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.

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 3.00.31 PM

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!!

12274597_10105671266278811_6130035927878181103_n

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.

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 3.07.34 PM

12295461_10105672612306361_8834336860581811011_n

me and the bro

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

–What are you thankful for these days?

Advertisements

Marathon Training Week 3 and Turkey Trot 5k Recap

Whew! I’m alive!

I realize it’s December now and I’m a little late on this Turkey Trot Recap lol, but….

I went home to Mexico (well the border, but same thing) for Thanksgiving and came back with two sick kids and a sick mommy 😦

We got to my hometown Wednesday night and I had plans to run the local Turkey Trot the next morning. I kinda really wanted to run it since last year it was my first “official” race post pregnancy and I wanted to see if I could beat my time–last year was 25:40– and, most importantly, it’s also a race that raises money to help local cancer patients and their families. My mother-in-law is in her second battle with breast cancer.

I used to run up that 'D' hill during cross country :)

I used to run up that ‘D’ hill during my high school cross country years  🙂

I knew that circumstances would be different than the previous year. I was alone without my husband to help with the kids so sleeping arrangements were me with two toddlers in a small room. Yeah, not a lot of sleep happening. I managed to get in a couple of hours and was up with the sun my son at 5 a.m. (actually, the sun wasn’t even up then!) The race started late, 9 a.m., and I was thankful for this so my body could adjust to the exhaustion I was feeling from traveling the night before and little sleep.

At the race I met up with my fave high school buddy, Camilla, and we chatted as the smaller kid races passed. Her son ran his first 40 yard dash and it was the cutest thing! I wanted my daughter to participate but didn’t enter her because I wanted daddy to be there too–next year 🙂

Then it was my turn! I scooted myself at the front and chatted with a girl I knew would place in my age group–she always does. The horn sounded and I saw her speed off. I tried very hard to maintain even splits but that first mile always goes by so fast and my watched beeped away a 7:40 something mile.

Mile two was an uphill incline and it always gets me. I managed to stick to a mid 8 minute mile and tried so hard to get a better 3 mile. I barely got it under an 8:30 and finished the race with a 25:11 (8:12/mile). Just about 30 seconds better than last year’s race! Not a PR but that wasn’t what I wanted; I wanted to beat the previous year’s time and I did it 😀

Camilla was cheering me on at the finish line and snagged this pic of me gunning it at the end

It doesn't look like I'm going fast but it sure felt like it lol!

It doesn’t look like I’m going fast but it sure felt like it lol!

I went to look at the race results and saw I had finished 4th in the 20-29 age group—juuust missed it! Next year I’ll be 30 and the odds will ever be in my favor as there were only about a handful this year and I counted about 4 that finished slower than me. So I have that to look forward to–at least for my hometown race lol!

The rest of the day was spent with family and the next day, Friday morning, is when the unhealthy bug bit us. My son woke up vomiting and was miserable the entire day. I decided to call the trip short and leave Saturday back home and when we got there, it was my daughter’s turn. She was even worse and lasted the next two days super sick 😦 On Monday, I went to work the most sleep deprived I’d ever been probably since my kids were newborn. I made it through 1st period before I had to call in for a sub. I felt so sick and I knew that it was now my turn to suffer.

It was the longest time of no running since I could remember (not counting post-marathon rest) but I felt like it did me a lot of good to rest my body and let myself fully recover.

Prior to the Turkey Trot I had run on Tuesday a good solid 5 miles at an 8:58 pace which brought me to weekly total mileage of: 8.1

Yep, lol!

–How was your running week(end)? Did you Turkey Trot?

–Ever ran sleep deprived?

 

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.

Snapshot 2013-11-29 18-05-57

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.

5kturkeytrot

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