Tag: Hiking

For the 144 …

This past week has been a VERY emotional week for not just me, but lots of people — nationwide and within my circle of friends. It’s been a week full of sadness, somberness, reflection, anger and frustration. Sometimes separately, sometimes concurrently.

It didn’t help that the week started with the news of the Vegas Shooting. I woke up at 2:45am to use the restroom and couldn’t back to sleep as I was following the updates. Not only was I checking Facebook for friends who live in Vegas, but the whole ordeal just made me sick to my stomach. Not to mention tears to my eyes.

And, then on Wednesday, our Addict II Athlete team got news that our teammate, Carlee, took a knee and lost her battle with addiction. This was a shock to the whole team. And, this has been hard to process, because of the range of emotions felt throughout the week.

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I had a couple of good runs to help with those emotions — including a 1.44 mile run I busted out on Wednesday in honor of my friend. I also had a couple good couple mile runs that were rather invigorating to be honest. Like I already mentioned — it was just a very emotional week.

During rough weeks, days, news, and whatnot my first inclination is go run. Not to necessarily escape, but to help me process what’s going on. This really started when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2012 and I haven’t stopped when life seems to dampen my spirits, breaks my heart or forecast a seemingly unknown future.

Those midweek runs helped — but, I don’t think the sorrow or frustration will go away for awhile. I’ve never dealt with a substance abuse addiction before, but I have lost family and friends to it — and it just has to stop. It has to. I hate seeing family and communities devastated by it. It’s heartbreaking — and preventable.

Over 144 people die a day in this nation from opiate addiction overdose. That’s one too many. My AIIA team has been running for the 144 this past year. So, when our teammate Carlee became one of the 144 last week — it hit home … HARD. It put a real face to this epidemic. And, I think for me, that’s been the hardest thing to process about the whole week.

My friend Lizz and I — who’s also a member of the AIIA team — decided to dedicate our hike on Saturday to Carlee. Carlee was one of the first people that introduced herself to Lizz and actually ran the AIIA 5K alongside her. So this news of her passing was just as harrowing for Lizz.

One thing that Coach Blu challenged us to do back in April was to go out and do things that the 144 would miss out on if they weren’t around to enjoy it. The response was awesome — we had posts of athletes out on runs, hikes, bike rides and races in some of the most beautiful scenery and locations. We wanted to show the 144 that there’s so much more to life than a life of addiction.

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Lizz and I chose to hike Mueller Park in Bountiful for a couple of reasons. One, I love it. Two, it’s a bucket list place Lizz wanted to hike. And, three, it’s gorgeous — especially during the fall weather. A perfect location to honor Carlee and the 144.

For a Saturday morning the trails weren’t necessarily busy. There were a few trail runners and bikers, but it felt like we had the trail almost to ourselves. And, the leaves were absolutely beautiful — something that we tried to capture with our camera, but, was impossible — it had to be experienced. So many intense colors of red, orange and yellow with green sprinkled amongst the leaves.

We hiked about 2.5 miles out before taking a couple minutes to take in the scenery and reflect on the week’s happening. It was a perfect peaceful moment in our tribute to our friend Carlee and the 144. After taking a few pictures we headed back for a good invigorating five mile hike.

For a non-race weekend — this was what I needed. It was the perfect opportunity to renew my spirit, straighten the ship and refocus my priorities, heart and intentions. Me missing the St. George Marathon was the farthest from my mind.

I have a lot of running head of me before I head to Greece in mid-November — seven races to be exact. That’s a lot of running. But, I am ready for them. I’m excited for them. I’m going to be running in some of the most beautiful canyons, state parks and a National Park I’ve been dying to run. Places that I can’t wait to share with the 144!

In addition to processing the loss of one of my AIIA teammates, I also want to let you know — that if you struggle with a substance abuse addiction … THERE IS HOPE! Please reach out to others to get the help you need. Even if it’s Coach Blu or one of the AIIA team members, we’re here to help!

Life is amazing — LIVE IT!


Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 12.69 miles
Race Miles — 0.0 miles
Walking Miles — 25.05 miles
TOTAL MILES — 37.74 miles
Races This Week — None

October 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 12.69 miles
Race Miles — 0.0 miles
Walking Miles — 25.05 miles
TOTAL MILES — 37.74 miles
Races in September — (4) The Haunted Half — SLC, SoJo Half, Howloween Half, The Haunted Half — Provo

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 394.24 miles
Race Miles — 375.17 miles
Walking Miles — 1052.48 miles
TOTAL MILES — 1821.89 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 and Jordan River Half Marathon

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Buggin’ out in Spanish Fork …

bountiful-bugoutWelp, what a weekend. What a fun weekend. What a fun, busy weekend. But, truly, what a weekend.

Okay of that.

But, really, what a weekend.

Our second Bugout Run was on Saturday down in Spanish Fork. We did a five mile run/hike around Spanish Fork Canyon and to the Escalante Cross. I can’t say enough of the beauty of the canyon and the view from the cross. We are truly lucky to live in such a beautiful place.


I’m the first to admit that I am a horribly neglective Utahn. I’ve never been to Lake Powell, I’ve spent minimal time hiking the red rocks of southern Utah and I’ve skiied — water or snow. I run Utah, but not much else.

See? Horrible Utahn. But, luckily for me … that’s changing.

On Friday night after weathering that horrific microburst thunderstorm (actually, it was pretty awesome) I journeyed from Bountiful to Springville to prep for the AM with Jorge. I say “prep” for the morning, but it was basically a sleepover. Granted we didn’t stay up all night watching movies or playing Nintendo, but we crashed on his couches and shared YouTube videos until we got too tired.

But, it wasn’t a sleepover.


We had a 3:30am wake up call so we could be out the door by 4am and to the canyon to set up. With it still pitch black Jorge and I grabbed our headlamps and headed up with our gear to set up the course. I won’t lie, I was a tad apprehensive because I could imagine at any moment a mountain lion jumping out and making me its’ breakfast. Luckily, that didn’t happen, but about a half mile up the trail we did some glowing green eyes in the distance that didn’t help quell those fears.

After finishing setting the course up at the Escalante Cross. Jorge told me of a shortcut that would take us down the trail back to the reservoir’s parking lot faster. I’ve been around the block long enough to know that when people say “shortcut” it really wouldn’t be a shortcut. And, it wasn’t. After the rain the night before the so-called “trail” was pretty much rocky and muddy with little foot bearing for me.


I just ended up sliding down the side of the hill on my butt and accepting the fact my shorts were going to look like I soiled myself. It didn’t help either that the awkward spider crawl I did down the hill caused a nice massive cramp in my legs midway down. Moral of the story? Don’t take any shortcut, especially from Jorge.

Once we got back from setting up some of the participants starting arriving. After trying to clean myself up some we were ready to begin. Half of the group was wanting to run the course, while a smaller part of us went for the hike. That’s the beauty of the Bugout Run, it’s tailor made for people of all fitness levels. I hiked most of the way and it was very much a challenge in it’s own right.

Before getting to the Escalante Cross we went up the canyon and climbed quite a bit in elevation. I don’t know how the others ran that part, but it was a trash kicker for sure. They were so far ahead of us that at one moment I thought we got lost. You couldn’t even hear them from a distance.


But, then we rendezvoused at our challenge point and worked together to make a stretcher out of a tarp and lumber. We had to carry an “injured” hiker about a quarter of a mile down the trail as part of our scenario. Like all our Bugout Run events there is not just a hiking/running element to it, but there’s a physical and mental challenge to each event as well.

After the challenge we hike/ran the rest of the way up to the Escalante Cross. It was beyond beautiful. The view of the Utah Valley from the cross was truly amazing. I’ve hiked areas around the Salt Lake Valley that gave me a good view of the area, but nothing so clear as from the cross.


Anyways, after taking a moment to let the scenery sink in we headed back to the parking lot. Luckily this time it wasn’t via a Jorge shortcut.

But, in all we survived. No one got eaten by a mountain lion, bitten by a snake or chased by a rabid raccoon. But, really, I think each participant came away with a new skill or at the very least an idea of how to respond to a search and rescue scenario if needed. And, that’s really the point for these runs. When you can’t rely on anyone else who else do you have?



The next event will be September 26th in Salt Lake City. The location is secret like all our events, but it will be within the Salt Lake City boundaries and basically be an “URBAN” bugout scenario. It should be pretty epic. And, like all of our Bugout Runs it will be free and you can get information on our Facebook event page here.




In addition to the Bugout Run on Saturday, we also recorded a new episode of The Utah Runcast. We tried to find a middle place to record the show and since I was coming north from Spanish Fork with Jorge, Jim met us from West Jordan in Lehi. Specifically, at the Costa Vida World Headquarters in Lehi. Still, there were no burritos or nachos involved in the recording of the podcast. Something I was admittedly disappointed about.

But, it was a good show. We had some kinks we had to work out from our first podcast. Namely it was user error. But, the past few weeks I’ve played around with Garage Band and figured out what went wrong. I am happy with the vocals that we got this go around and it shouldn’t be so echo-y.

To give you a little teaser of what to expect on this episode … we talk about how Jim put together a 100 banana salute at my 100th race. We also talked about why Jim is sporting pink hair and how much we hate cancer. We all talk about our pre-race and post-race eating habits and how I curse Jorge for introducing me to McGriddles. Seriously, it’s like the perfect combination of what I crave after a race.

There’s a lot more we talk about, especially about some up coming races … fun runs and even themed races for charity and fun. It’s a good episode. I’ll post the link to it once it goes live on Wednesday on Podgoblin.



Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 188.0 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 249.95 miles
2015 Race Miles – 266.9 miles
2015 Total Miles – 717.95 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  29.15 miles



This weekend, well more specifically this Saturday, is my birthday. My 34th birthday. Don’t start me on the fact that I am turning 34 on Saturday. I don’t feel 34 … nor act 34 (but that’s a post for another day). I am not overly anxious or fretting turning 34. I’ve actually pretty much embraced my thirties quite well. Well, except for that whole “living in your parent’s basement” part (again another post for another day). But, really, age is relative and a frame of mind.

I am excited about my race this weekend as well, because I am running the Park City Half. Our whole family is spending the weekend in Park City so they’ll be able to be there at the finish line. Remember that my Mom threw pie in my face at the finish line of my 100th race, I probably should dodge her this go around. Who knows she’ll probably throw birthday cake at me.

I joke, but I wouldn’t put it past her.

Race #103 will be a great way to celebrate my 34th birthday and I am looking forward to the R&R. I am taking work off on Friday and Monday sooooooooo … it will be extra relaxing!



You don’t run while you hike? I don’t get it?


So yesterday, I went hiking for the first since … well … probably the Reagan Administration? Like, seriously, the last time I went hiking when I was a Cub Scout and I almost died from heatstroke. Okay, it was probably just a mild case of heat exhaustion, but still … for a fat kid that’s an ordeal that not even the Pioneers would understand.


But, a group of my running friends decided to go on a hike up Big Cottonwood to Lake Mary yesterday and I relented, especially since I was promised ice cream at the end. Ice cream has gotten me a lot of places in life … school, church, scouts, college and even hiking (just to name a few).

This picture needs a frame around it.

I am not a big hiker for a couple of reasons. For one, it’s outside. Secondly, there are wild animals outside. I might have a irrational fear of deer, but I also have a rational fear of bears, cougars and rattlesnakes. So, I just haven’t wondered anywhere past the parking lot restroom in a National Forest for those reasons.

But, yeah, I got convinced by Becky and Christy that I should go. So, I did.

Yeah, God made that.

The hike really wasn’t that bad. Relatively bad. For one, I was grossly unprepared. I am always unprepared, let’s be honest here. How I became an Eagle Scout is beyond me! (okay, my Mom earned it). I didn’t bring a jacket so I ended up wearing a teenage girl packet with pink and purple skulls all over it.

Needless to say, it was fetch.

#&%$ SNOW!!!

The hike up wasn’t that bad. I won’t lie, because I was half tempted to run. But, when the terrain is basically going straight up that ambitious temptation kind of dies. So I just hiked and it wasn’t that bad. Like, really. But, then again I am no longer a fat little kid that wants to stay home and play his Game Boy either.

My only real compliment was that there was snow on the mountain. It really shouldn’t be a surprise to you how much I HATE SNOW. But, it was melting so I couldn’t be that mad at it. It was dying a slow painful death … so … I was satisfied.

This happens more often than it probably should.

Once we got up to Lake Mary we got to enjoy not just the beautiful lake (well, really it’s a resoverior) but the canyon as well. It was really gorgeous and almost immediately I started regretting my lack of enjoying nature like this. It really was a great experience for me as it kind of felt like another piece of Fat Josh melted away.

After hiking down the mountain and on our way down the canyon we also got to experience this AWESOME … well okay … BEYOND AWESOME sunset. Yet another reason why I love Utah. Just go ahead and revel in it.


But, I couldn’t leave you with JUST pictures. I also captured a few videos of my adventures in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

For your general amusement …