Sunday, May 14, 2017

Non-training fun in Atlanta

Over the years, this blog has adapted and grown with me, taking many shapes and forms. There was a time when I shared random news and information about food. A time when I shared recipes regularly. Then it turned into a day-to-day recap at some points, with things I did socially and with my friends. To a travel and training blog. To now a place where I come in now and then to post race recaps or about my workouts.

One of the reasons I continue to maintain this is because A) My grandfather and college roommate Kimmy would both be really upset if I didn't (Hi Grampy! Hi Kimmy!) and B) Because I know that in the future, I will like to look back and read what I wrote. I know I will want to do that, because I love doing it now and looking back at my years of archives and remembering fun moments and times.

So I wanted to do a post about some of the non-training fun I have been up to. Because let's be real, life isn't just about triathlon and training! Despite all that I do (and it is a lot) in that world, I always try to keep a balance. It makes me a better athlete to have some time away from training and clear my mind mentally to then be able to come back and work hard!

This spring has been a really unique one for me. And a lot of that has to do with the fact that for the first time in who knows how long, I have been in one place. I have not been traveling aside from my trip to Switzerland in January and my weekend in New Hampshire, at all this training cycle. Whereas I think back to last year at this time and between January and May when I raced Chattanooga 70.3 for the first time, I had traveled to Miami, San Francisco, Dubai, Mexico, Singapore, Wilmington, Palm Beach, and likely more -- all in the span of a few months!

NOT traveling has given me the opportunity to focus and train consistently with a group and also the ability to explore more throughout Atlanta and enjoy the new neighborhood that I moved into last November. So here is just a few of the fun things that I have been up to...

Festivals! Specifically, Dogwood and Inman Park Festivals. I think that one of the things that Atlanta is known for amongst the people that live here are its festivals. It was something I was told about before I moved here and something that was definitely not over-exaggerated. It seems like every weekend there is a different festival going on! This weekend I kicked off the spring attending Dogwood Festival.

Then later at the end of April, the weekend of the John Tanner Sprint Triathlon, I went to Inman Park fest. What I loved about each of these (besides the great company I had at both!) was the fact that I could attend without driving. For Dogwood Festival, I rode my bike a couple miles down the beltline to the park, and for Inman Park Fest, I could walk from my front door! Both were beautiful days, great people watching and a lot of fun.

"Fernbank After Dark" night at the Museum. It seems like the museums in Atlanta have a good thing going on with the various events and nighttime activities that they host. The Fernbank is the Natural History Museum and every now and then they hold events in the evenings with music, cocktails, movies, and access to walk around. I went a few weeks back with Ayanna and India and had a great time exploring the exhibits, trying out the hands on activities, and laughing and being silly with my friends!

Brazilian BBQ in Buckhead. Despite not traveling, I have still gotten to experience a bit of culture through a group of friends I met via a work friend. The whole group is very international, which makes for a lot of fun and interesting conversation - and in many cases, delicious food! We attended a BBQ at a friend's apartment that was essentially as if you were eating at a Brazilian steakhouse. There was delicious steak, pork, sausage, etc. coming off the grill all throughout the afternoon/evening that everyone would pick at and grab bites of, caipirinha's, and deliciousness all around. It was a fun evening!

Lunch or coffee dates with Brick.  Because I do go to bed early, often times seeing friends is during the day! Fridays I work from home and at times that I don't have a lot of calls, I turn that into work dates from coffee shops or lunch dates with Brick. It is fun to have a change of scenery and use a work day as an opportunity to try out new coffee shops and see Brick while we both get work done.

Hanging in Piedmont Park. With the weather nice, it just makes me want to be outside. In addition to the festivals and my training, I've had some fun days just spending time in the grass in Piedmont Park. Kristen came to visit me and we had a fun day having a picnic and hanging out outside in Piedmont. I love that I can ride my bike to Piedmont Park and I hope for more picnics in the park in the future!

Trips to the movies. Now, the movies aren't something that I tend to do really regularly...  I am not super good at sitting still if you can't tell. However, this fall, I've gone out for a couple trips to the movies. I recently saw the Beauty and the Beast movie - which was magical and fun and I loved. And then I also recently went out to see the Boston: The Documentary, a film all about the Boston Marathon. I loved it and it was so amazing to learn more about the history of the marathon, the legends who have raced it, the planning that goes into it, the bombing, and the resilience of the city. I cried throughout portions and it really inspired me to think about running Boston someday. I highly recommend it for runners and Boston natives!

Charity Gala + Night in Vinings. Always say yes when Janet invites you out! My friend Janet often gives me a call or sends a text inviting me to do something that is outside my norm. Whether it is attending a networking event, going to a basketball or soccer game, or attending a charity event... it is always a good time! This one particular event we went to, I did not really know what to expect when I agreed to go. It turned out to be such a fun and interesting event where I learned about a new charity, saw a lot of incredible costumes, ate some delicious food, and laughed and danced with Janet. We finished the evening by grabbing a drink in my old neighborhood of Vinings, where Janet recently moved (right after I left - go figure!)

Top Golf with Jeff and Co. Earlier this month, my brother was in Atlanta for his annual trip down! The first time he came, the main reason behind the trip was to see me. The second time he came, the trip was to see me and some of his friends. This third time around I am pretty sure the trip was mainly to see his friends, but I was lucky to snag some time with him both by running the Tough Mudder, but also by going out to Top Golf! I am pretty terrible at Top Golf but that's not really the point and I loved getting to spend more time with Jeff and his friends. As a bonus, our little cousin Kevin, who I guess isn't so little anymore, came out to hang with us as well. I still am not used to getting to see family in Atlanta and we don't do it near as much as we should!

Enjoying the neighborhood!! The main thing that has been really exciting me about this Spring and the extra time in Atlanta is the ability to really explore the new neighborhood that I moved into in November. Now that the weather is warm especially, it is just so amazing to be outside and have places that I can walk to. There are so many great restaurants and places to try out I have been working my way through the list. So far this year I have tried out a number of places at Krog Street Market (multiple times!) and the strip at Inman Park such as Char, Hampton + Hudson, Barcelona, Pure, and Bar Taco. I've explored Edgewood with Ammazza, BoccaLupo, Georgia Beer Garden, Revolution Donuts, and One-Eared Stag. And numerous other places that are nearby now that I live in this part of town such as Venkman's, Ponce City Market, Bantam Pub, Wrecking Bar, Ladybird, and so much more! As much as I explore, there is so much more and it's fun to keep trying new things.

This spring has been a lot of fun for many reasons. Staying in Atlanta these past few months has given me a new love and appreciation for my city. There are days that I will just be driving or running or out somewhere and think - man, I love it here. I have a great (and expanding!) group of friends and coworkers and love the balance I have in my life between work, training, culture, food, and new things. Life is good!

1 comment:

  1. Wooooo!! Hi Katie!!! Sometimes I'll randomly be telling Krista about your life and she'll be like "I'm so jealous you and Katie talk so much" and I will just sit there awkwardly because really I only know so much because I religiously stalk your blog. Normal, right? LOVE YOU and am SO PROUD of you!!!