HKRS Parents’ Mile Race Recap

First, let me say that I was so overwhelmed by your guys’ support for my crazy NYC PR goal. I’m still undecided about what number I’m going to choose for my training paces, but your belief in me definitely gives me a boost in confidence ❤

The past 5 weekends, my kids have been participating in the Healthy Kids Running Series. Last year, my daughter did it, but was overwhelmed by the crowds and wasn’t comfortable running unless mommy ran with her.

Not this year though. Each and every single race, she ran with a HUGE smile on her face. Even the weekend that she was sick.

My little runner <3

My little runner ❤

I had a feeling my son wouldn’t struggle. Even though he’s the same age my daughter was last year (and she struggled then), I knew he’d love being in the midst of craziness. That’s just his style, lol!

There he is--red shirt, black shorts <3

There he is–red shirt, black shorts–cruisin’ ❤

We remembered from last year that there was a Parent’s Mile after the last kids’ race. My husband and I didn’t participate last year (I don’t remember why) but we figured we’d run it this time around. I’ve never done a mile race and thought it would be kinda cool. I had very little expectations.

My husband went first. There was a good crowd of dads and right when the whistle blew about 5 of them took off! My husband didn’t, and I knew that he was going to run a smart race and not start out too fast. Sure enough, he started picking off runners as he ran but the first place dad (who was one that took off) had gained quite a bit of distance–too much ground for my husband to cover in a mile. He ended up taking second with a 6:10 clock time and 5:56 Garmin (his watch had him at over a mile–we thought it strange the big time discrepancy).

Then it was my turn. There were more moms than dads and as we crowded at the start, all of us chatted about not really knowing where to go on the course. One mom said, “I’m sure there’ll be one of you leading the way.” Another mom asked who ran 8 minute miles and me and one other woman raised our hands. I guess we’d be the ones leading.

Sure enough, when the whistle blew, it was me and her leading the pack. She had a couple of feet lead but I was just trying to make sure that I had enough in me to finish the whole thing. I didn’t want to burn out.

As we ran, I kept her close in sight and as we turned to begin the second (last loop), I knew I had to make a decision:

Should I speed up and pass her, knowing that once I did, she’d speed up and it would be a fight for first?

OR

Should I maintain pace, and finish second, knowing that that was a done deal and I’d have enough energy for my Mother’s Day 5k the next day?

I had to choose quick and when we headed towards a straightway, I decided to go for it. I took advantage of being past the turns (each one we had to slow down for) and picked up my pace on the straightaway, gaining on her each second that went by.

Closing in…

 

We turned and I crept up behind her, passed her, and did a little surge. I could tell she was tired but not out for the count.

13169816_10106234083583421_878396785_o.png

Surging!

We kept going. She was right behind me, and I knew that at the last turn towards the finish, it would be a fight.

13214660_10106234084411761_849588268_o.png

Down to the wire!

The last turn came quickly, and I heard her husband shout, “You got this Julie!! You know what to do!!” I was still in front of her and while I’ve always been confident in myself that my kick is strong, I dug deep for all the strength I had so she would not pass me.

13165961_10106228460487151_7524244564979118673_n
I was pumping my arms up and down–running as fast as I had ever ran in my entire life, not feeling, hearing, thinking anything. Just run, Helly!!!

Those last 10 seconds were the most painful I’d ever felt–Garmin said I was at a 4:56 pace!

 

13199504_10106234086023531_1120371708_o.png

And I won!!!!

The clock time read 6:50 and my Garmin said 6:53–either one, it was the fastest I’d ever run a mile.

There was no medal, no certificate–we weren’t running for anything, lol! Just pride, I guess. Ha!

When I finished, I high-fived the second place mom. She had ran track in high school (which explained her husband encouraging her at the final sprint). Her husband had taken third, behind my husband, in the Dad’s race. People came up to congratulate us, saying how exciting the race had been to watch. My kids kept yelling, “Mommy, you were the line leader!!” And my daughter gave me a huge hug.

13184742_10106234138428511_1395118013_o

But, I was feeling extremely light-headed and told my husband I needed to sit down. We still had a busy day ahead of us–a birthday party literally right after and a baby shower in the afternoon. I ended up spending the whole day extremely exhausted and when I crawled into bed that night, I could barely move. I had zero regrets for giving it all I had that morning; I saw something in me I had never seen. But, I knew that I was paying for it.

–Have you ever ran a mile race??

–Has it ever gone down to the wire for you in a race?

–Ever felt light-headed after running fast?

Haunted Half {Recap!}

I hope everyone had a good weekend and if you celebrated Halloween, you’ve recovered from your sugar coma 😀

I ran Phoenix’s first Haunted Half Marathon and even though it was advertised as “Phoenix,” it was actually in a suburb right next to where I live, lol! That was one of the reasons I was enticed to run it. That, and the medal. Seriously.

Anyway, I had heard about the race a long while ago but was iffy on it because it was three weeks after Chicago and I wasn’t sure I’d be up for 13.1 miles. Then about a week after the marathon, my friend posted there was a Groupon for the race and an additional 20% off making the entry fee under $40. I was sold. A bunch of my friends were also running it and I knew it’d be a lot of fun. Plus, medal.

My husband and I headed to the “expo” on Friday and maybe there was more inside Sports Chalet but packet pick up booths were outside and there wasn’t anything else there to see. No vendors, no nothing. The swag was pretty sweet though and considering I’d gotten a deal on my entry free, I was very satisfied.

Cotton V-neck tee, gloves, KT tape, and scary bag

Cotton V-neck tee, gloves, KT tape, and scary bag

They also had a little photo op thingy which of course I had my husband snap a shot

12189331_980428305354804_6055491130843991867_o

The race was seriously right down the street from me, so I woke up the next morning around 4:30ish which is my usual wake-up time. I got dressed and realized there were several “firsts” happening with my outfit. It was the first race I would wear with full compression socks–up til then, I’d occasionally race in calf sleeves. It was also the first time I’d be racing in a skirt–a buddy loaned me a really pretty Sparkle Skirt, which I pulled over some shorts.

Then, because I figured I needed a third first (since you know, everything comes in threes), I brewed me some coffee. I’ve never had coffee before a run or a race. It was 5 in the morning and the race didn’t start til 7; I figured it was enough time and coffee sounded amazing at that moment. It certainly tasted amazing.

The course was a point to point so I arrived early enough to get on the first bus that would take us to the start. I met up with several run club buddies and we chatted as the bus got lost several times.

We finally arrived at the start which was at a familiar place near mountains I often run trails on. It was dark and very cold (for AZ) and volunteers gave us runner’s foil to wrap ourselves around. We found the porta potties and another first happened: I was the first one to use the porta potty. My friend, who was in the potty next to me, shouted, “Make sure you lift the seat!!” And thank goodness because that would’ve been a complete and total disaster.

I had quite a few friends pacing this race and I planned to stick with two who were pacing the 2:00 hour group. I was hoping I was in 2 hour half marathon shape and wanted to see how I could do at that pace. As I hung out with my buddies, I ran into Kindal @runningwithstrength, an Insta/blogging buddy that’s local. She’s got a marathon next weekend so this would be a training run for her and planned to run with the 1:55 group (she’s speedy).

But about 30 minutes before the race started, the coffee I had had worked its magic and I needed a porta potty fast. Unfortunately, many people needed a port potty fast and it took me well over 30 minutes to get to one. Kindal and I were in line together and we looked at each other when the announcer counted down the start–we were gonna miss the start!

We really needed to go so we stayed in line (10 porta potties=not enough, race directors!) and about 5 minutes after the start, Kindal and I crossed the line. We agreed she’d pace me for the first 10 miles and then she’d go on ahead.

Another appeal to this race was the course elevation–

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 6.01.43 PM

It mimicked the start of Phoenix Marathon.

And like with Phoenix, we’re always cautioned to not start off fast…. And we never listen.

Miles 1-8 went like this: Wooohoooo!!!! I got this!! Sub 2 BABY!!!! Yeahhhh!!!!

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 3.54.37 PMMiles 9-13.1: Whhhooaaa!!!! Wind!!! Wall!!! Why??!!! What was I thinking??!!!

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 3.55.21 PM

We made a right turned heading north at mile 9 into a breeze and by then, I was already so tired that trying to maintain a 9 minute pace seemed impossible. Kindal tried her best to get me back on track but when we reached mile 10, I wished her luck and knew it was going to be a tough 3.1. (She finished in 1:55 like a total badass.)

I tried to do math in my head to see what I needed to do to sneak in under 2, but thinking so hard was making me feel worse, so I just kept running as strong as I could. Luckily, no cramps were happening, but the legs were just tired. When I reached mile 12, I told myself to run this last mile fast and the only fast I could muster was a 9:30.

When I turned the last .1 corner, my teammates were along the side and their cheers gave me a surge. I stopped my watch just before I crossed (I didn’t want a watch stopping finish photo, lol!) and headed straight toward my friends. I needed their hugs.

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 6.29.07 PM

We were right near the insta results and I saw my name and time– 2:05:xx

I shook my head and everyone told me I was okay. This was a fun race, no pressure, 3 weeks post Chicago. So I got over it, grabbed a beer, and admired my medal.

12188102_10105602689831561_1775122155293364676_o

The medal. IT OPENS.

And when I got home, I told my husband about my race and he asked me about the difference in Garmin time versus race time; four minutes was a lot. I realized I hadn’t even looked at my watch time; after I crossed, I went immediately to my friends (thank goodness for autosave). But I told him my watch kept beeping way before the mile markers so I figured the course was off (longer). He said that was still a lot of time difference so he went online and sure enough

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 6.21.25 PM

You’d think by now I’d know to look at Net Time and not Clock Time…oh, Helly….

Even though I was sooo close to a sub 2 and maaaaybe could’ve done it had I had the ability to do math and get my butt moving, I’m really happy with this time.

I wanted to run this race for a few reasons: 1.) the medal 2.) assess my half marathon skillz 3.) have fun

Check, check, check! 😀

–Ever got your times mixed up?

–Ever ran a race mostly for the medal? (I’m not usually so medal influenced but for some reason, I thought this one was pretty cool, lol!)

–How was your Halloween? Costume?

12197403_10105607273900051_667072108_o

Did you R.I.P?

Got Swag? {link up!}

Happy Friday!!!

I’m linking up again with the DC Trifecta ladies Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney for their weekly Friday Five. This week’s theme: Race Swag. Awww yeah!!!!

I want to say I’m all about the swag but I’m not lol! I just like a good race and if they give a medal or shirt, extra bonus. That being said, I’ve run some races with some pretty sweet swag and I’ll share them with you today 🙂

1. Hot Chocolate 15k

This is an expensive race, not gonna lie, but you’re paying for a great race and great swag. I’ve had a blast the past two years I’ve run the race and have actually used the jackets they’ve given. Often times, we get a shirt and it becomes lost in the dark corners of our closets, but the jackets the Hot Chocolate race gives out are of good quality and stylish–you want to use it. Plus, it’s cool being out and about and seeing someone else wearing it. I always give and get a smile when I see people with their jackets on 🙂

IMG_20150717_083707

In addition to the jacket, you get a cup of hot chocolate and treats AND a medal!

Post race meal

Post race meal

20141207_114813

Unfortunately, it’s not edible.

2. Aravaipa Trail Race

I love trail running and if you want to run a trail race, you have to do an Araivaipa one. For this swag, you get a shirt (again, another one you can actually use) and a beer cup. No medal, but I do use that cup pretty often 😀

IMG_20150717_083115

For overall winners, you still don’t get a medal. You get a more unique award that differs each race. This is the hardware from badass Run EMZ who placed 1st female overall in a 100 miler (yeah, you read that right):

Screenshot_2015-07-17-08-08-42-1

Check her insta.

3. Flying Pig Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

This was seriously THE funnest race I’ve run. It didn’t produce my fastest time at all but it was the fastest in that time was a-flying!

The swag for this race lives up to the hype of the race itself. Each year it’s something different and this year I got hooked up with a one shoulder bag pack–very functional and useful, a race shirt (that is very stylish and wearable), a poster of the race, and a finisher’s medal.

20150503_192732

IMG_20150504_154318

My Flying Pig Medal.

At the end of the race, there’s a buffet as you leave the finisher’s area. I’m not kidding. A BUFFET. They have a chip table with different types of chips, a fruit table, a cereal bar table, a soup kitchen!, a candy table–I mean, you don’t have enough hands for all the food they give out at the end.

Probably one of my favorite races ever and I wish I wasn’t so far away so I could do it every year.

4. Marine Corps Marathon

Love. This. Marathon.

First, you get your race swag from a Marine.

Cheesin' real hard

Cheesin’ real hard

Second, I really enjoyed the Expo and they offered tons of items race related at affordable prices. Yeah, this happened.

20141024_171818

This pretty much means you spent too much money.

A lot of people weren’t thrilled with the long sleeved given to us (I actually didn’t mind it. It looked Marine-ish which is what I’d expect from the Marine Corps Marathon). But I couldn’t help myself get another piece to add to my MCM wardrobe.

Taking my new jacket for a stroll by the White House--nbd.

Taking my new jacket for a stroll by the White House–nbd.

And then of course, the medal.

Best. Medal. Ever.

So beautiful.

5. Phoenix Marathon

Their medals are legit. It is seriously the most awesomest medal in my rack — and it was my first marathon so there’s that too ja!!

Seriously, how beautiful is this medal??

Seriously, how beautiful is this medal??

I didn’t finish 2015’s marathon (ugh.) but the race shirt they gave is still the best one I’ve gotten from a race–a racerback and good quality material. However, I’m always reluctant to wear it (because I didn’t finish the race– btw, I hate typing that) but my running friends tell me to heck with it, I trained for that marathon and ran half of it so wear it with pride. It really is a nice shirt.

IMG_20150717_083132

There you have it! I hope everyone has a great weekend!! Who’s racing? Make sure to share your swag on social media 😀 ❤ , helly

–What’s your favorite race swag? Did the swag live up to the race?

–Any races with sub-par swag items?