Hiking, an amazing finish line movie, your recommendations and my marathon playlist!!!

A different kind of day over here… traded in running for hiking.

Brooke knows that we are always in for an extra fun activity if Beretta comes in the car with us.

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We weren’t sure how these two were going to do but it turned out that we had to try to catch up with them pretty much the entire time.

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They switched off who was the leader for the little bridges along the way because that is a huge deal;)

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And then we made it to the waterfall—>  Grotto Falls (perfect hike if you live in Utah and you have little ones).

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Just some cattle on the side of the road while we were driving.

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Rewind to the morning and we went to church

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and came home and Andrew put together this salad for me.  We have a good arrangement going on… he loves to cook when he is home and I love (ehh… am crazy about kitchens) cleaning up everything afterwards.

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My mom asked me to bring cookies over for dinner at their house last night.  It’s always a good sign when this much peanut butter is involved.

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I was pretty happy that I ended next to this dude at dinner.

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The freeze game with grandma…

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And my fuel belt arrived.  A few of you recommended a belt with bottles for the race since carrying one was bugging me.  I’ll write something up about it after I’ve tried it out a bit but I think we have found an answer.  Hydration + not annoyed to be carrying something in my hand for hours.  It felt pretty comfortable too but everything changes about 15 miles into a run right;)

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Other recommendations that I am trying from YOUR comments!  These gels (people say they are way easier on the stomach compared to normal running fuel) and this book.  I cannot wait.  I’m also stocked up with my new electrolyte go to.  It was like Christmas morning for this runner when the amazon boxes showed up.

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Also, I need to find this for my carbo loading next week.  I adore life cereal and I adore pumpkin… match made in heaven. (From Candice’s snap)

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An incredible finish line story.  That family bond is sure a strong thing.

MARATHON PLAYLIST (aka one of the most important parts of the race for me;)… I love to run the first hour and sometimes up to 10 miles of a marathon without music to help prevent going out too fast.  I also love doing this because it gives me another boost of energy/motivation to look forward to.    last time I did The St. George Marathon I forgot to charge my earbuds before the race.  I got to about an hour into the race and tried to turn my headphones on and nothing.  An entire marathon without music is something I really hope I never experience in the future;)  Luckily, I was having a good running day during that marathon!!

I thought I would give an explanation about why I like some of these songs/the memories that go with them.  Some songs I have zero  explanation as to why I like them:)

Go Get It by T.I.

Let Your Heart Go by T.I. This one reminds me of when I ran Boston…  I had it on repeat for a bit:)

Sucker for Pain by Lil’ Wayne and Imagine Dragons

Ghetto Supastar by Pras  (reminds me of my sister because this song was on one of her running cassette tape mixes back in the day)

Lose Yourself by Eminem (I listened to this song a lot during my first 1/2 marathon that I broke 1:30 and it always reminds me of that race).

Roses by The Chainsmokers (this song will never get old to me)

The Quiet Things That No One Ever Needs to Know by Brand New  (in high school I went to any Brand New concert that came my way… I have a weird love for them).

Guernica by Brand New

Love The Way You Lie by Eminem

Hold Me Down by Halsey

Pain by Jimmy Eat World (we are going to this concert the weekend after the race so I need to prepare)

Cute Without the “E” by Taking Back Sunday  (another high school obsession… we went to their concerts too)

Closer by The Chainsmokers

Slow Burn by Louis Vivet

Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (I cried a lot on my runs when I lived in California but whenever this song came on it would just perk me back up and whenever I hear it, it still perks me up)

Take A Look Around by Limp Bizkit  (reminds me of my brothers in high school:)

Motivation by James the Mormon

Alive by P.O.D.

Feeling This by blink -182  (I love the idea of FEELING THIS ((not what the song is about exactly..)) but it just reminds me to feel grateful to be running a marathon and to embrace the pain)!

Gone Till November by Wyclef Jean  (I know pretty much every word to this song and I just love it).

Inside Out by The Chainsmokers

Downtown by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Glass by MØ  (this was my favorite song when I met Andrew)

Kamikaze by MØ

Raise Up by Petey Pablo  (reminds me of how cool I thought I was in high school when I would listen to this song blasting loud while I drove around in my Crown Victoria ((my high school car… it was gold too)).

Let Me Love You by DJ Snake (and Justin Beiber)


Races… listen to music the whole race, part of the race or none of the race?

Andrew needs ideas for funny race signs to take to the marathon (well, he doesn’t know he does but these comments will inspire him to have one)… what are some of your favorite race signs that you’ve seen?

Have a favorite finish line story… would love to hear them!!

Last new thing that you bought for your running?  

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I am so excited for you to run St. George!! I’m 29 weeks pregnant so no racing right now for me, but I am envious of all those gearing up for marathons! I miss it! My husband will be running Chicago in 3 weeks and I can’t wait to cheer him and everyone else along!

The last thing I bought for running were the Saucony Zealot Iso and I LOVE them. I need a more cushioned show for running while pregnant but these are still super light so they are perfect for me right now!


I don’t listen to music while I run (I’ve just never been able to unless I’m on a treadmill), but this is a pretty solid playlist. LOVE Taking Back Sunday–definitely takes me back to high school and college! :)

My favorite finish line story is probably when I was running a half marathon and turned a corner to the finishing stretch, and all of a sudden my sister comes running toward me dressed in a bee costume. A camp she had worked for was at the race promoting the camp, and the people there had asked her to run the 5K–dressed in the bee costume. She had, and then she ran the last little bit of my race with me, dressed as a bee. That might be one of the only times I have busted out laughing while trying to finish hard!


Read this post before my morning coffee and I read the one line about cattle as “saw a castle” and I was like hmmmm where? I was looking for it at the top of that hill, haha!

I hope you enjoy the water belt! The last running thing I bought was a new sports bra :) it arrives on Tuesday so I guess you could say Tuesday is a big day for me.


I did the same thing! I’ll blame tired eyes!!


I like to listen to music for a half or full, but nothing shorter. I just got a new MP3 player and am currently trying to figure out how to load the music to it. I think the next longer race I do, I might start out without music and then turn it on for the last half of the race, when things start to get tough mentally. I might have to come back to some of your playlist suggestions :)


Thanks for all the song suggestions! I usually listen to a podcast for the first half of a race then switch to music to help me get to the finish line.

I love vega products, so thanks for the reminder to pick that up! Most recent thing I bought was a pair of Brooks Launch shoes…love them!


My favorite sign from my husband at my last 1/2 “Run now, ice cream later” or maybe in your case “Run now, donuts later” :)

Good luck! And thanks for the fabulously positive and real posts. They truly help me get through the tough days.


I like to save my music for the last 10 miles of a marathon. Once while running the NYC marathon I waited until mile 20 thanks to the crowds of spectators but my iPod wouldn’t work. I couldn’t understand and was so mad. Turns out the volume control on the wire of my earphones slid down. I didn’t check that. Grrr.


I love it when you post your playlists because there’s always a song I love that I forgot about. Like Gone Til November. How did I forget this song exists? Downloading it now. Right now one of my favorite running songs is Little Black Backpack.


Yay for the fuel belt! Cant wait to hear how you love it. Notice I said love, ;) The key is not to wear it too tight or too lose so I suggest a little practice beforehand.

I love music during races but I try not to use it because then I rely on it too much.

I just bought the lumo run and lumo lift, I’m ill right now so no lumo run workouts for a bit but I’m super excited to try it.


The best sign I have seen at a race was “Worst Parade EVER!”


That’s my favorite, too! :)






I can’t do fuel belts. It isn’t that they are uncomfortable, but I can’t deal with the water moving back and forth, it always drove me crazy! I finally got used to my handheld, but I only use them for mid-distance runs and never carry it during a race. I’m excited to see what you think!


I got the cutest polka dot shorts as part of my pace uniform from the marathon we paced this past weekend. I put a picture of them up on my blog earlier this morning.

We do not listen to music. I actually find it kind of makes me lose track of staying on pace. I do like a lot of your old school songs, though. We are the same age so it also reminds me of high school times.

Brooke’s top knots look adorable, btw!


Funniest race sign: “I don’t wanna see any Walken!” with a huge pic of Christopher Walken. Cracked me up – maybe because I was so tired at that point in the race? :)

Also – when you said you had a new book to read, for some reason I got excited thinking it might be runner/blogger, Cory Reese’s new book. He also lives in Utah and has ran St. George before (last year he did a quadruple marathon – he started at the finish line of St. George, ran to the start, then to the finish, and back to the start and then ran the race with everyone else). I love both of your blogs and have always wondered if your paths will ever cross.


AHHHH I have met Cory one time and I am going to get his book! Seriously an amazing guy and I can’t believe he did that last year… WOW!

HAHA, love that sign you saw. Hilarious!


I listen to music randomly throughout a race. I don’t like starting with listening — I prefer to hear the cheering crowds! When I’m bored or feeling the need for an extra push, I crank up the tunes!


I actually did my longest run ever without music this weekend! 16 miles, I didn’t really crave music until about mile 13.

My fav race sign is “Smile if you pee’d a little”.

I’ve been using a small Camelbak for long runs and so far it’s been great.

I just bought pumpkin spice Life and pumpkin mini wheats and the mini wheats definitely won out for me :)


Hiking to a waterfalls is one of my favorite things to do (when we are in North Georgia). Also hiking on the Appalachian Trail. Most recent purchases:


Sports Bra:

Recently watched:
From Fat to Finish Line (Key West Ragner) on Netflix.


That hike looks beautiful! I generally have my ipod playing the whole race, but will take it in and out if there is a lot of entertainment, or if I happen upon someone that I know while running! It is more background noise than anything – most of the time I can’t even remember what songs came on!


Gone till November- I completely forgot about this song! I loved it because it reminded me of my cousin. I’m gonna have to find that song again.


I listen to music for parts of the race because I tend to get sick of having the music in my ears for that long! OH my gosh that IS just like Christmas morning for a runner!!!! Can’t wait to hear how they go!!!! Last thing I bought was calf compression sleeves that were on sale! Love Brooke’s hair!!!


Great playlist!
Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis is my “mile song”. In college (I played division 1 tennis) we had to run a timed mile every freakin’ Wednesday morning, followed by a many more sprints if we didn’t break our time from the previous week. It was the best feeling ever when I finally broke 6 minutes!


NO WAY… that is so awesome you played division 1 tennis in college… you are incredible. You broke 6 minutes (Can’t Hold Us is perfect for rocking the mile:), that is awesome Jana!


I’m a pacer for my running club so never listen to music on long training runs. When I run alone or race … I ALWAYS need to listen to music the whole time. Keeps a pep in my step!

Last new thing I bought for running – Handheld water bottle because my last one was disgusting. Still need to get new shoes!


I LOVE this playlist!! I might have to steal a few of these to freshen things up. I love to listen to new upbeat songs, but there’s just something sooo right about having some throw back punk rock and some Eminem pop up in the mix. I would definitely crank the tunes for the whole race.


I was supposed to buy another pair of running shoes this weekend but instead but cute shoes to wear every day. oops. I definitely need my music during races! I have yet to run a race without music and often have nightmares that I forgot my headphones for a race.


Finish line story:

I learned AFTER my last 1/2 marathon that the reason my hip/leg hurt so bad was that I had a femur stress fracture. Continuing to run was HARD in that race. About mile 9 there was an older man dancing around and chanting, “just keep running” “just keep running”, he saw me and said, “You got this, only a few more miles to ice cream!”
He made me smile and I realized that if I didn’t finish I would one day be his age and regret not just powering through to the finish.

I’m finally back running!!! Saw some old training times this past week and cried happy tears. Haven’t bought anything new because my new Ghosts weren’t worn for 5 months.


OH RACHELLE!!! That sounds crazy painful… I’m so glad that you are back to running now. Coming back from an injury always helps me to appreciate running that much more! Congrats on getting back to some old training times:) LOVE what that older guy at your race said ha!


I do listen to music gotta get my playlist for my race soon…I don’t listen the first 6 miles of a full. Otherwise it’s on whole time.
Long run today


I LOVE songs that have running mentioned in them! The Champ by Nelly and Surivial by Muse are the best!


You win… adding those now. THANK YOU for the recommendations!


A couple other fun signs: last year I ran a half marathon and saw two girls with signs, one said “Go Fast” and the other sign said “That’s what she said” (for any fans of The Office). I also saw one at a race in the spring (39 degrees!) that said “Run Faster So I Can Go Inside”. In my race this weekend, I saw a sign with a cutout of Taylor Swift that said: “I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 26.2”. “All toenails go to heaven” is another funny one.


BAHAHA I love those signs you saw… they are all absolutely hilarious! Thank you Valerie!


Thanks for the book and song recommendations! Good luck in the race!


Thank you so much April!!!


I listen to music the whole time…………I love music and I focus on that rather than the little things that start bugging me on a long run. I always start my playlist with “Footloose”……..kind of a lucky charm song for me and I have the movie soundtrack version, a Blake Shelton version, and (my favorite) the Bacon Brothers version (Kevin Bacon and his brother……..they can sing! Plus it’s ironic that he was in Footloose and is now singing that song!)

I like the “this parade sucks” signs when I see them! Also, “never trust a fart after mile 15″…………funny………but true!

And I hope you like those Huma gels………they are the only kind I use. I love the blueberry and strawberry best, and sometimes I put them in the fridge so they are cold! I just got some new ones to try and am so excited!

And I just bought some new running shoes…purple ones……..going to break them in today!


You two are the cutest! What a fun hike!


No music. I listened to music while running from 2003 to 2012, but then a surprise cougar crossing my path on a run while I was pregnant inspired me to be completely aware of my surroundings :)

My favorite sign:
Run like you stole something!

I ordered a new handheld water bottle that fits my phone, key, and other small things.


I would have peed myself. Especially while pregnant!


I can’t help but laugh thinking of you driving around in your gold Crown Victoria. The only thing that would have made it better is if you were short like me so only the top of your hair showed over the steering wheel.

And how amazing is it that Andrew is such a good cook? I could get used to that!

That finish line story gave me goosebumps.


Some of my favorite signs ” my 9 month pregnant sister is running faster then you” and “You’re running better then the government.” Seeing funny signs is one of my favorite parts about running races. It makes me love random strangers.


Present Over Perfect is amazing!! I’m almost finished with it… I hope you love it too :)


So far I am really loving it… good to hear that you loved it too! THANKS Miranda!


I honestly have never run more than 2-miles without music. I think I’d die / would probably just quit (I’ve done this) if my iPhone died midrun and I had to finish without my playlist.


The Greatest by Sia is one of my favorite new running songs I recommend it


Yes!!! This!!


And I just added it to my list thanks to you!!!!!


Like you, I usually start a marathon without music, but I love having it when I need it. I limit music to speed work and long runs during training, it keeps me from pushing too hard on easy days.

Best finish line was a 10k I did in May. My cyclist/non-runner husband was there and since the race was small he was able to run beside me at the finish. He’s much more coordinated than I am, so he ran, carried cold water and a towel for me, and videoed it! I would have been flat on my face trying to do all that! The official race photographer got a shot of it.


This one won’t work because the surprise is important. The sign reads “I love your stamina. Call me.”

I made the mistake of taking my wife and daughter to the local running shop for gait analysis and new shoes. Over an hour later and still hadn’t gotten out of there. I did get a Orb ball for foam rolling for myself.

My 16 month old boy loves Roses by Chainsmokers. Indeed there’s several Chainsmokers songs in heavy rotation in our household.


HAHAH I love that sign… hilarious!!! Sounds like a great (long) trip to the running store:) HAH glad you guys are listening to Chainsmokers over there too!!! Enjoy the rest of your day Clark!


Funniest sign I’ve seen was at the 2012 Utah Valley Marathon. Some little kid was holding this ginormous poster size sign in the canyon (that was when people could spectate in the canyon) and it read, “smile if you’re not wearing underpants!” It made me smile!

I listen to music throughout the entire marathon. Why not? Enjoy it if you’ve got it!

Last thing I got was a nike pro sports bra in pink.

Best finish line — the SLC marathon that was 5 days following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. I cried as I thought of and remembered the victims. Finished with someone that had been there.


HAHAH BEST SIGN EVER:) That is hilarious! I bet that finish at the SLC marathon was beyond moving for you and all those around you.

I hope you are having a fabulous day Susan!


I don’t generally listen to music when I run outside but I do find it easier to listen to music after about 10 miles of running. It kind of shuts up any annoying internal chatter.

My friend has the same belt and wears the pouch/bottles in the front. She swears it feels better. My advice? Make sure you can move it to get what you need but you don’t want it sliding around constantly when you run, it’s annoying. It’s trial and error so I’d practice on the next few runs. (I’ll be honest – holding a bottle, running with a camelbak, and wearing a hydration belt are all annoying to me. The belt is the least annoying and so it’s my winner).

Let us know how you like the Huma gels. I also heard that Hammer products are easier stomach-wise. I bought one to try out but it’ll be a few weeks before I need it again. I’ve been using TailWind Nutrition drink and I like that. I don’t need nearly as many gels and it’s easy on my stomach. I also like Vega for an electrolyte drink.


I listen to music the entire time, have to.. it just keeps me going during a race. Currently working on my playlist for St George so I’ll be incorporating some of these songs too! Thanks for the suggestions. Also, your cookies reminded me…my go to peanut butter cookie recipe that is SO easy and gets TONS of compliments always. 1 cup peanut butter, 1 egg, 1 cup sugar Mix ingredients together until a dough forms, roll into balls, use a fork dipped in sugar and flatten cookies with a criss cross design, bake for 10 mins at 350. SO delish!

Latest running purchase would be new shoes and a new insulated handheld bottle. Gotta keep the water cold! Can’t decide if I want to take the bottle or not with me to the race. It gets annoying after a while so I’ll probably opt to leave that at home! I’ve always had trouble with belts moving around, hopefully you’ll have better luck!


I LOVE Huma gels. I have a sensitive gut and they work for me too. The raspberry one is my favorite. I’m fueling my next half with a GU waffle and a Huma gel.


I’m so glad you are trying the Huma gels! I tried the fuel belt, but found the only way I could get it to stay in place was around my stomach (not my hips, kept sliding up) and then it would squeeze my stomach which was not good. So I use a handheld now.

I actually just recently posted about my favorite running songs on my blog. Here are the top 5 that always make a playlist: Hello Good Morning by Diddy, Remember The Name by Fort Minor, Death Valley by Fall Out Boy (I actually have a TON of Fall Out Boy on my playlist), Winner by Jamie Foxx, Justin Timberlake, T.I.,Are You Gonna Go My Way by Lenny Kravitz.

I listen to music the entire race, but make different playlists for different legs of the race. The first part of the race has very mellow songs to relax me and be sure I don’t go out too fast!

The last running thing I bought – 4 bags of epsom salts. Marathon training is getting REAL over here!


Oh my goodness your music recommendations are always the best, pretty much guarantee (if it’s not already on my playlist) that I’ll love it. Cool to have a few oldies from the high school years too- memories!



Last running thing I bought was a headlamp.

I rarely listen to music at races. I’m kind of a rule follower and most races ask you not to here. Besides, I like when random people run and talk with me occasionally.


Yea! For the book. I loved it. Definitely music the entire time. A little Bon Jovi, Billy Joel and Aerosmith mixed in with my Elevation Worship, Bethel and Passion.


Nice article.
I am experimenting with mindful running, so no music for me on my ketogenic marathon training.


Brand New!!! just saw them for the millionth time a few months ago. Always good for running tunes!


Checking out some of those songs! And omg pumpkin spice life!? I STILL CANNOT FIND THE PUMPKIN SPICE CHEERIOS! It’s killing me on the inside.


Those kiddos sure are cute!!


Here’s a go to song for my marathon play list:


A great finish line story, to me at least…my husband and I ran the Steamboat Springs, CO marathon this year in June. We switched to it about 10 days before the race because the marathon we were going to do was cancelled (BOO Minneapolis!). We had done 0 hill training, 0 altitude training (we live in Houston, TX) and we were just unprepared for that course. But, we made up our minds to just go for it and look around, not at the road, for the race. Take it all in, one step at a time. Turns out, it’s a very solitary marathon. Basically a beautiful 26 mile solo long run. Amazing, but butt-kicking for 2 kids who grew up below sea-level (in New Orleans) and were running a marathon at 6,600 feet!

As I was coming down into town, last few steps of mile 25 and into 26, the song “Mountain at my Gates” by Foals game on. The Steamboat Marathon ends with the ski resort as its backdrop, so all I could see was the “FINISH” blow-up, with huge, amazing, powerful, intimidating mountains behind it. I wept. I didn’t cry, I UGLY cried and wailed. I left it all on that course, and that song was exactly what I needed to empty the tank as I crossed the line.

Here’s the song:


When I ran my first marathon, someone had a sign that said “Hurry up, someone saw a bear a mile back.” This was about mile 22 and it made me smile.

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