2017 Scottsdale Half Marathon–PR!!

I love this course. I really do. It’s been sooo good to me and Ben and we’ve always done well here. It’s a pretty much a *flat*, fast, loop in Scottsdale, AZ–nothing majorly scenic, but it’s pretty in Scottsdale and even though you’re passing through businesses and residential areas, the landscaping is well maintained and pretty to look at, lol!

My goal was to sub 1:40. I hadn’t really been vocal about that goal (except here), but my marathon training has me doing tempo miles at that pace and I figured it was a good time to give it a go.

And I got close….

So close.

I wore my Shalane F*CK YES! Momentum bracelet because I was on a mission for a sub 1:40 Eff Yes moment. When I crossed the finish line, it was more just like, F******CK. Lol!!!

Turning the corner and looking at the clock tell me I didn’t make it.

And because I’m honest, my immediate reaction crossing the finish line was disappointment– and I wanted to cry. But because my team’s tent was at the finish line, I was immediately met with hugs and congrats and I couldn’t cry. I mean, I PR’d, how could I be upset? I didn’t want to cry and be a baby with everyone so happy for me. So, I put a smile on my face and rejoiced, even though deep down I was sad.

My brother ran it, too!

My MRTT/AZTNT crew

I know PRs are going to get harder now. So after I pity-partied a bit, I truly began to celebrate my accomplishment. I’m pretty damn happy. Sincerely.

I ran fast, and I ran fast from the very start. I went in with a goal and I wasn’t afraid to fight for it from the get-go. From beginning to end, I raced.

That is so freaking awesome to me. I’ve come such a long way in the mental aspect of running. I remember telling my husband after I first ran a sub 1:50, that I didn’t think I could top that. That I would be perfectly okay without bettering that 1:48. Well, here I am, a 1:42 and a 1:40 later!

I’m wanting to get faster. I’m not afraid of running fast anymore. I mean, I still sometimes get freaked out when I see myself running sub 8s, but I’m getting used to seeing them more often and getting used to making it my “new normal”.

It’s insane. I never thought I would run the way I’m running now.

4th in Age Group, what?!?

And to think that I want to run faster! That my race day mantra now is: Make It Hurt.

It indeed was a F*CK YES! moment. Who was I kidding! A 2+ minute PR!!!

Turn and burn!

Love ya, Scottsdale!

The road to Boston continues! And that’s the real goal 😉

–Do you have a favorite local race?

–Do you like running fast?

–When was your last F*ck Yes! moment?

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Scottsdale Half Marathon Race Recap (PR!!)

I gave it away in the post title–I GOT A PR!!! 1:42:45!!!

I went into this race hoping for a 1:45 (or under), my previous PR being 1:48:04. I know it’s cliche, but I really did not expect to have such a big improvement.

Leading up to this half, I had “prepared” by doing a few fast runs but I hadn’t done anything longer than 6 miles since NYC Marathon.

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My lone six miler averaging 8:00 minutes was from my 10k PR in February, lol!

On Friday, I had a few friends over for an early birthday celebration (it’s this Friday!) and I thought they were seriously trying to sabotage my PR hopes by bringing me so many yummy goodies…

Brownies are my faaaave!!

Brownies are my faaaave!!

Saturday was a busy day of breakfast with Santa in the morning and a kid’s birthday party in the afternoon.

<3

Sunday race morning, I met up with my run club around 6:15 at the tent they set up–we were registered as a team (more on that later). One of my friends was also going for 1:45 and we chatted for a bit.

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My team 🙂

Ashley and me

Ashley and me

I was there pretty early because I was taking advantage of race day packet pick-up. I love races that allow for that. Sometimes the packet-pick up places are inconvenient and picking up race day, for me, is definitely easier, especially if I can just drop off stuff in my car.

This race was a steal at $45 (early registration). Gender specific tee and beanie ftw!

This race was a steal at $45 (early registration). Gender specific tee and beanie ftw!

The Scottsdale Half Marathon & 5k is always in December and December here is absolutely beautiful, especially that day. Last year it was freezing (for us) and this year, we couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather. I’ll take a 50 degree morning any day and my shorts and short sleeve outfit was perfect.

The course is relatively flat with a few park hills near the end. It’s an easy course in that there’s not many twists and turns. You’re pretty much going north, south, east, or west for long stretches of time. It’s a race known for its PR potential, so it attracts a lot of fast runners. The winner of the half finished in 72 minutes.

There was a nice group of us who started together including a buddy of mine, Dallas, who I’d done a lot of my NYC Marathon training with. He’s a super fast runner but is currently marathon training himself so he wasn’t racing this particular race. My friend Ashley and I convinced him to be our pacer and he was more than happy to.

Miles 1-6

Our pace was right on as you can see:

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I felt great and my breathing was good. My friends know I’m not a chatterbox when I run so my silence wasn’t because I was struggling, I was just in the zone.

Feeling comfortable with the pace just below 8 minutes was awesome (mile 5 did irk me though, lol) and I hoped we could continue like that the rest of the way. My plan was to go to mile 10 at that pace and then push it for the final 5k.

Mile 7

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I took my lone Gu at this mile and we took a turn that would lead us to a super long straight stretch going south. It was here that I asked myself how I was feeling and if I could go faster. I knew that my plan was to wait until mile 10, but I also knew that this race wasn’t a “I will cry if I don’t PR” race and that I had nothing to lose by pushing myself a little harder than I was used to.

My husband always tells me that I’m faster than I think, and I thought about his words then and how much I wanted to show him that I could push hard.

So I went for it.

Miles 8-12

I didn’t say a word to Ashley, and Dallas could see I was increasing my pace so he followed suit staying ahead of me a bit to guide the way.

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Dallas was amazing, grabbing water for me at the stations and having it at hand so I wouldn’t lose my step. He always stayed just a bit in front so I was always at a distance of trying to “catch him” –which is how I prefer people to pace me.

I was passing so many people and that really helped me feel strong and confident. At this point, I had plugged myself in and allowed myself to enter the pain cave. I knew that I was almost done and that anything I felt would just be temporary.

It’s also in these miles that there were little, but still awful, steep hills and I just repeated, “Short, quick steps, Helly. Short, quick steps.”

There were runners that looked fit and strong and I couldn’t believe that I was passing them. I used to psych myself out when I would see runners who looked a certain way and tell myself I couldn’t hang with them.

Not this time.

Mile 13

We turned the corner for the last mile and I whispered to Dallas, “I want to die in this mile.”

“We’re almost done. You got this!” he said.

“No, I want to die. I want to go fast until I die!”

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Dallas and me

Dallas and me

I did really want to go as fast as I could. I wanted to see how fast I could run at that point and finish leaving nothing on the pavement. I tried my hardest to pick up my pace and when we reached a corner I saw the best thing I could’ve ever seen: my husband.

He had a huge smile because he knew I was on my way to killing my PR. He yelled words of encouragement and because he and the friend he was with knew I was approaching the last turn and finish line, yelled, “Turn and burn!!”

So I dug deep and ran….fast.

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final minute

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I wanted so badly to stay in the 1:42s that I gave zero fucks and ran like my life depended on it.

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nailed it!

And I finished absolutely elated!!! Absolutely, incredibly proud that I had decided to push myself, to allow myself to see what I could do if I just went for it.

The second medal is b/c I came in third for my group and as a team, we placed second :D

The second medal is b/c I came in third for my group and as a team, we placed second 😀

My husband, in previous half marathons, had gone from 1:48 to 1:42 in his half marathon time and I had told him earlier in the week how cool it would be if I could match his progression. I NEVER thought it would could actually happen. (Of course then he went from 1:42 to 1:36 and then on Sunday’s race finished 2nd in his Age Group with a 1:32–so now there’s no way I can continue this trend, lol!!!)

Me and my winner <3

Me and my winner ❤

It was such an amazing day. Honestly, I never, never thought I could run the way I’m running. That is the honest truth. I don’t really know how to explain beyond what I wrote here, what has happened or why I’m all of a sudden running paces I’ve never seen. Clearly, something in me has changed. I’m still processing it and figuring out what it means, but I’m definitely hoping that this newfound confidence doesn’t go away. I hope that I always give myself a shot, that I believe in myself enough to try hard things and that even if I “fail,” I continue to learn from each experience.

As always, thank you all so much for your encouragement. I love having this little space to document my growth and share it with you ❤

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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!!)