rocking a family getaway at hard rock hotel daytona beach

After a months-long series of unfortunate events, I floated the idea of a spontaneous family getaway to Mr PugRunner. Yes, we were going on our big summer vacation in a few weeks, but we also needed a break. Travel is our favorite way to relax, after all.

We tossed around different ideas, until a Facebook ad for bioluminescent kayaking caught my attention. This is an activity I had been wanting to do so I suggested booking a quick hotel night in Cocoa, close to the kayak launch and calling it a day.

Mr. PugRunner was lukewarm on the idea, and did me one better: two nights at the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach (45 minutes from the kayaks), since the rates for the nights we selected were still in low season mode.

Family getaway: booked.

family getaway

The Hotel.

Mr PugRunner and I look at hotels very differently. I enjoy nicer places, but am perfectly happy for a clean, safe place to shower and sleep. He prefers a bit more luxury. I was fine booking a quick stay in the Cocoa Beach area, but he wanted to go more upscale. I confess I’m glad I let him take the lead.

From the minute we arrived and handed the car to the valet, we were impressed. The lobby was gorgeous and set up for comfortable lounging.

We scored an awesome room with an ocean view. There was one (very comfortable) king-sized bed and a pull-out couch for little man (who loves pull out couches with the fires of a thousand suns).

The bathroom sparkled and the water pressure was on point.

One of our favorite features? We had a turntable and vinyl delivered to the room for the duration of our stay. Guests could also get an electric guitar but we opted out.

The Food.

I confess, we got a bit lazy in our culinary adventures. We didn’t want to drive or travel much, and quite frankly, the Hard Rock Hotel’s onsite restaurant, Sessions, was pretty fantastic.

We enjoyed a breakfast, a dinner and two lunches (one at the restaurant and one poolside) at this restaurant. Every meal was fresh and delicious. In fact, the roasted beet salad was so yummy I ate it once for lunch with grilled salmon and then split another one with Mr PugRunner at dinner time as an appetizer.

I’m craving this now.

Are you hungry yet?

The Amenities.

HRH Daytona Beach boasts a full complement of top-notch amenities. There is a coffee shop, a restaurant and bar, concierge, gift and sundry shop, fitness center, kids club, concert stages and several pools.

We spent a sick amount of time at the main pool.

The Kids Club looked nice with game systems, tvs, crafts and activities, but since we were visiting off season, there was really no one there. Little man didn’t want to hang out alone so we skipped it this time around.

The gym was gorgeous: huge, clean and with tons of equipment. It was a pleasure to work out.

Off Site Activities.

We really had no reason to leave the property, but we mixed things up a little for fun. The main drag in Daytona is lined with plenty of shops and restaurants, as well as attractions like a small boardwalk area, water park, splash park and the bandshell. It’s very walkable but there is also plenty of parking if you want to take your car.

Daytona Beach was gorgeous and not very crowded. We loved taking a long morning stroll.

We had a choice of several miniature golf courses, and I showed the boys how putt putt is done.

Of course, the bioluminescent kayaking was the point of our family getaway, and we booked our tour with BK Adventure. The kayak launch was an easy 45 minute drive from the Hard Rock Hotel, and BK Adventure provided great directions and preparation tips.

This excursion requires a bit of nerve (kayaking in the dark by the light of the moon can be a bit alarming), but trust that the guides are well trained and absolutely safety-minded.

family getaway

It was tough taking photos with a cell phone, but the phosphorescent dinoflagellates were breathtaking and absolutely worth doing.

Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach provided us with a fun and carefree family getaway. We celebrated summer in style, and got a little break. We loved visiting somewhere new but close to home and trying out some new-to-us activities.

Have you ever visited a Hard Rock Hotel property?

What’s your favorite staycation destination?

race report: BAA 10K {06.23.19}

As promised, I have finally written out my BAA 10K Race Report. We are just over two weeks away from my running of the BAA 10K, and I am so happy to finally share the experience with you!

b.a.a. 10K

When Mr PugRunner agreed we could take our family vacation to New England, and we narrowed down our dates, I immediately took to the internet to see if our stay would overlap with any out-of-state races. Our trip would be long enough that one morning of running wouldn’t be too much of a diversion. It was a stroke of luck that the BAA 10K was being held smack dab in the middle of our visit to Boston.



I was a nervous wreck about registration for the BAA 10K. The 5K of the same name had sold out in record time and since all our flights and hotels were booked, I didn’t have much backup plan. On March 13, I sat down in front of my computer with my credit card and frantically typed in all my information at record speed.

What I didn’t love about the system was that I received an email that my info was RECEIVED, but it wouldn’t be PROCESSED instantaneously. This led to me obsessively refreshing my email until I got that coveted message saying “You’re In!” (It took about 45 minutes).

Bib + Welcome Packet

The Boston Athletic Association mails bibs to all U.S. runners, prior to the race, without exception. They did not include an actual mail date on their website, so I could only hope to receive my envelope before we actually left for our trip. Emails and social media posts kept us updated until the bibs were on their way.

Mine came while I was in Orlando with Meghan, so my worry was for nothing.

For those who lived out of the country or who lost their bibs, a race day solution was available, but I really didn’t want to have to deal with that.

Race Morning

I admit to being nervous about getting to the race site on time. Our hotel was a few miles away, so Mr PugRunner suggested we take an Uber. We arrived onsite right before the official opening at 6:30, which was perfect. They went to Starbucks, and I walked through the site to pick up my race shirt.

The layout of the site permitted everyone to just mosey around and check things out. I took a peek at the course map on display. I wasn’t familiar with the area so I was subscribing to the “follow the runner in front of you” strategy for the day.

Even though the BAA had issued a weather advisory for unseasonably warm temperatures, I was pretty chilly and wore my jacket until it was time to line up.

BAA 10k

Mr PugRunner and little man planned to hang out until the free kids’ races began (little man was going to participate) and then we would meet after. The weather was pleasant enough that they would be comfortable just wandering the park while I ran.

Also of note, there were plenty of portapotties, so lines weren’t too long for all the runners.

Getting Started

I tried to pay attention to the details, I really did. However, I was just so absorbed in every moment and running a solid race that I don’t know if I picked up on everything.

Runners were asked to self-seed, so I took up a comfortable position in the middle of the pack. We heard a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem, and then moved forward for the start. It took a few minutes for me to reach the line. I had been chatting with a few women while waiting and one of them was kind enough to snap this photo for me.

The Main Event

For the first mile, I struggled to catch my breath. I was so overwhelmed at being there, at this particular race, fulfilling a goal and being surrounded by so many incredible members of the Boston running community. These are the things that make me emotional.

I fell into a groove fairly quickly and allowed myself to be swept along with the crowd. The course was full of gently rolling hills. It was intimidating at first, but I went with it and after a while, it wasn’t too awful.

It’s worth noting that the course wasn’t incredibly wide and it stayed tight pretty much the whole way. I didn’t feel so trapped that I couldn’t run the pace I wanted, but there were places where I did have to do some weaving. The benefit was that I was always surrounded by people, which helped keep morale high.

Was it hot? Eh. There was one spot without shade where it was a bit on the warm side, but the humidity was so much lower than at home. There were water stops at every mile so it was easy for everyone to stay hydrated along the way.

At the 3.1 mile mark, runners made a u-turn and began to follow the same route back to the finish line.

There were some iconic sights along the way. I didn’t take many pictures because I was feeling great about the run, but I couldn’t resist this one.

Even though there were spectators and volunteers lining almost the entire way, the crowds got even larger in the last half mile or so. It took my breath away how many people were out there cheering and I loved it.

I also loved crossing that finish line! I had run hard and felt so strong.

Post Race

Runners were guided through the chute: we collected our beautiful unicorn bling and water, then continued into the Boston Common. Volunteers handed out Gatorade in almost every flavor, as well as bagels, bananas and an assortment of chips. The salt was very welcome.

It took me a few minutes to meet up with the boys. The kids’ races took place on the other side of the Common, so there were quite a few barricades between us. I finally made it to him so we could celebrate our respective accomplishments.

Since I already had my t-shirt, we decided to walk through the Public Garden, and then pay our respects at the prospective Boston Marathon Memorial sites. The signage said the completed Memorials should be up this summer, and I know they will be beautiful tributes.

We celebrated the morning with a yummy lunch and a well-deserved beer.

I absolutely loved my experience at the BAA 10K! Not only was it incredible to run in a brand new city, but the event itself was unforgettable. I’m thrilled with my performance, and the memories made along the way. I am so proud to cross Massachusetts off my 50 States goal, and look forward to my next race and my next state.

Have you run the BAA 10K, or any other Boston Athletic Association event?

How many states have you run in?

riots #26: a trip to atlanta on the 4th of july

Next up on my summer calendar? A trip to Atlanta, Georgia. Yes, I know we just got home from our vacation, but I was also lucky enough to be running the AJC Peachtree Road Race on July 4th, so off I went. This has been a bucket list race of mine, and I was so happy to be selected in the lottery.

Sunday – 5 miles, running

It was tough dragging myself out of bed into the humidity, after the gorgeous New England weather, but I completed five miles.

In the afternoon, little man attended a birthday party at Dave & Buster’s. He had a wonderful time with some friends he hasn’t seen in a while, and scored four stuffed sloths with points he’s hoarded.

The child loves sloths.

Monday – 4 miles (run/walk) + 9Round

A neighborhood friend asked for some help getting back into running, so I ran to her house, and we ran and walked together for a few miles.

I wrapped up the morning with a trip to 9Round before little man’s clarinet lesson. He’s making great progress.

We were supposed to have plans in the afternoon, but a sick friend led to a cancellation. I wasn’t sorry to sit back and do absolutely nothing.

Tuesday – 5 miles, running + 9Round

Another day of running and 9Round.

Friends, it’s hot out there.

Little man had Scouts in the evening so Mr PugRunner and I had a little dinner date while he was occupied. It was a nice way to spend the evening.

Wednesday – rest

The boys drove me to the airport super early and I had a smooth flight to Atlanta.

Not going to lie, the Atlanta airport is a bit intimidating – it’s huge! I finally found my way out and Ubered to the AJC Peachtree Road Race expo to get my bib and meet up with Amy!

It was great to see her and meet her family! The expo was bustling with lots of fun things, but I didn’t need to make any purchases so it was off to The Varsity for lunch. The Varsity is definitely an Atlanta institution and we all enjoyed our burgers and hot dogs.

After getting settled, Amy took me to a little town square in Marietta. There were tons of shops, restaurants and bars, and I adored every second of it.

We enjoyed some craft beer and a yummy dinner and decided to call it an early night.

I laid out my flat runner for the race and attempted to get some sleep.

Thursday – AJC Peachtree Road Race

Of course, I will write an AJC Peachtree Road Race report soon – there is no way I can do it justice. Needless to say, this was the largest race I’ve ever run, with so much hometown support and enthusiasm. It’s like nothing else I’ve ever experienced.

If you can run this race in your lifetime, do it. It’s definitely one of a kind and absolutely worth it. I’m so grateful to Amy for guiding me through my first time (yes, I am pretty sure there will be more).

After showers, we enjoyed a lovely BBQ and time chilling on the couch watching some of the race footage from the day. It was pretty fantastic.

Friday – rest

In the morning, Amy took me back to the airport and I flew home. The boys picked me up, on their way home from Tampa (the Runs With Pugs family was all over the place over the holiday!)

There’s no place like home!

Saturday – 9Round

I thought about getting up to run but I was still tired and Mr PugRunner had planned a 9Round visit, so I joined him. It was a tough workout, but I enjoy going with him when we can make it work.

And then it was time for fun. Our friends had invited us for a post 4th of July party and we had a blast.

The night ended on a sour note when I got a staple stuck in my finger. No photo, but Mr PugRunner was an absolute trooper in getting it out. Pro tip: stay away from dry cleaning hangers.


Running and cross training are both going well. I’ve been able to

After all the delicious blueberries in Maine, I’ve craved blueberry pancakes. I hope those count as a “new recipe” since I NEVER make blueberry pancakes.

Due to high temperatures in Atlanta, I made certain to drink more than my normal amount of water.

Flying allowed me to get in more reading time and I am on to Storm of Swords in the Game of Thrones series. I also promised I would finish reading the Harry Potter books with little man, so I will be working on those at the same time.

I hope you’ll join us for the #RIOTS (Running Is Our Therapy Sisters) link up every week on Sundays. We’d love to be a part of your weekly routine!

Set some goals, share them on your blog and then link up with other awesome fitness bloggers to help keep you on track! We’d all love to support you! Drop your link and please visit our Hosts and some of these other amazing blogs to share the love!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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

Will you be joining me at any of the Best Damn Race Ambassador Crew! Don’t forget to register with my BDR discount code RUNSWITHPUGS to save on any distance at any BDR location!

BDR Discount Code

How was your week in training?

Do you stay home or travel for 4th of July?

july’s ultimate coffee date: checking off the bucket list

It’s July, we are crushing that bucket list, and I’m ready, with my cup, to join in the Ultimate Coffee Date with Cocoand Deborah ! Join them in their linkup!

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That I haven’t had a coffee in three days. I’ve been on the road and the opportunity just hasn’t presented itself. I’m missing it dreadfully and will be rectifying the situation tomorrow morning.

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That I am thrilled to be checking off some really serious fitness goals. I’ve run in my seventh of fifty states when I completed the B.A.A. 10K in June.

And I snagged another bucket list race on 4th of July, when I flew to Atlanta for the 50th running of the AJC Peachtree Road Race.

This one was super hard to coordinate because it was on a holiday, but, with the help of my awesome running friend, Amy (and the support of Mr PugRunner), I was able to make it work.

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That I am tired of always feeling so sweaty. I know it’s because it’s hotter than the surface of the sun out, and I’m getting older, and I’m clearly exerting lots of effort, but ugh.

I’m always feeling so soggy, and the laundry is continuously piling up. I don’t have the kindest thoughts about laundry, either.

Over coffee I would tell you…

That I hope little man is having an awesome summer. He’s my little buddy and I love taking him places and going on new adventures, but he’s been a lot more involved with his own friends lately. As a result, I’ve backed off on my plans so he can make more of his own. Last year, we did so many things, but this year, he seems so much more interested in hanging out, playing outdoor games and visiting, so I don’t want to get in his way. Hopefully, he’s having just as much fun, even if it is different fun than we’ve had in the past.

Over coffee I would tell you…

That I really have to count my blessings. From my incredible husband to my amazing son, to the family we hold dear to our friends who are just so truly wonderful in all the ways. We are blessed and we are fortunate. This has been a tough year on the emotional side, and sometimes I just take that breath so I can remind myself that this, too, shall pass, and we are fortunate to have so much support at our fingertips.

And there you have it!

What would you share over coffee?

the runs with pugs 2019 mid-year goals review

Now that’s it’s July, it’s time to check in for a goals review!

We are halfway through the year, and now is a great time to check in. I reached back to the goals I set in January, to see how I am progressing. Let’s take a look!

goals review

Run 1019 Miles in 2019

In the beginning of the year, I signed up with Run The Edge for their 2,019 miles challenge, setting my own personal goal at 1,019. June itself was a little light on miles, due to vacation, but I am very much on track.

Not too shabby!

Add Two States To #RWPRUN50STATES

Judging by my calendar, I think I’m going to have to settle for one state and one new city. On June 23, I checked off Massachusetts with the B.A.A. 10K. This is my seventh state.

On Thursday, I will run in Atlanta for the first time at the AJC Peachtree Road Race. I’ve already completed several Savannah races, which fulfills the Georgia requirement, but Atlanta will be new.

We are considering going to NYC during the holidays, so there’s a chance I may be able snag New York in 2019, but we will see.

Cross Train/Strength Train

After futzing around for a few months, doing some yoga here and there, I fell into 9Round. I am on my 30th class and second month and it really feels like home. I am seeing (and feeling) small changes in my body composition and definitely feeling stronger. It hasn’t translated to running yet, since the temperatures are absolutely unreasonable for any kind of running, let alone fast running. It will pay off, I’m sure.

Drink Water

Yes. I’m drinking water. Still not my favorite. Still doing my best.

Make One New Recipe Per Week

I confess to being a bit ambitious here. For a while, I was really knocking it out of a park, but once summer hit… Honestly, we are on the move so much that it almost didn’t make sense to cook. Little man would swoop in for a sandwich and head back out, Mr PugRunner has had some meetings and appointments, and I have spent many nights chowing down on a bowl of cereal for convenience’s sake.

Since we have returned from our trip, I am back at it, and continuing the trend of healthy and yummy home-cooked meals.

(You can check out more of the great recipes we’ve found he

Read One Book Per Week

Again, I got ambitious. I was slacking terribly but finally, just sat myself down and picked up a book. Yay! I’m currently working my way through the Game of Thrones series for the third time, and will be finished with Clash of Kings during my trip to Atlanta, for sure.

Improve Runs With Pugs

I’ve been working on this blog for over seven years now, and I love it. It’s truly a labor of love and I will keep it going as long as people are reading (and thank you, so much, for reading). However, I really haven’t done much as far as my SEO or boosting metrics. While you may not notice any major changes on the front end, things are happening behind the scenes, and I’m already seeing some great strides in my analytics. I may be going for a facelift next, but one thing at a time.

Try New Things

I don’t know that I’ve done a super fabulous job with this. Bioluminescent kayaking in a clear boat has probably been my most adventurous endeavor thus far this year.

I have my eye on an aerial beach yoga class as well, so we will see if I work up the courage.

Oh, are we counting donuts made from mashed potatoes? Because I did that, too 🙂 Verdict? Delicious.

Today, I’m linking up for Tuesday Topics with KookyRunner and Zenaida Hope you’ll join in the fun!

How are you doing with your 2019 goals?

What do you need to work on these last six months of the year?

riots #25: summer vacation part 2 + coming home

Summer vacation continued through the first half of the week and then it was time to come home. I love being away and traveling with my family, but we missed the puggies and hedgehog, and, if truth be told, our own beds.

Sunday – B.A.A. 10K, 6.2 miles running

Race day had arrived and I was kind of a nervous wreck. The B.A.A. 10K promised 10,000 runners and I was so nervous about getting to the venue on time and getting settled. With Uber and my extremely supportive husband and son, I was probably one of the first runners on site. Oops. And yay!

I promise my race report this week, but it was just so incredible. It was warmer than I had hoped, but not so bad for this Florida runner, and I confess I got a little emotional at the end.

We celebrated the afternoon with a yummy lunch and trip to the New England Aquarium. It was a lovely aquarium, with penguins, seals, jellyfish, and the biggest octopus I have ever seen. We spent several hours just wandering around.

After dinner, we snagged my second unicorn of the day: a unicorn tayaki! Best! Day! Ever!

Monday – 4,689 steps

Early New England sunrises made it easy to get up and moving, which was great as we needed to make it out to Hyannis Port in time for our 9:30 whale watching tour.

For four hours, our boat cruised the ocean, yielding us incredible sights of finback whales, humpback whales and Atlantic white-sided dolphins. My only regret is that I didn’t bring my DSLR to capture better photos.

When we got back to the dock, we were freezing and starving, and dug into some delicious clam strips.

The rest of the afternoon was lovely, so we checked into our hotel (probably my least favorite of the entire trip), settled in a bit and then walked to another clam shack for dinner. We made it back to the hotel right before the rain came.

Tuesday – 10,178 steps

We woke to fairly dismal weather on Tuesday. It was a little disappointing, since it was our last day, but we slept in, and the boys picked up bagels to eat in the room.

Mr PugRunner wanted to check out the JFK Museum and the Kennedy Legacy Trail, so off we went. Luck was with us, because a very kind woman gave us free vouchers for the museum as we were walking in. Score!

The exhibits were mostly photographic in nature, and the tribute to JFK and his family (who still reside in the area) was quite touching.

Then it was off to the trail. We completed most of it before the rains came again and agreed to finish it off in the morning.

Since the weather didn’t clear, we took a little rest and then went to see Toy Story 4.

Wednesday – 4 miles, running

Finally, it was time to go home. Our flight was in the early evening, so I kicked off the day with a short run through the neighborhoods and along the water.

Then we packed up and drove back into Boston as soon as the bulk of rush hour was over.

Mr PugRunner had done some digging and found Castle Island, a fort, beach, park and walking path about 12 miles from Logan Airport. We were able to spend some hours enjoying a picnic lunch, watching the shipyards and planes and stretching our legs before it was time to fly out.

Our plane landed right on time and we were so happy to be home again!

Thursday – 9Round

It was a great feeling to be back at 9Round! I had missed the workouts so much and my body was really aching for some cross training!

The rest of the day was less than glamorous: cleaning, laundry, food shopping. I wanted to get us back on track with our eating, too, so I picked up lots of extra fruit and veggies and cooked up something fresh and healthy for dinner.

Friday – 6 miles, running + 9Round

Double workout day! I followed a six mile run in the neighborhood with another 9Round session!

I spent the rest of the day with little man doing some shopping and organizing. The pantry was the target of my purging and we got rid of all the expired stuff and got everything clean and tidy.

We ended up at the pool for Food Truck Friday with little man’s friend and his family, and I made plans with the mom for a walk/run the next morning. She wants to get back into it and was hoping for a buddy to help.

Saturday – 4 miles, running/walking

M and I had a great run/walk before the sun came up. She did great for her first time in a long time and it was even better when we got coffee after.

The rest of the day was quiet and I was feeling rather blah. My stomach was fairly upset for most of the day and I ended up staying home from a birthday party for little man’s friend. While I was sad to miss out, the boys got home close to midnight, and I’m glad I got to rest.


While I have not been incredibly consistent with my new recipes (boo on me), I did put together this Thai Peanut Pasta Salad and it was a huge hit.

I’m back to my Bubly sparkling waters and they are fabulous.

I got a ton of reading done while we were away and am happy to report that Clash of Kings is almost finished (for the third time). I will be switching it up with some books I’m borrowing, but then it’s right back to the Game of Thrones series.

I hope you’ll join us for the #RIOTS (Running Is Our Therapy Sisters) link up every week on Sundays. We’d love to be a part of your weekly routine!

Set some goals, share them on your blog and then link up with other awesome fitness bloggers to help keep you on track! We’d all love to support you! Drop your link and please visit our Hosts and some of these other amazing blogs to share the love!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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

Will you be joining me at any of the Best Damn Race Ambassador Crew! Don’t forget to register with my BDR discount code RUNSWITHPUGS to save on any distance at any BDR location!

BDR Discount Code

How was your week in training?

Have you ever gone whale watching?

june runfessions

It’s time for those runfessions, so let’s join up with Marcia’s Healthy Slice and give it a go.


I runfess….

…that my anxiety has been in overdrive the last few months. It’s being handled, so no worries there, but it makes everything just a little harder. In addition, I’ve been having some feelings of “not quite good enough” that have been difficult to silence. I’m glad to be home in order to get some solid recharging time.

I runfess…

…that I am both nervous and excited for the upcoming AJC Peachtree Road Race. This is definitely a bucket list race for me, but it’s going to be so big and so hot. I know I’m going to end up loving every second of it, but in the moment, I feel very off balance. Things went great at the B.A.A. 10K this past weekend, so I have no reason to be worried.

I runfess…

…that I am glad to be home. We took an amazing family vacation to Maine and Massachusetts and it was everything we hoped for and more. However we have been on the road a lot and we’ve missed the pugs and hedgehog and our beds and home-cooked meals. Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.

I runfess…

I couldn’t wait to get back into 9Round the morning after we got back home. My fitness didn’t get ridiculously derailed, but I was feeling the lack of routine exercise. Sure, we hiked and I ran a few times and did the race, but nothing quite takes the place of a hard workout session in a familiar place.

I runfess…

The cooler weather and lower humidity was a really nice break. It was easier to breathe and, as a result, running was easier. That being said, the return to Florida didn’t hit me as hard as I thought it would. Yes, my pace slowed a little, but I wasn’t struggling as much as anticipated.

What about you? Any runfessions you’d like to share?

riots #24: summer vacation + touring new england

Our much anticipated summer vacation had finally arrived! We had made plans to fly up north, rent a car and spend some serious time touring Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park, Portland, Boston and Cape Cod. It was fairly ambitious, but we were absolutely up to the challenge and very excited for it all.

Sunday – rest

Happy Father’s Day! We started our morning at brunch with Nana and Papa Bear.

father's day

Mr PugRunner wanted to spend the afternoon at the movies, so off to Dark, Phoenix we went. It was actually very good, if not a bit sad in an “end of an era” kind of way.

Monday – 6 miles, running + 9 Round

Monday was our last day at home. I went for a nice solo run and then threw myself into a session of 9Round.

Little man had clarinet lessons, and then it was home to pack. We had a 6:30 AM flight and plenty to do.

Tuesday – rest

We made it to the airport with plenty of time, but security was a nightmare and we literally made it to the gate with seconds to spare. Ugh. The flights themselves were fine, even with a layover at JFK, and we landed in Portland, Maine right on time.

After obtaining our rental car, we made the three hour trek to Bar Harbor. We had skipped lunch, so we stopped to eat our first lobster-based meal of the vacation and then checked into the Bar Harbor Manor, which was the cutest hotel ever.

Wednesday – 4 miles, hiking

I convinced the boys that getting up at 3:30AM to catch the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain was the reasonable thing to do, but unfortunate,y the weather was incredibly overcast and we saw nothing but fog. It was still peaceful and beautiful.

We did end up going back to bed for a bit after breakfast, and then went back into Acadia National Park for some hiking. We used the rest of the day to hike all kinds of incredible spots.

We pretty much collapsed into bed that night. That fresh air will get you every time.

Thursday – 3.4 miles, running

I couldn’t leave Maine without a run, so while the boys were sleeping I headed out for some miles around downtown and the ocean. It was cold and raw and so beautiful.

Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to Bar Harbor, as it was time to spend a day in Portland.

Things didn’t go as planned as it was gross and rainy when we arrived. Instead of hiking on the cliffs outside the city, we took little man to an arcade, and then went back to our hotel room for lounging and room service.

Friday – rest

There was a break in the weather, so I convinced the boys that we could go into town for The Holy Donut and spend some time walking around to stretch our legs before the drive to Boston.

We arrived early in the afternoon, once again to drizzle and rain. Ugh. After lunch, we went to the Museum of Science to get out of the weather, promising ourselves we would be able to get out and about the next day. Little man loved it so it was a win.

Saturday – rest

Rather than run on Saturday, we opted to hit the Freedom Trail and worked our way through all 16 stops, with a few detours.

In the early evening, we took one of Boston’s famous Duck Tours, which was a really nice way to save my legs for Sunday’s B.A.A. 10K. I was super excited but we managed to get to bed at a reasonable hour in anticipation of the big run.


Obviously there has been no cooking on this trip. We’ve been eating well but with great variety, and I’ve been good at watching my portion control.

I don’t want to jinx anything but I may have kicked my diet soda habit. Since we’ve been away, I really haven’t had much in the way of Diet Coke (or diet Dr. Pepper). We are talking maybe one serving a day. I’ve done really well with water intake and I haven’t suffered any caffeine withdrawal. Not sure what’s going on (and I still don’t love water, obviously), but I will do my best to ride this victory wave!

Reading has been great. I had plenty of time to work through Clash of Kings on the plane and have caught up on more when we are chilling in the hotel rooms.

I hope you’ll join us for the #RIOTS (Running Is Our Therapy Sisters) link up every week on Sundays. We’d love to be a part of your weekly routine!

Set some goals, share them on your blog and then link up with other awesome fitness bloggers to help keep you on track! We’d all love to support you! Drop your link and please visit our Hosts and some of these other amazing blogs to share the love!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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

Will you be joining me at any of the Best Damn Race Ambassador Crew! Don’t forget to register with my BDR discount code RUNSWITHPUGS to save on any distance at any BDR location!

BDR Discount Code

How was your week in training?

Do you have plans for a big summer vacation?

my race goals for the b.a.a. 10k

Sunday is the big day and it’s time to lay out my race goals for the B.A.A. 10K. I registered months ago, nervous the event would sell out before I entered my information and I would lose my chance at another state in my Run 50 States challenge. Luck was with me and I snagged my spot minutes after the race opened. Now, it’s sold out, and I’m about to claim Massachusetts as my seventh state.

My race goals are fairly straightforward.

Don’t be intimidated.

This is a new-to-me race in a new city with new people. I don’t know the vibe, the rules or the area. I’m running alone and I have no idea what to expect from the city, the spectators or the organization. Normally, this would throw me into a tailspin of anxiety, but my goal is to hold my head high, take a deep breath and run my race. I’ve reviewed all the pertinent race information. Mr PugRunner and little man will be joining me. I have nothing to worry about.

Pay attention to my body.

Nothing is actually wrong, but my jangly hip has been doing what it does best: jangle. I am blaming flights, long car rides and chilly weather. Six point two miles is an easy run for me, but I am untested in the north. Things are different: the air, the pavement, the grade and incline of the streets. I’m hoping the cooler, less humid conditions will allow for an easier run, so I can focus more on the hills and the route but time will tell. My race goals say take it a step at a time and do what feels right.

Trust my training.

I know and love this distance. 10Ks are my favorites and I feel good stretching myself for the 6.2 miles. There is no reason to let my brain get the best of me and cause doubt. I’ve got everything in hand, including my bib and my shoes, and it’s supposed to be a beautiful day. My job is just to run.

Have fun!

As always, fun is the name of the game. Guys, I’ll be running in Boston and earning an actual unicorn medal. This is a fairly big deal: it’s not the Boston Marathon, but that’s not a race that makes my bucket list. It’s going to be fairly epic, if not emotional, to cross that iconic finish line and I cannot wait.

Do you ever get nervous when a race is unfamiliar to you?

Are you a fan of traveling to race or sticking closer to home?

girls’ weekend at wyndham orlando resort international drive

We are fortunate to live within day-trip distance of several great locations in the state of Florida, so combining a girls’ weekend with an Orlando staycation is an easy task!

When Meghan asked me to join her for a girls’ weekend in early June, I was thrilled. I had plans to be in town anyway, for the Best Damn Race Ambassador party. Adding a hotel stay meant I wouldn’t have to drive four hours in one day and could enjoy some time with one of my favorite people.

I arrived in town right after she got home from work, and we hopped in her car for the trip to International Drive.

Location, location, location

Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive is set right in the heart of the action on International Drive. It’s a sprawling resort, covering 22 acres with its lobby and main building, rooms and conference space. In fact, it’s so big we got a little turned around trying to park. We figured it out quickly and checked in with the extremely helpful front desk clerk.

girls' weekend
girls' weekend

The resort is close to plenty of shopping and dining, and near to all the major theme parks. Guests can stay onsite and take advantage of everything the hotel has to offer, or venture out for some Orlando adventures.

The Rooms

We found the rooms ideal for pretty much any travel needs. For girls’ trip purposes, there were two queen size beds, plenty of closet and floor space, a mini fridge and fairly spacious bathroom.

girls' weekend

For traveling families, there is an option to book a room with an additional alcove boasting a set of bunk beds and an additional TV. I love that kids can have their own space, and there’s still plenty of room for luggage and moving around.

girls' weekend

The Amenities

This particular property features almost everything you need for a trip of any length. There are two pools, heated spa, renovated fitness center with sauna and steam rooms, and a concierge. The lobby area provides plenty of cozy seating,

girls' weekend

as well as giant board games and activities perfect for down time.

girls' weekend

Dining options include the Gatorville Poolside Bar & Grill, a lobby bar, coffee barista, and in-room dining.

The conference center attaches to Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant, where we snagged some bubbly cocktails before starting our Saturday.

We gave the fitness center a try on Sunday morning and were thrilled to find fresh towels, infused water, and plenty of treadmills and other equipment available for use.

orlando staycation

There was also time for a dip in the pool, between afternoon showers. Both pools were large and clean with plenty of shade, lounge chairs and pretty landscaping. I especially loved the lagoon areas.

girls' weekend
girls' weekend

The Walkable Neighborhood

One of my favorite aspects of the hotel was guests can walk EVERYWHERE. Once the car was parked, we didn’t touch it again until check out. Restaurants, attractions and shops line the two mile strip of International Drive so we took advantage of the power of our own two feet.

On our first night, we trekked a little over a mile to dinner at an Italian restaurant. The weather cooperated and we enjoyed the light breeze along the way. We stopped at Icon Park after dinner, to see if we could take a spin on The Wheel at Icon Park. Meghan had only ridden during the day and I had never been on it, so we turned in our passes and hopped in line.

For 27 minutes, we absorbed the breathtaking views of Orlando at night from our air-conditioned pod.

girls' weekend

About a quarter of the way up, the fireworks at Disney began exploding, and we had the perfect seats for the show.

girls' weekend

Each day of our weekend we ventured out and got in some really nice walks on our way to our activities. The wide sidewalks and abundance of streetlights make for a safe and well lit trek at any time of day or night.

Enjoy your stay!

Whether you are looking for a quick girls’ weekend getaway or a longer family vacation with plenty of nearby activities and room for relaxing, the Wyndham Resort Orlando International Drive is the place for you. Book here and receive 20% off the hotel’s Best Available Rate for your stay!

What do you look for in a hotel for a girls’ weekend?

Have you ever tried the Wyndham Orland Resort on International Drive?

My hotel stay was complimentary for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.

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