Upping the IG game

I used to think if you put effort into something, it had to be lucrative in some way. Like the effort deserved a monetary or some other material reward.

These days, my feelings have changed.

I think the process is the joy, the journey is the way and when you get money for your craft, it’s a job. Making it a job, rather than doing it for it’s own sake, takes some of the joy out of it.

This is a long way of saying, I’ve been really enjoying playing on Instagram. I enjoy taking nice pictures of my food. I like plating things in a way that makes me want to eat them.

Then, I enjoy eating them!

It’s fun and I find I am doing it just because it makes me smile. I have been more active on Instagram stories and IG live (I did one without pants on oops!) and it’s just really fun! That’s all I can say! I don’t feel personally fulfilled, I do not want to up my followers or make this competitive. I simply enjoy using the platform.

It brings me joy.

Because I like doing this, I actually decided to make a new IG for my food photos. I want them to be uniform, look nice and be their own thing.

I’ll still do all my daily adventures on my regular IG (@gazzellie) but will have a new one dedicated to my meals pretty soon.

The name I decided upon is @gazzellieeeats (how original right?) and that’s what it’ll be. No strings attached. I’ll give credit to everyone whose recipes I’ve taken inspiration from, I’ll take the companies of the products I use and I’ll answer any questions.

I’ll still blog here from time to time, but it will most likely be race recaps or training musings.

I want to make clear that I am NOT a recipe creator. I’m a person who loves food and likes to make it look pretty. Then, I like to eat it. If I find a way that works for me, I’ll share it, but always know someone else has probably done it before.

I am in no way original, I am myself, which is a product of all things around me combined in a unique way.

That is my IG in a nutshell. That is what I’ll continue to do.

I have not made my new IG live yet. I don’t even know if the username is available, so I will update if that changes.

Until then, happy running, eating and living!

Memes on memes

I have no other reason to post today except to brighten your Sunday morning with memes I find hilarious.

On the life front, I’ve changed my sleep schedule, started lifting at night and ran my first few miles yesterday. My ankle feels good, but I took today as another non-run day. Just to be safe and I’m not training for anything.

I started sleeping in until 9, then going to the gym after work at 8:30 or 9:30PM to do the strength routine provided to me by my friend Danielle. It’s a cool new challenge, she’s a beast.

I like the quietness of my city at those hours. I walk home around 10PM and theres only a few people around. The gym is also quiet, just me and a few guys. I like challenging my body in new ways.

I made a YouTube video this morning, and have yet to post it. I’m not sure if I want to get into that medium. If I do, I doubt I’ll blog very much anymore.

It would be more question and answer style, as I’m not familiar with vlogging. I think the social component of my job would also make it uncomfortable for certain people. We shall see.

Just when I tried to make edits, my iPad needed to be backed up so…

Anyway, if you have questions, either ask them here (I don’t respond to comments but I do to emails) or email me at elliepell8@gmail.com

Enjoy the day!

I’ll wait for it, I’ve got nothing better to do

I started to miss running on Saturday. I went out for a walk before a double at work, and just wanted to feel that rush.

That cool air going straight through me.

The power in my legs.

The confidence in my stride.

I got to the South Hill trail and actually tried to start jogging. My foot still isn’t ready. It’s still healing from 9 months of pounding.

That’s ok, I’ll wait for it. I’ve got nothing better to do.

This week I’ll get back into the gym. Some elliptical and start weights. I am so lucky to be the friend of ax experienced lifter, because she wrote me a plan without batting an eye.

Strengthen the body outside of running. Give me something to put energy into.

The running will come back, and I’ll be ready.

This morning, Sunday, I missed my long runs. Not the all day escapades, but the 15-16 milers that took me on a journey, but never got me lost. I love those runs the most. The 2 hour easy jogs with my own head and a podcast. Grinding, and loving it. They’ll come back too. Not soon, but they will.

My rehab for my foot has been pretty standard. Just ice, balance, really massaging it and some water bottle rolling. Ibuprofen got the swelling down. It’s better but not there yet. It’ll come.

The students came back to town this week, so I’ve been doing my thing at CTB. I am lucky to have this. It keeps me engaged and fulfilled and on my toes. My coworkers have been great, albeit getting tired. Most of us are pulling 6 day weeks, and we are short staffed. Let’s just say I’m glad it’s busy now that I don’t have stuff to train for.

I’m thinking of selling my van to one of my coworkers. She and her girlfriend are going on a cross country road trip and they want it. I want my van to get used, so if they are serious, I’ll certainly sell it to them. I had such a great experience out there, I think they’d learn so much and have a wild time.

You know what I don’t really miss right now?

Trail running. Or all day trail running.

Controversial. Maybe. But that’s what I feel.

I don’t get the same rush I did a few months ago. The way I feel about road running right now is how I felt about trails last December. It fascinates me and I just want to do that.

I don’t have any aspirations right now to race. I simply want to do something different. I didn’t run in HS or college, so I’ve never trained for anything shorter than a half marathon. I want to just run a 5k.

I want to see what that feels like. Against other people. On the road. A different sort of burn.

But first, get my foot back to normal. Finish resting (I am still doing that, one week isn’t enough) and eating good food.

I don’t think of it as moving backward, I think of it as a new challenge, a new way to learn and a new way to have fun.

And that’s what running is.

Eating enough continues in off season too

The first few days of off season are kind of weird. I’m still sore from the bit of racing I did do and I know it takes a while for the cumulative fatigue to sort itself out. I have been training since December 1st. Its been fun, but also, time to rest.

I am keeping myself from looking ahead too much. Mostly I relish in the fact that I can do whatever I want to do next. There’s no timeline. There’s no expectation. I don’t have a race, so there’s no pressure to heal quickly and get back to it.

Mostly, I miss just getting out there and running. However, it’ll come back. It’s actually lucky my foot is sore because it reminds me not to come back too quickly. It reminds me that rest is productive and good. I love running and it will be there when I am ready.

Thankfully I am still able to walk and cycle easily, so this soreness only effects the area of my life I am avoiding right now. My morning walks have been nice and pretty. That is taking the place of training and it’s a solid stand in. I sweat more at work than I do outside. Keeping my HR down and all that. Off season. A break.

As most people ask, yes my meals and snacks are the same, maybe less nutritious but still the same quantity. I still talk and ramble on my IG stories. It’s fun and I’m not Ellie the runner, I’m just Ellie doing my thing.

It’s funny though, I am never super strict with my meals. I do my best to eat well, but also eat what I want. After races, I used to want to eat all the sugary stuff that isn’t bad, but also just not something I have everyday. I used to be my tradition to eat a pint of ice cream the night of every race. I don’t do that anymore. I don’t really have a reason, except that the food I crave is the food I normally eat. Meaning, after races I don’t really want to go on a bender. Sure, I’ll take it if it’s offered and it tastes good, but I know what makes my body feel good…and that Friends is simply eating enough.

That’s it. I eat enough, relatively the same amount whether training or not. I think that’s the key for me. It’s not looking forward to a certain type of thing (although if I wanted it I’d have it), it’s continuing my daily amount of calories. I’d guess I get 3,000-4,000 a day, and it works for me. Eating enough and feeling satisfied with my food is honestly better than any one special food.

Mic drop.

20 Miles at Twisted

Twisted Branch was everything I expected even in the rain. I knew what was coming and how hard it would be. I knew my fatigue level and the status of my ankle. With that knowledge I started the race with an open mind and an acceptance of the possibility of dropping.

I had my friend Jeff and Danielle out there crewing. Jeff would pace me from the Bud Valley aid station (mile 40) to the finish. They were amazing. I felt so taken cared for and safe with them. I couldn’t have picked a better crew. They knew my situation and how I felt going into the race. They knew not to press me if I dropped. It wasn’t that kind of day.

The race began at 4AM and it was actually a good temperature. Immediately I noticed my headlamp was shit. I haven’t used it since I used to run at 4AM, and it worked for where I was, the roads in Ithaca. A familiar place. It didn’t work for dark, wet trails.

After realizing this, I tried to stay near someone with a good light, but still my tripping was apparent. I hoped the sun would come soon.

Then the rain began and the shit show got worse. I was pretty scared for my safety actually, but just slowed down and made my way through the early hours. I think the Lord heard my prayers because at a turn, someone handed me a headlamp (it was the RD Scott who is an AMAZING guy) and I was able to see. That was a pretty big boost, one I needed as the rain began to pour buckets.

I felt alright making my way through the trails. Legs and heart feeling alright. Better than I expected. I ran with Pete Kresock for a while and then another guy I don’t remember. After Aid station 2 at 12 miles, we started a climb up a hill. By this point the course was flooded and still coming down. I missed a turn.

Instead of starting a windy descent, I made my way up to the top of a mountain and ended up at a pond familiar if you’ve run the muddy sneaker course. Realizing I must’ve made a mistake, I turned around and proceeded to fall down the wet rocks on the descent. I got so lucky I didn’t break my ankle. It was after the 4th or so fall that I knew it wouldn’t be my day here. The question was, did I want to walk the next 40 miles and 14 hours?

No. I did not. That is not my style. That is not how I race. I felt the chance to really mess myself up for longer was high, and that was not a chance I wanted to continue to take. I felt mentally checked out. Like I could plod along and finish, but this course deserves more respect than that. I felt like I could give it a real go, but not in the state of fatigue I was in.

I also felt at peace. I felt happy that I came to see what this amazing race was all about. I felt confident that I would finish it one day. But today was not that day. I simply am not ready to run a 100k. Maybe if I took MOTG and CT50 easier I would have been in better condition, but I didn’t. I’m also not mad I didn’t do that. I finished MOTG feeling strong and great. I finished CT50 in 3rd with a bum ankle. I am proud of those races.

I think my season ended at CT and the past month, although fun because I just love running, wasn’t what I needed to do well at Twisted. In hindsight, I’m glad I ran last month because I had fun on the roads. It felt good for some reason even though my ankle was sore.

With each race I learn more about my style and what I need. I am someone who races pretty hard each time (even if I don’t think I do) and I have a physical job. It takes me longer to recover. That’s my life. Now I will recover.

I feel at peace mentally, tired and sore physically, ready for a break to heal my ankle fully. I don’t have any races scheduled when I get back. I’m taking it one day at a time.

I’ll admit that last night I went to bed thinking “great, it was only 20 miles so I won’t be sore!” This morning I was reminded how hard my falls were and that volunteering for the hours post race is actually pretty physically demanding.

With that, I’ll end my season on a beautifully hard 20 miler, a long day of cheering and helping and hopefully a speedy recovery.

Thank you to Scott and all the volunteers at Twisted Branch. You made it fun and thank you for letting me crash the Bud Valley aid station to help. Thank you to Ian and Red Newt Racing for believing in me and helping with my crazy. Thank you to Finger Lakes Running for all the support, shoes and laughs. I have the best running store in NYS.

Until next time, I gotta go to work cause running don’t pay my bills ya know?