Tag: @ketoshua

… and I’m back …

After 15 days abroad — I am back! There is so, so much to say about the trip. Not only did I tour Paris, Rome, Athens and other places alongside my family, but I was able to meet cousins in Athens and Crete as well. It was a life changing trip — to say the least.

But, after living out of a carry-on suitcase and on some very questionable mattresses (one in which I broke, oops), I am happy to be home. Beyond happy. Especially spending nearly 13+ hours in the air yesterday.

The length of the trip was perfect though. Usually when I am heading home from a vacation I am not ready. But, being able to see and do what I was over the past half month — I got in what I wanted to do. It was the perfect vacation.

The hardest part about leaving was leaving behind my family that I met in Athens and Chorafakia. They were the highlight of the trip for me. In both instances our family was welcomed with open arms and an unquestionable embrace of love. Even our cousins in Chorafakia that we discovered on this trip. My feelings for them and the moments we shared are hard to put into words — it just makes me more grateful for family.

I shared a bunch of my trip on social media — some on Facebook and mostly on Instagram. I have over 200 pictures spread across both @josherwalla and @ketoshua, but I thought I’d share a few of highlights here on the bloggy blog. But, feel free to browse my pictures on Instagram — again, I have tons.

I also have tons of pictures I never even posted on social media.

I won’t recap the entire trip, but I will share some of the pictures from each location. Enjoy the pictures.

Paris

We flew into Paris on a red eye flight from Dallas. Half of our party was staying three days, while the other half was flying to Rome for a couple days (including me). After landing we crashed for a couple hours and hit the town — mainly the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower — with dinner afterwards. It was long and tiring, but fun day in Paris.

It’s the song of his people …

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Beautiful landmark, but I couldn’t find the roller coaster and adjoined casino?!

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Home is never that far away.

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Rome

Because of the long night in Paris, I only got two hours of sleep before leaving for the airport to catch a flight to Rome. We couldn’t crash at the hotel when we landed like Paris, because it was an Airbnb — so it was a very looooong day. We took a city tour bus that ended up being about a two hour nap for us. We got in the Colosseum and some other places, but we got back to the Airbnb room and crashed around 5pm for the night.

The next day was spent mostly at the Vatican City along with Trevi Fountains and eating lots of gelato. Probably too much. But, that’s debatable.

The following day we left Rome for Athens and the next leg of our trip.

When in Rome … get lost like the Hansen’s get lost.

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Mood.

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I could have stuffed my whole face with this ricotta filled goodness. But, I shared.

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Off to do Vatican things …

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One of my many goals here in Rome was to get authentic pistachio gelato. Goal met ✅

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History’s first recorded dab.

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I hope this is enough to make my wildest dreams come true …

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Athens

We flew into Athens on Sunday and met up with our family at the airport. After getting situated in our Airbnb, we headed to the Valavanis for dinner. We ATE and ATE and ATE! It was a great evening. One that won’t be forgotten. We spent about 5 days in Athens — touring Corinth, Nafpoli, The Acropolis, Marathon and around Athens.

We spent Thanksgiving Day in Athens — first with a little family Turkey Trot in the Olympic Stadium. We had a brother’s sprint contest — Freedom won. I came in fourth (which is last), but as I told my brothers — challenge me in a marathon or longer and I’ll win! We had a meal with the Valavanis that night with some amazing Greek food — the best Thanksgiving ever.

It was perfect.

We are now over Greece! We’re almost home! 🇬🇷

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Η οικογένειά μου 🇬🇷

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Ancient Corinth. There’s a lot of cool old crumbly stuff here.

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The Littles atop the Acropolis. 💙🇬🇷

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MORE FAMILY! I finally got to meet my cousin Magda! What a happy day! 💙🇬🇷

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The Panathenaic Stadium. Let the games begin …

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I don’t recall what this was called (it was all in Greek), but my cousin explained this was a traditional dish eaten in Smyrna, Turkey where our family was from before being displaced during the Greek Holocaust. It was touching having that connection to this dish. It felt like an honor enjoying it with family connected to that past. ———————————————————— #ketoshua #fitness #wellness #health #running #runnerslife #runner #run #weightloss #weightlossjourney #hashimotos #hashimotoswarrior #thyroid #hypothyroidism #workout #wod #instarunner #run4fun #runningcommunity #keto #ketodiet #ketonics #ketorunner #athens #greece #thanksgiving #thanksgivingdinner #feast #notketo———————————————————— @ketoshua @josherwalla @joshruns180 ———————————————————— Follow my blog at www.phatjosh.com

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Much to celebrate tonight! Bravo!

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The Littles ready to go, unlike their parents. 💙🇬🇷

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Crete

On Friday we flew from Athens to Crete. The 40 minute flight was highlighted pretty much by a 40 minute tantrum from Thalia. We might have disowned her for about 40 minutes. We spent a night in Heraklion before driving to Chania and the western part of the island where my Propapou was born.

The mission of our trip to Crete was two fold — one, see the island and, two, find any family members. We don’t much about my Propapou’s family. His life is quite remarkable — he was born in a cave on the island and then joined the army at 17 where he eventually met and saved my Yia Yia in Symra during the Greek Holocaust in the early 1920s.

On Sunday we did find family in Chorafakia — a whole clan of them! It was amazing how we came as strangers and were immediately embraced as family with a bond that was unshakable. It was amazing. Amazing. They invited us to dinner that night, but we had other plans — so we came back the following day and we ate like kings!

They shot a wild goat for us that morning and fed us some wonderful food — Greek salad, lemon rice pilaf, weed salad something or other (how’s that for a guess? It was really good though!) and other traditional Greek foods. It was perfect. It was hard to leave and many of us left with tears in our eyes for the newfound family. This was the highlight of the trip for me.

Touch down on Crete — the island of heroes. 💙🇬🇷

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Who’s having more fun, @benhansen00 or the kids?

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I’m not sure he knows exactly what he’s looking at — and, well, neither do I?

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😍😍😍

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GET IN MY BELLY LITTLE SHRIMPS! 🍤💙🇬🇷

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How to toddler proof a really, really, really nice place. Toddlers can’t climb, right?

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I felt like we experienced our own episode of Who Do You Think You Are? today here in Greece. One of the reasons we came here to Crete was to connect with family from my Propapou’s (Great Grandpa) side of the family. And, we found them! I can’t tell you the joy and tears of happiness as we discovered our Tsitidakis cousins in the hometown of my propapou. We came unannounced and as strangers, but we were quickly embraced with a familial love and warmth as we visited and compared our family lines and relations. This has been a great day. One, that’s been too long in happening. But, I look forward to tomorrow when we’ll meet again and strengthen this newly found bond! Οι οικογένειες είναι για πάντα 💙🇬🇷

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Connecting the dots between who I am and where I’ve come from. 💙🇬🇷

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Just like spanakopita, the tyropita here in Greece is diverse and delicious. We were greeted at our villa tonight with a honey drizzled tyropita. 👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼 ———————————————————— #ketoshua #fitness #wellness #health #running #runnerslife #runner #run #weightloss #weightlossjourney #hashimotos #hashimotoswarrior #thyroid #hypothyroidism #workout #wod #instarunner #run4fun #runningcommunity #keto #ketodiet #ketorunner #notketo #tyropita #greece #crete #cretegreece #cheesepie #cheese ———————————————————— @ketoshua @josherwalla @joshruns180 ———————————————————— Follow my blog at www.phatjosh.com

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I can’t get enough of this island! This is home! 💙🇬🇷

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Two weeks into this trip and they’re finally useful.

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I left my heart in Greece. This will always be home. Off to Paris. 💙🇬🇷

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Paris

After leaving Crete, we made our way to Paris via Athens. We had one more day in Paris and we were torn on how to use it. Some of us wanted to do Versailles, others Disneyland, while some wanted to do the Louvre. We settled on Disneyland, but switched to Versailles last minute because it turned out rainy and cold.

Versailles was neat — over the top neat. It really made you sympathize with the French Revolution. The opulence was too much. Beautiful, but it made you thankful for our government and constitution — even as crazy as it might be right now.

But, needless to say, I was in AWE of the amount of detail on Versailles and the palace. It was nothing short of amazing.

Rainy cold day in Paris. No Disneyland. So we’re off to Versailles. I can barely contain my excitement.

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That’s a blingy gate.

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Cousins. ❤️🇫🇷

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I’m pretty sure I found a statue of one of Jonah Hill’s ancestors.

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I wonder how long it took royalty to find a bathroom, I could barely find one myself …

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A little home away from home.

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Recap

This was truly a life changing trip. I had a blast. I was able to reconnect with family — connect with others. I was able to see some amazing places and just forget about work, running and everyday life for two weeks. It was perfect.

It really makes me want to travel more. I want to see more of Europe — the UK, Germany, the Czech Republic and Norway. I want to connect with family there if I can.

But, I will also come back to Greece. I made the promise to my cousin that I will come and run the Athens Marathon in 2019. That’s the goal. I want to start planning that trip, because I plan on visiting Crete and my family there as well. Greece became more than just where I’m from, it really became home for me during the trip.

It was hard to leave Greece — but, as I told my cousins — I don’t believe in goodbyes, just see you laters!

So, Europe and Greece — see you later!

RACE #169: Mt. View Trail Half

I had many emotions going into this race — gratitude, excitement, relievement and — yes — even a tinge of disappointment. So, let’s breakdown those emotions …

Gratitude — because Saturday not only marked my 169th race, but the 8th anniversary of the beginning of my journey. The day I decided to make up and LIVE.

Excitement — This was my 169th race, meaning I am just 11 races away from 180 goal (which I will hit on July 24th of the upcoming year).

Relievement — This was my 32nd and last race over 13.1 miles for the year. It’s been a year of many ups and downs with my ankle and health. I am looking forward to the next two weeks while I am in Europe. It will be some much needed rest before I go into the beast of my 100 mile training.

Disappointment — I’m grateful for any day, any distance that I can run. But, I’d be lying if I said I was not disappointed that I wasn’t running the 50K race instead. It was my first ultra, I’ve done it twice before and I just love it. A great beautiful challenging course.

So, yeah, those were the emotions I was dealing with before the race. But, nonetheless, I was excited to run, to see what I was capable of doing out there and just enjoying myself.

I didn’t have a concrete time goal for myself. It was mainly just time on my feet and a good effort. I was kind of expecting around four hours — which is about my average for a trail half marathon. But, I wanted to be faster if I was feeling it.

The race started at 9am which made for a casual race day morning. I still woke up by 4:30am for some reason, but didn’t get out the door until a quarter 7am. It was nice. I ate my breakfast, watched some news and blogged a bit. It felt like a weekday morning for me. I loved it.

After making the commute to the packet pickup which was near to the park gates, I saw a bunch of friend including Ruthie — who wasn’t helping me wish I was running the 50K. She is such a cheerleader and positive person that I knew I was missing out on the party.

But, I had my own party running the half marathon. After driving from the front gate of the park to Garr Ranch (about a 11 mile drive) I had a few minutes to mingle with a few of my friends — Bret, Doug, Ryan and his son Jordan — before we were off at 9am sharp.

Because we were dealing with a single track trail and there were a good 300 or so runners — I just held back a bit to let the mass of runners. I didn’t fight the runners and passing on that trail can be somewhat of a beast. So, I just took it easy for a few minutes.

I started off with Ryan and Jordan, but within the first mile or so, they were off ahead of me. Which was fine, I just used those first couple of miles to find a good pace. I felt good, so I tried to push myself just a bit harder than usual. Being my last race for the year and long run for the next couple of weeks — I decided to just put everything into it.

The game plan was easy — run the downhill, push the flat parts and fast walk the uphill. I stuck to that game plan for the most part. But, I won’t lie — there were times I lost myself in the scenery of the island and trail. I had to remind myself to refocus a number of times. It was a beautiful autumn day and I was in heaven.

I yo-you’d a bit with a girl throughout the entire race. It was her first trail run — not just race. She was a student at BYU-Idaho and decided to sign up for this race to train toward throughout the semester. She was a bit unsure about the buffalo — which we ran into a couple times along the course and she asked me to help her maneuver around them.

I’m not a buffalo expert at all. And, despite running this island a number of times — they still make me a tad nervous. But, with that said, they’ll leave you alone — for the most part. And, the best way to get past them is to run past them.

Easy enough, right?

In theory of course.

In our two encounters with the buffalo, I felt comfortable enough to stop and take a few pictures. And, for the most part they were pretty indifferent of our presence. They were pretty close to the fence opening where we needed to pass, but their indifference made it easily passable.

After the climb up the hill toward the finish line, I stepped up my pace. The trail turned into a paved trail and eventually pavement during the last couple of miles. It also helped that it was slightly downhill too. So, I just put myself in cruise control.

I separated myself from the other runners I had been running with — and I just focused on the finish line. I was about a half hour faster than I expected and I just felt great.

The last few hundred yards I was greeted by my friend Boojah, which made me grin. She’s been fighting Stage IV gallbladder cancer. She and her husband Tim came to the finish line to cheer me in. I always love having my own fan club at the finish line. But, having Boojah there was extra special. After gathering myself and refueling a bit, Tim and Boojah gave me a ride back to my car near the ranch before grabbing something to eat on my way home.

In all, I had a blast. This was the perfect race to end my race schedule for the year. Having done 32 half marathons or longer this year — I’m ready for a rest before I go into the beast of my 100 mile training. I’ll blog more about that later. But, I’ll be taking a break from the bloggy blog for a couple of weeks while I’m on vacation.

I’m just grateful to be able to do what I am able to do. This past year has had many ups and downs with health and injury, yet I’ve done the most races than any previous year. I can’t help but feel extremely blessed.

But, I’m also ready for this break.

Right now it’s — EUROPE OR BUST, BABY!!!


MY NEXT THREE RACES


Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 6.0 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 26.56 miles
TOTAL MILES — 45.66 miles
Races This Week — (1) Mt View Trail Half.

November 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 10.0 miles
Race Miles — 39.3 miles
Walking Miles — 43.37 miles
TOTAL MILES — 92.67 miles
Races in November — (3) Snow Canyon Half, Joshua Tree Half & Mt. View Trail Half.

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 429.24 miles
Race Miles — 466.87 miles
Walking Miles — 1166.87 miles
TOTAL MILES — 2062.98 miles
Races done in 2017 — (33) New Year’s Half Marathon, Sweethearts 5K, Jackpot Running Festival, SL Tri Club Indoor Half, March Madness Half, Lucky 13 Half Marathon, Emigration Canyon Half Marathon, Riverton Half, Saltair Half, Provo City Half Marathon, Jordan River Half Marathon, Drop13 Half Marathon, Bear Lake Trifecta – Idaho, Wyoming & Utah, AF Canyon Race Against Cancer, The Hobbler Half, Handcart Days Half, DesNews Half Marathon, Elephant Rock Trail Half Marathon, Run Elevated Half Marathon, Nebo Half, Revel Big Cottonwood Half Marathon, Huntsville Half Marathon, Timp Elk Run, Jordan River Half Marathon, The Haunted Half – SLC, SoJo Half,  Howloween Half, The Haunted Half — Provo, Snow Canyon Half Marathon, Joshua Tree Half Marathon and Mt. View Trail Half Marathon.


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Choices.

Life is about choices.

Where we are now is a sum of the choices we have made during our lifetime. The good, the bad, the stupid and even the mundane. But, they’ve been our choices — decided upon for various reasons.

I’ve learned over the years that choices aren’t easily classified. Sure there are good and bad choices, but I also like to look at the easy and difficult as well. But, life is defined these choices we make. Some on a daily basis, others when the necessity arises.

But, ultimately, the choice of direction, selection and action is in our hands — no one else’s hands. When you grasp that reality — it’s life changing. You literally are the master of your own fate.

Eight years ago today — I made a choice.

I made a choice to live — to wake up. I made the decision to be actor in the story of my life and no longer a background extra. Yet — it wasn’t this grand choice I made heralded by trumpet carrying angels and light of inspiration. I didn’t just want a change in my life, I needed one.

Today, eight years ago, I didn’t know where to start. I just knew I needed to start somewhere. I was tired of false starts and redos, so I embraced my imperfection. I didn’t fully see the end from the beginning and it took a lot of faith for me to take those initial steps — but, I took those steps.

I chose to wake up and be present. I chose to be optimistic and to find the best in others — especially myself. I chose to be the author of my story — a story with infinite possibilities of new chapters. No one else was going to write my story.

With these new choices, did change come overnight? No. Far from it. But, it began the process where I had the faith in myself to make better choices in my habits, health, diet, exercise and overall life.

I started my focus on my weight, because that was the easiest thing to tackle first. It was the most obvious needed change from a physical and emotional point of view. Weighing over 400lbs. impacts you in many areas of your life.

When I started having success with the scale, I soon realized that the joy I experienced was fleeting. As great as I felt physically — that did little for the person that I was inside. I knew that I also needed to eventually work on him as well.

And, that was a fight I delayed for as long as I could. But, I knew that when I made the choice to live a better life — that this would eventually have to happen. So, I focused on me — emotionally, socially and spiritually.

This was the hardest part of my journey. It’s not easy looking inward. That’s why dealing with the outward was so much easier. But, I started addressing things in my life that I had neglected.

The change was hard. Especially when you realized the pain you had to go through in order to get to the joy, peace and calm you wanted. But, as difficult as that realization can be, it can also be a driving force behind the daily choices you make.

My change and transformation inward wasn’t overnight and in many instances — is a change that is still ongoing. But, I feel when I made the choice to be a runner, that transformation was expedited.

I found that desired joy, peace and calmness much faster and often. I found a confidence in myself that went unrealized for over 30 years. And, I found a community of likewise people that could relate with me on many levels — physical, spiritual, emotional and social.

I felt at home.

The choices I’ve made as a runner are many, but the root of it all lays in the decision to make my ambitious goal of running 180 races over 13.1 miles before age 40. I made this goal at age 30 shortly after I ran my first half marathon. I made it because I wanted running to be a part of who I was and to see where it would take me.

And, like many journeys — I never quite expected the journey to go as it has up to now. By the end of the day, today, I will have finished my 169th race, that leaves me with just 11 races to my goal — that’s three years earlier than expected.

The early attainment of that goal has a lot to do with how running has changed my life. I have embraced the love of the unknown adventure — and each race has been an adventure. Whether it’s been a new distance, pursuit of a new goal or a race met with a “que sera, sera” attitude due to unforeseen circumstances.

Many of these adventures have led me to some of my most cherished friendships. Along with adventures that are too numerous to count and moments that will never be forgotten.

Whether it was running a half marathon in blue jeans in support of my Mom’s battle with cancer, running alongside Jill for her first marathon or running with wingless angels during the last five miles of my first 50 miler — those memories will never be forgotten, along with many, many others. I wish I could list them all here.

I don’t just feel lucky, I feel blessed, for the many people in my life. They’ve made my affair with running the life changing journey it has been in my life. And, I thank God for them all.

Often when I find myself pondering about this journey and the places I’ve been and people I’ve met — I go back to the beginning to that moment, when I made the simple choice. A choice to wake up and live. Who would have expected that choice to lead me to now? Eight years ago … not me.

But, here I am.

And, the great thing about my journey, is that you can take a similar journey too.

The choice is yours.


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RACE #164: SoJo Half

Sometimes I make good decisions. Sometimes I make bad decisions. But, often, I make really bad decisions — yet somehow turn out to be good all along. That pretty much sums this past Saturday for me.

I haven’t done a double race day or two within less than 6-12 hours of each other for quite a while — back in July of 2015. Or about 63 races ago. Oy, that seems so long ago.

Anyway, I chose to do it again (and I will do it again in a couple of weeks) for a few of reasons —

  1. It’s good ultra training
  2. It helps get me closer to my 180th race so I don’t have to do many back-to-back race weekends in 2018.
  3. I wanted to.

I haven’t done the SoJo Half Marathon since 2013 so I was kinda excited to do it again. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I don’t do that well on flat-ish courses. But, I wasn’t running it for a PR or year best time. I was running it to prepare myself for February.

My goal going into the race was to get as close to three hours as possible. With my recent injury, energy levels and training — this would be a stretch for me, especially considering this wasn’t a canyon race and didn’t have the luxury of letting gravity help me along the way.

The morning of the race was pretty uneventful. I made my way down to the finish line where the packet and bus pickup was around 5:30am. Once I got my packet I had about an hour before the last bus left for the starting line so I sat in the car to stay warm. I knew the starting line was going to be cold — and I didn’t want to wait for the gun time too long.

After hoping on the bus I met a Facebook friend Ashleigh — I always love meeting new friends, especially ones that have only been digital friends up to that point. Our conversation mainly centered around keto and what’s worked for me, her and her husband. Though I’ve been doing keto now for just over two months, I still feel very new to it. So talking with others about their experience with it is something I enjoy and need.

After getting to the start line I headed inside the University of Utah Medical Center where a group of runners huddle inside to stay warm and use some of the restrooms. Honey Bucket didn’t deliver the needed amount of port-a-potties so the lines to the bathrooms were fairly long. To make sure runners had the chance to use the restroom the race was delayed about five minutes as well.

Once we were off and running I decided to just keep a good efforted pace. I wasn’t too much concerned with my timed pace as I was with the effort. Just as long as my legs were tired and sore by the end of the run, I’d be happy. I wanted them to ache for the night’s race.

But, I knew if I focused on getting close to a three hour time that’d do the trick for me.

The first 2-3 miles were fairly uneventful as we meandered around Oquirrh Lake and made our way toward the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. There we were encountered the largest and — really — only sizable hill of the race. I walked the hill. Well, fast walked it like a gold mentalist in the Senior Olympics.

After taking a quick picture at the top of the hill with the temple, I made the descent down the hill on the other side. It was glorious. Gravity was very much my friend at that moment. So I let it guide me for as long as it’d allow me.

Around this time I noticed a lady in front of me a hundred yards or so ahead of me. She was dressed in a pioneer costume of sorts and I told myself — I’ve got to pass her.

But, she wasn’t a very easy pass.

She kept a good pace with me and this somewhat frustrated me, because I just wanted to pass her. I told myself — I’ve got to beat the pioneer woman — so that my focus. I felt that if I consistently kept in front of her for a mile or two she’d eventually start walking and then I could lower my pace a bit.

But, nope.

She kept a good pace. It wasn’t that she had a long stride, in fact it was quite the opposite. She ran with small quick steps. Somehow they made up the difference in my long legged strides in the same amount of distance?

Either way, after another couple of miles I was determined to pass her. We yo-yo’d quite a bit and around Mile 5 she got ahead of me. I was sore in my attempt to keep up with her. I cursed her unknown name for the next couple of miles until I had to stop to use the restroom at the Mile 7 aid station.

It was a hard decision to make, but I really didn’t want to pee my pants in pursuit of her, so I made a quick stop of it. But, as soon as I got out of the Honey Bucket she was way ahead of me. I was bummed. I thought the pioneer woman got the best of me.

But, I didn’t want that to deter me. There was still a little less than a half of the race left, so I wanted to give myself the chance to catch up and pass her. I had to give the effort, otherwise I’d always remember this race as the one time I was out ran by a pioneer.

It wasn’t going to happen.

So for the next 3-4 miles I kept a good pace going. My legs were sore from the efforted push — exactly what I wanted — to catch up with the pioneer woman. I kept her within my sight for the most part.

I noticed her starting to take short walking breaks so when she did, I pushed myself a little bit faster to make up the distance. I did this 3-4 times between Miles 7-10. By Mile 10 I had caught up to her and we were almost neck to neck.  But, I didn’t to stay that way, I wanted to create distance between the two of us so I just focused on that push.

By the last couple of miles I was ahead and once we ran onto the Jordan River Parkway Trail I glanced back momentarily to see where she was located. She was walking down the hill toward the Parkway aid station — and I knew I had her. If she was going to walk a downhill, she was probably going to walk the Parkway.

I regrouped myself a bit at that point — stretched a bit and downed some of my Powerade Zero — before going back to a good running pace. I was spent, especially from my effort to catch, maintain and pass the pioneer woman. I desperately wanted to walk, but I tried not to.

I knew I was close to the finish line, so I tried to push myself as much as I could. I only took a couple glances back, but I didn’t see signs of the pioneer woman. This made me happy.

I kind of chuckled to myself just thinking that in this race of marathoners and half marathoners the most competitive race didn’t determine the overall winner or an age group. It was a race that no one knew about — not even the pioneer woman herself. Yet when I crossed the finish line I felt like I won the race.

Once I was done, stretched out and refueled I did find the pioneer woman and we talked briefly. She thanked me for pushing her as she tried to keep up and ahead of me. I chuckled and said, “Likewise! You did great out there!”

So in the nature of winners and losers — we both won. We both provided each other with a goal and we probably killed ourselves too much in the process. But, you know what? I’m glad we did.

With my legs sore and near death I was ready for a nap and meal before my second race of the day.

[CLICK HERE FOR MY HOWLOWEEN HALF RACE REPORT]


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KETO UPDATE: Two Months In

It’s hard to believe that I am two months into this thing. This past month has gone by quite fast to be honest. My weight loss has slowed down which was kind of expected. But, overall I am close to losing 30lbs — which was my overall goal for the whole three months.

So, though I only lost about 5-6lbs., I am still ahead of my projections — and I am losing inches at the same time. So I am still progressing — which I need to remember. The number on the scale is just part of the equation on the affect this diet has had on my health.

I am still tweaking my thyroid medication, but I feel a difference following a keto diet. Especially the past couple of weeks since I switched my thyroid medication dosage. So I am very optimistic.

Looking forward to the next month, I’d like to lose more than just 6lbs. I feel like I can do more — I’d really love to see 10-15lbs. if my body is up to it. I mean, it’s not like there isn’t fat there to lose. I would love to be close to 240-245 by next month.

Besides just keeping doing what I am doing — I think there’s a few other things I can do to get there. Beside watching my macros closer, I really should watch my dairy intake a bit more. Being lactose intolerant is probably not helping me much. Almond milk and alternative cheese should be more prevalent in my diet.

Should.

But, I won’t lie, cheese is a much more enjoyable fat to add to meals compared to olive oil. But, yeah, I need to slowly breakup with it.

I also need add a bit more intensity to my runs. I am working with my coach, not to necessarily make me faster, but to work on my endurance for my 100 mile run in February. But, if I can up my intensity a bit during my week day runs, I know I can burn some more fat along the way.

The changes aren’t huge, but little tweaks that can hopefully help me break through this plateau. And, I can’t let myself be too overwhelmed with the non-progress on the scale, because I am progressing. I just have to remember that.

But, here’s to the last month — and to 240!

Let’s get to work!


START: 282.2 lbs. (8/16/17)
CURRENT: 252.8 lbs (10/16/17)
OVERALL LOST: -29.4 lbs.

MONTH #1 START: 282.2 lbs.
MONTH #1 LOST: -23.8 lbs.

MONTH #2 START: 258.4 lbs.
MONTH #2 LOST: -5.6 lbs.

MONTH #3 START: 252.8 lbs.
MONTH #3 LOST: 0.0 lbs.



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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!


MY REMAINING 2017 RACES


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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Running my Name: Joshua + Snow

We’re down to three months left of the year. And, here I am still tweaking with my race schedule. Is anything truly finalized with me? Sometimes I wonder.

But, as I work toward my 180th race and my 100 mile run, I’m looking to make 2018 a great year of running. And, part of that means spreading out my races to work into my time goals. That is one reason I’ve raced a lot this year. I don’t want to have to run a bunch of races in 2018 to get to my 180 while jeopardizing my speed training.

So that’s why I decided to add another race to my 2017 race schedule — the Joshua Tree Half Marathon in Joshua Tree, California.

Being named Joshua, I’ve always had a fascination with the Joshua Tree. Everything from the naming to the maturation of the tree — has a lot of symbolism that just speaks to me. I’d go into all of that — but, that’s really a post for another day. And, I’m pretty sure I’ve blogged about it before, but I’d have to find the post.

And, then there’s the whole correlation with U2’s album of the same name that I love.

The Joshua Tree Half Marathon is also the same day as the Snow Canyon Half Marathon — which I am also running. A group of my friends and I are planning on making a quick trip of it. We’re driving down to St. George on Friday after work, run that race the following morning then drive down to Joshua Tree from St. George, run that race and then drive back to St. George to stay the night before heading home on Sunday.

It should be a lot of fun.

After signing up for the race I realized that I will be running my name — Joshua Tree Half & Snow Canyon Half. What a fun coincidence.

Additionally, this will be my first Vacation Race. Of all my 162 races, I still haven’t done a Vacation Race. I’ve wanted to. Heck, I’ve signed up for the Zion Half Marathon twice but had to back out for a number of reasons.

So, I have to remedy that.

I am looking forward to the fun weekend. I am definitely jamming out to an exclusive U2 playlist during the run. Heck, I might have to record a special episode of The Runcast with just U2 music in preparation for this epic weekend?

Either way, the change made me make a slight change to my remaining races. I decided to drop the Riverton Half happening on March 24, 2018. I might still do the 5K or 10K during that weekend, but we’ll see? That means after my 100 mile run in February I won’t have a race until April 7th. And, that’s kinda by design.

I am planning on using that month/month and a half to recalibrate, heal and prepare myself to shift gears toward getting faster in my half marathon times. I feel good about the changes.

Anyways, here is the remaining schedule …


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