StG Marathon Recap!

(Top, shorts, shoes, socks)

Okay, Saturday was special.

Really special.  

It has been a very emotional few weeks, and the race had been the last thing on my brain leading up to it.

Somehow, the marathon gods gave me the day I needed.  I had an absolute blast for the majority of the race and felt a tremendous amount of love along the way.  

From seeing Andrew and my kids a few times, seeing my brother and his family, the dozens of times I looked down and saw Mer’s ring on my finger and felt the biggest boost from her (wondering if she was there cheering me on), chatting with some of my favorite friends along the way, cheers from people there to watch the race, texts/messages/comments from the best humans before the race, and fantastic race volunteers doing what they do for complete strangers like me… I truly felt like I was being hugged over and over throughout the 26.2.

This was my 18th marathon, but now one of my most memorable running memories because it was like a blanket of peace and comfort that I needed.  I don’t ever want to forget how that felt.

I slept amazingly and woke up naturally at 4 a.m.  I got up at 4:30 and started eating a Belvita bar (230 calories then and then another 230 calories of the bars + a banana at 5:30 am).  I took a shower and got ready.  We got the kids ready, and we were out the door at 5:20 to drive to the start; they let Andrew drive me to the start because I get carsick in busses.

I left my phone with Andrew and walked over to the start to find some friends.  I was thrilled to feel cold (I brought a blanket to the start!) and to see a huge tailwind happening (they always have a ton of flags out along the starting line so you can see clearly which way the wind is going). 

I sat next to the fires with some friends and took a Maurten caffeine gel at 6:40 (the race started at 7) before using the restroom and getting into the corral.  I didn’t do any type of warm-up (oops).

This was the first year this marathon did a light show with drones before it started. I wish I would have had my camera. It was dark out, and the drone lights formed incredible pictures in the sky, along with a countdown for the race start.  Everyone’s jaws dropped.  Now, I really need you guys to do this race!

I started with these friends for the first 10 miles.  It was so much fun.  We chatted, caught up on life, laughed, and built each other up.  

We have 19 kids between the four of us:)

I took a Maurten gel at miles 4 & 8 and got my first bottle of liquid IV at mile 7.  I feel like Gatorade doesn’t work great for me, and the liquid IV was excellent for getting in the electrolytes I needed because Maurtens don’t have enough in them for a marathon.

At mile 8, we lost 2 of my friends, and at mile 11, my friend Kassi pulled ahead.  At mile 13, my friend Amy caught up, and we chatted for about 2 miles.  

Getting to do something hard with friends is my favorite top 10 life activities. 

Can you handle these views?  

Once Amy went ahead, I turned on my music (it connects to my watch) in one ear, and I may have sung a bit too…

I kept up with my gels every four miles until mile 20ish when I fully puked (TMI?) the gel I took as I ran (I made sure no one was near me).  Maybe I was over-fueled or over-hydrated (I was downing my bottles), but I could not get another calorie.  I felt depleted in those last two miles of the marathon.  I love to try to analyze why things happen the way they do during the marathon, but sometimes, I need to remember that I’m asking my body to do something ridiculous (run 26.2 miles), and the possibility of it revolting with a specific reason is high.

The last two miles were tough, but as you turn to the final stretch, I heard my brother’s voice booming.  Never has there been a human that can project more volume than him. It was just what I needed to finish strong.

I love them all so much.  Seeing this crew at mile 26 was everything.

I hit 13.1 miles at 1:24:15ish and finished at 2:48:11, so the halves were pretty even splits.   Considering both halves were faster than my half in August made me pretty happy! 

The first half of St George is much more challenging with the climbing (miles 7-11), but on some of the steep downhills in the second half, I felt my hamstring acting up.  I took it back a notch on those downhills because I did not want to cause an injury and miss out on running the Budapest Marathon with Andrew.  But I also felt completely done in the last two miles, so I think I was right where my fitness was for the day.

DOWNHILL course, but some burning uphills occur throughout the course at points, too:

6:14, 6:28, 6:10, 6:09, 6:12, 6:01, 5:59, 7:07, 6:44, 6:31, 6:56, 6:29, 6:16, 6:13, 6:03, 6:04, 6:12, 6:18, 6:49, 6:31, 6:11, 6:36, 6:24, 6:18, 6:37, 6:40, 6:29 pace for last .2.

1st in my age group and 9th woman overall! $275 cash prize🤍

Now for way too many additional thoughts:

*I’m learning more and more that life isn’t just about results.  Sure, results are really fun, but if I lose the joy running brings me in the process, I’m doing things wrong.  I thought about this a lot at the starting line.  I was there to find joy along the 26.2 miles; anything else was just extra credit.

*I wanted to finish wanting to do it again, not retire (like how I finished in 2022) and on the ground. Mission accomplished.

*I’m so grateful for another awesome training block from my coach!

*One of my favorite marathon tips.  Run where you are–> Not in 10 miles, the next hill, or 30 minutes… Focus on running where you are at that very moment.

*For the last forever, I’ve really thought about my time goals for the marathon.  A course PR sounded fabulous going into the race, but I felt strongly this time that I wanted to focus on running by feel and with friends as much as possible without an exact number in my head.  A time goal is so fun, but I have found that my marathoning depends on the day.  I wanted to give my best I had for the day and be proud of that.  During Boston, a few months earlier, it was hard to watch my time goal slip farther and farther away throughout the race even though I was doing my best… I want to be proud of my efforts on days like that, not disappointed that I didn’t hit an exact number.  Those magic marathon days are rare and few, so I thought either I would get one of those magical days (hallelujah) or I could focus (and be proud) on doing my absolute best if it wasn’t my day.  Going into the race with zero pressure on myself and very little nerves was SO nice.  It allowed me to let go of what I couldn’t control and focus on what I could control.

*Andrew. He is so good to us all.

*I flipped my watch around and didn’t look much at it.  It was freeing not to be checking it all of the time.  My friend told me before the race to get to the finish line as fast as I could without staring at my watch… I love simplicity, and that made it so fun.

*My other two goals for the day were to try not to feel and to look for the good.  The less I focus on every little thing that is hurting or going wrong, the better I run.  I find myself getting caught up in wasting energy thinking about how my breathing is feeling or my hamstring or how tired my muscles are, and when those thoughts pop up, I told myself to think about anything other than how I was feeling (which kind of contradicts my goal of running by feel haha but it somehow worked). 

*Looking for the good always makes my runs/races go better.  Whether it is a red mountain along the course, the cutest little kids cheering on the sides who are so excited to see their parents run by, or how grateful I am to have found a gel that makes my stomach very happy (most of the time;)… finding the small (but significant) good along the way makes the biggest difference for me mentally.  

*Also, looking OUTWARD helped me so much. I focused on how nice the volunteers were, how my friends felt, how to cheer on a runner next to me, etc.  It’s always amazing to me how much focusing on others helps us when experiencing pain in a race or in life.

*Stuffing ice in my sports bra is a simple thing that brings so much joy during a marathon.

*I used my inhalers before the race and was so thankful for them! My lips were blue at the end of the race, but I didn’t have my normal coughing attack, where I feel like my airways are closing off.  Those coughing attacks scare me, and I was so grateful not to have one again.

*I forced the carb load this year (I didn’t have much appetite last week due to emotions), and I really can’t believe how much of a difference it makes. An effective carb load makes the most significant difference on race day.

*I love the marathon experience when I feel like I show up a little undercooked than even a millimeter overcooked. This was a short training block (9-10 weeks), and I felt so springy for most of the race, which is just how I want to feel.

Thank you for reading my novel! Now, onto BUDAPEST!

Who raced over the weekend? Tell me everything!

What was one of your happiest races?

What is your favorite type of electrolyte hydration during a long race?

Does anyone else get motion sickness? Any tips on how to help it?

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Congratulations!!! Amazing job! It’s great to see how much you enjoyed the process and focused on the bright side. Good advice for any runner.

I didn’t race this weekend, but had so much fun watching Chicago on TV and cheering on virtually! So many course and world records, very excited for Des and her master’s record, and Connor Mantz as the first US male.


Thank you, Mariah. Truly one of my favorite races. Chicago was INCREDIBLE and I was right about Conner… can’t wait to see him around town again on the run. I’ll tell him congrats from all of us. Hope your Monday is off to a great start!


I love all of this-including that your bottles showed up!
Feel free to continue to do follow up commentary on the marathon throughout the week. I love that stuff!
I didn’t run a marathon, but you know I was at Chicago! I cannot believe I was there and saw the world record, the elite women, I even spotted Kiera D’amato on the a moto and got a wave. It was hard to watch Emma Bates run by with 800 meters to go. She looked so tearful. Also-I think you and I are Conner Mantz’s good luck cheering crew now!


Just saw that Conner shared your story… he liked the aggressive cheering! Hahah yes, it was a miracle and maybe I should have missed one or two of the bottles;) YOU SAW IT ALL and Kiera waved at you. She is the best. I read Emma had plantar pain… can you even imagine running that fast with that pain?! Happy Monday, Molly and I want a detailed marathon race recap from you later this month too!


Great job!! So glad the race was enjoyable and you got to chat with friends. I’m sure that makes such a difference.

Also- Can’t wait to hear about Budapest! Racing in new places is so fun. I’ll be (fun)running a 10k in Parma, Italy next weekend. So excited! About to follow your link to the effective carb load strategy- hoping it can involve lots of pasta 🙃 have the best time!


PARMA, ITALY?! Jessie, I am thrilled for you. Please let me know how it goes and absolutely YES to the pasta:). ENJOY and thank you so much!


I loved reading this! I’m so happy it was a great, joyful race. Thank you for sharing all your feelings and emotions and reflections! Your struggling a bit in the last 2 and thinking about how the marathon asks SO much of us reminded me of Emily Sisson’s side stitch and Emma Bates’ foot cramp at Chicago this weekend. Sometimes stuff just happens, even to the very best. Our bodies are still doing amazing things!


CONGRATULATIONS! And thanks so much for this great recap. I’m so glad you had a great experience ,and you won your age group!!!!! I hope you’re getting some good rest in today… I can’t wait to hear all about Budapest!


Awesome race, Janae! I ran a half marathon this weekend as part of my accountability plan to get in my last 20 miler in marathon training. I went in to it wanting to have fun, too, and it made all the difference! My friend asked me to pace her to a PR which would be my goal marathon pace, so we went for it – she missed it by a few seconds but we had a blast. And I took 3rd in my age group! Placing in the midst of marathon training, I’ll take it! Now time to taper! Marathon is in 3 weeks!


Congratulations!! Continually in awe of you, my friend. You’ve got me wanting to do another marathon next year (which I thought might me a one and done thing for me haha) You’re amazing!! So excited for Budapest!!


Congratulations!! Amazing job and I love that you ran happy! Those are the best races. One of these days I need to come do this races. The views are so amazing.
Between watching the Chicago marathon and reading your recap…. I am excited to train for something again. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I can’t wait for your trip to Budhapest! When do you leave?
Have a wonderful Monday!


I love your recaps!! Amazing job, Janae. Such great take always too. I feel like experiences like that are 100% what this is all about. ❤️❤️
I get terrible motion sickness too. Always have. I can’t even drive as a passenger on certain roads where we live because of it. The Boston buses make me sooo sick. 😖
Enjoy your recovery before Budapest! 😆😆 So excited for you and Andrew!!! A fun marathon when you’ve already raced honestly sounds amazing.


Congrats! Such a great race!

I didn’t race over the weekend but I went out for a Georgeous autumn run and ran my fastest run in awhile because I just ran by feel.

One of my favourite races was actually a trail race I ran this year. I didn’t have a lot invested in the outcome I pushed myself a little harder and chased a bunch of 25 year olds lol and then ended up finishing more than an hour ahead of when I expected lol. We stopped to take photos a lot too lol

Have a great day Janae!

Enjoy Budapest!


Happy Thanksgiving weekend! Oh I am so glad you had a beautiful and fast run~ That trail race sounds like it was perfect. One day I am coming up to BC to do one with you. Thanks friend, have a wonderful day!


Congrats!! Thanks for sharing this recap! I have been thinking a lot about my running goals and I find myself leaning more and more toward running for fun, with friends, and with the aim toward running forever vs. pushing myself to reach certain time goals. I still want to work hard and push myself but at the end of the day running is for fun!!


I fully support your new goals. Seriously. Doing it for the joy and friendships makes it so dang fun. Keep me updated with it all. Thanks Jenny, have a great day!


Wow, what a great race report. I’m glad it was a great day . I swear the weather always looks so nice there. I just know Mer was there with you . Have a great trip!


Thank you, Kate. I think she was too. I hope you have the most beautiful day!


I appreciate your comment about results. I ran the half (loved the drone show!) – my 55th. I’ve been running for 40 years and I keep wondering if I want to stop running the long distances. This year was one of my slowest ever, and yet I felt good and gave it my all. I think over time our priorities change. With age, I’m feeling like running is less about the speed and more about health and activity. Congratulations on your race – you are inspiring!


55!! Oh my goodness! Congrats! I was hoping that the half also got the drone show. You gave it your all, and that is what we should all be proud of! You are my inspiration. 40 years. Hope you have the best day, Lisa!


Loved reading this. Sounds like it was just the race you needed to boost your spirits and redeem last year’s race there. Sorry about the puking though. That is never fun.

My favorite race was running a Disneyland half years ago when they still had races. Though their first one back is this January. I unfortunately didn’t get a spot bc they sold out in under 20 minutes. Oops! Hopefully I’ll get the next one. But I had trained really hard for a specific time and ran with my best friend from high school. My husband paced us, and also felt like he was our personal photographer. He basically ran circles around us 🤣🤣🤣 It felt amazing accomplishing my goal, and that race and the crowds are just so amazing.

My favorite hydration is a sport drink from the company Melaleuca. Don’t sell for them, ha. But I tried it years ago and it just worked for my stomach. Have tried other things since and I just couldn’t get it down. So I stick with this.


Thank you so much, Beth! Oh my goodness, I am so sad you didn’t get the spot. That went out fast! Love that you were able to do that race with your best friend and your husband… and all of those free photos haha. Ummmm my old coach used to talk so highly of that drink, I need to try it. I hope you are having a great morning!


Yes to the free photos, haha!! It was great. We had so many. And if you do try the drink, I add a lot more water than it says to add. I think it says 8 oz maybe, but I typically do 20. Otherwise it’s waaaay too sweet. But you can play with ratios and add more or less depending upon your taste. With 20 oz it doesn’t taste watered down at all. But you can find what you prefer.


Congratulations, Janae!!!! You are such an amazing athlete and I’m so happy for you that you were able to have such an amazing day–you deserve it!


Thank you so much Joy! I hope you are having a beautiful morning:)


Congratulations! You had a great race, and I feel like puking in a marathon makes you so hard core, haha. Also, I 100% believe Mer was with you. ;) Those moments are special when we can feel our loved ones with us.


Thank you so much, Tess. I do too:). It felt extra special. I hope you are having a beautiful day!


Congrats on your marathon!!! No race for me yet, but new long run distance. 4.5 miles with my friends who are also training for the same race. It went by so fast running and talking with others!


Congratulations! I love the recap.


Huge congratulations Janae! I always love reading your race recaps. So so so inspiring.

All the best for Budapest! I hope you get to enjoy the country as well, and what an awesome way to site see the city! Runcations are always fun 🤩


Congratulations!!! I am so glad that you were able to have fun and focus on all of the good things :)


Way to go!!!

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