weekly wrap: 7.8.18 – 7.14.18

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

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

Here’s the week in numbers:

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

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

Sunday – 3oo abs

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

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

MiniBar even supplied special mermaid donuts for the event.

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

Monday – 6.46 miles, running

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

And then we were back to regular life.

Tuesday – rest

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

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

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

Wednesday – 7 miles, running; 300 abs

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

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

Thursday – rest

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

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

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

Friday – 8 miles, running

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

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

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

Saturday – rest

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

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

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

 

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

How was your week in training?

Do you roller skate?

race report: bhic turtle trot 5k {7.3.18}

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

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

The BHIC Turtle Trot 5K it was!

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

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

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

But I digress.

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

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

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

Done and done.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The race had set out water, bananas and bagels,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

weekly wrap: 7.1.18 – 7.7.18

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

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

Here’s the week in numbers:

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

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

Sunday – rest

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

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

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

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

Monday – rest

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

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

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

Tuesday – Turtle Trot 5K (Bald Head Island)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday – rest

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

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

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

Thursday – rest

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

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

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

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

Friday – rest

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

Saturday – 6 miles, running

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

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

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

 

So now what?

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

How was your week in training?

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

weekly wrap: 6.24.2018 – 6.30.2018

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

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

Here’s the week in numbers:

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

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

Sunday – rest

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

Monday – 6 miles, running

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

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

Tuesday – rest + 60 minutes, kayaking

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday – 6.25 miles, running

Another solid run.

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

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

Thursday – rest + lighthouse climbing

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

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

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

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

Friday – 6 miles, running

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

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

Saturday – 4 miles, running

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

How was your week in training?

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

weekly wrap: 6.17.2018 – 6.23.2018

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

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

Here’s the week in numbers:

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

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

Sunday – rest + :20 plank

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

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

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

Monday – rest

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday – rest

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

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

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

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

Wednesday – 6 miles + :45 plank

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

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

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

Thursday – 4 miles + :60 plank

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

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

We celebrated with a new donut shop,

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

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

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

Friday – rest + :60 plank

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

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

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

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

Saturday – 7 miles, running + :60 plank

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

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

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

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

 

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

How was your week in training?

Have you ever attended a star party?

an all-terrain 5k for gratitude america

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

Enter the Gratitude America 5K.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Done and done!

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

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

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

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

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

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

And then it was home for us.

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

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

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

weekly wrap: 6.10.2018 – 6.16.2018

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

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

Here’s the week in numbers:

Sunday – rest, :20 plank
Monday – 5 miles, running, :20 plank
Tuesday – 4.5 miles, running, :20 plank
Wednesday – rest, :30 plank
Thursday – 4.6 miles, running, :40 plank
Friday – rest, :50 plank
Saturday – 7 miles running (4 miles + Gratitude America 5K); :50 plank

Another hectic week. I was thinking the because little man had camp, things would be much more calm, but not so. I found plenty to keep us both busy, and after a ridiculously packed day on Saturday, we are all looking forward to a calm Father’s Day.

Sunday – rest, :20 plank

The rain, oh the rain. Gross and disgusting and awful. I don’t think we did much of anything all day, other than starting the 28 Day Plank Challenge with a :20 plank. Not my favorite.

To be honest, I spent most of the day watching The Hunger Games marathon. I had yet to see the final installment and I finally got caught up.

Monday – 5 miles running, :20 plank

I kicked off Monday with a solitary run. It was miserable, both because I was lonely and the weather was so humid.

Little man wanted to ride to camp with the director and her son (his friend), so we had to be at her house at 6:55!!!! We are used to early mornings, but this was a daunting task – we got it done, but it was a struggle.

One of their activities was making chewing gum! So cool!

After camp, her son came with us and went to karate (little man had to get his pre-test for his next belt and was invited to test on Saturday) and then back to our place to play before he got picked up.I don’t know where these kids get all their energy from.

Tuesday – 4.5 miles, running, :20 plank

Tuesday was… well, it was a Tuesday. We ran again.

I planked.

Little man went to camp – he did some yoga, which was adorable.

I had plans for dinner with a friend.

And then little man also ended up with plans – it was the director’s son’s birthday, and she asked if little man could join them for dinner and dessert afterwards. Of course, we said yes, and they went out for ramen and huge pieces of cake from one of Jacksonville’s top dessert shops.

In the meantime, my dinner company was great, but the meal was laughably awful. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a restaurant (especially one that is supposed to be good!) where the food has been beyond redemption. We are talking mold on the recommended biscuit appetizer, separated macaroni and cheese and meh service. We had a great laugh over it and probably won’t try again.

Wednesday – rest; 30 plank

We were all tired from the late night, and little man ended up going to camp a little later to get some extra sleep.

I was very grateful to Mr PugRunner for taking little man to karate. He had some tweaking to do before the test, and I was just not in the mindset to do it.

Thursday – 4.6 miles running, :40 plank

I was very eager to get in this run, and it went fairly well.

S and I had a PTA meeting with the assistant principal and another admin, to cover our plans for the upcoming year and start our events calendar. It was very productive and good to get something done.

Afterwards, I picked up little man and his buddy from camp. We had hoped to go to the pool, but there was thunder in the area so the pool closed until the weather cleared. Instead, they played outside with some of the other kids on our street.

Before they left, we had a bit of excitement: in Florida, alligators are common things, especially in bodies of water. Well, it turns out, our neighborhood is home to at least two, maybe three, gators. This is kind of unusual, because they are territorial creatures, but I guess a group like this is possible. Nothing is done about them unless they reach a certain size (usually 5 feet) and prove themselves aggressive or a “nuisance” to humans). Humans are encouraged to not feed them or otherwise engage them so as not to acclimate them to people.

Well, these gators have been pretty visible in certain yards, and we’ve all been a little extra wary. I have forbidden little man to fish or go by the water behind our house (we do have a fence), simply because we just don’t know what’s there.

Correction: now we know.

It’s a bit disconcerting to see a 5ish foot alligator this close and personal, so we are going to be extra guarded and hope they all continue to keep their distance. Ugh.

Friday – rest, :50 plank

Not much to report, besides a plank. I ran some errands, and after camp, we got back in our pool gear and went to a friend’s house for the evening. Of course, another storm rolled through, but the kids got some swim time between the storm clouds.

Saturday – 4 miles running + Gratitude America 5K, :50 plank

I had been feeling a little badly that Saturday’s race was just a 5K, and figured I would get in a few extra miles prior to the race. S played along with my insanity and we knocked out four miles before grabbing a shower and our gear and making our way down to Marineland.

The race wasn’t due to start until 8:30 (which is obscenely late for us) and we were a tad bit early, but it was fine. The course was “all-terrain” so it included some road and some trail. It was a first for me, and I was glad to give a new event a try.

We couldn’t stick around to enjoy it as I had to make it back to little man’s test! I managed to get there 20 minutes after it started, so not too bad when you consider these tests run about two hours or so. He did a wonderful job and earned his red/black stripe belt!

This was a huge test – after achieving this rank, his instructor has a black belt embroidered with his name on it. This will hang on the belt rack in the dojo, waiting for the day when little man masters the black belt test. It’s a pretty weighty incentive, in my opinion, and I know I am going to get goose bumps when I see it.

On the bad side, we were supposed to go to a summer Scout event. Well, by the time we got out of the test, we were already late and wouldn’t make it up to bowling in time. In addition, the “star party”, hosted by a local astronomy club, has also been postponed due to cloud cover. Not quite the end we envisioned to our Saturday, but sometimes, there’s nothing you can do. Karate was definitely the priority.

For dinner, we had some appetizers and I tried making these Jalepeno Popper Crisps. They are low carb, so easy and beyond delicious.

 

It was such a great week of running, with plenty of miles and I felt really good about doubling up on runs on Saturday – it’s like I was back on my game.

Little man had a blast at camp – he did plenty of crafts, as well as some soccer and other activities. The theme of the week was “color wars” and they did a color run on Friday to cap off the festivities, which was cool.

Time to figure out the next batch of races on my schedule and continue working on my planks, along with my miles. I also want to continue on at boot camp as time allows. Summer is always tricky, but I’m figuring things out as I go.

How was your week in training?

What kind of predators live in your area?

staying active on vacation

Now that we are on summer vacation and our schedule has gone all topsy turvy with no school and a few trips planned, staying on a regular workout schedule has become a bit of a challenge. I do manage to keep a calendar of proposed workouts, just to keep me somewhat on track and accountable, but there is a lot of shuffling around and squeezing in, too.

It can be a little discouraging, but it’s nothing that can’t be overcome with a little planning and creativity. Use your surroundings, take advantage of new settings and change things up and you won’t miss out on that much.

Make use of your hotel. I know. Hotel gyms usually aren’t the most inspiring or motivational, but you know what? They’re available, accessible and even if it means waking up early (or staying up late) and getting in 30 minutes on the elliptical or do a round of weights, you’ve boosted that heart rate and accomplished some dedicated activity.

Your hotel might have a pool as well – it may not be regulation length, but you can still get in some hard laps, even if they are a little shorter than the norm.

Bonus: some of the hotel brands will even provide athletic shoes and clothes as part of their hospitality, so you don’t have to use valuable suitcase real estate to pack your own!

Sample the local flavor. Many fitness studios offer drop in classes and some of the larger name gyms have nationwide member privileges. If you have a current membership to one of those gyms, you can visit a familiar setting. Otherwise, you can check out what your destination city has to offer by way of boutique classes, pop up sessions or new-to-you workouts. You’ll get the one-two punch of a great workout and the exposure to something a little out of the norm.

Life’s a beach! If you live near or are visiting a body of water, chances are you are spending time at the beach. This works out wonderfully – this location offers plenty of opportunity for fitness and activity. If the tide is right, you can run (barefoot or in sneakers) on the packed sand. Beach cycling is a great workout, too, if you have access to a cruiser or fat tire bike. The sand provides a wonderful core workout for a yoga flow or impromptu HIIT circuit, and don’t discount the workout involved with a beach hike while collecting shells with your little ones. You can rack up miles and steps without even realizing it. Last, but certainly not least, those who are comfortable with the open water can get out in the waves for some swim practice!

Admire the surroundings. Sometimes, a good walk is just the right activity. Whenever I am visiting somewhere new (or have some spare time in familiar locales), I like to get out and walk. The action allows me to familiarize myself with my surroundings, as well as see things you might not ordinarily notice. Unique architecture,   hole in the wall cafes, hidden parks or street art can be more easily identified by a simple, purposeful stroll.

Use what’s available. Visiting a theme park for the day? Guaranteed you will get in miles of walking. If there’s a skyscraper or lighthouse? Use those stairs and climb to the top for the views and the burn. Check out local walking tours or even bike or kayak tours. Hiking can be a beautiful way to explore, from flat, packed trails to more technical elevations. So many of these are family friendly and can give you a great overview of the place you’re visiting, while providing a fabulous workout.

Sign up for a race or event! You all know racecations are my favorite, and the idea of hauling my bike on the next road trip for a local fondo or group ride has certainly crossed my mind. As long as you are able to get to the start line, it’s simple enough to pack some workout gear and make some new friends along the way!

 

While taking a break and some extra rest days is perfectly fine during your vacations or over holiday (a few off days will most certainly not derail your progress), there are also plenty of ways to keep to your plan with a little flexibility and creativity. Pack your shoes and your sense of adventure and go for it!

What are your best fitness tips for vacation?

Are you able to keep to your plans while traveling?

race report: florida striders memorial day 5k {5.28.18}

I really can’t believe that it’s been six years since I lined up at my very first start line.

Sure, I haven’t been running as long as some, but six years feels like quite some time. So much has changed for me in that amount of time, and I have grown so much as a runner, and even as a person.

So it’s always nice to revisit the event that started it all: the Florida Striders Memorial Day 5K.

Timing was right for this race, back when I selected it. It came along at the end of my Couch to 5K training, was smaller than some of our other 5Ks, and was for a good cause.

Over the years, it’s become a race I’ve loved. The size is usually just right, the course is pretty and shaded, even if there are some small hills, and everything is just nice and low-key. There is an associated kids’ fun run after the 5K, and a fun little after party in the park adjacent to the finish line.

What more do you need?

S and I had opted for packet pickup at the event, and easily got our bibs and t-shirts. We had gotten a great parking spot, too, so it was easy enough to stash our extra things and take a lap around the block as a little warm up.

There was a lovely breeze, but also an underlying humidity. We used the restroom and lingered near the start. The National Anthem was sung live, and a moment of silence was observed for those who paid the ultimate price in service to our country.

The minute we started running, the breeze disappeared and the oppressive humidity took hold. It was frustrating to have to slog through such heavy air, but ’tis the season. There won’t be relief until winter.

We just pounded it out. We chatted, and laughed and cheered the leaders when they passed us on their way to the finish line. It was fun looking at the different patriotic outfits and saying hi and thank you to the spectators, volunteers and LEO who were blocking the intersections.

As soon as we crossed the finish line, the breeze seemed to return. Hello? Where were you for the last 3.1 miles?

We took a breather, and then grabbed drinks and iced watermelon that had been provided for the runners. It was the perfect treat! (And yes, I actually did look that red and miserable when we were finished. It was brutal out there).

It was a great race, with great running buddies and great medals.

Year 6 of running is off to a great start! I am hoping to cross two more states off my list, and I am on track for 1000 miles in 2018, so things are moving along in the right direction.

Do you have a race to which you always return?

How many years have you been running?

weekly wrap: 6.3.18 – 6.9.18

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 –6.25 miles, running
Tuesday – rest
Wednesday – 6 miles, running
Thursday – rest
Friday – 6.5 miles, running
Saturday – rest

Sunday – rest

The only thing on the docket was spending the afternoon at the beach. We really hadn’t seen very much of Mr PugRunner with his recent work and travel, so I was glad that he wanted to join us for a beach day with some of our Scout leaders and their families.

We got a light dinner and ice cream to end our perfect day.

Monday – 6.25 miles, running

My watch only shows 6 miles, but I forgot to restart it after pausing to take some pictures for an MRTT scavenger hunt. Whoops.

Then it was back to the beach for a day with my friend and her daughter. We have really been on a beach roll, but the car was pretty much all packed, so it was easy enough to just replenish the cooler and go.

The kids had a blast in the tide pools and surf, and we had al lovely lunch together at a nearby waterfront restaurant before running some quick errands and going home.

Even though he was tired, little man was a trooper for karate: he is about ready for his next belt test and is tightening up a few moves.

Tuesday – rest

We had a last minute change of plans for the morning, but we just went with it. In the afternoon, one of little man’s buddies came over for a sleepover. I wanted to wear them out a bit, so, you guessed it, back to the beach!

This time, there was boogie boarding and sandcastle building, and I confess that it was tough getting them to wrap it up, they were having so much fun.

Wednesday – 6 miles, running

I snuck out for a quick run while the boys were still sleeping (and boy did they sleep!).

We dropped his friend back home right before lunch, and chilled the rest of the day because of the storms that came through. While it’s fun to be on the go, it’s also awesome to catch up on some movies and do nothing.

Thursday – rest

To change things up, we drove to a blueberry farm about an hour away from us. I don’t think we have ever picked blueberries before, and it was a blast. It was more of a quiet hobby farm, and due to the rains, there were still plenty of berries. The owner gave us pails and advised to go further back where fewer people had checked. As a result, in under an hour, we had four pounds of delicious fruit.

We celebrated with lunch and then a trip to Snogenix, a new place that features Taiwanese shaved “snow” (basically flavored ice that is shaved by machine from a cylindrical block) It’s light like ice, but melts creamy like ice cream – it’s so unique, with awesome creative flavor combinations.

And then little man made blueberry crumb muffins.

He did a fantastic job.

Friday – 6.5 miles, running

I had to head out on this run a little earlier than I would have liked on a summer Friday, but got in the miles I wanted to run.

The plan for the day was to celebrate World Oceans Day with a beach cleanup, hosted by Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches. We were to meet at the parking lot outside of Marineland and all bags, gloves and water were provided. We had 90 minutes to haul as much trash as we could.

There ended up being about 200 volunteers, who collectively pulled in over 800 pounds of trash and debris! We accounted for 46.5 pounds of it, which is pretty epic. We also met up with some other friends from the St. Augustine Moms Blog, who hauled their share as well.

It was a fabulous way to give back and to also see the importance of cleaning up litter so it doesn’t go back into our oceans.

With the dirty work behind us, we enjoyed the waves and the beach a little longer (and for the first time, I saw these amazing balance rocks!)

And then we grabbed lunch at a new-to-us BBQ joint nearby. I was famished and pretty easily demolished this plate.

Saturday – rest

I had hoped to run, but I had gotten bitten by a yellow fly on the side of my knee at the beach. It was painful and itchy, swollen and hot to the touch. As a result, I slept terribly and had a hard time putting weight on my leg. It was doable, but not pleasant.

I spent the rest of the day applying rubbing alcohol and taking Benadryl, hoping to get some relief. We finally left the house in the mid-afternoon, for another trip to Snogenix. Mr PugRunner hadn’t been yet, and so we tried some new flavors.

And then, since it was kind of dinnertime anyway, we snagged a meal at 4 Rivers. It was still early and they weren’t busy, but they were preparing to celebrate five years at this location. The GM started chatting with us and when he heard that we had been patronizing the establishment for as along as they have been in town, he offered us a tour of the kitchen! It was so cool (and so very clean), and we very much appreciated the kindness.

 

Not too bad on the miles, and we are still keeping our Summer Bucket List active. You can check out some of the things we are working on, here.

I am hoping to get back in the saddle this week (literally), and that the rain is all done. We will have a bit of a break from daytime beach and pool sessions because little man has some camp, and then the upcoming weekend promises to be a combination of crazy and fun with a 5K and Father’s Day and all kinds of cool stuff.

How was your week in training?

Do you have Taiwanese snow where you live?

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