Tag: happiness

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.

1,436 miles in 2017

Last year, I decided to go for a specific mileage based off of LIKES on a meme I made. Last year I promised three miles per LIKE and garnered some 889 ‘LIKES’ — which was WAY beyond what I expected.

Part of that was because I had a number of friends that posted the meme in a bunch of running groups. Which I guess is fair game — it just wasn’t expected. Needless to say, I fell short of the goal. Which I think I kinda expected because running 2,667 miles was overly unrealistic.

I tried to make that up by counting all of my mileage and I came within a couple hundred miles still. Still, it was a good challenge, because it was on my mind — pushing me to run and walk more. It was perfect motivation getting me trained and ready for my 50 miler.

So, despite coming up short — I wanted to do it again. So I shortened the mileage to two miles per LIKE. Even if I got the same 889 LIKES that would still be about a 1000 miles less than 2016.

So, I posted the meme last Wednesday and by Saturday night it garnered 718 LIKES. Which is 1436 miles. Still a very ambitious goal, but one I feel that is achievable and doable.

Crunching the numbers, I should have about 485-525 miles of racing. That includes anticipated 5Ks, half marathons, marathons and ultras. I don’t have my fall schedule locked down 100% so that could all change. But, I think it’s safe to say 500 miles is a good reliable number.

Then on top of that I have all of my Saturday training runs — including my 50 miler from SLC to Provo in March. I may also do another 50 miler of my own in October or November around Liberty Park — all depends if I run the Pony Express again. But, that’s all TBA.

So, that would leave me with a number of weekly runs somewhere between 2-5 miles depending on the time of the year. As well as running/training during my lunch hour — which I can do about two miles 2-3 a week.

A rough draft of that mileage would/should/will look like this …

ANTICIPATED 2017 MILES

RACE MILES — 500 miles
SATURDAY MILES — 275 miles
WEEKLY MILES — 375 miles
LUNCH HOUR MILES — 315 miles
TOTAL MILES — 1465 miles

When I crunch the numbers like that — it seems very doable. And, I like breaking it down like this, because it also encourages me to get out and be active at least a few times a week during lunch. It also makes the path to my goal more manageable and realistic when I break it down like that.

I could have more weekly miles, but that all depends on the time of the year. I am planning on 4-6 miles per week when I have a race on the weekend and then 10-12 when I do not. And, since I don’t have a lot of races in the latter part of the year — I could have more weekly miles. So I tried to balance that out on my estimations.

Anyways — the point — is to get and stay active this year. Not to mention meet my goal of 1436 miles. Something — that’s doable.

But, really, the more important goal is to reclaim my health and by focusing on minimizing the effects of my Hashimoto’s, I believe I will acheive that. Especially focusing on a balance of my running and strength training.

I am excited.

2017 is starting off with a lot of promise.


A photo posted by The Runcast (@theruncast) on

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



A photo posted by The Runcast (@theruncast) on

InstaReplay: Pony Express 50 Trail Run

It’s hard to put all of what I went through on Friday into perspective. Mainly because there was a lot that I experienced. Both of the highest of highest and the lowest of lows. It really was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done.

I am working on a more complete race report that I will post either Tuesday or Wednesday. I am taking a little bit more time on it, because it’s turned a bit more into a book than a race report. So there just seems like so much I want to cover.

Anyways, here are a few pictures I took a long the way …

Last minute stop go essentials. #ponyexpress50 #race134 #ultrarunning @joshruns180 @fight4phat

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Look who I found out on the course! #ponyexpress50 #race134 #ultrarunning @joshruns180 @fight4phat

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Private dance session, mile 30(ish). #ponyexpress50 #race134 #ultrarunning @joshruns180 @fight4phat

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

I wish I could adequately describe to you this moment. This was Mile 45. I was spent — physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and everything in between. My feet were excruciating sore. Every step was like walking on pins and needles. Even when I sat down on the back bumper of the car to refuel and rest for a moment that pain stayed with me. But, here, was one of the lowest of lows I've experienced not just out on the trail, but life. I'll explain more on my blog, but I was done. I was done. I was DONE. This was taken as I decided to switch shoes to see if that would help. It didn't. But, I knew I just had to keep moving forward as painful as it might have been for me. I took two steps forward after standing up and I just started bawling. And, in that moment of despair I muttered one of the most basic and heartfelt prayers of my life. I told God I couldn't do this alone and I needed someone to be with me. I needed this pain to go away or for me to be distracted enough it wasn't my focus. I got an overwhelming rush of peace that assured me I was not running alone and that someone was on their way. It was no more than half a mile that my friend Jed hopped out of a car and asked if I needed a pacer. I almost wanted to breakdown there again because he was an answer to my prayer. He was my angel. Jed stayed with me until the end, and I couldn't have done it without him. He was my answered prayer. I'll always be grateful for this moment because it taught me so much about suffering, pain, prayer, faith and friends. #ponyexpress50 #race134 #ultrarunning @joshruns180 @fight4phat

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

I PONY'D UP! Officially done. Well, I was done before I was done. But, that's what made being done done that much more special because I pushed myself past being done. Follow me? After months of training, weeks of marathoning and doing things I never imagined I'd be doing 5-6 years ago … I officially ran my first 50 miler! Is this a one and done thing for me? I can't say no, but right now it's a no. But, ask me again in a few months. I learned a lot about myself out there on the trail. I always knew I could do hard things, but I feel like I expand that limitation tenfold during the race. I learned how to process and deal with suffering. I learned that attitude can affect all of that and it's all by choice not circumstance. I learned so many life lessons out there that I've written down to share later on my blog. But, I'm done! I'm done! I'M DONE! #ponyexpress50 #race134 #ultrarunning @joshruns180 @fight4phat

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

I DID IT! I DID IT! I DID IT! I'm still processing all of what I just did and most of that will come in a more detailed race report on my blog later on. But, that was one of the toughest, inspiring and most rewarding things I've ever done. The course was full of ups and downs both physically, emotionally and spiritually. If it wasn't for Tim Sedgley crewing me every 2-3 miles I would have been a deadman. And, the miles spent with dear friends Coach Blu, Jed and Jill were nothing short of divine. Gratitude for their part in this cannot be sufficiently communicated in words. They were my angels. I will cherish every moment of this race. I had some beautiful highs and some lowest of lows. And, I relished in that, because I constantly reminded myself that I CHOSE THIS! I could have done anything else with my day, but I chose to experience EVERYTHING I had ahead of me. And, I have a deeper appreciation for many things in my life because I CHOSE TO DO THIS! I am exhausted physically, mentally and spiritually, but I'm smiling. I'm proud of myself … I'm proud of my effort, I'm proud my resolve and I'm proud of every single footstep taken by everyone out there that chose to do this. I have so much more to say in much more detail. Watch for my race report. But, I did it! I DID IT! I DID IT! I DID IT! #race134 #ponyexpress50 #ultrarunning @josherwalla @joshruns180

A photo posted by Joshua Hansen (@fight4phat) on

RACE #130: Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon

Marathons are tough. They’re such a different beast compared to other distances. That’s why I’m in awe of those who can go out there and do one every weekend. I do one and it just takes everything — and I mean EVERYTHING — out of me. But, oh how I love them.

I remember when I sign up for my first marathon (July 2012) I thought it was going to be my first and only. Then I got into the St. George Marathon via the lottery. Then, I signed up for the inaugural Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon because I wanted to qualify as a Marathon Maniac. And, by the end of the 2012, I was a three-time marathoner. Trust me when I say — I didn’t expect that going into the year.

It took me another year to run my next marathon. But, I spent 2013 just running half marathons and working on my speed. Which isn’t a bad thing. I just needed a break and I wanted to focus my goals elsewhere.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

After running three marathons in 2014, I would have spent 2015 and probably this year just doing half marathons, but my goals have gone beyond the marathon. First with becoming an ultra marathoner last year after tackling a 50K and then this year training for my first 50 miler. I’ve used my marathons the past two years basically as training runs for my ultras. How many runners can say they get a fully supported training run with a medal and shirt to boot?

The past couple of years I have swept the Revel BC Marathon to aid my ultra training. Sweeping a marathon is excellent ultra training, mainly because you’re on your feet for hours! Last year I finished in 6:45 hours or so. And, I was expecting about the same again this year.

It’s a tough course to sweep because for more than half of the marathon you just want to fly down the canyon and then in the second half you just want to be at the finish line. But, for as long as you’re out there on the course you’re beyond supported by the race. Revel is truly a top notch organization. Whether it’s the support van or volunteers cheering on the last few of us runners — they do it right. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to come back and sweep the course again.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Well, there are many reasons beyond the organization and training miles. There’s the whole canyon, the downhill course and numerous friends running it as well. I’ve fallen in love with this marathon since it’s inaugural race and never plan on missing it because of all those factors. In fact, this is their fifth year and I got a special mug for being a “Legacy Runner!”

And, that’s something I am very proud of — not just in the title itself, but what it means to be able to run all five years. That’s a lot of training and effort. I’ve run four of the Revel BC marathons and one half and each race means a lot to me, because I’ve had some remarkable moments at this race. None other greater than running with Jill during her first marathon back in 2014. That moment still brings a tear to my eye.

So being a Legacy Runner means a lot more than a mug and special bib to me. It’s about the training, effort and memories I’ve had with this canyon and race since 2012. This race and canyon inspires — and that’s why it’ll ALWAYS be on my race schedule.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

But, anyways — to the race.

On Friday evening I met up with Jill and Mark to met up with some friends from New Hampshire for a pre-race dinner. They flew in for the race to not just run it, but to FINALLY meet us in person. We’ve been Facebook friends for quite a while, but just never met in person yet. I’m glad we changed that, because David, Stephen and Nicole were everything we expected … and more. It was a great evening.

I carpooled down to the marathon with Tim the morning of the race. It was an early wake up call — 2:30am is just so ungodly. But, I got some caffeine down me and was ready to go. I didn’t have a lot of nerves building up to gun time, because I knew what to expect. I knew it was going to be a long day. I knew I was going to hurt. I knew I was probably going to get some kind of awkward sunburn.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

But, I looked forward to everything else. The time spent with my sweeping partner Chanda, the time spent with once strangers and many other adventures. That’s the beauty of not just sweeping, but running. No matter how familiar the course may be — the journey is unknown until you trek it.

After waiting for most of the runners to cross the starting line so we could use the bathroom without a line, Chanda and I started off the race meandering down the canyon looking for some blankets to keep up warm. Guardsman Pass is pretty chilly and we were frozen so the discarded blankets were a nice gift for a couple of miles.

We didn’t really run into other runners until about mile four as we looped around Solitude before making the long descent down the canyon. That’s when I met Natasha — she was running her first (and she claims only — I still don’t believe her) marathon. We started talking and we ended up running most of the race together.

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

A little further down the canyon — we ran into my friend Nick and he joined our party as well. We had quite the party going on. We had a few marathoners that came and went, while others stuck with us throughout most of the race. And, we had a blast.

About half way through the canyon I (FINALLY) got to meet Larry Macon — one of the many legendary Marathon Maniacs. He was running his 1757th marathon that day. Yes, you heard that right — 1 – 7 – 5 – 7. Amazing. And, such a humble guy about it too. Larry and I talked for a quite a while about our journeys and love for running. We talked about the places you’ll go when you just focus on putting one foot in front of the other.

I could probably write a book about the depth and conversation that Larry and I had during the race.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

During our run down the canyon, Chanda and I focused on not just bringing everyone along the course, but getting us to the mouth of the canyon. There was a four hour cut off before the support van would pick you up and drop you off at the mouth of the canyon or wherever us sweepers were.

I wanted to avoid that as much as possible and for the most part we kept everyone out on the course. We had to maintain a 13 minute mile to hit the cut off time at Mile 18 — where the mouth of the canyon was. Once we got out of the canyon it was basically home free. We still tried to maintain a 13 minute mile so all our aid stations were supported, but the goal was to just get everyone to the finish line at that point.

The hardest part of the marathon is definitely the four-mile out and back right after you exit the canyon. You’re on cloud nine at that point after 18 beautiful canyon miles — and then — it’s flat with hardly any shade. It’s tough, I won’t lie. And, not only that, you confront the “Mile 20 Wall” on that stretch as well. It seems like everyone ahead of you on that stretch of road is going in slow motion.

I’ve really learned to hate that out and back.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

But, once you head back towards the mouth of the canyon around Mile 22 hope is regained as you know you’re on the home stretch. And, like I’ve done in year’s past — I once again stopped for a Mile 23 Slurpee at the 7 Eleven on Ft. Union and Wasatch. It is seriously the best decision to make at that point not only in the race, but in life. The Slurpees gives you a jolt of energy and cools down the core to make the last three miles bearable — and give you a second wind.

After getting my Slurpee and a few ice cold waters for some of the other runners — the race started pulling on course support. I knew it was coming and that’s one reason I bought the waters (along with bringing some with me in my backpack) so I wasn’t too worried. Plus, there were plenty of other gas stations along the way — if things got dire. We just had to stick to the sidewalk.

During the last couple of miles, Chanda and I were joined by three others. I took one group ahead while Chanda walked in with the last marathoner. They were starting to tear things down, but thankfully kept the finish line up until Chanda came in with the last runner. A great sign that Revel is ran by runners. They understand the importance of the finish line.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Even though we were the last runners to cross the finish line, all of the volunteers stopped working on what they were doing and greeted us enthusiastically at the finish line. This sweet volunteer who handed out the medals made me laugh when she asked me if I did the marathon or half marathon. I wasn’t sure if she was joking, so I just jokingly replied — “I sure hope it was the marathon!”

It made her laugh.

I didn’t get much time for the accomplishment to sink in before I hurriedly went on the search for my drop bag. I stayed long enough to share sweaty hugs with the finishers and Chanda before beelining it to the car. It was nearly 2pm and we had a 3pm flight to catch to Jackson Hole for dinner with some friends. So it was mad dash to shower, eat and recoup.

A photo posted by @fight4phat on

But, on the plane ride to Jackson everything started to sink in. Not just the soreness in the leg, but what I had accomplished and those I helped accomplish. Marathons are not easy regardless of your pace. And, one could argue that a 7 hour marathon is a different kind of tough — not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually.

Marathons require a lot from you — and repeatedly so. There are many walls to break through, many mind games to be played to keep you going and a lot of faith to just put one foot in front of the other. I am proud of everyone who sets out to tackle the distance, because you’re never the same person when you stand at that finish line.

Not only did I come away with these lessons last Saturday, but I came away from the race with a renewed excitement for my 50 miler. I know it’s going to be hard. I know it’s going to be exhausting — both physically and emotionally. But, I also know I have the capability to dig deep and keep moving forward.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

I wish I could jump on that trail now and tackle those 50 miles — but, I still have plenty of training miles ahead of me. I’ve got my marathon in Huntsville this weekend and then of course the St. George Marathon in a couple of weeks. And, let’s not forget the Red Rock Relay, Frightmares 5K and the AIIA Team Relay as well.

I am hoping to come away from each those races and experiences with similar lessons from Saturday’s marathon. I am sure I will. Especially if I keep my eye open for them, I’ll find them.

I just got to keep moving forward.


131 - huntsville marathon

In preparation for my 50 miler, I decided to sign up for the Huntsville Marathon a week after the Revel BC Marathon. I’ve never done two marathons within 7 days of each other. I’ve done two in 14 days (Revel Big Cottonwood and St. George in 2012) and that was stupid. So two in 7 days? I’m going to be hurting.

But, that’s the point. I’ve got to get used to the fatigue — and push through it. Going through fatigue training and just being on my feet is some of the best training I can do for my 50 miler. So that’s why I’m doing Huntsville this weekend.

I am kind of excited about this course. It’s a fast course and pretty much downhill the whole 26.2 miles. That will keep me going in the later miles. Yet, another reason why I chose to run Huntsville. You’ve got to love a course that allows gravity to help you along the way.

My original game plan was to go out on a half marathon pace for the first 13.1 miles to beat up my legs for the second half. But, I think I might change that? After my race weekend I felt the need to just bust out. But, since I was pacing and sweeping the course I had to restrain. I want to test myself and just let go and run.

But, I’m not sure if that’s a good decision or not? Either way, it’ll be tough and some great training in preparation for this 50. And, if all else fails I’ll just focus on getting one foot in front of the other. And, that should make St. George a lot of fun if that’s the case.

Isn’t running such a great adventure?!

PONY EXPRESS OR BUST, BABY!!!

132 - st george marathon 133 - park city red rock relay 134 - pony express trail 50


2667in2016

RUNNING MILES

223.0 miles

RACE MILES

235.3 miles

WALKING MILES

1069.83 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

1528.13 miles

MILES TO GOAL

1138.87 miles


12788035_1688827578069562_373889742_n

This is an awesome episode of Addict II Athlete’s podcast. We’ve heard Coach Blu interview a lot of the athletes, but he’s turned the mic around and is sharing story. Amazing, amazing, amazing.

One of the reasons why Coach Blu can reach and touch so many lives is because he can offer something very people can offer — empathy.

Don’t skip this episode of AIIA — trust me. Give it a listen …


Sweeping the @runrevel BC course. Not an easy task! Sure, it’s a party. But, we had to make sure we hit our pace in the 18 canyon miles, but then bringing everyone in between miles 18-26.2. It’s extra important to me that everyone finishes, especially when it’s a marathon. Many times I’m running with newbies and the last thing they should feel is discouraged because they’re one of the last to finish. Marathons are tough! They’re tough! And, I love watching then finish what they started. It inspires me. But, you never know who you’re going to meet, who you’re going to inspire and more importantly … who’s going to inspire you! It’s hard to say no to sweeping a marathon course, because it’s life changing. I know that sounds cliche, but it’s truth. You get to know a lot, about a lot of people, you get the opportunity to help many achieve unrealized dreams and you get share your love for running. See, that’s why sweeping a marathon is a misnomer. It’s not a walk in the park. It’s still 26.2 miles and it’s still work, but … SO REWARDING! #race130 #runrevel #bigcottonwood #running #pacing #sweeping #runyourpace #ryrpacers #fitness #runspiration #goals #health @josherwalla @joshruns180 @runrevel

A photo posted by @fight4phat on

Josher, you just ran 26.2 miles, what are you doing next? I’M GOING TO JACKSON HOLE! #jacksonholebound

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

That’s either a forest fire or the world’s largest smoke signal. Someone call Guinness. #jacksonholebound

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

My two loves got married. Candy + Bacon. #alwaysandforever #candybacon

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

After yesterday’s marathon this is basically “The Stairway to Hell” #ispeakonlytruth

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on



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

Post-Whole30: Paleo 80/20

It’s been over a week since I ended my three-month Whole30 journey. I was hoping to jump right into the next stage, but I put that on pause while I was fighting a cold. It seemed a bit foolish to start it 100% when I was sucking on Gatorade, cough drops and chicken soup. Not really what I was planning with my post-Whole30 regime.

Don’t worry, I didn’t go completely off the wagon this past week. I obviously had a free day on my birthday — cake included. And, for the most part I stuck to my Whole30 regime this past week. I had to force my liquids with this stupid cold. Especially during Saturday’s run down Big Cottonwood Canyon. Something in retrospect I probably shouldn’t have done.

Meh.

Needless to say, I wasn’t following the Whole30 strict regime. I added some whole grains and lentils back in my diet along with trace amounts of cheese. And, I did have a post-run Slurpee on Saturday. All of these are BIG no nos for the Whole30 program. But, I kept away from the candy and most refined sugars — I just don’t want to go back there, at all.

But, in moving forward from the Whole30 regime — I am planning on following a lot of the same rules … with some adaptation. In looking over the Whole30 program and what’s worked for me in the past, I came up with a program that I am going to try for the next month. Again, I was going to start this August 16th, but due to my cold I decided to start when I was at least 85% better.

Which today seems like a good day to start. Actually, any day is a good day — except for Mondays. I don’t start diets on Monday. It’s too cliche. I didn’t start my fitness journey on a Monday — it was actually a Thursday. So why wait, right? But, that’s a post for another day.

So the plan for the next month is fairly simple. I’m sticking to the Whole30 diet with a 80/20 mentality. While working on the diet plans — I called the diet Whole24/6, but really it’s just following an 80/20 paleo diet — if you want to get technical. So, I guess we’ll call this the Paleo 80/20 diet?

Regardless of what you call it, here are the basic rules …

1) Follow the basic rules Whole30 for 80% of my meals throughout the week (this breaks down to 32 meals throughout one week).
2) Get eight “exception meals” throughout the week (that’s 20% of my weekly meals)
3) Refrain from gluten and dairy throughout the program — including exception meals (during Whole30 I discovered these are triggers to my thyroid).
4) Run three times a week.
5) Do weight-training 2-3 times a week.
6) Weigh-in every 30 days.

The rules are fairly basic and straightforward. And, that’s by design. That’s one thing about the Whole30 that I loved and appreciated. It’s not easy, but it’s simple to follow.

The only “complicated” feature of my program is the “exception meal.” And, it’s something that I’ve been grappling with for the past few weeks. Mainly, what constitutes an “exception meal” and how do you regulate that?

So I came up with with a fairly simple point system. Each week (beginning on Monday) I am given eight points, which represent the right free meals I get each week. I get to use these points however I choose throughout the week.

Now each point equals one exception to the Whole30 program. Meaning — anything on that no eat list is one exception. So this would be dairy, cheese, gluten, bread, pasta, smoothies, beans, processed food, refined sugar, added sugar, honey, sweetener, etc., etc., etc. You know the rules.

So this means — if I want something that has beans in it … that’s one point. If I want to add cheese to that dish that’s another exception point. So that meal constitutes two exception points. Now, this doesn’t mean I can eat as many beans or cheese in that dish as I want. Each exception point is ONE serving that exception. So if I want more cheese — that’s another exception point I would have to use.

Now, if I want to use those exception points daily I could do that or I could save it up for a bigger meal during the week. But, it will take planning. If I want nachos — I gotta plan for that. Especially if that means I sacrifice exception meals during the week. The decision is up to me.

See how the exception points are somewhat complicated — yet easy?

The goal with the exception points is to keep me honest, accountable and cognisant with what I am eating. As much as I loved and succeeded with Whole30, I don’t feel like it’s a long term solution. There has to be variance, there has to be wiggle room.

I’ve read a number of studies and reports that show an 80/20 approach to dieting and health makes for better long term success. And, from my experience I agree. This system I believe will give me that approach with great accountability. I respond well these approaches to my health.

This is for everyone? Of course not. Does it make a paleo based diet easier? I would hope so. I see a lot of value in following a paleo based diet. You can’t beat real food. As delicious as a big ‘ol fatty burger with fries is, nothing beats following a habitual diet of real food. Not only do you appreciate those burger and fries more, but often than not — you really don’t crave them as much either.

I can’t tell you how much I love my daily doses of fresh fruit — bananas, grapes and apples — along with veggie-filled omelets or salads. That’s the food I crave. I am not looking to replace those with this system. But, at the same time, I want to be able to enjoy the occasional Slurpee without feeling like I’ve busted the diet to kingdom come either.

There’s a balance to all of this and I am excited to see how my body reacts to this all. I guess you could say I am my own guinea pig to this program? No better person to do that than myself, right?

So here goes nothing!

NOTE: I will continue to check in every Friday of my progress. But, I won’t be weighing in next until September 23rd (30 days from now). We’ll see how this goes!


RRR-20-coupon


weight-training-progression-main

One perk of working at the University of Utah is that they have a number of professional development and fitness classes that they offer for fairly cheap. I’ve been working here full-time now for four years and, sadly, haven’t taken advantage of any of these classes — until now.

With the start of the semester this week, I decided to change that. Since it’s been hard for me to get to my gym before or after work (last class is at 6pm) because of the bus schedule, I decided to workout here on campus. Well, I should say — I signed up for a class here on campus.

I enrolled in a strength training class that goes from 5:25pm to 6:30pm on Monday and Wednesday nights. Which gives me enough time to catch the last bus of the day at 7pm. Not a bad deal.

I had a couple of options for classes, but I chose to go with strength training, mainly because — that’s probably my biggest need fitness wise right now. I’ve been doing circuit training with lighter weights, but I need to lift heavier. My body not only needs it, but it craves it. My arms are a bit squishy and rival those of half of my ward’s Relief Society. Yeah, I went there.

Anyways — the class starts tonight and runs until the first week of December. Depending on how this all goes I want to continue to do this, because each fitness class is only $50 a semester. Not bad at all.

So as of right now my workout schedule for the week looks something like this …

MON. — Strength Training
TUES. — AM Circuit Training / PM Tempo/Recovery Run
WED. — Strength Training
THURS. — AM Circuit Training / PM Tempo Run
FRI. — Rest Day
SAT. — Long Run: Training or Race

Not a bad schedule. I am excited to see the results each month and during on the last day of class. Suns out, guns out — right?


REMAINING 2016 RACES

129 - Run Elevated Half Marathon 130 - Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon 131 - huntsville marathon 132 - st george marathon 133 - park city red rock relay 134 - pony express trail 50 135 - haunted half provo 136- snow canyon half marathon 137 - thankful 13 138 - resolution run


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

#FitnessFriday: On the homestretch of my second round of Whole30

It’s been an emotionally strange week. Obviously the high point being the 4th of July on Monday. After that — it’s kinda progressively gotten worse. And, the low point (hopefully) being what happened in Dallas last night. My head hurts. My heart hurts. My being hurts.

I’m not a very political person — mainly because I don’t believe politics today (especially in our country) don’t represent our best interests aaaaaaand do nothing to unite us as a country. But, that’s a post for another day that I’ll probably never write.

But, what’s happened in our country the past few days isn’t about politics. As much as many have tried to make it such, it’s not. It’s about life. About respecting every life. Black, white, brown, blue, etc., etc., etc. Whatever you want to “label” it. All lives matter, because we’re all brothers and sisters.

I just wish — no pray — this doesn’t further divide us. The fabric of what makes America great has already been weakened time after time. Moments like week need to unite us. We need to come to the table with compassion, understanding, respect, love and sympathy. Especially empathy where possible.

I don’t want to see this country divided anymore. It shouldn’t be. It can’t be. I hope we use this past week as a testament that real change is needed and wounds, emotional and physical, need to be healed together.

I still believe in America. I still believe in this country. I still believe in people. Now is the time to come together.

Anyways.

As you can tell that’s been on my mind a lot — especially the past 12 hours or so. I had to stop running because it just made me sick to watch the news. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t move.

I made up for that run this morning with a good three miler. It was an emotional run, mainly because of everything on my mind. I am glad I have running in my life, because it’s a great “ME TIME” exercise that I can do to get lost in thought.

Mainly so I can think things out and process them. I did it when my Mom was diagnosed with cancer, again when my Aunt and Grandma passed away and whenever I need to get away. Running really is my therapy and equalizer.

I haven’t had as large of a running week as I wanted. I had a strained calf that was giving me problems earlier in the week so I rested it a couple of days. And, then I had a family obligation on Wednesday night. I’ll have a good 5-6 mile run tomorrow morning and then a high mileage week next week around 25-30 miles.

At least that’s the goal. I might want to push 35-40 if I can. But, we’ll see how I feel, especially with the calf. I am not too worried about it. But, we’ll see.

The one thing I am really looking forward to this weekend for is my niece’s baptism. I am so proud of her, it’s been fun watching her grow into the young lady she is now. She is one of the sweetest, kindest and smartest kids. I love her to pieces and I can’t wait to be a part of her day tomorrow.

Anyways — have a good weekend. Be safe. Have fun. Especially all those who are running all the races out there. I am jealous. But, I’ll be where I need to be.

Plus, I have the Utah Midnight Run next Friday night — so I can’t be too disappointed, right?

HAPPY WEEKEND! GO RUN!


12788035_1688827578069562_373889742_n

The success of the Pod Bash network has been pretty amazing. And, yesterday the server crashed because of the demand and views. A pretty good problem to have, right?

Anyways — the AIIA podcast will be out a bit later this afternoon. I’ll make sure to post it here and on the Runcast USA Facebook page as well. But, I apologize for the delay. But, really, thanks for listening! It’s been amazing to see the numbers for the AIIA podcast!

[LINK COMING SOON]


ParkHoppers

I posted this on Monday, but I’m sharing it again — JUST — in case you missed it. But, I was a guest on The Park Hoppers Podcast this past week talking about RunDisney races, Dole Whips and my overall Disneynerdness. It’s a pretty fun episode.

You can catch The Park Hoppers every other Sunday on PodBash. And, if you’re a Disneynerd, like myself, you will not want to miss it. Give it a listen here …


PHATGRAMS

Consider myself impressed. #chubbingtatum #impresseduncle

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Who needs fireworks to end the 4th when nature already ended it perfectly. #4thofjuly #sunset

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

It’s been a tough week run wise for me. I didn’t run as I wanted to on Tuesday or Wednesday due to some family obligations and a strained calf I wanted to rest. Then last night my only excuse was I was glued to the TV watching the events in Dallas unfold. I just felt sick. Not just for the officers, but the families and nation as a whole of what’s been going on the past couple of days. But, this morning I determined myself to make up for that lack of a run. And, I did a three miler on the treadmill — not as fast as I wanted to (the calf was still a bit tender), but it felt good and gave me sometime to process my feelings and emotions. It just saddens me that we are a nation so divided. I can’t help but think of those words echoed by Abraham Lincoln over 150 years ago. We can’t stand like this. We’re better than this. 😥😥😥 #prayfordallas #prayforamerica #prayforhumanity #prayandgettowork #running #fitness #workout #5K #whole30 #round2 #day22 #diet #exercise @fight4phat @josherwalla

A photo posted by @fight4phat on


fight4phat-1

I have about a week left until my next weigh-in. As you are probably aware of — I am in my second round of Whole30. I lost 17.8lbs. during my first round — and this round? Not sure? I feel like I’ve probably lost another 5-10lbs? I don’t know? I feel like I am lowballing that, but I don’t know?

And, I don’t know if I care either?

Why don’t I care? Because I know how I feel and look in the mirror is different. I have more energy than I did a month and a half ago and I feel great. It’s not hard to see the difference when you look at pictures from a few months ago to now.

I posted one above from a race in March next to last weekend’s 13 Miles of Freedom. It should be noted that my brown shirt in that picture is a 2XL shirt and the white one is a XL. And, I’m pretty sure I am not sucking in my gut in that picture from last weekend either. I think?

I can’t tell you how great it feels to have found a solution to my thyroid issues. It’s been a tough two years. I’ve tried everything — or dang near everything. I’ve gone to doctors, tried diet after diet and at times lost hope. I felt like I was going to have to deal with gassed out thyroid the rest of my life.

But, after finding the Whole30 Diet it’s worked. And, I think one of the reasons why — is the no-gluten allowance. There is strong correlation between hypothyroidism and gluten intolerance — especially if you have Hashimoto’s Disease.

I am not sure if I have Hashimoto’s? I haven’t been diagnosed with it. But, it’s pretty apparent my body has been affected by gluten. It could also be dairy — which I shutter at, because that means no cheese. And, a life without cheese scares me.

But, then again — I am lactose intolerant. So it’s probably best I don’t eat cheese for the benefit of everyone sharing an office, room, living space and/or car with me. But, let’s not go there.

I am curious where I am at right now. Again, I don’t know where I am? I don’t expect another 17.8lbs., but I’d love to see another 10lbs. or more. I weighed in at 263.4lbs in June, so I’d love to be in the 250s — if not the high 240s.

But, we shall see.

I am going to do one more round of Whole30 that will take me to my birthday (August 15). I would love to be in the 240s if not 230s by then. But, we’ll see. I don’t want my eagerness to build up to disappointment, especially when the goal is long term sustainable health. I think it’s just exciting to see results, because I haven’t had them for such a long time.

Anyways.

After August 15th, I am planning on adapting the Whole30 program. I will continue to eat whole foods and follow most of the diet. But, I am planning on adding some dairy products (well the stuff I can handle) and I do want to try some gluten free bread options. I am so new to the whole gluten thing I am not sure what I am doing?

But, the biggest thing I will continue to do is watch the added sugar on EVERYTHING. I’ll continue reading my labels and staying away from sugar substitutes. I know that has had a big impact on my thyroid as well. So, I am just staying clear.

I am also planning on taking more Isagenix products. I had a lot of success on their products a few years ago, especially their morning shakes and Want More Energy supplement. But, I haven’t totally decided how I am going to incorporate all of that into a revised Whole30 diet plan.

Heck, I might just keep going?

Who knows?

But, for now — I just feel AWESOME!



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