To The Windy City I Shall Go…

And it’s time!!! Holy cow, I can’t believe it’s time!

Tomorrow, I will be in Chicago getting ready for 26.2!!!! It’s crazy!!! I’m beyond excited and really, I feel good.

I feel like this training has been the best of the 4 that I’ve done. I’ve felt strong after each long run, have gone the entire way injury free (thank you sweet baby Jesus), and am the most confident I’ve ever been going into a marathon.

People have asked me about goals. Yeah, I got ’em. And if you’ve been a reader for a while, then you already know what it is.

I’ve always been a conservative runner. Maybe to a fault. Some say, I’m overly realistic. Too cautious. Okay, a scaredy cat.

Whatevs.

But yeah, my goals are always goals that are the perfect amount of tough–I still have to work hard for it as in they’re not easily attainable, but they’re still definitely doable. It’s just the type of person I am. I like challenging myself, but not to the point where I don’t give myself a decent shot.

So I’d like to get a sub 4:30. My PR is 4:44–set back in February of 2014, my very 1st marathon run 7 months after having my second baby in two years.

Am I a better runner than I was then? It was less than two years ago and I’ve run one marathon since then (trained for two but yeah, Phoenix DNF) but I’d like to think I am, and I feel like I’m stronger. Could I possibly run faster than 4:30?

Sure, probably.

But that’s my goal.

If all the stars were to align, if I woke up Sunday morning deciding to throw caution to the wind, if I said, Helly–go balls out and see what happens, then a 4:15 would make me ridiculously happy.

A 4:15 would mean a 9:45ish pace. A pace that normally I’d feel would be totally doable. But 26.2 miles is no joke. And if I’m to be frank, yeah, I’m scared.

This is something I need to work on if I want to improve as a runner. I know I gotta take risks sometimes. My charity coach, after working with me this training and coming to know my conservativeness with goals, told me, “Helly, to achieve a goal you gotta be afraid to fail, and fail big”.

That’s so hard.

I don’t know why, but something about getting a sub 4:30 I feel would make it easier for me to take more risks–but only after I meet that goal. Right now, it’s the perfect amount of difficult–a time that seems hard to reach but one that if I try my hardest, I can achieve. I don’t know, I just feel I gotta get that under my belt first, before attempting something faster.

I’ve read/seen others make vast improvements on their times, runners who had similar marathon PRs as me and then jumped to 4 hours or very close to. But making, or attempting to make, such a big time jump is so daunting to me.

I think I like baby steps???

Anyway, that’s my goal and I’m sticking to it. I’ve also learned from Phoenix Marathon that the ultimate goal is finishing, so beyond that 4:30, I really just want to cross the finish line — That would be enough to make me happy. 🙂

 

I can’t express enough how thankful I am for all of your support throughout my training. You guys stuck with me through my intense heat and crazy early morning runs. I have so much motivation–my charity and donors, my blogging buddies, my friends, and my family. All of you are going to carry me through, I just know it! See ya at the finish line!

❤ , helly

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–Are you a risk taker? Or are you an over-thinker, cautious runner like I am?

Chicago Marathon Training: Week 17 Recap

And that’s a wrap!!! Got in my last long run of the training cycle and the grand finale of long runs is this upcoming Sunday!!! Eeeep!!!

It has been an unusual taper for me as I’ve had two races and a mini vacation in the midst of it.

Week 16 I was in Canada and registered 18.28 total miles that included a Night Race 10k and a mountain climb. September had me at 105.78 miles.

This past week, Week 17, was the first time in the entire training cycle I’d only run 3 days, but I somehow was okay with that.

On Wednesday, I met up with my run club and did easy 3 one mile repeats. I had a race the next day (even though I wasn’t going to race it, race it). I wanted to still make it a good workout though, so I went for a negative split and got it– 9:23, 9:12, 8:49.

Thursday was the Esprit de She 10k, and a couple of friends and I had decided to just enjoy it and not make it competitive. This was all fine by me as I had “raced” a 10k the week before and wanted to not attempt to be speedy on my last taper week. We finished in 1:03:27. It actually was great running this easy because it had been a super long day at work for all of us and it was 100 degrees at the start time!!! This was a night race (7 p.m.).

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Me and two of my running buds ❤

Friday was my usual rest day and Saturday….guess what???

I started my run at 6 a.m. like a normal human being!!!!

Seriously though. My alarm went off at 5:30 and it was like I had slept in–(which I had, I wake up early than that during the work week, lol!).

It was amazing weather, even chilly! I know, I’m crazy to say that 64* is chilly but it was the perfect temp for a morning run.

I started off running with a friend who I don’t get to run with often. We’re different paces–but that morning, I was excited to catch up with her, and we spent the first 4 miles talking life.

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The next 4 miles I ran with my run club’s coach and somehow, between the chatter, we managed to negative split miles 5-8.

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It was exactly how I would’ve wanted to end my final long run–strong, and feeling good the whole way. Week 17 ended with 17.2 miles 🙂

This next week is all about calming the taper jitters!! I’ll post again before I leave for Chicago on Saturday–Thank you guys SO much for following my journey; it’s almost time!!! XOXO!!!

❤ , helly

–Is 64* degrees chilly for you? jaja!! How’s the weather where you’re at? What is the perfect temperature for a run?

–How was your September? October is my favorite month–what’s yours?

 

 

 

Chicago Marathon Training: Week 15 Recap

Taper taper bo baper, fee fi fo faper…..taaaaaaper!!!!!

I love that little jingle. 😀

It was a great week of training and now I’m in the home stretch–eeeep!!!!

I had the day off on Monday and I took advantage of it by going for a 5 miler. I’ve been limited to 4 miles during the week because of time/work/kid constraints (and husband work travels) and I would’ve liked to have done 6, but I was very happy for 5.

Almost a negative split run :)

Almost a negative split run 🙂

I took the day off from running on Tuesday as my husband was leaving out of town for work and I wanted to hang out ❤

Wednesday I was solo parenting so I had to squeeze in a run after work and before kid pick-up. It was so hot, yet it wasn’t even in the triple digits. I struggled but got it done.

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Thursday I was feeling all sorts of blah but then my brother texted me his run. I wrote about how much he’s been inspiring me here and after reading his text/stats, I put my running shoes and went for it. It was a much better run than I’d had in a while 🙂

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Throughout this training, I’ve been rotating my Brooks Ravennas and Asics Kayanos, using my Asics for my long runs. As I approached my second 20 miler, I knew I needed to break in the shoes I’d be using for race day. I planned on racing in my Brooks.

BUT, when I went to Nordstrom Rack (where I’d bought my shoes on sale for $70!), they didn’t have any more. Crushed, I went to one of my local running stores prepared to try on and buy the newer model. Except they felt weird!!

My beloved Ravennas but the new model fit weird in the toe box :(

My beloved Ravennas but the new model fit weird in the toe box 😦

I just couldn’t commit to the new model with them feeling the way they did, so I reluctantly bought the newest model of Kayanos and decided since that style has been a part of my rotation, I’d race in them.

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They’re def easy on the eyes 🙂

I ran in them on my Wednesday and Thursday runs, but they just didn’t feel right either. I always felt they were heavier than my Ravennas but the newer model felt even boxier. It also could’ve been that I already was sad about my shoe issues, lol!

So on Friday, I returned them. I asked what was most comparable to the Ravennas and I was told the Saucony Guides. I was VERY apprehensive about trying a brand new brand/shoe so far into training, but when I slipped them on, they felt good. And even though they weren’t purple pretty, I decided to give them a shot.

And on Saturday I ran 20 miles in them. 🙂

It was another 3 a.m. start time and the first 10 miles went smoothly. Shoes felt good, I felt good.

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With the exception of miles 1 and 8, I stayed within my 10-10:30 LSD range and I did not stop at all, fueling at mile 5 on the run.

I met up with my back 10 crew and I did have to stop my watch a good 15 minutes or so while I waited.

And it took me a few miles to get back on track …

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but once I was warmed up again, the run just felt good. I even negative split the last 7 miles!!!!

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I was so happy at the end, and my friends commented on how strong I looked–it didn’t seem like I’d just run 20 miles, lol! I really did feel good too; it was such confidence building run 😀

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My and a buddy wearing our charity singlets–we’re ready for Chicago!! 🙂 #TeamFox #TeamRMHC

Overall, exactly what I would’ve hoped for going into taper time. So happy!!! 33.25 total miles

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

–Have you switched shoes mid-training?

–Are you brand loyal? Or do you go with what feels right?

–When’s the last time you had a stellar long run?