Tag: deseret news marathon

RACE #155: Deseret News Half Marathon

After racing on Saturday at the Handcart Days Half Marathon, I wasn’t sure what to expect on Monday for this race. Especially since I haven’t done much back to back long runs — outside of the Bear Lake Trifecta.

Plus, with my ankle lately, I just haven’t had many feel good successful runs. It’s been frustrating because about 6-7 miles into a run my ankle starts screaming. I’ve been going to Physical Therapy and doing daily exercises/stretches that have been helping some, but the biggest thing my doctor suggested was new runners. Specifically ones for overpronation.

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

Now, I’m not going to get into all of that, but basically — I’m an overpronator which was not only the likely cause of the sprain, but why it wasn’t healing properly as well. Meaning, the overpronation didn’t give my ankle the time or structure it needed to heal. Truly a vicious cycle.

On Saturday after my race I bought some new runners, the Saucony Omni 15 to be specific. I debated whether or not I should break them out for this race, but after about two minutes I threw caution to the wind and decided to lace them up.

And, boy, was I glad I did!

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

Ironically, the race started in the canyon (and about 100 yards down the road) where I first sprained the ankle in April. I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t on my mind. My two goals for the race were to sub-three and not sprain my ankle. I love Emigration Canyon, but it’s road condition isn’t the best — so it’s a real concern.

After hanging out for about an hour at the starting line the race started at 6am. As soon as I went out the chute I felt the heaviness of my legs. From past experiences I knew the first three miles were going to be spent basically loosening up — so I didn’t push TOO hard, especially know I’d need my energy for that later.

Once I was loosened up, I was surprised how well I felt. But, more than that — how well my ankle felt. I still felt it’s tenderness, but it wasn’t screaming at me. I knew the test would be in a few more miles, especially when I got down to the home stretch. But, I felt very optimistic with how I was feeling.

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

With the ankle feeling rather neutral, I wanted to push myself a bit and between miles 5-8 I kept pushing myself. The ankle was holding up, especially after miles 6-7 where it usually starts cursing at me. So, I kept pushing.

I probably pushed a bit too hard, especially coming off a race on Saturday. But, I also haven’t been speed training much with the injury so my fitness level wasn’t where I’d like it to normally be. The only way to get back there is by … pushing and challenging yourself, so that’s what I did.

Once I got out of the canyon I was still feeling really good. This just encouraged me even more to keep going. It also helped seeing a lot of familiar friendly faces at the aid stations and on the course. It felt like a party.

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

I knew the last five miles were going to be tough, especially around Mile 9 on 1300 East. It’s the slightest of hills, but after running Emigration Canyon and Foothill Blvd. it feels like a freaking mountain. Especially when you pass the 7 Eleven there on 13th. It was at this point that I wished I brought my monies for a Slurpee.

Bad planning on my part.

But, the last four miles were much better than I expected. It helped that I knew what to expect toward the finish line, but I was most encouraged by how my ankle felt. It felt GOOD. Not great, but good! I felt the improvement and might have made somewhat emotional around Mile 10. I will neither confirm nor deny that.

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

But, the last three miles were good. They’re the fun miles of this race, that’s when you starting running toward the parade route. I smiled at the Mile 10 aid station that was staffed by a bunch of LDS missionaries. You want to talk about a happy bunch of volunteers.

After turning onto the parade route I turned off my music and just listened to the crowd. I love doing this. I heard my name yelled out a couple of times, but a lot of random strangers just cheering me on. I loved it.

Once I approached the finish line I noticed I got that sub-three hour time — 2:52:36 to be exact. But, before I could celebrate the accomplishment I was greeted by Wan who not only put my medal around my neck gave me one of his trademark hugs. Of all the people I could ask to hand me my medal — I couldn’t have asked for anyone more perfect than Wan.

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

After gathering myself I just crashed with a couple water bottles in tow and just socialized for a while. By this time my body was feeling it. Luckily, not my ankle. Just my quads and everything else that didn’t want me running 48 hours after the last half.

But, after shuttling it back to the buses with Andrea and Dith, I made the slow drive home — with a detour to the 7 Eleven of course. I was dead, but at the same time I felt such a great sense of satisfaction for meeting my goal. Not to mention how grateful I felt that my ankle felt so great.

It’s a feeling that’s been a long time waiting.

And, I’ll take it.


MY NEXT THREE RACES


July 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 31.1 miles
Race Miles — 39.3 miles
Walking Miles — 85.63 miles
TOTAL MILES — 156.03 miles
Races in July — The Hobbler Half, Handcart Days & DesNews Half.

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 303.55 miles
Race Miles — 282.42 miles
Walking Miles — 749.4 miles
TOTAL MILES — 1335.37 miles
Races done in 2017 — New Year’s Half Marathon, Sweethearts 5K, Jackpot Running Festival, SL Tri Club Indoor Half, March Madness Half, Lucky 13 Half Marathon, Emigration Canyon Half Marathon, Riverton Half, Saltair Half, Provo City Half Marathon, Jordan River Half Marathon, Drop13 Half Marathon, Bear Lake Trifecta — Idaho, Wyoming & Utah, AF Canyon Race Against Cancer and The Hobbler Half.


A post shared by The Runcast (@theruncast) on

This should be my 2017 race schedule …

Okay, I think I’ve got my complete 2017 race schedule figured out.

I think.

Which is a definite maybe.

But, let me explain it a little bit. I have a race each month except December. I might add a race in December, but I am not planning on it. It’s a good rest month after a long year of running.

My busiest month is June. I have seven races planned for the month. Yes, seven. I have Ragnar during the first weekend, the Utah Valley Marathon on the 10th, the Bear Lake Trifecta (three half marathons in three days) the following week and then the Utah Midnight Run (Friday night) and AF Canyon Race Against Cancer (Saturday morning) the following weekend.

I have three total back-to-back races planned. My first being the Salt Flats 50K (April 28) and Tulip Festival (April 29), Utah Midnight Run (June 23) and AF Canyon Race Against Cancer (June 24) and then the Utah Midnight Run (July 7) and Hobbler Half (July 8).

The biggest of those back-to-backs the April one with my 50K and half marathon. Not sure how that’s going to go, but I am betting I’ll walk a lot of the Tulip Festival Half. A lot.

In total I have 32 races planned — 23 half marathons, 5 marathons, 2 ultra marathons, a 25K and the Ragnar Relay. This includes one indoor race, 5 trail races and the rest road races.

Lots of running.

And, if you’re trying to estimate miles — that’s about 525-530 miles. Just in racing miles.

So, yeah — it’s going to be a big mileage year.

Anyways here is my schedule … what’s on your schedule?

The Joshby Awards: Top Ten Race Medals of 2014

TopTenMedals I ran a lot in 2014. I mean a lot. I ran four marathons, 25 half marathons, Ragnar and three 5Ks. And, those are just races. Of this past year, I don’t think I ran on the weekend just 2-3 times. In all I am sitting about 1150 miles put on the ‘ol legs. Needless to say, that’s a lot of running.

Starting out in 2014 I really didn’t go out to race so much, especially marathons. In fact January 1st of this year, I wasn’t planning on any marathons. At all. Now, a year later, I ended up running four. I’m a running whore. What can I say … you offer me a t-shirt, somewhere to run, a medal and free Creamies after the race and I’m there! (even if you just had free bananas I’d even show up for that).

Having ran over 30 races, I’ve gotten a lot of medals … or as I like to call it … BLING. And, as part of the Joshby Awards week I’d like to make it an annual tradition to rank my top ten race medals from the past year. There’s no real set criteria for my rankings, mainly my personal opinion on the design, look and feel of the medal. And, to some degree what that race meant to me. The Big Cottonwood and Ogden Marathons were very sentimental to me, so they may have received bonus points in my rankings.

But, anyways, without any further adieu, here are my top ten race medals of 2014 starting with number ten …

10) Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back

IMG_6722Last year’s Ragnar Relay medal was much bigger and heavier than the 2014 version, but I still like this one for a couple reasons. I do like non-traditional medals (meaning they’re not round) and I love detail. I dig the cut out of the relay motto of “connect, conquer, celebrate.” But, I wish it was bigger or at least the same size as the 2013 medal.

9) Timpanogos Half Marathon

IMG_6723I really like the Timp Half bling. It’s very sparkly and the logo is ingenious with the 13.1 incorporated into the design. But, the biggest knock on this medal is that I WISH it was much, much bigger. It’s relatively small. But, I absolutely love this race and had a blast pacing in my friend Jill for a new PR!

8) St. George Marathon

IMG_6724I am a sucker for red rock. Like, bad. I went to school in southern Utah and was able to enjoy the red rocks on a daily basis. But, now that I am back up north I don’t get to enjoy them much anymore. But, running the St. George Marathon you get red rock OVERLOAD … and I’m not complaining one bit. That’s why I love the race medal. It’s very St. George and very southern Utah with the red rock feel to it. My only knock about it though is that it is small and it kind of feels like a kitchen counter tile or something. And, it hasn’t changed for a while (at least since 2012). But, still, one of my favorites!

7) Howloween Half Marathon

IMG_6721

I am usually not into the gimmicky race medals, but this is one of the exceptions. Not, only is the medal designed well, but it also glows in the dark (the race shirts did as well). Plus, the design is simple and not over done. It’s great. I am also keen on this medal because this was the second of two medals I got that day after running two half marathons the same day. Quite a feat and something I will always remember.

6) Deseret News Classic Half Marathon

IMG_6715The Deseret News Classic Marathon stepped it up this year. The past couple of years the medals were hardly noteworthy. In 2012 when I ran my first marathon the medal was small and extremely simple, almost like something you’d buy at a thrift store. Last year when they added the half marathon they improved on the 2012, but it was still small and relatively plain. But, this year they made the medal BIG, HEAVY and DETAILED. Plus, I love how they made the medal a wagon wheel in commemoration of Pioneer Day (the day in which the race is held). I sure hope the race doesn’t regress next year, because I loved these medals.

5) The Haunted Half Marathons (SLC & Provo)

IMG_6720

 

It was hard for me to rank one of these medals above the other. I absolutely love both medals. Plus, I love the fact that the race didn’t just pass out the same medals at both races. They actually took the time to have two different medals and race shirts. MAJOR bonus points for the attention to detail. Plus, I really dig the spider medal (Provo race) and amount of detail that went into it, pretty non-traditional which is a plus. The Haunted Half never disappoints with their medals and they’re never the same either.

4) American Fork Canyon Half Marathon

IMG_6718Besides the weight, size and detail that goes into a medal, I am also a sucker for twirly things on the medal. And, the American Fork Canyon Half didn’t disappoint in that regard. The “THRIVE” on the medal twirls … which … may or may not have entertained me for a while post-race. Plus, I love the detailed mountain on the medal, it doesn’t do the actual race scenery justice, but it makes the medal very recognizable and fun.

3) Ogden Marathon

IMG_6716I really like this medal for many, many, many reasons. It was my secret marathon that I kept from many friends and social media so I could surprise my friend Becky at the starting line. It was a tough race for both of us and many others. But, I am so glad that I was able to finish the race with Becky and our friend Katheryn. It was a very special moment and something that helped change my perspective and attention towards running. The one thing I love about this medal is the “Ogden” sign arch that greets drivers to the city. You run past it during the marathon during the last couple of miles of the race. Plus, as you can see it’s very big and detailed … AND … it’s heavy. Very awesome medal and one that I will cherish forever.

2) Utah Valley Marathon

IMG_6719

Another great race and one that I ran the whole way with Becky. It was our redemption run for the Ogden Marathon (we both tanked). But, what I love the most about this medal is that it not only hits all of my personal preferences in a medal (heavy, big, detailed, non-traditional and twirly component), but I love the color and design. As a graphic designer I love the center logo and use of color. I am sucker for orange and blue. Such a great color combination.

1) Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon

IMG_6717This was my favorite race of the whole season. This was the race that I ran with my friend Jill every step of the way. It was her first marathon and I told her I would run along with her. Most of the way we ran with our friend Tim and were later joined by Susette. It was such a special experience to be a part of that moment. Not to mention capturing THIS on my phone. Even though it doesn’t have a twirl component, the size and detail of the medal is perfect. I love the cut and simplicity to it, yet there is great detail to the leaf that I just love. It’s such a perfect for medal for a perfect moment.

A special thanks to my Mom for providing the wonderful Christmas tablecloth backdrop for the medals.

RACE RECAP #70: DesNews Half Marathon

DesNews

If I have learned anything this year, it’s that races come in many different ways. Some are for speed, some are fun, some are for you, some are for others and some are just for the challenge. I’m sure that there are others I could add that list. But, this run was just perfect. It was sublime. It was a challenge. I felt like it was a great push towards Nebo as well.

It was just perfect.

IMG_3332
I won’t lie, I was kind of bummed that they didn’t use an actual newspaper for the race bib.

The Deseret News Marathon will always hold a special place in my heart because it was my first marathon two years ago. What that signifies in my weight-loss running journey has been HUGE. It will always be a hallmark race for me. It will always hold a special place in my heart. There is so much I could say about that experience, but this isn’t the place for it. Just know, I really don’t have plans on missing it anytime soon.

Besides the personal significance behind this race, I also really love this course. Like, really, really love this course. The half marathon starts up Emigration Canyon (one of my favorite places to run), past the zoo, down Sunnyside, right onto Foothill, past the football stadium before meandering onto 1300 East and onto South Temple where you then take a left onto the Days of ’47 Parade route towards Liberty Park.

(GASP)

IMG_3341
My new favorite friend group selfie (a new one is always made each week).

It’s a mouthful, but really, one of my favorite race routes. Especially when you turn onto the parade route and have thousands of people cheering you on (or jeering you on, because they want the parade to start). It’s an awesome experience. And, next year I am totally bringing candy out to throw to the kids. I just feel like that needs to happen. It really does.

My original plans for running the race were actually quite simple. I didn’t have any plans on running with anyone. I had a few friends running it, but no plans on pacing anyone or running with them. I was going to run, linger a bit at the finish line before heading home and getting ready to head up to Wyoming for the weekend. Nothing fancy. Just a really good run to kickoff Pioneer Day weekend for me.

IMG_3342
Running the parade route on 200 East in Downtown SLC!

But, then things changed the day before. One of my running friends got injured and decided to bow out of the race, so she gave Becky her bib. It was then that Becky and I decided to pace each other throughout the race. We are both planning on sub-two’ing at Nebo in September so training together has helped a lot. Our group does speed training on Wednesday at Liberty Park so that helps, but getting to run a race with each other is always a treat because we always have a blast running together. Always.

We’ve both been treating a few nagging injuries so we just really wanted to be consistent and push it, while not giving into the nagging little aches here and there. My foot had been bugging me (bunion!) and it had been bugging me since Timp. I knew the BIGGEST enemy wouldn’t be the stupid bunion, but the stupid heat. When I ran my marathon I practically died once I got out of the canyon. Why people (including myself) run in the middle of July is beyond me? I’ve done it now four times this month. It doesn’t get any easier.

IMG_3343
Meeting Ruthie at the finish line!

So my plan was that during the race I would walk every aid-station and drink at least three things of water or a combination of water and Powerade. And, if I needed to, I’d just park myself there at the aid station and make hay with the volunteers. Luckily it never got to that point.

Even with a little nagging bunion the race was actually quite sublime. I have ran Emigration dozens of times and with that coupled with what this race meant for me really helped make this race sublime. Plus, I ran the whole race with Becky. Which made it even doubly sublime. It was just a perfect race.

IMG_3344
These were sublime.

Physically, I did great during the race. My legs felt great and really the only pain was my stupid bunion. But, I found out fairly early in the run that if I ran just a TAD faster while on downhill the pain was fairly nonexistent. Which I loved and somewhat hated. But, it worked for me.

Becky and I kept a good pace, but knew we would slow down during some stretches of the race because of my foot and Becky’s calves. We kept up with our friend Katheryn who was pacing the 2:30 group and we tried to keep ourselves around her as much as we could. We knew about half way through the race that we’d probably end anywhere between 2:30-2:40 because of our pace and the fact that we started several minutes after gun time.

IMG_3345
Just lingering at the finish line. FUN, FUN, FUN!

One of the best parts of the race was the aid station on Foothill near the U. Becky was originally going to volunteer at this aid station with Christy and others, but traded with Meridith after her injury. Regardless, it was a great pit stop and of course we celebrated it with a selfie (naturally). It was the boost that we needed to carry us the rest of the way.

My favorite part of the race was running from South Temple onto 200 East which also happens to be a part of the parade route. All the way from South Temple down to 900 South you get nothing but people cheering you from both sides of the street. It was fun and exhilarating. I even saw a couple people in the crowd that I knew which made it even more fun. When I run this again next year I want to throw candy to the crowd. It just seems like the right thing to do. Sure, I might not PR during that race, but it’s the right thing to do. Plus, it’d be fun.

IMG_3347
Becky and I two medals away from making a wagon.

Once Becky and I crossed the finish line we were immediately greeted by friends. I got to meet my new friend Ruthie in person for the first time when she was the one to give me my medal. Then we just kind of lingered around the finish line and watched runners come in one by one. It was really rewarding watching many of the marathoners come in, especially the first time marathoners. Just knowing what it takes to get there you can’t help but honor that.

Additionally, it really inspired me to spend more time at finish lines. One thing I want to next year is just camp out at one of the major races and take pictures at the finish line of runners crossing or about to cross the finish line. There’s so much emotion, determination and sense of accomplishment that I’d want to capture and share. Honestly, I just think it would be awesome. It’d also make a great coffee table book.

IMG_3356
My awesome crazy running friends.

Anyways, in retrospect this race was sublime. It was a great way to start the Pioneer Day weekend, but also a great way to keep my training on course for Nebo. Plus, spending time with Becky and others at the finish line was perfect. It was a perfect race and morning. It was a perfect way to celebrate the runniversary of my first half and full marathons.

Perfect, perfect, perfect.

Oh, and then after the race I hurried home and went and did this in Wyoming.

You can view more pictures of my running adventures during the DesNews Half Marathon here.


Total Mileage Breakdown for 2014

2014 Training Miles – 444.55 miles
2014 Walking Miles – 47.2 miles
2014 Race Miles – 238.1 miles
2014 Total Miles – 729.85 miles
 
Monthly Total Miles for 2014
January – 100.0 miles
February – 100.0 miles
March – 130.0 miles
April – 140.5 miles
May – 108.65 miles
June – 83.3 miles
July – 83.4 miles

Happy Runniversary to Me!

firsthalffull

The next couple of days are kind celebrations for me. Today marks the three year “runniversary” of my first half marathon and tomorrow marks the two year “runniversary” of my first marathon. I can’t in the past three years that first half marathon would lead into an additional 68 races over 13.1 miles.

Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon in Bountiful.
Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon in Bountiful.

Running that first half marathon was so I could prove to myself that I could do hard things. But, in reality it just jump started an addiction that I haven’t really doesn’t have a cure. Initially, the half marathons led into training for a marathon and within a year I was back at it proving to myself that I could do hard things.

But, these two dates aren’t just about celebrating FIRSTS, it’s about celebrating the journey I’ve taken and how running has changed my life. I remember running that first half marathon. I ran it alone. I drove to the race alone. I got my bib by myself. And, I fought through those last miles by myself.

Over that following year leading up to my marathon I started to embrace the running community and made numerous new friends. That first marathon was spent riding the bus with a friend. I went to the race expo with others. And, then I was joined by my friend Susette for the last eight miles. She helped me push through the wall and kept me focused, upbeat and … GOING.

What better way to celebrate your first marathon than with a burrito?
What better way to celebrate your first marathon than with a burrito?

Three years after that first half I couldn’t have imagined my life steering in this direction. I run marathons. I have completed numerous half marathons. My little weight-loss blog turned into a running blog. I’ve become set in my ways on my race morning rituals, how I like my Gatorade and when I take my Gu during races. I’ve really embraced the running culture and I feel like the running community has embraced me likewise.

I have raced 989.4 miles in the past three years, but those miles wouldn’t mean anything if it wasn’t those friendships that I have gained over the years. I have made MANY life long friends. Their positive attitudes, accomplishments and determination have been beaming examples to me and I try to illuminate that into my personality and character. I wouldn’t have learned these without being out on the course.

My marathon lifesaver, Susette.
My marathon lifesaver, Susette.

I’ve got a lot to be grateful for during this little running adventure of mine. I really could go on and on and on and on and on and on an on during this post about every little detail on how running has impacted my life. But, there are too many races, too many experiences and WAY too many people to truly capture that. Hopefully one day when I finish my book I will be able to expound on these areas much more.

But, until then … I am just grateful that I had the courage to take that first step and the determination to keep going. That’s what has made all of this worth it.