Category: New Years

I am soooooo close to my goal …

Wow. After this past weekend’s race — I realized that I am only 19 races away from my goal! NINETEEN! I’m in the TEENS! Time flies so fast. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been doing this now for over six years.

But, it’s also hard to believe that I am reaching this 10 year goal — three years early! Who would have thought? Who would have imagined the experiences I’ve had, races I’ve run and people I’ve met over the past years? I feel extremely blessed being able to do what I love and with people that I admire, look up to and gain inspiration from nearly daily.

Sometimes when I think and plan for the end of this 180 race goal — I have to remember that it’s not the end of running. Because it won’t be. I’ll keep doing it. I might be a bit more deliberate here and there as I shift focus, but I’ll still be running to my heart’s content.

But, as I look at the remaining races toward my goal, I’m getting excited. Many are races I’ve run numerous times, some a couple times a while ago and even a couple that I’ve never done. And, then of course there’s the Jackpot Running Festival where I am attempting 100 miles.

I am excitedly nervous about that race. I know I can do it. I know I will do it. And, despite the crappy year I’ve had with injuries and my health — I know it’s doable. I will be ready come February.

So there’s lots of running ahead before I reach the finish line at the Handcart Days Half Marathon next July — which I am looking forward to running! And, as you can see I am trying to be more deliberate with my running, especially after Jackpot. I am running any races 13.1 or longer on back to back weekends — well, except for Provo City and Vigor Big Cottonwood — but, I am planning on sweeping Provo City again, so I’m not really counting it.

But, I am planning on scaling back the races, not just to hit the 180th race in July, but to also get faster. I don’t expect to PR next year (though that’d be nice), but I do want to get back into the 2:20-2:30 range by the end of the year with the help of continued health and some specific coaching.

I am not sure exactly what my race season will look like after my 180th race, but I’d like to keep to two long races a month for as long as I can keep that up — and preferably a road and trail race.

I have some time to figure that all out. But, for now the focus is really Jackpot in February while also focusing on getting myself to number 180 next July.

Here’s my remaining planned schedule …


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This should be my 2017 race schedule …

Okay, I think I’ve got my complete 2017 race schedule figured out.

I think.

Which is a definite maybe.

But, let me explain it a little bit. I have a race each month except December. I might add a race in December, but I am not planning on it. It’s a good rest month after a long year of running.

My busiest month is June. I have seven races planned for the month. Yes, seven. I have Ragnar during the first weekend, the Utah Valley Marathon on the 10th, the Bear Lake Trifecta (three half marathons in three days) the following week and then the Utah Midnight Run (Friday night) and AF Canyon Race Against Cancer (Saturday morning) the following weekend.

I have three total back-to-back races planned. My first being the Salt Flats 50K (April 28) and Tulip Festival (April 29), Utah Midnight Run (June 23) and AF Canyon Race Against Cancer (June 24) and then the Utah Midnight Run (July 7) and Hobbler Half (July 8).

The biggest of those back-to-backs the April one with my 50K and half marathon. Not sure how that’s going to go, but I am betting I’ll walk a lot of the Tulip Festival Half. A lot.

In total I have 32 races planned — 23 half marathons, 5 marathons, 2 ultra marathons, a 25K and the Ragnar Relay. This includes one indoor race, 5 trail races and the rest road races.

Lots of running.

And, if you’re trying to estimate miles — that’s about 525-530 miles. Just in racing miles.

So, yeah — it’s going to be a big mileage year.

Anyways here is my schedule … what’s on your schedule?

RACE #138: New Year’s Half Marathon

The past week or so I have been battling a bug of some sorts. It started right before New Year’s Eve and it’s just kind of “been there” the past week or so. I haven’t been too worried about, because it’s just been a cough.

But. I’ve been monitoring it because I really, really, really didn’t want to miss this race. Especially since I decided not to run the St. George Half Marathon. I didn’t want to have to make up two races.

But, luckily, I felt okay enough to run. It’s probably a form of bronchitis — so being out in the cold actually helps suppress the cough. Knowing this, I just decided to go for it. I wasn’t expecting a PR or necessarily strong performance. I knew I could grind it out and call it good.

This was my third time running the New Year’s Half. I ran it first in 2013 when the temps were 2 degrees at gun time. So when I saw temps at 8 degrees the morning of the race — I knew it was going to be uncomfortable, but it definitely could be worse.

Plus, I felt prepared. I had layered myself with about 2-3 pairs of both shirts, pants and socks — not to forget my jacket, sock monkey hat and gloves. Was this enough? Probably not. But, being a slower runner I knew I had to give myself more layers than most faster runners.

Knowing I was one of the slower runners I decided to start at the 7:15am gun time instead of the usual 8am. Not just to get done sooner, but in hopes to get back to the reception center before all of the chili was gone (priorities here folks). So I started off with a handful of other runners and friends — namely Cevan Skinner and the Henrys.

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As soon as the crowd dispersed Tammy Henry and I were pretty much left together with a couple other runners yo-yo’ing ahead and behind us. We stuck around together for the first seven miles and avoided going the wrong way a couple times (thanks to the vigilant eyes of the other runners).

I’ve only gotten lost once during a race — and that was this past July when I took a wrong turn and ended up running past a naked homeless guy — twice — to get back on the course. So with that seared in my brain, I wanted to avoid it as much as possible. Not that I was expecting to run into a naked homeless man on the Murdock Trail in the middle of winter — but this was Utah County and I’ve seen crazier.

After Tammy and I parted ways after seven miles I knew within the next two miles the course was going to leave the Murdock Trail. So I kept my eyes out for the signs. I wasn’t too worried about the signs as I was about the snow and ice on the trail. I really didn’t want to biff it. I couldn’t afford an injury, especially with a few ultra runs coming up in the next couple of months.

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Focusing on the snow and ice patches as I ran — I did what I didn’t want to do — I ran past the race signs signaling me to turn. And, of course I was oblivious and kept running happily along.

About a mile from the turn off I kind of stopped and wondering where I was going. As I looked around I saw the Timp Temple in the distance and knew I needed to get back around there, but this felt out of the way, especially being at 11 miles.

So, I stopped and whipped out my phone to compare the race map with my phone map — and I was off. I knew it. I just kind of laughed at myself and headed back to where I needed to be.

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By the time I got back to the turn off I saw a couple of runners and sheepishly got behind them exclaiming my blunder. By the time I got on the road again I was already at 12 miles on my watch — I hadn’t even reach mile 10 of the race yet. And, I just kind of dreaded the next three miles, because I wasn’t feeling well. I was colder than I should have been and just needed some fuel.

There was a gas station ahead of me and decided I’d go in there to fuel up and get warm. But, before I got to the station a runner who finished already offered me a ride back to the reception center. I was going to decline, but the more I thought about it and how I was feeling — I knew I wasn’t going to last 15 miles in this weather. It was just too much for me.

So I hopped in the car.

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Once I got the reception center I hurried and got myself warm, got some chili and visited with friends for a while. I even downed a couple of bananas (that’s 23 for the year so far — if you’re wondering). I still had a mile to run — which I finished — so I could justly call this a half marathon.

My time wasn’t anytime to call home about — but 3:22 in that weather (including my last mile) and getting myself lost and all — I am okay with the time. If anything it’s good ultra training for time on my feet. But, I just never want to run in this kind of weather again. It was tough — mentally and physically.

But, I am glad that I did it.

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I am excited for the races ahead of me. Especially my next race the Jackpot Running Festival happening in Las Vegas in February. I am doing the 12 hour run and hoping for 35 miles plus. I’ll blog more all about that.

But, for now, I am just going to focus on warming up and recovering from this cough. It never bothered me during the run, but once I got home and warm it’s been a beast. But, ’tis the season, I guess?



DAY 005/365 (Thursday, January 5, 2017): I FOUND IT! I’ve been on a #StarWars kick of late. I’ve rewatched all of the movies in the past couple weeks (that’s what happens when you have 11 days off work). Return of the #Jedi is still my favorite. Probably because I kinda remember it as a kid. Namely the characters like #Jabba and the Ewoks (there’s a band name). But, when I was a kid one of my EARLIEST memories was going to the #IceCapades at the old Salt Palace with my aunt and siblings to watch the #Ewoks on Ice. I remember being fascinated by the Ewoks and whole show. And, naturally had to have a souvenir of the occasion. This pennant has been on my mind for a while namely because of the memory and the association it also has with my late Aunt. I’m impressed at its’ condition. Though I probably will never sell it, I am kinda curious what it would fetch? Hmmm #day5 #january #2017 #365project #365days #photochallenge

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RACE #138: New Year’s Half Marathon (3:22:00), January 7, 2017. The race didn’t turn out exactly how I had hoped, I got my miles in and had an adventure and a half doing it. To save you the whole story, here is an abridged version. Ran in about 8 degree weather, got two miles off course, got a ride back to the start realizing I’d be doing 15.5 miles total if I kept course and then ran the remaining mile later. Sigh. It sounds more chaotic than it really was. I had a lot of fun running with Tammy for the first 7 miles. I ran solo the rest of the way, but probably shouldn’t have — considering I got lost. But, it was a good challenge. I’m looking forward to some warm miles on the treadmill and Olympic Oval next week. Now all I want to do is curl up my a space heater with an electric blanket while drinking got chocolate and dreaming of the Sahara Desert. ⛄️❄️⛄️❄️⛄️ #race138 #newyearshalf #running @joshruns180 @josherwalla @fit.phat

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RUNNING MILES

10.00 miles

RACE MILES

13.1 miles

WALKING MILES

17.03 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

40.13 miles



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Aligning my intentions with action

A couple years ago I kinda stopped doing New Year’s resolutions. Some stuck — I mean, heck, I went nearly four years without a drop of soda and I’ve counted my consumed bananas the past couple of years — but, for the most part, most New Year’s resolutions just don’t stick with me.

Why?

I think part of it is the desire to be what or who I believe I am. So, I make goals that just aren’t realistic or defined enough. I know I am not alone in this — I think we all do that. How many more people do we see at the gym in January compared to February — let alone December?

I think it’s human nature to do that. It’s a January “thing,” because January is the beginning of a new year and we all love new beginnings. How often do we begin our “new” diets in January? Or the start of the upcoming month? Or the next Monday?

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that — we all love a clean slate — but, it’s easy to get trapped into that thinking. There will always be another Monday, month or year to get back on track or follow through with your goals and resolutions.

When I started my weight-loss journey I started on a Thursday. I basically came to the realization that I had to make changes now. Not tomorrow, not next Monday, not next month or year, but — NOW. So, now, when I make new goals — fitness, spiritual, personally, etc. — I start today. Why wait?

A good friend of mine — for the sake anonymity, we’ll call him George — added to this belief of mine a couple years ago. On a road trip to St. George (to run the St. George Marathon — naturally) we talked about goals, plans and aspirations. And, I fell in love with the simplicity of his mentality and approach to his goals.

Instead of making new goals every January — he would keep his long term goals and instead focus on aligning his actions with his intentions. Sitting there in the car listening to this, it just MADE sense. My mind was officially blown.

Why make new goals — that for the most part — will be brushed aside in a couple of months, when I should be focusing on my long-term core goals. When all I have to do is take the time in January — and throughout the year — to assess whether or not my intentions are being aligned with my actions.

In the couple years of our friendship George has stressed this a lot — and it’s a great reminder to me to start taking monthly inventories of ‘where I’m at’ — instead of just in January. It becomes a mentality — a way of life.

A good example of this, is my recent diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Disease. If I don’t line up my actions with my intentions to get healthy, lose more weight and run faster — I won’t get there. Specifically, I need to line those actions up with eating foods that will help me get there and getting the needed exercise best suited for someone in my boat. Otherwise, I’ll still feel like crap and struggle to lose the weight and run stronger.

That’s the reality of it.

And, there’s no need for me to make a list of resolutions to get me there. I know what I need to do. I think we all do with our goals and resolutions — especially when it comes to eating and being healthier. But, if we simply align our actions — we’ll get there. I have no doubt about it.

We’re four days into the new year — and I am sure we all have our goals and resolutions written down for 2017. But, I would encourage you to brush them aside now (don’t wait until February or March) and write down long term goals. Write down the goals to reach the very core of who you are or want to be. Whether it’s becoming a faster runner, kinder person or more spiritually in tune. Whatever they are — make them.

And, then focus on aligning your actions with your intentions. Renew them often. Write them down on a small index card and carry it around with you. Whatever will help you be reminded to align yourself — do it.

You’ll be surprised where it will take you. Action will always be action, but if we double that with a purpose and drive or where we want to go — we’ll get there in due time. It’s a matter of work that comes with lots of ups and downs. But, if we’re true to the goals we’ve made and personalized they will be a part of who we are.

But, it takes action.

So what are your intentions for 2017 — and how are you going to get there?


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1,436 miles in 2017

Last year, I decided to go for a specific mileage based off of LIKES on a meme I made. Last year I promised three miles per LIKE and garnered some 889 ‘LIKES’ — which was WAY beyond what I expected.

Part of that was because I had a number of friends that posted the meme in a bunch of running groups. Which I guess is fair game — it just wasn’t expected. Needless to say, I fell short of the goal. Which I think I kinda expected because running 2,667 miles was overly unrealistic.

I tried to make that up by counting all of my mileage and I came within a couple hundred miles still. Still, it was a good challenge, because it was on my mind — pushing me to run and walk more. It was perfect motivation getting me trained and ready for my 50 miler.

So, despite coming up short — I wanted to do it again. So I shortened the mileage to two miles per LIKE. Even if I got the same 889 LIKES that would still be about a 1000 miles less than 2016.

So, I posted the meme last Wednesday and by Saturday night it garnered 718 LIKES. Which is 1436 miles. Still a very ambitious goal, but one I feel that is achievable and doable.

Crunching the numbers, I should have about 485-525 miles of racing. That includes anticipated 5Ks, half marathons, marathons and ultras. I don’t have my fall schedule locked down 100% so that could all change. But, I think it’s safe to say 500 miles is a good reliable number.

Then on top of that I have all of my Saturday training runs — including my 50 miler from SLC to Provo in March. I may also do another 50 miler of my own in October or November around Liberty Park — all depends if I run the Pony Express again. But, that’s all TBA.

So, that would leave me with a number of weekly runs somewhere between 2-5 miles depending on the time of the year. As well as running/training during my lunch hour — which I can do about two miles 2-3 a week.

A rough draft of that mileage would/should/will look like this …

ANTICIPATED 2017 MILES

RACE MILES — 500 miles
SATURDAY MILES — 275 miles
WEEKLY MILES — 375 miles
LUNCH HOUR MILES — 315 miles
TOTAL MILES — 1465 miles

When I crunch the numbers like that — it seems very doable. And, I like breaking it down like this, because it also encourages me to get out and be active at least a few times a week during lunch. It also makes the path to my goal more manageable and realistic when I break it down like that.

I could have more weekly miles, but that all depends on the time of the year. I am planning on 4-6 miles per week when I have a race on the weekend and then 10-12 when I do not. And, since I don’t have a lot of races in the latter part of the year — I could have more weekly miles. So I tried to balance that out on my estimations.

Anyways — the point — is to get and stay active this year. Not to mention meet my goal of 1436 miles. Something — that’s doable.

But, really, the more important goal is to reclaim my health and by focusing on minimizing the effects of my Hashimoto’s, I believe I will acheive that. Especially focusing on a balance of my running and strength training.

I am excited.

2017 is starting off with a lot of promise.


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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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The Focus on 2017 …

I love this time of the year. I specifically love the week between Christmas and New Year’s — for a number of reasons. Not only is it a time for slow work flow. But, it’s a time of reflection of the year past — and the year ahead.

Regardless of the year behind me, I always love looking ahead and planning for the year ahead of me. It’s a time of self-reflection, self-inventory and goal setting. It’s a time of optimism and excitement for me.

I just really, really love this time of the year.

So as I reflect on 2016 and look forward to 2017 — a few things come to mind. One, I’m better understanding my health. I’ve got more concrete answers and better defined solutions to help me regain some of athleticism of the past. Knowing now I have Hashimoto’s Disease is a HUGE step in the right direction.

I have felt the past couple of years that as hard as I try — my health problems have pulled me back from where I want to be. I don’t necessarily want to set new PRs or get six pack abs — I just want more stamina in my running, feel faster and be slimmer. I know those aren’t very defined goals, but not having those consistently for the past 2-3 years — I miss those feelings.

But, now knowing how to tackle those issues — I feel extremely optimistic about 2017. I feel like this is the year to get those back. And, I really do feel like this is that year. I look forward to runs down American Fork, Big Cottonwood and Little Cottonwood Canyons with the energy, stamina and speed I want to feel.

That is happening.

Of course this reality will take a lot of effort on my part. A lot of that change will be happening in the kitchen as I cut out the requisite gluten and dairy from my diet to minimize the effects of Hashimoto’s. But, that’s going to also require the effort and focus of my training as well. And, I am ready to accept that.

It’s just going to be really tough.

But, I have three main focuses in 2017 when it comes to my running and health. They are (in no particular order) …

  1. Be within 10-12 races from my 180 race goal at the end of 2017.
  2. Cut out the gluten and dairy from my diet to give my thyroid a fighting chance.
  3. Get that elusive sub-2:30 half marathon time by Revel Big Cottonwood in September.

Now, these aren’t necessarily goals. I do short-term goals year round, but I like to take the time before a new year to refocus or refine those to help meet my long term goals.

My main long-term fitness goal is to get a sub-two half marathon time. I’m not stupid nor unrealistic to think that’s going to happen this year. That’d be nice. But, there’s a few things in my way to achieving that goal.

One, I run too many races. I need to train deliberate and specifically for my goal time. Two, I still need to cut probably 20-30lbs. and strengthen my core to make the feat physically possible for me. And, three, I need to set milestone and smaller goals to get me to that goal time.

Hence those three focuses.

I feel like if I really focus on those three things I could give myself a shot at my sub-two in 2018, especially after I am done with my 180 races in July. A run down Big Cottonwood or Payson Canyon in the fall could render that goal. Or at least a shot at the goal.

Either way — I just need to be smart and deliberate about it all. And, I feel like I am moving in that right direction.

 

So, what are some of your goals or things you are looking to work on in the upcoming year?