#20! Sevilla Maratón Recap!

I will never be able to top this birthday week and marathon #20 was officially my favorite.

After I finished I kept thinking about how 25 year old me would be dying over yesterday’s result! I wanted a sub 3 so so badly in my 20s and I was able to do it at 38, on a warm day, with my husband and four kids there cheering, and in a different country.

I woke up before my alarm at 5:45 and started eating cinnamon almond bars by Nature Valley from Costco. I had 1.5 bars, a banana and about a liter of water before getting up and ready for the morning. I scrolled through my strava to remind myself of all of the miles and workouts I did to prepare for this to give me the confidence I needed and listened to Deena Kastor podcasts to get excited!

We met with the group at 7 and were driven over to the starting line. We had about an hour to use the restrooms and drop off our bags but somehow it went by so quickly and a few of us ended up having to jog to the starting line to make it to the corrals in time.

I was in the 2:45-3:00 corral and stood over by the 3:00 pacers in the beginning.

The energy was unreal in the corrals. I couldn’t believe I was finally there and ready to start!

The first few miles were very congested and we were clipping each others shoes often. I couldn’t believe how many people were running under 3 hours in this marathon, it is incredible.

I had my phone with me because I wanted to make it easy for Andrew to track me so I did take two pictures while running.

I started the race and knew it was going to be a good day, I felt better than ever. I had to hold myself back. I wanted to run faster because I felt so good!

The course was incredible. I saw so many sights, people, and architectural designs that were breathtaking. The blogger in me wanted to take a picture every minute.

Somehow, I was able to see Andrew and the kids 5 times. Five. I also saw the City Sightseeing group many times and there is quite the adrenaline boost that comes from seeing people you know and love.

I took my gels every four miles and I also took 5 salt tablets throughout the marathon. Maurtens do not have enough electrolytes and I usually think that I can get enough from Gatorade but now that I know how amazing salt tablets make me feel, I’ll use them for every race.

I’ve had so many marathons where I started really hurting at mile 16 or so and I really didn’t want that to happen again. I wanted to enjoy this one more than I usually do racing a marathon. I tried to be so smart with my pacing and the beauty of flat races where you just set it and forget it with your pace.

At about mile 18 I started feeling pretty warm. My friend that lives here said it was a warm day for February but I did my best to stop thinking about how I felt.

I poured probably 20 cups of water over my head throughout the race which helped so much with the heat for me.

Here are the splits:

Just feeling like Makenna Myler for the first 22 miles and thinking about how we can ‘have kids and dreams.’

At about mile 21 I grabbed what I thought was water but it was some new sports drink and I started cramping up a bit after that. It was so strange but my legs felt like they were seizing up those final miles. I told myself that I wasn’t actually going to die and to think about ANYTHING else than how I was feeling and to just survive.

The final 10k you are running through the heart of the city. It is stunning. It is tricky though because we went from bricks, to cobblestone to tile. There were so many cracks and train tracks that I really had to focus on not falling on my face! Isn’t it funny how dramatic our brains become in the final 10k of a marathon?

We came around a corner and I could see Andrew and the kids and then the finish line. I knew I was going to get that sub 3 and wanted to cry (and lay down) I was so happy.
I crossed, saw my friends and sat down on the ground. Mitch ran a 2:22! He is the won that won the Budapest marathon when we went! What international marathon should we do next?

And now for some tangents:

*Whenever I could feel myself slowing down a bit, I really tried to push my chest forward. It helps me to fix my form up and force my legs to keep up with the rest of my body.

*I feel really proud about this race. I have never run a flat marathon which was very out of my comfort zone. I knew it was going to be warm and with traveling and walking 10 miles each day leading up to the race, I’m beyond happy with how it went.

*Brooke, Knox, and Skye all said they want to do a marathon after watching this one!

*I put my music in at exactly 13.1 miles and I love doing that. It is the best pep!

*I love looking at everyone’s shoes during the marathon and I was suprised to see even more adidas adiizero adios 3s than Nikes! I also saw a ton of Pumas!

*Fun fact with flat marathons, your body feels every incline or decline. I’m so used to downhill or rolling courses that I was laughing to myself at mile 18 that the smallest incline felt like I was climbing a mountain ha.

*Having the Olympic trials to watch just before this race was the best. Those athletes inspired me so much and I kept thinking about them all during the race.

*I passed a guy at around mile 18 and he said, “Muy Bueno.” Ummm international races are my absolute favorite now.

*You could tell who was American during the race very easily. Everyone’s watches were beeping around the kilometer marks but a few of us had them beeping at the mile marks ha.

*I listened to Deena Kastor on a podcast while I was getting ready. She is so good at teaching people to find joy in every circumstance no matter how you are feeling and she is the ultimate pre-race motivator.

*There were so many DJs along the way in the final 10k which I thought was so fun.

*I reminded myself to relax about 300 times. It’s so easy in the marathon (especially after doing so many) to worry about what is up ahead. I told myself to calm down, worrying about what is up ahead does nothing for us but hold us back from our dreams. It felt so good to tell myself to relax and just run the moment I was in!

*They passed out cups of water at most of the aid stations but at a few they gave a full waterbottle out. This was VERY new for me but I loved it, I took a shower with the waterbottle after I took a few sips.

*Nothing like pouring sports drink over your head ha… anyone else ever do that? Theirs looked just like water!

*This tasted so good afterwards. So good.

*I’m getting really good at kilometer math. I also tried to learn Spanish as I was running and understand all of signs around me.

*The sea level part made me feel like I wasn’t even breathing the whole time. It was definitely my legs/cramps that died, not my breathing.

*There was a lot of bar type things on the sides of the roads but all of the runners in front of me were always pointing at any hazards along the way to make sure nobody tripped over them. I found it so polite and considerate.

*We will be back. Between how much we love our City Sightseeing friends (they live here) and this amazing course, we will be back!

Please don’t mind all of the grammatical errors, I wrote this post in about 30 minutes flat ha!

How was your weekend???

Favorite race that you have ever done?

Ever had leg cramps? What did you do to help them?

Flat races or rolling races… what do you prefer?

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I love all of this! Did you hear a lot of “Allez”? That always reminds me of Tour de France!
You are totally right about flat marathons. This smallest incline feels like a mountain.
Back to doing my research now of where to go to Europe this year! You’re pushing Spain higher on the list.
Enjoy whatever time you have left!


Janae! Congratulations on your marathon! What an incredible experience. Are you able to share the salt tablets you used and how you carried them?


So proud and congratulations again!!! You inspire me!


Congrats! Sounds like so much fun and a wonderful way to spend a birthday week!

It’s a long weekend for us so enjoying the extra day off. This weekend I ran my long run 14 miles or so and had brunch with a girl friend. Last weekend I did race/run a local half marathon. It was pouring at times but so glad I showed up. I didn’t run as terribly as expected and I ran a smart race

This half marathon course was actually one of my favorite courses. It’s fast and flat..and if you put in the work you will be rewarded lol.

But my all time favorite is a trail race called Oregon coast 50km in Yachats Oregon. Ran through rolling trails, carpeted green moss and on sand and near the ocean. Would love to go back

Have an amazing day Janae and safe travels!


Congratulations on a sub-3! Sounds like an amazing visit and race…beautiful memories and inspiration for your family (and inspiring to your followers:)


Congratulations Janae! This sounds like an amazing experience- I’m so glad it went well for you. How incredible to run an international marathon with friends and your family there to cheer you on. Hope you’re feeling good today. And- that Coke must have tasted incredible.


Awesome job! International Marathons are the best! The full water bottle thing is a strange thing to me as well! So many bottle on the side of the road! We did see groups picking them up for recycling later so that was good! Love being able to see such a large area of a city on foot! Congrats!


Wow, just wow! What a wonderful recap! I am so happy that you were able to experience City Sightseeing in their hometown Seville. There is nothing like it! What an amazing way to cap your birthday week! Congratulations.


Also curious about your electrolyte tabs, I currently use a combo of UCAN and Maurten but plain water, so I’m missing the electrolyte piece. TIA!


You know that feeling of awe and inspiration you get from the olympic runners? That’s what you bring to so many of us casual runners. What an incredible experience, thank you for sharing it with us!


Amazing!! Congratulations on a really great race! And a really great re-cap. Thank you!
It sounds like this entire trip was just perfect for all of you. Keep enjoying and safe travels home.


I love the race recaps! They are some of my favorite posts. Well I love every post, but these get me excited to dream about what goals I have and actually accomplish them! Makes me always start looking for a marathon to run…



Congratulations Janae!!! So amazing and lovely that you made a fun trip out of the marathon too.


That is incredible you were able to sub 3 especially after traveling!

I prefer rolling courses. Nothing like working your tail off on an uphill and coasting the downhill!

My favorite race doesn’t exist anymore……..it happened for 6 years and I ran every one of them, but after the race director retired they never brought it back. It was originally called the Franklin half marathon, but it was in Leipers Fork, an unincorporated town outside of Franklin, so they later changed it to the Hillbilly half (it is Tennessee, after all!)
It was in June and it’s the South…………so imagine 80 degrees at the start, almost 100% humidity, sweating before you start running………….I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT! There are massive hills on the course…..it goes thru rolling farmlands, which is basically what Leipers Fork is……….farms & country music stars’ homes. You can see horses and cattle (even some longhorns) and there’s an alpaca farm, too! Afterwards you got free peaches and a band played and it was just the best. I miss it!


Congratulations!!! Sounds like an amazing experience.

I prefer rolling races. I did a flat race last year and that made me realize I like the difference in elevation, it challenges and distracts me!


What an amazing race/birthday experience. Sounds like such a dream but actual reality. Chicago is still my favorite marathon, so I’m team flat race.

The salt tabs are a game changer for sure. I’ll always use them.


So awesome, Janae!

Of my four marathons two were opposite extremes – one was flat and the other was a Revel with massive downhill. I really loved the Revel one! The flat one was harder than I expected because I don’t have any flat roads around me to train on.


Congrats Janae! Muy bueno indeed! Now we can use your story as an inspiration just like you did with the Olympic runners. Enjoy whatever time you have left in Spain & safe travels!


Wow! You are truly amazing Janae
An absolute inspiration. Come to England to run London!!
I would love to cheer you on 🥰


This has been my favorite post of yours so far!!! So many takeaways, inspiration and joy! I almost got got a little emotional. It is so true, we can be both Mothers and have dreams. We can become so self aware, and we harness it becomes our super power! It looks like, in this moment you had it all. Couldn’t be happier for you, as I have followed your whole prep and build. You are truly amazing. Thank you for sharing this with us.


Wow Janae! What an amazing experience! And how the heck does Andrew manage to get to five different spots on the course with four kiddos?! That’s incredible!!


Wow, what a fantastic race you had. You finished with an amazing time, you must be so proud. I really hope you get to do more international marathons in the future. What a great way to come and enjoy and learn about a different culture and see the beautiful sights of the city.
Thank you for being so motivational and inspiring. I had given up on running about a decade ago due to some mental health struggles I was dealing with. I’m turning 34 next week and I’ve finally started getting back in to running and it’s been so good to introduce it back in to my routine. I don’t know if I’ll ever do a marathon again (it was super rough on my knees), but I think half marathons will be in my future.
Have a lovely rest of your trip and safe travels home when the time comes.


So Exciting!! Your hair looks great and comfortable, too! It was so warm yesterday-we went to Valencia for the weekend and it got hot in the late morning for sure.

Shoe and outfit spying at international races is the best. There’s definitely a difference in what europeans wear to race in vs Americans. Did you get a post race food bag? I think it’s great your kids had fun-I’m sure they were entertained by the crowds and the liveliness of the Spanish culture. I’m sure they’ll scoff at a Costco churro forever now, haha!!! Or ask for chocolate to dip!

Huge congrats on your race! Sorry about the leg cramps, that must have been a bit nerve wracking.




This is tremendous, Janae!! I am getting ready to run Boston again this year – first time I’ve run it since the bombing in 2013, and it will be on my birthday. Reading your beautiful post is inspiration for me.


You are amazing!! 20 marathons and finishing in under 3 hours – WOW!! You are an inspiration. Can you share the podcasts with Deena you listened to the morning of the race? Thank you!!


What salt tabs do you use ? Please :)) and thank you


Wow wow wow, Janae, this is so amazing! So fun that the kids got to see this (Andrew is a spectating hero). I love that detail about the Euro watches beeping at the K’s and Americans’ at the mile markers. I think these endorphins are going to get you through the travel home and jet lag!


What a fabulous recap Janae! As usual, you inspire me with your dedication and bravery. Can’t wait to hear about the rest of your trip.


Sounds like an amazing experience. You should come and do the Cape Town marathon sometime. Gorgeous scenery, sea level ha. Long trip here but…the USD / ZAR exchange rate (USD 1 / ZAR 19) is seriously in your favour and you’ll have a great trip.


Congratulations, Janae! I love it when everything falls into place for a race, and how fun for that to happen at a destination race with your family cheering you on!


Congratulations Janae!!! I loved experiencing this trip vicariously through you! It brings me such joy to watch someone visit places that I love for the first time. I’m so happy that you were able to combine Madrid and Sevilla. I got engaged in Madrid in one of those rowboats in Retiro Park, so it was so fun to see you and the kids in a boat :) And I studied abroad in Sevilla 15 years ago! It’s like this trip was tailor-made for me! And now I really, really want to run the Sevilla Marathon! Haha

I love an international race. My first marathon was the Dublin Marathon 10 years ago and that’s still my favorite! So there’s an international marathon to add to your list. But actually, you and Mitch and the others should just go to all the City Sightseeing Marathon Challenges and be unofficial members of the team ;)


Congratulations Janae, you did an amazing job especially with kids and travel included. I love reading your running recaps. Dublin is a fantastic marathon, the crowds are just unreal 🙌🏻


I love this for you so much! It makes me want to do an international race but also makes me very excited for my upcoming marathons!

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