St. George Marathon 2016 RECAP!!!

The St. George Marathon continues to be my favorite race ever.  It took me about 10 months to try out a marathon again after the last one, Tucson, and I’m happy to say I’m back!  Saturday reminded me that I am still a strong runner (even though I had forgotten this big time in terms of the marathon) and it reminded me of why I love races so much.  It just took me 8 other tries at the marathon to get a little bit smarter about my pacing and fueling strategy and while yes, there will still be plenty of crazy hard and not so great marathons in the future, I think Saturday taught me a lot.

This year my absolute favorite part of the whole thing had to be seeing these three along the way.  They gave me just the boost I needed before Veyo (the largest hill of the entire race), emotional energy for the last 5k and excitement to finish off the last .2 miles.  They were also at mile 16 but I just barely missed them—>  Andrew was running up a huge hill with Knox on his shoulders and Brooke in the stroller and I ran past right as they got to the top but I felt their cheering.

I teared up every time I saw them and felt an overwhelming amount of love from them.  Last year I had a lot of GI issues right before this marathon so my doctor told me to sit it out… my dating life was at an all time low and I remember just sitting on my couch the morning of the marathon and crying like crazy. On Saturday I felt so much gratitude for what this year has brought me and how much different this first Saturday in October was compared to that first Saturday in October of 2015.  Don’t know how the heck this all happened but I say about 500 prayers of thanks a day because of it.

Healthy heart, healthy body, healthy brain and healthy gut for the first marathon in the history of me.

Let’s start at the beginning (FYI this is going to be A LONG post).  Friday night I got into bed at 9 pm and was scrolling through Instagram while completely nervous before falling asleep and I came across this from Lauren Fleshman.  It was exactly what I needed to read to help me fall right asleep instead of staying up and worrying.  I wanted to live in better conditions than freaking out over a race.  It worked.

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My alarm went off right at 3:55 a.m.  I woke up feeling really awake.  Even though it was so early, I still got around 6.5 hours of sleep plus on Thursday night we got a ton of sleep too.  Andrew stayed up watching the BYU football game so I don’t think he felt the same as me;)  But he was up right away already starting his pep talks.  I got dressed real quick, grabbed my stuff and we were off to the buses by 4:25 a.m.  I ate my first plain bagel in the car and drank a full bottle of water.

Andrew makes the best coach.  As we were driving he had nothing but positive things to say and how proud of me he was.  Then he told me to REALLY REALLY try to hold back.  He knows (like we all do ha:) that I FLY and DIE in most of my marathons.  We were talking about paces and I said I really wanted to run 7:15-7:20s and just hold on for as long as I could (aka fly and die for my current fitness level).  He told me he would LOVE to see me hold back until mile 16 and then go for it.  Usually when someone tells me to do that I just shake my head and nod and tell myself to continue to do what I always do.  When Andrew said it… it sunk in and I felt so good about this plan.  I determined to run about a 1:40 for the first half and then let it go.  For where I was with my training that sounded like an easyish effort and then I could let myself see what I could do.

We said our goodbyes and he went back to where we were staying and texted me the entire time until the gun went off.

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When we got to the bus line-up it was raining really hard!!! I was happy about that because I think it cooled things down outside a bit.  I found Josse and her mom and one of our friends and we jumped on the bus.  One of the many reasons why I love the St. George Marathon… it is so incredibly organized.  Every part of it.  They make it so easy for the runners to just do what we love to do—>  run.  They do everything else for us so we don’t have to stress.

Thanks Josse for the picture.

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The bus ride took about 40 minutes (I think) and before we knew it, we were there at the start, waiting.  We just sat and talked and saw a few friends.  St. George sets up a bunch of fires to keep everyone warm, they have plenty of water, gatorade and a million porta potties.  I think the longest we waited in line for one was about 6 minutes.

We laughed about some of our favorite moments from training and neither of us felt very nervous, it was marvelous.  There have been many starting lines where I was too nervous to even talk… I think I am done with those because that is not fun for me.  I drank more water and then ate a Honey Stinger waffle about 30 minutes before we lined up in our corrals.

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KATIE rocked her marathon.  I was so beyond happy to see her at the beginning! Way to go girl!!!

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The National Anthem was absolutely beautiful and I was so ready for that gun to go off to get started on this course.  The race started at 6:53 and we were all off!

PS there was a lady at the race that had done this marathon EVERY SINGLE YEAR that it has been around—> that is 40 times!!!

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I set off with the girls and our first four miles were 7:37, 7:38, 7:21 and 7:21.  I didn’t talk to anyone (Josse and I talked about this before the race so she knew I was going to be quiet:) because I really wanted to conserve energy.  I wanted those miles to be about focusing on my form, my breathing, my rhythm and doing the opposite of what I normally do on race day.  At about mile 4 I fell behind Josse and one of my friends because I knew I needed to slow down a bit because I started to feel like I was going too fast for my goal of holding back.

The next few miles were a 7:33, 7:14, 7:17 (major downhill for those two miles) and then I saw my crew.  Andrew was standing there holding both kids and they had a sign for me.  It was the huge boost I needed before going into mile 8 and part of mile 9—>  About 290 ft of UP, aka Veyo (Mile 8 was 8:32 and mile 9 was 7:48).  It is kind of a scary hill when you look at it (okay really scary) so I don’t look at it.  I don’t even care about my pace on this hill, I just care about getting up the dang thing alive without wasting all of my energy.  I count steps during this part for awhile because it distracts me from thinking about how you have 18ish miles to run after this killer hill—> not good for my mental game so I think about anything other than that.

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Oh and these three were an amazing distraction.  I slapped their hands while I went by and Andrew and I said a few words and then I was off.  They drove about 45 minutes to get to this spot for the few seconds I would see them but those few seconds sure meant the world to me.

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I didn’t get out my phone for a while but I’ll tell you what happened from there.  The next few miles were an 8:03, 8:20 (76 ft of climbing but my heart rate felt high so I pulled back a bit), 7:48 and 7:27.  I didn’t listen to music for the first half of the race.  I actually didn’t want to listen to anything that entire time because I knew a fast beat wouldn’t help my game plan for the day and the scenery of this course is incredible.  I just wanted to soak it all in, including the bright pink clouds from the sunrise.

Once the sun came up, we had a few miles with the sun behind the clouds, some areas that were shaded from the mountains and then a lot of time with the sun right on us (and I kept telling it to go back behind the clouds again).  A few of you recommended wearing a visor so I bought one on Friday night at the expo (it is a St. G Marathon one) and absolutely loved it.  I am now a running visor addict and will slowly be building up my collection.  It kept the sun from my eyes and face while letting the heat from my head escape.  Perfect.

I got to the first half at 1:40:41  miles and felt proud that I truly felt like I had practiced patience in the marathon.  It was amazing.  Usually I wonder at this point how I am going to hold my pace for ANOTHER 13.1 miles but Saturday I still felt fresh and like it was time to really pick it up a little bit.  I was still a little cautious and told myself to get to work now but to REALLY let go at the 20 mile mark.  Maybe I held back a little bit too much but I would rather have had that than bonking from going hard too early.

Josse.  My dearest Josse.  Before the marathon we made the pact to run together if we could but if one person was having an amazing day then to let them go for it.  She was ahead of me for a little while so I assumed she was going to crush it but at the top of one of the hills (I think around mile 11) I caught up to her and ran beside her for a few minutes and then we separated again.  She had been really sick the last few weeks and her body just wasn’t in for the marathon on Saturday.  She has done 33 marathons now (along with a 3:01 on the St. George course) but it just wasn’t her day.  I kept looking back to see her (she did finish even though she felt so awful!!!) but I lost her.  She is a strong woman and we have a whole lot of races together in the future.  At the finish line we talked about how amazing our training was together over the last few months and sometimes the Marathon Gods are just angry and things go awful.  I’m so lucky to have her.

This is my favorite part of the entire course.  It is about mile 15-16 I think and it is stunning. There were people paragliding, drones and  and even a helicopter going over us towards the beginning.  Andrew made it to this point but I just missed him although he saw me so he packed the kids up to make it to his next spot.  Splits 14-19 were 7:32, 7:14, 7:11, 7:18, 7:26, 7:42)

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I managed one really awesome selfie while I was out on the roads.  I’m sure you are happy about this.

Let’s talk fuel.  I think I consumed about 600 calories before the race (more than usual but also I took them earlier than normal to avoid stomach cramping) and I have fallen in love with huma gel (100% all-natural ingredients and 100 calories per packet) and my electrolyte drink.  I decided to avoid gatorade (I think it drives my stomach nuts while running) and carry a small water bottle of my clean energy drink with me.

It was so nice to have little sips along the way throughout the whole race and plenty of water.

I took 3 gels along the way (I think mile 8, 12 and 20… I was a little off from what I normally do) and like I said yesterday, huma gels are SO much easier on my stomach and they taste a whole lot better than gu too.  I looked forward to eating them rather than my normal FORCE FEEDING during a race because the fuel is so hard to ingest, the weird texture and the flavor is too sweet.  Two of my gels had caffeine in them too.

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I drank one cup of water and then poured another cup of water on myself and then sipped on this drink for the entire marathon.  I’m in love with it.  It worked perfectly for me.  I found Vega a few months ago and it has been a really good thing for my running.  The electrolytes helped with all of my summer running and I loved the energy this one provided.

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Mile 20 was where I decided it was go time.  20-26.2—>  7:06, 6:58, 7:20, 7:02, 6:58, 6:58, 7:09 and 1:11 for the last .2.  For the last 8ish miles of the race I was never passed but felt really strong and kept going.  I was waiting to hit a wall or feel that low low low that I normally feel but it didn’t really happen until about the last .5 miles that I started feeling pretty tired.  I saw Andrew and the kids at mile 23 and said our hellos and I was excited to see them again in just another 5k.  I blasted my music back on and got to work.

Really, the hardest miles throughout the course are in the first half and then a nice hill in mile 19 (that one burned nicely) and then the last 2.5 ish miles that are flat and hot in the city.  By the time you get in the city it is hot (it was about 76 degrees while I was there) but the course support is fabulous.  They have bags of ice they hand you (I stuff them in my sports bra and it feels so nice), cold towels, lots of water, people spraying you with water, otter pops (I had a grape one:) and the whole town is out watching and cheering us on.  The last 2ish miles are hard but all of the energy from everyone out makes it also the most fun part.

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The cheering crew got to mile 26 a little bit before I got there and waited!

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I was so happy to see them and they could cheer crazy loud.

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And just a few more pics from the last little bit.

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The beautiful finish line.  This finish line made me excited about marathoning again.  After a few pretty hard marathons of either being in a med tent or being so ridiculously cold and not really being able to walk afterwards (Boston… I’m looking at you;), it felt pretty amazing to finish a marathon strong.  It brought back my love for the marathon which had been gone for awhile.

I finished in 3:15:14.  I followed Andrew’s advice and finished strong and happy rather than my normal shoot out fast and hold on to dear life and feel like heck those last 7ish miles.  It really worked out well for me to run like that and now the goal is to run smart (for me… we all have different strategies that works best for our own bodies) but for those paces to get faster… aka my hold back pace will feel the same but be faster and same for the push-it phase.

What all the splits look liked together:

Splits:  7:37, 7:38, 7:21, 7:21, 7:33, 7:14, 7:17, 8:32, 7:48, 8:03, 8:20, 7:48, 7::27, 7:32, 7:14, 7:11, 7:18, 7:26, 7:42, 7:06, 6:58, 7:20, 7:02, 6:58, 6:58, 7:09, for the last .2 it took me 1:11.  3:15:14—> average pace of 7:27

First half—> 1:40:41

Second half—> 1:34:33

The last 10k of the race was my fastest portion which I was really happy about.

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It’s always fun to see what your heart rate is throughout a race… those last few miles were high!

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It was crazy easy to find the family after the race and grab a bunch of drinks before we just sat down in the grass talking (after a huge hug from Andrew… I don’t know how he didn’t mind hugging me after a full marathon ha:)

Love this medal.

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A nice smoothie cheers.

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This sweet friend of mine brought me a donut (she is quite the marathoner herself!!!).  We used to live by each other so I was very excited to see her again!  PS Knox met her and five seconds later they were best friends… I’m telling ya, he is the friendliest!

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I was so happy to see Beth again (we first met at the Tucson marathon last year)!!! It was her husband’s first marathon and she is off to do the Chicago Marathon this weekend! GOOD LUCK BETH and all of you running the Chicago Marathon!

PS having Brooke on my shoulders was not my idea… I will do whatever it takes to keep those kiddos happy though when they woke up at 6 something in the morning to come cheer me on—>  including hanging out on my shoulders!

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And to leave you finally with a bunch of random things about this marathon and marathons in general!

*The less I look at my pace and the more I listen to my body during a marathon the happier I am.  I love to have a general idea of where I am at and to help myself slow down in the beginning.  Really tuning in with my body (not listening to music for the first half really helped me to do that), being okay with people passing me and practicing patience are my new go to for this distance.

*There are 17 aid stations along this course.  The volunteers at each are so nice and usually on both sides of the street.  They have water and gatorade, some have gels/bananas and a lot of them had volunteers with Vaseline and IcyHot for the runners.  The amazing spectators at the race always have stuff for the runners too… I had an otter pop and a lifesaver mint (it sounded so good at mile 24 ha).

*I’m sore but not bad at all… I want to run again already but have to remember that even if I’m not sore—>  the marathon causes a lot of wear and tear on our muscles all the way down to our cells.  Recovery is a must and I’ve really got to take a few days off and when I do start to run again, keep it extra smart.  I hate injuries and don’t want to set myself up for one by jumping back in too fast.

*This course.  I really can’t recommend it enough.  I know I haven’t done a million marathons all over the place so I guess my opinion doesn’t matter too much but really… it is my favorite.  It is stunning and the town makes a huge deal over it.  The whole thing just makes me happy and maybe it is because it is in the city that Andrew and I are both from;)  PS I told you that we went to the same elementary one year right… I bet we saw each other:)

*If you aren’t going up in this marathon, you are going down for sure (except the last little bit is flat).  Make uphills and downhills your very best friend during training.

*My average cadence was 166 steps per minute.  Something I continually need to work on.

*Being positive all week leading up to the race really did make a difference.  I was nervous the night before the race but other than that I had decided earlier that it wasn’t really fair to my family to be a mess for weeks leading up to the race just because I was nervous.  It wasn’t going to help my running or make life any better (for anyone involved) so I got over it.  Less pressure on myself = heaven.

*I used to think I was only a good angry runner so I asked Andrew to be a jerk for the first time in his life the night before the race but he didn’t know how.  Turns out I like being a happy runner more than an angry runner!

*Don’t lean back on those downhills… that will kill your legs by the end.  Try to stay perpendicular to the downhill!

*It’s sad but I think I’m already thinking about this marathon next year.  Let’s all meet-up there mmkay?

*I LOVE that you don’t really make any turns on this course. You are on one road the entire time until the final 2ish miles and even then you just make a few turns.  No thinking involved for me:)  Just run.  One foot in front of the other.

*Don’t be afraid to dump water all over yourself in a race if it is hot.  It felt so good and I noticed a little pep in my step after doing this!

*One of the things I love about this blog more than anything else are the amazing tips and help that you guys give to me.   I owe you guys big time because I learn so much from you and love hearing what you use/do in running and life:)  Everything from fuel to visors to music… you guys always help me so much.

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Who is running the Chicago Marathon this weekend?  Tell me your goals and what you are excited for!

What is your favorite thing to eat right after a race?

Last race that you ran?  What would you rate it on a scale from 1 (not great) to 10 (amazing)?

Who has done the St. George course?  What were your thoughts?

What was the HIGHlight of your weekend?

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119 comments

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You are a strong runner and I knew you’d love a visor you’ll never go back!

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Amazing job on your race! You executed perfectly and ran YOUR race! Sometimes that is the hardest part!

We are heading to Chicago, but I’m not running – my husband is! I’m 31 weeks pregnant and definitely not in marathon shape right now but the goal is to run the Boston Marathon at 3-4 months postpartum so we will see what happens! I can’t wait to cheer my hubby on though! He’s had such a strong training season and I’m so excited to see him KILL it!

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You’re awesome!!! I loved every second of this recap–you’re making me want to go run a marathon RIGHT NOW! ;-) And now I’m super pumped for my next one in May!!! (Definitely going to try those gels, the Gu’s make me super sick too). And Andrew is amazing for cheering you on all throughout the course.
I might have to run St. George sometime…that course looks incredible and I loveeee some hills. :)

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Congrats Janae!! You look like such a bada$$ running towards the finish line! I’m so happy for you. Even though this wasn’t your fastest marathon it sounds like it was definitely your happiest marathon. Also, I’m glad you joined the visor club. I loooove my visor for the reasons you mentioned. I even wear it when I’m running in the dark/in the rain to keep sweat or rain drops out of my eyes. Basically if I’m wearing running shoes I’m wearing my visor too!

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LOVE your positivity, and congrats on a great race! I loved reading this recap–so inspiring and heartwarming.

Highlight from this weekend: My sister got married Friday! It was such a beautiful and fun day, and she is beyond happy. :)

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What a race! You ran so smart. It’s SO VERY hard to negative split a marathon and you did it like a champ. I think maybe not putting as much pressure on this race (as compared to other marathons in the past) helped you to be able to do that, and now you know that it WORKS! I loved reading this recap. Your happiness is jumping off of the screen :) Congratulations!

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What an AMAZING race Janae! It’s so great to see a happy race recap from you, especially with that huge negative split. Way to go!! And now you’ve convinced me to do this race :)

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You are so incredible. I was looking forward to your recap all weekend and loved seeing all of your pictures. Although, I’m a new reader, I can tell how far you’ve come in the past year and that must feel AMAZING. Keep it up lady, you deserve it SO MUCH.

xoxo, Jess

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Ahh! I am so happy for you! Finishing quick is always nice (which you did) but finishing happy, healthy, and returning to a home you love is the most important thing and I’m just so happy you get to do that now :)
I have been filling the man in on all your training and I NEED to send him this blog because he has a marathon coming up and he would do well to be conservative at first (he is going for a place, not a time this year but I have no doubt in my mind he wants to break 2:35).
The last race I ran was Sly Fox Half Marathon and I was on pace for a 1:18 (the course was a mile short though, boo) and it felt miserable–> I WISH I had the attitude you did in this past race during that race (aka my self worth is not determined by the outcome). This blog has always helped me remember what is important in running and that is golden. You even inspired me to start blogging again!
Stay golden :)

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Way to go girl!! So happy to hear you enjoyed it!

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Ah….when the stars align life and running is good. Glad you had a great race…and awesome support!

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Congrats on an amazing race! Negative splits take so much grit. Awesome job!

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Oh, and this: “Andrew was running up a huge hill with Knox on his shoulders and Brooke in the stroller”–Good job, Andrew! I’m super impressed with this.

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congrats again on a terrific race! such a great recap :)

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Yay! Good job! I started to tear up a bit when I saw the pic of you coming in for the finish. I remember feeling for you last year when things really weren’t going well and I’m glad that you’ve been blessed in this last year so that you’re at where you are now. Now rest for at leasthe a few days!!! ;)

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Way to crush that race! it did not look easy at alllll. get it girl haha! and major kudos to andrew too!

I love fluffy pancakes after a race with all the butter and syrup the pancakes can hold haha. the higher the stack, the better muhaha.

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Great race! Negative splits are so rewarding.
I went apple picking yesterday and had a blast.
I have a half marathon next weekend but my training hasn’t gone well so I just want to finish.

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The sign Brooke and Knox had with little drawings they did on it for you…OMG….so cute!!!! I might maybe may have teared up a little just seeing that :*)

Awesome race, lady!!!

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Congratulations on such a great race! I loved your recap and am going to put the positive energy into my race prep! I’m running in the Columbus 1/2 marathon. The race benefits the patients at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital. All along the course, patients are out giving runners ‘high-fives’ and it is so exciting to see each one of them. Highly recommend this race. It is well organized and the amount of supporters along the 13.1 miles is incredible! Enjoy this time to recover and relax.

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Congrats!!! So glad you had such a fabulous race day!

I’m running Chicago this Sunday and am so excited/nervous. It’ll be my 2nd time running Chicago and my 8th marathon overall but for some reason the nerves are getting to met his year. I’ve never set a goal time before and now that I have … I’m scared I’m gonna fail. Gonna try to stay positive this week though!

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So proud of you girl! Celebrate this amazing race and keep that lesson of holding back in your pocket. It applies to everything in life!

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Huge congrats on your race!! You completely rocked it!! I will be doing my 1st full in nov and this post helped so much!! I truly love reading your blog! You are such an inspiration! Please keep up the awesomeness!!

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I’m running Chicago this weekend and hoping to qualify for Boston 2018!!

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First of all, this looks like such a gorgeous race. I am so impressed with how you ran this race. Your negative splits and finish time are impressive and I bet you felt great about your finish. My best marathons have been the ones where I negative splitted and was super smart about pacing. Congrats on a fabulous race! And loved your great cheering squad :)

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One word — AMAZING!

You rock, girl! Such an inspiration!

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What an awesome race report!! You nailed it. I love love love st George marathon. It’s my all time fave. I ran it too and although I was a tad slower than I wanted, I still loved every step. I’ve done it 17 years now-my sis has run it 21 and my sweet dad (who died 3 years ago) ran every one except 2 (33 total!). You look so happy in your pics. Congrats on a great race and a great year!

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I’m just casually sitting here at work crying over that picture of Brooke and Knox with their sign for you. SO MANY HAPPY FEELS FOR YOU, congratulations <3

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AMAZING JOB! It looks like you ran a smart and fun race. I will be running the Chicago Marathon next weekend! My goal is to hydrate and get enough sleep this week, follow my fuel plan during the race, and take it easy at the beginning (like you did) so I can avoid the crash and burn situation! I want to run smart and have a good time!

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Congratulations, Janae! Way to run a negative split!! Thank you for sharing all your running tips and positivity with all of us! I love your celebration of life and running!

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Great job with the negative splits! That is hard to do but makes so much of a difference with how I feel at the finish line. Congrats!!

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I am running Chicago. It’s going to be my first marathon. I am absolutely terrified!

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Your blog inspired me. Previously, I’ve settled on a time that I want to run (usually a stretch goal); I’ve gone out at that stretch-goal pace, I’ve generally felt taxed by about mile 13; and I’ve fallen short. Rinse and repeat. This year I want to pick a more realistic goal, negative split my race, and finish with a smile on my face. The fact that your experience went so well is a beacon to me.

Thanks for sharing.

Richard C

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After a race I’m not really craving anything – sometimes I don’t even want to eat. But I could always go for a nice, cold beer!

My last race, the Falmouth Road race, was a 8. I would give it a 10 but the beginning of the race was so crowded – it took me 30 minutes to cross the start and almost two miles to weaving in and out of people to find my sweet spot and ideal pace. The route and spectators were amazing though! Definitely happy I checked it off my bucket list!

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I love St. George too. Did it this past weekend but was on one of the last late busses and so started 20 min late. That made for some hot temps for the last couple of miles. Not my best race but still a beautiful course. So GLAD you had such a great experience, esp with Andrew and the kids! My support was similar…only older. :)

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It sounds like you had a great race. All that time preparing clearly paid off!

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I ran st george as well. I live down here so I run it every year and it’s my all time favorite marathon for a reason. I just love love the fast 2nd half. I had a goal to run 3:30 which for my training this year and a chronic injury that won’t go away, was going to take a great race. My goal was to hit the half way point 1-2 minutes slower. I know I always negative split this race. I especially took it easy on miles 8-12. I just wanted to keep my heart rate down and my hamstring happy. And then I decided to slowly pick up the pace and go under my pace band if I could. I ended up negative splitting over 6 minutes as well and my last 4 were also my 4 fastest miles. Ans I felt great (definitely tired the last mile) all the way to the finish. I ended up in 3:24 which is my second fastest marathon which is amazing to me because my longest run was only 18 and my hamstring has been pretty bad this whole year. The key was hold back for the first half, I kept my tummy happy with sport beans and coke, I started the race not hungry, and j did t place a whole lot of pressure on myself. I’m already excited for next year and I’m giving mt charleston a try because I hear it’s faster. I’m
Not sure I beleive that though because I just think st george is perfectly suited for me.

Good job and thanks for the recap.

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ELIZABETH!!! OH MY GOODNESS!!! You rocked it on Saturday! HUGE huge huge congrats. I am so happy for you and that your hamstring behaved. You rocked those negative splits and came in well below your goal. So happy that you had such an amazing day and thanks for your comment! Way to go and enjoy your recovery!!! Keep in touch:)

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Great write-up! Thanks so much for the detail and time you put in to make us feel like we were there. I have fallen a bit out of running (just every run had been feeling AWFUL – super low energy, pains, blah) . Reading this has me stoked to start up again :) Congratulations! You did an incredible job. What a wonderful cheering squad.

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Congrats, Janae! It’s wonderful to hear that your race went so well, and your negative splits were amazing! I am also running Chicago next weekend, and my biggest concern is making sure I don’t get caught up in the spectacle and start to fast. I am aiming to qualify for Boston, so I know I need to really pace myself in the early miles without overdoing it. Reading your recap has given me a good boost leading up to the race!

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CONGRATULATIONS!!! What a fantastic race!
After reading this recap, I would love to run St. George! It looks beautiful and sounds like such a fun/great race :)
The last race I did was the LA Marathon on Valentine’s day. It was awesome, and I loved it! I’ve already signed up to do it again in March!
My favorite thing to have right after finishing, are orange slices and a sparkling water! Just simple, refreshing, not complicated ;) Then, a few hours later, In n’ Out!!
Enjoy some recovery time and time with your cute family!!!
Well done Janae !

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Janae, I am so SO happy for you! This post made me very teary eyed (IN A GOOD WAY). You deserve all the best and I’m so glad your heart is so happy. Congrats on another amazing marathon! You’re my running idol.

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Thats awesome!!!! You raced so smart Janae!!!! GREAT JOB!!!! I’ll be running the halloween half in salt lake this month!

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Or Provo….not sure which one all of my siblings are doing. But I know it’s one of the Halloween Halfs!

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AHHHH we might be doing the salt lake one!!!! I would love to see you there:)

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It’s the SLC one( weekend of the 22)!! My Dad visits every couple years from over seas and when he does he always wants to run a half with everyone. He hasn’t seen his grand babies before so this is going to be so fun!!!!! I am so hoping we see you there!!!!!

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AHHHH THIS IS SO EXCITING!!! I hope I see you!! That would be so great. Enjoy!

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Congrats on the great finish!! Love the smile on your face through the whole race! So glad you had an awesome race and finished happy! Those are the moments that make running worth it!!

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Congratulations on your race, Janae! Quite an impressive negative split. This is a great inspirational post for those of us running Chicago Sunday, so thank you!

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AMAZING!!! AMAZING!!! AMAZING!!!!

Congratulations on such a fabulous race, Janae!! You are so inspiring!

My next half (half #8) is the weekend after next. I’m going for a PB. Definitely going to pick up some huma today. Might even look for the vega, too. I’ve had a horrible time with gels ever since the Fargo half in May. It was so hot that day, my stomach just rebelled and I can’t seem to get past that. Tried to use a gel yesterday on my last long run and it did not go over well. LOL! I see our local MEC carries huma so I’ve off to pick up some for me and a friend at lunch!!

Enjoy your recovery!!! You earned it!

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Way to go, Janae!! I am so happy for you! You crushed it! I love your little support system. That makes it so much better. Someday I will do a marathon. SOME DAY. But, for now I will stick with my 10k’s. Hopefully a half marathon soon! I ran a 10k on Saturday in 1:02:13. So happy!!!!! PR for me…in a tu-tu! Ha! Have a great week!

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Absolutely wonderful!!! You are an amazing runner, person, and Mom. You can do hard things!!! Congratulations!!!!

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You crushed it! Congratulations! :)

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Girl, I hope you never run angry again. From just that comment I can see how much your life has changed and I’m smiling at how happy you are now. :D

I don’t know if I’m more impressed with your awesome race (negative split!!!) or Andrew’s ability to wrangle two 4 year olds to cheer you on all over the course. You two make a good team.

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Congratulations Janae! Such a strong, fast race. And great recap!

You’ve convinced me, I have to sign up for St George next year :)

My last race was Cascade Lakes Relay. Really beautiful course, and well organized. It helps that I have the best team ever. I give it a solid 9 if you like relays :)

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You are such an inspiration Janae!!! I loved reading your race recap and you seem the happiest you’ve been in years which is a great thing to see. I’m sure with more races like this you will have that sub 3 marathon in no time. Thank you for your amazing example!!!

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First of all, a huge congrats to you on your marathon! Not only was your speed amazing, your attitude was even better!

My favorite thing to eat after a race is actually a drink: chocolate milk!

The last race that I ran was in OC, California and it felt pretty awesome minus a few stomach problems I had at the very beginning. I’m still working on what works/doesn’t work for my stomach.

The highlight of my weekend was 18 miles with no foot pain! And doing absolutely nothing besides hang out with my kiddos on Sunday!

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I am a visor girl all the way! My friends make fun of me cause I have the same one I wear for all my races and refuse to wear any new ones lol (I wash it a lot).
This post was so awesome! I am going to order the vega electrolyte drink and those gels you got! Sounds like Andrew got a workout with those kiddos! My husband gets tired with just meeting at the finish line with our three I can’t imagine all those stops on the course! Huge congrats and thanks for the tips with downhill etc…off to run an 8 miler

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Congrats Janae! Awesome having the support on the course. :)

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Janae! I don’t know if you remember me at all from our PACK days but I read your blog on occasion because you were always the nicest and I’ve been rooting for you this whole time (oh ya, and we’re both friends with Allison, so between that and your blog its like we’re basically best friends, in a totally normal and not one-sided way 😉)

But anyway, speaking of rooting for you, my family was in St George to surprise my dad (his 14th st g marathon) and as we were hiking up the road at Snow Canyon (which was way steeper and way longer than any of us expected) I saw this guy coming down with a little boy on his shoulders and one hand pushing another little girl in a stroller and thought – “WHOA, how did he even make it up the hill?!” Then as we got closer I recognized Andrew and your two kiddos and I started to tear up. Then to read he also was at Veyo and towards the end and at the finish line?? That’s an amazing fan club you’ve got and I’m so happy for you.

On another note, that was my first time as a spectator at the marathon and holy cow, you people are amazing and the love there is almost tangible. As runners were giving us high fives they were thanking US for being there. Like, we barely even did anything in comparison! The whole experience was very neat, and made me-for the first time ever in my life!- think that maybe, POSSIBLY, I might try to do one someday.

Anyway, congrats and so happy for a happy marathon for you!

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OF COURSE I REMEMBER YOU!!!!! Oh those good ol’ PACK days hahaha! I am pretty sure I made a poster every day of my life back then ha! YOU know Allison?? That makes me so happy… we should all meet up for lunch?! I’m free whenever.

Okay, what you said about seeing Andrew (PS HUGE CONGRATS to your dad on his 14th SGM)… made my morning. He was seriously hustling around all morning and I really think he worked harder than I did that day!! Thanks for telling me about that:) Okay, you need to try one someday! We could run together! Thank you so much Tiffany and thanks for rooting for me along the way. I hope you are doing amazing and would love to see you soon!

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I loved reading this reply Tiffany, thanks :)
Congrats Janae and re: your negative splits, I have never been able to do that in a marathon, you rock!

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Congrats girl! You are awesome!!! Highlight of my weekend was some time on the lake with my favorite peeps!!

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Congrats on such a great race, Janae. I love that as runners we learn from each race and training cycle and it seems like so many amazing lessons came together for you this time! Kudos to Andrew for amazing race support.

And Josse, so sorry you didn’t feel well. That’s so tough, but you should be really proud of this training cycle. Sick happens.

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Congratulations!!! Loved reading this post, how you kept to your plan, and how AMAZING your cheer team is! You have inspired me to train really well for my half in January.

My last race was a half yesterday and I would give it a 3. It was brutally hot and humid – 80 degrees with 90% humidity at 6am – and then it poured rain. My slowest half ever. Still, I knew I wouldn’t PR because of the weather (even though I of course secretly wanted to) so I just tried to enjoy the beautiful course along the bay in Miami.

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Man are you awesome! Congratulations!

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Congratulations on such an awesome race!! This recap was perfect, so inspiring,

I ran ST. GEORGE!! This was my 6th marathon and it was awesome!! The water stations were amazing!! The spectators were fantastic, really got me through those last few miles. I LOVED this race. I can’t say enough good things about it. The views were incredible and I took the exact same picture at mile 16, you come around that little bend and you get that great view. I definitely want to do this one again.

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So crazy that you are able to take pictures while running that pace. Love it!! Good job on the race. I ran my last half marathon with negative splits and it was the best feeling ever! Maybe my new goal should just be to negative split all races and not burn myself out by stressing a PR every time. It really is so great. Congrats on your race!

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Janae, you rockstar. Congrats on a perfect negative split. :)

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Janae! I was so fun to see you at the start! You had an amazing race and I’m just thrilled for you! Way to negative split that course like a boss. That picture makes me crack up now because that is such a nervous smile on my face. St. George is my favorite race too! For me the course is so challenging because it requires you to be strategic. But if you’re smart the first half, you can really fly! Well done! The pictures of your sweet little kiddos made me tear up, there’s nothing like greeting your family at the end of a hard race. Happy running sweet girl!
-Katie

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Congrats on finishing strong and healthy!!!! I typically will have an adaptogenic recovery drink and chocolate peanut butter protein drink after a race. The adaptogenic drink aids in muscle recovery and soreness.
Ran 6 miles with a fee girlfriends this weekend. We are all running a Half together in November.
We finally adopted a rescue basset hound dog and our family is head over heals in love with her. She is just shy of a year and has a lot of puppy in her.

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Great Job! Love that you got a negative split!
My highlight for the weekend was having my nephew(5) and niece(6) over for a campout! They talked all week about hanging out with their big cousins(13, 15, 17)! Loved it!

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Congrats on a strong marathon, Janae! Sounds like you listened to your body, which is key for me too. I’m running CIM in two months (yikes!) and I’m trying to do the same thing. Enjoy your recovery!!

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Great job!! One of my friends from grad school ran St. George again this year and she said she finally broke 3:30 and I was like “you were probably close to Janae!” LOL

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I’m doing the Chicago this weekend and reading this post made me cry! I’m insanely excited and nervous all at the same time. It is my first, I’ve never even done a half….

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Massive congratulations on an incredible marathon! Not only was your time amazing, but you ran a smart race-and that isn’t easy to do! I am running Chicago this weekend. I had a big PR (for me-I broke 4 hours) in June at the RNR San Diego, and then promptly got injured during at 10K in July. My goal for this race is to run smart, not further injure myself, and try to come in by 4:10. We’ll see how it shakes out!

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How can you even say Andrew worked harder than you did that morning? Why do you always minimize yourself and your accomplishments in the presence of men? Also the whole freaking world knows that you should never go balls out for the first half a marathon, or any race for that matter. That is just common sense. Why is it all of a sudden a eureka moment for you when Andrew tells you?

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+1 I’m glad that you’re so happy, but give some credit to yourself and to Josse for training you! Wrangling kids is a drop in the bucket compared to all the work you put in.

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Awe, thanks for the shoutout Janae!! We love the St George Marathon and two years running, we may just make it an annual family tradition! It was especially great to see you and your cute family this year-you are just as real and sweet as on the blog and it’s so nice to see you SO happy!! I am going to take inspiration from your incredible race and try very hard for a negative split and strong finish in Chicago on Sunday!

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Your HR is an amazing testament to your fitness level! At that HR I am doing about a 13 min/ mil LOL. Great Job and love the stories.

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Congratulations on your amazing race! You are so inspiring, I love reading your blog. Sometimes it is reading your words that will put me in a good mood for the day! I know you have talked about this a little, but I was wondering if you held your water bottle the entire time? I am running a half in November (have not braved a full yet) and was wanting to try out the Vega drink, but normally do not carry a water bottle with me.

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Amazing!!! Great work!!!

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What a cheerful post, Janae!!! Maybe you should change the blog to “Happy Runner Girl.” ;)

Andrew is a champion spectator making it to all those spots to cheer-isn’t it the best to have friends/family along the way?!!

The highlights of my weekend was that both my girls and boys XC teams qualified for the championship meet AND we had a boy and girl make it into the top 10-we are a tiny, tiny school and ran against much larger schools in a higher division so we were all bursting with excitement!!!

My parents flew back home to the states so in my sadness I geared up and hit the trails for a 22km trail run and finished at a cafe for hot coffee and watch the rain that I just missed!

I am so happy for you-what an eventful year you’ve had.

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Congratulations on such a SMART race! Your description of the course makes me want to hop on a plane next year and give it a try.

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Congratulations!!!!! You’re an amazing runner/mom/wife/friend to everyone! 3:15 is such a great accomplishment and it probably felt 100000000 times better because of your last St. George marathon. I normally get emotional whenever the volunteers are super nice and when I hear their strong cheers/words of encouragement too.
I just had an awful run/race yesterday so reading your post was just a great pick-me-up and motivation to train harder.
I cannot believe how Andrew did all of that with 2 kids- he’s an amazing husband and a huge supporter!!
congrats again!

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I am running the Chicago Marathon this weekend! It is my first marathon!! :) I do have time goals, but my main goal is just to finish. My husband and my parents are heading up there with me, plus I have a couple friends coming to cheer for me along the course, so I’ll have a lot of support! :) I’m very excited!

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Congrats on such an amazing race! I’m so happy for you.

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Amazing job, Janae!!!!! Super happy for you!!! I ran the Lisbon Marathon yesterday and it was so beautiful!! I’m still on cloud 9!!! :) Can’t wait until my next marathon in December!

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Congrats on a great race!! A well deserved accomplishment!

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I just smiled the whole stinkin time I read this. What a great experience and I am so happy for you! I am happy you ran smart, that you had a good race and that your family was there for support. It just couldn’t be any better! Congrats Janae!!! And good job Andrew! That is a serious accomplishment as well. Ross usually doesn’t even make it to half of my races because the thought of waking up early and getting kids ready to go watch me run sounds worse than a marathon! haha.

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Congrats Janae! I was a few days behind reading your posts but I’m glad I took the time to read them all. I love the third paragraph and how you can see in just one year how things in all aspects can turn for the better. Great running! I may just have to make St. George my first marathon next year.

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Great recap. Makes me want to run it! Visors always when running; for so many reasons! Thx for sharing your tips. I’m going to use several! Now where’s the visor icon?😎

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CONGRATS on your huge accomplishment! Thanks for sharing your experience! Tears welled up as I read about your finish and looked at your pictures! You can do hard things! I love that you share what you’ve learned through your training. It really helps me in mine!
I had a great weekend enjoying General Conference. They are always my favorite kind of weekends!

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Yay!! I’m so glad you had such a good race experience!! And that advice was so timely… I’m trying to remember to go out slowly in mine too. I’m running Steamtown this weekend, which has some downhill in the beginning and I’ve been told many times not to go out too fast or I’ll crash and burn… fingers crossed I feel as strong as you at the end!

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AHHH GOOD LUCK THIS WEEKEND AT STEAMTOWN!!!! You’ve got this… have a strong race!

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I recently discovered VEGA Sport Protein, it has 30 grams per scoop! It’s amazing and I drink it after my daily run. I saw what you have at the store today; I’ll have to try it but I did pick up a sample serving size of the electrolyte powder!
Great job and congrats on an awesome race! I’m running my first full in two weeks!

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Thank you so much for sharing the postive thoughts in the days leading up to race day. I am a basket full of nerves because I am running the Chicago Marathon this weekend for the first time & am traveling solo. You putting it into words about my nerves effecting my family hits me hard. Starting right now, nothing but positive thoughts until race day. I got this!!

Thank you for sharing!!
Dana

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You are welcome!! I hope you have an amazing weekend in Chicago Dana! I am so excited for you and I would love to hear what you think about the Chicago Marathon… it is definitely on my bucket list! GOOD LUCK!!!

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HUGE congrats on such a strong race, you are amazing! That course looks looks so stunning, I can see why you love it so much.

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loved this recap and SO PROUD of you! (and Josse!) you guys are so great and inspirational and reading this blog just makes me happy :)
won’t be running Chicago but I’ll be watching…they run right past my apt! it always gives me all the feels. anyone running–BEST OF LUCK!

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Congratulations! It sounds like, for so many reasons, this marathon was different for you than others. Each race brings with it different struggles, memories and meaning. I am not a sappy person but I had to say thank you for sharing the good and the bad of your past year, and showing how things happen for a reason. One week after my 20 miler for the Chicago marathon, and two weeks before the race I ended up in the hospital for four days with something that sounds very familiar to what you had last year. To realize all that training, early morning runs and high expectations were not enough to get me to the starting line this year were devastating. Reading how this time last year you had to say no to a race and seeing where you are now has been something I have thought about a lot this week while I am trying to accept that I just can’t do it this year. As if we neeed another reminder that running friends are in fact the best friends, all of my training buddies have declared that they are going to do one more marathon so that we can all do it together. While I won’t be running next Sunday I will be putting all the same energy into cheering my friends on and repaying them, in some way for the amazing words of encouragement and love they have shown me in the last week.

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Oh Lisa. My heart is breaking for you. I am so beyond sorry about what you are going through right now. It IS so so hard to go through that and to feel so crummy and sick just takes it to the next level. I am hoping and praying that you get feeling better asap and that your return marathon with all of your running friends is the absolute best. PLEASE keep me updated with how you are doing and enjoy cheering on your amazing friends. Thinking about you!!!

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I ran St. George too!! This was my second year doing this marathon. I loved St. George last year and was hoping to do it again this year. It is incredible! I had just done Big Cottonwood marathon 3 weeks ago, but was excited for this one. P.S….never again will I do marathons so close like that again. haha! :)
Even though I was 1 minute slower from my time last year when I did St. George I felt so much stronger and even stronger compared to the Big Cottonwood marathon. I bonked the last 6 miles of that one and was so focused on getting a BQ and was on course to do so but then around mile 23 I realized I wasn’t going to make it it was super hard to finish. My goal for St. George was to be mentally strong and not worry so much about the BQ and just run. It was amazing the strength I got from just staying positive throughout the race even though there were lots of tough moments. I didn’t walk once up Veyo and that felt awesome! The scenery was so beautiful…one of my favorite things too! The volunteers are just awesome too. It’s just a great race!
It was getting to be hot and at those aid stations I grabbed like 4 water cups each time (and did gatorade, but I’ll have to try that vega drink). I would drink water and then dump a few cups on myself too…every time! :) And those ice chips and the cold wet rags are the best aren’t they!
It felt great to not bonk the last 4 miles of the course like I had in the previous marathon or even last St. George. I felt strong both mentally and physically and that was an incredible feeling. St. George is an incredible race that’s for sure! And even though I’m 10 minutes away from getting that BQ I feel that drive to just work harder and get stronger and I will get there. You have inspired me so much Janae! I am so happy for you and what you accomplished during your race. Thanks for being an inspiration to your readers!! :)
P.S. I love the Huma gels too!! The others are so hard to swallow and sometimes I just want to gag. The strawberry lemonade one I had reminded me of strawberry jam. Yum!

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Oh P.S. again…one of my favorite things was going to cross country practice today. I am an assistant coach at our middle school here. I love coaching those kids! I brought my medal today and the kids were cheering and thought it was awesome. That was a great feeling!

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Congrats on an awesome race Janae!!! So well executed and love those negative splits!!! Loved your happy attitude and how relaxed you were. Such a beautiful fam to cheer you on = the BEST!!
And so fun that you got a pic with Katie! She is so sweet and had such an incredible race too!!
Huge, huge congrats and enjoy your recovery!!! :)
PS: I am putting this race on my list – I have heard nothing but incredible things about it!

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congratulations!!! I love that marathons are individual sports but require a village to make them happen with all the training and support. You’ve got one fantastic village!!! You deserve it!!!

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Awesome work, I wish I was as speedy as you! Looks like a beautiful marathon, definitely on my to do list :)

ps as a swede I do love the guy on the left’s SVERIGE shirt :D

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Negative splits, baby! Woo woo. Congratulations. So happy for you and awesome recap. Well done!

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Now I understand why you get emotional at the end of the race when you see your family ‘cuz as I was reading your recap (maybe it’s b/c you describe everything so well that I feel like I’m there) I found myself in tears at the end when I saw your kids waiting at the finish line. I’m at work & immediately thought, “OMG stop this… what are you doing?!?!” :D Congrats on a great race. So cool to think where you are now compared to last year. <3

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I ran my first marathon last Sunday! Had ankle pain that slowed me down, but for some reason, I got a lot of mental energy at mile 20 that saw me through! At mile 17, I told myself I would never do this again. But now, I’m planning which marathon I want to do next. Anyways, congrats on your great run, and may you have many more!

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Congrats! My friend ran it for the first time and absolutely loved the course. Her pictures (and yours!) are absolutely beautiful. We have friends that live in SLC and i think I might have to put this on my to-do list :-) I too need my jams when I run. I noticed in the pictures you had your stuffed in a pouch? Is that a race belt or something build into the shorts? Does it work well? I hate the “jerking around” feeling. I’m struggling to find a product that securely holds my phone!

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I know this is a day late. Congrats on your marathon you are such a strong runner. Also since you did a negative split New Balance will give you free shoes: https://www.engadget.com/2016/09/26/run-fast-enough-and-strava-will-give-you-free-sneakers/

Even though I know you’re a brooks fan who doesn’t like new shoes =)

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Last race: a marathon on Labor Day. Used to be one of my top three courses but they had to change the course so now…probably only a 6 out of 10.

My first St George was awful, awful, awful – it poured the entire race. By the end I was so cold I couldn’t feel my legs, chafing everywhere from wet rubbing clothes, bad fueling because my snacks got wet, and I got stuck in a port-a-potty at the end (my legs wouldn’t stand up anymore and my friend wandered away and couldn’t hear me calling.) My second St George…awesome! Not my fastest marathon but definitely my best feeling marathon ever. Great weather, good fueling, no chafing, even splits, and my legs felt great. The course is fantastic and the weather is usually great, too.

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Congratulations Janae and thanks for sharing with us your recap. You’re such an inspiration.

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Congrats, Janae! I loved every single word of your St. George Marathon recap! I haven’t run that course, but one of my friends flew out to run it a few years ago. He loved it and PR’ed there! I’m glad you had a happy race! It sounds like there might be many more marathons in your future. :-)

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Hi Janae – congrats on the amazing finish time!! You crushed it. I ran the St. George Marathon as well. This was my very first full marathon and it was an awesome course. All throughout my training I kept hearing about the dreaded Veyo area and I was like bring it on!! I had a better time with the uphills than the downhills. I will say I had some trouble on the downhills, to the point where I irritated a ligament in my leg and had to run/walk the last three-ish miles of the race :-/ and lost about 20 mins. But I stayed positive during the whole thing. It is truly a beautiful and well-organized race.

Also – I LOVE Huma gels. I have had stomach issues myself during other race trainings and they are a godsend. They go down so easy. I truly think they kept me from hitting the wall during the marathon.

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Janae! I’m so happy you found clean energy and used it versus the electrolyte hydrator for race day! I sent you an email so hopefully you can find it… I am a dietitian w Vega and have my own little running obsession and I’d love to connect

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I really loved reading this race recap! I can tell that you enjoyed yourself because the post was so encouraing and positive! I am starting to think I need to run this race sometime in my life! :) The last race I ran was the 2016 Pikes Peak Ascent. After that my running went down hill. However, I graduate form Nursing School in December so I will have a lot more free time to dedicate to running!

Thanks for sharing your marathon day with us!

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What a smart race you ran!!! I’m new to your blog, searching for ways to experience running while getting over an injury. Your play-by play story excited me and reminded me why I need to be patient and make recovery my new sport-to get back to what I love!

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Hey, thanks for sharing your marathon journey I just loved this article, it’s really inspirational and craziness for marathon
keep running.Hats Off

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