Tag: josher

RACE #157: Run Elevated Half Marathon

Oh man. Talk about a tale of different runs. This was the best of races and this was the worst of races for me. Let’s get one thing clear — I love this race. I love Little Cottonwood Canyon. I am pretty sure I’ve repeated that numerous times before.

But, it bears repeating — I love this race and Little Cottonwood Canyon.

I just wish that Saturday’s race reciprocated some of that love. It turned out not what I was expecting. But, at the same time, I guess it was somewhat expected.

Going into the race I had two goals — get out of the canyon by 8:15am (that was the cutoff time for the 6:30am gun time) and get a sub-three time. I felt fairly confident in those two goals. I won’t lie, the cutoff time worried me — because, well, every cutoff worries me. But, that’s a post for another day.

But, I figured if I could get that first goal I could get that second goal. It’s only 8 miles to the mouth of the canyon and they’re fast steep miles — about a 3200 foot drop. Just in those 8 miles! Plus, miles 9 and 10 aren’t bad — it’s just 10 to 11 that always kills me, because of the short — yet steep hill climb.

I felt confident. Especially since I have running much stronger lately. That includes my ankle and energy levels.

But, the other variable in all of this has been my diet change. As is well noted in previous posts I started a keto diet on Wednesday. This is a high fat/low carb diet. Like no more than 25 grams of net carbs a day. A pretty drastic change in my eating habits.

Leading up to race day I was trying to figure out how to fuel myself. Should I bring some carbs with me on the race? A half banana? Some applesauce packets? A dozen chocolate donuts?

I’m so new to the diet and the whole mentality that I’ve just been reading up on it the past couple weeks, but even more so this past half week. I want to do it right and I want to see the results I desire. I’m also the type that hates to make exceptions to clear cut rules. If I am going to do it, I’m going to do it right.

But, I was legitimately worried about my fueling during this race, because I would be on just my fourth day of keto and most people adapt within a couple weeks to a month. The night before I thought about “carb-loading” with a banana or some fruit. But, I resisted it. I had read about protein loading so I just decided to cook a pork omelet with some avocado and it wasn’t bad.

So I decided to load up on turkey & cheese, a couple hardboiled eggs and some Powerade Zero (for the electrolytes). I had no idea if that was going to be too much or too little? It was satisfying and when the gun sounded I felt good.

But, that didn’t last that long.

About a mile into the race I just started feeling a bit funky. I am sure it was the eggs. It was a familiar feeling. It passed and I was okay. But, this kind of made me worry for the rest of the race.

I focused on my running and pace — and went with what felt good. I did the first three miles in about 30-31 minutes. I found a good pace and just went with it. I walked the aid stations and ran the tangents.

I made the decision at the first aid station to take a couple sips of the Powerade, but load up on the water. That worked for the most part. But, I needed more. I knew I was going to tank without something more in my system. This got me worried.

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But, I just focused on my run and to just get myself out of the canyon by 8:15am. That was my first priority — even though my fueling should have been. But, I felt that if I got out of the canyon I’d be fine because I was planning on slowing down my pace.

I got out of the canyon with about 5 minutes to spare. So, I slowed down my pace and prepared myself for Miles 9 and 10 that lead to the steep up hill climb. They were pretty uneventful miles, except the hill — which is always a beast.

And, then all hell broke loose.

Okay, that was a bit too dramatic, but I did completely unravel. I hit the wall. I bonked. I crashed. I Keto Krashed.

And, I will completely blame the switch to my diet on the crash. I just wasn’t prepared. I wasn’t ready to be running a half marathon like this just days after my switch to this diet.

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I did learn MANY great things about how to better prepare and fuel myself for long runs — and, I’ll post about those later in the week. Because, there’s a lot that I learned not just from Googling, but from just asking and talking to friends.  Which I’m appreciative of, because this has a big change for me.

Anyways — as I approached the Mile 11 aid station I just felt zapped. There was a nurse that met me a few hundred yards from the aid station checking on me. I think she did this with everyone in the back, but it wasn’t difficult to see that I hit a wall and was dragging.

I must of looked pretty bad to her, because she asked my name and city — and then if this was my first half marathon. I half chuckled and said, “no, I’ve done a few — I’m doing ok, just a hard day.” She then pointed me to the aid station, cold orange slices and water.

She was a really nice lady — and I didn’t mind her thinking this was my first race. In fact, during a race I don’t really like to bring it up. Especially if it’s somebody that doesn’t know me. My accomplishment of 157 races is impressive, but I don’t want that number to define me. There’s so much more to my running journey than the number.

But, that’s a post for another day.

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When I got to the Mile 11 aid station I took drank a full cup of Gatorade and two cups of water. I knew I needed hydration and electrolytes. I could feel that. I then took one of the cold orange slices and devoured it. I knew it wasn’t the most keto thing to eat. But, at that moment it’s what I needed. And, it wasn’t like I downed a donut or other highly processed food — it was an orange.

Plus, I knew my body would burn it off fairly quickly. I just needed some kind of fuel. The orange did the trick.

Well for about a half mile or so.

I pushed myself where I could and felt like I could — but, I slowed down to somewhere between a walk and a jog. I just had no energy. And, the last two miles just dragged. Bad.

I got to the last aid station which was about a mile from the finish line. After drinking some more fluids I set out and just tried to focus on my music and forget about how I felt. I just wanted to be done.

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I was greeted by Rachel Moody — about a half mile or so from the finish — she came back out to run me in. We were then greeted by Julianna Fulton a short distance from that. It was the boost I needed. I just wanted to be done.

I knew I was probably not going to get my sub-three — which I didn’t — but, I was just happy to be done. I knew a lot of effort went into the race. And, if I hadn’t of bonked I know I would have crushed my year best time for the half distance.

But, I finished in 3:03 — far from that goal. This was a course I ran in 2:31 last year — and in 2:10 back in 2013. I tried not to dwell on that, because what I am doing now with my new diet and everything is working toward getting to similar race times. If not faster. I know I have it in me.

I didn’t have much time to dwell on all of that. As soon as I crossed the finish line I was greeted by Robert Merriman with a big old hug. He didn’t mind my awkward sweatiness. It was so great seeing him out cheering us runners in. You could tell he’s itching to getting back out there.

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Moments and experiences like that really help me keep things in perspective. I’m grateful that I am given those moments. Otherwise my running would have turned into a miserable experience for me years ago. It’s about how fast we get there, but where we go and who comes along with us. But, like most things in this recap — that’s a post for another day.

I’ve got a lot things to figure out this week before running the Nebo Half on Saturday. Mainly with fueling. I need to figure out a better way to fuel with electrolytes and how many carbs I want to consume before and during the race. So many things to figure out … but, I’m not too worried. I have a great group of friends that I’ve been tapping into for advice.

This race will be remembered for the best and worst of moments. Those first 10-11 miles were great, while those last two — pure hell. But, here’s to the future and learning from those two experiences. You don’t build upon anything that’s effortless and easy — and that thought gives me hope.


MY NEXT FIVE RACES


RACE #157: Run Elevated Half Marathon, August 19, 2017 (3:03:58) Tough, tough, tough race. It was the tale of two races, really. With my switch to a keto diet this past week, I didn’t know what to expect with my races. I didn’t want to crash, but, well I did. I totaled Keto Krashed at Mile 11. I smashed the first 10 miles, but after running (well walking) up the Hill Elevated I was completely done. No energy and I knew I was off. Drank some Gatorade and ate a quarter orange at the Mile 11 aid station. But, I was done. It took me about a half hour to do the last couple of miles. It killed my time and goal to sub-three. But, I’m fine with it, because I needed a first race with the Keto Diet under my belt. This experience is rather common for endurance athletes. I’ve learned a few things about my body and how I need to fuel it for future races. I’ll get this nailed down. Redemption will be mine next year! #race157 #runelevatedhalf #running @josherwalla @ketoshua @joshruns180

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@radmoody is the bomb diggity! I totally Keto Krashed at Mile 11 and after the race. We walked to our cars together and we’re just talking when I started feeling faint. I told her I just don’t want to pass out so I sat on curb. When I told her my plan was to get a Powerade Zero on my home (because I needed the electrolytes) she hops in her car and drives across the street to get me a drink. THEN … she comes back with EIGHT purple Powerade Zeroes, because in her words, “if you bought 8 they were $.50 each.” Oh, but wait, she did more! She then gave me a ride to my car SIX spaces away! 😂 Seriously, thanks Rachel! You ROCK! It totally made my day! ———————————————————— #race157 #runelevatedhalf #poweradezero #runningfriends #ketoshua #fitness #wellness #health #running #runnerslife #runner #run #weightloss #weightlossjourney #hashimotos #hashimotoswarrior #thyroid #hypothyroidism #workout #wod #instarunner #run4fun #runningcommunity #keto #ketodiet #ketonics #ketorunner ———————————————————— @ketoshua @josherwalla @joshruns180 ———————————————————— Follow my blog at www.phatjosh.com

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I can’t wait to run the Run Elevated Half Marathon this weekend! A BIG THANK YOU to my friend @girlracer74 for picking up my race packet tomorrow! For some reason she loves when I write permission notes for her?! ———————————————————— #runelevatedhalf #race157 #joshruns180 #ketoshua #fitness #wellness #health #running #runnerslife #runner #run #weightloss #weightlossjourney #hashimotos #hashimotoswarrior #thyroid #hypothyroidism #workout #wod #instarunner #run4fun #runningcommunity #keto #ketodiet #ketonics #ketorunner ———————————————————— @ketoshua @josherwalla @joshruns180 ———————————————————— Follow my blog at www.phatjosh.com

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Birthday Slurpees for the birthday peeps.

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Can I just say my brother gave me the “puuurrfect” birthday gift?

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Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 6.5 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 25.17 miles
TOTAL MILES — 44.77 miles
Races This Week — Run Elevated Half.

August 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 33.0 miles
Race Miles — 26.9 miles
Walking Miles — 61.37 miles
TOTAL MILES — 107.77 miles
Races in August — (3) Elephant Rock Trail Half, Run Elevated Half and Nebo Half 

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 344.05 miles
Race Miles — 309.32 miles
Walking Miles — 841.52 miles
TOTAL MILES — 1494.89 miles
Races done in 2017 — (21) 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, Elephant Rock Trail Half, and Run Elevated Half.


Just call me KETOshua from now on …

I don’t know how these formal announcements go. But, I guess there’s no other way to put it. I am going to be doing the Keto Diet.

I’m not sure how this is going to affect my life? I won’t lie, I’m not exactly sure what I am doing? I just know that I want to do it and from those I know (and trust) they had nothing but good things to say about a Keto based diet.

The past 3-4 months have kinda sucked for me. And, I’m just not where I wanted or planned to be physically — and subsequently emotionally — with my training. I was really planning on some great training, but after my sprained ankle those plans were really derailed. My weight-loss stalled and even following a clean gluten-free diet — didn’t do much for me.

And, honestly, the past couple of weeks it’s put me in a funk. So, I’m looking to shake things up for a number of reasons. Let me list the ways …

1) I want to lose 20-30 lbs. before November 15 (that’s when I am heading to Greece)
2) My ankle is healing nicely and I am starting to get back into a workout rhythm. 
3) I need a challenge — something hard that I can work towards.

So, yeah.

I’m tackling this in a few ways. First off, I am not starting now. As much as I want to, I am starting it on August 16th, which will be 90 days before I leave for Greece. I like working on 30 day fitness cycles.

Secondly, August 15th is my birthday. Who in their right mind wants to start a diet ON or BEFORE their birthday? Especially a diet that pretty much eliminates carbs? A birthday cake-less birthday is almost as depressing as pretty much any Sarah McLachlan commercial.

Though the thought of a bacon birthday cake does interest me.

And, thirdly, I never start a diet on a Monday or first day of the month. It’s stupid. And, if you want to fall into perpetual dieting all you have to do is wait until next week or month. But, that’s a post for another day. And, probably something I should put in my book.

Anyways, as I said, I have NO idea what I am doing. But, luckily for me, I have the internet. So, I’ve been Googling lots about the Keto Diet. I’ve found some good stuff here, here, here, here and of course you can’t reference anything from the internet without referencing Wikipedia. I’m pouring over this stuff this weekend and probably for the next couple of weeks until I get the hang of the diet.

Do I think this is a cure all to my problems? Of course not. But, in dealing with my Hashimoto’s Disease I love how compatible it is with my diet restrictions. And, I feel like there isn’t MUCH to change from my current diet other than monitoring my ketogenic levels.

In addition to all this prepping I decided to rename my fitness Instagram account @fight4phat to @ketoshua (it kinda makes me sound Asian, huh?). It’s just a play on words of my name and Keto. Cute, I know. But, I have started networking and following a number of keto accounts in hope for support and meal inspiration.

So, I guess you can I am all in, eh?

Make sure to follow me on Instagram. I’ll post some on PhatJosh over on the Facebook. And, I plan on checking in here on the bloggy blog as well.

But, I am planning on having a few “free” meals before starting the diet. I feel like I need to have another “Farewell to Carbs Tour” with some nachos, popcorn and of course my birthday cake on Tuesday.

So, if you’ve had any success on a keto diet — or non-success — I’d love to hear what you have to say about it. Drop a line in the comments below.

Oh, yeah, and follow me over on the Instagram as well …

Focusing on the road ahead …

It’s been a funny week. My mileage wasn’t as it ought to have been. But, I kinda expected that. Since I started working with Runtastic Events that’s kind of expected on race weeks. I had this idea about running 4-5 miles after I got home from the race on Saturday — but, yeah, no.

Too tired.

But, it wasn’t that bad of a week. I got a few really KILLER workouts in that made up for some of my missed runs. I have to remember that weight and core training are just as important as time on my feet. And, that was this past week’s focus.

I even got in a church ball basketball game in. Which I won’t lie — shouldn’t have done right after doing legs. I was pretty dead trying to run from one side of the court to the other. The only thing I was good for was high screens and horrible looking three pointers. But, we’ll talk about my lack of talent on the court later.

This week, I am picking up the mileage a bit more with a long run on Saturday. I should shoot for 6-8 miles. I am sure where I am going to run though? It might be outside depending on the weather or on the treadmill or possibly around Liberty Park? I really don’t want to run outside if it is going to be freezing. I don’t do well in the cold — but if it’s manageable I’d really like to run Liberty Park?

Anyone else game?

Anyways — I have less than a month until my ultra in Vegas. I am getting excited. I have one more 20 miler to go and then tapering a bit before race day. I really don’t have a game plan for my ultra — yet. I do want to run at least 35-40 miles in the 12 hours. I know I’ll probably start off slow — and since it’s an ultra, I get to have my Mt. Dew!

I am really excited about that.

As you might remember, I broke my vow of carbonation celibacy in November while running the Antelope Island 50K. It had nearly been four years since I had Mt. Dew — and well I had some at mile 13, 21 and 27 of my race. It literally saved my life.

So, I made an exception to the rule. If I am running an ultra or anything OVER 30 miles then I get to drink Mt. Dew during the race. Not before — or after. Just during. This was I won’t go back to my ungodly consumption of the carbonation concoction.

Anyways — outside of ultras, I am still soda free.

So, the focus this week is mileage!

VEGAS OR BUST, BABY!


The Runcast is BACK! We welcome Nick Bernard as one of the new co-hosts of the show! We excuse Jorge as he’s spending the day in Evanston rolling burritos at Costa Vida. We all want burritos.

Jimbo shares some REALLY, REALLY big news — and Josher shares his spring race schedule, which includes a number of ultra races. And, we all talk about our 2017 running goals.

This is just a sampling of what’s new on The Runcast!

>>> LISTEN HERE


RUNNING MILES

40.00 miles

RACE MILES

13.1 miles

WALKING MILES

54.61 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

107.71 miles


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This is Bananas …

Running has become a large part of who I am — a very large part. And, it’s something I want it be a part of me throughout my lifetime. When I made my goal to run 180 races by age 40 — I did so because I wanted running to be a challenge that took me a decade or so to acheive.

Well, I am 35 — going on 36 in August — and I am some 43 races away from that goal. I wouldn’t have anticipated five years ago that this is where I would be. There are many reasons why I love running and racing — but, that’s not what this post is about. Needless to say — I love to run and it has been life changing for me.

But, as I approach the completion of this goal, I am starting to look a beyond the goal. I am starting to ask myself — what’s next? Do I simply add more races to my goal? Do I make a goal to run 300 races by 40? Or 500 by 50? Or do I take another approach?

As much as I would love to add to my number goal, I’m feeling the pull to aspire to something else. For one, I want to eventually reach my goal of a running a sub-two half marathon. And, I can’t really do that when I am running 20-25 races a year.

I also want to run more. And, I am not talking about more races, but more longer races. I love the challenge of ultra races. Having three ultra marathons under my belt — I am beyond the point of guessing whether or not I can do such distances. Because, I know I can.

There is an appeal to me for these longer distances — not just during a race, but in a personal feat. I look at a number of local runners, specifically Cory Reese and his many self-sustained 100 milers — around a track, in the wilderness and in the Salt Lake and Utah Valleys. His craziness and approach to adventure speaks to me.

A couple years ago Cory ran from the Utah State Capital in Salt Lake City to Provo (50 miles) and back — for a crazy urban 100 miler. I was in awe and inspired. He was self-sustained through friends and convenience stores. The run included a number of Slurpee stops — which again speaks to me.

When Cory did this, I wanted to try something similarly “crazy.” Albeit, my kind of crazy. That’s why a few weeks ago I decided that I wanted to challenge myself to a similar goal of running from Salt Lake to Provo — just not back like Cory. It would essentially be a 50 mile run.

The concept and route will be somewhat similar to Cory’s route. I am planning on running down State Street in Salt Lake using convenience stores as my aid stations. Most likely 7 Elevens — because where else can I fuel up on Slurpees and bananas? I am planning on jotting over to Draper and Suncrest as I descend into Utah Valley and follow State Street and University Blvd. to the Provo Town Centre.

You can check out the map I made here. Of course that’s subject to change as I vet out that route a bit more.

But, I am inviting any and all of my friends to join me in the adventure whether it’s for all 50 miles — or a mile or two along the way. I want this to more so be a celebration of running and achievement than anything else. Plus, I think it will be a lot of fun with others involved.

If you’re interested in joining me, I’ve made a Facebook event for this adventure. I am doing it Saturday, March 25th. Which is subject to change dependent on the weather and a couple other factors. But, I am pretty set on that date.

Oh, and the name of the run?

This is Bananas!

I think that pretty much speaks for itself. Because, this run is bananas.

But, it will be fun and I can’t wait.

SO JOIN ME!

Thoughts before my first 50 …

Deep breath.

After months and months of training — here I am. I’ve got many thoughts running through my head and emotions wanting to be felt. But, here I am, on the cusp of doing something once thought impossible.

I want to feel fear. I want to feel peace. I want to feel nervous. I want to feel confidence. I want to feel anxious. I want to feel strong. But, this feeling I feel is all of those emotions wrapped into one — and I just stand here ready to run. Ready to experience what is ahead of me and tackle the task at hand.

I stand here looking back at the road behind me and acknowledge the path that got me here. It didn’t start months ago, this has been a path made years ago. This path was begun when I made the decision to seek joy in my life. I lived my life too long in darkness, devoid of joy and without vision. But, I never would have imagined that my decision to seek joy would lead me here.

But, here I am.

As I stand here in contemplation I am filled with not just joy, but joyous gratitude. I am grateful to God for a body that works. I am grateful for a spirit that dreams. I am grateful for each and every footprint that has lead me here.

A majority of those footprints have been taken solo, but a good deal have been taken with others. Some have fleetingly passed through this journey, while others have staked claim to many moments I’ll always cherish. Many have cheered me forward when I needed that encouragement and I have tried to return that favor by paying it forward. And, because of them, here I am.

My heart pounds in anticipation. Nerves are being felt — and cherished. I love this angst feeling of the unknown. These same feelings rushed through my body as I stood at the starting line of my first races.

I have long missed these feelings. They are feelings that I have grown accustom to over the years racing a lot. This may be one of the reasons why I pushed myself to do something daunting like a 50 miler — I simply miss those intense feelings of anticipation.

But, here I am.

I know this is going to hurt. I know this is going to suck. I know this will be difficult both mentally, emotionally and spiritually. But, none of that is going to keep me back moving forward and completing the task at hand.

I used to live a life avoiding pain, difficulty and adversity. But, when I made a decision some 6-7 years ago to live a life of joy — I didn’t fully grasp the concept or idea that I would also have to accept pain, difficulty and adversity. But, quite honestly, that’s been all the difference.

Running has taught me to embrace the pain, accept the difficulty and invite adversity, because it is those moments we learn. It’s in those moments of suffering we learn the most about ourselves, our resolve and what matters most in life.

And, what matters the most in life will never be found on a trail or a mountain. It will never be found in the counted miles of the day or accomplishments and honors of life. What matters most in life will always be what you hold close to your heart. That’s why I run.

I run to live. I run to love. I run to learn. I run for joy. I run for peace — and everything in between.

My heart pounds, anticipation runs high, and, I am simply ready to run. Ready to experience what I am to experience, to feel what I am to feel and gain victory over the task at hand.

Here I am.

Let’s do this thing.


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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

#Fight4Phat: The Bulletproof Diet

I’ve been a little quiet about the progress of my diet the past month and for good reason. I haven’t really been following one the past month. As has been heavily chronicled the past 4-5 months, I had been following the Whole30 to success of a 35lbs. weight-loss. Not bad.

This past month my plan was to follow a bastardized version of the Whole30 — or basically a Paleo 80/20 diet plan. But, I learned two things this past month — one, the body needs a rest from aggressive weight-loss and, two, it’s hard to follow a diet when you’re sick. Especially when it last 2-3 weeks.

This that an excuse? Yeah, probably. I won’t deny that. But, it’s also a learned lesson about my body that I need to remember and honor. Physically, my body just can’t be expected to go through more than three months of aggressive weight-loss. But, I think that probably applies to pretty much anyone.

But, it wasn’t that I gave up after one roadblock. About three weeks ago I got a pretty nasty cold and it’s just lingered for waaaaaay too long. It’s hard to stay on a specific diet (at least for me) when I am sick. Mainly because all I want to do is drink gallons of Powerade, hype up on vitamin C and eat nothing but soup and sandwiches.

I am kind of surprised that during the past three weeks I managed to run a couple of marathons while keeping my weekly workout regime. Probably not the “smartest” thing in the world to do, but — hey, I didn’t die — so no harm, no foul. Right? Right.

So about two weeks ago I just made the decision to maintain my diet. I didn’t want to worry too much about my diet, just maintain my workout regime and running plan. This was made not just because of my lingering cold, but also the realization I just had to give my body a rest. So I decided to pick up where I left off with a “month break.”

In addition to that, I also gave my body off a week from running after the Huntsville Marathon. My cold was still lingering with a nasty sore throat that wouldn’t go away. I just needed the rest — so I just focused on my strength training, gave my legs and cardio a rest and decided to get back at it this week — which I have.

So, here I am.

Instead of rebooting the Paleo 80/20 — I decided to follow another diet plan. It’s similar to the Whole30 in many aspects, but with a few different factors. It’s called the Bulletproof Diet. It’s nothing new, it’s been around for a while, but the first I heard about it was from my cousin who’s been following it for a quite a while with some pretty great results. And, with about 20lbs. left of what I want to rid myself of, why not give it a try?

I’ll give a brief synopsis of it below. But, for the most part you can read about here, here and here. Like I said, it’s very similar to Whole30’s approach, except for the rigidity of the diet. And, the biggest thing for me — is the emphasis of not eating a lot of fruit. Especially with my love for bananas and grapes that helped me through the Whole30.

Don’t worry though — I am sure I’ll eat my share of bananas during and around my races. But, I’ll share more about that later as I get a firmer grasp on the diet.

But, if I learned anything from the Whole30 during the summer it’s that — I can do it. And, mentally, this past month has been a good break from that mentality. It’s made jumping into Bulletproof a lot easier.

Anyways — I’ve jumped into the diet today with the goal of mapping my progress on the 24th of each of the next three months. So, October 24th, November 24th and December 24th with a free day on the 24th before starting again on the 25th. Basically in November and December that’s Thanksgiving and Christmas. And, if you have to ask — yes, I’ll be having pumpkin and mincemeat pie both holidays.

I am going to reassess the diet after each of those 30 days as well, just to make sure my body is handling it well and I have the strength to do it. I am a little hesitant to do it three months until Christmas, but that’s all going to depend on how I feel come November. I think the important thing here is listening to my body.

So what is the Bulletproof Diet all about? Some describe it as a Paleo 2.0 diet, which can be argued is valid. A lot of the diet’s emphasis is on grass fed proteins and wild caught foods, This isn’t much of a problem for me since I only eat grass fed beef and have chickens (that last sentence sounded like I exclusively shop at Whole Foods … forgive me). And, there is a lot of emphasis on how you prepare your foods as well.

But, I’ll outline most of it below, but you can read a lot about it here, here, here, here, here and here. There are also a number of critiques about the diet out there too, which is important to consider — you can read some here, here and here. Like any new diet or routine, I think it’s important to see both sides of the story. It’s also further proof that everyone is different when it comes to fitness.

One aspect of the Bulletproof Diet that I am not planning on — at least right now — is the Intermittent Fasting. Mainly because that involves consuming the Bulletproof Coffee. Being Mormon there’s obvious reasons for that. I’d like to do a week of it intermittent fasting in some kind of way. But, until then — intermittent fasting is a no.

But, that’s about all I’m not planning on doing. I’m excited to get it started and see what it does for my health and energy levels.

14 STEPS OF THE BULLETPROOF DIET

Okay, so there are 14 steps to the Bulletproof Diet, they’re fairly simple, but important to follow, They are …

1. Eliminate sugar (including fruit juices and sports drinks that contain HFCS, honey, and agave) .

2. Replace the sugar calories with healthy fats from the Bulletproof Diet such as grass-fed butter, ghee, Brain Octane™,  Upgraded™ XCT oil, or coconut oil.

3. Eliminate gluten in any shape or form.  This includes bread, cereal, and pasta.  Do not make the mistake of resorting to gluten free junk food, which can be almost as bad.

4. Remove grains, grain derived oils, and vegetable oils such as corn, soy, and canola.  Also remove unstable polyunsaturated oils such as walnut, flax, and peanut oil.

5. Eliminate all synthetic additives, colorings, and flavorings.  This includes aspartame, MSG, dyes, and artificial flavorings.

6. Eat significant amounts of pastured, grass-fed meat from big ruminant animals such as beef, lamb, and bison.  Pair this with fish, eggs, and shellfish.

7. Eliminate legumes such as peanuts, beans, and lentils.  If you must have your beans, soak, sprout (or ferment), and cook them.1

8. Remove all processed, homogenized, and pasteurized dairy.  High fat items can be pasteurized, but they should be grass-fed.  Full fat, raw, whole dairy from grass-fed cows is okay for most people.

9. Switch to grass-fed meat and wild caught seafood.  Eat pastured eggs and some pork, chickens, turkeys, and ducks.

10. Switch to organic fruits and vegetables.  This is more important for some plants than others.  See this site for details.

11. Cook your food gently, if at all.  Incorporate water into your cooking whenever possible and use low temperatures.  Do not use a microwave or fry.

12. Limit fruit consumption to 1-2 servings per day.  Favor low fructose containing fruits like berries and lemons over watermelon and apples.

13. Add spices and other flavorings from the Bulletproof Diet.  Favor herb based spices such as thyme and rosemary over powders. Use high quality ones, recently opened.

14. Enjoy your food.

(source)

SO WHY BULLETPROOF?

I’ve had a couple friends and family ask me why I am switching up my diet — and specifically to Bulletproof. Especially when it’s so similar to the Whole30 which I did from May to August. All good valid questions. So I thought I would sum it up here.

When I started my weight-loss journey I started with literal baby steps. I didn’t jump right into a diet. I just watched what I ate and progressed from there. Eventually, I hired a trainer and got a diet plan set up that helped me lose a lot of my weight.

One thing I learned about my body — it hates routine when it’s trying to lose weight. Meaning, eventually within 6-8 weeks — my body will plateau if I stick to something too long. I realized this early enough in my journey that I made the conscious effort to continually change my diet every 6-8 weeks. And, for the most part it’s worked.

This change is pretty much in the same vein of mentality. I knew Whole30 wasn’t a longterm solution for my weight-loss goals. And, that showed when I lost something like 5-6lbs. during my last round. Honestly, it was a round too many.

Now that doesn’t mean I am completely done with Whole30 or a paleo diet. Bulletproof is very much a paleo diet. I believe in paleo diets. And, when I ready to maintain my weight I want to do so on a paleo diet. But, my body right now just needs to change things up.

So why Bulletproof? Well, there were a couple of things that persuaded me. My cousin has been following it for a while and strongly suggested I give it a try. And, the more I read up on it, the more I liked what I saw. I love the emphasis on grass fed and wild caught proteins and organic fruits and veggies. That’s something I’ve been trying to make sure to consume. Having chickens helps this. I hate store bought eggs. Hate. But, that’s a story for another day.

I was also intrigued by the notion to limit consumption of fruit. I won’t lie — on Whole30 fruit was my savior. Bananas, watermelon, grapes, berries and melon were go to foods when I wanted to down a birthday cake. So, limiting those — especially bananas — will be a will of testament at first. But, I’d like to see what happens with the restriction.

With marathons, half marathons and my 50 miler still planned during this time I fully plan on fueling more with fruit than anything else, much like Whole30. So there will be the exception to that. But, I have also taught my body to fuel off of sweet potatoes — so reliance on bananas and other fruit shouldn’t be too neccessary.

The next 30 days should be an adventure, especially considering that my 50 miler is less than a month away as well. That will be the big test, but I am honestly not too worried about it.

Here goes nothing, right?


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