Why I think we run races (& pay a lot to do them), and 6 years of blogging!!

One last run on the Arizona dirt trails until the next time I am in town.  I held about an 8:06 average for an hour and that felt really comfortable.  I am taking that as a sign that the post-marathon recovery has gone well and that my body is starting to wake-up again.

It only took four self-timer tries to run across at the right time.  Another no headphones run (because I forgot them but I’m sure glad I did because it allowed for a lot of thinking during the miles).

It started getting pretty hot by the end and I enjoyed any of the shadows from the trees that I could get.

I was happy to get back to the pebble ice machine where we were staying.

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I got back and hung out/did a little weights with the girls while they did their circuit workout.  Two of my friends said that they have NEVER worn mismatched socks when they saw my socks for the day.  I packed in about 4 minutes and this is what I got (glad I didn’t even put the L sock on the correct foot;)

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This stretch is one that actually feels so so good for me.  Most stretches don’t feel great for me (flexibility has never been my thing) but this one, just feels amazing for me.

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I wasn’t in Arizona for very many meals but I did make sure to get Sauce for two of the meals.   That turkey and feta salad and tomato basil soup is something else.  Utah really needs to get one of these.  Fast.

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After lunch we sat by the pool for a little bit before heading to the airport.

“This isn’t about working less or more, necessarily.  This isn’t about homemade or takeout, or full time or part time, or the specific ways we choose to live out our days.  It’s about rejecting the myth that every day is a new opportunity to prove our worth, and about the truth that our worth is inherent, given by God, not earned by our hustling.  It’s about learning to show up and let ourselves be seen just as we are, massively imperfect and weak and wild and flawed in  a thousand ways, but still worth loving.  It’s about realizing that what makes our lives meaningful is not about what we accomplish, but how deeply and honestly we connect with the people in our lives, how whole we give ourselves to the making of a better world, through kindness and courage.”

-From Present Over Perfect.

Seriously I just want to highlight this entire book.  It has been just what my brain needed and it would have really come in handy about ten years ago;)

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And then we were off.

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Andrew and the kids had a blast camping while I was away and I was more than ready to see them again.

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They picked me up from the airport and had a turkey sandwich ready and waiting for me (hangry Janae isn’t nearly as fun).

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Feels good to be home with them!

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I don’t know how I came across this picture below but it was from the finish line of a race a few years ago.  It got me thinking a lot about races.  I don’t race a ton (I do probably 4-6ish total a year) but I do love them.

I think training for races is one of the main things that got me into running consistently in the first place.  I had always run in the past but it wasn’t until Megan invited me to do a marathon with her that I started running more than doing anything else…. and now it is pretty much all I do (unless I’m injured) exercise-wise.  Having a race on the calendar is the thing that gets me out the door on the days that I don’t feel like doing anything and it is the thing that gets me to do speed work—>  I like speed work once I am doing it but getting myself out to start a hard workout is purely motivated by an upcoming race.

I think there are a million reasons why races are so popular and something that I keep signing up for.  I have a few reasons that stick out for me:

*That sense of community.  Feeling part of something bigger is something I think we all crave a bit.  Races gather up all of us crazy runners in an area and we see what running does for a huge amount of people.*

*It allows us to see/explore new areas the best way possible—>  by foot.  Race directors have really nailed down setting up courses to see the prettiest and most interesting parts of different areas.  I remember during the New York City Marathon feeling so lucky to see so much of the city in just a few hours.  You get to take in a whole new setting.

*You meet amazing people.  Talking to people on the bus, in the porta potty line, hearing stories from people around you, and learning about how they got to race day is beyond interesting to me.

*Not having to think about where I should run while I run.  I love not having to plot out a course in my brain and think about when I should turn or the best way to get back to my car/house.  They all just tell me when to turn and I go into cruise control and just get to enjoy the actual running.

*How nice is it to have your water/gatorade cup handed right on over to you from someone with a smile on their face.  That is so much more fun than stopping at a drinking fountain while out on a run.  Also, someone putting a medal around your neck for finishing your run is  a lot more exciting than just finishing and patting yourself on the back.

*I cannot forget all of the post race food sitting there ready for you to eat as soon as you finish (a few races around here offer french toast from one of the really good restaurants/bakeries in the area).

*Races motive us (me…) to really get out of our comfort zone and see what we are capable of.  I don’t think it is possible for me to push myself as hard in a solo workout as I do during a race.

*They get us questioning what we can really do.  Then we see our potential as we race.  Races always make me hungry to do it all again and figure out my potential a bit more.

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PS it was my SIX YEARS OF BLOGGING anniversary a few days ago!!!  Thank you so much for reading/commenting/emailing/being my friend.  A whole lot has happened over these 6 years! I am really glad I started all of this online rambling that I thought my mom would be the only one to read.  Instead I have been able to connect and learn from you over the years.

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What would you say is your biggest motivator to keep you running?   What motivates you to get out of bed to lace up your running shoes when you’d rather sleep a bit more?

Why do you keep signing up for races?  

What are the main things that draw you into doing a particular race in the first place?  The course, close to home, friends are doing it, big or small race, prizes, swag, temperatures, travel…. what gets you to sign up for a race.  

What’s on your weekend agenda?

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55 comments

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I think it’s having something to keep me sane and make me feel good that keeps me running. Running allows me to escape from the stresses of the world around me. It’s almost like when you’re a little kid playing outside, unaware of all of the bad things there are in life. You’re simply out there doing something you love, and it’s peaceful and sometimes even forces you out of your comfort zones, which is a good thing sometimes.

I’m ready for some rest this weekend. Work and life stuff have me in a horrible funk, and I’m hoping some napping, football watching and froyo eating will help tremendously.

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Present Over Perfect is amazing! You should try Wild and Free by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan! It is amazing and an easy read!

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AHHHH THANK YOU for the book recommendation. Ordering it ASAP!!!

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Happy blogaversary! I have been reading your blog for 4 years!! I started reading right around the time I started running so I’ll never forget haha.

I would sign up for so many more races each year if they didn’t start so early around here! Most races start at 6 or 6:30am which means a 4am wakeup call and I’m just not a morning person. I looooove napping after a good race though :D

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Running with friends is my free therapy and allows me to eat more of what I want and still fit in my clothes. And if I didn’t have friends to train with, I would probably stay in bed at 5am! I sign up for races to keep my training on track (instead of turning into a slugabed) and I pick them based on: 1) non-Sunday, 2) course, 3) accessibility and cost (mostly travel cost).

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Congrats on six years! I LOVE races. I’ve already done 20 this year! I do a lot of small races. I love pushing myself and like you said, what better place to do that than a race. I run to be the best version of myself that I can be. Races give me confidence and I like to be able to see my progress over time. I’ve got a 5K tomorrow :)

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I think what motivates me to keep running is my curiosity. What am I going to learn about myself today? What can I do today? What are my limits? How gentle can I be with myself? What can I see today? How can I feel God’s presence today? Also, I remember this phrase “better for it”. It makes me better :)
As far as why I race- curiosity again! And, of course, I kinda like the pain and to compete ;)

Congrats on 6 years of blogging!!! I have said it before but I will say it again- your blog has really helped me (and I am sure, a ton of people) and makes us all feel like we have a community and friend!

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I run many races just to see my friends that I don’t get to train with. I actually just signed up for a half marathon NEXT WEEKEND just to see my friend Jane and know that we’ll be going to our favorite post race pub for refueling. It’s worth the $80 entry fee, an hour’s drive at zero-dark thirty and 13.1 miles of running just to catch up over a burger afterward :)

This weekend I’m going on a boat cruise up the Hudson River here in NYC with my boyfriend. Hoping the rain gets out before it starts. We’re going to tour lighthouses and get bonus views of the gorgeous fall foliage.

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Races to me are cherries on the sundae (training). I love having races on the calendar because it always gives me something to look forward to. A bib has magic powers. I can always unleash more during a race then I can when I train. Most of the days when I’m running solo I run easy. I enjoy the social aspect of races & everything you stated. Seeing a different city, place on foot brings me so much joy! My love for running/training isn’t ‘race on a calendar motivated.’ I know that even if there wasn’t a race on the calendar I’d still lace up everyday as if there was. :)

Congrats on 6 years Janae!! I’m grateful to know you personally & it’s because of your blog that made it possible. I’m so happy for you & you seem so content in your life right now. :) You really add the cherry on the sundae to the women’s running community & I appreciate your transparency & insight.

I’m looking forward to going on a long run with a couple of speedy ladies tomorrow morning. I’m going to register for Revel Canyon City 11/12 which will be my last marathon of the year. Also soccer, baseball for my little & birthday planning for Ryan. xo

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My dearest Pam, I am so beyond lucky to call you my friend. All thanks to blogging. You have helped me through some tough times and spending time with you has been the best!! I love your explanation of racing being the cherrie on top of the sundae.. so true. You have been rocking your races lately and have an amazing long run tomorrow and time with your cutest boys! Sure love you!

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Wow 6 years! I’ve only been reading it for a year but I LOVE your blog! Looking forward to many more years reading it!
I rarely sign up for races, and they’re usually because they look cool. I like to challenge myself, so, on a whim, I’ll find the hardest half trail race or the 50 mile ultra….haha. But, now that I’m injury free and mentally back in the game, I’m looking forward to some road race PR’s next year–break 20 in the 5k (we’re talking back to high school times!) and a BQ are my goals….maybe that’s a little ambitious? :)

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Happy 6 years! I think I started reading right around when you were pregnant with Brooke, because I was pregnant at the same time.

I like races because of the community. It’s so much fun to run with hundreds of other people!

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Yay 6 years!!!! That’s awesome!

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Great post and I would agree with most of this! I run a lot of races and enjoy all of them because of that sense of community. Nothing beats seeing other people excel and do well!

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Happy Blogversary! I found your blog a couple of years ago, right before I got pregnant so to read another mom who runs was a great find!

No real weekend plans, except making pumpkin seeds and family pictures :)

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Happy Blogiversary! I’ve been here about 4 1/2 of those 6! You’re the only blog I follow-thanks for sharing with us!

I run because it makes me feel alive and free! I’m entering a different stage because my running group of 4 years has pretty much dissolved over the past 6 months. Sad sad sad. I miss my girls! But I keep at it because I LOVE it.

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Happy 6 years of blogging!! I love how real your blog posts are. :). What motivates me to keep running is actually a couple of things…I used to weigh 100 pounds more than I do right now so running helps me keep the weight off and has boosted my confidence so much. Running is also my down time for myself to help me relieve stress. When I’m in a grumpy mood, a run can totally make my attitude better.

As for races, I LOVE having something to train for and push myself past limits. Once I break through and prove to myself that there are no limits and I’m stronger/faster than I think, the running endorphins go crazy. Such an awesome feeling!

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Happy Blog-aversary! And congratulations on 6 years! Here’s to many more :)
I started running in the later part of my 30’s, and quickly realized how much I really enjoy it! Now in my 40’s (how the heck did that happen??) I still enjoy running, but what motivates me on days I don’t want to is how I feel! I feel so healthy, happy, in shape, clear headed, energetic… All this, I think, makes me a better wife, a better mom, a better me!
My husband convinced me that I could run a half marathon after he finished his 2nd marathon. So we signed up for the Surf City (in Huntington Beach) half marathon. WOW! That was so fun and is my favorite half! We run it every year now :) We also run a half in December in Oxnard with my husband’s sister. It is so fun to be out there running with family! And I have now become a big fan of the LA Marathon! Similar to the NY marathon (I think) in that you get to see a big portion of the city! It’s like sight seeing for a few hours with thousands of instant friends! I love that about races! You really feel like you’re one big team out there! That’s why I love races :)
Thanks for blogging and inspiring me! Happy Friday!

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Happy sixth birthday HRG. :)

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Happy anniversary! I started reading when you were pregnant with Brooke! It was great to follow you on such an amazing journey! Now I can’t miss a day! Running is my main weapon against cystic fibrosis so I already have an excellent reason to run…but picking a few races during the year gives me extra motivation to get the running shoes on every morning! And I love that no matter who we are or what we do, the morning of a race we’re all just a bunch of happy runners.

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I run to stay healthy, and it clears my mind and keeps me sane. That definitely gets me out of bed in the morning, and it’s my “me” time. I signed up for races initially because it took me years and years to be able to run a 5K. Then I realized how much fun they were. I love them socially, but I also what certain races for what they are funding. My teacher friend does one for her school. we have one in town for a person we all know who died of cancer, etc. But when it comes down to it, I love those kick ass tshirts & goodie bags ! lol Weekend plans, I’m gonna cry alot. We are traveling to Missouri for my nephew’s Military Graduation (already graduated from Boot Camp), now he’s graduating from his Specialty Trade in Transportation. He was just so little, now he’s all grown up. (insert pathetic sign).

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It’s race weekend over here!!!!! We are going to Cornbelly’s today, too! So excited! I have missed Utah! I really think Utah has the best shopping stores!

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Running is my time alone with my thoughts. I just love the feeling of accomplishment after a run.. there is nothing like it!

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Happy 6 years! Time flies when you’re having fun!

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The overall feeling that I get after running is my main motivation! Having witnessed my father’s lifestyle of being a long distance runner and doing races all the time is also a huge motivation for me.

He has always taught me that races are like parties,that you should always enjoy. I just started racing a month ago and I realized my father couldn’t be more accurate. That is what gets me motivated to sign up for more races in the future.

I don’t have any races on my weekend agenda but I’m so excited because my mom is flying in today to visit me. I haven’t seen her in two years! It’s going to be very special to see her again and share some quality time together.

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I’m not very flexible either, so stretching is usually a challenge for me, but it’s always worth it because it feels so good afterwards.

The only weekend plans I have are being interviewed. Usually I’m the one doing the interviewing so it’s a little strange having the tables turned.

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Setting goals and achieving them is really what keeps me running. If I commit to running a race, I run that race. (Does that mean pride?)

For races, I look for the right distance, the right size (not too many other runners) and the right distance from my home – I don’t usually like to have to drive hours and hours to a race.

This weekend hubby and I are car/suv/truck shopping since his is on it’s last leg. Should be fun but terrifying! Such an adult activity!

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Training for upcoming races has always been a huge motivator for me. The best part is seeing and feeling improvements, especially when marathon training!

I’m actually too flexible, which is apparently bad for runners! Imagine a rubber band running…haha that’s the imagery/description someone once told me and now I can’t get it out of my mind.

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Alright, gotta read that book. That quote made me tear up at work! I relate to that entirely. I have spent so much of my life trying to prove that I have worth. My mantra is even “worth it.” I’m worth making a healthy meal, I’m worth enough sleep, I’m worth some extra time to play, I’m worth an early morning run. My sister owns a T Shirt company that only has positive energy messages on the shirts and she even made me one. Check it out: https://www.facebook.com/positiviteesdesigns/ :)

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Congrats on 6 years of blogging! I discovered your blog a couple years ago and love reading about your fun adventures! Brooke is such a cutie! This weekend I’m driving from Seattle to Portland. It will be the first time our 9 month old son will get to see Portland. Hope you have a great weekend!

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OH FUN!!! I hope you have an amazing weekend in Portland with your little one:) Thanks for reading Polly!

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I started running 4 years ago because I started a new position at work that has me driving a big rig over night. My first year driving the truck I gained 15 pounds. I have a fairly small frame so 15 pounds didn’t sit well with me. So thats what motivates me to keep running is to try and stay at a healthy weight. I enjoy doing races because I like a challenge and it’s a lot more fun to run with a group of people. Training alone is boring for me. I like to sign up for races that are close to where I live. Fortunately for me I live on the Central Coast of California so there is a lot going on. Honey do’s this weekend. Yay.

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Congratulations on 6 years of blogging! I am so inspired by your commitment to blogging and running. You and your blog have been my lunch date for the last 3 years Monday through Friday. It’s my little teacher time-out where I get to think and read about running. Thank you for always sharing your perspective and experiences in a really open and honest way.

Friends and goals are what helps me sign up for races.

I’m off to order that book right now!

Happy running!

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Races are such a great way to celebrate our love for running. Day in and day out the miles add up, you push along solo, recording progress both good and bad – it’s easy to get lost in the monotony and forget that this crazy thing we do is really something special! “Free” food and cheering crowds don’t hurt either :)

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Congratulations on six amazing years of blogging. I stumbled upon your blog while looking for running inspiration on the web. Your words encourage me to keep pushing myself, even when I am at my worst, knowing my attitude and outlook will be so much better after the run. Thanks for a good read (and mental/physical push) everyday!

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WOW!! Thank you so much Ashley:) Keep coming back and keep me updated with how you and your running are doing! Have an awesome Friday night!!

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I accidentally wore mismatched socks for speed work one day and they were the best intervals I had ever had… so mismatched socks became my thing!

Marriage Enhancement Retreat in Waikiki this weekend. Really looking forward to it!

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Happy blogiversary! I think I’ve been reading for 4 years; I’m pretty sure yours is the second blog I ever discovered!
Races are why I run. I started running 4 years ago when my mom signed me up for a Turkey Trot. Ever since then, races are what keep me motivated to run! Once in awhile, I’ll just feel like running but usually when I pick running over another workout, it’s because I have a race coming up. They’re just so much fun! I love to spend time with my family or friends, enjoy the atmosphere, and enjoy whatever treats the race provides (food, drink, t-shirt, medal). Not going to lie, I’ve picked races based off its medal :)

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I’m another Present Over Perfect fan! I loved it. Happy blogiversary! I just started following your blog a few months ago and it’s fun to go back and read your past posts. Races are so much fun, for the camaraderie, because my mom and I usually run them together (well, we start them together haha), the after-party, the sense of accomplishment, and the “holy crap how did my body just run that fast?!?” I hear you on speed workouts – for some reason, I have a much easier time committing to them on the treadmill than if I just head out the door! I’m teaching piano lessons and going on a blind date this weekend – yeesh! It’s a double date with good friends, so I’m sure it won’t be a terrible set-up… ;)

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Happy Blogiversary! I am pretty sure that I have followed you from the beginning and look forward to reading your posts each day. I am both grateful and impressed at how disciplined you are about posting! I never get tired of reading your posts and following your journey! Thanks for sharing your positive attitude and your love for this crazy, special thing called running!!

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Thank you so so much Chris for reading over the last 6 years. That means the world to me!!! Come visit Utah and let’s go our for some Cafe Rio:) Thank you and I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

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Happy blogging anniversary! I’m going to check that book out. The last year has left me unsettled and I’m trying to get my groove back. Some things I want to restart and others I’m happy to let go of. But I’m just stuck right now.

I started exercising regularly (again) 19 years ago and running about 8 years ago. It’s such an ingrained habit that I feel lousy if I don’t workout 5 – 6 days a week. (not all have to be hard workouts but there has to be movement unless I’m sick). I generally want to feel good so I go. If I’m not into I promise myself I can stop after 15 minutes. In 19 years, I’ve stopped 4 times – 3 times were from illness or injury. Once I was just so darned tired. It pays to listen to your body.

Some races I like the area, I love running down the Jersey shore so I sign up for those races. I liked Nike Women races so I would do those. Others I’ll run because my friends are doing it. (lemming that I can be).

I’m taking spin classes, coloring my hair and cleaning. I need to find something fun to do!

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I love traveling for races. They are never my fastest races but I love going somewhere new to run and I love having support of wonderful volunteers. My sister lives in Arizona, there is a trail race every November that is just 15 minutes from her house. It is so much fun and beautiful.

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Happy Blog-versary!!! Mu day isn’t complete until I visit your blog. Thanks for sharing your life with others.
I sign up for different races for different reasons. I have signed up for certain ones because my friends did too. I will repeat others that I have done before to be better and beat my previous time. I do The WDW half marathon every year simply because I love Donald Duck and want the medal and shirt. (This year my daughter is doing this race with me. Her first half. Ever. I can’t even say how excited I am!) :D Ultimately, I just want to challenge myself and see what I am capable of. “Happy are those who dream dreams and are willing to pay the price to make them come true.” -Leon Joseph Cardinal Suenens
Have a blessed and wonderful weekend!

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It’s funny that the cow face pose you love is actually painful for me and I am super bendy! It’s a great one for IT and hips.

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My biggest motivator to get out and run is to keep my sanity lately. My twins super enjoy being outside (it’s where they’re happiest), so going for a run keeps all three of us happy. We’re currently training for a half marathon. They’ll do all the training with me, so they get to enjoy the race with me too :)
Our big weekend plan is to go to the pumpkin patch! And I get to sleep because my husband will get up with the babies haha yay!

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I keep running because it keeps me healthy, sane, and lets me eat sugar! And I race because it’s fun!
This weekend is my husband’s birthday, so it’s party time!

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Thank YOU for blogging. Seriously a great few minutes of my day.

I have a friend who is an amazing runner but she doesn’t run races. When I first met her I could not comprehend this. I used to train for races – only a few a year nothing crazy. Then I went a few months last year where I was just feeling a bit blah and had ZERO desire/energy to actually make it to a race but I could still get out for a run. I thought “oh, now I get it.” I could just run for the pleasure and had NO desire to race. But NOW (full circle here) I feel like I need/WANT something on the calendar to shoot for. I’m feeling more motivated.

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Can we go running the next time you’re in town =). Have a great weekend J!

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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!! I hope you keep up this blog because it’s my favorite!!

Races definitely keep me motivated. Plus, my marathon PR is 6 minutes away from qualifying for Boston, so that definitely keeps me motivated :)

Some races I do because they’re close to home, or the timing/date works out with my schedule. Others I do because they’re cool or in cool places! Like Big Sur, Chicago, NYC marathon…

on the agenda this weekend is a 5K with the boyfriend!

Have a good one!

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Congrats on 6 years Janae!!! I haven’t been around for all 6…but am grateful to have found you!

I run because it’s ‘me time’. No calls, no texting, I get to think and process without distractions. And oh yeah…keeps me in shape, makes me feel alive, reminds me of how lucky I am to be able to move and breathe.

I rarely race, not nearly as much as I used to….but your points all resonated with me! I like to travel for marathons….to places I wouldn’t get to if it weren’t for the race.

Have an amazing weekend!

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One of the few things I remember from the night I got engaged, it’s that I was wearing mismatched socks and I got super angry at my future husband for not forcing me to change before we left our apartment

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Congrats on 6 years!!! I am so glad you started this blog, too! So great :)

And now I need to buy Present over Perfect. That passage spoke to me so much.

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Happy Blogiversary! Congrats on 6 years. I love your blog and always look forward to reading it, learning from you, and enjoying your great pictures and family. Congrats again.

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Congrats on the blogiversary- I’m a long time reader and it’s been fun!

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