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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Workout Wrap UpJan 30What an interesting week it has been! With Pensacola being stuck in the middle of Snowpacolypse I’m thrilled I was able to stick with my 3x a week running schedule. Tuesday’s run was a bit gloomy (right before the storm came through) and extremely chilly but I busted out a few quick miles while sporting my favorite Ninja runner gear. 
2014-01-28 09.39.49I amped up my strength workouts and did two of my most challenging one’s on Monday and Wednesday. Real talk: I’m getting bored of working out at home. After 4 years it was bound to happen. I’m starting to look into local gyms that offer the best group fitness classes. So far I like the YMCA (but it’s so old and hot) and Omni (pricey and requires a contract.) With all my grandiose travel wishes for this year it’s hard for me to justify a gym membership, but staying active is a priority for me and I’m not sure what else I could do to reignite my workout mojo!2014-01-29 07.28.40Schools were closed Tues-Thurs this week so I only taught on Monday. #TeacherSelfie
2014-01-27 12.39.02Earlier in the week I received some new teas to try from Traditional Medicinals. I’ve been drinking their roasted dandelion tea for months now (and got my Mom hooked on it!) so I was excited to try their two new dandelion varieties. I love the taste of the roasted Dandelion tea and these two new one’s were just as good. I’m also a fan of using dandelion as a natural aide in detoxing (it acts as a diuretic.) I haven’t tried a tea yet from Traditional Medicinals that I didn’t immediately love. I swear their Throat Coat is THE BEST thing you can possible due for yourself if you have a sore throat. It always makes my throat feel infinitely better immediately.

2014-01-30 16.25.04Tuesday afternoon I made it to Walmart for my contact lens appointment before the snowpacolypse hit. My vision has been pretty steady at a -4 for years (with the left eye being just a bit worse.) I was pleasantly surprised to see my prescription improved a bit! I technically tested at a -3.5 but the doc wanted me to go with -3.75. Apparently it’s not unusual for vision to ‘normalize’ a bit after your 20′s.
2014-01-28 10.43.14-1As for the weather itself. It sucked. At first I couldn’t comprehend why our county declared a state of emergency and basically shut down for 3 days. I just couldn’t believe a little bit of snow was worth all that. Then I realized that it was the ice that had everyone freaked out, and rightfully so. When I woke up Wednesday morning there was a 1-2″ layer of ice covering almost every surface. I walked outside, and almost slipped and fell. I went out for a run 2 days later and immediately slipped. I got in my car to drive for the first time in 3 days and hydroplaned on the road within the first 2 minutes. Scary shit! All of the bridges were shut down, trains derailed off the track, cars got stuck all over town, 10,000 people lost power – it was crazy. I’m so glad I had power the whole time and aside from going a little stir crazy was able to get a lot of work done from home and enjoyed massive amount of netflix.2014-01-29 07.20.32I planned to go for a short, slow run on Thursday since I have the Double Bridge Run this weekend. When I got going it ended up feeling so great being outside that I did 6 miles and just under an 11 minute pace. I had to turn around on a couple of roads that were iced over still, but it was fun to see part of the snowpacolypse!
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2014-01-30 11.51.15As for the race Saturday I’m not sure how I’m going to approach it. I have a hot date that night with a lady friend so I don’t want to be exhausted, but I also want to try to beat my time from last year. It’s a 15k and I finished it in 1:37 (10:24 pace.) I think I could realistically run it at a fairly easy effort at 10:15 so that’s what I’ll likely try to stick with.

What are you doing this weekend?

Do you ever run a race for fun and not for time?

I’m craving an adventure.

I daydream about being lost in a country whose native language I don’t speak and needing to find the nearest hospital. That sounds like an amazing story to bring home to tell and cherish the rest of my life! Is that weird?

This week I’ve spent an alarming amount of time researching possible adventure trips. While I had an incredible time traveling alone to Chicago in November I came home knowing that I wanted my next trip to be more than wandering around a new city. I have two main goals; to spend most of the time outside and to have a totally new experience. Lesser goals; push myself physically in something, meet new people, and keep it affordable. With those criteria in mind I’ve come across 7 diverse potential trips.

1. Trek Travel:  Greenville, South Carolina 4 day Ride Camp – $899

Trek TravelDefinitely at the top of my list for so many reasons. Not only is it one of the more affordable trips, but they also have optional triathlon training that allows you to schedule in swims and runs on top of the daily bike rides. Score!!

2. Kripalu: R & R Retreat – 3 days/2 nights in one of their dorms $368

KripaluKripalu has been on my ‘dream’ list for years now. They offer hundreds of healthy living programs that focus on everything from meditation and yoga to hiking and art therapy. You can always go up whenever you’d like as a R & R retreat. That price above for 2 nights include accomidations, all-natural meals, optional workshops and guided outdoor activities, daily yoga and noon dance classes, evening events, and use of amenities such as sauna, whirlpool, and fitness room. I could  imagine coming home from a trip to Kripalu and feeling more recharged emotionally and spiritually than physically.

3. G Adventures: Cycle Cuba – $1,299

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Cuba sounds exotic and mysterious to me. I think the country has received an unwarranted bad rep in recent years and I’d love to cycle around it for a few days! So far the only negative thing I’ve seen about the trip is that it is really, really hard to get a flight into Cuba from the US (any insight as to why this may be?)

4. National Geographic Expeditions: Discovering the Maya – $6,550

National GeographicBy far the most expensive trip on the list, but can you imagine getting to walk around ancient Mayan ruins?! Plus, you get to explore them with the Archeologist who discovered them, ride a helicopter over the treetops to a remote archaeological site, and enjoy a special dinner at the base of the ruins. That’s like – rich folk vacation sh!t.

5. EarthWatch: Volcanology and Ecology in Nicargua – $2125 +

EarthWatchEarthwatch has a lot of amazing volunteer vacations all over the world (and domestic!) This one in Nicaragua has you setting up technical equipment around the volcanos crater and hiking through the forest to record information. So, exercise, education, and volunteering all wrapped up in one tropical package. Winning.

6. Sierra Club Outings: Women’s Moab Adventure – $1,695

Sierra ClubWhile I’m certainly not more inclined to go on an all women’s trip than mixed gender, the thought of doing one does sound like a lot of fun. Especially through the Moab area! As a single girl it can be hard to get someone to want to go on an extended hiking/backpacking trip and Sierra Club is the perfect solution for that. The trip cost includes equipment, meals, guides, accommodations, and on-trip transportation. They also have a trip just for people 20-40 to hike around Yosemite in August that I’m totally eyeing!

With airfare most of the trips would fall in the range of $1,000 to $3,000. That’s a good chunk of change, but I think most people could set aside $83 to $250 a month to take a trip like this once a year. I know I could certainly eliminate my sushi/kombucha spending and be halfway there before I even look at my monthly budget!

Would you consider going on any of these trips?
Do you know of any other adventure trips/companies?