Earning our downhill run in Emigration Canyon …


As I mentioned last week I’ve been on a kick as of late with running up and downhill. And, as many would think … yes, it’s a sickness. But, oh my heavens do I love it! The problem is I am not sure what I am more in love with … the challenge or the punishment? Or maybe just being outside running?

Either way, this past week’s run with my running group was awesome.It was exactly the kind of run that needed and wanted. The uphill run was a nice challenge and then the back run back down was an even better reward. The 10 mile run was the longest run I’ve had since the Resolution Run … which was a month ago. It hasn’t been like I am NOT running, I am just not running that FAR and my focus has been on other things.


But, the plan for Saturday’s run was to meet at the bottom of Emigration Canyon and run 5 miles up the canyon and then back down. In the past I’ve only ran DOWN the canyon so Jill and I wanted to mix it up some. Plus, I remember some runners in our group running up it back in July and thinking how crazy they were. I guess I am now that guy?

The group was a good sized and many of us met each other for the first time, but we all went our needed/desired paces, which was perfect. Not that there wasn’t any socializing, there was plenty of that. Jill, Maria and I ran together until meeting up with Jason. Then Maria left 3.1 miles up because her legs were still sore from running the Miami Half last week (we didn’t feel bad when she complained about the cold weather during the run).

But, the group mentality, at least for Jill and I, was really needed. We all caught ourselves either walking or running slower than we felt needed and then pushed each other. Jill, Jason and I also talked each other into running the Antelope Island Buffalo Run in March. It’s funny what a group mentality can make you do? Jason signed up for his first 50K and Jill and I signed up for the 25K later that afternoon once we got home.

There’s nothing quite like running peer pressure.

But, overall, the run was perfect. The 10 miles was great for me mentally and physically. I felt like my overall body got a challenging workout. Plus, the uphill just fueled me to do more and brought more excitement looking toward the running season. Getting stronger will only make me faster.


Adam Barker Photo_webNext weekend both Jill and I are planning taking a slight respite from climbing uphills and testing what it’s done for us. So we’re going for a DOWNHILL run down Big Cottonwood Canyon here in Salt Lake City. This is one of my favorite canyons to run. This is the canyon that 2 of my 5 favorite races are ran (Big Cottonwood and Vigor Big Cottonwood) so it’s kinda special and a treat to me.

As all of my training runs, all are welcome to join in. The more the merrier in my book, right? If you would like to come we are going to meet at the Big Cottonwood Park n’ Ride on Saturdya morning around 7:30am and then carpool no later than 8am or so. There will be about two groups running the canyon, those that want to do a 10K or others wanting a longer 10 mile run.

I’ve made an event page over on Facebook so feel free to RSVP and invite others! It should be a lot of fun!


ReeseAnother run that you all should do or at least support is the Reese’s Run happening on Thursday night at the Utah Olympic Oval. This is really going to be a special evening and race and it’s something that means a lot to me.

The purpose of the race is to raise money for assisted athletes in need of racing wheelchairs so they can participate in races, triathlons, etc. Ever since I met Elsha this past summer my running and life have changed for the better. I had numerous experiences pushing her and Reese during races and other training runs. I am always in awe of their determination, perseverance and love for not just running, but life.

This run is fairly simple and something you can support with or without running on Thursday. It is a half marathon ($20 per pusher and $5 per pushee), but that doesn’t mean you can only participate if you commit to running 13.1 miles. You can sign up to run, take turns pushing some of the athletes and encouraging the athletes them along. There is also a need for volunteers and you can sign up as a volunteer a well. But, even more important if you show up and just be there to cheer the athletes on that can make a world of difference.

I am really looking forward to running this with my friend Josh, this will be his first race and our first run together. In addition to Reese’s Run, we are also planning on running the Vigor Big Cottonwood in May and a couple other races during the year. I think we need to come up with a team name, especially with us having such an awesome name!

Josh Squared? Oh the possibilities!

Either way, please come and support a great cause and make some new friends. This will be a very special evening.



She was moved to a care facility this past week. My my mom and sister have been staying with her since she’s been there.It’s hard to really assess my Grandma’s situation right now. Her body is responding, but being the stubborn Greek that she is, she’s not willfully participating in the rehab. It hurts her to move and at 88 years old it’s hard for to simply push through that. So, she’s pretty much stayed in her bed.

But, she is responsive and each of us who have visited her have been to have special moments together. Sometime later this week they will reassess her and see what progress can be made. There’s a possibility that she’ll be responsive, but then there is the possibility that she will come home on hospice. Whatever the case may be I think our whole family has accepted either outcome.

The prayers for her, my mom and family have really been appreciative and felt. It always amazes me the power that even the simplest of prayers have in one’s life. They really are felt.


Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015

2015 Training Miles – 49.7 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 16.0 miles
2015 Race Miles – 13.1 miles
2015 Total Miles – 78.8 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles




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