Category: Training Plan

A whole lotta ughs …

The past couple weeks have been tough. Heck, this past month has been tough on me. I’m not using it as an excuse. But, I’d sure like a break or two once in a while.

I’ve been trying to get myself into a groove with my running and fitness and it just hasn’t materialized the way I envisioned it. Granted, I did meet my sub-three time goal a couple weekends ago during the Emigration Canyon Half Marathon. But, that’s about the only success I feel like I’ve truly met.

I’ve been dealing with bad backs, sprained ankles and this past week — a root canal. An expected root canal. My tooth started hurting during my race last weekend and then by Monday morning it was throbbing in pain.

I couldn’t go to my regular dentist, because this was the same tooth that they couldn’t get numb. So they referred me to an endodontist so they could knock me out to do it. And, that wasn’t cheap. But, that’s a whole other story for another day.

I finally got my root canal yesterday — and it really just killed my week.

But, despite all the road blocks, I’ve been trying to keep on track, even if my runs are short and my workouts shorter. And, for the most part — it’s working. I’ve lost about 10lbs. this past month. A lot of that has to do with my diet. So, that’s progress.

I thought of mixing up my diet and routine again, but I think I am going to stick with what I planned this past month. One, because I wasn’t able to get into a good groove or it and, two, I think I can see bigger improvements with a better focus. I’d really like to lose about 30lbs. and I feel like this is a good road. Especially for my thyroid.

I’m going to get a good run in tonight before my race this weekend out in Magna. I’m hoping for a sub-three. But, I’m not sure if I want to push it TOO hard since I’ve got my 50K coming up in the next couple of weeks. But, honestly, I think I’ll be fine. I think the variables that will determine my result really will be my ankle and back.

The focus right now is all on my 50K on the 28th of this month. I am a bit worried about it with my current mileage the past couple of weeks. But, honestly, I know I’ll be fine. The race director knows I’ll be a bit slower — 10 hours or so. It’ll be fun and that’s my only goal (besides finishing).

Plus, the 50K will be good training for my upcoming marathons in Ogden and Utah Valley. Along with my Bear Lake Trifecta races. I’m going to have a crazy spring and early summer schedule, so kick starting it with a 50K is an usual and — I think — good way to launch my schedule.

I won’t lie — I do worry about my back and ankle a bit. But, honestly, I think I’ve cared and rested both well enough that they shouldn’t be a factor. But, it’ll be on my mind for sure — I just don’t want to downgrade from the 26.2 to 13.1 if I can avoid it. But, that’s my last resort and something I don’t really want to entertain right now.

Anyways — I’m focusing on Saltair right now and focusing on getting my groove and consistency back. I just want to pull some big weight-loss numbers in the next month so I can go into marathon season lighter on my feet.

At least I know I’m on the right track.

More miles going around in circles …

I’m kinda ready for this winter thing to pass. Seriously. Being regulated to treadmill and indoor track running is starting to make me slightly nutty.

Well, okay, that wasn’t what made me nutty. And, that’s a whole post for another day. There’s simply no time to explain that all today.

Anywho … I’m just ready for spring. I don’t run outside in the snow or in below freezing temperatures — there’s too much risk for me to biff it (which I am known to do). My body really doesn’t do well in the cold anyways — so staying inside is best for me. For now. But, I am really itching for some spring weather.

Since last weekend’s long treadmill run was an emotional disaster for me. I decided the treadmill was out for my long run. I’ve survived a few two miles run. But, I just don’t feel like I have 15, 10 or 5 miles on the treadmill in me.

I just don’t.

I didn’t have a specific distance or time goal for me this weekend. Should I have? Good question. But, since race day is about three weeks away, I knew I needed somewhere around 10-20 miles. But, after already have a number of 20 and 15 mile long runs — I felt like I could afford a long distance run based on feel.

Since I was anticipating the first weekend in February to be rather cold and snowy — I decided to run at the Olympic Oval again. Running the Oval can be rather monotonous, but I actually really like it during the winter. You can lose yourself in the laps and just run. Much, much easier than running on the treadmill.

I really feel like I have to work to distract myself on a treadmill. On a track you’re actually going somewhere — granted in circles — but you are going somewhere. Plus, if you’re running with other people you’ve got actual conversation — which is the key to surviving track running.

A photo posted by (phat) josh (@fit.phat) on

Anywho … a number of running friends and I showed up at the Olympic Oval at 6am to run the track. The track was open from 6-10am in the morning because there was a track meet from 10am-1pm. Knowing this kind of ruled out a 20 mile run for me. But, I knew in the four hours or so I could knock out where between 13-15 miles.

So that was kind of the goal.

I wasn’t worried much about time or distance. Like all of my ultrarunning — I just wanted to do my best and focus on effectively using the time on my feet to it’s best use. So I loaded up my Spotify playlist with my music and just decided to go for it.

The track was rather busy, besides being joined in the morning with Robert Merriman, Jimbo, Karen, Tine and others — there was a big ROTC training or testing going on as well. A good hundred or so cadets were on the track doing a mile and high testing. I wasn’t envious. It really reminded me of my mile and a half training in Junior High.

Not fun.

But, I had good conversation throughout the four hours. I spent a few laps with everyone and it was just fun to catch with them. It really made the time go by faster than usual.

I ended up cranking out 13 miles in three and a half hours. I felt good throughout the run. I felt stronger than my last run there. And, I think part of that is my diet. I have felt quite the difference the past couple of weeks. Especially this past week as I eliminated a few extra foods. But, I will post more about that later this week.

Anyways — I have the Sweetheart Days 5K next Saturday. I am running that with my niece. I am pretty excited to run it with her. This will be our second 5K since October. I might run 3-5 miles more at an easy pace to amp the miles up. But, we’ll see — I am hoping the weather is good so I can just do those miles outside. And, if that’s the case — SCORE!

But, with the Jackpot Running Festival in a couple of weeks I am just focusing on tapering a bit and just focusing on my workouts and diet. Since it is a timed race I am not worried about finishing, but I would like to run at least 35-40 miles in the allotted 12 hours. And, like my diet, more on all of that later this week — maybe even next week?

I am just getting excited to run and get into the swing of my spring races. It should (and by should, I mean it will) be a lot of fun.


So, um, my 5 year old niece adults better than me. #calliekoko #adultchild

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on


RUNNING MILES

81.0 miles

RACE MILES

13.1 miles

WALKING MILES

89.47 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

183.57 miles


Jackpot Running Festival

As I mentioned above my current training is pointing toward the Jackpot Running Festival in Las Vegas over President’s Day weekend. I am being joined by Jill for an epic ultra adventure. I seriously, I can’t wait.

This is a looped course. It’s a 2.38 mile loop around Railroad Lake — just outside of Henderson. Both Jill and I are signed up for the 12 hour race — meaning we have 12 hours to run as many miles as we want/can. Our goal is to not just run an ultra, but we want to get at least 35 miles in. I’d like to see if I could push 40 miles. But, we’ll see about that.

Anyways — we got an email this past week from the race with a video of the 2.38 looped course. It’s not the sexiest video out there on YouTube, but it got me really excited for the run. I have no doubt I will get to know the course quite intimately.

VEGAS OR BUST, BABY!


A photo posted by The Runcast (@theruncast) on

Focusing on the road ahead …

It’s been a funny week. My mileage wasn’t as it ought to have been. But, I kinda expected that. Since I started working with Runtastic Events that’s kind of expected on race weeks. I had this idea about running 4-5 miles after I got home from the race on Saturday — but, yeah, no.

Too tired.

But, it wasn’t that bad of a week. I got a few really KILLER workouts in that made up for some of my missed runs. I have to remember that weight and core training are just as important as time on my feet. And, that was this past week’s focus.

I even got in a church ball basketball game in. Which I won’t lie — shouldn’t have done right after doing legs. I was pretty dead trying to run from one side of the court to the other. The only thing I was good for was high screens and horrible looking three pointers. But, we’ll talk about my lack of talent on the court later.

This week, I am picking up the mileage a bit more with a long run on Saturday. I should shoot for 6-8 miles. I am sure where I am going to run though? It might be outside depending on the weather or on the treadmill or possibly around Liberty Park? I really don’t want to run outside if it is going to be freezing. I don’t do well in the cold — but if it’s manageable I’d really like to run Liberty Park?

Anyone else game?

Anyways — I have less than a month until my ultra in Vegas. I am getting excited. I have one more 20 miler to go and then tapering a bit before race day. I really don’t have a game plan for my ultra — yet. I do want to run at least 35-40 miles in the 12 hours. I know I’ll probably start off slow — and since it’s an ultra, I get to have my Mt. Dew!

I am really excited about that.

As you might remember, I broke my vow of carbonation celibacy in November while running the Antelope Island 50K. It had nearly been four years since I had Mt. Dew — and well I had some at mile 13, 21 and 27 of my race. It literally saved my life.

So, I made an exception to the rule. If I am running an ultra or anything OVER 30 miles then I get to drink Mt. Dew during the race. Not before — or after. Just during. This was I won’t go back to my ungodly consumption of the carbonation concoction.

Anyways — outside of ultras, I am still soda free.

So, the focus this week is mileage!

VEGAS OR BUST, BABY!


The Runcast is BACK! We welcome Nick Bernard as one of the new co-hosts of the show! We excuse Jorge as he’s spending the day in Evanston rolling burritos at Costa Vida. We all want burritos.

Jimbo shares some REALLY, REALLY big news — and Josher shares his spring race schedule, which includes a number of ultra races. And, we all talk about our 2017 running goals.

This is just a sampling of what’s new on The Runcast!

>>> LISTEN HERE


RUNNING MILES

40.00 miles

RACE MILES

13.1 miles

WALKING MILES

54.61 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

107.71 miles


A photo posted by The Runcast (@theruncast) on

Running around in circles — with a bunch of my friends

After a week of being sick and feeling like crap — I was looking forward to this past Saturday. I needed this run. I needed these miles. I felt like a bum the whole week, so I needed a little redemption — and I feel like I got it.

A couple weeks ago after running the Resolution Run, Jill and I decided that we needed another indoor run. Mainly for two reasons — one, it was inside away from the snow — and, two, it was primo training for the Jackpot Running Festival — which is a looped course. While miles are important to the training, what kind of miles are of even more importance. And track training miles are just perfect for this kind of race.

I won’t lie — track miles, just like treadmill miles, don’t thrill me much. I would much rather be running down a canyon or along some trail. But, during the winter you won’t often (if ever) find me outside in the cold doing looooong miles. Last week’s half marathon nearly killed me and I just don’t find running in the cold “FUN” — I just don’t.

Plus, I’ve fallen on the ice and snow too many times to know that me, my running shoes and the outside aren’t a recipe for success, fun or productivity. So the treadmill and/or indoor track are my ‘go to’s’ for running in the winter. Plus, I can watch Netflix while running on the treadmill — so there’s that.

Anyways — enough about my hatred of winter running.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Knowing I had some long miles to do this week, Jill and I decided to run the Utah Olympic Oval. So, we decided to invite a bunch of our running friends (to make it more bearable) and just crank out the miles.

I wanted to crank out 20-25 miles for the day, but I wasn’t sure what my body was capable of after a week of being sick. But, my ultra training isn’t about the miles — it’s more about time on my feet. I’m never going to win an ultra race or even place — so why worry so much about pace and miles? Especially, when my goal is to simply just finish?

So my focus in training has been time on my feet.

There could be arguments of the contrary, but I figured it’s gotten me where I want to go — it’s working just fine. Especially considering that I cut like a half hour off my 50K time at the Antelope Island 50K from 2015 to 2016.

I didn’t know how long I was going to be on my feet on Saturday, but I knew I wanted to be on my feet for at least six hours and run at least 20 miles. So, I decided to get to the Oval when it opened the track at 6am, so I could be done around noon. The idea was to get six hours of running in or until I got to 20 miles.

I didn’t get running until 6:15am after prepping myself up. I started off a bit apprehensively, because I forgot two of the most important things to my running — my surgical tape for my “moobs” and my BodyGlide for my thighs. I knew I was going to be in trouble, because chaffing is not kind to me. And, it wasn’t once again on Saturday — especially when I hopped in the shower.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

As I started running around the track some of my friends started joining me and the others on the track — Robert, Mary, Susette, Brain, the Gabicas and so forth. It started to turn into one big party. My favorite kind of running.

I ran a few laps with Robert — and talked about his ultra training. He’s running his first 100 miler in March on Antelope Island. A distance that amazes and frightens me. As daunting as my 50 miler was for me, I can’t imagine doubling that distance, because it’s not simply like you’re doubling your efforts in training, running and prep.

I also took a number of laps with Jill and then Susette as she was pushing Jill’s kids in a running stroller. It was fun to catch up with Susette. We’ve been friends for almost five years now, but our running kind of split after she started running more and more ultras — including 100 milers.

Then around 9-9:30, Jim joined in on the fun and did most of the last of the laps with me. I was glad to have Jim there, because my legs were starting to feel pretty heavy. The first three hours of running I was doing 2:1 (running: walking) sets. I felt good for the most of it, but honestly, I should have do 2:1, 1:1, 2:1, 1:1, etc., etc., etc. sets like I had at the Resolution Run a few weeks before. I came out too fast and strong and it started wearing me out earlier than I wanted.

The last three hours were pretty tough, but I knew I could fight through it. My legs were feeling heavy and then I started feeling my chaffed thighs cheering — and killing — me on. But, I knew I could and would do this. It really was just a matter of mind over matter. That’s all ultrarunning is, is just training your mind to be tougher than your legs.

A photo posted by (phat) josh (@fit.phat) on

Having Jim there was great, because we can talk — and do talk — about anything. That’s one of the reasons why he is a co-host on The Runcast. We talked about everything from his new Hoka OneOne shoes, the Los Angeles Chargers, how much I hate the LA Dodgers, Jim’s sexy radio voice and how much we want to learn how to ride a Zamboni.

His divergent presence was a godsend.

As I approached the six hour mark I wasn’t at my 20 miles yet. I was about two miles or less from the mark. I was tempted to almost call it good, but I couldn’t do it. Most of the other runners were gone — including Jill and Susette. Robert was still there but stayed to take pictures and get a few last laps around the track. So, it was just me and Jim.

But, I kept going. I had to get that 20.

So I cranked them out.

It wasn’t pretty, but it took me about another 20-25 minutes, but I cranked them out. And, before I knew it. I was done.

20 miles. Done.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

After such a crappy week of feeling like crap, I felt extremely happy to be done with the miles. The feet were sore, my thighs and nipples were in agony and my legs were achy, but I did it. And, that pride makes up for all of that pain. Especially knowing that I was one week closer to Jackpot. And, that’s what counts.

I have one more six hour run to do on February 4th and once again — I’ll be back at the Oval with Jill. And, of course, friends are invited as well. I even started a Facebook event for the occasion. And, if you’re wondering — yes, you’re invited. Just RSVP or plan on coming! I’d love the company.

One more month until Jackpot! WOOHOO!



RUNNING MILES

32.00 miles

RACE MILES

13.1 miles

WALKING MILES

34.62 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

79.22 miles



A photo posted by The Runcast (@theruncast) on

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?

How Joshua is getting his groove back …

First off, I’m no Stella. Thank goodness. I’d make a horrible woman. But, that’s a post for another day. But, after a month from my last race — it’s time to get my groove back.

As I have posted before — I took a couple of weeks off from running. Justifiably so. I ran a lot of miles between mid-August to early November. A couple of 20 milers, a handful of half marathons, three marathons, a 50 miler and then my 50K — my last race.

I was burnt out. I was tired. I was sick of running (GASP! — hey, I’ll admit it when it happens). So I took some time off. Focused on weight and strength training and didn’t worry about my mileage. At all. I was a nice running sabbatical.

But, after Thanksgiving and a stupid cold — I’m ready to get my groove back. I’m ready to get into a stricter routine than what I’ve been holding myself to last month (or not holding myself to). I’m really getting excited about my upcoming running year and as much as I could justify waiting to get the groove back after the first of the year — I’m refusing to play that game.

So the groove comes back now.

The groove is coming back now for a number of reasons. One, because now is the best time to start any new adventure/goal/plan. And, two, I’ve got nothing better to do with my life.

Okay, I lied about that last one. I’ve got plenty to do this month — and that’s why I’ve got to keep myself in line and disciplined. It’s so easy to let yourself go — with exercise, diet and motivation. We’ve all been there.

To help with that a friend of mine and I are working on keeping each other on track. We’re committing to at least two miles on the treadmill and then a new exercise to do each day.

For me personally, besides holding myself to that standard with my friend, I am planning on making the goal of walking on the treadmill any time I’m watching TV. I’m doing this to stay active, but it’s also great ultra training. Great, great, great ultra training — it’s time on my feet.

And, I’ll be doing a few 50Ks earlier in the year so I’ll need that time and training. Nothing prepares you for hours upon hours of endless ultrarunning like hours upon hours of endless treadmill running. I’ll be going to more detail about my training plan later this month — but, I’m not an outside runner during the week (mainly because I’m home only when it’s dark) so I have to rely on the treadmill for my miles.

But, I feel motivated. I feel excited. I am ready to get my groove back. To work on my mojo and get fitter than I was last year so my body can build the stamina it needs to make 2017 a great year.

Go, fight, win!

The accidental marathon …

Um, I’m an idiot. And, I mean that in the nicest way possible. But, really, I am.

Case in point.

A number of races opened their registration this week and in the process of registering for a couple of key ones — namely the Ogden Half Marathon. I did something really, really, really stupid. I accidentally signed up for the FULL marathon and not the HALF marathon.

I’ve done the Ogden Marathon before — way back in 2014 when I ran with my friend Becky during her first marathon. But, besides that year I have ran the Ogden Half Marathon every year since 2012. It’s one of my favorite races — great course, organization, volunteers, etc., etc., etc. But, I just had no intention of running the marathon in 2017.

Well, any marathon in 2017.

I discovered my gaff looking on my emailed receipt. Which automatically pitted my stomach, because there are no refunds, race switches or “take backs” for the Ogden races. I can transfer to someone else for $20-$25 — but, for the most part — I am stuck with this registration.

Luckily, I found out that I could switch my distance to the half marathon, but I don’t get a refund of the difference between the two races. Which is kinda lame, but not bad at this point of registration (I’d be out $10).

But, when I started the process of switching to the half marathon — I just couldn’t do it. At least not now. The thought of doing it seemed ridiculous, but a part of me nagged back and told me just to do it. Then logic started kicking in — and no logic wasn’t telling me to switch — but, logic rationalized with me that this would be a great way to stay motivated during the winter months.

Which is a valid point. That was one of my reasons for signing up in 2014. It’s very motivating to keep going to the gym and getting your miles in when you don’t feel like it, but knowing you’ve got 26.2 to run in a few weeks.

So, I just can’t. I can’t. I can’t switch to the intended 13.1 miles.

I am not sure if this is marathon brain thanks to the weekend’s St. George Marathon or just another bout of illogical runners logic? Either way, I’m going to sit on this for a bit. I figure if I do change my mind I can switch down to the half marathon or sell my bib to someone else. But, will that happen? Probably not. I’m kind of liking this idea of using the marathon as motivation to train during the winter months.

I haven’t started looking at a training plan. I am sure there will have to be some amended weekends in April since that’s my busiest non-running month with PrepperCon, etc. But, I am sure I’ll have no problem figuring that all out. As long as I get in one or two 20 milers I should be good.

Should.

But, I have to laugh, because I am pretty sure I signed up for the marathon as a Clydesdale with an expected finish time of 2:30 hours. I’m not sure if I want to change that? Maybe I’ll get some kind of elite benefits? Or maybe I’ll just feel like a Clydesdale masquerading as a show pony? Either way — it made me laugh quite heartily.

Maybe this is a blessing in disguise? Maybe this is what I need for my winter training to better prepare me for a summer of half marathons? Not sure? But, whatever the case I am preparing myself to prepare myself for another marathon — marathon #11.

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