My Boston Marathon Recap

This is going to be a long one. I had a lot of time on the airplane and also a lot of endorphins while writing this after a weekend of marathoning and girls’ trip fun.

We fit 6 people into one hotel room while in Boston.  The night before the race all of us girls were in a really silly mood and ended up laughing for an hour straight so we did go into the race with some sore abs.  Worth it.  Candice and I shared the pull-out couch and the alarm went off at 5:45 after an uninterrupted 7 hours of sleep.

I took a quick shower and thanks to some lovely timing of cramps I took some medicine to help and laid back down again until I felt better.  I then ate my first bagel and got ready for the race real quick.  I studied the weather report so that I knew what I was up against and went downstairs for eggs and a hot chocolate.

We left the hotel and used Uber (coolest app ever) to get to where the busses were.   We stayed about 20 minutes away from Downtown.

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This was my first time to Boston Commons.  It was awesome and I wish we could have explored for a while but we had that whole bus thing to catch to make it up to the starting line.

These were our throwaway clothes that kept us extremely warm while waiting for the race to start.

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I was guessing that it would take a while to get on a bus but like everything with this race, it was smooth and efficient.  I ate another bagel on the bus while laughing with Candice about randomness and then dozed off for a few minutes.  I tell ya, I can fall asleep anywhere.

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Athletes’ Village.  Wow.  The energy here was incredible.  Leading up to this point I felt a lot of nerves but once we got there it was impossible for me to feel anything but excitement.  Surrounded by so many runners that worked hard to get there, the loud music and the mega screen playing videos—>  It was like Disneyland for runners.

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We brought trash bags to help us stay dry before the race started.

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We hung out in the warm tent with Pam and Kristin.  These three girls (and the girls that I stayed with) are all such incredible women that support and lift up everyone they come in contact with.

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It was then time to make our way to our corrals.  We even had spectators cheering us on as we were walking the 1/2 mile or so to our corrals.

This is where I said goodbye to Candice (with approximately 5 hugs), ate my Honeystinger waffle and got rid of a few layers of clothing.  I wore gloves with hand warmers in them which totally saved me and kept my hands warm the entire race.  PS I AM SOOOO GLAD I WORE A HAT.  It kept all of the rain out of my face yet made me feel hardcore while watching the rain dripping off the brim as I was running.  PPS I put my phone in a plastic bag and then into my waterproof spibelt and that kept it very dry.

Going into this race there were obviously some obstacles between the weather and how my body was feeling but I decided that those things weren’t going to stop me from enjoying the race and taking it all in.  There were actually a lot of points along the course where I would think something like, ‘dang it… I only have 9 more miles of this race.  I don’t want it to end because of how amazing this all is.’  It really is hard to not be positive though when you are at your dream race.

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If you followed me through the race you saw a pretty huge positive split (2nd half slower than the 1st half).  This was my plan (although, I did have a much bigger positive split than I was hoping I would have).   The weather report said that with each hour the headwind was going to get stronger and stronger and that the rain was also going to get heavier as the day went on.  I wanted to get some speed in at the beginning because the weather wasn’t too crazy and then put in the same effort along the entire course which meant—>  slower and slower times towards the end because the weather was getting worse.  I just didn’t plan on slowing down quite so much but that headwind got strong (20-30 mph).

I wish I could give you a mile by mile recap but I can’t remember what happened at each mile.  The race all kind of blends together now but here are some of the highlights:

-I took gus at miles 15 and 21.  I dropped my other gu at the very beginning but two felt like it was plenty.  I grabbed a drink at about 85% of the aid stations and would dump out a bit from the cup before attempting to drink so that it wouldn’t splash all over my face.  I only stopped once along the course towards the end because I dropped my wireless headphones and I was not about to leave those behind.

PS The next few pictures were sent to me from readers (THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH for these and for the cheers)!

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The first half of the marathon had a lot of downhill.  But it also still has some pretty great uphills (remember my definition may be a little bit different because I have mainly been training on the treadmill).  They were fast, scenic and fun miles and I think I hit the half just a little bit under 1:30.

The crowds were remarkable.  There were so many times along the way that I got a random boost of energy just from all of the cheering.  Seeing so many people out there to support the runners with signs, food/water, high-fives and smiles.  Just wow.

Running through all of the different towns was amazing.  The scenery was gorgeous and there was never a boring minute.

The Newton Hills.  By this point the wind was getting worse (in my opinion, once again… I’ve been a treadmill runner for a lot of this training cycle).  There was a headwind the entire race but I really remember thinking during these hills about how strong it was.  I slowed my pace way down and just kept pumping my arms.  My legs were pretty shot at this point from the pounding but I completely expected that to happen.

I don’t even know how to rate heartbreak hill.  It was easier than I expected but the timing of it made it tougher than I expected.  Does that make sense?

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Coming into downtown Boston was overwhelming (in a good way).  I cried, I smiled, it felt unreal.  At this point my pace had really slowed down because of the wind and wasted legs.  I was getting passed left and right but I knew I was giving every last ounce of me and that is all that I could do.   PS Good thing it is warm enough in Utah to hit up trail running again so I can really work on the hills and get strong on them for the next marathon.

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The Citgo sign which indicates just one more mile until the end!

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I cried a lot during this race but all for good reasons.  I just felt really lucky the entire time to be there and a whole lot of love which was especially nice.

Crossing the finish line felt pretty darn good.

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Within a few minutes they gave us these coverings to put on but I was shaking pretty bad from being soaking wet.  I actually started getting a little nervous about how cold I was.  I ran into my friend David from Utah (that was lucky!) and he helped me get inside to a building to warm up which helped a little bit but it wasn’t until I took a shower that I actually felt okay.  After the race I don’t really remember much (until after my shower) at all because of the wetness/coldness but we made it back.

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Or maybe it was in the elevator of our hotel where we started feeling great again.

Blue lips (with some random hair across my face) look great on us.

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We showered, packed and made it to the airport by 4:15 to get back to our girls.

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I think/know I will be wearing this for the next few days!  I’m hooked on this race and all of the events surrounding it, I hope to be back as much as possible!

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A few more things:

-The people of Boston are incredible.  All of the girls I went with and I agree that everyone we met was incredibly nice, friendly and helpful.  Everyone in the city made us feel so cool after the race by giving us free train rides, congrats/high-fives and all of the Boston runners even got to board the airplane first!  They hooked us up:)  The people that we met always asked so many questions, they smiled and they were so interested in our race experiences.  Also, being in a town full of excited and happy runners was pretty much the best.  It was like nothing else I have ever experienced.

-Even though I didn’t hit my goal time, Boston did something huge for me.  I always say that I want a sub 3 but in the back of my mind I doubt myself.  After the race yesterday, I know it is absolutely possible and going to happen very soon.  If I could do a 3:12 in those weather conditions and with those hills, I know for a fact that I will get that sub 3 (of course with a lot of hard work).  I also made it through an entire training cycle injury free (minus the foot scare for 36 hours) and that never happens for me.  I finally think I am kind of figuring injury prevention stuff out (knock on wood:) which is beyond exciting and motivating for me.

-My marathon personal record of 3:04 is from about 4.5 years ago and yesterday was my fastest marathon (by 8 seconds:) since then.  Time to celebrate with an apple fritter the size of my child.

-Within an hour of finishing I checked my emails and saw that my dad sent out an email to our family and friends about how proud of me he was along with pictures that he got of me crossing the finish line from when he was watching on his computer.  Just knowing I a made him proud will help keep me on this runner’s high for at least a week.

-I give you a glimpse into how much my mom has helped me during this training cycle with babysitting for long runs and speed work but she has also done so so so much more than just that.  For example—> the amount of texts and the pep talk phone call that I got from her this last weekend when I was doubting myself helped my mental game so much.  She sent the absolute things that I needed to hear and read.  We runners really couldn’t do it without the support that we receive from our loved ones.  Thanks so much mom.

-I was once again reminded yesterday that running is so much more than just propelling our bodies in a forward direction while pumping our arms.  There is something almost spiritual about it for me (there were a lot of prayers along the way yesterday).  Running changes us.  We dig deep and we find out more about ourselves than ever before.  We push our bodies to limits we didn’t think were possible and magically at the same time our insides change and we just become stronger and stronger because of it.

Thank you so so much Stonyfield!  Everything about Boston was an incredible experience that I will never forget.   Thank you to YOU GUYS for all of the comments/love/support/awesomeness and thanks Boston for being the best.

Time to rest, recover, build a base and train hard all over again for a fall marathon.  I love it.

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233 comments

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Congratulations! You are living out my dream to run Boston! Way to go lady! Enjoy your fritter and bask in your accomplishment!!! Woo hoo!

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At work…tearing up. You are amazing, Janae. I am so happy to hear that you had such a positive experience with Boston!! I love that your dad sent an email out to friends & family. My mom did something like that last year…but she put it on Facebook. Your personal mantra that you wear around your wrist is it!…”I can do hard things” (or something like that). Great job, Janae!!

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So amazing!! I will never be as fast as you… but you killed it and always keep a positive attitude! You are my inspiration :) Now you just need to update your “Marathon Times” on the top left side of your page to include BOSTON! Congrats, girl!

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Great Recap!!! Thanks for sharing it so quickly. So glad we were able to see some pics of you on the course. Hope the post-marathon high lasts for a long time.

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Phenomenal post, Janae! We are all so proud and happy for you. You worked really hard for that sweet medal and those great memories…soak it all in!

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How amazing!!! What a great experience! You should do Chicago next :-) Also a very fun atmosphere. It’s an amazing city. I’ve been going back reading your pregnancy posts while running and you’re such an inspiration to all mamas out there!

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Way to go Janae!!

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I loved reading your recap!! I’m not nearly as fast as you, so I may never experience Boston, but am looking forward to my first full marathon in September!!
I’m so proud of you!!! Kudos girl!!!

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Congrats on running a great race! I definitely wouldn’t have wanted to be out running in those conditions, so I’m glad you were able to still have fun and enjoy the moment!

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You are so incredible, Janae. I loved everything about your recap. You ran a great time in crazy conditions and you should be so proud of yourself. Congratulations on such a great race.

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amazing recap! You really trained hard and ran a great race considering the race conditions. Congrats again!

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Congrats! What a great accomplishment! Thank you for being such an inspiration!

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Congrats! Looks like an AMAZING time, rain wind and all. Can you do a Boston advice “things I wish I would have known” post for those of us who are hoping to be there next year? Travel advice, gear, how it works with such a delay between the busses and the actual start, finding your way after, etc.

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This sounds like such a dream of a weekend…CONGRATULATIONS! I can’t wait to follow your training and read the recap of your sub-3 race!

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Congrats!!! What an amazing recap…it totally brought me to tears! You are such an inspiration!

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Congratulations, Janae! It’s really such an awesome thing to see your hard work pay off and for you to have such a great memory in Boston.
Maybe next year, I’ll be there too.

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Congratulations Janae!! You are amazing! I am so happy for you that you got through the training cycle injury free and had an amazing time running the race! I love your positivity about everything. Reading this almost made me start crying because of how sweet and supportive your family is and how strong you are. I love reading your blog and you are my role model ;) Thank you for everything you share!!

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Thanks so much for this post! I might have teared up a bit reading it.

I went from zero running to my first marathon in about 18 months. The LA Marathon in March was literally the best day of my life. Since then, I haven’t been able to run because of a knee injury, and it’s been really tough to stay motivated and feel positive about running again. So scared of not having that amazing feeling again :(

This post was so inspiring! Running Boston (my hometown) is my not-so-secret dream and you make it seem possible with lots of hard work, dedication, and an eye on injury prevention.

Thanks for sharing your experience :)

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Our randomness on the bus was one of my favorite parts of the day. YOU were one of my favorite parts of the day. And I ran the freaking Boston Marathon that day. Guess I kinda sorta love you. A whole lot.

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Congratulations, Janae – great recap! <3

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It’s so easy to see how incredible and amazing this experience was for you. I was almost teary by the end of this post! So happy for you <3

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After following you and several other bloggers who were going to be running. It was fun to watch part of it yesterday. I even thought I saw you for a second! :) it gave me more motivation to keep running and remind me how much I love running. Thank you for your in depth detail about the race. I appreciate it!! :)

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You go girl!! So so proud of you!!

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I love love this post!! I am so so happy for you and congratulations on an amazing time. You are so inspiring!! I can’t wait to have my turn there one day. Your whole paragraph about how running is spiritual for you, I couldn’t agree more! Every marathon I feel that way and I love pushing myself and my body harder than I thought possible. I love being a runner! Thanks again for the post and congratulations on an incredible journey and finish!!

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This made me tear up. So proud of you and your accomplishments!

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You’re such an inspiration. Reading your recap brought tears to my eyes. Such a cool experience for you.

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Congratulations! You did it!

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Congratulations! I was right there with you yesterday (well, actually towards the back of Wave 2, but there’ish ;)) and can validate all of the emotions you had! It was my first Boston as well, and unlike you, battled some tough injuries along the way to get to the start line. What meant the most to me was what you said about running being a spiritual journey; words never more true have been said and being in Boston certainly was a good reminder of just what a special thing it is for us to be alive and be able to run. Congrats again and if you’re ever in Atlanta, I’d love to run with you!

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Congratulations!!! What an amazing recap. Brought tears to my eyes!!

Enjoy some rest!!

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I am incredibly proud of you Janae and everything you accomplished during the race. It was not an easy day and to run that pace is awesome. I cannot wait to see you crush your goals because you truly deserve it.

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Congrats Janae! You are truly an amazing person, thank you for being an inspiration!

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I came across your post via a friends facebook. And it made me teary eyed. Congratulations on your race

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Thanks for the recap! So happy for you. Congrats! Your so right, a sub 3 is completely within reach and will happen for you soon. I believe in you. Enjoy your apple fritter :-)

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Congratulations on an amazing race. I am in tears reading this because you are so inspirational. I’ve been following you and thought of you all day Monday until I was able to check on your progress. Again, congrats and I look forward to continuing reading about your running and life.

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Congratulations, Janae! Really enjoyed reading your race recap.

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I loved this post and I love how happy you are about running! Your finish time is incredible! You are such a strong and talented runner!

I was thinking while reading about how much your parents have helped you, your parents and my parents are so much alike that it’s crazy. My dad is such a softie for my girls and would do anything for them and he is my biggest behind-the-scenes cheerleader when it comes to races. And my mom gives so much of her time to make it possible for me to train and race. There is no way I could pursue my passion without their support. Aren’t we both so lucky to have such amazing parents?

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Thank you for sharing your race with us! Congratulations and now enjoy your recovery, and all the good food to come!

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Just saw you on Fox 13!!! you looked great :) congrats on your awesome marathon!

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You are amazing. Wonderful job, awesome time and loved the recap! I’m glad you are heading back to be with Brookie today! What a wonderful trip and great memories! Congratulations!!!!

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You did awesome <3
I hate wind in my face so much, I'm super impressed that you finished. I would have been tempted to run into the nearest coffee shop and watch the race from there :)

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Good job! Your pictures and your story have inspired me so much!

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Congratulations on a job amazingly done!!

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Congratulations on a great job! That race is number one on my list of goals and to read your play-by-play recap was awesome. It takes some serious determination to finish the way you did with conditions like that. I can only imagine… Thanks for sharing!

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Ohmigosh! I am so proud of you! You are such an inspiration to us all. I know the weather wasn’t in your favor, but you are a rockstar and you KILLED IT! :)

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You ROCKED that BOSTON course!!!!! CONGRATS!!! WOOT! WOOT!!! :) I enjoyed all of your posts!!! Thanks for sharing!!! Just awesome!! So happy for you!!!

How do you recover from a marathon? I have only ran a half marathon… Just wondering how do you recover from 26.2? Rest for a week or two? stretch? etc…

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You’re awesome! I’m so excited for you!

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A memory you will never forget. That’s a stupendous time for the conditions. And I agree. It would have been hard to be anything but positive at BOSTON! :)))

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Running IS spiritual! Thank you for bringing us on your journey with you. I can’t wait to sign in up for another race!

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Congratulations, Boston is a huge accomplishment!!! I ran yesterday as well (it was my 4th Boston) and it was challenge. You absolutely have to do it again, on a nice day the crowd support is insane the WHOLE way rather than mostly just downtown!

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Congratulations and thanks for being such an awesome inspiration :)!!!

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You’re soooo awesome! Congrats on your awesome accomplishment! I tracked you online, I was cheering for you, & I had my Brooks lobster shoes on :)! You really are inspirational! I also look forward to reading your blog! Rest up! Congrats again on a huge accomplishment!

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Congrats girl! I’m so proud of you! I know you’ll get that sub-3.

As someone who was born/raised in Boston (and relocated to a much warmer city via my wise parents) I just want to say I’ve yet to meet anyone friendlier or kinder than someone from Boston. Glad you had a great experience.

This recap *almost* made me want to run/race again. I’m in a gigantic-sized rut – so this is huge. Thanks for the inspiration.

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What an amazing journey and experience you had! The Boston marathon sounds incredible!! It’s been fun getting a sneak peak into it from your recap. I’ve been reading your blog now for the past few years and have loved it all! You are so inspiring! Congrats on an amazing race and all the hard training preparing for that marathon. Thanks for letting us be a part of it! :)

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It’s so sweet that your parents were so supportive. I’m glad you had a good race.

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Congrats, Janae! I loved following your progress via email and on the Boston Marathon app. I’m glad it was awesome for you! My goal is to get there in the next 5 years. Maybe we’ll see each other.

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I am so happy for you, congrats! I enjoyed every word of your post, but especially loved your last bullet point about how running changes us. I am a fairly new runner and only discovered my passion for running last year. It has been life changing in so many ways and you eloquently captured in words what being able to run truly means to me, so thank you so much for that.

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I love it! You are amazing. Congratulations!

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Congratulations Janae! This post definitely made me feel emotional. I live in CA but my mom and sister live an hour outside of Boston. I have never been to the Marathon though that experience seems totally unique and special. Running is spiritual! Best of luck on your continued training :)

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Congratulations! Thank you for allowing us to follow your journey and share this experience. You are blessed with a beautiful daughter and an amazing family – enjoy!

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INCREDIBLE!!! Janae, you are so inspiring! I loved reading all of your thoughts here- makes me feel like maybe a half marathon is possible! ;) Some day…

xo

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Janae, you are such a massive inspiration! I have been an avid reader for about four years now, and just wanted to let you know you have been a big influence for me even though I live on the other side of the world – I am running my first marathon in 2wks, I will be thinking of how much grit you have when I am pushing through those last 10km. We can do hard things!

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Amazing job!!! That sounds that a wonderful race and I just loved reading about it!!

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Janea

You will probably never see this with all the other comments but I say you come to Richmond VA this November and run “The World’s Friendliest Marathon.” Plus, my daughter Gentry says her and Brooke would be BFFs… and ever. She has lots of princess dresses she wants to share and some awesome choc-o-wet tea.

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so awesome…so proud of you

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I’m crying! There is something awesome about a parent’s love! I’m so happy for you that you have such supportive parents. You will carry that over to Brooke forever. I cried in the middle of my first marathon because I was able to hug my dad.

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Congratulations!!! I’m so proud of you. I was looking for you at Athlete’s Village, but figured you were under the tent — way too crowded under there for this girl :) Rest up!

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Big time Congratulations!!!! What a great run!!

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So proud of you Janae! I hope to make it to Boston within the next 3 years and hopefully meet ya! Either that i’m a visit to Utah because those mountains are incredible!

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I am so, so happy for you Janae and I love what you said about believing you can reach your big goal and how spiritual running is. That couldn’t be more true! I love all your photos and can’t wait to celebrate with you in Seattle in June. I’ll buy you an apple fritter in honor of your amazing day. LOL! xo

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Janae –

I am so beyond excited for you. You got to run Boston!!!!!!!!! On top of it you did fantastic. I’ve been following your blog since you first started and I’m so impressed with how you handle life. You’re an inspiration as an individual and as a runner. So excited to continue to see where you go!!!!

What’s next???
xoxoxo
Caitlin

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Congratulations on a job well done! Enjoy your rest days until your next run!

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Congratulations on your amazing race! Just reading this post gave me a runner’s high and got me extra pumped up for my half this weekend. Can’t wait to read more about your experiences!

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You are awesome! Well done! x

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It was so fun/interesting reading about your prep for Boston. I’ve been following you for years and just moved out to Cali where a bunch of my November Project friends ran and it was so cool to see all your journeys. I was watching the live feed and we were all pissed they didn’t have bikers with cameras on you/our other friends like they did the leads. Psch. Maybe next year. You’ll get that sub 3 hour, girl. I know it!

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CONGRATULATIONS, Janae!
What an incredible time for the weather conditions. I finished like 30 minutes behind you, just taking pictures and video along the course. I’ll go back to race it one day :)
I agree with you and your friends about the people in Boston… they are super cool and incredibly friendly!
Glad you had a great time, and congratulations on requalifying in Boston!

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Oh, I totally got teary-eyed reading this!! Congrats CONGRATS! It almost makes me want to run a marathon…. but I like triathlons too much. ;)

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Congratulations!!

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Janae!! I had so much fun watching you race down Commonwealth Ave on your way towards Boylston. You ROCKED this race…so many congrats <3

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what brand type of ear plugs do u wear? Tx. Luv ur blog

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Congrats!!! You crushed it.

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Great recap! I cannot imagine running 3:12 in those conditions … I was totally unprepared for the pounding of downhills back in 2013 and totally agree with your description of Heartbreak Hill … not that steep, but at crazy moment in the race, when your quads are crashed from all the downhills! Enjoy your runners’ high :-)

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You always amaze me- you’ve been such an inspiration to me whether it be through running or things that you’ve had to endure in your personal life. I’ve been a long time reader and even though I don’t know you personally I am extremely proud of you and all your accomplishments! You are an amazing person!!

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