new running shoes 101: when is it time?

New running shoes are one of the highlights of this sport. I love trying new styles and coming home with (or coming home to) a box full of shiny, new shoes, all fresh and ready for the road.

new shoes

On the downside, running shoes can be pricey, and that can make us loathe to buy new or replace them as frequently as we should. My belief is spending the money on keeping yourself in good running shoes can help save you from injury or PT bills down the road, so I do try to stay on top of it.

But how do you know when it’s time?

When You’re Pushing 400 Miles

Most of us track our miles on our Garmins, Apple watches, or running apps. Our quest for data makes it easy to calculate overall miles, and these are what we should watch as we run. At the 300 mile mark in any pair of shoes, it’s time to start paying attention. Gels and cushioning begin to compress. Treads wear thin, Rubber loses its bounce. Uppers may start to fray. All of these things lead to a compromised running experience Every shoe is different, and every runner puts different wear on shoes. Sometimes, you can get to 500 or so miles, but 400 is the sweet spot especially for those who run regularly.

new running shoes

When They Hit Their 6 Month Birthday

Don’t keep track of your miles or don’t run all that often? Then make a note of the six-month mark from when you started wearing your shoes. While it may not look like your shoes are showing their age, be aware that passing time can lead to the breakdown of the materials that make up your shoes. It can be hard to say goodbye when your miles are on the lower side, but switch your six month old shoes to the pair you use for the gym or to walk the dogs and upgrade to something new.

When You Start To Feel Soreness

Any time you start to experience soreness or aches during or after a run, one of the big questions you should ask is “how old are my shoes?” When running shoes lose their integrity, due to use or age, they step serving the purpose of protecting your body while you run. If you are at 400 miles or past six months, get thee to your local running store to level up to your new running shoes. (and if that doesn’t do the trick quickly, get thee to your doctor for an exam).

new running shoes

When They Look Like This

Friends, I am so embarrassed to admit this, but this is an actual photo of the shoes I just retired.

new running shoes

In my defense, they were one of the only pairs of shoes that felt “right’ on my bionic ankle, and I wasn’t experiencing any (new) aches, pains, or discomfort from them. I suffered with feelings of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, and was nervous that changing anything would cause issues with my recovering leg. Of course, my new running shoes ended up being just fine with no issues, and I sent these off to Valhalla without a second thought.

When Your Favorite Shoe Goes On Sale (or Releases New Colors)

New running shoes are a critical part of the sport, but they can also just be fun. So when you see YOUR shoe marked down, or even in a cool new color way, go for it! It never hurts to have a backup pair to add to your rotation, or to save for a later. Running (and its accessories) should be fun, and if you want a new pair just for the heck of it, go for it!

new running shoes
courtesy of Brooks Running

When is the right time for you to get new running shoes?

Join the Runner’s Roundup!

Link up each week to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas. Join your hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerLaura Norris Running, Mile by Mile, and Runs with Pugs 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!

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Click here to enter

week 37: rain, rain, go away

I know there are plenty of places in the country that would really love to have some rain, but we are getting hammered. The rivers and canals ae flooding, our historic downtown is swimming, the yards and fields are soggy with standing water. With several storms still spinning out in the Atlantic, I don’t see it drying up any time soon. The gross weather is also wreaking havoc on my ankle and leg, so extra yay.

Sunday – 4 miles, running + 1.17 miles walking

Since I didn’t run on Saturday, I had to make it up on Sunday morning. It went well, and I was pretty proud of myself.

I was also thrilled to have finally completed the Best Damn Race Florida Virtual Challenge. My friend, L, and I jointly logged 1000K to run virtually from Amelia Island to Key West. Victory!

Monday – 3.4 miles walking

Back to a five day week. Obviously, it started with a nice walk.

A had a little lighter day as his Civics teacher catches up with conferences, which really set the tone for the week.

I also started making these salads with spinach, peaches, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, balsamic, pepper and salt. So fresh and delicious.

Tuesday – 3.78 miles running + 1.44 miles, walking

J and I went for our morning run. Friends, the humidity has been nothing short of suffocating. Everything is just so wet.

On our way home, I pointed out the alligator on the bank of the canal to my friend. It was slightly obscured, and then we saw flapping wings. At first, I thought I mistook the gator for a bird, but no. The gator WAS EATING IT!!!! I have lived in Florida for 22 years. I have seen my share of (terrifying) wildlife. However, I have never seen an alligator consume its prey in the actual wild! Not cool.

Despite appearances, this is still considered a “small” alligator. Probably 3.5 – 4 feet. Trappers can be called when the gator reaches 5 feet or becomes a “nuisance”. It is super important to leave alligators be so they maintain a natural fear of humans (seriously – never feed them), and it’s also a felony to hunt and kill them without a tag.

After our “wild America” morning, I headed up to the Sweet By Holly Store too pick up our packets for the Cupcake Run benefitting Girls on the Run of Northeast Florida. You may recall that this was going to be my comeback 5K. As it was, I said hello to the awesome staff, who were maintaining all mask and social distancing guidelines, and grabbed our bags and cupcakes.

I also scored this adorable zombie hand toy for the pugs. Delilah wasn’t into it. Luna fell in love.

We enjoyed another date night while A was at Scouts. There aren’t too many restaurants around, so we always end up at the same one, but that’s ok. It has a patio and it’s great for dinner and a glass of wine.

Wednesday – 3.82 miles, walking

Another walk, another gator sighting. This time it was eyeing up a crane. Fly, crane, fly!

All the rain has made me super stiff this week, so I paid a bit more attention to my stretches.

Thursday – 3.75 miles, running + 2.02 miles, walking

This run was drizzly, windy, and so humid it was hard to breathe. Sometimes, it really does feel like we are inhaling jello. Ugh. Coming home to puppies helps.

Even though the rest of the day was disgusting, the evening was lovely. The boys went out to get A new kneepads and wrist guards for his skate park adventures. He is getting far more innovative out there and needs a little extra protection.

Friday –  4 miles, walking

It threatened to pour on me the whole time, but I kept on going. I made it back to the house right before the heavens opened. The bummer was that A was done with school for the week, but we were rained out of anything fun.

Here’s some fun news: Mr PugRunner’s acupuncturist sells masks in the waiting room of his office, handmade by one of his patients. Mr PugRunner shared with him about A’s Mask Lanyards 4 U and the doctor invited him to set up a little station where he could sell his lanyards, as well! To date, he is thisclose to $400 in sales, which is pretty incredible, in my (maternal, unbiased) opinion.

Saturday – 3.1 miles, running + 35 miles, walking

Despite the threat of rain, I absolutely had to get out to run the virtual Cupcake Run 5K benefitting Girls on the Run of Northeast Florida. My plan was actually to run five, but that wasn’t to be.

As it was, the rain started coming down when I hit Mile 2. I turned down two rides homes and made it back to the house to reveal my gorgeous new medal and celebrate with a cupcake.

The rest of the day was for lounging. We watched some college football and its was nice to get some “normalcy.” It was also nice to see the Miami Hurricanes win!

Goal-getting

I know I complain a lot about the rain, which can seem insensitive when part of the country is on fire, but precipitation brings its own challenges for a sea level state. Our canals and rivers are flooding. There is a sinkhole opening up in my neighborhood. The storm drains in historic downtown are backing up into the streets. And there are still several tropical storm systems churning away in the Atlantic. It’s not a great scenario and we are so hopeful for a few days of sun so this can dry up.

In running news, I registered for the Team Nuun Half Marathon on November 7. At the time, it seemed like a great idea, but now I’m super nervous. I wasn’t able to hit my week 2 training goal, and have spiraled into some negative self-talk about the whole thing. I can walk forever, so worst case is I run what I can run and walk the rest. No matter what, it will be the farthest I’ve gone post-injury and that’s a win, right?

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

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How was your week in training?

What’s next on your race calendar?

5 strength moves i love to hate

As runners, we all know that our success is based in so much more than logging miles. We rely on our strength, our core, and our upper body to cover our distances.

strength moves i love to hate

However, we also all know that there are moves that are just no fun (or worse, make us cringe). Today, I’m sharing my least favorite strength moves, and the ways I get around them.

PushUps

Benefits – So many people love pushups, but I’m not one of them. Pushups rely on upper body and core strength, and do solid work on the pectorals, shoulders and triceps.

Why I Hate Them – At the moment, my core is just slightly lacking and I have a hard time balancing on my right foot (specifically my toes).While I can lower myself to the ground, and push back up, the resulting discomfort in my foot isn’t worth it.

What Can You Do Instead: Dropping to your knees or doing pushups against a wall are both solid alternatives to an awful (but productive) strength move. There’s no shame in that game.

Bear Crawls

Benefits – And while we’re at it, let’s include donkey kicks, inchworms, crab walks, and gorilla jumps. Bear crawls, however, lead to strength and endurance in the shoulders and upper body. They also promote good balance and core strength.

Why I Hate Them – I have freakishly long legs, making any of the “animal” moves a little more challenging. “Walking” on my hands and feet like this puts me almost upside down, which is super uncomfortable, especially on my wrists and sinuses.

What Can You Do Instead: Any variation of mountain climbers are a great alternative to the less desirable bear crawl.

Box Jumps

Benefits – I was so proud when I finally conquered box jumps at 9Round early last year. Box jumps are fabulous for lower body strength. They promote power and spring, and, if we’re being honest, make you feel like a badass.

Why I Hate Them – I think it’s natural to hate what we cannot accomplish. Since breaking my leg, the idea of jumping is nothing short of terrifying, so I’m no longer a fan of this critical, runner-friendly move.

What Can You Do Instead: Step ups are a great substitute for box jumps. While they lack the intensity, stepping up, one foot at a time, engages similar muscles for similar results. It doesn’t feel as good, but it gets the job done.

V-Ups

Benefits – Once again, we have a move that is brilliant for the core and trunk strength. It also promotes strength in the obliques and hip flexors, which are key for running.

Why I Hate Them = Truth be told, my right hip flexor is regularly angry, and V-Ups really grind on my tailbone. Even using a mat and a towel leaves me hurting on the backside and achy in my hip, so I tend to avoid them when I I can.

What Can You Do Instead? If V-ups prove too intense, lean back and do a similar move on your elbows. You can also balance in a boat pose, or lay on your back, turn your knees to either side and do oblique crunches. This will help alleviate pressure on the tailbone and still work similar areas.

Planks

Benefits – Planks are amazing because they strengthen your core and your spine. They help you mantain good posture, which leads to optimal alignment. Planks are amazing and should be part of any solid workout routine.

Why I Hate Them – Despite their benefits, planks require a level of upper body strength that I have never attained. Much like pushups, I struggle with supporting my body weight on my elbows or on my hands. And my core does not love them.

What Can You Do Instead? – Once again, drop to your knees. You can also mix it up, with high planks, low planks, or side planks. Mountain climbers and bird dogs are also based on the form of the plank, so if you aren’t ready to hold the pose, you can replicate the

What strength training moves do you love to hate?

Join the Runner’s Roundup!

Link up each week to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas. Join your hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerLaura Norris Running, Mile by Mile, and Runs with Pugs 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!

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Click here to enter

week 36: settling into that groove

I swear, the weeks keep getting longer and longer as the year goes on. I don’t know if having the holiday weekend helped or hurt that feeling, but things definitely dragged.

Sunday – 3.22 miles, walking

Mr PugRunner and I woke up super early so we could try taking Luna to the beach for sunrise. She loved the sand and the other pups she met, but she barked at and attacked the ocean. We will try again.

I went for my walk after giving her a bath (which she also hated).

In the afternoon, we got lunch and went to the Alligator Farm for the last day of our annual passes. It was lovely to just wander around and enjoy the outdoors and the animals.

Monday – 4 miles walking

Happy Labor Day! I walked, and was super happy to find this beautiful heart-shaped leaf on my path.

The weather was off and on, so we went to the waterfront for lunch before the storms really hit.

Tuesday – 3.5 miles running + 2.59 miles, walking

Run day, fun day. I was glad to get moving after the long weekend. I was even more excited to find these shorts, which I thought I had lost.

A was back to school – it’ s a little weird with the virtual schedule. Technically, he was off on Labor Day, but he did his usual work anyway, so he wouldn’t have to catch up on it later in the week. It wasn’t a big deal, but it’s different.

In the evening, he had his Scouts meeting, and was able to collect his advancements and awards he had earned. He missed Court of Honor, due to our loss of Bentley, but he was so proud to receive these badges.

While he was at his meeting, Mr PugRunner and I went for a small date night. It was much-needed.

Wednesday – 3.66 miles, walking

This ended up being a rough day. From lack of sleep to an almost-missed clarinet lesson to a skateboard injury (he’s fine), to nasty storms again, it was a tough one.

I did get in a decent walk, but that was my only respite for the day.

Thursday – rest

I had to make up the dentist appointment I missed last week, and was not looking forward to it. Of course, my anxiety was way worse than the reality. The cleaning was fine, and my track record of zero cavities held strong. However, the dentist did give me a referral to an oral surgeon to have my wisdom teeth removed. I only have the two bottom ones, but they are now becoming problematic and need to go.

Boo.

Since it was such an early appointment, I dragged through the rest of the day, and went to bed extra early.

Friday –  3.5 miles, running + 2.91 miles walking

While the running itself was horrible, I had great company and we saw so many beautiful rainbows. It warmed my heart on the anniversary of 9/11.

A had some schoolwork to finish, and he spent the morning working hard. I told him that when he was done, I would take him to the skateboard shop to buy his new board with his earnings. Obviously, that motivated him to hustle, and we were able to get takeout lunch for a car picnic on our way.

And he is now the proud owner of a new Bob Ross skateboard!

That evening, we had dinner and dessert at Food Truck Friday,

and Mr. PugRunner picked up Bentley and brought him home for good. It was an emotional and difficult evening.

Saturday – rest

Two rest days in one week? What?

A had the opportunity to take Mask Lanyards 4 U to a Children’s Entrepreneur Market. The St. A City Market offers a kids’ addition to their regular local market once a month, and this was the first one since COVID began. We were comfortable because it was outside, and all vendors and visitors were asked to wears masks.

He worked hard to get his inventory stocked, and it ended up being a great experience. He didn’t sell out, but he did end the morning on a high note, and as of Sunday morning, has broken 60 sales! So proud of him!

We grabbed good trucks for lunch, and n the evening, went to our friends’ house for some pizza, wine and conversation. These are among my favorite nights.

Goal-getting

Two rest days in one week are pretty unheard of in my world. Ii didn’t want to take the time off, but I wasn’t feeling great after my dentist appointment, and Saturday was just too busy to get it in. Meh.

A is about 25% through his first semester of FLVS and doing very well. I’m very impressed with how he is rising to meet the expectations. If we are reading his schedule correctly, he will have a bit of a quiet week – he is finished with most of his first unit tests and conferences, so he gets to wait for everyone else to catch up.

I started to decorate for fall, too. We ain’t sue how Halloween is going to look this year, but I am all in for it!

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 ready for fall decorating?

my september running goals

It’s just insane to me that we are on the edge of fall, and it’s time to set some September running goals. Please forgive me that these are a week late – last week was hard with our loss, and I just didn’t have it in me to share.

september running goals

My Current Status

Before I get into my September running goals, it’s a good idea to look at where I’m at right now. As it stands, I’m walking four days a week, and running three. Twice a week, I lay down 3.5 miles, and my long run is four miles. I’m not in a lot of pain or discomfort, but my ankle does get stiff and my leg tired at the end of the day. As far as I’m concerned, this is all good news, and I’m making progress.

Mileage

I closed the month of August with 134.61 miles of running and walking. It’s crazy to me, but filling in my “rest days” with long walks (strenuous and not) has definitely bulked up my distance. After so many days, weeks, and months of barely clearing 1000 steps, this has done wonders for my mojo. I feel so much more confident in my abilities, and I can’t believe that I have gone from surgery and non-weight-bearing to actually running again!

So What’s Next?

At this point, I feel like I can safely bump my week distances up to four miles, and my “long run” to 4.5, maybe five. I like to keep the two distances connected, because longer runs during the week make for easier long runs. There is the matter of my running buddy to consider, but she also has a goal to reach the 10K distance, so we are on the same page. I don’t feel like there is a huge rush to do anything drastic, but I want to keep the momentum flowing.

Races

Right now, I am registered for three virtual races:

Cupcake Run & Cake Walk – As you know, this is the race that supports Girls On The Run of Northeast Florida, so I am all in to run my 3.1 miles virtually on September 18. You have until the end of the week to register, if you want to join in the fun!

cupcake run

ASPN Crushing COVID 5K – I can run this anytime from September 18 – 30, and I will do it with Mr PugRunner. He normally attends an annual conference for work, and this is the affiliated charity 5K. Since the conference is a virtual affair this year, it makes sense that the race is also virtual. We are happy to support it, however.

september running goals

Global Energy Virtual Race – This was (and is) a free event. Participants have from October 5-11 to complete the 5K or 10K (I signed up for the 10K!!!!!), and can receive a shirt and medal upon uploading their results. It was a lot of fun (in real life) last year, so I am all in this time. For every race completed, Bimbo Bakeries will donate a loaf of bread to Feeding America to help fight hunger in local communities.

While these events help me meet my September running goals, I would love to register for an in-person race, soon. They have started back up in my area (with restrictions and limits), so it would be nice to be able to join in the fun.

Realistically, What Do I Need To Do?

Right now, I just have to keep running. Originally, I wanted to be in half marathon shape by December, but since my goal half has gone virtual, I am comfortable waiting and taking my time.

I also need to work in some strength and some yoga. Same old story, but in order to achieve my September running goals (and beyond), I need to do extra work. The end. Period. With virtual school, I have even fewer hours to get that done, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. It will only make me stronger.

recovery progress

Additionally, I need to crack down on my nutrition. With Mr PugRunner’s meal plan, I’m not necessarily getting what I need and I can feel it in the mornings. It’s time to support him, but also take care of myself.

What are your September running goals?

Join the Runner’s Roundup!

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

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

week 35: happy labor day

Happy Labor Day to you! Normally, I’d be lining up for a 5k, but, yeah. Things are different this year. Everything is different. Did school get better? Yes. Did other things fall apart? Yes. We are hanging in there (sometimes by a thread), but doing what we can.

Sunday – 3.88 miles, walking

Another quiet Sunday. I got in my walk.

The weather has been so awful and stormy so no one really feels motivated to do very much. And quite frankly, I’m tired of always being the cheerleader and cruise director. I was just fine sitting on the couch.

Wellness Month Day 30: Try something out of your comfort zone. I feel like so many thing are out of my comfort zone these days. After some back and forth, I sent a cold pitch to a company with whom I’d like to work. It was agonizing, and very much out of that comfort zone. Fingers crossed.

Monday – 3.88 miles walking

With the start of another academic week, I treated myself to a long walk AND some iced coffee. I needed the fortification.

A worked hard, and even spent some time doing school with his friend, who is also in the virtual program. He is still catching up to some of the expectations, but maybe it’s happening?

Wellness Month Day 31: Share What You’re Grateful For. Everything. My family. My friends. Our health. Love. The list is pretty endless.

Tuesday – 3.5 miles running + 1.56 miles, walking

We had a great Tuesday run. I really look forward to runs when I have a buddy. It makes everything just a little more manageable.

School progressed decently (bizarrely, math days are good days around here).

And then, disaster. As I posted last week, our oldest pug Bentley suffers from some chronic issues. He woke with some light hacking (normal for him this time of year), which sounded a little deeper than normal. We scheduled an appointment for Thursday. By late afternoon, his breathing and wheezing just worsened, and in the matter of an hour, we realized that things were very much out of our hands. Our vet advised us to head to the ER. There was a bit of shuffling as we figured out who was going and who was staying, and A and I tearfully kissed and hugged our boy goodbye.

We all know how this ends. His trachea was breaking down. It’s something that can happen in senior dogs, especially brachycephalic ones like pugs. Our family is crushed.

Wednesday – 2.41 miles, walking

I couldn’t bring myself to get up and go downstairs in the morning. The fact that Bentley wouldn’t be down there, waiting to devour breakfast just about broke me.

We all agreed to take a semi-easy day. I only walked 2.41 miles, and I was so grateful for all the love everyone has shown us.

In the evening, instead of clarinet and karate, we went out to dinner downtown. We just wanted some time as a family, and we toasted to Bentley and his life. It felt nice to be spontaneous and get out of the house, where something is noticeably missing.

Thursday – 3.5 miles, running + 1.55 miles, walking

We had a good run. I was able to vent a little about my sadness and my over-emotional state. It was nice to get that out, and I am appreciative of friends who let me.

The weather turned nasty quite quickly, and so after school, we just chilled at home, working on A’s lanyard inventory. We had a call with his homeroom teacher – once a month, we check in to make sure he is on pace and getting done everything he needs.

In the evening, I had a round table meeting for Scouts. The BSA faces some new and unusual challenges this year in recruitment, but I am positive they will come through.

Friday –  rest day

What? A rest day?

Though I thought about canceling, I had planned for a little Mimosas + Moms shindig in the driveway. Last year, when we sent the kids off to school on the first day, a few friends and I went out for breakfast and mimosas. We couldn’t do the same this year, but I wanted to recognize some of my friends and how hard they’ve worked keeping it together over the past months.

After completing his work for the week, little man went to the skate park with his friend. My parents swung by for a quick front porch visit. And that was Friday.

Saturday – 4 miles, running + 1. miles, walking

I ran a little and I cried a little. That’s how it goes.

When I was finished, I had to take another quick trip to the store for more lanyard supplies. And then we headed to Atlantic Beach for lunch. A’s Language Arts teacher has been sharing Edgar Allen Poe with the students. I have mentioned that A loathes reading and Language Arts is his hardest class. However, this teacher is somehow reaching him (I have listened to the classes, and he’s amazing), and I am rolling with it. There is a Poe’s Tavern in AB, so we had fun looking at all the EAP theming and ordering menu items like The Goldbug and The Telltale Heart.

Goal-getting

Week 2 of school was mostly better. We are still arguing over when to get things done, but something seemed to click late this week, and A may be fully and (mostly) independently on track.

My miles were down. It was understandable, but frustrating, too. I was tired and unmotivated and really preferred to just sit around in pajamas. It happens.

Wellness Month is over, and I intended to do a fun giveaway, but… it just didn’t work out this past week. Keep an eye on my instagram tonight, though. We are getting back to it!

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?

How are you enjoying the Labor Day weekend?

september coffee date: running through tears

Friends, this has been a very difficult and emotional week for a variety of reasons. I had to take a few days off to get my head right and find my focus again.

Join us for this month’s Ultimate Coffee Date. After reading here, head on over to visit Coco and Deborah, our awesome link-up hosts.

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I could not resist this coffee mug at Target. I don’t use a lot of mugs, but this one had to come home with me. It’s full of Dunkin’ Iced Coffee (cream only), by the way.

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That on Tuesday, our pug Bentley went to the Rainbow Bridge. He was the last of the Original Grumble (quite literally, the OG), and we are just broken hearted. While we don’t know his exact age (he was a private rescue), he was close to 14 or 15. For those that don’t know, he came from a situation of neglect and mistreatment and we really had our work cut out for us with his anxiety and aggressive tendencies. No matter what, we never gave up on him, and he was always safe and loved with us. He was crazy healthy for most of his life, but in the last couple of years, he struggled with a vestibular illness and terrible allergies, resulting in chronic ear infections. We treated everything as best we could, but this past weekend, his allergy cough started up again. He had a vet appointment scheduled for Thursday, but things deteriorated on Tuesday afternoon. The emergency vet said that his trachea was breaking down, and there was just nothing more we could do. It was quick for A and I, saying our goodbyes before Mr PugRunner took him. Despite COVID-19 regulations, the vet allowed Mr PugRunner to come into the room and hold Bentley as he passed. It was peaceful and it was time. Run free, sweet boy. Run free.

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That virtual school is no joke. Part of it is getting back into a routine and a structured schedule. The other part of it is the expectations are so much higher than they were in his regular school. It’s not hard, exactly, but it is challenging, and as A gets acclimated to the curriculum, he needs some serious direction. It’s been a battle trying to manage my schedule to mesh with his, and I am dragging at the end of every day.

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That all of this makes me feel like a huge failure. I am trying to be all things to all people, and while I am not the biggest proponent of self-care, I admit that I could very happily lock myself in a dark closet for a few hours just so I can think. I’m not a teacher, so in many ways I don’t know how to help A with his work. I worry that we made the wrong decision, especially when so many people are going back to brick and mortar school and resuming life as normal. To be honest, I feel like I am losing my mind.

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That A’s business is booming. We have to keep ordering more supplies so he can make more inventory for his upcoming market, because local folks keep placing orders. I didn’t want him to overmake, in case it’s not a big seller, but he also needs sufficient stock in case it is. Ah, the difficulties of being the boss.

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That running is going well. I continue to feel good and keep moving forward. I got some new socks (Balega International), and I really like them, so that was a win. It’s nice to treat myself to new gear and running related goodies again.

What’s new in your world?

What would you share over coffee?

week 34: we’re doing this

Oh, friends. This was a week of ups and downs, of big feelings and feelings of isolation. I think everyone struggled in so many ways, and while things ended on a positive note, it was quite a mission to get there. We had our first full week of virtual school.

Sunday – 3.58 miles, walking

This walk started a little later than I would have liked, but sometimes, you just have to sleep in.

Sundays have been fairly lazy around here, and this was no exception. We did got out for a family lunch date on the water, where we got the most delicious watermelon salad. It was great to have some fresh air and good food.

Wellness Month Day 23: Declutter one area of your home. This has been a work in progress. I did start going through my running clothes and purging things that are too big or that I no longer prefer to wear.

Monday – 3.5 miles running + 1.7 miles, walking

Due to a scheduling hiccup, we had to switch our run to Monday. Thank goodness for chalk rainbows.

Little man had his first day of actual classes. He has one 90 minute class per day, and after the technical issues got sorted, he was able to log in and get to work. It’s very different, but the first day went really well.

Wellness Month Day 24: Say 3 Things You Love About Yourself. Sharing self-love is difficult, but I did settle on my three years.

Tuesday – 3.8 miles walking

Happy walking!

Day two was a little more challenging. There were some technical glitches (nothing crazy serious), and then A got frustrated with just about everything. Like I said. There were a lot of big feelings this week.

That evening, his Scouts Troop asked for some parents to help with Board of Review, for Scouts who are ready to rank up. I was privileged to sit and approve one patrol member to rank up, and then we learned that A was eligible for for his First Class Rank as well, just a month after earning Second Class. We are so proud! He is super motivated to earn Eagle and we are here for it!

Wellness Month Day 25: Log 10,000 Steps Today. This is a daily occurrence, but I was happy to be able to check it off the list.

Wednesday – 3.5 miles, running + 1.7 miles, walking

Time to run!

I was super grateful that our friend took the kids to the skate park before school. It makes for early mornings, but it’s a great release for them, too. It all works out.

Wellness Month Day 26: Share Your Favorite Stress-less Tip. Write. It. Down. That’s it. That’s the tip. When you write things down, they are harder to forget and easier to prioritize.

Thursday – 4.02 miles, walking

The humidity has been getting worse and worse, making even walks difficult.

In the afternoon, I finally ventured to get my hair done. It’s been months (as it has for everyone) and I just desperately needed color and a fresh cut. I went to a new stylist, who came highly recommended (both in talent and with following COVID protocols).

It’s been literally years since I’ve lightened my hair, but I was up for something new. What I wanted wasn’t a one-visit result, but so far, it’s coming along great.

Mr Pugrunner and I had a date night, which happened to coincide with little man getting to go hang out with a friend. I love when the timing works out. It was a nice night, but the patio where we dined was a little more crowded with far less considerate people than I would have preferred.

Wellness Month Day 27: Bring The Outdoors In. Friends, there is nothing outside in Florida that needs to come inside in the summer time. Promise. What I did manage to bring in this week is tons of sand when I cleaned out the beach bag. Follow me for more wellness tips!

Friday –  3.42 miles, walking

In the morning, I had volunteer duty at one of the local schools. We distributed some spirit wear and masks to parents who wanted to get a jump on those items. It was really good to do something semi-normal.

This also meant that my walk was in the middle of the day. Whew, that was hot.

A wrapped up his school assignments (pretty successfully, to be honest), and we took the rest of the day off. We had food trucks for dinner, and all was well.

Wellness Month Day 28: Lay On That Lip and Lash. Fail on my part. I very rarely wear makeup these days, and lipstick just gets on the inside of the masks we wear.

Saturday – 4 miles, running + 1 miles, walking

Wellness Month Day 29: Take Your Exercise Outdoors. When do I not? It seems that no matter what, my exercise is always outdoors, and that’s just how it is.

This run was super hard. It was insanely humid, and even taking my time, I struggled. I hated every second of it, but was so happy to be done.

As soon as I showered, I headed to the store. A is making mask lanyards to see at a local kids’ entrerperneurial farmer’s market in a few weeks and he needed supplies. He’s doing a great job with local sales and inventory and we are so happy to support him.

Goal-getting

So the first week of school was a mix of emotions. A was sad to not be back at his brick and mortar, but also kind of liked the new block schedule and getting a four day weekend. He worked hard and we have to figure out the best way for him to prioritize his assignments, but we will get there.

Running went well. I was a bit emotionally exhausted, so I found it difficult to get up and moving in the mornings, but maybe things will be better this week.

The Wellness Challenge for August ends tomorrrow. It’s been a great month!

On a devastating note, Chadwick Boseman passed away of colorectal cancer at the age of 43. Usually, celebrity deaths don’t hit me too hard, but he was my age and such a badass. To think that he filmed such a high-intensity and high-profile action film without a word of complaint and with no one knowing. It’s amazing and inspiring and this is a loss that will be felt for a long time.

Additionally, Hurricane Laura hit parts of Louisiana and Texas with terrifying Category 4 fury. I am hopeful that their rebuilding goes smoothly.

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?

How did school go, if you started? Who’s ready for September?

best damn race oregon trail virtual challenge

I am an Ambassador for the Best Damn Race series. In exchange for my promotion of the events and use of my BDR discount code, I will receive complimentary race entries as well as other amenities. All opinions are my own.

BDR is at it again, introducing the Best Damn Race Oregon Trail Challenge to its portfolio of motivating virtual events.

best damn race oregon trail

Do you remember playing Oregon Trail? It was right up there with Zork in my little nerd heart.  In Oregon Trail, the player guides his wagon of settlers from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon’s Willamette Valley in 1848. The goal was to survive the journey (with all your travelers alive) and learn a little something about the 2,170 mile wagon route.

best damn race oregon trail

What Is The Oregon Trail Virtual Challenge?

I’m so glad you asked! In the Oregon Trail Virtual Challenge, you make the choice to team up with a wagon of six or go it alone, to virtually travel 2000 miles of the Oregon Trail of the iconic video game. You’ll log your miles, and earn digital (and real) swag along the way, but be careful! You might break a wagon wheel, or suffer from exhaustion along the way and that will be a game changer!

best damn race oregon trail

2000 Virtual Miles? Isn’t That A Lot?

Nah. I mean, it IS, but you have until April 2021 to complete the distance, alone or with a virtual wagon of up to five other friends. The best part is you have until April 30, 2021 to claim victory over the trail! That’s a full 30 bonus days (original end date was March 31, 2021) to get it done! If everyone pulls his own weight, each wagon-mate only needs to record about 9.5 miles per week. Easy peasy!

best damn race oregon trail

Ok, But Do I Have To Run?

Nope. Sure, Best Damn Race is home of some of the Best Damn road Races around, but for this challenge, miles are miles. You can walk, run, bike, row, or even count steps in your living room to add to your totals.

What Do I Earn?

I’m so glad you asked! For the fairly incredible registration fee of $29.99, you’ll earn digital badges at 10 important Oregon Trail landmarks,

and a fabulous embroidered Finisher’s Patch.

You’ll also score this gorgeous, double-sided medal, which I am so excited to add to my collection.

Want the shirt? For an extra $20, you can have an official race shirt, OR this awesome dysentery themed style. I couldn’t resist the latter.

best damn race oregon trail

I’m Ready To Register!

Well, let’s go! All you have to do is choose how you want to traverse the miles! You can do 2000 miles split between up to six friends, 2000 miles on your own, or lead a “solo mini wagon” for 200 miles. Click here to get moving.

And don’t forget, use code RUNSWITHPUGS to save 10% when you register for any live 2021 BDR race. Check out my recap of last year’s Best Damn Race in Orlando to see how awesome one of these events can be.

Are you hopping on the Best Damn Race Oregon Trail Virtual Challenge wagon?

Join the Runner’s Roundup!

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

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

week 33: first day of school + new normals

And after six months, little man is “back” to school. In some ways, it is a huge relief: we have some routine and some structure in our lives again, and he has another productive way to spend his time. However, we are also figuring out new normals in their very bizarre year we are having. It’s all just a big round of “take it as it comes.”

Sunday – 3.00 miles, walking

I started the week with a quick walk.

And then we packed up our things and headed to the beach. We found a new-to-us spot, which was so secluded and beautiful, and we ended up spending most of the day just relaxing there.

Wellness Month Day 16: DIY a beauty treatment from your kitchen. I ended up whipping up this brown sugar and coffee scrub. It’s a little stronger than I would like, but it exfoliates well, and definitely gives a bit of a pick me up to my skin.

Monday – 3.71 miles, walking

What’s that saying about “never miss a Monday?” Well, I got right out there. And even dropped a plank.

It ended up being just a rainy day at home. We worked on organizing things for the first day of school, and I made some rainbow shortbread cookies in honor of the big day.

Wellness Month Day 17: Tame Your Mane. Well. This didn’t happen. I thought back to days when I could get my hair cut, and then picked out a color and style I think I might want when I do go get it done.

Tuesday – 3.7 miles, running + 1.84 miles, walking

Hooray for good runs! We actually overshot our distance by a bit, and didn’t realize it until we were almost to four miles. Whoops!

Wellness Month Day 18: Practice Meditation. Meditation is 100% not my thing, but I put in the effort. I sat outside, closed my eyes, and just tried to focus on nothing. It was weird.

Before I went to bed, I set out some back to school goodies on the desk. It’s always nice to have a little surprise on a big day.

Wednesday – 3 miles, walking

Happy First Day of Seventh Grade! I took a quick walk so I could get home for his first session.

And got home just in time for his first ever online morning announcements. He got about 40 minutes of overall instructions on procedures and how to get ready for Monday, and…. that was school for the day.

Actual classes will start tomorrow. So that was that. We went geocaching, and grabbed lunch while we were out.

By request, I made ramen for dinner. This boy loves ramen and is totally excited for this new ramen restaurant that is supposed to be opening near us.

Wellness Month Day 19: Light A Candle or Diffuse Some Essential Oil. I am not a candle person, but we do use Scentsy warmers on the regular. Easy peasy.

Thursday – 3.5 miles, running + 1.62 miles, walking

We managed to keep things on track this time around, and another super strong run and cool down walk.

Right after my shower, I had to go to the dentist. I was pretty sure something was wrong, and since I am terrified of the dentist, I really had to work myself up to the appointment. Turns out nothing was wrong (????), but I did schedule a cleaning for a few weeks from now.

That evening, my friend came over so we could do some painting. Paige Payne Creations offers watercolor tutorials on her IGTV, and so we wanted to give it a shot. We drank wine and worked hard on the orange blossom project we selected. Part of me wants to do it again, while part of me thinks it’s a framer.

Wellness Month Day 20: Watch A Documentary or TED Talk. Does Shark Week: Naked and Afraid count? Because that was something else! I’ve never seen any of the Naked and Afraid shows, so this was quite the experience.

Friday –  3.53 miles, walking

TGIF!

We packed up the car and picked up our friends and returned to our secluded beach spot. It was just a perfect day. The currents were crazy strong, but the kids boogie boarded, and we just enjoyed a breezy, overcast day. Afterwards, we went out for lunch and ice cream, and honestly, it was just wonderful.

Wellness Month Day 20: Share Your Wellfie Selfie. I don’t think it gets more wellfie than this.

Saturday – 4 miles, running + 1.47 miles, walking

Yay for four miles! I was kind of dreading this run, but it ended up being pretty great.

It was kind of a rainy day, so I read and napped, and then in the evening, we had BBQ with some of our neighbors on their huge back patio. Again, stayed up way too late, but had lots of great conversation.

Wellness Month Day 22: Go On A Wellness Date With A Bestie. Well, my wellness date was with myself. A nice run followed by a nice shower and nap. I’m not complaining in the slightest.

Goal-getting

Once again, weather has been a factor in everything we do. The storms generally start around noon, and that just kind of ruins the rest of the day. We have a few tropical storms brewing into hurricanes, so we need to keep an eye on those.

The Wellness Challenge for August is still on. Are you playing along?

Mr PugRunner handled his own protein bowls again. I don’t know our plans for the rest of the week, but I’m sure we will figure it out as we go.

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 are some of your new normals?

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