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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Bacon Beer Cheese Soup

Disclaimer: Blah blah blah, Cabot sends me cheese and I make stuff with it and write about it. It’s a pretty sweet deal. I love cheese.

Bacon Beer Cheese Soup

Um… Where did October go? Seriously. Wasn’t it just Labor Day? Not that I’m complaining… I’m happily enjoying the weather finally cooling off and having football to watch on most days of the week, which naturally makes me crave something warm and filling. And beer. It makes me crave beer too.

So when I got my Cabot Cheese Board box, I knew immediately it was going to turn into bacon beer cheese soup goodness!

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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!

Tailgate Treats: Biscuits and Gravy

So… Who else is ready for breakfast tomorrow?

A photo posted by Devon Stiles (@thefoodbitch) on

2014 has been an absolute rollercoaster of a year. With all the ups and downs, the time has flown by. It’s already late October, and this is by far my favorite time of the year. My life is consumed by half marathon training, football games, and gradually cooler weather (emphasis on “gradually”). The past two Jaguars home games, I’ve been so happy that the early mornings at the slab have required a jacket.

This past weekend’s cooler game day temperature inspired me to make a warm breakfast to have before engaging in circle ups and adult beverage consumption. At first, I considered a casserole, but I really wanted biscuits and gravy – warm, thick, spicy sausage gravy because yum. Instead of making individual biscuits, I chose to make a big ol’ Bisquick biscuit in a casserole dish and slather it in homemade sausage gravy. Win win.

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Pumpkin Beer Cake with Rumchata Cream Cheese Frosting

Some may call it a power move while others say it’s completely ridiculous, but I love to bake my own birthday cake. More often than not, I find myself making cupcakes as opposed to cake, so I cherish the opportunity to make a real, actual cake. And my birthday is the perfect opportunity. I typically put a lot of thought into what flavor and frosting combination I want to try. This year was no exception.

Inspired by the (super, duper early) release of the Fall seasonal beers, I hopped into the kitchen and got messy creating this Pumpkin Beer Cake with Rumchata Cream Cheese Frosting.

Pumpkin Beer Cake
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How Rodan and Fields Changed My Skin

Rodan and fields review

While my blog is predominantly food themed, I’ve never shied away from talking about other areas of my life. From photography to travel to running to the occasional post on my love life, it’s been fun to write about topics outside of food from time to time. But you know what’s not fun?

Struggling with your skin.

Growing up, I never really had problems with my skin. Yeah, I had some acne like every other teenager, but never anything serious. My older brother had to go to a dermatologist for his, but I thought I lucked out. Then I hit my mid-20s, and my skin erupted.

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