riots# 37: building strength + time management

Building strength has been a bit of a theme for this week. I struggle all the time with my core and upper body, and I was really glad that my workouts spent a lot of time focused on those areas.

Time management was also a focus this week. We run a fairly crazy schedule at all times, but this week was comparable to playing a game of Tetris. All the pieces had to fit together just right to make it work.

Sunday – 9Round #66 + 4 mile bike ride

I think our plan was for a lazy Sunday. Maybe. Mr PugRunner and I went to 9Round together. Last week’s workouts for ones I loved. This week’s theme seemed to be “workouts I needed.” I remember cursing during the abs portion. Ugh.

Sunday was also the opening day of the NFL season. Mr PugRunner wanted to go to a local sports bar & grill to watch the games. Little man decidedly did not. I wanted to preserve some semblance of family time, so I suggested we ride our bikes to the restaurant. That way, we could all go and eat, and when little man was ready to leave, I could ride him back home and Mr PugRunner could stay to his heart’s content.

It was a great plan, and Mr PugRunner even ran into his buddy so he had someone to hang with when we left.

Monday – 9Round #67

The 9Round session focused a lot on things I hate doing, like inverted rows on the equalizers. The new trainer would not accept my refusal though and coached me through. Props to him for his patience and focus on ignoring my excuses. I was super happy to get to the week’s CHOW: blasting out as any front kicks as possible in a three minute period. Bam.

Little man got a rather lengthy text from his Scout Troop in the afternoon. The patrol leaders finally complied their schedules and information and put together a (fairly incredible) camping/activity calendar for the year. We had a bit of a scramble as the first adventure would be this upcoming weekend, but we had no solid plans, so he could commit.

Tuesday – 5 miles, running + 9Round #68

And finally, there was a run. I honestly just can’t get out of the house earlier than 4:40AM, so five miles is all I’m getting during the week days. I’ve considered adding a mile or two after little man leaves for school, but I really don’t want to contend with all the other children en route on the sidewalks. I’ll have to figure something out.

9Round was tough. Again. Clearly, this week’s focus is shoulders, arms and core. I love none of these things, which makes them extra good for me. I made sure to opt for heavier weights, too, so I could work on building strength.

While little man went to Scouts, Mr PugRunner and I attended his Open House. This time, I was able to meet all his teachers and learn all about this class expectations. We followed his schedule from class to class, and I was so impressed with how enthusiastic and engaged his teaching team is. Every day, I am feeling more and more comfortable with middle school.

Wednesday – 9Round #69

The anniversary of 9/11 is always a hard day. I worked my booty off at 9Round without complaining.

We had a PTSO meeting that morning, with the priority being some upcoming events. I had a tough time focusing and was glad to be able to get home to work and hang with the pugs.

Thursday – 5 miles, running + 9Round #70

S joined me for another five miles and I was so glad for the company.

I was feeling a bit ragged, but I went to 9Round anyway. I was kind of hoping that one of these days, we would get away from the planks and the shoulders and get back into the gorgeous leg work I love. My efforts were “rewarded” with double knees on the wrecking ball (literally, hang on to the ball and jump with both knees into it). To my credit, the trainer told me I was the first one to manage it that day, so I’ll take it as a win.

When little man got home from school, we changed things up to visit the J&S Carousel for a last ride. The carousel was built in 1927, and finally positioned in Davenport Park in St. Augustine in 1994. It was $1 a ride and was truly a local favorite. Sadly, the owner passed away two weeks ago and his widow is having the carousel dismantled and taken to Port Charlotte to be closer to the family, per the owner’s dying wishes. It’s sad all the way around, so we had to say goodbye.

And then I headed back over to the school to help out with Open House for the 7th and 8th graders. We spent the night selling spirit wear and PTSO memberships.

Friday – 9Round #71

I am excited to report that I didn’t let the equalizers or the box jumps deter me this time. Yay. Call me a sadist, but I also loved the weighted goblet squats on the bosu ball. I shine with balance moves. I was also glad to be the only one in the gym for most of my workout. Sometimes, it’s nice to have that alone time.

After getting cleaned up, I met one of the St. Augustine Moms co-owners at the soon-to-open KinderCare. My job was to film the Facebook Live for the center. It was my first time filming and I really had fun doing it! (PS, even though we are way past the daycare age, this place was gorgeous with a fabulous staff and I think it’s going to be a huge success!)

Little man was so excited to leave for his trip. He packed his things, double checked his supplies and we drove him and the coolers to our assigned meeting point. He and his troopmates got the ice, loaded the trailer and we waved them off for a great weekend at one of our local springs. We got one last text when they stopped for dinner, but they seemed to lose service when they reached the park, so it was definitely going to be a low communication weekend.

Rather than cooking at home, we grabbed a quick dinner and drinks before heading home to chill out.

Saturday – 9Round #72

First up, a session of 9Round. I mentioned that September has been all about planks, and today’s workout was not shy about incorporating all kinds of planks and burpees and core work. Building strength is where it’s at.

We took advantage of the kid-free time for my most favorite activity ever (not): car shopping. Oh, how I loathe it. Currently, we are in the glorious position of not having any car payments, but it’s about time to trade in our ’07 Mustang for something more practical.

I have been lobbying for a pickup truck. We do enough outdoorsy stuff that it would be nice to have a big bed for camping gear, bikes, beach stuff, etc, but Mr PugRunner just isn’t feeling it, so SUV it is. On Saturday, we looked at the Kia Telluride, the Honda Pilot and the GMC Acadia, and eliminated the Acadia. Now it’s time to compare all the specs and numbers before we make a final decision.


I didn’t run very much this week. Part of it is the heat while the other part is motivation. I have a 10K this upcoming Sunday and I registered for the local Pink Up the Pace 5K, so at least there is some movement in the right direction.

That being said, 9Round is going amazing. I’m almost at the point where I want to start doing double workouts. We shall see if I manage it.

I had a great week with hydration, drinking water (plain and sparkling) fairly regularly. It’s such a small thing and it came a bit easier to me this week.

On the flip side, we had a boring week of functional cooking and I did exactly no recreational reading. Blah.

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 go to our link up below so we can cheer you on! We’d all love to support you!

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?

What are the workout move you hate, even though they are oh, so good for you?

tuesday topics: 5 home workouts to keep you on track

Home workouts really are’t generally my thing. I don’t have a home gym, nor do I own a treadmill or any other large equipment that could fill in for running outside. However, there are times when home workouts are the only available option. Let’s link up up on Tuesday Topics, with KookyRunner and Zenaida and see what’s in store.

home workouts

Do it inside!

Even though I don’t personally own one, treadmills seem to be a standard piece of equipment for most runners. If the weather (or other circumstances) prevent you from getting your run out on the road, just log your miles on the mill instead. You can even take advantage of the change of pace (ha! see what I did there!) by programming in a speed or tempo workout.

Have a trainer/spin/stationary bike or elliptical? Put those to work, too!

Be flexible!

Yoga is perfect as a home workout. All you need is 30 minutes, a mat, and access to youtube or a streaming service. Not only is yoga a great way to stretch your muscles, but it’s a great tool for recovery and improving flexibility. Some channels to try are Yoga With Adriene, Yoga with Tim, and SarahBethYoga. There are plenty of others, too – play around until you find the yogi and flow that works best for you!

home workouts

Challenge yourself!

There are so many great challenges offered online by different websites and instructors. These challenges are perfect for home workouts because they don’t require a lot of time or specialized equipment, and you can do them on your own schedule. I am very partial to the Blogilates series: there is a nice variety and they come in beautiful free printable to make tracking a snap.

Incidentally, Blogilates also has plenty of great workout calendars and fitness advice.

Pin it!

You knew Pinterest was great for mouth-watering activities or fabulous diy crafts. But did you know that Pinterest is amazing for home workouts? Just type in searches like “home workout” or focus on a particular area like “shoulder and back workout” and plenty of great circuits and plans will pop. Use the ones you love.

home workout

“Weight” it out.

Simple equipment like hand weights and resistance bands can elevate any kind of home workout, even things like the challenges mentioned above. Adding weights to a series of squats, or incorporating resistance bands into a stretch sequence keeps you on track, even when you’ve been moved inside.

Please visit these lovely bloggers, plus check out some of the other blogs on the link-up, and don’t forget to share your own post, as well!

What are your favorite home workouts when you can’t get outside for your run?

riots #35: smashing challenges

In a week of upheaval and uncertainly, the highlight was absolutely smashing challenges. Who would have thought that being housebound by a hurricane followed by some record-breaking heatwaves would lead to that kind of victory? Not me, I’ll tell you.

Here’s how things shook out for the week.

Sunday – 9Round #62

The first day of September rolled around, so it was only fitting to get in a workout.

smashing challenges

We took care of more Dorian prep. When a hurricane threatens, it’s always recommended to cut hanging tree limbs and bring in all outdoor decorations and furniture. More food shopping ensued. We wanted to have some fresh things on hand, in addition to our snack cakes and chips.

In the afternoon, we decided to head to the beach to get a quick lunch and support local business. Evacuations had already been ordered, and the hospitality industry suffers horribly when everyone has to pack up and leave.

This fried goat cheese salad with mandarin oranges, honey roasted pecans, cranberries and pickled red onions and red cabbage was the perfect pick me up.

smashing challenges

Monday – 6 miles, running

Happy Labor Day.

Since I has skipped my Sunday planned run and 9Round was closed for the holiday, it was super important to get this one in. I went a little later and regretted everything because of the sun and the humidity. There was a bit of a breeze, but even that didn’t refresh me for very long.

smashing challenges

For the rest of the day, we just hung out. Again, we got lunch at a restaurant and little man spent the rest of the day hanging with friends.

Tuesday – 9Round #63

When Tuesday rolled around, I think everyone in town was already feeling the signs of cabin fever. We were thrilled that 9Round was open and Mr PugRunner went in together for our workout.

There are three new trainers at 9Round, all of whom are great in very different ways. On this particular morning, I met the third. He is quiet and big on motivational pep talks. The gym was full, too, so we really put him through his paces.

When I reached Station 5 (which is my favorite: the wrecking ball), the trainer showed me the combination of uppercuts, which was then followed by five box jumps. I kind of looked at him, and he said I could do step ups. At the buzzer, I started my combos, got to the box, started to step, and decided to go for it.

I haven’t done more than five box jumps in my life prior to that moment. They terrify me. I am so afraid that I will break the box (some are PLASTIC!) or my face, or any other part of me or it. It’s been a huge mental block for me.

For some reason, on this day, though slow, I nailed the set of five each and every time they came around. There’s no going back now!

Wednesday – rest

The storm hit on Wednesday. Or, at least, the outer bands, which was all we were fortunate enough to endure. There was some nasty rain and awful wind. We had one tornado warning. By evening, Dorian had moved on and the kids were absolutely frantic to get out of the house and play.

We were blessed with an incredible sunset, though.

Thursday – 6 miles, running + 9Round #64

Thursday had already been designated as the last “hurricane day”, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t get in a run. It was still hot, but the humidity was way down (67% as opposed to 98%) and that makes all the difference in the world.

I still felt great so I did another session at 9Round. We worked with dumbbells quite a bit and I am proud to say that I have made a marked improvement in what I can handle weight-wise. For someone who has always struggled with upper body strength, it’s a huge victory to have moved to the 12, 15 and 20 lb dumbbells. I’m really thrilled with how far I’ve come in that department.

That evening we enjoyed a hosted evening out at Terra Gaucha, one of our local Brazilian steakhouses. It was great to get dressed up, put on makeup and just kick back and relax.

Friday – rest

Friday was a complete wash. I got less than three hours of sleep, due to a raging case of insomnia. As a result, I had to cancel my run, had zero energy to even attempt a pass at 9Round and felt miserable, unfocused and disoriented for the rest of the day.

Mr PugRunner surprised me with the sweetest iced coffee treat when he came back from the gym, which absolutely melted me. The coffee gave me a little spurt of motivation and I was able to do fairly productive things like put all the furniture back on the patio and purge an overflowing storage closet.

I was in bed by 8:30, and slept like a champ.

Saturday – 5 miles + 9Round #65

Yay for a run!

And yay for my 65th session of 9Round (which was fantastic was far as punch combos and squats)

But wait! That’s not all! We rounded out the day with a trip to the St. Augustine Alligator Zoological Farm. The farm has just bought in two new sloths, and we have been looking forward to seeing them. With the heat, they weren’t being too cooperative, so we are going to book the actual sloth encounter in a few weeks for a closer view. We can’t wait.


In the midst of everything, I didn’t really think any goals would get smashed, but between my newfound ability to box jump and the increase in the amount of weight I can lift, I feel like I’ve made huge strides.

This week, we will be back to our usual cooking (I already found a recipe for french dip that I would love to try!) and reading. I did get through some more of my book during the storm but not was much as I should have.

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 go to our link up below so we can cheer you on! We’d all love to support you!

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?

What goals have you smashed lately?

hurricane warning: september’s ultimate coffee date

We spent the first days of September in a state of hurricane warning from the catastrophic storm, Dorian. While Florida walked away virtually unscathed, the islands and people of the Bahamas were absolutely devastated by the slow-moving, Category 5 hurricane. Georgia and the Carolinas took their share of winds, rain and flooding as well. This is a tough time of year for tropical systems, and while it’s not unexpected, it’s also never easy.

All that to say, it’s nice to be able to join us with this month’s Ultimate Coffee Date with Coco and Deborah.

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That I had an insane bout of insomnia last night. I was wide awake until about 3:30 in the morning. It was so bad that I ended up canceling my 5:00 run with my buddy who I haven’t seen in a week, and ended up snagging less than three hours of Zs.

Point is, Mr PugRunner told me to stay in bed while he handled the morning routine. I couldn’t drag myself to vertical to follow him to 9Round and when I finally made it downstairs after he left for work, there was this thoughtful surprise waiting on the table.

hurricane warning

There was no way I was going to be able to grab a coffee in my current condition, so this really made my day.

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That this week got the best of me. Little man had three extra days home from school, eating and sleeping went all to heck. Not knowing is hard and I struggle finding my zen. On the flip side, sometimes it’s good to disconnect and focus on other things.

hurricane warning

Over coffee, I would tell you…

That I had a long chit chat with my brain on my last run. As I slogged through the heat and humidity, that little nagging voice piped up, asking what I think I’m doing with all my running. Why I do it at all if I’m not going to focus on the “correct” way to train or push for massive improvement. You know what I discovered? That I just really like to run. No matter how hard, or how “unproductive” or how much I struggle. I just like it.

hurricane warning

Over coffee I would tell you…

That I got the validation I might have need just a few hours later when my usual running buddy texted me to say she was ready to lock it down and start doing races and (more importantly) racecations again! Music to my ears! Back to school has thrown everyone into a bit of a tizzy with the schedule adjustments, and it’s so great to be sharing the fun on morning and local runs again. I’m ok on my own, but better with a buddy.

Over coffee I would tell you…

That I cannot wait to sign up for my next race. I’m not 100% sure what it will be but it’s going to be something fun, for sure!

And there you have it!

What would you share over coffee?

Do you continue with activities even if you’re just not great at them, simply because you enjoy them? Tell me more!

tuesday thoughts: my fall racing plans

My fall racing plans have not gotten a lot of consideration right now. My focus is all over the place and in Florida, fall really isn’t prime race season (January – March is our season). Let’s link up up on Tuesday Thoughts, with KookyRunner and Zenaida and see what’s in store.

fall racing plans


We have two events planned for September. One is set and one is a maybe.

Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk (St. Augustine, September 8) – Mr PugRunner found this event and wants the family to participate. It’s close to home and for an amazing cause. We haven’t registered yet because he wasn’t sure if he was ready to run so close to the IOA/Jaguars Stadium Challenge, and we are now in a holding pattern because of Hurricane Dorian. The storm will have moved out of our area by the weekend, but we’re not sure what kind of damage or power situation we will be facing. Put this one under “gametime decision.”

fall racing plans

Global Energy Race 10K & 5K (Orlando, September 22) – This is the race for which I accidentally registered earlier this summer, but I had a code for a free entry, so I decided to roll with it. I honestly don’t know much about it, other than it’s a 10K, I get to hang out with my sole siter Meghan, and I will score a medal and grilled cheese sandwich at the finish line. I do love a good 10K, so I’m going for it.

fall racing plans


At the moment, I am looking at a few October events.

Pink Up The Pace 5K (St. Augustine, October 5)I have run this once before and it’s a beautiful event in support of breast cancer. I don’t know if my fall will accommodate this but I would like to be a part of a hometown event, if I can.

PurpleStride Jacksonville (Jacksonville, October 22) – Little man and I will be taking on PurpleStride in support of a friend who is currently suffering from pancreatic cancer. We are hoping to have a large team to offer her love and show her how much we are rooting for her in her fight against this horrific disease.

fall racing plans

20th Annual EverGreen Pumpkin Run (Jacksonville, October 29) I have a love/hate relationship with this race. However, it’s a 10 miler, which is a great distance since I haven’t run a distance event in a while, and it’s such a historic course that it’s hard to pass up. The race has a Halloween theme, goes through and around a gorgeous landmark cemetary and has pumpkins lining the course.


And that brings us to November. For sure, I will take on a Thanksgiving race, but then what?

St. Augustine Half Marathon – (St. Augustine, November 9)Do I want to take this one on? It would be great to have a half marathon again, especially a new one, but I have reservations. For one, it’s hot as heck in November. Second, I haven’t heard super positive reviews of the course, especially the giant bridge at the halfway mark. That’s right. You run over the bridge, make a u-turn and come right on back. Ugh.

Run Turkey Run 5K (St. Augustine, November 28) – This race is fun, easy, close to home and boasts cranberry sparklers at the finish line. Yes, please. I love running on holidays and it’s nice that this one is literally a few miles from my house. I can run without cutting into my Thanksgiving too much. Winning.

Space Coast Half Marathon – (Cocoa, November 30) – The Space Coast Half Marathon was my first half, and I could always revisit it. However, I am out of the running for a challenge, and it’s a lot to ask of the family to spend our holiday weekend out of town for the sole purpose of a race. I could do it, but I’m not sold.

The rest of the year.

Things will start ramping up in January. I am running races almost every weekend in February, and March is looking pretty busy, too. Our state is very much on a different schedule than a lot of other places, simply because our hot summer and falls don’t lend themselves to long-distance runs. Our local marathons don’t even make an appearance until December or January, depending on the calendar. It’s pretty crazy!

Please visit these lovely bloggers, plus check out some of the other blogs on the link-up, and don’t forget to share your own post, as well!

What are your fall racing plans?

riots 34: goodbye august. hello hurricane dorian

It’s Labor Day Weekend: we are saying farewell to August, but watching the progress of a most unwelcome Hurricane Dorian.

At the writing of this post, the Bahamas is being pounded by this Category 5 monster. Our area is in the projected 3-day cone of the storm. Our coastal and low-lying areas are under mandatory evacuation. Schools are closed for extra days (most of our public schools pull double duty as evacuation shelters).

courtesy of NOAA Hurricane Center

Since we got word of this storm, it’s been an agonizing waiting game. Hurricane Dorian is moving even slower than a snail’s pace, and it’s now considered one of the strongest storms in history.

At the moment, we are not evacuating. We are not in an evacuation zone and we are still hoping and waiting for some decrease in power and a turn back out to sea.

Sunday – rest

Just a week ago, we were enjoying some incredible fun in the sun with old friends. Even though we were exhausted after a late night at the football game, I got up with little man to get a jumpstart on our first ever visit to Volcano Bay.

I am not a water park fan, but little man has been begging to go since he first saw the iconic volcano from I4. I promised him we would try after the initial crowds dispersed and kinks worked out, and I’m glad we kept that promise.

Volcano Bay was one of the most enjoyable theme park experiences we have ever had. It was pristine, easy to navigate, and so much fun. Little man got in a ton of slides and rides in the hours we were there, and we loved the food, the layout, and the offered activities (lazy rivers, “beaches” and pools). I cannot wait to go back.

There was no traffic on our way home, and we did a quick load of laundry, ate dinner and threw ourselves into bed.

Monday – 9Round

Even though I was exhausted, I couldn’t see any reason not to drag myself into 9Round. After all, I could handle 30 minutes of working out.

hurricane dorian

We fell back into routine fairly quickly. Little man went to school and karate, did his homework and all was well.

Tuesday – 5.15 miles, running + 9Round

I finally got in a slow and soggy run. This humidity is just ridiculous and I am over it.

I met C at 9Round after we dropped the boys at Scouts. While I really prefer a morning workout, this is becoming a nice trend.

Wednesday – 9Round

It was tough getting back to kickboxing after working out last night, but I was on a roll so I made it happen. It was another really great workout, with a fabulous balance of cardio, arms and legs. Sometimes, I really love all nine stations and there are a few combinations I wish we could put on repeat.

Next up? Karate and a spirit night at a nearby ice cream parlor! Everything is always better with ice cream!

Thursday – 5.25 miles, + 9Round

S was available to run and it made the miles so much easier! Even if it was pitch black. Earlier school start times mean earlier run times.

hurricane dorian

Friday – 9Round

On Friday, I really started paying attention to the storm, after we went to 9Round. It was another really great session – This may have been my favorite overall week of cross training. I am seeing a huge difference in my arms, too, and that makes me happy.

Mr PugRunner had a a networking system so I took care of things around the house while waiting for little man to get home.

We ended up grabbing dinner at a restaurant near the house, just to break things up.

Saturday – rest

I really intended to get up and run, but I spent most of the night awake, trying to monitor the storm. Ugh. Rest day? Yes, please.

It was a long, hard day. We literally lazed around, brought in the patio furniture, watched the news and napped.

hurricane dorian

In the evening, we went to my parent’s house for pizza. Not long after, my stomach really started to bother me and I was really grateful to get home to bed. Fortunately, I think it was just stress and not a bug or food poisoning. Crisis averted.


August was a bit of a bummer for running. I only managed just under 68 miles this month. I don’t know if it was the heat or the humidity or just so much going on, but I’m really disappointed that I didn’t push myself harder.

That being said, I did get in 20 9Round classes, which is awesome. I don’t feel as productive in those classes, but I’m definitely hanging in there and making the most of my cross training.

I also don’t have anything earth-shattering to report in terms of new recipes, hydration or reading. I have moved on to A Feast For Crows in the Game of Thrones series, and I imagine I will have plenty of time to read in the next few days.

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 go to our link up below so we can cheer you on! We’d all love to support you!

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?

How are you spending the Labor Day holiday?

hurricanes and fitness: august runfessions

Hurricanes and fitness? What? We’re talking about that in our August Runfessions! It’s the last Friday of the month, so let’s join up with Marcia’s Healthy Slice and give it a go.


For the past two days, I have been glued to The Weather Channel, Twitter and the Facebook page of a hobbyist storm tracker by the name of Mike. I am obsessively watching the progress of Hurricane Dorian, who is making his slow trek across the Atlantic. Where is he headed?

hurricanes and fitness
courtesy of NOAA Hurricane Center.

Yup. Straight at Florida.

Honestly, it’s all part of life in the Sunshine State: from June 1 – November 30, we are in “Hurricane Season.” Sometimes, that season is quiet and sometimes, it’s heart-stoppingly active. You just never know what you’re going to get, and that uncertainty is tough.

I’m no stranger to hurricanes. I moved to the Sunshine State right after the horrific Hurricane Andrew, and have experienced most every major storm from that point on. Sometimes we evacuate. Sometimes we stick it out. It all kind of depends on how we’re feeling and how the forecast looks.

We’ve got our water and food. The generator and extra gas are good to go. We have our plans in place. So, I’m here, blogging from my couch, sharing some Fitness and Hurricane runfessions.

I runfess…

… that I will be running both days this weekend, and am considering day-of registration for the local Labor Day 5K. Normally, I wouldn’t but Hurricane Dorian is moving at a snail’s pace, and I want to take advantage of decent weather before we get stuck inside. Running in a hurricane is a BAD IDEA. The worst. Don’t do it.

I runfess…

…that I want to eat all the good snacks. When hurricanes come, we tend to buy a lot more junk food. It’s shelf-stable, non perishable and, well, it qualifies as comfort food. I have my eye on those snack cakes and I’m not even sorry about it.

I runfess…

… that the uncertainty makes me edgy. I like having a solid plan and knowing what’s to come. Right now, Hurricane Dorian has stalled over the Atlantic and no one knows when it’s going to move or where it’s going to make landfall. Sure, they can hazard guesses, but we are only about 30 hours into solid coverage and there’s no end in sight.

I runfess…

… that it’s hard to focus on anything else when we have to keep an eye on a major hurricane. I really don’t want to leave the tv, even though I know I’ll regret that decision if we are housebound in a few days. I am hoping that we can get into 9Round on Sunday (they are closed on Monday for Labor Day) and that will help take some of the edge off.

And that’s the story. It’s going to be quite a long weekend, especially since it’s a holiday. I’m over here making bingo boards

while posting memes of Extreme Weather SuperNinja, Jim Cantore.

Send some good thoughts (and Swiss Rolls!) It looks like we’re going to need it!

What are your runfessions?

Ever experienced a hurricane?

race report: ioa/jaguars stadium challenge 5k {8.10.19}

The IOA/Jaguars Stadium Challenge 5K is, as its name indicates, a bit of a challenge. Set in the middle of scorching August, and including the concourse ramps of TIAA Bank Field, this 5K is not for the faint of heart.

jaguars stadium challenge

This 5K takes place at night and splits up start times into several waves. Walkers, strollers, competitive, corporate and “under the lights” are all different divisions. Sandwiched in between is a one-mile fun run for kids and those who aren’t quite sure if they feel like taking on the full challenge.

It’s an all-night affair, for sure.

Pre-Race Packet Pickup

We’ve been all about our race day packet pickups, for convenience, but at past experiences with this event, day of has always been a bit of a mess. There have been times where the line has been so long that runners have almost missed their start time! We built in a cushion, anticipating more of the same madness.

When we arrived, we slid into a super-close parking spot and the process of grabbing our bibs and shirts was super easy. There was plenty of time to use the restrooms (real ones for the win!) and visit some of the vendors set up around the venue.

One thing to note: the start and post-race festivities were set up inside Daily’s Place, the attached amphitheater. Runners and spectators had to go through metal detectors upon entry, and were not allowed to bring in their own fluids or foods. Not a huge deal for me for a 5K, but it was something I haven’t encountered before.

We met up with some friends before the race, and then tried to figure out in what wave to start. I forgot what we had selected when we registered and it wasn’t indicated on our bibs. I didn’t want to go out with the walker division, and little man didn’t want to go out too late. Complicating the decision making was the fact that the heavens were threatening to open at any time and none of us wanted to be running ramps in the rain.

jaguars stadium challenge

The Race

When we saw that the stroller division had plenty of non-stroller participants, we decided to hop in and go for it. At this point, several waves had already departed the start area and the course is plenty wide enough to accommodate runners with and without carriages. Our 2019 Jaguars Stadium Challenge was underway!

Little man took off like a shot (kids and pacing, am I right?) and I had to kick it into high gear to catch him. He had made a big deal about not wanting to be on the course by himself, but as soon as I caught up to him, he put on the brakes. Mr PugRunner was still behind us, so I told him to keep on going, and settled into my own pace.

The 5K course involves a loop around the parking lot of the TIAA Bank Field, then goes down and around the practice field. There’s an out and back on a road alongside the stadium, and from there, it’s back inside.

Runners get the pleasure of running to the top to TIAA Bank Field via the exterior ramps, through the concourse, and down the next ramp. They go around the ground floor, and then up, through and down again. The home stretch consists of a run down the sideline of the football field to the finish line in the tunnel.

It’s really cool. Grueling, but cool.

I will remind you that it was humid as anything out there. Night running isn’t my jam, but I put my head down and pushed through. I lost track of the guys after the out and back before the ramps, and I did get a little nervous because there was some lightning in the far distance, but it wasn’t close enough to call the race.

I crossed the finish line before the rain,

and waited for the rest of my family to come through.

Post-Race Festivities

After all that elevation, it was time to celebrate! There is always a great party after this race, with a rocking DJ, photo ops and free beer for runners.

The Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleaders were out taking photos, which was a huge hit.

The IOA/Jaguars Stadium Challenge 5K never disappoints in the swag department never disappoints in the medal category, and this year was no exception. This was my first piece of helmet-shaped bling, and I confess it was one of the main reasons I registered.

We called the evening quickly, because it started to rain and we didn’t want to be out in the storm. I felt awful for the runners still out on the course when the downpour came through. Races are unpredictable like that, but I’m glad we went with an earlier wave.

Six thumbs up for another great Jaguars Stadium Challenge!

We are linked up with Tuesday Topics with Kookyrunner and Zenaida.

Please visit these lovely bloggers, plus check out some of the other blogs on the link-up, and don’t forget to share your own post, as well!

riots #33: of road trips and tailgates and old friends

We had been planning for this week for a long time. Months, in fact. As a University Miami alumnus and NCAA football fan, getting to see the Hurricanes play is quite the treat, especially since I live in an area where the team isn’t too popular.

Even more of a treat is getting to see my college roommate and her beautiful family, as well as some of the people who I have been tailgating with since right after college. We had our tickets, our hotel rooms, our Universal Annual Passes. Now we just had to get through the week!

Sunday – 4.1 miles running + 3.18 miles walking + 9Round

Sunday morning was a hodge podge of miles. I ran before and after meeting up with M for a purposeful walk. Boom. Done.

Then I promised to meet C for 9Round. I love getting to work out with friends and so it was great to see her making great use of her new membership!

I made myself presentable so we could go the Hunger Fight food prep event. Our Scouts and their families had been invited to take part and we were thrilled that four of the young men attended this event. This local organization works with community volunteers to package meals for food insecure families. We were assigned to oatmeal and our team filled bags with the oats and brown sugar, adjusted the weight accordingly and then vacuum sealed the bags for packing. Between everyone, we put together about 10,500 bags in about 90 minutes. If you are in the North Florida area, I would absolutely recommend checking them out.

Monday – rest

On Monday, I promised myself I was doing nothing. Even when Mr PugRunner told me how great the 9Round workout was, I remained with my butt on the couch. I could have gone, but I was the kind of exhausted that just goes through to your soul, and I thought rest was prudent.

Tuesday – 6 miles, running + 9Round

I had planned my morning run to get in all six miles, and was just heading home when Mr PugRunner told me he was taking little man to urgent care. He had woken up with a nasty cough and since he tends quickly to breathing issues, he wanted it nipped in the bud. Ugh, poor guy.

Fortunately, it was just allergies and a slight cold. I’m blaming back-to-school crud. We had him rest and skip out on his clarinet lesson and Scouts meeting (he was none too happy about either, to be honest), but I used his Scouts meeting time to meet C for another session at 9Round.

Wednesday – 9Round

I woke up to the sweetest Instgram tag from Kim. It was so touching to be the subject of someone’s #WCW and I really appreciated the love.

Of course, this totally motivated me for another session of 9Round. Whoo hoo! Then I had a work meeting, which segued beautifully into a PTSO meeting.

We met up with my parents for a bit, and then karate and a spirit night at a local pizza place which would go to benefit our school.

Thursday – 6 miles, + 9Round

Another hot, early morning run. You can see by the amount of sweat that the humidity is not letting up and it’s a bit of a motivation killer. All we can do this time of year is keep getting out there.

Another day of 9Round. This week, I have been really working on the CHOW (Challenge of the Week), which was Ali Shuffles at Station 1. Sometimes, I struggle with the CHOW and avoid it but this week, I worked almost every day at beating myself. I was getting close.

For the rest of the day, I worked on cleaning, packing and organizing for a weekend away.

I also had a super productive professional day: I’m working on an upcoming event and the pieces are all really starting to fall into place. In my freelance life, I have a few things that are just so outside my comfort zone (sales calls, cold calls and asking for anything), so when I start seeing the fruits of those uncomfortable moments, it’s a huge motivator. Stay tuned!

Friday – 9Round

And finally, Friday had arrived! Mr PugRunner and I both went to 9Round together. It was his 50th class, and while he will downplay that achievement with his last breath, I was so proud. In the years I’ve known him, this is the longest he’s stayed committed to a workout routine (aside from running) and it’s making a huge difference. Excuse my knee sweat.

When little man walked in the door from school, we were ready to hit the road for Orlando. Despite rain and traffic, we made it by 5:00 PM and checked into our (upgraded) suite at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort.

Our dinner reservation wasn’t until 8:30 PM, so we shuttled over to Islands of Adventure to squeeze in some rides. Little man was thrilled to take on the Hulk, Forbidden Journey, Doctor Doom, and Kong in the short time we were there.

And then we met up with our crew at the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner and stories. It was incredible, even though we were out way late.

Saturday – 2 miles, walking

Despite the late night, I woke really early. I had the best intentions about running, too, but not enough sleep and maybe a little too much to drink changed my mind right quick.

Instead, I took a brisk walk to Citywalk for Voodoo Doughnuts. I’ve been wanting to try it out and no one wanted to walk with me. It was totally worth the effort. I was able to enjoy a gorgeous few miles along the “Garden Path” that links several of the hotels to the Universal Parks area, chat a moment with the doughnut folks and enjoy this beauty with an iced coffee in the quiet morning.

After that, it was time for the pool. Little man completed his homework on a lounge chair to get it out of the way and then he played with the kids, until it was time to get ready for the game and tailgate.

We took a few different cars and made our way to the Camping World Stadium after a light lunch. It was a disaster of traffic and different lots and it truly turned into the world’s longest tailgate (parking lots opened at 10AM before a 7PM game! WHAT?!)

The game did not end quite how we would have liked, but it was one hell of a match up, so I’m not too disappointed. I don’t think I got to sleep until close to 2AM by the time Mr PugRunner got back to the hotel room (we were in separate cars and different lots). No matter what, we still love our team and had the best time with our tailgate family.


I’m thrilled with my mileage and my 9Round attendance. I would have liked to run one more day, but it didn’t work out and that’s ok. Progress is not made over the summer and I’m planning to ride this out until I see a break in the scorching summer weather. I think we are all in that slump around here.

We ate functionally this week, meaning no special attention got paid to creativity or new foods. We had mealtimes, so we threw together protein and veggies and ate because we had to. Hoping I feel more chef worthy this week.

I also did ok with hydration. With the heat and time spent outdoors this past weekend, there was no excuse not to be on top of drinking water.

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 go to our link up below so we can cheer you on! We’d all love to support you!

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!

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How was your week in training?

How do you get yourself into a new routine?

dialing in that pre-race routine

As a runner with a certain level of anxiety, having a consistent pre race routine is key to me making it through an event of any distance. I very rarely waver from my established regimen. After all, it works, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

pre race routine

Eat a race-worthy dinner

The right dinner is essential to my pre race routine. What I choose to eat depends on how I’m feeling, the weather and upcoming race distance. For example, if all things are normal and fine and I’m taking on a 10K or shorter, I’m thrilled with a pasta meal. If it’s a certain time of month, I need to make sure I’m getting in some red meat for a push of extra iron. And if it’s particularly hot and humid, and/or I am going for a longer distance, my dinner of choice is Chinese food. Extra sodium the night before is very much needed on a day of long and hard efforts.

pre-race routine

Set out the Flat Runner

The night before a race, I like to set out my Flat Runner. This includes everything from my sports bra and sunglasses to my socks and shoes. If I already have my bib, I’ll get it pinned on my shirt in advance. I use this pre-race routine to ensure that my Garmin is charged, that I have two (hopefully matching) socks and that everything is ready and waiting to be donned in the morning. Incidentally, I’ll also pack my wallet, car keys and anything else I will need for the drive to the race site. It makes for a smoother time getting out the door.

pre race routine

Social media photo and post is absolutely optional.

Wake up and wash up!

I fall into the category of people who believe that when you’re on time, you’re late, so I get up pretty early on race morning. I like to have time to use the restroom, get dressed, and …. this is going to be weird… take a shower. Yes, it is absolutely bizarre to bathe before going to get sweaty, but I feel better about the day when I do, so part of the pre-race routine it remains.

pre race routine

Fuel up.

As you may have figured out, I’m an early trainer. I literally roll out of bed and hit the road running. This means I rarely eat or drink before my miles. However, when a race is involved, I usually don’t run until an hour or two after I get up, so fuel is critical. I will typically stick to something plain and easy, like a bagel (not toasted with nothing on it) and some kind of electrolyte drink (like Nuun).

You all know I love my iced coffee, but that’s a treat I will save until post-race. It’s just too risky to indulge before a run.

Arrive early to get settled.

If we are being completely honest, I don’t hate being one of the first people on site. I have had way too many close calls with distant parking and long lines at packet pickup or the portapotties, and I’m just not interested in living on the edge right before a race. When I’m early, I can walk or jog out my nerves, use the facilities at my leisure, get my bib and shirt if I still need to, and generally just breathe. A calm Jenn is a better runner and I do everything I can to bring some chill to the starting line. This is also a great time to mentally review my race day goals.

pre race routine

And when all that is done, it’s time to race!

Please visit these lovely bloggers, plus check out some of the other blogs on the link-up, and don’t forget to share your own post, as well!

What is your pre-race routine?

Coffee before or after?

Do you shower before a race?

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