It's a Very Southern Road Trip!

Well hey y'all! I'm back from my first trip South and boy did we have a good time. I ate my body weight in delicious food, drank some truly scrumptious beers, and spent way to much time in a vehicle. My boyfriend was down South for a work trip and suggested back in December that we take the long weekend (Thank you President's Day) to go explore Asheville and then road trip to Nashville. Always down for an adventure, I signed on and off we went.

First of all, the South is cold... I wasn't ready for that. I packed my bag full of jean shorts and rompers and for some reason decided to check the weather forecast before I walked out my front door. Highs in the 30's with lows of a lovely 8 degrees. I wish I would have taken a picture of the look on my face when I saw the forecast because it looked something like this:

screaming

So much for escaping winter! I quickly threw some jeans and sweaters into my bag, put on my layers, and took off for the airport. I have to apologize to everyone on my flight because I hooted, howled, and cackled the entire flight. I bought "Yes Please" by Amy Poehler in the terminal and was already on page 40 by the time the plane took off. This book was HILARIOUS. Amy Poehler is a wizard. She's the human version of Disneyland and the world is a better place because of her. This book is effortlessly insightful and full of really good advice.   "Yes Please" was everything I wanted it to be and so much more. Gold star Amy Poehler, you are an angel woman.

The reason we wanted to go to Asheville was because it has a reputation for having an incredible beer scene. On the first day we hit up about 5 microbreweries. My favorite was called "The Wedge" followed closely by Wicked Weed where I had a Kale Chicken Salad I will dream about for the rest of my life. (And I hate kale!)

My favorite part of the trip was spending Valentine's day kicking my boyfriend's behind on the trails of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I have never been trail running in my life and let me just say that I almost fell off the side of a mountain or onto my face maybe 100 times. It was terrifying and exhilarating! But I have to admit, I was most excited about the prospect of seeing a bear. Every time a twig snapped my head would whirl to the side and I'd scream BEAR! Alas, we saw no bears. We actually didn't see any wildlife on our journey which was a major bummer. What fun is a road trip if you don't get the chance to scream, DEER!?

But back to trail running, I'm a huge fan. The trick to trail running, I have learned thanks to the man friend, is to take smaller steps. I tend to get lazy towards the end of my runs and you can't let your feet get heavy when you're on a trail. You're constantly jumping over rocks and roots, going up and down inclines or doubling back on switchbacks. We stopped often to walk and explore because when we were running you really have to pay attention to where your next step is going to be and you can't really look around. I loved it and I can not wait to go again. #Nature.

Sunday morning we woke up early and got donuts at the delicious Vortex doughnuts. The man friend was all "Let's get two donuts" and I was all "AHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA." We compromised on 3 and inhaled the donuts. (We should have gotten 4.) Sunday morning it was 8 degrees! 8 DEGREES! Luckily donuts and coffee are a cold morning's best friends and the donuts were even more delicious than I had anticipated. (Seriously though that chocolate cake doughnut. I'd sell my soul to the devil for a lifetime supply of those bad boys.)

After we inhaled our 3 (not 4) doughnuts, we took off for Dupont State Forest to hike to some stunning waterfalls. It may have been cold out but once we got going and the sun rose a little higher it ended up being a perfect morning for a hike. It felt like we had the entire forest to ourselves. We walked in silence listening to the river trickle and then roar as we approached waterfall after waterfall. Living in New York you forget what it's like to be able to look up and see stars or get outside and be alone in nature.

Then we took off for Nashville for some live music and one of the best pulled pork sandwiches I've ever had in my life. I put out in the twitterverse that I was going to be in Nashville and needed some recommendations on where to get some delicious BBQ. Someone said we had to go to Edley’s BBQ so we hopped in an Uber (It cost $5! A $5 UBER RIDE! CAN YOU IMAGINE!!?!?!? IT WOULD HAVE BEEN $1K IN NYC) and rolled into what was probably the best decision of our trip. I tried to order everything on the menu and the boyfriend quickly told the woman ringing us up that we wouldn't like any of what I ordered and instead wanted X, Y and Z. Then I saw a pulled pork sandwich and was like AND A PULLED PORK SANDWICH! So we changed our order for a third time and this is what we got.

We ended up getting a side of BBQ chicken, fried pickles (OMGOMGOMGOMG FRIED PICKLES), and the pulled pork sandwich with sides of baked beans and mac and cheese. So delicious. SO SO SO delicious. I'm obsessed with Edley's. Everything is wonderful there. After we finished at Edley's we went over to this awesome bar called the Station Inn for some live music.

The next day we woke up in an Apocalypse. Non stop sleet and freezing rain led to our flight being canceled which led to us driving to Atlanta so we can get back to NYC. The roads were A MESS. There must have been 3-4 inches of slush on the roads and we watched car after car, driving way to fast, spin out and slide all over the road. 

But we arrived to Atlanta (18 years later) safe and sound and just in time for our 7:45 pm flight back to NYC. (I wasn't kidding when I said we spent a lot of time in a car.) It may not have been the warm getaway I was hoping for but if it weren't for all the fried foods we consumed, I would probably have a six pack from all the laughing I did. Now it's back to the grind and back to the gym!

I'm doing an Instagram takeover this week over on RunKeeper's Instagram account, so you can keep up with me here! I hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing President's day. Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.

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Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.