the return to in-person racing

On Monday, I shared the big news! I registered for my first 5K in almost a year!

Obviously, part of my time off had a lot to do with the fact that I had broken bones and was in recovery from surgery. The other part was all about COVID-19 canceling just about everything. Boo.

I’ll issue a disclaimer that not every region is offering in-person options right now, but it seems like smaller, local races are permitted to happen. It’s been going on for a month or two in Northeast Florida, and I finally felt it was time to give it a try.

Choose a race that makes you comfortable.

Not all races are created equal, and that’s ok. Right now, there is something for everyone, even if it means staying virtual, so you can be selective. Check out everything, from race policies to swag details, and go with the event that feels right for you.

I was all set to register for a really cool, brand-new 5K, but it was a point-to-point race, with a shuttle ride back to the start. While I was ok running in a group of people outside, I wasn’t as comfortable with being on a bus afterwards, so I found something more palatable. I’ll be at the Cotttonmouth Quarter Marathon & 5K on October 31!

Don’t rush to register TOO quickly.

Usually, I am all about jumping on registration as soon as it opens, but these are strange times. Sure, it’s great to take advantage of early-bird pricing or swag with limited availability, but right now, things fluctuate very quickly. Register too soon and you run the risk of things changing (like being moved to a virtual event with no refund, for example).

The downside is that many events have limited the number of participants, so just keep that in mind before taking too long to commit.

Familiarize yourself with updated policies.

Even if you registered (or plan to register) for a race you’ve run 20 times, things have probably changed. Look for details about day-of registration, packet pickup, awards, and cancellations. Race directors seem to be very clear about how they are handling everything from when and where to pick up your bib, to the structure of the actual race. There’s no reason not to be prepared, and if you’re not on board with the policies, then it might be best to find another event that’s a better fit.

return to racing

Respect the rules.

Look. I get it. Nobody WANTS to wear a mask at the start and finish lines, or carry it with them when running. Staggered starts totally take something away from the thrill of a race, especially when you’re trying to get on that podium. However, right now, these are the rules, and if you are going to participate in the event, then you need to play along. Race directors, staff, and volunteers have struggled through this past year, just like the rest of us. The least we can do is show our appreciation for them and their dedication to getting things back to normal by not making their jobs any harder.

return to racing

Have fun!

Most importantly, have fun! The return to in-person racing is a great time, and there’s no reason not to enjoy it! Stay safe, run hard, and bask in every second of it! It’s only going to get better.

Are you back to in-person racing?

Join the Runner’s Roundup!

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week 41: back to “normalcy”. ugh.

The only benefits to returning to the real world this week were seeing the puggies and hedgehog, and getting back to running. Even though we had the best time on our trip, I missed all of those things. Badly.

Sunday – rest

All good things must come to an end, and it was time to leave. Boo.

We packed up the cars, tidied up the cabin, and hit the road. Going home always seems to take longer, especially when you’re leaving

Monday – 3.88 miles, walking

Oh, this felt so good. Even though we had been busy, nothing quite takes the place of a more structured activity.

It’s always hard to come home after vacation. There’s food shopping, laundry, unpacking, and, oh, yes. School. A was NOT on board with getting back to work, so it was quite a challenge to get him on track.

Tuesday – 4.0 miles running + 1.66 miles, walking

This run went very well, considering it wasn’t the beautiful weather of the mountains. I loved stretching out my legs and getting caught up.

We had another rough day of school. A didn’t get the best grades on his work, and while it didn’t really bring down his overall average, he got the message that he needs to put his head in the game if he wants to maintain straight As for the semester. Natural consequences for the win.

His virtual school offers a really nice variety of virtual clubs, and A is part of the Cooking Club. This week was his first cooking session, and the group made chicken and cheese quesadillas.

Next Tuesday, they are making a Thai Red Curry, with the help of a former Disney chef. Love that they are trying some more adventurous options!

Wednesday – 4.15 miles, walking

Happy National Pug Day! I know, I know. It’s always National Pug Day in our home. But still. Yay.

The girls got lots of extra love and snuggles.

The week finally started to settle down, a bit. A was back in the groove of school. We were going to make it through.

Thursday – 4.10 miles, running + 1.78 miles, walking

Another great run. I am really enjoying these mornings. J has also indicated she would like to start pushing further, so I think we will make our week runs 4.5 miles and then she will see how she feels on a long run on Saturday.

In the evening, I wanted to surprise Mr. PugRunner with a little Oktoberfest. We got some fall beer, and then I roasted a pork loin with pickled red cabbage and made some beer cheese dip with soft pretzels. We finished it off with homemade apple pie. Yum.

Friday –  4.0 miles, walking

I don’t know what we did to deserve such gorgeous weather. Being outside has been a straight up pleasure, especially for exercise.

Saturday – 7 miles, running + .76 miles, walking

Seven miles! Done! I actually felt really great, and almost pushed for eight, but I didn’t have any kind of fuel plan so decided to quit while I was ahead.

I didn’t have much time to celebrate, as I had a few big things to tie up that morning. I don’t know if it’s something I will get to share, but I hope so.

In the afternoon, we went to a local pumpkin patch with some friends. I was super excited to see the sunflowers and get more of that “fall feeling.”

For dinner, we had some delicious sushi takeout, which was really just what everyone needed.


Such a quiet week, really. Of course, the main victory was the long run. Oh! And I registered for an in-person 5K!

It’s small and it’s local and it’s going to be a fresh start. I’ve never run the Cotttonmouth Quarter & 5K before, so I think it will be a good place for me to begin the return. I had planned to run a different 5K, but it was a point to point, with a shuttle ride to the start. I didn’t feel good about that bus ride.

Up next? We are getting the house painted! Now that Mr PugRunner loves the office color, he asked me about doing the rest of the house. Since the ladder is hard for me to manage, he asked our old neighbor to come in and take it on. We will do our living room/dining room, family room, stairwell, loft and main bedroom. Of course, I immediately started looking at furniture. We used to travel so much that I didn’t care much about the handmedowns and “project” furniture, but now that we are home so much, it would be nice to take some care.

I’m not going too crazy because that new kitchen is still dangling out of reach, but it’s time to start trading up everywhere else.

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

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How was your week in training?

Do you ever do big home renovations?

it’s the best damn time for best damn race

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

Right now is the best damn time to get back into live races, and there’s no better way than with the Best Damn Race series.

The 2021 season is, as of right now, on and ready to go. I don’t know about you, but I am so ready for the excitement and vibe of the start lines, the courses, and of course, the grand finales of real live, actual races.

Who’s with me?

Where Can I Run Best Damn Race?

In 2021, Best Damn Race is available in at least three cities. You can kick off February in Safety Harbor with a 10K and 5K on Saturday the 6th and a Half Marathon on Sunday the 7th!

From there, head on over to Orlando on March 6 to take on the 5K, 10K, or Half Marathon. Heck, you can even run the 10K and 5K one after the other for a bonus challenge!

At the end of March, the 28th to be exact, make your way to New Orleans for a 5K or half marathon in the Big Easy.

There’s even a Leftover 5K at the end of the season, where runners can earn “leftover” swag from any other Best Damn Race. Such a fun way to make use of remaining bling!

What Comes With My Best Damn Race Registration?

Best Damn Race is KNOWN for its incredible participant perks. Obviously, every city offers USTAF certified courses in the distances of your choosing. No matter what distance or city you run, you are going to score some incredible goodies. Each registration comes with a great bib, a super-soft, gender-specific race shirt, a great goodie bag, and the coolest medals around. Sometimes, there’s even a bonus gift, like BDR branded socks.

Is It REALLY the Best Damn Bling?

In a word: YES.

Best Damn Race goes above and beyond with the size and quality of all its medals. Just check out this year’s offering for New Orleans. They are huge, colorful, and they glow in the dark!

courtesy of Best Damn Race

Safety Harbor and Orlando have fabulous medals, too.

And check out these beauties! Run a combination of distances, and you could earn something that looks like this!

courtesy of Best Damn Race

What Makes Best Damn Race… The Best?

Best Damn Race is a race series FOR runners BY runners. No detail is ignored. From the registration process, to the swag, to the atmosphere on race day to the after party…. Best Damn Race thinks of everything.

Runners get a top-notch race experience from this series. Every city offers a great pre-race expo, and after-party. They can snag gorgeous, free race photos,

solo running vs group running

and enjoy awesome free beer and cocktails post-race, with all the yummy food a runner could want (think pizza, diet coke, chips, and sweets!).

Register now, and use code RUNSWITHPUGS to save 10% on any city and distance in the 2021 series!

Who’s ready for Best Damn Race?

Join the Runner’s Roundup!

Link up each week to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas.

  • Join your hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerLaura Norris Running, Mile by Mile, and Runs with Pugs each week for the Runners’ Roundup linkup!
  • Your link must be running related. Unrelated links will be removed.
  • You must link back to your hosts — it’s common courtesy and a lot more fun!
  • Spread the link-up love by visiting at least two other #running bloggers!
  • Leave a comment and find new blogs to read!
  • Use hashtags #running and #RunnersRoundup to stay in touch and promote your content!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

week 40: away we go!

After months and weeks of waiting, we finally arrived at our mountain vacation week! We planned to head to the Blue Ridge Mountains with another family and just sack out in a gorgeous cabin for a few days.

There were no plans, no expectations, and (hopefully) no stress.

Sunday – 2.6 miles, walking

Sunday dawned ugly and cool. We had nothing but errands and boring things planned throughout the day, including trips for groceries and supplies from Target.

I squeezed in a quick walk before we got rolling.

After the bulk of our priorities were complete, we took a family trip to Cooper’s Hawk Winery. We belong to the wine club and needed to pick up five months worth of bottles. While we were there, we enjoyed a yummy lunch on their patio.

Monday – 4.33 miles, walking

I was all in for a long Monday walk. Some days, you just need it.

Otherwise, the day was incredibly uneventful. A bit of downtime before the storm.

Tuesday – 6.21 miles running + .45 miles, walking

Due to a minor miscalculations (oops), I still had to complete my Global Energy Run 10K Virtual Race. Yes, I finished 6.2 miles on Saturday, but it wasn’t within the actual time I needed to log miles. Whoops.

So, J and I went out and I did it again (although I confess there was more walking this time).

The rest of the day was a whirlwind. A had just a few things to finish up before we left town, giving him all that time off from school (a HUGE perk of virtual school). We had to pack, write down instructions for the pets, and get our plan in order.

Wednesday – 2.80 miles, walking


I started the day with a nice walk, because I knew we would be in the car for so many hours. It wasn’t long, but it was enough.

The drive was much longer than we originally thought. It was fine but six to seven hours in a car does wear on you. We stopped once for lunch/gas/bathroom, and when we got to Ellijay, GA, we splurged on some awesome rooftop dining (literally at The Roof).

I also got the cutest mural photo! How sweet is this downtown area? And how exhausted do I look?

We stopped at a grocery store and then headed up the mountain. I won’t lie: the sun set fast and the unlighted, gravel road to our rental was terrifying. We actually ended up at the wrong house (the people who actually lived there were so kind), and then had to reverse down a single lane road in the dark, with drop offs on either side.

I have never wanted wine more badly. Our friends arrived a few hours after us and we were stoked to kick off our Blue Ridge Mountains Extravaganza!

Thursday – rest

In the morning light, it was much easier to see our cabin. Isn’t it perfect?

We just lounged around that first morning – we had breakfast on the deck, enjoyed the cooler temperatures and the stunning view. The plan was to go into the downtown area for lunch and then go apple picking.

Welcome to Blue Ridge!

We found a cute outdoor cafe for lunch, and then picked our orchard.

With COVID precautions in place, some places had limited their picking or additional activities, but we were able to enter the orchard, pick what we wanted, and enjoy things like the exotic animals and the views. It was a lot of walking, and we picked two bushels of apples between us.

It was a perfect day.

That evening, we had pizza in the cabin. All was well, until A’s friend tripped and hurt her ankle. The poor thing was so uncomfortable and worried. We got her settled and off to bed, and agreed to make a game plan in the morning.

Friday –  rest

Friday morning was misty and drizzly. I managed to do a little stretching on the deck outside our room.

I also enjoyed a cider donut with my coffee. That view, though. We didn’t get ALL the fall foliage, but every morning, there was more yellow, orange, and red.

C was still hurting, so her parents decided they would take her to a local urgent care and we would take A and the older girls out and about. We settled on Expedition: Bigfoot, a museum all about… you guessed it. Bigfoot.

It was ridiculously cheesy, and the kids were such good sports. After that, we went back into town for another outdoor dining experience. By that time, C had her diagnosis (a sprained ankle), and we decided we would all meet back at the cabin and chill for the evening.

We had leftover pizza. I had to lay down for a few because the driving up and down the mountains was taking its toll on me (yay for carsickness), and while I was resting, J made the most amazing apple pie. She recruited A as her sous chef, and he was so proud.

Delicious. By that point, we were all just wrung out, and enjoyed the most peaceful evening of pie, wine, music and fresh air.

Saturday – 2 mile hike

C wasn’t up for a hike, but we did want to visit some waterfalls not far from the cabin. Again we split up. This time, A stayed with C and her dad (he was so worried about her), and the rest of us went to North Falls.

I was a little terrified. Hiking isn’t a super stable activity, and it had rained all night. We joked that in the worst case scenario, we would just hop on the trail, take some pics and go home, but in my heart, I wanted to make it happen.

The entire hike was probably just under two miles. It wasn’t crazy technical, but I had to keep my eyes on the ground and take my time. Amazingly, even with all the rain, the trail wasn’t muddy or even slick, for which I was so grateful. We visited the base of the falls, and it was such a huge victory for me!

Then we hiked to the top of the falls. There was a little outcropping down a small hill at the very top, but it was too crowded for me to feel comfortable. We waited for the ladies to get their fill of the views, before heading back down the mountain. It was so gorgeous and I felt so strong.

In the afternoon, we went to another nearby attraction that offered mini golf, fishing, and gem mining. The 9-hole course was actually built into the hill, and was ridiculously hard. We still laughed. Mostly.

And then we let the kids go crazy mining for gems. They found all kinds of gorgeous quartz and other fun rocks and minerals.

In the evening, we grilled chicken and steak and stayed up way too late, sharing in some really intimate and meaningful conversations. We were so happy.


I had planned to run. And to walk. I had all my workout clothes packed and ready. However, our cabin was not on a paved road. It was steep and gravel and so easy to slip and lose footing. There were also no sidewalks and once we got down the driveway, we would be right on a main road. As much as I hated it, I had to make myself ok with some rest days. I will get back to running tomorrow.

We ate so well, too. For whatever reason, I don’t think I snacked at all the entire trip. I craved a lot of salads and fruit, and that’s what I enjoyed. Yay.

This week will be getting back to my miles. I’m feeling a little behind on my upcoming half marathon, so fingers crossed it will go ok.

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

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How was your week in training?

Have you ever taken a cabin vacation?

5 running goals to end 2020 strong!

I think we can all agree this year was a bit… unorthodox when it came to running, races, and life in general. For me, between the surgery and the pandemic, I lost out on months of running, but now I’m back and determined to finish this year strong!

Keep On Doing What I’m Doing

I don’t to toot my own horn here, but the truth is, I am pretty proud of my recovery arc. It’s hard to think that just over a year ago, I was basically bed-bound with absolutely no ability to bear weight on my right leg. In the subsequent months, I stayed the course, remained patient, and pushed reasonably. Was it a slog? Yes, but slow and steady win the race, and my commitment to this path is going to serve me well going forward. I can feel it.

Get Through My One-Year Injur-versary

It may sound ridiculous, but as I close in on one year since my fall, I feel myself getting a bit edgy and anxious. Our local middle school just sent out info for their annual Turkey Trot, which was the last event I completed before the accident, and the sound of banging on stairs is starting to send shivers down my spine again. Who knew so many emotions would be tied into this? My goal is to just keep my head up and keep moving forward.

Complete a (Virtual) Half Marathon

A few weeks ago, FOMO got the better of me and I registered for the Team Nuun Half Marathon. I got absolutely caught up in the excitement of the other ambassadors, and here we are. I am fairly confident that in my current level of fitness, I can complete 13.1 miles in some form or other. It won’t be anything heroic, and I’m just slightly behind in my training, but a finish is a finish, and that’s all I need.

Register For An In-Person Race

Around here, live races have started up again. Like most of us, I MISS live races – it’s been almost a year since I’ve toed a starting line, and I want to be ready. From what I see on social media, race directors are really going above and beyond to ensure everyone’s safety, to the extent of their ability, so now I just have to give myself permission to go out there. I want something on the smaller side, so that I don’t feel physically crowded (for my leg and for any possible virus spread), but also one where I feel confident that I can hold my own on the course.

Maybe this one?

Plan Something Amazing for 2021

While I hate to admit it, but it seems like 2020 is shot as far as plans. We might be able to scoot out for a few long weekends, but in the running arena, I’ve got nothing going on. As a result, 2021 needs to be fabulous and I need to look beyond that end of the year to keep morale and motivation high. My sights are set for something in the Best Damn Race series. It would be good to go back to basics (PS – if you’re looking for a great race, use code RUNSWITHPUGS to save 10% off any distance in Safety Harbor, Orlando, and New Orleans in 2021).

What are your running goals for the end of this year? Any milestones? In-person or virtual races? Challenges to overcome!

Join the Runner’s Roundup!

Link up each week to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas. Join your hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerLaura Norris Running, Mile by Mile, and Runs with Pugs each week for the Runners’ Roundup linkup! Your link must be running related. Unrelated links will be removed. You must link back to your hosts — it’s common courtesy and a lot more fun! Spread the link-up love by visiting at least two other #running bloggers! Leave a comment and find new blogs to read! Use hashtags #running and #RunnersRoundup to stay in touch and promote your content!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

week 39: hitting the 10k milestone!

It’s hard to imagine that I could be speechless every week on current events, but here we go again. I literally have nothing productive to say or add regarding anything outside my little bubble.

Sunday – rest day

Typically, I am not into rest days, but for whatever reason, it felt right to sleep in, put on daytime pajamas and be one with the couch. Emotionally and mentally, I was pretty wiped out and needed the day to recharge. This is how we do it.

We also had a bit of fun making a “breakfast board.” Boards are where it’s at these days, and I am looking forward to creating a few different variations.

Monday – 4.07 miles walking

Ok, Monday. Let’s do this!

We had a nor’easter last week that left the temperatures almost fall-like. This definitely boosted my spirits and my energy.

A was also in good spirits, and he had a decent day of school.

I took a break midday to have lunch with A’s good buddy’s mom. She and her family are embarking on a cross-country RV journey. We had margaritas to celebrate/mourn their departure.

Tuesday – 4.06 miles running + 1.81 miles, walking

There’s just something exhilarating about getting out in non-muggy, non-humid air. J and I had a fabulous run. Four miles is starting to feel “normal” and I am loving it.

That evening, while A was at Scouts, Mr PugRunner and I went to the new Ford’s Garage for a date night. Not only was it fabulous to have something new, but the food and drinks were really good. We loved the patio dining and the chance for a nice night.

Wednesday – 4.13 miles, walking

Wednesday was just a BEAST of a day. A could not or would not focus on class. He ended up working until almost 8PM, just to get himself caught up. None of it was particularly hard or time-consuming – he just got himself stuck and couldn’t see his way clear.

I was grateful for my morning walk, but I needed Luna to help brighten my photo.

Thursday – 4 miles, running + 3.01 miles, walking

Another fabulous run! We got word that a new bear had come to live at the nature preserve by our house, so J and I restructured our route to swing by the property. Along the way, we were treated to fun scenes like this.

We also saw lots of horses and a zebra. Good times. Lots of miles. Yay!

I had a meeting that night, but the boys went to say one last goodbye to A’s friend. While it’s super sad, the positive isi that we live ii a time of technology, where they are just a FaceTime call away from each other. It’s a small solace in a sad situation.

Friday –  3.43 miles, walking

For some reasons, I never feel incredibly motivated on Fridays. I don’t want to get up, and I don’t want to go walk. But I do it.

A and I had a really, really rough week, so I wanted to make Friday special. He was finished with all his assignments for the week, so I told him to grab his skateboard, and we went to a new (to us) skate park in Jax Beach. He loved it. I need to look into lessons for him – he’s doing great, but he needs a knowledgeable push to try some more skills.

When Mr PugRunner finished with acupuncture, we went on a family to Ford’s Garage. Yes, it was twice this week, but it was so good. I had the most delicious chopped salad.

That evening, we planned to watch a Halloween movie with popcorn, but A changed his mind halfway through, so we moved on to a less spooky flick. It was still fun.

Saturday – 6.2 miles, running + .84 miles, walking

Moment of truth. It was time to bump up to the 10K distance. I got a bit of a late start, but it was cool(ish) and overcast so that was ok. To help me out, I dropped my intervals down to 2:1, crossed my fingers and went for it.

And friends? It was great! My mindset was that there was no rush. I just needed to take my time and be present in each mile. To my delight, there wasn’t much pain in my ankle at all – the most discomfort was in my right toes (and they are fine now after a good stretch and some rest).

I don’t think I could be happier.

For the rest of the day, we ran errands, grabbed lunch, finished decorating the front of the house, and then watched Tremors. It’s fun catching up on some of those cheesy old horror flicks.


This was a huge week in miles for me. It feels so exhilarating to be able to increase my long runs and feel good afterwards. We are closing in on the one year anniversary of my tumble down the stairs, so the extra validation that things are ok is so helpful right now.

We have some fun things planned for this week. I need to somehow managed another 10K for the virtual Global Energy Run (I got my dates confused and thought I could use Saturday’s run, but not so much). Oops.

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

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How was your week in training?

What milestones have you achieved recently?

running in florida: dressing through the seasons

Learning how to dress for the running seasons is one of many “skills” that comes with time and experience. Everyone is so different as far as what makes them comfortable in the varying temperatures, but it’s always important to be protected and safe.

Spring. In Florida.

Ah, spring. Birds sing. Flowers bloom. And humidity spreads its swampy self over the Sunshine State. It’s a great time of year, don’t get me wrong. But the mornings start warm and heat up fast after that. While other places in the country get to ease into the hottest month of a year, we kind of just get in there and get going.

For the spring months, in Florida, we crack out those tank tops and shorts. I know plenty of people go for t-shirts, but I always feel hotter and more restricted with fabric under my arms.

Sunscreen and hats or visors are always a great idea. I tend to skip hats because usually lead to me feel more overheated, but I never leave the house without my sunglasses.

Summer. In Florida.

The truth is, it almost always feels like summer in Florida. It’s soggy and hot and the sun can be merciless. Outdoor running slows to a slog, with many opting for the indoor treadmill, but I stick it out. We do race all summer (in “normal” times, at lesser distances) so I prefer to replicate those conditions where I can.

At this time of year, I’m back in (drumroll) a tank top and shorts or running skirt. Lighter colors are preferable as they don’t absorb as much heat. Stick to moisture wicking and dry-fit materials. This is even a great time to just go with a sports bra (or shirtless for men), but again, don’t forget that sunscreen!

Fall. In Florida.

Whether it feels like it or not, fall descends upon Florida, and all you can do is order your PSL on ice and sip it at the beach. There are no glorious “cool” temps here, no brilliant foliage the colors of flame, no actual need for blanket scarves or Uggs.

Mornings can be a bit more pleasant, however. Sometimes, the thermometer may dip into the 60s, with or without humidity, and that’s a nice break, but it’s not cold, and it’s barely a reason to break out the t-shirts.

So what does one wear for running in the Florida autumn? Tank tops and shorts? Friends, you would be correct. Even on a 63 degree day, you’ll warm up quickly, so no point in overdressing.

Hurricane season also brings lots of rain, so be sure to grab your anti-chafing products and try to stick with the clothing items that don’t rub or irritate.

Winter. In Florida.

Ok. Once we hit winter, things do cool down. I mean, there are mornings where we may just see some 50-something-degree mornings. (That being said, I have also spent several December days at the unheated pool so…) It’s a great time to start early morning runs with a long sleeve shirt over a tank top. I always add gloves because of my Rayanud’s. The gloves generally stay on, but the long sleeves generally come off around the one mile mark.

My legs usually don’t get cold until we get into the 40s, so I stick with shorts up until that point. Capris are a favorite, too, this time of year, although I prefer to save them for yoga or strength training. You may have figured out there’s not a lot of variety in a Floridian’s running wardrobe.

That Random Week In February Where It Could Possibly Snow.

And here it comes. There is always one week of the year, usually in February, where temperatures plummet. I’m talking deep freezes, friends. It’s crazy and while I’ve never run in snow in the Sunshine State, I’ve experienced low 20s at the start of some runs. This is the time of year when we can absolutely whip out all the accessories: leggings, half zips, ear warmers, and gloves!

It’s hard to imagine, but I layer up with tank tops and fleece for this one random week. There are days when it’s just hard to get warm, even after a shower, so the more I can bundle up, the better!

How do you dress through the seasons when running in your neck of the woods? Do you have as little variety as me?

Join the Runner’s Roundup!

Link up each week to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas. Join your hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerLaura Norris Running, Mile by Mile, and Runs with Pugs each week for the Runners’ Roundup linkup! Your link must be running related. Unrelated links will be removed. You must link back to your hosts — it’s common courtesy and a lot more fun! Spread the link-up love by visiting at least two other #running bloggers! Leave a comment and find new blogs to read! Use hashtags #running and #RunnersRoundup to stay in touch and promote your content!

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week 38: pugs + ponies + phase 3

In case you missed the news, Florida has moved into Phase 3. That means pretty much everything is allowed to open and function as “normal.” So, I guess that’s that? I don’t even know what to think anymore. one more bit of crazy in the insanity that is 2020? Who even knows?

Sunday – 3.39 miles, walking

Sundays should be rest days, but I felt like getting out for a walk.

With the ugly weather, we didn’t do much else but lounge around the house. A got to a paintball course with a few friends. Birthday parties have definitely changed, but we figured it was outdoors and spread out, and the kids all had to wear face coverings, so…

I am looking forward to some of the upcoming fall activities. Silly as it sounds, something like an outdoor pumpkin patch would do wonders to lift spirits around here. I need to get on that.

Monday – 4.02 miles walking

I was determined to start Monday on a high note. I got in a great walk, and A did awesome with school.

When he was done with his work, I treated him to lunch and we made a lanyard delivery. He loved the freedom and flexibility of sneaking out during the day for something fun.

Tuesday – 4 miles running + 1.45 miles, walking

On Tuesday, J and I had a fabulous run: four miles, our new weekday goal! Whoo hoo!

A completed the Cupcake Run 5K at the gym with his dad.

I thought things were going to be great, but it was a day of big feelings. Tuesdays are usually math days, which are normally fairly easy for A, but he got bogged down by emotions and we spent the whole day weeding through that. That’s just not my favorite. I felt like a huge failure as a mother and it’s just not a good feeling.

Wednesday – 4.07 miles, walking

With everything that happened the day before, I didn’t have the highest hopes for this day. I walked (and jogged) out a lot of negative self-talk, which I needed.

I made the big field trip to Trader Joe’s to pick up a bunch of things for a charcuterie board the next day, and then we settled in for another afternoon of rain. Blah.

Thursday – 4 miles, running + 1.6 miles, walking

With the lower humidity, this run was just flat out lovely. Again, J and I talked out a lot of vents and concerns and I love that a good run can solve so much!

That evening, we went to J’s family’s house for the TEDxFSCJ event (J is on the board and actually had a hand in designing the artwork for the event). It was a streamed, virtual panel, instead of a “real-life” event, but the message (Not The Enemy) was no less powerful.

I put together a huge charcuterie board (I ran out of room, so the crackers and breads and dips are on another board LOL) and they supplied cocktails and wine.

We then dug into a few hours of listening to several members of the arts and learning community discussing their experiences with racism and how they use their platforms and activisms to combat those injustices. It was eye-opening and heart-wrenching, and we all learned so much.

Friday –  3.86 miles, walking

Ooooh. It was hard getting out for a walk. None of us woke up with the alarm because we stayed out late, and A didn’t have any schoolwork to do. Kid loves those three day weekends.

We had a low key day around the house, and I didn’t mind it one bit.

Saturday – 5 miles, running + .81 miles, walking

Saturday. The moment of truth. The day I planned to run five miles.

Fortune was very much on my side. At around two miles, I bumped into my running buddy who was walking her dog. That sweet pupper wanted to stretch his legs so they joined me for a few miles, which made everything so much more pleasant. And I did it!

When I got home, I showered and leashed up the pugs. My neighbor had invited us to the World’s Largest Pet Walk (virtually), and so we gathered a total of five dogs and and a mini horse for a little stroll.

Delilah regretted her excitement to go out on the leash pretty quickly, so only Luna got her photo with Taco.

We settled in to watch the Hurricanes take on FSU (and dominate!). It’s been a really long time since I’ve enjoyed a football game.


And there you have it. This week, I ran a total of 13 miles over three runs, which is just so huge. I’m not quite ready to add in a fourth day of running, but maybe soon. Jumping to five miles was scary. I can wait.

That being said, I have a virtual 10K on Saturday, so the doubt is creeping back in. I just have to take it one step at a time, rely on my intervals and not let my brain get the better of me. Easier said than done, but I think I’ve got this.

I have a few posts I need to revisit. My office tour got set to the side when school started and things were so much crazier than anticipated. I’m also looking at a post on planning the perfect mountain vacation. You can tell where my heart is right now, huh?

Oh, and Halloween is happening. We are playing it low-key of course, but there will be candy and a spooky movie and it will be the best we can make it.

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

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How was your week in training?

Who’s ready for Halloween?

september runfessions: finally fall?

The thing about Florida is that even though it’s technically fall, we don’t usually get cooler weather until winter. We most certainly don’t get to experience the changing leaves, and our pumpkin patches are a bit more like pumpkin piled on pallets, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get in the spirit of things.

Let’s join up with Marcia’s Healthy Slice and talk it out in these September Runfessions.

I runfess that….

I am probably going to register for one more virtual race. It wasn’t the plan, but this Run For Ruth – We Dissent came up, and I can’t resist. My running buddy and I talked about doing the 87 miles, but we are already deep into our Best Damn Race Oregon Trail Virtual Challenge. With a that in mind, we are going to dress up in our Notorious RBG best and stick to 3.1 miles.

I runfess that…

I am super embarrassed by how bad I let my old running shoes get before replacing them. Ugh. I know better, and I would never let any of my friends run around with actual chunks missing out of their soles! Since my injury, I’ve been so superstitious and nervous of the slightest changes or adjustments, and I had myself convinced new shoes would ruin everything. Happily, I was wrong and am back on track in said new shoes.

running shoes 101

I runfess that…

I am starting to love getting up with the sunrise again. My scheduled runs have been later because I’m scared of tripping in the dark, but now that we are getting near a time change, I am remembering how much I love early mornings. Now, I’m stronger, and more steady on my feet, so perhaps it’s time to take advantage of these beautiful skies.

I runfess that…

We are super excited for Halloween, but nervous about how it’s going to look this year. Already, we have had several conversations, and it seems like we will stay close to home with a small outdoor gathering for neighbors. We will have pizza and drinks, and set up a movie on the garage door. That way, everyone is in the fresh air and in the festive spirit. Halloween is truly my favorite holiday, and I’m glad we are finding a way to salvage it.

I runfess that…

The first quarter of virtual school was so much harder than we expected in so many ways. While the school itself (the teachers, the staff, the courses, the administration) are fantastic, the expectations for students is very high. A has taken to it well, but we still go through some pretty serious big feelings each week. I hope it will get better, but it can be so discouraging to be the brunt of his emotions on the regular.

I runfess that…

With the loss of Bentley and everything going on, we didn’t celebrate Delilah’s Gotcha Day! Ugh! She’s such a good girl, and even though she didn’t ask for a puppy, she’s been so tolerant of Luna. We will have to celebrate with some delicious chicken nuggets this weekend.

So there we have it: our September Runfessions.

What would you runfess?

new running shoes 101: when is it time?

New running shoes are one of the highlights of this sport. I love trying new styles and coming home with (or coming home to) a box full of shiny, new shoes, all fresh and ready for the road.

new shoes

On the downside, running shoes can be pricey, and that can make us loathe to buy new or replace them as frequently as we should. My belief is spending the money on keeping yourself in good running shoes can help save you from injury or PT bills down the road, so I do try to stay on top of it.

But how do you know when it’s time?

When You’re Pushing 400 Miles

Most of us track our miles on our Garmins, Apple watches, or running apps. Our quest for data makes it easy to calculate overall miles, and these are what we should watch as we run. At the 300 mile mark in any pair of shoes, it’s time to start paying attention. Gels and cushioning begin to compress. Treads wear thin, Rubber loses its bounce. Uppers may start to fray. All of these things lead to a compromised running experience Every shoe is different, and every runner puts different wear on shoes. Sometimes, you can get to 500 or so miles, but 400 is the sweet spot especially for those who run regularly.

new running shoes

When They Hit Their 6 Month Birthday

Don’t keep track of your miles or don’t run all that often? Then make a note of the six-month mark from when you started wearing your shoes. While it may not look like your shoes are showing their age, be aware that passing time can lead to the breakdown of the materials that make up your shoes. It can be hard to say goodbye when your miles are on the lower side, but switch your six month old shoes to the pair you use for the gym or to walk the dogs and upgrade to something new.

When You Start To Feel Soreness

Any time you start to experience soreness or aches during or after a run, one of the big questions you should ask is “how old are my shoes?” When running shoes lose their integrity, due to use or age, they step serving the purpose of protecting your body while you run. If you are at 400 miles or past six months, get thee to your local running store to level up to your new running shoes. (and if that doesn’t do the trick quickly, get thee to your doctor for an exam).

new running shoes

When They Look Like This

Friends, I am so embarrassed to admit this, but this is an actual photo of the shoes I just retired.

new running shoes

In my defense, they were one of the only pairs of shoes that felt “right’ on my bionic ankle, and I wasn’t experiencing any (new) aches, pains, or discomfort from them. I suffered with feelings of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, and was nervous that changing anything would cause issues with my recovering leg. Of course, my new running shoes ended up being just fine with no issues, and I sent these off to Valhalla without a second thought.

When Your Favorite Shoe Goes On Sale (or Releases New Colors)

New running shoes are a critical part of the sport, but they can also just be fun. So when you see YOUR shoe marked down, or even in a cool new color way, go for it! It never hurts to have a backup pair to add to your rotation, or to save for a later. Running (and its accessories) should be fun, and if you want a new pair just for the heck of it, go for it!

new running shoes
courtesy of Brooks Running

When is the right time for you to get new running shoes?

Join the Runner’s Roundup!

Link up each week to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas. Join your hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerLaura Norris Running, Mile by Mile, and Runs with Pugs each week for the Runners’ Roundup linkup! Your link must be running related. Unrelated links will be removed. You must link back to your hosts — it’s common courtesy and a lot more fun! Spread the link-up love by visiting at least two other #running bloggers! Leave a comment and find new blogs to read! Use hashtags #running and #RunnersRoundup to stay in touch and promote your content!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
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