wednesday word: pragmatic

Today, we are linking up with Deb Runs for the  Wednesday Word. You can be part of the action, by checking out her page and linking up, too!

Deb Runs

The word of the week is…

People say that I am usually a pretty level and reasonable person. Pragmatic might be a step too far, but I confess that I do attempt to carefully weigh my decisions, consider the different outcomes and consequences and proceed along the most logical path.

I mean, I’m practically a Vulcan (Nerd joke. Move along.)

But seriously. Sometimes I throw caution to the wind and go with the flow, because a little spontaneity keeps us from becoming stale.

It’s a bit timely that this word popped up on Deb’s list this week. I have had to do a lot of soul-searching the last few weeks, regarding my running and where I’m at with it.

Coming back from my injury and subsequent break has been harder than I would have thought.  Coming back from injury and break in the devil’s armpit of summer (we are talking temperatures in the 90s, close to 100% humidity and heat indices of over 100, even at o’dark thirty) has been absolutely demoralizing. I had hoped that with the rest, cross-training and careful attention to strengthening, things might have been just a little less awful.

I don’t know if it’s me. If my body is done. If this is the end of the PR and if my focus has to change to just crossing the finish line versus pushing harder to get there. There have been plenty of times where I have been more interested in the experience of the race or run than I have with the time on the clock, and I will learn to be ok if that’s my future, but I would like it to be on my terms, and not because my healing time led to it.

That being said, I tried to be pragmatic by planning a very slow and methodical comeback. I thought it would be the best way to ease my body back into the sport. And let’s be honest, I am only about three months back into running at all, and I am already (slowly) churning out 7-8 mile long runs.

The pragmatic plan?

  • Listen to my body. It’s hot as Hades out there and it’s way too easy to get dehydrated, overheated or suffer from heat stroke or countless other heat-related afflictions. My pride isn’t worth my health.
  • Mix up my runs. Since coming back, I haven’t worried too much about speed work, tempo runs, easy runs or anything other than my two shorter runs and a long run. The combination of paces and goals creates better runners, so I need to be sure to build those all in to my workouts.
  • Distance before speed. This is Basic Runner 101. I have the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon in two months. I need to be able to cover 13.1 miles of distance by that time. I have to remind myself that, while speed work is important, the primary goal is those 13.1 miles.  I can worry about my pace in time for the Space Coast Half in November.
  • Keep my eye on the prize: my goal in all of this has been staying fit and active, enjoying time with like-minded friends, taking on new challenges, and visiting new places. At no point did I ever delude myself that I was going to win anything or break any records (ok, maybe I’ll break the one for sweatiest hot mess), and at this point, I think that’s the right mindset to get me through.
  • Worry about myself. I’ve been getting into my head again, comparing myself against others, and it’s so bad. I’m starting to find myself not wanting to go run with my group, because I’m embarrassed by where I’m at, but that’s just my anxiety at work. The only one judging me is me, and the sooner I kick those feelings to the curb, the more I can focus on what I’m doing out on the road.

And I might buy new shoes. It’s about time, so maybe I’ll be a wee bit impulsive and treat myself to help make me feel better. Balance, right?

Are you more pragmatic or more impulsive?

 

 

 

weekly wrap: 7.10 – 7.16

It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin!

WeeklyWrap

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!

Sunday – 4 miles

I was scheduled to run eight miles, but I also needed a bit of a cutback week, so on Sunday, I went ahead and did four instead. After two days at Legoland, I was tired, dehydrated and just not feeling it.

As expected, the run was pretty ugly, so I got over it pretty quickly.

We were thinking about going to the movies, but the boys wanted a lazy day, so we got burgers for lunch and then I made popcorn at home and rented Kung Fu Panda 3. It was nice to spend a chill afternoon together, and little man needed a break after Legoland, so he would be all ready for camp on Monday.

Monday – 12 miles cycling

Mr PugRunner and I did camp drop off with one of little man’s friends. We would be carpooling all week, but we wanted to be there for his first day.

Afterwards, Mr PugRunner headed into the office and I loaded up Francine the Bike to hunt down the rail trail for the second time. I had gotten some better directions, and this time, I was successful!

I was scheduled to pick up Mr PugRunner at noon, so I didn’t have tons of time. There was enough time for me to knock out 12 glorious miles on a beautiful, shaded trail. I loved every second of it – this will definitely become a regular route for me.

Tuesday –  4 miles

The new camp schedule means being up and out extra early, so I hustled through my four mile run as best I could.

It was rough, and even worse was that poor Molly had to go back to the vet. She had completely lost the toenail! Poor girl is going to be in this bandage for five to six weeks, and she is PISSED about it. It’s not going to be an easy time for her, but we are doing our best to keep her comfortable.

Wednesday – 14 miles cycling

Even though Mr PugRunner and I planned a lunch date, I had more than enough time to ride. On this day, I pushed through 14 miles and was actually disappointed that I didn’t have time for more.

We had a really nice lunch date, even though it was to have some heavy conversations. He has been busy at work, but it’s been nice that he’s been able to step back a little bit this summer and spend more time at home. Our family is grateful for that.

Thursday – 4 miles speed work

After a very stressful night, I forced myself awake for speed work: one mile warm up, 8x400s and one mile cool down.

I ran out of time for my cool down, so I completed it after I dropped off little man.

I had a late day at work (busy days make the time pass more quickly!) and I had to get on the road almost immediately to pick up the kids.

I was more than ready to call it a night.

Friday – 60 minutes body circuit

I was very glad to get back to body circuit. It just hasn’t been fitting into my schedule, unfortunately. This particular workout was pretty rough – but I just kept pushing and got through it.

I had thought about going for another bike ride, but we ended up needing to go shopping for a new area rug and a few gifts for some friends we were celebrating on the weekend, so I skipped it. Mr PugRunner and I got lunch together again.

Mr PugRunner cooked us a yummy Italian dinner and we enjoyed a nice glass of wine together. It had been a pretty long week and we were getting ready for a crazy fun weekend.

Saturday –  8 miles running

It was time to suck it up for the long run I had put off last week. I was pleased to find that I felt pretty strong through the first four or five miles, before the humidity started to get to me.

I also really needed this sunrise.

I was glad to have a nice shower and a nap, before we hit the town to celebrate our friend’s 40th birthday and another friends’ 10th anniversary. There was lots of food, plenty of drinks and tons of dancing. We had a very late, very great night, and it was fun to just kick back and enjoy our friends.

 

I would consider it a rather productive week, and I’m pleased with the direction of everything. This morning, I broached the topic of Space Coast with my running coaches this morning, and it looks like we are going to get back to training in late August. I am not sure if we are going to be looking at a goal adjustment due to the way things are going right now, but we will see what Stacey and Jen have to say about it.

I’m also looking for another race soon. I missed out on a few over the last couple of weekends due to overscheduling (and maybe even a bit of lack of motivation) but I think it’s time for something small again. I’ll keep you posted on that!

 

How was your week in training?

What do you do when over scheduling gets you down?

weekly wrap: 7.3 – 7.9

It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin!

WeeklyWrap

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!

Sunday – 90 minutes SUP yoga; challenges: squat, plank, toned arm, slim thighs

Any day that starts with SUP yoga is a great day in my book. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, and we were treated to not one, but two dolphins! Heaven.

Since little man was still on the mend, he and I skipped out on our friends’ 4th of July party while Mr PugRunner attended. We were really disappointed to miss out, but he was still spending a lot of time on the couch without a lot of energy.

Monday – Celebration 5K; challenges: squat, plank, toned arm, slim thighs

I love our local holiday races, and the Celebration 5K is no exception. It’s always hot and always packed, but there is such a great patriotic flair to the event. I didn’t race my best, but I still enjoyed the course and the friends, so I didn’t mind.

After I got cleaned up, the boys and I headed off to my parents. Little man had been missing them and wanted to stay a few days.  His fever was finally gone, and the change of scenery was much needed. We brought a  patriotic cherry pie

and Delilah.

My mom thought it would be fun to see her in action with the cats. They kept their distance, but it was really cute (Chloe was brave and wanted to keep an eye on Big D, but Jack stayed hidden upstairs).

We had a really nice holiday lunch with them, and then moved on to a final 4th of July party at another friends’ house.

Tuesday – 40 minutes vinyasa flow; 7 miles cycling; challenges: squat, plank, toned arm, slim thighs

We took a break from running on Tuesday, so I started the morning off with a yoga flow I found on YouTube.

After work, I followed up with a brutally hot seven mile bike ride. With humidity and heat index, we’ve been looking at temps in the high 90s and low hundreds, which makes motivation incredibly low.

On the plus side, Mr PugRunner and I enjoyed a date night at a new restaurant in town: Preserved. It was absolutely delicious.

I can’t wait to go back to try some of the other dishes.

Wednesday – 13 miles cycling, challenges: squat, plank, toned arm, slim thighs

I only had about an hour before picking up little man, so I threw myself into a 13 mile ride.

Once again, it was brutally hot, but I powered through. It was good to get a double digit ride after so long without.

Thursday – 4 miles speed work, challenges: squat, plank, toned arm, slim thighs

Our group wasn’t able to get together for the morning run, and I had to be close to home anyway, so I decided it was time to get back to speed work. I did a one mile warm up, 8x400s and one mile cool down. It was pretty rough, but I got through it. It’s just got to become part of my weekly drill.

After work, I tidied up the house and packed. Little man and I were going on a trip for the weekend and we had a long couple of days ahead of us.

Friday – rest

My friend and her daughter picked us up before 8AM and we got on the road to Legoland. We had been trying to coordinate a trip for a while, and we still had some days left on our annual pass, so it was nice to be able to get some more use out of them.

We arrived right before lunchtime and worked on coordinating plan: there were a few rides that little man hadn’t had a chance to do the last time we visited due to lightning, so we took those on, while my friend too her daughter to one of the Lego Friends shows. Then it was time for lunch and off to the water park!

There was not a cloud in the sky, so we got lucky with no rain. The kids splashed in the wave pool and play areas, and they even got me on a water slide (which, if you know anything about me, is very low on my list of things that I willingly do).

After we got cleaned up, we got dinner at the Legoland Resort so the kids could play while we ate. It was a great way to end the day.

Saturday – rest

Time to finish out the rest of the park!

We arrived right at opening and finished all the remaining rides by lunchtime. The temperatures were brutal and we decided to get out while the getting was good. We grabbed lunch on the road and made our way north.

Mr PugRunner was out with friends when we got home, so we showered, had a light bite, and watched movies until bedtime.

 

Not a bad week, overall. I did fall off my plank/squat/arms/thighs challenge a little, just because we were traveling, but I will get back on track. It was good to have a little break this weekend, and I was incredibly glad to have such a nice, low-key weekend away with friends. Per my July goals, I was able to start up my speed work – of course, it wasn’t anything noteworthy, but it’s a start, and something on which to build.

And on a fun note, I’m all registered in the brand-new virtual series from the good folks at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series: Making A Band!*

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Participants can register for any or all of three virtual races:

  • Guitar Solo: June 26 – July 20, $29.99
  • Drum Solo: July 21 – August 14, $29.99
  • Lead Singer: August 15 – September 5, $29.99
  • Making A Band – all three races and four medals!, $99

Run a 5K any time during the periods designated for your race. You can download a bib for each race of the series, and earn great bling along the way!

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Connect with other virtual runners by uploading your very own guitar solo, drum solo or lead vocals to social media with #RNRVIRTUALRUN

As always, save on your (in-person) Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series registration:

How was your week in training?

How are you beating the heat? Treadmill? Indoor gyms? Or just going for it?

 

I am part of the 2016 Rock ‘n’ Blog team. In exchange for my promotion and honest review of Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series races and events, I have received a complimentary Global Tour Pass, in addition to other items from RnR and its affiliated sponsors. All opinions are my own.

weekly wrap: 6.26 – 7.2

Happy 4th of July! I’m running a holiday 5K this morning, but that’s no reason not to share the week.  Let’s get to it with the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin!

WeeklyWrap

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!

This will probably be one of the slowest, lowest mileage weeks of the year, thus far.

Sunday – challenges: squat, plank, toned arm, slim thighs

Little man had a play date with one of his friends, but it ended rather suddenly – he started complaining of a headache and wasn’t feeling well. We got him calmed and settled and as comfortable as we could.

Mr PugRunner and I spent the evening watching Shark Week and the Game of Thrones Season Finale, and crossed our fingers for a better morning.

Monday – challenges: squat, plank, toned arm, slim thighs

Little man and I spent the day snuggling and watching movies. Since he wasn’t feeling much better and was starting to run a fever, we got an appointment for him the next day. He seemed ok with having to rest, even though he was missing camp.

Tuesday – 4 mile run, challenges: squat, plank, toned arm, slim thighs

Between little man’s restlessness and checking on him throughout the night, and Mr PugRunner’s allergies, it was a rough night. I really wanted to bail on my group run, but I knew that I would regret it, so I sucked it up. I was really glad I did.

And I was so glad that I got to wear my Raw Threads “Orlando With Love” racerback tank. It didn’t come in time for Saturday’s virtual, but I was proud to show it off on the waterfront.

Mr PugRunner took care of the doctor’s appointment while I was at work. The results? Croup! Little man has never had croup, and we didn’t even realize older children could get it! He had been exhibiting a slight cough, so it seems like we caught it early (although the cough did get worse), so I was expecting strep or something more bronchial in nature.

Diagnosis? Watch the fever, and let it run its course.

Wednesday – challenges: squat, plank, toned arm, slim thighs

Another day at home. Fortunately, my parents came by to keep us company and break up the day. And they brought us Chinese food for lunch, too! Little man’s appetite was off, understandably, all week, and he said he wanted some broth and plain lo mein, so we did our best to accommodate.

And we also did our best to accommodate all the pugs’ demands for yummies.

Sadly, it was another rough night: the theme of the week was truly sleep deprivation.

Thursday – 3 mile run, challenges: squat, plank, toned arm, slim thighs

I was incredibly exhausted, but again, I sucked it up for the group run. I didn’t have work scheduled for afterwards, so I knew I could crash after a shower. However, my heart wasn’t in it and I had to bail at three miles instead of four.

At least it was something. And I got to admire this gorgeous sunrise

and spend time with these lovelies.

Also, I got to love on a couple of pugs who were visiting the area. They were so adorable!

After a shower, it was back to lazy days for all of us.

Friday – challenges: squat, plank, toned arm, slim thighs

My parents came over again to spend the day with little man so we could both go to work. It was a busy day and the late afternoon storms led to a ton of traffic on the home commute. Not a fan of traffic in the least.

Mr PugRunner grilled salmon, shrimp and scallops for a delicious seafood dinner for the whole family. It was just what we all needed.

Saturday – 7 mile run

I was dreading the heck out of this long run. In fact, I almost talked myself out of it. When I woke up, I had a nasty cramp behind my hip (not the previously injured one) and I just didn’t want to go. Mr PugRunner wanted to go for a bike ride, so I was working against the clock, too.

At the end of five miles, I was near home so I stopped for a drink and a potty break. Mr PugRunner was still working on his coffee and told me that I could finish the last two. I said I would do one more, but then realized I would be pretty disappointed in myself if I didn’t just do the whole damn thing.

So I did.

 

Little man is on the mend. We have had a string of fever-free days and he is very much over being under the weather. Hopefully, we can get back to our regularly scheduled summer this week.

I was pretty bummed to miss out on some cycling and body circuit, but the 30 Day Challenges are giving me some strength workouts in the meantime. I didn’t supplement with any videos at home, just because I’ve been tired from some very sleepless nights. I figure that a light week here or there is far better than getting sick because I’ve run myself down.

This week, I don’t think I’ll be back at body circuit due to some other obligations, but I will continue my challenges, my running and my cycling and make up for it all that way.

How was your week in training?

How are you celebrating Independence Day?

july goals

So here we are. More than halfway through 2016. How did that happen?

Things didn’t go quite as I planned or hoped. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t disappointing. but I’ve also had time to grow stronger and explore options the than running.

1. Increase weekly mileage.

This is kind of a no-brainer. With Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia coming up in September, I need to start pushing those numbers. I am not setting a pace goal for this half, however. This one is going to be about running in a new city with a friend and crossing the finish line. I’m really not sure how my stamina and strength is going to shake out, so I’m trying to handle this one with zero pressure.

If I can consistently hit more than 15 miles per week, I will consider it a win.

2. Incorporate more yoga.

I mean, this is a given. Yoga has not only been bringing me extreme joy, but confidence, and I need that in spades. It’s been tricky fitting it into my schedule, and I’ve been kind of lax about doing it at home via youtube videos. My plan is one organized class per week, and then supplement it with a video at home.

3. Register for that dang duathlon.

So I haven’t really talked much about what’s going on with my triathlon. I have hit a bit of a support wall, and I’ve had a hard time working my way around it. What it comes down to is that I am going to sit on the tri for one more year, until I can manage the ocean swim. Thanks to my (literally) bloody leg, rough waters and storms, and the sea lice, I just haven’t been able to get myself out in the surf, and therefore am not strong enough to be remotely successful in any of the remaining ocean swim tris this season. HOWEVER. There are a few duathlon options available, and since I can bike and run pretty effectively, I think it will be a fair, temporary compromise.

I plan to test myself on a closed bike trail in the next week or so to see where my pace is at when I’m not interrupted by traffic, intersections and stop signs/lights. If it feels right, I’m clicking on the “register” button.

4. Get down with speed work, on foot and on bike.

I have been letting my speed work slide in every way. Part of it was being cautious when coming back from injury and part of it was basic laziness. It happens to the best of us. However, in order to run (or ride) faster, you have to run (or ride) faster. So there it is.

I’ve back-burnered some of my pace goals until I feel a little more confident, but dedicating one of my three regular run to speedwork (or adding in a dedicated speed day) is the ticket here. It’s the brutal middle of summer: no time like the present!

And it goes without saying that it’s the same for the bike. Due to storms, work, and little man’s illness, I haven’t been out on Francine the Bike. I need to start stepping it up if I hope to hang during the duathlon.

5. Stay consistent with 30 Day Challenges

I’ve been holding strong with my plank, squat, arm and thigh challenges. They are good for me and for my overall strength, and I can only hope that, in time, those improvements are going to pay off in my running.

 

Nothing too incredibly new, but now I’ve put them out there so I have more accountability. We’ll check in next month to see how I did! Have a great holiday weekend, if you’re celebrating!

What are your goals for July?

weekly wrap: 6.18 – 6.25

Happy Monday! Let’s get to it with the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin!

WeeklyWrap

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!

This week was “eh” in terms of training. I just don’t feel like I did anything consistently or enough. Which is technically fine. Every week isn’t going to be crazy intense, nor should it be.

Sunday – rest

I took the day off to celebrate Father’s Day with the family. Mr PugRunner and Papa Bear are both such wonderful influences in our lives, and I am so grateful to have them both, and to be able to celebrate this special day with them.

We went to a lovely brunch in historic downtown, and then it was off to our community pool for some swimming.

Finally, we all went back to our house for some appetizers and drinks. It was such a nice, low-key holiday and we all had a nic

Monday – 40 minutes body circuit, 60 minutes beach yoga, challenges: squat, plank, toned arm, slim thighs

This day was a bit of a rush. If I planned properly, I would be able to get in most of my body circuit class and still make it to the beach in time for yoga. I flew through most of the class circuits and zipped off to the beach.

It was so windy but so glorious. I wish there were more classes to attend, because there is something so peaceful and moving about beach yoga.

Tuesday – 3 miles running, challenges: squat, plank, toned arm, slim thighs

I really appreciate the morning group runs with the ladies. Even on days when I’m really not feeling it, they motivate me to get up and go. Especially nice was that we had a break in the weather: the temps were in the low 60s when I left the house. Perfect.

We also decided to give up our three milers, and start pushing for more. Of course, this means that we will need to start a little earlier in the morning, but it will be worth it for the feeling of accomplishment.

Since it was International Yoga Day, I practiced my Warrior III. It’s looking (and feeling) pretty good).

Wednesday – 4 miles running, challenges: squat, plank, toned arm, slim thighs

While I don’t love the back-to-back runs, I had to run on Wednesday instead of Thursday. As promised, the group did four beautiful sunrise miles.

We also chatted a little bit about the 30 Day Challenges I have been doing, and we even planked together.

I spent the rest of the day at work, which was a little out of the ordinary. It ended up being a really productive day.

It was also my mom’s birthday. Mr PugRunner was out of town, but after camp, little man and I met up with my parents for dinner and cake. It was a nice evening and we were glad for more celebrating.

Thursday – rest, challenges: squat, plank, toned arm, slim thighs

Since Mr PugRunner was gone, I couldn’t get out for any running or cycling, but I did keep up with my squats, planks and other challenges.

After work, I picked up little man and his friend from camp and we went to the pool while we waited for Mr PugRunner to return from his trip. The boys had fun, and I think we tired them out pretty well.

Friday – 9.75 miles cycling, challenges: squat, plank, toned arm, slim thighs

I was on camp car pool duty, so no body circuit for me again. I wanted to go cycling on a certain trail I had heard of, but I couldn’t find the parking lot for it, and had to go home. However, Mr PugRunner was able to come home for the weekend after lunch, and we were able to go out for a nice, long ride.

We never get to work out together anymore and it was really nice to have that time.

After camp, little man had his first class as an orange belt. I had the privilege of watching and was so impressed by how quickly he has picked up his new routines and moves. I am excited to see how he develops, and he’s excited to get his sparring gear and add another layer to his training.

Saturday – 6 miles running, challenges: squat, plank, toned arm, slim thighs

It’s been nice taking my time getting back, but I am also at a point where long runs are becoming necessary. I woke up a bit later than planned for my six miles – the first 3.1 miles were dedicated to the Orlando United 5K (since I wasn’t able to be in Orlando for the actual race, I registered for the virtual).

I am getting back to a point where I need to manage fuel on a run, and that was a bit of a challenge for me. However, practice makes perfect, and I will get back to a good place again.

The rest of the day was a whirlwind. We had a bunch of events and parties going on, and it was just craziness.

The night ended at my friend’s birthday party, with margaritas and Cards Against Humanity. I have never played and need to order a set for myself immediately.

 

I’ve been staying strong with my challenges, and the pugs are offering support where they can.

The positives from this week is that I am definitely feeling stronger, especially in my core and my arms. I took some “before” photos last week, but I’m not entirely comfortable sharing them, quite yet. Maybe if there is some huge improvement at the end of 30 Days of Plank/Squat/Arm/Thigh Challenges, I will, but no promises.

Here’s hoping this week is more productive in miles!

How was your week in training?

Do you use before/after photos to chart your progress?

 

the force is with the jacksonville sharks

The 2016 season of the Jacksonville Sharks has been chock-full of awesome themed nights. The arena football action has been exciting, but the crowd enthusiasm and participation has taken it to the next level!

Look at Superman, visiting from Metropolis to cheer on the Sharks!

And Bane, on break from plotting against Gotham, seemed really excited to be rooting for his favorite arena football team.

I mean, seriously. How great are these fans?

The season is not over yet, and the best is yet to come! On Saturday, June 25, Sea Best Field will host fans from around the galaxy for Star Wars night, when the Sharks take on the Cleveland Gladiators.

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Not only can you wear your favorite Star Wars gear, but the first 1000 kids will receive a free light saber at the door. So fun!

Tickets are still available, for as low as $13 each. And the Sharks are still offering the Family 4 Pack, which is a fantastic deal! For only $80, you can score four tickets (in the red zone), four hot dogs, four Cokes and four bags of chips. You can’t beat that kind of value!

star-wars-f4p

For advance tickets, visit www.jaxsharkstickets.com or call 904.621.0700.

May the force be with you, and let’s cheer our Sharks on to a victory over the Gladiators!

Thank you to the Jacksonville Sharks for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

race report: florida striders memorial day 5k {5.30.16}

Sorry to have kept you waiting for this race report: after so long without writing them, it’s been a little tough to get back into the swing of it. Without further ado, here’s the tale of my fourth Florida Striders Memorial Day 5K.

md5k16

This race holds a special place in my heart. After all, it’s the first race I ever ran, and I’ve made it a point to come back each year. It’s been a great way for me to check my progress through the years.

I knew this year wasn’t going to be a PR, just because I am coming back from my injury. I also knew that it probably wasn’t even going to be a great race. I just wanted to get myself out there and back in the game. I have fallen out of the habit of racing, and the more I throw myself on the mercy of the course, the easier (and more familiar) it should get.

At least, that’s the way I plan on looking at it.

The original plan was for Mr PugRunner and little man to accompany me. However, little man was adjusting to summer vacation, and had spent the last few days in the pool and staying up incredibly late at night. As he should be doing. Mr PugRunner and I decided not to wake him up on this Monday. If he got up on his own, then Mr PugRunner would bring him to the race, 25 minutes away. If not, well, there would always be next year.

I hadn’t made any other particular plans to meet up with anyone, but some of my girlfriends were there, and I was thrilled to see them.

We all had our own goals for the morning, and that was just fine by me. I had plans to be alone in my head for this one.

While this race is never huge, the Striders boasted record attendance. It was wonderful to see.

It was beautiful seen so many people out in support of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.

After the National Anthem and a moment of silence, we were off. The 8:00 start time was rough. Even with all the tree shade in the surrounding neighborhoods, the heat and humidity was crushing. I was really only semi-prepared for it – I think my hydration was as good as I could get it, but I was sweating hard before I even hit the first mile mark.

Such is running in Florida.

I played a lot with my intervals. Since I didn’t have any lofty goals, I tried a combination of running for as long as I could and then strictly sticking to my :60/:15 run/walk time. It was nice to be able to catch a breather in the humidity with the walk breaks, but I was doing ok with the longer running, too.

Mentally, I just ticked off the distance. One foot in front of the other. I just wanted to be consistent and feel ok.

Really, it was all fine.

I was flat when I crossed the finish. One thing I have felt lacking in my runs in the ability to conserve enough energy for that final kick. As I am getting more consistent in my training, I plan to add in more strides to get it back. The lack of that sprint makes the ends of races much more anticlimactic for me, and I would really prefer a little more of that adrenaline rush.

I met back up with the girls for victory photos.

The bling this year was gorgeous: much larger and brighter than the three past races.

I was darn proud to have earned it.

Unfortunately, when I got back to my car, I was treated to the surprise of a dead battery. Womp womp. I despise car issues and was feeling pretty frustrated: Mr PugRunner was almost a half an hour away (they never made it out), and while my parents lived close to the race site, I hated to bother them. Papa Bear headed my way, but one of my coworkers came to the rescue by asking his friend to give me a jump. I was so relieved that I wasn’t going to have to get a tow, and was able to get the car home safely (spoiler alert: we got a new battery and all is well).

Once again, runners save the day.

I think it’s safe to say I’m finding my groove again. It’s going to be a process, and I’m not always incredibly patient, but I am doing my best to avoid any more injuries and still continue with the sport I love.

What’s something you love about the running community?

When you have a not-so-great race, are you able to find the positives in it, or do you write the whole thing off as a negative?

 

weekly recap x 2: 6.5 – 6.17

I have to apologize for last week’s hiatus. I don’t usually go silent, but sometimes, you just need to sit back, stop speaking and listen.

However, I am back at it and ready to share the Weekly Wrap time with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin!

WeeklyWrap

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!

There were a lot of lofty plans for working out this summer, but things have been coming up, so I am doing the best I can with the time available.

Sorry for the length, but I will try to run through the next two weeks as quickly as possible.

Sunday – 90 minutes SUP yoga

This is my favorite. The water was a little rough and I was on a different board, so this class was extra challenging, but sometimes, that’s all part of the fun.

We had a full class, with lots of newcomers, and that made it great, too.

Afterwards, I met the boys at the beach, and we passed a really nice afternoon until the storms rolled in.

Monday – rest

There was an impending tropical storm that made quite a mess of my plans for the day. Fortunately, we got away with just some wind and rain.

Tuesday – 4 mile run

I wasn’t able to meet up with my group, but the weather was nice enough for four miles.

While I was at work, Mr PugRunner called to tell me that Molly had had some sort of accident and was bleeding from one of her toes. Fortunately, it wasn’t anything too major. The vet wrapped her up and instructed us to come back on Friday for a follow up.

Wednesday – 60 minutes cycling, 30 Day Shred Level 3

I hadn’t been out on the bike in a while, so I kept myself to about an hour. It wasn’t as hard to come back as I expected. Obviously, maintaining cycling fitness is way easier than maintaining running fitness.

Since I hadn’t had a strength class in a while, I decided to round out the day with an at-home workout: Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred – Level 3.

Thursday – 3 mile run

Another Thursday, another solid run.

Friday – rest

Molly’s follow up to the vet trumped body circuit. We were thrilled to get the all clear, because we were heading out for a joint vacation with three other families.

We packed up the car and headed down to the Hammock Beach Resort.

This was pretty much our life for the next three days.

Saturday – 3 mile beach run

I wasn’t planning to run on the beach. I just wanted a picture of the sunrise and then I was going to return to the sidewalks.

However, once I got out there, in the beautiful breeze, and saw all the hard-packed sand, I decided to go for it. I took my time and had a lovely, easy run.

We spent the rest of the day parked at the resort’s pools. The weather was perfect and the kids had the best time.

Sunday – rest

Another pool day. I’m pretty sure I’ve never spent so much time by a pool in my life. R&R is usually not my thing, but I ended up really enjoying myself.

Monday – rest

After breakfast and checking out, we went back to the… you guessed it… pool. Two of the four families had left so the remainder of us spent the morning together, got lunch, and parted ways. Leaving was hard – it has been really nice just relaxing and hanging out in the sun and water, but it was time to get back to the real world.

Tuesday – 3 mile run

The first run back home was a little tough, probably due to dehydration from the weekend.

But I got it done, and went about my day. I was really starting to miss my group runs and was hopeful to get back to it on Thursday.

Wednesday – 60 minutes cycling, 30 Day Shred Level 2

The steamy weather made me not want to do anything, but I finally dragged myself out for a ride,

and followed it up with 30 Day Shred Level 2. I really don’t love the at-home workouts, but  I was really missing my body circuit classes and had to do a little something.

On a really positive note, Mr PugRunner and I finally booked our 10 year anniversary vacation to Antigua! I cannot wait. We have a few months until the big day, but I have already started researching excursions and things to do.  We wanted a place that neither of us had visited, that was a combination of lazing away on the beach or by the pool (for him) and active, adventurous things to do (for me).

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I cannot wait to SUP on that water.

Thursday – 3 mile run

I was finally back with my group! We had a beautiful run and I was so glad to see the ladies again!

With the trip booked, I want to do a little bit of toning up. I do what I consider to be a decent amount of training for the average person, but I can always streamline my process. I decided to incorporate a few 30 Day Challenges into my routine: planks, arms, thigh slimming and squats. I found a series of free apps for the phone, which offer several levels of experience, and then give a daily workout. Together, they take no more than 20 minutes, and I can break them up throughout the day, so it seemed like a pretty reasonable thing. I could always use more core and upper body strength, I like to keep my glutes working well after this year’s injury and if there is anything that can happen in my thigh area (they are strong but will probably never be dainty), then I’m all for it.

Friday – 60 minutes body circuit, 30 Day Challenges

And back to body circuit! We worked the heck out of our arms, which was great. Afterwards, I followed up with my round of challenges.

Saturday – 5 mile run, 30 Day Challenges

I had to get up early for my five mile run. Once again, this was my longest run since I’ve been back in running action. It went well. I played it very conservatively, but I ended feeling strong.

And then it was off to the dojo! Little man had his orange belt test! He had a lot of skills to cover, and he rocked it!

I am so blown away every time I watch him break a board. This time, he had to use a side kick, which is one of his weaker skills, but bam. Right in half.

We celebrated with a late breakfast, and then spent a kind of lazy rest of day as it started raining. Mr PugRunner and I went to Jacksonville Sharks game that evening. They played the Orlando Predators, and the vibe of support in the arena was really wonderful.

And there you have it. Two weeks, done and done. Thanks for sticking with me!

I’m fairly pleased with the direction everything is heading. While the times of my runs have been frustrating me, I know it’s summer, I know I’m pretty newly back and I know I have to be patient. Right now, I am focusing on getting my miles up in time for Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia, and then I will switch my goal to speed for Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah and the Space Coast Half (my goal race).

Are you planning to run RNR Philly or Savannah? I would love to see you there, and if you use the following code, you can also save on your race registration!

How was your week in training?

Do you ever participate in fitness challenges? What kind of results do you see?

 

 

peace

After the recent, tragic events in Orlando, there really are no words.

We would like to send our love and support to the victims and their loved ones.

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And we pray for the day when peace and love prevail.

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