Wow. After this past weekend’s race — I realized that I am only 19 races away from my goal! NINETEEN! I’m in the TEENS! Time flies so fast. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been doing this now for over six years.
But, it’s also hard to believe that I am reaching this 10 year goal — three years early! Who would have thought? Who would have imagined the experiences I’ve had, races I’ve run and people I’ve met over the past years? I feel extremely blessed being able to do what I love and with people that I admire, look up to and gain inspiration from nearly daily.
Sometimes when I think and plan for the end of this 180 race goal — I have to remember that it’s not the end of running. Because it won’t be. I’ll keep doing it. I might be a bit more deliberate here and there as I shift focus, but I’ll still be running to my heart’s content.
But, as I look at the remaining races toward my goal, I’m getting excited. Many are races I’ve run numerous times, some a couple times a while ago and even a couple that I’ve never done. And, then of course there’s the Jackpot Running Festival where I am attempting 100 miles.
I am excitedly nervous about that race. I know I can do it. I know I will do it. And, despite the crappy year I’ve had with injuries and my health — I know it’s doable. I will be ready come February.
So there’s lots of running ahead before I reach the finish line at the Handcart Days Half Marathon next July — which I am looking forward to running! And, as you can see I am trying to be more deliberate with my running, especially after Jackpot. I am running any races 13.1 or longer on back to back weekends — well, except for Provo City and Vigor Big Cottonwood — but, I am planning on sweeping Provo City again, so I’m not really counting it.
But, I am planning on scaling back the races, not just to hit the 180th race in July, but to also get faster. I don’t expect to PR next year (though that’d be nice), but I do want to get back into the 2:20-2:30 range by the end of the year with the help of continued health and some specific coaching.
I am not sure exactly what my race season will look like after my 180th race, but I’d like to keep to two long races a month for as long as I can keep that up — and preferably a road and trail race.
I have some time to figure that all out. But, for now the focus is really Jackpot in February while also focusing on getting myself to number 180 next July.
I love the new year — new possibilities, new goals, new focuses. It’s like a new clean slate. And, then on the other hand — it’s a great time to just refocus and recommit to your goals as well. I love this time of the year, because there’s a lot energy that carries me into the new year.
In what has become somewhat of a tradition once again started off the new year running the Revolution Run. Back in 2011 it was my fifth half marathon — and I’ve ran it ever since. It’s not necessarily about the miles, pace or time — it’s about being around friends, being active and just starting the new year off right.
When I ran this back in 2011 — I ran it alone. I didn’t know anyone at the race — at least … yet. And, I won’t lie — it was kinda boring. I wasn’t planning on running it again — because running around in circles on an indoor track ISN’T the most attractive workout for me. But, over the course of the following year I got more immersed into the running community and made a number of new friendships. And, it was those friendships that made me continue to sign up for this race.
It’s just a big fun run party.
This year wasn’t any different. Going into the race my only goal was to at least get 13.1 miles — so it’d count towards my 180 races — and stay for the whole five hours of the run. Pretty simple goals. And, since I am not a huge New Year’s Eve party animal I was ready to go for the 8am gun time.
And, this year’s run compared to year’s past? Still just as fun. One thing I really love about it is being able to run with running friends of differing speeds — the cheetahs and turtles alike. I ran mostly with my friend Camille — but, I was also able to do laps with friends like Susette, Cory, Greg, Sonja, Matt, Shaylee, Melissa, Robin, Shelley, “The Dith” … etc., etc., etc.
It was just a lot of fun.
It really was a party.
It was 48 laps to do a half marathon — and I ended up doing just over 50 laps. I ran quite a bit, but I also walked quite a bit as well — I stayed on the outside lane so my actual mileage for the race was 16.2 miles. Which is great especially considering I need to do 2,667 miles for 2016.
And, while I did get 50 laps in, I probably — and should have — gotten in more laps. I am just grateful that I wasn’t running with the flu as I did last year. Though I was probably just as slow. But, there’s a reason that my next race isn’t until March. I am starting a half marathon training plan next week to get me prepared for the Provo City Half Marathon in May — along with my summer races. Most notably Drop 13 and Deseret News.
I really want to focus in the next 3-5 months on getting leaner (lose about 40 lbs. or so) and faster. I’d love to shoot for a PR (2:08:25) or faster at either Nebo or Revel Big Cottonwood in September. But, I’d be just as happy getting myself back to consistently running within the 2:10-2:30 range.
I know there’s more into me than what I’m doing right now. Sure my health issues have a lot to do with that — but, I am emotionally getting tired of using that as an excuse. And, I don’t care what others say — to me it feels more like an excuse than a cause. I just have to be relentless in battling my thyroid and testosterone the way it needs to be tackled.
I am excited about what 2016 has in front of it. The future is bright — I am very optimistic of what’s going to happen. It’s going to be a great year of running on and off the course. I am a part of some awesome projects with The Bugout Run and a few other organizations — which I’ll share in the near future.
Count me in to be back again next year for the Revolution Run — well — actually, it’s not next year. Since January 1st is on a Sunday the race will be held on New Years Eve 2016. So I guess my race schedule for this year is now 17 races? Like it makes a difference any way. As long as this race is still on and I’ve got friends to run with — I’m doing it.
Anyways, Happy New Year! And, as always — HAPPY RUNNING!
The Zion Half Marathon is my next planned race — I got a free entry last year. I won’t lie — there is a possibility I’ll have to defer to another Vacation Race. Besides specifically training for the Provo City and Drop 13 races, I am also going to be extremely busy with The Bugout Run, PrepperCon and a few other projects. There is a possibility I might be needed for the weekend of March 12th — when this race is planned.
But, until I know whether or not I’ll be able to run it — I’m still planning on it.
This will be my first Vacation Race. Despite having a number of races in proximity to Salt Lake — I just haven’t done one yet. A number of my friends have ran or paced them — and rave about them. One race that has always caught my eye is the Yellowstone Half Marathon in June. I just haven’t been able to do it because it’s the same weekend as Utah Valley and Drop 13.
But, really, from what I’ve heard from others — you can’t go wrong with any of them. That’s why I am not too worried if I have to change my entry to another Vacation Race — it’ll be fun either way.
If you’ve done a Vacation Race which one(s) have you done — any recommendations?
As many of you are aware of my Facebook challenge that garnered 889 ‘LIKES’ — I will be running/walking 2,667 miles in 2016. For in depth and up to date mileage you can follow my miles here.
These are my numbers from just this past week —
TOTAL MILES TO DATE
MILES TO GOAL
I started a “#run4dith” team for the AF Canyon Run Against Cancer — if you use THIS LINK — you can join our team. It will give you a $5 discount + if you share your registration on Facebook you can get an additional $5 off. Our team is in honor of our friend Meridith “The Dith” Ethington who is battling breast cancer — along with all other cancer survivors and fighters.
Like most Netflix subscribers — I’ve been mesmerized by “Making A Murderer.” I mean, WOW! There are so many ups and downs throughout the series. I won’t give anything away — because you have to watch it. But, if you don’t care or what more information — this gives you a bit more detail into the case.
This was from earlier this year — but it’s probably just as applicable this time of the year. If we are really serious about losing the weight for once and for all — it’s not a matter of just running — it’s about being active — walking, running, stretching, etc. I really want to take that to heart.
I am a fan of weird news — and retrospective pieces at the end of the year. Sooooo — this was pretty fun to read. I want to go over it all my second time around and see how many happened in Florida. Lots of strange stuff happens in Florida. (actually only one on that list — there were more from Oregon, which makes sense).
The Bundy standoff in Oregon is pretty crazy — especially considering the ones behind it are members of — my church — the Mormon Church. It’s not a Mormon issues — but there are undertones of our belief system throughout the Bundy’s cause. That’s why I find this piece on BuzzFeed actually pretty spot on about Mormon history and their battles with the government. Fascinating.
And, we’re back! Welcome to 2015 and welcome to the first half marathon of the year. It’s kind of fitting that it would be on New Year’s Day. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the first day of the year. Well, I could … a Disney vacation, tropical getaway in Fiji and/or anywhere where it doesn’t snow.
But, still, a running a half marathon is a pretty awesome way to kickoff 2015.
This was my fourth time running the New Year’s Revolution Run. I’m having a hard time dealing with this fact. Why, you probably aren’t asking? Because time is FLYING way too fast since I started running. Was 2011 really just four years ago? (and of course the answer would be, yes)
The first year that I ran this race, I pretty much did it alone. I didn’t know anyone at the race. I just went to the Oval by myself, ran by myself and then went home by myself. Don’t cry for me though, it got better. The following year I ran with a few more friends and then last year it really was more of a party than a run. Still a challenging run, but having made a number of friends over the preceding year helped.
This year there were numerous new friends and runners that I hadn’t met in person yet. Which is awesome you compare 2011 to this year. Running and the running community has really helped change my life the past four years. And, this run really helps jump kick start the year with all those friends and excitement moving forward. This year was no exception.
This was a tough race to run for me though, because going into it I was pretty dang sick. For the past couple of days I had been fighting a pretty bad cold/sinus infection and quite honestly I probably SHOULDN’T have ran. But, I justified it in two ways. One, it was inside and not outside and two, I had five hours to crank out at least 13.1 miles. I didn’t have to go for time, I just had to go for completion. I knew I was going to be slow and take a number of breaks.
Which I did.
I was glad that the race was inside because the thermometer at home said it was barely 3 degrees. Yeah, if this run was outside I would have died of dysentery or some other godforsaken Oregon Trail death. But, alas, no worries being indoors.
The great thing about this race is that there is an aid station about every 25th of a mile. That includes pretzels, gels, licorice, Swedish Fish, Goldfish (the crackers not the animals), Trail Mix, water and Powerade. The only downside of the whole table were the unpeelable green bananas. But, nevertheless, you knew you weren’t going to go without for very long. It’s one of the best features of the race.
Plus, the volunteers are great and very cheerful. But, that’s a quality that you get at every Extra Mile Racing event.
As I mentioned above, the race was extremely tough for me being sick. I needed to get 48 laps in for a half marathon so that was my goal and focus. I didn’t care about time, because I knew it could probably take me the whole time to get my goal. I started off the run a few minutes after everyone else started and then I just went as far as I could before I needed to walk. I got about 10 laps in at a good slow steady pace before I walked a number of laps with my friend Camille who was also 22 weeks pregnant. We had our own little party which was fun. She needless to say in the end, she beat me.
Yep, I got beat by a walking pregnant woman.
But, it was Camille so it’s totally okay.
The greatest quality of this whole race is that no matter what your speed you’re always able to see and spend time with anyone of any speed. So, I got to run with a number of friends whether for a few minutes or few seconds, it was great. And, running with others that knew I was sick and having them encourage me on helped a lot. That kind of environment is something that the running community is well known for and this race accentuates that quality.
And, as expected I took my race right to the 5 hour limit. So the last 10 or so laps I booked it as hard as I could. Which was the worst and best decision that I’ve ever made. Physically, I was spent and didn’t have much more to give, but mentally I was blocking that out and just shutting my body up. I didn’t care if my body wanted to stop or slow down I wanted to finish my race. So, I just bore down and cranked out those last few laps.
I was dying.
But, I finished on the last lap and finished in 4:34:32 hours. Which surprisingly isn’t my worst half marathon time. Granted, the other ones I was sweeping, but still. I finished and I was happy about that. That was my goal. There was no time goal, just a finish goal.
Once I finished and pokingly made my way home I downed some NyQuil and slept the rest of the day in a deep slumber. In fact, I slept all day Friday and Saturday as well. I had planned on running the New Year’s Half Marathon on Saturday, but I ended up selling my bib because I knew I couldn’t do it. Physically, I wouldn’t have made it. Especially, with it being outside I couldn’t afford to compound my illness any further.
But, my goal this year is to focus on my long-term goals and that decision very much is in line with my long-term goals. A sicker Josh doesn’t further my goals. And, I need to learn how to step back when needed.
So now the focus is to get healthy, lose some weight, focus on speed and get myself ready for the Dogtown Half Marathon in February.
And, you better believe I will be back this time next year to start 2016 off the right foot. Let’s just hope I am not sick!
NEXT RACE: Dogtown Half Marathon (February 21)
Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 0.0 miles2015 Walking Miles – 0.0 miles
2015 Race Miles – 13.1 miles2015 Total Miles – 13.1 milesMonthly Total Miles for 2015January – 13.1 miles
Welp, this is it. This is 2015. What has changed so far? Well, the calendar for one thing. Other than that not much. So much for having hoverboards like Back to the Future tolds us we would have. And, dehydrated pizzas. Actually, it’s probably best that we don’t have that. I could picture myself eating one before it was hydrated and then unwittingly downing with a Pepsi Free causing a SERIOUS stomach ache.
Now I see the wisdom in it not happening.
This is my “off” day between two half marathons. It’s quite the way to start off 2015. Yesterday, I ran the New Year’s Run Resolution at the Olympic Oval in Kearns and then tomorrow I was going to run the New Year’s Half Marathon in Pleasant Grove. I am fighting either the flu or a nasty cold and I just don’t have it in me to do half marathons so close together, especially one outside. That’d be a little dumb on my part. So’ll have to add another race sometime on the schedule between now and August 15 to make sure I get to 100. It shouldn’t be that difficult.
The past couple of weeks have been a good relaxing time. I’ve really tried to focus on spending time with family and close friends. And, each year I distance myself from my blog for the last couple weeks of the year to make sure I am focusing in the right direction.
I also like the break because it allows me the chance to refocus on what matters in my life and how and where I want to focus my new year goals towards. If you haven’t read my 2015 goals yet, you can read them here. My goals aren’t changing much from last year, except that I am planning on being more focused towards attaining them. One of the biggest fitness goals is getting that sub-two half marathon time.
The focus isn’t just training for that time, but it’s the build up to that as well. It’s getting my body in the place it needs to be to train and attain that goal. I am still tweaking medications with my thyroid and testosterone and I need to be consistent with my running and workouts to get rid of the 25-30lbs. that came with the health issues. That’s been a frustration for me. But, I am getting there and I am starting to get answers.
I am just not going to use them as an excuse for not attaining my goals. I am past that. And, I know I can reach them. It might not be tomorrow, but it will happen with a constant pursuit and focus of those goals. The Nebo Half is circled on my calendar for that sub-two.
Anyways, there’s been a lot that has caught my interest and attention the past couple weeks besides my goals … here are few other things …
I’ve seen Unbroken. I highly recommend the film, not just to my running friends, but anyone with a heart. I won’t give away the plot, but you MUST watch the movie. MUST.
I watched the movie last weekend with my running friends and then I’m going again later today with my family. Seriously, awesome movie!
Also, you need to read the book Unbroken. This is where I fell in love with Louie Zamperini and his amazing story.
The only “flaw” that I saw with the movie is that I WISHED it told more of his story, because it really is remarkable. It stopped on his arrival home, but could have easily spent another two hours on his return home, post traumatic stress, alcoholism and turning his life around to God with the help of Rev. Billy Graham. Louie was a remarkable man and passed away this past July. How I would have loved to have met him!
I blogged on Tuesday about my goals and focus for 2015.
Well this kid isn’t the smartest one out there. Who steals quarters from a laundromat and then pays his phone bill in quarters? I mean, it’s kind of obvious you don’t go walking around with thousands of dollars in quarters, right?
I love Home Alone, probably my favorite Christmas movie, so I have to say I love this article. I’ve always wondered the past 25 years why the burglars were never hurt worse than they were? Looks like I am not the only one.
I hate snow. Sooooo, if you ever surprise me with a trip to one of these ice hotels consider our friendship/relationship over.
This is a pretty cool list of animals discovered the past year. Heaven knows I don’t want to meet up with Bone-House Wasp. Also, I am not sure how I feel about the Killer Sponges. It sounds like a Spongebob Squarepants horror story. YIKES!
Oh my heavens! I really love this post. I could do this for the things my nieces and nephews say! But, more than that … I want to illustrate what my future kids say. I am bookmarking this for sure! I seriously have a million things I want to do once I have kids.
The NFL playoffs are starting tomorrow! I love playoff football! Since my Niners are out of the playoffs I am in need of picking two teams to cheer for during the playoffs. The Packers are always a favorite of mine when the Niners are out, so there’s my NFC team. But, the AFC is going to be tough, especially since the Chargers are out of it as well. I hate the Broncos, Colts, Steelers, Ravens and Bengals so that leaves me with the Patriots. Not my favorite, but I would like to see Tom Brady get one more championship. So Patriots. Gosh, a Packers-Patriots would be awesome. I’ll cheer for that.
It will be interesting to see what’s in store with the Niners now that Jim Harbaugh is out. Such a stupid decision. The days of a coach staying with a team longterm is practically dead. Sure, Belicheck has been with the Patriots for over 15 years, but you can almost guarantee that if he had a couple of losing seasons or missed playoff seasons he’d be out of there. That’s why I’ve loved the Jazz’s mentality with their coaches, it’s about consistency. It’s about going through the lows and highs together. So dumb, dumb dumb …
Oh, yeah, there’s also the NCAA Football Championship next week. Meh, I don’t care that much. GO PACKERS! GO PATRIOTS!
Oh, I did win my Fantasy Football League championship so there’s that (shower me with praises!)
Hmmm … according to BuzzFeed my Disney villain kindred spirit is Captain Hook. Not sure how I feel about this? I’ll have to think about it some.
I have a funny story about Sea Monkeys. When we were younger my brother’s sea monkeys died so he had placed them on top of the microwave so he could return them or something. Anyways, my Dad thought my Mom has left for him for dinner … thinking they were fries. He ate them. He’s still with us today. Always a funny story though.
And, I’m done …
Welp, that’s about it for me this Friday. I will back in full force this upcoming week starting with my race report of the New Year’s Half Marathon on Monday. I hope the New Year is good to you and that your goals, dreams and pursuits come within reach for you. There’s a lot to be excited about at the start of a new year. The goal is to keep that drive and excitement going throughout the year.
Here’s wishing you that continued drive during 2015! Happy New Year!