Chicago Marathon Fun!

So despite not running how I would’ve liked, everything else about Chicago and the race was absolutely amazing.

We arrived Saturday morning (maybe I should’ve given myself an extra day?) and went straight to the hotel to drop off our luggage. We stayed at The Congress Plaza which was right across the street from the start line! Yes, this was soooo perfect. Kristina was staying here too and somehow, we weren’t able to make a meet up happen 😦 But, through internet convos, we both agreed the hotel was …interesting. It’s an older hotel and I actually liked it because it has a lot of character. So what if it was said there were ghosts around?

Then we headed to the Expo. I don’t do Expos very well and we didn’t hang out long. I realized afterward that I probably should’ve stuck around to buy more Chicago Marathon gear but my husband’s wallet thanked me for keeping the visit short.

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Being silly at the #TeamRMHC booth

After the Expo Team RMHC had their dinner and it was here that I got to meet up with another fellow blogger/Instagram friend, Meg @MaxFitGirl29

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Insta Friends

My husband and I ate our little hearts out and then bolted. I was exhausted from traveling and wanted to get in a good night’s sleep. Surprisingly, I was actually able to sleep and didn’t have any of those pre-race night jitters keeping me awake.

I had made plans with @SuzLyfe for a pre-race meet up and I found her right in front of my hotel. We squeezed.

Love at first sight. <3

Love at first sight. ❤

After the race, Scott@PirateBobcat and I made a meet-up happen–at a bar, naturally.

This dude. Serious coolness.

This dude. Serious coolness.

As soon as we met and exchanged the initial awkward intros of “Yep, I’m Helly,” we started gabbing like we’d known each other for years. Which we kinda have considering we’ve followed each other’s blog for quite some time now. I fell in love with his friends and it was perfect post-race relaxation.

The next day, Monday, I met up with Amber@PbandPrs at The Bean! She nailed a marathon PR in Chicago (3:19!!!) so we took a celebratory pic.

Even more badass in person--she nabbed a 3:19!!

Even more badass in person.

Afterward, my husband and I had to go visit The Greatest Of All Time–aka: Michael Jordan.

 I heart Mike.

I heart Mike.

Then we headed over to Wrigley Field to meet up with Scott and his friends again. We had an absolute blast. Seriously.

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With Scott & Friends….at a bar, again, right in front of Wrigley Field 😀

Tuesday morning we ate breakfast at the famous Lou Mitchell’s

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Route 66 right out front Lou Mitchell’s!!

and afterward, we headed to the airport for home! It was such a whirlwind trip full of fun stuff and fun people and even though I hadn’t raced how I would’ve liked, I left with only great Chicago memories ❤

–Do you tour cities you race in?

–Ever bean to Chicago? (See what I did there, Scott?)

Grouse Grind Mountain Climb! {Recap}

So Saturday, the day after the Night Run Vancouver 10k, I should actually say, the morning after the Night Run Vancouver 10k–we woke up, bright and early, to climb Vancouver’s most famous mountain!


The Grouse Grind® is a 2.9-kilometre trail up the face of Grouse Mountain, commonly referred to as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster.”

This trail is very challenging. Keep in mind that there is a wide range of mountaintop trails that might better suit the average hiker.


Trail Facts

Length
: 2.9 kilometres (1.8 miles)
Elevation Gain: 853 metres (2,800 feet)
Total Stairs: 2,830
Average Time: On average, it takes up to an hour and a half to complete the hike. For novice hikers, two hours is recommended.
Source

Mother Nature’s Stairmaster. How could you NOT want to do that, right???
As I’d mentioned in my race recap, it was cold in Vancouver (for me) and I purchased a very expensive hoodie as I’d come unprepared to climb up a mountain in what seemed to me freezing temps, lol.
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We started the climb and right away, started going UP. The stairs seriously seemed never ending.
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When we climbed Mt. Humphrey’s, Arizona’s highest peak, there were landings where we’d often rest. Not with Grouse Mountain. There were just stairs going up and up and up. Occasionally, I’d just pull off to the side and let people pass.
The trail of steps are narrow, so they’ve made it a one way trip. People can only go up and then you have to take the Sky Lift to come back down.
This actually made me feel better because it wasn’t far into the climb that I started to ask, Are we there yet?
Up and up and up
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It took us almost exactly an hour and a half! There was this cafe type building at the top of the mountain where one could eat and buy souvenirs. We rested, snacked, and then decided to get back down as quickly as we could.
On the Sky Lift, we had amazing views of what we’d just climbed. It was actually really cool to see as there had been quite a bit of fog on our climb up that we hadn’t really seen any views.
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It was a perfect morning hike, tough, but we were glad we were able to cross off Grouse Grind on our list!
I hope everyone has a great weekend!!! Happy October!!! 😀
❤ , helly
–Are you a fan of the stair master?
–Have you thought of your Halloween costume yet?

Mid-Week Musings: Meeting Online Friends

Happy Hump Day!!!

I’m nearing the day I have to renew my “website subscription” and it’s always a reminder of how long I’ve had this page (2 years!). It always makes me think about how I’ve met so many awesome people through my blog and it’s a big reason I keep writing–even though sometimes I feel like I’m not exciting enough to have a blog, lol!

Anyway, there’s so many people who I’ve “met” online and have followed their journeys and have been inspired. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some people in person and cross some bloggers off my list, but it seems as I check people off, I “meet” more cool people online.

At Phoenix Marathon, I got to meet Pavement Runner, Maxfitgirl, RunEMZ, The Athletarian (how hilarious is it to call people by their blog names?!!).

This past summer, I got to meet Hailey@StridingStrong and last October, I got to meet Sue@ThisMamaRunsForCupcakes at Marine Corps Marathon.

It was at MCM that I got to meet my BRF, Salt who I had actually “met” on an online mommy’s group before we became running bloggers 🙂

My BRF and sole sister--Salt <3

My BRF and sole sister–Salt ❤ (fave meet-up!)

As race season approaches (for me, it starts this weekend!), I am going to be crossing off quite a few people on my Bloggers I’d Like to Meet In Real Life list (don’t we all have a list like that?)

This weekend, I’ll be racing in Vancouver (what?!) and I’ll meet Suzy@SuzyHasTheRuns. She’s a new find for me and it was instant love–she’s so rad (and fast!)–and I’m so pumped to meet her. There might be some uncomfortable closeness as I hope some of her speed rubs off on me.

In Chicago, oh boy….There are SO many bloggers who are running, I just hope that we can make the meet up work. I’m hoping that Sarah@RunningOnHealthy, Scott@PirateBobcat, Kristina@BlogAboutRunning, Amber@PbandPrs, and Suzy@SuzLyfe rearrange their schedules for some Helly time.

Mike from RunNerdsRock will be there, Jenny from RunJennyRun will be there–I’m sure I’m missing a whole bunch of people and I know that trying to meet everyone will be close to impossible, dammit!, but with the help of social media, I’m hoping we can make it happen.

After Chicago, the fun continues as Mar from Mar On The Run will be coming to meeeee!!! She and I will be running Rock n Roll Arizona 😀 and when she tweeted me confirmation, I totally squee’d. Mar knew she owed me since we didn’t make a meet-up happen when I went to her at MCM 😉 (Love ya, Mar!)

And Suzy@SuzyHasTheRuns will also be coming to me at RnR! Double meet-up!

Race season on its own is exciting. Having the chance to meet awesome people on top of it …

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–Have you met bloggers in person?

–Do you have a “list” of bloggers you’d want to meet?

–How often do you refer to your online friends to friends in real life? (Um me, all the time, lol!)

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I’ll be crossing the border tomorrow and will be MIA from my blog–but, if you miss me, follow me on Insta for some Canadian pics 🙂

❤ , helly