slice takes me back to being a 7 year old, swimming in my backyard pool with my cousins, and getting out of the water to munch on ice cold slices of melon. Red juice dripping down my arms and all over my baby soup (bathing suit- so I had a little speech impediment) spitting out seed after seed into freshly cut grass. How we didn’t have melons growing all over the backyard is still a mystery to me.
Even though I’m all grown up now, and that pool is long gone, I still get the same satisfaction out of eating a bowl of melon chunks over the sink because of all these amazing memories I have floating in my mind.

What are your favorite watermelon recipes? I think I’ll start working on this one, but I’d love your ideas! 🙂

Enjoy this beautiful Florida day while it lasts!


It’s Greek to Me


It’s all Greek to me.

I’m a total rookie. Although I did my first 5k over 2 years ago, and have completed over 10 additional 5ks since. Plus 2 sprint triathlons and now a 15k, I don’t have a freakin’ clue what I’m doing and have basically survived this adventure through many episodes of trial and error.

To be completely honest, I have never, ever felt as badly after last week’s 15k compared to any other races I’ve participated in. Including the triathlons (I felt AMAZING after those). Not only did I feel emotionally defeated, but I was exhausted, dehydrated the next day, and developed a ridiculously painful foot blister that kept me off my feet and home on Monday after a walk-in clinic visit. I finally went on my first jaunt since the race last night and could barely complete a mile without feeling the inflammed blister pain on the sole of my foot. I’m telling you, it has NOT been fun!

Like I said in my previous post, competing in races alone is difficult. I mean it’s one thing to have other athletes around you, but when the nearest runner or walker is 2 football fields ahead or behind you, you truly are completely solo. To put it bluntly, it just wasn’t fun. I guess I wasn’t used to the feeling because during tris and 5ks you’ve always got walkers, bikes flying by, and lots of spectators cheering you on and making you feel like you want to finish for them. Until the last .25 mile of the 15k, it was a quiet, lonely road that I’m not sure I want to do again.

Maybe I’ll feel differently in a few months. Maybe I’ll feel differently when I put my feet into my new BROOKS! (yippee!)

Either way, I think I’ll stick to tris and fives for the time being, until I get more weight off and work on the mental and nutritional aspect of what it takes to be a “runner”.


Gasparilla 15k race recap!

Wow. What a day.
I can now say I’ve completed a 15k. AND, get this. I wasn’t last! In fact I finished with 5 participants still on my tail. Way on my tail. I finished in 2:48, 12 minutes ahead of the very last finisher. Now for some this may be a ridiculously slow time, BUT, it’s a PR for me because it was my first attempt at this distance! It can only get better from here.

(my name on the wall of runners!)

The race started at 7:05am, so I set a very early alarm. Luckily we went to bed at a relatively reasonable time, so it wasn’t too bad hopping out of bed at a dark 4:30 (although the man may beg to differ!). We grabbed some breakfast, picked up my friend and tri training partner Lindsey, and before we knew it, we were standing at the starting line. The guy had signed up for the 5k (a man after my own heart!), but unfortunately his race didn’t begin until 9:30, so he had to hang out and waste some time while Lindsey and I set off on the 15.

The starting line was near the Gasparilla Pirate Ship on the bay. As the gun went off, I immediately lost Lindsey because I went off onto the sidelines to let the faster athletes pass. I crossed the start line about 6 minutes into the race, and had no sight of her, so I figured I’d be going at this solo. Racing alone is a difficult task. I did it at my last triathlon, so I definitely know the challenges a runner faces when you’re fighting the mental aspect of the race alone.

I started off walking at a pretty good pace. By the time I passed mile 1, I was maintaining a 16 minute mile. Unfortunately, I didn’t warm up very well, and my shins were on fire all the way until I reached mile 2. I’ve walked Bayshore dozens of times, so I appreciated the familiar sights to help me gauge my progress on the way towards the turnaround spot by Ballast Point Elementary, south of Gandy Blvd. I had tons of people still around me as I approached mile 3, but the noise level was definitely decreasing, aside from the public cheerers along the sidelines. I always appreciate the efforts people make to come out and cheer on participants. Just when you think you’re ready to give up and call a cab, someone says an encouraging “keep it up, you’re doing great” and you reevaluate your quitting mentality.

As I approached mile 4, I set my sights on people I was determined to either keep up with or pass. I had been trailing a group of men in their mid-50’s, maybe early 60’s. They were keeping up a great pace, even in their khaki shorts! They. Were. Hilarious. Saying things like “where are we gonna go after this. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be at Tampa General”. And I lol’d when one of the guys told his pal that their names and finishing times will be in the paper the next day. One of them responded with “hopefully not in the obituaries!”. Forget the champion pacing teams. These guys were my own personal pacers and entertainment until I passed them rounding mile 5.

Heading back down Bayshore towards downtown became increasingly difficult with every step. At this point I had 5 people behind me, and I wasn’t going to let them pass. As I headed back to Bay to Bay, I could feel some blistering at the bottom of my left foot. Additionally, the shade from the southbound lanes of Bayshore was no longer a luxury. The sun was beating down on me full force, and I could feel my energy draining. Although I had snacks and stayed hydrated along the course, there is nothing that can prepare you for the feeling of how your body responds to blaring, blinding heat.

By the time I reached mile 7, I had already built it up in my head that there was NO way I was quitting, with just a little over 2 miles left of the race. My feet were still moving, a nice breeze had begun, and I was still ahead of those 5 runners, and I was determined to keep that “lead”. By this time the 5k race had begun, so I entertained myself through mile 8 and 9 by watching the 15 minute 5kers rocket by me in obscenely fast speeds. I’m still blown away by their agility and power. To finish 3.1 miles in less than the time it takes me to finish 1 mile is amazing.

With just about .2 of a mile left, I caught a glimpse of the finish line. Although I could hear my tri trainer Deb yelling out “finish strong, run!”, I looked like someone out of Night of the Living Dead as I Thriller dragged my legs across the finish line and up to the area were the medals were given out. As the 5k finishers medals were handed to the heroes, I was almost given one when I had to speak up and say, “Hey, I’m a 15k finisher! Did you save a medal for the last 6 of us!?” Not to worry, I got mine. And I’ve never been so proud to own something that says “15k” on it.

I was also never so proud of my guy for finishing his THIRD 5k in less than 6 months!

I’m so happy to have him by my side on race days and at the finish line to share these awesome moments with. I couldn’t ask for a better boyfriend, honestly.

So what’s next? Well, tri season is coming up, so I’ll probably sign up for a sprint within the next month or so. Which I’m excited about because let me tell you, this 15k race was SO much harder than both of the sprint tris I’ve completed. Much, MUCH harder. So for now, I think I’ll skip long distance runs and get back into my first love- 5ks and sprint triathlons. But who knows what the future holds. I’d love to put a half marathon in my sights sometime in 2013. Although I’m sore, my hip muscles ache, and I took a 3 hour nap, I don’t regret signing up for the 15k at all. The folks at Gasparilla always aim for runner success, comfort and happiness. They aim to please and do a great job at putting on a well oiled race.

I’m off to enjoy dinner on the couch with my honey. He’s picking up Carraba’s as our celebrating meal for today’s great feat. So I’m going to go pop 3 Tylenol rapid release tablets, eat my lobster mac and cheese, and contemplate my next great adventure!

ph 🙂