weekly wrap: 8.5.18 – 8.11.18

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 – 4.91 miles, city walking
Monday – arm challenge (5 pushups + tricep dips, 10 curls + punches)
Tuesday – 8 miles, running + arm challenge (8 pushups + tricep dips, 15 curls + punches)
Wednesday – arm challenge (10 pushups + tricep dips, 20 curls + punches)
Thursday – 6 miles, running
Friday – arm challenge (12 pushups, 15 tricep dips, 30 curls, 25 punches)
Saturday – arm challenges (15 pushups, 20 tricep dips, 40 curls, 30 punches)

I am writing this blog post from the comfort of my big armchair. Little man is at school. Mr PugRunner is at work. I have a few pieces to write and social media graphics to design, and I would like to check out my new community gym. But that’s about it.

A blogger could get used to this.

Sunday – 4.91 miles, city walking

And we bring it back to DC. A is an unapologetic breakfast lover, so we had epic brunch plans. Even with call ahead, we ended up waiting almost three hours for our meal (which was good, but not three hours good). I had snagged half a bagel at the house, but was feeling terrible and nauseous by the time we got food in front of us. Ugh.

Before we had to go to the airport with two of our group, we parked near the National Mall and did a few hours exploring the Smithsonian Museums.

They all offer free admission, so it was really a no-brainer. We wanted to try the Museum of Natural History, but the line was around the block, so we opted for the National Art Gallery instead.

Can you guess why this was my favorite painting?

We also walked through the National Art Gallery Sculpture Garden and even took a moment to visit the Constitution and Declaration of Independence in the National Archives.

The whole day was just breathtaking and overwhelming. To be in the presence of so much beauty and history is nothing short of a privilege. I cannot wait to return with the family.

Monday – arm challenge

We had an early morning flight, and made it home right around lunchtime. It was so good to see my boys again.

Of course, we got home and resumed normal operation again: karate, helping out neighbors and the like. I also got in my arm challenge of five pushups, five tricep dips, ten bicep curls and ten seconds of punches. I always think these challenges start really easily, and consider skipping ahead to the bigger numbers, but figured I would try to start at the beginning and make it through 30 days.

Tuesday – 8 miles, running + arm challenge

It felt so amazing to run that I just went for the eight. M tagged along for the last two miles, and while we complained, we were both glad we did it.

For the arm challenge, I moved up to 8 pushups and tricep dips, 15 bicep curls and 15 seconds of punches.

Little man and I went to the school for “Helping Hands” – it’s a service our PTA provides to teachers to help with things like laminating, cutting, collating, and doing small projects. We do it weekly, but we also offer it before schools starts to help with their classroom setup. It took us a few hours, but we got it all done.

That evening was kind of a big deal. Little man and one of his denmates had been asked to give a speech at an awards dinner hosted by the BSA.

It was a last minute request, but they rose to the challenge. It was a long night since they had to be at the venue early to practice and then be a part of the evening’s festivities. I may be biased, but they did an amazing job at something that was way out of both their comfort zones. Not to mention, it was great public speaking practice.

Wednesday – arm challenge

Before heading out, I hit my obligation of 10 pushups and tricep dips, 20 bicep curls and 20 seconds of punches.

We had a date with a friend and her daughter to go to a sea turtle lecture at one of our local state park. The park offers these talks fairly regularly, included with your admission/parking fee.

It was very educational, and we ended the morning with some time on the beach, enjoying the sun and the tide pools.

Afterwards, it was time to get school on the mind. I had helped drive boxes of tshirts and swag over to the school to get set up for orientation the next morning. It was going to be a long and busy morning, but we got as much of the prep done on Wednesday night so we would be ready.

Thursday – 6 miles, running 

S and I got up extra early to fit in our run before Orientation. We were at the school at 7:00 AM to get the final details handled, and by the time the doors opened at 8:00, we were ready. The PTA staffed tables signing people up for memberships, as well as selling field trip shirts, spirit shirts and things like car magnets, bows and other kinds of swag.

In the meantime, little man would take over the Cub Scouts recruitment table with a couple of the other leaders in another part of the hall. I am so proud of how much he has matured over the summer and how he is so reliable stepping up to help where needed.

Before that, however, Mr PugRunner and he took the school supplies up to his new classroom to meet his teacher. We are so excited for this year, and know that he will have a great one.

When Orientation was over, little man had a Safety Patrol meeting to check in and get his post for the first month of school. We then had to go on a whirlwind trip around town: we had to pick up cake pops, grab some last minute outfits for school, have lunch, and treat ourselves to one last summer dessert.

Friday – arm challenge

It had arrived: the last first day of elementary school for my son. Nope. I didn’t cry. Not at all.

I got to the school early to set up the welcome committee and Mr PugRunner followed with little man to get him to his post on time. He was also tapped to bring out and hoist the American flag with another patrol, which was so amazing to watch.

Once the kids got in position, the ladies and I took up our spots near the exit of the parking lot: we had gotten a generous donation from Dunkin and were handing out donuts to the parents leaving after drop off. It was a huge surprise for them, and mostly everyone loved it!

I wanted nothing more than to go home and nap, but I had to do my arm challenge (12 pushups, 15 tricep dips, 30 curls, and 25 seconds of punches). I was glad when it was over. When little man got home, the boys wanted to go to the pool, so I agreed to join them for tacos at Food Truck Friday and then get home to finish up some work. I was grateful for that little bit of family time, but even more grateful for bed.

Saturday – arm challenge

S and I had planned to run, but when the alarm rang, we both agreed to postpone to Sunday. I couldn’t get over how tired we were! The arm challenge had to go on, though, so 15 pushups, 20 tricep dips, 40 curls, and 30 seconds of punches. Done.

We had our Cub Scouts end of summer pool party, and while I was still tired, we ended up having a blast. The pack provided pizza and drinks and parents brought desserts, and we splashed and chatted and hit up the water slide and generally had a great time.

That evening, we rented Ready Player One and snacked on leftover pizza on the couch. Perfection.

 

Guys, this has been a crazy summer. I’ve loved every second of it, but I am really in need of some of the routine that the school year brings. It’s bittersweet that little man is a fifth grader now and ruling the school, but we are so proud of how he has grown and of the young man he has become. I definitely feel like we might be doing something right.

Workouts were good. I didn’t get in as many running miles as I would have liked, but the addition of the arm challenge was a good move for cross training, and I think I am still tracking well for the 1000 in 2018 challenge I have set for myself.

I also need to get a race on the books for August. We were hoping to run the Stadium Challenge this past Saturday but time got away from us and I just didn’t want to squeeze in one more thing. I have another race in mind, but it would be out of the comfort zone. That being said, it’s one I haven’t done before, so what the heck?

How was your week in training?

Do you prefer races that are familiar, or that test your limits?

 

 

weekly wrap: 7.29.18 – 8.4.18

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 – 6 miles, running
Monday – 8 miles, running
Tuesday – rest
Wednesday – 8 miles, running
Thursday – rest
Friday – 6 miles, running
Saturday – 6 miles, city walking

It was a travel week for m, which also meant lots of hustling to get everything taken care of before leaving town for the weekend.

Sunday – 6 miles, running

Since I had missed running on Saturday, I had to make up for it today and went for six.

While the boys were finishing up their camping trip, I took a drive to Daytona to meet up with Meghan for a belated birthday lunch on the beach. It has been way too long since we got to hang out and it was great to catch up.

Monday – 8 miles, running

I don’t know exactly what got into me, but eight miles felt right.

This is the last week of vacation before school starts, and I was very hopeful to be able o have some downtime before the big rush.

Tuesday – rest

We all slept in a wee bit, which was fabulous.

It was a lovely way to celebrate Harry Potter’s Birthday!

In the afternoon, little man had a birthday party at a pottery painting place. The party had an emoji theme, so you can probably guess how many “poop” items were decorated that day.

Wednesday – 8 miles, running

Again, eight didn’t feel unmanageable, so I went for it.

The day was dedicated to errands: we collected lots of copies from around town and I started collating them for a variety of back to school events. In the evening, we had a Meet + Greet with our new principal. Since I am VP of the PTA, I was on hand for some of the setup, and stayed until the conclusion. It was a great night and I think we are in for a wonderful 5th grade year.

Also, check out the new wall art we had made! I think it’s perfect!

We had dinner with the PTA president and her family, and then our boys had an impromptu sleepover. This week is back to school hours, so they have to get in as much fun as possible.

Thursday – rest

After I picked up little man, I had a few errands to run to prepare for my trip and back to school, and then little man had a playdate at our house with a neighbor and classmate. They hung out at our house for bit while I made an egg casserole for a school event, and then we switched houses while I helped with some of the decor for that same event.

Friday – 6 miles, running

I wasn’t able to make the morning’s Welcome Back Teacher breakfast before my flight, but I was able to throw down a few super early miles with S.

I showered, finished packing and the boys took me to the airport. A few of my girlfriends and I were embarking on a secret mission to surprise our expecting friend in DC.  The flight was delayed, but we managed to make all the adjustments on our arrival end and got into DCA without tipping her off. Her wonderful husband, who had been engineering everything on his end, picked us up from the airport, brought us back to the house, and she walked in to find us all casually sitting in her living room, ready for an epic girls’ weekend..

Surprise!

We had every intention of chilling out all weekend, snacking and watching movies and chatting, but the mom-to-be had other plans. Her hubby had set up a few things for us, and so we started by going to the movies (The Spy Who Dumped Me) and then getting dinner and drinks at The Yard House.

We came home to watch I Feel Pretty in pjs and then turned in because she said she wanted to use Saturday to play tourist in DC.

Saturday – 6 miles, city walking

We had breakfast at the house, and took the metro into the city. We disembarked at the Smithsonian stop, got a quick snack from the food trucks,

and went to all the National Mall sights, including the Washington Monument, the White House, Capitol Hill, the WWII and Korean War Memorials, the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial.

By that time, we were hungry and Ubered to Georgetown for lunch. We also wanted Georgetown Cupcakes, but we were full and ended up having to take those home with us for later.

Back at the house, we shilled out with another movie, and takeout Mexcian food from Taco Bamba. I had the most incredible nachos and could have easily eaten twice as many.

Once again, we stayed up way too late, chatting and catching up on lost time, and it was totally worth it.

 

It was a busy week, with a phenomenal ending. I missed the boys, but it was really good to get out of town and spend some time with dear friends, too. I am very grateful for these incredible friendships, and am so happy to be part of these special memories.

How was your week in training?

Have you ever pulled off a surprise visit?

weekly wrap: 7.22.2018 – 7.28.2018

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 – 5 miles, running
Monday – rest
Tuesday – 7 miles, running
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – 7 miles, running
Friday – rest
Saturday – 1.25 miles, stand up paddleboard

July is coming to a close. Can you believe it? Furthermore, we go back to school on August 10, so everything is in full planning mode. We got a bit of crazy news: even though our school has only been open for one year, we are getting a new principal! It was a bit of a shock (and we wish our old principal best of luck in the next phase of his journey), but obviously, it’s one more stressor to the year. Stay tuned on that.

Sunday – miles, running

I woke up, raring to go on Sunday. It promised to be a crazy day.

First, five miles of running.

I rushed home to make breakfast for the family. It was the first day of Shark Week, and I wanted to make it special.

And then it was time for one of the hardest things I’ve ever done: dropping little man off at Webelos Resident Camp. He would spend  Sunday afternoon through Wednesday morning at a Scout-specific camp, about 90 minutes from our home. We would not be camping with him, nor would we have any contact with him (unless there was some kind of emergency) until we saw him again on Wednesday. While there, he would be earning two of his Arrow of Light Adventures, as well as two Electives, and would also participate in archery, BB guns, swimming. climbing the rock wall, crafts and campfire programs.

The weather was absolutely awful when we checked in and made our way to his campsite, but he had a poncho and a great attitude, so we got him set up in a tent and headed home.

It was absolutely insane not being able to know what he was doing or how he was feeling, and I couldn’t relax the slightest little bit, not even with a cocktail.

Monday – rest

It was a rough night – I didn’t sleep well, and neither did Molly. When the alarm went off, I didn’t really think twice about bailing on the planned run. I just didn’t have it in me.

It was a long day. I watched some Shark Week shows and worked on some Scout stuff for next year, but mostly just worked on keeping myself distracted.

By the evening, Mr PugRunner broke down and messaged the camp. Apparently, the weather had been awful with high winds and storms, and he just wanted reassurance that everyone was ok. The Camp Director was very gracious and let us know that the kids were fine and adjustments had been made to keep them safe during the bouts of bad weather. It would have been nice to chat with little man, but I felt a little better after the communication.

Tuesday – 7 miles, running

I had a lot of pent up, nervous energy, so seven miles seemed reasonable.

That evening, it was out with some girlfriends to Treylor Park. It was really good to see them both and catch up. And I was more than happy to devour this Grilled Apple Pie sandwich (cheddar, crispy bacon and cinnamon apples). Yum.

Wednesday – rest

It was pickup day!!!!!! We had to be at the camp by 9:00 AM, and I could not WAIT to get on the road.

We arrived, got to the office, and one of the counselors brought him out to us. I think he probably grew two inches during the last few days.

He chattered the entire hour-long ride to IHOP (we figured he would be ravenous and figured a huge breakfast of pancakes would do the trick). He made some new friends, learned lots of cool stuff, and even though he was a little homesick, he got through it. We couldn’t have been more proud.

Thursday – 7 miles, running

Seven felt good again. Due to the heat and humidity, our pace has really suffered. If I can’t go faster, the plan is to go longer.

Afterwards, little man went to his friend’s house and I went with S to meet the new principal. Any concerns about the transition disappeared pretty much immediately. It’s going to be a great school year.

I had also promised him that we would look into a real hiking backpack for future camping trips. He does plan to continue into Boy Scouts after he completes the Cub level, which means more trips on his own. We ended up at REI, where he had an entire pack fitting! We walked out with an Osprey Ace 50, which will apparently last him through high school.

Later that evening, we had our first official PTA Team Meeting. We had a yummy dinner, got to know one another a little better, and talked about our ideas, the calendar, and the next few upcoming events. We also got little goodie bags with our volunteer t-shirts and name tags. I especially love the quote on our shirts.

It’s a fabulous group of women and it’s going to be an incredible year.

Friday – rest

Obviously, I stayed up way past my bedtime and was looking forward to a little bit of a sleep in on Friday morning. However, the boys were getting a bit of an early start – they had a camping trip planned with another dad and his son.

Also on the agenda? Taking Bentley to the vet. He’s been getting awful ear infections, and over the past few days, another one cropped up that was causing him quite a bit of discomfort. I had an afternoon appointment for him, and I was a little nervous about it. First, it’s always nerve-racking when a pup is older and you never know quite what’s going on, and second, he’s not particularly in love with me handling him, so getting him in and out of the car and the office was going to be a challenge.

We all headed out in different directions. Bentley proved to be very compliant, and the diagnosis is infection and ruptured ear drum. We won’t have the culture results until Tuesday, and we briefly discussed food allergies as a possible cause. So, he’s on a topical treatment, oral antibiotic and pain medication and a brand new salmon kibble. He’s feeling much better.

Saturday – 1.2 miles, stand up paddleboard

I didn’t have the most restful night, and slacked on the running front. Whoops.

My plan was to meet the boys at their campsite for a little while, and then take care of all Bentley’s medications in the afternoon. It was so hot, so we first enjoyed a shaded bike ride to the adjacent Farmer’s Market (which we need to do more often), where we scored these gorgeous cherries.

And then we rented some kayaks and SUPs and took them out on the inlet.

The wind was picking up, but it was a beautiful day on the water, and I was so happy to find out that even though I haven’t been on a board all summer, I was still really comfortable.

We had lunch together and then it was back home for some pug-nursing.

 

This week was definitely full of learning experiences for all of us. While I loved seeing little man be so independent and have the opportunity to explore and do things completely on his own, it was so stressful letting it happen. He was totally ready, although he did confess to missing us, and he said that he wants to do it again, but only after camping with us some more, too. Fair enough, little buddy.

I am also really looking forward to our neighborhood gym opening up next weekend. While it won’t have a ton of equipment, there will be enough for some cross training moves, and it will be so incredibly convenient.

As tomorrow is the last day of July, I’m proud to point out that I am wrapping up the month with 87.17 miles out of my planned 80 and I am at about 610 miles out of 1000, with five months to go. It’s definitely a boost to the ego, and I’m going to ride the wave.

How was your week in training?

Shark Week? Yay or nay?

Have you ever experienced sleep away camp (as a child or as the parent of a child who went)? How was it for you?

 

weekly wrap: 7.15.2018 – 7.21.2018

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 – 4.37 miles, running
Monday – 6 miles, running
Tuesday – rest
Wednesday – 6 miles. running; 300 abs
Thursday – rest
Friday – 7 miles, running
Saturday – rest

There was a lot going on this week. Little man was back in some camp activities, we wanted to hang out with my parents a little, and there were some more Springs adventures to be had. Let’s take a look.

Sunday – 4.37 miles, running

Usually, I shoot for that even number, but I had a bit of a tummy issue and so I hightailed it for home. I haven’t had GI issues in a while, so I wasn’t too upset.

Some of the girls and I made a run to a new craft donut place: Fiction Donuts. These are, of course, different from all the other places, and I”m not really sure which ones are “the best”. I really loved the Boston Cream and the Berry Goat Cheese, and I loved that the flavors were a little more simple than some of the other places. Sometimes, I just want a plain-ish donut.

After lunch, I went to a PTA planning meeting while the boys went to go hang with some friends. I can’t say it enough: I can’t believe school is starting soon!

Monday – 6 miles, running

I started the day with a good run with friends.

Little man had his first day of Apple camp, with a theme of creating music in GarageBand. I love the free Apple camps – the kids spend three days at 90 minute sessions learning things like coding or animation or music making, and at the end of their week, they create a “final project.” It’s engaging and educational and such a great service from a brand I love so much.

When he was done with his first lesson, we grabbed drive-thru lunch and drove to meet one of my friends and her boys for a pool afternoon. We hadn’t seen them in a while, so they had fun.

And then it was pretty much straight to karate.

We do Mondays like it’s our job.

Tuesday – rest

S and I had been looking to do another Springs day and we settled on Juniper Springs in the Ocala National Forest. It was a bit of a different experience – the park is literally in the middle of nowhere, so we were completely off the grid as far as directions and other forms of contact. Yikes.

This park included a beautiful hiking trail, as well as a swimming hole. We were able to snag a picnic table near the swimming area, and then enjoy the boardwalk hike. We saw plenty of spiders and butterflies, as well as a tree lizard, a skink and a green snake!

By that point, the weather was warming up and we were ready for the cold Springs water.There was some snorkeling and lots of splashing and playing.

Unfortunately, the rain drove us out a little after lunch, so we called it a day.

Wednesday – 6 miles, running

Another solid run.

And then back to camp. This time, the kids used GarageBand to create their own cover of the Pharrell song “Happy.” It was really crazy to hear how many different variations they made.

We did a little more back to school shopping and picked up some last minute items for little man’s upcoming Scouts camp. It would be time to start packing for that, as well.

Thursday – rest

My parents asked if we could get together and we decided to spend the morning at Top Golf. It had been a few years for us and they had never been. We made an early reservation and everyone had a blast. Little man really had some great shots, and it might be time to start thinking about getting him golf lessons.

We had lunch together and then parted ways. I was ready for a chill afternoon and little man wanted to play with his neighborhood friends. Also, we were in the process of having our roof replaced. There was a terrible hail storm a few months back and it did a great deal of damage to a lot of the homes (and cars) in our area. Fortunately, that damage was covered, so I was beyond happy to be getting all those new shingles. Obviously, this makes me officially old and boring, but it has made a huge difference to the house, and I love it.

Friday – 7 miles, running

I took advantage of feeling great to make it my long run day and logged seven miles. Whoo hoo.

The three of us went to the final session of Apple camp and little man’s musical creation was awesome! (I posted it on Instagram if you want to check it out).

We celebrated with some Buffalo Macaroni & Cheese at Noodles & Co. It’s one of his favorites.

That evening, we had some really cool plans: the Rock the Block Gummy Fest at Sweet Pete’s Candy.

We started with reservations at the attached Candy Apple Cafe, and then worked our way through seven gummy stations, crafts, lollipop making and an outdoor party area with live music, bounce houses and this rodeo shark.

Despite the rain (which cleared fairly quickly), it was a blast!

Saturday – rest

Since little man had so much fun roller skating last week, we took him to one of the lessons  at the rink to get him more comfortable. He did well and we are hoping to try him on his roller blades again soon.

That afternoon, we had a pool party for one his friend’s sisters, and then the rest of the evening was spent packing frantically for his three day camping trip. This is first time doing something like this and I wanted to make sure he had everything he would need.

 

I am thrilled with the last week. We had so much fun, did so many cool things, and I got in lots of miles, too. The summer humidity is definitely sapping my motivation, though. I need to work on my mental game a bit.

How was your week in training?

What’s your favorite kind of gummy?

weekly wrap: 7.8.18 – 7.14.18

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 – 3oo abs
Monday – 6.46 miles, running
Tuesday – rest
Wednesday – 7 miles. running; 300 abs
Thursday – rest
Friday – 8 miles, running
Saturday – rest

I pushed it a little harder this week. I really wanted to make up some “lost” miles and the timing worked out, so I went for it.

Sunday – 3oo abs

We had very few plans for the actual day.  I did a workout that included 300 crunch related moves (bicycles, regular crunches, Russian twists, oblique v-ups, etc), and felt ok with that.

However, in the evening, I really wanted to attend the Keep Jax Beach Clean post 4th of July week beach cleanup. It’s been very eye-opening and productive to join in these efforts, and I was really pleased that Mr PugRunner volunteered to come with us.

MiniBar even supplied special mermaid donuts for the event.

We spent a few hours cleaning up assorted trash and cigarette butts, joined by another friend and two of her boys and then grabbed pizza for dinner.  It was getting late so we skipped the official afterparty and awards ceremony (for most butts, weirdest piece of trash, etc), but I’m sure a lot of trash was removed based on all the volunteers we saw.

Monday – 6.46 miles, running

My legs were itching for this run. It had been so long and I just wanted to get out there. Fortunately, the ladies obliged. We rocked out those 6.5 miles and I was so grateful.

And then we were back to regular life.

Tuesday – rest

Yay for rest days. I asked my parents if they wanted to join us at the beach, and so we spent a lovely morning with them. I don’t have any photos, but the dolphins were so close to shore, and they were actually playing, rather than just breaching. There were actual jumps and twists, and it was so cool. I could have watched them all morning.

We got lunch together at a beachfront restaurant and then we hit Target to start purchasing some back to school supplies. The big day will be here in about a month, so we wanted to get a jump on it.

When we got home, Mr. PugRunner and little man planted a citrus tree in the backyard. It was the one year anniversary of PopPop’s passing, and this was how they wanted to commemorate the occasion. It was hard work in the heat of the afternoon, but we now have a beautiful tree and we are excited to see it grow.

Wednesday – 7 miles, running; 300 abs

At the end of this run, I was still feeling pretty good, so I pushed for the seven miles, rather than leaving it at six. I was glad to do it.

Our beach plans for this day had been postponed, and little man asked to go see Antman and the Wasp, instead. Antman isn’t my favorite but the movie was funny and entertaining. Even better, we were the only ones in the theater so that was kind of cool.

Thursday – rest

We had an interesting day planned. Mr PugRunner had a consultation with an acupuncturist for his sinus issues. He has been struggling for quite some time and we have reached a point where antibiotics aren’t as effective and things aren’t getting better.

The initial meeting was very successful and the doctor talked a lot about preventative versus reactive treatments. I’m very much on Team Prevent, and quite frankly, we are running out of options.

Mr PugRunner liked what he heard and signed up for an eight-appoinmtnet block of sessions. The doctor was able to get him started right away, so little man and I walked to the nearby bookstore until he was finished. It was probably a dangerous move, considering my book addiction, but we were able to walk out with only three books (one for me, two for little man).

Friday – 8 miles, running

This was long run day. M and S took a pass, but A was a trooper and totally hung with me for the majority of the eight miles. I don’t know that I would have done as well on my own, so it was helpful having a buddy along for the run.

After lunch, little man went to his friend’s house for a sleepover and we took advantage of the opportunity for a date night at the newly opened Treylor Park.

I love this location in Savannah and am thrilled to have one here. Our dinner and drinks were fabulous and we had a really nice time talking about upcoming travel plans.

Saturday – rest

I had thought about going out again for just a few miles, but after a late night and a few cocktails, I was content to not rush out of bed too quickly. Mr PugRunner enjoyed a massage from a local therapist while I put together a pie and fruit salad for a gathering later in the day.

The Scouts had another summer activity: roller skating. I wasn’t too sure how it was going to go, but little man really enjoyed it, once he got the hang of it. I hadn’t thought to bring his roller blades, but he wants to go back so we will try that next time.

After a quick lunch, we ran home to change into bathing suits and head off to a pool/bbq gathering. We’ve had the plans for this in the works for a while, and it was great. Kids of all ages played great together, and the adults were all able to chill and chat. It was hard to call it a night.

 

This ended up being one of the most fun weeks. With school right around the corner, I really feel the need to squeeze in as much as possible before the end of summer, so the next few weeks are definitely going to be packed!

How was your week in training?

Do you roller skate?

race report: bhic turtle trot 5k {7.3.18}

When we made plans to spend our 4th of July week in Southport, NC, I immediately hopped online to find a race in the area. Even though we weren’t going to be there over a weekend, having Independence Day in the middle of the week ensured that someone in the North Carolina area would be hosting a celebratory run.

My search led me to two events: a small, low-key Turtle Trot on Bald Head Island on July 3, and a larger, themed 5k in Myrtle Beach on July 4. For a hot minute, I entertained the thought of doing both, but the 4th of July run would have left me unable to attend the Southport parade festivities with the family, so I tabled South Carolina until another time.

The BHIC Turtle Trot 5K it was!

It’s currently turtle nesting season along the Southeastern coast, so island and beach towns work hard at raising awareness for the cause. Sea turtles, using the moonlight to navigate, make their way up the beach in the middle of the night, lay their eggs in the dunes, and crawl back to sea. Scientists and local conservations groups mark the tracks and document the nests, and wait about 50 days for the babies to hatch. The babies make a mad dash for the water, trying to avoid seagulls and other predators, and hopefully find their way to the safety of the waves.

During this time, it’s extremely important to leave the nests undisturbed (unless with a biologist or park ranger, who will sometimes gently unearth the eggs to record data, and is usually more than happy to show the finds to passers-by), and it’s also crucial to keep light pollution to a bare minimum on the beach at night. The mothers rely on the moonlight and  light from streetlamps, houses, cars, or even flashlights, can confuse them and lead to false nests.

I have been very fortunate to see turtle tracks to new nests, eggs in the nest, and baby tracks, although I’ve yet to see the new hatchlings make their way back to the sea. Maybe one day. It’s just an incredible thing to witness.

But I digress.

The Turtle Trot 5K is actually a regular, weekday event. It’s probably a huge hit with guests of the island, and I think it’s fairly cool that it’s available to so many people. My brother-in-law volunteered to run with me, so we both registered.

This is a slightly more expensive 5K than I would normally run: $50 for off-islanders. The fee includes a bib, shirt, refreshments, and the $22 round trip ferry ticket and tram ride to the island and then venue. That being said, I know the funds go to turtles and conservation, so it’s money fairly well spent.

We received email race instructions prior to the morning of and were directed to take the 8:00 AM ferry. We would be greeted by a member of the Bald Head Island Conservancy, who would provide our tickets and escort us to transportation once we arrived on the island.

Done and done.

We were loaded onto a tram with other runners and walkers and took a 15 minute drive to the Conservancy. I confess that I was a little queasy from the boat ride and the bumpy roads – sometimes I’m a little more about the destination than the journey – and very grateful to reach the venue.

There was a great little clearing where everything was set up: I loved how the shirts and bibs were rolled up together, safety pins already attached to the bibs. It was a really nice touch and we were able to just snag our packets. There wasn’t an official gear check, but we were told that we could leave our belongings inside the conservancy, with the welcome desk. So nice.

We milled around, enjoying a snack and the beautiful scenery. Usually, by this point, I have run, showered and eaten, so I was doing my best to stay fueled.

This race had a bit of a later start: 8:30 onsite registration and 9:30 gun time. I was hoping that the beach island air would make it more manageable, but there was no getting around the fact that it was hot hot hot.

At about 9:20, the race director made his speech. He informed us that unless it was our first 5K ever, it was NOT going to be a PR race. The course involved some paved roads, but also sand and hills, and because of the weather, the advice was to take it easy, hydrate at the three water stations and just enjoy the island.

I didn’t need to be told twice.. I hadn’t really paid much attention to the course map, and that was probably for the best. Had I known what was to come, I might have reconsidered.

At 9:30, we set out. My brother-in-law wanted to stay with me, even though I encouraged him to go on ahead. He has a much faster pace than me and with the heat, humidity, unpacked sand and hills (which he is used to as he lives and trains in the DC area), I hated holding him back. He’s a great sport though and stuck it out, even when I started intervals at about 3/4 miles in.

We left the conservancy, ran down the street, over a bridge (read hill), and then looped to a beach entrance. This was rough. The sand was soft and dry, and there really weren’t any even, packed sections. The tide was high, too, so we spent the run looking for the flattest, most stable sections and trying to first avoid the creeping waves, and then staying clear of the tide pool that had formed after the turn at the Point of Cape Fear.  This section of the race was about a mile long, and while the view was gorgeous, I wasn’t sorry when we got back to the road.

The next two miles would through shaded streets past lovely rental homes. The tree cover cut the temperatures significantly, which was nice.

And then we reached the last half mile of the race. It was supposed to be a  u-turn, which would wind around and take us back to the conservancy. However, the actual turn was literally 1/4 mile straight up a crazy-steep hill. The view from the top? Beautiful! But gah, my endurance was shot!

K was absolutely gracious – he would run up the hills and wait for me to catch up, which was fine. I am always good for running downhill, so it balanced eventually. Finally, we crossed the finish line and I crossed off that next state.

The race had set out water, bananas and bagels,

but the snack shack was also open and a scoop of Italian Ice sounded like a much better choice.

I was probably delirious with dehydration and heat stroke, but it was pretty much the best Italian Ice I’ve ever had.

After the awards presentation (hats were presented to the winner of each of five age groups), we realized we needed a ride back to the ferry. One of the conservancy employees graciously offered to take us in her golf cart, and even treated us to the “beach” way, to give us the best views of the island along the drive.

The breeze of the ride was a great way to cool down a bit.

Really, the biggest hiccup of the day was that the next ferry didn’t until 12:30, so we had some time to wander. Had I realized that (and I had known we could have “checked” some gear), I would have brought  backpack with some wipes and snacks, so we could have maybe checked out the beach, looked for turtles nests and taken in some more of the sights. We did end up climbing the lighthouse and getting lunch, but I was desperate for a shower at that point and couldn’t wait to board the ferry back to the house.

I love that the Turtle Trot 5K is a frequent thing so visitors can take advantage no matter when they come to the island. It’s small (this particular one was under 100 people) and low key (no timing chip, no medals, no photos, etc), but definitely for a good cause. I might do it again if convenient, but would also be open to other options in the area, just because of the cost.

Have you ever had to take a ferry to a race? 

Are you willing to spend more on a race if it’s for a good cause?

weekly wrap: 7.1.18 – 7.7.18

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 – rest
Tuesday – Turtle Trot 5K (Bald Head Island)
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – rest
Friday – rest
Saturday – 6 miles, running

This week managed to turn into a bit of a rest week. With 4th of July and a week long vacation in Southport, North Carolina, running wasn’t much of a priority. And, to be honest, I got a little lazy. It happens, and I have to let myself be ok with it. Granted, regular running is great for my anxiety and general well being, but I need to be comfortable with being still, too.

Sunday – rest

Sure it was a rest day for me, but not so for little man. He was all set for the First Coast Kids Triathlon, downgraded to the “Splash and Dash” duathlon because of the weather.

We arrived at the venue at 6:30 for packet pickup and sent him into transition to set up. Rather than swimming 100 yards, biking three miles and running 1/2 mile, he would now swim 100 yards and run a mile.

He nailed it and scored this fabulous 10th anniversary medal.

The event did a great job making lemonade out of the weather lemons, and I hope little man will be up for another go at it.

Monday – rest

It was time for our family vacation. My brother and sister-in-law have a beach house in Southport, NC, and we were invited to join them for the 4th of July festivities for which the town is known. Between in-laws and cousins and friends, there would be 13 of us, so it was bound to be a big gathering. We started the seven hour drive at the crack of dawn and made it to our destination in time for lunch at the house.

After getting settled, we spent the latter part of the afternoon at the beach. It was a beautiful day and the water was incredibly warm. Little man was able to get in some boogie boarding and swimming.

I could barely keep my eyes open past dinner, so little man and I called it a night while the rest of the adults stayed up chatting.

Tuesday – Turtle Trot 5K (Bald Head Island)

I do have this ongoing 5o Races in 50 States challenge, and since I was spending time in North Carolina, it only made sense that I would get to cross another state off my list. Fortunately, the Turtle Trot 5K on Bald Head Island was just the thing. I’ll recap the race later this week.

Unfortunately, the next ferry after the race wasn’t until 12:30, so we had a bit of time to explore the island. We climbed the Old Baldy Lighthouse, which was definitely an experience.

At only 109 feet, it’s definitely not as tall as some of the other lighthouses I’ve climbed, and there was no ventilation, so I was a sweaty mess by the time we climbed the WOOD LADDER THROUGH THE HOLE IN THE FLOOR to the observation deck. It was a little unnerving, but the view was gorgeous.

We grabbed a quick bite to eat (by this point, we were starving) and then took the ferry back to the mainland.

Next up: water sports! The group was renting waverunners, and I was hoping to paddelboard, but the wind was an issue. I was a little bummed, but opted to hang out on the dock with my sister-in-law while Mr PugRunner took little man out with him.

We ended the day with a yummy meal and ice cream, but had to get home to prep for the 4th of July festivities.

Wednesday – rest

Southport is home to one of the most famous Independence Day celebrations in the country. It’s a very small town feel, with a huge parade and fireworks display. The town seems to shut down for the day, and residents and guests bring out chairs and coolers and settle in for the festivities.

We sent Mr PugRunner and my brother-in-law out early to claim a spot for our chairs and we followed behind. The parade lasted about 90 minutes, which was really cool. We don’t get to go to parades all that often, and it was neat to see the scale of this one.

Back at the house, we grilled chicken and sausage, and the kids played cornhole, horseshoes and water balloons. Then it was off to the waterfront for the fireworks display.

Thursday – rest

Thanks to a loooong drive back to the house, courtesy of traffic and detours, I was more than happy to sleep in a little.

The plan was fishing in the morning. We rallied the troops and headed out to the fishing dock, where little man caught two fish all on his own!

After lunch, we went to the pool, and then we brought in pizzas and returned to the ferry for the Cocoa and Cosmos program on Bald Head Island.

Due to very limited light pollution on the island, guests can see so many stars on a clear night, and we were lucky to have that clarity. The conservancy had one telescope, through which we could even see the rings of Saturn! I’m pretty good at finding constellations, but the rings were a new one for me. Stunning.

Friday – rest

Around lunchtime, we said our goodbyes, packed the car, and got our return trip underway. Seven hours can be slow-going, but little man was a total trooper and we were very happy to be reunited with the pugs at 8:30!

Saturday – 6 miles, running

I was so happy that S and A wanted to get in a run in the morning, even if it meant getting up early after our long trip. I was so stiff and stretching my legs felt amazing.

I was also thrilled to have my Forerunner 735XT back. There had been some technical difficulties, and thanks to Garmin’s amazing customer service, we have been reunited and all is well.

The rest of the day was spent with laundry, grocery shopping and snuggling the pug babies. Little man had some time playing with his buddies and we watched movies and just enjoyed not doing anything at all.

 

So now what?

I am a little nervous about being behind on miles for the month. I am thinking that even if I slack on July, I can gain ground in the upcoming months. I also desperately need to commit to a couple of half marathons before the end of the year. Our schedule has not been conducive to finding those races, but I am on the hunt and will have to come up with something soon.

How was your week in training?

Did you do anything fun to commemorate the 4th of July holiday, if you celebrate?

weekly wrap: 6.24.2018 – 6.30.2018

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 – 6 miles, running
Tuesday – rest + 60 minutes, kayaking
Wednesday – 6.25 miles, running
Thursday – rest + lighthouse climbing
Friday – 6 miles, running
Saturday – 4 miles, running

And, with that, June is over. My goal was 80 miles for the month, and I was able to end it with 85.7! This puts me just ahead of the 500 miles I needed to reach by the end of June for my 1000 in 2018 goal!

Sunday – rest

It was hot. So hot. We really didn’t want to do much of anything, and in fact, the only thing on the calendar was a birthday party after lunch. It was a Nerf battle party and it was absolutely adorable. The kids had a fabulous time, and I think I was just as worried out after the festivities as the kids who had been running around all day.

Monday – 6 miles, running

With the last week of June on the calendar, I had to bust out some miles. Monday’s run was fairly tough, but we got it done.

We also had some extra cuteness: little man wanted to spend some time with Big D, and shared her bed with her.

Tuesday – rest + 60 minutes, kayaking

We had another day at the Springs planned, this time at De Leon. My friend and her two boys joined little man and me for a nice drive to the park. Our first order of business was breakfast: make-your-own pancakes at the Old Sugar Mill. It’s kind of an amazing experience.

Afterwards, we took a dip in the Spring pool, and then took turns renting a kayak and paddle boat for a trip down the river.

Little man absolutely loves kayaking, and I am so glad to encourage the habit.

An hour later, we were hot and hungry, and enjoyed a picnic lunch and some more swimming, until the thunder storms came and we wrapped it up.

I didn’t love this location as much as tubing the Ichteucknee last week, but it was fun to do something different.

Wednesday – 6.25 miles, running

Another solid run.

Little man went to his friend’s house for the day. He had been looking forward to a playdate with her for ages, and her mom and I were glad to finally oblige.

In the evening, we had a Scouts activity at a local arcade/entertainment center. The kids rode go karts, played mini golf and tried their luck with the arcade games. It wasn’t my favorite of the events, but the kids had a blast.

Thursday – rest + lighthouse climbing

The St. Augustine Lighthouse had invited a few of the St. Augustine Moms Blog Contributors out to their site to explore. Even though we had already visited the lighthouse this summer, we thought it would be fun to do it again with other kids.

It was a beautiful morning, and we climbed the lighthouse twice again! Little man really seems to enjoy the ascent, and I am considering getting an annual pass just for something to do.

When we wrapped up the day, I took little man up to my parents. He was going to do a few days at Camp Nana + Papa Bear while Mr PugRunner and I took care of some things around the house.

I had a Scouts popcorn dinner that night, just to get some info about the upcoming fundraiser. I’m pretty much an introvert so these networking events can be fairly challenging. I took notes, ate my dinner and got myself home.

Friday – 6 miles, running

Another morning of running. I had messed up my calculations so this run put me at 81.7 for the month. However, I still planned to get in a few more on Saturday, just to be on the safe side.

Mr PugRunner put in a morning at work, and then I joined him for his ENT visit. He has been having some really nasty sinus issues and finally decided to get it checked out by a specialist. The good news is that the ENT doesn’t think it’s anything serious. He did an adjustment of medications and we will go back for a follow up in two weeks.

Saturday – 4 miles, running

The final four miles of the month were fabulous. I like being able to go into July a little ahead of the game.

Saturday promised to be busy. I put together a salad of watermelon, blueberry, feta and mint for a party, and then we drove up to pick up little man and celebrate 4th of July a little early with our friends.

We were only supposed to stay for about an hour, because little man’s triathlon had been rescheduled for this weekend. We had his bike and were just about to head out to the venue to do packet pick up and bike drop, when we got word that the parking lot and site were flooding from rain. All Saturday happenings were canceled and the race director finally reported that instead of a swim-bike-run, the kids would just do a swim-run event. All packets could be picked up Sunday morning, and it would be a much more low key event. It was a little disappointing, but understandable.

Of course, we were all thrilled that we didn’t have to rush off, and settled in to have some more fun. And cocktails!

 

July is going to be hard. Yes, it will be boiling hot (no surprise, there), but also we will have some vacation days thrown in where I may not get out to run, and obviously, I will be doing more 5Ks than anything else.

Holiday weeks are also tough, with all the events and celebrating. I am looking forward to the 4th of July, but I also know I will be working extra hard to stay caught up on my running. I do have a 5K planned for July 3, and I am excited for that.

How was your week in training?

How do you adjust your training for holidays and special occasions?

weekly wrap: 6.17.2018 – 6.23.2018

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, :20 plank
Monday – rest
Tuesday – rest, :45 plank
Wednesday – 6 miles, running, :45 plank
Thursday – 4 miles, running, :60 plank
Friday – rest, :60 plank
Saturday – 7 miles running + 1:30 plank

We started the week with Father’s Day and ended with an absolute slew of parties. In between, tons and tons of fun! Oh, and there was definitely some working out on the docket.

Sunday – rest + :20 plank

For Father’s Day, we left the shape of the day entirely up to Mr PugRunner. He loathes planning and feeling pressured to go places, so we decided to have breakfast and drinks at home. He got a Bloody Mary and I made myself a delicious “frose-mosa” with Frose sorbet and prosecco. Highly recommend.

He first wanted to go to the beach, but then changed his mind to the pool, so we headed there for a few hours, until the thunder started.

In lieu of a big dinner, he asked if we could all go to see The Incredibles 2 with popcorn and movie snacks, and then out for ice cream. Done and done. And by the way, it was a fabulous movie, even for grown ups.

Monday – rest

We were up almost earlier than on a run day: two other families were joining little man and me for a trip to Ichetucknee Springs. Florida is known for its amazing natural springs, and so many of them are open for swimming, snorkeling, tubing, fishing and canoeing/kayaking. Ichetucknee is notorious for its low capacity and early closing (once the park hits 720 people, it is closed for the day), so the goal is to be there right when it opens and secure a spot.

The ten of us arrived right on time, got organized, and then took the shuttle to the top of the river for a three hour float to the bottom.

The water is always cold (72-74 degrees), but so clear and beautiful. The kids, for the most part, floated face down with the snorkel masks, looking at fish There were tons of turtles and birds, too.

After a picnic lunch, we drove to another point of the park and spent the afternoon at one of the swimming holes Again, it was freezing, but so stunningly beautiful. I can’t wait for our next Springs adventure!

Needless to say, after a two hour drive back, we were ready to shower, eat and sleep!

Tuesday – rest

We were supposed to run, but when that alarm went off, I was also happy to get some more sleep. My arms were sore from hanging in the inner tube for a few hours in cold water, and all the fresh air and sun and left me pretty exhausted.

That being said, we did have a beach playdate, and we rallied enough to make that happen, even though we were late.

The kids had fun exploring, and we got to see plenty of dolphins and some sea turtle nests.

Right after lunch, I got stung by ANOTHER yellow fly. I couldn’t believe it. We packed up and went home, but not before grabbing ice cream to make me feel better.

Wednesday – 6 miles + :45 plank

I didn’t want to, but I felt really off after skipping Tuesday’s run, so off I went. It wasn’t a great run, but it wasn’t terrible either, and I felt back on track.

I was looking forward to a down day, but little man had plans with a friend down the street. They ended up playing outside and then selling lemonade and cookies in the neighborhood. It’s so cute to see them being so entrepreneurial

That evening, he had his first karate class at his new belt level. He came home, so excited to show of his moves!

Thursday – 4 miles + :60 plank

Since my running schedule was so far behind this week, I wanted to get caught up Ideally, I planned to run four days straight, but that would not come to pass. Instead, I scored another four miles.

On the brighter side, Mr PugRunner had taken a day off! He has been so busy and distracted with work, and we have really not seen much of him this summer. It was awesome to get the day with him.

We celebrated with a new donut shop,

and then tried a beach we don’t often frequent. Once again, there were tons of dolphins and little man got in some great boogie boarding. Me? I stepped on a crab and got a nice pinch on the side of my foot. Boo.

We had pizza for lunch and then went out for some errands. We had a ton of birthday parties for the weekend and needed to stock up on presents!

Mr PugRunner dropped us off at the house so he could run one last errand, and no sooner had he left than a huge storm broke out. The wind knocked down patio chairs, and we lost power for a few hours! It was really freaky and I was very grateful when the power came back and things quieted down. Yikes.

Friday – rest + :60 plank

Like I said. Running for four days straight wasn’t actually in the cards.

Today was my mom’s birthday. My mom is a huge carnivore, and so we decided to take her and my stepdad to a Brazilian steakhouse for a late lunch. We also had to celebrate a belated Father’s Day since the had both been out of town and Papa Bear missed the day with us.

Lunch was totally yummy, although it’s always way more food than I can eat. Next time, I’m just going the Market Table route for all the salads, charcuterie and fruits and veggies. I love some of the meat selections but I don’t need to have it all the time.

When we got home, I was perfectly content to nap it off. We didn’t really eat for the rest of the day, which didn’t work out so well for my Saturday long run.

Saturday – 7 miles, running + :60 plank

While I was happy to log the seven miles in the morning, I was dehydrated, underfueled and I ended up feeling awful. It was my own fault and I will do better in the future. This weather has been no joke and I need to take it more seriously.

We had a packed calendar for Saturday: Mr PugRunner took little man to a birthday party at an arcade/mini golf/lazer tag/go-kart venue. When they returned, I took over for a birthday party across the street and Mr PugRunner headed off to a grown up party.

And as if that wasn’t enough, that evening, we headed to a community a bit up the street for a Star Party: one of the local astronomy clubs had brought out their members and their telescopes and as night fell, they shared their passion and knowledge with the guts. We all got amazing views of the moon, Vega, Venus and Jupiter plus three of its moons! It was incredible!

We were using it as a Cub Scout event, but little man loved it so much that we will be following this particular club and will attempt to attend more of their events. Unfortunately, I had to call an end to the fun because I was bone-tired. I hate being the fun burglar, but I couldn’t stay up any longer.

 

Even though my running was off to a slow start, I definitely made up for it by the end of the week. I’m not super discouraged, simply because we were so active on the other days, so I’m sure I more than made up for it.

How was your week in training?

Have you ever attended a star party?

an all-terrain 5k for gratitude america

Over the years, I’ve found myself repeating plenty of the same races. Part of that is convenience and availability and part of it is force of habit. I do try to schedule one race a month and sometimes I just have to go with what fits my calendar.

Enter the Gratitude America 5K.

The race I usually run in June is not my favorite. It’s a great event, but it’s at night and it’s hot and I don’t love the course. The Gratitude America 5K was something different and I was excited to give it a try.

S agreed to run with me, and we arrived early at the venue. To be honest, the race website didn’t offer a ton of information: we knew it was held near Marineland, and we were fortunate that there was a big sign on the side of the road directing us to the parking lot and start line (which was across the street from Marineland and the ocean).

Packet pickup was day of only, and since there were only about 160 runners (including some who signed up that morning), it was a quick process. We got our bibs, t-shirts and Marineland wristbands (that’s right – part of the swag included admission to the marine center!), and went to the bathroom.

At about 8:15, we went to the start line. The race director had some instructions regarding the course: apparently, there was a lake-size “puddle” right after the actual start. The RD offered everyone a choice – we could be “purists” and run through the puddle as planned, or we could move to the side of the starting chute, cutting about 10 yards off the measured distance. The deal was that if we chose the shortcut, we had to live with the results. I was good to go through the water if everyone else was (although I had scoped out the driest route), but the overwhelming vote was for the short cut so we shifted over.

Next, we heard about Gratitude America, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “provide critical support for service members, veterans, and their families by conducting meaningful restorative retreats to assist participants affected by deployment exposures such as combat related stress and Traumatic Brain Injury.” They are completely donation-funded, and those donations are definitely put towards a worthy cause.

At 8:30, we were ready to begin. The National Anthem was played and off we went. The race was described as “all-terrain” and we quickly learned that was code for “trail.” It was a nice change from all the road running, and we were very grateful for all the shade trees to help protect us from the sun.

We had a bit of a scare when we emerged from the woods at about 1.5 miles, followed a paved road behind some structures… and saw the finish line about 100 yards away. We thought we had missed a turn or gone the wrong way, and slowed down to figure things out, when fortunately, one of the other runners pointed out that we were fine – we just had to go back in for another loop.

Done and done!

I confess, the late start made things pretty vile, weather wise. It was absolutely oppressive, even with the shade, and I had a hard time getting lungfuls of air. It took us a wee bit longer than I had hoped, but since we had already run that morning, I didn’t feel as badly as I normally might have.

We crossed the finish line (again, avoiding that giant lake as best we could), and then it was time to celebrate!

Rype + Readi was onsite, serving fresh watermelon and cantaloupe to the runners and it was just perfect!

Free finish line photos were available for download (mine were a little obscured by a person standing smack in front of the camera, but it’s the thought that counts).

The volunteers were all wonderful and pleasant, helping out with distribution of cold water and helping to take more photos.

I wish we had had more time to hang out and enjoy Marineland, but little man had his karate test, so we crossed over to the beach to get our obligatory medal pics.

And then it was home for us.

Honestly, this was a great race for a fabulous cause. Again it was on the smaller side, but since it was a trail race, it wasn’t as noticeable as it would have seemed on the road. I would absolutely run it again, and I’d probably bring in the rest of the family as well.

Have you ever received an attraction ticket as part of your swag?

Would you have chosen to go through the deep, gross lake or cut the tiny bit extra off your race distance? Ever had the choice?

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