5 reasons not to quit on quitters day

Sunday, January 17 is National Quitters Day, the day that most people are likely to quit their New Year’s Resolutions. I’m here to tell you not to do it! Don’t quit!

You started 2021 with a plan. Maybe you committed to a month of Whole 30. Or perhaps you registered for a gym membership with the idea of working out five days a week. You woke up on January 1, ready to go, and now, two weeks in, you’re tired. You’re sore in places you never thought possible. And, oh, God, you’re so hungry. This isn’t working out, you think to yourself. Maybe it’s time to just give up.

That, my friend, is not the answer!

You’ve Already Come So Far!

Seriously. Quitters Day is January 17 and that’s more than half the month gone! You are so close to locking in longterm, healthy habits, and it would be a shame to let all that hard work go to waste!

quitter's day

You’re Not Going To Feel Better By Quitting

If you give up on Quitters Day (or any day, really), you’re not going to feel better. In fact, whatever your reasons were for starting on your 2021 resolutions, you may even feel pretty down for abandoning those new commitments. If you bit off more than you could proverbially chew, there’s nothing wrong with adjusting your goals and expectations. Try making those changes before quitting entirely.

quitters day

Results Will Come

Results don’t happen overnight. And sometimes, early results aren’t what you expect. Please keep in mind that progress rarely comes via a straight line they don’t happen in a few weeks. Right now, you might be seeing acne or bloat from increased water intake or a drastic change in diet. Your muscles could be so sore it hurts to laugh or raise your arms above your head. To add insult to injury, the number on the scale might have gone up in spite of your best efforts. This is so heartbreaking, but oh, so normal. Remember your “why”, stick with it, and those things will turn around!

You Can Do Hard Things!

Oh, yes you can! You are a beast, a warrior, a fighter, a queen! Sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions is not the hardest thing you’ve ever done, so don’t quit now!

You Will Be So Proud Of Yourself For Sticking With It

You may not realize it right now in this moment, but you are going to feel so darn proud of yourself when you succeed. All you have to do is get through this first month of your new, healthy routine, and that sense of pride will come flooding in. Believe me when I say, it is so worth it.

Need Some Extra Motivation?

Join up with a new challenge, like Conquer Quitters Day with Nuun on Strava. This challenge asks participants to complete eight hours of activity over two weeks, with rewards of a discount code, a Strava completion badge, and of course, bragging rights!

quitters day

Welcome to Fit Five Friday, our new linkup!

We’ve got FIVE incredible co-hosts, and we are ready to link up every Friday to share YOUR weekly fitness favorites! Join My First 5K and MoreRunning With AttitudeRun Laugh Eat PieRuns with Pugs, and Zenaida every Friday for Fit Five Friday! Who’s ready for some fun? 

fit five friday

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How are you going to push through Quitters Day?

5 races to run in 2021

I think everyone is ready for some in-person races to run in 2021 (where safe), and I’ve felt comfortable compiling the start of a calendar again.

In the past, my goal was an average of one race per month, and I am hopeful to resume that. January is already checked off, after our fabulous turn at the New Year’s Rockin’ 5K, and I am ready to look to the future.

5K/8K Superhero Run – February 13

This local (Jacksonville) race changed names, and now comes with a very special Superhero theme. I am excited about the 8K distance to my Races To Run list, because who doesn’t love something new? The course will go along the St. Johns River, meaning pretty scenery, and there will be wave starts to accommodate social distancing. In the event we get cold feet or feel unsafe with the precautions in place, there is a virtual option. Plus, I’m thrilled for a Valentine’s weekend event. The question is, should I dress up according to the superhero theme or no?

races to run

Moo-ve It 5K – March 6

Once again, I am looking at races to run that might be smaller and less popular, which is how I found the Moo-ve It 5K. Located in downtown Jacksonville, the course is urban with a river view, and would be a nice change of pace. So far, COVID-19 protocols have not been outlined, but I expect to see an update soon.

races to run

Race to the Taste 5K – April 25

Race calendars are not looking much further than March right now, so maybe the Race to the Taste 5K would be a good April option. It’s near Anastasia State Park and after the race, participants can enjoy the farmer’s market at The Amp. It’s a wide-open venue, and never too crowded, but worth keeping an eye on.

Best Damn Race Orlando – September 25

Originally slated for March, BDR Orlando moved to my races to run when it switched to September. With everything going on, fall seems like a much more doable time for larger events and travel. Of course, nothing is written in stone, but it’s nice to hope. I love BDR Orlando, because it’s always a fun weekend, with one of my favorite people, Meghan, and because the race always provides such a great experience. Great medals, awesome course, and the best post-party around. Plus, there are three distances (a 5K, 10K and half marathon) plus a 5K + 10K Challenge to mix things up.

races to run

If you want to give it a try, use code RUNSWITHPUGS to save 10% on any of the distances there (or any other BDR city).

Best Damn Race Safety Harbor Weekend – October 16 + 17

I was supposed to run Safety Harbor for the first time in 2020. But then, I broke my leg and it was a complete and total no-go. Sure, it was disappointing, but so be it. Safety Harbor is the origin city of Best Damn Race, and it’s one place I have never visited. It would be so nice to take on a 5K + 10K Challenge or Half Marathon here.

Code RUNSWITHPUGS will save you 10% at this event, too!

Any races, real or virtual, you hope to run in 2021? Any races you plan to avoid?

Join the Runner’s Roundup!

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Click here to enter
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Link up each week to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas. We love having you!

my best books of 2020

Coming up with my best books of 2020 was a bit challenging. 2021 will be way more robust in terms of what I devour, but let’s go ahead and work with what we have.

Even though I am an avid reader, the first few months of the year were a veritable dead zone of literature. With the accident, surgery, meds, and emotional recovery, I was literally unable to focus on anything. Words on a page blurred, ran together, and gave me a headache. There was a time I could barely concentrate on movies and TV, let alone the written word.

It was a sad, sad time.

But I’m back and reading and happy to share My Best Books of 2020! Here they are, in no particular order!

best books of 2020

Where The Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens

Truthfully, I didn’t want to read this book. There was too much hype, and I couldn’t imagine liking it at all, let alone having it end up in my best books of 2020.

Where The Crawdads Sing is masterfully pieced together, and beautifully detailed. I love narration and the characters, even the ones who aren’t particularly likeable.

At the heart, this is a murder mystery, but to solve the crime, readers are treated to rich storytelling and a twisting, turning, looping plot with a stunning twist.

I would 100% read it again.

The Alice Network – Kate Quinn

A librarian friend suggested The Alice Network to me, and at first, I didn’t think I would really be into it. I was wrong.

best books of 2020

Quinn writes of the women who trained to be part of a real-life spy network that infiltrated the enemy in 1915. We follow Charlie St. Clair on her quest to find her missing cousin in Nazi-occupied France, and meet Eve Gardiner, the terrifying and bitter woman she convinces to help her.

Of course, nothing is as it appears, Eve bears her own secrets of a hidden life long ago, and Quinn weaves the fabric of several timelines to follow the narratives of both women on their quest. I couldn’t put it down.

I loved it so much that I asked for The Huntress, another Quinn novel, for Christmas.

Such A Fun Age – Kiley Reid

best books of 2020

This made my list of best books of 2020 after several recommendations from friends. According to Amazon, this “is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.”

In a time when I am trying to expand the authors I read, Such A Fun Age was a great way to start. Reid is a phenomenal storyteller, and presented the perspectives of both protagonists with eloquent clarity. There were many times when I felt pushed out of my comfort zone, and even unsettled by things happening in the plot, but ultimately, things ended in a way that made perfect sense, even if it wasn’t a happy ending for everyone.

The Testaments: A Novel (The Handmaid’s Tale) – Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood has long been one of my favorite authors, and The Handmaid’s Tale one of my favorite books.

With The Testaments, Atwood returns to give us a bit of the next piece of the story of Gilead since we last saw Offred, and what a story it is. Told from the perspective of three narrators (including Aunt Lydia!!!!), readers get first-hand accounts of all the corruption, betrayal, and lies that make up this horrifying, dystopian world.

It didn’t take me long to get through this novel. I was so excited to see how everything would come together in the very satisfying conclusion. Will there be more? Not even Atwood can say for sure, but I would be incredibly pleased to have another chapter in this incredible saga.

So What’s Next?

I have a fairly robust to-read list for the upcoming weeks.

I finished The Stand a few days ago and am moving right along. And yes, I realize there aren’t any running or fitness books, but I’m just not in love with non-fiction. I have such limited reading time that I would rather fill it with beautiful (or grotesque) stories than realism.

Want to keep up with my progress? Follow me on GoodReads!

I am linking up with Kookyrunner and Zenaida this Tuesday for Tuesday Topics!

What are your favorite books of 2020? Have you read any of these?

|week 2| new year, new mindset

Having a new mindset in 2021 really helped to keep things moving along this year. Last week I talked about some new goals, and this week sees me realizing them all!

new mindset

Sunday – 3.77 miles, walking + Plank Challenge Day 3 (extended arm plank)

Good morning and Happy Sunday! Of course, the best way to foster a new mindset is by starting out how you wish to go, so off on a walk I went.

new mindset

Originally, we thought we would get tacos on the beach, but A was asked to help with an Eagle Scout project, so Mr PugRunner and I went on a BBQ date instead. Check out this incredible mural a local artist painted on the side of our favorite joint!

new mindset

Wing murals are my favorite and this was my very first photo with one.

Monday – 4.02 miles, walking + Plank Challenge Day 4 (extended side plank)

Three cheers for Monday! I was super motivated to kick off a return to speed walk. Since I wasn’t sure how my ankle was going to feel with the added running and exertion, I did a mile’s worth of 1/10 mile strides. It wasn’t an earth-shattering workout, but it set the tone for the weeks ahead.

A technically started school this week, but it was another “intro” week. No live lessons, no assignments, and nothing more than getting systems in place for the semester ahead. I hoped to be back on track with virtual school, but it seems we will just have to wait another week.

Tuesday – 5.01 miles, running + 1.83 miles, walking + Plank Challenge Day 5 (knee taps)

On Tuesday, I was very pleased that my ankle wasn’t bothering me from yesterday’s efforts. It made my actual run even sweeter, and gave support to the actions I plan to take with this year’s new mindset.

new mindset

I really like the exercises on the Plank Challenge calendar, but sometimes, my right (injured) foot struggles with the pressure I put on it. On the one hand, this will make me stronger, but on the other, sometimes I have to drop to my knees to make it happen.

new mindset

Wednesday – 4.24 miles, walking + Plank Challenge Day 6 (shoulder taps)

Wednesday started beautifully. I had a great walk, did three, 45-second sets of shoulder taps, and then moved on to errands and a phone call.

new mindset

From there, the day devolved with the appalling attack on our nation’s Capitol. I sat, glued to the TV and to Twitter, in anger, sadness, and disbelief. Obviously, I went to bed too late and slept horribly.

Thursday – 5.01 miles, running + 1.6 miles, walking + 1.88 miles, hiking + Plank Challenge Day 7 (plank up-downs)

This run was beyond necessary, and I was glad to have the distraction of a very full day. My heart is broken for our country, and for those who feel that violence and insurrection is the way to effect change.

new mindset

On the plus side, we had a hike planned, and it was so good to just get it out on the trail. This time, we went to Princess Place Preserve, which was just gorgeous. We took the Creekside Trail, which looped around for just under two miles. Parts were paved, and parts were well-packed trail, so it was nice for beginners.

new mindset

Friday – 4.25 miles, walking + Plank Challenge Day 8 (Friday Flow)

After another restless night, I got up early, and went for my walk.

new mindset

The Plank Challenge Friday Flow was kind of neat. Again, it was three sets of 45 seconds, but this time, there was movement: hold a forearm plank, do two knee taps, raise to high plank, do two shoulder taps, lower, and repeat. It was challenging, but fun.

We were supposed to take my parents for a different hike today, but it was way too damp and raw for my stepdad. After discussing options, we agreed to postpone to another time and met for an outdoor lunch instead (all bundled up). It was so good to see them and celebrate their anniversary.

Saturday – 8 miles, running + 1.46, walking + Plank Challenge Day 9 (tricep pushups)

Another freezing cold day, but the long run must go on. I ran about two miles on my own before I picked up J for another six. It’s time for nine miles. I know I keep saying that, but I mean it this time, and it’s on the calendar for next Saturday.

new mindset

We took a nice day trip to the Barberville Pioneer Settlement, a non-profit historical village museum. A was volunteering with an organization there, and we took the time to browse the grounds and view some of the building and demonstrations.

As the perfect bookend to my week, I found another wing mural! I’m on a roll!


So far, this new mindset of 2021 is bulldozing right through!

I totally crushed it this week. Tons of miles, the start of speedwork, and commitment to my Monthly Challenge.

The weekly hiking plan is fabulous. My friend is picking our next destination, and I’m excited to see what she comes up with.

So proud to announce I am back on Team Nuun for 2021! Nuun is my favorite way to hydrate, and I’m thrilled to represent!

I finished The Stand, and have moved on to Wolf Hall. (Are we connected on GoodReads?). Reading a Stephen King novel about a pandemic during an actual pandemic was both terrifying and surreal, and I tore through 1300 pages.

In household news, I worked on organizing the pantry last week, and will take on the Christmas tree and junk cabinets this week. We also ordered a new hybrid mattress and platform bed. I think testing mattresses is gross in good times, and unfathomable in a pandemic, so we will see how it goes.

Last, but not least, we hope you will join us for the all-new Fit Five Friday!

We’ve got FIVE incredible co-hosts (My First 5K and MoreRunning With AttitudeRun Laugh Eat PieRuns with Pugs, and Zenaida), and we are ready to link up every Friday to share YOUR weekly fitness favorites! We hope you’ll join the fun!

fit five friday
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How was your week in training?

Are you keeping up with a new mindset? Anything special you want to accomplish this week?

5 ways to prioritize your mental wellbeing in difficult times

2021 is off to one hell of a start, and I don’t know how long my mental wellbeing can take it. I managed to power through last year, but I am very much on my last, frayed nerve. Fitness is a great coping mechanism, so I’m sharing the things that help me prioritize and preserve my mental wellbeing.

mental wellbeing

So how can we make our mental wellbeing a priority during these trying times? I admit I find myself turning to fitness and wellness as a solution.

Sweat It Out

When all else fails, a good run always does wonders for my mental health. Not only is it great exercise, but giving myself over to the pumping of arms, legs, and blood helps me put things in perspective. I have never come back from a run and not felt better or more at peace. The same holds true for any kind of workout. Getting your sweat on is a great way to combat feelings of anxiety and helplessness, and clear your mind for difficult feelings and decisions.

mental health

Get Some Sleep

Sleeping is an area in which I struggle so much (insomniac over here!). However, a consistent bedtime routine and ensuring you get enough sleep means the world for good mental wellbeing. Make a commitment to get to bed early, turn out the lights, shut down the screens, and get those 50 winks.

mental wellbeing


I’m not talking about a juice cleanse (although, if that’s your thing, have at it). Instead, detoxify, declutter, and uncomplicate your life. Clean out your refrigerator and pantry. Sort and donate old clothes and household items. Remove yourself from relationships and communities that no longer serve you. Take a break from social media. Sometimes, we just need a fresh space to get our minds right.

mental wellbeing

Find Your Center

Carve out a few moments to do something peaceful, calming, and grounding. Maybe you pull out your mat to practice yoga. Or perhaps you light some candles, close your eyes, and meditate in the peace and quiet. Sketch, journal, read, or build a jigsaw puzzle: anything that takes you away from the daily noise and allows you to find mental wellbeing fits this category.


Ask For Help

This is perhaps the most important thing to remember: it’s ok to ask for help. There is zero shame in needing assistance, and we must remember that in order to be our best selves, our mental wellbeing comes first. Just as we would see a doctor, therapist, or coach to heal an injury or increase our physical strength and efficiency, so we should appeal to the same for the benefit of our mental wellness.

What are some ways you prioritize your mental wellbeing?

|race report| new year’s rockin’ 5k – 1.2.21

The New Year’s Rockin’ 5K was the answer to a Florida runner’s prayer. Holiday races are truly so special to me, and I was stoked to have the chance to register for a 5K centered on the new year.

new year's rockin' 5k

Why This Race?

We had a choice of two New Year’s themed races this year. I didn’t check out the price difference, but I liked the idea that the New Year’s Rockin’ 5K was at a new venue. Also, I was even happier to welcome back a local race company, that had taken a forced year off due to the pandemic. We are so glad to see them back on the scene!

new year's rockin' 5k

Additionally, the race required masks at the start line, and requested runners provide their own water for the course. Individual bottles would be provided at the finish line, but that was it.

Pre-Race + Packet Pickup

No early pickup was available for the race, so we had to get our packets on race morning. Pickup and registration was scheduled from 7:00 – 8:30 AM (race time), so we made our way to the Beachwalk Club and amenity center. We got our packets, which included bibs and technical t-shirts, and had plenty of time to drop them off in the car, as well as use the (real) bathrooms).

The Course

I was super excited to run in a new neighborhood. Beachwalk is a brand new luxury subdivision, boasting a gigantic, crystal lagoon in its center. It’s not entirely finished, but it’s so close.

courtesy of beachwalkclub.com

The 5K was a loop from the amenity center, through the residences, out onto the main highway, and back to the amenity center. Unfortunately, the weather was super uncooperative: it seemed like the headwind was always against us.

However, we pushed on. We started in the middle of the pack, with plenty of room, and held our position throughout the race. With only 80 participants, it wasn’t hard to socially distance. As advertised, there were no water stops, which was fine (I never drink during 5ks), but I missed the visual cue of ticking off distance. At least we could be out there, running.

We pushed through to the finish, and completed the distance faster than our Cottonmouth 5K time! Yay! I was so proud of us.


Obviously, post-race “parties” are a thing of the past, but no one said we couldn’t have mimosas! That’s right, the volunteers happily handed out complimentary mimosas to the runners, and I was so there for it.

new year's rockin' 5k

In addition, the Beachwalk community graciously opened their lagoon and amenity center to the runners. We could explore the area, stay for the farmer’s market, try out the new restaurant, and participate in the polar plunge. While we did take some photos by the beautiful water, we opted to head out for breakfast. The festivities didn’t really start until 11, which was a long time to wait.

new year's rockin' 5k

Excited? Yes. Yes, I was.

new year's rockin' 5k

We finished the morning by picking up coffee and breakfast at Starbucks. The irish cream cold brew was the perfect complement to my mimosa.

And then it was home to warm up.

Join the Runner’s Roundup!

Link up each week to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas. We love having you!

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|week 1| fresh start for the new year

It’s a fresh start for the new year and I am so happy to be here for another year of fitness and growth with you all!

I have a lot of plans for 2021, and can’t wait to get started. Who’s with me?

Let’s go!

Sunday – 3.8 miles, walking

I was so excited to test out my new Brooks Adrenaline 21s! Since I had new inserts, too, I opted to break them in on a walk rather than a run. They felt great! And look how pink and bright they are! Color doesn’t matter, but a fresh start just feels better with super bright shoes.

fresh start

Monday – 3.5 miles, walking

There was no time to spare on Monday. I popped out of bed for my walk (yes, it was freezing, again!).

fresh start

And then I headed over to one of the high schools to spend an hour working with my friend on The Rookie Project. It’s a program designed to serve developing athletes from ages 2-8, and I am excited to be a part of it. For an hour, we coached little ones through team work, follow the leader, and Simon Says (all outside, masked, and distanced). I have a meeting next week to discuss what’s to come! I love having a fresh start to some things that will inspire growth in myself and others!

the rookie project

I also got the fun news that my piece, Moms of Tweens: How To Know If You’re In The Club, was #8 of the Top Ten Posts of 2020 on St. Augustine Moms!

Tuesday – 5.01 miles running + 1.64 miles walking

Time to run! J and I have settled nicely into five miles during our weekly runs, with long walks to follow. I am all about it.

I made a day of running errands in advance of Mr PugRunner’s birthday. He really gets a fresh start every year, with his January 1 birthday! In addition, I got to test out a sweet new bra and tank from POWWFUL. It’s so perfect for yoga, and I’ll share more on Instagram this week!


Wednesday – 3 miles, walking + 2.15 miles, hiking

Getting closer to that new year, and I was so excited to get outside for a nice walk. It was still cool, but not too bad.

From there, I had just enough time to change and load up the car for our hike! I love the idea of weekly hikes, and hope that I can stick with it, as long as the weather cooperates. This time, we headed out to the Pioneer Trail in Jennings State Forest. It was beautiful, but incredibly primitive (well marked and and maintained, but no bathrooms or facilities). We even saw bear and wildcat prints!

Thursday – 5 miles, running + 1.81 miles, walking

New Year’s Eve! I loved wrapping up the year with a 5 mile run.

I worked on baking a cake for Mr PugRunner, and then we just enjoyed the evening with champagne and fireworks in the culdesac. Cheers to a fresh start, in all the ways.

Friday – 3.6 miles, walking + Plank Challenge Day 1 (forearm planks)

Happy New Year!

I rolled out of bed, very ready to get started on all the things! My word of the year is RECLAIM, and I am very committed to it.

Of course, I handled my walk first, and then dug right into my 30-Day Plank Challenge (3 sets of 45 second forearm planks).

We celebrated Mr PugRunner’s birthday with an outdoor dinner at one of his favorite restaurants, and he was so happy for that. He was also thrilled with a new set of knives and Air Pod Pros.

Saturday – New Year’s Rockin’ 5K + Plank Challenge Day 2 (side planks)

Starting 2021 with a 5k felt so right. J and I found an event with super low registration, at a brand new venue, and great protocols for runner safety. I don’t know if I am going to be able to swing an in-person race very month, but this is a great, fresh start!

fresh start

I’ll share my recap on the Runners’ Roundup on Wednesday! We would love to have you join us with your running-related posts!


I am pretty thrilled to have such a solid start to all my goals this year. I can already see that hydration will be my sticking point, but I plan to crack down on Monday.

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How was your week in training?

Do you feel like you’re getting a fresh start to the year?

reclaim: my word of the year

Happy New Year! It’s that special time to turn a new page and pick a word of the year. A word that will define our choices, actions, and goals for the next 365 days.

word of the year

I am not usually one to choose a word of the year. In truth, I had a big year of overcoming huge hurdles, in the form of rehabbing from my broken leg, and dealing with the pandemic.

However, “reclaim” is my word. I was hoping for something more exciting, but this is what resonates.

There are a lot of undesirable states in my life right now. It’s time for me to reclaim them and get back to myself!

word of the year
photo: Julia M.

Reclaim My Parenting Mojo

In the face of everything, I have been a less than effective mother. I own it. Am I alone in saying that everything was just so hard and overwhelming? While A has been an absolute rockstar, rolling with every punch and curveball, handling virtual school and the loss of normalcy. He has also had so many challenges, disappointments, and letdowns this year. He is not the only one struggling, which is why I have eased up on rules, screen time, and pushing him to do things he doesn’t want to do. It’s not doing him any good, though, and embracing my word of the year (and a lot more patience), means being a better mom. I love this kid so fiercely, and he deserves the best of me.

word of the year

Reclaim My Role As Partner

I don’t often share super personal things here, and our marriage is fine (coming up on 15 years!), but I need to reclaim being a good wife. We have not had too many independent outlets over the past year, which leads to more nagging, less communication, and general irritations. We can do better, and I intend to make good on my word of the year to improve.

Reclaim My Creativity

Arts, crafts, and creativity are my favorites and in 2020, I had a hard time finding inspiration. For the first part of the year, my focus was solely on PT and adapting to the pandemic, and then I was just too tired and numb to really start making beautiful things again. Heck, I couldn’t even rise to the occasion of preparing yummy meals! In 2021, I plan to really dig deep into my word of the year. and get back to my creative nature. I am much more confident with my Cricut vinyl cutter, and I have felt the urge to start writing again. Time to make it happen!

word of the year

Reclaim My Love of Learning

Learning is such a love of mine, but in the past year, I just didn’t have the bandwidth for a lot of new information. I was a lump, watching way too much bad TV and scrolling through Twitter. If I stay true to my word of the year, I will be doing a lot more reading and filling my brain with useful (andmaybe not so useful knowledge). Want to join me on GoodReads? Click here!

word of the year

Reclaim My Sense of Self

Hello, anxiety, my old friend. 2020 opened the door to so much fear, doubt, and a loss of self. I worried about EVERYTHING, and that’s not really like me. Afraid to go out, afraid to stay in, afraid to test myself, afraid of being alone, and afraid of being with others, I feel like I lost all the things it took me so long to find. Enough of that! It’s time to reclaim myself and enjoy what I can within the limitations we now face! I’ve started with my plan to take a weekly hike on different local trails, and I intend to continue finding things that test my boundaries and help me find better versions of me.

photo: Julia M.

Do you have anything you’d like to reclaim?

Even if reclaim isn’t your word, are there any undesirable states from which you’d like to rescue yourself?

word of the year
photo: Julia M.

Do you have a word of the year? How are you moving forward into 2021?

who’s ready for a january challenge?

On Friday, we will ring in the new year, which means it’s time to take on a January challenge! I’m not going to pretend that 2021 is going to change everything, but it is a time to renew, refresh, and restart.

january challenge

Run The Year Virtual Running Challenge

Perhaps the most popular January challenge, at least for runners, is the one offered by Run The Year. The intent is for each athlete to complete 2,021 miles over the course of the upcoming year, but there are options for 500, 1000, or 1500 miles as well. Registration ranges from $30 to $60, offering a minimum of a mobile-friendly mileage tracker, optional private Facebook group, and branded mileage guide, all the way up to a RTY t-shirt, medal, legacy coin, and passport with stickers.

January challenge

Ragnar 31 Day Challenge

I’ll be taking part in Ragnar’s January challenge with my local She Runs This Town chapter this year. This 31 Day Challenge is only $5, and offers a way to log daily activities, compete among your teammates, and earn Ragnarian bragging rights. Participants can also purchase optional swag, and opt in to motivational texts, increasing the fun!

January challenge

Strava Fresh Start Challenge

When I was sidelined, I didn’t focus a lot of attention on Strava, but this year, I’m joining a few of their challenges, including the Fresh Start January Challenge. The goal is to log 30 total hours of activity this month, and in return, athletes earn a digital badge in their trophy case. Obviously, my main focus is always running, but almost every form of activity or workout is eligible for the grand total, which should motivate me to branch out. Want to be friend on Strava? You can find me here!

january challenge

Make-Your-Own January Challenge

For the first month of the year, I’m going to cobble together my own challenge. In August, I took on a wellness challenge, and I really liked ticking off daily activities on the calendar. There are some things I definitely want to work on for this month, including

  • running three days a week
  • adding one day of speed work
  • drinking more water (surprise)
  • reading at least 30 minutes a day
  • spending more time building Runs With Pugs
  • dedicating more time to strength and stretching

From there, I think I will add in a plank or pushup challenge, like this.

January challenge
courtesy of Shape

I don’t expect 2021 to have any kind of magical beginnings. We are still deep in the throes of the pandemic, political chaos, and so much anxiety. Clearly, that’s not going to disappear, but I still want to do my best to stay on track and set some realistic goals to distract me from the difficulties we continue to face.

Are you taking on a January Challenge?

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week 52: the last week of a bizarre year

Here we are! The last week of 2020! I don’t know if that’s going to be a good thing or a bad thing, but I am very hopeful that 2021 bring with it so many amazing things, and a shift. Truly, I need to believe better things are coming. It’s the only thing that’s getting me through.

Sunday – rest

I took two rest days this week, with Sunday being the first. Normally, I skip rest days altogether, but I just didn’t feel like setting the alarm, getting up, or being productive. Instead, we went to try a new donut shop, and it was absolutely the right call. Sometimes, a breakfast date is just the answer.

We had a few errands that took up the bulk of our afternoon and then we hunkered down with some Christmas movies. I love these holiday nights. I really do.

Monday – 3.78 miles, walking

Christmas week and I wanted to start strong! Oh, yeah!

I did some last minute Target pickup, and also started to secretly organize for wrapping. We also needed to get a jump start on the cookies. There is always something going on during Christmas.

Also, we decided to have a day of pet cleaning. I washed all the beds and bedding, and the critters, themselves.

Tuesday – 5 miles running + 1.74 miles walking + 2.30 miles, hiking

This was a busy day on the fitness front. First, we headed out for a morning run, and yes, it was cold again. It was also stupidly humid and my legs were so heavy. Boo.

Some friends met up with us at the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens. Now that it’s not quite so hot, I hope to go on more hikes during the week.

These trails were particularly gorgeous, and we got in a few miles on the available loops.

I am excited for our next hiking destination.

And cheers to ugly sweaters!

Wednesday – 3.80 miles, walking

It’s Festivus for the rest of us! Festivus is the annual airing of grievances and feats of strength! I didn’t have any grievances (surprisingly), but I was happy to try my strength with this side plank.

The boys went out that afternoon, and I took the opportunity to wrap, wrap, wrap!

Thursday – 5 miles, running + 2.15 miles, walking

Happy Christmas Eve!

We started the day with a solid run. It was warmer than Tuesday, but not unbearably so.

The rest of the day was dedicated to pre-cooking a french toast casserole, breakfast sausage balls, and stuffed shells, as well as decorating cookies. I also complied with A’s wishes to make hot chocolate bombs. Mind you, I didn’t have the proper mold, but I did what I could. Click here to watch them melt.

For dinner, we had our traditional Chinese food buffet. It was a bittersweet evening, because usually, my parents join us, but we made the best of it.

We scooted A off to bed, and got to work placing presents under the tree.

Friday – rest

Merry Christmas!

I took off from all activity for the day. The day before had worn me out and I was more than happy to lounge about. A woke up at 5:45 AM, but I held him off until about 7:00 and then it was time for presents!

It was a beautiful day. We enjoyed all our presents, and lots of delicious food.

Also, we were able to enjoy a socially distanced time with my parents, which made the day even better. We are so grateful for these moments.

Saturday – 8.0 miles, running + 1 mile, walking

We woke up to a temperature of 28 degrees! WHAT! Normally, I would say “nope” but I didn’t want to wait until Sunday. Once we were out there, it wasn’t terrible.

I confess to being a complete lump for the rest of the day. I did go through some old clothes for donation, and I plan on cleaning out some cabinets in the kitchen, but that’s about it.


Even with two rest days, I’m pretty proud of the week, and the month. I have totaled about 133 miles to date, with more to come. I’m also looking forward to a 5K on Saturday, January 2, to ring in the new year. It feels like a great way to start 2021.

Coming up this week, I’ll be sharing more about goal-setting, how proud I am of A, and planners. It’s going to be a good week.

I am linking up with the Weekly Rundown, with Confessions of A Mother Runner and Running on the Fly! Check them out!

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How was your week in training?

What do you have coming up before the end of the year?

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