Thankful For My Brother

Another update on the bro!

He flew home for Thanksgiving and I was so excited to see him again–I hadn’t seen him since he ran his very first half marathon back in May!

After the USA Half Marathon on Saturday, my husband and I drove immediately home because my brother would be arriving that evening. We didn’t get to really enjoy San Diego, but we knew we’d be back 🙂

The day after the race, my brother and I had plans to hike Camelback Mountain. It’s a popular hike here in the Phoenix valley and one that is a lot more challenging than people think. I wrote a little about it here.

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Anyway, my brother had been looking forward to this hike so much because finally, he was going to be able to do it. At least he hoped so! (I had no doubts.)

But because of my cramp fiasco, I was worried about attempting such a difficult hike so soon–in addition to feeling under the weather (hello upper respiratory infection!). So, very very unwillingly, I stayed home and my husband took my place.

And of course my brother made it to the top!!

brother, husband

brother, husband

My husband said that when they were looking at the 360 degree view of Phoenix, my brother whispered, “I can’t believe what I’ve been missing.”

❤ ❤ ❤

I’ve said it a billion times but seriously, I’m so ridiculously proud of him.

Later that week, we went down south to spend Thanksgiving with family. My husband and I, whenever we go home for the holiday, like to run in our local Turkey Trot. This would be my brother’s first!

When I first signed up, I had planned on trying my hardest to keep up with my brother. He’s my newest competition 😉 But, I was coughing up a storm and did not feel well at all, so I decided to just run for fun. When the race started, I started my watch and never looked at it again.

My brother finished waaaaay ahead of me with a killer 24:30 time (not even a PR for him!). He was so happy to have run a race in our hometown and have people he knew cheering him on.

My dad was a the finish line. It was the first race in my life he’d ever been to. ❤

We stuck around after the race because we had a feeling my husband’s 20:50 would snag him an age group placement–the race has ten year age groups (20-29, 30-39, etc.). So it was  HUGE surprise (not to me though) that my brother placed!!!

My husband, 1st–my brother, 2nd!!

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It was funny because my husband ended 7th overall and the 6 guys in front were between the ages of 14-18. When we saw the bulletin board announcement, it was a bunch of teenagers and then a thirty year old, LOL!

It was such a fun week and seeing my brother continue to run and enjoy it makes me so happy. He was so beside himself at having placed–he couldn’t believe it! I don’t think he stopped smiling all day. I’m so thankful to God that he’s been able to make such a monumental change in his life and that he’s committed to his new life. Every time I write about him, I mention how sometimes we doubt people can change their ways, their bad habits, their addictions, their attitudes. But here is living proof for you. Here is proof that if you never stop believing, hoping, trusting, having faith–that change can come.

Believe that it can and it will.

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me and the bro

–Those stateside, how was your Thanksgiving? Do any Turkey Trotting?

–What are you thankful for these days?

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5k Turkey Trot Recap

Wahooooooooo!!!! Okay, I just needed to let that out :  )

Yesterday’s 5k went way better than expected.

I woke up and got ready for what was going to be my coldest race to date.

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I was glad that I had run an easy two miles the day before to get acclimated to the weather because holy freezing temps!

The race actually started pretty late, 9:00 a.m., giving it a chance to warm up. At go time it must have been around 35 degrees which I know isn’t technically cold, but for this girl it certainly is.

I went out with the mentality that I wanted to hang out in the 8 minute range throughout the race. I knew there was an almost mile long incline starting around mile 2 so I also wanted to make sure I had stamina to get through that.

The gun shot and we were off! There was the usual speedster crowd at the start and around the half mile it began to dissipate. I was feeling pretty good when my watch beeped the first mile complete and showed me 8:09. Yes! That was great news knowing that in about a half mile the incline would start. I turned the corner and there it was. I picked it up a little to adjust and kept trucking along. Mile two, 8:49. Yay! I was on cloud nine seeing that despite the long incline I had maintained an 8 something pace. I rode that high into the end of the race finishing at 25:44 (official time). Yes, 25:44, a new PR for me!!! I was in total shock. I had majorly surpassed my goal of finishing under 27:00.

5kturk1  5k watch time

My husband, who had finished earlier, was at the finish line with a look of astonishment. Once I crossed, he met me saying, “You are amazing!! Do you know what your time is? Under 26:00!!” I was so exhausted but thrilled I couldn’t even talk, I just let him envelope his arms around me.

Once I was able to catch my breath, we went to the racing station to check out where I had placed overall and if I would have a chance to place in my age group. I saw the 14-19 group and then mine, 20-29. I was a little bummed they hadn’t split my group as it had been the largest show and I ended up placing 4th, 8th overall for women, and 28th overall for the race. I was sad for maybe 2 seconds and then I remembered 25:44!!!!

On the car ride home, I told my husband of a funny thing that happened around mile two. After the crowd dissipated at the beginning, I found myself running alongside an older gentleman. We were running at the same pace and stayed together for about a mile when I passed him to adjust for the incline. He was still at earshot behind me (I was running with no music!) when I heard him say to another runner, “Don’t let her beat you.”

Was that “you” he was referring to me?

A few seconds later a tall blonde teen began to surge past me. My instincts reacted and I could feel my legs start to quicken but I immediately said to myself, “Helly, this is your race, your pace. Don’t ruin what you’ve got going on to try and show up someone else.”

I went back to my pace and let the blonde go. It wasn’t worth it.

Overall, I am beyond thrilled with the results of yesterday’s race. Not only did I get a better time than I expected, I feel like I’ve grown as a runner these past few months. My training has taught me so much. I very easily could have attempted to pass that girl but I knew that I would be risking burning myself out at the end. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have cared. Now, I know that the race wasn’t against her.

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–What are some things you’ve learned as a runner?

A Whole Lotta Jitters

It’s 5k Turkey Trot Eve and I’m having trouble getting myself to go to sleep. A lot of things have happened the last few days that have my mind going as fast as I’d like to run tomorrow.

On Tuesday I went to a sports medicine doctor to get my shins looked at. The pain in my left leg has increased so that when I walk up and down my stairs at home I can feel the deep ache with each step. It made me worry enough to set up an appointment.

I got a quick x-ray done and then waited to discuss the results with the doctor. He asked me a few questions then began to discuss the x-ray with me. He said that from what he could see and from what I had told him, it didn’t look like shin splints but more like a stress fracture. He suggested getting an MRI done and no running for 6-8 weeks so I can work with a physical therapist to recover. I did not take this news very well at all.

My first initial thought and question was what would happen if I still ran? He told me that I’d likely end up in a boot or crutches.

I’m finding it hard to believe that it’s that bad. I can still run and really want to keep training. My leg hurts when I start the run but then subsides to a tolerable ache the rest of the way. My husband asked, after I told him of my incredulity, what then was the purpose of the appointment if what I was going to do anyway was continue to run? Sometimes I hate when he’s so rational.

I discussed my feelings with my running buddies and with their knowledge and advice I’ve decided to get the MRI done and a second opinion. I think I’ll have more peace of mind then.

In the meantime, I guess because I don’t know how much time I have left to run, I plan on going along with the Runner’s World Running Streak of running at least 1 mile starting Thanksgiving to New Year’s. I love challenges like this. I love challenges period! Lol!

Tomorrow’s race starts my racing season. After the Turkey Trot, I have 2 races in December—a 15k and a 5k, a ½ marathon in January, a (virtual) ½ in February, and my first full marathon in March. It makes me incredibly sad to think I won’t be able to do any of this. This is what keeps going, keeps me motivated.

I’m hoping tomorrow’s race goes well. I’m hoping the MRI disproves the stress fracture diagnosis. I’m hoping my legs heal soon. I’m hoping I can continue to run.

I’ll fill you in with the Turkey Trot run tomorrow—Happy Thanksgiving!

–Are you running on Thanksgiving?