staying active on vacation

Now that we are on summer vacation and our schedule has gone all topsy turvy with no school and a few trips planned, staying on a regular workout schedule has become a bit of a challenge. I do manage to keep a calendar of proposed workouts, just to keep me somewhat on track and accountable, but there is a lot of shuffling around and squeezing in, too.

It can be a little discouraging, but it’s nothing that can’t be overcome with a little planning and creativity. Use your surroundings, take advantage of new settings and change things up and you won’t miss out on that much.

Make use of your hotel. I know. Hotel gyms usually aren’t the most inspiring or motivational, but you know what? They’re available, accessible and even if it means waking up early (or staying up late) and getting in 30 minutes on the elliptical or do a round of weights, you’ve boosted that heart rate and accomplished some dedicated activity.

Your hotel might have a pool as well – it may not be regulation length, but you can still get in some hard laps, even if they are a little shorter than the norm.

Bonus: some of the hotel brands will even provide athletic shoes and clothes as part of their hospitality, so you don’t have to use valuable suitcase real estate to pack your own!

Sample the local flavor. Many fitness studios offer drop in classes and some of the larger name gyms have nationwide member privileges. If you have a current membership to one of those gyms, you can visit a familiar setting. Otherwise, you can check out what your destination city has to offer by way of boutique classes, pop up sessions or new-to-you workouts. You’ll get the one-two punch of a great workout and the exposure to something a little out of the norm.

Life’s a beach! If you live near or are visiting a body of water, chances are you are spending time at the beach. This works out wonderfully – this location offers plenty of opportunity for fitness and activity. If the tide is right, you can run (barefoot or in sneakers) on the packed sand. Beach cycling is a great workout, too, if you have access to a cruiser or fat tire bike. The sand provides a wonderful core workout for a yoga flow or impromptu HIIT circuit, and don’t discount the workout involved with a beach hike while collecting shells with your little ones. You can rack up miles and steps without even realizing it. Last, but certainly not least, those who are comfortable with the open water can get out in the waves for some swim practice!

Admire the surroundings. Sometimes, a good walk is just the right activity. Whenever I am visiting somewhere new (or have some spare time in familiar locales), I like to get out and walk. The action allows me to familiarize myself with my surroundings, as well as see things you might not ordinarily notice. Unique architecture,   hole in the wall cafes, hidden parks or street art can be more easily identified by a simple, purposeful stroll.

Use what’s available. Visiting a theme park for the day? Guaranteed you will get in miles of walking. If there’s a skyscraper or lighthouse? Use those stairs and climb to the top for the views and the burn. Check out local walking tours or even bike or kayak tours. Hiking can be a beautiful way to explore, from flat, packed trails to more technical elevations. So many of these are family friendly and can give you a great overview of the place you’re visiting, while providing a fabulous workout.

Sign up for a race or event! You all know racecations are my favorite, and the idea of hauling my bike on the next road trip for a local fondo or group ride has certainly crossed my mind. As long as you are able to get to the start line, it’s simple enough to pack some workout gear and make some new friends along the way!


While taking a break and some extra rest days is perfectly fine during your vacations or over holiday (a few off days will most certainly not derail your progress), there are also plenty of ways to keep to your plan with a little flexibility and creativity. Pack your shoes and your sense of adventure and go for it!

What are your best fitness tips for vacation?

Are you able to keep to your plans while traveling?

race report: florida striders memorial day 5k {5.28.18}

I really can’t believe that it’s been six years since I lined up at my very first start line.

Sure, I haven’t been running as long as some, but six years feels like quite some time. So much has changed for me in that amount of time, and I have grown so much as a runner, and even as a person.

So it’s always nice to revisit the event that started it all: the Florida Striders Memorial Day 5K.

Timing was right for this race, back when I selected it. It came along at the end of my Couch to 5K training, was smaller than some of our other 5Ks, and was for a good cause.

Over the years, it’s become a race I’ve loved. The size is usually just right, the course is pretty and shaded, even if there are some small hills, and everything is just nice and low-key. There is an associated kids’ fun run after the 5K, and a fun little after party in the park adjacent to the finish line.

What more do you need?

S and I had opted for packet pickup at the event, and easily got our bibs and t-shirts. We had gotten a great parking spot, too, so it was easy enough to stash our extra things and take a lap around the block as a little warm up.

There was a lovely breeze, but also an underlying humidity. We used the restroom and lingered near the start. The National Anthem was sung live, and a moment of silence was observed for those who paid the ultimate price in service to our country.

The minute we started running, the breeze disappeared and the oppressive humidity took hold. It was frustrating to have to slog through such heavy air, but ’tis the season. There won’t be relief until winter.

We just pounded it out. We chatted, and laughed and cheered the leaders when they passed us on their way to the finish line. It was fun looking at the different patriotic outfits and saying hi and thank you to the spectators, volunteers and LEO who were blocking the intersections.

As soon as we crossed the finish line, the breeze seemed to return. Hello? Where were you for the last 3.1 miles?

We took a breather, and then grabbed drinks and iced watermelon that had been provided for the runners. It was the perfect treat! (And yes, I actually did look that red and miserable when we were finished. It was brutal out there).

It was a great race, with great running buddies and great medals.

Year 6 of running is off to a great start! I am hoping to cross two more states off my list, and I am on track for 1000 miles in 2018, so things are moving along in the right direction.

Do you have a race to which you always return?

How many years have you been running?

weekly wrap: 6.3.18 – 6.9.18

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and Taking The Long Way Home!

If you do a weekly recap post, this is a great way to check in with other active bloggers for extra support, sharing and accountability.

Here’s the week in numbers:

Sunday – rest
Monday –6.25 miles, running
Tuesday – rest
Wednesday – 6 miles, running
Thursday – rest
Friday – 6.5 miles, running
Saturday – rest

Sunday – rest

The only thing on the docket was spending the afternoon at the beach. We really hadn’t seen very much of Mr PugRunner with his recent work and travel, so I was glad that he wanted to join us for a beach day with some of our Scout leaders and their families.

We got a light dinner and ice cream to end our perfect day.

Monday – 6.25 miles, running

My watch only shows 6 miles, but I forgot to restart it after pausing to take some pictures for an MRTT scavenger hunt. Whoops.

Then it was back to the beach for a day with my friend and her daughter. We have really been on a beach roll, but the car was pretty much all packed, so it was easy enough to just replenish the cooler and go.

The kids had a blast in the tide pools and surf, and we had al lovely lunch together at a nearby waterfront restaurant before running some quick errands and going home.

Even though he was tired, little man was a trooper for karate: he is about ready for his next belt test and is tightening up a few moves.

Tuesday – rest

We had a last minute change of plans for the morning, but we just went with it. In the afternoon, one of little man’s buddies came over for a sleepover. I wanted to wear them out a bit, so, you guessed it, back to the beach!

This time, there was boogie boarding and sandcastle building, and I confess that it was tough getting them to wrap it up, they were having so much fun.

Wednesday – 6 miles, running

I snuck out for a quick run while the boys were still sleeping (and boy did they sleep!).

We dropped his friend back home right before lunch, and chilled the rest of the day because of the storms that came through. While it’s fun to be on the go, it’s also awesome to catch up on some movies and do nothing.

Thursday – rest

To change things up, we drove to a blueberry farm about an hour away from us. I don’t think we have ever picked blueberries before, and it was a blast. It was more of a quiet hobby farm, and due to the rains, there were still plenty of berries. The owner gave us pails and advised to go further back where fewer people had checked. As a result, in under an hour, we had four pounds of delicious fruit.

We celebrated with lunch and then a trip to Snogenix, a new place that features Taiwanese shaved “snow” (basically flavored ice that is shaved by machine from a cylindrical block) It’s light like ice, but melts creamy like ice cream – it’s so unique, with awesome creative flavor combinations.

And then little man made blueberry crumb muffins.

He did a fantastic job.

Friday – 6.5 miles, running

I had to head out on this run a little earlier than I would have liked on a summer Friday, but got in the miles I wanted to run.

The plan for the day was to celebrate World Oceans Day with a beach cleanup, hosted by Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches. We were to meet at the parking lot outside of Marineland and all bags, gloves and water were provided. We had 90 minutes to haul as much trash as we could.

There ended up being about 200 volunteers, who collectively pulled in over 800 pounds of trash and debris! We accounted for 46.5 pounds of it, which is pretty epic. We also met up with some other friends from the St. Augustine Moms Blog, who hauled their share as well.

It was a fabulous way to give back and to also see the importance of cleaning up litter so it doesn’t go back into our oceans.

With the dirty work behind us, we enjoyed the waves and the beach a little longer (and for the first time, I saw these amazing balance rocks!)

And then we grabbed lunch at a new-to-us BBQ joint nearby. I was famished and pretty easily demolished this plate.

Saturday – rest

I had hoped to run, but I had gotten bitten by a yellow fly on the side of my knee at the beach. It was painful and itchy, swollen and hot to the touch. As a result, I slept terribly and had a hard time putting weight on my leg. It was doable, but not pleasant.

I spent the rest of the day applying rubbing alcohol and taking Benadryl, hoping to get some relief. We finally left the house in the mid-afternoon, for another trip to Snogenix. Mr PugRunner hadn’t been yet, and so we tried some new flavors.

And then, since it was kind of dinnertime anyway, we snagged a meal at 4 Rivers. It was still early and they weren’t busy, but they were preparing to celebrate five years at this location. The GM started chatting with us and when he heard that we had been patronizing the establishment for as along as they have been in town, he offered us a tour of the kitchen! It was so cool (and so very clean), and we very much appreciated the kindness.


Not too bad on the miles, and we are still keeping our Summer Bucket List active. You can check out some of the things we are working on, here.

I am hoping to get back in the saddle this week (literally), and that the rain is all done. We will have a bit of a break from daytime beach and pool sessions because little man has some camp, and then the upcoming weekend promises to be a combination of crazy and fun with a 5K and Father’s Day and all kinds of cool stuff.

How was your week in training?

Do you have Taiwanese snow where you live?

five ways to celebrate global running day

June 6 marks Global Running Day, a celebration of the sport of running held annually on the first Wednesday of the month.

The whole purpose of Global Running Day is to honor running: it doesn’t matter if you’re new to the sport or a seasoned veteran, if you have a rack full of medals or if you prefer to just log miles on your own, if you’re fast or slow, if you’re old or young.

In fact, there is a goal to get 60 million kids out for a run on this day! Being active is always the name of the game, so I love encouraging healthy habits at an early age.

1. Go For A Run!

Well, obviously! The primary way to honor a day about the celebration of running is… to run! I pledged to run 6 miles through the Global Running Day website, and I am excited to make those happen in the morning.

2. Register For A Race!

Do you have a stack of bibs from past races? Have you never toed the start line of an official running event? Doesn’t matter! It’s time to go for it! So many cities and towns have locals 5Ks available to runners, especially at this time of year. Check with friends, your local running stores, or you can use Running in the USA to help you find what’s nearest to you.

You can even score a great discount on certain events. Best Damn Race is offering $5 off their Jacksonville, Orlando, New Orleans and Safety Harbour races with code RUNPUGS!

And if you visit the Run Rock ‘n’ Roll website, you can find some great deals there, too!

3. Encourage someone to run for the first time!

We were all non-runners, at one point. All it took was one person to encourage us to lace up and take that first step. If you have a friend out there who hasn’t yet taken the plunge (you know the one: he’s said he would love to give running a try some day or she’s mentioned that she might be down for a 5K in the future), now’s the chance. Invite them to run with you. Make it a reasonable distance (even just a mile or two), and keep the pace easy and the conversation amazing. You may just help someone else love running just as much as we do.

4. Treat Yo’self!

Sometimes, we need a little incentive. Feeling like you don’t have much running mojo these days? Spice things up with a fresh pair of running shoes, a new top or some great accessory. It doesn’t have to break the bank… consider these Goodr sunglasses – only $25 for cute, polarized and comfortable running shades.

5. Add to the 60 Million Kids!

Maybe it’s your daughter or son, a niece or nephew, a neighbor or cousin or student. Get a child out there to run. My first experience with running was laps around the PE field. I remember being absolutely miserable out there, and it took a long time convince myself that running could actually be fun. I hope that my little guy finds some kind of joy in running as he goes through his life

How do you plan to celebrate Global Running Day?

Are your first memories of running positive or negative?

weekly wrap: 5.28.18 – 6.2.18

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and Taking The Long Way Home!

If you do a weekly recap post, this is a great way to check in with other active bloggers for extra support, sharing and accountability.

Here’s the week in numbers:

Sunday – rest
Monday –Florida Striders Memorial Day 5K
Tuesday – rest
Wednesday – 5 miles, running
Thursday – rest
Friday – boot camp, 60 minutes
Saturday – 7 miles, running

The story of this week is rain, rain go away. It has been disgusting here. In Florida, grey skies and all-day rain just isn’t typical. We will get quick flash storms, or an hour or two here and there, but that’s it. This current trend of dreariness was definitely starting to wear very thin.

For all that, it was our first full week of summer, and we weren’t going to let the rain get us down if we could help it.

Sunday – rest

Our big plans for Sunday involved hanging out with friends and enjoying a yummy lunch. The kids were playing so beautifully (even taking on soccer in the light rain and puddles), that we ended up letting little man just spend the night.

Monday – Florida Striders Memorial Day 5K, 3.1 miles running

S and I left bright and early for my 6th running of the Florida Striders Memorial Day 5K. I love this race so much. It’s always hot and humid, but the course is so pretty and it’s just my most favorite 5K for sentimental reasons.

While the race weather was fine, the rain was starting up by the time we got home. Due to the forecast, we had made absolutely no plans for anything. Mr PugRunner said it National Burger Day, so we decided to try a new burger place at the outdoor mall, that was ranked on Yelp as the Best Burger in Jacksonville. I don’t know if that was entirely true, but it was damn fine burger.

And the milkshakes we shared afterwards were delicious, too.

Tuesday – rest

Little man ended up sleeping until 10:15 AM! He is typically an extremely early riser, so this was very against his norm. Obviously, he needed the sleep, so I let him do his thing. We had a huge bucket list of items for the summer and wanted to get started, so we decided to have lunch and visit the St. Augustine Lighthouse.

Little man had never climbed to the top, but he was definitely tall enough, so we braved the 219 stair ascent. Twice.

The view was gorgeous and we visited all the lovely buildings and exhibits on the property.

We made it home just before the rains came.

Wednesday – 7 miles, running

Fortunately, my legs weren’t bothering me after all the stairs, so seven miles with A ended up going just fine.

Afterwards, I took little man to his buddy’s house to practice for the triathlon. His mom had mapped out a little course so they could practice the swim, bike, run and transition portions, and we got some girl time. The kids did great!

Since we hadn’t seen my parents in a while and Mr PugRunner had a colleague in town, we made the drive to Nana and Papa’s for dinner and a little man sleepover.

Thursday – rest

Again, little man slept in a bit, and the weather was iffy, so my parents and I hemmed and hawed over what to do with our day. I was just about to give up and suggest we go out to lunch and call it an afternoon, when a friend posted about the Marineland 80th Anniversary and Grand Reopening. There would be free admission all day with the dolphin area open to visitors and a lunch provided by Rype and Readi, a local farm.

I’m not the most spontaneous of people, but free admission is free admission, so we agreed to head down. We arrived in time for the ribbon cutting ceremony, and had a very enjoyable (mostly) first visit (little man had been before on a field trip).

We saw everything they had to offer, had the most fabulous meal, and little man was even gifted a plush dolphin from the table centerpieces by one of the workers!

Obviously, a day so great calls for an ice cream celebration, and we went for scoops at Cold Cow.

The day could not have been better had we planned it. There might be something to this spontaneity thing.

Friday – boot camp, 60 minutes

S convinced me to join her for a boot camp session at a gym I attend from time to time. It’s always a great workout, full of exercises I would NEVER volunteer to do on my own, but they are quality exercises and judging by the DOMS that started later that day, they were also very needed exercises.

We did another triathlon session, just for practice.

And Mr PugRunner kindly ran to Swillerbee’s to pick up donuts for National Donut Day. Yummy.

The rest of the day was kind of a wash. I just wasn’t feeling well (thanks, migraines) and another storm came through. Blah.

Saturday – 7 miles, running

The plan was to spend the day wrangling bikes into transition and prepping for the 1st Coast Kids Triathlon, but on Thursday, we received an email postponing the event due to… you guessed it… a questionable weather forecast. The race has been rescheduled, and there are (plentiful and reasonable) options for those who will be unable to participate on the new day. To be honest, I was pleased with the decision. While the weekend will probably be gorgeous, I love the event’s dedication to safety. Also, due to the awful weather over the last few weeks, training chances have been slim, so the kids have a little more time to prepare.

So we ran another seven miles.

And in the afternoon, little man had a playdate with a buddy, so we brought some homemade mac and cheese and enjoyed dinner with their family. Perfect.


June is off to a wonderful start, even if the weather has been less than cooperative. I think we will be back to sunny skies soon, and that will make things so much easier and more fun. We have more big plans for the week, lots of miles to run and some cool races coming up on the calendar.

How was your week in training?

Do you tend to be more scheduled or more spontaneous?

my summer race bucket list

Ah, summer running! Ok, technically, it is still spring, but with temperatures in the high 80s and 90-100% humidity, it might as well be summer.

That’s Florida for you.

From mid-March to early September, the races in Florida dwindle. While the rest of the country is entrenched in “race season”, we cut back our miles, rest, recover and take on some fairly hot 5Ks, if we’re feeling ambitious. Sure, some of us do keep the training cycles going for fall, but it’s slow, sweaty work.

That being said, putting races on the calendar is extremely helpful to my motivation: I need something towards which to work. For the next few months, 5Ks make up the bulk of what’s available, but here are my five must-run races this summer.

Florida Striders Memorial Day 5K

Ok, so this one has come and gone, but it’s the best way for me to kick off summer running. This year is the 6th time I have run this particular 5K, and it’s truly one of my favorites. It’s a nice-sized race (around 1000 runners), with a lovely course through a shaded residential neighborhood. There is a great post-race celebration in the park adjacent to the finish line, and this year, we had the benefit of iced watermelon! Medals and shirts are always very nice and I love the patriotic, hometown feel.

Gratitude America 5K

To be honest, I don’t know much about this event, other than it takes place outside of Marineland, a local marine park. And it’s very small and for a good cause (Gratitude America’s Military Support Retreats). And that’s about it. But I haven’t run it before, and I’m excited at the prospect of something new and different. Even though I love so many of the bigger, more popular races in town, it’s easy to get tired of familiar courses, so this will be a fun detour.

Turtle Trot 5K

In my quest to run a race in 50 states, I have found the Turtle Trot 5K series in Bald Head Island. Once again, this is a very small event. There are no shirts and no medals, but that’s because all proceeds from the event go to the Bald Head Island Conservancy. The island is supposed to be absolutely gorgeous and I am very much looking forward to exploring, and maybe getting lucky enough to see some turtles or other wildlife.

Tour De Pain

Oh, Tour De Pain. I just can’t quit you. Three races. Twenty-four hours. Dead of summer. We all know it sounds just terrible, but somehow, the siren song of that particular challenge keeps me coming back time and time again. From Friday night through Saturday afternoon, runners must complete a 4 mile beach run, a 3 mile road race and 1 mile sizzler sprint. They don’t call it Tour De Pain for nothing! The end result makes it all worthwhile, though – a fun afterparty in downtown Jacksonville with pizza, beer and a beautiful view.

IOA/Jaguars Stadium Challenge

I’m not going to lie. This race is hard. It’s in the hottest part of August, and runners get to complete their 3.1 miles by climbing the ramps to the top of the Jaguars Stadium, then down, around, up and down again. It definitely gets that heart rate pumping! However, there are waves to keep crowds down, and everyone gets the experience of running around the football field and seeing themselves finish on the giant display screens. This is a great one for the whole family, and I am hoping the boys will run it with me again this year.

What’s on your race wishlist for the summer?

What kinds of events are typical for your region over the next few months?

weekly wrap: 5.20.18 – 5.27.18

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and Taking The Long Way Home!

If you do a weekly recap post, this is a great way to check in with other active bloggers for extra support, sharing and accountability.

Here’s the week in numbers:

Sunday – rest
Monday – 6 miles, running
Tuesday – rest
Wednesday – 5.2 miles, running, bridge repeats + 2 hours riding lesson
Thursday – rest
Friday – rest
Saturday – 5 miles, running + 6 miles cycling

So maybe it was a quieter week, as far as fitness. With the last day of school and Mr PugRunner going out of town, I wasn’t able to squeeze in quite as much exercise as I would have liked. Then again, breaks are a good thing, too.

Sunday –  rest

Our running/workout group had been planning a brunch, and the date had finally arrived! We had a super yummy meal, with lots of laughs. It was much needed and much deserved.

The rest of the afternoon was spent chilling at home. The weather wasn’t particularly pleasant, so we didn’t plan to do anything major. The kids started playing outside despite the drizzle and the next thing I knew, they had teamed up to wash the cars! It cost me $1 per child and the promise of ice cream, but I got one and half fairly clean vehicles out of the deal.

I love when they put their heads together and do something productive!

Monday – 6 miles, running

Knowing that harder rains were coming, it was critical for us to get in as many workouts as we could. Six miles, done.

Tuesday – rest

Tuesday was a fairly quiet day: no gym, no plans. I worked on some errands and tidying the house, but that was about it.

Wednesday – 5.2 miles, bridge repeats + 2 hour riding lesson

We made our way to Vilano Bridge at an obscenely early hour and did five passes.

For some reason, bridge work feels pretty good – sometimes easier than regular flat running. I like to think it means my endurance and stamina is improved.

Afterwards, I reported to the nearby barn for my first adult riding lesson. My trainer’s other lesson had canceled so she told me she was just going to work the both of us as long as she could. And, oh, how she worked us. I was a terribly sweaty mess by the time I dismounted and hosed off King. I loved every second of it.

Since Mr PugRunner was leaving the next day, we went out to dinner for a family last day of school celebration. It was a nice night, even though it was sad that 4th grade was coming to an end.

Thursday – rest

And here it was. The last day of school. Ugh. Little man had the most amazing year, and I was so sorry to see it all come to an end. He wasn’t too happy about it either (the kid loves school). At the beginning of the year, we were all so nervous about a new school, and now, all these months later, it felt like home.

I picked him up in the afternoon and we had a little block party with hot dogs, ice cream and good friends. It was just a really nice evening.

Friday – rest

S and I had planned to run but she woke up with a headache and I was fairly cozy, so we agreed to postpone until Saturday. We were going to see each other in just a few hours anyway.

For the first day of summer, we had a action packed plan! First up? Solo: A Star Wars Story. We hit the 9:30 AM show, and we absolutely loved it!

Afterwards, little man and I headed to a brand new beach to hang out with some of our Cub Scouts pack. The kids rode boogie boards and played all kinds of games.

The grownups got to chat and make plans for the summer and for the upcoming Scout year.

Around dinner time, we packed it up, and since we were on our own, we treated ourselves to dinner, followed by ice cream at Mayday, a brand new shop. We ordered a flight (six small scoops), so we could enjoy more of their fabulous flavors. Completely worth it. We will be returning. Often.

Saturday – 5 miles, running + 6 miles, cycling

S and I managed a sluggish five miles. I think I was just dehydrated and worn out from the sun and salt on Friday. Doesn’t matter. We got it done.

I wasn’t too worried about the lower miles, either. When I got home, I loaded up the bikes and we met one of our Scouts friends for a 6 mile bike ride, through a nearby neighborhood. We took a few breaks so the kids could play in the various parks and on this giant hill (hills are a novelty here, so they loved it).

And at the end of the ride, she took them on an actual trail (my road bike wasn’t interested in the dirt path), and little man hit all the bridges and ramps along the way.

The boys made big plans while they were riding, and after lunch at a local BBQ joint, I took little man’s friend home with us to spend the afternoon in the pool. They had a blast, and by the time his mom was ready to get him, Mr PugRunner had arrived home!

We spent the rest of the night enjoying family time.


I am excited for this summer. This is the first time we haven’t been incredibly scheduled and I’m looking to see what we can accomplish and how much fun we can have. There are a few races on the calendar (summer racing is no fun), and we have some cool experiences we want to pencil in.

I do have to remember to squeeze in cross training when I can, and that will be my big challenge in the months ahead, but I’ll get there.

How was your week in training?

Do you have any plans for the upcoming summer?

for the turtles: jekyll island turtle crawl 10k

I recently discovered Jekyll Island in January, and have been looking for excuses to return ever since. It’s a quiet island, not exactly remote, but definitely off the beaten path. Jekyll is also a somewhat unique state park, with a combination of hotels, residential, shops, restaurants, landmarks, activities and even a water park. At just over an hour from my home, it’s definitely worth a visit.

When I saw that the Turtle Crawl series of triathlons and road races was scheduled for Mother’s Day Weekend, I saw my chance for a quick visit, and registered for Sunday’s 10K. My plan was to leave super early in the morning, drive up, run, and come home, but Mr PugRunner ended up booking a hotel room, so my mom and little man joined me for the whole weekend.

It was fairly perfect.

The Turtle Crawl is a series of events to benefit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, a wonderful facility dedicated to the rehab and release of sick and injured turtles. I have visited twice, and I am hopeful that little man and I will be able to visit on a day where they get to release one of their patients. I can’t imagine how amazing that would be.

As such, this is a huge race for the Island (but still one of the smallest I run). Per the results, there were about 200 runners in the 10K. I was a fairly late registrant, so while I was guaranteed a bib, a race t-shirt was not promised. There also wasn’t going to be a medal, as that would detract from funds that could be donated to the Turtle Center, which was perfectly understandable.

On Sunday morning, I got up early and snuck out so as not to wake my roommates. Our hotel was only 1.6 miles from the race start – I had planned to jog it but the sidewalk wasn’t terribly well lit so my mom asked me to take the car. She was hopeful that little man would wake up in time and they would walk down the beach to the finish line.

I arrived at the Great Dunes Park site at around 6:00 AM to pick up my packet. There had been an Expo on Friday, prior to Saturday’s triathlons, but I was unable to make it. I very easily claimed my bib and goodie bag, and was lucky enough to get a t-shirt in my preferred size! Yay!

The only thing I hadn’t considered in my preparations was bug spray – there were hundreds of little stinging gnats making everyone miserable. I found it was more bearable if I kept moving, so I wandered around, making my bathroom stop(s) and taking obsessive photos of the sunrise.

It was too beautiful.

The 10K was scheduled to start at 7:00 AM, with the 5K following at 7:15. We lined up on the road outside the Convention Center, and were treated to a lovely rendition of the National Anthem. I had run this same course in January: 3.1 miles down the main road, make a U turn, come back, and then hook a left on to the beach path with just over a mile to go. Four months ago, the weather was freezing and windy, but on this day, it was the complete opposite. I was interested to see how it would all go down.

Despite the heat and humidity, it was a lovely run. There was plenty of shade after the first two miles, and a nice breeze blew in off the ocean. For the 10K, there were plenty of water stops, with smiling, encouraging volunteers along the way.

I extended my run/walk intervals a bit and pushed – I was feeling good and I loved my new shoes so I wanted to make the most of the day. I hit the turnaround, and did find a bit of a struggle with the sidewalk designated for the return runners. It was banked and my hip didn’t appreciate the slant. I ended up getting back up on the actual road for a little bit. I probably added some distance with the weaving, but it was worth it.

It’s always a treat to run along a beach, and that last mile was just gorgeous. There was a little congestion from the 5K runners and walkers on the path, but it was easy enough to navigate.

I loved running down the last stretch and seeing my mom and little man on either side of the finish line. It was awesome, and I was so happy they had made it on time!

And I was also thrilled with the great free photos, courtesy of True Speed Photo! The team there always does an incredible job.

We didn’t stay too long at the after party. Volunteers handed out cold water and Gatorade at the finish and there were bagels and bananas for the runners. There were also massages, vendors and some representatives from the Georgia Sea Turtle Center in the grassy area.

This is the perfect, low-key destination race for a holiday weekend. While I didn’t get to experience any of the triathlon activities, spectating for those would only add to the fun. Little man wants to join next year for the 5K – both events are great for any level of runner or walker.

What’s your favorite charity for which to run?

What’s the smallest number of runners you’ve ever raced with?

weekly wrap: 5.13.18 – 5.19.18

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and Taking The Long Way Home!

If you do a weekly recap post, this is a great way to check in with other active bloggers for extra support, sharing and accountability.

Here’s the week in numbers:

Sunday – Turtle Crawl 10K + 7 miles beach walking
Monday – rest
Tuesday – 6 miles, running
Wednesday – rest
Thursday –  3.6 miles, speedwork
Friday – rest
Saturday – 7 miles, running + 1:15 group fitness class

Well, it’s the last week of 4th grade for the special guy in my life, and so I am busy trying to wrap my head all around that. Crazy, right?

Obviously, there has been a lot of festivities and so much to do before the start of summer, but we are four days away from the end of all that! Whoo hoo! IN other news, it’s been a fairly good week of running and work outs, so at least I’m keeping on top of all that.

Sunday – Turtle Crawl 10K + 7 miles beach walking

My mother’s day request was to run a race, which turned into me, Nana and little man getting a room on Jekyll Island. And me running a race.

The Turtle Crawl 10K was pretty freaking fabulous, and was just what I was looking forward to. Full recap to come, of course!

After the race, we had breakfast at our hotel. and did some more beach walking. Little man really wanted to find some sand dollars… and did we!

While we were wandering, a park ranger rode up to us. It’s turtle season, and she wanted to share the Diamondback Terrapin she had found and was taking back to the Turtle Center to be tagged and recorded before release. She was so informative about the turtle and its habits, and even let us all hold her! Day made!

Mr PugRunner and Papa Bear joined us for brunch, and we had a lovely day before driving home.

Monday – rest

I was absolutely wiped out from the weekend, and was beyond grateful for a day off of pretty much everything.

Tuesday – 6 miles, running

My legs were so sore and so heavy, most likely from all the sand walking over the weekend. I was convinced that if I just started running, I would be able too hake it, but I stayed rather achy throughout the run.

Wednesday – rest

I really wanted to go to the gym, but I was still sore and tired, so I begged off. It was going to be a long day.

First up, S and I had breakfast with the woman who will be taking my former position on the PTA. Then, S and I went shopping for all the fill-in items for the basket raffle our school was holding on Friday. It was literally a shopping marathon – I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time in Target at once in my life.

After I got little man from school, it was time for a Scout Leadership Dinner. We got tons accomplished and we are all very excited for the upcoming year. We are lucky to have so many awesome people with so many great ideas.

In the meantime, Mr PugRunner and little man were at a dinner with Mark Richt, coach of the Miami Hurricanes. I’m not sure which one had the better time.

Thursday – 3.6 miles, speedwork

We did an easy 1 mile warmup, followed by 8x400m, with a cool down. I was fine not getting to that full four miles.

As soon as we got the kiddos from school, it was time to get to work packing and wrapping baskets. We had so many great donations, ad well as other fabulous thing she had picked up, and with everyone pitching in, we got so much accomplished.

Friday – rest

The administration and teachers put together the nice breakfast for the volunteers and room moms. Our principal came in to thank everyone for all their hard work in the first year of the school, and we all sat and enjoyed a great meal. Afterwards, I went to snag a few last minute items for the night, helped S wrap the final things, and then went home to get ready for the evening.

Our final event of the year was a Time Capsule Ceremony, with food trucks and a basket raffle. It was a wonderful – we got to watch our Principal bury a time capsule to be opened in 20 years and people were buying tons of tickets for the raffle. We had things like pet baskets and beach baskets, but also tickets to Disney and Sea World, local attractions and even an XBOX! We had a blast with the family!

Little man ended up winning a basket with Gooder Sunglasses, a Garmin Forerunner 35 and three one-on-one training sessions with a personal trainer. You can guess what I got from that basket.

Oh. I also lost my first toenail. I kind of prided myself on never having lost one, but I guess all good things come to an end.

Saturday – 7 miles, running + 1:15 group fitness class

I wanted to get in some longer miles and S obliged me (even though it was her birthday!).

We finished up and I took little man to a group fitness class at Anytime Fitness, with other contributors and readers from the St. Augustine Moms Blog.

While the moms did box jumps and sandbag rows, the kids got to engage in a ninja skills class. They had a blast, and so did we.

But wait! That’s not all!

Little man also had a triathlon clinic for his upcoming event! We ran home, loaded up his bike and gear, and hit a drive thru for lunch. We arrived at the clinic right on time and little man got going.

It was an intense workout – three hours split up practicing for the four disciplines of the triathlon. Little man was a trooper, swimming about 1200 yards, working on his transition, and getting tips on bike handling. He and his buddy did so great and we are stoked for race day!

While we were out, Mr PugRunner did some grilling and we had friends over for dinner. Little man and their son treated us to some optical illusions, tying water bottles to plastic cups with fishing line in order to look like they were making the cups float while they poured the water. It was so cool to have them do something so hands on, rather than just playing video games.


This week, we are going to gear up for a kick butt summer! On Memorial Day, S and I are registered for a local 5K, and I have my fingers crossed that the weather holds. It’s been raining every damn day for the last ten days, which is absolutely atypical for our area. Rainy season isn’t until June, and even then, it will only rain a little bit in the afternoon, not all day like this. The kids are on edge.


How was your week in training?

How do you do with your toenails?

weekly wrap: 5.6.2018 – 5.12.2018

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and Taking The Long Way Home!

If you do a weekly recap post, this is a great way to check in with other active bloggers for extra support, sharing and accountability.

Here’s the week in numbers:

Sunday – rest
Monday – rest
Tuesday –5 miles, speedwork
Wednesday – HITT session, arms
Thursday – 6.1 miles, running
Friday – rest
Saturday – 2 miles, running

I keep saying things will calm down, but I’m proving myself to be a quite a liar with that. This past week was chock full of fitness and events and all kinds of things, and I was really flying around like a lunatic to keep it all in check.

Sunday – rest

It was time to say goodbye to camping. As soon as little man was awake, we broke down the tent, packed the car, and helped clean up the common camping areas. I loathe breakdown, but it’s the price we pay for all the fun, and the more people who chip in, the easier it goes.

We didn’t take long to get home and settled in, and all of us were ready to just chill out in the house for the rest of the day. It was a little gloomy, so couch time was perfect.

Monday – rest

We thought about going to the gym, but we were all pretty tired, and decided to make Monday a rest day.

Good thing because we had a ton of activities scheduled for the day. It was the start of Teacher Appreciation Week, so some of the pTA members got there a little early to confirm that everything was set up for the “A World of Thanks” theme.

In addition to that, little man was starting his first day of Safety Patrol training, so he had to be at school early to get his rules, regulations, new belt and first assignment.

I left him in charge of the Kindergarten hall, and hurried home to grab some jeans and boots. My neighbor had invited me to go riding at the nearby stable, and I was so excited and grateful to get some more horsey time!

Tuesday – 5 miles, speedwork

On the agenda was some speedwork. I had scheduled a set of intervals where we would run slowly for seven minutes, than walk briskly for 3.5 minutes, run a little faster for six, walk for three, and so on until a one minute sprint. It’s good for pacing and working on increasing speed on tired legs.

I helped with a breakfast tea set up for the teachers and then stuck around to help proctor a test for one of the teachers. No comment on that.

Little man had one last Battle of the Books rehearsal, and then I had two PTA meetings back to back. Long story short, I will be the new Vice President for little man’s fifth grade year. I’m a little excited and a little overwhelmed, but there are a lot of big ideas and it’s going to be good.

Wednesday – HIIT session

Oh, and happy birthday to me. We worked on arms, and it ended up being some pretty intense circuits, especially for our shoulders.

I was grateful to have these ladies start the day with me. Maybe I should have done 41 burpees, but… it was my birthday and I didn’t want to.

Mr PugRunner and I had an early meeting at the school to talk about some ideas for donations for food insecure students in the county. We brainstormed some wonderful ideas and we are excited to put them into action.

After school, the PTA treated the teachers to an ice cream social. It was a lot of fun, and I was pretty excited to get a little ice cream as a mid afternoon snack.

My parents were waiting for us when little man and I got home, and we all went to dinner at a new restaurant I’ve been wanting to try – the St. Augustine Seafood Co. We ate outside and had a really fabulous meal. I’m not a cake fan, so for dessert we got waffle cones (twice in one day???!!!) from Kilwin’s. It was really perfect.

They all spoiled me, too. I got a gorgeous hydrangea and gift card from my parents, horse back riding lessons from little man (I just ordered boots and breeches and can’t wait to get started!) and these beauties from Mr PugRunner.

Thursday – 6.1 miles

I didn’t break in the new shoes, but I did have a fairly good run.

Today was the big Battle of the Books competition. The team took a bus to a local middle school to test their knowledge against 12 other local elementary schools. We had quite the cheering section with school colors and signs, and it was an awesome (although stressful) event.

They tied for fifth with little man’s old school, and we were all very proud of them for a strong first time at the event.

In the evening, I took little man to his school’s Kindergarten musical performance. He knew some of the kids and he loves his music teacher, so l couldn’t say no. It was, to use the teacher’s words, ‘basket of puppies cute.”

Friday – rest

After I got little man off to school, I finished my Mother’s Day article for the Run Rock ‘n’ Roll Tempo (you can read it here) and then headed back in. We were serving Tiuana Flats all day for the teacher’s luncheon to end Teacher Appreciation week. It was heart warming to see how many people showed up to volunteer and how much the teachers and staff loved it.

I am so lucky to be able to spend time with these amazing people.

When I got home, it was time to pack. I was taking my mom and little man to Jekyll Island for the Turtle Crawl 10K on Sunday and we were going to go up a day early to enjoy the island.

Saturday – 2 miles

I wanted to break in my new shoes before the race, so I took them for a successful two mile spin.

Then we loaded up the car and drove to grab my mom on the way to Jekyll.

Our first stop was Driftwood Beach, which was every bit as stunning as I imagined.

Little man found a ton of HUGE shells, and he was so excited.

We had pizza for lunch and then visited the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, just in time for a feeding.

When we checked into the hotel, little man wanted another beach walk, and we ended up just walking all the way down to the little main street for dinner. To be honest, we did about seven miles of walking that day. We did a little pool time back at the hotel, I laid out my outfit for the morning, and we turned in.


Spring/summer training is going really well.I’ve been a little bit of a slacker on the gym, but I am being fairly diligent on the runs and speed workouts. I’m pretty happy about that, and I know it’s going to be tough as vacation looms. We already have a ton of events and plans on the calendar, and I’m hoping we can fit everything in easily.


How was your week in training?

Do you enjoy walking on the beach and shelling?

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