Archive | September, 2010

Sensible seafood

30 Sep

So here is what we did with our evening.  Ya know, besides watch DVR and Thursday night TV…

Delicious barbecue shrimp from Rockefeller's. So. Good!

 

Band that was playing all night. A combo of surfy, oldies and bongo drum.

 

Butternut squash crab bisque. This was our favorite soup of the night. Creamy, butternut squashy everything you'd want for a fall seafood bisque.

 This event was held at the Virginia Aquarium and was put on by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.  Isn’t it kind of cruel to eat seafood in an aquarium?  Whatever, it was good. 

It was a pretty cool night.  It was called Sensible Seafood Fest and had an emphasis on local seafood and restaurants.  They also had information on different local farms and CSA’s.  We partook in a CSA this year and were really happy with the different veggies and fruits we got to try all year-long. 

I think I may have partook in a liiittle too much wine, but it’s all good.  ‘

Oh! Other honorable mentions are the raw oysters with lemon granita from Boot in Norfolk and the She Crab soup from the Surf Club in Virginia Beach.  They also served local Albemarle wines (Red blend and Sauvignon Blanc).  A great evening and a really good way to sample different food from local vendors.

Trails and trials

28 Sep

Long time, no see!  Yeah, I know.  But, I promise it’s all for good reasons.  Training of course.  Leanne and I have been training for our trail half marathon coming up this Saturday.

Trail walking. Who's that girl!?

Osmanthus Trail, up we go!

We are going to be walking in the White Tail Trail Half Marathon in Caesar’s Creek Ohio.  Gotta same I have a little bit of trepidation about all this since it’s my first trail half marathon.  I know I can do it, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to kick my butt.  I am so glad that I bought my trail running shoes.  Membah these…?

Awesome Puma trail running shoes. Don't mind the messy coffee table or dining room table...

I highly recommend them.  Really I do. 

Anywho, Leanne and I walked on Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Not to mention Pilates on Thursday which always adds a bit more burn into the week. 

We did our trail training at First Landing Park on the Osmanthus and Bald Cypress trails.  They will definitely get your booty in gear, especially the sandy uphills at the end of the trail.  Always a pleasure, really. 

I also discovered that I may have pulled or have done something to my plantar fasciitis.  It really killed on Saturday when we walked, but Sunday it was a lot better.  We are trying to taper this week, but plan on one more trail walk on Tuesday.  Then it’s rest those poor feet, legs, and butt! 

Hope y’all are having a good start to your week.  Catch ya on the flip side!

How to hydrate with wine

21 Sep

Okay so not really, but wouldn’t that be great?  

Hey there folks!  We had a great weekend, but guess what!?  It didn’t include an ounce of training.  Well, maybe if you include buying trail shoes, then yes we trained.  All of the other “training” included drinking absurd amounts of wine and not a lot of water, eating delicious food and spending waaaaay too much money.  

Okay, so we went to Washington D.C. this weekend and went to the Virginia Wine Fest!  

Inside the tents. All those white boxes are full of wine!

 

It was an awesome festival, not only because we drank and drank wine pretty much for 4 hours, but also because one of our favorite bands was there.  OVER THE RHINE!    If you haven’t ever heard of Over the Rhine, that’s okay, they kind 

Over the Rhine! Linford, bass player (sorry don’t know his name), and Karin. I didn’t get the guitar player in the picture, but he is awesome!

fly under the radar, but rest assured, they are amazing.  Over the Rhine is from Cincinnati, Ohio where they call home (so do !;)  They have a really chill vibe and great songwriting.  Some of my favorite OTR songs are: Trouble, I’m on a Roll, and Ohio.  I really do love all of their songs and wish I could follow them around and listen to them play, really.  It’s true.  Karin and Linford if you’re reading and need someone to join you on the road and do things for you, I’m all for it.  Really. 

So, I know you are asking yourself, if all you did all weekend was drink wine you surely had to pass out somewhere.  Where was that!?  Well, dear friend it was at the Hotel Madera near Dupont Circle in D.C. 
 
(So right here is supposed to be a picture of Hotel Madera, but the computer kept freezing every time I tried to put it so just imagine.  K?)
 
The Hotel Madera is a Kimpton Hotel.  The Kimpton Group has several hotels in D.C., as well as other cities.  We’ve stayed at the George Hotel previously and that’s where we learned how nice they are.  They give you really awesome soaps, comfy beds with tons of pillows, and our room even had a balcony.  Yep, it did, we could look right out onto the street.  The Hotel Madera’s restaurant and bar are also part of the perks of staying there.  The Firefly had a great menu which included the small plates that we ordered from.  Leanne and I shared the Poached Octopus and Crispy Pork Belly.  Lemme tell ya, it was de.lish.ious.  Really, it was.  I was very surprised that I liked the octopus so much.  It was tender, didn’t really taste like octopus (not that I know what it should taste like), and had avocado included in the dish.  The pork belly was melt in your mouth crispiness, if that makes sense.  Dessert was another round of amazingness, yes it’s a word.  It included a Nutella cheesecake and apple crisp, both were great!
There was more good eats at the Scion Restaurant…  Plus lots of good people watching, drag queens, people riding bikes on the rims without wheels, ya know the usual. 
 
On Sunday, we went to the Second Story Bookstore.  We stopped by after dinner on Saturday, but were a little to “happy” to make good judgement on purchases.  Oops, before that we ate at Cafe Luna, which had really good after a wine festival breakfasty foods.  We also heard the awesome comment of, “…Oh, I don’t like jalapeno peppers, I like the Habanero.  You know the green ones?”  Umm. No. 
 
After those festivities we went shopping in Georgetown on M street.  Where we got these beauties…  Yes, we got the same shoes.  Couldn’t be helped really.  Also, we got free running sleeves.  Woohoo!  The guy helping us sounded like Cassanova.  Project Runway?  Anyone?
 
K.  So, there will be a blog about the shoes, but not right now, later. 
 
That’s about all that happened over the weekend.  I know there are some things that I have forgotten to write about.  It really was an awesome weekend and I wish it could have lasted just one day longer.  Sad face. 
 
How was your weekend??

Tips from the Rock n Roll Half in VA Beach

15 Sep

So dear reader, what is your take from reading our blog?  Sure, the satisfaction of living vicariously through our unique adventure is obvious.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to do that???  But Emily and I feel it is our duty to give back to the community, improve the world, and all that jazz.  So our gift to you is an insider’s look into all the gems and mishaps from each race.  You can expect to find food reviews (because we both LOVE food), travel tips, event info, and miscellaneous pearls of wisdom.  So, without further ado, let’s get on with it!

2010 Rock n Roll Half Marathon - Virginia Beach, VA

(Yes…this review is cheating.  We know we live here so we have a different take on things at this race.  You’re just going to have to get over it.)

FOOD

1. Pasta Party – There is NO pasta party at the VA Beach Rock n Roll Half Marathon.  Awwww…  But not to worry dear carb nut!  If there was a pre-race Pasta Party you’d certainly miss out on one of VA Beach’s hidden restaurant treasures.  When looking for the BEST pre-race pasta meal, there is only one place to go – Reginella’s Italian Ristorante on Virginia Beach Blvd.  Best italian around by far.  Our personal favorites are the Spaghetti Carbonara (so creamy) and the Gnocchi (light as pillows).  And you have to try the pizza and canzones.  Yum!

2.  Energy Stuff – Thanks goodness for kind people to stand alongside the road and pass out water, sports drinks, and power gels.  You are a blessing!  The VA Beach RnR Half does an outstanding job of fueling you up during the run.  There are plenty of hydration stops throughout the course that provide both water and Cytomax sports drink.  WARNING: If you have never had Cytomax, it’s really sugary!  Mile 6 gave us our one and only Gu gel stop.  Although promised a wide variety of flavors, the RnR was lacking there.  What we got was Blackberry, Blueberry, and Vanilla; none of which was on the website list of flavors.  The good news is, at mile 6, we were so famished that honestly flavors hardly mattered at all.  Emily had vanilla and seemed to like it alright.  I enjoyed a pack of Blueberry which was surprisingly more tolerable than I expected.  Tasted like pie filling except not as sweet.  Pre and post race food was the usual.  Bananas, crackers, water, bagels, etc.  Bonus perk for finishing all 13.1 miles…  Bomber popsicles and MGD beer!  What a reward!

TRAVEL

1. Okay, not much to say here since we have an apartment 12 miles from the oceanfront.  My advice, if you’re traveling into the area, stay in one of the hotels on Atlantic Ave.  First, you get to stay on the beach.  Obvious choice.  Secondly, there are a ton of shuttle stops on Atlantic Ave to take you to the start line on race day.  Avoid traffic and parking issues.  Just be prepared to deal with a lot of people near your hotel on race day since the RnR Half ends on Atlantic.

 RACE PERKS

1. There’s a reason it’s called the “Rock n Roll” Half Marathon.  There’s tons of music!!!  Who needs an ipod when you get to listen to a new band at every mile marker.  We got to hear tons of talented local bands.  We were even surprised at how young a couple of the groups were and how good they were.  Emily really liked the group that played Poker Face.  Although good, my preference was the Thriller Dance Group.  True, they weren’t a band (the music was recorded), but they danced to all Michael Jackson songs which was awesome.  At mile 10 I got to hear and dance along to Thriller.  Too much fun!

2. Free concert.  Yes…FREE.  Well, sort of.  Your race bib is your ticket and as long as you registered for the race (and paid the entry fee), you are in.  This year’s concert was Pat Benatar and REO Speedwagon.  Not gonna lie…we didn’t go.  WE WERE TOO TIRED!!!  (Yeah, lame excuse.  Still the truth.)  But we saw the concert set up.  It’s on the beach and they have booze!  How can you beat that!?!

 PEARLS OF WISDOM

1. Parking – Do NOT park at the Virginia Beach Amphitheatre as suggested by the race people.  There is plenty of free parking two or three blocks from the waterfront near 30th Ave.  Save yourself the time and hassle of being 30 minutes from the start/finish lines and park on the street.  You can get a shuttle from Atlantic Ave. right by the block where you parked.  5 minutes and you’re at the start line and back at your car afterwards.  WAY better than leaving your car out in BFE at the Amphitheatre.

2. Props to Hampton Roads Transit.  Never thought I’d say this but they rocked on raced day.  A) They use hybrid buses.  Too cool.  B) They had tons of assets supporting the race.  We never had to wait for a bus and there were even employees by the bus stops directing shuttle riders and drivers.  Super organized and super efficient.  Way to go!

3. Put sandals in your car for after the race.  Your feet will thank me later.

4. Which takes me to shoes.  Get your shoes fitted to your foot at a professional running store!  You’ll avoid injury and again, your feet will thank me later.  And oh by the way…DOUBLE KNOT YOUR LACES!!!

5. You do not need to wear a belt with 20 bottles of water on race day. That’s what water stations are for.  Unless you have a compromised immune system, you’ll be fine!  And who knows, you might even drop some time off your race by leaving the added weight at home.

6. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  48 hours in advance minimum!  If you’re pee isn’t almost clear the morning of the race, you’ve failed.  You do not want to visit the medical station.  If you don’t finish you won’t get your cool medal at the end.

7. Dri-fit is a gift from God.

In summary…DO THIS RACE!!!  This a great half marathon.  The course is awesome (minus miles 6-9 in Camp Pendleton); the event is well planned, organized, and executed; the route is almost completely flat so your time will be fast; it’s a blast to run/walk with 20,000 other people; and best of all – you’re at the beach!!!  Can’t beat that!!! 

You rock, we roll…

15 Sep

So, I promised a recap of our first half marathon and a recap you shall get.  Leanne and I walked in the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach on September 5th.  There were near perfect conditions on that day.  It wasn’t too hot, there was a nice breeze…  Pretty much the perfect type of weather that you’d want for your first half marathon. 

Leanne and woke up at 4:30.  Yes, 4:30.  We had to make sure that we could get down to the oceanfront and find parking since neither of us felt like driving to the amphitheater to be shuttled to the start line.  Bright and early we were up and eating bagels with peanut butter and banana’s.  My personal fave to have before any type of race.  Then, off we drove to the oceanfront.  We were worried that there wouldn’t be a lot of parking on the street, but lo and behold no one else was awake at that time either.  We easily found a parking spot and walked to the shuttle to take us to the start line. 

Once we got to the start there were swarms of other crazy people sitting, standing,stretching, using the lovely toilets, and getting those last minute carbs and water in the parking lot of the Virginia Beach Convention Center.  We sat around for a bit and then made our way to, you guessed it, The Last Corral.  There wasn’t really anyone else back there yet, and it did fill up once race time got closer.  At the back of the pack you really get to see what everyone else is wearing, what type of Gu they have, how many water bottles they have strapped to them, ya know, the usual. 

Finally, at 7:00, the horn went off… and we didn’t go anywhere. 

Start Line

See, when starting at the back you usually have a good 15 to 30 minute wait till you get to the start (depending on the race).  For this particular race we started 37 minutes after the first group went.  Plenty of time to take in the scenery and eavesdrop into others conversations.  One of the best quotes we heard was from a lady and the friend she was walking with.  I do believe it went something like this, “You know we are insane for doing this, right?”  “Yeah.”  At that moment it was exactly how Leanne and I were feeling. 

Okay, so we get to the start line and we’re off!  We started off at a good pace, or so we thought.  Turns out our first 5K was at a 15:49 pace.  Yikes!  We did not know this while walking, since I told Leanne to try to not to figure out the pace at the mile markers.  At least for me, this spells disaster.  I get all caught up in my head and trying to do math while walking a half marathon does not work.  If you know me, you know I am a stellar mathematician.  Please read the sarcasm.  Anyway, we get to about mile 1.5 and we see the super fast runners already coming around at mile 12!  I mean really!  C’mon people.  They were going to run the half in about 1hr ish, real precise, I know. 

The first couple miles we got more into our pace and crazily enough throughout the race we actually sped up our pace.  We started at 15:49 and our finishing pace was 15:11.  Quite proud of ourselves, I gotta say. 

We walked over the Rudee Inlet…

Down General Booth…  While on General Booth we did have a lady ask us if we were twins.  We said no.  “Well, are you sisters?”  We said no.  She didn’t quite know what to do with that.  We told her we just happened to have dressed the same that morning.  She didn’t talk to use anymore. 

And into Camp Pendleton…

Race Map

See, Camp Pendleton? It's that gray area.

Okay, this was not my favorite part of the race.  Walking through Camp Pendleton was like walking around a track.  Not fun.  I don’t like it when I can see the other walkers/runners on the other side of me.  I also got a rock stuck in my shoe right when we got into Camp Pendleton and it stayed with me for the rest of the race.  Boo.  One perk while in the Camp, Gu!  Oh, it was soooo needed.  Even though they didn’t have any of the flavors they said they were going to, it was all good.  Also in Camp Pendleton I saw my friend Arla.  Hi Arla!  This was miles 6-9ish, though it felt sooo much longer.

Miles 9 – 10, out of Camp Pendleton.  We notice that we are actually passing people.  What’s this passing people at the end of the race?  Oh, yes.  I think it was the band playing Poker Face that gave me a boost.  Throughout the race course there are bands and cheerleaders getting you going.  This was great and I honestly couldn’t have done it without them.  Miles 9-10, you are also starting to notice that your feet hurt and that you are quite as loose as you were at the beginning.  We are getting a second wind!  We loved the dancers, the water sprinklers, and the PJammers from the community right by Rudee Inlet. 

Mile 11, we notice “the purple people” who we were pacing around miles 5-6 and lost in Camp Pendleton are back.  Crap!  We now pace them again till the end of the race.  Around mile 11 we also turn back onto Atlantic Ave.  More bands, but also more people who have finished and tourists.  This is somewhat disconcerting.  I don’t like it when the tourists and other racers walk in front of me.  Stay on your side of the road!  At this point you are really feeling every little elevation change, rock in the road, lack of wind, whatever. 

Mile 12, now turning onto the boardwalk.  We are still pacing “the purple people”, “Batman”, and “the blue girls.”  We will finish with them.  It’s certain.  Now, you can see the beautiful ocean and all the other sane people who decided to layout on the beach this beautiful morning instead of torturing themselves to a half marathon.  Also at this point the medical people are like every 5 feet, making sure you aren’t going to pass out or keel over whilst on the beautiful boardwalk.  Now, we can see the finish line.

Mile 13, only .1 mile to go!  So close we can taste it.  We can hear the music, see the photographers!  Finally at 3:18 we cross the finish line!   A tiny chorus of Hallelujah goes off in my head.  After this point it’s through the food gauntlet and onto the shuttle back to the car. 

It was a great half marathon and we did an awesome job, if I do say so myself.  Were we sore afterward?  Absolutely.  Did we stay locked in couch position for a bit?  Most assuredly yes.  Did we enjoy ourselves?  You betcha ;)

Onward to training for our next half in Ohio!!!  Ceaser’s Creek!

What the heck is a “Corral” and why is this the last one???

14 Sep

Definition: A corral is a sectioned area at a race’s starting line, where race participants are grouped according to their expected finishing time. The fastest runners are usually in the first corrals and the slowest runners are in the corrals at the back.

Since we walk our half marathons, it can be assumed that our starting corral will always be at the end.  Hense, “The Last Corral”.  This does not necessarily mean, however, that we will finish last; only that our starting time is almost always guarenteed to be 30 minutes behind the guy at the front wearing bib number 1.

We find that the back of the pack isn’t that bad at all.  Here are our Top 10 things we like about being at the end:

1. More time to take in the excitement of race day.

2. All the free music blaring from the start line speakers to pump you up.

3. It’s a great opportunity to look at all the cool race gear everyone is wearing so you can begin your shopping list for the next race expo.

4. More time to indulge in free bananas, bagels, and bottled water.

5. It’s less crowded at the back!

6. A true athelete can’t stretch enough.

7. This is a great time to double-tie those shoe laces which you forgot about at 4:30 in the morning when you dragged yourself out of bed.

8. If you snoozed your alarm clock one too many times, no worries! You still have plenty of time before your group starts the race.

9. There are plenty of people in front of you to pass who lied about their race finish time.

10. One last chance to visit the port-a-potty! (If you’re worried about that kind of thing.)

Welcome!

12 Sep

So, we’ve decided to start a blog.  I mean all the other kids are doing it so why shouldn’t we?!  The reason for starting this is so that we can document, hopefully, our journey across the United States one half marathon at a time.  In this blog you will find pictures, restaurants that we’ve eaten at, and the different things we do in each city and state.  This is a short first post and we are still tweaking the blog, so stay with us.  Next up, our first half marathon!

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