The Florida Halloween Halfathon 2014

Homegrown, local races are the absolute best! There is a race series here in Tampa Bay called the Florida Gulf Beaches Road Races. They hold 4 race weekends a year, ranging from 5k’s all the way up to 50k’s. I have been able to participate in their races for the past couple of years. Last year, I ran in the 5k when I was 23 weeks pregnant. Needless to say, that race was a wee bit different in exerted effort. This past weekend, I participated in the Florida Halloween Halfathon as my first race since Grant was born. It was fantastic!

Florida Halloween Halfathon

I woke up nice and early and made the 35 minute drive to Fort Desoto where the race was being held. Its always good to get there a bit early because it is on an island – one way on and one way off. The traffic can be a bit backed up getting to the parking lot, but once you are there, parking is a cinch!

Since the race is in a state park, there are no porto potties – just regular bathrooms that surround the parking lot. That is a big win in my book! After using the facilities and getting in a mile and a half warm up, I got to the start just in time for the national anthem. As soon as the clock struck 7:05, we were off!

Florida Halloween Halfathon

The very beginning of the course takes the runner around a nice picnic area, which winds around a few parking lot back in the trees. I feel like the first 3 miles always fly by, which is wonderful! After getting out of the first 5k or so, the course is a straight out and back on the island. This never bothers me, because it is very calculated and you know exactly what you have coming up. I know some people don’t like this type of course, but it definitely is great for me! The only bad part is it it’s a windy day. Luckily, we didn’t have this issue this past weekend.

I started out with a pretty quick pace, settling in around the 7:50 mark. Since it has been a long time since I ran that pace (I’ve been doing no speed work!) I decided to just go with how I felt. If I completely bonked further into the race – oh well. I would learn my lesson. I kept looking ahead and different female runners, seeing who I could pick off in the pack. After getting to about mile 5, I wasn’t passed by a single female runner. I pretty much made it a game – who can I pass from now until the end?! The course is lined with seat oats and is right on the water. There are so many great views to take in, especially with the sunrise!

Florida Halloween Halfathon

I settled into my pace a bit more, and ended up at a pretty comfortable 7:30 for a majority of the race. I was able to pass a few more women, so I could add a few check marks to my game. With an out and back course, keeping your mind off of the monotony is key – little games like this works perfect for me.

Before I knew it, I was back to the fort area, where 700 boyscouts happened to be camping out for the night. Their cheers and support was really great. It is usually a very desolate course when it comes to spectators, so seeing all of the boys out there supporting us was great. A lot of them had never seen a road race, so I think a lot of them enjoyed it to.The fort is about a 5k away from the finish, so with only 3 miles to go, I tried to pick it up a bit more. It only lasted for about a mile though, and I slowed down just a bit from miles 11-12. As soon as I got to mile 12 with only 1 mile to go, I dug really deep and pretty much told myself to suck it up. I wasn’t blowing a great race on the last mile.

Florida Halloween Halfathon

I ended up finishing in 1:40:03 per my chip time, which earned me 3rd place in my age group and the 12 female overall, holding a 7:39 average pace. I’m still trying to figure out why the results list the gun time as the result, instead of the chip time, which is listed on another results page. Oh well, no big deal there!

Florida Halfathon Chip Time Results

Regardless, I felt extremely happy with the race and my time. It definitely wasn’t a PR, but for my first race after having Grant, I thought I killed it.

Race Results Halloween Halfathon

With the absence of speedwork in my training plan, holding a 7:40 pace for 13 miles is a big win in my book. Oh, and this great medal doesn’t hurt either!

Florida Halloween Halfathon Medal

This race always has the best medals! Grant thinks so too!

Florida Halfathon Medal Grant

I’ll be running in their spring race, held in March, which is the race I PR’d in last year. Hope to see some of you out there too!

Grant: 8 Months

Grant man, it’s month 8 and I have one thing to say – you have one heck of a personality! The amount of time each day you spend laughing, giggling and smiling is truly remarkable. You have found some octaves I didn’t even know existed, and you love seeing which new ones you can discover. Listening to you sit and chat to yourself is one of my favorite things to do. You sure do have a lot to say.

Grant 8 Months

Any time you hear Winnie coming around the corner, your eyes immediately scan for her wagging tail, looking for you just as much as you are looking for her. You two are fast friends, and I can only imagine it will get stronger over the coming months and years.

You went on your 3rd plane trip this past month when we went and visited Auntie Em in Cleveland. As always, you made friends with the person sitting next to us and had so much fun. You were mesmerized as the plane approached landing and couldn’t keep your eyes off the window.

plane ride Grant Cleveland

We bundled you up like pros when we were in Ohio. It was pretty cold there, so you were always in a hat and a jacket, which wasn’t your favorite at first. Luckily, you got used to it pretty fast. I think you must have liked being cozy in those cool temperatures!

Grant Cleveland hat & jacket

This past month, you got your first tooth! I try and get a peek of it every once in a while, but you won’t let me! You press those little lips together and won’t let us mess with you at all. You really only had one fussy day when it was coming in. I hope the rest of your teeth have the same effect! Pretty much as soon as you got that first tooth, you became a lot more interested in food. You still love your hummus, and have become more interested in sweet potatoes & squash.

Grant 8 Months

You hair is getting so much longer these days. It is starting to come over the side of your ears and couldn’t be much cuter! You are also in 9 month clothes very comfortably. We are only buying you 12 month clothes and bigger from here on out, because we know you are going to be in them in no time!

Grant 8 Months

We also took you to the pumpkin patch this past month. You loved being outside checking out all of the pumpkins and people walking by. The hay was pretty interesting to you since you had never felt anything quite like it before.

Grant pumpkin patch

There is nothing more fun to you than sitting up and looking around at everything. You are getting stronger by the day and want to pull up on everything so bad. Your determination is very evident in everything you do. I hope you keep that up throughout your life because right now you are unstoppable.

Grant 8 Months

This was such a great month for you baby boy, and the next few will be just as great I’m sure. Celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas with you will be quite the treat! Love you more than words, Grant. You are truly a blessing in my life each and every day.

Superhero Hustle Workout

Happy Wednesday everyone. I feel like this week is definitely flying by, which seems to be the theme for October. Since we are already half way through the week, let’s get in a body week workout to really push us forward! Check out this SuperHero Hustle Workout! It is all body weight exercises so you can do it in your living room, your driveway, or anywhere you have a pair of sneakers!

Body weight workout


Here is a quick rundown of a few of the exercise you may not be familiar with. Take a peek at the videos below:

Jumping Squats

Mountain Climbers

Starfish Jumps


Let me know if you have any questions!

Our Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

This past weekend was one we have been waiting all summer for. We had amazing weather and spent a good portion of the weekend outside. First up, my long run! I approach every run the same way – as long as I get in the distance, I don’t care how fast or slow I go. On Saturday, I felt like going fast. The weather was perfect and my legs were feeling it. I started out in the 8:50/mile range or so, and towards the end, I looked down to see some 8:10 splits on my watch. I’ll take it!


I am pretty sure fall is Grant’s favorite season – not that he has much to compare it to so far ;) The little guy just loves watching leaves blow back and forth on the patio. I think he had a goal of touching every single one. He was quite determined!

Grant leaves

It looks like Winnie has finally chosen her Halloween costume. After much debate, it looks like she is switching sides – meow!

Winnie cat

Ha, just kidding. We visited the pumpkin patch down the street over the weekend, and found this little cut out. Winnie was too funny. Speaking of pumpkin patch, we were able to get some amazing pictures of Grant Sunday morning. Marcus was on camera duty while I was making every noise imaginable to get the little guy’s attention. I think we were both successful!

Grant pumpkin patch

Grant pumpkin patch

Grant pumpkin patch

How was your fall weekend? Do anything festive?

Grant: 6 Month Photo Shoot

One of my biggest pieces of advice with pictures for your little one is to buy a package for the different milestones during the first year. You save a lot of money and it is one less thing you have to worry about when adjusting to being a parent for the first (second or third!) time. We had our 6 month photo session a few weeks ago when Grant was about 6.5 months old and recently received the pictures back. We really enjoy our photographer, Nicole Gellar. The newborn photos she took were amazing and these are nothing less than amazing as well. Be sure to check her out if you are in the Tampa area and looking for an experiences children and dog photographer!

Baum 6mths Grant-12 5x7 L

Baum 6mths Grant-89 5x7 L

Baum 6mths Grant-21 8x10 L

Baum 6mths Grant-33 5x7 L

Baum 6mths Grant-71 5x7 L

Baum 6mths Grant-47 5x7 L