Begging, running, and home repairs

February 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm

First of all I have to hit you up for donations AGAIN. There are only three days left until the Suncoast Classic Run for Kids, and the IRunMommies want to be the top fundraisers for the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) for the third year in a row. If you have healthy children, imagine what it would be like if they had a chronic illness and had to spend days, weeks, or months in the hospital. What if the best hospital for their treatment was hours away from your home? The Ronald McDonald House supports these families in numerous ways. I have seen first hand the gratitude of the families who benefit from RMHC. As moms, this charity really touches the hearts of the IRunMommies. Please consider making a donation…any amount would help!

Click on the image below to donate:

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Next I would like to mention that there are only two days left to get $10 off during early registration for the Pretty Muddy mud run. I’ll be running with team Mud Bloggin’ in the earliest wave. Come get muddy with me in December!

2.21.13 PM $10 Off (EMAIL)

Hmm, what else? I obviously have not been blogging my mundane day to day stuff as I was a little burnt out after my thirty days of continuous blogging during my Whole30 Challenge. But I did go to Bodypump twice last week and relished not taking photos. I also did a five mile bridge run last week with two of my IRunMommies friends, Christie and Michelle.

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It was a misty, foggy morning and we were lucky that the rain stopped just before we took off for our run.

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You can just barely make out the top of the Sunshine Skyway bridge off in the foggy distance in this photo:

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I just did a five mile out and back, but Christie and Michelle did bridge repeats. They were serious.

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The path at the Misener Bridge is awesome, and you can get up to 11 miles if you do the entire out and back.

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Thanks for the motivation girls…I need some more for this week.

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Also last week I got my first delivery of organic fruits and veggies (and eggs!) from Annie’s Organic Buying Club.

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I have really missed the CSA that we used to be members of. Last year they quit delivering from the farm in Tampa to the Saturday Morning Market in St. Petersburg, so we had to cancel our membership. When my friend Christine told me about Annie’s I decided to give it a try. Here’s what I got in my first box:

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The buying club has all sorts of different options and you can basically customize what you get.

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A week later I can say that we pretty much loved it all and have used most of it up already. I signed up for bi-weekly boxes. We still need to eat the collard greens and some of the oranges. I especially loved the spicy micro-greens, crimini mushrooms, and heirloom tomatoes.

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I haven’t been photographing all of my food, but I did take a photo of one breakfast that was made entirely from my Annie’s organic produce:

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There are two fried eggs on the bottom of that pile, then sautéed mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, spicy micro-greens, and roasted sweet tomatoes…a beautiful, Whole30-compliant breakfast.

Speaking of the Whole30, I have NOT been following the guidelines ever since my awesome girls’ weekend to Folly Beach. I am feeling a strong desire to get back on track, though. My plan is to basically follow most of the Whole30 guidelines, but not look at it as a “challenge”, meaning that if I have an off-track meal I won’t consider anything “ruined”. I really think the best thing for me was eliminating grains. I think that was the biggest factor in maintaining a steady metabolism and reducing inflammation. Of course, I don’t KNOW that eliminating grains was the most important thing, but I just intuitively feel that way. I think eating grains just sets you up on a metabolic roller-coaster all day, whereas sticking to protein, fats, and root-vegetable carbohydrates just keeps everything much more level all day. It just seems logical to me.

So I need to quit talking about it and just do it.

This week I’ve been pretty much house-bound because we have contractors at the house doing a myriad of repairs. On Monday they rebuilt the front of our shed.

Before:

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After:

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Pretty nice, huh? We’re going to have the house painted soon and will have the shed painted to match then.

Inside the house there is a long laundry list of repairs being done, such as replacing the fan in the hall bathroom…

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Cutting a new “door” for our attic access because the old one was particle-board that had been dropped and a corner was broken off:

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Fixing a bothersome pocket door to our study, which required removing all of the molding to get the thing out:

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They have also replaced our doorbell which hasn’t worked in 17 years, put a new light fixture in the laundry closet, and repaired a hole in the drywall in the hall bathroom which was left over from a plumbing repair long ago. Embarrassingly long ago. I had placed a newspaper and a piece of cardboard over the hole behind the toilet as a “temporary” measure. The contractor made fun of me when he pulled out the newspaper and it was dated January 2004. That’s before Mack was born! Oops.

Today they are destroying our master bathroom.

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Yay! We have only been using one bathroom in our “two bathroom” house for a couple of years now. We are the worst procrastinators when it comes to home repairs. When something breaks we just learn to live without it. It will be so nice to have two usable showers again!

Of course all of these repairs are just to get our house ready to put on the market. We are having no luck on the house hunt so far. I have looked at four houses and we liked a couple of them, but before we could even decide whether or not to make an offer they were GONE. I had an appointment to look at one very promising house and it had an offer before I could even look at it. There are very few houses on the market that meet our criteria, and there are NONE in the area where we really want to be. We’re just going to have to be patient until something else comes along. Luckily, we are not in a hurry and still have lots to do to get our current house ready to sell. Still, I’m itching to look at more houses but there isn’t even much to look at!

That’s all I have for today…blogging will likely be sporadic for a while as I’m still not feeling the “every day mundane stuff” writing mojo.

Cya.

The Urban Bike Adventure Tampa 2013

February 24, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Yesterday was super fun.

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I met up with my friends Nicole and Michelle…

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and we loaded up our bikes onto Nicole’s car and headed to Tampa for The Urban Bike Adventure.

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Aren’t the t-shirts awesome? The jerseys were super cute as well…

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but since they were $60 I was pretty happy with my black t-shirt.

The Urban Bike Adventure (TUBA) began at Pour House in the Channelside neighborhood of Tampa.

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It was a great place for a home base for this size of event. There were 30 teams, each with 2-4 people, so probably about 90 people total.  We got signed in, were given out t-shirts and numbers, and then hung out a little while as all the teams arrived and got signed in.

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Finally each team was given an envelope but told to not open it until they finally said, “Go!”

At which point we tore into our envelope and began reading the clues.

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The three of us didn’t know exactly what the day would entail other than biking, but we knew it was some sort of scavenger hunt around Tampa involving challenges and obstacles. Here’s what the paper said:

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We sat down at one of the patio tables and began going through all of the clues with the help of our smart phones and Mr. Google.

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We figured out all of the clues and narrowed them down to a street address for each one. Then we looked up all of the addresses and figured out which neighborhood they were in. We realized that there were a chunk of clues involving locations in Ybor City, a few downtown and near the Hillsborough River, a few in Hyde Park, then one in Channelside not far from the beginning location at Pour House. We quickly devised a strategy to hit up the neighborhoods in that order.

First up was Ybor City:

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The first location we headed to was actually #8 on the clue sheet:

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We actually off-roaded through a field at one point and then spotted a couple of other bikers at the monument we were looking for. We promised them, truthfully, that we were NOT following them.

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From there we hopped onto 7th Avenue which is the main drag in Ybor City and it was blocked off for pedestrian traffic due to one of their many festivals…I think somebody said it was the “Flan Festival” or something. 7th Avenue was totally congested with people so we biked carefully through the people…

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at one point stopping to try to get a photo with the three of us and a trolley, which was one of the tic-tac-toe squares.

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The next clue we solved was #4 on the list, finding a monument to the Rough Riders.

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I didn’t even realize until I was editing the photo below that there were trolleys behind us, so that first bad trolley photo was not even necessary (and we ended up not needing that square for tic-tac-toe anyway).

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Then we bid adieu to Ybor City…

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and started heading towards downtown.

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On the very outskirts of Ybor we found our next clue, which was #1 on the clue sheet:

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This mural was recently restored and is unbelievably vibrant and beautiful!

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We didn’t see other bikers there, but there were two nice young ladies there taking photos of the mural and they kindly took our picture.

Next we headed to our next destination, clue #5:

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That’s McFly – (McDonalds – TheDonald) + BAR = Fly Bar. Duh. In case you can’t tell in the photo below, we are “flying” at the Fly Bar because we are so cool.

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We also managed to knock off a couple of other clues at this stop thanks to some friendly random strangers.

Clue #2:

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Another tic-tac-toe square for clue #11 (conga line):

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Did you notice that all of the people, including the kids, in the above two photos are wearing race medals? Yesterday (Saturday) was day one of the Gasparilla Distance Classic. Saturday was the 15K and 5K and we saw people all over the city with their medals. Today (Sunday) was the 8K and half marathon…congrats to all of the finishers and especially to my IRunMommies friend Ali and Nikki who completed the 15K + 8K challenge!

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So, back to TUBA. Our next destination was on the Hillsborough River, so we had to navigate through downtown and then we rode past Curtis Hixon Park with the University of Tampa’s minarets visible in the background.

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Finally we made it to our next stop for clue # 6, MacDill Park:

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This was our first “challenge” stop, and foolishly Nicole and I picked up the ping-pong paddles while Michelle took photos.

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There were several other teams there trying to complete the challenge, and we could see that it was not easy. We had to bat the whiffle ping pong ball back and forth across the cones as we moved down the line…

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trying to finally get the ball into the cardboard box at the end…

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without letting it hit the ground.

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We had to start over about ten times. Finally…

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with the help of this face of determination…

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we managed to get it into the box (more quickly than some of the other teams who had arrived at that challenge before us).

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Then we were on to the next stop which was across the Hillsborough River.

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We spotted a guy with a tie on our way and knocked off another tic-tac-toe square for clue #11:

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The guy told us he was a celebrity and when we asked who he was he said, “The guy with the tie.” He was very nice and we told him to take his tie off and not talk to any other bikers (not really).

We were on our way to the Hyde Park neighborhood.

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Clue #10…

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which just happened to be CineBistro.

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We decided to make our “Shakespearean performance” be as the witches from Macbeth, stirring our cauldron.

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Being moms, we knew that we could find a swing set in the park at Hyde Park, so we headed there to complete tic-tac-toe for clue #11:

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From Hyde Park we headed to South Howard to look for what was formerly known as “Luna Park”…

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where we asked some kids to take our photo re-enacting the statue of the water dancing ladies.

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The other ladies look very graceful and I was really just trying not to fall into the fountain. I love our shadows!

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From Berns Park we turned a corner…

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and suddenly found ourselves on Bayshore Boulevard.

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I remarked to Michelle ahead of me that it was much more fun to bike down Bayshore than it was to run down Bayshore. I did the Gasparilla 15K last year, and it was so HOT and LONG running those five miles out then five miles back to downtown Tampa, almost all of it on Bayshore. There were many signs of the morning’s race along Bayshore.

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Back over the Hillsborough River, this time on a different bridge:

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We were headed to Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park which is right behind the Tampa Bay Times Forum on the riverfront. Last November I was at that park for the SWFBUD Bicycle Bash when the boys and I biked through downtown Tampa with mayor Bob Buckhorn, so I sort of knew where we were going.

Clue #9:

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I took photos while Nicole and Michelle tried to get a Frisbee to land inside a hula hoop.

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After only a couple of tries by both of them, Michelle made the winning toss:

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Then we were on to the final challenge back in Channelside.

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It was Nicole’s turn to be the photographer while I humiliated myself with a cup on my head and Michelle one again showed off her bulls-eye skills.

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From there we were just around the corner from the Pour House, where we checked in and found a cold beverage. Done!

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We were told that we were the sixth team to check in, and that there were 30 teams total. Not bad! We sat around for over an hour as all of the other teams trickled in, like Team Orange (or whatever their names were).

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We sat out on the patio for a while…

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until finally they called the course closed and gave out raffle prizes and awards. It turned out that we actually were the 5th place finishers as one of the teams that finished ahead of us hadn’t completed all of the clues and challenges. All of the top 10 teams were supposed to receive medals, but there was some mix up and they had received medals from some Hawaii race instead. We would have taken the Hawaiian medals, but they gave us “place holder” plastic medals to tide us over until they get the correct medals and can mail them to us.

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We were very proud of ourselves since we had no idea what we were doing and none of us really knew our way around Tampa all that well, being St. Petersburgers.

Nicole and I also both won a raffle prize of three free rides at Pura Cycling Studio in Wesley Chapel. That’s quite a haul from St. Pete, but I may try to get up there some time because I have friends who work there and who work out there (sometimes it does feel like I know everybody who is into fitness in Tampa Bay). It will be an adventure!

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It was a really great day with some awesome ladies. Nicole and Michelle, you guys made it so much fun. I felt like it was truly a team effort and I enjoyed every minute of it. We’re all going to do it again when The Urban Bike Adventure comes to St. Pete in November…we already registered as Team Wonder Wheels and signed Nikki up to be on our team as well. I can’t wait to do TUBA on our own turf! It’s super cheap to sign up now and will only get more expensive, so get signed up. I promise you will have a blast.

Cya.