Hungry Runner Brother (Guest Post)

Hi everyone! My name is Dan and I am Janae’s brother.

Last week I ran my first 1/2 marathon with Janae in Las Vegas. In addition to being an amazing little sister, Janae was also my long distance coach and helped keep me on track during my training for the 1/2 marathon. She sent me weekly run schedules, motivational texts, checked in randomly and adjusted my training constantly to fit within my schedule and to account for various roadblocks along the way. Janae asked me if I would write some thoughts about running my first 1/2 marathon. Well, it was amazing. It was beautiful. It was very emotional, for both me and my wife. It was the culmination of a lot of hard work. But before I get into my race day experience, let me begin by sharing a little about myself.

First off, I am a married to this amazing woman.

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She is my best friend and my life’s biggest cheerleader. She is an RN, mother of 4, weightlifter, and a fantastic cook.

Second, I am the proud dad of these 4 hooligans.

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From left to right, there’s Jace, Camryn, Luke, and Andee. They are all very energetic and all partners in crime.

Third, in the year and a half leading up to this 1/2 marathon, I lost over 120 lbs. I was able to do this purely through diet and exercise changes. Don’t worry, I’ll write another post soon all about the exact diet and exercise changes that I made.

In the meantime, here is a nice “before” picture for you to enjoy.

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Fast forwarding now to race day, here are some of my thoughts on my first 1/2 marathon and suggestions for anyone considering signing up for their first race.

1.) Run your first race with someone. Preferably, run with someone who has run the race before and is a more advanced runner. I was lucky enough to run every step of my first race with my sweet sister-in-law. She has run a dozen or so 1/2 marathons in the past (including this one last year). She helped me navigate through the whole race experience; from signing up for the race, picking up the bib, getting to the buses, choosing the right gear to bring, and most importantly, making sure I didn’t give up. Here we are together at the expo.

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She kept me running the entire race. She set the pace and checked in with me about every mile to see how I was holding up. At one point, around mile 12, I was exhausted physically and mentally and ready to stop. I needed to catch my breath, so I pulled off to the side and started walking. My sister-in-law gave me exactly one minute to have a pity party for myself and then she turned around and while running backwards started cheering me on. It was more than enough to jumpstart my engine and get me running again. We finished strong.

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2.) Set multiple goals of varying difficulty. Two years ago, I’m not sure I could have run up a flight of stairs, so, my main goal was just to complete the 1/2 marathon. I didn’t care what my time would be or if I had to walk half of the way. Measuring from where I started (at > 300 lbs), just finishing a 1/2 marathon would be an enormous accomplishment for me. My second goal was to finish the 1/2 marathon at a 10 min/mile pace. I set that goal back in December when I ran my first mile on a treadmill (at a 12 minute pace). At the time, I felt like a 10 minute pace would be a huge accomplishment, so I stuck with that goal throughout my training. As my training progressed over the following months, I started feeling more confident about goals one and two. Toward the end of my training, I decided to set one more stretch goal, a sub 2-hour 1/2 marathon. This came out to about a 9:09 min/mile pace. I had accomplished a few 6 and 7 mile runs at that pace, but had no idea if I could hold it up for 13.1. I made the “mistake” of telling my sister-in-law about my third goal the night before the race. She was determined to help me achieve it and set our pace throughout the race accordingly. I ended up finishing at 1 hour 54 minutes, an 8:43 average pace!

I was happy to achieve all three of my goals, but, even if I had just achieved one of them, it would have been a huge deal for me. Heck, even if I had achieved none of them, at least I would have tried. Eventually, I would try again and hope for improvement. I believe its important to set goals, even stretch goals, but, I also think its important to never lose sight of our improvements, no matter how small they might be or how far below our goals they might fall. Improvement is improvement, and its worth celebrating.

Thank you so much Dan for sharing your amazing journey.  I am so incredibly proud of you and can’t wait to be at many more finish lines cheering you on!

Questions from Janae:

Any goals that you’ve achieved recently?  

Ever completed a race with a friend or family member?  How was that able to help you?

Feel free to cheer my brother on in the comments… He’s pretty amazing!

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182 comments

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Wow! Seriously wow. What an inspiring story Dan. You have done so well. I’m a mum of two young kids who is desperately trying to get fit. Your post is really motivating and I’d love to read a post about your diet and lifestyle changes.
Just amazing.

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Thanks Vicki! I appreciate the support. I will definitely post again about the diet and weight loss. Keep up the hard work with those kids.
Best,
Dan

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Wow, great post! Congrats Dan, that’s a motivating story. I’m going to go set some goals :)

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Thanks Jen! Happy to add any motivation where I can. I’ve been super lucky to have a ton of great support from others. Hope to hear about your goals.
Best,
Dan

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Those are some huge accomplishments in the last year! Way to go!

I’m also working towards my first half and hoping for a sub 2 hr finish. So your story helped me feel like it’s definitely doable!

I love racing with people I know! I think it just adds to the fun of the race atmosphere.

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Jenny, thank you for your supportive comment! I am excited to hear about how your 1/2 marathon goes. Good luck with your sub 2-hour goal! I was surprised at how much of an energy boost I got from the race atmosphere, the crowd, the other runners, my sister and my sister-in-law. I wish I could bring it all with me on every training run.
Best,
Dan

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Dan is an inspiration! What an incredible story!

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Thank you for the kind words Kimberly! Hope you have a fantastic day today!
Best,
Dan

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Congratulations Dan!!! Thanks for sharing your story. You are an inspiration. Keep up the good work!!!!

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Thank you Christine! I was hoping my story would add a little inspiration to Janae’s reader’s day. I will definitely keep up the work.
Best,
Dan

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Holy moly! What an accomplishment! Congratulations to your brother :):):)

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Thank you Miranda! This one definitely ranks up there in my life’s accomplishments so far. Hope you have a great day!
Best,
Dan

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Wow, what an amazing accomplishment! Congrats on the half and all of the healthy changes you have made, Dan! My jaw was on the floor when you posted the before an after pictures. My husband was recently diagnosed with high cholesterol and just trying to make a few small changes can be difficult so a HUGE congrats on what you have been able to do!

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Krista, thank you for the nice words. I was a little apprehensive about posting that ‘before’ picture :) I hope your husband will find good information and support to help him address the cholesterol. I hope to share some of my insights about weight loss and diet in future posts.
Best,
Dan

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Wow!
Thanks for sharing.
Next long run, you finish with a diet mt. dew. You deserve it! Cheers.

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Ok Erica, do we know each other? You are spot on with the Diet Mt. Dew comment. That is my vice and I kid you not that I am drinking one right now as I type this response. I hope you have a fantastic day! (And I hope it involves at least one Diet Mt. Dew).
Best,
Dan

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Wow!! What a fantastic journey. No wonder you were so happy to show off your brother ;) congrats guys!

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Thanks Krista! It has definitely been a journey :) I hope you have a great day today.
Best,
Dan

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LOVED hearing your story Dan! So inspiring! Thank you for sharing:) I can’t wait for the post on the weight loss;) Really amazing accomplishment!

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Thanks Amanda! I was happy to share and hoped it would be inspirational. I’m excited to share more about the weight loss in future posts. I hope you have a great day!
Best,
Dan

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Congratulations- what an amazing accomplishment!!! This post has really inspired me- thank you so much!

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Thank you for the kind words Amanda! I’m glad I could add a little inspiration to your day. I hope you have a great one!
Best,
Dan

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Herzliche Glückwünsche, lieber Dan!
What an amazing story! Your family is wonderful, keep running and all the best!

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Thank you Gabrielle! I really appreciate the Austrian flair. Since your day is probably coming to an end about now, I will wish you a fantastic tomorrow! Thanks for the support.
Best,
Dan

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SO awesome, Dan!! Loved hearing your story! I got to run the last six or so miles with my sister for her first marathon, and it was so much fun to be able to encourage her for those last grueling miles and to see her achieve her goals, as well. So glad that you had your sister-in-law right there with you!!

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Thank you Natalie! I’m sure you motivated your sister a ton by running with her on her first marathon. I struggled a lot during my two miles. I can’t even imagine the what the last 6 of a full marathon feels like. I hope I get to experience that pain soon :) Hope you have a great day!
Best,
Dan

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WOW! You are amazing!! I absolutely loved reading your story…so inspiring. You have such a beautiful family.
Running races with others always makes a huge difference for me!

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Erinn, thank you! I agree, having someone run with you makes a big difference. Its been amazing to me to realize how much of running is a mental and emotional experience and not just a physical one. I hope you have a fantastic day!
Best,
Dan

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Dan! Way to go! Thanks for sharing your story. I have about 40 lbs to lose- My husband and I are starting up with a workout/nutrition program on the 21st & I’m really excited about it. I’ve not run as much the past year but am so happy to get back at it. Thanks for the inspiration.

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Thank you Jan! I hope you and your husband hit your goals with the new workout/nutrition program. Keep up the excitement! I hope you have great day today!
Best,
Dan

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Congratulations Dan on completing your first half marathon and your lifestyle changes and weight loss. Amazing you reached all your goals. I’m running my first half in two weeks time, I’m very excited. I’ll be running with a friend, her brother and his girlfriend. I don’t mind if they don’t actually run with me (I suspect I’ll be slower than they are) but it’s nice going to the start together and to have people waiting for me at the finish line. It helps me with my nerves. I love the idea of having three goals. Finishing, finishing around 2.17 and finishing around 2.12. Have a great day!

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EVA!!! Good luck in two weeks, I am so excited for you! YES, I totally agree… having people there will make the biggest difference. PLEASE let me know how it goes, I’m so excited for you!

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Thank you Eva! I hope you have an amazing experience at your first half marathon. Sounds like you’ve got a great support system as well. I think 2:17 sounds like a great goal. Best of luck!
Best,
Dan

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what an amazing story!

congratulations Dan on spectacularly crushing your goals. i’m looking forward to hearing about the next one for sure. how inspiring to see you try and then do it. it’s amazing the huge support you had with Janae writing your training plans and your SIL pacing you too – they are seriously amazing. i definitely do not think telling your SIL your 3rd goal was a mistake, b/c she got your back and helped you achieve it. :) your family and cute kids are adorable – and love that the kids are partners in crime. thank you for your tips and thank you for sharing your incredible journey with us!

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Thank you for your kind words Snowecho! I agree that telling my SIL was not a mistake (but I definitely felt that way around mile 5 when I first realized she was pacing us to achieve that goal :) The kids are definitely partners in crime. My wife and I recently noted how quickly our youngest seemed to leave our side to join their alliance.
Hope you have a fantastic day!
Best,
Dan

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No wonder I did not recognize the race day picture of you and Janae. I recognize you more from the before picture. What a fabulous write-up. Congratulations! You should be so proud of yourself, Dan. Your wife and children will benefit so much from your improved health. What a great example you have set for them. Thank you so much for sharing!

My friend, Mary, and I had BQ times that were 3 seconds apart back in 2014. So we were in the same starting corral and we ran every single step of the marathon together. It’s one thing to run a 5K or something together but through all the water stops and bathroom breaks and high and lows at different points for each of us, it was really special to start and finish together.

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Thank you for your kind words AmandaM! And, congrats to you on having qualified for and run Boston! I am seriously so impressed by everyone who has achieved that! Happy to hear you had a friend to do it all with.
Hope you have a fantastic day!
Best,
Dan

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Congrats Dan!! What an amazing accomplishment over the last year and running your first half marathon! Sounds like you have definitely caught the running bug :)

I ran a half marathon with my boyfriend yesterday and it was amazing. We had done training runs together before but this was our first race. It makes a huge difference having someone with you every step of the way. You can motivate each other and push each other forward during the tough parts. And it is way more fun to celebrate with someone at the end!

Have you signed up for another race yet?

x Elise
http://www.thirtythoughtstoday.com

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Thanks Elise! I have the caught ‘running bug’ for sure. I am hoping to sign up for another race soon. I’ve got a couple in mind already. Congrats to you and your boyfriend on your half marathon! What a fun way to enjoy spending time together. Also, very cool blog!
Hope you have a great day today!
Best,
Dan

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Wow! Congratulations on the great race AND the weight loss, Dan!
I was confused when you posted a picture the other day and said this was your brother who ran the race, I thought…i’ve never seen this brother before! Very inspiring

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Thanks for the kind words Juli! It makes my day to hear that anyone was confused by the photos :) I ‘feel’ like a different person as well.
Hope you have a great day today!
Best,
Dan

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Congratulations, Dan! You are truly an inspiration!
Thanks so much for sharing your accomplishment. I would love to hear about your weight loss, and what cross training you did. You look well toned! I am going to take an assumption leap and say you are spending quality time in the gym lifting some heavy weights. I hope to read some more of your journey.

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He sure does… you are good! He loves hitting the weights too! I hope you have an amazing day!

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Thanks Debjo! I will post more about my weight loss and cross training in a future post. And yes, weight lifting has been a key component for both me and my wife’s fitness journeys. Hope you are having a great day today!
Best,
Dan

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Amazing work, Dan!! So cool that you were able to hit all your goals! That’s such an impressive time in general, let alone for your first half. And congrats on your weight loss journey! You look very healthy!

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Thanks Alyssa! It felt great to hit those goals! Now to start setting new ones.
Hope you have a fantastic day!
Best,
Dan

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I don’t usually comment but holy cow. I thought you got a new brother he looks so different. Amazing.

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Beth, thank you for your comment! I feel like a new brother! It has been a long journey to this point and I am excited to see where I can go from here.
I hope you have a great day today!
Best,
Dan

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Beyond impressed with the weight loss goal! That is an amazing accomplishment. Congrats on the first (0f many) half marathons. My goal this weekend was completing the last long run before my half marathon in 2 weeks. I had a pity party at mile 8 (although I think mine lasted longer than a minute.) I’ll try to remember the sister-in-law’s advice for giving myself just a minute. Wonder if the garmin has a “pity party” notification timer?

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J.L., I think you and I need to patent this “pity party” app. :) Thank you for your kind words. Best of luck on your half marathon in 2 weeks. Let us know how it goes!
Best,
Dan

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Wow amazing work Dan. Such an inspiration to others!

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Thanks Amy! I hope you are having a great day!
Best,
Dan

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TOTALLY impressive weight loss achievement AND half marathon goal and achievement! WAY TO GO DAN!! Thanks for sharing!

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Thank you Sara! The weight loss and running goals fit together nicely for me. I hope to keep it going.
Hope you are having a great day!
Best,
Dan

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That’s awesome!!! Congratulations!! My boyfriend ran his first half marathon yesterday too!

Yesterday, I ran the Frederick Half Marathon (Maryland) with my boyfriend, his two sisters and mom. His older sister and I ran this race 4 years ago and both got PRs (2:05). She and I stuck together most of the time til around Mile 10 when I felt like the gas was running out in my legs. BUT I was so determined to get that PR and it felt great to be able to accomplish that. My boyfriend finished just behind us (2:08) and his younger sister and mom followed a few minutes later (2:14).

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Thank you Jess! Congratulations to you and your boyfriend on the 1/2 marathon! Sounds like you are all out there supporting each other. That is great!
Hope you are having a fantastic day!
Best,
Dan

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Dan, that is so amazing and awesome!!! Finishing sub 2hours for your first half marathon is a huge accomplishment! Great job! And, what an inspiration you are to people who may be struggling with getting healthy, wanting to loose weight, and setting goals! This trait obviously runs in the family ;)
Thank you for sharing your story :)

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Thank you Wendy! I hope my story can bring some inspiration and hope to others working toward the same goals. Others have certainly done that for me. I hope your day is going well for you!
Best,
Dan

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Oh my goodness! What an inspiration your brother Dan is! Congratulations to him on finishing his first half marathon! He sounds like one amazing person surrounded by so many supportive people cheering him on! So, now I’m dying to hear all about his weight loss journey. You look amazing Dan and I’m sure you feel just as great! Thanks for sharing!

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Thank you Tiffany! I will definitely be putting together some material on the weight loss journey. I appreciate your supportive comments. It is amazing how much better I feel today after having made these changes. I hope you have a great day!
Best,
Dan

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Holy cow! You must feel amazing! Congrats oh the weight loss and setting goals. Can I say, your wife has the best teeth! Lover her smile.

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Stephanie, thank you! I agree, she does have a great smile! Its one of my favorite things about her.
I hope you are having a fantastic today!
Best,
Dan

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Awesome job Dan!

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Thanks Julie! I hope you’re having a great day!
Best,
Dan

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First of all you beat me by 1 minute at my last half same weekend as yours, now I have a new goal to beat Dan! :) Second, I can tell your sister is HRG because you’re both beasts! Amazing life story all around!! Beautiful family of yours and I thought Brooke was sneaking in those pics.
Huge congrats and you never just run one half, look forward to reading about more!

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Thanks Christina! I like your goal, just don’t beat me by too much! I agree that little Brookie and Andee could pass for twins.
I hope to run another 1/2 marathon soon. Let us know when your next one is.
Best,
Dan

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Awesome job and you look incredible

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Thanks Nicole! I feel great as well. I hope you are having a great day today!
Best,
Dan

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WOW!! Way to go Dan! I’m so glad your first Half Marathon was a great experience. You did all the hard work and it paid off!! You are so lucky to have such a supportive family cheering you on. Thanks for sharing your story and your beautiful family!!

I’ve had friends pace me in breakthrough races and it means so much to have that person to lean on. Especially when they tell you in the last mile that your are going to CRUSH your goal.

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Thank you Elizabeth! I agree, I feel pretty blessed to have so many supporters and cheerleaders. I hope I can do the same for others. Sounds like you had similar support.
I hope you’re having a great day!
Best,
Dan

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Sub 2! That is amazing! So much hard work, keep it up!

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Thanks Corrinne! I will definitely keep working at it. I hope your day is going well.
Best,
Dan

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Way to go Dan!!!! That is a huge accomplishment and so inspiring! I have ran a few races but the most memorable race was a half marathon that my best friends flew into town to run with me. My BFF was by my side encouraging me and supporting me the whole way. She is super fast and I am not but she didn’t leave my side. Crossing the finish line together was super emotional for me and something I will never forget! Congrats on all you have accomplished!

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Tabaitha, what a cool story! Your BFF sounds a lot like my sister-in-law. Great people. Thank you for your kind words. I hope you have a fantastic day today!
Best,
Dan

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WAY TO GO!!
That’s so awesome! I have run 11 half marathons and my PR is 1:57 something, and you beat that on your first try?! Seriously, amazing.

One of his kids looks just like Brooke!

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Well I think its pretty amazing you have completed 11 half marathons! I’m guessing you’ll beat my PR long before I finish 10 more. Thank you for your kind words! I totally agree that Andee and Brooke could pass for sisters or twins.
I hope you’re having a great day!
Best,
Dan

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That last paragraph is EVERYTHING! So true and something that applies to all of us. I know I need to be reminded of it because I can get down on myself when I don’t accomplish the goals I set. I need to just focus on improvement. Thanks for the awesome post and congrats on all of your hard work!

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Megan, I’m glad you feel the same way. Its weird how we can be so kind, understanding and supportive of others and yet so critical of ourselves. Thank you for your kind and supportive words to me.
Best,
Dan

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Congratulations Dan!!You are amazing and so is your story.Thanks for sharing it with us!!

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Thank you Cait! I hope to share more of my story in the near future! I hope your day is going amazing for you.
Best,
Dan

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Dan, you look 10 years younger and……..happy! Excellent job and so inspirational.

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Kelly, you made my day with that comment! I do feel a lot happier! Thank you for your kind words. I hope you are having a great day!
Best,
Dan

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Wow, Dan! You are amazing! Congratulations on your first half marathon (amazing finish time!!) and the changes you’ve made to your life. So very inspiring!

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Leanne, thank you for your kind words! It has been a great lifestyle change. I hope you are having a fantastic day!
Best,
Dan

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Wow! Way to go, Dan! Great time and amazing effort. Congratulations on your transformation! Keep up the good work!

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Thanks Erica! I hope to keep the transformation going. Hope you have a great day!
Best,
Dan

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Congrats, Dan! What an achievement! Keep up the hard work! You’re being a wonderful role model for your beautiful kiddos! I can’t wait to hear more about the weight loss! That’s fantastic, too!

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Thanks Krista! My kids are a huge part of my motivation. They have made some of the funniest comments over the last couple years as they have witnessed this change. I’m excited about sharing some of the weight loss journey as well.
Best,
Dan

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Dan, that is absolutely incredible! You are such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your story and I look forward to many more guest posts from you over the years as you carry on your running journey! :)

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Thank you Jaclyn! It feels good to start sharing my story. I can’t wait to share more. I hope you’ve had a great day today!
Best,
Dan

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Wow, I didn’t even realize that was your brother, he looks amazing after all his weight loss.
Congrats on a great race Dan!!!

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Thanks Sarah! I’ve even had some coworkers (who I typically only see once a year or so) not recognize me. I take it as a huge compliment. I hope you had a great day today!
Best,
Dan

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I love this post so much! You did such a great job!

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Thanks AD! I appreciate the support. Hope you had a great day.
Best,
Dan

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Wow, Dan…congratulations on your first 1/2 marathon! You have a beautiful family! Congratulations on your weight loss as well, that’s a huge accomplishment! Funny, but I didn’t recognize you when Janae mentioned you before and your wife had glasses on so I didn’t recognize her until this post as well! Initially I thought, I don’t know this brother, I’m more familiar with the other one (which actually was you. Haha).

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YES YES YES… I think that happened for a lot of people! Thanks so much Marie and I hope you are having a great day!

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Thank you Marie! I take it as a great compliment to not be recognized :) I feel like a different person as well, so this is a good thing. I hope you had a good day today!
Best,
Dan

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Dan – that is an incredible accomplishment. Congratulations on the weight loss and the 1/2 marathon!

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Thanks Rene! I feel like I had years of work all pay off at once. Hope you had a good day today!
Best,
Dan

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Congratulations, Dan! What an amazing journey you’re on! I’m sure we’ll be reading about more of your accomplishments.

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Hi Kathy, thanks! Yes, I hope to write a little more on the weight loss side. Hope you had a fantastic day today!
Best,
Dan

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Way to goooooo!!! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

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Bangs friend! Thankssss! :)
Best,
Dan

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Holy guacamole! I did not even recognize you! What amazing accomplishments!!

A few years ago, I ran a 1/2 with my bff, just to help her hit her goals and it was seriously my most favorite run I have ever done!

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Thanks for the comment Marissa! You are an awesome friend to do that. I’m sure it meant a lot to your bff. Hope you had a great day today!
Best,
Dan

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Wow! What a great accomplishment! So happy you found running.

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Me too! Running has been such a big key to helping me achieve my goals. Hope you had a great day today!
Best,
Dan

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Congrats Dan!! You have no idea how many people you are going to help by sharing your journey!! Good job, I m proud of you!

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Thanks Jackie! I’m excited to share more! Hope you had a good day!
Best,
Dan

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What an incredible journey you’ve had and what an incredible gift you’ve given yourself, your wife and your kids! You should be so proud of yourself.

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Mel, I totally agree! This change has affected an entire group of people. Thanks for your comment! Hope you had a good day today!
Best,
Dan

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Congratulations! You rocked it! And . . . Curly, Andee and Brooke could be triplets!! What a family resemblance.

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Thanks HD! I agree, they could be triplets! They will get to hang out together in about a month. It will be fun to watch them all play together. Hope you had a great day today!
Best,
Dan

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I love this! Super inspiring. I’m about to run my first half at the end of June. My goal is simply to finish it, and I also don’t have a time goal, I’m not entirely sure I want one. I am running it by myself 😬 A friend of mine was going to do it with me but ended up deciding against it and I was already committed 🤷🏻‍♀️ I think I have a torn muscle, or it’s sprained so I’m just taking it slow. Taking it one step at a time. When I first started I couldn’t even do one lap around the park, I’ve since been able to hit a little over 4 miles. I’m behind in training due to my injury, but I’m excited with the progress I’ve had so far! I’d love to hear what you used as fuel? I haven’t even delved into that part of the training. I haven’t gotten far enough in my mileage yet, but I’d love to know what you guys recommend! Congrats on making all your goals, and the progress you’ve had with your health!

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Karlie, thank you! I loved every bit of your comment! Your goal of finishing the 1/2 is perfect one and a huge congrats to you already for working up from one lap to 4 miles! Sounds like you’re on track (“one step at a time”). Be careful with that injured muscle. As far as fuel goes, I didn’t focus too much on it. I just made sure I had enough calories in the tank to keep me from getting nauseous. I’ll write more about in a future post. I hope you have a great day!
Best,
Dan

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Oh my gosh! Congratulations, Dan! I loved this post and I can’t wait for your next post all about your life changes and how you lost so much weight! This is SO inspiring and motivating!

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Thanks Torrie! I look forward to writing more about it as well! I appreciate your support. Hope you had a good day!
Best,
Dan

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How many hours a day do you usually spend sitting down, Janae? I’ve started a new fulltime job that’s very sedentary and has me looking at the computer screen all day inside a cubicle and I think it’s going to drive me NUTS!

Any tips/advice?

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WOW!!! Dan, this is so awesome. I’m so impressed with your determination to make those big lifestyle changes, all while parenting 4 little kids, that’s no joke. Props to your beautiful wife too, I’m sure she was instrumental in helping you on your journey, and a big shout out to your SIL, you couldn’t have asked for a better race partner. Clearly you share Janae’s speedy genes!

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Thanks Michelle! I love and agree with your whole comment (except for part about Janae’s speedy genes, her speed is just unreal). Hope you had a fantastic day!
Best,
Dan

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Dan- AMAZING story! you’ve done a great job! what a joy to be able to say you got yourself to a healthy place and will be around to enjoy your beautiful family.

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Thanks Zoe! I hope to be around to enjoy them for a very long time! Hope you had a good day today!
Best,
Dan

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What an awesome accomplishment! And definitely the post I needed to read today. I’m coming back to running after having my fourth child and know that significant weight loss is needed. I really enjoy stories like this. Keep up the amazing work!

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Michele, thank you for your kind words! I can’t even begin to comprehend coming back time and time again after having 4 kids. I’ve watched my wife do this and I am just in awe at her strength. I hope you will find your best success ever this go around! I also hope you had the best day today.
Best,
Dan

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Wow Dan you are an inspiration!!!! Very many congratulations to you on completing the half marathon and yes, please may we have a guest post about your amazing weight loss

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Thanks Caroline! I will definitely follow up with some more posts on the weight loss. I hope you had a good day today!
Best,
Dan

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Loved reading this! Congrats on your half marathon Dan! What an amazing accomplishment and great example you set for your children. I would alos love to read more aboutyour weight loss journey!

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Thanks Jennifer! I will for sure post more. I hope you had a fantastic day today!
Best,
Dan

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Wow good for your brother. Losing the weight and getting healthier and running a half. So amazing!! Great to set all those goals and achieve them all.

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Thanks Alicia! Its been a great journey! I hope you had a great day today!
Best,
Dan

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Such an AMAZING story! Congratulations Dan and thanks for the Monday boost!

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Thanks Bridgette! Hope your Monday was amazing!
Best,
Dan

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Dan,

Congratulations! I’m so inspired. The other day, Janae posted a picture of the entire family and I didn’t recognize you. I couldn’t figure it out. You should be very proud of your accomplishments.

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Karla, I love when people don’t recognize me! It makes me feel like I’ve really become a new person. I hope you had a super day today!
Best,
Dan

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I loved reading this! What an incredible journey and an amazing attitude. Your parents should be very proud for raising such positive, hard working, uplifting children! And you should be so proud for setting your sights high and putting in the work to hit your ambitious goals!!

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Thanks Katie! I has been an incredible journey! I hope you had a fantastic day today!
Best,
Dan

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Janae?! You coached your brother to a sub 2:00 half long distance? Please, you must share this program! And also the encouraging texts and any pep talks.

(Great work, Dan! Love the guest posts from HRG-Family.)

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Thanks North-anon! Janae really has been a fantastic coach. Even from a long distance! I hope you had a good day today!
Best,
Dan

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Holy transformation!! What an incredible ride you’ve been on this past 1.5 years. I know the amount of work and determination you’ve thrown into it has paid off. You! Look! Amazing! Congrats on your first 1/2 marathon and on your amazing journey. Upward and onward, my friend. :-)

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Patty, THANK YOU for you nice comment! Upward and onward, indeed! I hope you had a great day today!
Best,
Dan

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Great post! It has all the feels and a happy ending/ pause point. It’s nice you included your village. Look at what came from within you in a short period of time! You are capable of so much. No doubt it took much effort on your part (and continues to), but more hands can make lighter work and it looks like this is the case here. More feels for the team working so well together. The inspiration is evident and extends to this post – look at all the comments!

Can’t wait for the follow up post!

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Thanks Lee! I appreciate your support! I will get working on the follow up post. Hope you had a great day!
Best,
Dan

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This is amazing!! Congratulations Dan, seriously what an accomplishment.

I ran my first half marathon with my sister Sarah. It was super emotional for me because she is my best friend, but had struggled with addiction and it had gotten to the point that we thought we would hear one day that she was dead. She worked really really hard to become sober and clean and we ran the half marathon together about a year later. I had gone from feeling like I had lost her to our relationship bring restored so it was a big deal!!

Love this!

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Amanda, what an incredible story of restoration! I’m sure you were a huge part of your sister’s recovery. As emphatically as I can say it, THANK YOU for sharing that!
Best,
Dan

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I can’t even!! That is so amazing. As a long time, but not so serious runner, I feel super inspired. Too bad I already ran today because I feel like going for a run right now. Great job!

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Thanks Elizabeth! I appreciate the support! Please go dominate your run tomorrow!! Hope you had a good day!
Best,
Dan

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I was also convinced this was another brother, hehe. HUGE congrats to your brother, can’t wait to read more about his running/weight loss journey. Seriously, great job! :)

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Thanks Citla! I will get working on my next post! Hope your day was good!
Best,
Dan

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That’s absolutely amazing!! Such an accomplishment, both the weight loss and half marathon! I’m in the process of trying to lose weight, it’s so hard but you’re definitely an inspiration! Keep up the amazing work and smashing those goals!!:)

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Thanks Jasmine! Keep up that hard work on your end! I will post some info on what helped me in a future post. Hope you had a good day!
Best,
Dan

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Dan, you are fantastic! What an accomplishment to beat all of your goals. You have a beautiful family!

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Thanks Stacey! I appreciate your kind words! Hope you had a great day!
Best,
Dan

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Great story – Thank you for sharing! I look forward to your healthy eating tips.

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Thank you Regina! I will definitely post some more on the eating side of the weight loss equation. Hope you had a good day!
Best,
Dan

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Wow Dan you and your sister are both beyond inspiring. This is such a great demonstration of perseverance and community of the sport of running. Congratulations to you both an impressive half marathons. I have biked up Mt Charleston and thought it was a magical place. All the best in your future goals and pursuits.

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Thanks Katie! That canyon is sooo pretty! I loved running toward the sun as it came up over the valley! Definitely magical. I am loving the community of runners. Good people all around. Hope your day was a good one today!
Best,
Dan

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I love your story! I can relate because I went from not being even a tiny bit althetic and weighing 250 pounds to running mutiple half marathons, one full and doing a triathlon! It’s such hard work but feels so good!! Amazing job!!

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Colleen! I love your story! Multiple halfs, a full and a triathlon?!? I would love to learn more about your journey. Agreed that it is hard work but totally worth it. How long ago did you start?
Best,
Dan

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I started 12 years ago but I had a baby last year and now it feels like starting over!

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Congratulations! What an amazing and inspiring story!

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Thanks Elizabeth! Hope you had a good day!
Best,
Dan

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Congrats Dan!!!! Huge accomplishment!!!! Janae, I’m so glad you had him write this up. It’s so nice to know what he’s up to these days. 4 kids!!! So adorable!

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Hi Nadia! Good to hear from you! Thank you for your comment! How are you what have you been up to?
Best,
Dan

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Congratulations Dan! Such an accomplishment! And what a great sister in law :)

My dad is an ultra runner, and offered to run my first marathon with me. It was so fun to have him out there! Funny story: at one point he stopped to use the restroom. My friend was spectating and saw me running alone. She was aghast that my dad would leave me behind. I got to tell her that actually I had left him behind ;)

A few years later, I had the privilege of pacing my mom in her first half-Marathon. Such great memories!

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Thanks Kristi! I agree, she is a great sister in law. Sounds like your family is full of great people as well. Kindness begets kindness! Hope you had a great day today!
Best,
Dan

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Congrats on the race!!! Your story is awesome, and I loved reading about the goals you set up for yourself each step of the way. A sub 2 hour half marathon is a big accomplishment… great job crushing it on your first try 🙂

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Congratulations Dan, I loved reading your story! Thank you so much for sharing. So inspiring!!!

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Oh my gosh! I am tearing up reading this. Mostly because it looks like those 4 kiddos will have a healthier papa for a long time! And, also, I’m eating peanut M&Ms and feel like I should make a better choice, oops!

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Your brother is SO inspiring. Please ask him to share his health journey, specifically how he cut out sugar. I am overweight and want to change!

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Dan that is amazing! Between the weight loss and running a sub 2 hour half marathon you are inspiring. I’d love to hear more about the weight loss and balancing work and family. Congratulations! Janae, I’d love to hear about how it was coaching him!

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I was trying to figure out which brother this was that I hadn’t seen before…and then realized I had he just looks like a different person! Whoa. Congrats to your brother, would love to hear more about his story…thanks for inspiring me today!

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Truly amazing!! Thanks for sharing such an inspirational story!!

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This was so inspiring and encouraging to read! So happy for you that you’ve both found a love for running and made some amazing changes in your life that give you so much fulfillment and pride. I love how your story is so centered on relationships and your family — coached and inspired by your sister, cheered on by your wife and kids, and pushed and encouraged by your sister-in-law. This is truly incredible. Amazing job crushing your time goals as well!

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Wow, congratulations! What a huge accomplishment (weight and race)! That’s an incredible time!

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Congratulations to Dan – I can’t wait for the follow up post! And HRG – you have built such a positive and supportive community here, you should be proud of that, too! Your readers are so supportive of each other & Love meeting your family & bangs friend wrote congrats to your brother! Such a positive force, and never have we needed it more. Love the HRG family!

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Lucy, your comment means a lot to me. Thank you for what you said. I hope you are having a beautiful day!!

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**Gave me goose bumps**
What and awesome job!! Congratulations!!

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This is amazing Dan! So impressed by your willpower to lose the weight and to accomplish such a big goal- even finishing sub 2. you’re setting a really great example for your kids! ;-) PS so awesome that Janae coached you before the race- great team effort!

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Wow! Such an awesome post and achievement! Huge congratulations to you and thank you for sharing your story and journey!

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This is amazing! Seriously, what an accomplishment and IMPRESSIVE first half marathon time!!! I’m glad you got the running bug, it’s the best one to catch;) Can’t wait to follow your journey-keep up the guest posts!

PS in the first pic of your kids, the one on far right looks a lot like Brooke!

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DAN- incredibly job! what an awesome post and super accomplishment. all the feels reading this. seriously, you should be so proud of yourself! way to go!!! (on all fronts :)

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Great job Dan!! You are an inspiration. I would like to get in shape just ran a 5K… half marathon that’s amazing.

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