Matthew

At the beginning of the last update, I urged you all to keep Haiti, and all of the folks in the path of hurricane Matthew in your thoughts and prayers.  Unfortunately, Haiti was hit pretty hard, and I feel kind of at a loss with what to do to help from here, especially since many organizations have done a good bit of fundraising,  but it seems that Haiti continues to flounder.  I have worked with one organization in particular, Mercy Corps, and I’m planning on making a call to them tomorrow to find out what is being done on the ground to help the Haitian people.  I will keep you guys posted.

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Last Saturday, we woke up in Raleigh to a nasty gray sky.  We’d been keeping an eye on Matthew reports, and I’d texted family in Florida about the storm (all good), and we were planning on some rain.  I got a text from a friend – she wanted to come over to visit and for drinks, and I started getting Liam ready for a visitor.  I fed him, pumped a little bit for his night time feedings, and starting checking outside.  It was raining like crazy, but we sort of expected that. But as the rain started coming down harder and harder, my friend texted and said she’d tried to go out to do an errand, and that it was raining too hard, and that she’d had to turn back.  Not good.

We got another text – one of the main roads through the area where we live had been flooded down the middle, and was closed off.  At this point, we still weren’t super alarmed.  I finished pumping, and put a ton of milk in the freezer, and Austin was piddling around the house, straightening up, and just doing some of our normal Saturday stuff.

Around 1:30 or 2pm, we lost power after a few flickers, and the last time, it didn’t come back.  I nursed Liam, we napped, and did some staring out the window at the pines being battered by the wind, and still, it never came back.  We started losing daylight, and the rain started quieting.  By this time, it’d gotten colder, and Austin snuck in a shower with the hot water we had left, and we made plans to go to dinner.  We didn’t really anticipate the power being out for the rest of the night, but thankfully, Austin prepares for anything, and we had light, and water, and nonperishables to snack on before and after we braved the streets to find a place with power and food.  By this time, the rain had stopped falling, and we could navigate around some of the flooded streets to find food, and we crossed our fingers that lights would be back by the time we got home.  They weren’t.

At this point, I started to get a little worried.  Remember, I’d pumped a good amount around lunch, before the lights went out, and stuck it in the freezer.  We hand’t opened the freezer, but I also had his nighttime bottle in the fridge, which Austin usually gave him, and without electricity, I had no way to really shower (the hot water we had was all that was left in the tank) and no way to heat Liam’s bottle.  So I nursed him Saturday night, and we decided that we wouldn’t open the fridge or freezer except to shove some ice we’d found at a gas station in there to keep things cold.

When I woke up on Sunday, the air in the house was really still, and it was a little chilly.  I realized the power had not come back, and texted my mom that if she was okay with it, I wanted to come down with the baby.  She had not seen him in about two weeks, and we needed electricity and hot water. I planned to only stay a day, so we decided to leave Austin at home so he could prepare for work on Monday morning, and I kind of figured I would be back on Monday evening sometime.  Austin snapped a pic of us just before we left…

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…and we grabbed coffee at the McDonald’s (remember, we had no electricity) before I headed down 40 to my parents’. Full disclosure, I felt awful leaving Austin behind, especially to clean up the mess the wind had made in the yard, but I was a little excited at the thought of showering in my mom’s shower with all the hot water. I mean, I was absolutely gross, and I know my mom really wanted to see Liam.

So we arrived Sunday afternoon, and it was so nice because my parents got a chance to hang out with Liam, then my sister showed up, and then another sister showed up with her husband to hang out with us.  Austin called that evening and told me power still hadn’t come back, and the estimates from the power company were looking a little bleak.  My mother seemed overjoyed, but I really hadn’t packed enough for us, and I started making a mental list of things I would need to get together if we needed to stick around for a few days.

Liam slept in the Rock ‘n’ Play (thank you Graco, for this amazing invention), and we got an amazing night of sleep, with climate control, and a working coffee machine in the house. Still, Monday morning the power at home was out, and I made plans to take Liam to see a school mom who lives in Matthews, to go to Target to pick up a few essentials, and to shower in my mom’s fancy shower that I’d been dreaming of since I got there.

Monday night, no power, and Tuesday, no power.  Austin was getting sad not seeing Liam, but my parents were having a blast. On Tuesday morning, I woke up and Liam was not in the swing right by the couch where I was napping, and when I went to find him, my mom had him, rocking and singing songs by the white noise machine.

When all was said and done, we didn’t get power back until some time on Tuesday afternoon, and because I didn’t care to drive by myself with the baby in the dark, we waited until Wednesday to head in.

I was ready to see Austin when I got back, but I was sad to leave my parents. My dad was so cute with Liam, and my mom, with four kids, was a whiz at singing the songs and walking, and helping me bathe him to get him right to sleep. We finally made it back to Raleigh in time for some lunch with a friend, and we stuck around this time with all of our new crap in tow that we managed to collect while at home.

That was our first big adventure away from home, and the baby did awesome.  I think I did okay too.

I hope you all fared okay throughout the hurricane, and for those of you still dealing with flooding and damage, we are thinking of you, and working hard on our end to get you the resources you need!

Summer’s Best

I kinda stole this idea from Gracie at Girl Meets Life, but it was such a good one, I had to immediately put it to good use before I forgot.  So without any further ado – here are my Top 5 for Summer. 

My brother graduated high school.  

Not only was the fact that he graduated cool, but it was cool because it was one of the first times in a long long time that all of the siblings had been together.  We finished off the night by going to Ihop with my brother, who happens to share his sister’s love of breakfast foods.

Derek Graduation
Derek ended up on the nightly news!

My sister got married.

Deb had a pretty fast courtship and engagement – she was maybe engaged for a month or two before her and her husband decided that they just wanted to get it done, and we headed to York, SC one weekend in June to watch their nuptials.  It was really cool, plus I got to see my parent’s new party pad that they moved to promptly upon becoming empty nesters.

York Wedding Chapel

I got a new job.

Three years ago, I interviewed for this job, and was rejected, and heartbroken.  I spent a few days in bed, cried at the drop of a hat, and made my husband listen to me whine about it for weeks.  Fast-forward to a few years later, and the job almost fell into my lap, and I took it.  Best thing I’ve ever done, and I can honestly say that I love my job, and I feel so fortunate to be a part of that organization.

Pool at the job where I do a little bit of water running :)
Pool at the job where I do a little bit of water running 🙂

Les Mills Body Pump™ Certification

In July, I went to Wilmington to do the first part of my certification for Les Mills Body Pump™, and it was one of the most incredible experiences of life.  I have never come out of a weekend more sore in my life, but it was the best kind of sore, and I got to walk on the beach in the 5 seconds I had between the two days of certification.  I would gladly do it again.

This was pre-training, and pre-shoulder shredding workout!
This was pre-training, and pre-shoulder shredding workout!

….and last but not least…

We got married!

Which I’m fairly certain you may be tired of hearing about, but what’s a girl to do?

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image via Blest Studios

Now with all of that – Gracie also included what she’s looking forward to for the fall – and I feel like I’m still in such a whirlwind, that I can barely tell you what I’m excited about.  But with the new house and stuff, I’m pumped for:

  • Crunchy fall leaves.
  • Running when it’s not 90 degrees and 77% humidity out.  It will be nice to to not be nauseous immediately following a run.
  • DIYing around the new house – painting, setting up a workspace for me to work at, and kind of exploring my creativity a little bit.

And that’s about all I can think of right now.

What are you excited for this fall?  

Coke

Wednesday morning, I went for a sweaty, hot, sticky run with some folks through downtown Raleigh.  I’m friendly with the Raleigh Ambassadors of Rock, the name bestowed on the Ambassadors of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Raleigh.  So when one of the Ambassadors stopped by my office and mentioned they’d be running the course for the half for next year as a recon-type thing, I was in!  Any excuse to actually RUN with living, breathing people is one I try to make – sometimes I welcome a run by myself, but for the most part, especially in the summer when I’m not particularly motivated, I love being with other folks.

We started out a little fast for me – consistently hitting just over 8-minute miles, which I was able to maintain for about three miles before I started to fall behind.  At one point, my vision short of shifted, and I realized that my blood sugar was dropping, and that immediately following the run, I would need to grab something to bump the sugar up.

I didn’t really tell any of the folks I was running with because the minute you mention the words blood and sugar together, people start freaking out and running around with their arms flailing like muppets, which I experienced once when I actually fainted in front of a class and came to with folks just standing over me, staring in horror, and not really doing a whole lot of anything else.

But I digress…

So following the run, I immediately hit the gas station, grabbed some change from the bottom dusty part of my purse, and hobbled into the gas station to find the source of all things life when your sugar is low, and popped a can of Coke as soon as I got myself back to the car.

It was really sweet.  Like…really sweet.  And within minutes, I started to feel myself perk up enough to make my way to my couch.  I flipped the can over, and was shocked at what I read.

The can was one of those 16-oz cans, the tall ones, and I’d managed to get a few swallows in, when I discovered what the “nutrition” in one of those bad boys was like.

Coke

The can listed the calories as being over 200 – but that part in itself wasn’t what kinda tweaked me out a little bit – it was the sugar and carbs. In each 16-oz can, there were 53ish grams of sugar, and like 57 ish grams of carbs, which is a pretty decent chunk of carb consumption that you really need to be doing each day.

Mind = blown.

Not that I’m inherently against fun things to eat.  I actually really enjoy sweets and have to reel myself in from going ham on the York Peppermint Patties, but 53g of sugar in anything is really overkill.  And the thought that folks are consuming this along with their meal is really sort of scary.  I mean, I just want everyone to be able to flip over the can, and realize that Coke is being a little unreasonable with their ingredients.

It also made me a little sad.  Back in the day, prior to me conscious of what I put into my mouth, I was a Coke-drinker, and and I no idea what it was that I was consuming.  And it makes me really sad that there might still be old Cheris running around and doing what I did.

What is (or was) your guilty pleasure?

10 miles felt like home.

Yesterday, Super Bowl Sunday (WOOO WHAT A HALFTIME SHOW, but that’s another post,) I’d cleaned, and was laying on the couch watching the first season of Girls…

Girls

Side note:  I’m not sure how I feel about Girls yet because there are just so, so so, many uncomfortable scenes.  Lena Dunham is naked the entire first season, there is a crack incident, and the entire incident where Jessa is kind of getting involved with the Dad she’s babysitting for completely made me so uncomfortable.  More on them later.

Okay, so finally, with a ton of episodes of Girls finished, I had a choice.  I could either take a nap, or venture out and do my 10 miles in yesterday’s beautiful weather.

To be honest, I think I was a little scared to run 10.  I hadn’t run 10 since my marathon flop in October (where I barfed 18 miles into the race), and I was really concerned that my stomach might start hurting again, and I’d begin to lose motivation for the race.  But I suited up, filled up my water bottle, and off I went.

It was a beautiful day, and this was one of the first sights I encountered in the 60-degree weather.

photo (15)It was really freaky.  Last week, we got a good bit of snow and ice, and despite the fact that most everything was melted by the time we hit 60 yesterday, there were still areas that hadn’t been touched by light, and this little stream, House Creek was frozen to this milky white color.  It was so weird, I had to stop, just a few miles in.

I suffer from gastritis, and one of my fears is that it may flare up in the same way it had in October.  But I was careful with my tummy, only eating a PowerBar fruit smoothie pouch before, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine in the hours and days before, and my stomach thanked me kindly.  But the nicest part, after I got over the initial, paralyzing fear that I might get sick mid-run again, was that 10 miles felt just like home.  Was it easy as pie, no way.  But it was almost as if my body had retained some memory of having run that distance before, and it was so much easier than the first time I ever ran 10.  It actually felt good, and I’m starting to believe and trust in my training a little more.  Next week is 15, and here’s to 15 feeling like home as well 🙂

How did your run/workout go this weekend?  

Weekend update! We heart DC!

If you’ve been following along about anything here on the blog, you’ll know that I’m absolutely enamored of the District of Columbia.  So best bud Scott invited me up, and Friday, after work, I took off, and made the trip, that was a little over 4 hours.  Not a bad drive, right?

So Friday evening, me and the bestie braved the cold, and met some Elon friends out, and just enjoyed some tasty drinks.

The next day, we braved the cold temps and wind yet again, and hit this spot called Pound the Hill, a coffee bar that turns into a wine bar in the evenings.  We went earlier in the day, so we missed the wine, but enjoyed some ah-mazing treats nonetheless.

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Dear Scott, in front of Pound the Hill in DC.  It’s right next to a yoga studio – how genius is that, right?

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The space is small, but extremely warm!  These DC coffee shops get packed!  Best to get there early, grab a seat, and stay there.

P1020101Menus.  And I spotted Nutella.  Well, say no more, if there’s Nutella involved, I need to taste these.

photo 1

A Nutella latte with skim to cut the sweetness!  It was delicious – hot and creamy!

photo 2

The holy grail of things to eat!  This sandwich was a Nutella, banana, and honey sandwich.  SO sweet, but good if you’re into that….which I totally am.  If you don’t have a sweet tooth, just skip this one.  But I loved it.

I packed my running clothes.  I have big news, I’m running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on April 13th, and it’s time to up the mileage.  The wind slowed down, and Scott provided me with directions to get to Capitol Hill.  So off I went.  Are you ready for this?

photo 3

In one of the greatest cities, in the greatest country in the world, I got to run to the Capital building, peek a few blocks down to see some monuments, and run back.  The run totaled about 4 miles or so, and I didn’t feel too chilly, despite some good wind.

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Next, we hit a birthday party, where the girls based it around the coolest theme.

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So this doesn’t look like a whole lot of pizza right?  Well, that’s because the girls made 5, yes 5 (?!) pizzas, allowed us to taste each one, and then paired each pizza with a beer.  Very cool, and I was impressed by how much DC folks, friend’s of Scott’s were so welcoming and seemed to enjoy meeting me and hearing about what I did.  Seriously, DC folk seem like nice, genuine, kind people.

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And finally folks, no post would be complete without a picture of a pup, right?  This guy, Fitzgerald, was the dog of the house where we were staying.  I’m glad I left little Coco behind – she had not yet received her ThunderShirt, and the long car ride, plus Fitz’s high pitty energy would have freaked her out.  But I’m glad to be home with my lady.

So folks, what did you do this weekend?  Fill me in!

My year of running. #runchat #run

I cannot believe that we’re approaching the end of the year. I don’t know where the year went, but I feel so hashtag blessed that I’m still here.  It has been an absolutely beautiful year.  I’ve experienced a ton – good and bad, but I’m excited to see what 2014 in store for me and my family.

yearofrunning 225x300 How was your year of running?

I stole this fun idea to sum up my year of running from Miss Zippy, and I encourage you guys to go ahead and steal it from me now!  I’m nosy as hell, so I’d really like to know about your year – and I’ll post this to my Facebook status so some of you guys can play, and I’ll pull some of your comments into my blog.

What was your:

  • Best race experience?  Hands down, my best race experience this year was the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, which I blogged about back in April.  The race itself was awesome.  The weather was beautiful, the terrain was flat, and it was just incredibly well-organized, and I feel super lucky, because for the second year in a row, I won my lottery entrance into the race.  Eep!  Additionally, I am so enamored of Washington, D.C., and spending the weekend there with good friends made the weekend super duper enjoyable.  Now I hope this year my ENTIRE name makes it onto the wall of race participant names they plaster the street with in Georgetown.  ‘Member this?

Billboard

  • Best run? I need to choose a few.  One of my best runs was in Asheville, the weekend of Alexa’s bacherlorette party up in Asheville….

cabin 4

And this view of the river we stayed along…
Cabin 3
And I’d have to say my second favorite best run was a run I did with my brother the day after Thanksgiving a few weeks ago.   It was just fun to work out with a member of my family who kicked my butt.  It’s also so nice to talk to that kid, who’s really impressed me with how he’s matured in the past year.  Kid gets up at 3:45 to go to swim practice, and still manages to make it to school each day.  Like – bye.  Amazing.

  • Best new piece of gear?  Geez, that’s hard.  I have a lot of good stuff.  But I think my favorite piece that I’ve acquired this year would either be my Glycerin 11s, cause that shoe update was so  sweet, or this purple Moving Comfort full-zip that work gave us at the company holiday party.  I have a problem staying warm, so the fact this jacket can stand up to some of the ungodly temps we’ve had lately around here in the mornings says a lot to me.

Moving Comfort

  • Best piece of running advice you received?  Put one foot in front of the other.  A co-worker told me this as I was training for Shamrock in March, and that’s really all you can do, in racing, and in life.  When a race becomes challenging or miserable, you have to tell yourself to place one foot in front of the other.  There’s simply not another option.
  • Most inspirational runner?  I cannot pick just one, because working with runners, I am so inspired by my coworkers.  Jenny, who I ran Shamrock with, was a mother, a wife, and still found time to run that full with me.  Kerri teachers a full yoga course load, works, and trained hard and well enough to qualify for Boston.  Kerry runs a big race a month.  Fast.  Shelly is pregnant and still running.  I could go on and on and on, but you get it.  My coworkers rock, and when I don’t feel like working at my running, I think of them, and I usually can muster up enough to get moving.
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Be present.  Don’t let worry or anxiety steal your happiness.

Now it’s your turn – fill me in in the comments, on your blog, on my Facebook, or Tweet me little tidbits!

Weather Obsession

Marathons are very much like weddings in that you do this…thing.

You check the weather incessantly, smiling when it looks good (about 10 days out), and progressively getting more anxious as you realize that things aren’t going to go the way you planned. That’s so life right?

You have to understand where I’m coming from here though. There was a point during training where I was running, in the mountains of Pennsylvania on a 94-degree day with like 77% humidity. I never dried off that day, btws. Never for a second did I think that I’d be crossing the start line in Greensboro with a starting temp of 32 degrees.

Weather

Of course, there are a few conflicting reports on what temp we’re starting in, but the truth is, it’s gonna be effing cold.

No matter, it’s off to the running store I go tonight. Objective? A better pair of gloves that actually fit my limbs, and those little hot hands thingies to stick in my gloves while we’re just chilling and waiting around for the gun to go off. And it’s time (now two days away) to plan a good outfit.

We Run DC! The Nike Women’s Half Marathon in Review.

I’ve been living in my car (my new car!) for like the past week.  Not like literally, I still have a beautiful little apartment downtown, but I’ve been riding around like a nutjob for days and days.  To the point where I actually thought listening to Rush Limbaugh might be an interesting change of pace.  UGH WRONG GURL.  First I headed home.  Then to Winston to take care of some bidness.  And finally, I made the 4-hour trek to Washington, DC, and began my weekend.  We did a bunch of un-Nike-related things, some of which included eating my weight in delicious food, losing house-keys in a cab, and participating in a super cool Lupus Walk on Saturday morning.

This is one of my best friends, Scott. I stayed with him, and he showed me around beautiful DC.  I'm lucky to have a friend like him.
This is one of my best friends, Scott. I stayed with him, and he showed me around beautiful DC. I’m lucky to have a friend like him.

As a side note, I’m completely, madly, deeply in love with Washington, DC.  I live in Raleigh.  I’ve had a rough relationship with Raleigh.  Story time!  I moved here for a guy (and for graduate school).  The relationship ended disastrously, and here I was, sort of stuck in a city where I knew no one.  So my solution was to take a job in Pennsylvania, attempt to transfer to Pitt to finish my graduate studies, and move on with my life.   But my mom, whom I typically don’t listen to (do us kids ever listen?), encouraged me to stick it out.  “You can’t run away from your problems.  Everywhere I go, there I am.  Do you know what that means?”  Ugh.  She was right.  So I came back.  Made a few more friends, and began to find my place here.  I still have days where I’m not sure about the city, where I’m not sure if I fit it in.  The loudness of New York never left me.  I teach Zumba.  I speak like Hilary Banks, but I wear my locs long and natural.  I think I confuse people. So I’m just not sure.  So you can imagine my heartbeat going a-flutter when I came to a city where the black girls look like me.  Wear bright colors and long Senegalese twists.  They ride bikes.  They love dogs.  Everyone runs.  I love it!

This is the brunch spot we hit after the Lupus Walk.  The food was incredible.  I fear, if I ever moved to DC, I'd become 500 pounds.
This is the brunch spot we hit after the Lupus Walk. The food was incredible. I fear, if I ever moved to DC, I’d become 500 pounds.

So Saturday afternoon, we metroed and hoofed over to Georgetown, where packet pickup was held.  The line?  Let’s not talk about it.  But it moved quickly and pretty smoothly. The expo, held in a tent in Georgetown, could have been super cool, but it was hot, and I don’t do well in small, hot, ill-ventilated tents with everyones breath just like, combining in the same space.  I find that absolutely foul, and I think it could have been done better, and in a bigger space.  But everything else?  Cool as heck.

Nike erected this like, street-length billboard with all of our names on it.  So 15,000 women’s names were plastered in Georgetown, and my name was one of them.  Super cool to see.  And it was doubly cool to see a bunch of women with a smile of their faces.  Score 1 for Nike for making us feel special.

My name came riiiight at the end, so it was split in two pieces.  But Cherisse definitely ran!
My name came riiiight at the end, so it was split in two pieces. But Cherisse (my guh-ment name) definitely ran!

Race day.  I metroed down to Pennsylvania Avenue, where the start line was.  Pre-race chatter makes me nervous, so I put my headphones in, and listened to Gustavo Lima sing me a “Balada” while women buzzed around me, scrambling to get into their pace groups.  The way pace groups were done was pretty sweet too.  We were identified by these colored bracelets which identified our pace, and getting into corrals was super smooth.  I glided into my pace group, and hunkered down to start to run for a long time.  My first bought of tears during the race?  When the National Anthem was sung.  I’m not a stupid emotional idiot either, I saw other women beginning to tear up.  It was sung beautifully, and it was a lot of our first races since Boston.  We felt…united?  The race started.  And I became emotional again when I realized the coolness, and the gravity of 15,000 women (and a few guys), running down the streets of the District, with the Capitol building as a backdrop.  As we ran, Nike had organized cool bands.  A go-go band in the tunnel.  Marching bands.  A Chinese New Year Themed parade.  Beautiful, inspirational signs.  A river.  It was so beautiful that I marveled a number of times at how lucky I’d been to get into the lottery for this race.  And I could not stop smiling.

Here’s where I screwed up, though.  I’d wanted to do well in the race, even though I’d lied and told everyone I was just going to take this one nice and easy.  I’m competitive by nature, and I’m not sure why I said that.  But in my head, I wanted to break 2 hours.  So I’d assumed that this race would be like a small-town race, just like how it was in Raleigh.  But 15,000 women and 1,200 are totally different.  And my plan to start at the back of my pace group and work my way up was a profoundly stupid one.  After 3 slow miles, I realized that I’d have to do some work to make it to the finish line in under two hours.  So I had to push.  And push.  And push some more to continue hitting under 9 minute miles to make it to that finish line.  So I talked myself through about 10 super fast miles.  I told myself I could eat Nutella.  I told myself I could go to the medical tent and get hydrated.  I told myself I could eat bread.  I told myself that people were counting on me.  And I did it.  1:59:57, with my fastest mile being a 7:36 around mile 12, when I saw a clock and got a little nervous that I wouldn’t make it.  I’m sore as heck from running like I stole things.

My final verdict on the Nike Women’s Half Marathon?  Worth it.  A stellar race.  My only complaint is that the expo was in a frighteningly small space.  It was gross in there.  But women.  The weather.  The scenery.  The history of DC just existing all around us?  Pure magic.  So….

What's our finishers gift?
What’s our finishers gift?

GURRRRLL let me tell you.

That's Tiffany babe.  They gave us a Tiffany necklace.  Handsome boys gave us a Tiffany necklace.
That’s Tiffany babe. They gave us a Tiffany necklace. Handsome boys gave us a Tiffany necklace.

And are you wondering what 15,000 beautiful women look like?

photo (6)

True beauty. Ladies, you better WERQ.

Adventures in Asheville

So, to make this crazy week even crazier, I headed up to Asheville, or more specifically, Marshall NC for a bachelorette gathering at a cabin.  I tried to record everything, at the very least, with my eyes so I could bring it to you.  You’ll feel like you were there gurl!  Werq!  So after a super stressful week, and a loooong rainy drive by my lonesome, I rolled into the Asheville area…and promptly got lost.  So I had to stop somewhere to get directions right?  I stopped at a gun shop, a GUN SHOP, for directions.  And  though I was frightened out of my mind, and stuck out like a sore thumb (I was wearing a bright pink printed dress, and everyone in the gun shop was smoking cigs and wearing camo everything,) they were the nicest people I’ve ever met.  Because of how remote the area was, my cell phone and my GPS wasn’t working, and the folks at the gun shop (?!) looked up the cabin on the computer, and offered to lead me to where it was.  But I found it!  And look how cute it was!

cabin 1
Cedar Creek Cabin. Look it up! It’s rentable!!

We spent the first night hanging out, talking, and sitting in the hot tub (which felt amazing on my hip flexors, which for any of you who run, know can get horrifically tight). I couldn’t pass up a run in Asheville, and I woke up the next morning, totally ready to bust out a few miles and explore the area around me. My first issue though? Asheville is freezing in comparison to Raleigh, and I had to layer on top. No big though, I trained in the dead of winter. So I piled on the clothing, and began my trek up the mountain.

mountain

You guys saw this the other day. But I’m reposting. This stopped me in my tracks as I ran up this windy two-lane.

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I headed up, I headed down, and tried to get some of that fresh mountain air as deeply down into my lungs as I could. I was hoping to absorb some of the calm of the mountain. Fun fact.  Everyone lives in teeny cabins adorned with “No Trespassing  signs.  Can anyone tell me why this is?  But seriously, if you’re in Asheville, definitely run.  It’s stunning.  It’s calming.  It’s just what I needed.

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Wine!!!! We hit up the wine shop, and it had a nifty machine that allowed us to taste a bunch of stuff.

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This is the Bridal Party! (We’re a progressive group, if you’re wondering about a guy being there. Andrew’s been with us since the beginning.)  He’ll probably be in mine, too.

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That’s the bride on the far right.

Asheville was gorgeous.  Not only that, we ate some delicious food, and I’m pretty sure that the food was the best part about the entire city.  We hit the Laughing Seed First, an establishment with incredible veg options.  It’s wonderful to see that vegetarian food can actually be prepared so that it has incredible flavor.  And that’s not super hard to find, however, it’s a common misnomer that vegetarians only eat beans and grass.  Not so.  You can’t go wrong with anything on that menu.  Check them out here.  http://laughingseed.jackofthewood.com/We also hit the Blackbird Restaurant for dinn, and again, I was blown away by how they could shove so much flavor in a cup of soup.  Again, you can’t go wrong.  Hit them here. http://theblackbirdrestaurant.com/  (My only complaint with that last place is the bird decor.  I find birds to be terrifying.)

Finally, I don’t know why life does this to you.  But I’ve been talking myself out of getting a dog until I have more space for years now.  Years.  So we’re walking around downtown Asheville, and this dog on a blue leash just looks out me.  I instinctively crouched to pet him, and began talking to him in the voice I reserve for my pets.  “Hiiiii babe!!”.  He jumped into my arms and gave me in the biggest, sloppiest kiss I’ve ever had.  And I loved it.  So the woman walking him goes, “He’s up for adoption!  I’m just walking him right now!”  So what do I do?  His name is Zach, and I’m pretty sure he wants me to be his mom.  Ugh.  Decisions.

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Okay, so enjoy my pics, and next time you’re in Asheville, take a run, take me with you, and pick up Zach and bring him home to Mama!