give a girl the right shoes….

I think all runners can agree: finding the right shoes is a critical aspect of the sport.

We can also probably agree that it’s heartbreaking when shoe brands make changes to beloved models, creating shapes and feels our feet don’t recognize and our gaits reject the unfamiliar feel.

Since I’ve been running, I’ve gone through several brands and styles of running shoes. I started in Mizuno Wave Inspires, needing the stability and preferring the firmness they offered, and finally worked up the nerve to branch out.

In addition to the Inspires, I’ve worn Mizuno Catalysts, Saucony Guides, Adidas Structures, Brooks Adrenalines and Brooks Bedlams. All stability. All a little different.

I’ve learned that I prefer the lower drop of the Guides, as well as the bounce of the Adidas Boost and Saucony Everrun materials. I like wider toe boxes and light, flexible material. I wear a half size up in some models and a full size in others. It’s all very personal and unique to me.

I can tell you that I grab the Guide ISOs when I feel great and the Adrenaline GTS 18s when I know the going will be tough. The Bedlams, which I really wanted to love, only come out for runs under five miles. I’ve shied away from the last few iterations of the Inspire because as other models got lighter and less clunky, they didn’t seem to evolve as much. They’re not out of consideration yet.

My trusty Guides ran their last race at Best Damn Race Orlando a few weeks ago. That particular model is no longer in rotation, nor is the Adrenaline GTS 18. I read reviews of both updates, and decided I would see if I could try on both pairs at the upcoming Gate River Run Expo. I didn’t have a lot of time to make it our local running store and I didn’t want to order online without getting a feel for what I might be purchasing.

The Brooks rep didn’t have my size in the Adrenaline 19s, so I tried a half size smaller at his suggestion. I definitely need the 10.5, but other than the the shoe felt ok. Not quite as nice as the 18s, but not awful. The rep mentioned that this was a slightly softer shoe than its predecessor and that disappointed me. Cushion is not something I want more of.

He asked me if I had tried the Ravenna – a stability shoe with a more responsive ride. In all my years of running, the Ravenna seemed like the shoe I SHOULD like, but they never quite fit me correctly. But my socks were on and I was there and I tried.

And I loved them. LOVED. Them. Obviously, switching to a completely new shoe model is a little intimidating, but, as I said to the rep “What’s the worst that can happen?” especially since I wasn’t planning to wear them for the Gate. We agreed that, really, the worst that could happen was I ran in them, hated them and needed to take them back.

So I bought them. With a 20% discount.

On Tuesday, I took them out for a 6.5 mile run, and they were wonderful.

Straight out of the box, they fit beautifully. The size 10 gave me plenty of room in the toe box, even with the inevitable swelling after the miles.

And, oh, how light they felt! They are about .7oz lighter than my Adrenalines, and it makes quite a bit of difference. I loved the springiness, the pop, the bounce.

They checked all my boxes.

I want another pair, immediately, if not sooner.

I will say that the colors leave a little something to be desired – I am into brighter and more fun colorways – but I’m hopeful the midseason release of this model will yield some improvements there.

And just like that, I’ve got myself a brand new favorite pair. Remember, if your feet are happy, and your body feels good, you’re in the right shoes.

Do you stick to the shoes you know or do you mix it up?

What’s your perfect shoe?

running at the crack of dawn

Today, I’m linking up for Tuesday Topics with KookyRunner and Zenaida Hope you’ll join in to share why you’re a morning or evening runner!

If you know anything about me, you know that I am an early bird. And a night owl. To be honest, I am flat out useless between the hours of 1:00 and 3:00 PM, which is pretty unhelpful to everyone.

However, since I started running, I’ve been a crack of dawn kind of person. It’s not necessarily my preference to wake up with a 4:30 AM alarm, but there are reasons I do it day after day.

It’s the coolest part of the day. Literally.

In the Sunshine State, even winter can be hot. Running before dawn can still be toasty, if not suffocating with humidity, but at least I’m not being pounded by the strong sun. I’ll take it.

My body feels best in the morning.

If running is the first thing I do, I feel energized. My muscles are reasonably loose and it’s a great way to pump myself up for the hours ahead. When I run later in the day, I notice my legs are heavy and sluggish and I don’t feel anywhere near as good as in the morning.

It’s when I have the time.

I have a fairly flexible schedule, but little man does not. Running in the evening is almost impossible because I’m the parent usually responsible for dinner and extracurriculars. Not to mention, a lot of my volunteer positions require my presence in the evenings, making it harder and harder to get out for a run after hours.

Morning runs are more reminiscent of race conditions.

Most races, at least in these parts, start super early in the morning. If my body is trained to get up and out regularly, then it’s not such a jolt on race days.

I don’t have to worry about working out the rest of the day.

I like being able to check things off my to-do list without having things hanging over my head. Once my run is done, I can move on to the next things.

Who doesn’t love a sunrise?

Enough said.

Truth be told, I would love to be able to participate in some later evening runs. It would be fun to join in with the MRTT groups in my area, or be part of the group runs that end up at a local bar or pizza joint, but the challenge of fitting it all into my schedule would really take away from the stress relief running provides me.

What about you? Do you prefer running in the morning or in the evening?

riots#8: you take the good, you take the bad.

Happy Monday! I hope you’ll join us for the #RIOTS (Running Is Our Therapy Sisters) link up every week on Mondays. 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!

This week. Oh, this week. I will admit to being a hot mess this week. I’ve been quiet on social media, and a bit of a hermit in real life.

Sunday – 5 miles, hiking

My big plan for Sunday was a nice hike at Ravine Gardens State Park. It’s a beautiful park about 40 minutes away, with both paved paths and technical trails, suspension bridges and azalea gardens. I figured the kids would enjoy the extra challenge to it, and the adults might appreciate that it was during the Azalea Festival.

I have exactly zero photos of nature, because I was busy hiking and taking some pics of the kids, but my friend did capture this for me: I’m standing next to a sign for the “Pug-Puccy Trail” and we were all half-hoping to be attacked by a grumble of wild pugs. Spoiler alert: “Pug-puccy” was a nickname that means “Flower-Gatherer” and had exactly nothing to do with pugs.

We hiked for hours, enjoyed lunch and then I had to get home to shower and change for a goodbye dinner with our now-former Cubmaster. She will be missed.

Monday – rest

Monday started beautifully. I got to “sleep in” a little and rest after Sunday’s huge hike. We were going to pick up little man’s hedgehog after school. It was going to be epic.

Things took a downward turn very quickly. Molly got violently ill in all the ways, and we ended up having to rush her to the vet. After a blood draw, the vet found that her kidneys were not doing well at all. It was like a knife to my heart. Our first plan of action was to put her on 72 hours of IV fluids to see if her kidneys would respond positively, and so we had to leave her in their (fabulous) care, with a promise that we could visit as often as we wanted.

I was useless the rest of the day, but I had to put on a happy face for little man. He had waited for months for his hoglet, and no matter what was going on, he deserved to enjoy the moment.

Guys. There are no words to describe being the owner of a hedgehog. It’s pretty freaking cool.

We are still adjusting to each other, but I think we are doing fairly well. Little man is a bit afraid of being spiked or pooped on, but we are working through those fears.

Tuesday –6.5 miles, running

Oh, I needed this run. Badly. I know I look awful and tired in this photo but it felt so good to stretch my legs and breathe in fresh air.

I dropped little man at school and visited our girl. She had had a great night, although she was absolutely ready to come home. 🙁

There were some errands to be run, and I decided to treat myself to a manicure to take my mind off things.

I had been in the habit of getting them done before the holidays, but then I slacked. Maybe it’s time to be more consistent again.

Wednesday –rest

I was grateful for the rest day. Little man had karate in the evening, but the rest of the day was just quiet, with a few visits to miss Molly.

We got a sweet welcome card from one of my oldest friends and her family.

And we were able to spend a little more time with Hufflepuff. She is definitely getting more comfortable.

Thursday – 6.5 miles, running

Ah, yes, the temperatures dropped again, putting us back into the 30s. Enough, already!

I stayed home all morning so the glass guys could come finish their installation of the shower doors. And there was much rejoicing. There is still a bit of work to be done, but it’s nothing critical and I still have to figure out exactly what I want as far as mirrors and light fixtures. We’ll get to it.

From there, I visited our girl and then headed up to the Gate River Run Expo to pick up our packets and check out some shoes. The Brooks rep didn’t have my size in the Adrenaline GTS 19, but we got to chatting about my needs and likes and he asked me just to try the brand new Ravenna 10.

I need a stability shoe, but I like a light, flexible shoe with a bit more responsiveness than cushioning. Ravenna is the shoe I always wanted to love, but it just never quite fit me right. The new update, however, seems like it checks off all the boxes.

I wouldn’t be able to run in them until after Saturday’s 15K, and they are a little more pink than I would normally like, but I love the width in the toe box, the shape of the instep and the bounce. We will see how these work out. It doesn’t hurt that I got them for 20% off, too!

Even better, we got word that Molly could come home! The final blood draw showed that her levels were much improved. She will go back in on Monday to see if this is something we can manage with diet and meds, more regular IV treatment, or if we have to make a different decision altogether. I’d prefer not to think about that last option, and simply threw myself into loving on her.


I spent most of the day working and cuddling Molly.

Since it was International Women’s Day, I chatted/texted with some of the incredible women in my life, and thought about how lucky I am to know so many great ones.

After school, we drove little man to my parents for the night, grabbed a quick, carb-loading type of dinner and tried to get to bed at a reasonable hour.

Saturday – Gate River Run 15K

The Gate River Run is Jacksonville’s biggest race. It’s also the largest 15K in the country. It’s a hard course with a late start, and two monster bridges (the second hitting in the last mile of the race). It’s an experience unlike most others, with incredible spectator support (Fireball shots at Mile 2? If you insist!).

I was actually going to pass this year, maybe take on something else, but then I saw the medal, and couldn’t bring myself to skip it. I do a lot for bling.

Obviously, a full race report is to come.

That afternoon and evening was dedicated to: eating, napping, eating and watching movies. As it should have been.

March is off to a mostly great start with two 15Ks under my belt, in addition to my training miles.

With our hike on Sunday, I did get in some cross-training. So two thumbs up there.

Did I hydrate? I did! The Gate River Run 15K was a hot and humid one, and I made sure to drink water leading up to and after (never during – water during a race does not do well by me). So that was a huge win.

Our new meal of the week was a jambalaya pasta dish, in honor of Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras. I tweaked the recipe a bit: I don’t love andouille and little man doesn’t love shrimp, so we stuck with chicken and called it good. Everyone loved it, except little man would have preferred it to be tomoato-chunk-free. Fair enough.

On Friday, little man made me breakfast in bed, completely unprompted and unassisted. Cheesy eggs with half a pumpernickel bagel and a little orange. Yum.

And one more hoglet photo because she’s freaking adorable.

I will keep everyone posted on Molly. She’s been getting all kinds of love this weekend and seems to be thriving on her new food and medication. I’m hopeful that things will continue on this path for her.

Please join our linkup! 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!

How was your week in training?

Have you ever changed your mind about running a race because the medal was super awesome (or super not-awesome)?

race report: best damn race orlando 10k + 5k challenge {3.2.2019}

I am an Ambassador for the Best Damn Race series. In exchange for my promotion and honest reivew of the events, I receive complimentary race entries and other amenities. All opinions are my own.

What do you get when you add one fabulous running friend, two epic races and three blingy medals? A weekend with Meghan at the Best Damn Race Orlando 10K + 5K Challenge is what!

Last weekend, I headed over to central Florida for what is fast becoming a fun March tradition.

The plan is pretty simple. I meet Meghan on Friday after work, and we spend the night eating a yummy dinner, drinking wine and catching up. Then up bright and early on Saturday for the BDR 10K, followed by the BDR 5K, and then off to brunch.

It really doesn’t get much better. And it’s a solid plan so I don’t really see the point in changing things.

True to form, I was at Meghan’s house when she got home. We were both hungry and ready for cocktails, so off we went to Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen + Bar. I had never been before, but Meghan has never steered me wrong when it comes to food, so I was all in. They have an incredible happy hour menu and we ended up getting roasted oysters ($6 for 1/2 dozen and they were huge!), blackened shrimp tacos with pineapple salsa, some kind of jalepeno mayo and cilantro lime rice and a side of some of the best cheese grits I’ve ever had. And sangria.

We take our pre-race fueling very seriously.

We still had to pick up our race packets, so we left her house on Saturday morning around 5:30. Once again, we snagged some free parking not to far from Lake Eola and were able to get our bibs and shirts, our beer garden wristbands and meet up with some fellow ambassadors. It’s always good to see the other people who help promote this great race series.

It was a beautiful morning for a race, even if it was maybe a little more humid than what I would have preferred. What can you do?

We took care of the restroom stop and finally headed over to our corral. The 10K is the first race to go at 7:05 AM, followed by the half marathon at 7:25 AM, and then the 5K much later at 9:00 AM. This gives plenty of time for the 10K runners to finish, snag their medals and hop back over to the start line to get in another 3.1 miles!

Hey, for an extra medal, I’m all about it!

Fellow ambassador Matt snapped this cute shot of us in the corrals. They had started playing Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and I was pumped!

According to the Race Director, the city of Orlando asks that the race change the course every three years. I assume the reasoning is to reduce the impact closures and delays have on specific businesses and neighborhoods. This year, the change affected the half and 10K, and we felt it pretty much immediately.

The beginning miles of the race were definitely hillier and more full of bricks than in years past. It wasn’t terrible but my hips were most annoyed by it. Other than that, it was kind of nice to have a change of scenery, at least for the first three miles.

At that point, the course returned to “normal” so I was able to mentally clock off what we had left to go. The humidity was definitely soul-sucking, especially since temperatures are much cooler where I live.

We had a nice run through the residential areas and then through the city, until finally, the finish line was in sight! Whoo hoo!

This meant it was time for a celebratory beer!

Normally, I would go for a popsicle too, but the line was crazy long and we only had about 40 minutes to use the restroom, stash our bling and get back to the start line. Disappointing, but it happens.

The 5K was a little rougher. My hips were absolutely jangling the minute we started running again. Ugh. I am sure a lot had to do with the fact that I was getting one last use out of my absolutely “expired” shoes. But, at the end of the day, I was using this as a fun training run, so I didn’t care about pace or time.

It’s probably why we look like we are having such a great time out there! (PS – BDR does an incredible job with free photos!)

We chatted, and distracted each other by making plans for some great upcoming events and before too long, the finish line came around again.

Time for more medals!

Whoo hoo! It was time to celebrate! First we snagged our Challenge Medals (these are probably my favorite medals of the year, so far),

and then we had to get all the pictures, drink all the beer and eat all the pizza. Best Damn Race is known for their after-parties, and this one was chock full of great music, water, food, soda, beer, cocktails and incredible runners celebrating their day and their victories.

Once again, BDR put on an incredible event with awesome swag, friendly volunteers and wonderful staff. I love being a part of the Ambassador team year after year and I hope to branch out to try a new city in 2020!

We wrapped the day with a fabulous brunch at Se7en Bites.

And before I left, I just had to try Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream. Fortunately, Meghan was more than happy to oblige!

Of course, the good times can’t last forever, so after our delicious ice cream, it was time for me to hit the road. I can’t wait for my next fun racecation!

What’s your favorite post-race treat?

Do you ever run a race where they have to periodically change up the course to adhere to city regulations?

#riots7: marching into march

Happy Monday! I hope you’ll join us for the #RIOTS (Running Is Our Therapy Sisters) link up every week on Mondays. 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!

March came pretty quickly, as all months seem to do right now. It feels like just a minute ago we were welcoming in 2019! Funny how that works.

Sunday – rest

I didn’t have to wake up too early, but I had places to go, namely a lovely engagement brunch for a friend. Her boyfriend proposed while they were on vacation and two of her other friends organized the most beautiful gathering. i was so happy to be a part of it.

When I got home, I was able to chill out since the boys were at a birthday party. I didn’t mind taking a little nap.

Monday – 6.5 miles, running

Another never miss Monday! Rawr!

In the evening, we had our final Scouts Troop visit. We have now been to three different troops and my Scouts are working on making their final decisions. It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be – each Troop has some really great points and it’s interesting to see the choices each child is making.

Tuesday –rest

My parents came over in the morning to check out the bathroom status so far (we are just waiting on the shower glass to come in and be installed). We had breakfast. It was a chill day.

Wednesday –6 miles, running

Wednesdays have been quiet. I am ok with that. Very ok.

Thursday –rest

I helped out some friends by babysitting their youngest son, who was an absolute joy. I don’t get to hang with little ones so often, so it was fun.

In the evening, it was off to a PTA work session so we could assembling bingo packages for Friday night’s Family Bingo event. We played a few rounds, too, just to test the software.

Friday5.5 miles, running

Friday was a whirlwind in a half. First, S and I got in a quick run.

Then we had a PTA Board meeting, followed by a Ready. Set. Glow 5K meeting. From there, I had lunch with Mr PugRunner, packed my bags and drove to Orlando for the Best Damn Race Orlando weekend!

Per usual, Meghan was my gracious hostess, and we had fabulous dinner and drinks as carb-loading and catch up time.

And in the meantime, the boys went to that Family Bingo Night at the school, and had a blast with games, raffles and pizza!

Saturday – Best Damn Race Orlando 10K + 5K Challenge

Since we are the epitome of the “run for bling” crowd, we always register for the 10K + 5K Challenge. Sure, we could just take on the half marathon, but three medals vs one medal is too great a temptation. So, just as the name says, we run our 10K, collect some bling, grab a drink (usually beer because we like to be extra challenged) and then head back out for a 5K.

It was a hard race. The 10K course had changed and seemed to involve a lot more brick, and the humidity was just unreal.

We recovered with some yummy brunch and ice cream. I will recap the whole thing later this week!

I got home Saturday evening, just in time to start packing for a big Scout hike on Sunday.

February finished with just upwards of 87 miles. Not too bad!

Cross training was another fail this week. Short of yesterday’s hike, I just wasn’t into it. However, this week, it happens. I have a bunch of stuff on the calendar today, but tomorrow, whether I am at the gym or at home, alone or with a buddy, I’m doing it.

We barely ate at home last week, too. Mr PugRunner still isn’t feeling well, so it was a lot of leftovers and whatnot. Little man did make a macaroni and cheese, but I can’t consider it a “new” recipe. It was just my classic recipe for homemade, and then he added some bleu cheese and buffalo sauce to his. The kid loves him some spicy.

And just a reminder, Hufflepuff comes home today! We are beyond ecstatic to meet her!

This week, is the Gate River Run 15K. I am a little nervous, because my hips are aching. I also finally put the last miles on my Saucony Guide ISOs and need to get new shoes. Not sure if I should snag another pair of the Guides or grab a second pair of Brooks Adrenalines (it would be my first time in the 19s). Decisions.

Please join our linkup! 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!

How was your week in training?

Would you prefer the half marathon or the back-to-back 10K/5K?

What shoes should I get????

fight colon cancer at the 10th annual march to get screened 5k

I am collaborating with the March To Get Screened 5K to promote their 2019 event. As compensation, I will receive entries to the race for my personal use. All opinions are my own.

In less than a month, on the 31st, the folks at March To Get Screened will hold the event’s 10th annual 5K run and walk. This year will see a new location, as well as a special new medal, in honor of the anniversary.

Thanks to the continued support of the running community and those who want to bring more awareness to colon cancer and the importance of early screenings, MTGS is now able to offer free colonoscopies in the Jacksonville area, as well as fund more research and education.

Every little bit helps.

I have been fortunate to run this race several times over the years. In 2015, it was the first 5K I ever did with my mom,

and in 2017, it became a family affair.

This year, the race moves from the beach to the river, with a course that starts under the Fuller-Warren Bridge and takes in the beauty of our St. Johns River. It’s going to prove better than ever, and will be even more special because this year is going to be dedicated to both supporters and Survivors!

After the race, stick around for an exciting after-party. MTGS will host scavenger hunts, exciting games and activities, awards, an inflatable colon exhibit, food trucks, beverage garden, and so much more for the runners, walkers, supporters and their families!

There is always an ambiance of hope and love surrounding this event, which is probably what I adore most about it. Even in the face of colon cancer, there are people who are fighting hard, lending support and conquering in the face of all odds. It’s not something to miss.

To register for the March To Get Screened 5K or to donate for colon cancer awareness, research and education, visit the MTGS website here.

Get Blue to end Colon Cancer! And don’t forget, Friday (3/1) is Dress In Blue Day for colon cancer awareness! Who will you wear blue for?

the end of the wrap era + finishing february

This week is the very last Weekly Wrap with  HoHo Runs and Taking The Long Way Home

This has been a wonderful way to check in with other fitness bloggers on weekly gains, and to stay accountable with all your goals. It’s a link up that will be greatly missed.

That being said, feel free to join up with our #RIOTS (Running Is Our Therapy Sisters) link up every week on Mondays. We’d love to be a part of your weekly routine!

February is ending, and I’m not going to say I’m sorry. This month has flown with a vengeance, and I’m ready for March. There are a lot of fun things coming up in the days ahead (including Spring Break OMG I’m so ready!) and I can’t wait.

Sunday –rest

I was very glad for a rest day and getting a few extra minutes of sleep. However, there was A LOT to do anyway. I spent the entire morning out and about, collecting supplies to make trophies for a bake off at our upcoming Scouts Blue & Gold Ceremony,

and then I painted the bathroom in the afternoon.

Little man had a buddy spend most of the day with us and it was nice for him to just be occupied with friends at home.

Monday – 6.5 miles, running

Another never miss Monday, and it went beautifully.

We had the day off from school, so I invited the Scouts over to the field at our community center to work on some final advancement skills. We put up and broke down tents, tied knots, talked about the Boy Scouts ranks and one of the dads was kind enough to show the boys how to light a fire without using a match or lighter.

Tuesday –rest

I spent the morning at school helping with Spring and Class photos. Not my favorite activity, but they needed the extra hands.

When little man got home from school, he did his homework and started work on his Star Wars Bake-off Challenge cake. He decided he wanted to make a Sarlacc pit creation and found a recipe for it, so I bought the ingredients and he got down to business.

He really is quite handy in the kitchen, and I only assisted with things like putting the cake into and out of the oven and overseeing the whole process. He got his caramel bundt cake baked and we wrapped it up and put it in the fridge until he was ready to decorate.

Wednesday –6 miles, running

Nothing major to report for the middle of the week, other than six miles.

Little man made a salted caramel cream cheese frosting since we had a few extra minutes, and put that in the fridge as well to set.

Thursday –rest

I was grateful to get to sleep until regular time this morning, because it was go from the minute my feet hit the floor. The Blue & Gold Celebration was that night and I was part of the team to get it set up and rolling.

Mr PugRunner wanted to have lunch so we tried the new Grilled Cheese Gallery, where I learned that poutine is very much my thing.

After little man finished his homework, he put the finishing touches on his cake. It came out great and he ended up taking 3rd Place in the competition! All the kids worked so hard and the results were really creative and tasty.

inspired by yummy crumble

Friday – rest

Yay for two days of rest in a row! Wheeee! With the big event over, I had a minute to clean the house and chill out.

That evening I took little man and two of his friends to see The Lego Movie 2. It wasn’t phenomenal but they liked it and I laughed quite a bit, so I’ll put it down as a win.

Saturday –8 miles, running

To be honest, this was an “embrace the suck” kind of run. It was so humid and I just couldn’t get myself moving. Ugh. Thank goodness for friends who help make the awful runs so much better.

Little man had a birthday party at the local Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum. The kids had cake, then took a private trolley to a nearby mini golf course. When they returned to the museum, they were able to wander around and explore. It sounded incredibly cool. We went ahead and enjoyed a lunch date while he was there.

In the evening, we had the chance to enjoy another Jacksonville Icemen game. It was Teacher and Safety Patrol Appreciation Night, so little man got in for free, while we got deeply discounted tickets. The Patrols all got really awesome swag bags from AAA

and then we got the chance to go down on the ice and shoot goals again.

He was also able to meet up with some of his other Patrol buddies, which was super cute.

We did sleep through the gym again this week. Oops. It’s really tempting to just take a pass on those mornings, and once the day gets started, S and I both find it difficult to make something happen. There has to be a way for us to manage it, although I just haven’t stumbled upon the solution (other than to just woman up and get it done).

We also missed out on a new recipe/little man dinner. I gave a bit of a pass because it took him about three days to bake and create his cake for Scouts. Not that cake is a meal, but it was a lot of work and he did make the cake and frosting from scratch.

There was a huge bright spot this week: Mr PR got an email from the hedgehog breeder and our new friend will be ready to come home in early March! Little man got to choose from five prickly little babies, and he decided on this sweet girl.

At the moment, he would like to name her Hufflepuff, which warms the cockles of my Harry Potter nerd heart.

Stay tuned for the adventures of Hufflepuff’s Homecoming!

On Friday, I leave for Orlando for the Best Damn Race 10K + 5K Challenge, plus time with one of my most awesome running friends! And then the rest of March is going to be a blur of incredible races: Gate River Run, the Vilano Bridge 10K and finally, the March To Get Screened 5K for Colon Cancer.

Please join our linkup! 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

How was your week in training?

Are you a poutine fan?

What do you think of our new hoglet???

race report: daytona beach lap the track 5k {2.10.19}

February is always a fairly busy month for races in Florida. It’s right after the holidays when people are still in the throes of keeping up with their fitness resolutions and the weather is generally good, so it makes sense.

I had a lot of ideas about races I wanted to run in February. The Daytona Beach Half Marathon and the DONNA Breast Cancer Marathon events both fell on the same weekend, which was also the weekend of little man’s Pinewood Derby, so there were pros and cons and choices to be made about challenges, distances and the like. It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to run a challenge and I am looking for some extra bling.

The choice was made for me, though, when the boys gave me the Lap the Track 5K registration as part of my Christmas present. They were going to run with me and it was going to be a fabulous family day.

Ah, the best-laid plans.

Turns out little man got the flu, and Mr PugRunner was having some sympathy pangs. On Saturday night, we discussed the game plan, and since everyone was well enough to be left to their own devices without mom (but not well enough to be out and about), we decided that I would just make the drive in the morning, run the 5K and come home.

Not quite as much fun as originally planned, but sometimes, we just have to adapt and overcome.

Per usual, I was up before the sun, and on my way to Daytona. There were some changes to note, so I wanted to make sure I had enough time to snag my packet and get to the start line on time.

I’m not entirely sure what fueled the adjustments, but the good folks at the Daytona Beach Half Marathon added a 5K on Saturday night, removed the original Speedway Challenge, made the start time for the Sunday morning start time much earlier, and moved packet pickup, staging and post-party to the Daytona One complex across the street from the track.

None of these things were bad, exactly. The packet pickup, gear check and post-party were all located at Daytona One, a brand new retail and entertainment complex, full of stores and restaurants. There was plenty of space, and I loved getting my packet at the Bass Pro Shops, because it meant some inside time and a real bathroom rather than a portapotty.

It was also nice that I got to drop off my backpack at gear check en route to the Daytona International Speedway, rather than having to hike all the way back to the car and back again. It was a bit of a distance, and with the wind and raw temperatures, I was grateful for that little reprieve.

There’s a really nice pedestrian walkway that goes over the main road, so it was a fairly easy trek.

By the time I got over to the track, the half marathon was already underway, and I had maybe 15 minutes to go get all the good pictures. In contrast to years past, none of the races would actually end on the speedway.

I had barely wrapped up when the announcer called for the 5Kers to line up, and we were underway.

The Lap the Track 5K is fairly straightforward: runners go along the Daytona International Speedway, which takes up about 2.25 miles. From there, they exit out to the concourse around the base of the speedway. Previously, runners would complete a small loop and then return to the track for the grand finale.

This year, we exited the track, went around the exterior path and then took the ramp to the pedestrian walkway to finish in the Daytona One complex.

It was windy and cold, but also pretty humid, especially in the bowl of the track. It would have been so much more fun with the boys, but I reminded myself of how much I enjoy this particular event and kept it going all the way to the finish line.

While it was nice, there is definitely something to be said for finishing by the checkered flags and getting to enjoy the vibe of the Speedway.

That being said, there were plenty of vendors and awesome volunteers and staff. I got a great photo with the big sea turtle.

And a snap with a racecar.

There was cold beer and gorgeous bling, as always.

All in all, it was a fun morning, but I do hope things go back to “normal” next year. Despite the great swag, friendly volunteers and staff, free photos and fabulous snacks and drinks, there was definitely a little something missing, and I’d love for the event to get that back!

Have you ever experienced a disappoint course change? Did it turn you away from an event?

ups, downs, ins, outs

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.

This week had its share of ups and downs, ins and outs. Little man was getting over the flu, so we had to take everything nice and easy, except for the parts where we were cleaning like crazy to help keep the rest of us healthy.

Sunday – Daytona Beach Half Marathon Lap the Track 5K

For Christmas, the boys had registered the whole family for the Daytona Beach Half Marathon Lap the Track 5K. One or some of us have run both distances of this race in years past, and while I was hoping to take on a half marathon this particular weekend, a 5K with the family was a great idea.

Only problem was that with little man having the flu and Mr PugRunner not sure if he was down with it as well, I ended up taking the trip by myself and running alone. Womp womp.

I made it back in time for grocery shopping and morel laundry. It’s a glamorous life I lead.

Monday – rest 

It was a fairly long day. Little man was home and the bathroom contractors were here and so we just lounged around the house. He was feeling much better, but we wanted to keep him quiet and make sure he was fully recovered, just to be on the safe side.

Tuesday – 7 miles, running

I desperately needed this run and it felt fabulous to be out there. In fact, I ended up going seven miles. Wheee!

I had to spend some time at the school that morning and then I had to go out for a bunch of last minute bathroom things: extra grout, a new faucet for the bathtub (it’s nearly impossible to find one in stock in a store) and a few extra tiles. Mr PugRunner held down the fort since little man was spending one more day at home.

Wednesday – 50 minutes, abs + arms

I was so excited for Wednesday, for a variety of reasons. After all, February 13, Galentine’s Day, is about celebrating lady friends. And I have some awesome lady friends.

First up, S and I started back to the gym, and I put together a fairly challenging Galentine’s Day workout for the occasion.

After I showered, I met up with T for a morning showing of “Isn’t it Romantic?”, complete with breakfast popcorn. I’m not a huge love of comedies, but Rebel Wilson does it for me, and this was a really cute flick.

That evening, one of the awesome St. Augustine Moms Blog contributors opened up her home for waffles and mimosas for the team. We all brought toppings and assorted sparkling and regular wines, and had an incredible night celebrating each other.

Thursday –  6 miles, running

S and I kicked off Valentine’s Day with a 6 mile run. The weather had turned pretty cold again, back down in the 40s, so it was tough after all the humidity and again.

For the rest of the day, I was at school, helping supervise stations for the Kids’ Heart Challenge. Our PE Coach did an amazing job coming up with fun jumping activities for the kids and they had a great time celebrating raising almost $9,500 for the cause!

I did manage to sneak away to pick up lunch for my favorite guy.

That night, we just took it easy. Little man had a four day weekend, and he was so happy to be feeling better and be able to get outside to play. He had picked the menu for our Valentine’s dinner, but since he was having so much fun, I went ahead and cooked it (blackened salmon, fettuccini alfredo and green beans).

Friday – rest

S and I were both so freaking sore from our Wednesday gym session that we called this a rest day. I was thrilled to be able to get a little sleep, too.

It wasn’t all play, though. I had a fairly long (but productive) meeting for a new company with which I am working, and then once I got home, I was ready to dig in.

Little man had a friend stay over, too and so it was just a chill night at home.

Saturday – 8 miles, running

The morning started with a solid eight mile long run.

We followed that with a yummy breakfast, and then little man had basketball evaluations. We celebrated by trying a new lunch place, Mack’s Tenders, and we all enjoyed!

Now onto accountability! Are you joining us for the Running Is Our Therapy Link Up?


It was another great week of running! I felt great with all my miles.

I also got back in the gym! S really says she wants to go at least twice a week, and I am happy to tag along.

Water is eh. I confess to being a little more interested in wine this week. Oops.

And I cracked open a book! Yay! I only got through two chapters, but Pandora’s Box has quite literally been opened, so we are making progress!

In the comments, share about your successes and how you are keeping yourself accountable!

So how was your week in training?

Did you celebrate Galentine’s Day?

valentine’s is for runners

Valentine’s is one of those holidays around here: we celebrate the day by trying to make it special in little ways, but we never really go all out. We rarely even go out to dinner just because it gets so crowded and the service usually isn’t all that fabulous.

As a runner, Valentine’s can be super fun – it’s a day for tiny treats, lacing up to hit the road, special sales and giveaways and just loving the run.

Who’s with me?

Love The Run

I love running on the holidays. Valentine’s Day doesn’t fall on a weekend this year, so it may be harder to find a themed race, but you can grab your spouse, partner, or friends and get out there for a fun run anyway. Wear red and pink and really put your heart into those miles.

Try running 2.14 miles in honor of the date, or even 2.14 mile repeats, if you need more distance.

Up the ante by trying to create a heart shape on your route. Check out Figure Running for some tips on how to do it!

Give A Gift Of Running

Sweet little gifts can be fun for both giver and recipient. Grand gestures are never necessary, but runners always appreciate a new pair of their favorite socks, a headband, fuel or even a gift card to their favorite local running shop. I confess to loving these Bombas right now and would not mind having an extra pair.

Obviously, race entries are a perfect gift as well. I’ve got my eye on a few local races right now, and would love to see a registration in my inbox 🙂

(Local friends can win an entry to the Ready. Set. Glow. 5K & Fun Run in a great Valentine’s giveaway, too! Check it out here!)

Treat Yourself in the Kitchen

Since we rarely go out for a Valentine’s date night, that means it’s time to get creative in the kitchen. A yummy recovery meal is just the the thing, and I love taking the theme to the limits. Heart-shaped strawberries and polenta help make this pesto shrimp meal just a little extra special. Little man is taking over the Valentine’s Day menu and I can’t wait to see what he creates for us.

And of course, we’ll spend the rest of the day enjoying and appreciating each other.

How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day?

Do you love running and working out on holidays, or do you treat yourself to a rest day?

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