Scottsdale Half Marathon News!!! {and Giveaway}

Happy Friday!!!

I feel so much excitement this weekend for a variety of reasons but a big one is because my very good friend Jen is running the Chicago Marathon this weekend!!! There so many people I know running that race (good luck Courtney!) and I love tracking them and getting updates.

Speaking of good races, I was recently chosen as an ambassador for one of my favorite local races here in the Phoenix valley. It used to be called the Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon and 5k because it was a sub-event of the Fiesta Bowl (college football game) here in Phoenix. But, the race is a month before the game so it kinda didn’t really make sense for the race to be affiliated it. Plus, the race has became such a local favorite, and since it’s run in the heart of Scottsdale, Az, the race director finally decided to make the big change and make it

 

This change will really give the city ownership of the race as it’s become a favorite for everyone to do. I’ve done this race every year since I started running “competitively” (i.e. seriously) getting an at the time 5k PR there in 2013 and at the time 1/2 marathon PR there in 2014. I had to skip out last year because of my injury but my husband ran it (and got a PR).

He makes it look so easy.

He makes it look so easy.

It’s a flat, fast course which is a big reason why I love it, lol! It goes through neighborhoods I frequented as I worked at a high school near the area for 8 years. It’s also in mid-December and the weather here in Arizona is cause for envy (for us though it’s cold lol!! especially last year, hence my husband’s running gear–I think it was freezing somewhere around the high 40s 😀 ) The race is also suuuuper family friendly–I took my kids last year to cheer dad on 🙂 I just love this race…

And because I love it so much, I want to give YOU a chance to run it! This giveaway will be on my Facebook page (<—linky here or search Helly on the Run). It’ll run through Wednesday and I’ll announce a winner there that morning. The giveaway is for race entry only–sorry, you’ll have to figure out lodging and transportation if you’re an out-of-towner.

If you don’t wanna wait to see if you win, you can register now at their super low price (seriously, this is one of the most inexpensive but AWESOME races out there). The 1/2 marathon is currently $65 with time chip, medal, gender specific shirt, and beanie–and the 5k is $25 with time chip, gender specific shirt, and medal. Isn’t that amazing?? Prices go up ten bucks for each race on October 16th for the half marathon and November 1st for the 5k.

–Do you like smaller, home-towney feeling races? I do!! I also don’t mind big races either (hello Chicago and New York!!)

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No Running–Week 2 Recap

This is awkward. A recap about not running….

It was quite the eventful week despite no miles and I’m now 4 weeks away from hopefully getting back into the game 🙂 In fact, I have an appointment in two weeks to see how things are progressing.

Monday found myself at the dentist as I had been having some serious teeth pain from two molars. This pain had been happening for several weeks and I actually had an appointment upon returning from San Diego; but, I got sick and they would not perform oral surgery if I had any issues with my sinuses…so, more time with pain.

But finally, Monday came and I had never looked so forward to getting teeth yanked out. It was a complete disaster as what was supposed to be a simple procedure turned into a Saw movie. My teeth broke as the dentist was trying to pull them out and because he had to get a good grip, mechanical utensils were brought out. I heard every single thing as I had chosen to not be put under. Good times.

I took the day off from work Tuesday as I was pretty much an immobile, starving mess.

The doctor had said no exercise for 2-3 days so Wednesday was day 2. I made it to work and spoke as little as possible telling my students to make sure they brush and floss daily and to lay off the soda.

Thursday was actually the day I felt the worst but I pulled up my big girl panties and went to work. It was also beautiful in Phoenix that day and I really wanted to take advantage of the weather since we were getting a cold front the upcoming weekend. So after work, my little family went to our zoo’s annual Christmas light show ❤

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A lot of hilly walking but I felt fine. No pain at all.

It was a tough day on Friday though, not because of anything injury related, but because I finally announced something I had been thinking about for a few weeks. I wouldn’t be returning to work the following semester. My students took it pretty hard–most actually like me!–but they understood once I explained.

My husband has been taking on new responsibilities at his job the last few months that have required him to travel extensively, sometimes out of the country and sometimes for multiple weeks at a time. It’s been tough on me as I become the sole caretaker for our kids–I’ve mentioned my 45 minute morning and afternoon commute before and when my husband is not home, I have to get myself ready, my kids ready, drop them off at school, then drive my 45 minute drive to make it to work by 7:45–if there’s traffic or an accident, that time increases and inevitably I don’t make it to work when the bell rings.

I knew it was becoming a problem when I was late several times and had to call security to cover my classes. And my decision was sealed when I tried waking my kids up a little extra early so I wouldn’t be late–seeing them sleep so comfortably and wanting to wake them up at 5:30 in the morning so I could get to work on time absolutely killed me. I just couldn’t. And I knew that I would have to make a decision. It was a no brainer; my kids are my first priority.

I don’t know how long this teaching hiatus will last, but I feel good about my choice.

I was glad we had some more family fun time on Saturday because I needed a pick-me-upper. We went to our local rec center and had breakfast with Santa 🙂

My son was not impressed.

My son was not impressed.

And on Sunday, my husband ran the Fiesta Bowl 1/2 Marathon. This was supposed to be our goal 1/2 marathon race for the both of us but of course, I couldn’t run it. He did, and absolutely killed it finishing with a new PR of 1:36:31!!! He also helped our run club finish 1st team overall 😀

My champ.

My champ.

Many of my friends finished the race with PRs and it was fun to be there cheering them on. Fun, but I’m lying if I didn’t say I wished it was me. I know things happen for a reason, yadda yadda yadda, but I miss running dammit. If anything, I’m glad that I’m finally starting to feel a little better from this teeth business and I can finally get myself to the gym. I need some sweat time. Need.

To end on a happy note, last week’s Hot Chocolate 5k/15k pics were released this week (and were FREE). This was my favorite pic as I crossed the finished line with my walking buddies ❤

I think we had fun.

I think we had fun.

Anyway, there’s my no running recap! I hope you all had a great week–tell me all about it!!

–Any dentist horror stories? Do you like going to the dentist? I have friends who actually do. Of course, they have perfect teeth.

–Share with me a high point of your week something positive 🙂

 

Fiesta Bowl 1/2 Marathon Recap!! YAAAY!!!

I GOT A PR! I GOT A PR!

Seriously guys, I ran the race of my life on Sunday!

Okay, first, and I’m being completely real here, I did NOT think what happened would happen.

Leading up to my last race of the year, I’d been feeling tired, exhausted, and fatigued. Yes, all three mean the same thing.

I’d eaten like crap the week leading up to the race because I just wasn’t feeling actually trying. My running mojo was lost and I was….tired. I can’t really think of a better way of explaining it.

My husband and I caught Mockingjay Part I at the theatre on Friday and we binged on popcorn and nachos. Not a care in the word about having a race that Sunday.

Saturday morning we went on a short 2 and a something miler to get our legs ready but then we binged on finger foods at two holiday parties that evening.

We didn’t even go to packet pick-up and figured we’d just get it on race day; we were that unmotivated.

Sunday morning our alarms woke us up (aka: kids) and we got ready to go. My mom was a champ ready to baby sit while we went on with the race.

We got there early since we knew we had to get our bibs and I’d come prepared with a jacket and gloves–it was cold!! Like always, I have to add the “for Arizona” as I know that it’s a lot more colder in other parts.

After picking up our bibs, we hung out at my run club’s tent; there were 65 members running the race that day! Many of my friends were gunning for PRs. Fiesta Bowl has the reputation  for being PR friendly. Yet, even with that knowledge, I wasn’t going into it with a PR mentality and simply hoped to sub 2–an accomplishment if I achieved it.

My husband was in the same mindset in that if he was near his PR (1:48) he’d be happy–he hadn’t trained at all for the race having been out of the country for a month.

When it came time to line up, we stood near our friends. There were no corrals so you could put yourself wherever. I was near the front but not close–actually with the crowd gunning for 1:50 and under (ha!).

I’d decided to keep my gloves on but ditched the jacket. All I had on me was a salt tablet–I’d decided to utilize the water and fuel stations, a first for me.

There was a countdown but no horn! When the announcer reached 1, nothing sounded! People continued on as, well, he’d reached 1 lol!

My husband kissed me good luck and I never saw him again til the end. I saw many of my fellow run clubbers pass me as I’d started with the speedy crowd.

I was on my own but I was fine.

The first mile chimed away 8:57 and I was pleased. I hadn’t started off fast (which I’d stupidly done in the previous half I’d run) and I also wanted to make sure I hung out as close to the 9s as I could.

I felt myself settle in and mile 2 chimed 9:11— a little too slow for my liking.

I adjusted, and miles 3 and 4 clicked away at 8:59 and 9:03. Much better.

Approaching mile 5, I took my salt tablet and saw my watch chime 9:24.

And then a mini panic set in.

I was very bothered at having seen such a bad split and was very close to throwing in the towel at that point. I felt like I was doing well and to see that mile really messed with my confidence. I worried about trying too hard to compensate in the next miles. I started blaming myself for not taking the days leading up to the race seriously. I began to really doubt my ability to sub 2 again.

Things were not looking good.

I ate half a Gu at mile 6 and saw 9:08. Better, but not as close to 9 as I’d like.

Mile 7, 9:03. I felt like I had to work reeeally hard for that one.

It was at this point that my legs felt heavy and I started making all the excuses on why it would be totally okay to not sub 2. My birthday was coming up (it’s tomorrow!), my daughter had gotten sick again the night before, my diet had sucked all week. I mean, I thought of so many “reasons” why it would be perfectly fine not to meet my goal.

Then, two members of my run club passed me and said, “Good job!” I saw them go by and I thought to myself, you’ve got two choices: You could let them go and wallow in self pity or you could join them and finish the race strong.

I don’t know what compelled me in those quick seconds to choose the latter.

Mile 8 chimed in at 8:37!

Mile 9, 8:35
Mile 10, 8:29
Mile 11, 8:39
Mile 12, 8:21!

WE WERE PASSING PEOPLE. *I* was passing people!

I didn’t know what the hell was happening to me but I was running and I was running fast. My two friends probably said two words to me the entire time but they kept me going and pushing and you know what the funny thing was? I didn’t feel tired! I didn’t feel like I’d felt at mile 7 when I felt like I was working so hard. No, these last 5 miles had gone by so quick, literally, that I didn’t even have the chance to think about how I felt.

I told Stacey and Lori at mile 11 that if I crossed the finish line with them, I would seriously cry. I had done the math, I would kill my PR if I stayed at their pace.

At mile 12, we saw another one of our run club friends, and Stacey announced that we should catch him. At that point, I was just following the leader so if that’s what she wanted to do, well then by golly, that’s what I was going to do.

We reached him at about 12.5ish and he encouraged us to finish strong. We all begin turning the corner to the finish together.

I always like to (or try to anyway) end with a “kick” and it was when we turned that corner that I mustered up whatever energy I had left to cross that finish line as fast as I could.

I gunned it, passing my two friends and the third one we’d met near the end.

My last mile was 8:13.

And my official time….

1:55:37!!!! ONE FIFTY FREAKING FIVE!!!

You have no idea how happy I felt crossing that finish line. I grabbed my medal and went straight to meet up and hug the hell out of Stacey and Lori–I knew there was no way I would’ve done it without them that day.

My husband was waiting for me with a huge grin. He knew that I had blown my PR away (for me, an almost 3 minute improvement is HUGE).

I asked him his time and he’d killed his own PR at an insane 1:42:05!!! A 6 minute difference!!!

We had just run the race of our lives.

I don’t think I stopped smiling all day yesterday or thinking about the race. I’ve replayed it so many times trying to understand how it happened. I don’t know what made me decide to just go for it, to just try and give going faster a shot. I never thought I could maintain an 8:30something pace in a half marathon–or at the back end of one no less!! My husband would often tell me that I keep myself from reaching my own potential. And it’s true. I totally psych myself out. This race showed me that I can do it. That hey, maybe with more training, I can do it for an entire race!

I couldn’t think of a better way to end the year and my last race in my 20s. Tomorrow I turn 30 and all I’ve got to say is, “Bring it on, new age group!!” 😀

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I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! Did anyone else race or long run? I hope it was awesome!!

–Do you ever psych yourself out? How do you tell/convince yourself that you can do something?