week 18 (2020): birthdays in lockdown

Happy May! We are entering our seventh week of social distancing/lockdown/quarantine/whatever you want to call it. I can’t believe it’s almost halfway through 2020. For better or worse, this year is moving by, and while it’s nothing like what I imagined or hoped for, we are managing to get through.

Florida will enter Phase I of reopening on Monday (with the exception of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties). We are going to continue staying the course, as we see what people will do. As far as we are concerned, things will go on as “usual.” Little man will keep on distance learning and Mr PugRunner will work from home. The plan is to see what happens and make decisions from there.

Sunday – 3.66 mile walk

I got up pretty early so I could get in a walk, before we had to leave the house.

Our day’s plan was to pick blueberries, and then little man had to make a few batches. Some of our friends had seen pictures of his baking exploits and wanted to order some from him. He did a great job (of both picking and baking).

We had to bring our own buckets, and the only thing we had in the appropriate size were these trick or treat buckets. We made it work.

Monday – 3.35 mile walk + 3 x 10 (shoulder press, bicep curl, chest fly, anterior raise)

Another week of crisis learning and work. Little man has been getting some truly nice compliments from his teachers. I appreciate they are taking the time to encourage individual students, especially considering how hard this has been for everyone.

I did my morning walk.

And we got right into everything. That evening, little man started decorating the cookies he received for his birthday. It was a DIY kit of cut out cookies, icing bags, and sprinkles and candy. So cute. Thanks, P Family!

Tuesday – Couch to 5K W2D1 (3.7 miles total)

And so, Couch to 5K Week 2 started. Eep. For these three days, running and walking intervals both increased. It was a little nerve-wracking, but once again, I just put my head down and went for it. Success! It’s also worth noting this is the second turtle I’ve saved this week.

Little man had a slammed day: schoolwork in the morning and early afternoon, clarinet lesson, karate lesson, and then his virtual merit badge course, followed by his actual Troop meeting. He rocked it without missing a beat.

Wednesday – 3.5 mile walk

Happy 12th Birthday, little man!

We worked so hard to make this a great day. He woke up to balloons, his f favorite breakfast (avocado toast) and a special shirt I crafted on the Cricut.

Wednesdays are live conference days, so I made him “go to school” for the morning (he had four classes – super manageable), and then he was free for the day. My parents brought takeout from a sandwich shop and we ate outside in our driveway, at an acceptable social distance.

In the evening, we ordered wings from the restaurant down the street, and sat outside to eat. The biggest surprise was a parade of friends, who really went all out with posters, noisemakers, balloons, music and lots of smiles and horns. He was stunned, and so very happy.

It took him a little while to process everything that had gone on, but he was so very grateful and happy.

Thursday – Couch to 5K W2D2 (3.39 miles total) + 3 x 10 (shoulder press, bicep curl, chest fly, anterior raise)

I was able to run by some gorgeous flowers on this particular morning. It’s getting hotter, so spring is definitely almost over.

Friday – 4.5 mile walk + 3 x 10 (military press, wide row, regular row, V press)

TGIF. I took a super long walk and did arm strength.

Work was busy, but I got done as much as I could. Some days, I just find myself distracted and unfocused, but it is what it is.

That evening, we went to a local restaurant, where they were hosting some live music. We were allowed to sit in our cars, or in camp chairs, with at least 6′ distance between groups. The weather was gorgeous and we had a few drinks and just enjoyed ourselves.

Saturday – Couch to 5K W2D3 (3.66 miles total)

I didn’t want to do this run, but it needed to be done. Even though I had had a wee bit to drink on Friday night, I ended up feeling just fine, and had my fastest, longest run of the week. Yay!

I confess to being super lazy the rest of the day. Little man made homemade pizza dough so we could have pizza, which was delicious. He’s really evolving as a cook.

And I also enjoyed another fantastic Zoom Coffee Date with the blogger crew. So awesome.

These chats are truly a highlight of my week.

Goal-getting

Even in this “life interruption,” we have a great deal happening.

This week is my birthday and Mother’s Day (Saturday and Sunday, respectively). We also have May the Fourth Be With You on Monday and Cinco de Mayo on Tuesday. Those will be fun. I will be attending a virtual Mother’s Day Tea Party on my birthday with St. Augustine Moms (save $1 on your registration with code JENNIFERL if you want to join in the fun).

and our cul de sac will do a small, socially distant brunch on Sunday. It should be nice.

On Monday, we are also having Front Porch Project photos taken with Megan Soto Photography. I had scheduled family photos the weekend I ended up breaking my leg, and obviously, it hasn’t been a priority since. Well, local photographers are offering photo shoots that are socially distant and safe. They use their zoom lenses to shoot your family on your front porch or other area at your home, while they stay 20 to 30 feet away. It’s a great way to get updated photos and support the local photographers.

meg soto photography

If you’re local, check out Megan (she is still honoring her Aprili price of $60 for a session). If you’re not, I’m sure photographers near you are offering a similar package.

I did mention a surprise, and I will have an update Monday at some point. Oooh, I’m so excited. To tide you over, on an unrelated note, Meghan had the brilliant idea to run the ZOOMA 12K in October as well (if it’s a go), and we got Amy on board, booked a hotel for the weekend, and for the first time, it feels like something normal on the horizon. We can cancel, if need be, but I do hope things will stay steady.

Little man has cruised through two virtual merit badge courses, which is great. I love that BSA offers this to help keep advancements moving through these trying times. He misses his Troop, and it’s certainly nice that they have been able to adapt.

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 is something you have on the calendar as “normal”?

a coffee date of tentative beginnings

Happy May! Another month has passed (yes, April seemed just as long as March), and we are now in the fifth month of this crazy year.

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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Over coffee, I would tell you that…

I’m at a point where I’m drinking actual hot coffee! Who am I, even?

Over coffee, I would tell you that…

Restarting Couch to 5K has been super humbling and super amazing all at once. I have been so scared and worried that I wasn’t ready, but I finally just had to go for it. It hasn’t been easy, at all, but that’s to be expected.

april runfessions

Over coffee, I would tell you that…

I think I have to readjust my ultimate comeback goals this year. Obviously, I am not alone, and while I would love nothing more than to go to Memphis for the St. Jude Memphis Half Marathon, there are several unknowns. With everything going on in the world, registration is delayed, and we don’t even know if the 2020 event will go on as planned. If it does happen, I’m not sure I feel comfortable traveling several states away at this point, and I don’t know if my running buddy will be either. I may have to find a local half, instead.

Over coffee, I would tell you that…

Florida is starting a slow opening, and we are starting to venture out a little. This past weekend, we went blueberry picking, and attended a small drive-in movie at a local restaurant. I, personally, feel a lot more comfortable when things are outside, and it’s been good to get out of the house a bit.

On Monday, we go into a Phase I (this is good for the whole state, with the exception of Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties in South Florida), which means we will see the beaches open without restrictions, restaurants for patio dining and 25% capacity inside, as well as more retail spaces, and elective surgeries. No gyms. No salons. No theaters or big events. More decisions will be made from there. We are just going to take a wait and see approach. Our region hasn’t been hit as hard as others, for which we are so grateful, but I d on’t know if it’s because of our social distancing or other factors. It’s intimidating not to know, but we all just have to stay vigilant and as safe as we can.

Over coffee, I would tell you that…

I broke down for this mask. And this is my laundry room. Starbucks had a campaign with that little black pug about 15 years ago, and I was gifted on of the banners. It’s hung in my home ever since.

Over coffee, I would tell you that…

Little man’s quarantine birthday was actually a pretty big success. He was so upset that it was going to be an awful, less than special day, but he ended up loving it! We started with balloons outside his room, a special Quarantine Birthday shirt I made, presents, and his favorite breakfast. My parents brought takeout for lunch, and we ate outside in our driveway, but six feet apart. We got wings for dinner (again, his fave), and while we ate outside, so many of our friends surprised him with an incredible drive-by birthday parade. There were balloons and posters, music, beads, silly string and noisemakers. Heck, one of our LEO friends played “happy birthday” on the siren of his police car and another friends tied cans to their tailgate. It was a huge surprise and made his night.

And finally, over coffee, I would tell you that…

I may have some huge news next week. HUGE. No hints, but I really, really, really, really hope it works out. Keep your fingers crossed!

What would you tell me over coffee?

Are restrictions easing or staying tight where you live?

the emotional anatomy of a comeback

When you work on a comeback, it’s a crazy range of all the emotions. It’s truly kind of crazy what all goes into it, and how my mood changes from day to day.

At first, I couldn’t imagine a time when I would be able to run again. Heck, I didn’t know if I would be able to walk without a limp again! But as time went on, what seemed impossible became possible. That’s when all the emotions really kicked in.

comeback

Fear

I think fear is the biggest thing to keep a person from their comeback. We can be afraid of so many things: failure, or the chance of re-injury come to mind. Fear kept me from starting back to actually running sooner. I just couldn’t see how I could manage to make my body run without shattering my pinned together ankle. Irrational? Absolutely. But fear is like that. I can’t help but remember being at this stage and never wanted to be there again!

winter break

Doubt

When I finally decided it was “safe” for me to run, I was still very plagued with doubt. In my mind, I had built this all up so much, and I just didn’t know what was going to happen. Even after my first few running sessions, I’m still not sure what the future holds. While nothing feels wrong, nothing feels right, either. It’s hard to stay positive in this comeback when I can’t seem to remember the joy of running.

comeback

Embarrassment

This is hard one for me. I have always been embarrassed to show weakness, and in my comeback, I know I’m vulnerable. Before my injury, I always used to run before dawn, which meant no one could ever really see me. Now, I have to run in sunlight, because I’m scared of tripping or taking a misstep. This leaves me incredibly exposed to anyone else who might be out and about, and it’s hard to put myself out there. I wish I had a sign that read “rehabbing from injury” just so that there is a justification for my awkward gait or labored breathing. That being said, I know this is a “it’s not you, it’s me” feeling, and my comeback shouldn’t be negatively influenced by my own self-consciousness.

couch to 5k

Defeat

Starting over is hard. Like really hard. The body has to learn to move all over again. It’s hard to breathe and find a rhythm. I remember going out for six, seven, or eight miles like it was nothing, and now I struggle to manage two or three. It’s hard to stay in the now and honor the progress I’ve made, without letting it feel like defeat.

comeback

Empowerment

When all is said and done, the feeling of empowerment creeps in. To overcome any injury or setback, to get back to doing what you love? It’s everything. Seriously, everything. The feeling of victory is like nothing else and honestly, it’s like you’re invincible. While the emotions are hard to process, I love reaching this pinnacle and feeling on top of the world! I can’t help but be proud of how far I’ve come, no matter what the other emotions are. There’s lots more of this to come!

couch to 5K

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 RunsRunning on HappyConfessions 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

What emotions are involved when you return to doing something after being away for a break or injury?

week 17 (2020): my return to couch to 5K

Well. I did it. I restarted the Couch To 5K program. Holy. Moly.

I have been going back and forth about starting. Was I ready? Could my leg and ankle handle it? Was I rushing things? Ultimately, I just had to suck it up and tell myself to try. So much of returning from injury is in the brain and the mind, and overcoming that can be just as difficult as rehabbing from the injury itself.

It was time for me to rip off the bandaid and go.

Sunday – 3.7 mile walk + PT Exercises

One of the benchmarks we talked about in PT was that I need to be able to balance on my injured leg, and hinge forward with the good leg extended behind me. Since my strength and balance is improving every day, I went for it, after my morning walk. Bam!

couch to 5k

We enjoyed some biscuits and gravy from my favorite biscuit place, and little man made an obstacle course for Hufflepuff. She was not on board, but we thought it was awesome.

Monday – 2 mile walk + 30 Day Shred Level 1

My Monday plan was to start Couch 50 5K, but I woke up to crazy thunder and lightning. Of course, this made me incredibly anxious, because I wasn’t going to be able to get out for any kind of exercise, so I ended up finding an old video of 30 Day Shred.

The weather finally cleared, so I did manage a short walk in the evening, which made me feel better.

Tuesday – Couch to 5K W1D1 (3.5 miles total)

So now it was time. I got up on Tuesday and I went for it. Day 1 called for a five minute warm up and five minute cool down, with eight repeats of 1:00 running/1:30 walking. The first interval was awful. Nothing hurt, but nor did it feel right. I teared up as I went, without meaning to. Ugh. However, as each interval passed, it got easier and easier. Not ever totally easy, but doable. And once I saw that my ankle wasn’t going to shatter on impact, I was able to find a bit of a groove. Victory!

couch to 5K

Wednesday – 3.83 mile walk + karate family fitness class

The day started with a great morning walk. I had a little knotting in my right calf, but nothing too notable. I just walked it out.

Since it was Earth Day, I also followed Judy’s Rainbow Scavenger Hunt idea, and found all seven colors.

Little man’s karate instructor has started hosting a family fitness class twice a week. We are all for supporting the dojo, so I hopped in with little man for the session. Lots of pushups and abs and all kinds of kicks and punches, but it was good sweat sesh and I hope we can do more.

By that point, I was pretty fitnessed out, and decided to take a moment for some “self-care.” Obviously, there are no salon manicures right now, so I bought some Color Street strips from my friend and attempted a home mani. It went surprisingly well, and I am happy to report that the strips are still in place about five days later. Much better and easier than polish.

Thursday – Couch to 5K W1D2 3.5 mile walk + 3 x 10 (shoulder press, bicep curl, chest fly, anterior raise)

The second day of Couch to 5K was not as terrifying. Am I saying it was easy? Nope. Not at all, but now that all my initial fears didn’t come to pass, it was just easier to get moving. I’m still a bit awkward as my body figures out what’s going on, but that’s ok. It was probably like this when I started the first time, too.

couch to 5k

When I got home, I realized that I’ve been neglecting my upper arms, and put together a free weight circuit. Cross training needs to stay a priority.

That afternoon, little man entered a virtual teen/tween cooking challenge through our public library system. The challenge was to create a savory and sweet toasted sandwich. He created a grilled cheese made of colby jack, bacon (his favorite sandwich topping), and Brussels sprouts and spinach (two veggies he has never before put on a sandwich). The sweet sandwich was Nutella, strawberries and pears. He created the recipes, set up his filming area, did the cooking and prep work, and we acted as judges.

Truth? I want sautéed Brussels on my grilled cheese sammies from here on out.

In other news, it was National Picnic Day. I put together a light meal of antipasto kabobs and blueberry lemonade, but it ended up being too windy to eat outside. Boo.

Friday – 3.26 mile walk + 3 x 10 (shoulder press, bicep curl, chest fly, anterior raise)

Mr Pug Runner joined me for my walk in the morning, which was a nice treat.

couch to 5k

Saturday – Couch to 5K W1D3 (4.16 miles total) + 3 x 10 (shoulder press, bicep curl, chest fly, anterior raise)

Saturday morning came and I headed out for my third session of Couch to 5K. It went well, and I went farther and faster than my prior two outings. It was a really good feeling to have gotten this far.

couch to 5k

Week 1 of Couch to 5K is now complete! Time to take a few days of just straight walking to recover before I get back to it on Tuesday!

We got our vegetables and the farm. The ice cream truck paid a visit to our street, which was a nice way to break things up.

And we got some take out and drinks for dinner and sat outside to enjoy it. It was nice way to end the Saturday.

Goal-getting

Goal achieved!!!! I am so excited! To be honest, I feel good. I was worried about soreness and pain afterwards, but I really haven’t had much of either. There is definitely some weakness in my right hip and glute, but I can take care of that and work more on my strength. Easy peasy.

On to Week 2.

This week we have a big 12th birthday to celebrate, and I can’t wait to share that all with you. I hope we can make it extra special, regardless of everything going on.

Oh, and as an aside, we joke a lot about kids when parents are working from home, but we had to take some drastic measures with the pugs, too.

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 used to Couch to 5K program?

april runfessions: a return to running

And now it’s April. Also known as “another eternal month.” We have settled into this (I hate to use the term) “new normal”, but it’s certainly not as great as The Before. My heart breaks for the areas that are hard hit, and I hope that we can pull together when these quarantines and shelter at home orders end.

I’ve tried to keep things as regular as possible in our world, just for some stability. We are doing our crisis learning. Mr PugRunner works from home. We miss my parents and our friends terribly. But we are getting through.

Let’s join up with Marcia’s Healthy Slice and talk it out in our April Runfessions.

runfessions

I runfess that…

I have started Couch To 5K! After much internal back and forth, I decided to get just rip off the bandaid and try. I will write a post dedicated to the whole experience of my first week shortly, but for now, i can tell you that it went as well as could be expected. The first run interval brought me to tears: I was relieved and scared and sad and excited. However, when that passed, everything was fine and I was able to complete (to date) two sessions.

april runfessions

I runfess that…

I kind of don’t remember why I love running. It’s all going to be part of the process, I’m sure, but it’s so hard, and I feel so awkward. One of the things I need to remember is how great it feels to be with my friends, training and running races, and all the adrenaline and good feelings that come along with it. The road back will be long and hard, and I’m still at the very beginning.

racing season

I runfess that…

I miss my calluses. Is that weird? It feels like a weird thing to miss. As a person who walks barefoot all the time, and who is constantly running or doing something active, my feet were pretty impenetrable. After my surgery, the skin of my right foot just started to shed, and in the weeks and months of recovery, the sole of that foot was left with zero protection. I can feel EVERYTHING now, and while it’s not painful, the bottom of my foot can get very tender and sore, especially when I’m on it a lot. That’s something I need to build up again, and soon!

I runfess that…

The weather is making me insane. I know I can’t complain because it’s not snowing here, but the storms have been out of control. Usually, when it rains in Florida, it lasts only an hour or two, but we have been getting hit with the day-long, steady rain. In addition, there is way too much lightning and far too many tornado watches for comfort. Of course, hurricane season opens in June, and so there’s that to look forwards too, as well. Swell.

april runfessions

I runfess that…

I finally got on board and ordered masks for our family. The boys have a few buffs and Autobahn racing hoods, so I picked up a few for me, a couple for them, and then some for my parents. We’re not sure what the future holds, but it can’t hurt to be prepared. I got these from SnuggleBabe Shop on Etsy, and was very happy with the quality, communication, and fast (two week) turnaround. True, I hate that this is what things have come to, but here we are. As a side note, in our city and state, masks are not required for outside activity, but I’m glad I have some options if that should change.

april runfessions

What do you have to runfess?

Are masks required for outdoor activity where you are?

five ways runners can celebrate earth day

Happy Earth Day!

Can you believe this is 50th Anniversary of Earth Day! This movement began in 1970, with over 20 million Americans lending a hand to help make positive changes to environmental policies and protections.

earth day

Go For A “Plog”

Plogging is the act of picking up litter while jogging. The trend started in Sweden in 2016, and by 2018, had spread to other countries. It’s a shame that, in today’s day and age, people still feel the need to toss their trash in places other than the garbage bin, but here we are. Obviously, plogging isn’t for speedwork days, but during your less intense workouts, it would be great to tuck a (reusable) bag into and gloves into a pocket, and work on picking up discarded cups, bottles, cans, and whatever else you may find. This would be the perfect way to honor Earth Day (and please remember to wash your hands really well, especially now!)

earth day

Say “No” To Plastic Race Bags

I know we’re not racing at the moment, but when we do, consider the choices at bib pickup. For events with lots of swag, organizers usually hand out some kind of bag, and many times, it’s a single-use shopping type bag. The good news is that a lot of races are either skipping the bag altogether, or offering something like a branded string or tote bag, which can be reused. If I’m not sure, I bring my own, to contain my shirt, bib, safety pins, and assorted goodies.

Hydrate With Reusable Items

It’s so easy to grab a water or gatorade bottle for your run, and then dispose of it. Recycling is fine, but even better is moving to reuseable cups, bottles, handhelds, and even straws when you can. Some events are going entire cupless, encouraging runners to bring their own handhelds or hydration packs. This helps to eliminate unnecessary plastics and waste, and is a fabulous way to give back, especially on Earth Day.

Try Run- (Or Bike-) Commuting

If you live close enough to your work, gym, or even grocery store, you might want to leave your car in the driveway and run to get there and back again. I do admit that it’s a tough sell in Florida, where the heat and humidity would make it necessary to have a shower waiting for you at your professional destination, but you never know what you might be able to work out. I always loved taking my bike to the store to pick up a few items at the store, or even to walk to get coffee or lunch when the weather is nice. Driving is great, but it’s also great to stretch our legs and cut back on some exhaust.

earth day

Donate Your Old Running Shoes

There’s no question that runners go through shoes at record speeds. Of course, it’s also true that shoes aren’t yet made entirely of biodegradable materials, so when they have outlived their usefulness to us, tossing them means they just sit in a landfill. Shoe donations, however, changes the picture a little. Most local running stores accept shoe donations. You can even donate at certain races or events.

earth day

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 RunsRunning on HappyConfessions 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

What are ways you can celebrate Earth Day as a runner?

week 16 (2020): and so ends 6th grade

Another week. All the days are really blending at this point, and it’s getting hard to manage my time.

On Friday, our local counties opened up some of the beaches (for certain hours and with specific restrictions), and on Saturday, our governor made the announcement that our students would continue distance learning for the rest of the academic year. I think we all knew it was coming, but it was sad to hear, all the same.

Sunday – 1.7 mile walk + PT Exercises

Happy Easter! I confess, it was a weird holiday. Sure, the bunny came and brought a basket for little man, and we had a special breakfast and dinner…

But, like for everyone else, it just wasn’t right. We missed my parents terribly, and we wore pajamas almost all day, and it was just weird.

On a fun note, we did take Delilah for a walk in the wagon. The weather was super cool and breezy so she enjoyed her outing (she is not a fan of exercise, bless her).

Monday – 4 mile walk + PT Exercises

I decided to push things on Monday, and went for four miles. Whoo hoo!

And then it was back to the school week. The days are all blending together now. We have fallen into a bit of a routine, so that helps things.

Tuesday – 3.4 mile walk + PT Exercises

Terrible storms have been sweeping through the areas, so I decided I would take advantage of the clear morning to do my 5k for The Un-Canceled Project. I changed my “registration” from Saturday to that morning. Easy peasy.

Tuesday is also little man’s busiest day. He has school, clarinet, karate, AND Scouts. This is definitely a change from his “Before Time” schedule, but he’s been handling it fairly well.

Wednesday – 3.4 mile walk + PT Exercises

I try to get up a little earlier on Wednesday because little man has classes and I like to be able to monitor.

I also had plans to make a super yummy chocolate chip banana bread, and as luck would have it, it was National Banana Day.

Thursday – 3.5 mile walk + + PT Exercises

When Thursday came, I was raring to go. I started with a 3.5 mile walk.

Then I whipped up this delicious Dalgona coffee. I’ve been finding lots of fun ideas via TikTok, and this did not disappoint.

I had to help Mr PugRunner buzz cut his hair (he picked up clippers the night before and took care of little man’s out of control style), and little man decided to take his hedgehog to “school.” Why not?

Also, it was National Wear Your Pajamas To Work Day. Done and done.

Friday – 3.6 mile walk + PT Exercises

We wanted to take a trip to get some produce on Saturday, so I decided to do my Team Sparkle Virtual Run (Theme: Your Lack of Sparkle Disturbs Me) on Friday morning instead.

Little man loaned me the light saber for the photos. The Force was with me, and I came away with another 5K PR!

We went to pick up some drive thru for lunch, just to get out of the house for a drive. I can’t remember the last time I was in a car for anything longer than five minutes, so it was very bizarre.

Later in the evening, I did a Zoom happy hour with some of the girls, and that was lovely, too.

Saturday – 2.2 mile walk + 2.4 mile bike ride + PT Exercises

Mr PugRunner joined me for my morning walk.

Little man has been slightly less than motivated when it comes to getting out and about. He used to ride his bike to and from school, but it’s a lot less fun when you can’t ride or hang out with anyone. I’m committing to ride with him every day – it’s not my favorite activity (I just don’t feel 100% secure on the bike right now), but I guess I have to suck it up.

We also made a small outing to pick up some fresh produce. Our local farms are struggling to sell their crops, and we were hoping to do our part to support them. Everything was outside, and the farm provided gloves and sanitizer for customers to use, while appropriately social distancing.

We got super nice haul and I have big plans for everything.

I had another fabulous Zoom call with some of my favorite blogger ladies, which was SO good for the soul.

We ended the weekend by renting Jumanji: The Next Level.

Goal-getting

I normally hate to put out a goal if I’m nervous about it, but I am planning to start Couch to 5K tomorrow. What’s the worst that can happen? I am fully prepared to look and feel like a hot mess, but I think it’s time. Wish me luck.

A while back, I had mentioned joining a neighborhood book club. Well, the first meeting was pretty much the week all the COVID-19 restrictions started coming through. I wasn’t comfortable going to a stranger’s house in the midst of all of that, so book club wasn’t to be. However, one of my fellow St. Augustine Moms contributors is starting a virtual club and I just ordered my book! (The Alice Network). Here’s hoping this works out far better!

Little man’s birthday is in ten days. We have a plan in place, and this week, I have to work on some signs and his t-shirt. I hope he has a special day, regardless of what’s going on. He was super sad about not going back to school this year, and really, it’s just been disappointment after disappointment heaped on all these kids.

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?

Do you like to keep your goals a secret if you’re not sure how they’re going to work out?

virtual racing isn’t canceled

We are just about four weeks into our Safer at Home orders here in Florida. To be honest, it feels like an eternity, but we are keeping positive and looking for the end in sight. I’m grateful that we can still get outside for exercise, and it was only this week that I saw two women wearing masks while out on their daily constitutional.

And while our races are postponed, canceled or otherwise in limbo, virtual racing is, decidedly, NOT canceled.

virtual racing

Virtual races have not always been my thing. In the past, I registered for a few, simply because I couldn’t turn down the cause or the bling (y’all, I’m a sucker for bling). I was going to complete the miles anyway, so why not support a great movement?

Case in point.

virtual racing

Sadly, the Virtual Pug Runs no longer exist, but there are plenty of virtual races open to runners looking for ways to crush their goals. Even better, so many of them are free! You may not get any swag, but you can join communities of other runners, all in the same boat, and push yourself to continue training for the future.

Team Sparkle Virtual Run Series

My current favorite is the Team Sparkle Virtual Run Series. This is a completely free series of runs. Sparkle Athletic provides a weekly theme, and runners come with the distance and a healthy dose of Sparkle Spirit.

virtual racing

Post your Team Sparkle photo on Instagram and Facebook with the tag #teamsparklevirtualrun and join in a community of awesome athletes, running and walking with style!

virtual racing

You won’t get a real medal, but they will hook you up with a medal image that you can photoshop yourself. Super fun.

virtual racing

The Un-Canceled Project

Run The Edge offers another completely free virtual race series called The Un-Canceled Project. This is a six week series, with each week reflecting a different theme: Gratitude, Hope, Humor, Inspiration, Courage, and Compassion. Each week, registrants can run one of each distance (5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon, 8K, 15K, and/or Ultra) in order to load up their virtual trophy case. I am sticking to the 5Ks right now, for obvious reasons.

virtual racing

There are no virtual medals for these events, but there is a Facebook community where runners can share their accomplishments and support each other through running and fitness. It’s a nice group, full of really incredibly and inspiring people.

How do I benefit from virtual racing in these times?

Personally, I need all the help I can get with keeping my motivation up. While it’s incredibly ironic that I’m not missing too many events during my recovery, it would be a waste not to take advantage of what IS available. Joining these virtual racing challenges boosts my morale and makes me want to dig deep for improvement. Hitting a new pace or distance makes me want to lace up and get out there, and it’s a reminder not to skimp on my exercises or neglect my cross training.

As things continue, I plan to register for a few paid virtual races as well, to help support the race companies and causes in need of bracing in these uncertain times.

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 RunsRunning on HappyConfessions 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

Are you embracing the virtual racing life?

week 15 (20): happy easter!

Happy Easter to all my friends and readers who celebrate! This is a bizarre Easter – the bunny has managed a small basket and egg hunt for little man. We will have a very casual dinner, and the boys voted for pajamas all day. This is not the way we do holidays and it’s a little hard to get excited about things, but we are going to do our best.

Sunday – 1.75 mile walk + Day 12 of 2 Week Core Challenge + PT Exercises

I was exhausted after Saturday’s virtual 5K, and only did a small recovery walk with Mr PugRunner in the morning.

Little man finished off a weekend of virtual camping for Scouts. He put up his tent in the loft, slept there, cooked meals for the family and made oven s’mores. It was a cute little break, especially since his Troop is missing out on so many camping trips right now.

I was also really excited to be almost done with the 2 Week Core Challenge. Core is not my favorite.

  • Scarecrows (5 lb weights): 60 seconds
  • Front Plank: 60 seconds
  • Scissor Kicks: 60 seconds
  • Flutter Kicks: 60 seconds

Monday – 3.7 mile walk + Day 13 of 2 Week Core Challenge + PT Exercises

On Monday, I messed up my route and ended up walking almost four miles with Mr. PugRunner. Oops.

easter

Little man had to start crisis/distance learning for real on Monday morning (last week was kind of the test of everything). He was on point, though, and got right in place to do his work.

It ended up being a bit of a long day but we had a special visitor: Taco the Therapy Mini! I wanted to hug on him so badly, but kept my 6+ feet of distance.

  • Scarecrows (5 lb weights): 60 seconds
  • Front Plank: 60 seconds
  • Straight Leg Sit-ups: 60 seconds
  • Toe Touches: 60 seconds

Tuesday – 3.2 mile walk + Day 14 of 2 Week Core Challenge + PT Exercises

Every walk has me feeling stronger and stronger.

Little man had his busiest day yet. In addition to schoolwork, he had to set up a pretty cool egg experiment.

And then he had clarinet lessons, karate class and his first virtual Scouts meeting. He was so happy to see his Troop and Patrol friends.

And I was not at all sorry to say goodbye to the Core Challenge!

  • Scarecrows (5 lb weights): 60 seconds
  • Front Plank: 60 seconds
  • Superman: 60 seconds
  • Leg Circles: 60 seconds

Wednesday – 3.4 mile walk + Day 1 of Crazy 8s Challenge + PT Exercises

You guessed it: my morning started with a brisk walk.

My friend, L, suggested we try this Crazy Eights Challenge, and I was all on board until we got down to it.

I still can’t do jumping jacks, so I had to modify those and the mountain climbers. Alternating lunges and butt kicks both were so slow I don’t know that I was getting any fitness benefit whatsoever. Once I completed one circuit, there was no way I could go back for two more. I felt so defeated by my limitations, and even though I know it’s temporary, it was kind of my breaking point for the week.

On the plus side, we had a mobile mechanic come to the house to check out our older car (the one that overheated and needed to be towed back home). We were super lucky: instead of a cracked engine block as I feared, it was just some old hoses that were easy (and not super costly!) to replace. Whew.

Thursday – 3.2 mile walk + + PT Exercises

I popped up on Thursday morning, ready for a great day. My walk was solid and I was pretty stoked to be able to grow my tree!

Things went downhill fairly quickly. After at home is getting to all of us, and little man had a rough day with school. He has been doing a great job, but he held a lot of his work until the end of the week, and then got crushed by how much he had to do.

Mr. PugRunner eventually had to take over because I was at the end of my rope, and they got through everything like champs.

Friday – 3.3 mile walk + PT Exercises

Friday was technically a day off from school so we didn’t have to get up and moving in the morning. I ended up going for a

I laid out my Flat Sparkle for the next day: we were all ready for unicorns!

Saturday – 3.15 mile walk + Crazy 8s + PT Exercises

Happy Team Sparkle Virtual Race and Un-Canceled Project 5K Day! Mr PugRunner joined me and I hit another PR in honor of unicorns and hope!

I also went back for another round of Crazy Eights. Again, I only did one circuit, but I felt better about it, so that counts.

The rest of the day was spent in Easter prep. We’ve really leaned into the whole “safer at home” recommendations and so our house hasn’t been loaded down with special treats or gifts or decor like it would normally be. Only one person leaves the house and does any of the shopping, and most of our online purchases have been essential things. Little man said it didn’t even feel like Easter. Ugh.

I made German potato salad and a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. Little man dyed the Easter eggs.

That evening, we rented Trolls World Tour and enjoyed it with some bagel bites. Then we turned in and hoped the Easter Bunny would be able to deliver a few things for the holiday.

Goal-getting

My plan this week was to stay in the three to four mile range, comfortably. It’s going well. I have almost no swelling anymore, and while I do limp first thing in the morning and later in the day, it’s not awful. I kind of wish I could get in a pool to start strengthening my ankle, but it’s not to be.

Another week in “quarantine” and we are all feeling it (just like everyone else). Even as an introvert, it’s wearing not leaving the house except for daily walks and fresh air. We miss my parents and our friends. We miss the privilege of running to the store because we forgot an ingredient for dinner, or going to the movies or just getting out and about. With all that, we continue to be grateful for our health and that of those around us.

I took a bit of a break from Twitter this week because I was getting way too much “information” from too many hostile sources on all sides of the situation, and it was bringing me way down. I like to know what’s going on, but sometimes, it’s just too much.

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 taking breaks from social media to deal with the input of information?

hope + the cupcake run

Who would have guessed that hope might come in the form of cupcakes? The Sweet by Holly Cupcake Run 5K and 1 mile Kids Cake Walk Fun Run benefiting Girls on the Run of Northeast Florida has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 19, and I find myself seeing a light at the end of this tunnel.

cupcake run

So many races and events have been canceled over the last month. Of course, it’s understandable. So many people are sticking to the Safer At Home mandates, and gathering in groups, large or small, is absolutely inadvisable right now. But that doesn’t mean it’s not sad and disappointing.

Being homebound can be exhausting. There’s just not much to look forward to. That lack of anticipation makes the hours, days and weeks drag by. It doesn’t weaken my resolve or change what my family is doing to slow the spread, but it’s exhausting and draining all the same.

Since I wasn’t signed up for many races anyway (thanks, leg!), I’ve only watched the cancellations from the sidelines. My big focus was my comeback race on April 4, The Cupcake Run 5K and Cake Walk Fun Run, but that, too, joined the ranks of no-go events.

GOTRNEFL cupcake run

However, on Monday, a little ray of sunshine broke through the clouds. The Cupcake Run has a new date, later in the year, and with that comes hope.

I don’t know how long the social distancing and self-isolating will last. Obviously, the goal is health and safety, and both those things are top priority. But it’s so nice to have something on the horizon. It’s nice to have something to look forward to. I love getting to put something on the calendar.

Of course, it’s also wonderful to support Girls on the Run of Northeast Florida, a non-profit that inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experienced-based curriculum that creatively integrates running. And there will be gorgeous medals, and cupcakes from Sweet By Holly!

comeback

I don’t know about you, but to me, this looks like hope.

(If you have already registered for the race, you are all set for the new date. Are you unable to make the new date? A virtual option is available and you will be able to pick up your swag at a time and date TBA. If you would like to register for the new date, you may do so here.)

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 RunsRunning on HappyConfessions 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

*This is a sponsored post. I have partnered with Girls on the Run of Northeast Florida to promote the Sweet By Holly Cupcake Run 5K and 1 Mile Cake Walk.I have received compensation in the form of race registration for my own personal use. All opinions are my own.*

Have you seen events and races start to be rescheduled?

What is giving you hope these days?

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