Tag: phat josh

RACE #160: Huntsville Half Marathon

It’s hard to put this race into words. It was a tough race. A race I’ve done before — including the full last year. But, Saturday just wasn’t my day and it was tough for me — physically and emotionally.

I had such a great experience running the Huntsville Marathon last year that I decided to sign up for it again this year. The plan was to use it again for my ultra training — including my 100 mile run in February. But, my ankle had other plans — so I downgraded to the half marathon instead.

After spraining my ankle in April my training and running was just derailed. It really took a toll on my plans, aspirations, training and morale. It’s been tough being slower than what I know I am capable of running. I’ve dealt with that the past couple of years, but this year it seems like that my best now was my worst case scenario just a couple of years ago.

So, yeah, this year has been a struggle for me — to say the least.

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Going into this race, I knew it wasn’t going to be my best race. I knew I probably wasn’t going to sub-three. And, I knew it was going to be tough. So, I really just wanted to go into the race and just have fun. Fairly simple enough, right?

But, as much I say that, there are times — especially lately — that I say that, but do want to push myself a bit harder and further than what I should be doing right now. And, that was me on race morning. I want to feel like I am flying once again.

Race morning I felt pretty good. After carpooling up to Huntsville with my friends Rob and Joey. I hopped on the on the bus with Rachel, Jonathan and London and hung out at the start line for a good half hour before gun time. The later start time (8:30am) was kinda nice and I think that added to my mood.

But, needless to say, I felt optimistic.

My friend Monnica Skinner was pacing the 3:00 half marathon time so I decided to stick with her as long as I could. The best case scenario was the whole 13.1, but knowing my limitations I would have been happy with half of the race. Luckily for me, I was able to stick with her for the first 5 miles.

I really enjoyed those five miles with Monnica. I love the Skinners — Monnica, Corey and Cevan. They’re always a great conversation that ends with a laugh. If there was a saving grace from this run — it was those five miles with Monnica. I really enjoyed them.

But, around mile four, I knew I was going to be slowing down. My right foot started hurting — it wasn’t so much my ankle as it was the top of my foot. I’ve had issues with it since the Mt. Nebo Half about three weeks ago. I don’t think it’s serious — but, there’s some tendonitis going on and it’s just not fun.

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So at Mile 5 I let Monnica keep pace and I slowed down to stretch my foot a bit. I tried to keep up my pace and did pretty good for about another mile, but the foot was just in pain and I slowed down quite a bit.

Between miles 7-8 I just walked. I would stop periodically to massage my right shin and top of the foot. Feeling a bit embarrassed and not wanting another runner or race official to stop and ask me if I was okay, I would untie my shoe quickly and then retie it in between massaging the foot.

I must admit I’m laughing about that now — not the sore shins and foot, but the way I tried to disguise how I was feeling. I knew I could finish this race — regardless of how slow I was going to end up being. I didn’t want to be pulled off the course or asked if I was okay every time a race official drove past me.

This was also around the time I became frustrated with the situation. But, it soon grew into a frustration of the past year of running, my ankle and training. I let doubt creep and that just didn’t help things at all. I really took myself to a not so good place mentally.

I am not sure exactly what got me into that place, because I haven’t gone there before. I think part of that was because I was feeling down about having to downgrade from the marathon and a bit of anxiety about the training for my 100 mile run in February. I do worry if my ankle will be ready by then — and I think I dwelt on that a bit too long during this race.

I knew that I had to get myself out of this funk, so I just tried to get my mind off of it. Which is much easier said than done when you’re running by yourself. So I tried focusing on my music, singing out loud (that stopped quickly), playing the “I spy” game and just running from fence post to fence post.

This helped a little bit, but once I got to Mile 11 — I just kinda focused on getting done. I knew I was going to be well over three hours, so now it was just about finishing strong. And, really, this helped get me out of that funk.

I focused on passing runners in front of me and kinda of making a game of it. The foot was sore, but most everyone in front of me was walking so I knew I had it in me to at least power walk past them at this point in the race. So that’s what I did.

Of all the miles during the race those last two miles actually seemed like the fastest ones of the day. It was the distraction that really helped. I just wanted to be done and having that goal helped me get past a lot of those self defeating thoughts.

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I got to the finish line in 3:31:28 — definitely one of my slowest races. But, it was hard to celebrate it beyond finishing it. Almost immediately after I finished I just wanted to move past the race. It really helped having a number of friends at the finish line because they helped bring me back to why I love this sport so much.

Being able to chat with Elsha, Robert Merriman and his family, the Skinners and many, many others put myself in a good place. They were a great reminder that not only were my frustrations and obstacles minor in the scheme of things, but that I will get back where I want to be. I really just need to show more patience and do what I need to do with my physical therapy.

I’ll get there.

But, that doesn’t mean I am not nervous about my 100 mile run in February. Because, I am. But, I know I can still do it. I am not at that point of absolutely not being able to do it. If there is a moment where I hit that, I’d rather have it happen during the run instead of months out from race day.

But, that’s a post for another day.

I am looking forward to this weekend’s race. It’s a trail run that I’ll be running with my friend Zack. After this past weekend’s race the trail race will be a welcomed different change of pace. It should be a lot of fun.

As difficult as my day was out on the course — I really do love this race. I’ve done the full and half marathon before and it’s just a well run race. The city gets behind the race and it was kinda fun being greeted by musicians along the last 3-4 miles. There was a bagpipe player, country singer and an accompanying guitarist, a cello and someone playing clarinet or some other kind of wind instrument — it was kinda cool.

I definitely want to run this race again — especially the marathon. The canyon is absolutely gorgeous. And, the first 17-18 miles of that marathon are some of my favorite miles of any local race.

So I want to be back.

I will be back.


MY NEXT FIVE RACES


Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 8.0 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 28.87 miles
TOTAL MILES — 49.97 miles
Races This Week — Huntsville Half.

September 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 15.0 miles
Race Miles — 26.2 miles
Walking Miles — 65.69 miles
TOTAL MILES — 106.89 miles
Races in September — (4) Revel Big Cottonwood Half, Huntsville Half, Timp Elk Run & Jordan River Marathon.

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 373.55 miles
Race Miles — 348.62 miles
Walking Miles — 986.93 miles
TOTAL MILES — 1709.1 miles
Races done in 2017 — (23) New Year’s Half Marathon, Sweethearts 5K, Jackpot Running Festival, SL Tri Club Indoor Half, March Madness Half, Lucky 13 Half Marathon, Emigration Canyon Half Marathon, Riverton Half, Saltair Half, Provo City Half Marathon, Jordan River Half Marathon, Drop13 Half Marathon, Bear Lake Trifecta — Idaho, Wyoming & Utah, AF Canyon Race Against Cancer, The Hobbler Half, Handcart Days Half, DesNews Half, Elephant Rock Trail Half, Run Elevated Half, Nebo Half and Revel Big Cottonwood Half.


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RACE #143: Emigration Canyon Half Marathon

Welp, I finally got the Emigration Canyon run I’ve been wanting since at least last week. And, I can’t be any more happier with my effort AND results. It’s been a good two years since I last ran down Emigration Canyon — well okay — 18 months-ish? Whenever the Haunted Half was in 2015? Anyways — I’ve needed a good Emigration Canyon run for QUITE A WHILE.

And, I got it this past weekend.

Canyon races here in Utah have a tendency to be seen as pure downhill courses. While that may be true in some canyons and for some races — this is a different kind of race. Sure, you get some AWESOME downhill, but you’ve got to earn it first. The first 4-4.5 miles of the race are pretty much all uphill. It’s kind of a beast.

I ran this race back in 2014 so I knew what to expect. I knew it was going to suck. I knew it was going to be tough. But, I knew if I endured it well and ran it smart, the rest of the race should be a fun brisk run down the canyon.

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Even with the daunting first 4.5 miles of the race, I felt I had it in me to do really well and get the sub-three time goal, I’ve been pining for the past couple of races. I just had to be smart, be patient and keep my goal in my mind during those first few miles.

I was still trying to figure out exactly how I was tackle the climb at the starting line. I knew I was going to have to employ some sort of run/walk method. If I tried to run those first few miles I would burn out before I got to the summit. So, I had to reserve some energy, because once I hit that summit I was planning on cruising down the canyon.

So, that’s what I did. Once the gun sounded, I started doing a two minute run/one minute walk. I did that for about the first mile or so and then I did a one minute run/one minute walk. After a while it went to a 30 second run and minute and a half walk. And, when the climb was a bit too steep, it went to a nice fast mall walk.

Basically by mile 3-4 my pace was kind of all over the place.

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It was hard to gauge where I should be putting my effort and where I should be holding back so I don’t tank my later miles. So, I just kind of played if by ear and tried just listening to my body. I reached the summit (mile 4.5-ish) in about an hour and five minutes (14:27 min/mile). I didn’t know how I felt about it, but in retrospect, I was okay with the pace. Especially, considering the last 8.5 miles were much faster (.12:35 min/mile).

But, once I hit the aid station at the top of the summit, I just hit cruise control and immediately felt right at home. I was on familiar terrain. I immediately passed a couple of runners. I was a bit worried I was going out too fast — and while I thought about it, I didn’t really care. I figured my 4.5 mile warm up was enough and I’d just listen to my body the rest of the way.

Which is what I did.

I walked the aid stations and ran most of the way. There were a couple spots around miles 11 and 12 that I had to walk, but I tried to focus on my goal at hand — and that was to sub-three the race. So I pushed myself.

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The last mile was really tough on me. I was just gassed. And, part of that — meaning all — was because of fueling. I brought some Clif Bloks with me, but I figured I’d be fine with the water and Gatorade at the aid stations. The only problem was — the aid stations had only water. This threw me off, especially as we ran out of the canyon and into the warmer valley. My body needed those electrolytes.

I was worried about depletion so that is why I slowed down a bit those last couple of miles. And, because, I just didn’t have much else to give. As I turned toward the home stretch I kind of chuckled of the thought of someone carrying me across the finish line like those two runners did to the one runner in Philadelphia a couple weekends ago. But, I carried myself across the finish line and double pumped my fist when I saw the clock read 2:52:21.

I did it. I reached my goal.

And, not only did I reach my goal, but I also placed AGAIN! I was third in the Clydesdale Division! This was the second time in the past two races that I placed! This made the effort and result that much sweeter.

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As much as I am happy with the results, I know it’s just the beginning of what I want to do with my running and training. As much as I’d love to get back to my 2:08 hour PR days, now isn’t that season. I have a few ultras I am planning on running this year and ultrarunning doesn’t mix with half marathon speed training. At least for me.

But, I want to consistently get back to my 2:25-2:35 race times and I feel like I can do that with my ultrarunning hand-in-hand. It’s just a matter of continuing to train smart, continue losing weight and temper my Hashimoto’s. I know no doubt I’ll get there — and I want to be there by the Revel Big Cottonwood Half Marathon in September.

I’ve got a lot of running coming up in the next 4-5 weeks — including my 50K at the end of the month. While my focus is on that — the Riverton Half is next week and I really want to build upon what I have right now.

Which I know I will.


MY NEXT FIVE RACES


Here’s to the Happiest of Birthdays to my dear mother. Words can’t fully express the love and admiration I have for her. She’s simply amazing. Besides ALWAYS going above and beyond what’s expected, she has the purest of hearts I know. She’s the greatest example of “The Golden Rule” in my life. I’m also grateful that she never told me what I could or couldn’t do in life. She never, and still hasn’t, put limitations on my abilities. Even when everyone else tried to. As tacky as it sounds, she gave me wings. She’s also taught me the value to fight. Seeing her fight breast cancer … AND WIN … showed me the necessity of faith and grit with a side of stubbornness to overcome and accomplish anything truly great. Happy Birthday Mama!

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Moana Singalong Chorus.

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Hoka. Hoka. Hoka. Hoka. Hoka. And, those might be filled with race medals too.

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GET THAT GLUTEN OUTTA MY FACE!!! 🚫🍞

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Weekly Review

It was a great week of running for me. Not only did I meet my race goal time, I got some really good training in. I am being coached by RYR (Run Your Race) and I got some awesome assessment runs in — along with a couple good recovery runs. I had a fast clipped 5K and all out mile run to do — and they were beasts. But, that will give my coaches a starting point to help with my race goals.

I am hoping to gain some speed, but also endurance for my ultra races coming up in the next month and year. I’m excited to start seeing my progress.

Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 7.0 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 24.17 miles
TOTAL MILES — 44.27 miles
Race(s) this week — None.

March 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 44.1 miles
Race Miles — 26.2 miles
Walking Miles — 110.52 miles
TOTAL MILES — 180.82 miles
Races in March — March Madness Half and Lucky 13 Half Marathon.

April 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 0.0 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 2.7 miles
TOTAL MILES — 15.8 miles
Races in April — Emigration Canyon Half Marathon, Riverton Half, Saltair Half, Salt Flats 50K and Tulip Festival Half

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 181.75 miles
Race Miles — 109.22 miles
Walking Miles — 328.16 miles
TOTAL MILES — 619.13 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 and Emigration Canyon Half Marathon.



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RACE #142: Lucky 13 Half Marathon

This race was an audible. I was originally planning on running the Antelope Island Buffalo Run 25K, but due to some time sensitive family obligations on Saturday I decided to scratch the 25K for the shorter race. As hard as it was to give up a trail race, I couldn’t be gone a good chunk of the day.

So, luckily, I found the Lucky 13 Half Marathon and changed course. The race starts at Gardner Village in West Jordan and is a fairly simple out and back course along the Jordan River Parkway Trail. Joe Coles and On Hill Events do a series of races at Gardner Village and this was the first one I’ve been able to run.

The race started at 9am and packet pickup was from 7:30-8:30am so I decided to volunteer and help Joe. Doing the volunteer coordinating for Runtastic Events I like to volunteer for other races to see how they do things — from communication, assigning to certain jobs and general use.

The race was rather small — there were 200 runners. Most were running the 5K, but a good chunk ran the 10K while only 50 ran the half marathon. I don’t mind small races at all — in fact, in some situations I kind of prefer it. Especially factoring on the course. And, since we were running on the Jordan River Parkway — it was a good size.

Starting off the race I didn’t really have a game plan since I registered a couple days before. I wanted to push for a sub-three, which I felt was possible. But, honestly, didn’t know for 100% because of the back issues have been having the past three weeks. My running hasn’t been ideal and my miles lower than I would like.

But, I was going to try for it anyway.

Fighting through the crowd of runners soon thinned out as the 5K and 10K runners got to their turnarounds. I wasn’t sure if anyone was behind once it was just us half marathoners left running south on the course. But, I didn’t care. I was just focused on putting one foot in front of the other and giving it a good effort.

I was feeling pretty good during the first half of the race. There was a bit of a headwind, but nothing like two weeks ago at the March Madness Half. I figured once I turned around I’d get a nice tailwind — which would help PUSH me a bit to my sub-three time goal.

Once I got to the turnaround Steven MacKay, a fellow runner from Run4fun, was directing us to make sure we made the turnaround. Once I started heading northward I noticed I was the last runner. But, I wasn’t completely isolated, there were a couple of runners just ahead of me.

I was a few hundred yards behind the runner just ahead of me and I could tell he was starting to struggle around mile eight or so with frequent walk breaks. I kept focusing on him in an attempt to catch up and possibly pass him. I knew I could do it, but I just had to be smart about it.

Around this time Steven caught up with me. After his volunteer post was complete he ran the last stretch of the race to get his miles in for the day. Since there weren’t any pacers for this race Steven decided to bring us runners in — and I’m thankfully he did. The company was much appreciated.

This was the first time meeting Steven in person, but we’ve been acquainted through Run4fun and Facebook. But, our running journeys hold many similarities with our weight loss and fitness back stories and it was nice talking about that — it helped me keep distracted from the fatigue and heat.

Yes, heat.

The temperature starting the race was quite nice. It was around 55-60 degrees at 9am, but by the time I reached the last couple of miles it reached at least 70 degrees. I was baking.

I tore off my monkey hat and was nearly tempted to throw my shirt off as well — but, then I remembered there were decency laws about that. So the shirt stayed on.

But, it was hot. And, it zapped me. Completely zapped.

By this time Steven and I caught up with the runner ahead of us. Steven stayed with him while I forged ahead. We didn’t separate much the last mile or so, but I was motivated to just stay ahead. I didn’t care much if I finished last — but, I wasn’t going to do it without a fight.

Plus, I knew I was going to be cutting my time goal REALLY short. I wasn’t sure if I was going to meet it or not. But, mile 12.5 mile of a half, that feels like you’re running through an Easy Bake Oven, isn’t a good time to math. Well, there’s never a good time to do math — but, especially in THIS moment.

So, I just kept one foot in front of the other and pushed myself as much as I could. That was pretty much all I could anyways. Anything more or less felt like it would kill me.

Once I got back to Gardner Village, the course wound back to the finish line. I always get the urge to sprint at any finish line, but there wasn’t anything else in the tank. I was on empty. I crossed the finish line, got some water and an orange and just collapsed.

I was done.

Shortly after Steven and the last runner crossed the finish line as I just sat there fatigued out of mind. I was not prepared for that heat. And, those last two miles were brutal for me. But, I was done and that’s what mattered.

I checked my time and noticed I didn’t get my wanted time. I came in at 3:01:24. Obviously, not my best time. But, it was still better than my last two half marathons — so I guess that’s a win?

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While chewing on that unmet goal I was always informed that I actually PLACED in my age group. Which immediately changed my mood. My reaction was a mixture of laughing and astonishment. I’ve never placed at any race before — 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon and beyond.

Now, let’s not forget that there were 50 half marathon runners so my odds were more than above average to place. But, I run smaller races and didn’t even SNIFF the podium. Considering I am 35 — that’s a prime running age. I just always assumed that I’d place at races I’d run once I hit 70.

I don’t take the placement lately. In order to place — I still have to show up. I still have to run. And, I still have to finish the race. So, it’s not like it was just GIVEN to me. I earned it.

But, I am ready to put in some better half marathon training in the next few months. I don’t want to be stuck around this 3 hour mark much longer. I know I’ve got it in me to run faster. Much faster. And, with my health starting to get under control I know I’ll get there.

But, I have some big goals in front of me, so I am going to be pin point with my plan. And, I’ll blog more on all of that later. I am focusing on next week’s loooooooong ultra training run and then back to racing with the Emigration Canyon Half Marathon on April 1st. I won’t lie, I’m looking forward to some more downhill running.

ONWARD ‘HO!


NEXT FIVE RACES


I wish this bib meant I was eating lobster. #butnope #dentisttime

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RACE #142: Lucky 13 Half Marathon, March 18, 2017 (3:01:24) I did something for the first time EVER during this race! I placed! Yep! I made onto the podium! I came in third place for my age group! Now, before you oh and awe too much over this accomplishment … 50 people ran the half. BUT … I’ve run smaller races and didn’t even sniff the podium. It was a tough race. It got unusually hot for a March race here in Utah and my last two miles was a death shuffle … but, I made it 3:01:24 and I placed! I wish I sub-three’d, but I felt great about my effort. I’m eager to get faster and with one more 50K happening by next month it’ll slowly happen. On to the next one! Emigration Canyon or BUST! #lucky13half #race142 #running @joshruns180 @josherwalla @onhillevents

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Helping move my cousin has me in a mood for a game of Tetris™. #tetrismaster

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Weekly Review

Another tough week for me, but I got most of my mobility back with a massage and continued work on my back. I am trying to be patient so I don’t come back too fast and too strong — I am healing my back for the long term. Especially my long term goals. I am going to up my miles a bit this week capped off with a 20 or so mile run on Saturday.

Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 3.0 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 25.41 miles
TOTAL MILES — 41.51 miles
Race(s) this week — Lucky 13 Half Marathon.

March 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 20.5 miles
Race Miles — 26.2 miles
Walking Miles — 66.71 miles
TOTAL MILES — 113.41 miles
Races in March — March Madness Half and Lucky 13 Half Marathon.

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 136.65 miles
Race Miles — 96.12 miles
Walking Miles — 214.94 miles
TOTAL MILES — 447.71 miles
Races done in 2017 — New Year’s Half Marathon, Sweethearts 5K, Jackpot Running Festival, SL Tri Club Indoor Half, March Madness Half and Lucky 13 Half Marathon.



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RACE #136: Antelope Island Classic 50K

Tough things are tough. But, man, can tough things be more than rewarding. That’s kind of how I feel right now. That’s kind of how I felt going into this race. I knew this was going to be tough, I knew it was going to suck at points, but I knew that in the end I would come away with that rewarding feeling that I did something awesome.

I wasn’t planning on running the 50K. In fact, when I signed up I did so for the half marathon THINKING this would be a great way to wind down my racing season, especially two weeks after running the Pony Express 50.

But, then Pony happened aaaaaaand I got the bug. Not to mention my recovery from the Pony 50 was better than expected. My legs recovered faster than I expected and looking at the trail half marathon happening this weekend — I KNEW I could do the 50K. I just didn’t know if I wanted to do the 50K, I mean two weeks after a 50 miler is kinda crazy to do a 50K?!

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Then again — what’s an adventure without those moments of crazy? I tried to temper that itch, but after a couple of days I contacted the race director, Jim Skaggs, and asked him if I could up my registration from the half to the 50K. He more than obliged and before I knew it — I was signed up for the 50K.

The reason why I decided to do the 50K was kind of two fold — one, I knew I could do it, because I ran this last year and, two, I wanted some redemption out on this course. Last year I ran this 30-35lbs. heavier and it took a toll on me. The hills between miles 11-14 were brutal on my body and I flirted with cutoff time after cutoff time. So this year I just simply wanted to do better than laster — I wanted to feel and do better than 2015.

And, for the most part — I did.

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The night before the race I laid everything out on the couch that I THOUGHT that I needed. And, compared to last year I really cut down on what I took with me. I didn’t take my hiking pack with me, just my small back pack. This year I packed with some salt and vinegar potatoes, candy, back up water and applesauce to name a few compared to the change of clothes, shoes and 2-3 bottled water I had last year.

Yeah, I was a TOTAL rookie last year. Bad decisions.

I eagerly hopped into bed and was planning on getting up around 4-4:30am so I could be in my car and at the Island by around 6:30-7am for the 8am start time. But, I woke up at 3am and just stayed up. I wasn’t nervous, just more excited than anything, because besides being another ultra this would be my last true race of the year. More on that below.

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So I just kind of laid in bed for a while reading, checking my Facebook and mentally preparing for the day. I have to say it was kind of nice not feeling stressed or rushed. I just took my time and moseyed on over to Antelope Island to pick up my bib and make my way to the starting line.

Honestly, I could have probably showed up at 7am and been fine. Because I ended up sitting in my car for about an hour waiting for the start. But, it was kind of nice being there earlier than most everyone else because I got first pick of the port-a-potties at the starting line. These were the only port-a-potties along the course — so I made sure to take advantage of them before I starting running.

Before starting I did manage to get out of the car for the prerace instructions and stand at the fire pit with a number of friends who were out there to either race or volunteer. This has always been my favorite part of running. I don’t usually get to see many friends out there (because they’re usually faster than me) so the pre and post-race festivities are usually my favorite. But, it was great to see a few faces I haven’t seen in awhile.

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My strategy for the race was rather simple and it helped having ran the course before. I knew there’d be quite a bit of climbing for the first 14-15 miles of the race so I wanted converse my energy as best as I could the those first couple of miles. I wanted to have enough energy around miles 5-6 and 11-14 where the biggest climbs on the course are located. So I started off slow and focused on a brisk walk while using with my walking rods.

It really was a good strategy because I knew if I didn’t pace myself I would die on those climbs. And, the rods helped because they kept me just above a dead man’s march. This was my first time using the rods and they made a HUGE difference. As long as I was focusing on a rhythm it was like I had a pacer out there keeping me on track. I don’t think I can ever do trails again without them.

At about mile 3-4 the last runner on the course caught up with me. And, of course, we became friends. I was happy for the company, especially know the hills in front of us. So we became instant friends for the next 10-12 miles.

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His name was Jeff and he was from California. This was his 200-something-th ultra and at nearly 70 years young he was still going (his friend out there and ahead of us was older). For the past several years he’s been working on running ultras in every state. He’s run ultras in all 50 states, but now he wants to run five ultras in every state — he’s probably 3/4 of the way done?

Either way — a VERY impressive resume. And, so for the most part I just listened to his stories. Stories about running ultras in Rhode Island, Tennessee, Hawaii and New Jersey. Stories of friends and how aging has impacted their running. And, of course the granddaddy of them all the Western States 100.

We even touched on art and books and just life. It was a great way to pass the time and not focus on the stupid hills ahead of us. I was very appreciative of the company. Distraction is the great pain reliever in running.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

At mile 13-ish I knew we were going to be hitting the hill that nearly killed me last year. The only way to explain this hill is that it’s pure hell. It sucks. It’s miserable. But, there’s only one way to conquer it and that’s by doing.

Last year I would about 5-10 steps before stopping. Not to mention that, but every 30-40 steps I’d sit down and figure out a new way to die so I didn’t have to climb further. It was miserable. Miserable, miserable, miserable. Even Tim Gill who was running with me had the same struggles up that blasted hill.

But, this year I just wanted to do better than last year. I didn’t know exactly what that meant, but I wasn’t planning on stopping every 5-10 steps. I just wanted to push myself further and take less breaks. So that was the gameplan — as simple and unpremeditated as it was.

A photo posted by Joshua Hansen (@fight4phat) on

I was still running with Jeff at this point, but at the base of the hill as we started the climb I told him I would see him at the top if he didn’t keep pace with me. I just had to go my pace if I was going to conquer the hill I’ve dubbed, “Stupid Steep Hill.” So I tapped into my inner mountain goat and inched up the hill with my walking rods in hand.

I was feeling pretty good when I got half way up the hill. Having probably overexerted myself a bit too much (I only stopped once at that point) I felt a little faint — so I sat down on the hill to eat some applesauce, a little water and a couple Swedish Fish. I needed some quick energy for the rest of the climb and I wasn’t about to pass out in my attempt.

Jeff was about 100 yards behind me as I took my break and informed me he was going to bow out at the aid station. I was bummed to hear that, but he was preparing for a 50 miler in a couple of weeks and he was feeling a cold coming on and didn’t want to risk it. I completely understood and for someone who’s ran over 200 ultras I’m sure this isn’t his first DNF. So I just kept moving forward — well, upward — on the hill.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

As much as that hill sucks — I kept reminding myself that I was much stronger than last year. And, that this wasn’t as hard as Mile 45 was during my 50 miler. I wouldn’t say this made the hill any easier physically, but being in tougher situations mentally does help make it easier to endure.

Before I knew it I had made it up that bleeping hill. I only stopped about three times — and by stop I mean hunched over to catch my breath — but, I felt great, especially knowing the rest of the course was much, much easier from this point on. No more up hill climbs!

Despite that sense of accomplishment I got to the aid station depleted. I was feeling pretty week and knew I needed to refuel. I wanted more liquid than food, but still helped myself to some salted potatoes and a banana. But, there at the aid station I saw staring at me — was a can of Mountain Dew.

A photo posted by Joshua Hansen (@fight4phat) on

Now, for those who know me — I haven’t had soda in nearly four years. I decided to cut it out to help with my running and weight-loss. And, it’s been a big difference. I don’t crave it like I used to, but there at mile 14 after that hill — I needed it. My body craved it.

And, I caved.

Do I feel bad about my moment of weakness? Um, kinda? But, not really. Because it was a total game changer for me — the sugar, sodium, caffeine and carbonation gave me new life. Sure it broke my streak, but it also saved my life — well, okay, run.

And, in the miles after I left the aid station I made the pact with myself that I would continue to not drink soda recreationally. But, during an ultra — totally acceptable. Not half marathons or marathons — just ultras. Because if I made the exception for those distances — I might as well just make Mountain Dew my official beverage of choice. But, ultras are different beasts and the soda made a big difference for me.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

After leaving the aid station I started the descendant down towards the ranch house. I love this part because it’s down hill, but after killing my quads climbing up the other side of the mountain the quads don’t want to give you free reign to cruise down the hill. Plus, the descendant it just slightly past comfortable. Which caused for a semi-fast slow run down the trail.

To my surprise Jeff was right behind me and caught up to me. Even though he had said he was bowing out, he decided to stay out there after talking to the sweepers and aid station. He told me he decided to keep going because he was sick of listening to his whining. I chuckled at his reasoning, because I can totally relate.

As much as I wanted to stay with Jeff and have some company I still felt the need to just keep going at my pace. Part of this desire was from the need to proof to myself that I could do better than last year, but also from the stronger desire that I just wanted to just simply be done. So I kept my pace.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Once I got to the ranch house the course flattened out so I put away my walking rods and just ran. Well, shuffled. The legs were pretty shot.

But, I knew this was where the half marathon started so mentally I tried to create a new race in my mind. Meaning I tried to forget the previous 17-18 miles and just focus on the 13.1 mile ahead of me. It kinda worked. I still got reminders when I tried to push my legs further than they wanted to, but I just wanted to keep pushing myself as much as I could — because I wanted to do better than last year.

I got to the last two aid stations with about a half hour to give from last year’s time — which made me feel really encouraged. I fueled up with some sips of Mt. Dew, bananas and at Mile 19 some pretzels and M&M’s. I rarely touched much of the food I brought with me — which surprised me. I was bummed too, because I had some Gummy Peaches I wish I had had the stomach for — but, just didn’t.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

At the last aid station I came in right before Jeff — and at this point the sweepers caught up with me as well. We were the last two runners out there. But, at this point Jeff was really done and he ended up bowing out — leaving me out there as the last runner. Which I had no problem with — I just didn’t want to spend that much time with the sweepers.

The last seven miles were actually pretty relaxing. I was slowing down a bit so I took out my walking rods again to help pace me and just focused on the mile ahead of me. It was actually pretty peaceful and in those last few miles I found a good rhythm.

It wasn’t until about a mile and a half (or less) that the sweepers caught up with me. And, quite honestly, I probably would have kept going without them if it wasn’t for a buffalo standing along the trail ahead of me. These were the same sweepers that helped move buffalo standing on the trail so I just waited for them to do it again for me.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Even with the buffalo moved I still sheepishly crept around it trying not to make sudden movements or looking threatening to it. I know I wasn’t looking threatening to it — but, buffalo can be jerks at times and I just wanted to be safer than sorry.

Once the buffalo wasn’t an issue I spent the last mile or so with the pacers. They had remembered me from the previous year and were astounded by my progress — I was much stronger and faster than last year. And, it was nice to have someone out there see that too.

When I got to the finish line I was first greeted by Robert Merriman who snapped a couple pictures of me. But, then as I crossed the finish line I got the treatment by not just strangers, but friends like the Veaters and Heather McFarland, as I finished. I couldn’t ask for better friends and a better running community to be a part of.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

After the race I grabbed my finisher’s mug and grabbed some buffalo stew along with some water and food to chow down before making the drive home. It was actually a pretty peaceful moment — the race crew left rather quickly including my friends leaving just me there as I ate my chili watching the sun set over the western end of the Great Salt Lake.

In that moment I just thanked God for allowing me that day — for the new friendships — for the obstacles — for the found strength — and of course the ability to do something I absolutely love to do.

While I have grown madly in love with the trails and ultra distances my body is also ready for a change of pace. Mainly, it’s ready for some rest. Especially when you consider that I’ve ran three marathons, a 50 miler and a 50K in the past two months.

So the next couple of months the focus is going to more on strength training and some cross training. I want to hit the weightroom and lower my mileage for a bit before getting back into racing at the start of the year.

But, you better believe me that I’ll be back on those trails next year. I’m already signed up for the Antelope Island Buffalo Run in March.

I wouldn’t miss it.


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So, as I mentioned above I am no longer running the Thankful 13 on Thanksgiving. Why? Well, I am actually going to be working it! I am the volunteer coordinator — for at least the Thankful 13 if not other Runtastic races. Sure I am bummed that I am not running the race, but it’ll be fun still being there and a part of the race.

Basically my job will be getting volunteers for the packet stuffing, packet pick up and race day jobs. It’s a big task, but one I am excited about. I’ve done volunteer coordinating before and know it’s no easy task.

Like I’ve told friends if you can volunteer a few hours on or around race day we’d love your help! You can sign up for specific jobs here. So please sign up if you can. Remember for every hour you volunteer you get 20% off a future race. Meaning five hours equals a FREE race!

So anyways, I flirted with the idea of signing up for the Bakers Dozen Half to replace Thankful on my schedule, but you know what? I’m not. I want the rest. Well, rest from running. My focus for the next couple of months is going to be strength and cross training. I’ll still run, but I’m back off the racing until the turn of the calendar. A decision I feel good about.

This makes my next race the New Year’s Run Resolution on New Year’s Eve at the Olympic Oval. I’m not sure if you count this as a race, because it’s more like a party, but it’ll be a fun way to kick off 2017 — with running and friends. And, not to mention a good way to kick off my marathon and ultra training.

But, yeah, a change of pace I’m excited about. So make sure to sign up to volunteer for the Thankful 13! We’d love your help!

138-st-george-half-marathon139-indoor-half140-march-madness-half


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WE’RE BACK! After a couple months of life and “stuff” (mainly VERY busy schedules, etc., etc., etc.) — The Runcast is back! In this episode I sit down with Coach Blu from Team Addict to Athlete and talk about our Pony Express 50 miler. We talk about the ups and downs and how we got through it.

Hopefully we paint a picture of what it’s like to tackle a beast like this for newcomers to the ultra scene. It’s not easy, it’s tougher than tough — but, so rewarding at the same time.

Give this episode a listen and then make sure to come back next week as Coach interviews me on the AIIA Podcast …


2667in2016

RUNNING MILES

253.55 miles

RACE MILES

400.05 miles

WALKING MILES

1275.09 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

1928.69 miles

A photo posted by The Runcast (@theruncast) on

[DEEP BREATH] … the fun and madness is about to go into full swing!

First off — Happy 7 Eleven Day! Happy Slurpee Day! This is truly a holiday worth celebrating. But, oddly, I am not this year. Unless there is a sudden change of rules, Slurpees are not on the Whole30 diet. Which is such a shame. Especially considering it’d probably make it the most popular diet in America.

But, alas, it is not — for obvious reasons.

So any of my Slurpee drinking friends out there — please have one for me today, mmkay?

I had a remarkably fun and meaningful weekend — with not much running. It was spent mostly with family. My niece got baptized on Saturday and so we spent the day with family and her. I probably could have gotten a run in, but I didn’t worry about it for a number of reasons.

  1. I was where I needed to be — with family and my niece.
  2. I was upping my mileage this week anyway — so I’d get a good run in on Monday anyways.
  3. I dealt with some sore calves most of the week and probably needed the rest.

I won’t lie — there was slight panic missing a run and having a low mileage run week. But, you know what? It is what it is — and I am moving on. You’re going to always have a bad week or miss a run — and as long as it’s not a habitual thing … it’s okay. I’m going to be okay.

I am going to have a good week of running though — not only do I have the Utah Midnight Run this Friday, but I am planning on doing a couple of double run days. Why? Mostly for fatigue training. But, also to motivate me to run in the morning. And, the best way to motivate me, is to challenge me.

Sooooo — I am planning on running 2-3 miles in the morning and then 2-3 miles in the evening. Along with my daily walking miles (ie-commuting, errands, walking during lunch and mowing the lawn). On those double run days, I’m hoping to get around 10 miles of running/walking.

I just want to focus on being on my feet a lot more. Especially, during the day. Having a desk job kills that goal a lot of the times. But, if I am going to be running a 50 miler — I need to be on my feet a lot more than just 5-7 miles a day. It’s gotta be more.

Anyways — odds are by the time you read this I’ll have had my first run of the day done already (if not I’ll need a better alarm). So I am not worried. But, I know I was where I needed to be and with who I needed to be with. The last thing I want to happen is my running to take precedence over family and God.

But, that’s a post for another day.

Sooooo — it’s time to really dig down and get to work. I’ve got the diet part down (that’s actually working!), so now it’s just putting the miles in, enjoying the journey and getting where I want to be.

And, I know where I am right now — I’m pointing in the right direction.

BOOM! BAM! YEAH RUNNING!


50 Mile Training Plan

I have 16 weeks left until my 50 miler! First off — YIKES! Second off — YEAH! It really is a mixbag of emotions, but more than anything — I am ready to rock the run. I wouldn’t be doing it if I felt like I couldn’t do it.

I have shared my training plan before — but, with the recent changes to my race schedule I’ve had to adapt it some. At least for my long runs. Which is fine. It wasn’t a lot of changing — thankfully. I’ll just have to get creative for my long run over Labor Day weekend since I don’t know where I’ll be running — odds are it will be trails.

Anyways.

My weekly runs range from 2-3 runs between 2-5 miles. The closer I get I’ll be doing some more double run days or evening-morning runs to work on fatigue training. My focus is also working on the core and flexibility so I’ll be doing some circuit training throughout the week as well. I’ll probably blog more about that later?

These are my weekend long runs (with other races listed as well) …

July 15: Utah Midnight Run
July 16: Neighborhood (5 miles)
July 23: Handcart Days Half Marathon
July 25: Deseret News Half Marathon
July 30: Timp Half
August 6: Beat the Heat 5K + 12 miles (Legacy Parkway)
August 13: Midnight 20 Mile Treadmill Run
August 20: Big Cottonwood (12 miles)
August 27: Run Elevated Half Marathon + 7 miles
September 3: Somewhere in Idaho (8 miles)
September 10: Big Cottonwood Marathon
September 17: Huntsville Marathon
September 24: Emigration Canyon (8 Miles)
October 1: St. George Marathon
October 8: Red Rock Relay — Park City (13.85 miles)
October 15: Frightmares 5K + 5 miles
October 21-22: Pony Express 50 Mile Trail Run

My August 20th and September 24th runs are planned group runs — so if you’re interested in coming let me know and I’ll send you an invite. But, I am excited to get into the swing of things. I am training deliberately — especially with runs that would be tough for me mentally and physically.

That is why my 20 mile training runs are designed to be TOUGH. I am running one (August 13) starting AT midnight on the treadmill. I am going to wake myself up that morning at 4am and either run or workout to make my day long and fatigued. Because, I want it to be tough.

Then on my second 20 miler (August 27) I am running Run Elevated Half Marathon and then adding on another 7 miles after the race. I am going to give my body about 30-60 minutes of rest — just to get sore and stiff enough and then I’m getting back out on the roads to get the extra miles in.

Then of course having three marathons in four weeks will be tough in its’ own right.

But, I am excited. I need these challenges! I want these challenges!

Anyone else training for marathons or ultras this fall? How do you mentally and physically prepare yourself? I’d love to hear back from you.


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There were some problems with the PodBash servers last week — mainly the system crashed. Which is a great problem to have! The Radio Ronin program is the highest listened to show and is posted on Thursday — the day before the AIIA and the Runcast. It was such a heavily listened to show the system went down.

It took well into Friday to fix the problem and get the servers back up that we decided to just wait until next Friday to post the episode. And, believe you me — you will not want to miss this one. It’s awesome. I get a sneak peek listen before it’s posted — and Coach Blu does a smash up job!

Anyways — come back on Friday for another episode of AIIA. Runcast will have another episode coming out on July 22 just in time for the Pioneer Day weekend.


PHATGRAMS

Just a boy and his Papou. #chubbingtatum #papou

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on


2667in2016

RUNNING MILES

145.6 miles

RACE MILES

137.4 miles

WALKING MILES

831.66 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

1114.66 miles

MILES TO GOAL

1552.34 miles



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

Reshuffling my 2016 race schedule a tad …

Ugh.

I’ve had to reshuffle a few of my races this year — again. I’m sad and happy about it. I’m sad, because I am going to have to drop the Nebo Half — my favorite race and goal race for the summer. But, I’m happy because I have a good excuse to miss it.

No, I’m not getting married.

But, I’ll be spending time with family in Idaho and Wyoming — specifically the South Fork and Yellowstone areas. I’m going to go get myself a selfie with a bison, rescue a baby bison, walk into some hot springs and get WAY to close to an adult elk! Okay, just kidding, I’m not one of those kind of Yellowstone tourists — I’m scared of wildlife so I basically stay in my car. Especially after reading this book.

Anyways, I digress.

Ever since I’ve started running I’ve always told myself that the priority is God, Family and Running. And, that pretty much falls in line with my priorities. Friends are on that list I guess too? But, that’d be included in the running aspect of my priorities. So, that basically means if you don’t run and you claim you’re my friend — you’re not a priority in my life.

KIDDING.

You’re on that list. Let’s just say you’re fourth on the list — or fifth after nachos. Again, I am kidding. I think?

So, to the changes. Not only am I dropping the Nebo Half, but the Goldilocks Half that I was going to pace was cancelled. It’s just now a biking event, no race. Kind of a bummer.

I also decided to not run Cory Reese’s Bakers Dozen Half this year — it should be taking place around December 10th (not announced yet). I want to race it, but I’ve taken a lot of time off this year so far and will have traveled a lot (twice to St. George for the St. George Marathon and Snow Canyon Half) — that I decided to stick close to home.

Now to offset the dropped races I decided to pick up the Red Rock Relay in Park City (October 8th). It’s a mini relay (six member team), but one of the legs totals over 13.1 miles — which I’ll sign up for. I am excited for this relay because I am running the AIIA team and it should be a lot of fun. I’ll blog more about this later (I also have a cool giveaway to announce next week).

I have also been deciding on whether or not I want to run the Snow Canyon Half or Antelope Island 50K — which are both on the same day (November 5th). I guess I should trow the Mountain View Half Marathon on there too because it’s on Antelope Island as well. But, I decided today that I really, really, really want to do Snow Canyon. I love the course and two weeks after my 50 it seems like a better decision over a 50K.

I am sure I could do it, but I just don’t want to (how’s that for a reason?)

Anyways, here is what the rest of my race calendar looks like from here on out …

125 - utah midnight run.fw 126 - bountiful handcart days.fw 127 - desnews half.fw 128-timp half.fw 129 - Run Elevated Half Marathon 130 - Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon 131 - huntsville marathon 132 - st george marathon 133 - park city red rock relay 134 - pony express trail 50 135 - haunted half provo136- snow canyon half marathon137 - thankful 13138 - resolution run


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

RACE #124: 13 Miles of Freedom

First off — HAPPY FOURTH! I hope you’re having a great holiday weekend. This really is my favorite weekend of the year. So much family time, so many community activities and it’s summer to boot! Plus — USA! USA! USA!

One thing that’s been missing ever since I started running some six years ago is a 4th of July race longer than a 5K or even 10K to run during the weekend (or on the holiday itself). There are PLENTY of races (both half marathon and marathon) on or around Pioneer Day here in Utah — but, nothing really around the 4th.

Well, until this year.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

This was the inaugural run of the 13 Miles of Freedom put on by Extra Mile Racing. As the name implies it’s first and forth most a half marathon (along with a 5K on race day). I registered fairly early when I saw it on the race schedule, because I’ve eagerly been waiting for a patriotic half marathon to count towards my 180 race goal.

The race runs along the Jordan River Parkway starting at 5400 S. and then running north to about 2400 S. and back via an out and back loop. Well, at least that’s the way you’re suppose to go. Unless you get lost and go an entirely wrong direction. But, more on that later.

The one thing I loved about this race was how lax it was. Most Extra Mile Races are, which I love. The race didn’t start until 7am, so I didn’t have to leave until about 6am to mosey over to the race, get my bib and prepped for gun time. I loved being able to mingle with friends before the race as well — Elsha, Monte, Karrie, Ron, etc., etc., etc.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

I was a little worried about the late start, but it wasn’t THAT bad, because there were stretches of covered trail and plenty of water at the aid stations. So the heat wasn’t much of an issue for me until the last couple of miles.

My goal for the race was basically to just — run. I didn’t have a goal. After a month of racing Drop13 and AF Canyon along with RAGNAR — I just wanted to run this with no time expectation. I wanted to use it more so as a training run than anything else.

I guess, my only goal was that I wanted to run under three hours — but, I wasn’t totally dead set on achieving that goal. It just depending on my run and whether or not I ended up hanging out with Tammy, who was sweeping the course. And, since I ended to get 15-16 miles in for my training — I even thought about running back to run in with Tammy.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

But, none of that was necessary, because I definitely got plenty of running in thanks to my keen sense of following directions. Basically, I got lost. But, that description doesn’t do justice to the adventure that those extra three miles were. Not at all.

As I mentioned earlier the course was a fairly simple out and back course with a loop for the turn around. Nothing extraordinary difficult about following the course, especially if you paid attention to the course signs. Which, Extra Mile Racing did a great job at marking.

The first 4-5 miles were fairly nondescript — I felt great and I was plugging along the trail. I did get chased by a stupid goose. But, I wasn’t going to let a Canadian goose ruin my All-American run — so I just out ran it. I was having fun listening to my music and jamming out to a mix of my favorite running and patriotic songs.

My energy levels were great and I would stop at each aid station and refuel with water and bananas. Nothing too big. But, at the second aid station (where we turn onto the loop) the volunteer must have stepped away for a moment — so I was at the station alone. I was downing some water and a banana when a guy and his 5-6 chihuahuas stepped onto the trail — the guy asked me what was going on and after I told him about the race, he just kept talking to me.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

He reminded me a lot of my Aunt Diane — who could corner you into a 15-20 minute conversation about nothing of importance. He started telling me why four of dogs were leashed and two of them were not and why one of them wasn’t because of some bladder infection. I was trying to be polite, but I really wanted to get back to my run — so I kinda backed away slowly from him and excused myself — not looking at where I was going.

And, well, I missed my turn. I kept going straight. And, I didn’t think much of it because I saw a lot of the faster runners coming towards me — so I just kept plugging along in my happy zone.

I kept passing runners and it wasn’t until I reached the bridge that I had my friend Catey tell me that I was going the wrong way. Instead of taking the clue, I thought she was just joking — so I kinda laughed it off and kept running — looking for this turn around loop.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

When I got up to the 2100 South overpass I started to worry a bit because I wasn’t seeing any other runners. But, I kinda just shook that off as being a slower runner. So I just kept going — and that’s when it got awkward. Super awkward.

As I ran under the 2100 South overpass I passed a biker and then a ways further I noticed what I thought was another biker in the walkway — assumingly taking a rest stretch. I noticed him kinda squatting and didn’t think much about it until I got closer.

That’s when I discovered this guy was NOT a biker or even a runner. But, it was a naked (complete naked) homeless man who was squatting to — well — take care of his business. In that moment of realization I just turned my head to straightaway and ran a little bit faster so I could get out of that overpass.

I was both shocked and laughing at the same time. These kind of things always happen to me. And, of course this would happen to me now. But, I just kept running.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

After about another half mile of running I started to really question my sense of direction. So I whipped out the map course on my phone and compared it to my GPS and noticed that I was about a mile and a half off course. After a moment of — ugh — that feeling quickly turned to a moment to dread. Because, I knew I had to go back the way I came from — and pass the naked homeless guy once again.

I was hoping he was at least done with his business and dressed. I could handle that. Probably.

So when I retraced my steps and started going under the 2100 South overpass I noticed him once again. Thankfully, he was done with his business, but unfortunately he was still completely naked. He was calmly sitting upon a rock leaning back against an overpass beam reading a magazine. Being the complete gentlemen he was, he gave me a salutation — which I returned quite awkwardly.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

I felt the desire to stop and offer him something. But, quite honestly what he needed the most was something I had only one pair of. And, I don’t think running the rest of the race pantless was a viable option. So I just kept running.

I’m assuming he was either drying his clothes after washing them in the river — or just hanging out in the buff because it was too hot for clothes. I won’t lie — I’m jealous of his confidence, but it was an awkward moment. Hilariously awkward. And, something I’ll always remember of all my races.

Once I got over my traumatic experience I retraced my steps and got back on the course. Once I got back on the course I had added an extra three miles to my half marathon. Thus, making it an ultra half marathon.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

I really didn’t mind the extra miles, I needed them anyways and meant I didn’t have to tag them on after my race. Plus, I had an experience I’ll never forget. But, I stopped my watch after 13.1 miles and I did those miles in 2:47:16 — not bad considering the circumstances.

But, once I was on the route I was worried about where I was in relation to the sweeper. I wanted to make sure I had water or some support at the aid stations since I didn’t carry any with me. Luckily, about 4-5 miles from the finish line I was met by race support on a bike and they gave me some water, because the aid stations were out of water. That’s where I also learned I was behind Tammy — so I sped up to catch up with her.

I finally caught up with her about 3-4 miles from the finish line and ended up finishing with her and another runner who was struggling in the heat. I had told Tammy that I might end up running with her, but we didn’t know it was going to end up happening THIS way.

A photo posted by @fight4phat on

So I just ended up going the rest of the way with Tammy and the other runner. I wasn’t in too much of a hurry since I already my mu miles in — plus some. I was just happy to be out there. Not to mention getting QUITE the experience to write in my journal.

It was great training for my 50 in October and my preluding marathons. Next week there’s no race. I am going to make it a high mileage week since I won’t be getting a lot of miles in on Saturday (it’s my niece’s baptism in the morning). But, I’ll be getting in PLENTY of miles throughout the month with training and races (I have four — and three within a week).

Anyways — HAPPY FOURTH! I hope you have a great holiday and go do something runny. This is the perfect holiday to celebrate with a run!

PEACE OUT!



125-Utah Midnight Run Legacy

My next race isn’t until July 15th — which for me, seems like an eternity. I won’t lie — if it wasn’t my niece’s baptism on Saturday morning this week, I’d probably be running Hobbler. I need to serve some redemption on that course. I swept it last year, but it kicked my trash. 

Anyways — I’ve done the Utah Midnight Run on the Legacy Parkway now for five years. Sounds so weird saying that, because I still feel like so much of a rookie when it comes to running. But, I’ve been running since 2010 and half marathons since 2011 — so I guess it’s bound to happen, right?

I’ll be using this as a double run — not double race like past years. I’m planning on running the 13.1 miles and then another 5-6 miles in the morning. Some fairly basic and light fatigue running. But, I’ll need to start doing more fatigue training in August and September as I get closer to my 50.

This will be a great opportunity to do that and a fun opportunity to run with friends!


NEXT THREE UPCOMING RACES

126 - bountiful handcart days.fw127 - desnews half.fw128-timp half.fw


RUNCAST USA: MUSIC EPISODE

Runcast - Podbash Banner

This episode was released on Friday afternoon — so you might have missed it! But, I’m sharing more of my favorite running songs. I’ve got some familiar stuff with Fallout Boy, Imagine Dragons — and, yes — Justin Timberlake. But, I am also sharing some newer and less known stuff as well.

If anything — listen to the leadoff episode, it’s my favorite!


THE PARK HOPPERS: RUN DOLE WHIP RUN!

ParkHoppers

As many know me, know I am a HUGE Disneynerd. You’ll never find me the happiest when I’m sitting at Disneyland waiting for the fireworks to start while eating a Dole Whip float. Pure heaven, pure joy.

This past week I was a guest on The Park Hoppers podcast on Pod Bash. They grilled me on my Disney-ness, we taste tested some Dole Whips around town and I also shared some info on the Run Disney races at Disneyland — and Walt Disney World. I had an absolute BLAST!

Listen to the episode here …


This kid. This shirt. This moment. I love being an uncle. #chubbingtatum #unclejosher

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on


2016miles

RUNNING MILES

142.45 miles

RACE MILES

137.4 miles

WALKING MILES

805.0 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

1084.85 miles

MILES TO GOAL

1582.15 miles



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