Category: 2016

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?

Coming to terms with Hashimoto’s

Hello moto.

Okay, that’s a pretty lame way to open a blog post, but I’ve had that stuck in my head for WEEKS. Not only because of the stupid commercials, because I’m constantly reminded every time I say, type, mention or research Hashimoto’s Disease.

Anyways — if I haven’t told you now then you should know now — I have Hashimoto’s Disease. After a couple years — well, probably more like 2.5 – 3 years — of trying to figure out what was going on with my thyroid. We finally figured it out. It’s Hashimoto’s (okay at this point I think I just like to type it?).

It explains a lot. The unresponsive medication. The weight-gain. The fatigue. The lack of endurance. The lameness of it all. But, when I did three months of Whole30 and followed a paleo diet — a lot of those issues were minimized. Because of the elimination of gluten, dairy and a lot of added sugar.

Hashimoto’s and gluten intolerance go hand in hand — among a couple other issues. And, it just all makes sense right now — looking back at it all.

So, here I am.

And, you know what? It kind of sucks. A lot.

When I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism all I had to do was pop a pill, do some moderate exercise and watch what I ate to see results. You really can’t do that with Hashimoto’s — it’s a complete lifestyle change. A fairly strict diet on top of the pills and exercise so you can see results.

And, this runs in the family too. My Mom and sister have Hashimoto’s — and I am sure my other sister probably has it or will have it eventually. That’s what you get when you have generations of relatives with thyroid problems — I mean, my great grandma died from thyroid cancer, so it’s something that shouldn’t be taken lightly in our family.

I won’t lie — I am bummed about the news, because I wish it could be as easy as popping a pill with little maintenance needed. But, it isn’t. And, while I know I can live and maintain a paleo diet — it just feel restrictive KNOWING my body can’t or shouldn’t deviate from that.

And, it’s not like I eat crappy 24/7. I’m not eating Big Macs and Ding Dongs every day or every week. And, in fact, I can’t even remember when the last time I had a Big Mac was? So — there’s that. I live by a 80/20 diet — and I am not sure now how that’s going to fit into everything?

If it sounds like I am kind of whining about this all — I guess I am?

It just sucks.

But, I’ve had a couple of weeks to let myself throw a pity party. I’ve been enjoying things I know I’m cutting out of the diet. Namely bread — and dairy. I mean — I love bread — and that’s going to be REALLY hard to let go of. Sure there’s gluten-free bread, but I’ve tried it already and — um — no. There’s no point in me eating a slice of toasted sadness for breakfast every morning. If I’m eating bread — it’s going to have gluten in it.

I’ve been researching and reading up on a lot of studies and diets for people with Hashimoto’s. It’s pretty much a paleo based diet that’s recommended by most. I don’t mind paleo — so it shouldn’t be that tough of adjustment.

But, besides following paleo — there are also certain foods that are recommended for me to eat to aid in the Hashimoto’s. Everything from grapefruit to iodine salt to Vitamin D enriched foods to copious amounts of veggies. You get the picture.

I am going to blog a bit more about all those particulars later. But, the point and focus this week to get everything in line and a regime in order. I’ve already started following a diet — as I slowly eliminate gluten — because I know that’s the hardest thing for me to give up. But, I am giving myself until Saturday to do that.

Slowly, but surely.

Anyways, I’m coming to terms with what this all entails. And, while I might be slightly depressed about it — now I know how to TRULY fuel my body. And, I have no doubt that over time — I’ll get to where I want to be with my fitness and health.

That’s what’s exciting.

That’s what I have to remember.

So no more moping around and feeling bad bout myself. It is what is. So, here it goes …

#Hypothyroidism runs in my family. So that’s why it’s surprising it took me until 2008 to finally get diagnosed. I think part of the problem was my physician didn’t believe me, because … 1) I was just #fat, 2) I was a guy and 3) I was just a fat guy. I mean, she was right there. I was pushing 400lbs when I finally got diagnosed. Hypothyroidism isn’t just a “woman’s problem.” I’m a good case in point. It’s been an issue even since I’ve been on medication. And, that’s what has lead to the discovery I suffer from #HashimotosDisease. A condition that my mom and sister were recently diagnosed with as well. I’m hoping to reverse the affects through my diet. I’ve lost a lot of my running speed the past couple of years — and I’d like that back. I want my energy levels back. I want my mojo back. And, as frustrating as it’s been to see it gone — I know it’s also coming back. I just gotta take it — step by step.

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

The Run Before Christmas …

Welp, Christmas is over. I hope you’ve all had a great Christmas. Mine was spent mainly with family — which is the best way to spend Christmas if you ask me.

We didn’t do anything fancy — just the usual. My Dad does a reading of The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve for all us kids — and grandkids. So we did that on Saturday night. And, then on Christmas Day we had our usual brunch of quiche, copious amounts of Jell-O (because we’re Mormons) and sticky buns that go right to the hips.

But, all of that is secondary to just spending time with family. For me that’s what makes Christmas. I wouldn’t want to spend it with anyone else.

On Christmas Eve morning — a group of us met at Liberty Park for “The Run Before Christmas” (I came up with that title — thank you very much). The initial plan for all of us was to meet at the park and then carpool up Emigration Canyon for a 11 mile run back down the canyon.

While most everyone running still did that — Jill and I decided to stay at Liberty Park and run the perimeter. As fun as a canyon run sounded — we are both training for the Jackpot Running Festival in February which is a looped course, so we felt that some looped miles were more beneficial than a canyon run.

I feel shocked saying that.

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

Because nobody loves a canyon run more than me. Being a bigger runner I need all the help I can get and when you can get gravity on your side — there’s no better feeling.

Anyways — we cranked out 12.5 miles or so going around the park. They weren’t pretty. We didn’t track splits. We didn’t care. We just cared about getting time on our feet and distance on our legs.

it was therapeutic.

Plus, it’s always fun running with Jill. I don’t think we ever run out of anything to talk about. That’s not only why we’ve been friends for nearly nine years now — but, we make great ultrarunning friends. If you can make conversation for over 20-30 miles — you’ve got a keeper of a friend.

We are both running the New Year’s Resolution Run next Saturday morning at the Olympic Oval in Kearns — and, we’re planning on cranking out some major miles in the 5 hour time limit. But, again, the key isn’t necessarily the miles — just the time. And, 5 hours is PERFECT ultra training for feet time.

Wow. I can’t believe 2017 is beginning next week. That is just crazy to me. This past month — and pretty much — half year has gone past WAY too fast. But, the past three months have truly been a blur. Ever since my 50 miler time has gone by too fast.

But, I am looking forward to the new year — I love this time of the year. It’s a great time to look back at the year and plan for the next. Make some new goals and refocus my own going goals. It’s a time for new beginnings.

So, here we go!


The shirt says it all. #🚫🎄👠

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SOCKS FOR CHRISTMAS! Don’t worry, I’m 35 — this is a GREAT gift. #socks4christmas #BOOYAH!

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on


RUNNING MILES

296.95 miles

RACE MILES

400.05 miles

WALKING MILES

1519.23 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

2216.23 miles



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Don’t call it a comeback …

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

I have the next 11 days off from work — and I am kind of excited for the time off. I am planning (or wanting) to get away for a day or two,  do some car shopping, spend copious amounts of time with family — and just spending some “me time” working on my book and my fitness.

This morning I “officially” went back to Ignite Fitness — well, what you used to be Firehouse Fitness — and Trainer Jason — and I couldn’t be happier. I first started going to Jason back in 2011. So almost 6 years ago! Wowzers. Of the trainers I have had, I haven’t gotten sizable results better than with Jason.

His gym is a cross between circuit training, lifting and CrossFit. But, it’s definitely NOT CrossFit (as he would always interject). When I am diligent and faithful to my workouts and effort — I do really well. Not just in the gym, but in my running as well.

I stopped going about a year – year and a half ago. It was partly due to my health and my attempt at TRYING something new. But, also out of situation. It was difficult for me to make his classes at his old location before or after work since I had a catch a bus.

A year ago I bought a lifetime pass KNOWING I’d use it. For $1000 it was well worth the investment because monthly fees hover around or above $100. I couldn’t bypass the opportunity.

But, after I bought the pass — I sat on it. Literally. And, for the past year — really did nothing with it. I focused on home workouts, my classes at work and of course my running. But, more importantly than that I also got results.

And, now that I also know what’s going on with my thyroid and body I really feel the need to “take it up a notch.” I am ready to get back into consistency of working out at Ignite (it will always be Firehouse to me). But, more than that — I am ready to challenge myself physically and go for the results I want/need to make me a better runner.

It’s true that everyone loves a comeback — but, honestly, I hate calling this a comeback. Sure, it’s coming back to an old habit and system, but comebacks also come with the notion that you’re going back to something you once had, but want.

In life — there is no going back.

Sure, you might be able to achieve old results, but the focus should always be looking and moving forward. That’s why I don’t look at this as a comeback, because I am moving forward — I am progressing.

And, because of what knowledge and experience I’ve gained in right and wrong steps in the past — I know where I want to specifically go forward. That’s progress.

I am really trying to hold true to this mentality, because it is easy for me to look back and get discouraged KNOWING where I’ve been and what I’m not. That’s such an unfair and damaging mentality to hold of oneself. And, I’ve had to teach myself to hold to that mentality.

I am excited to be moving forward. I am excited to getting into a familiar rhythm. And, I am excited to see what 2017 as in hold for me.

Come back sometime next week — I will probably do one more post before the turn on the calendar. It probably won’t be a New Year’s resolution post — I think I am done with those. But, it will probably be more like a “focus” for 2017.

We’ll see.

Anyways — have a VERY Merry Christmas and I’ll blog ‘ya later!

Tis’ be Christmastime …

It’s been a while since I’ve consistently written here on the bloggy blog, but I am starting to get back to it. Well, not fully until the first of the year. But, I am planning on keeping up with my mileage updates. So, this is more of a report on mileage than anything else.

This past week I’ve focused on ramping up my miles. Not dramatically, but I’ve been doing a couple miles each day on the treadmill. And, it’s made a big difference in my energy levels.

Everything has gone well, except on Thursday I threw my back out which made working out tough. I still did my miles, but I walked them instead of running them. I’ve been having back problems lately and I hate it. More of a sign of my age than anything. So I have been focusing on stretching and pain pads.

I should be fine.

My focus is just building up the miles and preparing myself for my ultras in February and April. Not to mention my 50 miler from SLC to Provo in March.

Plus, I need to focus on my diet. Not just keeping on track diet wise during the holidays, but more so focusing on my thyroid diet. Meaning, cutting out the gluten, dairy and added sugar. Basically, back to a paleo strict diet.

But, I am going in for a few tests next week for my thyroid, because there is speculation I might have Hashimoto’s disease. And, if that’s the case — cutting out gluten and dairy would be crucial to diet success. Success I found with the Whole 30 this past summer.

I’ll be blogging a bit more about that later this week or in the hear future. Especially once I find out what’s going on with my body.

But, this being the week of Christmas — MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I’ll blog more later!


A movie so nice, I ended up seeing it twice. #rogueone #classicmovieticketphoto

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on


RUNNING MILES

276.45 miles

RACE MILES

400.05 miles

WALKING MILES

1473.1 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

2149.6 miles

MILES TO GOAL

517.4 miles


A photo posted by The Runcast (@theruncast) on

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 2016 Joshby Awards Family & Friends Winners!

The goal was to have these awards out — LIKE — two days ago? HA! Didn’t happen. I’ve been pretty dang busy. And, I am fine with that. Plus, I wanted to write a little blurb about each of the winners — but, time did not permit me to do so. So, I blurbed on a couple of the key winners.

But, seriously, I am thankful for all of the nominees and winners. The impact you’ve all had in my life this past year is truly appreciated. I count myself a very lucky man to have so many great people in my life. So — thank you, thank you!

But, without any further adieu — here are the winners of the Family and Friends categories … CONGRATS!

Friend Category 2016

Friend of the Year: David Stuart

Dave has been Friend of the Year the past couple of years and there’s a reason for that. Because, he is one of the most loyal, caring and attentive friends you’ll ever have. No matter the time between phone calls or hangouts — nothing changes his friendship. It starts up where it left off.

I’ve known Dave for years, but it wasn’t until about 5 years ago playing church basketball that we became fast friends. If we aren’t going to a movie together, we’re going to Walmart or a basketball game. And, above all that we’re also going out to eat. As much as Dave asks me where I want to go — we usually end up at a Chinese Buffet at his insistence. Which I don’t mind, because I just love spending time with Dave.

You really can’t ask for a better loyal friend than Dave and I’m lucky that he considers me his #1 best boyfriend — even though I think he might tell this to everyone else.

New Friend of the Year: Blu Robinson

Blu — or Coach Blu to many — and I have become fast friends over the past year. We somewhat met last year during the Thankful 13 when he took a picture of me dressed as a turkey. But, not much came from that until the Frigid 5K this January when we formally met. He was a guest on The Runcast talking about Addict II Athlete.

Going into that episode I really had no idea how that episode would affect me. I really didn’t know Blu THAT well and had just heard about AIIA in passing. But, over the past year it’s changed my life — not just AIIA — but his friendship as well.

If it wasn’t for Blu’s encouragement I don’t know if I would have ran my 50 miler? I know if I did attempt it, I couldn’t have done it without the help of Blu and AIIA. Beside that Blu has really encouraged me to also share my message and to be more vocal of why I am on the road I am on now. It’s the whole message of AIIA.

Inspiring Friend of the Year: Jorge Garcia

Jorge has always inspired me. He really has a ‘never say never’ attitude. Plus, he’s one of the most real, most authentic and kind people I know. He’s really like an older brother in many regards, especially when we get talking and go off tangent after tangent.

But, Jorge has gone through a lot this year and through it all — he’s hardly ever complained. He just focused on the task at hand. Because, in his experience he’s learned that’s all you can do. And, I have the utmost respect for that attitude — something I try to emulate.

But, Jorge hasn’t let a heart attack and other injuries set him back. Sure, he might be pulled back physically — but, he’s still out there looking forward, aspiring, inspiring and reaching for his dreams. He’s a great example of perseverance and the ABSOLUTE need for a positive attitude to get through anything in life.

I want to be Jorge when I grow up.

I also want some chips and queso, but that’s unrelated to this award.

Running Friend of the Year: Jill Gabica

This is different from the Runners’ Choice Awards that I give out. This is a running friend that’s impacted MY running experience and life the past year. And, it once again — the award goes to Jill.

We’ve done some epic runs this past year — or aspired to do some epic runs. I can’t think of anyone more encouraging of my running. She was there for me during my 50 miler and the months before hand giving me ideas on training. She was the one who encouraged me to run a 20 miler on the treadmill at midnight.

But, seriously, we’ve got some crazy epic goals in store for 2017 and I can’t wait to tackle them! It’s always a party in the back with Jill!

New Running Friend of the Year: Jed Jensen

Cyber Friend of the Year: Brian Rayburn

Out of State Friend: Angie Smith

Friend Mom of the Year: Jill Gabica

Dad of the Year: Jorge Garcia

Friend Kid of the Year: Grace Warnock

Friend Couple of the Year: Stephen Hendrickson & David McCord

And, here is the family category …

Family Category 2016

Family Member of the Year: Tatum Rex Snow Minson & Thalia Grace Hansen

This past year was a BIG baby year for our family. Not only did we welcome two babies into the fold, but Jessie announced she was pregnant just a couple months ago. We’re finally becoming the baby making machine our parents always wanted. Then again — most of us are all in our 30s so it might not last that much longer.

Still — I can’t think of any other family members more deserving of this award than these two kids. They’ve got the whole family on a string. Tatum is Mr. Personality and just loves people. He has no perception of “stranger danger” and can endear himself to someone within minutes. Thalia’s personality is 100% chill. She has an easy smile which really strokes my ego quite well when I try to make her smile. I mean, her sister and brother were a tough crowd.

I am sure Jess and Scott’s baby will have the same affect on the family. And, will probably sweep the same three awards Tatum and Thalia won this year. YEAH BABIES!

New Member of the Year: Tatum Rex Snow Minson & Thalia Grace Hansen

[SEE ABOVE]

Baby of the Year: Tatum Rex Snow Minson & Thalia Grace Hansen

[SEE ABOVE]

Family Kid of the Year: Maya Faith Hansen

This has been a BIG year for Maya. She turned 8 and was baptized — but more than that, she’s really blossomed into quite the awesome young lady. She’s a reader at heart and such a tender soul. She truly has a heart of gold that I adore.

But, the other thing about Maya that has stolen my heart — is she’s become a RUNNER! She ran her first 5K with me in October and we are planning on once again running another 5K here in February. She doesn’t just love running — she’s pretty good at it too. She took first place in her age group in October and I am sure she’ll do it again in February. I’ll have to train to keep up!

Cousin of the Year: Chris Pope

I don’t see my cousin Chris that much — but, that doesn’t mean I don’t keep up with him. I’m very proud of the man he’s become. He is a Deputy for the County’s Sheriff Office and while he’s in the news for a number of “police” things. However, this past year there were two incidents that — quite honestly — put me in tears, because it’s something I know our Grandpa would do in the same situation.

In September Chris was able to assist a cyclist who had a heart attack — besides being a Deputy he is also a trained paramedic. In fact the Sheriff’s Office he works for is the only one in the state that requires deputies to be trained and certified. Talk about luck — no — a blessing.

But, later that month, Chris was a part of a chain of events that helped a struggling couple. I can’t rehash the story well enough to give justice — so read this. But, watching it on the news and reading the story has put me in tears — because I saw so much of our Grandpa in his actions and words. I also shed tears knowing how proud he, our Grandma and his Dad are of him.

I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this year’s award. I hope he knows how proud I am of him,

Family Mother of the Year: Nannette Hansen

Family Father of the Year: Matthew David Hansen

Sibling of the Year: Jenny Minson

Sibling In-Law of the Year: Scott Stallings

Welp, that’s it for 2016! It’s been a great year. Well, it’s had its’ moments. But, I feel like any setback felt has been setting up 2017 to be a year to remember.

But, thank you for being a part of my life. You all have made an impact and I am truly grateful for that — truly, truly grateful. I hope you have a magical holiday season and start off 2017 with hopes and dreams that will carry you places once unimaginative in your life.

God bless!