Brooke spent her night doing two things:

1. Following this little dog all around the house.

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2. Watching football with grandpa. I was amazed by how content she was just sitting there and watching sports.

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Pork tenderloin with apple sauce (made with apples from my aunt’s yard), fruit and veggies. You really should come to our Sunday dinners one of these days because we always have the best food.

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Told you.

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Something that I though A LOT about during my 1/2 marathon on Saturday was a conversation I had with Rachelle when we were running together a few weeks ago about trials. We were both talking about how we wouldn’t trade any of the trials that we have had because they have shaped us to be the people we are today.

They have taught us to dig deep. To never quit. To push forward when it gets unbearable. It has taught us in our running that when you are feeling so exhausted and like you can’t possibly move forward, you just do. Trials teach us that we have been through things WAY worse than feeling tired during a race or run and that helps us dig deep and keep going when we want to quit.

On Saturday I kept thinking that if I could push forward through the last few months like I have then I could surely push through a silly race to get a PR….. a race is easy in comparison right:)

I am sure each one of you can think of many hard times in your life that you pushed through… Remind yourself of those trials the next time your run gets hard and remember that you have gotten through those hard times successfully and that those trials were much more difficult than running. You can do hard things (my absolute favorite mantra for running and life).

You come out a better runner when you do hard things (races/workouts/hills) and you become a better person when you do hard things.

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Finish that last mile repeat, that goal race, the training run on your plan that scares you, the run where you want to quit because you are comparing yourself to someone ‘better’ than you, the last .1 of your 5k or the last .2 miles of your marathon.

Caterina left a comment the other day and it said, “Runners don’t quit and quitters don’t run.” I love it.

Dig deep and don’t forget to keep running.

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115 comments

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So true! We never know how hard life may get or what we could possible deal with until we are forced to do so. Then we discover we can do this. Even when it is slow going and painful. We just have to keep moving forward.

And I have to say, that is my favorite cake at Costco! Yum chocolate!

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I love your running and life comparison. I think it’s why I get really excited to meet other runners because I immediately have a sense of respect that it’s a person who knows how to push themself to become better not just in running but in life. Thanks for the inspiring post :-)

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Love love love! Yes! Happy Monday Janae! I wouldn’t trade any of my trials in life either.

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Well said! You (and all of us) can do hard things! Love it :). Thanks for the Monday morning motivation.

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Beautiful! I’m all choked up!

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I agree 100%–we are given these trials because we CAN overcome them and become even stronger!

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Brooke’s outfit is too much!
You’re right- if people can make it through life’s trials then surely we can push through the pain of a race. Thanks for the reminder!

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So well put. I try to use this strategy when I’m running and it’s hard although sometimes I still let my head get the best of me. What I do know though is that running is what gets me through the rough times and I’m lucky to have it. There are so many positives to the sport but I have to say the way it allows you to have an entirely different perspective on life is probably one of the best.

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Great post. Thank you Janae!

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Janae, while I haven’t been very active with my comments on your blog the last few months, I have been following your journey and every day you continue to inspire – whether to become a faster runner or become a stronger person.

You are awesome!!

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I have chills and some tears. Beautifully written.

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I was actually just thinking about something similar on my run the other day… One of the main reasons I wanted to get back into running was because of the mental strength it builds… It’s SO true that quitters don’t run, and I’ve been finding myself getting a little too lax in life lately, so I needed something to kick my butt.

Thanks for this, Janae :)

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You are seriously so tough! Brooke is going to grow up with an amazing role model with you as her mom!

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great positive thought for the week. Thanks for sharing. And congrats on the “easy” PR! :)

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This post really resonated with me. I’ve been struggling a bit with balancing school and work and kids and running is helping me stay sane with it all. I have to keep reminding myself to dig deep, and doing so with my running makes me more conscious of doing so with the rest of life. With all the stuff going on in your personal life, I’ve no doubt you feel similarly :)

plus that chocolate cake from Costco is so darn amazing.

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Great motivation and positive spirit to think about! I was recently diagnosed with avascular necrosis/osteonecrosis in my knee and was told that my longer distances are out and running is likely out. Right now I am just working on getting painfree after just an active day. It has been a shock to me and I have been certainly in a poor mood about it. Now I am trying to get my motivation up to find different sports!

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I had a rough marathon paced run yesterday with a cold. I used your “you can do hard things.” It was perfect. Thank you so much.

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Love this post!!! I have been having the most negative self talk the past 2 weeks after a crappy run and yesterday I ran the MCM. … I wish I had read this post BEFORE my marathon hahaha!

If you ever get the chance to run Marine Corps Marathon you HAVE to! So inspirational and motivating! Plus DC is beautiful!

I love the pic of Brooke with you dad!

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You’re so inspiring and that’s why I keep coming back to read more! This post was great and just what I need before my next half! Congratulations again on another wonderful accomplishment!

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I 100% agree. It’s so nice to be reminded of that! Your mantra on the weekend ‘I can do hard things’ is so good: it’s affirming, encouraging and makes you feel kick-ass ;)

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Running helps get you through life’s difficult times. I just lost my father last week and found solace in early morning runs all alone. It gave me time to think about him and the wonderful life I had because of him. He was one of my biggest supporters in my years of running, so I know that he would be happy for me to go out and run.

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Your daughter is adorable! Do you run with her?

That was very well said and very timely advice for me. I will certainly keep that in my mind (in running and in life).

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You’re such an inspiration janae!

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Thank you for this. I have my first race this weekend and this is just what I needed. Congrats on a great race by the way.

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I am loving Brooke’s metallic bow shoes!! She is one little fashionista!

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Great post today Janae :-)

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Love that! I had forgotten about that too. I was told all the time when I was on the crosscountry and track team in high school (4 years ago) to dig deep. That was all it took to redirect my thoughts of how hard it was and how much I just wanted to win, to I’ve got this, my practices are so much harder than this one run. And to this day, I’ll still take 1 race over 8 sprints!

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Love The comparison of hard runs with hard times in life. I would love to come to your house for Sunday dinner….Looks delicious!

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Good post, and on topic for me too. I just signed up for a half marathon in March. Right now I run once a week for about 4 miles. And I am going through a very difficult time in life (my parents are separating). I think I just have to dig deep to help me get through this.

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What a great quote from Caterina – I love it! I use the trials thing in reverse sometimes. When something challenging comes my way in life I usually think “this can’t be worse than THAT run where my legs felt like led, my mind wasn’t into it and I was still 8 miles from the finish.” Running definitely makes us strong!

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That is some great motivation Janae! Thank you for sharing some of your trials! You are strong girl and that has been evident through the snippits of info you have shared with your readers here! We all need reminders to dig deep so thanks for the reminder.

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I love this! Yes! Whatever challenge we may be facing, we just have to push through it and keep going. It’s just who we are and what we do.

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I couldn’t love this or agree with you more! Every time I finish a tough run or race, it’s like a light goes off and I realize I AM capable of more than I thought. It’s those little “aha” moments that pull us through the tough times!

Just what I needed to read/hear this morning to get me motivated to sign up for that first marathon that I keep putting off…. =) THANK YOU!

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I absolutely love this post. Working your way through trials in life is something we all will have to do at some point. I started my blog for this very reason. Check out James 1:2, it’s been my go to verse when times get tough. Thank you for sharing your journey, you are an inspiration.

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such a good reminder for the middle of those tough runs– or the middle of those tough situations :) thanks for the monday inspiration!

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Love this post, has such a good message!

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Beautifully written

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Well well well.

This post is going to stay up on my work screen in its own window for the rest of the week. These are great thoughts to keep in mind while I wind down and concentrate on the New York City Marathon on Sunday.

Thank you!!

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Great inspirational words. You totally rocked your half!! And what a great way to look at obstacles in a positive light.

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Thanks for an awesome post & boatload of inspiration today! Saving this for race day in less than 3 weeks!

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I soo love this quote!! we can do and get through anything in life as long as we believe in ourselves that we can!

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Awesome post because it is so true!

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perfectly stated!! :) you’re growing so much on a personal & athletic level Janae. keep staying positive & keep looking ahead. learn from the past & turn the page. have a happy Monday!! xo

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My favorite running quote may be surprising.
“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it. ” –Oprah Winfrey
I really have based a lot of my own experiences on the mentality that you will reach your potential in running and in life if you put in the hard work!

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So well put, beautiful post…And a beautiful little Brooke watching football. I always loved sports so that picture put a real smile on my face!

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Thank you for that Janae! I needed to be reminded of that. I read a quote once that said something like your record of getting through hard days is 100%. Today is my birthday & while its a difficult time in my life right now too I’m thankful for my family & friends. And thankful to you for this reminder you wrote has perfect timing!

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Thank you Meredith and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you have a wonderful day and eat lots of cake:)

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Definitely a great reminder. And Brooke is so cute watching sports!

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Great post! Wonderful reminder of what we can accomplish if we put our mind to it!

Also, OH MY GOSH THAT CAKE. :)

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Such an interesting post! I love what it says about risk. Every time you start a race, you take a chance. A chance that you might not make it to the finish line, or you might not make it there as fast as you want to. Every time you set out to run a certain number of miles, you do so knowing that you can fail. And yet you choose to do it anyway. Because you’re a liver of life. And because you understand that the worthwhile things are often the scariest things, and because you trust yourself enough to know that you can make it happen – that you WILL make it happen – no matter what. You’re great, Janae. You’re a risk taker, you’re a life liver, you’re a race finisher. And that’s why your blog is so inspirational to so many people. So thanks for being that, for me and so many others.

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I do that but in the opposite regard. I use running to help me get through things happening in my daily life. One of the biggest things I have learned from running is that when things feel onorous or impossible or just plain boring, there is always a finish line. When I want to quit running I usually don’t because I know whatever I am feeling is temporary and I apply that reasoning to my life as well.

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You are incredible Janae and such a great example to all who come in contact with you!

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Beautiful post!

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love the quote =)

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I just freakin love you! You have grown so much in the past few months as a person and as a runner. It just truly shows what a strong and amazing person you are. I was thinking about our dinner conversation the other night. You are such a good example to me of what a christ like person is. Thank you.

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So true! There are sooo many events in our lives that seem impossible to overcome or finish. We just have to keep trying relentlessly and we will get there!

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I needed this badly today. It’s so true but sometimes we all need a little reminder :) have a great day Janae!

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This was just so true and what I needed to read. I am in the last week of training for my race this weekend, and I’ve been reflecting on everything I have been through that has gotten me here. I thought of all the training, and all the hard workouts that I DID! I overcame those, and they have helped me deal with the hard parts in life. Beautiful statement.

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I love your philosophy. It’s so true – I’ve hated so many of the hard times I’ve gone through over the past year, but those times have made me the person that I am today. The more caring, less controlling, more thankful, stronger person that I am today. Running is always a metaphor for life. My favorite running mantra is to just be in the mile. If you think about the fact that you still have 9K to go, or whatever, it feels overwhelming. But I make myself think about finishing where I am right then. The same is true in life.

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You truly are an inspiration to others, runners or not, but most importantly, you are setting a wonderful example for your beautiful little girl!

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I agree 100%! I had to remind myself of that as I ran the last 3 miles of hills to get to the finish line. My legs were so tired and all I wanted to do was walk, but thankfully I had great friends that encouraged me to finish strong. Running is a physical challenge but I find that it’s great therapy and challenges me mentally. As Walt Disney says “Keep Moving Forward!”

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I so much needed this motivational post right now. I m going through some changes and this was exactly what I needed.

I have the same dress as Brooke! I have to start dress more adult like …

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I love the last quote SO much. Keep on goin’, girl!

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I used your “You can do hard things” mantra to push myself this morning on my fastest 3 miles ever. Thanks for being such an inspiration!

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I loved this post. I to agree that all the obstacles and hard times in life build us into who we are. I for one know that I would not be as mentally strong as I am today if I hadn’t been through a hard time in my teenage years. I am just starting my blog and today I have planned on writing about my new goals in running. Thank you for the encouragment!

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I loved this post and you are so right, we are stronger and better because of our experiences. You are incredible and so very strong, thank you for being such a great role model to everyone you come across!

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What a great quote – love it!…something I’ll have to repeat over ond over to myself to push through!

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I came here this morning needing some cute photos and a smile but this was so perfect. My boyfriend of three years and I just broke up last night and it’s just hurting in my bones. I feel like my whole life is blowing up and I know you know that feeling. I think I might take off from work a few hours early and get a good long run in. I’m definitely a better runner thanks to your inspiration and I just want to say thanks.

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Kim. I just want to give you a big hug. I am always here if you need to talk about it. Go for that long run and then eat ice cream after!

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Amen sister!!! I love this! This is part of the reason I am going to run another marathon next week after bonking on one last week!!!! :)

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Love all of this!! And I LOVE that you walk the walk (or run the run??) :)

Have a great week!!

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I love your mantra “I can do hard things” Sending you a digital hug and warm thoughts to keep on keeping your head up!

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great inspiration post janae!

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What an inspiring post, love it!

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This was the most EXCELLENT post, Janae! I just had my very best 20 miler in this training cycle this morning! I had to definitely Dig Deep because it included some speed work. I finished feeling great.

BIG CONGRATULATIONS on your PR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are such an inspiration <3

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You can do hard things. LOVE this!

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Great post Janae! I just ran my first half marathon yesterday and it definitely took some mental strength to push through and hold my pace. I love your blog–so inspirational.

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Janae, those words are so true. While my separation has been unbelievably difficult at times, I look at who I am today and can say with certainty I am a happier and better person because of it. Not in spite of it, but because of it.

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Found your blog a few months ago and you have definitely helped me get excited about running again. I had a miscarriage last week and my runs with good friends and my dad have helped me get through the week. I also gave birth without an epidural (not on purpose, there was no time for me to get one!) and sometimes on challenging runs I will think to myself, you pushed a baby out, you can run up that hill or finish this race.

I love your posts, keep them coming!

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Brooke I am truly so sorry about your miscarriage. I want to give you a hug and take you to ice cream. Thinking about you!

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Man, this was a great post! Thank you so much for the inspiring words!

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This can be applied to so many aspects of our lives. I’m a breast cancer survivor and know that there were many times I had to dig deep to get through treatments. Nothing I will do can be harder than that.

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You are amazing Bethany!

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Love it… My life is great but there are so many changes going on right now. Even though they are great changes (starting my career, getting married, etc) I still feel like it’s a struggle to have normalcy and not miss my family and friends. Running has really helped me realize that God has created us to be resiliant through Him. Good good stuff.

I’m proud of you too and I hope you know that no matter what has happened over the past few months, God loves you more than anybody or anything. I’m so thankful He gave you the gift and talent to RUN!

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this is a beautiful post, I wrote one similar for later this week! I guess great runners think alike!! :) I love how upbeat you are all the time, it is one of the reasons you are my favorite blog to read! :) Keep smiling, and never stop running! :)

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I love your inspiration :) I haven’t been running as much lately but I have started CrossFit and the same goes with that too. Never would I ever have thought I could do something like CrossFit yet here I am, nearly 2 months in, and loving it, and pushing myself every time I go. Gotta love it :)

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LOVE this! you always have the most positive attitude. thank you for brightening up my day! :)

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I love the quotes in this post and the sentiments you’ve shared. They are all so true. Learning to get comfortable with being uncomfortable during a run or race is so key … and channelling positive thoughts or memories of overcoming something so much harder or more important helps a lot! Thanks for sharing, and congrats again on your race!

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Amen. I made it through my marathon yesterday thinking the exact same thing. An awful situation has been going on in my life throughout training season, and it made it really difficult for me to have heart and really focus. I got a PR on one of the hilliest marathons ever and although I didn’t hit my goal, I ran my little heart out and I feel better for it today.

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This is great motivation. Dig deep to prove to yourself what you’re made of!

Brooke is so cute sitting with her grandpa!

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LOVE this entire post. Just what I needed to read today. No quitting allowed!! :)

xo

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Great post! What you wrote will surely serve me good during my marathon on Sunday.

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Beautiful and inspiring post. Love it – thank you!

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I agree with everyone. I always think that what we go through in life equips us with skills to help and empathize with others better – which makes it worth it !

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Great post! Super important reminders!
And holy cake!

http://www.hungryrunnergirl.com/2013/10/happy-sunday-weekly-running-recap-and-giveaway-winners.html/comment-page-1#comment-284511

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You are an amazing inspiration… in running and life. Love your positive outlook and honesty.

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This gave me chills. And is BEYOND true. There were SO many points in the half yesterday that I wanted to be DONE and just quit – but somehow I kept going. Us runners are crazy, aren’t we?

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Thanks for the inspiration and motivation. After reading this and taking on your mantra, I’ve finally signed up for my first trail race. For some reason I’ve been so afraid of this but how can I not do it after reading this post! I CAN do hard things. Just the push I needed…thanks!

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I totally used the “Dig Deep” mantra this morning when I was running up those tough hills, and it worked! The hills that I usually split up between walking and running I ran the whole way.

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Thanks Janae, so beautifully written.

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That was such a GREAT post and you’re right. We can take the hard times in our lives and use that to help us when it comes to running. Hugs!!

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Awesome post! “Runners don’t quit and quitters don’t run” is one of my favorites. I also like “When your legs get tired, run with your heart”

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I love this post! Thanks for the reminder to put things in perspective and think of all the things we have been through when a race gets tough:)

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You should really write posts like this more often. They are amazing! Running really can be applied to life. That’s why I love it. I remember when I signed up for my first half marathon I never thought I’d be able to do it. Once I got my miles up I was worried I wouldn’t break my goal time. Two weeks before the race I finished my last long run and right there I knew I would be able to get that time. It was the best feeling ever! Thank you for inspiring me everyday Janae :)

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So inspiring! Congrats again on your PR!!

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I might steal that saying for my next poster board at the marathon!

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I was down and out today. Thanks for this post!

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I love the pic of Brooke with your dad. Sweetness.

I needed this post today during my workout (and maybe tomorrow too. ive been so tired lately)

Thank you Janae. You are so right about digging deep. you are an inspiration to me.

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Love this!! I needed to hear it.

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So very true, Janae. Trials in life make you bitter or better. We alone can make that choice.

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Love. very much.

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this is a great post! Your blog helped me run my first half two weekends ago! I thought of my family a lot and every now and then i thought about you. how you say ‘i ca do hard things’ and it really helped me!

I also prayed a lot, thanking Him for my legs that kept going and didn’t stop! But lastly, since you gave me your mantra – here is mine, that really helps me in everything!

“if you want something you have never had, you must do something you have never done” and for me that translates to everything, people believing in me, me believing in me and confidence – which i don’t have, but im working on it!!

Thanks for always sharing all the things in you life with strangers! you better believe you have a TON of strangers that love you!

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Really motivational :) Thank you so much Janae!

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Sooooo true!

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Hey Janae, I saw this and thought of you! http://www.delish.com/entertaining-ideas/holidays/halloween/best-halloween-candy

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