The Doughman Race 2012: We Ran, We Ate, We Conquered

I never thought I’d say this, but I ran one hell of a race (dressed like a bloodthirsty honey badger after eating a vegan tako).

Yeah, I think the whole sentence is what I never thought I’d say. MAYBE I thought I might have run a race (or swam, or biked, or crawled one)…. but NOT dressed like a honey badger, and NOT with a tummy full of treats.

Saturday morning, I met at my teammate’s house bright and early to put the final touches on our costumes (ok, let’s be honest, mostly my costume… I’ve got a flair for the flamboyant) before carpooling in the direction of downtown Durham.  Our goal? The Doughman, an event that may have been the first thing I put on my Triangle Bucket List.

Note the honey…. gotta stay true to form.

We registered our team bike (a road bike… remember that, as it comes into play later) and checked out the scene.

The closest I came to the trophy, don’t worry

The sweet slap bracelet that served as our “baton” to pass from person to person

There were amazing costumes by some of the other teams. It was clear that folks had gone all out and, despite the fact that I probably looked like a road-killed skunk, I was channeling my inner bloodthirsty honey badger. And I was feeling great.

Team BHB aka Team 38! Jordan, Katie, Ben, and Paul

The organizers of the race called the teams together for a few announcements. First things first, they covered the rules. I can get behind that, everyone needs to know the rules.  Then they covered some other stuff.

For instance, if you’d raised $250 or more as a team, you got a “time bonus” of a 2 minute head start. If you raised $1,000 or more, your head start was 5 minutes. We’d raised $160 as a team and, in my opinion, that’s awesome. I’m so thankful for my loved ones who donated, and I LOVE that we raised money for SEEDS. But the entire time the organizers were talking about the time bonus, I felt a big whopping pile of guilt being ladled onto those of us who didn’t raise enough for a time bonus.

Look at all those teams hopping up to the start early, all of you other teams… Maybe next year, you’ll think of that when you’re raising money.

Whoah. Wait a minute. Is my money not also doing great things?  That wasn’t all that was said to us, and I feel like we were basically made to feel like second-class citizens for not meeting THE QUOTA. If there’s money you NEED us to raise, make it a requirement. Otherwise, don’t give us hell for not doing it.

ANYWAY, Team 38’s lead leg, Paul, faced a daunting meal before his 8.5 mile bike ride.  From Dain’s Place: Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich with Homemade Marshmallow Fluff on Fresh Bread (contains nuts)

A worthy foe

He chomped it down, hopped on his bike and got to getting. And then, the unthinkable happened.


The chain on Paul’s bike fell off the moment he started riding it. LUCKILY this happened inches away from the starting line, so Ben QUICKLY jumped into action and fixed it. But it didn’t bode well for the bike ride.

See, the thing is, according to Ben we “broke the first rule of races”. Don’t change something on Race Day. Paul had never used a road bike before, just mountain bikes. Uh oh.

I waited. I was the second leg and, after 27 minutes, the first speedy racers came in from Leg 1. I was getting fired up. I stretched. I jumped around. I ran through the course in my brain. And I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

According to Paul, since he wasn’t accustomed to gear changing, every time he had to go up a hill, he had to walk the bike. And then re-mount it.  Translation? Slow and (semi-)steady.


Mercy rule, they let me go at 1 hour in….  And THEN I was off!  Ahead of me? 1.8 mile run followed by a “water activity” (paddling across a pool in an inner tube!) after eating a treat from Kokyu.  Ahead of me was their V-Tako: Soy Nuts, Sprouts, Vinaigrette, Cilantro, Kokyu Chili, Sesame Kimchi’d Radish.

Hello, nemesis.

I ran the short distance from the corral to the table and had at it. My first instinct? TAKE A HUGE BITE!

The many faces of eating Jordan

WOW! That was a spicy tako! The initial HUGE bite was the hardest to chomp on, knowing that every time I bit down, a burst of spicy Kimchi was coming at me. I wised up after the first half of the taco, ripping it into small pieces and chasing each bite with water. FINALLY, I got it down. Well, mostly down.  I had to take a last few swallows when the judge asked me to show him my mouth.  Oops…

The run BEGAN!

I jumped out of the gate FAST, much faster than I’m accustomed to running.  I knew the course, I was ready for this.  What I was NOT ready for was how very lonely it is out there when there aren’t any other runners.  Since that whole “mercy rule” was instituted, it was just me and one other runner, one who was faster than I was. He sped by me (though, I WILL say I ate my tako before him, HA!) and, since I didn’t bring my iPod, I was alone with my thoughts.  I know it was only 1.8 miles but, for me, that’s more than I’d ever run before practicing the route earlier in the week.  After speeding the initial uphill + downhill portion, I looked at my HRM. Where I was at 10 minutes in my practice round, I was at 7:45 during the actual race. So when it came to the uphill portion, the quiet, the loneliness, and the TAKO got to me.  There were a few portions that I had to walk (namely uphill, right across from the Durham Bulls stadium).  I couldn’t help myself, I was sucking wind and thinking to myself “Whoah, there’s phlegm and cilantro in my throat.” I know that is gross, and probably TMI.  Sorry.  But the moment I saw the YMCA in the distance, I knew I’d made it. So I hauled ass to the Y, yanked all my clothing off (don’t worry, I had a bathing suit on!), tossed my HRM to the side, and hopped in the pool.

I HATE that I don’t have pictures of this, because I imagine it was hilarious.  But I placed my butt in the inner tube and paddled my honey badger heart out.  And I ran the last 50-70 yards barefoot, clutching my shoes and clothes.


My final leg time was 20:05. For eating, running, and paddling, that sounds GREAT to me.  To give you a range, the fastest time I saw was 12:41 (Damn Bull City track team speed demons) and the slowest I saw for my leg was 30:40, so I feel comfortable in the middle of the pack. I really think I could’ve gone faster if I’d run the whole thing, but morale wasn’t as high without any volunteers out to cheer me on, or fellow runners to feed off of their energy.

Katie’s leg started off with a doozy.

From Nosh,  Fried Green Tomato Sandwich with Roasted Red Pepper Spread (contains nuts).


It was delicious. Not that I ate many bites of it….


Alas, I didn’t get any pictures of the only meat-item of the race, but Ben had the pleasure of eating Old Havana’s Cuban Sliders on Gugelhupf Brioche with Maduros. 


He ran like the wind (the fast wind) and actually had like, the 4th fastest time for his leg of all the teams. If we were ALL Bens, we would’ve won that trophy, I’m sure.  We’re not, but I love him for keeping us in a position of honor for the last leg.  They saved the best, of course, for last.


On the menu?

Leg 5, team sprint: The Parlour, Mad Hatters, LocoPops & Daisy Cakes
Meal: Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream with Strawberry Swirl; Chocolate Walnut Whopper Cookie; Water-based Raspberry Coconut Popsicle (vegan); Strawberry Cupcake with Almond Buttercream Icing

I decided to take control of the strawberry cupcake with almond buttercream icing.  I knew, if I could dominate anything, it was a cupcake especially with almond flavored ANYTHING.

The two “cold” items not pictured to avoid melting.

I dove right in.

The frosting was FLYING!

I’m pretty amazing at eating cupcakes fast, I learned and, after the rest of the teammies wolfed down their dishes, we sprinted to the finish line.

Team 38/81 came in 58th place…. But I know we’re #1 in your hearts.


It was brutally hot, it was tough to down food then go running, and bike issues got us down initially. But, on the other side, it was exhilarating, it was hilarious, it was delicious, and it was a blast! I would TOTALLY do it again. In a heartbeat.

I feel so lucky to have amazing buddies to make up a dream team, and I LOVED the chance to Doughman-ate the Doughman!

I think I wanted to pretend it was a cape?

I am the Dough(WO)MAN!!

Craziest competition you’ve ever been a part of?

Eating, running, racing, swimming, I’d love to hear about it!

Would you ever do something like the Doughman?

Six Pack Sunday: Pizza Gear and Summer Beer

Now that the sunburn has finally stopped sizzling, I guess it’s official. Memorial Day Weekend is in full swing, and that can only mean one thing: Summer time, baby. The living isn’t really “easy” or even that different, but there’s a shift in my mentality, knowing that I only have about 14 days left at the office, and about a month before I start my gradual move to the North (Philadelphia by way of Ocean City, NJ… quite the exodus, yes?)

Luckily, today also means Six Pack Sunday.  So there’s that.

1. Sunshine Wine

The gang’s all here

Before this weekend, I’d never made sangria before. But I a Sangria newbie NO MORE! Following (mostly) this recipe for a “light” tropical Sangria from Cosmopolitan, I put it in the fridge Friday night and hoped for the best. Luckily, what I created received rave reviews from my friends.

I nixed the lime slices in favor of lime juice, added a peach and a bit of Splenda, along with an airplane bottle of lime rum which has been sitting in my apartment for way too long.

I tasted better than that picture looks…

It was the perfect treat for poolside sunning.

2. A Running Fool

So I know I’ve referenced the Doughman a few times, and yesterday posted a teaser of my sexy costume.  But it wasn’t all about eating and costumes and silliness. We actually had to run! And so, on Wednesday, I fought some crazy crowds in downtown Durham to practice my route.


The pride you see on my face is from running the 1.8 mile course in 18 minutes, after getting a little turned around, and drenching my body in sweat. TOTALLY worth it to not get lost on Saturday morning.

3. Summer Beer

Ta DA!

Clearly, I’m a fan, as demonstrated by my newest Untappd badge.

4. Chicken… AND waffles?!

That chicken is what my heart looks like, too.

Dame’s Chicken & Waffles. 

Oh my gosh.

More on that later.

5. I got Pizza on my Chest, but Don’t Call Me a Pizza Chest

I may not be a fashionista…. but I gotta say, I’m not a fan of this.


The Pizza Shirt is just a LITTLE too realistic looking for me.

And given the fact that my beau is a notorious pizza hound, I probably shouldn’t get one of these any time soon, for fear of him actually eating me up.

6. Just Call Me Speedo Sally

Yesterday, I was up and wearing a bathing suit by 6:15 am.


I don’t think I’ve done that since I was like… 11.

Who is this crazy Jordy girl?

Speaking of Speedos, I think I gotta toss on my bikini and get back to the pool.

Are you a Sangria fan?

What’s your favorite poolside bevvy?

Triangle Bucket List: Dos Perros in Durham

Dos Perros. Two dogs.  Seems simple enough, right?

However, when placed in downtown Durham, NC, these two dogs are transformed into a magnificent Mexican spot perfect for date night or a get together with two ladies.  Since my main squeeze is located in Philadelphia (without me, for the next few months), I opted for my other partner-in-(legal)-crime: Melissa.  And, though our initial destination was Dame’s, plans changed and we ended up in a different Durham restaurant, but EQUALLY on my Triangle Bucket List.

Solid lineup

The menu wasn’t too long, but it had everything we needed. Dinner, appetizers, and, of course, cocktails!

Bevvies? BUENO!

Melissa ordered the Dos Perros Sangria: “Hibiscus, citrus, seasonal fruit and red wine, mixed into an addictive beverage.”

I opted for the always-popular classic margarita: “Fresh orange and lime juice, just a dash of sugar, and, of course, tequila.  If you agree that a margarita should be tart and refreshing, you’ll love it.”

I have to admit, after trying both our beverages, the margarita came out on top. Then again, anything with tequila, fresh lime juice, and rimmed with salt is all I need to be satisfied.  I will say that Dos Perros offers a load of craft beers on their extensive drink menu, but, when in Rome…

Speaking of menus,  I’d scoped their dinner menu out for quite some time before we headed to our seats (we had a bit of a wait, though nothing too off-putting), so I knew some ideas of what I wanted.  What we got was a mixed bunch of goodies (and… not AS goodies).

Chips and (tomatillo?) salsa

Hell of a heap of guac

The guacamole started the meal off on the best note possible. Creamy with just the right amount of chunks (yay corn!), this guacamole order for $5 was delicious and hearty! A rather large serving, that didn’t stop us from virtually (actually?) licking the bowl.

No worries, because our meal came shortly after we’d finished.


As Melissa and I are both fond of sweet potato ANYTHING, we were all on board for the Sweet potato empanadas with chipotle, fig sauce (for $7)

I’ll admit, the empanadas themselves were actually not all that life-changing. It was the sauce that brought the dish home for me.  The sweet mixed with the savory, salty fried pastry completed this plate.  We split this order, as well as a “main dish”.

Yeah, baby!

Lamb enchiladas w/ tomato-red pepper salsa. With shredded cabbage, avocado, queso fresco ($16).

The ends of these (3) enchiladas were actually a little dry. That’s all that I can complain about, though. The lamb inside was tender and the queso fresco on top of everything was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Again, the sauce (or, in this case, salsa) was slathered over all the best bites, and I even enjoyed some of the rice (which I normally avoid like the plague.)

I wish we’d opted to replace the pinto beans with black beans, but the whole plate worked.  It worked a-okay.

Since we got a patio seat outside, we enjoyed our dinner outside, lit by candles.  However, by 9pm, it was a little too chilly for us (who hadn’t thought to bring jackets or sweaters, in hopes that we could trick our body into believing that it was already summer) so we migrated inside for the grand finale (finale grande?)

HELL to the yeah!

Mole poblano ice cream topped with house-made granola.  I don’t remember the price of this, but it was totally worth it, whatever it was.

One bite seemed sweet and sumptuous, the next bite possessed a spicy kick that reminded you what an amazing feeling taste-dissonance can be.  This ice cream…. just go get it.  It’s ethereal.

Though there were not-so-highs during this dinner, nothing was bad and there were a few standouts that I’d go back again and again to enjoy.

The Triangle Bucket List continues to be a booming success.  I can’t wait to see what’s next…
What’s your favorite taste combination?  Salty sweet? Spicy and creamy? hot and cold?

Triangle Bucket List: Take Me Out to the Ballgame…

As we all know, the Triangle Bucket List can’t just be about eating delicious honeysuckle sorbets (though that sounds like a tasty bucket list in itself.)  It’s about American traditions like Chicken & Waffles, state capitols, and BASEBALL!!

Or, in this case, basebull.

Diamonds are a boy’s best friend, too!

The Durham Bulls are the local minor league baseball team in Durham, NC, and, though I even BOUGHT tickets for a game last year, I’d still never found the time to go.  This summer, I knew I had to change that.  After checking out the promotions calendar, Melissa and I splurged for a $4.50/ticket Tuesday night game.  Deal of the century.

Broads, beers, and baseball!

The craft beers at the Foothills Beer Garden were actually more (per beer) than our tickets! But, at $6 a pop, they were cheaper than the $7 tallboys of Miller, and FAR more delicious.  And what we spent on brews, we saved on the glory of BYOD(inner).

Looks appetizing, yes?

Wrapped up in that gorgeous red cling wrap is tortilla filled with chicken, peppers, low fat mayo, tomatoes, and kale. Very tasty (and very messy.)  A side of baked Doritos (mmmmmmmmm) and I was ready for action.  Mother nature, however, was looking a little worse for wear.  We were definitely nervous of a rainout and, with skies like this, perhaps you can see why.

Dun dun DUN!

Luckily, before we knew it, she realized that there was a game to be played, hoots to be hollered, and fun to be had.

I’ll preface this by saying that, growing up, I had no interest in baseball games.  They were boring, they were long, I didn’t understand them, and it was normally sweaty.  Well, clearly, I was all wrong.  I think I just needed an attitude adjustment.

I went into the Bulls game intending on having a BLAST.  And that’s exactly what I did.

Since we brought in canned foods from Whole Foods, we were graciously given Bulls hats to rock in the stadium. $0.89 for a hat? YES!

Braids and baseball go hand in hand.

Then, due to me rocking the adorable hat, I was randomly plucked from the crowd (of no one, for a while… but it filled up later) as the Wild Wing Cafe fan of the game!  You know what that means!!


You don’t know?

Yeah, I didn’t either.

But, apparently, what it meant was that I got my picture taken and received a $20 gift certificate to eat wings!


I’ll take it.

Other highlights included running after a group of kids to get my hat signed by the Bulls mascot, Wool E. Bull, and rocking out on some ballpark peanuts with Melissa.

Now the hat is PRICELESS!

Melissa often gargles with peanuts.


After a brief stretch (aptly during the 7th Inning Stretch), I took a look at the clock, consulted with my cohort, and decided that, while we’d been screaming our faces off all night at the Bulls, we just couldn’t stay to see the result (at least not live).  At around 9:30, we left (though I checked online later, and the Bulls came out on top! GO TEAM!)

Seriously, I couldn’t have asked for a better, more affordable night out in Durham.  And if I had kids, you better BELIEVE I’d take them.

And then I’d use them as an excuse to run after the players begging for them to sign my baseball.

Bully babes!

Baseball games: love em or hate em?

Favorite ballpark food?

Though I didn’t enjoy one at this game, I love a good ballpark frank.  Maybe next time.

Triangle Bucket List: Crook’s Corner’s Honeysuckle Sorbet

My Triangle Bucket List is coming together nicely. And deliciously.

This weekend, I had the pleasure of engaging in a two-fer.  As in I hit one spot (Crook’s Corner) twiced and enjoyed the most delicious, mouth-watering, and memory inducing dessert of all time.

Pardon the dim image. The dimage?

Crook’s Corner is a Chapel Hill staple, touted by The New York Times as “Sacred ground for Southern foodies.”  The head chef and mastermind behind this slice of heaven, Bill Smith, has been in the final four for Best Chef Southeast by the James Beard Awards. And I’m lucky enough that a solid chunk of my buddies work at this establishment (Sunday brunch, it was all I could do to stop saying “HI!” to friends).

The ambiance outside is all pigs and hubcaps, and a kitschy hodge podge of piggies decorates the inside.


I’m not sure if it’s the decorations or the food, but the restaurant definitely makes me wanna pig out!

Thursday night, after dining on the tasty mudbugs at the Rockfish Crawfish Boil, I was alerted (via Twitter)  that the limited engagement honeysuckle sorbet (the feature on my Bucket List) was featured on the Thursday night menu (their menu changes regularly, I love it, always a surprise.)

After calling to be certain they still had some of the sweet treat (it’s a hot ticket item that goes fast), I dragged Amanda along with me for dessert.

Sweet backlighting courtesy of Amanda's iPhone

Served in a tiny chalice, this nectar was presented with a sprig of mint leaves and two spoons.  Talk about romantic….

Anticipation is killing me

I couldn’t wait for the first bite…

Pure joy

Oh sweet mother of all things tasty.

I don’t know how one bite could convey so many tastes…  It was sweet, it was fresh, it melted the moment it hit your tongue… it reminded me of sunshine, of bike rides, of summer and the shore. Swing sets in each scoop, my brothers and sister running over to the one bush on my grandparents’ street that always provided ample honeysuckle.

I got the inside scoop on how it’s made from one of my buddies/waiters.  Apparently, Bill Smith rides his bike around at night time (the best time to pluck the blooming blossoms) with a beer and a bucket, emptying one and filling the other with tiny flowers.  He puts the flowers in cold water and lets them soak for 24 hours, turning the water into a virtual essence of honeysuckle.  Then (I assume) he pours the mixture (sans actual blossoms, which have been strained out) into an ice cream maker and VOILA! Heaven.

Cook and Most Popular Student at UNC? I think Bill and I make a good pair.

I Amanda spotted Bill himself, and I made sure to thank him for all he does for the Chapel Hill food scene, as well as for creating numerous meals I’ve enjoyed over my past 7 years in the area.

I loved it so much that I came back on Sunday for brunch, and enjoyed a teensy bit more, due to my secret sneaky hookups in the back (they didn’t have it on the menu that day… but I know a guy, or four). Brunch should ALWAYS come with dessert.

Triangle Bucket List, you are one of my best (and tastiest) ideas ever.