Run DMT has MOVED!

While it may seem like I’ve disappeared from the blogosphere, Run DMT is still going strong!

Your favorite Tampa Bay mom on the run is still running, concocting recipes, sharing race recaps and writing product reviews.

Keep up the pace and read all the fun Run DMT adventures over at

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you on the flip side!



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 Purple, Green and the Miles in Between and Track Tuesday

In case you haven’t heard, November is all about purple in part to spread epilepsy awareness.  Last week, my running group and I held a Purple Run to show support for this cause.  Expect a Purple Run Recap tomorrow, but in the meantime, if you are interested in joining the Virtual Purple Run for a Cause, you can sign up here.

After Halloween, I purchased purple lights on clearance, but they’ve been sitting on my dining room table.  While I was at the Pretty Muddy on Saturday, my husband hung the purple lights as a surprise.

The purple run and these purple lights are to show our love and support for my niece, Meghan and others who live with epilepsy.

Have you heard about the Slash the ‘Stache challenge?  Last week on Morning Joe on MSNBC, David Axelrod challenged Joe Scarborough to raise $10,000 to CURE (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy).  Scarborough met the challenge and set a new goal for one million dollars.  You can help Scarborough, Axelrod and CURE reach that goal, by making an online donation here or text the word “RESEARCH” to 501501 to donate $10.

To show her support for CURE’s Slash the ‘Stache challenge, my SIL, Kirsten, created a Slash the Stache group on Facebook to encourage people to post purple ‘staches while raising money and awareness for this cause.  “Like” the page and add your own purple ‘stash with the help of PicMonkey.

I wear the Fu Manchu for Meghan.

Early Monday morning, I had my first green room experience.

Jenny of Metamorfit and I joined Channel 10 News Mom Squad.  During our panel discussion with morning news anchor, Joe Gumm, we offered our opinions and thoughts on hot topics in the news.  Check out me being a goofball at 5:40 in the morning.  As you can tell, I am definitely a morning person.  Can you believe I didn’t drink one drop of coffee?  It was so much fun, but I was so nervous and I had all this nervous energy built up in me.  I needed to run.  Next time, maybe Joe can interview me on a treadmill.

Since I had to be at the Channel 10 Studios at 5:15, Monday was a forced rest day.  Honestly, Pretty Muddy on Saturday, a 12 mile run on Sunday followed by rooftop fitness party hosted by friends at peerFit and all the planks, I couldn’t move and my plantar fasciitis heels were really hurting.  It’s the first time I’ve felt any pain in months which I believe may be a result from running in old shoes at Pretty Muddy.

12 miles
Time 2:08:32
Ave Pace 10:43
Max Pace 7:56

One day of rest helped and I had tons of energy for some sprints today.  WOOT! WOOT!

1 mile

Lap 1 – 0.25
Time 1:49
Ave Pace 7:17

Lap 2 – 0.25
Time 1:51
Ave Pace 7:34

Lap 3 – 0.25
Time 1:51
Ave Pace 7:21

Lap 4 – 0.25
Time 1:50
Ave Pace 7:26

1.1 mile
Time 10:04
Ave Pace 9:09

So how did your runs, sprint and/or work-outs go this week?  Link up and tell me all about it.

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 Ricole Runs 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+

peerFit Fits Tampa’s Lifestyle

It wasn’t necessary to bribe me with Seasons 52 to appreciate what peerFit does, although it may have helped.  The flatbreads, salads and two-bite shots of dessert might have sweetened the deal for me and love the peerFit presentation.

The founders of peerFit and Fitz Koehler invited a few local fitness bloggers to a lunch-and-learn to hear about the peerFit website and announce the launch of their new mobile application.

Through the site and the soon-to-be released mobile application, peerFit has found away to eliminate the excuses and help people reach their fitness goals.  As their slogan touts, peerFit is making fitness fit our lives.

Honestly, the concept is brilliant.  It’s like Urbanspoon or Yelp but only specific to fitness.  With a quick search, users can locate gyms or fitness classes nationwide and learn how other users have rated those classes.

The facilities and the instructors each have an intensity score so users can learn the difficulty of a class or an instructor before arriving.  With a five-point scale, users rate an instructor and the class and leave general feedback in the comments section.  After reading reviews, users can commit to going, add it to their calendars and/or receive a text reminder.  There’s even a social media option to share fitness classes with Facebook friends and Twitter followers.

Research states that 7% of people will try a new class cold, but 70% will try a new class based on peer reviews. peerFit is helping that 70% commit to fitness one hundred percent.

To learn more, like peerFit on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on the release date of the mobile application.  The peerFit crew love Twitter so tweet them any questions or suggestions you have about the site or the app.

And if you’re in the Tampa Bay area, you are cordially invited to a fitness party like no other! Join me and a few of your other favorite fitness bloggers on Sunday, November 11 at 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. in Hyde Park Village on top of Parking Garage C for an outdoor workout overlooking beautiful downtown Tampa led by celebrity fitness instructor Fitz Koehler.  This guaranteed to be fun fitness party will include circuit training ropes, yoga and local trainers providing training and information.  Plus, peerFit will offer music, giveaways and more.

Everyone is welcome, so bring a friend and I’ll see you there!   And you will see how peerFit makes fitness fit your life, calendar, social network… (fill in the blank).

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Pinning Down Tampa Bay Bloggers

What do you get when you combine tasty Square 1 Burgers with even more flavorful personalities? The Tampa Bay Blogger meetup, of course!

Last Saturday evening, seven of us met to discuss ways to take over the blogosphere.  I was joined by Brian of Digital Running, Kirsten of Gone Bananas, Caroline of Morningside Mom, Rachel of Runner’s Tales, Clarisa of and Marisa of Fit Kids Playground.

Although most of us find our voices with keystrokes, the conversation proved once again entertaining and enlightening.  The last time we met, Google+ dominated the conversation.  This time, all focus was pinned on Pinterest and how to use Pinterest for self-promoting our blogs and brands with great photographs, visual aids and informational graphics.  Basically, bloggers and companies alike have to rethink all aspects of social media in order to stay relevant and prevalent in today’s social media-driven world.

We all agreed that Google+ is missing something besides friends in our circles.  Although we’re all on Google+, we’re not using it to its full capacity.  Considering that “Google is THE verb”, it’s disappointing that Google+ leaves us searching for more answers.

Pinterest, on the other hand, is the sleeper social media hit of the summer.  Although Pinterest seems to appeal mostly to women bloggers, we helped Brian discover ways to pin some manly boards before the end of the evening, like running tips and BBQ.

We also discussed Twitter as our number one resource for information.  Admittedly, I often check Twitter before Facebook, but I understand why I should be posting discussions and conversations starters on my Run DMT wall.  It’s all about staying present in the blogosphere.  At that point, the conversation halted as everyone checked-in on Facebook and tweeted #TBBlogger.

During the course of the evening, I realized the importance of revamping my Linkedin profile.  If I’m a going to tout myself a “social media enthusiast” than I should really be using each avenue to its fullest.

I also learned more WP plugins, Pinterest plugins and why I should be geocaching with my kids, which I am so excited to start this summer.

Even though there were only a few of us, there was tons of information to absorb, which is why I truly love these blogger meetups.  I learn so much every time and I look forward to learning tons more at our next meeting in August.

I wonder what THE next big social media will be by then.

 *I would like to thank all the sponsors who contributed items to our wonderful Tampa Bay Blogger swag bags.*

Square 1 Burgers

Pain Relief Centers

Suncoast Running

Painting With a Twist

My Stylist Dean

All Smiles Tampa Bay

Vology Data Systems

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Inaugural Rock ‘N Roll St Pete Half Marathon Recap

The temperature for the start of the Inaugural Rock ‘n Roll St Pete Half Marathon had been predicted to hit 42 degrees.  Therefore, I had to rethink my whole outfit which is a big deal to a stunner runner like me, especially since my friends, Chrissy, Faith and I had planned our race outfit months ago.

Layers would be essential.  So, the night before the race I tried on all my old winter gear to make sure everything still fit and wouldn’t rub my unmentionables.  I also had to find a fleece pullover, some gloves and other warm articles of clothing, which would be waiting in baggage check at the end of the race.

After studying the course map for water stations and food stations, I decided against wearing my fuel belt and opted to wear my SPI belt instead to carry my phone and camera, the most important gear next to my shoes.

Chrissy, Faith, Heather, Jillian and I arrived at Tropicana Field a good hour and half before the start and even in all our layers, we were freezing our Rock ‘n Rolls off. Before the start of the race, the overnight low had dipped to as low as 35 degrees.

Crowds of people huddled around the propane powered halogen lights for warmth.  What’s a few brain cells? Oxygen is so overrated.  It’s a small price to pay for warmth and my friends and I gladly paid it once I stripped off my fleece pullover before the start.

Our bib numbers corresponded to our corrals, which placed me in corral 6.  After a few potty breaks and baggage check, the line into corral 6 spilled past corral 8.  The start time would be delayed approximately two minutes for each corral and I became a bit obsessive with trying to get into corral 6, like a scene from European Vacation, “Look kids! Corral 6! If I could just get over, I could get into corral 6.”

Finally with a little fancy footwork, I managed to find my way into corral 6 and joined the masses to start on time or as close to “on time” for those of us in the back (about 7 minutes after the offical start).

The first mile looped around and led us back to Tropicana Field.  During the first mile, my socks felt a bit strange, like they had slipped down and bunched up in my shoes.  Then, I felt a sensation like pins and needles in my toes and realized my socks were fine.  My feet were defrosting.

I ran that first mile pretty hard, harder than I had intended (~8:30), but I was so bloody cold.  The warmth and pace felt good.

Local bands and DJs entertained us about every mile along the course, which broke up the distance and kept things moving along.

I hit the 5K split at around 30 minutes.  At mile 5, I tossed my gloves because my hands were starting to sweat.  At the 10K split, I appeared to be meeting my 2:15 goal.

And then, we turned the corner and headed towards the bay.  The wind off the bay nearly froze me all over again.  When that first arctic gust hit me, I wished I still had my gloves.  Why didn’t I stuff them in my SPI belt?!

With the wind, blew my chances of finishing around 2:15.  I just couldn’t fight it.  Every time it hit me, I would clench my fists, cringe and shake.  I am such a Florida girl.

But I kept pounding the pavement.  Although technically for this little stretch, it was cobblestone and I began running through neighborhood yards to avoid the cobblestone.  Like I said, it was only for a little stretch, so no yards were harmed in the making of this half marathon post.

For the most part, the course was flat.  There was the occasional bridge and incline, like around mile 7, but I found the wind more of a challenge than the inclines.

Along the Pier around mile 9, I caught up with the 2:15 pace group. After my sad experience with the Space Coast pace group, I vowed to avoid them because they make me feel all insecure and unworthy if I can’t keep up, which wreaks havoc on my self-esteem and breaks my stride.  So I did my best to not focus on the pace group, especially when they seem to be slipping away.  No matter. I was still having fun with or without a super hero pace group.

However, the real super heroes are the entertainment and spectators who fought the frigid temps to cheer us on.

* Stilt men photo captured by Tracey of Suncoast Running*

King Tut danced for us, but the girls holding these signs stole my heart, because they spoke honey badger.

Just after mile 10, a food station offered Gu, but the cold air made it as hard as a rock.  Once I managed to squeeze out the contents, I was disappointed with the flavor.  I should have packed a Cliff Shot.

Once we reached the Vinoy Hotel, my panic over another path of cobblestone took my mind off the after taste of the vanilla Gu.  I opted to run through the grass of Vinoy park to avoid the cobblestone.

As we approached mile 11, we faced another bridge and I began to struggle a bit more.  At this point, my heels started bothering me due to a previous plantar fasciitis injury and I had to walk a little.

We circled around the Vinoy Country Club and mile 12 led us back over the bridge. This was the homestretch now.

Oh how the term “homestretch” never felt truer as this short distance of the race seemed to go on forever!

I could see the finish line, but it felt as though it kept slipping away from me.  A few Suncoast Striders cheered for me as I ran towards the finish line which helped me pick up the pace.  I knew I was almost there.

Yep, I rocked 13.1 miles in the cold.

And I would totally do it again, even if it was cold and windy.  It was that much fun.

Bib# 6465

Overall 4227 out of 7006

 Division 455 out of 822

 Gender 2349 out of 4562

5 Km 31:00

6 Mi 1:01:04

10 Mi 1:43:08

Pace 10:43

Chip Time 02:20:28

Clock Time 02:27:32

Garmin Time 2:20:34

Garmin Ave Pace 10:32

As for Chrissy and Faith’s first half marathon, they finished at 2:45:26 and 2:45:28 respectively.  They wanted to finish under 3 hours, so they were very happy with their times.  We were all proud of them!

Jillian finished a few minutes behind me.  I didn’t even know she was behind me!

Due to a bad T-band situation, Heather finished around 2:35.

After the race, Jillian and I heard Flo Rida bellow, “Where them girls at?”  So, these Flo Rida girls found their way over to the stage and the post-race party reunion area.  Flo Rida was the a perfect headliner to keep spirits high.

The weather was cold, but Flo Rida was HOT!  He created a fun party atmosphere.

*Photo of Flo Rida in the crowd by Jillian*

Although we just ran 13.1 miles, we found the energy to bounce with Flo and got low, low, low.  Between a great race and hanging at a jumping post-race party with friends, we really did get a good feeling…yeah.

PhotoStory Fridaythe hollie rogueUnknown Mami

Remembering 343 on 9-11

Three hundred forty three firefighters sacrificed their lives to help others at Ground Zero.  A memorial stands in the sleepy town of Oldsmar, Florida to honor those heroes.

After watching the events unfold back in 2001, our own local hero, Capt. Jerry Garbardi, wrote and performed a song with his church band to remember the lives that perished on 9-11.  The church band sold CDs of the tribute and raise over $5000 for the 911 Memorial Fund.

As a thank you, the foundation sent the firefighter a portion of a steel beam from the Twin Towers.  With the help from community, he and his fire fighters at Fire Station #54 erected a memorial to always remember the 343 heroes.  Each of the 343 heroes are etched in bricks around the monument.