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?

 

 

 

Night Run 10k Vancouver {Recap!}

So happy to be home!!!

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It was a tad nippy in Canada, totally not what I was used to, lol, and I actually looked forward to my Arizona temps! Anyway, I arrived to Canada Thursday evening and we immediately went to dinner. It was absolutely amazing–steak and salmon for the win!

The race was on Friday night, and earlier in the day we toured the city–I musta walked like 5 miles! We had amazing lunch at this place called Joe Fortes (to die, seriously!) and we were back at the hotel around 3 for an afternoon siesta.

When I awoke, I got dressed and ready and we walked the about a mile walk to the race site. I was hoping I’d get my usual pre-race jitters (i.e. need to use the restroom) but I didn’t have to go. This was a little disconcerting considering I had two big meals still in the stomach.

Anyway, what was nice about the race was that it was at beautiful Stanley Park

Surrounded by water the entire way :)

Surrounded by water the entire way 🙂

and there was a building at the race start where runners could hang out in–this was GREAT for me because I was freezing. They were playing music, there was a photo op place, FREE McCafe, and even a no-line bathroom! (Except I still didn’t have to go 😦 )

Freeeeee!!!

Freeeeee!!!

It wasn’t long before it was time for the 10Kers to line up. The 5k runners had just left and there was about a 10-15 minute wait before our turn.

There were no corrals but “fast” runners were told to head to the front (this is where my husband left me, lol!)

The countdown started and we were off! The beginning portion was a downhill and really, I should have kept this in mind for later–I didn’t.

I was gunning for an 8:45 average pace and when the first mile beeped 8:45 I was THRILLED. I had this guy in front of me who was running a good pace so I stuck with him.

The view were uh-mazing. This was Stanley Park after all. The sun was setting and the colors on the water were so beautiful. We had the city lights behind us and the green trees next to us; it was awesome.

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On one side, water….

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on the other, city….so beautiful! (pictures are pre-race, lol!)

The second mile beeped 8:35 and I was happy that I was still feeling pretty good. I kept it going with my “pacer” to mile 3 and that beeped at 8:45!

And then my pacer slowed down 😦 I wanted to yell at him, “Keep it going!! I need you!!” lol, but of course I didn’t and I told myself to put my big girl panties on and do it myself.

Yeah, that didn’t work out so well.

Almost immediately after crossing the 5k mark, I begin to falter.

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And maybe that guy knew the uphill was coming or something, but I didn’t. I felt like I was still going my pace but mile 4 beeped away at 9:04 and I was buuuuummed.

I tried to get it together and at least keep it under 9 minutes which I barely managed to when mile 5 beeped 8:58.

Mile 6, 8:53.

I was so happy to only have .2 left. SO happy.

And then the goddamn hill. Yes, the one that when I started, took me on a nice swift decline.

I had been trying so hard to get sub 9 miles that I felt I had nothing left to give on that effing uphill–I practically crawled up it and the last .28 took me 2 minutes and 50 seconds (a 10 minute pace). Seriously, Helly.

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I crossed the finish line in 55:49 missing my sub 54 goal by a minute and 50. Ugh.

On a positive note, I was pleased my overall pace was under 9 at an 8:53 pace, so YAY to that!! 😀

On an even more positive note, my husband finished 10th overall!!!

The post-race was super cool–they fed us a burrito, fries, and a beer–and they had a DJ playing music. We were inside a building, nice and warm too so it was definitely comfortable and fun.

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The DJ announced he’d be awarding top overall male and females so we hung out to see the speedsters. The top 3 men and top 3 women were awarded their medals and then the DJ went back to his music right afterward.

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Aaaaand this is when things went awry. About 30 minutes later, my husband and I decided to head back to the hotel. It was late, about 10 o’clock, and we didn’t want to be out in the streets at dark. As soon as we got to the hotel, we checked our results again but this time online. My husband said he’d gotten 1st in his age group!!! Woohoo!!!

Seriously, not about 5 minutes later, I posted our Instagram pic with the hashtag #NightRunVancouver and #RunVan and when I searched both tags, I saw a guy showing off his Age Group medal! Whaaat??? How in the world did we miss that??? We had been inside the ENTIRE time and not once did they announce Age Group awards! I messaged the guy and he told me that he had seen a table with medals and that was how he had gotten his. Whaaaat???? No announcement? No sign? Nada???

We decided we’d head to the running store the next day where packet pick-up for the race was. My husband ran the mile to the store Saturday morning only to be told by the employees there that they had no idea what he was talking about.

My husband returned bummed but over it–it was just a medal.

But I was upset! I don’t know why, maybe the Type A organizer in me, but c’mon! So I e-mailed the race director who responded the next day, Sunday, the day we were leaving, that he’d drop off the medal at the running store my husband had been to the day before, lol!

That e-mail was sent right before we got on the plane to come home, so of course there was no going back to the store.

Bummer, no medal (and again, my husband did not care, lol!) but it peeved me a little that there had been NO announcement whatsoever post-race and I made sure to let the race director know that that was an area which needed improvement–because besides that, it had been a great race. And during my Instagram search, I had found another girl who experienced the same thing.

Not how we wanted to end the race but we decided to solely focus on the positive (or really, my husband kept telling me to focus on the positive, lol!!). The race had amazing views the entire way, it was a single loop which for 10k’s I’ve run is rare, and it had great pre and post race festivities. If I was to eliminate the medal fiasco, this would definitely be a race I’d recommend. Thanks for making it this far and sorry for my long-winded vent, lol!

I’ll be re-capping the rest of my amazing trip later this week–I hope everyone had a great weekend!! ❤ , helly

–Have you ran a race and missed the medal?

–Ever ran a race with super cool pre and post race parties??