weekend best

Forgive the lateness of this 4th of July post… I was too busy enjoying a long weekend away to write about it.

While I love Boston, sometimes it is really nice to get out of the city, especially when you are lucky enough to end up in North Carolina. I skirted out of town Thursday afternoon, missing Hurricane Arthur by the skin of my teeth. My flight ended up being five hours late, but I finally arrived at my family’s mountain house at 2 a.m. on Friday. There was no place I’d rather be.

The weekend was a whirlwind of friends, family, food, and activity. Here are a few highlights.

1. Running

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I almost didn’t go to North Carolina because I thought I should spend the weekend training, but I was really glad to be there. Since I couldn’t bike, I promised myself I’d be as active as possible. Friday, I got up at 6:30 a.m. to run a local 5k race. It was a tough, hilly course, but I finished with splits under 9-minutes, which I was very happy with given that I haven’t been running much. I also took off on a 7-mile trail run Sunday, though the trail I chose was pretty steep, so I ended up walking a bunch. It was really fun to be out there though, and my hip felt great on the trails. I may have to do more of this in the coming weeks.

2. Hiking

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In addition to my trail run, my sister and I took off Monday on a 10-mile hike that brought us to the top of six mountains over 4,000 feet. It was a gorgeous day, and in addition to majestic views, we had a close encounter with a bear. Fortunately, it ran off when we started making noise.

3. Swimming

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Swimming holes are a dime a dozen in these parts, and I learned about two new ones last weekend. There is almost nothing better than whiling away an afternoon with friends at a swimming hole, especially when they include logs to sit on, falls to slide down, and cliffs to jump off.

4. Cooking… and eating.

Each night we gathered with friends and family for a boisterous and large meal. My dad handled the grilling, while I oversaw vegetables and desserts. In addition to a few new recipes, I stuck with crowd-pleasers like baked beans, key lime pie, and tres leeches.

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5. Porch sitting.

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Southerners have mastered the art of porch sitting. Rarely do you find a veranda stocked with sorry plastic chairs. Instead, the porch becomes an extension of the living room, complete with hammocks, cushion clad swings, and rockers by the dozen. I spent hours and hours on porches last weekend, drinking gin and tonics, eating fried chicken, catching up with cousins, smoking cigars with my dad, admiring views, napping, and reading. It was all pretty heavenly, and hard to leave. Fortunately, I have a pretty good porch here in Boston.

And with that, here’s last week’s training recap:

Monday: bike 14, PT
Tuesday: bike 17, run 2, SUP 1 hour, PT
Wednesday: bike 29
Thursday: Walden swim, 2,500 yards
Friday: run 3.1
Saturday: PT
Sunday: trail run/hike 7, swim 1,000

Totals: swim 2, bike 60, run 12

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