Season’s Heatings! {Holiday Halfathon Recap}

When I registered for the Holiday Halfathon earlier in the year, I had no intention to aim for a PR.  With these plantar fasciitis feet, my PR days are gone, however, I expected to beat my time from three years ago.  Since I was pregnant, I could totally redeem that time even with bad heels.

Being a stunner runner, my attire is crucial next to the training.  Chrissy, Maribel and I wanted to match, so we decided on homemade tutus with striped furry stockings and a red wicking running shirt.  I added a little sequined clip-on Santa hat to my ensemble to finish my sporty Santa Baby look.

Lots of our Strider friends were also at this race as well as many of my runner blogger friends, Katrina of Sneakers and Fingerpaints and Beth of Discom-BOB-ulated Running.  Everybody looked so festive in their holiday attire.

About 4 miles into the race, I was dying from a heat stroke.  Usually, December races are cooler, but with the warmer weather, overcast and humidity, it felt like we were running in a Santa sauna.  I haven’t exposed my post-pregnancy belly in a sports bra in public, but I didn’t care.  I stripped off that shirt faster than a Catholic school girl at a frat party and then, I rolled down my cute striped socks.

Although Chrissy had been suffering from a sinus infection, she looked like a rock star out there.  She showed those bridges that she was the boss and she smiled the whole time.

The bridges were another reason I didn’t anticipate a PR.  I didn’t even want to push myself on that course.  I just wanted to finish better than I did three years ago.

Between the bridges and the heat, I needed to walk a large portion of the course.  Another runner on the course ridiculed Chrissy and I every time we walked the course.  John teased us about our tutus and socks having superpowers, but I don’t think so.  Those furry striped socks were my kryptonite!

Eventually, Chrissy and I caught up to Marie who was struggling due to a nasty bronchial infection.  Poor thing!  You know speedy little Marie is not up to par if she’s pacing with me.

Even with all the bridges, that last mile had to be the toughest for me.  We ran for a short distance on a sidewalk and then final half mile led us along a sandy, soft uneven trail covered with pine needles.  It was difficult to judge my footing and I stumbled a few times.  I decided to walk the trail and then I ran the last stretch to the finish line.  I suppose my tutu did give me some superpowers because I saved a sprint just for John.  I finished a few seconds before him and I beat my time from three years ago by nearly 30 minutes!

13.1 miles
Gun Time 2:26:55 
Chip Time 2:26:36
Ave Pace 11:13

We lost Maribel early in the race, but after we crossed the finish line, we all ran back to meet her.  The week prior to the race, her knee had been giving her a lot of grief and now, Maribel was really hurting.  When she spotted us, her spirits lifted and she sprinted the final stretch of her first half marathon.  Once past the finish line, we all cried in a huddled, blubbering mess for Maribel and everyone’s accomplishments and then we helped poor Maribel hobble over to the picnic tables to ice her knee.

Poor sick speedy Marie could barely talk.

I just wanted JM’s cookie cake beer.

At the post-race party, I found Jina of Behold the Turtle and we posed for a quick photo.  I loved her reindeer shirt!  As you can see, I was still so hot after the race and I was looking real hot in my white, very see through sports bra.  Yep, I’m a classy act.  Thank goodness for Cliff Shots covering my ta-tas like pasties!

I am so making Santa’s naughty list this year.

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

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A Holiday Sampling at Datz

Last Wednesday, Christmas came early when Chef Jason and our friends at Datz prepared a holiday tasting for the Tampa Bay Bloggers.

As usual, Datz rolled out the red carpet with chilled cocktails ready and waiting for us.  This holiday cocktail, Wreck the Halls, mixes 360 Madagascar vanilla vodka, Kahlúa peppermint mocha and Adult Chocolate Milk, which made our evening very merry and bright.

For our first course, we sampled Flatbreads topped with fig, pear, goat cheese and arugula.  The combination of tangy fruits and goat cheese with the crispness of the flatbread bundled a bit of Christmas flare in every bite.

Then, we nibbled on new-to-me dish, Poutine.  The gooey, gravy goodness and the fries were a meal in itself. (After all, chips and gravy is a British delicacy.)  Toss in some cheese curds and a fried egg on top and now you have a complete dinner.  But ours didn’t stop there.

Next, we noshed on Corn Fritters with Powdered Sugar and Jalapeño Maple Syrup.  The heat and sweetness of the jalapeño maple syrups finished the fritters off perfectly.

Photo credit to Datz

Our holiday sampling quickly became a feast once the main course arrived, Black Tea-Spiced Baby, Free Rage Chicken with Asian Pear Chutney served with Curried Vegan Winter Stew.

 Just when we thought we couldn’t possible eat another bite, Chef Jason saved the best bite for last: Battered and Fried Oreos.  It was deep fried slice of heaven.

But our evening didn’t end with dessert.  To wrap up our tasty evening, the Tampa Bay Bloggers and I participated in a Secret Santa Swag Swap.  Upon arrival, we placed our gifts under a slim Christmas tree, a beautiful centerpiece.

Jina of Behold the Turtle took home my Turbie Twist.

I scored some lovely lingerie from Raffi of Running Betty.  Thanks to this sexy little number, I’ve been added to Santa’s naughty list for sure.

The evening was epic, but don’t take my word for it.

For more reviews of our Datz holiday sampling and our fun Secret Santa Swag Swap, visit my fellow Tampa Bay Bloggers.

Running Betty

My Fascinating Life

By the way, the Tampa Bay Bloggers are so tasty, we were featured in the menu just below Eddie Vedder.  Yep, we’re as hot and juicy as Eddie.

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Tupper Feeling Deep in My Heart for Dixie

When I received an invitation to Dixie’s Tupperware Party, I dusted off my Amy Winehouse wig just for the occasion and if I had some real Tupperware, I would have brought that too.

Photo credit: Bradford Rogne

Dixie’s Tupperware Party is not your “grandmother Tupperware Party” (NBC Today Show).  Dixie has taken the Tupperware world by storm and transformed it into something reminiscent of a Passion Party.  Hold onto tight to that corkscrew and strap on in for a wild ride because Dixie will show you a side of Tupperware you have never experienced before, one “more fun than a gaggle of lesbians at a Home Depot sidewalk sale”.

Grab your girlfriends for the ultimate girl’s night out with your favorite southern belle hostess, Dixie Longate. 

Dixie Longate, the fast-talking Tupperware Lady, has packed up her catalogues, and left her children in an Alabama trailer park to journey across the country. Join Dixie as she throws a good ol’ fashioned Tupperware Party filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, FREE giveaways, audience participation and the most fabulous assortment of Tupperware ever sold on a theater stage. Loaded with the most up-to-date products available for purchase, see for yourself how Ms. Longate became the #1 Tupperware seller in the U.S. and Canada, as she educates her guests on the many alternative uses she has discovered for her plastic products! WARNING: recommended for mature audiences.

Complete with catalogues and order forms, guests welcomed into Dixie’s living room can find gifts for everyone on their Christmas list and the “Unchristmas, Chaka Khan Jewish holiday” too.  Much like Tupperware’s lifetime guarantee for its “great crap”, Dixie delivers a presentation full of laughs complete with one-liners and innuendoes that popup faster than a FlatOut!® bowl.

Raffi and her friend, Jennifer, were invited to sit on Dixie’s sofa.

The classics are still Tupperware’s top sellers, but Dixie offers her guests new ideas for the classic products.  I will never look at a Shape-O Toy® the same way.  Dixie also proudly declares Tupperware products to be BPA-free as well as provides helpful tips to keep those beautiful colorful plastic bowls stain-free.

After Dixie’s Tupperware Party, my blogger friends and I had the pleasure to meet Dixie in the lobby where she processed Tupperware orders, signed autographs and posed for photos.  Her loving, adorable presence glows on and off stage.

“Denise, I love you more than an Asian girl loves counting. xo Dixie Longate”

Dixie’s Tupperware Party premieres December 4 through December 9 in the Jaeb Theater at The David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.  Tickets may be purchased by visiting strazcenter.org.

*I received tickets to Dixie Tupperware Party in exchange for my honest review.*
Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

December Fitness Challenge: The Gift of Fitness

GiftofFitness_DecChallengeI racked my brain trying to come up with a reasonable and decent, worthwhile fitness challenge for December.

With a marathon next month, I didn’t want the challenge to be anything to strenuous.  I couldn’t take the chance of hurting myself, but I also needed to keep focused and something to prevent me from eating stacks of Christmas cookies.

I didn’t want to do something we’ve already done, such as burpees, planks, push-ups, yoga or  ab exercises even though I could use a push for a six-pack again.  Besides, even after all those burpees, some people still hate burpees, but oddly people love planks.

Then, it dawned on me.  Why not offer a fitness challenge that incorporates a little of everything?  Let my readers decide what they want to do, but keep encouraging them to do it.

So, my loyal Run DMT readers, I give to you “The Gift of Fitness”.  The December fitness challenge is simply a reminder to do something, anything every day.  By doing something every day, we’ll help battle the holiday bulge and kick those extra Christmas calories to the curb.

Anything goes!  Run, walk, plank, core exercises, swim, run, bike or burpee your way through December!  Pick whatever fitness keeps you on track with your fitness goals and do it.

I’m really excited about this fitness challenge and doubly excited because I’m co-hosting it with a truly inspirational and fitness junkie, Jenny of MetamorFit.  Her transformation into a fitness junkie is an incredible story and journey and she’s the perfect co-host because she already does some kind of fitness every day.

If you’re ready to give yourself the Gift of Fitness this December, join us by adding your blog title and url and/or your Twitter handle and url to the linky party below.  Then, follow @denisermt and @JennyMetamorfit on Twitter.  Use the hashtag #fitgift.

Spread the word by regifting our fitness challenge.  Share #fitgift with your readers and followers.  Blog about it and add the button to your sidebar.  Tweet it too.  “I’m giving myself the Gift of Fitness this December with @denisermt and @JennyMetamorFit. #fitgift”

Thanks for playing along and good luck!  Happy holidays!

GiftofFitness_DecChallenge


Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Random Thoughts about a Tossed Salad, Being a Local Celebrity and Un-Track Tuesday

FitFluential Is Fitness FoundThings are starting to get real exciting around here!  I’m officially a FitFluential Ambassador!  I am honored to join the ranks of some of the most inspirational and enthusiastic fitness bloggers.

Speaking of fitness blogger, last Saturday I joined a few other local bloggers for a commercial shoot for the Best Damn Race.  I loved hanging with Beth of Discom-BOB-ulated Running and Nicole of Healthy Girl Adventures.

We had one line, “I’m running to blog about it”, but for whatever reason, I couldn’t keep it straight.  I guess I was having too much fun being silly with Beth and Nicole.  Yep, I’m blaming them on my bloopers.  I have no idea when the Best Damn bloopers commercial airs, but when it does, I’ll share it with you all.

*Thanks to Nicole for the blooper photo!*

On Monday, I joined supermom Marisa of Fit Kids Playground for another edition of the Mom Squad.  This week, we talked ugly babies and turkey.

Joe wanted to know how we handle the Thanksgiving chores.  Since Iron Chef Allan handles most of the Thanksgiving cooking, there’s not much left for me do.  I believe I said, “I’ll toss the salad.”  Yep, that’s what I said.

My husband gasped when he watched the recorded segment.  “You didn’t just say that?  You know what that means, right?”  Once he explained the not-so-pleasant meaning behind “tossing the salad”, I burst out laughing.  Oh. My. GOD!  I can’t believe I said that on television!

Trust me I had no idea about the urban dictionary definition, but once I shared it as a Facebook status, my friends were happy to enlighten me.

I will never be able to look at salad the same way again.  And after that remark, I don’t think anyone will look at moms the same way again.  Well, it was nice being on the Mom Squad while it lasted.

After the segment, Ginger, the morning show anchor, asked if we had been spotted in the supermarket as local celebrities.  “Not yet”, I replied with a toss of my hair.  “But I’ve got my pen ready just in case.”

Although I suppose I’ll be signing bottles of salad dressing instead of supermarket receipts.

However, my dad was more concerned with my appearance rather than what I said.  “What was with your hair?”

“My hair looked like that because I ran to the studio, Dad.”  Whatever.

Last week was a light week for running, but not by choice.  My kids were home sick on Wednesday which meant no mid-week run with the school’s running club.  I was really sad to miss it because we had planned a race for the kids for the last session.

On Saturday, Larisa, Maribel and Chrissy and I ran 18, which was Maribel and Chrissy’s longest ever.  They did GREAT, though I didn’t do as well.  My heels had been bothering and I think my left knee over compensated for the pain because around mile 13 my knee buckled.  Not fun!  I had to slow way down and stretch more often.  I finished the miles, but I was really hurting. Lesson learned: A light running week is never a good idea on a big mile week.

18.1 miles
Time 3:23:23
Ave Pace 11:14
Max Pace 7:57

Between volunteering at the Women’s Half Marathon and the Mom Squad, I had two forced rest days.  Thank goodness!

Raffi and I volunteered at the Suncoast Running water station at the Women’s Half Marathon, however, more of the Suncoast Striders and Brian of Digital Running (Raffi’s hubby) joined us this year.

Rather than handing out water, I cheered, danced and rang a cowbell because I need more cowbell.  I loved calling out the ladies’ names and watching their face light up when they noticed me cheering for them.

Since I didn’t wear my glasses, I struggled reading everyone’s race bibs and I apologized for pronouncing a few names wrong.  “Go Joyce!  Er…I mean… Go Lois!”  But mispronounced names may have had more to do mimosas rather than my lack of specs.

Several of my running friends (Daffodil, Marie, Jen H, Marcia and Katrina) participated in the race this year and though I was supposed to be cheering for them, many of the ladies hollered to me as they ran past.  Katrina hollered and waved as she ran by.  Then, Jina of Behold the Turtle gave me shout out too and I ran a bit with her so I could snap a photo of her and her friends.

Since I was still nursing my heels, I skipped on Track Tuesday and ran an easy 4 miles.

4 miles
Time 39:47
Ave Pace 9:57
Max Pace 8:01

On Thursday, I plan to run a local Thanksgiving Day fun run with my friends.  How about you?  Will you be trotting for turkey on Thanksgiving morning?

I am excited to announce a new Track Tuesday co-host!  Meghan of runMeganrun will be joining me on the track for weekly speedwork.  The “rules” are still the same, so link up and play along with us.

To join our Track Tuesday linky party, do your speed work (at least 4 quarter mile sprints) on Tuesday or any day you that works best for you, blog about your times and remember to add our cool Track Tuesday button to your post.  Then, link up your post at either runMeganrun or Run DMT to share Track Tuesday Speed Work Sessions.  To show support for our other virtual running partners on the Track Tuesday Team, be sure to visit the other blogs listed in the linky party.  Give them a virtual high-five and leave some comment love too.



*Also linking up at*

Stacy

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Thankful for Good Food {Thanksgiving Food Blog Hop}

It’s no secret that I love food and I eat way more than I should for my size which is why I run why Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  For me, Thanksgiving is a free-for-all, eat-anything -you-like-as-much-as you-like-because-the-calories-don’t-count kind of day.

Since Camille and I share the same love for food and all things Thanksgiving, Run DMT and Growing Up Gabel have teamed up to host for a Thanksgiving linky party, Thankful for Good Food.  Every day leading up to Thanksgiving (November 1 – 22), we would love for you to link up and share some of you favorite Thanksgiving foods.

Anything goes for this cornucopia blog hop of great Thanksgiving dishes!   Add your favorite side dishes, gravy, desserts or even the best way to cook a turkey.  Share them all and link up as many times as you’d like!  Think of our blog hop as your Thanksgiving online cookbook/menu planner.

So what will you bring to the table? 

Thanks for linking up and sharing and Happy Thanksgiving!


Denise Mestanza-Taylor+