Brave Like Gabe

This week was tough.

The collective heart of the running community was broken when Gabe Grunewald passed away on Tuesday morning.

I met her one time. In Texas. After the Silo District Marathon in 2018. We had a 5 second interaction.

My heart broke this week. For a woman I did not know. For a woman with so much strength. For a woman who beat her demon 3/4 times.

Gabe passed away from cancer after beating it 3 times.

Brave like Gabe.

She embodied a movement. She was a call to action. Her death is my personal call to action.

I want to be brave. To be brave like Gabe.


The past 3 weeks since the marathon have been different than what had become my normal. That was part of the plan, as I can only begin again if I am recovered.

I don’t feel recovered, and that bothers me. I want to be ready to go in July. I’m worried I won’t be.

In addition to relaxing my running and training habits, I have also relaxed my recovery and eating habits.

I haven’t been focusing on getting enough in or spending time off my feet. Sure, I still eat and feel content, but quite honestly it isn’t enough. The problem creeps up when I become lazy. I just don’t want to think about most things, training, nutrition, recovery etc, when I am not actively shooting for a race. This leads me to overdo it in some areas and underdo it in others. Not exactly ideal right now.

Brave like Gabe.

In order to be the best athlete I can and truly use this break, I need to change my mindset around off season. That’s scary for me, because I have an obsessive nature. I don’t want to think about calories, extra rest etc. right now. I don’t want to confront this problem, because it means there actually IS A PROBLEM. Does that sound nuts? Because it probably is.

Reflecting on Gabe’s life and mission, bravery for me means looking at myself honestly and adjusting my lifestyle.

Training made me fit, but too fit for regular life. It’s time to put back on the marathon weight I lost.

My legs got used to being sore. It’s time for them to get used to feeling good.

Being brave means being willing to change. My comfort zone became this marathon fatigue. Breaking out of my comfort zone means changing my body, my habits and subsequently my fitness. I should be un-fit going into July. That’s hard to wrap my head around, but if I keep believing, keep repeating her phrase, her legacy, I know I will be able to do it.

Brave like Gabe.

I miss you.

Ellie Pell