Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Running in Circles

Over all this time of me being on WW, it's been a fight in my head of Athletic-Eats-Well Katherine vs. I-Want-To-Veg-Out Katherine. And despite being the lazier, more-blah version of myself, the latter always seems to come back and kick my athletic half in the booty.

Back in high school, I used to swim every single day from 5:30-7AM. Sure, I ate enough calories on top of that to keep me at an average (albeit, pretty darn muscular) weight, but the fact remains, somehow I was super-athlete back in the day. I now think to myself as I struggle with 7AM wake-ups, who was that person?!

Today? Not so much. Like so many past-athletes, I have had to adjust to my surroundings. I realized I wasn't very good at swimming solo (hard to stay motivated when there aren't people behind you touching your toes - you swimmers know what I mean!) and most area pools at complexes were never big enough for laps, anyways. I soon realized I would have to run to keep in tip-top shape. You should know - I hate running. No matter how "good" I get at it, it's still tough for me to get out there. I have to vary my routes so that there is always something new to look at.

At first glance, you might not assume that Buckhead is a runner's haven. Sure, the Peachtree Road Race starts right in the heart of Buckhead each year, but it's held on a public road that gets shut down just for the race. The sidewalks otherwise are hit or miss, and you come to a traffic light every .4 miles that may or may not have a working pedestrian crosswalk light.

In the effort to always vary my route and avoid the smog-chaos of Peachtree, I discovered the Historic Garden Hills neighborhood last year, and it has remained one of my top routes ever since. Where is Garden Hills, you might ask?

View Historic Garden Hills in a larger map

Flanked by Peachtree Park to the East and Peachtree Heights to the West, Garden Hills is a quaint neighborhood between Piedmont Rd. and Peachtree Rd. in mid-Buckhead, right by the church district. Naturally hilly with winding roads that make lots of different loops, this area is a joy to run/walk through. I LOVE the little cottage-style houses and how each one is uniquely different. The old trees provide a decent amount of shade for pedestrians, and the sidewalks are well-maintained, too. For the sportier people, Frankie Allen Park provides tennis courts and fields.

If you are like me and crave some variety in your run/walk workouts, head over towards Garden Hills next time. East Wesley starting at Peachtree is largely uphill all the way to Piedmont, but you can break off onto side roads anytime you need a break.

Do you have a favorite route around town to share? I love finding new places to check out!



Lauren said...

LOVE this neighborhood! The houses are so cute. I've been walking Dixon through Historic Brookhaven, around Capital City Club. The neighborhood situated around it reminds me of Ridgewood/Bergen County, it's so pretty!

andrea said...

Historic Brookhaven as well, it is a great walk with gorgeous homes.

Helen (ATL Belle) said...

I'm also a former swimmer turned runner! Somehow I could do the 500 free in high school and yet distance running is my worst frenemy :(

Dyar Baby Momma said...

No matter how good I feel when I do work out, lazy me fights back to win .... just got back to exercise me again this week. Beach in 3 weeks. That helps. haha. Might go swim actually - that sounds like a good activity today!

Unknown said...

Lauren and Andrea - I agree! I have been around that area once, on my bike - it was so lovely! Thanks for the suggestion! And Lauren, totally agree re: the NJ similarities :)

Unknown said...

Helen - I so agree. Though the 500 was not my favorite (I was an IM-er myself!), it's so funny to see how different the endurance is for both sports. Do you have an area pool where you swim laps anymore? I am looking around ...

Unknown said...

Kelly - go you! Gosh yes, it's such a struggle. I wish I could do auto-pilot to just get a workout done. I enjoy them much more on the weekends in the AM's when I have lots of time, too. It's the week-day ones that kill me.