Winner, Winner

The winner of the Silk free half-gallon coupons goes to….

Comment number three from JC. Please email me your address at DinaRuns at gmail dot com and I will get those out to you.

Thanks to all who entered.


Silk Giveaway and Bzzing

I love free stuff. My friends and acquaintances will tell you that I’m a coupon queen. One of the best programs I’ve found to try new products and get free stuff is being a BzzAgent. A BzzAgent uses word-of-mouth marketing to spread buzz (bzz) about new products.

My current campaign is Silk who make soymilk, almond milk, and coconut milk. I have six free half-gallon coupons to give away to my readers. To win all you have to do is one (or all) of the following.

1. Follow Dina Runs and post in the comments section that you are a follower.
2. Post your favorite way to use soy, almond, or coconut milk.
3. Blog/Tweet/Facebook about this giveaway and post that you did so in the comments.
I will pick a winner on Tuesday, March 29th using the random number generator and mail out the coupons to the winner.

Long run Saturday was amazing! Five miles in my favorite park really let me run off all the stress of work. Now I’m off to pretty myself up to get ready for J’s birthday dinner number one at the casino in Tampa.

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Me before my long run and after tending the garden.

Date Night and a long run

This weekend I not only went out one but both Friday and Saturday night. After the most horrendous week at work, I really needed that. Emily, who I work with and who blogs over at Paisley and Porter, joined me for drinks and appetizers at Bar Louie in Orlando. We ordered a bunch of appetizers that were humongous and very tasty. It was a great way to shake off the work week and have some girl talk which I rarely get because I live in rural Polk County and work in Orlando. 

Saturday morning I went over to my favorite park, Lake Eva in Haines City, and ran a very slow 6.5 miles on a one mile loop. I learned two lessons during this run. The first being it’s getting hot in Florida and I need to get my butt out of bed earlier than 11 to do my long runs and the second being that I need to bring some kind of fuel for runs longer than five miles and/or an hour. I picked up one Luna Protein bar for my run next Saturday but want to experiment with different fuels to see what works best for me. What is your fuel of choice?    

J is a first year law student and is super busy most of the time. I consider myself lucky when he can take a break from studying to take me out on a date. This Saturday he took me to J. Alexander’s, which is ironically in the same plaza as Bar Louie. The meal was very good and the conversation was scintillating. I’m not going to lie, I wore some wedges and may have been walking a bit funny from my run earlier in the day. In my own defense, I can barely walk in shoes that are not sneakers on the best of days.          

My Guinness.


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J, his super dirty martini, and jumbo salad.


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Veggie burger and fries.
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My jumbo salad.

It was very tasty and fun. Did you do anything special this weekend?

Shamrock Walk and Run 5K

The Shamrock Walk and Run 5K was awesome for two reasons, green fountains and a personal best 5K time. The race took place in downtown Winter Haven in front of the library. The area has two fountains both which were dyed green much to the amazement of the children at the race. They just couldn’t believe how fountain water could be so drastically changed. 

Now to the PR. Drum roll please…I ran (walked a little) 35.24 which works out to 11.24 miles. My last race was 37.48, so this was a significant improvement. The race being later in the day, it started at 3PM, really gave me more time to warm-up which I think made a big difference. I will have force myself to get to 7:30 AM races early enough to take this important step. It really is nice to know that I am seeing some results, even slow ones, because I have been working my butt off. 

This 5k was different than the other two I ran. It was  more low key, smaller, and more family(and dog) oriented. I can see the draw of the larger races, the organization is more stream lined, the courses maybe better laid out, and using the D-Tag’s for time is probably a bit more accurate. The things I loved about this was the family atmosphere. There were tons of kids running with their parents and whole families cheering each other on at the finish line. Plus the dogs.

This race also included a one mile run with your dog. I was lucky enough to get a good spot at the finish line to watch people cross the finish line with their happy pooches. The cutest may have been the two dachshunds who have teeny, tiny little legs but a lot of heart when they run.

Is that a tulip? An onion? Not so sure.
Cool and festive or gross?

 I have six miles through my favorite park tomorrow. Looking forward to shaking off the stressful week I’ve had at work.  

Race Day

Today I’m running a small 5K in Winter Haven. It is the 18th Annual Shamrock Walk and Run. The coolest part besides it being in my neck of the woods, Polk County, is that there is an event where people are able to run with their dogs. I think this will be so cute to watch and I hope to get some great pictures out of it.

Have you ever run a race with a gimmick like running with your dog?

Please wish me luck and I will report back on my time and super cute dog pictures tomorrow.

One last thought, I actually made it in the local newspaper for a rally I participated in with my fellow local Democrats called Awake the State. The new story can be found here.

I am the one in the middle. Photo from The Lakeland Ledger found here.

Another Saturday Night…

Last week was my first week with double digit mileage of ten miles! It feels momentous to have reached that point. Does that make me a real runner?

J. Isn’t he cute?

My husband J is on spring break, he goes to Florida A&M Law School, and he wanted to take me out on a real date. Law school is so demanding that we rarely go out anymore because he is knee deep in studying. After my long run in beautiful Lake Eva Park (5.3 miles), I prettied myself up and we drove into Orlando for dinner.

We decided on Fleming’s, in Dr. Phillips, which was a great choice. We’ve eaten there once before but sat in the bar and had food off their bar menu. J ordered a steak and I had the Fleming’s Burger, both were very good.

Sourdough bread with yummy spreads.
Fleming’s salad.

I was craving frozen yogurt and had heard such great things about Menchie’s that we decided to hit up the one on Sand Lake. For close to closing on a Saturday night, that place was packed. It was overwhelming all of the flavor’s and toppings. I went with strawberry with fruit and granola on top. J had the red velvet cake with pretty much every topping they offered and most importantly the hot peanut butter sauce.

Picture taken from

We decided to take these home and eat while watching Dinner for Schmucks which was funny but mostly uncomfortable funny like an episode of The Office. I had a lot of fun and hope we can do it again when J graduates in two more years.

I will leave you with one cute cat picture, so Tail is not jealous of all the food love received in this post. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Tail playing his new game. Meow, pull down towels in the bathroom, and sleep/play in them.


Total miles: 34 miles. Five less than last month but a stomach bug caused me to miss one run.
Cross Training: Assorted Walk Away the Pounds and 30 Day Shred level three. I am so desperate to shake this up but am stumped as what to do. I would like to join a gym but the cost is prohibitive. Buying a bike is also cost prohibitive. Maybe I need to get a second job to finance my workout needs?
Race: Run Around the Pines. My second race was as amazing as the first. I enjoyed every second and am anxious to do more.
Upcoming Races: Shamrock Walk & Run on 3/12 in Winter Haven. This will be my first race close to my house and the first one in the afternoon. I am so excited that J will actually be able to attend this one (and maybe get actual photographic evidence of my running).
Song: Young Blood by The Naked and The Famous. The use of this in the Chuck/Sara proposal scene on Chuck just makes me love it even more.
Book: I finished the Mockingjay which is the third book in the Hunger Games series. With the adventure, the intrigue, and the love triangle, it is no wonder this series is such a big hit. Please read these books if you have not.
Training Goals: I have decided to run a half marathon in 2011. The St. Pete Women’s Half takes place at the end of November, which gives me plenty of time to train. According to Jeff Galloway, a runner should have a solid year of running before they move out of their base (mileage) building phase. One year is in August, which gives me 16 weeks before the half. 
Tail on a cabinet trying hard not to be bad.