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

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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

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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.

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.

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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?

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.

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

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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!

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

Did you do anything fun this weekend?

The Ravenous Pig

Last night was J and my last hurrah before he starts year two of Law School. During the school year, he is so busy with school, that we are not able to spend much time together and rarely will get to go out to eat.

So we decided on The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park.

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We have attempted eating here before but have never been able to get a reservation but we went by early, prepared to sit in the bar area, and they had a cancellation.

As a beer lover, I was excited to see the beer menu. It is filled with micro-brews which you do not get as often in Florida as I was used to living in Connecticut. I went with the Brooklyn Brewery Lager which was very good.

To start, we ordered the Gruyere Biscuits with smoked sea salt butter. The reviews on Yelp praised these, so I had to try them.

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They were flaky, buttery perfection. I love to make homemade biscuits and can tell when a restaurant takes the time to actually cut the butter into them. These were not short-cut biscuits.

For a starter, J and I split the House-Made Charcuterie and Artisan Cheese. It contained: Duck Pastrami, Brown Sugar Fennel, Toscano, Coppa, Chicken Liver Mouse, Pork Smokies, Country Terrine, Bresaola, Lardo Toast, Pleasant Ridge Reserve Cow’s Milk Cheese, and Le Chevrot Goat Milk’s Chees.

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It was delicious. The standouts were the two cheeses (the cows milk had a sugary rind that J and I love and the goat milk was firm but creamy) and the duck pastrami which would be amazing on a sandwich. The portions were very generous and could easily be split between a much larger party than ours.

For a salad, we split the Famer which contained hammock hollow bitter greens, house smoked bacon, parmesan, lake meadow soft-boiled egg with a caesar vinaigrette. It was delicious and the portion definitely sized for sharing.

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For my entrée, I had the Grilled Florida Wahoo with tomato soffrito, chickpea panisse, and red pepper chutney. I had never had Wahoo before and would say it is a slightly meaty but flaky white fish. The red pepper chutney really stood out here and made the dish.

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J had the Lobster and Short Rib with potato puree and fennel-apricot agrodolce. J appreciated that the short rib was removed from the bone. He loved it and would definitely eat it again.

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At this point we were much too full for dessert but did take some home for later.

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The Ravenous Pig is my new favorite restaurant in Orlando. It is interesting, the service was excellent, and the food was outstanding.

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J also gives it a thumbs up.