Tag: Run4Fun

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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O, Canada, O, Little Cottonwood Canyon, O, Quads!

My favorite weekend — or week — of the year is the stretch in July between the 1st to the 4th. It’s a celebratory week. From Canada Day to family birthdays to the 4th of July, it’s simply my favorite. Especially when you throw in the element of summer into it.

So, when I wanted to organize a group run for this weekend, I knew I wanted to celebrate Canada Day in conjunction with the run. And, as tempted as I was to make it a Big Cottonwood Canyon run, I wanted to shake it up a bit so and run down Little Cottonwood Canyon instead.

I really like Little Cottonwood Canyon, especially considering that the Run Elevated Half Marathon is one of my favorite races. But, outside of that race — I’ve only ran the canyon once. Maybe twice? But, at least once.

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The thing I love about the canyon is not just the scenery, but the downhill terrain. It’s STEEP. From the top of the canyon at the Alta resort to the mouth it’s a 3200 foot drop over roughly eight miles. That’s the same elevation drop at the Nebo Half, but that’s over 13.1 miles — not just eight miles. So, it’s definitely a quad burner.

I planned this run before I sprained my ankle and really wanted to use this as a good training run for my upcoming canyon races. But, it didn’t turn out as I initially imagined. And, as frustrating as this injury has been — I’ve found peace with the recovery.

After a few strong runs in June, I was looking forward to another good strong run. Especially down a steep fast canyon. Plus, it was just eight miles and it’d be a good long run between races.

So, all’s good, right?

Well, sorta.

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After meeting up with the group and carpooling up the canyon to Alta, I could kinda tell the run was going to be a tough one for me. My ankle was just sore. It was tender from Thursday’s run and the previous day’s nearly 11 miles of walking. I’m not 100% sure if that’s why I wasn’t 100%, but I’m sure it had a factor in it.

Even when we started running and making the descent down the canyon I could feel the terrain was too steep for my ankle. I tried different techniques, gaits and paces, but my comfort zone was much slower than I wanted it to be. So, I just tried to just lose myself in my run, playlist and the moment.

And, that worked.

I just enjoyed the moment. I took solace in the fact that my ankle is getting better. That’s why I’m going through the physical therapy. The speed and pain free miles will come back. I have no doubt about that. I just need to be patient.

It took me just under two hours to cover the eight miles. But, I had a good run — I jammed out, “cruised” down the canyon and had a few bikers and motorists wish me a Happy Canada Day.

I’ve got a lot to look forward to this upcoming month and within the next 6-8 months to worry much the present. As long as I know that I am progressing toward my goals, then I know I’m going in the right direction. Even if it’s not exactly how I saw it unfolding.

But, here’s to July, here’s to this run, here’s to Little Cottonwood Canyon — and — of course, here’s to Canada!


Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 20.6 miles
Race Miles — 0.0 miles
Walking Miles — 27.55 miles
TOTAL MILES — 0.0 miles
Race(s) this week — None.

June 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 45.2 miles
Race Miles — 65.5 miles
Walking Miles — 116.72 miles
TOTAL MILES — 227.42 miles
Races in June — Drop 13 Half Marathon, Bear Lake Trifecta — Idaho, Wyoming & Utah and AF Canyon Race Against Cancer

July 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 8.1 miles
Race Miles — 0.0 miles
Walking Miles — 2.1 miles
TOTAL MILES — 10.2 miles
Races in July — Utah Midnight Run, Hobbler Half, DesNews Half and Handcart Days Half.

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 280.55 miles
Race Miles — 243.12 miles
Walking Miles — 644.27 miles
TOTAL MILES — 1167.94 miles
Races done in 2017 — 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 and AF Canyon Race Against Cancer.


I’m feeling like a Canadian Gangsta this morning! “HEY PUNK! GET THE PUCK OFF MY LAWN! SORRY!” 🇨🇦

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Excitement or ice cream brain freeze? Probably a little bit of both with this kid?

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Ben’s getting all National Geographicy trying to catch the sunset.

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Obviously, I’m her favorite uncle.

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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.

Anyways, ANTELOPE ISLAND OR BUST, BABY!


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

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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.


TURKEYGRAMS

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

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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


NEXT RACE: BAKERS DOZEN HALF MARATHON

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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.

GO ME!

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

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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.

GREAT INSIGHT!

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 …

CLICK HERE FOR EPISODE


OPERATION UNDERGROUND RAILROAD EVENT:
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4TH IN BOUNTIFUL

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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

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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

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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

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

fartlek-buffaloBIG BREATH.
BIG BREATH.
BIG BREATH.
BIGGER BREATH.
RAPID SHORT BREATH.
BIG GASP OF AIR.
BACK TO NORMAL BREATHING.

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!!!

BIG BREATH.
BIG BREATH.
BIG BREATH.
BIGGER BREATH.
RAPID SHORT BREATH.
BIG GASP OF AIR.
BACK TO NORMAL BREATHING.

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?

BIG BREATH.
BIG BREATH.
BIG BREATH.
BIGGER BREATH.
RAPID SHORT BREATH.
BIG GASP OF AIR.
BACK TO NORMAL BREATHING.


MY 2016 RACE SCHEDULE

2016-schedule

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?


ANNIVERSARY OF THE BEGINNING
OF MY JOURNEY

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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.


WEEKGRAMS

  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


THE FRIDAY FARTLEK

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.

FRIDAY’S MOTIVATION?

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?

BACK2PHAT!


RUNNING DOWN EMIGRATION!

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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.

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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.

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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!


MY 2015 MONTHLY MILEAGE

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

A LITTLE MONDAY MOTIVATION

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

So much ENTHUSIASM!

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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

YEAH RUNNING! YEAH OGDEN!


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.


MY 2015 MONTHLY MILEAGE

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

MONDAY MOTIVATION

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!

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