Brother Update

So, this past May my brother ran his first ever half marathon and totally blew everyone away. I wrote about it here and about his weight loss here. It’s worth a read to catch up and fully understand his awesomeness.

Anyway, he said he was one and done but you know how that goes. His badassery continues.

He signed up for another half marathon!!!!! And this time, he’s going sub 2– Yeah, he’s going there.




He’s lost about 15 more pounds bringing him to right around 80 pounds total.

I just can’t believe it.

310 to 233

310 to 233

His transformation is seriously one of those where if someone told me this would happen, I would say, “There’s no way in hell.” And mean it. All those idioms, expressions, sayings–“When pigs fly.” “When hell freezes over.” “I’ll believe it when I see it.” All of those.

But he did it. By golly, he’s doing it.

In fact, I’ve got an admission.

He’s faster than me.

I’ve never been so ridiculously happy someone is faster than me.


He ran that 5k this summer in 23:49 beating my 5k PR by 15 seconds!!!!

It was a small, local race–no medals or glitz– but he was able to pull off a 5th place overall finish and 3rd in his age group.


No medal, just pride

Freaking amazing.

I know I keep saying this, but I just never thought my brother could transform himself in this way. And he’s done it all by himself, just diet and exercise–no gimmicks–just hard work.

I couldn’t be more proud of him. Anytime I start to get down or am in a funk, I think of my brother who is kicking so much ass, and he just inspires me to keep going. He is living proof that ANYTHING is possible.


Believe in miracles. Believe in change. Believe that people can change. I hope you guys have a great weekend!

❤ , helly

Chicago Marathon Training: Week 14 Recap

Hey, what’s up? Hello!

It was a meh week of training last week, if I’m honest. Since starting work, it’s been tough getting in the longer mid week training runs. I did have a highlight though!

Monday, I was visiting my home town enjoying the Labor Day weekend. When I’m home, I like to run the Turkey Trot 5k course to sorta practice it. It’s not a tough course but it gets me every. single time. This time was no different. It starts off with a very gradual decline and when you turn around at the mile and a half mark, that becomes a very gradual incline. And that minuscule incline kiiillls me for some reason.

This run was so bad. I couldn’t even blame the weather.

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My PR for this course is 25:43. I’ll be gunning for it this November.

Tuesday, I took the day off from running. I’m trying to recall why but can’t. Ja!

I met up with my run club at the track on Wednesday evening though. My buddy, Runner Jenny, was making an appearance and I was looking forward to hanging out. That’s kinda what these track sessions have turned into. More socializing than working out, lol! Our coach had a 1×1600, 4×400, 1×1600 workout for us and Jenny and I took it easy, chatting the first mile away. Another buddy, Raq (my BQing bud), told us to get moving on the 400s so picked up the pace. I was at about the low 7s for my first two 400s.

At the beginning of the third 400, Raq told Jenny and I to give this lap all we had. She wanted to see one of the four P’s: Puke, Pee, Poop, or Pass out. So basically, kill ourselves for one 400.

We were up for the challenge.

I was right behind Runner Jenny at the start and we were going faaassst. I stayed with her and at the second to last turn, began to surge. The last roughly 200m I ran like I’d never in my life ran before. Well, pretty much the entire 400 was me running like I’d never in my life ran before.

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12004059_956057107791924_2686789077633477238_n There were two different points where my pace was 5:51!!!!! I know that it wasn’t for a long distance or time, but I NEVER in my life thought I’d see those numbers before. Ever.

I had been going so fast that I felt light-headed afterwards! LOL.

My husband of course said he knew I had it in me all along and that with training, I could see those numbers again. I love him.

Thursday morning I woke up sore from the craziness of the prior day’s events. I usually run in the evenings but we went out for burgers for dinner and I liked that much better.

I moved the run to Friday, my usual rest day. I like having Friday as a rest day because my husband and I usually have a mini date night during the day. He’s off of work earlier than usual on Fridays so we usually grab a bite to eat before kid pick up. This Friday was no different except we went out for steak and lobster instead of our usual light afternoon snack, lol!

I didn’t want to skip my run though, and after a couple of hours (maybe two and a half), I went for my run. Sure enough, in mile 2, I felt my palms start to itch.

I was having an allergic reaction.

It wasn’t a surprise. I had a feeling that even though a few hours had passed, and even after I’d taken some allergy medicine, it was still too risky to run after eating.

I was able to finish my run though and make it home in time to overdose on Benedryl.

This made for a groggy 3:30 a.m. wake up though, as I had plans to meet up with a friend at 4 in the morning Saturday for our long run. I somehow got myself out of bed and dressed.

It was an uneventful 13 miler, which was good. I was worried maybe I’d still have remnants of whatever caused my allergic reaction the day before.

After 5 miles, we met up with the rest of the crew and my three of my friends kept me company for the next 8 miles. They did a great job of keeping me at pace, closer to the 10s. I commented how frustrating it was that keeping it close to 10:00 was so hard. How would I go faster in the marathon? Trust thy training, Helly–they told me. It’s tough, but I know I gotta.

Very happy that I got faster as the run progressed #win

Very happy that I got faster as the run progressed #win

That was my week in a nutshell. A sub 6 pace for like two seconds, an allergic reaction during a 4 miler, and a tougher than it shoulda been long run 😀 23 total miles

I hope everyone has a great week!!! ❤ , helly

–What is the fastest you’ve ever ran? Even if it was just for a few seconds?

–Have you ever experienced any of the four P’s?

–How do you convince yourself to trust the training?


Chicago Marathon Training: Week 13 Recap

I hope everyone had a great weekend and that those stateside enjoyed their extra day (if you got one) 🙂

Even though I couldn’t get in high mid-week mileage, it was a confidence building week of training–one that I felt I needed at this moment as we’re inching closer and closer to the less than one month away mark!

Last Monday, I started off the week with a short 4 miler but I saw numbers I hadn’t seen in a while.

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 7.39.01 PM It was a negative split run and the first mile was actually already starting off at a good pace for me, so to get better from that 9:42 made me super excited. And that 8:36 last mile just had me smiling from ear to ear. Finally, that overall pace was a low I hadn’t seen in a while.


I rested Tuesday as my husband was out of town again and I had kid duty. I could have squeezed in a run but….I didn’t 🙂

Wednesday I met up with my run club and they had a mini hill workout on the schedule. I chose to bypass that and run another 4 miler instead.

A sub 100 degree run??? Wha???

A sub 100 degree run??? Wha???

It was close to another negative split and close to a similar overall pace as my Monday run. Again, this made me feel really, really good 🙂

Thursday I stuck to my 4 miler theme and ran around my neighborhood (It actually ended up being 4.2–you know you gotta count that point two). I took this run easier as I had had two good runs and didn’t want to push myself. It was still a great one with an overall pace of 9:48 and I finished with the last two miles faster than my first two.

It was an important rest day Friday as Saturday I had my first 20 miler of the training!

Yep, Saturday morning I woke up at zero dark thirty for this one (2:30 a.m. to be exact) and met up with another crazy friend also doing a 20 miler. We got going at 3:09 and planned to run 10 miles, five out and back, before meeting up with the rest of our run club at 5 a.m. We made one stop around the 7 and halfish mark for a potty break but that was the only stop of miles 1-10.

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 7.54.17 PM I was really happy with my consistency (see miles 4-7!!!) and I met up with my back 10 crew in high spirits.

Two running buddies were waiting for me at 5 to run my second set of 10 and we got going not too long after I got to the meeting spot. We were cruising at my pace (I wanted to be around the 10-10:30 mark) and they were uh-mazing at keeping me on track. I was feeling it around miles 12 and 13 and they quickly re-focused me.

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I did stop at mile 15 (the turn around) but it was quick as I knew I didn’t want to lose momentum.

Then, at mile 17 I had to go potty 😦 and I was forced to stop again. This super bummed me out as like I had mentioned last week, I wanted to really try and avoid any stopping on my long runs.

I definitely felt that potty stop around mile 18 as my left calf started cramping a little. I didn’t want to stop though so I ran through it and sure enough, it dissipated after a few minutes. Whew!

Finally, I wanted to finish strong so my girls picked it up and I had them finish me at a 9:34 mile 20!!!

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These 79 degrees felt great. The 65% humidity did not, lol!

I was so happy with this run and really pleased with the consistency in my splits. My slowest mile was 10:37 and my fastest (besides the last mile) was 10:06 so I was +/- 30 seconds the entire way!


It was also my husband’s first 20 miler this past weekend and he knocked his out of the ballpark too! Much faster than me, lol, but I still love him 😀

I ended the week with 32.2 miles and feeling pretty darn good about myself going into this week. My goal of sub 4:30 is looking realistic and I just hope all this hard summer training pays off. We’ll find out in about a month!

I hope everyone has a great week!! ❤ , helly

–How was your week of running?

–Do you try to keep consistent splits, negative splits, or do you just run and what happens, happens?