Tag: emigration canyon half

RACE #143: Emigration Canyon Half Marathon

Welp, I finally got the Emigration Canyon run I’ve been wanting since at least last week. And, I can’t be any more happier with my effort AND results. It’s been a good two years since I last ran down Emigration Canyon — well okay — 18 months-ish? Whenever the Haunted Half was in 2015? Anyways — I’ve needed a good Emigration Canyon run for QUITE A WHILE.

And, I got it this past weekend.

Canyon races here in Utah have a tendency to be seen as pure downhill courses. While that may be true in some canyons and for some races — this is a different kind of race. Sure, you get some AWESOME downhill, but you’ve got to earn it first. The first 4-4.5 miles of the race are pretty much all uphill. It’s kind of a beast.

I ran this race back in 2014 so I knew what to expect. I knew it was going to suck. I knew it was going to be tough. But, I knew if I endured it well and ran it smart, the rest of the race should be a fun brisk run down the canyon.

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Even with the daunting first 4.5 miles of the race, I felt I had it in me to do really well and get the sub-three time goal, I’ve been pining for the past couple of races. I just had to be smart, be patient and keep my goal in my mind during those first few miles.

I was still trying to figure out exactly how I was tackle the climb at the starting line. I knew I was going to have to employ some sort of run/walk method. If I tried to run those first few miles I would burn out before I got to the summit. So, I had to reserve some energy, because once I hit that summit I was planning on cruising down the canyon.

So, that’s what I did. Once the gun sounded, I started doing a two minute run/one minute walk. I did that for about the first mile or so and then I did a one minute run/one minute walk. After a while it went to a 30 second run and minute and a half walk. And, when the climb was a bit too steep, it went to a nice fast mall walk.

Basically by mile 3-4 my pace was kind of all over the place.

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It was hard to gauge where I should be putting my effort and where I should be holding back so I don’t tank my later miles. So, I just kind of played if by ear and tried just listening to my body. I reached the summit (mile 4.5-ish) in about an hour and five minutes (14:27 min/mile). I didn’t know how I felt about it, but in retrospect, I was okay with the pace. Especially, considering the last 8.5 miles were much faster (.12:35 min/mile).

But, once I hit the aid station at the top of the summit, I just hit cruise control and immediately felt right at home. I was on familiar terrain. I immediately passed a couple of runners. I was a bit worried I was going out too fast — and while I thought about it, I didn’t really care. I figured my 4.5 mile warm up was enough and I’d just listen to my body the rest of the way.

Which is what I did.

I walked the aid stations and ran most of the way. There were a couple spots around miles 11 and 12 that I had to walk, but I tried to focus on my goal at hand — and that was to sub-three the race. So I pushed myself.

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The last mile was really tough on me. I was just gassed. And, part of that — meaning all — was because of fueling. I brought some Clif Bloks with me, but I figured I’d be fine with the water and Gatorade at the aid stations. The only problem was — the aid stations had only water. This threw me off, especially as we ran out of the canyon and into the warmer valley. My body needed those electrolytes.

I was worried about depletion so that is why I slowed down a bit those last couple of miles. And, because, I just didn’t have much else to give. As I turned toward the home stretch I kind of chuckled of the thought of someone carrying me across the finish line like those two runners did to the one runner in Philadelphia a couple weekends ago. But, I carried myself across the finish line and double pumped my fist when I saw the clock read 2:52:21.

I did it. I reached my goal.

And, not only did I reach my goal, but I also placed AGAIN! I was third in the Clydesdale Division! This was the second time in the past two races that I placed! This made the effort and result that much sweeter.

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As much as I am happy with the results, I know it’s just the beginning of what I want to do with my running and training. As much as I’d love to get back to my 2:08 hour PR days, now isn’t that season. I have a few ultras I am planning on running this year and ultrarunning doesn’t mix with half marathon speed training. At least for me.

But, I want to consistently get back to my 2:25-2:35 race times and I feel like I can do that with my ultrarunning hand-in-hand. It’s just a matter of continuing to train smart, continue losing weight and temper my Hashimoto’s. I know no doubt I’ll get there — and I want to be there by the Revel Big Cottonwood Half Marathon in September.

I’ve got a lot of running coming up in the next 4-5 weeks — including my 50K at the end of the month. While my focus is on that — the Riverton Half is next week and I really want to build upon what I have right now.

Which I know I will.


Here’s to the Happiest of Birthdays to my dear mother. Words can’t fully express the love and admiration I have for her. She’s simply amazing. Besides ALWAYS going above and beyond what’s expected, she has the purest of hearts I know. She’s the greatest example of “The Golden Rule” in my life. I’m also grateful that she never told me what I could or couldn’t do in life. She never, and still hasn’t, put limitations on my abilities. Even when everyone else tried to. As tacky as it sounds, she gave me wings. She’s also taught me the value to fight. Seeing her fight breast cancer … AND WIN … showed me the necessity of faith and grit with a side of stubbornness to overcome and accomplish anything truly great. Happy Birthday Mama!

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Moana Singalong Chorus.

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Hoka. Hoka. Hoka. Hoka. Hoka. And, those might be filled with race medals too.

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Weekly Review

It was a great week of running for me. Not only did I meet my race goal time, I got some really good training in. I am being coached by RYR (Run Your Race) and I got some awesome assessment runs in — along with a couple good recovery runs. I had a fast clipped 5K and all out mile run to do — and they were beasts. But, that will give my coaches a starting point to help with my race goals.

I am hoping to gain some speed, but also endurance for my ultra races coming up in the next month and year. I’m excited to start seeing my progress.

Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 7.0 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 24.17 miles
TOTAL MILES — 44.27 miles
Race(s) this week — None.

March 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 44.1 miles
Race Miles — 26.2 miles
Walking Miles — 110.52 miles
TOTAL MILES — 180.82 miles
Races in March — March Madness Half and Lucky 13 Half Marathon.

April 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 0.0 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 2.7 miles
TOTAL MILES — 15.8 miles
Races in April — Emigration Canyon Half Marathon, Riverton Half, Saltair Half, Salt Flats 50K and Tulip Festival Half

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 181.75 miles
Race Miles — 109.22 miles
Walking Miles — 328.16 miles
TOTAL MILES — 619.13 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 and Emigration Canyon Half Marathon.

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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?

RACE RECAP #71: Provo River Trail Half Marathon


It’s kind of hard to imagine that I am 71 races into my 180 goal. I remember the detail to each of those 71 races like they happened yesterday. Each one has taught me a certain lesson, introduced me to new friends and inspired me to keep going. Running has ALWAYS given me more than I expected and sometimes, quite frankly, than I put into it.

This is the race director cutting up Clif Bars on the hood of someone’s car before the race. All I can is … I LOVE THIS GUY!

But, racing and running never ceases to inspire me and motivate me. No matter my mood or current circumstances. And, this race provided me that needed lift. The past couple of weeks after I ran the Deseret News Half have been rather trying for me. I’ve been dealing with a number of stupid little health issues. There was the whole diabeetus scare a few weeks ago, but it’s also been taking my body some time to get used to the steroids I am taking for my low-testosterone. Then I’ve had my thyroid meds tweaked a bit.

Basically, these little things have added up and my body has taken it’s toll reacting to it all. I’ve gained about 15-20lbs. I never wanted to find and I’ve just felt … blah. A tad discouraged and a tad worried that I won’t hit my sub-two goal by Nebo. But, I won’t go more into that, because I am going to share more about that tomorrow. I shared that basically to show you my current frame of mind.

I was a little skeptical about using this port-a-potty? On wheels? Oy. I can just picture myself rolling away on one of these with disastrous results.

I needed this race.

I signed up for this race a couple months ago knowing I was probably the only person from my running friends that would run or pace with me. Looking back now I kinda felt that was inspired, because I needed to be by myself during this race. I needed to be left alone with my iPod playlist, my thoughts and myself. Not to necessarily figure things out, but just to reenergize. Self-reflection has always treated me well and it was great being able to enjoy that during the race.

Now, I’ve had this race on my radar for the past couple of years. I’ve seen it on numerous race calendars and everytime I am tempted to sign up for it … I kinda pass by it for a number of reasons. For one, the website that’s associated with the race is a mess. Being a communications major there are many things on the site that put you off (dead links, old information, etc.) and make you somewhat skeptical of the legitimacy of the event. It really feels like the site is maintained by someone with little to no knowledge about HTML or website knowledge.

#bridalveilfallsselfie #awesome

I hate criticizing seemingly little things like that, but as a runner you want to know that if you sign up for the race they’ll hold it and not run off to Costa Rica. Public image is important. BUT, after talking to a couple of my running friends about the race they informed it was a good little race and that the race director has been doing it for the past 20+ years. Reason enough for me to do it, I guess?

The race itself really is one without any frills. The race director is exactly what you would picture based off the website. He’s doing this race more for the love of running than to just make money. He’s very laid back and just a great guy.

Bridal Veil Falls without me in the picture. I must say it’s very photogenic.

If I didn’t get that sense of his personality I would have been a taken back when he grabbed a box of Clif Bars, cut them in half and dumped them on the hood of a car (not his car, but some random car at the starting line) offering them to runners who wanted them. I snobbish runner within embraced the moment and just laughed. I loved his character and reasons for doing this race. If this happened at a bigger race like Salt Lake City or Big Cottonwood then I would a tad unimpressed.

But, really was, what it was.

Here’s a nice little picture of people running with Timp in the background.

The race wasn’t chipped time, which wasn’t a problem for me. I just went off my Garmin. I was also somewhat familiar with the course because the Provo City Half Marathon follows much of the same course. The whole course follows the Provo River Trail with a little jaunt back up past Bridal Vail Falls to make sure you get the 13.1 miles in for the race.

It really was a beautiful run and one that was perfect to kind of zone out and get lost in thought. The aid stations, which I was worried about, were well staffed and provided both water and Powerade. I brought a couple of gel packs as well which worked out perfect. I was really impressed with the quality of the race based on my incoming perceptions. It was actually quite perfect.

My friend Katie snapped this picture of me crossing the finish line. Thanks Katie!

I finished the 13.1 miles in 2:31:08 which I am happy with. I really just wanted to push it. I knew I would probably struggle a bit (which I did), but I just wanted to give my best (which I did as well). The result gives me hope as I work towards Nebo. I feel like my goal isn’t so much a sub-two then it is to do my best. And, if my best is a sub-two, a PR, a sub-2:10 or a sub-2:20 then I will be extremely happy with that. I still have no doubt that one day my best will be a sub-two. It just might not be in a month.

But, I’m going to prepare for such.

Me and the Hansen Clan after the race. We’re related somehow? Probably through polygamy?

After the race I was also able to meet a few new friends from my running group, which was a great way to end the race. I love meeting new people and making new friends. That to me is the essence of running for me right now. It’s not so much of the mileage as it is the relationships. But, that’s a post for another day as well.

There weren’t any race medals for the finishers, but they did have a spread of pancakes, watermelon and bagels waiting for us which was MUCH appreciated. We did get a cool t-shirt at the finish line and a framed picture of Bridal Veil Falls. I must admit I’ve gotten anything like that after a race, but I really didn’t mind, I was just happy to enjoy the run.

My awesome t-shirt I got from the race. I think it’s a troll? Either way INSTANT AWESOME!

Looking forward … I am excited for the next month of running. This week our running group is running down Big Cottonwood for our last long run for the Big Cottonwood Marathon. Then I am racing the Run Elevated Half Marathon (August 23), Emigration Half Marathon (August 30), Nebo Half (September 6) and then the Big Cottonwood Marathon (September 13). It’s going to be fun and I know with constant racing I’ll also be more consistent and get stronger. Maybe I can get that sub-two sometime in one of my four races in October? We’ll see?

But, instead of getting ahead of myself, I need to remember that it’s one foot in front of other.


Total Mileage Breakdown for 2014

2014 Training Miles – 464.75 miles
2014 Walking Miles – 56.65 miles
2014 Race Miles – 254.3 miles
2014 Total Miles – 775.7 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 – 93.75 miles
August – 35.5 miles

Fartlek Friday XXXII

FF_FridayIt feels so strange for me not to have a race this weekend. Well, I do have a race, it’s a 5K, but not a half marathon. It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve had a weekend somewhat off.

I am still planning on getting 10-12 miles in though. The plan tomorrow is to run down Emigration Canyon to Liberty Park where my 5K is at 8am. I am still going to have to work out timing. But, I think I might have to start running a bit earlier than the group plans on to make sure I get to the park in time for my race.

Here I am planning and thinking out loud. So typical of me.

My goal is still working towards a sub-two at Nebo in a month. I am teetering on how realistic that is right now. Just because I have been nursing a few nagging injuries and I’ve been getting my health balanced the past month with my thyroid, testosterone and a slight diabetes scare (I don’t have it!).

Needless to say I don’t feel in top running shape which I should be at this point of the season. I know I’ll need to lose some weight to help. I can tell the cocktail of issues has helped me gain some weight. But, I also kind of blame marathon training on the nagging injuries. I kind of feel the need to back away from marathons for a while after I am done with Big Cottonwood next month.

I am currently signed up for the Utah Valley Marathon for next year, but we’ll see. I might sell that entry or downgrade to the half. I love that race and that marathon. But, training for a marathon compared to a half is a world of difference. And, my body recovers quicker to half marathons.

I wouldn’t say I am announcing my retirement, but I’ve run five marathons so far with six on it’s way. Really the only other marathon I really want to run is the Athens Marathon in Greece. But, who knows … I’d kind of like to run the St. George Marathon again. And, the Chicago, New York and MarineCorps Marathons would be a great experience. So I don’t know … ?!?!

I just love half marathons SO much better.

Surely, there will be more about this dilemma in future posts. Stay tuned.

Anyways, my pathway towards Nebo is shortening and here are my tentative plans for training runs until September 6th.

  • August 2 – Emigration to Liberty Park + 5K, 10-12 miles.
  • August 9 – Provo River Trail Half Marathon, 13.1 miles (PR push)
  • August 16 – Monte Cristo to Ogden, 18-20 miles.
  • August 23 – Run Elevated Half Marathon, 13.1 miles (PR push)
  • August 30 – Porter’s Half Marathon, 13.1 miles (Easy Run, no PR push)
  • September 6 – Mt Nebo Half, 13.1 miles (PR BABY!)

I am also throwing in speedwork and strength training into my weekly training. I really want to push this now that I feel physically balanced. I know I can do this and I feel like I still can. I just can’t take any time off from here on out.

While this week has been really focused on running here are a few other things that caught my attention along the way to today …

  • If you didn’t catch this last week, I have decided to be more deliberate with my races for next year. Wanting to save my money and legs I am going to only run 12 half marathons next year. One each month. I also want to volunteer at more. I need to give back.
  • I am kind of debating on flipping my Porter’s Half entry for an Emigration Canyon Half entry held that same day. I love that canyon. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!
  • I signed up for both the 2015 Timp Half and Nebo Half earlier this week for one low price. These are two of my favorite races. BOOYAH!
  • So far the races I have paid registration for are Vigor Big Cottonwood Half (May), Utah Valley Marathon (June), Timp Half (July) and Nebo (September).
  • I am planning on running the Park City Half Marathon in August because it’s on my birthday. My 34th birthday. Oh, man I am getting old.
  • Like I said, I want to volunteer at more races. I don’t want to get away from the running culture, I just need to enjoy while not running as much. But, one thing I do want to do is take my camera to a few races and just photograph the finish line. I love finish lines and the spirit of the marathon shown at them. The tears, the joy and the excitement. I want to capture that (or at least try to).
  • I like the idea of Six Californias, but the odds of it really happening are pretty much slim to none. But, in all reality it should have never been admitted as one state. I know why it was, but they should have split it at statehood. California is too big for it’s own good.
  • How can you not love this? I’m totally nailing adulthood by these standards. Time to break out the Trapper Keeper with pride!
  • I’m kind of skeptical about this article. Vegetables in desserts? I mean, I need to eat more vegetables … and less desserts. I’m so confused. My head hurts.
  • Otters are cute and all, but they are far from my favorite sea animal. That belongs to killer whales and manatees.
  • They are tied, because it’s so hard to chose one over the other. One is a ficious predator that delights millions in SeaWorld, while the other looks great on t-shirts and gets run over my boat motors. PLUS … both look great on a Trapper Keeper.
  • THIS!!! Poor kid. But, hilarious!
  • I want this pizza.
  • You should read this. It’s crucial Disney information. CRUCIAL!
  • Just so you know … Shark Week starts August 10th. This is the one week of the year that I don’t loathe and hate TV.BRACE YOUR PEOPLE.
  • Oh, look Shark Week party ideas … delightful.
  • So, apparently Sharknado 2 debuted this week? I feel like I should watch this? But, I have issues with it. Plus, not a huge of the SyFy channel right now.
  • But, in celebration of Sharknado here’s this.
  • When I first read that Dollar Tree bought Family Dollar I was kind of hoping that they would have changed their name to Family Tree, heck even Dollar Dollar would be acceptable.
  • I think everyone needs an ice cream horoscope. Mine says that I am Butter Pecan and that above all else I value love. It also says that I have an extremely positive outlook at almost all times.
  • Well that horoscope sucked. I was kind of hoping to be Cake Batter. So much for that!
  • mmmmmm … new ways of eating ice cream … drooling.
  • Oh, look more things about ice cream!
  • Oh look there is also a place that makes Ice Cream Rice Krispy Treat Sandwiches!
  • I feel weird.
  • This post made me want to move to Australia and get two sidekicks … one a sea turtle and another one a seal. Sounds kinda like a sequel to the Little Mermaid.
  • I should learn to cook these now in my 30s.
  • If I was going to get one of these tattoos, it would be either a Peep, Rice Krispy Treat or Nutella. Maybe even all three?
  • Um, yep.
  • This is really interesting the difference that makeup makes. Wow. Oh, and I just saw on the article that some are adult film actresses.
  • I refuse to call them porn or adult film STARS. What makes them STARS? Porn disgusts me anyways. I’ll stop my rant there.
  • Oh gosh, I am busting up at some of these!
  • At first when I read this, I thought it said Free Scotch. Nope, turns out the Scottish are voting for independence from the UK. I guess if they win their independence the streets would be flowing with free Scotch? Eh? Eh? … crickets …
  • TACOS!!!
  • CATS!!!
  • DOGS!!!
  • SHARKS!!!
  • PANGEA!!! 
  • DISNEY!!!
  • I really do hope this is the end of the whole Sterling fiasco. But, I doubt it. Either way it’s a BIG step to finally moving on in the RIGHT direction. I am more than excited to see what the Clippers can do under new ownership. REALLY EXCITED.
  • I am really excited for the new NBA season. Besides the Clippers, I am also secretly cheering on the Cavs. There was no way I could be a LeBron Heat fan, he was always Cleveland’s. I love that he is back and I hope he gets Cleveland a championship in the process.
  • I am cheering on the Jazz as well, but they ain’t going anywhere. Let’s be honest. It’s all about the future. Still, it should be exciting to see how they develop.
  • HOLY MOLLY! Check out these dishes. They are HORRIBLE!
  • Oh these are killing me.
  • This is a pretty good PSA about people and the internet. I should make sure I don’t do this. I know I have in the past. But, then again I find this funny coming from BuzzFeed which kind of makes fun of people a lot.
  • I really like this kid. I have a feeling if I had social media as a kid I would have done something just like that.
  • #totespresh
  • I’m not sure why Celine Dion is NOT on this list?
  • You know I would be WAY more into lasagna if it wasn’t so fattening. I can’t eat lasagna without feeling somewhat guilty and bloated.
  • Um, gross.
  • Meh. Not worth talking about.
  • Yeah, I’m not a fan of the word “usie” either … it’s a group selfie.
  • Some of these are funny and horrifying. Oh my gosh! I’m kinda glad I am not a teacher.
  • I want to be addicted to travel. So bad.
  • I really need a vacation. Bad.
  • I want to go to Disneyland.
  • No, wait … I want to go to Europe.
  • No, wait … cruise around the world!
  • Okay, maybe even St. George at this point.

Welp, that’s about it for me. I hope you have a great weekend and above all else be safe and RUN HAPPY!!!