Tag: emigration canyon

RACE #163: The Haunted Half — Salt Lake City

I absolutely love running in October — for many reasons. I love the cool October air, the changing leaves and the plethora of races during the month. You’d think July and August would be the most popular month to run, but it’s too hot during the summer months. October is PERFECT conditions for running.

Earlier in the year I wasn’t planning on running The Haunted Half, but those plans changed when I resigned my position with Runtastic Events. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, because I loved who I worked with. But, I had too much to juggle with a full-time job, a family run business and a podcast among other things. It didn’t leave much of an evening for me.

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But, as much I will miss it, I’m glad I am still able to at least run The Haunted Half and the other Runtastic Events races. Their races are always down the most gorgeous canyons with the most awesome shirts (biased here), best volunteers (biased here) and coolest Finisher’s medals (once again, biased here). So, being able to go back to “just” being a runner of their races is exciting — but, with a much deeper appreciation for what it takes to put on a wicked awesome event.

Since I wasn’t working the event, I decided to not just run the race — but, to pace it. So, I volunteered to sweep the course with the RYR Pacers. I don’t think it goes without saying how much I love sweeping courses. It’s the party in the back.

My sister Jenny also decided to run with me — especially since she’s always wanted to run down Emigration Canyon. She used to run quite a bit a number of years ago and just recently started picking it back up. Like me, she also struggles with Hashimoto’s Disease and has recently balanced it along with losing over 30lbs. So while there were nerves on running a half marathon again, she felt emboldened with her recent changes in health.

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I was more than excited to have her join me, because she was the first of my siblings to run with me — not just a half marathon, but a 5K a number of years back. So this race was a bit extra special for me.

Slowly, but surely, I’ll get my whole family to run a half or full marathon with me — BRUHAHAHA!

The night before the race my sister had a million and one nerves going on. I got texts throughout the evening on what she should bring and wear. I kinda chuckled, because I remember having those nerves for races like this. Heck, I still get nerves for races — especially ultras. But, that’s a whole different story.

After leaving Bountiful and making the trek to Sugarhouse, we rode the buses up to the start of the race. We knew there was suspected rain and/or snow. But, apparently,  it was just the snow part that we got. Lots of it too.

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Around 5:30am the canyon got a blizzard. This halted the buses from coming up the canyon for a while, which delayed everything. Once our bus got to the start line we just sat there without any runners getting out. This was the case pretty much for all the buses. I wasn’t complaining, because I knew it was going to be COLD outside.

Once I got to the point that I needed to use the Honey Buckets, we hopped off the bus. The race was delayed about 10 minutes or so. I wasn’t sure, because I just saw a mass of humanity making their way under the pumpkin arch. Almost immediately I was trying to figure out my adjusted pace.

But, almost as immediately as we started, we were slowed down by the icy road from the blizzard. The first two miles or so were fairly slippery and it was difficult to navigate. Jenny and I couldn’t get a good rhythm because as soon as we did — more ice. So we did what the road could give us. We weren’t the only ones having issues with the roads as well, many runners ahead of us were too.

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After a couple miles in the roads were dry and we picked up our pace. And, so did the runners around us. The chaotic mess subsided and we were all good. But, once again, I tried to figure out my new pace. But, at this point I knew I was going to be off on the times I needed to hit on Sunnyside and 2100 S. — not much, but off.

Around Mile 7 wanting to keep up with my pace, Jenny and I decided to split. She was going to focus on the group in the back, while I tried to run ahead to meet the cutoffs the race wanted me to hit. It worked out pretty well actually.

I was about 13-15 minutes off because of the delays, but I made up good time. Because of the delay the officers, thankfully, kept the intersections and roads open a bit longer. And, once we got out of the canyon we made our way toward the 900 East area where we meandered around some neighborhoods before making our way to Sugarhouse Park.

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i am usually not a fan of running around neighborhoods, but the last four miles were pretty gorgeous. The older homes lined with trees transformed to almost a completely different city. The homes were gorgeous and well kept — I believe many of the U of U professors live around in this neighborhood? Either way, it was a fun few miles.

Once we got to the park, we made a loop around the pond before approaching the finish line on the east side of the park. The race was over. And, I finished in about 3:30. I haven’t confirmed the time yet as my results haven’t posted yet. But, it was about the time I was expecting. A couple minutes later Jenny came in with Christy — all smiles. A perfect way to end a race, right?

I hung out at the end for a while. My friend Lizz hung out with her Mom after their 5K to see me and my sister come in. Both ended up PRing their race. They both got to ring the PR bell! Hopefully come next year I will be ringing that bell too! But, that’s a post for another day.

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After both Jenny and I limped back to the car we made our way home. After a quick shower and lunch I then headed up to Lagoon for Pod Bash Lagoon Day. I had tons of fun — but — that made for a looooooong day on my feet. My FitBit registered over 20 miles so by the end of the day my feet were aching.

But, the way I looked at it — it was GREAT ultra training.

Oh, the mentality of a runner, right?

Anyways, it was a great day overall. So many highlights with friends — both my running and Pod Bash friends. But, I’ll always remember this as my first race with my sister. We had a blast and she did too. And, she even mentioned that she wanted to do more in the future.

And, that left a smile on my face.

I got her.


My 180 race journey is RAPIDLY coming to an end. It’s hard to believe that I am just 17 races away from reaching the goal I set some six years ago. It’s also hard to believe that within the next month I am going to be cranking out six more races toward that goal. It’s going to be A LOT of running.

But, I am excited for the adventure.

This Saturday I am running both the SoJo Half and Howloween Half. Then The Haunted Half in Provo the following before doing another two race day when I run both the Snow Canyon Half and Joshua Tree Half. My sixth race will be the Mt. View Trail Half out on Antelope Island the following week.

The Mt. View Trail Half will be my last half marathon of the year. It will also be my last race before heading to Europe for a couple weeks. Two weeks that will be a nice break before going all in on my training for Jackpot.

But, right now the focus is these next four weeks and six races. Let the adventure begin.

Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 9.0 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 25.2 miles
TOTAL MILES — 47.3 miles
Races This Week — The Haunted Half – SLC

October 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 21.69 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 50.07 miles
TOTAL MILES — 85.04 miles
Races in September — (4) The Haunted Half – SLC, SoJo Half, Howloween Half, The Haunted Half – Provo

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 403.24 miles
Race Miles — 388.27 miles
Walking Miles — 1077.68 miles
TOTAL MILES — 1869.19 miles
Races done in 2017 — (23) 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, The Hobbler Half, Handcart Days Half, DesNews Half Marathon, Elephant Rock Trail Half Marathon, Run Elevated Half Marathon, Nebo Half, Revel Big Cottonwood Half Marathon, Huntsville Half Marathon, Timp Elk Run, Jordan River Half Marathon and The Haunted Half – SLC

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Moving on from here …

In an ideal world this would be my Ogden Marathon race recap. Heck, in a even semi-optimistic world this would be my Ogden Half Marathon race recap. But, it’s not.

I could write a country song from everything that has seemed to go wrong with me the past month or so. Whether it was spraining my ankle, DNFing the Salt Flats 50K, DNSing the Tulip Festival Half, getting the flu, having a non-healing ankle, then dropping the Ogden Marathon, Utah Valley Marathon and Ragnar because of the ankle — no beuno.

No beuno at all.

My running the past two weeks has dropped quite significantly, because of the ankle. After running the Provo City Half, I knew it was more serious than I imagined (or hoped for) and something would probably have to be done more than me icing and medicating it. Do I think it’s broken? No. Do I think there’s a ligament tear? No? Maybe?

I really feel like it’s somewhere between a Grade II or III sprained ankle. I mean, I’m no foot doctor, but I know how to navigate WebMD with the best of them. Either way, I decided I really should go see an orthopedic doctor about it. Because maybe there’s something he can do to help me with it? So I have an appointment on Thursday to see an orthopedist.

We’ll see how it goes.

I can walk on it. It’s just constant running or any lateral movement aggravates it. Which could be a problem with my current training, but I’d rather adapt then step back completely from it if I can avoid it. I just signed up for a couple gym classes during lunch that I really want/need to take — a spinning class and express weight training class.

The spinning class will be the hardest one on my ankle. I learned on the first day that there’s no way I can stand and spin. So, I just crank up the resistance and peddle like a bat out of hell. It seemed to work. I was panting and near dead. I just don’t want to give that class up, because I love the intense cardio.

But, we’ll see what the doctor says.

I am not expecting surgery or a boot. I am expecting probably a soft cast at the most? And, I am pretty sure he’ll tell me to avoid too much running for a certain amount of time — which cramps my style for June. I already backed out of Ragnar and Utah Valley. But, I don’t want to give up the Bear Lake Trifecta, Drop 13 Half or AF Canyon Race Against Cancer. That’d kill me.

I am hoping he’ll let me run some of these — especially considering I am not going for any 8, 9 or 10 minute mile pace. But, that’s all hard to say until come Thursday after my appointment. I won’t lie, I’m somewhat impatient about it. It kills me not knowing what the next few months are going to look like.

I am not worried about the worst case scenario. But, I figure I need to figure out how to get myself back to 100% now than wait much later, because my goal isn’t necessarily my next race — it’s my 100 miler. I feel like I’ve stepped back a bit with this injury and past month, so I don’t want to go back any further.

I am going to run my 100 miler in February. I am. There are no other options. But, I got to get there. And, taking care of this now is just one of those steps in the needed direction.

Luckily, most of my races coming up are fairly easy to transfer to another runner or next year. I know I’m not hitting my new goal of hitting 180 by next July, but that’s okay, my original goal of 2021 is still well over pace. And, there are lessons I need to learn in all of this — most unseen right now.

But, the first lesson probably would have been — watch for potholes running down Emigration Canyon. That’s a good place to start.

I’ll get where I want to go. I have no doubt about that. It’ll just take a little improvisation. But, I’ll get there.

SUMMARYAs mentioned above — it’s been a tough couple of weeks since my last post. But, I am really trying to stay positive and focusing on other ways to stay active. I’ll be fine — even if I have to step back a bit for now.

May 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 17.0 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 73.69 miles
TOTAL MILES — 103.79 miles
Races in May — Provo City Half Marathon and Jordan River Half Marathon.

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 222.25 miles
Race Miles — 164.52 miles
Walking Miles — 494.1 miles
TOTAL MILES — 880.87 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 and Provo City Half Marathon.


This past week a German film crew has been living and filming our family. Well, mostly, my brother and his family. But, the whole family has been involved with the project. The host travels the world experiencing different cultures and lifestyles for a week — and this week it was living the “prepper lifestyle” here in America.

So this past week we’ve shown them a microcosm of that lifestyle. We butchered chickens, made homemade bread, showed off our food storage, conducted earthquake and home invasion drills and shot guns — lots of guns. Most of them were shot on Saturday down in Holden.

It was a fun week.

It took a little getting used to to having cameras around you, especially when we were eating. My older brother is somewhat used to it, but to have the whole family behind the camera was kind of fun. And, after the week we made some great friends — from the host to the producer and camera crew. And, we all had a blast — especially on Saturday when we played with the BIG guns.

All these hours of film will be condensed into an hour long episode that will air on German TV in September. And, I am sure I will share a link to the episode. Here are a few pictures from our adventures this week …

My Mom’s teaching Maike how to make homemade bread. She’s a true pioneer woman.

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Bang, bang! We’re ready for some target practice!

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Not much more ‘Murican than guns n’ Yankees.

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Slo-motion fun. Boom boom pow!

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This might as well be the Hansen Family Christmas card.

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This picture is so America it hurts. 🇺🇸

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This guy is LOUD! Wowzers!

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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