Sep 30, 2014

Spartan Race:::A Giveaway!

*disclaimer: I was contacted by Spartan Race to promote a few races, they supplied me with a free entry for a giveaway. 
All opinions are my own. 


Do you remember this post? 
I did a little mud run -- the only one to date. 
I kept my hands clean the entire time...
...didn't like the mud.
But powered through the obstacles and ended up having a blast.

However, I vowed to never do a mud race.Why?
I had this running thing down. I could run a half marathon on a whim and was going [at the time of this decision] was planning on having marathons under my belt. 

Fast forward to the present.
I have 20+ half marathon medals hanging in my room.
I've covered over 150 miles with six marathons. 
But I need more. I want more.
I'm about to hit the 'dirty thirty.' 
I want a new way to push myself and need a new goal to train towards.

Enough about me, onto Spartan Race

I was talking with a friend last week about Spartan Races.
[honestly] I had an epiphany. 
I was always under the impression that 'mud runs' were a 'show-off' race, only crazy peeps ran them. I could not have been more wrong -- I stand corrected.

When you participate in a Spartan Race, you're family. 
Yes, you're out there for yourself. 
Pushing your body to it's limits and shutting up your brain when pain may kick in. 
You could be marking off a bold item on your bucket list. 
Maybe someone dared you to sign up.
Celebrating an upcoming age... Or just to push yourself.

But you are out there for everyone else. 
To help them :: To push them :: To cheer them on :: To celebrate.

Unlike a typical road race -- which I've done so many of, completing an OCR is not just you against the clock. Yes, that clock is ticking, but that isn't the only thing on your mind.

And this is when I decided this would be my next endeavor. 

Here's what coming up next: 


The first Spartan Race is hitting Wisconsin in just four weeks! 
The Sprint will be held at Miller Park on Saturday, November 1, 2014. 



Heading south, you can mark two races off your list towards your Trifecta in Dallas. The Beast is Saturday, November 1 and the Sprint follows up on Sunday, November 2, 2014. 



Heading even deeper into the dirty south -- Mississippi is on deck with the Sprint distance. 

What the h___ is sprint, beast, whaaat??

Spartan Sprint
Sprint: 3+ miles and 15 obstacles
Super Spartan 
Super: 8+ miles and 20 obstacles
Spartan Beast 
Beast: 12+ miles and 25 obstacles
There's also the Ultra Beast and Death Race. 
My only response to the distances & obstacles was O.M.G.
Spartan Trifecta 

Lastly, the Trifecta.
You received this beauty & bragging rights for completing 
the Sprint, Super & Beast within a calendar year.

Feel inspired? Maybe a little crazy?
Wanna join me in Tampa next February when I run my first Spartan Race?
You can save $$ and register with: SPARTANBLOGGER

You can also register to win an entry!
The code will work one time for any open heat (non-confirmed start time) in any Spartan Race in the continental US. 
You know what to do...


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Join them for their October Challenge, my personal favorite:

Where else you can find Spartan Race: 


*disclaimer: I was contacted by Spartan Race to promote a few races, they supplied me with a free entry for a giveaway. 
All opinions are my own. 

Sep 29, 2014

my new goals.

this is a different type of post -- bear with me. 

First and most important goal: become a badass. 

alis volat propriis.

#keepingitreal
For the last two years, life hasn't 100% made sense.
relationships [lack of]
my parents situation.
my brother with a heart of gold [and doesn't show it :-/ ]

However, I've been blessed...
my health. 
the love from my family.
my amazing friends.
my passion. 

There are many times you have to be stronger than you want to be. 
You gotta pick yourself up and keep moving. 
Life is too short to be held back.

Remember that life won't always make sense. 
Worry about you, make you happy. Live life with no regrets.

Be unapologetically you. 
Those friends that always love you, love them back. 
They're rare, so let them know they're special to you. 

Those people that have always had a special & certain place in your life, keep in touch. They're still in your life for some reason -- even if you never figure that out.

Now that I've stepped off my soap-box. 
I'm going outside of my box, like waaaay outside of it.
I'm getting my last tattoo.
I'm starting Orange Theory to get myself in the best shape by my 30th birthday.
And to be in the best shape for my students & classes
I've decided to do a mud run. Why? Because I said I'd never do one. 
I'm finally taking that CPT exam... 

*cheers* to my next two months! 


...and thanks for listening. I know this post is not typical from me. I don't show my feelings often and needed to get this off my chest -- and give myself my own pep talk! 

Sep 10, 2014

Best Damn Bachelorette.

Better late than never... 
And don't they say you save the best for last?  

As a Best Damn Race ambassador, it dawned on me that I still had not written a recap for BDR Safety Harbor -- and being apart of the BDR Bachelorette weekend!
*use code: CAITLYN for a discount!*

Patrick and Tori are one of the cutest couples I know. He proposed at the finish line of Ironman 70.3 Augusta, their engagement pictures involved a tri bike, and they broke through finish line tape to enter their reception
 (guys, propose to me at a finish line and I'm all yours, lol).

As you can tell, fitness & running are a big part of Patrick & Tori's life, so it only made sense that Tori included a race for her bachelorette weekend.

One of the things I love about BDR races are the distances.
They offer a 5k, 10k, the 5K/10K Challenge, and a half marathon -- participants of any fitness level can join! This attribute worked perfectly for that weekend; since not all of the ladies joining for the weekend are crazy runners like Tori, we had options with BDR.

The weekend started with a quaint dinner in Safety Harbor, 
fueling up for our race morning. 

For this particular race, I had decided to run the 5k and try for a PR. At the time, Tori was marathon training (the new husband and wife were running the Paris Marathon on their honeymoon), so her and a few other ladies started early with the half-marathon.

Getting to the race & parking was a breeze. So many of my friends run this race it was like one big [no alcohol] cocktail hour upon arriving. 
Ran into Denise & Jessica - both doing the 5K/10K Challenge
The buzz created by BDR that morning was exhilarating -- regardless of the time that morning, you were able to see runners made their final turn to the finish line. I chatted it up with these two ladies, checked my bag, and headed to the start line. 

I had been itching for a PR lately, so I gave it my best shot. 
Since you're on pins & needles, I'll save you -- I did not PR, but was close and had a good race. Finished in 28:05 with a 9:02 pace, and 9th in my age group; this is pretty stellar if you ask me! I typically cannot say that my place in age group is a single digit!

the finish shoot & my hair whipping in the wind with my speed...
 -photo cred to @insanemarathon-
Loved the course, as I knew I would; most of it was along the water and through the quaint neighborhoods of Safety Harbor. The water stops were positioned perfectly along the course and there were quite a few spectators & cheerers along the course too! 

And a 5K with a medal?! C'mon, what's not to love about BDR??


Ran into this pretty lady...
Who knew we'd be so alike and such good friends a few short months later??
And needless to say the Best Damn Bachelorette crew was pretty popular -- we even had some paparazzi! 
The BDR races worked out so well for all of the Bachelorette crew -- everyone had a fun race! We took full advantage of the after-party before lounging at the pool for the afternoon. 

Of course, even though we were all up early to run -- we clean up well! 
[I seem to be the only one that dislikes shirts]
The crew of ladies hit up Ybor for sushi & a few adult beverages.


My St Pete ladies, Rose & Meghan

*BACK.TO.THE.BASICS*
- Packet-pickup is super easy and convenient with multiple locations -
- Awesome bling for every race distance - 
- When registration opens, you can get in for as little as a $1! - 
- All over Florida, in chronological order: 
Cape Coral, Jacksonville, Safety Harbor & Orlando -
- It's a race by runners, for runners -
[confused on that last one? Do one and you'll see what I mean ;) ]
- Kick a$$ after party with music, food, drinks and vendors -
- Easy registration process - 
- You can find the rest here: www.bestdamnrace.com -


And I did save the best for last -- me & the beautiful bride.



Have you done a race with a wedding party?


Aug 26, 2014

Summer of Rum Festival: A Review

some yummy rum...
an overcast day...
live bands a'playing...
two awesome ladies as my companions for the day...

We may have been a couple drinks in ;)
That about sums up this year's Summer of Rum Festival
This year, it was held at the Cuban Club in Ybor -- I loved this location; they also had one road blocked off for the food truck vendors to get some action.

As you walked into the festival, you were welcomed by live bands, and multiple venues for some delightful rum concoctions. However, I was rolling VIP, so we made our way to the Cuban Club, and up to the fourth floor. 

The fourth floor is where the magic was happening; you were able to taste test a variety of rum -- straight & mixed. The floor was completely lined with different brands of rum, all chilled, and ready to be put to the test. 


We slurped our way around the tasting floor.

Some of my favorites were:
Naked Turtle Rum Shack
Florida Caribbean Distillers [they use home-grown Florida Cane Sugar. I spoke with one of the originators and he had oodles of knowledge for me, I love that they only use Florida Cane Sugar]
Blue Chair Bay [Kenny Chesney's rum; I tried the Coconut -- amazing, but for a lower calorie option, use their Premium Rum] 
Koloa [Rum for the Big Island of Hawaii, continuing my trend and tried the Coconut Rum, this one was my fave] 



Making our way around the tasting floor, 
there were so many flavorful options to pick from.
You could try it 
~straight~
~mixed~
~blended with coconut water~
...and even lemonade! 


*I loved the setup of the Cuban Club for the tasting and other amenities. The refreshing AC was welcomed and each floor had something different to entice your senses. The first floor had a DJ with dance floor and walk-up mini bars; one flight up was the theater, strategically playing was Pirates of the Caribbean {Jack Sparrow would have enjoy the Summer of Rum Festival!} The tasting floor was the grand finale.

Venturing outside and back out into the music & sunshine action, we made our way to the VIP tent & enjoyed five signature rum cocktails. The crowd favorite was the Appleton Planter's Punch - a tangy mix of fruit & of course rum! 


A variety of musicians made their way across the stage -- five different bands carried their tunes into the evening. We took advantage of the Food Truck lineup and other vendors for some extra rum liquid-awesome. 

*Overall, an awesome event. The weather was perfect (the sun spared us by being overcast), there was able entertainment, the rum kept a'flowin and was delicious. My only suggestion (which I have already sent their way) was more seating -- this would have made it easier to stay longer and enjoy the Food Truck goodness. I felt it was well-organized and my guests & I had an enjoyable time! 

Did you miss the fun? There is one more event by Big City Events in December...
The Bourbon & Brew Fest is coming on December 6th! Keep an eye out for upcoming information!


What is your favorite to enjoy Rum?


*As a member of the Tampa Bay Bloggers, I did receive complimentary tickets to the Summer of Rum Festival in exchange for some awesome blog posts and sharing the info for the upcoming festival. All opinions are my own. 

Aug 10, 2014

Summer of Rum Festival: a Giveaway!

Love summer?
Like some rum in your cocktail?

The Summer of Rum Festival is headed back to Tampa -- and I'm excited to go!

Here are the details: 
date: Saturday, August 16, 2014
time: 2PM - 11PM
where: Cuban Club in Ybor

Photo credit: SummerofRum.com & 813area.com
What else to expect:
*rum...duh! ;) *
*tampa's finest food trucks*
*multiple concerts to entice your ear drums*
*numerous rum zones*
*42 different rum concoctions*
*mojito cantina*
*frozen zone [I'll be in this one!]*
*and so much more!*

Photo credit to SummerofRum.com

So come join us this Saturday for a day filled of fun...and rum! 
Tickets are going quick!

But you can potentially win them here: 





a Rafflecopter giveaway

*As a member of the Tampa Bay BloggersI did receive complimentary tickets to the Summer of Rum Festival in exchange for awesome blog posts to share the awesome-ness of the upcoming Festival. All opinions are my own.

Aug 6, 2014

PDQ: A Tasty Review!

PDQ and I have something BIG in common, 
we are both natives of Hillsborough County, Florida!

In 2011, PDQ opened their first restaurant in Tampa on Dale Mabry; 
it quickly became one of my favorite fast-food stops.

Yes. I said fast-food. Yes, I still eat that stuff.
But only PDQ ;)

At PDQ, they're dedicated to quality. 
So much so, it's how they created their name: People Dedicated to Quality.


Their restaurants live up to that name and I'll share how...

*all of their kitchens are entirely open* 

*absolutely no freezers. I even checked*

*all of their sauces are made in-house -- and made fresh daily*


*majority of their menu items are gluten free*

*digital menus & all energy efficient lights. saving Mother Earth*


*majority of their menu items have no high fructose corn syrup*

*they utilize iPads in the back for their receipes*


*doing the drive-thru? you give your order to a real-life person! ...and give them your name too, makes the process friendly*

*their restaurant have one fridge. I promise*

*they cut their own fries on a daily basis from full Idaho potatoes*

[they even let me try!]

*their shakes [amazeballs] are hand spun. did I mention they taste amazing?*


As you can see, I love me some PDQ. 
They have multiple healthy options -- all of which are very yummy. 

Don't want fries? Get apples or coleslaw.
Don't want cripsy chicken tenders? The grilled ones are crispy with flavor.
Want a salad? You have quite a few to pick from!



If you're an awesome Floridian like me, you're in luck! There are already 15 locations up & at 'em, and four more locations in the works. 

You can also find PDQ in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina & Texas. Visit here for exact locations. 

I want to share the love with you... and let you try some PDQ on me! Enjoy!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

*As a member of the Tampa Bay BloggersI was able to attend a special event held by PDQ prior to their grand opening & and try their amazing food. All opinions are my own.

Jul 25, 2014

3-Day Refresh: My Results

Yes, I still have some major catching up to do, but this couldn't wait!
[the before & after pic is pretty epic]

Last month I attended the yearly Beachbody event, Summit, in Vegas. At Summit, Beachbody rounds up coaches nationwide, USA & Canada, and share the wealth with all of us! One of the new products that was announced was the 3-Day Refresh. I was excited about this since previously, a make-shift 'cleanse' had been created by someone that utilized Shakeology, veggies, fruit & clean protein to flush out your system and give it a soft reset. Personally, I have done that particular cleanse a few times, (that review, is one of my most read blog posts)! 

The difference between the 'Shakeology Cleanse' I had done in the past and the 3-Day Refresh was that Beachbody made the Refresh to really give your body a reset. They made sure to include all of the nutrients you need on a daily basis without starving or depriving your body.

Here is how it worked for me: 
I enjoyed myself at Summit, the following weekend ate on the go at Disney, Orlando and in Miami, did a quick weekend trip to Atlanta with friends & enjoyed the amazing food & beverages. My waistline expanded quite a bit. I was sluggish, was not getting my workouts in, and the evil soda was creeping back. 

My 3-Day Refresh came in the mail on a Saturday; my original thought was to do it Friday-Sunday, this way I didn't have any temptations at my office with coffee, goodies, etc. 

However, Sunday morning, I jumped on the scale and saw the scariest number I've seen in a long time.

The far left number...brought tears to my eyes.
Starting that Sunday was not my original plan. 
But that box got opened and I started right then and there! 


Above, you can see the scale progression for the days of the Refresh. The weight was slow to fall off for me...but I got a nice surprise the morning after I finished the entire refresh.


This picture gives you an idea of my meals for the day. Very simple, planned out, & measured out; the program gives you exactly what to eat and when. 

Here is the rundown: 
*Glass of water, first thing upon waking.
*Breakfast was Shakeology. Fruit option. Green tea was optional after breakfast.
*Fiber Refresh Shake. 
*Lunch was the Vanilla Fresh shake. A fruit. A veggie. A healthy fat option.
*Afternoon snack varied between a veggie & healthy fat or fruit.
*Another tea was optional before dinner time.
*For dinner, option of nine yummy recipes.

Although I did just share a lot of the details about the Refresh, the food options and amount of food is crucial; this is all given to you with the program. The Refresh kit also includes the Vanilla Fresh shakes & Fiber Sweep shakes that you'll need for the full three days; your Shakeology is optional, in case you already enjoy it! 


I was pretty excited that have that last Fiber Sweep down the hatch! 
And that leads me to the nitty gritty details.

*For me, Day One and Day Three went best, and were relatively easy for me. There were times when I was hungry, but never starving, and I mean that! When I was getting a little hungry, it was time to eat again, or I had some ice water and was fine. 
*The Fiber Sweep: this thing already has a reputation, lol! It has a light, lemon taste and is easy to drink. However, drink it quickly; you do not have to chug it, but do not let it sit. I made this mistake on Day Two and the consistency changes quickly.
*I did workout twice, Day One-30 minutes of PiYo & Day Three-taught my Insanity class. I felt fine during both workouts. Teaching Insanity while on the Refresh did wear me out slightly, but I could feel a difference in my weight when I was doing tuck jumps!
*The food options were awesome; I was surprised by the options and portions I was able to eat. I am lucky and love my fruits & veggies -- but the program is full of yummy choices. 
*Water, drink it up!! I made sure to be on point with my water intake during the Refresh and I know it helped with keeping me hydrated and helped the Refresh do it's job.
*The Vanilla Fresh shake was really good too! It is similar to Vanilla Shakeology, but with a lighter taste. Beachbody made sure to pack this shake full of protein since you are not getting as much protein from the foods you are eating during the Refresh. 

Now for the results! Since numbers don't lie... 
(I did all of my weigh ins & measurements upon waking)


Overall, I dropped 6.2 lbs, 4 inches just in my waist, and a total of 7.5 inches!

You can get the basic program here: 3-Day Refresh Complete Kit
In case you already have Shakeology: 3-Day Refresh Kit
...and the best deal...
This guy is on sale this month, 3-Day Refresh plus one month of Shakeology
*The price of the combo pack is just $10 more than one month of Shakeology, quite the deal! And this way, you will have extra Shakeology to enjoy and reap the benefits!

And in case that wasn't enough awesome-ness for you, 
here is my before & after: 


I CANNOT believe what three days did for me!
The 3-Day Refresh gave me back my waistline, put my sugar cravings back in check, and put confidence back into my step! 

I am beyond grateful I did this! This past Sunday, I woke up and felt uncomfortable in my own skin. It was devastating to me & I was disappointed that I let myself get to that point. Here I am, an Insanity Instructor, I have others relying on me to help them get their butt in shape, and I was blowing up like a mini hot air balloon. 

I am also so grateful for Beachbody. Yes, corny, I know.  But there's emotion behind that statement. Beachbody helped me save me. At this point in my life, I am the healthiest, have the most passion for what I do, have the most amazing friends a girl could ever ask for, and have a future that is bright -- I can't wait to get there!

Questions about the 3-Day Refresh, comment or email me at: BeachbodyCaitlyn@gmail.com