Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Kumquats, Pirates, and Challenges!

Is it Wednesday already.  Man!  This weekend/week has really flown by.  Friday night, Ben and I decided to hang at home, cook up some pasta, and watch Bad Teacher.  It was really nice just to relax after a crazy week.  Sometimes it seems as if both Ben and I have so much going on during the week that we don't want to leave the house much during the weekend.  A sign of getting old?  Probably.

Saturday morning, we headed out to Dade City for the 5th Annual Kumquat Festival 5K.  This is the third year that I ran the course and I just love, love, love this little race.  First of all, it's a challenging, hilly course.  Secondly, it's a pretty small race.  And finally, if you win - you get a picture with Lil Miss Kumquat.  (Gotta love Dade City charm).

So when I started out, I was feeling really good.  The uphills also bring the DOWNhills!  When the first mile clicked, I looked down at my watch and it said 7:50 pace! WHAT?  Lemme just state (for the record) that I have never ran under 8:00. In. My. Life.  So I almost stopped to look at the beauty of a 7:50 mile.  (Yes, I'm a nerd)

Anyway, the next mile was a steady uphill.  Yay!  I passed a few people and got passed by a few people.  The course was a little different this year, so I wasn't sure exactly where we were going, but by the time I got my bearings I realized that it was going to be SHORT.  Aww shucks.

Obviously, this is a "PR", but you can't really count it because it wasn't 3.1 miles.  But, I did get first place in my age group and had a great time. Here are the splits:

Avg Pace

Oh, you don't know what a kumquat is? They sort of look like oblong organges, but you eat the skin.  I'm not a fan, but Ben loves 'em.  The other cool thing about the Kumquat Festival is that all the downtown businesses have baskets of kumquats outside their doors so you can try one.  They look like this:

After we ran, Ben and I met up with his parents for breakfast at Olga's.  If you EVER go to Dade City and want a really good donut, breakfast sandwich, cup of coffee or Cuban - you MUST visit Olga's.  Don't worry about where they are located, you will be able to smell the scent of their delicious donuts.

After breakfast, we rushed home to get ready for the Gasparilla Pirate Fest!  This event is normally pretty insane, but it's the spot that Ben and I first met, so there is a soft spot in my heart for this parade. (And who doesn't love a good parade?!?).  This year, we went with some of the amazing folks from my office, in a LIMO!

Here we are getting picked up:

We even met up with Rhonda and her friend Annette who was visiting from Chicago.  She was a real hoot!  The best part was watching the Rhonda/Annette competition for beads!

Here we are with our pirate's booty!

Normally we watch the parade on Bayshore, but this year we were downtown on Gasparilla Plaza. (In front of the Children's museum) I must say, it was nicer.  Parking and crowds were lighter.  

After a full day, I was glad to be home, showered, and relaxing pretty early.  Ben was running Florida Challenge Sunday morning.  Tampa Races puts on quite a few trail/offroad runs each year.  Ben did the Wildhorse run and we've both done the Picnic Island Runs.  The Florida Challenge was at the beautiful Alafia River State Park.  I didn't really embark on the trails, but Ben said it was the most beautiful trail run that he's ever been on.

The morning started off a little rough.  Google Maps took us down a road that has been shut down. It was a pretty skinny, back country road.  Luckily another runner waved us down and told us that it was not the way to get in to the park.  As we turned around, Ben's left tire was quickly losing air as indicated on his truck computer.  Awww snap.

Once we got in to the park, Ben (my HERO!) was able to but together the jack in his truck and put the spare tire on and even managed to get to the start line EARLY.  He's so dreamy sometimes!  We actually thought the half marathon started at 7:30, when it reality it started at 8:00 - so that worked out to our advantage.

Tampa Races also has a program that if you get someone to volunteer for you, you can run for free.  This is the second time that I have volunteered so that Ben can run, and it's actually pretty cool. I mean, what else am I going to do?  At the Wildhorse, I worked the finish table and clicked in the finishing runners.  Since I had "experience" I was able to do the same job at the Florida Challenge.  

I had a chance to talk to Ric Dorrie from Florida Road Race Management.  You all probably know who he is, if you saw him.  He does the majority of the event timing in the area.  He also has this timing business down to a science.  It was a real pleasure to talk to him and ask him questions about racing and he may have even convinced me to do my first TRAIL RUN!  WHAT!!??  Yes, you heard correctly.

The Trout Creek races are in the end of March (March 25th to be exact!).  I am planning on dipping my toe in the 5K first.  Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! What a busy weekend. I like kumquats, it feels kind of wrong just biting through the skin and eating the whole thing like that, but maybe that's the appeal.
    That's a pretty cool deal with the volunteering and racing for free.