Tag: Nebo Half

Running in 2018 …

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about my road to 180 races. My 180th race will be July 24th — pretty much SMACK in the middle of the year. So that means I’ve got January through July pretty much covered — but, what about the last half?

What’s after my 180th race?

That’s a good question.

While I am trying to figure out my 2018 race schedule, I’ve had a couple focuses — one, my 100 mile run and, two, not doing as many back-to-back race weekends of a half marathon or longer. I know that if I am going to faster, especially during my half marathons, I am going to have to scale back on the long races.

I don’t anticipate myself PRing next year. But, I am wanting to use 2018 to set the foundation to PR in 2019. Well, I shouldn’t just say PR, but to break my long time goal of sub-two’ing a half marathon. That’s the goal.

To work on that fountain, I plan on not just scaling back on the races — but, focusing on doing two races a month. Ideally, a half marathon and a trail race, a month. This would be on top of shorter training runs on the other weekends. Runs that I want to vary between a canyon downhill run, trail run and challenge run (a mentally challenging run — run uphill, midnight all night run, etc) — but, I’ll blog about that later.

I just want to challenge myself, get faster and mentally stronger in order to attempt and achieve my goal. A goal I’d love to meet at either the Nebo Half or Revel Big Cottonwood Half in 2019. Something that seems rather doable for me.

But, 2018 will have to set that kind of success up for me. So, while I am scanning UltraSignUp, UtahRunning.com, Running in the USA, RaceEntry.com and other registration websites I’ve come up with tentative schedule for 2018.

Remember these are only races 13.1 miles or longer. I am sure I’ll have a few 10Ks and 5Ks planned throughout the year. Also, races in bold are ones that I am registered for already. And, there are a few in the later months that are planned on a projected date.

So, yeah, here’s my schedule …

1 — Revolution Run, January 1, 2018
2 — Sun Marathon, February 3, 2018
3 — Jackpot Running Festival, February 16-18, 2018
4 — Strider’s Winter Circuit Half Marathon, April 7, 2018
5 — Salt Lake City Half Marathon, April 21, 2018
6 — Provo City Half Marathon, May 5, 2018
7 — Vigor Big Cottonwood Half Marathon, May 12, 2018
8 — Drop 13 Big Cottonwood Half Marathon, June 9, 2018
9 — AF Canyon Race Against Cancer, June 23, 2018
10 — Canyon to Canyon Half Marathon, July 14, 2018
11 — Bountiful Handcart Days Half Marathon, July 24, 2018
12 — Elephant Rock Trail Half Marathon, August 11, 2018
13 — Mt. Nebo Half, August 25, 2018
14 — Revel Big Cottonwood Half Marathon, September 8, 2018
15 — Park City Trail Half Marathon, September 15, 2018
16 — Corner Canyon 25K; October 13, 2018
17 — The Haunted Half – Provo, October 28, 2018
18 — Mt. View Trail Half Marathon; November 10, 2018
19 — Thankful 13, November 22, 2018
20 — The Bakers Dozen Half Marathon, December 8, 2018

If you are planning on running any of these races or would love to suggest other races for me to do, please comment below! I love discovering new races!

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RACE #158: Nebo Half

NEBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! I love this race. Absolutely love. I would marry it if I could. But, alas, I can’t marry races — which is pretty sad. But, that won’t displace the Nebo Half within my hearts of hearts.

The course race holds my PR (2:08) that I set back in 2013. I am nowhere near that pace right now — and that’s okay. That can of worms is a post and a half for another day. But, this course is FAST, it’s beautiful and just downright fun — regardless of my pace.

Nebo will always be my favorite half marathon.

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As I have mentioned numerous times — this year has been a TOUGH year for running for me. Whether it’s been DNFs, DNSs, my thyroid levels, sprained ankles or the recovery aftermath of said sprained ankles — I just haven’t been able to get a rhythm to my training. It’s sucked. Sucked hard.

So going into Nebo — I didn’t really have a set goal. I wanted to sub-two. I also wanted to sub-2:50. That would have been my best half time of the year. But, after last week’s “Keto Krash” — I just didn’t want to set a time goal. My goal was just not to crash. It was more important to figure that all out now than to get a year’s best time.

So that was plan. I would still plan on doing my best. But, that wasn’t my first priority. I just never want to feel the way I did last week after my race again.

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I decided from last week’s experience to do things a bit differently. First thing, no eggs. They upset my stomach — especially so early in the morning. So my protein intake was cheese, turkey and some almond butter instead.

Second thing, I decided to eat a half banana before the race. That’s 10 grams of carbs for the half banana and I was hoping that’d give me a good enough jump during my first half of the race. Which it did.

And, then lastly, I decided to run with a hydration pack full of Powerade Zero. I usually don’t run with a hydration pack for anything shorter than a marathon, but on this diet I really should because the shortage of electrolytes probably did me in more than anything last week.

I also decided to run with an applesauce packet JUST in case I felt like I was crashing. There’s 13 grams of carbs in one pouch so it wouldn’t be killing my diet. But, I wanted to avoid using it unless I absolutely needed it.

Race morning went fairly well. I drove from Bountiful to Payson which is about an hour drive — so my wake up call was at 2am. Too too early. But, the nature of being a runner, right?

After loading the bus with my friend Zack we wandered up the canyon. Our driver missed a turn which we didn’t realize until we were at Mile 8 … of the marathon. There were some upset runners, but honestly — I didn’t mind, because that meant it was less time spent in the chilly canyon weather.

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After waiting about an hour or so for gun time we were off at 7am. It was hard not wanting to go “balls to wall” down the canyon. But, I knew I had to temper that excitement to avoid a crash later in the race.

I found myself a comfortable pace a couple miles in the race and decided to just focus myself at that speed. It wasn’t too fast, but it wasn’t too slow either. It felt comfortable. And, if I felt like I could push it a bit more later in the race — I would.

It was just a good nice pace.

Besides focusing on my speed, I focused on my breathing, gait and energy levels. It really helped having my hydration pack with me, because every time I felt thirsty or a need for a jump of energy — I just took a sip of my Powerade.

At aid stations I still took water, but made sure to drink my Powerade Zero instead of what was offered me. Of course because of the added sugar. But, I really got into a good groove around Miles 4-5 and felt like pushing myself a bit — so I did.

Things were going pretty good until a couple miles later when my foot and ankle started hurting. I haven’t had a lot of pain in the ankle since I’ve started physical therapy, but it really started during around Mile 7-8 — and this killed any mojo I was building up for the rest of the run.

Not only was my ankle hurting, but the top of my foot was hurting as well. During the race I was rather concerned about it, because I didn’t want to unravel everything I worked hard to strengthen. But, after my race I Googled my symptoms to see if that might show what reveal what was going on with the foot.

Fortunately — and unfortunately — I found out it was a two fold problem. Easily fixable. But, I figured the combination of me tying my shoe too tight and focusing my gait to land on my big toe first caused the muscle to strain, which also caused my ankle to hurt as well. It was sore most of the day, but luckily by Sunday — I was fine.

I really need to be more careful with my shoes. That was a total rookie mistake. But, I can see why I did it — I wanted to give that ankle a lot of support. Which I did. It was — unfortunately — just too much support.

The last five miles were tough. I yo-yo’d my friend Amanda a bit which made the miles go a bit faster since we bantered a bit back and forth. The course got fairly hot around 9-10 which zapped a good amount of energy, but I just kept on going.

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Despite my foot and heat I didn’t want to leave any doubt that I gave everything, so in those late miles I forged through the rolling hills and streets of Payson passing a number of other runners. They were small victories, insignificant to the masses, but big to me in the moment. Especially since I just wanted to finish strong.

As I made the turn toward Payson Park and the finish a large gathering of my AIIA team was cheering me on. I was joined by Zack and Russell for the home stretch — I couldn’t have asked for a better group of fine young me to run me in. Both of them of ran the half — and Russell who’s barely 10 even got a sub-two time! So proud of both of them!

After I finished I grabbed some water and felt a crash coming on. I gave my all. Which is a great feeling, but at the same time I just found a patch of grass and sat sipping on water and my Powerade while chatting with friends.

I know I have a lot of work to do to get myself back to where I was a couple of years ago, even in 2013 when I PR’d on this course. I know I have it in me. And, I feel very hopeful with the changes that I’ve made with my diet and workout regime — that I’ll get there. But, at the same time — if I never get back there — I am happy running the rest of my life at any pace or speed. Just as long as I can still do it.

But, I’m never NOT going to try to get back there — no matter what curve ball life seems to throw at me. I can’t wait to see what I can do on this course within the next year.

And, that’s what drives me to come back for more.


My next race is the Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon. I am sweeping the course, which is always a party and a half. This will be my fourth year sweeping the course. I did downgrade my Huntsville Marathon entry from the full to the half — I need to focus on strengthening the ankle, not running it into the ground. That is also why I decided to drop the St. George Marathon. There’s a remote chance I’ll still do it. But, with my training right now — I don’t feel confident enough that I’ll hit the cut off times.

Anyways, still lots of running and training to do this fall, I can’t wait …

RACE #158: Nebo Half, August 26, 2017 (3:02:55) NEBOOOOOOO!!! Always my favorite half, because it's fast, beautiful and fun! Took it easier than usual as to avoid a crash like last week — also still trying to get used to my keto diet. But, still loved every minute of it! The race benefitted the @addicttoathlete team, so there were AIIA athletes at pretty much all the aid stations. It was so great seeing their smiling faces every few miles. I felt strong and I can tell my body is acclimating much better to my new diet. No crash. Running with my own Powerade Zero helped. I'm hoping for some better times here in the fall to finish off 2017 strong! It's been a tough year for me. #race158 #nebohalf #running @runtasticevents @addicttoathlete @josherwalla @ketoshua @joshruns180

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One of the best parts of keto — once a guilty pleasure no longer associated with guilt. On my way home from Payson to Bountiful, I stopped in American Fork for a Double Double Protein Style Burger from In n' Out! It definitely hit the spot! ———————————————————— #innout #proteinstyle #doubledouble #ketolunch #lunch #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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She's so angelic, she even has a halo.

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Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 9.0 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 31.02 miles
TOTAL MILES — 53.12 miles
Races This Week — Nebo Half.

August 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 42.0 miles
Race Miles — 40.0 miles
Walking Miles — 92.39 miles
TOTAL MILES — 174.39 miles
Races in August — (3) Elephant Rock Trail Half, Run Elevated Half and Nebo Half 

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 353.05 miles
Race Miles — 322.42 miles
Walking Miles — 872.54 miles
TOTAL MILES — 1548.01 miles
Races done in 2017 — (22) 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, Run Elevated Half and Nebo Half.

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Experiencing the “Keto Krash” …

Remember how, when I started this diet, I said that I didn’t know what I was doing? Yeaaaaaah — last Saturday — I had NO idea what I was doing. While running the Run Elevated Half Marathon down Little Cottonwood here in Salt Lake, I totally crashed.

Not the kind of crash where you fall down scrape your knees and whatnot, but physically, mentally and emotionally — CRASHED. It took me almost over a half hour to finish the last miles. It was bad.

But, luckily for you, I am alive and able to blog about my experience. Not to mention to share a few things I learned from my experience, that I will be doing differently this weekend at the Nebo Half.

So let’s start off by identifying what I did wrong …

  • I didn’t fuel properly for this phase of my diet. I focused on drinking electrolytes the night before and morning of the race, but that wasn’t enough. I mainly fueled with fats and protein.
  • I don’t think I ate enough food in the morning — I ate some turkey and cheese, some hardboiled eggs, dill pickles and couple slices of pork I cooked the night before. That seems like quite a bit of food, but it wasn’t and I felt that fairly early in my race.
  • I ate two hardboiled eggs a half hour before gun time. This didn’t settle well on my stomach and gave me some unpleasant gas. I felt sorry for the downwinders. It was a bad decision all around for me.
  • I didn’t properly refuel with electrolytes during the race. I started taking sips of Gatorade, but to avoid the extra sugar I focused on hydrating with more water. It’s no wonder I crashed at Mile 11 with this game plan.
  • And, lastly, I didn’t research enough of what I should have done for the half having just started this diet.

Here’s what I probably should have done …

  • I should have slightly spiked my carbs before the race — like a half banana, half an orange or some kind of carb-filled fruit. Nothing processed, but a whole food.
  • I should have run with my applesauce packets I am accustomed to running with lately. Each packet has about 13 grams of carbs and if I sipped this throughout the run it would have helped me a lot in the middle of the run.
  • I should have packed my own Powerade Zero to drink throughout the run. If I was so worried about the sugar — there’s an easy solution to that problem.
  • I should have read and researched more — and not been so stubborn in not allowing myself to eat a few extra carbs right before and during the run.

And, finally, here’s what I am planning on doing differently this weekend during the Nebo Half …

  • I am going to read more about what I should doing to avoid a crash during a run while on a keto diet. That’s a must. I need to avoid that as my #1 goal for this weekend’s race.
  • I am going to eat a half banana about 10-15 minutes before the race — just to give myself the jump of energy.
  • I am going to run with two applesauce packets. I am going to sip from one as long as I need to, keeping the second as a backup plan.
  • I am going to bring my own Powerade Zero — either on my waste or on a hydration pack. I haven’t decided yet — I kinda hate both — so it might be a game time decision which one I go with. But, it might be the backpack, belts make me feel weird.
  • I am not going to eat hardboiled eggs before my run, but I will load up some peanut butter, meat and cheese the morning of the race. I need more calories — lots more. But, not too much where it’ll make me sick.

I think these are good assessments and good directives. I’d like to say that I don’t need the half banana or applesauce, but I feel like right now I do. Plus, it’s unprocessed and not too carb loaded. I hope to ween myself off it completely within the next month.

But, we’ll see?

I just need to listen to my body and take the cues it’s giving me so I don’t have a repeat of Saturday. That’s not going to happen again.

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My 50 Mile Training Plan …

50 Mile Training Plan

I am getting really excited for the Pony Express 50 in October — sure it’s still 7 months away — but, I am getting really, really excited to just tackle the crap out of it.

I would do it tomorrow if I knew I could — well, I am sure I could — but, I’d be one hot mess if I tried. I am simply not prepared to tackle it physically, mentally and emotionally. I have this vision of myself laying in face down in ditch with tears of mascara pouring down my face because of my extremely poor decision.

So, yeah, that won’t be me.

This is one reason I have been going back to a half marathon training plan. I want to rebuild my base — I want to be able to not struggle through a half marathon. I want to do it with ease — or relative ease — like I used to a couple years ago. And, then I want to build onto that base with running marathons and eventually the 50 miler.

I am sure I could have thrown myself into training now and done an earlier race — but, I want to do this right. Mainly, because I don’t trust my training right now. Last year took a lot out of me — from my legs to core. And, I’ve got to get that back.

Anyways — below you’ll find how I put together my training plan — and my actual training plan. If you’re running your first ultra marathon — maybe this will help? But, just remember, I put this together for me. If you’re looking for a good plan I have some good links below.




I used a couple of training plans — since I am training for the St. George Marathon and the Pony Express 50 I tried to intermingle a marathon and 50 mile training plan into one. Since I am not a very fast runner — the training plan is more about mileage than pacing, splits and all that jazz.

But, I used the Hal Higdon Marathon Novice 2 Training Plan and a mixture of two 50 mile training plans — Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning, UltraLadies Running Club and Runner’s World Ultimate Ultramarathon Training Plan.

I didn’t really find an authoritative training plan for a 50 miler — which is okay, mainly because I will have to bastardize my marathon training plan some to also prepare for the 50 miler. The key more than anything is to get my miles in — and be prepared mentally, emotionally and physically for the run.

To prepare for all of that I am focusing on a few of my looooong 20 milers to be doozies. I want them to be tough. I actually got this idea from Jill — and I love the idea of mentally and physically making those runs HELL for me.

In August I have two 20 mile training runs planned. The first on the weekend of the 13th and the second on the 27th. The one of the 13th I am planning on doing on a treadmill — and that’s not all. I am planning on starting at midnight after staying up since 4am the day before. I want to experience the fatigue and mental strain that those latter miles are going to bring me.

Plus, I just love crazy.

The run on the 27th I haven’t decided on yet — it’s one of two runs. I was thinking of either running the indoor track at my Rec Center in Bountiful. It’s a small, small, small track that adds up to like 4-5 trips around per mile. I like the idea of the mental strain.

Or — I am going to an ALL up hill 20 miler. That sounds fun and crazy. There was a 20 miler up Emigration Canyon that Becky and I did a couple years while preparing for the Ogden Marathon that was a killer uphill.

Either way — stay on hold to see what the 27th will entail. But, the goal is to kick my trash in all areas where I want to get stronger. And, of course — if you want to join in the adventure you’re more than welcome to join me! Especially on my treadmill training run!

But, also of note — I have three marathons on my race docket as well — the Big Cottonwood, Huntsville and St. George Marathons. That’s a marathon every other week — which will be tough mentally and physically.

But, I am sweeping the Big Cottonwood Marathon and am planning on truly racing the St. George Marathon. I am treating Huntsville as a training run. So it will be somewhere in between racing pace and sweeping pace. Whatever that means.

Anyways — I am getting excited … and nervous, but that’s normal and I am pretty stoked about it. If you have any tips or suggestions for what else I can — please by all means let me know! I’d love your advice.



Like I’ve mentioned before — I am not a training or a running coach — but, if this works for you, go ahead and use it. It’s tailored towards me, but if it helps you … GREAT!

Just know it’s a lot of running. It’s 300+ miles just in looooong training runs! That excites and scares me all in one emotion! I LOVE IT!

I can’t wait until October 21st!

Here are the long runs —

NOTE: This does not include my fitness/running plan for the following 22 weeks. The meat of that will change the closer I am to the race and will depend on my fitness levels according to my goals. But, most of my running during the week will be outside around Bountiful either on the roads or trails.

June 4: Bountiful Temple Run (8 miles)
June 11: Drop 13 Big Cottonwood Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
June 18-19: Ragnar Relay: Wasatch Back (~13.1-15 miles)
June 25: AF Canyon Race Against Cancer (13.1 miles)
July 2: 13 Miles of Freedom Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
July 9: Bountiful Temple Run (8 miles)
July 16: Emigration Canyon to Liberty Park (12 miles)
July 23: Handcart Days Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
July 25: Deseret News Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
July 30: Timp Half (13.1 miles)
August 6: Legacy Parkway Trail (15 miles)
August 13: Treadmill Madness (20 miles)
August 20: Big Cottonwood Canyon (12 miles)
August 27: TBA (20 miles)
September 3: Nebo Half (13.1 miles)
September 10: Big Cottonwood Marathon (26.2 miles)
September 17: Huntsville Marathon (26.2 miles)
September 24: Goldilocks Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
October 1: St. George Marathon (26.2 miles)
October 8: Emigration Canyon to Hogle Zoo (10 miles)
October 15: Bountiful Temple Run (8 miles)
October 21-22: Pony Express 50 Mile Run (50 miles)

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Phat Josh’s Top Ten 2015 Race Medals


This is one of my favorite posts of the year. This is the post where I get to look back at all of my race medals and pick my top favorite ones of 2015. It’s been a big year of running for me — I’ve ran over 30 races — so how do I narrow it down to just ten medals?

It’s definitely quite the task.

The formula for my selections are quite simple — it’s my selection. The selection is either based of sheer design or a mixture of design and what that race meant to me. So if you’re looking for a grading sheet of why I selected a certain medal at a certain spot — you’re not getting it here.

But, that’s okay, this is just based off what I like.

So without further adieu — here are my top ten favorite race medals from 2015, starting with #10 …

10) Murdock Canal Half Marathon


This medal my surprise some people because of the relatively small size of this race. But, quite honestly — I loved the medals. Utah Run does a great job with all of their medals, and this is no exception.

I like the color combination and the simple design, including the splash you get from the orange trail “swiggle” — very nice, simple and bold.

9) Lagoon Half Marathon

Utah’s Disneyland Half Marathon — aka Lagoon Half Marathon had some pretty sweet medals for participants this past year. I love the detail of some of Lagoon’s big attractions in the medal along with the simple two color copper coloring. Very bold and a great keepsake medal.

I do wish however that instead of featuring newer rides that they featured the historic White Roller Coaster, Carousel and even the Colossus. To me that’s Lagoon. The medal probably would have ranked higher on my list with those features.

8) Nebo Half


NEBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! By far one of my favorite courses and races here in Utah. And, the medals don’t disappoint either. I love the sheen and glitz of each medal, not to mention the fall colors of red, yellow and the like — Nebo really is the kickstart race of the fall and they play that up with the medals and shirts.

If I had one complaint — I wish the medals were a bit bigger. But, then again, I love big medals. Period.

7) Drop 13 Big Cottonwood Half Marathon


This medal is one of my favorites for a number of reasons — one, I love the colors. I am a sucker for blue and gold. Two, I love the race — any race down Big Cottonwood is a favorite, but this race takes the cake as far as half marathons go. And, two, I love the size of the medals — they’re big and shiny. A great recipe for someone who such a short attention span such as myself.

6) AF Canyon Run Against Cancer Half Marathon


This race has a special place in my heart — mainly because … CANCER SUCKS! And, I love the mission of this race. My Mom is a cancer survivor and I’ve had a number of other friends who’ve battled through the disease. Including one whom we honored later in the year at the Timp Half.

Design wise of the medal — I love the simplicity. The AF design is really cool in the blue and lime green. Plus the size and weight of the medal makes this a considerable finisher’s medal. Combine that with the memories of the race and it’s one of my favorites in 2015 by far!

5) Snow Canyon Half Marathon

If there is one thing you should know about me it’s this — I am a sucker for the red rocks of southern Utah. So this medal definitely delivers on that accord. Plus, the race itself delivers even more red rock scenery so I’ll make that association everytime I look at the medal.

I love the design of the medal along with the sheen of the gold and orange along with the size and weight. But, I will always associate this medal with this race and my beloved red rocks of southern Utah.

4) Ogden Half Marathon


This medal is CLASS. All of the medals I’ve received from the Ogden Marathon have been. This year’s race was one of my favorites for a number of reasons — namely, because I had so much fun running in the rain. I know that sounds weird, but I came prepared compared to years past. As soon as I crossed the finish line I changed into completely dry clothes. I then headed to the block before the finish line and cheered in friends who ran the marathon.

I am not planning on running the Ogden Marathon again this upcoming year and I am kind of bummed — because I always love their medals.

3) Timp Half


This race was special on many levels for me this past year. Forget the fact that American Fork Canyon is one of my favorite canyons to run down, this was special because this was the race where we all rallied around our friend ‘Dith after learning of her breast cancer diagnosis. We all wore pink in her honor and I sported a pink bra as well. One that I should add — I haven’t ran in a race without since.

But, the medal design speaks for itself in why this is third on my list. It’s solid. The detail, the colors, size and weight are spot on — and spectacular.

2) Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon


I LOVE and I mean LOVE the Revel medals. I’ve ran the race down Big Cottonwood each year since their inaugural run in 2012. And, each year — they’ve delivered awesome and better medals. I love the use of color and design in this year’s medal — not to mention the size and weight of the medal as well. It’s pretty much a frickin’ paper weight.

I really wy want to run other Revel races just so I can collect all of their awesome medals.

1) The Baker’s Dozen Half Marathon


Okay, this has pretty much #1 on my list like MONTHS before I actually ran this race. There’s no way it would have been any lower than #1 — this medal has been one I’ve been pining for, for the past couple of years. All of the Bakers Dozen medals are pretty much legendary around here in Utah.

These medals are HUGE … COLORFUL … and just FUN! And, when I say huge, I mean HUGE! You could pretty much use this medal as a frickin’ plate for a dozen cupcakes. But, these medals are really such a great consolation prize for such a fun party of a race. And, it’s one of the many reasons why I will back in 2016 to claim another epic medal.

RACE #106: Nebo Half



Let me say that again … NEBOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Okay, that should help get that out of my system for a while. I love, love, love this race. It’s a fast downhill course that just speaks to me for many reasons. The fact that it’s downhill and gravity is working on my side is the first reason. Second, because the canyon is GORGEOUS! Especially around this time of the year as the leaves are just starting to turn. And, third, because so many of my friends run it as well.

It’s kinda like the Super Bowl of Utah half marathons in my book. It’s a fun course, that pretty much everyone flies down. And, that’s what I have been looking forward to more than anything this past year. I love just letting myself go and … just run. Just let gravity take care of the rest.

Going into the race I really wanted to set a year best time. Especially considering that my two best times were running down Big and Little Cottonwood canyons. The last being two weeks ago at the Run Elevated Half. So that had been my focus and goal.

Well, I should say that wasn’t my only goal. I’m the type of person that states one goal, but really has, like, three goals. The publicly stated goal, the ambitiously secret goal and then the safe secret goal in case the first two goals don’t happen. Which really should be the equivalent to a “participation trophy” in T-Ball.

So going into Nebo my three goals were such …

1) Ambitiously Secret Goal: A sub-2:30 finish time.
2) Public Stated Goal: 2:35 or better finish time.
3) Safe Secret Goal: 2:40 or better finish time.

I guess you could say I had another goal of not to get anything past a 2:45. But, that’s really not a goal … more like an expectation. And, I figured that if I didn’t meet that expectation I probably would have wallowed in self-pity while eating really crappy ice cream and a Gilmore Girls marathon the rest of the holiday weekend.

Luckily, it never came to that.

But, I didn’t meet my first two goals either. Which, while I am not overly disappointed, I did get exactly a 2:40 finish (my timer said 2:39, but whatever) to meet that safe secret goal. I am satisfied with my goal, because I gave a great effort on the course and pushed myself the best that I could. And, really, I kinda made some poor choices and decisions that killed my chance of a better time.

Should I make a short list of them?

Even if you said no, I am still am going to list them since this is my blog …

1) I didn’t eat enough calories for breakfast (½ a banana and protein bar).
2) Going out WAY too fast on the first mile.
3) Keeping a faster pace for longer than I should have.
4) Letting Mile 9 mentally get to me.
5) Taking too long at the third aid station.

Some of those choices and decisions are unavoidable. Because sometimes at aid stations you need to retie your shoe and then go back for another water. It could have gone down smoother, but choices like not eating enough for breakfast or going out way too fast are avoidable. And, just kind of stupid mistakes.

Especially, when I knew better.

But, on the flip side I am satisfied with my time for a number of reasons …

1) I maintained a sub-2:30 pace for the first 8-8.5 miles.
2) I ran through quad soreness and kept my walking to a minimum.
3) Didn’t slow down when I realized I wasn’t going to meet my goal time.

It’s really a strange feeling, because I wouldn’t say that I am extremely disappointed in my outcome. I’m satisfied, but not disappointed. Especially when I ran a 2:37 just two weeks ago down Little Cottonwood Canyon. So how can I really be upset or disappointed with myself?

Especially when I can learn from the experience.

But, with everything that I’ve dealt with this past year with my health and I’ll take it. It’s been a struggle. I really want to take it as a launching point to get back to where I want to be health and running wise. And, looking forward a year from now I see myself there. I see myself being healthy and strong while working and setting a new PR.

Which would anything under 2:08:25. Something I am ready to tackle and work towards.

But, the focus is now looking towards this weekend’s Big Cottonwood Marathon and working towards my 50K in November. I’ve got a lot of running coming up in the next couple of months. I’m very excited about that.



NEBOOOOOOOOOOI!!! #nebohalf #runtastic #race106 #running @running180 @fight4phat @mejosher @runtasticevents A photo posted by Running180™ (@running180) on

The Nebo Club. #dontyouforgetaboutme #nebohalf #race106 #running @running180 @fight4phat @mejosher @runtasticevents

A photo posted by Running180™ (@running180) on



This weekend I am sweeping the Big Cottonwood Marathon. This is the third year I’ve ran the marathon. I also ran the half marathon in 2013. I wasn’t planning on running any marathons this year, but since I decided to run a 50K in November I picked up a couple for this fall as preparation.

This is one of my favorite marathons. It’s organized perfectly. It’s a beautiful fast course. And, it really gives St. George a run for their money at the best Utah marathon.

Plus, this course holds a lot of great memories for me, especially last year as I ran with Jill during her first marathon …

Jill finishing her first marathon …This is one of my most favorite moments. Ever. This woman has FOUGHT to get to this moment. And, I am not just talking about the previous 26.2 miles of the race. She earned the title of “MARATHONER”

Posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansen on Saturday, September 13, 2014



Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 202.5 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 284.6 miles
2015 Race Miles – 313.5 miles
2015 Total Miles – 800.6 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 72.85 miles
March – 115.3 miles
April – 76.3 miles
May  97.4 miles
June  131.15 miles
July  101.65 miles
August  110.2 miles
September – 22.95 miles


The 88th Fartlek Friday™ – Today I eat some pasta then tomorrow I run … NEBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

By the title of today’s post can you tell that I am excited to run the Nebo Half tomorrow? I probably am … just a tad too much? Maybe? Okay I am.

But, can you blame me? In the three years I have ran the Nebo Half I have looked forward ANXIOUSLY to the race the whole year. This year is nothing different. The course is fast and holds my PR and last year’s YB times. I am anticipating the same result come tomorrow morning.

I am shooting for a 2:35 or better … which is totally doable in my books. I did 2:37 on Run Elevated two weeks ago and back in June I did a 2:36 on the Drop 13 course. Nebo is much faster than Little and Big Cottonwood so I feel that sub-2:35 is MINE! I’d love a sub-2:30, but we’ll see. I am going to push it and see how my body responds.

That’s all I can ask from it, right?

Besides being an extremely fast course, Nebo also kinda kicks off the craziness that is fall running. Some of my favorite races are coming up quickly. Big Cottonwood is next week and then the Layton Marathon, both Haunted Half races and my Corner Canyon 25K as well. Lots of running and races in the fall. I love it.

Of course they’re all leading up to my 50K in November. Which I am getting excited and a tad nervous about. Both Howloween Half Marathons were both cancelled and I planned to use both as key races for my ultra training. They were planned on October 23rd and 30th, the night before both Haunted Half races. I wanted to do back-to-back races to help with the fatigue training.

But, alas, I am going to have to find other means to doing that. I might just still run 13 miles on those nights. But, that’s kinda boring doing myself. Or I might just run more on Saturday after the Haunted Half races. I live about 11 miles away from the Salt Lake race’s finish line so many I should run home? Or maybe even run to the race?

That’s a thought. Crazy enough to be fun.

Why do I give myself all of these ideas? Sometimes I swear I am too hazardous for my own health.

Either way, I am getting excited for it. Getting the Big Cottonwood and Layton Marathons under my belt will help with a lot of that training. Plus, I know I can push through a lot of fatigue from my other back-to-back races this past summer. So I am not too worried, but worried enough to worry about it (how’s that for a sentence?).

But, the focus right now is to kill my quads, calves and whatever other muscle in my legs want to burn like a mother tomorrow morning down Payson Canyon. After some ice baths, R&R over Labor Day weekend and a Slurpee and McGriddle … I’ll start focusing on the 50K at 110%.



Since my schedule has changed for on my fall racing schedule, here is what my next 12 or so weeks will look like now …

  • Sept 05 – Nebo Half
  • Sept 12 – Big Cottonwood Marathon
  • Sept 19 – RYR Pacing Run
  • Sept 26 – Bugout Run
  • October 10 – Layton Marathon
  • October 17 – Corner Canyon 25K
  • October 24 – Haunted Half SLC
  • October 31 – Haunted Half Provo
  • November 7 – Saltair Half
  • November 14 – Antelope Island 50K
  • November 26 – Thankful 13
  • December 12 – Bakers Dozen Half

Who else is running any of these races? Let me know in the comments below!


I know that I mentioned this on Monday, but I wanted to once again thank all of those that donated to Elsha and my birthday fundraiser. We raised $1750! That was $50 more than the $1700 goal we set. This will allow us to now get TWO carts for local assisted athletes.

You really don’t know how this is going to change two lives. We are giving them the gift of running and racing whenever they want. They no longer will need to borrow a cart and that depends on availability, they can race when they want. THAT’S HUGE!



Here are a few other things this past week that caught my attention …