Category: Sunday

RACE #142: Lucky 13 Half Marathon

This race was an audible. I was originally planning on running the Antelope Island Buffalo Run 25K, but due to some time sensitive family obligations on Saturday I decided to scratch the 25K for the shorter race. As hard as it was to give up a trail race, I couldn’t be gone a good chunk of the day.

So, luckily, I found the Lucky 13 Half Marathon and changed course. The race starts at Gardner Village in West Jordan and is a fairly simple out and back course along the Jordan River Parkway Trail. Joe Coles and On Hill Events do a series of races at Gardner Village and this was the first one I’ve been able to run.

The race started at 9am and packet pickup was from 7:30-8:30am so I decided to volunteer and help Joe. Doing the volunteer coordinating for Runtastic Events I like to volunteer for other races to see how they do things — from communication, assigning to certain jobs and general use.

The race was rather small — there were 200 runners. Most were running the 5K, but a good chunk ran the 10K while only 50 ran the half marathon. I don’t mind small races at all — in fact, in some situations I kind of prefer it. Especially factoring on the course. And, since we were running on the Jordan River Parkway — it was a good size.

Starting off the race I didn’t really have a game plan since I registered a couple days before. I wanted to push for a sub-three, which I felt was possible. But, honestly, didn’t know for 100% because of the back issues have been having the past three weeks. My running hasn’t been ideal and my miles lower than I would like.

But, I was going to try for it anyway.

Fighting through the crowd of runners soon thinned out as the 5K and 10K runners got to their turnarounds. I wasn’t sure if anyone was behind once it was just us half marathoners left running south on the course. But, I didn’t care. I was just focused on putting one foot in front of the other and giving it a good effort.

I was feeling pretty good during the first half of the race. There was a bit of a headwind, but nothing like two weeks ago at the March Madness Half. I figured once I turned around I’d get a nice tailwind — which would help PUSH me a bit to my sub-three time goal.

Once I got to the turnaround Steven MacKay, a fellow runner from Run4fun, was directing us to make sure we made the turnaround. Once I started heading northward I noticed I was the last runner. But, I wasn’t completely isolated, there were a couple of runners just ahead of me.

I was a few hundred yards behind the runner just ahead of me and I could tell he was starting to struggle around mile eight or so with frequent walk breaks. I kept focusing on him in an attempt to catch up and possibly pass him. I knew I could do it, but I just had to be smart about it.

Around this time Steven caught up with me. After his volunteer post was complete he ran the last stretch of the race to get his miles in for the day. Since there weren’t any pacers for this race Steven decided to bring us runners in — and I’m thankfully he did. The company was much appreciated.

This was the first time meeting Steven in person, but we’ve been acquainted through Run4fun and Facebook. But, our running journeys hold many similarities with our weight loss and fitness back stories and it was nice talking about that — it helped me keep distracted from the fatigue and heat.

Yes, heat.

The temperature starting the race was quite nice. It was around 55-60 degrees at 9am, but by the time I reached the last couple of miles it reached at least 70 degrees. I was baking.

I tore off my monkey hat and was nearly tempted to throw my shirt off as well — but, then I remembered there were decency laws about that. So the shirt stayed on.

But, it was hot. And, it zapped me. Completely zapped.

By this time Steven and I caught up with the runner ahead of us. Steven stayed with him while I forged ahead. We didn’t separate much the last mile or so, but I was motivated to just stay ahead. I didn’t care much if I finished last — but, I wasn’t going to do it without a fight.

Plus, I knew I was going to be cutting my time goal REALLY short. I wasn’t sure if I was going to meet it or not. But, mile 12.5 mile of a half, that feels like you’re running through an Easy Bake Oven, isn’t a good time to math. Well, there’s never a good time to do math — but, especially in THIS moment.

So, I just kept one foot in front of the other and pushed myself as much as I could. That was pretty much all I could anyways. Anything more or less felt like it would kill me.

Once I got back to Gardner Village, the course wound back to the finish line. I always get the urge to sprint at any finish line, but there wasn’t anything else in the tank. I was on empty. I crossed the finish line, got some water and an orange and just collapsed.

I was done.

Shortly after Steven and the last runner crossed the finish line as I just sat there fatigued out of mind. I was not prepared for that heat. And, those last two miles were brutal for me. But, I was done and that’s what mattered.

I checked my time and noticed I didn’t get my wanted time. I came in at 3:01:24. Obviously, not my best time. But, it was still better than my last two half marathons — so I guess that’s a win?

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While chewing on that unmet goal I was always informed that I actually PLACED in my age group. Which immediately changed my mood. My reaction was a mixture of laughing and astonishment. I’ve never placed at any race before — 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon and beyond.

Now, let’s not forget that there were 50 half marathon runners so my odds were more than above average to place. But, I run smaller races and didn’t even SNIFF the podium. Considering I am 35 — that’s a prime running age. I just always assumed that I’d place at races I’d run once I hit 70.

I don’t take the placement lately. In order to place — I still have to show up. I still have to run. And, I still have to finish the race. So, it’s not like it was just GIVEN to me. I earned it.

But, I am ready to put in some better half marathon training in the next few months. I don’t want to be stuck around this 3 hour mark much longer. I know I’ve got it in me to run faster. Much faster. And, with my health starting to get under control I know I’ll get there.

But, I have some big goals in front of me, so I am going to be pin point with my plan. And, I’ll blog more on all of that later. I am focusing on next week’s loooooooong ultra training run and then back to racing with the Emigration Canyon Half Marathon on April 1st. I won’t lie, I’m looking forward to some more downhill running.

ONWARD ‘HO!


NEXT FIVE RACES


I wish this bib meant I was eating lobster. #butnope #dentisttime

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RACE #142: Lucky 13 Half Marathon, March 18, 2017 (3:01:24) I did something for the first time EVER during this race! I placed! Yep! I made onto the podium! I came in third place for my age group! Now, before you oh and awe too much over this accomplishment … 50 people ran the half. BUT … I’ve run smaller races and didn’t even sniff the podium. It was a tough race. It got unusually hot for a March race here in Utah and my last two miles was a death shuffle … but, I made it 3:01:24 and I placed! I wish I sub-three’d, but I felt great about my effort. I’m eager to get faster and with one more 50K happening by next month it’ll slowly happen. On to the next one! Emigration Canyon or BUST! #lucky13half #race142 #running @joshruns180 @josherwalla @onhillevents

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Helping move my cousin has me in a mood for a game of Tetris™. #tetrismaster

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Weekly Review

Another tough week for me, but I got most of my mobility back with a massage and continued work on my back. I am trying to be patient so I don’t come back too fast and too strong — I am healing my back for the long term. Especially my long term goals. I am going to up my miles a bit this week capped off with a 20 or so mile run on Saturday.

Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 3.0 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 25.41 miles
TOTAL MILES — 41.51 miles
Race(s) this week — Lucky 13 Half Marathon.

March 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 20.5 miles
Race Miles — 26.2 miles
Walking Miles — 66.71 miles
TOTAL MILES — 113.41 miles
Races in March — March Madness Half and Lucky 13 Half Marathon.

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 136.65 miles
Race Miles — 96.12 miles
Walking Miles — 214.94 miles
TOTAL MILES — 447.71 miles
Races done in 2017 — New Year’s Half Marathon, Sweethearts 5K, Jackpot Running Festival, SL Tri Club Indoor Half, March Madness Half and Lucky 13 Half Marathon.



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RACE #137: New Year’s Run Resolution

Um, okay, first off — I just and I mean JUST realized that I have been calling this race the wrong name for the past six years. It’s not the New Year’s Run Resolution — it’s the New Year’s Revolution Run. I would fix all of my graphics (including the ones in this post), but that’s too much effort (translation: I am too lazy).

So let’s pretend that this six year mistake was Extra Mile Racing’s problem, okay?

As I stated above — this is the sixth REVOLUTION RUN that I have run. And, I think that each one of them? When I ran it on New Year’s Eve in 2011 I didn’t know ANYONE at the race. I mean nobody. It was only my 5th half marathon so I was very much a rookie to the whole running scene.

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That race report was pretty bleak. I came, I ran and then I went home. That was about it. I didn’t even take any pictures when I was there. Not even a selfie. Shocking, huh?

But, it’s funny how time will all change that. I am not at 137 races and I look forward to this race each year, because it’s nothing but a huge party with friends. I am kinda surprised that I went back the next year, but for a fun holiday tradition — I love it.

The race is a five-hour timed race on the track of the Olympic Oval in Kearns. Most years I just crank out a half marathon and call it good. That’s because I tend to take a number of “friend breaks” to stop and talk with friends. But, in 2015 it was because I ran with the flu (unbeknownst to me at the time).

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Needless to say, it isn’t always a 100% efforted race, because the focus has been on socializing and cranking out the needed mileage to count towards my race goal. But, this year I wanted to change that and really give a good effort.

Since Jill and I are running the 12 hour race at the Jackpot Running Festival in February, we knew we needed some good training hours and miles. So we decided to use this race as one of our training runs — to not just train for the race, but to gauge where we are in our training and to see what things we need to work on.

Our goal was to do lap intervals. A basic run/walk interval. My goal was to do 2:1 intervals in the first, third and fifth hour and then 1:1 intervals in the second and fourth hours. I didn’t want to OVER do my run, because I hadn’t had a longer run than 3.5 miles since November after my 50K. But, I felt those intervals were doable, especially preparing me for 12 hours of continuous running.

So that’s what I set out to do.

And, it was harder than I imagined. Not necessarily physically, but socially. I am such a social butterfly that it was hard for me to not to want to stop or walk so I could socialize. But, I had to constantly remind myself what my goal was and how it was going to prepare me for Jackpot.

Now, this doesn’t mean I didn’t take an extra walking lap occasionally. I very much did — but, only twice. And, when I did I made up for the running lap with an extra running lap — either running two or three continuous laps.

I felt strong throughout the run. The later miles were getting increasingly tougher and I did end up walking my last three laps, but that was because I had hit my goal of 20 miles by then. The extra laps were just bonus mileage.

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But, I was proud of myself throughout the run. I gave it good effort. I fought through a lot of fatigue and heavy legs — but, I did it. And, I really felt much stronger than I gave myself credit for. I might not have been doing tons of running since Antelope Island 50K, but between boot camp, my strength training and daily two mile runs I haven’t lost much.

That’s excites and comforts me.

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And, knowing if I am committed and true to my diet — the gluten and dairy free — I will only get stronger and faster in time. I am excited at what 2017 has in store for me. I feel optimistic. Especially having the blue print that should get me there.

Anyways — HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here’s to a new year, new goals, new aspirations, new adventures and new challenges.

2017 OR BUST, BABY!


My next race is actually — NEXT WEEK! I am running the New Year’s Half Marathon in Pleasant Grove. This will be the third time that I’ve run this race. It’s put on by Jonathan Crampton, owner of Utah Race Pacers, and a surprisingly fun race.

I say surprisingly because it’s put on in the dead of winter when temperatures are sometimes below freezing. When I ran back in 2013 the starting temperature was a balmy 2 degrees. I worn layers upon layers for that race — including my Levi’s.

I don’t have a goal — yet. Right off the bat, my goal is to not get lost, hit by a car or freeze to death. These are goals I have for most races and/or long runs. But, really, I think I just want to give it my best effort and see what happens. That’s a good goal, right?

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I think this was meant for a Kardashian? #shutupfortunecookie

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RUNNING MILES

305.8 miles

RACE MILES

420.55 miles

WALKING MILES

1526.73 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

2253.08 miles

MILES LEFT FROM GOAL

413.92 miles


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InstaReplay: Antelope Island Classic 50K

Two weeks ago after the Pony Express 50 I got the ultra bug. Don’t get me wrong, it was tough — but, the recovery felt better than expected. Namely, I wasn’t dead and my legs didn’t fall off — two of my biggest worries going into the race.

Because of this I decided to up my registration for the Antelope Island race. I initially signed up for the half marathon THINKING that was what my legs and body could only handle after my 50. But, because I felt better than expected I contacted the race director and asked to up my registration to the 50K — which he did.

Besides getting the ultra bug, I just wanted some redemption from last year’s race. It was my first ultra and it really did almost kill me. The first 14 miles were just brutal for me. So I just wanted to do better than the previous year. Simple goal.

Anyways — I won’t give you the full race recap — that’s for later this week. But, I felt like I redeemed last year’s race. I didn’t die and my legs didn’t fall off, so — SUCCESS! But, I’ll fill in the blanks later, here are my pictures from the day …

Here it goes. Race #136, ultra #3 and pretty much the last race of the year for me. Might as well go out with a bang, right? Well, okay, with at least an epic distance. The legs feel ready, the mind is gearing up for the long miles and I’m just ready to experience what’s ahead of me. That’s how I like to approach my ultras and I’m learning its great mentality for life. We’re always going to have something ahead and behind us, but while dwell on the past when you can jump forward into the unknown? If ultras have taught me anything it’s take that jump, strive for that moment and seize it. There’s no better feeling being IN the moment of life. So here goes another adventure! Packed n’ ready! ANTELOPE ISLAND OR BUST, BABY! #race136 #antelopeisland50k #ultrarunning #running @joshruns180 @fight4phat

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Dez peeps. #race136 #antelopeisland50k #ultrarunning @joshruns180 @fight4phat

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The ants go marching one by one … #race136 #antelopeisland50k #ultrarunning @joshruns180 @fight4phat

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RUNNING THOUGHTS


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InstaReplay: The Haunted Half — Provo

The race season is slowly coming to a hault — and it’s fitting that it ends with one of my favorite races. I love the Haunted Half — it’s a gorgeous race down a beautiful canyon and just a lot of fun. Once again I’ve swept the course — this was my fifth Haunted Half I’ve swept since 2014 — that includes both Provo and SLC.

And, once again, I had a blast. I was joined by Jim and Jill for the entirety of the race and for the last half of the race I helped pace my friend JessicaSue to the finish line. I paced her to the finish line of the Salt Lake last year.

I had a blast and I’ll have a full race report tomorrow or Tuesday, but first, here are all of my race pictures …

We laughed heartedly. #race135 #thehauntedhalf #running @joshruns180 @fight4phat

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HURTS. SO. GOOD. #icebath #race135 #thehauntedhalf #running #ryrpacers @joshruns180 @fight4phat

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RACE #135: The Haunted Half (Sweeper), October 29, 2016. Once again paced and swept one my favorite races! This is my fifth time sweeping a Haunted Half race. It's always an adventure and it's always a party. @jvgabica and @jimgastelum joined me for the party as they wanted to see what this sweeping gig was like. Their character and personalities were much needed as we helped motivate runners toward the finish line. The last half of the race I was able to run with @back_the_blue. I paced her last year at the Salt Lake Haunted Half and can't begin to tell you how proud I was of her this year. She was joined by her husband and friend and she fought through a lot of cramping and pain, but SHE DID IT! She got herself to the finish line and finished her second half marathon! Being a part of moments like these and helping her along the course is why I love pacing. It gives me a complete different perspective than when I solely run for myself. #thehauntedhalf #runtasticevents #race135 #running #ryrpacers @josherwalla @fight4phat

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InstaReplay: Pony Express 50 Trail Run

It’s hard to put all of what I went through on Friday into perspective. Mainly because there was a lot that I experienced. Both of the highest of highest and the lowest of lows. It really was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done.

I am working on a more complete race report that I will post either Tuesday or Wednesday. I am taking a little bit more time on it, because it’s turned a bit more into a book than a race report. So there just seems like so much I want to cover.

Anyways, here are a few pictures I took a long the way …

Last minute stop go essentials. #ponyexpress50 #race134 #ultrarunning @joshruns180 @fight4phat

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Look who I found out on the course! #ponyexpress50 #race134 #ultrarunning @joshruns180 @fight4phat

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Private dance session, mile 30(ish). #ponyexpress50 #race134 #ultrarunning @joshruns180 @fight4phat

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I wish I could adequately describe to you this moment. This was Mile 45. I was spent — physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and everything in between. My feet were excruciating sore. Every step was like walking on pins and needles. Even when I sat down on the back bumper of the car to refuel and rest for a moment that pain stayed with me. But, here, was one of the lowest of lows I've experienced not just out on the trail, but life. I'll explain more on my blog, but I was done. I was done. I was DONE. This was taken as I decided to switch shoes to see if that would help. It didn't. But, I knew I just had to keep moving forward as painful as it might have been for me. I took two steps forward after standing up and I just started bawling. And, in that moment of despair I muttered one of the most basic and heartfelt prayers of my life. I told God I couldn't do this alone and I needed someone to be with me. I needed this pain to go away or for me to be distracted enough it wasn't my focus. I got an overwhelming rush of peace that assured me I was not running alone and that someone was on their way. It was no more than half a mile that my friend Jed hopped out of a car and asked if I needed a pacer. I almost wanted to breakdown there again because he was an answer to my prayer. He was my angel. Jed stayed with me until the end, and I couldn't have done it without him. He was my answered prayer. I'll always be grateful for this moment because it taught me so much about suffering, pain, prayer, faith and friends. #ponyexpress50 #race134 #ultrarunning @joshruns180 @fight4phat

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I PONY'D UP! Officially done. Well, I was done before I was done. But, that's what made being done done that much more special because I pushed myself past being done. Follow me? After months of training, weeks of marathoning and doing things I never imagined I'd be doing 5-6 years ago … I officially ran my first 50 miler! Is this a one and done thing for me? I can't say no, but right now it's a no. But, ask me again in a few months. I learned a lot about myself out there on the trail. I always knew I could do hard things, but I feel like I expand that limitation tenfold during the race. I learned how to process and deal with suffering. I learned that attitude can affect all of that and it's all by choice not circumstance. I learned so many life lessons out there that I've written down to share later on my blog. But, I'm done! I'm done! I'M DONE! #ponyexpress50 #race134 #ultrarunning @joshruns180 @fight4phat

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I DID IT! I DID IT! I DID IT! I'm still processing all of what I just did and most of that will come in a more detailed race report on my blog later on. But, that was one of the toughest, inspiring and most rewarding things I've ever done. The course was full of ups and downs both physically, emotionally and spiritually. If it wasn't for Tim Sedgley crewing me every 2-3 miles I would have been a deadman. And, the miles spent with dear friends Coach Blu, Jed and Jill were nothing short of divine. Gratitude for their part in this cannot be sufficiently communicated in words. They were my angels. I will cherish every moment of this race. I had some beautiful highs and some lowest of lows. And, I relished in that, because I constantly reminded myself that I CHOSE THIS! I could have done anything else with my day, but I chose to experience EVERYTHING I had ahead of me. And, I have a deeper appreciation for many things in my life because I CHOSE TO DO THIS! I am exhausted physically, mentally and spiritually, but I'm smiling. I'm proud of myself … I'm proud of my effort, I'm proud my resolve and I'm proud of every single footstep taken by everyone out there that chose to do this. I have so much more to say in much more detail. Watch for my race report. But, I did it! I DID IT! I DID IT! I DID IT! #race134 #ponyexpress50 #ultrarunning @josherwalla @joshruns180

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InstaReplay: Red Rock Relay Park City

After the St. George Marathon last weekend, I’m now on the tapering end of my training for the Pony 50 — which is happening NEXT week. I’m still more excited than scared, but ask me again next week what my emotions are heading into the race.

This past weekend I ran the Red Rock Relay in Park City with the Addict II Athlete team. I love relays. It’s a great opportunity to get to know people. And, you never know what you’re going to come learn or come away with after the race. New friendships — new resolve — new motivation … whatever it is. I love relays.

Anyways — I came with a lot more than just a 15 mile training run on Saturday and I’ll share a lot of that later this week — either tomorrow or Tuesday. So stay tuned in for my race recap. But, first … I leave you my pictures from the day …

RACE #133: Red Rock Relay Park City (15.03 miles/two legs), October 8, 2016. Very humbled to have joined “Team Addict II Athlete” for this relay. I couldn’t have asked for a more encouraging, uplifting and motivating team to run with. Whether it shouting words of encouragement as I ran or getting out to run with me during my last leg — I was touched. I’ll be sharing my story on the AIIA Podcast in the next couple of weeks. Addiction and recovery come in many different forms and I’ve had my struggles and test of faith. Needless to say, no one goes about it alone on the team and NOBODY runs alone! I felt lucky to spend those 15 miles out there around Heber Valley with the team! #redrockrelay #race133 #running #messintoamessage #eraseandreplace @redrockrelay @addicttoathlete @joshruns180 @josherwalla @fight4phat

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Very humbled to have joined “Team Addict II Athlete” for this relay. I couldn’t have asked for a more encouraging, uplifting and motivating team to run with. Whether it shouting words of encouragement as I ran or getting out to run with me during my last leg — I was touched. I’ll be sharing my story on the AIIA Podcast in the next couple of weeks. Addiction and recovery come in many different forms and I’ve had my struggles and test of faith. Needless to say, no one goes about it alone on the team and NOBODY runs alone! I felt lucky to spend those 15 miles out there around Heber Valley with the team! #redrockrelay #race133 #running #messintoamessage #eraseandreplace @redrockrelay @addicttoathlete @joshruns180 @josherwalla

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InstaReplay: St. George Marathon

I’ll get a whole St. George Marathon recap up here on the bloggy blog within the next couple of days. I’m going to first let it process for a bit. I had a blast and I hit the goals I wanted to hit during the race. Well, most of them.

Anyways — here are a few snaps from the weekend … and by a few, I mean a lot …

ST. GEEZY OR BUST, BABY! #race132 #stgeorgemarathon #running

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