Life Lately: Throwback Brunch and Bridge Run Festivities

Hi everyone! I just wanted to give a little update on how things are going lately.

Throwback Brunch

Each year, one of our favorite pizza restaurants, Mellow Mushroom Avondale, hosts a Throwback Brunch for their anniversary. The brunch features 1974 prices and door prizes, disco music, and a chance to win free pizza for a year.

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Last Saturday, Clay and I went to Mellow to be one of the first 100 people to have a chance at free pizza for a year. We weren’t the lucky recipients, but we did win a free specialty pizza and a free appetizer on our next  visit (everyone got something as a door prize).

Plus we enjoyed two large pizzas for 1974 prices- cheapest lunch ever.

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The pizzas at Mellow are huge, so we had lots of leftovers. I think I finally finished my veggie pizza on Wednesday. Good thing day old (or a few days old) pizza is still tasty- House poor problems!

Bridge Run Festivities

Those of you who know me personally know that I did not participate in the Cooper River Bridge Run, one of the largest races in the US and held here in Charleston. I set a goal to finish a 10K in under 45 minutes to qualify for the competitive corral, the 3rd corral behind the elites and the sub-40s.

Three weeks ago, I ran a 46:59 10K at the Summerville YMCA Shamrock Shuffle. By the time I actually got the result, all 45-60 corrals were sold out (45-60 minutes is first-come, first-serve, with no time verification required). The Bridge Run bibs left were for run/walkers or walkers, and I really didn’t want to fight the shuttles, crowds, and bomb-sniffing dogs to start in the last corral.

Several local runners told me the race would accept a 5K time of 22:30 or below and double it. I didn’t see this in writing anywhere. My 5K PR is 22:21, but you can’t just double your 5K time and get your anticipated 10K time- running doesn’t work that way.

If my 5K was better (maybe in the 21s) and I hadn’t just raced a 10K to know what I’m capable of in that distance, perhaps I would’ve asked the race directors to make an exception. But, honesty and hard work are the best policies, and someone whose very recent 10K PR is 2 minutes off shouldn’t register for that corral.

Hopefully by next Spring, I’ll be at the level to have the coveted spot at the front and bib.


Since I saved 100% on the Cooper River Bridge Run by not entering, I went to the expo and dropped some cash on a new pair of Mizuno Wave Elixirs. I got the blue ones for Christmas, and since Mizuno is discontinuing my shoe, I couldn’t pass up another pair for $60. I plan to work these into the rotation next week.

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While the expo had a lot of vendors, I bought the shoes from the TrySports Mt. Pleasant tent. I love supporting local businesses that support local runners, including myself, and TrySports definitely does this. Most of the vendors were typical expo vendors, and the free samples were few and far between and I wasn’t really impressed.

I heard famed marathoner Bill Rodgers was there, and I completely missed him! I did take a picture with Mr. Peanut, though…

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The best part of the Bridge Run weekend for me was having lunch with Maria from Lil Mys Ninja, who lives, runs, and blogs in Columbia, SC.

Meeting other bloggers is always fun, especially ones you’ve been reading for awhile. I’m not sure how we never managed to meet before considering Columbia isn’t that far away.

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Knowing Maria fosters dogs for adoption and loves animals, I suggested one of my favorite West Ashley restaurants, Parson Jack’s Café. Parson Jack’s serves a wide variety of food- from pizzas to fajitas and quesadillas to burgers and fries, so it’s a good place for everyone’s tastebuds.

The restaurant is decorated in paintings of dogs, and you can even bring your dog there to sit on the outdoor patio and they’ll give your dog a treat. You can also put a dollar bill on the ceiling, which Parson Jack’s collects and donates to animal charities.

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Maria and I stayed at Parson Jack’s for over two hours just chatting about blogging and life and catching up. We had a great time. Maria’s sister lives here in Charleston, so hopefully she’ll come visit for other races and maybe I can run a race there and hang out with her again.

As for Saturday morning, I watched the Bridge Run coverage on TV, then headed to BodyPump class to lift things up and put them down. I ran 12 miles on Friday, so the running break was much needed and appreciated.

I hope everyone’s doing well and enjoying a great weekend, whether you ran or raced or just enjoyed the Spring temperatures.

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36 Responses to Life Lately: Throwback Brunch and Bridge Run Festivities

  1. I love your new shoes. One of my friends didn’t do the Run either this year. Last year she was pregnant with her first child and did it, but this year… pregnant with her second she wasn’t feeling too well to do it.
    I’m sorry I haven’t replied to your blog posts in awhile.

    I hope you have a great weekend!

  2. Liz says:

    Nice new shoes! See what you get for “saving money” on a race?! I wanted to go to Body Pump so bad again this morning and was a little bummed that we ate breakfast with Jon’s family before I had a chance to go! I would love to meet up with some bloggers but I don’t know many who live around here! I always wonder if it’d be awkward though! Sometimes I’m kind of weird, haha.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Meeting up with anyone from the internet for the first time is always kinda awkward for both parties, so I wouldn’t worry much about it. I’m sure there’s a ton of ATL bloggers, I mean we have a nice little crop here in Charleston and ATL is way bigger. I totally admit that I’m weird too but if anyone knows me well enough to where we’re gonna meet in person, they know that before.

      Sorry you didn’t make it to pump today! At least you got to see Jon’s family and hopefully had a tasty breakfast, though!

      • Liz says:

        We did 🙂 I have seen a couple from Atlanta, but one is just here temporarily and the other doesn’t blog frequently so I don’t even know how that would ever go! I keep hoping to find more but it hasn’t happened yet!

  3. ahellams says:

    I have never heard of that restaurant. We will have to check it out.
    I don’t blame you for not doing the bridge run. I feel like it is a fun thing to do at least once if you live there but it is such a cluster and in my very humble opinion not worth it. Even in the front corrals, there are just so many people, you are dodging the whole time! I may do it again some year but my first (and only time so far) was the year it starts 2 hours late so that put a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe next year I’ll give it a chance again!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It’s a fun restaurant but pretty far out here (did I mention I live in the middle of nowhere with a Charleston ZIP Code?).

      My friend did the run in 2012 when it started so late and got really peeved but she still came back and did it again. She does it every year. This year there was no beer truck so hopefully they don’t make that mistake again…

  4. Nice shoes. Parson Jack’s sounds like a great restaurant. I love the idea of raising money by literally raising money up to the ceiling.

  5. jillconyers says:

    What a fun post! That’s definitely a price difference at Mellow Mushroom. Serious pizza $ inflation 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Hehe, 1974 prices at Mellow are pretty nice today! We did leave a considerable tip (I really hope the staff didn’t get jipped that day). Their pizza is a little pricier than some but totally worth it.

  6. harveylisam says:

    No worries about not qualifying for that corral – it’s good to have something to work towards!! 🙂 Also, you’re totally right about leftover pizza. Sometimes I think it’s better than fresh pizza haha.

    I’m pretty jealous of your American shoe prices. SO much cheaper than in Canada! Boo.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I love leftover pizza, although the crust gets a little hard when you reheat it (I don’t usually eat the ends of the pizza anyway, though. Too bread-y). I know some eat it cold, but I always reheat the pizza.

      Yeah- American shoe prices are definitely cheaper. These were 1/2 off at the expo, though. I could see where someone like you could rack up at a race expo in the US and get shoes for the year or something, saving a lot of money that way.

  7. spectacuLAUR says:

    I wish my area had dog friendly cafes!!! I am so jealous right now! I’d be there every day haha!

    And I believe your stance on the 10k time is pretty valid. I know a lot of people do this for a number of races, but it’s great you didn’t use your 5k time as some sort of “advantage”. I’m not going to lie, it would be hard for ME to pass up using it as an excuse to get myself into my corral of choice, so the fact you held out is something to be said about your personality 😀

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, it would be hard. I could see using a 5K time if the 5K time was faster and I hadn’t just run a 10K to know. Obviously if you have a 10K PR that’s a few years old but your 5K has gotten considerably faster, your 10K probably has too you just haven’t raced one to know (it is a hard distance to find a race in here).

      It’s one thing if your 5K PR is 22 minutes and another if it’s 20 minutes, I guess.

      You would love Parson Jack’s, too! There are a few dog friendly restaurants here, mostly places with lots of outdoor seating (the advantage to living in a warm weather area). But PJC is just a really great place in general, I’m glad we have it close by. Not a ton of restaurants out here.

  8. I agree that Mellow mushroom pizza is a bit pricier but so worth it. It’s seriously so good.

    That is interesting about the race and bibs. I’ve never heard of anything like that.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Mellow is delicious, I love how they have so many fun ingredients for the pizza.

      As far as the competitive corrals, seeding, and submitting a time goes… I’ve only heard of it in really big races- at least for recreational runners (I’m sure elites are a different story). I know the Monumental Avenue 10K in Richmond, VA, does it, along with the Atlanta Peachtree Road Race 10K on July 4. Of course, no one *has* to submit a time to run in those races, just to place in certain corrals. So a first time runner, someone who hasn’t run the distance, etc, they just start in a general corral based on when they register. I know at the Cooper River Bridge Run, people can move back corrals to run with friends, just not forward.

  9. Pam says:

    I love what you wrote about honesty in terms of corral placement. In February, a friend and I saw quite a few runners who definitely fudged their times somehow to get better placement at the Princess Half Marathon. One girl could barely get herself off the ground after sitting down! It was that bad! Your new shoes are so pretty and what a deal. It is never fun when your shoes are discontinued, but sale prices are always a good thing. We had pizza last night, paid way too much for it and it did not look near as good as yours. By the way, I love leftover pizza too and it does freeze well!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Tons of people in the 45-60 corrals walk or run/walk. There’s nothing wrong with walking the bridge or run/walking it- a 10K is a 10K no matter how you get there. And if walking the entire way is your preferred method of travel, that’s great too.

      The run lets you move back corrals, or if someone know they will walk lots of it, at least move back to let others start ahead or stay to the side with the walkers or walk/runners.

      I eat frozen pizza but have never thought to try freezing leftover pizza that’s been cooked. Definitely a new idea to me… but I’m not sure it would last that long at my house. Clay and I love pizza :).

  10. sounds like a great week! those pizzas look delicious. Sorry you couldn’t do the race. I haven’t heard about corral selling out. But you did get some really nice shoes instead!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      The shoes rock. I’m sad Mizuno discontinued this particular model.

      Not doing the race wasn’t so bad. I went to the gym and did BodyPump. I ran 40 miles this week NOT running the race and it was neat to do the classes at the gym instead of run on a Saturday morning.

  11. I love Mellow (they have GF pizza) how’d you hear about this. I would go for sure.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It was advertised on Mellow Mushroom’s Facebook page. I’m not sure how the GF pizza is there, I have never tried it. However I’ve never had anything I just didn’t like at Mellow so I’m sure it’s great. They will have throwback brunch next year, they do it every year.

  12. Sorry you didn’t get the time you wanted to get into the competitive corral…sounds like a wise decision not to enter the race. Big races can be great but only if you’re in the right corral, otherwise they’re just frustrating! Those pizzas look delicious, and great prices. Sounds like a win-win!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah- I’d hate to be out there weaving around people and getting frustrated. That’s no way to race or enjoy a run.

      If I’d done it in one of the corrals further back, I would’ve just found a friend in the corral (I think I had a friend start in each wave, there were so many Facebook posts about it) and just run with them and try to push them to a PR or to their first bridge run, chalk it up as a training run for myself you know?

      The pizzas were great!

  13. thatawkwardrunner says:

    Love those shoes! I ran in Mizunos for almost my whole high school career. I hope you can get into the competitive corral next year!!! Lots of my running buddies ran in it this year, with a few in the first wave to go. They were almost as fast as the Kenyans that run, though! Most of them weren’t pleased with their times as the crowds make it super hard to attempt PR’ing. It’s my goal to run in it next year, mostly so I can make it to the expo and eat some delicious free food!!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I hope I can get into the competitive corral too- I’ve improved a lot in the past year and think it’ll happen with some more training.

      That’s so cool you had friends start with the Kenyans. I know a few people who started up at the front too (sub-40), and a lot who started in the sub-45. It’s not a PR course (hey, it *is* a bridge. Incline!), but I’m glad your friends had a good race and enjoyed it. Just getting to start that far up is really a big honor and shows they trained super hard.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    We have the Mellow Mushroom here in Virginia, too! How cool. Also, I am very jealous that you scored a pair of Elixirs for $60. I love those shoes and I am depressed that they are discontinued.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I also hate that they are discontinued- they are my favorites! I wear them for my 10K races and I wore them for one of the half marathons I did. I like that they are good training shoes but also very light for racing- plus the design of them with the checkerboard is just so cool. They’re the most fun looking shoes ever!

  15. Wow, that is a lot of pizza and leftovers for that price! Amazing. Of course, I typically get boring pizza (just cheese usually, some pepperoni here and there) flavors. I do also like chicken alfredo when I can afford it… and if I can handle it, buffalo chicken (I’m really starting to like “spicy.” yum). But yeah, usually for pizza I’m a “just cheese” girl. Which is weird, because I love meat (well, you know that). But for pizza, I usually do simple. 🙂

    I could go for pizza right now… too bad payday’s not for another week. Even then, I should find a good deal before splurging, you know? Like what you guys did. So, Mellow Mushroom has been around since 1974, then? Or is that just a random throwback year?

    Pink shoes = love!!

    Hey! Your pizza ticket was rang in at 11:11. Hehe… sorry, I like looking at the time on different things. 🙂

    Sounds like it’s been a great last several days.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah I love the shoes too. They pretty much rock, that model is my favorite shoe and I am sad it’s been discontinued. It’s a fast, light shoe and also it looks fun.

      I think 1974 was when the first Mellow Mushroom opened… ours in West Ashley has only been open for 3 years but the downtown one has been around a lot longer.

  16. allieksmith says:

    I love the throwback brunch idea! I think that is so cute!!

    And your shoes. I love them!! Now you’re going to run even faster :). I also love the picture with Mr. Peanut.. who needs Bill Rodgers?!

  17. When I ran the bridge “years” ago (like 2006) I got to run in a qualified corral. Since I hadn’t run much lately I was in the 45-60 corral this year. Man, what a CROWD. I think your standard of qualifying for a corral is a great idea just to have a more pleasant race experience. There was a lot of security (thankful for it) but I didn’t experience any trouble/difficulty. I also wasn’t wearing sweats or carrying a bag/stroller which I think were their focus. Overall, it’s a good event and it’s nice that it attracts so many people!

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