Touring New York City

Well, touring the city was definitely more enjoyable having snagged a PR. I had a little more pep to my step you could say 😀

We got started the day after. Yup, we weren’t wasting our time. I figured the walking would help with recovery anyway, right? Ja!!

The main things on my list were the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. An early morning alarm woke us up and I honestly didn’t feel too bad considering I’d finished a marathon the day before. We arrived at the ferry around 9 a.m. and it was nice beating the crowds.

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It’s been a dream to see this statue in person. I mean, I’ve read so much about it in school growing up and honestly–sitting in a desk, it just seemed like fiction. But up close?? Man… And then to go to Ellis Island and read/see what the people arriving to the United States felt about seeing the statue–it leaves you a different person, really.

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My parents are U.S citizens. My mom’s mom wasn’t (but became one late in her life before she died). My dad’s dad isn’t and lives in Mexico.

I’ve seen firsthand the emotions one feels not being able to be with family. I’m not going to turn this into a political post, but I do have to say, I wish the process were easier. And I wish people had more compassion to those who have family in America and long to be with them.

We read and learned a lot during our visit to Ellis Island. The process was not easy then….and some things never change.

After our morning in the museum, we headed to the World Trade Center/One World Observatory. We went up to the top and just had the most breathtaking view of the city. It was another surreal moment as we looked out the massive windows.

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All in all, the day after the race totaled a whopping 10 miles of walking. I have no idea how I functioned, lol!

Tuesday, Election Day, was bittersweet. I was excited to be in New York City on a historical day but of course you already know in what capacity it was such.

We visited Central Park, a spot I had on my list I wanted to see.

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And then we made our way to the Hilary Clinton Block Party, which coincidentally was at the same place as the marathon expo.

at the expo

at the expo

at the block party

at the block party

When it started getting late and things were not looking too good, we decided to call it a night. 😦

Wednesday was the day I’d been waiting for……NEW YORK KNICKS DAY!!!

If you remember my sob story a few months ago, I was super sad that the only games playing while we were in the city were the day of the marathon and the day we were to leave. Well, my husband decided that this was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity so we extended our stay one more day!!!

I had breakfast with a blogging buddy (who sadly no longer blogs) and then in the evening, my husband and I had a pre-game celebration with the amazing Colby. It was seriously the best way to begin the night ❤

Me and the beautiful Colby--LOVE her.

Me and the beautiful Colby–LOVE her.

And then we watched the Knicks play at Madison Square Garden!!! Seriously guys, you have no idea how excited I was about this. Basketball was my first love. And while running has taken over, you never, ever forget your first.

HUGE check off my life list.

HUGE check off my life list.

We jam packed our New York City vacay and I absolutely had the time of my life. It was a stark difference from desert living but I think that’s why I loved it so much, lol!

In all, I’m so happy that whenever I think of New York, I’ll only have positive memories of a great race and a great vacation.

–Have you ever been to New York? If not, what would you want to see/visit there?

–What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of New York City?

–Do you tour a city when you go on a race-cation?

 

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5 Places I Would LOVE To Visit and Run In The U.S. {Friday Five!}

Fun factoid fail. In my last post, I attempted to share a fun February fact but as my husband and 50in50marathonquest so kindly noted to me, there really wasn’t anything special about it. I tried looking up where I had heard about my fail factoid but couldn’t find it and there you go, another don’t believe everything on the inter webs. BUT, February does start and end the same day which is not a common occurrence. (I felt I needed to give you something! 😀 ) My source: Wikepedia, lol!

Linking up again on this Friday morning with the DC Trifecta ladies Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney for the weekly Friday Five 🙂 I’m straying from their theme this week though, it being Valentine’s Weekend and all ❤ , and instead writing about

                     5 Places I Would Love To Visit and Run in the United States

I’m a huge history buff and enjoy learning about our country and all the interesting places there are in it. And like a lot of American runners, I’d like to run a race in all 50 states; however, there are some specific places that I’d like to visit.

1. Marine Corps Marathon–Washington, D.C.

I DID THIS! I DID THIS!

MCM was my dream/bucket list race and I got to do it in 2014. I distinctly remember putting my name in the lottery thinking there was no way I’d get in on the first try. Welp! 😀

This race encompasses so much of what I love. My dad was a Marine, the race takes you through so many awesome landmarks in our nation’s capitol, and you experience something so amazingly awesome–beyond running marathon. It’s really indescribable.

Best. Medal. Ever.

Best. Medal. Ever.

2. Mt. Rushmore–South Dakota

This is a landmark that fascinates so much for some reason. I’m not sure it’s something that could/would be built today (for a variety of reasons) and I think it’s incredible that it was done in the first place. Like, people made that!!! With their hands!!! (Duh Helly–I know, I know… lol)

The race I would run is the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon. They have a Mt. Rushmore tour the day before (yay!) and the race is on a beautiful course with views I’m not accustomed to here in the desert. The elevation chart isn’t horrible either.

Not bad..

Not bad..

3. Canyon de Chelly Ultra 

I know I have an ultra in me somewhere. Not a long one, but maybe a 50k. There’s a few I’d like to do but there’s one in my state that just looks amazing. It’s up in northern Arizona, Chinle, and the biggest thing I love is how much the race sticks to its roots and culture. From the get-go at packet pick-up, guests are asked to to brush off their shoes so that no foreign elements are introduced to the canyon. I love this aspect of respecting your surroundings and land that is special to so many people. Before the race, a Navajo prayer is said for runners; at the end, Navajo food is provided. This is a race that sells out in minutes and a few of my friends in my running club made the cut this year!!

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4. Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon–Alaska

Kristen at Run Away With Me lives there and I LOVE seeing her pics. Besides wanting to see her, I’d love to run in some of Alaska’s beauty. This marathon happens on the day closest to the summer solstice where there’s maaaaybe 4 hours of nighttime darkness. And even then, it’s not completely dark, right Kristen?

How cool does that sound??

5. I was wanting to choose a fifth but really, there are so many awesome races in this country. I’d love to do Big Sur in California, St. George in Utah, the Indy Mini in Indianapolis, Pike’s Peak in Colorado, Grandma’s Marathon in Minnesota…there’s no shortage of good ones in the U.S.A. ❤

–Where in the United States would you like to race in?

–What’s the best race in your country (if not stateside)? 

 

 

Chicago Marathon Fun!

So despite not running how I would’ve liked, everything else about Chicago and the race was absolutely amazing.

We arrived Saturday morning (maybe I should’ve given myself an extra day?) and went straight to the hotel to drop off our luggage. We stayed at The Congress Plaza which was right across the street from the start line! Yes, this was soooo perfect. Kristina was staying here too and somehow, we weren’t able to make a meet up happen 😦 But, through internet convos, we both agreed the hotel was …interesting. It’s an older hotel and I actually liked it because it has a lot of character. So what if it was said there were ghosts around?

Then we headed to the Expo. I don’t do Expos very well and we didn’t hang out long. I realized afterward that I probably should’ve stuck around to buy more Chicago Marathon gear but my husband’s wallet thanked me for keeping the visit short.

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Being silly at the #TeamRMHC booth

After the Expo Team RMHC had their dinner and it was here that I got to meet up with another fellow blogger/Instagram friend, Meg @MaxFitGirl29

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Insta Friends

My husband and I ate our little hearts out and then bolted. I was exhausted from traveling and wanted to get in a good night’s sleep. Surprisingly, I was actually able to sleep and didn’t have any of those pre-race night jitters keeping me awake.

I had made plans with @SuzLyfe for a pre-race meet up and I found her right in front of my hotel. We squeezed.

Love at first sight. <3

Love at first sight. ❤

After the race, Scott@PirateBobcat and I made a meet-up happen–at a bar, naturally.

This dude. Serious coolness.

This dude. Serious coolness.

As soon as we met and exchanged the initial awkward intros of “Yep, I’m Helly,” we started gabbing like we’d known each other for years. Which we kinda have considering we’ve followed each other’s blog for quite some time now. I fell in love with his friends and it was perfect post-race relaxation.

The next day, Monday, I met up with Amber@PbandPrs at The Bean! She nailed a marathon PR in Chicago (3:19!!!) so we took a celebratory pic.

Even more badass in person--she nabbed a 3:19!!

Even more badass in person.

Afterward, my husband and I had to go visit The Greatest Of All Time–aka: Michael Jordan.

 I heart Mike.

I heart Mike.

Then we headed over to Wrigley Field to meet up with Scott and his friends again. We had an absolute blast. Seriously.

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With Scott & Friends….at a bar, again, right in front of Wrigley Field 😀

Tuesday morning we ate breakfast at the famous Lou Mitchell’s

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Route 66 right out front Lou Mitchell’s!!

and afterward, we headed to the airport for home! It was such a whirlwind trip full of fun stuff and fun people and even though I hadn’t raced how I would’ve liked, I left with only great Chicago memories ❤

–Do you tour cities you race in?

–Ever bean to Chicago? (See what I did there, Scott?)