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For me hiking has always been more of a leisure activity that results in beautiful scenic views, an epic camp site or some eno hammock chill time. But this past week, I got my first taste of what it will take to briskly go up and down a mountain 500 ft above ground.

I went hiking with a climber who specializes in bouldering – my awesome co-worker Sarah. She is the mountain goat in this story (even if she hates the analogy). She usually hikes as more of a means to an end. The end being a day’s worth of climbing.

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On this hike we went up High Hampton Inn‘s Chimney Top with 360 degree views including a lookout over 500 ft cliffs. It was a rainy, foggy Thursday morning in the Western North Carolina Mountains. We set forth lacking in supplies with two breakfast bars and one bottle of water.

As we approached the base, a sign read 1.6 mi to the top. Expect a 4.5 hour hike. 

Sarah laughed saying we could do it in an hour. Have you ever seen a mountain goat on tv or in person? If you have you would know that she wasn’t kidding.

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She hopped from rock to rock stopping to pull me up the slippery surfaces and watch to make sure I kept my balance. I looked in amazement apologizing for my mediocre skills.

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Once we arrived at the top, she peered over the edges while I kept a safe distance. As we watched the fog continuously roll through, we had beautiful glimpses of our view below followed by an eerie feeling looking into the abyss of that white sheet.

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Most of the time I hike for the view. But even with our ultimate goal masked to us by the impeding weather, I still had a great sense of accomplishment. This time I hiked to reach the top! This time I hiked with a mountain goat. 😉

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That experience has encouraged me to continue testing the limits on my quest to the top. I want to hike more quickly and more often! (I also want to go back to Chimney Top on a clear day.)

This week I am compiling a bucket list of hikes to complete this year! Do you have any near Atlanta you would recommend? Or any tips to hike like a pro mountain goat?

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This past Saturday RT and I completed my February race – an obstacle 5k called The P.I.G race. It stands for perseverance, integrity and grit.

Turns out we used all three of these things plus a good sense of humor. The race was small around 30 runners. They said people dropped out because of the cold.

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The trail was poorly marked. We even ended up running a big loop in the course twice. A volunteer had to come guide the pack.

Once we were back on track, RT and I wound up leading the race. We passed a few runners who hadn’t gone the wrong way putting us firmly in first, which was a really cool feeling!

The obstacles included crawling through chicken coops, going through ropes, stepping around hula hoops, jumping over barricades and climbing over barriers. But the hardest obstacle was avoiding tripping on gum balls and horse poop – hence the good sense of humor.

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We had a few running companions like the guy pictured above in blue and his friend, our photographer. In the end we finished first. It felt great! I had a few guys congratulate me after. They were impressed by our pace – ha never thought someone would tell me that.

Sadly I don’t know our exact time or distance. But the win inspired me to push myself a little harder on the next race.

Finishing always feels like a win, but now a medal (or gold pig) feels possible!

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Next up:

Annual St. Patrick’s Day 5k in Piedmont Park | Sunday, March 15

(My knee is a little strained after my Sunday run. I should have rested a day because of all the strain that trail run put on my knee. So here’s hoping my knee improves quickly! Time for a few days of R.I.C.E)


This Valentine’s Day do something you love! Whether the you is double, solo or a fun group – get out side, stay indoors, cook in, eat out, go shopping or donate clothes – just do something that warms your heart!

Here are a few options of things I love:

Go somewhere you have never been

Arabia Mountain (last weekend):

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Snuggle:

My favorite Valentines always – Stella and Merlin!

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Go on a run:

Haven’t found a way to take a picture of me running, so here is my upcoming race. The P.I.G Race! 

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Eat delicious food:

My favorite dinner this week was Monkfish at Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham! I highly recommend it by the way!

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What are you doing this Valentine’s Day Weekend?

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Kicking off my one race a month resolution, RT and I did Stampede in the Park Saturday, January 31 at Yellow River Park.

It was beautiful! A 5k trail run with two creek crossings, water views and one horrible hill! The only thing worse than that hill was the 28 degree weather!

I set our pace. RT finished 9th in his age bracket, and I finished 8th! This was our first trail run, so I was very happy! There’s us below at the finish line:

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Lessons from the run: 

  • Be careful where you step!
  • Dress appropriately. I recommend running in similar temperatures to see what works for you.
  • Invest in more smart wool socks.
  • Trails are much more fun and better for you than pavement.
  • Goal for next time: No stopping on hills (not even just for a minute).

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NEXT UP: 

The P.I.G. Race | Saturday, February 21

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