Category: Provo City Half Marathon

RACE #146: Provo City Half Marathon

This past week has been a struggle — to say the least. After getting sick during the Salt Flats 50K last Friday my whole weekend and most of this past week was simply derailed. I’m still not 100%, but I am past the flu and bronchitis and I feel much, much better.

Having DNF’d the Salt Flats 50K and DNS’d the Tulip Festival Half — I was ready for a race success this weekend. Not even a success, just a race. And, this was the perfect rebound race. Especially since I was pacing the 3:35 time (basically the sweeper).

I’ve always enjoyed running the Provo City Half. It’s a fun course that starts at South Fork up Provo Canyon and then drops down to University Blvd. by way of the Provo River Trail. It’s not a super fast canyon race, but it has a good combination of downhill and nice rolling hills.

I was excited to not just run this course, but to be pacing it with my really good friend Tricia Wilkins. This shouldn’t have been our first foray into pacing. Back in 2014 we were suppose to pace the Thankful 13 together, but we got separated in the corral and lost each other. I tried to catch up as I was pushing Elsha, but we just never did.

So this race was pretty much making up for that failure.

And, it didn’t disappoint. Especially since we were also joined by Tricia’s husband Cory. It was a REAL party now!

I carpooled down from Bountiful to Provo with Carla and Reese Thorne. It was nice because I got to bypass the bus shuttle up the canyon since Reese has his cart. As much as I enjoy bus shuttles up canyons, I also like avoiding losing an extra hour of sleep — it was nice not having to leave for Provo an hour earlier.

The race start at the South Fork Park up Provo Canyon near Vivian Park — and in year’s past it’s pretty dang cold. So I always come prepared with a fairly heavy and/or layers, but when we got up the canyon I was fairly surprised how warm it was — my jacket was hardly needed. Which is good and bad — bad, meaning, it meant the valley was going to be fairly hot.

But, since I was pacing 3:35 I wasn’t too worried about the heat. Plus, I brought my backpack which still packed from the previous week’s 50K misadventure. I had some water leftover along with bacon jerky, applesauce, Swedish Fish, some Honey Stingers and a first aid kit. So, I was pretty much set for anything between an empty stomach to the apocalypse.

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After the gun sounded and we corralled everyone toward the starting line we made the decent down the canyon. I love the Vivian Park portion of the canyon, especially during the spring — not only is the canyon beautiful, but you also get some great views of Timp as well. It’s gorgeous.

We fartleked down the canyon trying to keep a good pace while trying not to frighten the people ahead of us much. As much as I love sweeping and pacing the last pacing times — I also know how much the people in the back don’t want to see you, especially early in the race. I’ve had a few run ins with runners in the past that came close to cursing me out at miles 2-3 or so. And, I don’t blame them! No one wants to be passed by the sweeper.

After our fartlek down Vivian Park the course took us down the Provo River Trail — which is even prettier than South Fork and Vivian Park. After passing Bridal Veil Falls and switching under the highway we kept the party going with dance parties (Tricia brought Bluetooth speakers), squats and plenty of laughing. It really was a party in the back.

It was a blast.

Around miles 7-8 the course dumped us onto University Blvd. toward the finish line. I was a bit worried about getting to this point, because I was expecting it to be pretty hot — since it warm up the canyon. But, I was relieved to see cloud cover as a storm was approaching Provo. It didn’t look particularly nasty — so the cloud coverage was welcomed.

As we got closer to the finish line we were joined by the Petrossi’s — Timothee and Jennifer — who planned on grabbing a Slurpee and running in with us. They are both a part of Team Addict II Athlete and it was really touching to have them run with us, because it reminded so much of last year’s Provo City Half when the team ran me in on that same home stretch — because nobody runs alone on Team AIIA.

At mile 12.5 we hopped off course monetarily and grabbed our Slurpees. Though it wasn’t scorching hot — the Slurpees were manna to my lips — and cooled me down. It was perfect. So, with our Slurpees in hand we headed toward the finish line for our victorious finish picture! And, thanks to Jorge we got some sweet photos!

But, we were done! We did it! We may of been a tad past our pace, but that didn’t matter much. We lingered a bit at the finish line to cheer in some of the runners behind us as we finished the last of our Slurpees.

I just felt great. Having finished the race helped erase a lot of discouragement of my previous week. And, being able to just get out and run was something I couldn’t imagine earlier in the week after overcoming the flu and bronchitis.

My only regret was that my ankle was pretty sore, but that was my own fault — as I realized afterward I forgot to wear my sports brace. But, after icing it throughout the weekend I should be okay. But, it is one of the reasons why I planned on backing out of the Ogden Marathon distance. That foot on pavement for 26.2 miles would just be too much.

Anyways — my next race isn’t until Memorial Day weekend at the Jordan River Half Marathon. I’m planning on getting some good running in, but at the same time I am taking it easy to let my body and ankle heal a bit. It needs it, because I feel it.

But, this race was a victory and such a fun memory I will remember among my 180 journey.


MY NEXT FIVE RACES


Everyone needs a Dave in their life. This past week has been pretty stressful. Between overcoming the flu and bronchitis while juggling two jobs, it’s been a tough and stressful week. Tonight after work my plan was to dive head first into some pending projects I need done by Monday, but that kind of got derailed when I got a call from Dave asking to hang out because his Mom wasn’t home. I had a million reasons to say no, but I just couldn’t decline his request. I knew he didn’t want to be alone. So I told him he could come over and watch some basketball while I worked on my computer. When he got to our house he told me how he felt sad for his Mom and how she wasn’t having a very good week. He then told me that he wanted to cheer her up and wanted to go get flowers for her. I knew this meant I wasn’t going to be spending much of the evening at home as planned, so I hopped in the car and headed to the store with Dave. My heart melted watching Dave pick out some flowers, chocolates and a card for his Mom. The love and admiration he has for her is truly special. And, as I stood next to him as he was making these choices, I just couldn’t help but recognize that I needed this pause. I needed this reminder of what life is about. Dave has provided many of these kind of moments during our friendship. I don’t know how I got so lucky to call him “friend,” but I truly cherish his friendship. And, I am truly grateful for these many little lessons and reminders he teaches me.

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RACE #146: Provo City Half Marathon (3:35) After the previous weekend’s debacle of DNFs and DNSs and subsequent illness, this was a nice rebound race. I paced 3:35 alongside Tricia and her husband … we were essentially “the sweepers.” But, we had a blast! We had dance parties, made new friends, grabbed Slurpees at Mile 12.5 and made sure there was a party in the back! I wasn’t 100% with my lingering cough and ankle, but the situation was perfect where those weren’t a factor. I’m taking a little more time off to rest my sprained ankle. But, come later this month I should be ready for the Jordan River Half on the 27th. But, I’m still enjoying this moment and race and being able to party on with my dear friends throughout the 13.1 miles! Such a fun time! #provocityhalf #race146 #running @joshruns180 @fight4phat @josherwalla @myracemedals @ryrpacers @run13utah

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Newborns always make the best drunk faces.

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I always love a good graduation ceremony, but I won’t lie … five minutes into it, I’m ready for it to be over.

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Somebody’s feeling pretty.

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Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 5.5 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 19.47 miles
TOTAL MILES — 38.07 miles
Race(s) this week — Provo City Half Marathon

May 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 5.5 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 19.47 miles
TOTAL MILES — 38.07 miles
Races in May — Provo City Half Marathon and Jordan River Half Marathon.

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 210.75 miles
Race Miles — 164.52 miles
Walking Miles — 439.88 miles
TOTAL MILES — 815.15 miles
Races done in 2017 — New Year’s Half Marathon, Sweethearts 5K, Jackpot Running Festival, SL Tri Club Indoor Half, March Madness Half, Lucky 13 Half Marathon, Emigration Canyon Half Marathon, Riverton Half, Saltair Half and Provo City Half Marathon.


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?

My 2017 Race Schedule (January – June)

I have been writing about my 2017 race schedule for the past six months. I’ve gone through numerous revisions — additions, subtractions, more additions and then — even more subtractions. I’ve come to the realization that it’s pretty tough for me to keep a concrete schedule outside of 5-6 months.

So, that’s why we’re here.

As much as I would love to commit to my whole 2017 race schedule — I just can’t. There are a lot of factors that I am unsure about — so I just can’t fully commit. Especially now that I am working for Runtastic Events. I have a number of weekends committed to races that I am not running.

Which is kind of a bummer — because after not running the Nebo Half last year, I was looking forward to running it. It is my favorite half marathon. I mean, who doesn’t love a fast downhill race?

Anyways — when we get closer and gain a clearer picture I’ll tackle my schedule between July – December. I have signed up for a number of races between that time — i.e. Handcart Days Half, Revel Big Cottonwood and Huntsville Marathon — so it’s shaping up. I am just waiting to see what my October looks like to see if I can run the Pony Express 50 again.

So many options. So many decisions. But, I’ll let the last part of 2017 take care of itself when we get to that bridge.

I have a number of goals for my 2017 race schedule. They are in no particular order …

  1. Knockout as many races as possible so I can hit my 180 race goal by July 24, 2018.
  2. Run three ultra distance races (Jackpot Running Festival, Salt Flats and either Antelope Island/Pony Express).
  3. Run three marathon distance races (Ogden, Utah Valley, Huntsville).
  4. Continue to get fit and faster — break that dang 2:30 half marathon mark.
  5. Have a ridiculous amount of fun.

Okay, there are a few things you should note on my goals. One, this isn’t a speed year for me. Sure, I have a goal to break the 2:30 mark, but I know I’ll do that as I continue to focus on my health and weight. My PR is 2:08 — so I know I’m capable of it. I am just not sure if this will come in the Spring, Summer or Fall? All depends on my training — but, you better know I’ll give it my best shot.

My focus really is to knockout as many races as possible this year so I can hit my goal of 180 races on July 24, 2018. Why that specific date? Well, that’s when the Bountiful Handcart Days Half Marathon is (or should be) in 2018 and I want that to be my 180th race, because it was my first. It just seems fitting.

Plus, I want to get the goal out of the way so I can focus on my other goals — like speed, more ultras and non-race running goals. I’d like to do more solo-runs like I am planning in March. I want to move the focus of my running more to a life long venture not solely focused on races as I have been for the past five years.

As you can see below, my race schedule is very top heavy during the first half of the year. I have 20 races — which is one shine of my total 2016 races. That’s a lot of running. But, most of those races are being used mostly as training runs for my 50Ks and 50 miler in March. So they are races with purpose.

I am not anticipating adding more than 8-10 races in the last half of the year so it’ll kinda even out. The most I’ve ran was in 2014 when I ran 30 races — so that’s not unprecedented for me. It’s just going to be a lot of running. A LOT.

June is going to be the busiest month for me. It’s going to be nearly 150 miles of race miles — that includes Ragnar Wasatch Back (June 2-3), Utah Valley Marathon (June 10), Bear Lake Trifecta (June 15-17), Utah Midnight Run (June 23) and AF Canyon Race Against Cancer (June 24).

June is going to be cray cray.

Anyways, here is how my whole schedule will look between January to June. As I mentioned above — it’s going to be a lot of running. But, there isn’t anywhere else I’d want to be.

Check out my schedule and let me know what your schedule is shaping up to look like. Maybe we’re running some of the same races? Odds are probably pretty good we are!

Here’s the schedule …

Another Look at 2017 …

I am really trying to plan out my 2017 race schedule. If you’ve been following my blog even for the past three months you’ll know I’ve been working on my 2017 schedule pretty obsessively. Which is fine. I mean, it’s always subject to change — especially being three months away from the turning of the calendar.

There have been a few races I’ve been going waffling over — namely the DesNews Marathon and a few races in the summer. I don’t want to do marathons next year … but, I do. Especially since 2017 will be my five year anniversary of my first marathon — at DesNews.

I’m feeling a pull to just stick to half marathons and some trail 25-30Ks. I really want to do some more trail races and it’s kinda hard to pick and choose what I want to run. It’s real hard. Especially when I am still a rookie out on the trails.

So, I am sticking to half marathons and 25-30Ks in 2017. I am trying to mimic my 2013 race schedule where I ran nothing but half marathons. This will help me work on my speed so I can hit my running milestones and hopefully a new half PR.

Plus, I want to hit up some races in locations I can check off on my 40 Before 40 bucket list. So there’s that as well.

Anyways, here’s my schedule as I am looking at it thus far. The bolded races are ones I’ve already registered for. Oh, and the numbers to the left is the race number towards my 180 race goal.

139. New Year’s Half Marathon — January 7, 2017
140. St. George Half Marathon — January 14, 2017
141. Salt Lake Tri Club Half Marathon — February 25, 2017
142. March Madness Half Marathon — March 4, 2017
143. Lucky 13 Half Marathon — March 18, 2017
144. Tulip Festival Half Marathon — April 29, 2017
145. Provo City Half Marathon — May 6, 2017
146. Vigor Big Cottonwood Half Marathon — May 13, 2017
147. Ogden Half Marathon — May 20, 2017
148. Ragnar Wasatch Back — June 2-3, 2017
149. Drop 13 Big Cottonwood Half Marathon — June 11, 2017
150. AF Canyon Race Against Cancer — June 24, 2017
151. Hobbler Half — July 8, 2017
152. Utah Midnight Run — July 14, 2017
153. Deseret News Half Marathon — July 24, 2017
154. Timp Half — July 29, 2017
155. Parowan City Half Marathon — August 5, 2017
156. Skyline Half Marathon — August 19, 2017
157. Run Elevated Half Marathon — August 26, 2017
158. Nebo Half — September 2, 2017
159. Revel Big Cottonwood Half Marathon — September 9, 2017
160. Park City City Trail Half Marathon — September 16, 2017
161. Huntsville Half Marathon — September 23, 2017
162. Frightmares Half Marathon — October 14, 2017
163. Haunted Half SLC — October 21, 2017
164. Haunted Half Provo — October 28, 2017
165. Snow Canyon Half Marathon — November 4, 2017
166. Thankful 13 — November 23, 2017

Anyways — there it is. Of course this is all subject to change. But, please, let me know if you’re planning on any of these races. I’m always up to run with others! Just comment below!

Another look at my 2017 races …

Last week I celebrated the fifth anniversary of my first half marathon by running the Bountiful Handcart Days Half Marathon. This got me thinking (this usually means trouble). Next summer I’ll be celebrating my fifth anniversary of my first marathon — which was the Deseret News Marathon. Since I celebrating my fifth anniversary running half marathons at my first race, I thought I’d do the same for my marathon.

Thus, I am adding the Deseret News Marathon to my 2017 race schedule.

Now, I really don’t want to run a lot of marathons next year. I am not planning on running St. George or the Big Cottonwood — two of my favorites. Mainly, because I like to give my legs some rest and focus on the smaller distances. So, my only plan is to run the Deseret News Marathon — AND — the Boston Marathon if I am lucky enough to get in.

I know we’re still about four months away from 2017, but it’s never too early to start planning, right?

Now, of course I’ve made a 2017 race schedule already — but — of course my race schedules are always subject to change. Anyways, here is my projected race schedule.

The bold races are ones that I have already registered for — oh — and the number to the left is the race number counting up towards my 180 race goal (just in case you were wondering).

And, of course some races are just crude estimates based off past year’s dates.


139. St. George Half; St. George (January 14, 2017)
140. Lucky 13 Half; Salt Lake City (March 18, 2017)
141. Provo City Half; Provo (May 6, 2017)
142. Vigor Big Cottonwood Half; Salt Lake City (May 13, 2017)
143. Ogden Half; Ogden (May 20, 2017)
144. Drop 13 Big Cottonwood Half; Salt Lake City (June 10, 2017)
145. Bear Lake Half; Idaho (June 15, 2017)
146. Bear Lake Half; Wyoming (June 16, 2017)
147. Bear Lake Half; Utah (June 17, 2017)
148. AF Race Against Cancer; American Fork (June 24, 2017)
149. Utah Midnight Run; Farmington (July 7, 2017)
150. Deseret News Marathon; Salt Lake City (July 24, 2017)
151. Timp Half; American Fork (July 29, 2017)
152. Run Elevated Half; Sandy (August 28, 2017)
153. Nebo Half; Payson (September 2, 2017)
154. Revel Big Cottonwood Half; Salt Lake City (September 9, 2017)
155. Red Rock Relay; Park City (October 7, 2017)
156. Frightmares Half; Farmington (October 14, 2017)
157. The Haunted Half; Salt Lake City (October 21, 2017)
158. The Haunted Half; Salt Lake City (October 28, 2017)
159. Snow Canyon Half; St. George (November 4, 2017)
160. Thankful 13; Lehi (November 23, 2017)


It’s never too early to start planning for 2017 — right?

We’re halfway through 2016 and I am getting excited for next year already — as odd as that might sound. But, that’s been my life as a runner the past 5+ years. I love looking ahead to my races. Whether it’s new races, old races or new races in new places — I love planning them out.

As I have been going over my 2017 calendar and plotting out my races and goals — I’ve come to a couple of decisions. One, I want to focus on the half marathon and, two, I want to focus on setting a new PR in the half in 2017. Specifically, getting that elusive sub-two half marathon.

This means I am going to have to be deliberate with my training throughout the year and not focus on marathons or ultras. I did this back in 2013 when I got my PR — and it’s a good focus.

Granted, I am planning on — or least trying — to get into Boston next year. So that’s kind of my exception. But, that’s early enough in the year that my training should help me through the winter months to be even more half ready for the summer and fall races.

Well, that’s the thinking at least.

It will be hard to say no to the St. George and Big Cottonwood Marathons — but, I’m okay with that. I really want to get that sub-two and with the course I am on now with my thyroid, testosterone and weight — I feel like I could be in a good spot next year to make a good push at it.

Anyways — I know it’s still pretty early and this schedule is bound to change. Especially with some of these race dates not set in stone yet. I am estimating most dates.

Also some races will be paced, while others will be raced. Just depends on which races I decide to push for a PR at. But, more on that later. Here’s my tentative schedule …


TENTATIVE 2017 RACE SCHEDULE

140. St. George Half Marathon; St. George, UT (January 14)
141. Dogtown Half Marathon; Washington, UT (February 18)
142. March Madness Half Marathon; Woods Cross, UT (March 4)
143. Boston Marathon; Boston, MA (April 17)
144. Provo City Half Marathon; Provo, UT (May 6)
145. Vigor Big Cottonwood Half Marathon; SLC, UT (May 13)
146. Ogden Half Marathon; Ogden, UT (May 20)
147. Drop 13 Half Marathon; SLC, UT (June 10)
148. Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back, UT (June 16-17)
149. AF Canyon Race Against Cancer; American Fork, UT (June 24)
150. Hobbler Half; Mapleton, UT (July 8)
151. Deseret News Half Marathon; SLC, UT (July 24)
152. Timp Half; American Fork, UT (July 29)
153. Run Elevated Half Marathon; Sandy, UT (August 26)
154. Nebo Half; Payson, UT (September 2)
155. Revel Big Cottonwood Half Marathon; SLC, UT (September 9)
156. Layton Half Marathon; Layton, UT (October 7)
157. The Haunted Half; SLC, UT (October 21)
158. The Haunted Half; Provo, UT (October 28)
159. Snow Canyon Half Marathon; St. George, UT (November 4)
160. Thankful 13; Lehi (November 23)


RACE #118: Provo City Half Marathon

First a few items of business. One, my blog is back up and in service. It had been down for the past couple of weeks. I had some errors that wouldn’t allow me to upload content and at times view the blog itself. I’d love to sit here and curse my blog host about their inability to fix this matter within a timely matter.

But, it was totally user error. I might look like I totally understand internet things, but it’s a lie. Sometimes I surprise myself by being able to start my computer without loading some kind of Malware software on it. Some days I feel like I have the technological acumen of a 80 year old who calls the computer the devil’s machine. 

Anyways — I am back. I’ve fixed my issues and — hopefully — I avoid another unplanned two week blogcation again. Now onto the race recap …

I’ve been focused on this race for what seems like months upon months. The past three months my training has been focused on this race. And, while it’s been my focus — going into the race, I had no idea how to feel? Or what to feel?

I felt ready — I put the miles in I needed. My longest training run was 10 miles, I ran 2-3 times a week, worked out twice a week and made sure I hit my 10,000 step goal Monday-Saturday. But, I won’t lie, with the way my body has reacted — or not reacted — to my training as it has in the past … I was scared of the unexpected.

So much so by the time race day came, I knew two things — this was going to suck and I had no business being on the course. I was simply not ready.

I came to this belief simply because I dwelled on it WAY too much. Sure, I’m not where I was 2-3 years ago physically, but by comparing the two, I negated the work I had put in. I wish I came to that realization before the race. But, it was more like somewhere between miles two and three.

My shins were hurting, my legs felt like rocks and I just wasn’t mentally into my run. My body was responding the way I prepared it the previous week. And, it wanted to die. Well, okay, not die — but, definitely take a long nap somewhere along the course.

When I got to the first aid station at Vivian Park — my body was hurting and I wasn’t mentally present. And, I still had 11 miles to go. I was loathing what was in front of me — but, I also knew things had to change. I couldn’t put myself through 11 miles of this hell.

But, then — I had a moment.

I simply asked myself, “Josh, where is your heart?” Meaning — why are you running? Where’s your passion? And, of course — “get your sh– together!”

This wasn’t the first time I’ve asked myself this question in the middle of a run. And, I am sure it won’t be the last. But, it’s a question that should be asked often, especially during those physically and mentally tough runs.

After asking myself that question — I stopped for a moment and reminded myself to run with the heart first. That’s what has carried me through the thousands of miles leading up to that point. If you’re not running — or doing anything for matter — with your heart, then what’s the point of doing it at all?

And, I’ve found that when you lead with the heart, the mental and physical will follow. Pain is easier to process and your ‘whys’ are easier to understand and process. Finding that place of understanding was crucial to my race — and while I wish I found that zone much, much earlier — and well before the race — sometimes we find it when we need it the most.

So with that new frame of mind — I moved forward with a new focus and it made all the difference. Did I all of the sudden run faster? Um — no. My overall pace was something like a 13:22 minute mile –well below my peak of 9:53 from a few years ago (that’s a post for another day). But, the pain I was feeling was easier to process and I was able to push forward harder.

So, maybe, you could say I did run faster?

Either way, I was in a good place mentally and I was beyond grateful being there. I really don’t think I could have last much longer without a change. I would have either gotten hurt or just stopped.

I put myself onto cruise control for the rest of Provo Canyon and worked on preparing myself mentally for the last five miles of the race. I knew it was going to be tough and I just wanted to finish under three hours. That was really my only goal for the race.

The biggest obstacle in front of me was the hill at mile 11. Physically, it’s not that bad of a hill — I’ve ran worse. But, being at mile 11 when you’re physically, mentally and emotionally spent it will get to you, especially since you can see it coming from quite a ways off.

I didn’t want to be crushed by the hill — so I simply decided to conquer it. Not physically — but, mentally and emotionally. So, when I approached the base of the hill, I simply kept my focus away from it. I instead looked to my right at the trees, street signs and fire hydrants — anything really. I used that small markers as goals, once I passed one — I went to another — until I conquered that blasted hill.

That gave me a huge sense of accomplishment. And, another mentally victory.

Approaching the last mile of the race — I was met by Jed, one of the Addict II Athlete team members. One of the things I LOVE about the AIIA team — is that once you are done with your race you help bring in everyone else. No one runs alone on the team.

I can’t begin to put my thoughts and feelings into words of how I felt during that last mile. My running journey is now some 6-7 years long — and I wish I had found AIIA much earlier. The support, sense of brotherhood, love and purpose I feel amongst the team is profound.

After having been ran in by the team, I quickly got myself some water and bananas (naturally) and just kind of collapsed in a mess of emotions. Not only did I finish under three hours, but I was just grateful for the race, the moment I just had with Jed and the rest of the AIIA team. I said a simple silent prayer of gratitude and composed myself.

I wish I was able to turn around and run in the last few runners, but by the time I refueled and composed myself the last AIIA runner had crossed the finish line. So, my goal is to make sure I return the favor at the Ogden Half in a couple of weeks.

In retrospect, I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about the race. First and forth most — I am just grateful for the ability to run. I might not be as fast as I used to be. My health has been all over the place with my thyroid and testosterone — but, I can still do what I love and I shouldn’t take that for granted. I know I will get back where I want to be physically. It might not be now or as fast as I wish — but, I’ll get there.

I am grateful for the small moments and lessons I learned throughout the race — whether it changing my mindset at mile two, side conversations with strangers running the course beside me, running with the AIIA team members or my friends JoAnna and Michael. These are the reasons why I run.

I run to be better. I run to be with others. I run to help others be better. I run because I love to run. I run to be. There are many, many, many reasons I could list. But, I am sure you get the point.

I am looking forward to the racing season — not just to better my outcome from this weekend’s race, but for the unrealized friendships, experiences and adventures. I am looking forward to the marathons in the fall leading up to my 50 miler in October. It’s going to take a lot of work — and I am ready for that. I am excited about that.

But, the focus now is looking towards Ogden and continue to get stronger out on the roads and trails, but in the weight room as well. I really need to get stronger, especially within my core. That more than anything will help me get faster and slimmer.

Well, okay, maybe not slimmer, but that’d be nice — then I wouldn’t have to worry about my thyroid. But, again, that’s a post for another day.

YEAH RUNNING! YEAH PROVO!


MY NEXT RACE

119 - Ogden Half

As I have mentioned numerous times here on the bloggy blog, I had to drop the Vigor Big Cottonwood Half (May 14) because of my best friend’s wedding that same day. So my next race is now the Ogden Half the following week. I wasn’t originally planning on running Ogden — I had to buy a last minute bib.

My goal for this race is simple — build on what I accomplished at Provo, come in under three hours or less and don’t poop my pants (my goal for pretty much every race).

In the meantime I am going to have to find a good route to run this weekend for my long run and pray every night that it doesn’t pour rain like it has at Ogden during the marathon the past 2 out of 3 years.

Regardless, Ogden is still one of my favorite races — and I can’t wait to run it again!


PHATGRAMS

The help around here is quite adorable. #cleaningthechurch #calliekoko

A photo posted by Joshua ❆ Hansen (@joshuwalla) on

It’s a baby holding party over here! #teegee #chubbingtatum

A photo posted by Joshua ❆ Hansen (@joshuwalla) on

She’s perfect. I’m in love. #missthalia #prouduncle

A photo posted by Joshua ❆ Hansen (@joshuwalla) on


2016miles

RUNNING MILES

96.8 miles

RACE MILES

51.7 miles

WALKING MILES

564.77 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

713.27 miles

MILES TO GOAL

1953.73 miles