Tag: snow canyon half marathon

Running my Name: Joshua + Snow

We’re down to three months left of the year. And, here I am still tweaking with my race schedule. Is anything truly finalized with me? Sometimes I wonder.

But, as I work toward my 180th race and my 100 mile run, I’m looking to make 2018 a great year of running. And, part of that means spreading out my races to work into my time goals. That is one reason I’ve raced a lot this year. I don’t want to have to run a bunch of races in 2018 to get to my 180 while jeopardizing my speed training.

So that’s why I decided to add another race to my 2017 race schedule — the Joshua Tree Half Marathon in Joshua Tree, California.

Being named Joshua, I’ve always had a fascination with the Joshua Tree. Everything from the naming to the maturation of the tree — has a lot of symbolism that just speaks to me. I’d go into all of that — but, that’s really a post for another day. And, I’m pretty sure I’ve blogged about it before, but I’d have to find the post.

And, then there’s the whole correlation with U2’s album of the same name that I love.

The Joshua Tree Half Marathon is also the same day as the Snow Canyon Half Marathon — which I am also running. A group of my friends and I are planning on making a quick trip of it. We’re driving down to St. George on Friday after work, run that race the following morning then drive down to Joshua Tree from St. George, run that race and then drive back to St. George to stay the night before heading home on Sunday.

It should be a lot of fun.

After signing up for the race I realized that I will be running my name — Joshua Tree Half & Snow Canyon Half. What a fun coincidence.

Additionally, this will be my first Vacation Race. Of all my 162 races, I still haven’t done a Vacation Race. I’ve wanted to. Heck, I’ve signed up for the Zion Half Marathon twice but had to back out for a number of reasons.

So, I have to remedy that.

I am looking forward to the fun weekend. I am definitely jamming out to an exclusive U2 playlist during the run. Heck, I might have to record a special episode of The Runcast with just U2 music in preparation for this epic weekend?

Either way, the change made me make a slight change to my remaining races. I decided to drop the Riverton Half happening on March 24, 2018. I might still do the 5K or 10K during that weekend, but we’ll see? That means after my 100 mile run in February I won’t have a race until April 7th. And, that’s kinda by design.

I am planning on using that month/month and a half to recalibrate, heal and prepare myself to shift gears toward getting faster in my half marathon times. I feel good about the changes.

Anyways, here is the remaining schedule …


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I am soooooo close to my goal …

Wow. After this past weekend’s race — I realized that I am only 19 races away from my goal! NINETEEN! I’m in the TEENS! Time flies so fast. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been doing this now for over six years.

But, it’s also hard to believe that I am reaching this 10 year goal — three years early! Who would have thought? Who would have imagined the experiences I’ve had, races I’ve run and people I’ve met over the past years? I feel extremely blessed being able to do what I love and with people that I admire, look up to and gain inspiration from nearly daily.

Sometimes when I think and plan for the end of this 180 race goal — I have to remember that it’s not the end of running. Because it won’t be. I’ll keep doing it. I might be a bit more deliberate here and there as I shift focus, but I’ll still be running to my heart’s content.

But, as I look at the remaining races toward my goal, I’m getting excited. Many are races I’ve run numerous times, some a couple times a while ago and even a couple that I’ve never done. And, then of course there’s the Jackpot Running Festival where I am attempting 100 miles.

I am excitedly nervous about that race. I know I can do it. I know I will do it. And, despite the crappy year I’ve had with injuries and my health — I know it’s doable. I will be ready come February.

So there’s lots of running ahead before I reach the finish line at the Handcart Days Half Marathon next July — which I am looking forward to running! And, as you can see I am trying to be more deliberate with my running, especially after Jackpot. I am running any races 13.1 or longer on back to back weekends — well, except for Provo City and Vigor Big Cottonwood — but, I am planning on sweeping Provo City again, so I’m not really counting it.

But, I am planning on scaling back the races, not just to hit the 180th race in July, but to also get faster. I don’t expect to PR next year (though that’d be nice), but I do want to get back into the 2:20-2:30 range by the end of the year with the help of continued health and some specific coaching.

I am not sure exactly what my race season will look like after my 180th race, but I’d like to keep to two long races a month for as long as I can keep that up — and preferably a road and trail race.

I have some time to figure that all out. But, for now the focus is really Jackpot in February while also focusing on getting myself to number 180 next July.

Here’s my remaining planned schedule …


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Trading in the pavement for the trail …

I’m not sure what it is with me lately — but, I’m yearning the trails. I kinda blame Cory Reese’s new book, but it’s been a gradual transition for me the past couple of years. Where it’s coming from — is beyond me?

As I pour over the 2017 race schedule — I keep looking for excuses to run trail instead of pavement. I’m not necessarily looking at adding more 50K and 50 milers to my belt loop — just races. Whether it’s a half or full trail marathon. I just feel like there’s more of Utah I need to go explore and that’s on the road less traveled (by motorists).

This already has affected my 2016 race schedule — I decided instead of running the Snow Canyon Half (which I absolutely love) on November 5th, I decided to register for the Mountain View Trail Half Marathon happening the same day on Antelope Island. It’s the same day as the 50K that I ran last year.

While there was a moment of temptation to sign up for the 50K, I ultimately decided against it mainly because it’s just two weeks after my 50 miler. And, I’m not sure if my body would be up to making it through the cutoffs on time. Plus, I don’t want a repeat of last year when I freaked out by the finishing line because I mistook a parking lot of dumpsters for bison.

It should go without saying I don’t see well at dusk — or the dark for that matter.

But, I figured the half marathon would allow me to get in a good race that counted towards my goal while indulging my cravings for trails at the same time. While also not pounding my legs too hard that close to my 50 miler.

Plus, I won’t have to travel far from home either — 25 minutes compared to 5.5 hours. As much as I love southern Utah and the Snow Canyon Half — I also like saving some mula as well. Plus, there’s a good chance some of my family and I might be traveling to Greece in December — so I will need to save up my pennies for the trip.

Really though — I just want to hit those trails. As I look to my 2017 schedule I keep looking for those trail races and canyon runs — some of my favorite places here in Utah. I’ve found a couple trail half and full marathons that I might just have to do in 2017 — too, too tempting.

Slowly, but surely I’ll get to my schedule figured out. But, I’m in no rush.

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RACE #112: Snow Canyon Half Marathon

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I know I gush a lot about my races — especially about the scenery and courses. But, this race — takes the cake. It’s such a beautiful course. The scenery and course instantly became one of my favorites. There is a reason why Runner’s World named this one of the best half marathons in the country. Well organized, great volunteers, beautiful course and scenery that can’t be replicated any other way than experiencing it in person.

I might be slightly biased about the scenery — because the red rocks of southern Utah are my happy place. I’ve always been fascinated with them — ever since I was a kid. It one of the many reasons why I went to school at Southern Utah University — I’m completely drawn to the red rocks.

Okay, now that I am done gushing about my love affair with the scenery and red rocks — to the race.

I decided to run this race about a month ago. Though it’s been a race I’ve wanted to do for the past couple of years, I just never had a reason to do it — until this year. I signed up for the St. George Runner Series to guarantee me a spot into the St. George Marathon in 2016. The requirement for the series is to basically run two southern Utah-based races. Since I was running The Bakers Dozen Half Marathon in December — I decided to hop unto this race so I could meet my requirements before the end of the year.

And, well — because I wanted to run it as well.

I carpooled down with my friends Jason and Tammy Henry. Well, I shouldn’t say carpooled — it was more like third-wheeled it. It reminded me of my dating life in High School. We stayed at a small hotel just on St. George Blvd. — nothing too fancy. We didn’t really need anything fancy because the trip was a — sleep, run, eat and get home — kind of trip. It met our needs and didn’t have bed bugs — a questionable stain on the ceiling — but no bed bugs.

In the morning we made the 10 minute drive to the high school for bus picket up the canyon. I won’t lie — I kinda like the later starts this time of the year, because it feels like a mosey to the start line, but I also wish to get started early — so I can finish earlier. But, a 8:30 gun time was not TOO bad.

The race was bigger than I expected. But, I guess there were 2,600+ runners — soooooo — it was a big race. It took me a few minutes to get across the starting pad. But, it wasn’t as bad as the St. George Marathon. That one feels like you’re waiting in a port-a-potty line of runners with stomach issues.

The goal for the race was two fold. I was hesitant to put a time goal to my race, because I haven’t ran my own race since Nebo in early September. But, I wanted to shoot for a 2:35-2:45. But, I was fine not meeting that as long as I gave it my all during the race. I just wanted to do my best.

Starting off I was a bit worried because my shins were having none of it for the first couple of miles. But, then again, I knew it was a slight incline from my experience running the St. George Marathon — once I hit Snow Canyon then I knew it was going to be faster. But, those first two miles were difficult. But, I fought through it — knowing I just needed to warm up.

Once I hit the canyon it felt like a completely different course. Not only was the course more downhill, but the scenery was completely beautiful. I had to stop at certain moments to capture a picture. — I was just in awe. Complete awe. So, I just kept my head high, cranked up my music and just ran.

Of course with occasional stops for pictures.

Between miles 3-7 — I felt great. Like superb. I was in a groove, enjoying the world around and just thanking God for the ability I have to run. But, in the midst of that euphoria I got distracted and accidentally took a Gu along with Gatorade at the same aid station. For some runners — this might not mean anything, but for me — the  combination taken together — kills me. It causes really, really bad stomach pains and just makes me super sick.

This incident wasn’t anything different.

About mile eight — it really hit me. I was kind of in a panic, because I knew there wasn’t another bathroom until mile nine. I had to stop and walk — stretch — knead out my stomach — just doing something to make the pain go away. I even tried to push through it. But, that didn’t really work for me. Luckily, no accidents — but mile 8-9 had a horrible time and once I got to the port-a-potty that took another 7:30 minutes off my time.

If you’re wondering — yes, I timed my bathroom break. Strange? Probably. But, if you’re a runner you’d understand.

Anyways — the break kinda took me out of my groove, but I was determined to finish strong. Sure I was about 8-10 minutes off where I wanted to be, but I wasn’t going to let that defeat me. I was going to fight the last four miles. So that is what I did.

After my break I lost the group of runners I was running alongside with — well it wasn’t a group of runners I knew — just the people at my pace. I knew they were long gone and at this point the field was rather thin. So to stay motivated I had to make a game of it for me. So, I tapped into my inner-Ragnar and decided to go for “KILLS” aka runners in front of you that you pass along the route.

And, well, it worked.

I passed eight runners in the sparsely crowded field. And, it really helped. I still somewhat slowed down from where I wanted to be — but I fought to keep going. Physically and mentally.

During my last mile Jason came back to run with me and I was really appreciative of it. I was kinda spent by that time. My legs were shot from the fartleking — especially from passing the runners during the last four miles. But, I kept going forward and sometimes that’s all that’s required, right?

I was met by my friend Tricia at the finish line who took some video and pictures of me crossing the finish line. She also grabbed water, bananas and string cheese for me at the finish line. I was famished and I was so appreciative for the gesture. But, can I also say how good that string cheese was after the race? Seriously — I’m in love with post-race cheese.

But, then again, I am also in love with cheese, period. But, that’s a story for another day.

After showering and cleaning up at a friend’s condo — the Henry’s and I grabbed some grub (breakfast burrito for me — naturally) and then headed home. It was the perfect quick getaway. It was a great race experience. One that will definitely bring me back there in 2016. Seriously, I am in love with the race.

But, it was also a great gauge of what I need to do to get myself back to where I want to be with my running. My official time was 3:01, but I count 2:53 with my bathroom break. Regardless, my goal is to get back to consistent race times of 2:20-2:30 by the middle of next year. And, that will come with my weight-loss program along with a planned half marathon training program starting in January.

I haven’t decided which training plan to do — but more than likely I’m going to follow the Galloway Training Plan. I haven’t tried that training plan yet — and I already have the book and supplies to do it. So why not? I think I could really benefit from a good run/walk program.

But, all of that I will save for another post for another day, probably a future Fight4Phat post?

With that all said — I’ll be back in 2016 — I’m hooked.


RACEGRAMS


NEXT RACE: ANTELOPE ISLAND 50K

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DUH! DUH! DUH! The hour is ‘nigh — well, actually, it’s pretty much now. Since my 50K is less than a week from now. I am all kinds of excited and full of nerves. By this time next week I will have earned the title of Ultra Marathoner. Pretty nifty, eh?

I am excited about this race for a number of reasons — not only to earn that title. But, because of whom I am also running alongside with. My friends Jason Henry and Tim Gill will be joining me on the journey. And, honestly — couldn’t have asked for a better pair of friends to tackle this race with. Both are positive and encouraging guys — who would do anything for anyone. Plus, they both have wicked sense of humor — so we know our 50K won’t be boring — like — at all.

This week we’ll be finishing up our race plan, but really the goal is to just finish. We have 10 hours to complete the race — and I am not too worried about meeting that goal. Obviously, it’s nothing to be blasé about — but I’m confident that’ll be done within 10 hours. The goal is just to finish — have fun — and not get gored by a buffalo. Easy enough, right?

But, I’ll have more about the race on Friday’s post. But, right now — I’m just focused on taking deliberate deep breaths.

It’ll be epic.


MONTHLY MILEAGE UPDATE 2015

Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 246.75 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 436.8 miles
2015 Race Miles – 413.6 miles
2015 Total Miles – 1097.15 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  131.15 miles
July  101.65 miles
August  110.2 miles
September – 115.69 miles
October – 164.7 miles
November – 39.1 miles

MONDAY’S MOTIVATION

The 96th Fartlek Friday™ – It’s all about “St. George or Bust” baby!

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If there are two things I hate in this world it’s Satan and snow. Which is funny — because my middle name is Snow. But, I wasn’t because of the weather element — in fact, I was born in the middle of August — it’s a family name.

But, yeah, I hate the snow.

That’s one reason why I am looking forward to a quick little trip this weekend to St. George in southern Utah. It’s not for business — it’s all pleasure. I am running the Snow Canyon Half Marathon tomorrow morning. This will be the first time running this race — which I have to say is making slightly giddy. Probably too much?

But, I can’t help it. I love southern Utah and especially Snow Canyon. This course basically follows the last half of the St. George Marathon. In my opinion, the better half. I like the challenge Veyo Hill and all, but really — how can you NOT love hitting Snow Canyon and literally running downhill into St. George?

It’s making me that much more excited for St. George next year.

And, that’s why I am actually running Snow Canyon. I signed up for the St. George Runner Series that guarantees me a spot in the marathon next October. All I have to do is run two pre-approved southern Utah races and I’m guaranteed a spot.

So I am running Snow Canyon and then the Bakers Dozen Half Marathon next month in Hurricane. That’s another race I am excited about — not sure if it’s because of the locale or the fact every lap I get the opportunity to cram my face with Hostess products?

I am kind of happy that I am getting both of my required races out of the way, especially before the end of this year. It makes my 2016 race schedule easier to manage. Though I wouldn’t mind running the St. George Half Marathon in January. But, I sh’ant.

So the plan for the quick trip is that I am leaving work at noon and then I am going to be carpooling down to St. George with my friends Jason and Tammy Henry today. We’ll then crash, wake up early, run, eat something good and then drive back home tomorrow afternoon-ish.

Pretty solid itinerary, eh?

I am not pacing this race, in fact it’s my first race that I am running by myself since — um — thinking — Nebo? So, really, I have no expectations. I haven’t really trained for speed the past couple of months.

But, with that said, I do want to go out there and give it a good effort. I’d love to finish somewhere between 2:35-2:45. I think that’s doable and realistic, especially considering that I have never ran this course. If I go faster — good on me.

I really just want to go down there and have fun and give it a good effort. Help me gauge where I am with MY running — not my pacing speed. It should be fun.

It will be fun.

Anyways — it’s “ST. GEORGE OR BUST” baby!

Have a good weekend and happy running!


NEXT WEEK’S RACE: ANTELOPE ISLAND 50K

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Welp, my 50K is rapidly approaching. And, by rapidly approaching I mean — next week. I am running the Antelope Island 50K next Saturday.

I am all kinds of excited, nervous, excited, scared, excited, worried and excited — basically I feel like Jesse Spano before a big exam. I really don’t know what to expect? I don’t want to know what to expect — I just want to do it.

I know I am probably under trained and that’s why I am expected to go slow. I’ll be running with my friends Jason Henry and Tim Gill. We’ve pretty much established we’ll be doing a lot of speed hiking. And, of course, when we’re around buffalo that’ll be actual running.

Sound race plan, eh?

I’m also playing with the idea of ordering a Domino’s Pizza mid-race to see if they’d actually deliver it. I figure it’ll take them over 30 minutes thus giving me a free pizza. Sure it’ll be cold — but when you’re running an ultra marathon I don’t think it matters, right?

Well, okay, no pizza. But, if anyone shows up with a pizza I won’t decline a slice — or ten.

But, really, I am excited. I know I’ve done enough to not die. I know it will hurt. I know my feet will look like hamburger by the end of the race. I know it will be one of the toughest things I’ve done.

BUT — I know it’ll be worth every step. And, that I have what it takes to do it.

As a dear friend (ahem — Jill) says often, “if you can’t be fast — be epic!” So epic is what I’m going for next Saturday!

And, note to self — get that quote on a t-shirt.


WEEKGRAMS

Because that’s not creepy. #consideryourdreamshaunted

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Everything about this says … BAD DECISION. #andididNOTpartake A photo posted by joshua o. snow hansen™ (@kindaqwerty) on


THE UTAH RUNCAST TO RUNCAST USA

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If you’ve been following The Utah Runcast online as of late, you’d know we’ve changed things up a bit. And, by a bit — I mean — a lot. We’re still a podcast that talks about running it’s just our target audience has expanded some.

Basically from Utah to the USA. Quite the expansion.

But, this doesn’t mean we are not about running here in Utah. We’re still Utah based, we still talk about running here in Utah — but also running matters around the country. And, I guess international as well. But, we’re sticking with Runcast USA — no potential Runcast International name.

Besides appealing to a wider audience, we’re making this change in correlation with our podcast host — Podgoblin’s move to PodBash come January 2016. The move will bring a bigger audience so we want to make a similar move as well.

I’ll still be on the show along with Jorge and Jim. Not to mention a couple other additions coming soon. It’s going to be fun — it’s going to be a party.

You can follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. We also have a website RuncastUSA.com where we have bios, past episodes and the like. We’re pretty stoked about the changes — and I hope you are too.

Here’s the last episode of The Utah Runcast if you haven’t listened yet — enjoy!


THE FRIDAY FARTLEK

Here are a few other things that caught my attention this past week —


FRIDAY’S (DE)MOTIVATION

#fitness #health #running #workout #motivation #inspiration #fitlife #fitspiration #run #diet #fastfood #food #burgers @demotivatedfitness

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#fitness #health #running #workout #motivation #inspiration #fitlife #fitspiration #run #diet @demotivatedfitness A photo posted by Demotivated Fitness™ (@demotivatedfitness) on

#fitness #health #running #workout #motivation #inspiration #fitlife #fitspiration #run #diet #food #health #healthyfood @demotivatedfitness

A photo posted by Demotivated Fitness™ (@demotivatedfitness) on