Hanson’s/NYC Marathon Training: Week 8

Still truckin’ …

Marathon Goal– 3:50
Marathon Pace/Tempo Runs– 8:45
Easy Runs–9:40-10:40
Long Runs–9:29

Monday, August 22nd–4.4 Easy miles @ 10:18 avg/pace

The plan said 6 but my route said 4.4 so that’s what happened. This became a theme this week in that my runs were shortened due to time, life, excuses.

Tuesday, August 23rd– .5 WU, 3×1600 @ 7:30 (w/400R), .5 CD

The warm-up was supposed to be longer and I really had all the intentions of doing it as I woke up at 4:30 a.m. to get this workout done. But, it was raining cats and dog, thundering, and lightening. I still drove to my group run though, thinking maybe the storm would pass. We all waited in our cars but after 10 minutes, I chose my bed.

I ended up doing this workout in the evening (99 degrees–at least it wasn’t triple digits) and shortening the warm up and cool down.

So 1600s are not in the beginner plan but like I had mentioned last week, I really wanted to do this workout just to see. My goal someday is to better my 5k and if I was to do these miles consecutively at this pace, I would get a PR. So that was a big reason I wanted to do it.

And I nailed it.

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and negative splits, too!! 😀

Wednesday, August 24th–Rest Day

What wasn’t resting was my fundraising. This was a monumental day as donations came in like whoa and I’m now LESS THAN $100 AWAY from my goal!! (So if you want to donate and get me even closer, you can do that here 😉 )

Thursday, August 25th1 mile WU, 6 Tempo miles, 1 mile CD

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This was such an amazing run. The goal pace was 8:45 and I nailed it feeling good the entire way. It was another confidence builder for sure. BUT, I somehow still doubt I can do this for 26.2 miles, lol. Ugh, I hate you doubt.

Friday, August 26th–4.5 Easy Miles @ 10:50 avg/pace

The plan said 5 but my route said 4.5. Plus, my husband and I both squeezed in early morning runs because right after….we were beach bound!!! 😀

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Bathing suits ready but mom wants one more pic!

Saturday, August 27th–5 Easy Miles @ 9:40 avg/pace

The plan said 6 but our route said 5. We ran this outside the condo we were staying at where on one side was this

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and on the other, a road on which we ran our workout. It was cool to see the elevation map say that for a little while, we were below sea level lol!!

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The rest of the day was spend having fun with family ❤

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Sunday, August 28th–12 Long Run miles @9:30 goal pace (actual–9:22)

There was no way I was missing morning beach time so I told myself I’d do my long run when we got home. A four plus hour car drive later, the realization hit me that I really did have to do it. I also was NOT going to shorten this one as last week I shortened the 10 miler to 8. I needed to do a double digit run so begrudgingly, I went out the door.

And surprisingly, it ended up being a great run!! I felt good the entire way and never felt like I was working for the pace–despite it being 100 degrees out.

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So despite shortening a few runs, it was an amazing week of running. 38.68 total miles and thankfully, everything is feeling good 🙂

–How was your running week?

–Are you a beach bum? I’m definitely more of a mountainous gal, but I love the beach with my kids 🙂

 

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Night Run 10k Vancouver {Recap!}

So happy to be home!!!

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It was a tad nippy in Canada, totally not what I was used to, lol, and I actually looked forward to my Arizona temps! Anyway, I arrived to Canada Thursday evening and we immediately went to dinner. It was absolutely amazing–steak and salmon for the win!

The race was on Friday night, and earlier in the day we toured the city–I musta walked like 5 miles! We had amazing lunch at this place called Joe Fortes (to die, seriously!) and we were back at the hotel around 3 for an afternoon siesta.

When I awoke, I got dressed and ready and we walked the about a mile walk to the race site. I was hoping I’d get my usual pre-race jitters (i.e. need to use the restroom) but I didn’t have to go. This was a little disconcerting considering I had two big meals still in the stomach.

Anyway, what was nice about the race was that it was at beautiful Stanley Park

Surrounded by water the entire way :)

Surrounded by water the entire way 🙂

and there was a building at the race start where runners could hang out in–this was GREAT for me because I was freezing. They were playing music, there was a photo op place, FREE McCafe, and even a no-line bathroom! (Except I still didn’t have to go 😦 )

Freeeeee!!!

Freeeeee!!!

It wasn’t long before it was time for the 10Kers to line up. The 5k runners had just left and there was about a 10-15 minute wait before our turn.

There were no corrals but “fast” runners were told to head to the front (this is where my husband left me, lol!)

The countdown started and we were off! The beginning portion was a downhill and really, I should have kept this in mind for later–I didn’t.

I was gunning for an 8:45 average pace and when the first mile beeped 8:45 I was THRILLED. I had this guy in front of me who was running a good pace so I stuck with him.

The view were uh-mazing. This was Stanley Park after all. The sun was setting and the colors on the water were so beautiful. We had the city lights behind us and the green trees next to us; it was awesome.

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On one side, water….

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on the other, city….so beautiful! (pictures are pre-race, lol!)

The second mile beeped 8:35 and I was happy that I was still feeling pretty good. I kept it going with my “pacer” to mile 3 and that beeped at 8:45!

And then my pacer slowed down 😦 I wanted to yell at him, “Keep it going!! I need you!!” lol, but of course I didn’t and I told myself to put my big girl panties on and do it myself.

Yeah, that didn’t work out so well.

Almost immediately after crossing the 5k mark, I begin to falter.

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And maybe that guy knew the uphill was coming or something, but I didn’t. I felt like I was still going my pace but mile 4 beeped away at 9:04 and I was buuuuummed.

I tried to get it together and at least keep it under 9 minutes which I barely managed to when mile 5 beeped 8:58.

Mile 6, 8:53.

I was so happy to only have .2 left. SO happy.

And then the goddamn hill. Yes, the one that when I started, took me on a nice swift decline.

I had been trying so hard to get sub 9 miles that I felt I had nothing left to give on that effing uphill–I practically crawled up it and the last .28 took me 2 minutes and 50 seconds (a 10 minute pace). Seriously, Helly.

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I crossed the finish line in 55:49 missing my sub 54 goal by a minute and 50. Ugh.

On a positive note, I was pleased my overall pace was under 9 at an 8:53 pace, so YAY to that!! 😀

On an even more positive note, my husband finished 10th overall!!!

The post-race was super cool–they fed us a burrito, fries, and a beer–and they had a DJ playing music. We were inside a building, nice and warm too so it was definitely comfortable and fun.

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The DJ announced he’d be awarding top overall male and females so we hung out to see the speedsters. The top 3 men and top 3 women were awarded their medals and then the DJ went back to his music right afterward.

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Aaaaand this is when things went awry. About 30 minutes later, my husband and I decided to head back to the hotel. It was late, about 10 o’clock, and we didn’t want to be out in the streets at dark. As soon as we got to the hotel, we checked our results again but this time online. My husband said he’d gotten 1st in his age group!!! Woohoo!!!

Seriously, not about 5 minutes later, I posted our Instagram pic with the hashtag #NightRunVancouver and #RunVan and when I searched both tags, I saw a guy showing off his Age Group medal! Whaaat??? How in the world did we miss that??? We had been inside the ENTIRE time and not once did they announce Age Group awards! I messaged the guy and he told me that he had seen a table with medals and that was how he had gotten his. Whaaaat???? No announcement? No sign? Nada???

We decided we’d head to the running store the next day where packet pick-up for the race was. My husband ran the mile to the store Saturday morning only to be told by the employees there that they had no idea what he was talking about.

My husband returned bummed but over it–it was just a medal.

But I was upset! I don’t know why, maybe the Type A organizer in me, but c’mon! So I e-mailed the race director who responded the next day, Sunday, the day we were leaving, that he’d drop off the medal at the running store my husband had been to the day before, lol!

That e-mail was sent right before we got on the plane to come home, so of course there was no going back to the store.

Bummer, no medal (and again, my husband did not care, lol!) but it peeved me a little that there had been NO announcement whatsoever post-race and I made sure to let the race director know that that was an area which needed improvement–because besides that, it had been a great race. And during my Instagram search, I had found another girl who experienced the same thing.

Not how we wanted to end the race but we decided to solely focus on the positive (or really, my husband kept telling me to focus on the positive, lol!!). The race had amazing views the entire way, it was a single loop which for 10k’s I’ve run is rare, and it had great pre and post race festivities. If I was to eliminate the medal fiasco, this would definitely be a race I’d recommend. Thanks for making it this far and sorry for my long-winded vent, lol!

I’ll be re-capping the rest of my amazing trip later this week–I hope everyone had a great weekend!! ❤ , helly

–Have you ran a race and missed the medal? 

–Ever ran a race with super cool pre and post race parties??

 

 

 

 

Euro Trip–Last Stop: Paris, France

Our flight out of Rome to Paris was in the morning so we arrived with plenty of day to explore. But, we were tired. And quite frankly, at that point, I really missed my kids.

Our ride to the hotel took us through some major sites but unfortunately we weren’t camera ready. The Notre Dame, which was on my list, was absolutely stunning. Sadly, we didn’t make it to see it in person.

Our hotel was whoa fancy. The Hyatt Regency boasted 34 stories with amazing views. We were on the 7th floor and had some good things to see out the window 🙂

There was a mall attached to the the hotel (I know, right!?) with shops, restaurants, and a Trader Joe-esque grocery. And guess what? The sodas there were only 2 Euros!!!

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There was also a Paradise Bakery like eatery with the most amazing croissants. I did some serious carb loading there. Serious.

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After we dropped off our luggage and freshened up, we checked out the map and decided the Eiffel Tower was of priority. We saw that on the way was the Arc de Triomphe and figured we’d visit that as well.

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This was taken in the middle of the street. Literally. There were cars zooming passed everyone and no one cared lol! That smile? That’s a take the picture and let’s scram smile.

We walked through an underground tunnel to get a closer look at the Arc. It was in the center of a busy street so you couldn’t just walk across to it.

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Ceiling

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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

This was about half way between our hotel and the Eiffel Tower so we were pretty close. This was good because it started to rain. A lot.

On our way to the tower, we somehow found ourselves in a park with an amazing view.

Peace from Paris <3

Peace from Paris ❤

We huddled under a tree hoping for the rain to let and it did, enough for us to continue on our way.

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When we got to the tower, we immediately begin looking for where we had to buy tickets. The way you do this is by looking for the line. The line will take you where you need to go lol! It was about an hour and a half of waiting in line and the waiting didn’t end there.

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We decided to pay full price to go all the way to the top. I’m so glad we did. At the bottom, you could really appreciate the tower’s grandness but at top–wow.

It required getting on an elevator to the first level. This didn’t take long but the wait for the next elevator did. This is when it started to pour. I’m talking full on soaking status. Plus, it was super cold. I teeth-chattered my way through that entire line telling myself, Yolo, Helly, yolo.

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We made it to the top and it was oh so worth it. I loved how they had comparison’s of other talk buildings and how the Eiffel Tower surpassed them. I learned that there’s a ginormous building in Dubai. It was funny because you’re seeing other buildings that you thought were tall and the Tower was huge next to it. Then you get to the Burj Khalifa and whoa!!!! It makes me curious (and a little fearful) to see it in person.

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It was near evening when we made back to the bottom and initially I had wanted to stick around to see the tower lit at night but by then I was drenched and freezing and grumpy that all I wanted to do was get back to the hotel. It was two miles away.

There were quite a few people selling umbrellas and we found that we only had 6 euros; the price of one was 10. We kept telling the guy that that was all we had, take it or leave it–luckily, he took it.

That umbrella saved us from potential hypothermia as we made our way back to the hotel in the cold, pouring rain. I was wearing ballet flats (What were you thinking Helly? –Clearly, I wasn’t) and I was deathly afraid of blistering. Remember, I had 18 Death March trail miles that Sunday!

I made it unscathed and we decided to treat ourselves for dinner and order in. We fell asleep waiting for our meal to get delivered to our room.

The next day, our last day in Paris, I only had one thing on my mind. The Louvre.

We started late because we totally slept in jaja! We checked out the map to see where the museum was and we decided it definitely required a metro ride. I was better prepared with tennis shoes this time, but I still didn’t want to make that trek knowing we’d have a long wait in line.

Yep, another 3+ hour wait lol!

This time it wasn’t so bad though as we made a friend with an American from Vegas. He was a triathlete, so we talked running for a while. We also struck up a conversation with a girl from the Philippines who said she didn’t think Europe was as expensive as she’d expected.

Wait, wha???

I told her that the price of soda there was absolutely ridiculous and that in the United States you could get soda for under a dollar. And that at restaurants, when you ordered a soda with your meal, they gave you free refills. She looked at me like I was crazy. Free? Yes, free. Gratis. Gratuit.  No extra charge.

—By the way, I forgot to mention that in certain places they charged you 5 Euros to use the bathroom. We went to a McDonald’s once only to use the bathroom because it was free there.

Moving on, our Filipino friend was stunned with the news.

Because we had good conversations with our new friends, the wait in long went by swiftly. I felt like we reached the entrance in no time.

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Outside about to walk in (this is pre-line)

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Close to the entrance

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We made it!

Once inside, we had to navigate our way to purchase tickets. This wasn’t as easy as it had been other places. Plus, it was huuuge. We paid and then looked at the museum map to find the Mona Lisa–what we really wanted to see. We found the wing it was in and kept moving.

Like the Sistine Chapel, the Mona Lisa was towards the end of the wing so you saw a lot before you actually got to it. This was great and I saw a few things I was hoping to see as this was the only wing we ended up visiting.

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And then there she was:

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My husband was shocked. And not by how awesome it was to be seeing the Da Vinci in person but because of how small it was. He said it should be renamed the Mona Little. Jajajaa!!

Trying to get close to take a picture was insane. And scary. People were jostling and pushing and elbowing that you even felt like you couldn’t breathe being sandwiched between everyone.

We finally reached the front and took super quick snaps and got out of there. It was seriously intense.

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Holding on to my husband for dear life.

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Mona

It was pretty awesome seeing her in person. It was another one of those where you’ve read tons about it (I loved the Da Vinci Code!) and wondered what it was like. When we made our way out of that wing, we debated continuing on. It was early evening and we had time to explore but I went with eating and shopping at our hotel mall instead. I was so beat.

I purchased some goodies for myself and goodies for my two kids 🙂

My parents went to Paris and all I got was this shirt.

My parents went to Paris and all I got was this shirt ❤

I missed her and my son so much. The next morning our flight was set to depart at 10:30 Paris time (1:30 a.m. Phoenix) but was delayed almost two hours. We got in to Chicago where we were supposed to connect but missed it because of the Paris delay. I was so upset. We had planned it so that we’d be home by bedtime but there was no way we’d make it now. We ended up arriving in Phoenix at 10:30 p.m. (6:30 a.m. Sunday in Paris). I set my alarm for 4:30 a.m. to get in those 18 trail miles/Death March the following morning. More on how that went later.

Overall, our entire trip was absolutely amazing. I loved how we planned everything and even though our plan sort of shifted at the end, I felt fulfilled. I felt like I was able to see SO much of what I only dreamed I’d be able to see in my lifetime. Truly, I never thought I’d make to the other side of the world. I never thought I’d see things I’d only before read in books.

When we were getting on the plane to go to Spain and start our trip, I said to my husband, “We’ll come back different people, you know.”

And we most certainly did.

The face of someone very excited to go home :)

The face of someone very excited to go home 🙂

 

Thank you SO much for following my Europe journey. I love having my trip documented in this way so I can come back and fondly relive these moments. Your comments have only added to the spirit of my trip and I’ll look back on these past few posts with much love. If you missed anything, Spain is here and here and Italy is here, here, and here

 

Next stop (because I’m Helly *always* On The Run 🙂 ): Grand Canyon–Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim

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