Fitness Friday: Selfie Edition

March 21st, 2014 | Posted by Erica House in Life - (14 Comments)

Workout Wrap UpMarch 21

Workouts rocked this week. I realized I’m a week out from my next race, the Blue Angels Rock N Fly, so I’ve been trying to stay on point with my running. I almost skipped my major strength training for the week on Wednesday because I got blood work done that morning but I was like “NAH, wo/man up and get ‘er done.”
2014-03-19 11.57.05Then, I activated beast mode again yesterday and set a 5k PR! I’ve had zero interest in improving my speed for the last two years as I really love the long slow run, but I feel the tides are changing and 5k’s are calling my name. Sorry for the extremeness of my face in this photo. 2014-03-20 10.04.23

I think my favorite run for the week came Tuesday when I knocked out 8 miles at marathon pace and came across my dream house for sale. 2014-03-18 11.03.10

Isn’t it gorgeous?! 2014-03-18 09.14.48-2It was converted into a school for a while so I came across these boxes of vintage textbooks while I was ‘trespassing’. I had to fight the urge to take one to add to my collection! (Yes, I actually collect vintage textbooks.)2014-03-18 09.16.13Plus, the place has lions. 2014-03-18 10.46.02Maybe someday! That night I met up with a friend to go for a walk/run downtown. She’s going to be doing the Tower of Terror 10 mile run with me in October so I’m going to help her train for that. She’s already light years ahead of where I started when I decided to run 2 years ago.

We had to stop for a quick piano break.
2014-03-18 19.13.05Snapped this on the way to the clinic to get my blood drawn. I have hazel eyes and I think they turn greener when I’m stressed/anxious. I have the worlds worst record for blood work. So far I’ve found one woman who can always get it pain free on the first try but she’s out with some injury for an indefinite period of time. The girl I had this week had to stick me twice which is about normal but the first time she seriously dug around in my arm for a while trying to hit the vein. Ugh. Then she switched to the baby needles which helped but they are so tiny it takes forever for the blood to come out. I had to get more drawn than usual because I am having my cholesterol checked in addition to my thyroid recheck. High cholesterol runs in the family so Mom finally guilted me into having it done. Damn adult responsibilities. 2014-03-19 08.07.49That night before class I swung by Target to pick up a few things for ‘dinner’. I teach from 6-7:15 two nights a week and I’m never really hungry for dinner before class, but if I try to wait until I get home around 8 I’m famished. This little montage hit the spot!2014-03-19 15.48.09After Target I had to run into Publix for a few groceries and I had a wicked craving for a candy bar. I don’t think I’ve had one in almost a year so I indulged. Side note: whenever I eat a candy bar I must have a soda as well. So, I grabbed my first soda for the year and got all hyped up on sugar before my class. Welcome to the ’20′ percent of my 80/20 diet mentality.
2014-03-19 17.05.52This weekend I’m going to a fancy schmancy fundraiser event with a friend. She scored tickets through her work and I needed heels to go with the dress I’m wearing. I’m rocking my senior prom dress and snagged these shoes for $4 at Goodwill. The event tickets were $125 a piece and I’m rocking a high school prom dress and used shoes. Waddup resourcefulness.
2014-03-20 10.17.22Random Salem shot of the week. Being a boss.2014-03-20 11.10.56I had to get a new iPhone after my other one crapped out and wasn’t under warranty. I have the 5s now and I’m totally obsessed with taking photos of everything I possibly can. That entails a lot of selfies. This one turned out to be such a total glamour shot. 2014-03-16 17.47.43This one is a bit more realistic. Me, tired, killing time in my office on Pinterest when I should be working. 2014-03-17 15.03.30The weather has been back in the 70′s this week so I’m hoping to hit the beach Saturday before the fundraising event. I’ve got 16-18 miles on the agenda for Saturday and grateful to have a friend running 8 of them with me. I woke up yesterday with an extremely sore/tight chest and throat so I’m hoping I feel better by Saturday morning. I swear I feel like I’ve been fighting off some sort of sickness since January. I know I should probably take a few days off from working out and just let my body rest up but I’m stubborn and kinda dumb sometimes. #Yolo?

What are you doing this weekend?
Running friends, when is your next race? 

Marathon #2 Training Update

March 19th, 2014 | Posted by Erica House in Life - (25 Comments)

I am 5 weeks out from completing my second marathon. I thought it would be a good time to check in with those of you who may be interested in hearing how my training is going. I haven’t been talking about it nearly as much as I did with my first race and I’m doing things quite a bit differently!

2014-03-14 09.39.13

For my first marathon I trained with a local running store, Running Wild. The program was 16 weeks and we were divided up into pace groups based on our prior race times and running history over the last year. We all followed the same training schedule that looked something like this:

Monday: Everyday run

Tuesday: Medium Long run/Tempo run

Wednesday: off

Thursday: Medium Long run/Tempo run

Friday: Everyday run

Saturday: Long run

Sunday: off

They didn’t prescribe any strength training and I ended up stopping mine all together because I was just so damn tired all of the time. Many weeks we were running 40-50 miles and I was often getting up between 4:30-5 a.m. to get 8-10 milers in before work. My body kind of hated me. So, I wanted to do things a bit differently this time around and my ‘plan’ looks something like this:

Monday: 5k + 30 minutes of strength or abs

Tuesday: Medium long run/tempo run

Wednesday: 1 hour of strength or barre, sometimes an afternoon session on the bike/stair climber

Thursday: Everyday run/tempo run

Friday: 5k + 30 minutes of strength or abs

Saturday: Long run

Sunday: off

Reduced overall miles, maintained strength training and I’m also trying to do more of my long runs at my actual marathon pace. Considering I successfully completed a 20 mile long run this past weekend I’d say the plan is working out for me so far. I don’t really expect to improve my time much in Nashville because of how hilly the course is, but I’m hoping to come in at about the same (4:44.)

I think the biggest difference between training cycles is that I know I can do it this time around. Training for my first marathon included a lot of self-doubt. Almost every weekend for the last 2 months we had long runs scheduled that were farther than I’d ever run before, and I was sometimes genuinely worried I wouldn’t be able to make it. Now, a 20 mile run is still daunting but knowing I’ve done 26.2 before reminds me that I can 100% do 20.

I also know the importance of preventative measures. I’ve had a few minor aches and pains come up but nothing as dramatic as I did the first time. I’m using trigger point 3-5 times a week to keep my ongoing shin splints at bay.  I’ll typically spend a few minutes with it after most runs, and then immediately put on compression socks. I’ve been jumping into ice baths after runs over 16 miles and I foam roll after every single run.
trigger pointNot having a set plan has also made this marathon feel much more fun and stress free. If I don’t feel like running on certain days, I don’t. If I need to adjust my tempo run pace or long run pace, I do. I think I feel strong and confident going into this marathon because I trained so extensively for my first. It was around this time (5-6 weeks out) last year that I started to get sick of running. I just missed other workouts and was constantly tired. Not the case this time! I went out yesterday for a medium long run of 8 miles and felt absolutely fantastic.

2014-03-18 11.03.10Assuming I still don’t hate running after Marathon #2 I think #3 will be the Pensacola Marathon again this November. For that one I will be aiming for a specific goal time of 4:30. That’s the group I trained with last time and clearly I didn’t meet that the first time around but I will own it in round 2!

If you are planning to run in the 2014 St. Jude Country Music Marathon & 1/2 Marathon presented by Nissan you can use code ERICARUNS for $10 off your registration!

Are you currently training for anything? 

This past weekend I sat down and finalized my travel itinerary for the rest of the year. One of my biggest goals in life is to travel and explore as much as possible. Having a trip to look forward to makes me almost as happy as binge watching Saved by the Bell. As much as I would love to travel oversees someday there are so many incredible places within the states that are a bit more practical (and affordable) for me to go to. Most of my trips this year are road trips (yay!) and centered around races or conferences.

First up is the 2014 St. Jude Country Music Marathon & 1/2 Marathon presented by Nissan. I’ve been busting my butt to get ready for this race as I’ve heard the hills are brutal! I will be in Nashville for a few days before the marathon and can’t wait to walk around the city and hunt for a pair of used cowboy boots. I mean really, what better city to buy my first pair?


In June I’ll be backing up the car again to head to Fitbloggin 2014 in Savannah! I just found out last week that I will be speaking again and I will give you all the juicy details as soon as they are finalized.


Another conference I’m really hoping to make it to is IdeaWorld Fitness BlogFest with Sweat Pink in Anaheim, California. This would entail a plane ticket so I’m not sure if I can save up for it with all the other trips going on but the agenda looks amazing. Every single member of my extended family lives in Southern California and I may be able to justify the plane ticket more by flying in a few days early and spending some time with them. I haven’t seen them since I was out there in 2005, 9 years ago! Every grandparent, aunt, uncle, and cousin.

blogfestAn early birthday present to myself was registering for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 mile run at Disney World! My friend Christina and I will be driving down there to run that race (her first!), go to Halloween Horror Nights, and spend time with her family that live right outside of Orlando. We will be staying with them most of the time but probably get a hotel for the night of the race (and if you have any recommendations which one to stay at on the property please let me know!) I haven’t been to Disney World in 25 years so I figured it was about time. Plus, I’ve never done a Disney Run and even though they are ridiculously expensive it’s an experience I’d love to have. tower of terrorFinally, if I’m really, really good about saving (and a hotel deal I’m working on comes through) then I hope to spend a weekend in NYC in December! I went to Chicago last year to see snow and the city decorated for the Holiday and I can’t think of a better way to end the year then seeing Christmas in New York. Fingers crossed that it will work out!

NYCThe timing of this planning works out well because I will have my four shiny new teeth paid off next month as well as one of my student loans. That’s $500 extra a month! I’ll be taking half of that money and using it for ‘trip savings’ and putting the other half toward paying off my other student loan. By December that should provide me with $2000 over the course of 8 months that I will dip into to use to help fund my trips.

I still get emails fairly regularly about how I support myself as a single gal so I’ll probably do a financial update soon. My overall budget hasn’t changed much from the last time (it’s up about $240 a month because of more rent, cell phone, car insurance & internet.)  Yay for fiscal responsibility!

What is on your travel agenda for 2014?