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+


Random Thoughts about a Turkey Trot, Happy Feet, a Happy Dance and Track Tuesday

The last couple of weeks haven’t been the greatest in the running sense.  My heels have been giving me grief and I decided I needed a few days of rest.  No speed work last Tuesday and no running on Wednesday, but on Thanksgiving morning I decided to join the Daily Mile’s Feed the Turkey Virtual Turkey Trot 5K to benefit the Hurricane Sandy victims.

I didn’t push myself and just enjoyed the run along the quiet roads in my ‘hood.  Running on Thanksgiving is always such a treat.  It feels good to burn calories before a feast and the tranquil roads rejuvenate me.  It lifts my spirit and I drift away.

3.1 miles (Garmin died at 2.74)
Time 26:01
Ave Pace 9:31
Max Pace 8:33

I so needed that run.  And even if my Garmin died just before the 5K, I still loved it.

A few days of rest did me a world of good, because I had a much better run on Saturday for my 14 miles.  For that long run, I tried to keep an easy pace.  Whenever I pushed it, I cussed out Chrissy, Marie and Larisa I felt it in my heels and my left knee.   So, I maintained a 10:00-11:00 pace and I felt great afterwards.

14 miles
Time 2:25:46
Ave Pace 10:26
Max Pace 8:04

On Small Business Saturday, I dropped a small fortune on new shoes for the whole family at Suncoast Running.  At least I saved 20% on it all!  Thanks to the discount, I finally could afford a new pair of Brooks Trance 11.  Although moving into a wide limits my color choices, at least I can enjoy a pretty turquoise shoe.  I know.  I know.  It’s not about the color.  Whatever.  It totally is about the color and to prove it, expect to see some Sweat Pink hot pink laces on my new kicks.
Plantar Fasciitis Sleeve
I also purchased some Feetures! compression sleeves specific for plantar fasciitis.  As soon as I slipped those bad boys on, I immediately felt a difference in my heels.  They ROCKED and you better believe I purchased two!  (They only come one per package.)  Hopefully, I’ll get another pair in my Christmas stocking instead of coal (hint…hint…Santa) because these gems are going to get worn.  Seriously, I need one pair for running and another just for sleeping.  New shoes and compression sleeves make my feet very happy.

4 miles
Time 38:48
Ave Pace 9:42
Max Pace 6:00

Interesting side note and a total selling point for me, the Suncoast Running Associate mentioned that his father wrote a short review for the Tampa Tribune praising the sleeve.

Pain free speedwork (Thanks to my new Feetures! PF sleeves.) defintiely has me doing a happy dance.

Happy feet.
I’ve got some happy feet.
Give me some Feetures! sleeves and they begin dancing.

Now, if only my new Feetures! sleeves could make my sprints a little faster.

1 mile

Lap 1 – 0.25
Time 1:45

Ave Pace 7:04
Lap 2 – 0.25
Time 1:54
Ave Pace 7:39

Lap 3 – 0.25
Time 1:53
Ave Pace 7:32

Lap 4 – 0.25
Time 1:5
Ave Pace 7:41

1.1 mile
Time 10:26
Ave Pace 9:23

Want to know what else has me doing a happy dance?  Verizon requested me to stay on a Verizon Wireless Ambassador!  Stayed tuned for more posts and tweets about my “Incredible” phone!


What has you doing a happy dance this week?  Did you have happy feet during while running, during your sprints and workouts?

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*


Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Enjoying a Red Sunrise from The Walking Company

Upon a recent visit to The Walking Company I fell in love with the numerous styles and colors of comfortable shoes.  Sure, there were the traditional walking brands, like Clarks, Birkenstock and New Balance, but I was blown away by the variety of stylish sandals.  For once a girl can be cute and comfortable at the same time!

With the help of the sales assistance, I had my feet scanned for a proper fit and within seconds, a high tech analysis had measured me as a size 39, also known as an 8 US.

I tried on a few pairs and it was love at first step.  I even tweeted about them.

The prices of shoes at The Walking Company compare to your average running shoes, therefore, I experienced no sticker shock.  However, I needed new running shoes before fancy, fun sandals and I had to overrule any purchases based upon need vs. want.  Like a good consumer, I left the store empty handed, but with very sad feet.

A few hours later, I received an email from The Walking Company stating they would like to send me a pair of ABEO Biomechanical Footwear shoes.  I only needed to visit the site and make a selection.

You’re joking?  No need to tell me twice.  I was on it like a fashionista famished for new shoes.

When I visited the site, I discovered the most amazing thing. The Walking Company sells shoes specific to plantar faciistis.  I had died and gone to shoe heaven, because my feet would be walking on clouds this summer.

Much like my experience in the store, there were so many fun styles online.  After clicking through the site, I decided upon a fun color for summer: the ABEO Sunrise Red Reptile.


Now, I could share with you all the high-tech terminology and features of the shoes, but that’s all listed on the website.  You only need to know one thing: I love them.

My Red Reptile ABEO Sunrise shoes are so comfortable.  I don’t have any heel pain when I wear them.  I can walk in them for hours and never feel a twinge of pain from plantar fasciitis.  It’s like wearing running shoes, only much more stylish.  I can dress them up or down by coordinating the shoes with a sundress or shorts.  I can wear them to church, the mall, the park, the beach, an amusement park or restaurant.

Anything goes with a Sunrise (even a glass of red wine and purple toenail polish), but it’s the trendy comfort that makes this so fitting for my active mother runner lifestyle.

*I received these shoes as a gift from The Walking Company and I received no compensation for my review.  This review was offered in return for The Walking Company’s generosity.*  

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Random Thoughts about a Break or Two, Burpees and My New Shoes

My plantar faciitis began bothering me again which I believe to be a result of old shoes.  I’ve put a lot a miles on my shoes since November when I bought them.  Since my left heal has been giving me trouble, I haven’t ran since last Wednesday and I ordered myself some new lavender Trace 10 running shoes from  They should arrive tomorrow, so hopefully I can get at least one 3 mile run in and break them in before my 5K on Saturday.

The Hare Racing Experience this Saturday is the only race I have one this month.   Although I never ran it before, I’ve heard great things about it so I’m excited about it.  This race will be even more fun since I’ll be joined by family members running/walking their first race.  We’re all participating in this race to benefit epilepsy in honor of my niece, Meghan.

I’ve had some amazing opportunities fall into my lap lately and I’m feeling so blessed for each of them.  I’m a grateful for every opportunity and the doors they have opened for me.  Thank you.

And speaking of opportunities, did you hear that I was featured on Another Runner Mother?  Go read my interview and leave some comment love.

On the subject of things I love…last week I received some new sandals from The Walking Company which my PF feet totally love. My ABEO sandals are so supportive that I don’t feel any heel pain at all.  I’m going to do a full review of the shoes, but here’s a sneak peek.  I really love them. 


 My girls are on spring break this week and we have lots of fun planned, however, my husband thought I was planning too much fun and the girls would need a break from their break.  So, today we’re having a quiet lie in and we’ll go to our community pool around lunch time.  I’m really looking forward to swimming since I haven’t run in almost a week and I have all this energy pent-up inside.  I’m going to have to tread water to expend some of it.
Speaking of expending energy, I’m almost finished with my push-up challenge.  I finished Week 6/Day 3/Level 1 yesterday, but I still have to complete another exhaustion test tomorrow.  I’m really nervous about it, which is so silly because it’s not like I could “fail” the test, but I’m afraid I won’t be anywhere near 100 push-ups.  At my last exhaustion test, I did only 50.  I’d like to be somewhere between 60-70 push-ups and beyond the half-way point, but we’ll see.

I’m excited about my next challenge for April! This month, we’re “Springing into April with a 30 Day Burpee challenge“!  Yay.  *sound of crickets chirping*

 Although I received a lot of resistance to this challenge at first, the response has been quite the opposite which is really motivating.  Follow #30burpees on Twitter if you need some motivation.  People hate burpees but their strong detest for burpees pushed them to be part of the challenge.  It’s pretty funny.

Basically, we started with one burpee on Day 1 and we’ll add one burpee each day after that, ending with 30 burpees on Day 30.  Simple, right?  hee hee  Find out more information here and join the linky party while you’re there.

*Proudly submitted to Stacy Uncorked, because when I blog about my training, it’s usually pretty random.*


Denise Mestanza-Taylor+