Category: Video

The Whole30 Diet: My Whole30 Experience

I’ve been debating when I wanted to share my experience and thoughts on Whole30 for quite some time. I wanted to share it in detail mid-way through my first 30 days, then after my first 30 days.

I could have easily shared my thoughts after my first 30 days. But, knowing I was going to do at least another 30 days — I wanted to wait. If I was going to share my thoughts on Whole30 I felt it would be more beneficial to share them more from an experienced point of view then a beginners. It’d be like going to get running experience from someone who just barely ran their first race.

Now, with that said — I wouldn’t consider myself an expert at Whole30. Like at all. There others much more dedicated and knowledgeable than me. Experts you’ll find throughout the Whole30 community and even amongst my friends. So, I am really speaking from my own experience.

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But, I wanted to share my thoughts on this journey, because a number of friends have asked me about Whole30. And, I guess more than anything this post is a resource for them that I can point them towards.

When I started my first round of Whole30 I weighed 281.2lbs. I had been stuck between 270-280(ish) for about a year and a half or less. I couldn’t get less than 270 and thankfully I never went heavier than 285lbs. I was depressing enough gaining that weight.

It’s been difficult, because having lost so much weight and consistently sitting around 225-235 for a number of years — you fear going back to “Fat Josh.” It’s a mentality I hear is fairly common for individuals who’ve lost gobs of weight. Some of my most depressing nightmares would confirm that.

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A lot of the issues around my gain were due to my thyroid. I couldn’t get it balanced like I was able to for a number of years. Part of that is due to age. But, I hate that excuse. Just because I am in my mid-thirties doesn’t mean I should give up. So, it’s been a fight in the gym, road and even doctor’s office. Pretty much to no avail — or very little success.

I had to fight hard to just maintain and not gain. That’s the curse of dealing with thyroids. You can be trying everything and working out like a beast — but, all be damned if you don’t gain 10lbs. with little no effort. Hypothyroidism is no joke. I hate it.

Anyways — I don’t want to digress too far down that road. But, after going to about 3-4 different doctors — I just kinda decided to go about finding a solution myself. The medical side of things weren’t working in finding a solution. And, I felt like I just had to take back the responsibility for my health problems. I could no problem solely rely on pill bottles and stethoscopes.

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After trying a number of diet plans with some success, the yo-yoing continue more than I liked. So, I just kept looking for a solution. And, that’s kinda how I stumbled upon Whole30.

A number of my friends online had done it — some once, some a number of times. And, a few posted their results. That caught my attention, because the more I looked into the more successful results I saw.

I think when you see these kind of results and cult follows you become somewhat skeptical. I’ve done enough diets to understand that not all diets are created equal. You might have lost 20lbs. this month, but in a couple a months you might find that 20lbs. again — but, it’s identical twin.

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But, there was something different about Whole30 that I liked. Yes, it was extreme, but I saw the wisdom in it. And, I saw components that I liked that I could adopt long term. Plus, it relied heavily on gluten free foods and having issues with my thyroid, I knew I needed to go gluten free for a while to see if that would have an effect on my health and weight.

Which it did.

So after a couple of months of watching others on Whole30 and reading up on it, I decided to take a stab at it. I knew I could do at least a month and go from there. If it didn’t work or benefit me — after 30 days I could walk away from it. But, I was going to give my best for those 30 days.

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And, after those 30 days — I lost nearly 18lbs. Something that hadn’t happen for quite a while. The one aspect of Whole30 that I really like is that you don’t weigh or measure yourself during those 30 days. So when I jumped on the scale I felt like I was weighing in on The Biggest Loser (sans the beeping and commerical break).

But, I knew I had lost a big number even before I jumped on the scale. I had been feeling the change throughout the previous month. Not to mention I could see the difference in the mirror. I was actually losing weight. I was actually not dragging throughout the day. I had energy! Something I longed for, for too long.

Then this past Saturday I finished my second round of Whole30 and weighed in. It was nowhere near my 18lbs. loss from the month before, but I was still down quite a bit and going in the right direction. Not to mention, I was starting to be able to fit back more comfortably in my XL shirts. When you have successes like that — numbers really don’t mean much in the scheme of things.

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I am doing one more month of Whole30 that will take me to my birthday. It wasn’t really planned that way it’s just how it happened when I started in May. But, I love the symbolism behind it — what better birthday gift to give myself, huh?

I’ll get more into what’s after my third round of Whole30 in August later. I may do a fourth round, but odds are I will adapt it some. Probably bring in some whole grains and add some of my Isagenix shakes to the mix. But, we’ll see. Stay tuned into that later.

Anyways, I wanted to share a few tips, thoughts and feelings on certain aspects about the Whole30 diet that would help you decide whether or not it’s something that is right for you. Again, I am not speaking from an authoritative role, just from experience. So please keep that in mind.

It’s not easy, but it’s simple

When describing my experience to others, I’ve kinda adopted this as my motto. The Whole30 isn’t easy. It’s not. It’s hard to give up bread, cheese and other delicious dairy products (I’m looking at you yogurt and ice cream). Then there’s the whole sugar thing. The first couple of days being off the added sugar nearly killed me. It wasn’t fun.

But, it can be done, because it’s simple. Very simple. If you follow the guidelines and rules — you’ll find success. Your own success I should say, because no one is going to have the same experience. The simplicity is what drew me to the diet. I like simplicity. I value simplicity. Especially when you can easily equate — this + this – this = this result.

Simple, simple, simple. But, it will take some initial willpower to begin and determination to continue it throughout the whole 30 days. Especially if you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have total control of the food offered.

Find support in others, don’t go about it alone

When I started my weight-loss journey, I started it alone, but I didn’t go it alone. One of the first things I did was build a support team around me. This included family members and close friends. Some were there as cheerleaders, others as examples and others to keep me accountable. It took a village to get me where I am now.

The Whole30 journey is no different. Build yourself a support system that can help you succeed. There are a number of Whole30 forums online and on Facebook that are great resources for accountability. But, look closer to home as well. If you can — find a family member or friend that will do the program with you. Your odds of success are much greater when you have a partner in crime alongside you.

That’s not to say it can’t be done going solo, but there’s really no reason to when you have amazing support systems all around you.

Do your homework before diving

I will be the first to admit that I didn’t understand the Whole30 completely when I dove into it in mid-May. I was drinking my black Postum for the first couple of days. Postum has barley — which is not Whole30 compliant. Oops.

That kind of speaks to the complexity of the diet, but also the need to do your homework about what the Whole30 is. It can be overwhelming for some (or all). But, if you do your homework and read up on it — it really simplifies the whole thing. At least for me.

You don’t need to buy the book to do the Whole30 (though I highly recommend it) or get two friends to get two friends so you can get free product. The Whole30 is very much a culture welcoming of anyone and everyone who wants to do it. It’s essentially “free” (I put free in quotation marks, because we all know nothing is absolutely free. I mean you have to buy or grow your food, right? That’s definitely not free) to join or do.

But, if you’re going to succeed you gotta know what you’re doing. Here are a few resources that I leaned on for help, especially during the first half of my first 30 days.

The Whole30: The 30-day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom (the book!)
Welcome to the Whole30 Program (always a good place to start, eh?)
Whole30 Program Rules
 (great resource — study and memorize these)
Whole30 Program Downloads (seriously a great resource — it’s all there!)
Nom Nom Paleo (they have some AWESOME recipe ideas)
The Nourishing Home (another site for great recipe ideas)
Good Cheap Eats (yet another great site for recipes — there are BUNCH of good sites FYI)
Of course there are LOTS of Whole30 Pinterest boards.
Blogger Testimonials — you can read some here, here, here and here. There are tons more all over the internet.

Don’t let the information overwhelm you. Just do it. And, continue to learn as you are doing it. The goal isn’t to just change your eating habits for 30 days — it’s a changing your eating habits for a lifetime.

Plan and prepare ahead — make it a routine

In the past most diets I’ve followed could be adapted on the go. It’s harder on Whole30 to do that, because you need more control than most diets to assure what’s going into your body is compliant to the diet. Like for instance, if I was road tripping with family and we stopped at McDonald’s for lunch, I knew what I could and couldn’t eat according to that diet. But, with Whole30 — I’m pretty sure the only thing I could eat is — ummm — ice water.

I did Ragnar when I was in the middle of doing Whole30 and I had to adapt and prepare. I brought along a lot of sweet potatoes, grapes, bananas, apples and oranges along with a good stash of Larabars. It was tough, because it would have been easier if I relied more on a Subway or gas station for food. But, I made it work by simply preparing ahead.

The same principle is true in the day to day aspects of Whole30. Planning and cooking ahead will save you from temptation. But, even beyond that — getting yourself into a routine is even better.

I am a creature of habit so eating basically the same thing every day doesn’t bore me like others. I’d boil some hardboiled eggs on Sunday for the week and pack a couple for a meal along with a few bananas, grapes and whatever other fruit and veggies I found in the fridge — usually an apple, orange or green peppers. Then I basically ate the same thing for lunch every day between a salad or steak and a sweet potato. The same thing went for breakfast and lunch — with the addition to the occasional omelet or scramble.

The predictability helps a lot. I can cook my meats ahead of time or cook double for lunch the next day. And preparing enough meals throughout the day protects me from temptation of snacking or getting a Slurpee.

Fueling for workouts and runs is fairly easy

One of the biggest worries I had going into Whole30 was fueling for races. Especially for during races, since Clif Shots and GUs are non-complaint to the diet. And, after running seven races over 13.1 miles and numerous 3-5 miles since beginning my journey I can say affirmatively — it was a non-issue.

First off — pre-race carbs loading for most runners is kinda a sham. If you’re eating a balanced diet of good whole foods you don’t have a need to carb load. Sure that’s not fun, especially looking forward to pasta night at the Olive Garden before the big race. But, it’s just not needed.

One thing I have done though is to make sure I am fueled properly before a race. My pre-race meal usually consists of a sweet potato and some steak. And, then in the morning I’ll eat my usual banana and maybe a half sweet potato if needed. Of course alongside my usual water.

During the race, I’ll carry some raisins and almonds in my pocket in case I need some quick energy mid-run. I’ll also carry a banana if I know the race won’t have them at aid stations. I’ll usually eat this about halfway through my run (6.5 miles during the half). I found that I really don’t need much while I’m running, but I do need energy perks at certain points of my run to keep from bonking.

After my race or long run is complete I then usually eat another banana and the other half of my sweet potato that I stash in my drop bag or car. Then, just drink lots of water. I do find that I still can mindless wander around the kitchen after a run looking for food — so I make sure to be around plenty of bananas, grapes, watermelon and apples (all favorites for me after a summer run).

Really though — the key is fueling is more in the timing than it is in what you’re fueling with. Well, that is important too, but my point is that you don’t need energy drinks, sports drinks and other gels to fuel properly — it can be done simply. Just make with a bit more effort on the when and how.

Sugar is in pretty much everything we eat

One of the biggest things about Whole30 is the elimination of added sugar. That’s why you’re eating whole foods and not processed foods that sit on the store shelves for months. Because those processed foods are (more than likely) full of sugar — whether it’s white sugar or “natural” sugar like honey. Whatever the source — sugar is sugar.

Now, I could write 8-10 paragraphs about sugar and how it’s the leading cause of the obesity epidemic in our country. But, I’ll pass on that here. If you really want to know the stranglehold the sugar industry has on this country all you have to do is turn on Netflix and watch documentaries like — Fed Up, Sugar Coated or That Sugar Film — to name a few.

I will refrain from further comment, because I could seriously go on a whole 8-10 paragraph spiel about sugar.

Read your labels religiously

I’ve had a few people ask me for tips to the Whole30 diet. And, my response is usually — “read your labels.” Seriously, that will save you more than anything. If you can’t pronounce what’s in your food — don’t eat it. And, odds are it’s just a substitute for sugar anyways.

But, I found that the more I read labels the more I didn’t eat boxed or labeled foods. I started leaning towards more fresh food — fruits, veggies and meats. Not only was it easier for me to keep thing simple, but I knew exactly what I was eating — because I was eating exactly what I was looking at.

The more I read labels I also knew which processed foods I could eat — there were plenty of times that Larabars saved my life. Especially during long runs. Most Larabars are Whole30 compliant — so I knew right away what I could and could eat.

Reading your labels should be a practice we ALL do. Not just because we’re doing Whole30, but it really is eye opening to discover what is going on with our food. You’d be surprised what food companies are throwing in seemingly healthy foods. Whether it’s hidden sugar or substituted chemicals and additives — why do our bodies need crap like that?

They don’t.

Read your labels.

It’s okay to have a sweet tooth

Okay, that header is a BIT misleading, but not really. Of course you’re not going to be downing Cinnabons and chocolate cake while following the Whole30 plan. But, if you’re like me and have a wicked sweet tooth — it can be cured.

When I am craving something sweet I indulge myself — like a banana (naturally), a cup of strawberries, maybe some watermelon or my ultimate favorite the past couple of months — grapes. I can’t tell you how much I love grapes. I eat them like I’m pregnant with twins.

But, the body craves certain nutrition for many reasons. And, it’s important to listen to that. And, usually when we’re craving something sweet, it’s usually because our blood sugar has dropped and we need a pick me up — or simply habit.

You don’t have to answer that craving with cookies and milkshakes — when all it needs is a little boost via some nutritious whole food.

But, boy oh boy — I’m craving some grapes right now just writing about them.

Little changes, make big differences

This is true with pretty much any diet — but, there are certain aspects of the Whole30 that I found successful. And, really, it was because of small simple changes. Changes both physically and mentally.

For one, I love that you don’t weigh or measure your progress during the 30 days. You go off of your success during the diet by feel and look. You can tell how you’re feeling. You can see it in the mirror and feel it as a whole. For being someone who’s lost 150+lbs. — I needed this reprieve from the scale. It’s too easy to be held captive by it while losing weight.

Why?

Not only does it enslave you. But, it can also stress you out. Which — well — for most of us means we’d end up eating our stress. I mean, I would. Nothing tastes better than a stack of stress pancakes … well except for how skinny tastes. I really love that Whole30 focuses to eliminate as much stress as possible so that you can focus on you. And, that’s the whole reason you’re doing all this, right?

Secondly, making small changes to your eating habits will bring about big differences. Again — this is true for any diet. But, learning to obsessively read your labels will help you make good food choices. Simply resolving to cook your own meals, will keep you from the pitfalls of eating out. And, eating small meals throughout the day will keep your energy levels up and away from non-compliant foods.

Small and simple changes, small and simple changes — that’s all it takes.

Make up your mind that you’ll succeed

There are a lot of rules to the Whole30 diet. So much so that it can be somewhat daunting for some people. And, I get that. I was one of them. It took me a while to finally commit to doing it, because I was somewhat overwhelmed with everything I’d have to do.

But, I made up my mind that I’d do it. I saw my other friends’ success and I felt if I gave it my all, I’d reach that kind of success. Besides, I had nothing to lose. Nothing else had worked for to that point in trying to regulate my thyroid. So why not?

I didn’t go into the Whole30 blindly, I read everything online and understood this isn’t the diet for everyone. There were some people who didn’t seen a lot (or any) success during their 30 days. And, I get that. Totally get that. Because, that’s been me with my thyroid the past couple of years.

So, I knew there was a chance I wouldn’t see those results. But, I was still going to give the diet at least 30 days to see what happens. Even if I “failed” (I hate using that term) I knew I could still come away from the experience with something. Whether that’s a new perspective, direction or insight. You really have to learn how to accept failure and how to use it for your benefit in order to truly succeed.

Geez, I feel like Tony Robbins right now.

But, seriously, decide now that you’ll see success — in whatever shape or form. And, you will.

Just do it

There’s power in doing, right? So, just do it. Learn as much as you can about the diet and practice what you learn. One thing I found worked for me, especially during the first couple weeks of the diet was to constantly read Whole30 blogs, forums and articles — so I could immerse myself in the mentality and culture. And, it helped.

It might be hard for the first few weeks, but just keep doing it. Keep following it and by the time you realize it — you’ve created a habit. The lifestyle has become who you are and it’s easier to resists temptations, because (at least for me) sugar cravings aren’t as intense. And, can easily be satisfied with a banana or a cup of grapes.

As I said before — there’s a power in doing. It’s really that simple.

There is probably a lot more that I could add about my experience with Whole30. I have nothing to complain about. Well, maybe except my lack of nacho consumption the past couple of months. But, really — it’s not been that bad. I will say this though — I used to eat a lot of cheese. Being lactose intolerant that was kinda stupid. But, that’s a post for another day.

I’ve mentioned this above, throughout this post and throughout my experience. The goal of Whole30 isn’t to just crash diet and change your eating habits for JUST 30 days. It’s about resetting your health. It’s about creating new healthy habits. It’s about weaning yourself off sugar. And, helping you recognize what you’re putting into your body.

Your health is your responsibility. Nobody else’s. Nobody forces you to eat anything — besides yourself. What goes into your body is really up to you. And, I think this concept really resonated with me, because I’ve had so many issues the past couple of years with my thyroid.

I looking to doctors for a solution, when really I just needed to take back that responsibility and change how I was fueling myself. My thyroid has responded positively. A lot of that I believe is because my body reacts negatively to gluten (typical thyroid reaction). So, when I finished with my third round of Whole30 — I’ll continue that aspect in my diet.

But, don’t be afraid to do it. Especially if you are seriously about changing your health or righting a ship that’s gone wayward. It will make a difference. It might not be THE difference, but it will make a difference.

Feel free to contact me with any questions about my experience. I also Instagram some of workouts and meals on @fight4phat — and sometimes on @josherwalla. So feel free to check them out if you wish.

PEACE OUT.



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[DEEP BREATH] … the fun and madness is about to go into full swing!

First off — Happy 7 Eleven Day! Happy Slurpee Day! This is truly a holiday worth celebrating. But, oddly, I am not this year. Unless there is a sudden change of rules, Slurpees are not on the Whole30 diet. Which is such a shame. Especially considering it’d probably make it the most popular diet in America.

But, alas, it is not — for obvious reasons.

So any of my Slurpee drinking friends out there — please have one for me today, mmkay?

I had a remarkably fun and meaningful weekend — with not much running. It was spent mostly with family. My niece got baptized on Saturday and so we spent the day with family and her. I probably could have gotten a run in, but I didn’t worry about it for a number of reasons.

  1. I was where I needed to be — with family and my niece.
  2. I was upping my mileage this week anyway — so I’d get a good run in on Monday anyways.
  3. I dealt with some sore calves most of the week and probably needed the rest.

I won’t lie — there was slight panic missing a run and having a low mileage run week. But, you know what? It is what it is — and I am moving on. You’re going to always have a bad week or miss a run — and as long as it’s not a habitual thing … it’s okay. I’m going to be okay.

I am going to have a good week of running though — not only do I have the Utah Midnight Run this Friday, but I am planning on doing a couple of double run days. Why? Mostly for fatigue training. But, also to motivate me to run in the morning. And, the best way to motivate me, is to challenge me.

Sooooo — I am planning on running 2-3 miles in the morning and then 2-3 miles in the evening. Along with my daily walking miles (ie-commuting, errands, walking during lunch and mowing the lawn). On those double run days, I’m hoping to get around 10 miles of running/walking.

I just want to focus on being on my feet a lot more. Especially, during the day. Having a desk job kills that goal a lot of the times. But, if I am going to be running a 50 miler — I need to be on my feet a lot more than just 5-7 miles a day. It’s gotta be more.

Anyways — odds are by the time you read this I’ll have had my first run of the day done already (if not I’ll need a better alarm). So I am not worried. But, I know I was where I needed to be and with who I needed to be with. The last thing I want to happen is my running to take precedence over family and God.

But, that’s a post for another day.

Sooooo — it’s time to really dig down and get to work. I’ve got the diet part down (that’s actually working!), so now it’s just putting the miles in, enjoying the journey and getting where I want to be.

And, I know where I am right now — I’m pointing in the right direction.

BOOM! BAM! YEAH RUNNING!


50 Mile Training Plan

I have 16 weeks left until my 50 miler! First off — YIKES! Second off — YEAH! It really is a mixbag of emotions, but more than anything — I am ready to rock the run. I wouldn’t be doing it if I felt like I couldn’t do it.

I have shared my training plan before — but, with the recent changes to my race schedule I’ve had to adapt it some. At least for my long runs. Which is fine. It wasn’t a lot of changing — thankfully. I’ll just have to get creative for my long run over Labor Day weekend since I don’t know where I’ll be running — odds are it will be trails.

Anyways.

My weekly runs range from 2-3 runs between 2-5 miles. The closer I get I’ll be doing some more double run days or evening-morning runs to work on fatigue training. My focus is also working on the core and flexibility so I’ll be doing some circuit training throughout the week as well. I’ll probably blog more about that later?

These are my weekend long runs (with other races listed as well) …

July 15: Utah Midnight Run
July 16: Neighborhood (5 miles)
July 23: Handcart Days Half Marathon
July 25: Deseret News Half Marathon
July 30: Timp Half
August 6: Beat the Heat 5K + 12 miles (Legacy Parkway)
August 13: Midnight 20 Mile Treadmill Run
August 20: Big Cottonwood (12 miles)
August 27: Run Elevated Half Marathon + 7 miles
September 3: Somewhere in Idaho (8 miles)
September 10: Big Cottonwood Marathon
September 17: Huntsville Marathon
September 24: Emigration Canyon (8 Miles)
October 1: St. George Marathon
October 8: Red Rock Relay — Park City (13.85 miles)
October 15: Frightmares 5K + 5 miles
October 21-22: Pony Express 50 Mile Trail Run

My August 20th and September 24th runs are planned group runs — so if you’re interested in coming let me know and I’ll send you an invite. But, I am excited to get into the swing of things. I am training deliberately — especially with runs that would be tough for me mentally and physically.

That is why my 20 mile training runs are designed to be TOUGH. I am running one (August 13) starting AT midnight on the treadmill. I am going to wake myself up that morning at 4am and either run or workout to make my day long and fatigued. Because, I want it to be tough.

Then on my second 20 miler (August 27) I am running Run Elevated Half Marathon and then adding on another 7 miles after the race. I am going to give my body about 30-60 minutes of rest — just to get sore and stiff enough and then I’m getting back out on the roads to get the extra miles in.

Then of course having three marathons in four weeks will be tough in its’ own right.

But, I am excited. I need these challenges! I want these challenges!

Anyone else training for marathons or ultras this fall? How do you mentally and physically prepare yourself? I’d love to hear back from you.


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There were some problems with the PodBash servers last week — mainly the system crashed. Which is a great problem to have! The Radio Ronin program is the highest listened to show and is posted on Thursday — the day before the AIIA and the Runcast. It was such a heavily listened to show the system went down.

It took well into Friday to fix the problem and get the servers back up that we decided to just wait until next Friday to post the episode. And, believe you me — you will not want to miss this one. It’s awesome. I get a sneak peek listen before it’s posted — and Coach Blu does a smash up job!

Anyways — come back on Friday for another episode of AIIA. Runcast will have another episode coming out on July 22 just in time for the Pioneer Day weekend.


PHATGRAMS

Just a boy and his Papou. #chubbingtatum #papou

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2667in2016

RUNNING MILES

145.6 miles

RACE MILES

137.4 miles

WALKING MILES

831.66 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

1114.66 miles

MILES TO GOAL

1552.34 miles



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InstaReplay: 13 Miles of Freedom

This morning I ran the 13 Miles of Freedom put on by Extra Mile Racing. It was a fun a little race along the Jordan River Parkway. I went into the race without any expectations — I got exactly what I prepared myself for! HAHAHA!

I ended up getting lost and running 16 miles total, I ran into a naked homeless guy under the 2100 South overpass and just had the adventure of my life. If you want to hear about my race in my own words I have a link below my Instagram pictures of my livestream — or you can come back on Monday for the full recap.

Enjoy the pictures …


RACE #124 IS COMPLETE! What was supposed to be the ’13 Miles of Freedom Half Marathon’ became the ’16 Miles of Freedom Ultra Half Marathon’ for me. I missed a turn at Albuquerque and ended up going a mile and half further than I needed to. It was totally my fault for missing the sign. But, I’m not that upset about it. Turned out as a great training run. Ran my 13.1 miles in 2:47 and the whole 16.3(ish) in about 3:50? I ended up catching up with the sweeper, Tammy, and went the last three miles + with her and another runner. I had a blast! I was just happy to be out there today! I felt strong especially considering the flat and hot course. I even ran into a naked homeless guy (twice) that made for an awkward situation (twice). But, more of that on my blog come Monday. Have a great weekend! Be safe and of course Happy Fourth! #13milesoffreedom #race124 #running @extramileracing @joshruns180 @fight4phat

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

RACE #124 IS COMPLETE! What was supposed to be the ’13 Miles of Freedom Half Marathon’ became the ’16 Miles of Freedom Ultra Half Marathon’ for me. I missed a turn at Albuquerque and ended up going a mile and half further than I needed to. It was totally my fault for missing the sign. But, I’m not that upset about it. Turned out as a great training run. Ran my 13.1 miles in 2:47 and the whole 16.3(ish) in about 3:50? I ended up catching up with the sweeper, Tammy, and went the last three miles + with her and another runner. I had a blast! I was just happy to be out there today! I felt strong especially considering the flat and hot course. I even ran into a naked homeless guy (twice) that made for an awkward situation (twice). But, more of that on my blog come Monday. Have a great weekend! Be safe and of course Happy Fourth! #13milesoffreedom #race124 #running #halfmarathon #fitness #run #workout @extramileracing @joshruns180 @fight4phat

A photo posted by @fight4phat on


FACEBOOK LIVESTREAM RACE RECAP


Runcast - Podbash Banner

This was released late yesterday afternoon. But, there’s a new episode of the Runcast out. I’m sharing more of my favorite running music — including some Imagine Dragons, Fallout Boy and some new songs.

Download the episode and take it for a run!


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RACE #122: Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back

RAGNAAAAAAR!!! What a fun and wild weekend. What a fun and wild week! Not only did I have RAGNAR this weekend, but this week was full of family weddings, parties and festivities. My little brother got married on Thursday so most of the week was spent prepping for that.

Since I had to be ready by 4am to ride up to Logan on Friday night — as soon as I got home from the wedding reception I had to switch gears and get ready for RAGNAR! It was 11pm once I ran to the store and picked up my food — then I quickly packed everything up as quickly as I could, because I knew I needed SOME sleep that night. Especially considering that I wasn’t expecting much the following evening.

Well, the goal of SOME sleep turned into like an hour and a half. I got packed alright — though I was afraid I was forgetting something. It helps this being my fourth RAGNAR. So I knew what to pack for my legs, etc. But, I was just wired from the wedding and most my time in bed was spent wide awake. Not cool.

With whatever sleep I got I got up at 3am, showered, fed and out the door around 4-4:30am. I wasn’t riding in van two so I didn’t HAVE to be in Logan at that time, but my ride was in van one so I hitched a ride and hung out for a few hours in Logan with Chris and Lisa before we needed to trek down to Eden for the exchange.

The one thing I love about RAGNAR is meeting new people. Except for one year, I’ve never really known the people in my van before the race. And, I like it that way. I love meeting new people. It’s fun. The strangest of strangers can become some of the best of friends.

And, while I knew some of the teammates they were mostly all from Logan — so interactions were sparse and usually whenever they came down to races around SLC or Provo. So it was really fun to bond with them and of course we had a blast. Lots of inside jokes, lots of laughing — just a lot of fun.

There’s a lot I could write about from our team’s adventure, but for the sake of trying to explain numerous inside jokes and back stories, I thought I would focus more on my own legs and their back stories. Because, really, I think you could write a whole book of experiences about RAGNAR.

Anyways — here are my leg reports. But, first let me indulge myself in one more — RAGNAAAAAAAR!!!


FIRST LEG

Leg 11


I knew what I was getting myself into on this run — it was going to be hot and it was going to be hilly, especially in the last 1-1.5 mile of the leg. So when I got handed off the baton I saved my legs for that last stretch because I wanted to power up the hills.

Though I started my leg at about a quarter to 7pm — it was still pretty hot. And, after being in the car for most of the day it took me a while to get my legs behind me. So I just focused on running at a comfortable pace and just went. I started listening to my music on the leg, but about 2.5 miles into it — I ditched it. I just wanted to focus on the running.

I was getting passed fairly consistently along the whole route. When I first started running RAGNAR it always bugged me whenever I got passed. But, when I’m running my own race and doing my own thing — it doesn’t bug me any more.

Especially considering that RAGNAR started our team later than we should have started (that’s a whole different story) most of the runners passing me were from faster teams. So, of course they’re going to pass me.

But, the point of pride came when we hit those two up hill stretches. The runners that blew past me earlier were suddenly walking the hills. But, not me. I kept trugging along and beasted up the hill — passing three runners along the way. That validated my training and really gave me a sense of pride.

I was proud of this leg. I powered through it and gave it my all — pretty much all you can ask for, right? After my leg, I decided to livestream my leg review. You can catch it here …


SECOND LEG

Leg 23

Of all the legs going into RAGNAR — I wasn’t looking forward to this one. Not just because it was my longest run, but it’s a tough leg. I ran this leg a couple years ago when it was 11 miles long and it kicked my trash. I knew it what I was getting myself into — so at least I knew what to prepare myself for.

Still doesn’t make it easier.

Unlike the first time I ran this leg — I didn’t start at 2am. This time I started around 5:30am when it was relatively light outside. Running trails is much, much easier with some light so I was thankful for that. It eased a lot of the anxiety I had going into the leg.

The game plan for this leg was to just keep going. Great game plan I know. I just knew I was going to be tired and probably sore from the lack of sleep and being cramped in a van for hours on end. And, the hours leading to my leg — it was still the same game plan, because I was EXTREMELY tired.

I tried sleeping some between 10pm and midnight, but it just didn’t happen. And, having not gotten much sleep the night before or that week for that matter — I was zapped. I wasn’t looking forward to my leg at all.

When I got passed the baton at the exchange I just ran a nice slow and steady pace. I knew I couldn’t — and shouldn’t — press out too fast. Mainly because I wanted to save whatever energy I had for the miles later in the leg. I got passed quite regularly throughout the leg — actually I counted 43 runners. I passed one runner, but that was because they were tying their shoe. They eventually passed me too.

But, again — I don’t run RAGNAR for the kills.

Anyways — about 3-4 miles into the leg I just lost all energy. This affected me not just physically, but mentally as well. I just wanted to be done. I was tired, lethargic and starting to get a bit cranky. I got supported a couple times by the van — which helped a lot. I got a banana and plenty of water in me. Including a few Swedish Fish for the unsupported part of my leg. The spikes of sugar helped.

Throughout the leg I just kept each foot in front of the other TRYING to focus on everything besides running. I tried listening to some music, but that didn’t help — just made me more anxious. So, I just ran — and chatted with passing runners. Distraction helps me in these kind of moments.

As I was watching my FitBit for my mileage I noticed at the tail end of my run that I was running further than the advertised 9.7 miles. The leg was more like 10.5 miles — which was confirmed with two other runners who ran the same leg. I’m glad I didn’t know this until later into my leg, because if I knew it before hand I would have wanted to traded legs with someone who had a two mile leg.

I’m half joking about that one.

But, by the time I got to the exchange — I was worn out and just grateful to be done. I quickly switched out my clothes and looked forward to a quick shower and hopefully a nap. Which turned out to be a long enough nap (30 minutes) to delay a total collapse, but I cat napped throughout the rest of the day.

Here’s my livestream review of my leg …


THIRD LEG

Leg 35

This was an easy leg — obviously. Being 2.2 miles I was just eager to get to it, run it and just finish so I could get home and sleep for hours on end. My goal for this leg was to just run the whole thing. I knew it wouldn’t be the greatest pace, because of the fatigue– but, I didn”t care. I just wanted to make sure I didn’t stop and walk.

And, being only 2.2 miles — with a loss of 239 feet, I knew that was 100% doable.

And, well, I did it.

I started running at about 6pm which made it for somewhat hot of a run, but it didn’t bug me much — again, because it was only a 2.2 miles long leg. I just focused on getting the thing done.

I did pass a couple of runners — none of which were tying their shoes. And, none of which who passed me later on in the leg. This gave me a boost of confidence. As worn out as I was throughout the race, I still felt strong. I credit a lot of that to Whole30 and my new mentality (but, that’s a post for another day).

But, it wasn’t that bad of a leg and you can listen to my livestream review here …


RAGNAAAAAAAR OVERVIEW!!!

As difficult and challenging as this year’s RAGNAR was for me — I still absolutely loved it. I had a great team and van — we had a blast. And, I was definitely spoiled. If you ever run with Chris and Lisa — they will ruin RAGNAR for you. They have the best set up — personal cubbies in the back, bag storage carrier on top of the car, power outlets galore throughout the van. It was perfect.

But, more than that — it was just fun to party with them, Lacey, Heather and Marvin. We had a lot of fun. As sleep deprived and exhausted as we were — RAGNAR was a lot of fun. It was bittersweet leaving the team when I got dropped off at home.

Anyways — I am already looking forward to Wasatch Back 2017! I totally want to run with Chris and Lisa’s team again (like I told you, they ruined me RAGNAR for me for life). I would love to run Vegas RAGNAR, but that’s the same weekend as Antelope Island 50K and Snow Canyon Half Marathon — not that I’m planning on running both (obviously), it’s just those have top priority over Vegas RAGNAR.

I am however running Red Rock Relay in Park City on October 8th and that one I am PUMPED about. This will be my first Red Rock Relay and I am running with the Addict II Athlete team. That’ll be a lot of fun. And, I’ll post more about that later this week.

But, I love relays because to me they’re what running is all about — RUNNING. FRIENDS. FUN.

YEAH RAGNAAAAAAAAAAAAR!!!


RAGNARGRAMS

I posted most of my Instagram pictures from RAGNAR on Sunday, but here are a few of my favorites from the weekend …

Gorgeous. #nofilter #ragnarwb #race122 #running @ragnarrelay @joshruns180 @fight4phat

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on


2016miles

RUNNING MILES

135.95 miles

RACE MILES

108.1 miles

WALKING MILES

742.54 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

986.59 miles

MILES TO GOAL

1680.41 miles


123 - af canyon half.fw

I’m getting pretty excited about my race this Saturday — I love the AF Race Against Cancer. Not only is it an awesome race down American Fork Canyon (one of the most gorgeous canyons in Utah), but it’s also a great cause I strongly believe in. 100% of all race fees go to charity — that’s pretty awesome, eh?

My goal for the race is simple — I want to come in somewhere between the 2:30:00-2:39:59 range. I am not looking to necessarily beat my Drop 13 Half time (2:31:14) — just stick in that 2:30 range to continue to build up that stamina so I can work towards a sub-2:30 at the DesNews Half (July 25) next month.

Knowing the course — the canyon won’t be a problem, the last 3-4 miles can be difficult after coming out of the canyon. So I am going to have to pace myself on this race — especially in the canyon. If I have it in me around mile 10-11, I’ll go for it. But, I really want to pace myself and build up that stamina.

So with that said — I’m planning on running with my Garmin. This will be the first time in — ages. Well, over a year. I want (well, need) to be deliberate since I really want to sub-2:20 at Nebo in September.

But, with all of that — I am just excited to be running this race, especially on the #Run4Dith team. We have over 25-30 other runners on the team and we’re planning on wearing pink for our friend Meridith aka “The Dith” — who will also be running with us! That’s more exciting than just being on the team. It’s great having her out there running again!

YEAH RUNNING! YEAH AF CANYON! BOO CANCER!



A photo posted by Runcast USA™ (@runcastusa) on

Thanksgiving Week: A Very YouTube Thanksgiving Dinner

No matter who’s doing the cooking for Thanksgiving, we all want to put our best dishes out there. Whether you are cooking the whole meal or happen to bringing a side or dessert to the dinner we want it to be our best. And, sometimes we don’t have the luxury of having the world’s best cook as our mother or grandmother so we have to look elsewhere.

So why not on YouTube?

So I have gone through the vault of YouTube in search of some awesome recipes for whatever you are making this Thanksgiving. Give them a gander and become that pro that your family will be raving about for years!

Or not.

Either way, we can all learn a little something from these videos, especially starting out with my favorite turkey brine from Alton Brown!

Turkey Brining

Turkey Basting

Turkey Gravy

Cornbread Stuffing

Mashed Potatoes

Candied Yams

Cranberry Sauce

Creamed Corn

Slow-cooked Green Beans

Glazed Carrots

JELL-O

Cornbread Muffins

Pie Crust

Pumpkin Pie

Just shut up and watch …

So are you ready to take on Thanksgiving now? You better. Especially after that killer Jell-O recipe.

So what are you making on Thanksgiving? Share in the comments below.

Motivation Monday

I found this little video floating around on the internet. What a great piece of motivation. Not just for beginning runners, but those needing the motivation and drive to push a little harder, faster and deeper (TWSS … sorry that probably totally ruined the moment, but I had to, the situation presented itself).

Anyways, I hope you enjoy it like I did.

Happy Monday! Happy Running!