Chicago Marathon Training: Week 9 (and Mt. Humphreys!) Recap

Well hello there halfway mark of marathon training!!

For such a momentous point, my running this past week was pretty underwhelming.

7 miles.

Yup, that’s all I ran.

Before I begin, I want to announce the winner of the Slick Laces giveaway….CONGRATS

Tricia Vaughn @MissSippiPiddlin.com

I’ll be sending you an e-mail soon to discuss details!! A big thank you to Slick Laces and all who entered 😀

And back to my training recap:

On Monday, I spent 30 minutes on the bike.
On Tuesday I ran 4 miles and on Wednesday I ran 3.
And that’s pretty much it for running, ja!

It was actually pretty funny that the only two days I ran were these particular two:

11110988_938677519529883_4563321166789240687_o

Heat warning, shmeat warning

Tuesday I met up with a few friends in the evening and while the group usually does a 3 miler, I added an extra one. It was definitely hot (108 degrees at the 6 p.m. start) so I took it nice and easy.

Wednesday I was back at track for some more Yasso fun. I don’t know why I like doing these so much lol!

It was another 108 degrees at the start but somehow despite the heat, I was able to pull off 6 solid 800s.

4:00, 3:56, 3:53, 3:58, 3:58, 3:54

#eyeofthetiger

#eyeofthetiger

Thursday was the first day back at work for teacher meetings and right after, it was pick up kids and head straight to dinner/play date. No running. It happens.

Friday was another work day and right after my husband and I loaded our truck and headed up north for our Mt. Humphreys hike the next day 😀

IMG_20150807_161339

Road Trip!!!

It was a considerable weather difference in Flagstaff compared to Phoenix. So much so, that I was very, very glad I’d brought my jacket. It was raining like crazy and all we kept hoping for was that it would stop when we started the next morning.

It did.

We got going at 6 in the morning starting at 9,000 feet. You begin the climb right away and it was pretty much straight up for the next almost 5 miles.

It was sooo cold!!! I was triple layered with a running shirt, pullover sweater, and a jacket (that jacket saved me!) and I even had gloves on! My hands were freezing and were getting badly swollen the higher I climbed. One girl in our group didn’t make it all the way up because she was freaking out about her hands.

It was also extremely foggy so we didn’t get any views as we climbed. That kinda bummed us out but we were glad we were still able to do it and weren’t rained out.

Hello, fog!

Hello, fog!

There wasn’t a whole lotta picture taking climbing up as we were concentrating on getting to the summit. The trail is well marked but it gets a little dicey the closer you get to the top.  We reached one last flat spot with one last climb ahead and we knew we’d done it. We were finally at the top, 3,000+ feet and 3 and a half hours later.

IMG_20150808_124114

Humphreys Peak 12,633 ft.

We didn’t hang out long at the top; it was so cold and windy. Plus, there were no views as we were pretty much in the clouds.

So we headed back down and as we descended, there were areas where the fog cleared up enough for us to see some landscape.

20150808_102154

Even though going down was in some ways easier than going up, it still took us a while. We kept thinking we were further than we were only to be told by those going up that we were still a ways from the start.

The closer we got, the clearer the skies got and we told those beginning their trek that they’d fair better with the views than we did lol! It was all good though. In a way, it was kinda cool to have hiked it with fog all around us.

When we finally reached the plains at the bottom, we were so happy! It had been a long hike at a little over 6 hours. We had stopped along the way to eat (I packed jerky, an orange, cereal bars, and some twizzlers) but I was ready for a burger and a Coke.

Done!!

Done!!

IMG_20150809_221230

Even though we hadn’t gotten the amazing views Mt. Humphreys has to offer, it was still an incredible experience and adventure and I’m stoked I can cross it off my list. I can officially say I’ve been to the highest point possible in our state 😀

Screen Shot 2015-08-08 at 5.56.53 PM

Screen Shot 2015-08-08 at 5.58.21 PM

And that was my week! Pretty uneventful running wise (7 miles) but hella awesome hiking (10 miles). <— Totally counted that as my long run, lol!

–Do you know what the highest peak in your state/province/area?

–Are you afraid of heights? Hiking your thing?

Have a great week, amigos! Back to school/work I go! ❤ , helly

 

 

Advertisements

Lace ‘Em Up Only Once!! Slick Laces {Review & Giveaway}

I’ve mentioned numerous times before the awesome running group I’m in. It’s a pretty large group of about 80 or so regulars–not all run on the same meet up days, but cumulatively, that’s about the average people active in our group.

Anyway, I’m pretty good friends with everyone but not many know I blog. (It’s one those things you just don’t announce, you know? lol!)  A couple of months ago, a friend in the group, Mark, who does know I blog, told me about a product a friend of his had designed.

It’s a shoe lace but not your normal shoe lace.

PhotoGrid_1438713960588

He showed them to me as he had them on as we spoke and they did indeed look very interesting. No loose strings? No bunny ears?

My curiosity was piqued.

His buddy Jason, the designer/inventor, hooked me up with a pair and told me to give ’em a shot. He even was nice enough to show me how to lace them! (The product comes with instructions and there is a very helpful video on the website as well.)

As he taught me how to lace them properly, he gave me a little background on his product. Jason is a triathlete and in preparation for a 70.3 Ironman a while back, he found that he was losing precious seconds tying his shoes getting off the bike. Lo and behold, inspiration for Slick Laces was born!

He knew other products like it existed but what he wanted–and what he created–was a no-tie lace that can be reused. Similar products are sold for a one-time, one-shoe use but not Slick Laces. End of the road for your current shoes? No problem, transfer the laces to your new pair.

Big, big plus.

Questions I had:

**Will my shoe be loose or become loose after taking it off and on?

The answer was no. When you first lace up the shoe, you decide how tight you want it (not crazy tight because you need to put it on) but you can still create a snug feel because the laces expand. They expand but they DO NOT become loose-er as you wear them. The Snap Disc (the pink part on my laces) prevents that from happening. I’ve taken them out for a few miles already and they’re just as snug as the first time I put them on.

**What do I do with the excess lace?

Do not cut. Cutting prevents you from being able to re-use the lace as the length my differ in your next shoe. Cutting will also cause the lace to fray. Instead, it is recommended you tuck the excess lace underneath the crossing of your shoe.

PhotoGrid_1438779952337

I do not feel the excess lace at all when I have the shoe on. I also don’t think there’d be a crazy amount left over for it to be an issue.

**What if I tie my laces in an unorthodox way?”

Doesn’t matter. You can tie your Slick Laces any way you want.

The Rundown:

Likes

–The big one: It can be used with any shoe even after your old pair are done for. (Yes, I do like to save money 🙂 )

–Easy installation. The instructions on the back are thorough and the company does a good job of detailing further in its video online.

–No more worrying about your laces coming untied. The worst is when you’re mid-race and have to stop to tie your shoe. Then you of course have to tie the other to make sure both are equally tight, right? Not a problem with Slick Laces.

–For the triathlete, when you’re transitioning from bike to run, all you gotta do is slip on your shoe.

–I tie my shoes the good ‘ol fashion way but have friends who do it differently. They’re not singled out with this product.

–Not just for runners. Slick Laces would be great for my kids as they begin to transition into big boy/girl shoes (kid lengths available) and for my grandma who is over having to bend down and tie her shoes (love you, Nana!).

Dislikes

–Not at a lot of color options for the Snap Disc at the moment (hello, where’s purple?!) but they have the basics down.

–Currently, laces only come in black.

This isn’t a dislike but just a head’s up: it does take more than a minute to lace the first time, but once you do, you don’t have to worry about anything ever again. Just slip on and go! 🙂

PhotoGrid_1438780204286

Before and after! 🙂

Jason was sweet enough to gift me another pair to give to ONE OF YOU!!! You’ll get to choose the color of the Disc so check out their website!

To enter, all you have to do is click on the Rafflecopter giveaway link below — A winner will be announced on Monday, back-to-school/work day for Helly 😀 (Giveaway is for readers in the United States only.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you’re interested in Slick Laces but don’t wanna wait to see if you win, check out their website and treat yourself to some extra free time. 🙂

I was provided with a pair of Slick Laces to review but as always, opinions expressed on my blog are honest and my own.

–Have you ever had to tie your shoe(s) mid-race?

–Were you taught to tie your shoes using Bunny Ears?

Linking with Smitha and Erica for the Wednesday Giveaway Roundup!! Thanks gals!!

smitha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicago Marathon Training: Week 8 Recap (with special guest: Ronald McDonald’s Boot!)

Happy August!!! Isn’t crazy how the 8th month of the year is here??

It was a busy week last week and not a standard training week as far as my runs are concerned. I had to do some changes to my schedule because of some family events and other surprises 🙂 .

Monday I was just lazy. I usually bike for 45 minutes but I just wasn’t feeling it for some reason so I gave myself a break. I intended to “make it up” later in the week and never did. Oops!

I kinda did on Tuesday though when I was able to get a double run in. First, I made it to the 5 at 5 group and ran a pretty good 5 miler, almost negative splitting except for one mile.

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 7.44.54 AM

Then in the evening, I met up at the local running store’s run for a 3 miler. I was able to negative split this one despite the heat.

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 7.47.26 AM

Wednesdays are usually track days but my kids had a school function later in the evening so I forced myself out late in the morning. It felt even hotter than what it was because of the humidity (54%) but I managed four negative split miles– 9:33, 9:18, 8:59, 8:35.

Thursday is when things got really interesting. My charity, Ronald McDonald House, posted a challenge on the Facebook page for runners to run a route shaped like a Ronald McDonald Boot.

For reference:

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 7.55.33 AM

I relayed the info to my husband who designed the best. route. ever. Like, for real.

Screenshot_2015-07-29-22-13-35-1-1

The only slight area of concern was that the back of the boot had me running through the Indian Reservation–which is quite a different area than where the rest of the route is. I wasn’t comfortable running that part alone. So my husband ran the route with me! 🙂

It was a route that was a little over 6.5 miles and we had to start late morning so it was warm. We had to run part of the route twice (the top half of the vertical back end). And at about half way through the boot near near where it curves, we took a wrong turn. Wah, wah!! We didn’t realize it til about over a half mile later and we knew going back would leave a huge line across the middle. We kept going even though we knew our boot run failed. When we got to the reservation part of the boot, sure enough, our concerns were validated as I turned to my husband and said, “Be careful with that dog over there” to hear him reply, “Um, that’s not a dog!” It was a freaking coyote!!! We did our best to run as quietly as we could past it and then skidaddled the heck out of there. A raccoon greeted us as well as we made our way out of the Res. It was definitely and interesting run.

We checked out the boot run on Garmin Connect and sure enough, our mistake messed up the boot and the front end.

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 8.19.37 AM

We were so bummed!!! I told my husband there was no way we were running through the reservation again and he agreed. We stared at the map trying to figure out how we could re-route it leaving out the res but still maintain the boot shape. Then, we had it!!!

We couldn’t run it again til the afternoon of the next day, Friday, and we knew that it was going to be scorching hot, but we were intent on getting it done.

At one o’clock in the afternoon and in 102 degree weather, we were ready. And this time, zero mistakes!

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 3.13.18 PM

You can see where we modified the route on the back of the boot where now it’s angled instead of straight and squarish. I ended up liking this design way better anyway 🙂

My family said we were crazy (it was 106 degrees when we finished) but I was so wanting to do this run because it was absolutely perfect. I mean, it’s a total boot!! And even cooler is that the bottom of it runs along McDonald Drive!! I mean, c’mon!! To top it off, there’s a McDonald’s on McDonald Drive. Yes, I took a picture 😀

A #TeamRMHC pic on McDonald Drive in front of a McDonald's :D

A #TeamRMHC pic on McDonald Drive in front of a McDonald’s 😀

I don’t know if I’ll win, but I’ll keep you posted. They should be announcing Wednesday.

Since Fridays are my typical rest days and I clearly didn’t rest, Saturday I decided to give it a rest. I needed it.

But I was back at it Sunday on the trails with friends and one of them snapped this awesome pic of me looking like I was trying really hard not to die ❤

11811392_10105320833154601_6952604231199504324_n

Which ended me with 33.58 miles for the week! I ended July with 124 miles–a tie for my highest ever. Luckily, I’m still feeling pretty good. Still truckin’!

Have a great week, amigos!! ❤ , helly

–How was your running week (and July!)? 

–Have you run a route shaped like something cool?