Vacation Days

Thanks so much for the birthday wishes on Wednesday! It was an awesome day, and I am glad I was able to share some of it with all of you!

The only good part about not taking a long vacation this past year is that I have a few vacation days to use before the end of the year. At my job, we have to use it, or lose it – so today I am lucky enough to have the day off! Woo hoo!! I got up and got in a nice run this morning – a few miles with the pup, and then a few more miles with this guy…

Rather than being lazy on days off, I would much rather get up and get the day going. Luckily, I am able to get Marcus up to come along with me too. I love that we can run together and chit chat along the way. We both are running a holiday 5k tomorrow night, so we were sure to take our run this morning nice and easy! I see some reindeer antlers and holiday fun in our future! Marcus is also throwing a little birthday party for me tonight with some of our closest friends. We are having a hot chocolate themed party –  I can’t wait to show you how it turns out!

Edison Food and Drink Lab

Restaurant reviews are not something that I regularly do here, but my birthday dinner is something that I have to talk about. We went to a relatively new restaurant in Tampa, and it was fantastic! Marcus made dinner reservations for us at Edison Food + Drink Lab a few weeks ago, as we have been wanting to try it for a while.

It has a bit of an industrial feel to the restaurant. It is nice inside, but not fancy – my perfect kind of place. I have no problem paying good money for food, but I honestly do not like to feel pressured to dress up. This is the kind of place that you can go either way. Their menu is divided into tapas, hot apps, cold apps, salads & soups, and then the entrees. It is actually a pretty extensive menu, with something on it for everyone.

For our appetizer, we ended up ordering the goat cheese balls. For some reason, I was expecting them to come out warm, but they were cold. It ended up being a nice surprise. They had a kind of fruit glaze underneath them, which complimented the cheese and filling very well. It was the perfect way to start the meal.

They have a pretty extensive beer and wine list, but don’t serve liquor (yet). Wine is served by the glass, the flask, and the bottle. We ended up getting a flask to split between the two of us, which yielded about 2.5-3 glasses. It was the perfect amount. I can’t remember the name, but we were recommended a red blend of some sort. It had a bite at the end, but went down smooth. I would get it again.

For dinner, I got the mint chile peanut crusted yellow fin tuna. It was unbelievable. There was just the right amount of chile flavor without being too spicy. The fried rice underneath the fish was a bit salty, but it ended up complimenting the tuna nicely. There was also a very good size portion of tuna. I was pretty stuffed by the end of the meal.

Marcus ordered the sea scallops and roasted bone marrow. It was a very different meal for sure, but he loved it. There was an actual half of a beef bone sitting on his plate, with the bone marrow seasoned and roasted. I couldn’t get myself to try it, but he raved about it.

If you are in the Tampa area and have something special to celebrate, be sure to check out Edison. It was one of the best meals I have had in a very long time! And it wasn’t just because I had some pretty amazing company either!

Disclaimer:Edison did not pay for our meals or ask me to review the restaurant. I had such a great experience there, and I want to share it with all of you!

Have you ever tried something out of the ordinary (bone marrow??!!) or do you tend to stick to more tried and true options? Anyone else have a holiday race on the schedule for this weekend

Wobbly Leg Workout

Today is the last triple digit date of the century! We (meaning none of us actually, just our kids or kid’s kids) will not see a triple digit date again until January 1, 2101. Pretty crazy, right!? So of course, let’s take advantage of today, shall we!?

Get In A Good Workout

I just so happen to have a killer leg workout for you today – it is Workout Wednesday after all. The best part about this workout – you can do it anywhere! Use weights if you want to or use only your body weight. It will be a tough workout either way, I promise!

Watch a Concert

At 7:30pm tonight, there is a Concert for Sandy Relief being held to benefit the Robin Hood Relief Fund. There are a ton of huge names that will be performing, including Paul McCartney, The Who, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, and many more. Be sure to check it out!

Give A Shout Out

So today is the lovely lady in pink’s birthday…

Yep, my  twin sister Emily turns 26 today. So yes, you caught that right – today is also my birthday. I get to celebrate on a fun day – 12.12.12!! Here is to tooting my own horn. Happy birthday to Emily & I ;)

What do you think of the workout? Going to give it a try? Have you ever done anything fun on a triple digit date? Fun Fact: The Chicago marathon was run on 10-10-10!

Wild Wonderland at Lowry Park Zoo

Back in August when I attended the Healthy Living Summit in Boston, there were a lot of great, informative sessions. One of the sessions that really came back with me was one based on getting the most out of where you live – connecting with other bloggers, exploring your city, and one very specific review site – Yelp.

Yelp is a user review and recommendation site of anything and everything -from restaurants and theme parks to dentist offices and auto repair shops. The biggest thing that I took away from Meghann’s presentation was that you wanted to become Elite – aka you reviewed enough places  and contributed enough on your profile to be invited to some amazing events. After HLS, I was sure to beef up my profile and get reviewing! Not too long after, I received my Elite invite, and have been loving the perks ever since!

I have been to a few events so far, and the last one was this past weekend - The Wild Wonderland at Lowry Park Zoo! Almost all of the Elite events are for the Yelper and a guest, so Marcus is lucky enough to be asked to most of the events! ;) We got to the zoo and met up with Meghann and her fiance Derek, and headed into the park. Yelp had a nice area with some appetizers and drinks, and was a great place to meet up with some other Elites and just hang out for a few. The Wild Wonderland was basically the zoo lit up with tons of lights, and then a nice wintry theme was mixed in. There was artificial snow, a reindeer exhibit, and of course Santa! We had a blast at the zoo – just see for yourself!

(last 2 pics from Meghann)

We got in our holiday decoration fix for sure! I loved all the lights, and I am sure all the kids that we there did too – the park was packed!!

What ways do you stay active in your local community? Do you have a Yelp account? Are you an Elite?! Are you interested in becoming one?

PR’s and Tangents

Since November 19th, I have run 3 different races – 2 half marathons and one 10k. I have had the pleasure of taking these race relatively easy and nowhere near the serious mindset like races in the past. However, other runners definitely have. After each of these races, I have overheard other finishers mention that the course was long since their GPS clearly stated that they actually ran the allotted distance before they actually crossed the finish line. Hmmm… interesting.

Course that are USATF certified are precisely measured to be exactly the distance that they say they are. So why do they show up on Garmin’s and other watches as long? Well, races are measured on tangents. Meaning, the shortest distance that it takes to get from point A to point B.

(Source) 

This is not new information. There have been plenty of other blog posts about it. I just thought it was very interesting the number of times that I had recently heard people actually refuting the fact that they had PR’d and that the course was wrong. All hail Mr. Garmin.

Multiple years ago, when none of us used GPS watches during races, we all just trusted that the race was right because the race officials said so. We would use our Timex Watches (at least that is what I use) and just time the distance, and report on it later. We crossed the finish line having ran 13.1 miles, not 13.3, or 13.41 – the solid half marathon. Now, with all the technology that we carry, our races are different.

When you look up your results and they say a different time than you have listed, do you put an asterisk, saying that you did in fact have a different time and that the official results are wrong? Or do you take them for what they are - the official results?

If I would have actually had a working GPS when I ran the Chicago Marathon, I am sure that it would have said that I ran more than 26.2 miles when I crossed the finish line. And if I would have stopped my watch when I completed that distance, it would have most likely been the difference between those 14 seconds that stood between me and a Boston Qualifying time. Boston doesn’t care what my watch says – they care what the official results say.

So really, my question is – are you a runner that goes by what your watch says, or by what the course states? Does having a GPS alter your view of the distance that you ran, and the time that you ran it in?

P.S – I’m not taking anything away from any of you that have run great races lately. I’m just starting a healthy discussion, not an argument. ;)

Runner’s Holiday Gift Guide 2012

Since Christmas is only a few weeks away, I think it is perfect timing to share with you a few things that I feel every runner needs!! Here is my 2012 Runner’s Holiday Gift Guide!

Bodyglide Original Anti-Chafe Balm (2.5-Ounce)

I don’t think I have ever ran a single race without the use aid of BodyGlide! No matter how many times you have worn a particular running outfit, there is always a time where it could lay on your body just a little bit different, and then really hurt in the chafing department.  Don’t race without it!

 The Stick

It took me far too long to actually buy a Stick. I had seen them at nearly every large race expo that I had been to for years and years, but always would walk buy them. The price point was too high for me to justify it. That was, until my husband and I finally splurged and bought one. I use this little gadget all the time – before races, after long runs, and even if I have been wearing heels a little too long and my calves tighten up. This is a great gift for a runner!

Foam Roller

These are the best for both pre and post run stretching. Foam rollers are the best to help keep IT band syndrome away, and to help your muscles release the lactic acid stored in your muscles after long and grueling runs!

 

Lululemon

A lululemon gift card is a great gift for an active person in your life! Yes, the items there are pricier than some other brands, but they are worth it! The quality and fit are truly unbeatable. I can’t speak for the men’s line, but the women’s clothes fit every curve to a T. I absolutely love the items that I have purchased from the store! And a gift card is a great way to help someone buy the perfect pair of yoga pants, or that top they have had their eye on for months!

Race Medal Hanger

So many runners just stick their race medals into a drawer after they race, and then never really enjoy them after that. Races are something to brag about, and the medals should be displayed! Allied Medal Displays have some really great ways to show off your accomplishments, and many are customizable.

Nathan Quickdraw Plus (22-Ounce)

I fought with myself for a long time about whether or not I wanted to get a carry along water bottle for my runs. However, after having one of the most brutal summer training cycles last summer for the Chicago Marathon, I had to get something to hydrate myself. I did a lot of research on waterbottles and worked on finding the perfect one for me. I highly recommend the Nathan Quickdraw! See all my thoughts here!

Race Tattoos

These are something that are so much fun to have on race day! Whether you stick one to your arm, on your calf, or share the pack with a group of friends, race tattoos give you that extra little bit of excitement as you pound the pavement!

Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS Watch

This is Garmin’s newest running watch, and it is definitely on my Christmas List! I have a Timex Watch that I have had for years and years (Marcus has one too), but I like to know by distance on long runs and workouts. This Garmin is a stripped down version of their other watches, so it calls out pace, distance, and time, but leaves the other information off. It is perfect for every runner!

Brooks Running Shoes

It is no secret that I love Brooks Running shoes! They have been my go – to neutral shoe for years, and carry every other kind of shoe you would need. Whether you are looking for a minimalist shoe or full stability, Brooks is your shoe!

ProCompression Socks

I have already mentioned how much I love these socks, so not much else needs to be said. Get them, and use the code from my review! It will save you 40%!

What are some gifts you know runners love? What is on your Christmas list this year?

Disclosure: A few of the above link are affiliate links. If you purchase an item, I get a small percentage of the purchase.