Another Brother Update

In case you’re interested in brother news, he recently ran the Columbus Half Marathon with an ambitious goal…..

But before I get to that, if you’re unfamiliar with my brother’s badassness, I wrote about his weight loss here (80 pounds now and counting!!) and about his first half marathon ever here (where he almost beat me!), and his most recent 5k (where he did beat me, my PR that is!).

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Me and the bro after his first half marathon

Me and the bro after his first half marathon

After his 5k PR (and 5th place overall AND 3rd in Age Group win!!)

After his 5k PR (and 5th place overall AND 3rd in Age Group win!!)

So his goal for his second half marathon ever??? Sub 2 hours.

He was pretty nervous leading up to the race having felt he hadn’t trained as hard as his first. I assured him that his paces during his training all projected a sub 2 finish. He had it–he just had to keep telling himself that (really, Helly? Listen to your own advice!!)

My sister and her friends had driven up to Columbus for his big day and made him some pretty sweet signs, LOL

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And I made sure I registered for runner tracking not caring it would be 4 in the morning my time–heck, I’ve woken up earlier than that to run! 😉 I actually woke up a little before my alarm and sent him a quick good luck text.

Then my phone buzzed that my runner had crossed the start line ❀

I didn’t want to obsessively track the little dude on the course line, so I hit my pillow and when I felt he was about 5k in, I checked.

He was on pace!!

At mile 9, still going strong.

My phone beeped not too long after that. He was cramping. I texted him telling him he was doing so good, to not stop now!

But I began to worry. He didn’t have a lot of wiggle room as he’d been hitting the paces right on.

It was going to be a close one.

And then…my phone beeped again.

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HE DID IT. I screamed to my husband that my brother had done it!! He ran a sub 2!!

I immediately texted him, wishing I was there to give him the hugest hug.

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I never doubted him. He’s been shocking the hell out of me but not once did I not think he could do this. He is so amazing and such an inspiration. I keep telling people that he is what hard work will do. He is the anything is possible.

I texted him a little while after the race to see how he was feeling.

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He is my champ. ❀

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I hope everyone has a great weekend!! Who’s running, who’s racing? And who’s dressing up??? I’ve got a Haunted 1/2 tomorrow 😀 HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!  

❀ , helly

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Mid Week Musings: Combating Fear

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I recently was asked what my favorite distance to race is and you might be surprised, given my most recent disaster, that I actually really like the marathon. Even though I don’t think it likes me, lol!

Despite not having run one where I’ve crossed the finish line satisfied with my performance, I still do them, still train for them. Why? Because I know I have it in me to run one well. And if I think about it (which I do obsessively often), I think a big reason why I haven’t done well is because the marathon scares me.

I’m afraid of the marathon. It’s not that it doesn’t like me, it’s that I don’t allow it to like me.

It’s like that one person you know that is perfect, always has it all together, and you hate that person for absolutely no reason–or for all of those reasons–but really, you actually kinda really like them, maybe even admire them.

And they like you. But they’re afraid to talk to you and socialize because you’ve always had this wall up preventing them from getting near you–you know, because you don’t like them.

But you actually do.

That’s me and the marathon.

I curse the marathon. I tell it how awful it is. How unfair. But really, I like it. Really like it. And I’m finally okay with putting my wall down and letting it like me.

Not long after I was asked what my favorite distance is, a friend posted this really interesting article on the fear of failure and I think that’s at the root of my love/hate relationship with the marathon.

It’s not the marathon, it’s my fear of failing at it.

I think in my first marathon, I was the overzealous new kid who was simply excited to be there. Sometimes, that’s an advantage because you’re so excited about the fact you’re even there, talking to Miss Perfect, that you’re oblivious to anything else.

My first marathon remains my PR.

I think after that, realizing that the marathon was bigger than I had imagined (and prepared for), fear crept in. I knew I wanted to do it again, I knew I wanted to do better, BUT, could I do it?

The article focuses on fear of failure in children and teens but it’s an article that really anyone can easily relate to.

Fear of failure is the single most common cause of performance difficulties …Whether they [the athlete] experience low confidence and extreme negativity, pre-competitive anxiety, a preoccupation with results, or severe self-criticism, in most cases, when we dig deep enough, we discover a profound fear of failure at its root.

Yeah, me in a nutshell.

I trained really hard for Chicago Marathon and I felt confident I could PR and confident I could sub 4:30. But I let fear reside in my head. I don’t think that was the sole cause of why I didn’t do well, I really think flying out the day before didn’t help, but I do think allowing negativity to settle itself in my brain and eat away at my confidence affected my performance.

So what can I do? It’s easy to tell myself to “think positive” but how?

I found another interesting article that talks about the marathon specifically and how to mentally prepare. There were a few things in it that resonated.

An actor rehearses the lines of a play again and again before the big performance; learning the correct sequence and timing of the performance.

So too should a runner spend time in visualization, rehearsing the big race over and over in the mind.

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An actor does not intentionally rehearse the wrong lines before a play, which would not make sense; instead an actor focuses on and repeats the performance in the way they would like it to happen. Runners should take the time to visualize their upcoming performance in a positive light.

Totally makes sense, right??

The article suggests breaking the marathon into two halves– unequal halves, lol–the first 20 miles and the final 10k. Their argument is that in training, we do a 20 mile run, sometimes more than one. We know what that feels like and are familiar with it, so we should then approach the final 10k like that is the race.

It is best to fully accept the agony of a marathon’s final 10 Kilometers before you reach it. Don’t just anticipate the pain, accept it, welcome it, and embrace it.

The final 10K of a marathon should hurt, it is only when a runner can accept that concept that they can truly reach full potential in the marathon.

I totally felt like when I read that, something clicked. I’ve often whined, “Whhhhy can’t a marathon be 20 miles miles!!” because I’ve done a bunch of those. Yet, I haven’t reached the 20 mile mark in a race feeling the way I do when I run 20 training miles and I think it’s because I’m so focused on the whole 26.2. If I can run the first 20 miles in a race comfortably, in my mind telling myself this is something I’ve done before no sweat, then I can tell myself I’m only running a 10k race and prepare myself mentally for those 6.2 miles that without doubt will be more difficult than the first 20.

I don’t know, what do you guys think? How do you mentally prepare for a marathon (or race of any distance)? I feel like my training has been strong, that it was strong this last marathon cycle, but maybe what I really need to put more attention on is my mental strength. I saw a glimmer of hope in Chicago when I fought through the cramps. Maybe that means I’m finally working my way to running a great marathon…

Thoughts?

Thanks for listening to me go on and on, lol!! ❀ , helly

Corner Store Country Run 5k {Recap}

Free and fabulous!!!

That’s what this race was. There was a code for a limited time that gifted runners free entry to this race and you know I jumped on it. I’m SO glad I did!

Swag.

Swag.

The theme, as you can tell from the blog post title and swag, was country and I gladly dusted off the ‘ol hat 😀

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I had registered my husband and I to run but decided I’d just hang out with the kids while he raced. Part of the course was on dirt road and I didn’t want to attempt to navigate it with my spiffy two seater, lol! Plus, there were A LOT of people–I also didn’t want to battle that with two kids in a stroller.

Runners were told to start as close to the front as possible as the their times would start when the race clock started–(those who had purchased chip timed bibs). My husband had a chip timed bib so he parked himself right at the front so as soon as the gun went off, he started his watch and got going.

That view though.

That view though.

I knew it wouldn’t be too long before we saw him again so we walked to the finish line to hang out. Luckily, there were cows to keep us company.

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Race volunteers were distributing cow bells to spectators to cheer in the finishers and my kids certainly loved that (although the bells magically got lost when we got home).

A little after 18 minutes, the first runner made his way through. I knew my husband would be shooting for a sub 20 (yes, even though Chicago marathon was a mere 2 weeks in the past, lol!). I wanted to snag a finish photo but it was tough with the excitement of my kids to navigate my phone camera. Instead, at just over 20 minutes, we screamed and rang the cow bells as loud as we could for daddy.

Garmin time–20:39. NEW PR!!!

But, and big butt but, the race clock registered him at 20:53!! 😩 Whaaa??? He had started at the front–his toe practically touching the start line!

Soon after, another run club member crossed and we saw him pause his watch as soon as passed the line. His time was also off! Oh no!

My husband is reluctant to claim this new PR since the “official” time is different but I’m telling him who the hell cares, count that sucker!! He ended up getting 3rd in his age group, too!

Daddy and his good luck charm <3

Daddy and his good luck charm ❀

The bling.

The bling.

Immediately after, we were given a bag/backpack and the fun began!

We entered Rawhide, which is Western themed park and all along the “road” were different vendors giving away a SHIT TON OF STUFF. All. for. free. We’re talking sunglasses, frisbees, waters, gatorade, soda, protein bars, chips, candy, apples, oranges, slushies, cookies…I wish I would’ve taken a pic but I was too busy tasting this and tasting that. Here’s a pic of the loot a run club buddy scored (our loot wasn’t too far off!).

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Then, at the very end…..

the beer booth.

Yep, they were even giving away free beer.

A showing of your I.D got you two free beers and right next to the saloon were tables to munch away on your goodies while listening to some country & western.

Of course we danced.

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It ended up being such a fun day. My kids napped like champs, too!! 😀

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Later that night, keeping with the country theme, my husband and I went to see…..

GARTH BROOKS!!!

I totally didn’t think it would happen. It was our anniversary Friday and ever since I found out he was coming, I’d thought it’d be a perfect anniversary outing. But, trying to get a babysitter is so tough–we don’t have a regular, or anyone really, lol..

THEN, my father-in-law surprised us with a visit!! He practically pushed us out the door to go (okay, maybe we kinda pushed ourselves) and luckily, there were still tickets available when we arrived at the arena. Unbelievable!!

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IMG_20151024_220325Sometimes the unplanned events turn out to be the funnest–this weekend was pretty amazing. ❀

–You a Garth fan?

–Ever run a free race as awesome as the one we did? (Seriously, look up Corner Store Country Run) And fyi–I was not asked to write this review nor was I provided a free entry for the purpose of writing a review. The free entry was from a code provided by the race’s Facebook page.