Friends who are active and famous, and hot tubs that get snowed on

First off, I want to say thank you for all the kind words and support last week. Having a heavy heart and no outlet is at times, lonely. But, things are not all bad. In the good-news department, I have some exciting things to report:

Good friend news #1

My friend Michael, an actor, has landed a commercial. For 1-800-Flowers. How exciting is that? You may have seen him on TV already, but if not, here’s the commercial:

He’s good, huh? I absolutely love his expressions throughout the entire commercial. So talented.

Good friend news #2:

Also, you may remember the TrySports Calorie Burn challenge of the holiday season. The deal: Burn 10,000 calories or more in 6 weeks, get a free tech tee from TrySports. If you burned the most calories, you get a free pair of Mizunos. Sweet!

Well, I got my free tech tee, which was awesome.

But I knew almost immediately I would not win the challenge overall. The reason why may seem odd: Because I ran a marathon during the challenge. What? you’re probably thinking. If I ran a freakin’ marathon, that should help me, right? Except for this part of the training: the two weeks before the marathon were tapering, and the week or so after the marathon was recovery. So during about 3 weeks of the 6-week challenge, I was taking it very easy, except for one little 26.2 mile run thrown in the middle …

Also, my friend Scott decided to take part in the challenge as well. He’s a guy, and he weighs more than me (which means he burns calories at a higher rate than me). When I go running with him, sometimes he burns as much as twice the calories I do during the same run. Also, he is way more hard-core than me. Case in point: He used his recovery training time to ramp up for another marathon, which is next weekend. Go Scott! You can do this, by the way, by following something like this plan. I just chose to take it easy, being my first marathon and my fear of getting injured.

The bottom line: Scott won the TrySports challenge! He burned 38,000 and some change (to my 14,283 calories.) He really worked for and earned those Mizunos – enjoy them!

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More good news

In the good-news-for-me department, nothing beats a bad beginning of the week like a good end-of-the-week. Jeff had a work conference at the Grove Park Inn, which is one of my favorite spots, so of course I had to tag along. He was super-busy with work, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying myself at the relaxing Inn. If you haven’t been there, it’s worth making a trip. It is really a luxury to go, even for a weekend. There is no reason to leave the Inn at all – with a few restaurants, shops, and even a hoppin’ piano bar, entertainment and eating are satisfied. There are comfy rockers all around the Inn facing windows overlooking the mountains. I spent a lot of time relaxing and reading.

That’s not to mention my day at the spa. I have blogged about the amazingness that is the GPI spa before, and this was no exception. This is my fourth time to the Inn and the spa. You may initially balk at the $80 spa visit fee, but let me assure you it is 100% worth it. And if you get a treatment (massage, pedicure, etc) then your spa visit is free. I got a 50-minute deep-tissue massage, and it was absolutely amazing.

The difference for me this time was that I spent some time in the lap pool actually swimming laps, and then I used the spa’s workout room for the first time (not to be confused with the Inn’s sports complex/workout center). I went straight from my 3-mile run (my fastest-time ever: 22:51!) into the showers and then to my massage. What a great thing to do at the end of a workout!

So, $180 later (including a $50 automatically added tip for the massage), I spent 11 hours in the spa, getting a massage, a pool workout, a treadmill workout, lots of time in the mineral pools and indoor hot tubs with waterfalls that feel like a massage, and time in the steam room and sauna and inhalation room. Even the showers are fun and luxurious feeling – they stock them with lavendar shampoo and conditioner, body gel and shaving cream. They leave no detail out – from makeup remover pads to deodorant to hairspray to hair ties, anything you need – they have it.

Also, it snowed. And there’s an outdoor hot tub. I can’t even begin to describe how it feels to be sitting in a hot tub with the snow coming down and an outdoor fireplace right next to you. Heaven!

The snow-covered spa at the Grove Park Inn
The snow-covered spa at the Grove Park Inn

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Speaking of going out of town, I have 3 more weekends of out-of town extravaganas planned: Next weekend I’ll be in Washington, DC, with Colleen – going to visit my in-laws. Then after that I’ll be down in Athens over 2 weekends hanging out with Chris – feels like forever since I’ve been there! Then I get to plan trips to Wilmington to visit sis-in-law, Katie, who is having a baby (yay! Being an aunt rocks!) and to see my sister, who just bought her very first house and is entrusting yours truly for help decorating. So much fun.

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Life. It’s weird. And most of the time it’s good. All we can do is live it and love it.