All Peaches and Running for Christmas 🎄

@Savannah Rapids Running Trail

Took a few weeks to catch my breath and tie up some end-of-the-year loose ends. Lo and behold I ended up in Georgia, though in the weeks leading up I wouldn’t have know that would be the case. It’s not an absolute surprise of course, as I generally go home for the holidays only this year I really wasn’t sure if that family tradition would stand. It did. I’m here. And I’m glad that after much wrestling, I finally settled on what feels like the right choice. Dammed if you, dammed if you don’t really, so amidst the frantic worry of health and safety I’m in full compliance with all Covid protocols since traveling here last Monday. Fast forward to today, 2 days post Christmas already, when I took off on a run to the tune of beautiful sunshine and Fall in full bloom despite the official start of winter a few days ago.

 

Fall in Georgia brings to mind acorns, more acorns, spanish moss, lots of colors, the best running temps, and peaches of course – well it should, except I have yet to see any on my runs. Peach cobbler, on the other hand, runs aplenty in the georgian diet for those interested. No matter the lack of peaches, I’m in seventh heaven running in these parts especially on the trails and along the less traveled paths. It always takes me back to when I first came here some thirteen years ago. A bit of a star-gazer back then, still am, I was more wont to run and dream. I mean running makes everything better right. Every dream is more possible, goals seem more probable, thoughts become crystalized and even plans take flight with these steps. Running amidst the pine cones and spanish moss sure birthed a lot of possibilities that had a lot of potential. In fact, it’s where my first idea to run the New York City marathon germinated. Now, four of those and sixteen others later, I have to say running in these parts even today, sure does feel a bit magical still.

 

Running through my old neighborhood, and a few new ones, makes me appreciative of the differences in topography -gentle slopes makes for easy running – and boy do I appreciate sidewalks a whole lot more. I also enjoy the quiet and scenery a lot while running, it’s really a treat for the eyes, and so I’m able to fully appreciate the running experience here while being thankful for what I have in New York. I am tickled to run around my old stomping grounds and love stopping for photos of the most picturesque and memorable scenes I’m able to capture on my phone. I’m having so much fun visiting old running haunts and finding new ones and hope to add a few more miles to my 2020 mileage before I leave on Friday.

 

Additionally, I’ve visited the gym a few times already and while they’re not following strict Covid guidelines with masks etc it appears it’s an individual decision to go and then to take the necessary precautions, which I am, so that works for me. I’m happy to be running, and working out in the gym, and visiting my family, and seeing my friends safely. That I even have the opportunity for all this is an amazing blessing and I’m super thankful.

 

I think it’s important, given all the angst we have with how things have progressed over the past nine months, to finish off this year with purpose and passion and nothing quite does that for me like running does. In these final days of 2020, I will focus on the wonderful things I enjoy and the good things about my life and about our world. It is no secret that running and my faith in God continues to keep me. I pray it keeps you too.

🎄Merry🏃Miles 🎅 on 👑 Christmas🎄

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Christmas Day bombed! Don’t panic..that’s good. Starting off a day with a run is almost always a guarantee that it’ll turn out right, but yesterday just had that extra Christmas magic happening. To be clear, I rarely spend Christmas in New York but go back to Georgia to enjoy it with the family. Over ten years, I may have spent two Christmases in the city and one was with my family from Georgia. So choosing to stay in New York this year was a big deal and could have very well been a hit and miss. To begin with the family was much smaller this year..what would that bring? Then there’s the fact that much of Christmas in the past was spent at  house parties and get-together with my friends in Georgia – true southern style. Christmas in New York was relatively new territory to me.

(Photo Credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

After a late night of food preparation and organizing, I managed to drag myself from bed around 8:30 am and headed out the door a half hour later. Turns out, the weather was pretty decent for running – slight chill but endless sunshine and blue skies. This made for an easy 5 mile run through my neighborhood in relative quiet with just one other runner sighting. Trust me,.nothing excites runners like clean streets when we have to run them, so that was darn cool already. Tempted though I was to up the mileage, I restrained myself as I had plans for church with the family. But I felt exhilarated and energized – simply wonderful – running out there on Christmas morning and I dare it set the tone for the rest of my day.

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Christmas Altar

Church happened, it was beautiful and close by, which was immensely helpful as we didn’t have to deal with commuting. Definitely praise-worthy. When we returned home there was the gifts exchange bit, which is always a fun time and then I prepared a couple of dishes to complete dinner prep. Though I didn’t sit down for very long during this time, I was energized and happy bustling around getting stuff organized. I retired the kitchen and sat down to an early Christmas dinner around 5pm, too hungry for words. For even though I had been cooking, I hadn’t really eaten anything for the day.

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Dinner Table

After dinner I collapsed on the couch for a bit of TV time and hung out with the family for the rest of the evening alternating between some idle chatter, goofy jokes and a couple of movies with a few eats and drinks in between. We crowned off the night watching, what is now a new family tradition, How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Truth be told, I have never felt more satisfied and relaxed on Christmas Day than I did yesterday; It must be a New York thing.

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“The Grinch”

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