23 Trail Miles + How to know you are ready!

(Shorts, bra, tank, shoes, socks, sunglasses)

My first time running Hope to Hobble!  This is a run that my group does every year but each year in the past I haven’t been able to make it because of travel or pregnancy etc.

We started at Hope Campground at 6:10 am.  The air was perfectly chilly when we started, and I was very thankful.

This run is very easy to navigate if you are ever in the area.  You are on a wide dirt trail the entire way.  It would be hard to get lost, which is what I need because I get lost on trails very easily.

All of the climbing happened in the first 11 miles, around 2,600 ft.  My legs were burning, but we kept it at an easy pace and took a gel (and some candy) every five miles.

You then go down on the dirt road for 9 miles!   I felt great for most of the down but the fatigue caught up with me around mile 18.  We were on our feet for a long time, and my eyes were so tired from constantly scanning for rocks and where to step.  Trails are so much more challenging mentally for me vs. roads but the views make them worth it.

We got to the canyon pavement road at mile 20 and then did another 3 miles to get to the golf course in Hobblecreek Canyon for a total of 23 miles.

I wanted to quit so many times during the last few miles, but my friends pulled me along.

I counted a lot of steps to distract my brain from quitting.

75 miles for the week and two more big weeks of training left.  It’s all going to pay off on 10/1 and I can’t wait.

Jo’s husband brought these beautiful donuts for us at the end; nothing has ever tasted so good in my life.

Here is what the map looked like of the run…

Three more pictures from our weekend–> We went to Chalk the Block with my parents and then met up with some friends there too!  Artists come and take over a parking lot… they are incredible.

And Beck was beyond happy with his Texas Roadhouse rolls.


I think (and hope) that the Utah Valley Marathon in 2013 will forever be the most painful marathon I will experience.

There is such a difference between when a race and the training works for your current life situation and when it is forced, this below marathon was FORCED.

I paid for forcing it.

Between injuries during the training block, Giardia, and being in an emotionally exhausting place in my life (newly single mom!), a marathon wasn’t what I should have been doing.

NewImage 13

(PS remember when my sister ran 6 miles in those flip-flops to get me to the finish line?!)

Even last year, my friends were all doing marathons, and for whatever reason, the timing just felt wrong for me to join them.  I didn’t have the drive to marathon train super hard last year, and I couldn’t imagine fitting it in with everything else.  I felt like I needed to get my body stronger before I went after another marathon.  It wasn’t until earlier this year, when Amazon reached out to me about running the Boston Marathon with them, that I felt it was time again. <– I felt excited about it, my body was strong enough to take on the mileage, and I knew I could get the sleep needed to keep up with the training.

I thought I would share my checklist for knowing whether or not I’m ready to start training for a race, and I’d love to hear your opinion too:

-The race excites you when you think about it.  Your heart beats faster, and you smile and want to tell all of your people about your new goal/race/adventure.

-You are in a place in your life where the extras can fit in on top of the mileage—> strength, stretching, proper hydration/nutrition, sleeping, etc.

-You are healthy!  If you are injured, maybe wait on signing up for a race until you are running healthy again (or sign up for one that doesn’t happen for a while).  The added stress of pushing through pain or feeling like you are running out of time in your training while you are still hurting is not a fun feeling to have.

I think that if you can check all those things off, you should be good to go.  And if you are in a place where you can’t check off those items, don’t stress—> there will ALWAYS be more races.  Running is always there for you when you are ready for it, it isn’t going anywhere.

Think of my face in the above picture when you need to remind yourself why you probably shouldn’t force a race if your body/mind isn’t in a place to do so.

When it does work, it sure brings us all a lot of joy and so much fun when your mind and body are ready!


What about you?  How do you know you are ready to sign up for a race/adventure/goal?  

What app do you get on most from your phone?

Ever forced a race when you probably shouldn’t have done it?

What was the a great part from your weekend?

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You are such an inspiration, Janae!! 23 trail miles with that kind of climb is no joke!!

I hit 67 miles in my training this past week (most weekly mileage I’ve ever done in my life!) and I’m hoping to get to 70+ in my peak week! Can you talk about how you’ve built mileage over the years?! Like have you been training at this kind of mileage for a while or did you build gradually over the years? For majority of my marathon training cycles, I’ve kept weekly mileage in the 50s but have been wanting to play around with more distance. Would love to hear about your journey and how you’ve managed to prevent burnout!


Arthi! Congrats on your 67 miles wahoo! I will absolutely write a post about that if that is okay?! I have SO many thoughts on this! I cannot wait for you to get to your 70+ mile peak week. Great questions and expect a full post soon! Have a beautiful day, Arthi!


Yes!! Can’t wait!


That art is incredible!! Utah has the coolest activities. I love this post, I’ve had a lot of sudden life changes (I should get some advice from you on those sometime soon 😩) in the past several months and my heart just has not been in training or racing. I’m still running and doing workouts but that’s kind of enough for a bit. It should never be forced when it’s supposed to be for fun! ❤️
I hope you have a wonderful week!


Oh. No. Mollie, I am ALWAYS here for you. Just know that you can talk to me whenever you need. I’m thinking about you!


Wahoo! Way to go on the weekend run. When I think of that long of a run and the late miles in the marathon , I think of The Friends scene when Joey is like “I wanna go!!”
Last fall’s marathon just didn’t feel right as it got closer and closer. I was debating bailing the morning of but stuck it out. And blew up at mile 7. And sobbed on my friend’s and husband’s shoulder at the finish line.


And now I will think of that too haha! Oh wow, the fact that you finished that… you are amazing. Thanks for sharing, Molly… we can all relate!


I feel like the universe is telling me to defer my marathon at the end of October. I had a pelvic stress fracture 5 weeks ago, and today was supposed to be my first day back running, but I got in the way of my dog and her dog friends playing and had my legs taken out from under me yesterday. Now my knee is bruised… and then today you talk about not forcing a race. I want to run so badly! But there will always be other races, I know you are right! Thanks for the honesty in your posts :) it’s hard for runners to hear but you make it positive somehow.

Awesome job on your 23 miles! I hope you have a great week!


Rachel. I am SO so sorry. Ugg you have been through so much this year. There is always another race and I cannot wait for your comeback story. You will come back stronger and faster than EVER. You’ve got this, keep me updated!


WOW! That run sounds so tough but I bet those views and your friends helped so much. Great job!! And that chalk art is so amazing. We had a art and craft fair in my town this weekend but unfortunately we were so busy that we didn’t get to make it! All good things though- I just wish there were 2 of me sometimes so I could do everything I want to do :)

Have a great week!!


Thank you Gretchen, definitely couldn’t have done it alone. TWO OF ME… amen to that. I have that same thought so often. Thanks Gretchen, you too!


What an awesome run! Truly inspiring Janae. And like what Arthi asked… How have you built up your longer weekly mileage. I would love to hear about that too.
Ok, those artists that do Chalk the Block are amazing! What a cool event!
I love your check list on when to know if you’re ready for a race. I have not been able to check off the 1st one for a while, so that’s why I do not have any races on my calendar. So I am going to keep a good steady base and keep doing the strength work for now. Then when thinking about a race gets me excited, that’s when I’ll go. Thank you for sharing that.
Here’s to a good start to a new week!


I will have to write a post about this, it’s been quite the journey! I am SO glad you have listened to yourself and not forced something that wasn’t right for you at the time. I hope your Monday is a wonderful one too! Thanks, Wendy!


You know, I really love this post. Even though I’m not running these days, it’s something I can relate to in a HUGE way and that I have had a lot of very similar conversations about with Tom and, even this weekend, with some friends.

So your idea of “timing” and knowing when it’s the RIGHT timing to hold back or re-engage in a HUGE effort like a training cycle is something I have been dealing with, in my group fitness instructor world. Though I had wanted to go to BODYPUMP instructor training and follow the process of completing that certification, because of some joint issues I had told myself that my “goal” was to look into this at the *end* of the calendar year. When I saw a training in an Atlanta suburb pop up on the schedule for early July, I was tempted but told myself “stick to your plan…you love Pump, but if you are paying the same money now or later for training, give yourself the time.” And then the instructors for all of the Atlanta areas of my gym were given an *enormous* discount if we sign up for that training–which is being held at the newest location of my gym (for reference: my gym company is similar to EoS fitness, that’s popular out by where you live).

I had a deep gut instinct that at that point, the ONLY thing that was holding me back was my comfort zone–the schedule I put myself on. But despite some lingering concerns about my own strength development, I knew I would be able to handle my training weekend and the couple of months of constant practice before filming myself teaching was something I knew my body was capable of handling. Schedule-wise, though I knew it would be tough with some really huge work things happening right at the same time as training, I knew I would be in for a whole lot of exhaustion and a pretty overwhelming schedule–but that it would be for a contained amount of time.

Once I realized this, I went through almost the same inventory that you outlined!!! The thought of it energized me a bit differently. Looking at my calendar and recognizing that I would have some temporary schedule sacrifices of “nice to have” things rather than “this will keep a roof over my head and keep my marriage happy and my family safe” but would otherwise be able to do it if I stuck to a schedule, and recognizing this as an opportunity (even if at a sort of inconvenient time) that could add so much to my life, rather than as a temptation that I would come to feel dragged down by and wind up resenting–it sealed the deal.

And then the life lesson of it all sunk in (and is starting to sink in more and more in some other areas of my life…exact same lesson!!!): when it’s a real opportunity, it doesn’t always come with YOUR timing…it comes in its own timing. Learn to distinguish if it is an opportunity…

OK that was a ton of words.

You asked about the weekend? Two huge things–one: I filmed myself teaching for BODYPUMP certification and submitted my video! And two: one of my friends who is also in the Les Mills fitness instructor world was visiting town from Chicago to help a friend’s family, and she came to my RPM class yesterday morning and then we went out to brunch. Though we know each other’s teaching from so many conversations, this is the first time she has ever seen me in action–she lives in Chicago! It was the most delightful morning. :)

I hope your day is a really good one, Janae!!! On Saturday, Tom and I have our 5th anniversary–and I am so excited that we have become even more and more of a team in this whole time!!!! :)


Give. Yourself. Time and stick to your plan… oh that stuck out to me so much. I am SO happy you stuck to your plan, it PAID off! Your Sunday morning sounds like it was perfect! So amazed by you, Stephanie and I love you and Tom’s story together… FIFTH anniversary! The partner synergy is everything.


Janae YOU ARE AMAZING!!! I have a 10k coming up this Sunday (9/4) and a half marathon on 10/22 and I haven’t raced/ran consistently for the past 6 years due to major life changes, Covid, pregnancy, being a new mom, not feeling ready/strong enough, etc. until now. It feels SO good to be out there training again for races and I had an 8 mile training run this past Saturday and that’s all I could think about was how happy and grateful I was to be out here again running “longer distances” so I knew that the timing was right for me :)

I loved your reel about running before Brooke was born and how you thought you’d never be faster and now 3 kids later you’re the fastest you’ve ever been! I have felt that way so many times after becoming a mom but that gave me so much inspiration to push myself (safely of course!) and I’m so excited for the future! I’ve been following your blog since you were pregnant with Brooke and you’ve always been such an inspiration to me! You’re going to crush St. George- so happy for you girl!!


BLAIRE! I am cheering so loud for you with your 10k and half coming up. PLEASE let me know how it goes. You are back doing the longer distances when it was right for you and it makes me so happy to read how happy it is making you now. Thank you so much, it’s amazing how these babies can make us faster. You’ve got this, so happy for you. Thank you for cheering for me too, it means the world to me!


Hi Janae! I was supposed to train for a marathon this year but ended up not doing it! I was getting back to back injuries and I just backed off. Instead I used the time to study and get my new job! I think back and that was definitely the right call. It’s like you said running will always be there for you when you are ready.
Happy Monday!


Amy, you were so smart to do it the way you did… I love how you went about things! The injuries are not worth it and look at your amazing job now. So great. Have a beautiful day, Amy!


I sign up for races like some people order on Amazon, and then worry about the race later….I’ve signed up for things like Ironman triathlons on a dare, and then realized I had to train…
A good bike ride Saturday, and a rest day yesterday, so got to sleep in for the first time in forever…


Bahaha ‘I sign up for races like some people order on Amazon.’ I LOVE that. I cannot imagine just signing up for an Ironman on a dare ha. So happy you were able to sleep in! Have a great day!


That 23 mile run looks like a blast!! Great work! Question…Do you still take blood builder?? My teen daughter and I started taking it recently. Do take any other supplements or vitamins?


Hey Christine! Do you love it? I don’t take it and all I am taking right now is a Vit D supplement and multivitamin! Any tips for me? I hope your day is a great one

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