TCS NYC Marathon Lottery Results

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 10.33.12 AM

I didn’t win, but I’m still going.

What do I mean, you ask?

Well, as luck would have it, my husband got in on his first try–just like in Chicago–and I didn’t. If you remember, I ran Chicago through charity raising money for the Ronald McDonald House. I was nervous, scared, and intimidated by having to raise money (and a lot of it) but I had such an amazing experience that it helped me decide to run for charity again, this time for NYC.

I won’t be running for Team RMHC though as I’ve elected to run for the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research. Sadly, we do have a connection with cancer, as a close family member is currently fighting; yet, Coach V’s fighting words of “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up!” is a motto that so many of us can relate to, whether we have an affiliation with cancer or not.

If you’re not familiar with who Coach Valvano is, he was a NCAA basketball coach for NC State in the 80’s and led his team to a surprising championship win in 1983. They were the underdogs that season and game after game proved their championship worthiness to the very end. They never gave up.

Then in 1992, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. In the short time he had left to live, unbeknownst at the time, he did so much to help with cancer research creating the Foundation knowing it probably wouldn’t benefit him, but that didn’t make him lose hope. His hope was that foundation would help others and it has, many, many years after his death. He never gave up.

A couple of years ago, my husband and I saw an ESPN 30 for 30 special on Coach V and his NC State team. It was incredibly moving and my husband and I still watch from time to time. In the documentary is his Arthur Ashe acceptance speech at the first ever ESPY’s. If you have a few extra minutes, please take the time to view it. It really captures Coach V’s spirit.

Running for charity is scary in many ways. First, the New York City Marathon itself is kinda scary–it’s the biggest marathon. It’s huge! I’ve run some big races–Chicago, Marine Corps–but NYC is bigger than both!

Second, the charity amount I have to raise is twice that of Chicago. But I feel like Coach V’s words ring through in so many ways besides fighting a terrible disease like cancer. In so many aspects of life, we have to overcome obstacles or challenge ourselves and never, ever give up. That’s what I plan to do–in training for New York, in raising money to run New York, and in crossing that finish line in New York.

I hope you consider helping me with this important cause. Your donation, of any amount, will help me run a dream marathon, and most importantly, help keep dreams alive for others.

You can donate here:

Helly Runs For Team V

–Have you ever run a race through charity?

–Do you know who Jimmy V is or heard his speech before?

–Have you been to New York? I went when I was 10 and don’t remember a thing, lol! It will be my husband’s first time though 😀

5 Things I Loved About Running For Charity

To wrap up my Chicago Marathon recap, I have to devote a post to the awesomeness that was running for Team Ronald McDonald House Charities.

1. Training Support Group

One of the reasons I started blogging was because I saw the opportunity to connect with like-minded people, learn from them, get and give encouragement, and share experiences. With Team RMHC we had that on a smaller scale with people who were also raising money to run Chicago. On our Facebook group, we’d post pics of our runs, lament over bad ones, celebrate good ones, seek/offer advice, and most of all, remind each other what our purpose was–raising money while doing what we love.

The charity organizers also included fun contests to keep us motivated–like the Ronald McDonald Boot Run contest I participated (and shoulda won, dammit! LOL!)

A #TeamRMHC pic on McDonald Drive in front of a McDonald's :D

A #TeamRMHC pic on McDonald Drive in front of a McDonald’s during my Ronald McDonald boot run 😀

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 3.13.18 PM

The big red boot.

In addition to the online forum, we received weekly e-mails from a certified coach (who provided us with a free training plan) with tips for our training–loved him! In addition, Team RMHC provided a motivational coach who would also send us weekly e-mails encouraging us to give our best, smartly. I always looked forward to these e-mails.

2. The Challenge and Appreciation for Fundraising

I was worried I wouldn’t be able to meet the fundraising amount but boy, I was completely overwhelmed by the graciousness of my friends, family, and YOU. Blown. Away.

There are so many people that have a connection to the RMH and when they would tell me their stories, it would just add to the meaning and importance of this race. I’m in a local running group and when I posted a link to my charity site in our group’s Facebook page, a woman who wasn’t active but mostly just lurked commented to say thank you to me and donated. She and her family had stayed in an Ronald McDonald House when her child had an extended hospital stay.

My mom, who is fantastic cook, and my husband helped me with a burrito sale I put on one weekend. It meant waking up at 4 in the morning to make chorizo and roll into tortillas, wrap, load, and deliver. We made over 75 burritos and made over $400 that day!

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 8.23.27 AM

Fundraising was hard, but it definitely allowed me to get out of my comfort zone–I’m still not all that comfortable asking people for money, lol, but I knew I was asking for a good cause and that everyone’s donation was going to positive place. I wish I cold donate to everyone who asks me, because I know the hard work it takes to raise money and know the passion people have when they’re raising money for a cause they care deeply about.

3. Crowd Support

Wow. So Chicago Marathon is already known for amazing crowd support but it seemed that there were people affiliated with or supporters of RMHC the. entire. way. People would see my shirt and point, “Yeahhhh!!! Go Team RMHC!!” No need for me to write my name on my bib–I had cheerleaders throughout the whole race.

4. Race Day Amenities

I had no idea all the benefits I’d get from running with Team RMHC. I found out that it’s one of the biggest charities involved with the Chicago Marathon and being a part of the team meant I’d get some extra perks.

Before the race, we were provided with a HUGE tent to hang out and keep warm in. There was a DJ; private gear check; a breakfast buffet with coffee, orange juice, gatorade, water; race day miscellaneous like vaseline, tampons, hair ties and bobby pins; and perhaps best of all, private port-a-potties–they seriously thought of everything.

Pre-race

Pre-race

After the race, when you arrived back to the tent, you had to enter walking the red carpet with Ronald McDonald himself congratulating you. Along the velvet ropes were volunteers cheering you as you walked inside

20151011_151248

and once you were in, you were immediately given some bubbly.

IMG_20151011_161057

And then you saw food. Lots and lots of food.

I thought I was too tired (and in pain) to eat, but I ended up scarfing down a bit of everything. A DJ played music and everyone just hung out and celebrated. It was one big post race party.

1978747_10105549914488771_1621136555910654708_n

5. More Than a Medal

Team RMHC Chicago Marathon raised over ONE MILLION DOLLARS. And somehow, knowing the amount of people who will benefit from me deciding to run for this charity means more than the medal I wore for only a few hours.

I Run 4 Graisyn

I Run 4 Graisyn

11225230_10105560319886271_1400047999914141421_n

Thank you guys again for all of your support as I trained for Chicago and thank you to those who donated to The Ronald McDonald House. If you’re even considering running for charity, just do it!!! ❤ , helly

Shout out to the DC Trifecta–Cynthia, Mar, and Courtney for hosting The Friday Five!!!

 

Chicago Marathon Training: Week 13 Recap

I hope everyone had a great weekend and that those stateside enjoyed their extra day (if you got one) 🙂

Even though I couldn’t get in high mid-week mileage, it was a confidence building week of training–one that I felt I needed at this moment as we’re inching closer and closer to the less than one month away mark!

Last Monday, I started off the week with a short 4 miler but I saw numbers I hadn’t seen in a while.

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 7.39.01 PMIt was a negative split run and the first mile was actually already starting off at a good pace for me, so to get better from that 9:42 made me super excited. And that 8:36 last mile just had me smiling from ear to ear. Finally, that overall pace was a low I hadn’t seen in a while.

IMG_20150831_184802

I rested Tuesday as my husband was out of town again and I had kid duty. I could have squeezed in a run but….I didn’t 🙂

Wednesday I met up with my run club and they had a mini hill workout on the schedule. I chose to bypass that and run another 4 miler instead.

A sub 100 degree run??? Wha???

A sub 100 degree run??? Wha???

It was close to another negative split and close to a similar overall pace as my Monday run. Again, this made me feel really, really good 🙂

Thursday I stuck to my 4 miler theme and ran around my neighborhood (It actually ended up being 4.2–you know you gotta count that point two). I took this run easier as I had had two good runs and didn’t want to push myself. It was still a great one with an overall pace of 9:48 and I finished with the last two miles faster than my first two.

It was an important rest day Friday as Saturday I had my first 20 miler of the training!

Yep, Saturday morning I woke up at zero dark thirty for this one (2:30 a.m. to be exact) and met up with another crazy friend also doing a 20 miler. We got going at 3:09 and planned to run 10 miles, five out and back, before meeting up with the rest of our run club at 5 a.m. We made one stop around the 7 and halfish mark for a potty break but that was the only stop of miles 1-10.

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 7.54.17 PMI was really happy with my consistency (see miles 4-7!!!) and I met up with my back 10 crew in high spirits.

Two running buddies were waiting for me at 5 to run my second set of 10 and we got going not too long after I got to the meeting spot. We were cruising at my pace (I wanted to be around the 10-10:30 mark) and they were uh-mazing at keeping me on track. I was feeling it around miles 12 and 13 and they quickly re-focused me.

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 7.59.04 PM

I did stop at mile 15 (the turn around) but it was quick as I knew I didn’t want to lose momentum.

Then, at mile 17 I had to go potty 😦 and I was forced to stop again. This super bummed me out as like I had mentioned last week, I wanted to really try and avoid any stopping on my long runs.

I definitely felt that potty stop around mile 18 as my left calf started cramping a little. I didn’t want to stop though so I ran through it and sure enough, it dissipated after a few minutes. Whew!

Finally, I wanted to finish strong so my girls picked it up and I had them finish me at a 9:34 mile 20!!!

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 8.04.58 PM

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 8.48.15 PM

These 79 degrees felt great. The 65% humidity did not, lol!

I was so happy with this run and really pleased with the consistency in my splits. My slowest mile was 10:37 and my fastest (besides the last mile) was 10:06 so I was +/- 30 seconds the entire way!

IMG_20150905_073420

It was also my husband’s first 20 miler this past weekend and he knocked his out of the ballpark too! Much faster than me, lol, but I still love him 😀

I ended the week with 32.2 miles and feeling pretty darn good about myself going into this week. My goal of sub 4:30 is looking realistic and I just hope all this hard summer training pays off. We’ll find out in about a month!

I hope everyone has a great week!! ❤ , helly

–How was your week of running?

–Do you try to keep consistent splits, negative splits, or do you just run and what happens, happens?