Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sarasota Half Marathon and Relay Preview

The First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon & Relay is celebrating it's 10th anniversary this year.

This year's race is on Sunday, March 14, 2015, starting at 7:00am at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center in Sarasota, Florida.

The First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon's scenic course takes runners over the John Ringling Causeway and around St. Armand's Circle, then down the Tamiami Trail and by the Ringling Museum of Art before they make their way back to the finish line at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center.  The finish area is right on the gorgeous Florida water.

This race is know for it's giant finisher medal!  I have two from previous years.

My sister, Patti, and I are participating in the relay this year.

Who's joining us this year at the Sarasota Half?

Best Damn Race 10k Recap 2015

I was back at the Best Damn Race, Safety Harbor, for the 10k this year.  Last year's half marathon was torture on this hilly course so I opted for the 10k instead.  This was only my second 10k ever with my first being in Oct 2012.  I planned to PR.

I was running consistently and training with interval and tempo runs weekly.  I was ready to ROCK the 10k!

Feb 7 was a crisp, cool morning with perfect running weather temps in the low 50s.  Once I got to Safety Harbor, I met up with my running buddy, Melanie.  With all things considered, like cool weather, previous interval and tempo run times, I thought we could finish the 10k in about 55 minutes.  My 10k PR was 59:39 so anything under that was good.  Melanie and I planned to try to stay together and pace each other throughout the 10k course.

We started out in the middle to back of the pack of runners so had to dodge to get around people.  The beginning of the course was beautiful, running along the water.  We navigated the ups and downs of the Safety Harbor streets, hearing the cheers from fellow Striders as we passed.

The 6.2 miles of the 10k seemed like nothing after my marathon and half marathons of the fall.  But, I was extremely happy that I wasn't running the Best Damn Race Half Marathon every time we passed a half course sign pointing us in the opposite direction with more hills!

Here we were heading into the final .2 mile stretch where we sprinted to the finish line almost causing a pass out or puke incident.

Photo by David
But we made it and finished!!
Free photo from Best Damn Race
 Melanie and I with new PRs and sparkly medals!

Post race picture with fellow Suncoast Striders
You got to ring the PR bell when you PRed at the Best Damn Race but I felt like the sign was made for me!  Instead of Chrissy Bell, call me PR Bell now.  Haha!

I loved the Best Damn Race's post-race food this year.  They had Dunkin Donuts' coffee, hot chocolate and heart donuts (filled with cookie dough or brownie batter); Jimmy John's sandwiches; and Pollo Tropical's black beans, rice and chicken.  Yummy!!!

This year, I had the BEST Damn Race with a 10k time of 55:15 and a PR of over 4 minutes!

Age Group Place:  16/119
Overall Place:  222/1047
Gun time:  56:24.0
Chip time:  55:15.9
Pace:  8:54/M

Annie The Musical

Oh, my gosh!  Oh, my gosh!  Oh, my gosh!  I've always loved the movie Annie and the sing-along songs (that I know by heart).  My boys and I watched the original 1982 movie over Christmas vacation.  I was beyond thrilled that Annie The Musical was coming to the Straz Center in Tampa.

Dylan, my 10 year old son, was very excited to see Annie The Musical.  Jared, my 13 year old, wasn't necessarily excited about the show, but agreed to go which is a win in my book.

Once at the show, Jared posted this picture to his Instagram account with the caption that he was seeing Annie at the Straz.  Double WIN!

The show started out with one of my favorite Annie songs "Maybe", followed by "It's the Hard Knock Life" and "Tomorrow". 

Annie and the orphans singing “It’s The Hard Knock Life”. Photo by Joan Marcus

Annie and Sandy singing "Tomorrow". Photo by Joan Marcus
Of course, the musical included a couple of new songs like "We'd Like to Thank You" and left out some from the original movie like "Sandy".  Although I didn't love Issie Swickle's singing voice, she did a great job portraying little orphan Annie.  Lynn Andrews was fierce and hilarious as Miss Hannigan!

This is a fantastic story and show for the whole family.  My boys thoroughly enjoyed Annie The Musical!  Dylan saw the signs for Potted Potter and Beauty and the Beast coming soon to the Straz.  Now he wants to see those shows too!  I've created a broadway monster!

What's your favorite Annie song?

Annie The Musical is preforming at the Straz Center Feb 17-22, 2015.

Clothing Drive - At performances of Annie, Tuesday, Feb. 17 through Sunday, Feb. 22, donations of primary school uniforms and other children’s clothing will be accepted at the Straz Center. The drive benefits Metropolitan Ministries who serve families in need in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Polk counties.

Disclaimer: As part of the Tampa Bay Bloggers, I received four tickets to see Annie The Musical.  All opinions are my own.