My 5 Fave Racing Trips {link up!}

Last year was definitely the year of race-cations. I feel like I was all over the place (because I was!) This week’s DC Trifecta link up topic is 5 Trips so I’ll share (again lol!) some of the places I visited last year (and some places I plan to visit this year 🙂 )

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Thanks for hosting Cynthia, Mar, and Courtney!

1. I still can’t believe I ran a 1/2 marathon in Madrid, Spain. Sometimes, I look at that album and seriously am shocked that that happened. But it did and it was absolutely amazing. I recapped the race here but some memorable things from the race were

-how awesome it was to be half way around the world and be able to speak the language. Both my husband and I are fluent Spanish speakers 🙂

-how plastic water bottles were given at each water station. Bottled water is so expensive in Europe that as soon as I saw a PR was nowhere near possible, I started hoarding water bottles and ran with one in each hand the entire way lol!

-how there were ZERO porta-potties. Men just pulled up to the side and did their thing but the women had to find a restaurant or shop to use the bathroom!

Madrid was our first stop in our Europe tour and we started off with a bang

One of my fave race pics -- having fun doing what I love (and in Spain!)

One of my fave race pics — having fun doing what I love (and in Spain!)

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2. When I got back from Europe, I decided to cross the Grand Canyon twice lol! Doing Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim was such an incredible experience. I had never been to the Grand Canyon and to go and do that was amazing. I recapped the double crossings here and here.

The Grand Canyon is a must see if you’re Arizona and if you’re planning on visit, why not cross the whole thing? 🙂

Day 1: South Kaibab to North Kaibab. Day 2: North Kaibab to Bright Angel.

Day 1: South Kaibab to North Kaibab. Day 2: North Kaibab to Bright Angel.

the edge of glory

              the edge of glory

at the finish line of the Canyon :)

at the “finish line” of the Canyon 🙂

3. My bucket list marathon was the Marine Corps Marathon in our nation’s capitol, Washington, D.C. I’m a big history buff so running a race there would unite to of my passions: running and history. I wrote about this race and how it met ALL of my high expectations here (and a little more here). The cherry on the top of this race last October was also meeting my BRF Salt ❤ The day couldn’t have been better.

Oh just strolling by the White House--nbd.

Oh just strolling by the White House–nbd.

Best. Medal. Ever.

Best. Medal. Ever.

My BRF and sole sister--Salt <3

My BRF and sole sister–Salt

4. I mentioned just last week how I plan on going to Cincinatti, Ohio to run the Flying Pig 1/2 Marathon.

We'll be running the half! :D

So if anyone had told me my brother would run a 1/2 marathon…I would have snorted and said, “Yeah, when pigs….yeah….” 

This race is special because it will by my brother’s first half and I NEVER thought he’d run a half marathon. Ever. I’m so pumped about it, I can’t even explain it lol! Just this past weekend he texted me a pic of his 7 miler. I’m so ridiculously proud of him.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about this race and you bet I’ve checked out the elevation chart–I’m ready for you hills! (well not really, but yeah)

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Helloooo hills!!

5. Finally, my fall marathon this year will be in……CHICAGO!! My run club is organizing a group to run the Chicago Marathon and my husband and I have put our names in the lottery–all our fingers are crossed we get in.

I’m still gunning for a sub 4:30 and I’m hoping, hoping, hoping it happens in Chicago. If not, I plan on maybe trying ONE MORE TIME in Phoenix Spring 2016 and if it still doesn’t happen, I’m putting up my marathon running shoes for a while. Marathon training is no joke and this momma is TIE-ERD.

So, there you have it! Some places I’ve been ridiculously lucky to visit and two that I’m super pumped to check out this year.

–Where have you traveled to run? Do you have a favorite place?

–Where is your dream race-cation?

Good luck to Sue@ThisMamaRunsForCupcakes who is running a marathon in PARIS, FRANCE this weekend!!!

keep rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ {M80 Roller Review}

I recently got the insanely awesomest chance to try the M80 Roller because of my affiliation with Run Eat Tweet AZ and seriously, I am one lucky runner.

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Foam rollin’ has always been part of my running life. As many of you know, foam rolling can really help with recovery. I’ve always had the regular ol’ rollers you can find at your nearby Target and like. Nothing wrong with those and they’ve always worked fine. I had no idea really that there were endless options of rollers.

Until I got to try this one.

I picked the M80 up from my buddy Jeremy @ConfessionsOfAnAmateurAthlete (and creator of RETAZ) at the Phoenix Marathon expo and I kid you not, after like 5 minutes of walking around holding that thing, I was approached by TWO people asking me if what I was holding was an M80 roller. No. Joke.

My husband and I immediately looked at each other after the second stranger approached and were like, “Um, apparently this is a big deal.”

We all know what happened that Phoenix Marathon day and I didn’t get to try the roller until my first run after my DNF. It was after a trail run. The perfect circumstances as my legs were all kinds of sore from hills.

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And yeah. It’s a big deal.

The roller is firm and that has to be the biggest thing I like about it. I can feel it working my muscles and getting deep in there. I don’t have to forcefully press down like with an ordinary foam roller. In fact, I kinda have to let up a little because truth is, it hurts LOL. Good, awesome hurt, but hurt nonetheless jaja!!

There’s no slippage happening here either. My old roller would sometimes try and well, roll away from me when I’d use it, but this one stays put. It has these grooves that help prevent it from running away and those grooves are what also help get really deep into your muscles.

There are so many ridiculously awesome colors available and I know that’s not a huge deal to some but for others, it is (like you know, if you want to take pictures of you foam rollin’ and share on social media 😉 ) Mine’s pink (purple was taken) and if you take a look online, you’ll see that there are quite a few solid colors and a number of designs to choose from.

There are also different size options. There’s a travel size 6″, a regular 15″ (that’s the one I have), and a 30″.

I know at first glance the price might make you think about sticking with your oldie but goodie, but trust me (and you know you really can), this foam roller is super legit. When you try it, you’ll know why it’s become a reason to stop a random stranger and ask if that is THE M80 roller.

And guess what?

Run Eat Tweet AZ will be giving away ONE FREE M80 ROLLER every day this week!!!!!! Go (like now, seriously, go) to their Facebook page for details. You do not want to miss out on a chance to snag quite possibly the best freebie out there.

And if you don’t win? It’ll be worth every penny if you treat yourself to one. 🙂

–Do you foam roll? Like it?

–Have you heard of the M80 Roller?

I received my M80 roller via Run Eat Tweet AZ. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Thank you Run Eat Tweet AZ and M80 Roller!!

 

Feelin’ Good!!! {link up}

Happy Friday!!! I’m linking up with the DC Trifecta ladies Cynthia, Mar, and Courtney for today’s Friday 5 Good Things.

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And thankfully, there’s a lot of good going on 😀

1. Drugs

Whoa, whoa, whoa, before anyone gets the wrong idea, let me remind you that I’ve been sick forever for a long time. I finally made my way to a doctor who prescribed me some medication and YAY!! I’m finally feeling better.

2. My first run back

Because of the aforementioned good thing, I was finally able to go out for a run after a 10+ day hiatus. It wasn’t the best run ever, but it felt sooo good to get back out there. My husband joined me so it made the run even better.

Totally feeling like I'm starting over here....

Starting over..

3. MRTT

I’ve mentioned that I’m a part of several running groups, but right now I’m especially happy with how the Moms Run This Town group I lead is progressing. I started our local chapter about a year ago and picked up my buddy Jennifer@We’re Running a Marathon along the way to help co-lead. And despite still being relatively new, we’ve grown our young group to almost 100 members!

And it’s not just about the numbers. There have been several meet-ups and group runs and great conversations and it’s just been awesome. Starting something and having no idea how it will turn out only to see it going well is def a GOOD thing 😀

Check out the main website for an MRTT group near you! (sorry dudes, girls only)

Check out the main website for an MRTT group near you! (sorry dudes, girls only)

4. A surprise in the works

I’m so pumped!! I’ve mentioned I think a while back, how my brother has picked up running. Last year, my brother, sister, and I ran our first (and my brother’s first) sibling 5k.

Family 5k fun!

Family 5k fun!

Since then, he’s been a running machine!

Like for real. My (former) 300lb, 6’2 brother has lost 50 pounds!!! FIFTY!! He’s been running and cross training and most recently, almost exactly a year after his first 5k, he ran another one and finished in 27:56. YOU READ THAT RIGHT. He freakin’ rocked that 5k beating his previous time by 5 minutes!!

He has his sights set on running a half marathon and has been training for it the past couple of months. He sends me pics of his long runs–5 miles one week, 6 miles another week, and I’ve seriously been the most proudest sister ever.

I have to see him run this half.

Soooooooo, my awesome, amazing, I’m-so-freakin-lucky-to-have-him husband bought me tickets to go see him run!!! In Ohio!!

I have no idea if my brother reads my blog. I don’t think he does. He doesn’t know I’m going!

I did call my sister though, to kinda help with logistics, and she suggested I run it too! She’s running it, and she said it would benfun for all of us to start together and give my brother a sibling send off.

You guys, I’m so insanely excited about this.

We'll be running the half! :D

We’ll be running the half! 😀

5. Birthday girl

Finally, the best good thing…

my daughter turned 3 yesterday ❤

Threeeee!!!!!

Threeeee!!!!!

Her party is tomorrow and seriously, I can’t believe how fast these 3 years have gone by. I have a 3 year old and this summer, I’ll have a 2 year old as well!! Gahh!!!

I hope everyone has a great weekend (with great weather!)!!

❤ , helly

–Share something GOOD with me!! What’s going on your awesome life right now??

–Have you participated in the Flying Pig Marathon? Tell me everything.