Strategy, Risking It & Mandatory.

We knew when we agreed to go running with Austin that it was going to be crazy hard and we were right.  Andrew and I both knew Austin (along with everyone else in the state of Utah;) before we ever met.  Tenish years ago Austin used to come to my spin classes and go 5 times faster than the rest of us and that is when I first learned that he is a complete beast.  He did Hardrock 100 this last summer and crushed it.  66,050 ELEVATION CHANGE in that race.  I can’t even imagine.  Talking to him for just a few minutes will make you want to trail run because his love for the sport is so contagious (except he hates running which is kind of interesting haha).

He took us on the Battlecreek Loop in Pleasant Grove and it was by far my most adventurous trail run to date.  I knew I was in trouble when my calves were on fire at about 6,000 feet.  Austin told us his strategy for his 100 milers is to power hike the up, run the flat (in the first 50 and then do what he can in the last 50) and run the down.  In order to survive 50, I need to use his strategy.   My road running brain tells me I need to run the entire time but to actually complete this goal… power hiking will get us to the finish line.

We ran the first 1.5 miles and then power hiked the majority to the top.  It felt like I was on a stairclimber on level 10 for 45 minutes.

One time Austin did this loop four times in a row for a training run.

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We got to the top of the loop and that is when our jello legs were supposed to take us back down the mountain.

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I will never ever be thirsty enough to risk getting Giardia again (that was the worst experience ever).  Austin said that this little spring was the safest in Utah so Andrew tried it and said it was the best water he has ever had.

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Can you see us?

Super downhill running is something I’m trying to learn how to do well.  The boys were cruising down and I was taking my time.  Austin told me to get rid of my crazy long stride and to shorten it and turn my cadence into a pistol.  <—That helped big time.   8 miles total with 2700 ft of up (which is about a half mile of up)!

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Mandatory sugar cookies afterwards.

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Followed by an open egg sandwich with a banana and pb.  Runny eggs= delicious.

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My body seriously felt like I had just run 20 miles so there was a lot of couch time afterwards with Skye (she was with my sister while we ran for our date swap this week).

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Skye’s happiness increases 70% once the kids get home from school.

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For dinner we went out for burgers (my sister had buy one get one free coupons… the best).

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They dropped off their mail while we were there too.

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My brother saw this on his run yesterday morning!  Ever seen a bald eagle while running?

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Did you see this story about the woman that had a heart attack during the NYC Marathon and the Dr that saved her?  It gave me so many goosebumps.

PS I posted this a few years ago but I had to again because it is hilarious.

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What are your plans tomorrow? 

Ever had a parasite?

Ever use the stair climber?  I think I might use it a little bit this winter for part of my training if there is too much snow on the trails (along with my treadmill, once it is set up, that goes up to 40% incline).  

What food are you looking forward to the most tomorrow if you are celebrating Thanksgiving?

-Pie and rolls.

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That run looks amazing! Hard, but really amazing!
I’ve never seen a bald eagle while running, but I came across a Peregrine falcon once, just hanging out on the rail of a footbridge on a cold, sunny day. He let me take a few photos, even! But he kept those sharp eyes focused on me.

You can have the runny eggs. I’ll take all of the olives, and you get any runny eggs that come near me. We’ll thumb wrestle for the scrambled?

Dinner at my parents’ house with a few relatives and a neighbor or two. I’ll be all about the stuffing! And the little pearl onions in cheese sauce (I don’t like any other kinds of onion).

Have a wonderful, delicious, and special Thanksgiving!


I LOVE the bald eagle, I have never seen one on running. The translations are spot on!! Where I live we don’t do thanks giving, but it always looks so nice, except for the cold weather!!


Enjoy the heat for me today:) I was shivering my entire run! I’ll send you some of our food tomorrow. I hope your ankle is doing better!


Tomorrow we are joining a friend’s family for Thanksgiving, we are so excited because we usually travel to be with our families, and while we will miss them, it’s nice not to have to travel with 2 little kiddos!


I’ve used the stair climber but don’t love it, probably because it’s hard, which of course means, I should be using it more…

I cannot wait for stuffing and pie tomorrow. We have an au pair who takes care of our kids and she’s from Brazil, she’s SOOOO excited for her first American Thanksgiving, which is making everyone in our house extra excited too!

Happy turkey day!


Oh this is so exciting… I hope that she loves her first American Thanksgiving! Have a wonderful time and enjoy not traveling (I’m right there with you… hallelujah)! Have a wonderful day Sara:)


It’s crazy- when I was training for my 50k I was significantly more wiped out and hungrier after my runs than training for any marathon, even though the distances were pretty similar. Like I would be so exhausted at mile 3 of a 20 mile trail run and then tired and hungry all day afterwards. Crazy what a difference the trails and hills make! But on the bright side- going back to long road runs felt almost easy after all that trail training!


Way to go on your 50K and YES… I feel like I am going to be more tired and hungrier with this too. Ohhh that gets me excited to see what the trails will do for my fall marathon:) Have a wonderful day Diana!


Yes ! I have seen a bald eagle while out running there is a nest at the park where I train. I just completed a trail marathon and I bought a hydration vest – game changer!! Snacks and water available at all times.


Oh really… that is awesome! HUGE CONGRATS on your trail marathon! We are getting our vests too… I can’t wait. Have a wonderful day and pass on any trail tips you have for me!


We’re hosting eight family members, so 10 total. I’m loooking forward to pie and my mama’s Mac and cheese!

Your run adventure looked amazing! Good job!

No parasites here, luckily, yikes, I can understand why you’d be a bit leery!

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I’m thankful for you, mucho! Your blog is such a positive start to my day, and you’re always have such positive encouragement for all of us!


Jenny, I hope you have a wonderful time with your family. Your mom brings homemade mac and cheese… that sounds amazing (ship me some;). Thank you for your sweet words… that made me smile very big. Thank you and I’m thankful for you!


Definitely pie.

I’ve never had a parasite but I have had food poi’s and that was a terrible experience!

Have a great day!


Enjoy all of the pie! Food poi’s… ummm no thank you!!! Thank you, you too!


I am a professor of Peace and Justice Studies and since 2004 my research has taken me to refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. I have conducted more than 500 interviews in the camps. My longest stay in one camp was for 7 months. I love my job and the opportunity to talk with refugees but staying healthy is a challenge. I have caught every known “bug” around- lice, pink eye, scabies, ring worm, stomach flu…The worse, though, was when I had dysentery which used to be called the bloody flux. I have never been so ill. I rapidly lost weight and became severely dehydrated. I had to spend a couple days in the hospital to recover. I am so thankful for modern medicine and nurses and doctors that can treat these conditions today!


Wow. I cannot even imagine… you’ve had it ALL. I hope that you never have to deal with any of those things ever again. You are so right, we are beyond lucky for modern day medicine/nurses/doctors. I would love to hear more about your story… you sound absolutely incredible.


The stair climber helps SO much with my hiking so I think it would for sure help with your trail running. Right now is the ugliest time in the mountains. Lol. I mean, I know it is still pretty but nothing like early Fall and late Spring in the mountains,IMO. That loop you did it one of my favorites to do. Exept I never attempt to run up, ha! I do love to run down it though. In the spring it is so green and up top it is this HUGE field of tall grass. It is beautiful. In the early Fall those trees up at the top of Grove Creek put on a show. I need to send you pictures.

Stuffing and sweet potato pie is what I am most looking forward to tomorrow.


Wow your run sounded hard! But it looks so beautiful!! I am really enjoying following along with your trail running/training ?
We are in Arizona for Thanksgiving, so I am just excited to spend some good times with all the family! A few runs with my hubby and sis-in-law, lots of games! But, I am soooo looking forward to mashed potatoes… My comfort food. Really, the entire meal has me super happy!
Happy Thanksgiving prep day! ?


I am really enjoying reading about your training for the Ultra! That looks like an amazing place to run. The Chicago area is pretty flat….
Tomorrow I am running a Turkey Trot close to my neighborhood. I am thankful that my cousins are hosting thanksgiving so I do not have to do any cooking or grocery shopping and can relax and run tomorrow. Also thankful that i have never had a parasite.
Haven’t used a stair climber for training but maybe this winter when there is ice and snow.
I like all the Thanksgiving foods – impossible to choose just a couple!
Happy Thanksgiving!


Oh thank you Cathy! I really want to make it out to do the Chicago Marathon one day! Enjoy the Turkey Trot and let me know how it goes:) Enjoy the relaxing and run! Let me know if you start using the stair climber.


I got a parasite in my cornea when I was in college during a pool workout…do not recommend. Luckily a great eye doctor kept me from going blind. Funny now, not so funny then haha.

I’m mostly excited to hang with my sisters and eat sweet potatoes, deviled eggs, and the cranberry sauce that I made last night smeared on everything! :) Happy Thanksgiving, Janae!


IN YOUR CORNEA!?! I can’t even imagine… I’ve never even heard of something like this! I’m so glad you had a great doctor! I do that with my cranberry sauce too (it joins everything on the plate:). Enjoy your time with your sisters!


Utah has the most beautiful trails! You are so lucky!
We are going to my Sister-in-law’s (H’s family) for Thanksgiving. I’m going to help cook today…so much fun with both SILs! I’m so glad we have only one dinner to attend.
I’m a little intimidated by the stair climber, but now I’m thinking I might need to try it out again.
I’m not a huge fan of Thanksgiving food. I was looking forward to eating turkey with a big salad, but since lettuce is not safe right now I won’t be doing that. I’m making balsamic green beans and banana pudding (for my nephews).
Happy Thanksgiving! So thankful for this blog and your positive attitude!!


We have to go get iceberg lettuce today because we saw that thing about the romaine…ahhhh what are we going to do without romaine? Banana pudding sounds amazing to me too:) Enjoy all of the cooking today, we are doing the same thing. Thank you Elizabeth and I am extremely thankful for you and this community. Have a wonderful time!


When my oldest was 8 just had a parasitic infection. The doctors told me her nausea and other unpleasant GI symptoms were anxiety. She then started dropping 2lbs a week and that got their attention! Yup, tests revealed a parasite.
We are supposed to host and celebrate my youngest’s birthday but she is in bed not feeling great. So our plans might be canceled!!


Oh goodness… that must have been so scary for you. So glad that the parasite was found! I hope she starts feeling better asap… let me know! Have a wonderful day.


I grew up right near a bald eagle’s nest, so I saw them a lot while biking (I was not a runner then ;-))–it was so cool and I’m glad I got to grow up there! Once while running, two great blue herons flew right in front of me. I knew they were big, but it’s a different kind of awe you feel when they are soaring right in front of you.

Spending the day with a friend’s family tomorrow–my family is all spread out and unfortunately couldn’t travel right now, so I’m very glad she invited me! Got my fingers crossed for PIE.


Oh really… I love that. I can’t even imagine having the herons fly right in front of me. Sounds gorgeous! Enjoy your time with your friend’s family and all of the pie… I’m so happy you get to be with them tomorrow!


I 100% don’t trust my tired legs in downhills…..i slow down, ha! My husband is headed to Nashville but since penguins still need to eat on holidays, i am working a little tomorrow. I have a 5k turkey run tomorrow too, then family meal and putting up the tree! I am most looking forward to turkey and sweet potatoes. Hope you guys have a wonderful Turkey day!


We have two bald eagles that have a nest near our house. We see them a lot.

Not a fan of the stair climber. I do however almost always take the stairs at work so I feel like I get in plenty of stairs each day.

We will run a trail turkey trot tomorrow morning with our nephews. Then on to my in-laws for lunch. I cannot wait to load my plate up with stuffing and sweet potatoes. Those two things are my favorite.

And on our honeymoon in Mexico I did great about not drinking any tap water….however, it never crossed my mind that you shouldn’t eat the fresh salsa in town where they wash the veggies with that tap water. Worst night of my life!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!


Hahaha those running translations are all literally me… especially (unfortunately) “taking time off” = not running for a day. Today I did about 9 easy miles but I might actually take tomorrow and Friday off because I can tell my ankles aren’t totally recovered from my long run Monday.

Spending the day with family tomorrow… looking forward to making coconut cream pie today and eating it tomorrow!


The hamstring quote is me, I’m going to my physical therapist tomorrow to get it checked out. It’s been bothering me for a while now, until finally last week it dawned on me it’s not just tight but an injury. Boo. But hopefully he’ll fix it quickly. Your trail run looks beautiful. My sisters boyfriend ran the Jungfrau marathon last september and he told me the race e-mailed all runners running tips every week leading up the marathon. One was to powerwalk uphill, and help your legs by pushing them with your hands. Tomorrow evening we’re going bowling with work. I’m no great bowler, but it will be fun! Have a great day tomorrow!


Oh Eva! I am SO sorry about your hamstring.. keep me updated with how the PT goes. I’m hoping you are back running asap! THANK YOU for that tip about helping your legs by pushing them with your hands. That will definitely work:) Enjoy the bowling!


I love the Stairmaster and have been a bit obsessed with it since I discovered it as a high schooler circa 1991 ?. I use it twice a week in addition to running and do feel like it gives me an advantage when running hills! Spin class with high resistance helps me, too!

We visit Northern Wisconsin every summer and I always see plenty of bald eagles on runs up there – I’m just thankful I haven’t seen any other wildlife while running other than deer (I’m always on high alert for bears!).


That run looks amazing and your friend is a riot! Power walking is a definitely a thing and one must practice it!
Can you explain more about the downhill part-your feet like a pistol? I’m TERRIBLE at downhill running.

What is it about Thanksgiving rolls? So delicious, especially the day after with leftovers piled on it! I’m such a sides girl so I’m happy with all the delicious veggie concoctions.

I got two pies made this afternoon (we had early dismissal) so I’m happy to not be staying up late doing that task! Christmas markets are starting over here so I am thinking we will have to go to one.


Hey Kelly!! Maybe I’ll do a video because it’s easier to explain with movement than through typing ha. BUT I think he meant instead of taking long strides where I’m kind of gliding through the air to take short and quick ones. Up down up down up down. It helps so you don’t fall over all of the rocks and makes you feel more secure when going downhill. I hope that helps. Enjoy all of the food and going to bed early tonight:)


I love that your weekly dates have been running dates, that’s the best! My husband is “allergic” to running, but he will go on bike dates, and luckily is fully on board with planning our rides around the best places to stop and get coffee and pastries.

I mostly run trails and the downhill technical parts will get easier with practice, I swear. And I think the stair stepper will be great training for the ups.

And I’m most looking forward to roasted brussels sprouts and pumpkin pie! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!


ALLERGIC TO RUNNING… okay, that made me laugh so hard haha! Those stops are perfect for a ride date:) That is so good to ear about the downhill technical parts… I need to keep practicing. Thank you Michelle and have the perfect day tomorrow!


Hi janae,

I have commented a couple times before. I am from Spain but now living in Switzerland. I remember you have mentioned wanting to visit here some time and you definitely should, it is gorgeous :). Just wanted to say how much happiness your daily blogs bring me! And they make me so excited to have kids of my own, I definitely feel a calling to become a mum.
I must say I hate running eggs haha
I love the stairmaster and think it is the best cardio workout in the gym by far, my gym here does not have one and I miss it dearly
Sadly we do not celebrate Thanksgivng here, so work it is, but will try to be extra grateful today. Have a lovely day :)


Janay! So excited to read about training for a new challenge and the great photos, those are awesome views! I’ve never done an ultra but I’ve done trail races and trail Ragnar. I walked up thr hills on my final loop for Ragnar and had the same place as other loops! Yes, it’s hard not to run when you think you should but was what I needed to do to finish!


Hi, Janae! I sure am thankful for you & your sweet family! Happy Thanksgiving! I have a Brooks question for you :) Do you run in the Ghost and Levitate? I know they are both neutral shoes and I’m trying to figure out when to use which in my running. Thanks, sweet lady! I hope you’re well!


Lol on the translation thing. Thanks for resharing that…!

Sounds like such a hard workout go you and Andrew! Things to know about trail runs-

Hope the Thanksgiving was a wonderful one.


Yes, we have a nesting pair along the trail where I run. And last spring, I went out for a morning run, rounded a bend, and saw a juvenile bald eagle sitting on a large pile of dirt. He was about 10 feet from me and he was huge! All of the trail users tell each other when the eagles are out and you can see them. Sometimes you will see them circling in the air too. So cool.


I had giardia in August of 2014!!! I lost 15 pounds in 10 days before the doctor sent me for tests! They kept telling me I had a virus!! Asking me if I had traveled… nope. It was also the exact time I was going through my divorce and my doctor thought it was “stress”, no… I am a stress eater/gainer, not a stress loser :). I was so weak, I could barley get out of bed! I looked like a skeleton. My 18 year old son drove me back to the doctor and said figure this out. He is a good kiddo :) I would not wish that on ANYONE!!

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