Back from blog hiatus

Good morning! I am finally back to blogging. I’ve taken a break from writing on the blog for the following reasons:

1. I moved! I’m in upper northwest Atlanta living in a fabulous 2 br/2.5 bath condo with a great roommate. The moving process has been crazy overwhelming but now that things are coming together I couldn’t be happier.

2. I started my new, crazy busy job. I’m doing marketing communications for a technology company and the pace is in-sane. I’m still trying to settle in and find some semblance of work-life-balance but it can be tricky. I do love what I’m doing and the exciting yet challenging assignments that I get to work on are very rewarding.

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In other exciting news, I signed up today for the Atlanta Half Marathon, occurring on Nov. 28! I ran a 5K this past weekend ( Atlanta’s Finest 5K, recap coming soon), and have been regularly running (especially around my new neighborhood, so much to explore!) but need a new challenge to train for. I’ll be beginning training on September 8th. 

I’m also running the Kaiser Permanente Corporate 5K (free through work) Sept. 12 and am excited for that as well.

What races are you training for? 

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My Favorite (Free!) Fitness Apps

Smartphones do it all. From mobile banking to shopping, it makes sense that there are now tons of apps available to help you reach your fitness goals and improve your physique. Here are a few of my favorites

1. Nike Training Club 

Only got 30 minutes to work out? This app will kick your you-know-what in 30 seconds flat. The app offers four types of workouts: Get Lean, Get Toned, Get Strong, and Get Focused, and these are available in both beginner mode, intermediate mode, and advanced mode. Word to the wise, these are tough workouts (the highest I do is intermediate, and even those workouts can leave me sore for days) so don’t feel discouraged if these workouts can be difficult to get through. Workouts are available in both 30 minute and 45 minute sessions. It’s available free on the Google App Store and Apple’s App Store.

2. PumpUp 

PumpUp is by far my favorite strength training app. It builds a workout for you based on the equipment you have available and the areas of your body you’d like to work. It offers interactive pictures and instructions for each workout move, and you can plan your workouts in advance. I use the free version of PumpUp, but there is a paid version available with vocal coaching (the free version is quiet). Currently PumpUp is only available on the Apple App Store, but it’s supposed to be coming soon for Android.

For paid apps I also enjoy Nike Plus ($2.99 available for both Apple and Android) which I use to track and pace my runs and CruiseControl ($4.99, only for Apple) which finds songs in your music library to match the pace you’re currently running, or want to run.

What fitness apps or techniques do you like to use?

The Farewell Tour- Saying Goodbye to My Favorite Running Trails Before Moving

In less than two weeks I’ll be moving back to my hometown of Atlanta, GA to be start a new marketing communications position that’s closer to friends and family. Though I could not be more thrilled about this awesome opportunity, it’s a bit bittersweet to say goodbye to friends and to the trails and sidewalks where I fell in love with longer distance running. I’m spending the next few days running these favorite spots and trying to de-stress from the lunacy of packing through this endeavor:

1. Grandview Drive

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Previously mentioned in my Run River City Recap, this is my go-to spot for scenic and shady hill training in the Peoria Heights area. It’s also home to some stunning homes

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I typically run 4-6miles here, as it basically runs into a busy highway around the 6 mile mark. It’s also super close to Running Central, the best running store in the area.

2. Rock Island Trail

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By far my favorite trail in the area, this 26 mile trail is built on old railroad tracks and is one of the best places to run no matter the season. I’ve used it extensively for long training runs but would advise caution in running in later in the evening hours, as after the 2 mile mark it can get a little isolated. You’re also likely to run into all sorts of critters

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This possum was the only other soul on the trail one snowy afternoon in February.

This trail is perfect for what I like to call a thinking run. If something is bothering me, or I’m stuck on a decision, Rock Island is the perfect flat course where I don’t have to worry about cars or being lost.

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It also constantly reminds me of The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, as it splits at a few places.

Other spots in the Peoria area that I have enjoyed running:

Farmdale Recreation Area: I ran a ten mile trail race here last October, and these are not  your high school cross country course trails. This is a great trail for intense hill/trail training, but you do have to watch out for some of the overly aggressive bikers. There is great nature watching and since the deer are protected in this recreation area, they run rampant!

Do you have a favorite running trail in your area?