Tag: social media

RACE #145: Saltair Half

Going into this race — I wasn’t having a very good week. Last weekend during the Riverton Half I started having a little pain in one of my molars. I didn’t think too much about it, because it was cold and I just have very sensitive teeth.

But, this was the same tooth that my dentist couldn’t work on because he couldn’t get me numb. It needed a crown, but he just couldn’t do anything with it. So, he filled what he needed to do and felt that we could wait a few months and try again. He didn’t feel like it was close enough to my nerve to worry about a root canal.

Well, it got to that point of needing a root canal.

By Sunday evening it was throbbing and I couldn’t chew on that side at all. I knew I was going to need a root canal. So on Monday I called my dentist and he ended up referring me to a endodontist to do the work. But, the endodontist couldn’t see me until Wednesday. So that left me with about three days of dealing with the pain.

A post shared by (phat) josh (@fight4phat) on

Luckily, my dentist gave me a prescription for some Lorotab. It helped. But, I won’t lie, I kinda hate that stuff. I hate the drowsy feeling and with most pain medications I always get itchy from it. But, come Wednesday I was BEYOND ready for the root canal.

I was beyond surprised how quickly and painless the whole procedure was. I was zonked out and didn’t feel a thing. Sure, my jaw hurt for the next couple of days, but by Friday I was feeling 100% — or close to it.

I’m telling you all this, because it’s framing the context of this run. The past week was brutal on me. It shot my planned workouts and runs I wanted to get in — I got only two miles of running in and FAR less walking miles than I like. The week just sucked.

So on Saturday morning I was just ready for this run. I knew it was going to suck. Not only did not I get the wanted training in the past week, but the course isn’t my favorite — especially when it comes to speed. It’s an out and back flat course along the frontage road running west to east along I-80 in Magna.

A post shared by 🔼That’s me. (@josherwalla) on

I’ve done the Saltair Half a number of times before — so I knew what I was getting myself into. I knew I wasn’t going to be fast, I knew it was going to be tough on me mentally, but I knew I also needed the miles and it wasn’t race toward my 180 goal.

So there I was in Magna at the Great Saltair ready to run.

Despite having only 38 runners for the half marathon the race had pacers — many whom I know. The sweeper was Julianna who I’ve ran with countless times. With that few runners I knew we’d probably be hanging out a lot during the race — if not the whole race.

I had a feeling I was probably going to be the last runner, but I didn’t care. I’ve stopped caring about that where I finish years ago. As long as I do my best for that day and finish, I am happy.

Once the gun sounded Julianna and I started off together. We walked a good part of the first two miles — mistakingly keeping pace with one of the slower dualathletes. We picked up our pace once he turned around at the 5K turnaround, but I won’t lie — it was more like a run/walk for a bit. Something that would probably make Jeff Galloway proud.

A post shared by 🔼That’s me. (@josherwalla) on

Early into the race I noticed that there weren’t any port-a-potties along the course. Like none. In the past there had been at least one at the aid stations. But, there weren’t any — which made me a little anxious. Even if I don’t use it, I know if there isn’t one — I’ll end up needing it.

I tried to not think much about it and just enjoyed the company of Julianna. Once we got to the turnaround point we met up with another runner who was walking at this point. She wasn’t feeling well and had just tanked out. I felt bad for her, because she really could have used a restroom.

After walking with her and Julianna for a bit, I decided to pick up my pace and go ahead. I wanted — well needed — to run. So, I sprinted off around Mile 8. Well, it wasn’t much of a sprint. I didn’t have much spring in my legs, but I decided to keep my walking to a minimum and just push myself past my comfort level.

I felt really good about my last five miles even though I knew I was well past my sub-three semi-goal. But, this race wasn’t about a time goal anyways — it was my therapy from a tough past week. It was my therapy away from the stress of the past week. And, it was my therapy helping me to mentally prepare myself for my 50K in a couple of weeks.

A post shared by 🔼That’s me. (@josherwalla) on

The last couple of miles were brutal. I had no spring whatsoever — and on a flat course — it shows. My sprint was a mall walkers pace. But, I pushed myself through that pain, kept my walking to a minimum and just kept focus on the finish line.

And, I made it.

I made it in 3:26:11. Not my best time. By far. But, I wasn’t disappointed. I wasn’t necessarily happy with it. But, it was what it was — therapy.

After being handed my medal and a bunch of bananas (you gotta give it to them that they know me!) — I hopped in my car and just headed back home. On the drive home I reflected on the run and how tough it was on me. And, how difficult this past week was on me mentally and physically. I was proud of myself for pushing through it all and doing the run. Because it wasn’t easy.

And, now my mind is fully on my 50K in a couple of weeks. Luckily, I don’t need to rely too much on my speed. The speed I was at during this race is probably even a bit too fast for my 50K. So, as discouraging as my time might feel for my half marathon — I feel good about where I will be physically during the 50K.

A post shared by 🔼That’s me. (@josherwalla) on

The next couple of weeks I am just focusing on my workouts and runs. I’ve been working out at home the past couple of months — well lots of physical therapy exercises for my back (which is a non-issue now) and my sprained ankle. But, I am going to get back into my boot camp workouts at my gym and add some more weight training.

Plus, the good thing about training for my 50K is that I am technically tapering. So with PrepperCon this weekend my runs don’t have to be long. I am going to do five miles on Friday or Saturday — on top of the mileage from walking around the convention. I’ll either run around the Sandy area or just hop on the hotel treadmill. Either way — it’s no 20 miler.

But, I am excited for the next couple of weeks. And, as difficult as this past week has been, it’s nice to be able to acknowledge it, process it and then — move on.  Which I am doing now.

SALT FLATS OR BUST, BABY!


MY NEXT FIVE RACES


When I think of Easter, I often think of my angel Grandma — or Yia Yia. She was (and still is) a rock in my life. Her sense of humor, her love of family and her belief in me will always be a hallmark of her legacy. But, it’s one of the Greek Orthodox Easter traditions that she passed onto us, that I will always remember, do and say. In Greece, a common Easter greeting between one another is Χριστός ἀνέστη! (Christos Anesti) Meaning … Christ is Risen! But, instead of the greeted responding with the same greeting they reaffirm that saying with Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη! (Alithos Anesti) Meaning … Truly He Is Risen! Since her passing over two years ago, I ponder much on that saying. It is because of Him that I know I’ll see my Yia Yia again. It is that victory over death that we will ALL rise again. I am grateful for this Easter season and for what it means to me personally, for my family and us all. I stand in reaffirming to all that Christ has truly risen! Happy Easter!

A post shared by 🔼That’s me. (@josherwalla) on

This is the Utah way of saying … “I’m ready for summer, but I’m not sure if it’s here yet.”

A post shared by 🔼That’s me. (@josherwalla) on

With a mug like this, Adventure’s First Stop™ is usually the bathroom.

A post shared by 🔼That’s me. (@josherwalla) on

Teaching young Tatum the ways of the Hansen Egg Challenge. He's a natural.

A post shared by 🔼That's me. (@josherwalla) on


Weekly Review

As mentioned above, this wasn’t a good week for me — physically, mentally or emotionally. The root canal and tooth pain really threw me off. But, this upcoming week I am looking to make up for all of that. I don’t need huge mileage — because of my upcoming 50K — but, I want to get at least three good runs in, on top of the time on my feet that I’ll spend at PrepperCon on Friday and Saturday.

It should be a much better week. It’ll be physically demaning and a bit hectic, but that’s what makes it interesting — right?

Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 2.0 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 21.61 miles
TOTAL MILES — 36.71 miles
Race(s) this week — Saltair Half.

April 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 6.0 miles
Race Miles — 39.3 miles
Walking Miles — 45.63 miles
TOTAL MILES — 90.93 miles
Races in April — Emigration Canyon Half Marathon, Riverton Half, Saltair Half, Salt Flats 50K and Tulip Festival Half

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 187.75 miles
Race Miles — 135.42 miles
Walking Miles — 371.09 miles
TOTAL MILES — 694.26 miles
Races done in 2017 — New Year’s Half Marathon, Sweethearts 5K, Jackpot Running Festival, SL Tri Club Indoor Half, March Madness Half, Lucky 13 Half Marathon, Emigration Canyon Half Marathon, Riverton Half and Saltair Half.



A post shared by The Runcast (@theruncast) on

RACE #142: Lucky 13 Half Marathon

This race was an audible. I was originally planning on running the Antelope Island Buffalo Run 25K, but due to some time sensitive family obligations on Saturday I decided to scratch the 25K for the shorter race. As hard as it was to give up a trail race, I couldn’t be gone a good chunk of the day.

So, luckily, I found the Lucky 13 Half Marathon and changed course. The race starts at Gardner Village in West Jordan and is a fairly simple out and back course along the Jordan River Parkway Trail. Joe Coles and On Hill Events do a series of races at Gardner Village and this was the first one I’ve been able to run.

The race started at 9am and packet pickup was from 7:30-8:30am so I decided to volunteer and help Joe. Doing the volunteer coordinating for Runtastic Events I like to volunteer for other races to see how they do things — from communication, assigning to certain jobs and general use.

The race was rather small — there were 200 runners. Most were running the 5K, but a good chunk ran the 10K while only 50 ran the half marathon. I don’t mind small races at all — in fact, in some situations I kind of prefer it. Especially factoring on the course. And, since we were running on the Jordan River Parkway — it was a good size.

Starting off the race I didn’t really have a game plan since I registered a couple days before. I wanted to push for a sub-three, which I felt was possible. But, honestly, didn’t know for 100% because of the back issues have been having the past three weeks. My running hasn’t been ideal and my miles lower than I would like.

But, I was going to try for it anyway.

Fighting through the crowd of runners soon thinned out as the 5K and 10K runners got to their turnarounds. I wasn’t sure if anyone was behind once it was just us half marathoners left running south on the course. But, I didn’t care. I was just focused on putting one foot in front of the other and giving it a good effort.

I was feeling pretty good during the first half of the race. There was a bit of a headwind, but nothing like two weeks ago at the March Madness Half. I figured once I turned around I’d get a nice tailwind — which would help PUSH me a bit to my sub-three time goal.

Once I got to the turnaround Steven MacKay, a fellow runner from Run4fun, was directing us to make sure we made the turnaround. Once I started heading northward I noticed I was the last runner. But, I wasn’t completely isolated, there were a couple of runners just ahead of me.

I was a few hundred yards behind the runner just ahead of me and I could tell he was starting to struggle around mile eight or so with frequent walk breaks. I kept focusing on him in an attempt to catch up and possibly pass him. I knew I could do it, but I just had to be smart about it.

Around this time Steven caught up with me. After his volunteer post was complete he ran the last stretch of the race to get his miles in for the day. Since there weren’t any pacers for this race Steven decided to bring us runners in — and I’m thankfully he did. The company was much appreciated.

This was the first time meeting Steven in person, but we’ve been acquainted through Run4fun and Facebook. But, our running journeys hold many similarities with our weight loss and fitness back stories and it was nice talking about that — it helped me keep distracted from the fatigue and heat.

Yes, heat.

The temperature starting the race was quite nice. It was around 55-60 degrees at 9am, but by the time I reached the last couple of miles it reached at least 70 degrees. I was baking.

I tore off my monkey hat and was nearly tempted to throw my shirt off as well — but, then I remembered there were decency laws about that. So the shirt stayed on.

But, it was hot. And, it zapped me. Completely zapped.

By this time Steven and I caught up with the runner ahead of us. Steven stayed with him while I forged ahead. We didn’t separate much the last mile or so, but I was motivated to just stay ahead. I didn’t care much if I finished last — but, I wasn’t going to do it without a fight.

Plus, I knew I was going to be cutting my time goal REALLY short. I wasn’t sure if I was going to meet it or not. But, mile 12.5 mile of a half, that feels like you’re running through an Easy Bake Oven, isn’t a good time to math. Well, there’s never a good time to do math — but, especially in THIS moment.

So, I just kept one foot in front of the other and pushed myself as much as I could. That was pretty much all I could anyways. Anything more or less felt like it would kill me.

Once I got back to Gardner Village, the course wound back to the finish line. I always get the urge to sprint at any finish line, but there wasn’t anything else in the tank. I was on empty. I crossed the finish line, got some water and an orange and just collapsed.

I was done.

Shortly after Steven and the last runner crossed the finish line as I just sat there fatigued out of mind. I was not prepared for that heat. And, those last two miles were brutal for me. But, I was done and that’s what mattered.

I checked my time and noticed I didn’t get my wanted time. I came in at 3:01:24. Obviously, not my best time. But, it was still better than my last two half marathons — so I guess that’s a win?

A post shared by (phat) josh (@fit.phat) on

While chewing on that unmet goal I was always informed that I actually PLACED in my age group. Which immediately changed my mood. My reaction was a mixture of laughing and astonishment. I’ve never placed at any race before — 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon and beyond.

Now, let’s not forget that there were 50 half marathon runners so my odds were more than above average to place. But, I run smaller races and didn’t even SNIFF the podium. Considering I am 35 — that’s a prime running age. I just always assumed that I’d place at races I’d run once I hit 70.

I don’t take the placement lately. In order to place — I still have to show up. I still have to run. And, I still have to finish the race. So, it’s not like it was just GIVEN to me. I earned it.

But, I am ready to put in some better half marathon training in the next few months. I don’t want to be stuck around this 3 hour mark much longer. I know I’ve got it in me to run faster. Much faster. And, with my health starting to get under control I know I’ll get there.

But, I have some big goals in front of me, so I am going to be pin point with my plan. And, I’ll blog more on all of that later. I am focusing on next week’s loooooooong ultra training run and then back to racing with the Emigration Canyon Half Marathon on April 1st. I won’t lie, I’m looking forward to some more downhill running.

ONWARD ‘HO!


NEXT FIVE RACES


I wish this bib meant I was eating lobster. #butnope #dentisttime

A post shared by ⬆️That’s me. (@josherwalla) on

RACE #142: Lucky 13 Half Marathon, March 18, 2017 (3:01:24) I did something for the first time EVER during this race! I placed! Yep! I made onto the podium! I came in third place for my age group! Now, before you oh and awe too much over this accomplishment … 50 people ran the half. BUT … I’ve run smaller races and didn’t even sniff the podium. It was a tough race. It got unusually hot for a March race here in Utah and my last two miles was a death shuffle … but, I made it 3:01:24 and I placed! I wish I sub-three’d, but I felt great about my effort. I’m eager to get faster and with one more 50K happening by next month it’ll slowly happen. On to the next one! Emigration Canyon or BUST! #lucky13half #race142 #running @joshruns180 @josherwalla @onhillevents

A post shared by Josh Runs 180 (@joshruns180) on

Helping move my cousin has me in a mood for a game of Tetris™. #tetrismaster

A post shared by ⬆️That's me. (@josherwalla) on


Weekly Review

Another tough week for me, but I got most of my mobility back with a massage and continued work on my back. I am trying to be patient so I don’t come back too fast and too strong — I am healing my back for the long term. Especially my long term goals. I am going to up my miles a bit this week capped off with a 20 or so mile run on Saturday.

Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 3.0 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 25.41 miles
TOTAL MILES — 41.51 miles
Race(s) this week — Lucky 13 Half Marathon.

March 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 20.5 miles
Race Miles — 26.2 miles
Walking Miles — 66.71 miles
TOTAL MILES — 113.41 miles
Races in March — March Madness Half and Lucky 13 Half Marathon.

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 136.65 miles
Race Miles — 96.12 miles
Walking Miles — 214.94 miles
TOTAL MILES — 447.71 miles
Races done in 2017 — New Year’s Half Marathon, Sweethearts 5K, Jackpot Running Festival, SL Tri Club Indoor Half, March Madness Half and Lucky 13 Half Marathon.



A post shared by (phat) josh (@fit.phat) on

Lessons we can all learn from ‘My 600lbs. Life’

This past week has been kind of tough for me. On Monday I went to the dentist for some dental work — and after a couple of hours of poking and numbing they couldn’t get my tooth numb. So they did some other work on me that didn’t require much numbing. After about three hours of being in the dentist’s chair as I got up — my back went out.

If you ever want to feel 36 — it’s moments like those that will make you feel like 36. This whole week I have being dealing with a wretched back. A week I was planning on upping my workouts and mileage in preparation for my 50 miler in a couple of weeks. It kinda felt like leaving the car dealership with a new pair of tires and driving over a nail.

Not fun. And, very deflating.

Will this derail my 50 miler? No. Will this derail my weekend run down Big Cottonwood Canyon? No.

Sadly, I’ve been here before. It’s that whole part of being 36 and with some rest, stretches and activity I know I’ll rebound and be back where I need/want to be.

So, this week I’ve focused on what I can do. Running hasn’t been an issue, especially non-treadmill miles — so I’ve dedicated a couple of my lunches to a few “slow” runs. The movement oddly helps the stiffness. I say oddly, because I have no idea the science behind why (remember, I’m a communications major?) it is the way it is.

It’s moments and mild setbacks like these that give me pause and perspective on my journey. I always seem to go back 10-15 years and think of what Fat Josh would do compared to Phat Josh of today. Would I throw in the towel and just give up? Honestly? Probably, yeah. Well, okay, yes he would.

But, when I compare the two Joshs — I really see the Josh that acts and lives and then the Josh that exists and is just “there.” I often wonder if I didn’t make the changes when I did, where I would be right now? I know I wouldn’t be a runner. But, I often wonder would I be in the same boat as many of the people on ‘My 600lbs. Life?’

I was on that road. I was over 400lbs. with no direction or goal on the horizon. I was just there. Addiction had ahold of me and I dealt with my anxieties, fears, depression and uncertainties in a very unhealthy way. Because more often than not I found comfort in food.

I don’t try to ponder much about that road anymore, because that’s not me. And, I believe not the person I was destined to be. But, I bring that up, because I do look at the similarities of my journey with many of the people on ‘My 600lb. Life.’ Not just in how they learned to medicate through food, but in their recovery, self-discovery and weight-loss.

This past week as I have been laid out a bit with my back, I’ve watched a few more episodes of the show — and I’ve noticed more so than anything this is a show much deeper than weight-loss. This is a show about life. And, there are many things in the show that we can learn no matter our weight, fitness level, ability or age in life.

A few themes that popped out to me are …


Find Your ‘Why?’

Each episode usually finds the why fairly easily and early. Some of the whys are as simple as — to be less dependent on spouses, partners, parents or children. You can usually tell if they found a why because when they do — success isn’t far behind. The why is what keeps them on track with the diet Dr. Nowzaradan gives them and what gets them active and moving more and more each day. Invariably if that ‘why’ or purpose isn’t found — those are the ones that take an extra month or two following the doctor’s diet.

‘Whys’ are north stars. No matter the size, purpose or reason of our journey or goal, if we don’t have that ‘why’ clearly stated and focused upon — then what’s the purpose of putting our effort into it?

So find that ‘why’ and hold onto it. And, don’t be afraid that it changes or evolves as you do. You’ll notice that happens a lot to many of the patients on the show. That why will change from a simple desire for dependency to something deeper and richer.

But, find that why.

Believe In Yourself

One of the saddest parts of the show for me is seeing many of these patients struggle with believing in themselves. I’ve been there. Heck, we’ve all been there to different degrees. But, many of these patients seemed to have just completely shut that off completely in their lives.

For whatever reason some patients will have a hard time believing that they can follow Dr. Nowzaradan’s diet — and that will show in their actions. Those are the ones that either gain weight or lose far less than what the doctor expected to lose.

Now flip that same scenario with a mentality of self belief and it’s a different story. Holding a belief that you can do something leads your actions to — well — act accordingly. And, the task gets easier. It makes the temptations of derailment and diversion less appealing, because you hold the belief that you can follow the course ahead.

It’s amazing how far you can go physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, financially, etc., etc., etc. by simply believing in yourself and your ability to do what you need to do. Even if you have to fake it to make it at first (which is a completely different post for another day).

Set Good Simple Goals For Yourself

If you want a good example of goal setting — watch ‘My 600lbs. Life.’ Seriously, I love Dr. Nowzaradan’s simple approach to goals. Based off his experience and knowledge he knows what kind of goals to set for the patients. You would think for many of these patients being 600lbs or more would require wildly specific goals and expectations.

Nope.

His goals for his patients are rather simple. Stick to a 1200 calorie per day diet, get active and lose 30-50lbs (or whatever) within the next month. That’s about it. And, if the patients are true to those goals they’ll meet those goals in order to get their weight-loss surgery.

Watching the show has really made me reevaluate my goals. When I started my weight-loss journey some seven and a half years ago — I basically followed those simple goals for the first couple of months. I ended up losing between 30-40lbs. with those small changes.  Now, granted when you are 400 or 600lbs. it’s easier to get those kind of numbers — that’s not my point.

My point is how often do over complicate our goals? I fall into that trap often. I’ll freely admit. If I am not careful I will put unrealistic expectations on myself to hit certain goals, etc. And, the more complicated I make them — the less likely I’ll hit them.

That is one reason why I’ve had to teach myself (over and over again) to just keep it simple. Focus on what I can control and reasonable do and build on that — keeping the goals challenging, yet simple. Whatever the goal is — inside or outside of the gym — we do a disservice to ourselves with overly specific, unrealistic and complicated goals.

Surround Yourself With The Right People

I love how blunt Dr. Nowzaradan is with his patients. Especially return patients who didn’t hit their goals — or happened to gain weight. Invariably, he asks — who their enabler is. Especially if he knows they don’t drive or walk much. And, yeah, it’s usually a spouse, partner or loved one who’s buying the food.

I’m grateful that I had a good support system around me when I started my weight-loss journey. Besides having parents and family members eager to see me make changes, I found outside of my immediate family many who wanted to support me. Something, I didn’t expect — but look back with gratitude. I couldn’t have had success without the likes of my aunt, grandma, a number of close friends and my trainer. They were my ‘A’ team.

That’s why I feel sad for those patients who don’t have a support system. Not just like mine, but period. I know if I couldn’t have found the needed support within my family or close friends — I could find it by constructing it.

Now, I am not talking about a support system full of cheerleaders. But, a team. I wish the show delved a bit more into this subject because it’s really important for long-term success in weight-loss or any goal. The team should have cheerleaders, but also those who hold you accountable, those who are your emotional support, those who are your partner in crime, etc., etc., etc.

Sure many of these roles can be held by one person, but if you want success — meet those needs through others. You don’t have to go your journey alone. Your team doesn’t have to necessarily be your immediate family. Just find your team and build it, so they can help build you!

Long Term Success Doesn’t Come Overnight

One thing that interests me in every episodes is how many ‘trail months’ the patient has to do with Dr. Nowazaradan before they approved for surgery. I am not sure if the patients know they have to do a trail month before the surgery, but some get it — and some struggle with it. I’ve seen a few take 3-4 months to “get it.” But, I love how Dr. Nowazaradan acts in these situations — he is easy to praise and has no problem ‘getting real’ with his patient.

Being a viewer, it’s easy for us to judge these patients for not getting it the first time. And, honestly, I think shows like The Biggest Loser have helped shape that mentality for us. We want to see immediate results, we want to see big numbers right off the bat. And, while most patients do see big weight-loss numbers because of the surgery — immediate results and changes in behaviors are not reality.

But, like many of these patients we can learn from them to simply never give up. Take the licks. Roll with the punches. Be open to criticism. And, always have your ‘why’ in view to help you keep going when the ups becomes downs and the doubt creeps in (because they do).

It’s a process.

Have Patience In The Process

Just as I noted above — have patience and trust the process. Change — “real life changing” change takes time. Doesn’t matter what aspect of your life you want to change — it takes time. It takes being honest with yourself and those around you. It takes the ability to build a sound support system around. And, most importantly — it takes you to believe in, trust and expect the best — from you.


Now, I’m sure there are a lot more I could add. And, there are. But, the point I am trying to make is — big changes in life are tough. They’re not easy. They’re difficult. But, they’re doable. They’re achievable. They’re within reach.

You don’t have to be 600lbs or severly overweight to get a lot from this show. Just have an open mind and open heart. The lessons are there. Even if it teaches you compassion and sympathy — that’s a lesson the whole world could learn right about now.

What are your thoughts? Have you watched the series? What do you get out of the episodes?

Running around in circles — with a bunch of my friends

After a week of being sick and feeling like crap — I was looking forward to this past Saturday. I needed this run. I needed these miles. I felt like a bum the whole week, so I needed a little redemption — and I feel like I got it.

A couple weeks ago after running the Resolution Run, Jill and I decided that we needed another indoor run. Mainly for two reasons — one, it was inside away from the snow — and, two, it was primo training for the Jackpot Running Festival — which is a looped course. While miles are important to the training, what kind of miles are of even more importance. And track training miles are just perfect for this kind of race.

I won’t lie — track miles, just like treadmill miles, don’t thrill me much. I would much rather be running down a canyon or along some trail. But, during the winter you won’t often (if ever) find me outside in the cold doing looooong miles. Last week’s half marathon nearly killed me and I just don’t find running in the cold “FUN” — I just don’t.

Plus, I’ve fallen on the ice and snow too many times to know that me, my running shoes and the outside aren’t a recipe for success, fun or productivity. So the treadmill and/or indoor track are my ‘go to’s’ for running in the winter. Plus, I can watch Netflix while running on the treadmill — so there’s that.

Anyways — enough about my hatred of winter running.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Knowing I had some long miles to do this week, Jill and I decided to run the Utah Olympic Oval. So, we decided to invite a bunch of our running friends (to make it more bearable) and just crank out the miles.

I wanted to crank out 20-25 miles for the day, but I wasn’t sure what my body was capable of after a week of being sick. But, my ultra training isn’t about the miles — it’s more about time on my feet. I’m never going to win an ultra race or even place — so why worry so much about pace and miles? Especially, when my goal is to simply just finish?

So my focus in training has been time on my feet.

There could be arguments of the contrary, but I figured it’s gotten me where I want to go — it’s working just fine. Especially considering that I cut like a half hour off my 50K time at the Antelope Island 50K from 2015 to 2016.

I didn’t know how long I was going to be on my feet on Saturday, but I knew I wanted to be on my feet for at least six hours and run at least 20 miles. So, I decided to get to the Oval when it opened the track at 6am, so I could be done around noon. The idea was to get six hours of running in or until I got to 20 miles.

I didn’t get running until 6:15am after prepping myself up. I started off a bit apprehensively, because I forgot two of the most important things to my running — my surgical tape for my “moobs” and my BodyGlide for my thighs. I knew I was going to be in trouble, because chaffing is not kind to me. And, it wasn’t once again on Saturday — especially when I hopped in the shower.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

As I started running around the track some of my friends started joining me and the others on the track — Robert, Mary, Susette, Brain, the Gabicas and so forth. It started to turn into one big party. My favorite kind of running.

I ran a few laps with Robert — and talked about his ultra training. He’s running his first 100 miler in March on Antelope Island. A distance that amazes and frightens me. As daunting as my 50 miler was for me, I can’t imagine doubling that distance, because it’s not simply like you’re doubling your efforts in training, running and prep.

I also took a number of laps with Jill and then Susette as she was pushing Jill’s kids in a running stroller. It was fun to catch up with Susette. We’ve been friends for almost five years now, but our running kind of split after she started running more and more ultras — including 100 milers.

Then around 9-9:30, Jim joined in on the fun and did most of the last of the laps with me. I was glad to have Jim there, because my legs were starting to feel pretty heavy. The first three hours of running I was doing 2:1 (running: walking) sets. I felt good for the most of it, but honestly, I should have do 2:1, 1:1, 2:1, 1:1, etc., etc., etc. sets like I had at the Resolution Run a few weeks before. I came out too fast and strong and it started wearing me out earlier than I wanted.

The last three hours were pretty tough, but I knew I could fight through it. My legs were feeling heavy and then I started feeling my chaffed thighs cheering — and killing — me on. But, I knew I could and would do this. It really was just a matter of mind over matter. That’s all ultrarunning is, is just training your mind to be tougher than your legs.

A photo posted by (phat) josh (@fit.phat) on

Having Jim there was great, because we can talk — and do talk — about anything. That’s one of the reasons why he is a co-host on The Runcast. We talked about everything from his new Hoka OneOne shoes, the Los Angeles Chargers, how much I hate the LA Dodgers, Jim’s sexy radio voice and how much we want to learn how to ride a Zamboni.

His divergent presence was a godsend.

As I approached the six hour mark I wasn’t at my 20 miles yet. I was about two miles or less from the mark. I was tempted to almost call it good, but I couldn’t do it. Most of the other runners were gone — including Jill and Susette. Robert was still there but stayed to take pictures and get a few last laps around the track. So, it was just me and Jim.

But, I kept going. I had to get that 20.

So I cranked them out.

It wasn’t pretty, but it took me about another 20-25 minutes, but I cranked them out. And, before I knew it. I was done.

20 miles. Done.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

After such a crappy week of feeling like crap, I felt extremely happy to be done with the miles. The feet were sore, my thighs and nipples were in agony and my legs were achy, but I did it. And, that pride makes up for all of that pain. Especially knowing that I was one week closer to Jackpot. And, that’s what counts.

I have one more six hour run to do on February 4th and once again — I’ll be back at the Oval with Jill. And, of course, friends are invited as well. I even started a Facebook event for the occasion. And, if you’re wondering — yes, you’re invited. Just RSVP or plan on coming! I’d love the company.

One more month until Jackpot! WOOHOO!



RUNNING MILES

32.00 miles

RACE MILES

13.1 miles

WALKING MILES

34.62 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

79.22 miles



A photo posted by The Runcast (@theruncast) on

InstaReplay: St. George Marathon

I’ll get a whole St. George Marathon recap up here on the bloggy blog within the next couple of days. I’m going to first let it process for a bit. I had a blast and I hit the goals I wanted to hit during the race. Well, most of them.

Anyways — here are a few snaps from the weekend … and by a few, I mean a lot …

ST. GEEZY OR BUST, BABY! #race132 #stgeorgemarathon #running

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

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

#FitnessFriday: 20 Midnight Miles …

Egags! That was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. This was the weekend I was planning my midnight 20 mile treadmill run. Originally, I was going to do it Saturday morning beginning at 12am, but our family is heading out of town for the weekend — so I decided to move it up a day to Friday morning.

So, here I am writing about my run — pretty much half asleep. I wouldn’t be surprised if I started to hallucinate before noon. I am pretty dang tired. I guess staying up all night while running 20 miles to do that to you, eh?

But, it’s done.

Now, you’re probably wondering what possessed me to do this? Well, first off — I blame Jill. She was the one who gave me the idea. She likes coming up with these “how can we punish ourselves?” training runs and routes. She is one the best worst influences in my life — literally in many arenas.

So, yeah, I totally blame Jill.

But, the thinking behind this run is to not just prepare me for my marathons next month, but my 50 miler as well. I wanted to do something that was physically, emotionally and mentally tough. And, running on the treadmill — for 20 miles — in the middle of the night was just insane enough to cover all three of those focused areas. Plus, it’s awesome fatigue training.

To keep myself from going completely insane — I decided to a couple of things. One, I was planning to break up the run into four 5 mile legs with about a 15 minute break in between the legs. I used that time to run to the restroom, eat some food (mainly bananas) and hydrate.

I also planned on changing my shirt and hat/bandana after each leg too — no point in staying in a soaked shirt and headband, right? Plus, wet shirts substantial raise the risk of me chaffing all over my body (not just the moobs),like manatee that got ran over by a motorboat.

Simply, put — it’s not fun.

And, lastly, my plan was to keep myself entertained through Netflix, the Olympics and whatever looked good on TV. I thought about putting my headphones in and jamming out to my music, but — yeah — I would have probably gone mad or the very least fallen asleep around mile 10.

I pretty much ended up watching more Olympics than anything. Netflix wasn’t really working and NBC was replaying the swimming and gymnastic events — and since I didn’t see them earlier I just ended up watching that for a couple hours.

And, oh my gosh, it was the best/worst decision I could have made. When Phelps won his 22nd gold medal I almost threw my hand into the ceiling fan in jubilation and then I pretty much lost it when Simone Manuel won her gold medal. Her reaction was just priceless — I could only imagine those emotions.

The other Simone — Simone Biles — was AMAZING in the gymnastic meet. Holy cow! I don’t understand gymnastics most of the time, but every four years I’m GLUED to it. I have never seen anyone more dominant than Simone. She deserved her gold medal. She was simply amazing.

I’m the runner your mother warned you about. I did my first of two 20 milers last night — on the treadmill starting at midnight. I’m pretty sure this certifies me as crazy? But, I not only did this for my marathon training, but for my 50 mile ultra as well. This was primo fatigue training! I broke up my miles into four 5 mile legs with 15 minute breaks in between each leg. I was shooting for between 4-4:30 hours of total running — ended in 4:20, I’m happy about that. So it took me just over 5 hours total. Bit bad. As much as I hate the treadmill it was nice having everything I needed right there. A flushable toilet and change of shirt was great to have at each break. I ended up watching a little Netflix, lots of the Olympics and even some Rachel Ray to pass the time. Emphasis on some. I ended up turning Netflix back on because Rachel was a bit too much to handle at mile 17 of my run. She really shouldn’t ever be given coffee. My other 20 miler is in two weeks and then I get into running my marathons in preparation for my 50 in mid-October. I can’t wait! #running #20miles #trainingrun #marathontraining #ultratraining #fitness #motivation #wellness #workout #treadmill #treadmillworkout #dreadmill #ultramarathon #marathon @fight4phat @josherwalla @joshruns180

A photo posted by @fight4phat on

So after all of this Olympic jubilation — NBC followed it all up with Rachel Ray. Talk about a steep drop off. I tried to get into her show, but at 3:30am — I couldn’t take her personality. I swear she gets hooked up to IVs full of coffee before each show.

So, yeah, I tried to find something else to watch. But, do you know how hard it is to find something decent to watch at 3:30-4am?I swear if I wasn’t on the treadmill running I would have bought a kitchen load of copper pans that keep cheese from sticking to the pan. I also saw a Squatty Potty commercial — those are always magical.

Anyways — the run itself wasn’t bad. Well — THAT — bad. My goal was to finish within 4-4:30 hours so with my breaks in between the legs it’d take me a good 5-5:15(ish) hours. It took me 4:20 to do the 20 so I was within my range — I did end up fartleking a lot of my last leg, because of fatigue. But, overall, I feel good about the run.

I mean — I ran 20 miles on the treadmill in the middle of the night. Who does that?

Crazy runner people who are training for a 50 mile ultra, I guess?

Luckily, this is my only long treadmill planned. My next 20 miler (in two weeks) will be running the Run Elevated Half down Little Cottonwood plus 7 miles afterwards. That’s another tough mental and physical run, because usually when I am done racing — I am done moving for the day. This will be a hard run. But, a neccessary one.

And, I am oddly looking forward to it.

Anyways — as I mentioned above, I doing a mini staycation this weekend to relax. And, then on Monday I’m (finally) turning 35. I say finally, because I’ve been telling people I am 35 for pretty much the past six months or so. It’s kind of the curse of working with finances, because I go off the fiscal year a lot. It’s already my 2017.

So make sure to come back next Tuesday for pictures of my weekend and birthday festivities. Since I share a birthday with my sister we usually go do something fun. And, by fun I mean — wherever the nieces and nephews want to go. A few years it was the zoo, last year it was Snowbird and this year it’s Cherry Hill! It’s like 1996 all over again. I’m looking forward to it.

I will have a number of posts out next week as well dealing with my Whole30 completion (Monday is my weigh-in), my new diet plan and a 40 Before 40 Bucket List I made in honor of my birthday.

YEAH RUNNING! BOO TREADMILLS! YEAH OTHER THINGS!


12788035_1688827578069562_373889742_n

It’s been awhile since we’ve posted a podcast of either AIIA or the Runcast. Life has been pretty hectic. But, AIIA is back this week — and — the Runcast will be next week. Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about you.

This is a great podcast this week from AIIA — it’s a Q&A panel and dives into some good stuff. No matter what your relationship is with addiction — the AIIA Podcast is a great source of inspiration for everyone! So please give it a listen …


RRR-20-coupon


I’m mowing the lawn right meow. #punnypuns

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on


fight4phat-4

Today is Day 28 of my third round of Whole30! Which means my weigh-in is on Monday — which is also on my birthday! I have no idea how much I’ve lost. I kinda doubt I lost the 13.3lbs. I wanted to lose to get into the 230s, but I am fine with that. I feel like I’ve plateaued a bit — which is typical.

I’ve stuck with the diet and kept myself on track there. So we will see. I love the intrigue of my weigh-in days — it’s like a page out of the book of The Biggest Loser. All I really need now is a blinky scale and flavored gum sponsor to make it legit.

I have a diet plan I am going to share a bit more in depth next week. But, basically, I’ve adapted the Whole30 diet plan into a 80/20 format. There’s a lot to it that’ll share later next. But, I am excited and ready to keep a lot of this momentum going.

So make sure to come back on Monday for my weigh-in stats!



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