When Andrew and I were at Plunj (the place we go into the sauna followed by an ice bath x 3), we met a guy there that was somewhere around day 1,400 of a running streak.  He was talking about how running gives us the chance each day to get a peek into our own psychology.  Are we being kind to ourselves?  Are we cheering ourselves on?  Are we our own biggest critic?  Are we quitting easier?  Are we good at telling ourselves to hold on and endure?  Do we keep moving forward when it hurts? There is nothing like a speed workout to really give us a look at the way our brain works.  The rest of the day is usually so busy that I don’t really look into the way my brain is working but during a run, it’s interesting to see where I’m at and where I can improve.

Whenever I have a race on a Saturday, I do my last little bit of speed on Tuesday.  I’m planning on doing a few 30 second strides on Thursday too and then taking Friday off.

Yesterday after a few miles of warming up, I did—> 1 minute, 3 minute, 5 minute, 3 minute, 1 minute (with 90 second jogging recoveries).  For each of the fartleks, I went at about 10 seconds faster than my half marathon goal pace.

My friend sent me a pacing chart for the course… Seeing the numbers like this seems VERY fast.  This course has a net elevation drop of 685 which is still a lot but I think is somewhat comparable to a course at sea level (we are at 4,500 ft above sea level)… but I would love to hear any thoughts on that!

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It was HOT out so I’m hoping that up north we have much cooler temps on Saturday for the race.

PS If you are in town, I’ll be speaking at the Utah Valley Marathon at 5 pm!  Would love to see you there!

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My cousin and his family just moved from California to St. George.  We went over to their new house to see it and help.

The goal is to get as many family members as we can in the St. George area over the years:)

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We swam.

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We played.

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The Hollars.  If you are looking for a movie that will make you sob uncontrollably, you can watch this on Hulu.   We watched it during Beck’s nap while the kids were playing with cousins and I haven’t cried this hard in a while.  Really good movie but be prepared if you do watch it.

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We went back over to my cousin’s house and Beck tried to steal their skateboard.

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I found my new favorite restaurant in St. George.  I will probably have to grab something else from them today—> Mad Pita Express.

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Do you enjoy watching movies that makes you cry?  What is one that makes you cry?

Do you live near any of your extended family?

Sour candy… your thing or no way?

Who has a June birthday, race or anniversary?

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I love a good movie that makes me cry. The Art of Racing in the Rain is such a good book and movie! Read the book and cried during it. Even though I know what happens I still cried in the movie. Highly recommend! I think the kids would like it too.

That restaurant looks delicious! Pretty sure that whenever I head to Utah I’ll just be eating since you post some good restaurants. Have a great day!


I need to read the book and watch the movie! Thank you for telling me about it! You better let me know when you come… that would be the best! Have a great day, Maureen!


I enjoy the romantic movies that make me cry, it feels like a good cry! I did learn not to watch a movie like that while on the treadmill. Running and sobbing aren’t great together. (watched The Best of Me while running and I almost fell off.)

My mom’s whole side of the family live in/around Dayton, OH where I am living, but my dad’s whole side of the family live in Philly. We are all from Philly, but University of Dayton was the college most of my uncles chose so we all moved out here.

Sour candy is THE BEST! I always choose sour candy over any other kind.

My husband and I are about to celebrate our 14 year dating anniversary on June 6th. We don’t usually do anything for it, but we had covid a few weeks ago on our wedding anniversary so we didn’t really get to celebrate. We thought about ordering food after the kids went to bed, but I lost my taste and smell so it wasn’t worth it.


Hahaha I am so glad you learned that the sobbing movies aren’t great for while you are on the treadmill! Putting The Best of Me on my list for when I need a good cry. I love that you all moved to that area, so great to have everyone close. 14 year dating anniversary, wow! That is so great! Is your taste and smell back?! My smell still isn’t fully back and I had it last year!


I can’t watch “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” because it makes me too sad. It’s not a good cry like “The Notebook…” it’s a sad that sticks with me.
I am a huge fan of Sour Patch Kids. I ate so many during each of my pregnancies that I thought I was going to give birth to a Sour Patch kid :)
We live near my parents and brother, which I love. My boys only have one cousin, so it’s nice to have him close by.
Have a great day, Janae!


I don’t know if I will be able to handle that movie either… that one sounds like a rough one. Hahah I LOVE that you craved Sour Patch Kids during your pregnancies! So great that you live by your parents and your brother and his son! That is the best. Thanks Annie, you too!


I enjoy movies that make me cry but I. have to be in the right mood for it. Call me by your name is a great movie that has me in tears every time at the end.

Good luck on your race! Those splits look fast but you can do it!


That is so so true… I have to be in the mood for a good cry. I have to watch that movie the next time I need to cry. Thanks Katrina, hope your day is a great one!


I know you are/were a swedish fish fan. Have you tried the new swedish fish and friends? If not get you a bag now!!! You are welcome!


I HAVEN’T FOUND THEM YET!!!! I’ll search some more today, hope your day is a great one, Jenn!


The movie Big Fish makes me cry every time. Love it!


I’ve never seen it! Putting it on my list now, have a great day! Thanks Amanda!


I am famously bad at watching movies (so my family says haha) — I can’t handle any drama at all. We joke that the only movie I like is ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ because there is basically no meaningfully sad point; it’s all just up and up :)


Hahaha I love learning that about you! Thank you for reminding me of that movie, I need to watch it again. Hope your morning is off to a great start, Betsy!


High elevation is considered > 8k feet , although people that aren’t used to it can feel it lower, like 5k. Every 100 ft of drop increases speed 3.6% , so an 800 ft drop deserves an * for PR. At least you can expect a fast time!


Hmmm I can’t say I agree with all of this. Once again, it is a net loss of 685 (I know yesterday you wrote 1k and I clarified it there too). I sure notice a big difference when I am running here vs lower elevation which definitely increases my speed so I don’t agree that our elevation doesn’t give an extra challenge. I agree a * by the time that I run but I would love for you to come try this race… before you make it out to sound like it’s a walk in the park;) Have a great day, Annie!


I didn’t say it was a cake walk, and you’re obv a skilled runner and it takes skill to master downhill running. However, when I see Utah runners claiming 125 half PRs and 320 full on courses like Boston I hve to give a side eye. You obv ran well in Boston and sorry you took it that way.


Yeah, that math doesn’t make sense. For a race like Utah Valley, if you get a 3.6% boost for every hundred feet of loss, then you’re projecting a 25%+ drop in time. For something like St.George, 2000+ drop, you’d expect 70%+ drop in time!


Hi Andrew! It appears your math is off. … :A race at 3,000 feet would slow an 6-minute miler (3 x . 01x 6 x 60) = 10.8 seconds per mile, or 2:22 total in the half


Hi Janae! Happy June !! You’re really making me want to visit St. George!!!


I’ll come up with a full itinerary for you while you are here:) Hope your day is a great one in Washington!


I mean, I cry at all kinds of things – songs, commercials, TikToks – so I must love to cry at some deep level of myself. But I do love movies that make me cry….and I will watch them repeatedly: “Steel Magnolias,” “The Color Purple” (absolutely wrecks me), “Good Will Hunting,” “The Pursuit of Happyness,” “The Family Stone”…so many more.

I am not a huge sour candy person – but I will eat Sour Patch Kids from time to time….but don’t crave them.


Thank you for that list because I have only watched one of them… excited to have choices when I need a good cry again! I hope your day is a beautiful one, Melissa!


I’m excited for how your race will go!!
I’m running the half at Grandma’s in a few weeks. Hoping I can get a glimpse of Sarah Sellers since she is running the full.
What we lack in elevation in the Midwest is made up for in humidity.


AHHHH I want to run that race so bad! You will have to give me a full race report and that is so great Sarah Sellers will be there! Seriously, your humidity slows me down a few minutes per mile! Hope your day is a great one, Molly!


I love that you have more family moving to St. George!! So fun. We have lots of extended family, my hubby’s side, near us and we love it!
I love what that guy said about running being a check in with how you talk to yourself. So good and so true!
I love a good movie that can make me cry. It almost feels cleansing.
I turn 50 this month!! 50!! Holy moly!!
Squeezing in a quick workout, hopefully a quick run for Global Running Day, but then back to graduation prep!
Have a great day Janae ?


When we moved down to Raleigh we found out that some extended family on my husband’s side live here (his grandma’s sister, her husband, and their kids/grandkids). They were people we only saw once or twice on family weddings and at their lake house before it was sold, but we’ve become so close to them! We meet up at least once a month for a family dinner and it’s been so great to get to know them and have built-in family/friends we can count on close by when we knew no one else.

My birthday is at the end of June and I’m so excited! We always go on a camping trip, and this year we’re trying one of those Getaway cabins so it’s more glamping than camping. Can’t wait :)


As a sea level guppy, figured I could contribute! IMO I don’t know if it’s possible to compare. It’s such a mixed bag, ya know? What does net downhill v flat v sea level v different variations of altitude do to the body? Man, if someone did a good study on this, I’d eat that up! Seems like almost too many variables to make it a good study, not to mention that some people just do better on a hilly v flat course, downhill v flat, altitude v not. Then there is the humidity and moreso, dew point comparison that gets thrown into the mix, especially comparing flat races in say, the midwest or east, versus the west where maybe it is a little more dry. Empirically from a study of a few friends, seems like the folk that train at altitude and come home to flat country have a little boosty from the altitude for a few weeks then it “goes away”. I’ve seen friends run the same time here as they do at altitude, and I have seen friends STRUGGLE at altitude and come back down and do great. Mixed bag, mixed bag.
Probably varies by distance and pace too, is a mile harder at altitude than say, a marathon? Who knows, would love to read that study. But someone would have to be ignorant to say “I predict more people will run fast at 9,000 feet than at 9 feet altitude” unless the course drops something crazy like 1000 feet over 10k or something like that.

It’s probably more reasonable to take a PR for anything 10k and down from a track as your non-* PR but honestly, does it even matter? Ya run what ya run, you know?
There is probably a reason USATF qualifies some courses over others, but even that is worth digging into as to “why” ( I never understood the ‘the startline has to be withing so many feet of the finish line’ thing).

You’re probably going to do well this weekend, seems like you’re enjoying what you’re doing, are supported, and are doing what you need to do to build fitness. As an outsider, I would be more interested myself in just seeing how I can run course-to-course and not think about the comparison to how my fitness is say, to a flat course or a rolling hill course. Seems like a moot argument, considering all the factors that really, no one has figured out anyway. Everyone is always going to put an * next to a course or a time or a weather condition anyway, especially on the roads where there are very rare courses, experiences, or weather days that can compare to one another. Doesn’t really matter, unless you need a time for a qualifier or something and USATF hasn’t given the rubber stamp.

You’re gonna run great, and if you ever want to run flat and at sea level, come on out to Chicago. It’s incredible! The Shamrock Shuffle is definitely worth-while if you aren’t feeling the marathon, it’s flat, it’s fast, and it’s a good time for sure.

Just my two cents from a sea-level guppy from corn country!


I have a June birthday and wedding anniversary! The last I sobbed uncontrollably was while watching the second to last episode of This Is Us (the train one). I can’t remember the last time I cried that hard while watching a show or movie.


SO MANY movies make me cry. I’m a sassy person, but I am also a very deep feeling and sensitive and emotional person. One of my “guaranteed to cry” movies is a French film (one of my favorites) called LA DOUBLE VIE DE VERONIQUE, and there are many others…but right now I can’t think of them (it’s a stupid “that’s my toxic trait” of mine–that I can never recall or remember the things I like when someone asks me about them…it’s really just when these things occur to me in my own time that I remember the names…)

HAVE THE BEST RUN this weekend!!!

You asked about June birthdays–I am on June 12!! I will be 45! (fun fact: just like your husband has Halloween as his favorite holiday, birthdays are actually my most favorite holiday. I plan and plan and plan for them, and they make me the happiest. It is absolutely undeniable that my life is made better because of the people who are in it, and to me that is the absolute most true thing I could ever celebrate. And as for me and my birthday–I am SO GRATEFUL for how full my life is and how full my heart is because of the people who are in it. And with so much, I am so grateful for this life. Even with all of its bumps and twists and turns and imperfections. So–yeah–I love celebrating my birthday BIG TIME.

Sour candy–yes please! Just make it sour patch kids or some sort of sweet and sour gummy and we are good to go. I don’t *love* hard candies…never really loved anything that I felt compelled to suck on. The only thing I don’t like about sour gummies is that I tend to get weird little canker sores (probably the citric acid in them). But they are yummy!!!

I hope you’re all having SUCH a good time with friends and family in your happy place. Everyone deserves to find themselves in a place that is so overwhelmingly beautiful to them–and I’m happy that you live close enough to your beloved St. George to go there often. :)


I love California so I am curious if you could share why your cousin moved to St. George? Was it to be closer to family?


Hi janae !

Good luck on your half this weekend! I think you will go under 1:20 :)

I want to mention that you asked for peoples thoughts on elevation vs downhill course and whether or not they sort of cancel each other out (clearly I am paraphrasing here!) but it seems you were upset about a comment above. It’s fine to not care about other peoples input (especially when they don’t actually live at elevation like you) but I hope you don’t feel obligated to ask!

Personally, I live RIGHT AT SEA LEVEL, and the only downhill courses I’ve done are also at sea level. They resulted in PRs. So yeah downhill running is faster I think. But I also recall skiing at 7200ft and being completely and absolutely gassed because of the elevation. All that to say, it would take a true sports scientist type person to be able to say what elevation cancels out what amount of downhill.

I don’t think you need to justify your result this weekend. I think you should just be proud and own it. What are you gonna do, fly to a flat sea level course every time you race cause the naysayers think downhill courses are aided? Of course not. You should run mostly local races like every single other runner!

PS- I don’t think I could toboggan down a hill to a sub 1:20 half soooo yeah, downhill or not, that is FAST.

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