but first, gate river run {3.10.2018}

For those who follow along at home, you probably already know about the Gate River Run.

It’s the largest 15K in the country, and perhaps one of the most well-known and well-attended races in the Jacksonville area. I have an intense love-hate relationship with it. The Gate is hard. Freaking hard. But oh, so much fun. It’s one of the those things where you really have to have the right mindset going in.

What makes the Gate so challenging is the later start (8:30 AM, although they did move it up to 8:00 AM this year, which was a huge improvement), the huge crowds of runners leading to lots of course congestion, and the two ginormous bridges, right at the end of Mile 1 and again at about Mile 7.5.

But on the other side, this race is fun. There is an incredible vibe and the course is lined with spectators. Even more importantly those spectators are cheering holding signs, offering high fives, and handing out all kinds of things from beer and mimosas to grilled sausage and popsicles.

I do love a good buffet.

Due to work, I wasn’t able to attend the expo this year. S was kind enough to pick up my bib, shirt and commemorative pint glass (it’s easy enough to pick up a packet for a friend with a signed form).  I did miss getting to see some of the vendors, but I also didn’t mind avoiding some of the craziness.

On race morning, S, A and I all had a plan to meet up. With the race start being 30 minutes earlier, I left the house at about 5:30 AM so ensure a good parking spot. For the first time, I hit some traffic driving into the stadium parking lot, but was rewarded with a space right by the start line.

It was freezing that morning and I really struggled with my outfit. I was wearing shorts and a tank because I knew it would warm up and the sun was going to be out, but I toyed with a long sleeve shirt, and even with capris. I finally ended up just deciding to be cold at the start line, supplementing my outfit with gloves and an ear warmer. I wasn’t sure how windy it was going to be at the top of the bridges, and wanted to be prepared.

We got to our Wave at the start line. The sun was at full power and it was already starting to get warm.

After the National Anthem, the corrals began to be released. It still took us a few minutes to get through the crowds and start running.

Miles 1 -2

The first two  miles of the race take runners on a path through downtown Jacksonville and up and over the Main Street Bridge. The elevation on this bridge, isn’t awful, but it’s early in the race when adrenaline is high. Footing can be treacherous because it’s a lot of metal grating, and I confess that I just can’t look down to the water below. It makes me a wee bit nauseous.

Ono the plus side, we ran right up that bridge! Yay for us!

Miles 3-5

After the Main Street Bridge, we come into the San Marco area. This is full of music and people and local businesses. We plugged along, enjoying all the spectators, and still feeling pretty good. It was definitely warmer. I had stripped my gloves off earlier, and my ear warmer was no longer needed.

The businesses gave way to residential areas – there are some truly gorgeous homes along this route, and most of the neighborhoods are lined with lovely shade trees. The shade was a welcome relief. I regretted not having a visor but it wasn’t a race-breaker for me.

Miles 6 – 7

The party started here. We were now in the Atlantic Boulevard of the race. This is comprised of more pretty neighborhoods, sandwiched between two uninteresting stretches of highway.

I had been pretty good about not taking anything besides water along the way, but my friend K was spectating and had made me a giant mimosa. When I saw her and her brother and sister-in-law, I hustled right on over! I sipped on that mimosa for a full mile, and then I moved on to a nice popsicle. It was perfect.

After that, I snagged a ziplock of rummy bears! Which are exactly what you would think. And they were magical.

Thus fortified, we began the final trek to the Hart Bridge. The Hart-Breaker. The Green Monster.

Ugh.

Miles 8-9

This bridge is always so hard. The curved onramp is tough on the knees and hips. And at this point in the game, I’m always just done.

From the highest point of the bridge, it is one mile down through the finish line. There is actually a separate competition to see who can complete the final mile the fastest.

I was really ready to be done, and I think that was pretty clear on my face throughout the last bits of the race.

I still had enough for one more smile, though.

We collected our medals at the finish line and then started waiting for other friends to come through.

My finish wasn’t as strong as I would have liked, but I had a darn good time – we had so much fun out there it almost didn’t seem like racing.

S had to leave for some other family events, and I ran into A at one of the hospitality tents. She had separated from us in the last mile and I was so glad to give her a huge before I had to go.

The race post party is a lot of fun with tons of beer, music and people, so I had a celebratory drink and made my way home. It had been a really busy week and I missed my guys so I wanted to spend some time with them.

Another year of River Run in the books.

Is there a race by you that is famous either nationally or locally?

What’s a feature of races that you find most challenging?

 

 

weekly wrap: 4.1.2018 – 4.7.2018

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.

I was really looking forward to this week! After all, it was Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon and I was so excited for a few days in Savannah with some of my friends.

Here’s the week in numbers:

Sunday – rest day
Monday – rest day
Tuesday – 6.2 miles running
Wednesday – HIIT circuit (arms)
Thursday – 5 miles, running
Friday – rest day
Saturday – Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon, 13.1 miles, running

Sunday – rest

Happy Easter! We were exhausted from a late night but little man was so excited for the holiday, so we got ourselves up and going.

He loved hunting down his basket, and then we had a chill day at home with a ham dinner. I had hoped to go to the beach to eat, but the high winds just weren’t conducive to a nice al fresco meal.

After our dinner, my mom and I went for a walk around the neighborhood while little man rode his bike. I was stunned to see how much he’s grown, because we had to lift his seat and handlebars a couple of inches.

Monday – rest day

The first day back after Spring Break is always tough. We focused on getting back to a state of normal after all our excitement.

Tuesday – 6.2 miles, running

Not much to say about this run. We did it.

I had work, and little man had music practice. We also had an open PTA meeting that evening which meant spending another hour at school and going out for pizza after.

Wednesday – HIIT circuit, arms

It felt like a while since we had been in the gym, and an arm workout was just what we all needed. I felt great when it was over.

I was also glad when work was over, too. It meant I could focus on my upcoming weekend away. Mr PugRunner took little man to his karate class and I spent some time cleaning up around the house and thinking about packing.

Thursday – 5 miles, running

Last run before Savannah. I wanted to go a few more miles, but decided to hold off since I had big plans for the day.

First, I got little man off to school, along with a large donation of books and little kids’ furniture for one of the kindergarten teachers. From there, it was off to the store to pick up gallons of water for the water stop that the Scouts had committed to for the ready. Set. How 5K, and then pick up little man’s packet for the same event.

I had promised my parents I would meet them to go to the beach to look for the shipwreck that washed ashore a couple of weeks ago, and so I hustled over to the area where we were supposed to be able to find it.

With the wind and soft, shelly sand, it was probably the hardest beach hike I have ever done. Totally worth it, to find the remains of a ship believed to have been built in the 1830s-1860s. Experts are still looking for answers, but in the meantime, it was really cool.

At this time, they are still struggling to get the ruins off the sand, so it’s still available to be seen. I highly recommend it.

That evening, the Webelos earned another optional adventure. We are winding down for the year, so I am trying to help them earn as many achievements as I can.

Friday – rest

Time to go! After  little man headed off to school, I finished collecting my things. Meghan arrived close t0 10 and we hit the road!

There was a ton of traffic, so our normal drive to Savannah took about an hour longer than planned. Ugh! We made one stop on the outskirts of town to get Meghan some new shoes, and then we completed our drive to The DeSoto for check in.

We were famished, so after we stored our bags (our room wasn’t ready yet), we made our way out to grab a quick bite.

With full tummies, and a much better outlook on our day, we returned to the Fashion Fitness Expo to pick up our bibs and participant gift (a gorgeous backpack), and do a little shopping.

In the meantime, Mr PugRunner was off with little man, chaperoning a field trip.

M and S, from back home, met us at the Expo a little while later. I was so excited that my running friends were going to meet!

We grabbed Amy and headed out for our traditional Treylor Park dinner, dessert at Leopold’s and then back to the hotel to get into bed.

Little man, on his end, ran a really wonderful 5K, as well as volunteered with the water stop before and after his run. Rockstar. I was so proud of him, but also sorry to have missed it.

Saturday – Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon, 13.1 miles

Since our hotel was only a few blocks from the race start, we got to “sleep in” until about 6:00. Yay!

We collected Amy and walked over to the start line.

The race was wonderful, as always, and I will fully detail it in a dedicated post. But we finished strong and had a blast doing it!

We showered and changed, and then it was off to a celebratory brunch.

The big damper on the day was the unrelenting rain! Ugh! However, we made the best of it with a visit to the American Prohibition Museum, lots of shopping and a delicious dinner. More on all that soon!

After all the walking around the city, we were fairly ready for another good night’s sleep!

 

Such a fabulous week! I look so forward to these Savannah racecations, and I am so grateful for the amazing running friends I’ve met along the way. These strong and incredible women inspire me and I can’t wait for our next race adventure!

How was your week in training?

Do you have a group of running friends who inspire you.

Have you ever seen a shipwreck up close and personal?

the 5 things i’m doing in savannah this weekend

This is a sponsored post. I am an ambassador for Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon & 5K. Due to that relationship, I receive a complimentary race registration, as well as other sponsor amenities in exchange for my honest reviews and promotion of the event and affiliated sponsors. All opinions are my own.

As we get ready to head out for this weekend’s most amazing Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon and 5K, I wanted to share the five top things on our schedule.

Shop Til I Drop

From the Fashion Fitness Expo at The DeSoto, featuring products from event sponsors, to Fleet Feet Sports Savannah and other shops like Nourish and Savannah Bee Company, my wallet is going to be screaming for mercy.

How can I go home without adorable branded merchandise like this?

Run My Heart Out

Yup. That’s right. Thirteen point one miles around historic Savannah, with a strong finish past the fountain in Forsyth Park. This is what we’ve trained for and this is where we are headed!

Eat All The Things

It wouldn’t be a trip to Savannah without the food. We have our favorites: Treylor Park, Coffee Fox and of course, brunch at The Ordinary Pub.

And let’s not forget ice cream at Leopold’s.

Recover On My Mat

Yoga on the Square is a wonderful way to finish off the weekend. I love getting to unroll my mat outside in the beautiful fresh air and release everything. Join us on Sunday, April 8 at 9AM in Ellis Square to unwind before the racecation comes to an end!

See Something New

Every time we visit, we make it a point to check out a new site. I don’t know what’s in store for us this time, but I cannot wait!

 

Will you be going us in Savannah this year?

What are your vacation must dos?

another best damn time taking on best damn race in orlando {3.3.18}

I am an Ambassador for Best Damn Race. Through my promotion of the event, I earned a complimentary entry to this race. All opinions are my own.

While there are currently four Best Damn Race events, it’ been my habit to run two of them – Jacksonville which is local to home, and Orlando, which is where Meghan lives.

Orlando is fun because Best Damn Race offers a 10K + 5K Challenge: not quite committing to a half marathon, but definitely getting in some miles. With a beer-and-potty break in between.

I like to keep things challenging.

I arrived in Orlando on Friday afternoon, and went to Lake Eola Park to pick up packets for myself and Meghan. I also signed up C for the 5K (only the half and the 5k were open for onsite registration).

I headed out of downtown to Meghan’s house, so I could drop off my stuff and we could get dinner. She always takes me for the best food, and these tacos were no exception.

That’s a Fried Green Tomato taco on the left and a KFC (with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and slaw) on the right. And yes, they were divine.

We chatted on the couch for a bit and then admitted defeat and headed off to bed. It would be fabulous to chat all night, but race mornings come early and we would have 9.3 miles over which to talk.

Saturday morning was fairly chilly, although we knew it would warm up quickly and dressed accordingly. Our first order of business was to get coffee and take a bathroom break, and then we went to check our gear and say hi to our fellow BDR ambassadors.

Every year, we have such a great team. I’m always so proud to be a part of it.

Then we split up for our various race starts. The 10K and half marathon started somewhat earlier, while the 5K began a bit later in the morning.

After the National Anthem, we began our run. I really love this 10K. With the exception of some stretches of brick, it’s a really nice combination of beautiful residential, lovely parks, main road and downtown urban scenery. I love the combination – it keeps things interesting for me.

The humidity was kind of nasty, but it wasn’t a huge detriment to the run at all. Meghan and I just plugged away at the miles. She was having some foot pain, so we slowed down when she needed a break, and otherwise just enjoyed the first race of our challenge.

We crossed the finish line with huge smiles, collected our 10K medals, and went to find C, who had arrived and was waiting for us.

There were maybe 30 minutes until the 5K, so we had to drop off our medals with our gear, go to the bathroom, and grab a beer. And then we hopped right back in the corrals.

Ready to go again!

Granted, it was a little rough the second time around, but we finished strong! And did I mention that there were free race photos? Huge score! We got lots of great shots of both races.

And then it was time to celebrate!

We took advantage of the Best Damn Race BeerGarden, for both beer and cocktails.

And proudly showed off all our bling.

I absolutely loved these medals.

Even though there was a food tent for runners, with lots of delicious treats, we opted to skip out and head to 7 Bites for brunch.

Another fabulous Best Damn Race in the books! I am hoping to add on New Orleans or Safety Harbor next year to change things up!

Have you ever run Best Damn Race?
What’s your favorite race terrain?

 

weekly wrap: 3.25.18 – 3.31.18

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.

Happy Spring Break to us! We are currently out of school, and although I have work and other things going on, it’s nice to have a bit of a break.

Obviously, things didn’t go quite as planned. Little man’s allergies and another bout of carsickness sidelined us, which was pretty rough. I could have really used a bit of a break, but it is what it is.

Here’s the week in numbers:

  • Sunday – rest day
  • Monday – rest day
  • Tuesday – 7 miles running
  • Wednesday – 5.6 miles, running
  • Thursday –  rest day
  • Friday – goat yoga, 30 minutes
  • Saturday – 8 miles, running

Sunday – rest day

A and I vaguely discussed getting up to run, but when morning came, I just didn’t want to do it. It happens.

Little man was supposed to have a play date, but it fell through, so Mr PugRunner took him out to ride go-carts. Apparently, he is old enough and tall enough to drive the bigger go-carts by himself. He’s growing up so fast.

Monday – rest day

It was the first day of Spring Break. Yay! Little man went to the day camp my friend runs and had the best day. Their theme was Disney and the kids made their own Mickey ears, played gaga balls, designed a theme park map and parade floats and even did an experiment by building houses out of Legos and seeing if they could be carried off by balloons, like the house did in Up.

After I picked him up, I brought him to dinner at my parents. They were going to keep him for the next few days so I could do work and stuff around the house. Mr PugRunner went to dinner with his friends, and we met at home later that night.

On our way up, we stopped at Target. For little man’s birthday, we are redoing his room, so I wanted to let him pick out his bedding and some new accessories. Target was having a great sale on their Pillowfort line and he made some really nice selections.

Tuesday – 7 miles, running

This was a rough run. It was humid despite the chill and I felt like lead. We hung in there for 6.5 miles, though I feel like we should have pushed for more. I hate this slumpy feeling I have and I need to knock it off.

After a fairly rough day at work, I got a call from my parents to say that little man’s allergies were getting worse. We had the nebulizer and humidifier at home, so Mr PugRunner just went to pick him up.

Wednesday – 5.6 miles, running

I mean, it’s like we couldn’t even try to get to six miles. At least the conversation and company was great.

Wednesday was not going to go as planned. I took advantage of the chill day at home to strip down and paint little man’s bedroom. It hasn’t been painted since he was born, and while I kind of didn’t want to do it, I couldn’t deny the improvement it made.

Little man was a huge help by taking off and putting on the switch plates, and he also was really good about going through all his many things and deciding what could stay and what could go out for trash or donation.

Thursday – rest day

The plan: a family day at Jekyll Island.

The reality? Little man had another bout of carsickness about halfway into the drive. And so we had to clean up, turn around and go home. It’s been determined that he can no longer play video games in the car, as it leads to queasiness and nausea.

For the trip home, we played a license plate game instead and he did much better.

The rest of the day was just really blah. I ran some Easter errands, and then we watched some movies, but I was feeling very edgy and anxious and in need of some time out and fresh air.

This was not the Spring Break we had been hoping for. Not by a long shot.

Friday – goat yoga, 30 minutes

I had been planning to attend the free goat yoga session at the Clay County Fair for weeks. Little man was supposed to come with me, but with how he had been feeling and the fact that his allergies were starting to fade, I didn’t want to bring him around all the hay and animals.

Mr PugRunner agreed with me and took little man to work with him, so I could go. Guys. It was amazing. I will do a full review of it, but needless to say, I love baby goats even more than I did before.

It was just what I needed, and since the boys decided to go out to lunch, I got to enjoy a sausage and ice cream on the midway after yoga. Yay!

I was in a much better mood when I got home, and fully ready to face the rest of the weekend. We dyed our Easter eggs and I started organizing the cooking for Easter dinner.

Saturday – 8 miles, running

Tapering for the Publix Savannah Half Marathon meant eight miles for a long run. It actually went really well, and I felt good afterwards.

Saturday promised to be a whirlwind.

First, we went to a Easter event at a nearby neighborhood. Little man wanted to do an egg hunt and see the bunny, so we obliged. Even though he’s almost 10, he still really enjoys this stuff, and I am happy to indulge until the magic is gone.

We got lunch and then it was off to a friends’ gender reveal party. It was so good to see everyone, and we were really happy that little man was back to himself and able to spend a day playing with friends.

There was lots of good food and love and celebrating and we stayed a lot later than I planned. It was totally worth it, though, even if I was up super late on Easter Bunny detail.

 

All in all, it was a solid week, but I wish things had unfolded a little differently. I have already promised little man another attempt at Jekyll for bike riding, and I’m hoping we will have better results in a few weeks.

In straight running news, I completed 93.27 miles this month. Just a little shy of 100, but close.

For my efforts, I won a pedicure gift card, from my local MRTT chapter – it was a random drawing for members who completed a certain number of mile and I was so excited to be selected! Thanks, ladies!

On Friday, I am off to Savannah for a gorgeous racecation weekend, at the Publix Savannah Women’s Half. Online registration closes Wednesday, so this is your last chance to save 15% on the half marathon or 5K with code PUGS18. I am so excited for the entire weekend of fun, including the expo, the race and afterparty and Sunday’s recovery Yoga on the Square. It’s going to be fabulous.

 

How was your week in training?

How is your Spring going so far?

review: running on clouds with on running

This is a sponsored post. I received complimentary shoes and apparel from ON Running and Fleet Feet Savannah, courtesy of my ambassadorship with Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

It’s hard to say what makes a perfect running shoe. Some people want the softest, most cushioned landing, while others prefer a responsive, bouncy ride. There are those who want flexible while other like firm. Some desire a structured upper while dissenters would rather a breathable fabric free of stitching and overlays.

We all have our favorites.

In 2010, Olivier Berhard, Caspar Coppetti and David Alleman joined forces to establish the ON company in Zurich, Switzerland. The goal? To create a running shoe that would provide “the perfect running experience.” Working with their own personal running backgrounds, as well as Swiss engineers, the end result was something pretty unique: shoes with a firm take off and cushioned landing.

Today, ON shoes and apparel can be found in run specialty stores internationally.

And you can find even a pair on my feet.

The Cloudflow are very different from any shoe I’ve ever owned. They fall into the neutral category where I tend to wear stability, but I never really noticed

The upper is incredibly lightweight and breathable, made of an adaptive engineered mesh. It was almost like wearing nothing at all, but at the same time, there was still the security of some structure and support.

The sole is really quite unique. I have never loved soft or cushioned shoes – I always preferred something with a little more pop – and the Cloudflow didn’t disappoint. Lined with 18 “clouds”, I got a really nice burst of energy on my take off, and was then rewarded with a cloud-like return to the street. The landing wasn’t at all mushy or heavy, which is my personal issue with heavy cushion – everything just felt very springy and right.

I also really liked the 6 mm offset on these. I’ve been working hard on maintaining proper running form, and I find I have been doing well with shoes that have a lower drop.

Paired with my trusty inserts, just for that added arch support, these might be my new favorite spadework shoes.

ON also carries a specialized line of men’s and women’s running apparel.

I took the Running Shorts out for a 6 mile spin and was very pleased.

They were incredibly lightweight and didn’t bunch up at all. I really appreciated the flat wide waistband, with drawstring, to ensure a perfect fit,

and the large zipped pocket in the back. It’s large enough for keys, but also for a gel or even some cards.

I have “athletic” thighs, so I also loved that the legs were roomy without being bulky, and I also liked the minimal, but nice detailing.

The fabric is fast drying (which is great for our humid Florida summers) and much lighter weight than any other shorts I own. Currently, they are only available in Black and Navy & Black (shown), but I would certainly purchase these in other colors.

Finally, I tried the Comfort T.

In the interested of full discretion, I don’t usually run in t-shirts, and I don’t love how technical t-shirts fit, so this shirt would be great for more casual days or even for me to wear cycling. The fabric is incredibly soft and wicking, the perfect combination of fashion and function.

The sleeves are a good length, not too full and not too tight.

And I liked that the shirt skimmed the body without being snug or tight. There is another hidden zipper pocket in the back, which again, would be great for keys or cash or gels.

The seams and stitching are flat and high-quality, so no chance of rubbing or chafing.

Ready to try ON for yourself? ON apparel and shoes are available exclusively Fleet Feet Sports Savannah – be sure to check them out at 3405 Waters Avenue when you arrive in town for the Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon!

There will also be ON products at the Fleet Feet Booth at the Fashion Fitness Expo on Friday, April 6 from 11AM – 7PM (DeSoto Hotel Savannah, 15 East Liberty Street), so be sure to check them out when you pick up your packet this upcoming weekend!

Don’t forget – online registration ends on Wednesday, April 4, so if you haven’t signed up yet, now’s the time! Code PUGS18 will save you 15%!

Have you ever tried ON shoes or apparel?

What makes the perfect running shoe for you: cushion or responsiveness?

weekly wrap: 3.18.18 – 3.24.18

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.

Happy Spring Break to us! We are currently out of school, and although I have work and other things going on, it’s nice to have a bit of a break.

Last week? Not so fabulous in training. I was over scheduled and my focus was entirely on my 12 mile long run. I was able to check that off the list, and other than that, I coasted the rest of the time.

Here’s the week in numbers:

  • Sunday – rest day
  • Monday – Total Body Challenge
  • Tuesday – 7 miles running + Total Body Challenge
  • Wednesday – Deck of Cards circuit + Total Body Challenge
  • Thursday –  12 miles, running
  • Friday – rest day
  • Saturday – rest day

Sunday – rest

It was our last day in Orlando. Little man wanted to play another round of miniature golf and then we went for a late brunch at Raglan Road in Disney Springs. I had the most amazing salad with goat cheese terrine, fig puree and roasted beets.

Our ride home was fairly awful. Too many late nights and some car sicknesses led to an emergency pit stop at a random gas station to clean up a situation in the back seat (thank God we had some plastic bags so we were able to contain the mess). Yuck. I don’t think I’ve been happier to get home before.

Little man settled down with a nice bath and a pug snuggle. Just what the doctor ordered. A good night’s sleep set him back to rights.

Monday – Total Body Challenge

I couldn’t rally to go to the gym, so I compensated with a series of Supermans, planks and pushups.

Not much else to report. We were all kind of draggy and ended up skipping karate so little man could get some additional rest. It was a total slacker thing to do, but sometimes, it happens.

Tuesday – 7 miles, running, Total Body Challenge

This was a comedy of errors. It was supposed to rain so we agreed to meet at the gym and run seven miles on the treadmill. Morning came, and it wasn’t raining, but we were committed to our plan.

Two of the girls went straight for the ellipticals, M managed about 1.5 miles on the mill and S and I hung on f0r 2.5. After that, we threw caution to the wind and squeezed in two more outside before we had to head home. And since I needed a total of seven, I packed little man’s lunch and ran two more in my own neighborhood. Misery!

There were some really bad storms coming through the area, and the school cancelled little man’s music practice, so we had some extra afternoon to ourselves. The rain never came, but he and Mr PugRunner took advantage of the wind.

Wednesday – Deck of Cards workouts + Total Body Challenge

I still needed to fit in 40 burpees, so I took care of those between sets of a modified Deck of Cards activity, involving squats, tricep extensions, crunches and dumbbell snatches. Done.

I got a very nice surprise from Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon and Fleet Feet Savannah: a new pair of shoes. I can’t wait to share my experience with these beauties.

There will be more of these great finds at the Fashion Fitness Expo on Friday, April 6. Will you be running with us? There’s still time to use code PUGS18 to save 15% on your registration!

Thursday – 12 miles, running

I had to do some wrangling, but was able to clear my schedule to fit in my 12 miles. All in all, it went surprisingly well. The weather was decent, and even though I had to take a quick break to make breakfast and lunch, I got it all done.

Yay!

That evening, our Den had to host the monthly Pack meeting. It involved bringing snacks, setting up a display of all the things we’ve done throughout the year, presenting the colors and leading in the Pledge of Allegiance and Scout Oath and Law. We even had the boys perform a skit.

They did a great job leading and we were so proud of them!

Friday – rest

Friday was our school’s first Spring Carnival. The day was a bit of a whirlwind, with set up, last minute shopping and putting out small crises, and getting ready to go.

When I picked up little man from school, he shared that he had made Honor Roll again (whoo hoo!) and he was awesome at helping us finish up with some last minute details.

I spent the night with the PTA volunteers, welcoming people to the event. For a first time effort, it went great, and I was really proud that we pulled it all together.

Little man had a blast with his friends, playing games and winning prizes,

and the evening was just gorgeous, although slightly cold.

Mr PugRunner and little man left right before the carnival ended to have dinner with another family and I stayed behind to help pack it all up. It was a job well done.

Saturday – rest

The short version of Saturday was I didn’t want to move. However, that wasn’t in the cards for me. I had to work an event at the Grand Opening of a local gym. It was a fairly fun and productive time, and it went quickly.

Afterwards, I did some quick food shopping and then went home to prep for a friend to come over. We had planned to watch I, Tonya together. I threw together a quick charcuterie

and she supplied some cake pops.

The movie was fabulous and we enjoyed some time hanging out.

 

And so there it is. My miles were way down from what I planned and I totally fell behind on the Total Body Challenge. I spent the rest of the week sore and achy after my 12 miler and I just couldn’t get myself jazzed to work out. I’m not really happy about it, but my body was probably trying to tell me something, and it was probably in my best interest to listen.

Next week will be better.

How was your week in training?

How do you get your mojo back?

 

hakuna matatas at the 26.2 with DONNA relay

On Sunday, February 11, five women banded together under the team name “Hakuna Matatas” to run 26.2 miles to help in the fight against breast cancer.

The 26.2 with DONNA event offers an entire weekend of running, with different distances and opportunities for runners and walkers of all abilities.

While I’m still not digging the idea of a full marathon, I was toying with the concept of the half marathon, before L contacted me and asked if I would be part of her five-woman relay team. Of course, I was more than happy to oblige: the relay is a fun way to complete the mileage, and I can never turn down a great group of people.

She and I met up at the Expo on Friday – I had to grab my 10K packet, and as Team Captain, she was responsible for getting our team our bibs and shirts. She also gave me our “Hakuna Matatas” tank. I was excited to wear that one.

As a very large, point-to-point race, race morning is an obscenely early one. I packed the car and met the rest of the team at a midpoint parking lot, before loading up to get to the main parking area and shuttles.

We were surprised to see that it wasn’t quite as crowded as last year, and we were easily able to use the portapotties and move around the start line area. Rather than gear check, we agreed to pack our bags and hand them off and exchange them among each other. As first runner, I gave my bag to our second runner, and when I met her at the exchange point, I would take both her bag and mine back to the start point to wait.

The morning was fairly cool, which was nice. Historically, this race is a cold one, but it seems that both times I’ve run, temperatures have been much higher (last year, unpleasantly so). My stomach was also feeling great, which was encouraging. The last time I took on the relay, I was hit by nasty GI issues that caused me quite a few problems on the course.

We all made sure to coordinate our times and runner tracking, and then I headed to the start line while the other ladies hopped on their respective shuttles.

The 26.2 with DONNA has a pulse start – there are so many runners that they are released in groups, a little at a time. I took up a position near the middle of the pack and was incredibly excited for the blast of pink confetti as I crossed the start line.

The first relay leg is approximately six miles, heading from The Players Championship site in Ponte Vedra, to the beach. It’s a spectator heavy portion of the course, winding through lots of little neighborhoods. I never mind the early run, if I’ve got tons of people around.

This time, my focus was on the names on my bib and the beautiful day. I got chills as I ran, so grateful for all the people who were out supporting survivors and those who have lost their battle with breast cancer. It was so incredibly inspiring and I soaked it all in.

The run was amazing. Even after a faster 10K the day before, my legs felt strong and I resisted the urge to stop for photos along the way. I made it to the relay exchange slightly faster than I anticipated, and passed off the baton to my teammate.

Unfortunately, the shuttles back to the start line are a bit of a mess. For the second year, a huge group of runners waited and waited and waited for a bus to come to no avail. I finally scored an Uber for the trek back to the finish line, but there should really be better monitoring of the area for transportation purposes.

While there was plenty of food and drink at the finish line, I didn’t get to indulge yet. I had promised our Team Captain that when she started the final leg, I would go back out on the course to keep her company for the last few miles. Her leg was 6.2 miles and included two soul-sucking bridges.

I treated myself to a beer and a granola bar while our teammates found their way to back from their distances. Finally, L texted that she was about to start the fifth and final leg, and I located her position on the runner tracking map. I made some time calculations and finally checked in my bag so I could head up the bridges to find her. Wind was most definitely a factor that day. There were strong gusts that made the going difficult.

Since I was going the opposite direction on the course, I tried my best to cheer on the runners. There were still plenty of them out there and the day had gotten hot and sunny very quickly. The view was breathtaking, however.

And along the bridge are all the message of inspiration that people wrote for their loved ones during the expo.

Finally, I saw L and fell into step with her. The wind was absolutely crazy, especially so high up, but we just put our heads down and pushed. We were so close to being finished!

Once we came down from the last bridge and made a right hand turn, the finish line was in our sights. The rest of our team was waiting so we could all cross the finish line together!

It was a great feeling! And it was even better knowing we had collectively completed a sub5 marathon!

We turned in our baton, collected L’s medal, and made our way back to Runner’s Village for our celebratory beer!

The party was still kicking, but we were just ready to move on. We still had a 20 minutes bus ride back to our vehicles and then it was another 40 minutes home for me.

It was a long day, but for such a worthy cause, it didn’t matter. Our hearts are with those  who fight every day and with those who lost their battle with this awful disease. We can only hope that a cure is found soon, and we can finish breast cancer.

Have you ever participated in DONNA weekend?

Do you prefer relays or going it alone?

weekly wrap: 3.11.18 – 3.17.18

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.

Lots of traveling and things on the calendar over the past week. It’s a busy time of year for Mr PugRunner, which means that I hold down the fort a lot. We have a pretty good system worked out, but I’m definitely feeling it today.

Here’s the week in numbers:

  • Sunday- rest day
  • Monday – 7 miles, running + Total Body Challenge
  • Tuesday – Sunrise Power Hour, 5 miles running + Total Body Challenge
  • Wednesday – 6.2 miles running + Total Body Challenge
  • Thursday –  Total Body Challenge
  • Friday – 3 miles, running
  • Saturday – rest day

Sunday – rest

After a great night’s sleep, I was ready for brunch with some girlfriends. One of them was in town for the weekend, and I was so excited to get to see her. Plus, she had some truly amazing news to share, which made the day extra festive! Plus also, I got to indulge in this yummy Iced Nutella Coffee (that had some kind of delicious booze, a piece of candied bacon and a beignet in it).

We tidied and did work around the house, and then it was time to pick up the babysitter. Mr PugRunner had tickets to the Impractical Jokers and he was so excited for our night out. We had dinner plans with another couple, and while I wasn’t particularly thrilled about the show, I knew he was beyond stoked.

Dinner was great with good company, but he was a little disappointed in the show. I think it’s hard to translate a hidden camera prank show to a live-action comedy routine, but I was sorry he didn’t love it as much as he hoped.

Monday – 7 miles, running + 50 superman/:45 plank/50 pushups

After getting to bed around midnight, I did NOT want to go out for this run. Nope, nope, nope. Two of our group completely bailed and so M and I gutted it out. We pretty much tricked ourselves into the full seven miles. Hey. Whatever works.

Afterwards, I did my supermans and plank and pushups. It was incredibly invigorating.

That evening, I had a Cub Scouts leaders meeting that ended up lasting several hours. We covered a lot of ground for the upcoming promotions and crossovers and settled some things for summer. The next few months should be great.

Tuesday – Sunrise Power Hour Yoga + 10 burpees + 5 miles, running

I didn’t particularly love this particular yoga practice. We spent a lot of time in downward dog (I hate being upside down), and the vinyasas were almost too quick for me to comfortably settle into my positions. Some days are better than others, so I know the next class will be incredible.

My work shift flip flopped so I took advantage of the extra morning hours to get in some more miles. It was lonely but that was ok.

After work, I was pretty much grateful to get dinner and fall into bed. It was a long day that didn’t go especially well, and I was over it.

Wednesday – 6.2 miles, running + 10 superman/;45 plank/10 pushups

More running, even though the weather was just brutally humid and my legs were heavy. We did 6.2 miles and I completed more of my Total Body Workout.

Little man had a field day at school and Mr PugRunner was leaving for a conference, so it was going to be a busy day. Mr PugRunner went over to the school to spectate for a bit and then headed out. I collected little man from the bus stop, had him do his homework, and then took him to karate.

Mr PugRunner surprised us by ordering pizza to the house so I didn’t have to cook dinner, which was very appreciated.

Thursday – 20 burpees

Since I was on my own, I missed out on the gym, but still got in my 20 burpees.

I had lunch with my parents and then it was home to start packing and getting the pugs ready for their sitter.

When little man got home from school, he got his homework out of the way and finished up his whittling project before Scouts.

Our meeting was a successful one, as well. All the boys are on track to promote to Arrow of Light!

Friday – 3 miles, running + 20 superman/:45 plank/20 pushups

I was able to squeeze in a quick three miles before we had to get on the road.

The drive was fairly uneventful and we checked into Mr PugRunner’s room at the Marriott World Center fairly quickly. He took a break from the conference to come up and say hi, and then little man and I caught an Uber to Disney Springs.

We met up with Meghan and spent the evening at the AMC Dine-In Theater. We selected Black Panther – it was 3D, and I confess, 3D has changed a LOT since the last time I opted to watch a movie in that medium.

Oh, we also got to enjoy a full meal during the flick.

Saturday – rest

Since I hadn’t been sure about running facilities at the hotel, I had nothing on the schedule. We had breakfast with Mr PugRunner before he went into the conference hall, and then little man and I went out to explore.

We played mini golf at Fantasia Gardens near the Disney Boardwalk.

And then we had lunch at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ (his request) in Disney Springs.  He had promised to share chicken and donuts with me, but changed his mind last minute and so I ended up with a salad. Not quite as delicious, but good all the same.

Afterwards, we met Mr PugRunner back at the Boardwalk for a surrey bike ride. It was a lot harder than it looked, and we actually had to stop and push on the bigger bridge that crossed the lagoon. Oops.

After a quick nap, we headed out for our St. Patrick’s Day treat: dinner at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium.

I hadn’t been yet, and we were all very excited for the gourmet milkshakes.

I had no regrets.

It was a late night for all of us and I was excited to get some sleep.

 

I was able to get in the miles I wanted, even though it wasn’t quite the way I wanted it (my 11 mile long run got broken up into two runs earlier in the week). I also missed out on some gym time, which I wasn’t happy about.

We have two more weeks until the Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon and I am feeling in great shape for it. Remember, code PUGS18 saves you 15% on both distances.

Also, with summer coming, you can’t be too careful about your hydration. Check out the latest deal from Nuun and stock up your favorites!

How was your week in training?

Gourmet milkshakes, yay or nay?

Have you ever done a dine-in theater experience?

 

weekly wrap: 3.5.18 – 3.10.18

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.

Well, friends, I hate to say it, but this is the week I snapped. On Tuesday, I was just overwhelmed and undermotivated and I went on strike for about six hours. Every so often, it happens.

Here’s the week in numbers:

  • Sunday- rest day
  • Monday – Tight Arm Workout + Total Body Challenge
  • Tuesday – 6.5 miles, running + Total Body Challenge
  • Wednesday – HIIT Circuit + Total Body Challenge
  • Thursday – 7 miles, running + Total Body Challenge
  • Friday – Total Body Challenge
  • Saturday – Gate River Run, 9.3 miles running

Sunday – rest

I was feeling fairly wonderful after Best Damn Race Orlando, and we enjoyed a chill day with my parents. Mr PugRunner cooked up some ribs and wings on the egg and we took advantage of the gorgeous weather.

Monday – Tight Arm Workout + Total Body Challenge

I have really committed to Rachel’s Total Body Workout Challenge, and I suggested we use her moves for our gym warmup. So we all threw down 20 Supermans + :30 plank + 20 Push Ups. And then we were in for a grueling 45 minutes of arms. I always want to strengthen my upper body, so I was very grateful for all the curls and shoulder work.

We ended up staying home that night because little man had his first day of standardized testing on Tuesday and his “homework” was to play and have fun and watch TV and play video games. While I am not a huge fan of these tests, I was more than happy to oblige his teacher’s request and let him run wild until dinner and a sensible bedtime.

Tuesday – 6.5 miles, running + Total Body Challenge

It was a freezing morning run, but S and I knocked out our scheduled 6.5 miles.

And then I put in 30 burpees. I hate burpees, but they are getting easier and easier. I guess that’s the whole point of the consistency.

Work was long, and I learned that there were some things that needed to be corrected in little man’s media project. I scrambled to schedule another video recording session through his teammate’s mom so we could get every fixed before the deadline, but I was over-the-top stressed.

When I got little man from school, he was overwrought from his test, plus he was upset about the media project, so he unloaded on me, which led to me absolutely losing my chill. I got him home, took a mommy time out with a good book, and pretty much went off duty for the evening. We were all able to take a breather and communicate reasonably after a few hours and sharing a meal I didn’t have to cook, but it was a rough night for everyone and I was very happy to get to bed and get a good night’s sleep.

Wednesday – HIIT Circuit + Total Body Challenge

Our warmup consisted of 30 Supermans, a :30 plank and 30 pushups, and then we jumped into a circuit that included leg presses, ab folds, step ups, bench jumpovers and deadlifts. All in all it was a good series, and I was glad to have a solid workout.

After work, little man and his partner redid their contest efforts and then he spent the rest of his night editing their work. I’m excited to see how they do.

Thursday – 7 miles, running + Total Body Challenge

This was our last long run before the Gate River Run 15K. It was a solid run with good weather and good company.

This got followed by 40 burpees. I don’t know that I’ve ever had cause to do 40 burpees at one time, but there they were.

Since I was at work, S kindly picked up my race packet. I was able to snag it from her later in the afternoon.

Little man had a miserable day at school. His allergies swung into full gear and he just couldn’t get himself together. He even ended up staying home from Scouts, which was terrible for him (and me, since I still had to go lead the meeting rather than staying home and tending to him).

When I got home, I tapped in so Mr PugRunner could go to a birthday dinner for our friend. We would have all liked to go but little man was still so uncomfortable, so I got him off to bed and followed shortly behind.

Friday – Total Body Challenge

On the agenda? Forty Supermans, a :45 plank and 40 pushups. Done and done.

I spent the entire day at work, while little man stayed home with Mr PugRunner. Fortunately, it was a fairly quiet day, and I was able to pop right home at the end of the day. We had a nice family dinner, and I was in bed fairly early.

Saturday – Gate River Run 15K

I had packed several outfit options for this race, due to varying weather reports. I ended up sticking with a tank and shorts (which was a smart move when all was said and done).

This is a favorite local race, and I ran it with A and S. We had a great time – it felt good to finish strong and know that we had a blast while out on the course. More to come in the race report later.

I hung out for a bit afterwards, and then went home to meet up with the boys. We had karate pictures for little man in the afternoon and then we rented a movie and just chilled for a bit. It was long overdue.

 

On the plus side, I’m feeling a lot better. This past week was definitely a test and a challenge, and we all got through it, mostly unscathed. Sometimes it’s hard to keep it all together, but when push comes to shove, my family is good at banding together as a team and getting it done.

I am also still feeling great, physically. The longer distances seem to be agreeing with me, and I am excited to keep those up. I am also hoping to add in some cycling in the next month or so when the weather warms up. I don’t think I’ll be taking on another triathlon this season, but the cross training value of a good bike ride is not to be denied.

How was your week in training?

Any great races coming up on your horizon?

 

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