It also helps that I work with a vendor located nearby. I often schedule meetings with them, claim squatter’s rights in a conference room, and let them take me out to lunch.
Bean and I loaded up the car and drove down Tuesday afternoon. My husband and Monkey are joining us today for the long weekend. Bean has been hanging out with her other grandma while I’ve been working and helping my mom. (If you didn’t read my Liebster award, my husband and I went to high school together and our parents still live five minutes apart. It’s so nice that we get to see both families during the holidays!)
My mom is doing great, so helping her recuperate is more like hanging out. It’s been nice to have some mother-daughter time of my own.
My parents moved to Georgia in 1989, and they still live in the same house. They’re about 35 miles north of downtown, and when they bought their house, there were two stoplights in the mile stretch between their neighborhood and the interstate. Now there are six lights, a dozen restaurants, a car dealership, and a massive shopping center with a Super Target, Old Navy, and Kohls.
North Georgia was a great place to grow up, but I certainly don’t miss the urban sprawl and traffic. At one point, Atlanta ranked third in the nation for traffic congestion. I much prefer my daily commute of walking down the stairs and flipping on my computer.
When we drive into town, it takes us 25 minutes to cover the last few miles. I can see my husband’s blood pressure rising with each stop light. Traffic is pretty much his idea of hell on earth.
As much as we hate the traffic, there is one thing we absolutely LOVE about coming to town. Despite the fact that almost every available space has been or is being developed, there are two parks with incredible mountain bike trails within a few miles of our parents’ homes. These single-track trails are perfect for trail running, and we take advantage of willing babysitters every chance we get! Plus, running for any distance on the roads is a giant pain in the ass. The culprit? Once again, traffic & lights!
Gotta Beat the Heat
I’ve been getting up early every morning and hitting the trails. You’ve got to start early if you want to beat the heat, and more importantly, the humidity. If you’ve never been to the deep south, you’ve never experienced humidity like this. It’s steamy, y’all!
I really don’t know how I survived afternoon cross country practice in August. The girls’ team almost revolted when the school decided we were no longer allowed to practice in sports bras only and had to wear full length shirts. It’s not like we were trying to pick up pimps on our 90-minute long runs. We were just trying to stay cool.
My husband and I ran our first marathon in Atlanta. The race organizers picked the March date for the average annual temperatures in the 50’s. Not so much. It was a miserable 87 degrees when we crossed the finish line. So, yeah, it’s hot here.
Anyhoo, it’s been so nice to roll out of bed, throw on my running gear, and hit the trails. I’ve pretty much had them to myself, except for a few motivated mountain bikers. My legs are tired from running multiple days in a row, but my joints feel great since I’m not pounding the pavement. Ahhh, that sweet Georgia pine might be a bitch during pollen season, but the needles make the trails feel downright plush compared to ashphalt.
As part of OlivetoRun’s Run Free Challenge, I’ve also been running free on the trails, leaving my watch in the car. I’m a pretty free runner anyway. I don’t have a Garmin or heart rate monitor, and I never listen to music when I run outside. I prefer to soak up my surroundings, plus it’s much safer when you’re running solo.
I do feel a little naked without my trusty Timex Ironman. I always have it on, even though I don’t usually time my trail runs. But once the ghostly feeling wore off, it was freeing to run without any idea of how long I’d been out.
And I’m so excited to trail run with my husband this weekend. We rarely get to run together anymore, so it’s a special treat for us to leave the girls with doting grandparents and enjoy some trail time together.
Plus, we’ve got a cool swimming pool waiting as our reward! Lots of trail, pool, and family time – couldn’t ask for a better long weekend!
Atlanta at Night Photo By Terence S. Jones
Thanks to Jill for hosting Fitness Friday on Fitness, Health & Happiness. Check it out & find other great health & fitness blogs for inspiration & motivation.
What are your plans for the long weekend? Is anyone racing? Traveling to see friends or family?