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.
NEXT RACE: BAKERS DOZEN HALF MARATHON
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.
RUNCAST USA, EPISODE ONE
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 …
OPERATION UNDERGROUND RAILROAD EVENT:
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4TH IN BOUNTIFUL
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: FREEDOM2MOVE
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!
ELSHA’S CHRISTMAS CARDS
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!
FRIDAY FITNESS MOTIVATION