Tag: burritos

My Improvised Liberty Park Run

My Grandma had a saying whenever she had to do something she didn’t really want to do. She’d exasperate, “you gotta do what’cha gotta do, when gotta do it!” And, she’d usually follow that up with, “well Josher, you can’t win them all!”

You could pretty much sum up my Saturday long run with those words.

This weekend has been on my calendar for a loooooong run. Initially, I wanted to do a self-supported ultra run — 50 miles to be exact. I wanted to run from the State Capital in Salt Lake City to the Provo Towne Center. It’s a run that’s on my Honey Bucket List — and I WILL do it one day.

But, I decided against for a number of reasons — the main reason being my back, but also I liked the idea of doing it on a looped course, like my last ultra, so that I could have an aid station every 2-3 miles or so. I decided to do 50 miles at Liberty Park where I could have an aid station and/or 7 Eleven every mile and a half or so.

After that decision the plan went from 50 miles to 50K to 20 miles before deciding that a canyon run sound better, so I organized a group run down Emigration Canyon to Liberty Park. That run is about 13 miles from the Little Mountain summit and one I used to do quite a bit a few years ago. And, even though I am running the Emigration Canyon Half Marathon next week — I love the canyon enough that I knew I wouldn’t get sick of it come next week.

A post shared by (phat) josh (@fit.phat) on

I had a good 8-9 people committed to the run, but come Friday night that number started dwindling. Part of that reason was the forecast, but others opted to stay home or get a bit more sleep — which I don’t fault or am upset about it. I get it — I’ve done it too.

So, come Saturday morning, when my friend Laura and I were the only ones to show — I knew I wasn’t going to be running down Emigration Canyon. Which I was fine with, so I just decided to just run Liberty Park. Laura had done 16 miles the previous day so she decided to just go home.

After talking for a while with Laura, I decided to get going on my run. And, I won’t lie — I really wasn’t feeling it. Especially with having planned to run 13-16 miles for the day. But, as much as I don’t mind running Liberty Park, I had my mind set on doing at least 13 of those miles down a canyon.

So, I tried to talk myself into my run. At first, I tried to justify just doing 8 miles, but after a couple of strong laps, I knew I had a bit more than that in me — so I fixed my mind on 10 miles. And, for most of my run I just planned on 10 miles — which is about 6-7 laps around the park.

And, for as much as I wasn’t feeling my run, I did feel rather strong. I alternated my laps with a running lap and a fartleked lap (walk, run, walk, run about every third or fourth of a mile … ish) and just got into a good groove. I just focused on losing myself into my music and thought.

A post shared by (phat) josh (@fit.phat) on

Well, I guess I got lost pretty good because I lost track of my laps and ended up doing an extra one. I ran to my car THINKING I just finished running 10 miles, but when I looked at my watch I noticed it said 11.5 miles. I laughed at this realization and then just thought to myself — I got one more lap in me.

So, I beasted out one more lap.

At this point it was raining pretty strong. But, I was already wet, so it wasn’t going to matter anyways — so I just cranked up my music (R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” which had been on repeat for about 3-4 miles) and went for an even 13 miles. But, of course I ended up doing laps around the parking lot to get 13.1 miles.

I did briefly entertain the thought of doing another lap, but I knew if I did that, then I’d have to do another to even it to 16 miles — and I was actually getting a little tired. But, mostly hungry — and no thanks to me craving burritos for most of my run. So, I just decided to stop.

After sitting in the car to warm up a bit my hunger grew strong — especially for tacos or a burrito. So, I decided to trek over to the Sears Burrito for lunch. It’s been a looooong time since I’ve eaten at the Tacos Don Rafas stand and I just wanted/needed it in my life at that moment.

I was wavering between getting corn tortilla tacos or a burrito, because of the gluten in the flour tortilla. But, I made the decision for the heftier burrito justifying that I SHOULD be okay this once — especially if I didn’t get sour cream or cheese on it.

Anyways, long story short — I was wrong. But, at least it didn’t stop me from enjoying it in the moment. But, I paid for the flour tortilla later. Not fun — and a lesson learned.

But, all in all — I feel good about the run. It was tough to mentally get into it, but I eventually got into it. I didn’t let the rain mentally destroy me and I forged through it for a rewarding 13 miles.

A good way to go into my race next weekend. I’m looking forward to a solid week of running and workouts now that I have my back in a place where I want/need it. And, I feel confident breaking through with a solid sub-three during the race.

And, at least I know I’ll be running Emigration Canyon next week. No plan B — and no burrito.

Weekly Review

It was another tough week for me. I got in some miles during the week, but I wouldn’t call them good or what I planned on — but I still got about 17 miles in and I am good with that right now. My SI joint flared up again and made walking just painful for a few days. I’ve been doing a lot of stretching to avoid the flare ups, but when it happens — it happens.

I really should get into a chiropractor, but I won’t lie — I’m a bit too cheap for that. It’s usually my last resort. So, I did the next best thing and found some tutorials on YouTube on how to align your SI joint by yourself. And, you know what — it works! I haven’t had any stiffness the past couple of days. Truly magical.

Anyways — I want to go into next week’s race feeling prepared with a few strong runs in me next week. I feel that’s possible and I am ready for them. I want to gain some speed back. I just need to be a patient young grasshopper.

Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 17.6 miles
Race Miles — 0.0 miles
Walking Miles — 22.34 miles
TOTAL MILES — 39.94 miles
Race(s) this week — None.

March 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 38.1 miles
Race Miles — 26.2 miles
Walking Miles — 89.05 miles
TOTAL MILES — 153.35 miles
Races in March — March Madness Half and Lucky 13 Half Marathon.

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 174.75 miles
Race Miles — 96.12 miles
Walking Miles — 303.99 miles
TOTAL MILES — 574.86 miles
Races done in 2017 — New Year’s Half Marathon, Sweethearts 5K, Jackpot Running Festival, SL Tri Club Indoor Half, March Madness Half and Lucky 13 Half Marathon.

Obligatory singing and lighting of the cake (with a side of 'keep Thalia from touching the flame'). #thaliaturns1

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

Pinterest has got nothing on me! #thaliaturns1 #pinterestfail

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

Made a new friend today. His name is Cosmo, but I changed it to Humpy. #emsizzlesinto30 #realcamelsdontsmoke

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

Running 13 miles in the rain earns you a burrito from Tacos Don Rafa. It's like a rule or something … #irun4burritos

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

This kid melts my heart! I can't help it that he picked me as his favorite uncle. #chubbingtatum #prouduncle

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

So, putting socks on my nephew's hands isn't a good idea. Kinda like taping a cat's paws. #nobueno #chubbingtatum

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

Brace yourself, the poop trees are back. 💩🌳🤢 #gagme

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


On Friday night my friend Emily celebrated her 30th birthday with (what will hopefully become a tradition) riding camels! Here is a little video she made of the adventure. I won’t lie … I want a camel now. Anyone want to buy one for me?

A post shared by The Runcast (@theruncast) on

RACE #103: Park City Half

103-parkcityI have decided that running a half marathon ON your birthday is like the best way to not just kick start your birthday, but celebrate it. Originally, I had planned on making this Race #100, but after deciding to move it up the Handcart Days Half in July the plan was abandoned. So it simply turned into a birthday run.

Regardless of the significance, I was still excited to run. It not only was it on my 34th birthday, but I was spending the weekend up in Park City with my family. A great combination if you ask me.

And, if you thought that couldn’t get better, the mere fact that I could burn off my birthday dinner AND cake before eating it made everything that much more awesome! Both of which ended up being a Burrito Pizza and Banana Cake. Gosh, it’s getting better the more I write about it.

But, seriously, birthday dreams come true.

Back to the race.

Got assigned BIB #1! The first time this has happened to me. It doesn’t have so much to do with me being elite as it has more to do with me signing up for this race first.

This was the second time I’ve ran this race. I ran the half marathon back in 2012 when it was the Park City Marathon and Half. But, last year the race was bought by the Mountain Trails Foundation and the marathon was dropped. So now it’s simply the Park City Half & 5K.

In addition to the name and organizers change, the course has changed a lot. It still started and finished in the Newpark development near Kimball Junction, but the course now includes a combination of both road and trail around town. It’s very much a rolling hill course with just a couple hundred feet of elevation change.

I don’t do very well on flat and rolling hill courses. Well, I should say I don’t prefer them as much as I do canyon runs. But, that’s a whole other post for another day. But, more than that … I don’t do very well in heat. That’s evidenced from this year’s Ragnar Relay after I got heat exhaustion. Not fun.

Waiting for the race to begin at the Newpark development in Park City.

So when I found out that the race didn’t start until 8am, I was a bit worried. I didn’t need a repeat of Ragnar, especially on my birthday. Normally races around here in Utah during the summer start anywhere between 6-7am. Ideally, it would be around 7am at the latest right now in August.

And, 8am was TOO late, especially when the temperature got to nearly 90 degrees later in the day. By mile 6-7 I was spent. Most of my time spent at the aid station after that was used drinking Powerade and water, while pouring water over my head. It was just awful. Which was unfortunate, because the course was gorgeous.

In fact, I enjoyed it a lot more than I did the first year I ran the race. Plus, the combination of road and trails were fun and somewhat refreshing. It was a good introduction to trails for roadrunners. A good transitionary race if I can say so myself. Something of a transition I am in the process of making.

The smile is fake people. I was dying of heat, possibly dying within. This was my cry for help.

Since I was having such a difficult time with the heat and terrain I resorted to Galloway-ing a lot of the last 5-6 miles. I tried to stick to a minute of walking and a minimum of a minute of running — if not longer as the body allowed me. I know the last two miles it was more like three minutes of walking to one minute of running, but I tried to time it so I wasn’t walking too much.

Fuel wise I was okay, I brought my favorite Gu packets and I brought some salt tablets for mid-race. This helped me tons. And, they had gel chews at every stations along with water and Powerade so it wasn’t that bad for me. I did wish I brought a mid-run banana along with me because I needed something on my stomach.

A distant scenic scene of serenity and mountains. Too bad Bob Ross isn’t still alive, I’d have him paint this for me.

The last mile was horribly hot and I started actually getting a little sick. I was worried because the last thing I needed was an ER trip on my birthday. I took a Gu packet which helped, but I just wanted to get done. I knew I wasn’t the only one struggling with the heat as I passed a number of other runners in the last mile. There were a good 20 other runners behind me after I crossed the finish line.

But, the finish line made up for all of that. My family was there at the end to cheer me on, including my Dad. This was the first time he has been at the finish line of any of my races. It meant a lot to have him there. He has a hard time getting around because of his double knee replacements from last year so I know what kind of sacrifice it was for him to be there.

My foot. My right foot specifically.

Once I finished and I got rehydrated and ate a banana we took some pictures and left. I wanted to stay for the raffle, but I was feeling the affects of the heat I knew I needed more liquid and substance in my body. Namely … a Slurpee.

And, if that wasn’t good enough, it was almost like 7 Eleven knew it was my birthday, because they had banana Slurpees at the Park City location. Happy Birthday to me, eh?

Anyways, after getting showered and changed we headed out the door to have fun around the Park City area that included Park Meadows, bowling, pizza and swimming. Oh, and of course cake. What’s a birthday with cake? Especially banana cake.

I got a whole Slurpee even though I only did half of a marathon. I ran half the marathon and got a full Slurpee.

What a great weekend of running, family and birthday fun! It definitely gives a boost going into 34!



Here are a few Instagram posts that give you a bit of a better picture from the weekend past …

I didn’t find an unicorn to ride, but this is close enough. #birthdaypony

A photo posted by Joshua Snow Hansén (@mejosher) on

My nieces are cuter bowlers than your nieces. #bowlingnight

A photo posted by Joshua Snow Hansén (@mejosher) on


#becauseshecan #cuteniece #loveher


A photo posted by Joshua Snow Hansén (@mejosher) on



This has turned into one of my favorite races here in Utah. This is their third year doing this race down Little Cottonwood Canyon … and my third year doing it as well. It’s a fast course. It’s a fun course. And, it’s a challenging course, especially for those not ready to let gravity pull you down one of the steepest canyons in Utah. Plus, I love the convenient factor for me, it’s close to home, easy to get to on race day and not expensive at all for a great race.

I am hoping it doesn’t snow at the starting line like it did last year. I won’t lie, it was hard to get bumped for an AUGUST race while snow came pouring down. But, I guess that’s the nature of a race in Utah, especially down one of the premiere canyons. Luckily, the snow was gone before mile one was finished.

But, this is a great race, great course and I am looking forward to letting go and letting my legs take me down the canyon. Especially since I am not pacing or sweeping.



Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 193.0 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 256.15 miles
2015 Race Miles – 280.0 miles
2015 Total Miles – 729.15 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  101.65 miles
August  55.7 miles


Running a BIG 10 down Big Cottonwood Canyon

IMG_3032Running and I have an interesting relationship. I can’t imagine living a healthy lifestyle without it. Yet, there are times it frustrates me, especially when I am not physically where I think I should be. This is when running can (and usually does) hurt. But, then runs like this past Saturday happen and TOTALLY surprise me to no end.

I have been looking forward to this run for a while now for a number of reasons. One, I always love a good downhill run, especially down Big Cottonwood, and, two, I wanted to use it as a gauge to my long distance running fitness level. I am nowhere where I want or should be for a sub-two half, but I’m working towards that and wanted to where I need to go from after an efforted long distance run.

Coming after my 25K last week I was a TAD apprehensive about this run, because I didn’t know quite how my legs would respond. But, the opportunity was too great to pass up or passively approach. It was all in or nothing. So throughout the previous week this run was on my mind 100%.


The morning of the run everything felt good for a great run. I felt good, my legs were fresh and I had the energy needed for a run strong. I met up with the fun group of runners at the Big Cottonwood Park n’ Ride and carpooled the ten miles up the canyon. Still everything felt great.

I was a little worried that I was a bit underdressed, because it was 32 degrees up the canyon and I was wearing shorts and a tech long-sleeved shirt. But, alas, that was not a problem at all. Once we started going I wanted to go all out on my first mile to give myself something to test on for future runs and to give myself another gauge of my fitness level.


I did that mile in 9:43, which I was very happy with. I could have probably kept that same pace for another mile or two, but I didn’t want to burn out to quickly knowing I still had another nine miles to go so I slowed down to a 10:45 pace for mile two and three, knowing I wanted to pick it up some later into the run, especially once I hit the “S” curves in the canyon.

But, around mile three something internally happened within me, within the deepest parts of my bowels. I don’t think I really need to go further in describing that feeling, because it’s simple … I had to poop. Like bad.

Knowing there was a bathroom at the end of the giant “S” curve I picked up my pace some and ran with a purpose only one who has pooped their pants before could fun with (and for the record the previous time wasn’t while running … and I don’t want to get into the story. Just know that I’ll only tell that story ONCE publicly and it will be in my book). Once I got to the bathroom I was greeted by this …


Yes, if you can’t read that it says … “RESTROOM CLOSED WINTER” The nerve! The tragedy! The … pain! How could they still be closed for winter? Winter has been over here in northern Utah since basically mid-January. And, with the temperatures in the mid-70s on Saturday we were basically in summer anyways …. so why were the restrooms still locked?

There was slight panic because I really, really, really had to go. I still had about 4.5 miles left in the run and really tried figuring if I could realistically make that. But, I knew that there was another campground down further and I had this foolish notion that it would be open. So after meeting up with my friend Robin (who was having similar problems) and walking with her for about a quarter of a mile I picked up my speed towards the next campground.


Now, I’ve been doing Hip Hop Abs lately and the first lesson you learn is to “tilt, tuck and tighten” your abs. Well, I’ve found other ways to apply these same measures and I am happy to report that it probably saved me a pantless ride home.

Since none of the campgrounds were open I just had to continue to run down to the park n’ ride. I knew if that bathroom was closed I could just continue my run to the 7 Eleven at the intersection of Wasatch and Big Cottonwood. That’s how desperate I was.

But, luckily, I made it to the park n’ ride bathrooms without incident and they were unlocked. I don’t think I’ve ever been so utterly ecstatic and disgusted all at one time then when I opened the restroom doors and saw this …


At least the people before me flushed and there weren’t any dead bodies or possums in the restroom so I had no problems. I was just happy for the needed relief.

So by the sounds of it, this could easily be classified as a “crappy” run, but it actually turned out to have some positive outcomes. The first obviously being that I didn’t poop my pants, but my pace was faster than I expected. I ended up averaging well under an 11 minute pace. My legs didn’t feel completely fatigued which was another bonus. I had some pain in my knee which is attributed to last week’s 25K, but nothing to worry about.

But, this run puts me slightly ahead of where I thought I was. The goal is still to focus on fitness, getting stronger and losing weight. Then once June comes I am going to focus on speed training going towards the Nebo Half in September where I hope to get a PR sub-two half marathon time. The key is going to be consistency, hard work and having fun doing it.

Well that and making sure I know where the closest bathroom is.




legs and wheelzThis past February you might remember the indoor race called Reese’s Run done by Extra Mile Racing that I ran along with my friend Josh Twelves. This was Josh’s first taste of the running world and needless to say he is addicted. So I’ve been helping him get a racing cart and connected to the running community.

Additionally, we are planning on running a number of races together so we decided to make a team of it. Since we’re both Joshs, we obviously needed nicknames to differentiate between the two of us. We kinda naturally came up with Legs and Wheelz.


We’re excited to get going. After my run on Saturday I took Josh and another friend of mine to go shopping for some running clothes. We ended up getting a tech shirt and shorts for Wheelz (aka Josh aka Josh Twelves aka The Other Josh) and of course we ended up getting burritos at Freebirds World Burrito afterwards. What’s a day without burritos?

But, this upcoming Saturday is going to be Wheelz first half marathon. We’re both running the Lagoon Half Marathon in Farmington. I am actually not pushing him though, our friend Chanda will be pushing him, but I am going to run with them to help both get accustomed to the chair we are borrowing for the race. But, it should be a great experience for all three of us. Plus, we get to run through Lagoon which should be a lot of fun.

I am helping fill out Wheelz’s schedule for this summer so if you’re wanting or willing to push him let me know. I am going to share more information within the next couple of weeks on that. So, please stay tuned.


Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015

2015 Training Miles – 130.4 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 74.0 miles
2015 Race Miles – 53.55 miles
2015 Total Miles – 257.95 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 72.85 miles
March – 106.3 miles