Vertical Challenge

5 Minutes…..

That was all I kept telling myself, only 5 minutes, you can do this!!

Ok, backing up here… I saw a post on Facebook from Phil over at Fleet Feet Davenport. It was the one year anniversary of the store opening, so he was hosting some events.

In a rare moment of time, Josh and I both didn’t have anything going on, when I saw the event for Friday night, I asked Josh if he would be interested.

What was that event? Well Altra Running was sponsoring the Vertical Challenge: How far could you go on a treadmill, set at 15%, in 5 minutes? (5 Minutes…)

We were both in! Josh didn’t seem too worried, but I was a little nervous. I wondered if I would blow out my calves or any of my leg muscles? As you know I have the Hawkeye 50k in a week, and the Illinois Marathon in 3 weeks.

I really have no experience at this. I mean I run around Iowa City, and if you run the right hills, you can climb some elevation, but nothing more than average of 100 feet over a quarter mile.

I also don’t regularly run on a treadmill, nor is it ever set at an incline over 1%. I did move a workout to a treadmill the night before, and cranked it up to 15 just to see what that was like… I quickly put it back down.

Friday night: We arrived at the store where the challengers had gathered. When you walked in you signed up for a time slot. In the back of the store was the fancy treadmill and the Altra Running shoes. We also saw runner friend Kevin, he was there for the fun.


Phil did a quick introduction and a rundown of how the challenge would work. He also said that the top male and top female would win $40 gift cards!!! This was actually doable for me, because there were only 2 women competing. (Hello, ladies?!??! Where you at? You need to show up!)

We sat around, browsed the store, tried on the Altra shoes, and watched the competitors who went before us. That incline really didn’t look too steep – as a spectator.


Then it was my turn… I got the feel of the treadmill, a short little warm up. Then it was go time.

Only 5 minutes….

I am pretty sure life comes to a stand still when on a treadmill. I have run up to 20 miles on one, but time just never moves.


Ugh – I was like ok, I can do this… and one minute went by, I was only running at like 3.8 mph…seriously, I think I walk that at no incline… Then the next minute took forever, I had to slow down. I think there was some walking. Then I bumped it back up.

Josh, Kevin and the competitors were cheering me on, it was cool. I was dying! Come on, only 5 minutes…. Josh even took to covering up the time. I think I might have cheated, I hung on to the handles.

FINALLY – 5 minutes was over! I had only went .31 miles. My lungs were on fire! My legs felt fine. I coughed.

Next up, Josh. He got the familiar with the treadmill and pushed start. I stood around coughing, feeling the burn in my lungs, but also cheered on Josh with everyone else. I could tell he was having trouble. I covered up the time for him, kept encouraging him.


He was done! He complained of the burn in his lungs too. However he as asthma, and didn’t have his inhaler. He was coughing too.


The challenge continued, there were some beasts on that treadmill!! Not sure if they were just showing off or they were just that awesome.


We talked to others, learning of their running stories (I met a guy, Chris, who will be at mile 18 of the Illinois Marathon,) and also telling us how they couldn’t stop coughing and how their lungs hurt.

There was cold beer and pizza when we were done…. you thought we just went to the running store for this…nah …. I run for beer!

I need to find this beer! 


It was time for the results. The first male ran just over .5 miles. DANG! The first female ran … drum roll please… .37 miles (or something like that.) Yep, I came in last…. oh wait, I came in second!!

What a fun time though! When I started running, a mile seemed impossible to run without stopping. However with each passing year, I try to keep pushing to see what I can do. There was the first half marathon, 50k, then I ran a marathon a month. While this wasn’t a huge goal. I just wanted to see if I could do this, and I could…..I was also one of only two women who showed up!

I woke up and ran 12 miles the next day. My legs don’t feel like toast. Did push hard enough? Oh my lingering cough, tells me I did.

Side note: The Barkley Marathons started this weekend, I have been following the only live coverage I know about via twitter. I came across the training schedule of John Kelly (who is performing well this year.) For his training, he ran 13.1 miles at 20% incline…

So yeah… it was JUST 5 minutes….

BB Performance

Beachbody Performance

“Disclaimer: I received the Beachbody Performance – Advance Performance Stack to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”


I know you have all been waiting for this review, some have even asked if I became a Beachbody Coach. While I do like some of the workout programs, I did not become a coach, I was just able to test this line of products because I am a Bibrave Pro.

What did I receive:

  • Beachbody Performance Energize, lemon flavor. A boost of energy with no jittery side effects, delays exercise-induced muscle fatigue. Uses green tea leaf extract as caffeine.
  • Beachbody Performance Recover, citrus flavor. Speed up muscle recovery with the “ideal combination of time-released proteins and phytonutrients to help facilitate muscle recovery and reduce muscle breakdown.” Contains why and pea protein isolate.


Now, the biggest thing when it comes to trying new things I have to consume is the taste. If it doesn’t taste good to me, I am not going to use it.

Also the next thing to keep in mind about these products that I have mentioned above, they are supplements. Please read the ingredient list on the links above before deciding if these are for you.

Last thing I would like to note, these products are NSF Certified for sport.

Alright – all the necessary notes out of the way, how did these work for me? I am a runner, I wish I would get my act together and lift more weights, but you know, I’d rather take the time to run 20 miles instead. However, that being said, runners still use muscles, they can be sore, fatigued and in need of a recharge.

I opened the package of goods,which included a shaker bottle, when I came home from work. Since it was night, I tried the Recharge first.

I opened the container, to find a white colored powder. There was a scoop inside too. The directions for serving are on the back of the container.

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I put one scoop of powder in my shaker bottle, then added the 8 ounces of water. I shook it up. and noticed it took a little effort. Pro tip (thanks Heather) add the water first, then the powder. It was time to take a taste, it reminded me of vanilla ice cream. I sat and wasted time on the internet while I drank it. The only thing I didn’t care for was the aftertaste as I kept drinking it. I don’t care for sweeteners in general, however there is one drink I like that contains Stevia, so I was open to trying this. The more I drank, the more I could taste it.

I have tried to like this, I even tried putting this in the blender with frozen berries. I also tried another time with sherbet ice cream. I just can’t get past the aftertaste, however I do like it better in the blender.


The next morning I woke up, and felt fine. I was going to try the Hydrate during the day, to see if I initially would like it. When I opened the container, I noticed it was very yellow, and when I added it to my 8 oz of water, it mixed up yellow. This had a nice subtle citrus flavor, not overbearing, and I am not bothered by the Stevia nor is it too sweet for me. I did notice if I set it down too long, the powder started to separate from the water, so I had to shake it again.


I have been enjoying this product the most, I feel hydrated and feel like I always have to pee when drinking it, lol. I prefer to drink it with ice too.

I first tried the Recover as recommended on the container, add one scoop to 8 oz of water. I did so, shaking it in my bottle. It was an orange color, and seemed to taste fine, but I really wasn’t in love with it.


The next time I gave this a try was post 20 miler. I also noticed the whey protein as an ingredient and I thought, um protein smoothie. So, I added the water and scoop of powder to a blender of ingredients – clementines, frozen berries, apples, spinach. WOW, this is how I prefer to drink this, very good!! Also I was never rungry, or felt that empty feeling in my stomach, even days later. This did some fancy trick. I remember talking to one of my BRF’s Amy about this. I am usually hungry days later, but this worked for me post run.


I continue to drink this in post run smoothie form, versus adding the one scoop to water. It tastes better for me, and it combats the hunger. I just need to not be so lazy and keep the blender washed up, seems I am always fighting the husband over using it.

The last item I had yet to try was the Energize. I was hesitant to try this because it has caffeine in it. I already drink too much caffeine, in the form of black coffee. I was worried by drinking this, it would really push me over the top. However, I was hoping that drinking these products would get me to drink less coffee.

I gave it a go on a day I was to run 7 x 800’s, and I waited to run at lunch, as I drank my coffee for breakfast. I thought I could use the extra boost for this workout. Speaking of boost, the flavor in this is a boost…whamoo – it’s very lemony, just like the hard candy. I happen to like that flavor, however you could water it down too.  My run went well, and I had the energy I needed to get through the speed work.


I did try this again on another runch, but I didn’t feel any faster or any extra oomph. I am not sure if – I just don’t drink it enough, or I drink too much coffee anyway. Or, I was just in a mood.

I do know this product comes in little sample packs, so if you want to try a boost, I would suggest trying this!

Overall: Beachbody offers a great line of products. I would recommend reading all labels, including ingredients and directions before considering if this is for you. I will continue to use the products, especially the Recover for post long run, in a smoothie form, I seemed to benefit the most from this. Also since these are more of a powder, they seem to stay mixed up better with a blender. However, I am a sugar gal, I prefer the taste of the regular electrolyte drink I can pick up at the store over the hydrate product.


Don’t hesitate to learn more from Beachbody, by checking out their website, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

The BibRave pros were busy testing these products, so here are some more thoughts: Amy – CatherineGinaLindsey – JamesFallon – Heather

Steamazing

“Disclaimer: I received Luvo Meals to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”


Hey all! I have something a little different to review and share with you, Luvo frozen meals. I will be honest, I was most excited to try these because I have become lazy at lunch time, these would be perfect to eat at work, with no meal prep required.

You can read all about the Luvo Philosophy here, however the bottom line: food that is nutritious, delicious, easy to cook, and contains real ingredients. Hey, that’s totally what I want and need!!

Are you thinking, how are they different if they are just another frozen meal? Ha, I am here to tell you. These meals I was able to try, cook in a steam pouch, with “steamazing” technology. There is no second guessing which plastic film to pull off, or stirring the entree. The pouch which has the cooking directions, just steams the food, simple! Then you just cut the end, and it slides out on your plate, looking like an actual meal….with real food… oh wait, that’s cuz it is real food.


Speaking of real food, Luvo uses whole grains, veggies and protein. No trouble reading ingredients on the label. If anything, they have introduced me to eating things I have never tried, or never thought to try. Also using these real ingredients allows the meals to be lower in calories, vegetarian or gluten free.

So, what meals did I try? Well you might have noticed in the picture above… but I will tell you:

Steel-Cut Oatmeal with quinoa and mixed fruit. This was my first meal. My meals arrived the night before and I was excited to have something easy to prepare for breakfast. I am not a huge oatmeal person, unless it’s ruined with something sugary. I was happily surprised with this meal, in fact I think it’s my fave! The fruits (pineapple, cranberries, pears and peaches) are all the sweetness the meal needs. It’s like cobbler without ice cream. You can see how easy it was to cook in this awesome video 🙂

 


Next up, lunch!! Chicken Chile Verde with black beans and polenta. Now, I am not a fan of chicken breast, I think it’s too dry, however the steam cooking technology provided a moist chicken. I also had never had polenta before, and I enjoyed that. One thing I noticed is the meals don’t have any salt or pepper type seasonings, so if you need that, you can add what you like.


It was a full day of Luvo only meals, as that night I had the Red Wine Braised Beef & Polenta with Brussels sprouts, butternut squash and cranberries. This meal was good, and I reaffirmed the fact that I do not care for Brussels sprouts, but it did have me wondering if I could make a pot roast with cranberries and apples.


It also happened to be the day of a late basketball game,which meant supper at 10pm. I let Josh try a meal too, the Kale Ricotta Ravioli. Ok, full disclosure… I do not like marinara sauce or tomato sauce really…so this meal was all his. I did try the sauce to make sure, and it wasn’t for me. However, Josh who would love for me to make him lasagna, loved this dish.

Now, I am marathon training (always)… if you have been clicking on the highlighted links above, you might notice the calorie counts. In one day 3 meals is about 900 calories, so I had to add some more food to my diet. However these are perfect if you need to cut a few pounds, portion control is my biggest problem and these contain lots of nutrients with low calories.

I was able to try a couple more meals. I tried the Orange Mango Chicken with whole grains, kale and broccoli. Once again I loved how the chicken was moist, and the sweetness of the mango was perfect. It was great for lunch!


The last meal I tried was the Tandoori Inspired Spice Chicken with mango, brown rice, broccoli and cauliflower. It was another late basketball night, and I loved that in 5 minutes a nutritious meal was cooked. No chopping or dicing of vegetables required. This meal had a kick, definitely some spices in there, it packed a punch, I felt myself wanting more.


Overall thoughts: I really liked the ease of preparing these meals, and knowing I was getting lots of proteins and veggies too. I personally need more calories in a day, and I might add a little salt or pepper. If you like easy cooking, or need quick meals, check out the store locator and the website for some coupons.

I would like to add a note, once you find a store in your area, please call them ahead of your shopping trip, to make sure they have them in stock.

I had my sister do some scouting of the stock where she lives. I need to go on a road trip to try some of the other meals that are offered, especially the bowls. They look great and the price is comparable to other frozen meals.

Also unique to Luvo, they just started direct delivery to your doorstep. You can choose from 8 meals, and for all orders over $28.99, shipping is only $9.99. That’s right you don’t have to fight the people at the grocery store.

If you do find yourself at the grocery store, don’t forget to add the app to your phone too, you can find out if the food you are buying is good for you. Just head to your app store and search for “Luvo CheckIt”

I would also encourage you to follow Luvo on their social media channels, they host twitter chats, giveaways on Facebook, recipes on the blog, and appetizing photos on Instagram.

Looking for thoughts on other meals, check these reviews: Jeremy  – MaiLindsey Jeannine – Heather – Sam

 

Race Schedule

Whoa, all of the sudden my 2017 race schedule has exploded. I got caught up in how to find a “traditional” training plan for a marathon, I forgot how much fun it was to do all the races… and a little help from Bibrave.

Ok, I did run Freezefest, then the Mardi Gras Chaser, and I told you about the Illinois Marathon and Grandma’s Marathon…. but I have added the following:

  • March 11 – Shamrock Shuffle 6.24k – hello instant PR, I mean who was run a 6.24k? Last plea for volunteers (if it’s still before the race when you read this)
  • April 8Hawkeye 50k – because who doesn’t run a 50k 2 weeks before a marathon?
  • April 29Drake Relays half marathon – I ran the inagural 6k way back when and finished on the blue oval, but I am ready to go back and run the half.
  • May 27Run Madtown 10k – I decided I could do this race and not have to pay for a hotel, wahoo!! It’s an 8pm start and Madison is only a 3 hour drive…plus I can’t miss an opportunity to wear a tigerhawk in Madtown. Want to join me, use code RAVE15 for 15% off all Run Madtown adult races. Discount code will expire May 24 at 11:59PM
  • July 23 – BTN B1G 10k – GO HAWKS, need I say more? code BibRaveBTN17 for bonus swag http://btnbig10k.com/
  • November 12Madison Marathon. This race just happens to be the day after the Iowa / Wisconsin football game at Camp Randall…. so I was already going to be in town.Go big or go home. Use code RAVE10 which gives $10 off Madison Marathon or Half Marathon. Code will expire Nov 8 at 11:59PM

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HA – told you things were getting crazy – I feel more like myself when this is my racing calendar. My brain needs all the things to do.This is also just the races I have paid for, and have entry. I am sure there will be many more to come, like these…. send money 🙂

  • April 15 – Easter Egg Scramble – I usually try to get my niece to run the kids run and do the egg hunt.
  • June 10 – Marathon to Marathon – it’s the last year for the event, and it’s in Iowa, plus a week before Grandma’s. I HAVE to run it.

I’m still here

Wow…so I guess I haven’t written anything in a long time…well a long time for me. I blast you with lots of posts in a row, and then nothing…well you can relax now, I am here with a post.

I picked a training plan…well sort of. I am using a Hal Higdon plan for the advanced marathoner. However, I am finding I don’t have time for the longer runs during the week, so I am either running twice or just making it work with the time I have. (Thanks to advice from a friend, I know I can make the adjustments.) We will see where this gets me, there is speed work and hill work too, a kick that I need.


I have added another race to my schedule…I am running the Corridor Running Freezefest 5k, February 18. I miss running all the races….and I think that is why I am struggling the most. I miss the traveling and going new places. I am excited to get back out there.


After that 5k, I will be headed to Chicago for the Back on My Feet Mardi Gras Chaser 10k. Wahoo, hope there is some king cake! Seriously though, Back on my Feet is a great charity, helping the homeless through running. Not only will Josh be making that trip with me, but I will be reunited with my running friends!!

From there, I am not sure what is next. I missed out on a local 50k, dang registration is already closed. However, there is the Shamrock Shuffle in Iowa City and the Easter Scramble in the Quad Cities…. I guess either way it all leads to the Illinois Marathon, followed by Grandma’s… after that I have nothing on my schedule – GASP!!!

I did start lifting some weights, ok, nothing big…but I have tried to do this 3 times a week…so maybe that will lead to something new and exciting.


I really don’t know what’s next. I am broke, and all the traveling has taken a toll, but I miss it and it’s driving me nuts. I have been trying to shake things up by running to where I need to go around town, or looking for new places to run. Guess I will keep looking for that next adventure.


You can still expect the same from me though… I will be attending all the Hawkeye things, eating all the crap food, and sharing all the Bibrave love, including reviews and discounts.


I will have a Freezefest review coming up next. If you want or need more updates, follow me on Twitter or Instagram.

How do you pick a Training Plan?

Guys…. I am struggling… I need a training plan…

I may not be doing a marathon a month this year (heck I need to find a goal for 2017), but I do have 2 marathons on my race schedule so far. I will be running the Illinois Marathon in April and Grandma’s Marathon in June, both for Bibrave.

Not only do I have the marathons on the schedule, there are local 5k’s and any other race I want to squeeze in. One reason you don’t really see me focus on one training plan, I am always racing – also why I don’t have time to bore you with a weekly training recap.


Ho-hum, it’s almost February, I have no training plan. Google to the rescue?

I made it through 2016 with no training plan, each marathon was the training for the next. Knowing I could do this, it’s why I am slacking on finding a plan.

What do I do?

In the past I have used Hal Higdon’s plan and the Brooks-Hanson method. Both were great plans. I also dabbled with a coach last fall, but I am broke.


Maybe I need to set a goal for these races? Then I can pick how I want to train.

So, I know I can just wing something, but maybe I should try to PR at the marathon distance?

How do you pick a plan?

HELP!

Island Style

KEY WEST

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Key West Half Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”


I really don’t know where to start with this one. If you have been reading along, you know that I was headed here…so it shouldn’t come as a surprise. I just had such a great time, I am not sure I can capture it all in this post. I could just copy/paste my friend Amy’s blog, but I am not moving soon….anyway here goes…grab some snacks and enjoy.

ROAD TRIP…yep a 25 hour, 1633 mile journey by car. (and yes I just got back from Tampa)

WEDNESDAY January 11, 2017

I grabbed my travel partner and we took off around 3:30pm. We had extra time to take the trip to Florida in 3 days. We stopped in Cadiz, KY for the night and met an interesting character upon check in to our hotel. Xilver…he told us all about his youtube channel.

THURSDAY January 12, 2017

We dined on the finest of hotel breakfasts…cereal…while we waited for the coffee to brew. Then out of no where this old lady comes in, hovers over the coffee pot and waits for the last drip, then fills her giant thermo-pot thing and leaves the empty carafe back on the hot burner. NO COFFEE FOR ME! Who does that?!?!? We spotted her outside when we left with a bag full of hotel ice too. UGH!

Today’s road trip plan was to make it to GA, where we would stay with family and catch the Iowa basketball game against Purdue. We stopped at a Waffle House and had to get through Atlanta, otherwise it was an eventful day.


FRIDAY January 13, 2017

We woke early to get back on the road. We had to make a stop in Miami Beach, to pick up Kate and Amy… you should remember them from the One City Marathon. They are always up for adventure.

The traffic in Miami was bad! We picked up the beach bums around 3:30pm, made a pit stop at McDonald’s and were on our way to Key West, where we would arrive around 9pm.

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After checking in at The Inn at Key West, Kate, Amy and I went to find supper. We ended up at a place with karaoke. I ordered coconut shrimp, YUM! Then we topped the night off with our first slice of Key Lime pie. It was decent.

SATURDAY January 14, 2017

Amy and I woke up early to get a run in. Amy is training for a Texas Marathon, so I was like, sure I could go for a run. We ended up with 4.5 miles. It was nice to adapt to the weather too, it was humid!


Next we rented some cruising bikes from the hotel, we cruised on down to the race expo. It was held at a brewery. It was kind of crowded, so after getting our race packet, we walked next door to Turtle Kraals for lunch.


We dined al fresco, and watched the boats in the marina.The waiter, Zack was very energetic. I got the most delicious fish tacos and a strawberry mojito. Kate and I topped off our meal with key lime pie slice #2.


The day continued with some more cruising around the island. We stopped at the southern most point, the mile 0 marker, passed Hemingway’s house, and ended up on Higg’s Beach for some relaxation. Kate grabbed a coconut at the nearby vendor, complete with a straw. It was then time for the sunset.


After a play by play of the sunset…mostly commentary by Kate, we cruised by the giant Conch statue at the high school and made our way back to the hotel. I was kind of keeping track via my Garmin, but we biked a good 8 miles or so.


Later that evening, Kate, Amy and I walked to the nearby stone crab restaurant. We learned that stone crab is 100% sustainable, then ordered our meals. I ended up with a shrimp pasta, Amy had a ravioli dish, and Kate ordered her first steamer pot. Oh was that fun, I thought I was going to get crab leg juice squirted on me across the table. Of course, we capped off the night with key lime pie slice #3. It was not my fave, there was chocolate sauce under the slice.


SUNDAY January 15, 2017

It was race day! Please check out my review on bibrave.com for all the facts from the race.


Amy woke up early to run some extra miles before the race. I was like, you are on your own…see you at the starting line. I had a Nugo Dark Bar for breakfast, and brewed some crappy coffee in the hotel room. I caught the hotel shuttle to the race start with my road trip partner, she was running the 5k. The shuttle cost us $5 each, but there really wasn’t any parking options, and we didn’t want to bike there.

We made it to the start with plenty of time, but finding gear check consumed most of it. I saw Amy, but she had to potty, so I walked to the back of the starting pack. This is where I met Bibrave Pro Lex. We chatted for a bit, and then the race was on.

I really didn’t have a huge goal, just do better than the last race. I had been training at my gym to simulate the warmth, but I totally forgot about the humidity. I did fine, but it was sweaty. The course was cool too, lots of time along the water, even saw some chickens.

When I passed Amy in the out and back section, she had been struggling with some random hamstring pain… I worried if she would finish, but then thought better of that, she’s a BAMF… I knew I would see her at the finish.

My only issue really was the aid station people calling the electrolyte drink on the course Gatorade…it was not, it was Ultima, as published on the Key West facebook page. I also drink enough Gatorade that I could taste the difference. However, I didn’t have any food with me, so I needed the calories. By the last one, I was just not having it and the sweetener aftertaste.

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I crossed the finish line in a time near 2:21, better than the Spring Hill half I ran 2 weeks prior, I’ll take it! I spotted my friend who ran the 5k, she was sporting an age group medal!!! Then we saw Amy, already drinking a beer, lol. This is when Amy told us to look at the long food line and to go grab ourselves a beer, so we could drink it while we waited in the food line. She’s a wise cookie!

The food line did go quick, or maybe it was because I was drinking. Once we got to the food, there was cantelope, oranges, bananas, pastries, cornbread and bagels. There were bottles of water in ice tubs nearby. As we were chatting, we spotted Lex, and talked about our races.


Our food trays were empty, as well as our beer glasses. We went to get more beer and they told us they were out of the IPA we were drinking. We opted for the pilsner…it wasn’t my favorite, but craft beer at the finish line, I am not going to complain.


We danced to the live band, they were great. They mixed up margaritas on stage with an outboard motor. Amy won a raffle prize as we partied, it was cool. We might have been overserved, every time there was no line to the beer, they told us to get another one. They had 35 kegs!! This post race party was a great time!


The sun was cooking us, and we were all hungry. We walked over to Turtle Kraals – I mentioned it above, and ordered french fries. We even saw waiter, Zack. Those fries were sooo good. After some shopping around, we thought maybe we should get a ride back to the hotel. Then out of no where, there was Kate…seriously we were walking towards the street and she turned the corner in the car.

Kate had plans…. we drove to Kermits and I hopped out of the car to get key lime pie slice #4. Then she google mapped us to Blue Heaven for key lime pie slice #5.


We made it back to the hotel pool and redeemed the free rum punch that was included with our stay. We also ate pie. Slice #4 was decent, and slice #5 had meringue, I did not care for it, it was like an egg white omelet on top of the pie. I was toast after this and needed a nap, so I went back to the room to crash.

After a much needed break (and a trip to Publix to grab some Waterfront beers to take home), we all convened in the hotel lobby and got back on our cruiser bikes.

We were on our way to Mallory Square. This is where they say you should watch the sunset. We were a little late, and it wasn’t too spectacular. However we had a good time, and found Kate, she went kayaking and was drinking from a pineapple.

Santa had given Amy a gift certificate to Kelly’s… as in Kelly McGillis, you know from the movie Top Gun. She has a restaurant in Key West.


I ordered the yellow tail snapper, with a coconut crust, it was really good!!!! The ladies also ordered something native to the area. The food was good until we got to key lime slice #6. It was advertised as black bottom pie, or something…well it had an Oreo crust, that should have been our first sign. IMO the crust is not the show on this pie….it also had some raspberry sauce on it too, it was the worst slice we tried.

 


After dinner, we cruised down Duval St, then made our way back to the hotel. We had to round up our things to get ready to make the trek back home the next day. It was the first time all trip we turned on the TV, we were introduced to Cook or Con on the Food Network, LOL.

MONDAY January 16, 2017

It was an early wake up, but we all manage some how. The plan was to drop off Kate and Amy back in Miami Beach, as their flights home weren’t until later. My travel partner and I wanted to see how far we could get, we were hoping for Atlanta.

We should have seen the plan unraveling when we stopped at the DD, the service was soooo slow, so we left. Eventually Amy and I got Starbucks, and we also stopped at a local Cuban coffee place on the way, grabbing pie slice #7. This was pie on a stick, dipped in chocolate. As much as I disliked the chocolate on the previous slices, this was pretty tasty.


Then the time got away from us as we stopped for pie slice #8. We were at the Midway Cafe, it is the midway point between mainland FL and Key West, 80 miles in each direction.


The line to order was long, and we couldn’t just budge to get a slice to go….so we waited and waited…and all I could think is we have to get on the road. The rush was because we needed to be back Tuesday night, as my travel partner needed to get to work at a decent time on Wednesday.

The wait was worth it! Best slice all trip! This slice had an actual pie crust, the pie was frozen, then topped with a thinner layer of meringue. Ahhh, pie…. ok back on the road.

We tossed Amy and Kate at the beach… really, we mapped to the beach, they got their things and we left… ok, it was sad, and I would miss my friends, but we were back on I-95.

The rest of the day wasn’t really that eventful. We started the book “My Life on The Run” by Bart Yasso, and we stopped to grab some fresh oranges. There was a pit stop in GA, and we finally checked into a hotel in Macon around 10pm. This hotel clerk didn’t give us any tips to watch youtube, but she did say she was familiar with my last name…which is rare.


TUESDAY January 17, 2017

We were up and ready to go, but first we dined on the hotel breakfast. It was decent, and there was coffee, and no old lady stole it all. In fact there were a lot of men, from some sort of construction crew, and we all ate breakfast in peace, lol.

We checked out and were on the road at 6:15 am, the good news is we would gain another hour going back to the central time zone. The trip through Atlanta was the biggest hangup, but that’s normal.

Once we got to Kentucky, we noticed something odd. A few of the overpasses were lined with utility trucks and people. Some of those trucks had giant flags raised in the air. We also came across some utility trucks with a police escort. After some googling, this is what I found.


Lunch was a stop at Subway. We finished the Bart Yasso book, and then found some tunes to keep us awake. There really wasn’t too much that happened on the return trip back. Saint Louis was a breeze, and the boring drive on 218 was boring.

We made it back to Iowa City around 7:48pm. Another successful road trip in the books. So that next time someone thinks you are crazy for driving 5 hours to a race, tell them about that one time I drove to Key West.

I can’t wait for my next adventure. Hope my friends will be up for it too.