Mid-Week Musings: What Has Changed

I’ve been asked recently what I attribute my newfound speed to and I can think of many things.

I quit my job. I cross train. I strength train. I respect the recovery. I eat better. I drink my vitamins. I drink a ton of water. I sleep.

But really, I think the biggest thing that has changed is my mentality.


It’s not secret that running is hugely mental. And I feel like I’d had a mental block when it came to how fast I could run. My husband would tell me all the time that he knows I have an XX 5k and an XX half marathon in me if I just believed in myself and stopped being intimidated by fast paces.

Anytime I would see my husband’s splits and see all 8s, I would tell him to slow down, that he didn’t need to run fast all the time. He would tell me, “It’s perspective. Eight may seem fast for you, but it may not be for someone else.”

Then I got injured and didn’t run for a while. I cross trained and strength trained. In the midst of my injury, I quit my job. And before I knew it, my 6 week running hiatus was over.

I was ready to run again.

Maybe it was being reinvigorated after taking a break, maybe I was finally listening to my husband, but after a couple of weeks of being back to running, I went out for what I thought would be a regular 4 miler that turned into this:


February 4th, 8:08/mile

My splits were–8:18, 8:07, 8:08, 7:59!

I remember running inside my house, freaking out, excited to show my husband. And all he said was, “I always knew you could.”

But I didn’t. In fact, the day before, I wrote this!

I don’t know but I feel like after that run, I truly started to believe that I could repeat those paces. I started to believe that I could improve as a runner when for so long, I thought maybe I had “peaked”.

When I ran FroYo 10k, I ran it believing in myself that I could do 2 more miles at the breakthrough 4 miler pace I had done 10 days before. And I did, averaging an 8:02 pace for that race and snagging a new PR.

It made me reevaluate my 1/2 marathon goal for Phoenix. I am not lying when I say that I NEVER thought I’d break 1:50. But I let myself think crazy thoughts, lol! I let myself believe that yeah, 8 minutes per mile is fast, BUT I can do it.

I’m not saying other factors aren’t instrumental–I do think cross/strength training has helped immensely–but I can say with certainty that the first step in improving, in anything, is believing that you can.


–Do find yourself thinking you can’t do things? What do you to help yourself break through?

Last Week’s Workouts

Last week was biz-ay!!

The rest post-half marathon was more than made up for, lol.

Monday–this was the day after my run club’s Shamrock Shuffle 5k where I ran my fastest 3.1 to date, 23:47, so it was a rest day from running. Instead, I got on the stationary bike for 32 minutes (7.15 miles). Core and glutes afterward.

Tuesday–was NYC Marathon Lottery Day! I ran with my run club at 5 a.m. and helped a friend training for a marathon with intervals. On her schedule were 4x800s at 7:50-55 w/a 200 RI jog, plus a WU and CD. Total miles, 7. We nailed it and it was actually a really fun workout.

I spent most of it thinking/wishing/hoping I’d get in to NYC.

When I found out I hadn’t, I ran again in the evening contemplating my next course of action. 5 extra miles with my husband.

Wednesday–after the previous day’s surprise double run, I got on the stationary bike for 5 recovery miles. Core and glutes afterward.

Thursday–a much needed rest day.

Friday–an injured runner friend invited me to the pool reminding me that I have my first tri in 2 weeks (eek!). The big lanes were full so we used the 25 yarders instead. I practiced as much as I could and got to test my watch out in the water.



Saturday–met up with my run club friends undecided between 6-8 miles. Deep in thought, I finally checked my watch thinking maybe I’d just go to three and then turn around, only to see I was already at 3.5! Welp, 8 it was! Gotta love those runs where you feel so good and are so deep in thought, you don’t even know how far you’ve gone.


Right after my run (and after I showered, lol), we took our kids to our local Ostrich Festival–which is pretty big deal here, lol–and I think my husband and I had as much fun as the kids!

I got in a few good jabs before he brought me down :D

I got in a few good jabs before he brought me down 😀

Sunday–I was very excited about this run. My run club organized a trail run on a trail I’d never been to. It ended up being 8 miles of awesomeness ❤



Oh you know, caves along the way...

Oh you know, caves along the way…

Friends + Trails= <3

Friends + Trails= ❤


It was a busy, but amazing, week with 28 running miles, 12.15 bike miles, and 400 yds swimming. I’m beginning to think about NYC and what my plan of action will be. What I’m wondering about is: How do I build up a good base? What do you guys think? What do you recommend as far as building up a good base leading up to marathon training?

–How was your workout week?

–Do you like trail running? Are you trails woody, desert-y??


TCS NYC Marathon Lottery Results

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I didn’t win, but I’m still going.

What do I mean, you ask?

Well, as luck would have it, my husband got in on his first try–just like in Chicago–and I didn’t. If you remember, I ran Chicago through charity raising money for the Ronald McDonald House. I was nervous, scared, and intimidated by having to raise money (and a lot of it) but I had such an amazing experience that it helped me decide to run for charity again, this time for NYC.

I won’t be running for Team RMHC though as I’ve elected to run for the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research. Sadly, we do have a connection with cancer, as a close family member is currently fighting; yet, Coach V’s fighting words of “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up!” is a motto that so many of us can relate to, whether we have an affiliation with cancer or not.

If you’re not familiar with who Coach Valvano is, he was a NCAA basketball coach for NC State in the 80’s and led his team to a surprising championship win in 1983. They were the underdogs that season and game after game proved their championship worthiness to the very end. They never gave up.

Then in 1992, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. In the short time he had left to live, unbeknownst at the time, he did so much to help with cancer research creating the Foundation knowing it probably wouldn’t benefit him, but that didn’t make him lose hope. His hope was that foundation would help others and it has, many, many years after his death. He never gave up.

A couple of years ago, my husband and I saw an ESPN 30 for 30 special on Coach V and his NC State team. It was incredibly moving and my husband and I still watch from time to time. In the documentary is his Arthur Ashe acceptance speech at the first ever ESPY’s. If you have a few extra minutes, please take the time to view it. It really captures Coach V’s spirit.

Running for charity is scary in many ways. First, the New York City Marathon itself is kinda scary–it’s the biggest marathon. It’s huge! I’ve run some big races–Chicago, Marine Corps–but NYC is bigger than both!

Second, the charity amount I have to raise is twice that of Chicago. But I feel like Coach V’s words ring through in so many ways besides fighting a terrible disease like cancer. In so many aspects of life, we have to overcome obstacles or challenge ourselves and never, ever give up. That’s what I plan to do–in training for New York, in raising money to run New York, and in crossing that finish line in New York.

I hope you consider helping me with this important cause. Your donation, of any amount, will help me run a dream marathon, and most importantly, help keep dreams alive for others.

You can donate here:

Helly Runs For Team V

–Have you ever run a race through charity?

–Do you know who Jimmy V is or heard his speech before?

–Have you been to New York? I went when I was 10 and don’t remember a thing, lol! It will be my husband’s first time though 😀