More complaints (and a confession)

So, running.

Yeah, the whole reason for starting this blog 5 years ago and a topic I hardly ever write about (and most because I ever have time anymore #college). For any of you out there that are new, have followed for years, or really have no idea what this is, update: I’m studying abroad in Costa Rica this semester and actually will be returning in a little over a month. *sigh*

 

Also, I hate running.

 


Okay, I know that all runners out there have mentioned they hate running on a monthly, weekly, daily, heck even hourly basis depending on their training and level of fitness … but guys, I mean it this time. And not in the whole, “Oh I hate running!” way as I continue running my 10 mile long run and am laughing about random things with my friends like I usually do – cue memories of Sunday long run at Kennesaw, my favorite day of the week. Also, bagels. Mostly because of the bagels.

I don’t know the whole “first step is admitting you have a problem” process, but I’m there. I’ve finally admitted it to myself and needed somewhere to admit it, express it, and move on without hearing things like, “Oh whatever!” or, “You have so much time to train, just enjoy your time abroad!” or even, “Pues, todavía tiene mañana y puede descansar hoy.” Thanks family, random strangers, friends, and host-mamá.


Currently: sitting on the floor of my tiny bedroom in Guadalupe, Costa Rica in leggings and a matching running t-shirt after 35 minutes of hell and recognizing that 1) I actually enjoy running sometimes 2) I hate what I’ve let myself become and how I feel. Oh, and most importantly 3) I want to be a better version of myself.

So in a way I guess you could say I’m at rock bottom of my 8 years of running.

I’ve never taken this much off of running (think: I left my team in mid-December and since then only run 2 times a week – sometimes 3?), am bigger/chubbier/más gordita than ever (think: have played sports my entire life, am not running 6 times a week & am eating rice and beans multiple times everyday), and am finally being honest with myself.

So, now what?


For the past year or so running has been a chore. I’ve honestly hated it. I didn’t know if I would run the fall cross country season of my Junior year or college (spoiler: I did) and I’ve been hoping that study abroad would somehow miraculously change my life in every way – figuring out post-graduation plans, family & money stress, lack of a love life, problems with running, etc (spoiler: so far it hasn’t).

And here we are.

*cue another dramatic pause and look longingly into the future where I am super fit & successful & happy & all is roses and sunshine*

(Just kidding about that last part)


Running has always been something that I’ve had a love/hate relationship with. Reading my own posts on here about how motivated, excited, fast, and hopeful I used to be about running makes me sad. I suppose we change over the years, but I always thought that I would be a runner forever – meaning, as I thought then, that I would always love running and how it made my feel, etc.

Just a note to my naïve younger self: you were wrong.

I hate running.

But I also still love running *cue shock & surprise* I love where I can adventure to, my time alone to think and write (spoiler: my best blogs posts come after runs), and love myself. I don’t love myself when I’m not running, and that’s what I’ve realized.

*mic drop*


So maybe the “spoiler” was a bit premature. Studying abroad and being away from my team (heck, without a team for the first time since I was 5 – soccer, basketball, running), independence in many of my normal life decisions, my friends & family that know me as a runner, and away from running … have taught me just how much I miss it.

 


If this is my “mid-running-life crisis” then I am okay with that – I’ve always planned on getting more into cycling/road biking, and I think 42 sounds like a great age for once my knees go bad & I can actually afford a nice bike.

From here on I don’t want to say that I am going to be faster than ever before, or more fit. I’m not going to break any school records or be lighter than I was during my stress fracture (think: not eating hardly anything & exercising a lot = not healthy). My team is important and running in college is a job, I understand and respect that.

But while I’ve been away and taken time for myself for the first time, realizing that I don’t label myself as a runner when I first meet someone new, and knowing that there are times that running really is more important than other things – like when I am back at Emory this fall for my last season(s) and back to being a student-athlete.

I’m just going to be honest with myself now because I do hate running and it sucks right now to be out of shape & chubby & live a life so different than how I’ve been the past 8 years and who I’ve become.


So, just in case you missed what I’m trying to say here: I hate running. I’ve been miserable for the past year or so and so often feel like I am “forcing” myself to go to practice each day, out the door early, and feeling so guilty for not running like I know I “should.” Running is the worst thing that’s happened to me because for the first time I truly realize (by choice, even) that I don’t know how to live without it.

And that’s okay.


Onto the next run, because you know starting from now on that I’ll be strapping up my laces & pounding the hard concrete of Costa Rica a few miles more … and a lot more miles happier after that.

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*** Editor’s note: this was just my 100th post and I had no idea. Figures

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Muchas aventuras (in WA!)

Something about running, something about being productive, something about school and being tired. Riiiiiiiiiiiight. 

Rather than returning to Emory for early return training for indoor track, I am still in Washington state with my family and friends. Well, mostly alone since most, if not all of my friends are back at school or working before classes begin again! It’s a weird way to live – sleeping in, staying in late, watching as much Netflix as I want, doing as many crafts as my Hobby Lobby obsession/holiday budget can permit, and fun adventures that I don’t normally have the time to do!

In a few weeks I will be off to Costa Rica for a study abroad program lasting all of the spring semester. I am looking forward to warm weather, being immersed in the Spanish language, the opportunity to make new friends and meet new Ticos (the name for Costa Ricans), as well as all else that I will learn over the next few months. As I’ve had this blog for many years and love the WordPress platform, I’ve made ANOTHER blog to document my experiences, and no worries … even thought the titles are in Spanish, all of the blogs will be in English (or at least Spanglish!). As I’ll be disappearing from this blog for some time, unless the running is increíble, more updated posts will be on Gabbythegringa.wordpress.com. :-)


Until next time … here are a few photos of my latest adventures.

  • Being a tourist in my own state! I’ve hardly spent time downtown Seattle, but the chance to spend a few hours near Pike Place, go shopping, and trying not to freeze in this super cold WA winter with my mom was a joy.
  • When you live a 5 minute walk from a small local café, why wouldn’t you go to plan your next vacation(within a vacation), answer emails, and to eat yummy pastries?!
  • Guerrilla Running Community group! I’ve always wanted to run with one of the local running clubs in Olympia, and I recently had the opportunity to! Sure it was cold, I was the youngest there, and did  I mention that it was COLD?! but it was a great opportunity that I am grateful to have had as I am missing my teammates and it’s nice motivation to get out and run.
  • Time on the couch watching Netflix and cuddling with your dog is good for the soul. Trust me on that one.

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Until next time,

Gabby

Finally accepting my namesake

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*sung to the tune of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer*


“Gabby, the one from Washington

had some really cool new lights

and if you ever saw them

you would even say they’re bright.

All of her other teammates,

used to laugh and call her names

They never let poor Rudy

choose her very own nickname.

Then one dark and cold morning

Coacher came to say:

“Rudy with your shoes so bright,

won’t you guide morning run today?”

Then all her teammates hated her

as they shouted out “Slow down!,”

Rudy the light-shoed runner,

you’ll go down in history!

*as Coacher’s favorite!*”


Merry (belated) Christmas and happy holidays to everyone!

Until next time,

Gabby

Snapshot.

2 alarms – set 3 minutes apart

3 Ibuprofen for old people feet

1 bottle of water

3 “snoozes”

= 8:30am on a Monday and nowhere to go (until 2pm Spanish)

“How has your semester been?” “What classes are you taking?” “When are you going home?” “How’s it going?” “Did you know _____ was dating ______?”

“I’m having pet-separation anxiety.” “I can’t believe this semester has gone by so quickly!” “I have so much homework and three tests next week.” “Last night I slept for 12 hours and am still going to take a nap because I deserve it.” “I watched Netflix for 3 hours last night and have no regrets.”

 

4 classes (sort of 5)

6 days/week of practice

0 meal swipes

3 over-expensive Kaldi’s Coffee shops

= busy busy busy on campus

“What do you want to do after you graduate?” “What is your research about?” “When do you go home?” “Will you swipe me into the DUC?”

“It’s pretty much glorified coloring, but I wouldn’t tell my mentor that.” “I haven’t gone to class in 2 weeks or started studying for my test on Monday.” “Today was so nice to take a nap and study.” “The construction has been so loud they are giving us free food for not killing any of the construction workers.”

 

26 teammates

1 Coacher

4 vans to Kennesaw long run

6 days/week of practice

= college cross country 101

“How many miles do you usually run?” “Anyone going to Lull?” “How far are your races?” “Do you ever run with the guys’ team?” “Oh you compete year round?”

“That’s definitely not my race pace.” “Lifting before a workout is dumb.” “People keep stealing our foam rollers – we need to steal them back.” “It’s only 5:30pm and so dark outside, but at least we don’t have to do ancillary.”

 


Highlights of today: cheering on my teammates at Nationals, learning about a new sect of Hinduism, submitting a paper for extra credit, spending time with some of my favorite people, wearing squirrel socks, officially memorizing John Mayer’s new song, learning the word “decussation” and being able to describe it

 

Downsides of today: spilling curry into my scarf, mispronouncing every Guru’s name at the Hindu temple (which I also can’t pronounce the name of), deciding to eat ice cream when it was cold outside, thinking I could read 30 pages of a Psych textbook in one sitting, starting to pack up little things of my apartment, not having photo evidence of my conversation on Twitter with Edward Cheserek


 

When you take a rest day from running, you end up with a lot of free time at the end of the day – procrastinating folding your laundry while eating dry cereal and rocking out to Spotify ads in Spanish. #qué? Just a little peek into a day in the life of a college student (plus a lot more complaining, procrastination, and gossip). Here’s to more blogging in the future and these last 2.5 weeks of the school year!

 

Until next time,

Gabby

 

Featured in low-quality snapchat (taken while writing this):

said scarf with curry stains and laundry that’s waiting for me to fold

Back to work!

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“Change” rhymes with “see ya”

I wish I could say that things are different since the last time I posted earlier this summer … it’s still 80 degrees nearly everyday (where the heck is fall at?!), I am still in GA and living within the same 3 mile radius, still listening & dancing along to the same songs on Spotify, and still running/studying/surviving.

*sorry I’m not great at creative introductions – my creative process is a bit rusty after all this “school”/”homework”/”studying” stuff lately*

This semester has been the busiest one so far, but I guess 1/8 isn’t too bad, right? Not to mention the fact that, “No matter what happens this semester election, I’ll be in Costa Rica next spring.” More on that later (maybe), but I am so excited to be studying abroad and exploring all that Costa Rica has to offer – food, host families, research, working on my Spanish, running adventures, and all else in such a beautiful place. :-)


Since this summer though, it doesn’t seem like anything much has changed here in Atlanta, but I know I sure have:

I am now a golfer.

Surprise! I didn’t say I was a good one (or that I hit any of the balls), but having my mom for a personal coach was pretty cool. Top Golf is the way fun – definitely a bucket list item if you like golf (or even if you don’t) – its set-up is similar to bowling … but golf.

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14907091_10210867990406044_6140422193381706688_n14606422_10210867990046035_4609000556506491964_nI am now Paul.

Haha! For our conference XC meet we made the boys’ teams signs with their faces on (which made for funny/creepy photos like this!). Our boys and girls’ teams are running SO fast this season – excited for the last couple championship races. Go Eagles! *Go Paul!*

I’m now an aspiring neuroscientist.

Okay, so maybe this one is sort of true? The opportunity to make “brain cake” for a church Halloween party was the highlight of my college career as I’m a Neuroscience/Behavioral Biology major. Those are some pretty good looking gyri and sulci,  if I don’t say so myself.

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I’m now a SAAC fanatic.

SAAC = Student Athlete Advisory Committee and after the opportunity to go to a 3-day university conference as a representative of my school and sport, I am SO excited about what student-athletes can do at Emory and making sure we have a voice in athletics. *steps off pedestal*

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I’m now a member of the the Emory Sports Hall of Fame.

Okay, so not quite … but I am sharing the photo and spent the night with one of the inductees! The beautiful Sarah Byrd is the first and only person to have won the 3,000m steeplechase for Emory, and after hearing so many stories about her from my Coach, it was an incredible opportunity to meet her. Not to mention she is/was pregnant and still super fit! #goals (Read more here!)

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I am now retired.

… for the next 10 months, at least. Since I am studying abroad in the spring, this cross country is my last competitive season of junior year as I will thankfully be missing indoor and outdoor track. I will be missing my teammates, but am looking forward to exploring Costa Rica and summer training for SENIOR year. Pictured: my best friend and one of the ~speediest~ Eagles breaking my old and tired back. Here’s to hoping there are benefits for seniors in our old age though Emory Athletics. ;-)

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I am now a squirrel.

The better you know me, the less of a surprise this photo will be. After my roommate woke me up on my birthday wearing this onesie and singing “Happy Birthday,” Halloween seemed like the perfect day to make my transformation, haha! Please note the “I love squirrels” socks.

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I am now more proud, happy, and (already) nostalgic about my decision to be at Emory.

My team, as always – no matter who is on it, is my family. Not only the girls I run with everyday, but the friends, support system, church family, and faculty that I’ve had the opportunity to get to know while in Atlanta have blessed my life in so many incredible ways over the past 2 years.  It hasn’t been easy to be here, and things are far from perfect, but this is home.

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I’d sure like to think that I am now a bit different than even this summer. That I’ve changed in ways that: I now know how to glue on fake eyelashes, can successfully cook dinner enough to enjoy it and have leftovers for the coming week, balance my church responsibilities and schoolwork through a multi-colored and highlighted planner (with many dog-eared pages and sticky notes), as well as manage to live alone in my apartment and not set off the fire alarm (looking at you, people who set it off when I am in the shower x2). These are all adult-ish things, right? If not, I’m getting there. Here’s to plenty of “I am going to miss you!”s in the next couple months, but also plenty of, “Hi! I’ve missed you!”s. It’s been a long year here in the South. Thanks, Emory. Thanks, everyone.

 

Until next time,

Gabby

P.S: Change is and always has been one of the things that I dislike/fear the most. Fortunately, as I move forward and step into a future FULL OF IT, this quote (as cheesy as that might sound), has given me a different perspective. Being so, maybe I should stop making these changes? #lifegoeson

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

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