RACE #170: New Year’s Revolution Run

It’s hard to believe that this is the seventh time I’ve run this race. I still remember the first I ran it back in 2011 — I ran it alone. I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t even talk to anyone. I just came, did my miles and went home. I am a surprised that I came back the following year with that kind of experience.

But, I did.

This has actually become a race I look forward to each year. It’s not because of the course — heavens no. Track running, especially indoor track running is somewhat dreadful. But, I come for the people. The socializing. The party. It’s actually a lot of fun.

One thing I love about this race is that it’s five hours to run what you want, however long you want. You don’t even have to run the complete five hours or even get there when it begins. It’s pretty tailor made to what you want to accomplish during the race.

In my earlier years running this race I’ve just busted out a half marathon and left, but the past number of years when I started running ultras I’ve gone for the whole five hours and aimed for a 25K or longer. The most I’ve done is just a shade over 20 miles last year.

This year’s goal was a 25K. Really as a gauge for Jackpot next month. I’ve still been having some ankle issues and I really needed to know what it was capable of doing. But, that’s a long story for another day — probably later this week.

I wanted to get that 25K.

But, really, more than anything I need to gauge my ankle’s durability and just stick to what I could do for the full five hours.

A post shared by Josher (@ketowalla) on

The one thing is race doesn’t bode well for, are those people that stay up until midnight or later. I had every intention to celebrate the New Year here in Utah at 10pm with New York. But, my sister came down to the house and brought her kids — so 10pm became 11pm which then became midnight.

But, what was worse than that, before I knew it — it was 2:45am. So much for carefully planning a “good” night sleep. Especially one where you probably doze off around 3-3:15am and wake up at 5:30am.

So, yeah.

I got to the Olympic Oval at 7am, picked up my packet and then helped a bit at check-in. While I was helping check in runners, I got caught off guard when I saw my friend Mark Gabica in line. I blame the sleep fatigue, but I looked at him and thought … he’s here? That’s odd.

See, Mark and Jill moved to Boise last June and I’ve only seen them once since.

But, while I am trying to figure out why he was here. I didn’t realize that PROBABLY meant that Jill was here as well. And, before I know it, Jill pops out behind another runner and surprised me!

I had NO idea they were coming and apparently my deductive reasoning is also extremely impaired with a couple hours of sleep?! I was completely caught off guard and so happy to see them both. As it’s well documented here in the bloggy blog, Jill is my partner in crime and nonsense. We like to adventure together and it’s been hard with them in Boise.

After mingling with others for a while, we continued mingling once the clock started and the 5 hour clock ticked down. As I mentioned previously, this is a VERY social race. It’s hard to not go a lap without having a conversation with someone new. I love it.

A post shared by Josher (@ketowalla) on

I did a number of laps by myself. But, I did a lot with Coach Blu, Jed, Amy, Cevan, Amber, Lizzi, Jill and many, many others. I had a blast.

Between conversations and laps, I would periodically run at a good clip to feel out my foot. I won’t lie, it hurt. And, I am worried about what I will and will not be able to do at Jackpot next month.

It hurt a bit more to walk and do anything below a 13 minute mile. Which has been rather consistent with my weekly miles as well. I have a doctor’s appointment later this month to help figure that all out. It’s been beyond frustrating. I thought I turned a corner after Antelope Island in November, but I tweaked in Rome and I am just worried what the doctor’s recommendation will be.


But, that’s another post for another day.

Like all of my races, especially these timed races, my goal is to at least crank out a half marathon distance. But, I really wanted to get that 25K distance and I felt it was very doable with time and ankle all considered.

Once I got my minimum distance needed with about 35 minutes left on the clock, I had to crank out about another two miles so I picked up pace a bit and just went to work. I was going to get that 25K.  And, lo, and behold, I cranked it out on the last lap.

I was spent.

But, I also felt pretty good. Not just for the accomplishment, but physically I felt good (well, everything else beside the ankle) mainly because of my keto diet. I didn’t fuel much during the race, because my body just didn’t need it.

I had a few sips of water and some Powerade Zero. But, that was it. I didn’t need any of my almonds or pistachios. I had some after the race just to tide me over until Lizzi, her mom, Jill, Mark and I got to In-n-Out for lunch.

A post shared by Josher (@ketowalla) on

Oh, how I could sing praises to the Double Double Protein Style Animal Style burger. But, that’s a song and an ode for another day.

But, seriously, it saves lives.

Needless to say, it was a great day. It was a great way to jumpstart the new year. I don’t know what to think about my ankle? But, I am trying not to let my WebMD diagnosis freak me out — because my deductive reasoning has led me to believe I need to either prepare for a 4-6 week boot or start making funeral arrangements.

So, it’s probably best to just wait and see what the doctor says.

The other great thing about this race is that I am one race closer to my 180 race goal. I have 10 races until I reach my goal in July at the Handcart Days Half Marathon. I can basically count the amount of races I have left on both hands. That’s pretty exciting!

I am reaching that 180 this year at the Handcart Days Half.

But, if everything comes out well at my appointment the focus this next month and a half will be the Sun Marathon and the Jackpot Running Festival — along with lots and lots of training runs.

I’m crossing fingers and toes that I’ll be able to do what I want to do. But, I also understand that I need to be able to accept that I might have to do what I don’t want to do, but what I need to do for the bigger picture.

But, let’s talk about all of that later. Race 170 is done. 10 more to go! Happy New Year!


The following are the remaining races to Race #180 at the Bountiful Handcart Days Half Marathon on July 21st. If you would like to join me on my Race #180 there’s a Facebook event you can RSVP at here.

Previous years I’ve made a yearly mileage goal — the last two through a social ‘LIKE’ campaign. While that was fun, I decided that I am going to go into 2018 with a mileage goal. My goals are a bit less definitive than a mileage goal — while lofty — my goals are simple … run a 100 miler, run my 180th race at the Handcart Days Half and avoid injury.

I’ll loosely shoot for 100 miles per month of running, but I’m not so much with the mileage this year (this might change in 2019?) as making sure I get where I want to be.

Weekly Miles

Running: 0.0 miles
Race: 15.1 miles
Walking: 1.1 miles
TOTAL MILES: 16.2 miles

Monthly Miles

January 2018
Running: 0.0 miles
Race: 15.1 miles
Walking: 1.1 miles
TOTAL MILES: 16.2 miles

2018 Miles

Running: 0.0 miles
Race: 15.1 miles
Walking: 1.1 miles
TOTAL MILES: 16.2 miles

A post shared by The Runcast (@theruncast) on