week 27: sliding down the backside of july

Here we are, sliding down the backside of July. What a year. I almost don’t know what to say anymore. Days come, days go. Some are longer than others. We continue to conduct our business simply and close to home. The curveballs keep coming, however, and I am fairly tired of rolling with the punches.

Sunday – 3.41 miles, walking

Everyone slept in a bit on Sunday after the holiday, which was nice. I, on the other hand, struggled to stay in bed, so I got out the door for a walk.

I’m making fabulous progress in my Hadrian’s Challenge mission, and am currently 75% of the way there!

Monday – 4.23 miles, walking

Mr PugRunner was in for a walk, and so we headed out to start Monday on a strong footing.

No matter what, walking is a great boost to start the day.

Tuesday – 3 miles, running + 2.3 miles, walking

And back to running on Tuesday. My running buddy and I used the time to take a deep dive into our school choices again. Yes, I know I said we were all decided, but then politics happened and it really threw a wrench in the plans. Boo.

Wednesday – 4.79 miles, walking

This ended up being a super long walk, although it was totally worth it.

In the evening, we had some friends over for pizza and a screening of Hamilton on the side of our house with our outside projector. It ended up being a crazy late night, but it was so worth it.

Thursday – rest

Morning came way too early. My first order of business: get to the farm for another few hours of equine therapy filming. I really enjoy my involvement in this project and feel so lucky to be a part of it.

It was a day of animals: Luna had her vet appointment. Once again, she checked out as “perfect”, and weighs in at a whopping nine pounds! She has to go back one more time next week for her rabies shot: since she is still under ten pounds, the vet wanted to split up her vaccines.

Once those things were done, however, I had the rest of the day for work and getting things done around the house.

Friday –  3 miles running, 2.75 miles, walking

I treated myself to a little something something: these Goodr x Dunkin collab sunglasses. Aren’t they adorable?

The rest of the day was a bit of a mess. Mr PugRunner ended up at the doctor for his ear infection (which turned out to just be a big clog), but the doctor had concerns about his blood pressure and some other things. This means changes for the Runs With Pugs household. Stay tuned.

Saturday – 4.21 miles. walking

Another “date” walk.

Our neighborhood had a food truck and outdoor movie planned, so the boys went over to help set up (everything was outside and socially distanced), and I followed later to join them for dinner. We had already seen the movie, so we went home to get some sleep for an early Sunday.


Running is going well. It’s not as fast as before, but guys, it is SO hot and humid. I just can’t drag myself any faster, nor do I want to try. I’m also working hard on my hydration and plowing through all my Nuun and sparkling water. This is my constant struggle, so I have to give myself credit where I can.

Are you starting to turn your head towards racing again? I’m back as an ambassador for Best Damn Race, and would love to see you in Safety Harbor, Orlando, and New Orleans (Savannah details are still in process). Remember, my Best Damn Race discount code is good for 10% off any distance in any of those cities.

best damn race discount code

Another thing? If you are looking to up your skincare game, check out FRÉ skincare. I am really loving the 123FRÉ system, and if you are looking to stock up, you can shop here (affiliate link) and use my code JENNL at checkout for 40% off your first purchase through Wednesday!

fré skincare

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?

How is summer treating you so far? Do you have workout dates?

five ways runners can stay healthy in a pandemic

To stay healthy in a pandemic is a fairly important goal. As our area faces a dramatic upswing of positive cases, it’s more important than ever to engage in good health practices to boost the immune system and stay well.

stay healthy in a pandemic

Stay Active

The easiest way to get or injured is by pushing yourself beyond the limits. In a lot of cases, many of us have extra time on our hands, and we’ve been filling it with extra miles and workouts. Physical fitness has been touted as a great way to stay ahead of any ailments, and it’s more important than ever to keep it up! Run, bike, swim, row, hike, lift. Do whatever it takes to break a sweat and keep moving.

couch to 5k

Don’t Push It

Of course, the easiest way to get or injured is by pushing yourself beyond the limits. In a lot of cases, many of us have extra time on our hands, and we’ve been filling it with more miles and harder workouts. That’s great, but be smart. Make sure you’re getting sufficient cross and strength training. Definitely challenge yourself but listen to your body, too.

stay healthy in a pandemic

Get Sufficient Sleep

Lack of sleep can easily weaken the immune system and lead to all sorts of health issues. Anxiety, stress, excessive screen time, and poor diet can all lead to insufficient sleep, so do your best to mitigate the hurdles where you can. Aim for a reasonable bedtime, step away from your devices about an hour before you want to go to sleep, and do your best to get solid rest.

stay healthy in a pandemic

Eat (and Drink) Well

I’m the first to admit falling prey to stress eating when things are out of my control. Snack cakes often make my grocery list (Yum. Snack Cakes). However, now, more than ever, it’s important to fuel with all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals we can get our hands on. Also, make sure to drink enough water. Again, I’ve had more than my share of extra glasses of wine since March. It’s perfectly ok, but good hydration makes it that much easier to stay healthy in a pandemic.

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Take Recovery Seriously

Even though many businesses are open, massages and PT might be a little harder to come by with social distancing guidelines. With that in mind, it’s more important than ever to care for your joints and muscles. Make use of compression, ice, stretching, and rolling. Take rest days. Cross train. Be good to your body so it can continue being good to you.

rollga foam roller

What are your tips for staying healthy in a pandemic?

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 RunsRunning on HappyConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Organic Runner Mom 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 26: happy 4th of july

Usually, 4th of July is a fun holiday, full of friends and fireworks and celebration. It’s honestly a highlight of summer, and we do look forward to it, whether we stay home and catch the local fireworks or travel to try something new.

This year, there is a bit of a solemnity to the day. For one thing, the pall of COVID-19 falls over the celebration, ensuring a need (for me, personally) to stay outside and socially distant). For another, the recent protests, tensions, and unrest leave me sad for the state of our country.

My hope is that this Independence Day can be a rebirth. That we can see our flaws, admit our shortcomings, learn, grow, and be good to each other. It’s my 4th of July wish.

Sunday – Couch to 5K Week 9 Day 3 (4.29 miles, total)

Finally, it was time for my last session of Couch to 5K. Ridiculously, I was nervous, but it had to done.

grauduating couch to 5k

Monday – 3.66 miles, walking

I was all about getting in a nice walk on Monday. Mr PugRunner was back at work and little man had to get back on his schedule.

4th of July

Tuesday – 3.11 miles, running + 1.22 miles, walking

Tuesday was supposed to be a crazy busy day, but somehow, my whole schedule got changed around. I did my very first standalone 5K, and earned my Starlight Bridge 5K medal and shirt for my efforts!

4th of July

The boys went out on the water for the day, and so I worked on cleaning and organizing at home.

Wednesday – 3.91 miles, walking

After my walk,

4th of july

I picked up Dunkin and went to a friend’s house for a socially distanced coffee date. Little man and her daughter sat in another part of the yard and chatted as well, which was great for them. We talked about school options, our community, running, and everything in between. The interaction was so good and so needed.

Thursday – 3 miles, running + 1.76 miles, walking

With the heat and humidity as awful as it is, I made the executive decision to drop from straight running to 4/1 intervals. It’s still way more than I ever used to do, but it just wasn’t worth feeling sick or pushing too hard when there’s just no getting away from the summer.

It’s also worth noting this is the first time I ran with a buddy since November. I was nervous and embarrassed, but it ended up being absolutely fine.

4th of july

Then it was time for some pool time with a friend and her kids. We spent a nice morning chatting from six feet apart while the kids swam.

That night, I sat in on a Zoom watercolor class with the St. Augustine Moms contributors. It was a lovely way to spend an hour.

independence day

Friday –  3.82 miles, walking

I was super excited because Hamilton was streaming on Disney+ and I had my whole day planned around this momentous event.

First, a nice walk.

4th of july

Then it was into the kitchen to make our themed meal. I planned Sausage (Made In The Room Where It Happens), Apple Salad with Cider Vinaigrette, Colonial Corn Pudding, and Hamilton’s favorite cream puffs. And wine. All the wine.

4th of July

I fancied it up with our wedding china and crystal, and then sang (quietly-is) for the next two and a half hours. Even though I’ve seen the show and often listen to the music, watching it on screen really inspired me. We have to do better.

Saturday – 3.11 miles, running + 1.53 miles, walking

Normally, on 4th of July, I’m up early, heading off to a patriotic 5K in the broiling summer heat. Not so today. I did put on my red, white, and blue and took my runfie with a flag.

4th of july

I started too late and practically melted, but I laid out another 5K with 4/1 intervals. I’m satisfied with that.

In the evening, we grilled out, enjoyed some 4th of July cocktails, and lit a few sparklers.

4ht of july


So, on the running front, I’m just going to chill at the 5K mark for a week or two, to settle in. Once I feel really comfortable, I’ll start adding to it. I miss going out for six or seven miles at a time, but that’s a future goal.

My partner and I DID cross 120 miles for our Best Damn Race Virtual Florida Challenge, and earned our Daytona Beach digital badge! Whoo hoo!

I am also working on something called Hadrian’s Wall Challenge with Conqueror Events. I’ve completed 38.5 of the 90 required miles, and having a blast doing so. Of course, I love the bling.

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 have any plans for the 4th of July weekend?

july coffee date: getting through independence day

It’s July and Independence Day weekend. Ordinarily, this would be cause for great celebration and fun, but in pandemic times? It’s just another day.

Join us for this month’s Ultimate Coffee Date. After reading here, head on over to visit Coco and Deborah, our awesome link-up hosts.

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independence day

Over coffee, I would tell you that…

I’m angry. Florida is now THE hotspot in the country, and cases are just increasing exponentially. It reminds of something and I’m not sure I can put my finger on it…

independence day

Just kidding. I know exactly what it reminds me of. And we all know how well it worked out for the peaceful island of Amity.

Over coffee, I would tell you that…

We have made our decision about little man’s 2020-21 school year. Our district offered four choices (homeschool, non-school-based virtual school, school-based distance learning and brick and mortar school with three levels of restrictions based on community spread), and we opted for school-based distance learning. Little man wants to remain affiliated with his current school, but he’s not comfortable with the restrictions and uncertainty of the brick and mortar option. We need to make a 9-week commitment to distance, and while it’s not ideal, we plan to have him collaborate with neighborhood friends making the same decision and supplementing electives on our own. I’m glad the decision is made, but I hope it’s the right one.

Over coffee, I would tell you that…

Hamilton is streaming on Disney+ today and I am so happy. It’s my favorite show and I was so lucky to see it in NYC for my 40th birthday. We had tickets to see it again in Jacksonville on St. Patrick’s Day, but the show was cancelled due to the pandemic. I have planned a super fun, Hamilton-themed dinner (check my Instagram for details later) for tonight, and we are all going to watch it and sing along. Will you be joining in?

independence day

Over coffee, I would tell you that…

Luna is THE BEST. She is growing so fast and she’s so busy. I’m really worried about her and the Independence Day fireworks. She hates thunder, and I know the sky booms are going to terrify her. Clearly, my evening will be spent reassuring her, but I don’t mind at all. Also, she wanted to join in the coffee chat with her “Unimpressed Cafe Au Lait.” How could I say no?

independence day

Over coffee, I would tell you that…

The St. Augustine Moms writers had a small virtual watercolor party last night. It was absolutely magical. I haven’t painted or created anything in so long, and while I’m not thrilled with my end result, I love that there are tutorials and how-to’s for just about everything, and I can’t wait for our next session.

independence day

Over coffee, I would tell you that…

I had a real life coffee date with a friend I haven’t seen in a while and we were both relieved to find that we share so many of the same opinions and values. We both feel we’ve been so guarded, so it was darn right cathartic to share in a judgement free sharing of ideas and thoughts. We are both looking forward to more coffee mornings.

What would you tell me over coffee?

overhauling my skin routine with FRÉ skincare

Disclosure: There are affiliate links below, and I may receive commissions for purchases made through those links. Products endorsed on Runs With Pugs are all items used and recommended by me. All opinions are my own.

I have a confession: before FRÉ Skincare reached out to me, my skin routine consisted of soap, water, and coconut oil. Very basic. Since that day, things changed, and I’m here to share how the 123FRÉ system led to an overhaul of that regimen.

skincare routine

Back to my confession. Yes, some of it was laziness (not wanting to find and stick with the right products), but some of it was also sensitivities. While I have not been able to isolate a specific allergen, my skin reacts terribly to certain lotions, sunscreens, and even cosmetics. And it’s worth pointing out that certain fragrances make me nauseous or give me migraines. It makes finding a proper skincare routine challenging, to say the least.

Since I live in Florida, the Sunshine State, and I spend a great deal of time running and being active outside in that sun, it’s important to treat the skin well and protect it from harmful UV rays. To date, I’ve handled that by wearing long sleeve rash guards, baseball caps, and huge sunnies, and hoping for the best. Now, it’s time to step up my game.

123FRÉ – How It Works

The 123FRÉ System is comprised of Purify Me, Revive Me, and Protect Me, making it a simple to follow skincare routine. The system is perfect for athletes. They most often suffer from dehydration, sun damage, breakouts, and other skin issues exacerbated by active lives.

skincare routine

We start with the Purify Me, a hydrating cleanser. It’s a gentle, exfoliating scrub, with a nice lather, and is easy to apply in your post-workout shower.

Next up is the Revive Me. This is a light moisturizer, that nourishes skin with vitamins and minerals, leaving a healthy glow. I loved that Revive Me isn’t at all greasy, and dries quite quickly after application.

Protect Me is a daily facial moisturizer. It is SPF 30 and completely sweat-resistant. It’s not at all heavy, absorbs quickly, and doesn’t run into your eyes when out in the beating sun. It can be used in conjunction with Purify Me and Revive Me, or on its own.

skincare routine

I was very pleased that all three products had little to no fragrance (it’s very fresh), and that my skin looks and feels fabulous. Everything went on smoothly and absorbed quickly, which is great for my on-the-go, active lifestyle.

FRÉ Skincare Checks All The Boxes

Not only did I find FRÉ easy and effective to use, but I was also pleased to learn about its other benefits. Products are vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-free. They are all hypoallergenic, which is critical for someone like me, who doesn’t have time for itchy, ugly reactions. FRÉ Skincare products doesn’t clog pores, and it’s great for all skin types.

skin routine

Aside from these benefits, FRÉ Skincare proudly does its part to give back to the environment and strengthen the women’s empowerment movement. For every set sold, FRÉ plants an Argan tree in Morocco. Not only does this replenish the endangers Argan forest, it also supports the women who harvest Argan oil. I love to support companies that believe in making a positive impact in the world. FRÉ Skincare gives so much back to women and our planet.

Are You Ready to Overhaul Your Skin Routine?

Are you an athlete or active person looking ito upgrade your skin routine? Consider giving FRÉ a try. It’s perfect for active lifestyles, and does a fabulous job keeping delicate skin healthy, nourished, and glowing!

From now through July 3, save 45% on all FRÉ Skincare sets with my affiliate link. It’s the perfect time to try something new or stock up on your old favorites!

fre skincare

Have you tried FRÉ Skincare?

What is your daily skin routine?

graduating couch to 5k

I think it’s safe to say that graduating couch to 5k is one of the highlights of my summer. The program represented a long-term goal for my recovery from two broken bones, and I am so pleased to say that I conquered it!

graduating couch to 5k

I last checked in at the halfway point, which took us to right before the longer runs started. Confidence was high prior to Week 6, but I got served a whopping portion of humble pie.

  • Week 6: 5:00 run/3:00 walk/8:00 run/3:00 walk/5:00 run
  • Week 7: continuous 25:00 run
  • Week 8: continuous 28:00 run
  • Week 9: continuous 30:00 run

As an interval runner, these continuous runs were TERRIFYING, but I planned to stay as true to the program as possible.

So How Did The Last Weeks Go?

With the exception of Week 7, when we were in the mountains of North Carolina, everything went just fine. I was 100% not equipped for the elevation. Much as I didn’t want to take a break, I just postponed that week until we got home, so I didn’t do any kind of (additional) damage.

flat running vs hill running

Other than that, my biggest issues were mental and emotional. I’m a head case athlete for sure.

What Did I Learn From the Experience?

I learned quite a bit about myself by graduating Couch to 5K. First, I learned that while intervals are comfortable, I can actually run a lot farther than I thought I could. I was also pretty pleased to learn that I haven’t experienced any of the anxiety I normally have towards the end of a run. Finally, I discovered that it’s ok to take it easy and a step at a time to reach my overall goals.

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How Did I Celebrate?

With a big jump and a huge breakfast. Obviously.

grauduating couch to 5k

I will also FINALLY complete my Starlight 5K virtual race from freaking December as my “untimed run.”

What’s Next?

From here, I think I need to acclimate for a little bit. I think I will be comfortable settling at the 5K for a few weeks, and then it will be time to make a move. Before the pandemic, my goal was to be half marathon ready by December. It’s not a horribly unrealistic goal, but I think I will focus on getting to five miles, and then a 10K. Then I can see what happens.

graduating couch to 5k

I also need to decide about whether or not I will continue with straight running. The air quality has been terrible lately, thanks to summer humidity and the Saharan dust storm, so maybe I will ease up just a bit.

Do I Recommend This Program?

Graduating Couch to 5K for the second time emphasized how much I really do like the program. I would absolutely recommend it for new runners, and those coming back from injury. Yes, it does work off the premise that the user can lay down a 30:00 5K, but that really didn’t ruin it for me.

I found it a slow, steady and manageable way to come back from a serious injury without hurting myself. It wasn’t easy, especially in the last weeks when the intervals ended, but it wasn’t impossible, either.

Have you tried Couch To 5K?

Do you have any recommendations for a 10K program?

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 RunsRunning on HappyConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Organic Runner Mom 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

4th of july cocktails to light up your night

Independence Day promises to be a little different this year, but there’s no reason we can’t find reasons to celebrate. These yummy 4th of July cocktails are sure to add a little sparkle to your night. Serve them up at home or at your socially distanced event and watch the fireworks fly!

4th of July cocktails

Bomb Pop Cocktail

Sometimes, the simplest ideas make the yummiest drinks, and this one couldn’t be easier or more delicious. Popsicle cocktails are really the bomb in summer, and it’s so easy to add these to your line up of 4th of July cocktails.

  • frozen Bomb Pop
  • chilled prosecco, sparkling wine, or champagne

Simply pour a glass of your favorite bubbles and add your Bomb Pop. You’ll have a festive, chill 4th of July cocktail that’s nostalgic and elegant!

4th of july cocktails

Make it kid-friendly, by using Sprite or sparkling water instead of the prosecco.

Red, White + Blue Sherbet Float

On these hot summer nights, I’m always down for something cool and frosty, which makes this cocktail extra fun. Ice cream floats are a delicious option, and it’s easy to customize your own for Independence Day!

  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • 1/2 cup blue raspberry Gatorade
  • Splash of Sprite
  • 3 mini scoops sherbet (any flavor in dark pink or red)
  • watermelon for garnish

Pour vodka over ice and follow with Gatorade and Sprite. Float your scoops of sorbet on top, and garnish with a piece of watermelon cut in the shape of a star. Serve this up and be ready for an explosion of flavor!

4th of July cocktails
adapted from TheSpruceEats.com
4th of july cocktails

Skip the vodka to make it safe for the under-21 crowd.

50 States Sangria

Sangria is always a crowd-pleaser – it’s quick, it’s easy, and you can use pretty much any kind of wine and fruits you have at home.

  • one bottle white wine
  • one bottle sparkling wine
  • 1/2 cup peach brandy
  • any fruits (sliced strawberries, blueberries, sliced apples, blackberries, lime wedges, sliced peaches)

Place fruit in large pitcher and add bottle of white wine and peach brandy. Cover and chill for four hours or overnight. Right before serving, add in sparkling wine. Serve over ice.

4th of july cocktails

What’s your favorite 4th of July cocktail?

week 26 (2020): regressions, setbacks + back to square one

In the event you’ve been hiding from the news (because there is pretty much no good news ever anymore), Florida has experienced a huge regression in the fight against COVID-19. Over the weekend, this state posted record numbers of new cases, which led to the second shutdown of bars and the mandate of masks in the city of St. Augustine (when social distancing isn’t possible).

Sunday – 4 miles, walking

I love kicking off the week with a nice walk. Four miles done and dusted.

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We enjoyed a quiet Sunday, with some cleaning and movie-watching. Little man, on the other hand, checked in with quite the adventurous day: ziplining at Alligator Farm. Yes. The ropes course is directly over the gator and crocodile enclosures.

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Monday – 3.7 miles, walking

Happy Monday! With little man gone, we were able to sleep in just a little bit more (Luna is ok until about 7:00 AM), which was nice. She also loves cuddles when I get back from my walk.

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Mr PugRunner wanted to enjoy a date night, so we picked up dinner from Osprey Tacos and went to the beach.

Tuesday – Couch to 5K Week 9 Day 1 (4.13 miles, total)

And so began Week 9 of Couch to 5K, aka “the final week!” I was really excited.

week 26

In the evening, I had the honor of helping film some equine therapy training sessions for my friend. It was truly a privilege to see her and her team at work. And I can never resist spending time with the horsies.

Wednesday – 3.73 miles, walking

Halfway through the week. Whoo hoo!

It was a quiet day. With Mr PugRunner at work and little man at school, I have the house pretty much to myself. Of course, I treated myself to an iced coffee.

Thursday – Couch to 5K Week 9 Day 2 (4.56 miles, total)

I don’t usually talk about paces, but guys! Look at this!

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It felt so great and rewarding to see that!

And oh, yeah! New shoe day!

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Friday –  3.51 miles, walking

Since we both had new shoes, Mr PugRunner wanted to join me for my morning walk. We chatted a lot about house renovations and updates, and I can’t wait to get started.

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After a delicious dinner that we brought home from Food Truck Friday,

week 26

we headed off to pick up little man from his week of camp. When we arrived, the campers were participating in a circle of gratitude around the fire, after a long day of floating down the Rainbow River and packing up. It was so good to have him home.

Saturday – 2.06 miles, walking

I woke up feeling awful. For whatever reason, I wasn’t rested, had terrible fatigue, and my ankle was aching. There was just no way I wanted to finish Day 3 of Week 9. Mr PugRunner convinced me it was ok to bail, and I compromised with a two mile walk.

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And then I wanted to get things done. We had some empty pots on our porch and patio, so I picked up soil and some hearty plants to spruce up our exterior.

Mr PugRunner and little man found a wing truck and snagged lunch there, to have some bonding after a week apart.

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There’s a lot of bad news in our neck of the woods, and I just try to keep looking forward. Our Superintendent said that if the current trend continues, we will be distance learning to start the year, which just puts all our thoughts and plans on their ear (again). It’s frustrating and upsetting.

Oh, for funsies, we are also getting swept by some kind of Saharan dust storm? On the plus side, it’s helping to dry up some of the moisture (read: hurricane activity) while it’s here, but it’s also leading to brutal heat and vile air quality. Par for 2020, am I right?

This week, I plan to do some huge purges in the house (I’ve already done cursory sweeps of some cabinets and the garage). We may do a bit of a culdesac get together (socially distant) for the fourth, but who knows? Our city has canceled fireworks entirely, and Jacksonville has created some plan where there will be smaller fireworks displays spread out over the city, so we will see how that works out. Oh, and Hamilton is coming to Disney+ on July 3, so I will be planted in front of the TV for that event.

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 have any plans for the 4th of July weekend?

june runfessions: the pandemic roller coaster continues

June is just another loop on the pandemic roller coaster that is our life right now. Sometimes, it feels like it will never stop.


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

I Runfess That…

Some days, I just don’t know what to do. The pandemic roller coaster brings with it very drastic mood swings. I get up, exercise, and shower. I put food in my body, and take care of chores. Some days, I’m into it, and some days I feel like a robot going through the motions. This is absolutely not me and I need to snap out of it.

I Runfess That…

I am so grateful to be almost done with Couch To 5K. With literally two sessions left to go, I just can’t wait. It’s been a super hard climb for me, and the pandemic roller coaster led to plenty of highs and lows on the journey. My “free run” is scheduled on Tuesday, and from there, the sky is my limit!

I Runfess That…

New shoes make a difference. I held off on ordering a pair just until my leg and ankle settled into shape, but it was time. The Brooks Adrenaline GTS continues to do well by me, and I loved my test walk this morning.

pandemic roller coaster

I Runfess That…

I am finally ready to tackle some of our big house projects. Since I broke my leg, my ability and motivation faced some limitations. However, Mr. PugRunner and I discussed some goals and I feel like making moves. Unfortunately, the first move has to be finishing our master bathroom. I am completely uninterested in spending any more time or money on a room only the two of us see, but it’s bugging him. I agreed to get it done, but only so I can get started on overhauling the office.

pandemic roller coaster

We need a space that can accommodate all three of us. Mr PugRunner has an out-of-home office, but may transition back to home. I work almost exclusively at the kitchen bar, but as this space continues to grow, I need a more professional venue. And if little man continues distance learning, he needs an area for his work, that is easily accessible to and supervised by us.

I Runfess That…

Having a puppy around makes so many things more bearable. Even when she’s being absolutely insane. She is super mischievous and super smart, so it makes everything a little harder, but none of that matters, when she does something adorable or cuddles up to you. We are having fairly good success with training (she’s an evil genius, so we have to be eight steps ahead of her at all times), and we are passing through that bitey phase, which will make playtime so much more enjoyable. She’s got her own Instagram page, at SweetLunaPug, if you want to follow her shenanigans.

pandemic roller coaster

I Runfess That…

I think it’s time for a blog makeover. About three years ago, I overhauled this site, and it was great. I’ve been prepping by cleaning up my dropdown and working on my ads and SEO, and now I just have to settle on a design and get it done. To be honest, it will help take focus from the pandemic roller coaster, and give me some needed goals.

pandemic roller coaster

And there you have them: my heartfelt June runfessions.

What do you have to runfess this month?


the changing face of racing

The changing face of racing due to COVID-19 will have an effect on road and trail runners around the world. As we start to see phased reopenings, the status of races is on our minds. What does the future hold for runners? Let’s take a look.

changing face of racing

Smaller races have started operating in our area. Some are road and some are trail, but they have one thing in common: they don’t look quite the same as races prior to the pandemic.

Virtual Race Options

The easiest and most evident example of the changing face of racing is the switch to virtual races. Events that are unable to secure permitting due to restrictions in their area are simply removing the in-person aspect altogether. Runners still receive their bib, shirt, medal, and other relevant swag, but they typically run on their own time and on their honor.


Some events do offer a tracking platform, where you can upload GPS data, but it’s not quite the same as crossing a finish line.

Limited Registrations

For those races able to proceed with live events, within reason, limiting registrations seems to be a way to keep crowds to a minimum. Several large, upcoming events (runDisney races, for example), sold out in beyond record time, and rumor has it that they drastically cut back on the number of runners permitted to register. It’s frustrating for those who want to take part and get shut out, but race are also trying to survive the current storm and are ready to get back to it.

Staggered Start Times

We all know how crowded a race start line can be, and how tight that first mile is. The changing face of racing means that some events are offering staggered start times, to help keep some space between athletes. Several local races now ask you to select a start time at registration, sending groups of anywhere from ten to thirty runners off in 15 minute increments. This helps maintain social distance and alleviate course crowding, allowing everyone to run as safely as possible.

changing face of racing

Reduced Distances

In order to accommodate those staggered start times, race distances have been dropping to just 3.1 miles. For those events that boasted a multi-distance option, the 5K remains the real-time event, while the longer distances switch to virtual. It’s a solid solution to the race time limits, even if it does keep the distance runners hungry for more.

Modified Pace Requirements

Marine Corps Marathon just announced runners must maintain a 12-minute mile, a staggering decrease from the previous 14-minute mile pace. Race organizers believe this will assist with social distancing and help keep staff, volunteers, and runners safe. Obviously, safety is the top priority, but this change may lead to the exclusion of runners who might not be able to maintain that pace. We will have to see if other races follow suit.

changing face of running

Removal of Athlete Support

The fewer people involved in a race event, the better. While volunteers have always been an integral part of our race community, the changing face of racing means we will see fewer of them. Races are now asking runners to provide their own fuel and hydration, rather than staff and stock aid stations. I’m not sure what this will mean for medical volunteers and medal distribution, but in the meantime, make sure you carry the sustenance you need for your event.

changing face of racing

Mask Requirements

While I haven’t seen a race mandate face masks, yet, there are plenty of states who do require masks while engaging in physical activity. This has not be our reality in Northeast Florida (yet), but I don’t see it as completely off the table for races going forward. Is it ideal? Absolutely not, and I give props to everyone who has been getting through their training while wearing a face covering. However, if it helps bring about the return to racing, I can adapt.

april runfessions

Have you seen a return to racing in your area?

What’s the biggest change you’ve noticed in the race industry?

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