weekly wrap: 11.26.17 – 12.2.17

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin!

WeeklyWrap

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

And here we are, in December. November was quite the month: with two half marathons and over 100 miles, it was probably my most productive 30 days of running to date.

Sunday – Space Coast Half Marathon, 13.1 miles running

The day had finally arrived: the fifth anniversary of my first-ever half marathon. Oh.Em. Gee.

While there was no PR this time, I felt good about the race I ran. More to come on that.

I was also thrilled to have Mr PugRunner and little man at the finish line cheering for me. It meant the world to me, and I was so excited to see them there as I wrapped up 13.1 miles.

After a shower, we drove home, polished off some Thanksgiving leftovers, and then I parked it in front of some football while the boys and some of their Scout friends worked on their Space Derby rockets.

Not going to lie – I was so very happy to get to bed that night. I was done.

Monday – rest

Obviously, there’s very little time for sleeping in when you’ve got a child in school, so I was up to get lunch packed and breakfast ready and all that jazz. Of course, I also had to get to work.

The day unfolded just like a regular Monday – including karate. Nothing too exciting.

Tuesday – 6 miles, running

I was pretty sore on Tuesday morning. The gently rolling hills of Space Coast left me hurting and I begged my running group to take it easy on me. They were extremely considerate and sweet and let me set the pace.

Wednesday – rest

I was really lucky to be done with work for the week and I was looking forward to some rest and relaxation. Mr PugRunner took over karate duty for the night and I was able to chill out and get to bed early. Yay!

Thursday – 6.25 miles, running

My legs were feeling much better on Thursday, and so our group run was much happier. I had a blast.

After I got little man off to school, I worked on some holiday decorations, and organizing things for the weekend.

In the evening, we had our Cub Scout Pack’s first Space Derby. It was a bit crazy, but our den was amazing. Little man didn’t place this time, but we learned a lot about how to make the rockets better and faster, and can apply that knowledge next year.

Friday – rest

Technically this was a rest day, but not really.

I was up and out to take little man to school early, so I could decorate his classroom’s door in advance of our upcoming holiday event. Our teacher wanted something with reindeer and I was inspired by some Pinterest ideas.

Then it was off to a couple of craft stores for trim for team race shirts, Target for birthday gifts, and a gym to pick up Gingerbread Man Dash packets for two of my three running friends.

I snagged a quick lunch, and headed back to school to add some final details to the door and help get the book fair set up.

By the time I got home, I wasn’t feeling great, and was more than happy to let the boys head off to the Flagler Saints Women’s Volleyball tournament while I stayed home with holiday movies and sewing tank tops for Saturday’s 10K. I took advantage of the quiet time to rest as much as I could.

Saturday – Gingerbread Man Dash 10K, 6.2 miles running

I was feeling much better in the morning, thank goodness, and was ready to run. We all did some shuffling around (showing up, distributing shirts and packets, dropping off kids, coordinating meet up locations), and then the four of us headed over to the start line of the 10K. We were supposed to run at 8:00, while the kids’ fun run was slated for 9:15.

It was a really hot, long run, but we got it done and in plenty of time to watch our little ones race! Yay!

When we finished, we parted ways, promising to sign up for something else as a group, soon! It was a crazy day aside from that: little man had a birthday party, and then I was meeting some girlfriends for drinks and a quick dinner, and finally, we were invited to a Hurricanes party at our new dogsitter’s house.

Believe me when I say I collapsed into bed that night. Whew, was I exhausted!

 

I plan to just run the year out, as I’ve been doing. I don’t know if I will get in any more races in December, but I am shooting for a New Year’s Eve run, just because I’ve never done one before. I’ve already got a pretty packed race schedule going into 2018, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

How was your week in training?

Any fun holiday races on your schedule this month?

finish the year strong with the ameris bank jacksonville marathon + tropical smoothie cafe

This is a sponsored post. I have been compensated for my promotion of Ameris Bank Jacksonville Marathon  and Tropical Smoothie Cafe. All opinions are my own.

As the running year winds down, 1st Place Sports will end 2017 with one of its biggest Grand Prix events, the Ameris Bank Jacksonville Marathon.

On December 16, 2017, starting at 7:00 AM at the Bolles School, runners can chase down their goals in the 5K, half marathon or full marathon distance.

This certified course is flat and fast and mostly shaded, and with an average race temperature of 56*, making it perfect for a Boston Qualifier! If you’re ready to take on that challenge, this is the race for you!

It’s also perfect for runners of every level, with a marathon course limit of seven hours and a half course limit of 3.5 hours. There are digital clocks at every mile to help you keep your pace on track and lots of course support.

Check out these additional perks: gorgeous, gender-specific half zips,

and huge, custom medals for all finishers!

There is also plenty of prize money on the line for this Grand Prix event, so don’t miss out!

Register online now, or visit any 1st Place Sports location to register in-store.

When you have crossed the finish line on the Bolles School track, you’ll be probably need to recharge. Head on over to the nearest Tropical Smoothie Cafe for one of the delicious, smoothies from their Power Trio, packed with all kinds of flavor and nutrients.

I love the strawberry, blueberry and cranberry mixed with ground flax seed, whole grain oats, protein and splenda in the Triple Berry Oat. It’s refreshing and yummy.

Will you be joining the fun at the Ameris Bank Jacksonville Marathon this year?

What’s your favorite recovery smoothie at Tropical Smoothie Cafe?

 

race report: durbin trail mix {10.28.2017}

I am tragically behind on my race reports, so I’m going to skip ahead a little (past the smaller 5Ks) to the “good stuff.”

It is my absolute privilege to be friends with some truly motivated and inspiring women. Stacey and Jennifer created Empower Coaching and Fitness based on their love of running and fitness, and have been tearing it up with their group workouts, coaching and, more recently, race creation and direction.

They are the powers behind the amazing Ready. Set. Glow 5K that takes place in early April to benefit our local neighborhood schools, and this year, they added one more feather to their proverbial caps: the Durbin Trail Mix.

The race was created based on two things: the lack of local trail runs and the lack of a distance falling between a half and full marathon. They decided to try a race on a trail loop at the Julington-Durbin Preserve, offering a 5K, 18 mile and 18 mile relay distance.

I rounded up a three-woman relay team with S and D and handed over my money, post haste.

The Durbin Trail Mix was scheduled to have two start times: 8:15 AM for the 5K runners and 8:30 for the 18 milers and relay runners. Athletes were encouraged to arrive early and carpool if possible due to lack of parking. Even with a cap of 75 entrants, I wanted to make sure I had a space. The side benefit was that I got to help a little and hang out with some running friends.

I set up a small area for our team. We had decided to all be there for the duration of the event, so I advised everyone to bring chairs, a cooler and anything else that might be needed while we each took on our individual six-mile loops.

At a little after 8:00, Stacey and Jen called everyone together to review race directions and provide an overview of the course. The 5Kers were to take on an out and back, while everyone else would proceed for the duration of a six mile loop (each relay runner would take one pass while the 18milers would take three). Runners had to carry their own bottles as this was a cupless event, but there would be a water stop halfway through the loop and then a fuel and fluid station at the staging area.

When the clock hit 8:15, the first group started off and at 8:30, everyone else hit the trail.

For the first leg, the weather was coolish, but humid. The theater leading up to the race had not been kind – lots of rain had soaked the trail and left nasty spots of mud, as well as several unavoidable swampy areas. I had a pair of shoes ready for retirement and had determined that this was going to be their last hurrah – there is no way they would have survived to run another mile.

Our area doesn’t lend itself to technical trails, so this was very much hard packed dirt with some roots, some grass and some sand. There were also some hard ruts and slippery spots along the way. A good portion was shaded, but there was also a chunk of the course that was in full sun. The day warmed up quickly and I was glad I had made the decision to wear a tank and shorts.

My six miles were interesting. Trails are always fun in their own way – peaceful and beautiful, but sometimes isolating. I ran a good ways in the company of others, but then I was also alone for some miles. I didn’t mind either way. I did mind rolling my (same) ankle three times, which pretty much put the kibosh on getting in extra miles like I originally planned.

I also wasn’t in love with mile 3.75 – 4.5, which could only be described as swamp. In fact, the mud was so bad that it sucked my shoe right off my foot! No, thank you! I reclaimed by footwear, but still had to submit to shin high water and all kinds of muck. Gross.

However, soon enough I was finished and sent out our team’s second runner, S, to complete her loop.

Each of my teammates dealt with her own challenges: heat, humidity, mud, roots, etc. All of us loved the experience.

We stayed until pretty much the bitter end. It was fun cheering in all the runners and teams, and the vibe was fabulous. Of course, at the end, we were starving, so D and her husband headed off for lunch and shopping, while S and I decided to get some margaritas and Mexican food!

For an inaugural event, this was amazing. The only change I would think of making would be to start about 30 minutes earlier, just to give everyone, especially the 18 milers, as much chance at cooler temperatures as possible.

And of course, the medal was totally unique and adorable – just one more example of the attention to detail.

With a feel for the event overall, I might even be ready to go for the full 18 miles next year as a solo runner. It would certainly be a new challenge for me and would totally test my comfort zone. Either way, I will happily register again for any one of the three distances next year.

What’s your greatest challenge with trail runs?

Have you ever run an 18 mile race?

weekly wrap: 11.19.17 – 11.26.17

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin!

WeeklyWrap

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

Speaking of MissSippiPiddlin… just wait til you see what this week had in store.

Sunday – 9 miles, running

Our Saturday long run got pushed to Sunday. I was ok with that seeing as how I really needed a day to “sleep in.” I figured nine miles would be a good way to head into this two-race week.

Check.

Afterwards, we got the house tidied up for some friends to come over. Mr PugRunner made some delicious Boston Butt on the egg, and everyone pitched in with their favorite BBQ sides.

The kids played for a bit and then we worked on the Cub Scouts Space Derby kits. The instructions in these things are never great, so it was nice to have a team working on them.

Monday – rest

Mondays. We all know how those go.

Tuesday – 6.7 miles, running

Three of the four group members went for the early morning miles. It started to drizzle a bit as we were wrapping up and I had to spring for home. Boo, rain, boo.

I hustled over to the school in the morning to help little man’s teacher get set up for fall centers. Our class was hosting a station where they would make butter by shaking cream and salt in a ziplock bag. I also sent in a hand mixer in case the experiment failed. Shockingly, it worked just fine!

When I got home from work, I had a meeting scheduled with our new dogsitter, and my parents picked up little man from school. The pugs loved C to pieces, and she was so excited to add them to her client list.

We went out for a nice dinner and little man went home with my parents, to return on Thanksgiving. He had Wednesday off, but I didn’t, so he would have more fun with them.

Wednesday – rest

Mr PugRunner braved the store for a few last-minute items, while I finished my day at work. Afterwards, we treated ourselves to Justice League in the movie theater. I was so excited to see it – it wasn’t phenomenal, but I enjoyed it heartily.

Thursday – 3.1 miles, running

t was an early, early morning for me. Not only did the Community First Thanksgiving Distance Classic 5K start at 6:50AM, but I was picking up Tricia for the race! We arrived a little early to make sure we had close parking, but ugh. It was POURING.

You guys, I have never actually gone out in the rain, so I wasn’t really thrilled about racing in it, but we had brought trash bags and a sense of adventure. We waited until the absolute last minute and then rolled up to the start line.

Crazy! Stay tuned for pictures of us in our classy garbage bags!

After I dropped her back home, it was time for me to go home and start getting ready for our big day. Mr PugRunner had decided to cook the turkey on the Big Green Egg, so all I really had to do was make the stuffing and a few sides.

The rest of the family showed up and we had a lovely, relaxing day of good food, conversation and football.

The only bummer was that it rained all day so we couldn’t enjoy a nice walk around the neighborhood when we were finished.

Friday – rest

We skipped out on Black Friday in favor of Friendsgiving. It’s an annual event where a bunch of friends cook up a huge feast and enjoy it together. I probably ate more at Friendsgiving than I did at Thanksgiving! It was equally good and it was fun to try different interpretations of my favorite holiday sides.

Saturday – rest

There was no real rest on Saturday. First, we had a date to see Santa, so we hit the outdoor mall early to get a prime spot in line.

We got home, fed and settled the pugs, tossed our suitcases in the car and made the drive to Cocoa for my fifth running of the Space Coast Half Marathon. Way back in 2013, I made the decision to register for a half marathon, without ever having done a 5K. It was insanity,  but I saw that the Space Coast event was offering an incredibly cool, five-year series of medals, and I just had to have them all.

I even got my name on the Intergalactic Challenge banner!

After a quick trip to the expo, we checked into our hotel, got our traditional pasta dinner and it was off to bed for this little runner. With a 4:15 AM shuttle for a 6:00 AM start time, I had to get some sleep!

Spoiler alert: I had a great race. It wasn’t a PR and I am a hurting unit today, but I think I ran strong and smart, which makes me happy. All in all it was a fabulous week, and I will be leaving November with over 100 miles. I don’t think I’ve ever totaled that much in my history of running, so I’m pretty excited to see where that leads.

How was your Thanksgiving?

How was your week in training?

 

 

 

black friday shopping deals for runners

Happy Day After Thanksgiving!

I took a few days off to celebrate. And because I needed the break.

As a holiday week, things were pretty hectic. I ran a rainy Thanksgiving Day 5K with Tricia in the wee hours of the morning,

came home to host a lovely Thanksgiving feast with my parents,

and am cooking one more time for a Friendsgiving extravaganza.

More on that in the weekly wrap on Monday.

So here we are on Black Friday, as non Black Friday people. Neither one of us really enjoy shopping, and none of the things any of us really want for Christmas ever seem to make it to the Black Friday deep discount roster. While I am sure there is a certain thrill to staying up late or going out super early and scooping up doorbusters and the like, it’s not my kind of thrill. I could get behind the post-shopping breakfast, mind you, but other than that, I’m  good in my jammies.

That doesn’t mean I’m not taking advantage of some great deals over the next few days. There are some great gifts to be purchased for the runner in your life. The

Aftershokz – $50 off Trekz Titanium Wireless Headphones. If you hadn’t made the leap yet, do it. You won’t be sorry, and at this price, what do you have to lose?

Armpocket – BOGO through Monday, November 27. Armpockets are the only way I carry my phone while running or working out. They are comfortable, constructed beautifully and incredibly durable.

Best Damn Race* – Use code RUNPUGS for $5 off or BLACKFRIDAY2017 for a percentage off any distance in any city. This race is for runners, by runners and consistently provides amazing races with great medals, rocking after parties and all the race fun you could want. I’m looking forward to the Jacksonville and Orlando events in 2018 and hope to see you there!

Eagle Creek – 20% off select travel gear, including some of the Pack-It Sport line!

Garmin – all kinds of discounts on almost every running and multisport wearable, including the Fenix.

Pro Compression – Get two pair of Marathon socks for $40. Graduated compression, awesome colors and patterns, and the perfect price! Stock up!

Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon* – So not an official Black Friday Deal, but code PUGS18 will save you 15% on this fabulous April half and 5K.

Raw Threads – I love these soft and clever shirts and tanks, and at 25% off through Cyber Monday, I know you will too!

Sweaty Bands – Code BLACKFRIDAY2017 will save you 30% off sitewide. You will also receive a free hair tie with purchases over $15.

Are you hitting the stores or the internet this Black Friday – Cyber Monday weekend?

As a runner, what’s your favorite gift to give? How about to receive?

*I am an ambassador for selected products and events. All opinions are my own.

weekly wrap: 11.11.17 – 11.18.17

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin!

WeeklyWrap

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

Sunday – 3,5 miles, running

I don’t usually feel badly about not getting in my goal amount of miles, but for some reason, Saturday’s run wasn’t fulfilling. I went out for another 3.5 miles, just to get it out of my system.

After that, I snagged a quick shower, loaded little man into the car and drove up to my parents’ house for breakfast. We visited for a bit and then Papa Bear and I took little man to see Thor: Ragnorak. Yes, it was that good.

We were glad to get home – Mr PugRunner was on his way back from Miami, so we wanted to have dinner and everything all settled by the time he got home. It was great to be reunited.

Monday – rest

Monday was just busy, busy, busy. The weather has been wreaking havoc with Mr PugRunner’s sinuses, so he isn’t operating at full capacity. Work was hectic, and I ended up getting stuck a little late, but it was a good day in spite of it all.

Karate was great, too. Little man will test for his next belt next month, which is pretty exciting. One step closer to his black belt!

That evening,  I had a scouts leadership meeting, which also ran a little long. We did cover a lot, though, so that was incredibly productive.

Tuesday – 7 miles, running

A newcomer joined us on our run, and it was fantastic. I love seeing our little group go, and I hope we can maintain it!

Another day of work, and then after dinner, I headed to my friend’s house to finalize plans for Friday’s Glow Party. We were in great shape, but just needed to touch base on last minute details.

Wednesday – rest

It was my last day of work for the week and I was grateful for that. I had so much to get done.

We had planned to go to karate, but we had a last minute invite to a media preview for the upcoming Marvel Universe Live: Age of Heroes. I thought it would be fun for little man to get a behind the scenes look at some of his favorite superheroes, and it ended up being a cool night.

Even if he wouldn’t pose for a picture with Black Cat and Black Widow.

The show will take place January 19 – January 21 at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Tickets are currently on sale via Ticketmaster. If you haven’t been to a Marvel Universe Live show, now is the time, especially with the inclusion of Dr. Strange and the Guardians of the Galaxy crew. We went for little man’s birthday two years ago and it was truly a spectacle to be seen.

Thursday – 7.4 miles, running

This time, our run was made up of four people. It was so easy and so relaxed, and our group is getting along so great!

But then it was time to get to work. I had offered to help my co-chair with a Vocabulary Parade costume for her son so she could run the last errands for the party. And then we had our last Cub Scouts meeting before the Thanksgiving Break. The next few meeting are going to be incredibly fun and exciting, so I am looking forward to that.

We were so busy that little man had to take a bit of a rest with his almost-14-year-old pug.

Friday – rest

Our very first Vocabulary Parade was scheduled for the morning, and we were all so excited. I took little man over to school so we could score a parking spot, help the teacher with the kids’ costumes if they needed assistance and help decorate the front. The parade itself was awesome – the creativity was absolutely over the top and we had a blast!

Our PTA group parted ways until lunch – we each had to unload items at the school, pick up different items and grab something to eat. After lunch, we got into it.

We were very fortunate to have some awesome volunteers and staff members who helped us realize our vision. The end result was absolutely incredible. We heard nothing but raves from moms and sons and we were so thrilled that we could offer such a fun experience!

Saturday – rest

There was just no way I could drag myself out of bed on Saturday morning. Between the two huge blisters on the sides of both my big toes, and the general exhaustion, I needed a day off. We all slept in a little, and then went to a fundraising event at a nearby skate park.

It was really cool, and it was good for little man to break out of his comfort zone a little.

We got to watch some of the Miami Hurricanes game at lunch – our team is now 10-0! It’s amazing and I am so glad to see some of the glory days being recaptured!

Less than a week until the Space Coast Half. The weather is looking decent, so I’m excited about that. My only concern is that the ever fluctuating temperatures lead to a little bit of an upset tummy for me, so I’m hoping to get that under control by Sunday. Fingers crossed!

How was your week in training?

Have you ever been to a glow party?

weekly wrap: 11.5.17 – 11.11.17

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin!

WeeklyWrap

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

Travel and running and events, oh my!

Sunday – Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah 5K + Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah 1 Mile

Once again, the recap will be coming, but it was a great last day in Savannah. We had breakfast with Amy and then packed up to check out. Our races didn’t start until 1:00 PM, so we had plenty of time to drive into town for coffee and donuts!

The weather stayed pretty cool and overcast until the actual start of the 5K, when the clouds suddenly parted. I wasn’t thrilled but it was only 3.1 miles followed by 1 mile, so I got over it quickly.

And I was more than excited to collect my bling and my pie.

Monday – rest

After a whirlwind weekend, I was plumb tuckered. Of course, the week starts whether I’m ready or not, so it was off to school, off to work, karate, dinner and homework. Yay.

Tuesday – 6 miles, running

I was a little unsure how I would feel about this run, but I went for it anyway. We took our time and it went great. I was glad to get right back to it, despite the tons of miles over the weekend.

After music club, we dropped little man at a friend’s and stole away for a quick dinner to celebrate our anniversary, since we didn’t really get the chance over the weekend.

Wednesday – rest

Wednesday was a whirlwind. I was slammed at work and got stuck late, which is never any fun. Of course, it makes the day pass more quickly, so that was a positive.

Thursday – 6.5 miles, running

Good news – even after a long weekend of lots of running and walking, my hip and glue have been feeling fantastic! Maybe there is something to the whole massage thing. We also had a third join us and it was wonderful. I feel like we have a nice group going and I hope we can continue with it!

Even though I had a day off, there was still plenty to do. I’ve been working on an event for school and had plenty of stuff to shop for and create. I love DIY projects but it’s been tough keeping on top of everything. Can’t wait to show off some of our work after the party.

In Cub Scouts, we finished up another achievement when the boys made solar ovens out of Pringles’ cans. They did a great job and I am excited to hear how they worked out with either hot dogs or marshmallows.

Friday – rest

I had a bunch of writing to do, and Mr PugRunner headed off to Miami. I was glad to have an excuse to stay home and I was even more glad that little man wanted to chill out at home with a movie that night. We both turned in pretty early, which was great.

Saturday – 8 miles, running

Long run Saturday. I wanted to do more, but I kind of psyched myself out of going out earlier and needed to get back to the house. I promised myself that if I woke up in time on Sunday, I would go out for a few more miles.

I had a list of errands to check off, and I was also planning to spend the afternoon with my running and PTA buddy to finish up some more decorations.

S and I took the kids out to dinner and for ice cream and then it was home to the couch.

Mr PugRunner had scored a ticket for the Miami Hurricanes vs Notre Dame game, and all I wanted was to sit on the couch and watch the game with a cold beer. Little man hung with me for about a quarter, and I stayed up until midnight watching my Canes dominate the Irish.

All while getting texts from the stands. He was obviously having the worst time.

 

It’s an exciting time for us in NCAA football and I am looking forward to seeing where the rankings shake out tomorrow.

I’m also feeling really good about the running thing. My new shoes are working out great and I’m fairly confident about Space Coast in two weeks.

How was your week in training?

How is your NCAA team doing right now?

Do you have a running group that continues to grow?

smarter living with smarty pants

I was gifted product by Smarty Pants via my position as a Rock ‘n’ Blogger for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. All opinions are my own.

It’s been said over and over that you can’t outrun bad nutrition. And while we enjoy treats and splurges as much as anyone else, I do try hard to provide healthy meals for my family. Sometimes we fall into an eating rut, but I make every effort to make sure we have lean proteins, fruits and veggies, and I’ve been working on reducing our grain and carbohydrate intake.

My goal for us is a balanced diet. Eating well fuels us, giving us more energy and keeping us healthier. A good diet is also critical for a strong immune system and good overall health. With our crazy schedules, we just don’t have time to get run down. Sometimes, especially on our most busy weeks, we miss out on some of the nutritional necessities that keep us going, but we don’t have time to let that stop us.

All of us take a regimen of vitamins on a daily basis. We keep it fairly simple – cusotmizing for our own personal needs. Little man and I both take multivitamins and an additional Vitamin C for immunity. My PugRunner takes a men’s vitamin and supplements with a few things for his joints.

One thing we all agree on, though, is Smarty Pants.

We started little man on Smarty Pants Kids’ Complete vitamins over a year ago. He wasn’t entirely consistent with swallowing pills and we liked that these gummies didn’t have any synthetic colors or artificial flavors (they also don’t contain GMOs, artificial preservatives, yeast, milk, wheat, eggs, soy, gluten, peanuts, tree nut allergens, fish allergens shellfish or salicylates). The kids’ multi also contains Omega 3 Fish Oil, B12 and D3, in addition to the  usual lineup (A, C, D, E, Riboflavin, B6, Folate, Iodine and Zinc)

Because they taste great, he is quick to grab them after breakfast, and very rarely needs a reminder.

And he’ll even help me out and grab my bottle of Women’s Complete as well.

My favorite thing about these gummies is they are very easy on the stomach. I can take them before or after a meal and don’t have the nausea or upset feelings I would get after other supplements.

What was new for all of us were the probiotics.

While we are all pretty good about eating yogurt and things that keep our gut health on track, it can never hurt to have a little help. There are plenty of stomach bugs and similar ailments going around and I am more than happy to give Mr PugRunner and I the extra protection from the Adult Probiotic Complete to get through a winter of yucky illnesses.

Best of all, these items are absolutely convenient – I can grab any of them at my local Target or order online if I’m in a pinch. Good health shouldn’t be hard (or prohibitively expensive – a 30 day supply of the Women’s Complete retails for just under $1 a day!) and we are happy to continue with our Smarty Pants!

race report: tour de pain {8.11 & 8.12.2017}

Remember this one folks? The Tour De Pain? Three races in about 24 hours?

How could we forget?

There’s really nothing easy about Tour De Pain. It’s a fairly grueling, August challenge, and while it’s not exactly fun, it’s cool to see exactly how much one can endure throughout the series of races.

4 Mile Beach Run

Guys, I don’t think I have ever run a hotter, more humid, more miserable race. It was close to unbearable. I can say that pretty confidently, as someone who trains and races in one of the hottest states in the country. It was brutal.

I got there early enough to snag a parking spot, but it was still rather far from packet pickup and the race start, due to some nasty construction in Jacksonville Beach. By the time I got my bib and tank, dropped everything else off in my car and went back to the start line, I was already dripping. Yuck.

Usually, being on the ocean affords a gorgeous breeze, but the air that night was hot. And the sun was blazing.

On the plus side, the sand was hard packed and very level. That definitely helped with my hips and my gait. Usually, after a beach run, my legs are sore and achy, but not this time.

The course is two miles out and two miles back, with one water stop at the u-turn. I think this was the first time I’ve taken hydration during such a short distance. It would have been foolish not to.

The way out was fine, and we did have a little benefit of some of the shade from the buildings, but the way back… Ugh. At one point, an emergency vehicle sped towards the finish line, and I made the decision to not push. It wasn’t worth it. I plugged along, focused on one thing: getting it done.

When I crossed the finish line, I grabbed a quick drink and hustled back to the car. I wasn’t interested in anything but something to eat and a shower.

Race #1. Done.

5K Road Race

The 5K road race starts in the very early morning and at a location a little closer to my home. I still had to set my alarm and be out first thing.

This portion of the race is fairly easy. We run on a familiar course and it’s mostly shaded – sure, it was early and I was tired, but it was great feeling the road under my shoes and getting to stretch it out on the asphalt.

I was really, really happy to see that finish line.

Two down, one to go!

1 Mile Sizzler

We spent the time between races at one of little man’s friend’s birthday parties. I was hoping that Mr. PugRunner and little man would come with me to the final race, but it had been a long day for them and they wanted to get home. Totally understandable and it was a good thing we had brought two cars.

The weather was, as the name of this particular race indicates, sizzling. The final one mile takes place in the heart of downtown Jacksonville, starting at 4:30 in the afternoon. It’s an awful time to run, especially in August, but it also makes for a rewarding finish!

There are four waves that go out for this run, to keep crowding on the course to a minimum: Masters Men, Open Men, Masters Women and Open Women. Since I am 40 this year, I finally got to move out of the last wave and into the Masters Women group. Not being in the last group took a bit of pressure off of me and I was glad for that.

Runners make two loops around a big block, before kicking it to the finish line at the Landing.

I had some technical difficulties during this mile. I was adjusting my music on my phone before the start, got caught off guard by the gun and couldn’t get my phone back in my armband. I had to do the whole mile, clinging to my phone for dear life. It totally distracted me from what I was doing and knocked me out of my groove. Boo.

It was still pretty exhilarating to charge down that final straightaway and know that the 24 hours of running were over and it was time to celebrate!

With bling!

And beautiful views!

And pizza and beer!

While it’s always a difficult series, I do love the challenge Tour De Pain presents. That final finish line is a welcome relief, but the journey to get there is even better.

Do you have a summer race series in your town?

What’s your least favorite time of day to race?

gobble gobble: community first thanksgiving distance classic

This is a sponsored post. I have been compensated for my promotion of Community First Thanksgiving Distance Classic  and Tropical Smoothie Cafe. All opinions are my own.

Thanksgiving morning is always a bit of a hectic rush. My day starts, not with stuffing the bird in the oven, but with a sunrise 5K in Pickwick Park.

The Community First Thanksgiving Distance Classic, by 1st Place Sports, is a wonderful way to get ready for the day of feasting. Choose the half marathon or the 5K – there’s even a one mile fun run for the kids!

The running starts at 6:50 AM for the 5K and 7:00 AM for those taking on 13.1 miles. Everyone who registers will receive a gender-specific tech shirt and all the finishers of both distances will receive a custom medal to commemorate the race. Who doesn’t love fun turkey bling?

Organizers ask that participants choose to donate $1 or bring in a canned good in addition to their registration fee. Donations will go to benefit the Mandarin Food Bank.

You may register at any 1st Place Sports location or online here. Packets may be picked up at any store on Tuesday and Wednesday prior to the race, or at the race site on race day.

And best of all, when you cross that finish line, you’ll be ready for turkey and all the trimmings!

On Black Friday, you’ll be ready to get back into the swing of things. Start your day with a workout and a smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Cafe.

Say cheers to the holiday season and a day of snagging great deals with some of Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s yummiest seasonal offerings, like the Very Berry Cranberry, with strawberries and cranberries, or the Cranberry Truffle with yogurt and white chocolate truffle. It’s the perfect treat to round out the Thanksgiving week.

Do you have a favorite Turkey Trot or Thanksgiving race?

 

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