Fitness Friday: Valentines Edition

February 14th, 2014 | Posted by Erica House in Fitness | Health | Life - (12 Comments)

Workout Wrap UpFeb 14

Well, I think I’m marathon training. I hit almost 40 miles this week and I’ve got my eyes set on the Country Music Marathon in Nashville, TN in April. Ironic, since I dislike country music. It just times out well since it gives me 2 months to train and it happens during my break between the Spring and Summer terms. I’m not 100% committed to it yet mostly because I’m not sure of the financial side of it, and not knowing who I’d go with (I can’t imagine driving home 6.5 hours 1-2 days after a marathon.)  I figured it would be fun to start doing long runs on the weekend again anyways so it’s a win-win no matter what happens!

Thursday I tried my best to do some speed work. I really, really dislike that stuff. I’m so much more comfortable at running slow and easy. I really feel like I could run 11 minute miles forever (and may test that theory with a 50k next year!)2014-02-13 11.55.24Tuesday I decided I needed a change of scenery and did 8 miles along the beach. It was gorgeous!

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Another great view on one of my runs this week. I’m so spoiled here. I despise the heat and humidity in the summer, but it’s a pretty sweet spot to live at for runners October-April.

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Monday I received this amazing medal from Pace Per Mile! I did an interview with them last month and they gave me their ‘people inspiring people’ award. I’m so honored!

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Yesterday I drove over to my parents house to do laundry and eat all their foods. While I was there I rummaged through Mom’s books to grab a few to take home with me and came across this typed biography from one of our ancestors. Mom is uber into genealogy and is slowly turning our house into a museum of our family history. I’m so glad she’s doing it as we’ve learned some incredible stories about our families! Dad’s side had a few beheaded in England back in the day. Mom’s side had some dude who was pivotal in winning the American Revolution, and some people who were captured by Indians and held hostage for months.

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I took this awesome photo with Salem before one of my runs. I wish it hadn’t turned out so blurry, but y’all get the idea. He’s a psycho, and I sleep with one eye open at night.

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I much prefer him when he’s like this. Remember when I asked readers to be my Valentine last year? I ended up sending out over 40 handmade cards/gifts to strangers. I wish I would have had time to do it again this year!

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As for my Valentines plans. I have a date. A first date. With a friend who I’ve played a flirtatious tug-of-war with for 5 years now. Imagine a romantic comedy featuring a run-hungry, kinda smart but really weird white girl being matched up with a hilarious, smooth talking Mexican. That’s my life right now.


What are your Valentines Day plans?

My weekend started off the way every weekend should – a big package on my doorstep! The folks at Apera bags asked if I wanted to try out one of their bags and I was on the market for a new bag to use now that I’m going to the gym on campus twice a week. I went with their Active Pack since I have that whole ‘scoliosis’ thing and I try to avoid putting uneven weight (like from a heavy purse or duffle bag) on my shoulders. 2014-02-07 16.31.12It’s definitely the nicest backpack I’ve ever owned. I was worried it would be a bit big for me since I’ 5’2″ but it fits perfectly and has SO MANY cool compartments to it. I’m going to primarily be using it for the gym but I’m hoping to get a few small hiking trips in this Spring and I’ll be bringing this along then as well.

The other best way to kick off the weekend? With coconut popcorn, of course. I drizzled coconut oil over air-popped popcorn, and sprinkled stevia and cinnamon over it. Doesn’t it sound divine? It was.
2014-02-07 19.39.49I got up early Saturday and set out for a long run. I’m getting a major marathon itch. I found two possible contenders for marathon #2, the Zydeco Marathon in Layfette, Louisianna on March 30th, and the Country Music Marathon in Nashville, Tennessee, on April 26th. The Zydeco marathon would be significantly cheaper (registration is cheaper, and would only require 1 hotel night) but the Nashville marathon would be a total vacation for me since I’ve always wanted to visit Nashville. Aside from the time/money aspect I wanted to see if I was anywhere near ready for either so I aimed to do 15 miles Saturday.
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With a nice slow pace of 11:15 I was able to hit my goal! I was feeling pretty good at the end of it. I took a quick shower and headed out to meet a friend for lunch. I couldn’t decide what I wanted so I got two things of the kiddie menu at Hub Staceys, toasted PB&J and a grilled cheese. I eat ALL the foods after long runs!

2014-02-08 12.27.17After lunch we hung out in the park for a while. I impressed him with my mad plank and handstand skills, and he impressed me by being able to get into crow pose on his first try (and he’s done yoga twice his whole life.)2014-02-08 13.07.25I went grocery shopping later that day and thought I wasn’t very hungry while I was at the store, but the amount of snack food in my cart would argue otherwise. I never, ever buy chips or rice cakes, but I apparently I zoned out while shopping and run-hungry zombie Erica made atypical food choices. #yolo
2014-02-08 15.13.44The rest of the day was spent catching up on reading outside. It  was sunny and in the 60’s all weekend so pretty much the perfect weather situation.
2014-02-08 15.59.02-2That night I ended up going to bed at like 8:30, but couldn’t fall asleep for 2 hours. I was exhausted, but my legs were throbbing and the pain kept me up for a while, and then woke me up about every 2 hours once I fell asleep. The same thing happened when I ran my marathon. I didn’t think I was that sore from the run so I was pretty surprised. I got up Sunday and went downtown to go for a walk to loosen my legs up. 4 miles later and I was feeling back to normal! 2014-02-09 11.27.09

That bird is a liar. #ImBrianFellows

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Sunday afternoon something snapped in me and I suddenly felt the urge to be as hippie as possible. I started with phase one of making my own Kombucha. I’m following the guide by one of my favorite bloggers, Lindsey, who explains how to make Kombucha using a store bought  bottle. It’s a fairly easy process, but does take a couple of weeks. Considering Kombucha at the store is $3-4 a bottle it’s worth a shot!2014-02-09 16.17.42I’m also slowly building up my herb garden again. When I lived in this massive Victorian mansion downtown years ago I had about 15 herbs that were thriving in pots in our backyard. I don’t think I’ll end up having that many again since I only used a few of them, but I really miss having plants to take care of and use for teas/cooking. I’m starting with lavender, rosemary, and my first attempt at growing fruit – a strawberry plant! As I was looking at them at Lowes I had a guy come up and start explaining gardening to me (further proving my hypothesis that a girl should never go to Lowes/Home Depot alone unless they want to be hit on.) He told me, as I’ve heard from many others, that growing strawberries can be extremely difficult down here. I have low expectations, but the thought of being able to go in my backyard and pick some fresh fruit for breakfast was just to enticing!2014-02-09 16.18.25I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I can’t believe it’s Monday already, again. I’m already counting down the days to Spring Break (which isn’t for 6 weeks) and I’m not sure what I’ll be doing during that time. If the stars align maybe a camping trip and a few day trips to Seaside or Fairhope. If the stars don’t align maybe binge watching Saved by the Bell and eating healthy junk food in bed all week.

I’m so torn on doing marathon #2 this Spring! Should I? Which one?

Do you grow any herbs/fruits/veggies?

Double Bridge Run + Date Night

February 3rd, 2014 | Posted by Erica House in Fitness | Health | Life - (20 Comments)

I’ve been saving money for the last year in anticipation of tax season. This will be the first year I have to file for income earned from the blog/freelance writing and I’ve saved about 20% of what I made. I’m confident that a good tax pro will be able to deduct a decent amount of things so I decided to splurge a bit this weekend and spend some of that savings.

It started with a quick trip to the mall Friday afternoon to search for the perfect dress. I had a lady date scheduled for Saturday night and we both wanted to get all dolled up for the occasion. I ended up falling in love with one of the first dresses I saw. 2014-01-31 10.31.19I picked it up in Dillards. They are having a huge sale on dresses right now and I ended up finding this one for teaching on sale for $30 from $80.2014-01-31 10.55.29My final splurge was this eye shadow pallet by Urban Decay. It’s the first non-drugstore make-up I’ve purchased in years and even though it was painfully expensive I’ve heard nothing but absolutely rave reviews about it. I’ve been wearing the shadow daily since I got it and am SO happy I picked it up!2014-01-31 11.59.33After the mall I had to head out to the beach to pick up my race packet for the Double Bridge Run. My friend Matt was nice enough to accompany me so we spent some time exploring before the sun set.
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2014-01-31 15.50.46I found a water gun and started hunting.

It was early to bed for me since I had a 4:30 a.m. wake up for the run. As with last year I had a blast doing the Double Bridge. It’s a 15k race that starts in downtown Pensacola and ends up on the beach. It’s sold out the last 2 years and I’m sure every year from here on out will be a sell out as well. It’s the perfect destination race!
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I’m thrilled that I earned a PR on the race! Last year my time was 1:37 (10:25 mile pace) and this year I finished in 1:33 (9:55 pace.) I’m going to start doing speed work weekly and really try to get my pace down more.

After the race I napped, stuffed my face, then got ready for my lady date!2014-02-01 18.34.49We started with a light dinner at Global Grill. I went with my usual fried artichokes & asparagus, and she got a few seafood dishes. We talked about walking down to Jacksons (another super swanky restaurant) for dessert after but we never made it that way!2014-02-01 19.07.52My friend has a gorgeous voice so we made a quick stop at Hub Stacey’s for her to show off her skills. 2014-02-01 21.39.45We picked up a few friends there and walked over to a  new bar called 21 West. It was their opening night and it was one of those swanky ‘tries to hard’ type of places. Blasting obnoxious remixes of classic/new rap and I’m surprised I didn’t see a velvet rope out front.

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2014-02-01 22.33.30-3We ended the night at a different bar where the troops could get some food. I played designated driver that evening so I could avoid a hangover on Sunday. I’m enjoying going out more now that I’m not drinking as much. I always hate the way I feel the next day, but I was tired of not going out and being the only quasi-sober one. I had a blast, and can’t wait for our next date out on the town!
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