I wanted this so bad, I could taste it.
Two days after my first marathon in 2010 I went into our local running shoe store and I confidently told the employees working there that I was going to get a sub 3 marathon.
As you know, there have been many failures, lessons, injuries and growing since then so the sub 3 definitely took more time to get than I was planning on.
But all of those things have made it so much sweeter. The goals that take the time, sweat, blood and tears make the victory feel just so unreal. I wouldn’t change the process it took to get this. I wouldn’t change the ups and downs along the way. It happened just the way it should have and I learned how freaking awesome it feels to get the dream I refused to give up on.
Thank you so much for all of the amazing comments… you guys mean the world to me. Thanks for joining me on this and now you get a break from hearing me obsessively talk about getting a sub 3… now you’ll just have to hear about a sub 2:55 haha I kid… kind of;)
Let’s talk about the day before the race. I woke up and ran 2.1 miles @ 9:15 pace on the treadmill, we got ready really quickly and then drove to St. George. I had toast with pb, a banana and eggs for breakfast, lots of pretzels on the way down and a sub with only white bread and turkey for lunch. We got back to the hotel from the expo at about 3 and I literally sat down the entire rest of the day. I had a Shark Tank marathon and Andrew had the kids and I relaxed.
Andrew picked up dinner from Brick Oven so I could eat at the hotel and not deal with crazy restaurants etc. Spaghetti with a little bit of sauce and chicken. He also picked up Yogurtland because I felt like a little ice cream was just kind of needed.
I got into bed at 9 and fell asleep for a second and then woke up and was up for a while. I decided to read from my scriptures for a while and I came across this scripture and it was just what I needed to fight some of the anxiety I was feeling. Not going to get too churchy but it reminded me of how much God cares about the things we care about. It reminded me to pray throughout the race and to feel gratitude to God for being able to be there and healthy. When I prayed that night I asked for help from Him for my pacing, so I could be smart and I got it.
This is what I took with me (minus the sunglasses… the sun never showed up:) and somehow it all magically worked out. Oh and my Koala Clip isn’t in the picture but it was definitely with me and I didn’t even feel it. Thank you guys for telling me about that. It was so nice not using a fuel belt and using that for my phone/music and then putting my gels in my pockets.
Let’s talk for a second about shoes.
Leading up to the race I was sure that I was going to wear the Ricochet (and I love them) but about a week before the race I just felt like I should wear the Hyperion. I emailed Brooks right away and they had them shipped to me asap (they are the best). I didn’t really talk about it to anyone but Andrew, Candice and my family because I didn’t want to be talked out of wearing them:)
The most I had done in them during training was 14 miles so I knew it was risky (and I only wore this particular pair for 2 miles before the race on Friday…) and kind of stupid to be honest to switch shoes right before the race. But I KNEW that they were my marathon shoes. They are so crazy light, they help me to run with my best form and I just feel fast the second I put them on my feet… so I went for it. I’m so thankful I did because honestly, my feet were the one part of my body that didn’t hurt at all during the entire race… my feet have never felt this good after a marathon. Plus, they are just so pretty. I want to frame these shoes now;)
I woke up at 3:15 because I couldn’t sleep and then got out of bed at 4. I ate three pieces of bread, gatorade and water and then made my UCAN (300 calories of it) for the bus. I ate a gel and took my Nanohydr8 about 15 minutes before the gun went off. I probably ate/drank about 800 calories before the race which might have been more than I needed. I had some cramping from miles 16-21 but I was determined to give my body plenty of energy because I have blown up too many times in the marathon because of not taking in enough the morning of the race or during the race.
I took my first huma at mile 6, then one at mile 12, one at 19 and then I tried one at mile 23 but that came right back up. There is a lot of TMI in this post so skip the next part if you want because I’m going to get real. When they started the 10 second countdown for the race to start and they got to 6, I thought oh my goodness… I have to PEE. I drank too much before and rather than take the time during the race to use the porta potty I figured it was raining and yeah… not my proudest moment… I wanted that sub 3 and you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes. It could have cost me my time if I did stop.
Andrew dropped me off at 4:45 and I went and got in line for the busses (my niece was with the girls while they slept and Andrew dropped me off).
I wrote these things on my arm before starting and it helped so much.
1 mile at a time.
I can do hard things.
I kept thinking about St. George 2015 when I found out the week of the race I couldn’t do it because of my stomach problems. I just felt so grateful to be there this year feeling healthy and stronger than ever mentally and physically.
I accidentally stole something (don’t worry… I paid for it after the fact:). I grabbed my big blanket to take to the start so I wouldn’t be cold (and then left it at the top to be donated once the race started because it wouldn’t fit in my drop bag) and turns out that I had one of the hotel decorative pillows wrapped in the blanket. I think my brain was thinking about other things so I had a large blanket and pillow with me ha.
The busses were very late which made the race start about 30 minutes after it was supposed to. It was raining the entire way up and freezing once we got to the top so I really didn’t mind the later start but if it was one of the hot years, that would have been really bad.
The weather was magical this year. It was what every person prays for on race day. Cloudy the entire way, a bit of a tailwind (except for a headwind for a few miles), drizzling until mile 14ish and in the 40s and 50s. There were points where I felt pretty cold, I stepped in a big puddle in the first mile and at mile 11, it was raining pretty hard but besides that, it was perfection.
It was so cold that people were underneath the fire truck cuddled up!
I will always take a blanket to the start of marathons now. It just felt comfortable and so warm. I met a few people at the top and found a quiet spot to give myself a pep talk (out loud.. I’m not kidding).
I felt a lot of peace right before the race started. I felt calm and just relaxed. It was so different than any other marathon.
The race started and we were off. I held back the first few miles which took some major discipline. The first 10k went by really fast. It was raining and I was watching out for puddles and finding my place.
Seeing my family at mile 6 was everything. Andrew, my girls, my mom, my aunt and my niece were there cheering like crazy in the rain. It gave me the biggest pep before Veyo hill. Andrew brought my Ricochet just in case my feet were hurting in the Hyperion. I gave Andrew my gloves and arm warmers at this point.
I told myself that the first half was just a workout. The race was going to start at mile 13. Miles 8-12 are by far the hardest part of the course and you feel like you are climbing forever so I didn’t look at my watch much during these miles and continued an even effort which meant my pace slowed down quite a bit. I was happy I did that because that meant my legs still felt good at this point (rather than trashing them on Veyo–> 260 ft climb in about 1.5 miles). I didn’t listen to music the first 13 miles. When I got to the half-way point I felt like it had gone by SO fast already and like I was just starting which I was very thankful for.
There were so many times throughout the race that I would stare at runners in front of me and watch as their foot hit the ground and how it would propel them up into the air. I loved studying how long their stride was and watch their arms swing back and forth. I would think about how amazing it is how our bodies work and that my body was doing that same thing I was watching. So if you saw me staring creepily at the people in front of me and their calves… that is what I was doing. I was so fascinated watching people run and kind of got lost in that for a few miles.
At about mile 14 the 3:05 pace group was right behind me and that freaked me out and helped me pick up my pace a tiny bit.
I was supposed to see Andrew and Co. at mile 16ish but they made it 2 minutes too late (you have to buy a pass to get to that part and people were doing it the day of so even though Andrew already had a pass, he had to wait in a huge line) BUT CANDICE and her family drove down just for me for the race. They gave me such a huge boost and I can’t say thank you enough to them for all coming down.
I didn’t get a picture with Candice and I am so bummed about that but her daughter (12 years old) took the most amazing pictures of the day and I am so thankful for them!
I was so happy to see them!
Around mile 20= My watch was not set to show overall time (oops) but even if it was, I don’t think I could have done the math to figure out what I needed to get to get the sub three but it was set to show overall average pace thus far and it was a 6:57-6:58 at that point. I knew I needed a 6:52 average pace or below to get a sub 3 and I started telling myself, “it’s okay Janae… you are going to get a PR if you just hold this pace and that is pretty awesome so you don’t have to get out of your comfort zone or go any harder.”
And then I said to myself, absolutely no. No way. Nope.
I came for a sub 3 marathon and I was going to claw, and fight and do whatever it took to get there. I was not going to give myself an excuse out of my goal. I knew I was capable and that I would feel awful afterwards after being this close and not getting it so I dug so deep and fought. I repeated, “I CAN AND I WILL” over and over again. My feelings turned to machine mode.
I mentioned before but my stomach was cramping big time from miles 16-21. I’m not sure why but I just did everything I could to not think about the cramps and think about the mountains or the people or how great my breathing was or how awesome I was doing. I cheered myself on and learned so much from Deena’s book about pushing those negative thoughts out replacing them with good ones. It was life changing. Finding the goodness… so helpful.
Miles 23-24 were my fastest of the entire day—> 6:22 and 6:21. They also included a lot of downhill in those miles! I thought a lot about my family and how much they have supported me and that I wasn’t going to have them do so much for me and not hit my goals on Saturday and that is what fueled those miles. Plus seeing Andrew and my family really sped me up at that point too. I also felt really good those miles compared to many of the previous miles. 16-21 were a big struggle for me so to get a pep in my step felt really good (except I couldn’t keep a gel down).
I grabbed the ice bags that they were handing out (even though it was cold) and stuffed them down my sports bra or put them on my head hence why my shirt was drenched at the end. I took water and gatorade throughout the course and spilled all of it on myself too.
The last mile turned on me really fast. My eyes went fuzzy and I felt like I was going to fall. I remembered something Desi said on a podcast—> left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot and repeated that to myself for a while. It was simple and it reminded me that is all I needed to do. It wasn’t anything complicated, I just had to keep going. I also thought about my upcoming cheeseburger at one point during that mile and how good it was going to taste.
My mom said at this point she has never seen me look so determined in my entire life. I was not messing around. I was going to make this sub 3 mine.
The last 2 miles—> 6:31, 6:56 and a sprint for the last .2.
My legs felt dead and so I pumped my arms harder to get there.
My mom yelled LIGHT IT UP NOW at this point below and that was awesome.
When I went under the clock at the finish line and saw a TWO as the starting number, I put my arms up and felt like I just won the Olympics ha.. it felt like a dream.
Right at 26 miles:
Not going to lie, it felt pretty good catching up to this group of guys because they had been ahead of me for a while:)
The second I crossed the finish line I told the volunteers I just needed to lay down. And I did. Then Andrew jumped over the barriers because he was worried about me and I hugged him for a while. Then somehow I got over to the med tent because I felt so terrible and had a hard time really talking or standing.
One of you told me the day before the race to leave it all on the course and I remembered that at one point and it really helped me to leave it ALL out there. Once in the med tent I just kept saying I needed to take a nap and I would close my eyes and feel really tired and then they would get me up again and make me sit up. They gave me chips and a coke and after about 20 minutes I felt a lot better and like I could walk again. I left it all out there and who knows… maybe physically I wasn’t fully ready for a sub 3 but that just goes to prove how much our mental fitness matters because mentally I wasn’t going to settle for anything different than a sub 3 (and luckily the weather cooperated perfectly with my stubbornness).
Splits: 7:02, 7:09, 6:46, 6:42, 6:55, 6:43, 6:41, 7:52, 7:12, 7:18, 7:22, 6:56, 6:44, 6:44, 6:26, 6:34, 6:48, 6:57, 7:12, 6:49, 6:31, 6:39, 6:22, 6:21, 6:31, 6:56, .2 GOOOOOO
First half: 1:31:51
Second half: 1:27:23
Finish time: 2:59:14
As soon as I could, I changed clothes to help my lips not look so purple. I felt so cold when I finished and needed fresh clothes badly:)
Andrew. So he was signed up to do this marathon but he decided not to run it so we could just focus on my training for it with the kids and everything. That means he took over night time stuff with the kids for the last month or so, he was doing mornings with kids if they woke up while I was running, he rode his bike with me during many miles, he gave me so many pep talks, massaged my hamstrings because they were so tight a trillion times and was probably more nervous than I was for the race. I am extremely lucky.
My mom has been my cheerleader, babysitter when Brooke was little for thousands of miles and listening ear this entire journey. To have her there cheering me on meant the world to me. My dad wanted to be there but wasn’t able to make it but I remember at mile 22ish repeating, ‘Dad, dad, dad, dad” and thinking about getting an ‘Atta Girl’ (the biggest compliment he gives for really special things) if I did get my sub 3 and that was quite motivating. It made me smile when I thought about my grandpa who was a runner and cheering me on from heaven.
We just cried together when we first hugged after the race.
When Knox found out that he wasn’t going to be there he said, ‘will you imagine me there?’ And I did, a lot. Seeing Brooke and Skye meant a lot to me and I just wanted to make them proud of me (I’m sure Skye was bursting with pride for me;).
My aunt is a big runner and she signed me up for my first 1/2 marathon in 2006, my niece helped SO much with the girls so Andrew could be there for so much and we are very close. I thought about my runs with my sister over the years. My brothers, sister-in-laws, brother-in-law have always been so invested in my training and helped me a ton! Andrew’s entire family has been cheering for me doing this since I first told them I wanted to do a sub-3! I thought about my friends and how much I love them and how supportive they are.
I felt YOU GUYS CARRYING ME. No joke, I did. So thanks, now let’s move on because I don’t want to cry again;)
Bangs friend SMASHED her first marathon and finished in 3:33… WHAT!?!?! She killed it and I’m so happy for her.
Josse came even though she is injured. I’m thankful for all the training we have done together over the years. She’ll be back and I can’t wait to train together again.
My lucky bee sweatshirt was there for the day too:
Burgers, fries and milkshakes after the race and then the best diet coke and candy that I have ever had in my life. I really worked on my nutrition this training cycle so these things weren’t a part of my life for a while there. Soda won’t be a regular but I’ll have some good candy until my next training cycle starts again.
A few sidenotes:
-I felt absolutely terrible during the taper. I tried not to think about it too much to avoid negative thoughts but seriously… my whole body just felt awful. I cut a workout short during the taper and I just wanted to sleep forever (could have been partly because of my period too.. which literally ended the night before the marathon #lucky) but just remember that during your next taper.
-I brought my lip gloss in my pocket and used it during the race (I have a problem) but then I couldn’t find it afterwards so my aunt handed me hers. It felt so crazy good.
–Mary is a beyond amazing coach.
–Dr. Bennett has helped me over the years to stay healthy and injury free big time.
–Brooks has been the shoes keeping me running happy for 7ish years.
-I saw Jared Ward at the finish line (he finished SIXTH at the Rio Olympics in the marathon) and felt starstruck. I told him that I finally reached my sub 3 and he was so excited for me. I listened to his podcast with Tina on the way to St. George and went to his lesson/talk at the expo and it was amazing. He talked about how feelings of fear and anxiety are you living in the future and how important it is to be right where you are in the moment. I used that a ton during the race. When I started freaking out about 12 more miles to go or how I was going to have to run a sub 7 minute mile when I hit the wall… I just kept thinking about how I need to jump out of the future and back into the moment. It was incredibly helpful to be just where I was, to make it to the next lamp post or to raise my chest and take a deep breathe rather than feel anxious about what was up ahead. His advice really helped me out a lot during the race.
-The weather was unreal. It was perfect. Just had to say that again.
-It feels good to know I raced smart (for me) and that I left it all out there.
-Nutrition is so key for the marathon and I’m happy that I could figure it out for this marathon… UCAN, Nanohydr8, huma and white bread:)
-Power bun for life. My hair didn’t move the entire time.
-That wall is a crazy thing. It felt like I was out of my body during that point.
-A 14 year old ran a 3:13 that day!
-During the final mile my song came on. I had a 3.5 hour playlist I was listening to (and only had it on for less than 90 minutes) and right at the end (it was on shuffle) my song came on. It’s the one song I’ve listened to throughout all of my marathon training cycles (starting 8+ years ago). It’s kind of creepy how it came on and it made me smile and just feel kind of weird inside because it happened so perfectly. ‘The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows’ by Brand New. I can’t tell you how many workouts this song has gotten me through and it was crazy special to me that it popped up right when it did. From this point forward I am pretty sure I will start crying every time I hear this song now.
-All of this training, all of the time… what makes all of our running actually worth it? It’s not a certain time on the clock, it’s overcoming something. It’s proving to ourselves how strong we are and overcoming the desire to quit that makes me come back for more and more running. We beat ourselves and the voice in our head that sometimes tells us we can’t. That is the feeling I keep coming back for and will keep coming back for as many years as I can.
-I’m going to avoid stairs for a while. A long while.
-Sitting in a car for 3.5 hours after a marathon makes it pretty impossible to stand up afterwards.
-Thanks sissy for making me go on a run with you 20 years ago.
-I feel like with each baby that I have the stronger I get… Andrew, another reason why I think we should have 5 more:)
-This marathon will always be my favorite. Between the amazing course support, spectators and the incredible views… I love it so so much.
-The majority of this training cycle I was on my own. My hard workouts mid week were always by myself and I think those really helped me out on Saturday. Learning to do it on my own and what mental tricks worked for me was so beneficial for the race. I got to know myself a bit more during all of those tempo miles and track workouts and learn what makes me go.
-I have never worked on my mental game as much as I have this training cycle and it really paid off. Not only did it help me get my goal but it helped me to really ENJOY the entire process to get there. This will continue to be a big part of my training over the years.
Thank you everyone for everything. I want to send you each your favorite treat and flowers for helping me out so much. I hope your week is amazing! I’m always here to cheer you on like you have for me.
Who raced this last weekend? Where and how did it go?
What was the highlight of your weekend?
What type of candy should I buy today (aka what’s your favorite) because I need to celebrate all month long now:)
If you do like soda… what’s your favorite kind?