Because we don’t know eachother

Dear stranger,


Thank you for sharing your cute green mason jar full of ice cold water – it was better than the hose, that’s for sure.

 

Thank you for dealing with all of this repetition, venting, and rambling.

 

Thank you for looking out for me and stopping at the bus stop even when I drift off and almost fall asleep in the mornings.

 

Thank you for saying good morning and good afternoon everyday.

 

Thank you for sitting next to me and sharing in my love of true crime books and exploring Georgia’s natural wonders.

 

Than you for being so willing to help – no questions asked, when I was the dripping and miserable girl asking you for water on your doorstep.

 

Thank you for smiling at me.

 

Thank you for encouraging me and asking me about my run when you saw me struggling through the last, or first, half mile at 5:45am in the dark.

 

Thank you for walking with me back to your car and sharing your water bottle – even talking with me about your past as a cyclist letting me drink the melted ice because you knew I needed to be hydrated.

 

Thank you for letting me get on the bus before you after 15 minutes of waiting at the hot and humid 90 degree bus stop.

 

Thank you for answering all my questions, disregarding my inexperience, and letting me pick your brain about how you came to work in the position you are now – I truly look up to you.

 


Sure there’s a lot of bad in the world – especially highlighted on the news and recent events. Fortunately, there’s also a lot of good – sometimes you just have to give people a chance and trust them. To the woman on her porch this afternoon who gave me water during a particularly hot run, my daily bus drivers, law enforcement officers who are involved with some of our cases, receptionists at the front desk at work, strangers on the bus, the woman walking her dog through the park (and also gave me water), the people I don’t know too well and yet they’re reading this blog post, and all the other random people that are around me each and every day …

 

thanks.

Here’s to a hitting a physical, emotional, and mental wall this week. Here also is a blog post about feeling and recognizing how thankful I am for those in my life – friends and family and strangers alike – who help me to be better day in and day out.

I really appreciate you.

 

Until next time,

Gabby

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Acronyms and adventure: XT, XC, XO

When I was talking to my “Big” recently, or the gal who was assigned to be my team buddy incoming freshman summer of college cross country, she asked me,


“Did Coach tell you to do that?”


Which made me think … Well first off, and to jump way ahead of this post so far, no he didn’t. Secondly, no he really didn’t say anything about how much I’ve been cross training and please don’t tell him how little I’ve been running because this is the first time I’ve ever not followed the training plan during the off-season *insert wild eyes and nervous laughter.* Thirdly, this question scared me enough that I didn’t respond to her text message for a few days and thought about my response, hoping I wasn’t about to be chastened by one of our fastest alumni, and someone who knew me and inspired me – from school, to home, to the team, and even in my squirrel collection (a story for another blog post). So instead I responded with, “No he didn’t haha I’m not sure how much he knows/checks the online logs but 😅 my goal this week is to run more haha.”

Can we please note that last part of, “my goal this week is to run more”?

What not to do during the summer: the chronicles of a blue-eyed, bus riding, rule breaker … also known as my junior summer, year 2016. Sure I’ve been running, but I’ve also been doing a lot more cross training than I’ve done in the past (excluding the few months of my stress fracture in HS), and honestly? I’ve been having a lot more fun than ever before.

Rather than explain myself and ramble on about how tired undisciplined I am all the time, or how hot and humid and miserable it is in Georgia, or whatever other reasons excuses I can come up with … I’ve compiled a bunch of photos to give you and inside look at these last couple months! Or, if you’re a tease and only clicked on this post to give me a notification (looking at you Mom) without reading it, here is a long post you can scroll through and read the bold captions, and/or just look at the pictures – because how interesting could my life actually be, right?

*WARNING: Snapchat selfies included in this post*

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Piedmont Park in incredible! … but I’d advise having bike brakes that actually work while adventuring. It was an interesting 6 miles or so (besides the “getting lost” part).


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Clairmont pool is OUTSIDE! I’ve been working on that Washington whiteness! Oh, and that’s a drop of water on my chin FYI (just in case it scared you as much as it did to me after I sent it to my mom before seeing it)!


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Have to try a bit harder to come up with a caption for this, but I climbed some stairs (just kidding I took the elevator) to the top of a research building to watch Fourth of July Fireworks. Let’s say I was exercising my eyes on this one … just go with it, haha!


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Snapchat game strong. See below for “post-yoga, pre-Beltline-adventure, I’ve-been-awake-since-5:30am” photo.


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I’m hardly ever the shortest person in a group, but even then they could touch their toes and I couldn’t! Also, for reference, I’m almost 5’10” – I love tall friends.


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*please note this was the beginning of my ride* – pictures do not do my biking abilities justice, and darn WordPress wouldn’t let me add in my cool video!


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A big group of friends and I camped in South Georgia, and then hiked around this super neat canyon! Can add and check that off my bucket list – “the Grand Canyon of Georgia.”


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Okay so maybe sometimes I run, but this was too good not to add into this post. After this picture I laid on the ground of our locker room for 20 minutes before mustering the energy to walk home. Wild Friday night, let me tell ya. 


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I *somehow* survived a total of 7 hours public transportation to travel to Chattanooga, Tennessee for a day trip and walk around the city with Kevin and his good friend! There was even a triathalon going on the weekend of, and a TON of people being active on the bridge and at the local park. SO COOL.


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Walking around and being on your feet all day at work counts as formal exercise, right? Thank goodness for squishy shoes!


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Another hike! This time at Stone Mountain, Georgia. It’s not an actual hike, but it’s also not actually a mountain … so there’s that. Mostly went to hangout with these awesome friends of mine (and the laser/firework show!).


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Hey look I’m running again! Oh, and pirating a private race photo … oops. But after almost passing out from dehydration and effort after a particularly hot and humid 10k, I needed some way to capture and cherish the painful experience.

So there you go. Some XT before XC and XO to all my lovely friends who have been there along the way and continue to go on adventures, run with me, read this blog, and deal with my crazy stories and bad jokes. Oh and one more thing because 878 words is more than I wanted to share in this post … I promise that my next blog post will have less selfies. #sorrynotsorryabouthehashtags

 

 

Until next time,

Gabby

Curse of the Sunday long run(s)

Once upon a time there was a girl who went for her very first run. From then on, she continued to go longer and explore farther from home on different routes through streets, trails, parks, highways (sorry Mom), backroads, and everything in between. Even the local cow pasture (until the property owner started driving toward us and we sprinted away) wasn’t safe from her wandering feet!

This girl went on to start high school, run for her four years, continue running into college, move to the other side of the country to good ‘ole Georgia, and one day find herself on her own during the sticky summer months, wanting to go for a long run – one of her favorite things about running. Back at home in Washington, these long runs would be VERY long and oftentimes last up to 2.5 hours along the winding, single-track, viciously hilly, gravel logging roads at the local state park. Even then, long runs in Georgia were always an adventure …


Week 1: June 26th, 2016

Upon adventuring for a long run in the surrounding neighborhoods, this girl found a cute little woodchipped path, ran along it, and all the while was thinking of other routes to add-on, and what “road math” she could do in her head to complete the total 90 minutes of the long run. BUT THEN! Dehydration hit! Like, the girl started her run with a sip of water and a bad “nature break” omen dehydrated. Now the plan was to find the nearest water fountain, but most likely the nearest home (non-mansion, preferably) to drink from their hose – which has proved to work the best before in similar situations.

** ACTUAL UPDATE POSTED TO XC TEAM FACEBOOK PAGE**

Made it through half of my long run today before asking a woman walking her dog if she had any water. Was busy househunting, writing a short eulogy in my head for a dead squirrel I ran by, thinking about how much i *actually* miss Kennesaw, wondering if anything bad would happen as I followed her to her car, and that when it’s hot you’re supposed to slow down … but any slower and I would be walking? ‪#‎powerwalk‬

Somehow made it back without sneaking into someone’s yard and drinking from their hose (even though that’s my go-to for water when desperate), and struggled through 75 minutes instead of 90 #sorry fam

Moral(s) of the story:

– if yesterday was the hottest day on record since 1914, and your ~morning nature break~ is almost brown… then you probably aren’t prepared to do a long run well no matter how early you go *still not cooler than 80 at any time here in HOTlanta*
– always take a running buddy for long runs !!!!!
– HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE (and electrolytes are good too)
– talking to strangers and learning their life story (she used to run, cycles now, lives in VA Highlands, and even though cooking is her passion she doesn’t want to start a catering business) is okay! *as long as they’re not too creepy looking or their dog isn’t mean*
– listen to your body – the wheezing, mumbled complaints, blisters, sore/tight muscles, and spots you might be seeing are signs that maybe today should be an easier day :-)


Week 2: July 3rd, 2016

After surviving a rather busy and whirlwind week thanks to TV appearances at work and out of the ordinary experiences (never a dull moment here!), our dear runner girl was looking forward to a long run in which to enjoy the decent/not uber humid weather and relax! After all, church of the Sunday long run helps to make the rest of the Sabbath a delight. #HisDay Even then, the gods of the long run were not happy and 15 minutes into the run, just as the girl was entering into some single-track, soft surface trail, a root jumped out and ATTACKED HER! BUT THEN! she fell to the ground with a not so flattering “oomph!” and laid there for a few seconds before beginning to cry, recognizing that the pain in her ankle was not going to be the usual “get up and go” sort of fall. Glancing up, a man had been walking by with his young son and their dog, but even as the girl lay on the ground nursing her scraped and bleeding hands and knee, the man continued to tell his son, “Don’t let him chew on his leash – make sure he stands here and hold on tight.” Yes hello sir, a girl is hurt here. Please please help!

Long story short, and to save repeating the pity party of the runner girl for another time, no one helped the girl as she limped the 30 or so minute walk home – whimpering a bit (well this is embarrassing to admit) and immediately calling her mom before ibuprofen and ice/elevation for the hurt ankle … and then more tears. So all in all, week 2 brought a slightly sprained ankle and a frustrated girl. Oh, and the Peachtree 10k was the next day (less than 24 hours away), so maybe not finishing the run was good thing? #debatable

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Week 3: July 10th, 2016

WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP! Well, apparently loud alarms at the right time to go off did not work to get the runner girl up that Sunday morning. Figures. Plans were made to run with one of her teammates and drive to the Hooch for some soft surface, runner-filled, early morning long run miles. Unfortunately (sorry Erica), she didn’t wake up at the right time and actually woke up at a very disoriented 9am instead of 7am #oops. Being so, she rushed to get ready to leave and run at the Hooch anyway, calling and texting her forgotten friend (sorry again Erica), crying a bit (see a theme here?!), and getting on her way.

Upon arriving at the WRONG Chattahoochee River park, because apparently that’s a thing (Coacher never told me that there were two, ugh), the girl saw that there were branching trails from the parking lot and decide to give it a try! Because 90 minutes of adventure is never a bad thing, that’s for sure! BUT THEN! The trails turned out to be way too full of roots and it was more of a hike than run … of course it was. So, getting back in the car, KIND bar and water in hand, GPS at the go, the girl returned home. After a good half hour of settled lactic acid in her legs and repetitious pop songs on the radio, the girl muster the energy to run another 30 minutes through the ankle twisting park from Week 2, and after a short temper tantrum (these are common, no worries), FINALLY FINISHED (close to/combined) 90 MINUTES!


The curse of the Sunday long run(s). The past three weeks have been great! … except for the long runs. Unfortunately, Sundays are the days of running that I look forward to the most and these experiences have left me feeling tired, frustrated, and disheartened. This post is a a big thank you to those who have supported me in some of these challenges – listened to me vent, complain, cry (thanks Mom), and all else. This post is also a big sorry to those that I’ve vented, complained, cried (sorry Mom), forgotten (sorry Erica), and let down (sorry teammates). This post, en todo, is a bit of a cry for help! Anyone have any tips on how the break the curse? Anyone want to run with me next Sunday (if I promise to avoid all prior trail incidents, hydrate enough, and wake up on time)?

Here’s to a love-hate relationship with running, the Georgia humidity, Sunday mornings, 5:30am wake-ups during the week, Nalgene water bottles, and this blog.

Here’s to hoping for next week being a better long run.

Until next time,

GabbyIMG_3279.JPG

5am insights

So if you aren’t sick of my complaining yet, I’ll just continue anyway because I think everyone can agree with me on this point: the humidity here in the South is the WORST. Unfortunately what I’ve been hearing from Georgia natives is, “Oh just you wait, the worst is yet to come. Wait ’til it gets to 100 degrees! And the dog days! This is nothin’!” This remark is generally made beginning with some form of polite “ma’am, “sir”, or “y’all” and ends with a long sip of sugary sweet tea. I am fixin’ to use these Southern phrases one day or another.

Okay, okay, so maybe not that many Southern stereotypes fit into that specific conversation … but pick at least 2/4 and you might start to understand the way of life down here.

All of that being so, I’ve been punishing myself getting into a routine of waking up around 5:20am and getting in about an hour run before getting ready and leaving for work. I stand on my feet all day as well as commuting and lifting weights at night, so it will be easy in some ways to add in two-a-days later in the summer (editor’s note: it’s NOT any easier – it’s actually just been easier to run IN the heat, rather than to beat it! #oops). As soon as 5am comes and I still haven’t gotten much better at going to bed earlier, I’ve come to appreciate the *dark* morning runs. Sort of.

For some reason, the fact that it’s dark out in the morning isn’t an issue for me … but now being out after dusk makes me sad because I realize that even after I go to sleep and wake up for the new day, it will still be dark. Ugh. Still, coming from a small town with a total lack of good lighting around its pot-holed streets and one stoplight, I’m thankful for the convenient lamp posts along the main road of my university – the road serves a main bus stop, 2 hospitals, the CDC, and probably more important reasons, but I’ll pretend that they want to make sure runners like me feel safe.

Sunsets are overrated and sunrises don’t get enough credit. Not sure if it’s because people are generally awake for the sunset and don’t wake up before the sun? C’mon people – you’re missing out.

“Sorry Rudy but no, maybe sometimes if I feel like I need to punish myself for whatever reason”

Can we please recognize that this post has 11 “likes”? You can’t say I haven’t tried to find a running buddy. For now I’ll stick to my own groggy, somewhat grumpy, bargaining (for more sleep!) solo runs. There are a lot of hills, not many other runners, several confusing turns and blindspots, but at least I can come home to overnight oats, a shower, and begin the day feeling somewhat accomplished.

 

… I say “somewhat,” because at that point? It’s still only 7am. Awesome.

 

 

Until next time,

Gabby