Running (and stuff) at ElectroDash

Last week I went to ElectroDash with all 3 of my kids (12, 14, 20) and my oldest’s friend.  Not one of them are runners, but when I showed them the ElectroDash 5K website  it took them all of 30 seconds to be all in. Since it was a Friday night and I work in Tampa I had them meet me out there and we all drove in together to save on the parking fee.

The older two ran ahead and I put my 12 year old in charge of when we ran and when we walked.  This was not a run made for dashing through, this was a run made for having fun and stopping to check things out.  We ran the run and stopped to look at some of the lights, and I found that my Children of the Corn were all in total no photos mode .  They decided it would be great fun to avoid a good picture at any cost the entire night. Also, I had auto-flash on my camera. Oh well.

ElectroJelliesAs much fun as we had during the run I think we had even more fun afterwards. They had a DJ, lots of techno music, and lots of random glow-things being thrown into and by the crowd all over the place.  Even my 12 year old, who’s favorite thing in the whole world is to show how bored he is at anything that mom suggests finally broke down and got into it.


Now that’s a win!!

If you want to go you can see if they are coming to your area here.

If you go wear lots of glow-stuff and stay for the after party. I heard them mention they had beer somewhere too, but since I was doing the family thing I didn’t go look.  Oh, and a tip that may be obvious but I didn’t even think about, turn the flash off on your camera before you get there!

The Chicks

A little while back I mentioned how I had read about a great defense against slugs. What I read is that chickens are great for eating bugs, they can get an out of control yard (mines not.  Mostly.) in control in no time.  Cool!  But, you know, who would go buy chickens when they live in a neighborhood with a crazy strict HOA?

So I kept reading and asked my dad to find out about the HOA since he used to be on the board or something.  I read that chicken poop is great for gardens, and chickens in general are great for composting.  Not the birds themselves (gross) the fact that they scratch around all day pooping nitrogen and eating things like weeds and bugs.  The scratching and eating part helps break down everything into a nice compost.

Also, I read they don’t really take all that much time.  Once they’re big enough to move outside into a coop anyways.

Also, my dad found out for me that I can have a limited number of hens, just no roosters.

And so I went and got 4 little tiny baby chicks. Look how these 2 have grown in less than 3 weeks!   Nugget (my daughter named her(?)) already has a comb on her head!  I’m afraid that may mean she’s a he.

Nugget and the Baby


The didn’t even have feathers when we got them, just fuzz and now they are in an awkward in between stage.  Still cute though!

This weekend I build the coop, I’m pretty excited about it since I’ve never made anything like that before.  Another adventure!

So far the chicks have been fun and my kids are already thinking a little more about where their food is coming from, without any prodding from me at all.  Have you ever had chickens or other outside birds?  Would you?




Taste of South Tampa 2014

Living in Florida so rocks.  Especially being right outside of Tampa, they have SO many great things going on all of the time.  You need yet another example?  How about Taste of South Tampa coming up April 13th at Hyde Park Village?

Taste of South Tampa

It’s a chance to sample offerings from a variety of local restaurants, breweries and lots more.  Keely & Curley Winery is going to be there!  I love their blueberry wines. Actually I went to a tour there once and they have a lot more than just blueberry wines! There’s also going to be coffee brewers, beer brewers, pizzerias, grills, it sounds like a little bit of everything.

One place I’m excited to learn more about is The Florida Cane Distillery. They make micro-distilled vodkas entirely of Florida ingredients. How cool is that? Check out these Florida flavors!

I think you should go.  So do the folks at Taste of Tampa, they gave me 2 general admission tickets to give away!

Enter here to win, the winner will be announced April 2nd!   a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can follow Taste of South Tampa on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date on who all will be at the there, and you can get your tickets here. Tickets are $35 in advance with discounts if you are under 21, over 60, or in the military.

Oh, and if you’d like a little bit of good karma to go with your good times then you should know that a portion of this events profits are going to Metropolitan Ministries.

Metropolitan Ministries

I received two tickets to the Taste of South Tampa 2014 in exchange for writing a review and this giveaway.  As always, my opinions are all mine.

Hog Wild Off Road

By now it’s beginning to sound like I’ve given up on running completely.  Not true!  I have, however, done most of my running inside on the treadmill and I have not got back to any kind of running schedule yet. But I wasn’t letting that be an excuse to avoid a great run last weekend!

Last Sunday Hog Wild had their Off Road 8 miler and 5K. It was held at Hillsborough River State Park. I’d never been there before but I am beyond a doubt going back, just look at this place!

Hillsborough River State Park

This is the first non-obstacle run besides The Color Run that I’ve done, and it was really a different experience.

For one thing, there wasn’t that many people and there was only 1 wave.  I like multiple waves, it means I can be the slowest person out there and still not finish last. I’ve only run once since Castle Canyon two weeks ago, so to say I could have been better prepared is an understatement.

I had three goals for this run.

1) Don’t get lost (I do that, and this was off road so…)

2) Don’t be last (wouldn’t be the end of the world, but a good goal)

3) and don’t fall down, though I didn’t hold out much hope for this one

I managed all 3!  I did majorly trip at least 3 times over roots and came so close to hitting the ground I don’t have a clue how I didn’t, but whatever.  The course was marked pretty well, so getting lost wasn’t too much of an option after all.  It was the don’t be last part that made it different and fun.

Since the run was in the woods you couldn’t see who was ahead of or behind you, but you could hear them!  As little running as I’ve done lately I walked a good bit more than I would have liked to, but when we heard someone coming up behind us we would start running again, or if we heard someone in front of us it was motivation to get going and pass them. I didn’t expect to have so much fun with this part! I always tell people I don’t have a competitive bone in my body, but maybe I do have a little one or two. Long story short my son and I decided we will start looking for more trail runs.  They won’t replace mud runs/ obstacle runs as my definite favorite and motivation to keep running, but strangely they just may be the thing to motivate me to try and run BETTER.

Oh, can’t forget the race bling!

HogWildOffRoad5kSo, if you are a runner what do you prefer?  Mud runs, trail runs, or straight up road races?

If you aren’t a runner have you ever surprised yourself by feeling competitive in a situation you didn’t expect to?

Spring Beer Fling (and giveaway!)

Guess what’s coming to Tampa in just 2 weeks.  The Spring Beer Fling!  What the heck is that you ask?  How about a whole day of surf rock, games, and as much retro fun as you can handle?  Oh yeah, and beer. One choice will be Samuel Adam’s spring seasonal beer, Cold Snap.  I tried it at the pub this weekend; trust me, you should have a glass!

It sounds like a whole lot of fun, and for those who aren’t that into beer Twisted Tea, Deep Eddy Vodka, and Angry Orchard will be there as well. I’m a big Angry Orchard fan!

I’m really looking forward to the music; I LOVE surf rock. Seriously, how could you not?  Here’s one of the bunch of bands that will be there.

To top it all off the night’s going to end with a ‘Beach Ball Drop Spectacular’.  There’s something you don’t see every day!

Want to come out and join the fun?  General admission tickets are $15 in advance or $25 day of and include entertainment, games, and activities including the beach ball drop.  You also have the choice of VIP tickets which include all of that and also access to their ‘retro lounge’, unlimited drinks, a meal ticket for one of their vendors, and a Spring Beer Fling pint glass.  How cool is that? The VIP tickets are $85 in advance or $100 day of.  They’re 75% sold out already though, so there may be none left the night of the bash!

I have 2 general admission tickets to give away, enter here to win! The winner will be announced March 24th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Spring Beer Fling is Saturday, March 29th from 1:00pm – 11:00pm at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Come on out and join the fun! You can get your GA or VP tickets here.

I received two VIP tickets to Spring Beer Fling 2014 in exchange for writing a review and this giveaway. As always, my opinions are all mine.

VMM9 – Smoothies

I’m a fan of smoothies, they’re like having dessert for breakfast with none of the the nutritional downfalls.  I’ve always used yogurt in them though, the few smoothies I’ve had made with ice just didn’t have the flavor I like.  Of course since I decided that I haven’t tried all that many different recipes using ice so it’s not exactly a fair assessment.
Anyways, I decided to forgo the yogurt AND the ice and see if I could find a vegan recipe that I like.  This simple recipe is so good I may not go back to using yogurt in my smoothies!  🙂

Strawberry Banana Green Smoothie

  • 1 c vanilla almond milk
  • 1 c packed kale
  • 1 cup frozen sliced strawberries
  • 1 frozen banana

I just put them in the Ninja in the order listed and blended.  I did break the banana in half so it would fit. Easy, delicious and vegan, what else could I ask for?  It is unfortunate that they look kind of brown… but even my youngest son was singing it’s praise, definitely try this one.

I made several and froze enough in mason jars to bring with me for breakfast the rest of the week.  That way I know I’ll have a quick and healthy breakfast every day this week!


I’ve been in the mood for salads lately so that’s just what I’m doing for lunches this week.  I cut up, washed and spun a head of green leaf and I’ll bring that with some cucumbers, tomatoes and radishes every day. I just pulled the first radishes of the season form the garden this morning, I”m going to throw the leaves in the salads too.  Waste not want not and all.

Radishes to pickI’ve recently seen that you can fry or roast radishes, I may try that soon just for fun.  Anyone every try cooked radishes?



So Here’s the Thing.

I like running.  I do!  Not every run, but for the most part. I also like writing, or I never would have started writing here. So why haven’t I been writing much lately? Because somewhere along the line I must have subconsciously decided that I could only write about running here.

And, I have a slight problem with an odd cross between the squirrel syndrome and being obsessive. That combination can be better than it sounds, except for when it’s worst than it sounds.

Last year my squirrel was gardening.  One minute I was thinking about how my mom used to grow lettuce in the side yard, the next thing I know I had bought 2 raised gardens and was finding out more than I needed to know about what a too-rainy season in Florida could do to a garden.  Also, I now know what an assassin bug is.  Just as cool yet not at all cool as they sound.   I even started a new blog with my niece to keep track of the garden.  Here is where I started, take a look if you are feeling bad about how your yard looks and would like to realize just how great it really is.

Then everything died except the basil plant, then my dogs ate the basil plant, then gardening season was over.  On to the next adventure.

Until a few weeks ago when I was feeling a bit overwhelmed reading about all of the GMO veggies in the local grocers and remembered I already had a fence up, why not start another garden?  So I bought a bunch of non-gmo seeds from and Clear Creek Seeds. And of course since nothing other than radishes, a few cucumbers and the basil lived last year I decided to start bigger.

20140216_144944The 2 square shaped beds are the ones I bought at Sam’s club last year, and I built the L shaped bed in the back a few weeks ago using these directions.

Of course I had to fill the beds and I originally intended to partly use dirt from the yard mixed with other stuff.  Then came the next squirrel. The dirt in my yard was full of disgusting things that I found (thanks Google) out are slugs.  They live under ground and eat roots and kill all your plants.  Even vegetable plants.  And did I mention they’re gross?  It was a little bit like finding out evil little aliens lived out there.

So I spent the better part of the day Googling how to get rid of them.  Guess what?  Basically the entire internet laughed and said too bad, all you can do is HAND PICK THEM and drop them in soapy water.  Now I swear I’m not a total wimp but no.

As I continued to (desperately) read I found a single ray of hope.  My new squirrel.  Yep, and I’ll tell you all about them later. That’s right slugs, take THAT!


How about you, do you ever take an idea and start running with it before you know exactly where it is you’re running too?  If not I have to say, I highly recommend it.  🙂



Castle Canyon

I went to the Mud Endeavor obstacle run and it did exactly what I knew it would – got me motivated to run again.  Yay!

I was kind of upset because I forgot to bring a camera to at least take a couple of pictures before the run.  But then I looked at their Facebook page and they are letting us download pictures for free.  Nice! Here is why I was so anxious to get pictures:

castleHow cool is that?  Out of all of the runs I’ve done Mud Endeavor  runs are my favorite – I’d be happy to run every one they put on.  But this location was by far my favorite.  Lots and lots of (steep) hills, boulders and actual climbing (almost like AZ, this was the closest to a place to hike I’ve seen in this state!) and just generally a beautiful place.  Who wouldn’t love obstacles like this??

cliffThere were a couple of uphills like this and one downhill with the rope to help, which was VERY fun.  And ya, two days later my right tricep and shoulder are still a wee bit sore.  Which is weird since that is the side I have tennis elbow on so I would have thought I’d baby that side.  Guess not.  Even my subconscious is out to get me, go figure.

Anyways, they also had the more typical stuff like the A frame net to climb (very high) and over and unders to be tortured by.  I was not really looking forward to the run until the night before because I haven’t been running at all this month, my elbow has been hurting just drinking coffee, and I REALLY had hoped to learn to climb a rope before my next run.  I didn’t learn it.  😦  The last thing in the course was a free rope climb (or whatever you call climbing a rope with no wall) and I hate to admit I just walked on by.  It was the only obstacle I didn’t do, I REALLY need to learn that! But long story short, always look forward to an obstacle race even if you aren’t all that ready for it.  It’ll be fun, it’s just a given.

On top of all that they have some pretty groovy race bling.  I am really hoping I can make it to their next run, the Little Manatee River Run.  My usual partner in crime will be unable to make it but I don’t want to miss out!

Castle BlingOn top of all that we ran into our friend Ashley (1st place in the competitive heat!) and I met Holly from Muddy Mommy.  I was happy about that because I just won a entry from her to Hog Wild’s Off Road 5K (or 8 miler, maybe next time) and got to thank her. That’s what I love about running and reading running blogs, it’s its own little community. I always seem to recognize or know someone at every race.

All in all an excellent run, and I am unbelievably happy to have got back the running bug.  I guess the secret is to do more races!

If you’re a runner do you ever just kind of stop for a while?  I tend to do it every so often for no reason at all.  Worst of all is that when I don’t run I don’t feel as good in general.  Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this to themselves.  What do YOU do to keep motivated?