Happy Hump Day/Month!!!

It’s officially the middle of the year as we wrap up month 6!! I can’t believe how fast 2015 is flying by…

It’s been a bit of a bumpy ride– I started off the year with Rock n Roll Arizona 1/2 Marathon finishing 12 seconds away from a PR. I wasn’t bummed about it as I hadn’t been actively trying to PR (I had during my 1/2 marathon the month before) but I was bummed I didn’t have the presence of mind to see/realize how close I was. I know I could’ve finish 13 seconds faster.

I chalked it up as a learning experience. Heck, to have two 1/2 marathons within a month of each other at that time (1:55)–that’s a plus in my book!

February had a disappointing Lost Dutchman 10k. This was during my bronchitis bout and I felt and ran absolutely awful that day. I finished the race in 52:57 in 2014 and in 57:41 in 2015. Just awful.

But what stands out the most between January and June is my DNF at Phoenix Marathon. This was the race I had been training so hard for and to not be able to finish….it still stings when I think about it. Not as strong, but it still stirs the emotions.

I let myself be sad for awhile after that day, and I think it’s okay to do that. I just didn’t let the sadness linger for too long. I knew it wasn’t because of me, that the reason I couldn’t finish was out of my control. You always hear people say, “Listen to your body!” My body was sick and I wasn’t listening to it. I know better now.

I’ve come away from that experience with a lot of positivity. I had a great training cycle for Phoenix despite not finishing the race. I was confident that I would reach my goal that day had I been well. And because of that, I know I can do the same (and even better!) for October.

I definitely feel these past 6 months have made me a stronger runner. I can physically feel it and I mentally feel it. I knew that after the epic year that was 2014, I wouldn’t be able to replicate that. And why should I try? It’s a different year with different goals and different challenges.

That’s what keeps things interesting, right??

I have a lot to look forward to the next half of 2015. A lot. I’ll be climbing Mt. Humphrey’s in August, traveling to Vancouver in September, running the Chicago Marathon in October, Ragnar and the USA Half Marathon in San Diego in November, and back to the race where I snagged a 1/2 marathon PR last December. Except for the latter, all of these things will be new experiences!

And really, I already had a pretty epic 2015 race…..the one I ran with my brother <3

I hope everyone has a great week!! We’re almost to Friday!! <3 , helly

Unknown–What are your high/low points of 2015 so far? Any epic races? Any duds? 

–What are you looking forward to the next 6 months?

 

Field Trip! Lululemon Outlet and Summer Lovin’ Tote Review

A member of my Moms Run This Town so graciously informed us last month that a lululemon outlet was opening at an outlet in the Phoenix valley.

Now I’m not a die hard lulu girl; I only own one shorts from there. In fact, I’m not particular to any brand. If it fits the way I like and the fabric seems legit, then I’m good.

But I love shopping and getting a deal, so when the news came out a lot of us got excited about what we might find.

The catch? It’s a 30 minute drive.

You see, Phoenix is huge. And there’s a whole bunch of other huge cities surrounding it. It’s basically divided in halves. You live in the West Valley or the East Valley. The outlet is on the westside and guess where I live? Yup, the east side.

We thought it would be fun to take a MRTT field trip out there but unfortunately, when the day came, everyone got caught up with life and couldn’t make. So yesterday I decided to go solo–I mean, my curiosity had been piqued; I had to go see what the hype was all about.

Traffic was flowing and I made it there pretty quickly considering the hike.
I was on a mission and didn’t go to any other stores (I actually live close to an outlet mall on the east side) and went straight to lulu. Except I didn’t know where it was at lol! I finally asked a girl carrying a lulu bag and sure enough, I had walked pretty much the whole mall and had to go back lol! Luckily, I didn’t mind since I needed to meet my 10k steps goal anyway :)

Then, I saw it.

You had me at outlet....

Thankfully, I missed the grand opening craziness

I was a little underwhelmed as it was a small store. At first, I thought it was bigger than what it was because there was a huuuuge mirror at the back wall reflecting the shop so I totally thought there was more store in the back. I ALMOST WALKED INTO THE MIRROR. I’m not even kidding. Luckily, I saw my reflection and was like, “Wait a minute? I know her!”

The store was organized by size so they had a 4 section, a 6 section, etc. Most of the stuff was winter gear–long sleeves, jackets, capri pants–and because of the 112 degree heat outside, I couldn’t even fathom purchasing any of those things. Tanks and shorts selections were slim….

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… and then I saw it.

My bag.

It was the only one hanging and it looked so lonely. I decided right then and there to give it a home.

Gorg.

Summer Lovin’ Tote=Gorg.

It’s such a great bag. It’s got a yoga mat/towel holder, a plastic zip case inside for wet gear, an extra inside pocket, an outside water bottle holder, and an outside pocket for your phone/keys. The bag itself is deep and roomy enough for running shoes and clothes. Oh, and it comes with a shoe bag!

I love it.

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Towel/mat holder

Left: Inside clear plastic zip case; Right: Inside pocket

Left: Inside clear plastic zip case; Right: Inside pocket

Left: Shoe bag; Right: Water bottle holder and phone/keys pocket

Left: Shoe bag; Right: Water bottle holder and phone/keys pocket

So even though the store was on the small side with limited selections in my opinion– there were only two bag styles and mine was the last one of one of the styles; there were head band accessories but not as many options, and really there were no better deals than what the clearance sections in regular stores have. Yet, despite all of that I still considered the lulu excursion a success — I mean c’mon, didya look at my bag :D

I hope everyone is having a Terrific Tuesday!! <3 , helly

–Do you have a favorite gym bag?

–How far will you drive to go shopping? lol!!

–Are you a lululemon lover?

Chicago Marathon Training: Week 3 Recap

Happy Monday!

I feel like Weeks 3+ are when the real deal starts. Like, you’re excited and gung ho about training at the start but once you’re settled into a plan and the weeks go by, that’s when the discipline really starts happening.

Monday is cross training day so I spent 45 minutes on the bike (10.25 miles) and worked out core, hips, and glutes.

I took advantage of grandma being in town and met up with my run club’s Tuesday morning 5 at 5. I always want to go to these because it’s such a fun group and it makes the miles fly by. But it’s tough with my work schedule since I have my super loooong commute. I’m on summer break now, so yay!!

It was still a tough run though. The overall average was good but my splits were all over the place as I tried to keep up with a friend who was doing intervals (I did one ja!) before turning around at the 2.5 mile mark.

My Garmin was being super weird and said that I’d done this run in the future and not at 5 a.m. Huh? Get it together Garmin!

Apparently, I time traveled last Tuesday to today!!

Apparently, I time traveled last Tuesday to today!!

As I type this, it’s not even 10:41 lol!

Wednesday morning I did some more core work and worked out my legs a bit. Then I hit the track a little early before my run club buddies to get some extra circles in under the watchful eyes of the tiger.

4 miles at the track #TeamRMHC

4 miles at the track #TeamRMHC

I was up early again on Thursday for round two 5 at 5. This time, even though my overall pace was almost exactly the same as Tuesday, the run felt muuuch better and I felt like the miles were done with a much more comfortable effort.

It was the shirt. #WeRunSocial

It was the shirt. #WeRunSocial

Got in some arm and core work in the afternoon for an overall great Thursday.

Friday was a rest day. It was welcomed.

My husband and I woke up early on Saturday with 13 on our schedule. We were able to do our long runs on the same weekend day since grandma was still here (she left today :( ). He immediately got going though and I didn’t see him after we started–which was unfortunate because I ended up cutting my run short. I can do Arizona heat but humidity? Oh boy….

I had 3 friends keeping me company and we struggle bussed our way through the run. Two of them only had 6 miles on their plans and my other friend was going to finish the long run with me (I love my girls).

So after we dropped off the 6 milers, my friend Raq and I continued on. I told her I was going to cut it at 10 and she said for me to do my thing; she was just along for the ride. We got to mile 7 before I said 8 would be enough.

I was bummed I couldn’t get my full long run in but I also knew that I had a long training ahead of me. Cutting one long run short wasn’t going to be the worst thing ever. Plus, it was the third week of increased long runs–9, 11, and 13. I had gotten in the 9 and 11, so cutting back the 13 to 8 didn’t seem all that bad…or maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better? Lol!!

I waited for my husband and when I saw him turn the corner I could tell that he was struggling as well. He had done the full 13 and told me that he sooo wanted to have cut the run short too.

My splits:

at 5 in the morning!!

The weather at 5 in the morning!!

I was happy I was able to still maintain the long run average pace of 10:00/mile I’ve been doing despite the heat/humidity struggles.

Overall, a good week. I met my 10K Steps 6/7 days, got in 22 miles for the week, and was able to do some strength training. I’m working on my diet but holy hell, that’s so hard. When you think about it, there’s a lot we have to do when training–getting the miles in, strength training, hydrating, eating right, getting sleep–sheesh!!! :D

I hope everyone has a fantastic week!!! <3 , helly

–Pick your poison: Heat or Humidity?

–Do you feel guilty cutting long runs short?

–What’s the hardest thing for you during training? (Me, my diet for sure!)