runfessions: the christmas remix

Merry Christmas and welcome to a very festive edition of Runfessions!

Let’s join up with Marcia’s Healthy Slice and leave it all under the tree!

I runfess…

That the weather is driving me insane. We are going from highs in the 80s to lows in the 20s, and then back up again, over 24 hour periods. It’s ridiculous. The drastic changes lead to a lot of pain in my ankle, and it saps all my motivation. Some days, I just need to lay in bed with my leg stretched all the way out to feel even remotely better.

I runfess…

That the weather is driving me insane. We are going from highs in the 80s to lows in the 20s, and then back up again, over 24 hour periods. It’s ridiculous. The drastic changes lead to a lot of pain in my ankle, and it saps all my motivation. Some days, I just need to lay in bed with my leg stretched all the way out to feel even remotely better.

I runfess…

That I love the magic of Christmas, but it’s hard being the one who makes it all happen. After my morning run, I spent the day on my feet, wrapping, cooing, cleaning, and making everything just right. I’m paying for it tonight, with a very sore leg, and I am doing my best to herd A off to bed so we can lay out the rest of the gifts and stuff stockings.

I runfess…

That I am so sad to have missed out on all the parties and fun events for a second year in a row. Sure, it’s for a different reason than last year but it still just stinks. We are doing our part by staying away from social gatherings and big crowds, but that doesn’t mean I’m not missing it.

winter break

I runfess…

That I may already know what’s in a bunch of those gifts under the tree with my name on them. But I will also runfess that Mr PugRunner snuck out again today to pick up one last gift and I have no idea what it was. It’s been bothering me all day, but I’ll be patient.

I runfess…

That I am so glad for this year to be coming to an end, even if I have no idea what 2021 is going to bring. It’s got to be better than 2020, right? I guess we will just have to wait and see.

What do you have to runfess?

stay on track through the end of the year

The end of the year is upon us (can I get an “amen”?), and the question is, how do we navigate fitness through these last days and finish 2020 strong?

Plan your workouts accordingly

Let’s face it. Many of us don’t want to work out on celebratory days, or wake up super early after a late night, so make a reasonable plan that works with your schedule. With COVID restrictions, our festivities may be a little more limited, but let’s not set ourselves up to fail.

I have no intention of running on Christmas morning or New Year’s Day (although I will probably walk), so I’m certainly not going to plan anything major for those days. Instead, I’ll run on mornings where I’ve been able to get a good night’s sleep, and won’t be dragging through the miles.

Enjoy, but don’t over-indulge

Christmas food is some of my favorite food, and I plan on digging in. We will have cookies, Chinese food, french toast casserole, stuffed shells, and all the charcuterie. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t treat myself to all these things during any kind ooo training cycle, but it’s the holidays, and I’m willing to make exceptions. I have no problem sampling a little bit of everything, but also stopping before becoming uncomfortably full. It’s rare that we make some of these special holiday treats any other time of year, and I don’t want to miss out.

Stay hydrated

I do love some cocktails and good wine at the holidays, and I have every intention of enjoying between Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Mr PugRunner’s birthday on New Year’s Day. Staying properly hydrated will help mitigate any negative effects from the alcohol. As an added bonus, good hydration is just a wise choice for maintaining proper fitness, so everyone wins!

Set a goal

While it may not be feasible for everyone due to restrictions or weather, I plan to stay on track by running a New Year’s 5K. The race will be small, but in a brand-new venue, and it’s extra awesome because it supports a small, local race company, which had to shut down for the past year. Having this race on the calendar helps me keep my eye on the prize, and it’s also a great way to start 2021.

Above all else… have fun!

For whatever it’s worth at this point, I want to try to have some fun this holiday season. I think most of us are looking at a much diminished season, and it’s hard to absorb those changes. However even with things so very different and awful, I’m hoping a positive outlook will help me power through the end of the year and get 2021 off to as good of a start as I can make it.

What are some strategies you plan to employ to stay on track for the next ten days?

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week 51: twas the week before christmas

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the house, every creature was stirring, including the hedgehog.

We are in full crunch mode over here. Even though it’s going to be a small and secluded holiday, we are very much prepping for the big day with all cylinders firing. There will be cookies, and candy canes, and presents tied up with string, and it’s going to be amazing.

Sunday – 3.68 miles, walking

Happy Sunday to everyone! After my walk, I tested my skills at the dancer pose, and was thrilled to discover that I can make it happen. After my surgery, I struggle with some yoga poses, so it’s nice to make small gains.

The rest of the day was kind of nasty and rainy, so we listened to Christmas music and hung at home.

Monday – 3.98 miles, walking

It’s a new week and I was ready to get to it. I started the morning with a brisk walk and got my head on right furor the week.

Since A is now on break, I also instituted some screentime rules. It’s easy to lapse into bad habits on extended time off, so we are setting up some structure.

Tuesday – 4.77 miles running + 2.26 miles, walking

Great run this morning. The weather had warmed up just a hair and I was able to go out in a tank and shorts. I am a fan of less clothes when running. It just makes movements easier.

A went to work with his dad, and I drove to Daytona to half a patio lunch with Meghan. It’s been so long since we’ve been able to see each other (since February), and it made my heart so happy.

Wednesday – 3.88 miles, walking

Wednesdays are for walking, and I made the most of it. The day was gray and overcast, but these roses were just so pink and beautiful.

I also wanted to take family photos in matching pajamas. It’s something we’ve missed out on for many years, but we finally made it happen.

Thursday – 5 miles, running + 2.39 miles, walking

We had been sticking to 4.75 mile runs during the week, but since it was going so well, I bumped us up to 5! My ankle is handling the mileage really well (except for on the super cold days).

In the evening, we made gingerbread houses with some festive snacks. I loved this candy cane caprese board,

and Rudolph’s Tipsy Spritzer. So yummy.

We also had a hot chocolate bar. Everyone is raving about hot cocoa bombs, but I am just not great with chocolate work, so this is a fair compromise.

Friday – 3.27 miles, walking

I didn’t want to get up, but finally dragged myself out of bed, and got myself moving. Today, after my walk, I worked on some balance. Balance is so important, especially during the holidays.

I had snagged a hair appointment, and was super excited to spend some time in the chair. This is my third appointment with my stylist and I am so happy with everything (including the salon’s cleanliness and safety protocols with masks and limiting clients).

Saturday – 8.0 miles, running

J and I decided we wanted to change things up and so we headed to a local Greenway for our long run. I got up a little bit earlier to get in two miles on my own, before we ran six together. It was cold, but also kind of perfect, and so nice to enjoy some different scenery.

Then the husbands joined us for an outdoor brunch. Yum.

That afternoon, I worked on wrapping presents, and then we headed south to Flagler Beach for an early, outdoor dinner. We followed flatbread and wine with delicious hot fudge sundaes from Sally’s (this is Not Your Average Hot Chocolate with marshmallow swirl and peppermint crunch).


Another great week! As we close in on 2021, my motivation is really coming back. Even though things are still so awful, I feel like I want to start taking control of what I can in my life. Things have been spinning so erratically for so long, and while there’s still so much I can’t fix, I can do a better job with myself.

We are keeping up with the holiday countdown, too! I haven’t taken photos of everything but we have made our donations and done our good deeds.

This week, we will bake some cookies, finish wrapping, and enjoy odor traditional Chinese food dinner on Christmas Eve. We are going to do what we can to make the best of this week, and that’s all we can do!

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?

Any Christmas plans or traditions?

2020: a year in running

Friends. We have finally reached the end of 2020. For better or worse.

I know, for the most part, this wasn’t our year. For me, it literally started on the couch, unable to walk without assistance after breaking two bones in my leg. Talk about a comeback.

Finding positives in situations is something I strive to do, so while I definitely struggled to learn to walk, then run, again, this year, with all its cancellations and shutdowns, gave me the space to do so.


Truth be told, January started off well enough. Well, except for the whole “recovering from surgery with hardware in my leg” thing. I got a boot and started physical therapy. My step count was miserably low, thanks to pain and mobility issues. I tried to keep a smile on my face.

new fitness beginnings


Another long month of rehab. I moved from the boot to the brace, which was a huge improvement. My mobility really started to improve, but I was still slow at getting around. PT continued twice a week, and I was religious with my exercises at home.

We had a big Orlando trip this month. First, I attended the Sister Site Conference with St. Augustine Moms in Walt Disney World. Of course, I had to take the whole family, and it was really just so wonderful. I’ve never attended that kind of conference before, and I loved it.

road trips

I also felt in good enough spirits to walk a virtual 5k. This was a holdover from a December event I had to skip. They were kind enough to mail me my packet, so I felt the need to complete the distance.


March – 31 miles

First up was Sea World, for A’s 6th grade field trip. I had to spend the day in a wheelchair (it was just too much for me to get around), but it was a nice day all the same.

recovery progress

And then the world shut down. It happened on the weekend that I was just about ready to re-emerge into society. We planned a big weekend at The Player’s Championship in Ponte Vedra, followed by the start of Spring Break and tickets to Hamilton.

A came home from school for Spring Break and never went back.

Of course, as the lockdown continued, walking and running became my outlet. Every day, without fail, I got out there, and did what I could do. It started small, with lots of breaks, but as I got braver, things started going more smoothly.

April – 99 miles

With PT no longer on the table, I decided I had to take things into my own hands, and reacquainted myself with Couch to 5K. At a certain point, you just have to take a leap of faith, right?

I was pretty surprised at how quickly I feel back into things. At first, it didn’t feel exactly right, but it didn’t take long until my body remembered how much I loved running.

couch to 5K

After months of being sidelined, and then being locked down because of the pandemic, I finally felt like I had some purpose again.

For fun, I joined up with some virtual races with Team Sparkle. I enjoyed the camaraderie.

A celebrated his 12th birthday with take out from a local restaurant and a birthday drive-by parade. School started again, but this time, with “crisis” or “distance” learning. We all learned to adapt.

May – 111 miles

May was a big month. It was my birthday, and I got a visit from my friend’s mini-horse.

But even more importantly, we welcomed a new family member!

I joined up with the Best Damn Race Florida Challenge, and committed to run a total of 1000K with my teammate, Lindsey.

Anything to keep moving forward.

We also got “front porch” photos, and A completed 6th grade, with all As and Bs. Oh, what a time to be alive.

June – 94 miles

Are we done yet? Nope. Lockdown continued, but things in Florida were not quite as strict as in other states. I just kept on running, like Forrest Gump.

We took a much-needed cabin vacation in Banner Elk with some good friends. I got it in my head that I had to cross this swinging bridge on Grandfather Mountain. For me, it was going to be a feat of strength and a return to my adventurous self.

Mission accomplished.

July – 122 miles

Fireworks were canceled, although we still had some sparklers at home.

I graduated from Couch to 5K, for the second time, and thought I would hold strong at three miles for a few weeks before bumping up.

I also completed the Hadrian’s Wall Challenge, another event that kept me focused and on track.

Mr PugRunner embarked on his own fitness and nutrition journey, hiring a couch to set him on the right path.

A earned his black belt in karate, and plans to continue with his martial arts training.

August – 135 miles

To keep things moving along, I rergistered for the Best Damn Race Oregon Trail Virtual Challenge. Who doesn’t love the Oregon Trail?

Having another challenge motivated me even more, and I loved it.

A started virtual school, ahead of his public school friends. We aren’t homeschooling, but I am way more involved in his classroom expert than ever before. Running served as quite the respite.

I also took a wellness challenge in August and stayed quite dedicated to completing the challenges. Who couldn’t use more wellness in their life?

And I finally felt comfortable running with someone again. I was really embarrassed by my injury and felt super self-conscious. It was hard to admit that it would be easier going out with another person, but it’s been a good thing for me.

September – 118 miles

Running helped push me through some grief in September, as we said goodbye to sweet Bentley. We weren’t ready.

We finished the Best Damn Race Florida Challenge, and I felt comfortable moving my mileage up a little bit. It was scary at first, but nothing great ever happens in your comfort zone.

I also ran the virtual Cupcake Run 5K, to benefit Girls on the Run of Northeast Florida. I had planned this as my comeback 5K, but COVID-19 had other ideas.

October – 135 miles

We went on a socially distant vacation to the Georgia mountains with our friends. Since we have been bubbling together, we felt comfortable sharing a cabin, and it was lovely.

More hiking was just what I needed to feel strong. Unfortunately, the rainy weather didn’t lend itself to getting way out in the mountains, but we made do with what we could get.

While running did not happen in Georgia (too steep and not enough sidewalks), it was a great month, and my confidence continued to soar.

November – 141 miles

In our neck of the woods, live races started to creep back. J, Mr PugRunner, and I felt comfortable registering for a super small 5K at the start of the month. We worked hard to both be ready, and I almost cried at the start line. And the finish line, if we are being honest.

November also marked the one year anniversary of my fall, and I wasn’t looking forward to it. In fact, I found myself super jumpy and edgy all month. I can only attribute it to anxiety and probably some PTSD. I signed up for virtual half marathon with Team Nuun, and thought about bailing, but didn’t.

It wasn’t the race I would have run for real, but it felt good to log 13.1 miles at once.

More in-person races started sprouting up, but I continued to tread lightly. All things in good time.

December – 77 miles + counting…

And here we are, in December. I felt up to my first in-person 10K in a year.

My long runs go about eight miles. I’m almost ready to bump up to 10. As of today, I’ve logged about 1,063 miles (a few of those were bike miles, but I didn’t dig to find them) in walking and running, of which I’m incredibly proud.

My ankle and leg are ok. I feel it. All the time. Sometimes it’s sore, sometimes stiff. The nerves still jangle from time to time. I don’t know if it will ever be 100% better, which makes me a bit resentful. I’m hoping that one day will go about my business and not feel a thing, but I’m also not counting on it.

While this isn’t the year I hoped for, I am proud of the progress I’ve made. We have had our share of heartbreak, heartache, and stress. Anxiety has worked me over in so many ways, but running has been there to pick me up and move me forward. I’m so grateful to be where I am, and even more appreciative for all the support I’ve had along the way.

What are the highlights (or lowlights) of your year in running?

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. We love having you!

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week 50: officially on winter break!

That’s right! We are on winter break! On Thursday, A took his last midterm of the virtual semester, and I am proud to share that he earned straight A’s for the first time ever (usually, he’s AB Honor Roll). Talk about overcoming all the challenges this school year threw his way!

Sunday – 6.75 miles, running

We started the day at the Sandy Claus Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K (race report here). You already know that we got turned around on the course and went a little long, but we had a blast, and enjoyed knocked out this holiday race.

That afternoon, we enjoyed some hot cocoa with friends, in lieu of driving to the Daytona International Speedway for their light show. We would come back to it.

And A made these awesome reindeer brownies, so that was quite the win.

Monday – 2.67 miles, walking

I took a quick walk, giving my legs a break, but still starting the week on the “right foot.”

We had a crazy morning. First up, Mr PugRunner had to drop Delilah at the vet for her dental. This is always a stressful procedure, but we know she is in good hands at Dr. R’s.

A had to complete his two-part math exam. It went really well, and I was proud of him for taking his time and working through the harder problems. Pre-Algebra is no joke.

From there, our friend brought over her puppy. A had his first dog-sitting job, and this adorable French bulldog would be spending an entire week with us! Yay!

And Delilah’s procedure was a success. She did need some teeth extracted, but she is now back too 100% and doing great.

Our Christmas Countdown assignment was to donate to an animal shelter. Instead, we donated to a friend’s foster doggy, who is need of some medical treatments.

Tuesday – 4.75 miles running + 2.21 miles, walking

Our puppy guest had a good night, and everyone pitched in to handle walks, feedings, and medications (for Delilah). We are a well-oiled machine, when we try.

The weather was glorious, making for a fabulous run.

I had my last conference call of the semester with A’s homeroom teacher. All in all, we are very pleased with his progress, and had no concerns. I love his teacher and I love that protocols require them to check in, but I hate having these calls. I’m just not a phone person.

Next mid-term? Advanced Science. I was the most worried about this one – the science class is awesome, but the exams are always tricky. He did great, though, even with the addition of a writing portion.

We spent the afternoon making ornaments. He’s getting a bit too old to love crafting with his mom, so I just did some vinyl cutouts that he got to burnish on to glass balls. They came out great, and were so timely.

Wednesday – 3.67 miles, walking

This cold weather was really sticking with us, but that was no excuse to stay inside! Nope, I got out there and snagged more miles.

A had Language Arts that morning. The first part was pretty much a snap, but the second part involved a pretty big essay portion. It took a bit, but he kept himself on track and finished strong!

And then we made Paracord Survival bracelets to send to Operation Gratitude. These will be sent out to soldiers in care packages. Each one uses 7.5 feet of paracord and can be used in case of emergency. They are super easy to make, and the organization accepts donations year round. Click here for details.

A enjoyed making these so much, he made an extra for himself.

Thursday – 4.75 miles, running + 1.75 miles, walking

Oh, I needed this run. Badly. And it was everything I hoped for and more. Yay for the great runs.

And yay for puppy love.

One more midterm was on the docket: Spanish. Spanish has been a tough class to manage, virtually. This is A’s first big exposure to the language, and there’s just not the conversational piece you would get in a live class. He’s pulling through, though, and the test went quickly. We were able to call it a wrap on school!

Of course, we would have loved to celebrate Hanukkah with my stepdad, but COVID… So we will wait until Christmas, when we can do some a socially distant visit outside.

Since we didn’t have plans that evening, I suggested we make up our night in Daytona. The Magic of Lights display was at the race track, and it was a drive-through experience. For $25 per car, we could drive through a stunning lights display. It took about 30-40 minutes to get through it all and it was just so well done. Totally worth the late night.

Friday – 4.19 miles, walking

TGIF! It was a bittersweet day, as our house guest would be going home. The pugs all had such fun while he was here.

I got in a good, long walk. The cooler temperatures make it easier to get out and stay out.

Our four-legged friend went home that afternoon. We were so sad to see him go, but A did amazing with his first real job. Pet-sitting and dog-walking could certainly be an option for him.

We “elf”d some neighbors with bags of hot chocolate and peppermint bark as our holiday countdown activity.

And for dinner, we stretched our legs with a family walk to Food Truck Friday for tacos and more “Elf Poop” ice cream (chocolate with red velvet dough).

Saturday – 8.0 miles, running + .38 miles, walking

I wasn’t really looking forward to my long run. I was going to be alone and that can be hard to absorb, mentally. But the weather was decent, and I told myself I had to run a minimum of six, that seven would be desirable, and eight would be straight-up goals.

To my surprise, I was able to hit the goal! I felt great, and was so proud of myself for getting it done!

A surprise delivery of matching family pajamas showed up under the tree. We need to take a family photo with them on, but the lighting has been awful this whole weekend, so we will come back to it.

We decided to make it a movie night, but not before we snagged an early dinner from a second round of food trucks. Mr. Softee was there, showing off some festive sprinkles. These were the cutest, and so delicious!


Whoo hoo! I felt like I was on fire this week! My ankle didn’t really hurt too much, in spite of the cold, and the extra miles, which was a pleasant surprise.

About a month ago, I signed up for the NYRR Season of Light Virtual 5K, with Carianne and Darlene. We completed it this week, and were very proud of ourselves!

Holiday countdown is going strong! We had to shuffle a few things around, but we will get it all figured out.

This week, I am looking forward to more decent weather, more great runs, and more holiday fun! And don’t forget to check back in on Wednesday to link up with the Runner’s Roundup! We are having a special theme this week, talking about our Year of Running! We’d love to have you!

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

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How was your week in training?

What are you looking forward to this week? Any great runs?

race report: sandy claus marathon, half marathon & 10k {12.6.20}

Real, in-person races are back, but I am still exercising caution when deciding which ones I’d like to run. J, my running buddy, has been wanting to do a 10K, and we stumbled upon the Sandy Claus Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K.

sandy claus

ONce I saw that the registration numbers were staying pretty low, we decided to sign up. This race has been around a while, but I’ve never actually participated before. The idea of something new was extra-exciting.

Safety Precautions

Before we ever toed the start line, I was very impressed with the safety precautions set in place. There were separate start times for the distances: the marathoners started at 6:00 AM, the half and 10K at 7:00 AM, and the one mile at 8:30 AM. Runners who weren’t comfortable with the start line had the option for a late start, and could cross the start line up until 7:15 AM. Additionally, all age group winners would be based on chip time, not gun time, to avoid crowding at the start (runners going for the overall win would have to line up first). I thought that was so respectful.

Race Morning

It was an early morning. Packet pickup was scheduled for the morning of, which meant we had to be at the race around 6:15, to park, grab our stuff, use the bathrooms and get situated. It all went very smoothly, and we had plenty of time to get everything done and line up.

Runners got a cute long-sleeve tech tee, and race distance decal, in addition to their bibs and medals.

The sunrise was an added bonus.

The Race

Before long, we were off. We left the Nocatee Community Center, passed through a fence, and found ourselves out on the Greenway. It was beautiful: lots of trees and wooden bridges. I confess, the course was a little confusing. We ran to the first water stop, turned right, and continued running. We made our way into a residential area (which was great because so many houses were decorated for the holidays), and then, turned around at the second water stop.

We ran back to the first one, turned right and did a little out and back, before re-running the loop we had just completed. The we made it back to the first water stop, the volunteers directed us to the right for the out-and-back again, but we should have gone left to the finish. We ended up running and extra half mile. Whoops.

On the plus side, the weather was great, the run was strong, and the course was so gorgeous. It could have been worse.

The Post-Party

We crossed the finish line and collected our medals! They were wooden, with a bottle opener on the back. It was kind of odd that they didn’t come with ribbons, but we loved them all the same.

From there, we were planning to head to Starbucks for coffee and breakfast on the way home, but the race director announced that post-race refreshments were available so we circled back to check it out.

JetPack Nutrition offered waffles, low-fat turkey chili and some of the best macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had.

And About Time Creamery was there, with free ice cream! Sure, it was in the 40s, but who can say no to free ice cream? We got the Elf Poop: chocolate with red velvet cookie dough chunks. Yum!

Congratulations to us! J did amazing on her first 10K (plus)!

What’s the best post-race food you’ve ever had? Ever mess up and run extra on a course?

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. Next week, we are hosting a special theme: Your Year In Running! We’d love for you to share all about your year, or any other running-themed post!

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week 49: countdown to the holidays

As the days tick by, I find myself getting more and more excited for the holidays. I am all about the music and the lights, and I’m embracing all of the festive spirit. I know we won’t be doing any parties or events, but we can still be outside and I plan on taking full advantage of that.

Sunday – 3.93 miles, walking

What a beautiful day!

The boys decorated the outside of the house with lights and inflatables. They got some extra ridiculous pieces this year (I have to get a good picture), and it’s going to bring much joy.

I was tired after all my decorating the day before, so let them deal with that on their own.

Monday – 3.74 miles, walking

It’s pretty much A’s last week of school before winter break. He didn’t have any live classes, but there was plenty of review for midterms. Eek.

While he worked, I played with my Cricut vinyl cutter. I’ve done several iron-on shirts, but not so much with adhesive vinyl. I think I’ve got the hang of it!

Tuesday – 4.75 miles running + 1.66 miles, walking

Our run was FREEZING! Literally in the 30s! While it’s nice to have a change, the weather swings are always so sudden.

Since it was December 1, A got to open the “first gift of Christmas.” It was the Star Wars Lego calendar he had been hoping for. He was thrilled and so surprised.

After his review sessions, he had Cooking Club. This week, the kids were supposed to make a roll cake! Yikes! We started in the morning, so he would only have to make the filling and ganache during the evening Zoom. This was a tough one, but he did a fabulous job and we all enjoyed it!

Wednesday – 3.67 miles, walking

Happy Wednesday! Seriously, could this week be any longer? Much as I was worn out, a walk a day is the name of my game, so out I went. Brrr.

Here’s another Cricut win. I really do vacillate between sappy, cheesy holiday movies and crazy, twisted true crime shows and movies. Clearly, I’m all about extremes.

I also picked up some goodies from a super cute small business, in an effort to support local (love curbside pickup). There are going to be some extra big smiles when presents are open this year.

Thursday – 3.97 miles, walking

Our run got postponed until Friday, which was fine because, dang it was freezing and windy! I think it would have made for an awful run.

That being said, the day mellowed out beautifully, so we were able to visit an outdoor lights installation on the beach. We went early enough that there were almost no people, and had a wonderful time checking out all the lifeguard chairs that local companies had decorated for the season.

Friday – 4.75 miles, running + 1.96 miles, walking

J met me bright and early for our makeup run. It was actually fantastic. Yes, it was perfect weather, and I felt so strong the whole time. These are my favorite kinds of run, and I hope there are more of them in my future.

For those of you who voted for me to try the Sugarplum Macchiato, I did. It was not bad at all! I couldn’t drink it all (I don’t even put sugar in my coffee, so it was a little on the sweet side), but I enjoyed the flavor and loved having the pretty purple.

A completed both parts of his math midterm, and did an outstanding job. They were tough tests, but he has really been doing so great. Once was finished, I made a shirt drop-off to a friend, and then enjoyed an outdoor lunch at a local BBQ joint with my book.

Our holiday activity was to make cards for the Cards For Hospitalized Kids organization. Our creations were made from cardstock, paint chips and rhinestones, and I think they came out great. A also made a few with hand-cut snowflakes that were so pretty.

He also used some of his own earnings to sponsor a holiday box for Fostering Connections of St. Johns. These boxes will be handed out at a drive-through holiday party this month, and will really bring some joy to some our community’s foster children.

Saturday – 3.2 miles, walking

Normally, Saturdays are for long runs, but since our 10K race was on Sunday, I enjoyed a nice walk on my own. It was pretty cold again, but also beautifully sunny.

Our holiday plan for the day was an outdoor brunch. Even though the restaurant was new, it wasn’t at all crowded. We got prime seating on the patio, and enjoyed a yummy breakfast and drinks!

I really could have used a nap after all that, but we needed groceries and a few more things, so I was still on duty. It ended up being a long night with dinner-making, brownie-baking, laundry, and a Hurricanes game. I ended up sleeping so poorly, which is never fun the night before a race.


I felt incredibly productive this week. There were a few moments were I struggled emotionally, but I was able to pull up out of them, and I was really proud of the miles I laid out.

Our holiday countdown calendar is going well. Today is actually the first day we skipped our goal (a drive-through light show at the Daytona Speedway), but other than that, we’ve been doing a great job staying on track. I think this something we will continue doing for years to come.

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?

Anyone else love true crime and serial killer documentaries? Any races coming up?

the final coffee date of 2020

Friends, I do love our coffee dates, but I am looking forward to turning over a fresh page and enjoying coffee in 2021.

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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So let’s go…

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That, baby, it is COLD outside. I’m talking about having to be all bundled up in layers and gloves. We have the heat on, and if I don’t have to leave the cocoon of the house, I don’t. I literally had to buy Luna a sweater, because she is straight up refusing walks at this point. For a day or two, it’s fine, but this is not how things should be in the Sunshine State.

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That on a coffee-related note, I really want to try the new Dunkin Sugarplum Macchiato. It’s so pretty! I don’t really drink the more elaborate coffee creations (my normal orders are an iced coffee with cream at Dunkin, and an iced coffee with one shot of raspberry and cream at Starbucks), but this one just calls to me. Should I do it? Just for research purposes?

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That our Elf is back. And in 25-day quarantine. I really didn’t think it would be a “thing” this year, but a few days ago, A started asking, so we sent our request to the North Pole, and Sparkle returned to us. It’s a shame she has to stay masked up in that Jar…

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That, most nights, I take myself into our front room, sit on the couch in front of the lit-up Christmas tree, and read. This is the first time we have an actual sitting area in that part of the house, and I am taking full advantage. Usually, by the end of the day, my nerves are so fried from all the noise and sensory overload that I need this quiet time. The bad news is I blow through books, so these are almost finished, but I can always get more.

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That I am so excited for Christmas. I’ve got some wonderful gifts picked out for people. We are still doing our social distancing, but there are some events and drive-through and outdoor lights we can visit. It’s mostly working out fine, and I’m happy to be a part of it all.

And there it is.

How about you? Are you ready for this year to end? What would you tell me over coffee?

how runners can spread joy

Joy. It’s such a small thing, but it can brighten so many days. In my life, I always hope to bring joy to others. As a runner, can I do the same? I say “absolutely”!

Say “Hello!”

I mean, saying “hello” is the easiest thing in the world. Seriously. All you have to do is smile and wave, and it can bring so much joy to someone else. It’s disheartening to pass runners and walkers who refuse to even nod in someone else’s general direction, so spread the love with a heartfelt greeting.

Pick It Up

Out for a bit of a leisurely stroll or slower run? That’s the perfect time to pick up some litter and clean up the community. You’ll be doing good for the world around you and that, in itself, brings joy to the world.

Offer Encouragement

Even in this world of social distancing, runners can still provide encouragement to others. In our neck of the woods, we are absolutely allowed to run together (although masks should be used when you’re going to be tight together), but it’s always nice too offer encouragement to our fellow runners. Invite a new runner to join you for a few miles, or suggest a race distance you know a friend has been wanting to try.

Keep Supporting Your Local Race Companies

I know we are all tired of virtual races. The fatigue is strong. But the truth is, some of our smaller (read: our hometown favorite) race companies aren’t going to make it through this pandemic if we don’t keep registering. I know it’s not ideal, but when in-person races return in full force, I want all my old favorites to be there for me.

How do you spread joy as a runner?

Join the Runner’s Roundup!

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week 48: hello to the last month of 2020

And how wonderful does it feel to know that we can put 2020 behind us. For all that I try to stay upbeat, I think I am not alone in hoping this year comes to an end, and fast. With that said, I also hope we can enjoy the holidays as best we can – this is really my favorite time of year and I missed so much in 2019. It’s time for a do-over, even in the midst of all the insanity.

Sunday – rest

It’s safe to say that this was the laziest, most do-nothing Sunday in the history of Sundays. I didn’t even pretend to be active. Seriously. We hung out with Delilah, and just existed in our pajamas. Nothing wrong with that.

Monday – 4 miles, walking

Back at it. A was out of school for the week, so we didn’t set any alarms or rush around in the morning. I walked.

Delilah had her follow up at the vet. The good news is that she is going to be ok. With medications and lots of soothing, her breathing is much less labored, and we should be able to reschedule her dental in a few weeks. This is the best news. She sure did give us a scare.

Tuesday – 4.75 miles running + 1.47 miles, walking

The cold weather was back, so I took care to bundle up a little bit more this time.

I wish Florida would get a hold of itself in the weather department. It’s getting ridiculous.

Wednesday – 3.9 miles, walking

And it was hot again. Blah.

I had to run a couple of quick errands, which led to me replacing all the prep bowls and mixing bowls in the house. Oops. It was good to purge another cabinet, though. And A tested out the news goods while making pumpkin pie.

Later that afternoon, we went to a waterfront restaurant for dinner on the patio. We agreed it would be fun to have a nice dinner, and then bring home yummy desserts, and eat them with a movie. Mission accomplished.

Thursday – 5 miles, running + 1.05 miles, walking

Happy Thanksgiving!

I believe in starting holidays with a race, but there were no suitable races this time around. Ugh. However, all was not lost! J and I went out for five miles on our own, and it was wonderful just the same.

Look at all the other bloggers who joined in Turkey trotting rom afar! Thanks to Kim for putting this together!

We enjoyed a small, quiet and very distanced Thanksgiving. It was nice to not have a lot of stress, but the food was great. Mr PugRunner handled the turkey, and little man and my mom took care of most of the other food. I kind of missed cooking, but it’s nice to pass the torch.

Friday – 1.58 miles, hiking

Happy Black Friday!

We really didn’t want anything to do with crowds or shopping, so we opted outside for a hike and picnic lunch. It was an incredibly nice way to spend a morning, even if it was a little dicey at times (there was a lot of damage to the trails from past hurricanes, and I had a few white-knuckle moments with my weaker ankle).

While the other members of the family claim to not enjoy these outdoorsy days as much as me, I think I want to drag them out a bit more often. Nature does a body good.

Also, someone got a bath. She despises water, so these are always trying times.

Saturday – 7 miles, running + 1 mile, walking

I was on my own for this long run, and that made things hard. To try to motivate myself, I kept up bargaining with myself: if I could make it to six miles, I could walk two and it would be fine, for example. Everything was against me, and I had to ask Mr PugRunner to open the bathroom at the gym for me (I pass it along the way). From there, I started chafing, and my ankle just kept tweaking more and more. Ugh. Seven running and one walking, and I was so happy to be done.

From there, it was time to work on the countdown calendar! We weren’t entirely sure how Luna would react to the Christmas tree this year, so we agreed to go with shatterproof ornaments instead of our usual heirlooms and collectibles.

Of course, she seems terrified and uninterested, so go figure. But I do want to share our 2020 ornament. I found it on Zulilly – I never purchase anything from there, but this was just too perfect.


Although I have one more day in the month, I will finish November with over 140 miles. That’s so crazy! Obviously, I won’t be anywhere near my 2019 or 2018 miles, but since July, I’ve managed to secure more than 600 miles! I will call that a success, I think.

A has one or two more assignments for classes, and then it’s on to exams. From there? Winter vacation! Whoo-hoo! While he misses regular school, he loves that he gets such a long break. I hope we are able to fill our days with fun and creativity. We need that so badly.

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 was your Thanksgiving? Have you started decorating for the winter holidays, yet?

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