race report: florida striders memorial day 5k {5.29.17}

Once upon a time, five years ago, I registered for my very first 5K. It was crazy and amazing and hard.

And I was pretty much immediately hooked.

The Florida Striders Memorial Day 5K holds a very special place in my heart. As my first ever race, it remains a reminder of my ebbs and flows and progress and failures.

I have made it a point to take part in this race consistently since my first time in 2013. It’s gotten to a point where it wouldn’t be the start of summer without it. The cause is also a worthy one, and a reason why this race draws so many runners. It’s always beautiful to see all the flags and red, white and blue.

I had every intention of running alone this year. It’s a small, local race, and I didn’t think the boys would have any interest in getting up crazy early to spectate. Little man told me that he was interested in running the 5K, so we signed up him and Mr PugRunner, with the intention that they would run together.

The night before the race, little man decided he wanted to run with me instead of his dad. I really wanted to push myself for this 5K, but I also feel strongly about encouraging little man’s efforts, so I made the mental adjustments.

We arrived with plenty of time to pick up our packets, drop our shirts back in the car, visit the portapotties and line up at the start. This race always attracts a lot of day of registrants and the final headcount is always rather impressive.

There was a beautiful speech, honoring those who have fallen in service to our country, and after the National Anthem, the race began.

Unfortunately, we had a tough run. It was crazy hot, absurdly humid, and little man’s enthusiasm waned dramatically in the first half mile. It was a huge challenge to keep him motivated through the rest of the race, and I’m not so sure I did a great job of it. I know that he just wanted to be done (so did I), but it was really tough staying positive through it.

With just over a half mile to go, I saw Mr PugRunner starting to catch up to us and told little man that I wanted to finish strong. I figured he would run in with his dad, but shockingly, he found a second wind.

The last few minutes made for the highlight of the whole race. We got separated by a few other runners, knotting up in a big group, so I started calling out directions to him to keep him on track to the finish line.  Another racer saw him getting edged to the side, and reached over to guide him back to the course. The gentleman was kind enough to stay with him while I got myself around the crowd, and urged him to a really strong finish. It was so thoughtful and kind and I got a little teary-eyed about it.

Sometimes I’m a sap. Although I think I was just really relieved to be finished.

There were lessons to be learned. Little man definitely should have had a banana or something a little closer to the race start. He was hydrated well, but might have needed a little more energy. I need to be more patient.

On the positive side, I love these guys so much. I adore that they support me in my activities, even if they would rather have been in bed instead of grinding it out on a race course.

How do you handle a race that falls apart quickly?

Has a stranger ever helped you when you’re struggling?

weekly wrap: 6.11.17 – 6.17.17

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin, guest hosted by Tara!

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!

Sunday – rest

I slept in a little after being out so late from the race. We had a mostly easy day planned – hanging out at home, a slime clinic at our local Michaels’ store and then little man had a friend over for the rest of the afternoon. The boys wanted to fish, but the rain had other plans for them, so they made more slime.

That’s how summer goes in Florida.

Monday – rest

Little man started Vacation Bible School with one of his best friends. We had heard great things about this weeklong, half-day camp, and at $5 per child, the price was right. Even better, we had a car pool worked out, where I would drop the kids at VBS and the other mom would pick up and hold on to little man until I got off work. Automatic playdates!

Tuesday – 4.5 miles, running

My hip was still a little whiny so I took a somewhat shorter run of 4.5 miles. It was just enough.

Wednesday – rest

Nothing new to report. Mr PugRunner’s Father’s Day gift, a big cooler for the back patio, arrived, and we assembled that in the evening. The best part of it all was that little man found a new place to hang out.

Thursday – 7 miles, running

I ran four miles on my own through the neighborhood, and then another three at the bridge after VBS dropoff. It was hotter than anything and I felt awful during those last three miles, but it was a needed workout.

We had a few plans that got pushed to the side: first we had thought about going to the movies, but the times didn’t work out. And then we thought about going to play kickball, but a huge thunderstorm kicked up. Blah. A movie night was just what we needed.

Friday – rest

Last day of VBS! At 11:30, the parents were invited to see all the kids perform a few of their musical numbers (they were adorable), and then little man and I and his bestie and her mom surprised them with Cars 3.

I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but this was probably my favorite of the entire trilogy. The message and the characters just spoke to me, and yes, I cried.  I couldn’t help myself.

That night, I got all fancied up to go to Hamburger Mary’s for my friend’s birthday. A group of us went last year around the same time, and it was just as fun.

Saturday – 3 miles, running

I dragged myself out of bed for three miles. Ugh. But it had to be done.

It was a big day. Little man was going to test for blue belt with black stripe. Earning this belt would move him up to the advanced class, and put him five levels away from his black belt. It’s kind of a big deal.

My parents came to watch with us, and he did a great job with all of his combinations, kicks, one-steps and forms. His sparring was on point, too.

At the end, he had to break one board with a back kick, and he did it beautifully.

We were so proud!

Afterwards, we went to a local fish camp to celebrate with lots of yummy seafood. And when we said our goodbyes, I asked Mr PugRunner if we could take a drive up to Jacksonville to get ice cream from Dreamette. It’s a little hole in the wall place known for the soft-serve and dipped cones.

Worth it.

We had to get to bed early to prep for Father’s Day. Mr PugRunner wanted to get up to watch the sunrise at the beach, so we needed our rest!

 

It was a mostly quiet week. At least, quiet for us. The rain has been needed, but tough, as it keeps us mostly inside in the afternoons and evenings. Blah.

Up this week? More running. Hopefully a little riding. Little man is in a longer camp program this week, and we have got some fun thing coming up on the weekend. Next race will be a 5K on the 4th of July, and I have registered for an 18 mile relay trail run in October with two other awesome women: the Durbin Trail Mix. I’ll be doing a 6 mile loop and I am really excited about it.

Also, I am trying to catch up on some blogging. I owe some race reports, and I need to get those churned out!

How was your week in training?

What’s on your summer race calendar?

weekly wrap: 6.4.17 – 6.10.17

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin, guest hosted by Kim!

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!

I am working really hard on ramping up my miles and building my base. The weather was also awful this week – I welcomed the rain because of our drought, but I am ready for it to even out now.

Sunday – rest

I am calling it a rest day, but for anyone who has ever spectated at or participated in a triathlon, you know it was anything but restful.

We had to be at the venue at 6:15 so that little man could put the rest of his gear in transition. He didn’t start until a little after 8:00 AM, so it was a lot of driving and waiting. Once he started, it turned into a lot of sprinting around for me and Mr PugRunner – we were able to watch him at the pool, walking his bike in and out of transition, the end of the bike course, and the entirety of his run.

He did so well and we are so proud.

When we got home, we honestly just wanted to chill but some buddies invited him to the pool for a bit, so of course, it was back in the water.

And then, I am fairly certain we just watched movies and chilled. It was a long day.

Monday – 1 mile, running

Little man and I headed out for our mile, and the rest of the day was pretty normal.

Mr PugRunner took little man to work and then to karate that evening. Little man has been consistently taking karate classes for the last four years and has been talking about needing a break for the summer. We don’t mind – we had opted to have him forego karate camp this year in favor of some other things he wanted to try, but we had asked him to discuss with his sensai before putting things on hold. In the course of that conversation, he was invited to test for his first advanced belt (!) so he will continue with his classes until this upcoming Saturday, test, and then resume classes when school starts. it’s amazing how far he’s come.

Tuesday – 5 miles, running

The weather had been awful – lots of rain and thunderstorms – so I ran close to home, just in case.

I made it through a very wet and drizzly five miles, and then got ready for work. I was not amused with the all day downpour, and was even less thrilled with the tornado warnings sounding my entire drive home. Fortunately, the storms headed out to sea without doing too much damage.

I went out to dinner with some of my neighbors – it was a lot of fun, and it’s something I hope we can do more.

Wednesday – 1 mile, running

Happy Global Running Day! I got the whole family out for a run! Whoo hoo!

After spending two days at his dad’s office while I was at work, little man finally got a play date with his bestie. I think he was happy to have someone to play with, as opposed to entertaining himself at work.

Thursday – rest

This was a yucky, rainy, miserable day. Boo. To be honest, I wasn’t really feeling too motivated to do much of anything, so we stayed in our PJs and lounged. These aren’t my favorite days, but sometimes, they are necessary.

Little man had been BEGGING me to make slime, and I had finally gathered all the ingredients. So we made glitter slime and smooth slime, and he was just the happiest kid on the face of the planet.

Friday – 4 miles, running

At long last, the weather was clear. I got a bit of a late start and the boys followed behind me on their bikes. They had almost caught up to me, when little man lost the pedal on his bike. I helped try to get it back on, but we couldn’t figure it out, and so they ended up having to walk their bikes home. We agreed to look at it over the weekend.

That afternoon, my parents came over and we ran a few quick errands before going to our historic downtown to hide our kindness rocks. We also found four rocks that others had painted and hidden!

We rehid those as well, and then celebrated our efforts with ice cream sandwiches from Piece Pie.

My parents also stayed for the Cub Scouts’ Raingutter Regatta. Basically, it’s a more casual version of the Pinewood Derby – scouts build catamarans out of balsa and precut sails and then race them in water-filled plastic rainwater, by blowing on the sails with plastic straws.

During their non-racing times, they took a water safety lesson, learned to play badminton and made fidget spinners out of hot glue, all of which will earn them badges and belt loops.

Little man went undefeated in every round, and won first place for the entire event! We couldn’t believe it! He was absolutely over the moon and is excited for his next summer activity.

Saturday – Run for the Pies 5K

We slept in a bit, and hung out around the house. After lunch, Mr PugRunner took little man to one of our local bike shops to get his pedals fixed, and I tried to take a nap.

That evening was Run For The Pies. It’s a crazy fast and popular 5K – the early race is for the male and female qualifying elites, and the later race is the open, where the first 200 people win a pie for crossing the finish line (if they do so under the time constraints). I had absolutely no chance of winning a pie, but I had never run this race, so I was ready to give it a try.

Race report to come, but it was a blast, despite the fact that it was at night and humid and muggy as all get out.

Almost 15 miles this week, so that felt really good. I want to get back on my bike, now that the rain has stopped. I’m really nervous about riding on slick, wet roads for some reason. Camps are starting up this week, so we shall see how my schedule works out as far as training. My next race is looking like the Celebration 5K on July 4, and I am excited to feel a little bit back in a 5K groove.

How was your training this week?

Is the slime craze a thing near you?

celebrate global running day

June 7 marks the date of Global Running Day, a worldwide initiative to get people out and running. Just for the love of it.

Obviously, I convinced the guys that they wanted to go for a quick mile with me this morning (I had done five yesterday and we only had a few minutes between rainstorms to get it done).

And so we celebrated with 1.25 family miles. Yay us!

In honor of the big day, I’m going to share some of my running favorites

Favorite running shoes:

Right now, I am rotating between three pairs of shoes:

The Adidas Supernova ST, Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 and Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17 (Rock ‘n’ Roll edition). They are all stability shoes (and I wear my Superfeet Berry inserts in all three of them), but I like to mix it up, and have had great success with all three of them. The Boost cushion in the Supernova ST has been great for my longer runs when my right glute gives me issues, and the Adrenalines are always just fun to wear. My Inspires are my workhorses – I’ve been wearing variations of them religiously for five years and think they will always hold a special place in my heart.

Favorite running gear:

There are several pieces of gear I can’t be without.

  • Garmin Forerunner 735 – it’s a multi sport watch (read: triathlon), with built in heart rate monitor, capable of timing my intervals. I love it to the moon and back. It was a bit of a splurge but very worth it for me.
  • ArmPocket Mega i40 – Carrying my phone is a non-negotiable, both for safety and for music. My ArmPocket is incredibly comfortable and holds my device, cards and cash, and even a gel packet. It doesn’t chafe or slip and it’s easy to clean in the washing machine or dishwasher when needed.
  • AfterShokz Sportz Titanium – I won a pair of these bone conduction headphones on a BibRave Twitter chat, and they have replaced my regular ear buds on the run. Not only are they comfortable, but they allow me to hear my music or podcast without blocking out ambient noise.
  • Goodr Sunglasses – I bought a pair of these on a whim and have been in love. For only $25, I have a pair of lightweight, durable, polarized glasses that don’t slip or fog. They are also great for cycling and beach days.

Favorite race distance:

I’m still holding at 10K, but the half marathon is creeping up on it. I’ve taken a little bit of the pressure off myself as far as pace is concerned, and somehow, it’s allowing me to enjoy the 13.1 distance more.

Favorite medal of the year:

So far, I would have to say my Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon medal.

I had a really hard time at this event in 2016, eventually dropping from the half marathon to the 5K due to injury. In 2017, I desperately needed to finish the entire distance. And, with the company of some lovely friends, I did!

Favorite Race Experience of 2017 So Far:

The DONNA Marathon Relay. Hands down. While I wish I had been feeling better, and now have a better plan for doing it next year (as far as cheering on and meeting up with teammates), I couldn’t get over how amazing this local favorite was. I am actually considering stepping up for the half marathon in 2018.

Things I Wouldn’t Have Attempted Without Running:

I have talked about how running has really boosted my self-confidence and given me the courage to try new things.

This year, I’ve gone to a barre class,

attempted an aerial class,

and took on my first sprint triathlon.

Without running, I would never have had the faith in myself to overcome my fears and doubts and try any of this.

Most Anticipated Race of 2017:

The Space Coast Half Marathon. This will be my fifth year of this half marathon. It also means I will complete the Intergalactic Challenge (five years, five half marathon, seven medals).

I have loved this race, but I’m also looking forward to trying something new and opening a spot on my calendar (especially over Thanksgiving weekend). It’s going to be hard to say no to the next series (The Next Generation), but there are other races to be run.

Future Running Goals:

I really want to run a race in every state. It can be anything from a 5K to a relay – just so long as there are 50 of them. As of right now, I have four: Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Virginia. I struggle because there are so many great races in the Florida/Georgia area (and Florida is HUGE), but I will get there.

 

How did you celebrate Global Running Day?

What are some things you love most about running? Share whatever you like!

 

(There are no affiliate links in this post. Links are provided for reader’s reference. Some of the items and race entries mentioned above were gifted to me at an earlier date, but they are all products I love and use regularly. As always, all opinions are my own.)

weekly wrap: 5.28.17 – 6.3.17

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin!

WeeklyWrap

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!

May ended with a bit of a whimper. I was fairly consistent with my cycling and swimming, but all the traveling and over scheduling meant that I wasn’t getting in runs too regularly. Also, it was little man’s first full week of summer, and we had plenty of fun things on our schedule.

Sunday – rest

Mr PugRunner was still out of town, so we lounged around in the morning and then went to a friend’s pool party. It was a nice, easy afternoon with lots of laughing.

Monday – Florida Striders Memorial Day 5K

Can you believe it? This race marks the fifth anniversary of racing. It seems like only yesterday I was following along the Couch to 5K plan. But here we were, toeing another start line.

It wasn’t quite the race I hoped for. Little man wanted to run with me – I was thrilled about that, but he couldn’t get his head in the game and struggled early. We didn’t quit, however, and crossed the finish all the same.

Afterwards, we showered and changed at my parents’ house and enjoyed a nice BBQ lunch with them. Little man was going to spend the next few days at their place – he loves Camp Nana and Papa.

Tuesday – 5 miles running, 7 miles cycling

I wanted to get caught back up with my running buddy, so I got up to hammer out five miles on the bridge and beach with S. There is just something about a run while the sun rises, and we took full advantage.

After work, Mr PugRunner and I squeezed in seven miles of cycling before the rain.

Wednesday – rest

I was grateful for a rest day, and excited to see little man after work. Mr PugRunner made us a delicious chicken parmigiana for dinner with everyone and we figured out plans for the rest of the week.

Thursday – 5 miles running

I had talked to little man about running a mile every day to help make racing easier for him, and he seemed to be in agreement. After four miles on my own, I swung by the house to pick him up for one mile together.

Afterwards, we packed up the car and spent the morning at one of our beautiful beaches.

We were hoping to get Mr PugRunner to join us for lunch, but he got caught up in work, so we went to one of the local lunch spots and finished off with some frozen custard.

In the evening, I went to a local bar with some friends for Naughty Bingo. It was a fundraiser for a local dad who was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer, and it was really nice to support the cause.

Friday – 1 mile running

Due to a small issue with my car’s headlights, I had to change our plans with friends. We were all disappointed, but we got the car taken care of, squeezed in our mile and worked on some painted rocks that we plan to hide around town (many cities are now participating in scavenger hunts for these “kindness rocks” and it seemed like it might be a fun idea).

Mr PugRunner and Papa Bear went to lunch and the movies, while little man and I hung around home. We made burrito bowls and mint chocolate chip ice cream pie for dinner, and

Saturday – 5 miles running

I was hoping to go for six miles, but I got up late and it was hot. I probably would have called the whole thing, but Best Damn Race was hosting the Leftovers 5K in Safety Harbor, and I wanted to play along at home.

Remember, Best Damn Race registration is now open in all four cities, and while prices are still low, you can save an additional $5 with code RUNPUGS***!

After my shower, little man worked on his Raingutter Regatta boat with Mr PugRunner, while I went to see Wonder Woman.

It was phenomenal, and I am absolutely desperate for Justice League in a few months.

Then it off to Jacksonville University for packet pickup and bike drop for little man’s second triathlon! Eek! We hung around for a while to listen to the course review and take the tour.

Everything seemed really well organized. The kids would be on their own a lot for the event – parents were not allowed in transition, and while there were tons of volunteers on hand to help with anything from setting up transition to re-racking bikes, it was still a little nerve-wracking for me. Little man is generally cool as ice about these situations, so I tried to follow his lead.

He wanted pasta for dinner, so he got macaroni and cheese at Noodles & Co and then it was home to pack the car for our 5:00AM wake up call.

 

So far, we have had a rather full and exciting summer, and I’m loving it. We are all completing lists of summer bucket lists, to try and keep us busy and get us out on adventures. We will see how it all shakes out.

How was your week in training?

How do you recover from a less than stellar month?

 

***I am an ambassador for Best Damn Race. In exchange for my promotion of the event, I am compensated with discounts and complimentary entries. All opinions are my own.

weekly wrap: 5.21.17 – 5.27.17

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin!

WeeklyWrap

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!

For us, it’s summer! And while we are enjoying a semi lack of schedule, we are also trying to get used to the lack of routine. Summer vacation is always tough for us – little man and I, especially, are creatures of habit, and it’s nice to have our days kind of planned out.

However, we are also pretty adaptable, and so we will fall back into stride.

Sunday – rest

Mr PugRunner went out to pick up some craft donuts for breakfast, and we all enjoyed the heck out of them.

Then we had an afternoon planned at a friend’s farm. It was such a nice, chill day. the kids played video games, shot bows and arrows, rode ponies and fished. It was absolutely wonderful and just what we needed.

Monday – rest

It was a pretty busy day at work, and I was thrilled to get home. Little man had field day, and an ice cream sundae party and the class watched Moana. He had a blast, and I was so glad to see that his last week of 3rd grade was off to a good start.

Tuesday – 4 miles, running

I wasn’t really into the run, but knew it had to be done. I went alone, for maximum misery.  And four miles later, it was over.

Second to last day of school. He was doing some fun projects and games, but at this point, it was all part of the countdown to the end.

Wednesday – rest

Happy last day of school!

It was actually kind of a rough day. We finally got some must-needed rain, but with it came high winds and tornado warnings. The school kids had to go through all their tornado drills, and Mr PugRunner finally decided to just go pick him up and bring him home.

We were planning to go out for dinner and ice cream to celebrate, but since the weather was just so awful, we settled for homemade pizza and diy sundaes. Little man was just as thrilled, and it was probably for the best as we had a busy weekend ahead.

Thursday – rest

Little man and I were up with the sun and on the road to Legoland with the tickets we had won a few weeks ago. The plan? To spend a crazy day of fun in the park, spend the night, and then continue the party on Friday with Mr PugRunner and little man’s bestie and her parents.

It couldn’t have been more perfect. The weather was cool and overcast. We didn’t wait on a single line. We were able to get through everything, check in to the Legoland Beach Retreat,

and enjoy dinner and a swim in the pool, followed by s’mores.

Friday – rest

After breakfast, we met up with everyone and entered the park for day two.

It was much hotter and slightly more crowded, but it was still an incredibly fun an exciting day. Little man was thrilled to have a buddy with him, and the adults were glad to get a little break from the rides.

At the end of the day, we said our goodbyes. Our friends were sticking around for their second day. Mr PugRunner was going to go visit his father, and little man and I were going to drive home.

When we arrived, our neighbors were having a culdesac party to celebrate the start of summer. Obviously, we couldn’t go to bed with all the fun going on, so we stayed up WAY too late. The highlight of the night was the kids signing karaoke to the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 soundtrack.

Saturday – rest

Although I didn’t set an alarm, we did have plans to meet friends at the beach, so there wasn’t too much relaxing in our future. We picked up subs at Publix, and made our way to one of our favorite  beaches.

We spent almost all day there. The weather was just too beautiful, and the boys had a blast playing. They buried each other in sand, and little man, who is normally extremely cautious, worked up the courage to head out into neck-deep water.

I wasn’t able to get a picture, but dolphins were playing in the was the entire time we were there. It was so amazing.

When we had had enough sun, little man and I went on an adventure to Peace Pie for ice cream sandwiches. It was well worth the walk to enjoy these shortbread cookies stuffed with ice cream and pie filling. I can’t wait to go back.

 

And so that’s how our first days off shook out.

Obviously, there wasn’t much running or working out, but there were plenty of laughs and memories and good times. That’s what matters most.

The week off also did me a little bit of good. I really didn’t like how I felt with al the slacking (intentional or not), so I’m freshly motivated to get back at it with a vengeance. The temperatures are making it difficult, but that’s how summer goes in this state. I’m just going to work with what I have and get it done.

Also coming up? Lots of fun summer races. Sure, they will be sizzles, but they will be incredibly fun!

How was your week in training?

How are you going to spend the first weeks of summer?

run for the pies 5k + recovery at tropical smoothie cafe

This is a sponsored post. I have been compensated for my promotion of Run for the Pies and Tropical Smoothie Cafe. All opinions are my own.

There is a race tradition in Jacksonville. On an evening in June, athletes assemble to Run for the Pies, a 5k sprint through the streets of the city. On June 10, at 7:00 PM (for the Championship 5K; the Open 5K starts at 7:30 PM), be ready to run your heart out in one of the community’s most popular events.

 

This race draws a pretty sizable field, and the atmosphere during and after the run reflect that.

Cash prizes are available to the top three Overall Men and Women in the Championship Race, and pies will be awarded at the finish line to the top 200 runners coming in under 20 minutes for men and 24 minutes for women (while they last)!

And that’s not all! At 8:00 PM, the block party begins with live music and free beer. Not only that, but runners can take part in a pie-eating contest and all registrants are entered to win prizes from 1st Place Sports, including running apparel, shoes and bags!

It promises to be an incredibly fun night, so register online here or in person at any 1st Place Sports location. The registration fee increases on June 1, so get your spot soon!

After this race, don’t forget to treat yourself to something cold and refreshing, like the Island Green Smoothie at Tropical Smoothie Cafe.

This smoothie is packed with greens like spinach and kale, but sweetened with mango, pineapple and banana for the perfect recovery drink. Tropical Smoothie Cafe has plenty of fresh, tasty and healthy smoothies and meals to help keep you on top of your running game this summer.

Will you be earning your pie on June 10?

What’s your favorite Tropical Smoothie Cafe flavor?

 

 

weekly wrap: 5.14 – 5.20

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin!

WeeklyWrap

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!

All good things must come to an end, and so does our jetsetting adventure, at least for a little while.

Sunday – rest

Mother’s Day! Because we had been doing so much and I had been so spoiled, I felt bad asking for anything or scheduling anything specific, so I left it up to the rest of the family. We opted for a pretty low-key day.

After a nice breakfast of donuts and bagels, with some beautiful cards and flowers, we went to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

It was amazing, although perhaps a little too intense for little man.

After that, we met my parents for dinner at a local seafood place, and then went back to our place for ice cream cake.

Monday – rest

Time to get back to real life. Womp womp. It was really hard to walk back into work that Monday and not into the nearest city bagel shop, but the good times can’t last forever.

That night, Mr PugRunner handled karate duties so I could attend some administrative and PTA meetings for little man’s new school. It’s a really bittersweet adventure – I don’t tend to get too emotional about change, but this one is hitting us all hard. Due to zoning, we don’t have much choice in the matter, so it is what it is and we are just going to make the best of it and do everything we can to make it awesome.

Tuesday – 4.5 miles running

I met S for some bridge repeats.

The morning was humid and we were both hating it. I’m glad we did it, but I had a hard time getting my body temperature under control all day. It’s just a reminder to hydrate well and watch my salt intake.

We had our last triathlon club practice that afternoon. We worked on transition and doing a mock run through of the whole thing. It was so cute seeing how far the kids have come over the last few weeks, and I can’t wait to see them in action on the big day.

Wednesday – rest

Wednesdays are turning out to be my quietest day of the week. I’m ok with that.

Thursday –  3.5 miles running, 100 yards swimming, 3 miles cycling

I was feeling a little unmotivated, so I went for a quick, 3.5 mile run. Halfway through, Mr PugRunner texted me to let me know that we had to bring Bentley in to the vet. He’s had some funk going on his ears (but he’s very sensitive to people touching him so it’s been difficult to really assess).

It seems that he had a bit of an ear infection, so he got treatment and medication, and I think we are in good shape. As a reward for behaving so nicely, he got some chicken nuggets.

After school, I brought little man to the pool, were we practiced swimming laps and biking. It was a lovely afternoon together, and I was happy to see him take to the water pretty well after a whole winter out of the pool.

Friday – 275 yards swimming

Yay for lazy-ish Fridays. My big goal for the day was to purchase a bike rack for the car. I’d like to be able to go for couple or family rides in other locations, and there’s just no way for us to transport our bikes at this point. I was successful.

I also purchased a QALO ring. I had been looking at them for a while, but they had a display in the sporting goods store and I decided to go for it. My fingers swell so badly when I run, so the idea of having a silicon ring to wear for races or when I travel on runcations was very appealing. It’s a great solution.

Oh, and there was more time in the pool. Little man did 100 yards, while I went a bit farther. My goggles have been leaking, so it slowed me down just a bit.

Saturday – 4 miles running, 400 yards swimming

Since Mr PugRunner was sleeping, I convinced little man to run a mile with me before continuing on for another three. It was fun to spend that time together, and we had a nice chat while we ran.

After breakfast, we headed over to the pool, and got in some more laps between rain storms.

The rest of the day was spent hanging with friends and just enjoying the beautiful, breezy weather. All the fresh air really did me in, though. I was ready for bed at around 8:30.

 

Well, that seems much less exciting than the last few weeks. The heat, humidity and drought conditions have made it hard to get outside, but at least the pool is there, and we can get a little breeze on the bikes.

This is the last week of school for the year, so we will be caught up with all the festivities and fun that go along with that. It’s been a wonderful year of 3rd grade, and we will be sorry to say goodbye.

How was your week in training?

How is the weather treating you?

race report: ultimate tri

It’s time! It’s time!

So, I’ve been blathering on about doing a triathlon for the past year or so. Everything was on track, until Mr PugRunner threw out a little caveat: he really wasn’t comfortable with the idea of me doing an open water swim.

Womp womp.

I agreed to respect his concerns, but kept looking for the opportunity to register for a sprint tri with a pool swim.

And so, I discovered The Ultimate Tri.

When I mentioned registering, my friend Stacey piped up and said she would go ahead and do it with me. She is always so incredibly supportive and wonderful, and I felt much more confident knowing I would have a buddy there.

Packet pickup was the Friday before the race. I picked up for both of us. We got our bibs, t-shirts and number temporary tattoos. I was literally shaking when I showed up and spent a few minutes talking to the race director, who gave me some really incredible advice.

First, he said to just take my time. He then said that between the setup and the start, we would have time to get in the pool. His suggestion was to get in and do a few easy warm up laps to settle in. That most people hop in and try to hammer it out, exhausting themselves and tanking on the rest of the race. A quick warm up would alleviate those nerves. He also said to be careful on the last stretch of bike, as there was a downhill coming into transition, that could be tricky.

Alrighty then.

I packed my bag on Saturday night. I must have checked it ten times to make sure I had everything. My plan was to wear the speedo bathing suit (and swim shorts) in the pool, and then just pull on the tank and running shorts in transition.

Stacey picked me up early on Saturday morning. We strapped the bikes to the back of her car and made the drive to the Jacksonville Golf and Country Club. When we pulled in, and caught sight of some of the fancy bikes and official tri kits, I started to feel a bit intimidated. This smile is hiding a feeling of abject terror.

We picked up our ankle chips and got ourselves situated. It was my first time racking a bike and setting up transition, and I have to say, I think I did a decent job.

It helped that my bike was at the end of the row, closest to the walkway. Yay for beginners’ luck.

Then it was time for a bathroom run, and to get some pool time. I was thrilled that the pool was heated. With morning temperatures being pretty low, it would have been torturous to get in an unheated pool. Stacey and I found a lane and took on a few nice, easy laps, just as instructed. Immediately, I felt a lot better.

Mr PugRunner and little man arrived and I was really happy to see them before we got going.

And then it was time. We were asked to line up in order of our numbers (except Stacey and I, and some others had been repositioned in the order and were to fill in as instructed at check in) so we could start.

Swim – 300 yard

Swimmers were sent into the pool every 10 seconds. We would swim up one side of the lane, turn, down the other, go under the lane marker and do it again for the entire width of the pool. The race director requested that if we needed to stop for rest, to please grab the next available wall and let others pass, or if we wanted to pass, to tap the foot of the swimmer ahead of us and pass at the wall.

We agreed that Stacey would go in front of me and I would stick right behind her. We were in no rush whatsoever. I just adjusted the length of my stroke to stay right in her wake without hitting her. We passed one swimmer, who then passed us, but then she had to stop again and we went by her.

I felt great. I got a little cramp in my foot in the first few lengths (it always seems to happen), but it passed, and I settled in nicely. When we got to the end of the pool, I felt like I could have kept swimming.

Transition 1

We had to jog a fair distance to T1, which ate up some of our swim time. Boo. I wasn’t really a fan of this part – barefoot running isn’t my thing, especially with the ground being gravelly and gross. However, I dried my feet, got my socks and “cycling” shoes on (I use a pair of very light, non-cushioned Mizuno Wave Catalysts for cycling), pulled on my shorts and tank, got my helmet and shades on and unracked my bike.

Instructions advised us to walk out of transition, so we did.

Cycling – 8 miles

We had pumped our tires before racking the bikes, but I was a little disconcerted when my bike started making a fairly odd sound. Within the first two minutes of the ride, my chain popped off and left me spinning aimlessly.

To be honest, I would have had no idea of what to do if Stacey hadn’t been there. We pulled over, she popped the chain back on (getting a fair amount of grease on her in the process) and we were able to get back to work.

The ride was nice. It was the first day in a while without wind, and I felt great pedaling along. She was right behind me the whole way, which meant we couldn’t chat, but I guess that’s the nature of the sport.

The other thing that was weird was seeing people already starting or completing their run while we were riding, but since we had such a staggered start, it was how things fell out. I think it kept the course from being crowded, which I appreciated.

Transition 2 

We braked down the hill, and walked our bikes back into transition. I just had to swap shoes and put on my visor and we were good to go. I also grabbed a gu for the road. I didn’t know if I would need it, but I wanted to have it just in case.

Run – 3 miles

I’m not going to lie. The run sucked. By this point of the morning, it was humid and sweltering, and I couldn’t get a good lungful of air. Stacey was really patient about it, but I was frustrated. I know that it’s something I deal with, but it never fails to embarrass me on the course. Everything else felt great, but gasping like a fish out of water is never fun or encouraging.

I did what I could. I didn’t attribute this to bad or ineffective training, but more to what the day handed out. I had done plenty of runs off the bike, and while they were never fun, none of them ever felt quite like this. I’m sure it was nerves, relief at being almost done, and the weather.

After what felt like an eternity, we were crossing the finish line, and would you believe it?

I am a triathlete!

We grabbed snack boxes from PDQ (at that moment, it was the most delicious chicken I have ever eaten),

and I was hoping for a celebratory beer, but the line was long and they had run out of cups at the keg, so I figured I would make it up later that afternoon at my friend’s house.

What I loved?

This was a great starter tri. The pool swim definitely led to a more controlled situation, and it was a great way to get one’s feet wet (pun intended). The staggered start helped the bike course from crowding, which was a huge concern of mine. There was plenty of assistance at all stages, and the volunteers were encouraging and helpful.

I also loved having a friend at my side, and seeing Mr PugRunner and little man there. We haven’t been doing as many races together, and I’ve been letting them sleep in on the days when I do have a race scheduled. That being said, it was nice to see them in transitions and at the finish line.

What didn’t I love?

The bike and the run courses measured a little short. On the one hand, it saved me on the run, but on the other, I feel like I need a crack at a redemption course. I also was bummed that there wasn’t any on-course photography. I would have loved some swimming and cycling pictures. Mr PugRunner was there with his phone, for which I’m grateful, but it would be a nice touch going forward.

Will I do it again?

You know, I think I will. Now that I’ve put myself out there, and know that I CAN do it, I kind of want a crack at doing it better. Things like transition are hard to visualize and mentally prepare for, but now that I have done it, I know how to be more efficient and make the most of that time.

Pool triathlons are few and far between, though, so that makes it a bit more challenging to find an encore, but I’ll keep my eyes and ears open.

Have you ever taken on a multi-sport race?

What are your best tips and tricks for triathlons?

weekly wrap: 4.30.17 – 5.13.17

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin!

WeeklyWrap

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!

Brace yourselves. This post incorporates two weeks of some whirlwind travel, training and fun. After little man’s birthday came my 40th, and the boys had quite a surprise in store for me. I’ll try to keep it as short as I can, but there are a ton of great photos to share!

Sunday – 21,714 steps

Magic Kingdom day! There’s really nothing quite like walking down Main Street, especially when you haven’t been in a while.

Our friends had to leave in the afternoon, but we were in for another day. Little man said he wanted to see the fireworks, so I got him to agree to a bit of a break after lunch so we would be rested for a late night.

He loved it.

Monday – 10, 353 steps

After watching “Must Do Disney” in the hotel room (whenever the TV was on), little man decided he wanted to try the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. We didn’t have a fast pass, but I was more than willing to get up early, be one of the first ones in the park, and get right to the line to avoid a long wait.

We packed, checked out and got to the turnstiles right as planned. We made it quickly to the front of the queue, and then my poor guy looked up at me and said “I changed my mind.” I hated that he was so intimidated by the loud music and the screams in the building, but I gave him a big hug, told the cast member we were going to child swap and headed to the exit platform so Mr PugRunner could ride. It worked out fine, and we went on to do all the Star Wars things we could find.

After lunch, we hit one last ride and made the drive home. We were exhausted and happy and had had the best time.

Tuesday – rest

We fell right back into our weekly routine. I was a little stressed because we had some big things happening on the weekend and I only had a few free days to get it all done. However, I buckled down and got to work.

Wednesday – rest

Absolutely nothing to report.

Thursday – Montoya & Associates Corporate Run 5K

I spent the morning running errands, confirming orders and getting things set up for Saturday’s shindig.

That evening, I had a 5K for work. The weather was fairly threatening, and as I drove to the race site I really wasn’t sure if the lightning was going to hold. Fortunately for the runners and involved businesses, the rain clouds cleared and we were good to go.

Friday – rest

It was a quiet day and I confess that I did a lot of cleaning and movie watching.

Saturday – rest

First up was a morning hair appointment.

And then it was party time. I had been planning to keep my birthday very lowkey, but Mr PugRunner wanted it to be special. I had no idea the real surprise he was giving me, and so we planned a bit of a dinner party for some friends. It was really such a beautiful night and I am so grateful for everyone who was with us.

Sunday – rest

Even though it was a late night, I was up early enough. I wanted to make sure everything was in order for Monday. My 40th birthday present was a trip to NYC with a 6AM flight! My parents would be staying at the house, so things needed to be clean, groceries purchased and everything set for little man.

Mr PugRunner assumed responsibility of the more mundane details so I could enjoy brunch

and a performance of Kinky Boots with one of my girlfriends.

It was a fabulous day.

Monday – 19, 675 steps

The alarm rang at 3AM and we got ourselves up and out the door to the airport. I was absolutely beyond excited: New York is one of my favorite cities, and I had some serious plans.

We arrived at JFK pretty much on time, but it took a little while to get to The Paramount Hotel, due to traffic. I was more than ready to be out of the car when it pulled up to the front door, and I was thrilled that our room was ready and we could drop off our bags and freshen up before hitting the Big Apple.

 

Tuesday – 4 miles running, total of 31,065 steps

When the sun rose, I laced up and headed out to run four miles in Central Park in honor of my 40th birthday.

Mr PugRunner was in for quite a day.

We got Dough donuts for breakfast.

And then we cabbed it downtown. My plans were to visit Trinity Church, walk the Brooklyn Bridge and get dessert from the new raw cookie dough place we had been hearing about.

We wore ourselves right out.

We had dinner reservations at Lavo, and it turned out that my brother-in-law was in town for work and could join us! All the walking and fresh air had taken it’s toll and we were pretty exhausted. Dinner was delicious, but there was literally no way we could make a dent in this 20 layer chocolate, peanut butter cake.

Wednesday – 16,747 steps

And, finally, the Big Day had arrived. That night, we had tickets to Hamilton: An American Musical. Oh. Em. Gee. I have been absolutely desperate to see this show, and I couldn’t get a grip. Seriously.

I settled my excitement with a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mr PugRunner really didn’t enjoy it, but it’s something we never do when we visit the city, so I insisted.

We enjoyed an early dinner at a Cantonese restaurant. And then it was showtime.

Guys. It was beyond. I had goosebumps nearly the entire time. I sobbed more than once. I was completely wrung out by the end. It was easily my favorite performance of all time, and while I am so grateful to have had the chance to see it in NY, I was left wanting so much more.

I don’t know how I managed to fall asleep after.

Thursday – 16,406 steps

After the awesomeness of the week, it was really hard to pack up our things and get ready to leave. I was absolutely not to be deterred from enjoying a nice walk, so we made our way to a new shop specializing in booze-infused ice cream.

It was every bit as perfect as it sounds.

And then it was back to the hotel to catch our transportation to JFK. Once again, we lucked out with a flight that was relatively on time, and were back home by about 9PM.

I was so excited to see little man and the pugs, but I confess…. it was hard to leave the city.

Friday – body circuit, 60 minutes

I had lofty plans of staying in PJs and watching TV all day, but my friend/coach caught wind of that plan and told me to come out to her body circuit class, under the guide of sharing about my trip. I wasn’t going to sit there and not work out, so I dove in to some weights. It was good.

That evening, there was an event at little man’s school. The students showcase all their art, while one of the musical groups performs. There are food trucks and and a teacher lip sync battle and a basket raffle.

My mom moved from an area where “tricky trays” are a thing, so she takes the basket raffles very seriously. We bought our tickets and strategized, and dang did we clean up! She won a car wash basket and a laundry basket. We won a Pokemon basket for little man, a baking basket, a game night basket, and a Legoland basket, which included four day passes to the theme park! Score!

Saturday – rest

And finally, a day of rest. We hung out with friends at their pool, and then spent the rest of the night chatting with neighbors in their driveway. It was such a great end to the week.

 

Now, we are back, and I’m trying to catch up with real life. It’s pretty daunting – even getting back on track with blogging seems like a huge task. However, I am devoted to getting on top of everything by the end of the week, before the start of summer!

Coming up? More running, more cycling, and getting back into the gym for strength training. Now that I plan on being home more regularly, I don’t feel like I’m throwing money away on a monthly payment. I definitely walked enough in Manhattan and Disney to compensate for the running sessions on which I slacked, but I want to spend more time on my cross training over the next few months.

How was your week in training?

Do you struggle coming back when your schedule is off.

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