riots #22: overcoming the slump + moving forward

This week, I got some tough lessons in overcoming the slump. It’s ironic since I just posted tips for staying motivated on summer vacation, but the last seven days just didn’t work out how I would have liked.

Sunday – 1 mile, treadmill running

Since Meghan and I are fitness bloggers, I strongly suggested checking out the Fitness Center at the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive. Even though we were both dragging, we committed to one mile on the treadmill and finished smiling.

orlando staycation

All too soon, it was time to say goodbye. I drove home through some nasty rainstorms, and made it almost in time for little man to come home from a really cool anime-and-ramen birthday party. Reuniting with my favorites is the best!

Monday – 6 miles, running + 9 Round

I started Monday by jumping into a six mile run with S,

runs with pugs

and then following up with a session with Mr PugRunner at 9Round. It had been a while since my last visit and I was kind of worried I would have lost some fitness. My worries were for naught and I felt great.

runs with pugs blogger

Little man had his first clarinet lesson and I got to sit outside the room and listen. My only musical experience is in piano, but his teacher said he did a great job and he’s been quite dedicated to practicing daily as instructed.

He also had karate in the evening. It’s been a while since I saw him do his forms, but he looked great and I was so proud of him.

Tuesday – 9Round

Tuesday was just for 9Round. I pushed as hard as I could, and had a great workout.

The neighborhood kids wanted to play, so they came over to hang out. It was pretty nice to just have them enjoying themselves. I didn’t mind them chilling at the house, playing video games while it rained. It made for a nice day.

Wednesday – 6 miles, running + 9Round

My week continued strong with a 6 mile solo run.

runs with pugs blogger

When I got to 9Round, I found out it was my 25th class! That puts me halfway to my first milestone, which is awesome!

runs with pugs blogger

I cleaned up, grabbed little man, and headed to Davenport Park for the second stop on the St. Augustine Moms Explore Tour. This has been so much fun for our contributors, readers and new friends, and I am loving getting to check out new parks and meetups in our area.

runs with pugs explore tour

It didn’t end there! That evening, the boys had tickets to a David Bowie Tribute concert with some friends. I sent them off for a steak dinner and to see the show, while I caught up with a friend and some delicious desserts.

runs with pugs blogger

Thursday – rest

I woke up on Thursday, drained and with a terrible hormone headache. It was misery. I parked myself on the couch, worked, and let little man have a friend come over to play because I just couldn’t bring myself to move. Every month, I have a few days where I ride the heck out of the struggle bus, but I’m just glad to have this out of the way so I can enjoy the next two weeks, misery-free.

Friday – rest

I hoped to feel well enough to run on Friday morning, but the headache was back and my hips ached. Boo.

My first order of business was a PTSO meeting. I followed this with a quick lunch and then a second meeting for an upcoming St. Augustine Moms event. I can’t wait to share that surprise.

Our plan was to go out to an early dinner after my meeting to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Mr PugRunner’s business, but our friends reached out to us for some help. Mr PugRunner ended up taking little man and his buddy to the 21 Pilots concert that evening, and the buddy slept over afterwards.

21 pilots concert

Saturday – 6.2 miles, running

I felt a lot better on Saturday morning, so I went out for 6.2 miles. I’m glad I did.

runs with pugs blogger

I picked up donuts for the boys’ breakfast and once our house was clear of guests, we got into gear for errands and the start of packing for an upcoming trip.

We also cashed that rain check to celebrate Mr PugRunner! We are so proud of all his accomplishments over the past decade!

runs with pugs blogger


I ended up with 18.2 miles and three 9Round sessions for the week. This was NOT what I had envisioned AT ALL, and I am a little disappointed that I didn’t just suck it up and squeeze in one more 9Round class. Part of overcoming the slump is just pushing that to the back of them and focusing on doing better next week, so that’s the plan.

Reading happened, but it wasn’t fun fiction as I prefer. Instead, I spent a lot of time reading manuals and articles about improving websites. Spoiler alert: changes coming soon.

Hydration went well this week, but cooking and new meals fell by the wayside. We had a combination of foraging for leftovers, eating out and serving cereal.

And of course, I’m so excited about being back on the Best Damn Race Ambassador Crew! Don’t forget to register with my BDR discount code RUNSWITHPUGS to save on any distance at any BDR location!

BDR Discount Code

I hope you’ll join us for the #RIOTS (Running Is Our Therapy Sisters) link up every week on Sundays. We’d love to be a part of your weekly routine!

Set some goals, share them on your blog and then link up with other awesome fitness bloggers to help keep you on track! We’d all love to support you! Drop your link and please visit our Hosts and some of these other amazing blogs to share the love!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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

How was your week in training?

How are you at overcoming the slump?

best damn weekend + a 2020 bdr discount code for you!

I am an Ambassador for the Best Damn Race series. In exchange for my promotion of the events and use of my BDR discount code, I will receive complimentary race entries as well as other amenIties. All opinions are my own.

This past weekend, the team at Best Damn Race hosted the season-end Ambassador Party at a Dave and Buster’s in Orlando. I don’t always get to attend these events, because it is two hours away and our schedules are crazy, but this year the stars aligned and I was clear to go.

Not only did I get to see the awesome faces of some of my fellow ambassadors, but I received the incredible news that I was invited back for another year of representing the race.

Yes. I am exactly that excited.

In case you haven’t heard, Best Damn Race is pretty much exactly that: the Best Damn Race. BDR was created by runners, for runners, and basically caters to everything a runner could possibly want:

  • beautiful, USTAF approved courses of varying distances in great cities
  • phenomenal bling
  • great swag (including things like awesome gender-specific t-shirts, Biscoff cookies, socks and other fabulous things)
  • FREE race photos
  • age group and overall awards
  • challenges
  • incredible post-race food and beer, mimosas and Bloody Mary’s

To see some of these great perks in action, check out my race recap from the 2019 Best Damn Race Orlando, where I took on the 10K + 5K Challenge, with BDR Buddy, Meghan!

This year, you can find BDR in four great cities: Safety Harbor, Savannah, Orlando and New Orleans. (There is also an additional race, the Leftover 5K, at the end of the season, not eligible for any discounts).

If you missed out on the earlier registration blitz for these races, not to worry! I’ve got a discount code good for 10% off any distance of any of the four cities! Use it, share it and spread the word! I am definitely planning to be in Orlando and Safety Harbor (for the first time this year!) and I hope to see you out there, too!

Will you be joining us for any of the Best Damn Race Series?

What are the special extras you like to see at the races you choose?

Head on over to Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness and link up with the fun!

9 reasons i love 9round

A few months ago, we won a month’s membership and starter package from our local 9Round at a basket raffle. I was super excited because I had wanted to give it a try, and because I was looking for some kind of regular cross training. At the same time, Mr PugRunner decided HE wanted to use the membership because he really needed to start doing something physical and needed a push.

We went back and forth over it, and finally just decided to pay for the second membership for both of us go together. To be honest, I didn’t think I would continue past the free month – I get bored doing the same thing and I guess I am fairly cheap and don’t feel like paying “boutique fitness” prices.

Both of us are now in our second month and loving it. If time permits, I try to go five times per week, while Mr PugRunner is working up to four.

If you haven’t been to a 9Round location yet, here’s the concept:

9Round is a specialized fitness center for people who want a unique, fun, and proven workout that guarantees results. 9Round offers a kickboxing themed fitness program that incorporates a functional, interval, cardiovascular, and circuit training regimens. The programs consist of a proprietary system of nine challenging workout stations developed by a World Champion Kickboxer.

When you walk in, you wrap your knuckles and hands, and then jump in on one of nine stations when the boxing buzzer sounds start. (Station #1 is usually some version of jump rope while Station #9 is always core and abs. I absolutely insist on starting with Station #9). The buzzer will sound for the start of three minutes, for 30 seconds remaining at the station and for the stop to move to the next station. It’s on continuous loop. Each station has its workout labelled on the wall, so you can get to work if you understand the move, or wait for the trainer to demonstrate if you need. Move through your nine stations and boom. You’re done and out the door.

1. There are no set class times.

Friends, this is a lifesaver. All I have to do is show up when the location is open, wrap up and hop into an open station. There is no rushing and also no waiting. If I need to go in early or go in late, it makes no difference.

2. You can go as little or as much as you want!

Again, this is huge. If I need to skip a few days due to being out of town, or if I want to repeat a workout three times in a row, there is flexibility for me to do so. I love that I’m not relying on a set schedule and can get a workout in the way that works best for me.

3. There is a trainer on duty at all times.

The trainer is always on duty while 9Round is open. He is there to demonstrate exercises, encourage you through the workout and help with any modifications or special requests. He adjusts form, offers corrections and makes sure you are keeping on track. Each trainer has a bit of a different style, but so far, my experiences have all been great.

4. Each move is only three minutes.

I mean, you can do anything for three minutes, am I right? The three minute intervals allows you to go as hard or easy as you like. Sometimes, I can get in a ton of reps, especially on moves I like or at which I am stronger. On the harder things, I just grit my teeth and push: the buzzer will tell me when it’s time to move to the next station.

5. Each session lasts about 30 minutes.

Thirty minutes is literally nothing in the course of my day. By the time I talk myself out of a workout, I could be in and done, so might as well just go and get it done. Thirty minutes of productive exercise is fairly easy to schedule regularly.

6. Workouts change every day.

Earlier, I mentioned boredom, but 9Round is great because every day is different. Sure, I know that I will be jumping rope at Station #1, but the routine varies, so it’s not as monotonous as classes that follow the same formula for a week or more. I appreciate the change ups.

7. There are great incentives for attending classes.

Check in for 50 classes? Get free hand wraps. For 100 classes? Yup, a free t-shirt. Two hundred classes? Sign the wall! You know I will do a lot of things for a free shirt, so I love having a goal towards which I can work, in addition to my fitness goals.

8. There is so much motivation from the trainers and other participants.

I didn’t really think I would get into the camaraderie in this kind of setting, but I’ve come to appreciate it. The fist bumps and the joking between stations is motivating. The trainers will come work out with you if it’s slow or play absolutely rocking music when they know you need a boost. They check in if they see you frustrated and high five you the you hit a milestone. At the risk of sounding cheesy, it’s like a family and I like being a part of it.

9. You can see (and feel) results quickly.

In just over a month, I can see muscle definition in my arms and abs that was never there before. Push ups are still not my friends, but I can do more of them more comfortably than before, so it’s coming, slowly but surely.

I confess, the membership is a bit more than I would like (about $90 per month for a month-to-month membership without contract or auto-renew, which does not include the starter pack of boxing gloves, hand wraps and assorted swag), but since the membership covers unlimited classes, I’ve decided it’s not that bag. If I attended 20 classes per month, it breaks down to $4.45 each, which really isn’t so terrible compared to group fitness classes at other gyms or centers. I figure that if I’m actually going and getting something out if it, it’s worth the price.

I’m super excited to hit my 50 class milestone, and even more so to score that 100 class t-shirt. Even better, I’m really glad I found a cross training regimen so close to home that’s quick, manageable and provide a heck of a calorie burn.

Have you ever tried 9Round?

Are you into boutique fitness centers or do you prefer set classes or open gym type settings?

Today, I’m linking up for Tuesday Topics with KookyRunner and Zenaida Hope you’ll join in the fun!

This is not a sponsored post. There are no affiliate links. I am writing my honest opinion of a fitness center I personally use and love and for which I pay my own membership fees.

riots #21: summer staycations

Happy Sunday! I hope you’ll join us for the #RIOTS (Running Is Our Therapy Sisters) link up every week on Sundays. We’d love to be a part of your weekly routine!

Set some goals, share them on your blog and then link up with other awesome fitness bloggers to help keep you on track! We’d all love to support you!

I feel like we lived out of a suitcase this week. It’s not a bad thing – I had already been planning for a weekend staycation with my sweet friend Meghan from Friday through Sunday, but with everything going on, Mr PugRunner and I decided we needed to get our family away for a few days, too. Things fell into place for a Monday through Wednesday trip, so we took advantage of the opportunity.

Sunday – 6.7 miles, running + Flat Abs Challenge Day 2

I got up a little later than planned and struggled through 6.7 miles. I really wanted to go for seven or even eight but my body said nope.

We ended up spending most of the afternoon with friends and that was nice, especially when the nasty afternoon rains came through. All too soon, we had to get home and pack.

Monday – 5 miles, running + 9 Round + Flat Abs Challenge Day 3

S and I got out on the road as planned, but we both felt awful. Awful. The air was so much heavier than it needed to be, and I couldn’t hang for more than five. It happens.

I didn’t have long to worry about it, because we had to be getting on the road to the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach! Yay! It’s only about an hour drive, so we were checked in by lunchtime.

The plan was to stay on property as much as possible, taking advantage of the beach and pool and just relaxing. We were all absolutely up to the challenge.

Our first day was spent having pretty much the most chill day ever. We enjoyed lunch and dinner at the hotel restaurant, caught some live music and planned to not set an alarm in the morning.

Tuesday – 90 minutes kayaking + Flat Abs Challenge Day 4

So I confess that the entire purpose of the trip was to take a nighttime bioluminescent tour in clear kayaks, and Tuesday night was our time. It was going to be a late night, so we had a leisurely breakfast, took a stroll on the beach and played mini golf in the morning.

We did a few hours at the pool and then went back to the room for a little rest before making the 40 minute drive to the Haulover Canal Kayak Launch.

Please believe that this was one of the most insane experiences I have ever had. Me met up with our tour guides from BK Adventure and got the full rundown about the night. Basically, we would launch in hard acrylic “kayaks” (which were unfortunately a bit more like canoes), and then paddle the dark waters, watching for dinoflagellate bioluminescence, in addition to other creatures.

I ended up with little man, who got VERY nervous once we left the shore. It was pretty challenging keeping calm (I am a good kayaker but not so fabulous in a canoe), keeping him calm and staying in control of the boat while keeping up with the tour. However once we were in our groove, it was so peaceful and beautiful. I wasn’t able to focus on photos while paddling, but here is an example of what we got to experience. Every time the water was disturbed, the dinoflagellates would light up in this incredible glow. It was unreal.

I probably would opt for the regular kayak next time (and there will be a next time) but it was a wonderful tour, and by the end of the night, even little man was asking if he would go again.

Wednesday – 3.25 miles, running

The boys had had a late night so when I woke up, I bopped on down to the gym for some treadmill miles. After all, it was Global Running Day, and even though I had planned on a run with a group later when we got home, I needed something to fill the time til they woke up.

We had breakfast and then spent a few hours at the pool before checking out. I hadn’t had ice cream in days, so my one request on the drive was a soft-serve cone from a really cool place in Flagler Beach, and then it was back to the pugs and hoglet.

I ended up not going for more miles that evening because my shoulder and back were both a bit tender – I’m not sure if it was from the kayak, the bed, the car ride or a combination of the three. I was bummed, but felt it was best to listen to my body.

Thursday – rest

I had really hoped to make it back into 9Round, but my shoulder was still tweaky and I was concerned that pushups or weights might make it worse. It was feeling more and more like I slept funny on it, which made it extra annoying.

Little man was going to spend the weekend with my parents, so I loaded him up and we had lunch together before we said goodbye.

I would be leaving for Orlando the next day, so Mr PugRunner and I stayed home and had pizza with some tv and just spent a quiet night at home.

Friday – 6 miles, running

The plan was to run four or five miles and go to 9Round, but that pesky shoulder was still not 100%. I settled for six miles and no strength,

then treated myself to a donut for National Donut Day.

I got my hair colored and cut while the carpet cleaners steamed our grout and carpets, packed up the rest of my things and made way to Orlando to meet up with Meghan.

We checked into the Wyndham International Drive and then walked about a mile to a newer Italian restaurant for dinner.

We also had the opportunity to ride the Wheel at Icon Park, a 400 foot tall ferris wheel, with views for miles!

Saturday – rest

Once again, no alarm was set and we took our time grabbing breakfast at Starbucks and checking out the property. We also grabbed some morning mimosas, before hitching a ride to Dave and Buster’s for the Best Damn Race Ambassadors end of season party.

We had a great time chatting about the race series and catching up with each other. Since we live in so many different cities, it’s not often that we all get to hang out.

After playing a few games, we made our way back to the hotel so we could get ready for a preview dinner at Tony Roma’s. I haven’t been to a Tony Roma’s in years, but they have a really great summer menu including delicious Watermelon Roma Ritas, loaded tater tots and all kinds of BBQ goodness.

Fortunately, the weather allowed us to walk both to and from dinner, so we didn’t feel too guilty about splurging!

My miles were definitely back up and I am thrilled about that.

I didn’t get much reading done this week, but I also had much reduced screen time so it balanced out.

I did well with my hydration, not so well with cooking. Being away without kitchen means much more eating out. And while I never go too crazy on vacation, I am really looking forward to some time at home with lots of fruit, veggies and simpler meals.

Please join our linkup! Drop your link and please visit our Hosts and some of these other amazing blogs to share the love!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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

How was your week in training?

Do you splurge on yummy food on vacation or stick to moderation?

how to stay motivated over (summer) vacation

School’s out for the next few months, which means it’s time to see how we stay motivated over summer vacation! If you’ve been a reader of Runs With Pugs for a while, you know that our family maintains a bit of an untraditional schedule. Due to the types of jobs we have, Mr PugRunner and I can both work remotely, and are able to really take full advantage of the summer, when little man is home from school.

He does attend a few camps, but right now, he is a lot more interested in more unstructured time, playing and hanging out with friends. He works so hard in school all year that we are comfortable giving him some downtime to unwind and prep for the next academic year.

Being on such a changing schedule with so many moving parts can definitely play a part in sidelining fitness endeavors, but here are some of the ways I stay motivated over summer vacation.

Be prepared.

Bring your running or training shoes and at least an outfit or two in your suitcase. Sure, there are a few hotels that offer complimentary (or close to it) workout gear just in case, but it’s great to have your own. Eliminating the excuses can certainly make working out on vacation or while traveling that much easier.

Use the gym.

So many hotels offer gyms and fitness centers, so it only makes sense to take advantage. At the very least, you’ll be able to get in some cardio or floor work, if not a full weight routine. Just like at home, all you need to do is carve out a little extra time to get it done.

Have a backup plan.

If you don’t have access to a fitness center, be prepared with a workout plan you can do in your room using furniture or even your own body weight. Pinterest is loaded with great exercise ideas that can easily be done in small spaces with little to no equipment. Easy peasy.

Use what’s at your fingertips.

If a structured workout doesn’t fit in the plans, then do the best you can with what you have. Opt for walking instead of driving to your destinations if you can. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Schedule adventures that are maybe a little more active than not. Walking can be a fabulous exercise while traveling and should not be overlooked as valid option.

Enjoy yourself. Wisely.

You’ll probably be eating out more while on vacation, but that doesn’t mean your healthier eating plans are destroyed. If you have access to a kitchen, then it becomes much easier but if restaurants and out food is your option… Splurge on yummy things, but make smart choices. On our most recent staycation, I ate the most amazing food, but stuck to grilled and blackened seafood with lots of leafy greens, among other lean proteins and veggies. I resisted mindless snacking and sugary cocktails at the pool (not to worry, there are plenty of other adult beverages out there) and came home feeling great, on track and not one bit deprived.

With the right planning and outlook, your fitness can continue seamlessly through your summer and/or vacation without interrupting or intruding on your plans.

I’m joining up with Fridays With Fairytales & Fitness. Head on over and check them out!

How do you stay motivated over summer vacation or break?

What’s the one sure-fire way you stay healthy and on track while out of town?

riots #20: goodbye may, hello june

Happy Sunday! I hope you’ll join us for the #RIOTS (Running Is Our Therapy Sisters) link up every week on Sundays. We’d love to be a part of your weekly routine!

Set some goals, share them on your blog and then link up with other awesome fitness bloggers to help keep you on track! We’d all love to support you!

It was the first official week of summer, and we met it head on. There’s really no other way to do it, am I right?

Sunday – rest

After our morning errands, it was time for an event I have been working on with the St. Augustine Moms Blog: our Summer Explore Tour. The goal is to have some great parent/child meetups at different parks and playgrounds throughout the summer where people can connect and enjoy some outdoor time.

Our first one was a huge success!

Afterwards, little man had a friend over and they had a fun night hanging out.

Monday – Florida Striders Memorial Day 5K + 90 minutes SUP yoga

First thing Monday morning, I was out the door for my very favorite 5K: the Florida Striders Memorial 5K. You can read the recap here.

When I got home, I had just enough time to shower and toss together a few quick dishes for a get together with friends. It was a lovely afternoon together, and the kids had some more playtime.

My day wasn’t over yet! I had been invited by K to go to a SUP yoga class with The Salty Paddle. I love this local company and it’s been quite some time since I’ve practiced on a board, so I was all for it.

The water was rough that night so I struggled a little, but being out on the water in the setting sun was really all I needed.

Tuesday – 9 Round + 2 miles, walking

I started Tuesday with a 9Round workout (my 20th, if anyone is counting),

and I even got to enjoy a manicure and pedicure since my neighbor invited little man to join their family for a few hours at an arcade.

That night, while little man was in Scouts, one of the other moms and I went for Pokemon Go walk. We chatted and bolstered out Pokeball stashes. When I picked up little man from his meeting, he gave me some awesome news: he had earned his Scout rank and his Totin’ Chip! We were so proud!

Wednesday – 6 miles, running + 9Round

Much as I didn’t feel like it, I went out for those six miles. Sometimes, getting out the door is half the battle.

Guys, it’s hot out there.

I also took on a session of 9Round. This one was not so great: burpees, push ups, frog jumps, box jumps…. All of them are my nemeses. I couldn’t wait for that green light to turn red.

Thursday – 2 miles, running + 9Round

I convinced Mr PugRunner to go for a run with me first thing in the morning. It was late so we didn’t get more than two miles.

Since he was so motivated, I also talked him into a 9Round workout. It was a great one and I’m so glad we got it done together!

Afterwards, little man and I had a bunch of errands to run together: a trip to the Scout Store for uniform shorts, the pet store for aspen shavings for Hufflepuff, Target for odds and ends, and the music store.

For a clarinet. Someone is starting private lessons next week.

That evening, I had a wine tasting girls’ night out. The class was focused on the wines of Northwest Pacific and we got to sample eight different vintages.

Afterwards, we grabbed dessert at the Cheesecake Factory.

It was a beautiful night with such beautiful friends. I consider myself lucky to know them.

Friday – rest

After a late night, I had literally zero desire to do any kind of workout. I did some work, ran a few errands and helped Mr PugRunner get set up for a culdesac party we were helping to host.

It was another super late night, but we had a lot of fun chatting with neighbors and friends. The kids played super hard and little man had one of his buddies spend the night. I really love how the kids just swarm together

Saturday – Flat Abs Challenge Day 1

My MRTT group does a monthly challenge, and June is dedicated to Strong Abs. The goal is to do an assigned core workout for each day of the month, and so we will see what happens. You know that I’m not always great with these kinds of challenges, but I’m giving it a go.

Little man had a coin collecting merit badge clinic that afternoon. It was a free event and a really nice way for him to earn his first real merit badge. He did all the advance prep and completed the advancement at the clinic.

We dropped him off at another friend’s on our way home and then we crashed. Sometimes, it’s just good to chill on the couch with leftovers and a movie.

While I managed to complete about 82 miles for the month of May, I only ran 11 this past week. I made up for it with lots of 9Round, walks and yoga, but I still prefer the feeling of running.

Reading has been great! I’ve moved on from Game of Thrones to Clash of Kings (book 2 of the Game of Thrones series), and I am looking forward to some solid reading time next week.

I had to get back into the sparkling water groove again. It’s just too hot to not be drinking water constantly, so I’m getting my fluids with bubbles and flavor. It’s working.

To be honest, we haven’t cooked anything earth-shattering gin quite some time. We have been out and about, visiting with friends and not home enough to make big meals. It’s ok, but we do need to get back into the home-cooking habit.

Please join our linkup! Drop your link and please visit our Hosts and some of these other amazing blogs to share the love!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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

How was your week in training?

Have you ever tried SUP yoga?

race report: florida striders memorial day 5k {5.27.2019}

I was provided with a complimentary entry to the Florida Striders Memorial Day 5K in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

The Florida Striders Memorial Day 5K is “that” race.

I think we all have that race. The one we love more than the rest. The one that means the most to us and that we hold near and dear in our hearts.

This particular event really kicks off summer, on a bit of a serious note. Runners gather to remember and honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in service to this country. These 3.1 miles are run in their memory, and it’s truly a beautiful thing to see flags being carried by runners, shirts made to honor fallen family and friends, and all the red, white and blue on display.

It’s hard not to be moved by the sight.

With the 5K starting at 8:00 AM, I arrived at 7:00 and had my choice of parking spots in the attached lots. Those who came later either lucked out with a spot or found street parking near the start line. It’s never been an issue at this event.

Runners and spectators gather at the Orange Park Town Hall Park. There is plenty of room to spread out and day-of registration was open. Portapotties were readily available outside the fire station, and there were vendor and organization tables and tents set up in the grassy areas. It makes for a really nice community vibe.

As the start time approached, runners moved over to the start line.

The course is familiar: it’s been pretty much the same since I started running this event seven years ago.

It’s not fast, but it is is shaded and fairly scenic, winding through really pretty residential neighborhoods. Of course, the biggest issue is that it’s hot and humid, but that always seems a small concern when considering the reason for the race.

The Star Spangled Banner was sung, a moment of silence was observed and active duty and retired service people were recognized. Those moments are always the most beautiful.

And then we began.

The course is well marked and spacious enough. The first half mile tends to crowded just because of the quick twists and turns, but by the first mile, every runner has more than enough room to spread out and find their stride.

I was running solo this time, due to scheduling, so I just turned up my music and continued moving through the miles as they passed. There was a water station set up for double duty on the way out and the way back. I passed it up because I always do for that distance, but there was plenty of water for all the runners and walkers.

This year, in addition to the regular 5K and 1 mile fun run, the Florida Striders added some neat little bonuses. For one, a virtual run was available. All proceeds were earmarked for the Semper Fi Fund. Also, the top 10% of finishers scored a Top 10% hat. While I wasn’t destined for that honor, it was definitely an extra little motivator for the top 10%!

Me? I was thrilled with my t-shirt and custom medal.

The medals are always gorgeous and I love earning them.

I also love the iced watermelon, available with the post race water, bananas and bagels. So refreshing and the perfect way to end a great race.

Despite the heat and the late start (for me – I’m usually done running long before 8), it was another solid run and I was thrilled to be a part of it again. Thanks to the team and volunteers for making it so great.

What’s the race that is special to you?

Did you run a race for Memorial Day?

riots #19: school’s out for summer

Happy Sunday! I hope you’ll join us for the #RIOTS (Running Is Our Therapy Sisters) link up every week on Sundays. We’d love to be a part of your weekly routine!

Set some goals, share them on your blog and then link up with other awesome fitness bloggers to help keep you on track! We’d all love to support you!

Well, we did it. We made it through elementary school. I can’t believe it’s over, but it is and a new adventure awaits.

Sunday – 3 miles, walking

When I woke up, Mr PugRunner asked me if I wanted to go for a walk. I thought he just meant for a short one, but we ended up doing three miles and snagging breakfast on the way.

In the afternoon, we joined with some friends for our local Pokemon Go Community Day. I had stopped playing Pokemon go a while ago, but with the opening of Detective Pikachu, I realized there had been quite a resurgence.

The kids spent a few hours wandering the venue and snagging Pokemon. Who knew?

Afterwards, the kids came back to the house for a bit to play and we enjoyed a fun night of grilling. The weather has been warm but perfect for the task.

Monday – 2 miles, walking

I ended up not doing a serious workout on Monday, but a family walk in the evening was just the thing.

That being said, the administration hosted a lovely and delicious breakfast for the volunteers at the school, which I followed with a meeting with the new President of the middle school PTSO. We have some work to do to get everything rolling over the summer.

Tuesday – 6.2 miles, running + 9 Round

A double workout was in the cards. First, a run.

Followed by an incredible session at 9Round.

This was my last free week and both Mr PugRunner and myself made the decision to continue our membership. I really never intended to enjoy it as much as I do and I am excited to keep going.

That evening was little man’s official Promotion Ceremony. It was truly a lovely affair. Little man was recognized for his service in the Safety Patrol, as well as for achievements in music and he received the Presidential Award for Academic Achievement (he maintained Honor Roll all year). We were so proud, even though we are going to miss his school and (incredible) teachers so much.

PS. He dressed himself. Tie and all.

Wednesday – 2 miles, walking

It was a late night and I had a bit of a headache (probably from all the swirling emotions) so I was happy to call it a rest morning.

My running buddy S and I were tasked with picking up chicken sandwiches for the 5th Grade Fun Day and we joined the classes in time for lunch, some photo booth fun and the Clap Out, where all the students in the school line the halls, and cheer and high five as the 5th graders parade through. It’s absolutely adorable and so supportive and motivating for those rising 6th graders.

I took an evening walk to make up for my lack of activity earlier.

Thursday – 6.2 miles, running + 9Round

I took on another double workout, leaving for my run a bit later since S bailed. It was nice in that i got to change up my route a little.

Friday – 9Round

And we had arrived at the very last day of elementary school. It was a bit hard to get through the day. I was so excited but also so anxious about the end of this era. Little man wanted to take the bus home to say goodbye to his bus driver, and so I had to make my last pass of the halls in the morning. It was tough saying goodbye.

I had a great call with the City Moms Network in the early afternoon and then I made the final trek to the bus stop to collect the kiddo.

We went out for lunch and churros at 904 Churros and came home for a quiet evening.

Unfortunately, the best intentions aren’t always how it works out. we got the terrible news that little man’s buddy had been bitten by a pygmy rattler and was rushed to the hospital. He was stabilized quickly, but it was terrifying for everyone.

Saturday – 7 miles, running

S and I took on seven miles.

And then we headed up to the children’s hospital to visit our friend. He was in great spirits and would be able to come home on Sunday at the latest. It was a huge relief, and we were glad to be able to brighten his day a bit.

Little man also had his basketball playoff game that afternoon. His team played their hearts out but couldn’t pull out a win. I was proud of all they accomplished this season and how much they learned and grew.

I’m going to go ahead and say it was a fabulous training week.

On the reading front, I am almost finished with the first book of Game of Thrones. The next one is already set up on my nightstand.

Please join our linkup! Drop your link and please visit our Hosts and some of these other amazing blogs to share the love!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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

How was your week in training?

What’s your favorite way to cross train?

riots #18: school’s almost out for summer!

Happy Sunday! I hope you’ll join us for the #RIOTS (Running Is Our Therapy Sisters) link up every week on Sundays. We’d love to be a part of your weekly routine!

Set some goals, share them on your blog and then link up with other awesome fitness bloggers to help keep you on track! We’d all love to support you!

Another crazy week! We started with Mother’s Day and ended with one week to go of school. It’s absolutely insane how quickly this year has gone. I am prepared and not prepared for elementary school to be over, but in all the sadness, there is so much excitement for what’s to come.

Sunday – rest

Happy Mother’s Day to me! We had a quiet day: donuts with the family and then beach with some friends.

We had a nice lunch at a beachside restaurant and then all I wanted was to come home and chill for the week.

Little man made me the most lovely painting, too.

Monday – 9 Round

Monday’s workouts was EXACTLY what I needed. It was challenging and pushed me, but I loved every second and every station. I usually love my time there, but this was especially productive.

Tuesday – 6.2 miles running

It was a great run.

There was a lovely lunch, welcoming the new board members at our middles school. It was great to chat with the incoming and outgoing members and start getting everything together for the next year.

Wednesday – 9Round

I was sorry to have missed out on the double workout on Tuesday, but I was feeling better so got back in the gym.

While I was handling that and errands, the boys were in Orlando on little man’s Safety Patrol field trip to Islands of Adventure. From what I hear, the weather was perfect, the crowds were low, and the kids had a blast riding roller coasters and hanging with their friends.

Little man scored a new Dumbledore interactive wand from the Harry Potter area, too.

They got back super late but had had such an amazing day.

Thursday – 6 miles + 9Round

It was double workout day. A solid run,

followed by 30 minutes at 9Round.

Little man had his Field Day at school, but I had a fairly important call I couldn’t miss. I an’t wait to share with you the fun we are going to have in the next few months.

In the evening, I joined some of the St. Augustine Moms Blog contributors for a night previewing the St. Augustine Spa. It was wonderful to get some time with the writers and also to enjoy a 30 minute sports massage.

With wine and some relaxation, too.

Friday – rest

I say “rest” but that isn’t entirely true. I was on deck to help out with Field Day for our K-2nd grades. I was at the school at 7:00 AM to assist with some of the setup for the day, and then I stayed through the dismissal bell to wrap up and help break down.

The kids played all sorts of adorable relay games and finished off the afternoon with treats from the shaved ice truck.

In the meantime, little man and Mr PugRunner were at the 5th grade field trip to a local entertainment center. They had bowling and video game and laser tag. Little man had a really good time with his buddies.

I think we were all ready for an early night.

Saturday – 7 miles, running

I would have loved to get eight miles, but seven (in honor of Grumpy Cat, who passed last week), would have to do.

Little man had a basketball game (they played so well), and then he went to see Detective Pikachu with a buddy while Mr PugRunner and I had a much needed lunch out. With ice cream for dessert.

The week was solid in training. I absolutely failed on the hydration front, but there was definitely a lot going on.

I also switched up my books. I decided it was time to re-read the Game of Thrones series, so I am halfway through the first book. I’ll get back to the Discovery of Witches soon.

Please join our linkup! Drop your link and please visit our Hosts and some of these other amazing blogs to share the love!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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

How was your week in training?

Sports massage or relaxing massage?

running brings out my best

It’s Tuesday, so we are linking up for Tuesday Thoughts with KookyRunner and Zenaida!

Please visit these lovely bloggers, plus check out some of the other blogs on the link-up, and don’t forget to share your own post, as well!

This Tuesday, we are digging deep.

I think I’ve always been a fairly decent human being and I don’t know that running (or any other recreational or physical activity) can actually make one a better person. However, running does bring out some good things in me.

I’m healthier. Running on a consistent basis means I’m moving my body. I’m burning calories, building muscles and keeping my heart strong. I was never exactly unhealthy, but I love feeling in shape and active.

I am more committed to goals. Running isn’t a short term gain. It’s about putting in the work, day after day, week after week, in pursuit of some long term goal. You simply cannot cheat the system. Undertraining is easily exposed on the road or trail. Running keeps me focused on the proverbial forest rather than the trees and I have developed the patience needed to keep my eye on the prize rather than instant gratification.

I appreciate my body. I used to despise my body. Couldn’t stand the sight of it. No matter what, that reflection in the mirror was just absolutely abhorrent to me. Running has shown me there is more to me than cellulite and stretch marks. At the end of the day, I am strong, and my solid legs can carry me for miles. These broad shoulders support me through hours of yoga practice or paddle me on a SUP or kayak. My height is generally an asset and I have learned to appreciate that, too. It’s hard to go through life unhappy with one’s appearance, but running has helped me change that.

I have opened up. I am what is called an “extroverted introvert.” I am good out and about, but I am better in my comfort zone and definitely tend towards being a homebody and needing to recharge after too much social time. Running has helped me attain a bit more balance. I am more likely to be the first person to say hello on the road, strike up a conversation with someone at the start of a race or even offer assistance if I see someone struggling. The friends I have made along the way have been so incredible!

What good qualities does running bring out in you?

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