Thursday, January 15, 2015

Life in Atlanta

Hey everyone, so I wanted to post and let you all know a bit of what I have actually been up to in Atlanta since I got back from the holiday break!  I have been keeping really busy, finding new people to meet up with, starting to see new parts of Atlanta and try new locations and I am slowly but surely starting to "live" here.  In fact, I started the (painstaking) process today of getting a Georgia license and registration for my car.  Things will be OFFISH over here!

So let's just tick through some of what I've been doing since I've been back and some of what I have experienced.  First up, is the one thing I have had planned for months and that I have been looking forward to for so long - going to see my Syracuse Orange play against Georgia Tech!

This outing was the start of a string of girl dates I've been going on, and I am happy to say that they've all gone great and I am hoping to see all of them again :)  I brought a friend from work to the basketball game with me, as she went to Georgia Tech.  We were both good sports about rooting for opposing teams and I was thrilled that Syracuse pulled out the win AND that there were SO many Orange fans at the game!!

I also had girl dates with a couple friends-of-friends, where we took the obligatory "Look _____ - we're hanging out pictures!" to be able to send to the friend who set us up.

I've tried out some new bars in different neighborhoods including a really fun place called Ormsby's with bocce ball, darts, shuffle board, board games, etc. inside.  Since I love games, I was all over that.  Oh, and I should mention too that while I was there I tried boiled peanuts for the first time!  Since I am not a fan of peanuts regular, I didn't have high hopes but I actually enjoyed them!  In addition last weekend I tried out bars with fun names called Mother and Church, and explored a market that I had read about online called the Krog Street Market that had deliciiiious food shops and an ice cream market called Jeni's that has the most insane flavors.  I wanted to eat them all but settled on a turkey sandwich from Fred's Meat and Bread that was delicious.  The line was the longest so I figured I had to try that place and it didn't disappoint.

Another thing I did was this past weekend I found a MeetUp group for the local New England Patriots Fan Club and joined them at a bar to watch the Playoff Patriots vs. Ravens game!  It was SUCH a good game!  I don't always watch football incredibly closely, but this game had me on the edge of my seat.  I didn't talk to a ton of people, but it was nice to just be in an atmosphere of like-minded people.  The energy was so fun and I am definitely going to join for the coming game this weekend too!

I tried out some new running groups, and actually signed up for a full training program with one of them called the Running Nerds.  They have a program with a group of "athletes" (that's what they call us, it feels weird to call myself an athlete with what I do) who are all trying to break 2:00 - hours in a half marathon time.  It is a goal that I have for myself and have had since I ran a 2:03:47 half marathon in Providence in September of 2013, and since I am a little burnt out on the loooong distance training, I decided to just go for it.

However, what I failed to take into consideration is that I haven't been running ANYWHERE near the paces that I need to be for that goal.  It was a year and a half ago that I ran in that time and haven't been focusing on times for the past year whatsoever.  I have actually never even done real speed work or speed training in my life.  The last time that I ran trying to run fast was at a 5K in July when I got a PR and then at the Ragnar Relay in September when I surprised myself with a super fast unofficial 10K.  I am definitely on the slow end and am feeling the pressure and putting anxiety on myself as to whether or not I am going to be an embarrassment through this training program... but I figured I will keep going it and hopefully at least see improvements if I don't get to a sub-2:00 hour half right away and will get me running again!  I have run EVERY day since Friday, which is crazy given the number of miles I had been doing before Friday.  Running with the Movers & Pacers, Run Smyrna, and Running Nerds have all been fun experiences so far and there will be more about that to come!

Being a part of the training team means that there are a number of coaches to help with everything and I met up with one earlier this week for coffee at a place called Amelie's which was super cute and adorable and I wanted to eat everything there!  I settled on a fancy coffee drink while we discussed how I am already super overwhelmed with the training program laid out for us.  I haven't been running a lot, my times are slow, I have other goals I want to do too (Olympic tris, I'm coming for you!)  When I said I was overwhelmed she mentioned something like, "Well, you know how it goes, you don't have to do EVERYTHING on your training plan. You just make it work and do as much as possible."  I was like ummm... I don't know if you know how I work, but I did EVERY mile on my training program for my first marathon except for 2 when I was in Turkey and they literally kicked me off the treadmill because the gym was closing.  And those 2 miles eat away at me mentally to this day.  But hey, the team is super supportive and seems fun and in the same philosophy of my running buddies on TeamBABU -- and plus, the coffee was good!

And in addition to the eating and drinking and running, I also tried out a glorious little thing called "Whirly Ball" which although it wasn't founded in Atlanta, I haven't heard of until I got here.  So I now assume that everyone in Atlanta plays Whirly Ball on a regular basis.

It is like a weird version of lacrosse combined, for some reason, with bumper cars.

You start nice and orderly like that, but trust me, it doesn't last that way for long.  You have this weird little cart that you crank a handle to make move, and you have to scoop up a plastic whiffle ball and throw it into the center part of that yellow board in the back to score.  It is so silly yet so addicting and I cannot stop talking about whirly ball.  Every visitor I have to Atlanta is playing whirly ball.  So, just, be aware, people!

Anyways, there is so much here to see and experience and try out.  My restaurant list grows every day.  My understanding of where everything is and how far it takes to get there... is... ya know... it's coming along.  My network is starting to build and I am starting to scheme about when I can have people over and entertain or throw a dinner party.  My schedule is starting to get FULL, especially with this new training plan I am working off of.  So, life in Atlanta is coming along everyone!

Tomorrow I want to tell you about where I am with my running and eating more.  So stay tuned!

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