Tag: bountiful

RACE #141: March Madness Half Marathon

One thing I love about endurance sports — specifically running — is unlike other sports, like most team sports, the venue changes from event to event. And, the outcome is up to you, not necessarily how you and your teammates work together on an uniform and familiar playing field.

In running — especially distance running — distances may be the same, but courses (or playing fields) all differ. And, I love that. A race down Big Cottonwood Canyon is going to be completely different from around the neighborhoods of South Jordan, the trails of the Bonneville Lakeshore Trail or around the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns.

Then on top of that you’re going to face many different variables — dealing with anything from weather, your training preparation, your fueling, your mental state, etc., etc., etc., etc. That’s why racing is so personal. It’s YOUR race — and nobody else’s. And, this race was very much a reminder of the importance of that mentality.

Going into the race — I didn’t know what to expect. Compared to last week when I ran the SL Track Club Indoor Half in Kearns — I wasn’t recovered from my previous week’s ultra. I felt it pretty early into my run. The legs were kicking and screaming trying to remind me of the hell I put them through the previous week.

This week — I felt more rested. My runs during the week weren’t fast, calculated or overly efforted. They were more shakeout runs. I just wanted to feel and do better than last week’s race. And, I think I got my legs there come Saturday morning.

I didn’t want to put a time goal on this race, because I haven’t been half marathon training — or maintaining. My training miles from December until February were pretty much all focused on my ultra. Meaning — they were long and slow miles.

In fact I am pretty sure the first 13 miles of my ultra took me over four hours? So speed work hasn’t been on the training docket for me for quite a while. Which I’m not worried about, because after my 50K in April I’ll be gearing my focus toward that anyway.

Anyways — despite all of the reasons why I shouldn’t or didn’t need to make a time goal. I did.

I simply wanted to run a sub-three hour half marathon. That seemed like a reasonable and doable goal. I’ve been losing weight, gaining more energy with my Hashimoto’s friendly diet and feeling strongly lately — so why not?

I knew it was going to be a challenge because of my lack of half training, still temperamental post-ultra legs and the flatness of the course. The race was along the Legacy Parkway Trail — which is flatter than flat. I guess there are some hills, but only people in Kansas would consider them hills — so they don’t count.

Anyways — I knew a flat course with my iron legs could be difficult to gauge an estimated time — but, I didn’t care. I just wanted that sub-three time. I felt like I could do it. So, that’s what I shot for.

When the race started my legs felt pretty good. Not amazingly good — but good. So this encouraged me. And, considering there was a pretty strong tailwind behind — I felt like a racehorse. So I kept trying to mentally push myself a little bit more per mile — just focusing on that effort here and there.

And, really, I felt great.

About 3-4 miles into the race I am starting to think that this goal was more than doable, but expected. I was really on cloud nine, because I felt great. A lot which I attributed to my diet changes and newfound energy.

But, around this time as I was beginning to see the runners return from the out and back return trip — I realized in dread. THIS AWESOME TAILWIND IS GOING TO TURN INTO A NASTY HEADWIND!

And, yeah, as I saw friends pass some of them made comments about the headwind. At this point I started dreading the turnaround point. Because, I’ve dealt with some nasty headwinds. None as horrific as the Ogden Marathon headwind — there’s no joy in a 30 MPH headwind in the rain. That was pure hell. But, I digress.

So while I knew it wasn’t going to be fun — I also knew it wasn’t going to be the worse either. And, thankfully it was not raining, otherwise I’d be singing a different tune.

Once I turned around the change was pretty immediate. There were some nasty gusts — the kind that make you kinda loose your breath for a second. But, the headwind was pretty constant.

After about a mile of just pushing through the wind — I gave myself two options for the last five or so miles. I could, one, keep running for that goal or, two, start walking a bunch and make the excuse that the wind was simply too hard and I got tired.

Luckily, I chose the first option. And, I just kept going.

I felt like if I pushed myself that I could still get my sub-three time. I had to try. I figured at the turn around I was on pace for about 2:40-2:45 — so I still had a shot.

I am glad I went with that decision, because I ran hard into that wind, but it was very, very difficult. It was a fight to keep running and it took A LOT out of me. My mile 10 — I felt like I was beyond empty.

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At this point I stopped looking at the watch, because I knew I was going to be cutting it close. The difference between directions was really that much. My legs started getting really tight because of the effort and threatened to cramp on a couple occasions. But, I kept going.

Around mile 11 — I found it easier and faster for me to mall walk some stretches. I hate resorting to it, because I always fear it will turn into a mosey. But, I focused on my stride and arm swinging (if I had two pound dumbbells I am positive I would have been MUCH faster) and it really helped relieve a lot of the strain on the quads. I focused on alternating between my mall walking and running in a 1:1 minute ratio.

And, for the most part that helped.

But, I was still on empty.

Once I got off the trail and back onto the streets toward the park I happened to glance at my watch to notice I had a minute to run the last 3/4 of a mile or so. I just kind of stared at that reality — and didn’t feel disappointment — at all. Besides feeling sore, dead and depleted — I felt proud. I felt strong. I felt — good.

That last stretch I had a conversation with myself — first, thanking me for deciding making excuses to walk and, second, realizing that my effort was beyond a sub-three effort. On pretty much any other course my effort that day WAS well below a sub-three time. And, I knew a windless — or even less windy day — that effort would give me a sub-three time.

And, to say and realize that — knowing I could have just started walking as a sign of defeat — made me really proud of myself.

I came in just over 3:06 hours. But, those six minutes were invisible to me.

Because, I got that goal.


NEXT FIVE RACES


So during my race today I saw a seemingly perfect banana laying on the side of the road. I was going to pick it up, but I figured … someone might have left it there for later. After I turned around and came back I noticed it was still there. I also noticed it was half eaten. Being a hungered, I looked at it (checked it for needles … I was taught that from Trick or Treating in the 80’s), ripped off the tip where it was a bit bruised … and I ate it. So whoever left that half eaten banana out on Legacy Parkway Trail this morning … THANK YOU! It saved me from cramping, it was delicious and was also the burst of energy I needed to do the last two miles. #race141 #marchmadnesshalf #running @joshruns180 @fit.phat

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Played LIFE™ with my 5 year old niece tonight … guess who got married before me? #yepshedid #likereallife

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RUNNING MILES

119.65 miles

RACE MILES

83.02 miles

WALKING MILES

167.56 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

370.23 miles



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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


MY NEXT RACE

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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.

Anyways — DESNEWS OR BUST!


THE NEXT THREE RACES

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


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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!



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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

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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

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#FitnessFriday: Pioneer Runners sang as they ran and ran and ran …

What a week! It’s been kind of a rollercoaster week for me. Many ups and downs of emotions, etc., etc., etc. My anxiety was a little bit earlier this week — not fun. Not sure if it had anything to do with ending my second round of Whole30 and starting up a third — or with what’s been going on with the RNC in Cleveland? Maybe I’m already missing the ‘Runsmobile’ that officially got retired this week? Probably all of the above? But, more often than not — anxiety is just anxiety for no other reason than just being anxiety.

I don’t talk much about my anxiety. But, it’s something I’ve dealt with for years. It comes and goes as it pleases — and it differs from season to season. One of the worst days/weeks for my anxiety is when Daylight Savings ends in November. No joke. Usually that Sunday or Monday when it gets dark at like — 5pm, I get anxious. And, it lasts for about a week. Not fun.

I’ve found over the years that running has really helped sooth my anxiety. I’ve learned how to subdue it through running and even timing my runs to preempt a panic attack. That’s an art folks. No joke. Running works almost as good as any medication I’ve used.

I could really write a book about running and anxiety. But, the thought makes me anxious — so I’ll probably pass.

Anyways — the first part of the week — not fun. But, I got a really good run in yesterday morning that centered me — physically. mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I won’t lie — I could have used a day earlier, but I’ll take it. I feel good. I feel balanced. And, I am ready for the weekend.

I am running the Handcart Days Half Marathon here in Bountiful tomorrow followed by the Deseret News Half Marathon in Salt Lake on Monday. So lots and lots and lots of running this weekend. It’s Pioneer Day weekend here in Utah (where we celebrate pioneers or ‘pie and beer’ if you are not of the Mormon persuasion) so we have a number of community celebrations, parades (ugh, hate them), fireworks and of course races!

I wrote a bit more about my weekend races below.

But, since Pioneer Day is on Sunday this year the state holiday is being observed on Monday. Which means NO WORK on Monday. Besides racing and probably mowing the lawn — I am not sure what I am going to do with this glorious holiday? I might go see a movie (as long as it’s not the new Ghostbusters)? Or maybe swimming. I kinda want to do that. Or the possibilities are limitless.

Gosh, I love summer holidays. Can you tell?

Anyways, looking forward to a fun weekend of running, family, friends and holiday festivities (except for those dang parades).

What do you have planned for the weekend? Anything fun? Are you running either the Handcart Days or DesNews Half Marathons? Wanna party?

HAPPY PIONEER DAY! HAPPY WEEKEND! HAPPY RUNNING!


126 - bountiful handcart days.fw 127 - desnews half.fw

I love Pioneer Day weekend. Not only is it an extra July holiday for us Utahns, but there are LOTS of fun races associated with the weekend as well. And, the DesNews Marathon and Handcart Days Half Marathon, hold a special place in my heart. Mainly, because they were my first marathon and half marathon respectfully.

Normally both are held on Pioneer Day, so it’s usually a decision for me of “either/or.” But, when Pioneer Day falls on a Sunday (like this year), the Handcart Days Half be held on Saturday, while DesNews will be held on Monday (the state observed holiday). So — in years like this year — I get to run both! Because why give yourself the option of “either/or” when the Race Directors pretty much already made the decision for you?

So tomorrow I am running the Handcart Days Half Marathon — which was my first and 100th race. I am still debating whether I want to start at 6am or do the early 5:30am start. I may opt for the earlier start — but, I probably won’t make that decision until tomorrow morning (meaning, depends how much sleep I get tonight). But, after I am done with the race — I need to hop in the car and pick up my packet in Downtown SLC for the DesNews Half on Monday.

My goal for the races are simple. I am shooting for sub-3:00 for the Handcart Days Half. I don’t want to OVERDO it, because I want to save some energy and legs for the DesNews Half. The Handcart Days Half course is rather flat and hilly so I am not expecting much. But, the DesNews Half goal is to run a sub-2:30 — basically anything under 2:29:59 is my goal. Heck, even 2:29:59:9 would be acceptable.

My friend Brook is pacing the 2:30 group and my goal is to keep up with her and their group. Which I feel is doable, especially considering I am nearly 30lbs. lighter since the Provo City Half in May — and the course is an awesome gradual downhill. One of my favorite courses and canyons.

So, I am putting that out there. And, if I don’t hit that mark on Monday — I will be disappointed. Sure, I’ll be happy to have ran, but this is a goal that I CAN do and achieve. Anything less will be a disappointment for me.

Anyways — it’ll be a fun weekend!



RRR-20-coupon


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Last weekend Jim and I recorded LIVE from the Utah Midnight Run. Well, okay, it wasn’t broadcasted live, but we recorded in front of other people. Needless to say it was an adventure. Not only did we get to chat with a few runners, we also got confused for the registration booth — while on the air. It was pretty funny.

Jimbo and I touch on a number of topics — including our one year anniversary! It’s crazy to think we’ve been doing this now for over a year! Oh how time flies.

Anyways — you’ll hear plenty from Jim about making sure you stay hydrated and why you shouldn’t get lost on race from me. Give the episode a listen here …


PHATGRAMS

I might have been late to the sunset, but I still got a great show. #utahsunset #lovethem

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fight4phat-4

I am just wrapping up my first week of my third round of Whole30 (geez, that kinda reads like a biblical genealogy) and things are — going. I won’t lie — it’s been a bit of a tough week for me to get in the right frame of mind. Not with my diet — but working out and running. And, I am not exactly sure why?

I just feel semi-stuck in a funk?

I think part of that is the culmination of my second round of Whole30. It’s kinda like finishing a marathon you’ve been training for, for weeks. You get to the finish line, given the medal and you’re left feeling like — “sooooo, what’s next?” It’s that kind of “funk” feeling. Nothing major. I just need some of my mojo back.

But, like I said — the diet is fine. I did a good run in this past week and a couple of weight training sessions — two workout sessions less than I’d like. It’s probably best I didn’t do another long run because of my two half marathons this weekend. But, I know I can do better and luckily Monday is a new week. So, I am not too worried.

Anyways — I still feel great. I really seeing how my body is getting slimmer, I was able to put on some XL shirts this past week that I wasn’t able to wear earlier this year. If that’s not motivating I don’t know what is?

Earlier this week I blogged about my Whole30 experience and my Round 2 numbers from this past round. Make sure to check them out. But, everything’s going good. I just need to get back mentally a bit and finish the last 23 or so days off strong. I want to hit the 230s by my birthday.

I think I found that motivation.



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RACE #100: South Davis Handcart Days Half Marathon

100-handcartdaysWOW. What an experience. What a race. What a moment. Even after a couple days as I write down my thoughts and feelings I am in awe of the support and celebration I received throughout the race and at the finish line. It really still feels surreal.

I don’t really want to rehash a lot of the feelings I had going into the race, I pretty much did that on Friday’s post. But, the morning of the race as I met up with Tim and Elsha the reality of what I was doing was really starting to sink in. I had emotions of excitement, humility and MAJOR reflection on the previous 99 races.

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Tim, Elsha and I dubbed this race the “Kilt n’ Kitties” run since we all wore kilts and cat shirts. Tim gifted me a kilt and I gifted him that cat shirt! Great trade!

We started at 5:30am with the walkers and other strollers because I knew we were going to be somewhat slow. I didn’t want to have Elsha out in the heat for too long because it was suppose to get hot … fast! And, with Tim and I nursing some small injuries it just seemed smart to start early.

We started with about 20 or so other people just as the light over the mountains started to emerge. Besides the small amount of people the start was just like any other regular race, but as I crossed the starting line I took a DEEP breath and gave a small prayer of gratitude for this moment. Not just running race #100, but sharing this moment with my close friends Tim and Elsha.

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Early start and practically all alone on the course. Somewhat strange, won’t lie.

We got about four miles into our run before we started getting passed by the runners who started at 6am. It was kind of a fun experience, because as we ran along and saw the leaders go pass we all kind of judged each runners gait and posture and predict whether or not they were going to maintain that pace or slow down. I’ve never paid much attention to that aspect of running before, but I won’t lie … it was actually kind of fun.

The course was pretty much flat and hilly. Not an easy course. But, Tim, Elsha and I kept each other laughing and having a fun time. About mid-way through the race as the sun started to rise fully above the mountains we started to do more run/walking between bus stops.

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Summed up our race on Saturday

The heat was becoming an issue, especially to me. I think part of that was from my experience at Ragnar with my heat exhaustion. I’ve noticed I am a bit more susceptible to the heat as of late. But, I kept the water and Gatorade flowing and took salt tablets when needed. That seemed to help some.

Even with making sure I was hydrated and properly nutritioned I was a little frustrated with how I felt speed wise. I know a lot of factors went into it, but I wanted to go and FEEL faster as well (this wasn’t just a dawning thought, but something I’ve dealt with for over a year with my thyroid issues). Whenever I push Elsha or someone else I usually plan on an extra 5-10 minutes, the heat was also an issue and the flat course. But, really my current fitness level was where my frustration was felt.

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Oh, Tim.

I’ve struggled with it over the past year with my thyroid issues and having gained an unwanted 40lbs. because of those issues I felt it every mile. I’m not going to rehash those frustrations here, but I felt more of a motivation during the race that I wasn’t far off from regaining the form I had a couple years ago. I have and know all the tools to get there, which I have been working on the past few months.

But, during the last couple of miles as I ran towards the finish line and reflected on my journey, it’s been a journey of ups and downs. And, I appreciated those moments even more. Whether it’s been dealing with thyroid issues, injuries or emotional family issues (ie-My Mom’s cancer, family deaths, etc.) running has helped me get through those difficult times. Whether it was out on the course or through the friendship of others I’ve met within the community.

I won’t lie, the last couple of miles were rather emotional thinking of all this out on the road.

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I am such a rebel.

About less than a mile from the finish line I was greeted by my friend Jim out on the course. I was a little surprised to see him out on the course as I didn’t really expect to see him there. He had made any indication he was coming. I wondered if something was up, but kind of dismissed it.

About a quarter of mile later a couple of runners showed up to cheer us on. They were carrying bananas with them and encouraged me on by name. I didn’t know them and that’s when I wondered what was going on. I wasn’t expecting anything special out of being greeted by my family and some friends at the finish line.

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Me and “THE ELSHANATOR” … speaking of which, she’s always a foot or two ahead of me. I can never beat her.

But, as I turned the corner to the finish line I saw a MASS of people lined up on both sides of the sidewalk cheering and yelling my name. Not only that … they were ALL holding bananas in their hands. As I passed through this tunnel of people holding up bananas I got a bit overly emotional. I couldn’t believe it. The PA announcer called out my name and congratulated my accomplishment as I crossed the finish line.

I was blindsided by the reception.

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Jim passing out the 100 bananas that went out and bought for a 100 Banana Salute at the finish line for me.

As soon as I crossed the finish line my family was there and I was greeted by my mother who then promptly threw a pie in my face. All out of love, mind you. This wasn’t the first time she’s done it either.

But, after I took a deep breath and licked the pie off my glasses I just tried to take it all in. I really hadn’t expected such a reception at the finish line. And, compared to my first half marathon at the same place four years prior it was COMPLETE opposite. That first race I simply crossed the finish line, got my medal and then some water.

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This is what greeted me at the finish line at the race. A 100 Banana Salute. I’m still speechless. LOVED IT!

I had later found out that Jim was instigator of putting this whole thing together. He went out and bought 100 bananas to give me a “100 BANANA SALUTE” at the finish line and then worked with the PA announcer to recruit runners to wave the bananas. He wrote on the sidewalk with chalk motivating signs for me and really just went OVER THE TOP. I am still very touched by what he did.

What can I say … I have awesome friends.

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The three of us mere feet away from the finish line.

I am still processing the love and support I received at the finish line. It just means the world to have friends like Jim and many, many, many others that stuck around to cheer me on. It really gave me a lot of positive energy moving forward to my final 80 races (which I will blog about later this week).

While I am now moving on to focus on my next race, I will never forget this race. I will never forget this moment. I will never forget the love and support I received from my friends and family, even from my mother’s pie. I will never forget it how I felt. It will always be a cherished moment for me. Always.

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My mother lovingly congratulating me on race #100! I love Tim’s face in this picture.

And, with that I thank ALL of you who had a hand in putting that celebration together. Even those that weren’t there and have been a part of my journey, thank you! I felt all that support and love out on the course and at the finish line on Saturday!

YEAH #100!
YEAH RUNNING!
YEAH FRIENDS!

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YEAH! I couldn’t have asked for two better people to celebrate this race with than Tim and Elsha! So blessed.

NEXT RACE: Timp Half

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Race #101 will be this weekend. And, I am going to be sweeping the course while pushing my friend Josh. This will be our third race and first since the Lagoon Half in April. I am excited about this race for a number of reasons. Mainly, because I LOVE running American Fork Canyon. It’s such a gorgeous canyon.

YEAH RUNNING! 


EPISODE 01: THE UTAH RUNCAST

If you haven’t heard the pilot episode of The Utah Runcast, you can here …


MONTHLY MILEAGE 2015

Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 188.0 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 233.45 miles
2015 Race Miles – 232.95 miles
2015 Total Miles – 654.4 miles
 
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 72.85 miles
March – 115.3 miles
April – 76.3 miles
May  97.4 miles
June  131.15 miles
July  80.35 miles
 

MONDAY MOTIVATION

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Buggin’ Out in Bountiful

bountiful-bugoutWhat a fun and crazy weekend. After months of working on getting The Bugout Run off the ground we had our first event on Saturday. We had 6 of the 28 people who signed up show up, but we still felt it was a success. Especially for being a free event with a premise somewhat new and unheard of in the running and even the prepping world.

Our goal for The Bugout Run has always been to grow organically and step by step, so this was very much in line with that direction. But, even more than that we had a few runners that came away from the run better equipped and more knowledgable about emergency preparedness and first aid response. To both Jorge and I, that’s worth more than sheer numbers of participants. We want all to go away from the run feeling better prepared.

So, yeah, success!

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On Friday night Jorge and I spent most of the night working on small odds and ends for the race. We ended up getting to sleep around 1am with a 3:30am alarm. Both of us kind of woke up in that stupor of thought, wondering why we were awake. But, after getting some breakfast and caffeine in ourselves we were awake and ready to run.

This first event was held in Davis County, Utah, specifically in the foothills of Bountiful. We didn’t tell the participants until 48 hours before the event, because this was a bugout and we wanted them to do some research of the area on their own. Then 24 hours before the race started we gave them the scenario of the event. This would allow them to pack their 72 hour bugout bag for that specific scenario.

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The scenario for this event was around a three day plus power outage that made some residents restless. Things turned violent and because of the shortage of food and water mobs of people roamed neighborhoods looking for food. You and some neighbors decided that it was safer to leave than fight the gangs. In the process of leaving someone from the party gets shot and you have to attend to them.

So with that scenario our participants met up by the Bountiful “B” for the event. The runners checked in and if they brought a bugout bag, we had them do a self-assessment first and then my brother-in-law (CEO of PrepperCon) went through their bag and gave them feedback on the pros and cons of their bags.

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After that, Dave from Minuteman Rx instructed the participants about gun shot wounds and how to administer first aid. It is crucial to attend gun shot wombs as quickly as possibly, because if you hit a main artery it will take the average human to bleed out in 2-3 minutes.

Once we got that instruction everyone headed out. Jorge headed out in front with a few of the runners and I ran up from behind. About a mile and a half up the skyline trail we had our first challenge. This was a physical challenge where participants had to do 30 hops, 30 v-hops and 30 mt. climbers against a tire before doing 10 burpees with that same tire.

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Once the runners finished with their physical challenge they sprinted over to the tactical challenge proctored by Dave. Here they put to practice what they learned down at the start line. They had to apply a tourniquet based off the location of a gunshot wound on their arms. And, they had to do it within 2-3 minutes … or they were … well … dead.

The challenge of being physically worn out from the run up and the physical challenge was designed so that you had to think fatigued during the tactical challenge. Because in an emergency you won’t get that luxury to be well rested, clear of mind or 100% stress free. You have to learn to think and act on your feet … in the moment.

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Once that the tactical and physical challenges were complete we went up to the turn around point where we all paused for a moment to catch in the view before heading back down. The run back down was just as gorgeous as the run up. And, once we got back down to the trail we were greeted by Carla and Holly. And, if that wasn’t reason enough to be happy Holly made cookies for all of us.

And, her cookies are what legends are made of.

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Once we took a breath after the event Jorge and I were all smiles because we set out and did everything we planned. But, the feedback from the participants were what really made us KNOW our effort was worth it. Many of them even marked their calendar for the next run on August 8th. This one will happen somewhere in Utah County.

Registration for that run is now up. And, free like this one.

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The plan is to have one each month leading up to our BIG Survival Challenge next May. This one will be a team survivalist challenge that we’re planning to be the next best endurance event here in Utah. It’s going to be fun and we have a few things in store for it that I’m keeping mum about.

But, sign up for the August 8th event and come bugout out with in Utah County. It will be totes exciting and fun!

YEAH BUGGING OUT!

[SEE MORE PICTURES FROM THE BUGOUT RUN HERE]


THE UTAH RUNCAST

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After our run on Saturday, Jorge, Jim and I recorded our first episode of The Utah Runcast. I sent it over to Podgoblin to edit it some and then post it. It should be up and running online sometime Monday night or Tuesday. Hopefully. I’ll make sure to let you know when it does. Make sure to watch my Facebook page along with the Utah Runcast page as well for the link.

During our next episode we’re going to be talking about nutrition and proper fueling techniques. If you’re interested in being a part of that episode let me know. We would like a few other nutritionists and runners who are familiar with that topic to be on the show.

I am going to also call out for people to share their expertise on the Facebook page along with some of the local running Facebook groups. In the near future we’re going to not only be talking about nutrition, but couch to running plans, running plans, shoe buying, picking your first race, picking your PR race, etc.

It’s going to be fun. The show is designed to be informative, but also loose, fun and engaging. Especially through Facebook and social media.

But, in the mean time stay close for the release of episode number one!


THE 100 RACE MILESTONE

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This is the week! Race #100 will be happening on Friday of this week! If you couldn’t tell by the exclamation points on this post I am kinda excited about the milestone. I am going to be running with Tim and Elsha, which I am really excited about. It’s turned more into a little party than just another race, which feels fitting for this milestone.

My family is going to be at the finish line as well, which I am more excited about, because my Dad hasn’t been to one of my races yet. I’m already getting a little emotional about it, just typing about it. Not just because of my Dad being there, but also of my Grandma and Aunt Diane who passed away the past couple of years. Starting out they were (and still are) my biggest fans and supporters. It’s going to be a tender moment at the finish line for me.

I still have 80 races left towards my ultimate goal, but this one will be remembered and cherished, because this is also where the whole journey started four years ago. So, so, so, so excited.

YEAH RUNNING!


2015 MONTHLY MILEAGE

Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 188.0 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 222.0 miles
2015 Race Miles – 219.85 miles
2015 Total Miles – 629.85 miles
 
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 72.85 miles
March – 115.3 miles
April – 76.3 miles
May  97.4 miles
June  131.15 miles
July  55.8 miles

MONDAY MORNING MOTIVATION

The 81st Fartlek Friday™ – It’s Disneyland’s 60th Birthday today, so this post is pretty much all about that

If you didn’t know that today was Disneyland’s 60th anniversary than I am disappointed in you already. Then again, I also remember dates and numbers like some idiot savant. Seriously, I know too much.

There are two things I know WAY too much about — sports and Disney. This in part because both topics have provided me with my bathroom reading for nearly the past 20 years. Not to mention my over the top fanaticism of both.

Seriously, if I didn’t have a running blog I probably would have a sports or Disney fan blog. I’ve actually tried doing both in the past. And, it just didn’t work. Mainly because it took up so much time on top of my running and running blog. Plus, whatever else I had going on in my life.

If I could some how combine running, Disney and my love for sports into one blog I should … well … run with it. But, I’ve got so many projects going on that I just don’t have time for it. So, I geek out about sports and Disney in more private, subtle ways. Which I am fine with.

But, yeah, 60th birthday of Disneyland! That’s crazy! I’m trying to decide if that makes the park seem old or young? Which I think speaks as a testament of Walt’s goal of creating a timeless park enjoy for all ages, throughout all ages.

I’ve taken numerous trips to Disneyland (and one to Walt Disney World), but my heart will always stay and be with the original park. I know I am not the only one with this opinion or feeling. There are great things about Walt Disney World, but nothing beats the intimacy and charm of Disneyland.

That’s one reason why there was much resistance to California Adventure for pretty much the first decade of its’ operation. It didn’t have that Disney touch to it. It was more so a park of attractions that worked in Walt Disney World so they brought them west.

I could probably go on for hours about that. They’ve tried to rectify that with the addition of Cars Land and The Wonderful World of Color, but for the most part … I am still not a fan of the park. Put me in Disneyland and I could wander around for hours as happy as a clam.

And, I’ve done that before. One of the best days at Disneyland, ever. Who said you have to actually ride anything to enjoy the park?

Anyways, in the spirit of Disneyland’s birthday today, I thought I would share a few of my favorite memories I’ve had in the park over the years …

  • I don’t remember my first trip to Disneyland (I think I was three or so?), but my earliest memory was being petrified of the Disney characters walking around the park, especially Pluto.
  • I always had an irrational fear or the Peter Pan ride as a kid. Go figure? There really isn’t anything remotely scary about the ride except for probably the flying part. Oh, wait … maybe I am afraid of heights? That’d make sense.
  • My favorite Disneyland moment was eating in Club 33 three years ago. I wish I could eat there EVERY TIME I go to the park.
  • My family got stuck in the graveyard on The Haunted Mansion for about 45 minutes back in 2008 after a 5.0+ earthquake struck the area. It closed the park for a few hours and it was my introduction to the need of emergency preparedness, especially in a mass crowd scenario.
  • Since my adult years my first goal of every trip to Disneyland is to enter the park and find Mary Poppins. I’m pretty sure the next trip to Disneyland will also include a proposal.
  • My least favorite ride ever as a kid actually was the Skyway. Mainly because my brothers knew my freight of heights and played off of that fear while we were in the bucket.
  • My least favorite ride now is … probably … anything in Mickey’s Toontown. Not a fan.
  • I once had a picture on Splash Mountain deleted because someone on our log flashed the camera. At least we got back on the ride without having to wait.
  • In my bigger days, I loved getting the front of the log on Splash Mountain because that meant everyone behind me got soaked. This favor was returned to me in my lighter years when a 400lbs+ man sat in front of the log. It was a blast!
  • If you knew my Aunt Diane you would know how hilarious it was when we got her and my Mom on Space Mountain and Splash Mountain about 5 years ago.
  • A trip to Disneyland is not complete without a pretzel and Dole Whip.
  • I thought I was on top of the world when a cast member made me an Honorary Citizen of Disneyland. But, I found out two weeks later those are given out a dime a dozen.
  • The most awkward moment at Disneyland was when my sister was a baby and threw up all over a group of Japanese tourists in the middle of Captain Eo. We bee lined it out of there in the middle of the show, because my Mom didn’t want an awkward exchange when the lights turned back on.
  • There is nothing better than when the lights turn on Main Street USA and the crowd comes together for the fireworks over Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.It’s my favorite part of the day at Disneyland.

Okay, now that you know some of my favorite Disneyland memories, stories and favorites I’d love to know some of your own? Comment below.


THE BUGOUT RUN … TOMORROW!

Okay, now onto some running. The real purpose of this blog, right? Tomorrow is the inaugural Bugout Run. Kinda excited. And, how fitting that it’s happening so close to Disneyland’s anniversary. Hopefully, we don’t have problems like Disneyland faced.

Knock on wood.

But, then again this event thrives off of disasters. So maybe that wouldn’t be a bad thing?

Well, as long as the water fountains work and the pavement doesn’t suck women’s high heels. Okay, that was another Disneyland reference. I swear I am done.

If you are still interested in running the event tomorrow registration is still open. And, of course the event is FREE. Our next Bugout Run will be in Utah County on August 8th so if you can’t’ make it to this one in Davis County you’ve got more options.

I am not going to give away too much of the event and scenario because that’s the point of bugging out. You don’t know what to expect 100% of the time. That’s where the preparation or, so-called, over-preparation (if there is even such a term) comes into play.

It’s going to be a fun event and it’s going to get even better as we do these free monthly bugouts. We have a few sponsors that will be there tomorrow and set up for the next couple of runs that will make these events fun and useful.

So, yeah, come bugout with us tomorrow.

It will be fuuuuuuuun.


RACE #100 IN ONE WEEK!

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In one week’s time I will be running my 100th race! I really am getting excited about it. Especially since I’ll have a number of friends and family there. Sure, this isn’t the end of my goal, but it’s a big milestone and to think I would have gotten to 100 races in four years is a crazy thought to me.

The race is on a Friday morning which isn’t a normal race time. That’s because next Friday is a state holiday here in Utah called Pioneer Day. It marks the day the Mormon Pioneers first entered the Salt Lake Valley back in 1847. I won’t go into a whole history lesson, that I’ll leave to Wikipedia.

In fact my first marathon was also on Pioneer Day and that race was actually on a Tuesday. Only in Utah, I guess? But, hey, give me a place and time to run and I’ll run. Doesn’t matter what day to me.

Next Friday is going to be a great milestone and moment for me. I am already getting a little emotional about it as I think about it. And, my race plan is to have fun, enjoy the moment, enjoy the company (Elsha and Tim) and just run.

YEAH RUNNING!


THE FRIDAY FARTLEK

Here are a few things that caught my attention this past week …


THE FRIDAY FINISH LINE FUNNY