New Balance Sarasota 10 year anniversary party and ladies who lunch

March 19, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Yesterday I was pretty sore from my half marathon on Sunday, but not as bad as I thought I might be. I decided to go to a yoga class to stretch out my aching quads and hips.

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I bought a set of 20 classes from YogaBlu on Cyber Monday at half off and I need to use them! I always love doing yoga when I’m sore from running. It just makes everything feel better.

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The class I took was a 75 minute “Core Yoga” class. It included most of the traditional yoga moves I’m used to (downward facing dog, warrior 1,2,3, triangle post, etc.) with an extra emphasis on core strength positions. It was great. The studio is very clean, almost to the point of ascetic, but the lack of distractions also makes it very relaxing. I enjoyed my first class there and am looking forward to using up the rest of my pass. This was actually my first class, which is always free anyway, so it didn’t count towards my 20-class pass.

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After yoga I went home and got cleaned up then headed downtown to meet a blogger friend for lunch.

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My friend Tracey writes the blog Be More Childlike. In her words: Be More Childlike is a one-year experiment in consciously trying to be all of the things that come naturally to my kids. The theory being put to the test is: Will being more childlike make me a better adult?

You should check it out and “Like” the Be More Childlike Facebook page.

Tracey and I met at BizMoms and we’ve been wanting to get together to talk about bloggy stuff for a while, so we finally did it yesterday. We met at Bangkok Thai downtown and talked so much that we had a hard time eating our meal in between the chatting.

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We probably could have talked for a few more hours so we’ll just have to get together again soon.

Yesterday afternoon after I dropped the boys off at karate I hit the road to head BACK to Sarasota over the Sunshine Skyway.

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A few weeks ago I was invited to attend a party celebrating the 10th anniversary of the New Balance Sarasota store.

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Hey, free food and drinks are usually enough to get me to an event. When I realized that I could also use it as an excuse to hang out with my awesome blogger friend Theresa (of Active Eggplant) who lives in SRQ, I was set on going even though I knew that would mean driving to Sarasota twice in three days. Eh, it’s only an hour away.

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The event was held at The White Buffalo, a big country/western line dancing bar.

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New Balance has a long-standing relationship with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and the event was also a fundraiser for that organization.

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They had a mini-store set up in the front of the bar where you could get a free custom fitting for a New Balance sports bra.

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The White Buffalo is HUGE. That’s a good thing because this turned out to be one big party with over 400 people in attendance.

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In addition to an OPEN BAR, they also had pizza…

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and barbecue pork sliders, curry chicken sliders, and hummus sliders.

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They also had salad which I guess wasn’t picture-worthy, but apparently the dessert table was.

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They were also raffling off a bunch of goodies to raise more money for Komen, including a Disney weekend package with a minimum bid of $700!

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Theresa and I perused the raffle items then got some food and sat outside to chat and eat.

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I used to wear New Balance sneakers for years before I started running. I always wore their cross-trainers for everything I did…mostly walking. I was psyched (it was a “Get Psyched” event after all) to see their apparel line on the catwalk.

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Pretty soon Molly and David Jackson, owners of the Sarasota and University Park New Balance stores, took the stage and gave a moving speech about the history of their family-owned stores.

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Then it was time for the fashion show!

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All of the models were local friends of theirs, and they were pretty funny on the catwalk.

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I really loved so much of the apparel and the shoes looked awesome…I am definitely going to be checking out the New Balance line in stores.

I enjoyed the party…thanks for inviting me New Balance Sarasota and congratulations on your anniversary! But I have to say that the best part was hanging out with my friend Theresa who I don’t see nearly often enough.

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Then it was back over the Skyway for the fourth time in three days.

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After I got the boys off to school this morning I went to Bodypump, sporting my Sarasota Half Marathon race shirt of course.

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Then I ran by the post office and Target to share my sweatiness with the general public.

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Then I went home and showered and met Mack at school for his lunch hour.

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His teacher actually had work for me today so it was a legitimate volunteer day!

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OOTVD (outfit of the volunteering day):

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I’m sure the St. Patrick’s Day decorations will be coming down soon, so I better preserve them on the blog.

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After leaving school I met my friend Ali for lunch downtown. Two downtown lunches in two days! Who am I? Yesterday was Thai, today was Indian.

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We had a nice lunch and visit. India Grill is in the Central Arts District of downtown St. Pete, and I noticed these murals on the tree planters across the street …

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I love bike art! I looked them up and they are by local artist Sebastian Coolidge.

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Awesome. Here’s a story I found about the murals on The St. Pete Patch.

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That’s it for today. The world is now caught up with my mundane fascinating life. I’m heading out to Restore the Core soon.

Cya.

Sarasota Half Marathon 2013 recap

March 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm

I did it! I didn’t die and I got the medal!

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It definitely wasn’t my fastest half marathon (St. Pete Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon 2012) but it wasn’t my slowest either (Iron Girl Clearwater Half Marathon 2012).

We were lucky that one of our IRunMommies friends (who happens to be seven months pregnant) now lives in Sarasota and was running the race. She picked us up at the hotel at 6 a.m. and drove us to the start. There was some traffic for parking, but it wasn’t too bad and we arrived before the 7 a.m. start in plenty of time.

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I wished all of my IRunMommies friends good luck then went to the back of the pace groups to find two of my blogger friends. They were nice enough to agree to start out with me at my SLOW pace.

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I’ve heard that there were about 2200 finishers at this race, but it didn’t seem like a crazy large crowd at the start.

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After the singing of the National Anthem, we were off. I’m pretty sure this was the first time that Beth has ever started at the back of a race’s starting line queue.

With the flash on:

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With the flash off:

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The route took us towards the John Ringling Causeway, the one bridge on the course, and we passed the semi-famous 26-foot tall “Unconditional Surrender” statue of the sailor kissing the nurse.

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Before we knew it we were heading up the ascent on the bridge.

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I don’t think that this bridge was as steep or as long as the Clearwater Memorial Causeway, Belleair Causeway, or Misener Bridges, all of which I have run multiple times.

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Bagpipes!

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The sun was just starting to come up as we ascended the bridge.

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I ran most of the first mile, but from then on out it was walk/run/walk/run at no particular intervals. Nanci was hoping to get her first sub-3:00 half finish (which she did…go Nanci!), so we encouraged her to go on ahead and Beth was nice enough to stick with me for a little while despite the fact that she is very speedy. I appreciated this sign:

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After the bridge we headed towards a loop around St. Armand’s Circle and all it’s pricey little boutiques. Beth took the next photo in St. Armand’s Circle, proving that she is NOT normal.

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After the circle we were headed back over the Ringling Causeway once more.

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Beth stuck with me until the Mile 4 marker, then I let her go ahead at her own pace and I was on my own for the rest of the race.

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Back up the bridge.

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The weather was perfect. At the beginning of the race it was in the mid-50’s and once the sun rose it was a beautiful sunny day.

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I love running DOWN bridges, although my hip doesn’t really like it.

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I could already feel my hip beginning to hurt after the first few miles, so I knew that the last few were going to be really challenging.

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After the Mile 5 marker we passed the semi-famous statue once more…

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and headed back past the start for the second leg of the race. Somehow I missed the Mile 6 marker…

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but I thought the kayak business sign next to the Mile 7 marker was funny.

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Only non-Floridian tourists would consider mangrove tunnels “exotic”, I think. This leg of the race was a long straightaway heading north.

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Finally we turned a corner at the Ringling Museum of Art.

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They had a water/Gu stop here and I was lucky enough to get my favorite flavor…double caffeine espresso. I needed the sugar and the caffeine by this point.

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Right past there I also saw this police dog named “Mack”…awesome.

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My hip had been hurting for most of the race, but by Mile 9 everything was starting to hurt and feel fatigued. I know that I did not properly train for this race, but I don’t think I could have considering my hip. The more running I do, the more it hurts. I also have not been following the Whole30-type of diet that helped me be able to run at all again. I knew this was going to be hard.

After the turn at the Ringling Museum, the rest of the course weaved in and out through neighborhoods close to the water front. Every now and then there would be a glimpse of the water. These trees had some sort of interesting textile art wrapped around them.

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The First Watch signs along the course were pretty humorous.

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My longest “training” run for this race was 10 miles which I did every other weekend three times leading up to the race. Definitely not any sort of logical or recommended training plan. Once past the ten mile mark I was definitely feeling my fatigued legs and painful hip.

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I loved all of the groups of ladies run/walking near my pace, however. They were very inspiring to me.

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Past eleven miles it was definitely a struggle to keep going. I did still do run/walk intervals but not really in an attempt to go faster. Running was a break for my walking muscles, and vice versa. Switching it up was the least painful thing to do.

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From mile 12 on I kept passing people who were finished, wearing their medals, and walking back to their cars or their houses. Invariably they said, “You’re almost finished! You’re almost there!” NOT helpful. I’m running a dang half marathon. I know exactly how far I am from the finished. A note to anyone reading this…unless you are at the 13 mile marker, do NOT say, “You are almost there!” It’s just really annoying. Finally I really WAS almost there.

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DONE.

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My Garmin finish time and average pace are a little better because it auto-pauses when I completely stop and I did take a port-a-potty pit stop at one point. Obviously I stopped many times for a few seconds to take photos as always.

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But whatever…I didn’t get picked up by the SAG wagon and I finished! My IRunMommies were cheering for me at the end.

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They had also grabbed one of the yogurt parfaits and a muffin for me. Thanks ladies!

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The parfait and muffin were awesome, but I was a little disappointed that there was no hot food from First Watch, especially since they had signs on the course that said, “Wakey, wakey, eggs & bakey!” Oh well. I definitely enjoyed my yogurt parfait and muffin.

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I think that by the time I finished some of the post-race festivities had died down.

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I know that some of my friends went to the beer tent at that point and they were out of beer already. They also ran out of medals and my pregnant IRunMommies friend, Meghann, was given one of last year’s medals when she finished the half marathon . So not cool. Meghann was nonchalant about it and didn’t really care, but I probably would have cried.

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I hope they send her one of this year’s medals, because she definitely deserves it! She had a cold AND was 7 months pregnant and still completed a half marathon! Go Meghann, and thanks for driving us!

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Post race euphoria photos:

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Thanks to my awesome IRunMommies for motivating me as always!

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It was a great day and a super fun time with my friends. I truly do intend for this to be my last half marathon. I want to still do shorter distance races and triathlons, but my hip just isn’t up to the long distance training. Next year Mack wants to do the half marathon relay with me!

Thanks First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon for a great event!

Cya.