And the award goes to….

MEEEEE!!!

I was nominated again for the Liebster Awards by some fellow awesome blogging friends

Sara @Life Between the Miles
Hailey @Striding Strong
Ali @Hit The Ground Running
Sarah @Running on Healthy

To have been thought of by these four is truly an honor as they are people I’ve come to respect and trust as I’ve grown to know them and their blogs. Make sure you check each one of ’em out!

liebster

While I’m not entirely show what constitutes someone deserving of this award or what it really means, I do know that I have to answer some questions…so here ya go!

1. What is my current health related goal?

I’m really focused on marathon training right now. I have my next one in late February and really, really want to PR and maybe even get a sub 4:30 (that would be the ultimate goal).

With this one, I’m hoping to really nail my fueling. I’ve struggled with fueling during my long runs and previous marathons and think that’s the biggest component I need to focus on. So we’ll see how it goes!

2. What is my biggest irrational fear?

Besides freaking out if something happened to my husband and kids, my irrational fear is similar to Salt’s actually.

I hate the water.

I hate pools, lakes, streams, ponds, oceans and any type of body of water. I refuse to get in them.

I just think of all the unknown that’s involved–germs, animals, creatures, things/people who have been in them that I have no idea who or what they are or where they’ve been. It just majorly grosses me out.

3. Do I enjoy wrapping presents?

I do! I’m old school and actually buy paper and wrap gifts 🙂

4. What’s your favorite cross training activity?

Salt introduced me to Blogilates which are pilate-esque videos on Youtube and I kinda sorta have become obsessed with them. The girl who does the videos, we call her crazy Cassey, is so hardcore. She talks the entire time she doing the moves and I’m barely breathing.

5. If you came to visit me, what would we do?

We’d hike Camelback Mountain!!

You know it's a steep climb when they add a pole to help you up.

You know it’s a steep climb when they add a pole to help you up. So much fun!

6. You have 2 weeks off work and 2 round trip plane tickets to ANYWHERE. Where would you go and who would you take?

Hmmmm…I’m not sure where I’d choose to go but my husband would most definitely be with me. Maybe South America to explore the ruins….

7. What’s the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to you during a run or race?

Ummm….well I mentioned awhile back a training run where I passed by a whole bunch of cows (basically a farm) and the smell really made me want to go to the bathroom. And I didn’t have toilet paper. Yeah………

8. What are the 3 best days of your life?

In order in which they occurred in my life:

Graduating from college. I was the first in my family to go to and graduate from college. I honestly never thought I’d be able to go and to have gone and finished in 4 years–it truly is one of my most proudest achievements.

Marrying my husband. If you’ve been a regular reader you may have noticed how obsessed I am with this guy. I seriously scored. ❤

20141207_061632-1-1

Having kids. I never really saw or thought of myself as the maternal type but my kids have brought it out in me. I love my little munchkins so much; they truly fulfill my life.

9. You HAVE to eat a fast food meal. What restaurant would you choose and what would you order?

JAJAJAJAJA!!!! I love how this question implies you wouldn’t like having to eat fast food LOL! You guys know I’d choose McDonald’s and I’d order my usual: Quarter Pounder w/Cheese 🙂

20141207_095454

Lately, I’ve been eating my cheeseburgers at In-n-Out though so maybe at this moment I’d choose there.

10. Have you ever met a celebrity?

Yup. I used to work at a high end retail fashion store and would see/meet a few celebs. Rihanna came into our store once.

11. Share a pic of yourself in non-workout clothes.

I shared one in my last post where I got all cleaned up for my husband’s work party so I’ll re-use that one 🙂

All cleaned up

All cleaned up

I love dressing up! I’m a total girl.

12. If you could choose to do a ‘do over’ and switch careers, what would you choose and why?

Nope. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. I went to college and was in and out in 4 years. There was no need to think of a major or switch because I didn’t like it. Teaching was made for me.

13. If you won an Olympic Gold Medal how do you think you’d react?

I’d for sure cry. Absolutely, without a doubt.

14. What do you want for Christmas?

I’m going to be a complete cliché and say that I have all that I want. I truly do. Honestly, sometimes I get scared of how truly happy and blessed I am. Like there’s no way my life can be this perfect–something will have to go wrong. (I guess that would be another irrational fear lol!)

15. What skill do you lack?

See Salt’s answer for this question.

(P.S. Can you tell why me and Salt are BRF’s?!?)

I’d love to see answers to these questions from some other blogs I enjoy–

Kristina @Blog About Running
Jeremy @Confessions of an Amateur Athlete
Jennifer @We’re Running a Marathon?

Check out their blogs and tell them Helly sent you over 🙂

I hope you all have a great weekend! I have my last race of the year on Sunday–a 1/2 marathon. Anyone else racing or long running?

Pick one of the questions I was asked and answer for fun!

Advertisements

Hot Chocolate 15k Recap

There really is no better motivator than chocolate.

My expectations for the Hot Chocolate 15k were not very high because my husband’s company party was the night before (and hello finger foods and open bar!) I’m not a big drinker but because my husband had been out of town for so long (an eternal month!), I wanted to enjoy the night with him and eat, drink, and be merry–not worry about what I ate because of a race the next day.

All cleaned up

All cleaned up

So I indulged and had two cocktails and paid several lengthy visits to the other bar, the cheese bar 😀

We still made it home early because, well, we’re not much of the party type. Seeing 9 o’clock before my head hit the pillow made me at least feel like I’d get a decent night sleep.

I woke up, er, my son woke us up at our usual 5 a.m. time and I began getting ready. I wasn’t sure whether to go with shorts or leggings as the weather in Arizona is still pretty mild (don’t hate me). I decided capris because I’m a wimp to even the smallest drop in temperature.

I had a ton of friends doing this race so I made sure to get there early with enough time to take pictures and chat. There were 3 running groups that I was meeting up with–2 before the race and 1 after–and two co-workers who were also running. Trying to find everyone proved to be an awesome warm up 🙂

20141207_073613

My AZTNT crew ❤

 

20141207_075128

Several MRTT chapters 🙂

 

20141207_073313

Teachers on the run!

The race had corrals which I liked and was happy that I was in the first one with several friends from my running group. We all run similar paces so when the gun went off, we all stayed together at the beginning.

We were chatting and not really even paying much attention to our pace which was great considering I hadn’t wanted to anyway.

The first mile beeped a 9:00 flat and I was pleasantly surprised as I felt great and had been talking the entire time. We kept running, keeping up our conversation, giggling, and just having fun. The second mile beeped 9:06 and again, we were happy to have maintained our pace talking the way we were. The third mile beeped, 9:07. Now I was starting to get a little competitive with myself and figured if I had been keeping such a steady pace, I might as well try and keep it that way the rest of the way. One of my friends began distancing herself and sped up her pace, another friend began to slow down a bit. I kept it steady.

I checked off miles 4-7 at

8:58
8:53
8:54
8:58

Yes, please congratulate me for those beautiful splits! 😀 I was feeling so good and felt like I was on total cruise control.

Part of the credit does go to my husband though– he had not signed up to run the Hot Chocolate 15k because he thought he’d still be out of town. Since he’d made it, and needed to get some mileage in anyway, he decided to run part of the course with me 🙂

Mile 8 was part of an awful long out and back and I beeped it away at 9:09.

The last mile was all about finishing strong and getting to the chocolate as quick as I could.

8:48!

And the end result was a brand spankin’ new PR!!!!

Almost a 2 minute improvement!!

Almost a 2 minute improvement!!

I was so incredibly thrilled! I wished this would’ve been a half marathon because the way I felt would have earned me a new 1/2 PR lol! I was so happy with my splits and felt that this was by far one of the best races I’ve ran this year. Such a good way to start to close out the season (I do still have one more race, a 1/2, on Sunday!).

Having such little expectation and going into it with purely fun in mind I think allowed me run such a good race. I want to remember all of this for future races! All stressing out does is make me overthink things and lose focus on why I do this in the first place–to have fun!! 🙂

After the race was more socializing. Seriously, this race just had good vibes all around.

One of my friends I’d started with finished just behind me and we met up with some others in our group to pose for pictures.

IMG_1364

My AZTNT girls

 

20141207_100244

Mandatory podium shot!

 

I was also finally able to meet up with another one of my running groups to take a fun group pic

20141207_104548

#RunEatTweetAZ (follow us on Twitter!!!!!) 😀

 

And then best of all, several co-workers had come to cheer me and two of my fellow teachers at the race.

20141207_101916

Love my job and co-workers ❤

 

I must have stayed a good hour post race just hanging out. It was so. much. fun.

20141207_095454

Oh, look who I ran into!

 

I can’t forget that along with an awesome race, the swag is what makes it even better. Along with a sweet jacket, finishers received this awesome medal

20141207_114813

It didn’t melt!

 

and of course, chocolate!!!

20141207_094635

Nom!

 

If you’ve never done a “fun” race, this would be the one to do. It’s still a race you can be competitive at if that’s your style (the top finisher ran it in 49 minutes!), but it’s also one that’s all about having a good time.

Having done it two years in a row, it’s become a yearly race that I will for sure always have on my calendar 🙂

–Have you ran for chocolate?

–What would be your favorite food to “run for”? (mmm, pizza)

This post was written by me and contains my own honest opinions. I was not compensated in any way by Hot Chocolate 15k organizers. (But if you guys wanna hook me up next year, I’m all for it!! 😉 )

 

 

 

Marathon Training Week 3 and Turkey Trot 5k Recap

Whew! I’m alive!

I realize it’s December now and I’m a little late on this Turkey Trot Recap lol, but….

I went home to Mexico (well the border, but same thing) for Thanksgiving and came back with two sick kids and a sick mommy 😦

We got to my hometown Wednesday night and I had plans to run the local Turkey Trot the next morning. I kinda really wanted to run it since last year it was my first “official” race post pregnancy and I wanted to see if I could beat my time–last year was 25:40– and, most importantly, it’s also a race that raises money to help local cancer patients and their families. My mother-in-law is in her second battle with breast cancer.

I used to run up that 'D' hill during cross country :)

I used to run up that ‘D’ hill during my high school cross country years  🙂

I knew that circumstances would be different than the previous year. I was alone without my husband to help with the kids so sleeping arrangements were me with two toddlers in a small room. Yeah, not a lot of sleep happening. I managed to get in a couple of hours and was up with the sun my son at 5 a.m. (actually, the sun wasn’t even up then!) The race started late, 9 a.m., and I was thankful for this so my body could adjust to the exhaustion I was feeling from traveling the night before and little sleep.

At the race I met up with my fave high school buddy, Camilla, and we chatted as the smaller kid races passed. Her son ran his first 40 yard dash and it was the cutest thing! I wanted my daughter to participate but didn’t enter her because I wanted daddy to be there too–next year 🙂

Then it was my turn! I scooted myself at the front and chatted with a girl I knew would place in my age group–she always does. The horn sounded and I saw her speed off. I tried very hard to maintain even splits but that first mile always goes by so fast and my watched beeped away a 7:40 something mile.

Mile two was an uphill incline and it always gets me. I managed to stick to a mid 8 minute mile and tried so hard to get a better 3 mile. I barely got it under an 8:30 and finished the race with a 25:11 (8:12/mile). Just about 30 seconds better than last year’s race! Not a PR but that wasn’t what I wanted; I wanted to beat the previous year’s time and I did it 😀

Camilla was cheering me on at the finish line and snagged this pic of me gunning it at the end

It doesn't look like I'm going fast but it sure felt like it lol!

It doesn’t look like I’m going fast but it sure felt like it lol!

I went to look at the race results and saw I had finished 4th in the 20-29 age group—juuust missed it! Next year I’ll be 30 and the odds will ever be in my favor as there were only about a handful this year and I counted about 4 that finished slower than me. So I have that to look forward to–at least for my hometown race lol!

The rest of the day was spent with family and the next day, Friday morning, is when the unhealthy bug bit us. My son woke up vomiting and was miserable the entire day. I decided to call the trip short and leave Saturday back home and when we got there, it was my daughter’s turn. She was even worse and lasted the next two days super sick 😦 On Monday, I went to work the most sleep deprived I’d ever been probably since my kids were newborn. I made it through 1st period before I had to call in for a sub. I felt so sick and I knew that it was now my turn to suffer.

It was the longest time of no running since I could remember (not counting post-marathon rest) but I felt like it did me a lot of good to rest my body and let myself fully recover.

Prior to the Turkey Trot I had run on Tuesday a good solid 5 miles at an 8:58 pace which brought me to weekly total mileage of: 8.1

Yep, lol!

–How was your running week(end)? Did you Turkey Trot?

–Ever ran sleep deprived?