Reese’s Run & Going BIG in Big Cottonwood Canyon …

IMG_0751It’s been a fun, frustrating and kinda long week/weekend for me. I started if off with a lot of good plans and goals and then it kinda of puttered. I don’t know if I would say it was a bad thing, because it was time spent with family and my Grandma. Her days might be numbered and the feeling of being close to family right now feels important to me. Hence, why I didn’t get many miles in this week, which I feel somewhat bummed about, because I went into the week very motivated and excited.

But, these kind of weeks happen, right?

It’s not like the week was a total wash though. The miles I did get in were totally quality miles. Some physically and some mentally. Reese’s Run at the Olympic Oval on Thursday was just awesome. I mean remarkably awesome! There were a number of assisted athletes both young and older that had the opportunity to be pushed during the race. I ran with my friend Josh, whom I am running with during a number of races this year. It was even his first race.

Then on Saturday a group of us did five miles down Big Cottonwood Canyon. We set out to do a 10K, but we realized on our way up the canyon that we couldn’t park on the side of the road in fear of being towed. They do this during the winter months to avoid accidents in icy or snowy conditions … but … when it’s 65 degrees on a February weekend day there SHOULD be an exception, right?

Either way, the run was good and it killed my quads. Which pain is good. It’s telling me something I need to do more of, right?


This is a run that I hope is a last tradition here in the Salt Lake City area. This was the first year that Extra Mile Racing put on this kind of event. Basically, it is a half marathon (or three hours all you care to run) event at the Olympic Oval in Kearns. It’s specifically designed and tailored towards assisted athletes (meaning athletes that need assistance running with either an person or in a wheelchair/stroller). Reese’s Run was designed not only as a race for these athletes, but as a fundraiser to help these athletes get the equipment and chairs they need in order to run more.

Team Josh – We call ourselves Legs and Wheels

I first got involved in the assisted running community this past May when I met Elsha. Since then I have friended a number of other people within the community. I have ran with Reese Thorne (the namesake for this run) a number of times as well. I’ve found that though I run a TAD slower pushing these strollers, that it changes the dynamic of running. It’s no longer a solitary sport, it’s a team sport. Sure, I push, but they pull me along just as much. Whether it’s Elsha’s candid friendliness or Reese’s pure joy of running it has enriched my running experience tenfold.

That’s why I can’t imagine NOT being a part of this part of the running community. Besides running with Elsha and Reese, I had the opportunity to run with my friend Josh at the run on Thursday night. This was his first race being pushed. We’re still working on getting him a chair that works for him, but he had a BLAST! And, like anyone that has the name Josh he’s a pretty funny guy! (he’s a comedian don’tcha know?). We’re planning on running a number of races together this year starting with the Vigor Big Cottonwood Half Marathon in May. But, something tells me we’ll be running another race MUCH earlier than that. We’re both HUGE Disneynerds as well, so we are planning on going to at least one Disneyland race sometime within the next year.

You can’t beat that smile of Reese’s!

But, I was just very touched with everything about this race. The pushers were amazing, the pushees were even more amazing and the people who came out to support and cheer on the athletes was beyond awesome. One mother made a number of signs to hold up at passing runners. I can’t understate how awesome it was.

I really can’t wait for the next Reese’s Run and I hope there’s another one done this year. This can’t be a yearly event, it has to be a bi-annual event. Just sayin’ …

Reese'sBannerI think some of my frustration for my running came a little from my run down Big Cottonwood Canyon. We were planning on doing a 10K down the canyon, but since we couldn’t park on the side of the road we had to find an open lot and run from there. Which wasn’t that bad, because I still got some fast, yet quad-hurting miles in.


I don’t know why I complain about that? I think part of it may be my marathon-mentality of getting miles in rather than a good workout? I don’t know. But, with transitioning myself from marathon running to half marathon and speed training I mentally just have to let that go. I am not sure when that will come, but I think I just need to focus on the balance between speed training, having fun and racing. That’s probably where the key to breaking that mentality lays?

But, who knows? That just sounded good on paper.

Okay, back to Saturday’s run. Since we weren’t putting a 10K in, my goal was to run my 5 miles under an hour. Last year this wouldn’t have been a problem, but with my health issues and non-speed training during November and December I thought this would be a good goal that would push me. And, well, it did.

I like to call this part of the run, “Deadman’s Ledge” … not hard to imagine.

The first half mile was up hill to make sure we got at least 5 miles in from that point to the mouth of the canyon. I won’t lie, that climb was STEEP! And, mentally, I was just got ready to run it. But, I mall-walked it and then at the turn around just let gravity do its’ thing. Which, being a bigger runner … I love!

The first mile I averaged about 13 miles including that run uphill, but my second and third miles were under a 10 minute mile, which felt AWESOME! I hadn’t seen those in a long time. I wanted to try to keep that up throughout the rest of my run, but that didn’t happen. So I just tried to push myself a bit beyond comfortable and that did the job.

There were a couple parts that broke my stride because of safety issues, but I finished my five miles under my goal at 59:25 minutes. I can’t complain about that! Now to just build upon that …


This week’s plan is two fold. Since I don’t have time for a loooooong run on Saturday I am going to have be consistent with my miles throughout the week. I would like to get a total of 15 miles in running and another 5-8 walking. I just feel the need to start getting more miles in. I think part of that has to be the awesomely good weather we’re having, but secondly, I just want to get this weight off that I’ve found while trying to work through my thyroid and testosterone issues.

I have an appointment in a couple of weeks for the testosterone so hopefully I can find a solution. I know they are intertwined with how I feel. I would just love to get rid of about 25-30lbs. Because I feel the difference. Well, and I know the difference. But, I am doing what I can on my part with eating as good as I can. I tend to follow the 80/20 diet, but maybe I should buckle down on that more? I am not sure? But, the focus on my diet this week is to fuel my body correctly and with good whole foods. Meaning, cut out a bit more of the sugar. Or at least be cognizant of it in what I eat.

In addition to running and eating, I am also focus on a being consistent with a weight-training plan and doing a weight-circuit three times this week (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday). I’ve lost a lot of muscle memory from the low-testosterone, but I am just going to do what I can. And, I know my body will respond. Maybe not as I would want it to, but at least in the right direction.



My Grandma is back home. I believe I mentioned this on Friday. She’s doing relatively well. She still isn’t eating much, but has been drinking which I guess is a good sign. It’s hard to say which way she will swing, but personally I think her days are numbered.

So the focus is more on enjoying the time we still have and talking about family and memories. As depressing as that may sound there is a simple joy in it. I’ve always loved the time I spent with her eating lunch, talking about life and laughing about this and that. I’ve had a special relationship with my Grandma in that regard.

Whenever that time comes, it will be sad to part, but knowing how much joy I’ve gotten out our relationship brings me a lot of peace.

But, in the meantime, the focus is life, happiness and joy.


Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015

2015 Training Miles – 54.85 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 18.0 miles
2015 Race Miles – 19.35 miles
2015 Total Miles – 92.2 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 13.4 miles





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