Tag: Run4Fun

Ode to Big Cottonwood Canyon …

I love Big Cottonwood Canyon. I’m pretty sure I’ve said that a million times on this blog. The proximity, scenery and elevation drop is bar none. Well, I shouldn’t say bar none, because Little Cottonwood Canyon, American Fork Canyon and even Emigration Canyon can give it a run for its’ money. But, when it comes down to it all, Big Cottonwood Canyon is the one that’s getting the last rose.

I’ve been looking forward to this past weekend’s run for WEEKS! And, I mean WEEKS! So when I threw my back out last Monday I was nervous I’d have to skip this run. But, I did some slow miles, lots of stretching and core work to help strengthen that back. All that fun stuff.

But, I really didn’t want to miss this run — besides, I was the one who set it up in the first place. It’d be like not showing up to your own party. Luckily, I made it! And, there was a great turnout.

Most of us met at the Park n’ Ride at the mouth of the canyon at 6:30am before carpooling up. There were a couple other groups that either went at 5:30am (sooooooo early) and a few later than the main group. It was a lot of fun to get everyone together and social offline.

I wasn’t sure what mileage I wanted to do — with the factors of my back, recent race schedule, future race schedule and the like — I kinda decided somewhere between 8-10. That seemed like a good number. But, I didn’t really decide until I got to the Park n’ Ride when my friend Camille said she was doing nine miles. That seemed liked a good comparison (smack in the middle), plus I always like running Camille.

At 6:45am we jumped in the car and carpooled up the canyon. We dropped off a few at 8 miles, but the rest of us went up the extra mile. After a little more stretching of the back we headed down the canyon back to our cars.

For the first couple of miles I kept up with Camille pretty good, but I was slowing down. Part of it was my back, but it was more of a combination of my tired legs and this being my first downhill run of the year. I knew my speed wasn’t going to keep me up with Camille so I sent her ahead.

After Camille left I just plugged in my music and just zoned out. I focused not necessarily on my pace, but just not walking. I had to walk a couple stretches — not out of fatigue, but I just didn’t know if it was icy (there was actually only one sketch stretch that was icy). The last thing I needed was to fall with my back.

Even though I wasn’t as fast as I wanted — I didn’t really care. I’ve been ultra training all winter so of course I am going to still be rather slow. After the Salt Flats 50K I’ll have more time to do some speed work — speed work that will focus on doing really well at the Revel Big Cottonwood Half in September. If you’re wondering — that’s the goal. There’s a lot that will and is going into that training, but that’s a post for another day.

Anyways — the nine miles down were beautiful as ever. The beauty of this canyon is breathtaking and is one reason I love running it. Whether it’s the Vigor Big Cottonwood Half, Drop13 Half or the Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon — I hate missing those races, because they’re fast and gorgeous.

I am not able to run the Vigor Big Cottonwood Half again this year, but I am excited because they have a trail series of half marathons starting this year. They’ve had smaller distances, but not the half — until this year. There are three throughout the summer and I am signed up for the one in August.

I can’t wait!

Seriously, the excitement is ridiculously high.

I really enjoyed the run. It was great being around so many great friends. I absolutely love the running community, especially here in Utah. There are so many runners who inspire and motivate me to do my best. I feel extremely lucky and blessed.

Moving onto next week — I have my 25K next week on Antelope Island. I’m rather giddy about this one for a few reasons — one, IT’S TRAIL and, two, IT’S TRAIL! I get to break out my Trekking poles, douse myself in bison repellant and enjoy an aid station full of M&M’s, salted potatoes and Nutella tortilla wraps.

Trails speak my language.

Plus, I have a number of friends running the 100 and 50 miler so I might stay for a little after my race to encourage them along. The dangerous part about doing that is the more time I spend watching these amazing runners tackle 100 miles — the more it makes me to tackle that distance too.

I’m crazy, but am I that crazy?!

Please don’t answer that.


Weekly Review

It was a tough week for miles. After throwing my back out on Monday at the Dentist office — the week was used stretching out the back and doing lighter workouts. I got about five miles of sloooooow miles in during the week. Just enough to keep my back lose.

I was worried about being able to run the group run, but manage a good — but, slow — 9 miles down Big Cottonwood. I didn’t want to overdo it because of my race this weekend out on Antelope Island. I am running the Buffalo Run 25K. I’ll be on my feet for a while during that race — so, the focus is this week will be lower mileage and continuing to stretch my back out.

Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 14.0 miles
Race Miles — 0.0 miles
Walking Miles — 21.97 miles
TOTAL MILES — 35.97 miles
Races this week — None.

March 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 17.5 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 41.3 miles
TOTAL MILES — 71.9 miles
Races in March — March Madness Half and Antelope Island 25K.

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 133.65 miles
Race Miles — 83.02 miles
Walking Miles — 189.53 miles
TOTAL MILES — 406.2 miles
Races done in 2017 — New Year’s Half Marathon, Sweethearts 5K, Jackpot Running Festival, SL Tri Club Indoor Half and March Madness Half.

I tried to convince Dave to get this shirt. But, he declined. At least for meow. #walmartventures

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It’s National Dentist Day … naturally, I’d be celebrating it here. #nationaldentistday

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Sadly, none of these dispense cotton candy. #nationaldentistday

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RACE #114: Thankful 13


I have a lot to be grateful for in my life. Running being one of them — and what better way to celebrate a day of gratitude than by doing something you love? This was the fourth year I’ve ran the Thankful 13 half marathon in Lehi. I love the race. It’s not only a great way to burn some extra calories before Thanksgiving dinner — but it’s a great way to share the holiday with people and friends you care so much about.

The more races that I have ran and more people I have come to befriend I am reminded every race how lucky I am to be a part of this community. It’s given me WAY much more than what I’ve put into it. And, in some respects given back to.

When I started running over five years ago, I never expected to be where I am today. I just started by running a 5K — and then like any gateway drug it opens other options. This being 10Ks, half marathons, marathons and ultra marathons. It’s sometimes unbelievable realizing that I am an ultra marathoner. One of those crazy people who are gluttons for punishment. That’s me now.

I wonder what Fat Josh or even Skinny Josh from two years ago would think about what I am doing now with my running?

But, all of that would be NOTHING without the friendships, people and community that has gone before and inspired me to do likewise. In return, I try to do that as well. I try to give back and inspire others on their own fitness/running journey. This is one reason why I love sweeping and pacing the slower miles. I feel like these are MY people in the back of the pack. I feel like I can offer my experiences for the better — and that motivates more than anything.

And, sweeping the Thankful 13 didn’t change any of those feelings and sediments. In fact, it really renewed me more than anything.

Going into the race I was a tad worried about the weather — watching the weather reports there was suppose to be a huge snowstorm rolling into the Salt Lake and Utah Valleys the night before. Just watching the news reports I felt like it’s the second coming of Snowmageddon. It’s was near certainty that there was going to be LOTS of snow on the ground.

So, I braced myself for it — and even planned on leaving an extra half hour early so I could make it safely on my drive from Bountiful to Lehi. I mean, I was prepared the night before.

Well — I walked outside to my car the morning of the race and there was nary a snowflake. Some frost on windshields — but no snow. Like, none. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. It was partly cloudy, but nothing looked threatening — so I was VERY grateful for the weather channel’s incompetence. Really, I should have known it would have happened this way.

Once I got to the race I stayed in my car as long as I could before the race where I met up with Cevan. We were both sweeping together and I was really looking forward it. Whenever Cevan is around it’s a party. I get told that a lot from people about myself — but then most who tell me that don’t know Cevan … yet.

The race plan was simple — have fun and see who crosses our path. Really that’s the beauty of sweeping. You have NO idea who’ll be talking to, helping or pushing along. And, it can change every mile, every couple miles or even the whole race. I love the unpredictability of the pacing assignment. It keeps things interesting and you get to meet a lot of cool people.

Our friend Dulci was planning on running with us, because she expected to be fairly slow. She’s been coming off injuries the past two years and just wanted to do the race. She was cute, leading up to the race this past week she’d message me asking what the cut-off was for the race. I simply told her — until the last runner comes in. She was so worried being swept off the course — but really my job is to make sure everyone comes in that starts the race. Unless the race tells me there is a cutoff for safety reasons — no one is being pulled on my watch.

And, for most of the race we ran with Dulci. She was in pain, but she kept pushing herself and I can’t say how much respect I have for her doing that. It’s not easy. But, with her also being a cancer survivor — she knows how to fight.

We had an opportunity to chat about life, philosophies, running and even politics. Usually a big NO — but, we didn’t kill each other and still respect each other. So there’s that.

But, I am so lucky to have friends like Dulci. She is such a compassionate, inspiring and kind friend, who will do anything to life you up. She’s a rarity in today’s society and I’m lucky to call her a friend.

Cevan and I also met up with a new friend — Cory, about half way-ish during the race. Decked out in a U of U jersey (my kind of person) we chatted about football, running and even more football. His wife was on the Layton Marathon World Record team and she even joined us at mile 10 after having done the race herself. So I guess that makes her an ultra half marathoner? No?

Whether it was talking to Dulci, Cory or other runners — I had a blast. It was yet another reminder about how much I love the running community. I’ve said it once, twice and a million other times before, but it’s given me WAY much more than what I’ve put into it.

Even now as I write this and ponder my gratitude for this sport — I just see hundreds of faces. Faces of friends who have come and gone, stayed and lingered and inspired and uplifted — all friends. All those that probably have some of the same feeling I do about running. And, it’s because of that — that I share my story, my passion and love for this sport and how it can change the very core of an individual.

Running is a gift.


Every turkey needs a reason to run. #thankful13 #race114 #running

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He THINKS he’s the most interesting man alive, but honestly he’s more intriguing than anything else. #thanksgiving2015 A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansén (@kindaqwerty) on

My carrot to turkey ratio is probably fairly even — and I’m in heaven. #thanksgiving2015

A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansén (@kindaqwerty) on

Playing “Pie in the Face™” with the kiddos. Such a great laugh as evidenced by Tank’s face. #pieintheface #thanksgiving2015 A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansén (@kindaqwerty) on

There’s nothing that would keep this kid away from his pie. Nothing. #thanksgivingpie

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I earned my pie today. And, I’m going to enjoy every bite. #runtoeat #runtolive #livetorun A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansén (@kindaqwerty) on



For the past number of years — basically when I first learned that this race existed, I was wanting to run the Bakers Dozen Half Marathon down in Hurricane. I mean — it’s my kind of race. How many half marathons out there have an aid station about every three miles chalk full of donuts, cupcakes, Hostess products and the likes?

Not many. I mean that kind of setup is usually reserved for ultra marathons. So it’s definitely rare.

But, for one reason or another I haven’t been able to get away for the race down in southern Utah — but this year, I’ve made it a point to do it. So I am.

Not only am I doing it to run with my friends, but beginning this year the race was added to the qualifying races to get guaranteed entry into the St. George Marathon through the Runner Series. Since I already ran the Snow Canyon Half Marathon last month I will have met my requirement to get into St. George. And, all before the turn of the calendar.


Anyways, I am carpooling down the morning of the race — and then coming back home the same day. So lots of running, but also LOTS more of just sitting in a car. But, it won’t be bad. I am carpooling down with Cevan and Mindy — so it will be a party.

But, after this race I’ll have a nice little break from racing until January 1st when I run the Run Revolution — but that’s more of a training run than anything else. But, that’s also when I’ll be beginning my half marathon training plan to rebuild my running base — so my next half isn’t planned until late March.

If you want to join the party there is also a half marathon relay and 5K in addition to half marathon — you can register here.



We’re back! And, rebranded! The Utah Runcast is officially now Runcast USA! We were going to make the move to the new PodBash network in January 2016 with the other shows, but we got a jump start to NOW! This change includes our own iTunes feed, individual page at PodBash.com as well as our own website at RuncastUSA.com. Lot’s of fun stuff coming your way in 2016 with the podcast and more. So make sure you stay tuned in!

So for this episode Jorge joins us and explains why he didn’t show up for the last show. Let’s just say — the Mrs. isn’t so happy. We have a special guest — and first female on the Runcast — Shaylee Hurst from Runtastic Events. She shares with us a little bit about what she does with Runtastic along with how she got faster this past year.


Plus, we babble on about our goals, my 50K, Jorge’s injury and Jim’s marathon plan. It’s all good stuff. Catch it all here …




I have posted a few things about this event on my Facebook, but I need to spread it more, especially here on the blog. I am involved with helping to raise money for Operation Underground Railroad aka O.U.R. — here in Bountiful.

There is a FREE event on Friday, December 4th at the Bountiful High auditorium featuring O.U.R. founder Tim Ballard, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and the One Voice Children’s Choir. It’s going to be a HUGE event!

Our little team (though growing every week) in Bountiful is trying to raise $75,000 for O.U.R. That money will help fund three rescue missions. That includes any administration costs needed, the operation and rehabilitation for the children as well.

I am involved in this for many, many reasons. But, the number one reason — is that it sickens me. It sickens me these children are sold or kidnapped into the sex slave industry — no freedom, no safety and absolutely no life.

For what? Someone else’s perversion.

It’s gotta stop and it will — and, I love that O.U.R. has set out to do just that.

If you are interested in coming to the event there is a Facebook event pageyou can get updates and information on. There will also be a 5K the following morning in Bountiful that any one and everyone is welcome to come and support. The price is $30 and that includes a t-shirt that you will receive along with some other swag.

Oh, plus, the Waffle Wagon will be there selling — well — waffles. And, I’m sure they’ll also be selling some hot chocolate as well. There is a Facebook event page for that as well — and if you want to register you can do so here.



This past summer, your’s truly, made his cinematic debut. Well, okay — I was once an extra in a film and I’ve photobombed news camera numerous of times — so I don’t know if I can count it as my “DEBUT.”

But, it was definitely my debut as a fitness model. Yes, you read that right — fitness model. It’s just one of the many titles of man of my prestige holds (I kid, I kid).

I was a fitness model for a fitness video called, “Freedom2Move” — it’s a locally owned DVD series of workouts that are tailored towards every and any fitness ability. This includes ability levels because of age, mobility or fitness level. It’s tailored to YOU.

There are three volumes to the workout series — and I’m in the third volumewhich focuses on the abs, back and pecs. Intrigued aren’t you?

Now, here’s the deal — I have a discount code for you. When you buy any of the volumes — or the complete set you can use code OUR10 to get 10% off your order. Just make sure you apply the code at checkout (and not in the non-profit purchase code field on the product page)

That’s not all though — Freedom2Move will also donate 10% from each order to the Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.)They are an organization that helps rescue, free and rehabilitate children that have been kidnapped into the sex trade industry. A very worthy cause and non-profit organization.

So what are you waiting for? Get fit, make a difference and see me in my fitness model acting debut — and if you’re lucky I’ll even sign it for you!



My amazing and talented friend, Elsha Stockseth, is once again selling her Christmas cards this year. Each year for the past several years she designs a Christmas card uses to help raise money for charities in Africa.

Each one of her cards has a story and design that is unique to her. It almost always includes some reference to Bono, U2 and herself. I even had a shoutout in her card last year. See if you can find it on the design. To say that I was beyond honored is an understatement. I am so glad that Elsha and my paths have crossed, her friendship has enriched my life tremendously.

I have already ordered by cards for this year from her (this year’s design is above) and each card is just a $1. Yep — pretty cheap when you compare it to what you’ll find at the card aisle at the store. And, like I mentioned previously each card sold helps charities in Africa. So it’s all a win, win, win, win — right?

You can order your cards here. This includes this year’s design along with some other available designs from year’s past. They’re all pretty awesome. So make your Christmas cards as personal as your gifts and share the talents of my friend Miss Elsha!


The 97th Fartlek Friday™ – Running with buffaloes and such …

fartlek-buffaloBIG BREATH.

If you couldn’t tell, that was me hyperventilating — well that or giving birth. It’s all in the name of excitement and nerves for my 50K happening tomorrow morning. TOMORROW MORNING!!!


Okay, I should be fine now.

But, seriously, I haven’t felt this kind of excitement and nerves — nervcitement — since my first marathon some three years ago. Sure, it’s a 50K — about five miles more than a marathon. But, that’s not it — it’s the running on trails, the rough terrain, the elements and of course — the buffaloes.

If running and enduring to the end was hard enough — I had to choose a race that had buffaloes roaming around all fancy like. It’s basically like a race in the middle of the zoo — no fences, no moats, no barriers (there’s an idea — Hogle Zoo 5K: Safari Lion Run) At least there are no deer on the island, right?

But, then again, buffalo can do more damage than a deer. So maybe my four legged grazing animal fears are totally disproportionate?

I digress.

I am glad I am not going about this alone (pretty sure if I did — I would die). I am going to have two really good friends with me along the whole route — Tim Gill and Jason Henry — also virgin ultra marathoners. I couldn’t have asked for a better “Run Squad” — we’ll be laughing, encouraging and motivating each other on.

And, Tim better bring some of those Fruit Source bars from SunRype — just sayin’

But, seriously, I feel extremely lucky to have the friends I do. Not only are many of them awesome runners, but they get it. They get what running is about. It’s not just pace time and PRs — it’s much deeper than that on an individual level. And, to me — those are the kind of people I value and want to be around.

So, it’s going to be epic.

I have no time goal — other than the 10 hour cutoff time. There are a few hard cutoffs along the way, but I feel fairly confident we’ll hit them. But, the main goal is to just finish. Just like any and all of my marathons — I just want to finish. I want to earn my mug and buffalo stew at the end of the race.

So yeah — race goals:

  • Don’t get lost.
  • Don’t get gored by a buffalo.
  • Finish within 10 hours.
  • Get my mug.
  • Eat some buffalo stew.
  • Have fun.

That sounds like a recipe for a great time, no?




I shared my race schedule this past week for 2016. By the end of this year I will have ran over 30 races — I’ve got to cut that down in 2016. Not only to save my knees, but so I can focus on getting faster, losing weight and in the second half of the year — marathon training.

It’s going to be hard to stay away from so many races that I love, but I really need to do it for my long term goals. But, that doesn’t mean I won’t be around running — I fully expect to be around it most weekends, whether it’s my training runs or I am volunteering at races. I want to volunteer more and I really can’t do that if I am out running the race, right?

Anyways — I’ve still got some awesome sauce races planned and I am hoping to set a PR in the half, run a strong marathon at St. George and crush another ultra marathon next November.

All worthy goals, right?



I’ve blogged and written about it a lot the past few days, so I won’t say too much here. This past week has marked the sixth anniversary of my weight loss journey. Lots of ups and downs — some of those good, some of those bad. But, it’s been a journey I needed to start and a journey that will never end.

It’s shaped who I am to the very core.

Anyways, here’s what I wrote on Wednesday — the day of the anniversary.


  Kids & Kittens — is there any better combo? #prettymuchno   A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansén (@kindaqwerty) on

I spy with my little eye — THOR! #gotbirds #suu #thunderbirds @suutbirds

A photo posted by Joshua O. Snow Hansén (@kindaqwerty) on


There have been a number of things that have caught my attention this past week. Here are a few others —

  • A public service announcement — I think it’s a good opportunity to remind you that Thanksgiving is in two weeks. Time to prepare.
  • But, if you are going to prepare now — it’s best that you do it right and not fail epically like these people did.
  • Um, okay, I am trying not to freak out about this — but I am kinda, really excited! Excited for what? Star Wars? Nope. Another Avengers movie? Heck no. Finding Dory? HECK YES! The new trailer for Finding Dory was released this past week — circling June 17th, 2016 on my calendar.
  • Now you’re probably asking me why I am so excited about Finding Dory? Well, of all the Pixar movies — Finding Nemo was — well — is my favorite of the bunch. Maybe I’m slightly biased, but I’m more excited than most Star Wars geeks the night before a premier.
  • Viva Las Vegas!
  • Remember how sometimes I say I want to be the new Jared — now — most definitely not. What a worthless piece of sh —— aving cream.
  • Sea World announced this past week that they are phasing out the Shamu killer whale show at their parks. Not sure how I feel about it? But, honestly — I’m okay with it. As a kid I wanted to be a whale trainer, I loved everything Shamu — but — I’ve grown out of that of course, except for the love of the animal. The shows are unnecessary — fun — but unnecessary.
  • So much no going on in this gallery of wedding pictures.
  • Is this real life? Seriously. Are Seniors Playgrounds — a thing? If so I think I should take my parents for an outing.
  • Okay — this is pretty fetching cool. This is a hyperlapse of Disneyland and a number of it’s attractions. Pretty cool, huh? I may or may not have watched it more than 10 times.
  • I’m fairly open about my love for Arby’s — in my bigger days I could literally eat a 5 for $5 combo (along with a 44oz. Mountain Dew) — within half an hour. Arby’s is still my favorite fast food restaurant — though I don’t frequent it much. Still — I love me an Arby’s roast beef sandwich. I need to stop talking about it now — for the sake of my diet.
  • I love that so many people have made a big deal about Jessa Duggar naming her newborn Spurgeon — why do people care so much? But, seriously — Spurgeon??! 
  • I think I need this in my life right now — well actually my belly.
  • This is a pretty epic prank on one of the Japanese architects of the war against the U.S. during WWII.
  • It might be a pipe dream, but there is still a chance the U can get into the College Football Playoff — doubt it will happen, but I’m rooting for them to at least get into the Rose Bowl.
  • But, let’s be honest here — as much as I love the Utes — I am a hardcore, true to SUU — T-Bird. And, my T-Birds are doing pretty dang good! We’re #1 in the Big Sky Conference and ranked 15th in the nation for Division II schools. GO T-BIRDS!
  • One thing that I also love about SUU is that we steal most of BYU’s backup quarterbacks. Case in point — Brad Sorensen.
  • This is cooler than cool about Jim Henson and The Muppets. Check it out.
  • BAHAHAHAHAHA — what an idiot. Bless him and curse the whole dang dating game as a whole.
  • These cats are ridiculous.
  • If you want to know how fast you are compared to celebrities who’ve ran marathons — check here. I don’t put time goals to my marathons — but if I did — I’d definitely want to beat Oprah’s time of 4:29:20. What would call that accomplishment? Beat Oprah? BO? Okay probably not.
  • Well this is how I am going to fight with my future wife — GENIUS!
  • Oh geez, Mother Russia ain’t going to be happy about this snafu.
  • You can’t tell me that you don’t have the “I Love Lucy” theme song running through your head while reading this article. I loved watching “I Love Lucy” as a kid — especially when I was home sick from school.
  • This never gets old. NEVER.
  • Need a good laugh? Read these tweets — good hilarity for a Friday afternoon.


Running myself “Back2Phat”

back2phatOkay, first off, I am not necessarily starting a new blog, but I guess in a way … I am? But, really, this is more of a campaign. I hate calling it a diet. It’s just a focus of accountability. But, basically, now that my thyroid and testosterone is (finally) leveled, I am wanting/needing to focus to get off the weight from the past year.

How much?

About 40-50lbs … ish?

Now that my metabolism is starting to work for me, I am focusing on giving it what it needs to optimize itself. I’ve been doing this the past month or so, but I’ve felt the past couple of weeks that I need to share this on social media and on my blog. So here I am.

I am not going to reiterate everything I’ve written on my blog post about it all. But, the name I gave this campaign is “Back2Phat.” It’s a nod to my first blog PhatJosh.com, which documented most of my weight-loss back in 2010-2011.

My motivation for this campaign really comes from a desire to not just get rid of the weight I’ve found this past 8-12 months, but to focus on the becoming a better runner. So, instead of JUST running off the weight, the focus will be strength training and focusing on my core. Something, I will admit, I haven’t been good about maintaining the past few years.

I know all of that is correlated. And, I know this isn’t going to be an easy fix. But, for at least the next 12 weeks my focus will be cutting fat and losing weight, while getting stronger and faster. If I drop the 40-50lbs. during that time … GREAT! Is that realistic? Probably not? But, it’s possible. So we’ll see what happens I guess?

But, to reiterate it again, I am not replacing this blog. I just wanted a different place to record my numbers and that’s why I set up a different blog over on Blogger to do that. I’ll write things pertaining to the fitness campaign and my thyroid issues on that blog, but will also post a link of it to here. So don’t worry this blog isn’t going anywhere.

Stay tuned the next 12 weeks and see what happens, eh?



Me, Justin, Glen and Ray before heading down Emigration. Such a great view from the top … as always!

This past weekend’s LONG run was an 11.5 mile run down Emigration Canyon. I put the run together during the week on my running group’s Facebook page. So, I kinda expected it to be a small group run. I really didn’t have a reason why I ran 11.5 miles other than that was the distance from the top of Emigration Canyon to my car in Liberty Park.

Plus, it was my first self-paced long run since Ogden. I didn’t run the week after Ogden and then I swept the Jordan River Half last weekend. Sure, it was 13.1 miles, but I was as fast as the slowest runner. So, physically I felt like I didn’t get the most out of it as I would running faster. So this run was just about getting a good long run in.

Which it was.

Justin and I at the mouth of Emigration Canyon in front of the zoo.

While Ray and Glen ran ahead, I ran with Justin who was up from St. George for the weekend. He had to pick up his son from a basketball tournament so he thought he’d come up and run with the northern Utahns. I ran with him during the first half of the Utah Valley Marathon so it’s literally been a year since we ran together. We’ve always had a great conversation whilst running.

This is one of my favorite courses to run in Salt Lake City. I ran this course A LOT last year while training for my marathons. We start at the top of Emigration and then just follow the road to 700 East back to Liberty Park. Great downhill course that’s close to home.

It was a HOT day and needless to say … it warranted a post-run Slurpee.

The legs were dead and I did my mileage in just under 2:30 hours. It wasn’t a race pace so that’s encouraging to me. But, quite honestly, race pace over the next 12 weeks isn’t my top priority. The priority is to focus on my fitness and weight. Running wise, the focus is simply doing my best and putting my best effort out there.

So, at the end of a race if I can tell myself I did my best … that’ll be enough.

And, Saturday, it was my best effort. And, I’ll take it!


WEEKLY SUMMARY – There were two runs during the week. The first being on National Running Day with Reese and then the aforementioned run down Emigration Canyon. I did a lot of walking this week with my car out of commission. The walk to my bus stop was about 0.7 miles from my front door and then about 0.6 miles to my office. I won’t lie, I might take the bus more during the week. I love the walk and passive commute. 
Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 182.0 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 160.25 miles
2015 Race Miles – 132.15 miles
2015 Total Miles – 474.4 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 72.85 miles
March – 115.3 miles
April – 76.3 miles
May  97.4 miles
June  33.75 miles



RACE #92: Ogden Half Marathon

92.fwI am so glad that I found a bib for this year’s Ogden Half Marathon. Sure it rained and was fairly difficult physically, but I love community events like the Ogden Marathon. In that regard it’s very similar to the St. George Marathon. It really isn’t JUST a race, it’s a community event. And, I love that combination.

This is definitely one of my favorite races in Utah. Sure, I say that a lot, but there are a lot of great races here in Utah. It’s pretty easy to find a race to run here every weekend. I love that.

This is the face of someone not thrilled to be awake at 4am on a Saturday morning. Though Nemo looks ready to rock.

There are a number of reasons why I decided to sign up for the race. The main motivation was that I had to drop my race this upcoming weekend, the Alpine Classic Half, because I am filming an exercise video (I’ll blog about that later this week). And, since I am trying to make the Park City Half on my birthday my 100th race I had to replace the race. So, Ogden worked perfectly.

Even when I knew that it was going to rain during the race, I didn’t let that dissuade me from finding a bib. Mainly, because I knew what to expect running Ogden in the rain, since I did exactly that two years ago. Heck I even ran in Eden (where the Ogden Half begins) last year in the rain and NOTHING could have been worse than that. So mentally I knew what to expect and how to physically prepare for it as well.

I really like this picture of Shaylee and I before the start of the race. We tried to perfect the “#shayfie” until we realized it sounded like chafing. Than that conversation lead to a not so awkward runner’s conversation about chaffing.

Wardrobe wise I wore my stretchy pants, a long sleeved tech shirt with a short sleeved tech shirt over that, my hat and my gloves. That was about it. I brought a garage bag to make a poncho for myself, but I never put it on mainly because I hate the feeling of plastic on my skin.

Plus, I was smart enough to pack a complete change of DRY clothes in my drop bag. I didn’t do that back in 2013 during the rain and it nearly killed me. So instead of my drop bag looking everyone else’s I threw my back pack in a large black garage bag along with my hoodie and tied it up tight.

The morning of the race started early. I woke up at 3am and was out of the house by 3:45am to make sure I was in Ogden to catch the bus ride up the canyon by 5am. The bus ride up was great, mainly because I somehow got my own seat to myself which afforded me a light half hour nap.

The starting line of the Ogden Half Marathon. No rain … yet.

Once we got to Eden Park I met up with a number of my friends, including Shaylee. We were planning on possibly running together, because she was going to take it easy due to some blisters and last week’s sub-two half and I wanted some push. But, we got separated after I found the Weber in Motion ladies. I had the opportunity to share my story with them last year before the Ogden Marathon and it was AWESOME that I got to see them again. I love these ladies.


After waiting for the mass of humanity to move across the starting line I leisurely walked up to the starting line. It hadn’t started running yet, but I knew it was going to start shortly as there was a partial rainbow in the horizon. I was just bracing for it.

One of my favorite pano-shots. Ever. So beautiful!

Since I had been experiencing IT band issues since Provo City three weeks ago, my plan for the race was to shoot for 2:44 or better (my time last week at Vigor), but once it started to rain in the middle of mile two, I knew I was going to be pushing that goal. My IT hadn’t started bugging me at that point, but like the previous three weeks it hit me after mile four.

Once I got to the Pineview Dam and the course started going downhill into the canyon I just pushed through the pain. The annoying thing about the pain is that the faster I went the less the pain bothered me. Talk about unfair. Running should be kinder than that, right?

After the race I hung out with this “hottie” … I’m so punny.

By this point the rain wasn’t getting any lighter, quite the opposite. The roads were full of puddles and I was just soaked. I wanted to walk, but every time I did the IT would bother me more and I just got colder. So I just carried on.

I really just tried to focus on the positive during the race, especially in the latter miles when I was cold, sore and hurting. I easily could have justified myself into having a miserable race. But, I lost myself in thought, enjoyed the view and just ran.

The hot chocolate helped get my warm. But, more than anything it was the sugar that helped with the recovery.

Once I got out of the canyon and worked myself towards the home stretch I tried to push myself a bit harder. I had passed my time goal of 2:44 and now was trying to just make it in under-three hours. I knew it was going to be close, but in the last mile I was completely spent.

No Pollyanna-ish thought could save me. My IT band was on fire, I was tired and just trying to make it across the finish line. But, as much as I tried to run the worse I felt, so I conceded myself to the defeat of walking across the finish line. The pictures might seem like I am running, but I’ve mastered the illusion of running in pictures. Don’t be fooled.

Me and Ryan at the finish line. This was his second marathon.

Once I finished I talked to Elsha’s parents for a bit before beelining it to the drop bag pick up to grab my bag. The cold wet grossness almost immediately started to set in. Once I grabbed my bag I found a handicap port-a-potty and changed. I won’t lie, it felt rather luxurious. I might have also contemplated taking a nap in there. It was pretty nice.

Once in dry clothes I took my time wandering around the finish line area. Like, I walked almost non-stop from one side of the finish line corral to the other. This was in part to keep myself warm, but also to help in the recovery of my legs. Get that lactic acid flowing.

After grabbing a hot chocolate, getting a massage and sitting under a heat torch I walked to the corner of Grant and 24th South which is one block from the finish line. There I just started cheering on runners while waiting for Team Reese so I could help run Reese in for his 100th marathon. It was a lot of fun to cheer on strangers and friends.

Chanda, me and Ruthie while cheering on runners. I feel bad for them because they’re RIGHT at arm pit level.

There were so many miserable faces. I kinda made it a goal to make those people laugh. I succeeded maybe half of the time. I swear most of them were silently cursing me because I was too dry. But, it was a lot of fun to see my friends giving them high fives and hugs. Best part of the race if you ask me.

Once Team Reese got to the intersection we waited for Reese’s mom, Carla, so she could push him across the finish line. It was only fitting. I won’t say much more and will just let this video say the rest …

Such an awesome moment and I was BEYOND honored to be a part of it. I’ve had the opportunity on a number of occasions to run with Reese and it’s helped change my perspective and love for running. The simple joy he has for the running shows every time he’s out on the course.

Such a great moment.

Overall it’s hard to view my experience solely on the race. It was moment’s like seeing friends at the starting line, pushing myself to the best I could do given the circumstances, cheering on friends and strangers and then experiencing Reese’s moment that made it one of the most memorable races I’ve had in a while.

Team Reese after Reese’s 100th marathon!

Races and experiences like the Ogden Marathon are why I love running so much. It’s so much more about running. It’s about the community, it’s about the celebration of hard work and the moment that all meets.

Gosh, I could write a love letter out of all of this. But, I shan’t.

But, count me in for being here again next year. And, this year it won’t be a last minute decision. I’m signing up early.


NEXT RACE: Jordan River Half Marathon

93.fwAfter running three half marathons in as many weeks my schedule lightens up some in the next month. This should help with my IT recovery. My next race is the Jordan River Half Marathon on May 30th. I am sweeping the course which will be good for the leg.

My next race, race is the Drop 13 Half on June 13th. But, in the meantime I am going to focus on shorter runs, lots of swimming, weight training and other forms of cardio. I am still trying to drop weight and with the change of thyroid medication that part is getting easier.

The road to 180 is simply one foot in front of the other.


Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 164.5 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 123.0 miles
2015 Race Miles – 119.05 miles
2015 Total Miles – 406.55 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 72.85 miles
March – 115.3 miles
April – 76.3 miles
May  63.3 miles


Over the weekend I took (totally stalked) some of my running friend’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and put together the below meme from their Ogden Marathon pictures. I love the quote, because to me it’s what running is ALL about!


RACE RECAP #88: Lagoon Half Marathon

88-lagoonhalfI won’t lie, I’ve having a hard time grappling with the fact that I have ran 88 races over 13.1 miles still. I’ve had people ask me if I remember each one. And, yes, I do. I kinda feel like each one is one of my children. I’ve always learned SOMETHING from each race and it feels like I’ve always come out with a new friend from each race as well.

I’ve kept all of my race reports and once I reach my 180 race goal I am going to put it all together into a book. It should be an interesting read not just for the reader, but for myself as well. Looking back at these races it’s fun to see what my mentality was going into each race. Some were for time, some were for the challenge and nearly all of them were for fun! The Lagoon Half this past Saturday was no exception.

Josh fell in love with my smoothies. I ended up making him two during his stay at my house. #bigtimedrinker

I signed up for this race basically when it was announced late last year. The idea of being able to run inside the park was appealing to me. It was kind of like a Utah version of the Disneyland Half Marathon. The course was to run outside of the park along the Legacy and Rail Trail and then finish the last two miles inside the park. How would that NOT be fun?

Plus, after running 88 races I always love giving new races a try. Not just for the experience, but of course for the medal and race shirt. And, since this was the inaugural running of the Lagoon Half Marathon I HAD to do it. New race shirt, new medals, new challenge and running INSIDE the park.

The lunar eclipse over the roller coaster before the Lagoon Half Marathon.

My friend Josh Twelves wanted to do the race with me so I agreed to push him along with our friend Chanda. Well, I won’t lie, Chanda did most of the pushing, but I helped because this was her first time pushing during a race. It was a neat experience for all three of us. Especially for Josh since this was his first half marathon.

I picked Josh up the night before and he stayed at my house overnight. It was really kind of fun to watch Josh’s excitement and nerves throughout the process. He was anxiously excited for the race. I remember that feeling during my first couple of races. You don’t know what to expect and everything is absolutely new. He was nervous about making sure we got to the race on time to pick up our packets. He wanted to leave at 5am to make sure we got the packets. I assured him 5:30 would still leave us ample time. Especially since the drive between Bountiful and Farmington is so short, especially that early in the morning.

All of the ladies were impressed I was able to take such a quality selfie with just my arm. I have no doubt that the good Lord gave me long arms for just THIS thing.

It was pretty neat though, because we were able to catch the lunar eclipse that happened at 5:58am. This was a precursor to the blood moon eclipse happening in September. I won’t lie, if I wasn’t up for the race at that time there would be a VERY good chance I wouldn’t have woken up and gotten out of bed for it. Well, okay that good chance is a definitive. It wouldn’t have happened.

Once we met up with Chanda we mingled at the starting line with a number of other running friends that I forgot to properly start my Garmin or switch out my glasses for my sunglasses. I wish I could say this was new for me, but … yeah … it’s happened before.

Chanda and Josh with our little fireman friend pushing up the rear.

The race took us from outside of Lagoon across I-15 and onto Legacy before running over to the Rail Trail. It was kinda tough because it was a new cart and the sun wasn’t fully out. It was rather cold. Even Josh was freezing. But, luckily our first aid station was full of familiar faces and they took care of Josh by properly tucking him in with layers of blankets. There is nothing like a motherly touch. It was much appreciated.

Once the sun came out Chanda and I got into our groove and we followed the trail for the chunk of the race. Around mile 7 when also started getting followed by a fireman in a gator. Yes, we were LITERALLY the caboose. Something I am not entirely a stranger too, but I wasn’t sweeping the race. But, I shouldn’t have been too surprised because new races usually don’t have huge races and we had to make a couple of pit stops for Josh too.

Of course we had to take a picture with our new friend. I would also like to take note that I took this picture in the middle of a crosswalk on a busy road. #ilivedangerously

But, really, it wasn’t about time it was about having fun and really helping Josh have a great experience. Chanda and I have ran a number of races so this was about Josh. The only goal we had was to get to the park by 9:40am before they closed it to runners. Which we BARELY got to in time. But, it was a fun experience, we got to run around the southern part of the park and a few of our friends even came to run with us until the finish line.

It was a great experience. There is nothing I like more than witnessing first time racer’s first trip across the finish line. This was no different.

I am going to have a more complete race report coming out in the next version of UtahRunning.com’s newsletter. I will post a link here.

My awesome medal. They ran out of colored medals so I got a bronze medal instead. First time I won anything … 😉


legs and wheelzIMG_3294

Josh and I decided that not only are our nicknames are Legs and Wheelz, but anyone who pushes Josh in a race gets to be inducted into the Legs & Wheelz family. How do you get inducted? Simple, you get a nickname. And, generally that nickname ends with Legs.

And the first inductee into the family (obviously) goes to Chanda who pushed Josh during the race. The nickname that we gave her was … Snot Legs. Now, let me explain how we came to this nickname. Both Chanda and I were BLOWING snot rockets throughout the entire race. I mean that quite literally. We were both kinda relieved that we were both runners with enormous amounts of snot. We felt comforted knowing we weren’t alone in this struggle.

Plus, Snot Legs is just an awesome nickname. And, Chanda has nothing to worry about pushing, she’s a natural pro!


If you would like to push Josh for any up coming race just contact me. Josh loves being pushed around!

NEXT RACE: West Mountain Half Marathon

westThe next race on my schedule is the West Mountain Half Marathon on April 18th down in Benjamin just off the shoreline of southern Utah Lake. I am pretty excited for this race. It’s the same day as the Salt Lake Marathon which I’ve ran the past four years, but after the race was sold to a new group and they JACKED the price to over $110 for the HALF MARATHON … I couldn’t support it any more. So I went looking for another race.

Even after the Salt Lake Marathon cut their prices down because of the backlash of runners not willing to pony up that much money, I decided to go with the West Mountain race. For one, this race is MUCH more affordable. Their introductory rate was $40 for the marathon. But, it is also a new race and I am always on the lookout for new races. It was a win-win.

Plus, it was my way of sticking it to the SLCM. I’d love to run it again, but they need to be realistic about prices. No one is going to pay more to run around SLC than in St. George, down Big Cottonwood or even Ogden. And, that’s saying a lot.

Since I am also an ambassador for the racing company, Extra Mile Racing, that is putting on the race if you want a discount on the race (or any of their races) you can use the code “EXTRAMILEHANSEN” for $5 off your registration price. So save some money by not running SLC and come run with me!


Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 141.4 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 82.0 miles
2015 Race Miles – 66.65 miles
2015 Total Miles – 290.05 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 72.85 miles
March – 115.3 miles
April – 23.1 miles



The 64th Fartlek Friday™ – ‘Tis the first day of Spring and of course there’s rain in the forecast …

fartlekfriday64With the kind of mild weather that us northern Utaharns have gotten this winter the fact that today is the first day of spring seems rather anticlimactic. I felt like we celebrated it back on December 21st of last year? I don’t know whether to revel in this weather, be worried that it’s another sign of the end of times or just concede and admit that Al Gore was right?

But, gosh, I love this weather.

And, of course now that it’s ACTUALLY spring there is going to be a storm with rain on our way. I wouldn’t be the least surprised if it quickly gets worse and dumps all the snow we missed out on this winter? It just seems like something that the weather gods would do around these parts.

Oh, but this weather! How I love it! Especially when I am able to run after work outside in mild weather or run errands in 70 degree weather. If San Diego wasn’t suppose to fall into the ocean I’d just live there the rest of my life. And, that’s probably why the Brigham Young and the pioneers didn’t go further than Salt Lake?

Either way … I’m a happy camper.

I am excited for this weekend and has been one that I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while. I am running the Antelope Island Buffalo Run 25K with Jill and a bunch of my other friends tomorrow morning. This will be my first trail race since May 2012 … which was also the first time I met Susette.

Such a tender moment.

But, I am excited and all kinds of nervous about the run tomorrow. I am excited because it’s running and I am with friends. I am also nervous because it’s trails and there are buffaloes along the route.

If you haven’t done the math yet buffaloes are bigger than deer.I’m sure I’ll be fine, I’ll make sure not to hop on or get too close to one for a selfie. And, on a semi-unrelated note, buffalo steak tastes WAAAAAY better than venison.

It will be tough, but luckily the rain isn’t suppose to be on it’s way during the race. Because the last time I did anything over a 25K it rained and I pretty must almost died. That’s not going to happen to me again.

Well, it will also help to remember to bring gloves (read: I make bad decisions).

But, I am really excited to run it with Jill. We’ve conceded the fact that we’re going to be the mullet in the back cheering the other runners on, especially our friends running the 100 miler, 50 miler and 50K.

Don’t feel bad for us about it either, we also feel that since we’re out there running longer everyone else we can order more items off the Denny’s menu than everyone else, since we’ve burned more calories.

I am half joking on that last paragraph.

But, honestly, I am really, really, really excited about tomorrow’s race, especially since I will be running it with Jill. She’s somewhat anxious about the race because she doesn’t feel 100% prepared for it, but I’m sure we’ll have fun!

Too bad there aren’t any 7 Elevens out along the course.



SLCAs I had mentioned a couple of weeks ago (or maybe it was last week?) I have changed gyms. I cancelled my Planet Fitness membership which officially ended this week. But, no worries … I am not gymless.

I actually signed up for membership at the Student Life Center (SLC) on the campus of the University of Utah. Since I work at the U this is an ideal situation. The gym is about a 7 minute walk from my office (I might have timed it already) and it will be easier for me to workout before or after work!

Plus, it’s about the same monthly price as my old PF membership but I also get access to basketball courts, swimming pools, a rockwall (which really doesn’t entice me at all) along with an indoor running track and full workout floor with new treadmills and equipment.

Pretty snazzy, eh?

Another perk about moving my membership there is that I also get to workout with Free. Since he’s a student at the U he gets a free membership and his dorm also happens to be not that faraway.


So last night Free and I got our first workout in at the SLC. We did a nice tough circuit with lifting, running and free weights. And, we decided to morph our Thursday night workouts into a Biggest Loser-esque “LAST CHANCE WORKOUT.”

Our idea came from the fact that we weigh ourselves every Friday morning, so why not KILL ourselves the night before we step on the scale? So while we’re planning next week’s Last Chance Workout I am also looking for a scale that beeps like ones on the Biggest Loser.

I am excited about this move and I am also looking to adding swimming into my weekly workout regime. Oh, how I love swimming. Don’t get me started.


marchUm, I don’t know why I fill out a bracket every year only to have to it busted by the end of the first day? I don’t even put any money on my brackets (thankfully) yet I can’t stop from filling out numerous brackets every year?

Anyways, Georgia State and UAB totally killed my bracket … soooooo … once again I am now regulated to just enjoying the tournament and hoping for any and all upsets. At least the Utes won and BYU lost so I’ve got that going for me right now.

But, still, my brackets are toast. Even this feeble attempt yesterday didn’t result in any miracles.

But, with my brackets busted all I can do now is enjoy the Utes’ ride and enjoy the upsets and path way to the Final Four.

Because, seriously, this is one of the best sports months ever invented by society. You can’t argue that.


preparedI know this doesn’t really have much to do with running, fitness or my journey. But, in a way it does, because preparedness is more than just having enough food storage. It also entails preparing yourself financially, spiritually, emotionally … and physically.

My family has been organizing Utah’s Premier Preparedness Expo aka Prepper Con which will be happening on Thursday and Friday, April 24-25 at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy, Utah.

The expo will not only feature numerous exhibitors, but there will also be lectures, classes, celebrities and demonstrations for those interested in emergency preparedness.

For more information about Prepper Con visit the website here. You can also buy day, two-day or a pack of four two-day passes on the website. Use code “HTV2015” to get $3 OFF admission.

Mark your calendar for April 24-25th!


Besides tomorrow’s race, March Madness, my new gym and even Prepper Con there have been a number of other things that have caught my attention this past week. Here are just a few …


in heat