Tag: liberty park

My Improvised Liberty Park Run

My Grandma had a saying whenever she had to do something she didn’t really want to do. She’d exasperate, “you gotta do what’cha gotta do, when gotta do it!” And, she’d usually follow that up with, “well Josher, you can’t win them all!”

You could pretty much sum up my Saturday long run with those words.

This weekend has been on my calendar for a loooooong run. Initially, I wanted to do a self-supported ultra run — 50 miles to be exact. I wanted to run from the State Capital in Salt Lake City to the Provo Towne Center. It’s a run that’s on my Honey Bucket List — and I WILL do it one day.

But, I decided against for a number of reasons — the main reason being my back, but also I liked the idea of doing it on a looped course, like my last ultra, so that I could have an aid station every 2-3 miles or so. I decided to do 50 miles at Liberty Park where I could have an aid station and/or 7 Eleven every mile and a half or so.

After that decision the plan went from 50 miles to 50K to 20 miles before deciding that a canyon run sound better, so I organized a group run down Emigration Canyon to Liberty Park. That run is about 13 miles from the Little Mountain summit and one I used to do quite a bit a few years ago. And, even though I am running the Emigration Canyon Half Marathon next week — I love the canyon enough that I knew I wouldn’t get sick of it come next week.

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I had a good 8-9 people committed to the run, but come Friday night that number started dwindling. Part of that reason was the forecast, but others opted to stay home or get a bit more sleep — which I don’t fault or am upset about it. I get it — I’ve done it too.

So, come Saturday morning, when my friend Laura and I were the only ones to show — I knew I wasn’t going to be running down Emigration Canyon. Which I was fine with, so I just decided to just run Liberty Park. Laura had done 16 miles the previous day so she decided to just go home.

After talking for a while with Laura, I decided to get going on my run. And, I won’t lie — I really wasn’t feeling it. Especially with having planned to run 13-16 miles for the day. But, as much as I don’t mind running Liberty Park, I had my mind set on doing at least 13 of those miles down a canyon.

So, I tried to talk myself into my run. At first, I tried to justify just doing 8 miles, but after a couple of strong laps, I knew I had a bit more than that in me — so I fixed my mind on 10 miles. And, for most of my run I just planned on 10 miles — which is about 6-7 laps around the park.

And, for as much as I wasn’t feeling my run, I did feel rather strong. I alternated my laps with a running lap and a fartleked lap (walk, run, walk, run about every third or fourth of a mile … ish) and just got into a good groove. I just focused on losing myself into my music and thought.

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Well, I guess I got lost pretty good because I lost track of my laps and ended up doing an extra one. I ran to my car THINKING I just finished running 10 miles, but when I looked at my watch I noticed it said 11.5 miles. I laughed at this realization and then just thought to myself — I got one more lap in me.

So, I beasted out one more lap.

At this point it was raining pretty strong. But, I was already wet, so it wasn’t going to matter anyways — so I just cranked up my music (R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” which had been on repeat for about 3-4 miles) and went for an even 13 miles. But, of course I ended up doing laps around the parking lot to get 13.1 miles.

I did briefly entertain the thought of doing another lap, but I knew if I did that, then I’d have to do another to even it to 16 miles — and I was actually getting a little tired. But, mostly hungry — and no thanks to me craving burritos for most of my run. So, I just decided to stop.

After sitting in the car to warm up a bit my hunger grew strong — especially for tacos or a burrito. So, I decided to trek over to the Sears Burrito for lunch. It’s been a looooong time since I’ve eaten at the Tacos Don Rafas stand and I just wanted/needed it in my life at that moment.

I was wavering between getting corn tortilla tacos or a burrito, because of the gluten in the flour tortilla. But, I made the decision for the heftier burrito justifying that I SHOULD be okay this once — especially if I didn’t get sour cream or cheese on it.

Anyways, long story short — I was wrong. But, at least it didn’t stop me from enjoying it in the moment. But, I paid for the flour tortilla later. Not fun — and a lesson learned.

But, all in all — I feel good about the run. It was tough to mentally get into it, but I eventually got into it. I didn’t let the rain mentally destroy me and I forged through it for a rewarding 13 miles.

A good way to go into my race next weekend. I’m looking forward to a solid week of running and workouts now that I have my back in a place where I want/need it. And, I feel confident breaking through with a solid sub-three during the race.

And, at least I know I’ll be running Emigration Canyon next week. No plan B — and no burrito.

Weekly Review

It was another tough week for me. I got in some miles during the week, but I wouldn’t call them good or what I planned on — but I still got about 17 miles in and I am good with that right now. My SI joint flared up again and made walking just painful for a few days. I’ve been doing a lot of stretching to avoid the flare ups, but when it happens — it happens.

I really should get into a chiropractor, but I won’t lie — I’m a bit too cheap for that. It’s usually my last resort. So, I did the next best thing and found some tutorials on YouTube on how to align your SI joint by yourself. And, you know what — it works! I haven’t had any stiffness the past couple of days. Truly magical.

Anyways — I want to go into next week’s race feeling prepared with a few strong runs in me next week. I feel that’s possible and I am ready for them. I want to gain some speed back. I just need to be a patient young grasshopper.

Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 17.6 miles
Race Miles — 0.0 miles
Walking Miles — 22.34 miles
TOTAL MILES — 39.94 miles
Race(s) this week — None.

March 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 38.1 miles
Race Miles — 26.2 miles
Walking Miles — 89.05 miles
TOTAL MILES — 153.35 miles
Races in March — March Madness Half and Lucky 13 Half Marathon.

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 174.75 miles
Race Miles — 96.12 miles
Walking Miles — 303.99 miles
TOTAL MILES — 574.86 miles
Races done in 2017 — New Year’s Half Marathon, Sweethearts 5K, Jackpot Running Festival, SL Tri Club Indoor Half, March Madness Half and Lucky 13 Half Marathon.

Obligatory singing and lighting of the cake (with a side of 'keep Thalia from touching the flame'). #thaliaturns1

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Pinterest has got nothing on me! #thaliaturns1 #pinterestfail

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Made a new friend today. His name is Cosmo, but I changed it to Humpy. #emsizzlesinto30 #realcamelsdontsmoke

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Running 13 miles in the rain earns you a burrito from Tacos Don Rafa. It's like a rule or something … #irun4burritos

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This kid melts my heart! I can't help it that he picked me as his favorite uncle. #chubbingtatum #prouduncle

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So, putting socks on my nephew's hands isn't a good idea. Kinda like taping a cat's paws. #nobueno #chubbingtatum

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Brace yourself, the poop trees are back. 💩🌳🤢 #gagme

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On Friday night my friend Emily celebrated her 30th birthday with (what will hopefully become a tradition) riding camels! Here is a little video she made of the adventure. I won’t lie … I want a camel now. Anyone want to buy one for me?

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When we simply give our best …


It’s kinda late and all logic says I should be asleep right now. But, there some things you can’t ignore and I feel like I’ve got to write them down somewhere. Typically, I’d write them in my journal, but I felt this was EXTREMELY applicable to my current situation and the purpose of this blog. So I am sharing it here.

It’s been frustrating this summer dealing with the number of nagging little health issues I’ve had. I know I shouldn’t complain too much, because there are FAR too many people out there dealing with things greater than a stupid thyroid or botched testosterone diagnosis. I actually learned this lesson while my Mom was battling breast cancer. While her treatments went exactly how they should have for her to get better, there were people in the same hospital just fighting to live another day.

I don’t want to come across that I am fishing for sympathy or anything like to it. It’s just a MILD frustration in the whole scheme of things in relation to my journey. I’ve dealt with blown up thyroids before. It’s just frustrating because I worked hard to lose and maintain my weight for the past nearly five years. And, now to see 20-30lbs. of it back … frustrates me to no end.

Mainly, because I know what it will take to get rid of it.


And, I mean a BIG BUT (sorry).

I accept the challenge ahead. And, in a way, I kind of need this challenge. I know that sounds strange after losing 180lbs. But, there’s something about losing weight, but then there’s something about FIGHTING to keep it off. It’s a mental game. It really is. I need to be more tenacious not just in the gym or on the road, but in life. I need to be more focused on what I want to achieve and go do it. And, I kind of feel like these 20-30 will prove a great battleground for me as I work towards them.

One of my goals that I really wanted to achieve this year was a sub-two half marathon at the Nebo Half. With me less than three weeks out I pretty much know that’s not going to happen. I kind of feel like a PR (02:09:25) isn’t in the cards for me either. I mean, it could and I’d love to do that … BUT … knowing what my body feels like at that pace and doing that for 13.1 miles, I kind of feel I shouldn’t push it too beyond my current limits.

This has been extremely frustrating for me, because I just want to sprint down Mt. Nebo like a gazelle. There’s nothing more that I would love to do more than that. It’s especially frustrating for me knowing that my current state can’t reach the best I know I am capable of. That frustration more than anything has been weighing on my mind a lot as of late.

Last night during my weekly fartleking in Liberty Park here in Salt Lake City this still really kept weighing on my mind. I hated knowing that my body couldn’t do what I know it could do. But, at the same time I wasn’t NOT going to try or put forth a great effort either. I knew that in order to get back to where I knew I could be, I had to give my absolute best.

No more. No less.

After a lap and a half by myself I decided to join Becky in her speed work. She is still shooting for and working hard towards a sub-two half at Nebo. She was running half mile fartleks at about a 8:30 pace. Somewhere I knew I could get to … eventually. But, I thought what the heck I’d just DO MY BEST and see what happens.

As I ran her fartleks with her, I didn’t keep up with her as I had hoped for. In fact, she did the whole half mile and I am sure I just did about a quarter of a mile. It was tough. But, in those stretches that I ran I gave it my all. I tried my best. I picked my knees and kicked my feet. For those moments that I had the stamina I loved it and knew that with time, effort and consistency I could achieve that pace for much longer than a quarter of a mile.

For that moment as I sprinted, I felt as though a sub-two half marathon wasn’t a pipe dream. I didn’t feel like I’d have to wait until Nebo 2015 to achieve that goal. I felt and knew I could get that sub-two MUCH sooner in the year. I felt as though a sub-two could be my consistent half marathon time.

All of those feelings while just running a quarter of a mile sprint.

I felt as though if I hadn’t given that amount of effort at that moment I wouldn’t have been able to have that vision. It was as though my body was saying to me, “Joshua you are capable of SO much more. Just make the effort.” And, if I had not given my best last night and ho-hummed through my workout what kind of lesson would I be teaching myself? Basically that my frustrations are reality and limit my abilities. Where’s the growth and reasoning behind that?

But, as I was ending my sprints and the rest of my run, I felt as though I was a truth taught by an inspired teacher. In fact, I wrote it down and shared on my Facebook wall last night after my run. It reads …

No matter what we have achieved in the past … OUR BEST … is all we should be giving. I am looking forward to the future. Not just the distant future, but the immediate future as well. I am excited to see what I will accomplish with that effort and vision of where I WANT GO!

Now it’s time to just put in the work.

Running down Emigration to a 5K …


Dealing with my foot injury the past couple of weeks has been kind of (that’s an understatement) frustrating for me. Well, the past couple of months have been somewhat frustrating for me. Whether it’s been my foot, my thyroid, weight or testosterone medication … I haven’t really felt the same. Especially for a week window of time when the doctor (falsely) thought I had the diabeetus.

As I said last week my goal is still focusing towards the Nebo Half and getting a sub-two time there. My faith in getting there is admittedly waning for this year, but I also strongly feel that if I put the time and training in like I’m going to shatter that PR … then who know what will happen? I could very well reach it.

I can’t start a morning without my ZEAL!

Even with that mentality I knew this week I need to be cautious, while pushing it. The group planned on running down Emigration Canyon to Liberty Park for about 12-18 miles depending on the race they are training for. Most of the runners were meeting up at 5:30 or 6:30 to run down the canyon, but even the 5:30 group was too late for me because I was running a 5K at 8am with a friend at Liberty Park. So, I decided to go up the canyon with Becky and the Gabicas at 4:45am.

Ugh, I know.

Becky had to bow out because of a pinched nerve in her back, so the Gabicas and I met the trek up the canyon ourselves. Once we got up there at 5:15 we quickly noticed that none of us planned ahead. We didn’t have any reflective gear and I left my head lamp in my bag that was in my trunk at the park. Soooo … we ended up just waiting there for the sun to rise just enough to give us some light so we wouldn’t get ran over my cyclists or motorists.

I really love this shot of me calibrating my Garmin. Thanks to Becky for inspiring it.

Once we started out I got a bit nervous because I knew we’d be cutting it close for me to get down to the 5K. But, we ran anyways. I always love running with Jill. We never run out of topics to have serious discussions about as well as things to laugh about it. And, admittedly, sometimes we laugh about serious things. It’s just the nature of the friendship.

But, we talked a lot about her marathon training and how she was six weeks away from the Big Cottonwood Marathon. I can’t help but think back to my first marathon training and all of the doubts and fears I had leading up the starting line. She’s experiencing a lot of those. But, of any runner I know she is one of the most dedicated, stubborn and devoted ones I know. She is going to run this damn (I’m pretty sure this would be in her own words) marathon no matter what. She also has a high sense of resolve.

It’s been fun as a runner and especially a friend to see her transformation. She is being the kind of mother that her daughters will always be proud of. Which really is one of her main motivations to run these hundreds of miles and put her body through hell (again, I’m sure Jill would say these words) to run this marathon. She and Mark are doing an awesome thing.

Jill and I having the time of our lives running down Emigration Canyon!

But, seriously, I love running down canyons with Jill and spending many of these past Saturdays working towards her goal. As we ran down Emigration we also ran past Ruth’s Diner. I mean, everyone passes it. But, unlike most runs we hit it right in the middle the breakfast rush hour. Not only were there cars galore in that area and on the side of the road, but you can the distinct smell of biscuits and gravy and of course … BACON!

Almost immediately we were both craving biscuits and gravy. Both of us were hungry and we both made the decision to find biscuits and gravy after the run. With that craving and promise etched in our minds we continued to make it down the mountain. But, after a while we knew we wouldn’t make it down to Liberty Park in time for my 5K so I called Becky to ask if she wouldn’t mind giving us a lift from her place (right off Sunnyside) to the park. Which of course she agreed to do.

Working on my Daddy Skillz by pushing the Kid down the canyon. Not bad.

She wanted to run with us, but her back was still really sore. She felt horrible about missing out on the run, especially since her goal is to sub-two at Nebo as well. But, like any injury, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Even as much as it might kill you.

Becky got me to my 5K with a good 10 minutes to spare. I met up with my friend Julie and the rest of our team. We were doing this 5K in the memory of Julie’s daughter Gracelyn who passed away nearly 7 years ago from Trisomy. I’d try to explain the medical condition, but I linked more information on the name. Anyways this 5K was to help raise money for a trisomy conference happening here in Salt Lake next year. A good enough cause in my books. Plus, I was glad I could help out a friend as well!

Little Gracelyn that I walked in memory of.

How I met Julie was actually pretty funny. For months she had been stalking me on Instagram and thought I was pretty funny. She never messaged or let me know any of this until this past April when I was working a ghost investigation in Salt Lake City with my brothers. She came up to me at the event and basically said … “I stalk you.”

Luckily, I’ve been around social media long enough to know that I don’t need to cover my windows with duct tape and hefty bags after someone says that to me. More than anything I am ALWAYS happy to meet a new friend. But, over the past couple of months we discovered that we had a few mutual friends including Elsha. And, she is also started to stalk me on Facebook as well … in case you are wondering.


But, we decided to walk the whole 5K together so we walked and talked. We talked about Elsha, we talked about our obsessive love for U2, we talked about Texas and of course her daughter and what Trisomy is. Admittedly, I had no idea what it was and how it affected children … and families. It’s sad that some of the diseases you might never hear about until they hit home. But, organizations like these are great because patients and families don’t have to go about the uncertainties alone. There’s a great support system structured into the organization.

I really had a great time to getting to know Julie better and what this organization means to her and with her healing of losing Gracelyn. Just like Jill, I cannot imagine the pain or grief parents go through losing a child. I can only imagine. I can never offer true empathy unlike those who’ve walked that walked. But, I am comforted that I can show sympathy in the past way I know how by supporting these kind of organizations and fundraisers.

Somehow I gave a ride back up the mountain to a naked Canadian? Eh. He promised Canadian Smarties as payment.

After I finished the 5K and while Jill was finishing her run, I took a group up Emigration to get their cars and then turned back to the park and went for breakfast with the Gabicas. Jill and I were still CRAVING biscuits and gravy from our run and we didn’t really care where we went. We ended up at Denny’s on 600th South. In retrospect we probably should have cared a BIT more. But, we all got biscuits and gravy and let it hit the spot for each of us. It was the right decision.

It was a great way to end the day. I put in 11.5 miles. About eight of it was running and three of it walking. I was fine with that. It was perfect, especially as I have been watching my foot the past couple of weeks. I’ve loosened my shoe a bit and I’ve found that helps. But, more than anything since I have a size 11 and 13 foot I am just alternating my 12.5 and 13 sized shoes between runs. I kind of got too attached to my 12.5s and I think that contributed a lot of my foot pain.


I’m praying I’m right. I hate injuries, especially foot injuries.

I am now about a month away from Nebo. GULP. I’m sure I will be fine. But, I have a half marathon in Provo on Saturday, speedwork on Wednesday and a nice 4-5 miles run sometime this week. Not to mention boot camp and strength training. It should be a good week to beef things up and cut some weight off my gut. I’m looking forward to it. Should be a great week.


Total Mileage Breakdown for 2014

2014 Training Miles – 458.85 miles
2014 Walking Miles – 51.65 miles
2014 Race Miles – 241.2 miles
2014 Total Miles – 751.7 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2014
January – 100.0 miles
February – 100.0 miles
March – 130.0 miles
April – 140.5 miles
May – 108.65 miles
June – 83.3 miles
July – 93.75 miles
August – 11.5 miles

Fartlek Friday XXXII

FF_FridayIt feels so strange for me not to have a race this weekend. Well, I do have a race, it’s a 5K, but not a half marathon. It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve had a weekend somewhat off.

I am still planning on getting 10-12 miles in though. The plan tomorrow is to run down Emigration Canyon to Liberty Park where my 5K is at 8am. I am still going to have to work out timing. But, I think I might have to start running a bit earlier than the group plans on to make sure I get to the park in time for my race.

Here I am planning and thinking out loud. So typical of me.

My goal is still working towards a sub-two at Nebo in a month. I am teetering on how realistic that is right now. Just because I have been nursing a few nagging injuries and I’ve been getting my health balanced the past month with my thyroid, testosterone and a slight diabetes scare (I don’t have it!).

Needless to say I don’t feel in top running shape which I should be at this point of the season. I know I’ll need to lose some weight to help. I can tell the cocktail of issues has helped me gain some weight. But, I also kind of blame marathon training on the nagging injuries. I kind of feel the need to back away from marathons for a while after I am done with Big Cottonwood next month.

I am currently signed up for the Utah Valley Marathon for next year, but we’ll see. I might sell that entry or downgrade to the half. I love that race and that marathon. But, training for a marathon compared to a half is a world of difference. And, my body recovers quicker to half marathons.

I wouldn’t say I am announcing my retirement, but I’ve run five marathons so far with six on it’s way. Really the only other marathon I really want to run is the Athens Marathon in Greece. But, who knows … I’d kind of like to run the St. George Marathon again. And, the Chicago, New York and MarineCorps Marathons would be a great experience. So I don’t know … ?!?!

I just love half marathons SO much better.

Surely, there will be more about this dilemma in future posts. Stay tuned.

Anyways, my pathway towards Nebo is shortening and here are my tentative plans for training runs until September 6th.

  • August 2 – Emigration to Liberty Park + 5K, 10-12 miles.
  • August 9 – Provo River Trail Half Marathon, 13.1 miles (PR push)
  • August 16 – Monte Cristo to Ogden, 18-20 miles.
  • August 23 – Run Elevated Half Marathon, 13.1 miles (PR push)
  • August 30 – Porter’s Half Marathon, 13.1 miles (Easy Run, no PR push)
  • September 6 – Mt Nebo Half, 13.1 miles (PR BABY!)

I am also throwing in speedwork and strength training into my weekly training. I really want to push this now that I feel physically balanced. I know I can do this and I feel like I still can. I just can’t take any time off from here on out.

While this week has been really focused on running here are a few other things that caught my attention along the way to today …

  • If you didn’t catch this last week, I have decided to be more deliberate with my races for next year. Wanting to save my money and legs I am going to only run 12 half marathons next year. One each month. I also want to volunteer at more. I need to give back.
  • I am kind of debating on flipping my Porter’s Half entry for an Emigration Canyon Half entry held that same day. I love that canyon. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!
  • I signed up for both the 2015 Timp Half and Nebo Half earlier this week for one low price. These are two of my favorite races. BOOYAH!
  • So far the races I have paid registration for are Vigor Big Cottonwood Half (May), Utah Valley Marathon (June), Timp Half (July) and Nebo (September).
  • I am planning on running the Park City Half Marathon in August because it’s on my birthday. My 34th birthday. Oh, man I am getting old.
  • Like I said, I want to volunteer at more races. I don’t want to get away from the running culture, I just need to enjoy while not running as much. But, one thing I do want to do is take my camera to a few races and just photograph the finish line. I love finish lines and the spirit of the marathon shown at them. The tears, the joy and the excitement. I want to capture that (or at least try to).
  • I like the idea of Six Californias, but the odds of it really happening are pretty much slim to none. But, in all reality it should have never been admitted as one state. I know why it was, but they should have split it at statehood. California is too big for it’s own good.
  • How can you not love this? I’m totally nailing adulthood by these standards. Time to break out the Trapper Keeper with pride!
  • I’m kind of skeptical about this article. Vegetables in desserts? I mean, I need to eat more vegetables … and less desserts. I’m so confused. My head hurts.
  • Otters are cute and all, but they are far from my favorite sea animal. That belongs to killer whales and manatees.
  • They are tied, because it’s so hard to chose one over the other. One is a ficious predator that delights millions in SeaWorld, while the other looks great on t-shirts and gets run over my boat motors. PLUS … both look great on a Trapper Keeper.
  • THIS!!! Poor kid. But, hilarious!
  • I want this pizza.
  • You should read this. It’s crucial Disney information. CRUCIAL!
  • Just so you know … Shark Week starts August 10th. This is the one week of the year that I don’t loathe and hate TV.BRACE YOUR PEOPLE.
  • Oh, look Shark Week party ideas … delightful.
  • So, apparently Sharknado 2 debuted this week? I feel like I should watch this? But, I have issues with it. Plus, not a huge of the SyFy channel right now.
  • But, in celebration of Sharknado here’s this.
  • When I first read that Dollar Tree bought Family Dollar I was kind of hoping that they would have changed their name to Family Tree, heck even Dollar Dollar would be acceptable.
  • I think everyone needs an ice cream horoscope. Mine says that I am Butter Pecan and that above all else I value love. It also says that I have an extremely positive outlook at almost all times.
  • Well that horoscope sucked. I was kind of hoping to be Cake Batter. So much for that!
  • mmmmmm … new ways of eating ice cream … drooling.
  • Oh, look more things about ice cream!
  • Oh look there is also a place that makes Ice Cream Rice Krispy Treat Sandwiches!
  • I feel weird.
  • This post made me want to move to Australia and get two sidekicks … one a sea turtle and another one a seal. Sounds kinda like a sequel to the Little Mermaid.
  • I should learn to cook these now in my 30s.
  • If I was going to get one of these tattoos, it would be either a Peep, Rice Krispy Treat or Nutella. Maybe even all three?
  • Um, yep.
  • This is really interesting the difference that makeup makes. Wow. Oh, and I just saw on the article that some are adult film actresses.
  • I refuse to call them porn or adult film STARS. What makes them STARS? Porn disgusts me anyways. I’ll stop my rant there.
  • Oh gosh, I am busting up at some of these!
  • At first when I read this, I thought it said Free Scotch. Nope, turns out the Scottish are voting for independence from the UK. I guess if they win their independence the streets would be flowing with free Scotch? Eh? Eh? … crickets …
  • TACOS!!!
  • CATS!!!
  • DOGS!!!
  • SHARKS!!!
  • PANGEA!!! 
  • DISNEY!!!
  • I really do hope this is the end of the whole Sterling fiasco. But, I doubt it. Either way it’s a BIG step to finally moving on in the RIGHT direction. I am more than excited to see what the Clippers can do under new ownership. REALLY EXCITED.
  • I am really excited for the new NBA season. Besides the Clippers, I am also secretly cheering on the Cavs. There was no way I could be a LeBron Heat fan, he was always Cleveland’s. I love that he is back and I hope he gets Cleveland a championship in the process.
  • I am cheering on the Jazz as well, but they ain’t going anywhere. Let’s be honest. It’s all about the future. Still, it should be exciting to see how they develop.
  • HOLY MOLLY! Check out these dishes. They are HORRIBLE!
  • Oh these are killing me.
  • This is a pretty good PSA about people and the internet. I should make sure I don’t do this. I know I have in the past. But, then again I find this funny coming from BuzzFeed which kind of makes fun of people a lot.
  • I really like this kid. I have a feeling if I had social media as a kid I would have done something just like that.
  • #totespresh
  • I’m not sure why Celine Dion is NOT on this list?
  • You know I would be WAY more into lasagna if it wasn’t so fattening. I can’t eat lasagna without feeling somewhat guilty and bloated.
  • Um, gross.
  • Meh. Not worth talking about.
  • Yeah, I’m not a fan of the word “usie” either … it’s a group selfie.
  • Some of these are funny and horrifying. Oh my gosh! I’m kinda glad I am not a teacher.
  • I want to be addicted to travel. So bad.
  • I really need a vacation. Bad.
  • I want to go to Disneyland.
  • No, wait … I want to go to Europe.
  • No, wait … cruise around the world!
  • Okay, maybe even St. George at this point.

Welp, that’s about it for me. I hope you have a great weekend and above all else be safe and RUN HAPPY!!!

Fartleking in the Park

So … I want to get faster.


Okay, I should be more specific.

I want to be a faster runner. I want to have the agility of a quick rabbit, the grace of an antelope and the power of a hungry cheetah. Unfortunately, most of the times I have the agility of a buffalo, the grace of rhino in a china shop and the power of a mama grizzly.

Yes, I just compared myself to a mama grizzly.

But, to my defense, do you ever want to run into a mama grizzly with two suckling cubs? Thought so … soooooo … maybe I want that power instead of a hungry cheetah? But, then again cheetahs are still faster.


My point is I don’t feel FAST enough, especially as I am working towards my goal of a sub-two half at Nebo. There are many reasons why I don’t feel fast enough right now. One, I’ve ran two marathons and a back-to-back half marathon five hours apart from each other (I can count that as a marathon, right?). And, I also have Big Cottonwood coming up as well.

Marathons take a lot out of me. I really mean … A LOT. I love training for marathons. That’s fun. But, then once tapering comes along and you run the actual marathon … I do kinda turn into a mama grizzly of sorts. Which makes sense now.

But, then the next couple of weeks happen and I’m spent. It’s hard for me to get back into a rhythm of running, working out and … well … being normal (then again I don’t think I’ve never been deemed “normal” before?). Marathons are difficult for a reason.

And, partly because of that I’ve decided not to run another one for the foreseeable fortune after Big Cottonwood. I took a year off after my first three and I kinda feel like doing the same for 2015. Next year I just want to focus on SPEED (running speed that is, just to clarify).

But, I am also giving my EVERYTHING now to get my sub-two at Nebo. I’m not NOT going to try to get that goal, I’m going to give it everything I have. I’ve got five weeks until Nebo. I can do this.

One thing I’ve been doing with my running friends and through the Utah Fartlek Society that I created a few weeks ago to help keep my training on track is by doing more speed work. Or namely, fartleking.

So every Wednesday at 7:30pm whoever wants to join the group we fartlek in Liberty Park. We do at least two laps of fartleking and either a warmup or cooldown lap. It’s great training, especially on the relatively flat course at Liberty Park. It just makes running down a canyon feel that much easier.

But, what we usually do is run for a quarter mile, walk about a tenth of mile, sprint for a quarter mile and then walk a tenth of a mile and then sprint again for a quarter mile and repeat that. I’m probably a tad off on my distance. But, the goal of fartleking is to do a mixture of running and sprinting based on the runners’ ability and decision.

During last night’s fartleking I was starkly reminded how much I need to get back into half marathon shape. I’ve been relying too much on my marathon shuffle. So last night I really focused on bringing up my knees and tapping into my inner-gazelle. While my legs were shot, it did help a lot.

My goal the next few weeks is to really focus on my form. I need to be deliberate with my form and pace. I need to kick it up more like a Rockette. I’ve found that when I do that I actually get less tired and it saves my feet.

It amazes me the difference between running marathons and half marathons. I hate it. I wish it was an easier transition for me to go from one race to another flawless. But, that’s not my reality and I am okay with that.

The goal is still to a sub-two and I feel even if I don’t get it at Nebo, I still have a couple great races in October where I can. The key is to keep trying until you get where you want to, right? RIGHT!


Working towards a goal …


Training wise this summer has been a bit frustrating for me when it comes to speed work for the half marathon. I just haven’t been as fast as I want to be. I contribute this to a couple of things … there’s the whole marathon running. That kills my half marathon training like nothing else, mainly because it takes SO much out of me.

In addition, I’ve been dealing with a few health issues. My low thyroid, testosterone and slight diabetes scare has made my weight, energy levels and drive to fluctuate. Not a fun way to stay motivated when you’re spot on your diet and you jump 15-20lbs. without much effort.

But, now that I finally feel balanced I am continuing to work on the goal. I have recommitted myself to be exact on my workout routine and diet. I’m not counting calories, but I am going by grams and need. Namely, more protein and less carbs on non-running days and a tad more carbs on running days. I guess in a way it’s carb cycling?

I just hate calling food routines diets. Dieting has such a negative connotation attached to it. Plus, in my opinion, has an end. It’s not something usually meant to maintain throughout one’s life. Except of course if you are a serial dieter, but that’s a whole different story for another day.

I am also upping my weekly mileage as well. Not much, but I’m being more deliberate with it. I am running 3-4 times a week, but at lower mileage of my marathon training. I am running one five miler, one three miler and then speedwork which should be about 2-3 more miles.

Then of course there are my long runs.

Since my focus for all of this work is to sub-two at Nebo I have the next six weekends all planned out. They are as follows …

  1. August 2 – Emigration to Liberty Park + 5K; 10-12 miles (fast pace)
  2. August 9 – Provo River Trail Half Marathon; 13.1 miles (fast pace)
  3. August 16 – Monte Cristo Training Run; 15-20 miles (slow)
  4. August 23 – Run Elevated Half Marathon; 13.1 miles (PR pace)
  5. August 30 – Porter’s Half Marathon; 13.1 miles (slow)
  6. September 6 – NEBOOOOOOO!!!!

I know that I am running (literally) out of time to get my sub-two goal this year. In fact, I am somewhat skeptical that I can right now. BUT … I am going to train, eat and mentally prepare myself like I am going to get that goal.

Plus, the body is an amazing thing and has surprised me on numerous occasions. Even now as I have gotten my health under control with my thyroid and testosterone it AMAZES me out quickly the body recovers and responds. Our bodies are amazing. Especially when we get exactly what it needs into our systems.

And, the way I look at it. If I work hard from here until September and I DON’T reach that goal. I am in a GREAT position to try again in October when I have a couple great downhill races. I am going to reach this goal one way or another.

It’s all done in the preparation.

RACE RECAP #70: DesNews Half Marathon


If I have learned anything this year, it’s that races come in many different ways. Some are for speed, some are fun, some are for you, some are for others and some are just for the challenge. I’m sure that there are others I could add that list. But, this run was just perfect. It was sublime. It was a challenge. I felt like it was a great push towards Nebo as well.

It was just perfect.

I won’t lie, I was kind of bummed that they didn’t use an actual newspaper for the race bib.

The Deseret News Marathon will always hold a special place in my heart because it was my first marathon two years ago. What that signifies in my weight-loss running journey has been HUGE. It will always be a hallmark race for me. It will always hold a special place in my heart. There is so much I could say about that experience, but this isn’t the place for it. Just know, I really don’t have plans on missing it anytime soon.

Besides the personal significance behind this race, I also really love this course. Like, really, really love this course. The half marathon starts up Emigration Canyon (one of my favorite places to run), past the zoo, down Sunnyside, right onto Foothill, past the football stadium before meandering onto 1300 East and onto South Temple where you then take a left onto the Days of ’47 Parade route towards Liberty Park.


My new favorite friend group selfie (a new one is always made each week).

It’s a mouthful, but really, one of my favorite race routes. Especially when you turn onto the parade route and have thousands of people cheering you on (or jeering you on, because they want the parade to start). It’s an awesome experience. And, next year I am totally bringing candy out to throw to the kids. I just feel like that needs to happen. It really does.

My original plans for running the race were actually quite simple. I didn’t have any plans on running with anyone. I had a few friends running it, but no plans on pacing anyone or running with them. I was going to run, linger a bit at the finish line before heading home and getting ready to head up to Wyoming for the weekend. Nothing fancy. Just a really good run to kickoff Pioneer Day weekend for me.

Running the parade route on 200 East in Downtown SLC!

But, then things changed the day before. One of my running friends got injured and decided to bow out of the race, so she gave Becky her bib. It was then that Becky and I decided to pace each other throughout the race. We are both planning on sub-two’ing at Nebo in September so training together has helped a lot. Our group does speed training on Wednesday at Liberty Park so that helps, but getting to run a race with each other is always a treat because we always have a blast running together. Always.

We’ve both been treating a few nagging injuries so we just really wanted to be consistent and push it, while not giving into the nagging little aches here and there. My foot had been bugging me (bunion!) and it had been bugging me since Timp. I knew the BIGGEST enemy wouldn’t be the stupid bunion, but the stupid heat. When I ran my marathon I practically died once I got out of the canyon. Why people (including myself) run in the middle of July is beyond me? I’ve done it now four times this month. It doesn’t get any easier.

Meeting Ruthie at the finish line!

So my plan was that during the race I would walk every aid-station and drink at least three things of water or a combination of water and Powerade. And, if I needed to, I’d just park myself there at the aid station and make hay with the volunteers. Luckily it never got to that point.

Even with a little nagging bunion the race was actually quite sublime. I have ran Emigration dozens of times and with that coupled with what this race meant for me really helped make this race sublime. Plus, I ran the whole race with Becky. Which made it even doubly sublime. It was just a perfect race.

These were sublime.

Physically, I did great during the race. My legs felt great and really the only pain was my stupid bunion. But, I found out fairly early in the run that if I ran just a TAD faster while on downhill the pain was fairly nonexistent. Which I loved and somewhat hated. But, it worked for me.

Becky and I kept a good pace, but knew we would slow down during some stretches of the race because of my foot and Becky’s calves. We kept up with our friend Katheryn who was pacing the 2:30 group and we tried to keep ourselves around her as much as we could. We knew about half way through the race that we’d probably end anywhere between 2:30-2:40 because of our pace and the fact that we started several minutes after gun time.

Just lingering at the finish line. FUN, FUN, FUN!

One of the best parts of the race was the aid station on Foothill near the U. Becky was originally going to volunteer at this aid station with Christy and others, but traded with Meridith after her injury. Regardless, it was a great pit stop and of course we celebrated it with a selfie (naturally). It was the boost that we needed to carry us the rest of the way.

My favorite part of the race was running from South Temple onto 200 East which also happens to be a part of the parade route. All the way from South Temple down to 900 South you get nothing but people cheering you from both sides of the street. It was fun and exhilarating. I even saw a couple people in the crowd that I knew which made it even more fun. When I run this again next year I want to throw candy to the crowd. It just seems like the right thing to do. Sure, I might not PR during that race, but it’s the right thing to do. Plus, it’d be fun.

Becky and I two medals away from making a wagon.

Once Becky and I crossed the finish line we were immediately greeted by friends. I got to meet my new friend Ruthie in person for the first time when she was the one to give me my medal. Then we just kind of lingered around the finish line and watched runners come in one by one. It was really rewarding watching many of the marathoners come in, especially the first time marathoners. Just knowing what it takes to get there you can’t help but honor that.

Additionally, it really inspired me to spend more time at finish lines. One thing I want to next year is just camp out at one of the major races and take pictures at the finish line of runners crossing or about to cross the finish line. There’s so much emotion, determination and sense of accomplishment that I’d want to capture and share. Honestly, I just think it would be awesome. It’d also make a great coffee table book.

My awesome crazy running friends.

Anyways, in retrospect this race was sublime. It was a great way to start the Pioneer Day weekend, but also a great way to keep my training on course for Nebo. Plus, spending time with Becky and others at the finish line was perfect. It was a perfect race and morning. It was a perfect way to celebrate the runniversary of my first half and full marathons.

Perfect, perfect, perfect.

Oh, and then after the race I hurried home and went and did this in Wyoming.

You can view more pictures of my running adventures during the DesNews Half Marathon here.

Total Mileage Breakdown for 2014

2014 Training Miles – 444.55 miles
2014 Walking Miles – 47.2 miles
2014 Race Miles – 238.1 miles
2014 Total Miles – 729.85 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2014
January – 100.0 miles
February – 100.0 miles
March – 130.0 miles
April – 140.5 miles
May – 108.65 miles
June – 83.3 miles
July – 83.4 miles