Tag: pioneer day

RACE #155: Deseret News Half Marathon

After racing on Saturday at the Handcart Days Half Marathon, I wasn’t sure what to expect on Monday for this race. Especially since I haven’t done much back to back long runs — outside of the Bear Lake Trifecta.

Plus, with my ankle lately, I just haven’t had many feel good successful runs. It’s been frustrating because about 6-7 miles into a run my ankle starts screaming. I’ve been going to Physical Therapy and doing daily exercises/stretches that have been helping some, but the biggest thing my doctor suggested was new runners. Specifically ones for overpronation.

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Now, I’m not going to get into all of that, but basically — I’m an overpronator which was not only the likely cause of the sprain, but why it wasn’t healing properly as well. Meaning, the overpronation didn’t give my ankle the time or structure it needed to heal. Truly a vicious cycle.

On Saturday after my race I bought some new runners, the Saucony Omni 15 to be specific. I debated whether or not I should break them out for this race, but after about two minutes I threw caution to the wind and decided to lace them up.

And, boy, was I glad I did!

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Ironically, the race started in the canyon (and about 100 yards down the road) where I first sprained the ankle in April. I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t on my mind. My two goals for the race were to sub-three and not sprain my ankle. I love Emigration Canyon, but it’s road condition isn’t the best — so it’s a real concern.

After hanging out for about an hour at the starting line the race started at 6am. As soon as I went out the chute I felt the heaviness of my legs. From past experiences I knew the first three miles were going to be spent basically loosening up — so I didn’t push TOO hard, especially know I’d need my energy for that later.

Once I was loosened up, I was surprised how well I felt. But, more than that — how well my ankle felt. I still felt it’s tenderness, but it wasn’t screaming at me. I knew the test would be in a few more miles, especially when I got down to the home stretch. But, I felt very optimistic with how I was feeling.

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With the ankle feeling rather neutral, I wanted to push myself a bit and between miles 5-8 I kept pushing myself. The ankle was holding up, especially after miles 6-7 where it usually starts cursing at me. So, I kept pushing.

I probably pushed a bit too hard, especially coming off a race on Saturday. But, I also haven’t been speed training much with the injury so my fitness level wasn’t where I’d like it to normally be. The only way to get back there is by … pushing and challenging yourself, so that’s what I did.

Once I got out of the canyon I was still feeling really good. This just encouraged me even more to keep going. It also helped seeing a lot of familiar friendly faces at the aid stations and on the course. It felt like a party.

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I knew the last five miles were going to be tough, especially around Mile 9 on 1300 East. It’s the slightest of hills, but after running Emigration Canyon and Foothill Blvd. it feels like a freaking mountain. Especially when you pass the 7 Eleven there on 13th. It was at this point that I wished I brought my monies for a Slurpee.

Bad planning on my part.

But, the last four miles were much better than I expected. It helped that I knew what to expect toward the finish line, but I was most encouraged by how my ankle felt. It felt GOOD. Not great, but good! I felt the improvement and might have made somewhat emotional around Mile 10. I will neither confirm nor deny that.

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But, the last three miles were good. They’re the fun miles of this race, that’s when you starting running toward the parade route. I smiled at the Mile 10 aid station that was staffed by a bunch of LDS missionaries. You want to talk about a happy bunch of volunteers.

After turning onto the parade route I turned off my music and just listened to the crowd. I love doing this. I heard my name yelled out a couple of times, but a lot of random strangers just cheering me on. I loved it.

Once I approached the finish line I noticed I got that sub-three hour time — 2:52:36 to be exact. But, before I could celebrate the accomplishment I was greeted by Wan who not only put my medal around my neck gave me one of his trademark hugs. Of all the people I could ask to hand me my medal — I couldn’t have asked for anyone more perfect than Wan.

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After gathering myself I just crashed with a couple water bottles in tow and just socialized for a while. By this time my body was feeling it. Luckily, not my ankle. Just my quads and everything else that didn’t want me running 48 hours after the last half.

But, after shuttling it back to the buses with Andrea and Dith, I made the slow drive home — with a detour to the 7 Eleven of course. I was dead, but at the same time I felt such a great sense of satisfaction for meeting my goal. Not to mention how grateful I felt that my ankle felt so great.

It’s a feeling that’s been a long time waiting.

And, I’ll take it.


MY NEXT THREE RACES


July 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 31.1 miles
Race Miles — 39.3 miles
Walking Miles — 85.63 miles
TOTAL MILES — 156.03 miles
Races in July — The Hobbler Half, Handcart Days & DesNews Half.

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 303.55 miles
Race Miles — 282.42 miles
Walking Miles — 749.4 miles
TOTAL MILES — 1335.37 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, Provo City Half Marathon, Jordan River Half Marathon, Drop13 Half Marathon, Bear Lake Trifecta — Idaho, Wyoming & Utah, AF Canyon Race Against Cancer and The Hobbler Half.


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RACE #127: Deseret News Half Marathon

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s kinda hard to put into words about my experience running the Deseret News Half this past Monday. It was tough. It was draining. It was exhausting. But, all be damned — I pushed through all of that. All that this just 48 hours after running the Bountiful Handcart Days Half Marathon.

While I didn’t get my sub-2:30 time goal — I am proud of myself, my effort and resolve. I didn’t give up, even when I tried to give myself permission to do so. I had a couple of great pacers that kept me on track and going, especially when I thought I couldn’t give any more of myself.

I told myself going into the race that I would be disappointed if I didn’t get a sub-2:30 time (2:32:15). Am I still disappointed for not hitting the goal? Well, yes. I wanted to reach that goal. And, I didn’t get it. Of course I am going to be disappointed. But, that doesn’t mean I didn’t learn from the experience. Because, I most definitely did.

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Having not sub-2:30’d in nearly two years — it would probably be seen as kinda stupid to go into this race seeking such a goal. Especially after already racing 48 hours prior. And, that assessment may very well be right.

But, having lost nearly 30lbs. and gaining some of my speed back as of late — I knew I could push myself to that goal. Especially having ran the DesNews Half before and knowing where and when to push or hold back. It also helps having ran a sub-2:30 — or sub 2:10 for that matter (2:08:25 at Nebo in 2013) — so you know what it takes.

My game plan really wasn’t extraordinary. It was simply to stick with my friend Brook who was pacing the 2:30 group. I thought about running with my Garmin, but opted to bypass wearing it because there was no point if I was going to stick with Brook. PLUS — it’s kinda like running on the treadmill, you don’t want to constantly be looking at the time and distance. That’s torture.

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After being bussed up Emigration Canyon the 2:40 pacer, Sheri, joined us. Somehow her pacing stick was forgotten so she joined our party. It was great having her run alongside Brook and I. I love having two pacers, because one can focus staying on pace while the other can focus on the runners around them. That’s very much what Brook and Sheri did. It really helped me a lot.

The run down Emigration Canyon was beautiful (it always is) — and fast! The first six miles were down the canyon and past the zoo. And, even when we got out of the canyon the route was still pretty much downhill until around mile 10-11.

The hardest of that stretch was when we turned onto Foothill Blvd. and for probably — a half mile? — the course was flat. Recalibrating my legs between downhill and flat terrain has always been difficult for me. But, I just decided to dig in and keep pressing forward.

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When we turned onto 1300 E. towards 100 S. not only were my legs running out of juice, but I could feel the creation of a blister that I knew would be ugly once my shoes came off. It was painful. It was huge. And, it was very uncomfortable. But, I just kept trying to push through it.

I knew I was close I was close. I had about a 5K left. I was still with the pacers. So, I just tried to distract myself by anyways possible. Since I wasn’t running with music, I either sang whatever came to mind — or chanted mantras of “yes, I can” and “just keep running.”

It felt like the more tired and sore I got, the more determined I became to reach this goal. Especially when I was looking for excuses and reasons to slow down and let Brook and Sheri go ahead of me. I could have easily used Saturday’s race as an excuse, but I already told myself that wasn’t going to be an excuse.

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I also could have used my blister as an excuse. And, that one I fought through a lot — pretty much every half mile after mile 10. But, I just made up my mind that it was an all or nothing. If I didn’t give my ALL — I was sacrificing the gift (geez, where have I heard something like that before?).

Anyways — needless to say — I wasn’t going to quit. I was going to give it my everything. I was so appreciative of both Brook and Sheri for keeping me going. They both helped motivate me, kept me going and wouldn’t let me stop.

I got new life when we turned onto 200 E. and the parade route. Part of it was because of the energy of the crowd, but mostly because we got some downhill that made my legs happy. I wish I had brought candy to throw out to the crowd (maybe next year) because while some of them were cheering us runners on, most were bored out of their minds.

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Around this time I really felt like I had a chance to get this goal. We had less than a mile and a half left until the finish line and I knew I could just gut it out — especially once the course flattened out again. And, then we got stopped near the library because of a TRAX train. It killed a little bit of my mojo, but more than anything, just made me laugh. Plus, it only killed about 12 seconds.

But, still.

The last half mile was a beast though. I kept pushing and my legs just weren’t giving me ANYTHING. Sheri kept running with me while Brook ran ahead to keep on pace. I desperately wanted to keep up with Brook, but I had no spring left in my legs — at this point it was all guts. All guts.

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As I got closer to the finish line Brook came back to run me in. There was some confusion on time, because the course was a bit too long and there was a different time on the clocks, timer and Brook’s Garmin. The timer said I was still under 2:30 — I think like 2:28ish? But, Brook’s said I was 2:31 at like 13.4 miles (or so).

So I didn’t know which one to believe? Could I have come in under 2:30? Possibly.

But, when I went to check my time at the time kiosk it came in as 2:32:15. And, despite probably making a case that time was off, I just went with that time, because — well — it’s the official time. And, I’m not going to critique that despite the length of course.

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I got what I got and while I am disappointed that I didn’t reach my goal, I know I did my best. I beasted out some difficult miles. I created a monstrous blister. And, I gave everything I had to the end. If you can’t be satisfied with that, then you’re never going to truly appreciate anything in life. Destinations and goals are great, but the journey and pursuit is just as valuable. If not more.

So will I do something like this again? Meaning — a two race weekend? Of course. I think what made this different was going into my second race with an ambitious time goal. But, doing Whole30, losing weight and subsequently having more energy I felt like I could this.

Which I almost did.

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And, as I have said here and on social media — yes, I am disappointed that I didn’t reach my goal. But, all be damned, I almost did it — and — I am coming away from this race with more lessons learned than if I easily reached the goal. I will definitely remember this race highly amongst my 180 other races.

Besides my 50K — and a handful of other races — this was one of the toughest.

Yet, one of the most rewarding.

Now to just keep pressing forward. I’ve got a lot more to achieve and accomplish.


MY NEXT RACE

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After Monday’s race — I won’t lie — I kinda want to test myself again. I want that sub-2:30. Especially since I’ll have basically have a whole month until my next half (Run Elevated, Aug. 27).

Is it doable? Yes. Is it crazy? Possibly. But, I figure if I could do 2:32 at the DesNews Half just 48 hours after the Handcart Days Half — I can do a 2:30 at Timp with some rested legs on Saturday. Am I right on this assessment (just nod your heads in agreement)?

So the goal is once again to stick with the 2:30 pacers. Luckily for me I’ve got a couple of awesome friends pacing the group — Angie Pace and Karrie Middaugh! It’ll be a party. But, I know once again it won’t be easy. The first 7-8 miles (or so) are in AF Canyon — that leaves about 5-6 miles of rolling hills in the hot sun.

Again — it won’t be easy. But, I am going to do it. And, I am going to give it my all.

I’m going to do a shakeout run either tonight or Thursday morning. Nothing extreme, just to loosen up the legs. But, my focus this week has been weights and core anyways (I’ve got some Relief Society arms that need a little work). Plus, that core work is just as important as miles on my feet. I also have to remember I’ve done a lot of running, especially considering I will be doing three half marathons within a week.

So, I am not worried.

I just want to be ready for Saturday. Ready to stick with Karrie and Angie and give it everything. I want to build upon my time at Timp going into Run Elevated next month so I can push for 2:25 or faster. Especially considering that I had to drop Nebo in September. I want to fly at Run Elevated like I’ve never flown before.

Well, okay, not maybe fly faster than I have in a while. Though a PR would sure be nice. But, if that was the goal and case you might as well have an ambulance shadow me down Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Anyways.

Who else is running Timp this weekend? Anyone else want to join the 2:30 party? If you want to help motivate and keep me going I’ll get you some cattle prods! Ooooo … tempting I know!

YEAH TIMP!


MY NEXT THREE RACES

129 - Run Elevated Half Marathon 130 - Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon 131 - huntsville marathon


PHATGRAMS

They asked for honest feedback … so I gave it to them. #chilisnotapplebees

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2667in2016

RUNNING MILES

157.6 miles

RACE MILES

176.7 miles

WALKING MILES

891.86 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

1226.16 miles

MILES TO GOAL

1440.84 miles



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InstaReplay: Deseret News Half Marathon

I’ve done some tough and difficult things over my five years of running — I’ve ran marathons, numerous 20 mile training runs, midnight Ragnar legs and a number of back-to-back and double race day races. But, today — was tough. It was very tough.

I came into the race having ran the Handcart Days Half 48 hours before. I wasn’t sore or extraordinarily tired. I took it easy on Saturday KNOWING I was going to be going for 2:30 on Monday.

I came close today. Very close.

I am not going into a lot of details, I’ll save that for my race recap on Wednesday. But, I pushed through a lot to keep up with my friends, and pacers, Sheri and Brook. I was fine for most of the race, but the last three miles I started to blister on my feet pretty bad and then the last mile was just gutting it out.

It was one of the toughest — yet rewarding — races I’ve done.

I am disappointed that I came in at 2:32:15, but looking at my performance having done a half 48 hours prior and gutting through the blisters, heat and dead legs — I am proud of that. I didn’t give up. I gave it my all. And, I can say affirmatively I left EVERYTHING out there on the course.

I am looking forward to Timp this weekend and Run Elevated next month to get that elusive sub-2:30 for the year. But, for now I’m tending to my blisters, jumping in an ice bath and taking it easy for a couple of days. I want my legs to be fresh for Timp.

Come back Wednesday for the full race report.


LET’S DO THIS! #desnewshalf #race127 #running @deseretnews @joshruns180 @fight4phat

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There was a little confusion with my time. The clock said one thing, the timer said another and the Garmin said something else. But, going with the official time I finalized in 2:32:15. I am disappointed I didn’t get my sub-2:30, but I gave it everything. Everything. I ran through a nasty blister, dead legs and a nagging conscience. But, I seriously couldn’t have gotten this far without Brook & Sheri pushing and motivating me. The last half mile was hell. I had no spring left in the legs. It was all guts at that point. Having Sheri push me and then Brook coming back to run me through was a great moment for me. I’m getting my speed back and I have no doubt I’ll get where I’m going — especially when I push myself and surround myself with others who help push me along! #desnewshalf #race127 #running @deseretnews @joshruns180 @fight4phat

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RACE #127 IS DONE! This was a tough race! Tough, tough, tough. I pushed myself beyond comfort, through some very dead legs and a blister the size of Asia. I didn’t get my sub-2:30, but I was close. I am disappointed I didn’t get it, but I can say I gave it EVERYTHING to give myself a fighting chance. The official time came in at 2:32:15. My last half mile was brutal. I had no spring left and I just gutted it out. It hurt. It was painful. But, I pushed through it. If it wasn’t for Brook & Sheri I KNOW I wouldn’t have survived for that long. They kept on pace and on track. They were great pacers! My goal now is to get that sub-2:30 at Run Elevated next month. I know I can do it, because I won’t be running a half 48 hours before either. It’s onto Timp this weekend before a few 20 milers in August to prep me for my marathons in September. BAM! #desnewshalf #race127 #running @deseretnews @joshruns180 @fight4phat

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RACE #127 IS DONE! This was a tough race! Tough, tough, tough. I pushed myself beyond comfort, through some very dead legs and a blister the size of Asia. I didn’t get my sub-2:30, but I was close. I am disappointed I didn’t get it, but I can say I gave it EVERYTHING to give myself a fighting chance. The official time came in at 2:32:15. My last half mile was brutal. I had no spring left and I just gutted it out. It hurt. It was painful. But, I pushed through it. If it wasn’t for Brook & Sheri I KNOW I wouldn’t have survived for that long. They kept on pace and on track. They were great pacers! My goal now is to get that sub-2:30 at Run Elevated next month. I know I can do it, because I won’t be running a half 48 hours before either. It’s onto Timp this weekend before a few 20 milers in August to prep me for my marathons in September. BAM! #desnewshalf #race127 #running #workout #halfmarathon #wellness #fitness #wod #exercise @deseretnews @joshruns180 @josherwalla

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RACE #126: Bountiful Handcart Days Half Marathon

BOUNTIFUL — The first of two races this holiday weekend are complete. On Saturday I ran the Handcart Days Half Marathon here in my hometown. I am then running the Deseret News Half Marathon on Monday — er — tomorrow morning. Am I crazy doing this? Sure. Is it unprecedented for me? No.

Like I tell everyone who asks how I am able to race so much, the simple answer is — I don’t know how to say no to a race. It’s especially harder to say no when I have my credit card on autofill. All I have to do is show up at a race website and I’m pretty much registered for that race the next 2-3 years.

All kidding aside, I’ve done a number of back-to-back half marathons — usually consisting of a night race on Friday followed by a Saturday morning race. Those are usually all-nighters. I have also done a couple of double race days as well. Last year and in 2014 I ran two half marathons the same day — a morning and night race. Lots of fun, lots of running.

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So a Saturday and Monday race isn’t that hard for me to mentally and physically prepare for. Basically, my Sunday usually consists of a lot of napping while wearing compression socks all day. Oh, and drinking a lot of water. After races I don’t like to drink a lot the next couple of following days — so I have to force it a bit to make sure I am not dehydrated for my upcoming race.

Anyways — it’s still not “easy” to do. But, it’s fun. It’s always fun giving your body a challenge whether it’s small, moderate or huge. It’s what makes running fun for me. That’s kind of why I got into running in the first place. It’s especially the reason why I ran my first half marathon. I wanted to prove it to myself I could do hard things.

And, coincidentally, I was celebrating that first half marathon five years to the day at the same race on Saturday. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been a “runner” (I didn’t really consider myself a “real” runner until I did my first half — that’s why runner is in quotation marks) for that long. Time has flown — way too fast to be honest with you. Gosh, I was still 29 back then. Now I am pushing my mid-thirties (okay, I am pretty much already there).

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But, it’s been an adventure. I never thought I would be HERE five years later. No, not the same race. But, HERE meaning what I have done with running the past five years. Where we have gone together, what we have accomplished and who we have met. Five years ago, I just wanted to run a half marathon. I didn’t know how many I wanted to do in my lifetime. I just wanted to do one and that was my focus.

And, after 124 other races — among them 7 marathons, 106 half marathons, five relays, three 25Ks and one beast of a 50K — here I was full circle at the same race on the exact day doing what I love. My heart fills up with memories and emotions trying to gap my experiences between the two races. But, I’ve experienced so much in those five years — it’s nearly impossible to be attentive to everything I’ve learned and done.

I’ve lived so much life in those past five years.

Okay, this is starting to get a little sappy. You’d think I was starting to write the script to the next big movie for the Hallmark Channel. It’s just hard not to get sedimental around Pioneer Day, because I ran my first marathon on Pioneer Day the following year at the Deseret News Marathon. So this time next year I might get emotional once again at my marathon’s five year runniversary date.

I think this also means I probably should sign up for the DesNews Marathon next year too, huh?

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Anyways, to this year’s race … besides being sentimental about the date and race, going into the race — I knew what I was expecting. I ran the same course last year (for my 100th race mind you) and it didn’t change much (if at all) from year to year. So it was going to be a lot of flatness for the first half or so and then rolling hills the second half. Not my favorite course demographics — but — it is what it is.

The goal for me was to just keep going, not push TOO hard and don’t poop my pants (this is always my goal in every race — it’s a legit fear). I wanted to keep my legs fresh for the DesNews Half on Monday, because I knew if I kicked it up TOO hard during this race I would probably trash my legs a bit too much. My secondary goal was to also come in under three hours. A doable goal.

One thing I love about the Handcart Days Half is that they give you an option for an early start. They’ve actually been doing this for a few years and I think it’s brilliant. For slower runners or those who don’t want to be running alooooooong time in the heat the race gives the option to start a half hour early (5:30am).

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The only thing is that you aren’t eligible for awards if you do that. Which I really don’t care, because I’ve never walked away from a race with anything more than my race medal and a free banana. Okay, well, I lied — I usually get lots of free stuff when I sweep races. By the time I cross the finish line the race organizers don’t know what to do with leftover food so most of the time they’ll just give it to me (or whoever is there) to take home. I’ve taken home a box of oranges, bananas and even a HUGE pan of French Toast.

Anyways — that was kind of a tangent, huh? But, I’m sure you’d love some french toast. Me on the other hand — a banana. So, I decided to do the early start. It wouldn’t hurt, I’d get done earlier and I’d avoid the sun trying to kill me midway through. Besides I would just be hanging out for a half hour if I didn’t — better be doing something productive, right?

The conditions were perfect starting that early. It was light enough to know where I was going, but the sun hadn’t come up over the mountain yet so it was still shadowy cool. Sure it would have been ten times better if it was 20 degrees cooler. But, for a July race — not bad.

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The course wound it’s way from the Rec Center towards the Legacy Parkway Trail where it ran up to the 925 S. bridge, crossed over Legacy Highway and I-15 and onto Main Street back on it’s way to the Rec Center. A fairly simple course. The first seven miles on the trail were flat, but once we crossed the bridge and towards Main Street that’s where it started to get hilly.

In fact right after you crossed the bridge you had to climb a monstrous hill (okay, maybe not very monstrous, but after 7 miles of flat running it was mentally and physically tough) towards Main Street. I went into my hill mode knowing that if I stopped it would probably kill the rest of my race. So, I picked a tree on the side of the road and then as soon as passed that, picked another tree and so on.

And, I conquered it! Thankfully there was an aid station at the top of the hill. I could probably celebrate my feat with a cup of water and a banana! It really was a tough hill, but after conquering it I knew the other hills coming up would be easy. And, for the most part — they were. Especially when I told myself nothing beat the 925 S. hill.

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Anyways — I just kept pushing. I felt great. Around mile 9-10 the sun was coming up above the mountain, but because the course was now beside the mountain I was still running in shade. Hallelujah! The extra half hour was a life changer.

It really wasn’t until the last mile that I started to feel the heat — the Bern, if I may — until about mile 11.5. Though it was kinda miserable I knew I could push through 10-15 minutes of hell to the finish line. And, just for the mere fact that I am writing this review of my race — I survived.

I love making the last turn towards the Rec Center. It’s the same for all of their races — Handcart Days Half, Thanksgiving 5K, Sweethearts 5K, etc. So I’ve ran that same turn a number of times. It reminded me of my first half marathon and last year’s race when my friend Jim orchestrated a 100 banana salute (I think it was 96, because four people ended up eating their’s before I got there) in honor of my 100th race.

Needless to say — a turn of many emotions.

And, again — I’m getting a tad sappy here.

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Anyways — I crossed the finish line in 2:55:56. I hit my goal. I was under three hours, I was alive, I could feel my legs and I hadn’t pooped my pants. Success all over the place for me.

I hung out afterwards for a while cheering on other runners coming in while refueling on bananas and water. It was somewhat torture when Corner Bakery showed up with free pastries. But, I held true to my Whole30 and stuck with the fruit. As tempting at it was — a banana (well, two of them) hit the spot.

Sitting with friends — new and old — at the finish line was the perfect way to celebrate this runniversary. That to me is what this journey has been all about. I will always press forward with new goals and challenges — but, it’s nothing without sharing those experiences with people I care about.

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I am 34 more races to my 180 goal. I’ll reach that goal probably within a couple of years. But, I wonder where I will be in the next five years? Where will running take me at age 40? What role will it play? Who will I meet? Where will it take me? That’s the exciting part — I don’t know?

I just focus on the road ahead of me and move forward step by step.


MY NEXT RACE

127 - desnews half.fw

As I have mentioned numerous times — this is a two race weekend for me. Tomorrow I am running the Deseret News Half Marathon. This is one of my favorite races. Not so much the marathon (though it was my first marathon), but the half marathon. It’s a fun course. It’s a fast course. I PR’d on the course back in 2013 (eclipsed two months later).

That’s why I have big goals this year with this course. No, I am not planning on PRing on the course (that’d be nice if I knew I wouldn’t also die in the process and/or have my feet fall off trying), but I am planning on running a sub-2:30 half marathon. Something I haven’t done since — um, probably 2014 … ish? Needless to say — it’s been a while.

My game plan is simple. My friend Brook is pacing the 2:30 group — soooooooo — I am sticking with her. Good game plan, huh? This way I don’t have to worry about following my Garmin, etc. If I lose her, than I’m screwed.

Another reason I am following her is that it should prevent me from going out too fast. That’s my biggest sin as a runner. It’s hard not to, especially during a canyon run. Being a big guy sometimes you just let gravity take control and you just want to flllllllly down the canyon. It’s such a blessing and a curse.

Fortunately, I know the course well. The mile out of the canyon and the last mile will be the toughest. There’s a slight hill that can kill your momentum. Nothing horrible. But, I’m just mentally preparing for those two portions of the race.

I am excited about the race. And, I’ll be lying if I say that I will be disappointed if I miss my goal. This has been a goal I’ve been working on for a while. Losing the weight has helped along with the extra running and workouts.

Anyways — DESNEWS OR BUST!


THE NEXT THREE RACES

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Runcast - Podbash Banner

If you haven’t caught the latest episode of the Runcast — you should. It’s a good one. Jim and I broadcast live from the Utah Midnight Run from last weekend. Jim talks about passing out during church because of dehydration and I share my unfortunate naked homeless guy story.

It’s always fun to hear people’s opinion on the show. It’s also better hearing that people love the shows and that they take us running with them. Whether it’s me, Jorge and Jim or one of the music podcasts — I hope you do get something out of it. Inspiration, motivation or simple entertainment.

Give us a listen and share with your friends too!



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#FitnessFriday: Pioneer Runners sang as they ran and ran and ran …

What a week! It’s been kind of a rollercoaster week for me. Many ups and downs of emotions, etc., etc., etc. My anxiety was a little bit earlier this week — not fun. Not sure if it had anything to do with ending my second round of Whole30 and starting up a third — or with what’s been going on with the RNC in Cleveland? Maybe I’m already missing the ‘Runsmobile’ that officially got retired this week? Probably all of the above? But, more often than not — anxiety is just anxiety for no other reason than just being anxiety.

I don’t talk much about my anxiety. But, it’s something I’ve dealt with for years. It comes and goes as it pleases — and it differs from season to season. One of the worst days/weeks for my anxiety is when Daylight Savings ends in November. No joke. Usually that Sunday or Monday when it gets dark at like — 5pm, I get anxious. And, it lasts for about a week. Not fun.

I’ve found over the years that running has really helped sooth my anxiety. I’ve learned how to subdue it through running and even timing my runs to preempt a panic attack. That’s an art folks. No joke. Running works almost as good as any medication I’ve used.

I could really write a book about running and anxiety. But, the thought makes me anxious — so I’ll probably pass.

Anyways — the first part of the week — not fun. But, I got a really good run in yesterday morning that centered me — physically. mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I won’t lie — I could have used a day earlier, but I’ll take it. I feel good. I feel balanced. And, I am ready for the weekend.

I am running the Handcart Days Half Marathon here in Bountiful tomorrow followed by the Deseret News Half Marathon in Salt Lake on Monday. So lots and lots and lots of running this weekend. It’s Pioneer Day weekend here in Utah (where we celebrate pioneers or ‘pie and beer’ if you are not of the Mormon persuasion) so we have a number of community celebrations, parades (ugh, hate them), fireworks and of course races!

I wrote a bit more about my weekend races below.

But, since Pioneer Day is on Sunday this year the state holiday is being observed on Monday. Which means NO WORK on Monday. Besides racing and probably mowing the lawn — I am not sure what I am going to do with this glorious holiday? I might go see a movie (as long as it’s not the new Ghostbusters)? Or maybe swimming. I kinda want to do that. Or the possibilities are limitless.

Gosh, I love summer holidays. Can you tell?

Anyways, looking forward to a fun weekend of running, family, friends and holiday festivities (except for those dang parades).

What do you have planned for the weekend? Anything fun? Are you running either the Handcart Days or DesNews Half Marathons? Wanna party?

HAPPY PIONEER DAY! HAPPY WEEKEND! HAPPY RUNNING!


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I love Pioneer Day weekend. Not only is it an extra July holiday for us Utahns, but there are LOTS of fun races associated with the weekend as well. And, the DesNews Marathon and Handcart Days Half Marathon, hold a special place in my heart. Mainly, because they were my first marathon and half marathon respectfully.

Normally both are held on Pioneer Day, so it’s usually a decision for me of “either/or.” But, when Pioneer Day falls on a Sunday (like this year), the Handcart Days Half be held on Saturday, while DesNews will be held on Monday (the state observed holiday). So — in years like this year — I get to run both! Because why give yourself the option of “either/or” when the Race Directors pretty much already made the decision for you?

So tomorrow I am running the Handcart Days Half Marathon — which was my first and 100th race. I am still debating whether I want to start at 6am or do the early 5:30am start. I may opt for the earlier start — but, I probably won’t make that decision until tomorrow morning (meaning, depends how much sleep I get tonight). But, after I am done with the race — I need to hop in the car and pick up my packet in Downtown SLC for the DesNews Half on Monday.

My goal for the races are simple. I am shooting for sub-3:00 for the Handcart Days Half. I don’t want to OVERDO it, because I want to save some energy and legs for the DesNews Half. The Handcart Days Half course is rather flat and hilly so I am not expecting much. But, the DesNews Half goal is to run a sub-2:30 — basically anything under 2:29:59 is my goal. Heck, even 2:29:59:9 would be acceptable.

My friend Brook is pacing the 2:30 group and my goal is to keep up with her and their group. Which I feel is doable, especially considering I am nearly 30lbs. lighter since the Provo City Half in May — and the course is an awesome gradual downhill. One of my favorite courses and canyons.

So, I am putting that out there. And, if I don’t hit that mark on Monday — I will be disappointed. Sure, I’ll be happy to have ran, but this is a goal that I CAN do and achieve. Anything less will be a disappointment for me.

Anyways — it’ll be a fun weekend!



RRR-20-coupon


Runcast - Podbash Banner

Last weekend Jim and I recorded LIVE from the Utah Midnight Run. Well, okay, it wasn’t broadcasted live, but we recorded in front of other people. Needless to say it was an adventure. Not only did we get to chat with a few runners, we also got confused for the registration booth — while on the air. It was pretty funny.

Jimbo and I touch on a number of topics — including our one year anniversary! It’s crazy to think we’ve been doing this now for over a year! Oh how time flies.

Anyways — you’ll hear plenty from Jim about making sure you stay hydrated and why you shouldn’t get lost on race from me. Give the episode a listen here …


PHATGRAMS

I might have been late to the sunset, but I still got a great show. #utahsunset #lovethem

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on


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I am just wrapping up my first week of my third round of Whole30 (geez, that kinda reads like a biblical genealogy) and things are — going. I won’t lie — it’s been a bit of a tough week for me to get in the right frame of mind. Not with my diet — but working out and running. And, I am not exactly sure why?

I just feel semi-stuck in a funk?

I think part of that is the culmination of my second round of Whole30. It’s kinda like finishing a marathon you’ve been training for, for weeks. You get to the finish line, given the medal and you’re left feeling like — “sooooo, what’s next?” It’s that kind of “funk” feeling. Nothing major. I just need some of my mojo back.

But, like I said — the diet is fine. I did a good run in this past week and a couple of weight training sessions — two workout sessions less than I’d like. It’s probably best I didn’t do another long run because of my two half marathons this weekend. But, I know I can do better and luckily Monday is a new week. So, I am not too worried.

Anyways — I still feel great. I really seeing how my body is getting slimmer, I was able to put on some XL shirts this past week that I wasn’t able to wear earlier this year. If that’s not motivating I don’t know what is?

Earlier this week I blogged about my Whole30 experience and my Round 2 numbers from this past round. Make sure to check them out. But, everything’s going good. I just need to get back mentally a bit and finish the last 23 or so days off strong. I want to hit the 230s by my birthday.

I think I found that motivation.



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RACE #100: South Davis Handcart Days Half Marathon

100-handcartdaysWOW. What an experience. What a race. What a moment. Even after a couple days as I write down my thoughts and feelings I am in awe of the support and celebration I received throughout the race and at the finish line. It really still feels surreal.

I don’t really want to rehash a lot of the feelings I had going into the race, I pretty much did that on Friday’s post. But, the morning of the race as I met up with Tim and Elsha the reality of what I was doing was really starting to sink in. I had emotions of excitement, humility and MAJOR reflection on the previous 99 races.

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Tim, Elsha and I dubbed this race the “Kilt n’ Kitties” run since we all wore kilts and cat shirts. Tim gifted me a kilt and I gifted him that cat shirt! Great trade!

We started at 5:30am with the walkers and other strollers because I knew we were going to be somewhat slow. I didn’t want to have Elsha out in the heat for too long because it was suppose to get hot … fast! And, with Tim and I nursing some small injuries it just seemed smart to start early.

We started with about 20 or so other people just as the light over the mountains started to emerge. Besides the small amount of people the start was just like any other regular race, but as I crossed the starting line I took a DEEP breath and gave a small prayer of gratitude for this moment. Not just running race #100, but sharing this moment with my close friends Tim and Elsha.

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Early start and practically all alone on the course. Somewhat strange, won’t lie.

We got about four miles into our run before we started getting passed by the runners who started at 6am. It was kind of a fun experience, because as we ran along and saw the leaders go pass we all kind of judged each runners gait and posture and predict whether or not they were going to maintain that pace or slow down. I’ve never paid much attention to that aspect of running before, but I won’t lie … it was actually kind of fun.

The course was pretty much flat and hilly. Not an easy course. But, Tim, Elsha and I kept each other laughing and having a fun time. About mid-way through the race as the sun started to rise fully above the mountains we started to do more run/walking between bus stops.

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Summed up our race on Saturday

The heat was becoming an issue, especially to me. I think part of that was from my experience at Ragnar with my heat exhaustion. I’ve noticed I am a bit more susceptible to the heat as of late. But, I kept the water and Gatorade flowing and took salt tablets when needed. That seemed to help some.

Even with making sure I was hydrated and properly nutritioned I was a little frustrated with how I felt speed wise. I know a lot of factors went into it, but I wanted to go and FEEL faster as well (this wasn’t just a dawning thought, but something I’ve dealt with for over a year with my thyroid issues). Whenever I push Elsha or someone else I usually plan on an extra 5-10 minutes, the heat was also an issue and the flat course. But, really my current fitness level was where my frustration was felt.

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Oh, Tim.

I’ve struggled with it over the past year with my thyroid issues and having gained an unwanted 40lbs. because of those issues I felt it every mile. I’m not going to rehash those frustrations here, but I felt more of a motivation during the race that I wasn’t far off from regaining the form I had a couple years ago. I have and know all the tools to get there, which I have been working on the past few months.

But, during the last couple of miles as I ran towards the finish line and reflected on my journey, it’s been a journey of ups and downs. And, I appreciated those moments even more. Whether it’s been dealing with thyroid issues, injuries or emotional family issues (ie-My Mom’s cancer, family deaths, etc.) running has helped me get through those difficult times. Whether it was out on the course or through the friendship of others I’ve met within the community.

I won’t lie, the last couple of miles were rather emotional thinking of all this out on the road.

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I am such a rebel.

About less than a mile from the finish line I was greeted by my friend Jim out on the course. I was a little surprised to see him out on the course as I didn’t really expect to see him there. He had made any indication he was coming. I wondered if something was up, but kind of dismissed it.

About a quarter of mile later a couple of runners showed up to cheer us on. They were carrying bananas with them and encouraged me on by name. I didn’t know them and that’s when I wondered what was going on. I wasn’t expecting anything special out of being greeted by my family and some friends at the finish line.

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Me and “THE ELSHANATOR” … speaking of which, she’s always a foot or two ahead of me. I can never beat her.

But, as I turned the corner to the finish line I saw a MASS of people lined up on both sides of the sidewalk cheering and yelling my name. Not only that … they were ALL holding bananas in their hands. As I passed through this tunnel of people holding up bananas I got a bit overly emotional. I couldn’t believe it. The PA announcer called out my name and congratulated my accomplishment as I crossed the finish line.

I was blindsided by the reception.

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Jim passing out the 100 bananas that went out and bought for a 100 Banana Salute at the finish line for me.

As soon as I crossed the finish line my family was there and I was greeted by my mother who then promptly threw a pie in my face. All out of love, mind you. This wasn’t the first time she’s done it either.

But, after I took a deep breath and licked the pie off my glasses I just tried to take it all in. I really hadn’t expected such a reception at the finish line. And, compared to my first half marathon at the same place four years prior it was COMPLETE opposite. That first race I simply crossed the finish line, got my medal and then some water.

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This is what greeted me at the finish line at the race. A 100 Banana Salute. I’m still speechless. LOVED IT!

I had later found out that Jim was instigator of putting this whole thing together. He went out and bought 100 bananas to give me a “100 BANANA SALUTE” at the finish line and then worked with the PA announcer to recruit runners to wave the bananas. He wrote on the sidewalk with chalk motivating signs for me and really just went OVER THE TOP. I am still very touched by what he did.

What can I say … I have awesome friends.

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The three of us mere feet away from the finish line.

I am still processing the love and support I received at the finish line. It just means the world to have friends like Jim and many, many, many others that stuck around to cheer me on. It really gave me a lot of positive energy moving forward to my final 80 races (which I will blog about later this week).

While I am now moving on to focus on my next race, I will never forget this race. I will never forget this moment. I will never forget the love and support I received from my friends and family, even from my mother’s pie. I will never forget it how I felt. It will always be a cherished moment for me. Always.

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My mother lovingly congratulating me on race #100! I love Tim’s face in this picture.

And, with that I thank ALL of you who had a hand in putting that celebration together. Even those that weren’t there and have been a part of my journey, thank you! I felt all that support and love out on the course and at the finish line on Saturday!

YEAH #100!
YEAH RUNNING!
YEAH FRIENDS!

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YEAH! I couldn’t have asked for two better people to celebrate this race with than Tim and Elsha! So blessed.

NEXT RACE: Timp Half

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Race #101 will be this weekend. And, I am going to be sweeping the course while pushing my friend Josh. This will be our third race and first since the Lagoon Half in April. I am excited about this race for a number of reasons. Mainly, because I LOVE running American Fork Canyon. It’s such a gorgeous canyon.

YEAH RUNNING! 


EPISODE 01: THE UTAH RUNCAST

If you haven’t heard the pilot episode of The Utah Runcast, you can here …


MONTHLY MILEAGE 2015

Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 188.0 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 233.45 miles
2015 Race Miles – 232.95 miles
2015 Total Miles – 654.4 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  80.35 miles
 

MONDAY MOTIVATION

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The 82nd Fartlek Friday™ – Happy Pie and (Root) Beer Day!

HAPPY PIONEER DAY! If there’s an outside chance that you don’t live in Utah or along the Mormon Corridor, odds are you have NOOOOOO idea what Pioneer Day is all about. So, here’s a little history lesson for you …

  • The Mormons got ran out of Nauvoo, Illinois after Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred.
  • The Mormons settled around Iowa for a couple years before heading west to the Rocky Mountains.
  • On, July 23, 1847, Mormons first camped in the Salt Lake Valley. But, the next day (obviously the 24th), the Mormon Prophet Brigham Young declared that “This is the Place” (or a variation of that).
  • So, yeah, basically today celebrates the arrival of the Mormon Pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley.
  • And, most us Utahns get the day off from work … sans Federal employees and other people who have jerks for bosses.
  • We celebrate it pretty much like the 4th of July … we have a parade in downtown SLC, along with fireworks, a rodeo and all that jazz.

So, if you didn’t know a lick about Pioneer Day … now you do. Consider this today’s history lesson. [CUE THE MORE YOU KNOW RAINBOW]

Today is also a special day for me. I am running the Handcart Days (our 24th celebration) Half Marathon here in Bountiful. This is going to be race #100 for me! I know that I have written A LOT about this milestone on here and I’ll probably be beating a dead horse by saying all again.

But, it should be said.

I am beyond excited. I am going to be running with two of my great friends, Tim and Elsha. I am really excited about this, because to me this shows what I’ve gained in the past four years it took me to get to this milestone.

When I ran my first half marathon, which was the Handcart Days Half, I did it alone. I didn’t really know anyone in the running community. My cousin was a runner, but we did a number of races together, but my training and involvement in the community was pretty much zilch to none.

Over the years it’s been amazing how many friendships I have made. Not just bypassing friendships, but meaningful and personal ones. That change really happened in May 2012 when Susette Fisher and I ran a 15 mile trail race together. We bonded and have had MANY other running experiences that I hold close to my heart.

Being able to be a part of other people’s running journey has been something I’ve cherished. Admittedly, the butterflies and nerves I once got before a race … are kinda gone. Mainly, because I know what to expect now.

But, being around others during their first races and other milestones is something I love. Because, I can relate. Coming from being over 400lbs. to here wasn’t a cakewalk. I had to work through a lot of … crap. I still work on it. But, I get what it takes and I’ve cherished the time I’ve been able to just be there for others to offer them that support.

Being able to train and run marathons with Becky and Jill has really been two highlights of my running journey so far. Being able to be with Jill every step of the way during the Big Cottonwood Marathon was a very special experience for me KNOWING what it took her to get to that point.

Whenever I need a pick me up, I love going back to the video I recorded of her finishing the marathon.

Jill finishing her first marathon …

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

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

This was probably my favorite running moment thus far in my 180 journey. The video really says it all.

Being a pacer has given me other opportunities to share my experience with others. Whether I am pacing or sweeping I love being able help other runners along their own journey.

I could share story upon story, but I’d need to write a book to share all the ones I’d want to share. Needless to say, pacing has enriched my running more than I realized going into it. No matter your speed I highly recommend that other runners look into becoming one, because it’s beyond rewarding.

But, enough of that emotional humble jumble. . Odds are I might be done once you get around to ready this, but I’m very excited to be able running race #100 and doing it with two close friends in Elsha and Tim. It’s going to be a great moment once I cross that finish line.

This upcoming week look for a YouTube video I’m in the process of making of a bunch of my race pictures and videos. It’s a much bigger task than I thought, but I hope to have it done by at least midweek.

[DEEP BREATH]

YEAH RUNNING!
YEAH FRIENDS!
YEAH RACE 100!


THE UTAH RUNCAST

The first episode of The Utah Runcast was released this past week. If you missed it, you can listen to it here …


THE FRIDAY FARTLEK

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


THE FRIDAY FUNNIES