dialing in that pre-race routine

As a runner with a certain level of anxiety, having a consistent pre race routine is key to me making it through an event of any distance. I very rarely waver from my established regimen. After all, it works, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

pre race routine

Eat a race-worthy dinner

The right dinner is essential to my pre race routine. What I choose to eat depends on how I’m feeling, the weather and upcoming race distance. For example, if all things are normal and fine and I’m taking on a 10K or shorter, I’m thrilled with a pasta meal. If it’s a certain time of month, I need to make sure I’m getting in some red meat for a push of extra iron. And if it’s particularly hot and humid, and/or I am going for a longer distance, my dinner of choice is Chinese food. Extra sodium the night before is very much needed on a day of long and hard efforts.

pre-race routine

Set out the Flat Runner

The night before a race, I like to set out my Flat Runner. This includes everything from my sports bra and sunglasses to my socks and shoes. If I already have my bib, I’ll get it pinned on my shirt in advance. I use this pre-race routine to ensure that my Garmin is charged, that I have two (hopefully matching) socks and that everything is ready and waiting to be donned in the morning. Incidentally, I’ll also pack my wallet, car keys and anything else I will need for the drive to the race site. It makes for a smoother time getting out the door.

pre race routine

Social media photo and post is absolutely optional.

Wake up and wash up!

I fall into the category of people who believe that when you’re on time, you’re late, so I get up pretty early on race morning. I like to have time to use the restroom, get dressed, and …. this is going to be weird… take a shower. Yes, it is absolutely bizarre to bathe before going to get sweaty, but I feel better about the day when I do, so part of the pre-race routine it remains.

pre race routine

Fuel up.

As you may have figured out, I’m an early trainer. I literally roll out of bed and hit the road running. This means I rarely eat or drink before my miles. However, when a race is involved, I usually don’t run until an hour or two after I get up, so fuel is critical. I will typically stick to something plain and easy, like a bagel (not toasted with nothing on it) and some kind of electrolyte drink (like Nuun).

You all know I love my iced coffee, but that’s a treat I will save until post-race. It’s just too risky to indulge before a run.

Arrive early to get settled.

If we are being completely honest, I don’t hate being one of the first people on site. I have had way too many close calls with distant parking and long lines at packet pickup or the portapotties, and I’m just not interested in living on the edge right before a race. When I’m early, I can walk or jog out my nerves, use the facilities at my leisure, get my bib and shirt if I still need to, and generally just breathe. A calm Jenn is a better runner and I do everything I can to bring some chill to the starting line. This is also a great time to mentally review my race day goals.

pre race routine

And when all that is done, it’s time to race!

Please visit these lovely bloggers, plus check out some of the other blogs on the link-up, and don’t forget to share your own post, as well!

What is your pre-race routine?

Coffee before or after?

Do you shower before a race?

riots #32: back to school

Just like that, we are back to school. In our neck of the woods, summer ends early in August and the kiddos get back to their learning. It may seem short, since so many people still have another month of vacation to go, but we have been home since the end of May, so it all balances out.

Back to school was especially bittersweet: little man started 6th grade, which is middle school here. It’s a (‘nother) new school for him with all brand-new people, policies and dynamic. I barely slept leading up to the first day. I knew he would be awesome, but I struggle with change, sometimes.

Sunday – 2 mile walk

Twas the night before Back to School, so we took advantage of the day to just chill out. As a family, we practiced walking to school – he’s been taking bus or car transportation for his entire school career thus far, so we wanted to make sure he knew how to handle this new routine.

All of got to bed at a reasonable hour so we could be fresh first thing Monday morning.

Monday – 9Round + 1 mile walk

Monday morning rolled around and I finally had to admit that I was the mom of a middle schooler. We all got up with the alarm, had breakfast and then our guy set off for his first day of 6th grade.

Happy Back to School Day, buddy!

back to school

To be honest, I didn’t know quite what to do with myself for the rest of the day, so I started working out some of that stress at 9Round.

back to school

And then I went for breakfast with a few other moms in the same boat: our kids have been in class together for years, and Metro Diner was offering one free mimosa to moms for Back To School Week, so it was the perfect solution.

back to school

And then? I just sat and waited and waited and waited. When did a school day get so long? Finally, little man was walking through the door and we were able to eat fresh-baked cookies and talk about his (amazing) day. He was tired for sure, but so excited about the variety of teachers, the app through which all his classes are communicated and the new independence he gets to experience. He had just enough energy to get him through karate – he will be testing for his bo-black belt (for those keeping track, it’s the last belt before black belt) next month so he needed to have a chat with his instructor about last minute details for that.

Tuesday – 9Round

I skipped running again (Reason? Didn’t wanna). My focus this week was getting to my 50th 9Round class, so that’s where I put my efforts. Rawr.

While little man was at Scouts, I met up with one of my friends for some conversation and quality time. It’s been a great week for that.

Wednesday – 6 miles, running + 9Round

The humidity is really going to kill my love for running. Ugh.

back to school

By Wednesday, we had really all hit our groove. I got to 9Round (class #48!) and was able to shower and change for our first official PTSO Board Meeting of the school year.

The PTSO is really off to a fairly great start, which is encouraging as the entire board is new this year and we are really starting from scratch.

Now for the not so great news: Bentley had what I think was a seizure when I got home. It was awful. We have been dealing with his vestibular disease for a while, now, and he has been doing great, so this threw us all for a loop, and while we all (vet included) have our fingers crossed that this is a fluke, we could also be dealing with a tumor. At this time, due to his age and temperament (he has to be sedated for all tests/scans and the more in-depth exams), we are treating it as a fluke and he is responding quite well. He is not in pain and we haven’t seen anything concerning since he snapped out of it that afternoon, so we are hopeful.

This is his favorite way to sleep: in his crate with his chin right on the bar and his tongue hanging out. Bless his heart.

Thursday – 5 mile walk + 9Round

I met up with M for a morning walk. We were able to meet after little man went off to school, so it was much hotter than normal. Boo.

back to school

Friday – 9Round

After little man got off to school, I hustled out the door to meet another friend for free mimosas. I mean, why not take advantage!

And then it was time for my 50th 9Round class! The reward? Besides a phenomenal workout? New hand wraps! Wheee!

Back to school

Saturday – 9Round

I was starting to drag on Friday night, and since I knew I wasn’t going to have a running buddy on Saturday morning, I just didn’t want to get up. Instead, we both went to 9Round, and met up with my friend C, who was trying out a class for the first time.

Mr. PugRunner dropped off little man at the nearby church for a final day of volunteering. It was drizzly all day, but overcast and not nearly as hot as the previous week. Little man was absolutely incredible – he wanted to stay as long as it took to get it all done, but we finally had to collect him. I was so proud that he was willing to be uncomfortable to get the job done.

We had hoped to go to a local Taco Festival, but standing outside in the rain just didn’t sound appealing, so instead the boys went to buy little man a new bike. He had a bit of a growth spurt over the summer and his knees were hitting his handlebars. I would have a photo but he’s been nothing but a blur as he enjoys his new ride.


I was able to get in some solid runs, and went to 9Round Monday through Saturday. This definitely led to an improvement in mood (and muscle development). It was a huge moment of pride to hit my 50th class and earn my new wraps, and it’s really got me motivated to go for 100 and get my t-shirt.

Being back to school also meant that I spent more time cooking. I didn’t create anything new, but I did put out some favorite dinners like crockpot taquitos and lasagna.

I can’t claim great hydration this week. There was a little bit more in the line of champagne and wine and less in the way of water. It’s ok. We were celebrating, after a fashion.

Now that little man is officially back to school, I have to figure out my new normal. I’ve definitely been getting up way earlier than normal, which is leaving me a bit rundown as the week goes on, but I’ll get there. Now is the time to focus on work and other pursuits.

I hope you’ll join us for the #RIOTS (Running Is Our Therapy Sisters) link up every week on Sundays. We’d love to be a part of your weekly routine!

Set some goals, share them on your blog and then go to our link up below so we can cheer you on! We’d all love to support you!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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

Will you be joining me at any of the Best Damn Race Ambassador Crew! Don’t forget to register with my BDR discount code RUNSWITHPUGS to save on any distance at any BDR location!

BDR Discount Code

How was your week in training?

How do you get yourself into a new routine?

fitness with the family

Fitness With The Family was last week’s topic on Tuesday Thoughts, so I am throwing it back and linking up with KookyRunner and Zenaida!

fitness with the family

Growing up, fitness wasn’t really a huge priority in my house. I took dance and horseback riding lessons, which were great, but there wasn’t any dedication to regular workouts or exercise.

I don’t know if times were different or if my specific household just didn’t care. Sure, we did walks and bike rides, but I can’t remember anyone ever going to the gym or watching workout videotapes (ah, the VHS days). It’s certainly not a judgment, but times were different, and fitness with the family just didn’t seem to be on the radar.

Because of my long-time battle with obesity and eating disorders, I had to work incredibly hard to find a way to incorporate health and wellness into my life. Now that I am married with a child, I believe it’s even more important to build fitness into our lives in a sustainable and enjoyable way.

Lead by example.

Leading by example is a key tenant of parenting. No matter what else is going on, we both want little man to see that we are committed to wellness and health. While Mr PugRunner and I don’t always run together, we do demonstrate our ability to care out time for fitness, regardless of how early we may have to wake up or how we have to shuffle our schedules. The hope is that he will also see fitness as a regular activity rather than a hardship (and he is already talking about joining 9Round with us when he turns 12, so maybe it’s working!)

fitness with the family

Beef up regular outings.

When I used to work an office job, some tips for staying active included things like using the stairs instead of the elevator, taking a walk at lunch or parking super far away in the parking lot. I can apply this to family outings with things like taking a family walk (Pokemon Go is a great motivator) or riding bikes to breakfast or lunch. It’s a great way

Get outside.

The simple act of getting outside is essential to staying fit as a family. Little man loves getting out in the neighborhood on his skateboard or bike and plays pickup games of basketball and soccer with his buddies. We also love checking out parks and hiking spots, locally and while traveling. It’s a great way to stay active as a family and also to see the country (and hopefully world).

Try new things.

No matter what we do or where we go, I love introducing something new. We have gone swimming at new bodies of water, hiked new trails and taken on new activities, like skiing and nighttime kayaking. The plan is to show how fitness can be a destination and to also share a love for adventure.

fitness with the family

Compete as a family.

You know we love our family races! Both little man and Mr PugRunner pick and choose races that we can all run together. I confess that with school and extracurriculars, it can be hard getting everyone on board with training, but everyone is able to knock out a mile or three on the fly, so we make it work. Sometimes we stick together as a unit; other times we compete against each other. Every time we have a blast!

fitness with the family

I’m hopeful that by introducing and exposing little man (and Mr PugRunner) to the activities and adventures I love, it will create a lifelong fitness routine for him in the future.

Please visit these lovely bloggers, plus check out some of the other blogs on the link-up, and don’t forget to share your own post, as well!

How do you stay fit with your family?

Was your family fitness-minded or is your current activity routine something you implemented on your own?

riots #31: the curious case of the running blogger who neither ran nor blogged

As a running blogger, I am supposed to run. And blog. This week I did very little of either thing and I feel incredibly unproductive on both counts. However, I’m trying to look at it as a glass half full situation: even if I haven’t been logging miles or workouts, I’ve been spending lots of time with my family and friends. That’s worth quite a bit more.

Sunday – 3 miles beach walk

Due to lots of unexpected scheduling conflicts, we never got the chance to celebrate my mom’s birthday. Finally, we found a date and planned a day trip to Amelia Island, one of her favorites.

One of her favorite pastimes is shelling, so I took on a three (ish) mile, sandy trek, so she could fill her bucket with all kinds of shells, sea glass and shark teeth.

By the time we finished, it was lunch time so we got burgers and a birthday cake milkshake at Tasty’s.

running blogger

Monday – 13,211 theme park steps

On Monday, a dear friend and I took the kids to Sea World. The plan was to visit Aquatica, but on the drive, the kids decided they were in a roller coaster mood so we made the adjustments.

It was a wonderful day. The kids are old enough to take on some of the rides by themselves, which was great because I just couldn’t handle Mako twice in a row.

running blogger

Towards the end of the day, storms hit. We took cover until the rain stopped, and then headed for home since the thunder and lightning was keeping the rest of the rides closed. It was still such a fabulous day.

running blogger

Tuesday – 9Round

As a running blogger, running is kind of part of what I do. It bothered me that I was too tired to get up and run after our big day at the park, so I managed to scoot into 9Round with Mr PugRunner instead.

running blogger

There have been some new trainers so it’s fun working out with new people and getting a new take on the different moves.

While little man had Scouts, I went out with a friend who needed a shoulder on which to lean. It was a nice evening spending time with her and I was glad I was able to be there.

Wednesday – 4.4 miles, running

Finally, a run for the running blogger! It was about time! Only problem is that we got rained out just shy of 4.5 miles. Ugh.

running blogger

I was super disappointed with this, but I didn’t have time to dwell on it. There was a PTSO meeting to attend, and then some final errands for back to school.

Thursday – rest

One of the last things little man wanted to do this summer was tubing in the Springs. We had never visited Rock Springs at Kelly Park, so we made that the plan for a day out with friends.

Since the Springs always close when they reach capacity, we left for the two hour trip before sunrise. Our reward was a mostly empty park for at least an hour.

We took advantage of the 30 minute spring run and fresh swimming hole, before enjoying a picnic lunch.

Little man’s 6th grade orientation was in the evening. I was scheduled to work the PTSO and Spirit Wear table, so Mr PugRunner handled meeting all the teachers, walking around the classrooms, renting the locker and purchasing a PE uniform.

This middle school thing was getting real.

Friday – rest

The 7th and 8th graders had their Orientation in the morning, so I reprised my PTSO role. During that time, my parents took little man out to breakfast, and then Mr PugRunner picked him up to go see the Stanley Cup in St. Augustine.

We criss crossed back and forth across town for the rest of the day, with little man ending up watching a movie with a friend and me having dinner out with some girlfriends.

Saturday – 3 miles, running + 9Round + IOA/Jaguars Stadium Challenge 5K

And then it was Saturday.

Little man was scheduled to help with an Eagle Scout project, and I thought I would be assisting as well, so I took another running blogger hit. Boo. However, the Troop ended up not needing my help so I squeezed in a quick run, even though it was so freaking hot.

running blogger

With my extra time, I hit up 9Round.

I was absolutely exhausted at this point, so I went to check on little man’s progress. The team had cleared a huge area and started laying personalized pavers in a prayer garden. I was pretty impressed with their efforts and progress.

In the evening, we went downtown for the IOA/Jaguars Stadium 5K Challenge. This is a tough one: it’s always hot and humid, and includes all the concourse ramps in the stadium. Ugh. However, we set out to do it and all of us came away pretty happy with our performances.


August is off to a super slow start in miles and classes. I am so close to 50 in 9Round I can almost taste it. There are still a few weeks to make up what I haven’t been running. Just over 10 miles in a week does not make me feel very good about myself as a running blogger.

Cooking was a no go. We ate out quite a bit this week, since we really weren’t home very much. I’ll get back on top of it now that little man is back in school.

Hydration was great this week, too. When it’s this hot and you’re spending lots of time outside, you really do have to stay on top of it.

So now what?

Well, little man headed to middle school today, so that opens up some hours for me to get on track with work and get back to being a running blogger who actually runs on the regular. It’s hard to believe that our summer is over, but it’s also nice to be back on schedule.

I hope you’ll join us for the #RIOTS (Running Is Our Therapy Sisters) link up every week on Sundays. We’d love to be a part of your weekly routine!

Set some goals, share them on your blog and then go to our link up below so we can cheer you on! We’d all love to support you!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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

Will you be joining me at any of the Best Damn Race Ambassador Crew! Don’t forget to register with my BDR discount code RUNSWITHPUGS to save on any distance at any BDR location!

BDR Discount Code

How was your week in training?

Is summer over for you yet?

riots #30: fall training plan + the end of summer

Fall training plan? Already? Well, in one week, little man will be back to school and for us, it will be fall. Will the weather be cooler? Most likely not. Such is life in Florida.

Sunday – rest

Meghan’s birthday festivities were still going strong, and we fueled up for a great day!

fall training plan

She had booked a cabana at the hotel pool, and we literally spent the entire day relaxing, chatting, eating and drinking.

fall training

We managed to get ourselves out the door for dinner at a nearby brewery, and made it back just as the heavens opened for an awful storm. Ugh. We did have a lovely view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks from our window, once the rain cleared.

Monday – 4 miles, running

Monday was going to be more low-key, so I dragged myself out of bed for a four mile run around the jogging trails at the Hyatt. I really wanted six but it was so steamy and humid that I called it quits.

fall training plan

The views were quite beautiful, though.

The rest of the day was perfectly chill: more time by the pool with lunch and beautiful frozen drinks.

That night, we ordered pizza to the suite and played round after round of Exploding Kittens (which is amazing), and I think it was easy to call the weekend a complete success.

Tuesday – rest

All good things must come to an end and it was time to say goodbye. We packed it up and I got on the road to get home to see my favorite guys!

Of course, we has some drama when I got in: when I let the dogs out to the bathroom, Bentley got bitten by something in the yard. He yelped, and couldn’t put weight on his foot. With all the snakes being spotted around, we freaked out quite a bit, but the vet cleared it as a bug bite and sent him home after shots of Benadryl and steroids. Ugh.

I also got asked to attend little man’s BSA meeting to help with a Board of Review for some of the Scouts who would be advancing. It was such a privilege to help interview and approve their move to the next ranks.

Wednesday – 6.25 miles, running + 9Round

Back at it! I mangled 6.25 miles in the nasty humidity. It felt great to move.

I hadn’t been to 9Round in what felt like a week, so I doubled up on workouts. There was a new trainer in the studio and she was really great at encouraging and pushing. I loved it.

Today was also Harry Potter’s birthday, so I surprised little man with a trip to The Mini Bar for HP donuts. They are offering Butterbeer, Chocolate Frog and Bertie Botts Every Flavor Bean varieties, and they were adorable and delicious.

Thursday – 4.63 miles,

M and I took on a nice walk, followed by coffee. Little man and I had plans at the last Explore Tour of the summer. Unfortunately, the weather was flat out awful and put a huge damper on our numbers 🙁

We hung out inside the rest of the day to stay away from the stormy skies.

Friday – 9Round

I slept a little and caught a session of 9Round.

Our plan for the day was Back To School Shopping, so I quickly squeezed in a manicure and when I got home, recruited little man to help me spread mulch.

He absolutely earned his new Harry Potter Vans.

Saturday – 6 miles, running + 9Round

I got up and running a little later than hoped, but still completed six miles.

And then dragged myself back into 9Round.

I started with super low energy but by the time my nine rounds were over, I felt like a million bucks!

And now for some proud mom time: little man had his first Court of Honor on Saturday afternoon. He and members of his Troop were recognized for advancements and merit badges earned over the last few months. The Scouts planned the meeting, organized the food, put together the ceremony and carried it out. They set up and cleaned up, too.

We are both so proud of what he has accomplished so far, and my next duty is to teach him how to sew so he can affix his own merit badges to his sash.


July ended just shy of 90 miles, which was right near my goal. I’m good with it. I’m also just eight classes away from my 50 class milestone at 9Round. Yay! That’s going to be a fabulous day!

This week, I made some homemade ramen. It wasn’t fancy and I didn’t follow any instructions, although I was inspired by Deborah’s recipe here.

Reading is going. I slacked a little while I was away (too much chatting, not enough book time), but I will finish up with the third installment of Game of Thrones soon.

Despite all the shenanigans, my hydration was at a high. Alcohol, sun and heat so not mix so I made sure to drink plenty of water this week, whether I liked it or not.

On the agenda? Getting little man back to school and settled into his new routine, and picking that half marathon I need so badly. We already have two family races planned for August and September, plus a charity run for a very important cause in October. I know that I can get my mileage up, but I am looking for a race that excites me, so I can get all in. I don’t know if I can swing another trip away, but I would really love to get another state out of the way. Decisions, decisions.

I hope you’ll join us for the #RIOTS (Running Is Our Therapy Sisters) link up every week on Sundays. We’d love to be a part of your weekly routine!

Set some goals, share them on your blog and then go to our link up below so we can cheer you on! We’d all love to support you!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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

Will you be joining me at any of the Best Damn Race Ambassador Crew! Don’t forget to register with my BDR discount code RUNSWITHPUGS to save on any distance at any BDR location!

BDR Discount Code

How was your week in training?

Did you celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday?

fake it til you make it: august’s ultimate coffee date

“Fake it til you make it” is a phrase that has come up a lot for me in the last few weeks. I’ve got a lot of feelings to share this August, for sure. I’m ready, coffee in hand, to join in the Ultimate Coffee Date with Coco and Deborah ! Join them in their linkup!

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That I have been waking up every day with lots of feelings of inadequacy. I hate when this happens and the only way to get over it is to get up, get moving and… well, fake it til I make it. Some days are way harder than others but I am grateful for family and friends who are understanding and patient with me when I need it. I am also super thankful for coffee.

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That we are running a 5K together as a family next week. It’s been a while since the three of us have done a race together and I can’t wait. I don’t know if we will stick together (one of us has been in training, while the other two…. not so much), but it will be a fun night anyway.

The medal is absolutely on point and I can’t wait to add it to the collection!

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That I had the best time with Meghan and friends this past weekend. It was a lot of new people all at once, which can be hard for me, but I was able to get through my initial nerves and fall into a comfort zone.

I don’t always let myself go wild and just indulge, but this time I did. From staying in bed late, to lounging in the sun almost all day, to drinking gram-worthy frozen drinks, it was just lovely. I only ran one time, and even that was just a quick 4 miler to say I did. Sometimes, it’s nice to let go.

Over coffee I would tell you…

That little man is earning his next advancement and five merit badges at his first BSA Court of Honor this weekend. The transition from Cub Scouts to BSA has been an amazing one for him. He has really found a home in this Troop and he is so enthusiastic about continuing all the way to Eagle Scout. It’s really awesome to see him passionate about this and we are so supportive of this journey.

On that note, he wouldn’t go to his meeting until he ironed his own shirt this past week. As someone who hates ironing, it was super impressive to see him pull out the iron and board on his own and ask me to help him.

Over coffee I would tell you…

We have one more week of summer! The plan is to fill it with as much fun as possible before the first day! It’s going to be such a great year and while we are sorry to see summer come to an end, we are looking forward to the next steps.

As I’ve said, I’m not sure I’m cut out for this middle school things but I’m faking it as best I can so that little man feels confident going forward.

And there you have it!

What would you share over coffee?

Do you ever feel like you “fake it til you make it”?


riots #29: enjoying the last weeks of summer

The last weeks of summer are upon us and the plan is to enjoy every single second. We sat down this week to outline the plans for the next two weeks before school starts, and it’s going to be straight up amazing. Yay!

Sunday – 6 miles, running

Sunday was a bit of a whirlwind. I started out with a 6 mile run.

Monday – 5 miles, running

Run, run, run! Another five miles with S!

Little man had clarinet lessons and then we picked up his friends for an awesome day at the beach. We got a little too much sun but I also think it was our first trip to the beach this summer, so we loved it anyway.

Tuesday – 5.35 miles, running + walking

M and I went out for our run/walk in the early morning.

I confess we spent the rest of the day doing exactly nothing until little man had his Scouts meeting. He just loves it so much and I am so thrilled for the friends he is making.

Wednesday – 9 Round

After a grueling session of 9Round, we swung by a friend’s house.

last weeks of summer

She was hosting an incredible event for the Port In A Storm charity. Several people donated goods and toiletries and the kids made bags of these items for underprivileged teenagers in need. We were so glad to be able to participate.

last weeks of summer

After that? Off to the dentist. Little man had a clean check up, and we ended up grabbing a yummy pizza lunch to wait out the rain before running the rest of our errands.

Who has a blogger for a mom? Who does?

Thursday – 6 miles, running

My friend bailed on me but I got a strong run in, anyway. The run was great but I was feeling a little tight so took advantage of a good stretch.

Little man had a camp at his middle school, until right after lunch. He learned about procedures, lockers and locks, and all kinds of great middle school stuff. Afterwards, we met my parents for lunch and a quick visit, which was nice.

Friday – 9Round

I had my 39th session of 9Round! Hooray! I am so looking forward to my free gift at 50 classes!

I had to run the rest of my errands before my girls’ weekend, and was really happy to get everything packed and ready before the morning.

Saturday – rest

I got on the road fairly early to make it to Orlando for Meghan’s 40th birthday celebration. We dropped off my car and rode together to Disney Springs for brunch and drinks at Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Kitchen.

last weeks of summer

Then it was off to the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. Meghan had secured a suite for three nights and we were so ready to get the party started!

We had dinner with about 16 of her close friends at a fun Italian restaurant and stayed up late with wine, chatting! It was perfection.

In the meantime, the boys went to Daytona for a Def Leppard and Queen tribute show. Little man is totally loving live music.


I hope to end July with just under 90 miles, and I am really proud of that. I’m almost at 50 sessions of 9Round and we are signed up for a family 5K in a couple of weekends.

I wish I had some fun recipes to post, but nope. I just haven’t been creative in the kitchen.

Reading is still great. I’m almost done with Storm of Swords and will take a break for a few other novels, just to mix things up.

There will be a few more travel days before August is out, and I’m so ready for it!

I hope you’ll join us for the #RIOTS (Running Is Our Therapy Sisters) link up every week on Sundays. We’d love to be a part of your weekly routine!

Set some goals, share them on your blog and then share in our comments so we can cheer you on! We’d all love to support you!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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

Will you be joining me at any of the Best Damn Race Ambassador Crew! Don’t forget to register with my BDR discount code RUNSWITHPUGS to save on any distance at any BDR location!

BDR Discount Code

How was your week in training?

What’s your ideal way to spend celebrations with friends?

july runfessions: time to have some fun

July Runfessions are here! It’s the last Friday of the month, so let’s join up with Marcia’s Healthy Slice and give it a go.


I runfess….

That I have been a total slacker this week. I’ve experienced writer’s block, lack of inspiration and a nasty case of procrastination. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I get thrown for a bit of a loop and face feelings . I need to just woman up and get it together. Immediately.

july runfessions

I runfess….

That little man starting middle school is a little bit harder than I thought it would be. He’s spending some time in a program the school offers, learning about regulations and expectations. I know he can do it. I’m pretty sure I can do it. It’s daunting, nonetheless. On the plus side, I’ll be making an encore performance as Board Member in a PTO, after I was pretty sure I had retired, but it’s a great way to stay involved and keep an eye on things without being too suffocating.

july runfessions

I runfess…

I am so ready for the weekend. We are celebrating Meghan’s birthday and I can’t wait. She is truly one of the most amazing people and I am so glad running brought us together. It promises to be an epic weekend, and I hope you’ll follow along with our adventures on social media.

july runfessions

I runfess…

This humidity has got me down. It’s so hard to dig up motivation to leave the house, let alone run. After Atlanta, I found myself unable to keep up with double workouts and some days struggled to maintain even one. Ugh. I’ve felt the difference in my body and my personal outlook, so even if I drag myself out for a walk, I’m making it happen. Oh, and I’m signing the family up for the IOA/Jaguars Stadium Challenge. We’ve done it before as a family and little man said he wanted to give it another go.

I runfess…

That summer is ending SO FAST. We had to sit down with the calendar last night to make sure we could squeeze in all our last-minute plans. As an aside, little man is most excited about “back to school shopping”, which cracks me up. I am not a shopper at all, so I have no idea where he gets it from.

We have plans for two water parks, a beach day and a day at one of the gorgeous Florida springs before the first day of school. I am hopeful the weather cooperates and we can get it all in.

And those are my July runfessions. Not so bad, and it definitely feels good to have all that out in the universe, so I can have some fun this weekend!

We are also joining in with Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness, so check out that link up and share your week in fitness!

What are your July runfessions?

What’s going on in your week of fitness?

riots #28: on running recovery

The past week was an interesting one, with a focus on running and, more importantly, running recovery. I confess I don’t spend enough time on stretching, resting or doing any of the things that can be classified as “running recovery” – it’s a flaw. This week, I devoted myself a bit more to that cause.

Sunday – 7 miles, running + walking

On my non-running days, I’ve been helping a friend with some walks and C25K regimen. After we wrapped up our walking, I continued on alone to complete a total of seven miles.

running recovery

After lunch, we loaded up the car to take little man to Scouts camp. He would be going for six nights, earning rank and merit badges as a provisional camper (this means on his own without his Troop, due to a scheduling conflict with our vacation).

We got him there and set up in his tent and campsite. A staff member gave us a tour and led him to the pool to take his swim test (he passed at the highest level).

And then we said our goodbyes. We couldn’t wait to see him at the end of the week.

Monday – rest

The truth about Monday is that we had a sleepless night. Little man had called us after lights out from First Aid, upset and homesick. He was fine, but needed to hydrate more. Between us and the medic, he calmed down enough to get some sleep.

Either way, Mr PugRunner did drive down to the camp in the morning to bring a box fan and a cooler of ice and water. The sites all have electric and since it was just so hot, it only made sense to help him out a little.

We had another Explore Tour with the St. Augustine Moms, and that was a lot of fun. I was sorry little man had to miss out, but it was a great distraction for me.

courtesy of St. Augustine Moms

Tuesday – 6 miles, running

Tuesday was a busy day. I ran six miles.

I helped my friend taxi her kids to a camp, got a much-needed manicure and took some work calls.

In the afternoon, I went to see Spiderman: Far From Home with a friend and her kiddos. It’s my second time and I’m a little obsessed.

Wednesday – 9 Round

Finally, I dragged myself into 9Round. I just didn’t have the motivation to do it sooner, and I struggled the whole time. Ugh.

I had some PTA friends over in the evening for margaritas and a nacho bar. We had a year end gift to give our President and it was way overdue.

Thursday – 5 miles, running

First up, an easy 5 mile run.

Next? Spa day. A few of my girlfriends and I had scheduled appointments at the Spa at Ponte Vedra for various treatments. Much as I don’t love massages, I had put in for a “Therapeutic Sports Recovery Massage” and I was both dreading and looking forward to it.

For 50 minutes, I let the LMT work on my glutes and right hamstring. I haven’t been inured but there has definitely been tension and tightness in those areas. It hurt, but also brought great relief. She advised me to stretch more and spend a bit more time on my running recovery, in order to avoid future injury (or painful massages LOL).

And then? It was time for fun!

We had cocktails, pool time, yummy lunch and more cocktails.

When I got home, Mr PugRunner and I had a dinner date, taking advantage of the kid-free time.

Friday – 4.32 miles, running

S and I went out for a run but it was a pretty low-key slog. Neither one of us was particularly feeling it. That being said, my hamstring felt great, so that was a huge plus!

After getting cleaned up, we hopped in the car to attend Family Day at the camp. I wasn’t sure it was a great idea to go, but little man already knew about it and he would be crushed if we didn’t show up.

We brought him a Pub sub for lunch (he was delighted) and then went to two periods of archery with him. He earned his Red Arrow award as we watched. Rockstar.

Afterwards, we were hoping to see him in action at First Aid, but a storm rolled through, effectively delaying his last class. We left him watching movies with other campers and drove home. In the morning, we would be back to bring him home.

Saturday – rest

Usually, Saturdays are for long runs, but not this day. It was time to pick up little man from camp! Pick ups started at 7:00 AM, and we arrived just a few minutes after that. He was already up, dressed and (mostly) packed, so we just had to load the car, obtain his awards and completion certificates and say goodbye to his camp master and new friends.

While there were hard moments for him (nights were tough), he rocked it out. He earned just over 50% of his requirements for his Tenderfoot rank and three merit badges (archery, first aid and swimming). We are so incredibly proud of him for pushing through and allowing himself to enjoy camp’s offerings. He will have much more fun next year, when he goes with his actual troop, but he did great on his own.


This week, things flipped: I had way more running than 9Round. For the upcoming week, I hope to balance things out a bit. I want to feel stronger.

We barely cooked this week. We just weren’t home much, and when we were, we scrounged for leftovers or grazing foods more than cooking actual meals. It was just easier.

Reading is phenomenal. I’m actually getting lost in some of my books again, and I love that feeling.

I hope you’ll join us for the #RIOTS (Running Is Our Therapy Sisters) link up every week on Sundays. We’d love to be a part of your weekly routine!

Set some goals, share them on your blog and then link up with other awesome fitness bloggers to help keep you on track! We’d all love to support you! Drop your link and please visit our Hosts and some of these other amazing blogs to share the love!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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

Will you be joining me at any of the Best Damn Race Ambassador Crew! Don’t forget to register with my BDR discount code RUNSWITHPUGS to save on any distance at any BDR location!

BDR Discount Code

How was your week in training?

What’s your favorite method of running recovery?

best damn tips for running the best damn race series

I am an ambassador for the Best Damn Race series. In exchange for my promotion of the BDR events, I receive complimentary entries and other amenities. All opinions are my own.

The only thing better than a good race is a great race series, and Best Damn Race provides one of the best around.

best damn race series

Best Damn Race is a race series created for runners, by runners. The events take place in four cities across the southeast, with race distances ranging from 5K to half marathon. In some cases, there are even challenges, where runners can take on a medley of distances in one morning. The challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to race in every BDR city in a calendar year.

The reward? Lots of cool bling,

and plenty of incredible friends.

I’ve been a staunch supporter of the events since they sprinted across my runner radar five years ago. So far, I have only run in Orlando and the now-retired Jacksonville, but this year, I will be adding Safety Harbor to my calendar and I couldn’t be more excited.

But how does one go about taking on an entire race series?

Create your plan of attack.

Four cities in three states in the span of eight weeks is no easy task. Get your ducks in a row by creating a budget and a plan to save. You may need flights, hotel rooms and even rental cars to make things happen. What about time off work? Get those requests in now to help prevent conflicts later down the line.

race series

Register early.

Registering early means you get the best deal on race prices. With a minimum of four races (more if you plan on running some of the challenges), fees can certainly add up, especially on top of potential travel costs, so it’s wise to save where you can. Oh, and don’t forget to take advantage of the RUNSWITHPUGS discount code. Use it and share it – it’s good for 10% off any race distance (including challenges) in any of the four BDR destinations.

BDR Discount Code

Registration links are as follows:

Assemble your friends.

Running (and travel) is better with your favorite people, so rally your troops. Having a team at your side means you’ll have plenty of support at race time, but it also means roommates and extra drivers and a way to split costs. Everyone wins! Traveling together makes the BDR race series way more affordable, and enjoyable, for everyone in your crew.

Book your travel.

Take advantage of the Best Damn Race hotel partnerships in discounts, for great places to stay. They will all be convenient to the races and offered at a group rate. If you have friends or family in the area, consider staying with them. Can you drive to the destinations or will you need to fly? Create an alert on a site like Kayak and book when the price feels right.

Create a training plan.

Ok, you’ve got all the pieces in place, but now you’ve got to do the work. Are you in the Best Damn Race Series for fun or is are you racing your hardest?Will you be going for the Medal Heads honor, where you run a half marathon in multiple BDR cities in a calendar year or will you mix up the distances to give your legs a break? Is it your plan to PR every BDR race you run? Or are you there for the free photo opps and the post-race mimosas? However you plan to run, get your plan in place and put in your training time. Getting injured halfway through due to inadequate preparation is definitely not part of anyone’s game plan.

Have fun!

At the end of the day, when the miles are logged and the medals are collected, the most important thing is the fun.

Best Damn Race is famous for its post-race party vibe and when you get through the miles on the course, be there for the photos opps, food and drink!

Well? What do you think? Are you game for a good race series? Will you join us for the Best Damn Race events?

If you’re a Best Damn Race veteran, tell me your favorite city and why?

Joining us for the first time? Where will we see you crossing the finish line?

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