Pat’s Run 2017

I’ve written about Pat’s Run before. It’s probably Phoenix’s most popular race. The 4.2 mile race is in honor of Pat Tillman, war-veteran and former NFL player, who died in Afghanistan in 2004. The unique race distance commemorates the 42 jersey he wore when he played for Arizona State University, and the finish line of the race leads you to the 42 yard line inside Sun Devil Stadium. The race always takes place in April, and on a day in the twenties–this year, 4/22.

Flat Helly

There were 28,000 registrants for the 13th annual walk/run.

I’ve done this race twice before, once pre-kids and once with my husband and I pushing a stroller. Needless to say, it is a very difficult race to maneuver, even without a stroller. Even though it is an awesomely inspiring race, I can’t get over the magnitude of the crowd, so I don’t sign up for it.

But this year the shirt was camo. And you cannot say no camo.

I was hoping for *more* camo, but I’ll take what I get, lol (source)

There was also a medal for the first time, which will become a part of a 4 year series (I don’t know how I feel about series medals…what do you guys think?).

Anyway, I didn’t have a game plan for this race. I wanted to be around half marathon pace as I have a half this coming weekend–so for me, that’s around 7:35-7:55/mile.

SPLITS: 7:42, 7:48, 7:39, 7:46

So I was happy. But as I’ve said, this isn’t a race to worry about time, but more so to soak up the atmosphere.

Cheesin’ with Sparky (Go Devils!)

At the start line with 28,000 of my closest running buddies (check out that girls badass hair)

I love running for a good cause. I love running with friends. I love running. ❤

–What’s the biggest race you’ve participated in?

–Are you a fan of series medals? (I’m not particularly a fan, tbh)

–Have you raced at your alma mater?

Phoenix Marathon Ambassador and an Instagram GIVEAWAY!!!

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Check out my Insta for deets!

Happy Hump Day!! It certainly is in HellyLand as I’m so happy to share with you that I was chosen to be a Phoenix Marathon ambassador 😀 If you’ve been reading this blog a while, then you’ll remember this was my very first marathon back in 2014.

Each year since, the race has given me some pretty special moments–my first DNF in 2015, and my current half PR in 2016. You’re probably thinking how my DNF could be “special” but it was. I learned so much from that low moment as much as learned from my high at this year’s race.

It’s a race I’m pretty certain I’ll do each year because I really do love it. I love the course–it’s not intimidating at all

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and I love that so many of my friends do it. It’s just a big running party. For it being *the* Phoenix Marathon, it’s not a huge race (yet) so it has a real homey feel to it. The start of the full has bonfires to keep us warm (it’s cold here in February! 50 degrees cold!) and fireworks to send us off.

It’s also a race many are finding out is a good course to BQ. Good ‘ol Suz killed the course last year and several of my friends have come out of there with qualifying times.

Because I want everyone to come visit me in Arizona and because I know you’ll want to escape your cold in Februrary, I’m giving away a FREE entry to the Phoenix HALF or FULL. The giveaway is on my Instagram only (sorry non Insta ppl). If you don’t have Instagram or don’t want to wait, you can use Helly10 for $10 off your registration for the FULL or HALF distance. Sign up and run with meeeeee!!!! ❤ , helly

–Do you have a local race you always participate in?

–How’s the weather where you’re from in February? (It’s bliss here.)

Linking up with Smitha and Erica for their Wednesday Giveaway Roundup!!

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Grand Canyon R2R2R Part Deux Recap: Day 1

It’s different when you sorta know what to expect. It’d been two years since I last did the double crossing and I remembered the exhaustion and soreness that awaited me. I’m feeling it right now.

But seeing the Grand Canyon never gets old. And like a lot of things that hurt, you forget, and you consider doing them again.

So here I was…

We arrived Saturday afternoon with our running friends and had an early dinner. It would be a 3:45 wake up for a 4:30 start time so we wanted to get a good night’s sleep. Friday night I had slept horribly but it worked in my favor because I was able to sleep early Saturday night and feel refreshed at 3:45 in the morning, lol!

On the bus, ready to go!

On the bus, ready to go!

The only reason I was back was because of my husband. He had never been to the Grand Canyon ever, like me the first time I did the crossing. I was just so excited to share this experience with him and it was what motivated me the entire way.

The start line

The start line

The plan was to take Day 1 slowly and take as many pictures as we could. We were on our own, with a few friends not too far behind and not too far ahead.

The sunrise was our view as we began.

Grand Canyon sunrise

Grand Canyon sunrise

At the top, ready to descend..

At the top, ready to descend..

The descent was very, very windy. And cold. I wasn’t comfortable taking pictures up so high and it being so windy, so it wasn’t until we reached a wide landing area that we began taking pictures.

 

 

We could see some of our friends down below

We could see some of our friends down below

Going down, we kept stopping to look at the views. It was just amazing. We took our time, soaking it all in.

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We just kept saying how pictures couldn’t really show what we saw. The landscape looked like a photo backdrop, too perfect to be real.

Going down...

Going down…

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Can you see me?

Heading towards that bridge below

Heading towards that bridge below

Canyon blooms

Canyon blooms

The tunnel leading to...

The tunnel leading to…

...the bridge! :)

…the bridge! 🙂

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From the South Rim, you get to Phantom Ranch (the bottom) pretty quickly and we actually did pretty good timing considering we stopped to take a ton of pictures, getting there in a little over 4 hours.

Phantom Ranch

Phantom Ranch

At Phantom Ranch, I pulled out post cards I had pre-addressed. You can get them mailed from the bottom of the Grand Canyon and they stamp it saying that’s where it came from! Last time, I had everything ready but forgot the stamps 😦 This time, oops, I did it again, but luckily one of my buddies had extras, lol!

We didn’t hang out long. We had our obligatory lemonade, ate some beef jerky, and continued on.

After Phantom Ranch is a long open stretch without any rest stops and you’re a lot more exposed to the sun.

13288505_10106285957777121_443726599_oThat stretch between Phantom Ranch and the next stop, Cottonwood, is about 7 miles but before that, you can go off course to visit Ribbon Falls–a waterfall hidden along the way. It adds about a mile to your total but is a definite must see.

Pit stop at Ribbon Falls

Pit stop at Ribbon Falls

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at Ribbon Falls. I’m actually behind the water…

Front view

Front view

I knew that the next stop meant that the climbing would start. I also remembered that the first day going up was absolutely brutal. You know how they say the marathon starts at mile 20? This was that point. The marathon would be starting. Here at Cottonwood, we were at 4,040 ft and to the top meant a 4,000+ ft climb. You read that right.

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A little break before the climb <3

A little break before the climb ❤

At the bottom, ready to climb.

We’re ready!

Surprisingly, I was doing okay. I was moving pretty swiftly considering this was the hardest part of the day. I remembered how miserable I felt the last time I was in the very same spot, how slow I moved, and how little I enjoyed it. This time, I think again because I was with my husband, I just embraced it. Everything. The pain, the aches, the struggle, and took it as part of the journey and what made what we were doing so special.

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My husband complimented my pace; he was letting me lead, but was right behind me. Pictures here were scarce, and we spoke little, but we talked about how there’s not really a way you could adequately prepare for this. When you train on the trails, you start by going up and then finish coming back down. This was the exact opposite.

We reached a spot where I had taken my last photo of the first day (the photo that’s at the top of my blog page) and we did a take two.

Looking back at what we crossed: The Grand Canyon.

Looking back at what we crossed: The Grand Canyon.

And like last time, that was the last picture of the day.

From there we had a mile left. A mile, and while that sounded promising, I knew that the last mile was the most difficult. But, I surged ahead. Using my poles and moving up and up and up, surprised at how steady I was. I felt so strong.

When we turned the last corner and could see the top, I smiled. Last time I had cried, happy tears but at the same time, tears of frustration at how awful I felt. This time, no tears, just a triumphant smile that I had finished the first day feeling absolutely amazing.

And unlike two years earlier, I had zero doubts that I would cross again the next day.

I’ll be recapping Day 2, North Rim to South Rim via Bright Angel Trail here in the next few days. Thank you all so much again for following my journey. I’m so grateful I have this outlet to share my experiences and document special moments of my life. ❤ , helly