taking charge of your personal safety

We always talk about personal safety as runners (in my case, especially as a female runner), but until recently, I thought it was more of a passive precaution. That changed, about two weeks ago, when I witnessed my husband become the target of a road rage incident in our community. He was not at fault in the slightest – his only failing that day was being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The incident was a disproportionate overreaction to a momentary pause, that led to verbal and physical threats. It never should have happened.

Everything is fine, but there was police involvement, and I realized that personal safety should never be a second thought.

personal safety

Whenever I’ve talked about personal safety, it’s always in the context of an accident or an injury. I usually feel very safe when I am out and about, and I like to consider myself cautious, but that doesn’t protect me in the case of someone looking to do wrong. Violent and aggressive people are out there, especially in today’s emotionally charged times, and we all need to stay on guard.

The Usual Rules Apply

No matter what, the usual rules apply. Stay alert. Keep your phone on your person. Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back. Use lights and reflective gear if it’s dark. Don’t run alone in remote areas. Keep your music low so you can stay aware. These are all great for helping not get hit by a vehicle or to make sure someone knows to look for you if you suffer a collapse or injury. But let’s say you are approached, or even followed or attacked on your run, walk, or bike ride. Then what?

Sound The Alarm

If approached, I am very much in the camp of “disengage and get away.” I’m not interested in wasting any time or energy on the situation if I can help it. A personal alarm can be a great way to throw a wrench in a perp’s plans, as well as signal that you are in need of assistance.

Holding two buttons down on the sides of my iPhone will signal an Emergency SOS (and it’s pretty frightening if you’re not expecting it) and dial 911. You can also purchase something like this personal safety Birdie alarm, which you can easily carry in your hand or clipped to you, and activate (130db siren and flashing strobe light) in your time of need.

personal safety
Courtesy of ShesBirdie.com

Take a Self-Defense Class

Do you know what to do if someone grabs you or gets in your space? A basic understanding of self-defense is a great thing for everyone, if you find yourself in a position to need it. Check with you local martial arts studio or police department – many of them offer self-defense classes to teach you a few basic techniques to help disarm or get you away from potential assailants.

personal safety

Carry Protection

Should you worry about things escalating, it’s always possible to carry some form of protection. Maybe it’s pepper spray or a taser. You could always run with keys between your fingers or something similar. There are also plenty of tools on the market, such as this retractable cover knife ring from Go Guarded. While I don’t love the idea of being close enough to need any kind of weapon, there is some peace of mind in being able to defend yourself if necessary.

personal safety
Courtesy of GoGuarded.com

Keep Your ID On You

In the event you do encounter an emergency situation, it’s important to have your emergency contact information readily available. Road ID is perfect for this purpose: offering wristbands, bracelets, shoelace tags, and other wearables that announce your name, an emergency contact number, and any known allergies or medical conditions. All of this is so critical to getting you the help you need as fast as possible, especially if you are in no condition to share it yourself.

Use code JENNRUNS20 to save 20% on your RoadID.com purchase (good until October 1).

personal safety

Have you noticed that people are just a bit more prone to anger than normal?

What do you do to protect yourself when out running or cycling?

Join the Runner’s Roundup!

Link up each week to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas. Join your hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Organic Runner Mom each week for the Runners’ Roundup linkup! Your link must be running related. Unrelated links will be removed. You must link back to your hosts — it’s common courtesy and a lot more fun! Spread the link-up love by visiting at least two other #running bloggers! Leave a comment and find new blogs to read! Use hashtags #running and #RunnersRoundup to stay in touch and promote your content!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

back to virtual school: learning pandemic-style

It’s the middle of August and that means it’s time to think about going back to virtual school. Since the pandemic put our world on pause, right at the start of Spring Break, we have wondered what this would mean for school to come. Different states and districts created varied plans for back to school, in the hopes of helping every family find the solution with which it was most comfortable.

Now, for better or worse, schools are establishing their start dates, and summer is drawing to a close. We’re going back to (virtual) school.

back to virtual school

Our district offered the following options: straight return to brick and mortar, school-based distance learning, virtual learning (either with the district or with the state), or homeschooling. At first, we looked at distance learning or in-district virtual school, but while we love and trust our district, outside forces kept getting in the way of their plans. We were not willing to deal with the delays, setbacks, and uncertainties. Little man will attend our state-based virtual school, at least for one semester, although we are leaning toward the full year (for the sake of consistency).

It’s scary. We are huge supporters of our public school district (in fact, we moved to this area simply FOR said school district), and to temporarily leave was not an easy choice. We are in such uncharted territory, and who knows what the right decision is at this point.

Model A Positive Attitude

No matter what this year brings, our kids are looking to us for guidance. I know many of us are frustrated, if not angry, with the options, the protocols, and the politics, but that shouldn’t filter down to our children. While we should absolutely acknowledge their feelings when it comes to what lies ahead, we can also do them a great service by playing up the positives and keeping a bright (and flexible) outlook.

Take the back-to-school picture, however that looks (St. Augustine Moms offers a super cute free back to school printables). Get the supplies. Cheer for the mascot. Wear the colors. Do your best to show them that going back to virtual school can be great in spite of the challenges, and you are 100% on their side. Save the negative remarks and anxiety to share with your partner or tribe.

back to virtual school

Designate A Study Space

When we went to distance (or crisis) learning at the end of 6th grade, the one thing I hated was that little man’s workspace was upstairs in the loft. We had to cobble together a solution since Mr PugRunner was also working from home, but I didn’t like him out of sight with the computer and internet, and I wasn’t readily available since most of my day is spent downstairs. We spent some time reassessing our office space, and set up an area that will offer him a quiet place to work, but also give me the ability to supervise and assist as needed.

For us, this was the best solution, but not every student has the same needs. Whether there is a formal office set up, or your student uses a laptop on the couch, the point is having a designated area (or areas) where school materials stay and serious work gets done.

back to virtual school

Make Sure Your Child Is Familiar With Their Technology

From touchpad laptops, to printers, to how to save to a flash drive, spend some time reviewing your home technology with your student. Do they know how to access live lessons and conferences? Can they save a document and upload or email it to their teacher? Are they able to load paper in the printer or change an ink cartridge? Is the touchpad feasible for them or do they need a mouse to be effective? These are all little things we take for granted, but helping your student become more comfortable with these makes the school day manageable.

back to virtual school

Set A Schedule

Whether your children are in a school situation where they are logging in for lessons in real-time, or have the option to watch lessons at their leisure, it’s a good idea to set some kind of schedule. It doesn’t have to be incredibly specific or restrictive, but setting a rough outline for the day helps keep everyone on track.

Get Organized

Wherever your student sets up his workplace, help make sure it’s organized. With all things, failure to plan is planning to fail. Stock up on notebooks or binders for each class, writing implements, and any tools or manipulatives your kiddos need. Check with your school for supply lists and make sure you are set up for success!

Do The Prep Work

Our virtual school offers programs like video FAQs, onboarding sessions, virtual open house, and other online options to introduce new students to the processes and protocols of virtual school. We are taking the time to work through them all before the actual first day of school. This allows us all to be more comfortable with the system, instead of just jumping in cold. While these offerings do take time out of what’s left of summer, it’s a worthwhile endeavor, especially for those entering the official world of virtual or online school for the first time.

Keep A Planner

Probably the most important supply you’ll purchase is a student planner. No matter what age your students, a planner is a great way to keep tracks of assignments, tests, and due dates. Encourage your student to fill it out each week and then move through their work accordingly. Not only does this ensure schoolwork gets completed, but it teaches responsibility and accountability as well.

Stay Involved

Even though you may be going back to virtual school, parent involvement is still just as important as ever. Make use of the available parent portals and online support groups, Check in with your students (and their teachers as needed) to make sure they are keeping pace and adjusting. Take the time to help them through the days of technology fails, or big feelings. More than ever, our kids need us, and being available to them in these difficult times is a huge gift.

back to virtual school

Help Them With Social + Physical Outlets

One of the big downfalls to virtual school is not having access to face-to-face friends. So many of us have struggled with the lack of social interaction over the last months, and our kids are no different. Help them carve out time for activities and friends, in whatever way your family feels comfortable. In addition to school, little man will continue with Scouts, karate and clarinet lessons. We are also encouraging his new love of skateboarding with trips to the skate parks. This gives him a good balance of human interaction, physical activity, and a release from online school.

Stock Up On Grace + Patience

Parents, we are going to need it. This year is going to be unlike anything we’ve ever experienced, and we are all learning as we go. There will be a lot of deep breaths, tears, and big feelings. But there will also be a lot of hugs, and a lot of victories. Lean on your partner, your family, and/or your friends. Find the families in your neighborhood or community who are on the same path as yours. Remember that we will overcome and we will come through this stronger than ever.

It’s Go-Time

And here we go! I’m hoping this will all be more of a great adventure, than an anxiety-ridden struggle, but we will take the hand we are dealt and do our best.

We have already taken control of a situation that was out of our control, and now we are going to ride that wave as well as we can.

What are your best tips for heading back to virtual school?

How are you preparing your family for the upcoming school year?

week 31: summer vacation comes to an end

For better or worse, summer vacation is coming to and end for us in the Runs With Pugs house.

I’ve been a bit vague, but we finally got little man’s acceptance to the virtual program of our choice. We applied several weeks before all the deadlines, but there was a technical glitch, and we have been on pins and needles ever since. As you can imagine, every school is so overworked and overwhelmed, so getting answers has been a challenge. However, now we are on track, and his first day is August 19.

Oh, and Happy Shark Week! Are you ready?

Sunday – 4.19 miles, walking

Happy Sunday! After my walk, I decided to try my hand at a plank. I have limited strength in my right foot, so it’s a bit of a triumph to be able to keep weight on it.

Meal prep had to get done. This week, I made pulled pork in the crockpot with roasted sweet potato chips and “not so fried” cauliflower rice (from the freezer section).

Last week, I said I committed to the Wellness Month Challenge, and it was time to get started.

Wellness Month Day 2: Take A Relaxing Bath or Shower. I always take a long, hot shower after a workout, so that was easy.

Monday – 3.6 miles, walking

I had a nice morning walk. Another week had arrived.

Wellness Month Day 3: State Your Mantra. I think this pretty much sums up my current state.

For dinner, I made Reubens In A Bowl. Mr PugRunner loves Reubens, and it’s obviously been a while since he could partake.

Tuesday – 3 miles, running + 2.29 miles, walking

Yay for running! J and I had a great 3 mile run and a wonderful cool down walk.

While we were out, little man went to a local skate park with a friend and her dad. No pictures from the outing, but rumor had it they did great and had so much fun.

Wellness Month Day 4: Make Breakfast A Priority. I generally grab a bowl of cereal and fruit, but today, I scrambled up eggs and spinach to eat with my banana.

We had plenty of Monday’s dinner for leftover before little man’s Scouts meeting. He ended up being elected Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, and Quartermaster. He will be leading his first meeting in a week. So proud.

Wednesday – 4.02 miles, walking

For some reason, it’s been easier taking longer walks. The miles just kind of pass and before I know it, I’m done.

Wellness Month Day 5: Stop and Stretch. I took that quite literally.

For dinner, I made copycat PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps. Little man thought they were terrible. Mr PugRunner and I enjoyed.

Thursday – 3 miles, running + 2.39 miles, walking

Another glorious morning for a run.

Wellness Month Day 6: Drink Six Glasses Of Water. SIX!!! Friends, I hate water, and I hate drinking things. I just don’t enjoy liquids in any kind of quantity. This was a hard day.

In the evening, we went on a double date to the beach. We picked up tacos and beer, and then ended up having to eat in the car due to a random rain shower. When it was over, we took a gorgeous sunset walk. I came across this and thought it was so 2020.

Friday –  4.06 miles, walking

TGIF! Despite the late night, I was up and out for a long walk.

Wellness Month Day 7: Try That New Beauty Product You’ve Been Eyeing. To be honest, I’ve been quite curious about rose quartz and jade rollers. So I went ahead and gave one a try. After spending some time chilling in the fridge, it felt quite lovely, especially around my eyes and temples.

For dinner, I made a keto-friendly pizza casserole, which kind of sort of took care of my pizza craving. Kind of.

That night, we watched Peanut Butter Falcon as a family. I highly recommend it, even if I think Shia LeBeouf is a bit out there. He did a marvelous job in this film, and even little man was riveted.

Saturday – 4 miles, running + .7 miles, walking

I did it! I ran four miles! It required me checking in myself every quarter mile after the three mile mark, but I did it!

Wellness Month Day 8: Try A New Fitness Class. Well, we’re in a pandemic, so fitness classes aren’t really a thing I’m doing right now, so I hopped on YouTube and brought up one of Yoga by Adriene’s selections. It was a cool down yoga segment for runners, and it was a great way to stretch and chill out after a run.

I donated school supplies to a local community organization (all you had to do was go to one of they drive-up locations, pop your trunk and the volunteers would collect) and then we hung at the pool and had lunch with my parents.


This week felt great physically, although I struggled emotionally. There’s just so much mental weight right now and I’m having a hard time casting it aside. I will get there. Having school settled helps hugely, but there are still other things bearing down on me. I guess I’m just part of that club, you know?

The Wellness Challenge for August is helping. Here’s a reminder, if you missed out last time.

New menu is up and meal prep is underway!

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?

Are you making sure to take time for wellness?

august coffee date: take two

So, I got a little excited last week, and jumped the gun on the incredible Ultimate Coffee Date. Oops. However, I am always up for drinking coffee and sharing with friends, so I’m happy for a redo!

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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I am going to reuse this coffee shot because of a certain precious pug.

Over coffee, I would tell you…

I have been working hard on the August Wellness Month. It is my hope that I treat myself right, but I definitely forgo a lot in the beauty and maintenance department. Pre-COVID19, I liked getting dip powder manicures, and I did love getting my hair done, but that was it. I haven’t spent much time on hair or makeup, but I’m planning to stay true to the challenge, even when it means drinking six glasses of water in a day.

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That I can’t handle this dog. Cannot. She is so feisty and sassy. Her training is coming along well, although we do have some bad habits (trying to climb to the top of everything being one of them), but we are working on it.

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That I am absurdly excited for Shark Week. It starts on Sunday and I put together a fun little post about things you can do to help amp up the excitement. I can’t wait.

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That little man has really taken to skateboarding and I love it. We have a few open skate parks around town, and he is learning tricks, ramps, and other cool things that I would never in a million years attempt. It’s a surprisingly great activity, and absolutely checks our social distancing boxes. Oh, he was also elected Assistant Senior Patrol Leader for his Scouts Troop, so that’s pretty big news.

Over coffee, I would you…

That I have signed up for the Best Damn Race Oregon Trail Virtual Race. Participants can form wagons of up to six people, to complete a distance of 2000 miles over 35 weeks. There are ten checkpoints, virtual badges, a gorgeous medal, and all kinds of great retro challenges along the way (What happens when a wagon wheel breaks? You have to hop in a wagon to find out!) Want to join in the fun? Sign up here (affiliate link).

What’s new in your world?

What would you share over coffee?

5 ways to swim into shark week 2020

Who’s ready to swim into Shark Week on the Discovery Channel this year? This is one of my favorite television events every year, and I am so happy they were able to go through with it.

swim into shark week

Starting Sunday, August 9, viewers can catch all kinds of crazy and amazing shark action. For eight days, we’ll get 24 brand-new features about these beautiful, mysterious creatures, and I am here for it.

Plan Your Attack

The Discovery Channel has released their complete 2020 schedule, so now is a great time to plan your viewing attack.

swim into shark week
courtesy of Discovery Channel

I love all the Air Jaws specials (breaching sharks are breathtaking in their power and beauty), as well as anything about Great Whites. We are going to slide in a Jaws movie marathon this week as well. Not only will it fit into little man’s desire to watch more horror movies, but I will take any excuse to see the Brody family in action.

Suit Up

Chances are, you’re watching Shark Week from your living room couch, so you won’t need a wetsuit, but having the right wardrobe is always fun. There are plenty of super cute options online, or you can make your own!

swim into shark week
swim into shark week

And what about these masks? We are so ready to go.

swim into shark week

Shake Up A Shark Bite

Cocktails for everyone! Summer and sharks are the perfect reason for a new cocktail, so we are serving up a classic: the Shark Bite.

swim into shark week

You’ll need an ounce each of Captain Morgan spiced rum and white rum, 3/4 ounce blue curaçao, and 1.5 ounces sour mix. Shake it like a polaroid picture, and strain it over ice. Add a few drops of grenadine to the top and a gummy shark for garnish.

swim into shark week

Make a kid’s version with blue gatorade and serve it with a fun reusable straw and extra gummy sharks!

What’s On Your Menu?

Swim into Shark Week with some super cute dining options. What about a shark fin waffle for breakfast?

swim into shark week

My sweet friend suggested a “Shark-uterie” board, and it’s easy enough to arrange cured meats and cheeses in a shark or nautical shape for snacking.

Also on our menu this week? Fish tacos and an octopus shaped pizza for little man. It’s going to be adorable.

Oh, and let’s not forget about sharky cupcakes! With these dorsal fins made from fondant, they are sure to get you in the Shark Week spirit!

swim into shark week
swim into shark week

Play Along At Home!

You can’t swim into Shark Week without the right games. Check out our Shark Week Bingo (go ahead and print your own copy) and play along while you’re watching the nautical fun!

Make sure you’re following me on Instagram – I’ll be posting more Shark Week fun, as well as hosting a sharky giveaway!

Are you joining in the Shark Week fun this year?

Have you ever seen a shark in the wild?

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fairweather running: should i stay or should i go?

I have discussed my tendency to “fairweather running” many times on the blog, most notably with my refusal to run in the rain. However, seeing weather conditions experienced by runners throughout the world, I realized that “fairweather running” is, like most things, a matter of perspective. Living in Florida, what is normal running conditions for me is inconceivable elsewhere. Today I’m sharing about when I stay and when I go when Mother Nature calls.

fairweather running

Feeling Hot Hot Hot

When you live in the Sunshine State, it’s pretty much always hot. Most experts will advise to shelve running efforts when it hits 85F, but that would cancel about seven months of running here. What’s a Floridian to do?

Do I Stay Or Do I Go? Heat is not a reason for me to stay in. The caveat is I will try to get most of my running done before the sun really starts blazing. When I have to be out in temps higher than I prefer, I just slow it down and listen to my body to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

When It’s Cold As Ice

Shockingly, it does get cold in my area. We have temperatures dip as low as the 20s, if not the teens, although it doesn’t last long. As a result, I do own a small stash of leggings, gloves, ear warmers, and fleece tops, and I am not afraid to use them.

Do I Stay or Do I Go? I play the cold by ear. I have Raynaud’s Syndrome, so I do have to be careful of my hands and feet. In the winter, I tend to push my runs a bit later, so the sun can work for me and eliminate some of the chill. It’s so rare to have cold days, though, that I do try to make my runs happen to take advantage.

fairweather running

Here Comes The Rain Again

Like the Wicked Witch of the West, I am not a fan of rain. Where I live, it’s never refreshing (see also: sprinklers), as it just adds wetness to the already abundant sweat. Then comes the chafing, and the extra misery. Count me out.

Do I Stay or Do I Go? Ugh. The truth is, if I wake up for a run and it’s already raining out, I turn off the alarm and go back to sleep. If I am out and it starts raining, I will suck it up, although I might cut my route short. I’m not ashamed to admit I am a sissy about rain.

fairweather running

Let It Snow

Yes! Let it snow! Oh, I do love the snow, and I love running in it. Granted, it’s not something I get the opportunity to do often, so I’m like a little kid when I see flurries. There’s something so fresh about the air and so joyous about the flakes that it makes the run extra special for me.

Should I Stay or Should I Go? If it snows, I go! It’s so rare that I get the chance to see snow that running in it is a special and desirable experience. Yes, it’s slippery and I do have to be more careful of ice and slipping, but I am here for the snow.

fairweather running

Rock You Like A Hurricane

The big weather anomaly we have is hurricanes. Hurricanes comes with a plethora of characteristics: torrential rain, pummeling wind, hail, lightning, tornadoes, and the list goes on. On the flip side, right before they strike, hurricanes also bring low pressure, gorgeous cool breezes, and a break from high temperatures. This makes it perfect for running (and surfing), but believe me. It’s all a trap.

Do I Stay or Do I Go? When the hurricane hits, stay home! It’s especially important to avoid going out when the eye of the storm passes over (it could take minutes, or it could take an hour, and believe me, it’s beautiful and calm), but then you’re right back in harm’s way. Not only do you have to stay safe from the above weather conditions, you also have to worry about things like displaced wildlife and downed power lines. Wait until the entire storm has passed and your area has the all clear before making a move.

fairweather running

How do you feel about subpar weather when running? What are conditions in which you absolutely will not run?

Join the Runner’s Roundup!

Link up each week to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas. Join your hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Organic Runner Mom each week for the Runners’ Roundup linkup! Your link must be running related. Unrelated links will be removed. You must link back to your hosts — it’s common courtesy and a lot more fun! Spread the link-up love by visiting at least two other #running bloggers! Leave a comment and find new blogs to read! Use hashtags #running and #RunnersRoundup to stay in touch and promote your content!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

week 30: hello august + hello hurricane

I think the title just about sums it up, right?

It’s August, and we are currently under a tropical storm warning for TS Isaisas. This storm keeps teetering between its current strength and a hurricane, so we moved some of the lighter outdoor items up against the house and are planning for a few days inside because of rain.

Honestly, this storm is the most normal thing to happen to Florida this year.

Sunday – 4.18 miles, walking

Sunday was a disappointing day. I walked with Mr PugRunner, but from there, everyone was just grouchy.

Of course, I got in meal prep.

We ended up going for a late lunch/early dinner to a rooftop patio, and that kind of got everyone back on track. I’ve learned that I’m happiest when other people cook for me.

Monday – 3.9 miles, walking

On Monday, I looked forward to some quiet time. Little man was still sore from his test and he wanted a few chill days. Fine by me.

I walked.

For dinner, I made cauliflower nachos, which is exactly what it sounds like. It was not real nachos.

Tuesday – 3 miles, running + 1.87 miles, walking

Tuesday runs make me happy, especially with a nice cool down walk.

In the evening, little man had his Board of Review at Scouts and moved up to the rank of Second Class. He will receive his insignia and merit badges at a later date, but we are so proud of him and his commitment.

Wednesday – 3.84 miles, walking

Another Wednesday, another long walk. The humidity has been unbearable.

We had some leftovers for dinner and then little man had his friend and her mom come over for movie night. He has asked to start watching horror movies and we decided to let them see the original “Alien.” Of course, all the lights had to be out, but the kids didn’t seem too put out by the story. Meanwhile, I jumped every time the damn alien moved and had a hard time getting to sleep. Kids, these days.

Thursday – 3 miles, running + 2.57 miles, walking

Thursday’s run was even better!

Mr PugRunner, on the other hand, tripped and banged his head on his walk. He was fine but opted to work from home. We also opted to move our planned date night from evening to lunch because of the threat of rain.

Patio dining is a fortunate option here, and we were thrilled that all staff wore masks and tables were well spaced.

We both had smoked salmon BLTs and I had a few cocktails. Because it was a date.

That evening, Mr PugRunner took little man and some of his friends down the street to help an elderly neighbor clean up some weeds in her flower beds. This neighbor is going through a bit of a rough patch, so the kids will help out with yard work when they can. I’m so proud of them.

Friday –  3.71 miles, walking


After getting some work done, little man and I headed off to a pool date.

And then he had some time with some friends, which we all needed. I took the opportunity to run errands.

Saturday – 3.5 miles, running + 1.27 miles, walking

The boys left at the crack of dawn for a private fishing charter. Little man and his buddy have loved fishing in the neighborhood, but this was going to be the real thing. I did not get back to sleep after they left at 5:30AM, so got up and worked myself into a “long run”: 3.5 miles. It felt good.

I worked on making some shirts for the upcoming Shark Week. My Cricut is fast becoming my favorite toy.

Gratuitous Luna picture. Guys. Isn’t she the sweetest little monster ever?

The boys had a banner day on the water, and came away with a huge haul of flounder, redfish, and black drum!

The charter captain cleaned and filleted their catch, and that evening, little man and his friend cooked it all up for fish tacos. They made one platter of blackened fish and another with a butter garlic finish. Both were epic and we enjoyed outside in our driveways.


I felt a bit better this week. Closing out July with about 123 miles really helped improve my mood. It was great not having the stress of little man’s black belt test hanging over us, and it was also nice for him to take a break and not have to rush around anywhere.

I think I’ve just committed to a Wellness Challenge for August. Why not?

We’ve got a new menu up for the week. I tried to mix up some of the proteins a bit, so we will see if this works any better.

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’s on tap for August?


runfessing over coffee

It’s that special time of year, when the monthly Runfessions joins forces with the Ultimate Coffee Date! Twice the bloggers, twice the juicy confessions, and twice the deep, dark secrets to share. Who’s with me?

Over coffee, I runfess…

I am really tired of cooking. It was getting old back in May, but now that Mr PugRunner has so many specifications, I have to stay very much on top of things. Gone are the days of throwing together a quick pasta dinner or scrounging for things in the pantry. Our weekly shop needs to be thorough and complete so he doesn’t get derailed by failure to plan.

Over coffee, I runfess…

That my eating habits have drastically improved. I’m not following Mr PugRunner’s meal plan, although we all eat similar dinners, but we have far more produce and far less junk in the house. We have to take the positives where we can get them.

Over coffee, I runfess…

That I have really lost a lot of faith and respect in people. Times are hard and tensions are high, but people I really used to admire are showing their true colors. I am all for differences of opinion and I try very hard to see and acknowledge different perspectives, but some days, I am just horrified by what I see and hear. Can we please start taking some deep breaths and showing some empathy? Pretty please?

Over coffee, I runfess…

That we are deep in the heart of hurricane season, with storms swirling in the Atlantic, and I haven’t done a lick of preparation. I just haven’t been able to work myself up to it. Mr PugRunner started poking around the generator the other day, so let’s just call that storm prep.

Over coffee, I runfess…

That I am so stressed out about the school year. I know I’m not alone, but there are still things up in the air and it’s driving me insane. While I’m mostly sure we have made the best decision for our family, I still worry that we’ve made a terrible mistake. We just won’t know until further down the road, and I loathe the pressure and anxiety it brings. Even worse, I worry about being a terrible mom, but then again, I guess a terrible mom wouldn’t worry about anything at all?

Over coffee, I runfess…

My running breaking point was heading that ZOOMA Amelia Island had switched to a virtual event. I understand, really I do. But it was just something that had been out there as maybe a return to normalcy? After I got the news, I lost quite a bit of motivation. I’ve forced myself out for walks and runs but I’ve been decidedly sulky about it.

Over coffee, I runfess…

That my wanderlust is raging. Obviously we are going exactly nowhere at the moment, but I am at the point where all the walls are closing in. I miss seeing new things and going new places and I’m hopeful that we will be able to resume experiencing the country and the world soon.

Over coffee, I runfess…

That I can’t wait to show you the finished office. I am still waiting on some prints to arrive and then I can share. Even better? I saved a ton of money by repurposing some of the existing furniture, which I plan to funnel off to my next project. Here’s a quick sneak peek of my desk area – this desk was actually already here. I loved the huge workspace, so I just dismantled it from the attached shelving unit, added new legs and bam.

Over coffee, I runfess…

That I am being terrible about stretching. Three times this week, I promised myself I would take time to stretch after my walks or runs, and… nothing. Bad me. Bad, bad, bad me. Tomorrow I am going to be sure I do it. I promise.

Over coffee, I runfess…

That I wrapped up July with a grand total of 122 running and walking miles! This is a huge motivator for me. Obviously I’m not hitting 1000 miles this year, but just knowing that I can cover these distances makes me so happy and proud.

Today we are linking up with ….

 Marcia’s Healthy Slice for January’s Runfessions.

And the Ultimate Coffee Date with  Coco and Deborah !

What would you runfess over coffee?

coping with the longterm effects of injury

Eight months ago, my life changed when I fell on my stairs and broke two bones in my leg. I had a lengthy convalescence period, along with surgery and regular physical therapy, but the longterm effects of injury remain present. Am I running? Yes, and for that I am eternally grateful. However, my injury remains with me every day, and I have to remind myself that recovery is an incredibly drawn-out process, even for the lucky ones.

longterm effects of injury

Today, let’s take a look at the lasting effects of my injury and what I’m doing to keep them from getting me down.

Physical Reminders

It’s hard to forget about my accident, when some of the longterm effects of injury manifest themselves in very physical ways. First, I still have two scars, one on either side of my ankles, where the surgical hardware was inserted. They’re not terribly noticeable but they’re there, and even more apparent if I swell. Secondly, I still limp, when I am tired or after major physical activity. I despise the limp, more than the scars, and work very hard to be rid of it.

The Solution? I apply coconut oil or Vitamin E oil to the scars to keep them light. Additionally, I make sure to protect that area from the sun. Rest and wearing supportive shoes help keep my limp from being more pronounced.

I Know When Rain Is Coming

It’s truly crazy how my body’s reaction to weather can be one of the longterm effects of injury. I am uncomfortably aware when rain is on the way (which is all the time, now that it is hurricane season). In my bones, I feel all kinds of jangly, electric sensations, and it can end up being anywhere from uncomfortable to painful.

The solution? So far, nerve medication is the only thing that alleviates the sensations. It’s frustrating, especially this time of year, so I do my best to breathe through it and hope for sunnier days.

longterm effects of injury

Loss of Range of Motion

I am disappointed in the defecit I feel in my range of motion. My whole life, I have had incredibly flexible feet and ankles, and now, there is a significant loss. Currently, I am able to loosen up enough to run a solid three miles, but after that, I experience stiffness and swelling. Both are to be expected, and are no reason for concern, but dealing with both those side effects adds another small hurdle to my return to running.

The Solution? Stretching and strength training. I’ve slacked on some of my PT execises (they are boring and take up huge chunks of time), but I’m never going to see improvement if I don’t put in the work to keep my ankle used to moving.

longterm effects of injury

Poor Balance + Stability

I’ve mentioned that I don’t run before the sunrise anymore because I’m afraid of tripping or losing my footing. Prior to my accident, my balance was spot on and I was fairly sure-footed, but now, things are a little different. I don’t feel things the same in my right leg and ankle, and I’m a lot more clumsy. It’s easier for me to lose balance, step off a curb, or catch my feet in a crack.

The Solution? More focus on balance work. I need to channel my inner flamingo while cooking and brushing my teeth. Also of great benefit is yoga and one-legged deadlifts.

longterm effects of recovery

Pain + Discomfort

Despite the surgeon’s and therapist’s best efforts, pain and discomfort remain a part of my life. It’s not terrible, nor is it unmanageable, but it’s there. Sometimes, it’s nerve pain, and my foot and ankle light up with needle-like shocks and burning. Other times, I’m treated to a dull ache around my hardware. And sometimes for fun, I get these cool spasms and cramps in my toes and calf. None of these are serious, but it’s another thing that uses up mental energy in a world where I need all the mental energy I can get.

The Solution? Be mindful of my body. I have to be diligent with taking days off from running, yet staying active to keep things moving in my ankle. I also need to to use my ice packs and heating pads, as well as my TENS unit. Rolling is another way to keep my spasming muscles in check.

longterm effects of recovery

We just keep on keeping on, because it’s all we can do. Some days are hard, but I do my best to stay on top of my solutions and work for a day where these longterm effects of injury aren’t quite as prominent in my life.

Have you ever been effected by the effects of an injury long after the initial recovery? How did you deal with them?

Join the Runner’s Roundup!

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week 29: ready to say goodbye to july

Another month is in its final week. For those of you keeping track at home, Regis Philbin AND Olivia DeHaviland both passed away, a kitten with rabies was found and euthanized in my immediate area, and, of course, Garmin is under some kind of ransomware attack and all our data is held hostage.

Par for 2020, right?

Sunday – rest

Happy National Ice Cream Day! I woke up with a pounding headache, and chose to opt out of all exercise. We did get a delicious lunch, however.

And we celebrated the momentous day with ice cream for dinner.

Monday – 3.85 miles, walking

Happy Monday. We planned to lay extra low this week so that little man could rest and so we could be sure we were clear for his Black Belt test on Saturday. I walked,

And since Sunday had been a bust, I spent the morning prepping Mr PugRunner’s lunches for the week: chicken meatballs with sautéed spinach, and vegetable pasta.

For dinner, we did a sausage, peppers, and onions sheet pan meal, which was also quite easy and delicious.

Tuesday – 3 miles, running + 2.22 miles, walking

I got in my run and a nice walk on Tuesday.

Little man helped me pull a bunch of stuff out of the office and I started painting the walls. I love the new color and now I want it everywhere in my house.

Little man also helped make an incredible dinner with a meal kit from Raddish Kids. We had Chicken Parmesan and Garlicky Green Beans, completely cooked by him, and it was even adapted to fit Mr. PugRunner’s dietary needs. Win!

Wednesday – 3.45 miles, walking

I was really sore from being up and down on the ladder painting, as well as hauling and assembling furniture. This morning’s walk as slow, and served as a warm up to more of the same.

Little man made the seasoning for these garlic butter beef tips. He and I had them with cous cous while Mr. PugRunner had his with leftover peppers.

Thursday – 3 miles, running + 1.12 miles, walking

This was a bit of a scary run. It started beautifully, but another storm rolled in once we started our walking portion. We made the call to hightail it for home, but the lightning started and my friend’s husband had to rescue us with the car! Yikes!

Little man and I worked with Luna on her longboard skills, and little man rode his new board a bit before he had to go to karate.

For dinner, we enjoyed French Onion Chicken Breast, with roasted broccoli.

Friday –  3.81 miles, walking

On Friday, little man had instructions to stay home and chill. So that’s exactly what we did.

I walked my miles.

We watched some tv, chatted, and walked to the neighborhood food trucks for dinner.

Saturday – 3 miles, running

The big day was here! Little man set his alarm to get up. We got him fed, double-checked his gear and Mr PugRunner drove him to his dojo. The testing students had an hour-long PT test before parents needed to arrive.

I used the time to run my three miles.

Then we made our way to the test. Six students were in attendance. Two were testing for their 1st Dan Black Belt, like little man, and four testing for their 2nd Dan. Ii was nothing short of intense. Only immediate family was invited (pre-COVID, the tests were open to extended family, friends, and other karate students), and the students had to wear masks when they were engaged in self-defense and other close maneuvers. It was definitely a different experience.

For three hours, little man demonstrated his knowledge and mastery of the skills he has learned in his past five years. He had one terrifying moment where he froze during a form, but he was able to recover beautifully, and he earned that black belt!

He was exhausted. Four hours of physical (and mental) activity in long sleeves and long pants, in no air conditioning will do that to you. We celebrated with ice cream and will plan a small party when things loosen up again. We are so proud, and even more so that he decided he would like to continue his training.


I admit that this was a hard week. Stormy days and a need to adhere to a more strict lockdown so we could be part of little man’s test got very draining very quickly. Not that we are doing much anyway, but I rely on my running and walking more than ever. This week, I look forward to getting back to the beach and pool.

The office renovation is exactly the distraction I needed. We are mostly finished, and I will reveal the finished product once all the photos and wall decor arrive. It’s just what I envisioned.

Luna continues to make us laugh. This week, she met a lizard for the first time. She also decided that she enjoys climbing the laundry pile and making burrows like a fox. She’s so lucky she’s cute.

Here’s a look at what we have on the menu this week. I had to move some things around to accommodate a food truck, but the spirit of the meal plan is still there.

rwp weekly menu

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?

Have you ever been stuck in a lightning storm?

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