5 Places I Would LOVE To Visit and Run In The U.S. {Friday Five!}

Fun factoid fail. In my last post, I attempted to share a fun February fact but as my husband and 50in50marathonquest so kindly noted to me, there really wasn’t anything special about it. I tried looking up where I had heard about my fail factoid but couldn’t find it and there you go, another don’t believe everything on the inter webs. BUT, February does start and end the same day which is not a common occurrence. (I felt I needed to give you something! 😀 ) My source: Wikepedia, lol!

Linking up again on this Friday morning with the DC Trifecta ladies Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney for the weekly Friday Five 🙂 I’m straying from their theme this week though, it being Valentine’s Weekend and all ❤ , and instead writing about

5 Places I Would Love To Visit and Run in the United States

I’m a huge history buff and enjoy learning about our country and all the interesting places there are in it. And like a lot of American runners, I’d like to run a race in all 50 states; however, there are some specific places that I’d like to visit.

1. Marine Corps Marathon–Washington, D.C.


MCM was my dream/bucket list race and I got to do it in 2014. I distinctly remember putting my name in the lottery thinking there was no way I’d get in on the first try. Welp! 😀

This race encompasses so much of what I love. My dad was a Marine, the race takes you through so many awesome landmarks in our nation’s capitol, and you experience something so amazingly awesome–beyond running marathon. It’s really indescribable.

Best. Medal. Ever.

Best. Medal. Ever.

2. Mt. Rushmore–South Dakota

This is a landmark that fascinates so much for some reason. I’m not sure it’s something that could/would be built today (for a variety of reasons) and I think it’s incredible that it was done in the first place. Like, people made that!!! With their hands!!! (Duh Helly–I know, I know… lol)

The race I would run is the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon. They have a Mt. Rushmore tour the day before (yay!) and the race is on a beautiful course with views I’m not accustomed to here in the desert. The elevation chart isn’t horrible either.

Not bad..

Not bad..

3. Canyon de Chelly Ultra

I know I have an ultra in me somewhere. Not a long one, but maybe a 50k. There’s a few I’d like to do but there’s one in my state that just looks amazing. It’s up in northern Arizona, Chinle, and the biggest thing I love is how much the race sticks to its roots and culture. From the get-go at packet pick-up, guests are asked to to brush off their shoes so that no foreign elements are introduced to the canyon. I love this aspect of respecting your surroundings and land that is special to so many people. Before the race, a Navajo prayer is said for runners; at the end, Navajo food is provided. This is a race that sells out in minutes and a few of my friends in my running club made the cut this year!!

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 8.12.26 AM

4. Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon–Alaska

Kristen at Run Away With Me lives there and I LOVE seeing her pics. Besides wanting to see her, I’d love to run in some of Alaska’s beauty. This marathon happens on the day closest to the summer solstice where there’s maaaaybe 4 hours of nighttime darkness. And even then, it’s not completely dark, right Kristen?

How cool does that sound??

5. I was wanting to choose a fifth but really, there are so many awesome races in this country. I’d love to do Big Sur in California, St. George in Utah, the Indy Mini in Indianapolis, Pike’s Peak in Colorado, Grandma’s Marathon in Minnesota…there’s no shortage of good ones in the U.S.A. ❤

–Where in the United States would you like to race in?

–What’s the best race in your country (if not stateside)?



Week in Review: 2/1-2/7

Hellooo February ❤ ! Did you know that this month we will have 4 Sundays, 4 Mondays, 4 Tuesdays, 4 Wednesdays, 4 Thursdays, 4 Fridays, and 4 Saturdays in a month since, like forever??(Go ahead, look at a calendar) There’s your random factoid for the day! 😀

Last week was a good one.

Monday I got on the bike for 30 minutes and pedaled away to 7.75 miles. Did my planks: 1 minute standard plank and 45 sec side planks times 3. Was very proud because I totally feel myself getting stronger.

Tuesday was an unexpected rest day as I had family visit but I managed to squeeze in some quick planks before bed. Not as long as Monday but something.

Wednesday I got on the treadmill for a steady 5 miler. I’m getting used to the treadmill as I haven’t gotten on that thing in a long time. This was my second time in over a year.


Thursday my husband was home so I was able to get in a run outside. It was glorious. As it was in the evening, I dressed in bright clothing and something about the neon oranges helped lit a fire because HELLS YEAH, I killed this run.


Remember last week’s post about how I thought I’d never see an 8 minute miler again?? I don’t know what happened!! I started running and felt good. I don’t look at my watch when I run, only when the mile beeps, and when the first mile beeped away at 8:18, I was shocked! I didn’t want it to be a one time fluke so I decided to keep running, by feel at what I felt was a hard, but maintainable pace. Mile 2– 8:07! Mile 3–8:08! Mile 4–7:59! SEVEN!!!!

I couldn’t believe it. I did a cool down walk home and was so giddy when I saw my husband. We did a little happy dance together in the kitchen. 🙂

I think what made me so ridiculously happy about that run was that I was able to stay consistent. I didn’t positive split. That lets me know I can maintain that pace (at least for 4 miles) and that is so insane to me.

Fridays are typical rest days but I took my kids to the zoo and did some crazy hill climbs pushing the stroller throughout the park. Def counts as a workout.


Saturday was a legit rest day. I got to shower and do my hair and make-up like a normal person (I went to a friend’s bridal shower that afternoon) and I posted my first Instagram car selfie, lol!


I ran long on Sunday and planned for a 9 miler around the 9:30ish/mile range. One of my good running buddies joined me (with her baby belly!) and we chatted the entire way. That had to be the smoothest 9 miles I think I’ve ever ran.



I planked and nailed a 1:15er (45 sec side planks) and beat my husband and wall sits. Overall, great Sunday 🙂

This was a great week with 18 miles. I feel myself getting stronger and with my first race post injury on Saturday, I’m a super, super excited!

–How was your running week?

–When is the last time you surprised yourself with a run or nailed a run? Did you do a happy dance after?




Nick’s Run Ambassador

One of my goals for 2016 is to run more local races. I’m very lucky to live in an active community and there are no shortages of races and events to participate in.

When I began searching for local races to fill up my calendar with, I came across Nick’s Run and was immediately intrigued. I like running locally because most often the race is benefiting an organization or charity and that really adds to the meaning of running the race. I feel like my money is going towards me and someone else.

Nick’s Run was started because of a boy who was seriously injured in a hockey accident. Nick was 16 and doing something he loved, never thinking that it would someday risk his entire life.

He fought hard to recover and when he did, he didn’t let the near death experience keep him from his sport, and he returned to the hockey rink unafraid.

What bravery! I’m not sure that at 16 I would’ve had the strength to go back to something that almost cost me my life. At 31, I’m not sure I would!

Nick’s Run helps support Angels for Athletes, a non-profit organization aimed at getting children and teens more involved and active in recreational and competitive sports. As a mom of two toddlers and high school teachers, wanting my kids and students to get involved is always something I strive to encourage them to do.

Being an ambassador for this race is helping me do that on a larger scale and I’m so excited and grateful, as I’ve never been the sole ambassador for race before. I never knew where this blog would take me when I first started, but I’m surely glad it’s given me a platform where I can give back to my community. ❤


If you’re interested in participating in Nick’s Run February 21st, use HELLY5 for $5 off the 5k, 10k, or Double Challenge. A Kids’ Run is also offered at $5 (discount does not apply).

-Do you like running local races? Is there one in your town you really like?