Touch a Truck in Tampa

September 23, 2016

Last weekend, Grant’s school held an event out at their North Tampa location for all the kiddos to enjoy – Touch A Truck! They brought in multiple different trucks, construction vehicles, motorcycles and the like for the kids to see, touch, and climb all over.¬†Grant is nothing short of obsessed with all of these things. Half the time when we go to an activity, the car ride is just as fun for him as we travel through construction zones, by fire stations, and other truck ridden locations.

The event was two hours long, so we showed up right at the half way point. Unfortunately, so did the rain! It actually worked out pretty well because a lot of people actually left because of the less than ideal weather. To a 2.5 year old, running around in the rain is nothing short of a party, so Grant was all about it!

Since we did show up a little bit late, the firetruck had already left (such a bummer), but the rest of the trucks were still around. There was a crane, a police car and motorcycle, and more! Grant’s first order of business was to go for a ride on one of the construction trucks. He was in absolute awe and loved being able to move the bucket up and down.

Touch a Truck Tampa_1

There were also a couple of other construction trucks for the kids to play on, but they didn’t actually move. He didn’t quiet understand why these didn’t move but the other one did – it really didn’t stop his enthusiasm though! He was so excited and hopped up on these multiple times.

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A super nice gentleman also brought his John Deere tractor for the kids to check out. Grant was pretty surprised to see how big the tire was. It was way bigger than him!

Touch a Truck Tampa_5

I’m fairly certain the Touch a Truck event is what dreams are made of for a one Grant Baum. Check out the t-shirt. Grant was so ready for this event! #supertrucker

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Touch a Truck Tampa_7

It’s just one of so many reasons little boys are so.much.fun! Thanks to the Tampa JCC for putting on such a fun event for the kids!

Up Next: The Urban Bourbon Half Marathon

September 21, 2016

Now that my mini training plan is complete for the Fit Foodie 15k that I ran last Saturday, I need something else on the horizon to keep my mileage up and going strong. Lucky for me, a race pretty much landed in my lap and it fits perfectly!

We are headed up to Louisville, KY at the end of October to see some family and experience a little bit of fall, which is something we just don’t get here. My uncle caught word of our visit and shot me an email mentioning a race that he and my cousin are running. Of course, knowing my love for all things running, he asked if I’d be interested. I quickly checked with Marcus and signed up! Looks like I’ll be running a half marathon a month from Saturday!

Urban Bourbon Logo

The Urban Bourbon Half Marathon starts in downtown Louisville and runs through the city to Cherokee Park and then back. One of my absolute favorite things to do whenever we visit is to run in the park, so I really lucked out! The race doesn’t start until 8:30 am, so I am so thrilled to have the boys come watch as well. I love seeing my family cheering from the sidelines and can’t wait to see their adorable, smiling faces!

urban_bourbon_course_

There is one caveat that does come with the course running through the park – hills!! This Florida girl is not used to hills, especially right now. I am no where near as strong as I need to be to run a strong race here, that’s for sure. I raced a similar loop back when I ran the Kentucky Derby Marathon a few years ago, but I was in great shape and trained really hard for that course. I ran lots of bridges (the equivalent to hills in Tampa) and was ready for the challenge. This time, not so much.

urban_bourbon_elevation

So, I am going in with a similar mindset that I did for the 15k this past weekend. I’m not going to push it or race it, but I do plan to go for some negative splits if I’m feeling good. The weather should be nice and cool, which will make a huge difference for me. It won’t be 90 degrees with 85% humidity come late October in Kentucky. Since I have a solid base of around 20 miles/week, I feel good about signing up to run 13.1 miles. I plan to tack a mile on to each weekend’s long run from now until the actual race, repeating a 12 mile long run 2 weekends in a row. This should leave me in a good spot to run the full half come race day!

Since I run on the treadmill a lot during the week during my lunch break at work, I am going to start to gradually raise the incline to get a little bit of resistance. Hopefully the hills of Kentucky won’t be such a shock to the system ūüėČ

Have you ever traveled and had a race fit perfectly in your schedule? Any readers running the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon as well?

The Fit Foodie Tampa 15k Recap

September 19, 2016

My first postpartum race – the Fit Foodie 15k – is in the books!

It all started Friday evening when I went and grabbed my packet from a local running running store, Fit 2 Run. Since I get off of work early on Fridays, I was there right at 4pm so I could beat the post work rush.

Fit Foodie Run Tampa packet pick up_1

I was in and out in no time at all with my bib and tshirt. Everything was sorted by last name, so it was very easy to just walk up and grab my bib. I also grabbed my friend’s bib, in case there is anyone wondering if they will let you do that! She just gave me a copy of her id and her race confirmation just in case I needed that to prove I was legit (which I didn’t even need!).

Fit Foodie Run Tampa packet pick up

Fit Foodie Run Tampa packet pick up_2

I got home, relaxed a bit and had a great dinner with the family. The alarm was set for bright and early the next morning!

I woke up at 5:15, pumped, drank some coffee, and was out the door by 5:45. It took me about 8 minutes to get in and get parked downtown – I love when races are close to home! I sat in the car for a few minutes to finish up my coffee and then headed down to where the action was! It was pretty quiet before the race – the lack of music to pump everyone up was definitely noticed. I’m wondering if there is some sort of rule as when they could start on the loud speakers because of residential housing close by. If there was, I completely understand that. If not, then next year they should definitely consider getting some music playing to get everyone excited!

Fit Foodie Race 15k Start Line

The start line was a small walk from where the packet pickup and post race festivities were being held, so I followed the signs that way. I was a little confused at first, but then realized the best way to find the start was to just follow everyone else! I made it over to the start and saw a friend (hey Krissy!) so we caught up for a couple of minutes before the national anthem was sung.

Fit Foodie Race 15k Start

The start was very roomy! I was actually surprised how small the race actually was. There were probably just a few hundred people who did the 15k. My guess is given it is a longer race in September – in Florida – people may have been a little hesitant to race. I found it to be perfect timing for everyone doing fall marathon. It’s a great check on fitness to test all of the crazy summer training! That is just what my friend Meg did. She ran 9 miles before the race, met up with me at the start, and then ran the 15k with me. She ended up with 18.5 miles for the day, which fit perfectly in line with her training plan for NYC.

Anyhow, the gun went off and we all started off on our way to Bayshore Boulevard! It was an out and back course, like most every race in Tampa that wants to use the great accessibility and water front views. Since it was a smaller race, there was no bottle necking or needing to weave in and out, which was so nice! Meg and I just got in our groove and ran while we chatted, catching up on anything and everything!

Before the race, I grabbed a water bottle to drink while we waited for it to start. I am so, so glad I did. The only issue I really had with this race was the lack of support on the course. There was not nearly enough water or volunteers to give it out. I think for future races, they need to provide a water station every 1 to 1.5 miles. September in Florida is just so hot and humid, we needed the extra hydration, without a doubt. If I was truly racing, this oversight would have really hurt me. Since it was definitely a training run type of pace, I didn’t mind stopping to walk and drink a whole cup, or two at the water stops they did have.

My favorite part of any run or race on Bayshore is getting to the half way point, and then turning around to see the Tampa skyline far in the distance. It was a gorgeous morning to be outside!

Fit Foodie Tampa 15k race turn around

Meg and I just kept our easy pace the whole way back as well, checking off each mile and celebrating when she got to mile 17 of her long run, which was around 8 miles into the course. It was the longest she had ran in a couple of years and was definitely something to be proud of! We crept up on downtown, and then headed for the finish! We crossed right around the 90 minute mark. I think this was the first time I actually didn’t look at my watch when crossing a finish line, so I can’t be positive of my true finishing time. The results aren’t up yet, but as soon as they are, I’ll be sure to update with my time!

Fit Foodie Tampa 15k

The finish line was right in front of Amalie Arena and was pretty easy to spot from a distance. We made it through with no problem, took a minute to get in a couple of stretches, and then headed for the post race party. You actually had to walk away from the finish to the post race party to get your medal, which was a little bit on the strange side. I can see this being a little bit confusing, so I would maybe change it up a bit for future races. Medals right after the finish is the way to go!

Fit Foodie Tampa 15k finish line medal

We met up with a few friends, and grabbed a few snacks at the post race party. This was the Fit Foodie Race after all!Fit Foodie Race food_1

There were some incredible snacks and samplers for all of us to try – it was definitely not your normal post race bananas and granola bars!

Fit Foodie Race food_2

I am definitely looking forward to running this race again and hope the folks in charge will make a few small tweaks, especially adding more water stops and volunteers to the course.  Overall, it was a really great race and a nice addition to the Tampa race scene.

A huge congrats to Meg for such a killer training run! Can’t wait to see you crush NYC!!

A big thank you to the Fit Foodie Run for giving me an entry in exchange for my honest feedback on the race weekend! I really appreciate the opportunity to run with you all!

 

Zucchini Pasta Bake

September 14, 2016

We make all sorts of meals at our house on a regular basis – lots of Mexican food, a few Asian dishes, and others in between. One we tend to shy away from is Italian – until now! ¬†Our biggest knock on Italian food is its usually pretty heavy with lots of empty carbs and that just doesn’t really do it for us. I gave some zoodle pasta bake a go and its become a staple meal in our house for about the past month. Its low in carbs but super high in flavor and taste!

zucchini-noodle-pasta-bake

Here is what you will need:

1 jar of spaghetti sauce

3 zucchini, spiraled

1 pound of ground meat (beef, pork, or chicken)

1 Tbsp EVOO

2 cups of shredded cheese, divided

2 Tbsp chopped, fresh basil

1/2 red onion, diced

1/2 red pepper, diced

1/2 yellow pepper, diced

3 handfuls of spinach

1 cup of diced asparagus

Preheat the oven to 350. Take your spiralizer and spiral your zucchini. Set it aside in a colander to help some of the water drain out. Press it firmly with paper towels to help jump start the process.

While your zucchini sits, add the olive oil to the pan, then add the onion, & peppers.

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Saute them for a few minutes, then add the asparagus and ground meat. Once the meat is cooked through, add the spinach until it cooks down. Then, add the zucchini and basil. Let it cook down for 5-7  minutes, and then drain the water from the pan. Add the spaghetti sauce and 1 cup of cheese. Mix together and put in a baking dish. Make sure to spray your dish with non-stick spray :)

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Once in the dish, top with the remaining cup of cheese. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is melted thoroughly on top.

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Spoon into your favorite bowl and serve!

My favorite thing about this dish is you can add any veggies you want to. I hadn’t planned to add the asparagus or the spinach, but I needed to use them before they went bad. I threw them in the pan and it turned out really well. Feel free to add any veggies you might like – mushrooms, broccoli, etc. I don’t think you can go wrong here!

Do you like to use zucchini noodles over regular pasta?

 

Fit Foodie Race Week!

September 12, 2016

Guess what….. It’s race week!!

race-week

I haven’t ran a race since the Best Damn Race Safety Harbor 10k back in February, and that was while I was pregnant. I was quite cognizant of my heart rate and effort at the race, so I am excited to just get out and run this coming Saturday at the Fit Foodie 15k!

I’ve had some really great long runs lately, getting in all of the mileage I set out to do. This past Saturday, I was up and out the door by 5:20am and had one of my most enjoyable runs in quite sometime. It was so so quiet out and I finished before the sun even came up, so the temps were not as bad as they could have been. Don’t get me wrong, it was still crazy hot and humid out there, but the lack of sun makes such a big difference around here.

8 miles done

I only ended up skipping one of my long runs due to some childcare hiccups, and replaced that run with a 5.5 mile double stroller run. So I can’t really even consider that a skipped long run – more so different perceived effort. Double stroller running = hard. So hard!

Although this is a race, I am surely not racing it. I am in no kind of shape to push myself like that. I know I’m in shape to complete the race, not “see what my legs can do” in a 15k. I do however, want to enjoy the race, so I do plan to cut back just a tad this week so my legs are feeling good and not sluggish. Here is my plan for the week:

Monday: 5 miles

Tuesday: HIIT workout

Wednesday: 4 miles

Thursday: 3 miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: 15k race!

So really, I am just cutting out one HIIT workout and cutting my Wednesday and Thursday runs back just a little bit. Nothing crazy, but enough to make it so I am not walking up to the start line with tired and sore legs.

My plan for the race is pretty darn simple. Line up with those runners looking to run a 9-9:30 minute mile and pretty much stay there. I tend to always get to the front at the start, but I am going to stay far away from my normal tactics! I don’t want to go out too fast and end up completely dying 5-6 miles in. That will definitely happen if I’m not careful!

I plan to run – but not too fast – and have fun! Pretty simple :)