Tag: Robert Merriman

Running BIG for Robert

This past week has been a tough one for me. I didn’t get in nearly enough miles, mainly because of illness among a few other things. But, I knew no matter how I felt I was going to do some miles on Saturday in honor of my friend Robert Merriman who’s battling brain cancer.

It’s been an emotional couple of weeks for the running community here in Utah that know and love Robert. He’s such a staple here on the road or trail. He’s a friend to all.

I met Robert first back in 2012 while running the Farmington Days Half Marathon. Our conversation was brief, but I remember him introducing himself and mentioned that he read my blog. We saw each other at a number of other races over the rest of the year and eventually connected over Facebook.

You could say that after that — the rest was history. Over the next couple of years we were a part of a very close-knit group of runners. We all ran together, no matter the pace. Many times Robert would run ahead to take pictures of the group — or at times — if he wasn’t able to run with us, he’d still show up at some point of the run to take pictures of us.

I’ve grown to really respect Robert and look up to him in many aspect. His kindness toward others is second to none. He is one of the biggest reasons why I am training for my first 100 miler next February. Seeing Robert train and work toward gave me the hope and desire to try it too.

So when he was diagnosed with the cancer it was devastating — not just to me, but to our little group and the running community by and large. It’s been amazing seeing the community rally around him and support him and his family. Something we know he would do for any of us.

The weekend of his diagnosis and surgery it was awesome seeing so many runners wearing grey with red Canadian maple leafs at the Handcart Days and Deseret News Half Marathons. It continued with the Timp Half and the many other races that weekend as well. There were so many maple leafs worn during the Timp Half that many runners were asking why there were so many Canadians at the race.

That should tell you how much this community really rallied around Robert.

So, this weekend’s group run brought out the grey and maple leafs once again as we flooded Big Cottonwood. There was another group running the canyon as well, so there was a lot of crossover, but lots of grey either way. It was pretty cool.

I wanted to run anywhere between 15-20 miles, but with my health still questionable — I deciding between more like 10-15 miles. I am not where I want to be with my fitness right now, but I’m getting there. Especially with my ankle doing much, much better. I am at the point right now I need to start looking at alternatives to a couple of my marathons if I feel like I can’t do them.

But, that’s a post for another day.

Anyways, I decided 10 miles was a good run for me — which I decided basically right as the car passed 10.0 on the pedometer. So, I hopped out of the car that was taking everyone else up further in the canyon and made my descent.

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When I run, I usually don’t go for pace — I go by feel. I’m very much a zen runner. Honestly, it’s been the only way I’ve been able to get through my injury and slowing pace. If I am going to run, I’m going for a fun time. If I am too worried about my pace — I tend to not have fun and feel like crap post run.

So, I just focus on feel. I focus on pushing myself just beyond comfort. And, as long I focus on that I’ll get faster and where I want to be. Does this mean I’ll never focus on pace again? No. It’s just my goals right now don’t need it and mentally it screws with me. I’ll get there again. But, for now — it’s all about effort.

Anyways, the run went well. I kept my effort just beyond that comfort. I focused on my form, especially on my right foot. My new shoes really help keep my over pronation honest, but I still need to mentally focus on it so I don’t lazily undo it.

My ankle was a little sore by mile 7-8, but nothing like it has in the past. Most of the soreness was actually from lateral movement down the canyon, which I expected. And, compared to my last run down Big Cottonwood I felt much better. Thank goodness.

The run was gorgeous and I just focused on what I needed to while jamming out to my music. It was perfect. There were so many runners in the canyon that it really felt like a race. It was neat. There were at least three fairly large groups there. And, apparently some runners got stopped by others asking if there was a race.

It was the perfect morning for a run.

The last mile or so of my run I was able to run with my friend Lizz, who started three miles up the canyon and then walked down and then back up and down a couple times before running into me again. She did over 7-8 miles on a not very easy course. But, we haven’t had an opportunity to run much together so it I was happy to finish my run with her.

After being joined by Ruthie for the last bit of the run we all finished back at the Park n’ Ride and after a few pictures we left and parted for the rest of the day. As I mentioned above, it was the perfect morning for a run. And, a perfect day to run and honor our friend Robert.

The good news of this all is that he was sent home and is recovering really well. He should be a few weeks from being able to drive and do some light running (non-runners like to call it jogging). The fact that he’s been in amazing health has helped him a lot. And, I couldn’t be any happier for him and his family … he’s a fighter.

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Next week on August 17th — Robert’s Birthday — Costa Vida is holding a benefit night for Robert. As of right now, the Draper, American Fork and Payson stores will donate 20% of each order from 5pm to close to Robert’s family. There’s been a big interest from runners in other parts of Utah that they’re working on getting other stores involved in the benefit night.

But, if you would like to help Robert and his family while also enjoying an awesome meal from Costa Vida you can get more details about the night here. As I mentioned more stores will hopefully be added soon — and those will be posted there.

Anyways, we love you Robert! We’re praying for you! We’re running for you!

July 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 38.6 miles
Race Miles — 39.3 miles
Walking Miles — 116.38 miles
TOTAL MILES — 194.28 miles
Races in July — (3) The Hobbler Half, Handcart Days & DesNews Half.

August 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 13.5 miles
Race Miles — 0.0 miles
Walking Miles — 15.66 miles
TOTAL MILES — 29.16 miles
Races in August — (3) Elephant Rock Trail Half, Run Elevated Half and Nebo Half 

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 324.55 miles
Race Miles — 282.42 miles
Walking Miles — 795.81 miles
TOTAL MILES — 1402.78 miles
Races done in 2017 — (19) 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 and DesNews Half.

I kinda want to know what constitutes EXCESSIVE speed?

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Shopping for the morning after the apocalypse.

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He looks as beautiful as Stevie Wonder plays, and plays as well as Stevie Wonder sees.

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I must be in Utah County.

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WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Picking up the mileage and looking forward …

IMG_2449I love the week after the Daylights Savings Time switchover. Like, a lot. It makes me happy. It’s amazing what that extra hour of sunlight does to someone, especially for someone who works behind a desk. I was able to get in a couple evening runs which were HEAVEN! I can almost smell summer around the corner!

On Saturday a group of us ran down Emigration Canyon to Liberty Park. This was a typical route for me last summer (and still one of my favorites) and I will never get sick of it. The route is fairly steep, so my quads are still fairly screaming … even today. But, totally worth it. No pain, no gain, right?

Plus, the company was even better than the route. Robert Merriman, Janet, Brook and I all ran together. The group that was slated to run with us was at 35 people once, but dwindled to just the four of us. Nothing against the 31 no-shows, but we felt a part of an elite club. Plus, we all had each other in stitches throughout the canyon. I am excited because both Robert Merriman and Janet will be running the Buffalo Run next week, so I’ll get two consecutive weeks of them!

This past week has been my highest mileage week this year and the mental and physical challenge has been great. I am looking to continue that progress into this upcoming week. I am signing up for the Student Life Center officially today and working out with Free there starting tomorrow night after work.

I am excited to get into the flow of my workout regime with him, the running and races. My body is starting to respond to the new meds and the need for change is coming more from the body than the mind, which is a great place for me to be. I am going to write a bit about my workout regime later this week. I am excited to share that, because besides lifting with Free we are going to incorporate a Biggest Loser-esque “Last Chance Workout” on Thursday nights.

Why Thursday?

Mainly because I weigh-in every Friday morning and preparing for that weigh-in with a big workout seems right. I’d love to find a scale that beeps while calculating my weight, but I think that is pushing it? I’ll go more in depth later this week. Just know that I am in a good place mentally.




After our run on Saturday I took Robert Merriman and Janet to the Sears Burrito Cart (Don Rafas) for a burrito. This was my first Sears Burrito of 2015 and both Robert Merriman and Janet’s first. I felt like a professional mentor telling them how to order the burrito, top it with awesomeness and then have it wrapped and paid for. There’s a method to the whole process and it was fun being able to show them the ropes.

Then on the other hand I felt like a complete amatuer when I was putting some sour cream on my burrito and the whole bottle blew up all over my shorts, shirt and shoes. It was … classy. Luckily it was all over the clothes I just ran in so I just laughed it off.


But, needless to say, after that run the burrito HIT THE STOP. I missed it, like a mother misses her child. Such great awesome food. And, who would think you’d find it in the parking lot of a Sears store in Downtown Salt Lake City?



IMG_2417One exciting thing that happened to me this past week was the addition to these two new shoes! Of course both of them are Hoka OneOne shoes. I don’t think I could run in anything else? Ever since I made the switch from the Nike Pegasus in the fall of 2013 I haven’t looked elsewhere.

For a big runner like myself they have saved my feet, ankles and knees from certain injury. I was starting to get stress fractures in my feet with the Pegs, but since moving to the Hokas I haven’t had those issues … AT ALL. This really sounds like a pitch for a pyramid scheme business, but honestly, I swear by them. They really are like running on clouds of marshmallows.

But, I’ve been able to get two great runs in with each pair, so look for a review sometime soon. Maybe this week or next? We shall see.

So, yeah, convert yourself to Hokas. You won’t regret it.


bison-attack-photoThis is the week I am running with the buffaloes! Well, okay, this is the week I am running Antelope Island with the chance to run into buffaloes. But, hopefully not INTO buffaloes literally. This will be my first trail run/race on Antelope Island. I would be worried about it if I wasn’t running with Jill, but we’re going to have fun doing it.

Plus, a bunch of our friends will be there running the 100 miler, 50 miler and 50K as well. Both Jill and I looked at our roll not as runners and competitors, but cheerleaders for the rest of our friends out on the course. Cheerleading is one of the good things both Jill and I do. Plus, since it’s a trail run there’s a good chance we’ll eat a whole pizza each to keep ourselves alive.

That last sentence was half joking.

But, seriously, I am really looking forward to the run and opportunity I have to challenge myself and encourage others along the course.



Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015

2015 Training Miles – 110.2 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 54.25 miles
2015 Race Miles – 35.55 miles
2015 Total Miles – 200.0 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 72.85 miles
March – 48.35 miles



The 2014 Joshby Award Winners … drumroll, please


Slip on the tux, press the white shirts and get ready for the winners of winners of the 2014 Joshby Awards. Or you can just sit there and read this while eating your cereal while in your bathrobe. Either way! The Joshby Awards week has come to an end. This past week I’ve unveiled the nominees, given awards to the top race medals and most distinguished individuals … while also giving out numerous other awards throughout the week over on the Joshbys Facebook page.

It’s been an eventfully eventful event for sure.

But, now it’s time to say goodbye to the 2014 Joshbys by celebrating the people that made this past year memorable for me. These awards are never easy to give out because in my book everyone is deserving of an award. I have so many awesome friends and family. I am extremely blessed and lucky.

The Joshby Awards is just a way I can celebrate them and the relationships I’ve had each year. This has been the seventh year I’ve done these and it’s always fun to do. So without further adieu here are the 2014 Joshby Awards winners …

Winner-1 winner-2 Winner-3 winner-4 winner-5 Winner-6 winner-7 winner-8 winner-9 winner-10 winner-11 winner-12 winner-13 winner-14 winner-15 winner-16 winner-17 winner-18 winner-19winner-20