Tag: pacing

RACE #146: Provo City Half Marathon

This past week has been a struggle — to say the least. After getting sick during the Salt Flats 50K last Friday my whole weekend and most of this past week was simply derailed. I’m still not 100%, but I am past the flu and bronchitis and I feel much, much better.

Having DNF’d the Salt Flats 50K and DNS’d the Tulip Festival Half — I was ready for a race success this weekend. Not even a success, just a race. And, this was the perfect rebound race. Especially since I was pacing the 3:35 time (basically the sweeper).

I’ve always enjoyed running the Provo City Half. It’s a fun course that starts at South Fork up Provo Canyon and then drops down to University Blvd. by way of the Provo River Trail. It’s not a super fast canyon race, but it has a good combination of downhill and nice rolling hills.

I was excited to not just run this course, but to be pacing it with my really good friend Tricia Wilkins. This shouldn’t have been our first foray into pacing. Back in 2014 we were suppose to pace the Thankful 13 together, but we got separated in the corral and lost each other. I tried to catch up as I was pushing Elsha, but we just never did.

So this race was pretty much making up for that failure.

And, it didn’t disappoint. Especially since we were also joined by Tricia’s husband Cory. It was a REAL party now!

I carpooled down from Bountiful to Provo with Carla and Reese Thorne. It was nice because I got to bypass the bus shuttle up the canyon since Reese has his cart. As much as I enjoy bus shuttles up canyons, I also like avoiding losing an extra hour of sleep — it was nice not having to leave for Provo an hour earlier.

The race start at the South Fork Park up Provo Canyon near Vivian Park — and in year’s past it’s pretty dang cold. So I always come prepared with a fairly heavy and/or layers, but when we got up the canyon I was fairly surprised how warm it was — my jacket was hardly needed. Which is good and bad — bad, meaning, it meant the valley was going to be fairly hot.

But, since I was pacing 3:35 I wasn’t too worried about the heat. Plus, I brought my backpack which still packed from the previous week’s 50K misadventure. I had some water leftover along with bacon jerky, applesauce, Swedish Fish, some Honey Stingers and a first aid kit. So, I was pretty much set for anything between an empty stomach to the apocalypse.

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After the gun sounded and we corralled everyone toward the starting line we made the decent down the canyon. I love the Vivian Park portion of the canyon, especially during the spring — not only is the canyon beautiful, but you also get some great views of Timp as well. It’s gorgeous.

We fartleked down the canyon trying to keep a good pace while trying not to frighten the people ahead of us much. As much as I love sweeping and pacing the last pacing times — I also know how much the people in the back don’t want to see you, especially early in the race. I’ve had a few run ins with runners in the past that came close to cursing me out at miles 2-3 or so. And, I don’t blame them! No one wants to be passed by the sweeper.

After our fartlek down Vivian Park the course took us down the Provo River Trail — which is even prettier than South Fork and Vivian Park. After passing Bridal Veil Falls and switching under the highway we kept the party going with dance parties (Tricia brought Bluetooth speakers), squats and plenty of laughing. It really was a party in the back.

It was a blast.

Around miles 7-8 the course dumped us onto University Blvd. toward the finish line. I was a bit worried about getting to this point, because I was expecting it to be pretty hot — since it warm up the canyon. But, I was relieved to see cloud cover as a storm was approaching Provo. It didn’t look particularly nasty — so the cloud coverage was welcomed.

As we got closer to the finish line we were joined by the Petrossi’s — Timothee and Jennifer — who planned on grabbing a Slurpee and running in with us. They are both a part of Team Addict II Athlete and it was really touching to have them run with us, because it reminded so much of last year’s Provo City Half when the team ran me in on that same home stretch — because nobody runs alone on Team AIIA.

At mile 12.5 we hopped off course monetarily and grabbed our Slurpees. Though it wasn’t scorching hot — the Slurpees were manna to my lips — and cooled me down. It was perfect. So, with our Slurpees in hand we headed toward the finish line for our victorious finish picture! And, thanks to Jorge we got some sweet photos!

But, we were done! We did it! We may of been a tad past our pace, but that didn’t matter much. We lingered a bit at the finish line to cheer in some of the runners behind us as we finished the last of our Slurpees.

I just felt great. Having finished the race helped erase a lot of discouragement of my previous week. And, being able to just get out and run was something I couldn’t imagine earlier in the week after overcoming the flu and bronchitis.

My only regret was that my ankle was pretty sore, but that was my own fault — as I realized afterward I forgot to wear my sports brace. But, after icing it throughout the weekend I should be okay. But, it is one of the reasons why I planned on backing out of the Ogden Marathon distance. That foot on pavement for 26.2 miles would just be too much.

Anyways — my next race isn’t until Memorial Day weekend at the Jordan River Half Marathon. I’m planning on getting some good running in, but at the same time I am taking it easy to let my body and ankle heal a bit. It needs it, because I feel it.

But, this race was a victory and such a fun memory I will remember among my 180 journey.


MY NEXT FIVE RACES


Everyone needs a Dave in their life. This past week has been pretty stressful. Between overcoming the flu and bronchitis while juggling two jobs, it’s been a tough and stressful week. Tonight after work my plan was to dive head first into some pending projects I need done by Monday, but that kind of got derailed when I got a call from Dave asking to hang out because his Mom wasn’t home. I had a million reasons to say no, but I just couldn’t decline his request. I knew he didn’t want to be alone. So I told him he could come over and watch some basketball while I worked on my computer. When he got to our house he told me how he felt sad for his Mom and how she wasn’t having a very good week. He then told me that he wanted to cheer her up and wanted to go get flowers for her. I knew this meant I wasn’t going to be spending much of the evening at home as planned, so I hopped in the car and headed to the store with Dave. My heart melted watching Dave pick out some flowers, chocolates and a card for his Mom. The love and admiration he has for her is truly special. And, as I stood next to him as he was making these choices, I just couldn’t help but recognize that I needed this pause. I needed this reminder of what life is about. Dave has provided many of these kind of moments during our friendship. I don’t know how I got so lucky to call him “friend,” but I truly cherish his friendship. And, I am truly grateful for these many little lessons and reminders he teaches me.

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RACE #146: Provo City Half Marathon (3:35) After the previous weekend’s debacle of DNFs and DNSs and subsequent illness, this was a nice rebound race. I paced 3:35 alongside Tricia and her husband … we were essentially “the sweepers.” But, we had a blast! We had dance parties, made new friends, grabbed Slurpees at Mile 12.5 and made sure there was a party in the back! I wasn’t 100% with my lingering cough and ankle, but the situation was perfect where those weren’t a factor. I’m taking a little more time off to rest my sprained ankle. But, come later this month I should be ready for the Jordan River Half on the 27th. But, I’m still enjoying this moment and race and being able to party on with my dear friends throughout the 13.1 miles! Such a fun time! #provocityhalf #race146 #running @joshruns180 @fight4phat @josherwalla @myracemedals @ryrpacers @run13utah

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Newborns always make the best drunk faces.

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I always love a good graduation ceremony, but I won’t lie … five minutes into it, I’m ready for it to be over.

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Somebody’s feeling pretty.

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Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 5.5 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 19.47 miles
TOTAL MILES — 38.07 miles
Race(s) this week — Provo City Half Marathon

May 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 5.5 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 19.47 miles
TOTAL MILES — 38.07 miles
Races in May — Provo City Half Marathon and Jordan River Half Marathon.

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 210.75 miles
Race Miles — 164.52 miles
Walking Miles — 439.88 miles
TOTAL MILES — 815.15 miles
Races done in 2017 — 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 and Provo City Half Marathon.


RACE #135: The Haunted Half — Provo

After a week off from running and pretty much anything strenuous after my 50 miler, I hopped back into the saddle with the Haunted Half. This is my sixth Haunted Half (three in Provo and three in SLC) and I love these races. They’re always a party and just tons of fun. They’re a great race to cap off the racing season.

And, for the fifth time — I have also swept the course. In fact the only time I didn’t sweep the course was in 2013 when I ran the Haunted Half for the first time. And, as much I love both downhill courses in which I can fly down — I much prefer to sweep, because that’s where the real party is at.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

If I wasn’t sweeping this year’s course again, I am not sure if I would have ran it — mainly because of last week’s 50 miler. Then again as I am typing this, I’m totally lying to myself — I probably would still run it. I’d either go my pace or just joint the sweeping party in the back.

Anyways — my friends Jim and Jill — wanted to join the party and kind of see what it was like sweeping. They’ve heard about the number of races I’ve swept and really wanted to see if it was THAT much fun as I make it out to be. Of course I told them they could tag along (this invitation is out to anyone whenever I sweep).

Game plans for sweeping really vary according to the course and race. Some racing companies have very strict cut off times, some don’t and others are somewhere in between. And, this can vary even from race to race within the same race company.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

For instance sweeping Timp is much different than sweeping this race. Since we’re on public roads down the canyon in American Fork Canyon I have to be out of the canyon at a certain time. So my goal is to keep that pace and encourage runners who are behind that pace to keep up with me. If they can’t they’re bussed to the mouth of the canyon where they can resume the race.

Whereas here there isn’t a strict cutoff while in the canyon, because the majority of the race runs along the Provo River Trail where it doesn’t impede traffic. So the pace is less of a hard cut-off and more of “as fast as the slowest runner” approach. Which I like, because it gives you time to get to perfect strangers.

My plan for this race was to hold back after the gun time and let the masses go and then kind of fartlek the first 5-6 miles, especially since that’s usually the steepest part of the race. So most of the walking breaks would come when we caught up with the last of the runners ahead of us.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

When I don’t have to worry about a certain pace I don’t like interfering much with the runners. This is their race and I want them to enjoy it. I don’t like really letting my presence known until about the last half of the race if I can avoid it, because let’s be honest — no body wants to be caught by the sweeper.

I get that — I’ve been in the same boat. And, if someone says something to me, especially in the first half of the race I make sure they know I’m friendly and won’t sweep them off the course — and more than anything just want to be friends with them.

So the first 5-6 miles of the race was just spent fartleking along with Jill and Jim. And, we had a blast! Jim was dressed as Bat Bacon — and was definitely the life of the party. Cyclists, runners and walkers along the trail couldn’t help but smile seeing this giant piece of bacon dressed as Batman trudging along the trail.

A photo posted by Joshua Hansen (@fight4phat) on

We stopped for pictures along the way — many of Bat Bacon in superimposed snapshots — and countless others of the skeletons and signs along the course. Many in which we dressed up with some of our gear or anything laying around that might add to the picture op.

It was fun.

At Mile 6 I caught up with JessicaSue whom I paced at the Salt Lake Haunted Half last year. I suspected that at some point we would catch up. She was running with her husband and a friend. When Jim, Jill and I caught up with her she was starting to have some calf issues.

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We yo-yo’d between her and a couple of other runners, but around miles 8-9 we ran exclusively with her party. I was impressed with her resolve and attitude through those last miles — it was tough on her. But, after dealing with similar issues last year I could see how much stronger she was this year in dealing with the pain.

The conditions for the race couldn’t have been better either. The weather was perfect for an October race. Probably a bit warmer than usual and running in a one-piece jumpsuit probably wasn’t the best choice for me. But, it was what it was and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Jill and Jim were invaluable in helping JessicaSue and the party alone the course. Jim provided the music and comic relief while Jill brought her insight and perspective to help JessicaSue process and deal with the pain. They might not have been “official” sweepers, but they were every bit invaluable.

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One we were out of the canyon we had about three miles left and we just gutted it out. I was so proud of JessicaSue. It wasn’t easy. Even I was having issues with my legs around this point just from my 50 the week before. It was a lot of time spent on my feet.

But, the focus was simple — get to the finish line. And, we did step by step, mile by mile. It wasn’t easy, but we made it.

Tricia and the Runtastic crew were fantastic to us. They left the famous pumpkin arch up until we got to the finish line. And, we were greeted by ice cold water and food. I couldn’t have asked for better hospitality. They really put the runner first and made sure we all got the same treatment.

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It was great being able to pace JessicaSue again and do so with Jill and Jim. My legs were very fatigued, which I guess is kind of expected being out there on the course for over five hours. But, I tried keeping it into perspective — it was great ULTRA training for my race this weekend.

Plus, half way through the race I started fantasizing about ice baths and ibuprofen. So on my way home I took a pit stop to the gas station to get a couple of bags of ice and treated myself to painfully wonderful ice bath once I got home. Between that and the Ibuprofen it absolutely helped relieve the pain.

All in all, it’s another race underneath my belt, but it was also a great reminder to me on why I do this. I love pacing. It’s not always easy, but it is one of the most rewarding things about running to me. And, anything worth doing is never easy.

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I knew it was going to be tough being my first run after my 50 miler, but it was great preparation for this weekend’s 50K. Not just physically, but mentally. I want to get one more run and another good workout this weekend before my race — and I feel like I’ll be okay for my race.

I mean, I know I can do it. I’m not worried about that. I’m just worried about having fresh legs.

But, the season is winding down. I have a couple more race before the end of the year and I plan on focusing on strength training in December and most of January before refocusing on running again. But, that’s all a post for another day.

YEAH RUNNING! YEAH PACING! YEAH HALLOWEEN!


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I sometimes question my sanity. Okay, I often question my sanity. Well, okay, I always question my sanity. I mean who follows up a 50 miler with a 50K a couple of weeks after the 50 miler? Idiot runners that’s who.

And, as idiotic as it sounds — I can’t be any more excited. I love the longer distances. I love the trails. I love the challenges. I love the scenery. I love the community. I just love, love, love the goal and task at hand.

The goal is to simply finish like all of my races over 26.2 miles. But, I do want to do better than last. I ran the 50K in ten hours — I want to do better than that. I’m not in a position to say for certain if that’s going to be by a couple of hours or couple of minutes? I just want to do better than last year.

I will be running this by myself — well, without Tim or Jason. So I am not sure what that will do? It will be a good challenge for me and I am excited to just do my best and enjoy the ride. Is there anything else to it?

But, after this race, as I’ve mentioned before, I am planning on focusing more on the weight and strength training to give my legs some rest and focus on getting stronger so my training in the spring can be better. I feel like I’m in a good place and I can’t wait to balance things out a bit more even.

137 - thankful 13 138 - resolution run139-st-george



2667in2016

RUNNING MILES

251.55 miles

RACE MILES

368.98 miles

WALKING MILES

1254.83 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

1875.36 miles



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InstaReplay: Alpine Classic Half

So, I ran the Alpine Classic Half this morning — aptly named after Alpine, Utah … since that’s where the race was. I was sweeping the race — so I didn’t have any expectations on time or anything like that. Well, I lied — I was kinda hoping I wouldn’t be out there longer than 3:30 hours. But, you never know when you’re sweeping.

Anyways — I am not going to give away the whole race — I want you to come back on Monday to read my race report. Needless to say, I actually did come in under 3:30 hours — much, much better than last week’s Ogden Half — and — the weather was absolutely gorgeous.

But, seriously, come back on Monday to read the whole race report.

Here are a few pictures from the race —


I ran the Alpine Classic Half this morning. My first run and race since last week's Ogden Half. It was a tough week running wise, because I had some pretty bad chaffing. But, enough about that. This is a fun course. No it's not a canyon or downhill course. It's a technical course. Lots of hills, some different terrain and challenging in many, many good ways. It was the perfect follow up race to Ogden. No rain, hardly any clouds in the sky actually — it was perfect running weather. I fueled my run mainly with water and food — no gels (since they're not @whole30 complaint). So I mainly munched on some raisins and almonds mid-race. Energy levels were okay, I wasn't pushing the pace (since I was sweeping the course), but I tried to listen to my body as much as I could. I did finish almost a half hour less than Ogden — which I laughed about when I saw the clock. But, I felt strong and I'm feeling ready for my races coming up this next month. I'm hoping to see some steady improvement as I continue to lose weight and follow the @whole30 principles. #day11 #whole30 #running #workout #race #fitness #alpinehalf #ryrpacers @ryrpacers @utahrun @joshruns180 @josherwalla

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I love my pacing family! #race120 #alpinehalf #ryrpacers #running

A photo posted by Joshua Sn❆w Hansen (@josherwalla) on

Sweeping is both a science and art. During the first 6-8 miles I usually don't interact much with the runners ahead of me. I also give them their distance. Knowing you're the LAST runner can be psychologically hard on a runner. So I just let them run their race. The last five miles or so I'll interact more and encourage them along. Those moments are often spent running or walking along side them — and more than likely they're either a first time racer or injured. So conversation is spent usually on non-running things. Especially if they're struggling. Some races have a hard time limit and some don't — I love the ones that don't, because it gives everyone on the course the chance to run their own race. Something I love being a part of as a @ryrpacers pacer. #race120 #alpinehalf #running #ryrpacers @joshruns180

A photo posted by Joshua Sn❆w Hansen (@josherwalla) on

Won't lie — tempted to use this as an impromptu aid station. #race120 #alpinehalf #ryrpacers #running @ryrpacers @joshruns180

A photo posted by Joshua Sn❆w Hansen (@josherwalla) on

RACE #110: The SLC Haunted Half

110-hauntedhalf

I’ve been looking forward to this race for quite a while and for a number of reasons. For one, I love this race. Runtastic puts on a great Halloween race. Well, I should say races. They also have one in Provo and in Phoenix, AZ (both next week).

But, I also was excited to run the new course. After running the course the previous two times this would showed to be faster. Instead of running up through the U towards Memory Grove, the course runs down towards Sugar House Park from Emigration Canyon. I must say, I do like the new changes.

A lot.

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One of the most gorgeous sunrises I’ve ever seen. This was at the summit of the canyon. SO BEAUTIFUL!

Additionally, I was sweeping the course for the RYR Pacers. It’s fairly well known how much I love pacing, especially sweeping. I find it tremendously rewarding, fun and inspiring. Whether I am pacing it alone or with someone else — it’s always a great experience. For this race I swept the course with my friend Connie Lyons — who also happened to be six and half months pregnant (more on that later).

The night before the race I spent the night ghost hunting with my family, Jimmy Chunga and the rest of the Goblins at the Zions Building in Downtown SLC. I didn’t get home until just after 3am. Since I had to be in Sugar House by 6am, I didn’t even chance going to sleep so I ended up just staying up all-night. Probably not the best idea, but I wasn’t really worried since I was sweeping the course and didn’t need to meet a certain pace.

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Me and Elsha! It’s not a race without first getting our customary selfie. I love this young lady. Talk about an inspiration!

So, I just pumped myself up with some caffeine and merged my Friday and Saturday into one loooooong day.

The one thing about pacing — especially sweeping — is that you don’t know what to expect. Every race is different and anything can happen. You can be running with a first-time runner, an injured runner, walker or no one. It really depends on the race and it’s impossible to prepare for — so you just do it. That’s one of the things I love about sweeping.

Connie and I pretty much kept our distance from most runners for the first 5-6 miles of the race. We spent most of the time tailing a couple dressed as hippies while we picked up a number of gloves runners threw alongside the course. These gloves were perfect for winter running and were great quality. So why not pick some up for yourself when others could care less about them?

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Me and Connie before the race. Um, I’m pretty sure I have food in my mouth?! Hot.

It was funny though, at one aid station while I was picking up gloves this teenage volunteer kind of freaked out at me when I started stuffing gloves in my bag. She was a bit taken back at the audacity of me “STEALING” the gloves so blatantly. She tried to guilt me in taking them. But, I told her these are just thrown away by the runners and they are not expecting them back. I don’t know if that sufficed as an answer, but I got a good laugh at it.

At about mile six or so we ran into JessicaSue — a first-time runner. This was her second organized race. She did a 5K earlier in the summer, but this was her first half. She is 25-30lbs. into a weight-loss journey and to help that journey along signed up for this race — not knowing what to expect. She was running alongside her health coach and by this point of the race she was starting to slowdown from an achy back, sore blistery feet and cramping quads.

But, she was still going.

So all four of us stuck together. We got out of Emigration Canyon as the police officers were opening up traffic along Sunnyside Ave. Since the runners had the right hand side before the cones were torn down we decided to move across the street to run along the run/bike lane.

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Busting out the last few miles of the race.

Since we were the last runners on the course our biggest worry at this point was having the last two aid stations open. Luckily, the mile 9 station still had volunteers — they were breaking down — but still there. It was perfect because the heat was starting to rise just a bit. It wasn’t horrible, but enough to be slightly uncomfortable.

Throughout the last part of the race I tried to keep JessicaSue’s attention off of the pain and on the reasons why she was running. She is quite the warrior. Not only was she fighting through this race, but she’s also fought cancer and — like me — thyroid issues. It was just rewarding helping her along the course, but also making a new friend. I can’t say it enough, she inspired me. A lot.

The last half mile was the toughest along the way. Mainly because you could see the finish line as you are climbing a hill inside Sugar House Park. I am glad Connie was there because she related to JessicaSue how this final push was like childbirth. Something I couldn’t relate with, but I’ve had food babies before — sadly not the same.

As we came across the finish line the three of us backed off and let her cross by herself. It was a beautiful sight. One I tried to capture on my camera. It’s a beautiful picture, but it doesn’t give the moment justice. At last, she was a half-marathoner!

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JessicaSue crossing the finish line at The Haunted Half in Sugar House Park. I love this picture.

Experiences like these that I had with JessicaSue are reasons why I love sweeping. I feel somewhat selfish in only asking for these assignments. It’s not because it’s easier than pacing a 2:30-2:40 time slot, it’s not because it’s “easy” (because it’s not) — it’s because I feel like I can relate to a lot of these runners. Whether it’s because they’re on a weight-loss journey, have a health setback or simply just love the sense of accomplishment of finishing — these are MY people.

I’ve been there, I am there and sweeping is my way of giving back to a sport that has given WAY much more. I’ve realized the more that I pace, the more sacred a gift I am able to give many of these runners in the back of the pack — empathy. Sympathy is great to give, but empathy is divine. And, on my drive back home from the race that day I shed a few tears realizing that.

But, with that said — I can’t wait to see what next week has in store for me. I can only guess.


NEXT RACE: THE PROVO HAUNTED HALF

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After this weekend’s experience at The Haunted Half in Salt Lake City, I am REALLY excited about the Provo edition. I am sweeping the course and doing so alongside Tim Gill. His wife BJ is going to be joining us as well. This is the third time that I have swept with Tim — so we’re pros. And, quite honestly, I’ve learned a lot of “tricks” from him. He has a gift with people and diverted their attention from the pain to the task at hand. Especially with since sense of humor.

I am not sure exactly what I am going to dress up as. I could do the sweeping outfit again — but I think I need something different. I would say my friend Robert Merriman, but running shirtless during an early morning October race doesn’t sound like my idea of fun. Plus, I’m sure I could get arrest for that as well?

Either, way I will come up with something great. It should be a great time.


THE RACE AFTER NEXT: SNOW CANYON HALF

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Leading up to my 50K (in three weeks … gulp!) I am going to be running the Snow Canyon Half Marathon down in St. George, Utah. I am BEYOND excited about this race. This has been on my race radar for a while now. But, since I signed up for the St. George Runner Series I decided to make it one of my two races so I can guarantee a spot into the St. George Marathon.

I am going to be carpooling down with the Henrys on the 6th after work. We’ll crash somewhere overnight, run the race and then come back home on Saturday afternoon. There are a few races up here in northern Utah, but since this will be November 7th and likely COLD … why not St. George? It just seems like the right thing to do.

Plus, since Jason is also running the 50K with me we’ll consider this our opportunity to warm up our race the following week.


WEEKENDGRAMS

Getting ready to ghost hunt with @benhansen00 and @jimmychunga at the old Zions Building. #iaintafraidofnoghost

A photo posted by joshua o. snow hansen™ (@kindaqwerty) on

Great friends give their friends cat socks. #checkmeowt A photo posted by joshua o. snow hansen™ (@kindaqwerty) on

This is what we do for fun as a family. We race the kids through tunnels to see who’s got the fastest kid. #kidlympics

A photo posted by joshua o. snow hansen™ (@kindaqwerty) on


MONTHLY MILEAGE UPDATE 2015

Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 230.5 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 399.8 miles
2015 Race Miles – 387.4 miles
2015 Total Miles – 1017.70 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 – 115.69 miles
October – 124.35 miles

MONDAY MORNING MOTIVATION

The 83rd Fartlek Friday™ – When Pink will just be another color …

fartlekFriday, Friday, Friday! How I love myself a Friday! Especially a race weekend Friday!

It’s been somewhat of an emotional and humbling week for me. This past week I found that three friends of mine were just recently diagnosed with breast cancer. The same kind of cancer that my Mother fought back in 2012. It breaks my heart, especially when thinking of their kids and small families.

Cancer sucks. It sucks bad. Cancer isn’t fair. Cancer doesn’t care who you are. Cancer doesn’t care how old you are. Cancer doesn’t care how rich or poor you may be. Cancer doesn’t care how much faith or unbelief you might have.

And, for me that was the hardest thing to accept when my Mom was diagnosed with her cancer. Especially when we sat in the waiting room of the Huntsman Cancer Institute as my Mom was under the knife. While we sat there praying and waiting for reports from the doctor, there were a number of other families and friends getting reports that were less favorable. One that I overheard where the doctor told the family that it was “too late” and the cancer had spread elsewhere.

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As much as I hate cancer, I was extremely touched by the support my Mother got from friends, family members and complete strangers. The amount of love and support that she and our family got was OVERWHELMING! And, I don’t say that with one iota of exaggeration. That’s why it’s been amazing watching the love and support come out within the running community when we learned that our friend Meridith aka Dith was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Tomorrow we’re all wearing pink for her at the Timp Half. We’ve also started a team for the Huntsman Cancer Institute’s Hometown Heroes non-profit to run for donation. And, we’re all just spreading and share our love and support in our own way. Which I learned is the best way to show support. There is no cookie cutter way to show love and support through these difficult times, you use your God given talents, because that’s the best gift you can give anyone.

Anyways, I will update more about the weekend events and fundraisers in my race report on Monday.

If you would like to join the Huntsman Hometown Heroes team we started you can do so here. Also, if you’d like to donate money instead you can do it at that link as well. Our goal is to raise $5000 before the end October. A lofty goal, but attainable.

CANCER SUCKS!
RUNNING ROCKS!


TOMORROW’S RACE: TIMP HALF

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Tomorrow is race #101. I won’t lie … kinda weird being in the hundreds. But, I love it. I am really excited about the Timp Half for a number of reasons. First and forthmost, I love American Fork Canyon. Probably the most gorgeous canyon I’ve ran up here in northern Utah. I would say Utah, but that belongs to Snow Canyon. Nothing beats Snow Canyon in my opinion. I love that canyon.

The other reason is what I had mentioned above about my friend ‘Dith. We’re all wearing pink and running in her honor as this will be her last race before she starts her cancer treatments. It will be somewhat of an emotional race. At least that is what I am planning for, because there is nothing I hate more than cancer. Especially after seeing my mother fight it over three years ago.

It will be a race of many emotions and feelings I am sure of that.


THE FRIDAY FARTLEK

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


FRIDAY FUNNY PHOTOS

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Yes, I am a scheduling this far out …

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Okay, first off, yes, the following is every Saturday from here until the end of November. And, secondly, yes, I am planning ALL of my runs/races this far in advance.

I don’t know if that means I have problem … or … if I am just THAT good of a planner? I’d like to think it’s somewhere in the middle. Because, seriously, who plans their November races in March?

I mean really?

I have a number of goals or mile markers I want to reach this year. Of course my long term goal is to run 180 races over 13.1 miles. By the end of the year I SHOULD be at around 114-115 races. I feel good about that.

Secondly, I want to reach my goal of a sub-two half marathon. I would really like to do that at the Nebo Half on September 12. But, I have some work to do before I reach that milestone.

Mainly, I need to train and train hard for it. But, I also need to get my body where I need it to be to achieve it. Namely, I gotta lose my winter coating. I wish it wasn’t there, but now I’m just working on getting rid of it now that my thyroid and testosterone are FINALLY (hopefully) balanced.

So my thinking is from now and until mid-June the focus is losing weight, getting stronger through weight lifting, core strengthening and running. And, then mid-June the focus is speed work towards Nebo in September.

I am going to push hard to get my sub-two at Nebo, but honestly would be happy giving my ALL and getting a new PR (2:08:25). But, I don’t plan on settling for that, because I am going to fight for that sub-two.

But, with as much running as I have planned this year and especially this fall after Nebo I decided to come up with a game plan for each race. Some races I am going to push myself at, others I am planning on pushing Elsha, Josh or Reese and then a number of them I am pacing or sweeping the course.

This really is something I could do in my own little journal and keep to myself, but I thought it might be better putting this here to kinda give you an idea of my method to this running madness.

So, here you go … if you’re planning on running any of these races let me know by commenting below. I’d love to know!

  • MARCH 28: Big Cottonwood 10 Mile Run
    • GAME PLAN: Fast pace 10 mile run down Big Cottonwood. No set pace, but I would like to average BELOW an 11-minute mile.
  • APRIL 4: Lagoon Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Goal time is under 2:45. I am planning on running alongside my friend Chandra who is pushing Josh. The course is flat so heat could have a lot to do with the outcome.
  • APRIL 11: Bountiful to Salt Lake Temple Run
    • GAME PLAN: Planning on about an 11 mile or so group run from the Bountiful Temple to the Salt Lake Temple via Bountiful Blvd. and the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. No set pace and I am anticipating it to be rather slow once we hit the trail.
  • APRIL 18: West Mountain Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: The goal is to run this sub-2:40. I am not pacing or sweeping. I might be pushing one of my friends and if that’s the case I still want to hit that same sub-2:40 goal.
  • APRIL 25: Five Mile Run
    • GAME PLAN: I have an all-day commitment this day so I am going to have to sneak in a VERY early morning fast run around the neighborhood. No set pace, just FAST.
  • MAY 2: Provo City Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Stick with the 2:20 pacers as long as I can. That’s the goal … simple as that. I know the course well enough that I know what to expect. But, I’ll be happy with a sub-2:30 half marathon time.
  • MAY 9: Vigor Big Cottonwood Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am pushing my friend Josh Twelves during this race. I am not sure what pace to push for with him, but I feel comfortable that we could keep a good 2:30 pace at this point, especially considering that it’s a FAST course.
  • MAY 16: 5 Mile Run
    • GAME PLAN: I am not sure where or when I am going to be racing? I have a campout the night before and I would like to cheer on my friends running Ogden … but … I might just need to do a nice speedy five around the block due to timing and circumstance?
  • MAY 23: Alpine Classic Half
    • GAME PLAN: I am sweeping. It shouldn’t be any longer than three hours hopefully.
  • MAY 30: Jordan River Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am planning on pushing my friend Josh on this course. It’s a flat course … sooooooo … I am thinking around 2:40-2:45 would an ideal goal time. We’ll see, this might be reassessed by race time. For something faster hopefully.
  • JUNE 6: Emigration Canyon Group Run
    • GAME PLAN: One of my favorite courses. The plan is to run from the top of Emigration Canyon down to Liberty Park. I would like to go for speed on this one. Hopefully around 10-11:00 minute mile?
  • JUNE 13: Yellowstone Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am pacing the 3:30 group on this race. It’s a mix of road and trail. Just hoping I don’t get eaten by a bear.
  • JUNE 20: Big Cottonwood Canyon Group Run
    • GAME PLAN: I will set the goal pace once I get closer, but the pace should probably be around a 10-11 minute mile. I am only planning on a 10 miler. No need for anything longer to wear me out for the following week.
  • JUNE 27: American Fork Canyon Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am running this one at a fast clip. This will be my test run to gauge where I am at going into my training for Nebo.
  • JULY 4: 13 Miles of Freedom Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am planning on pushing one of my friends during the race. I am going to hold back a little bit on speed, but still go for a sub-2:40. Then again this all depends on where I am physically. If I can comfortably go faster, I will.
  • JULY 11: 7.11 Slurpee Run & The Dam 15 Miler
    • GAME PLAN: This will be a two run day. I am planning on running the 7.11 miles down Emigration at a fast clip (if only I could run a 7:11 pace). I will set some pace goals once I get closer and set my training schedule in stone. The 15 miler I won’t push, it’ll just be fun miles.
  • JULY 18: Corner Canyon Trail Group Run
    • GAME PLAN: Ideally about a 7-10 mile trail run around Corner Canyon just to get re-introduced to the trail. No real set pace, I’ll do that work during the week. I want to enjoy this run.
  • JULY 24: Handcart Days Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am pushing Elsha during this race. This is a special race for me considering it was my first race four years ago! I am going for a 2:30-2:40 goal time for this one. There isn’t much shade along the course so I am hoping it’s not TOO hot.
  • AUGUST 1: Timp Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Sweeping with Jill, I am anticipating that this race should be around 3:30-3:45 long. Depending how many people we have in the back, I might do some fartleking around to get a good workout in.
  • AUGUST 8: Park City Trail 10K
    • GAME PLAN: A nice little reprieve from long distance running. And, my first trail race since the Buffalo Run 25K. I want to push it on this race to see what I can do on the trails. Should be a fun challenge.
  • AUGUST 15: Park City Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Totally excited about this race. Not only is it on my birthday, but it is also my 100th race over 13.1 miles! I plan on running this at a moderate pace with some family. I still would like to sub-2:30.
  • AUGUST 22: Run Elevated Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am going to run this at a full effort. I would like to PR at this race (basically sub-2:08:25) to gauge where my body is physically for Nebo.
  • AUGUST 29: Murdock Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Sweeping this course. I should be in around 3 hours or so, so depending on the crowd I might do some fartleking around motivating others. I love sweeping.
  • SEPTEMBER 5: Volition Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Run at a moderate pace. Don’t push for time or speed. But, come in around the 2:30-2:40 range. Just don’t risk injury or spending too much energy. Really I want to have fun during this race. Hopefully I can push one of my friends during the race.
  • SEPTEMBER 12: Nebo Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: BALLS TO THE WALL!!! SUB-TWO CITY!!! What else do I write here? DON’T STOP!!!
  • SEPTEMBER 19: Park City Trail Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: The transition to trail racing begins. I don’t plan for a certain time on this race, mainly just to not get swept. I am anticipating that my legs will need some loving post-Nebo.
  • SEPTEMBER 26: The Burn Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: The same game plan I had last year running this race. RUN UP as much I can, walk if I must and then at the turn around RUN DOWN as fast as my legs can take me. I blame this race for all the crazy challenges Jill and I have been doing this year. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
  • OCTOBER 3: Antelope Island Trail Group Run
    • GAME PLAN: Get to know the terrain better and run the trails to hopefully work out some of the pre-50K jitters.
  • OCTOBER 10: Pink Series Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Sweeping the course. Just have fun. This is a woman’s only race that I paced last year. I loved it a lot, awesome ladies and awesome stories. I look forward to it again.
  • OCTOBER 17: Corner Canyon 25K
    • GAME PLAN: Since the Buffalo Run was done in 6 hours, I really want to finish this race in sub-six hours, other than that I just want to have fun. I ran this trail three years ago with Susette it’s a great canyon.
  • OCTOBER 24: The Haunted Half & Howloween Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: A double run day! I am planning on sweeping The Haunted Half in the morning in SLC and the running the Howloween Half in Davis County in the evening. No goal time for Howloween Half, but I’d love to push it a little past easy so I can get some good fatigue training in, which would be perfect for the trails.
  • OCTOBER 30 & 31: The Haunted Half & Howloween Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Similar game plan like the week before. Both races are in Provo. The Howloween Half is on Friday night and then the Haunted Half is in the morning on Saturday. I am going to run at a good moderate pace for the Friday race and then sweep the Saturday race. Should be fun. Another great fatigue challenge for my upcoming 50K!
  • NOVEMBER 7: Saltair Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am planning on pushing one of my friends during this race. I’d like to get under 2:40 mainly to push myself because it’s an easy race to tank because it’s flat and out and back. But, with my 50K the next week I should take it slowly.
  • NOVEMBER 14: Antelope Island Buffalo Run 50K
    • GAME PLAN: Simple game plan. Run, keep going, don’t give up and don’t get gored by a buffalo. Sounds reasonable enough, right?
  • NOVEMBER 21: Five Mile Run
    • GAME PLAN: I put this down as a five mile run, but we’ll see after my 50K is done. I might just doing something active in the pool?
  • NOVEMBER 26: Thankful 13 Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Sweeping the course! Have fun! Earn my turkey! Make friends and wrap up the running season with race #115!

Okay, now that I have everything from here until December planned out … who’s running with me? YOU … KNOW … YOU … WANT … TOO …. !!!!

RACE RECAP #86: Dogtown Half Marathon

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Who let the dogs out? Who? Who? Who? Who?

I am sorry, I had to get that out of my system. I just had to. But, no one really wants to reminisce much about the summer of 2000, especially when it involves the Baha Men. Please forgive me.

Anyways, back to the point of this whole post … the Dogtown Half Marathon. Which was race 86 in my run towards 180.

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Even though we ran with each other last weekend, it’s always a treat to see Elsha. Not to mention to get our obligatory selfie!

The race held each February is held in Washington City, which is near St. George. It’s my second time running this race. And, while I enjoyed running the course in 2012 the course has been tweaked a number of times since then.

I was sweeping the course with Jill so more than anything it was going to be a party in the back. Sweeping is one of my favorite slots to pace, because it isn’t drudgery, it’s a party and can be VERY inspiring and motivating. Those in the back are “MY PEOPLE” as well, so I always have fun with it.

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Jill made this pin for me to wear of my Grandma during the race. Awesome, huh?

Since Jill and I were pacing it together we decided to make a vacation of it and after the race we decided to hop in the car with her husband and kid and go to Vegas for a couple of days. It was a pretty solid and fun plan. So we’ve been making plans for a few months for this trip.

After my Grandma passed away I wasn’t sure how the timing of her funeral was going to affect the race or trip. I would have dropped the race in a heartbeat if I had to, but thankfully there wasn’t a need to with the funeral being on the Thursday before the race, so it worked out fairly well. I did miss out on time spent with my cousins which I did feel bad about because I don’t get to see them that much.

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So, the race shirt they gave me was actually a woman’s shirt. I wish I could say this is the first time this has happened to me …

But, the trip was still on.

The Gabicas and I left Friday morning and stayed overnight in Cedar City after heading to St. George to get our packets. That seems like a lot of backtracking, but having lived in Cedar City all three of us were quite use to the ride. Plus our room was MUCH cheaper than anything we could find in Washington or St. George.

It was my first time spending overnight in Cedar City in over three years so it was a tinge strange. It still feels like home in some regards. But, there is just enough foreignness to it that it feels somewhat strange to me. Since we had a 45 minute drive to the race we had to leave Cedar by 6:30am. Long enough to get breakfast from the hotel lobby and run out the door.

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Cheering the runners off at the gun!

The pickup for the race this year was at the Staheli Farm in Washington City, this also served as the finish line as well. Quite honestly, I am trying to still understand why this was picked as the location for the race because … well … there were quite a bit of cows. And, well … cows … smell … like … CRAP. Especially, when it’s a lot of cows. It wasn’t a pleasant setting to say the least. In the morning it kind of smacked you in the face without warning and then after the race you just tried to avoid it the best you could.

Not a good location.

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The race was “cupless” so the race organizers gave each runner one of these small plastic poaches to fill up at aid stations. Not a bad idea!

The bus ride to the start wasn’t bad and the beginning of the race was actually pretty awesome. It was about … a mile … further than my first year running it? It was a tad hillier, but not bad at all. Since Jill and I were sweeping the course we cheered on the runners as they left the corral and then waited for a couple of the Double Dog Dare (run to the start from the finish and back) runners and then we started off ourselves.

The course for us was fairly lonely. There were 2:45, 3:00 and 3:15 hour pacers and with this being a winter-run they pretty much swept most of the people around them. So, Jill and I were able to encourage and cheer on runners doing the small out and back around mile three, but that was about it.

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Took some time out to fish … naturally.

We did stop at a couple of the aid stations and to thank the volunteers and let them know we were the last runners on the course. This is ALWAYS one of my favorite parts of sweeping, because depending on the race the volunteers varying from either race to race or booth to booth. Our first aid station was a bunch of kids who even made signs. Of course I stopped and got their pictures.

It really reminded me of something my Grandma would have done. And, since Jill and I were running together she made buttons of her for us to wear. It was a touching tribute and a couple of the volunteers even asked me about who I was running for. It was awesome being able to share a little bit about my Grandma with them. Thanks again Jill for the great gift and memorial to my Grandma’s legacy!

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These are the faces of two people that are lost … L-O-S-T.

The run itself wasn’t that bad as well. Sure we weren’t running it for a PR and we walked a lot of it, we still had a lot of fun and talked about anything and everything. Something that Jill and I don’t have a problem with at all. And, you think with all the races and runs we’ve ran together we’d run out of things to talk about … but … nope. Not a chance.

When we got into the final mile of the race the course wasn’t as clearly marked as we assumed or thought it would be. Sure, we knew we were the last out on the course, but the markings got confusing and we missed our last turn. We ended up running right in the middle of a Parade of Homes showing. We thought they were runners from the race heading back to their cars.

Nope.

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Brown cow, brown milk.

So after running around some odd side streets we ran back to where we knew we could get back to the farm and just went from there. We still got in our 13.1 miles … actually 13.7 after the confusion. But, we made it! And, apparently we weren’t the only runners who had problems finding the last couple of turns. I think we just got lost because we couldn’t see any of the other runners around us.

But, still … it was fun. After a quick change of shirt and shoes we hopped in the car to head to VEGAS!!!


VIVA LAS VEGAS 2K15!

Since we were an hour and a half from Las Vegas from the race, it was an requirement for the Gabicas to visit Vegas. And, they were nice enough to allow me to tag along with them. The Gabicas LOVE Vegas. And, I am afraid even that is an understatement. Jill can pretty much tell you the history of Las Vegas, past hotels, current hotels, attractions and food. She is quite literally a walking Las Vegas Encyclopedia.

The stay in Vegas was pretty much that. We didn’t have much of an agenda, other than we wanted to run the Strip in the morning and make our way to the outlet mall. The remaining time would be spent on the Strip walking around and visiting the Bellagio fountains.

On our way down the Gabicas and I found out that our friends the Copelands were going to be down there the same time we were. So we worked our last second magic and arranged a meet up at dinner at Bobby’s Burger Palace on the Strip. Our friend Angie met us there and it turned into a little Southern Utah University reunion of sorts. Something we aren’t able to do much with everyone everywhere else.

It was fun to spend a night laughing, reminiscing and catching up, especially with Angie. The Gabicas laughed how the Copelands had moved closer recently, but it took a trip to Vegas for all of us to meet up. Such is life, I guess?

Anyways, the next day was spent at the outlets and again on the Strip with the Gabicas. Since I really didn’t have need to really buy anything I just ended up walking or pacing around the stores, mall and casinos while I waited for them. It wasn’t out of boredom or frustration, I actually did it because I wanted to. I was in the midst of a step challenge on my FitBit with my friends and I HAD to win! So, I WON!

I ended up walking an additional 5 miles after my 13.1 miles on Saturday and then 7.5 miles on Sunday. Come Monday morning my feet were shot. But, I won! That’s all that mattered. Plus, it really wasn’t that difficult, I just had to keep going and I was okay. Plus, it was just fun to keep going. I wish we did get the chance to run on the Strip, but my feet and legs felt like too much mush to even try that.

Still … here are some of fun things done in Vegas on our trip …

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I will most likely post some more pictures on my Facebook page in the near future. I just need to find time to go through my pictures. But, it was a fun trip with many little adventures and a dinner on Sunday night I kind of want to forget. But, yeah! Vacation is always fun!


MY DEAR MOTHER

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While in Las Vegas over the weekend I got a call from my Dad telling me that my Mom broke her arm. Specifically, her humerus bone. She slipped in the hallway right on her elbow and it just shattered as you can see in the x-rays. Her arm will be in a sling for quite a while and she’s still in a quite bit of pain, but she’s optimisitic it will heal properly.

I am sure I’ll post a bit more about this later. Please just keep her in your prayers.


MY 2015 MILEAGE

Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015

2015 Training Miles – 68.6 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 39.5 miles
2015 Race Miles – 35.55 miles
2015 Total Miles – 143.65 miles
 
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 64.85 miles

TUESDAY MOTIVATION

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