Tag: @runcastusa

#Fight4Phat: The Bulletproof Diet

I’ve been a little quiet about the progress of my diet the past month and for good reason. I haven’t really been following one the past month. As has been heavily chronicled the past 4-5 months, I had been following the Whole30 to success of a 35lbs. weight-loss. Not bad.

This past month my plan was to follow a bastardized version of the Whole30 — or basically a Paleo 80/20 diet plan. But, I learned two things this past month — one, the body needs a rest from aggressive weight-loss and, two, it’s hard to follow a diet when you’re sick. Especially when it last 2-3 weeks.

This that an excuse? Yeah, probably. I won’t deny that. But, it’s also a learned lesson about my body that I need to remember and honor. Physically, my body just can’t be expected to go through more than three months of aggressive weight-loss. But, I think that probably applies to pretty much anyone.

But, it wasn’t that I gave up after one roadblock. About three weeks ago I got a pretty nasty cold and it’s just lingered for waaaaaay too long. It’s hard to stay on a specific diet (at least for me) when I am sick. Mainly because all I want to do is drink gallons of Powerade, hype up on vitamin C and eat nothing but soup and sandwiches.

I am kind of surprised that during the past three weeks I managed to run a couple of marathons while keeping my weekly workout regime. Probably not the “smartest” thing in the world to do, but — hey, I didn’t die — so no harm, no foul. Right? Right.

So about two weeks ago I just made the decision to maintain my diet. I didn’t want to worry too much about my diet, just maintain my workout regime and running plan. This was made not just because of my lingering cold, but also the realization I just had to give my body a rest. So I decided to pick up where I left off with a “month break.”

In addition to that, I also gave my body off a week from running after the Huntsville Marathon. My cold was still lingering with a nasty sore throat that wouldn’t go away. I just needed the rest — so I just focused on my strength training, gave my legs and cardio a rest and decided to get back at it this week — which I have.

So, here I am.

Instead of rebooting the Paleo 80/20 — I decided to follow another diet plan. It’s similar to the Whole30 in many aspects, but with a few different factors. It’s called the Bulletproof Diet. It’s nothing new, it’s been around for a while, but the first I heard about it was from my cousin who’s been following it for a quite a while with some pretty great results. And, with about 20lbs. left of what I want to rid myself of, why not give it a try?

I’ll give a brief synopsis of it below. But, for the most part you can read about here, here and here. Like I said, it’s very similar to Whole30’s approach, except for the rigidity of the diet. And, the biggest thing for me — is the emphasis of not eating a lot of fruit. Especially with my love for bananas and grapes that helped me through the Whole30.

Don’t worry though — I am sure I’ll eat my share of bananas during and around my races. But, I’ll share more about that later as I get a firmer grasp on the diet.

But, if I learned anything from the Whole30 during the summer it’s that — I can do it. And, mentally, this past month has been a good break from that mentality. It’s made jumping into Bulletproof a lot easier.

Anyways — I’ve jumped into the diet today with the goal of mapping my progress on the 24th of each of the next three months. So, October 24th, November 24th and December 24th with a free day on the 24th before starting again on the 25th. Basically in November and December that’s Thanksgiving and Christmas. And, if you have to ask — yes, I’ll be having pumpkin and mincemeat pie both holidays.

I am going to reassess the diet after each of those 30 days as well, just to make sure my body is handling it well and I have the strength to do it. I am a little hesitant to do it three months until Christmas, but that’s all going to depend on how I feel come November. I think the important thing here is listening to my body.

So what is the Bulletproof Diet all about? Some describe it as a Paleo 2.0 diet, which can be argued is valid. A lot of the diet’s emphasis is on grass fed proteins and wild caught foods, This isn’t much of a problem for me since I only eat grass fed beef and have chickens (that last sentence sounded like I exclusively shop at Whole Foods … forgive me). And, there is a lot of emphasis on how you prepare your foods as well.

But, I’ll outline most of it below, but you can read a lot about it here, here, here, here, here and here. There are also a number of critiques about the diet out there too, which is important to consider — you can read some here, here and here. Like any new diet or routine, I think it’s important to see both sides of the story. It’s also further proof that everyone is different when it comes to fitness.

One aspect of the Bulletproof Diet that I am not planning on — at least right now — is the Intermittent Fasting. Mainly because that involves consuming the Bulletproof Coffee. Being Mormon there’s obvious reasons for that. I’d like to do a week of it intermittent fasting in some kind of way. But, until then — intermittent fasting is a no.

But, that’s about all I’m not planning on doing. I’m excited to get it started and see what it does for my health and energy levels.

14 STEPS OF THE BULLETPROOF DIET

Okay, so there are 14 steps to the Bulletproof Diet, they’re fairly simple, but important to follow, They are …

1. Eliminate sugar (including fruit juices and sports drinks that contain HFCS, honey, and agave) .

2. Replace the sugar calories with healthy fats from the Bulletproof Diet such as grass-fed butter, ghee, Brain Octane™,  Upgraded™ XCT oil, or coconut oil.

3. Eliminate gluten in any shape or form.  This includes bread, cereal, and pasta.  Do not make the mistake of resorting to gluten free junk food, which can be almost as bad.

4. Remove grains, grain derived oils, and vegetable oils such as corn, soy, and canola.  Also remove unstable polyunsaturated oils such as walnut, flax, and peanut oil.

5. Eliminate all synthetic additives, colorings, and flavorings.  This includes aspartame, MSG, dyes, and artificial flavorings.

6. Eat significant amounts of pastured, grass-fed meat from big ruminant animals such as beef, lamb, and bison.  Pair this with fish, eggs, and shellfish.

7. Eliminate legumes such as peanuts, beans, and lentils.  If you must have your beans, soak, sprout (or ferment), and cook them.1

8. Remove all processed, homogenized, and pasteurized dairy.  High fat items can be pasteurized, but they should be grass-fed.  Full fat, raw, whole dairy from grass-fed cows is okay for most people.

9. Switch to grass-fed meat and wild caught seafood.  Eat pastured eggs and some pork, chickens, turkeys, and ducks.

10. Switch to organic fruits and vegetables.  This is more important for some plants than others.  See this site for details.

11. Cook your food gently, if at all.  Incorporate water into your cooking whenever possible and use low temperatures.  Do not use a microwave or fry.

12. Limit fruit consumption to 1-2 servings per day.  Favor low fructose containing fruits like berries and lemons over watermelon and apples.

13. Add spices and other flavorings from the Bulletproof Diet.  Favor herb based spices such as thyme and rosemary over powders. Use high quality ones, recently opened.

14. Enjoy your food.

(source)

SO WHY BULLETPROOF?

I’ve had a couple friends and family ask me why I am switching up my diet — and specifically to Bulletproof. Especially when it’s so similar to the Whole30 which I did from May to August. All good valid questions. So I thought I would sum it up here.

When I started my weight-loss journey I started with literal baby steps. I didn’t jump right into a diet. I just watched what I ate and progressed from there. Eventually, I hired a trainer and got a diet plan set up that helped me lose a lot of my weight.

One thing I learned about my body — it hates routine when it’s trying to lose weight. Meaning, eventually within 6-8 weeks — my body will plateau if I stick to something too long. I realized this early enough in my journey that I made the conscious effort to continually change my diet every 6-8 weeks. And, for the most part it’s worked.

This change is pretty much in the same vein of mentality. I knew Whole30 wasn’t a longterm solution for my weight-loss goals. And, that showed when I lost something like 5-6lbs. during my last round. Honestly, it was a round too many.

Now that doesn’t mean I am completely done with Whole30 or a paleo diet. Bulletproof is very much a paleo diet. I believe in paleo diets. And, when I ready to maintain my weight I want to do so on a paleo diet. But, my body right now just needs to change things up.

So why Bulletproof? Well, there were a couple of things that persuaded me. My cousin has been following it for a while and strongly suggested I give it a try. And, the more I read up on it, the more I liked what I saw. I love the emphasis on grass fed and wild caught proteins and organic fruits and veggies. That’s something I’ve been trying to make sure to consume. Having chickens helps this. I hate store bought eggs. Hate. But, that’s a story for another day.

I was also intrigued by the notion to limit consumption of fruit. I won’t lie — on Whole30 fruit was my savior. Bananas, watermelon, grapes, berries and melon were go to foods when I wanted to down a birthday cake. So, limiting those — especially bananas — will be a will of testament at first. But, I’d like to see what happens with the restriction.

With marathons, half marathons and my 50 miler still planned during this time I fully plan on fueling more with fruit than anything else, much like Whole30. So there will be the exception to that. But, I have also taught my body to fuel off of sweet potatoes — so reliance on bananas and other fruit shouldn’t be too neccessary.

The next 30 days should be an adventure, especially considering that my 50 miler is less than a month away as well. That will be the big test, but I am honestly not too worried about it.

Here goes nothing, right?


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RACE #131: Huntsville Marathon

You know, I never thought I would say this — but, I kinda love running marathons. The half marathon is still my favorite, but I really love the challenge of the marathon. Everything from the training to actually running of the race — it’s so different from any less distanced race.

Marathons have been pretty hard for me to run. I am not a fast runner — I am always one of the last runners out there on the course. I used to care about that, but really when it comes to marathons — who cares? It’s an accomplishment just FINISHING the race. I think that’s why I love sweeping races so much. It’s like a mini-mission for me — it’s important to me that those in the back understand that whatever that clock says doesn’t diminish their accomplishment.

All runners matter.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Anyways, going into the Huntsville Marathon I didn’t have much of a goal other than finish. Considering I ran Revel Big Cottonwood the week before I didn’t know what to expect, because I’ve never ran two marathons within a week of each other. I guess my only goal was to do my best and push myself throughout the race, especially since I was using these marathons as training runs for my 50 miler.

I have never ran the Huntsville Marathon, but I did run the half marathon back in 2014 when most of the last half of the race was spent in a down pour. A down pour that I’d probably put on par with what was experienced at this year’s Ogden Marathon. It was the kind of down pour you could have taken your post race shower mid-race.

When I ran the half marathon I wasn’t impressed much with the course — everything else I loved about the race. The community support, volunteers and organization is right there with the Ogden, St. George and Big Cottonwood Marathons. And, I have no doubt it will get there — this was the fifth year of the marathon and it’s definitely a hidden gem to the local running community.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

My friend Robert Merriman — aka “The Naked Canadian” — has ran the marathon each of the past five years and has told me the full marathon route is much better than the half marathon route. Not only is it faster, but the scenery is unmatched. This was one of the reasons why I chose Huntsville over Top of Utah and a few other marathons.

And, I wasn’t disappointed.

The Huntsville Marathon has a bit of a later start than most local races — the marathon started at 8am compared to last week’s 6:45am start at Big Cottonwood. In the past the start was around 9am or so. I am not sure why the late start? I think part of it could be the travel required for most of the runners?

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

I was a bit worried about the later start because being a slower runner I didn’t want to be caught in the heat of the afternoon. But, that concern wasn’t much of an issue for me. There was a constant cool mountain breeze except for a two mile stretch right after existing the canyon. I was pleasantly surprised, but shouldn’t have been considering it’s Wasatch Back country.

After catching my bus at 6:30am up the canyon I caught up with the Roberts (Merriman and Merkley) at the starting line. As mentioned before this was Robert Merriman’s fifth running of the marathon, but Robert Merkley decided to sign up for the race just a couple of days beforehand. It should also be noted that both of the Roberts ended up PRing on the course.

As I stood at the starting line I still didn’t know what to expect from this race. I did a good enough job shaking out my legs and working out smart during the week — so my legs felt somewhat fresh. But, I knew that could change at any moment of the race. Still, I just wanted to do and give my best, whatever that was.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

When the gun sounded the first mile was horrible. It might have been my overeager desire to go out fast or killer playlist? Either way, my body wanted to remind me what we did the previous week by giving my a couple of sore shinsplints.

Having dealt with shinsplints before I knew that I just needed to keep going and just push through the pain. Within time — be a couple of minutes or miles — they’d be gone. If running has taught me anything over the years it’s how to manage and deal with pain. Before I started running, if I hurt — I’d stop. No matter the degree of pain.

But, over the past 5-6 years I’ve learned in order to get over pain — you have to go through it. Most pain is relatively easy to get through and over time the body adjusts to it so that you don’t feel it at that stage anymore. Other pain just has to be endured with the hope it will subside in time — which is strangely the case for most long distances.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Now of course — that means nothing unless you also learn to listen to your body. I’ve also had to learn when to stop and which pain needs more attention or rest than others. Back in 2012 I ran two half marathons after getting some stress fractures at the St. George Marathon — that was dumb. It took me out of running for about a month. But, hey, it also introduced me to Hoka One Ones so it wasn’t that bad.

Anyways — I pushed through the shinsplints and by the first aid station at Mile 2 I was fine. It helped being absolutely mesmerized with the scenery. I tried stopping to take pictures of it, but hardly any of the pictures did it justice. It was hard to believe that “THIS” was literally in my backyard, I felt like I was in a completely different state. The rolling mountains on each direction and eye popping fall colors put me in complete awe.

The crowd of runners thinned out fairly quickly within the first 4-5 miles — I yo-yo’d with a couple of runners until I pulled away around miles 9-10. I took pride in this, because not only was I feeling good, but I was feeling strong — so whenever I saw a runner ahead of me I just focused on catching and passing them.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Once I got to about the half way point I was completely alone. I blazed down the canyon in about 2:43 hours, not a bad time. I couldn’t see any runners ahead of me or behind me. The odd feeling was knowing not only did I still have half of the race left to run, but that I wasn’t even the last runner. I’m not going to lie, I kinda enjoyed the feeling.

As mile 14, 15, 16, 17 passed I still great. I even attempted a couple of jumping pictures around mile 17. I didn’t crumple into a heaping mess so that gave me some hope. It was around this time that I was feeling a sub-6 marathon was doable. Even though I don’t care much about my marathon times, this was a goal I felt I could push myself to — so I pushed an extra bit harder.

Being the only runner in sight I took the liberty to belt out singing to my heart’s content. I usually don’t do sing running unless I’m on the dreadmill at home or absolutely alone. And, there’s a reason for that — I can’t carry a tune to save my life. And, I completely mean that. I sound something like a dying seagull being gummed to death by a toothless shark.

It’s bad.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

But, being alone on the course I just got into my music and started dancing and singing to whatever the ‘shuffle’ brought me next. At one point I was into the greatest rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody of all-time And, I mean — ALL. TIME. I was singing to the top of my lungs while also playing the drums, keyboard and air guitar while managing to lead the orchestra.

It was a masterpiece.

Unbeknownst to me a police officer patrol the course must have seen this masterpiece of mine and stopped me to ask if I was okay. Of course I wasn’t — it was around Mile 18-19, I hadn’t seen any other runners for miles and I was left alone to my own devices. But, I assured him I was okay and hoped he thought my display of artistic excellence was me just running into a swarm of gnats.

But, I just kept going. I did start feeling “THE WALL” around mile 21-22 when we exited the main road down the canyon into Huntsville. I knew this was probably going to happen because the course flattens out quite drastically.

A photo posted by @fight4phat on

I tried keeping my stride going, but soon it was apparent that stride turned itself into the marathon death shuffle. The heat was starting to be felt and I was praying for that cool canyon breeze to start blowing again. I felt like death and I knew it something didn’t change the last few miles would be pure hell.

Luckily, my prayer was answered and a breeze started blowing again. This gave me a boost of energy and a bit of a kick in my step. So, I just kept pushing myself forward. I kept my walking at mile markers and the 0.1 between the marathon and half marathon signs. Outside of that it was either the marathon death march or my attempt at mall walking.

I knew I was getting closer to the finish line because of my experience running the half marathon before and I just couldn’t run fast enough. At the last aid station they started pulling the orange cones off the course which made me a bit worried, because the last thing I wanted to happen was to make this marathon into an unintentional ultra marathon.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

The last part of the course was somewhat familiar not just from half marathon, but my first leg at Ragnar this year as well. I didn’t realize that until I crossed the highway and notice the familiar gas station I ran past. It’s funny has running has shrunk the world around me.

Though the cones were gone the race did a great job in marking the course. Since the marathon/half marathon, 10K and 5K courses differed they marked the road in different paint color. I just followed them until I saw the finish line arch. I felt like a graceful galloping race horse running down the homestretch of the race — though in reality I looked more like an exhausted clydesdale that was about to be made into glue.

But, I made it! The remaining volunteers were so encouraging as I crossed the finish line. They congratulated me on my accomplishment, handing me some water and escorted me to the finisher’s corral where they handed me some of the best chocolate milk, grapes — and course bananas — I’ve ever had.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

If there is anything I will remember about this race it will be the volunteers. I have NEVER ran a race with so many engaging, warm, sincere and encouraging volunteers than this race. I am sure many of them are locals and you could tell that they took pride in showing off their hometown. I even got shouts of encouragement from volunteers and locals as I walked (slowly) back to my car after the race.

As a runner and visitor to the community you couldn’t have asked for better support. I am sure this was the same feeling many runners got when the St. George Marathon started 40 years ago. The town loves this race and it will be fun to see how it grows as more and more runners discover this beautiful and well organized race.

After reveling in the accomplishment for a while, I just sat in my car mustering up the courage to start driving. It was about a 45 minute drive and I just prayed I didn’t get a cramp mid-drive — that’s happened to be before and it’s not fun. But, I luckily I made it home with a minor detour to 7 Eleven for a much needed and deserved 7 Eleven.

A photo posted by @fight4phat on

The plan this week is to lay off the running for a bit. I am going to focus on cross training — do a little cycling (stationary of course) and then of course my typical weight training. My body needs a little rest from running and I can feel that after this weekend’s marathon. I’ll still do my planned 8-9 miler next weekend during the AIIA Relay before getting back into the swing heading into St. George the following week.

I am a month away from my 50 miler — and I couldn’t be more excited, nervous and ready to just tackle this thing. I am ready to push my limits and do something once thought impossible. It’s going to be tough, it’s going to be pure hell at moments, but I can’t wait for the experience. It might take me the whole 19.5 hours to do the whole 50, but who cares? As long as I finish that’s my whole goal and dream.

And, finish I will!


132 - st george marathon

I have no time goal for the St. George Marathon other than making sure I get to the cut off at 1pm. Which in my previous runnings of the marathon — shouldn’t be a problem. I am just excited to be running the marathon — it’s definitely one of my favorite marathons. I am home among the red rocks of southern Utah.

This marathon is very technical — and if you’re not ready (or even prepared) Veyo Hill, and the following 4-5 miles before the descent down Snow Canyon, can be rather tough. The last time I ran the marathon Veyo Hill wasn’t the issue, because I knew what I was getting myself into, but the miles after the put me through agony. It was cramp after cramp.

I would like to finish around 6 hours, but that’s mainly because I don’t want to die in the heat of St. George. But, really, the game plan will be a lot like Huntsville — do my best and keep pushing. That’s mainly because that’s going to be my 50 miler game plan.

I’m just ready to get through this 50 miler! But, first I’ve got to get through St. George and Park City.

133 - park city red rock relay 134 - pony express trail 50 135 - haunted half provo


2667in2016

RUNNING MILES

225.0 miles

RACE MILES

261.5 miles

WALKING MILES

1095.34 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

1581.84 miles

MILES TO GOAL

1085.16 miles


WEEKENDGRAMS

Phone shopping. #selfiepicturesmatter

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on



A photo posted by Runcast USA™ (@runcastusa) on

Post-Whole30: Paleo 80/20

It’s been over a week since I ended my three-month Whole30 journey. I was hoping to jump right into the next stage, but I put that on pause while I was fighting a cold. It seemed a bit foolish to start it 100% when I was sucking on Gatorade, cough drops and chicken soup. Not really what I was planning with my post-Whole30 regime.

Don’t worry, I didn’t go completely off the wagon this past week. I obviously had a free day on my birthday — cake included. And, for the most part I stuck to my Whole30 regime this past week. I had to force my liquids with this stupid cold. Especially during Saturday’s run down Big Cottonwood Canyon. Something in retrospect I probably shouldn’t have done.

Meh.

Needless to say, I wasn’t following the Whole30 strict regime. I added some whole grains and lentils back in my diet along with trace amounts of cheese. And, I did have a post-run Slurpee on Saturday. All of these are BIG no nos for the Whole30 program. But, I kept away from the candy and most refined sugars — I just don’t want to go back there, at all.

But, in moving forward from the Whole30 regime — I am planning on following a lot of the same rules … with some adaptation. In looking over the Whole30 program and what’s worked for me in the past, I came up with a program that I am going to try for the next month. Again, I was going to start this August 16th, but due to my cold I decided to start when I was at least 85% better.

Which today seems like a good day to start. Actually, any day is a good day — except for Mondays. I don’t start diets on Monday. It’s too cliche. I didn’t start my fitness journey on a Monday — it was actually a Thursday. So why wait, right? But, that’s a post for another day.

So the plan for the next month is fairly simple. I’m sticking to the Whole30 diet with a 80/20 mentality. While working on the diet plans — I called the diet Whole24/6, but really it’s just following an 80/20 paleo diet — if you want to get technical. So, I guess we’ll call this the Paleo 80/20 diet?

Regardless of what you call it, here are the basic rules …

1) Follow the basic rules Whole30 for 80% of my meals throughout the week (this breaks down to 32 meals throughout one week).
2) Get eight “exception meals” throughout the week (that’s 20% of my weekly meals)
3) Refrain from gluten and dairy throughout the program — including exception meals (during Whole30 I discovered these are triggers to my thyroid).
4) Run three times a week.
5) Do weight-training 2-3 times a week.
6) Weigh-in every 30 days.

The rules are fairly basic and straightforward. And, that’s by design. That’s one thing about the Whole30 that I loved and appreciated. It’s not easy, but it’s simple to follow.

The only “complicated” feature of my program is the “exception meal.” And, it’s something that I’ve been grappling with for the past few weeks. Mainly, what constitutes an “exception meal” and how do you regulate that?

So I came up with with a fairly simple point system. Each week (beginning on Monday) I am given eight points, which represent the right free meals I get each week. I get to use these points however I choose throughout the week.

Now each point equals one exception to the Whole30 program. Meaning — anything on that no eat list is one exception. So this would be dairy, cheese, gluten, bread, pasta, smoothies, beans, processed food, refined sugar, added sugar, honey, sweetener, etc., etc., etc. You know the rules.

So this means — if I want something that has beans in it … that’s one point. If I want to add cheese to that dish that’s another exception point. So that meal constitutes two exception points. Now, this doesn’t mean I can eat as many beans or cheese in that dish as I want. Each exception point is ONE serving that exception. So if I want more cheese — that’s another exception point I would have to use.

Now, if I want to use those exception points daily I could do that or I could save it up for a bigger meal during the week. But, it will take planning. If I want nachos — I gotta plan for that. Especially if that means I sacrifice exception meals during the week. The decision is up to me.

See how the exception points are somewhat complicated — yet easy?

The goal with the exception points is to keep me honest, accountable and cognisant with what I am eating. As much as I loved and succeeded with Whole30, I don’t feel like it’s a long term solution. There has to be variance, there has to be wiggle room.

I’ve read a number of studies and reports that show an 80/20 approach to dieting and health makes for better long term success. And, from my experience I agree. This system I believe will give me that approach with great accountability. I respond well these approaches to my health.

This is for everyone? Of course not. Does it make a paleo based diet easier? I would hope so. I see a lot of value in following a paleo based diet. You can’t beat real food. As delicious as a big ‘ol fatty burger with fries is, nothing beats following a habitual diet of real food. Not only do you appreciate those burger and fries more, but often than not — you really don’t crave them as much either.

I can’t tell you how much I love my daily doses of fresh fruit — bananas, grapes and apples — along with veggie-filled omelets or salads. That’s the food I crave. I am not looking to replace those with this system. But, at the same time, I want to be able to enjoy the occasional Slurpee without feeling like I’ve busted the diet to kingdom come either.

There’s a balance to all of this and I am excited to see how my body reacts to this all. I guess you could say I am my own guinea pig to this program? No better person to do that than myself, right?

So here goes nothing!

NOTE: I will continue to check in every Friday of my progress. But, I won’t be weighing in next until September 23rd (30 days from now). We’ll see how this goes!


RRR-20-coupon


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One perk of working at the University of Utah is that they have a number of professional development and fitness classes that they offer for fairly cheap. I’ve been working here full-time now for four years and, sadly, haven’t taken advantage of any of these classes — until now.

With the start of the semester this week, I decided to change that. Since it’s been hard for me to get to my gym before or after work (last class is at 6pm) because of the bus schedule, I decided to workout here on campus. Well, I should say — I signed up for a class here on campus.

I enrolled in a strength training class that goes from 5:25pm to 6:30pm on Monday and Wednesday nights. Which gives me enough time to catch the last bus of the day at 7pm. Not a bad deal.

I had a couple of options for classes, but I chose to go with strength training, mainly because — that’s probably my biggest need fitness wise right now. I’ve been doing circuit training with lighter weights, but I need to lift heavier. My body not only needs it, but it craves it. My arms are a bit squishy and rival those of half of my ward’s Relief Society. Yeah, I went there.

Anyways — the class starts tonight and runs until the first week of December. Depending on how this all goes I want to continue to do this, because each fitness class is only $50 a semester. Not bad at all.

So as of right now my workout schedule for the week looks something like this …

MON. — Strength Training
TUES. — AM Circuit Training / PM Tempo/Recovery Run
WED. — Strength Training
THURS. — AM Circuit Training / PM Tempo Run
FRI. — Rest Day
SAT. — Long Run: Training or Race

Not a bad schedule. I am excited to see the results each month and during on the last day of class. Suns out, guns out — right?


REMAINING 2016 RACES

129 - Run Elevated Half Marathon 130 - Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon 131 - huntsville marathon 132 - st george marathon 133 - park city red rock relay 134 - pony express trail 50 135 - haunted half provo 136- snow canyon half marathon 137 - thankful 13 138 - resolution run


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#FitnessFriday: 5Ks and 20 Milers …

I work for the weekend. Or should I say that I run for the weekend? Either way — I don’t think there are any better weekends than summer weekends, especially as a runner. Seriously.

I am excited for this weekend for a couple of reasons. I am going to be running a 5K with my friend Jordan. Jordan and I have been friends now for over — what — a decade? I was working in Student Government at Salt Lake Community College and he applied to be a Student Senator. He was just out of high school and enthusiastic to get involved. For some reason we just — bonded.

We’ve been through a lot in the past ten years. It’s been fun watching him grow and mature — get married, have children and work towards his degree. Something that hasn’t been easy for him.

See the thing is — Jordan has cerebral palsy. Life hasn’t come easy for him. Throughout his young life, many told him what he could or couldn’t do — but, that never stopped Jordan from doing what he wanted to do. I think that’s why we bonded so fast, because I am the same way.

There were times he very much doubted the ability to get married or have a family — even simply graduate from college. But, here he is — married and the father of two beautiful girls. Not only that, but he is one class away from graduated from SLCC. I can’t say enough good things about Jordan — he’s more of brother than a friend. And, a testament that you can literally do ANYTHING you set your mind to.

So tomorrow we’re going to run a 5K together. This was something we’ve planned for a little over a year. Jordan usually runs on his own, it helps keep his joints and legs limber and strong, but he has never done a 5K or organized race for that matter. Until tomorrow.

We are running the Beat the Heat 5K in Woods Cross together. We don’t have a time goal other than to finish it. Well, finish before all of the bananas are gone (that’s my own personal goal). Finish what we started.

I can’t begin to say how excited I am for tomorrow and how proud I am of Jordan. Not just in doing this 5K, but in life. He is an example to be — to the nth degree. He’s taught me to never say never.

Make sure to come back on Monday for pictures from the race along with a race recap of the 5K. Since I need more mileage than 3.1 miles tomorrow, I’m planning on running another 3.1 miles on the treadmill early in the morning before I pick Jordan up, followed by another 6 or 8 miles later in the afternoon. It’s not continuous miles, but I want to get a good 12-14 miles in this weekend — and miles are miles.

Have a great weekend and make sure to come back on Monday!


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PHATGRAMS

Cue the Lion King soundtrack. BOOOOSAMBLAHDUBUMBAOOOEESLUM!! #utahsunset

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I knew there was something off about me today. #socksdontmatch #meh #closeenough

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Doing what Mormons do best. #canning4lyfe

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But, wait … it’s not? #lies #itsnotblank

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fight4phat-8

After a fairly brutal week on my legs last week — I feel like I’ve recovered well. Not only that, but since I’ve been doing the Whole30 diet I feel a lot stronger on my runs. Especially on the treadmill.

I know, I know, I know — it’s the DREADmill. And, believe me — I hate it. But, it’s convenient for early or late night runs. Plus, I love the mental training it provides. As much as I loathe the dreadmill I do feel like it’s HORRIBLY long miles better prepare me for my 50 miler than an easy run outside.

I have two more weeks left of this last round of Whole30. I am not sure how much I’ve lost? I don’t feel like I’ve lost as much — maybe 5-8lbs.? I think on this third round — I’ll be happy with losing two pounds a week. I mean, I lost nearly 30lbs. in two months — that’s a lot. 

I want to keep that momentum and healthy habits going after this third round. And, I’ve come up with a bastardized version of Whole30 that I’ll start mid-month. It’s a combination of Whole30 (or paleo), a 80/20 mentality and Isagenix. I’ll blog more in depth about this next week. But, I’ve structured it with standards and rules like the Whole30, but with some flexibility meant to maintained long term.

I am also running my first 20 miler next week — on the treadmill. I will blog about that later as well. But, basically, I am running it ALL on the dreadmill of death. I’m starting at midnight and running until I am done. I can’t say this will be fun. But, miles are miles and these miles will be a test of will.

At least my treadmill is parked in front of the TV so I can Netflix and ‘mill. Any movie or series suggestions? I’m pretty sure I could get through at least 2-3 seasons of Friends. I could always watch SlowTV — I mean what’s better than watching a 7.5 hour train ride in Norway? (the answer is running on the treadmill)

Anyways — I am looking forward to a great workout week as I inch towards my marathons and 50. Just gotta keep it up!



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RACE #128: Timp Half

AMERICAN FORK — I love running. I especially love giving myself challenges through running. And, the past week was definitely a challenge. It’s nothing unprecedented for me. I’ve done it before. But, considering my health the past couple of years and the fact I’ve been pushing myself through these races — three half marathons within a week has been a good challenge for me.

As you might recall it started with the Bountiful Handcart Days Half Marathon (July 23) last Saturday, followed by the Deseret News Half Marathon (July 25) on Monday and then the Timp Half this past Saturday. I deliberately pushed myself at the DesNews Half and came close to a sub-2:30 time goal (2:32) and I really wanted to push myself towards that goal again during Timp.

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I wasn’t sure if it was not only doable, but a good idea? And, I was unsure what course to take for my race plan. I kinda decided to let how I was feeling that morning dictate my goal for the race. So I was going to stick with the 2:30 pacers as long as I could — whether that was one, two or all 13.1 miles.

For any other race I would commit to something more concrete, but considering it was my third half in a week — I just didn’t know how my legs were going to react. So I just went by feel. I really wanted that sub-2:30, but anything with effort was fine by me. I just wanted to do my best.

After being bussed up the canyon I was feeling pretty good. Especially considering I got about a good hour of sleep the night before. I felt really optimistic about keeping up with the 2:30 pacers — London and Jay. So when the gun sounded I stalked them. Though I am close with both of them I kinda decided to hold back a little bit, mainly to let them do their thing.

So I just stalked them.

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The first couple of miles were great — granted the course was at its’ steepest. But, I felt good. At the 2:30 pace it gave me enough restraint to not blaze down the canyon. But, around mile three — my legs just kinda gave out. I tried to push through it, I just didn’t have any spring to the legs. Like at all.

While the legs weren’t giving me anything, I didn’t want to give up. I felt too motivated to just kinda bag the race, especially at mile three. So I just kept running.

But, even just running, I knew I had more in me. So around mile five something kinda snapped. And, though my quads were sore and felt dead — I just hit this other level and started kinda sprinting down the canyon. Okay, it really wasn’t sprinting, but I switched up my gait and just wanted to fly down the rest of the canyon.

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I decided to make a game of it too. Every so many hundred of yards I picked a couple of runners ahead of me and just chased them down. Some were closer than others, I just wanted to keep going — strong. So I looked for ways to do it.

Even when I got out of the canyon and onto the paved trails, I wanted to keep that mentality going. I knew it was going to be tougher without gravity’s help. But, I looked for ways to keep that motivation and drive going. And, the easiest way for me to do that was to tackle the hills strong.

So every hill I had to run up, I literally ran UP the hill. I looked for another drive and floored it. The golf course had a couple of nasty hills, but I didn’t care. I was sprinting up them. I might not be going for my goal, but I was preparing myself to destroy it come August 27th.

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There were a number of times I felt like slowing down or easing off the gas, but I couldn’t. So that’s when I would keep pushing myself. I just didn’t want to quit. I didn’t want to be satisfied with anything NOT my best.

One thing I was worried about coming out of the canyon was the heat. It has been 100 degrees on average the past couple of weeks and it was supposed to be another 100 degree day. Part of my motivation to keep pushing was to avoid the late race mile heat. But, luckily, it was mostly overcast. It was muggy, but no blazing sun until about a mile out.

Even then I just wanted to keep pushing. Not just to give my best, but it was getting hot and I just wanted to be done. My legs were dead and I was really sore. The sum of 40+ race miles in the past week added up and I was ready to pass out. I literally gave it my all. And, once I crossed the finish line — I kinda just passed out.

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Well, okay not literally — I grabbed my medal, some water and found a shady part of the finish corral to just plop myself. I was finished. I was done. And, I was happy with what I gave out there on the course.

Since I wasn’t running with my Garmin I wasn’t sure of my time. I thought there was a chance I was sub-2:40, but when I checked on Saturday night my official time was 2:43:31. I’m fine with that. I feel good about that time, because I earned that time. My race was pretty much a 13.1 mile fartlek.

It was great prep for Run Elevated and by last stab at a sub-2:30 half. Additionally, it was better preparation for my ultra. This race gave me great experience to push through pain, mental road blocks and sore legs. Because let’s be honest — the toughest obstacle I’ll face during my 50 miler will be what I create mentally. I know I can do it, especially when I mentally prepare myself for the task at hand.

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August 27th is circled for my sub-2:30 half goal and I can’t wait, but first — let’s get through August’s training runs first. Two 20 milers that will further prepare me for Run Elevated.

It’ll be a good month of training!

BOOYAH! YEAH RUNNING! YEAH GOALS!


129 - Run Elevated Half Marathon

This is a goal race. This is basically my last half marathon of the season before I get into the swing of my marathons in preparation for my 50 miler. It was going to be Nebo, but I am going to be out of town Labor Day Weekend — so I had to drop it and pick up this race. I’m not complaining, because I love this race.

It’s fast.

I do have other half marathons scheduled for the year, but besides the Snow Canyon Half — the rest of them I am sweeping or pacing. So this really is it as far as getting that elusive sub-2:30 half marathon. And, I am going to get it. I’ll be prepared, well rested and eager to race down Little Cottonwood.

I’ll work on a more detailed race plan later. I have until the 27th. But, until then it’s my training runs — a couple 20 milers and a 12-15 miler down Big Cottonwood Canyon the week before. If I am going to be prepared for this race, my marathons and ultra — August is going to be the key to my success.

I can’t wait to get at it.

YEAH RUNNING! YEAH TRAINING! YEAH SUB-2:30!


MY NEXT THREE RACES

130 - Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon 131 - huntsville marathon 132 - st george marathon


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WEEKENDGRAMS

If you don’t want to be judged. Don’t do stupid things. #noshoes #kindagross #likealot

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2667in2016

This was kind of an odd week of running and walking. I didn’t do much outside of Monday and Saturday (because of my races). I kinda designed it that way. I knew after two halfs last weekend I needed some recovery time. I did some slow, slow, slow mileage on Thursday to shake out the legs a bit.

I didn’t get as much walking as I wanted and part of that was because I was out sick on Wednesday. That shot my mileage BIG time. But, that’s fine. My focus is really now on August. I want to rock August. I want to hit my 5 miles — Monday through Saturday — and get some good runs in mid-week.

And, then of course I have my two BIG training runs as well. My 20 miler next weekend and then the 27th. BOOYAH!

RUNNING MILES

159.1 miles

RACE MILES

189.8 miles

WALKING MILES

906.39 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

1255.29 miles

MILES TO GOAL

1411.71 miles



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Tuesday’s Shorts


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RACE #124: 13 Miles of Freedom

First off — HAPPY FOURTH! I hope you’re having a great holiday weekend. This really is my favorite weekend of the year. So much family time, so many community activities and it’s summer to boot! Plus — USA! USA! USA!

One thing that’s been missing ever since I started running some six years ago is a 4th of July race longer than a 5K or even 10K to run during the weekend (or on the holiday itself). There are PLENTY of races (both half marathon and marathon) on or around Pioneer Day here in Utah — but, nothing really around the 4th.

Well, until this year.

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This was the inaugural run of the 13 Miles of Freedom put on by Extra Mile Racing. As the name implies it’s first and forth most a half marathon (along with a 5K on race day). I registered fairly early when I saw it on the race schedule, because I’ve eagerly been waiting for a patriotic half marathon to count towards my 180 race goal.

The race runs along the Jordan River Parkway starting at 5400 S. and then running north to about 2400 S. and back via an out and back loop. Well, at least that’s the way you’re suppose to go. Unless you get lost and go an entirely wrong direction. But, more on that later.

The one thing I loved about this race was how lax it was. Most Extra Mile Races are, which I love. The race didn’t start until 7am, so I didn’t have to leave until about 6am to mosey over to the race, get my bib and prepped for gun time. I loved being able to mingle with friends before the race as well — Elsha, Monte, Karrie, Ron, etc., etc., etc.

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I was a little worried about the late start, but it wasn’t THAT bad, because there were stretches of covered trail and plenty of water at the aid stations. So the heat wasn’t much of an issue for me until the last couple of miles.

My goal for the race was basically to just — run. I didn’t have a goal. After a month of racing Drop13 and AF Canyon along with RAGNAR — I just wanted to run this with no time expectation. I wanted to use it more so as a training run than anything else.

I guess, my only goal was that I wanted to run under three hours — but, I wasn’t totally dead set on achieving that goal. It just depending on my run and whether or not I ended up hanging out with Tammy, who was sweeping the course. And, since I ended to get 15-16 miles in for my training — I even thought about running back to run in with Tammy.

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But, none of that was necessary, because I definitely got plenty of running in thanks to my keen sense of following directions. Basically, I got lost. But, that description doesn’t do justice to the adventure that those extra three miles were. Not at all.

As I mentioned earlier the course was a fairly simple out and back course with a loop for the turn around. Nothing extraordinary difficult about following the course, especially if you paid attention to the course signs. Which, Extra Mile Racing did a great job at marking.

The first 4-5 miles were fairly nondescript — I felt great and I was plugging along the trail. I did get chased by a stupid goose. But, I wasn’t going to let a Canadian goose ruin my All-American run — so I just out ran it. I was having fun listening to my music and jamming out to a mix of my favorite running and patriotic songs.

My energy levels were great and I would stop at each aid station and refuel with water and bananas. Nothing too big. But, at the second aid station (where we turn onto the loop) the volunteer must have stepped away for a moment — so I was at the station alone. I was downing some water and a banana when a guy and his 5-6 chihuahuas stepped onto the trail — the guy asked me what was going on and after I told him about the race, he just kept talking to me.

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He reminded me a lot of my Aunt Diane — who could corner you into a 15-20 minute conversation about nothing of importance. He started telling me why four of dogs were leashed and two of them were not and why one of them wasn’t because of some bladder infection. I was trying to be polite, but I really wanted to get back to my run — so I kinda backed away slowly from him and excused myself — not looking at where I was going.

And, well, I missed my turn. I kept going straight. And, I didn’t think much of it because I saw a lot of the faster runners coming towards me — so I just kept plugging along in my happy zone.

I kept passing runners and it wasn’t until I reached the bridge that I had my friend Catey tell me that I was going the wrong way. Instead of taking the clue, I thought she was just joking — so I kinda laughed it off and kept running — looking for this turn around loop.

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When I got up to the 2100 South overpass I started to worry a bit because I wasn’t seeing any other runners. But, I kinda just shook that off as being a slower runner. So I just kept going — and that’s when it got awkward. Super awkward.

As I ran under the 2100 South overpass I passed a biker and then a ways further I noticed what I thought was another biker in the walkway — assumingly taking a rest stretch. I noticed him kinda squatting and didn’t think much about it until I got closer.

That’s when I discovered this guy was NOT a biker or even a runner. But, it was a naked (complete naked) homeless man who was squatting to — well — take care of his business. In that moment of realization I just turned my head to straightaway and ran a little bit faster so I could get out of that overpass.

I was both shocked and laughing at the same time. These kind of things always happen to me. And, of course this would happen to me now. But, I just kept running.

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After about another half mile of running I started to really question my sense of direction. So I whipped out the map course on my phone and compared it to my GPS and noticed that I was about a mile and a half off course. After a moment of — ugh — that feeling quickly turned to a moment to dread. Because, I knew I had to go back the way I came from — and pass the naked homeless guy once again.

I was hoping he was at least done with his business and dressed. I could handle that. Probably.

So when I retraced my steps and started going under the 2100 South overpass I noticed him once again. Thankfully, he was done with his business, but unfortunately he was still completely naked. He was calmly sitting upon a rock leaning back against an overpass beam reading a magazine. Being the complete gentlemen he was, he gave me a salutation — which I returned quite awkwardly.

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I felt the desire to stop and offer him something. But, quite honestly what he needed the most was something I had only one pair of. And, I don’t think running the rest of the race pantless was a viable option. So I just kept running.

I’m assuming he was either drying his clothes after washing them in the river — or just hanging out in the buff because it was too hot for clothes. I won’t lie — I’m jealous of his confidence, but it was an awkward moment. Hilariously awkward. And, something I’ll always remember of all my races.

Once I got over my traumatic experience I retraced my steps and got back on the course. Once I got back on the course I had added an extra three miles to my half marathon. Thus, making it an ultra half marathon.

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I really didn’t mind the extra miles, I needed them anyways and meant I didn’t have to tag them on after my race. Plus, I had an experience I’ll never forget. But, I stopped my watch after 13.1 miles and I did those miles in 2:47:16 — not bad considering the circumstances.

But, once I was on the route I was worried about where I was in relation to the sweeper. I wanted to make sure I had water or some support at the aid stations since I didn’t carry any with me. Luckily, about 4-5 miles from the finish line I was met by race support on a bike and they gave me some water, because the aid stations were out of water. That’s where I also learned I was behind Tammy — so I sped up to catch up with her.

I finally caught up with her about 3-4 miles from the finish line and ended up finishing with her and another runner who was struggling in the heat. I had told Tammy that I might end up running with her, but we didn’t know it was going to end up happening THIS way.

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So I just ended up going the rest of the way with Tammy and the other runner. I wasn’t in too much of a hurry since I already my mu miles in — plus some. I was just happy to be out there. Not to mention getting QUITE the experience to write in my journal.

It was great training for my 50 in October and my preluding marathons. Next week there’s no race. I am going to make it a high mileage week since I won’t be getting a lot of miles in on Saturday (it’s my niece’s baptism in the morning). But, I’ll be getting in PLENTY of miles throughout the month with training and races (I have four — and three within a week).

Anyways — HAPPY FOURTH! I hope you have a great holiday and go do something runny. This is the perfect holiday to celebrate with a run!

PEACE OUT!



125-Utah Midnight Run Legacy

My next race isn’t until July 15th — which for me, seems like an eternity. I won’t lie — if it wasn’t my niece’s baptism on Saturday morning this week, I’d probably be running Hobbler. I need to serve some redemption on that course. I swept it last year, but it kicked my trash. 

Anyways — I’ve done the Utah Midnight Run on the Legacy Parkway now for five years. Sounds so weird saying that, because I still feel like so much of a rookie when it comes to running. But, I’ve been running since 2010 and half marathons since 2011 — so I guess it’s bound to happen, right?

I’ll be using this as a double run — not double race like past years. I’m planning on running the 13.1 miles and then another 5-6 miles in the morning. Some fairly basic and light fatigue running. But, I’ll need to start doing more fatigue training in August and September as I get closer to my 50.

This will be a great opportunity to do that and a fun opportunity to run with friends!


NEXT THREE UPCOMING RACES

126 - bountiful handcart days.fw127 - desnews half.fw128-timp half.fw


RUNCAST USA: MUSIC EPISODE

Runcast - Podbash Banner

This episode was released on Friday afternoon — so you might have missed it! But, I’m sharing more of my favorite running songs. I’ve got some familiar stuff with Fallout Boy, Imagine Dragons — and, yes — Justin Timberlake. But, I am also sharing some newer and less known stuff as well.

If anything — listen to the leadoff episode, it’s my favorite!


THE PARK HOPPERS: RUN DOLE WHIP RUN!

ParkHoppers

As many know me, know I am a HUGE Disneynerd. You’ll never find me the happiest when I’m sitting at Disneyland waiting for the fireworks to start while eating a Dole Whip float. Pure heaven, pure joy.

This past week I was a guest on The Park Hoppers podcast on Pod Bash. They grilled me on my Disney-ness, we taste tested some Dole Whips around town and I also shared some info on the Run Disney races at Disneyland — and Walt Disney World. I had an absolute BLAST!

Listen to the episode here …


This kid. This shirt. This moment. I love being an uncle. #chubbingtatum #unclejosher

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2016miles

RUNNING MILES

142.45 miles

RACE MILES

137.4 miles

WALKING MILES

805.0 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

1084.85 miles

MILES TO GOAL

1582.15 miles



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