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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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 β€œQualifiers 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! πŸ™‚

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?


Happy National Running Day!!

It’s our birthday!! Okay, not really, but you know what I mean πŸ˜€


It’s really that simple.

I did some pre-celebrating yesterday evening when I met up with a local running club for a short run:

Will run for beer.

Stay hydrated my friends.

One hundred plus degree weather isn’t so bad when there’s beer at the end πŸ™‚

I have another meet-up with a different running club this evening for an official celebration that I’m super looking forward too. This day is going to be AWESOME!

Happy running day my amigos!! ❀ , helly

–How are you celebrating today?

–Do you have local running stores that host group runs? (look into it–they just might!)

–Why do YOU run?

Chicago Marathon Training Preseason Week 1



After the Phoenix Marathon fiasco, I have to admit I went into a dark place for a while. I lost my running mojo, ate unhealthy (more so than already), and was just overall not in a happy place.

I had trained so hard for that race. I felt like I was in the best shape of my life, was so confident that I was going to crush my goal. And to not be able to showcase my hard work, well, it was devastating. And it was difficult to come back from that.

So here I am now. Rejuvenated. Ready. Committed. Super pumped to start marathon training for Chicago. I have the same goal: sub 4:30; but now, more so now–even though it’s always been part of my plan for every race, I want to finish.

As part of the Ronald McDonald House Charity team, I was provided with a training schedule that I could use. After looking over it, I liked it! I’ll modify a few things but over all, it looked reasonable, doable, challenging enough. I usually rely on my go-to guy Hal, but I don’t think he’ll mind if I spice things up a bit πŸ™‚

The plan is 20 weeks long (whoa). So I’ve decided to use the first 2 weeks as a sort of pre season to get me ready for the long run. I haven’t been running consistently at all since Phoenix Marathon so I know I need to build up my base again.

Here are my Week 1 Preseason Stats:

Monday was a holiday and my husband had to work 😦 I took the kids on a playdate with a friend and while we were all hanging out, my little guy reached into a fountain to touch the water, slipped, and banged his little head on the concrete. I immediately became hysterical as I had never had my kids have an accident to that degree-he was bleeding profusely from a spot next to his eyebrow. We went straight to the Emergency and I called my husband who left work to meet us.

Needless to say, there was no working out that day.

I kept my little guy home on Tuesday. He was such a champ. In fact, right after the incident, he was back to his normal self. When we were at the hospital, he was laughing, and climbing on the waiting chairs, being his typical boy self. Luckily he didn’t need stitches but I was glad I took him in anyway. I kept him on Tuesday just to monitor him and make sure he was still okay, which he was. ❀

No work out.

Wednesday I took both kids to school and as soon as I got home, went for a run. It was my first run in a week and you could tell as my paces were so off. My 4 mile splits were: 9:44, 10:07, 10:09, 9:23. My legs felt super heavy and it just overall wasn’t a good run.

I wasn’t feeling encouraged about this preseason business.

Thursday I had an early hair appointment and took the day off.


When you have so much hair you need two stylists to blow dry #hairprobs

Fridays are usually my rest days but since I hadn’t run the previous day, I decided another 4 miler would be good.

Over all my paces were a little better, still all over the place, but my biggest mistake was starting later in the morning and already, at 8:30, it was too hot to run.

Holy hot city central

Holy hot city central

I wasn’t sure if I was going to long run Saturday or Sunday but I woke up on Saturday ready to go so I went. My husband and I decided we’d long run on whatever day the other didn’t. (He’s starting training too!)

I met up with my local run club at 6 a.m. with 6 miles on the schedule. I wanted to run them steady and at a more consistent pace than my previous two runs. I ended up doing so, but muuch slower than I’d hope.

At least I was somewhat consistent...

At least I was somewhat consistent…

As I was running, I was bummed to see miles 3, 4, and 5 tick a well past 10 minute mile. But I didn’t try and speed up after the first time I saw it, or even the second time. I just told myself, “Helly, this is what you feel good at right now so just keep going.” And then mile 5 ticked off the same thing and I figured, this is just where I’m at right now. It just is what it is. I’m fine.

It’s easy to become discouraged seeing times/paces you’re not used to. It happens to me a lot and it happened on Saturday. But I kept reminding myself that I was at the beginning of my training and the whole purpose of training is to improve. And I will improve. I know it.

I’d plan on taking my kids to my MRTT Sunday meet-up for a recovery walk while my husband did his long run but out of nowhere, my kids slept in! They usually are awake promptly at 5:30 but at 5:45, they were still snoozing. My husband said for me to go on and he’d stay with them and run later. I’ll never turn down an extra opportunity to run! πŸ™‚

So I met up with my girls and decided I’d do an easy 4 miler. Most of the girls were going longer but my buddy Jennifer @We’reRunningAMarathon? said she’d keep me company. She’s also training for Chicago so I’m so glad I’ll have a summer training partner.


After running 4 out of the past 5 days, my legs were tired so I wasn’t expecting much from this run. But, I was so glad to see that my pacing was better this time around. Maybe my body is remembering what to do! πŸ™‚

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 7.50.44 AM

I ended May with 56.24 miles. A lot more than I thought I’d run that month. Def win!

There’s week 1 of Preseason! I’m planning on doing more than running in June–I’m going to try and follow Blogilates‘ June Stretch Challenge

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 9.19.49 PM

and their monthly workout schedule (you can find that one on their website).

I know I need to do a lot of strength training, core work, and hip strengthening and I really enjoy the Blogilates videos (thanks Salt!).

I’m also doing a 10k a Day Steps Challenge with my MRTT moms. You can say that I’m a little motivated πŸ˜‰

I hope you have a great Monday and week!! ❀ , helly

–How did your May total mileage look like?

–Do you train for training?

–Do you like to follow monthly challenges?