Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bacon, boozy bachelorette, and beautiful runs

Snowpocolypse II came rolling through Atlanta last week depleting all the grocery store shelves of bread and worse, wrecking havoc on my long run.

The state took way more action this time around though-I even saw plow action up by where I live in the outer 'burbs! Yeah, yeah, I am taking a picture of things you Northerners see all the time....
I was going away for the weekend (more on that later) and so I wanted to get my 16-miler while I had time.  Unfortunately, the Greenway was not salted or plowed. The parts that are covered in boardwalk (my favorite part to run on normally) were covered in what felt like melting frozen lemonade. Slushy, icy, slippery, messy, terrible.

Adam gave me new sunglasses on Friday morning (Valentine's Day) and I was so eager to go test them out!
 I was all like this is so beautiful. I have awesome new sunglasses, I am so lucky to run in this gorgeous snow, life is grand, blah, blah, blah.

Then I get out there and I'm like whooooooooooooooa. What the eff is this stuff? How am I going to make it 16 miles without getting traction?

If I were smarter, I would have just sucked it up and ran on the hilly sidewalks near my house. But then 5 miles later --and 5 miles from my car-- I stubbornly kept moving forward.  I kept thinking it was going to get better as it got warmer and the snow started melting. But it really made it worse. Even the geese were laughing at me as I ran by.
I look at my Garmin when I finish and I feel......deflated. I know that it was all about the conditions holding me back, but holy moly, I worked so hard out there and it was the slowest long run I've done in quite some time. 

On the bright side, I felt much better when I looked at my splits and I could tell exactly the few miles that had longer stretches of cleared path.
Whatever. It was over.

I had a bachelorette party to finish organizing!

My little (and only) sister is getting married in April and she wanted a low-key weekend in a mountain cabin with her girlfriends. So we booked a place near Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge for 3 nights. Being the maid of honor, a type A, and handy in the kitchen made the weekend go pretty smoothly if I do say so myself!

I finished rounding up the supplies for the goodie bags:
Made a few things in the kitchen ahead of time for the weekend:
And loaded the car with the essentials:
We headed up Saturday at noon and got there with plenty of daylight to enjoy the views. There was lots of tacos and margaritas consumed early in the evening and later, we headed to the hot tub where it started snowing:

I was keeping my blood alcohol content at a steady all night and I woke up feeling pretty groggy. Not particularly hungover, but just fuzzy.  Morning in the Smoky Mountains is beautiful though and I had to take advantage of my scenery:

And of course running is a magic cure for everything so I headed into town where I had done prior research about a Greenway that was 6 miles long. It was gorgeous outside with the snow having given everything a light dusting and I felt pretty amazing by the time I sweated through the toxins somewhere between mile 2 and 3.
I came back, had breakfast, and we settled in for an afternoon of wedding crafts. We (well, not really me, but the other, more talented crafty girls) turned this:
Into this:
Eventually, I headed into the kitchen to make a lasagna dinner:
It was another fun night of games, silliness, and more hanging out in the hot tub. I slept like a champ knowing that I could just relax in the morning.  A few of the girls had to head back early so the remaining 4 walked down the ginormous hill to retrieve one of the cars.

Later we walked around downtown Gatlinburg and had dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. It was a nice quiet evening back at the cabin with the four of us wrapped up in blankets watching Walk the Line.

I knew we had to clean, pack up, and be out by 11am, so I scooted out the door just before 8am to go running. It was a gorgeous morning--crisp, clear, and in the upper 30s. I felt well-rested and happy to running with the backdrop of the mountains.
I was gunning for an easy 6--wanting to relax and enjoy the moments like I had the rest of the weekend.  Rolling hills were actually kind of fun when I was just cruisin'.

We had to pack up and say good-bye to the lovely cabin when I got back.
There were a few final pictures to capture:

Then it was time to get back to the things in Atlanta:

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