weekly wrap: 2.11.2018 – 2.17.2018

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.

I’m not going to dwell too much on the emotions of this week. It was hard. Very hard. Sometimes, I just don’t understand the world around me and it makes me so sad. Towards the end of the week, I struggled hard with being social, and was very content to hermit.

Sunday – 26.2 with DONNA Relay Leg 1 (6 miles) + part of Leg 6 (2 miles).

The 26.2 with DONNA Marathon event is something to see. Runners and spectators all join in with proceeds going to breast cancer awareness, research and aid, all on a local level. This year, things have been hitting just a bit closer to home in regards to this awful disease, and it was even more meaningful to be out there, offering support and solidarity.

That evening, I was just happy to chill with the boys and enjoy a yummy dinner.

Monday – rest

We had a run on the schedule but rain was predicted, and quite frankly, I was wiped out from two long and hot race days. I wasn’t at all sorry to get in some extra sleep. I met a friend for a quick, pre-work breakfast, and then just attempted to cruise with the rest of the day.

Mr PugRunner ended up working late and I ended up having to bring little man to my Scout leaders meeting. It was a productive and detailed few hours, and he was super cooperative through it all.

Tuesday – Sun Power Hour yoga

Yoga was much needed. I had been having some uncomfortable cramps in my right calf, and I loved stretching it all out.

The afternoon turned into a bit of a crazy rush, with car pooling, a visit from my parents and trying to finish up Valentine’s, class treats and get out to dinner with one of my friends.

Wednesday – 7.3 miles, running

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Our trusty team made up Monday’s run with varied distances. I got in 7.3 miles.

We have really made an effort to make non-candy Valentine’s surprises, and we were both quite happy with these  space-themed, bouncy ball cards.

I took little man to school and then headed off to work.

Mr PugRunner handled dinner (with homemade pasta and vodka sauce!) and karate, so I got a bit of a welcome break.

Thursday – HIIT intervals, 45 minutes

I confess that our gym time was a little unfocused. C, who usually make up our workouts, wasn’t feeling well, so we had to come up with things on the fly. My legs were still tired, so I focused more on my arms with some curls, rows and presses. It wasn’t a fabulous workout, but it was something.

Our Cub Scouts meeting was pretty intense, as we prepped for our next big adventure: a three mile hike in a few weekends. The boys should be pretty well suited, so fingers crossed it goes well.

Friday – 6.7 miles, running

Another early run, with only two of us, this time. Running on Fridays is hard, especially when it’s on an originally scheduled rest day.

I really didn’t do much the rest of the day. I had a few errands, but I just didn’t really wasn’t feeling much else. We had intended to go to the movies, but when all was said and done, we were content to rent a movie and order pizza and just have a living room picnic.

Saturday – 7.5 miles, running

We picked up a new friend – A messaged me about possibly running with me for the upcoming Gate River Run 15K, and I was more than happy to say yes. She has hit a bit of a slump in her motivation, so I invited her to join us for our Saturday morning run. It worked out great and we are going to have a blast taking on the Green Monster in a few weeks.

We had little man do a bunch of his homework as our upcoming week is going to be absolutely insane with projects, and then I actually took a nap.

That afternoon, we dropped him off at my parents’ house before our big date night. Mr PugRunner had gotten us tickets to a Jacksonville Symphony experience – the orchestra would play along to Raiders of the Lost Ark.

I’ve never seen this kind of collaboration before, and it was incredible. I can’t wait to do it again.

 

Fitness wise, this week went well. I am still getting in plenty of miles and my cross training is remaining quite consistent. I have been tired, but I think that’s to be expected, especially with all our extracurriculars and travel.

Have you entered to win a $25 Publix gift card? If not, check out my post here, and enter for your chance to win!

And remember, that there is still time to register for the Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon. Code PUGS18 will save you 15% on either the half marathon or the 5K!

How was your training this week?

Have you ever seen a music and movie collaboration?

running the speedway at the daytona beach half marathon

Last year, the boys and I tried something new: the Lap the Track 5K at the Daytona Beach Half Marathon. We had such a great time that I got it in my head to go back for the half marathon.

When my friend J registered, I told Mr PugRunner how much I wanted to join her and he registered me as one of my Christmas gifts. Yay!

Daytona is just under an hour from the house, so it wasn’t an awful drive, although I did have to get up super early to be able to get my packet and check things into into gear check before the 7:30 AM start time.

I was just so happy to be out there with J: my only goal was to tag along and have fun. She is coming back into running, so it was all about the experience and a strong finish.

Arriving at 6:40ish, I got a great parking spot, and was able to easily get my packet, women’s technical shirt and a gear check bag. I was done with the details in minutes and was able to hit the restroom.

The biggest obstacle to the day was the weather: I had been training in 40s and 50s, but race day promised to get up into the high 70s with loads of humidity and sun (which was fine because earlier forecasts called for thunderstorms and rain). Good times. I was thrilled that J and I could wear our matching outfits without extra layers, but it was going to be tough on the body.

We lined up and listened to the final announcements and instructions. The race was supposed to do a small stretch on Daytona Beach, but because the tide was high, we would have to follow an alternate route, for safety. While I had wanted to see the ocean, I appreciated not having to run on soft sand.

After the National Anthem, a NASCAR pace car took its lap and then we were off. The first few miles were run around the actual Daytona International Speedway. It’s a really cool feeling to be out there on the track.

Right off the bat, the air quality was horrendous. It was tough, but I didn’t mind because I was so busy taking in the sights of a new-to-me course, and enjoying time catching up with J. Due to our hectic schedules, we don’t get to see much of each other.

We left the track and headed out on to the main road. This is technically an open course, but there were police officers at every intersection, holding and turning drivers. Not one got remotely close to any of the runners, which was nice and greatly appreciated.

After another few miles, we turned into some back neighborhoods. The benefit here was some tree cover from the sun, which was starting to pound pretty relentlessly. On a positive note, there was water and Gatorade every 1.5 miles or so, and each station was fully stocked and manned along the way. I loved how the later runners received just as much consideration as the earlier ones and we never worried about not being able to get proper hydration on course.

I got a little turned around in my head, but before long we passed the relay hand off, and then we found ourselves at the foot of the intercoastal bridge. It was a big one, but over we went, for a stretch alongside the beach, and then it was time to really start heading back.

The second time over the bridge was tough. It was steep and the wind was really blowing hard. We had to exert a lot of energy to get over the peak, and even the downhill portion was tough with the headwind. The view was stunning, though.

Once we conquered the bridge, it was time to finish up this race. Whoo hoo!

It was a straight shot back to the racetrack. By this point, the 5K was underway, so we had to merge in with those runners to get back to the track for our grand finale!

Mr PugRunner and little man had arrived and were waiting for us! It was so nice to see them. I was hoping to have them sign up for the 5K, but with the predicted thunderstorms (that never materialized), we agreed to have them pass. They said that next time, they were totally in, rain or shine.

With huge smiles on our faces, we crossed the finish line!

We collected our swag (huge medals and beautiful beach towels), and grabbed water and ice cold towels.

Between its amazing volunteers and attention to detail, this race really was top notch.

Of course, the photos at the track are the most fun. Runners are free to wander around and take full advantage of all the speedway’s cool photos opps.

By this point of the day, I was starving. There was free beer for runners, but the line was long, so we said our goodbyes to J, grabbed my bag from gear check and headed to one of the nearby restaurants for lunch.

It was a good day. I loved the event, and was even more thrilled to learn that BB Action Photo was providing free race photos to participants. Score! The whole family will be back for more next year!

What’s your favorite swag to receive when you finish a race?
Are free photos common where you live?

 

 

valentine’s dinner at home + $25 publix gift card giveaway

This is a sponsored post via my ambassadorship with Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon. I was compensated with a Publix gift card for personal use and one to giveaway. As always, all opinions are my own.

I wear many hats in my home: wife, mom, runner, writer. I am a part of my family team, and we are all on board with keeping our team on track and moving forward to accomplish our goals.

That means taking time out for special occasions, even in the middle of work, training and activities. We don’t always go out for Valentine’s Day dinner, just because it often falls in the middle of the week and it’s one of the busiest restaurant nights of the year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate with a lovely meal that’s both delicious and reasonably healthy (hey, if you can’t splurge on the holidays, when can you?)

And when I’m finished showing you our yummy (and easy!) meal, I’ve got a special giveaway for you!

I wanted something simple to put together but a little fancier than what we might usually eat during the week, so I made my way to our local Publix to scope out the aisles, while doing our weekly grocery shop.

I was in the mood for seafood, so I decided on Pesto Shrimp and Polenta with a Strawberry Spinach Salad.

The strawberries were absolutely beautiful, and a nice green salad was going to be a perfect complement to the main course.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb shrimp (peeled and cleaned; fresh or frozen & thawed)
  • 1 container prepared pesto
  • 1 tube prepared polenta
  • 1 package baby spinach leaves
  • 1 container strawberries
  • 1/4-1/2 container crumbled gorgonzola
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • raspberry vinaigrette
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Start with the polenta. While you can make your own, it’s easy enough to grab a tube of the ready-to-eat. Preheat the oven to 350 and cut the polenta into 1/4″ thick slices.

Leave the slices in the circles, or, for a little extra flair, use a cookie cutter to make heart shapes.

Save the scraps for another meal, and line up the slices on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper and bake for 20 minute (I waited a little to put them in the oven so that everything would be ready at the same time.)

Wash and pat dry the strawberries. Remove the tops and slice in half, lengthwise. Using a small knife, cut a little triangle out of the widest part of each berry half to make little hearts.

In a bowl, combine the spinach leaves, gorgonzola, walnuts. Toss (but do not dress) and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Heat olive oil in a large pan, and then add your shrimp. For frozen, uncooked shrimp, heat until the shrimp turns pink and curls up, tightly.

When the shrimp is cooked, add the pesto. I reserved about 1/4 of the container in case we needed extra with the meal.

While this heats through, take out the salad, and add the strawberry hearts

and toss with your favorite raspberry vinaigrette.

I plated this on rectanglar dishes for the fancy factor, and served it with a lovely rose.

From start to finish, this took less than 45 minutes to prepare and serve.

It was satisfying and not too heavy so I was good to run the next morning.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Comment below with your favorite quick and easy special occasion dinner to enter to win one $25 Publix gift card, and don’t forget, there is still time to register for the Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon! Save 15% with code PUGS18!

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weekly wrap: 2.4.17 – 2.10.17

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!

I was really dragging this week. I don’t know if it was the bizarre weather fluctuations, the humidity, the return of the pollen or what. There were a lot of earlier than usual bedtimes, and a lot more convincing myself to get out of bed in the morning. I also bumped up my vitamins and I’m trying to be good about my water intake. We all know it’s not my favorite.

THE RUNDOWN

  • Saturday – Daytona Beach Half Marathon, 13.1 miles running
  • Monday – Post Super Bowl HIIT workout
  • Tuesday – 6.2 miles
  • Wednesday – HIIT workout
  • Thursday – 7 miles
  • Friday – rest
  • Saturday – 26.2 with DONNA 10K

Sunday – Daytona Beach Half Marathon, 13.1 miles running

I was really excited to head out to the Daytona Beach Half Marathon, and I can’t wait to recap the whole thing for you. Last year, the boys and I had run the Lap the Track 5K on the actual Daytona International Speedway Racetrack, but this time, my friend J and I went for the entire distance.

The spoiler is that it was one of the best events in which I’ve ever participated and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Mr PugRunner and little man drove down to see us finish, and it was nice to see them as we made our way to the finish line.

Afterwards, it was lunch and then home. I was so ready for a shower and a nap and Mr PugRunner went to the grocery store for the Super Bowl festivities.

We were invited to a neighbor’s house, and I was glad for that. I asked our hosts for a list of things I could pick up – I just was not cooking anything after 13.1 miles – and was thrilled to grab all the chips and dips and juice boxes and beer.

Monday – 60 minutes, HIIT session

I did end up watching until the end of the game, and I paid for it dearly, when the alarm went off. Blah. We did a fun, Super Bowl based workout with different moves for each letter of EAGLES, repeated four times, with some bike in between.

Monday’s routine never really wavers. Work, school and karate. Mr PugRunner was having serious computer issues at work, so he didn’t get home until late. I hate that for him, but these things happen and we just have to push through it.

Tuesday – 6.2 miles running

Three of our four showed up for our morning run. I don’t really blame everyone – it was cold again. I am really frustrated with the weather swings, and I imagine it didn’t help my general feeling of exhaustion this week. Regardless, we got in our scheduled miles.

Wednesday – 60 minutes, HIIT session

I do love the middle of our weeks. It means that I’ve got some time off coming, and lots of fun with the family. We got through our morning workout

and I was really looking forward to a night out with some friends, but it was a tough night on the parenting front and my plans quickly took a backseat to navigating the situation.

Thursday – 7 miles, running

My run on Thursday morning was hugely cathartic, even if it was humid and hot. Gross. We’ve gone from tanks and shorts to half zips and capris back to tanks and shorts in four days. No, thank you.

We had a PTA meeting for an upcoming school carnival, so that took up the bulk of my morning.

In the evening, we met our Scouts Den at the local firehouse. We had scheduled a tour and Q&A with first responders for another Webelos adventure, and it was a really informative and fun night.

Friday – rest

Finally! A day of rest! I could have stayed in bed all morning, but my day was packed. First up, it was off to the 26.2 with DONNA Expo to pick up my packets for the 10K and relay races this weekend. I met up with our relay captain L while I was there.

And then I had to hightail it to little man’s school for his Honor Roll ceremony! Fourth grade has been tough, but he’s worked hard and made honor roll both quarters so far. We are doing our best to keep him on track and we are all proud of the job he is doing.

Mr PugRunner grilled us steaks for dinner and then bedtime for me!

Saturday – DONNA 10K, 6.2 miles running

I started the weekend with the DONNA 10K. While it wasn’t a PR, it was the hardest I’ve run since my hip injury and my overall time reflected that. I was really proud of myself for pushing the limits.

Afterwards, I met up with my fellow St. Augustine Moms Blog contributor, who was running the 5K. I was so glad to see her out and sorry I couldn’t stay to cheer her on! She did great, though!

The rest of the day was pretty chill. We all hung out (I blogged, Mr PugRunner napped and little man played with his buddies), and then the boys went out to watch our new minor league hockey team, while I chilled at home and rested my legs.

Me? My alarm was set for 3:55, so I had to turn in.

 

I am planning on an early rest day, just because I need the break. I love the hustle and bustle, but I also need a little bit of time to recharge in peace and quiet, and that’s where I’m currently at.

That being said, I am very grateful to have an outlet like running. There are a few things weighing heavily on me right now, and those workout sessions are giving me time to decompress, think and refocus.

How was your week in training?

Do you need time and space to recharge or are you always raring to go?

 

race report: wolfson children’s challenge ultra 55K relay

Since little man was admitted to the NICU at Wolfson Children’s Hospital within one day of birth, we have always done what we could to help support the institution. For the past few years, joining a relay team to participate in the Wolfson Children’s Challenge has been a part of that tradition.

January is the perfect time of year for runners to come out for the 55K Ultra event. The more daring can take on the full distance, while other options include a 30K, an 11 leg relay and a one mile fun run. There is something for every member of the family.

Once again, I joined Empower Coaching & Fitness on the team Lillian’s Warriors. Sweet Lillian will be braving a kidney transplant in the upcoming months and we were so very proud to run in her honor.

Our team was made up of 10 women, and S had done a great job of completing our roster. A 55K makes for a really long day, and some of us had other obligations after our run. I always prefer an earlier slot, and snagged the #2 leg, which was perfect.

Every year I’ve done this race, the course has altered a little bit, and this time was no different. It is just one 5K loop, that starts and ends on the field at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. While it’s nice to change things up, I also like to know what to expect. The good news is, I think this has been my favorite course of the ones I have run.

Our team started at 7:30, which meant I was running my first leg a little after 8:00 AM.

The weather was meh – still chilly but very humid. I went out with S & J, who had plans to get in their long run as well, and we kept it very nice and easy so our legs wouldn’t get too tired. We were able to maintain a nice steady pace for the whole 3.1 miles, which was exactly what I wanted.

They split off before the finish line for a bathroom break and hydration, and I continued forward to cross the timing mat and pass our bib belt to our next runner, J.

I sat out one leg and then jumped back in with K. The day was warming up, and I lagged a bit but I was having a blast with the river view and the conversation. At the end of that 5K, I got a drink and a quick snack and then headed out for two more another mile and a half around Everbank Field on my own. I needed a change of scenery and to listen to some tunes.

Business first, right?

The Baseball Grounds are completely taken over by this challenge. Teams have a whole tent village on one side, while the other is dedicated to a stage for live music and announcements, a VIP tent for sponsors, interactive games, food vendors, beer vendors (free beer for runners), and great photo opps.

After claiming my medal,

I took a wander to see what was around.

Obviously, I had to get a picture with some of the 501st. There were tons of characters out and about, who were more than happy to pose.

And then K and I celebrated the day with a toast! We had earned it!

Unfortunately, I had to cut the day short before the rest of the team finished their runs. I do usually love to stay til the bitter end to cheer everyone on, but I had some tight scheduling that afternoon and couldn’t make it happen.

That being said, it was another great event for a great cause. I love getting to see the faces of the Wolfson kids up on the big screen and I love that we are able to run in support of all these young fighters!

I will be back at this race as often as I can, if only to support the cause. Wolfson Children’s Hospital does amazing things in the community and it’s a privilege to be a part of it all.

What’s your favorite cause for which to run?

Would you go for the ultra or take some legs of the relay?

weekly wrap: 1.28.17 – 2.3.17

Happy Monday, Happy New Year and Happy Back To The Grind!  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!

This was a tough week, all the way around. From the crazy weather, to not feeling my best, to some sad losses and events, I wasn’t operating at 100%. It’s ok. Life happens sometimes, and I believe in honoring those curveballs and setbacks.

Before I get started, let’s give a nod to January. It was a strong month. I came in at about 81 running miles, and after we got back from our Banner Elk vacation, I put in consistent non-running workouts, twice a week. This is huge: not only am I on track for 1000 miles this year, but I forgot how great strength training makes me feel.

Sunday – rest

I was so very happy to rest on Sunday. The boys went to finish work on their Pinewood Derby cars, and after they got home, Mr PugRunner and I went on a date to a local Brazilian steakhouse. It was a wonderful meal, and we got some needed quality time.

Monday – HIIT session

Rain drove us away from our run and into the gym. I hate having to be flexible like that, but there was no way I was dealing with thunder and lightning.

We did two sets of five workouts, including wall ball, burpees and weights. In between sets, we had to burn 25 calories on the treadmill (which I accomplished quickly by boosting the incline and sprinting as fast as I could).

There was no school, so little man spent the day with some friends, while I was at work. They did lots of running around, but also made a volcano.

Tuesday – sunrise power hour

Yoga has found its way back into the training calendar. I have mixed feelings – I know it’s great for me and I do enjoy it, but I also don’t want it to interfere with strength training, and I would love at least one day where I don’t have to set the alarm for crazy early.

We will make it work.

Tuesdays are usually pretty chill in the evening, and we just worked on homework and my closet. It took a few days to get everything purged and sorted, but this is part of the end result.

I’m still working, but I’m really happy with where it’s at.

Wednesday – 7.3 miles, running

Since I hadn’t run since Saturday, it was pretty tough to get going, but we had miles to run, so we got it done.

Thursday – rest

Having a rest day on a Thursday was a little unique. I wasn’t so sure I liked it, even if it was nice to get a little midweek break.

I had intended to go to the movies, but got caught up with some stuff around the house, and finally just resigned myself to staying home.

At our Cub Scouts meeting, we worked on wrapping up some of our final badges and answering last minute questions about the upcoming Pinewood Derby.

Friday – 6.3 miles, running

I didn’t want to run on a Friday, but we got out and got it done. These ladies are always so great for motivation.

First up, a PTA meeting. Afterwards, I had to pick up some gift cards so I treated myself to a nice lunch out. Our evening had gotten a little complicated: I was on call to help set up for Pinewood Derby setup, and Mr PugRunner needed to attend a wake, so S offered to bring little man to the movies with her kids and some other friends. I was so grateful for the help and really can’t get over how lucky we are to have such a fabulous village.

Saturday – rest

Pinewood Derby Day! This is such a huge deal for our scouts, and I was feeling the pressure. I wasn’t in the role of den leader last year, and I really wanted it to be a great experience for my boys. Everyone participated in the race, and some of our den parents were absolutely vital in helping with last minute weigh-ins and adjustments.

Our den, as the second oldest den, was responsible for posting the colors, leading the pledge and assisting with car catching and return. They were absolutely on task and on point, and when it was their turn to race, their sportsmanship was incredible. I was so proud of them, and I know all their parents were, too.

At the end of the action, little man snagged third place in our den! He was thrilled!

This is his second trophy in as many years, and he is already making notes for next year.

After all that, my parents came back to the house and then we went out for Papa Bear’s birthday. I went for the full-on carbload, because I had a half marathon on Sunday morning.

 

I realize it looks like a light running week, but I was gearing up for the Daytona Beach Half Marathon on Sunday, so don’t worry. I got my miles, and will be getting plenty more this week, with another back-to-back race weekend.

After this week, I am definitely going to carve out some time for either a solo movie or a hair appointment. I need just a little bit of individual time to decompress.

How was your week in training? Your January?

What do you do when you need some time to yourself?

weekly wrap: 1.21.18 – 1.27.18

Happy Monday, Happy New Year and Happy Back To The Grind!  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!

Consistency continued through this week, both with miles run and time put in at the gym. I’m feeling really good, and glad to see that my efforts are being rewarded.

Sunday – 6.06 miles, running

As agreed, we made up the rest of our weekend’s run. We were able to leave a little later in the morning, and take advantage of some sunshine.

That afternoon, we went to a friend’s house for the kids to work their Pinewood Derby cars. This is always such a fun time of year for the kids, and their creativity is always so awesome. We ended up bringing appetizers and ordering pizza so we could watch the Jaguars game when we had wrapped up. It was a lovely day with friends.

Monday – Interval training

Gym time for a HIIT session. We had two rotations of five activities each, with a 1/4 mile run between each rotation. We did wall ball, kettlebell swings, walking lunges, jump rope, and all manner of not-so-fun things.

The good news is that I am less and less sore after these workouts, so something must be getting through to my body!

There was work and karate to end the day.

Tuesday – 7 miles, running

Rain, rain go away. In fairness, it wasn’t raining when M and I left my house, but by the time we got to the farthest point of our route, there was a bit of shower. Ugh. Every time we thought about calling it quits, the rain would ease up and we tried to stick with it. I’m glad we did it, but I don’t love running in the rain.

Tuesdays are our last free evening of the week, and I was grateful to not have much to do after work.

Wednesday – AMRAP

First, can we say Happy 14th Birthday to this sweet baby? She is sassy and feisty and just as fabulous as ever. Believe me when I tell you she got lots of extra snuggles.

Even that cute face couldn’t keep me out of the gym. C wanted to do an AMRAP, which we learned means “as many reps as possible.” She set up a fairly serious warm up with burpees and partner setups, and then we had 15 minutes to complete as many sets of 10 goblet squats, 10 shoulder presses and 10 step ups as we could. I don’t think I did terribly for my first time, although it was pretty intimidating. Obviously, we are all feeling very strong.

Little man was dragging a bit when he got home from school, and even asked to take a nap. He rarely admits to being tired, so I decided to let him stay home from karate and get some rest. With all the crud going around, I much preferred him not to get run down.

Thursday – 6.15 miles, running

Another run, this time a little shorter. The weather was fluctuating again, and I’m really tired of that.

In the evening, we had our first Cub Scouts Pack Meeting of the new year. The boys were awarded a few more of their achievements, and I was even presented with a ribbon for our den’s involvement in all the summer activities! I’m so proud of all these kids!

Little man also got his popcorn reward – an emergency kit stuffed with all kinds of neat crisis type tools: multitool, wire saw, whistle and flints and steel to name a few. He was over the moon!

Friday – rest

Due to being shorthanded because of a local race, I ended up working on Friday. Business was booming and when I got home, I was ready to crash. Mr PugRunner went for a bike ride and then asked me if I wanted to go to Home Depot to look at closet organizers. We’ve had the same single-level wire shleving since we moved into the house,and I’ve been jonesing for a huge purge and re-do of the closets.

We ended up getting supplies for 2/3 of our walk in closet. He’s not always the best with change, so sometimes I have to show him how something is going to look before he’s 100% on board.

I was excited to get started.

Saturday – Wolfson Children’s Challenge 55K Ultra Relay (5K + 4 miles)

On Saturday morning, I drove up to the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville for one of my favorite causes: the Wolfson Children’s Challenge 55K Ultra Relay, to run on the team Lillian’s Warriors. Our relay team of 11 women would be completing the 55K distance on behalf of brave Lillian, who will be having a kidney transplant in the upcoming months.

The course is just a 5K loop, that starts and ends on the baseball field. I was officially second runner, but also went out with another of our friends for her loop and went for my seventh mile on the roads surrounding the course.

I hated to admit it, but when I got home, I was tired. And hungry. So I went grocery shopping and while the boys worked more on their Pinewood Derby cars, I took a nap.

That evening, it was off to C’s house for a Girl Scout Cookie & Wine Pairing party! I have been wanting to do this for years, but it never really worked out, and I finally had my chance.

Even though I love red wine, my favorite pairings were the Riesling with S’mores cookies and the Rose with the Do-Si-Dos. We also bought plenty of boxes of cookies!

We had a great night in, and it ended up not being super late, which was even better!

 

This weekend, I have the Daytona Beach Half Marathon. I’m pretty excited for it, mostly because i get to hang with a sweet friend and I have an adorable outfit. Sometimes, that’s all you need.

I’m also slightly behind track for the 1000 in 2018 challenge. I’m hoping to make up for it in February, even though it’s a short month. I’m not going to worry too much about tit, only because I know there are so many miles left to go this year.

How was your week in training?

Have you ever paired Girl Scout Cookies and wine or beer?

january runfessions

It’s the last Friday of the month, which means it’s time for Runfessions with Marcia’s Healthy Slice!

Let’s get started:

I runfess: This training cycle has got me exhausted.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s the good kind of exhaustion. However, waking up at 4:30 AM five days a week isn’t easy, and I am definitely dragging by 8:30 at night. That being said, I know that my running will improve with cross training, and I will be stronger, more efficient and hopefully less prone to injury if I continue doing what I’m doing.

I am just going to appreciate my rest days a lot more than I used to.

I runfess: That massage really did me a world of good.

Back in October, I had my first massage in more than a decade. I just don’t enjoy them and they make me very uncomfortable. However, with my hip chattering loudly at me every time I ran, it seemed a prudent measure to take, and when the opportunity for a sports massage came up at a Girls’ Spa Weekend, I took it.

The experience was not wholly negative (it was all very professional and serene and all that), but my takeaway was an end to that chatter. Since that day, I haven’t had a single twinge or hitch in my right hip, which means I’m going to have to be more regular about my massage sessions.

I runfess: I don’t love running alone as much as I used to.

I used to very much a lone wolf. I could handle running in a group, but I was much more comfortable on my own. In the last few months, that has changed, and now the idea of going out alone is much more of an unappealing burden. I do it sometimes because it has to be done, but I would much rather be in good company.

I runfess: My eating has been much healthier.

I don’t really follow a strict nutrition plan, nor do I pay much attention to ingredients or calories or anything like that. I cook a lot of pretty balanced meals at home, we all pack lunch and we don’t purchase a ton of processed stuff. Lately, my body has been craving more protein and fruits and veggies. I’m going with it. I’ve been more hungry, but I’m managing it with smaller, nutrient-dense meals and snacks, and the overall results have been great. I’m hoping that the healthier habits stick around.

It’s been a pretty fabulous January and 2018 is off to a great start, fitness-wise. I’m hopeful to continue with this momentum and make the next 11 months something really amazing.

What do you have to runfess this month?

running with raynaud’s

Before I begin, I will make you a promise.

I’m not going to share any pictures of my feet.

No one needs that kind of horror in their life.

Let’s move on.

I have Raynaud’s syndrome. It’s a condition where the small arteries that supply blood to the skin constrict, reducing blood circulation to those areas. A flare up can be triggered by stress, severe emotional reactions, and cold temperatures. In my case, it’s nothing serious, and at this time, I am not at risk for further complications.

It is, however, something I have to watch while running.

Even though I live in a typically warmer climate, I am not in the clear from flare ups. Being in winter temperatures or too-cold air conditioning, or even holding something cold like a cup with ice or bowl of ice cream can lead to the constriction of those small arteries. I have also experienced incidents if I am really upset about something.

In layman’s terms, it means that when I get cold, or really upset, my fingers, and sometimes toes, turn a vampiresque shade of purple white. They tingle or go numb, and are like ice cubes to the touch. It’s a neat party trick.

I’ve always had cold hands, but I first noticed a specific issue at a race four years ago. Temperatures were in the mid-20s at the start, and I thought I was dressed appropriately in lots of layers, with an ear warmer and gloves.

I clearly remember that in the first few miles of that race, I couldn’t feel my toes. They were absolutely numb, and I was so nervous that I was going to lose my footing because I had no control of what those toes were doing or not doing.

After that, I started paying more attention.

Primary Raynaud’s affects women more than men, often beginning between the ages of 15 and 30. Obviously, those who live in colder areas are more likely to suffer from the syndrome. It’s also noted that the syndrome can be hereditary, which makes sense, because my mother also has had some bouts of it.

All my cold weather running and racing this season has definitely led to an uptick in flareups.

I’m not really in any pain, but it is uncomfortable in the moment. The numbness leads to a lack of dexterity so it becomes difficult to use my fingers or find my balance. The imbalance can lead to trips or missteps, so I always have to pick my way very carefully when I’m on my feet. What hurts is when the circulation comes back, usually facilitated by  a hot shower. I can best compare it to the return of senses after your foot falls asleep: this is a throbbing feeling with the bonus of some severe prickling. Good times.

While there is no cure, in my case, it is also not very serious (please note this is not the case for everyone and if you think you suffer from this condition, please schedule an appointment with your doctor). However, I do my best to prevent incidences.

First, I am incapable of controlling the weather. As Floridians, we are fortunate that our freezing days are limited, but I am not going to spend all winter holed up at home in front of a roaring fire cuddling with the pugs, tempting as that might sound.

When I head out for a run and I know it will be below 50 degrees or particularly damp, I make sure that I am wearing nice socks and gloves. I stock up on cheap gloves at Target during winter, and keep them in every bag, pocket and drawer. Usually, that’s enough to keep my extremities from turning icy and sometimes I can even remove the gloves during my run, but it’s an easy thing to keep me comfortable.

This past weekend, I had to go one step further, by using Hot Hands in my gloves and Toe Warmers in my shoes. These are also readily available at Target, on Amazon, or anywhere camping gear is sold. Each package comes with one pair, activated when the package is opened and the warmers are kneaded a bit. I used them religiously when we were in Banner Elk to stay warm in the snow, so it was easy enough to slide them into my “running” gloves.

I had never tried the Toe Warmers for running before. It was a little odd having the slight bumps adhered to the bottom of my socks, but it didn’t impede my stride or cause blisters, so it was more than worth it for warm feet.

After colder runs or activities, I make it a point to get in the shower as soon afterwards as I can. Cooling down in cold and sweaty clothes can definitely prolong the discomfort, so my goal is to warm up and get my blood flowing again. Even though I prefer going barefoot at home, I have accepted that socks or cozy slippers do make a difference in keeping my feet comfortable and we make sure to never have the air conditioning too cold so I don’t struggle in our house.

The physical limitations our bodies set for us are certainly frustrating, especially when there is no effective treatment. No matter how hard I work or train, this is a (minor) speed bump with which I have to contend. Being prepared and proactive is half the battle in dealing with this condition, and I will be good to go as long as my stash of gloves and Hot Hands holds out.

Do you have Raynaud’s Syndrome?

How do you cope with the limitations you can’t control?

For more information on Raynaud’s Syndrome, please visit the Mayo Clinic informational page. If you are exhibiting symptoms of Primary or Secondary Raynaud’s please get checked out by your doctor.

 

 

jaunt around jekyll: jekyll island marathon & 10K race report (1.14.2018)

I was a guest of the Westin Jekyll Island and the Jekyll Island Marathon & 10K for this weekend. All opinions are my own.

Races are always more fun when they are part of a fun weekend getaway, and the Jekyll Island Marathon & 10K was no exception.

Neither Meghan nor I was in marathon race shape, so we were more than happy to take on the 10K distance. We both find 10Ks lots of fun, and 6.2 miles would be a great way to round out the weekend.

Packet pickup took place on Saturday in a conference room at the Westin Jekyll Island, although runners could snag their bibs on race morning, too. Since we had been registered a week prior to the race, we received our bibs and reusable grocery bags but would have to pick up our long-sleeve race shirts after the event, if any were available.

We checked our bibs at the tracking computer to make sure they were correctly linked, and continued on with our day.

After a delicious dinner, we laid out our running outfits, planning for lots of layers (morning temperature promised to feel like 17 degrees!), and got some sleep.

In the morning, I confess to checking the temperature one more time, and decided I wasn’t going to bring along another jacket. I did, however, bring along a packet of hand warmers and feet warmers for my gloves and shoes.

Our first stop was the hotel restaurant for a complimentary runner’s breakfast (runners who weren’t guests of the hotel could purchase a bagged meal for a nominal fee). I had a bagel and some juice. We used the facilities and then we braved the cold.

The start line was located just less than 1/2 mile away, on Beachview Drive, in front of the Convention Center. There were some portapotties and the Convention Center was open for those who wanted an indoor restroom.

We had a little time before the 7:45 10K start time, so we met up with another blogger friend, Chelsea,

and got some photos taken by the race photographer.

At 7:15, there was an announcement regarding the course and the run. When the race director had finished, the photographer called for everyone’s attention, and announced that the day’s photos would all be free, courtesy of True Speed Photo! He went on to promise us that he would take awesome pictures of us as long as we didn’t wave at him (because then our hands would be covering our faces), talk (because then our mouths would be in a funky position) or put our bibs on our backs (because he wasn’t taking pictures of butts).

This was already shaping up to be a fantastic race.

We said goodbye and good luck to Chelsea as the marathoners headed to the start line, and we ducked into the Convention Center. I needed one more trip to the restroom and to get the warmers in my gloves and shoes. Raynaud’s Syndrome is never fun for runners, and my fingers and toes were already tingling.

When 7:40 hit, we took our place with the other 10K runners.

 

And at 7:45, we were off.

Since this was an inaugural race, I had no idea what to expect. I did know that both distances were capped at 350 runners each, so it was going to be one of my smallest events, but that was ok.

The first half of the race was along a regular, flat street, directly into the wind. About half of that was in the sun, and we were treated to beautiful views of some of the beachfront and grassy dunes. It was wonderful.

After a ways, the road curved and we were plunged into shade cast from the canopy of trees. That made it feel a lot colder, but it was lovely getting to see some different scenery in the form of the little neighborhood through which we ran.

One thing to note is that is was so very quiet and peaceful. I don’t think I would have run with headphones, even if I wasn’t with someone, because it was so very serene. Usually, I like to have a little something going on, but in this race, that peacefulness was part of the overall experience.

At 3.1 miles, we made the turnaround. The wind dropped off immediately, and it didn’t take long before Meghan took off her long sleeve because she warmed up so quickly. We did have to contend with some vehicular traffic as the course opened up at a certain time, but we just stayed alert and didn’t encounter any difficulty from the few cars on the road.

There had been one water stop in the first portion of the race, and when we hit it on the return trip, we were directed to turn to the beach walkway, a paved path that wound alongside the sand. I had been so looking forward to this: all the beauty of a beach run without the soft terrain.

It didn’t not disappoint. I could barely feel my fingers but I had to pull out my phone to snap these shots.

The path was a constant bustle of people. We stayed to the right in case anyone wanted to pass us, but it never got too congested or choked up. I was glad because I was really enjoying the run.

Finally, Great Dunes Park was in our sights and I told Meghan we had to sprint it in to the finish. Those last yards were in an empty parking lot and we had plenty of room to open up.

We are cracking up in these finish line photos because the photographer was absolutely hilarious. As we ran up the final stretch, he was calling out instructions: “Smile! Just run! But stay together!”

I absolutely loved it! The announcer did, too. He called our names as we came through and said that it looked like we were having so much fun out there.

He wasn’t wrong.

There was a small post-race gathering set up in the park with water, bananas, cookies and chips. We had a little snack, and then wandered over to the nearby beach pavilion to see if we would be able to get a race shirt.

They had plenty, and we were excited to be able to warm up with a dry layer.

We stayed to cheer on a few of the incoming 10K runners and passing marathoners (they still had many more miles ahead of them), and then made our way back to the hotel to get some coffee and a hot shower.

For a first-year event, Jekyll Island Marathon & 10K did not disappoint, at least on the 10K side (although a few of the marathoners I know said they had a great, well-supported race as well). It would have been nice to have bling for the runners of the shorter distance, but with how lovely this event was, it certainly wasn’t a dealbreaker.

Runners would get a chance to celebrate at an after-party that started at 5:00 PM, but Meghan and I had to head home well before that. We celebrated with lunch and a beer at a local pub and started planning our return trip for next year.

The Jekyll Island Marathon and 10K made for a perfect racecation getaway – an overnight trip was fine, but two nights would have been even better. It was also perfect for families, groups of friends or solo runners.  The colder temperature was perfect running weather, especially for the marathoners, and while the ocean breeze presented a challenge, it wasn’t entirely unpleasant. The course was fast and the scenery was gorgeous, all elements to help make the miles pass more quickly.

This will definitely be on my race calendar for 2019. I can’t want to see how this run continues to grow and evolve in the years to come.

Have you ever run and inaugural race?

Has a race photographer ever coached you into the perfect run photos?

 

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