I Heart Trail Running & Hotlanta

I’ve been in Atlanta this week, helping my mom recuperate from back surgery. One of the awesome benefits of working from a remote office is the ability to pick up and work pretty much anywhere.

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.

Southern Suburbia

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.

Stoplight

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!

Runners

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.

Bridge

Run Free

FreeWristAs 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


Fitness Friday

Fitness Friday

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?

29 thoughts on “I Heart Trail Running & Hotlanta

  1. I so hear you about commuting downstairs. It’s the way to go, isn’t it?

    It’s great that you have some nice trails to hit while you are there–also love that you are running free. You’re a good daughter to go take care of your mom like that!
    misszippy recently posted…MAF testMy Profile

    • I am so fortunate that my company allows me to work from a remote office. The flexibility is so nice, especially since my girls are little. I don’t think I could go back to a cubicle! I’m pretty spoiled!

  2. Oh how fun!! Those trails look beautiful! It must be so nice having both sets of grandparents so close to each other. I’m actually jealous of your Georgia heat, it’s supposed to be pretty cold and rainy this weekend in bean town. We’ll see what happens.

    I hope your mom has a speedy recovery from surgery (back surgery is never easy) and you all enjoy your weekend together! happy friday chica!!
    Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness recently posted…Foodstuff Friday: The Uptown Dr Brown SmoothieMy Profile

    • Yes, working from home definitely takes a certain mindset, and some people aren’t cut out for it. I miss the social interaction of the office, but I love the flexibility, especially since my girls are little.

  3. I hear you on the heat. We lived in Mississippi for four years- south of I-10 Mississippi. I didn’t sweat or perspire at the time, so I spent a ton of time in the hospitals until they figured out it was severe heat stroke. (I would just randomly pass out for no apparent reason as a 4 year old. Never easy on the parents.)

    My folks, however, will be in town in our area. We’re heading out to the Tetons and Yellowstone as they’ve never been there. While it means a flight for them, I always tell my hub that our family should be grateful we live here as when they visit they get to see amazing parts of our country! (I feel the same way about visiting his parents at the base of Mt. Rainier- pure gratitude!)
    Wendy @ New Moms Talk recently posted…PNW Love in PicturesMy Profile

    • Have a great time in Yellowstone and the Tetons! We haven’t been yet and have those on our travel to-do list. We’ve heard Yellowstone is a great park for little ones!

    • Thanks Abby! I’m sure your weekend is jampacked with IM training. Can’t wait to read about it next week. Hope you get to enjoy some scenic locations on your rides & runs!

    • Have fun planning out your garden! Sounds like your thumb is far greener than mine! Yes, the sports bra rule was pretty cruel, especially in August!

    • The weather today has been really nice. Breezy and pleasant instead of hot and humid. I was lovin’ it on my run this morning! Have a great weekend!

    • Yes, I love trail running in summer because the shade from the trees keeps things nice and cool! Happy Friday right back at ya and enjoy the long weekend!

  4. I think part of my speedy recovery has been having you here this week to talk to. Dad has been a big help too taking care of me and getting me out of the house. Of course my visits from Bean were the best medicine! Looking forward to seeing the rest of the grandchildren this weekend.

  5. Oh you must tell me where those trails are! We’re planning to go hiking this weekend and still haven’t picked a location.

    I work from home too…so awesome to be able to pick up the computer and support a loved one when needed. Perks of the job – so big!

    I’ve started to look at the Garmin less on a run and I swear I run faster…so weird!

    Have a GREAT weekend!

    • Blankets Creek and Old Rope Mill Park are in Woodstock, just off 575 (exits 9 & 11). They’ll probably be crazy busy with mountain bikers over the holiday weekend, but definitely worth checking out for trail running. They are some fabulous hikes in North Georgia too! We use to do a lot of hiking and camping when we lived here. Have a great weekend!

    • Thanks for the link up Jill! Hope you get to enjoy some trail running with your husband over the long weekend. I love all of your race pics together!

  6. No races today. The weather here in Western NY is a bit cool so I will take advantaged of that and get out for extra running. That thing with having to wear shirts for cross country practice is kind of dumb. My 15 year old son is in cross country and last year they informed the boys that when they practice on school grounds they have to wear shirts because someone complained it was inappropriate to go without. Stupid!
    Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness recently posted…Crazy sugar…My Profile

  7. It sounds like you are having a great visit since your mom is recovering well. The trails look beautiful. The deep south must be terribly humid. I grew up in the midwest (MI) and the humidity was terrible. Honestly, until I moved to AZ I didn’t know that it could be warm and not humid (FYI – I could never ever live in southern AZ… I prefer the mountains!).
    Stephanie@nowirun.com recently posted…Running is a GiftMy Profile

    • My husband and I would love to move out West some day. We love the Appalachian Mountains, but there’s just something so special & spectacular about the rocky, snow-covered peaks out West!

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