All Peaches and Running for Christmas ūüéĄ

@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.

T’was Merry Running on Christmas

patch.com

patch.com

I ran away to Georgia for the Christmas break and was given the gift of Christmas in July, for running anyway. While I chose to take the positive out of that – you guys know how much of a summer girl I am – there is no denying the extreme and severe weather events that have been flooding different parts of the Midwest and south. I can only be thankful for what I deemed a blessing where I was while keeping in prayer those who have been the victims of stormy weather elsewhere.

For my part, I was able to sweat up a storm and put some mileage under these running shoes; this fit in perfectly with the laid-back southern life of those peachy folks in Georgia. While some would argue for it being humid, wet and overcast, I felt that given everything happening elsewhere, we were in a pretty good place even to taking it as a gift with a bow of sunshine.

In Georgia, Christmas is that time we come together (actually Christmas Eve) with family and friends, we go to church and celebrate Jesus, we share eats and drinks and exchange gifts at Christmas parties then we come home, open family gifts ( yay..there was some running stuff in there) too much hilarity and goofiness, followed by games such as taboo, headband etc until the wee hours of the morning, and if we felt awake enough, which we did, we put on a movie – this year mission impossible: rogue nation won out – and we ended up with it watching us at about 6am. Then it was off to serve Christmas breakfast down at the local mission until 10am and then back home to breakfast and clean-up and finally..sleep around 2pm. I awoke at 6pm to Christmas dinner, after which it was – let the binge begin – Downton Abbey Season 1 until it ended or I passed out, whichever happened first.

IMAG0006~2_1The morning after is Running time. Though there was no over-eating for me, I judiciously followed my after-Christmas-Day-tradition. It was up and running about 9am for a couple of hours at one of my favorite running spots. At Brookfield Park, I revelled in the sounds of nature and the cool breeze and kiss of sunshine. I felt like nature responded to my deep sense of appreciation as the sky appeared bluer, the birds sang merrier, the rustle of the leaves were louder and the fall colors (still evident) were brighter, even the sun was hotter and that was ok..it’s Georgia’s ¬†merry christmas and I love running it. I’m pretty sure the local folks wonder at my over-enthusiasm but I always feel right at home as there are other like-minded runners out – enthusiasm a bit tapered maybe – but we rock running all the same and that’s all that matters.

Most times I’m lucky to get a quickie of a run in the next day – this time I didn’t – but the Falcons won Sunday Football, big deal in these parts – then it was back into travel gear and I headed back to the big A where I was greeted by a not-so-very-welcome chill. From 70 to 40 in a matter of states; this is New York.

All Peaches and Running Dreams

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I love running in Georgia. Particularly, I delight in the fresh and pristine air surrounding the Savannah Rapids River in Augusta, and the cacophony of sounds that enfold me as I make my way along the scenic trails. ¬†Because I consider myself a nature lover, I relish the times I can get away from city life and get in tuned with my wild side. ¬†There’s nothing more inspiring than being lost to the world of city lights, blaring traffic and the constant chatter of well-meaning or not, people. ¬†It is here that running takes on a whole new meaning; where competition, pace and races take a back seat to enjoyment, beauty and appreciation.

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It seems everything and everyone conspire to offer the perfect conditions -it’s hardly winter here today- for lacing up and heading out. ¬†And because it’s so designed, I can hardly not take a camera along as picturesque scenes are sure to greet me. ¬†I picture the willow trees, its branches swaying gently in the breeze as the gurgling sound of water gushes by and the birds singing sweetly as they tag along on this self-defining run that will unearth more than I can imagine and unload more than mere calories.

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I may return with some Spanish moss in my hand and some stunning shots on my camera, but what I hold in my heart and my head, words cannot express, nor can I really articulate what it means to this city girl who’s really country at heart.

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