The Windward Challenge

Windward Challenge

Two years ago, John came home from work talking about the Windward Challenge 5k. He very sweetly asked me to run it with him. At the time, I had no idea what a 5k was (darn metric system never did catch on in America). I agreed to do it and then proceeded to block it from my mind. Fast forward a few months later and it is race day. That was when I figured out that I was supposed to run 3.2 miles. Now, at the time, I would not have considered myself very athletic. I had never run unless someone had been chasing me. That race was horrible. I walked most of the time and almost gave up after the first half. I seriously thought I was dying. When it was over, I swore I would never run again.

Last year, John came home from work talking about the Windward Challenge. I think God gives me a very selective memory so that I will agree to try things again that were painful the first time (ie. childbirth). So, I agreed to run it again. But, this time we had the kids running it with us. There in lies the joke. My kids weren’t runners unless they were being chased by someone (I have no idea where they get it from). So, John ran the race and I spent the entire time trying to convince two kids to please just try to walk a little faster and saying things like “could you just make it to the stop sign? or even the fire hydrant?”. It was an experience that I was not excited to repeat.

This year, John came home from work talking about the Windward Challenge. The difference between this years’ race and last years’ race was all in the preparation. Since mid last summer, I have been running at least 3 times/week on my treadmill. Now, anyone who has ever run knows that treadmill running and road running are not the same but I was willing to try again. We also were blessed to have my BFF agree to come and watch the kids while we ran the race. So, how did we do? We ran the entire race!! This is the first 5k that I have ever been in where I did not stop or walk for any of the race. It felt so good. I felt powerful and strong. I think even John was surprised to see me hang in there and not give up. Our time came in at 34:37 – not the best time by any means but a time that I am proud to claim.

So, what will happen next year when John comes home talking about the Windward Challenge? I am already thinking of how I can improve my time.

R & R having fun at the Windward Challenge

Hiking at Sawnee Moutain

Happy Labor Day! John and I decided to take the kids on a hike this morning. We wanted someplace close to home but got us outside for a few hours of easy trail hiking. Eurekia! Sawnee Mountain! This gem is located right in Cumming and is only a 20 minute drive from our house. Brittany went on a field trip there this past school year and it seemed like such a nice place to take a short hike. So, we loaded up the minivan and headed over. We got there and the weather was perfect for hiking – cool and crisp but still sunny. We carried a picnic in John’s backpack and hiked the 1.6 mile Indian Seat trail to the top of the mountain. Once there, we enjoyed the vista that included unobstructed views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  The trail is named for the indentions in the rock that forms “seats” that are thought to be used at one time for Indian ceremonies. The view was beautiful and the kids loved climbing on all the rocks. We stayed up at the top for a while and even ate our picnic on the top of the mountain! It was such a fun family time and a great way to spend Labor Day!

Kids at the top
Indian Seats
View from the Top
Kings of the Mountain

Apple Picking

Today was a beautiful day and we spent it outside picking apples! For the past few years every Fall we have taken the kids to BJ Reece Apple House in Ellijay, GA to pick apples. The weather is beginning to cool off some and the sun was bright today so off we went. John and I packed a picnic lunch – the usual pbj, pretzels and grapes and took a blanket to sit on. I was a little nervous that there would be thick crowds but to my surprise, we almost had the picking to ourselves. I guess Labor Day weekend is the best weekend to head to the north Georgia mountains because everyone else is at the beach! We picked Mutsu, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious and Rome Beauty apples. I am not sure if I could pick out the difference between them when you are looking at them but when it comes to taste, Mutsu is my favorite. It has a slightly tart taste – it is actually a hybrid of Golden Delicious and Granny Smith. Apples picked fresh off the tree are so much better than store bought apples. There is just a crisp fresh taste to them that screams Fall. So, everyone needs to plan an apple picking trip soon!