Tag: 2016 races

RACE #129: Run Elevated Half Marathon

I’ve been looking forward to this race for quite a while. Well, okay, maybe for the last three months. I wasn’t planning on racing this weekend because I needed to get a 20 mile training run in for my marathon and ultra training. I was reserving my goal half marathon race for the year for the Nebo Half which is happening this upcoming weekend.

BUT — I do a little switcheroo, because I have a family reunion this upcoming weekend in Idaho. And, as much as I love Nebo, I kinda love my family more. Don’t ask me to gauge that, because there may or may not be that much of a difference when you’re talking about the Nebo Half.

I love that race.

So, since I wasn’t running Nebo, I decided to pick up the Run Elevated Half Marathon instead — another equally fast canyon race. I’ve been running Run Elevated for four years now — ever since it’s inaugural run in 2013. I love it. I PR’d on the course in 2013. I feel intimately close to the race — well, okay — that sounds like a bad choice of words. Basically, I know the course really well and love every bit of it.

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The infamous hill — can’t remember what they call it — doesn’t phase me. I’ve gotten use to just jogging that blasted hill. It’s a pace killer, but I’ve learned it’s better to keep a slower pace up the hill then to walk the hill. Even if that pace is slower than your usual walk. Trust me — that logic makes sense to a runner.

Then there’s the whole canyon that I love — Little Cottonwood Canyon lends itself as one of the prettiest canyons here in northern Utah. It’s less traversed than Big Cottonwood and Emigrations, mainly because it’s roads don’t lend itself well to runners. They’re smaller shoulders compared to the other canyons. I’ve only ran the canyon once outside of this race.

Additionally, this is the only road race that goes down the canyon. I think it’s mostly because the community tries to limit them as much as possible — which I would understand. It is a watershed after all. All of that makes this race kind of a special treat. It’s capped off at 2,000 runners — so it’s small and intimate enough that it really feels like a special event.

The numbers felt really low though this year, which honestly wasn’t surprising. There were a number of races held this weekend. And, by a number, I mean — too many. There was besides Run Elevated — Top of Utah Half, East Canyon Marathon, High Unitas Marathon, Rivalry Relay and Lake Relay. When people point to saturation problems here in Utah this weekend is a good example. The High Uintas Marathon ended up being cancelled this past week — probably because of low registration? I’m not sure.

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Either way — I really hope race directors correlate a bit better next year, because there’s still a market for these races, but you’re just going to kill yourself if you keep competing against each other like this. There are plenty of underutilized weekends for races. But, this post really is one for another day. Regardless, I noticed a difference at this race compared to year’s past.

But, to this race. So my goal — one that I’ve been trying to hit since June is that of a sub-2:30 half marathon. I try not to think too much of where I’ve been in the past. Because a few years ago — I was hitting 2:10-2:20s quite regularly. And, because of my health issues and that I’ve basically been at ground zero building myself back up. Which is fine — because I gotta get back somehow, right?

Anyways — I’ve come close to this goal. And, after not hitting it at Drop13 in June and the Deseret News Half in July — I really wanted to reach the goal at the end of summer, especially since September and October were my marathons and ultra. Speed wasn’t going to be priority — especially since that’s not my goal for my marathons.

So this was it.

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Going into August — I felt really optimistic about my progress towards the goal. I had some really great runs and I felt stronger, especially as I transitioned my diet from the Whole30 to a Paleo 80/20 diet. Things were just clicking.

But, then about two weeks ago — I got sick. And, it just sucked pretty much everything out of me. For a good week I just didn’t get in the kind of runs I wanted to and last Saturday I got in less miles I wanted to — but they were still miles. Needless to say — I just didn’t know where I would be physically going into this race? Especially considering I was still dealing with congestion and a mild cough.

So the week leading up the race — I wasn’t sure how to approach the race. Do I just go for it as planned or do I go by feel and just push myself? Going through with the race as planned meant I’d be running with my Garmin watching my pace carefully as I ran down the canyon.

But, if I didn’t have it in me to reach the goal, the last thing I need is a constant reminder wrapped around my wrist of how horrible of a runner I was because I didn’t hit my goal. Normally, I would just say — let me stick with the 2:30 pacers and I’ll be fine. But, considering the race doesn’t have pacers — that wasn’t an option either.

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I was grappling back and forth with this mentality all week long. And, it wasn’t until Friday night that I just told myself — “screw it! I’m running Garmin-less.” I just knew if I didn’t hit my goal it would have ruined my whole race. I had to run the race oblivious to the time and just go out there and with my best effort. That’s all I could ask for, right?

The morning of the race — I felt good. I did have a bit of congestion. But, otherwise I felt good. To make sure I didn’t have a coughing attack mid-race I made sure I had my inhaler. I felt good to go. I still didn’t know how my race would end out, but I was ready to take a stab at it.

After meeting up with Dith at the bus pick up I hopped on the bus with the Skinners and rode up the canyon where we hung out until the 6:30am gun time. Thankfully the weather was doable compared to a couple years ago when it was snowing at the starting line. I’ll never forget that — it was such a buzzkill. There’s nothing like getting excited for a summer race, only to be meet with snow.

Anyways — crossing the starting line I just let gravity do it’s thing. I focused on not going out too fast, because I knew how easy it was on this course. I ran the first mile somewhat fragmented. I ditched my hoodie a half mile in before retying my shoes. My legs were still a little sore from leg day on Wednesday, so I just needed to warm up a bit.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

A couple more miles into the race I started hitting my stride and feeling pretty good. I just focused on my breathing, tempo and effort. It was around this time also that my two month old headphones decided to die. Well, half of them died. I suspect my headphones were a Chinese knockoff. But, that’s a story for another day.

After I settled for one ear stereo I just ran. I felt good and I just focused on my effort. I didn’t know where my pace was and while I cared, I didn’t. I just wanted to — dare I say — my best foot forward.

I stopped at each aid station to refuel. Not only did I refuel with water and a swig of Gatorade, but I brought some an applesauce packet to eat midway through. I tried to not stop too long at the aid station. I did have to stop once. And, I took a few pictures at the stops, because the scenery was just BEAUTIFUL.

In retrospect I probably wouldn’t have taken a few of those pictures. I couldn’t have held through my pit stop, but I did take a pit stop for a posed race picture. That one I probably should have ran through, because I was much closer to my goal than I thought. A lot closer.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

The first 7-8 miles are all canyon miles and I knew once I was out of the canyon — it would be MUCH tougher. That happened to me at Timp, Deseret News and Drop13. But, when I was hitting the mouth of the canyon I just went into a beast mode. Mainly, because I knew it was going to get tough, especially as we approached the hill.

I ran into my friend Shaylee at the mile nine aid station as she was pulled off the course due to injury. I felt bad because I know how much she loves this fast race as well.  Injuries just suck. And, this course can lend itself to some fun ones if you’re not careful.

Once we got onto Wasatch Blvd. the downhill around mile 10 was welcomed, but I knew the blasted hill was around the corner. So, I just kept at it. My approach to the hill was simple — just run it. And, if I couldn’t run it, just pretending your running — even if it’s at your normal walking pace.

So, yeah, that was basically what I did up the hill. It’s not that long of a hill, but it will kill your pace if you’re not careful. Especially if you walk. So, when it comes to hills like this one, I just keep myself in the running motion so I keep the mechanics going. I find it’s easier to get back into my pace if I do this.

Now, if there’s a science to all of that — I don’t know? But, it’s saved my races in this race, St. George and a couple others.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Once I was past the hill, there was about 2-2.5 miles until I hit the finish line. I took a quick glance at my phone’s clock and realized I was making great time. I tried to do some math to see if I was on target — I figured I was, but I wasn’t sure. So, I just ran like I was going to hit my goal.

The last two miles felt strong. Both mentally and physically. I just kept moving forward. My legs were burning, but I didn’t care. I tried to numb everything below my neck and just focus on running. It honestly felt like the last two miles flew by fast. And, I am sure if I ran with my Garmin those last two miles would rival my canyon miles. Or at least it felt like it.

During the last mile as I was making my way towards the finish line, I started getting a little emotional. It wasn’t because I felt like I was on pace or that I was going to reach the goal. But, it was from the feeling that I put everything into this run. I was feeling spent. I was feeling sore. I was feeling strong. I was feeling focused.

It was around this time that OneRepublic’s “I Lived” came across my playlist. And, that didn’t help either. It’s one of my favorite songs. The lyrics, music and message — were just what I needed as I ran towards the finish line. It’s one of few songs on my life playlists.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

But, as I hit the homestretch I just hit another gear and sprinted towards the finish line. The clock said something like 2:32, so I knew I was going to be close — after considering when I crossed the finish line and all. I didn’t think I got it, but I knew not only that I was close, but that I gave it everything in me.

Once I refueled and got my drop bag I headed over to the results table and got my card. The card read … 2:31:00:03. A mere 1:01 minute from my goal. Oh, so close.

I won’t lie — I reanalyzed every pit stop, picture and aid station — because a few tweaks here and there and I probably could have gotten my goal. But, I wasn’t feeling a sense of disappointment. Far from it. I gave everything during those 13.1 miles, despite not knowing how my body was going to react after being sick the week before. Despite feeling under the weather still — I pushed forward.

Plus, it was still a year best time for me in the half marathon.  How can I feel about that?

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Sure there are a lot of shoulda, coulda and wouldas. But, that gets you nowhere dwelling on for a race already ran. Will I learn from it? You betcha. Not just in race plan management, but maintaining race pace and pushing through pain. There’s a lot there that I could talk about — but, really, that’s a post for another day.

I feel great about my race and look forward to breaking through that goal time — this year or 2017. Looking back at my running patterns too, I ran 2:30-2:40 pretty consistently for my first year of running until I broke into the 2:10-2:20 the following year. So, in a way, I feel like I am following that pattern. Hopefully that means 2017 will be a fast year for me. I feel confident enough that it will be if I continue working hard and pushing myself.

After the race I still had to get seven more miles in for my 20 miles needed that day. I was originally planning on running seven miles in Sandy near the  finish line, but I had to get home and decided to do them at home on the treadmill.

My goal for these miles were really to simulate fatigue — and my legs were fatigued. I waited a couple hours after getting home before doing my miles — and they definitely hurt. It was hard getting into a rhythm, but I pushed through the pain and eventually found one. I really tried to visualize myself out on the course of my 50 miler going through that kind of fatigue.

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I’ll tell you what — it’s been fun training for my 50, because it’s so different from a marathon. There’s so much mental preparedness I need to prepare myself for, that I look for way to do it. Whether it’s running 20 miles on a treadmill or running 7 miles hours after a fast paced half marathon — I always look for ways to prepare me for October 21.

This upcoming month is going to be the real test. I’ve got three marathons coming up — Big Cottonwood (Sept. 10), Huntsville (Sept. 17) and St. George (October 1) along with my miles this weekend and a special relay with AIIA on Sept. 24. So, I’ll be doing big, big miles — and really getting myself ready for October 21. I’m nervous — but, more excited than anything.

And, really it’s just focusing on one foot in front of the other — much like I’ve been doing since I ran my first 5K.


MY NEXT RACE

130 - Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon

My next race isn’t until September 10th. And, I’ll be sweeping the Big Cottonwood Marathon once again. I did it last with my friend Ramie and had a blast and a half (not to mention a Slurpee). This year I’ll be sweeping with my friend Chanda — I am anticipating another blast and a half (and not to mention another Slurpee).

This will be the fifth time that I’ve ran the Big Cottonwood Marathon. Well, okay — fourth for the 26.2. I did the 13.1 once back in 2013. The funny thing is that when I’ve signed up for the race — I’ve never registered for the marathon. I always sign up for the half marathon, but I either upgrade to the marathon (like I did in 2012 and 2014) or get asked to sweep the course (like I did in 2015 and last year).

Now, I’m planning on signing up for JUST the half marathon in 2017, but we’ll see how that pans out come next year.

Anyways — there’s no real game plan for this marathon other than sweeping the course. Well, okay, I lied. The first 14-15 miles in the canyon I just have to maintain a 13 minute pace until we get onto Wasatch Blvd. for the out and back. After that — it’s just being as fast as the slowest runner. So, really there is a technicalness to the course even if I’m sweeping.

And, if you’re wondering — yes — I stop for Slurpees at Mile 20. There is a 7 Eleven at the mouth of the canyon and it’s just a crime to bypass the opportunity to grab a mid-marathon Slurpee.

I love this race — and even if I’m not running it for myself, there is nothing quite like running Big Cottonwood in the fall. Totally gorgeous and worth the registration fee. Plus, this will be great ultra training being on my feet for 6:30-7 hours. It’ll be a fun loooooong day.


THE NEXT RACES ON DECK

131 - huntsville marathon 132 - st george marathon133 - park city red rock relay134 - pony express trail 50135 - haunted half provo


WEEKENDGRAMS

I just want someone that looks at me, the way I look at Slurpees. #thatsalliask

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2667in2016

RUNNING MILES

216.5 miles

RACE MILES

206.0 miles

WALKING MILES

1006,65 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

1429.15 miles

MILES TO GOAL

1237,85 miles


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This is one of my favorite episodes of the AIIA Podcast. Jed was one of the first athletes I met in AIIA and seriously, he’s one of the greatest guys I know. He helped run me in at the Provo City Half back in May and, really, he just embodies everything that AIIA stands for.

This is definitely worth the listen. I love uploading these podcasts to my phone to listen during my races or runs. Sometimes I’ll listen during my morning commute, but when it comes to the AIIA podcasts, I’d much rather be inspired out there when I’m running. Really help me connect to the message.

Give the episode a listen …


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InstaReplay: Run Elevated Half Marathon

I won’t go into a full recap of my race considering I am working on a recap for tomorrow. But, I am happy with this race. Extremely happy. I was a minute off of my goal, but considering I was battling a cold the previous two weeks with minimal running — I feel confident that I am going in the right direction.

This is one of my favorite races, mainly because this is one of my favorite canyons. I know I say that a lot. But, when you live near so many beautiful canyons here in northern Utah — it’s hard to pick just one. Especially when each offers a beautiful scenery unique to itself. Utah — northern and southern — is full of beautiful canyons, period. One should feel lucky to be called a Utah runner.

Anyways — my race was one part of my 20 miles. Originally, I wanted to run my last 7 miles near the race in Sandy, but I had to scamper home. This worked out fine, because the whole point of breaking up the 20 miles with my race was because I wanted simulate fatigue. And, what better way to do that then to run 7 miles a few hours after a killer half marathon?

My legs hated me. But, that was the point.

I feel great about my race, I feel good about the 20 miles put in for the day and I feeling a lot stronger with this cold passing. Make sure to come back tomorrow for my race recap. There’s a lot more to my race. See you tomorrow …


I just want someone that looks at me, the way I look at Slurpees. #thatsalliask

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on


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InstaReplay: Timp Half

WOOWEE! What a race! I ran the Timp Half this morning down in American Fork. One of my favorite canyons and races — seriously. It’s hard to compete with AF Canyon in beauty and grandeur. Big Cottonwood Canyon is up there — but, AF Canyon is my favorite northern Utah canyon by a landslide (probably not the best use of words there, huh?).

With this being my third race in the past week I didn’t know what to expect from this race. I really wanted to take another stab at a sub-2:30 finish time. But, I struggled convincing myself whether or should try again or not? Especially having done 2:32 on Monday.

Anyways — I decided to just start off with the 2:30 pacers and see how far that would get me. It got me two miles until I ran out of gas. But, that’s not story of this race. The story of this race is one of merging physical and mental toughness. I won’t go into details until my race recap on Monday, but I was very proud of my effort and time.

I am waiting for the final race results to be posted, but I think — THINK — I finished around 2:39? I didn’t run with a Garmin so I am not sure. But, based off the glance of my phone’s clock and quick math equation at the finish line — I think it was 2:39? But, if not — I’ll be happy with any time because I earned it.

And, it was tough. Yet so rewarding.

Here are a few pictures I took before/during/after the race. Make sure to come back on Monday for my full race report.

This canyon. 😍❤💩💩️💩 #timphalf #race128 #running @runtasticevents @joshruns180 @fight4phat

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

RACE #128 IS ON THE BOOKS! Not only that, but my third half in the past week. My legs are spent, but I feel extremely happy with my effort and time. I don’t have an official time yet, but I think it’s somewhere around 2:39(ish)? I didn’t run with a Garmin so I wouldn’t know for sure and time is posted. But, today was a mental victory for me. After running two half marathons last weekend, I had many reasons to take it easy, but I didn’t! BAM! I’m feeling stronger and lighter and my stamina is returning. There were times today I felt on top of the world! Others, not so much. But, that’s running for you. Such a metaphor for life. Next up Run Elevated in a month. And, then marathons galore in September leading up to 50 miler in October. BAM! #timphalf #race128 #running @runtasticevents @joshruns180 @fight4phat

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

RACE #128 IS ON THE BOOKS! Not only that, but my third half in the past week. My legs are spent, but I feel extremely happy with my effort and time. I don’t have an official time yet, but I think it’s somewhere around 2:39(ish)? I didn’t run with a Garmin so I wouldn’t know for sure and time is posted. But, today was a mental victory for me. After running two half marathons last weekend, I had many reasons to take it easy, but I didn’t! BAM! I’m feeling stronger and lighter and my stamina is returning. There were times today I felt on top of the world! Others, not so much. But, that’s running for you. Such a metaphor for life. Next up Run Elevated in a month. And, then marathons galore in September leading up to 50 miler in October. BAM! #timphalf #race128 #running #fitness #workout #wod #whole30 #round3 #day15 #runutah @runtasticevents @joshruns180 @josherwalla

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Reshuffling my 2016 race schedule a tad …

Ugh.

I’ve had to reshuffle a few of my races this year — again. I’m sad and happy about it. I’m sad, because I am going to have to drop the Nebo Half — my favorite race and goal race for the summer. But, I’m happy because I have a good excuse to miss it.

No, I’m not getting married.

But, I’ll be spending time with family in Idaho and Wyoming — specifically the South Fork and Yellowstone areas. I’m going to go get myself a selfie with a bison, rescue a baby bison, walk into some hot springs and get WAY to close to an adult elk! Okay, just kidding, I’m not one of those kind of Yellowstone tourists — I’m scared of wildlife so I basically stay in my car. Especially after reading this book.

Anyways, I digress.

Ever since I’ve started running I’ve always told myself that the priority is God, Family and Running. And, that pretty much falls in line with my priorities. Friends are on that list I guess too? But, that’d be included in the running aspect of my priorities. So, that basically means if you don’t run and you claim you’re my friend — you’re not a priority in my life.

KIDDING.

You’re on that list. Let’s just say you’re fourth on the list — or fifth after nachos. Again, I am kidding. I think?

So, to the changes. Not only am I dropping the Nebo Half, but the Goldilocks Half that I was going to pace was cancelled. It’s just now a biking event, no race. Kind of a bummer.

I also decided to not run Cory Reese’s Bakers Dozen Half this year — it should be taking place around December 10th (not announced yet). I want to race it, but I’ve taken a lot of time off this year so far and will have traveled a lot (twice to St. George for the St. George Marathon and Snow Canyon Half) — that I decided to stick close to home.

Now to offset the dropped races I decided to pick up the Red Rock Relay in Park City (October 8th). It’s a mini relay (six member team), but one of the legs totals over 13.1 miles — which I’ll sign up for. I am excited for this relay because I am running the AIIA team and it should be a lot of fun. I’ll blog more about this later (I also have a cool giveaway to announce next week).

I have also been deciding on whether or not I want to run the Snow Canyon Half or Antelope Island 50K — which are both on the same day (November 5th). I guess I should trow the Mountain View Half Marathon on there too because it’s on Antelope Island as well. But, I decided today that I really, really, really want to do Snow Canyon. I love the course and two weeks after my 50 it seems like a better decision over a 50K.

I am sure I could do it, but I just don’t want to (how’s that for a reason?)

Anyways, here is what the rest of my race calendar looks like from here on out …

125 - utah midnight run.fw 126 - bountiful handcart days.fw 127 - desnews half.fw 128-timp half.fw 129 - Run Elevated Half Marathon 130 - Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon 131 - huntsville marathon 132 - st george marathon 133 - park city red rock relay 134 - pony express trail 50 135 - haunted half provo136- snow canyon half marathon137 - thankful 13138 - resolution run


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RACE #119: Ogden Half Marathon

I’m writing this recap with about 24 hours of retrospect about this race. And, I’m still trying to figure out exactly how I feel about it. It was wet. It was tough. It was painful. But, at the same time, it was exactly what I needed — emotionally, physically and to some extent — spiritually. It was a truly a test for the whole body.

I’ve ran Ogden the past five years — and the last 3 of 4 years it’s rained. In 2013, it was a constant rain throughout the race. I was soaked to the core and somewhat unprepared for the elements. Last year, I was prepared when I saw rain on the forecast. So, I brought a complete change of clothes with me. I am glad I did, because it was not just wet, but much colder than 2013.

This year when I saw a 20% chance of rain in the forecast — I knew better than to take a chance on being caught unprepared. So, I packed a complete change of clothes with me — even if I didn’t need it, it was there. And, man, I am glad I brought what I brought. It saved my life.

Facing 30MPH monsoon-like headwinds was something that I’ve never faced before — in training runs or a race. Mentally, I don’t know how I could have endured through the race without the assurance that I was prepared with warm clothes at the finish line. I really believe in the adage “if you are prepared, you shall not fear.” Preparedness really gave me the courage to tough through the race.

I had bought a bib a few weeks ago after I had to sell my Vigor BC Half bib because of a wedding. Since the wedding was originally set for this weekend and moved that opened my day for Ogden. So I got a bib since Ogden is one of my favorite race.

Plus, I can never say no to a race — let’s be honest.

I was planning on running solo, but my friend Tim decided to sell his marathon bib in order to find a half bib. And, of course, we planned on running together. Then this past week our friend Jill picked up a bib — and joined the party.

This wasn’t the first time we ran together — we’ve ran a few other races together, but most notably the Big Cottonwood Marathon in 2014. Which was also Jill’s first marathon. So, we’ve had plenty of experience in party running.

Going into the race, our goal was simple — sub-three hours. Specifically, a sub-2:55 (my Provo time) for me. I really wanted to build on that. But, as you can tell from the weather — that was very much an unrealized goal for all of us. My official time was 3:33:15 — which is by far my worst time in a half I wasn’t pacing.

But, that time doesn’t even paint the picture of my run. The way I was feeling — physically, mentally and emotionally — going into the race was much better than the Provo City Half. I was ready and prepared to run the task at hand. And, for the first couple of miles before getting slammed by the weather I was doing great. I climbed the hill from Eden strategically with a run/walk method and just beasted up it.

Plus, I felt great.

The weather started really picking up around the time we got to the dam. We ran into our friend Dulci and her goddaughter before trying to fly down the canyon. But, we got slammed — my hat saved my life. It gave me some protection from the wind, but my glasses were worthless, so I took just took them off instead of trying to windshield wipe them every 500 feet.

The wind was a headwind and soon gusts of 30MPH were hitting us. It took full effort trying to run through it, but that soon became too difficult to push through, because it just ZAPS you to the core. Not fun.

So instead, we ran what we could and sped walked or pushed through the headwinds. Even at this point I was still mentally strong and doing well — the experiences from year’s past and knowing I was prepared after the run really kept me going. I realized I probably wasn’t going to get my time goal, but I didn’t feel bad about that, because I was leaving everything out there.

Around the mile five aid station Jill was running a little ahead of us as Tim and I stopped to refuel. We didn’t see that Jill had kept running — especially since I didn’t have my glasses on and couldn’t see further than 10 feet in front of me. We thought she stopped for a port-a-potty, so we stopped and waited for her.

We waited there for about five or so minutes. We were worried she was sick so we didn’t want to ditch her. So we decided to start walking thinking she would catch up. We stopped a number of times to look back in search for her — vain. It really ate up a little time (like I said, the 3:33:15 time isn’t an indicator of the effort).

But, luckily, she was ahead of us the whole time. I was really worried that we ditched her and I knew that mentally that could have eaten her up. So when I saw that she finished around 3:10 — I was excited and proud of her. She really earned it. Especially being her first race back post-pregnancy.

If it was possible, once we lost Jill, the weather seemed to get even worse. I was just praying it would stop sooner than later, especially as we got out of the canyon. Which, luckily, it did. It was still sprinkling once we got of the canyon, but the wind was gone.

This really made the last three miles feel like cake. My energy was zapped fighting the elements, but I just wanted to finish. I was ready for some bananas, warm clothes and a nap.

It was really cool, once we got a couple blocks from the finish line we were handed American flags. It was really touching — and sure it could have been because of the mix of emotions I had been feeling for the past three and a half hours. But, it was awesome running across the finish line with my flag. It felt like I was waving the flag of victory (which, really I was).

Anyways — after I crossed the finish line, I got myself some water, downed an orange (SO GOOD!) and a couple bananas before running (limping) over to the bag pick up for my dry clothes. I quickly (and by quickly, I mean it took me probably half an hour) changed in the handicapped port-a-potty. I then collapsed on one of the green lawnchairs near the stage, ate my apple and just sat and watched everyone around me. I was beat.

The cool part of the post-race afternoon though was going out to lunch with my friends Angie Pace, Tim, his wife and … Bart Yasso! Yes, THAT Bart Yasso! It’s not every day you get that opportunity and it was a great time listening to a number of his stories running around the world. Awesome guy!

Overall, I feel great about my race. My time is no indication of how I felt, what my effort was or whether or not I was progressing as a runner. It was the perfect race for me at the perfect time that I needed it. I am sure glad my friend moved his wedding so I could run Ogden. I’ll always run Ogden.

Now the focus is on Alpine next week and Drop 13 (June 11) — plus, a good training run on June 4th. Just trying to figure out a good place for one — maybe Big Cottonwood, Little Cottonwood or Millcreek? I just feel like I need another canyon run here soon.

Anyways — HAPPY RUNNING! Who else ran Ogden? How’d you do? Was your experience in the rain and wind? Leave a comment below!


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Next week I am sweeping the Alpine Classic Half Marathon — appropriately located in Alpine, Utah — for RYR Pacing. It will be a good little training run. Not pressure on time, just a matter of getting distance in. It’s a smaller race than most I’ve paced so I am expecting to finish under four hours with some good stretches of running for me. But, that’s not my top priority — that’s to get everyone across the finish line.

This will be my second time running the Alpine Half. I ran it back in 2013 with Susette — it’s a hilly course. But, I finished around 2:30 — a time I’d kill for these days. Anyways — it’s not an easy course or for one faint of heart. It’s technical and fun. One characteristic of most Utah Run races that I like — think of it as almost a trail race … on pavement.

As I mentioned above — my focus now is doing well at the Drop 13 Half (June 11), so with a couple weeks of good running, the paced half and a good long distance training run between the two races — I should improve my time goal from Provo quite significantly. At least that’s the goal.


PHATGRAMS

Most guts? WE WIN! #prefontaine #race119 #ogdenhalf #running @ogdenmarathon @joshruns180

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How are these cheeks NOT bruised? They’re so pinchable! #littlemangabica

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I’m dedicating my 13.1 miles tomorrow at the @ogdenmarathon to @race2erace @theabolitionistsmovie, @ourrescue and the children currently held in the sex slave industry around the world. Child sex slavery is our biggest social ill to date. We live under the assumption that slavery ended with Lincoln. It didn’t. Just institutionalized slavery here in the US. There are currently over 27 million slaves worldwide and two million of those are children. More often than they are trapped in the sex trade. This MUST stop! That’s one too many. With movies like @theabolitionistsmovie and organizations like @ourrescue and @race2erace we can make and be that difference. If you’d like to donate your miles towards the goal of running two million miles tag your social media running posts with #run2m. Every mile counts and gets us closer to rescuing all two million children. #race119 #ogdenhalf #running #rescue2m #run2m

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I call this piece of artwork “50 SHADES OF BANANAS” #bananaart

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These kids — love them all. #prouduncle

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Miss Thalia and Mister Tatum — it’s kinda fun being an uncle to these two. #prouduncle #misschicka #chubbingtatum

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The latest episode of the Runcast USA went live on Friday — it went live a little bit later than usual, so you might have missed it. But,  it’s a special music episode where I share some of my favorite running songs.

Well, I have a few of my favorite running songs — a few from the listeners — and a few new songs I’ve recently discovered. It’s kinda fun. Hopefully it’s something we can do again and so far from our numbers it’s one of our most popular shows.

Anyways — give the podcast a listen on Podbash.com or download it on iTunes and take it for a run!


2016miles

RUNNING MILES

106.05 miles

RACE MILES

64.8 miles

WALKING MILES

627.54 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

798.39 miles

MILES TO GOAL

1868.61 miles



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Changes to my 2016 race schedule

As I have mentioned previously, recently I have had to drop one of my favorite races from my race schedule — the Vigor Big Cottonwood Half Marathon — on May 14th, because of a wedding. Not, just any wedding — but, my best friend’s wedding. A wedding in which I am the best man.

I did entertain the thought of running beforehand and then rushing home to shower, get dressed and to the temple by 11am for the ceremony. But, I know by doing that — I’d be tempting fate. And, with my luck, I would have totally screwed everything up and missed it.

So, I ended up essentially trading the bib with a friend for the Ogden Half Marathon the following week. Another favorite race of mine. Hopefully the rain will stay away this year — but, rain or not — I’d still run it. Such a beautiful course.

I also recently added a couple of races a few months ago to aid me in my 50 mile training. Namely the Big Cottonwood Marathon and Huntsville Marathon in September. So here is my schedule to reflect those changes. I really don’t expect it to change much (if at all) from here on out.

But, I kind of say that every year … here is the revised schedule —


119 - Ogden Half 120 - Alpine Half 121 - Drop 13 Half 122 - Ragnar Wasatch Back 123 - AF Canyon Race Against Cancer 124 - 13 Miles of Freedom 125 - Utah Midnight Run 126 - Handcart Days Half 127 - DesNews Half 128 - Timp Half 129 - Nebo Half 130 - Big Cottonwood Marathon 131 - Huntsville Marathon 132 - Goldilocks Half 133 - St George Marathon 134 - Pony Express 50 Miler 135 - Haunted Half Provo 136 - Antelope Island 50K 137 - Thankful 13 138 - Bakers Dozen Half 139 - New Years Run Resolution


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RACE #117: March Madness Half Marathon

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Running is so rewarding — it’s inspiring — it’s motivating — and, yet it’s hard. It’s easy to forget that. But, running in all it’s simpleness — is tough as — you know what.

Sure, it would have helped if I went into the race fully trained. But, that wasn’t the goal. I mainly did it to get my race wiggles out and to use it to gauge where I’m at with my training. There was no goal time or certain pace I wanted to attain — I just wanted to give my best effort and see what happened.

And, I feel like I attained that.

It was a humbling experience too. It’s been my longest run since the Revolution Run in January. I had lost a lot of speed and stamina in the later part of last year, just from complications to my thyroid/testosterone issues. So I wanted to use the first few months of the year to build up towards a half marathon.

As evidenced today — I can still run … or complete, a half marathon. It hurt. It was painful. But, I did it. But, I don’t want to simply finish a half marathon, I want to run a half marathon like I know am capable of running it.

Obviously, easier said than done.

So the goal has been to lead up my training to the Provo City Half Marathon on May 7th — so far, so good. Well, despite a couple weeks of non-running because of illness. But, I’m still on track to be trained by race day.

But, I needed this challenge — I needed this race. I needed a physical and mental challenge for me and this just seemed perfect. It was a small race — relatively cheap — and between my last race and Provo City. So I signed up — of course with no expectations.

From all indications this was a first time race — I didn’t see it on the race docket last year — so I am assuming it’s new. And, so going into the race, I was expecting a small runners field — which was the case.

So I expected to be the last runner going into the race. Especially since it was a flat course along the Legacy Parkway Trail. But, I actually wasn’t … I was third to last. Which makes me bummed that only the first three finishers get medals — I think us in the back deserve them too!

There were a few familiar faces along the course — which is always a treat. And, from miles 3-8 I was able to run with my friend JoAnna and Michael. That was much needed. It helped me stay on pace longer than I think I mentally could.

Around mile eight is when my body started to tank some — which I kinda expected. Even at mile eight. Usually I hit that wall around mile 10-11, but since my longest training so far has been five miles — I was expecting it.

So, after sending JoAnna and Mike ahead of me — I just focused on the nitty gritty last five miles. It was tough. It was hard. I might have cried. But, it wasn’t from pain — I had dropped my opened uneaten Gu on the ground.

But, I just focusing on moving forward. I did a run/walk method, but that quickly turned into a shuffle/walk — which than turned into a shuffle three steps/walk method. Needless to say, there was NO juice in my legs. None.

Yet, I was okay with that. I was expecting it. I just put my music on, zoned out and tried to get lost in my thoughts. Which worked for the most part — though I’d get the occasional biker yelling “to your left” — which totally broke my zen moments.

Anyways, once I was on the home stretch — I was just happy to be done. I found a huge plate of oranges and just sat there munching them down while drinking down water. It was pretty much the nearest to heaven I’ve been while running. I could have eaten the whole plate.

And, so I survived race #117 in my 180 race journey. It was everything expected — tough, ugly, difficult and nothing to really write home about. BUT … it was very rewarding. It gave me time to get lost in thought, experience and process what my body was telling me and be a part of the running community.

Now, excuse me while I walk around funny — looking like I have been riding horses for two weeks straight.

I may or may not have the saddle burn to prove it as well. But, that’s another story for another day.

Now to focus 100% of my effort on Provo!


MY NEXT RACE: PROVO CITY 13.1

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As noted above — this is the race I am training for currently. This isn’t my goal race for the year, but obviously want to give it my best effort.

This will be my fifth time running Provo — which sounds SO weird saying. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been running over five years now. It all seems so new to me sometimes — and I guess some of it is, like the ultra marathons and longer distances. But, still. Five years?

I don’t have a goal time for this race … yet. I am thinking about 2:30-2:40 would be ideal, but I’d be happy with anything under 2:45 right. Since it’s mainly a downhill course I feel like that’s doable.

Anyways — PROVO OR BUST! (never thought I’d be typing that)


RACEGRAMS


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If you haven’t listened to the latest episode of the Runcast USA — give it a listen. We’re talking about winter running. Sure it’s now March and the weather is decent — but, you never know when a freak spring snowstorm could happen … right?

Anyways — give it a listen and let us know what you think …


2016miles

RUNNING MILES

36.2 miles

RACE MILES

35.5 miles

WALKING MILES

262.65 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

334.35 miles

MILES TO GOAL

2332.65



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#cancersucks #running #run #runner #runningquotes #quotes #life #wellness #fitness #run4dith @my.run @joshruns180

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