Double-digit club!

Woohoo! I’m an official member of the double-digit club after finishing a grueling 10 miler yesterday. Not sure if the rules say anything about how many times you have to run double-digits to join the club, but oh well. After such a long, slow, and death-march like of a run … I’m counting myself in.

It was my first double-digit run since last August, and only the second one I’ve ever actually run! My first one was an 11 miler. Crazy, right? Kind of exciting too I suppose. That is, if you like submitting yourselves to more than an hour of running non-stop, winding your way from one side of town to the other, sweating at least a gallon in the mugginess of your so-called summer, and cursing yourself for getting 4 hours of sleep two days before. If you enjoy all, or any, of the above … Then you would’ve enjoyed my 10 mile run yesterday. Not quite saying that the whole run was bad, but honestly? I was tired and ready to be done at mile 6. That being said, the last four miles of hills and random turns to make sure I hit the 10 mile mark was hell. Or pretty close to it!

I’ve always told myself that someday I want to do a half marathon and at least one marathon. Pretty cliché goals since “run a marathon” is popping up on more and more people’s bucket list nowadays, but whatever. Road races are awesome and a marathon sounds like a rewarding experience. I’m mainly amazed by the training and dedication that goes into it, but people knowing that they have to be able to finish 26.2 miles on race day … I’m sure I’d work my butt off in training to make it alive (probably crawling) to the line as well. One of my friends has a smarter approach to the whole marathon dilemma. He says that he wants to run two marathons in his life and that’s it. One to qualify for Boston and the second being Boston itself. After that? No more marathons. Seeing that he’s someone who we recruited to running from football and has been addicted since then, I’d say his plan of two marathons will probably spiral out of control and he’ll end up in one of those running groups called “Marathon Maniacs.” We’ll see. :-)

Anyway, during the run as the miles stretched themselves out and never ended beeped by on my Garmin, it dawned on me just how crazy 10 miles is. Not to mention that people go twice as far on training runs and ultra-runners would consider upwards of 30 just a warm up run! So as I closed in on hitting the forsaken two digit run, I figured that this was the way to become a member of a club. Not just write your name down on a sheet and maybe show up to meetings, but (depending on the club of course! Focused on running for the main point of my writing here) to put in hard work as well as a good amount of sweat and possibly some tears along the way. That idea spread into a more overall picture. Running, and being considered a runner, is like a big club. A family, actually. There’s thousands of us out there who put in our daily miles, whether we’re breaking into double digits or not, and each of us has our own stories and crazy reasons for why we run. Some are spiritual about it while others started out just to lose weight and had it turn into a new lifestyle. Either way, we all can come together in races, at shoe stores, or even on these blogs and relate to eachother about running. For all you non-runners out there who may be a bit lost at what I’m talking about … Try running. Seriously. Maybe it was just the amount of time I was able to get to myself to think on my long run yesterday, or maybe just lack of sleep getting to me after a tiring day, but running is worth it. It’s a family and a club, all in one. Once a member, always a member. The double-digit club? Just another way to say, “here’s a runner that either wants to enjoy a big bowl of chocolate chip-peanut butter ice cream tonight or is just plain crazy.” Not everyone is in the double-digit club for those reasons, but I’m sure you can guess what motivation I had to finish the run. ;-)

Until next time,

Gabby.

Not-so-nice doggy.

Hi guys!

 I’m diggin’ this whole no-school, sleeping-in, don’t have to get dressed until 11 thing. I’d call it summer, but the weather is deciding to be lame and cloudy! Either way, I have so much extra time to nap and blog! It’s wonderful. By the way, isn’t this dog adorable?! Oh, man. I usually don’t like small or long-haired dogs, but it’s pretty hard to not let an “awww” escape when you see this picture. :-)

Anyway, the point I wanted to get across was about dogs … but not quite about how cute they are. More along the lines of mean, vicious, calf-attacking dogs. I left the house this morning to get in about 6 miles before running later this afternoon, but only ended up making it about 1.8 or so. Running the same roads I always do through town, I’ve never come across mean dogs. Sure, sometimes they bark as I run past, but for the most part I’ve never had a problem. After two years of running and even in the entirety of my 16 years, today was the first time I’ve been attacked by a dog.

Almost a mile into the run, it was about 7ish, I made my way up the road only to see three dogs start to run at me. Two of them kept running at me while the other turned off into some driveway, and neither had the look of wanting to play fetch or just say hi. I’m not sure what type of dogs they were or exactly what house they came from, but once they starting biting my calves and jumping on me, I knew they weren’t just being playful. Luckily, their owner called them off after I yelled for help and at the dogs to get off. They ran back and I was left in the middle of the road shaken up, and a little worse for wear.

 

Waving to the man saying that I was alright, I turned around and ran home. The bites didn’t hurt too much and I’m sure I could’ve gone on to finish my run, but I was a little freaked out. I told my mom what had happened, jumped in the shower, and got cleaned up, putting hydrogen peroxide on the open cuts in case of infection. My calves were the victim having been grazed, drawing a little bit of blood, as well as a puncture mark or two. Overall, not bad. The main thing? It just scared me. Plain and simple.

I’ve been around dogs my whole life, they’re just something I’ve grown up around. We used to have a yellow lab named Buddy who I once got nipped by, but that’s the extent of my being bitten. When I was younger I would try and put sunglasses on him or chase him around the yard with my Barbie car. Totally had it coming. As of now, we have a pit bull named Bear and Paco, our miniature pinscher. Even though Bear is a pit bull and people are always more cautious around him, he has never bitten anyone or even tried to nip them. The worst he’s done is probably bruised my leg after getting smacked by his tail since he wags so much! Pit bulls aren’t a bad breed, they are just raised to fight and that’s what everyone seems to think of when they see them. I’ve known other people with them as well and all of the ones I’ve met are sweethearts. Just extremely strong and muscular sweethearts! I’m not scared of dogs, I have no reason to. Even after this morning’s encounter, I’m still not scared of them. I understand that sometimes people don’t watch their dogs and things like this happen whether they were provoked or not. What can you do? It happens. I just need to be more prepared next time is all and be thankful that the owner was there to call them off.

Safety wise, I don’t carry anything with me on a run besides maybe my house key. I’ve thought about carrying mace before, but have never had any reason to. I live in a small town of about 3,500 and it’s pretty safe, well-lit, and there aren’t really any sketchy places in town. Not to mention that I run with my team or friends a lot of the time. The road the dogs were on is one that I’ve already run twice this week with no problem and have never seen the dogs out before. I’m alright now, the main thing I’m focused on is making up those 4 miles I missed. ;-) Hope you all have a good rest of your day! Happy Friday!

Do any of you carry pepper spray or mace on runs? Ever had any run-ins with dogs?

Until next time,

Gabby.

No matter what … I love my morning runs. 5 o’clock ones are the best though!

Mooooove on over 2%.

What do you get if you cross a cow with a spaniel, a poodle, and a rooster?

A cockerpoodlemoo!

Okay, that was bad. It got your attention though, right? Not to mention the punny title. ;-) 

 Anyway, the point to all of these udder-ly funny jokes was to take a break from talking about running (even if this is a running blog … oops!), to tell you guys a little bit about my family … We’re afraid of cows. Not that I’m afraid of them per say in that I think they’re going to attack me, but they’re scary as in producing milk and being allergic to dairy. It may not be an allergy that I have, but my mom recently found out that she’s dairy-free, gluten-free, and egg-free. Think about it … She can’t have bread, cheese, butter, milk, or anything fattening sweet since chocolate is off-limits too. Ugh, it sounds like torture. Oh, and she can’t have beef either! One more reason our family is staying away from cows. Now with all these limits to my mom’s diet has come a change for my dad and I. There is no way that I would give up all of those things just because my mom has to, but we’ve reached some sort of compromise. My dad and I still eat all the wheat and egg products that my mom can’t have, but don’t drink milk. Normal milk that is.

Our fridge is stocked with coconut milk, soy milk, and we’ve even tried almond milk. Coconut and soy milk are good, but almond? Sorry, I don’t like the taste of plastic as I pour it from it’s plastic container and go to eat my now plastic tasting cereal. No bueno. Our pantry now has a shelf specifically for my mom’s food, too. Rice crackers, egg replacement for baking (which makes everything super crumbly since it doesn’t bind like normal eggs! Ugh.), quinoa, amaranth, and even what I call  “special cookies.” They don’t have a secret illegal ingredient, but are made up of different ingredients that are on my mom’s “good” list.

Personally? I don’t have any food allergies, and even if I did? As long as it’s not a peanut butter, fruit, or wheat allergy … I think I’d survive! Out of all the mom’s new snacks and constant label checking, I’ve come across one in particular that I loooooove. They’re gluten-free, yet still contain eggs so my mom is tied up there, but there’s nothing stopping me! So supportive, I know. Their combination of fruit flavor in a non-granola granola bar is one of my favorites out there. Best. Creation. Ever. Scratch that … PB Craze is probably the best creation ever. It’s a close call though. What I’m talking about, is Soyjoy bars. 140 calories of heaven on Earth. :-) Even if my mom says they look like mini dog turds … Nevermind her, that’s just jealousy talking.

 

 Maybe there are people out there who go on super healthy-weight-loss-supreme-no-dairy-no-gluten-no-egg diets, I’m not sure. All I know is that after seeing what’s my mom has gone through with how few things she can eat and how selective she’s been? definitely not worth it. At all. Personal opinion, I guess. It’s still a better way to live than being allergic to certain foods and having stomach problems (or worse!) all the time. Guess I got lucky. I’m a teenager so the fact that I’m pretty much a vacuum when it comes to food goes without saying. Then again I’m a runner, too. I may not be dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, or beef-free, but moooooooove on over 2%, this family has made the switch to I am milk … I mean soy. ;-)

 

 

Until next time,

Gabby.

 

Can’t end the blog without a quote!  Running is tough, and I’m sure some of you know that better than I do myself, but we can all agree and say they’re right. Running is hard. It all pays off in the end though. Where the end is at? It’s different for all of us. Best of luck to you all in your training! Whether it be running, biking, swimming, weight-lifting, yoga, or whatever you do. :-) I needed this quote more than I just needed to share it. Only Tuesday, but it’s been a long day and some tough runs coming up this week. All these miles will be worth it in the end … right? 

LFD

Hello! School is almost out for the summer, I have a good start to my summer training, and I’m as ready as ever to get back to blogging regularly! In honor of doing so, I updated the site a bit. Check it out! Tell your friends! Follow me! Comment and let me know what you think! Thank you. :-) Now to fill you in on some past weekend excitement …

 “The trouble with jogging is that by the time you realize you’re not in shape for it, it’s too far to walk back.”

Franklin Jones is only too right. Try going on a farther run than usual and you better have some escape route just in case you don’t make it. Just don’t do a long run alone in the woods or backgrounds out-of-town unless you know you can make it … or run faster than whatever is chasing you! ;-) On Saturday, I went for a long run. Not just a normal long run, but one farther than I’ve gone in a long time. I didn’t go into the double digits (I’m saving that for later this summer!), but I ran 9 miles on what I call the TJ Loop. It’s not named after anyone, but on a map it kinda of looks like a big J (I added the T in just because!). A little muggy, about 60 degrees, a bit windy. Overall? Not bad. How did I feel? Not bad. Or so I thought until the mile split on my watch beeped … 

To give you a little background (and for all you techy runners out there who are as obsessed with their watches as I am!), I have a Garmin FR60. It doesn’t have a GPS, but I have a foot pod that I’ve never calibrated, so I at least know how far and how fast I’m going. I go through phases of using my watch a TON sometimes, and others where it just sits in my room collecting dust and killing the battery. I wear my watch a lot just to know what time it is. Silly, right? When I first started running, my coach stressed how important it is to listen to your body. If I’m feeling bad, I usually won’t wear my watch. I can tell I’m going slow without having to hear the mocking beep of mile splits as I trudge on to finish the run. ;-)

The goal was to have a LSD day. No, I don’t mean that I was going to go out and do drugs, but the LSD that’s legal. Long Slow Distance. The goal was a 9 milerand armed with my watch, I headed out the door with one goal: finish. This was going to be my first run over 8 miles in about 6 months. The first few miles went alright and breezed by. The loop is mostly flat and pretty boring to do alone, but after an easy run the day before, I felt pretty good. I don’t like to brag all that often, but honestly? I was running awesome! Seriously. My splits were in the low 7-minutes mile area and each was a few seconds faster. I hit a little bit of a wall (and a few hills) around mile 7, but knowing I was close to finishing and excited to see the final average pace for my run, I ran the last 200m of the run like no other!

 Sure, the run was supposed to be slow and 7:11 is by no means a slow pace (at least for me!), but man oh man! I’ll take a run that like that any day. Forget about the muggy weather that made me lose 5 gallons of sweat, the fact that my legs felt like lead afterwards, and how horribly boring it was … and sign me up! I’m not obsessed enough with my pace to check the entirety of the run once my Garmin synched to the computer, but am happy enough to stick with the average pace they gave me. Mmmm, 7:11. Maybe it was only a one-time pace, but maybe not. For such a good run early into summer training, I’m hoping I will only be faster for cross country. Big goals this year and a lot to make-up for after missing this year’s season because of my injury. I don’t know what anyone elses’ secret to training is this summer, but I call mine LFD runs. Not the original Long Slow Distance days, but Long Fast Distance. They don’t happen every week like some people may do with their LSD runs, nor will they always be the TJ loop or on Saturdays … that’s where LFD runs become part of my training secret. Can’t give away everything, now can I? Might have some competition. ;-)

Until next time,

Gabby. 

 

P.S: I thought this was inspiring and somewhat relevant. Not to mention  that I absolutely love quotes. :-)

Re-cap!

Since track ended I’ve lost a lot of motivation. Taking about a week off of running is more tiring and draining than I thought! so much for using my extra time to catch up on my blog. Oops! :-) I’m back now so that means I owe you all an update for the past 3 weeks.

  • Last thing I wrote about was going to compete at districts and well … I made it to state! I was able to defend my district title in the 3200m and made it in that event, but got my butt kicked in the 1600m and 800m to finish 6th in both. One of my other team mates made it in both of his events and also won a district title! He advanced to state in the 1600m and the 800m. At state I ran a tough race, but was out-kicked and ran 9th … again. One place off the podium … again. My friend who made it in both his events ended up making it on the podium for both races along with a PR in his 800m! He is awesome. :-) We had a total group of 6 athletes make it to state from our school and while I didn’t compete the best, it was a great experience and I had a blast!
  • With track season over, my coach advised to take about a week off from running to fully recover before moving onto summer training. So, in celebration of a hard season, I went o the store and bought myself the reward of Ben and Jerrys! Nothing is better that 1,300 calories of peanut butter ices cream swirled with peanut butter and marshmallow and caramel clusters. Probably gained like 2 lbs. from eating it, but it was totally worth it! It looks like a mini heaven on Earth, right?
  • I can’t stand taking total do-nothing rest days if I can help it so two of the days that I didn’t run on, I did some cross-training. In track we do weight-lifting circuits, but seeing as I was on my own and could go through the stations faster … I did 2 circuits.  My legs, hips, butt, abs, back, shoulders, arms, and everything was sore the next day. No bueno. Two days after this horrible circuit idea, I instead just did two short workouts involving multiple kinds of push-ups, squats, and balance exercises. As much as I wanted to run … I found the cross-training to be quite enough exercise. ;-)
  • I’ve gone to the Prefontaine Classic for the past 2 years and this year was no different! Instead of leaving Saturday morning at the crack of dawn, we left Friday instead. Once in Eugene we explored Pre’s Trail. By exploring I mean that even though there were maps along the trail, we still go lost and added a half mile to the run. That extra half mile killed after taking so many days off! Talk about huffing and puffing … Phew! Back to phase 1. At Hollister Night we watched the Kenyans run their 10K Olympic Trials along with record being broken in the Women’s

    Kenyans getting rady for their Olympic Trials!

    800m, 10K, 1,500m, and discus. We also watched the Men’s international mile,10K, and triple jump. the next morning at thePrefontaine Classic, I saw some of my favorites and watched again as field and meet record fell. Not to mention Lui Xiang in the 100m hurdles tieing the world record. Near the end of the meet our group made it down to where the athletes were exiting and were able to get autographs and see them up close. It was neat to see some of my favorites walk right by after their races. Some of my favorite athletes that happened to be at the meet were Galen Rupp, Bernard Lagat, Anna Pierce, Nick Symmonds, Mo Farah, and Silas Kiplagat. It was an amazing meet to watch and I got to spend a great weekend with some of my favorite people. Too cool. :-)

Nick Symmonds … up close!

  • School, singing, homework, more school, and a few more songs to sing. Other than taking a break from running that’s all I’ve been doing. I have less than a week of school left and everything in coming to a stressful close with 3 or 4 finals all this past week! Ah!

So I haven’t won the lottery and moved to Italy to become married to some famous cyclist in the past few weeks that I”ve abandoned my blog, but hey! Finishing the track season, taking a break from running to gain a few pounds recover, and winding down the school year isn’t too shabby, right? Oh yeah … I got my license too! See? I’ve only moved up in the world since I left. ;-) I hope all of you have had a wonderful week and are enjoying running, eating, work, school, and life in general. As for me? Time for summer training! The best time of the year. :-)

Until next time,

Gabby.