RACE #144: Riverton Half Marathon

Six years ago when I made the goal to run 180 races (half marathon or longer) before I turned 40, I had no idea that y age 36 I’d be nearly done with that goal. And, that really speaks volumes of how much running has changed and influenced my life these past half dozen years.

Up until about two years ago I had the IDEA of slowing down a bit and evening out the number of races so I could hit my goal in 2021. But, that never happened. Partly, because I used many races as training runs for ultras, but also, because, I didn’t want to slow down.

Okay, that could be the only reason.

Regardless, I changed my timeline for the goal to next year. I am now planning to run race 180 in July 2018. And, of course it will be where I started this crazy journey — the Bountiful Handcart Days Half Marathon.

Because, of this new timeline goal I’ve looked at my race schedule for the next 18 or so months and planned each race one out leading up to the race. I should have about 30 or so races this year, which is a lot for me. But, I have the goal in sight and many of these races are great ultra training for me.

It’s been tricky finding races, because I’m not able to put the many, many Runtastic Events races I love — Timp Half, Nebo Half, The Haunted Half, etc., etc., etc. — because I’m working for them now. So, I’ve had to find races to replace those on my schedule and I’ve had to find a few small races to put on my schedule that I normally wouldn’t. I’m not complaining, because a run is a run to me and I do like new challenges and new courses.

And, that’s what kind of lead me to run the Riverton Half Marathon. This isn’t a new race to me. I’ve run it twice before. Once in 2012 and again in 2014. It’s put on by the city — and it’s honestly not that bad. The registration fee is extremely reasonable — $30 for early bird and $40 if you procrastinate.

But, you also get what you pay for. It’s not a race done by thousands. There were a couple hundred or so. Not crowded at all. And, the shirts and medals have improved over the past years. But, it’s very much a small town race so if you’re looking for BIG event like Big Cottonwood, Ogden or St. George — you won’t find it in Riverton. But, they do a good job given it’s a city race and the budget they work from.

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Anyways, going into race week after last week’s Emigration Canyon Half Marathon, I kind of viewed this race as another race toward my goal. But, that all kind of changed midweek.

This past week Coach Blu from Addict II Athlete posted a video on the AIIA Facebook Group page talking about the opidemic plaguing the nation. On average, there are 144 people nationwide that lose their lives to opiate addiction — overdose, suicide, etc. This is a staggering number. That’s over 52,500 people every year.

These 144 people are our brothers, sisters, parents, relatives, friends and neighbors. Chances are we know someone who struggles with the addiction — and it’s sometimes difficult to see. Especially since so many of these drugs are prescriptions. Coach then challenged us, the team, to share this message through social media showing the world — and specifically these 144 — how wonderful a life of sobriety is, by hashtagging #144 in our posts.

After watching Coach’s video I soon realized that my race this weekend in Riverton was going to be my 144th race! I couldn’t believe the coincidence. But, then again, I did — because I’ve learned since knowing Blu coincidences DON’T happen between the two of us. I strongly feel this was meant to happen this way.

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I decided that I wanted to run this race in honor and memory of not just the 144, but for the AIIA team and my friends and family members that have lost their battle already. I didn’t anticipate going into this race with THIS much emotion, but in just a few short days — here I was.

I wanted to run in silence in their memory. Something that is — obviously — difficult for me to do. I’m a social runner, I love making conversation with anyone out on the course, at the aid stations or in the Honey Buckets. Well, okay, not in the Honey Buckets. But, you get the idea. This would be a sacrifice for me, but it would also be an opportunity for me to focus my attention on the message, on the 144, on my loved ones and the AIIA team. So that’s what I set out to do.

I knew race day was going to be rainy, but when I left my house that morning I didn’t expect it to be THAT rainy. It was cold and pretty much a downpour. I knew from social media posts that the Strider’s Winter Circuit Half Marathon in Eden was already cancelled because of the weather. I was just hoping my race wouldn’t be as well.

I thought about checking the race’s Facebook page, but I kind of made up my mind that even if it was cancelled I was still going to run the course. As bad as the rain was, I knew it couldn’t be as bad as the Ogden Marathon this past year. Nothing could. So, I was just going to drive to the race and hope there was going to be a supported race.

The commute was pretty wet, but luckily once I got to Riverton the rain wasn’t as heavy and the race was on. So after picking up my race packet I went back to my car to stay dry for a little longer. I knew I would end up drenched. Plus, I didn’t really feel like socializing much, just because of the nature of the run. I was already beginning to get emotional about it all.

At the sound of the gun, I stood back for a couple minutes to let the crowd go. I plugged in my headphones and set out to run. I started out running to some MoTab and some other classic music, but I ended up just turning it all off. Mainly, because I wanted to focus and center my thoughts on the purpose of my run — so it was easier to just turn off the music altogether.

I kept my vow of silence pretty much throughout the run, with a few exceptions. I ran into a Facebook friend out on the Jordan River Parkway, I did stop to say hello briefly. And, after staying silent for the first couple of aid stations I decided to at least say “thank you” instead of trying to say it with sign language. Besides, I don’t know if I was signing “thank you” right anyways.

But, I just focused running alone in my thoughts. And, it was a rather somber run. The rain was pretty persistent throughout the whole run. It didn’t let up until about mile 11 or so for me. I almost wished it kept raining because the sun came out and the last mile and a half were pretty warm. With my jacket and hat I felt like I was running in a sauna.

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The run as a whole was really emotional for me. I caught myself a lot in thought of friends and family members who lost battles with opiate addiction. I thought about the AIIA team and how so many of them fought to overcome their addictions.. I thought about the message of the team and how important it is to carry it’s message, because it can save lives.

The last mile was pretty uncomfortable for me physically. Between the increasing temperature and normal race fatigue, my sprained ankle was also flaring up a bit as well. But, that all felt secondary. I just focused on that finish line and the message of the team.

I got to the finish line in 3:05:11, not the best time. But, there wasn’t really a goal time for this race. After last week’s Emigration Canyon Half, where I pushed myself, I knew I’d have to pull pack just a tad. So I was happy with the finish time. I didn’t feel like I went backwards from the progress I made last week.

After refueling with some Gatorade and bananas I made the trek back to my car where I sat there for a while in silence. The culmination of everything just built up and I got rather emotional. It honestly kind of surprised me, because I don’t easily get emotional — I mean — I do, but it takes me a bit to get to that point. I was just grateful to be able to carry the banner of the team.

So what was assumed to be “just another race” became a race I’ll remember for many reasons. It was an emotional run for me. And, a moment I hope that someone out there that can draw inspiration from to make a change in their own lives. Whether that is moving toward living a life of sobriety — or simply resolving to live life more fully.

The focus now turns to the Saltair Half this upcoming weekend. I don’t have a game plan yet. But, I’d like to get a sub-three time, especially since I won’t be racing the following week due to PrepperCon. But, all of that is secondary, because my focus is on the Salt Flats 50K at the end of the month.

And, I can’t wait.


It’s hard to believe this was five years ago today. But, I share this picture every year on this date, because this is what LOVE looks like to me. This was right after my Mom’s double mastectomy and the moment my parents were reunited post surgery on what was their 38th wedding anniversary. What has struck me about this photo is the love in both their eyes. The concern and hope of my father and complete devotion of my mother. I can’t remember what was said, but words can’t convey the whole message being shared. There’s a lot to celebrate today. Not just for my Mom being five years cancer free, but 43 years of marriage for my parents. The decision they made over four decades ago set the tone for our family and the searches all us kids would make in finding a spouse. If I’ve learned anything from my parents’ relationship it’s that no matter what trial is in front of you, it’s tackled together in love, faith and devotion to each other. Which is symbolized so well in this picture.

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RACE #144: Riverton Half Marathon; April 8, 2017 (3:05:11) Did you know that on average 144 people lose their lives DAILY to opiate addiction? These are our brothers, sisters, parents, family, friends and neighbors. Utah is no exception to this opidemic. This week, Coach Blu challenged us Addict II Athlete athletes to show these 144 people the lives they’re missing not living a life of sobriety. He wants us flood social media with the hashtag #144 with the moments they’re missing out on in life. It was no coincidence that Coach would ask us this week, the week of my 144th race in my 180 goal. I’ve stopped believing in coincidences with Blu. So I made the decision to dedicate this run to the 144. I wanted to dedicate it to the family and friends I’ve lost to addiction. I wanted to dedicate it to my AIIA family. So I set out to run it in silence. Which I almost did. I muttered a few “thank yous” at aid stations and a couple hellos, but I just kept to myself with my heart and mind on the meaning of this run. The rain was persistent nearly throughout the whole race. I had soggy feet and cold hands. But, I didn’t care. My heart and mind took my attention elsewhere. It was a very emotional run for me. Especially as neared the finish line. I kept repeating in my head, “You are a Warrior! You have erased and replaced your addictions. Your mess is message.” All mottos of the AIIA team. After crossing the finish line and grabbing a few bananas, I just sat in my car for a while and kind of wept. It was a lot of emotion to process for me. I want this run — and my journey — to hopefully be a beacon for someone, anyone, to have the courage to take that first step toward a better life. That’s one reason why I share so much of my journey on my blog and social media. I know if I can do hard and difficult things like 50 milers and Marathons — others do hard and difficult things too. And, sometimes it takes someone else sharing their light to ignite that spark. If you struggle with addiction and you need help … REACH OUT! Life is too beautiful to let it pass by. #race144 #rivertonhalf #running @fight4phat @joshruns180 @josherwalla @addicttoathlete

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Kids are exhausting. Cute. But, exhausting.

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If you’re a model, would you put this in your portfolio?

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People sometimes worry about me being single and all. But, they needn’t worry about me … I get plenty of dates.

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Weekly Review

Last weekend at the tail end of my race down Emigration Canyon I rolled my ankle and sprained fairly good. Not fun at all. I did a couple slow runs mid-week to help straighten things out, but it was pretty sore the whole week. Not what I wanted or expected for my training.

And, I won’t lie, it’s been a frustrating month of ups and downs for my runs. If it’s not my ankle, it’s my back or this week — oral surgery. I’m having a root canal on Wednesday, so I am not sure what to expect from my running this week? I have a race on Saturday, but I’d like to get a run or two in before then.

Ugh. I just need to have patience that it’ll all work out. But, I’m getting a little anxious with my 50K coming up at the end of the month.

Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 4.0 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 21.32 miles
TOTAL MILES — 38.42 miles
Race(s) this week — Riverton Half.

April 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 4.0 miles
Race Miles — 26.2 miles
Walking Miles — 24.02 miles
TOTAL MILES — 54.22 miles
Races in April — Emigration Canyon Half Marathon, Riverton Half, Saltair Half, Salt Flats 50K and Tulip Festival Half

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 185.75 miles
Race Miles — 122.32 miles
Walking Miles — 349.48 miles
TOTAL MILES — 657.55 miles
Races done in 2017 — New Year’s Half Marathon, Sweethearts 5K, Jackpot Running Festival, SL Tri Club Indoor Half, March Madness Half, Lucky 13 Half Marathon, Emigration Canyon Half Marathon and Riverton Half.

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RACE #133: Red Rock Relay Park City

Man, I am winding down towards my 50 — which is happening NEXT week. It’s hard to believe I am almost there, especially after running three marathons in the past month. I just want to run that 50 and get it done with.

This past weekend as part of my “tapering” miles, I ran the Red Rock Relay with Team Addict II Athlete. This was a race I’ve been looking forward to for most of the summer. Ever since I’ve joined the team back in May it’s helped change my mentality just in my running, but life. A lot of their principles are what I’ve held true in my journey — and without going into a lot of that here, I will be sharing my story on the AIIA Podcast in the next couple of months.

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This was the first time running the Red Rock Relay. Most of my relays have been Ragnar with one being the Rivalry Relay some 5 years ago or so. I love relays for many reasons — but, more than anything it’s a great way to just meet people. Something I absolutely love to do — I guess you could say after running my second favorite hobby is meeting people.

There’s something about being cramped in a car with 5-6 other runners and running anywhere from 50 to 100 miles — all day and sometimes all night. You really get to know people in this setting. It’s like scout camp for grownups.

But, I was really impressed with the Red Rock Relay. Very well organized, not too overcrowded, very well marked (I have a fear of getting lost in any race I run — even if I have over 130 under my belt … call me irrational) and gorgeous setting. The Heber Valley setting is just gorgeous. It’s such a shame that so many of us Salt Lake and Utah Valleyers take for granted what is literally in our backyard. It’s just beautiful.

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For those who have ran the Ragnar Wasatch Back would be familiar with a good portion of the race. The RRR course loops around the Valley from the Homestead in Heber City and back via Park City. This includes the infamous climbs and descents of Deer Valley and Guardsman Pass.

As you will see below, my legs were in Heber City and then that infamous Guardsman Pass descent. Normally running down Guardsman Pass I would worried because of how brutal it can be on your legs (especially quads), but I’ve ran parts that leg during Ragnar the past two years (and three years ago I ran UP it when the course went the other way). So, I am very familiar with the hill — and I actually really kind of love it.

But, I had a blast during the day. I got to know a few of the team members better. I share a little bit of that below in my leg reports. But, I am truly, truly grateful for what AIIA means to me and has changed my approach to my goals and running this past year.

Here are my leg reports …

Leg 3 of 12 (Heber City to Heber Valley Girls Camp)


I love hills, but I hate them. But, I swear I love them. Okay, hills give me a mix of emotions. But, really, in the long run — I do them, because I love the sense of conquering them. No matter what the elevation gain may be.

This leg was no different and as you can see from the elevation chart — it was pretty much a gradual up hill climb. I knew what to expect and after running three marathons in the past month — I knew I’d be fine. Especially since I survived Veyo Hill last weekend.

The one thing that was difficult for me though was the temperature. I didn’t want to take off my hoodie or beanie cap. It was cold. Not only were we up in the mountains, but it was the middle of October — summer is basically dead. So I decided to at least start the run off in my hoodie and beanie cap thinking I’d ditch them a couple miles into the run.

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Well, I ditched the hoodie about three miles into the run, but my beanie stayed with me — pretty much the whole day. Luckily I wasn’t overly sweaty, but by the end of the day that beanie smelt like death. But, it sure kept me warm.

Anyways — the leg wasn’t that bad as I weaved through Heber City and towards the exchange which is close to a girls camp. The home stretch is basically that — a looooooong stretch of road. And, where most of the climbing happened. It wasn’t THAT bad, because I just zoned out, pressed on and rocked out to my music. It was perfect.

I did almost lose my cookies about a mile and half from the exchange when I ran past a dead deer. It wasn’t the sight of the dead deer that did it, it was the smell of dead deer that made me want to upheave that morning’s banana.. Luckily, none of that happened. But, still … yuck.

About a half mile out I was joined by Jed who ran me into the exchange. I was grateful to be finished. I grabbed a water and a bag of grapes and just chowed down. It was a perfect snack/refuel.

Leg 12 of 12 (Guardsman Pass to Homestead Resort)


Originally, I was going to run Leg 9, but seeing that it had a lot of climbs and knowing we would be pressed for time I asked Coach Blu if we could trade. Mainly, because I know I’d do better with downhill. He gladly agree. Which I am grateful for considering I am afraid my request nearly killed him.

Well, I exaggerate … slightly.

Leg 9 was a brutal trail leg of cardiac ups and downs. It took Coach about an hour and 45 minutes to run the 7+ mile trail. No joke it would probably have taken me much, much longer than that and I would have gotten lost and/or eaten by a bear.

Again, I exaggerate … slightly.

And, needless to say I owe Coach BIG TIME! I told him I would make it up to him at the Pony 50 next week. How I am going to make that, I am not sure yet? I just know I owe him.

When I made the request to switch I just saw the downhill course, I didn’t know it was Guardsman Pass down to Homestead — which for those who have ran Ragnar, know it as Ragnar Hill. The beast of all beasts. I ran part of this leg the past two years and three years ago — ran UP it. I much prefer the down hill way of tackling it.

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But, you have to tackle the hill the right way or it will eat up your legs. The trick is to not simply run down the hill, you have to kinda waddle or zig zag like you’re being chased by a bear.

As much as it can easily eat your quads, I really love the run. The view is second to none — well, okay, I say this about a lot of the places I run, but it’s true. I love running through the thicket of aspen trees, catching awe inspiring views of Heber Valley and just putting my speed into cruise control. As much as people love running UP this hill, I like going DOWN the hill.

Since I was the last runner I started this portion around 6-6:30pm or so — I wasn’t looking at my watch. But, right around the setting sun. I really wish my camera could have caught the light shining on the orange, yellow and red leaves — but, every picture I tried to snap of them just didn’t give it justice. I just ran trying to remember the view with my heart (okay, that sounds really sappy, but it’s true).

About half way through my run I was joined by Jed and then a few miles later by Ryan. I was thankful for their company. This is one thing I’ve really grown to love about the AIIA team — nobody runs alone. I love this concept and belief. It’s really one of those binding qualities that keeps the team close.

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Jed was the one who ran me in during the Provo City Half in May and I can’t even tell you how many other team members he’s ran with and helped to the finish line. Jed has one of the biggest hearts I know. After running with him and hearing more of his story it’s easy to see. He’s been in a lot of dark places in his life — but, he’s replaced that with light (listen to his story on the AIIA Podcast). Especially with being a light to others.

I have mad respect for Jed.

Spending the last couple miles with both Jed and Ryan was sublime and easily one of my favorite running memories to date. It’s hard for me to put into words how grateful I am for this team. I don’t believe I stumbled upon this team by chance. And, I’ll write more about this later, because there’s a lot I want to write, but feel constrained to do it here — I’ll also be a guest on the AIIA Podcast in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned for that.

Anyways, we finished around 8pm or so at the Homestead with the rest of the team. We may have been the last team, but that didn’t matter. What mattered is that we finished what we started … as a team. It may have taken us all day, but we did it.

And, for that we’re all champions.


I haven’t posted the past couple of Addict II Athlete podcasts here and there’s a reason why … I wanted to post both parts of Coach Blu’s story. These two episodes are simply amazing. Coach Blu is amazing. And, whether or not you have struggled with addiction there is a lot you can take away from Coach Blu’s story.

I am not going to give any of it away — just listen …

Listen to “Coach Blu’s Story” on Spreaker.

Listen to “Coach Blu Story Part 2!” on Spreaker.


134 - pony express trail 50

I can’t believe that this is NEXT WEEK! I’ve got a lot of emotions going through my head, but honestly — most of it is just excitement. I don’t have a lot of fear or anxiety — yet. I’m sure that will come sometime this weekend or next week, or maybe somewhere around mile 1, 2, 25 or 40? I don’t know? I’m just ready to do it.

I’ll be posting a bit more about it this week and next. Mainly some of my thoughts and feelings about tackling this beast. So stay tuned for that. But, this week it’s just running a few three milers, doing a few circuits and then the Frightmares 5K on Saturday with my niece. Nothing too strenuous. My body is a little sore from all the running the past month so I need to let me mend enough to be ready for next Friday.

But, I am winding down for the year and I am glad. I’m feeling a bit burnt out lately — which thankfully — isn’t new for ultramarathoners. And, I think that’s why I am just so eager to run it. I just want to get it over with and under my belt. I have no doubt I’ll get there.

135 - haunted half provo 136-mt-view-trail-half 137 - thankful 13

Very humbled to have joined “Team Addict II Athlete” for this relay. I couldn’t have asked for a more encouraging, uplifting and motivating team to run with. Whether it shouting words of encouragement as I ran or getting out to run with me during my last leg — I was touched. I’ll be sharing my story on the AIIA Podcast in the next couple of weeks. Addiction and recovery come in many different forms and I’ve had my struggles and test of faith. Needless to say, no one goes about it alone on the team and NOBODY runs alone! I felt lucky to spend those 15 miles out there around Heber Valley with the team! #redrockrelay #race133 #running #messintoamessage #eraseandreplace @redrockrelay @addicttoathlete @joshruns180 @josherwalla

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This kid doesn’t have to do much to capture your heart. #chubbingtatum

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235.5 miles


302.78 miles


1180.97 miles


1719.25 miles


947.75 miles

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#FitnessFriday: On the homestretch of my second round of Whole30

It’s been an emotionally strange week. Obviously the high point being the 4th of July on Monday. After that — it’s kinda progressively gotten worse. And, the low point (hopefully) being what happened in Dallas last night. My head hurts. My heart hurts. My being hurts.

I’m not a very political person — mainly because I don’t believe politics today (especially in our country) don’t represent our best interests aaaaaaand do nothing to unite us as a country. But, that’s a post for another day that I’ll probably never write.

But, what’s happened in our country the past few days isn’t about politics. As much as many have tried to make it such, it’s not. It’s about life. About respecting every life. Black, white, brown, blue, etc., etc., etc. Whatever you want to “label” it. All lives matter, because we’re all brothers and sisters.

I just wish — no pray — this doesn’t further divide us. The fabric of what makes America great has already been weakened time after time. Moments like week need to unite us. We need to come to the table with compassion, understanding, respect, love and sympathy. Especially empathy where possible.

I don’t want to see this country divided anymore. It shouldn’t be. It can’t be. I hope we use this past week as a testament that real change is needed and wounds, emotional and physical, need to be healed together.

I still believe in America. I still believe in this country. I still believe in people. Now is the time to come together.


As you can tell that’s been on my mind a lot — especially the past 12 hours or so. I had to stop running because it just made me sick to watch the news. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t move.

I made up for that run this morning with a good three miler. It was an emotional run, mainly because of everything on my mind. I am glad I have running in my life, because it’s a great “ME TIME” exercise that I can do to get lost in thought.

Mainly so I can think things out and process them. I did it when my Mom was diagnosed with cancer, again when my Aunt and Grandma passed away and whenever I need to get away. Running really is my therapy and equalizer.

I haven’t had as large of a running week as I wanted. I had a strained calf that was giving me problems earlier in the week so I rested it a couple of days. And, then I had a family obligation on Wednesday night. I’ll have a good 5-6 mile run tomorrow morning and then a high mileage week next week around 25-30 miles.

At least that’s the goal. I might want to push 35-40 if I can. But, we’ll see how I feel, especially with the calf. I am not too worried about it. But, we’ll see.

The one thing I am really looking forward to this weekend for is my niece’s baptism. I am so proud of her, it’s been fun watching her grow into the young lady she is now. She is one of the sweetest, kindest and smartest kids. I love her to pieces and I can’t wait to be a part of her day tomorrow.

Anyways — have a good weekend. Be safe. Have fun. Especially all those who are running all the races out there. I am jealous. But, I’ll be where I need to be.

Plus, I have the Utah Midnight Run next Friday night — so I can’t be too disappointed, right?



The success of the Pod Bash network has been pretty amazing. And, yesterday the server crashed because of the demand and views. A pretty good problem to have, right?

Anyways — the AIIA podcast will be out a bit later this afternoon. I’ll make sure to post it here and on the Runcast USA Facebook page as well. But, I apologize for the delay. But, really, thanks for listening! It’s been amazing to see the numbers for the AIIA podcast!



I posted this on Monday, but I’m sharing it again — JUST — in case you missed it. But, I was a guest on The Park Hoppers Podcast this past week talking about RunDisney races, Dole Whips and my overall Disneynerdness. It’s a pretty fun episode.

You can catch The Park Hoppers every other Sunday on PodBash. And, if you’re a Disneynerd, like myself, you will not want to miss it. Give it a listen here …


Consider myself impressed. #chubbingtatum #impresseduncle

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Who needs fireworks to end the 4th when nature already ended it perfectly. #4thofjuly #sunset

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It’s been a tough week run wise for me. I didn’t run as I wanted to on Tuesday or Wednesday due to some family obligations and a strained calf I wanted to rest. Then last night my only excuse was I was glued to the TV watching the events in Dallas unfold. I just felt sick. Not just for the officers, but the families and nation as a whole of what’s been going on the past couple of days. But, this morning I determined myself to make up for that lack of a run. And, I did a three miler on the treadmill — not as fast as I wanted to (the calf was still a bit tender), but it felt good and gave me sometime to process my feelings and emotions. It just saddens me that we are a nation so divided. I can’t help but think of those words echoed by Abraham Lincoln over 150 years ago. We can’t stand like this. We’re better than this. 😥😥😥 #prayfordallas #prayforamerica #prayforhumanity #prayandgettowork #running #fitness #workout #5K #whole30 #round2 #day22 #diet #exercise @fight4phat @josherwalla

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I have about a week left until my next weigh-in. As you are probably aware of — I am in my second round of Whole30. I lost 17.8lbs. during my first round — and this round? Not sure? I feel like I’ve probably lost another 5-10lbs? I don’t know? I feel like I am lowballing that, but I don’t know?

And, I don’t know if I care either?

Why don’t I care? Because I know how I feel and look in the mirror is different. I have more energy than I did a month and a half ago and I feel great. It’s not hard to see the difference when you look at pictures from a few months ago to now.

I posted one above from a race in March next to last weekend’s 13 Miles of Freedom. It should be noted that my brown shirt in that picture is a 2XL shirt and the white one is a XL. And, I’m pretty sure I am not sucking in my gut in that picture from last weekend either. I think?

I can’t tell you how great it feels to have found a solution to my thyroid issues. It’s been a tough two years. I’ve tried everything — or dang near everything. I’ve gone to doctors, tried diet after diet and at times lost hope. I felt like I was going to have to deal with gassed out thyroid the rest of my life.

But, after finding the Whole30 Diet it’s worked. And, I think one of the reasons why — is the no-gluten allowance. There is strong correlation between hypothyroidism and gluten intolerance — especially if you have Hashimoto’s Disease.

I am not sure if I have Hashimoto’s? I haven’t been diagnosed with it. But, it’s pretty apparent my body has been affected by gluten. It could also be dairy — which I shutter at, because that means no cheese. And, a life without cheese scares me.

But, then again — I am lactose intolerant. So it’s probably best I don’t eat cheese for the benefit of everyone sharing an office, room, living space and/or car with me. But, let’s not go there.

I am curious where I am at right now. Again, I don’t know where I am? I don’t expect another 17.8lbs., but I’d love to see another 10lbs. or more. I weighed in at 263.4lbs in June, so I’d love to be in the 250s — if not the high 240s.

But, we shall see.

I am going to do one more round of Whole30 that will take me to my birthday (August 15). I would love to be in the 240s if not 230s by then. But, we’ll see. I don’t want my eagerness to build up to disappointment, especially when the goal is long term sustainable health. I think it’s just exciting to see results, because I haven’t had them for such a long time.


After August 15th, I am planning on adapting the Whole30 program. I will continue to eat whole foods and follow most of the diet. But, I am planning on adding some dairy products (well the stuff I can handle) and I do want to try some gluten free bread options. I am so new to the whole gluten thing I am not sure what I am doing?

But, the biggest thing I will continue to do is watch the added sugar on EVERYTHING. I’ll continue reading my labels and staying away from sugar substitutes. I know that has had a big impact on my thyroid as well. So, I am just staying clear.

I am also planning on taking more Isagenix products. I had a lot of success on their products a few years ago, especially their morning shakes and Want More Energy supplement. But, I haven’t totally decided how I am going to incorporate all of that into a revised Whole30 diet plan.

Heck, I might just keep going?

Who knows?

But, for now — I just feel AWESOME!

A photo posted by Runcast USA™ (@runcastusa) on

#FitnessFriday: Instagramming my 180 races and my habitual streakin’

I have love/hate relationships with four-day work weeks. As much as I love holidays — whenever it lands on a Monday, it just delays Monday a day. There’s no reprieve from Monday when you “skip” it. That’s why I call four-day work Tuesdays — Monuesday. So much panic that can easily ruin any good Taco Tuesday.

But, it’s been a week. Started my run streak on June 1st — which was also National Running Day. Apparently, people are also calling it Global Running Day? But, I’m sticking with National — mainly because I think it’s something that the New York Road Runners are trying to capitalize on. But, whatever — it’s basically the best running holiday next to Thanksgiving.

It’s been a great week though, luckily Monuesday didn’t kill me. Or the lack of tacos (thanks Whole 30). My Dad is getting home from the rehab center today — which is great news. He was in there for two weeks after his surgery in May. Everything is working well, he’s reacting well to PT and he’s eager and happy to be coming home.

No big running plans for the weekend. No race. Planning on a five miler tomorrow around home. Nothing big. Just enough to keep my fitness going and running streak alive. But, most of the time will be spent getting ready for my brother’s wedding and as well as some pretty cool projects I’m working on that I’ll unveil shortly.

Trust me, they’re cool.



AMAZING! There’s a new podcast from Addict II Athlete out today. The Runcast swapped weeks with AIIA due to some technical difficulties. But, we’ll be back next week with special guest and Pod Bash resident psychiatrist — Dr. Matt!

But, don’t overlook this episode it’s powerful. Coach Blu interviews his brother-in-law and fellow AIIAer, Jarom Thurston. They talk about his involvement with AIIA and the inspiring stories behind the athletes. Great, great episode!

Give it a listen …

@joshruns180 on Instagram

A few months ago I designated one of my Instagram accounts as an account where I wanted to dedicate one post to each of my 180 races. I tried starting it, but then I was making it more difficult than it needed to be. So I scratched that and sat on it for a while.

Well, I decided this past week to get going on it. I’ve ran 120 races thus far, so that’s 120 posts to make and write. Not an easy task. But, luckily, I have an obsessive personality so I just focused on doing it during my spare time. Meaning — while on the bus, while at lunch, while laying in bed, while … well, okay, you get the point.

Anyways — I’ve caught up to my 120 races — finally! I looked for a picture from the race that hopefully captures the race and memory. And, then I give a brief, brief memory or synopsis of the race. Some races have more to talk about than others. Which is fine.

But, it’s fun to have all of the races in one place, especially on Instagram. It helps categorize my OCD need for organizational in tight uniform boxes.

You can follow the account here.

June Running Streak

I need a little motivation going into my ultra/marathon training and I thought the best way to do that was — A RUN STREAK! For those unfamiliar with a run streak, it’s basically a streak of consecutive days you run. I’ve tried it before, but stopped after getting the flu. But, I wanted to start one to get into a groove, aid me in losing more weight and just enjoy running in general.

I started a group on Facebook to document mine and others streaks — while offering support as well. I started June 1 and the plan is to run every day in June with a mile walk on Sundays (I don’t run on Sunday). I may go longer than 30 days, but we’ll see.

I am also documenting the streak on Instagram here.


I am on Day 17 of the Whole 30 — less than two more weeks left! Honestly, it hasn’t been that difficult. The key has been reading ALL my labels, cooking everything myself and just going with the flow. I know I make that sound so easy. And, there’s obviously more to it than that — but, it is pretty easy to do.

The biggest take aways for me has been cutting any and all additional sugars. It’s amazing how much of our food has added sugar in it. It’s everywhere. Everywhere. 

So, I’ve been eating a lot of bananas (that hasn’t changed), apples, grapes and berries along with veggies like green peppers, mushrooms, green beans — and salad. Lots of salad. Which I am not complaining about (my mother would be so proud). 

But, I do feel a difference with my energy — I know my metabolism is reacting positively to it. Which is a GREAT sign after two years of ups and downs. I also feel lighter. I’ve been so tempted to step on the scale, but I won’t until my 30 days are done.

But, in my limited carnie skills — I’d estimate that I am about 10-15lbs. lighter. But, then again — that’s just how I feel. Could be more, could be less. And, it shouldn’t matter. The way my body feels and the healthier I eat the weight that needs to come off, will come off.

I am more likely going to do another 30 days after I am done. My sister was going to join me this round, but life happened and couldn’t. So I told her after our brother’s wedding that I’d join her. Even if she doesn’t do it, I am going to continue to follow it. I might go back to my Isagenix shakes, but I want to continue down this road because of how good I feel and how it’s impacting my thyroid and metabolism.

Fight4Phat: Just fightin’ and takin’ names … well okay … not taking names, but I am fightin’



I won’t lie — I don’t got anything to pull on you. I love a good prank, but I kinda hate those “trying to be funny April Fools jokes on Facebook.” Because really — they aren’t. I’m sorry — but — ever since basically 2007, we’ve all seen those fake engagement/pregnancy announcements.

I’m the type though to tie a rubberband around the sink hose, Kool-Aid in the showerhead or saran wrap over the toilet seat. Those are my kind of practical jokes. And, believe you me — I use them. After all April Fools Day is pretty much a national holiday — should be federal if you ask me.

Anyways — good week this past week. Busy week, actually. Lots of projects and trying to balance everything (the joys of life, eh?). I’ve been busy with my 9 to 5, PrepperCon, R.A.C.E. and my involvement with The Abolitionists Movie. It’s fun, but hard to balance sometimes with my workouts and runs. Just trying to find a happy balance.

But, I can’t complain — I am very compassionate about all of the projects. It’s just about time management, especially the hours when I am not at work. Anyways — busy, busy, busy!

No organized run tomorrow — though it’s been tempting to go run the Riverton Half or Winter Circuit Half. But, I really don’t want to spend the money — and I am saving myself for Provo (okay, that last sentence made me laugh).

Soooooo — since it’s LDS General Conference weekend — I am planning on running from the Draper LDS Temple to the Oquirrh Mountain LDS Temple tomorrow. It’s exactly 13.1 miles between the two temples. I did this about two years ago — it’s a tough fun run.

Though my training doesn’t require that long of a run, I am not racing it — so I am fine with it. But, I may have to stay closer to home depending on some family things. And, if not, I’m planning on doing my Bountiful Temple Run — but, we shall see. It should be a fun, crazy weekend.

And, I wouldn’t have it any other way …



I love this podcast! LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! And, I am not surprised with their success. The numbers on the first episode were phenomenal! The Runcast gets good numbers — but, nothing like the Addict II Athlete Podcast with their inaugural episode.

And, honestly, I’d rather have it that way — because the message of AIIA is more important than any running podcast. As I will always say until I am blue in the face — there is a power in narrative. And, the stories shared by AIIA are POWERFUL — they are courageous, humbling and real.

Make sure to follow the podcast via iTunes and Pod Bash so you don’t miss an episode. Here’s this week’s inspiring episode …



As many of you are aware from my social media posts and Monday’s post, my friend Jorge suffered a heart attack last Saturday after his run. It’s been a shock and humbling experience for him, his family and friends.

For being an active 40-year-old runner who’s physically fit — it was a shock. But, quite literally, running saved his life. I can’t adequately recount the story — that’s Jorge. But, his running that morning helped break up a potentially fatal blood clot from his heart. Pretty cool — considering how people might initially blame the running for the heart attack.

Anyways — to help Jorge and Holly with the expenses we started a GoFundMe campaign. We’ve raised just over $1700 at this point for them. It’s been amazing to see so many people come together to rally around the Garcias.

We are going to keep the campaign up for a couple weeks — and if you ever feel so inclined to donate, please do. And, for those that already have — THANK YOU! THANK YOU! 


I’m quite jealous. This kid grows a better mustache than I do (or can). #calliekoko #mustachemarch

A photo posted by Joshua ❆ Hansen (@joshuwalla) on

Like Uncle, like nephew. #elijees #birthdaycake

A photo posted by Joshua ❆ Hansen (@joshuwalla) on

For those kids wondering where Easter Eggs go after Easter — the answer is — my lunch. #easter2016 #leftovereggs

A photo posted by Joshua ❆ Hansen (@joshuwalla) on

Sometimes you just have to stop and take in the scenery (while gasping for air). #todaysrun #sunset

A photo posted by Joshua ❆ Hansen (@joshuwalla) on

mmmmm … my favorite pre-run snack — PB&H Banana! #runningfuel #irunonbananas

A photo posted by Joshua ❆ Hansen (@joshuwalla) on

You wanna see a big baby? This kid is only eight weeks old and he’s already over 13lbs. #bigboy #babytrex

A photo posted by Joshua ❆ Hansen (@joshuwalla) on


COMMENTARY: It was a good week, but after two weeks of good numbers, I probably should have seen this coming. But, I also had a bad night’s sleep last night — so that probably had something to do with it too?

Either way, I still feel like I am going in the right direction. And, that’s what matters. I had a couple great workouts and a good run mid-week. I am also planning on another great long run tomorrow.

Next week’s focus is going to be threefold — 1) getting my steps in, 2) workout in the morning three times during the week and 3) Do a three and five mile run mid-week.

I usually don’t have a problem getting my steps in, but it’s a good focus to go the extra mile (quite literally). But, the real focus is rising the intensity of my workouts. I still plan on running in the evening after work, but in the morning — M, W, F — I am going to workout in the morning — strength/circuit training. 

Anyways — once, again — not bad numbers, but it doesn’t paint the whole picture of my week. I’m hoping for a BIG number next week!

WEIGHT: 279.3 LBS.
BODY FAT%: 24.7%
BMI: 32.0
WAIST: 45.6″
ARMS: 16.2″


BEGINNING (1/8/16)

WEIGHT: 277.6 LBS.
BODY FAT%: 25.2%
BMI: 33.1
WAIST: 46.4″
ARMS: 16.7″

LAST WEEK (3/25/16)

WEIGHT: 277.4 LBS.
BODY FAT%: 24.5%
BMI: 32.2
WAIST: 45.6″
ARMS: 16.2″

THIS WEEK (4/1/16)

WEIGHT: 279.3 LBS.
BODY FAT%: 24.7%
BMI: 32.0
WAIST: 45.6″
ARMS: 16.2″


BODY FAT%: +0.2%
BMI: 0.0
WAIST: 0.0″
ARMS: 0.0″
THIGHS: 0.0″

Daily Shorts.fw

  • First off, read this. It’s a GREAT READ from Runner’s World.
  • Okay, second off, read this. Another GREAT READ from Runner’s World.
  • Color me NOT surprised by this statistic. And, allow me to add a couple of things about it — it’s not as simple as lay off the donuts and go for a run. Much, much, much more complicated than that — but, it’s reversable — watching what’s in your food, cutting sugar and not just running or exercising daily — but, moving throughout the day helps. But, I could go on and on about this topic. It really is a post for another day.
  • I probably shouldn’t follow up that last point with — this — glorious, glorious tacos.
  • And, these pictures of awesome milkshakes isn’t helping either.
  • Yeah, no.
  • ooooooo — this looks fun. I love me some sharks.And, sleeping in a bed surrounded by them would be AWESOME — excuse me — JAWSOME!
  • I’m all for science. I’m all for cats. And, sure, I’m all for accents. But, mixing that all into a science experiment? Not sure about that … but … sure.
  • I love “What If” history — especially when it comes to cities, architecture and sports. So this is actually quite fascinating to me. It’s a good read.
  • Oh gosh — this is a tearjerker. I just love this. Another reason to love Disney.
  • mmmmm — chicken recipes.
  • Okay, first off — no naked couple baby pictures — that’s a BIG no when I get married and have kids. Not just because I’d look totally awkward naked — but, I am sure this would happen to me.
  • Alrighty, I am leaving you with this and — I am slightly geeking out about this. How cool?! It’s like a Swiss Army Phone Case.

A photo posted by Runcast USA™ (@runcastusa) on

A photo posted by couch2.run (@couch2.run) on

A photo posted by Runcast USA™ (@runcastusa) on

Two more weeks of Daylight Standard Time! Can we … LEAP .. ahead already?


Happy Leap Day! Is that an actual thing? I know four years ago it was billed as an ‘One More Disney Day’ with the parks being open 24 hours. I won’t lie — I’d rather be celebrating Leap Day that way instead of a typical Monday.

But, it is what it is, right?

I shouldn’t be complaining though — I am excited about the change of the calendar. Spring is coming and it’s literally in the air! It was just a short few weeks ago when the snow was falling and the air was dirtier than a cesspool.

But, after running outside for the first time in 2016 (besides my two 5Ks) — I was on cloud nine. I am just so ready for the warmer weather. It’s also getting to the point where I might start running outside in the morning now that there’s much fear of snow or ice to fall on.

That’s been one of my biggest fears. I just don’t run on snow or ice, especially in the dark.

This past weekend’s run outside was perfect. It was tough — that’s partially what you get for running in Bountiful … it’s all HILLS — but, totally worth it. I am following my Galloway Method training — I did five miles, which will be followed up by six this weekend.

I won’t lie though — if the weather is just as good as it was this past weekend — I might run a bit longer. I really want to run my Bountiful Temple route along Bountiful Blvd. — it’s about a 8-9 mile route. It’s both challenging with hills and beautiful with the views of the city and Great Salt Lake.

But, we’ll see.

I think I am just getting ahead of myself — both bouts of excitement and eagerness.

But, I am probably more excited about Daylight Savings Time starting in a couple of weeks — that extra hour of daylight saves me. Not just with an extra hour of running outside, but it helps my mood tremendously! It’s quite the opposite effect when we lose the hour.

Anyways — 13 MORE DAYS!!!

I am excited for this week — I’ve got a couple of runs and workouts planned that will hopefully result in some changes with my weight. It’s been a frustrating couple of weeks not seeing much progress. But, consistency is the key, right?

I am focusing on balance, but ramping up the lifting and running. I am hopeful that will help. Not to mention staying true to my diet — which is basically cutting out a lot of additional sugar and watching the carbs. Fairly simple.

Anyways — lots of things to be excited about — and a lot of things to buckle down too. Should be a fun and productive week.



I am still on my quest to find the best nachos in Utah … and this past weekend I tried out the nachos at Penny Ann’s Cafe alongside Cousin Em. They didn’t disappoint. 

Were they the best nachos in Utah? No. But, you’d definitely find me back in front of them again in the future. I fell in love with the pork chile verde and silky runniness of the sunny side up egg over my nacho chips.

… mmmmmmmmm …

Anyways, before giving away my whole review, here is my write of the Breakfast Nachos from Penny Ann’s Cafe. Enjoy!


My new protein powder came in the mail today … the new flavor better not disappoint! #bananalover #proteinshakesfordays

A photo posted by Joshua ❆ Hansen (@joshuwalla) on

The proper greeting whenever you meet a new baby family member for the first time. #lionkingmoment

A photo posted by Joshua ❆ Hansen (@joshuwalla) on



31.85 miles


22.4 miles


231.75 miles


286.0 miles




If you haven’t caught the latest editions of Are We Prepared, Yet? and Runcast USA make sure to catch them here. They are two of my favorite episodes. There will be a new Runcast coming out this Friday so make sure to come back on Friday. We’ll be talking about winter running … just in time for … spring!

Anyways … give the podcasts a listen —





Since the Runcast USA interviewed Blu Robinson and Addict II Athlete (AIIA) last month I’ve been working with Blu and his wife, Marissa, on launching their own podcast that will be hosted on Pod Bash.

I am really excited about this podcast for a number of reasons — one, I love narratives. I absolutely love hearing people’s stories and, two, the AIIA message fits so well with the podcast medium. It’s perfect.

AIIA’s tagline is “turn your mess into a message” and that’s perfect for a podcast. It works so well. I am getting excited for the podcast to launch. I am not sure when it will launch, but it should be sometime within the next couple of weeks.

So stay tuned into Pod Bash — it will post there and iTunes! And, of course, I’ll keep you all in the loop!

Daily Shorts.fw