race report: evergreen pumpkin run 10 miler {10.28.18}

Hoo boy, did I ever waffle about this race. It’s the race I’ve always wanted to love, but for some reason, it’s gotten in my head.

The Evergreen Pumpkin Run offers a 10 mile and 5K option, both routes winding through the historic Evergreen Cemetery. The paths are lined with hundreds of pumpkins, which runners are welcome to take after they finish.

It’s a beautiful run, with an interesting and scenic backdrop. For me, the weather is usually a factor, but this year, it promised to be cool with low humidity, and I figured since S and I both needed the miles and we were both available, why not give it another shot.

We arrived early in order to get a close-ish parking spot. Since we had opted for on-site packet pickup, we needed to park, walk all the way to check-in for our bibs and shirts, then back to the car and back to the race start (and bathrooms), it’s fairly critical to be there in advance. What we didn’t realize was that there was a new course, which meant that there were fewer spots than before due to road closures, and we managed to snag one of the last good ones.


We easily completed the boring details and hopped on line to wait for a portapotty. It always seems like there are so many runners and not enough bathrooms, but we had gotten on the queue in enough time to go and make it comfortably to the start line.

Miles 1 -3

The first three miles (give or take) follow a route through the actual cemetery. It’s really quite lovely and shaded with huge trees.

It can be crowded for those first miles, just because the 5K and 10 mile runners all head out together at the same time, but it clears up fairly quickly. The first three miles are always the easiest: it’s generally cooler under the trees, and there’s a lot of excitement with all the runners. It was one of the stronger starts I’ve had for this particular event.

Miles 3-7

In the past, the middle miles were comprised of two out and backs alongside and then perpendicular to the cemetery. At some point, in the years since I’ve run this race, things have changed to just one out and back. While this part of the course isn’t particularly interesting, I liked it so much better than in the past. After making the turnaround, runners knew they were headed back to the final miles and it felt fabulous to not have to strike out on another straightaway. There was one water stop about halfway through this portion of the race, which could be accessed from both sides and was staffed by some enthusiastic cheerleaders.

Miles 7-10

The final three miles are a repeat of the first three. By the time of the morning, it was definitely warmer, but it still wasn’t too hot, too humid or too sunny. I was tired, but mostly because I had forgotten to bring fuel (and there was none on the course. boo.). S is a great running and race buddy though, because we get to chatting so much and so intently that we almost forget we are running. S was also on the lookout for the grave sites of some of her relatives, so it kept us focused on pretty much everything but the growing discomfort.

And then finally, we reached the finish line! I was extra glad because I don’t think I’ve ever felt so great after finishing this particular race. It wasn’t the fastest, for sure, but I did feel good, and that has to count for something.

We did take a pass on the pumpkins (we were hungry and wanted to get something to eat), but we were just as thrilled with our awesome new bling!

Have you ever raced in a cemetery?

What do you do if you forget your fuel and none is available? 

weekly wrap: 11.4.18 – 11.10.18

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 – rest
Wednesday – 5.5 miles, running
Thursday –High Fitness hybrid workout
Friday – rest
Saturday – 6 miles, running

Well, as you can probably see, there was pretty much zero fitness this week. While I was not sick in the contagious sense, I am certainly suffering the effects of sinuses run amok. My days will start strong, but by noon, I am all wrung out. It’s frustrating and annoying, just because we, as per usual, have so much on the schedule.

That being said, the mature thing to do is rest. Unfortunately, some things went down this week that led to extreme anxiety and stress on my part, and not having my coping mechanism made things a little more difficult.

Sunday – rest

I had planned on 11 miles, but obviously with the fever the day before, that wasn’t even remotely a good idea. I pretty much parked it on the couch and watched football for the whole day.

Monday – rest

Mr PugRunner was very helpful in getting everything done in the mornings to help get little man out the door for school. I was much more slow moving this week than usual, so it was good to have someone step in as backup.

That being said, I was pretty frustrated with not being at the top of my game and spent the entire morning purging the kitchen. I cleared out tons of junk and it felt amazing.

Tuesday – rest

Election Day! We had talked with little man quite a bit about the importance of voting, especially with such important races in Florida. I really wanted to take him with me to the polls, but I wasn’t able to get out of bed early enough to go before school, and he had chorus practice after, so that was a bit of a bummer.

When he got home, he asked if he could help me make dinner (isn’t his shirt the best?)

Quite frankly, he did most of this chicken noodle soup, and it was pretty darn delicious. He’s going to have to do some more cooking around here.

And even if he didn’t make it to vote with me, he did dress for the occasion.

Wednesday – 5.5 miles, running

I was feeling decent enough that I could get up and head out. I also had these beautiful new shoes (Brooks Adrenaline GTS18) that came on Friday that I hadn’t been able to try. Five and half miles wasn’t setting any records, but it felt amazing to sweat out some of the stresses and toxins.

Unfortunately, I did pay for it the rest of the day, and turned in early.

Thursday – rest

It was a rest day, but there was still plenty to do. I had to get ready for Cub Scouts and then we had a planning meeting for the annual Mother Son Glow Party at school. It’s going to be a crazy good time, but bittersweet, as it will be the last mother son event of elementary school.

We had a great Scouts meeting, too. At this point, the kids are taking on more and more responsibility, and it’s great to see them grow.

The good day turned bad when I got home. Runs With Pugs had been hacked. And broken. Fantastic. I was really just at the end of my rope at this point, but after a few hours on the phone, and some great support from GoDaddy, we had a plan in place to rid the site of the White Screen of Death.

Friday – High Fitness hybrid

Friday was the school’s Vocabulary Parade. Every student takes a vocabulary word and dresses up in a costume to represent that word. It’s so awesome and there are some ridiculously creative costumes out there. The fifth graders were allowed to choose any science or social studies term, so little man picked “magnesium.”

I didn’t feel like I should go to the gym, so I cobbled together a workout based on some High Fitness kind of cardio videos I found on YouTube. Absolutely not as awesome as the class, but it got my heart pumping.

Of course, after that, I was done. Mr PugRunner wanted to go to the movies, but I was mostly interested in sitting on the couch instead. Womp womp.

Saturday – 6 miles, running

I finally dragged my butt out for a run. It felt good, even if it was slow and I took some extended walk breaks. I started listening to the Dirty John podcast (I had already read the newspaper series, and the Bravo special is starting soon, I figured I would treat myself to a refresher of the material).

In the afternoon, we attended a memorial for my friend and fellow Scout Leader who had passed. It was a beautiful day at a local beach park. Members of our pack joined with family members to share memories, hugs, laughs and some tears, and we all received a memorial patch with his initials. He was a chef, and had done so much of the pack’s grilling, so we had a plaque made to go on the grill in his honor. It was hard, but it was also very helpful to have that closure.

I also loved that the kids got a few hours to run in the fresh air and climb all the trees. There are few things cooler than kids just running around and playing.


And so another week closes. I want to be excited about the upcoming holidays, but I confess to being a little overwhelmed. I am sitting back to compartmentalize as best I can so that we can all make it through.

I have 107 miles left to run for the year, and I think I should be able to complete that fairly easily, even though the holidays are here. I think I have decided to take on the DONNA 1/2 Marathon, especially because the new course promises to be flatter and faster, and maybe, just maybe I can find something convenient in another state. I am completely open to suggestions.

Runs With Pugs is back, too! GoDaddy was hugely helpful (and kind and sympathetic as well). They got me up and running (and updated) within 72 hours, and gave me some great advice for some future hosting purchases, as well.

Next up? Camping, a wedding and Thanksgiving. I have a 5K on Thanksgiving morning, and I am excited for this one!

How was your week in training?

Any advice for a great spring half marathon? Could be in Florida but I can also travel.

race report: run for the warriors 5k {10.14.2018}

When Mr PugRunner made the arrangements to go to San Francisco, he knew that I was definitely going to want to run a race there. It was a little frustrating because there were several races in the area, but none that were in walking distance, and all would require a fairly lengthy Uber ride.

I also kind of wanted a medal to commemorate racing in my seventh state.

Mr PugRunner let me know that his conference was actually sponsoring the Run for the Warriors 5K, and while there was no associated bling, transportation was provided to the venue, and let’s face it: the cause was beyond worthy (running in honor of wounded and fallen servicepeople).

We registered a week before we boarded our flight to the West Coast.

Packet pickup was held during check in at the conference. It was a bit of a mess, through no fault of the race organization – the fire alarms went off just as we reached the table, and we all had to evacuate and remain outside until we got the all-clear. Fortunately, it was just a false alarm, and we were able to proceed to get our bibs.

We also scored t-shirts. Since we had signed up on the later side, we weren’t guaranteed them, but when we collected our things, they had plenty of sizes still available. Yay!

Per the race instructions, we were to meet at a hotel just a few blocks from ours for the 6:00 AM bus on race day. It was nice to have transportation provided and gave us a warm place to hang out before we had to unload into the park where the start line was set up.

There were a few vendor tents , and since we were in a park, there was access to real restrooms, which was nice.

As the start time approached, the organizers spoke about their gratitude to everyone running and volunteering, as well as the Run for the Warriors organization. There was a grassy area in the starting area that was fun of small flags, and we were all asked to select one with which to run. Each flag was labeled with the name of a fallen soldier, and by running with those flags, we were helping to honor their sacrifice.

It was a very meaningful gesture.

In a lot of ways, the race was very low-frills: no medal, no chip-timing, very small field. However, those are things that end of taking away from the bottom line of donations, so it’s understandable. What they did have was a flat, well-marked and well-attended course. There were plenty of directional arrows and volunteers guiding the way for the 5k and the one mile routes.

The weather was lovely, and we ran past AT&T Park, along the water, before making a u-turn for the return trip. It was a lovely run with beautiful views, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Mr PugRunner and I ran separately, so when I crossed the finish line, I grabbed some goodies (they had yummy snacks: cookies and cheez-its and granola bars) and sat down to wait for him to come through.

The busses were lined up, waiting to shuttle us back to our hotels, and that was a wrap to our race morning.

It was definitely a different experience. The field was small but crazy fast (everyone seems to run fast in San Francisco), and it’s always interesting not to recognize at least one person at a race. However, it was a solid race, and I was very happy to support the Hope for the Warriors organization.

Do you ever race in other states?

What are some factors that make a race great for you?

weekly wrap: 10.28.18 – 11.3.18

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 – Evergreen Pumpkin Run, 10 miles, running
Monday – rest
Tuesday – 5.5 miles + back/arms
Wednesday – rest
Thursday –1.62 miles, treadmill running + squat session
Friday – 6 miles, running
Saturday – rest

Things calmed down this week. Not a ton, but enough to get a little breather.

Sunday – Evergreen Pumpkin Run, 10 miles running

S and I registered for the Evergreen Pumpkin Run, a 10 mile race that takes place in one of the oldest cemeteries in Jacksonville. It’s a really, really fabulous event, but for whatever reason, it does not agree with me. However, we needed the miles, so we went for it.


Afterwards, we visited the graves of some of her family members who were buried there.

The rest of the day was just nice and easy. I was definitely feeling the miles in my legs, so I appreciated not having much else to do at home.

Monday – rest

It felt right to take the day off completely. We had a few loose ends to tidy up at the school, so I did my part by getting the donations of canned goods off to the donation drop and then treating myself to a manicure.

Tuesday – 5.5 miles + backs/arms

Hard run in the morning – my legs were still pretty sore, but it also felt great to get out, especially since the weather has been so gorgeous.

I did a little gym time, too.

After homework, little man finished carving his pumpkin. He did it all on his own, off a design of his own creation. It was perfect.

Wednesday – rest


I really love this particular holiday, and I was excited about the day. First, it was Mad Scientist Day for the 5th graders. They are the only ones allowed to dress up in “costume” in school (it has to be Mad Scientist themed) and they get to spend the whole day doing cool experiments, followed by a pizza lunch.

I got to help mix Ooblek, and then watched the kids make elephant toothpaste and catapults, create explosion in a ziplock bag with vinegar and baking soda, and launch film canister rockets with alka seltzer tablets.

And then we made a huge taco dinner for our friends and went trick or treating.

Thursday – 1.62 miles hill workout, squat session

I was too tired to get up to do a real run, so I settled for a hill workout on the treadmill followed by a squat session with over 200 squats. Ugh.

That evening, we had a Scouts meeting, which went fairly well. We are starting to see some major progress from our Den, which always feels wonderful.

Friday – 6 miles, running

Temperatures heated up a bit, so the morning run was not quite as pleasant. There wasn’t much time to enjoy the feeling, since I had a big PTA meeting that ended up taking up half the day.

When little man got home from school, he had sleepover plans with one of his friends, and we had reservations for dinner. Sunday would be our 12th anniversary, and we were celebrating a little early with a yummy meal at an upscale BBQ joint.

Saturday – rest

The plan was to maybe get up a little earlier, get in some miles and then join the boys for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The reality was that I woke up at 2:00AM with a 101.4 degree fever, and found myself flat out grounded for the day.

Not only did I have to miss the walk, but I also couldn’t go to the girls’ night in to which I had been looking forward for WEEKS. Ugh.

The boys had a great day, though. They had a wonderful time at the walk,

and then they went to a sort of “bachelor party” for a dad friend and his son. Mr PugRunner will be a groomsman in the wedding, so they did a fun day of Dave & Buster’s, Top Golf and an autobahn racing course.


And that’s the wrap on the week. I’m a little frustrated that my body is taking matters into its own hands – I really don’t like it when I’m forced to slow up and take stock. I have too much to do to have time for that nonsense. But it is what it is and I just have to roll with it.

How was your week in training?

How was your Halloween?

weekly wrap: 10.20.18 – 10.27.18

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

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

Here’s the week in numbers:

Sunday – rest
Monday – 6 miles, running + biceps/standing core workout
Tuesday – chest + shoulders
Wednesday – rest
Thursday –rest
Friday – 4 miles, running, total of  steps
Saturday – 24,126 steps

Intentions. Mine were good. Great, even. And then, and then, and then.

Weather. School carnival. Death. When I finally sat down tonight to write this post, all the feels hit at once. It’s like being hit by a truck. Ugh. I haven’t had the luxury of time to  acknowledge my feelings

Sunday – rest

After a busy Friday an dSaturday, Sunday was fairly low-key. I ran some errands and spent the afternoon in my friend’s garage, working on building games for our school’s annual carnival. We put a lot of work into creating really awesome attractions for our carnival, and when you have a lot of people working together, it’s incredibly fun.

Monday – 6 miles, running + biceps/standing core workout

I started the week refreshed and raring to go. We ran, and i t felt great to get back out there.

The gym was great, too. I missed doing weights while I was away, and it felt great to be back at it.

Tuesday – chest/shoulders

The weather was yucky, so some time in the gym again was just what the doctor ordered.

That evening, we had McTeacher Night at our local McDonalds. It’s a really fun night, where teachers and staff members man the drive-thru, fry station and register, and the school families come in to have dinner, with a portion of proceeds going back to the school. I was on raffle ticket duty.

Wednesday – rest

After a very restless night of sleep, I woke to the tragic news that a friend and fellow Scout leader had passed away, quite unexpectedly, at the age of 33. it was really devastating news, and I don’t know if it’s really sunk in, yet.

I was in a daze for most of the day. I couldn’t quite get myself together, and I really struggled with adulting. Fortunately, Mr PugRunner was there to pick up the slack for me, and I am grateful for that.

Thursday – rest

I don’t think I could have run if I wanted to. I wasn’t really in much of a mood to do anything. I worked on some signs for carnival, and headed over to school in the afternoon to help with some finishing touches on some of the games.

Scouts that night was hard. We had an emergency meeting to talk things over amongst the leaders, and then our den took on the 2nd grade den as their leader was out sick. It was a little intimidating to do a lesson for a whole new group of kiddos, but it went pretty smoothly.

Friday – 4 miles, running, total of  32,381 steps

This run was awful, but necessary. I was just not in the right head space, but I needed to move. I was absolutely miserable the whole time, but it got done. My garage was full of hay bales for the weekend’s events.

And then it was time to focus on the school carnival. The weather had not been in our favor, and while temperatures were beautiful, bands of storms had left our activity field a swampy mess. At 10:00 AM, the decision was made to move everything inside and we got to work, organizing games, signs and prizes. Gates opened at 6:00 PM, and it was go go go all day.

The event was a smashing success. We had a few hiccups on the operational end (namely, that an entire group of volunteers didn’t show up), so it felt like we were putting out fires all night. To be honest, I only got a few pictures, although I feel like this one was the most important.

Due to a fabulous, hardworking team, plus the support of our community, the carnival was a smashing success. We were able to get everything cleaned up and put away, and I was in bed by 11:30. Way past my bedtime, but that was ok.

Saturday – rest

I wanted to spend half the day in bed, but I had committed to help out at a local Kids Fest on behalf of St. Augustine Moms Blog. I’ve been contributing content for them for three years, and I love that we are able to provide so many resources to the local moms in our community.

When I had finished there, it was time to help Mr PugRunner with our neighborhood Trunk or Treat. He has been volunteering at the Events Chair for our community, and this was his second big production. Once again, photos were slim, but I did get this adorable one of little man, at our Mad Scientist display.

It was a little too windy to get everything right, but it was cute and we had tons of trick or treaters! All in all, another success!

I had to get to bed because S and I were running a 10 mile race on Sunday morning, as if we didn’t have enough to do!


So it was a hard week, for reasons listed here, and due to other horrible events this weekend. Obviously, my focus was on a thousand different things and not at all on how many miles I was running or what my gym time looked like. I tried to do enough to help keep my anxiety in check, to be supportive to those in need and to let the rest of it go. Staying busy was mostly helpful, but I did struggle in some of the quiet moments.

I’m still terribly sad, and it comes on suddenly and hard. I’m grateful for the friends and family who have been there through the tragedies, and I know it will get easier with time.

How was your week in training?

How do you keep yourself moving through the difficult times?

weekly wrap: 10.7.18 – 10.20.18

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 – 3 miles, treadmill running + thighs/booty workout
Wednesday – 6 miles, running
Thursday – 16,648 steps
Friday – 6 miles, running, total of 25,302 steps
Saturday – 24,126 steps

Sunday – Hope for the Warriors 5K, total of 33,824 steps
Monday – 5 miles, running, total of 27.835 steps
Tuesday – 14,571 steps
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – elliptical, 20 minutes, bicep + chest workout
Friday – 1.5 miles, treadmill, standing core workout, tricep + shoulder workout
Saturday – rest

It’s been two weeks since I’ve been in the space, and I apologize for that. If you’ve been following my Instagram, you’ll have seen that I was off in San Francisco with Mr PugRunner. He had a conference and I got to tag along for the week! it was a great time and a much needed vacation for us!

I’ll try to zip through these two weeks.

Sunday – rest

Since I had done so much on Saturday, I didn’t feel the need to do much of anything on Sunday. Despite high temperatures, we went with friends to a local pumpkin patch and corn maze to try to get our fall on.

Monday – rest

Another rest day. I had so much to do in preparation for the upcoming trip. There were errands to run and bags to pack (and repack). We went to karate and called it a day.

Tuesday – 3 miles, treadmill + thighs/booty workout

S and I woke up with plans to run, but it was absolutely pouring rain. Blah. After dropping little man at school, I hit the gym. I was only able to manage three miles on the treadmill, and followed it up with some thighs and booty.

PS – After this gym session, I learned that the no tank tops rule had been lifted. Victory!

Wednesday – 6 miles, running

We made up for Tuesday’s shortcomings with a 6 mile run. Yay!

I made sure I had updated the school with all of our contact information and wrote out lists of instructions for my parents.

I got my hair colored and cut and even treated myself to a manicure (the first in probably a decade). S swears by the SNS dip powder, so I went for it (and I am on day 10 and it is still going strong without any UV light.)

My parents got to the house late that evening because our flight was first thing in the morning, so we stayed up, went over last minute info and then hit the hay.

Thursday – 16,648 steps

It was a long day of travel. Originally, we had planned our layover through Atlanta, but because of the hurricane, we were switched to JFK. Everything went smoothly, but it was almost six hours on planes, which was tough.

However, we arrived in San Francisco, around noon local time and it was just phenomenal. We got to our hotel, the Grand Hyatt, and checked in without issue.

For our first night, we went full on tourist. We took a walk down to Pier 39 for clam chowder in bread bowls at the Boudin Bakery and because I wanted to see the sea lions.

Afterwards, we had reservations for the Museum of Ice Cream. I had seen pictures of the pop up installations on Instagram, but San Francisco is now home to the first permanent location. It was straight up fun, with tons of awesome photo ops and joy. I am so glad we went.

While we were having a blast in the sprinkle pool, Scouts was totally under control. One of our parents is a deputy, who generously gifted his time to speak to the den about good citizenship and working to fix issues in the community.

Friday – 6 miles, running; total of 25,302 steps

Mr PugRunner was scheduled to set up for his conference and I wanted to go for a run in the beautiful, non-humid weather. I was trying to join up with a local running group, but the concierge advised against running to the meeting point and I got a little anxious about being alone in an unfamiliar place, especially with that advice. Instead, I was handed this awesome card with several routes and options listed on it, and felt much more comfortable.

Before I set out for real, I ran one mile to Mr Holmes Bakeshop for cruffins (fresh croissants baked in a muffin tin, stuffed with delicious fillings and rolled in sugar).

Mischief, managed, I dropped my bounty at the hotel and opted to take the path towards the AT&T Stadium. I got a lovely six miles along the waterfront, and had a blast.

Mr PugRunner returned and we enjoyed a yummy lunch at a sliders restaurant, and then took a nap before dinner. We were both fairly beat and he needed to be well rested before his conference began.

Saturday – 24,126 steps

After breakfast, I walked Mr PugRunner to the convention center so we could pick up our packets for Sunday’s 5K and so I could see his booth. He had done a wonderful job and I was so proud of him.

And then I was on my own. I had a few things I wanted to see, so I set off down Market Street towards the water. I was thinking about the Presidio, but noticed a sign for the Coit Tower and detoured. 263 steps later, I paid for a ticket to ride the elevator to the top for a stunning view of the city.

Worth it.

I came down a different flight of stairs and my GPS informed me I wasn’t too far from Lombard Street. I hadn’t ever seen that twisty piece of road in person, so off I went. You know my legs were on fire from all the hills – we just don’t have anything like it in Florida.

I made it all the way down to Fisherman’s Wharf, got some ice cream and enjoyed the view of the water before Mr PugRunner called me and suggested I meet him at a sports bar to catch some of the canes game. It was another mile walk. Uphill. But I did it – it felt like a personal victory not to break down and call an Uber.

Sunday – Hope for the Warriors 5K; total of 33,824 steps

First ting in the morning, we hopped on a shuttle to the Mission Creek Park for the Hope for the Warriors 5K, sponsored by the conference. We would be running pretty much the reverse route of what I ran the other day, so I knew it would be beautiful, and I was excited. Race report to come.

When we were finished, we bussed back to the hotel and I set Mr PugRunner off to Day 2 of his event.

Me? Well, I called an Uber and asked to be taken to the Tiled Steps, a set of stairs set in a neighborhood, which are completely decorated in mosaics and maintained by members of the community. They are stunning.

My Uber driver had recommended that after climbing these stairs, to continue along the road to a second, plainer flight, and to continue climbing to the park on top of that hill. He was right. The view was amazing.

I wasn’t done with my day, though. Not even close.

I walked down the hills and made my way to Golden Gate Park. I had seen on the map that there was a bison paddock and I had a mind to see some buffalo.

From there, I wandered down Haight Boulevard, taking in the unique storefronts and beautiful murals.

We had another lovely dinner and called it a night, after these delicious ice cream sandwiches.

Monday – 5 miles, running; total of 27,835 steps

This was my Golden Gate Bridge day. When Mr PugRunner went off to work, I Ubered to the Welcome Center and prepared to run this iconic landmark. It was fabulous: 1.7 miles each way, with gorgeous views.

I continued my run down into the Presidio running along Crissy Field and the beach, all the way to the Palace of Fine Arts. I slacked off somewhere around the Marina and walked the rest of the way back to the hotel. The wind and hills took quite a bit out of me, but it was a fabulous day.

We celebrated the end of the conference with delicious tacos and margaritas.

Tuesday – 14,571 steps

I had been looking forward to this day all week. We had booked a tour to Muir Woods and Sausalito and we were both pretty stoked to see the sequoias. The bus ride into the valley was just slightly terrifying, but the woods were breathtaking.

We didn’t get nearly enough time to explore, so that will be something for next time.  The bus took us back to the little town of Sausalito, and we were free to stay as long as the ferries were running back into town.

There were clams and rosé on the water, more ice cream of course, and just some nice strolling and quality time.

But, all good things must come to an end. We wrapped our day, had a yummy last dinner in town, and got our things together so we wouldn’t have much to do in the morning.

Wednesday – rest

Another long day of flying. It was bizarre losing three hours along the way, but we were so happy to be home and reunited with little man and the pugs.

Thursday – elliptical, 20 minutes + bicep/chest workout

Being back at home meant it was time to get back into the swing. I managed a nice workout at the gym, and then had a few things to manage: Friday night’s gala at the Lightner Museum and the first combined Pack meeting of the Scouts year. Yikes.

Gym time? Done.

I had rented some dresses from Rent the Runway and was thrilled when they came in so I could try them on. However, I still needed shoes and accessories, so that was on the list, too.

Friday – 1.5 miles, treadmill running + tricep/shoulder workout

Promenade the Alcazar day had arrived. I was really nervous, especially since I still needed to secure the right shoes and jewelry. I bought everything before little man got home from school. I had fantastic advice from some of the women in the school front office as well as some friends, and one of my friends even came over to do my hair (since everyone knows I’m incapable of doing that properly).

I think it all came together pretty well.

Saturday – rest

I was happy to sort of sleep in and lounge around the house a bit. In the evening, we had a trivia night to benefit our Scouts pack. It was a fun night, and our team came in 4th Place! Whoo hoo!


And there it is. Two fabulous weeks. Sure, my running miles were way down, but all those hill miles of walking surely made up for it. I will definitely share more details of the trip, simply because there is so much, so stay tuned for that, too!


How was your week in training?

How hard do you focus on continuing your training while you’re on vacation?


weekly wrap: 9.30.18 – 10.6.18

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 – 8 miles, running
Monday – 1.1 mile hill workout + thighs/booty workout
Tuesday – 7 miles, running 
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – 5.5 miles, running + bicep workout
Friday – rest
Saturday – 9 miles, running + High Fitness, 60 minutes

October started strong, and that’s the way I like it. Not saying the week wasn’t challenging: I’ve had a crick in my neck since last weekend. But that’s ok. I’m feeling more positive, more upbeat and ready to take on the world.

Let’s take a look back over my last week.

Sunday – 8 miles, running

Since we bailed on Saturday’s run, we were up for Sunday. The eight miles were ugly and sticky and humid, and I hated every second of it (aside from the company). Ugh.

Mr. PugRunner took little man to get fitted for a suit for an upcoming wedding, and I’m not going to lie. It was the cutest thing pretty much ever.

My parents came over to watch football, little man went to hang out with some friends and that was Sunday. It was just a very nice day.

Monday – 1.1 miles, hill intervals + thigh/booty workout

I had a few things to do around the school, and then I took myself to the gym. We are currently battling a tank top mandate (apparently, wearing tank tops is unsanitary and can lead to the spread of MRSA and ringworm???? To which point, I say don’t come to the gym with ringworm!!! Also, leotards are approved. We are working on fighting this), so I struggled a bit with sleeves. Who knew a neighborhood gym could be such a hotbed of difficulty?

It was a great workout though. I was definitely feeling it in my thighs when I left.

The rest of the day proceeded as usual with school pickup, karate and dinner.

Tuesday – 7 miles, running

I had the time so I ran most of this with S, and then finished up on my own. Tuesdays are a late pick up day, so it was nice to have some time to run errands and get some things done.

I also got to have a lovely coffee date with a dear friend.

Wednesday – rest

Ah, rest day! I thought about going to the gym, but I had to be at the school early to help Safety Patrol sell Spirit Sticks (these really cute little tags that hang from keychains on the kids’ backpacks. They are all the rage and it’s a great fundraiser for our Patrols), followed by a planning meeting for our fall carnival. By the time I got finished with that, I didn’t feel like doing much else.

Thursday – 5.5 miles running + arm workout

I had originally planned to go running Thursday, Friday and Saturday, so I didn’t push the distance this day.

I was at school early to take care of a few things, and then got stuck there due to a big car accident on the only road in. There was a bit of drama: S called to make sure it had not been me in the accident. I had left my phone in the office because I was helping to paint, so didn’t answer. Long story short, poor Mr PugRunner was convinced that little man and I were wrapped up in the mess. Ugh.

I got him calmed down and made my way home as soon as the roads were clear. It was fairly emotionally exhausting so I did my arm workout at the house after he finally left for work.

That night, we had a really cool Scouts meeting. I helped the kids make a battery out of lemons.

I had no idea if it was going to be a success, but the Scouts all worked together and we got the small LED to light up! I think everyone was fairly impressed. Score!

Friday – rest

Friday was a day and a half!

First up, a PTA Board meeting. I left there and zipped off for smoothies with a friend I haven’t seen in months! When that was finished, I picked up Mr PugRunner and we went to lunch with S and her husband.

By that time, I had to get little man from school, and I wasn’t at all sorry to get home and park it on the couch. Yay.

Saturday – 9 miles, running + High Fitness class

I didn’t want to do both these things but I also can’t say no to L when she asks me to go to High Fitness. It’s just so fun.

S and I headed out on our nine mile long run and we were both thrilled that it wasn’t quite as hot as it’s been. In fact, it was a pleasant run and I was thrilled to see it reflected in the pace.

I absolutely also loved the High Fitness class. I confess to dragging a little toward the end, but I didn’t take any of the modifications, so that was a total win.

From there, I had to pick up supplies for little man’s project on the Innuit and then I rushed back home so we could make it to the kick off of the Miami/FSU game with the local chapter of the Hurricanes Club.

Man, it was a rough one, but we pulled off the win, finally. We had a great time with my parents, some friends, and other Canes fans.


Not a bad way to start October, right? A lot of great things are coming up, and I can’t wait to share them all here! Halloween is almost here, and I need to get moving on the decorating for all the festivities to come!

How was your week in training?

Do you prefer watching games at home or out at sports bars if you can’t be at the game?


celebrate the non-scale victories

We don’t have a scale.

I don’t weigh myself, or my food. I don’t count calories. The only numbers and data I track are my miles and hours in the gym (and even then, I don’t count those hours consistently).

For one thing, numbers and I are not compatible. For the other, I don’t like when my focus gets too narrow. If I’m hung up on the numbers on the scale, then I tend to forget about all the awesome things I am accomplishing outside that scope.

I don’t know if I’m losing pounds or inches, but I do know that things have changed (for the better). So what are these non-scale victories?


Regardless of weight or jeans size, staying active and logging hours on the road or at the gym have given me confidence I’ve never had before. I stand taller, hold my head higher and tend to put myself out there a bit more. It’s empowering to be proud of yourself just for being you. More of us should be.

I Can Eat What I Want.

It’s true that you can’t outrun your fork, but if you’ve committed to a regular fitness regime, you generally don’t have to worry about it as much. We eat well at home (vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and the like), but when I want to indulge a foodie tendency or ice cream craving (because ice cream is my Kryptonite), it’s not too much of a concern.

A Heightened Sense of Adventure.

In the past, if someone suggested trying a new activity, I would absolutely be the first to say no. I would be so embarrassed by the idea of failing, making a fool of myself or just simply not being able to do whatever was suggested. I missed out on so much. Now, with my newfound confidence, I jump at the chance to try something new and out of the box. Bring on the hiking/rock climbing/zip lining/white water rafting/aerial yoga/whatever you have to throw at me. I’m game.

I’m Stronger.

Strong is where it’s at, and thanks to all the running and lifting, I’m stronger than I ever used to be. I can see it in the new muscles that have developed, in the weight of things I can lift, and I can feel it in my energy levels and in the things I can do. I love knowing that I can do hard things and that I’m “charged” for so much longer.

I Need A New Wardrobe.

This is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s fantastic to have clothes fit better or be too large. On the other, it can get pricey to have to purchase a new wardrobe. I have reached a point where none of my current clothes fit me, so it was off to the store. I had to make two trips to the fitting room because the first round of items I grabbed was still too big. Whoops. Even more cool is that due to this new confidence, I am more willing to try on things I wouldn’t ordinarily have in the past, and am finding lots of fun, new things.


Do you use a scale or other means to measure your fitness goals and results?

What non scale victories do you celebrate?

it happens anywhere

I’ve taken my time with this post because I didn’t know how to write it. I struggled most of last week, both with the situation and with if and how I should share it.  What it comes down to is that it’s important to know that we can’t take our safety for granted, and always have to be the most active of participants in our own protection.

I follow “the rules.”

I don’t go running by myself without letting at least one person know where I am and when I’ll be back.

If I’m alone, I keep my headphones off or low enough that I can clearly hear around me. I listen for footsteps or cars.

I make eye contact.

I rely on my height and my build, standing tall and “making myself large,” as if I’m dealing with grizzly bears and not random people I pass on the sidewalk.

Stay aware. Be alert. Don’t look lost. Don’t make yourself a target. Know your exit strategy. Because that’s what you’ve been taught, what you’ve learned.

Because that’s what you do.

Those are the rules.

But even when you do those things, when you play by those rules, someone can walk up to you in broad daylight, insert themselves into your space, and make uninvited, unwanted contact without batting an eye. And you’re left wondering what the hell just happened and trying to shrug off the slimy, icky film that now seems to cling to you.

When our community gym opened, we had the option to fill out a waiver for extended hours. Mr PugRunner took care of it, and reported that I could now get in those early morning workouts if I wanted.

I had checked out the area while on one of my pre-dawn runs, however, and I wasn’t sure I felt confident about security. Not enough flood lights. Locks and doors not quite substantial enough. No big windows open to the road. In short: should things happen to go sideways, there would be no one to see me in distress and no one to hear me scream.

He looked at me  funny, but said nothing. He’s used to my little idiosyncrasies after almost 12 years of marriage, and the conversation was over. Daytime gym time, here we come.

Things were great. Sometimes I was alone. Sometimes I worked out alongside people I knew and sometimes alongside strangers. I was always pleasant, said “hello” and “have a nice day”, and was careful not to hoard equipment.

But even with that, in spite of it, I found myself in a position of vulnerability. Minding my own business, running on the treadmill.

At which point, a person who I have only seen a handful of times, with whom I have exchanged the most superficial of words, whose name I do not even know, came right up to the left side of my treadmill and wrapped his arm around behind me. In a hug? His arm or hand made contact with my lower back and hip and I remember kind of wiggle stepping away on the moving belt because I was sweating and, like most people, prefer not to be touched when sweating.

I prefer not to be touched by people I don’t know at all.

I should have said something. I should have called him out and told him to keep his hands to himself. But then I thought maybe I had it all wrong. No one else batted an eye (the man had a companion with him). Maybe I was being dramatic. Maybe he was just trying to be friendly. Maybe it was all an innocent misunderstanding. Maybe it wasn’t.

For the rest of the day, I second guessed. I was embarrassed that I was bothered by this seemingly small and meaningless gesture, and angry for not standing up for myself. Absurdly, I blamed myself for putting myself in a position where this could happen, then went over the things I could have done differently, then raged that I couldn’t even go for a run without having to be on my guard.

I’m ok. I am. I’m disappointed in myself for not being stronger but I know better for next time. I have been back to the gym twice since that incident, but I went at a different time to minimize the chance of running into him and I wasn’t sorry to take a few days off due to other obligations. I need to get back on that horse, though. The longer I wait, the harder it will be.

I am entitled to be in that space, without worrying about that space being invaded by anyone. We are all entitled to that. My guard is up, now, and I will be sure to keep myself from being in that same position again.

What are the extra methods you employ to keep yourself safe?

Have you ever had an unwanted or unpleasant encounter while working out? How did you deal with it?

weekly wrap: 9.23.18 – 9.29.18

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 – 1.6 mile hill workout + strength training
Tuesday – 5.5 miles treadmill, running + strength training
Wednesday – 10:00 elliptical + strength training
Thursday – 6.3 miles, running 
Friday – rest
Saturday – rest

Things this week were mostly better. We got the results of Delilah’s EKG and found out that she is borderline for hypothyroidism. Because of her low heart rate, the vet and endocrinologist want to hold off on medication to see if losing weight helps her out any. She is already down a pound, so that’s great news.

Additionally, we had some positive luck and good things happening, which was certainly encouraging in the midst of everything else.

Sunday – rest

Sunday started out with a fantastic surprise: tickets to the Jaguars game. It was super crazy last minute, but we were able to get it together, collect one of Aiden’s buddies and make it in time for kick off.

It was miserably hot out, but the kids had such a great time. We watched part of the first quarter and the end of the last quarter, and then spent the rest of the time in the viewing areas in the shaded, more air-conditioned areas of the stadium.

The kids held up beautifully: we enjoyed some of the yummy food,

and I was incredibly excited to get this teal Mr Softee ice cream in a helmet with teal and black sprinkles. Heaven.

They also both won grand prizes from the $10-a-spin prize wheel: little man scored two tickets to the zoo and his friend selected a Riddell mini helmet. They couldn’t have been happier.

Monday – 1.6 miles, treadmill, hill intervals + strength training

After dropping little man at school, I hit up the gym for some hills and strength training. Each time I go to the gym, I try to work out a different sets of muscles. Sometimes I use free weights, sometimes the machines and sometimes I rely on body weight It just depends on how I’m feeling and what I’m hoping to accomplish that day. It’s been working.

When I picked little man up from Safety Patrol, he couldn’t wait to tell me that he won two tickets to the Harlem Wizards vs local teachers that week. He had been asking to go but he entered a raffle at school and his name was selected. He was thrilled!

Tuesday – 5 miles, treadmill 

I was planning on a morning run, but the minute I started to get out of bed, the heavens opened. Boo. So it was back to sleep for a few hours.

Running lots of miles on the mill was a bit of a struggle so I cut it off at five. I followed it up with some crunches and core work, which was a nice way to balance everything out.

Wednesday – 15:00 elliptical + strength training

I wasn’t feeling up to getting back on the treadmill after an incident that occurred on Tuesday (I’ve made the decision to blog about it, so look for that post on Wednesday), so instead I made another attempt at the elliptical. Would you know, I was finally able to make my body move in the proper way, and got in a really solid 15 minutes.

Then it was on to a really nice leg workout, with lots of squats, lunges and some wall sits.

I had a lunch meeting with one of my editors, which was extremely productive. Especially because we got to eat some yummy food at Treylor Park.

Little man could not wait to get to the Wizards game. He was absolutely climbing the walls with excitement and I was so glad that he and Mr PugRunner were going to have a nice night together. He got to see two of his school’s teachers play again the Wizards, who were engaging in all their tricks and fancy maneuvers. He got some player autographs on his jersey and hung out with some of his buddies, too.

It was definitely a special treat to be out late on a school night, but he has been working hard and deserved it.

Thursday – 6.3 miles, running

Thursday was a packed day. First up, a muggy run.

Then drop off and tons of errands. I needed some supplies for a potential Scouts project and some new clothes. I’ve found that things aren’t fitting me anymore, and I needed a new business professional type outfit for a media event on Friday.

Mr PugRunner and I met my parents for lunch, which was a nice break.

We got $1 pizza slices prior to the Scouts meeting, and we were fortunate enough to meet up with some of ours and little man’s friends while there. I love it when the timing just works out.

Friday – rest

Little man called me into the main hallway on our way into the school to show me the mural his art teacher created out of hundreds of feathers decorated by his school mates. It was absolutely stunning.

I was invited to a VIP Media Preview of the Promenade the Alcazar event at the Lightner Museum. This will be the 130th Anniversary of the Alcazar Hotel and 70th Anniversary of the Museum itself.

Guests were treated to a behind the scenes look at the rooms and exhibits to be highlighted at the gala, and I can’t wait to see how everything looks on the big night. It’s going to be stunning.

The curators and staff of the Lightner were delighted to share the collections and visions for the big night.

We were even invited upstairs to see the new storage areas and how items are catalogued. I was thrilled that we were given white curator’s gloves and allowed to handle a piece from a collection of miniature dogs.

It was such an incredible opportunity.

Mr PugRunner and I had a sushi lunch and then I spent the rest of the day getting ready for the weekend.

Saturday – rest

The plan was to go out for a long run with S, but she wasn’t feeling up to it and promised me we could go on Sunday instead. So I took advantage of a little more sleep.

The morning plan was a popcorn show and sell for the Scouts, and we followed that with some shopping, some parties and some time with friends.

I desperately needed some new jeans and tops – I am running out of things that fit me (my current selections are too big), and I am tired of hiking up my jeans and adjusting my tops. I hate clothing shopping, but it’s a necessary evil and I hope I made some decent selections.


So it was a better week. A more reasonable week. I went back at the workouts with some enthusiasm, but the end of the week slow down didn’t bother me either.

I ran almost 90 miles in September, which puts me at 788 miles for the year. That means only 212 to go! I can’t believe it! Last year, I ran a grand total of 835.42 miles, and I am closing in on that fast. My goals have been all over the place this year, but my 1000 in 2018 goal is going great.

To that point, I’ve done really well at getting in my cross and strength training. I’m putting in at least three days a week at the gym, sometimes more, and I like how that is going. At least I have that going for me.

For October, I have a few races planned, and I am absolutely looking forward to some fun events and travels. It’s going to be a fabulous month, I just know it.

How was your week in training?

Are you a fan of shopping for new clothes?


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