Fartlek Friday, Part I

FartlekFriday_BannerWelcome to the first installment of ‘Fartlek Friday.’ If you followed me on my last blog this will basically be the same kind of post, just under a different name. Fun Friday Fanaticism was great, but a name like Fartlek Friday is truly awesome, especially considering this is a running blog. And, who doesn’t love to fartlek?

Now, if you are not familiar with the word “fartlek” you can learn about it here on Wikipedia. I’d explain it, Wiki does such a better at it than me. But, just know it’s not a crass or perverse word like my Mom makes it out to be. It’s a way of training, a way of life for runners of all levels.

So, now with that out of the way, let’s also revel in the fact that it is Friday. Truly my most favorite day of the week. The work week is coming to an end and the weekend is in front of us. And, depending on the week there is a race awaiting for me so that means PASTA for dinner. Gosh, I love carb loading. Sometimes I wonder if I was Italian in a previous life?

Since, it’s the first Friday of the new year and there’s a lot of excitement in the air. The rush of the holidays is finally settling down and I feel like things are finally getting back to normal (really, though, what is normal?). It’s been a fun week though. On Monday and Tuesday I worked the Salt Lake EVE celebration for the Salt Lake Comic Con and was a runner for Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca from Star Wars) and Walter Jones (Black Power Ranger). It was a fun experience. They were judges for a costume contest and all I have to say is … PEOPLE. LOVE. TO. DRESS. UP.

There was a guy dressed as Chewy in stilts, a darth vader that not only had the costume, but went scared face and all. Totally cool. Then there was a little person dressed as an Ewok, a couple of Batmans, Napoleon Dynamite and my favorite Gandolf. He yelled, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS” and the crowd went wild. I would have totally yelled back, but I’ve never seen any of the Lord of the Rings before (I know, I need to change this soon, huh?), but he was cool and totally nailed the look.

Anyways, it was a fun couple of days.

New Years Day was spent pretty much sleeping, running (running never takes a holiday, right?) and then playing games with friends in the evening. But, I really have this love/hate relationship with New Years Day. It’s naturally a lazy day full of football, laying around and munching on leftovers from the night before. But, on the other hand I’ve also had great New Years Days spent running half marathons and doing fitness things.

One year when I was about 13, I made breakfast for my family and nearly killed them all with food poisoning. Long story. But, needless to say my brother will never eat hashbrowns because of this experience. It’s one of those experiences they will never let down.

Anyways, there were a number of other things that caught my attention this past week. Here are a few …

  • I signed up for my first half marathon this past weekend. I am once again running the New Years Half Marathon in Pleasant Grove tomorrow morning. I was holding out whether or not to run it, because last year the starting temperature was -2 degrees. Yeah, you read that right. I didn’t want to go through that experience again. But, luckily, the Weather Channel predicts a nice low of about 21 degrees warming up to about 36 degrees during the day (I sound like a weatherman, maybe I should be a weatherman, no?). HEAT WAVE!
  • But, there’s still snow in the forecast? BOOOOOOO!!! Well, at least it’s not the kind of snow Boston is getting, right?
  • I am having major anxiety trying to decide on whether or not I want to run in southern Utah or Las Vegas in February or March. I just hate spending money on traveling, especially hotel rooms. Sometimes I am tempted to crash underneath a freeway overpass and call it good. That might not be a bad idea in southern Utah, but in Vegas not so much.
  • I just hate the thought of going from January 11th to March 22nd without a race. Running the Washington City Dogtown Half Marathon on February 22nd would be ideal, but I also wouldn’t mind running the Red Rock Canyon Half Marathon in Vegas on March 8th. I’ve ran both before and liked both. Granted, the Red Rock Half comes with a nasty six mile hill to start off the race. Hmmm … someone just tell me what to do.
  • If I had to choose between the two races I would have to base it off the swag bags. At Dogtown you get running shorts, while at the Red Rock Canyon Half you get an orange long sleeve running shirt that barely fits a pencil thin person. Needless to say their shirt is one I am putting on my race shirt quilt. But, the Dogtown shorts don’t have pockets so there’s that curveball …
  • Oh, the decisions. Maybe I should just do both? Those overpasses don’t seem so bad. Or, maybe I could just live in the Circus Circus buffet?
  • I signed up for the Ironwill Half Marathon (May 17) in Riverton at Camp Williams here in Utah. I am pretty excited to run this race. I was debating to run Ogden, but this race was $30 and it’s a paved trail dream. Sounds dreamy.
  • Oh, I think I also found another race in April? We’ll see if that happens. It’s on April 5th down Emigration Canyon. It starts further up the canyon than the DesNews Half and Haunted Half and finishes just outside the canyon at This Is The Place Monument Park. I am stoked. I LOVE running downhill and to get the majority of the race sloping towards the valley? Oh, mama! 
  • Other than that dilemma my race schedule is shaping up quite nicely. In May it picks up with four planned races, two in June, four in July and another three in August before ending the season with two in September. Then I plan just one race in March, April, November and December. But, we’ll see how it pans out.
  • Oh wait, that’s two races in November. The Saltair Half on November 8th and the Thankful 13 on Thanksgiving.
  • I think I want to run 1,000 miles in 2014? I haven’t decided whether or not I want to do that. I probably should, especially considering it’s January 3rd, huh? I’ll get onto that soon.
  • I found this last week and still find it irrefutability the best thing to happen to Boxing Day since … well … ever.
  • So, I applied for a new license plate here in Utah with the word ‘FARTLEK‘ on it. I am sure hoping whoever approves the license plates is a runner. My mother still thinks that fartlek is a curse word. Au contraire.
  • I’m getting really excited to run my races in 2014. I wish I could just do them all right now.
  • If you didn’t catch it Wednesday I made the leap from Gold’s Gym to Planet Fitness. I think it’s too early to tell if I made the right decision or not. But, I think next week I’ll try to compare the two gyms. It’s probably not very fair though, considering that my home Gold’s Gym in Bountiful is dirty and pretty much rundown and that PF is brand new. But, the reasons are deeper than that. So stay tuned.
  • Is it already January 3rd? Man, time flies. It will be 2015 before we know it.
  • Did you read my post about last night’s run at PF? Give it a gander.
  • This just makes me want to grow out my beard and never want to shave again. But, sadly, my mother doesn’t allow me.
  • I really am getting excited to run tomorrow’s race, mainly because a lot of my favorite running friends will be there. You can’t go wrong with that right? Becca, Susette, London, Monte, Robert Merriman, Janet and I know I am missing more. It’s going to be a party. A long and cold 13.1 mile party. At least there will be chili at the end. That might end up being my motivation come mile 7 or 8.
  • I am thinking about adding an addition to the shoe family? I think it’s time to get another pair of Hoka One One shoes, no? I want to save the ones I have now by circulating in another pair. But, seriously, these shoes are awesome. They might look a bit like “special” shoes, but they are the best. I’d wear them everyday if I could.
  • So I decided to give up beef for 2014. I gave up soda last year and am still continuing that. I was going to go with beef and bacon though, but I accidentally had bacon on the 1st and decided that was a bad idea in the first place. So now it’s just beef.
  • I am thinking about starting to save up my pennies for January 2015. I want to run the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World (5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon) and then the next week do the Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland (10K and Half Marathon). I think there’s a 5K during that weekend at Disneyland as well. So why not that too? I love the idea of the challenge. I need to start saving or marry a dying billionaire.
  • Oh, I love running. I could talk about it for hours.

Well, I think that’s about it for me this Friday. Make sure to stay tune throughout the weekend for pictures from my race tomorrow and other “smaller” posts here and there. But, Monday will still be my full race recap.




  1. Hi. Just wanted to say that you have a nice website. I am impressed that you have been able to plan your races so far in advance. Where do you find out about the races you are running? Do you have a website you go to that lists upcoming races? Keep up the good work.

  2. Thanks Jared!

    I have a few places that I go to find races. I used to use Active.com when it was very user friendly. Now, it’s somewhat hard to search around for races which is a bummer because I really liked it.

    But, I go to the Half Marathon Club is a good source for races in Utah and around the country. It doesn’t have every race, but it’s a good source.


    But, I find a number of my races on a local website, Utah Running. A number of local races will post there, 5K, 10K, half, full and ultra marathons, etc.


    There have been some I just kind of found out from word of mouth. But, I do like to plan ahead as well and a number of the races I’ve ran previous years are generally on the same weekend the following. Not always, but it’s easy to plan.

    Are you a local Utah runner? What kind of races are you looking at doing this year?

  3. Let’s do Emigration! I’m all over that one.

    I think we talked about running for about 30 minutes straight the other evening and didn’t even pause to take a breath. Someday we should sit down and start talking about running and just see how long we can go without having to try or have an awkward pause.

  4. Oh, gosh that sounds like a challenge I am willing to accept.

    But, I am all over Emigration Canyon.

    Hey, have you added any of your races to dailymile? I added pretty much all of the races I am planning to run this year on there. You should go add yourself to them. I don’t want to look like a one man wolf pack.

  5. I have really been enjoying your blog! You are very inspirational for people like me who are struggling to get to where you are. I know that you truly understand my struggles because you have been there. When you give advice, I know it will be worthwhile to read and follow, because it worked for you.

    I bet there might be someone from RA who lives in or near Las Vegas who would be willing to offer you at least a couch for the night. That’s got to be better than an overpass, I would think. If you ever run one in Colorado (Front Range), you can stay at my house, and if you give me another year I will run a half with you!

  6. I actually live in Montana, but have strong Utah ties. I went to school at BYU and U of Utah Law School. My wife is from Sandy and all her family is in SLC, so we travel to Utah often.

    I have run several Utah races: the Des News marathon three years ago, the Salt Lake City 1/2 marathon 4 years ago, and a number of 5ks at various holidays. My last marathon was June 2011 in Rexburg, ID (Teton Dam Marathon). Since then I have fallen of the wagon a bit and haven’t run anything longer than a 5k. Plus, my weight is always up and down, and its up right now, so time for me to hit the running and get back at the races.

    Thanks for the good resources in looking for races. I’m interested in getting back up to at least 1/2 marathon shape, and maybe aiming for a marathon in the fall.

  7. Very cool! Well if you are looking at running a race here in Utah odds are I’ll be there too. I’d love to run with you!

    Do they have a decent amount of races in Montana or do you have to travel for most?

  8. There are a fair amount of races in Montana during the nice weather months, but most of the longer distance races are on Sunday. I have made a personal decision not to race on Sunday, so I often have to travel to Utah or eastern Idaho to find Saturday marathons and half marathons. But since we travel regulary to visit family in Utah and Idaho, if I plan carefully I can combine travel to see family and races.

    Next time I run a race in Utah, I’ll check to see if you are running and come give you a high five!

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