Tag: road race

RACE #157: Run Elevated Half Marathon

Oh man. Talk about a tale of different runs. This was the best of races and this was the worst of races for me. Let’s get one thing clear — I love this race. I love Little Cottonwood Canyon. I am pretty sure I’ve repeated that numerous times before.

But, it bears repeating — I love this race and Little Cottonwood Canyon.

I just wish that Saturday’s race reciprocated some of that love. It turned out not what I was expecting. But, at the same time, I guess it was somewhat expected.

Going into the race I had two goals — get out of the canyon by 8:15am (that was the cutoff time for the 6:30am gun time) and get a sub-three time. I felt fairly confident in those two goals. I won’t lie, the cutoff time worried me — because, well, every cutoff worries me. But, that’s a post for another day.

But, I figured if I could get that first goal I could get that second goal. It’s only 8 miles to the mouth of the canyon and they’re fast steep miles — about a 3200 foot drop. Just in those 8 miles! Plus, miles 9 and 10 aren’t bad — it’s just 10 to 11 that always kills me, because of the short — yet steep hill climb.

I felt confident. Especially since I have running much stronger lately. That includes my ankle and energy levels.

But, the other variable in all of this has been my diet change. As is well noted in previous posts I started a keto diet on Wednesday. This is a high fat/low carb diet. Like no more than 25 grams of net carbs a day. A pretty drastic change in my eating habits.

Leading up to race day I was trying to figure out how to fuel myself. Should I bring some carbs with me on the race? A half banana? Some applesauce packets? A dozen chocolate donuts?

I’m so new to the diet and the whole mentality that I’ve just been reading up on it the past couple weeks, but even more so this past half week. I want to do it right and I want to see the results I desire. I’m also the type that hates to make exceptions to clear cut rules. If I am going to do it, I’m going to do it right.

But, I was legitimately worried about my fueling during this race, because I would be on just my fourth day of keto and most people adapt within a couple weeks to a month. The night before I thought about “carb-loading” with a banana or some fruit. But, I resisted it. I had read about protein loading so I just decided to cook a pork omelet with some avocado and it wasn’t bad.

So I decided to load up on turkey & cheese, a couple hardboiled eggs and some Powerade Zero (for the electrolytes). I had no idea if that was going to be too much or too little? It was satisfying and when the gun sounded I felt good.

But, that didn’t last that long.

About a mile into the race I just started feeling a bit funky. I am sure it was the eggs. It was a familiar feeling. It passed and I was okay. But, this kind of made me worry for the rest of the race.

I focused on my running and pace — and went with what felt good. I did the first three miles in about 30-31 minutes. I found a good pace and just went with it. I walked the aid stations and ran the tangents.

I made the decision at the first aid station to take a couple sips of the Powerade, but load up on the water. That worked for the most part. But, I needed more. I knew I was going to tank without something more in my system. This got me worried.

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But, I just focused on my run and to just get myself out of the canyon by 8:15am. That was my first priority — even though my fueling should have been. But, I felt that if I got out of the canyon I’d be fine because I was planning on slowing down my pace.

I got out of the canyon with about 5 minutes to spare. So, I slowed down my pace and prepared myself for Miles 9 and 10 that lead to the steep up hill climb. They were pretty uneventful miles, except the hill — which is always a beast.

And, then all hell broke loose.

Okay, that was a bit too dramatic, but I did completely unravel. I hit the wall. I bonked. I crashed. I Keto Krashed.

And, I will completely blame the switch to my diet on the crash. I just wasn’t prepared. I wasn’t ready to be running a half marathon like this just days after my switch to this diet.

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I did learn MANY great things about how to better prepare and fuel myself for long runs — and, I’ll post about those later in the week. Because, there’s a lot that I learned not just from Googling, but from just asking and talking to friends.  Which I’m appreciative of, because this has a big change for me.

Anyways — as I approached the Mile 11 aid station I just felt zapped. There was a nurse that met me a few hundred yards from the aid station checking on me. I think she did this with everyone in the back, but it wasn’t difficult to see that I hit a wall and was dragging.

I must of looked pretty bad to her, because she asked my name and city — and then if this was my first half marathon. I half chuckled and said, “no, I’ve done a few — I’m doing ok, just a hard day.” She then pointed me to the aid station, cold orange slices and water.

She was a really nice lady — and I didn’t mind her thinking this was my first race. In fact, during a race I don’t really like to bring it up. Especially if it’s somebody that doesn’t know me. My accomplishment of 157 races is impressive, but I don’t want that number to define me. There’s so much more to my running journey than the number.

But, that’s a post for another day.

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When I got to the Mile 11 aid station I took drank a full cup of Gatorade and two cups of water. I knew I needed hydration and electrolytes. I could feel that. I then took one of the cold orange slices and devoured it. I knew it wasn’t the most keto thing to eat. But, at that moment it’s what I needed. And, it wasn’t like I downed a donut or other highly processed food — it was an orange.

Plus, I knew my body would burn it off fairly quickly. I just needed some kind of fuel. The orange did the trick.

Well for about a half mile or so.

I pushed myself where I could and felt like I could — but, I slowed down to somewhere between a walk and a jog. I just had no energy. And, the last two miles just dragged. Bad.

I got to the last aid station which was about a mile from the finish line. After drinking some more fluids I set out and just tried to focus on my music and forget about how I felt. I just wanted to be done.

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I was greeted by Rachel Moody — about a half mile or so from the finish — she came back out to run me in. We were then greeted by Julianna Fulton a short distance from that. It was the boost I needed. I just wanted to be done.

I knew I was probably not going to get my sub-three — which I didn’t — but, I was just happy to be done. I knew a lot of effort went into the race. And, if I hadn’t of bonked I know I would have crushed my year best time for the half distance.

But, I finished in 3:03 — far from that goal. This was a course I ran in 2:31 last year — and in 2:10 back in 2013. I tried not to dwell on that, because what I am doing now with my new diet and everything is working toward getting to similar race times. If not faster. I know I have it in me.

I didn’t have much time to dwell on all of that. As soon as I crossed the finish line I was greeted by Robert Merriman with a big old hug. He didn’t mind my awkward sweatiness. It was so great seeing him out cheering us runners in. You could tell he’s itching to getting back out there.

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Moments and experiences like that really help me keep things in perspective. I’m grateful that I am given those moments. Otherwise my running would have turned into a miserable experience for me years ago. It’s about how fast we get there, but where we go and who comes along with us. But, like most things in this recap — that’s a post for another day.

I’ve got a lot things to figure out this week before running the Nebo Half on Saturday. Mainly with fueling. I need to figure out a better way to fuel with electrolytes and how many carbs I want to consume before and during the race. So many things to figure out … but, I’m not too worried. I have a great group of friends that I’ve been tapping into for advice.

This race will be remembered for the best and worst of moments. Those first 10-11 miles were great, while those last two — pure hell. But, here’s to the future and learning from those two experiences. You don’t build upon anything that’s effortless and easy — and that thought gives me hope.


RACE #157: Run Elevated Half Marathon, August 19, 2017 (3:03:58) Tough, tough, tough race. It was the tale of two races, really. With my switch to a keto diet this past week, I didn’t know what to expect with my races. I didn’t want to crash, but, well I did. I totaled Keto Krashed at Mile 11. I smashed the first 10 miles, but after running (well walking) up the Hill Elevated I was completely done. No energy and I knew I was off. Drank some Gatorade and ate a quarter orange at the Mile 11 aid station. But, I was done. It took me about a half hour to do the last couple of miles. It killed my time and goal to sub-three. But, I’m fine with it, because I needed a first race with the Keto Diet under my belt. This experience is rather common for endurance athletes. I’ve learned a few things about my body and how I need to fuel it for future races. I’ll get this nailed down. Redemption will be mine next year! #race157 #runelevatedhalf #running @josherwalla @ketoshua @joshruns180

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@radmoody is the bomb diggity! I totally Keto Krashed at Mile 11 and after the race. We walked to our cars together and we’re just talking when I started feeling faint. I told her I just don’t want to pass out so I sat on curb. When I told her my plan was to get a Powerade Zero on my home (because I needed the electrolytes) she hops in her car and drives across the street to get me a drink. THEN … she comes back with EIGHT purple Powerade Zeroes, because in her words, “if you bought 8 they were $.50 each.” Oh, but wait, she did more! She then gave me a ride to my car SIX spaces away! 😂 Seriously, thanks Rachel! You ROCK! It totally made my day! ———————————————————— #race157 #runelevatedhalf #poweradezero #runningfriends #ketoshua #fitness #wellness #health #running #runnerslife #runner #run #weightloss #weightlossjourney #hashimotos #hashimotoswarrior #thyroid #hypothyroidism #workout #wod #instarunner #run4fun #runningcommunity #keto #ketodiet #ketonics #ketorunner ———————————————————— @ketoshua @josherwalla @joshruns180 ———————————————————— Follow my blog at www.phatjosh.com

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I can’t wait to run the Run Elevated Half Marathon this weekend! A BIG THANK YOU to my friend @girlracer74 for picking up my race packet tomorrow! For some reason she loves when I write permission notes for her?! ———————————————————— #runelevatedhalf #race157 #joshruns180 #ketoshua #fitness #wellness #health #running #runnerslife #runner #run #weightloss #weightlossjourney #hashimotos #hashimotoswarrior #thyroid #hypothyroidism #workout #wod #instarunner #run4fun #runningcommunity #keto #ketodiet #ketonics #ketorunner ———————————————————— @ketoshua @josherwalla @joshruns180 ———————————————————— Follow my blog at www.phatjosh.com

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Birthday Slurpees for the birthday peeps.

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Can I just say my brother gave me the “puuurrfect” birthday gift?

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Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 6.5 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 25.17 miles
TOTAL MILES — 44.77 miles
Races This Week — Run Elevated Half.

August 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 33.0 miles
Race Miles — 26.9 miles
Walking Miles — 61.37 miles
TOTAL MILES — 107.77 miles
Races in August — (3) Elephant Rock Trail Half, Run Elevated Half and Nebo Half 

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 344.05 miles
Race Miles — 309.32 miles
Walking Miles — 841.52 miles
TOTAL MILES — 1494.89 miles
Races done in 2017 — (21) New Year’s Half Marathon, Sweethearts 5K, Jackpot Running Festival, SL Tri Club Indoor Half, March Madness Half, Lucky 13 Half Marathon, Emigration Canyon Half Marathon, Riverton Half, Saltair Half, Provo City Half Marathon, Jordan River Half Marathon, Drop13 Half Marathon, Bear Lake Trifecta — Idaho, Wyoming & Utah, AF Canyon Race Against Cancer, The Hobbler Half, Handcart Days Half, DesNews Half, Elephant Rock Trail Half, and Run Elevated Half.

A change of plans …

As I have said many, many, many times — my race schedule is ALWAYS subject to change. And, this week’s race plan wasn’t immune to a change in plans. I’m more bummed about the reasons why I had to make the change than the actual change.

The original plan was to run the Antelope Island Buffalo Run 25K. I love running the island, especially the races that Jim Skaggs puts on. I ran the 25K two years ago with Jill and have done his 50K the past couple of years as well. So I was looking forward to the adventure this weekend.

Due to some unforeseen family obligations I had to back out of the race, pretty much last minute (read: this morning). Part of the reason is that with the race starting at 9am, it would take me a good 4-5 hours or so to do the 25K — and with the obligations I couldn’t be gone pretty much all day.

But, I also didn’t want to give up a race weekend either. I’d have to rework my race schedule AGAIN — and I didn’t want that. So, I signed up for On Hill Events’ Lucky 13 Half Marathon at Gardner Village in West Jordan. Not only is it closer to home, but I’ll be done much sooner than the 25K so I can attended to my obligations.

Sure, I am sad giving up a trail race, but I’ve always prioritized family before running. And, being able to still race and attend to family is a win-win in my book. As much as I am going to miss the Buffalo Stew on Antelope Island, Joe Coles and On Hill Events do a really good job with their races and I am excited to run the course. This is a race I haven’t done yet.

All win-wins!

This is one thing that I really, really love about Utah. We have so many quality race companies, canyons, trails and races. Our calendars are chalk full of them. And, to be able to pull audible like this on such short notice is nice.

I guess you could say we should feel lucky.

Because we are.

And, that was a terrible pun. Please accept my apologies. Seriously. I disappoint myself.

Happy Running! Wherever you are running this weekend — Antelope Island, Jordan Parkway Trail, one of the several local canyons or your neighborhood — enjoy it! Spring is here!

RACE #106: Nebo Half



Let me say that again … NEBOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Okay, that should help get that out of my system for a while. I love, love, love this race. It’s a fast downhill course that just speaks to me for many reasons. The fact that it’s downhill and gravity is working on my side is the first reason. Second, because the canyon is GORGEOUS! Especially around this time of the year as the leaves are just starting to turn. And, third, because so many of my friends run it as well.

It’s kinda like the Super Bowl of Utah half marathons in my book. It’s a fun course, that pretty much everyone flies down. And, that’s what I have been looking forward to more than anything this past year. I love just letting myself go and … just run. Just let gravity take care of the rest.

Going into the race I really wanted to set a year best time. Especially considering that my two best times were running down Big and Little Cottonwood canyons. The last being two weeks ago at the Run Elevated Half. So that had been my focus and goal.

Well, I should say that wasn’t my only goal. I’m the type of person that states one goal, but really has, like, three goals. The publicly stated goal, the ambitiously secret goal and then the safe secret goal in case the first two goals don’t happen. Which really should be the equivalent to a “participation trophy” in T-Ball.

So going into Nebo my three goals were such …

1) Ambitiously Secret Goal: A sub-2:30 finish time.
2) Public Stated Goal: 2:35 or better finish time.
3) Safe Secret Goal: 2:40 or better finish time.

I guess you could say I had another goal of not to get anything past a 2:45. But, that’s really not a goal … more like an expectation. And, I figured that if I didn’t meet that expectation I probably would have wallowed in self-pity while eating really crappy ice cream and a Gilmore Girls marathon the rest of the holiday weekend.

Luckily, it never came to that.

But, I didn’t meet my first two goals either. Which, while I am not overly disappointed, I did get exactly a 2:40 finish (my timer said 2:39, but whatever) to meet that safe secret goal. I am satisfied with my goal, because I gave a great effort on the course and pushed myself the best that I could. And, really, I kinda made some poor choices and decisions that killed my chance of a better time.

Should I make a short list of them?

Even if you said no, I am still am going to list them since this is my blog …

1) I didn’t eat enough calories for breakfast (½ a banana and protein bar).
2) Going out WAY too fast on the first mile.
3) Keeping a faster pace for longer than I should have.
4) Letting Mile 9 mentally get to me.
5) Taking too long at the third aid station.

Some of those choices and decisions are unavoidable. Because sometimes at aid stations you need to retie your shoe and then go back for another water. It could have gone down smoother, but choices like not eating enough for breakfast or going out way too fast are avoidable. And, just kind of stupid mistakes.

Especially, when I knew better.

But, on the flip side I am satisfied with my time for a number of reasons …

1) I maintained a sub-2:30 pace for the first 8-8.5 miles.
2) I ran through quad soreness and kept my walking to a minimum.
3) Didn’t slow down when I realized I wasn’t going to meet my goal time.

It’s really a strange feeling, because I wouldn’t say that I am extremely disappointed in my outcome. I’m satisfied, but not disappointed. Especially when I ran a 2:37 just two weeks ago down Little Cottonwood Canyon. So how can I really be upset or disappointed with myself?

Especially when I can learn from the experience.

But, with everything that I’ve dealt with this past year with my health and I’ll take it. It’s been a struggle. I really want to take it as a launching point to get back to where I want to be health and running wise. And, looking forward a year from now I see myself there. I see myself being healthy and strong while working and setting a new PR.

Which would anything under 2:08:25. Something I am ready to tackle and work towards.

But, the focus is now looking towards this weekend’s Big Cottonwood Marathon and working towards my 50K in November. I’ve got a lot of running coming up in the next couple of months. I’m very excited about that.



NEBOOOOOOOOOOI!!! #nebohalf #runtastic #race106 #running @running180 @fight4phat @mejosher @runtasticevents A photo posted by Running180™ (@running180) on

The Nebo Club. #dontyouforgetaboutme #nebohalf #race106 #running @running180 @fight4phat @mejosher @runtasticevents

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This weekend I am sweeping the Big Cottonwood Marathon. This is the third year I’ve ran the marathon. I also ran the half marathon in 2013. I wasn’t planning on running any marathons this year, but since I decided to run a 50K in November I picked up a couple for this fall as preparation.

This is one of my favorite marathons. It’s organized perfectly. It’s a beautiful fast course. And, it really gives St. George a run for their money at the best Utah marathon.

Plus, this course holds a lot of great memories for me, especially last year as I ran with Jill during her first 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



Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 202.5 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 284.6 miles
2015 Race Miles – 313.5 miles
2015 Total Miles – 800.6 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 72.85 miles
March – 115.3 miles
April – 76.3 miles
May  97.4 miles
June  131.15 miles
July  101.65 miles
August  110.2 miles
September – 22.95 miles


RACE RECAP #71: Provo River Trail Half Marathon


It’s kind of hard to imagine that I am 71 races into my 180 goal. I remember the detail to each of those 71 races like they happened yesterday. Each one has taught me a certain lesson, introduced me to new friends and inspired me to keep going. Running has ALWAYS given me more than I expected and sometimes, quite frankly, than I put into it.

This is the race director cutting up Clif Bars on the hood of someone’s car before the race. All I can is … I LOVE THIS GUY!

But, racing and running never ceases to inspire me and motivate me. No matter my mood or current circumstances. And, this race provided me that needed lift. The past couple of weeks after I ran the Deseret News Half have been rather trying for me. I’ve been dealing with a number of stupid little health issues. There was the whole diabeetus scare a few weeks ago, but it’s also been taking my body some time to get used to the steroids I am taking for my low-testosterone. Then I’ve had my thyroid meds tweaked a bit.

Basically, these little things have added up and my body has taken it’s toll reacting to it all. I’ve gained about 15-20lbs. I never wanted to find and I’ve just felt … blah. A tad discouraged and a tad worried that I won’t hit my sub-two goal by Nebo. But, I won’t go more into that, because I am going to share more about that tomorrow. I shared that basically to show you my current frame of mind.

I was a little skeptical about using this port-a-potty? On wheels? Oy. I can just picture myself rolling away on one of these with disastrous results.

I needed this race.

I signed up for this race a couple months ago knowing I was probably the only person from my running friends that would run or pace with me. Looking back now I kinda felt that was inspired, because I needed to be by myself during this race. I needed to be left alone with my iPod playlist, my thoughts and myself. Not to necessarily figure things out, but just to reenergize. Self-reflection has always treated me well and it was great being able to enjoy that during the race.

Now, I’ve had this race on my radar for the past couple of years. I’ve seen it on numerous race calendars and everytime I am tempted to sign up for it … I kinda pass by it for a number of reasons. For one, the website that’s associated with the race is a mess. Being a communications major there are many things on the site that put you off (dead links, old information, etc.) and make you somewhat skeptical of the legitimacy of the event. It really feels like the site is maintained by someone with little to no knowledge about HTML or website knowledge.

#bridalveilfallsselfie #awesome

I hate criticizing seemingly little things like that, but as a runner you want to know that if you sign up for the race they’ll hold it and not run off to Costa Rica. Public image is important. BUT, after talking to a couple of my running friends about the race they informed it was a good little race and that the race director has been doing it for the past 20+ years. Reason enough for me to do it, I guess?

The race itself really is one without any frills. The race director is exactly what you would picture based off the website. He’s doing this race more for the love of running than to just make money. He’s very laid back and just a great guy.

Bridal Veil Falls without me in the picture. I must say it’s very photogenic.

If I didn’t get that sense of his personality I would have been a taken back when he grabbed a box of Clif Bars, cut them in half and dumped them on the hood of a car (not his car, but some random car at the starting line) offering them to runners who wanted them. I snobbish runner within embraced the moment and just laughed. I loved his character and reasons for doing this race. If this happened at a bigger race like Salt Lake City or Big Cottonwood then I would a tad unimpressed.

But, really was, what it was.

Here’s a nice little picture of people running with Timp in the background.

The race wasn’t chipped time, which wasn’t a problem for me. I just went off my Garmin. I was also somewhat familiar with the course because the Provo City Half Marathon follows much of the same course. The whole course follows the Provo River Trail with a little jaunt back up past Bridal Vail Falls to make sure you get the 13.1 miles in for the race.

It really was a beautiful run and one that was perfect to kind of zone out and get lost in thought. The aid stations, which I was worried about, were well staffed and provided both water and Powerade. I brought a couple of gel packs as well which worked out perfect. I was really impressed with the quality of the race based on my incoming perceptions. It was actually quite perfect.

My friend Katie snapped this picture of me crossing the finish line. Thanks Katie!

I finished the 13.1 miles in 2:31:08 which I am happy with. I really just wanted to push it. I knew I would probably struggle a bit (which I did), but I just wanted to give my best (which I did as well). The result gives me hope as I work towards Nebo. I feel like my goal isn’t so much a sub-two then it is to do my best. And, if my best is a sub-two, a PR, a sub-2:10 or a sub-2:20 then I will be extremely happy with that. I still have no doubt that one day my best will be a sub-two. It just might not be in a month.

But, I’m going to prepare for such.

Me and the Hansen Clan after the race. We’re related somehow? Probably through polygamy?

After the race I was also able to meet a few new friends from my running group, which was a great way to end the race. I love meeting new people and making new friends. That to me is the essence of running for me right now. It’s not so much of the mileage as it is the relationships. But, that’s a post for another day as well.

There weren’t any race medals for the finishers, but they did have a spread of pancakes, watermelon and bagels waiting for us which was MUCH appreciated. We did get a cool t-shirt at the finish line and a framed picture of Bridal Veil Falls. I must admit I’ve gotten anything like that after a race, but I really didn’t mind, I was just happy to enjoy the run.

My awesome t-shirt I got from the race. I think it’s a troll? Either way INSTANT AWESOME!

Looking forward … I am excited for the next month of running. This week our running group is running down Big Cottonwood for our last long run for the Big Cottonwood Marathon. Then I am racing the Run Elevated Half Marathon (August 23), Emigration Half Marathon (August 30), Nebo Half (September 6) and then the Big Cottonwood Marathon (September 13). It’s going to be fun and I know with constant racing I’ll also be more consistent and get stronger. Maybe I can get that sub-two sometime in one of my four races in October? We’ll see?

But, instead of getting ahead of myself, I need to remember that it’s one foot in front of other.


Total Mileage Breakdown for 2014

2014 Training Miles – 464.75 miles
2014 Walking Miles – 56.65 miles
2014 Race Miles – 254.3 miles
2014 Total Miles – 775.7 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 – 35.5 miles