warm up with tour de pain; cool down with tropical smoothie cafe

This is a sponsored post. I have been compensated for my promotion of Tour De Pain and Tropical Smoothie Cafe. All opinions are my own.

When summer rolls around, the race calendar in the Jacksonville area tends to shift in favor of shorter races. After all, it’s brutally hot and humid, and a lot of runners struggle with their mojo.

Enter Tour De Pain.

If you haven’t experienced the challenge that is 1st Place Sport’s  Tour De Pain, it’s time. The event is comprised of three race distances in less than 24 hours, designed to challenge your endurance and mental fortitude.

Start on Friday, August 11 at 6:30 PM with a 4 Mile Beach Run on the packed sand of Jacksonville Beach.

Get yourself right to bed, because you’ll need to toe the start line of the 5K Road Race at 7:00 AM on Saturday, August 12 at the Baymeadows location of 1st Place Sports. You’ll finish the event with the 1 Mile Sizzler at the Landing in downtown Jacksonville, starting at 4:30 PM (there are four heats for the double loop race).

By Saturday night, you’ll have racked up 8.1 miles, and will be more than ready for the complimentary beer and refreshments served at the rocking after party.

All runners will receive a moisture-wicking t-shirts, and custom medals will be presented to everyone who completes the three-race challenge!

Register for any or all of the Tour De Pain distances online here or at any 1st Place Sports location! Prices increase on August 1 so don’t miss out!

Of course, when you’ve crossed that final finish line and secured your bragging rights, it will be way past time to refuel. Tropical Smoothie Cafe has the answers in the form of their Watermelon Mojito Smoothie paired with a Caribbean Jerk Bowl. The Caribbean Jerk Bowl will spice things up with grilled chicken, black beans, rice, roasted pineapple salsa, romaine lettuce, cheddar cheese and spicy jerk sauce,

while the watermelon, lime and mint of the Watermelon Mojito Smoothie will cool you right down on a hot, August day.

Who will be embarking on the Tour De Pain challenge?

What’s your favorite way to cool down at Tropical Smoothie Cafe?

weekly wrap: 7.9.17 – 7.23.17

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

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

I guess the question becomes, where have I been? Sadly, we lost my father-in-law two weeks ago and we have been working through his passing. While it wasn’t wholly unexpected, it’s been incredibly difficult, and we are just doing our best to keep our heads above water and get through.

Sunday – rest

The timing couldn’t have been better for a family day with our Cub Scouts pack. They had organized a day at the beach with paddle boarding and kayaking, a picnic lunch and a scavenger hunt. It was little man’s first time doing either of those water sports and he took right to them both!

We spent the rainy afternoon chilling and helping Mr PugRunner pack. We knew the next few weeks were going to be tough.

Monday – rest

Mr PugRunner left fairly early to make the trip to see his dad one last time. It was a very emotional day, and

In the meantime, I held down the fort on this end. Little man was enrolled in film camp for the week, and it was great ferrying him back and forth, listening to all he had learned. As a former film major, it did my heart a world of good.

Tuesday – 2 miles, running

It had been a very late night spent on the phone with Mr PugRunner, and I only had time for a quick two miles.

He came home later that afternoon and we both went to pick up little man and break the sad news about the family’s loss.

Wednesday – rest

Obviously, we were all pretty off. Mr PugRunner and I had to sit down and plan out how we were going to handle the rest of the week and the upcoming logistics, while trying to help little man work through his questions and  emotions.

Thursday – 6 miles, running

I ran a few miles before dropping little man at camp and convinced Mr PugRunner to join me for a few miles afterwards. Ultimately, it was good for him to get out and clear his head and I was glad for the company.

Friday – 2.25 miles, running

It was the last day of film camp and little man invited us to the screening of his first movies. Over the course of the week, he learned to shoot, edit, act and direct. It was awesome seeing the fruits of his labor up on the big screen, and he did such a great job.

We celebrated with a nice dinner and turned in early.

Saturday – Bridge of Lions 5K

We had registered for the Bridge of Lions 5K back in the beginning of summer – doing a race together as a family was an item on Mr PugRunner’s bucket list. In light of all that had happened, I wasn’t so sure he would be up for it, but he surprised me when he said he still wanted us to run.

Of course, this made Saturday a crazy day – we had to take two separate cars to the race, run, and then clean up as best we could. Mr PugRunner would be leaving to head back to his stepmom’s house, and I would be bringing little man to pre-check-in for camp. We had to turn in medical forms, get camp shirts, set up his canteen account, and get him tested for swimming.

That’s right: the poor kid had to run 3.1 miles in oppressive heat and humidity, and then execute a pretty precise swim test. I was feeing pretty guilty that I didn’t do a better job of prepping him, but for some reason, I didn’t think he had to actually take the test. Mom fail. Regardless, he absolutely rocked it.

With all those details complete, I was able to give him lots of hugs and kisses and hand him off to my mom. She would be have him for the next week for all his camp stuff (it was much closer to her house than ours).

Sunday – rest

I got packed and hit the road. Almost four hours across the state and then everything was just a blur of family and memories and stories.

Monday – rest

Just a long, sad, bittersweet day. Saying goodbye is never easy.

Tuesday – rest

I wanted to leave Monday night to get home, but Mr PugRunner asked me to stay – it had been a long few days and he didn’t want me making the solo trip at night on little rest.

In a way, I’m glad he insisted – I was just getting to the twisty turny part of the trek that I don’t know when both my GPS and phone gave out entirely. I was literally lost in the middle of the state for 30 minutes with no idea how to get home. It was pretty terrifying, but fortunately, I was able to piece my memories together and get myself back to a service area. That has NEVER happened before and I never want it to happen again.

He was a few hours behind me and I was glad to be together and home again, although we were missing the heck out of our little guy.

Wednesday – 4 miles, running

I desperately needed this morning’s run. It had been too long and I just desperately needed to let my brain unwind. Getting back to it wasn’t easy, but I really welcomed the challenge.

It was also my first day back at work after everything. I was glad for that as well.

In the evening, Mr PugRunner and I met up to pick up little man from camp and take him out to dinner. We hadn’t seen him since Saturday, and we missed the heck out of him. He was tired and dirty and ravenous, and it was fabulous to hang out with him.

Thursday – 3 miles, running

For the first time in a really long time, I was able to just sit. After a too-hot, too-late morning run, I didn’t want to do anything. I literally read and napped for the majority of the day. Lazy? Oh, yeah. But my body really seemed to need that laziness.

In the evening, we had a nice dinner with friends recently moved to our neighborhood. It was a nice breath of normalcy and we were grateful for it.

Friday – rest

It was a pretty quiet day, filled with lots of laundry and cleaning. I’m getting to a point where I need to do a huge purge and reorganization in the house, but I’m putting it off as long as I can.

Regardless, everything was fabulous because it was time to finally bring little man home! When Mr PugRunner left work, we headed up to my mom’s to get him! He had begged to stay late that night for the “Floating Flick” at her community pool; who were we to refuse Lego Batman? We brought a pizza to the pool and enjoyed the movie, before making our way home.

Saturday – 5 miles, running

I knew I wasn’t up for a huge run, but five miles seemed manageable, so that’s what I planned on. It wasn’t even so awful getting up early.

After my run, I cleaned up a little and hurried to help one of our neighbors with her landscaping improvement initiative. I know nothing about gardening, but I can follow directions and it was good to help be part of the solution, so to speak.

The day wasn’t over, yet. We had a friend’s daughter’s birthday party, which made for a fun afternoon. I was very glad to spend some more time with good friends.


The last two weeks have been incredibly draining. While it was nice to see family members, the reason for the reunion was indescribably hard. Mr PugRunner and I are both worn out from the emotions, the travel and the lack of solid sleep. We are glad to be back home, but the loss still hangs heavy and it is going to take us a while to feel back to ourselves. We will work through it, of course, and we are grateful for everyone who has been there to offer support and assistance through this difficult time, but things won’t ever be quite the same.

How was your week in training?

Have you ever gotten hopelessly lost on a trip?

weekly wrap: 7.2.17 – 7.8.17

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

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

This was a good week. I only had one morning of work, and there was plenty of time to hang out and enjoy the holiday and be at home with everyone. Bliss.

Sunday – rest

We went to a friend’s house on Sunday for lunch and pool time. We even got to bring Delilah to meet a French bulldog! Big D wasn’t all that impressed with the younger pup’s playfulness. She’s obviously too cool for all that.

She also went for her first swim.

Judging by her reaction, it will probably be her last.

There was plenty of food and drinks and good conversation. We definitely have to do it again soon.

Monday – rest

I had a work day on Monday, and it was a pretty hectic one. I like keeping occupied – it makes the time fly, and before I knew it, I was on my way home.

Our area puts on a really nice fireworks display about five miles from my house. We had talked about riding our bikes there, but little man wanted to bring chairs and whatnot, so we ended up driving.

We normally get there early, set up a spot with our chairs, get dinner at the restaurant, hang out and watch the fireworks, and then grab dessert at the same restaurant until the traffic clears out. It’s been our tradition pretty much since we moved here, and it’s a lot of fun.

The weather was actually really pretty for the fireworks show and we bumped into tons of friends and loved every second of it.

Tuesday – Celebration 5K

Of course, after a midnight bedtime, it was tough waking up for a 7:30 AM race start. I think it’s really thrown me off early mornings all week to be honest.

However, I did make it to the Celebration 5K with plenty of time, and actually, with S pushing me, scored my fastest 5K time this year! Not that it was incredibly amazing, but it was nice to feel like some progress has been made.

When I got home, Mr PugRunner and I worked on tidying up a bit, and prepping for the evening’s celebration. We were having a bit of a culdesac party for the neighbors and the kids.

Everyone grilled and brought drinks and the kids had water balloons and sparklers. It was a fabulous night.


Wednesday – rest

It was nice to not work on Wednesday. Little man and I slept in a bit, and I decided to take him to see Despicable Me 3. We really love the movies, especially on a too-hot afternoon, and it was the perfect way to spend some time together and beat the heat. The movie wasn’t my favorite, but we enjoyed.

Thursday – 3 miles, running

I just couldn’t get moving that morning (a theme for the week), so my run was late and it was brutally hot. Boo.

Terrifyingly, when I got home, there was a post on my community Facebook page regarding a sinkhole on the route I run. The barricades were down and I didn’t see any damage to the sidewalk, so I had gone right over the affected area! Twice! The person who lives in the house on that corner reported the hole was still very active and very dangerous, and more techs would be out to re-barricade. Holy you-know-what! I am so scared of sinkholes, and very grateful that I wasn’t swallowed up by one.

On the plus side, I did get a fun gift from Eagle Creek, thanks to my affiliation with Rock ‘n’ Blog: a brand new Sport Pak! I have been using their packing accessories for a while now and really, really love how easy they are to tote my running gear.

In the afternoon, we went to The Hyppo Cafe to enjoy popsicles with some of the St. Augustine Moms Blog Contributors. We have such a great and talented group of women, with so many cool kids, and it was fun to see them in person.

Friday – 4 miles, running

I tried to make up for Thursday’s small run with more miles on Friday. Meh. This one ended with a popsicle, just because I needed something cold and sweet to recover.

The boys had about a week left on their Universal Studios Annual Passes, so they left early in the morning to spend the day at the parks. Little man rode the red side of Dragon Challenge AND went on the Hulk for the first time!

After a few more rides, they decided to go the movies in City Walk to see Spiderman: Homecoming and grabbed dinner at the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium before driving home. They had a blast.

Saturday – 5 miles, running

Despite running three days this week already, I wanted to get in a few more miles, so I set out one more time. Ugh. I kept it slow and easy – no point in subjecting myself to heat stroke. I felt much better once it was finished.

Mr PugRunner went for a bike ride later in the day and the kids played outside. Yay for chill weekends.


Summer is actually almost over for us! I can’t believe the kids will be back in school in about a month! There are a few thing left on our bucket list we need to complete in the next weeks. Little man has a few more camps to try out and there are a couple of activities we want to try. I hope we can fit it all in.

How was your week in training?

How was your 4th of July, if you celebrate?

race report: first coast kids triathlon {6.4.2017}

I confess, this isn’t MY race report. However, our whole family enjoyed the First Coast Kids Triathlon so much I wanted to share the experience here.

Little man had been registered for this event last year, but bad weather caused a reschedule that we were unable to attend. He wasn’t all that disappointed about it, if I recall, and so I figured he was kind of done with the triathlon circuit.

This year, he came home with a flyer from school regarding a triathlon team, and he asked me if he could join. It was one afternoon a week for six to eight weeks, immediately after school. Obviously, I said yes. My friend was the coach and organized the workouts, with assistance from the Kids Triathlon group, even sending a guest speaker to address the children and answer their questions.

SATURDAY: Packet Pick Up & Bike Drop Off

The race organizers asked for everyone to pick up their packets and drop off their bikes in transition the day before the race. The venue was about 4o minutes away, so it wasn’t incredibly convenient, but we did as instructed.

The kids got their t-shirts, as well as colored swim caps, bibs, ankle chip and the numbered stickers for their bikes and helmets. They also got a set of wristbands. Children would be held at the finish line until a parent or guardian, wearing a matching wristband, claimed them.

Little man had his bike inspected and then walked into transition. Parents were 100% not welcome in transition. I respect this (even if I don’t like it – at his first ti, one parent WAS allowed in to assist): transition is crowded enough, and parents would be more of a hindrance than a help. The area was absolutely loaded with volunteers, so the kids just had to raise their hands and ask for assistance if necessary.

We also took advantage of a guided course tour. Little man was able to see where he would be doing each of the three disciplines, and how he would be getting in and out of transition, each time. Spectators were also informed of how they could watch their kids in action, and where the best places to view would be. There was lots of great information, presented in a very kid-centric way, and I think we all learned a lot.

After we were finished, we went our for a dinner of little man’s choice and called it an early night.

SUNDAY – Race Day

No one loves that o’dark thirty wake up call, but we wanted to make sure we were at the race site early enough to get good parking and get our tent and chairs set up.

Little man got marked and brought his bucket of gear into transition. 

We had reviewed set up several times, and he had it down.

Part of triathlons is waiting, so we chilled out under our tent with our school group, waiting for his staggered start.

Finally, his number was called, and we escorted him to the staging area, and then we hustled to the pool so we could watch his swim.

Swim – 100 yards

First up? The young triathletes had to swim four lengths of the pool in a snake formation (down lane 1, under the lane line and up lane 2, etc). Kids started about every 10 seconds from opposite ends of the pool, and had plenty of room to pass. What I especially loved was that there were lifeguards on the pool deck, and volunteers/lifeguards in the water along the lane lines, just in case.

He did great through the swim, with a very consistent pace.

At the end of his four lengths, he popped out and started the trek to transition, while Mr PugRunner and I parted ways: I waited to see him ride out of transition while Mr PugRunner went to watch him mount up in transition.

Bike – 3 miles

We knew we had some time to wait for the duration of the bike course, so we returned to our tent for a drink. The bike always makes me nervous, just because I can’t see the whole thing, and cycling can be so unpredictable. The course went out on a main road, which was closed to traffic, and there were members of a local cycling club riding up and down the area to offer assistance and encouragement, so I knew everything would be fine, but it’s still nerve-wracking for me.

After a while of watching other kids and chatting, I crossed the staging field to the bike finish area. I wanted to cheer him on for his last trip through transition.

He came flying through the last few yards of the bike, slowing as instructed because of the hill and speed bump at the end. I was able to catch him one more time, wheeling his bike back to the rack and he was doing great.

Run – 1/2 mile

Mr PugRunner had grabbed a position closer to the start of the run, and was prepared to accompany little man if he needed the extra encouragement, so I went closer to the finish line. I guess when he passed his dad, he said he was ok on his own, and kicked it over the finish line.

Whoo hoo!

We matched our wristbands and snagged the free post race ice cream.

He was pretty exhausted but incredibly proud of himself.

The last time he did a triathlon, little man told me he didn’t really love it, but First Coast Kids Triathlon was way different for him. I felt that it was way larger with so many kids involved, but also a lot more organized and somewhat more instructional, focused on learning how to be a safe and effective competitor.  He said that he absolutely would do it again, and even told me he wants me to coach the team at his new school.

We loved being there to support him, even if he didn’t need very much help. I’m looking forward to next year, and hopefully, we’ll be able to form another group of his friends to take on the distances!

Does your whole family compete in sports?

Are their kid-specific triathlons in your neck of the woods?

weekly wrap: 6.25.17 – 7.1.17

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin, guest hosted by Kim!

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!

Summer is a bit of a double-edged sword for me. We have been having a grand ol’ time, checking things off our summer bucket list and having fun, but it means that I am way behind on blogging, too. Boo. Writing and blogging is such a great release for me, but there have been too many nights where I sit down and am unable to put words together.

I’m not going to beat myself up over it. Family first, after all, and we are having a blast.

Also, my schedule just filled up a little more. I have taken on a Committee position with the PTA for little man’s new school and stepped up as co-Leader for his Cub Scout Den. These are both going to be pretty time-consuming, and I am hopeful that I am up for the challenge. Wish me luck.

Sunday – rest

After a bit of a late start, we packed the car and drove to the Hammock Beach Resort. We had a complimentary night’s stay after some issues with a visit last summer, and we were excited to give it another try.

We went straight to the pool, ordered lunch and drinks and met up with our friends. It had been such a hectic week that it was nice to just chill and relax.

Our room wasn’t ready til about an hour after checkin time, which was annoying, but once we were in and showered, everything was wonderful. Both times, we’ve had an incredible view.

Mr PugRunner went out to pick up dinner from an Italian restaurant that he loves, and we ate it in our friend’s villa (they have a larger family so they got a location with several bedrooms, living room and full kitchen).

Monday – rest

The morning started at the beach, and then we moved back to the pool. The kids had a blast moving from the main pool, to the slide, to the lazy river. By mid-afternoon, a pretty substantial storm system had moved in, so we packed up our things and made the drive home.

Of course, an ice cream stop was necessary.

Tuesday – 4.5 miles, running

The weather was actually not appalling for the first time this summer, and my run reflected it. Yay!

Wednesday – 2 miles, running

Mr PugRunner and I don’t often get the chance to run together, so we took advantage of it. We are doing a 5K as a family in a few weeks and Mr PugRunner needed to get in some miles.

That evening, I went to my first Cub Scouts leadership meeting. It was incredibly overwhelming, and I fully admit to having zero experience in anything to do with Cub Scouts (apparently, this is the year that is “less crafty” and “more scouty” which means we have to tie knots and build fires, and I assure you I know absolutely nothing either), but I am really throwing myself into this so that little man’s experience with it continues to be good. I’m going to need tons of good thoughts.

Thursday – 3.2 miles, running

This was a long day. I was up late the night before, had to squeeze in my run super early, get through the rush hour commute for a Brooks clinic, then head off again to pick up little man. He had been staying with my parents after our Hammock Beach trip and I missed the heck out of him.

We got some time in at the beach and I was more than happy to get home, get cleaned up and chill out for the rest of the day.

Friday – rest

Little man and I spent the morning doing a whole lot of nothing. That afternoon, we picked up his bestie and her parents, and set off for dinner and to surprise the kids with the Dan TDM Live show. We had conspired to buy tickets months ago, and they had no idea (Dan TDM is one of their favorite YouTubers. He lives in Great Britain with his wife and two pugs, and somehow makes a small fortune over filming himself playing MineCraft. I don’t get it, but I allow it because of the pugs).

We spoiled them with t-shirts and stuffed pugs, and while it was the longest two hours of my life, they had an absolute blast. Which is all that matters.

Saturday – 6 miles, running

It was hard dragging myself out of bed on Saturday morning. I am no longer quite so good at staying up late. Blah. However, I slogged through my six miles and felt pretty accomplished by the time I headed off to work.

The boys had a little more fun than me at a friend’s BBQ, but I was able to get home on time, pick up some things for the week at the store and get a little downtime, so it all worked out.


Miles-wise, I’m feeling pretty good. Especially for the heat of summer. I have a few races coming up: a 5K tomorrow for 4th of July, another one with the family in two weeks, and then I’m considering Tour De Pain in August (that’s the 4 mile beach run on a Friday night, with a 5K road race early Saturday and a 1 mile sizzler Saturday afternoon). I feel like I’ve always done it, so I should, but I guess I’ll just see how I’m feeling.

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with events and deadlines, but I will settle in, too. I just seem to be in a season where a lot of things are important to me, so I need to perfect the balancing act to get them all in effectively. That means my cross training and my sleep are both taking the hit, but I’ll get back on top of them.

Any special plans for the 4th of July?

How was your week in review?

Do you ever bite off more than you can chew?

weekly wrap: 6.18.17 – 6.24.17

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin, guest hosted by Zenaida!

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 – rest

We celebrated Father’s Day. Mr PugRunner wanted to see the sunrise at the beach, so we obliged by getting up super early, picking up doughnuts and coffee, and setting up shop on the sand.

Originally, we were only going to be there for an hour or two, but we ended up staying until nearly noon! Between shelling and swimming and dolphin watching and boogie boarding, we were having too much fun.

At home, we gave Mr PugRunner the second part of his gift: a fishing rod (The first part was a really nice cooler for the back yard that accidentally arrived a few days too early. Oops). Now the guys can fish together instead of sharing a rod.

And then we grilled burgers and enjoyed dinner with my parents.

Monday – rest

We had to leave the house a little earlier than usual because I had to get little man to his first day of basketball camp before work. Eek. Drop off went fairly smoothly and pickup was also relatively easy. I had some time to kill between the end of my day and the end of camp but I was able to use it for errands.

He had a great day and seemed excited about all the new skills he was learning.

Tuesday – 4 miles, running

I was lucky to be able to drag myself out of bed to get these four miles. The heat and humidity has become oppressive. Four is all I could manage, and I wasn’t really thrilled about that, but it was better than nothing.

I had some extra time after work before I had to get little man, so I took a book to the beach and read for a while. It was a glorious, breezy afternoon and I loved the break.

Also nice? Receiving my medals from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Series! These were really gorgeous, and they all had bases so they could stand up and hang on a medal rack.

Wednesday – rest

We had a bit of a scramble – after work, I zipped home to shower and change and then it was right back downtown to get little man and meet my parents for my mom’s birthday dinner. Our meal was delicious and it was nice to take a stroll around the city afterwards.

Thursday – 5 miles, running

I was able to run with S this morning, and it was nice having a buddy.

In the evening, I was elected part of little man’s new school’s PTA committee. It’s very important to me to volunteer time to help at school, and since he will be starting from scratch, I want to be as hands on as possible.

Friday – rest

After camp dropoff, I made a trip to a local fish market to pick up something for dinner, and then did some grocery shopping.

At 3:15 Mr PugRunner and I went over to the gym for the awards ceremony. Little man didn’t win any of the individual trophies, but he cheered on his fellow campers and came home with a new basketball.

Saturday – 5 miles, running

I was a little rushed for time, and settled for five miles.

Mr PugRunner signed up for a cornhole tournament in the neighborhood, so little man and I rode our bikes down to cheer him on for a bit before we had to get ready for a birthday party.

The tournament ran way longer than we thought, so we had to take separate cars to the party. Mr PugRunner and our neighbor took third place, and they plan to do it again. I’m glad to see some of the guys in our community coming together for some social events.


I have to give myself a little bit of grace for summer. I only have some smaller 5Ks coming up until October or November, so as long as my base stays strong, I should be ok to ramp up my training when things cool down.

How was your week in training?

Have you ever watched the sun rise at the beach?

celebrate the 4th with the celebration run 5k + tropical smoothie cafe

This is a sponsored post. I have been compensated for my promotion of Celebration Run 5K and Tropical Smoothie Cafe. All opinions are my own.

Racing on holidays has quickly become a tradition in my world. There’s just something about kicking off a commemorative day with a (hopefully themed) road race.

The Celebration Run 5K, by 1st Place Sports, is a red, white and blue extravaganza!

Report to the Baymeadows location of 1st Place Sports on Tuesday, July 4, for a race start of 7:30 AM. Runners will sport their red, white and blue gear for a flat, fast 5K route through some lovely neighborhoods.

Want to show a little extra star-spangled spirit? Carry a full size American flag with you for the run.

Registration includes a gender-specific t-shirt, and all runners will receive a custom finisher medal.

After the race, stick around for the post-celebration party! There will be a patriotic costume contest, and plenty of food and drink, including beer and watermelon! Don’t miss out on the seed-spitting and watermelon eating contests, too!

Register online until or at any 1st Place Sports location to be part of the fun!

And speaking of watermelon, Tropical Smoothie Cafe has unveiled their new Watermelon Mojito Smoothie.

If watermelon is refreshing on its own, imagine how much better it is blended with lime and mint. Grab one from Tropical Smoothie Cafe on your way home from the race or en route to your Independence Day party!

How will you be celebrating 4th of July?

What’s your favorite way to enjoy watermelon?

race report: florida striders memorial day 5k {5.29.17}

Once upon a time, five years ago, I registered for my very first 5K. It was crazy and amazing and hard.

And I was pretty much immediately hooked.

The Florida Striders Memorial Day 5K holds a very special place in my heart. As my first ever race, it remains a reminder of my ebbs and flows and progress and failures.

I have made it a point to take part in this race consistently since my first time in 2013. It’s gotten to a point where it wouldn’t be the start of summer without it. The cause is also a worthy one, and a reason why this race draws so many runners. It’s always beautiful to see all the flags and red, white and blue.

I had every intention of running alone this year. It’s a small, local race, and I didn’t think the boys would have any interest in getting up crazy early to spectate. Little man told me that he was interested in running the 5K, so we signed up him and Mr PugRunner, with the intention that they would run together.

The night before the race, little man decided he wanted to run with me instead of his dad. I really wanted to push myself for this 5K, but I also feel strongly about encouraging little man’s efforts, so I made the mental adjustments.

We arrived with plenty of time to pick up our packets, drop our shirts back in the car, visit the portapotties and line up at the start. This race always attracts a lot of day of registrants and the final headcount is always rather impressive.

There was a beautiful speech, honoring those who have fallen in service to our country, and after the National Anthem, the race began.

Unfortunately, we had a tough run. It was crazy hot, absurdly humid, and little man’s enthusiasm waned dramatically in the first half mile. It was a huge challenge to keep him motivated through the rest of the race, and I’m not so sure I did a great job of it. I know that he just wanted to be done (so did I), but it was really tough staying positive through it.

With just over a half mile to go, I saw Mr PugRunner starting to catch up to us and told little man that I wanted to finish strong. I figured he would run in with his dad, but shockingly, he found a second wind.

The last few minutes made for the highlight of the whole race. We got separated by a few other runners, knotting up in a big group, so I started calling out directions to him to keep him on track to the finish line.  Another racer saw him getting edged to the side, and reached over to guide him back to the course. The gentleman was kind enough to stay with him while I got myself around the crowd, and urged him to a really strong finish. It was so thoughtful and kind and I got a little teary-eyed about it.

Sometimes I’m a sap. Although I think I was just really relieved to be finished.

There were lessons to be learned. Little man definitely should have had a banana or something a little closer to the race start. He was hydrated well, but might have needed a little more energy. I need to be more patient.

On the positive side, I love these guys so much. I adore that they support me in my activities, even if they would rather have been in bed instead of grinding it out on a race course.

How do you handle a race that falls apart quickly?

Has a stranger ever helped you when you’re struggling?

weekly wrap: 6.11.17 – 6.17.17

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin, guest hosted by Tara!

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 – rest

I slept in a little after being out so late from the race. We had a mostly easy day planned – hanging out at home, a slime clinic at our local Michaels’ store and then little man had a friend over for the rest of the afternoon. The boys wanted to fish, but the rain had other plans for them, so they made more slime.

That’s how summer goes in Florida.

Monday – rest

Little man started Vacation Bible School with one of his best friends. We had heard great things about this weeklong, half-day camp, and at $5 per child, the price was right. Even better, we had a car pool worked out, where I would drop the kids at VBS and the other mom would pick up and hold on to little man until I got off work. Automatic playdates!

Tuesday – 4.5 miles, running

My hip was still a little whiny so I took a somewhat shorter run of 4.5 miles. It was just enough.

Wednesday – rest

Nothing new to report. Mr PugRunner’s Father’s Day gift, a big cooler for the back patio, arrived, and we assembled that in the evening. The best part of it all was that little man found a new place to hang out.

Thursday – 7 miles, running

I ran four miles on my own through the neighborhood, and then another three at the bridge after VBS dropoff. It was hotter than anything and I felt awful during those last three miles, but it was a needed workout.

We had a few plans that got pushed to the side: first we had thought about going to the movies, but the times didn’t work out. And then we thought about going to play kickball, but a huge thunderstorm kicked up. Blah. A movie night was just what we needed.

Friday – rest

Last day of VBS! At 11:30, the parents were invited to see all the kids perform a few of their musical numbers (they were adorable), and then little man and I and his bestie and her mom surprised them with Cars 3.

I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but this was probably my favorite of the entire trilogy. The message and the characters just spoke to me, and yes, I cried.  I couldn’t help myself.

That night, I got all fancied up to go to Hamburger Mary’s for my friend’s birthday. A group of us went last year around the same time, and it was just as fun.

Saturday – 3 miles, running

I dragged myself out of bed for three miles. Ugh. But it had to be done.

It was a big day. Little man was going to test for blue belt with black stripe. Earning this belt would move him up to the advanced class, and put him five levels away from his black belt. It’s kind of a big deal.

My parents came to watch with us, and he did a great job with all of his combinations, kicks, one-steps and forms. His sparring was on point, too.

At the end, he had to break one board with a back kick, and he did it beautifully.

We were so proud!

Afterwards, we went to a local fish camp to celebrate with lots of yummy seafood. And when we said our goodbyes, I asked Mr PugRunner if we could take a drive up to Jacksonville to get ice cream from Dreamette. It’s a little hole in the wall place known for the soft-serve and dipped cones.

Worth it.

We had to get to bed early to prep for Father’s Day. Mr PugRunner wanted to get up to watch the sunrise at the beach, so we needed our rest!


It was a mostly quiet week. At least, quiet for us. The rain has been needed, but tough, as it keeps us mostly inside in the afternoons and evenings. Blah.

Up this week? More running. Hopefully a little riding. Little man is in a longer camp program this week, and we have got some fun thing coming up on the weekend. Next race will be a 5K on the 4th of July, and I have registered for an 18 mile relay trail run in October with two other awesome women: the Durbin Trail Mix. I’ll be doing a 6 mile loop and I am really excited about it.

Also, I am trying to catch up on some blogging. I owe some race reports, and I need to get those churned out!

How was your week in training?

What’s on your summer race calendar?

weekly wrap: 6.4.17 – 6.10.17

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin, guest hosted by Kim!

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

I am working really hard on ramping up my miles and building my base. The weather was also awful this week – I welcomed the rain because of our drought, but I am ready for it to even out now.

Sunday – rest

I am calling it a rest day, but for anyone who has ever spectated at or participated in a triathlon, you know it was anything but restful.

We had to be at the venue at 6:15 so that little man could put the rest of his gear in transition. He didn’t start until a little after 8:00 AM, so it was a lot of driving and waiting. Once he started, it turned into a lot of sprinting around for me and Mr PugRunner – we were able to watch him at the pool, walking his bike in and out of transition, the end of the bike course, and the entirety of his run.

He did so well and we are so proud.

When we got home, we honestly just wanted to chill but some buddies invited him to the pool for a bit, so of course, it was back in the water.

And then, I am fairly certain we just watched movies and chilled. It was a long day.

Monday – 1 mile, running

Little man and I headed out for our mile, and the rest of the day was pretty normal.

Mr PugRunner took little man to work and then to karate that evening. Little man has been consistently taking karate classes for the last four years and has been talking about needing a break for the summer. We don’t mind – we had opted to have him forego karate camp this year in favor of some other things he wanted to try, but we had asked him to discuss with his sensai before putting things on hold. In the course of that conversation, he was invited to test for his first advanced belt (!) so he will continue with his classes until this upcoming Saturday, test, and then resume classes when school starts. it’s amazing how far he’s come.

Tuesday – 5 miles, running

The weather had been awful – lots of rain and thunderstorms – so I ran close to home, just in case.

I made it through a very wet and drizzly five miles, and then got ready for work. I was not amused with the all day downpour, and was even less thrilled with the tornado warnings sounding my entire drive home. Fortunately, the storms headed out to sea without doing too much damage.

I went out to dinner with some of my neighbors – it was a lot of fun, and it’s something I hope we can do more.

Wednesday – 1 mile, running

Happy Global Running Day! I got the whole family out for a run! Whoo hoo!

After spending two days at his dad’s office while I was at work, little man finally got a play date with his bestie. I think he was happy to have someone to play with, as opposed to entertaining himself at work.

Thursday – rest

This was a yucky, rainy, miserable day. Boo. To be honest, I wasn’t really feeling too motivated to do much of anything, so we stayed in our PJs and lounged. These aren’t my favorite days, but sometimes, they are necessary.

Little man had been BEGGING me to make slime, and I had finally gathered all the ingredients. So we made glitter slime and smooth slime, and he was just the happiest kid on the face of the planet.

Friday – 4 miles, running

At long last, the weather was clear. I got a bit of a late start and the boys followed behind me on their bikes. They had almost caught up to me, when little man lost the pedal on his bike. I helped try to get it back on, but we couldn’t figure it out, and so they ended up having to walk their bikes home. We agreed to look at it over the weekend.

That afternoon, my parents came over and we ran a few quick errands before going to our historic downtown to hide our kindness rocks. We also found four rocks that others had painted and hidden!

We rehid those as well, and then celebrated our efforts with ice cream sandwiches from Piece Pie.

My parents also stayed for the Cub Scouts’ Raingutter Regatta. Basically, it’s a more casual version of the Pinewood Derby – scouts build catamarans out of balsa and precut sails and then race them in water-filled plastic rainwater, by blowing on the sails with plastic straws.

During their non-racing times, they took a water safety lesson, learned to play badminton and made fidget spinners out of hot glue, all of which will earn them badges and belt loops.

Little man went undefeated in every round, and won first place for the entire event! We couldn’t believe it! He was absolutely over the moon and is excited for his next summer activity.

Saturday – Run for the Pies 5K

We slept in a bit, and hung out around the house. After lunch, Mr PugRunner took little man to one of our local bike shops to get his pedals fixed, and I tried to take a nap.

That evening was Run For The Pies. It’s a crazy fast and popular 5K – the early race is for the male and female qualifying elites, and the later race is the open, where the first 200 people win a pie for crossing the finish line (if they do so under the time constraints). I had absolutely no chance of winning a pie, but I had never run this race, so I was ready to give it a try.

Race report to come, but it was a blast, despite the fact that it was at night and humid and muggy as all get out.

Almost 15 miles this week, so that felt really good. I want to get back on my bike, now that the rain has stopped. I’m really nervous about riding on slick, wet roads for some reason. Camps are starting up this week, so we shall see how my schedule works out as far as training. My next race is looking like the Celebration 5K on July 4, and I am excited to feel a little bit back in a 5K groove.

How was your training this week?

Is the slime craze a thing near you?

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