Phoenix Marathon Course Preview and a Race Entry GIVEAWAY!!!

This past weekend I ventured out to the start of the Phoenix Marathon course to get a “feel” for the first part of the race.

As you can see, the beginning part of it is a nice downhill followed by a not-so-nice uphill, lol. I have no “real” goal for this race, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t hope to PR. I’m hoping with my NYC Marathon fitness, the downhillish course, and home court advantage will help me lower my sub 4 marathon time. 😀

Okay, fine #realtalk Whenever I think of Phoenix Marathon, I don’t remember my very first ever marathon. Instead, I remember that cold February morning back in 2015 dropping out a little past mile 12 😦  My DNF that year is not how I want to remember this race.  So that’s the biggest reason I want to do well. REVENGE.

I was able to have a running buddy venture out to the start with me (the race is a point to point that begins far out in Mesa in the middle of the beautiful desert, lol) and he joined me for the first 6 miles of the course. My plan was to do the downhill part and the hill–loop around a circle doing the hill a few times for 16 miles total (my first Hanson’s 20 of this cycle).

Unfortunately, I took an early turn and ended up doing a lot of little loops and the Phoenix hill a few more times than planned, jaja!!! I chalked it up to more training for the course, lol!

I should've kept on going to Eaglecrest instead of turning left....oh wells..

I should’ve kept on going to Eaglecrest instead of turning left….oh wells..

Doooown, and then up, and then down, and then up and then down

Doooown, and then up, and then down, and then up and then down

Anyway, it was a good, hard run that left me confident about next month’s race. I’m actually excited. I think because I have a sub 4 already, I don’t have the major pressure of that goal hovering over me. Also, I have a nice, long break awaiting after this race that I’m very much looking forward to 😀

And because I’m a Phoenix Marathon Ambassador, I get “rewarded” with extra entries the more times people use my code (Helly10 for $10 off the half or full). Because everyone is awesome and using it, I’ve managed to snag an entry to giveaway for any distance the race offers–10k, 1/2, or full!! YAY!!

This giveaway is on my Instagram so make sure you check out the deets there to enter. Doesn’t a spontaneous trip to warmer weather sound amazing??? 😀 ❤

–Have you ever won a race entry?

–Do you ever practice/train on the course you will race? (this was actually the first time I’ve done that)

 

How Running Became My Job

If you’ve been a reader for a while, then you know that I was a teacher for a long time, had a kid, went part-time, had another kid, took a year off, went back to work, then left altogether. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind job-wise the past couple of years trying to figure out whether I want to be a working mom or a stay-at-home mom (SAHM).

Though, I do think a big reason why I had such a successful year of running in 2016 was because of just that, not working. There’s definitely something to be said about work stress impeding on running performance, at least for me.

BUT, another reason I think I did so well racing was because running became the only thing I worked for/towards. Besides taking care of my kids and home (two huge things), my only other big commitment was staying on track with my training schedule. I really considered it like my job. When Thursday said 11 miles at tempo pace, that’s what I did because that’s what I was supposed to do. So when that 4:00 a.m. alarm went off, I got up and got it done.

I felt like since I wasn’t working, running/training was something I could get fulfillment from–something that could make me feel a sense of accomplishment. This was lacking in my life not teaching. Not to say that I don’t get fulfillment as a SAHM, but having worked my entire life, being employed was a part of who I was.

So running became my job. And since I really do love working, this wasn’t such a bad thing. I clocked in and out on my Garmin, and each week I’d collect my mileage paycheck. My bonus? Finish lines (and PRs).

101 miles, 176, miles, 152 miles

One, sometimes two days off per week..lol

It hasn’t been a bad gig, but I’m still at a crossroads on what I really want to do. I love teaching and miss it dearly, but I’ve also enjoyed being at home with my kids and making training a big part of my daily life.

I always admire those who can do it all, work full-time and train full-time and be parents full-time. I just know for me, one of those is going to eventually suffer and when it comes down to it, it will most definitely be my training.

With big goals like trying to Boston Qualify, a part of me wants to sign another contract with Hanson’s Marathon Method.

Yet, the classroom keeps calling….

–How do you handle working, parenting, and training?

–Have you ever been at a crossroads with your career or have you always loved your job (or would you rather work for Garmin 😉 )? 

 

2017–And The Adventure Begins

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I love new beginnings. All of ’em. Mondays, mornings, new years, new months, new seasons…The hopefulness of the start of something new excites me and motivates me.

As far as goals and resolutions, I don’t look at them as having a deadline. If/when I create them, I do so with the intention of them being something I work on for as long as I can, as long as life will allow. So any goals I set for myself, I’m not looking to have fulfilled them by the end of they year. If they take longer, they take longer. For me, the pursuit of the goal, the lessons I learn while I’m actively trying, is always what stays with me the longest.

Because of a year like 2016, I finally feel confident enough to go for my 2017 goals, because honestly, I never thought I’d be within reach.

I want to Boston Qualify. You all knew this was coming, right? Lol! In all seriousness though, I’m still quite a bit aways, but this is the year I want to start making my attempts. I’m motivated by a good training cycle and marathon from NYC, I’m motivated by friends like Katrina and Colby and Jennifer and Ashley, and I’m motivated by the fact that I’m finally confident enough to even consider it. 

My first attempt will be at St. George in October. It’s no longer a lottery (per their website) so on April 1st, I’ll be at my computer ready to register, lol. I’ve also already signed up for California International Marathon (CIM) in December.

Right now my current marathon PR is 3:58 and my BQ time is 3:35. Realistically, I’d need around a 3:32-33 to get in.

Completing a half marathon under 1:45 this past December really boosted my confidence in thinking I could actually qualify. That was a criteria for me before I even considered trying. With Hanson’s Marathon Method, the longest tempo run is 10 miles, so if I were training to BQ, I’d need to do 10 miles in 8:00 minutes. With a half marathon at a 7:48/mile average under my belt, I feel like I can better tackle a Hanson’s BQ training cycle now.

Can you tell I’ve thought about this a lot? Ja!!!

And because I’m crazy, I really want to qualify in the age group I’m currently in: 18-34. Right now I’m 32, and your needed BQ time is for the age you’ll be on Boston Marathon race day. So let’s say it takes me two years to qualify and I’m 34—the time I would technically need would be for the next age group, 3:40, since I would be 35 on race day. Many have said I should wait and age in, but, I like the challenge of qualifying in my current age group time. If people have done it, why can’t I? So what if I’m practically a half hour away–details shmeetails. 😀

I want to sub 1:40 a 1/2 Marathon. This is equally insane to me as my BQ goal. When I ran the Scottsdale Half Marathon, I thought a sub 1:45 was a stretch (my previous PR being 1:48) and I remember saying that as long as I got that sub 1:45, I would be done with any 1/2 marathon goals. 

Well I finished with a 1:42 and now I kinda want to try for a sub 1:40, lol! And this time, I’m serious that whenever I do get it, I’ll be more than satisfied having that as my long standing PR.

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Like I said at the start of the post, I’m not looking to check these off this year. It would be great, but I know that it could take longer than 12 months. A lot longer. And I’m okay with that. I know trying for these goals, even if I don’t make them “soon”, will help me become a better runner. That’s still a win, right?

I have 3 marathons scheduled for 2017, two of which will be BQ attempts. I have 2 half marathons scheduled, one of which will be a sub 1:40 attempt.

Here’s to a fun ride trying to make these happen!! I hope you join me 😀

–What are your 2017 running/fitness goals?

–When you dream big, do you dream reeeeally BIG (like me, lol) or make goals that are more within reach?