Tag: emigration canyon

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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Running myself “Back2Phat”

back2phatOkay, first off, I am not necessarily starting a new blog, but I guess in a way … I am? But, really, this is more of a campaign. I hate calling it a diet. It’s just a focus of accountability. But, basically, now that my thyroid and testosterone is (finally) leveled, I am wanting/needing to focus to get off the weight from the past year.

How much?

About 40-50lbs … ish?

Now that my metabolism is starting to work for me, I am focusing on giving it what it needs to optimize itself. I’ve been doing this the past month or so, but I’ve felt the past couple of weeks that I need to share this on social media and on my blog. So here I am.

I am not going to reiterate everything I’ve written on my blog post about it all. But, the name I gave this campaign is “Back2Phat.” It’s a nod to my first blog PhatJosh.com, which documented most of my weight-loss back in 2010-2011.

My motivation for this campaign really comes from a desire to not just get rid of the weight I’ve found this past 8-12 months, but to focus on the becoming a better runner. So, instead of JUST running off the weight, the focus will be strength training and focusing on my core. Something, I will admit, I haven’t been good about maintaining the past few years.

I know all of that is correlated. And, I know this isn’t going to be an easy fix. But, for at least the next 12 weeks my focus will be cutting fat and losing weight, while getting stronger and faster. If I drop the 40-50lbs. during that time … GREAT! Is that realistic? Probably not? But, it’s possible. So we’ll see what happens I guess?

But, to reiterate it again, I am not replacing this blog. I just wanted a different place to record my numbers and that’s why I set up a different blog over on Blogger to do that. I’ll write things pertaining to the fitness campaign and my thyroid issues on that blog, but will also post a link of it to here. So don’t worry this blog isn’t going anywhere.

Stay tuned the next 12 weeks and see what happens, eh?



Me, Justin, Glen and Ray before heading down Emigration. Such a great view from the top … as always!

This past weekend’s LONG run was an 11.5 mile run down Emigration Canyon. I put the run together during the week on my running group’s Facebook page. So, I kinda expected it to be a small group run. I really didn’t have a reason why I ran 11.5 miles other than that was the distance from the top of Emigration Canyon to my car in Liberty Park.

Plus, it was my first self-paced long run since Ogden. I didn’t run the week after Ogden and then I swept the Jordan River Half last weekend. Sure, it was 13.1 miles, but I was as fast as the slowest runner. So, physically I felt like I didn’t get the most out of it as I would running faster. So this run was just about getting a good long run in.

Which it was.

Justin and I at the mouth of Emigration Canyon in front of the zoo.

While Ray and Glen ran ahead, I ran with Justin who was up from St. George for the weekend. He had to pick up his son from a basketball tournament so he thought he’d come up and run with the northern Utahns. I ran with him during the first half of the Utah Valley Marathon so it’s literally been a year since we ran together. We’ve always had a great conversation whilst running.

This is one of my favorite courses to run in Salt Lake City. I ran this course A LOT last year while training for my marathons. We start at the top of Emigration and then just follow the road to 700 East back to Liberty Park. Great downhill course that’s close to home.

It was a HOT day and needless to say … it warranted a post-run Slurpee.

The legs were dead and I did my mileage in just under 2:30 hours. It wasn’t a race pace so that’s encouraging to me. But, quite honestly, race pace over the next 12 weeks isn’t my top priority. The priority is to focus on my fitness and weight. Running wise, the focus is simply doing my best and putting my best effort out there.

So, at the end of a race if I can tell myself I did my best … that’ll be enough.

And, Saturday, it was my best effort. And, I’ll take it!


WEEKLY SUMMARY – There were two runs during the week. The first being on National Running Day with Reese and then the aforementioned run down Emigration Canyon. I did a lot of walking this week with my car out of commission. The walk to my bus stop was about 0.7 miles from my front door and then about 0.6 miles to my office. I won’t lie, I might take the bus more during the week. I love the walk and passive commute. 
Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 182.0 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 160.25 miles
2015 Race Miles – 132.15 miles
2015 Total Miles – 474.4 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  33.75 miles



The 75th Fartlek Friday™ – Diamonds are forever …

FartlekFridayWow, so this is the 75th installment of Fartlek Friday? I feel like I should celebrate it somehow? It’s the “DIAMOND” anniversary … sooooooo … I tried to Google an appropriate picture, but I found this instead …

funny-hat-pics-085Don’t laugh though, because this picture is actually quite disturbing. It makes my trypophobia quite unbearable. Gosh, it’s making me itchy. Just in case you are wondering if you are trypophobic take a look at these pictures.

But, don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.

Oh, I am going to try to just block all of what I just wrote and linked to [shivers]. Seriously. Moving on …

This past Wednesday was National Running Day and I celebrated with a run around my neighborhood with Reese. I am resolving to run with him more mid-week, because he literally lives a mile away from my house … and it’s on my usual running route.

To the outside world people might not see or recognize Reese’s emotions, but when he is out running … he is alive. That joy shows … SHINES … bright and I saw plenty of that the other day.

Granted when I’ve ran half marathons with him he falls asleep for about an hour, but I am more jealous than bummed that I don’t get to see that joy. I would do the same thing too if I had to wake up at 4am.

Gosh, I really need to stop looking at that diamond-studed head. It really is creeping me out.


Anyways, I am excited for tomorrow. I am going to be running down Emigration Canyon with a group of my friends. I am really, really excited about it. I am shooting for between 8-10 miles … depending on how I feel. But, I love a good canyon run and I am itching for a good long run.

And, the weather looks like it’s going to be PERFECT for running!



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

  • So I decided to move my 100th race from the Park City Half (August 15th — my birthday) to the Handcart Days (July 24th — the race that was my first half). It just seemed like the right thing to do considering what the race means to me being my first. This means that I will need to pick up two extra races between now and the 24th of July.
  • I am going to sweep the Hobbler Half (July 11th) and I decided to also run the Provo Midnight Run (June 26) … this will be the night before AF Canyon, so it’ll be more of a “jog” … or a 13.1 mile warm up for AF? And, on another note … I haven’t ran these races before. That seems odd?
  • If you want to feel guilty about ever eating out again just read this.
  • Okay, since we just gawked at all of that fatty and caloric food let’s pant over this street food from London.
  • You want a good laugh? Read these.
  • I had a pet hamster when I was a kid and that thing was an awry and mean SOB! It was an albino blind hamster, which you would THINK would be an epic combination. NOPE. Anytime you held him he would poop on you and then bite until you put him down. We gave him to our cousins … which … I am pretty sure fed him to their snake.
  • Speaking of rodents. My sister’s rabbit had bunnies and I’ve decided to adopt one. I adopted this little lady (could totally be a dude, but I’m not checking) and named her Cotton Face.
  • Her brothers’ names are Smudgy (the brown one) and Mama’s Boy (because he looks like his mother). Again these bunnies could be the opposite sex … sooooooooo … if they have bunnies of their own, we’ll then know for sure.
  • Life.
  • Really? Another Bush wants to get into office? I can’t wait to see what kind of mess the GOP will make of 2016. All of politics is a mess. There’s a reason I am an independent voter.
  • I love watching this girl. She is definitely full of life. Makes Uncling the most enjoyable job out there right now.
  • This is actually fairly entertaining. A must watch, especially if you love to watch cats play with their reflection in the mirror.
  • Welp, most of these are just adorable. This one is horrific though.
  • Any surprise that the In n’ Out Double Double is Utah’s favorite burger on this list?
  • I’ll be the first to admit I am a casual NHL fan. And, by casual I mean, I like wearing their sweaters and I’ll take a passing interest in teams of places I like (I know, I am the worst kind of fan that way).
  • But, with the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final I feel the need to root for them. I served my mission in Chicago and I do have one of their sweaters. But, if they were playing the San Jose Sharks that allegiance would go to the Sharks, because … well … sharks.
  • With that said … GO HAWKS … ?!?
  • Because, I know how much you want to know more about Swingline Staplers.
  • One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to mow the lawn. But, the past month I wasn’t able to get the backyard because of all the rain. So when I mowed this past week … it was jungle.
  • I also got a picture of my mower in front of the sunset. Gosh, that needs to be on a postcard.
  • I was born 30 years too late.
  • Canada Day is less than a month away sooooo here’s this.
  • So yeah, these are people cookies.
  • Count me impressed … and lazy.
  • Um … these please!



WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Picking up the mileage and looking forward …

IMG_2449I love the week after the Daylights Savings Time switchover. Like, a lot. It makes me happy. It’s amazing what that extra hour of sunlight does to someone, especially for someone who works behind a desk. I was able to get in a couple evening runs which were HEAVEN! I can almost smell summer around the corner!

On Saturday a group of us ran down Emigration Canyon to Liberty Park. This was a typical route for me last summer (and still one of my favorites) and I will never get sick of it. The route is fairly steep, so my quads are still fairly screaming … even today. But, totally worth it. No pain, no gain, right?

Plus, the company was even better than the route. Robert Merriman, Janet, Brook and I all ran together. The group that was slated to run with us was at 35 people once, but dwindled to just the four of us. Nothing against the 31 no-shows, but we felt a part of an elite club. Plus, we all had each other in stitches throughout the canyon. I am excited because both Robert Merriman and Janet will be running the Buffalo Run next week, so I’ll get two consecutive weeks of them!

This past week has been my highest mileage week this year and the mental and physical challenge has been great. I am looking to continue that progress into this upcoming week. I am signing up for the Student Life Center officially today and working out with Free there starting tomorrow night after work.

I am excited to get into the flow of my workout regime with him, the running and races. My body is starting to respond to the new meds and the need for change is coming more from the body than the mind, which is a great place for me to be. I am going to write a bit about my workout regime later this week. I am excited to share that, because besides lifting with Free we are going to incorporate a Biggest Loser-esque “Last Chance Workout” on Thursday nights.

Why Thursday?

Mainly because I weigh-in every Friday morning and preparing for that weigh-in with a big workout seems right. I’d love to find a scale that beeps while calculating my weight, but I think that is pushing it? I’ll go more in depth later this week. Just know that I am in a good place mentally.




After our run on Saturday I took Robert Merriman and Janet to the Sears Burrito Cart (Don Rafas) for a burrito. This was my first Sears Burrito of 2015 and both Robert Merriman and Janet’s first. I felt like a professional mentor telling them how to order the burrito, top it with awesomeness and then have it wrapped and paid for. There’s a method to the whole process and it was fun being able to show them the ropes.

Then on the other hand I felt like a complete amatuer when I was putting some sour cream on my burrito and the whole bottle blew up all over my shorts, shirt and shoes. It was … classy. Luckily it was all over the clothes I just ran in so I just laughed it off.


But, needless to say, after that run the burrito HIT THE STOP. I missed it, like a mother misses her child. Such great awesome food. And, who would think you’d find it in the parking lot of a Sears store in Downtown Salt Lake City?



IMG_2417One exciting thing that happened to me this past week was the addition to these two new shoes! Of course both of them are Hoka OneOne shoes. I don’t think I could run in anything else? Ever since I made the switch from the Nike Pegasus in the fall of 2013 I haven’t looked elsewhere.

For a big runner like myself they have saved my feet, ankles and knees from certain injury. I was starting to get stress fractures in my feet with the Pegs, but since moving to the Hokas I haven’t had those issues … AT ALL. This really sounds like a pitch for a pyramid scheme business, but honestly, I swear by them. They really are like running on clouds of marshmallows.

But, I’ve been able to get two great runs in with each pair, so look for a review sometime soon. Maybe this week or next? We shall see.

So, yeah, convert yourself to Hokas. You won’t regret it.


bison-attack-photoThis is the week I am running with the buffaloes! Well, okay, this is the week I am running Antelope Island with the chance to run into buffaloes. But, hopefully not INTO buffaloes literally. This will be my first trail run/race on Antelope Island. I would be worried about it if I wasn’t running with Jill, but we’re going to have fun doing it.

Plus, a bunch of our friends will be there running the 100 miler, 50 miler and 50K as well. Both Jill and I looked at our roll not as runners and competitors, but cheerleaders for the rest of our friends out on the course. Cheerleading is one of the good things both Jill and I do. Plus, since it’s a trail run there’s a good chance we’ll eat a whole pizza each to keep ourselves alive.

That last sentence was half joking.

But, seriously, I am really looking forward to the run and opportunity I have to challenge myself and encourage others along the course.



Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015

2015 Training Miles – 110.2 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 54.25 miles
2015 Race Miles – 35.55 miles
2015 Total Miles – 200.0 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 72.85 miles
March – 48.35 miles



Earning our downhill run in Emigration Canyon …


As I mentioned last week I’ve been on a kick as of late with running up and downhill. And, as many would think … yes, it’s a sickness. But, oh my heavens do I love it! The problem is I am not sure what I am more in love with … the challenge or the punishment? Or maybe just being outside running?

Either way, this past week’s run with my running group was awesome.It was exactly the kind of run that needed and wanted. The uphill run was a nice challenge and then the back run back down was an even better reward. The 10 mile run was the longest run I’ve had since the Resolution Run … which was a month ago. It hasn’t been like I am NOT running, I am just not running that FAR and my focus has been on other things.


But, the plan for Saturday’s run was to meet at the bottom of Emigration Canyon and run 5 miles up the canyon and then back down. In the past I’ve only ran DOWN the canyon so Jill and I wanted to mix it up some. Plus, I remember some runners in our group running up it back in July and thinking how crazy they were. I guess I am now that guy?

The group was a good sized and many of us met each other for the first time, but we all went our needed/desired paces, which was perfect. Not that there wasn’t any socializing, there was plenty of that. Jill, Maria and I ran together until meeting up with Jason. Then Maria left 3.1 miles up because her legs were still sore from running the Miami Half last week (we didn’t feel bad when she complained about the cold weather during the run).

But, the group mentality, at least for Jill and I, was really needed. We all caught ourselves either walking or running slower than we felt needed and then pushed each other. Jill, Jason and I also talked each other into running the Antelope Island Buffalo Run in March. It’s funny what a group mentality can make you do? Jason signed up for his first 50K and Jill and I signed up for the 25K later that afternoon once we got home.

There’s nothing quite like running peer pressure.

But, overall, the run was perfect. The 10 miles was great for me mentally and physically. I felt like my overall body got a challenging workout. Plus, the uphill just fueled me to do more and brought more excitement looking toward the running season. Getting stronger will only make me faster.


Adam Barker Photo_webNext weekend both Jill and I are planning taking a slight respite from climbing uphills and testing what it’s done for us. So we’re going for a DOWNHILL run down Big Cottonwood Canyon here in Salt Lake City. This is one of my favorite canyons to run. This is the canyon that 2 of my 5 favorite races are ran (Big Cottonwood and Vigor Big Cottonwood) so it’s kinda special and a treat to me.

As all of my training runs, all are welcome to join in. The more the merrier in my book, right? If you would like to come we are going to meet at the Big Cottonwood Park n’ Ride on Saturdya morning around 7:30am and then carpool no later than 8am or so. There will be about two groups running the canyon, those that want to do a 10K or others wanting a longer 10 mile run.

I’ve made an event page over on Facebook so feel free to RSVP and invite others! It should be a lot of fun!


ReeseAnother run that you all should do or at least support is the Reese’s Run happening on Thursday night at the Utah Olympic Oval. This is really going to be a special evening and race and it’s something that means a lot to me.

The purpose of the race is to raise money for assisted athletes in need of racing wheelchairs so they can participate in races, triathlons, etc. Ever since I met Elsha this past summer my running and life have changed for the better. I had numerous experiences pushing her and Reese during races and other training runs. I am always in awe of their determination, perseverance and love for not just running, but life.

This run is fairly simple and something you can support with or without running on Thursday. It is a half marathon ($20 per pusher and $5 per pushee), but that doesn’t mean you can only participate if you commit to running 13.1 miles. You can sign up to run, take turns pushing some of the athletes and encouraging the athletes them along. There is also a need for volunteers and you can sign up as a volunteer a well. But, even more important if you show up and just be there to cheer the athletes on that can make a world of difference.

I am really looking forward to running this with my friend Josh, this will be his first race and our first run together. In addition to Reese’s Run, we are also planning on running the Vigor Big Cottonwood in May and a couple other races during the year. I think we need to come up with a team name, especially with us having such an awesome name!

Josh Squared? Oh the possibilities!

Either way, please come and support a great cause and make some new friends. This will be a very special evening.



She was moved to a care facility this past week. My my mom and sister have been staying with her since she’s been there.It’s hard to really assess my Grandma’s situation right now. Her body is responding, but being the stubborn Greek that she is, she’s not willfully participating in the rehab. It hurts her to move and at 88 years old it’s hard for to simply push through that. So, she’s pretty much stayed in her bed.

But, she is responsive and each of us who have visited her have been to have special moments together. Sometime later this week they will reassess her and see what progress can be made. There’s a possibility that she’ll be responsive, but then there is the possibility that she will come home on hospice. Whatever the case may be I think our whole family has accepted either outcome.

The prayers for her, my mom and family have really been appreciative and felt. It always amazes me the power that even the simplest of prayers have in one’s life. They really are felt.


Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015

2015 Training Miles – 49.7 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 16.0 miles
2015 Race Miles – 13.1 miles
2015 Total Miles – 78.8 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles



The 57th Fartlek Friday™ – I wish that the Super Bowl™ was a HUGE bowl of Jell-O you could jump into …

fartlekfriday57Goodbye January friend. Adios. It felt like you hardly stayed around?


I’ve kinda come to terms that time flies much faster the older you get. Which, kinda sucks. I won’t lie. I guess what’s tougher for me is to get over that I’ve been running now for over four years. That’s nuts! I am starting to now run races for the fourth time!

I feel like I’ll be reaching that 180 goal in no time. Which saddens me because I’ve really enjoyed the journey so far. But, it’s not like I am going to stop running once I run my 180th. There’s so much more running out there to do.

Look at me, already planning for what I want to do come 40. I’m not this big of a forward thinking person in real life. I have a hard enough time knowing what I want to eat at a restaurant when the waitress comes back the third time to take our order. So, yeah …

Well, regardless of how fast time is flying my focus is still on my goals here and now. Of course moving towards long term goals. Instead of going 110% like a lot of New Year resolutioners I’ve eased into the habits I want to change and training I want to do.

I’ve found in the past that going balls to wall is great for some things, but in wanting to change habits and make lasting changes, you have to work on those skills or habits individually and not collectively. That’s why each new week is met with a new little challenge or habit I want to have or rededicate myself to.

I’ve been doing this with my running, workouts and diet and it’s one reason why I’ve lost over 15lbs. since the first of the year. Having my thyroid and testosterone tank wasn’t easy, but I’m focusing on rebounding from that and retraining my body what it needs to do. And, like the amazing body we all have, mine is starting to respond to the medication, habits and changes I am undertaking.

Speaking of rededicating yourself, all next week I am focusing on renewing or reassessing New Years goals and resolutions. Statistically by February 1st most people stop focusing on their resolutions and goals, this includes self-improvement and of course the gym.

I won’t lie, I kinda love February 1st and onward because I can go to the gym with not much of a crowd there. Then again, I’d also rather see a full gym and people making positive changes in their lives. I guess it’s somewhat of a catch 22?!

Anyways, look out for that next week. Plus, I’ll be talking a bit about my running schedule and ways to save a little money along the way.


As reported on Wednesday my Grandma has been doing better. She’s in a rehab center right now working on getting home. We’ve been worried about her appetite, but on Wednesday night she asked for a cheeseburger and root beer. So, I ran to A&W to grant her wish.

She ate a good portion of it so that’s a good sign. The focus is to help her gain some weight and move around. It’s been tough for her and I would imagine laying in bed for over a week would do that to anyone.

But, the prayers have been much appreciated. My Mom and sister have been trading off staying the night with her and despite the circumstances she’s been kept her Greek quick quip humor alive and is still waiting for Robert Redford to visit her. I told her I could run up to Park City to check if he has time with Sundance in town.

My Grandma is one tough lady.

Mostly because she’s Greek.



I mentioned this a little bit on Wednesday, but I am going to share a bit more information about tomorrow’s run. I am really excited about this run. Why? Probably for the shear torture of a 900 foot ascent and decent … well … okay, because of the challenge.

Jill and I have been on a “kicking our “trash” (edited for the kids … and my mother) and taking names” thing as of late. It all started with The Burn on November 1st of last year and hasn’t really stopped since.

We’ve done a number of challenging runs and have added steps to our workout regime. Even though last week’s run around Bountiful was tough, but I think that’s going to be the tamest of what’s to come.

The goal isn’t to become totally awesome hill climber (though that would be a bonus) the goal is to get stronger as runner overall … and …well … to get quads like Susette.


Anyways … the run is fairly simple. It’s a run five miles UP Emigration Canyon here in Salt Lake City and then five miles back DOWN from whence we came. So far we should have a pretty decent size group and anyone is welcome. You can RSVP here on the Facebook event page. And, here’s an interactive map of the run.

And, if you’re standing on the fence. Just do it. You know in the end you won’t regret it.

Plus, there’s a rumor that we might be getting breakfast afterwards.


pats hawks

Truthfully, I am not sure when I will be watching the Super Bowl™ this year. The main reason is because odds are I will be with my family and Grandma at the rehab center. But, thankfully we have DVR so I won’t miss a single commercial this year!

Because lets be honest unless our favorite team is in the Super Bowl™ we look forward to two things … the commercials and the halftime show. Though I hate Pepsi and Doritos those are the two commercials I look forward to seeing each year.

Let’s not talk about that stupid E-Trade baby.

Anyways, to the Super Bowl™ … I will be honest and admit that I am pulling for the Seahawks. I’ve loved watching the Seahawks during the playoffs and they just have a team you can love to cheer. They’ve got an underdog-ish QB, a running back that couldn’t give a damn and one of the best defenses in the game.

Plus, I am intrigued by the thought of being a back-to-back Super Bowl™ champion. They are fairly rare in a league that during the past 20-25 years prides itself in parity. And, it also works in the ‘Hawks favor that I still fill bad for Seattle after losing the Sonics.

The Patriots have some good qualities and story lines as well. It’d be nice to see Brady get another Super Bowl™ championship. That would definitely put him in the conversation as one of the all-time greatest QBs. But, outside of that it’s hard to find any, especially after the whole “deflatgate”mess.

With that said … I am picking the Seahawks to repeat as Super Bowl™ Champs. Not in a blowout like last year, but it will be close. The victory really will be dependent on how well the ‘Hawks keep Brady in check and away from Gronk.

But for Super Bowl™ XLIV my prediction is … Seahawks 28 Patriots 24

(If I get that exact score you all owe me a Frosty on Monday)


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


My brother and I started an Instagram account called “lincolnisms.” Basically, they’re quotes (anything off the top of our head or loosely based off a real quote) and then attributed to Abraham Lincoln. We just launched it on Wednesday night so there isn’t much content on our board, but check it out!

Here’s one of my favorite “lincolnisms” thus far …



RACE RECAP #79: The Haunted Half – Salt Lake City

79-hauntedhalfThis race has a special place in my heart for many reasons. One, I love running down Emigration Canyon. I’ve ran it DOZENS of times with my running group and it never gets old, because I always run it with great company.

But, this is also the place I ran during my first marathon two years ago. So, besides being a place where I cherish with friends, there are also certain places I CURSE because of the marathon. That’s just the nature of running though, right?

Becky and I meeting for the first time at last’s year’s Haunted Half #totespresh

Specific to this race though, this is where I first met Becky for the first time. We both worked on my costume for a good three weeks. I went as … THIS GUY. I also threw in bloody nipples for good measure. It’s where our odd friendship took root. Yep, over poop and bloody nipples. Not many people outside the running community can say that … unless your a poop or blood doctor, I guess?

Becky ended up not running the race because she was sick, so I ran with her husband Nate. It was fun. He was fast. But, mid-way through the race Becky showed up to get a picture with our costume creation. We’ve been friends ever since then. We’ve ran marathons, countless half marathons. runs down canyons and stupid 30Ks in the rain together. Running is SO much better when you have an awesome running buddy.

But, back to this race.

Joshua the Sweeper!

I love this race. For as much as I hate Halloween, I actually love Halloween races. Go figure? Maybe it’s because I love running in October? I love the cooler weather, it really is ideal for running. But, there is also a different energy to Halloween races that’s just fun. Plus, the cooler weather keeps the sexy cats, witches, devils and such at home.

Sure, people are serious about running, but there is a lighter mood to them. It’s a party, especially when costumes are involved. Especially when you come up with something original.

Since I was pacing the race as the sweeper, I decided to go as … what else? A sweeper! It was actually a pretty easy outfit. I bought some coveralls on Amazon and then bought a broom from Kmart. Pretty easy.

Of course I wore my running shoes and other needed accessories to avoid chaffing. I’ve ran in long pants before so I know the art of preparing myself to wear them for over 13.1 miles. There really is an art, because there is nothing worse than pant chafing. But, I feel like I shouldn’t delve into that subject for reasons of modesty.

Jill and I running UP Emigration Canyon the night before the race! I needed this run!

Anyways, I was really excited about my costume.

In fact, I had to run home to grab the broom I forgot I left in the kitchen. Luckily, I live about 10 minutes away so it wasn’t that bad and I didn’t miss the last bus. It was close, but I wasn’t really worried. I just couldn’t run as the sweeper without my broom, right? A witch can get away with it while running, but a sweeper can’t. You just end up just looking like an idiot running in coveralls without it.

The one thing I love about fall races is the later race times. This race started at 8:45am, which meant bus pickup was until 7:20am. Not bad. But, I won’t lie, I would have enjoyed a TAD earlier start time. The heat wasn’t an issue, it’s just I’d rather get done with the race sooner.

Miss Elsha’s costume. I love it! So practical and creative. SHE’S OLAF!

Since I was sweeping the course I took my time at the starting line. I didn’t bother waiting in line to use the restroom before gun time. I just hung out with my friends and the other pacers. Then once the gun went off and the course dispersed I walked directly to an open Honey Bucket and leisurely used it. It was actually quite nice. I won’t lie. Granted, the smell wasn’t pleasant, but my Mom is reading this … sooooooo … I’ll just leave it at that.

I was the last runner to cross the starting line and quickly realized I needed to play some catchup with the rear of the runners. Knowing I probably wasn’t going to get some speed in during the race I sprinted some a 9:15 mile for a good 3/4 of a mile. I know that isn’t much, but I caught up with the rear and I got some good downhill in. My favorite.

My one goal of the race was to pace the runners outside of Emigration Canyon by 10:15am, which was about a 14 minute mile-ish. It was actually kind of hard to keep that pace for me, so I ended up doing a blend of run/walk. I also talked to a number of the runners and told them about the timing. There wasn’t much problem with runners not making it. I think only one or two runners actually got picked up.

I love this canyon. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!

But, I was proud of myself I actually made it out of the canyon exactly at 10:15am. That’s like the best timing I’ve had MY WHOLE LIFE. No joke. If you’ve ever had to meet me somewhere, you’ know I am guilty of Utah Mormon Standard Time. We won’t talk about getting me to work on time either. Let’s just say, I was very proud of myself.

Once we got out of the canyon we turned into Research Park at the University of Utah and ran up a couple of hills. This is where the police officers kind of left us and where I ran into Jone. I have actually known Jone for a while. She actually goes to my gym, but I had no idea she was running the race. In fact this was her first ever half marathon.

Miss Jone and I during the race! What an inspiration!

Jone is somewhat of an inspiration to me. She is 65, regularly exercises and eats right. She is where I want to be in 30 years. She really is amazing. We ran the last the five or so miles together. It was a great time. We got to know each other better, we helped a pirate that was cramping on the roadside. I told the poor pirate that we might have to amputate and get him a pegged leg. I don’t know if he appreciated the joke. But, I laughed.

Throughout the last few miles as Jone and I finished the race she would tell me occasionally to run ahead and I’d have to remind her my job was to sweep the course. She would apologize for going slow and again, I’d have to remind her that I am here regardless of how fast or slow she is going. This is HER race! She’s doing it, not me. But, that I’ll be right here whenever she needs me.

Jone running with her daughter and grandkids! Such an awesome moment to witness!

I was just in awe of her determination. To run her first half marathon at age 65 says a lot about her character and person. Even when we got within less of a mile to the finish line we were almost instantly surrounded by friends and family or hers. Her daughter started running with her and then the last few yards of the race she was greeted by her grandkids who ran the rest of the way with her. It was VERY touching. I just kind of stepped back and enjoyed the moment.

It was very touching watching her be greeted by so many people at the finish line. You can tell that she is a person MUCH loved, admired and looked up to. It was a very touching scene.

And, it’s moments like these that I love running. Especially, pacing. It doesn’t matter what time you are pacing or whether you are sweeping the course you are helping SOMEONE accomplish their goal and to be able to be there with them in that moment is beyond a gift for me. That’s why I’ve felt so lucky this year witnessing many of these moments with my friends and other pacing opportunities. To me these moments are the essence of running.

Pulling a Robert Merriman.

The race overall was a great experience. It’s a deceitfully tough course. Just because you are running down Emigration Canyon doesn’t mean it’s all downhill. There are a few very BEASTLY hills. But, still, for me it’s a great course even if my favorite part is the canyon. It’s just beautiful.

I am now looking toward this weekend’s Halloween Twofer. I’ll be running the Haunted Half in Provo that morning and then the Howloween Half in the evening. That would include a nap somewhere in the middle? It will be a busy weekend, because I have a few other things including two ghost investigations. I will have sneak in my sleep somewhere? But, I am looking forward to it nonetheless!

I love fall running!!!


NEXT RACE: The Haunted Half & Howloween Half Marathon (THIS SATURDAY!)

Total Mileage Breakdown for 2014

2014 Training Miles – 503.6 miles
2014 Walking Miles – 123.9 miles
2014 Race Miles – 386.85 miles
2014 Total Miles – 1014.35 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 – 118.2 miles
September – 88.55 miles
October – 66.0 miles