Beginners.

Sure, I like to think that I have experience and know more than the average person about running, but truthfully? I don’t. I’m just as much a beginner as the person who, with the idea to become fit as part of a New Year’s resolution, runs for the first time in their life. Sure, I might know a few fancy words like “fartlek” and “snot rocket” as well as understand the effect of what running 10 miles feels like or lactic acid buildup in my legs, but mostly … I’m just playing along and learning as I go. Running with others who haven’t been running as long as I have reminds me of this. The sheer joy they get at looping through roads and trails they never knew existed or making it up hills they had never dreamed of is exciting to be apart of and brings me back to the days when I was the exact same way.

Raining and 50 degrees ... Yepp, sounds like Washington!

I got to have a little fun with a beginning runner like this yesterday afternoon. In the cold, raining afternoon (just a normal day in Washington!) we met up for a run together and were also joined by one of my team mates and good friends. Now, you need a little background on this newbie runner if you’re going to completely understand the situation. You know those people who you just can’t help but be jealous over? The ones who seem to be the best at whatever they do and are so nice to everyone, and yet it’s completeley genuine? Yeah, well she’s one of those people. Someone who is such a hard-worker and a good person that while you tremendously like them … you can’t help but be a little lot jealous of them. And at the same time it’s not quite jealousy. It’s more, like, “Hey, I respect and look up to you for being such an awesome person.” Anyway, she has been running and staying in shape since basketball got over and has been telling me of her frequent runs of 4,6, and even 8 miles. Impressed as I was, and since I think she is a very cool girl that I wouldn’t mind knowing a bit better,  the two of us decided to plan a run together. I, the seemingly hardcore distance runner who runs everyday (and really isn’t that hardcore at all), am sometimes looked upon as somewhat of a running mentor by those who don’t run, or at least not very often; and was in charge of picking out a run for us to do.

Now imagine this trail darker and WAY muddier!

 As a soccer, basketball, and fastpitch player (no ordinary player at that! She made varsity in all 3 sports her freshman year) I knew there was no way we could recruit her to run for us. And yet the fact that we were covered in mud, soaked, and freezing and yet she still was excited and happy about running, was an awesome one. She may still be a little bit of beginner in the world of running, but the words, “I loved it!” that kept coming out of her mouth and, “I definitely want to run together again!” enforced the idea that maybe … just maybe … I had helped hook someone new onto running and the joy that comes with it. Either way, we became closer through winding our way over roots in the woods and I can’t wait to get out there and show her the ropes. After all … one beginning runner to another …. What could possibly go wrong? ;-)

Until next time,

Gabby.

Welcome to the family.

My family gained another member! No, I didn’t just become an aunt (I’m an only child!), we didn’t get a new animal, and no one in my family was even married. By family, I mean my running family. And I don’t even mean my team mates … I mean my running shoe family. Yes, that’s right. I consider my shoes as a family. Who else knows me as well as them? They come along on every run, and are with me through every good and bad (and muddy!) moments. I usually switch between two pairs, but yesterday I retired my Brooks Adrenalines and welcomed these beauties. Say hello to the newest member of my running shoe family … One size 10 pair of Asics Gt 21-70, fresh outta the box.

New shoe smell. ♥

Not gonna lie … Posing the shoes to take a picture was a little strange, but I just had to show them off! After a day of walking around in them to break them in before taking them out for their first run (which will be tomorrow!) I got quite a few comments at school today about them. People were saying, “Oh, cute shoes!” where really … I just go with whatever shoe the South Sound she guy brings me and I like running the best. Thank you though! :-)

Besides getting new shoes on my long weekend off, I took time to find an awesome new music group, bake, and get together with friends who were visiting. Here’s a weekend recap, in pictures.

No, this is not Johnny Depp and his girlfriend. This is Joy Williams and John Paul White. If you like folk music with deep lyrics, beautiful acoustics along with the wonderful voices these two have check them out. They’re The Civil Wars. :-) I found out about them when I was watching the Grammys, which I recorded, and they have a 30 second performance which blew me away. After those 30 seconds, I just had to know who they were! Feel free to look them up after reading this … they are wonderful!

During the middle of last week I made homemade scones. In that doughy process, I remembered just how much I like to bake and went on to make chocolate-coconut no bakes Friday night and 2 loaves of Cranberry-Orange Nut Bread on Saturday morning. It came out super yummy, if not really tart because of the fresh cranberries! The loaves were pretty big so I dropped the second one-off at the local fire department while my dad was on shift as baked goods are always appreciated along with their morning coffee!  If you’d like the recipe, please let me know, I’m willing to share!

To round off my weekend, I met up with three gals from camp that I hadn’t seen since July. We all live a few hours from each other, but were able to plan a get together. We caught up over dinner then wreaked havoc in the local mall. We’re teenage girls … What else are we supposed to do? ;-)

I hope you all had a great three-day weekend and enjoy the rest of your week! If any of you are runners, what is your favorite part of getting new shoes? Do you feel like ou have enough running shoes to consider them a family? Haha let me know, I’m curious if I’m the only nut out there who gets somewhat attached to her shoes? :-)

Until next time,

Gabby.

Happy Run-a-versary!

 

Brooks says to Run Happy? Will do. :-)

3 years ago from this day, I started running. Okay, it wasn’t the very first time I had ever run of course (that would’ve been when I was toddler!), but 3 years ago from this day, I started running … and kept running. I mark February 17th on the calendar as my anniversary of starting to run all the time. By that I mean 6 times a week, just like I do even now. I fondly call it my Run-aversary. No matter how many people snicker and make fun of me when they hear about my special day, I think it’s quite a creative title and way more exciting than my “anniversary of starting to run.” Running is a huge part in my life, hence the reason I call myself a run-ner. Get it now? Good. So when I woke up this morning and went about my day, I thought, “Man, today is a big day. I should totally blog about it!” Yes. Yes, I really did have that thought pass through my head. So yes, I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a running nut. :-) As the day went on, I started thinking of lengthy, in-depth, and boring ways that I could relate the importance of my anniversary to you guys … but decided against that. I finally decided this, but of course, on my run. I decided that as much as I share my running experiences with others and can go into detail explaining a run, that I really didn’t need to. Don;t get too excited though, because I’m going to get on my soapbox for a bit and say something.

Running is important to me. No duh, right? I mean … I have a blog about it! I run everyday and it has changed me in every single aspect. From what I wear, to what I eat, when I sleep, who I hangout with, how I go about my day … And anything else that my life revolves around, running has changed it in some way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying those changes and becoming the person I want to be. Running is a freedom and every minute I’m out on the roads is a minute that I don’t regret spending. Okay, I’m going to get off my soapbox now, just had to get that out. Not too boring or maybe a little too passionate? Haha good.

Thinking about this as I ran, I decided that today’s blog would be (somewhat) short and to the point. I’ve run a few thousand miles in the past 3 years and tomorrow? Yeah. I’m going to add to that mileage bank. And if I ever stop running? Well, I’ll deal with that when it comes … but the goal is life. To run for as long as my body will carry me, and as long as I am still enjoying it. So watch out world, this is only my third Run-aversary out of many more to come. :-)

Until next time,

Gabby.

14 Things.

Happy Tuesday! And it’s not just ANY Tuesday … it’s Valentine’s Day! As it’s a holiday, and I’m a blogger, I feel almost obligated to post something, but I suppose I’m okay with that. So, without further ado, I present to you, a list of things that I love  … In honor of la dia de la amor. ♥

  1. The Killers : That picture of four scruffy guys? Well they just happen to be one of my favorite bands.
  2. The “killers” : Okay, you won’t see another band on here with the same name, but that cellblock? It’s meant to symbolize the killers that spend their time behind them in prison. I think criminals are so interesting!
  3. Mini Cooper : My dream car. Blue with white stripes, white hood, and all.
  4. BBC : I adore british humor! Graham Norton and Ricky Gervais happen to be my favorite, but put on any sort of british humor and I’ll be sure to appreciate their sarcasm and dry jokes … And not to mention their accents!
  5. Fuji apples : The sweetest, best apple you will ever eat. Seriously. Throw away that Granny Smith or Jonagold you’re eating, and go find a Fuji instead. I promise you won’t regret it.
  6. 5:00 am : Okay, so I only wake up at 5 sometimes, but there’s something about waking up that early that I love. Sure, you’re tired and it’s dark, but when no one is up yet … the early morning hours are so peaceful.
  7. Pride and Prejudice : One of my favorite books and favorite movies. I’m not a sappy romantic, but I’ll take a Mr. Darcy any day. :-)
  8. Black and White : The staircase photo is just so simple … that it’s beautiful. I love the simplicity of black and white, hence the dresses I’ve worn to formal dances have all been black and white, as well as the colors of my room!
  9. Airports : Okay, I realize they’re packed full of people who’re always in a hurry, but there’s something about airports that I love. I think it’s that excited feeling you have of knowing that you’re going somewhere new or the amount of diverse people. I’m even okay with all the crazy security stuff … just as long as they don’t pat me down!
  10. Calla Lilies : My favorite flower. Forget roses, daisies, or normal lilies! These are gorgeous.
  11. Lucerne Peach Yogurt : Yoplait is pretty good and they have a lot of flavors, but peach yogurt is the best! My favorite part is the little peach chunks. Yumm!
  12. Writing Letters : The hand? Well that’s supposed to symbolize writing. It may be an old-school way to communicate nowadays, but I love to write letters! Emails, texts, Facebook, and phone calls just don’t add up to getting a letter in the mail.
  13. Silver : The Claddagh ring in the corner is to show my love of silver. Gold? No thanks. t’s nice and all, but silver is simple (which, as above stated, I love simple things!) and I think it is beautiful.
  14. Koalas : How can you not like koalas? They are just the cutest animals alive. Someday … I want to hold one!

To put an end to my Valentine’s Day, I just thought I give a little peek into my life and some of the things that I love. Of course family and friends are on the top of this list, but I thought that would be too obvious of one to put on my collage. :-) I didn’t have a Valentine today, but I’m okay with that. I took today to appreciate the people around me that I love and take a little time out of my day to indulge … in running of course! No extra sweets for this girl! I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day. Mucho amor mis lectores. ♥

Until next time,

Gabby.

 

Just relaaaaaaaaax.

Phew! It’s been a busy week! This is the first time all week that I’ve had time to blog … and man have I’ve missed writing! Sure writing papers and drowning in a sea of homework may be better than … actually, nevermind … I can’t even think of anything that would be worse than what my past week has been like! The past 96 hours have gone a little something like this …

I'm sad too. Seattle gets an average of 37.1 inches of rain per year and has an average of 201 cloudy days. ):

Monday – After an eventful weekend of racing (I ran a 5K Saturday morning), Superbowl parties, and new stretches, I woke up Monday more sore than I had ever been before, and looked on the rest of the day ahead of me with a sleepy outlook. After a late night phone call from one of my friends, who had run an ultra only two days prior and wanted to share all the details, my planned good night’s sleep turned into a restless few hour nap. Can you say a need for caffeine and ibuprofen that morning? No thank you, I’d rather be grimacing each step I take and be half asleep through my classes. So yes please on the caffeine buzz, but I’ll pass on the ibuprofen. Truthfully, I don’t mind feeling sore all that much. It gives me a sense of accomplishment thinking that maybe, just maybe, I’m developing and strengthening muscles I haven’t used before. It just sucks to walk … sit down … go down or up stairs … or move my hips flexors in any way. Only to ass to my excitement, I remembered that since it was Monday, that meant we were going swimming. I’m sure that if my legs could disconnect from my body and run away, just the idea of a tough workout would’ve caused them to take off! After hours of being locked in the brick prison they call my highschool, I was rewarded with a clear, sunny day for my run. Alongside one of my friends, who was recovering from a slight ITB tear, we took it easy and used the run to catch up on each other’s lives, and enjoy the nice weather. The fact that it was sunny, was kind of a big huge deal where I live. I mean, c’mon, we Washingtonians pretty much worship any type of weather that isn’t overcast or rainy. While the short 3 mile was through, the swim took whatever ounces of energy I had left, and drowned it in the deep end of the YMCA’s lap pool. That night I managed to do my homework, eat, then crawl into bed. What an exhausting day!

Tuesday – Another groggy morning, but hey, I’m not quite a morning person. Once I wake up, I’m up. Sure, I understand that I’m not going to go back to sleep since I have a whole new day ahead of me, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to be nice because of the simple the fact that my schedule doesn’t include nap time after third period. The day passed by and I took un examen en espanol clase, learned about machines in physics, and simplified radicals in math. Talk about an interesting day! My run consisted of the glorious and revered workout … hill repeats. Gotta love training for track! I did feel pretty cool booking it up that gravel hill as people walked by and watched me though. It might or might not have made me show off a little bit. :-) After a total of 20, it started to rain and I was onto the next part of my day … Homework. A few hours later, as the clock struck 9:59, my eyelids decided that it was time to take a break. Only 3 days until the weekend!

See? This kid knows what's up. It's better to be a tree rather than in a starring role.

Wednesday – The school day flew by in my excitement for it to be 3 o’clock. Today I auditioned for the spring production put on by the drama club, The Somewhat True Tales of Robin Hood. After fake dying, playing the part of a jealous woman, and even omitting a scream or two, the auditions were over. Callbacks and the cast list were to be posted by the end of the week. Sure, I’d be fine even if I was cast as an extra, a tree perhaps … but I felt confident in my audition and hoped for the best. As the day came to close, it was time to squeeze in my run. I’ve never had to worry about running in the dark as my schedule allows me to run after school, but today I was cutting it close and heading out for a run around 4:30. After a 6 mile tempo run, I made it back to the school as lamp posts started to come on and people got into their rush hour state of mind. Not quite the mindset you want drivers to have as you run on the side of the road, with only a foot or less to keep you from turning into a runner-pancake.With this thought in mind, I made sure to push the pace and get back quickly.  A ritual core workout later (one that I do every single day) and I headed home and enjoyed the rest of my night trying to calculate horsepower for my physics class and taking notes on a movie for english, that I would later have to analyze for “underlying thematic elements” … Whatever that means. Too bad the movie I chose was a comedy and had absolutely no theme. I guess that’s why I was so nervous to write the darn thing… I would have to make most of it up …

Thursday – Finally! My favorite day of the week! It’s probably my favorite because it’s not everyone’s favorite, like Friday is, and yet it’s exciting because you know that the week is almost over. Either way, this was a Thursday that I was definitely NOT looking forward to. Passing through each class only to find that I have a paper and lab write-up due the next day. Ugh, sounds like a fun night ahead of me. By the time it got to 6th period, I was ready to sleep and forget all about the work that I had to do. Going to workout, I was mentally shot. My legs felt great and the weather wasn’t too bad, but I was grumpy. All I wanted to do was go home and do my homework. (Shocking, huh?) After a short 3 mile, which, by the way, did not give me mood-boosting endorphins like I had hoped; I got exactly what I wanted. With a cup of water and my Eric Hutchinson Pandora playing, I  locked myself in our office. Nearly 4 hours later, I was done. A math assignment, lab write-up, and film analysis done and tucked away in my binder, I was ready to escape the office. Sure, it was late and I was mentally drained, but man! It felt like a load was lifted off my shoulders. I was ready to celebrate my astounding feat! I needed my sleep, and since my brain was fried, that wasn’t a problem.

He's my new favorite. ♥

  TODAY! – Friday. How about renaming it, “The Perfect Day?” It really was one of the best days I’ve had in a while … and it’s still not over yet! My school had a half day for teacher training, meaning that classes were only a half-hour long. Not to mention that my physics class ate Ritz crackers and cheese while playing Mouse Trap all period … What? That doesn’t sound like work? Well, collecting cheese and building a trap for your fellow mice is quite a chore. ;-)

It's physics, my dear readers.

Every early out day that we have, I have a certain run that I do. It’s my favorite run that I like to save for special occasions, or half days! What is usually a 6 mile loop up to the local state park and on one of the trails, I added another mile and a half to end with a long run of 7.5 miles for the day. Finishing the workout so I could go home and finally be lazy, I did some strides and a strength routine involving waaaay too many lunges. Ugh, I’ll be feeling that in the morning! I ended up running (not literally!) into two of my good friends as I was leaving and ended up talking with them for a little bit. Once I got home, I made a yummy postrun meal of eggs and toast alongside a cup of iced coffee. Now, after a shower and a few chores, I’m writing this blog. Sure, you may not care about my super busy week and find it boring to read each and every thing that I did throughout the week, but hey! I just thought I’d share because this blog is (supposed) to be about my running … and I guess that sometimes running fits in just perfectly with everything else going on. Even though I’ve had no down time because of how much homework I’ve been getting, and extracurricular things … Running has kept me sane and helped take off some of the stress. Running is a free form of therapy, right? 

Well … my plans for today were to relax and so far, I’ve done just that. Now for a comfy blanket to snuggle up on the couch with and watch all of the shows I’ve recorded. I have an indoor track meet from last Sunday calling my name, so enjoy your weekend and if your life is as busy as mine has been lately … Just try to find time to relaaaaaaaax. Trust me, it’s a good thing. :-)

Until next time,

Gabby.

How refreshing.

See? Water helps you run. I'm so punny. ;-)

“I never drink water. I’m afraid it will become habit-forming.”

Amen to that! Haha W.C Fields was a smart man, and also the one who said,

“I never drink water; that is the stuff that rusts pipes.”

Very insightful.

Think about it though…

I'm not in chemistry, but it seems pretty simple.

Our bodies are about 66% percent water, a water molecule is made up of only 2 hydrogens atoms and 1 oxygen atom, 75% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, nearly everything you eat or drink contains water, the total amount of water on Earth has stayed about the same for 2 billion years, it takes 11.6 gallons to process a chicken,  and yet more than 3 times more people lack water than live in the United States.

WATER. WATER. WATER.

Sure, World Water Day isn’t until March 22nd, but I thought I’d bring up how important it is … just something to think about. Or maybe even some encouragement to become a little healthier. :-)

They say that a person can drink up to 3 gallons a day. Well, I drink water all day long, but still … 3 gallons!? Sorry, but I don’t have time to visit the bathroom 4567994 times a day. It’s also known that water leaves your stomach within five minutes of consumption. Watch out kidneys.

Me? I drink a glass of water as soon as I wake up and with my breakfast, carry around a water bottle all day at school, after my workouts and always have a cup at hand whenever I’m at home. Some call it healthy … I call it, well …what else am I supposed to drink?! I haven’t had pop in almost 2 years, I blame an ever-growing coffee addiction on my friends, and even though cran-rasberry juice is the bomb, only clear colored liquids are allowed at my school … What’s wrong with juice? It’s not like I’m going to bring vodka or whiskey or something! Plus, vodka is clear, so I probably could get away with bringing that anyway. ;-)

My Jenny Craig diet doesn’t say if I’m allowed to have this many calories …

As a runner, I know just how important staying hydrated is, but I’ve learned this the hard way. From having to pee on runs (or having your friends bolt into the bushes) to becoming dehydrated and getting dizzy during hard workouts, I’ve found that water is definitely one of my best friends … Move over peanut butter. The more water you drink, the healthier you are. Easy enough to remember. Drink too much and, like alcohol, you can become intoxicated. No, I’m not joking. You literally can become intoxicated from water as it will dilute your levels of sodium. So if you plan on sitting down and trying to get “drunk” off of water … don’t forget the saltines!

 
Yes, I enjoy water. That’s probably why I’ve used that same word 25 times in this post. Did you count, too? I think it’s tasteless, confusingly clear, and sometimes just annoying (I’m talking about water in the form of rain. something we Washingtonians get WAY too much). At the same time though, it’s necessary for our survival (you can only live about a week without water) and makes for a healthy lifestyle. Drink up!
 
Until next time,
 
Gabby.
 
P.S: In case any of you lovely readers would like to support my H2O addiction and love of water bottles, feel free to send
me a Camelbak! I’m in love with them … not that I actually own one, but hey! my birthday is coming up somewhat soon. *hint hint*

Hamster wheels vs. running on a track

  Okay, maybe relating running around a track to a hamster running on its wheel is a bit harsh, but c’mon. It’s true. Both involve running around in a circle, not making any actual progress towards some other point, while going run and round only to see the same thing every. single. time. I mean really. Would you rather run a nice 6 mile that winds through scenic back roads and over rolling hills? Or rather be subjected to 24 LAPS FROM HELL? Sure, running on a track isn’t all bad, but personally, I think that most of it is. Let’s go over the good and bad though. I think I might be a bit biased …

The Good:

  1. Interval workouts, yippee! A great way to develop speed and put strain on your muscles from the constant left hand turns.
  2. You always know exactly how far you’ve run! Not that you couldn’t use a watch out on the roads or run a loop that’s already been measured or anything.
  3. There isn’t anything to run into if you’re not paying attention! I’m actually serious about this being a good thing about running on a track. I’ve had my fair share of almost being hit by cars, tripping on sidewalks, being pushed into puddles, and getting cut up from random tree shrapnel. You can even close your eyes and run without running into anything when on the track! On the straight stretches that is …
  4. Huh, I can’t think of anything else … surprise!

The Bad:

  1.  IT’S BORING! Yeah, that’s right, I said it. Probably the #1 reason runners try to avoid the track as much as possible. Sorry that I enjoy experiencing the beauty of trails, running by creepy houses that make me run faster, or even the random hobo that rides his bike around town yelling random crazy things whenever he sees anyone.
  2. Running the track hurts. Sure, it’s rubber which is definitely a lot cushier than concrete and asphalt streets, but all of the pounding can really get to your legs. That’s why so many people at the beginning of track season end up with shin splints. It’s because they aren’t used to the heavy pounding that trudging around … and around … and around a circle, will put on their legs.
  3.  There’s a bunch of people. Okay, maybe not the most sound reason, but let me try to explain. I understand that a ton of people see me running on the roads, hence the waves and random honking that happens, but when you run on a track, there are people really really close to you. I mean, close enough to you that they can actually see you gasping for breath and probably are close enough to wipe the sweat off your brow and give a pat on the back for encouragement. They’re really that close. Maybe I’m just being self-conscious, but when I’m struggling with a workout or on a run, I don’t exactly like the fact that I can look over and see someone watching my every move. Yes, I am tired and this is hard. Yes, you should stop staring at me and wondering what I’m doing. I bet you’re just jealous that I happen to get the pleasure of running 15+ intervals, and you don’t.

 The UGLY:

It’s bad enough to think about what happens when you’re running on the track, but seeing it? Just brings back horrible and painful memories. All you might be seeing are ugly mental images after being reminded of the dreaded workouts that you’ve previously endured on its evil , oval-shaped, rubber surface … but not gonna lie, red tracks are pretty cool looking! 

So, congratulations if you made it through this post! Sure, you may lie and say, “Oh it was interesting!” or “Oh my gosh how could you think that? Running on the track is the only thing I’ve ever tried since I’m too scared to venture out on the roads to the big, bad, world of actual running.” I know what kept you from closing out of this window though … You were really just waiting to see a cute picture of a hamster … in its ball … on a legitimate track. Well to end your long wait, and further bring together my comparison …

They call it …

The Hamtrac.

It’s pretty legit. I wish I had a big hamster ball that I could roll around on the track with instead of running. Now that would be exciting!  Until then, I’ll continue to complain and vent to you guys about every detail and situation in my life that’s running involved. Apparently some of you get a kick out of it! And for that … I thank you. That’s also the reason I’ll keep trying to write entertaining posts for those of you who read this. On the other hand,  if there isn’t anyone out there who reads this silly thing, then I suppose I’ll just keep writing for myself … because it’s fun. :)

Until next time,

Gabby.