Tag: bountiful handcart days half marathon

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!

A post shared by The Runcast (@theruncast) on

RACE #154: Bountiful Handcart Days Half Marathon

This race means a lot to me. Well, the whole Handcart Days festival means a lot to me. Growing up our family was heavily involved when my Dad served as the Chairman for the event. That included coordinating the parade, park festivities, entertainment and fireworks with a committee of local volunteers.

I spent a lot of time at the Bountiful Park lugging food to the concession stands, setting up VIP parade booths and whatever else was required. Sometimes I was even forced to watch the parade — which if anyone knows me, knows I absolutely HATE parades. But, that’s a post for another day.

In the seven years my Dad was involved with the festival, we never had a race — not even a 5K. But, in the 10 years after my Dad was released from the chairmanship one was added in conjunction with the South Davis Rec Center. So when I decided to run my first half marathon back in 2011 — it just seemed fitting.

A post shared by 🔼That's me. (@josherwalla) on

I run the race twice since that hot July 2011 day. It was my 100th race back in 2015 where friend Jim Gastelum arranged a 100 banana salute at the finish line and then I ran it again last year to celebrate my 5th year anniversary of my first half marathon. This race has become a race of milestones for me of sorts.

When I lined up this year for the race, I wasn’t really celebrating a certain milestone. Unless there’s significance for a 6th anniversary or 154th race that I am unaware of? I was running to run. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinking of those milestones and the plan to run this again next year for my 180th and final race in my 180 goal.

But, my mind was on other things. The day prior I got word that a good friend of mine — not just a running friend — was diagnosed with brain cancer. Robert Merriman has been a good friend for some four years or so now. He is truly one of the greatest men you’d ever met. Not a mean bone in his body, yet one of the best senses of humor.

A post shared by 🔼That's me. (@josherwalla) on

This news quickly spread throughout the running community and left many of us shocked. Robert had friends throughout the community, because of the nature of man he is. He’s always encouraging, always giving and always cheering others on.

Having this news really made this run one of reflection for me. Not just on Robert, but about other friends and family in my life who’ve battled cancer. It was this time two years ago we found out about Meridith’s breast cancer. My Mom’s own cancer journey was on my mind, even though that was over five years ago. All that emotion was very much on my mind.

But, my heart was also reflective on how through all of that — running was there. Running is a mental, spiritual and physical therapy for me in these moments. I remember when I got the news of my mother’s diagnosis I went out for a run that day to help clear my mind and find peace.

It’s almost become a natural reaction for me to run when life gets tough, confusing, frustrating or difficult. Not to run away from it all. But, to run with my thoughts, and often a prayer in my heart, to center myself and find strength to tackle whatever is in front of me.

A post shared by (phat) josh (@fight4phat) on

So, toeing up to that starting line on Saturday morning was to find that center balance.

Like the previous couple years I decided to take the early start at 5:30am. I have no reason to do it other than I want to get done faster and spend less time out in the heat of the day. I kind of wish all summer races had a 5:30am option. It’s light enough that I know where I am going … so why not?

A handful of us started early and I got about three or so miles into the race before the leading runners passed me. I thought that wasn’t bad, especially since I wasn’t planning on pushing myself at all during this race. That’s what happens when you have a race on Monday, a bum ankle and a flat course. I was Clydesdaling it.

Around mile three I started getting Tummy Gremlins and knew I needed a Honey Bucket soon. I found one just off the Legacy Parkway Trail, but when I approached it was deadlocked. DEADLOCKED?! Who does that?

I didn’t have much time to ponder about that so I just moved forward in hopes that the next aid station would have one. I won’t lie, it was the longest two miles of my life. I’ve run some painful miles in the past — but, when the Tummy Gremlins attack, they mean business.

A post shared by 🔼That's me. (@josherwalla) on

Finally, when I turned a corner to see the Mile 5 aid station I saw the most glorious Honey Bucket. When I limped toward it I was elated it wasn’t deadlocked or occupied. I made it right in the nick of time.

I am not sure why I included this story, but it was pretty much the highlight of the first half of the race. And, luckily — well, thankfully — the second half was much, much, much better.

Just shortly after my near disaster, I ran into Merri and Glen, a brother and sister that were running in memory of Glen’s son Benjamin who passed away recently. Merri reads this blog and introduced herself. After yo-yo’ing for a couple of miles we met up again at the Mile 7 aid station and ran together the rest of the way.

Talking with Merri and Glen about Glen’s son Benjamin was what I needed. Already with a reflective heart — I just listened to Glen talk about how Benjamin lived with one of the biggest hearts — toward humanity and animals. I listened to his stories of Benjamin’s musical talents and how he recently drove to Southern Utah to adopt a dog slated to be put down.

I was grateful for this moment.

A post shared by (phat) josh (@fight4phat) on

My heart kept wandering toward those I’ve lost in the past few years — both friends and family. I thought a lot about my Grandma and Aunt Diane — two of my biggest influences as both a kid and adult. I thought about their big hearts, I thought about the small unsaid acts of kindness they shared with others and how proud they were of the changes I was making in my life.

Loss is hard, especially when you lose someone so close to your heart. And, I couldn’t help but think throughout this run how running helped mend that my heart. It was a very unexpected spiritual experience for me. I felt honored to be able to share that moment with Merri and Glen.

It was a completely uplifting run for me.

After we crossed the finish line, we took a picture together and parted ways.

But, I couldn’t stop thinking about this run throughout the day. I couldn’t stop feeling a deep sense of gratitude for having running in my life. Not just for affording me to be a part of this powerful experience, but that it’s helped me through many difficult times in my life.

Life is a beautiful thing. And, running has helped enhance that for me — in times of sorrow, pain and joy. And, for that I’ll always thank God for the gift of running.


He has my heart … and banana.

A post shared by 🔼That’s me. (@josherwalla) on

Best duet I’ve heard since Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s “Drunk in Love”

A post shared by 🔼That’s me. (@josherwalla) on

Got my biannual thyroid check this past week. I knew something was up with my energy levels and … yup … the thyroid was off. So my doctor switched me to a lower dose of Levothyroxine. No more Armour. I’m feeling a difference, which is good, but we’ll start seeing the bigger effects in the next couple of months (hopefully). I’m just hoping my energy levels are better and the new meds help make losing weight easier. It should. I’d really like to lose 30lbs before November, but we’ll see. If that doesn’t happen at least a good 30-35 before my 100 miler in February. Goals, goals, goals. It’s been hard making weight loss goals with Hashimoto’s, because the thyroid is so fickle. I just want consistency. And, I’m hopeful I’m on the right track. ———————————————————— #fight4phat #fitness #wellness #health #running #runnerslife #runner #run #weightloss #weightlossjourney #hashimotos #hashimotoswarrior #thyroid #hypothyroidism #workout #wod #instarunner #run4fun #runningcommunity #levothyroxine #thyroidmedication #hypothyroidism #hypothyroidismweightloss #goals #healthgoals #thyroidproblems ———————————————————— @fight4phat @josherwalla @joshruns180 ———————————————————— Follow my blog at www.phatjosh.com

A post shared by (phat) josh (@fight4phat) on

You better believe that if I’m going to be sitting in the dentist’s chair for most of the morning I’m going to get in a longer-ish run beforehand. Planned on a quick two mile run, but after realizing I had enough time for a longer run, I doubled it up and did four miles. Since I have two half marathons this weekend I didn’t want to do anything pushed, especially with my ankle so I just focused on my gait mechanics and enjoyed the warm morning run. Winning. ———————————————————— #fight4phat #fitness #wellness #health #running #runnerslife #runner #run #weightloss #weightlossjourney #hashimotos #hashimotoswarrior #thyroid #hypothyroidism #workout #wod #instarunner #run4fun #runningcommunity #utahrunningclub #morningrun #4milerun #fartlek #runutah ———————————————————— @fight4phat @josherwalla @joshruns180 ———————————————————— Follow my blog at www.phatjosh.com

A post shared by (phat) josh (@fight4phat) on

Are we sure this is a war over monkeys and not drugs?

A post shared by 🔼That’s me. (@josherwalla) on

Lest we ever forget.

A post shared by 🔼That’s me. (@josherwalla) on

Sunsets like tonight could turn the manliest of men into a poet.

A post shared by 🔼That’s me. (@josherwalla) on

A post shared by The Runcast (@theruncast) on

RACE #126: Bountiful Handcart Days Half Marathon

BOUNTIFUL — The first of two races this holiday weekend are complete. On Saturday I ran the Handcart Days Half Marathon here in my hometown. I am then running the Deseret News Half Marathon on Monday — er — tomorrow morning. Am I crazy doing this? Sure. Is it unprecedented for me? No.

Like I tell everyone who asks how I am able to race so much, the simple answer is — I don’t know how to say no to a race. It’s especially harder to say no when I have my credit card on autofill. All I have to do is show up at a race website and I’m pretty much registered for that race the next 2-3 years.

All kidding aside, I’ve done a number of back-to-back half marathons — usually consisting of a night race on Friday followed by a Saturday morning race. Those are usually all-nighters. I have also done a couple of double race days as well. Last year and in 2014 I ran two half marathons the same day — a morning and night race. Lots of fun, lots of running.

A photo posted by @fight4phat on

So a Saturday and Monday race isn’t that hard for me to mentally and physically prepare for. Basically, my Sunday usually consists of a lot of napping while wearing compression socks all day. Oh, and drinking a lot of water. After races I don’t like to drink a lot the next couple of following days — so I have to force it a bit to make sure I am not dehydrated for my upcoming race.

Anyways — it’s still not “easy” to do. But, it’s fun. It’s always fun giving your body a challenge whether it’s small, moderate or huge. It’s what makes running fun for me. That’s kind of why I got into running in the first place. It’s especially the reason why I ran my first half marathon. I wanted to prove it to myself I could do hard things.

And, coincidentally, I was celebrating that first half marathon five years to the day at the same race on Saturday. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been a “runner” (I didn’t really consider myself a “real” runner until I did my first half — that’s why runner is in quotation marks) for that long. Time has flown — way too fast to be honest with you. Gosh, I was still 29 back then. Now I am pushing my mid-thirties (okay, I am pretty much already there).

A photo posted by @josherwalla2 on

But, it’s been an adventure. I never thought I would be HERE five years later. No, not the same race. But, HERE meaning what I have done with running the past five years. Where we have gone together, what we have accomplished and who we have met. Five years ago, I just wanted to run a half marathon. I didn’t know how many I wanted to do in my lifetime. I just wanted to do one and that was my focus.

And, after 124 other races — among them 7 marathons, 106 half marathons, five relays, three 25Ks and one beast of a 50K — here I was full circle at the same race on the exact day doing what I love. My heart fills up with memories and emotions trying to gap my experiences between the two races. But, I’ve experienced so much in those five years — it’s nearly impossible to be attentive to everything I’ve learned and done.

I’ve lived so much life in those past five years.

Okay, this is starting to get a little sappy. You’d think I was starting to write the script to the next big movie for the Hallmark Channel. It’s just hard not to get sedimental around Pioneer Day, because I ran my first marathon on Pioneer Day the following year at the Deseret News Marathon. So this time next year I might get emotional once again at my marathon’s five year runniversary date.

I think this also means I probably should sign up for the DesNews Marathon next year too, huh?

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Anyways, to this year’s race … besides being sentimental about the date and race, going into the race — I knew what I was expecting. I ran the same course last year (for my 100th race mind you) and it didn’t change much (if at all) from year to year. So it was going to be a lot of flatness for the first half or so and then rolling hills the second half. Not my favorite course demographics — but — it is what it is.

The goal for me was to just keep going, not push TOO hard and don’t poop my pants (this is always my goal in every race — it’s a legit fear). I wanted to keep my legs fresh for the DesNews Half on Monday, because I knew if I kicked it up TOO hard during this race I would probably trash my legs a bit too much. My secondary goal was to also come in under three hours. A doable goal.

One thing I love about the Handcart Days Half is that they give you an option for an early start. They’ve actually been doing this for a few years and I think it’s brilliant. For slower runners or those who don’t want to be running alooooooong time in the heat the race gives the option to start a half hour early (5:30am).

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

The only thing is that you aren’t eligible for awards if you do that. Which I really don’t care, because I’ve never walked away from a race with anything more than my race medal and a free banana. Okay, well, I lied — I usually get lots of free stuff when I sweep races. By the time I cross the finish line the race organizers don’t know what to do with leftover food so most of the time they’ll just give it to me (or whoever is there) to take home. I’ve taken home a box of oranges, bananas and even a HUGE pan of French Toast.

Anyways — that was kind of a tangent, huh? But, I’m sure you’d love some french toast. Me on the other hand — a banana. So, I decided to do the early start. It wouldn’t hurt, I’d get done earlier and I’d avoid the sun trying to kill me midway through. Besides I would just be hanging out for a half hour if I didn’t — better be doing something productive, right?

The conditions were perfect starting that early. It was light enough to know where I was going, but the sun hadn’t come up over the mountain yet so it was still shadowy cool. Sure it would have been ten times better if it was 20 degrees cooler. But, for a July race — not bad.

A photo posted by Josh Runs 180 (@joshruns180) on

The course wound it’s way from the Rec Center towards the Legacy Parkway Trail where it ran up to the 925 S. bridge, crossed over Legacy Highway and I-15 and onto Main Street back on it’s way to the Rec Center. A fairly simple course. The first seven miles on the trail were flat, but once we crossed the bridge and towards Main Street that’s where it started to get hilly.

In fact right after you crossed the bridge you had to climb a monstrous hill (okay, maybe not very monstrous, but after 7 miles of flat running it was mentally and physically tough) towards Main Street. I went into my hill mode knowing that if I stopped it would probably kill the rest of my race. So, I picked a tree on the side of the road and then as soon as passed that, picked another tree and so on.

And, I conquered it! Thankfully there was an aid station at the top of the hill. I could probably celebrate my feat with a cup of water and a banana! It really was a tough hill, but after conquering it I knew the other hills coming up would be easy. And, for the most part — they were. Especially when I told myself nothing beat the 925 S. hill.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Anyways — I just kept pushing. I felt great. Around mile 9-10 the sun was coming up above the mountain, but because the course was now beside the mountain I was still running in shade. Hallelujah! The extra half hour was a life changer.

It really wasn’t until the last mile that I started to feel the heat — the Bern, if I may — until about mile 11.5. Though it was kinda miserable I knew I could push through 10-15 minutes of hell to the finish line. And, just for the mere fact that I am writing this review of my race — I survived.

I love making the last turn towards the Rec Center. It’s the same for all of their races — Handcart Days Half, Thanksgiving 5K, Sweethearts 5K, etc. So I’ve ran that same turn a number of times. It reminded me of my first half marathon and last year’s race when my friend Jim orchestrated a 100 banana salute (I think it was 96, because four people ended up eating their’s before I got there) in honor of my 100th race.

Needless to say — a turn of many emotions.

And, again — I’m getting a tad sappy here.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Anyways — I crossed the finish line in 2:55:56. I hit my goal. I was under three hours, I was alive, I could feel my legs and I hadn’t pooped my pants. Success all over the place for me.

I hung out afterwards for a while cheering on other runners coming in while refueling on bananas and water. It was somewhat torture when Corner Bakery showed up with free pastries. But, I held true to my Whole30 and stuck with the fruit. As tempting at it was — a banana (well, two of them) hit the spot.

Sitting with friends — new and old — at the finish line was the perfect way to celebrate this runniversary. That to me is what this journey has been all about. I will always press forward with new goals and challenges — but, it’s nothing without sharing those experiences with people I care about.

A photo posted by @fight4phat on

I am 34 more races to my 180 goal. I’ll reach that goal probably within a couple of years. But, I wonder where I will be in the next five years? Where will running take me at age 40? What role will it play? Who will I meet? Where will it take me? That’s the exciting part — I don’t know?

I just focus on the road ahead of me and move forward step by step.


127 - desnews half.fw

As I have mentioned numerous times — this is a two race weekend for me. Tomorrow I am running the Deseret News Half Marathon. This is one of my favorite races. Not so much the marathon (though it was my first marathon), but the half marathon. It’s a fun course. It’s a fast course. I PR’d on the course back in 2013 (eclipsed two months later).

That’s why I have big goals this year with this course. No, I am not planning on PRing on the course (that’d be nice if I knew I wouldn’t also die in the process and/or have my feet fall off trying), but I am planning on running a sub-2:30 half marathon. Something I haven’t done since — um, probably 2014 … ish? Needless to say — it’s been a while.

My game plan is simple. My friend Brook is pacing the 2:30 group — soooooooo — I am sticking with her. Good game plan, huh? This way I don’t have to worry about following my Garmin, etc. If I lose her, than I’m screwed.

Another reason I am following her is that it should prevent me from going out too fast. That’s my biggest sin as a runner. It’s hard not to, especially during a canyon run. Being a big guy sometimes you just let gravity take control and you just want to flllllllly down the canyon. It’s such a blessing and a curse.

Fortunately, I know the course well. The mile out of the canyon and the last mile will be the toughest. There’s a slight hill that can kill your momentum. Nothing horrible. But, I’m just mentally preparing for those two portions of the race.

I am excited about the race. And, I’ll be lying if I say that I will be disappointed if I miss my goal. This has been a goal I’ve been working on for a while. Losing the weight has helped along with the extra running and workouts.



128-timp half.fw 129 - Run Elevated Half Marathon 130 - Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon

Runcast - Podbash Banner

If you haven’t caught the latest episode of the Runcast — you should. It’s a good one. Jim and I broadcast live from the Utah Midnight Run from last weekend. Jim talks about passing out during church because of dehydration and I share my unfortunate naked homeless guy story.

It’s always fun to hear people’s opinion on the show. It’s also better hearing that people love the shows and that they take us running with them. Whether it’s me, Jorge and Jim or one of the music podcasts — I hope you do get something out of it. Inspiration, motivation or simple entertainment.

Give us a listen and share with your friends too!

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

InstaReplay: Handcart Days Half Marathon

HAPPY RUNNIVERSARY TO ME! Today marks the 5th anniversary of my first half marathon — and the first race I ran that counts (any race over 13.1 miles) towards my 180 race goal. It was fitting that it was at the same race — the Bountiful Handcart Days Half Marathon. A race that means a lot to me.

Not just because it was my first and 100th race — but, because it’s my hometown race. And, for nearly a decade my Dad was the chairman of Handcart Days. I basically grew up helping run the celebration. My Eagle Scout project was making bus signs for it — some 17 years ago (that ages me).

I love pretty much everything about Bountiful Handcart Days — well, everything except the parade. I hate parades. But, that’s a story for another day. We never had a half marathon, let alone a 5K when we were in charge of the festival. But, what a great idea! It’s my favorite thing to look forward to on Pioneer Day weekend.

I won’t go into too much detail, because I’ll have a full recap on Monday or Tuesday. But, I had fun. It’s not an easy run. It’s flat and hilly. Thankfully rolling hills compared to anything monstrously huge. Just one of those.

I did the early start as to avoid the heat — so instead of starting at 6am like everyone else — I started at 5:30am. It made  big difference, especially in the latter miles. I am pretty sure that I would have died if I waited the extra half marathon. In my opinion, if you are given the option during the summer to start early — TAKE IT!

Plus, you get done sooner.

Anyways — here are a few pictures from the race. I’ll post more on Monday after I run the DesNews Half! Fun, fun, fun weekend of running! YEEHAH!

HAPPY RUNNIVERSARY TO ME! Five years ago today I started this little journey right here at the Handcart Days Half Marathon. I had no idea where this journey would take me back in 2011. I just wanted to do a half to prove I could do a half. Now five years later and 100+ half marathons, 7 marathons and a 50K later … here I am. It’s been fun reflecting the contrasts of my journey from 2011 to 2016. The biggest difference? The people now in my life. The race bling (and countless race shirts) means nothing without the people, friendships and memories that I attach to those medals. Whether we’ve ran a mile, two or 200 together — thank you for leaving a footprint in my life. #handcartdayshalf #race126 #running #runniversary #halfmarathon #workout #wod #wellness #health #run #weightlossjourney #weightlosstransformation #runningjourney #keeprunning @southdavisraces @joshruns180 @fight4phat @josherwalla

A photo posted by @fight4phat on

RACE #126 is done! Celebrated not only my 126th race (over 13.1 miles), but my 5th RUNNIVERSARY of beginning that journey. And, at the same race to boot! I went in the race not wanting to push too fast, but coming in under 3:00. Mainly, because I’m pushing for a 2:30 on Monday at the DesNews Half. Thankfully the race gives the option of a 5:30am start for slower runners. I took that option mainly so I wouldn’t be out in the heat of the sun too long. The course runs along Legacy Parkway Trail before crossing over I-15 and Legacy to Main Street on its way back to the Rec Center. It’s not an easy course. But, it’s got a variety of flat to rolling hill terrain. Basically not a PR course. But, it holds a special place in my heart, so all is forgiven. Now I’m resting my legs and looking forward to Monday! That’s my goal race this weekend. Gotta reach the 2:30! It’s my destiny. Happy Pioneer Weekend! #handcartdayshalf #race126 #running #runningjourney #halfmarathon #run #bountifulutah #pioneerday #handcartdays #workout #fitness #wellness #workout #wod @southdavisraces @joshruns180 @josherwalla

A photo posted by @fight4phat on

My 50 Mile Training Plan …

50 Mile Training Plan

I am getting really excited for the Pony Express 50 in October — sure it’s still 7 months away — but, I am getting really, really excited to just tackle the crap out of it.

I would do it tomorrow if I knew I could — well, I am sure I could — but, I’d be one hot mess if I tried. I am simply not prepared to tackle it physically, mentally and emotionally. I have this vision of myself laying in face down in ditch with tears of mascara pouring down my face because of my extremely poor decision.

So, yeah, that won’t be me.

This is one reason I have been going back to a half marathon training plan. I want to rebuild my base — I want to be able to not struggle through a half marathon. I want to do it with ease — or relative ease — like I used to a couple years ago. And, then I want to build onto that base with running marathons and eventually the 50 miler.

I am sure I could have thrown myself into training now and done an earlier race — but, I want to do this right. Mainly, because I don’t trust my training right now. Last year took a lot out of me — from my legs to core. And, I’ve got to get that back.

Anyways — below you’ll find how I put together my training plan — and my actual training plan. If you’re running your first ultra marathon — maybe this will help? But, just remember, I put this together for me. If you’re looking for a good plan I have some good links below.




I used a couple of training plans — since I am training for the St. George Marathon and the Pony Express 50 I tried to intermingle a marathon and 50 mile training plan into one. Since I am not a very fast runner — the training plan is more about mileage than pacing, splits and all that jazz.

But, I used the Hal Higdon Marathon Novice 2 Training Plan and a mixture of two 50 mile training plans — Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning, UltraLadies Running Club and Runner’s World Ultimate Ultramarathon Training Plan.

I didn’t really find an authoritative training plan for a 50 miler — which is okay, mainly because I will have to bastardize my marathon training plan some to also prepare for the 50 miler. The key more than anything is to get my miles in — and be prepared mentally, emotionally and physically for the run.

To prepare for all of that I am focusing on a few of my looooong 20 milers to be doozies. I want them to be tough. I actually got this idea from Jill — and I love the idea of mentally and physically making those runs HELL for me.

In August I have two 20 mile training runs planned. The first on the weekend of the 13th and the second on the 27th. The one of the 13th I am planning on doing on a treadmill — and that’s not all. I am planning on starting at midnight after staying up since 4am the day before. I want to experience the fatigue and mental strain that those latter miles are going to bring me.

Plus, I just love crazy.

The run on the 27th I haven’t decided on yet — it’s one of two runs. I was thinking of either running the indoor track at my Rec Center in Bountiful. It’s a small, small, small track that adds up to like 4-5 trips around per mile. I like the idea of the mental strain.

Or — I am going to an ALL up hill 20 miler. That sounds fun and crazy. There was a 20 miler up Emigration Canyon that Becky and I did a couple years while preparing for the Ogden Marathon that was a killer uphill.

Either way — stay on hold to see what the 27th will entail. But, the goal is to kick my trash in all areas where I want to get stronger. And, of course — if you want to join in the adventure you’re more than welcome to join me! Especially on my treadmill training run!

But, also of note — I have three marathons on my race docket as well — the Big Cottonwood, Huntsville and St. George Marathons. That’s a marathon every other week — which will be tough mentally and physically.

But, I am sweeping the Big Cottonwood Marathon and am planning on truly racing the St. George Marathon. I am treating Huntsville as a training run. So it will be somewhere in between racing pace and sweeping pace. Whatever that means.

Anyways — I am getting excited … and nervous, but that’s normal and I am pretty stoked about it. If you have any tips or suggestions for what else I can — please by all means let me know! I’d love your advice.



Like I’ve mentioned before — I am not a training or a running coach — but, if this works for you, go ahead and use it. It’s tailored towards me, but if it helps you … GREAT!

Just know it’s a lot of running. It’s 300+ miles just in looooong training runs! That excites and scares me all in one emotion! I LOVE IT!

I can’t wait until October 21st!

Here are the long runs —

NOTE: This does not include my fitness/running plan for the following 22 weeks. The meat of that will change the closer I am to the race and will depend on my fitness levels according to my goals. But, most of my running during the week will be outside around Bountiful either on the roads or trails.

June 4: Bountiful Temple Run (8 miles)
June 11: Drop 13 Big Cottonwood Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
June 18-19: Ragnar Relay: Wasatch Back (~13.1-15 miles)
June 25: AF Canyon Race Against Cancer (13.1 miles)
July 2: 13 Miles of Freedom Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
July 9: Bountiful Temple Run (8 miles)
July 16: Emigration Canyon to Liberty Park (12 miles)
July 23: Handcart Days Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
July 25: Deseret News Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
July 30: Timp Half (13.1 miles)
August 6: Legacy Parkway Trail (15 miles)
August 13: Treadmill Madness (20 miles)
August 20: Big Cottonwood Canyon (12 miles)
August 27: TBA (20 miles)
September 3: Nebo Half (13.1 miles)
September 10: Big Cottonwood Marathon (26.2 miles)
September 17: Huntsville Marathon (26.2 miles)
September 24: Goldilocks Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
October 1: St. George Marathon (26.2 miles)
October 8: Emigration Canyon to Hogle Zoo (10 miles)
October 15: Bountiful Temple Run (8 miles)
October 21-22: Pony Express 50 Mile Run (50 miles)

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

The 76th Fartlek Friday™ – I should just go ahead and dedicate this week to Shawn Bradley

shawn-bradley-700x393Okay you’re probably wondering why in the heck I am dedicating this week’s Fartlek Friday to Shawn Bradley. Don’t worry, I am too. It’s kinda weird.

But, as a kid … I kinda idolized him. He entered the NBA in 1993 when I was in the 5th grade. I think I kinda attached myself to Bradley because he was tall and I was tall. At the time I was the tallest in the grade.

So it was kinda natural in that regard. But, one thing I loved about Bradley was that he was 7’6 played for the Philadelphia 76ers and wore #76. I thought that was so cool. Heck even those shooting star jerseys were cool to me. So, that’s why I am dedicated the 76th Fartlek to Shawn Bradley.

Oh, and I’ve met him in person before too. Cool guy. He lives in my sisters’ neighborhood and I’ve seen him at their church functions. One of my favorite pictures ever was the one I took last year of my Mom by Bradley (without him knowing of course) …


I love my Mom.

Anyways, so much more to talk about then my affinity for giant culture.

Okay, I know that I said I was going to move on about talking about Shawn Bradley, but you have to wonder if he plays on the ward basketball team? It wouldn’t be fair if you were the opposition, but heck, I’d just have Shawn lift me to the basket so I could dunk.

Tangent over. I swear.

Plus, it could get worse, I could be expressing my love for Greg Ostertag.


I am pretty dang excited for this weekend … race #94 is going down. I am running the Drop 13 Half Marathon on Saturday. This race runs down Big Cottonwood Canyon, somewhat of a similar course like the Vigor race I ran last month, but the finish line is in a different location.


I’ve expressed my love of this canyon before and since I already expressed my love for Shawn Bradley today I am just expressing too much love for it to be right. So I’ll save you the mushy crap for Monday during my race recap.

Because, believe you me … it can get mushy when I get to talking about Big Cottonwood Canyon.

But, it’s kind of funny how I got this race. I was originally signed up for the Utah Valley Marathon. I signed up last year right after my marathon when all judgement goes out the window. I saw on that for a while until I decided to switch to the half marathon, which I did.

Then I got a pacing gig at the Yellowstone Half Marathon in Wyoming. So, I decided to sell my Utah Valley bib and then pace Yellowstone instead, because … well … Yellowstone!

I was planning on taking Friday off to commute to the race, but a few weeks ago my co-worker decided to take a week off for vacation and I couldn’t take that Friday off any longer. Soooooo … I had to cancel my pacing gig. LAME!

That’s when I decided to sign up for the Drop 13 Half Marathon, a race I’ve wanted to do the past couple of years. On Hill Events does a good job at their races and with the combination of that and the canyon I couldn’t say no.


I just haven’t raced this before, because I had already committed to Utah Valley which has always been on the same day. But, after the run around (literal) of races I couldn’t say no to Drop 13.

And, now the funny thing is … my office is closed all day today, because they are replacing a transformer all day which means … NO POWER. So I probably could have gone to Yellowstone after all?!

But, that’s all hindsight. But, I am really excited for my race tomorrow. There really isn’t anything like a good downhill run, eh?

I’m just excited to be running down Big Cottonwood.

It’s just too bad that Shawn Bradley doesn’t run.


Bugout Challenge LogoRegistration for the July 18th Bugout Run is open! The best part about this run? It’s FREE! Yep … FREE NINETY-NINE! In fact our August 8th Bugout Run will be as well. Registration for our Bugout Survival Challenge will open soon as well and that will be happening in the fall.

There is a difference between the two challenges or runs. First, the Bugout Runs are all FREE events. These will be small trail run/hikes of 3 to 5 miles that anyone over 14 years of age can participate in.

What makes these a BUGOUT event is that you don’t know the specific location of the race until 72-48 hours before the run. You’ll get an email from us with the location and what to prepare for, for that run. Then you’ll meet at that location and we’ll hike out.

The run will also include a couple of survival challenges and opportunities to talk about preparedness issues with our resident experts and participants. There will also be experts on hand to help scrutinize and grade your bugout bags, making sure you are REALLY ready to bugout if needed.

The purpose of these runs is to give the community an opportunity to practice their survival skills, learn what they need to do be doing and to network with others.

We have the same goal for the Survival Challenge in the fall, but this will be a larger scale event with many obstacles and scenarios. There will be beginner, intermediate and expert levels participants can choose from and we’ll also have community members and experts at each station teaching and proctoring the scenarios.

This event will be a 24 hour overnight “bugout” and the best way for me to describe the event is that it’s Trails meet running meet obstacle course meet a team relay meet emergency preparedness.

It will be a lot of fun. Trust me.

But, the first run will be somewhere in Davis County. The August event will be in Utah County. As far as specific locations … you’ll just need to sign up and find out, eh?


hands 2As noted earlier this week I have decided to make this year’s Bountiful Handcart Days Half Marathon my 100th race. This race was also my first half marathon back in 2011. It was the perfect place and moment to celebrate this milestone.

Since I had to add two races to my schedule, I picked up the Provo Midnight Run (June 26) and the Hobbler Half (July 11) to make this goal possible. The good people of On Hill Events were kind enough to give me a discount with me and are letting me share it with you as well.

If you use code RUNCAST at checkout you can get a 15% discount on your registration. That’ll save you some $$$! This will be my first time running the Midnight Run in Provo, but these races are fun. You get all blinged up and run at night. It’s a great race to run with friends.

So come join me on June 26th!

It shall be fun.


Here are other things that have caught my attention this past week …