weekly wrap: saying goodbye to 2018

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and Taking The Long Way Home!

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

And here we are at New Year’s Eve.

Sunday – rest

Obviously, the Sunday after a raced calls for a rest day, and I took full advantage, even sleeping in a bit. Yay for extra sleep.

We had a really nice afternoon with a large group of friends. There was delicious food, and a white elephant gift exchange and the kids even got to spend some time in the pool (because kids never seem to feel the cold). It was a great way to start the holiday celebrations.

Monday – 6 miles, running

The temperatures had dropped again, so my Christmas Eve run was a bit chillier than I would have liked, but I got six miles done with S, anyway.

Christmas Eve is always a busy day. My parents came over for our traditional Chinese food buffet and helped with some last minute holiday details.

When they went home, we worked on wrapping presents, watching movies and getting little man off to bed. Tomorrow would be a busy day.

Tuesday – rest

Of course, everyone was up bright and early on Christmas morning. How can you hold back the excitement?

Little man opened his stocking, while I worked on finishing up breakfast: sausage balls and a croissant breakfast ring.

And then we just chilled with the gifts under the trees. There were some truly incredible surprises and I think everyone was so thrilled. The last gift little man received was all the supplies for his soon-to-be-born hedgehog! He had to unwrap all the bits and put the figurative pieces together. He cannot wait for the critter to arrive (we are on the waitlist for one of the next litters!)

My parents came back over and we spent the rest of the day visiting and nomming on yummy things. Everyone wanted snacks, so we ordered nuggets from Chick-Fil-A, a charcuterie platter from Chop Shop St. Augustine and then we had ham and swiss sliders, chips and dips.

Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday – 4 miles, running 

I was definitely too tired for the early morning alarm, but I did manage to get in four miles mid-morning.

I was getting closer and closer to my goal.

Wednesday was Christmas recovery day. It was lovely to just hang at home and enjoy the lights on the tree and each other.

Thursday – 6 miles, running

These six miles put me at 996 for the year! So very close to my 1000 mile goal! Eek!

I also got to try out the new Bombas running socks the boys had given me for Christmas.

They were very thin and very light – perhaps not as tight as I am used to with other brands, but overall a great feel.

I worked a bit on tidying the house, because we had a big family date to the Jacksonville Icemen that night. We all love hockey and had great tickets to the Thursday night game.

We started the evening with dinner at the Intuition Aleworks, where we shared a burger and split all the appetizers.

And then it was off to the area. We had incredible seats. Little man was able to go down to the ice during the pre-game practice and one of the players flipped him a puck!

The Icemen lost but it was fun to be out.

Friday – rest

Friday was a pretty gross day. The weather was foggy and rainy and everything was just blah. Little man had his own plans and we were supposed to go out to dinner to celebrate Mr PugRunner’s upcoming birthday.

I had made reservations at the Cowford Chophouse, and it absolutely lived up to expectation. We enjoyed seared tuna, a wagyu filet, salmon, beautiful asparagus, and dessert.

Saturday – 5.5 miles, running

It was absolutely terrible dragging myself out of bed Saturday morning. I was sluggish from a late dinner and a couple of glasses of wine, but there was no way I was missing out on hitting my 1,000 mile goal!

S met me and we just hit the road. At the four mile mark, we stopped for a quick photo, but we continued for another 1.5 miles. Just for good measure.

It felt amazing to reach (and exceed) this goal! S wants to go for 1,019 in 2019 and I’m all for it!

When I got home and Mr PugRunner found out I had hit the goal, he presented me with this beautiful custom necklace from The Run Home.

And then we celebrated with Mini Bar Donuts and mimosas. I really wanted this special edition with the champagne buttercream and prosecco gummy bear.

Mischief managed!

 

And now, here we are at New Year’s Eve. I can’t believe it’s here again and I feel utterly unprepared, due to some unexpected things that cropped up over the rest of the weekend. That being said, we are just going to power through and enjoy each other.

I’m going to post my 2019 goals tomorrow – I plan to hit the New Year running, literally. Also, keep an eye out for a new Accountability piece I’m working on in collaboration with some other fabulous bloggers. It’s always great when others have your back so you can reach your goals.

How was your week in review?

Have you hit all your goals for 2018?

 

weekly wrap: christmas eve edition

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and Taking The Long Way Home!

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.

Well, it’s Christmas Eve. The year is winding down to its last days and we are getting ready to celebrate one of our favorite holidays. This was also the last week of school before winter break, and so there was lots of scrambling getting through those last few days.

Sunday – rest

To be honest, I think I sat on the couch most of Sunday. I really wasn’t in the mood to do anything.

Monday – 3 miles, running

This run was terrible. I was cold, lonely, and my body just wasn’t feeling it. Ugh.

I managed to get a little rest in the afternoon and then I went out to our PTA holiday party. The night included a delicious dinner and a ride on the Holly Jolly Trolley to sing carols and admire the Nights of Lights. Of course, we all had to wear our ugly sweaters and I was extra proud of mine.

Tuesday – rest

We wanted to go out on Tuesday night but little man ended up needing to study for a test, so we stayed in. I wasn’t terribly upset about that.

Wednesday – 6 miles, running

With the end of the year looming, these runs are fairly important, so I am chugging away like a crazy woman. These six miles put me just another chunk closer to goal.

That night, we had a choice: we had complimentary Holly Jolly Trolley passes to use, but we were also offered the opportunity to check out the Venardos Circus with the St. Augustine Moms Blog. We left it up to little man, and he chose circus.

You can read my review of the event here, but it was absolutely spectacular. Little man loved it, and it was a perfect family night. If you are local, definitely make time to check this out.

Thursday – rest

The weather started to turn a bit, so we took a pass on the run. Little man had a field trip and that evening, we had the scouts holiday party. I made my trips around town trying to get everything wrapped up for Christmas.

Friday – rest

I spent a little bit of the morning at school: little man’s musical group got to perform for the rest of the school, so I stuck around for moral support. And then the rest of the day he had movies and treats, before coming home for several glorious weeks. I made these little hot chocolate packets for his classmates.

Saturday – 6 miles, running + Starlight 5K

Yay for double run days. I started out with six morning miles, which felt ok.

Mr PugRunner and little man had some shopping to do so I handled some of the other things around the house. And then we had our holiday race: the Starlight 5K.

Obviously, I’ll recap the event later this week, but we loved it. All of us. Little man wanted to run alone and when he came through the finish line, he told me he wanted to do it again next year. He’s had a few rough runs, so it was nice to hear him say that.

I can’t wait to share more about it with you all!

 

And so that’s it. Today, we are getting together with my parents, and I am wrapping and baking and getting all the rest of the things done for Christmas. The plan is to have a chill, low-key day tomorrow, with lots of sangria and yummy food and pajamas. I’m hoping everyone is thrilled with their gifts, and getting to spend time together.

For those of you keeping track, as of today, I have completed 986 out of 1000 miles and I’m feeling so much better about it. There are days when you just have to keep your head down and get through the wall and get to the other side. Fourteen to go!

How was your week in training?

If you celebrate Christmas, what traditions are you most looking forward to?

weekly wrap: ’twas the week before christmas

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and Taking The Long Way Home!

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.

All I can say about this week is that I spent the majority of it doing lots and lots and lots of deep breathing. Lots.

I am behind on my miles, behind on holiday decorating and behind on patience. I think it always happens this time of year, and I am absolutely going to turn this around. Especially since Christmas is literally right around the corner.

On the plus side, some friends have turned me on to a new podcast (My Dad Wrote a Porno) and my life will never be the same. I 100% DO NOT recommend listening to this while running or doing anything that requires you not be doubled over in laughter.

Sunday – rest

We had a nice day. Little man made Buddy the Elf cookies, which was our first foray into holiday baking for the year.

Monday – 6 miles, running

The mornings have certainly been chilly, which means I am clear to run after little man goes to school instead of before. It’s meant a little more sleep, and I’ll never complain about that.

We had plans to go to karate after school but when I got little man from his Safety Patrol post, he sounded terrible with his allergies. It got worse through the evening, so off he went to Urgent Care. Fortunately, the diagnosis was nothing serious, but he did get some good cough syrup and a z-pack to fend off the impending sinus infection.

Tuesday – rest

Even though it was the worst possible week for it, we opted to keep little man home for the day. He had been up late at the doctor, and his cough was nasty. He had a huge project, two big tests and two quizzes and I kept him on task all morning. In the afternoon, we relaxed and made cookies.

Since he was so much improved by day’s end, we even went to get our Christmas tree!

Wednesday – 4 miles, running

It was good to get out to stretch my legs, even though I didn’t end up doing as many miles as I wanted.

Most of all, I was excited for Wednesday as I had a girls’ night out planned! A few weeks ago, a fever kept me home from a night with most of these same friends, so I was glad to have the chance to make up for it. We went downtown for fancy martinis, and had a blast chatting and catching up.

Thursday – rest

I wasn’t sorry to skip running after a late night of cocktails. Instead, I took advantage of some extra minutes of sleep. We had a little volunteer brunch at the school for the people who come in every week to help with the teacher projects, and then I ran out to pick up some supplies for Scouts before coming back to have lunch with little man.

The meeting that night was chaotic but productive. The kids are taking more ownership of their meetings, so I guide them while they go ahead and structure things the way they want them.

Friday – rest

And so began the rain. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I was absolutely unmotivated to be out there in the torrential downpour so I took a pass.

Mr PugRunner had wanted to go out that night, but I was ridiculously grateful when he said that we could stay in and watch movies. We’ve been run ragged and I was desperate to just unplug. We watched Mission Impossible: Fallout and I was in bed before 9:00 PM.

Saturday – rest

I had been dreading this day for a while: it was going to be absolutely slammed with so many moving parts, and while it was going to be a great, fun day, we just had to push through it.

First up, little man was testing for his brown/black stripe belt in karate. This puts him two away from a black belt, which he is expected to earn in December 2019. I can’t even believe it! It ended up being one of the quicker tests (they can last up to two hours, but we were finished in just over an hour), and before we knew it, he was breaking two boards with his forearm and accepting his new belt.

After a celebratory lunch of pizza, Mr PugRunner headed off to our amenity center to start setting up for the evening’s Santa visit to the neighborhood, while I started prepping for two parties of my own. Little man was going to his buddy’s house, too, so we just had to make everything happen.

While little man was seeing Deadpool 2: PG13 with his friends, I was off to the St. Augustine Moms Blog holiday party. It was awesome to see some of my fellow contributors. It’s been so nice to get to know these ladies better and I am looking forward to what we will accomplish next year.

When Mr PugRunner finished up his work, I picked him up and we headed to my friend’s Annual Cousin Eddie Party! It was so adorably and fun and wonderfully themed. We had to wear costumes, and we had a blast picking ours.

We stayed out way too late, just chatting and enjoying. It was easy to forget about the time when we were having so much fun.

 

So. Ten miles for the week was pretty dismal, but that’s really all I had in me. The rain took a lot out of me, as did the allergies. Hopefully my mojo will be back this week, so I can get this house whipped into holiday shape!

How was your week in training?

What’s your current favorite podcast?

weekly wrap: countdown to 2019

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and Taking The Long Way Home!

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.

We are moving and shaking through December and would you believe it? I am finally just sitting in my big, cozy chair, with some pugs and a blanket, watching Dirty John and taking a breath. Shocking, right?

Not going to lie. It feels good.

Sunday – rest

We had been planning a day at the Jaguars game for about four couples for a few months and the day had finally arrived. To be honest, I wasn’t feeling well at all, so it was hard to get out the door, but I’m glad I did. We arrived early to tailgate, and the Jags decided to show up and win the game, so we were there until the victorious end! Yay!

In the meantime, my parents very graciously took little man to the St. Augustine Moms Blog Inaugural Donuts with Santa event. I was so sad to have missed it, but the team did such a great job, and little man came home with so many cute crafts and a gorgeous Santa photo from Megan Soto Photography.

Also of note, our Elf on a Shelf returned!

Can’t wait to see what kind of shenanigans she gets into.

Monday – rest

It was a fairly quiet Monday. My main job was painting. For the time we have lived in our house, we have never really done much with the front room. It hasn’t been really furnished and we never use the space. However, we were finally getting a hand-built farmhouse table and I wanted everything to be perfect. Stay tuned for the big reveal!

Little man was extra focused in karate that night. He has his next belt test coming up and has to be on point.

Tuesday – 6.1 miles. running

I was finally starting to feel a little better and was happy to get out for a run. My legs were absolutely craving it and though it was uncomfortable, it was needed.

I was able to meet S at the school to help do some door decorating for the classrooms. Both our boys have the same (incredibly cool) teacher – we gave her some choices of door designs and this is what she liked best.

Everyone loved it, including her!

Wednesday – rest

‘Tis the season for giving, and a dear friend of ours set up an afternoon of just that. She organized a stuffing of blessing bags. All the families who came donated things like socks, gloves, ponchos, chapsticks and wipes, and then the children stuffed big ziplock bags with the donations and handmade cards.

It didn’t even take an hour to get the work done and these bags were delivered to our local homeless coalition for distribution.

Thursday – 5 miles, running

On Thursday, I ran around lunchtime, after helping out with some more decorating in the school. My miles and enthusiasm definitely suffered for it.

Little man had his final dress rehearsal for his show on Friday night and I got a glimpse of what was in store for us. I couldn’t wait.

And then it was home to see the new table! Swoon!

I changed the walls from a dark teal to this fresh gray. I finally got some of our favorite family photos hung on the wall in a fun collage. The original area rug and drapes worked just fine and I was able to get some great table decor. In time, I hope to upgrade the small sofa and coffee table in the sitting area, and am on the hunt for a great lighting fixture and upholstered chairs for the ends of the table, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. We’ve been eating dinner there each night and it changes everything!

Friday – rest

Friday was a day of errands. Christmas is coming, so there is always something to do.

That evening was our big Holiday Story Night at the school. For a part of the evening, teachers and staff would read their favorite holiday stories as students rotate through, and then it was time for the music group’s performance: How To Teach Your Reindeer To Fly.

I am probably a little biased, but this was truly one of the greatest school performances of our time. Little man is in his second year of this group, and he auditioned for a speaking role without even telling me he was doing it! He and his fellows actors and singers all did an absolutely amazing job – I was so proud of all of them!

Saturday – 4 miles, running

Not my best run, but I was pretty tired and not into it.

I finished up and hustled myself to a quick Cub Scouts leader meeting.

We had a birthday party, and then plans to see the new Grinch at the movies. It was certainly not as great as the Boris Karloff version, but we all really enjoyed it. We stayed up way too late watching Elf on the couch at home and I was very, very ready to get to bed.

 

See? I told you things had quieted down. It was truly lovely and well-deserved. This week will be spent painting the stairwell to match the dining room/living area, getting our Christmas tree and working on all the holiday baking and wrapping. It’s such a wonderful time and I truly love all the traditions we keep here.

How was your week in training?

What holiday traditions make you happiest?

weekly wrap: into december we go

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and Taking The Long Way Home!

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.

Ehhhhh. I am holding strong, and staying on track, but I am looking forward to the end of the year. The holidays are a great time of year, and I just really want to sit back and enjoy them with family and friends.

But there is work to be done.

Sunday – rest

After a fabulous weekend in South Florida, we had to say our goodbyes and make the drive home. I was really excited to get back to the pugs and try to get the house tidies and set for the week ahead.

Monday – 6 miles, running

Since the weather has been nicer later in the morning, I have been able to run after little man goes to school, rather than before. It’s been a nice break in the wake up department.

I had nothing else planned other than laundry and karate for the day.

Tuesday – Power Yoga Basics, 60 minutes

My friend’s bagel store finally announced its soft open, and believe me, I was there to get some yummy, New York style bagels. They were delicious!

Afterwards, I had the opportunity to take a class at Big Fish Power Yoga. It’s been a while since I spent some time on the mat and this was very much the class I didn’t know I needed. I’ve always been a bit opposed to hot yoga (low blood pressure does not agree with overheating) but I never felt dizzy or woozy. There was no music and the focus on form and getting deep into the poses and positions meant there was very little “playing.” I liked that it was a bit more structured, and I hope that I can work it into my schedule to go again.

Wednesday – 6 miles, running

Another good run, although it got colder again. Brrr.

In the evening, I had a photo session with the St. Augustine Moms Blog. We went into downtown and I can’t wait to see the head shots and group photos from the event. We called it a wrap with a walk around downtown and sangria.

Thursday – rest

I thought about going to the gym, but… didn’t.

I started putting up some holiday decorations and did a huge bunch of work for the upcoming Mother Son Glow Party. More on that to come.

In the evening, our Scout den joined with another den to work on the float for the Christmas Parade on Saturday. The scouts worked hard to cut, shape, and and paint the pieces of the Pinewood Derby float. Power tools for everyone.

Friday – 6 miles, running

I knew I probably wouldn’t get much running done over the weekend, so I opted for another six miles.

I got some things done around the house and then reported to school to start decorating for the Glow Party. It’s our big Mother Son event, and with great music and black lights, it has turned out to be very much anticipated and very well attended.

We got it all done, and by 6:00, we were able to kick back and enjoy the night. The theme was 80s, and I think we did a great job with the style.

I stuck around to help with clean up, and ended up having an awful night of sleep.

Saturday – rest

We had to report to the float staging area pretty early. We got the car decorated the Scouts loaded in. At 9:00, despite the dreary weather (rain!), we were off along the parade route. I don’t think I’ve ever been part of an actual parade before, but it was pretty fun to walk, wave and call good wishes to everyone.

When it was over, we met up with my parents for lunch, and then little man went home with them for the rest of the weekend. They hadn’t had a sleepover in a while and they had some fun holiday events to do with him.

 

So things were a little easier, and will hopefully continue in that vein. My sinus issues are much better, but they have been replaced by some different health concerns. It’s nothing major but it is very much cramping my style. I am hoping to get a handle on that asap.

How was your week in training?

What do you love (or loathe) most about this time of year?

race report: run turkey run 5k {11.22.18}

Another year, another Turkey Trot.

We are very lucky to live in an area with tons of races, even in traditionally colder months (sure, we back off in the summer, but even then, you will still be able to find 5Ks on most weekends). This year was no exception, and I had my choice of approximately five races within 60 miles of my house. Since we were expecting about a dozen people, I opted to stay close to home: the Run Turkey Run 5K, not ten minutes away.

Couldn’t be easier.

I opted to pick up our packets the day before at a local sporting goods store. Since this race is small and there is a shirt cut off, I wanted to make sure we got our preferred sizes. It wasn’t terribly out of the way either.

The 5K was scheduled to start at 7:30 AM, with a fun run following at 8:30. Little man wasn’t interested in 3.1 miles, so I asked Mr PugRunner if we would mind driving him over around 8:00. The course is open and the field is fairly small, so he would have no problem parking for a few, passing little man to me and then heading home to put our turkey on the Big Green Egg.

This also meant that when the RD put out the call for volunteers, I was able to offer my time prior to the event.

I arrived right at 6:00 AM, layered up against the cold. I was assigned with another volunteer to packet pickup, but while we were waiting for the crowds to show, we worked on unwrapping the medals. It’s always amazing how much work goes into the set up and preparation: the medals were spinners so in addition to the plastic packing bag, they were also wrapped in a tight cling film. This was near impossible to remove while wearing gloves, and my fingers were quite numb when I relinquished my spot to the next round of helpers.

We got all the shirts and bibs passed out and when it came down to just new registrants, I was released to hit the portapotties and strip off my outside layers. I chose to run in a tank and shorts with gloves. It was sunny and once I get moving, I tend to get super hot. Since the temps were going to be low 50s, I thought I could get away with it.

Plus, I wanted to show off my Raw Threads turkey tank. Yes, I can admit that.

I knew the race was gun timed, but I didn’t really take too much time choosing my spot. I positioned myself in the middle of the runners, just like always, and figured I would do my best to cross the start line quickly.

Run Turkey Run is a fairly easy out-and-back course in one of our huge golf resort communities. The course is open to traffic, but one lane in each direction is blocked off for runners. There aren’t usually many cars in that area anyway, especially not first thing on a holiday morning, so safety was not a concern in the least.

There was one water stop located at about mile 1.25, offering cups to runners going and returning.

It was cold but sunny. I did warm up enough to remove one glove, but not the other (Raynaud’s can be fickle sometimes).

I had a nice kick at the end and finished in my fastest 5K time in FOREVER. I even ran faster than last year’s Turkey Trot (in the pouring rain at a different location). It was just the boost I needed.

Mr PugRunner and little man were waiting at the finish line and we did the handoff after I got my medal.

In addition to bottles of water, the race handed out Cranberry Sparklers: cranberry juice, ginger ale and champagne. It was better than beer or mimosas and I quite enjoyed mine!

At 8:30, the kiddos lined up for their run. Little man wanted to go by himself, so I stood back to wait for him at the finish.

He came through strong!

There were a few hiccups with the updating of results, so we hung around for a little while until things came through. I ended up placing much better than I imagined, and it really was just the cherry on the top of the day.

It was a great way to start our Thanksgiving. I loved being able to help out, run and be home in plenty of time to clean up and cook for our guests.

Did you Turkey Trot or Gobble Til You Wobbled?
Cocktails after a race… yay or nay?

promenade the alcazar at the lightner museum

As a social media influencer for this event through FlipperSplash, I received one complimentary Promenade the Alcazar ticket for my promotion of the event.

The city of St. Augustine holds the distinction of being the oldest in the nation, at just 453 year young. Founded in 1565 by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, this historic city is a rich and beautiful patchwork of worn cobblestones, imposing forts, lovely shops and majestic towers.

In the heart of the city is the site of the Alcazar Hotel, a luxury lodging built in 1888 by Henry Flagler. The hotel boasted the world’s largest indoor swimming pool of its day, a grand ballroom, steam room, sulfur baths, massage parlor, gymnasium, bowling alley, tennis courts, archery ranges and bicycle academy. The Alcazar welcomed over 25,000 guests during its years.

Today, the hotel is home to the Lightner Museum, which holds one of the top collection of 19th Century art, representative of those golden years.

This year, the Promenade the Alcazar event celebrated the 130th Anniversary of the Alcazar Hotel and the 70th Anniversary of the Lightner Museum. It proved to be a stunning showcase of the historic building, the collections and the local, art-loving community.

Prior to Promenade the Alcazar, the Museum opened its doors for a VIP Media Tour. This was my first visit to the Museum in all the years I’ve lived here, and I had no idea what to expect.

The staff was very excited about the upcoming gala, and was so thrilled to share some of their ideas with us.

The party would flow throughout the building, with food and wine stations in different rooms. There would also be small games in some of the different notable areas of the Museum, to encourage guests to engage a bit more with the art.

We also got a peek at the third floor, part of one of the guided tours. The first things visitors get to see is a preserved staff and guest room, both considered quite spacious for the day.

Collection pieces are also stored and sorted up here, and everyone was very pleased to discuss upgrades made to the storage system that would allow them to take on more exhibits as time passes. Guests wore white cotton gloves, and were treated to a gentle handle of some of the miniatures being catalogued.

The night of the gala arrived, and I was ready for a beautiful evening.

The evening started with music by The Raisin Cake Orchestra in the courtyard. These gardens are stunning on their own, but the addition of the instrumentals elevated them to the next level.

Upon entering the museum foyer, we were treated to flutes of champagne and offered a time for the Upstairs Tour.

I loved the opportunity for a second look, and was even able to get a closer peek at some of the stunning stained glass pieces that are waiting for their new exhibit area to be ready.

After the tour, we were free to wander through the rooms and take part in some of the games. Guests had a passport to fill in upon successful completion of each activity and I enjoyed chatting with the different staff members stationed around the party.

In the porcelain room, for example, we were  invited us to find a statuette to fit the description on cards we selected from a deck.

In the steam room area, we spun a wheel and “won” an ailment. Mine was insomnia, and I was shown how such a case would be treated back in the day: it involved laying for hours at a time in a warm bath, wrapped in linens, with breaks for bathroom and eating. Not the worst remedy I can imagine.

Throughout were wine and hors d’oeuvres stations, so it was simple to sip and nibble while enjoying the exhibits.

The evening culminated in the Grand Ballroom, which had once been an indoor swimming pool.

It’s an incredible venue for parties and weddings, and we got to see it in full glory with the stylings of Michael Arenella And His Dreamland Orchestra.

One of the final treats of the evening was viewing the “People’s Choice” Award Winner: Elizabeth St. Hilaire’s Coquina Kiss, a collage of hand-painted papers with metallic leaf.

I didn’t want the evening to end.

If you haven’t visited the Lightner Museum, there’s no time like the present. You can even order your tickets online here, and remember St. Johns County residents and Flagler College students get free admission every Sunday with valid ID! With Nights of Lights now going on in Historic Downtown, you can’t ask for a better way to spend the day.

 

weekly wrap: thanksgiving catch-up

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and Taking The Long Way Home!

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.

The truth is, I haven’t been keeping current here. It’s not that I don’t want to. I do. I have so much content swirling in my head, and I need to get it out However, it’s the holiday season and with recovering from that terrible bout of sinuses and hosting Thanksgiving and houseguests, it just didn’t happen as planned.

And that’s ok.

We are finally back home and chilling out in PJs, snuggling with the pugs and watching some football and holiday movies. It’s how things should be.

But let’s check back over the last two weeks and see how things shaped up.

Sunday 11/11 – rest

Sunday was a family day. We did our cleaning and our errands and then little man wanted to go to the beach to use his metal detector. He didn’t find anything, other than a few coins I “hid” wbile he wasn’t looking, but it was just lovely being out in the fresh air.

We got lunch at Smoked. Southern BBQ, and he tore into some ribs. I didn’t even know he loved ribs, but apparently, they are his new favorite.

Monday 11/12 – 6.2 miles, running

We had the day off school for Veteran’s Day. I started the morning with a run, remembering to be thankful for all those who have served our country.

Tuesday 11/13 – rest

There was a Veteran’s breakfast at our school. It included a musical performance, a meal, and lots of pictures and thank you cards from the students. It was very sweet, and the attendees really loved it. It’s always so nice to be able to be part of moments like this.

In the evening, we had a school spirit night at a local restaurant. Instead of cooking, students and their families can visit the restaurant and a portion of the earning go back to the school at the end of the evening. We celebrated one of our friends’ birthdays while we were there, and even got some cute face paintings from the artist there.

Wednesday 11/14 – 6 miles, running

Another six mile run. The cooler weather has been making it easier, especially with the remnants of my drainage.

Thursday 11/15 – rest

I spent most of the day at the school on Thursday, helping the cafe serve Thanksgiving lunch to students and their parents. It’s not a difficult job, but it is very hands on, so my day was pretty absorbed with the task.

Mr PugRunner picked up little man from school so they could go for the final fitting for their wedding suits. While they handled that task, I went to our Pack Meeting, which was focused on another round of awards for the Scouts and last-campout details.

Friday 11/16 – 6 miles, running

I knew I wouldn’t be able to run while at the Scout campout, so I got in my six miles later in the morning.

I packed up the car, snagged little man from school, picked up his buddy and we headed off to the camp. The time change made setup extra annoying: it was pretty dark and we had to scramble to get our tents up while we could still see.

As a help to some friends, I was responsible for a couple of extra Scouts for the weekend. On the plus side, this meant I got my own tent, while the kids shared nearby. We still had to bundle up because the temperatures dropped dramatically. I thought I would never be warm again.

Saturday 11/17 – rest

Saturdays are the big day at camp. After breakfast (provided by our Pack), our Pack headed out to complete all the tasks on our schedule. We had BB Guns (little man hit four bullseyes!) and archery in the morning. After lunch, there were arts and crafts, followed by gaga ball and capture the flag, and then the kids went to the obstacle course.

After dinner, we moved off to the counsel fire area, for skits, songs and chants. Awards were also announced, and our Pack earned the Honor Pack (participated in all the weekend events), took 2nd place in the Scavenger Hunt and won 1st Place for Best Campsite. All our hard work paid off. Now that it was dark, Scouts had the choice to return to their camps, go trick or treating through the different campsites or hit the Haunted Trail. Little man went with some other parents (I’m a big chicken), and I have no shame in saying we crashed fairly early.

Sunday 11/18 – rest

I was up super early to start breaking down. I had little man and a different friend to drive home, and then we had to get ready for that evening’s wedding! Gah!

Everything was super damp, so I just chucked it in the car (Mr PugRunner is incredibly particular about how our gear is packed so he preferred it all open anyway), and hit the road. I think we were all just ready to be warm and showered.

Since Mr PugRunner was a groomsman, they needed to leave about two hours before me, which gave me plenty of time to veg on the couch. I carpooled with one of my neighbors, so that our family would only have one car downtown, and we spent the rest of the evening enjoying a beautiful wedding.

Little man was adorable in his suit. This was his first “formal” wedding and he loved the music and the dancing. And the passed hors d’oeuvres.

We stayed til the end to take the groom’s son home, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to fall into bed.

Monday 11/19 – rest

The saving grace of this week was that we only had two days of school, due to Thanksgiving. I know little man was tired from his weekend, but they weren’t doing much of anything, so I encouraged him to power through the resources and the movies.

That evening, our friend’s mom came to sit with him, while we went to a VIP Media Tour for the Nights of Lights in our historic downtown. Every year, St. Augustine puts up one of the most stunning holiday light displays in the country. Visitors come from all over to partake of the festivities, which last from right before Thanksgiving until the middle of January.

For this particular event, we enjoyed some food and drink from Casa Monica, Colonial Quarter, St. Augustine Distillery and the San Sebastian Winery, with some live music on the Colonial Oak Stage.

Afterwards, we took a little walk to the Old Town Trolleys waiting for us. During Nights of Lights, the regular trolleys convert to “Holly Jolly Trolleys“, and guests can take a tour of the city, singing festive carols and checking out the sights with special 3D glasses, that transform the existing lights into something just a little more special.

This is a must-do tour for locals and visitors alike.

Tuesday 11/20 – 4 miles, running

I went out alone for a quick four miles. It was rough after the late Monday, but I needed to get it done.

It was great picking up little man from school and knowing we were free for the next five days!

Wednesday 11/21 – 6.2 miles, running

S and I headed out for some early morning miles before the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving really kicked in.

Obviously, I was off to a bit of a rough start with my non matching socks.

Whoops.

Little man had a morning playdate, and then his family joined up to see The Crimes of Grindelwald at the movies. We wrapped up with a pizza dinner and hit the hay.

Thursday 11/22 – Run Turkey Run 5K

Thanksgiving started early. Mr PugRunner has taken over the turkey with his Big Green Egg, so I was pretty much free to run the local Run Turkey Run 5K. in addition, I agreed to volunteer prior to race time, so I arrived at the venue about 90 minutes early to help unwrap medals and hand out packets.

The race was awesome, and I will follow up with a recap this week.

And then, it was time for the main event. I got home and the rest of the cooking began. We ended up hosting 11 people for the big day, including my college roommate and her family. It was so phenomenal that I managed to take almost no photos!

I got one to commemorate the lovely turkey.

And one of little man with his grandparents.

Friday 11/23 – rest

Friday was a driving day. After we got the house somewhat in order and settled the pugs, we hit the road, about an hour behind our friends. We would follow them down to their house and spend the  next two nights with them.

Saturday 11/24 – rest

We were able to sleep in a wee little bit, but then it was time to get ready for the tailgating. The weather was absolutely perfect: breezy and overcast.

Kickoff was at 3:30PM, and we had seats 10 rows off the field in the end zone. It was a great view, and we were thrilled to watch the Hurricanes score a win!

 

Not a powerhouse two weeks, and I really do miss the gym. I had been making a lot of progress there, and being sick and sidelined really threw that off.

This week is going to be full of obligations, so I will do my best to squeeze in runs and workouts as much as I can. I have another race planned for December, and I’m feeling very hopeful about that, too.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I have been thankful for so much this year, including this community, and I am looking forward to seeing what the months leading to 2019 will bring.

How was your week in workouts?

Did you celebrate Thanksgiving?

 

race report: evergreen pumpkin run 10 miler {10.28.18}

Hoo boy, did I ever waffle about this race. It’s the race I’ve always wanted to love, but for some reason, it’s gotten in my head.

The Evergreen Pumpkin Run offers a 10 mile and 5K option, both routes winding through the historic Evergreen Cemetery. The paths are lined with hundreds of pumpkins, which runners are welcome to take after they finish.

It’s a beautiful run, with an interesting and scenic backdrop. For me, the weather is usually a factor, but this year, it promised to be cool with low humidity, and I figured since S and I both needed the miles and we were both available, why not give it another shot.

We arrived early in order to get a close-ish parking spot. Since we had opted for on-site packet pickup, we needed to park, walk all the way to check-in for our bibs and shirts, then back to the car and back to the race start (and bathrooms), it’s fairly critical to be there in advance. What we didn’t realize was that there was a new course, which meant that there were fewer spots than before due to road closures, and we managed to snag one of the last good ones.

Whew.

We easily completed the boring details and hopped on line to wait for a portapotty. It always seems like there are so many runners and not enough bathrooms, but we had gotten on the queue in enough time to go and make it comfortably to the start line.

Miles 1 -3

The first three miles (give or take) follow a route through the actual cemetery. It’s really quite lovely and shaded with huge trees.

It can be crowded for those first miles, just because the 5K and 10 mile runners all head out together at the same time, but it clears up fairly quickly. The first three miles are always the easiest: it’s generally cooler under the trees, and there’s a lot of excitement with all the runners. It was one of the stronger starts I’ve had for this particular event.

Miles 3-7

In the past, the middle miles were comprised of two out and backs alongside and then perpendicular to the cemetery. At some point, in the years since I’ve run this race, things have changed to just one out and back. While this part of the course isn’t particularly interesting, I liked it so much better than in the past. After making the turnaround, runners knew they were headed back to the final miles and it felt fabulous to not have to strike out on another straightaway. There was one water stop about halfway through this portion of the race, which could be accessed from both sides and was staffed by some enthusiastic cheerleaders.

Miles 7-10

The final three miles are a repeat of the first three. By the time of the morning, it was definitely warmer, but it still wasn’t too hot, too humid or too sunny. I was tired, but mostly because I had forgotten to bring fuel (and there was none on the course. boo.). S is a great running and race buddy though, because we get to chatting so much and so intently that we almost forget we are running. S was also on the lookout for the grave sites of some of her relatives, so it kept us focused on pretty much everything but the growing discomfort.

And then finally, we reached the finish line! I was extra glad because I don’t think I’ve ever felt so great after finishing this particular race. It wasn’t the fastest, for sure, but I did feel good, and that has to count for something.

We did take a pass on the pumpkins (we were hungry and wanted to get something to eat), but we were just as thrilled with our awesome new bling!

Have you ever raced in a cemetery?

What do you do if you forget your fuel and none is available? 

weekly wrap: 11.4.18 – 11.10.18

Happy Monday!  It’s time for the Weekly Wrap with HoHo Runs and Taking The Long Way Home!

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.

Here’s the week in numbers:

Sunday – rest
Monday – rest
Tuesday – rest
Wednesday – 5.5 miles, running
Thursday –High Fitness hybrid workout
Friday – rest
Saturday – 6 miles, running

Well, as you can probably see, there was pretty much zero fitness this week. While I was not sick in the contagious sense, I am certainly suffering the effects of sinuses run amok. My days will start strong, but by noon, I am all wrung out. It’s frustrating and annoying, just because we, as per usual, have so much on the schedule.

That being said, the mature thing to do is rest. Unfortunately, some things went down this week that led to extreme anxiety and stress on my part, and not having my coping mechanism made things a little more difficult.

Sunday – rest

I had planned on 11 miles, but obviously with the fever the day before, that wasn’t even remotely a good idea. I pretty much parked it on the couch and watched football for the whole day.

Monday – rest

Mr PugRunner was very helpful in getting everything done in the mornings to help get little man out the door for school. I was much more slow moving this week than usual, so it was good to have someone step in as backup.

That being said, I was pretty frustrated with not being at the top of my game and spent the entire morning purging the kitchen. I cleared out tons of junk and it felt amazing.

Tuesday – rest

Election Day! We had talked with little man quite a bit about the importance of voting, especially with such important races in Florida. I really wanted to take him with me to the polls, but I wasn’t able to get out of bed early enough to go before school, and he had chorus practice after, so that was a bit of a bummer.

When he got home, he asked if he could help me make dinner (isn’t his shirt the best?)

Quite frankly, he did most of this chicken noodle soup, and it was pretty darn delicious. He’s going to have to do some more cooking around here.

And even if he didn’t make it to vote with me, he did dress for the occasion.

Wednesday – 5.5 miles, running

I was feeling decent enough that I could get up and head out. I also had these beautiful new shoes (Brooks Adrenaline GTS18) that came on Friday that I hadn’t been able to try. Five and half miles wasn’t setting any records, but it felt amazing to sweat out some of the stresses and toxins.

Unfortunately, I did pay for it the rest of the day, and turned in early.

Thursday – rest

It was a rest day, but there was still plenty to do. I had to get ready for Cub Scouts and then we had a planning meeting for the annual Mother Son Glow Party at school. It’s going to be a crazy good time, but bittersweet, as it will be the last mother son event of elementary school.

We had a great Scouts meeting, too. At this point, the kids are taking on more and more responsibility, and it’s great to see them grow.

The good day turned bad when I got home. Runs With Pugs had been hacked. And broken. Fantastic. I was really just at the end of my rope at this point, but after a few hours on the phone, and some great support from GoDaddy, we had a plan in place to rid the site of the White Screen of Death.

Friday – High Fitness hybrid

Friday was the school’s Vocabulary Parade. Every student takes a vocabulary word and dresses up in a costume to represent that word. It’s so awesome and there are some ridiculously creative costumes out there. The fifth graders were allowed to choose any science or social studies term, so little man picked “magnesium.”

I didn’t feel like I should go to the gym, so I cobbled together a workout based on some High Fitness kind of cardio videos I found on YouTube. Absolutely not as awesome as the class, but it got my heart pumping.

Of course, after that, I was done. Mr PugRunner wanted to go to the movies, but I was mostly interested in sitting on the couch instead. Womp womp.

Saturday – 6 miles, running

I finally dragged my butt out for a run. It felt good, even if it was slow and I took some extended walk breaks. I started listening to the Dirty John podcast (I had already read the newspaper series, and the Bravo special is starting soon, I figured I would treat myself to a refresher of the material).

In the afternoon, we attended a memorial for my friend and fellow Scout Leader who had passed. It was a beautiful day at a local beach park. Members of our pack joined with family members to share memories, hugs, laughs and some tears, and we all received a memorial patch with his initials. He was a chef, and had done so much of the pack’s grilling, so we had a plaque made to go on the grill in his honor. It was hard, but it was also very helpful to have that closure.

I also loved that the kids got a few hours to run in the fresh air and climb all the trees. There are few things cooler than kids just running around and playing.

 

And so another week closes. I want to be excited about the upcoming holidays, but I confess to being a little overwhelmed. I am sitting back to compartmentalize as best I can so that we can all make it through.

I have 107 miles left to run for the year, and I think I should be able to complete that fairly easily, even though the holidays are here. I think I have decided to take on the DONNA 1/2 Marathon, especially because the new course promises to be flatter and faster, and maybe, just maybe I can find something convenient in another state. I am completely open to suggestions.

Runs With Pugs is back, too! GoDaddy was hugely helpful (and kind and sympathetic as well). They got me up and running (and updated) within 72 hours, and gave me some great advice for some future hosting purchases, as well.

Next up? Camping, a wedding and Thanksgiving. I have a 5K on Thanksgiving morning, and I am excited for this one!

How was your week in training?

Any advice for a great spring half marathon? Could be in Florida but I can also travel.

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