What I’ve learned about running that I didn’t even mean to learn + please make these + she’s back.

Another church Sunday over here.  I was pretty excited because I have a new ‘job’ at church where I will be teaching the girls aged 12-14 and doing an activity with them each week.  I cannot wait.  Taking me back to my teaching days, I’ve been really wanting to do something like this and now is my chance!

I made Andrew his first ever batch of sweet potato nachos. I used to make these all of the time and he is recommending now that they are an all of the time thing again.

I just cut the sweet potatoes in rounds and spray coconut oil on them (both sides) and then I line a cookie sheet and bake them @ 420 degrees until they are done (I should have timed this but I think it was about 30 minutes… I just keep checking them).  They won’t be super crispy but the outsides will be and the insides will be soft.  Top with whatever you want but we did some cheese, chicken, red peppers, avocado and corn!


We went out for a walk because the weather was perfect and Knox threw rocks (and boulders;).


Naps were necessary.

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Dinner was at my mom’s house and while we were there Brooke came home to us!!!!  That felt really good.

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She went straight for hugs from Knox:)

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My mom made mashed potatoes and her Russian Chicken.

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And of course my nephew laughed like crazy for a good amount of time.

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We made apple crisp for dessert.

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And attempted random human tricks.

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I feel like running is a constant teacher.

It’s not like I set out for a run to learn a bunch of things about myself or the things that make running even better but it just happens.  I set out for my almost daily runs for the races on my calendar, fitness, endorphins, confidence boost or to be able to eat more candy etc.  But over the last decade and a half of running (okay, that is a long time), running continues to teach me lesson after lesson.

I wanted to share a few of the many trillions of things that I’ve learned along the way.

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*Moderation is always best.  Like anything, when I get too obsessed with something then everything else in life struggles.  Whether that be injuries, my relationships, my brain… when I get too obsessed with running then other areas suffer.

*Running has really taught me to believe in myself.  That I have a bunch of reasons to feel confident.  After my divorce I think my confidence level was at 0% (…seriously) but each day I would go out and run and come home feeling a little bit more confident about who I am in so many other areas than just running.

*If I have plantar or ankle problems… I’ve learned to stop sleeping on my stomach.  Every single time my plantar starts acting up lately it is because I have been sleeping on my stomach with my toes pointed all night.

*That Gu hurts my stomach but huma gel makes it very happy.  It only took me 8 marathons to figure that one out.

*Spotify changed my running life;)  A new running playlist for every run?  Sure, why not?  Before I was very picky with the songs for each run because I had to purchase them each individually.

*Running is there for me through it all (as long as my body is uninjured;) Through the angry times, the fast times, when I am slower than before, the happy times, the different places I visit.  Doesn’t matter how I’m feeling or how serious I am about racing… it is always my thing no matter where my head is at during the time.

*Not every race is going to be a PR (or even close to every race) and sometimes for me at least, the PRs come when I least expect it.

*Besides two instances (due to texts that I received while I was out running), I have ALWAYS come home from a run in a better mood than when I left.  Maybe it was slightly better or a huge jump up, gratitude while running + endorphins are a great equation for me.

*That spending money on real shoes is a waste of money because new running shoes are so much better.


*If you are out on your run and feel great and optimistic then feel free to think about the past, future or present but if you are having a hard time mentally or physically then STAY in the moment, the interval or the mile.  Don’t worry about how much you have left to do, just think about where you are now.   Same thing with life.  When it gets really rough, running taught me to just think about getting through the time at hand (the hour, the day, the month etc) because looking too far ahead in the future is overwhelming.

*That thinner does not mean faster.  Being too thin meant serious injuries and a loss of my period (which is your bodies way of warning you that something is wrong).  Being at a healthy weight =s faster for me.

*That I will cry during a race that is 10 miles or longer at least once.  Each marathon especially has produced tears along the way—>  either caused by gratitude, prayer, pain, the feeling of accomplishment, or about 10 different emotions.

*TO STOP if something is hurting.  Taking a few days off is a million times better than running through the pain to the point of forcing months of time off (it took me just a few injuries to figure out this one).

*That it just isn’t fair to my people to let pre-race nerves consume me.  The race is the celebration of all of the training and while yes, a little bit of jitters is normal and healthy, me freaking out and not sleeping over a race is not worth it to myself or family.

(PS I hope those of you that ran the Vegas Rock ’n’ Roll races last night had a blast… such a fun race)

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*There will ALWAYS be another race.  I’ve dropped out of three marathons that I’ve done the training for over the years:  Boston—>  stress fractures, CIM—> emotionally I was a wreck, St. George—>  my gut was struggling big time…. and I learned through all of those experiences that there are always other races.  The race will pass you by before you know it and you’ll be looking forward to a different race and working towards your goals again.  I’ve learned that choosing to not run a race when my body/mind is not in the right place is by far the best option.  I’ve got one body so I better take care of it.

*I’ve learned that form is so incredibly important.  In my early twenties I didn’t even think about form, I just wanted to finish as fast as possible.  As I’m aging a bit my body feels remarkably better when I use proper form and I pay for it when I don’t.

*Comparison takes the fun out of running for me.   Comparing to previous races, other people, where I think I should be at the time… It isn’t beneficial for me to do this while I run so I don’t anymore.

What about you… any of these lessons something you’ve learned?  Please add to the list!  I want to know some of the really important things that running teaches you or that you’ve learned about running.  

What was the highlight of your weekend?  Who ran RnR Las Vegas yesterday? 

And an important question… do you remember when you got your first cell phone?  What kind was it?  Mine was the one below (it was in this hilarious article) and I think I was 17 and I LOVED playing snake:

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When it comes to running, comparison is definitely the thief of joy. And a very similar Nokia to that photo above was my first cell phone, too – I was 27. The only reason I got one even then was that I was pregnant, chasing a toddler, working, and my husband was on a 6 month temporary assignment four states away from us…he insisted.


That was my first cell phone too and I had a baby blue case with cherries on it. Do you remember that brief period that cherries were really on trend? What a time, haha. I also had one of those bejeweled things hanging off the antenna but I can’t remember what it was.

Ohhh and do you remember how important it was purchasing ring tones?! You had to choose a song that really represented all of the very strong teenage emotions you were feeling. Just like your AIM away status had to include song lyrics about your feelings (usually the person you had a crush on or a message for your BFF4E)!


Thank you for your well-wishes yesterday and your comment above that there is ALWAYS another race. I have been pretty down all weekend with the flu and missing my marathon on Saturday, but I do know that I made the right decision not to race. I also know that jumping into another race when I am not ready for it is not the right answer either. Races happen all the time and my training experience is more than just one race…even though it stings right now, I know that other races will come and I will be so thankful for them! Even if they are not full marathons…running is about so much more than race day:) Thank you for your words this morning!


I really am so so sorry about your weekend race and how awful you must be feeling. You are so right Robyn and keep me updated on how everything is going for you please!


Love those lessons–and they’re all so true. Running is such a parallel to life in general, so a lot of those lessons can definitely be applied outside of running, as well. I’ve learned that easy days should be just that: easy. I used to worry about my pace even on my easy days, but then my body wasn’t getting the full amount of recovery it needed. So I’ve learned to go easy on my easy days and not worry about how fast or slow my watch tells me I’m going.

I got my first cell phone toward the end of my senior year of high school. It was a small but chunky Nokia, and for some weird reason I went with a lime green cover for it. I’m just glad we don’t have to hit one key over and over again anymore when we’re texting in order to get the letters we need. Texting took FOREVER! :)


That was my first phone too! I remember my parents got me one in HS because they were divorced. I also remember not having it in my hand 24/7. Times have changed. ;-)
My first ‘date’ (with my ‘boyfriend’ and my friend) was to Titanic. In 6th grade. That article brought back so many good memories!


We did 20 miles yesterday! It is the first time we have gone this far since my injury crept in full force in September. The pain is definitely getting better. Now, I just need to learn to rest when I feel like it! I wrote a post about my stubborness today…when will I learn? I need to listen to you more, Janae:)


Running has taught me to stop saying “I can’t.” I used to say I couldn’t run. I said that for years. And the first few weeks of running was, in fact, super hard–but not impossible. I could and I did.

I got my first cell phone in college! Remember when Charlie’s Angels came out and everyone wanted super tiny phones?


such a great post! but first , I got my first cell phone back in 1995 when I started driving. I left it turned off in the glove box for emergencies only! agree with every one of your points especially about losing our periods! major sign something is wrong and usually means weight is too low. and yes to always coming back in a better mood after a run! even when the runs are tough, the accomplishment is so rewarding and makes me a friendlier person.


Totally love this post! Running teaches us so many important life lessons! I started running fifteen years ago, as a university student, to make should I was taking a little time for myself every day. Along the years, it became my main physiotherapy and weapon in my fight against cystic fibrosis. But as a full time working mom, running also feels like chicken soup for my soul!


So many truths to all of those running lessons!! Great post!
That was what my first cell phone looked like too!! I think I was closer to 17 when I got it, but my parents wanted me to have one if I was driving somewhere.


Love that list! Such a good read, well done!

Out of the 2.3 billion lessons I have learned, one lesson I want to share is that running has taught me “the work” is never done. So I need to stop focusing on where I am at now, where I was, where I hope to be, and just put in my offering today. And when I can carry it, dream big. And when I feel at peace, forgive myself. And the rest of the time, stay here.

Also, I got a “Go-phone” at the end of middle school because I was constantly in sports and needed to communicate when I needed to be picked up from practices/games.


I had a great weekend, beginning with my in-laws 55th anniversary dinner, spending Saturday with my husband and a lazy Sunday that included a 4 mile hilly run. (pretty much the only thing I did Sunday besides roasting vegetables for dinner).

Running lets me figure things out. Training for my first half-marathon had me quitting my job that I was tired of, going to school, starting a business, and do freelance work.

I think that might have been my first cell phone but I was in my 20’s. there weren’t cell phones when I was in high school. :)


Oh my God! I feel so identified with your lessons. I’ve experienced many of them by myself. I’ve certainly learned the other ones through my Dad.

Running has taught me to view and understand things in a simple way. It has helped me to deal better with my emotions and pain. Also, it has helped connect better with myself, with how I feel and what I want. Running is life. I love it.

My first cellphone was a Siemens, very similar to the one on your picture.


Running has taught me that I’m strong and to ignore that inner critic that tries to convince you that you “can’t” or “aren’t strong enough to finish” — because you are!

Hubby and I are sick sick sick — so the highlight of our week has been sleeping!

My first cell phone was an old school Samsung silver flip phone with no camera! I thought I was fly though — I was 17 or 18 and paid for it using the money earned from my part time job. I had that phone for YEARS! Well through my first few years of college…


I think one of the most important lessons I’ve learned from running is that if I’m consistent and I work hard, I can do anything I set my mind to!


I’ve learned to slow down and listen to my body. It usually knows what it needs to do. I missed both of my scheduled runs this weekend due to home improvements and I’d planned on making up my long run today (those are my favorites…for now), but a weekend of renovations (we tore out several hundred square feet of existing flooring and replaced it with new) and wearing flip flops to run around, my calves feel like giant knots. They’re so tight that it literally feels like I’m wearing metal calf sleeves. It hurts. So I’m stretching out a lot and I brought my tiger tail to work with me. I’ll be pampering my legs a lot today so I can run back on schedule tomorrow. But running definitely has taught me that I can do more than I think I can. I still can’t believe that we got so much accomplished this weekend. It’s like walking into a whole new house, which was very emotional to me yesterday.
I’ve also learned that fear is frequently just in your head. I’m always a little afraid that it’s really going to hurt, because for so many years it has. But in just a short amount of time, I’ve learned to listen to my body and take care of it, and even though every day I run, I set out afraid of the pain, I’m learning that because I’m doing it the smart way, the fear is all in my head. It’s been really freeing and has encouraged me to attempt so many more things lately.

The highlight of my weekend was last night, looking over my living room, dining room and breakfast nook, and seeing the beautiful new flooring that we put in. It was really emotional for me. I cried while sweeping, which scared my husband for a few moments. This is our first non-rental home as a married couple and it’s my first non-rental in my entire life. Looking at those floors that I picked out and then tore myself apart to install was so emotional. Our house was my husband’s grandmother’s house and so for several years, it has felt like we’re just living in someone else’s home (which is what I’m used to, never having owned a home), but we’ve slowly been painting and changing things. Yesterday it was like someone lifted a curtain and for the first time, I saw MY home, not someone else’s home.

I got my first cell phone when I was 18. I had just gotten to my first duty station (Ft. Lewis, WA) and I needed a cell phone so I could be reached at all times (very important in the military). I went to some mall kiosk while I was visiting home (I really wanted a number from home, not my duty station – those emotions again), and I got my phone. I paid the deposit and picked out my first phone. It was some sort of bulky LG flip phone, but I had paid for it myself and so I was okay with it. I still have it, tucked away in a memory box. It was a tough little phone and holds so many memories.


I love racing and the atmosphere but I have also learned that not every race will be a PR. Sometimes you just want to have a great time with friends and that is fine. Great advice Janae!

Brooke is adorable and glad she is back with you.


These are all great lessons!

I chose to not run the Honolulu Marathon next month. It took me about a month to finally reach the conclusion that I would not be able to run it. It’s hard not to feel like a loser but I know it’s the right decision for me this year.

I’m a child of the 60s so I was in my 30s when I got my first cell phone! I remember my parents’ first cell phone was a giant thing in a bag.


I love YW!! They are so fantastic and I’m sure you will be fantastic with them!

The amount of things I’ve learned about myself via running far surpasses any learning about running I’ve gained. I love how it introduced me to myself, helped me recognize what I wanted to change, and then helped me change it, and above all helped me make peace with myself. It is through running that I truly grew to like who I was.


Running is so amazing and constantly teaches me new lessons. I always end up in a better mood too. I got my first cell phone pretty young, but it seriously was the size of a home phone. too funny!


Sweet potato nachos are my jam!!


I love your list! In my life, running has been a reminder that good things happen from bad situations and to keep fighting (for life, for love, for faith) until you get to those good things that are in store for you. Blogging gives us a wonderful platform to share our own personal life experiences about running and the lessons that we learn along the way to help other people who are going through similar experiences. You have a huge reach and are an encouragement to so many people. So, this weekend I ran a 12K race and it was awesome! Definitely a highlight. I remember getting a cell phone when I turned 16. It was one of those little Motorola flip phones. Cell phone, car, checking account … I was ready to tackle the world. Lol!


I think I was 15 or 16 when I got my first cell phone. Pretty young!!! Hahaha I fell in love with spotify for that same reason!!!!
My highlight was getting through nursery in a darn boot!!! This boot is the most expensive “shoe” I own!!!! I wasn’t willing to put walking mileage on my nice running shoes and on just one of them so I went to walmart for a cheap, tall shoe. I could not find a shoe that leveled my hips with the boot but it’s better than nothing!


Running has taught me a lot about my character. How I act when I want to give up and ways I handle disappointment have been particularly important to removing roadblocks in order move forward.

My weekend was chill. The highlight was not having to leave sacrament meeting with any of my kids.

My first cellphone was as a freshman in college, 2000, I got a cell phone so that I could easily call long distance. I carried it in my backpack for emergencies (it was a large black brick style phone) but mainly used it on Sundays to call my family. I had like 200 minutes a month or something! And texting wasn’t a thing yet.


My first phone was the one that looked like a little peanut! I don’t remember the brand. I was so proud of myself because I got it with my own money and paid the bill myself! :) I was 16 I think.

Thanks for sharing your lessons learned with running. I think anytime we spend time and dedicate ourselves to something, there are always many things to be learned!

I recently did my first triathlon and it made me realize how much sticking with a training plan even when you don’t want to really builds character.


Well, this is not something I’ve learned. More like something I want to learn. How can you switch your running mindset from weight loss/burning calories to running for fun or as a stress relief? Because I enjoy running, but lately I have slammed into a plateau where even running a mile hurts like heck. I have absolutely no idea why. I think it’s because my mind is focusing on burning calories and weight and stuff (not a great mindset because I know I don’t need to, but it’s really really hard to fight it so yeah). But I can’t seem to switch my mindset. Any tips on how? Or even how to get out of the funk? Thanks! :) (question directed to literally anyone who has advice)

The highlight of my weekend was probably hanging out with some of my friends.

I got my first phone when I was 15 :)


Hey Brooke, I am so sorry that you are struggling right now in this plateau and the fight with a healthy mindset with this whole thing. I feel like I need an entire post to write this one! I took a screenshot of your comment so I could write a post about it. I think right now… taking some time off for a bit would be the best for you. If a mile hurts right now then for sure let your body rest and reset. And for the mindset, it is a day by day (or even mile by mile) thing. I like to make mini goals for this kind of stuff. Like thinking, hey this is something I can do for ONE day (thinking too far ahead makes things feel impossible for me)… and do it. Fake it to make it kind of a thing. And with enough days of doing that, it someday becomes more of a habit. Being mindful about the thoughts that come into your brain and working towards controlling those thoughts and switching them will make all of the difference. You deserve greatness Brooke, you deserve to feel happy and confident with you who you are! Let me know if you need anything!


I read your blog almost every day & I LOVE reading about ya’lls life & running! I’ve never commented before but I think this blog with what you have learned from running has to be one of my favorite blog posts I have read of yours! :) Thank you for sharing!


Meggie, thank you so so much for your sweet comment! I hope you are having a beautiful Monday!


Help!! I need an apple crisp recipe with already cooked apples. Cooked apples were BOGO at my grocery store and I thought individual apple crisps would be perfect. All the recipes I find are for fresh apples. Any chance your apple crisp recipe is made with store bought cooked apples????


Hey!!!! Had a great race weekend here in Charlotte, NC!!! Ran my 4th half marathon and beat my last time. I finished at 2:13. I really listened to my body and by mile 10 it told me to cut back and that put me a little behind but I was ok crossing that finish line with that time!! It was 45 degrees when we started and only 52 when I crossed the finish line. I would rather run in the cold than the heat!! Also, I found the BEST running armband for the phone!!!!
Check them out http://www.bondiband.com. The best invention ever! I ran with it and it was so comfortable on my arm and my phone stayed in place. They are washable and you never have to worry about it falling off your arm!!!


I love this post! Running has taught me many things, more patience and self confidence being the two that first come to mind.

My race weekend was GREAT! I ran in my first full marathon on Saturday (Chickamauga Battlefield). It was a beautiful course (double loop through (mostly) through a national park commemorating a civil war battlefield). The weather was perfect also (high 40s – low 60s).

I am proud to say I beat my A goal in this race! Having never done a full before (only halfs), I had three levels of goals in mind. My time was 4:56:32, beating my A goal of 5 hours!!! Not fast compared to you and many others on here, but I am very happy with it. :)

I’m fairly new to running distances (my first half was last December, I’m now up to 9 (including Disney races which are really just one big party). I cried a little at 25 when it hit me how far I’ve come. I’m excited to see what the future holds!


God made you write this post just for me. I read this blog as soon as I woke up (I got up early today for my speed workout). Today my coach had me try new speeds and what you said about stay in the moment when things get hard and don’t let your mind wander stuck with me. It really helped push me through the hard intervals. What do you do for breathing? Can you do a post about that. I have the hardest time controlling it especially during speed!


Something I’m in the process of learning about running… and I have to remind myself several times a week – is that it will always be there. A year ago I was running 5-6 days a week and working in a wee bit of cross training, as I had been doing for several years. I was super dedicated to whatever training plan I was on. This year looks drastically different because now I have a 3 month old beautiful baby girl and I work full time and running has had to take a back seat. I’m lucky to get in one run a week. Granted, I could give something up to make time but right now I would have to give up spending time with my daughter or sleep and both are too precious!! It may be several months or even a year before I’m back to where I was but I keep reminding myself that’s nothing compared to the years of running I have ahead of me. :)


Wow! that cellphone . hahaha. You give a cellphone to a kid these days and they immediately start swiping left and right instead of flipping the phone or pushing on the numbers to dial. So funny! I believe I was around 14 or 15 ish when I got my cellphone… I told my parents it’s really difficult to get in touch with them whenever I was running late coming home because of the train accident or something! Living in Japan, you have no idea when you’ll be waiting for a while whenever there’s an accident on the tracks (usually suicidal accidents that would delay the train schedule); otherwise, the train schedules are on point in Japan! ahhh brings back memories! My first one kind of looked like yours. Mine was pearly pink one- and then I switched to the flip phone.
I’ve learned that running does make me a different person. Just like you, it gives me confidence.
what I am still learning right now is trying to tell myself that it’s a-OK to miss runs. Especially when I’m forced to take the time off (and it’s been the longest 5 weeks so far!).
I am still having a hard time about all the DNS races- so far, it’s been 2. I know the big one (the marathon) will make me cringe when the day comes around and I am not there running.


I’ve learned so much through running. One important lesson that I have learned and need to relearn constantly is that running through pain or an injury is never worth it! I’ve run through a couple injuries and unfortunately, almost got used to the feeling of running feeling uncomfortable. It wasn’t until I took some time off and let my injuries heal that I learned taking a couple days off running is a much better approach than waiting until your forced to take months off.

I also ran through my entire pregnancy and that taught me that speed and distance shouldn’t dictate the joy I get from running. I should run simply for the joy of running.


These are all great lessons and there is not doubt that you will keep becoming an even better runner.

Totally got my first phone when I was 16. I just can’t believe how young kids get phones these day! What will you say if Brooke asks you for one soon?


Thank you so much for posting the things you learned from running. I wish everyone would learn most of your list sooner, rather than later. Mainly the thinner is not faster and if it hurts, it’s not worth pushing yourself. These two are things I know our collegiate runners battle and the period lesson is one I stand up on a soap box about. But I won’t ever stop, because it needs to be said, over and over and over. :)


I ran the 10k in Vegas last night…so much fun and I had a 15 second PR!! (7:47 pace) so happy that I am continuing to get a tiny bit faster!!


SO MANY of these hit home for me. The tears – I cried at the finish line of my very first marathon b/c I was SO HAPPY. Then, I cried at mile 18 of my BEST marathon (last month – 3:33!) b/c I never pushed myself so hard, EVER, and it hurt (so good! Ha). The eating thing, for sure. Lighter is only better to a degree, and then it kills you. I am still learning. Every.single.day. I am currently learning patience with myself and my body. After my marathon last month, I started my usual recovery plan – 10 days later I had oral surgery, which was a pretty hellish recovery and I couldn’t run at all. Now, it’s 5 weeks and I still don’t have my full pace back yet. I ran a half marathon yesterday, struggled and ended up walking a whole lot. Now, I am sick. AAAAH! I am going to lose my mind. I feel like I am never going to get back on track. All I can think about now is breaking 3:30 in my next marathon – I was SO CLOSE. But, I have to learn to be patient. Maybe God is telling me to take a break. I don’t know. I am just trying not to lose it. Ha!


Hey Janae, my cousin and I ran the Half in Vegas Sunday Night. She was dealing with shin splints, side stitches, calf cramps, bathroom breaks, stop to stretch, holding her breath when she ran. Lol, soooo, we walked 98% of it. But she finished! 3h 24m. To be honest were we started in the line up. Even if I wanted to run my pace I couldn’t have. There was soooo many people. I think they said 40,000. But we finished and had fun doing it.

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