Thursday, November 17, 2011
Greetings from Georgia! It's been a busy last week since we first took off for the Peach State. We rented a house, have gotten to know our new town--including tasting "local" food such as barbeque, skillet apples, and fried fish, and we even took a tiny road trip up to Atlanta! Oh, and I also started my new job, found a local running store and group, and did some exploring on my feet.
So, what's it been like so far? well--the barbecue is good: exhibit A: here I am tearing into some ribs on our first night in town. Yum, yum! Note to self though: the barbecue is good but it's also filling. This is not a place you can eat at every night, especially when they serve sides like delicious skillet apples.
Atlanta is not too far away and it's pretty neat. We took a quick trip there to pick up our car, and then we went to Zoo Atlanta. Zoo Atlanta was Zoo Awesome in a few ways. My favorite things were the gorilla exhibit, and the panda exhibit.
The panda exhibit had four pandas--a mom, dad, baby, and juvenile. Here's the dad, Zing Zing. He was super awesome, he came right up to the window and was checking us out, then he got up for a closer look--and I died from panda over load!
So now you know a little bit about what I've seen and eaten since arriving in Georgia, but what about running!? Well running has been--interesting to say the least. Here are the good things:
1) I've been able to get in three good runs. Two nearby my work. I work in an area that is pretty conducive to the running. It's nice, safe and there are quite a few areas to run in--including the ability to connect onto this really long running path that goes for about 10 MILES from my work!
2) I was able to connect with a group from the local running store for one morning run. More social runners! They were all really nice and also there were quite a few that were running in the pace that was good for me, which was nice.
I'm hoping to be able to meet up with some of the people from this running group for a long run Saturday morning as well.
3) I've located a few running paths that are close to our new home--and they literally go for 15-20 miles. They are pretty scenic, and you can also ride a bike alongside for bike-runs. We also found a neat park that is HUGE that has some running trails all through it--I guess the trails add up to about 10-12 miles--which is again not too shabby.
1) My goal was to run 5 days this week. It will most likely be 4
2) Remember the path I told you about? Well it has varying levels of safety and security. This is an issue that is going to be anywhere you are--even Colorado, but I guess it really can be an issue here. I have been expressly told "DO NOT RUN AT NIGHT--EVER." I have also been told that parts of this path can be dangerous. Which makes me kind of sad...keep reading for more information on this topic.
3) This town is low on the bike and pedestrian lanes. As in, you could get swiped off the road. So, you could *possibly* run in the evening--on the side of the populated roads--but again that's dangerous. ::Insert another sad face here:::
3) These two factors make me sad for two specific reasons: After work I'd like to be able to come home, throw on my shoes and go for a run. But--it's in the evening. Thus making the bike path a dangerous option (no one wants to be robbed you know) and the roads dangerous (don't wanna be hit by a bus either). It's made getting to know the running options a bit difficult in the first week.
4) Finally, did anyone know that Georgia can have huge thunderstorms that last for hours and have the potential to morph into a tornado? I didn't know that. This actually happened this week and resulted in tornadoes that destroyed a lot of areas of the South and South East.
The way that I feel right now is that I know that running is important to me for a number of reasons, and it's a bit frustrating to have not been able to get in runs the way I want--and some of these things feel like excuses to me. However at the same time, I try to remember that this is also a time of pretty big transition in a number of ways, and I am working to manage ALL the changes. It's difficult to not harp on myself and get mired in negative self-talk because I haven't reached my weekly running goal. In the same vein, when negative self-talk arises, I remind myself of exactly all the changes that are going on, the positive things I have accomplished in running and in other areas, and to be kind to myself regarding my runs. I have tried to analyze the issues with the runs and look at what the controllables and un-controllables are for each one--and see if there are things I can change to increase my ability to get in more quality runs--and then see what is really an excuse and what I can change.
Here's what I came up with:
My solution to a lot of these issues is a multi-pronged approach (because I won't be defeated):
1) Running in the early morning, with a group--that actually worked out really well--and I also like being done with the run in the morning. It solves about 90% of these problems.
2) Finding a gym
3) Running near my work
4) Working to get to know my town better to try to find safer routes. They must be somewhere!
What I can say about this week and running is that it has been a week of trial and error. I know it's something that I have to work to settle into. New place, new home, new schedule. I have found that what I want to do is keep up my old running schedule because it provides comfort and familiarity, but it's difficult when I feel a bit displaced right now--nothing feels quite like "Home" yet! It's hard to be patient, and to know that I'll be settled in eventually--sooner than it sometimes feels and that there are a lot of things I can do to be able to still work towards my immediate, short and long term goals.