Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tour Des Fleurs, no surprises until the end!

Me with my dad and mom after the race.

Well, the end of an era, or at least a decade is near. Running the 2012 Tour Des Fleurs (TDF) marked the last race I would run in my 30's. I was greeted with a wonderful surprise, my parents drove up from Austin to celebrate my 40th birthday! It was equally if not more emotional an experience as crossing the finish line at my marathon. Maybe more so since I wasn't expecting them to be there. It is a wonderful feeling to know people love and care about you so make time to do something so special.

I actually almost didn't sign up for the race. I saw the emails and had decided my running days were getting farther and farther away from me, that trying to run a 10K was a little to ambitious. Then my friend asked if I wanted to run with her, she was training for the Tour Des Fleurs. I agreed to train and explained I hadn't run in quite some time, that we would need to take it slow. The first day we went out we ran an hour. That is not taking it slow. But, it did make me rethink running TDF and I decided if I can run for an hour in a training run, I could probably run the race. So I signed up. And I am so glad I did. I had a great time running. I was hard and I was tired but there is something about running and crossing the finish line that makes me feel such a sense of accomplishment. And having my parents at the end was the best prize a girl could ask for!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

DaLat Pho Restaurant Review - Might be my new pho place!

Vegetable Pho with accouterments 
I buy a lot of "deal" vouchers. I get email from Daily Candy, Voice Daily Deals, Living Social, at least two Groupon cities at any one time, KGB deals, Amazon Deals, and a site called Yipit sends a recap email daily of all the deals in categories I already selected. This is besides all the emails I get from businesses.

For the most part I use the deals, there have only been a few, maybe two that I ever forgot to use. And yes, I know, I can probably go back and get at least what I paid and use it towards a visit, but really, if I couldn't make it in when the deal was going on, what makes me think I am going...ever?! My mom recently was giving me a hard time for NOT using the deals I buy, I just bought a deal for a place in Austin and forgot to use it when I was there. Since then I have made a concerted effort to find my deals and USE them!

Today was a special day, I used TWO deals! I bought the Starbucks Deal off Living Social earlier this week. It was $10 worth of Starbucks. That was a no brainer. I bought it, loaded the value onto my Starbucks card and enjoyed a latte and smoothie. Fifty percent off at Starbucks is ALWAYS good.

I also used my DaLat voucher I got a few weeks ago on Voice Daily Deals. It was $10 for $20 worth of Pho. DaLat is a cute place, well lit and has plenty of seating, even two areas to sit outside. My friend and I sat in the patio area along the side. We ordered shrimp spring rolls as an appetizer and two vegetable pho.

Khanh, the owner has a condiment bar set up inside so you get get as much, or as little of the typical pho accouterments; basil, cilantro, jalapeno's, bean sprouts, lime, hot sauce and a few new ones, pickled red onions and one other I can't think remember. (I went back for more bean sprouts.)

The food was good. Spring rolls looked like spring rolls and came with a nice smooth peanut sauce. Pho broth had good flavor and there were adequate amount of noodles in the soup. The vegetable pho came with tofu, which maybe I should have known but since I didn't I had to pick it off. Not really a big deal, but next time I will definitely say no tofu so they don't have to waste it.

The vegetables appeared to be baby bok choy, carrots and green onions. I would have liked some broccoli and/or mushrooms. I usually ask for extra vegetables when I get pho. I specifically didn't this time to see their regular portion; I think for my taste I will ask for extra vegetables in the future.

Tangmosa with Pho! 
Khanh even offered us a Tangmosa on the house. (He might have seen me posting about his restaurant on facebook and foursquare.) :) What is a Tangmosa? It is champagne and Tang. Yes, that's right, they serve Tang. Sadly I didn't grow up on Tang so I am not a fan. The drink tasted like Tang and champagne; if you like Tang, this would probably please you. I am more interested to try their White Rabbit shot which apparently tastes like fruit loops.

I definitely will be going back. If you need a good pho place and live in Dallas, I suggest driving by and trying some pho. They are open from 11 am - 2 am so there is plenty of time to get your pho on!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Next Race - Tour De Fleurs Sept 15th

I'm finally running in another race, the last one was in May. I lost my steam as Summer hit and life somehow got busy. That seems to be my excuse lately, "life" got in the way of me living life. I don't know why but I seem to never have enough time to do all the things I want to do.

I had seen am email about the Tour De Fleurs and had decided I wasn't running in it for two reasons, cost and it was a few days before I turn the dreaded four-O. Somehow the idea of running my last race in my 30's after not running for months didn't seem like a smart way to end a decade. Then a friend texted me and asked if I wanted to run with her to help her train for the Tour De 5:30 am! The real answer to that question is no. No, I don't want to run, no I don't want to get up at the crack of dawn, or before....ever. But when a friend wants to run and needs someone to run with, you can't be selfish and snuggle further under the covers of a warm bed, no, you have to say yes and get your ass out of bed and go run. So I did.

We ran for an hour. Yes, that's right....after not running for nearly 3 months I ran for an hour. I WANTED to stop running after 2 miles but as I was eyeing my watch and asking when we were turning around, my friend stated plainly, "you can run for an hour Carolyn". Ugh, fine! (I have always needed that extra push.) So we ran. It wasn't that bad. It never is. The IDEA of running is always way worse than the actual act of picking up your feet and moving forward. And I didn't die; my shins hurt for a few days but life didn't end from getting up at the crack of dawn and running.

The next week we ran not quite as long, giving my shins a break, and went to Bikram yoga after. That felt MUCH better!

I think after a few more runs I should be ready to run in the 10K Tour De Fleurs.
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