Nick’s Run Ambassador

One of my goals for 2016 is to run more local races. I’m very lucky to live in an active community and there are no shortages of races and events to participate in.

When I began searching for local races to fill up my calendar with, I came across Nick’s Run and was immediately intrigued. I like running locally because most often the race is benefiting an organization or charity and that really adds to the meaning of running the race. I feel like my money is going towards me and someone else.

Nick’s Run was started because of a boy who was seriously injured in a hockey accident. Nick was 16 and doing something he loved, never thinking that it would someday risk his entire life.

He fought hard to recover and when he did, he didn’t let the near death experience keep him from his sport, and he returned to the hockey rink unafraid.

What bravery! I’m not sure that at 16 I would’ve had the strength to go back to something that almost cost me my life. At 31, I’m not sure I would!

Nick’s Run helps support Angels for Athletes, a non-profit organization aimed at getting children and teens more involved and active in recreational and competitive sports. As a mom of two toddlers and high school teachers, wanting my kids and students to get involved is always something I strive to encourage them to do.

Being an ambassador for this race is helping me do that on a larger scale and I’m so excited and grateful, as I’ve never been the sole ambassador for race before. I never knew where this blog would take me when I first started, but I’m surely glad it’s given me a platform where I can give back to my community. ❤

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If you’re interested in participating in Nick’s Run February 21st, use HELLY5 for $5 off the 5k, 10k, or Double Challenge. A Kids’ Run is also offered at $5 (discount does not apply).

-Do you like running local races? Is there one in your town you really like?

 

 

Thankful For My Brother

Another update on the bro!

He flew home for Thanksgiving and I was so excited to see him again–I hadn’t seen him since he ran his very first half marathon back in May!

After the USA Half Marathon on Saturday, my husband and I drove immediately home because my brother would be arriving that evening. We didn’t get to really enjoy San Diego, but we knew we’d be back 🙂

The day after the race, my brother and I had plans to hike Camelback Mountain. It’s a popular hike here in the Phoenix valley and one that is a lot more challenging than people think. I wrote a little about it here.

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Anyway, my brother had been looking forward to this hike so much because finally, he was going to be able to do it. At least he hoped so! (I had no doubts.)

But because of my cramp fiasco, I was worried about attempting such a difficult hike so soon–in addition to feeling under the weather (hello upper respiratory infection!). So, very very unwillingly, I stayed home and my husband took my place.

And of course my brother made it to the top!!

brother, husband

brother, husband

My husband said that when they were looking at the 360 degree view of Phoenix, my brother whispered, “I can’t believe what I’ve been missing.”

❤ ❤ ❤

I’ve said it a billion times but seriously, I’m so ridiculously proud of him.

Later that week, we went down south to spend Thanksgiving with family. My husband and I, whenever we go home for the holiday, like to run in our local Turkey Trot. This would be my brother’s first!

When I first signed up, I had planned on trying my hardest to keep up with my brother. He’s my newest competition 😉 But, I was coughing up a storm and did not feel well at all, so I decided to just run for fun. When the race started, I started my watch and never looked at it again.

My brother finished waaaaay ahead of me with a killer 24:30 time (not even a PR for him!). He was so happy to have run a race in our hometown and have people he knew cheering him on.

My dad was a the finish line. It was the first race in my life he’d ever been to. ❤

We stuck around after the race because we had a feeling my husband’s 20:50 would snag him an age group placement–the race has ten year age groups (20-29, 30-39, etc.). So it was HUGE surprise (not to me though) that my brother placed!!!

My husband, 1st–my brother, 2nd!!

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It was funny because my husband ended 7th overall and the 6 guys in front were between the ages of 14-18. When we saw the bulletin board announcement, it was a bunch of teenagers and then a thirty year old, LOL!

It was such a fun week and seeing my brother continue to run and enjoy it makes me so happy. He was so beside himself at having placed–he couldn’t believe it! I don’t think he stopped smiling all day. I’m so thankful to God that he’s been able to make such a monumental change in his life and that he’s committed to his new life. Every time I write about him, I mention how sometimes we doubt people can change their ways, their bad habits, their addictions, their attitudes. But here is living proof for you. Here is proof that if you never stop believing, hoping, trusting, having faith–that change can come.

Believe that it can and it will.

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me and the bro

–Those stateside, how was your Thanksgiving? Do any Turkey Trotting?

–What are you thankful for these days?

Corner Store Country Run 5k {Recap}

Free and fabulous!!!

That’s what this race was. There was a code for a limited time that gifted runners free entry to this race and you know I jumped on it. I’m SO glad I did!

Swag.

Swag.

The theme, as you can tell from the blog post title and swag, was country and I gladly dusted off the ‘ol hat 😀

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I had registered my husband and I to run but decided I’d just hang out with the kids while he raced. Part of the course was on dirt road and I didn’t want to attempt to navigate it with my spiffy two seater, lol! Plus, there were A LOT of people–I also didn’t want to battle that with two kids in a stroller.

Runners were told to start as close to the front as possible as the their times would start when the race clock started–(those who had purchased chip timed bibs). My husband had a chip timed bib so he parked himself right at the front so as soon as the gun went off, he started his watch and got going.

That view though.

That view though.

I knew it wouldn’t be too long before we saw him again so we walked to the finish line to hang out. Luckily, there were cows to keep us company.

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Race volunteers were distributing cow bells to spectators to cheer in the finishers and my kids certainly loved that (although the bells magically got lost when we got home).

A little after 18 minutes, the first runner made his way through. I knew my husband would be shooting for a sub 20 (yes, even though Chicago marathon was a mere 2 weeks in the past, lol!). I wanted to snag a finish photo but it was tough with the excitement of my kids to navigate my phone camera. Instead, at just over 20 minutes, we screamed and rang the cow bells as loud as we could for daddy.

Garmin time–20:39. NEW PR!!!

But, and big butt but, the race clock registered him at 20:53!! 😦 Whaaa??? He had started at the front–his toe practically touching the start line!

Soon after, another run club member crossed and we saw him pause his watch as soon as passed the line. His time was also off! Oh no!

My husband is reluctant to claim this new PR since the “official” time is different but I’m telling him who the hell cares, count that sucker!! He ended up getting 3rd in his age group, too!

Daddy and his good luck charm <3

Daddy and his good luck charm ❤

The bling.

The bling.

Immediately after, we were given a bag/backpack and the fun began!

We entered Rawhide, which is Western themed park and all along the “road” were different vendors giving away a SHIT TON OF STUFF. All. for. free. We’re talking sunglasses, frisbees, waters, gatorade, soda, protein bars, chips, candy, apples, oranges, slushies, cookies…I wish I would’ve taken a pic but I was too busy tasting this and tasting that. Here’s a pic of the loot a run club buddy scored (our loot wasn’t too far off!).

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Then, at the very end…..

the beer booth.

Yep, they were even giving away free beer.

A showing of your I.D got you two free beers and right next to the saloon were tables to munch away on your goodies while listening to some country & western.

Of course we danced.

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It ended up being such a fun day. My kids napped like champs, too!! 😀

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Later that night, keeping with the country theme, my husband and I went to see…..

GARTH BROOKS!!!

I totally didn’t think it would happen. It was our anniversary Friday and ever since I found out he was coming, I’d thought it’d be a perfect anniversary outing. But, trying to get a babysitter is so tough–we don’t have a regular, or anyone really, lol..

THEN, my father-in-law surprised us with a visit!! He practically pushed us out the door to go (okay, maybe we kinda pushed ourselves) and luckily, there were still tickets available when we arrived at the arena. Unbelievable!!

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IMG_20151024_220325Sometimes the unplanned events turn out to be the funnest–this weekend was pretty amazing. ❤

–You a Garth fan?

–Ever run a free race as awesome as the one we did? (Seriously, look up Corner Store Country Run) And fyi–I was not asked to write this review nor was I provided a free entry for the purpose of writing a review. The free entry was from a code provided by the race’s Facebook page.