Tag: Halloween

RACE #166: The Haunted Half — Provo City

I am winding down on so much right now — not only am I winding down on my 2017 race schedule, but my 180 goal as well. This was my 29th race over 13.1 miles this year and fourth to last. That’s a lot of running. Then on top of that this is the 15th to the last race of my 180 race goal.

That last one is a harder one to process than this year’s race schedule. But, here I am running my 29th race of the year and 166th race of my 180 goal. It’s hard not to get somewhat sentimental at these races — especially the ones I’ve done basically every year.

The Haunted Half is one that I have rarely missed the past few years. That includes both the Provo and Salt Lake City races. These are some of my favorite races — from the courses, medals, t-shirts and overall experience. That was one reason I loved working for Runtastic Events during the time I did, because we focused on providing top notch quality for the runners and their race experience.

As difficult as it was stepping away from the race company, I was excited that I was able to run the races — especially the Nebo Half (my favorite) and The Haunted Half races. That also meant I was going to be able to EARN the Trilogy medal. I am sure if I was still working for the company I would have been given one, but that’s not the same as EARNING the medal.

It’s a really, really, really cool medal. The design it top notch, it’s HUGE and it’s heavier than most newborn babies (slightly exaggerating). Since I won’t be in town for the Thankful 13 I had to earn it earlier and this race was the final race I had to do for the medal.

So here I am.

Since this is a Halloween race, I was planning on dressing up. But, the banana costume I bought wasn’t really running friendly. So I had to improvise. And, by improvise I mean — take the laziest approach to my costume. I threw on my Greg Gregerson shirt and just went as Greg Gregerson. That was it.

Kinda lame I know. But, it worked. And, I didn’t have to worry about the logistics of costume. A costume I’m not sure wouldn’t kill me with excess chaffing? And, that’s something you don’t want to find out.

So, Greg Gregerson it was.

I know, you kinda wish you could pull that off, huh?

I didn’t have a time goal for this race. I’ve made the switched to an effort goal about a month ago as I work toward my 100 mile run in February. I really wanted a good effort with minimal walking. So if there was any goal — that was it.

A lot of the athletes from my Addict II Athlete team were running this race in honor of Carlee whom we lost earlier this month. It’s been a very emotional month for the team and this was a very emotional race as well.

A number of wore Carlee’s name on our shoes, some ran in pink tutus for Carlee and Don ran the whole 13.1 miles dragging Carlee’s “I Can Do Hard Things” tire behind him. It was a great tribute to her. It was a very emotional run for many of us.

I started off the run with Don, Russell and a number of the teammates. We all kept close to each other for the first half of the race. At the mid way point we kind of part and I ran the rest of the race with Zack and some of the Minor League team members.

Zack was slowing down a bit around Mile 9-10 and I ended up sticking with him for the rest of the race. As fast and downhill this race is, I forget that those last few miles are TOUGH! Around mile 10 the canyon is gone and the hills come out.

The worst of all the hills is the hill at Mile 12. People complain about the hill at Mile 10.5 of Run Elevated down Little Cottonwood Canyon, but this hill is much worse. It’s longer and — just brutal.

But, the good thing is that once you get over it the finish line isn’t too far away. But, oy! It was brutal (have I said that enough?).

The effort was there and once I got to the finish line I was done. I gave a great effort. I quickly grabbed my race medal and some water before grabbing my bag and Trilogy medal before leaving. I wanted to linger, but I was exhausted and really needed food in me.

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Luckily for me there was an In-N-Out less than a mile from the finish line. I was in heaven. Ever since I started my keto diet my favorite thing after a long run or race was an In-N-Out protein style, animal style burger.

Needless to say, it was delicious. Possibly life changing.

The focus now is this weekend’s races in St. George and Joshua Tree, California. As you might recall I am running both the Snow Canyon Half Marathon and Joshua Tree Half Marathon on Saturday. It will be a great challenge and training for my 100. Plus, there’s the whole part where I’m running my name.

I’ll have more on that later this week.


MY REMAINING 2017 RACES


Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 4.0 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 17.46 miles
TOTAL MILES — 34.56miles
Races This Week — The Haunted Half — Provo

October 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 33.69 miles
Race Miles — 52.4 miles
Walking Miles — 89.62 miles
TOTAL MILES — 175.71 miles
Races in September — (4) The Haunted Half – SLC, SoJo Half, Howloween Half, The Haunted Half – Provo

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 415.24 miles
Race Miles — 427.57 miles
Walking Miles — 1117.23 miles
TOTAL MILES — 1960.04 miles
Races done in 2017 — (30) 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, The Haunted Half – SLC, SoJo Half,  Howloween Half and The Haunted Half — Provo.


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RACE #165: Howloween Half Marathon

[CLICK HERE FOR MY SOJO HALF RACE REPORT]

After getting home from the SoJo Half I had an agenda — get some food and take a nap. Unfortunately, I only succeeded in one of those two. I didn’t get the nap I wanted. But, after some steak and eggs I was pretty much good to go for my second race.

This was the second time that I’ve done the Howloween Half. The last time it was held was back in 2013, but it was held in Provo and not Magna. But, with that said, I’ve done this course numerous of times, as it’s the same course as the Saltair Half. The race I did back in April.

But, I’ve never done this course in the dark.

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My goal going into the race was to fast/mall walk and to finish within four hours. The goal to fast/mall walk was to replicate my ultra pace on tired legs so I could gauge where I’m at physically. I know that sounds somewhat strange. But, with my injuries and health the past year my training has been somewhat shot.

And, the time goal was there only because I had to pick my Mom up at 10:30pm from the airport.

The race was rather small with about 30-40 runners. I like these races because there is a different feel to it. I love the chill atmosphere to Extra Mile Racing’s races. And, this race was no different.

I meandered out there and arrived about a half hour before gun time. With the casualness of the race I got my bib and shirt with ease. I waited until gun time to start, but I won’t lie — I wanted to start a soon as I was ready. Mainly, because I knew I was going to be out there for a while.

I didn’t know who was sweeping the course, but with my race plan — I knew I’d be hanging out with them for most — if not all — of the race. I was excited to see that it was my friend Jennifer Petrossi from my Addict II Athlete team.

And, we did the whole race together.

And, we had a blast.

We talked about life, keto, the Addict II Athlete team, more about life and even more about the Addict II Athlete team. This happens when you run with anyone. But, we were also out there longer than usual so we got life stories, diet plans (helps we’re keto freaks) and whatever came to mind. It was a lot of fun.

The race started around 6pm and we reached the turn around just as the sun set and we were left completely in the dark. I thought about bringing a head lamp. Heck, the prerace email stated I should bring a head lamp. But, did I?

Nope.

And, neither did Jennifer.

We tried using our phone flashlight, but it wasn’t really needed. The lights of the passing cars on the freeway provided some light. But, we really didn’t need to know where to run, because it was a flat paved frontage road.

With about three miles left to go T.J., Jennifer’s husband, came out to run us in. He had paced the 2:10 group and after he finished he came back out — crazy if you ask me. Funny when you realize I was in the middle of my own crazy.

I kept focusing on my pace and even though those last three miles were tough, they were tougher mentally than physically, which was encouraging. And, in a funny twist, that helped me mentally, because it gave me the confidence that I can do this crazy little 100 mile run in February.

As soon as we finished, we stopped and snapped a couple of pictures and then I just headed to the car. I gathered my belongings and just sat in the car for a couple minutes to gather myself. I started to ache and the stiffness of my legs settled in — it wasn’t fun.

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But, I made my journey to the airport to pickup my Mom, but in true Hansen fashion she gave me the wrong time. She came in an hour later than originally stated, so I started stretching in the car after popping a couple Aleve for the pain.

Once I got home it didn’t take long for me to crash after a quick shower and a small meal. I was dead. And, I was out within minutes. It was a long day, but worth all the pain and effort.

Now to do it again in a couple weeks.

Oy!


MY REMAINING 2017 RACE SCHEDULE


Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 8.0 miles
Race Miles — 26.2 miles
Walking Miles — 22.09 miles
TOTAL MILES — 56.29 miles
Races This Week — SoJo Half & Howloween Half

October 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 29.69 miles
Race Miles — 39.3 miles
Walking Miles — 72.16 miles
TOTAL MILES — 141.33 miles
Races in September — (4) The Haunted Half – SLC, SoJo Half, Howloween Half, The Haunted Half – Provo

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 411.24 miles
Race Miles — 414.47 miles
Walking Miles — 1099.77 miles
TOTAL MILES — 1925.48 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, The Haunted Half – SLC, SoJo Half and Howloween Half.


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The Runcast, E7; This is Halloween

The Josher goes solo for this episode of The Runcast and it’s our HALLOWEEN SPECIAL! Jam out with The Josher to some awesome Halloween inspired running songs. Also, listen to some rather horrific running stories and learn life lessons from that runner you’ve seen in all the memes that pooped himself. Yes, life lessons. That’s all on this episode of The Runcast!

Listen to the episode now at www.podbash.com, catch the Spotify playlist at http://spoti.fi/2kJMnJ4 and follow us on Facebook at www.fb.com/theruncast for the latest running news, episodes and race giveaways!

Remember to donate to the Out Run Cancer campaign with the Huntsman Cancer Foundation please click here >>> http://bit.ly/2tBqGKX

Listen to “The Runcast Episode 007 – This is Halloween” on Spreaker.


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RACE #135: The Haunted Half — Provo

After a week off from running and pretty much anything strenuous after my 50 miler, I hopped back into the saddle with the Haunted Half. This is my sixth Haunted Half (three in Provo and three in SLC) and I love these races. They’re always a party and just tons of fun. They’re a great race to cap off the racing season.

And, for the fifth time — I have also swept the course. In fact the only time I didn’t sweep the course was in 2013 when I ran the Haunted Half for the first time. And, as much I love both downhill courses in which I can fly down — I much prefer to sweep, because that’s where the real party is at.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

If I wasn’t sweeping this year’s course again, I am not sure if I would have ran it — mainly because of last week’s 50 miler. Then again as I am typing this, I’m totally lying to myself — I probably would still run it. I’d either go my pace or just joint the sweeping party in the back.

Anyways — my friends Jim and Jill — wanted to join the party and kind of see what it was like sweeping. They’ve heard about the number of races I’ve swept and really wanted to see if it was THAT much fun as I make it out to be. Of course I told them they could tag along (this invitation is out to anyone whenever I sweep).

Game plans for sweeping really vary according to the course and race. Some racing companies have very strict cut off times, some don’t and others are somewhere in between. And, this can vary even from race to race within the same race company.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

For instance sweeping Timp is much different than sweeping this race. Since we’re on public roads down the canyon in American Fork Canyon I have to be out of the canyon at a certain time. So my goal is to keep that pace and encourage runners who are behind that pace to keep up with me. If they can’t they’re bussed to the mouth of the canyon where they can resume the race.

Whereas here there isn’t a strict cutoff while in the canyon, because the majority of the race runs along the Provo River Trail where it doesn’t impede traffic. So the pace is less of a hard cut-off and more of “as fast as the slowest runner” approach. Which I like, because it gives you time to get to perfect strangers.

My plan for this race was to hold back after the gun time and let the masses go and then kind of fartlek the first 5-6 miles, especially since that’s usually the steepest part of the race. So most of the walking breaks would come when we caught up with the last of the runners ahead of us.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

When I don’t have to worry about a certain pace I don’t like interfering much with the runners. This is their race and I want them to enjoy it. I don’t like really letting my presence known until about the last half of the race if I can avoid it, because let’s be honest — no body wants to be caught by the sweeper.

I get that — I’ve been in the same boat. And, if someone says something to me, especially in the first half of the race I make sure they know I’m friendly and won’t sweep them off the course — and more than anything just want to be friends with them.

So the first 5-6 miles of the race was just spent fartleking along with Jill and Jim. And, we had a blast! Jim was dressed as Bat Bacon — and was definitely the life of the party. Cyclists, runners and walkers along the trail couldn’t help but smile seeing this giant piece of bacon dressed as Batman trudging along the trail.

A photo posted by Joshua Hansen (@fight4phat) on

We stopped for pictures along the way — many of Bat Bacon in superimposed snapshots — and countless others of the skeletons and signs along the course. Many in which we dressed up with some of our gear or anything laying around that might add to the picture op.

It was fun.

At Mile 6 I caught up with JessicaSue whom I paced at the Salt Lake Haunted Half last year. I suspected that at some point we would catch up. She was running with her husband and a friend. When Jim, Jill and I caught up with her she was starting to have some calf issues.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

We yo-yo’d between her and a couple of other runners, but around miles 8-9 we ran exclusively with her party. I was impressed with her resolve and attitude through those last miles — it was tough on her. But, after dealing with similar issues last year I could see how much stronger she was this year in dealing with the pain.

The conditions for the race couldn’t have been better either. The weather was perfect for an October race. Probably a bit warmer than usual and running in a one-piece jumpsuit probably wasn’t the best choice for me. But, it was what it was and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Jill and Jim were invaluable in helping JessicaSue and the party alone the course. Jim provided the music and comic relief while Jill brought her insight and perspective to help JessicaSue process and deal with the pain. They might not have been “official” sweepers, but they were every bit invaluable.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

One we were out of the canyon we had about three miles left and we just gutted it out. I was so proud of JessicaSue. It wasn’t easy. Even I was having issues with my legs around this point just from my 50 the week before. It was a lot of time spent on my feet.

But, the focus was simple — get to the finish line. And, we did step by step, mile by mile. It wasn’t easy, but we made it.

Tricia and the Runtastic crew were fantastic to us. They left the famous pumpkin arch up until we got to the finish line. And, we were greeted by ice cold water and food. I couldn’t have asked for better hospitality. They really put the runner first and made sure we all got the same treatment.

A photo posted by Josh Runs 180 (@joshruns180) on

It was great being able to pace JessicaSue again and do so with Jill and Jim. My legs were very fatigued, which I guess is kind of expected being out there on the course for over five hours. But, I tried keeping it into perspective — it was great ULTRA training for my race this weekend.

Plus, half way through the race I started fantasizing about ice baths and ibuprofen. So on my way home I took a pit stop to the gas station to get a couple of bags of ice and treated myself to painfully wonderful ice bath once I got home. Between that and the Ibuprofen it absolutely helped relieve the pain.

All in all, it’s another race underneath my belt, but it was also a great reminder to me on why I do this. I love pacing. It’s not always easy, but it is one of the most rewarding things about running to me. And, anything worth doing is never easy.

A photo posted by Joshua Hansen (@fight4phat) on

I knew it was going to be tough being my first run after my 50 miler, but it was great preparation for this weekend’s 50K. Not just physically, but mentally. I want to get one more run and another good workout this weekend before my race — and I feel like I’ll be okay for my race.

I mean, I know I can do it. I’m not worried about that. I’m just worried about having fresh legs.

But, the season is winding down. I have a couple more race before the end of the year and I plan on focusing on strength training in December and most of January before refocusing on running again. But, that’s all a post for another day.

YEAH RUNNING! YEAH PACING! YEAH HALLOWEEN!


136-buffalo-50k

I sometimes question my sanity. Okay, I often question my sanity. Well, okay, I always question my sanity. I mean who follows up a 50 miler with a 50K a couple of weeks after the 50 miler? Idiot runners that’s who.

And, as idiotic as it sounds — I can’t be any more excited. I love the longer distances. I love the trails. I love the challenges. I love the scenery. I love the community. I just love, love, love the goal and task at hand.

The goal is to simply finish like all of my races over 26.2 miles. But, I do want to do better than last. I ran the 50K in ten hours — I want to do better than that. I’m not in a position to say for certain if that’s going to be by a couple of hours or couple of minutes? I just want to do better than last year.

I will be running this by myself — well, without Tim or Jason. So I am not sure what that will do? It will be a good challenge for me and I am excited to just do my best and enjoy the ride. Is there anything else to it?

But, after this race, as I’ve mentioned before, I am planning on focusing more on the weight and strength training to give my legs some rest and focus on getting stronger so my training in the spring can be better. I feel like I’m in a good place and I can’t wait to balance things out a bit more even.

137 - thankful 13 138 - resolution run139-st-george



2667in2016

RUNNING MILES

251.55 miles

RACE MILES

368.98 miles

WALKING MILES

1254.83 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

1875.36 miles



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InstaReplay: The Haunted Half — Provo

The race season is slowly coming to a hault — and it’s fitting that it ends with one of my favorite races. I love the Haunted Half — it’s a gorgeous race down a beautiful canyon and just a lot of fun. Once again I’ve swept the course — this was my fifth Haunted Half I’ve swept since 2014 — that includes both Provo and SLC.

And, once again, I had a blast. I was joined by Jim and Jill for the entirety of the race and for the last half of the race I helped pace my friend JessicaSue to the finish line. I paced her to the finish line of the Salt Lake last year.

I had a blast and I’ll have a full race report tomorrow or Tuesday, but first, here are all of my race pictures …

We laughed heartedly. #race135 #thehauntedhalf #running @joshruns180 @fight4phat

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

HURTS. SO. GOOD. #icebath #race135 #thehauntedhalf #running #ryrpacers @joshruns180 @fight4phat

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

RACE #135: The Haunted Half (Sweeper), October 29, 2016. Once again paced and swept one my favorite races! This is my fifth time sweeping a Haunted Half race. It's always an adventure and it's always a party. @jvgabica and @jimgastelum joined me for the party as they wanted to see what this sweeping gig was like. Their character and personalities were much needed as we helped motivate runners toward the finish line. The last half of the race I was able to run with @back_the_blue. I paced her last year at the Salt Lake Haunted Half and can't begin to tell you how proud I was of her this year. She was joined by her husband and friend and she fought through a lot of cramping and pain, but SHE DID IT! She got herself to the finish line and finished her second half marathon! Being a part of moments like these and helping her along the course is why I love pacing. It gives me a complete different perspective than when I solely run for myself. #thehauntedhalf #runtasticevents #race135 #running #ryrpacers @josherwalla @fight4phat

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Frightmares 5K: Maya’s First Race

There’s a motto that I love living by. It’s simply, “Love what you do, do what you love and share what you love, with those you love.” I am sure someone probably said it before me. But, I believe that in that concept lays a key to happiness. Of course this doesn’t relate JUST to running, it’s true to any passion or love we have in our life.

Being the only runner in my family I’ve tried to share my passion with my family … a lot. I’ve gotten my sister out to run a couple of 5Ks before. Plus, I’m constantly inviting my siblings to run half marathons and marathons with me, but I get the look of “you’re crazy” a lot when I make that recommendation.

The invitation is always open and I’m always willing to train with them. Because the process of training and running a marathon is one of the most impactful goals one can make in their life. I saw that in my life and I’ve seen that with dozens of my running friends. And, I want my family — the people I love — to experience in that as well.

One of my brothers has a marathon on his bucket list, so I know one day he’ll do it. But, it’s not just a marathon I want to share with them, it’s running … period. Whether it’s a marathon or 5K, trail or road, race or pleasure — running is a lifestyle and enriches one’s life.

A photo posted by Joshua Hansen (@fight4phat) on

Besides inviting my parents and siblings to run with me, now that my nieces and nephews are old enough to not just run with me, but appreciate running — I am starting to share my passion with them. They get excited with the prospect of getting a race medal and t-shirt and running with Uncle Josher.

In July for my niece’s 8th birthday I bought her a race entry into the Frightmares 5K along with some running shoes and running swag. She was in the track and field club at school and would go “jogging” with her Mom during the summer. So I felt like this race was a perfect “FIRST” 5K for her.

And, it was.

Leading up the race she’s been really excited to run. A bit nervous too, because she’s never done anything like this before. Which is normal, I guess? She didn’t want to dress up for the race, so we decided to just go as runners. A perfect costume if you ask me.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

We met at Lagoon before the race. I got there about a half an hour earlier to pick up our packets and bibs. I watched the half marathoners set off while I waited for them. I also got to hangout with some of my friends as well from the Run4fun and AIIA groups.

Once my niece and my brother’s family got to Lagoon I gave her her shirt and we did a few warm up stretches. Before long it was time for us to run. Standing at the starting line I got a little emotional soaking in the moment as my niece soaked in the scene. I was so grateful being able to share something like this with her.

As we set out I gave her some instructions to make sure we won’t run into other runners and then we had it. She was at first nervous that I would leave her, which wasn’t the case. In fact, a few minutes into the race I was more nervous she was going to leave ME!

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

She is a natural runner. And, has a form that you can’t teach. Needless to say, I was very proud and jealous all in one emotion. But, within the first mile I also overheard a couple runners comment on how well she was doing. Those same emotions came back.

She’s a true natural.

One of the reasons why I picked this race to run with her, is because 2 of 3 miles of the 5K are ran inside the Lagoon Amusement Park. It’s a like Utah’s version of the Disneyland Half Marathon. You get to run inside of the park before it opens. I thought this would be PERFECT for a first race for Maya.

As we got into the park they had a number of the fog machines and decorations going including the Terror Ride audio blaring. Which I thought was a nice touch. We ran along the park terraces toward the Pioneer Village and through the town square. It was a lot of fun and gorgeous with all of the fall colors.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

I was waiting for Maya to hit a wall or something, but she kept running strong throughout the whole race. I let her dictate the pace and didn’t try to push her. I wanted this to be a fun experience for her.

As we ran past the Rattlesnake Rapids I started talking to Maya about the run and to always remember this, because of how running is a gift. I also shared with her a little bit about my journey. I told her that I had to work hard to start running because I wasn’t healthy and because of that I never take a run or race for granted.

I don’t know if that sunk in or registered with her. But, that doesn’t matter — that’s a lesson that will be learned over time. But, I wanted her to understand to let her passion for running to carry itself and to NEVER, NEVER take it for granted. I just wanted to enjoy the moment.

A photo posted by Joshua Hansen (@fight4phat) on

My heart was touched as we made our may to the finish line as she sprinted to the finish line in excitement. It was excitement to be done, excitement to get her medal and excitement to get ice cream. At that moment I KNEW she was definitely related to me. I couldn’t have been prouder.

Seeing her sister’s medal my nephew got the bug and wanted to do a 5K as well so he could get a medal and shirt. He was doubly jealous of her ice cream. But, the bug was planted. And, I promised him we would run a race sooner than later.

My brother and his family were in a rush to get back home for a few Saturday things, so after they left I discovered that Maya had won her age group. There were about 5 kids in her age group that ran the 5K, but she came in first around 37:30 minutes — some 6-7 faster than the 2nd and 3rd place finishers.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

So I took her medal home with me and presented it to her at home later that day. I was so proud of her and she just BEAMED from ear to ear after she got it. Especially since it was a gold medal. She didn’t expect or know anything about age group, etc. I was proud and happy for her to experience that.

This is a race I will remember forever. Running has been a very personal journey for me, but it’s also a journey I feel the need to share. Whether it’s with complete strangers, friends and/or family. This journey means nothing if I can’t share it with others.

Now onward to Pony!


134 - pony express trail 50

Welp, this is the week. This week, I am running my first 50 miler. People have asked me if I am planning on doing more. And, my response is usually … I don’t know, let’s see if I can survive this one.

For the past couple of weeks I’ve just wanted to get this race FINALLY under my belt. Part of it was being in the rhythm from my marathons and partly because I’ve really been hating the tapering. I don’t handle tapering that well.

It’s been an odd couple of weeks since St. George — and Huntsville as well. I’ve battled not just sickness, but I’ve also been feeling burnt out a bit. Which is pretty typical from what I’ve read among not just ultra marathoners, but marathoners as well. Plus, I just feel funky during the autumn months — the serotonin drops and I want to turn into a hibernating bear.

I’ll be giving my body some time off from running and focus on strength and circuit training after this weekend’s race. I am sweeping the Haunted Half in Provo next week and then I have my trail half on Antelope Island after that. Nothing too taxing, more relaxing than anything — which will be perfect.

Anyways — I am feeling a lot of the emotions I kind of expected. I’m feeling some nerves, some fear, some joy, some anxiousness and everything in between. Like I said before, I just want to run. I feel ready.

I feel ready not just from the training I’ve gone through in the past few months, but training I’ve gone through throughout my life. Because I know when it gets TOUGH I am going to have to draw on a lot of experiences of my past. Whether that’s from my experiences in high school gym class, running my first 10K, doing the Pioneer Trek as a 14 year old fat kid or doing the Personal Fitness merit badge.  I have a lot to draw from when I need to break through walls.

There is a lot more that I could ramble about and I’ll do that later this week. I am just ready to do this and see what comes of it. That’s what excites me most about this race, even more than getting my medallion at the finishing line.

There are lessons in everything we do.


With all that fun he’s having taking a bath we should have given him some dishes to do. #chubbingtatum

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

One day he’ll get these selfies down. #chubbingtatum #babyselfie

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on


2667in2016

RUNNING MILES

241.5 miles

RACE MILES

305.88 miles

WALKING MILES

1199.09 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

1746.47 miles

MILES TO GOAL

920.53 miles


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

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