ZOOMA Florida: 9.5 Weeks Out

I know. I totally missed my last update. But no one except me (and maybe my mom) probably noticed, so whatever.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks! In my last update, I mentioned how I wanted to increase the distance of my midweek runs. I’ve been somewhat successful at that, but the conference I went to in Destin last weekend killed any chance of a long run. I know, failing to plan is planning to fail, blah blah. I got it. I understand. My endurance has struggled on long runs, which is why I made the plan to increase midweek runs to the 4-6 mile range instead of 3ish miles.

Here’s how that’s fledged out:

Monday – 4 strong miles through the ‘hood

Tuesday – 8×400 and drunk Runkeeper ate my times :(

Wednesday – Sunday – Lazy/Bad Planning/Conference

Monday – 5 speedy miles through the neighborhood. This run felt really strong!

Tuesday – 2.32 miles in Austin, TX!

<3 Austin

A photo posted by Devon Stiles (@thefoodbitch) on

Today – Rest

Tomorrow – I plan on getting up and getting a run in before we head back to Florida.

Haven’t signed up for ZOOMA Florida yet? Go here and use ‘DEVON15′ for 10% off any distance!


ZOOMA Florida: 11 Weeks Out

half marathon training

How’d training go this past week? Well…. I didn’t get in as many runs this week as I’d hoped, and it’s only going to get tougher to squeeze them in over the next few weeks. I also need to step up my ZOOMA Florida training to include longer mid-week runs… I think it will help a lot with the long runs.

Monday – rest
Tuesday – 3.5 mile bridge run downtown with this spectacular view:

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ZOOMA Florida: 12 Weeks Out

I’m excited to announce I’ve been chosen as a ZOOMA Florida ambassador!

Zooma Florida

As part of my ambassadorship, I’ll be posting weekly training updates on my blog! With 12 weeks until the race, there’s plenty of time to get going on a solid training plan. Since I’ve already run my first half of the season and have two more between now and ZOOMA Florida on January 17, I’m in mileage maintenance and get faster mode. Here’s what a typical week’s workouts look like for me:

  • 3-4 miles + strength workout
  • Speed workout (usually 400s or Fartleks)
  • 4-6 miles
  • Long run

Having run 9 half marathons, I’ve found this flexible schedule works best for me. If you’re looking for a training plan of your own, I’m a big fan of Hal Higdon’s. I used his beginner plan to run my few first, and now I use his training plans to help create my own schedule. You can follow along with my training on DailyMile or Runkeeper as well.

Here’s what this week looked like:

Saturday – ZOOMA Florida Kick off run!

Sunday – rest

Monday – recovering from tailgating

Tuesday – A fantastic 3 miles in 30:12 with negative splits!

Wednesday – 8×400

Funny story about this run: I had the workout set up in Runkeeper, and I headed to Memorial Park where I normally run my 400s. 1 loop + a hair is a 400. I noticed on the first one that it was cutting it short, and I couldn’t figure out why. My interval splits were saying I was running a 5 minute mile! I know I’ve gotten faster, but I’m not quite THAT fast. Regardless, I still powered through 8 intervals, but who knows how long they were – a few were shorter than 1 loop, a few were longer. After a discussion with a friend, I realized that having Wi-Fi turned on was causing my phone to try to connect to the Starbucks across the street whenever I got near it, thus throwing off the GPS signal. Lesson learned!

Thursday – Rest

Friday – Easy 2.5 mile-ish run sans phone, watch, and music. Nice to just cruise!

Saturday – 8 mile long run. Woof. That one was ROUGH!

Sunday – Rest

How’s your training going?

Interested in running ZOOMA Florida? Use code “DEVON15″ for 10% off any distance!

Stadium Challenge 5k


I don’t even know how last night happened.

When I got to the stadium, I was dreading running. I just wanted to get it over with and go home. I didn’t set any goals for this race except for one – finish. I met up with the fantastic and hilarious Jennifer and her family, and we entertained ourselves until the race started.

I may have slightly freaked out when my Garmin wouldn’t turn on before the race, but I’m starting to think that was a blessing in disguise. I tend to psych myself out over pace when I think I might be running too fast because of what I see on my Garmin. Instead, I need to learn to just listen to my body and what feels good. Because I’m an anal-retentive control freak, I turned on Runkeeper on my phone and stuck it in my pocket.

I cruised through the first mile and a half, and found myself climbing the ramps of the stadium with ease. I felt strong both mentally and physically, so I decided to keep pushing on. I took a quick walk break on the second set of uphill ramps, but I probably could’ve done without it. I was so excited when I came around the corner to the finish line and saw the clock hit 32:00. I couldn’t believe I ran a 5k PR at the Stadium Challenge. I guess those downhill ramps did me a few favors.

I think I’m well on my way to a sub-30 5k this year. And who knows… Maybe even a sub 2:25 half marathon. We’ll see.

{Friday Faves} 5 Places to Run in Jacksonville


Heyo, it’s Friday! Guess what? I got up THREE DAYS this week before work to run. Crazy, I know. In the past, I’ve always been an after work runner. Now that I’m in the office until at least 6, I’ve had to transition to running before work. If I wait until after work, I’ll make a million excuses as to why not, and then I’ll never run again.

ANYWAY, running again has gotten me thinking about all my favorite places in town to run. And no, the beach is not on the list. Why? I hate running on the sand. Yes, the view is pretty but sand + socks + running shoes = hell. So in no particular order, here are my 5 Favorite Places to Run in Jacksonville:

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29 for My 29th

So remember a few months ago when I broke up with running?

I needed that time. And now I’m feeling super antsy pants. I need to run again. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been running on Sundays. It’s been nice and pressure free. I’ve missed it. This morning I was looking at my calendar and I got to thinking – what if I ran a race every month for the rest of the year? Then I started thinking more… I have 23 races under my belt already… I can totally sneak in 6 more before my 29th birthday in September.


So I pulled up the 1st Places Sports race calendar and crafted a plan. The goal is one race a month with the 29th race ON my 29th birthday. Sounds perfect, right? And as always, I’d love for my awesome runner friends to join me. Here’s the schedule:

4/6 Color Me Rad 5k

5/4 The PLAYERS 5k

5/27 Memorial Day 5k with A Mom on the Run and Runs with Pugs

7/4 Celebration 5k

8/9-10 Tour de Pain (this will be my second Tour!)

9/7 Wounded Warrior Project 8k (and my birthday!)

I really hope to achieve a 5k PR in this time AND finally run a sub-30 5k. Based on my training runs, I got very close last fall. I’m fairly certain had I actually raced a 5k, I would’ve actually done it.

Here’s to a renewed love of running and the return of my sanity. Hopefully.

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