The Matanzas 5k in St Augustine was my first “official” race of the season. I can’t believe they were celebrating their 34th year!
I did this race with my friends from my CrossFit 904 box, and it was so much fun. Everyone met up early that morning at the box to carpool down to St. Augustine for the race. I carpooled with 4 other people which was a blast. The drive down seemed to take no time at all because everyone was joking around.
I’ve never done a race in St. Augustine before. For the course, you basically ran around the downtown area in a big loop. Thankfully cobblestones were not a concern on this route.
Somewhere it was posted or announced that they had about 4,000 people running the race. I was surprised because it really had the feel of a small race. I didn’t think it was ever that crowded at any point.
My legs were really tight this morning, so I forced myself to run about 1.5 miles just to warm up. My legs STILL didn’t feel quite right. I think maybe I was dehydrated. I really have no idea. It was pretty frustrating.
Before I knew it the race started and we were running down Avenida Menendez past Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grill – Yum!
It was a really pretty course. The weather was almost perfect for the race. The day had started out pretty cold, but by the time the race ended, it was almost too warm.
I was really glad to be done. While my time from previous halfs had significantly improved, I hadn’t hit my A goal which was to finish under 33 minutes. I ended up finishing in 35:01 (34:59 according to my Garmin) which was better than the 39 minutes I’d been running previously. I know if I keep training consistently, the time will improve, so I tried not to let this bother me too much. I was still a real bummer though.
We hung out for a bit to watch the kids race. Kids are so funny. Full steam ahead then walk. Original interval pros!
After the race, everyone headed to my favorite casual restaurant in St. Augustine, Back 40 Urban Café! This was the perfect post race place for us to go. I’d called ahead, so they set aside an entire room for all of us. There were over 20 of us! They say this place is the cities oldest secret… maybe not so much anymore!
Since Ragnar Relay Florida Keys is coming up, I HAD to enjoy a Key West Wheat. Yum!
And for lunch, I enjoyed the Island Bowl with both Jerk Chicken AND Avocado. It really was great as always!
Another fun run in the books. It was really great to run a race with everyone from CrossFit 904! We’ll have to pick another race in the future to all do together.
I was still recovering from Achilles tendonitis so I actually didn’t register for the Evergreen Pumpkin run… but then my friend Anne offered me her race bib. I just can’t turn down a free race bib so I headed out and pushed through the race. My Achilles still felt squishy so I knew I wasn’t recovered, but here are a few of the sights from the race day.
It takes place in the Evergreen Cemetery in downtown Jacksonville which is surprisingly a beautiful location. The weather always seems to be a crisp cool fall day, which is perfect.
Even though I wasn’t feeling 100%, it was a fun day. I ran into my friend, Vanessa, out on the course so we ran the last two miles of the 5k together before she continued on to finish the 10 miler! (I only did the 5k)
The race is always right around Halloween so several people dress up in costumes for the race. How people run in some of these outfits is beyond me!! I liked the group above because it was a team costume. We have Chick-fil-A, Mcdonalds, and two other fast food restaurants.
This guy? He won best dressed in my book. He’s an Ironman Triathlon competitor. lol
A few months ago, 4 Rivers Smokehouse opened in Jacksonville off Baymeadows near 95. They really have the best barbeque I’ve personally tasted in the area. I don’t know what they do to their turkey, but it’s so juicy, not dry.
When I’d visited the first time, I was shocked to see they also had a HUGE sweet shop inside their restaurant. From outside, you really had no clue this was hiding inside.
Woah, right? Where does one even begin?
I love anything Reese’s, so these look delicious to me!
They even have their own cronut. I have yet to try a cronut.
Mmm more Reese’s.
Bourbon, maple and bacon cupcake anyone?
In case you can’t read these, it’s Mountain Dew & Dorito on the top. Cheerwine in the middle. and something with Nerds on the bottom.
Plus they make their own cakes. These cakes are gorgeous. No cutting corners here.
So for my visit which I dragged my awesome intern, Rodel, along with me, we were invited to try several of their holiday sweets. Oh my. They literally have something for everyone in their case just for the holidays!
Here’s the tray we were provided when we arrived. Let’s just say our sweet tooth basically whimpered ‘uncle’ when we were done and all we did was take one or two bites out of each!
Everything was delicious though some I did enjoy more than others. As you’ll see, these were all their holiday/fall flavors, so everything we tasted had lots of pumpkin and spice involved.
If you need to pick something up for holiday party or just to pep up your office, I highly recommend 4Rivers Sweet Shop. It’s easy to stop in and quickly pick up a variety of treats.
First up was the Pumpkin Bayou Bar. This has a pumpkin spice pecan short bread crust with a pumpkin cream cheese filling.
This was thick but had light flavors. I highly recommend getting this to go, heating it in the microwave and enjoying with some vanilla bean ice cream.
Next up was the Pumpkin Whoopie Pie. This is two pumpkin cakes sandwiched with pumpkin pie spice frosting and drizzled with white chocolate and toasted pecans.
This was really tasty but the cake was slightly dry. Being a huge Reese’s fan that I am, I can only imagine how delicious that one is!
The next item had definitely caught my eye from the beginning. It was HUGE. Literally 3-4 inches high and 5-6 inches wide. The Harvest Pumpkin Stack is made with pumpkin sponge cake with whipped mascarpone filling with pumpkin pie spice topped with whip cream, caramel and toasted nuts.
This appeared as if it would be solid and thick like a cake. Because it’s made from sponge cake, it was really light and fluffy with very light spice flavors. I really enjoyed this one!
We also got to try their Pumpkin Cupcake which was available for a limited time for Halloween. This was made with pumpkin cake with cinnamon and nutmeg spices topped with house frosting to look like a pumpkin.
This tasted like I was eating frosted gingerbread. Really moist and full of spice flavorings. If you’re a huge spice fan, this is definitely for you.
Oh boy. It’s not the holidays without a slice of pumpkin pie but what about Pumpkin Pie Cheese Cake? This is made with a pecan ginger snap crust with sweet pumpkin cream cheese filling.
I loved the pumpkin cream cheese filling but didn’t care for the crust. I felt it was too thick and took away from the flavors of the pie,
This Pumpkin Cream bomb is a Pumpkin cupcake with vanilla bean mouse hidden inside. Then it’s frosted with pumpkin spice frosting with toasted pecans and caramel.
Oh yeaaaah. I really just love these. I typically think cupcakes are too dry with too much frosting on top and took much cake on the bottom. 4 Rivers ‘bombs’ have a solution for this. The mousse in the middle is delicious and keeps the cupcakes from getting dry.
Lastly we tried the Caramel Pumpkin Spice Cronut. Rodel was totally excited to get to try one of these. He’s a huge fan of cronuts.
These are made with a cinnamon brown sugar pumpkin spice and drizzled with caramel.
So the cronut which is a cross between a croissant and a donut had a nice doughey soft crunch to it. The cinnamon outside was delicious! I can definitely see why people are going crazy for these.
Have you ever tried a cronut before? Do you like them?
Today’s WOD was really tough but surprisingly fun.
Exp.- Deadlift 3 sets of 5 at 75-80% of your 1RM
Nov.- Review movements
100 Double Unders
50 Deadlifts (135,95)
25 Front Squats (135,95)
We completed the warm up and went right into strength.
Since I’ve done Deadlifts several times now, I decided to do the Exp. (read: experienced) part of the Strength segment.
For this, we were to do five deadlifts.. take a break.. then do that for a total of 3 rounds. (So 15 deadlifts total) To determine our weight, we took our one rep max (The absolute amount of weight we could do for one rep) and scaled it down to only 75% – 80% of that weight. Last I checked, my deadlift was #135, though it’s actually been a while since I tested my 1RM for these, so I think I could do more now.
Then came time for the WOD. I just did my first double under a week ago, so I instead did single unders. We were instructed to try and do 300 or 3 minutes total, whichever came first. I know I can do 300 in 3 minutes, but for some reason the rope wasn’t agreeing with me. I blame the rope. I think I just got a wonky one.
We also lowered the weight on the deadlifts to #95, which I was able to do great. But I wasn’t able to do that much weight on the Front Squats. (I just did them for the first time a week ago!) I dropped the weight for the deadlifts and front squats to #85.
I chugged through the WOD. I completed the situps 5 at a time and tried my hardest to not take too long of a break in between. 75 is a lot! I did the deadlifts pretty quickly and think I only took one or two breaks on those. Then on Front Squats, I did about 5 and realized the #85 weight was definitely too heavy. I switched over to a bar of a friend of mine who had been doing #75 and slowly knocked them out. I finished in 17:20.
This workout was tough! I felt like my heartrate was super high the whole time. It was around 180 on my watch.
Felt great when I was finished though!
Can’t wait to see what’s in store for Thursday!
I remember being at a work Christmas party about 2 and a half years ago and I was offered bacon wrapped dates. First off, I thought bacon was bad. (I was wrong) Second, I thought dates looked like cockroaches. Ok, so if you squint a little, they sorta DO look like cockroaches. I’ve never eaten a cockroach and have no immediate plans to, but I’m pretty sure dates taste a bazillion times better.
Fast forward 2 and a half years and I know have a full appreciation of bacon wrapped dates. If you’re interested in giving these a shot (and you really should) they’re extremely easy to make at home.
First step, take some toothpicks and soak them in water. You need one per date. You don’t HAVE to use toothpicks if you don’t have them handy, but it does keep them from falling apart when you flip them during cooking.
Line a baking sheet with foil
Grab your dates. I 100% recommend getting pitted dates. This means the hard seed has been removed for you and makes prep a lot easier. They’re usually near the produce section. Each Publix seems to store them in a different area of the produce section, so I often have to ask where they are or just look around a bit.
NOTE: Just because they’re pitted does not mean the pit is always removed. USE CAUTION when eating because occasionally a pit sneaks through.
Next, if you wish to stuff the dates with something (like goat cheese) slice each of the dates in half. If you’re not stuffing them, you can leave them whole.
Once the dates are sliced, just grab a spoon and put some goat cheese in the fold.
The next step is to wrap them in bacon. You don’t want to wrap too much bacon around them because you want a good bacon : date ratio. As a result, before I start, I cut the package of bacon in half with a pair of scissors. This makes the bacon the perfect length.
Take a slice of bacon, wrap it around a date and stab with a toothpick being careful you don’t stab yourself on accident.
Put the dates in the oven at 350’. Set your alarm for 5 minutes. When your alarm goes off, grab some tongs and carefully flip each date. Put back into the oven again, and set your alarm for 5 minutes. Repeat until the dates look cooked, slightly crispy and not burnt. The ones above are probably spent a few too many minutes in the oven.
When they’re done, let them cool. If you try one right away, be careful because the center will be HOT! To store, put in a tupperware and put in the fridge.
This 4th of July, grill up something new with the usual burger & hot dogs. Grill up an avocado!
I used to be afraid of avocados. I knew they were high in fat and thought that was bad.
I was wrong.
Avocados are one of the healthiest foods out there. (and certain fats, the kind in avocados, are good for you… but that’s another day another post)
They’re great as guacamole, but they’re even better GRILLED.
First things first, you gotta know how to cut an avocado.
(It’s a bit difficult to take pictures of this by oneself, so bear with me here. )
First step is to hold the avocado in your left hand (or non-dominant hand). With a good knife (not a regular or steak knife) insert the knife in the center until you come to the seed. Then rotate around the avocado until you’ve cut a full circle around the avocado and seed essentially making two halves of the avocado.
Grab the avocado with both hands. One hand on one half, one on the other and gently twist. The seed will stick to one side and unstick from the other.
You end up with one good half and one half with a seed.
For the avocado that has the seed remaining in it. Place it in the palm of your non-dominant hand. With your knife, slightly wack the knife into the seed. The twist. The seed should pop right out.
Then you should [hopefully] end up with two good halves.
Pour a little bit of olive oil in the center and rub it on the outside with your finger. Place the avocado cut-side-down on the grill for about 10-15 minutes until they start to brown and get a crust.
When cooked, sprinkle with some lime juice and fill the center with some salsa.
Then, grab a spoon and dig in! If you brace the avocado with one hand, you can slide a spoon between the skin and the avocado slowly loosening it until it’s ready to pop out. Dig in.
A few weeks ago I sauntered into the gym and saw this written on the dry erase board…
Hmm. This is honestly how I typically eat at home. We really haven’t been eating much pasta or bread in quite a while. I think we could successfully accomplish this. The REAL challenge will be…dining out.
I honestly need to rein in my habits when dining out anyways, so this could be perfect timing. This also means no chips, no delicious Taco Lu queso, no tortillas, no melt-in-your-mouth grits from Palm Valley Fish Camp, no bread baskets, no pasta, no flakey Maple Street biscuits… I may not eat starches at home, but I definitely take advantage of them when dining out.
…but I don’t want to be the one responsible for making Ryan sad.
So of course I signed up. If you’re curious what I end up eating at home and on-the-go, keep following this page.
Monday, July 1
Nom Nom Paleo Collard Greens with grilled Cajun Seasoned Snapper.
I actually prepped the collards last week when I was cooking another dinner, and they sat in the fridge for about half a week until I was ready to use them for this dinner.
Tuesday, July 2
Sweet potato oven fries with two mini grass fed beef burgers from Black Hog Farm (In case you’re wondering, we are permitted sweet potatoes within reason for this challenge).
Wednesday, July 3
Wednesday was a little tough. Adam’s mom was in town so we headed to my favorite restaurant, Palm Valley Fish Camp, which meant I had to order something WITHOUT grits. Instead, I ordered blackened shrimp with a side of collards and a side of their mixed veggies which was squash, zucchini and onions.
Thursday, July 4
Friday, July 5
Sockeye Salmon with grilled zucchini
Saturday, July 6
So I managed to win tickets to my first NASCAR event, the Coke Zero 400 this past Saturday. Not knowing I could bring real food into the event, I was stuck with their concessions. aka a burger that tasted so terrible I had to eat the bun (I really doubt there was any real meat in that thing) and french fries. Boo. I failed.
Sunday, July 7
I was crazy hungover so I went mexican. Hangovers crave starch. It was a hopeless battle.
Monday, July 8
After a solid night’s sleep, I got my act together and dug myself out of the downward spiral that was a 4 day weekend bender, and managed to make one of the most delicious meals. Just plain ol’ tacos with collard green wraps. Seriously delicious. For the taco seasoning, I used this mix of spices I had on hand. I just browned the ground beef in a pan. Once cooked, I added the seasoning mix to taste. For the collards, I pulled the leafs off the bunch. Rinsed them and snapped off the bottom white part. (This probably has a name. who knows). Then patted them dry with a paper towel. Then proceeded to stuff my face without guilt.
Tuesday, July 9
Thankfully I had leftovers from Monday, so I had a delicious repeat meal with the leftover collard greens from last week. Surprisingly the collard greens were still good.
Wednesday, July 10
SHRIIIIIIMP! I love shrimp. I also had a mix of roasted broccoli, green peppers and carrots, but already shoved that all in my face before I remembered to snap a photo! You can still see some on the broccoli.
Shrimp is one of the easiest meals I can make. We buy the Seabest Seafood easy peel shrimp. I just pour it frozen in a colander and run a little bit of cold water over it. When it’s thawed, I peel it. Fun times. I usually do this when I’m cooking dinner earlier in the week or part of Sunday prep. Then I just boil a pot of water, pour the shrimp in and like 1-2 minutes later, the shrimp is done. You know when the shrimp starts curling on itself. Drain the water then just sprinkle the shrimp with Creole seasoning and enjoy!
Could you ever take on a challenge like this? How different would it be from how you’re currently eating? Do you have any favorite #nostarch meals?
3 weeks down, only 15 more weeks to go!
Catch up on previous weeks training
Run 4.5 miles –
Made up for my skipping out on my long run last weekend. It wasn’t a great run.
*Goal percentages will be 95%-70%-95%-60%-95%-50%.
After our warm-up, we took time to figure out our 1 rep max for back squats. To do this, I setup a bar and got started. I started with 25# on either side of the 35# bar (for a total of 85#). I tried a rep at that weight, and then added either 10#, 5# or even 2.5# to each side until I found a solid weight that almost felt so heavy I wouldn’t be able to stand up straight.
Once I determined my max weight, (which ended up being 165#) I was ready to start on the day’s WOD (workout of the day). To start, I needed to calculate what the weights would be.
For the WOD, we were to start off with one rep at 95% of my max weight. This meant I needed to take 5% off my 1 rep max. (0.95 * 165 = 155)
The second round was to be 70% of my 1 RM (0.70*165 = 115) which I actually did 125. Fourth round at 60% would be 100# (I did 105#). Sixth round at 50% would be 82.5# (I did 85#).
In between each of these scaled rounds, we did the 1 rep max one time. Whew! This workout was tough. We were supposed to do the 10, 20, and 30 reps all unbroken which means without stopping.
Run 3 miles
I pushed through with 4/1 intervals running for 4 minutes and walking for 1 minute. My legs were tired after the previous days squats, but I am at least glad I’m improving enough to run the day after CrossFit.
5 mile Long Run + CrossFit
After getting a bit wastey Stacey the night before, getting up early Saturday morning was a bit of a challenge. With CrossFit being on Saturdays (& not Sunday’s like I’m used to), I’m often sore the day after making it incredibly difficult to fit in a long run. So I decided to start trying to get my long runs in BEFORE CrossFit. So on Saturday we got up early (only 7 am, nothing too crazy) and ran 5 miles along the Nocatee Parkway.
After the run, I swung back by my house to pickup my friend, Christa, who was checking out the gym that day. I headed to CrossFit looking forward to a typical Saturday workout. Unfortunately this was not the case. When I looked at the board, I saw
2 Heros = 1 rough day
800 M run
400 M run backwards
75 snatch (75, 55)
800 M run
400 M run backwards
Christa and I worked out together and split the workout. This meant we each did a 400 M run, 200 M run backwards, 37 or 38 snatches, then a 400 M run and a 200 M run backwards.
Uh.. I’d already ran 5 miles.. looks like I was going to be adding another mile to my total for the day. What was surprisingly hard, was the backwards runs. Running backwards makes one run more on the balls of their feet which made my calves cramp!
For the snatch, we did the 35# bar with 10# on either side for a total of 55#. The weight was easy for a snatch at first, but quickly became challenging after a handful of reps. It was a good challenging workout!
Wednesday I took part in the 1st Pace Sports Which Way 5k. I’m not usually really excited about 5k races (I’M SLOOOW) let alone during the summer (HOOOOOT!) especially on a week day, buuuut this race intrigued me.
So everyone met up at 1st Place Sports in San Marco Wednesday night and wandered around the store until we were ready to get started. I was glad to run into my friend Vanessa in the store.
Asics was on site offering people the opportunity to ‘test drive’ a pair of shoes for the race.
Finally it was time to get started so everyone walked a few blocks over to the starting line to get started. Doug went over the instructions for the race.
We would run down the street until we saw signs. One would say to turn right, while the other would direct the opposite direction. We were to make a decision and run that way until we came to another decision intersection or a sign that said dead end. If the sign said dead end, we would have to turn around and run back to the intersection and go the other way.
If we make the correct choice at every turn, we would run a 5k. If we make a wrong turn, we could run up to 4 miles.
AND WE WERE OFF!
Vanessa and I had decided to start the race together, which was fun. We decided we would each take turns deciding which way to go at each turn.
Almost immediately we were forced with a decision. I said we should go straight. Just a few steps in we saw someone (a fast someone) from the group running back towards us. Uhh that means we were definitely headed in the wrong direction. We immediately turned around, ran back and hung a right.
The entire course took us through gorgeous neighborhoods of the San Marco area. I spent a lot of the race drooling over the various houses.
It was hot and miserable and brutal. The houses were a nice distraction. We passed mile one and we pressed on.
I think I could handle this house. I could make it work…
Wait. Where was mile 2?
Before I knew it, we were finishing and I COULD NOT HAVE BEEN HAPPIER. Thank god we were done. My legs were shot from runs and CrossFit earlier in the week. It was blistering hot. It was miserable. I checked my Garmin, and we’d only actually ran 2 miles? Hmm..
Well, I am happy to say this is the ONLY race I’ve ever beat Adam… and Everett and Ron!?! No way!
OK so apparently instead of taking a turn that adding distance, at some point we took one that actually shaved distance off. A whole MILE off. I didn’t care, it was really hot and miserable. I’m just glad we were out there getting some miles in, and we were done.
It was a fun race that helped make another training run more fun than usual!