Monday, April 7, 2008

making wkds count

What a weekend – it really is amazing what you can do with two days out of the office!

My BFF (that’s right: Best Friend Forever… a relationship established in 1995) Lindsay, along with her husband, Michael, and their 9 month old daughter Ava, came for a quick visit. Michael is a teacher in IL and they’re on spring break. Their trip took them to Asheville, visiting some other friends there. Well, lucky for me, Asheville is just over an hour away!

So, Lindsay, Michael, and CUTIE PIE Ava drove to Greenville for the last day of their vacation. I’ve seen so many pictures of Ava, but this was the first time I got to see the gorgeous girl in real life. What she lacks in hair… she makes up for in personality! Really, it was just so wonderful to be around a baby (is that what 9 month olds are called? She’s taken a few steps, so does that make her a toddler? Well, whatever). Every little thing she did struck me as remarkable.
And as incredible as it was to meet Ava… it was just as wonderful to see Lindsay as a Mother! Most of my “Lindsay memories” are from high school: us as cheerleaders, sleepovers, tumbling around the backyard, making up routines on my trampoline, talking about prom dates…
Fast forward quite a few years: she told me that she’d met the “love of her life,” and introduced me to Michael, and then I stood with them as they exchanged vows…
And now they have Ava (and another one on the way!!).
Lindsay, you are one of my best friends… and I am so excited to see where life has taken you, and how happy you are. What a beautiful family! Thanks for coming to Greenville. How about you move here asap – I know you and Michael like it ;)

We had a great time touring G’ville, walking around Falls Park, and eating at the Brick Street Café (now open for dinner Fri & Saturday…. Sweet!)

However, as they left town… the rains moved in.

The rain continued throughout Friday night – and into Saturday morning. I woke up to downpour. As most of my friends are out of town for various races (Congrats to those of you who did the Cooper River Bridge Run: Matt, Kenneth, Mendy, David; and Mike who finished the Umstead 50 mile ultra in 8:15!)… I really had the weekend to myself. I love having training partners, but sometimes it’s great to be on your own schedule.

I knew I had all day to get my ride in, the rain was pouring down, I didn’t need to rush around and meet someone somewhere.... so, I got to partake in one of my favorite Saturday morning activities: staying in bed, under the covers, to read! And it was great, amazing, peaceful, exactly what I needed.

I finally rolled myself from the sea of blankets after 2 hours of reading. Still raining and it was now 9:30. I made some oatmeal, coffee, and came up with a plan. If it was still raining at 12:00 – I would be riding in the rain. 11:30, I began packing my things up. It wasn’t going to be cold… but, I was ready for a wet ride.

5 minutes into the ride, I wondered if I was crazy. 10 minutes into the ride, my feet were soaked. 20 minutes into the ride, I began plans for producing windshield wiper style glasses. After the first interval, moisture was streaming down my face… but, I didn’t know if it was rain, sweat, or tears. That’s when I just accepted being wet. You know what, we desperately need the rain – and it started to feel good. My heart was pounding, my legs were pumping, and I could feel the rain hitting me as I rode along.

The worst part of my workout was transitioning to the brick run. Stripping off soaking clothes, peeling off gloves/socks/arm warmers/shorts… I’ve never been so excited about finding an extra pair of socks (dirty, but dry) in the backseat of my car. Next I set out to drench some more clothes and a different pair of shoes…

Running in the rain felt good. Hey Noel, it brought back memories of our Great Spring Run of ’07! I miss you! Any good rain runs out there in CA?

Then, just as I finished up – wouldn’t you know it, the rain subsided.

I came home to scrub layers upon layers of sweat, grime, gross off myself and my bike. Putting on dry sweatpants hasn’t felt that good since… well, last weekend up in Franklin ;)

This morning (Sunday) I awoke to birds chirping and a long mental list of things to do. The two major activities were doing taxes and going for a long run. Now, most people would choose to run in the morning. But, really, the run was what I was looking forward to most. Taxes, on the other hand, were a burden weighing me down. I knew my run would be better w/out that extra weight. So, I packed up my paperwork and headed over to the office.

I actually buckled down and got it done in a few hours… the sunny day was my motivation. Envelopes: signed, sealed, stamped, and in the mailbox. I felt like a free woman! That monkey was off my back and I could go outside and play. In the 76 DEGREE temps! Yippee skippy.

Play I did – running through downtown and to the park, dodging the families, dogs, walkers, strolling couples, parents pushing strollers, the old couple with matching canes… I found a smile spreading across my face as I took-in the scene. GREAT to see so many people enjoying the day.
As I finished up, I realized this was my 1st salty run of the year. [Salty Run: finishing a run to find white, salt build up on your arms and face.] Excellent!

Next on my list of things that needed to happen: grocery shopping (Sarah, you would be so proud of me). I went to my favorite neighborhood Publix – and loaded up. I got some Jazz apples and thought of you, Marit!

Once home, I unloaded, cooked dinner, did some loads of laundry, talked to my family on the phone… and here I sit writing about an outstanding weekend. Nothing extraordinary (aside from the Casten family visit on Friday)… but it included so many small, wonderful, moments.

Cheers to the little things!


sunshine said...

Sounds like a perfect weekend! Not only did you get tons accomplished (which I put laundry and grocery shopping at the top of that list), but relaxing and enjoyable!

1st salty run... I LOVE it! :)

Kellye Mills said...

Those are the best kind of weekends! How far is Greenville from Atlanta? We should get together and train one weekend if you don't mind dragging me along behind you!

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Jazz apples.... mmmmmm..... meet anyone at the grocery store? Hot guys buying fruit, perhaps?


Well - I'll just need to head up and make my move. HA!

Good for you for the taxes. Now you have it on your blog that you did your taxes on time. Excellent - good to know that my friend eats healthy food and isn't a tax avader. Most excellent!

Glad to hear your ride went well - if only a little, er, wet. :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a GREAT weekend, Ash and your HTFU on Saturday's RIDE. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. :)) Jen H.

Kellye Mills said...

Hey!! I DEFINITELY want to get together sometime soon! The next several weekends are crazy for me because of kid stuff and an inservice for work, etc. Then St. Anthony's!!

Do you work on Friday's?? I am supposed to ride for 3 hours this Friday, but it's calling for thunderstorms. So that may get moved to Sat. What does your weekend look like?

Sally said...

'loved the photo of Ava and knowing you and L&M had a great reunion. Congrats on your taxes too.... I'm so impressed and proud of you. Love you. Mom

Mendy said...

Sounds like a great weekend!! I am amazed at you riding like that in the rain. I'm already too scared of the roads, and wet roads - wow. Very impressed. However, I know nothing stops you die hard triathletes.

I had a salty run last week. I was like "what's this on my face", not thinking that it was that time of year already.

Very cute little one there! I love the name Ava and have even thought that if we have another kiddo and she happens to be a girl, I'd like to name her Ava. I really like classic names.

Have a good week Ashley!

Anonymous said...

There are only a few memories that come from races, most come from the journey in which we take to get there. Keep loving that journey!

76 was flurrying on Sunday morning here the CHI!

Keep it up...4 weeks out!