2012 OUC Orlando Half Marathon

Going into OUC Orlando Half Marathon, I was very unsure of my training. (I vented about it here if you are interested.) I was all over the place with changing my training plan, getting sick, and feeling like I was never going to get faster.

Pity Party


Like most things, it was much worse in my head.

I started the race day off by waking up at the ungodly hour of 4 AM (in which I ask myself, why do I have to live in no-mans-land Polk County which is far from everywhere?) Had my typical pre-race breakfast of peanut butter and toast. I went back and forth on what to wear because the morning was in the low 50’s, which is chilly in the land of sunshine, but went with a t-shirt and shorts. I would much rather be chilly to start and comfortable during the race than sweating buckets because I am overdressed.

I got into Orlando with few issues and was lucky to be able to use J’s parking pass to park in a lot for free. (He goes to Florida A&M Law School which is in downtown Orlando.) The lot is a half a mile from Lake Eola so I counted that as my warm-up. The bathroom situation at the start was ideal, a fairly short wait for real bathrooms (no wait on the men’s side.) I love not having to use a porta-pottie.

I fought my way into the starting corral, lined up in between the 9-10 minute mile signs. There were so many people that I couldn’t even see the start, only the back of the heads of those in front of me. I was pretty cold in my shorts but luckily the wait was only a few minutes and then we were off.

I tried to start slow, my goal was to stay at a 10:30 pace, but did get caught up the the starting frenzy. It can be so difficult at the start to not get caught up in the frenzy of moving forward but I get better at every race.

OUC Orlando Half Marathon 2012 Race Route


The race route was lovely and took you through some beautiful neighborhoods in Orlando. I loved everything about it minus the very painful brick roads. The last few miles had plenty of hills with bricks which may have caused me to swear. I get so paranoid running on uneven surfaces because I am a tad bit clumsy and likely to trip over my own feet, let alone uneven brick.

A few signs of what I consider a successful half marathon:

1. Not needing medical attention (this is one that I have for everyday life too.)

2. Not needing to pee (or at least being able to hold it until the end.)

3. Not bonking

So how did I do?

OUC Orlando Half Marathon 2012 Splits

I was a little slower than my goal to average a 10:30 m/m but I was able to avert a diaphragm cramp. I only am able to do this with some walking, so I walked a little.

My official time:

OUC Orlando Half Marathon 2012 Official Time

My official time of 2:23:29 is a half marathon PR of eight minutes! I hoped I could PR but really was unsure if it would happen. This gives me so much hope that I can drop my time even further for Gasparilla in February.

The medal:

OUC Orlando Half Marathon Medal

The race shirt:

OUC Orlando Half Marathon 2012 Shirt Race

Cool towels being handed out at the finish line:

Florida Milk Refuel Chocolate Milk Towel

So horrible, painful brick aside, I had so much fun running half marathon number three, the OUC Orlando Half Marathon.

Aliens And Other Weekend Activities

There was no working out this weekend what-so-ever and very little movement.  I’m still sick but over the worst of it. Fingers crossed, I should be back to running on Monday or Tuesday.

So instead of lying around in my pajamas feeling sorry for myself, J begged me to see a movie and grab some food with him on Saturday.

He claims to have waited eight years to see Prometheus, so we headed into Orlando to see it on the IMAX at Pointe Orlando.

Prometheus Movie


I have not seen any of the Alien movies so I went into Prometheus with no real expectations. The 3-D was pretty cool and I enjoyed the story. It was somewhat predictable but it set up the next movie in a really interesting way. Definitely worth a watch if you like Sci-Fi movies.

The most exciting part of the movie was seeing a preview for The Hobbit. I am such a huge fan of this book and Peter Jackson’s movies that I wanted to clap after the preview. That movie is going to be amazing.

For dinner we went to the Brick House Tavern + Tap on International Drive. It is one of those places that we have driven by a few times and both commented that we should check it out but always forget to stop there. I am so glad that we did.

Brick House Tavern and Bar Orlando Place

The Brick House Tavern + Tap has a really cool look. Very masculine and industrial. I loved the sofa tables and was glad we were able to sit at one. Very comfortable and both sides had good views of multiple TV’s.

I had a Kona Koko Brown Nut Brown Ale and J some kind of cider (which he is really into lately.) I have yet to be disappointed by any Kona beer and this one was no different (even if I only sipped it because my whole face hurts from this stupid head cold.)

Brick House Tavern and Bar Orlando Beer

The waitress pointed out the bottle cap teaches you a Hawaiian word.

Brick House Tavern and Bar Orlando Bottle Cap

Akamai which means smart or clever.

J had the Fried Stuffed Olives to start. They are stuffed with Italian pork sausage and brie before being deep fried. Not for me (because I don’t eat sausage) but J enjoyed them.

Brick House Tavern and Bar Orlando Stuffed Olives

A Philly Cheesesteak for J with tots. Not sure the last time I had any tater tots but they were as good as I remembered.

Brick House Tavern and Bar Orlando Philly Cheese Steak

I had a BLT with fries. It was served on Texas toast with a thick slice of tomato. I would order it again.

Brick House Tavern and Bar Orlando BLT

Brick House Tavern and Bar Orlando Menu

Brick House Tavern and Bar Orlando Beer Menu


If you are in the International Drive area and looking for good beer, food, and a trendy atmosphere then the Brick House Tavern + Tap will fit the bill. J and I will definitely be back.

Now I will bring this post full circle and end where I began with aliens.

Falling Skies on TNT


J and I have been counting down the days for Falling Skies to come back. This is some much watch alien TV.

What are your must watch summer shows?

My Two Left Feet Try Dance Trance

Orlando has lots of amazing exercise classes I want to try. From Aerial Arts, Barre 54, and every kind of Yoga you can think of. Most of my workouts consist of running but I love to cross train and need to incorporate different workouts for my body and my mental health. So when the opportunity to try Dance Trance popped up, I jumped on it.

Dance Trance is  a class that uses choreographed dance routines set to popular music. What makes it different from other dance fitness classes?

From the Dance Trance site:

The DT choreography is created in a manner that allows students to pick up combinations as they learn. The musical phrases (verses, chorus, bridge, and instrumentals) are all choreographed so that movements also repeat with the phrases. Although students learn many songs in a class, they are able to pick up on this method of teaching and learn the combinations as they are working out. This is the embodiment of the “DT routine”- originally choreographed combinations to original music by the original recording artist.

They do offer classes for different levels. The Break Down Class is where the routines are broken down slower. This makes it easier for those with two left feet like myself or anyone who just wants to make sure they are getting all the steps right. The standard class is called Dance Trance and it is for an intermediate to advanced level but requires no dance experience. This class you just follow the instructor.

Even just jumping in, I was able to (mostly) follow the instructors. When I could not, the class is so full of energy and joy, that it is impossible not to have a good time. I get nervous trying new things but everyone was really nice and supportive that even though the class had a mix of all levels, I never felt odd for being new.

I smiled and laughed (at myself) throughout the whole class. It was a great workout and I left super sweaty.

DT Orlando at Lululemon-44

Sweaty picture with Katy and Victoria.

Please check out the Lululemon Athletica Mall at Millennia Facebook page for a video and here for the really great pictures taken by Katy.

I had such a great time that I already made plans to attend a Break Down Class this week with a friend. Can’t wait!

When was the last time you tried something new?

Ten Miles, The Mall, And Deep Dish Pizza

I had my first long run of the new training plan yesterday. It was a breezy ten miles through my favorite local park. I ran ten miles on a one mile loop. I need to find some new places to run before my mileage increases.

J needed to go to the mall to pick-up a few things. So we headed into Orlando and to the Mall at Millennia. This mall always has such beautiful Christmas decorations.

Mall at Millenia Christmas Decorations

Mall at Millenia Christmas Tree


If you are interested in seeing more lovely pictures of the decorations, please visit The Good Spot.US.

So we shopped a bit and by that point I was ready to gnaw my arm off.

We headed over to the only deep dish pizza place I like, BJ’s Brewhouse.

I had a Nutty Brewnette, which I always get there and find very tasty, while J had a dirty martini.

Nutty Brewnette & Dirty Martini BJ's Brewhouse

From the BJ’s about the Nutty Brewnette:

Nutty Brewnette® is an American-style brown ale. A blend of four different dark malts contributes to a flavor profile that is sweet with “nutty” notes. A healthy dose of hops makes this beer hoppier and more balanced than most English brown ales.

We had the boneless wings for an appetizer. They were quite good and not greasy at all. I really liked the Garlic Parmesan sauce.

Boneless Wings BJ's Brewhouse

Then comes the pizza with pepperoni and extra cheese. So good.

Pepperoni Pizza BJ's Brewhouse

Two slices each and we were stuffed.

This pizza does really well reheated, so we were glad to have some to take home.

How do you like your pizza?

Miracle Miles 15K Race Report

First, I want to thank everyone for their really supportive comments on my Fears and My First 15K post. It really helped me calm down to read such encouraging comments.

Race day morning started like many others, waking up at the crack of dawn and trying to keep my eyes open. Living in the middle of nowhere (between Orlando and Tampa), I have to get up extra early for Orlando races because it can take me 45 minutes to an hour to drive there. So I coffee’d, ate, and looked at the internet while trying to wake myself up.

Getting into Orlando and finding the parking garage was actually uneventful which is amazing because I get lost places I have been to many times and with a GPS. After waiting forever in line for the worlds most disgusting Porto-Potty, I actually found one of the Orlando Bloggers who I knew would be at the race, Carolina from Peas In A Blog. It was so nice to actually know someone at the race.

Miracle Miles is a race for a great cause. It benefits the Alexander Center for Neonatology at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies. It was really cute how many babies were in attendance. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.


I started the race with a plan to do 6:1 run/walk intervals. This race being my farthest run and knowing that it was going to be a scorcher, that seemed to be a reasonable plan. My legs felt fine until around mile seven where I started to get a little crampy. At that point, I slowed the intervals to 4:1 and eventually 3:1. Maybe if I had started with the 4:1 intervals at the start, I would not have experienced the cramping but hindsight is 20/20.

I did have two Cliff Shot Gels one at mile five and the other around mile seven.This is the first time I tried to open one on the run, big mistake. This should be practiced because I had a hard time getting them open. I ended up ripping into them with my teeth. I am undecided about a fuel source for my half. On my next few long runs, I really need to try a few more products and make a decision. Any recommendations will be highly welcome.

I ended the race with a chip time of 2 hours and 20 seconds. It was actually faster than I thought I would be, so I will take it.


Overall, the course was interesting. I loved running through Downtown Orlando and getting to see the different neighborhoods that surround it. I would have appreciated a downhill, rather than an uphill at the end, but I still had a great time. This race really cemented my desire to run a half and now I am even more excited.

I did not take any pictures at the race but did make J take this picture of me at home with my first medal. Yes, it looks like a mug shot and it is before I showered but I am still proud.

Miracle Miles 15K Medal

Any recommendations on fuel?

Have you ever run a 15K? How do you feel about the distance?

Orlando Magical Dining Month At Vines

Orlando Magical Dining Month is when different restaurants in Orlando offer a special menu where you get an appetizer, entrée, and dessert for $30. One dollar from each meal is given to the Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida.

J and I decided to try Vines Grille & Wine Bar again. We ate there a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Vines is located in Dr. Phillips dubbed restaurant row because there are a ton of great restaurants in the area.

Vines 014

I decided to order from the Magical Dinning Menu, J did not.

Vines 001

We both started out with salad.

Arugula Truffle Salad

Arugula Truffle Salad for me. It contained fresh hearts of palm, marinated mushrooms, shaved Pecorino Romano with a truffle vinaigrette. It was excellent. The truffle did not over power the other ingredients, which it tends to do, and the peppery flavor of the arugula was a great balance for the other, lighter ingredients.

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad. It contained very delicious white anchovies which I ate off J’s plate.

Oven-Roasted Black Grouper

Oven Roasted Black Grouper with an asparagus and watermelon salad. Huge portion of perfectly cooked fish. I loved how the used a syrup, which was sweet, instead of a sauce. Kept things light but interesting. The watermelon salad was very good, I have never eaten watermelon in this fashion but would like to again.

American Kobe Beef Fillet

American Kobe Beef Fillet. J loved this and would order again. It also made him want to try the Kobe burger on the menu.

Potato Gratin

Potato Gratin as a side for J.

Key Lime Pie to go (not pictured.)

Vines has a live jazz band that plays, which is such a great touch. It really makes the experience, which was already excellent, over the top.

After Vines, I finally got to go to Pinkberry!

Vines 015

Vines 016

I had chocolate with assorted fruit and it lived up to the hype.

Did you do anything fun this weekend?


Saturday started with a bang. I was actually able to get out of the house before noon to get my run in. I have the best intentions every Saturday but am so slow in the morning, especially when I do not have to be somewhere (like work).

After my run, a little over three miles, I had to jump in the shower and drive in to Orlando for my hair appointment. Of course, there was tons of Disney traffic. Of course, my hairdresser was not at the salon when I got there. I ended up waiting around for 45 minutes until she texted my back and told me I could go to her house and she would do it for free.

J was craving seafood and Ocean Prime is newish, so we decided to check it out.


They have an amazing outdoor area, that I did not get any pictures of, but would totally love to get a drink out there.

I started with Berries & Bubbles which is: Belvedere Citrus Vodka, Marinated Blackberries, House made sour mix, and Domaine Chandon Brut. It also had dry ice in it so it smoked. I never order cocktails but this one was delicious.


J took a sip.


To start we had the white truffle caviar deviled eggs. I do not even like deviled eggs but these were yummy. Creamy, salty, and truffley rolled into each mouthwatering bite.


We also had Oysters. Being Connecticut natives, we can rarely turn down an appetizer from a raw bar.


J had the wedge salad.


I had the Prime Feature (Crab Crusted Blue Tilapia, French Beans, and Fingerling Potatoes). It was very good including the sides.


J had the filet with béarnaise sauce. He thought it was really good for a seafood place.


Ocean Prime was very good if not a bit over priced but the food was tasty and the service prompt. We will definitely eat here again.

How was you week-end?

Saturday at the mall

Saturday, when you have a three day week-end, can be a glorious affair. There is no need to rush to fit everything in because you have that extra day to get things done.

This Saturday started off with a run through my favorite park. It was not the five miles I planned on but at least it did not rain.


After the run, I worked on getting my new laptop set-up. I have wanted a laptop for awhile and have been looking for a good deal. Money is always tight with J being a full-time law-student but he surprised with me with the laptop on Friday night. It was actually pretty cute because he called me out of my office to watch a movie and was holding the box in his hands when I came out. Super cute and sweat. (The movie was Red Riding Hood which was pretty good but kind of cheesy. Who am I kidding, I love cheesy movies especially if there are cute boys in it.)

We headed over to the Mall at Millennia in Orlando because J needed to pick-up an external hard drive at the Apple store. We also had a Cheese Cake Factory gift card from Christmas. (Thanks in-laws!)

The largest menu known to man.


Before the bread basket came.


After the bread basket came. I was super hungry obviously.


We ate tons of food as usual.

It is a fact that the Cheese Cake Factory has the best spinach artichoke dip in all of greater Orlando.


Not the salad I ordered but still good.


Veggie pasta.


Caramel chicken.


I spied this from across the way. Not sure how the mall made it so far without fro-yo but this is an excellent development.


We came home and watched Sucker Punch which was kind of awesome.