The Whole Package–> Why This Marathon Is Going to Be Different from Any Other + Tangents.

After my hard workout/race/long run on Saturday my coach told me to get a lot of sleep, to eat well and to take care of myself over the next few days because of the race on Saturday and my mileage jump this week (I’ll be in the 50s this week… ahh).

I did just that on Sunday.  Brooke had a bit of a fever on Sunday and didn’t feel great so I stayed home with her all day so she could rest.  I probably walked 200 steps the entire day and Skye didn’t mind just relaxing all day either.   I also took two naps on Sunday (during both of Skye’s naps) and it was amazing.

Monday morning= Brooke woke up feeling much better and her temperature was back to normal too.

For my Monday morning run I drove to a new location because of this beautiful hill.   I have run the St. George Marathon twice before and there is a hill called Veyo that can either destroy you or just add an extra 30-45 seconds to that particular mile split.

The first year that I did St. George I did a ton of training in the mountains so my hill strength was awesome and when I got to Veyo I just slowed down a little bit and didn’t really notice it that much.  In 2016, Veyo felt a lot harder than 2014 because I hadn’t done much hill training leading up to it.

2018—> I want Veyo to be the place where I keep an even effort (which means I will slow down for the hill a little bit) but it won’t kill me off because I’ll have gotten in plenty of hills during my training so that I am strong.  I want to get to the top and recover quickly and get back on pace!

Veyo is early on in the race and I need to save my energy for the negative split I’m going to pull off this year;)


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So I ran up and down the hill four times yesterday to get in some practice.

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The hill is about .65 miles long and you gain 136 feet of elevation (and a total of 600 feet of elevation gain for the run).

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Here are my splits from St. George 2016 below and Veyo is in that 8th mile and it is longer than the above hill that I did (208 feet) but you also get 87 feet of drop in that mile (you go down a steep hill before climbing up Veyo).

Miles 7-11 are by far the hardest miles of this marathon (I think) because you gain 376 feet of elevation in those four miles.  You’ve just got to make it through those without dying or using all of your energy and you are good to go from there.

Can you tell I’m a bit obsessed with all of the data/numbers when it comes to running? <— All of those math classes in high school have paid off in life;)

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8:06 average pace for the 8.26 Monday morning miles (8 miles + 4 x 20 seconds fast (5:45 pace with 60 second walking recoveries)).

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By the way, my coach switched my VDOT (a measure of your current running ability) after my races last week so now my easy runs are around the 7:57-8:45 range… they used to be 8:26-9:15.

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Our day was pretty low key.  We stayed at home for most of it.  Skye is clearly a big fan of Candy Land.

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Andrew spent the day tiling our laundry room.  When he was taking off the linoleum he found a crazy amount of mold under the washer… so that was fun.  We had it checked out and we were safe to be home and he was able to get rid of it all!

Wish us luck not having a washer and dryer for a few days.  My mom might find us using her laundry room soon because one of our biggest talents over here is going through all of our clean clothes at an alarming rate.

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We made pizza (TJ’s pizza dough) and maybe someday we will grab our pizza stone from my sister ha.  It was delicious and so incredibly easy.

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My night ended with some yoga on my own once the girls fell asleep.  When Andrew finished up for the day we hung out for a while.  Oh and also the best popsicle on the planet made an appearance:

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I have a few random things to talk to you about today:

*These girls love pancakes just as much as I do which is a very important thing for me.

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*Kelly and Lindsey told me to combine Cowboy Caviar (from TJ’s) and cream cheese together for the best dip ever.  They are brilliant.  It is amazing and had a nice little kick.

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*Kelly told me about this incredible mama that just broke the world record of the fastest half with a triple jogging stroller.  Sub 90 while pushing a triple stroller!?!

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*I told Andrew that I would really like to take the whole family to Disneyland this year at some point and he sent me this:

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*Free race pictures are the best.  This was at mile 12 and as you can tell, my hair is drenched from the sprinklers a bit earlier but I was happy.

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My mom and I were talking yesterday about my running and I was telling her about how I am suddenly feeling so much physically stronger right now.  Things are just clicking and I’m really excited about it.  I told her that I know I have been physically stronger at points (like when I ran a 1:21 half marathon and the training around that point) BUT mentally (and physically… my GI problems) I wasn’t doing so great in life.  My mom had a stroke at that time in life which was beyond hard and stressful and I was just struggling with a bunch of things in life.  I was just trying to make it through my days back then let alone train at the level to PR.  While yes there are some not-so-great things going on in life (like for every human on the planet)… I feel mentally like I am a different human (thank you Andrew for treating me so good and thank you therapist for helping me work through some very difficult problems from my past and thank you to me for finally working through these things;) than I was when I was last really physically strong (2015).  So I am not sure how my physical strength this fall will compare to what I had a few years ago but my mental strength is going to pull me so much farther along and like I said yesterday, I am absolutely loving the process to get there.

I cannot wait for October 6th.


Thoughts on Disneyland… Is it the best thing ever, a pretty fun day or completely overrated in your opinion?

-The best thing ever.

What is the hilliest race that you have ever done?

Who will be running the St. George Marathon this year?

Favorite type of chip and favorite dip to go with chips?  

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We have been to DisneyWorld 3 times with the family…never Disney Land. We love everything about it but I (personally) would wait until Skye is older to go as a family. It is expensive and she won’t remember a thing about it….wait until she is 4 waaay more fun for all.


That is a very good point! Andrew said we should go to DisneyWorld instead too… so maybe we will make it out that way eventually:) I hope you have a great day Kathy!


There is a possibility we are a one and done for Disney. That being said what is the very best age to take a little girl?


I think the best age to take her is when we go and we all meet up there:)


My night ended with yoga too! Now that my mileage is increasing my hips are getting tight again. Last year while I was sidelined after surgery for so long I actually forgot that tight hips were a thing… but now I remember, hahah!


Wish we could have done yoga together. BOOO to the tight hips but you are being so smart to get going on yoga to help! I hope they feel amazing today and way to go on the mileage increase wahoo!


COME TO DISNEYLAND!!!! It’s been too long since I’ve seen you! :)

Girl, you look SO strong in all of your pics from the race, and you definitely seem to be ready physically to dominate that marathon on Oct. 6. You’ve overcome SO much, and I’m so proud of you and excited for you. You are mentally AND physically ready, and I truly believe that you’re going to surprise yourself with just how capable you are.

Do Wheat Thins count as chips?? Ha! I also love Harvest Cheddar SunChips, but I don’t eat them with dip too often. Maybe roasted pine nut hummus? That stuff is pretty good, especially with carrots, too. I love a good spinach/artichoke dip, but it’s been forever since I’ve had it!


You are so kind, thank you Natalie!! I think they should count, they are so good! Oh now you have me wanting those sunchips, we have the classic kind right now so I’ll have to go get the cheddar! I hope your Tuesday is a fabulous one Natalie!


I know hills look so much smaller in pictures but even so that hill in your picture looks insanely difficult! Great workout for you.

I have been to Disney World in Florida and I enjoyed it for a couple of days. 2 days was enough though :)

The hilliest race I’ve done is called a Boston Prep 16 miler – it’s actually in New Hampshire in January and it is usually ~12 degrees. They have an actual rule that you can’t wear shorts if it’s below “x” degrees (not sure what the threshold is) because crazy people try to wear shorts and then get frostbite. It’s called Boston Prep b/c it’s right at the start of Boston marathon training and tons of local Boston Marathon people run the race. They joke that it has “moderate hills” and the race t-shirt shows the profile of the steep hills. Very funny ;)


-12 degrees and CRAZY HILLY…. yeah that sounds crazy hard! I’ll cheer you on from inside the next time you do it:) I am glad that the picture gave it some justice ha. Have an amazing day Amanda!


I am glad you guys got the mold checked out! Well done.

Disneyland is a pretty fun day. Disney World is the best thing ever!!!

My hilliest Race was the Flying Monkey Marathon (also my favorite, because the race director is a sarcastic comedian).

I will not be running St. George. I ran Plovdiv (the oldest inhabited European city) in April, and will enter the lottery in August for Flying Monkey in November.

Tortilla chips of course, with a close tie between roasted tomato salsa and an authentic queso.


Yeah, we were pretty freaked out by the mold! Okay, so that was what Andrew was saying… that we should do Disney World instead. I want to come do the Flying Monkey Marathon… that is so cool about the race director! PLOVDIV… what!? That is amazing. I hope you get into Flying Monkey for this fall (let me know as soon as you find out). Have an amazing day!


You should! We are doing 5 days with my family at Disney World for Christmas, hoping to emphasize experiences and family time over presents).

If you ever want to do Flying Monkey you can stay in our guest room! Kids welcome too! It would be so cool to host you all :)


I so agree on the hills in pictures! This weekend our town had the Bix7 which is a 7 mile very hilly course. And you start out on a 9% incline hill. I tried to take a picture of it and would have sworn that it was no more than a minor bump on my camera screen!

I went to Disney for the first time when I was about 8. My sister was 7 and my brother was 3. They were great ages. I still remember everything about that trip and was tall enough to ride all the big rides! On the flip side though, people always say to wait until the kids can remember and I don’t think that’s necessary. Even if they don’t remember the trip forever, you remember the looks on their faces and the excitement. So I’d say go anyways!

And I love ruffles and french onion dip!


It started on a 9% incline!?! WOW! I totally agree with what you said… they might not remember the details but the experience and bonding that happens makes me happy:) Now you have me craving ruffles and french onion dip! Enjoy your day Alyssa!


I’d love to hear more about your yoga!


HEY YOU!! I have just been doing things on Youtube:) It works! Here is my favorite:

Have a fabulous rest of your day!


Oh boy I LOVE LOVE LOVE Disney World. Actually, I’m not that long back from a Florida trip and in a couple of months I’m heading over to Disneyland Paris for the half marathon weekend. I’m beyond excited!


Disneyland Paris!?!? Can I come??


The more the merrier!


We haven’t done Disneyland but Disney World was somewhere between fun and overrated for me. We planned on a one and done Disney life but then Kid3 came along after a 12 year gap so we may make it there one more time.

Veyo Hill has never bothered me…but then again, I’m running it much slower than you so that might be part of it. ;) The hilliest marathon I’ve done was in Palisade, CO – the first hill is like Veyo and although the next hills are half as long, there are 10-12 of them, constant rolling. Between that, and the peach orchard pollens/grape field herbicide/pesticide dust causing a massive asthma-like attack…my worst marathon ever.


Yes, come to Disney World! Then you can run in our Florida humidity… muahahahaha…


I WOULD DIE… you would have to come pick me up on the side of the road!!!


We want to surprise our kids with Disney land soon but we aren’t sure when yet. It’s a debate between waiting until they are all old enough to remember and going while the youngest is still free. Haha. Growing up my dad was a one and done kind of guy. We went when I was 4 and he called that good. Trevon never went until we got married. So I’m hoping we are a family who would go every couple of years or so and not just once.


My whole family just booked a trip to Disney World next year for the marathon!! I’m doing the half, should be fun and unique :) I don’t know if they allow strollers but that sounds like it would be a fun one to push your kids around for! haha. Yay for therapy!! and for loving ourselves enough to make the decision every week to go do the work :)


I had to share this YouTube video with you guys after Andrew’s comment on Disney. This is John crist, a Christian comedian. He is hilarious but his “every parent at Disney” video had us cracking up the other day!


That. Was. Amazing. I just sent it to Andrew. Thank you!


Hilliest road race – Nike women’s race in 2010 – who knew there could be so many non – stop hills in a marathon.

Sour cream chips – and I like french onion dip. But I also like like tortilla chips with guacamole. I love guacamole.

I haven’t been to Disneyland since I was 10 – I probably thought it was the greatest thing ever even though I was afraid of half the rides then hahaha!

No St. George marathon for me – but we just got back from a 10 day road trip camping and swimming and at the start of the week I got to run a trail race called Broken Goat in Rossland BC a week ago and it was beautiful! I highly recommend it :)

Have a great day!


I grew up in California, so Disneyland will always hold an E-ticket place in my heart ;) I wouldn’t go in the summer (or even September/October) it can be miserably hot and that just makes everyone grumpy!

The Honolulu Marathon was the hilliest race I’ve ever done. Not any super big hills, but lots of rollers.

Tortilla chips with salsa/guac combo is the best!


I love Disneyland but i hate how expensive it’s become. Back when I was a kid we (a family with 5 kids) could afford to go and we were not well off by any stretch of the imagination. I can only afford to take my family maybe once every 5 years.

Hilliest marathon I’ve done is SF marathon, but i trained pretty well for the hills and so it didn’t kill me.

Favorite chips and dip is easy — tortilla chips with salsa and/or guacamole. Love Mexican food!!!!!


I loved running the Nashville half! The music and the crowds were amazing!! And we finished at the football field which was sooo cool! The hilliest race I have done was right here in Charlotte! I never thought this city would have a couple killer hills but there were earlier in the race so I knew that if I could get threw those the rest of my miles would be a breeze!!!! But by mile 9 I will say I was EXHAUSTED!!!

Ohhhhh those chips are the BEST!! We love them and trying them with different dips! Love that cowboy caviar but never tried it with cream cheese! Might just have to do that!!

We have never done Disneyland but I will say, Disney World never gets old!!!!



Get it Janae!! You look strong and confident!!


Thank you Di!!!


I love how you consider mental strength as well as physical strength! Both are so important! I must say I think Disneyland is overrated but I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority on that. If you love it, go enjoy it! We LOVE Mateo’s salsa from Costco at our house. I won’t even buy other kinds because they do not compare. We also love the Kirkland Mission tortilla strips. Mixing with cream cheese sounds pretty next level!


lol at the “people trap set by a mouse” meme. i’ve not visited disneyland, but i’ve been to disney world as a child and again as a teen and again as someone in my 20s. i do agree it’s overrated, and as you get older it’s not as fun of a time. i have not been back with the kiddo yet, as my husband also feels strongly against anything disney – and as much as i grew up with disney this and disney that, as an adult, i find it hard to argue. but i have heard about disney races, and i would totally go for that :) my neighbors (a couple) do the disney half marathon and then the disney marathon the next day. i think it’s called something but i don’t remember what. they love it so much (they don’t have kids) –

omg on the triple stroller and clocking in a 1:29 half marathon. those are some serious skills.

nice hill work there! and nice on the VDOT change. now you got me obsessing over the elevation chart for nyc marathon. here i go… (oh boy, this is quite a rabbit hole)

that is cool to hear that you are strong now in a different way than you were previously and it’s neat to see how it’s working in you! looking forward to seeing what you will do in Oct!


I’ve been to Disney World 3 times, age 6, 13 and 26. I still have only made it to Magic Kingdom and Epcot so I need to visit the other parks and want to go back. It was fun to go both as a kid and adult. I still need to make it to Disneyland and would also like to check out some of the international Disneys.

Also favorite dip, guacamole and corn chips.


Hey! Do you have anymore directions/specifics regarding the cowboy caviar and cream cheese dip? It looks so delish!


I just mixed it with my hand mixer… that’s it. It was AMAZING!!!


Disneyland is really fun-I haven’t been in years but what I remember is all the happiness. Truly, everyone seems happy and that is a great thing to be among. Come visit me in Germany and then go to Disney Paris! Then you can compare and contrast!

Your running photo is amazing-the photographer is so smart to catch side angle views instead of full frontal.

Stating the obvious, but speaking from experience- keep an eye on Brooke’s fever. My kids used to get a second round of strep sometimes-it just seemed to occasionally linger after the first round of antibiotics.

HIlliest race has historically been the now defunct Cascade Run-Off in Portland, OR. It went up and over the infamous Terwilliger hill. My hilliest run was probably a few weeks ago and my brother and I ran up Maiden’s Peak in the McKenzie Nat’l forest. We did well over 4000ft of climbing and got up to 7000+ft elevation. It was super gorgeous and hard.

Thanks for the dip idea!!! I’m going to visit TJ’s while here in the states!!!



Yay for growing stronger in multiple ways! I wonder if you would ever consider sharing some of the insights you’ve learned in therapy? Obviously not the particular details that are private but the larger takeaways. I’ve learned a ton in (and out of) therapy over the past two years while dealing with poor body image/disordered eating and going through a divorce – like about healthy ways to cope with anxiety, how old shame stories keep me feeling wounded/needy/unworthy, emotional boundaries, etc. Anyways, perhaps it feels too personal to you but I thought I’d throw it out there! Thanks for sharing your life with us :)


The hill is that pic looks massive to me! I’m out of breath just looking at it!!

The pic of Skye smiling on the floor next to Candy Land is so sweet. I wanna be THAT happy about something! #goals
Ummmmm, is that a mango popsicle?!?!?! I JUST wrote about my obsession with Mango flavored popsicles on my latest Friday Favorites. Where do you find them?? I will make it my mission to get my hands on them! LOL


Thoughts on Disneyland——a fun day

hilliest race I have ever done was the huckleberry half, it was in the foothills of Mt Hood hahahaha

Tortilla chips for dip, 4 layer dip my mom used to make, cream cheese, diced mild green chilis, chili, and cheese. goes in the oven at 375 until the cheese starts to bubble.


I went to Disney World with my nephews (9 and 7),my parents and my 2 boys (4 and 2).
I would for sure not go back until my boys were 7 and 5.
Also, it depends on which rides and attractions you want to check out. The lines are unreal…Fast passes are a must

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