Hope Run 5k Recap and Why Local Races Rock!

I mentioned in my last post how this past weekend was extraordinarily awesome 😀 Well, Saturday was an epic meet-up between two of my fave running groups and Sunday, my husband ran a 5k!

I absolutely love that my husband likes running and seeing him is a lot of the times more fun than me running lol!

The Hope Run 5k is a local race where proceeds went to Save the Children and American Association for Lost Children. This is a huuuuge reason why I love running local. I like knowing that while I’m doing something I love, others are benefitting.

The International Missing Children’s Day is observed in the month of May each year. It is a time to remember many thousands of small children who are lost, trafficked, or disadvantaged.  Thank you for supporting the children! –Hope Run 5k, 10k

The race is in its third  year and has been growing steadily. I spoke with the race director prior to the race and she told me that she had over a 100 more registrants this year than last! (It turned out there was even more as there were quite a few same-day registrants. So much so, they ran out of medals as they were unprepared for so many last minute racers.)

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For a smaller, local race, they definitely didn’t skimp out on anything. Racers received a finisher’s medal AND t-shirt, the race offered age group awards not just overall, and they had a pretty sweet breakfast table set-up.

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The 10k runners began the show and ten minutes later, the 5Kers lined up. My husband had signed up for the 5k and we made our way to the front to get a good starting position. We chatted for a few minutes and then he was off!

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that’s him on the left!!

I knew that his goal was to PR–his previous 5k best was 21:07 and he really wanted to see 20. His ultimate goal is to see a teen but knows that’s a work in progress.

Oh, to be fast…..

Anyway, I hung out and visited a few of the vendors that were at the race. It wasn’t too long though before I saw the first place guy approaching. He. was. running.

One of the things I love about spectating races is that I get to see the race from such a different perspective. I would never be around the people who finish first and to see them cross the line is just super cool.

He crossed, grabbed his medal, and then made his way to me.

“Your husband’s right behind me.”

Say what????

Sure enough, there he was!!!

I could tell that he was giving it all he had as I’d never seen him finish with that much resolve.

I positioned myself to get a good finisher’s pic and as I was waiting, I saw the first place guy walk up to the finish line.

As my husband ran through, the first place guy reached out his hand to high five my husband.

: )

: )

The running community is amazing.

My husband grabbed his medal and I ran to him to give him a huge sweaty hug 😀

I couldn’t believe he’d gotten second place and ran so well finishing in 20:47!!! A new PR!!!

And you know what he said to me when I told him his time?

“I’m getting closer to 19.” Hahaha!! I love him. Runners are so competitive with themselves, aren’t they?? 😉

We chatted with the first place guy for a while. He and my husband talked about how the course had a quite a few loop de loops that made it a little confusing. He was 20 and had ran cross country in high school. He said he preferred longer distances but runs 5Ks for fun. LOL.

The awards weren’t too long after and it turned out that my husband was able to get the first place medal for his age group and the second place overall award. Usually, I’ve seen races only give one if you’re the winner for both.

My speedy

My speedy

The age group award is pretty sweet. It’s a small first place plaque that hangs off the main medal. For the second place finish, he won a $15 certificate to Road ID–score!!!

The Hope Run 5k was just another race that solidified why I like running local. I get to meet and support people in my community and the race proceeds go to great causes.

Wearing daddy's medal <3

Wearing daddy’s medal ❤

Last month, I ran another local race, Run3rd 5k, where I got to meet Sean Astin. It was the race where I thought I had placed in my age group only to find as I was walking up to the podium that someone else had won. Remember?

Well the race director read my race review and contacted me to let me know what had happened! She said there was an issue with two racers whose bibs conflicted with the timing chips. They had to manually fix their times and one of them finished 3rd overall bumping the girl into placing in their age group instead–mine.

And the girl who started 2o minutes super duper late? It turns out she started about 5 minutes after (which to a runner feels like eternity right? ha!).

I thought it was so nice for the race director to go out of her way to explain to me what happened. Again, this is why I run local. These people seriously care about their runners ❤

I hope everyone is having a good week so far!!

❤ , helly

–Do you like running local races or bigger races?

–Ever won a race? or came close?

 

 

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The year that was two thousand unFOURgettable teen

And it’s here!!! The last day of 2014!!

This has been an incredible year for me personally and in my running life. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever have such an amazing year as this and I don’t even want to try. This year will be its own very special year in which I accomplished so much and did so much…

Here’s a look back at the year that was 😀

1. January My first sub 2 hour half marathon 1:58:11

This was such a special race because my husband and I trained so hard for this. It was also 6 months post partum and to have met my goal so soon after giving birth made me feel like a total badass

yay!

yay!

2. March: My FIRST marathon

Oh. Em. Gee. This was such an epic day. It was so hard and so amazing at the same time. Crossing that finish line was one of the proudest moments of my life–it made me a marathoner!

Crossing that finish line=best feeling ever

Crossing that finish line=best feeling ever

Yep, I'm a finisher!

Yep, I’m a finisher!

Seriously, how beautiful is this medal??

Seriously, how beautiful is this medal??

3. March: I froze my butt off and got a 5k PR in Ohio

This was a special race because it was the first race my brother, sister, and I ran ever ran together. My 6’2, 300lb brother crossed the finished line at a veerrry respectable 33 something! And I placed second in my age group with my shiny new PR of 24:18 🙂

My brother on the run

My brother on the run

Our after pic :)

Our after pic 🙂

My Shwings and my AG award :)

My Shwings and AG award 🙂

4. April: I have a 2 year old!

My favorite girl in the world growing up so fast ❤

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2

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Party time!

 

5. April: Um, I ran a race in MADRID, SPAIN!!!

Okay, first, I never thought I’d ever visit Europe. Second, I neeever thought I’d run a race in Europe! But, the opportunity presented itself this year and my husband and I found ourselves running a 1/2 marathon through the streets of Spain

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It was absolutely incredible and something I will never, ever forget.

6. May: I crossed the Grand Canyon…TWICE

Okay, so I never thought I’d go to Europe and I did. But if someone told me I’d hike the Grand Canyon twice I woulda told them they were crazy. Yet, I was the crazy one who actually did it!

Day 1: South Kaibab to North Kaibab. Day 2: North Kaibab to Bright Angel.

Day 1: South Kaibab to North Kaibab. Day 2: North Kaibab to Bright Angel.

 

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Looking back at the miles

 

at the finish line of the Canyon :)

and at the finish line of the Canyon 🙂

7. June: My first trail race (and first at night!)

The newb trail runner in me came out this race as I had NO idea what I had signed up for lol! This was hella hard!!!

Started with the 10 mile loop followed by the 10k loop (see mountain).

Started with the 10 mile loop (bottom pic) followed by the 10k loop (top pic).

Pre-race pic at Adrenaline 27k

Pre-race pic at Adrenaline 27k–still smiling having no clue….lol

Adrenaline 27k

Soooo happy to be done!

8. July: My little guy turned ONE!!!!

12 months=1 year in case you didn't know :D

12 months=1 year in case you didn’t know 😀

9. August: I went back to work

This was a hard decision for me but one I am very glad I made. I felt like I wasn’t ready to let go of teaching after taking a year off and I really missed it.

My bib board makes my classroom complete :) (don't mind my soda collection lol!)

My bib board makes my classroom complete 🙂
(don’t mind my soda collection lol!)

10. September: I completed 100 Days of NO Soda!!!

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Those who know me know what a big deal this was. It hard, it was tough, but I honestly think it has made a lasting impression on me as I definitely have seen a change in my drinking habits.

11: October: My dream race!!!

Holy cow, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon!!! I still can’t believe I was able to do it. It was everything I’d hoped it’d be and MORE–because I also got to meet my BRF and Sole Sister, Salt!

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Cheesin' real hard

Cheesin’ real hard at packet pick up

Best. Medal. Ever.

Best. Medal. Ever.

12. November: A humbling race

I ran the Gilbert 1/2 Marathon at 2:00:16 baaareely missing what would’ve been my second sub 2 of the year. It was a poorly run race on my part but a HUGE learning experience.

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Oh man, that’s always tough to look at.

13. December: To then run the race of my life!!

The Fiesta Bowl 1/2 Marathon proved to me that I can do hard things. It was seriously a tale of two races as the first half of the half, I struggled and was about to throw in the towel on trying to get my second sub 2 race of the year. But then a light switched on at mile 7 and I ran the rest of the race a different person finishing with a brand new, incredible, half marathon PR

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Best!

14. Last, but not least…1000 miles!

On the dot!

On the dot!

Such an incredible year for me. I’ve been having a blast blogging and while sometimes life gets busy and I can’t do it as much as I’d like, I appreciate all of you who have shared this journey with me. So looking forward to 2015!!!

P.S. I turned 30 this year! 😀

–How would you describe your 2014 in ONE word? (me? Un-Four-gettable)

–What are you looking forward to in 2015?

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Be safe out there

❤ helly

 

 

 

 

 

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?