Tag: provo utah

RACE #146: Provo City Half Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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It was a blast.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


MY NEXT FIVE RACES


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

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

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Newborns always make the best drunk faces.

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

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Somebody’s feeling pretty.

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Weekly Miles

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

May 2017 Miles

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

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 210.75 miles
Race Miles — 164.52 miles
Walking Miles — 439.88 miles
TOTAL MILES — 815.15 miles
Races done in 2017 — New Year’s Half Marathon, Sweethearts 5K, Jackpot Running Festival, SL Tri Club Indoor Half, March Madness Half, Lucky 13 Half Marathon, Emigration Canyon Half Marathon, Riverton Half, Saltair Half and Provo City Half Marathon.


RACES #96 & #97: Utah Midnight Run and AF Canyon Race Against Cancer

allnightmarathon

Go ahead and push play on the AC/DC video above. I might have gotten this song stuck in my head two to too many times the other night. But, it is a fairly fitting theme song for the back-to-back feat. Because there was NO sleep going Friday night. Just running. Along with some Denny’s, but mostly running and waiting around for busses.

This is the third time I have attempted this feat. And, the second time I have accomplished it. Back in 2013 the Gabicas and I were going to do the Utah Midnight Run in Davis County and then drive up to Idaho Falls for the half marathon there. But, we had to scratch the second leg of that trip after Jill got a migraine after the Midnight Run. You really can’t do anything about those kind of situations so I attempted it again last year.

So last July I did the Utah Midnight Run and Farmington Days Half Marathon back-to-back. In fact both courses overlapped SLIGHTLY. And, I mean slightly. But, the starting lines for both races were literally only 0.7 miles away from each other. It was very confident to say the least.

It wasn’t an easy challenge. I had gotten sick during my first run … eventually throwing up (my first time doing so in a race). It was HOT. And, then once I started my second race I was STIFFER beyond STIFF and by mile four I wanted to quit. It was tough.

But, here I am doing it again.

I swear us runners just block out all the pain. It’s a gift the running gods have given us. You can have the worst and most painful run in the world and by the time you are done with it you forget about that all. Within hours you can’t wait to do it again.

And, I needed to tap into a little bit of that this week after getting heat exhaustion after Ragnar that knocked me out of work for a couple of days. In the back of my mind I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able run my back-to-back half marathon. But, further back in my mind I knew that wasn’t an option. It might turn out to be miserable, but I knew I can power through it one step at a time.

So this past week in preparation of this race, I didn’t run at all. It wasn’t entirely on purpose, but half of my week was wiped out because of my illness and it just happened that way. I did get a three mile hike in on Thursday evening with friends, Jorge and Joycelynn, but that was the extent of my running and workouts this week. I needed the rest. Both from my illness and for my back-to-back.

It was a good decision.

On Friday, my plan was to drive down to American Fork after work to pick up my packet for Saturday’s race in route to Provo for my Friday night run. The traffic was horrific after there was an accident on I-15. So what is usually a 40-45 minute drive took me just under two hours. Not fun. I was anxious enough to get to packet pickup on time. Luckily, I got there with about 10 minutes to spare before they closed shop.

After getting to Provo for my first race I met up with the Gabicas for dinner. Neither of them were running of my races, but since Jill is pregnant and not running as much we don’t see each other as often. I chose a simple dinner of an egg white and cheese six-inch sub with Powerade to drink. I usually drink water, but not wanting to tank out during my race I was bound and determined to pump myself with electrolytes and sodium throughout the night.

And, as you can tell from the tone of this post I succeeded in that goal.

Anyways, I’ll tell the rest of the story of my all-night marathon through my race reports …


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Of the races I was doing, I was most nervous about my first race, the Utah Midnight Run in Provo. It basically set the tone for how my second race went and how I felt after the feat was done. Going into the race I wanted to take my time and not push it too hard. I knew I was going to be over three hours, but as long as my legs stayed fresh that my biggest concern.

There were about 300 racers running so it was definitely small compared to most other local races. The Legacy Midnight Run (run by On Hill Events as well) is much larger, but that’s been around longer compared to the Provo race. I believe this was only the third year of the Provo version? Don’t quote me on that, but it’s been around shorter than Legacy.

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The starting line of the Midnight Run with a lovely shot of someone drinking some water.

So, I had a pretty good idea I was probably going to be one of, if not, the last runners to cross the finish line. And, I was okay with that. Heck, I am always okay with that. Having swept a number of races I’ve realized the miracle sometimes is JUST finishing what you started.

Since the race started at 10pm, I brought my head lamp along with me. I also strapped a couple glow sticks on my ankles for decorations and safety. We weren’t running on public streets so cars weren’t an issue, but running along the Provo River Trail there was the possibility of bikers and other runners. I probably should have worn a reflective vest for extra safety? Good thing this wasn’t Ragnar I would have been kicked off the course.

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Pre-race selfie. The head lamp really accentuates my manly features.

I didn’t run with my Garmin again. I just went by feel. There were some uneven stretches of trail where tree roots had bulged through the road. That kind of broke my stride a couple of times. But, I just kept running along. I felt pretty good about my pace for the first five miles, but then the sweeper caught up with me. Which was totally fine because it was Laurie Pope and I knew her.

But, still, the sweeper caught up with me at five miles. I was kinda expecting more of a buffer of people between me and Laurie. But, that’s the thing you run the risk against at these smaller races, most who sign up I’ve sound are between 2-2:30 finishers. Not too many back of the packers.

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Good thing there aren’t laws against running and texting … 😉

Apparently there was a three hour course time limit. I wasn’t aware of it, so instead of taking my time I picked it up a bit and stayed with Laurie for the rest of the race. I laugh about that, because I never thought I would (even mildly) complain about running at a three hour pace. But, I really, really, really wanted to keep myself fresh for the morning’s race.

Laurie and I had a lot of fun though. Especially after I got attacked by a giant moth. She laughed at me. But, I kid you not, this moth was the size of a small bird. It was a monster. MONSTER. But, that is the price I guess I had to pay for wearing a headlamp?

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Picking up trash along the race brings new meaning to the term, “Sweeper”

Also along the way we picked up trash from the runners. I am somewhat surprised at how careless us runners are with our trash. I get throwing your cup down on the side of the road at a large race, but at a minimally supported race or trail run … why throw your cup in the brush half a mile from the aid station? Larger races have LOTS of volunteers that work on sweeping the cups and cleaning the area up. The smaller races don’t. It creates more work per volunteer.

Just throw it away in the provided trash can at the aid station. It’s not that hard. Or use your own water bottle. Because, not all trash is found, so if you throw it off the beaten path … don’t expect it to be found. Keep it until the next aid station or plan better.

STEPS OFF SOAPBOX

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Sometimes you just ask to get photobombed.

But, the run wasn’t that bad. Running in Provo past midnight is … um … interesting … to say the least. We did run into some “interesting” individuals along the trail as well. All I am going to say is I really don’t understand the night culture down there. I’ve walked around downtown SLC past midnight, but Provo is just different. I wish I understood it better.

Either way, we finished around 3:18 hours, which is actually where I wanted to finish anyways. So it worked. I was tired and sore, but I pumped some Advil and Sports Legs in me along with a lot of Powerade and that seemed to help carry me into my next race.


97-afcanyon

I had a couple of hours between my two races. I finished my first race around 1-1:30am and had bus pickup for my second race at 4am. I thought about sleeping in my car for a couple hours before catching the bus, but instead I opted for probably the best option. Food.

I headed to Denny’s with the Provo Midnight Run’s race director and I am glad I did. I loaded myself up with biscuits n’ gravy, hashbrowns (extra crispy of course) and sunnyside up eggs. It was a perfect re-carb meal that I knew wouldn’t upset my stomach before my second race. Plus, Denny’s in Provo at 2am is quite an experience to say the least. Like I mentioned above, I wish I understood the Provo night culture better. But, it’s probably best that I don’t … right?

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I got TWO raffle tickets for being on the early bus. And, I missed out on winning my BlendTech. Some jerk won it instead. ONE DAY! ONE DAY!

After catching one of the first buses up AF Canyon I rode up solo. Which felt strange, but I figured I would try to sleep a little bit on the way up … which didn’t end up happening. I actually made friends with the strangers around me and we ended up talking all the way up. It was neat because one was a cancer survivor and another a recovering alcoholic and they each shared a little about the reasons why they run. It was cool and humbling. Just an extra reminder that we all run for different reasons.

The starting line queue is one of my favorite of all the races I ran. The St. George Marathon queue is fun, because of how festive it is and how many people surround you at any given time. The AF Canyon race queue is not just festive and energetic, but when the sun starts to rise the scenery is just … BEYOND gorgeous. You get awesome views of the surrounding mountains including Timpanogos. It feels very intimate and really adds to the race experience.

This year it wasn’t any different.

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Cevan with a C and I before race #2. He ran the night before as well … but being the one uper he always is, be also did the Spartan later that day. I’ve got some work to do.

After hanging out with friends for about an hour and a half the race started at 6am. The plan all along was to simply run what my body gave me. But, I also wanted to run somewhat smart. So the first couple of miles I really tried to restrain myself so I wasn’t going out too fast. The last I wanted to do was tank out after mile five and walk the rest of the way. So I kept a dilberate steady pace and just enjoyed the scenery.

Around mile three I started to pick up my pace some and I was surprised at how well legs felt. Last year when I did my back-to-back around mile four is when I just wanted to give up. I was sore, tired and cranky. This go around it was quite the opposite. I know the canyon and downhill course had a lot to do with that. But, having taken precautions to avoid heat exhaustions and overextending myself helped a lot as well.

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Wearing my Snuggie to the starting line kinda makes you feel somewhat like a man of the cloth. If I had a mic, I probably would have preached.

It also helped that aid stations were spread out about every two miles after three miles. That helped me A LOT with hydration and electrolytes. I followed my rule of two cups of water for every Powerade cup. It’s a good ratio, especially considering sometimes the drink is made pretty powerful. It helps temper it some, otherwise it makes me burpy and while that might be cute it gets annoying when you’re trying to keep a good pace.

Throughout the race my focus was real simple. It was just to put one foot in front of the other. I knew I would be okay, but there was a two hour cut off out of the canyon, so I focused on that for a while. I got out in less than an hour and a half. Nothing to worry about, but sometimes its’ good to have smaller goals like that to focus on for a while.

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This picture doesn’t do the canyon justice, but the filter I used sure helps.

While we were protected by the shadows of the canyon for the first seven miles, the last five miles of the race were out of the canyon and the sun was very much beaming down on us. I was a little worried about that, so I doubled up on my water at aid stations. I also walked UP any hill to save my energy while taking advantage of any down or rolling hill. But, I also walked a lot.

During my last three miles traded off on the walking and running. I ran all of the mile 11 and then walked pretty much all of mile 12. Well, I take that back … I mall walked mile 12. The difference between walking and mall walking? I swung my arms and kept my walking pace above that of a strolling stranger in the park. If I had two pound weights I am sure I would have utilized them.

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Miss Ruthie is one of my favorite runners. She dedicated her run to her brother who passed away from cancer this past week. Not only did she get a sub-two, but she got a 1:55 PR! Some of her running friends wanted to do something special for her, so we chipped in and got an extra medal for Bernie and a plaque she ran remember this race with.

But, after my nice little mall walk between mile 11-12, I picked up the pace from mile 12 to the finish line. It was REALLY hot at this time and I just wanted to be finished. I also noticed I was close to getting a sub-three time. It wasn’t my goal for the race, but was something to shoot for once I realized I was close to it.

I didn’t get the sub-two, but I still got in two minutes over three hours which I was happy with considering that would give me a 6:20:32 marathon time. I am happy with that.

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THE FEAT IS DONE! RACES #96 and #97 DONE!

So after refilling on a couple bottles of water, some chocolate milk and fruit. I tried to each some of the french toast they had, but it just didn’t sound good. But, after hanging around with friends for a while I made it back to my car and headed back home. Of course after a pit stop to 7 Eleven for a much needed and much deserved Slurpee.


MY NEXT RACES: JULY 11TH

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So yeah, I’m kinda doing this again in a couple of weeks. Luckily, I am not doing an overnight back-to-back, it’s going to be all in one day. I am going to be sweeping the Hobbler Half in the morning and then later that night I am running The Dam 15 Miler in Heber City.

I think I am ready for this? I think.

Well, okay, this past weekend gave me confidence that I can. But, it’s those two extra miles from the 15 miler I am somewhat worried about.

Luckily, I’ll be sweeping the morning race and then have several hours in between the two races. So, really I shouldn’t be too worried about it. I’ll just view the Hobbler Half as my warmup to The Dam 15 Miler.

But, this is also the price I paid to make sure I get to my 100 races by the 24th of July. SO BRING IT!


2015 MONTHLY MILEAGE

Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 188.0 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 198.25 miles
2015 Race Miles – 185.55 miles
2015 Total Miles – 571.8 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

MONDAY MOTIVATION

RACE RECAP #90: Provo City Half

Provo.fwCan you believe that I am officially HALF way to my goal? 90 races is A LOT of races, but at the same time I feel like I know each one personally. This is one reason I know I was born with the hoarder gene. If these my races were cats it would be safe to assume you wouldn’t want to step inside my house. But, I digress.

Really though, I feel like each race has become a part of me and my journey. This was my fourth time running the Provo City Half and I must say, it has progressively become one of my favorite races. That wasn’t always my case. The first couple of times I ran it I kinda hated it. The wait up the canyon was too long and cold and then it was too hot on the course once you got out of the canyon.

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Some of my favorite running peeps. This picture seems more like a school picture than anything. But, I love it.

This race wasn’t any different. But, the biggest difference has been the people. As sappy as that sounds it’s true. The more my running circle has widened the more enjoyable that long and cold wait up the canyon has become. It’s hard to stay cold when you’re laughing too hard. Again, that sounds totally sappy. But, it’s true.

Plus, the more I run, the more I appreciate and love downhill races. Provo Canyon is beautiful and I love the paved trail that winds itself down to University Blvd. It really is gorgeous. Plus, it’s one of the first races of the running season and there is a fun energy about it. I love that aspect. I love that energy. I need that energy.

Since bus pickup was from 4:30-5:30am I decided to stay with the Gabicas in Orem since Mark was running the race as well. It worked out great, because in the past I’ve had to wake up at 2am and then drive from Bountiful to Provo to hop on the bus. As it turns out, it really does pay to have friends in Utah County.

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Another picture of some of my favorite running peeps. I’m totally not ready for this picture.

I met up with them and some other friends at TheOld Spaghetti Factory after work on Friday. I won’t go into much detail, but I absolutely LOVE pasta before a race. Not just any kind of pasta. I just want spaghetti and marinara sauce. As simple as that. I think it runs in my blood, because my Dad is a pasta man as well.

But, I digress.

After carpooling down to Provo with Mark on Saturday morning we met up with our running friends to take pictures before loading the busses. Once we got up the canyon the party continued. I love these larger races just for these occasions. I love the starting line party atmosphere. There is an excitement in the air, it’s as though everyone’s nerves add to that scene. It’s something I will never get tired of. Never.

Going into the race I wanted to push myself. And, on a downhill course that’s a bit easier for me to do. Last year I got about a 2:20 finish time and though I know I wasn’t there yet this year, I wanted to finish somewhere between 2:30-2:45. I felt that would be a good finish time, especially since I didn’t get much mileage in the week before because of PrepperCon.

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Despite popular belief I am not mid-belch here.

When I got to the race I still felt this range was doable and since my friend Cevan was pacing the 2:45 group I decided to just run with him and see how I was feeling. I am glad I ran with him most of the way, because 2:30 would have been pushing it a TAD too much for me I think? It’s been a frustrating past couple of months with my thyroid and testosterone and I have a lost a lot of my speed. But, that’s a post for another day.

So, 2:45 was it.

I started the race alongside Cevan and since he was the last pacer of the bunch it was definitely THE PARTY IN THE BACK! Cevan brings a lot of fun (and irreverent) energy which works perfect for the 2:45 group. Starting off the race we had a fun little group of energetic runners following us. It was fun.

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Cevan with a C running down the canyon … those are two fingers he’s holding up BTW.

After a couple of miles things spread out some and I found myself running with a first time half marathoner, Shaun. He was struggling some with his breathing and rhythm, so I kind of stayed with him to help him through that and help get him back to Cevan.

I saw a lot of myself in Shaun as we were running. He was doing this because he wanted to improve his life and make his family proud of him. Thinking back to my first half marathon I really wish I would have had someone I knew to help me through a lot of those small things that don’t come up until race day. And, with this being my half way race, I had a lot of my past races on my mind … especially that first race.

After running the first half of the race with Shaun I went ahead to catch up with Cevan because he had to slow down with some foot issues. But, after the race Shaun and I touched base and I know our connection benefited both of us for different reasons. Sure, I helped him with those little things, but seeing his determination to run catapulted my thoughts throughout the rest of the race to ALL of my races.

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Me with Katie and Cevan at the end of the race. I crossed the finish line with Katie.

My mind raced (all puns intended) throughout all 90 of my races. It ran through all the difficult races that I pushed myself through the hard, I thought of all the accomplishments of new distance and speed accomplishments and then of course all of the friendships. I won’t lie, around mile 10 I kiiiiiiiiiiiinda lost it thinking about that. I am not a very emotional person, but I guess when I am in the middle of a race left with my thoughts and craving a Slurpee and nachos I tend to get that way?

Meh.

But, seriously, I just felt an immense gratitude for this journey of mine. The goal really hasn’t been about the number of races. I don’t feel like it’s that big of an accomplishment, but those races have given me 90 opportunities to make new friendships, inspire other people and share my love for life and running.

I’ve had a number of opportunities to be a part of other people’s journeys and some of their firsts. Whether that’s being a small part in Shaun’s first half or running alongside Jill during her first marathon. I feel lucky to be in a situation where I can share those experiences with friends new and old.

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Gabica Family picture. I love these peeps. I’m praticially Addison’s older brother.

Gosh, I might be getting a TAD emotional right now just writing that.

I’ve just been VERY VERY blessed.

Anyways, back to the race. Once I got within two miles of the finish line I just tried keeping a good pace. I tweaked my knee around mile 9ish and I was having a hard time stretching it out. I wasn’t too worried about it, it was just more uncomfortable than anything. But, it was around this time I kinda lost sight of Cevan and knew I wasn’t going to be coming in at 2:45, so I do what I usually do in those situations.

I looked for someone to run with.

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RACE #90 ON THE BOOKS! WOOHOO!

I found one of the runners, Katie, who was running with Cevan at the start of the race. This was her second half marathon and, really, was a breath of fresh air during the last couple of miles. She was energetic and enthusiastic which kept me laughing. She was also pushing for a new PR which she beat by four minutes!

My official time for the race was 2:53:40. It was eight minutes off my goal, but fittingly less than thirty seconds off my time for my first half marathon back in 2011. I am now officially half way there.

And, living on a prayer (sorry, couldn’t help it).


NEXT RACE: VIGOR BIG COTTONWOOD HALF MARATHON (THIS SATURDAY!)

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Now that I am officially on the downside of my goal, I guess it’s fitting that I am running a downhill run next week, eh? I ran this race last year with Susette and it’s one of my favorite races … mainly, because I love Big Cottonwood Canyon … a lot.

But, I am excited about this race too, because this will be my second race pushing Wheelz (aka Josh Twelves). This should be a faster time than Lagoon … mainly because it’s all down hill, but it should be a lot of fun. I am half tempted to buy myself some Heely’s and just roll all the way down the canyon while holding onto his cart.

This really doesn’t sound like a bad idea.

But, it totally is.

But, still.

YEAH RUNNING!!!


MY 2015 MONTHLY MILEAGE

Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 161.5 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 104.0 miles
2015 Race Miles – 92.85 miles
2015 Total Miles – 358.35 miles
 
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 72.85 miles
March – 115.3 miles
April – 76.3 miles
May  15.1 miles

MONDAY MORNING MOTIVATION

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A different kind of ‘BURN’

IMG_8426Oh, adventures … they’re pretty fun to have sometimes. Especially when go on them with friends. But, the adventure I had on Saturday morning actually wasn’t suppose to happen.

Why? How?

Welp, I totally spaced it and missed my race that I was signed up for, “The Burn.” You know, the race that put on by Extra Mile Racing (EMR) … which I am an ambassador for. Yeah … I suck at life. Or at the very least need a much better planner.

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For some reason I thought the race was next weekend. I don’t know how that happened. But, my friends thought it was strange I was going running with them because they thought I was running “The Burn.” Well, I guess not?

I feel bad, not just because I am an ambassador for EMR but also because I was really, really, really looking forward to it. This is the sister run of The Burn that Jill and I ran last November and this one runs UP Suncrest. It’s terribly tough race … and awesome! A great challenge for any runner.

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But, don’t worry, I ended getting in a different kind of “BURN” run into Saturday after all. Let me tell you the story …

The group run was planned to be an 11 mile run down Provo Canyon River Trail to our cars at the Riverwoods Shopping Center in Provo. It’s a run I’ve down a couple of times and I’ve down a few races (Provo City, Utah Valley and Provo River Trail) that use part of that route for their courses. It’s quite beautiful, paved and just a great running route.

So we planned on meeting up at 6:30am at the Riverwoods carpool up with my friends Katheryn, Monica, Becky and Maria. Just me and four women. But, it wasn’t as exciting as it would seem for a single guy like me considering they are all married. Soooooooo …

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The run down the canyon wasn’t that bad. There were a couple of icy spots, but nothing terrible. Monica and Katheryn sped ahead while Becky, Maria and I pushed up the rear. We weren’t running for pace or speed, just a nice 11 mile run. But, once we got to Vivian Park the River Trail was covered in snow. This usually doesn’t deter runners, but for at least Maria, Becky and I we aren’t big pro snow runners. Heck, you pretty much know my eternal hatred of snow.

It’s not fun.

The five of us got about a mile down the trail until we reached a part of the trail where a little avalanche occurred. So we decided to “just” run back up to the car instead of trudging through the snow and other potential obstacles. So, we turned around, but before I took a selfie to mark the occasion …

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The run back up was obviously slower. Katheryn and Monica powered up the canyon much faster than the rest of us. Becky, Maria and I ran a good portion of it, but I think mentally and physically we were just not ready for that kind of undertaking. Even though I was SUPPOSE to be running The Burn that weekend, I know mentally I was in a “hill” mood. Mentally, I was preparing for a nice downhill run.

But, sometimes, miles are miles in the sport of running.

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And, that’s what happened. We still got nine miles in for the day and it was a challenge whether we were running up or down the canyon. But, more than that it was just fun. It was fun to run with Becky and Maria, we all have similar senses of humor and we laughed a good chunk of our run. Plus, it’s a rare treat running with Becky these days since she moved to Salem back in September. We used to run all the time when she lived in Salt Lake so it was a lot of fun to run with her again.

After the run we got breakfast from Denny’s. I am glad that I am a good tipper, because whenever I got to a diner (Denny’s, Village Inn, IHOP, etc.) I hardly just order from the menu. I’m that guy that makes special requests. Like, I had a Grand Slam but I ordered them as follows … ahem …

  1. EXTRA crispy hashbrowns with onions, but the cheese not on the hashbrowns, but on top of the dish.
  2. Two egg whites and two regular eggs mixed together and on top of the hashbrowns.
  3. Two sunny side up eggs on top of the eggs and hashbrowns.
  4. Topped with the cheese for the hashbrowns.
  5. Banana on the side.

Yeah, luckily the waitress was more than willing to accommodate my primadonna requests. And, I tipped her well as I told her before I ordered. But, I have to say, nothing beats hashbrowns and eggs after a run. It’s a perfect ratio of protein and carbs. But, more than that it was fun to spend the time at breakfast with awesome friends.

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Now that I have my weekend free next weekend. LAME. I trying to figure out a good run for next weekend. I probably will stay close to home, so depending on the weather I might just run Bountiful. I have a few nice hilly routes around town that are fun and a good workout.

But, we’ll see. Maybe I should just go run Suncrest anyway and earn myself some more hashbrowns? That sounds like a good plan too.

Oh, how I love running. It can take you pretty much anywhere you want to go. Awwww … I feel like that should be on a greeting card, t-shirt or something.

The goal for next week is to get in another 20 miles for the week. Seems like a good goal. Just trying to stay focused and on track towards a sub-two half marathon! WOOT! WOOT! Here are my numbers thus far this year …

Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015

2015 Training Miles – 15.6 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 4.0 miles
2015 Race Miles – 13.1 miles
2015 Total Miles – 32.7 miles
 
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 32.7 miles
 

Oh, and by the way … I also got two new kittens! Callie approved!
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RACE RECAP #81: Howloween Half Marathon

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This race report is a continuation of my race recap #80 of The Haunted Half which was ran on the same day in the morning as this race. This race was ran in the evening making my running ‘ventures for the day a double half marathon day. #totesfun

This is kind of a strange race report to write. It really just feels like a continuation of my previous race recap. Which in a way it pretty much is. But, since both races #80 and #81 were ran on the same day they’re pretty inseparable. So, I guess this is pretty much Chapter Two of my story, eh? Either way, the story continues.

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Heading out for the second race. Again, see how much effort into that costume.

After being home for about an hour before leaving for this race, I ran (well drove) to West Valley to pick up my friend Shaylee before taking my trek back to Provo (that kind of seems like a good title for a movie, no? The Return to Provo! You know that some Mormon production company is now stealing my idea and probably on the phone with Kirby Heyborne as you are reading this. And, of course, I am completely off topic). We then met up with the pacing team and other running friends on the westside of the Provo Towne Centre (a fancier way of saying … mall).

Unlike the morning’s race we were not running down a canyon and the course was relatively flat. I was a little worried about that, because I would have rather had downhill on my second run than my first. But, it was, what it was. But, on the other hand I was also pacing the 3:00 group and I knew I was going to be okay going at that slower pace. But, still, I love my hills.

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Of my favorite people, all in one picture. So convenient.

It was a lot of fun hanging out at the starting line with all of my friends. Since we weren’t bussed up a canyon or anything it was a more relaxed atmosphere, because people just showed without the threat of missing a bus, etc. It was a party.

After taking a plethora of pictures and joking around the race was ready to start at 6pm sharp. This was the first year this race was being held, so the number of runners wasn’t huge. Decent, but not huge. Then again this was also one of three Provo Halloween half marathons (the other one was the Hallows Eve Half Marathon which only had 68 runners … needless to say the market for Provo Halloween races is probably set at a hard two per year). But, I know the race director of both of the races I ran and I like both. They both know what they’re doing and both races will grow as they grow.

Plus, Utahns love their races. But, that truly is another post for another day.

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My stalkers that wouldn’t stop following me … just sayin’

Since the course started at 6pm we were also able to enjoy the sunset over Utah Lake. I won’t lie, I’ve ever experienced a Utah Lake sunset and … well … I’ve been missing out. It was gorgeous. And, the weather was perfect as well. I was expecting it to be chilly, but it was anything but. It really felt like a late August summer night. I had to remind myself that, that wasn’t the case and that we were in late October,

Since this was a tad smaller race than the morning’s race I wasn’t expecting many people around my pacing partner, Rachel and I. Which for the most part was true. There was a married couple that we kinda paced for a while. The wife was running her second half marathon and her husband just signed … THE DAY BEFORE. Not only was this his first ever half marathon, but this was his first race, period. You could tell he was struggling at some points of the race and he would sprint then walk a lot (that comes in time), but he powered through the race and finished. Such an awesome sight to see.

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Such an AWESOME sunset over Utah Lake. Wow, wow, wow, wow!

Then there was also an older lady who had broken a vertebrae a few months before, but was running her third half marathon since that injury. Wow. I mean … that’s crazy! Completely crazy. And, the costume that she worn made her look like an accident victim. She wrapped up her arms, bandaged her head and used fake blood all over her. She looked like a legit victim and it was quite disturbing actually. But, of course, I joked around with her everytime I saw her and asked if she fell and needed help like I didn’t see her before. It was fun.

While pacing and encouraging a few other runners along my pacing partner, Rachel, and I talked about my weight-loss and running journey. She was fascinated in my story and every chance we had asked question upon question. She was funny about it, because I think she felt that she was probing into sensitive information. But, I told her that I am pretty much an open book about my life and that nothing is really “off” limits for me.

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The selfies don’t come out so hot when you’re running out in the dark.

It was fun getting to know her and also share my story with her. Especially on that day, because of my challenge of running my second of two races and officially being UNDER 100 races left in my 180 race journey. It really was a great reminder for me of how far I’ve come since I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon back in July 2011. It’s been quite the journey.

On the home stretch to the finish line we ran in with a first-time half marathoner. Like I have a number of times this past year, I got a tad emotional watching her put everything out on line to finish this race. Plus, seeing her family there to cheer her in was AWESOME. I’m telling you … these moments are just as addicting as an out of this world Runner’s high.

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Rachel and I acknowledging our awesomeness.

Once the race ended I stuck around a bit and continued the party that began over three hours before. But, I had to geet back up to Salt Lake to help my brother with the ghost investigtion he was having at Ft. Douglas on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Like most other things I bring up here on the bloggy blog I’ll have to tell you about ghost investigating some other day. In it’s own post.

I got to the investigation at about 10:45pm, but I don’t know how effective I was having there since I pretty much just fell asleep whereever I went. Then again when you are sitting in the pitch black and just ran two half marathons (or a split marathon … oooooo … I like that name. I am going to patent that name) you are pretty much going to fall asleep anywhere. So, luckily, afte the investigation I just had my younger brother drive me.

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This picture pretty much sums up what a ghost investigation really looks like.

And, then once I got home I ate a huge plate of nachos at 3am. And, I didn’t feel bad about it at all. I deserved it. And, besides that. according to my Fit Bit I had burned over 7300 calories that day and only put in 1200 calories. I need food … BAD!

But, then again, that post is another story … for another day.

PICTURES FROM MY RUNNING ADVENTURES AT THE HAUNTED HALF & HOWLOWEEN HALF MARATHON

NEXT RACE: The Burn (THIS SATURDAY!)


Total Mileage Breakdown for 2014

2014 Training Miles – 510.6 miles
2014 Walking Miles – 126.9 miles
2014 Race Miles – 413.05 miles
2014 Total Miles – 1050.55 miles
 
Monthly Total Miles for 2014
January – 100.0 miles
February – 100.0 miles
March – 130.0 miles
April – 140.5 miles
May – 108.65 miles
June – 83.3 miles
July – 93.75 miles
August – 118.2 miles
September – 88.55 miles
October – 102.2 miles

I did it! I did it! Two Half Marathons in one day!

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I love these little challenges. Back in July, I ran back-to-back half marathons that I dubbed an “All-Night Marathon.” I am not sure if there’s really a special name you would call this feat? Maybe, stupid? lol … okay, no. But, close.

I ended up running the Haunted Half in Provo in the morning and then the Howloween Half Marathon back in Provo later that night. There was about a five hour rest period between races for me. Though, I didn’t really get any rest. I carpooled with my friend Sonja to the first race and once I got home I had about an hour and a half until I had to leave again. That hour and a half barely gave me enough time to wash my dirty clothes, take a shower and stretch.

It kind of surprised my legs held up during my last race. In July when I did my back-to-back I started questioning my very existence. But, really, even for a night race the weather was perfect for running and not having to run in summer heat made a difference.

More than accomplishing this feat, I was just happy to be running with friends and pacing. I paced both races it was such a great experience meeting so many first time half marathoners. I even met one at the Howloween Half that signed up yesterday. YESTERDAY! This was his first race … ever. I was so happy to see him cross the finish line, because I knew it was quite an accomplishment for him.

But, here are a few pictures from the races. Make sure to stay tuned tomorrow for my two race reports!

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Sonja and I on the bus to the start of the Haunted Half up Provo Canyon.
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Fish are our friends.
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Jenny, Reese and I getting ready to run down Provo Canyon.
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People threw away so MUCH stuff along the way, of course I did a little shopping.
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My new wardrobes.
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I won’t lie, Corey’s costume scared me a tad. SO FREAKY!
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I found a cat on the course!
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My mid-day fuel? SUBWAY OF COURSE! I could marry the Egg White & Steak foot-long sandwich.
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My peeps at the start of the Howloween Half Marathon! I love these people!
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Rendi and my LONG AWAITED selfie!
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Two of my favorite people.
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You can’t beat a sunset like this one. SO AWESOME!
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I blog, so naturally I’m asking for stalkers. But, not ones that PHYSICALLY stalk you … for 13.1 miles.
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#headlampselfie
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Rachel my co-pacer and I after the race! Such a great time and experience!