Doyle's Emerald Necklace

Doyle's Emerald Necklace

Sunday, December 6, 2015

12/1/15-12/6/15

Tuesday- Needed a break from running, so I took Phoenix and Spot for a walk at Tin Mountain. 2.8 miles. It was a gorgeous morning. I typically don't pay attention to weather forecasts, so I was lucky I got out when I did. Around 11ish, the skies turned gray, and we had cold rain the rest of the day. John and I didn't do much. Ran a few errands, then went to John's ninja class.

Wednesday- I actually got myself up before 5am to do one of my Beachbody core workouts. I haven't just lost all of my speed, training, fitness, etc. I have also lost my core strength. Fast running always took care of that, and I wasn't really even thinking about it until I started running again and noticed low back pain. I'm sure all of the standing and awkward sitting I've been doing to avoid the pain in my ass (haha) didn't do me any favors either. So it's time to start working on the core again. It would also help to lose the weight I've gained over the last 2.5 months, but I can only do so much in that department without running. And by running, I mean real running. None of this slow, short crap. I need speed and miles.
My 24 hour shift was SLOW all day, and the weather was still cold and wet, so I didn't take any walks. Nighttime ended up being the opposite. We had two back-to-back transfers that meant another all-nighter. Those are tough and leave me exhausted for days, but this time I wasn't too worried since I was leaving for a week's vacation the next day and knew I could catch up on sleep. I was worried about the 5 hours of driving I had to do, though.
For those of us up in the middle of the night at Dunkin Donuts. I took the free donut but didn't eat it. Gave it to John the next day.

Yay for middle of the night ambulance selfies!
Thursday- Left work at 7am. I had packed most of my stuff for our trip to North Carolina/Georgia on Tuesday night, but I still had to shower and pack the rest of my stuff as well as John's. This only left me with enough time to run 1 mile on the treadmill. I ran at a 4% incline in 8:34. Super slow, but it felt good to do something.
John and I drove down to Peabody to catch the Logan Express to the airport. I was ok for this drive, but I was feeling the fatigue by the time we got there. We always fly standby and ended up pretty lucky to get on the flight. Not all of the standby passengers got on. We both got middle seats in the same row, but on opposite sides of the aisle. It meant we weren't sitting together, but it was close enough, and the people sitting next to him were super nice and helped him out a little bit. I never ever sleep on the airplane, but I half dozed off this time. I was SO tired.
On the Logan Express

In the terminal at Logan

John in his row on the flight to Atlanta from Boston
When we got to Atlanta, we picked up our rental car then headed north towards my parents' house in North Carolina. We stopped at World of Beer in Kennesaw for dinner. It was "Seat Yourself", so I was shocked to a see table with a fire pit in the middle of it empty. We were so excited, John especially.
Fire pit table at World of Beer. I so want one!

Second Self Mole Porter

Out of the 7 photos John attempted, this one where he caught me mid-sentence was my favorite.

Dinner was fairly quick, and we were back on the road. This 2 hour drive was probably the second worst drive ever (for the worst drive ever, refer to (this blog). It was a long, dark drive up into the mountains, much like driving from Boston to North Conway, and I STRUGGLED. It was so bad. I don't know how I made it. I even considered stopping and sleeping in the car; that probably would have been safer. But we made it, getting in around 10:30pm. My parents were up waiting. I was so out of it that I could barely even carry on a conversation with them. I fell asleep hard as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Friday- Slept well, although I did wake up once in the middle of the night having no idea where I was. Spent a lazy morning talking with my mom in the kitchen then went over the State line into Georgia to run one of my favorite trail loops in the area, the Miller Trek Trail. The weather was gorgeous and the run felt fantastic. I was super shocked to run my fastest time ever up the mountain. That's a good sign and gave me a (very short-lived) glimmer of hope. 6.3 miles with just over 1500ft of elevation gain.
Miller Trek Trail. Take note of my shirt showing my marathon vote for the USATF-NE Grand Prix 2016. :)
 When I got back to the house, I grabbed John and followed my parents to my grandmother's condo to help them move in a bed and take apart the old one. It was great to see my Nannie; she's so sweet, and I wish I could see her more often.
John with his great-grandmother

John and my dad in the elevator with my grandmother's new bed. 
From there, we drove over to the Lake Chatuge Recreation Area to take a short 1-mile walk for some exercise for John. When we pulled into the lot we noticed a treadmill lying on its side. No idea why it was there, but John got it upright and had me take some pictures of him pretend running on it. It was pretty funny.

The walk was quick since we had a Christmas party to attend with my parents at the Brasstown Resort. It was a casual party with all people my parents' age, but it was fun. I took John to the arcade first, since he was already bored. He proceeded to beat the entire Jurassic Park 3 arcade game on only $3. Haha. He was super stoked about that which made the rest of the party enjoyable. It wasn't a long event, and we were home by 9pm.
John beating Jurassic Park 3

John and me at the Brasstown Resort
Saturday- I got up earlyish and jumped right on my mom's spin bike to give spinning a go. I used to be a spin-o-holic back in my gym rat days. I even participated in a 3-hour spinathon once. Haha. It's the one other thing I really wanted to be doing while I've been injured, but with my particular injury, I couldn't get on a bike... until now. I didn't have to pay a $10 class fee either! My mom has an actual spin bike, and I always follow along with one of the Spinning DVDs. My favorite is the Southern California ride. I've done this one so many times that I realized we were camping right off the road where this was filmed during our road trip 3 years ago. I was so excited about it that I even made Bryan stop at one of the landmarks pointed out in the video so I could take a picture. :) I'm such a dork sometimes. (One of the other spinning videos follows a woman guide in NC that I actually raced a few times in the Raleigh/Chapel Hill area. Haha.)
So anyway, I plugged in my music and followed the ride for 55 minutes with this spin workout totally kicking my ass... and not hurting it! Yay! I was POURING in sweat when I finished. I haven't done anything with that intensity in over 2.5 months (except Great Bay 5K). It felt so good, and I realized that THIS is what I need to be doing while I'm still unable to run with any kind of speed. It will be tough to fit it into my schedule, but I think I can pull off two classes a week at Cranmore Fitness when I get back into town. I hate to spend the money, but I'm not planning to rejoin Purity Spring for awhile, and this will hopefully, only last another month or so. I'm hoping to be back at full throttle in February. Spinning will help me with that cardio-wise.

Looking silly spinning

Laugh away. It's a good workout.
Midday, my parents, John and I made the drive to my hometown of Athens, Georgia. My brother, Brandon, still lives there, and the two of us wanted to spend some quality time together catching up on our crazy lives and just having a good time out on the town. We saw each other for about 2 hours last year, and that was it for the last two years. My parents agreed to babysit Brandon's two youngest kids and John while we went out.
My mom drove us downtown, nearly killing us and a pedestrian, but we made it and started with dinner at a very swanky place called The National. We spent dinner catching up on life. It was nice and dinner was awesome.
We moved onto The Globe from there. It's one of those long-time Athens bars that I used to frequent in college. We spent more time swapping stories, and then we decided it was time to hit a fun bar/club. We didn't make it far before we were headed up the stairs of what used to be Lowry's Bar back in my day. Now, it was a hip college kid hangout, and we stuck out like sore thumbs as literally the oldest ones there. I think the kids found us entertaining because we made it onto quite a few phone videos. Haha. We had a blast, though, dancing a lot and just not giving a fuck since we're over that at our age. No one to impress, only fun to be had. I did come away with some fashion tips I might use when I'm runner skinny again. Tight pants, boots and a long shirt are the thing. I already knew this, but to see that nearly every woman in the club was wearing this, I realized that maybe my old jeans and thrift store shirt really weren't cutting it. Haha.
We continued our downward slide from there and ended up at Toppers, one of the strip clubs. Not my idea, but they don't bother me; I used to cocktail at one when we lived in Key West. So just like I'm over impressing anyone, I'm over strip clubs. We weren't there for very long since it was last call (2am) when we got there. We had one last drink, then called it a night. We were done. Took Uber back to the house, getting in around 3am. It was such a fun night, but I knew I'd pay for it the next day. At least I was smart enough to only send out a brief set of tame drunk texts just before passing out. :)
John at my parents' house

Clayton St in Downtown Athens

My favorite beer of the night


Brandon and I at the Cloud

Too bad the good decision-making button was switched off. This picture ended up on Untappd.

Sunday- 9am wake-up. The room was spinning. My hair looked like I'd stuck my finger in a light socket. And I had eye makeup all under my eyes. I also felt about how I looked. The room was spinning. I still got myself up, drank a bunch of water, had some coffee, then got myself out the door at 11 for a run. I was definitely not feeling awesome, but for me, running ALWAYS helps.
I drove down to Farmington, ie the boonies, to Heritage Park. They have a 9.5 mile mountain biking trail system with a really nice trail that wound through the woods and up and down some fairly decent hills. It killed me not to be able to run it all, but the 4 miles I did were great. I was hurting from the hangover, but the run felt good. The weather was beautiful. Sunny. 55 degrees. I was so glad I got myself out there.
I showered as soon as I got back. My brother was up, but he was really hurting. He barely made it through the day. Haha. He had a soccer game to play and only made 10 minutes of play before he was done. The rest of us went to his oldest daughter's choir show at the Botanical Gardens. We went last year, and John was so excited to go again. He loves the huge greenhouse the performance was in. Since it was crowded we just hung out down in the trees and listened to the music for awhile.
Botanical Gardens





John then followed his cousins into a room where they were doing pine cone crafts. All of the other kids were decorating their pine cones as Christmas trees. Not my kid. He made the Tentacle Monster. Haha.


We had an early dinner at Cali 'n Tito's with Brandon and all three of his kids, then came back to the house where I proceeded to spend 4 hours in a recliner, all done for the day.
Looking and feeling awesome in the recliner
Fun weekend, but, man, I need a detox. I think my candle just started burning at both ends again.

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