Happy Love Day!! {link up}

Linking up again with the DC Trifecta girls, Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney!

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This week’s theme? LOVE, duh!! ❀ Here ya go!

Things I Love, Part Deux (Part One is here)

1. I love my run clubs.

I have no idea what I’d do without them. I joined one on a whim last last October and have had a blast ever since. Stuff I never thought I’d ever do I’ve done with them. There are people who are super hella fast and people who walk and just meet up for the camaraderie of it all. It’s awesome.

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My AZTNT crew

 

I also joined a new one this past year that was started by a blogger I “met” on Instagram. He’s local and asked if I was interested in being a part of a local running group of social media runners. I blog, I insta, why not? It’s been a lot of fun so far and Jeremy has really done amazing things with the group since he’s started.

#RunEatTweetAZ

#RunEatTweetAZ

2. I’m kinda sorta obsessed with David’s BBQ Sunflower seeds.

Like, it’s not normal.

This made the ultimate top 5 list because recently, David has decided to “upgrade” the flavor and let me tell you, TWO BIG THUMBS DOWN. The taste is so incredibly different and not good different that I’m going through a mini depression. I can tell by the packaging which is the old flavor and which is the new so whenever I come across the original bbq, I stock up. I have a bad feeling I won’t be finding the old bags anymore.

I bought 5 bags yesterday. That was all the store had.

Old is better.

Old is better.

3. I’m on the Erin Condren bandwagon.

I was forced to try something new this school year as far as where I’d organize my lesson plans and school calendar. My old planner had stopped printing 😦 and I was left with no idea what to do. Then, one of my AZTNT girls mentioned EC Planners and as soon as I checked out the website I was hooked. They’re a little pricier than what I was used to, but it’s been worth every penny so far.

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Personalized with all the things I love πŸ˜€

4. I Run 4 Graisyn

I joined the I Run 4 community last year and have been so moved by the love people have for one another. This community pairs you with a person with a disability and you dedicate your miles to them. My little boy’s name is Graisyn ❀

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I Run 4 Graisyn

 

Sometimes it’s tough to see stories so heartbreaking. You wish you could do something for each and every person. It’s tough to see. But, it’s real, it’s happening, and they need our support. So I joined and have been so grateful to be a part of something so special like that. I wrote about the process here if you’re interested in becoming a part of the I Run 4 community.

5. My Valentines

My loves.

Daddy's taking the picture <3

Daddy’s taking the picture ❀

I hope everyone has a good weekend!! I actually have a race tomorrow, a 10k, that I’m pumped about running. It’s a local race called The Lost Dutchman and it’s super fun with amazing views. Recap soon!

❀ , helly

–What are some things you’re loving right now?

–What’s your go-to snack?

–Have you heard of the I Run 4 community?

 

 

Rock n Roll Arizona 1/2 Marathon Recap

I’ve been noticing a trend with my races lately–the less I stress and the less pressure I put on myself has proven to be the best race strategy. I went into the Fiesta Bowl 1/2 Marathon last month not sure what I wanted to do and ended the race with a killer PR of 1:55:37 (beating my previous by almost 3 full minutes). On Sunday, I was debating about treating this like a legit training run or going for another sub 2 (but not at all thinking about a PR).

My husband, who was also racing, my daughter (who wasn’t racing πŸ˜‰ ), and I didn’t spend too much time at the Expo itself. We got our bibs and shirts and took a few quick pics:

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Checkin’ in!

My little runner <3

My little runner ❀

After, we started making our way to a group social–I’d planned on meeting up with my #RunEatTweetAZ peeps πŸ™‚

#RunEatTweetAZ :)

#RunEatTweetAZ πŸ™‚

The meet up was so much fun! There were a bunch of giveaways and the grand prize was a free race entry from a local racing company, StartLine Racing. Guess who won? MEEEEE!!!!!

I'm a winner!!!

I’m a winner!!!

My daughter had had a blast at the social, even getting to meet Elsa and Anna! and then we had lunch downtown. It was such a beautiful, relaxed Saturday.

Me with the princesses

Me and 3 princesses

I carried that momentum to the next morning as I got ready. We arrived to the race early and well prepared. Prepared as in I was not cold. I know, I know, I’m in Arizona but cold for us lol! It was actually supposed to be a gorgeous day–and it was–but the morning was a bit chilly (41 degrees is COLD! lol!). I had on sweats and a sweater and was very comfortable up to the start. We gear checked our stuff and then made our way to our corrals.

I met up with with one of my running buddies and wished him luck. Along the way, I ran into another friend from my running club, Harry, who is super fast (he’s attempting a BQ time at Phoenix). I asked him what his goal time was and he said that he was just going have fun with this one and was going to help a friend pace. Their time was around what I had thought I’d like to be, 9 minute miles. I figured I’d hang out with them and see where it took me.

My husband wished me luck and he moved up to his corral. The gun went off and we were on our way!

We started off at a very good pace and I felt it was smart that I had decided to start easy and relaxed. The first mile ticked off 8:51 and I thought, this is good. So far, so good.

I could feel myself start to pick up the pace a little but still felt good and mile two went by at 8:47. It was here that Harry and I somehow lost our other friend. She had made a pit stop at the first water station unexpectedly and we couldn’t find her. Harry even went back to look and met up with me later when he couldn’t find her. We continued on our way and stayed consistently near 9:00 up to mile 9.

Mile 7 was a Gu stop and Mile 9 was a killer hill.

Mile 7 was a Gu stop and Mile 9 was a killer hill.

I was very pleased with mile 9. The entire first 3/4 of the race is an incline that culminates with a huge hill at mile 9. This is usually where I bonk (last year miles 8 and 9 were 9:26 and 9:22) so when I saw 9:09 I was so happy! It had felt like a 20 minute mile lol!

nice...steady...incline

nice…steady…incline

Seeing how well I had done up to that point motivated me to continue. I ran the last 4 miles strong and the last mile with all heart. I had done the math, I was going to kill last year’s time (1:58:11)! This fact made me so incredibly happy; I had no idea that I was actually going to be close to a PR. Had I known, maybe I would have pushed it but because I was so thrilled with how I was doing up to that point, I wasn’t at all thinking about even being close to PRing. As each mile clicked away, I became more and more elated!

Yaaaay!!!

Yaaaay!!!

And somehow, I ended up finishing 15 seconds away from my PR (1:55:37) on a muuuuch tougher course!! I was (and still am) on cloud 9!!! πŸ˜€

There was no plan, no strategy, I just started out with what felt good and carried my momentum the rest of the way trying my best to stay consistent.

What capped off the race, how could it possibly get better you might ask, is that my husband did absolutely amazing. He way surpassed his previous year’s time at this course (1:48) and then beat his PR from last month of 1:42, finishing RnR AZ at 1:40:49. One-freaking-forty!! He’s come such a long way for his short running career; I’m so pumped for what his running future holds for him ❀

Me and my speedy <3

Me and my speedy ❀

Partaking in some post race celebration hydration

Partaking in some post race celebration hydration

yaaaaay!!!

yaaaaay!!!

This was a race that was by no means easy; I felt like I was working the entire way. But, I wasn’t dying at the end (my race pictures show otherwise lol!) or felt like I had overworked my body. I just felt really good.

Strong. I felt strong. And that seriously is the best feeling ever πŸ™‚

–Do you always have a race/game plan/strategy?

–How would you describe yourself (or the way you feel) at the end of a race?

Why taking a racecation is the way to go {a Guest Post}

Hi guys! I’m having a local blogger buddy/runner guest today. She’s been on some pretty neat race-cations and I have to say, I’m quite jealous on some of them. I’m a visitor on her blog, The Sunny Side, so if you’re itching for some Helly, head on over to her page πŸ™‚ I hope you all have a fabulous Friday!

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Hi! I’m Emily and I’m a runner in the Phoenix area who loves to travel, eat, drink and RUN!

I must admit, I’ve always had the travel bug, ever since I was a little girl. We took plenty of family vacations growing up, and I have never gotten tired of it.

When I decided to do my first full marathon back in 2000, I will totally admit that the reason I did it is because it was in HAWAII! That was all the motivation I needed to get me through 26.2 miles. I fundraised over $3,200 for the Leukemia Society with their Team In Training Program.

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Of course I had been bitten by the marathon bug, so the next marathon I chose was in Cozumel, Mexico. That was a unique experience for sure. Not one I would recommend, but it was still very cool to be down in Mexico for a race. I even got my hair done in braids (like Bo Derek in 10) so the beads in my hair were making a lot of noise while I ran. Then my next marathons were back in Honolulu and Rock n Roll San Diego.

I frequently travel back to my home state of Michigan for some of my favorite races (Charlevoix Marathon and the Crim 10 mile). Great excuse to experience cooler weather and see family.

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I decided that the combination of running a race and traveling was the perfect marriage. I will take ANY excuse to travel just about anywhere. Luckily I have a partner in crime who will go with me on some of these adventures. Our next one together will be in Hilton Head, SC in February. Woo-hoo!

Hawaii race

The only downside of being in a beautiful resort town and running a marathon is having to act like a saint the day before. No drinking, not too much walking, no sunburn, and watching what you eat. Aside from that, it’s really ideal.

Next up is the Detroit Marathon next month where I get to meet up with one of my new buds, @jennvoss.

 

Keep Calm and Travel On!

Follow Emily on her travel and running adventures:
Blog: http://azsungoddess.weebly.com
Twitter: @azsungoddess1
Instagram: @azsungoddess
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emilysattlerwhite

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Thanks for visiting Emily!

–What’s been your favorite race-cation?

–Where in the world would you like to run?