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A Full Heart and Calm Mind

Posted Nov 09 2012 6:39pm

A week ago this time, I was anxious about the cancelled marathon and devastated by the path of destruction Hurricane Sandy left behind. It’s amazing how much can change in a week. Right now, as I sit here lounging in our home for the weekend, a hotel room that is larger than our 715 square foot New York City apartment my heart is full and my mind is calm.

In less than 7 days time, over 140 items were purchased from Jen’s Target registry which Bo and I set up on a whim last Sunday. She received the first delivery today from Target and I think it’s safe to say that Christmas came early thanks to the incredible generosity of strangers. Just check out this picture she sent me this afternoon!


In 8 days, I’ll toe the starting line of the Philadelphia Marathon with two of my new running buddies, Meghan and Kristin, for what will hopefully be a PR race for all 3 of us. This week we’ve spent time chatting via email and Twitter about our plans. While choosing a race at the last minute is often stressful due to some amazing friends, it’s going to be a great weekend that has been pretty stress free this week. One of my work friends is letting three marathon gals and one awesome cheerleader crash his apartment Saturday night and providing a parking spot. In addition, since Sabrina’s husband is running the half marathon, Bo has a cheering partner who is a seasoned marathon spectator. I can’t wait to see so many familiar faces along the course. To make matters even better, I found out a few minutes ago that I’ve already reached 65% of my fundraising goal for Pennies in Action, a breast cancer vaccine research non-profit based in Philadelphia. I’m humbled and amazed at the people who have donated thus far! I can’t wait to write each one a hand written thank you note on our flight back home Sunday.

Ashley's Primary Photo

Finally, I’m back in the Low Country. While I love New York City a weekend down in Georgia is always good for a Southern girl’s soul. Since I really want this weekend to be all about spending quality time with friends and family, I decided to get my long run out of the way this afternoon. During our hour drive from the Jacksonville Airport to Sea Island I was tempted with the gorgeous views and weather. IMG_5735

Thirty minutes into the ride I announced to the gang to count me out of any afternoon activities because I knew a long run and some alone time with the road and the fresh air would be the perfect way to relieve the stress of this long week.


I wasn’t sure how the run would go since I already had 25 miles in for the week and a Barry’s Bootcamp workout less than 24 hours prior but I figured I’d at least give it an attempt. If nothing else, I could always bag the run and turn it into a long walk.

Maybe it was the perfect weather (65 degrees and low humidity), the gorgeous homes, marsh views, or a great playlist but the run was perfect. My legs were definitely tight and I feel every muscle in my ass after the glute portion of Barry’s Bootcamp last night but pushing through this pain only gave me further confidence that I’m mentally and physically stronger than I was a a year ago. I needed a run like this and I can’t help but think that a little Vitamin D will make my dress tonight feel and look that much better on me.

Doesn’t everyone do a happy runner dance before their run?


The next to pictures pretty much summarize my run. This was taken at the halfway point and when I looked ahead I saw the water and docks and when I turned around I saw the Live Oak lined road where I enjoyed a shaded sidewalk path for five miles each way.

IMG_5741 IMG_5743 IMG_5747

I ended at the beach and enjoyed a ten minute “ice bath” compliments of the Atlantic Ocean in hopes that it’d simmer down my angry calf muscles.


I mean a girl needs happy legs if she’s going to dance into the wee hours of the morning, right?

I’ll see you guys tomorrow for a review of Barry’s Bootcamp but until then have a great evening. I’m off to a much needed glass of wine and enjoy this sunset in God’s country, our nickname for the Low Country because you never realize how much you miss it until you’re back.


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