5 Places I Would LOVE To Visit and Run In The U.S. {Friday Five!}

Fun factoid fail. In my last post, I attempted to share a fun February fact but as my husband and 50in50marathonquest so kindly noted to me, there really wasn’t anything special about it. I tried looking up where I had heard about my fail factoid but couldn’t find it and there you go, another don’t believe everything on the inter webs. BUT, February does start and end the same day which is not a common occurrence. (I felt I needed to give you something! 😀 ) My source: Wikepedia, lol!

Linking up again on this Friday morning with the DC Trifecta ladies Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney for the weekly Friday Five 🙂 I’m straying from their theme this week though, it being Valentine’s Weekend and all ❤ , and instead writing about

                     5 Places I Would Love To Visit and Run in the United States

I’m a huge history buff and enjoy learning about our country and all the interesting places there are in it. And like a lot of American runners, I’d like to run a race in all 50 states; however, there are some specific places that I’d like to visit.

1. Marine Corps Marathon–Washington, D.C.

I DID THIS! I DID THIS!

MCM was my dream/bucket list race and I got to do it in 2014. I distinctly remember putting my name in the lottery thinking there was no way I’d get in on the first try. Welp! 😀

This race encompasses so much of what I love. My dad was a Marine, the race takes you through so many awesome landmarks in our nation’s capitol, and you experience something so amazingly awesome–beyond running marathon. It’s really indescribable.

Best. Medal. Ever.

Best. Medal. Ever.

2. Mt. Rushmore–South Dakota

This is a landmark that fascinates so much for some reason. I’m not sure it’s something that could/would be built today (for a variety of reasons) and I think it’s incredible that it was done in the first place. Like, people made that!!! With their hands!!! (Duh Helly–I know, I know… lol)

The race I would run is the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon. They have a Mt. Rushmore tour the day before (yay!) and the race is on a beautiful course with views I’m not accustomed to here in the desert. The elevation chart isn’t horrible either.

Not bad..

Not bad..

3. Canyon de Chelly Ultra 

I know I have an ultra in me somewhere. Not a long one, but maybe a 50k. There’s a few I’d like to do but there’s one in my state that just looks amazing. It’s up in northern Arizona, Chinle, and the biggest thing I love is how much the race sticks to its roots and culture. From the get-go at packet pick-up, guests are asked to to brush off their shoes so that no foreign elements are introduced to the canyon. I love this aspect of respecting your surroundings and land that is special to so many people. Before the race, a Navajo prayer is said for runners; at the end, Navajo food is provided. This is a race that sells out in minutes and a few of my friends in my running club made the cut this year!!

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 8.12.26 AM

4. Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon–Alaska

Kristen at Run Away With Me lives there and I LOVE seeing her pics. Besides wanting to see her, I’d love to run in some of Alaska’s beauty. This marathon happens on the day closest to the summer solstice where there’s maaaaybe 4 hours of nighttime darkness. And even then, it’s not completely dark, right Kristen?

How cool does that sound??

5. I was wanting to choose a fifth but really, there are so many awesome races in this country. I’d love to do Big Sur in California, St. George in Utah, the Indy Mini in Indianapolis, Pike’s Peak in Colorado, Grandma’s Marathon in Minnesota…there’s no shortage of good ones in the U.S.A. ❤

–Where in the United States would you like to race in?

–What’s the best race in your country (if not stateside)? 

 

 

Friday Five: 5 Running Dreams That Probably Won’t Come True

I think it’s normal to dream about races you’d like to run someday–the really crazy, far, expensive, ones that make it unlikely you’ll ever participate in them. I’m not the only one that does this, am I? 😀

It’s “Free Friday” in the DC Trifecta world of Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney and today I’m sharing 5 Running Dreams That Probably Won’t Come True, lol!!

25897-I-Dream-Big

1. ) The World Majors

These marathons include Berlin, Tokyo, Boston, London, Chicago, and New York City. I’ve got one down (Chicago!) but the others are an expensive stretch. I love that running also allows me to travel and maybe throughout my entire lifetime, I might make these happen. I think it’s kinda funny though, that the toughest one is in the states–I’d have to qualify for Boston, jaja!!

2.) New York City Marathon

Speaking of the majors, one that’s in the states is NYC and while it’s not impossible that I would do this one, the impossible part is how I would want it to happen. My brother wants to do one marathon and the one marathon is this one. I’d love to do it with him. I’d love for my sister to do it too. And it’d be even awesomer if my husband could too. Yeah, there’s the impossible part. The likeliness of ALL of us making the lottery in the same year….not very good. But one can dream! 😀

3.) Disney Dopey Challenge

I’ve never been a crazy Disney person and with recent price increases, it’s even less likely that I’d do a Disney race, BUT, if I was to it would be the Dopey Challenge in Walt Disney World. The reason this is a unlikely dream is because this is the costliest of all the Disney races. You’re basically paying for 4 races– a 5k on Thursday, a 10k on Friday, a 1/2 marathon on Saturday, and a full marathon on Sunday. Final price: right around the $600-700 range!! That is NOT including price of park admission (which is insanity), NOT including air fare or hotel accommodations. Yeah, this race-cation could easily get you to the several thousand dollar range when all is said and done and for that amount, wouldn’t  you want to do a World Major Marathon somewhere in Europe?? LOL

Bling from the Dopey Challenge--Source: RunDisney Mom

Bling from the Dopey Challenge–Source: RunDisney Mom

4.) Western States 100

I never say never, but it’s very unlikely that I’ll ever run a 100 miler but if the crazy in me was to ever come out the one I’d want to do is this one. Of course it’s not one you can simply sign up for, no, that would be too easy. You have to run a qualifying race and then enter the lottery. Double whammy. What makes the Western States 100 race so special is this prestige that comes with having qualified and  been selected. It’s also the oldest 100 mile trail race and gives you life-time bragging rights if you complete it. Why does this sound so cool to me?

5.) Boston Marathon

If I was to devote my life to any of the races on the list, it would be this one. I think it’s easy to say that many runners dream of running this big race. At over an hour away from my qualifying time though, I’ve got a ways to go BUT I know that this one isn’t entirely an improbability. Recently, I’ve come across quite a few Instagrammers and bloggers who have shared their transformation stories of how they’ve become the runners they are now. Many started at or near what my current marathon PR and have bettered their times to comfortably below their BQ requirement.

This one’s possible ❤

–Do you have any running related dreams? 

Thanks for hosting Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney!!

DC-Trifecta-Friday-Five-linkup

 

 

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 🙂

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 🙂

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 “Qualifiers 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! 🙂

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?