Tag: running report

RACE #141: March Madness Half Marathon

One thing I love about endurance sports — specifically running — is unlike other sports, like most team sports, the venue changes from event to event. And, the outcome is up to you, not necessarily how you and your teammates work together on an uniform and familiar playing field.

In running — especially distance running — distances may be the same, but courses (or playing fields) all differ. And, I love that. A race down Big Cottonwood Canyon is going to be completely different from around the neighborhoods of South Jordan, the trails of the Bonneville Lakeshore Trail or around the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns.

Then on top of that you’re going to face many different variables — dealing with anything from weather, your training preparation, your fueling, your mental state, etc., etc., etc., etc. That’s why racing is so personal. It’s YOUR race — and nobody else’s. And, this race was very much a reminder of the importance of that mentality.

Going into the race — I didn’t know what to expect. Compared to last week when I ran the SL Track Club Indoor Half in Kearns — I wasn’t recovered from my previous week’s ultra. I felt it pretty early into my run. The legs were kicking and screaming trying to remind me of the hell I put them through the previous week.

This week — I felt more rested. My runs during the week weren’t fast, calculated or overly efforted. They were more shakeout runs. I just wanted to feel and do better than last week’s race. And, I think I got my legs there come Saturday morning.

I didn’t want to put a time goal on this race, because I haven’t been half marathon training — or maintaining. My training miles from December until February were pretty much all focused on my ultra. Meaning — they were long and slow miles.

In fact I am pretty sure the first 13 miles of my ultra took me over four hours? So speed work hasn’t been on the training docket for me for quite a while. Which I’m not worried about, because after my 50K in April I’ll be gearing my focus toward that anyway.

Anyways — despite all of the reasons why I shouldn’t or didn’t need to make a time goal. I did.

I simply wanted to run a sub-three hour half marathon. That seemed like a reasonable and doable goal. I’ve been losing weight, gaining more energy with my Hashimoto’s friendly diet and feeling strongly lately — so why not?

I knew it was going to be a challenge because of my lack of half training, still temperamental post-ultra legs and the flatness of the course. The race was along the Legacy Parkway Trail — which is flatter than flat. I guess there are some hills, but only people in Kansas would consider them hills — so they don’t count.

Anyways — I knew a flat course with my iron legs could be difficult to gauge an estimated time — but, I didn’t care. I just wanted that sub-three time. I felt like I could do it. So, that’s what I shot for.

When the race started my legs felt pretty good. Not amazingly good — but good. So this encouraged me. And, considering there was a pretty strong tailwind behind — I felt like a racehorse. So I kept trying to mentally push myself a little bit more per mile — just focusing on that effort here and there.

And, really, I felt great.

About 3-4 miles into the race I am starting to think that this goal was more than doable, but expected. I was really on cloud nine, because I felt great. A lot which I attributed to my diet changes and newfound energy.

But, around this time as I was beginning to see the runners return from the out and back return trip — I realized in dread. THIS AWESOME TAILWIND IS GOING TO TURN INTO A NASTY HEADWIND!

And, yeah, as I saw friends pass some of them made comments about the headwind. At this point I started dreading the turnaround point. Because, I’ve dealt with some nasty headwinds. None as horrific as the Ogden Marathon headwind — there’s no joy in a 30 MPH headwind in the rain. That was pure hell. But, I digress.

So while I knew it wasn’t going to be fun — I also knew it wasn’t going to be the worse either. And, thankfully it was not raining, otherwise I’d be singing a different tune.

Once I turned around the change was pretty immediate. There were some nasty gusts — the kind that make you kinda loose your breath for a second. But, the headwind was pretty constant.

After about a mile of just pushing through the wind — I gave myself two options for the last five or so miles. I could, one, keep running for that goal or, two, start walking a bunch and make the excuse that the wind was simply too hard and I got tired.

Luckily, I chose the first option. And, I just kept going.

I felt like if I pushed myself that I could still get my sub-three time. I had to try. I figured at the turn around I was on pace for about 2:40-2:45 — so I still had a shot.

I am glad I went with that decision, because I ran hard into that wind, but it was very, very difficult. It was a fight to keep running and it took A LOT out of me. My mile 10 — I felt like I was beyond empty.

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At this point I stopped looking at the watch, because I knew I was going to be cutting it close. The difference between directions was really that much. My legs started getting really tight because of the effort and threatened to cramp on a couple occasions. But, I kept going.

Around mile 11 — I found it easier and faster for me to mall walk some stretches. I hate resorting to it, because I always fear it will turn into a mosey. But, I focused on my stride and arm swinging (if I had two pound dumbbells I am positive I would have been MUCH faster) and it really helped relieve a lot of the strain on the quads. I focused on alternating between my mall walking and running in a 1:1 minute ratio.

And, for the most part that helped.

But, I was still on empty.

Once I got off the trail and back onto the streets toward the park I happened to glance at my watch to notice I had a minute to run the last 3/4 of a mile or so. I just kind of stared at that reality — and didn’t feel disappointment — at all. Besides feeling sore, dead and depleted — I felt proud. I felt strong. I felt — good.

That last stretch I had a conversation with myself — first, thanking me for deciding making excuses to walk and, second, realizing that my effort was beyond a sub-three effort. On pretty much any other course my effort that day WAS well below a sub-three time. And, I knew a windless — or even less windy day — that effort would give me a sub-three time.

And, to say and realize that — knowing I could have just started walking as a sign of defeat — made me really proud of myself.

I came in just over 3:06 hours. But, those six minutes were invisible to me.

Because, I got that goal.


So during my race today I saw a seemingly perfect banana laying on the side of the road. I was going to pick it up, but I figured … someone might have left it there for later. After I turned around and came back I noticed it was still there. I also noticed it was half eaten. Being a hungered, I looked at it (checked it for needles … I was taught that from Trick or Treating in the 80’s), ripped off the tip where it was a bit bruised … and I ate it. So whoever left that half eaten banana out on Legacy Parkway Trail this morning … THANK YOU! It saved me from cramping, it was delicious and was also the burst of energy I needed to do the last two miles. #race141 #marchmadnesshalf #running @joshruns180 @fit.phat

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Played LIFE™ with my 5 year old niece tonight … guess who got married before me? #yepshedid #likereallife

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119.65 miles


83.02 miles


167.56 miles


370.23 miles

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Phat Tuesday Matters & Such


I feel like a bum. I wasn’t able to get my long run in like I had hoped on Saturday. And, by long run — I mean any run. This past weekend — and subsequent week are crazy busy leading up to PrepperCon on Friday and Saturday.

Plus, on top of that, I am taking Thursday and Friday off of work, so I am working ahead as much as I can. Busy, busy, busy.

But, I also figured I’d merge my long runs for this week and next week into one run. I am going into work later tomorrow morning so I am going to try to get at least 9-10 miles in before work. That will hopefully give me the miles I need and burn off some of the craziness of the week.

I am going to TRY to get some miles in on Saturday, but since I’ll be at PrepperCon most of the day I might not be able to. But, I am staying at a hotel down near the South Towne Expo Center — I am kinda hoping they have a treadmill. Because they do, I’ll have to try to get some miles in.

But, we’ll see.

The focus is still working towards Provo City in less than a month. I am just trying not to completely derail my training this week. So, I am fitting my workouts and runs within the cracks wherever I kind fit them in.

But, I am really, really excited for this week. I love PrepperCon and my family has put a lot of time and effort into making this MUCH better than last year’s event. We’ve got hurricane simulators, classes, vendors and a lot of other fun entertainment.

Since this week is rather crazy, don’t expect a big post on Friday. In fact, it might just be my numbers and not much else. I’ll owe you all a big post next Monday.


PrepperCon Billboard - 1

PREPPERCON! PREPPERCON! PREPPERCON! That’s all that’s been talked about in our family the past couple of weeks — well, okay — new babies have been a big topic as well. But, as noted above, other posts and all over my Facebook profile — PrepperCon is happening this Friday (4/15) and Saturday (4/16) at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy, Utah.

This is the second annual PrepperCon and after last year’s success we’re looking for another BIG crowd this weekend. And, we’re growing! Last year we took up on hall — this year we are taking two halls! Plus, we’re expecting about 15-18,000 guests (compared to 12,000). It’s going to be a lot of fun!

This isn’t your typical Preparedness Expo — it’s all things preparedness, sure. But, we’ve got classes, entertainment, a fashion show, a hurricane simulator, TONS of vendors (from guns to gardening) … just to name a few. Think — preparedness expo meets Comic Con.

Last weekend, Schwendy and I met interviewed Scott, CEO of PrepperCon (and my brother-in-law), on Are We Prepared, Yet? about what you can expect at this year’s event. Give it a listen …


Last weekend, I continued my quest to find the best nachos in Utah. This go around I decided to (try to) settle the debate of Cafe Rio vs. Costa Vida. A raging debate here in Utah. When it comes to our fast casual Mexican food — we are definitely a state divided.

I decided to try both nachos simultaneously to not just grade for the blog, but against each other. Costa Vida came up on top by two points over Cafe Rio. It was close — but, there were definitely differences that gave the win to Costa Vida. Namely the added queso on the Costa Vida chips.

But, I will say this — I much prefer the pork from Cafe Rio than Costa Vida. The sweet pork from Costa Vida is just that — too sweet for me. Luckily, the queso helps cut some of that sweetness.

If you’re interested in reading my review you can read it here on my Nacho Busqueda bloggy blog.


Papou meets grandchild #5 … #papou #thaliagrace

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As much as I love my family — sadly — we are a house divided. #burritos4life

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I have been domesticated and have made dinner within a crockpot. #crockpottingitfordinner

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Dez kids. #elijees #sweetcheeks #calliekoko #favoriteuncle

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This kid rarely opens her eyes, but when she does … it’s usually to pass gas. #thaliagrace #unclejoshuwallatime

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I’m already putting my new lunchbox to work. #mybuddylunchbox

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Total 2016 Miles


75.9 miles


38.6 miles


428.7 miles


543.2 miles



Daily Shorts.fw

  • It’s been really fun to follow the Golden State Warriors in their chase for 73 wins. They are such an entertaining team to watch play — it’s all just beautiful basketball. The crazy thought is conceivably they could have already been there by now if it wasn’t for a couple bad losses of late. Could you imagine this team with a record of 75-7? Crazy — 73-9 will be crazy enough if they get past the Grizzlies tomorrow night (which they should).
  • I actually really like this idea — not sure if it would change people’s eating habits … but I am dying to find out how long it would take me to burn off some nachos.
  • This is the kind of world we live in — not sure, if this guy was the one who labeled his coffee with the title or if it was an errand boy, but if it’s the latter — I wouldn’t be surprised. People want attention in this world and they’ll do anything for their (more than often pathetic) 15 seconds of fame.
  • Oh heavens, when I was a kid one of my favorite TV shows was Mr. Belvedere. This is a fun blast from the past.
  • Okay, while we are on the topic of childhood favorites — Newsies. And, you know right now half of the soundtrack is going through your head (welcome me later).
  • This is interesting — I didn’t know mile races were a thing around the country? Apparently so? Either way — I think it’s about time there’s one (or two or ten) here in Utah!
  • There is a reason why my Walmart goldfish usually end up dead within six months — because I’d never consider putting them under the knife like these folks.
  • I won’t lie — I kinda want this house. Well, apartment. Isn’t that cool? It’s like a Transformer in disguise.
  • Ummmmmmmm … awkward.
  • This is a good little ditty and reminder of foods you should eat before and after your workouts. I’m filing this under things I should know.
  • I’m not much of a dog person — but, if I was, it’d definitely get myself a corgi. That’s one reason why I love this so much!
  • Give me avocados, or give me death.

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RACE RECAP #78: Pink Series Half Marathon


Let’s get this out of the way … CANCER SUCKS. It just does. It always has and it always will. But, for as ugly and miserable as the disease is, I’ve seen WAY more beauty, compassion, love and miracles come out of it. In moments of despair and the fear of uncertainty it ALWAYS seems like there is someone willing and able to lift those that need lifting. I’ve seen that in my Mom’s journey and I know that is happens to many others … as evidenced in this race.

The Pink Series Half Marathon is a part of a woman’s only racing series that raises money for a different charity each year related to the realm of breast cancer. Hence, the pink. This year the Pink Series was raising money for the Image Reborn Foundation (click on it for details). A very awesome cause and reason to run.

My pacing shirt and bib.

Initially, I signed up for this race to just run it myself. Mainly, because I wanted to run it for my Mom. I also had this ambition that I could get some of my siblings to run it with me for our Mom at the time of signing up for it. I also had this ambition to run it in drag … but … let’s be glad that ambition only lasted like a week (even though I think I’d look good in a sports bra and lululemon).

But, it ended up that I was asked to pace the 2:45 pace group for the Utah Race Pacers. Which I was fine with, because I absolutely LOVE pacing. It’s such a motivating experience to help others reach their goals. Plus, it’s a different experience. You aren’t running for yourself, you’re running for others and that really keeps you determined to stay on pace throughout the race.

The single pacers … Carlito and Nemo.

Since the race was in Park City my friend Carl and I carpooled up from Davis County. It’s really not that long of a drive as some people may think it is. It’s no different than driving to Provo from Bountiful. But, it’s nestled up in the mountains which I cursed seeing frost on the ground and car windows when we drove to the hotel for packet pickup. It’s just one of those reminders that winter is coming.

I hate winter.

But, that’s a post for another day.

So, I ended up nestled in my hoodie and Nemo beanie hat while waiting for the buses to take us to the starting line. I was quite comfy if you ask me. I ended up just sitting down and enjoying my sweet potato and banana like Fat Josh used to enjoy Saturday Morning cartoons and a big bowl of ice cream. It was purely sublime in my book.


Once we got up to the starting line I really didn’t want to change so I just removed my hoodie and kept my Nemo beanie on. It really is the most comfortable thing I’ve worn in years (okay that might be an exaggeration, but not really) and I bought it on clearance from Kmart this past week for like $9. Talk about a deal. Plus, being bald and having big ears that get cold easily it was perfect for the race.

So, it stayed.

And, I have to say it was kinda fun running in the Nemo beanie, because instead of just being “the pacer” … I was Nemo. I had a lot of the ladies looking for me or trying to keep up with me along the course. I also had quite a few ladies catch up to me and yell, “I FOUND NEMO!” I also yelled words of encouragement like, “JUST KEEP SWIMMING! JUST KEEP SWIMMING!” and “hold on, here we go! Next stop, knowledge!”

This is why I’m kind of a big Disneynerd. Don’t judge.

Nemo all ready to win.

But, it was a fun race. Carl and I were the only two single men there so we had a goal of getting a phone number or date set. I established early in the run that I was single and almost immediately a chorus of voices yelled, “Nemo’s single! Nemo’s single! Let’s find him a date!” I laughed and welcomed the attention. And, for the record I got a couple people setting me up with a friend. SCORE!

Going into this race I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy course to pace. There was only about a 200-300′ elevation change and there were some rolling hills during the first three miles until it pretty much goes flat for the last four miles. So I game planned to bank a few minutes within the first few miles knowing the last few miles could be difficult for not just me, but those wanting a 2:45 finish.

Pink port-a-potties for the Pink Series Half … BRILLIANT!

Starting out the course was great and I had a few ladies stay with me for most of the race. We talked about running (naturally), how much we hate cancer and a little bit about each other. This is the one thing I love about pacing. You get to know people. You’re there with them for miles on end, you get to really know them. I love hearing people’s stories, especially how and why they got into running. It renews my love for running everytime I hear a new story.

The race as a whole was a great. There was a stretch around mile 9 where we had to run a loop around a park. I found a tad difficult because there was the slightest uphill that made it slightly difficult. Plus, I almost missed my turn and cut off a quarter mile of the course. It wasn’t marked that well at that location. Well, that or the sign was moved. There were some youth soccer games being played at the park so they could have probably been moved? But, in the end I found my way.

Some of the beautiful scenery from the course.

By the time I got to the last mile of the race I knew I was going to be cutting it close to my 2:45 time. But, I actually got to the finish line about 45 seconds before 2:45 so I just stood right in front of the finish line cheering on runners behind me. A couple of them were happy that they beat Nemo! Once I got to my time I simply walked across the finish line. It was perfect … timing.

After the race I hung out with the other pacers and a number of other friends. I also made a bunch of Rice Krispy Treats for the occasion. I made a Pink RK because of the nature of the race. It ended up being a Cake Bite RK with pink white chip on top and pink sprinkles … of course. They were a hit. Don’t ask me for the recipe though for a couple reasons. One, I made it up. Not sure if I could remember. And, two, there were probably like 10,000 calories in each square. So much sugar. So much butter. So much frosting. So much delicious.

The finisher’s necklace that I gave to my mother.

Anyways, it was a great race to pace and to honor my mother. I gave her my necklace charm that I got as my medal. This naturally made Koko jealous and she tried to steal it from my mom on a couple occasions. She is such a cute spoiled kid. But, my mom was nonetheless honored and after telling her about the race she stated that she wanted to do the 5K next year!

I’m secretly and slowly making my family runners. One at a time.

NEXT RACE: The Haunted Half – SLC (Saturday, October 18th)

Total Mileage Breakdown for 2014

2014 Training Miles – 495.5 miles
2014 Walking Miles – 122.4 miles
2014 Race Miles – 373.75 miles
2014 Total Miles – 991.65 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2014
January – 100.0 miles
February – 100.0 miles
March – 130.0 miles
April – 140.5 miles
May – 108.65 miles
June – 83.3 miles
July – 93.75 miles
August – 118.2 miles
September – 88.55 miles
October – 43.3 miles