Chicago Marathon Training: Week 1 Recap

The first official week of training is in the book, friends!! And it was quite an eventful week!

Mondays I’ve marked cross-training days and I hit my local rec center for 30 minutes on the bike (7.25 miles). They’re pretty fancy bikes than what I’ve used before; each one has a big screen. I watched a show on VH1 that was highly entertaining –Love & Hip Hop in Atlanta. I’ve never seen or heard of this show nor knew anyone on it, but boy, those 30 minutes flew by jaja!! I don’t watch a lot of t.v. unless it’s Mickey Mouse Club House, Elmo, or sports. πŸ™‚

I also did some core, back, and arm videos but in the comfort of my own home and not watching Love & Hip Hop lol!

Tuesday I met up with my running buddies at a local running store for a quick 3 miler. And it was quick! Despite the heat (and humidity!) I was able to pull out a fast (for me) negative split run.

How's that for humidity Kristina? ;)

How’s that for humidity Kristina? πŸ˜‰

I was so freaking happy (and shocked) to see that last mile split! I didn’t feel completely dead either lol!

My plan had 4 miles on the schedule but I was okay with this quick 3.

Wednesday also had 4 miles on the schedule and I met up with my run club to get ‘er done. I was into mile 2 when a familiar sensation starting creeping up from my hands.

I was getting another allergic reaction.

If you’re a new reader, or haven’t heard yet lol, I experience what’s called Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis–basically, I’m allergic to exercise. I don’t have an attack each time I work out, but this was the second time in as many weeks it’s happened and this particular one was pretty bad.

I was 2 miles out from my car and knew I didn’t have much time before it (hives, itching, swelling) would begin to spread. One of my running buddies offered to run and get my car; I usually have about a 15 minute or so window before shit gets real. I knew it’d be close.

After a few minutes though, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to drive myself home and overdose on Benedryl (I stupidly didn’t have any on me or my EPI pen). So, I called my husband.

I was about a 10 minute drive from home and I had already been waiting for about 10, so when he finally found me, I was a hot itchy, red mess. I was trying hard not to scratch my scalp and skin off.

He had brought the goods and I immediately downed some Benedryl. I opted not to use my EPI pen as I can usually control the attack with medicine (and I’d avoid another ER visit).

The thing is, I get so frustrated that we can’t pin point what causes this thing. It doesn’t happen all the time, it doesn’t happen only outdoors (once was on a treadmill), and I don’t do anything out of the ordinary that could attribute to an attack. After the second time this happened, I started keeping a journal where I record everything–what I ate that day, what times, what I wore, products I used–everything, so I can try and find some commonality. But alas….

And when time goes by where I don’t get an attack, I become complacent with carrying my medicine and EPI pen. I know it’s dumb on my part but ….

A while back, my doctor suggested I take a Claritin before runs and Benedryl for if I sense an attack coming, so that’s what I do before runs (before complacency sets in) and what I’ve been doing after Wednesday’s fiasco.

I had 5 miles scheduled for Thursday morning and my husband left it up to me whether or not I’d do them.

I had to.

I just couldn’t let fear keep me from running. I know that it can happen but I also can’t really control it. I can try and prevent it–with taking a Claritin pill before I run–but even then, I don’t know if that really is preventative or if it was simply a run with no attack. Regardless, I knew I wanted to prove to myself that I wouldn’t let the anxiety of whether or not it would happen keep my from running.

So I got those 5 miles done.

Fight run.

Fight run.

Friday was a rest day thank goodness and it was also date night! My husband and I treated ourselves to a night out and we decided to do something we love but hadn’t done in a long time: bowling!!!

We are super competitive against each other so we take any form of sport we play seriously lol. He was going down!!

Pretty proud of my 170 :)

Pretty proud of my 170 πŸ™‚

And yup, yours truly came out on top!

Saturday I woke up so sore from the previous night’s bowling lol, but I made it out the door for my long run. It was pretty uneventful, which is good in my case. I made sure to start off slow and try to keep a steady pace throughout. After about mile 4, I felt myself settle in at a 9:45ish pace and that pleased me.

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Sunday was a rest day and we took the kids to see Sesame Street Live πŸ˜€

Me and my bestie <3

Me and my bestie ❀

I was really productive this week besides my running by doing a lot of strength training videos at home. I did a few each day. I also met my 10k Steps Everyday in June Challenge 6 out of the 7 days (I like to give myself one rest day) and ended the week with a cumulative 49.26 miles–19.02 of them running.

Overall, very happy with the first week of training. Now, I’m looking forward to a new week aaaaand this:

Screenshot_2015-06-15-09-53-30-1Hope everyone has a great week!!! ❀ , Helly

–Have you ever heard of Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis?
Anything you allergic to?

–Do you like bowling? Think you could beat me? πŸ˜‰

–Favorite Sesame Street character? (We’re team Elmo because my son is obsessed. Although I’m a little partial to Cooke Monster because…duh…)

 

Let The Training Begin!!

Pre-season is OVAH!! and now it’s time to get down to the real deal Holyfield πŸ˜€

But first, lemme recap last week — it was a productive base training week for sure:

Monday was supposed to be a rest day as I had run the previous Friday, Saturday, and Sunday–4, 6, 4 miles respectively–and was feeling it. But, my MRTT group had started a June One Miler Challenge where we run one mile at the beginning of June and one mile at the end (and hope for improvement lol!)

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This was a tough mile. And it ended on a rough note — upon finishing, I felt my hands start to itch and my throat start to scratch and I knew it was coming. Another allergic reaction. Luckily, I was already home and when I walked inside, I told my husband what was happening. He quickly took out the Benedryl. I could feel my ears start to swell, I could see my hands turn red and bumps start to form on my legs–I wanted to scratch off my scalp.

But I was fine, and it wasn’t too long after overdosing taking some Benedryl that it went away and I was back to normal.

It’s just super scary while it’s happening and not knowing when it will or won’t is frustrating.

Tuesday I met up with a local running store for their weekly group run. I got in a really good (hot) 3 miler chatting with some friends and was very happy with my splits and pace.

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How’s the weather where you’re at? Lol!

Wednesday was National Running Day and I met up with my main running club at another running store to celebrate. The run was an out and back 3 miler, and my Chicago running partner and I (along with another MRTT friend) managed to negative split this hot, windy run. 9:18, 9:12, 9:03.

Yay!

Yay!

After six days of running in a row (a little mini streak there), I decided to call Thursday a break. I could feel a tinge of tightness in my right quad and had been foam rollin’ the hell out of it since earlier in the week. I knew with rest, I’d be alright.

Fridays are typical rest days so I rested from running but did some light upper body strength stuff and some abs stuff. And foam rolling.

By Saturday, I felt so much better. My husband, who is also Chicago Marathon training, and I decided that I’d long run Saturday and he’d long run Sunday. But, we had early plans on Sunday that would likely make him have to split the 7 miler scheduled. He’s not a fan of splitting runs so he went Saturday which meant an extra rest day for me πŸ™‚ I’ll take it. (Plus, I was little sore from the arm and abs stuff from Friday lol!).

Sunday I knew that it was likely I’d have to split my run. We were meeting up with my run club for a Summer Sizzle Fun 5k and would have to be out the door by 7:15. I could run 4 miles at home and then run the 5k with the group; or, I could get my butt out of bed super early and get it all in at once.

Surprisingly, I got out of bed.

It ended being a great run! My body felt rested, my legs felt good. The first mile beeped 10:07. Then the second mile beeped 10:39 and I could swear it felt reversed. I had felt the first mile to be slow and steady, a good warm up pace. And I felt like I had “started” my run the second mile. But, the numbers don’t lie and I gathered myself up the third mile and kept going.

I ended up negative splitting the rest of the run.

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I wasn’t actively trying to negative split but I felt after the 4th mile to be warmed up and just ran, only looking at my watch when it would beep the mile split. When I was done, I felt so good, like I could have kept on going. That made me really happy as that’s how I always hope to end a long run.

We left to meet my run club not long after I got home from my run. I love my main running club because they’re seriously like family to me. We’ve done so many cool things with them that has brought us close together; my kids know everyone and I love how they’re growing up around such a positive community.

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Also in June, I’m participating in a 10k Steps Challenge with my MRTT group and I’m happy to report 6/7 days met!

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Overall, it was a great pre-season training week (14 total miles) and now I’m ready to get the show on the road. Things are getting real up in here! Chicago, here comes Helly!!!

I hope you all have a great Monday!! ❀ , helly

–Do you like long-running?

–What’s your favorite thing about training for a race?

 

 

Where Is Running Taking Me This Time? {The Friday Five!}

So, Wednesday was National Running Day and I posted how I had done some pre-celebrating, I celebrated the day of, and I’m continuing the celebration by sharing with you:

Where is Running Taking Helly now??

I’m linking up with the DC Trifecta Ladies Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney on their Friday Five to share with you the new (and old) places I’ll be heading to this year and next πŸ™‚

If you’ve been a reader for a while, you know I’ve been able to see and go to some fabulous places and run–(ahem, can I go back to Spain please?). I’ve got some news to share:

1. Mt. Humphreys

I love me some trail running/hiking and last year I was lucky enough to hike the Grand Canyon and complete R2R2R. Mt. Humphreys is also in Arizona and it’s actually the highest point in the state with an elevation of 12,637ft!

from the USDA website:

Humphreys Trail is steep and long and extremely rocky in its higher reaches. Above treeline it exposes you completely to the whims of nature. Here it may snow during any month of the year. In late summer monsoon storms can set the high country snapping with lightning. Be prepared to turn around and head for lower ground if a thunderstorm is brewing!

Once you do reach the summit ridge you’ll feel like you’re standing on top of the world. Off in the distance, the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, the mesas that are home to the Hopi Indians the Verde Valley and Oak Creek Canyon form a 360 degree panorama. And after you’ve seen it you’ll be able to say you’ve been as high as you can get in Arizona.

To say I’m excited is an understatement! I’ll be making this trek in August (with my husband!) and I CANNOT wait!

yes, please!

yes, please!

2. Vancouver here I come!

I’ve never been to Canada but in September, that’s where I’ll be! My husband has a work trip out there and he’s decided this would be a great opportunity for me to meet him and explore together.

I’ve heard about some great trails in and near Vancouver and I’m looking forward to finding and choosing one to do. I actually came across a blogger who wrote about a trail in Vancouver she really liked. I got so excited and commented how I was going to be there in a few months but do you think I wrote down the trail she took? Or her blog site? (I had done a google search.) Though, I’m sure I won’t have any trouble finding somewhere to run, so don’t you worry πŸ™‚

3. Chicago Marathon

Ahhh!!!! I’m so freaking excited about this one!!! As you know, I’m raising money for the Ronald McDonald House (donate here if you’re so inclined ❀ ) and so far, it has been such an incredible time. I’ve gotten to know people fundraising through the Facebook page and we get weekly e-mails of motivation from the team leaders. We were even provided with a training schedule that I liked so much I’ve decided to follow it instead of my usual Hal.

It’s also going to be my husband’s first marathon which adds to the specialness of this race. He is amazing, so supportive, and I’m just completely a mess over this guy. I’m so excited for him to go through the journey of training for a marathon and running one and seeing how much it changes you. He’s seen it change me.

4. USA Half Marathon Invitational: San Diego, CA

You might have heard about this new race being billed the “Boston” of 1/2 Marathons. It’s a 1/2 marathon that requires a qualifying time to register. The times are generous (I still think it’s tough lol!) because of its newness but I anticipate–and the race says so itself–the times will become more competitive as the race increases in popularity.

My qualifying time for my age group (30-35) is 2:00.

from the race website:

With so many fun runs, mud runs, and color runs being launched nationwide, we noticed a decline in the production of competitive endurance events in the United States. This race was developed to encourage recreational runners to set new goals and challenges for themselves. The USA Half Marathon is the first β€œQualifiers Only” half marathon, designed for elite, sub-elite, and competitive runners.

Runners receive a qualifier’s jacket (ala Boston), a medal, and a finisher’s certificate.

The race is in San Diego in November. Now, San Diego is only a 6 hour drive from Phoenix but I’ve never been there! I’m pretty pumped that my first San Diego race will be an inaugural one and one that I think will be a pretty sweet race.

5. R2R2R (again!)

I’m heading back to the Canyon!!!!!

I said the only way I’d ever do this again was if my husband did it with me. Well, he’s been getting pretty into this running business and agreed to go with me next year! So, R2R2R 2016 will happen!

It’s not a race and we don’t run the entire thing, nor do we complete it in one day (although you can and some in my group have!) If you’re a new reader, you can check out my posts describing this 2 day adventure of 20+ miles a day, here and here.

the edge of glory

the edge of glory

I’m so excited about my running future. Even more so because it’s become my husband’s too–all 5 things I named we’ll be doing together!!! With the exception of Vancouver, we’ll also be doing all of this awesomeness with my running group AZTNT. This group has become my family, and I’ve been able to do some amazing things because of them and I’m so, so very grateful.

 

And there you have it!! With running, you never know where you’ll be heading to next! πŸ™‚

I hope all of you have a great weekend!! ❀ , helly

–Any exciting race-cations planned?

–Which of the 5 interest you? Would you want to cross the Grand Canyon twice?