2017–And The Adventure Begins

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I love new beginnings. All of ’em. Mondays, mornings, new years, new months, new seasons…The hopefulness of the start of something new excites me and motivates me.

As far as goals and resolutions, I don’t look at them as having a deadline. If/when I create them, I do so with the intention of them being something I work on for as long as I can, as long as life will allow. So any goals I set for myself, I’m not looking to have fulfilled them by the end of they year. If they take longer, they take longer. For me, the pursuit of the goal, the lessons I learn while I’m actively trying, is always what stays with me the longest.

Because of a year like 2016, I finally feel confident enough to go for my 2017 goals, because honestly, I never thought I’d be within reach.

I want to Boston Qualify. You all knew this was coming, right? Lol! In all seriousness though, I’m still quite a bit aways, but this is the year I want to start making my attempts. I’m motivated by a good training cycle and marathon from NYC, I’m motivated by friends like Katrina and Colby and Jennifer and Ashley, and I’m motivated by the fact that I’m finally confident enough to even consider it.

My first attempt will be at St. George in October. It’s no longer a lottery (per their website) so on April 1st, I’ll be at my computer ready to register, lol. I’ve also already signed up for California International Marathon (CIM) in December.

Right now my current marathon PR is 3:58 and my BQ time is 3:35. Realistically, I’d need around a 3:32-33 to get in.

Completing a half marathon under 1:45 this past December really boosted my confidence in thinking I could actually qualify. That was a criteria for me before I even considered trying. With Hanson’s Marathon Method, the longest tempo run is 10 miles, so if I were training to BQ, I’d need to do 10 miles in 8:00 minutes. With a half marathon at a 7:48/mile average under my belt, I feel like I can better tackle a Hanson’s BQ training cycle now.

Can you tell I’ve thought about this a lot? Ja!!!

And because I’m crazy, I really want to qualify in the age group I’m currently in: 18-34. Right now I’m 32, and your needed BQ time is for the age you’ll be on Boston Marathon race day. So let’s say it takes me two years to qualify and I’m 34—the time I would technically need would be for the next age group, 3:40, since I would be 35 on race day. Many have said I should wait and age in, but, I like the challenge of qualifying in my current age group time. If people have done it, why can’t I? So what if I’m practically a half hour away–details shmeetails. 😀

I want to sub 1:40 a 1/2 Marathon. This is equally insane to me as my BQ goal. When I ran the Scottsdale Half Marathon, I thought a sub 1:45 was a stretch (my previous PR being 1:48) and I remember saying that as long as I got that sub 1:45, I would be done with any 1/2 marathon goals.

Well I finished with a 1:42 and now I kinda want to try for a sub 1:40, lol! And this time, I’m serious that whenever I do get it, I’ll be more than satisfied having that as my long standing PR.

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Like I said at the start of the post, I’m not looking to check these off this year. It would be great, but I know that it could take longer than 12 months. A lot longer. And I’m okay with that. I know trying for these goals, even if I don’t make them “soon”, will help me become a better runner. That’s still a win, right?

I have 3 marathons scheduled for 2017, two of which will be BQ attempts. I have 2 half marathons scheduled, one of which will be a sub 1:40 attempt.

Here’s to a fun ride trying to make these happen!! I hope you join me 😀

–What are your 2017 running/fitness goals?

–When you dream big, do you dream reeeeally BIG (like me, lol) or make goals that are more within reach?

 

 

Sweet ’16

What a year.

I remember writing a recap for 2014 thinking there’s absolutely no way it could get any better. And while ’14 was unforgettable in its own special way, two thousand sixteen was pretty darn amazing.

Last year, 2015, was pretty difficult for me in terms of running. I don’t even think I wrote a recap for it, lol! I had my first DNF in Phoenix and trained hard for Chicago but had an abysmal race. I ended the year injured and frustrated.

But I was determined to make 2016 a good year and even though I started it still recovering from my stress fractures (and missing what would’ve been my first race of the year), I was ready to go at the end of January.

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Me in the middle holding a sign at RnR AZ–Had a blast cheering and spectating 🙂

He let me wear his medal <3

He let me wear his medal ❤

After cheering on my friends and husband at RnR Arizona, I slowly got back into the game and preparing myself for Phoenix Half–(I had dropped from the full).

My first race was FroYo 10k in February and I shocked the heck out of myself with a new PR–the first of many in the year ❤

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49:30

A week later, I ran the Nick’s Run Double Challenge–a 10k followed by a 5k. I ran the 10k with my friend Nadia and then raced the 5k finishing with an at the time, new PR!!

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23:55

And a week after that, I ran Phoenix Half Marathon and finished with a new PR there too!!! I swear, if February had had another weekend, I would’ve signed up for a marathon LOL #forreals

Ringing the PR bell :D

1:48:04

I took a much needed break and picked up swimming and biking again because it was this year in March that I completed my first ever triathlon!!! I seriously can’t believe that I did one–did I mention I was THE last one out of the pool?? Lol!!

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After Tri 4 The Cure, I rested for a long while taking it easy in April and then concentrating on trail running as we prepared for the Grand Canyon Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim which was in late May.

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June marked the beginning of pre-season marathon training and I did not race at all starting here until New York City in November. I ran ALL the miles though…

101 miles, 176, miles, 152 miles

101 miles, 176, miles, 152 miles

198 miles, 184 miles

198 miles, 184 miles

And then you guys know what happened in November 😀

3:58:40

3:58:40 ❤

I ran my hometown’s last Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5k later that month and finished first female overall and with a new 5k PR!

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22:30

Finally, December was absolutely amazing as I was able to finish off the year with a new, incredible half marathon PR.

1:42:45

1:42:45

 

Just an absolutely insane year of running for me. It excites me to see what hard work brings and it really motivates me going in to the new year. I have a few goal ideas that I’ll share later, but right now I’m spending the last few days of twenty sixteen relishing the year’s accomplishments 🙂

–How was your running year?

–After you reach a goal, do you automatically go to work on the next goal or relish in your glory for a while like I do? LOL

–This is likely my last post for 2016 and I just want to thank you all again for your support!! I hope you join me in my 2017 adventures ❤ HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

 

 

Heroes in Recovery 6k–Last Race of 2016 and a Special One

Sunday marked the last race of what has been an incredible running year for me. It’s fitting that I ended with a race that meant something to me and that was for a special cause.

Heroes in Recovery has a simple mission: to eliminate the social stigma that keeps individuals with addiction and mental health issues from seeking help, to share stories of recovery for the purpose of encouragement and inspiration, and to create an engaged sober community that empowers people to get involved, give back, and live healthy, active lives. It takes a heroic effort to live clean and sober each day, and a Heroes 6K* celebrates that effort. The sixth kilometer separates a Heroes race from a typical 5K to symbolize the extra effort it takes to sustain recovery. The six kilometers also represent the six letters in the word HEROES.

If you’ve been a reader for a while, than you know that my brother is a big inspiration to me. I’ve shared his story before, and I’m so proud to say that he continues his life of sobriety to this day. And still runs!

What I haven’t shared, and I’m not completely ready to share a lot, is that my dad also battled with drug and alcohol abuse his and my entire life. What I do want to share is that the beginning of December marked SIX MONTHS of sobriety for him.

I’m so incredibly happy you guys. For so long, I wished and prayed for this for my family. I know the battle will be tough for my dad, that he’ll go through rough patches, but I’m comforted knowing he’s in the best position he’s ever been to be successful this time.

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The race didn’t start til 9 a.m. which was nice because whoa was it cold. I had a ton of friends who were also running and we all huddled together for body warmth. And took pictures of course 🙂

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It was a smallish race so I knew if I had a good day I could maybe snag an age group award. There was prize money for the overall winners and 2nd, 3rd, and 4th male and female, but I knew I had no chance for that.

My friend Ashely–who I ran with for a bit at the Scottsdale Half–and I settled in near the start to avoid the crowds. I wanted to be around the 7:30 mark for the first mile and then go from there.

Yeah, no. Mile one was 7:22. Close, but because I wanted to negative split it meant having to go faster than that and that was a little scary.

The course went through the Riparian Preserve and it was really pretty and scenic.

There were two out and back sections that went through the canal but the whole course was flat and fast.

So fast, that my second mile was 7:08.

It was then that an old familiar sensation crept in. PANIC. I felt myself start to freak out at having done that mile so fast. It was just like old times where I started yelling to myself, “Helly, you’ve blown it!! There’s no way you’ll be able to keep this up! You have more than a mile left! Are you crazy?? You’re for sure going to bonk now!!” I felt myself slow a little as I battled the thoughts in my brain. I felt fine, like I wasn’t going to be bonking anytime soon, but the thought that I was so close to a 6 scared the shit out of me.

Mile 3, 7:18. I was bummed I didn’t get the negative split I wanted but I knew it was because I had lost the mental battle.

I told myself to hurry up and finish as I had counted myself 9th female and my chances of age group placing were good. I ran the last .77 at a 7:12 pace–

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A top ten finish and second age group win made the race a success, but like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, the real winners are my brother and dad, who every day in their recovery show me that we can do hard things ❤

love you brother, love you dad

love you brother, love you dad

–Who are your running inspirations?

–How do you overcome mental battles while you run?