Feb 25, 2015

BattleFrog: a Giveaway!

I'm hooked.
...and knew this would happen!
I completed my first OCR and cannot wait for my next one! 

 
I first heard about BattleFrog from an OCR-Crazy friend when he competed in the Miami race. He had a blast; at that time I was still a #SpartanRaceVirgin and was jealous! Like most OCR courses, BattleFrog is similar but has a twist, the courses and obstacles are created by Navy SEALS, I'm excited to try out this race series! 


For all my local peeps, in just a few weeks, the Central Florida BattleFrog OCR happening March 14th & 15th!
There are five different courses happening that weekend: 
= BattleFrog 15K, with 25+ obstacles =
= BattleFrog 5K with 15+ obstacles =
= BullFrog 5K with 15 obstacles =
= BullFrog Mile and the TadPole Dash for the little peeps! =

If you want to push your limits, you can register solo or even race as a team. 
But act quick! Registration fees do increase on 2/28/15! And you can use the discount code LiveSweatSleep to save 15% on your registration! (this code is only good for the Orlando event and general waves). 

Feeling lucky? Enter to win an entry below:

BattleFrog OCR Entry^

And there's even more chances for you to win an entry: 
This Crazy Life of Mine 
Tampa Mom Runs
 
You can visit BattleFrogSeries.com for more info on their races and upcoming events!


Feb 12, 2015

5K Zombie Run:::Giveaway!!

After running oodles of miles for training, half marathons, & marathons....
....you learn to love the fun runs. 
[ just my opinion ]

On a whim, I ran the inaugural race of the 5K Zombie Run in 2012.
And that's Ray! 
[side note]
Ray and I went to college together at UT and had quite a few of the same classes -- we even did a big project together. Fast forward a couple years later, I start my running adventures, randomly see on Facebook that Ray has done the same thing! We link back up and are now both ambassadors for Fit2Run


I really enjoyed this race and was surprised to find out post-race that it was their first year! Just enough obstacles, perfect weather, fun medal, and scary zombies! Pretty much a perfect combo for a Zombie Run!

Now....fast forward to this past weekend! I need a time machine! 
As an ambassador for Best Damn Race (did you race it this past weekend in Safety Harbor??), I was at the expo last Friday being Ms. BDR and met one of the minds behind the 5K Zombie Run! We  chatted and he let me in on some awesome things coming for 2015!!


Since I had such a fun time, you should get in on it too!!
You can register HERE.
And use code: 5LSSR to save! 

date: Saturday, February 28, 2015
time: starts at 9AM (multiple waves)
who: runner, zombie, anyone! (must be at least 11 yo) 

Register below for a chance to win an entry! 



Feb 11, 2015

#SpartanRaceVirgin 2.0 (and links to win an entry!)

T-minus...


Well that came quick! 
I cannot believe that I am already three days shy of competing in my first Spartan Race.

I did just decide to keep #SpartanRaceVirgin going -- even though I will no longer be one after 2PM on Saturday...
But I will still be one for the Super and Beast races -- and those are happening in 2015 too? 
Did I mention that??

I needed a new challenge. And found it -- quickly.
Knowing myself, I found a new addiction too...

Don't get me wrong, I still love running. Just needed to spice things up and found a new love for lifting heavy things. I love having arm definition and sculpted shoulders (which I missed from my drum major days) and this mixes both!

Planning does need to happen -- Super and Beast will require more training!!

I'm still kicking my butt with help of OrangeTheory.
It pushes me outside of my box and is helping me keep my endurance for teaching Insanity, PiYo and training for #SpartanRace. 

Killer shoulder day at OT
Of course I had to prep with some Spartan colors...

And since all my closet had were running sneaks and cross trainers, I invested. 
These beauties are specifically designed for OCRaces. I wore them a couple times to OT to break them in, so far so good! 



And, a few of my fellow blogger buddies are running giveaways right now to run your own #SpartanRace, go get yourself entered! 

Any last minute tips for me?


Feb 9, 2015

Ulele: a review.

One word.
Amazing.
------------------------------------------------------
Ulele, a new restaurant with an old, Native American history. 
Tucked away in Tampa Heights along side the Hillsborough River. 
It is definitely one-of-a-kind. 


The newest restaurant to join The Columbia Restaurant Group -- their name was derived from their physical location. The Ulele Spring is right on premises, and was the one of the inspirations behind the story of Ulele. They reached into the past and have created a menu with Native American flair, along with using all fresh food in their prime season, just as the Native Americans did when they did when they shared our Floridan land. 


As I mentioned, their location is tucked away in Tampa Heights, right next to the river. Multiple buildings make up Ulele, one of the main ones, was built in 1902, was originally a water works factory for the city of Tampa, providing for our city until the 1920s. 

Inside Ulele, you will find everything Tampa.
...this [might] have been my favorite part. 
Sports memorabilia from all of our home teams -- and the teams that utitlize the ideal, Florida weather for training seasons. Ulele also took one extra, personal step and worked with local artists for all of the remainder artwork in the restaurant. It is a sight to see -- the layout includes two floors, the upper overlooking the kitchen at an angle -- it allows for an intimate experience for date night and accompanies large groups as well.


Now onto the good stuff! 
Honestly, my words will do little justice for describing their intricate menu. So many flavors, paired perfectly. Home grown, and prepared to perfection. 
...I'll share my favorites...

Honeymoon Beer, made with Plant City strawberries
Bob Buckhorn Black Lager [thee best]

Above is my own creation.
As an appetizer, they offered their Award-Winning Florida Native Chili and Mac and Cheese. I had the genius idea of mixing them together. The bite from the chili mixed with the creamy cheese was a little slice of heaven. 

Another amazing appetizer: Squash Gratin
...squash, red onion topped with parmesan...

Some back story -- with food, I have always had an issue with texture, I'm just quirky.  As you can imagine, oysters fall into the category of "I can't even." 
That night , I decided to give their raw oysters a shot... 
They tasted amazing, that texture though...lol. 
We were also able to taste the Charbroiled Oysters and I could have eaten the entire plate, such a delicacy. 

One attribute the I loved about Ulele were their selection of meat.
Ulele knows how to prepare and serve their beef. 
----------------------------------------------------------------
The burger, my favorite. 
Topped with fire-roasted red peppers and portobello mushrooms. 
The Filet Mignon (pictured above) melted in your mouth and was accompanied with the best mashed potatoes.
[yes, that's popcorn. Such an awesome combo!]
And the Kilo Porterhouse was the Hulk of all steaks. 2.2 lbs of mouth-watering goodness. 
Yes, lately I have taken a more intense liking of meat. 
--------------------------------------------------------------
Saving the best for last...the desserts! 

This beauty came out first.
And I'm not kidding when I grabbed the display one for pictures and had a few bites -- and I didn't even get in trouble for it! ;)
*Fried ice cream is my--favorite--thing--ever.
So, let's use your imagination, a delicate, chilled, mound of puckering vanilla ice cream rolled in cinnamon crispiness. Drizzeled in a carmel glaze and topped with a candied piece of duck bacon and sweet potato waffle cookie.
[I'll let you sit and resonate on that...]

By far, the best dessert I have ever had. 
The mix of sweet & salty.
Bacon.
Just sweet enough.
Bacon. Mixed in the ice cream.
You can't go wrong with bacon. 

That evening, I thought that had concluded our night, but Ulele pulled out all the stops for us. 

They also have a selection of gluten free ice cream! 
Pretty much music to my taste buds.
Toasted Coconut (my fave)
Vanilla Bean
Chocolate
Plant City Strawberry
Espresso

I absolutely loved Ulele and the opportunity to try so many of their tasty options.
There really is something for everyone...
-the meat lover-
-the veggie lover-
-the bacon lover-
-the ice cream lover-
-the veggie lovers-
-and gluten free!

One thing that really stood out to me during my visit was how the restaurant was run. Just another attribute that contributed to Open Table making it "One of the Top 100 Restaurants in the U.S."
Once I noticed a few things, I really started watching. Ulele is run like a normal business -- and I loved it. I honestly feel that this is why they have been thriving at full speed since opening their doors just five months ago. Every staff member has their strength and mission; and they perform it to perfection. Their management, owners, & partners are stellar (and that doesn't even give them enough credit). 

As an entrepreneur and having the 'business' mindset from studying it during college, I love seeing a well-oiled machine at work. This is exactly what I saw at Ulele. 
...I know, not your typical topic to touch on for this post, but it speaks volumes for them! 

I am surprising my parents with a trip here soon, and I am excited for them to experience Ulele. 
The history. The food. The brewery. 
That fried ice cream.



*As a member of the Tampa Bay Bloggers, I did receive the opportunity to attend a tasting at Ulele in exchange for my review and social media love. All opinions are my own. 

Feb 1, 2015

#SpartanRaceVirgin 1.0

If you follow me on my social media venues, you have probably seen that hashtag. I am already just two weeks short of my first Spartan Race. Starting with the Sprint distance in Tampa, I have 3+ miles and 15+ obstacles ahead of me. 

My Training
Simply put, I put away my Beachbody workouts for now and am doing OrangeTheory. Do not get me wrong, I still love me some Beachbody. I am still an active coach and teaching Insanity and PiYo weekly. However, because of being a fitness instructor, I lost that motivation to push myself once I got home; I was fully capable of pushing my awesome peeps taking my class, but could not push my lazy ass at home. My friend Jason, who also introduced me to Spartan Race, is an OrangeTheory coach — I tried one class and was hooked. OrangeTheory is kinda like Insanity, but with equipment. I feel it is similar to Insanity because it does push you to those limits, and the amount of time you’re kicking butt is about the same. OT combines running on a treadmill, interval training, rowing, TRX bands, free weights & the occasional Bosu ball into an hour long, kick butt workout all while monitoring your heart rate. For now, I’m hooked; it has helped me push past a plateau and makes working out fun again.

Am I ready for Spartan Sprint? Yes & No.

I know there are obstacles I will fail in — good thing I have burpees down! 


I have done a few Spartan-ish things to prepare myself.
Climbing stairs with a sandbag.
Extra burpees.
Outside workout with Jason & crew that really did push me outside of my limits. And included 50 pound sandbags.


AROO! 15 days to go!

There is a very good chance that you have already heard of Spartan Race — and maybe already competed in one! Obviously, I’m excited to join that elite team of Spartan Race Finishers.
__________________________________________________

Here is what they’re up to lately:

Upcoming Races
Don't forget to use the code SPARTANBLOGGER to save! 



Atlanta, March 7-8, 2015: register HERE



Charlotte, April 11, 2015: Register HERE




Vegas, April 18, 2015: Register HERE

__________________________________________________



2015 Spartan Season Pass
There are a few peeps I follow on Twitter & Instagram that I am sure would benefit from the Season Pass. Here is the DL:
= valid for any heat in ALL Sprint, Super or Beast events that occur within a year of purchase =
= wanna take an extra lap after your original race? get that discounted… =
= free bag check. free is cool. =
= you receive Spartan Membership benefits which include travel discount, restaurants deals & more =
= visit HERE for more details and the teeny tiny print =
__________________________________________________


2015 World Championship Spartan Race
I wanna go!!
= October 3 & 4, 2015 =
= Lake Tahoe, California (Hey!! I’m in that state right now!) =
= held at Squaw Valley — the same location that hosted the 1960 Winter Olympic Games =
= this Championship will have the largest prize money pot in Spartan Race history =
= pre-register HERE =
__________________________________________________


Spartan UP! Podcast with Joe De Sena
= it’s already begun, you’re behind! 14 episodes are already available =
= subscribe on iTunes =

__________________________________________________



Spartan Race Cruise 
= March 6-9, 2015 =
= 3 day cruise to the a private island in the Bahamas =
= join for the inaugural event of the Sprint distance with a big prize pool =
= multiple other Spartan activies on & off the boat
= registration is still open =
= kids cruise for free! =
= more info HERE =
__________________________________________________

Now back to me ;)
My BIG goal for 2015 is to complete the TRIFECTA — racing three Spartan races, a Spring, Super & Beast within a calendar year. I am already signed up for the Carolina Beast and am toying with the idea of heading to Boston for their Super. Wanna join me??

Have you ever run a Spartan Race? Is it on your bucket list too?

And a giveaway is coming soon! 

Jan 16, 2015

Race. SeaWheeze Half Marathon.

The 2015 SeaWheeze Half Marathon sold out in under 15 minutes.
No joke.

Somehow, Meghan and I still got in -- and Disney running friends of mine in California! Needless to say I'm super excited for this race in a short eight months!

Yes, it is already 2015 and half way through January. 
Anyone else find that crazy?
2014 flew by. And I know I am not the only one that feels that way.

Back to the most amazing race.
[the Berlin Marathon still has my heart]

Vancouver is pretty any time of day.
Up early to start our little jog.

The day before, Meghan and I {patiently} waited to visit the expo.
[If you do run this race in the future, get there early; the lines starts early and the beautiful swag and gear sell out crazy fast.]
I was lucky and was able to get a few items that I wanted and did not spend a fortune. Goal accomplished. See my new, cute stripes top in the pic above??

Back to race morning --- if you did not have on an item of lululemon, you stood out. The start line was {screaming} with lulu gear -- it was beautiful array of their colors, styles, and the curves of how ahh-mazing their clothes hug.
yes...I'm in love with it, can you tell?


The above picture is the start; lululemon is not scared to think outside of the box -- and this is one of the many reasons I love the company.
The arches are a prime example. I did not know this at the time, but they resemble the medal! Not circular, not square, but a hexagon!


Running this little portion downtown Vancouver gave me the feeling of Chicago.


Let's get one thing straight.
This course was absolutely b-e-a-utiful, but NOT flat.
These little Florida legs did not know what hit them.
Bridges, overpasses, hills, downhills, miniture mountains...


But...with every turn, was something pretty to gaze out.


See over in the grass? They're doing advanced yoga poses, like it's nothing. ;)


The below picture was later on in the course; I loved how Vancouver had the big city and small town view & feel. I would totally move here. 


Did I mention that apart of your race registration you got a limited-edition pair of lululemon shorts? I decided not to keep mine because of sizing, but the pattern was kick a$$.


Shortly after taking the picture below, I saw two wild, baby otter playing on the rocks! They were super cute, I had never seen them in the wild before!


Meghan was a speedy whippet for this race, and always is! She finished with a reputable time. As for me, I decided to be a photographer, more so than a runner that day.

Scroll down a tad. See those lovely donuts?! They're important!! 
Those beauties were our reward for running 13.1.
Yes, I will shamelessly say that sometimes, I run for food! And I think Meghan will gladly agree with me. ;)
This lovely little donut shop was just down the street from our hotel. We passed it daily and both said that we would indulge after the race.
Cartems Donuterie is the name -- and if ever spot one, go enjoy one!!
See the one with the bacon in the bottom left corner? That one was mine... Canadian Whiskey Bacon. [I might have just been drooling over it on the website. Like seconds ago...]


Along with the limited-edition shorts, your registration also included one ticket to the Sunset Festival.
Meghan and I did not quite know what to expect, and were pleasantly surprised.
The evening of race day, we headed back to the Vancouver Convention Center, from here we were shuttled out to the Sunset Festival. [btw, the Convention Center was the central location for everything SeaWheeze. Packet pick up. The expo. The start. The beginning and end of the Sunset Festival. fyi for future racers]


The evening began with downward dogs, runner's lunges and savasanas. There were food & drinks tents to quench your pallet -- along with a tent full of FINISHER gear from the race, Meghan finally found some lulu gear :)


The night ended with an array of music from a few different bands. It was the perfect ending to the day.

I would highly recommend this race to anyone. It is relatively inexpensive for all that you get -- the race, medal, limited edition shorts, post race breakfast, and the Sunset Festival entry. Travel wasn't too bad, our hotel was decent -- and since I am returning for 2015, obviously I felt it was worth it. :)

To date, what is your favorite race?


Sarasota Half. BattleFrog. BDR.

We interrupt our scheduled 'catching up' for a couple updates...

I am throwing both of these updates into one post since they are both the same weekend! 

http://battlefrogseries.com

First up is the Central Florida BattleFrog OCR. It is happening on March 14th & 15th. Similar to most obstacle course races, this one has a twist, the courses and obstacles are created by Navy SEALS! 
There are four different courses happening that weekend: 
BattleFrog 15K:
BattleFrog 5K
BullFrog Mile: one mile with 10 obstacles
TadPole Dash: for the little peeps! 

In the next couple weeks I will have a discount code and giveaway! 
Keep an eye out for this post! ;)


Ahh-mazing medal from 2014...
Next up is the Sarasota Half Marathon! I am excited to run this half again this year. You can check out last years' recap HERE. The course is stunning and takes you all along the shores of Sarasota, it will be fun to return and run with fellow bloggers DeniseNanci & Jessica



If you want to join in on the fun and celebrate the 10th year anniversary of the Sarasota Half, you better hurry! There are only about 200 spots left to register for the half marathon! 
It is Sunday, March 15th, 2015 and starts at 7AM. If you do not live in Sarasota, I would suggest staying the night before, much easier! 
Check out their site for more info HERE


And don't forget that Best Damn Race is coming up in Safety Harbor and Orlando! There is still time to sign up, and use CAITLYN to save in registration. 


And that's all folks! 
My exciting Friday night is ending with some Spartan Race training and enjoying some Chipotle. Enjoy your weekend!