Tag: 2018 goals

43 Laps.

This past week I have been focusing on mentally preparing myself for the Jackpot Running Festival. Sure it’s in February. But, attempting to run 100 miles is something I’m trying to grasp. And, as much as I still need to put in the work physically — I have to do likewise mentally.

That is one reason why I did two half marathons this past Saturday and will do it again next weekend when I run the Snow Canyon and Joshua Tree Half Marathons. And, yet another reason why I have a number looooooooong timed training plans planned for December and January at the Olympic Oval — among other places.

I’m a very visual person. I have to see the end from the beginning, otherwise I’m lost. This is how I prepared myself for my first races in the 5K, half marathon, marathon and ultra distances. And, this 100 mile race is no different.

Over the past several months I’ve visualized my laps — not just the final laps, but the beginning and middle as well. I’ve visualized the pain I went through at mile 45 of my 50 miler and tripled that in the scope of how I might feel at miles 63, 82 or 96.

That final lap is what carries me. That’s what kept me optimistic this past race season as I’ve dealt with health and sprained ankle. And, let’s not pretend that I didn’t completely freak out in August that this wasn’t going to happen at all — so why even try?

But, that final lap made me believe it was going to happen.

In my attempt to further entrench the reality of what I am going to do, I decided to calculate the laps I will need to do for my 100 miles. Barring another washout of the course — the course should be 2.38 miles (last year it was 2.5 miles because the course had to be rerouted because of the flooding).

That’s 42.0168067 laps.

And, since I’m not quitting mid-lap, that’s 43 laps. Which makes my mileage for the race 102.34 miles.

I just have to do 43 laps. That’s it — 43 laps.

I can do that.

And, instead of viewing it as 43 2.38 mile laps, I’m cheating and viewing it as mile loops. Just 43 loooooong single mile loops.

I can do that.

It’s been a tough year for me. It’s sucked. Having a sprained ankle from April that has still given me problems has been beyond frustrating. I’ve been slower than I’ve wanted to be, my training has been tougher than I thought it would — and I have had my share of doubts.

But, as my running coach has reminded me — this race isn’t about being the fastest, it’s about doing what you’ve set out to do. And, that’s what I’ve been trying to remember and keep in mind.

This is about running 100 miles. This is about doing something that pushes me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. This is about doing something that was unimaginable for me to do not just 10 years ago, but even a year ago.

This is about so, so much.

And, all I have to do is run 43 laps.


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Running in 2018 …

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about my road to 180 races. My 180th race will be July 24th — pretty much SMACK in the middle of the year. So that means I’ve got January through July pretty much covered — but, what about the last half?

What’s after my 180th race?

That’s a good question.

While I am trying to figure out my 2018 race schedule, I’ve had a couple focuses — one, my 100 mile run and, two, not doing as many back-to-back race weekends of a half marathon or longer. I know that if I am going to faster, especially during my half marathons, I am going to have to scale back on the long races.

I don’t anticipate myself PRing next year. But, I am wanting to use 2018 to set the foundation to PR in 2019. Well, I shouldn’t just say PR, but to break my long time goal of sub-two’ing a half marathon. That’s the goal.

To work on that fountain, I plan on not just scaling back on the races — but, focusing on doing two races a month. Ideally, a half marathon and a trail race, a month. This would be on top of shorter training runs on the other weekends. Runs that I want to vary between a canyon downhill run, trail run and challenge run (a mentally challenging run — run uphill, midnight all night run, etc) — but, I’ll blog about that later.

I just want to challenge myself, get faster and mentally stronger in order to attempt and achieve my goal. A goal I’d love to meet at either the Nebo Half or Revel Big Cottonwood Half in 2019. Something that seems rather doable for me.

But, 2018 will have to set that kind of success up for me. So, while I am scanning UltraSignUp, UtahRunning.com, Running in the USA, RaceEntry.com and other registration websites I’ve come up with tentative schedule for 2018.

Remember these are only races 13.1 miles or longer. I am sure I’ll have a few 10Ks and 5Ks planned throughout the year. Also, races in bold are ones that I am registered for already. And, there are a few in the later months that are planned on a projected date.

So, yeah, here’s my schedule …

1 — Revolution Run, January 1, 2018
2 — Sun Marathon, February 3, 2018
3 — Jackpot Running Festival, February 16-18, 2018
4 — Strider’s Winter Circuit Half Marathon, April 7, 2018
5 — Salt Lake City Half Marathon, April 21, 2018
6 — Provo City Half Marathon, May 5, 2018
7 — Vigor Big Cottonwood Half Marathon, May 12, 2018
8 — Drop 13 Big Cottonwood Half Marathon, June 9, 2018
9 — AF Canyon Race Against Cancer, June 23, 2018
10 — Canyon to Canyon Half Marathon, July 14, 2018
11 — Bountiful Handcart Days Half Marathon, July 24, 2018
12 — Elephant Rock Trail Half Marathon, August 11, 2018
13 — Mt. Nebo Half, August 25, 2018
14 — Revel Big Cottonwood Half Marathon, September 8, 2018
15 — Park City Trail Half Marathon, September 15, 2018
16 — Corner Canyon 25K; October 13, 2018
17 — The Haunted Half – Provo, October 28, 2018
18 — Mt. View Trail Half Marathon; November 10, 2018
19 — Thankful 13, November 22, 2018
20 — The Bakers Dozen Half Marathon, December 8, 2018

If you are planning on running any of these races or would love to suggest other races for me to do, please comment below! I love discovering new races!

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There are two roads to Boston

I love running. It has given me a lot in the past six years or so since I’ve started deliberately doing it. Before then the only time you would see me run was — because I was being chased by a bear, going shopping on Black Friday or because the ice cream man decided to take a left turn into my neighborhood.

Running has been a life saver, a blessing and very much a savior — ever since I laced up my inadequate running shoes and decided to go for a run. I owe so much to who I am now — both on and off the road — because of what running has taught me.

I could make a list — dealing with my mother’s breast cancer fight, overcoming addiction, helping me process the passing of dear family members, gaining confidence in myself and my abilities and over course aiding me in my weight-loss and overall health.

The list is nearly endless.

I really started running to get healthy and to lose weight — I never would have imagined that it would help me through many tough situations. When I learned of my Mom’s breast cancer diagnosis — I ran. When my aunt passed away — I ran. My Grandma’s passing — I ran.

I wasn’t running away from the situation. I was running to clear my mind. I was running to process what was ahead of me. I was running to feel the emotions of my heart.

Before running similar news would have probably been met with destructive behavior. Behavior that was meant to numb. Addictions are great at numbing and blinding emotions — but, that’s a post for another day.

I’ve experienced a lot during my running journey the past six years — I’ve ran numerous 5Ks, a few 10Ks, 100+ half marathons, four relay races, a few 25K + races, seven marathons and a 50K. That’s a lot of running. Roughly 1700+ miles of just racing — that’s not including the training miles.

Like I said, that’s a lot of running. And, I don’t regret a minute — or mile — of it.

I’ve learned over the years — that running isn’t really just about the miles. It isn’t even about the pace or time. It’s about breaking personal walls of doubt. It’s about the friendships and community you create. It’s all about the journey.

My friendships, overcome obstacles and accomplishments have meant so much more than any PR or time. Sure, I shoot for them — but, if that’s my sole focus — I am missing everything else running has to offer. I can’t allow myself to gain that kind of tunnel vision, because for me that would defeat the whole purpose of why I run.

But, just because my speed and pace isn’t my main focus doesn’t mean I don’t value it — in myself or in others. I would be foolish to not. In fact, I get just as much a thrill watching the winners as those who are pushing up the rear. That is one reason why I love the Boston Marathon so much.

It takes mad dedication to qualify — sure to some elites those qualifications might be rather “easy.” But, to the average runner — it’s a standard that takes extraordinary dedication, hard work, faith in the process and patience. Lots of patience.

I have watched many friends triumph, struggle and even fail at qualifying for Boston. For someone who, more than likely, will never qualify for Boston — it’s an interesting drama to watch unfold. Both as a fellow runner and human being.

I often feel like an insider liking from the outside — if that makes sense. I understand the struggle of setting running goals and pursuing them — just not on the level that it takes to qualify for Boston. Especially when it comes to the physical requirements to qualify. And, I admire EVERYONE that undertakes that goal and strives for it.

Ever since I started running — I’ve had others ask me if my goal is to qualify for Boston. Honestly, I haven’t given it much thought, because I came to the realization rather early in my running journey that I — more than likely — would never qualify for Boston. Unless, I was 85 years old, blind or missing a limb.

And, I’m fine with that.

Well, until this past Boston Marathon.

I’ve known about charity runners at Boston ever since I started running. While, I think it’s admirable to be a charity runner (I’ve been one before locally) — I’ve felt about pursuing to be one at Boston is a no no. Why? Well, because it’s Boston. The Boston Marathon isn’t for runners like me — I’m too slow and not a “real” runner like the thousands who actually qualified.

And, I know I am not the only one who believes this. Many in the running community feel like charity runners cheapen a race. So, if you didn’t qualify for Boston — all you have to do is just write a check to a charity and you’re in.

There’s also the belief that a charity runner will take the spot of qualified runner. Which, I learned, at least in relation to the Boston Marathon, they don’t. There are the same amount of qualifiers and charity runners each year — and that won’t change.

Anyways, as I am watching the marathon during my lunch break, I am having this internal debate with myself about Boston. Do I try to get in as a charity runner? Why would I do that? What would others think? What kind of charity would I run for? I wouldn’t want to run for a charity that I don’t believe in or feel passionate about?! Am I even worthy to run Boston?

All these questions — these pros and cons — swirled through my head.

And, then it just kind of dawned on me with the thought, “Josh, there are two roads to Boston — and you’ve got to qualify for either road with a lot of the same principles of dedication, hard work, perseverance and ingenuity”


There are two roads to Boston.

This thought erased any doubt I had about whether or not I should run Boston — let alone publicly announce it. I was going to run Boston. I am going to run Boston.

So, I started looking at the Boston Marathon charities to see what would fit with me. I hate saying some charities looked — meh (because all charities do good) — except there were some that just didn’t excite me.

And, then I found it.

The Martin Richard Foundation.

It’s a foundation started by the parents of Martin Richard, one of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. You might remember Martin’s message of “No More Hurting People, Peace” — that went viral after the tragedy. The foundation works to spread that message by investing in education, athletics and community.

I knew in my heart — right then — that this was the foundation I wanted to be a part of and raise money towards my goal of running the Boston Marathon.

How did I know?

Well, after the bombings — not only was I inspired by young Martin’s message — but, I was compelled to action. The Salt Lake City Marathon was happening that weekend and was the first major marathon after Boston — so I decided to have a special shirt made for the race.

That shirt …


The message of young Martin is so simple, yet profound. And, I clung onto that during the aftermath of the bombing and throughout my race. I won’t get into details about the day (here’s my race recap), but it was an emotional day. The weight of Boston was on our minds while the weather was rather nasty — rainy and cold.

I knew I had to do this. I had to run for the Martin Richard Foundation.

So, I eagerly shot off an email to the foundation to ask about applications for the 2017 marathon. And, surprisingly, I got a response back within a day. They simply told me they weren’t accepting application for Boston until around September or October — not until they were done filling the teams for the Chicago and New York Marathons.

That was a minor setback to my eagerness — but, I didn’t let that ruin the enthusiasm. I ended up buying myself a shirt and decal for my computer from the foundation — to keep me track of my new goal.

To run the Boston Marathon.

Now, I haven’t planned much more ahead of that. I would love to do this in 2017, but 2018 or 2019 are options — I guess? Not sure. Earlier the better, right? I even thought how cool it would be to have Boston be my 180th race?

Either way — Boston is on my mind. I’m going to run it. I am taking one of the two roads that take a runner there and I couldn’t be more excited. Because, Boston is a celebration of running — and I am a runner.

And, I too, I belong in Boston.


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