Summer lovin’.

If a flaming watermelon falls into a river and turns purple, how many gerbils does it take to unscrew a giraffe?

Someone asked Cha-Cha that …

Weirdest. Question. Ever.

I don’t know the answer, but I do know a little bit about watermelons. The other night I finally decided to try to complete my summer challenge: eat a whole watermelon. Maybe not a very appetizing sounding challenge or very exciting, but I’m a teenager. These are the kind of weird and pointless things that we like to do … After getting home from practice last night, I went straight to the kitchen and cut the sucker open. Maybe eating a 5 pound watermelon isn’t the best “post-workout” meal, but hey. Sometimes compromises have to be made. After 2 1/2 hours of force feeding myself eating watermelon … I did it! My summer challenge? ACCOMPLISHED! :-)

Sure, I was super bloated and sloshy for the next few hours along with having to listen to my friends making comments like “Don’t wet the bed tonight!” but it was totally worth it. I’ve decided to stay away from watermelon for a few weeks and hope it becomes appetizing again. As of right now? Ughhhh. Still in recovery from eating so much and was super hungry this morning! Watermelons are 92% water though, so I guess you could say that I’m pretty well hydrated. ;-)

Besides fulfilling what seemed to be an unquenchable thirst for watermelon, I’ve been having a really good week of running!

The logging roads back in 1941 …
Haven’t changed a bit!

Yesterday, my teammate and I got to run one of my Coach’s favorite runs from back in the “hayday.” For the past few years that I’ve run under his coaching, he’s hyped up this run considerably. This run, The Watershed, has been made to sound like the cream of the crop. The best of the best. He finally took us on it yesterday, and what was it actually like? Maybe not my favorite run out of all of the ones we do, but definitely top 10 and a really good 8 mile loop. Despite the first 3 miles that are pretty much all uphill, the run loops up to our local state park into the logging roads where it curves and twists along a main gravel road before coming out way on the other side of town.

Have you ever run or been on logging roads? They are freaky! Seriously. If you don’t know where you’re going, you can get lost sooo easily. Trust me. I’ve gotten lost on more than one occasion! The cool thing about the roads are that if you ever want some alone time, just run out there and you won’t see a soul. Maybe a random mountain biker, but usually not even that! Be careful if you venture on out there though, it may be nice to get away, but it is pretty scary out there … personally. I definitely wouldn’t advise going alone if you don’t have to! My favorite part about the worn gravel roads out in the middle of nowhere is the views though. Oh man. Sure, you might have to climb a few monster hills before getting far enough out-of-town to see what I’m talking about, but getting out there and seeing trees for miles in every direction is breathtaking. I love it! It’s just one of those things that makes you appreciate being a runner and getting to see so many things that those who don’t run don’t get to explore and experience. :-)

As far as work goes, it is going so so so well. I never thought I would like hanging out a nursing home/rehab so much. Some of the residents are really nice and I love getting to just talk to them! I like meeting new people so this job works perfectly. No to mention that almost everyday I get nice compliments on my outfits and am always called “hunny” or “sweetie.” That’s not too bad for my ego either. ;-)

Overall … my summer is going really well. The weather has kind of sucked, but I live in Washington so it’s not too surprising to find our highest temperature only reaching into the mid-70s. So much for a summer tan, I’ll be going back to school almost as white as when I left! Ugh, school. I’ve been enjoying everything about summer that I barely realized how soon I go back. I can say hello to junior year on August 30th. Two days in school, then a three-day weekend? I guess that’s alright then. Little over a month before school, less than a month before cross country starts, and less that 48 hours until I leave for team camp! We are going to Port Townsend and will be camping there while we run, eat, run again, and learn more about running for almost a week. Not to mention the whole team-bonding-becoming-closer thing. Can’t wait! So many things going on this summer, it’s awesome. I’m summer lovin’.

Until next time,

Gabby.

I’ve a newfound love for hills this summer. They’re horrible, but at the same time make you feel so good about yourself to finish them. Do them. They’ll make you a faster, stronger, better runner.

Seriously.

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Caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamp!

Hi everyone!

Another week down for the count and I’m back to fill you in on all of the exciting things that happened since I’ve been gone. Ready to be jealous? Good. Well, if you didn’t see my last post then know that since last Sunday I’ve been run to the ground at White Pass Cross Country Camp!

144 runners from across the Northwest! Even Hawaii!

This year I got to go with one of my bestfriends and teammate, and it was a blast! Seriously. Up at 4500 ft. we ran twice a day everyday on ski trails and utility roads. One day we even ran to the top of the ski slope right by the lift! Correction about how we “ran” actually … it was more of straight uphill walk. My least favorite part about camp the whole week, but once we were done I was happy! Other than running (as you would expect from a xc camp!) we were split into groups for jenga, foursquare, and volleyball competitions. We also had two lectures everyday, drills, video analysis of our running form, goal setting sessions, quiet hour (a.k.a nap time!), and an evening activity every night after lecture for an hour that were always super fun. One day there was even a milk drinking competition where people have an hour to drink a gallon of milk! No one did it and they all threw up, but food dye was added into each gallon so I’m sure you can imagine the results. On the last day of camp, there was also a time trial/race. Last year, I finished 15th, whereas this year I not only finished with a better time, but also third, earning myself a fancy medal. Not too shabby, eh? :-)

In between all of the structured activities … we iced in a mountain stream after almost all of our runs, creeped on all the cute shirtless guys, got somewhat annoyed with our roommates, drank the best hot chocolate ever from the Lodge, wore nose strips around trying to be cool like one of the other runners from our District who won state and we like to give a hard time, gossiped, got eaten alive by mosquitoes (I had a total of 30 by the last day!), and then ran again! :-) Going with a teammate made all the difference in going to camp again this year and I can’t wait to go back next year! We got along so well that even after 128 straight hours together … I still texted her 2 minutes after she dropped me off because I had something to tell her. What can I say? Run with someone enough and they’re sure to become one of your closest friends. :-)

In other news …

Coming back from camp has been non-exciting, but I did go see The Dark Knight Rises with my mom. It was soooo good. Not to mention Christian Bale either. Mmm. ;-) My heart goes out to all the families and friends to those involved in the Colorado shooting though. Such a tragedy, and for no reason.

Oh, and why am I randomly holding my ear? Well, it’s not actually random at all! I got a second piercing in both of my ears. Maybe not too exciting, but I’ve been thinking about it for a while and with my parent’s approval, finally got it done. Not like it’s anything super painful, life changing, or even permanent … but I’m pretty excited about it! :-) Maybe you aren’t all as observant as I think, but yes. Yes, that orange tape on my wrist does stand for something. Remember how I mentioned the Mountain Run from camp? Well, the orange tape is to show that I was in the “run” group. Again, it was more of a hands-on-knees, push yourself up each hill no faster than a brisk walk kind of run, but oh well. The tape says I ran to the top of White Pass (about a 2,000 ft. climb), so are you impressed? ;-)

Now that I’m back in my small town of boring asphalt roads, lack of mosquitoes, and am starting up my usual summer routine … it makes me excited for next year’s camp and ready to leave for team camp next Sunday! Until then I’ll be back to volunteering, staying up late, running with some of my teammates at Munga, and doing yard work. What a life! ;-)

Have you ever been to a running camp? What was it like? If not, how was your week? 

Until next time,

Gabby.

Workin’ on my watch tan.

Hi everyone! Happy Tuesday! 

It’s been a week since I last posted … oops! My excuse? There’s been a lot going on lately! Here’s a bit of a re-cap.

1) My Fourth of July race went really well! I won overall woman, PR’d off of my time from last year, and was one of the four in a raffle to win free shoes. Not too shabby, huh? Considering that I ran a 5K two days prior! Not to mention I got to hangout with my coach and two of my awesome teammates. They all kicked some serious butt!

2) The rest of my Fourth was filled with BBQ, sun, ping-pong, and way too close yet adrenaline pumping fireworks. Oh, and sleeping in a tent under the stars after a late night campfire full of gossip and other clichés teenage girls are known for. Definitely the definition of a perfect summer night!

3) My first day of volunteering at the local nursing home/rehab went really well! I met some of the residents, ran errands, made copies, and today I got to play Bingo. Laugh all you want, but nursing home Bingo isn’t as boring as you would think! No one fell asleep and the prizes were pretty great. Sure, the woman running Bingo had to talk loud and repeat herself a lot, but for the most part? B-4 today I didn’t realize how much fun Bingo could be. ;-)

4) The weather has been BEAUTIFUL! Like break out the shorts and tank top beautiful. It’s been warm, but not too hot like other parts of the country are experiencing. Ugh, sounds miserable! In such nice conditions I’ve been running (duh) and doing yard work like a mad-man. Weedwacking, mowing lawns, stacking wood, you name it. In doing so I’ve managed to work on my farmer’s tan as well as somewhat of a watch tan. Can’t forget the infamous sock tan either … but that one’s there year round. ;-)

5) I run a lot, but also try to cross-train and lift weights. Lately, I’ve been going to my highschool’s weight room and doing what we call “circuits.” They’re a mix of different strength exercises that are of a lower impact than just bench, squat, cleans and so forth. There’s only one small problem … I’m the only girl. Maybe I forgot to mention that I’m  in a weight room filled with highschool football players? Not intimidating at all. Pshhhhh. They think they’re all cool doing 20 million pull-ups on their own as I struggle to get up to the bar and am sweating before I even attempt to do one. Yeah, it’s pretty exciting. I just stick to my workout and keep out of their way, and for the most part, they ignore me. Getting stronger and being able to use some of the machines is worth the embarrassment, but still … it’s a little bit intimidating. Just a bit.

Other than running everyday, volunteering twice a week, yard work, lifting weights, and working on my tan … I’m not up to anything too exciting! Just trying to pass the days as camp gets closer and closer! I’m going to the White Pass Cross Country Campagain next week along with my wonderful teammate. Not to mention that she’s one of my best friends and that it’s going to be a total blast! Ahhhhh! Can’t wait. :-) We leave Sunday morning and will gone through the week, so I will have plenty of stories, pictures, jokes, and such to share when I get back. Until then, I hope you all have a good rest of your night and are enjoying the summer as much I am! … even if you have to work. ;-)

Have you been enjoying the weather? Anything exciting planned vacation-wise?

Until next time,

Gabby.

Another one?!

Happy Tuesday!

So I told you guys about the race I did on Sunday, but uhhh … I have another one tomorrow! Sure, it may sound crazy to race twice within a span of only four days, but they’re both only road races. I try not to consider them as tempo runs and go into them with a “this is not a race, just have fun” attitude. Of course, what ends up happening? I race. Then again if I still consider them tempo runs … I’ll take a 30 second PR any day!

Yes, you read that right. 30 second PR.

 In case you didn’t see my last post, I raced a 5K Sunday night. It was called the Torchlight 5K and started at 9 at night! Sure, it didn’t get dark until during and after my race, but oh well … still got to run in the somewhat dark for part of it! As for the big PR? Yeah, I wasn’t expecting that to happen either! I wrote about hopefully being able to run near 20 minute sand after a solid track season along with the past few weeks of summer training, I knew I was in good enough shape to run somewhere around 20 to 21 minutes. My PR (personal record) before Sunday was a 20:07 meaning that yes …  I FINALLY broke the 20 minute barrier! Officially, I ran 19:36.9! With that time I crossed the finish line as the first woman and placed 9th overall. :-)

My freshman season of cross country I made it to state with my team as well as individually. That year I made it onto the podium in the top 16 with a 10th place finish and PR of 20:14. My sophomore year, I was injured with a stress fracture in my foot and didn’t get the chance to improve upon my times. I’m going to be a junior this season and after missing a year, I’m hungry for competition and to see what I can do. That being said, and with the race going as it did, I’m getting pretty excited for August 20th to come around!

Now as to the race tomorrow? A group of my teammates and I did this race last year and are making it somewhat of a fourth of July tradition. Run From the Cops 8K. Because you know the reason why we all run is to get away from the police! It’s a totally flat, loop course and really not too exciting. Since I raced the other day, I’m going to consider this one a tempo run instead.  Of course once I’m at the starting line tomorrow morning … we’ll see. ;-)

To catch you up on the non-running-ness of my life, today I have my first interview/meeting for a volunteering position! Woohoo! My background check and paperwork has all gone through, so today they want to meet and show me around where I’ll be helping out at. Like a candy-striper at hospitals, I’ll be helping out around our local health and rehab center. Since I’m only a volunteer though, I’ll be spared the dirty jobs and most likely be running errands and entertaining the old elderly residents. Either way, I’m excited! Sure, I won’t be getting paid, but oh well … I’m hoping it will be a great experience. Not to mention that it looks good on college applications. ;-)

Wow. Okay, this ended up a longer post/re-cap than I meant it to be. Oops! I’ll make sure to update you all on how the race tomorrow goes, but until then have a great day! And have a wonderful Fourth of July tomorrow! :-)

Have you run a race or PR’d lately? Any fun plans for the Fourth?

Until next time,

Gabby.

Wanted to share my favorite quote of all time. It seemed appropriate for today.

” Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally. “

Good omens.

Hi everyone!

Today is the day. I’m probably a horrible blogger for not keeping you guys updated, but guess what? I’m doing a 5K tonight! It isn’t a huge deal or anything, only my good friend (and teammate!) coach and I are going, but it’s at night! We decided to do it because 1) it’s at night and none of us have done it before, and 2) it’s at NIGHT! I’m pumped. The race starts at 9 and if everything goes well, I should be done by 9:20-ish. Track has been over for a month, but it feels as though summer training has been going on forever! Not that I mind long runs and two-a-days much. Way better than track workouts, that’s for sure!

Okay, got off track there … Anyway, this race isn’t a big deal, but I’m still excited and a tiny bit nervous to see what will happen. I’m in pretty good shape right now and haven’t raced a 5K in a while so we’ll see what happens. The last 5K I did was a road race and I PR’d, so I’m hoping that with a track season and three weeks of summer training under my belt, I can run a fast time. Also, I’m not superstitious, but lately I’ve come across things that I’ve taken as good omens for the race.

1.) Epsom salts.

I took a warm bath with the dissolved epsom salts and am excited to see how much of a difference they make for sore muscles compared to ice baths! Twenty minutes soaking your legs in a warm bath compared to twenty with two bags of ice? I’ll take the warm bath any day!

2.) Timex watch.

 What’s better than a new watch? Okay, maybe shoes, but this is a close second! Nothing will ever replace my Garmin, but since I wear it everyday on runs anyway, I decided I wanted a sports watch just to wear. It’s a heck of a lot lighter, too! This sleek, blue wonder is the Womans’ Timex Ironman Triathlon and is basically glued to my wrist. I love it!

3.) Fortune cookie?

What’s a better omen of good luck and good things happening, than a fortune cookie? I got this one last week and thought it was so spot-on that I just had to save it. I guess summer is an exciting time. Definitely when I still have races, volunteering, running camps, and plenty of free time to hangout with my friends to look forward to! Wonderful and thrilling indeed. ;-)

There’s still a little over 6 hours before my race to hangout, eat dinner, and relax. I’m back at home from visiting family, about to be re-united with one of my really good friends after a long two weeks apart, and life is good. Have to love life’s little things, no matter what they are, that can prove how great everything is going. Like I said, I’m not superstitious … but something is going on. Just not sure what. Whatever it is, I’m happy with it and hope it continues. :-)

Until next time,

Gabby.