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.

 

2016 in review

A YEAR IN REVIEW

I am late to recapping 2016, and you already know I ran a marathon a month, and I ran all the Bibrave races. However I also ran many other races, and logged quite a few miles. I also like to write up a post, just so I know… helps me set new goals and I know what I am capable of doing.

In 2016 I ran a total of 1474 miles, this highlights my streak of running at least 100 miles per month. I kept track on dailymile and recently moved my stats to Strava…you can follow me if you like – https://www.strava.com/athletes/17679166

I also ran 40 races, 2 unofficial races and a relay. Those races took me from Louisiana, Colorado, Virginia, Tennessee, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma. I met the friends that live in my phone and even met new ones as I ran.

January: 16 – Louisiana Qtr Marathon, Baton Rouge, LA
17 – Louisiana Marathon, Baton Rouge, LA
23 – Amana Freezer 5k, Amana, IA

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February: 14 – Iowa City Valentine’s Day Marathon

March: 13 – One City Marathon, Newport News, VA
19 – Hot Dash 10 miler, MPLS, MN
26 – Easter Egg Scramble 5k, Davenport, IA

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April – 2 – Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon, Springfield, IL
9 – UI Doc Dash 5k, Iowa City, IA
16 – Hot Chocolate MPLS 15k, MPLS, MN
25 – QC Riverbandits 5k, Davenport, IA
30 – Rock N Roll Marathon, Nashville, TN

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May – 7 GOTR 5k, Cedar Rapids, IA
14 – Bear Stampede 5k, West Branch, IA
15- Chicagoland Marathon, Schaumberg, IL
21-23 – United Relay – IL
28 – Soldier Field 10 miler, Chicago, IL
28 – Madison Twilght 10k, Madison, WI
29 – Madison Half Marathon, Madison, WI

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June – 3 – Hospital Hill 5k
4 – Hospital Hill half Marathon Kansas City, MO
11 – Keota Fun Run 10k
18 – Grandma’s Marathon, Duluth, MN
25 – Run 4 Troops Marathon, Dubuque, IA

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July – 9 – Heritage Days 5k, Mt. Vernon, IA
16 – CVNT 50k, Iowa
30 – Fort Collins Human Race 13.1, Fort Collins, CO

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August – 6 – BTN 10k, Chicago, IL
13 – End NF 5k, Iowa City, IA
20 Moorehead Trail Mazathon, Ida Grove IA

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September – 4 – New Bo Half Marathon, Cedar Rapids, IA
5 – Run With Carl, Bettendorf, IA
18 – NFECSWI half marathon, Eagle, WI
24 – Kickoff to Kinnick 5k, Iowa City, IA
25 – Quad Cities Marathon, Moline, IL

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October – 9 – TC Marathon, MPLS, MN
14-16 Runner’s World Half and Festival, Bethlehem, PA
29 – Tulsa Run 15k, Tulsa, OK

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November – 6 – MKE Running Festival Marathon, Milwaukee, WI
13 – Madison Marathon, Madison, WI
24 – Legend of the Fall, Iowa City, IA

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December – 3 – Arctic Frog 50k

31 – Last chance 5k (not sure why the stupid format of this blog put a space in between)

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As you might have read before, I am not sure where or what 2017 holds for me. I started if off with a half marathon, which had me thinking I should work towards improving that time…but only because I am thinking Dopey 2018 and I need the best corral placement I can get. I also thought about trying to see how many races I can run in a year. I also thought about upping my game and trying to run mostly Iowa races.

All I do know… I love running… it pushes me…it inspires me… and I will continue to run until I can’t.

Spring Hill Half

Spring Hill Mania – Half Marathon

As you might have read from my last post, I was in Florida for the Outback Bowl.  I had my eye on this race for quite a while…I originally thought I would run the full marathon…but I’m not even THAT crazy…also I wasn’t sure how I would be getting to this event, it was over an hour from where I was staying. In the meantime I signed up for the Hooters Last Chance 5k (which was the day before) and was content with just one race.

However…things changed… If you don’t know, I am not a frequent flyer, I really don’t care to fly anywhere……..OK if you don’t know this, you haven’t been reading my blog full of road trips.

Ok, anyway…I was talking to tailgating friend Scott, and even though it was last minute, I gave up my seat on an airplane, and drove to Florida with Scott. This meant we would have a car to get to the race. So, I signed up…. I signed up late, even with the $10 discount the race was around $90 for a half marathon – YIKES!


I was really set on doing this race, as I will be in Key West 2 weeks later for the Key West Half Marathon. I needed one last long run before that race, and I needed to train in the Florida heat . I am currently happy running in 30 degrees and shorts at home, so 60 degrees would be hot for me. This was the perfect opportunity to train.

The race was on Saturday, Jan 1……….yep I had 5 hours of sleep, and maybe a hangover, however Scott drove me to Spring Hill, FL bright and early.

After a Nugo Dark Bar for breakfast, I was at the park pavilion grabbing my race bib. There was a cotton shirt included with registration, but I was late so they didn’t have one for me. I could have had it sent to me, or I could get a $25 gift card to an online compression company. I chose the gift card.
The start was at 8 am. It was sunny and warm, the temps would rise to 80 degrees.

There were a few announcements about the course. Information about aid stations and port-o-potties, and where turnarounds would be, since it was an out and back course.

The wheel chair start went first, followed by the marathon, then it was my turn to start the half with the 10k runners.


Gear: Sparkle Athletic skirt, ProCompression Socks, New Balance shoes, Garmin Fenix 3, Orange Mud Hydraquiver, XX2i USA 1, Nike Hawkeye Hat, Iowa tank, Adidas boy shorts.

As mentioned above, this was a good training run for my upcoming Key West Half, so not really sure what the goal was, except to get the miles in, in the Florida sunshine.


The out and back course was on a bike path along the Florida 589 toll road. This meant the scenery was a snoozefest. Highway on one side and back yards or open land on the other. There was also no shade.

I ran 6.55 miles out and saw the sign to turn around. There were two aid stations on the way out, so I would hit them on the way back. They were near the 2 mile and 5 mile markers, so those 3 miles in between seemed to take forever. The AS only had water and lemon lime Gatorade in Dixie sized cups. Now that I think about it, I didn’t see any of the port-o-potties that were supposed to be every 3 miles, but I didn’t need one, so I wasn’t looking. I hope for those running the full marathon there was some sort of food, or the stations started to be closer together or they offered more.

I was glad I brought water with me. I was not used to running in the heat and sun. I could drink and splash water on my face. For the price I paid, I expected more support or ice or more water….or I am just not used to the heat in winter.

I moved along the entire time and finished around 2:28. Which really, not a super bad time for me…so I will take it. I was hot!


I was handed a medal at the finish line and a bottle of water. There was a station set up to type in your bib number and get official results.

After a short walk, I was at the pavilion where the “headquarters” of the race events were. There were some boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts, bananas and some homemade breads to eat. It appeared someone was cooking the advertised pancakes and eggs, but none were available when I finished. It was also 23904 degrees and it was the last thing I wanted. There was also a cooler with Gatorade.

I grabbed a donut and slice of bread, filled my water bottle with some Gatorade and walked back to the car, to find Scott awake from his nap. I could hear some announcements coming from the pavilion, must have been the awards.


Scott was watching some RC airplanes, as we were in a public park area with ball fields and open areas. I was over the race, it was time to go…. I ate half the donut, refilled my water bottle with water, and we left.

I really wanted to find a produce stand and get some fresh squeezed orange juice and some oranges. We took the scenic route back to Clearwater Beach….all the stands were closed! Maybe because it was New Years Day and a Sunday.

We made it back to the hotel in time to get ready to head to Chanelside for the Hawkeye Huddle. Almost forgot we were here for a bowl game.

For the $90 I spent on this race, I expected more. I have run full marathons that cost less and have provided more. I know this race opens up a year in advance for a price around $30, which I would say is more than fair, but to pay what I did so late in the game….totally overpriced. Also, about that gift car….yeah that’s a waste… the prices for things, just don’t work so I get something for nothing… I have to pay a difference or shipping…….. I already paid $90 for half, where I got a donut and Gatorade….not worth it paying more.

I did get something out of this race. The training in the heat. I am going to be ready for Key West!