I’ve said this a lot the past week — but, I’ll say it again. It’s kinda hard to believe that I’ve ran 125 races in my 180 race goal so far. I’ll be celebrating the fifth anniversary of the beginning of this little journey this weekend when I run the Handcart Days Half. Not only was that my first half marathon, but it was my 100th as well. So, naturally, it has a special place in my heart.
But, really, it’s hard to believe five years has now passed. It’s been quite the journey and one that still has many, many more races left to run. During my race on Friday night I actually looked back at each race — like, each and every race from 1-124. It was kind of fun (and a good way to pass the time in the dark of the night) and a good reminder of the ups and downs I’ve experienced along the way.
I’m just so grateful for the gift that running has been in my life. Whenever I hit milestones — big and small — like race 125 or date of certain races, I would be remiss if I didn’t look back. I’ve been extremely blessed by the people that have come — or ran — into my life. And, it’s those relationships that keep me going.
But, enough of that — one or two more paragraphs of that and I’d expect us all to start holding hands and singing kumbaya. Let’s get onto the race and my experience this past weekend.
I have ran the Utah Midnight Run five years in a row now. I like this race. It’s a fun race and a different change of pace, mainly because it’s a night race. And, it frees up a rare Saturday morning. Plus, On Hill Events does a good job at it. There are a few other night half marathons around here in Utah, but by far the best are the ones put on by On Hill Events.
Despite running this race often, it’s still a hard race for me to prepare for. Especially fueling up correctly. You’d think I’d have it down to a science by now — but, nope. In the past I’ve tried eating normally, not eating for 6-8 hours before fueling (to simulate sleeping and then eating light before the race) to just eating light throughout the day. I haven’t found anything that works 100% for me, because I either over do it or under do it.
This year was probably somewhere in the middle?
I wasn’t so worried about my Whole30 diet, but the timing of eating and amount of food I should be eating. So on Friday I ate mainly fruit and veggies throughout the day. I also ate some steak for lunch for some protein. But, nothing heavy or overly complicated. I just tried to make sure to eat every 2-3 hours and focus on eating my fruits and veggies.
And, like I said, it kinda worked. I probably could have eaten more to be honest.
But, going into the race my goal wasn’t a PR or benchmark race. I was using it as a training run — with effort. Which for me meant anywhere between 2:45-3:00 for that distance. But, I wasn’t holding myself to that time goal as a maximum or minimum. I just wanted to be out and run with friends and have fun.
The race is a point-to-point course the packet pickup and finish line are in Farmington and the half marathon runners get bussed to North Salt Lake to start there. So, I went extra early to pick up my bib and to also record an episode of the Runcast USA with Jim who was also volunteering at the race. It was a good episode and of course lots of fun (it will air this upcoming Friday by the way).
I nearly missed the buses because our episode ran right to the minute the buses were starting to roll out. Luckily, I didn’t miss the bus or race. That would have been a total buzzkill for the night.
The race started at 10pm so we spent about an hour at the starting line. Instead of the usual sunrise like most races, we got treated to a killer sunset. Not only that, but killer mosquitos as well. Thankfully, we were provided with bug spray by the race. Otherwise I’m sure I would have been sucked dry.
When the gun sounded and we set off I started running with my friend Tish. We ran for the first couple of miles together at a pretty good clip. It’s always nice to have someone to run with. It sometimes is the make or break of a run.
About 2-3 miles into the race we came upon my friend Jason who was somewhat hobbling. He was pacing the 2:20 group, but bowed out after his back started spasming. No beuno. He biffed it at a race a few weeks ago because it spasmed so I stayed with him for a couple miles until we could get him to an aid station — and eventually his wife, Tammy, who was volunteering.
By the time Jason was taken care of — I was pretty much in the back of the pack. Or — the caboose. There was 1-2 other runners behind me, so I kinda became the defacto sweeper. Oddly, there wasn’t a sweeper for the race — a role Tim and I had last year.
I didn’t walk the whole thing — in fact, I got some great stretches of running between runners. It was nice. I’d check up on them and then just run my race. I didn’t care that my time was going to suck. But, it definitely didn’t reflect my effort and performance. The race was more of a fartlek than a run to be honest.
I did start to cramp up a bit around mile 10 — not sure why? I think part of it was fueling. I was drinking water at every aid station, but I definitely should have ran with a banana for the mid-way point. And, I started to get a headache. Not a normal headache, but the ones that eventually turn into a migraine.
To counter that I just sat at an aid station a bit longer and drank a couple more cups of water. Some Advil would have been nicer, but I wasn’t sure if I was a bit dehydrated or not fueled properly? Probably both? But, my headlamp was also kinda tight so I readjusted that. After that I was fine. So odds are I was just cutting off oxygen to my brain? Wouldn’t be the first time.
It was a few minutes after 1am that I ended up crossing the finish line. After getting my medal I headed right to the water and bananas — naturally. I ate a couple slices of banana, but really couldn’t stomach it at the moment (sad, I know), so I took some with me for the ride home.
My time didn’t record and I didn’t really look at my time, but I think I ran somewhere between 3:10-3:20. Not bad for the stops throughout the race. I got a good workout in and good stretches of running — really the only thing I needed.
But, also, I got some GREAT fatigue training. When I was running with my headache I kept thinking — “okay, just push through this, this probably will be nothing compared to what you’ll encounter at your 50 miler.” I really tried to revel in the moment of misery and discomfort, because I know I’ll encounter that a lot more in the next few months leading up the 50 — in my training runs and marathons.
Anyways — race 125 is done! I am happy with my experience. It definitely wasn’t what I was expected to experience. But, at the same time — I wasn’t really expecting anything going into it. So, I got what I prepared for, right?
The focus this week is get some good balance of training runs and circuit training. I am planning a good workout focusing on my core tonight. That’s something I KNOW I need to do better at. Plus, I’m prepping for my double race weekend — Handcart Days Half (Saturday) and DesNews Half (Monday).
Anyways — HAPPY RUNNING!
MY NEXT RACE(S)
I’ve got a double race holiday weekend coming up this weekend. Not to be confused with a back-to-back race. I am basically running a half marathon on Saturday and Monday. I am running the Handcart Days Half Marathon (Bountiful) on Saturday morning and then the Deseret News Half Marathon (Salt Lake City) on Monday.
Both races hold personal significance to me. The Handcart Days Half was my first and 100th race — and this Saturday actually marks the 5th anniversary of my first half marathon. Kind of a special milestone. And, then the Deseret News Marathon was my first marathon four years ago. Though I am not running the marathon, the race still holds a special place in my heart.
So lots of personal milestones for me this upcoming weekend.
But, I also have to wonder why in the heck I picked July races for my first half marathon and marathon? Seriously. I remember how hot both of them were and how much I wanted to die after them.
Regardless, I am really looking forward to the DesNews Half — this is a fun, fast course. I am not expecting to PR. But, I want to do well. So, I might slow it down a bit at Handcart Days to save some energy for Monday morning’s race. I really kinda, sorta, maybe want to break 2:30. That’s the goal. Just putting it out there.
I know I can do it.
Anyways — that’s the focus this week. But, I’m just excited for a great weekend of holiday running. I love Pioneer Day. And, I love these two races.
NEXT THREE RACES
ADDICT II ATHLETE PODCAST
Okay, we were going to post this last week before the servers over on PodBash crashed thanks to an awesome day of listening (really this is a good problem to have).
This has pushed back the Runcast to July 29th. Why two weeks? Because, “Are We Prepared, Yet?” will be returning next Friday (July 22nd) to the Friday circuit. Schwendy and I recorded this past week — and it’s a good episode. I’m excited to launch it next Friday.
But, give listen to the newest episode of Addict II Athlete. This is a great story. And, please if it strikes a chord with you — share it. You know never know who you are going to inspire to make the change they need to make in their life.
My second round of @whole30 is DONE! This go around I lost 10.8lbs! Not bad. That’s a total of 28.6lbs the past two months that I’ve lost. Or an average of 14.3lbs. per month. That’s good! I won’t lie, I was trying to not let the number on the scale affect my feeling of progress. A part of me REALLY wanted to be out of the 250s. But, it is what it is. This is a result of work and dedication and I’m fine with that. Every loss isn’t going to be a Biggest Loser record. But, 10.8 is really great when on average about 8 is on average (2lbs per week). So I am still above average, which is good! I am going to do one more round of @whole30 that will take me to my birthday on August 15th. I’m going to work hard in the next 30 days, because I’d love to see at least another 10lbs if not more. The goal is 10lbs., but I’m pushing for 12.7lbs so that scale will read at least 239.9 on my birthday. My mileage will be going up the next month in my ultra training and I’ll be adding in some more circuit and strength training. I’m going to give this a go! But, I am happy with these results, maybe not initially but the numbers don’t lie when they show the whole picture. And 28+lbs in two months is HUGE for me. I haven’t had a loss like that in years. That feels good. And, the pictures don’t lie. I’m looking good! #whole30 #round2 #day30 #complete #weighin #scale #weightloss #fitness #health #wellness #progress #weightlossjourney @whole30 @josherwalla @fight4phat
A photo posted by @fight4phat on
This was lunch. What is it? Basically what you see is what you get. A sweet potato and steak. Seasoning? A smudge of salt. But, yeah, my boss felt sad for me and offered to buy me lunch. I’m easy to please and it wasn’t like I went away hungry. I just like to keep it simple (some argue too simple) sometimes. #whole30 #round2 #day30 #lunch #food #steak #sweetpotato #simplefood #toosimple #weightloss #fitness #wellness @whole30 @fight4phat @josherwalla
A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on
TOTAL MILES TO DATE
MILES TO GOAL