Tag: exercise

And, so it begins …

I’ve been waiting for this day for quite a while. Well, okay, for like two weeks. But, those two weeks seemed like forever ago. You’re probably wondering why I didn’t just start — like — two weeks ago?

Well, two reasons — one, I didn’t want to NOT have cake on my birthday and, two, the 16th would mark 90 days before my trip to Greece. I wanted to use those 90 days as motivation to follow my new diet regime. Plus, those two weeks kind of gave me some time to mentally and physically prepare for the new lifestyle change.

This past weekend I added some glutenous foods temporarily back into my diet — mainly because I knew I was going back on a strict gluten free diet soon and because I wanted it — I won’t lie. Pizza, pasta and of course cake — were some of the examples of what I enjoyed over the weekend.

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Luckily when I eat gluten I don’t get super sick like those with celiac and other gluten sensitive diseases. In the moment I am fine, but depending on the amount of gluten I eat, usually within a half hour or sooner I start feeling it. I feel it in my energy and mood levels and it’s honestly just not fun. But, get me in the moment of eating pizza or pasta and I am a happy clam!

But, isn’t that pretty much life with any food?

That’s a post for another day.

Anyways, I am ready to start this thing. I’m excited to see happens with my energy levels, thyroid and body. As with any diet I like to document it with ‘before and after pictures.’ So here are some lovely half naked pictures of myself to commemorate this dietary occasion …

CLICK TO ENLARGE — CLICK AT YOUR OWN RISK

I have so many half naked pictures of myself in these poses on the internet that I don’t cringe at them. Though I have wonder if I posted a picture of my naked chest on Instagram  if it’d get flagged for being against their terms and conditions? Either way, I am going to update those pictures every 30 days. I’m hoping to see some big differences.

I also weighed in at 279.8, which kinda surprised me — I only gained like 8-9lbs. in the past two weeks. But, I know a lot of that will drop off quickly, because yesterday I ate quite a bit of food being my birthday and all. So I probably gained more like 5-6lbs.?

Either way — 279.8 is the starting point.

My goal is to get to 250 or lower before November 15th when I leave for Greece. I feel fairly confident I’ll get there. That’s about 2.5lbs. a week, I know I’ll be able to hit at least for the first 4-6 weeks.

But, I’m not sure how much I want stress about the weight compared to focusing on the diet and making sure I get myself in my needed ketogenesis range to burn fat. I am so new to this ketogenic stuff, but I know I’ll get there. I might be bumbling and stumbling with it for the first couple of days, so I hope get into a good rhythm with it fast.

One thing to help aid myself in the new diet I bought myself Christopher McDougall’s book “Natural Born Heroes” He’s also the author of “Born to Run” — one of my favorite running books. This is a pretty recent book — came out last April — and I didn’t hear about it until yesterday from my brother-in-law.

But, after hearing him talk about the book and then reading the description the book, the book is PERFECT for my nightstand. The book basically tells the story of athletic prowess of three Cretan resistance fighters in WWII. McDougall delves into what made these Cretans these amazing endurance athletes — including their diet. Which was basically paleo/ketogenic in nature.

Why this appeals to me so much is not just because of the diet or that it’s based in Greece. But, it’s specifically based in Crete, which is where my Papou — my Great Grandpa — was born and raised. In fact I am probably more Cretan than Greek. But, that’s a long complicated story that I’ll leave for another day.

But, the fact that I’ve got Cretan DNA within me really draws me toward that book. If a ketogenic diet can help me achieve an nth degree of what’s talked about in McDougall’s book, I’m excited to see what happens to me. It really excites and fills me with hope that this is going to work.

Anyways, I’m excited to be forging forward with this new diet lifestyle. And, I especially can’t wait to read my new book either. Here’s to the next 90 days! Here’s to Greece! Here’s to my health!


Living with Hashimoto’s: The Next Phase

It’s hard to believe that we’re in March already. I’m thankful for that. I hate January. And, I’m not too fond of February either. The whole thing February has going for it is that it lingers around for only 28 days or so.

I just hate the winter months. I hate the winter blues. I hate the snow. So much hate. You’d almost think I’m one extra winter month away from joining the Dark Side. Thankfully not. December manages to warm my soul with Christmas.

Anyways, I’m plugging a long with my Hashimoto’s Disease.

Just a short recap of this journey — I was diagnosed back in late November, lived in denial of the diagnosis in December, came to terms with it in January by going gluten and dairy free and then went somewhat militant in February with the diet.

I did an elimination diet and hyper focused my food to a list of 33 things. For the most part I did really well with it. I won’t lie — I didn’t stick to it 100% during February. When I was in Las Vegas I ate foods that weren’t on my list — but, I was 90% gluten-free and dairy-free during the trip (there were a couple times when I ordered food that I forgot to be UBER specific about no dairy or gluten … luckily, I didn’t get too sick, though I felt it).

Anyways — I feel good about the progress I made this past month. It was tough eliminating many of the foods I love and enjoy — namely eggs and bananas. But, I stocked up on plenty of steak and sweet potatoes which I will always love.

Oh, and avocados.

Basically, there was still plenty of food to love and enjoy.

Now that my 33 days are over I have been reassessing my diet. I plan on adding back bananas and eggs slowly and less frequently. But, also being deliberate of when I eat them. Basically, I plan on focusing on eating bananas and most fruits around my workouts and runs to help give me a natural boost so I am not as dependent on caffeine or energy boosters (ie-5 Hour Energy, Preworkout, etc).

As you can see below I have made another list of 33 foods. I like this idea of 33 foods and focusing on them for the next 33 days. Because I know if I stick to those foods I’ll feel good, have the needed energy and stamina for my workouts and runs.

That’s the beauty of this list. If I defer from it — I feel it. That’s both a motivation and fear. A good fear though. Because, I want to feel 100%. I want to lose weight. I want to feel “normal” again.

And, I have felt a difference the past month. I had more energy during a lot of my long runs and races, especially during my ultra. I feel faster. I feel slimmer. And, I feel the difference in my clothes too. I love the feeling.

But, with the progress I’ve made, I have made a few changes I felt during my last month. Stuff, I am either eliminating or adding — because I want to see how my body reacts or acts with it back or in my diet.

For instance, I am swapping out the rice for brown rice. If I am going to eat rice I might as well get some more nutritional benefit from it, right? I am also adding Daiya — or vegan cheese — well, dairy-free cheese on the list. I need that on the list. Sure, it’s processed and I want to keep the food as non-processed as possible, But, I need some semblance to cheese.

Anyways — check out the list below.

In addition to the food list, I am also being more specific on my eating schedule. I’ve been reading a lot lately on intermittent fasting and I am adding that into my diet. No, it’s not an everyday thing, but it’s something I am planning on doing three times a week — Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Basically, I won’t eat or drink calories until 2pm those days. Water, yes. But, no food. This was something I tried doing last fall, but after my diagnosis I just kinda stopped doing it. But, I really like the idea and science behind — especially with how it is suppose to help rev up the metabolism.

There are a number of differing intermittent dieting methods and the one I will be doing is based off the Bulletproof Diet. But, unlike the diet, I am not doing it everyday. I am doing this for a couple of reasons — I hate jumping straight into a strict diet (because I hate the ‘all or nothing’ mentality) and I am planning on exercising in the mornings that I do eat before 2pm. I fear not giving myself enough calories on those days.

In 33 days if I feel better on my fast days — then maybe — MAYBE — I will look into doing more fast days during the week? But, we’ll see after I assess everything next month.

Oh, you will notice I do have one ‘FREE CHOICE’ on the 33 list. That’s basically one dairy and gluten-free food of my choice that I can have — regardless of whether it is on my list or not.

BUT

And, it’s a big but. It’s not something I can freely choose each day. It’s a once a week choice. So, this could be dairy-free sherbet, a Slurpee, a slice of gluten-free banana or whatever tickles my fancy. But, it’s one serving and once a week, that I will consume around my weekend races and long runs.

You might be throwing some shade at that choice and I get that. But, I need some variance. And, I do much better on diet and food plans when there is some kind of variance. Plus, I made up this diet regime — so I am kinda making the rules as we go here.

So, if you are going to judge me, please judge me more on my inability to properly match my shirts and pants. Because that is probably the biggest problem I have with my life at this very moment.

Anyways, here is the food list and my workout routine for the next 33 days …

(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Anyways — if you have questions or suggestions — I am always open to them. This journey is still very much brand new to me and while there is a guideline on what works for people in my same shoes — everyone doesn’t fit in my shoes.

So a lot of this is trail and error, success and failure and everything in between.

Fun stuff.

#FitnessFriday: Losing weight, feeling great & in a good place … PLUS … Bart Yasso, Big Cottonwood and WEDDINGS (but, not my own)

Excuse the long title — but, sometimes, I can’t help myself. So much to cram into one title — you know? I still haven’t stepped on a scale (next week after my 30 days is up I can), but I know I am losing weight. Mainly because of how I feel and look. I’ve gotten a few comments from people asking if I am losing weight. So that’s a good sign.

Plus, June is in full swing and tomorrow I am running one of my favorite races in Drop 13 down Big Cottonwood. I’ve probably talked about the race to exhaustion. But, that’s okay — I love it — a lot. Then next Friday and Thursday is Ragnar — another favorite.

But, between all of that my little brother is getting married next Thursday — so lots and lots going on in the next couple of weeks. I am also his best man — so I’ve got his Bachelor Party tomorrow night as well. It’s going to be a busy day with races and parties.

Anyways — lots of fun stuff going on. Plus, I’m in my last week of Whole30 — I’m eager to step on that scale and see what kind of progress I’ve made. And, not to mention the episode of Addict II Athlete (AIIA) featuring Bart Yasso is out today. But, I’ll cover all of that below.

I hope you have an awesome Friday and even better weekend of running. Whether you’re running Drop 13, Utah Valley or around your neighborhood — HAPPY RUNNING!


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This is a treat. This past weekend Coach Blu and I had the opportunity to interview the Mayor Running — himself — the legendary Bart Yasso. Well, okay, I didn’t really interview Bart, it was all Coach. But, I did get to share a little bit about my own journey — which was pretty cool.

It’s not every day you get the opportunity to have Bart Yasso in town or on your podcast and I am glad that AIIA was able to get him on their show, because his journey is very much the same journey as many of the athletes in the program.

I am not going to give the story away — because I want you to listen to the episode. And, even if you have heard his story or read his book before, it’s still a great episode. One of the best AIIA episodes to date.

Give it a listen …


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I have probably talked up Drop 13 to death by now — and that’s okay — this is my blog. And, if you’re reading this you’re obviously still reading along — so I haven’t completely lost you.

But, I am really, really, really, really excited to be running down Big Cottonwood Canyon tomorrow. I ran 10.1 miles down the canyon last week — partly in preparation for this week — but also because I really, really, really love the canyon.

I have prioritized my goals for tomorrow — and they’re fairly simple. They are —

  1. Give my full effort.
  2. Finish between 2:35-2:45.
  3. Have fun.

My third goal sounds kinda phony — but, if I am not having fun running or chasing my goal then what’s the point of running? Seriously? I run because I love it and it’s fun for me.

But, with the way I have been feeling the past couple of weeks while on Whole30 along with my training, I feel good about flying down the canyon, especially in that 10 minute range. I don’t feel like it’s a stretch, but it will take some effort.

Eventually, I’d like to run a couple sub-2:30 half marathons before going for a sub-2:20 at Nebo. I feel confident about that especially as I continue improving my health and fitness. Odds are I am going to go beyond the 30 days of my Whole30. It’s not that hard — and I love munching on fruits and veggies anyways.

Anyways — while I am looking forward I am focusing on the task at hand, I want to do well while continuing to build my stamina while getting leaner.

But — really — it’s all about BIG COTTONWOOD OR BUST, BABY!


PAST DROP 13 HALF MARATHONS

This is my second time running the Drop 13 Half Marathon. Last year I made it a priority to run it because I love the course and canyon (I think I’ve explained that to exhaustion). But, since it’s the same day as the Utah Valley Marathon it’s been hard to choose between the two the years before.

But, last year the course held my year’s best time of 2:37:11 as evidence in my Instagram post from @joshruns180.


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It kills me not knowing exactly what my progress is with Whole30. KILLS. ME. All I know is how I feel and look has changed — for the better. I have more energy, less sugar cravings (almost none) and I feel lighter.

Not only that, but I’ve gotten a few comments from family members and co-workers about my weight-loss. That’s a good indication that there’s actual progress being made.

I hate guessing how much I’ve probably lost — because I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment when I hop on the scale. But, I’d probably put it somewhere between 15-20 pounds? So, calculations should put me probably somewhere around 263-258lbs–ish?

Again, I hate putting a number to it.

But, as I have mentioned before I am planning on doing another round after I finish my first 30 days next Thursday. I am going to fuel and eat as clean as I can during Ragnar, but I am not going to worry too much about it since I’ll be starting it with my sister the following Monday.

I just need to exhibit enough willpower to not just splurge. So, I’ll be packing plenty of bananas, grapes and apples with me — not to mention almonds and raisins. But, I am not going to worry too much about places like Subway where I can control my fats and dairy on the sandwich. 

Anyways — I love feeling a difference being made after the past couple of years of yo-yoing with my thyroid. I go in a couple of weeks to get things checked out again. So, I’d love to see what the doctor has to say about what’s going on within my body.


PHATGRAMS

What’s better than one stud muffin? TWO stud muffins! #chubbingtatum #elijees #prouduncle

A photo posted by Joshua Sn❆w Hansen (@josherwalla) on

I think I’m being followed by a Storm Trooper? #starwarsmobile

A photo posted by Joshua Sn❆w Hansen (@josherwalla) on

Can we take a moment and talk about tonight’s sunset? #utahsunset

A photo posted by Joshua Sn❆w Hansen (@josherwalla) on

Full of class even if he misplaced his bifocal and top hat. #chubbingtatum

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Well, I think this turned out great for both of us. #calliekoko #unclejosher

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on


FOR THE LOVE OF COOKIE BUTTER

I made this a couple of years ago — and periodically I rediscover it. It still makes me laugh quite heartedly. Oh for the love of Cookie Butter … give it a watch …


A photo posted by Runcast USA™ (@runcastusa) on

InstaReplay: Alpine Classic Half

So, I ran the Alpine Classic Half this morning — aptly named after Alpine, Utah … since that’s where the race was. I was sweeping the race — so I didn’t have any expectations on time or anything like that. Well, I lied — I was kinda hoping I wouldn’t be out there longer than 3:30 hours. But, you never know when you’re sweeping.

Anyways — I am not going to give away the whole race — I want you to come back on Monday to read my race report. Needless to say, I actually did come in under 3:30 hours — much, much better than last week’s Ogden Half — and — the weather was absolutely gorgeous.

But, seriously, come back on Monday to read the whole race report.

Here are a few pictures from the race —


I ran the Alpine Classic Half this morning. My first run and race since last week's Ogden Half. It was a tough week running wise, because I had some pretty bad chaffing. But, enough about that. This is a fun course. No it's not a canyon or downhill course. It's a technical course. Lots of hills, some different terrain and challenging in many, many good ways. It was the perfect follow up race to Ogden. No rain, hardly any clouds in the sky actually — it was perfect running weather. I fueled my run mainly with water and food — no gels (since they're not @whole30 complaint). So I mainly munched on some raisins and almonds mid-race. Energy levels were okay, I wasn't pushing the pace (since I was sweeping the course), but I tried to listen to my body as much as I could. I did finish almost a half hour less than Ogden — which I laughed about when I saw the clock. But, I felt strong and I'm feeling ready for my races coming up this next month. I'm hoping to see some steady improvement as I continue to lose weight and follow the @whole30 principles. #day11 #whole30 #running #workout #race #fitness #alpinehalf #ryrpacers @ryrpacers @utahrun @joshruns180 @josherwalla

A photo posted by Fight4Phat® (@fight4phat) on

I love my pacing family! #race120 #alpinehalf #ryrpacers #running

A photo posted by Joshua Sn❆w Hansen (@josherwalla) on

Sweeping is both a science and art. During the first 6-8 miles I usually don't interact much with the runners ahead of me. I also give them their distance. Knowing you're the LAST runner can be psychologically hard on a runner. So I just let them run their race. The last five miles or so I'll interact more and encourage them along. Those moments are often spent running or walking along side them — and more than likely they're either a first time racer or injured. So conversation is spent usually on non-running things. Especially if they're struggling. Some races have a hard time limit and some don't — I love the ones that don't, because it gives everyone on the course the chance to run their own race. Something I love being a part of as a @ryrpacers pacer. #race120 #alpinehalf #running #ryrpacers @joshruns180

A photo posted by Joshua Sn❆w Hansen (@josherwalla) on

Won't lie — tempted to use this as an impromptu aid station. #race120 #alpinehalf #ryrpacers #running @ryrpacers @joshruns180

A photo posted by Joshua Sn❆w Hansen (@josherwalla) on

Fight4Phat: Just searching for that ‘key to success’ in a sea of discarded keys

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Kind of an odd week. It’s (luckily) been a fast week for me. But, it’s just been kind of odd. Probably because I’ve been uber busy with a number of projects — recording podcasts, working on PrepperCon, the Bugout Run and running stuff — among other things.

I’m not complaining, but it’s just been a tad crazy. And, I am ready for a weekend. A fun weekend.

This past week I’ve been really focusing on my runs, workouts and food — and the frustrating part of all that? I gained like half a pound. My weight-loss efforts are really testing my patience here. It wasn’t more than 2-3 years ago that the formula to lose was fairly simple — and whenever I was consistent with my workouts I saw results.

There’s a part of me that wants to say, “well you are in your mid-30s” … but, I know there is so much to play with my testosterone and thyroid. I just wish it was balanced. I wish I had done my own homework when my doctor tried medicating both without considering how the one would effect the other.

I wish, I wish, I wish … but, that won’t change the past. Which I understand. I am where, where I am and that’s the only thing I can work on and change.

Anyways, I don’t want to rehash my frustrations. I feel like I do that enough. But, I feel the need to share some of those frustrations, because I know I am not the only one who deals with them. It’s also nice to know you’re not alone in these frustrations too. That’s why I do it.

But, anyways — I just keep searching for a way to work through it. I keep looking for the key to success — albeit while standing in a landfill of lost keys. But, I have enough faith I’ll eventually find the needed key. It’s just a matter of NEVER giving up.

Anyways — onto other things.

I’m excited for this weekend — since I’ve been spot on with my diet, my cheat meal this week is NACHOS! I’m going to Penny Ann’s Cafe in Downtown SLC for BREAKFAST NACHOS! Totally excited for that.

Probably more excited for the company — I’m going to breakfast with Cousin Em. It’s been a while since I’ve last seen her. What better way to come together over nachos, right?

Also, I’ve got a run planned — a movie night with Dave — and a few family birthdays as well. Oh, and my sister-in-law is having her baby shower tomorrow as well.

Lots going on — but, lots of fun.

And, the end of February is approaching — where is time going? My next half is May 7th — while that’s far enough away to get some better training in — it’s a couple months away now! I’m terrified and excited.

Anyways — HAPPY FRIDAY! HAPPY WEEKEND! And, of course — HAPPY RUNNING!


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This week — Schwendy and I talk about bugging back home when a disaster strikes while you’re at work or school. We ask — do you know how you’re going to get home? Are you prepared to hoof it back home? Do you have a bugout bug in your car? Office?

Do you know the best route home? What to avoid and what to prepare for? We touch on this and much, much more!


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Some of you may have seen my running memes on Instagram and Facebook this past week under the handle @my.run. This is a little project of mine — I want to celebrate running especially my friends and local running. So I am making running memes and posting them online.

Kind of as simple as that.

I am going to share them here as well throughout the week. Ideally, I’d love to share running pictures of my friends, but I’ve also grabbed some stock images and other fairly popular running pictures as well.

I hope you draw inspiration and motivation from the memes, that’s the intent. And, if you have some awesome running or even scenery pictures that you’d like to let me use — please shoot them my way!


THIS WEEK’S NUMBERS

COMMENTARY: Workout and mileage wise — this has been a great week. I’ve been watching my sugar and food intake. While I haven’t seen much change — like at all (welcome to my frustration the past two years). I am just keeping at it.

Right now the fight seems stationary. Because, well, it is. The fight is basically to stand still and not gain weight. Which is VERY counterproductive. And, very difficult to actually do. Luckily, I have an appointment to an endocrinologist in a couple weeks — and it can’t come soon enough. 

I just wish weight-loss/fitness was an equation as easy as x+y/z=SEXY JOSH. But, right now in my life — it’s pretty much trigonometry or some other kind of math that I don’t understand.

Anyways — I keep fighting and doing what I can, right? Answers will come. 

WEIGHT: 282.6 LBS.
BODY FAT%: 25.1%
BMI: 33.1
WAIST: 46.1″
ARMS: 16.3″
THIGHS: 27″


COMPARATIVE NUMBERS

BEGINNING (1/8/16)

WEIGHT: 277.6 LBS.
BODY FAT%: 25.2%
BMI: 33.1
WAIST: 46.4″
ARMS: 16.7″
THIGHS: 27″

LAST WEEK (2/19/16)

WEIGHT: 281.8 LBS.
BODY FAT%: 25.1%
BMI: 33.1
WAIST: 46″
ARMS: 16.25″
THIGHS: 27″

THIS WEEK (2/26/16)

WEIGHT: 282.6 LBS.
BODY FAT%: 25.1%
BMI: 33.1
WAIST: 46.1″
ARMS: 16.3″
THIGHS: 27″

THIS WEEK’S DIFFERENCE

WEIGHT: +0.8 LBS.
BODY FAT%: 0.0%
BMI: 0.0
WAIST: +0.1″
ARMS: +0.5″
THIGHS: 0.0″


Daily Shorts.fw

  • It’s a nacho weekend for me again — tomorrow I am trying out the breakfast nachos at Penny Ann’s Cafe. I am going with Cousin Em — my objective is to be non-objective mainly because her husband’s family owns the joint. But, if the hotcakes are any indication of what I get to look forward to — I’m in for a treat!
  • Running is such a mental sport — in fact, it’s really about 90% mental. If you believe you can do it … you can do it. The remaining 10% is usually ability, but honestly that 90% and some ingenuity can make up for that 10% — anyways, this is a great read from Runners World.
  • I signed up for the 13 Miles of Freedom Half Marathon this past weekend — it’s actually not on the 4th of July, but close enough — July 2nd. Since Canada Day is the day before I’m going to be carbloading for the race on pancakes with maple syrup. I would also add poutine — but, that’s probably advisable before a race.
  • The biggest thing to hit social media since George Takei — the new emotion buttons on Facebook were launched this past week. I like them. I know lots of people complained about the change (as they always do) — but it works. The only thing that need to add is a “rolled eyes” emoji reaction. There needs to be more of that on Facebook.
  • What is it about these “Damn Daniel” memes that I love so much? I mean really, it’s the stupidest thing ever, but yet — so endearing. Still — damn Daniel!
  • Oh geez, of course this would happen in minor league baseball — and in Albuquerque. Is it bad to admit that I might a Better Call Sal jersey?
  • What the what, what? Really? A bluegrass band of Natalie Portman look-a-likes? HA!
  • I love running/weight-loss stories like this — gives me the motivation to keep doing what I am doing, especially when my health prevents me to give everything. Every running/weight-loss story is awesome to me anyways — it takes A LOT to get to that finish line.
  • If you are going to get a new identity — why do so as a high school student? So bizarre.
  • Oh my heavens, this doesn’t help me NOT want a running dog — at all. I love, love, love this piece and feel like I would have a similar experience if I had a running dog.
  • The Everything Bagel Donut? Really? Good thing I’m on a diet. Okay, let’s be honest — I probably wouldn’t try it even if I wasn’t on a diet. It just sounds gross.
  • You gotta love Kayne rants — even when he’s remotely right. It’s the only reason why I follow him on Twitter. The guy is completely delusional — and full of himself.
  • And, then of course there are the Kardashian sisters who always make you feel better about how normal you are.
  • I am going on a ‘Man Date’ with Dave this weekend — and we’re going to a movie … Kung Fu Panda 3. I’m not ashamed to say that I am looking forward to seeing it. I love Kung Fu Panda.
  • FULLER HOUSE IS OUT TODAY ON NETFLIX!!! — but, I’m scared to watch it after reading this. Still, I am going to watch it out of pure excitement!

 

RACE #111: The Provo Haunted Half

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It’s hard to believe that this race is my second to last pacing gig of the year. I’m kinda bummed about that, because I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience I have had pacing and sweeping so many races this year. It’s really enriched my running experience. It’s taught me to (literally) slow down and enjoy the beauty that running has to offer.

Saturday’s race in Provo wasn’t any different. As I have mentioned before I love the Haunted Half races for a number of reasons — the first is probably how much of a party atmosphere they are. The fact that it’s a Halloween race naturally brings that kind of vibe along with it.

But, it’s also a celebration of the end of the racing season. All of the local marathons are pretty much done and these Halloween races just feel like a celebration of all the goals, achievements and accomplishments achieved during the race season. It’s really a great atmosphere, a fun atmosphere.

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Elsha and I always take a selfie together before each race we’re together at — a tradition of sorts. And, if you want to scar yourself for life check out Corey in the background.

This week was I was sweeping the course along with my friend Tim Gill. This was the third race we’ve swept this year — Jordan River Half, Legacy Midnight Run and this one. We’ve also ran a couple of races together — including my 100th race at the Handcart Days Half. And, that’s not including the number of races last year. Needless to say, we’ve ran together a lot — and we always have a blast.

Tim and I carpooled down to Provo the morning of the race and rode the bus to the starting line where we met up with a number of our friends while pouring over the few fire pits. It was cold, but luckily they had some hot chocolate to help temper that. Plus, I tried to move around as much as I could to keep from freezing. That helped some, but I kinda wished the race started earlier than 8:45am — especially considering we waited around nearly for two hours after the bus dropped us off.

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My RYR Pacing Family! Running and pacing with these peeps keeps me inspired!

Since Tim and were sweeping we hung back while the mass of madness moved past us across the starting line. It gave me a couple of extra minutes to pick up some discarded gloves (I love the race gloves they give you — SO WARM!) and watch everyone as they discarded their mylar blankets alongside the road. It really looked like the spoils after a Pop Tarts convention.

I brought along my bigger backpack for this race as well, because I wanted to pack it with the gloves and any discarded shirts or hoodies I found along the course. I actually did manage to find a nice blue hoodie, some head bands and a Domino’s Pizza shirt. I think of all the finds I was more excited about the Domino’s shirt. I have plans of walking into a Domino’s Pizza restaurant with car keys in hand to see if I can get a pizza delivery handed to me.

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Me and Timmy at Bridal Vail Falls down Provo Canyon. I think Tim thought this was an engagement picture, no?

The course pretty much follows that of the Provo City and Provo River Trail Half Marathons — it runs down Vivian Park, along the River Trail and then finishes outside of the canyon. Instead of finishing at The Riverwoods or Downtown Provo this course ends at the University Mall in Orem. It’s a beautiful course — I really like the Provo River Trail, it’s a great place for a race, especially running down Vivian Park.

The last couple miles of the race Tim and I helped pace in a couple of runners who were running their first half marathon. From what we gathered from them was that they thought they had signed up for the 5K and later found out it was actually the half marathon. But, instead of changing the race or backing out of it completely they decided to prepare for it about five or so week ago. You’re probably think that’s crazy — which is it, but really it’s crazy AWESOME! Mad props to the two for sticking with it.

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I (finally) got my Runtastic Trilogy medal for the year. I officially earned it last week, but picked it up this week. To earn the medal you need to run three of Runtastic’s half marathons. Blingy medal, eh?

In all this was another great experience. I will always love pacing and sweeping courses. Runners inspire me — always will. Each journey is individualized and personal — and epic in nature. And, I always come away from a race enriched and inspired from seeing runners accomplish goals, milestones and unrealized dreams.

Now the next couple of weeks is focused on the final preparations for my 50K on the 14th. I am all kinds of excited and nervous, but I know I’ve got what it takes to accomplish the task at hand and I know exactly where to draw the needed inspiration when I will need it.

But, first let’s get past next week’s Snow Canyon Half Marathon.


RACEGRAMS

General rule of thumb — don’t challenge a pirate to a drinking contest. But, today … I won. #prettymuchwaterboardedmyself

A video posted by joshua o. snow hansen™ (@kindaqwerty) on

Oh man, someone must have gotten into the Pop Tarts and eaten them all? #teampoptart

A photo posted by joshua o. snow hansen™ (@kindaqwerty) on

Swept @thehauntedhalf in Provo on Saturday. It was a great experience alongside @timmgill68 — we even got into a water fight along the way. I’m always in awe of the runners I pace at the back of the pack. It doesn’t matter how long they take, it just matters that they get there. There’s a life lesson in there. I’m running the Snow Canyon Half in southern Utah next before my first ultra the following week on Antelope Island! Excited and nervous. But, I need to remember what I’ve learned about sweeping by focusing on just getting there. #thehauntedhalf #race111 #running #provo #utah #ryrpacers #workout #fitness #health #wellness #hypothyroid #hypothyroidism #lowtestosterone #thyroid #weightloss #weightlossjourney @running180 @fight4phat @kindaqwerty @thehauntedhalf @runtasticevents @ryrpacers A photo posted by Fight4Phat™ 🏃🏻💨 (@fight4phat) on


NEXT RACE: SNOW CANYON HALF

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As I sit here shivering I am thinking two things — one, I should probably put socks on and, two, I can’t wait to run in St. George this upcoming weekend. It will be a short reprieve from the turning fall weather and I can’t be any more excited. Sure, the weather this fall hasn’t been THAT bad, but when you hate the cold you take advantage of these opportunities.

I am doing this race as part of my requirements for the St. George Runner Series. I have to run two Washington County-based races between now and April to guarantee my spot into the 2016 St. George Marathon (Oct. 1). So the plan is to run the Snow Canyon Half this weekend and then I’ll be running the Bakers Dozen Half Marathon on December 12th in Hurricane. So I’ll be done with my requirement for the Runner Series before the end of this year. SCORE!

I am going to be carpooling down to southern Utah with my friends Jason and Tammy Henry. I am excited, I love road trips with friends. Especially, when you haven’t gotten their life stories yet. And, there’s plenty of time for life stories on the way down — especially between Nephi and Cedar City.

Jason and I will also strategize for our 50K the following week — we’re both virgin ultra marathoners so we’ll definitely need a good strategy. So far our only strategy is to not get gored by a buffalo, don’t poop our pants and to not die. Admirable goals for an ultra on Antelope Island, right?

Anyways, I’m looking forward to the road trip, the race, the warmth and the red rock! Oh, how I love the red rock of southern Utah — but that’s a post for another day.

SNOW CANYON OR BUST BABY!


MONTHLY MILEAGE UPDATE 2015

Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 239.25 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 418.3 miles
2015 Race Miles – 400.5 miles
2015 Total Miles – 1058.05 miles
 
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 72.85 miles
March – 115.3 miles
April – 76.3 miles
May  97.4 miles
June  131.15 miles
July  101.65 miles
August  110.2 miles
September – 115.69 miles
October – 164.7 miles
November – 0.0 miles
December – 0.0 miles

THE UTAH RUNCAST: EPISODE IV

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If you haven’t caught the latest episode of The Utah Runcast — it’s just me and Jim. Jorge was suppose to come along, but he got stuck in traffic — so now he owes us Costa Vida.

But, we talk about our lengthy absence, the Layton Marathon Guinness World Record, a little bit about races coming up and how to find Jim a good first marathon.

Check out the episode here — found only the Podgoblin.com.


THE UTAH RUNCAST BECOMING RUNCAST USA

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Kind of a large announcement concerning the podcast. Episode IV was our last podcast known as The Utah Runcast — starting immediately we are becoming Runcast USA. We still have basically the same crew, same familiar banter, but in addition to talking about running in Utah, we’ll be expanding our audience and outreach. As much as we LOVE Utah, we don’t feel confined to just Utah.

This slight direction change will also enable us to better reach out to other runners and podcast guests nationwide. This also includes addressing and talking about national running news, happenings and races. We are in the works about doing a special Boston Marathon episode, running for charity episode, marathon training episode, food and running episode and MANY, MANY others!

It’s going to be awesome. And, a lot of fun.

We’ve been migrating our social media accounts over to the new name — so make sure you’re following us, so you won’t miss an episode. We’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We hope you are just as excited for the changes and slightly new direction of the show.

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WEEKENDGRAMS

With it being Halloween weekend there was A LOT of family time, especially with my nieces and nephew. They always crack me up, especially Miss Koko who is madly in love with Jimmy Chunga and basically wants to marry him.

These kids just make me even more excited for the two additions coming early next year. Here are just a few ‘grams from the weekend that was —

@jimmychunga how could you say no? LOL! #suchaflirt

A video posted by joshua o. snow hansen™ (@kindaqwerty) on

Despite what evidence may imply — she does play well with others. #shejustdoesntknowherownstrength A photo posted by joshua o. snow hansen™ (@kindaqwerty) on

Just got visited by a horse, wizard and candy corn. #thisishalloween #halloween2015

A photo posted by joshua o. snow hansen™ (@kindaqwerty) on

Um … I’ll take the trick. #hummusisnotforhalloween A photo posted by joshua o. snow hansen™ (@kindaqwerty) on

That’s funny the horse thinks it’s people. #haythatsacornyhorsejoke

A photo posted by joshua o. snow hansen™ (@kindaqwerty) on


MONDAY’S MOTIVATION

Fight4Phat: And, so it begins …

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Alright, let’s get this party started, huh?

To get an understanding of what this segment is, please refer to my first post from a couple weeks ago. Basically, it’s the name of my fitness Instagram account and I want to expand the concept and idea BEYOND the app. So, I felt my blog was a good place to do that.

I will be updating my weekly stats every Wednesday. This will include my weight, body fat and measurements. Basically to keep me accountable and to record the data. But, in addition I will share insights, diet/work tips and, of course, motivation. I really want this next 12 weeks (or longer) be as beneficial to you as it is to me. I guess in a way think of it as a journey we’re both taking together.

As noted above what I am launching starting next week is a 12 week program. It will run from October 12th to December 28th … basically New Years. I guess I should probably just say from October 12th to the end of the year. The objective will be to cut fat, lose weight and … as cliche as it sounds … feel great. It’s pretty simple.

Well, I wish it was that simple.

To combat the hypothyroidism and low testosterone I also will be focusing a lot on clean eating, especially on the tail end of the program. I want to clean out my diet as best as I can as to give my thyroid and testosterone the best fuel to work with. Those two things have been the most frustrating variables the past couple of years and I need them to work optimally for me to be able to reach my goals.

That includes my workouts and runs as well.

I need to set a goal weight and I am still trying to buckle down on one. I’d love to lose 30lbs. … or more? I know that’s vague. But, I am going to probably hold off on my 12 week goal until next week when I mark down my measurements, etc. I want to consult my trainer. And, I also might break it down between my first 4 weeks and last 8 weeks?

We shall see.

But, I am excited to start getting the ball rolling on this little journey! Here’s my four week kickoff programs. After the four weeks I’ll share my remaining 8 weeks with you … which I am still working on putting together.

And, to note, the below program is NOT my own. This is something I got from my trainer, Jason Muir. All credit goes to him.


FOUR WEEK KICKOFF EXERCISE PROGRAM

I’ve done this exercise program before … about three + years ago. And, it worked out pretty well. I lost about 30lbs. when I did it the first time. It’s pretty strict and that’s something I like about it. It’s not a long term solution by any means.

It’s a jump start program.

When I did this a couple years ago with my sister we did so as a support system. We went into it with the mentality that it was short term like we were preparing for a Hollywood movie roll. Don’t ask me why that, it was just worked for us.

We couldn’t cheat, we had to be 100% and if we slipped we held each other accountable. It really worked out well for us. But, because of how mentally taxing it was on us, we only did it for the four weeks. We tried, but it’s a program you do once in a blue moon.

But, with that said, here is the exercise routine. As you can see it’s a routine that you can really do at home. There’s no need for a gym or heavy equipment. Just you and your body weight.

Check it out …

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FOUR WEEK KICKOFF DIET PROGRAM

Of the whole program the food is probably the toughest. Not because of the preparation, but because it’s mentally taxing because it’s repetitive and it doesn’t leave much … if any … room for other options. Which is fine. Well, for the short term.

But, basically, you’re following the same routine for weeks one and three and then a slightly other for weeks two and four. So there’s some difference. Like I said, it’s for only the short term. Very manageable in my opinion.

The other thing about this nutrition plan is that it relies on preparation. You have to cook ahead. Especially turkey and sandwiches. This appeals to me mainly because I need to get back into the habit of making my meals the night before to save me time in the morning. I look forward to developing that habit off the bat.

Anyways, here is the nutrition diet plan …

28 day fat flusher men - food


MY ‘BIGGEST LOSER’ MOMENT

When I started my journey over five years ago one of the biggest things I had to overcome was the gym. I hated the gym. Not because I hated to workout necessarily, but because I felt that ALL the eyes were on me.

Fat me. Fat Josh. Fatty fat, fat Josh.

Going to the gym was extremely difficult for me at first. I was very self conscience about my weight and appearance. It was tough.

But, my trainer helped point out to me that they could care less. He explained that you don’t go to the gym because you’re in shape, you go to improve. This helped change my mentality … slowly, but surely.

As I continued to workout with my trainer I tried and tried to get past this mentality, because I knew it was having an impact on my progress. While my trainer was riding me hard during a workout … something clicked.

Something within me got it. Something within me didn’t care what others thought. I felt the weight, the literal weight, of my body around the person who I knew was inside me. It was kind of a surreal experience. At that moment I knew I wasn’t the person I thought I was and that I could and had to change.

I often think back to that workout and experience from time to time. I am grateful for it, because I have stopped putting so many limitations on myself. I often refer to it as my “BIGGEST LOSER” moment, because it really was a game changer for me.

And, because of that experience I’ve learned what it means to be a fighter and not care what I think others think of me. Because in the end, it really doesn’t matter. At all.


FAT PICTURES OF JOSH

Sometimes I like posting pictures of Fat Josh … just as a reminder of just how far I’ve come the past five years.

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WEDNESDAY’S FITNESS MOTIVATION