What Was Different This Time vs the Other Times + Leaving!

As if this month wasn’t crazy ENOUGH… We are gone for the next few days!  A few months ago we bought a little trip for our family to take this week before we even thought about moving and we couldn’t change the trip at all to a less crazy time of life because it is nonrefundable.

We don’t have Brooke and Knox this Christmas because they are with their Dad/Mom so instead of Santa visiting two houses… we like to do an experience instead of presents the years they are gone (we are lucky that they are on the same holiday schedule).  As Skye gets older Santa will visit her yearly though;)  It’s fall break here and we’ll be back on Thursday!  My mom will take over comments (and respond to you guys:).  I have posts daily ready for while we are gone and I’ll read through every comment once we get back so don’t stop!

Andrew and I are tired haha… All beyond great things this month but I think when we get back we are going to sleep for as long as possible.

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A few random things to talk about:

*Sometimes I make the girls copy me in my current daily uniform of black leggings and a grey sweatshirt.  They seem to be okay with it.

*This girl is trying so hard to stand up.  She practices all day long and before you know it, she is going to be pulling herself up!

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*If anybody ever does something like this to me, I’m not going to be okay with it.

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*Hey.  I just love this picture from our old house!

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*Andrew and I laugh pretty hard when we watch this show.

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*I have to apologize to Beretta… I haven’t thanked her yet for helping me get my sub 3!  She accompanied me on many runs throughout this training cycle and was a great training partner even if she almost killed me whenever she spotted a cat or small animal during our runs.

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*MY MOM FINALLY FOUND IT.  When I was in college I hid this little picture of me and my sis in her car.  She was so confused when she found it tucked away in a little compartment the other day… I put it there 12 years ago.

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*When the kids go to school:

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I’ve had a few people ask me what was different this time around with my marathon.  The last time I ran under a 3:10 was in 2010 and then this time I dropped under 3:00 8 years later… There have definitely been some major things that have been different to help me to get there.

I have been in probably pretty similar physical shape at different points and missed the sub 3 so here are a few things I think made the difference THIS time:

*I got to the place where I was sick of fear holding me back.  Who cares if I fail?  Literally, nobody does and if they do then I don’t really need that person in my life;)  I am enough based on being a human being… not based on my marathon times.  Letting go of my anxiousness of failing helped me to focus more on my training, the race and taking chances.

*My coach gave me new, fresh and challenging workouts that I’ve never done before.  We started small to avoid injuries and built up from there.  My week consisted of MOSTLY easy miles (and I truly took them easy) with one mid-week workout (that got longer and longer throughout the cycle… up to 11ish miles of tempo/speed) and usually one workout included in my long run.  This worked well for me.  In previous training cycles I was doing two speed workouts during the week and one in my long run… maybe in the future I will build up to that but higher mileage while focusing on quality twice a week was a great combo for me.  I absolutely LOVE working with Mary (@itsamarython).

*Nutrition.  Eating while running or right before running is really hard for me.  It’s weird because eating is very fun and pretty much the best at any other time besides running so it’s annoying when it is so hard when I need it to fuel my miles:)  This last training cycle I became determined to learn how to fuel well.  My complete nutrition plan for the day before a race and the day of the race is HERE.  The key for this is experimenting and practicing.  I’ve tried so many different combinations to figure out what is right for me and that made a huge difference on race day.  Skye is already working on her fueling.   PS I am the biggest fan of UCAN now.  I only took it before the race (300 calories of it) and it will continue to be a part of every marathon I do from here on out.

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*Nutrition for the rest of the day.  I don’t believe in eating perfectly and cutting out all of the fun food in life in the slightest… BUT for this marathon I tried a lot harder to eat a bit better.  I cut out soda (for other marathon training plans I would go grab a diet coke the second my long run ended… not the best recovery tool) and candy.  I made nutrition more of a priority.  The more kids we have the less time I have to think about food for me and it’s easy to just grab something simple or forget or eat their macaroni and cheese.  I tried to make more nutrient dense meals, I never missed a day of taking my vitamins and I added more iron to my daily nutrition (i.e. I had more red meat than ever).

*Mental Training.  I read everything I could to help me and I listened to everything possible on this topic.  It’s hard to switch up the way you think especially if you have been thinking a certain way for decades but it’s worth the work.  Start with little changes and you’ll have big results.  Our body responds to the things we say to it so if we tell ourselves we aren’t good enough than it will respond accordingly but if we are telling ourselves we are strong and capable of great things our body will listen to that and follow.   I really think our brains can do more for our running than we think.

*I lived in the present a lot more.  I worked hard to stay in the mile I was in.  I remember during a 3 x 3 mile workout freaking out that I still had two more intervals to do after the first one killed me so I might as well just quit now.  Flipping my thoughts to focusing on the mile I was in and what I was feeling in the second rather than what I was EXPECTING to feel in the future got me through that workout.  There is no need to worry about the future.  Find the good where you are in the moment and let go of the rest.  Jared Ward has SO much amazing stuff to say about this… from his presentation that I went to:

*I’m just in a better stage of life.  There have been some extremely hard years in my past and we each have those hard years… We can’t expect us to be nailing prs and accomplishing all of the things while grieving or struggling with major life events.  Sometimes we are just in survival mode and running/races/prs are always there for us when we are ready.

*I tried to stop making excuses for myself.  Sure, I’m tired but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to get out of bed for my training runs.  Yes, I love candy more than most children do but that doesn’t mean I can eat it all day long.  Yes, I could settle for doing the comfortable thing because the uncomfortable thing hurts but no… we are strong and we don’t need to make excuses for ourselves.  I’ve made so many excuses for myself over the years of running and the excuses didn’t get me to my dreams so why continue to do it?  Don’t talk yourself out of your goals with the going gets tough.

*I slept more and thank you for being so supportive of that Andrew (he is a night owl).  There were many times that I climbed into bed when we put the kids down to just relax for a bit before falling asleep at 9:30.  My runs were all done very early in the morning so going to bed early was necessary to stay healthy and see improvements during my training.  Now I am staying up late and hanging out with Andrew until the next training block starts again and it is a lot of fun.

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*Be stubborn about your goals.  For so many races I’ve been okay letting go of them once things got hard and telling myself I’ll do it another time.   I can’t tell you how empowering it felt at mile 20 when I stuck to my goals and didn’t let the hurt/fatigue stop me.  I felt like I finally hit a place in my life where I wasn’t being wishy washy about my goals anymore.  We have control of our lives and I decided that I wanted this so I would do what it took to take control of this goal and hit it.  Refuse to let go of your goals… What you want matters, big time.

*I worked hard on not letting the idea of pain freak me out.  Bring it on.  This is what I’ve been training for, I can’t be afraid of it.  The pain is over quickly and then you get to feel like a rockstar for a while afterwards so whatever… I was ready for it.  I knew it was coming and didn’t live in lala land thinking I wasn’t going to experience it so I was better able to prepare for it.

Texts with my brother a few days before the race.

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*I have struggled with confidence my entire life.  I personally love getting older because with each year I feel more and more confident about myself and it is life changing.  I decided with this cycle that I was done holding back… I was sick of saying I wanted a sub 3 but then finishing the sentence with, ‘but I don’t think if it will happen for a while’ or thinking in my head that my fast days might have been in my past and worry I would never get back there again.  WHY NOT just think awesome things about me and my running.  <— There is nothing but good that will come from thinking this way (and I am proof in how big of a difference confidence will make in your race times).  During this training cycle I stopped myself from the BUTS and truly believed I was capable of so much more.  Thinking about my running like I am a rockstar rather than thinking about how so and so is faster or that I am not muscular enough etc IS A HUGE PART of what got me to my dream.  You have every reason to be confident in yourself so today is your day to start realizing how great you are.

*This was the first time I ran the day before the marathon and I really liked it.  I don’t know if it made a huge difference on race day but it got my digestive system moving and my legs fresh.

*I took my easy runs TRULY TRULY easy.  In previous training cycles where I was just as fit as this time around my easy runs were still 7:30-8:05ish pace.  This time around I took my easy runs more to the 8:20-9:00 pace.  I think that really did make a big difference for me!  It allowed my body to repair itself after the hard workouts and prepare itself for the hard workouts so I could really nail them.

*Another thing that didn’t really make a difference but in my brain it did… I LOVED the power bun.  Our clothes, shoes and hair can make us feel faster and between the Hyperion and my power bun… those things made me feel faster.

*Books that I read that helped me SO much this time around:  Let Your Mind Run, Strong, How Bad Do You Want It and Girl, Wash your face. (not a running book at all but it helped me out a lot with my mental game with life which helped in running too.. Rachel Hollis is amazing:).

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*I used other’s belief in me to believe in myself even more.  Not sure if this is recommended to do or not.  There were a few girls in particular (Victoria!!) that are very experienced athletes that looked at my training and predicted times under 3 hours and I took what they said and completely believed them.  I would think about it when I wanted to slow down… if they know I can do it, then I do too.

*The stars aligned.  Perfectly—>  Zero injuries, I avoided all of the germs the kids bring home from school, PERFECT weather, having my support crew there, sleeping like a champ etc etc etc.  It’s part of racing… searching for the day where everything lines up.  It’s also part of racing to prove to yourself your strength and determination over the years when things don’t line up and picking yourself back up and trying again.

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Ever had a race where the stars completely aligned?  What race?

Those of you with blended families… how do the holidays work at your house?

-We switch off each year with Thanksgiving and Christmas.  This year we will have Brooke and Knox for Thanksgiving but not for Christmas.

Has anything changed in your most recent training cycle that has helped you?

What was the best part of your weekend?

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28 comments

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LOVE this, Janae! We are often so much stronger than we think or even know, and I’m so glad that you have gained some confidence over the years and believed in yourself throughout your training and during the race. It’s been awesome to walk alongside you in this journey and to be able to celebrate this dream you captured!

Also, I want those gold shoes that Skye’s wearing. :) Have a great trip with your sweet family!!

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I think a few years ago was the best racing for me. I didn’t do long races or anything but my 5K was a PR a couple times in 1-2 years. I think the biggest thing for me then was that I was really good at strength training so it helped me stay injury free. So I’m trying to bring that back so I can get my knee completely happy again and then keep everything else happy and strong.

Have a fun trip!!

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What can I say? I loved everything you said about what made a difference for you this marathon cycle. It’s all so simple, yet WE make things so complicated sometimes. EVERYONE has said how great that Rachel Hollis book is, yet I have resisted for some reason. Maybe it’s time to relent…………

I am happy to report that I killed my 18 miler yesterday. I felt confident and kept saying to myself how my legs felt STRONG. I kept reminding myself, too, how there will be moments of struggle, but it’s all ebbs and flows–the good feelings will come back, and they did. It’s hard not to freak out when my Garmin goes wonky for a bit because of trees, a hill, etc. JEN, YOU WILL GET BACK ON PACE! BELIEVE IT! I have figured out when I’m going to use the thumb tapping in my training/races, too—on hills. It worked perfectly.

HAVE THE BEST TIME ON YOUR VACATION!!!!!!!!!!! So much excitement for you! :)

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Awwwwwwwwww I teared up a little knowing you thought about my belief in you!!! You worked so hard, I knew you totally had yourself in a position to go sub 3 (of course race day can bring all sorts of stuff that throws us off but I knew you were there to take the day if it was there). Now go enjoy some candy!

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I love that you talked about how your mental game, because that was one difference I definitely noticed this training cycle for you. Not that the others have been negative!! But this time I could tell you were putting just as much work into your mental game as your physical one, and it made such a huge difference.

I have postpartum anxiety and something that has helped me SO MUCH when I’m having a hard day is thinking all about how everything could go right. My anxiety tells me how everything can go wrong, and I try to tell my anxiety how everything can and will go right. While it doesn’t fix everything haha, it does help me pull out of my negative thinking and the way you talked about deciding that you were great made me think about that!

Anyways, I hope you have a great trip and a great rest after 😉. You deserve it. ❤️

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Hello! HRG Mom here. I am so sorry about the postpartum anxiety. That is so hard on top of taking care of a newborn. I am glad that positive thinking is helping some. I hope you have a good day.

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Wow Janae!! Thank you for sharing! You said so many great things…. Staying in the moment, in the mile. How many times have I focused on “wow that last mile (or 2 or 3) really sucked! How am I supposed to go 5 more?? I believe that your mind absolutely can control what your body can do! I just need to focus on that and do more mental training! Thank you 😊
This morning I woke up to 18°, real feel 9°….eeeek! So, I’m heading to the gym with my sister to get in some miles and good conversation 😊
Have a great trip! I can’t wait to hear what you all are up to!
Safe travels!

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Yes yes and yes! Everything you said! I think the mental game was it for me. Every other marathon I’ve ran I give up and say who cares when it got tough? No one cares about my time, and i dont either. This last race (I ran the day after you!) I said, no I do care, this is what I trained for, it’s going to be hard!! Its supposed to be! I PR’ed by 5 minutes and would have had a BQ if they hadn’t dropped the times a couple weeks ago LOL.
I was so excited to see you hit your sub 3 that I thought of that a few times during my race to help power me! When i got to 20 I was feeling it and thought I don’t feel great. But SO many people telling me I looked strong and I looked good…I actually thought – maybe I do! And so I decided I did look good and went for it! I passed so many people at mile 24-26 and while I felt so bad for everyone pulled off the course to stretch or walk, it empowered me to go faster!
CONGRATS TO YOU!!!! And thanks for the positive posts, they did actually help solidify what I knew I needed to do, and seeing it work for you helped me!

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Hello! HRG Mom here. It sounds like you ran a fantastic race! Congratulations! It’s so fun for me to read about everyone’s improvements through positive thinking. It does matter! Have a great day!

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Cute cute cute cute cute in the matching comfy outfits! I love the pic of skye watching the kids leave hahaha. I got new shoes that i love and am trying to run without my dog more– she LOVES running so i always felt like it was a waste to leave her at home while I workout, but I can’t get in the zone with her attached to me so trying to run once a week at least without her is good for me. best part of the weekend was hiking in my favorite/closest national park! it was COLD and quiet and beautiful!

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I’ve had a few “stars aligned” kinds of races; and I’m hoping for another this weekend:)

QUESTION FOR YOU: do you have any tips for packing for an out-of-town marathon? I’m flying to Toronto for my marathon this weekend, and I’m struggling to organize myself packing-wise since most of my races have been pretty local. It’s supposed to be COLD, too, (like in the 30s) so I’m trying to decide on the best outfit options!

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The half where I used a training plan to sub 2. My watch did something funky and it did not start, and then did not want to waste time messing with it, so just decided to run by feel…..ran a 1:47. I have never had a race where the effort felt so effortless in my life.

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Hoping for aligned stars in NYC in November!
Great post, thank you so much. And congrats again.

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Love this article. Especially the pictures included.

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Those tips are great Janae, thanks. I think you could apply them in many areas of life.
Loving how confident and self assured you have grown 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼

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I’m not as fast as our dear host, nor as experienced. But I just concluded that running is a solitary pursuit and that’s how I like it. I rarely train with others (I leave too early in the morning).

My last marathon attempt (my third race but first DNF) I tried to run with a buddy/coworker. I had a sinus infection and the day was too hot and humid, but I also realized that running with someone else was a mistake. I was worried about them and worried about keeping our paces aligned. It just didn’t work.

So guess what? Running is my jam and I’ll be happy to do it alone with just my tunes. (I will say that having some friends bandit the last 5 miles of my first marathon was very helpful).

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Hello! HRG Mom here. YOU RAN A MARATHON WITH A SINUS INFECTION?!!! I can’t even walk to the kitchen when I have one of those painful, evil maladies. Wow! Runners are amazing! (And a little crazy!). Janae ran a marathon when she had the stomach flu if my memory is right. I hope your next marathon goes better.

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Technically, I STARTED a marathon with a sinus infection…I only finished a half marathon with a sinus infection. Yes, we are crazy.

We’re all very proud of your daughter. You’ve got a great family. Thanks for your kind response.

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I think it is so cool that HRG Mom is replying while Janae’s away! Your relationships with your mom and sister similar to mine, and my heart always swells with happiness a bit when I read your posts.

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Have a great vacay! Can’t wait to hear about it :)
This weekend was awesome with my second child getting baptized. It was great having family here to celebrate but it was a little stressful and I ended up missing my run. I’m looking forward to getting back into our regular routine.

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When you said “*I used other’s belief in me to believe in myself even more” I could totally relate. I was shooting for a BQ during marathon #6. My teaching partner had told me a few days before the race that he “really felt like I was going to get it this time”. When I was running and hit about mile 16 or so, I remembered his words and remembered that he believed in me. And I wanted to prove him right! I ran a 3:29 and BQed by over 5 minutes!

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This is my first time commenting on your blog, but I just wanted to let you know I loved your podcast interview with the Rambling Runner and I love this post! Thank you so much for all you do and your positivity. I recently started focusing more on the mental aspect of training and I completely agree it has not only changed my running, but also my life. I hope you have a wonderful trip full of happiness and confidence! :)

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All those mental shifts are HUGE and I have no doubt that played a huge part in your sub 3. Thinking like that affects so much, not just in running, but in life. I need to do more of that. Basically I want to be like you when I grow up. Enjoy your trip!

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Congrats again, Janae! This is such a great post and I think I am still on cloud 9 from your sub 3 :-) Thanks for sharing your hardships and successes with the rest of us. Given your experience and everything you’ve learned, I’m curious.. do you ever plan on coaching? I’m nowhere near sub 3, but do still have a sub 4 on my mind and will be rebuilding after I have my first baby next spring (heart flutters). Don’t worry, I plan to take tons of time off after ;-) Have a great trip with your family! Well deserved.

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This was all very interesting! I’d love to break 3:00 someday so I’m taking notes. :) Just curious: did you lift or do strength training?

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I am so proud of you and I loved reading this! I think my very favorite part of this whole thing (besides the power bun because I totally GET THAT!) is “WHY NOT just believe that you are awesome?” Seriously I believe that line right there may be the single greatest piece of advice to any human ever. Just why not right? It feels like a smack myself in the face light bulb moment like-ummm why don’t we all just go ahead and think we are awesome?! Imagine what we could accomplish!!!

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Oh my goodness, how cool that your sister just found that picture, twelve years later! Your oldest niece looks so much like your sister did back then – such a beautiful family!

I hope you and Andrew have a wonderful getaway and have plenty of time to relax after your move and epic race! Enjoy every second, you both deserve it!

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Janae-
I’m not sure if you remember me, we were in the same ward in San Jose for a short time but just reading this gave me the chills! You’re so inspiring and it’s incredible the things we can do when we overcome those hurdles we’ve made up in our mind. Although I’m not a runner I’ve loved following your journey. Your family is so darling! Wishing you all the happiness in life ❤️❤️
Lindee

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