Posts Tagged With: new orleans

Key West Half Marathon Recap

It's a two sided medal, it's a wine stopper, it's fun and functional.

It’s a two sided medal, it’s a wine stopper, it’s fun and functional.

Ahh, the Florida Keys. Who doesn’t love em? Key West in particular, has always been a magnet to the funky-fresh folks.

Closer to Havana than to Miami.

Closer to Havana than to Miami.

If you haven’t been, well, it’s kind of like a tropical and clean New Orleans. If you haven’t been to New Orleans, well, it’s kind of like an anything-goes sort of haven – full of good food, strong drink, history, openness, tolerance, and zero inhibitions. Both cities were home to pirates, poets, performers, and parties. Needless to say, I love it!!!

Two similar cities. Only separated by 600 miles.

Two similar cities. Only separated by 630 miles.

In case you get lost.

In case you get lost.

And I’m glad to report that the Key West Half Marathon & 5k had the same feel to it that the island has – laid back, scenic, inclusive & fun! Peeps could even register under a “walker division” – can’t get more inclusive than that.

The fun feel starts at the race expo, which was held at a seaside bar and oyster joint…DUH!

Ain't I purdy?

Ain’t I purdy?

I was so excited at the expo, because it meant we got our race shirts! They are so over-the-top amazesauce!!!

The shirts....I heart them!

The shirts….I heart them! And check out those bibs!

And if you’re so inclined, there are plenty of shops next door to load up on souvenirs.

Yeeeeah buoy!

Yeeeeah buoy!

From there, there were plenty of good joints on the island to get your carbo-load on.

Sushi grade raw tuna "nachos"

My sis with our sushi grade raw tuna “nachos”

The eggs in the restaurants were very fresh.

The eggs in the restaurants were very fresh.

The artwork in the eateries was very high brow, as my sis and her bae recognized.

The artwork in the eateries was very high brow, as my sis and her bae recognized.

My sis with some key lime pie, natch.

My sis with some key lime pie, natch.

The whole pie.

The whole pie.

And of course, there were good bevvies to wash it down with…

Key West beer, why not?

Key West beer, why not?

My sis and a Moscow Mule at Louie's Backyard.

My sis and a Moscow Mule at Louie’s Backyard.

Hog's breath is better than no breath at all. So they say.

Hog’s breath is better than no breath at all. So they say.

Anyway, on to the race! It started at 7am over by the boat docks. Very laid back – no formal corrals, no pre-race formalities…

Can you spot me?

Can you spot me? Hint – white Ohio University shirt. Photo courtesy of

I was a little worried going into the race. I was in good shape, but I’d been training in Dallas in 20-30 degree temps. Race morning it was in the 70’s with 90% humidity – 90%!!!!!!!!! OUCH!

IMG_2804But it was time to race, and hahaha, there wasn’t even a race starting horn – Someone must’ve said, “Go.” cause all the sudden, we were off!

I started my gps about a 1/4 mile into the race. My bad.

I started my gps about a 1/4 mile into the race. My bad.

The course took us down famous Duval St., past the Southernmost Point marker, then an out and back along the beach.

Our friend Carrie caught me on the course. Throwin Dueces!

Our friend Carrie caught me on the course. Throwin Dueces! Or maybe quotation marks cause I was feeling “great” in the humidity.

I crossed the 10k mark at 48:34, but it was all I could do to maintain that pace in that humidity. Shortly after, the wheels fell off. I was taking walk breaks to dump cold water on my head at each aid station.

Anyway, on the way back we went past the Hemingway house, the lighthouse, the A1A Mile Marker 0, and through Mallory Square (where everyone goes to watch the sunsets).

Photo I took of one of their famous sunsets.

Photo I took of one of their famous sunsets.

The race eventually ended at the boat docks. But I was really hurting in the humidity. However, I sucked it up the last couple miles to finish at 1:50:00. A full 5 minutes slower than the Dallas Half last month.

At the finish, smiling on the inside.

At the finish, smiling on the inside. Photo courtesy from video from

I was hoping to break 1:40 at this race, but with the humidity, it wasn’t meant to be. I really did push hard though – so much so that I was very sore the next day.

That said, it was the same for everybody out there, and so I was still able to finish 27th in my age group and 201st overall (out of 3-4000 runners)!!!

See, I told you the race ended at the boat docks.

See, I told you the race ended at the boat docks. Sweat much?

Even though I didn’t have the race I hoped for, I still had an absolute BLAST! It was so SCENIC! The volunteers were WONDERFUL! And the post race party was OFF THE CHAIN!

Before we could really get turnt up, I had some other friends and family finishing the race that I went back to root for!

Some friends.

Some friends.

Some family - my ma.

Some family – my ma.

Sister's bae.

Sister’s bae.

My dad's first half marathon!

My dad’s first half marathon!

My sis also ran, but I didn’t get a pic of her finishing. But we did get a selfie with the race announcer. This guy was THE.BEST.MC.EVAH! He was cracking us up with gems like, “This is the best day of our lives!” And I think he called me “dude” when I crossed the finish line.

Michael the Boston radio DJ. Solid dude.

Michael the Boston radio DJ. Solid dude. Perfect match for the Key West laid back attitude.

With everyone finished, it was time to party!!!

We had fun.

We had fun.

Da Key West crew.

Da Key West crew.

The post race concert was Howard Livingston & the Mile Marker 24 Band. I’ve heard him before on Jimmy Buffett’s Radio Margaritaville. Such a great performer!!! He even made us margaritas with a modified boat-motor-blender at one point.

Howard on stage.

Howard on stage.

Did I mention all the beer was FREE?!?! That probably led to us making some new friends. Like when I photobombed some stranger’s selfie because Howard had jumped off stage to be in it!!!

Selfie stick, Howard Livingston, Photobomb.

Selfie stick, Howard Livingston, PirateBobcat Photobomb. Love this pic! Thanks to Elizabeth T.F. for sending it my way.

Hahahaha, the race photog actually got a pic of us taking a pic of ourselves.

Hahahaha, the race photog actually got a pic of us taking a pic of ourselves.

From there it was on to Duval St. where we could proudly display our medals and shirts.

Da Key West Crew all cleaned up.

Da Key West Crew all cleaned up.

Yet another patio bar to celebrate on.

Yet another patio bar to celebrate on. I figured I’d wear loud shorts with my screaming shirt.

The patio drinks led to even more selfies. Well, that and narcissism.

Look, a coconut tree and a coconut head.

Look, a coconut tree and a coconut head.

And I even tried my best to copy RunColbyRun and her high angle, partially-obstructed-face selfies, but I couldn’t master the master.

So sexy.

So sexy.

So to sum up, it was a blasty blast!!! If you are ever thinking of running the Key West Half Marathon, I say DO IT!!!!

And besides, you can’t run all the miles until you run the first one…

Mile Marker 0. Yes, I was in Birkenstocks.

Mile Marker 0. Yes, I was in Birkenstocks.

Good times people, good times all around!

How bout you? Ever run Key West…or do you want to? What do you think of the swag? Ever go on a runcation?


Categories: Concerts, expo, fitfluetial, Fuel (food), Life Times, marathon, Race Recaps, run, Running, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 80 Comments

Relationship Troubles (w/ Gym) & Running, & Vampires, & Tacos

First up, my knee feels better each day.  I feel like that relationship will be strong for years to come.  I went on my 2nd run since I hurt it, and I must’ve had more confidence in it because I went a mile further and was running a almost a minute faster per mile that my first run (4 miles @ 8:20 per).  Hooray for that!

In other news, I fear my relationship with Gym 1 is over.  I’d worked out with Gym 1 for like 12 years, 3-4 times per week.  Since I stopped visiting, it’s weird how they haven’t even called me.  I guess I’m not missed.  Man, break-ups are hard.  I thought about going back to them, but I have access to another Gym that is free for me!  I’m going to try them out.  We’ll see if it starts another long term relationship.

With all those relationship troubles, I was ready for an escape.  Luckily this week marks the return of The Originals and Vampire Diaries.  I don’t know how I got hooked on these vampire dramas, but I like them.  I’m particularly enjoying The Originals.  I think partly because I’m a huge fan of New Orleans, where the show takes place.

At the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in New Orleans.

At the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in New Orleans.

And as a TV producer, I do appreciate the acting, cinematography, effects, lighting, etc.  Even though it’s probably technically considered a soap opera (but what show now a days isn’t?).

At least it doesn't take place at Twilight.

At least it doesn’t take place at Twilight.

I also turned to food this week for comfort.  Particularly, Tacos.  Everyday in fact.  Here’s a picture of my favorites:

On da left - Migas.   On da right - Fried Avocado.

On da left – Dirty Sanchez (eggs and veggies). On da right – Fried Avocado. @ Torchy’s Tacos

So there you have it, one relationship ends, another begins, another is renewed, and it’s all balanced out with vampire dramas and vegetarian tex-mex.  Not bad I guess.

How bout you?  Ever change up a gym?  Ever had a dirty sanchez?  Ever watch dramas about 100 year old “teen” vampires?

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Running Through History #JFK50

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the President Kennedy assassination right here in Dallas.  I grew up in Ohio, and I wasn’t alive back then, but I know all about it…as most people do.  Being the 50th, it was kind of a big day in Dallas today.  They had a big ceremony at the site, and it’s all they’ve been talking about all week on the radio and local TV.

If you’ve ever been to Dallas, you probably did the tourist thing and visited the Texas School Book Depository and the museum on the assassination that it now hosts.  You’ve probably strolled the grassy knoll.  I’ve been down there countless times as visiting guests usually want to see it.

Now, what you may not know is that many of the road races downtown run right down that same street.  Right along the same path as the President’s motorcade.  Every time I run one of those courses, I always feel a little weird.  Especially since there is an X painted on the spot where he was shot.

Yes, we run over this in some races.

Yes, we run over this in some races.

I don’t know if these race directors do this on purpose, or if it is out of convenience.  But I’m guessing it’s intentional.  Do races in DC go past Ford’s Theater where Lincoln was shot?  I have no idea, but I think it’d be weird there too.

I think I'm wearing the same sweet cargo shorts.

I think I’m wearing the same sweet cargo shorts.

Anyway, I love love love history.  My dad does too.  And so pretty soon after we moved to Dallas, we decided to go see the sites dealing with the assassination.  We saw Lee Harvey Oswald’s residences, the Texas Theater where he was arrested, where Officer Tippet was shot, etc.

During that sightseeing trip, we had a really bizarre encounter.  We were trying to find one of LHO’s houses.  We were driving slowly down the street checking the addresses, when a woman came running out and asked us if we were “Looking for Lee Harvey?”  We said yes, and she invited us into his old house.  Then she took us into the backyard where the famous photo of him holding the gun and paper were supposedly taken.  She went back into the house and came back with a rifle and newspaper, and instructed me to pose in the exact same spot as LHO had.  It was weird.

I'm just a patsy!

I’m just a patsy!

All she asked in exchange for the photo op was our address so she could send a Christmas card.  Like I said, bizarre.

I’ve been to the JFK eternal flame in DC.  And I’ve seen a statue of him in Ireland.  As for LHO, I also saw where he was arrested once in New Orleans.  And on a tour there, the guide pointed out a hotel that he said Kennedy had once stayed while at the same time around the corner was a school that he said LHO was attending.  I’ve run two half marathons in New Orleans, and I always think about those to spots when we run past them.

I'm a sucker for the fleur de lis.

I’m a sucker for the fleur de lis.

What about y’all.  Ever been to Dallas and visited Dealey Plaza?  Ever run by anything historical?  Do you want my address so you can send me a Christmas card?

Categories: Life Times, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

I May Be A Teenage Girl

I really like Thursdays now-a-days.  Thursday evenings mean I have completed another week of workouts (until the weekend).  Fridays are a rest day for me at this point in the schedule.  So yay for Thursday being the new Friday.

I usually like to run with Thursday Night Social Run when I can.  It’s a fun group of like-minded runners who run, then hang out with food and drink specials at an ever rotating carousel of establishments.  So that is something to look forward to too!

Some of our group.  Let's play "Where's Scott?"

Some of our group. Let’s play “Where’s Scott?”

And of course, now it’s American Football season and they televise some games on Thursday nights, so that’s usually on wherever we meet.  Not to mention Baseball playoffs going on, and basketball about to start up.  Fall is great.  Speaking of which, the weather finally got cool this week!!!  The last couple days have been in the 50’s overnight with mid 70’s during the day.  And I’m proud to report that we had some rain, and the rain made the humidity go away!

But back to the title of this post.  Here’s why I may be a teenage girl.  Thursday also means there’s a new episode of Vampire Diaries.  Don’t ask me why, but I’m very much hooked on that show.  Yes, it’s a show about high school vampires…and werewolves…and witches…and ghosts.  What can I say?

Aren't they so dreamy?  Er, uh, I mean isn't she hawt?

Aren’t they so dreamy? Er, uh, I mean isn’t she hawt?

They also have a spinoff that started this season called The Originals.  I am also into that.  I can’t help it.  Especially since it is set in one of my absolute favorite cities in the world – New Orleans!  Here’s me after the Half Marathon there:

Hey Mister! I like your "throw".

Hey Mister! I like your “throw”.

Finally, even though I’ve given up running with music, when I did I always had Dashboard Confessional on the playlist.  I don’t know why I love that band so much either.  But if you ever see their MTV Unplugged Concert (I have dang near worn out the DVD), most of the audience in studio are teenage gals.  I’ve since seen the band in concert a couple times.  Even once after running a Half Marathon in Dallas and could barely walk…but I sure danced!

The guitar player from that band is also a solo artist and lives here in Dallas.  I met him at a show recently and I think I scared him a little with my talk of DC – “You’re definitely not our normal demographic.” he said.

John Lefler.

John Lefler.

So there you go.  I may be a very manly teenage girl.

What about y’all?  What slightly embarrassing unusual obsessions do you have?

Categories: Life Times, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Social Run and Homemade Pesto

A year ago I planted a rosemary bush in the back yard.  It has grown like crazy!  And it’s paying for itself cause I use it in food and cocktails that I make.  Wait, how did the word cocktail come about?  I hear cocktails were invented in New Orleans (I’ve had a Sazerac (original cocktail) in Nawlins, and it’s quite dangerous!), but what do they have to do with roosters and their tails?  I’ll figure that out later.  Anyway, due to the success of my rosemary, I went ahead and bought a few other herbs with a goal to plant them.  Hopefully they live cause my thumb is most definitely flesh colored (not green)!

One of the plants is basil.  I love cooking Italian food and basil is good for that.  So in the food processor I threw basil, spinach, garlic, pine nuts, fresh grated Parmesan Reggiano (no substitutes!), and blended them up with some fresh fresh olive oil.  The olive oil comes from a tree in Italy that we actually adopt.  We were given the adoption from my parents for Christmas and it’s one of the coolest gifts ever!  Every few often they send us a shipment from the latest pressing of the olives.  Very cool!  You can adopt a tree here:

I then boiled up some sweet potato gnocchi and mixed it with the pesto.  Yum and healthy and fuel to run!

Crappy photo of the food, but wanted to show the Olive Oil tin and Basil plants used in the dish.

Crappy photo of the food, but wanted to show the Olive Oil tin and Basil plants used in the dish.

And run I did!  Another week of workouts almost done – Sunday 11 miles, Mon rest, Tues weights and 3 miles, Wed 4 miles, Thurs weights and 3 pretty fast miles, Fri rest.  All that’s left is Saturday, then the next week of Dopey Challenge Training kicks off.  I think I’m supposed to do 5 miles on Sat and cross train on Sun (probably trail run and yoga).  As for Thursday, that’s usually social run time, and last night we ran from a pretty legit new BBQ place.  We had about 30-40 peeps, but only handful made it in the pic:

B-boys, B-girls, and B-BQ.

B-boys, B-girls, and B-BQ.

The weather was hawt – 102 according to the sign we passed.  But I still went pretty fast – 7:30 miles – It’s so much easier to do when you have others to run with and help pace you!  We also ran by one of those police speed gauge sign things.  I took off at a short sprint and hit 13 miles per hour.  Not fast enough to get pulled over, but then again, I’m not a car.

Anyway, that’s all I got.  Back at it bright and early!

Categories: Fuel (food), Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rock n Roll Marathon Dal Vs N.O. #blog

I live in the Dallas area, so it’s easy for me to run the Dallas Half.  I love Nawlins, so it’s easy to talk me into going to the big easy to run that one too.  Haven’t done any other cities’ as of yet, but running these two five times has given me some perspective. Don’t believe that I’ve run them?  Check out these videos:

First off, me thinks it’s a little sad that one race is kind of taking over the country and globe.  It kind of loses the local ownership when a chain takes over.  Kind of like the Walmart of racing.  That said, they do a decent job of it.  They do retain some of the local flava flav.  I must say though, out of the two cities, the New Orleans race is funner and more localer.  I guess that’s not fair to compare, as the city of the crescent is going to have an advantage over most other cities, no matter what the event!

I do like how they have bands along the course.  Though I do feel sorry for them because most people only get to hear about 20 seconds worth of their music as we run past.  But, a gig’s a gig I suppose.  The major draw they advertise is the “headliner” band that plays at the finish line.  I put “headliner” in “quotes” for a “reason”.

Here’s the good:  Dallas – Better Than Ezra.  Better than I expected.

Dallas – Bret Michaels.  Wasn’t a fan before the performance, but he genuinely put on a good show!  Seemed to be really enjoying it.

He spells his first name with only 1 "T".  Maybe I should go by Scot?

He spells his first name with only one “T”. Maybe I should go by Scot?

New Orleans – Bowling for Soup.  These guys were hilarious!  Great times!!!

Bowling for Soup, blowing away the crowd!

Bowling for Soup, blowing away the crowd!

Here’s the OK:  New Orleans – Rockin Dopsie Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters.  I only categorized them as OK, because I don’t consider them a “headliner”.  They put on a great show fo sure and were no doubt local, but I wouldn’t pay $40 to go see them.

Here’s the bad:  Dallas – Oh gosh, I forgot his name.  He was the “headliner” for 2012.  I had never heard of him, but apparently he was like the 4th place finisher on American Idol.  Never seen that show.  Didn’t see much of his concert – I actually thought he was the opening act.  Our city got jipped when you compare to what some other cities got.

But anyways, it’s all good.  I do have to give the advantage for post-race concert to New Orleans though.  Here’s why:  when you finish the race you’re at the Old City Park.  About a .75 mile walk from the shuttles, so everyone stays.  When you finish the Dallas race, you’re like a .05 walk from your car in the parking lot, so everyone takes off.  In New Orleans, you’re almost forced to stay and party.  And they do party.  When there’s not open container laws, it makes it easier to get down and funky in public!

Bout to party with 20,000 of my closest friends.

Bout to party with 20,000 of my closest friends.

The medals are pretty cool.  I like how they change them every year to try and represent something local.  I have to give an advantage to Nawlins tho.  Why?  They use beads for the ribbon and I am a SUCKER for the fleur de lis, and in 2012, they had one on it.

Hey Mister! I like your "throw".

Hey Mister! I like your “throw”.

That said, I still like the Dallas ones too.  And an advantage is that usually I gots family waiting at the finish line.

The course also has to favor New Orleans.  It’s really pretty running through the Garden District and also the French Quarter, which I like to call the Freedom Quarter.  Plus, it is perfectly FLAT.  Where Dallas is a looooong incline.  New Orleans is so flat that several elite runners were there trying to qualify for the Olympic trials.  Several of them did.  Several set records.  Only problem with their course is that the roads in a city built on swamp land are bumpy.  In fact, my friend broke her foot during the race after hitting a bump.  She’s a trooper though and finished anyway!  Also, the Dallas course isn’t exactly scenic.  And I have this question for every single race director in town – Why does each long race have to go up Turtle Creek Blvd?  The houses are nice, but surely there’s other spots to run.

Anywhoodle, the start times also give an edge to Nawlins.  7 am vs 8 am makes a difference heat wise.  Plus we get to the party sooner!  Which also happens on the course itself – lots of people running in costume and spectators handing out beers to the runners!  Oh, and I just thought of a kind of negative about the run in New Orleans – If you ain’t careful, you can really sabotage yourself with rich food, strong drink, and lots of walking and carrying on before the race.  My sis and I made that mistake the first time out – partied too hardy, including the night before the race!

In the Napoleon House Bar.  His crazy eyes embraced us after a hurricane or several.

In the Napoleon House Bar. His crazy eyes embraced us after a hurricane or several.

So New Orleans is clearly the winner.  But here’s on bright spot for Dallas – The year that Troy Aikman ran the race, my sis and I beat him by about 15 seconds!  Boo yah!

So long Troy Aikman.  My sis and I are takin it to the house...or at least the finish line.

So long Troy Aikman. My sis and I are takin it to the house…or at least the finish line.

Anyways, I’m just glad there are these opportunities for people to run.  It shouldn’t really be a contest, but I guess I made it one didn’t I?  That said, I did sign up for the Dallas race again for 2013.  Why not?  I’m here.  I’ve run it every year they’ve had it.  Maybe they can make up some ground on The Big Easy.

Peace out!

Categories: Race Recaps | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rock ‘n Roll 1/2 Marathon New Orleans #blog

March, 2012.  NOLA.  13.1 miles.  This was a fun one.  2nd year in a row for me and my sis to run this race.  This year however our Ma joined us too.  The weather was perfect – right at 50 degrees for the start.  The course was flat and scenic.  We ran through the Garden District, French Quarter, then up to the old City Park for the finish and party.

My Sis, Me, Mom.  They can never take a serious picture.

My Sis, Me, Mom. They can never take a serious picture.

It’s no secret that I love love love New Orleans.  And I will write my travel guide blog post on it soon – so stay tuned!  So now I won’t get into all the sites to see and foods to eat, I’ll just talk about the race.  And can I just say this – It’s crazy how my vacations now center around races.  I can’t believe I schedule my trips like that now, but say la vie.  Ok, “La vie.”

I had a decent run and a good time considering all the normal pitfall traps in that city – booze, lots of walking, booze, no last call, booze.  I even think I survived a ghost attack in our couple hundred year old BnB the night before the race.  Seriously.  I swore I woke up and couldn’t  move or speak.  Petrified in the bed.  It was crazy.  Or did I dream it?  Either way, I got up and ran sub 1:50 despite all the distractions and the bumpy roads.  In facty, my friend who was also running broke her foot on one of the bumps in the road, but still finished the race!

Hey Mister! I like your "throw".

Hey Mister! I like your “throw”.

And yes, the medals were cool.  I have Always been a sucker for the fleur de lis.  And I like how the band was actually mardi gras colored beads!  Another cool thing about the New Orleans RnR is that unlike Dallas, the post race party is indeed a party.  You are in the old park, far from the city center.  There’s no hopping in your car and driving off – you gotta walk a ways to get to the shuttle buses, so you stay there a while to enjoy the lively headliner concert and party it up.  People bring liquor, king cake, mimosas, you name it.  The laws are pretty loose down there, so pretty much anything goes.  Which my likey.

So to sum up: Great city, Great race, Great medal, Great party, and Great times!  And one spectator’s sign pretty much captured the vibe of this anything goes town….

Is that just for the runners, or for everyone?

Is that just for the runners, or for everyone?

Peace homeys!

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