Nov 16, 2018

Miami Beach Halloween Half Marathon

Another race on the beach for me. This was the half marathon I signed up for that I wanted to PR in. It was nice and flat, and I figured it would be cooler. HA! But it was good to get another race in here.

This is only my second solo half.

But I left my house super early in my last minute costume and I got going. It was pitch black when I got to the beach. The time change still hadn't happened, and the start was 6:30am.

We started in the dark and were off from South Point Park to the edge of the Miami Beach island. It was DARK that first mile. We wound around all of the pier, and then ended up back on Alton Road, and headed to the iconic Ocean Drive on South Beach.

There is the one thing about these beach races, watching the sunrise is amazing.

I was feeling good this part of the race. Steady, even, and I wanted to keep that pace in check, so I had enough for the end of the race. Thankfully the sun being hidden totally helped.

Like I has mentioned before, this was the race, I wanted to get my fast back in. The last few weeks had shown me that this was probably NOT gonna be a PR. The heat and my training weren't up to it. So, the night before, I reframed my goals. My A goal, was the PR. B goal was to be in at 2:45:00 or under. Then my C goal was just to finish and feel ok.

To get in more miles, we ran down and back on Lincoln Road pedestrian mall. It was nice and familiar, since my office is on Lincoln Road. And after the detour, we headed back to the dreaded boardwalk.

It was another out and back course down the boardwalk. I was more attentive to my footing this time, since I knew it was an uneven surface. I was feeling good til about the 10k mark, which was a little before the boardwalk turn around, but then I was struggling to keep going. I don't know if it was the heat, my endurance not being up to it? But that boardwalk was killing me.

By the time the boardwalk was done, it seemed to take forever to get back to the finish. I walked a lot, cause my legs just couldn't keep up with the running. Then I switched my intervals and ran for :30 and walked :45. I kept trying to run each time, but it was hard. Plus, by this point, the sun was in full glory, and though it was not as hot as it was for the 10k, it was still hot. And the people had begun to come out to the sidewalks and places we were running, which was a little frustrating, since most of them had no idea we were in a race. I almost got hit my a non-race pedestrian fooling around on the street. So near the end, and having to basically weave to avoid getting hit by his arm was not fun.

FINALLY, I was reaching the park and the finish, but not before a little hill. I'm sure it was nothing to the people that actually have hills, but it was killer for me. After the hill over the park, we ran back along the water and into South Point Park to the finish.

And thank god it was over. I got my medal and I grabbed some ICE water (very nice touch) and some fruit.

I was so glad to be done. And i was hanging around to see if my results would be printed and posted. After waiting about 5 minutes, I gave up and started heading to my car. I checked my time online later, and I hit goal C with a time of 2:51:03. I was kinda pissed when I saw it, cause I knew that had I not walked so much at the end, I could have reached 2:45:00. But my body was just not having it that day.

I was happy to report that I didn't tape my IT band and it didn't bother me at all. I physically felt pretty good after the race. And all of the people I spoke to before, during, and after the race was so nice. I have to mention this, cause being Miami, it was a nice change.

I think I have decided that the Miami Beach races just aren't for me. I know this is limiting my racing here at home, but me and that boardwalk are just not having it.

Oct 30, 2018

Quick handmade Halloween costume - Skeleton shirt

I had a Halloween themed half marathon this past weekend. I wasn't going to wear a costume, cause I had no idea what to make, but then I had an idea. A sugar skill costume would be easy and festive. With not enough time for an Amazon prime order to arrive, I had to make something myself.

Since I had left this to the night before the race, paint was out of the question. I didn't think there would be enough time for it to dry. Fabric is my medium of choice anyways, so fabric it was! And I had a few shirts that were in the goodwill pile that were perfect to use for this purpose.

Here are the supplies you will need:
  • 1 black t-shirt
  • 1 white t-shirt
  • Thread (optional)
And the following tools:
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Needle or sewing machine (optional)
I skteched out a rough skeleton ribcage on a piece of paper, I foled it in half and cut our the "bone" parts. Then I opened it up and checked for placement on the black shirt.

I found that it was easier to fold the shirt in half, and then cut out the "bone" parts on the shirt as it was folded in half. This way both sides would be even. I pinned the pattern in place, and then cut the fabric where the holes were. I also cut them a little smaller than what I had on the pattern, since I knew it would stretch out when I put it on.

At this point you can just wear this black shirt over a white shirt. It will give the illusion of the bones peeking through.

But since I was making this a running costume, I decided to sew the white part on the inside of the black shirt, so I wouldn't have to wear a double shirt for my run.

*This part is optional, but makes for a lighter shirt.
Cut a piece of white fabric big enough to cover all the cut out parts of the black shirt. Pin to the wrong side of the black shirt. Stitch around the edge of the cut out design to hold in place.

And you're all done! Add some skull makeup to complete your costume, and maybe even some flowers for the sugar skull look.

This took me a total of about an hour to put together, and the hardest part was drawing out the pattern. There's no reason not to have a Halloween costume, even if you have left it to the last minute.

Happy making and happy Halloween!

Oct 12, 2018

BK Beach Run 10k

It's finally race season again! Though with the temperatures and humidity still so high, I'm not sure about getting out there.

This was my first time doing this race, but I figured it would be a nice change of pace. But it was not the change of pace I was looking for.

I got up and headed towards the beach at about 6am. Thankfully, there was no traffic this early. But it being South Beach and all, there were still some stragglers walking back to their hotels after a night out.

I walked over to the start line area, which was right on the beach at about 11th Street.

They had some sand sculptures of Whoppers and Chicken Fries, since the race was sponsored by Burger King.

By this time the sun was rising. The views were amazing. I wanted to get out to the water to take a pic, but I didn't want too much sand in my shoes.

Pretty soon, we were off. The first about 1/4 mile of the race was on the sand. They packed the sand as best as they could, but I was happy to get back onto the pavement.

Then a little before the first mile marker, we started running on the boardwalk. This alternated between pavers and a wooden boardwalk.

I was keeping up a pretty good pace, but tired to slow it down a bit so I could keep going for all 6.2 miles.

We got to the turn off for the 5k, and the 10k kept going along the boardwalk. But let's be serious, it's still summer hot here and the humidity was no joke. We ran all the way past the Foutainbleau Hotel, and then made the turn around to come back.

At this point, it was really hot, but I was trying to keep my pace as best as I could. The water stops after the 5k turn were also only manned by 1 person, and that person was having a hard time keeping up. At one stop, I had to stand and wait for water. This wasn't in my plan.

Then at around mile 4.5, I tripped on a plank on the boardwalk. And that shot my confidence. Thankfully I didn't fall, but it really shook me.

I kept going, then just after mile 5, we ran on the sand again... lack of confidence again. By this time the sun was blaring, and the humidity hadn't let up either. I took more walk breaks than usual, but I was determined to get to the finish.

And I did. But not without some 5k finishers strolling across the finish chute (which was in the sand), while I was trying to sprint to the finish.

Every race isn't the best one. But in the end, this was better than my last 10k. And it's all about getting back into the groove. And praying that it gets cooler around here some time soon.

Sep 19, 2018

Unicorn Cake

I still need to catch you up with all of the cakes I've made! And this one was really a masterpiece, if I do say so myself.


It was for my friend's little girl's first birthday. This kid is getting spoiled with all of the cakes her mom dreams up for me to make her.

Mom, my fondant expert took care of making the horns and the ears. She used fondant and then colored it with gold food coloring. She made them a few days in advance to give it time to harden.

I got to the baking. The cake was vanilla, but it had to be unicorn-y, so I added color to each layer. This was the first time I was doing this, but you can't go wrong with that Wilton color. It makes the colors vibrant and doesn't water down the batter.

And then I had a bunch of frosting in all the different colors to make the unicorn's mane. The key here is really making it all random, harder than it seems for me, but I got the hang of it.

We assembled the cake when we went to drop it off. It was HEAVY! The bottom layer had the same colors, but was covered in gold sprinkles. I drew on the eyes with a paintbrush and some black food color, and we put in the ears and horn and piped in some more flowers to bring it all together.

And you just can't beat the look of those colors all together in one cake. I love how bright and fun it looks together.

Another cake challenge thrown down, and another cake challenge conquered.

Sep 13, 2018

Making ears

I've been on a bit of a crafting kick lately. It feels so good to be making stuff again.

I made some floral mouse ears for Kris and Veronica and me for Food and Wine last year. I decided to try making some again, I know some friends wanted to get some too.

So with my trip up to Epcot Food and Wine approaching, I decided to make some ears for myself and some to share too. made a few designs. And now I just have to decide which ones to wear for my Disney trip this weekend.

I think the Wine & Dine ears will definitely make an appearance.

I might even have to come up with a few new designs to go with my outfits for the weekend...

If you wanna grab your own ears, check out my shop.

Aug 15, 2018

Wide leg pants

I've been getting back into my sewing lately, and have been making myself a few things to wear. I saw these kind of wide-leg pants at a boutique I shop at and decided to try making a similar pair.

This post contains affiliate links.

I found a pattern, Simplicity 8605, and got some fabric a JoAnn's. The best part of the pattern was the pockets! Gotta love pockets.

Putting the pants togther went very smoothly, but the hardest part was getting the elastic through the 2 channels. Getting them both to come through at the same time without losing one of the other was one of the most time consuming parts of making these.

My fabric choice didn't make this any easier. It was a little too heavy for this project, but it worked. Between the pockets in the front and the waistband, there was a lot of fabric to deal with.

These are super comfy, kinda like pajama pants, but the fabric made them good to wear to work.

It was great to whip up something that came together so fast. I think I'm gonna have to try my hand at making something else soon.

Aug 8, 2018

BDR Orlando Half

Catching up on my race recaps. The Best Damn Race is one of the funnest races out there. It's made by runners for runners, and you can tell.

This race was in early March, it was cool at the start, but then it got warm really quick.

After the fun we had at the 10k last year, and seeing the size of the half medals, Kris and I decided to go for the half this year.

This was the longest race we had run since the full marathon in January. It wasn't the easiest. There was a lot of walking.

But we finished. And that's really what matters.

This race has amazing free perks for the runners: drinks, massages, food. We met up with a bunch of friends and had some drinks. I was too late for the frees massages though.

It was a fun day, and it was good to get out there and get in a race again. And did I mention the bling?