Today was a fun day!
If I have learned anything since getting married, it’s that things are much different now than they were when we were dating. We used to go on extravagant dates, spend a lot of money and get each other gifts. This year, when we looked at our budget for the month, we realized that Valentine’s was going to be much different from the ones we’ve gone on before. One of our friends told Isaac about a nature preserve that has some great hiking trails, so we decided to go there for our date. All we paid for was the gas to get there- the perfect date when you’re on a tight budget and you love the outdoors!
Barre Code in Plano
Before heading out to the preserve, I spent the morning working out at the Barre Code in Plano. After going there for the first time last week (which you can read about here), I was excited to return and try out some more classes! A few years ago I started following the Tone it Up workouts and nutrition plan and through that, I have met so many sweet friends. A group of us decided to sign up for two back to back classes at the Barre Code and WOW… it was intense! We did the Barre Code (a 50 minute full body workout) and followed that up with HIIT (a 50 minute high intensity interval training workout with 4 cardio sets interspersed with toning recovery sets).
I LOVED the classes!
I was the most nervous about this class because toning workouts are not my forte. And sure enough, it hurt. My legs, arms and everywhere else were burning. I feel sorry for the instructor, because I know my grimacing face was not the cutest. Yet, even though the class was just as difficult as I thought it would be, I had so much fun! Having friends by your side are always a huge encouragement, and we laughed, groaned and cheered together. I used muscle groups I normally forget about, learned some new toning moves and have a greater appreciation for all that my body can do. It’s crazy how much we can do when we tell ourselves we can.
Since I’m training for a half marathon, I love cross training on the days I don’t run. HIIT is short for high intensity interval training and it is the perfect way to work on your anaerobic endurance. I have done a lot of HIIT workouts at home, but this was the first time I did it in a group setting, and I was really looking forward to the workout. And since I’m still recovering from a cough, this was a good workout to get my heart rate up without causing too much stress on my lungs.
All in all, I had a blast! The instructor was non-stop and she wasn’t kidding when she said we weren’t going to stop moving the entire 50 minutes. We used two different types of resistance bands, did a LOT of jumping and were sweating buckets by the end of class. My calves were on fire and I loved the way she structured the cardio and recovery/toning sets.
I love going to The Barre Code, especially since the classes push me to go out of my comfort zone and try things I normally wouldn’t if I were working out on my own. Going to back-to-back classes was tough, but totally worth it.
I can’t wait to visit again… I’m hooked y’all!
Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve
After finishing up at The Barre Code, Isaac and I headed out to the Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve to have a picnic and go on a hike for our Valentine’s date. Cedar Ridge is about 20 minutes from downtown Dallas and is located near Cedar Hill and Duncanville. It spans 600 acres and has 9 miles of trails. Before Isaac mentioned it to me, I had no idea that there was anything like that in this area. We are already planning on coming back and maybe trying some trail running or to practice backpacking for the trip we’re planning this summer.
When we got to the preserve, we walked around a bit, looking for a place to eat lunch. We stumbled upon an empty field with a perfect place to spread out our quilt. It was away from the main trail where everyone else was, so we let Lillie roam around and she had so much fun sniffing around and picking up sticks!
For lunch, I packed our favorite salad, the Root Down Apple Up Salad from my Tone it Up Nutrition Plan, some tasty quinoa salad I threw together and the Nothing Bundt Cake my principal handed out to all of the teachers yesterday for our Valentine’s Day gift. The food was delicious and filling! And it was a nice post workout meal after my morning at The Barre Code.
Isaac and Lillie had fun playing fetch. She loved having a chance to stretch her legs and run around.
After lunch (and quick little nap…) we headed out to the trails. There is a main trail that goes through the preserve with other trails looping off of it. We decided to shoot for about a 3 mile hike, partly because we had heard that the trails were pretty hilly and also because I was already tired from my morning workouts. We decided to take the Possumhaw Trail and the Cedar Break Trail.
The day was BEAUTIFUL. It felt like spring, and I soaked up the sunshine as much as I could. I couldn’t have asked for better weather, and I’m so glad we decided to spend the day outdoors.
We used my S’well bottle for our water, and it kept it nice and cool the entire time. It was a bridesmaid gift from one of my friends and it’s quickly become my favorite bottle… and the fact it’s in my favorite color and has my name written in gold on it is just icing on the cake.
We loved spending time together without any distractions. Isaac and I have always liked going outdoors, and we spent the time today talking about anything and everything, planning our trip to Colorado and catching up on what’s been going on in our lives. It was just what we needed.
One of our favorite parts of the trail was when we came across a tree trunk that created a “shortcut” in the trail. You could tell a lot of people had used it before, and we enjoyed the challenge of walking across it. Lillie ran underneath across the little creek and she was ecstatic to jump in the water and run up and down the banks.
Even though we spent no money on this Valentine’s date, I think it was my favorite. It was our first Valentine’s as a married couple and I know they will only get better from here!