1 hour.

Wow.

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted. No bueno. Sorry guys! I’m back in business now though so get ready to be caught up on the longest weekend of my life. No matter that I’m 16, it was a very long weekend. Long only because of how many memories were made and from having such a great time!

This weekend was the Three Course Challenge in Seaside, Oregon that my cross country team goes to every year. We drive down on Friday afternoon, spend the night in the barracks at Fort Rilea (where the race is held!), and drive back after the race. The race on Saturday morning attracts teams from Washington, Oregon, California, and even Hawaii! All totaled, there was about 3,000 runners from the Northwest there to compete and run through the famous mud pit. As a team, we don’t take the race too seriously, but focus on just having a good time and surviving the tough sand hills, hundreds of other runners, and overall tough course. The whole trip down to Seaside is my favorite part of the whole season and it really embodies what cross country is all about. Not to mention all of the great traditions and funny things that happen while spending over 24 hours with my team! So instead of wasting your time and having you read paragraph upon paragraph about how much fun I had, here are some of the pictures from the trip. Not to rub it in or anything.

 

After the 3 hour bus ride from Seaside, I quickly went home, showered, and was off to my friend’s house to catch up on some girl time. After such a long day, I felt as though Saturday had been split in two and the all that had happened earlier that morning was days past. After a long night of practicing hair styles for Homecoming, dancing around to Maroon 5 in front of her giant windows for all the neighbors to see, and conquering the world in our late night talks, we ended up getting a fair amount of sleep after fighting to stay awake until two. Waking up at nine, we made French Breakfast Puffs (which are the best things in the world! I’m now a puff believer), caught up on some Facebook stalking, and shared a cup of coffee before I had to head home. After yet another shower and a growing laundry pile, we were off again and headed to the Puyallup Fair for the final day and a Train concert that night. Picking up Andrea on the way, we made a day out of it and were able to get in some shopping, walk around the fair, see a horse show, and enjoy the many fair attractions before settling in for the concert. It was such an awesome concert with Andy Grammer and Matt Kearney opening, along the with the main act of Train that I can’t describe it in words … :-)

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend. Sure, I was only home for an hour total and that was only to shower, but all the time I was away were the ones that made these past few days so memorable and exciting. I love my going down to Seaside with my team, no matter how tired I was to run the next day. Even with such a small group, we had a great time and bonded through things as simple as starting a conga line and playing duck-duck-goose. Going to see Train with two of my favorite people after a long night with one of my other closest friends was also a tiring, but amazing experience. I couldn’t ask for better people in my life that allow me to be the weird, annoying, and (a little bit this weekend at least!) tired grump that I sometimes am. As for not being home or getting any sleep this weekend, I’m still trying to catch up. A home meet on Thursday that calls to be really competitive and clean sheets both beg for some attention. Not to mention my dead legs from a hard workout yesterday. With that, I’m off to relax with the rest of my night and enjoy the time I have to be lazy. The rest of the week promises to be busy and I can only hope that I’ll be home a little bit more than I was this weekend. Have a great rest of your week! :-)

 

Have you gone to any concerts lately? How was your weekend?

Until next time,

Gabby.

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Let the racing begin!

Oh hey. Like our uniforms?

The sound of the gun going off, Munga cookies, crazy bus rides, new mottos, goofing around with our warm-ups, and funny pictures all mean only one thing … that cross country season has officially begun! Not that the past three weeks of practice don’t count as cross country, but I’m talking about racing. This week we had our first two meets. One on Thursday and invitational yesterday.

Thursday’s meet was nerve-racking. Wednesday night I went through all of my pre-race rituals (more on them later!) and made sure to get plenty of sleep. I still woke up the next morning groggy, stuffed up, and definitely not race ready. Somehow I survived the school day, of course was assigned a ton of homework, and we were on our way to the meet. Thursday was a hot hot day! Like muggy, no clouds, not fun to run in hot. Didn’t help that the course was two loops and barely had any shade either. Regardless, my two other girls and I warmed up after a long wait, as we raced after both the junior high and high school boys. Running first is so much nicer. When your stomach is tight with nerves, it’s not a fun thing to have to wait even longer!

Lined up with a total of 17 girls as it was a small meet, the gun was raised and we were off. The first meet of the 2012 cross country season. First mee of my junior year and a healthy one at that! From the moment the race started, I was thirsty. No bueno. Not to mention that my excitement to race and having this be our first meet made my book the first mile and die the rest of the way finish the race at a decent, but way slower pace. I was able to hold on and finish both loops in 19:27. There was some controversy

over whether the course was 3 miles or a 5K (which is only a difference of .1), but the race director posted the times as the race being 5K. Regardless, it was HOT and hey! only the beginning of the season. Heck, only the first meet at that! Times and placing don’t matter until the end of October for Districts. Or that’s my mindset. Overall, it was a long day. My girls ended up finishing well even in the heat and the high school boys’ race held some surprises. Not that our huge junior high team of 15 ( as the highschool is only 8 this year!) absolutely dominated!With the first meet behind us, it was now time to get rid of the lactic acid in our legs, relax, and focus on Saturday’s race.

My pre-race gift from a teammate.

Saturday’s meet was the Ocosta Invite. Our team has gone the past two years and while it’s only 2.95 miles, is a great two loop course.

Did I really just say I liked two loop courses? Weird. The race order was high school girls, high school boys, and junior high last. Luckily for us, the weather was a lot cooler and even though it was muggy, way better to run in compared to the scorcher on Thursday. Oh, and we got to go first! Out of our “Triple Threat” girl’s team, only the “Dynamic Duo” ran. (The “Dynamic Duo” nickname came about during track as Andrea and I were the only distance girls!) As with Thursday’s meet, a gal from one of the other teams, who is one of our biggest competitors, was there to race. And race she did. A little more relaxed, I ran better splits and felt a lot better about my race. Looking back, I feel as though I could’ve run harder, which is always a good sign. Just learning the ins and outs of racing again. Definitely has been awhile. I finished the 2.95 course in 18:27. For an estimated 5K time, you add about a minute. Doing so, I ran about a 19:27 ish. Again? Weird. Since I was injured last year when I ran the same meet, I PR’d by a minute and a half. Woohoo!It feels so good to be training and racing healthy again. There’s so much I’ve missed about the cross country season that I felt like I missed out on while I had my stress fracture. This year I have some big goals, but with hard work and a good attitude I’m excited to see what can happen. Not too bad of times to start the season with either!

Once we were done running, Andrea (the tall, skinny, super-fast girl always in my pictures?) and I cooled down and I “experimented” with our warm-ups. Just normal teenage runner shenanigans. I also was able to snap a few photos of our team in the stands after all of their races. Already making memories and it’s only the beginning of the season! As a team, our boys placed second by 3 points! So close. We had 3 boys place in the top 10 and Andrea and I placed in the top 5 overall for girls. Awesome, right?

As for the rest of my weekend, I’ve just been relaxing. It feels so good to sit on the couch in sweats and catch up on Wilfred and The Voice. Life is good! Today is actually Andrea’s birthday so even though I’ve seen her everyday at school, practice, and even yesterday at our meet … I still went over to her house this morning to drop off her present and we made pancakes. Lovely morning for a lovely lady. :-) Runing-wise – our next meet is coming up next Saturday in Seaside, Oregon and is the biggest meet we’ll go to all year. Runners from Oregon, Washington, California, and even a team from Hawaii will be there! It’s crazy and my favorite meet of the whole season. Don’t want to spoil if for you, though. More to come next weekend on that! Hope my race re-cap didn’t bore you too much and enjoy the rest of your weekend! :-)

If you’re a runner, have you raced lately? What’s your favorite part?

Until next time,

Gabby.

The boys’ team made this their new motto at the meet and it’s become and inside joke with one of our runners after their race. This is for them. Put the team on your back, do.

Surprise!

There really isn’t anything too exciting or “surprising” about this post because as you’ve noticed, it’s still a Monday post. Woo. Other than that though, I’ve been busy busy busy and things have been going really great with both school and running! Now that’s a surprise.

I wish I could make this face …

The past week has been full of homework, getting home late, waking up early, and team related everything. Friday I went to a surprise birthday party for one of my good friends and teammates. He had no clue which made the night that much more fun! Not to mention that we played a game involving both Cheetos and whipped cream. My friend Andrea stood about four feet from me with a handful of Cheetos as my face was smeared with whipped cream (which she said looked like cottage cheese! Ew.) and she proceeded to throw Cheetos at my face, trying to get them to stay. With that, I’ll stop for a moment and let you imagine how that went. Pretty great mental picture, hmm? Don’t forget about the random orange spots all over my face from where the Cheetos hit me and fell off. I ended up with three Cheetos on my face, as well as some in my eye, but we didn’t end up winning. Still, what an experience! I’ve always wanted to smear my face in whipped cream … Right. (It was pretty fun though, not gonna lie.) All in all, the party was a good time and we totally caught the birthday boy off guard. Mission accomplished.

Runing-wise, we still haven’t had our first meet. Three and a half weeks of torture practice, having to hear about other teams racing, times online … and we still haven’t raced. Ugh, I just want to get out there already! It’s killing me. I’m definitely having separation anxiety from not wearing my racing flats, no joke. Our meet schedule this year is all set and I can’t wait to start. We’re going to some new invites that promise fast times and good competition! Of course, getting our uniforms and warm ups today didn’t help out my eagerness. Or putting my meet bag together with everything I’ll need. Or the fact that this Thursday is our first meet and we also have one on Saturday. Or that I got lost during our time trial on Friday. Ooops … And guess what? Surprise! I actually felt good today during intervals and felt like I ran fast. Doesn’t hurt that they were consistently fast either. Awesome.

Hanging out in our computer room with a slice of blackberry pie, the new Maroon 5 cd, and writing a blog after a long day is great. This isn’t what I consider to be a “super awesome, everyone should read this” post, but it’ll do. Focusing on becoming a better writer and incorporating new things into my blog is on the agenda … it just might be awhile before I have tmie to focus on them! If I survive our first two meets later this week, I’ll make sure to post times, photos, and pictures of the meets sometime this weekend. Until then, I have 10 things of peach yogurt in my fridge to eat along with a formal dress to find.  I got asked to Homecoming! Both a surprise to you and me in more ways than one! Details on that later though. ;-)

Have you had any surprises lately? What are you looking forward to this fall?

Until next time,

Gabby.

“This is what we do.” So true. Love it! ♥

Working 24/7.

Did you know that 155.2 million people aged 16 and over are in the labor force?

I’m sure most of you who reads this are apart of that large count, but as for me? I’ve enjoyed my Labor Day weekend by taking time off of school to visit family. Not work. With that time, my parents and I made a trip to visit my grandparents and were able to see my aunt, uncle, and cousin as well. Since we live 3 hours away from our closest relative, it’s a bonus when we get to see them more than twice a year at the major holiday get togethers.

Speaking of taking time off of school, school started last Thursday! Which if you counted, means that yes. Yes, I had two days of school and then a three-day weekend. Isn’t it great? Except for the homework. Ugh, definitley not great. Other than the math homework that I knew was coming, as the teacher is known to give nightly assignments, I was given one that was s little more on the creative side. My Honors English 11 teacher, who’s also my cross country team’s new assistant coach, gave our class the assignment to write an “I believe” statement and talk about it in front of the class. The statement was supposed to be something that was important to you and a topic that you would be able to speak in front of the class about. This is what I came up with ….

“I believe that hard work can make you and define you.”

Yeah, you can quote me on that. Oh, thanks to Instagram for making my picture just so much more intense, too. Anyway, this is the believe statement that I came up with. I figured that I would incorporate hard work into it because I feel like giving everything you do your best effort and working hard are both traits that I respect in others and strive for in myself. Whether people are working towards small goals or have dreams that are larger than life, there is no other way to achieve them other than putting in the time and effort. Starting to run and becoming a runner in overcoming all the challenges that are attached to it has made me who I am today. Without motivation from a variety of sources, support from those around me, and putting in the hard work … I’d just be a mediocre soccer player floating through highschool with no great dreams or aspirations for myself. Maybe it sounds sad, but I really don’t know what would’ve happened if I hadn’t become a runner. Running has taught me so many things and I have matured and changed so much through each and every experience. With all of the experiences that I’ve had thus far as a part of the running community, each race, training run, fun run, and workout brings a deeper sense of appreciation and love for what I do. Commitment, perseverance, integrity, maturity, courage, a new and healthier outlook on life. Running has taught me to put in the hard work not only into my training, but into every other aspect of my life. Things may not go as planned, but as long as you give it your best effort, there is nothing more to ask. These actions come to define who you whether you succeed the first time, or the twentieth time. Working hard in one area goes to reflect into every aspect of who people are and gradually becomes second nature, an added piece of their personality. If people don’t want to work hard and are happy allowing themselves to float through life on the work of others then they can go ahead. It’s their own life and they alone are responsible for their actions. All I ask? Just don’t get in my way as I strive to be my best and pass by while working to be all that I can.

The rubric my teacher gave us says that our “I believe” speeches in front of the class should be about 1-3 minutes. What I’ve written above? That’s what I’ll try to say. I have the tendency while speaking (and in writing, if you haven’t noticed!) to get carried away and often, off-topic. Regardless, I chose a statement that’s important to me and that I strongly believe in can ramble about for way more than three minutes. I guess I’d call that following the prompt.  

On that note, it’s getting somewhat late and it’s a school night. Ugh. Just kidding, I like school … sometimes. Either way, I don’t have a choice in going so might as well suck it up, get to bed, and drag my butt to school in the morning. I always have cross country to look forward to if the day goes too horribly! With school, practice, and whatever other extracurriculars pop up, that means that my blogs will be coming to a link/WordPress site near you about once a week. Until the excitement of a new school year simmers down, I’ll try and post little updates here and there and make sure to share anything running-related asap! I suppose it’s a good thing I don’t have a job then. Blogging, running, and school are hard enough to juggle! With such a busy schedule I don’t feel like I could fit in a job, or let alone work hard at it. ;-)

What do you believe in?

Until next time,

Gabby.

Of course! My coach has been running for 35 years and it such a great example of this! Not to mention the best motivation out there. :-)