My A to Z tips for running, our last full day in Cali and she’s back!

We had great plans to wake up early and drive to Muir Woods to go explore but then sleeping in turned out to be a much better idea.  Of all the days of the year to not have kids with us, yesterday was probably the best one because of Daylights Saving:)  No little alarm clocks ha.  We sure missed them though because it feels like on Sundays we spend the most time all together.

Once we finally woke up, we made it to brunch at Bill’s Cafe.  The wait is always really long there but the food is worth it.

We started out with a ton of fruit.

And then our french toast came.  Andrew had his first ever cinnamon roll french toast (they make the cinnamon roll there and dip it in eggs and grill it… frosting is on the inside of the cinnamon roll).  He said he won’t be able to go back to normal french toast after this one.

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And I had berry french toast and some hash browns.  It was breakfast and lunch for us and it was delicious.  Also, it is very nice that Andrew and I are both left handed.. it makes sitting next to each other at restaurants easier.

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We did a little walk around the area while we were there.   PPS I swear I brought a brush to California but I guess I didn’t use it.

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Our pre-church selfie looked a bit different than normal:)

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And after church we had nothing to do.  Andrew was feeling a run so we went out for 3 miles (I don’t normally run on Sundays but sometimes I do when I’m out of town).  It was 76 degrees.  It hurt.  It reminded me of what is up ahead in July and August in Utah.  Thank you hotel for having cold water at your front door.

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And then we picked up Brooke and the reunions are always so sweet.

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My aunt had us over for an amazing dinner together.  LASAGNA.

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And my heart melted when Brooke was holding onto my arm during dinner.

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Loving that it was still light at 7:30 pm.

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And our last stop for the night was to Jessie’s house and Brooke was in heaven in the toy room.

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I decided it might be a fun way to organize some of my favorite running tips in an A to Z way… here we go:

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Achilles heel!  Know your achilles heel when it comes to running… if you get injured doing any more than x amount of miles a week then don’t do it.  Josse has had ankle problems in the past and trail running doesn’t help so she is still waiting a little bit to do them.  I know that when I run on the track too much that going in circles over and over again causes IT Band pain for me.  I know my plantar doesn’t like certain types of shoes so I avoid them.  Also, work towards strengthening your achilles heel (aka I need to race some 5ks cause they freak me out).

Break free of defining yourself by your times, workouts, body… you are so much more than those things.  Your worth has nothing to do with those things.  I also notice the more I break away from defining myself and putting a lot of stress on myself about those things, the more my times improve, I enjoy running more and I just focus on progressing.

Count your small successes, those are the things that get you to your bigger goals.  Celebrate them too (why do you think I eat so many donuts?)

Double knot your shoes on race day… I’ve learned this tip the hard way a few times and had to stop (and convince myself to start again) during a race to tie them.

Easy days.  Don’t doubt them.  You can read about easy running benefits HERE!  Don’t do the mid-zone for your easy runs because before you know it, you will be burnt out and/or get injured.  Run the easy days easy so you can run the hard days hard.

Forget your watch some days!  Run without technology and run according to feel every now and then.   Listen to your footsteps and your breathing, focus on your form or just forget everything and run to run.

Go with what YOU know.  Not what some person on Instagram does or what the people at the running store tell you to do, find the things that work best for you and stick with them.  Whether that be mileage, gear, cross-training, racing strategy or nutrition.

HARD THINGS.  Repeat to yourself over and over again that ‘I CAN DO HARD THINGS.’  This mantra has gotten me through a lot of really hard workouts.  Reminding myself that I have done hard things in life and in my workouts that reminds me that I’m strong enough to keep going!

Ice baths—>  I don’t know if there is any scientific proof to say whether or not these are truly effective for runners BUT I THINK they are:)  I notice a huge reduction in soreness if I take an ice bath after a hard workout or race.  Less sore = get back to the hard stuff sooner and recover quicker.

Jogging strollers…  Such a great tool for running moms and dads:)  Train with that jogging stroller and then race day will feel like a piece of cake when you aren’t pushing your little one on the course.  BUT ease into stroller running and don’t do every run with one.  I had an IT Band injury from using the running stroller too much and for too many miles because running with a stroller does change your form.  PS here are my tips for running with a jogging stroller.

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Kill time when you are really hurting by counting steps.  I do this towards the end of a race.  I focus on counting my steps instead of how tired I am and I think it helps. Find things that distract you like telling yourself that you are comfortable over and over again or thinking about your people… that will help those miles click by when you are struggling.

Log your miles/how you feel/what your workouts are/etc, so you can see where things go right and where things go wrong.  You can look over everything the week before a race and have confidence in your running.

Mix up your training… monotony kills.  New routes, new shoes, new terrains, new workouts, new treadmill at the gym… switch things up and keep it interesting.  Even try running at different times of day if you can.

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Never forget why you started running and go back to that when running motivation hits an all-time low.

One mile at a time!  During a race, a hard workout, a long run or a day that you just feel off, don’t think of how many more repeats you have or how many more miles you have until the finish line.  Think about where you are now and rocking that mile and when you get to the next mile, then think about that one.

Pick out someone ahead of you in a race and pretend that you have a rope tied to them.   Visualize yourself pulling the rope so that you get closer and closer to that person:)  That always helps me to speed up during a race when I need something extra.

Quit the comparing… to your old self, to the person on Facebook, or to the person next to you during a race.  As soon as I start comparing, I stop having fun.

Raise your arms to fix your form during a run.  I find myself slouching towards the end of a run but then I lift my arms straight up in the air and boom, it re-stacks everything nicely.  My second R tip is to run with others occasionally if you can… they can help you to get faster (by chasing after them) or help you to stick to your easy paces (by reminding you to go slower).  You get to have awesome conversations and realize you aren’t ‘crazy’ for your running obsession… there are others just like you.

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See success—>  “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t— you’re right.” -Henry Ford.  See the success in your running and you’ll hit those goals.

Tangents… learn how to run the tangents of a course correctly so that you aren’t adding extra distance to your already long distance race.  HERE is a great place to learn all about running the tangents.

Utilize your resources.  Talk to other runners about what they have learned!! The internet can be an awesome tool (use filters wisely on this one) for advice.  Talk to coaches.  Research the gear you want to use.  Read about elite athletes and how they have dealt with not hitting goals or injuries.  There is a lot out there to help your running, find it!

Visualize your success.  This kind of goes with see success, but really visualize things.  A big race coming up?  Visualize yourself throughout the race staying positive, hitting your paces and having a strong finish.  Nervous about a hard workout?  Visualize it going well and I guarantee it will go a lot better than if we just sit there stressing out about it.

WONDER.  Wonder about your running potential.  Think about what you are truly capable of doing.  Do not underestimate how many great things are up ahead for you.  Hope is your weapon:)

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X—> X-train!! Thanks to Madeline for this one:)   Make sure you are working those other muscle groups too!

YOGOB= You only get one body.  So train smart, fuel it properly and move it in healthy amounts.  We’ve got to take good care of the one body we get.  That was one realization that I had that helped me to get my over-exercising under control.

Zipper your shorts/tights pockets well… I’ve lost a car key or two from not zippering correctly.


What was the best part of your weekend?

Who uses a running stroller?  Who has in the past?

Any tips to add to the list that you’ve learned?

What is your running achilles heel?

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Great running tips! And that cinnamon roll french toast…………..that sounds delish!!!!!


Love those tips–especially the “Hope is your weapon.” :) I’ve learned that, just like easy days, rest days are absolutely essential. Even though sometimes I would like to run all seven days of the week, my body responds better when I take that one day off to let it rest and be stronger/ready to go for the workouts ahead.

Seeing all of your pics makes me really want to take a trip to Cali! It looks SO beautiful and like there is a ton to do. Plus, I just love the beach, and now I feel like I need to try that cinnamon roll French toast.


Hah these tips resonate with my as a kid when my mom was a huge runner- she still is! SHe should read your blog… why haven’t I told her about it yet DERP. Ice baths were common in our household hah!


This was my first daylight savings without my kids! I have to admit, this is one “holiday” I don’t mind missing. ;)

5ks freak you out? But they’re so short!


HAHA we didn’t mind missing it either;) So racing 5ks are hard for me because it is an all-out effort for 3.1 miles… I prefer the medium-hard effort for a longer period of time compared to the shorter really hard efforts… does that make sense? My brain is confusing hahah


I’m a lefty too!


Your breakfast looks amazing! Although the cinnamon roll french toast looks amazing, I could probably only have about two bites of it. Your berry one looks better to me. :) The best part of my weekend was getting to go visit my little sister at college on Friday. She’s in a dance company and we went to see her show and had so much fun.

I love your running tips. For someone like me who doesn’t run on a super consistent basis and truly just does it for fun when I feel like it, I know it’s still important to remember tips like these when I am feeling fine and want to push myself further than I probably should go.

Glad you are back with Brooke :)


The best part of my weekend- introducing my mom to the trails! She loved it (when we finished haha).

This was probably your best post, to-date. Really well written and very insightful! Love it. Also, Brooke holding your arm= my heart swelled up. I used to work in a home for at-risk youth, and one day one of the kiddos came up to me for no reason and gave me a hug. I cried later (not emotional at all…), and that picture reminded me of that moment.


YOGOB! I love that!

My achilles heel is definitely my calves. I have no idea why but sometimes they feel so tight they might burst and I have to stop and massage them. Usually this only happens during the first mile and after that I feel totally fine as if nothing happened!


Hi Janae —

In the spirit of your A to Z running tips, I wanted to let you know how much you inspired me! I have been out of running commission since May. Having run a few marathons, I was staying in pretty good shape up until last year, when I suddenly fell in May and broke my back! I was told by the MDs that I shouldn’t run again “until at least 2017.” I had NEVER liked the treadmill, so figured 2017 meant april or may when the weather improves. After reading your blog, it inspired me to give indoor running a try. While I wont be running a marathon on the treadmill like some people (…), I aimed for 10 minutes “just to see” and ended up going for 17 minutes!

Just wanted to let you know that you inspired this move, and it wasn’t hurting my back as much as I was afraid of! So thank you so much.

P.S. You’re an inspiration — not just to present moms, but future ones too!!


How about X marks the spot…..I use that technique when I’m struggling. I find landmarks in the distance and visually mark them as my next starting/stopping point. Like. Run to that tree or walk until the next traffic light.

Best part of my weekend was probably the warm apple crisp i had saturday night. Or seeing my pup running through the snow.

At the moment my running achilles is actually my high hamstrings. I’m struggling with hills and speed. And when they get really inflamed even a slow flat run is hard. But I try and remember that I’ve made it through chronic ankle tendinitis for years that I thought would never heal and runner’s knee for 6 months too. So even though this is challenging i know it will go away eventually.


My shins are definitely my running achilles ancle!! My Sunday was the best part of my weekend.
I got to do my hair and nails:)


Love all those tips! What a great list. I feel like I should bookmark this and come back to it when I need some extra running motivation.

I have a BOB running stroller that I put TONS of miles on with my first, who is now 5. And it’s still in pretty good shape! Hoping to use it this spring/summer with my baby while my daughter rides her bike along with me. Would love a double but I can’t really justify the cost since my daughter doesn’t need to be pushed around anymore at 5 years old. I also have a double bike trailer that can be used as a stroller, but its not the best. It’s better for biking.

Best part of the weekend? Got in a great 3.5 mile run on the treadmill yesterday (was aiming for longer but the baby woke up! It felt great nonetheless), we put in laminate flooring upstairs, and had a nice dinner with family Sunday night.

Have a great Monday!


I love double knot your shoes on race day. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way several times.

The best part of my weekend? It was pretty exhausting with work but talking with you was fabulous :-)!


cinnamon roll french toast?? I didn’t even know this was a thing!

Best part of my weekend – we had some friends from out of town visit, it was so good to catch up! Oh and also Sunday brunch pancakes, always.


Okay, when you mentioned the icing INSIDE of that cinnamon roll French Toast, you had me hooked! Why do I have to live on the east coast?! lol

Best part of my weekend—I’ve done yoga for a few years now, mostly on my own, sometimes in informal classes. I took my first official class of warm vinyasa yoga yesterday (my back has been bothering me), and it felt SO AWESOME!

This connects to my achilles heal, too……….I’m thinking I NEED to keep yoga in my life more to keep injuries at bay. I do strength once a week, but I think I need the yoga, too. I’m kind of re-evaluating running in general right now…….just how many days a week do I NEED to run to meet my goals without killing my body and being able to sub in the yoga/strength for some of that. Running isn’t always the “simple” sport that some people think it is if you want to stay healthy!!!


Love the running tips! I’m impressed that you came up with something for every letter (except x but x is a silly letter).


I still have my Chariot Cheetah from when I was pregnant with Jake SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO! I use it with Callum all the time. What kind of running stroller did you use? Is that a Bob? Did you like it? You know… asking for a friend. ;)


Best part of the weekend was Saturday. My husband met me for breakfast and I had carrot cake pancakes. (actual carrot cake in the pancakes, including bits of frosting). There is enough to keep it interesting but not too much as to be sickening. We ran errands, took the dog out, and ended up eating dinner out. (It’s rare that we eat out more than once a week). Dinner was an amazing chicken potpie, which I’ve been craving.

My hip/glutes are my trouble zone. If I stop doing the exercises for it I have issues. I’ve also found that if I do a set of marching bridges and clams as part of my warm up my glutes engage during the run. Glutes engaging = less hip pain.


I’ve used a running stroller once in my life and WOW that was painful. I commend all you running mommas out there. That is no easy feat. I barely made it through a mile, and a very slow one at that.


One of my earliest memories is sitting in the jogging stroller next to my younger brother while my mom was running. I don’t know how she pushed two kids (I was at least 2.5 and my brother was probably 5-6 months old and quite heavy) running in the Mojave Desert (we lived at Edwards Air Force Base.) Hats off to all the moms who do it.


These pics are with your new camera, huh!? They look fantastic! There’s a breakfast place near my parents that does cinnamon roll french toast too! so good! However they don’t put the frosting inside.. holy cow thats a lot of sugar. OMG those pictures of baby brooke! She has always been just the cutest. Also I can’t believe I’ve been reading your blog for this long to remember that.. ha!!


Your list is amazing. Your B is already a great tip but I have two more Bs: during a race I Breathe deeply and visualize bringing oxygen to sore spots. Incredible the difference it makes for me. And Becoming best friend with my foam roller also made a huge difference for my IT bands ;-)


Best part of my weekend: Running with my 8 year daughter (even though it was outside in the below zero temps). This is new for us and each run has been the best part of my day in an indescribable way. -The feelings, thoughts, and accomplishments we are sharing as mother and daughter are far more special than any we have shared before.

Oh and, “Quit the comparing” -I love this, it’s just so hard not to with all the comparable info. on social media!


Oh I love that you got to run with your daughter (you guys are hardcore in those temps). I can’t wait to do this with Brooke. Thank you for sharing, and keep me updated with how it is going!


We’re training for a 5K -I promised her I’d post on instagram each time we run (yes, she’s only 8, but she loves to see her picture posted and LOVES posing for the pictures) -I already promised her I’d send in a race pic for your Friday accomplishments, so you’ll know once we’ve done it. :)


X – train! (Cross-train!)


Brilliant!!! I’m going to edit the post and add this and give you credit! THANK YOU!


I have a running stroller (Bob revolution), but have only used it for walking so far. I read that he needs to be 8 months before I run with him – does that sound right?? He’s pretty big and has great head control, so I feel like he’d be fine now (5.5 months), but obviously don’t want to take any risks…


Best part of the weekend was we had an extra day with a public holiday on Monday! 3 runs and fitted in a delicious healthy cafe lunch with hubby yesterday overlooking the beach very nice!


Omg Andrew’s french toast. YUM!

Best part of my weekend – Celebrating St. Paddy’s in Chicago with my family and friends!! Love having everyone I love in the same city!


Love all of these tips Janae, you are going to be an amazing coach!!

Especially the Tangents one, I only just learned how exactly a course is measured and it’s changed my race tactic. A lot of people don’t realize how they do it!!


Best part of my weekend was exploring a new-to-me running trail!


My running stroller looked exactly like yours! My husband called it ‘The three wheeled wonder’. :)


Quit Comparing to my old self is what I need to do – I had a kick ass year in 2014 but since February 2015 and more so since May 2015 when my dad passed away my running has taken a back burner and I’ve gained weight, so while I am blessed that I can run 5 miles (I could run more, I just chose not to), my pace is not where it was. My 5K and 10K PR was now a long time ago and I’ve not done races I wanted to because I know I wouldn’t get the same time, not even close. But I know I need to stop all this bad talk because I AM doing something and I WILL get back there and I can’t get back there without the hard work. But it is hard, especially when I want to run with friends I ran with a year ago but they’ve progressed and I’ve gone backwards.


Loved your A to Z tips! The P (pick someone ahead of you) reminded me of a race where I tried that exact thing. I was heading for a hill and felt like dying already. I ‘roped’ a guy up ahead of me and visualized him pulling me along. Just as if he felt me tugging on the rope, he started walking!! Improvise! I roped another female runner instead!


My husband is a police officer and works crazy hours, so I actually trained for my half-marathon in December almost entirely with the jogging stroller. While I had hoped it would help me run a better race sans stroller it actually led to some imbalances and I totally blew up on race day. Started off where I need to be, but ended up having to walk/jog the final 3 miles and had some horrible IT band pain. So I’m apparently the opposite of everyone else, since everyone I talked to/read said it helped them run faster on actual race day – seeing that it affected you negatively makes me feel a bit better (and I’m running that race again this December and plan on dominating it!)


Omg that French toast!!! The best part of my weekend was definitely going to brunch and having the most delicious omelette ever.

Love the A-Z!


That cinnamon french toast sounds heavenly!

I would love to know what jogging stroller you used or recommend, and when did you start using it?

The best part of my weekend was having the hubs fix our started in the car that I drive. It took him 6 hours, and I am so so thankful!


Love this post! Any tips for running with dogs?


I will never look at regular French toast in the same way again! LOL

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