A Rock and Roll Weekend (RnR AZ Recap)

I didn’t run RnR Arizona as most of you know, but my husband did and I was still very excited about this race because of that reason and several others.

I’ve been very lucky to have met several blogger buddies and this past weekend I was able to scratch two more off my long list!

I found Suzy last year and it was love at first read. She swears a lot (which I do in real life–right, Scott?) and often when I read her blog, I’m just nodding at how much I relate to what she’s saying. If only I was as fast as her….oh wells! 😀

Anyway, we Facebooked messaged leading up to the race to figure out how we could meet up. She’s from Canada so we couldn’t text so thank goodness for technology. I managed to sneak away to the expo Friday so I could catch her–my husband wouldn’t be going til the next day.

And as I was walking in, she was walking out–as soon as our eyes met, we squealed!

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Suzy and me

She’s so pretty. She’s beautiful in her writing, but in person… ❤

The next day, Saturday, I went back to the expo this time with my husband. I was texting with Mar all morning to make sure we met up and as I looked up mid-text, there she was! Oh man, had I been waiting for this day! I somehow missed Mar when I was in her hood for Marine Corps Marathon and we vowed to not let the chance escape us this time. We seriously chatted for almost an hour there at the expo like we’d known each other forever–which 2 years in the blog world kinda is, lol!

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Me and Mar

At the expo, they had a special for next year’s race and since this is a race we always do (it was both of our first half marathon) we signed up!

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First race of 2017! (wow, lol!)

I hit the Lululemon booth and snagged these really cute shorts

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and used a coupon they gave to buy some pants 🙂

The ProCompression booth was nearby so I was able to visit my Instagram buddy Shane. He is super sweet!

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Race day was the next day and my husband and I ventured out early in the morning. We’re pros at this race as it’s become a yearly thing for us. I wanted to get there a little earlier than usual though, because I was hosting a meet up spot for the Arizona Moms Run This Town chapters. We had a good group turn out for the pre-race photo and it was so much fun meeting women from different chapters around Phoenix.

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Arizona Moms Run This Town

 

After, I walked my husband to his corral, corral 2, and he was off! I waited along the corral fences holding my sign and cheered the runners as they started. I even got to see Mar again! I waited til the very last corral, corral 19, and had an absolute blast. Some people recognized the MRTT name and posed with my sign as they waited for their start. It was so cool!

My husband had been running for about 30 minutes when the last corral started. The start line and the finish line are just under a mile apart so I began making my way there to catch him.

Thanks to tracking, I knew how much time I had before he’d be approaching the finish. I was able to catch him turn the 13 mile corner and he waved to me as he ran to the finish line.

We took a post race pic and hung out for a while and then we went home! It was such a fun weekend that I hardly noticed I didn’t race 😉 (you guys know that’s not true, lol!)

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He let me keep his medal ❤

How was your running weekend? 

Have you met bloggers/social media friends at races? 

Have you had fun at races you were supposed to run but didn’t? 😀

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Haunted Half {Recap!}

I hope everyone had a good weekend and if you celebrated Halloween, you’ve recovered from your sugar coma 😀

I ran Phoenix’s first Haunted Half Marathon and even though it was advertised as “Phoenix,” it was actually in a suburb right next to where I live, lol! That was one of the reasons I was enticed to run it. That, and the medal. Seriously.

Anyway, I had heard about the race a long while ago but was iffy on it because it was three weeks after Chicago and I wasn’t sure I’d be up for 13.1 miles. Then about a week after the marathon, my friend posted there was a Groupon for the race and an additional 20% off making the entry fee under $40. I was sold. A bunch of my friends were also running it and I knew it’d be a lot of fun. Plus, medal.

My husband and I headed to the “expo” on Friday and maybe there was more inside Sports Chalet but packet pick up booths were outside and there wasn’t anything else there to see. No vendors, no nothing. The swag was pretty sweet though and considering I’d gotten a deal on my entry free, I was very satisfied.

Cotton V-neck tee, gloves, KT tape, and scary bag

Cotton V-neck tee, gloves, KT tape, and scary bag

They also had a little photo op thingy which of course I had my husband snap a shot

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The race was seriously right down the street from me, so I woke up the next morning around 4:30ish which is my usual wake-up time. I got dressed and realized there were several “firsts” happening with my outfit. It was the first race I would wear with full compression socks–up til then, I’d occasionally race in calf sleeves. It was also the first time I’d be racing in a skirt–a buddy loaned me a really pretty Sparkle Skirt, which I pulled over some shorts.

Then, because I figured I needed a third first (since you know, everything comes in threes),  I brewed me some coffee. I’ve never had coffee before a run or a race. It was 5 in the morning and the race didn’t start til 7; I figured it was enough time and coffee sounded amazing at that moment. It certainly tasted amazing.

The course was a point to point so I arrived early enough to get on the first bus that would take us to the start. I met up with several run club buddies and we chatted as the bus got lost several times.

We finally arrived at the start which was at a familiar place near mountains I often run trails on. It was dark and very cold (for AZ) and volunteers gave us runner’s foil to wrap ourselves around. We found the porta potties and another first happened: I was the first one to use the porta potty. My friend, who was in the potty next to me, shouted, “Make sure you lift the seat!!” And thank goodness because that would’ve been a complete and total disaster.

I had quite a few friends pacing this race and I planned to stick with two who were pacing the 2:00 hour group. I was hoping I was in 2 hour half marathon shape and wanted to see how I could do at that pace. As I hung out with my buddies, I ran into Kindal @runningwithstrength, an Insta/blogging buddy that’s local. She’s got a marathon next weekend so this would be a training run for her and planned to run with the 1:55 group (she’s speedy).

But about 30 minutes before the race started, the coffee I had had worked its magic and I needed a porta potty fast. Unfortunately, many people needed a port potty fast and it took me well over 30 minutes to get to one. Kindal and I were in line together and we looked at each other when the announcer counted down the start–we were gonna miss the start!

We really needed to go so we stayed in line (10 porta potties=not enough, race directors!) and about 5 minutes after the start, Kindal and I crossed the line. We agreed she’d pace me for the first 10 miles and then she’d go on ahead.

Another appeal to this race was the course elevation–

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It mimicked the start of Phoenix Marathon.

And like with Phoenix, we’re always cautioned to not start off fast…. And we never listen.

Miles 1-8 went like this: Wooohoooo!!!! I got this!! Sub 2 BABY!!!! Yeahhhh!!!!

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 3.54.37 PMMiles 9-13.1: Whhhooaaa!!!! Wind!!! Wall!!! Why??!!! What was I thinking??!!!

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We made a right turned heading north at mile 9 into a breeze and by then, I was already so tired that trying to maintain a 9 minute pace seemed impossible. Kindal tried her best to get me back on track but when we reached mile 10, I wished her luck and knew it was going to be a tough 3.1. (She finished in 1:55 like a total badass.)

I tried to do math in my head to see what I needed to do to sneak in under 2, but thinking so hard was making me feel worse, so I just kept running as strong as I could. Luckily, no cramps were happening, but the legs were just tired. When I reached mile 12, I told myself to run this last mile fast and the only fast I could muster was a 9:30.

When I turned the last .1 corner, my teammates were along the side and their cheers gave me a surge. I stopped my watch just before I crossed (I didn’t want a watch stopping finish photo, lol!) and headed straight toward my friends. I needed their hugs.

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We were right near the insta results and I saw my name and time– 2:05:xx

I shook my head and everyone told me I was okay. This was a fun race, no pressure, 3 weeks post Chicago. So I got over it, grabbed a beer, and admired my medal.

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The medal. IT OPENS.

And when I got home, I told my husband about my race and he asked me about the difference in Garmin time versus race time; four minutes was a lot. I realized I hadn’t even looked at my watch time; after I crossed, I went immediately to my friends (thank goodness for autosave). But I told him my watch kept beeping way before the mile markers so I figured the course was off (longer). He said that was still a lot of time difference so he went online and sure enough

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You’d think by now I’d know to look at Net Time and not Clock Time…oh, Helly….

Even though I was sooo close to a sub 2 and maaaaybe could’ve done it had I had the ability to do math and get my butt moving, I’m really happy with this time.

I wanted to run this race for a few reasons: 1.) the medal 2.) assess my half marathon skillz 3.) have fun

Check, check, check! 😀

–Ever got your times mixed up? 

–Ever ran a race mostly for the medal? (I’m not usually so medal influenced but for some reason, I thought this one was pretty cool, lol!)

–How was your Halloween? Costume? 

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Did you R.I.P?

Mid-Week Musings: Meeting Online Friends

Happy Hump Day!!!

I’m nearing the day I have to renew my “website subscription” and it’s always a reminder of how long I’ve had this page (2 years!). It always makes me think about how I’ve met so many awesome people through my blog and it’s a big reason I keep writing–even though sometimes I feel like I’m not exciting enough to have a blog, lol!

Anyway, there’s so many people who I’ve “met” online and have followed their journeys and have been inspired. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some people in person and cross some bloggers off my list, but it seems as I check people off, I “meet” more cool people online.

At Phoenix Marathon, I got to meet Pavement Runner, Maxfitgirl, RunEMZ, The Athletarian (how hilarious is it to call people by their blog names?!!).

This past summer, I got to meet Hailey@StridingStrong and last October, I got to meet Sue@ThisMamaRunsForCupcakes at Marine Corps Marathon.

It was at MCM that I got to meet my BRF, Salt who I had actually “met” on an online mommy’s group before we became running bloggers 🙂

My BRF and sole sister--Salt <3

My BRF and sole sister–Salt ❤ (fave meet-up!)

As race season approaches (for me, it starts this weekend!), I am going to be crossing off quite a few people on my Bloggers I’d Like to Meet In Real Life list (don’t we all have a list like that?)

This weekend, I’ll be racing in Vancouver (what?!) and I’ll meet Suzy@SuzyHasTheRuns. She’s a new find for me and it was instant love–she’s so rad (and fast!)–and I’m so pumped to meet her. There might be some uncomfortable closeness as I hope some of her speed rubs off on me.

In Chicago, oh boy….There are SO many bloggers who are running, I just hope that we can make the meet up work. I’m hoping that Sarah@RunningOnHealthy, Scott@PirateBobcat, Kristina@BlogAboutRunning, Amber@PbandPrs, and Suzy@SuzLyfe rearrange their schedules for some Helly time.

Mike from RunNerdsRock will be there, Jenny from RunJennyRun will be there–I’m sure I’m missing a whole bunch of people and I know that trying to meet everyone will be close to impossible, dammit!, but with the help of social media, I’m hoping we can make it happen.

After Chicago, the fun continues as Mar from Mar On The Run will be coming to meeeee!!! She and I will be running Rock n Roll Arizona 😀 and when she tweeted me confirmation, I totally squee’d. Mar knew she owed me since we didn’t make a meet-up happen when I went to her at MCM 😉 (Love ya, Mar!)

And Suzy@SuzyHasTheRuns will also be coming to me at RnR! Double meet-up!

Race season on its own is exciting. Having the chance to meet awesome people on top of it …

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–Have you met bloggers in person?

–Do you have a “list” of bloggers you’d want to meet? 

–How often do you refer to your online friends to friends in real life? (Um me, all the time, lol!)

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I’ll be crossing the border tomorrow and will be MIA from my blog–but, if you miss me, follow me on Insta for some Canadian pics 🙂

❤ , helly