After suffering through a brutal Arizona summer, fall has finally officially arrived. One way to tell - there are actually races coming up in the area!
First up for me is the Esprit de She 5k. I did the 10K last year, and it was fun - although unusual to be on a weeknight (Thursday). I especially enjoyed a wonderful PR (50:03) and the post-race mimosas!
Next up is the Detroit Marathon! Wow, months of sweat (and I mean gallons of sweat) have gone into the training for this! I'm excited to cross marathon #10 off my list and see how I do in my 40's compared to my 30's.
Then I have some smaller races before the holidays:
Cactus Flower 6k - November 2nd (pictured here last year)
Gilbert 10k - November 22nd
Hot Chocolate 15k - Dec 7
And lastly, kicking off 2015 will be:
Rock n Roll Arizona (1/18)
Lost Dutchman 10k (2/7) pictured below last year with an age group win!
Hilton Head Half Marathon (2/15)
Happy Fall Racing Season! May the PRs be with you!
Few things are as daunting in life as running a marathon. But before you take on the 26 mile challenge on race day, you need to put in the training miles, which for most people includes the dreaded 20 miler. Ugh. In addition to the scary task of running 20 miles, I also had to worry about the heat, since I live in Arizona. With the Detroit Marathon just 5 weeks away, I had no choice but to suck it up!
I picked my route based on routes where I felt comfortable on previous long runs. Some locations are just bad mojo. I asked my friend Anna, who is training for a half marathon that was one week away, if she wanted to join me for any miles, and she was on board for 10. Score! Then, unbelievably, my co-worker Claudia offered out of the blue to run the last 6-8 with me. How sweet is that?
The run was broken down into 3 phases:
1) Crack of dawn 3 miler by myself
2) 10 with Anna
3) last 7 with Claudia.
Here's me at 4:30 AM before I headed out for 3 miles!
After 3 miles by myself in the dark, I drove to the park to meet Anna. I grabbed some bread with peanut butter and tried to get something down on the way there.
Things clicked along pretty well until I realized 4 miles into the run with Anna that my paused my Runkeeper app and forgot to hit resume. #$%!%!! So it only showed 3 with her instead of 4. The rest of the run went smoothly as it started to heat up a little - but thankfully was a little cooler than it has been recently.
Now for the transition into phase 3 - I felt like a triathlete in a transition area. I brought a change of clothes - new shirt, shoes and socks - to make myself feel more human. Claudia unleashed a barrage of snacks - she made me a PB&J sandwich, brought me bags of pretzels, homemade peanut butter energy balls, vitamin water, a banana and regular water. I wish I had taken a picture of the considerable bounty that was before me. She's the biggest caretaker I know. Everyone should have a Claudia in their life.
Here's my post-transition photo, all fresh for Phase 3!
We had full-on sun for Phase 3, close to 90 degrees. We finished strong. My overall average pace was 10 minutes, 7 seconds per mile. I obviously would like to see that come down. Considering the weather, though, I'm happy!
Here is Claudia and myself at the end of the run!
Facing such a big run really requires more from your mind than from your body. Thankfully, both held out for me this time. I have one more 20 miler coming up in 2 weeks, I hope it goes just as smoothly - and maybe just a little bit cooler!
Pumpkin season is finally upon us! It's that time of year where you can't go through your Twitter feed without being inundated by dozens of pictures of pumpkin-flavored treats that have you swooning for fall.
I've been counting the days, weeks and months until fall. Living in Arizona, it can't come soon enough! But I'm seriously addicted to Green Mountain Pumpkin Spice coffee, so I'm thrilled that at least that is in the stores now.
I've also been stalking Trader Joe's to see when all of their pumpkin goodies arrived (think pumpkin pancake mix, pumpkin tea, coffee, oatmeal, yogurt, you name it!). But still nothing! Ugh.
One of the must-try recipes I came across is from @leangreenbeanblog, a registered dietician with amazing recipes. They are mini frozen yogurt pumpkin pie bites. You can find the recipe here. Look at these beauties! The crust is amazing, it was just made with almonds, dates and cheerios!
Since I had some leftover pumpkin from making the froyo bites, I decided to make a smoothie with them. I made a pumpkin pie protein smoothie, and it was delicious! I did the math, and it came out at 28 g protein and 248 calories.
1/2 banana (frozen)
1/4 cup lite coconut milk
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/4 c. water
1 1/2 tbsp canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Delicious Protein - 148 cal and 27g protein per scoop)
dash pumpkin pie spice
Note: if you like it sweeter, you can add honey or maple syrup
Cheers to fall!
What are your favorite fall recipes?
Hi! I'm Helly and I'm visiting The Sunny Side today :)
I met Emily through one of my affiliations, Swirlgear. Then we "met" again in another local running group, #RunEatTweetAZ.
This whole meeting business is what I'm writing about today.
I've been a lifelong runner having run cross country in middle school and high school. I ran freely and not competitively through college and it was after I had my son, my second child in two years!, that I began to get serious with my running life.
My son was born July 2012 and I ran my first post-partum race September 2nd, exactly 6 weeks after giving birth. I ran it slow; I ran it without a specific goal; I ran for me, for fun.
After that race, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. What goals I wanted to set. After some thinking, I decided to sign up for Rock 'n' Roll Arizona 1/2 marathon with the lofty goal a sub 2 hour finish. I knew it would be hard, but I was up for the challenge.
Then, on vacation with my husband, I received an e-mail about Phoenix Marathon. I had never considered a full marathon. Ever. But for some reason, that day it was calling out to me. (I might've still had crazy post-pregnancy hormones lol!) So at the airport, on my phone waiting for the flight back home, I signed up to run 26.2 miles that March--7 months after having my son.
Up to this point, I had been running alone. As soon as I signed up for Phoenix Marathon, I began searching for running groups. I wanted advice and training help from veteran runners.
I found a few online and joined several of their social media pages. There was one in particular that interested me but like many runners joining a club, I was nervous, scared, and intimidated.
It took several weeks before I finally introduced myself. The welcoming was immediate. The leader of the group e-mailed me encouraging me to come out and join them for a run. I finally did two weeks later.
Best decision ever.
Almost a year later, I've done so much and accomplished so much with them. I ran and got my sub 2 hour 1/2 marathon, I completed my first 26.2, I even crossed the Grand Canyon twice!! (R2R2R)
I can say with great certainty that I would not have been able to do all of these things without them. Getting out of my comfort zone and putting myself out there allowed for me to see what I could accomplish.
It was with this newfound confidence that I began my blog. I wanted to share with others my journey, my life as a working mom and juggling running competitively. I became active in social media and it was then that I began to "meet" other local runners and bloggers.
I first met my blogging buddy Jeremy @Confessions of an Amateur Athlete. He was getting a new running group started called RunEatTweetAZ and I jumped at the chance to be a part of it.
This is how I met Emily :) Through this other, new group, I've been able to meet more fun, energetic people who love to run.
I would encourage anyone to join a running group. Having people who love what you love and don't mind you talking about it all day, is so refreshing! It's difficult at first, there's that beginner feeling, that feeling of insecurity, and it might take a few groups to find one that fits, but it's so worth it when the right one comes along.
You can find me at www.hellyontherun.com and
on Pinterest @hellyontherun
on Instagram @hellyontherun
on Twitter @hellyontherun
on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/hellyontherun
As I work through the last 6 weeks of marathon training, I reflect back on my first one. All the pre-race nerves, all the "what did i get myself into?" can make things really confusing. I have managed to survive 9 full marathons and over 30 half marathons, and am currently training for the Detroit Marathon.
I am reminded of some of the advice I got along the way, which I am now passing on to you:
1) Do not attempt to do this without training properly. Those weekend warriors who think they are cool and just sign up and show up are lame.
2) Do not give into the urge to sign up for a pace group on your first one. Don't put any extra pressure on yourself, and you don't want to look like an idiot wearing a 3:30 pace group bib as you're finishing around the 5 hour mark!
3) Do not buy new gear or gels at the expo and use them during the race if you've never tried them before.
4) If anyone asks, "what time are you shooting for"? Lie. Pad it by a lot. You want to look like a superstar that blew all your expectations!
5) If you are doing a destination race, don't spend the whole day before sightseeing by foot. Try to stay off your feet as much as you can.
6) When carb loading the night before, don't bother trying to squeeze in a salad. I was told by my race coach that it is "wasted space". You want to pack in as many carbs as you can that are going to fuel your run.
7) Don't overdo it on sports drinks. If you drink too many before or during the race, you could end up with hypernatremia and it could be potentially fatal.
8) Don't get so caught up in finishing at a certain time/pace that you don't take the time to enjoy your surroundings. This is your first time, soak it all in! The sights, the sounds, the wonder of what your body is able to do.
9) Don't wear your official race shirt for the race. This goes back to rule #3 above about not using anything new on race day. Plus, you'll blend in with all the other newbies. Stand out!
10) Don't schedule a full day of activities the next day, your legs are going to be shredded, so plan on laying low.
Happy Running! Now go get that PR!
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!