One frusturating year.

61 posts, thousands of words, tens of hours spent writing, and we’ve made it. The one year anniversary of this blog! Woohoo!

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1 year! :-)

When I first started writing, my idea was to share all of the funny, adventurous, and (sometimes horrible!) runs that happened in my life. With that in mind, the first posts on my blog are filled with sarcastic thoughts and humorous reactions to what was going on in my running. As time went on, my posts became more about what I was feeling about my running; not so much about what was going on. From there I began blogging about my life and pushed running aside. Looking back to my first posts, I’ve changed a lot over a year as both a runner and a writer.

Looking at the future of my blog, I don’t know what will happen. Maybe I’ll become homeschooled and focus on being a full-time blogger;  submitting posts everyday and amassing hundreds of followers. Or maybe I’ll fall off the face of the Earth and leave the blogger in me behind. I’ve always loved writing, but if I have nothing to share? Who knows. If not any of those options, then maybe I’ll continue as I am now. Blogging at least once a week to entertain both the few die-hard followers that I have and my own wandering mind. I don’t know about you, but I like the third option!

Over the past year I’ve written about my training during both track and cross country, the somewhat dull months of the off-season, my goals for becoming a better runner and overall person, what keeps me motivated, the influence of running in my life, various baked goods I’ve experimented with, trying new things, sharing some of my experiences, and have had this blog turn into more than I could have ever imagined.

Of course for all that I’ve done, I owe it all to anyone and everyone who has ever read my ramblings. From the dedicated followers who read every single post without fail, to the people who randomly clicked on its link in hopes of something else coming up in their search. For that, I say THANK YOU! Putting down my thoughts about running and curious views on life have held me accountable to those things that I said I’d do, and given me more motivation than anything else. One other thing that I’ve found is that the blogging community is amazing. Everyone I’ve met has been so supportive, friendly, helpful, and encouraging. Their own journeys are just as inspirational as the support they offer on my own blog. To see the camaraderie between runners spread from local races to online blogs has surprised me, but I’ve welcomed it all the same.

After one frusturating year of running and blogging, I’d like to say something to the those who:

  • Have read my blog from other countries: Thank you! Muchas gracias! Kiitos! Merci! Obrigado! Grazie! Danke!
  • Are my family and friends: you guys read every blog and yet you talk to me nearly everyday and know me inside and out. Thank you for putting up with my rants, complaints, and silly rambling both in person and through my posts! You guys are the best.
  • Found my blog on WordPress and follow me: Thank you for taking the time to find my blog, get to know me, and take enough interest to read my posts. It means so much!
  • We’ve met a few times, but don’t talk very much: The fact that you read my blog means more than you know so thank you for that! I’ve come across some of you who have surprised me by referencing my blogs or commenting on them. I hope I can get to know some of you better since you have already gotten to know me!
  • Clicked on my blog by accident: Thank you! Even if you never read it, the amount of views on my blog went up just from your search! If anything, those increased views have given me more confidence in my blogging than anything. And if you actually ended up liking my blog, then awesome! Thank you again.
  • Just found out I had a blog: Only a year late, no worries! Thanks for being curious enough to see what’s it’s all about!

My life is in a good place. My training is going well, I have a positive attitude, and life is great in all of its other aspects. I have the best family and group of friends that I could ask for, school is going well, and I’m looking forward to the future and what’s in store for me. Looking at life as a whole, blogging is now a part of who I am and what I do. Where it will go, I have no clue. For now, I’m happy to celebrate one crazy, tiring, rewarding, and frusturating year. Here’s to what’s next!

Until next time,

Gabby.

Pre. He’ll always be one of the most inspirational running stories out there.

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That girl.

“I love the moments that I can take a step back from everything and look at my life as a whole. To appreciate all of the wonderful people, take pride in my accomplishments, and still be able to remain inexplicably happy with all of my faults and insecurities. To enjoy the simple things that may seem unimportant, but add up to create something beautiful. To take something positive from each day that goes by, no matter how bad it may seem at first. These are the moments that define our lives. Have you had yours today?”

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I shared this on Facebook the other day only to receive an overwhelming amount of “likes.” Apparently the random thoughts that come to me on runs appeal to more people than I realize! At first, I thought it was more blog worthy than anything, but was having such a great day (and for no special reason!) that I decided to be that girl who posts on Facebook. Don’t get me wrong, FB posts are okay sometimes, but multiple times everyday? No thanks. Just because you can post whenever you want, doesn’t mean you should. As in just don’t post. Please and thank you from every other annoyed person on FB having to read about you complain about your life or hear about every little thing you do. Okay, sorry about that. Ended up ranting a bit longer than meant to, but c’mon. Someone had to say it! Let’s move on, hmm?

The other day my dad had someone do a job shadow with him at the fire department. They were a senior and just in making conversation, my dad asked if the boy knew who I was.

“She’s the tall girl with short curly hair who runs a lot, right?”

That’s how I was described. Tall girl with curly hair who runs a lot. The truth in that made me laugh when my dad told me about it the next day. His obvious response was, “Yepp, that’s her.” Looking back on how I was described by someone other than my friends made me think. The boy who did the job shadow was someone who I haven’t ever talked to, or visa versa. That being so, he still was able to describe me. I’m pretty tall, about 5’10”, I do have short curly hair, and I suppose I run a lot. Only everyday around our little town for the past 4 years. Pshhhh. Either way, apparently my actions have made me that girl. That girl who people know their name, but not the actual person. That girl who people see running all the time through time and sometimes honk or wave at. That girl everyone thinks is a little bit crazy, and only some get to know.

I’m okay with being that girl. I love my curly hair, running, and although I sometimes wish I was a bit shorter, being tall. There are worse ways to be described by those you don’t know. I could’ve been described as “that tall girl who has a haircut like a boy and is crazy for running all the time.” I mean, that’s how I would describe myself … But for all the ways I could be described, I’m happy with how I am. Like my post of FB so blatantly told the world, I love where I’m at in life. The people who don’t know me or my personality may just think I’m that girl who runs all the time, but I like to think that I’m more than just a teenage girl training for the upcoming track season. I like to think that I’m a runner who loves what she does and even though she might be a little different, is more interesting and involved with aspects of her life than only running.

That_girl_originalSo in closing, yes. Yes, I am that girl.

That girl who’s tall, has short curly hair, and runs a lot.

And I wouldn’t want to be anyone else.

 

 

Until next time,

Gabby.

And if you already run? Then you know exactly what I mean.

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Grab Bag.

Hodgepodge, mish mash, potpourri, goulash, conglomeration.

So many fun words to describe “an assortment of miscellaneous items.” From the much longer list of synonyms for a combination or mixture, I chose the word grab bag for this blog’s title. Not to mention that this is the first in a series of grab bag posts that I’ll be starting! My one-year anniversary for blogging is coming up and I wanted to try something new! Among other things …

I'm guilty of doing this on multiple occasions ... oops!

I’m guilty of doing this on multiple occasions … oops!

The idea to start a series of blog posts came to me on my run earlier. Well actually, I spent a majority of it pouring over other ideas for tonight’s post, but came up with a new idea in the process. There are the bloggers that challenge themselves to blog everyday for a whole year, others who do WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday), the daily blogger who always has an interesting topic whether it’s what they’re wearing that day or even simple chores around the house. then of course there’s the random blog you decided to follow just because the person has such an enticing personality that has you crack up laughing at every post. Either way, I wanted to jump on that bandwagon of being more interesting or “trendy”, and was inspired by a childhood memory.

Back when I was younger (okay, single-digits since I’m still not that old!) the dentist would always offer me to choose a prize from a treasure box if I had a good checkup. Since they loved the fact that I laid there quietly and didn’t resist anything during the appointment, they told me I was a “wonderful patient.” That being so, I always got to pick something from the treasure box before leaving. This prize made me excited for the next appointment, as I left wondering what I’d be able to pick from the next time.

This is what the treasure box seemed like when I was like 6 ...

This is what the treasure box seemed like when I was like 6 …

While this “treasure box of ideas” idea came to me and sounded good at the time, I realized something much more important. Not all of the ideas I have for my blogs are quite what you would call “treasure.” Most of them are generic and just like every other running blog. This is a stereotype I’d like to think I stray from and because of that, strive make my blog somewhat unique. and more fitting to my own personality. I have so many things I’d like to blog about, and on days that I want to blog but can’t figure out what to write about, I figured out a backup plan. So, lucky reader, instead of long ranting posts about how my day was so tiring or how school is so stressful, I’ve written down all of these great ideas I think of … and made a grab bag.

Okay, so it’s more of a jar, but each idea that I’d like to write about, I’ll jot it down and put in the jar. The days that I don’t have a solid idea for a blog, I’ll simply pick out one of the ripped construction paper pieces and tada! A random, but new and exciting blog from yours truly. Of course this is a running blog, so most posts will pertain to running … but at the dentists’ office all those years ago, did every one of treasure box prizes have to do with teeth? Not quite. ;-)

Until next time,

Gabby.

P.S: The past two weeks have been going great running-wise! More on that later though. :-)

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Skilled Sailor.

The fluttering of fear in your stomach like that of a caged butterfly. Mounting anticipation like the carbonation as you shake a can of your favorite soda. The waves of nerves and excitement in turmoil like a raging storm on the sea.
We’ve all felt at least one of these emotions, or even a combination of the three, from time to time. Whether it’s on the way to a job interview, the first day of classes, a first date, or at the starting line of a race, the feeling of fear, anticipation and nervousness are ones that everyone can relate to.
While struggling along on one of my runs this past week, I let my mind wander to other things in hopes that the miles would fly by and I would find myself back at the highschool to finish my workout. In doing so, I came across this idea. Or more so, remembered these aforementioned feelings. Brought back by listening to the pounding of my footsteps and the rhythm of my breathing, I was reminded of track season and racing around that oval, constantly being chased. Or chasing, for the most part.

As a distance runner across the board by doing both cross country and distance track, I stick to the longer races. Meaning that in the spring I race the 3200m (2 mile), 1600m (mile), and 800m. Oh, and the occasional leg of a 4x400m relay near the end of the meet that our coach says will “keep us fast.” My training is geared towards building endurance while still doing speed work to develop “quick twitch” that help with a shorter foot turnover and faster times. Using the three-month winter break between cross country and track, I’ve been focusing on a strong base of easy miles and building strength through weight workouts. It’s a time to stay relaxed and enjoy the running … not dwell on the clenched knot of nerves sitting in my stomach whenever I hear the words “intervals” or “track.”

Thinking back on this past spring, there’s a lot of aspects that I’d like to change coming into my junior season starting at the end of February. I ran the 3200m all the way to state to finish 9th for the second year in a row, which (of course) is one place off of the medaling on the podium. Even for what seems like a strong end to my season, I trained and ran each race that year with a horrible attitude. With such a bad outlook, I prevented myself from reaching goals I had set, as well as limited what I would end up actually running. I let the doubts of a good comeback track season, after missing cross country because of a stress fracture, and frustration from being sidelined for so long, overcome my plans to become a stronger runner and better teammate.

No matter how hard track can be, I always have my teammates right with me through it all. Andrea and I are stretching buddies ... among other things. ;-)

No matter how hard track can be, I always have my teammates right with me through it all. Andrea and I are stretching buddies … among other things. ;-)

Last weekend, I ran the White Elephant 5 mile in Olympia. My first road race of the year, and first race since the state cross country meet in November. It’s a good community race and has a fun gift exchange when you pass through the finish chute. A scenic loop, one grueling hill, and plenty of competition from around the area … if you’re wanting to race it that is! I went into Saturday morning half-awake after a nap on the way there, sore from a weight workout the day before, and dreading the idea of a slower finish than last year. That being so, it was the best feeling in the world to come across the finish in 33:11. A full 2:46 seconds faster than last year. Woohoo!! Before you get too impressed, remember that last year I was coming off of a stress fracture and only had a month of training under my belt Either way, a PR is a PR … :-)

With such a strong cross country season, it’s been easy to stay positive about my winter training. Two months later of running alone on the same routes week after week, I’ve begun to get slightly discouraged. With the thrill of a new PR, I’m now looking forward to track season. I’ve come into the mindset that with a positive attitude and a good work ethic, the isn’t anything you can’t do. So instead of glumly staring out the window on the way to a race and imagining how I’ll be dying out on lap 5, or letting myself doubt what I can do before stepping foot on the track … I’m going to change things up.Let the butterflies go, crack open the pop can, and set sail on the sea. I accept the feelings of fear, anticipation, nerves, and excitement that come with racing and the upcoming track season. I’m ready for a fresh start and to see what I can do with my new attitude. Getting through tough workouts, hard races, disappointing times, and letting doubt creep back into my mind may be hard to deal with at first … but “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.” :-)

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Until next time,

Gabby.