Breakaway to Sugarloaf Race Recap

Today I discovered that there are ACTUALLY hills in Florida! Who knew?!




Before setting out to tackle 50km of hills, I filled up with a blueberry bagel and peanut butter.




Mark’s breakfast was a little more involved: PB bagel, banana, yogurt, and CLIF bar. That boy can eat!




We drove out to Clermont, about 45 minutes away from Orlando, for the Breakaway to Sugarloaf bike ride. The event had three distances: 18 mile, 31 mile, and 62 mile rides.




Mark and I decided a while back to only complete the 31 mile ride, since we were unsure about hills and lack of training. We met up with our friends to wish them good luck before they set out on the 62 mile bike ride!


The crazy 62 mile group:







…and Caitlin’s dad.



After waving goodbye, I met up with blog reader Kristen. She was also completing the 31 mile distance, and we decided a few days ago to stick together during the ride.




Before setting out on the ride, we consulted the map. I am not at all familiar with this part of town and I was so glad to have this with me.




After only about two miles, it sunk it just how hard this ride was going to be. Training on flat surfaces does not prepare you for hills. Not at all.


The first aid station was around mile 8. I was so happy to get off and stretch.




Each aide station had a place to hang up bikes so riders could walk around, stretch their legs, and get a snack.




I had two fig newtons at the first station.




Sadly we had to get back on our bikes and start pedaling. We rode about 9 more miles and then it happened. Caitlin told us we would pee our pants when we saw Sugarloaf mountain… and I almost did!    



This picture, which I stole from Caitlin because I didn’t want to lose momentum on the hill, does NOT do this hill justice. It was HUGE. Kristen burst out laughing, and I said, “is this a sick joke!?!” It was insane!


The worst part is that there is a “false flat” which is about 20 yards. You can see what you think is the top of the hill and then it keeps going up. You are tricked!


I had to get off my bike and walk it up the hill. I was so proud of Kristen who hung in there and pedaled all the way up. She looked like she was working as hard as possible and only going about 4mph. GAH!




I felt a little lame, but a few other cyclists had to do the same thing. I caught Mark walking a couple times, but mostly just to encourage me along. 😀




Once we got to the top of the hill, I was so extremely excited to see the second aide station. We stopped for about 10 minutes. Obviously, we were not in a rush!




I had a donut hole (epic!)




…and refilled my water bottle half way with gatorade.




Once again, we got back on the bikes.


As the saying goes, “what goes up, must come down.” Whoever said this must have been a cyclist on Sugarloaf. The downhills were the BEST part. I loved speeding down the hills.




I am a very timid cyclist, and I can’t go down the hills without a little break resistance. Mark however pedaled his bike as fast as he possibly could, and managed to get his bike up to 43.0 mph at one point! INSANITY! The speed limit was 35… luckily there were no cops around! 😉




It started to rain around mile 25. This is also when my left knee (not the same one that I injured during the marathon) started hurting in the same location as it did on the right. YIKES!


I took it pretty slow and just told myself that I couldn’t give up. I knew that I could ice it and take ibuprofen when I got to the car, but there is NO GIVING UP!!! Giving up would be MegaLame.


As we approached the end of the ride, it was pretty anti-climatic. There were no screaming fans and no finish line. I literally just rode straight to my car! I was so happy to see my car.


I did one of these numbers. Remember my twenty mile run during marathon training? Similar concept!



I immediately grabbed a banana to quiet my growling stomach.




Then, posed for a group picture: Kristen, Me, Mark.




Go team!


I finished feeling wiped. I am so glad that I didn’t do the 62 mile death ride!




It took a total of two hours, 52 minutes, and 13 seconds including stops to complete 30.35 miles of intense hills. I was proud!




Honestly, it was a really hard ride for me. It wasn’t really the distance that was a challenge, but the fact that I was not used to riding on hills. I pretty much had to learn which gears to shift to and the right timing. I wish that I could have practiced before today!


My chain kept popping off when I tried to switch gears. It was really frustrating me at first, because I had to keep stopping and figure out what was wrong. UGGGH! It fell off about 4 times before I figured out the problem!


It was a fun ride, but I don’t really think hills are awesome. I felt unprepared for them! I really want to do a full metric century (62 miles) but ONLY on flat ground!


Here is a map of the elevations… Crazy, right?!


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My knee is hurting, and I’m falling asleep at the computer. I’m off to rest!


❤ MegaNerd

Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24

On Saturday night, I joined chefs Ryan and Lindsey for an International Affair Gone Vegan!



Thanks to Foodbuzz, these lovely ladies were selected to prepare a seven course vegan meal for other area bloggers to enjoy.


The Attendees:

  • Lindsey and her husband, Ross
  • Ryan and her boyfriend, Evan
  • Caitlin and her husband, Kristien
  • Angela and her husband, Eric
  • Me and my friend, Mark
  • Meghann
  • Ashley and her boyfriend, David
  • Katy W. and her husband, Lucas
  • Katy H. and her husband, Adam
  • Evan’s brother’s fiancee, Dana
  • Kelly and her boyfriend, Anthony




It was Mark’s first time at a “blogger event” so I warned him about the crowd and the fact that everyone would be camera/photo crazy. He didn’t seem to mind! (Note the fact that Mark is NOT wearing a helmet like in every other photo.) 




Bring on the food!


First Course: An Italian appetizer of Tomato Basil Bread Crostini with a Bruschetta consisting of tomato, basil, lemon, extra virgin olive oil, cannellini beans and a sweet balsamic reduction.




This may have been my favorite! I went back for seconds…




Second Course: An African Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup




I need this recipe, stat!




Third Course: A French vegan version of a Nicoise Salad.




It had green beans, potatoes, olives, and tempeh. This was the first time that I have had tempeh that I actually liked it! Maybe I cooked it wrong before?




Fourth Course: A simple palate cleanser of a Moroccan Mint Sorbet with coconut water, coconut milk, lime and fresh mint.




Fifth Course: Mexican Vegan Tamales with Masa and a Black Bean, Salsa Verde, Corn and Green Chiles Filling


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Sixth Course: Jamaican Jerk Seitan with raw Plaintain Chips


(Somehow, I missed a picture of it.  I borrowed these two from Angela!)


Seventh Course: An All American, Vegan and Raw classic dessert of S’mores (Pure2Raw twins recipe!).




Then, a secret dessert came out… a birthday cake for Katy H!!




Lindsey made her top secret vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe in cake form. It was pretty epic!


Everyone seemed to have a great time! The boys chatted about homebrewing beer, and the girls discussed future marathons. Typical.




It was fun to finally meet Angela and her husband after reading her blog for quite a while.




Ashley brought Bondi Band samples for everyone to try. Mine says, “Will Run for Beer!” I can’t wait to try it out when it gets colder!


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Thank you,  FOODBUZZ! And a big thank you to Ryan and Lindsey for sharing a wonderful vegan meal with us! Who knew that vegan food was so awesome!?




It was EPIC.


❤ MegaNerd

There’s a First Time for Everything!

Yesterday, Katy H.  and I took Anne to Disney for her first visit ever! In 27 years, she has never been to Walt Disney World. Whoa!




The girls met at my apartment in the morning. We had all been talking about the Cherry Chocolate Bomb Shake and decided to try one randomly.


It made a lot, but we actually did not like it.




I’m not sure if we did something wrong, but we just weren’t WOWED like we had expected. Maybe it was the chocolate powder? Not really sure.


We attempted to drink most of it, but I opted for a CLIF bar half way through.


After our shake adventure, we set out to Disney! The first park we hit up was Hollywood Studios (old MGM).




My new favorite ride is the Toy Story Adventure.




You get to wear sexy 3-D glasses and basically go into a life sized video game.




I was Player 1, Anne is Player 2. We both one e-bunnies.




Next, we hit up Rockin’ Roller Coaster.


It was pretty much a blasty.


Around noon, we headed back to the car to grab lunch. We packed a cooler full of food so that we wouldn’t waste money at the park.




I packed a salad that had:

  • spring mix
  • apple slices
  • strawberries
  • grapes
  • almonds
  • poppyseed dressing




…and an Almond butter sandwich.




I also grabbed a bag of Trader Joe’s sweet potato chips to munch on in the afternoon.








The park looks beautiful right now. They have it all decorated for spring!




We hit up the major rides, and then headed to EPCOT.




I’ve been so many times, but I still really love it!


Katy told us there is a part where you can taste sodas from around the world. I have never done that before, and was really excited about it!




I sampled all of the flavors. Some I liked… others, not so much.




My favorite was Germany’s Mezzo Mix. It is a mixture of coke and orange. Good stuff! I wish we could buy that stuff here!




My least favorite was Costa Rica’s Fanta. It tasted like something the dentist tells you to “swish and spit” (aka Flouride).


We spent the late afternoon wandering around the park.




Anne and Katy took so many pictures, I can’t wait to see their blog posts.




It was difficult to choose a country to stop for dinner in. We ended up going with Morocco after I told them they had hummus!




I ordered the Falafel Wrap with hummus and couscous on the side.




As the sun set on EPCOT, we decided to head out.




We met up with Caitlin at the bar for a quick happy hour.




I had a Blue Moon, and then hit they hay.




It was such a long day, but so worth it! It’s always fun to go to Disney with someone who has never been.


Sorry that my posting has been so sporadic, I have been having too much fun!


Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to work I go!


❤ MegaNerd

I Admit.

My blog schedule is out of control. I apologize. I feel like I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut off!


Breathe. Blog. In that order.


Yesterday was another work day. However, I did get to take a lunch break to visit some of my favorite people!




Caitlin, Ashley, Ryan, and Katy H. met up for yoga and then headed to meet me and Meghann at Infusion Tea.




Random Tuesday Blogger Meet-Up! 😀




I was all hyped up and stressed out when I arrived. I had exactly 20 minutes to wolf everything down.


The other girls were calm and glowing from yoga. I really need to try this stuff. I need some peace in my life. 🙂


On to the food.




I ordered the lunch combo, which includes any 1/2 salad, sandwich, wrap, or soup.


I stuck with my favorite roasted pears salad




…and tried the hummus, avocado, tomato, spinach sandwich. I was NOT a fan. It was way too bland and I only ate a bite or two. Not for me!!!




Oh well. I still enjoyed the company!




On the car on the way back to work I munched on an apple. I was still pretty hungry after lunch.




Throughout the afternoon, I broke nibbles of a CLIF bar, and then ate a banana right before I left.




I packed my bag before I left for work with a change of clothes. I am thinking about leave a bag of workout clothes and shoes in my car so that I can work out anytime I get a chance. (School/Work/Home are all on opposite sides of town by a long shot.)




My right knee was feeling better after three days off. I had been icing, stretching, foam rolling, and taking anti-inflammatories. I figured I would test the waters.




It was so nice to get out into the fresh air after being cooped up in an office all day!



I ran a total of 4.0 miles:


  • Mile 1 = Warm-up at a 9:20 pace
  • Miles 2 + 3 = Speedy awesomeness at 7:45 pace
  • Mile 4 = knee started to hurt…



I picked up a knee strap at Track Shack the other night. I told the guy there what was going on with my knee, and he recommended this to me. It puts pressure right on the painful spot, and it really seemed to help. I felt slight pain but it wasn’t debilitating like it has been before.


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Judging by the amount of pain I am in today. I think it’s time to admit that I am injured. Shooting pain, not being able to bend my knee, and feeling like I’m going to burst into tears is not really my thing.



I’m officially NOT running until further notice. It’s time to take a break.



I can’t talk about it anymore, it makes me sad. Maybe in another post.


I came home and made a lovely dinner: Grilled Zucchini, mushroom and herb couscous, and tilapia.




I like having nights off to eat at home. Last semester I ate on campus mostly every night, or had to wait until midnight to eat. So thankful that’s over.


I think post-marathon injuries are common. I’ll deal with it!


❤ MegaNerd

Anne P…. Finally!

Last week, a bunch of Orlando bloggers were supposed to meet up with Anne. She’s in town from the DC area, and we were all really bummed when her flight was cancelled due to the snow!


Yesterday, she made the journey from Tampa to Orlando to come hang out with the only two bloggers left in town, me and Katy H. 




We had big plans to go to Disney for the day (Anne has never been!?!) but the weather was rainy and cold. Instead, we met at Infusion Tea, a cute downtown organic tea cafe.




The cold weather put me in the mood for a warm drink. I ordered a Chai Latte, which I saw on Ryan’s blog a while back.


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For lunch, I ordered the Roasted Pear Salad. I had the same thing last time I went, and loved it so much, I even tried to recreate it at home!




One of my favorite things about Infusion Tea is the atmosphere. They have a cute little shop attached to it with all sorts of handmade gift items.




We sat and chatted for so long, that we started to get a bit hungry again!





I suggested we walk down the street to cefiore for some tart frozen yogurt. It’s never to cold for fro yo!



It was so hard to choose between flavors. I tried pumpkin pie, Acai berry, chocolate, and original, before deciding.


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Anne was way too excited to try the fro yo.




Katy was snapping tons of pictures with her new camera.




I always have such a hard time deciding what I want. Especially when everything looks so delicious!




I ended up going with the original tart fro yo, with kiwi, pomegranate arils, and blackberries. It was such a good choice!




The other girls got awesome combinations as well. We passed them around in a circle so we could all try a bite or two. Anne got pumpkin with pom, mango, and strawberries. Katy got Acaiberry with kiwi and mango.




It was a really fun afternoon!




We already have plans to meet up again during spring break, and hopefully take Anne to Disney! I really cannot believe that she has never been!! Maybe I just assume that everyone has been by now since I’ve been a zillion times.


I’m actually in Ohio right now, visiting with Jason’s family. I’m a couple of days behind on blogging, but I promise I’ll get to it! 😀


❤ MegaNerd

Playing in the Snow

It’s been the perfect winter day!


My two friends and fellow bloggers, Whit and Stacey came over to hangout!




I met Whit at the Healthy living summit back in August, but I have never actually met Stacey! She was the first person I ever talked to in the blog world, and we have been e-mailing back and forth since May! It was so nice to finally meet her in person! 😀


Meeting people through blogs is like internet-friend-dating!


Before the girls arrived, I made a quick lunch: A simple turkey, cheese, lettuce and mustard on rye bread sandwich.




I also munched on some grapes




…and a snack plate of carrots, hummus, and pita chips.




Once the girls arrived, it took about 5 minutes to decide what to do. We wanted to play in the snow! They drove up from Charlotte, about an hour and a half south of here, and they didn’t get a single flake of snow! Crazy how that happens.


We set to work on creating a snowman!




I’ve never made a snow man, so I had no idea what to do!




 Whit acted like she didn’t know either… but she’s a liar.




She had a huge ball of snow rolled up before I could even blink. We joked that she should teach Snow 101.




It took all three of us to lift the second ball onto the base. It was a workout! I was sweating underneath my coat, and I only had one other layer on.


I wasn’t expecting our snowman to be so gigantic, but Whit was pretty ambitious with her snowball forming.




We added a hat, scarf, carrot nose, button eyes and wa-la! Instant snowman!


Meet Phil. The snowman. 😀




We created the perfect man. Too bad he’s going to melt by morning.




After the hard work was done, the snowball fights begun!





Snowball fighting took it out of us! We collapsed on the ground, just in time to make snow angels!




We froze our butts off laying in the snow. I suggested we come inside and make hot cocoa + cookies (I had three)!




We hung out a bit more and talked before the girls left. It was such a fun day, and I’m so glad that they drove all the way out here to come visit!


My mom had a slow cooker soup going the entire day. She loves making homemade soups and I couldn’t wait to try it!




It was delicious! I will have to pry the recipe out of her, but I think it’s basically chicken broth, sweet potato, ham, white beans, and sage!




Perfect way to end this winter day! I’m off to watch ELF! I love that movie.



What’s your favorite snow activity?


❤ MegaNerd