Rock My {Running} World: Meet Abby

Okay guys, this next person is truly amazing and definitely rocks my {running} world!  Every time I read Abby’s blog I learn something and am inspired.  She is super smart, super experienced and has one of the best attitudes of any runner I have ever met.  Abby is getting ready to run the Philly Marathon this coming weekend!  Go to her informative and inspirational blog and learn TONS of stuff about how to run stronger every day and while you’re there, give her some well wishes for her marathon!

Abby celebrating a strong finish at MCM, 2009

Name: Abby Bales

Age: 31

Location: New York, New York, baby! 


Twitter: @Abby_NYC 

What do you do in “real” life? Personal Trainer, student (studying to be a physical therapist), lululemon Ambassador 

How long have you been running? 
21 years 

Why did you start running? My friend, Erin, called me up the night before volleyball tryouts in 6th grade to ask me if I wanted to do cross country with her instead (we were only allowed to do one fall sport in my school) and I said sure. Haven’t stopped running since. 

How many marathons have you run? The Philadelphia Marathon will be my 9th (New York x 2, Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco, Marine Corps Marathon x 4, Jersey Shore Marathon) 

Personal Records:
Marathon: 3:46 (MCM)
Half Marathon: 1:42 (Brooklyn)
10 Miler: 1:16 (Central Park Mother’s Day Race)
10K: I don’t remember the last time I ran a 10K…training runs are usually around 46-47 minutes, I guess. I should try one soon…
5K: 22:14 (high school), 23:54 (adulthood) 

What is your proudest running moment: Finishing the New Jersey Marathon during a horrendous Ulcerative Colitis flare-up. I didn’t think I’d be able to do it during miles 15-20. At 20 I started to feel better and I finished strong. When I crossed that finish line, I knew in my heart that my disease would never define me.

Abby still smiling in a tough marathon along the Jersey Shore

Pick one of your favorite parts of the lululemon manifesto and tell me why it speaks to you): 
Do one thing a day that scares you Going back to school for my PhD in physical therapy scared me so much that I thought about it for almost a year before I finally applied to NYU. I’m scared every day that I go to class that I’m not smart enough, but I seem to be hanging in there! 

Do you have a favorite running mantra?  Why does this work for you?: Just keep going and You can do this are two things I tell myself during hard runs or when I want to give up. I think I’ve been in enough physically grueling situations to know that whatever I’m feeling isn’t going to kill me and I CAN keep going, I just have to decide to do it. 

Tell us a little about what you do to strengthen your running (core training, lifting, yoga, Pilates, etc) and what do you do to protect yourself from injury? Weight training has been the single reason I don’t get injured the way some of my friends, colleagues and running competitors do. I also take time off between races/marathons and cycle my seasons like the pros. Yoga has made me a more focused, stronger runner and indoor cycling at Flywheel Sports has been an amazing “off your legs” cross training workout for me. I do anything and everything I can to stay injury-free!

If you run with music, tell us a few of your favorite running songs: Born To Run, Dog Days Are Over, Where the Streets Have No Name, Party Rock Anthem, Gonna Fly Now (doesn’t everyone have this song on their run playlist???)

What is your next race?  What is your goal for that race? Philadelphia Marathon on November 20th (eeeek!) 3:40-3:42 

What are your long term running goals? I want to run until I die. I want to run a marathon where my parents can watch me do it again. I want to run a 3:30 marathon. I want to run a marathon one year after giving birth (whenever that may be). I want to run at least one marathon on another continent. I want to run the Honolulu Marathon to celebrate passing my boards in 2015. 

What advice do you have for other runners out there? You can do it. Ask for help. Get stronger in the weight room before you pack on the mileage. Set a goal. Have fun. 

Abby is ALWAYS supporting and cheering for others!

Who rocks your (running) world? My husband. My friend, Leol, who is a blind athlete who runs with Achilles International and whom I guided in the ING NYC 2005 marathon. My old high school friend, Karleen, was in the middle pack with me and now she runs 3:07 marathons. I want to be like her. My lululemon Run Club and family are just THE BEST.

Can you tell us about someone who inspires your running and why/how they do that? My parents are the most inspirational people I know. They stood in the pouring rain, sleet and unbearable heat to watch me run cross country for 7 years. They deserve medals for that! My Mom has battled and beat breast cancer twice and I have had the privilege of training and walking with her in two half marathons. My Dad taught me how to work out as a teenager and that gave me the confidence to walk into any gym and also pursue a job as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer. He now has MS and still works out more than most people I know. Another close family member is fighting cancer right now and I think of them when I want to give up. The never have, so I never do.

2 thoughts on “Rock My {Running} World: Meet Abby

  1. I love your interview! I just wanted to say congratulations to your mom and her two time survivor status. My mom is a two time survivor as well. I do the Global Race for the Cure in DC in celebration of her every year. My sisters and I plan to do one of three day walks as well.

    Thanks for sharing a little piece of you. Reading about others and their running never gets old and is always inspiring.

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