Tag: Training Run

Running BIG for Robert

This past week has been a tough one for me. I didn’t get in nearly enough miles, mainly because of illness among a few other things. But, I knew no matter how I felt I was going to do some miles on Saturday in honor of my friend Robert Merriman who’s battling brain cancer.

It’s been an emotional couple of weeks for the running community here in Utah that know and love Robert. He’s such a staple here on the road or trail. He’s a friend to all.

I met Robert first back in 2012 while running the Farmington Days Half Marathon. Our conversation was brief, but I remember him introducing himself and mentioned that he read my blog. We saw each other at a number of other races over the rest of the year and eventually connected over Facebook.

You could say that after that — the rest was history. Over the next couple of years we were a part of a very close-knit group of runners. We all ran together, no matter the pace. Many times Robert would run ahead to take pictures of the group — or at times — if he wasn’t able to run with us, he’d still show up at some point of the run to take pictures of us.

I’ve grown to really respect Robert and look up to him in many aspect. His kindness toward others is second to none. He is one of the biggest reasons why I am training for my first 100 miler next February. Seeing Robert train and work toward gave me the hope and desire to try it too.

So when he was diagnosed with the cancer it was devastating — not just to me, but to our little group and the running community by and large. It’s been amazing seeing the community rally around him and support him and his family. Something we know he would do for any of us.

The weekend of his diagnosis and surgery it was awesome seeing so many runners wearing grey with red Canadian maple leafs at the Handcart Days and Deseret News Half Marathons. It continued with the Timp Half and the many other races that weekend as well. There were so many maple leafs worn during the Timp Half that many runners were asking why there were so many Canadians at the race.

That should tell you how much this community really rallied around Robert.

So, this weekend’s group run brought out the grey and maple leafs once again as we flooded Big Cottonwood. There was another group running the canyon as well, so there was a lot of crossover, but lots of grey either way. It was pretty cool.

I wanted to run anywhere between 15-20 miles, but with my health still questionable — I deciding between more like 10-15 miles. I am not where I want to be with my fitness right now, but I’m getting there. Especially with my ankle doing much, much better. I am at the point right now I need to start looking at alternatives to a couple of my marathons if I feel like I can’t do them.

But, that’s a post for another day.

Anyways, I decided 10 miles was a good run for me — which I decided basically right as the car passed 10.0 on the pedometer. So, I hopped out of the car that was taking everyone else up further in the canyon and made my descent.

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When I run, I usually don’t go for pace — I go by feel. I’m very much a zen runner. Honestly, it’s been the only way I’ve been able to get through my injury and slowing pace. If I am going to run, I’m going for a fun time. If I am too worried about my pace — I tend to not have fun and feel like crap post run.

So, I just focus on feel. I focus on pushing myself just beyond comfort. And, as long I focus on that I’ll get faster and where I want to be. Does this mean I’ll never focus on pace again? No. It’s just my goals right now don’t need it and mentally it screws with me. I’ll get there again. But, for now — it’s all about effort.

Anyways, the run went well. I kept my effort just beyond that comfort. I focused on my form, especially on my right foot. My new shoes really help keep my over pronation honest, but I still need to mentally focus on it so I don’t lazily undo it.

My ankle was a little sore by mile 7-8, but nothing like it has in the past. Most of the soreness was actually from lateral movement down the canyon, which I expected. And, compared to my last run down Big Cottonwood I felt much better. Thank goodness.

The run was gorgeous and I just focused on what I needed to while jamming out to my music. It was perfect. There were so many runners in the canyon that it really felt like a race. It was neat. There were at least three fairly large groups there. And, apparently some runners got stopped by others asking if there was a race.

It was the perfect morning for a run.

The last mile or so of my run I was able to run with my friend Lizz, who started three miles up the canyon and then walked down and then back up and down a couple times before running into me again. She did over 7-8 miles on a not very easy course. But, we haven’t had an opportunity to run much together so it I was happy to finish my run with her.

After being joined by Ruthie for the last bit of the run we all finished back at the Park n’ Ride and after a few pictures we left and parted for the rest of the day. As I mentioned above, it was the perfect morning for a run. And, a perfect day to run and honor our friend Robert.

The good news of this all is that he was sent home and is recovering really well. He should be a few weeks from being able to drive and do some light running (non-runners like to call it jogging). The fact that he’s been in amazing health has helped him a lot. And, I couldn’t be any happier for him and his family … he’s a fighter.

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Next week on August 17th — Robert’s Birthday — Costa Vida is holding a benefit night for Robert. As of right now, the Draper, American Fork and Payson stores will donate 20% of each order from 5pm to close to Robert’s family. There’s been a big interest from runners in other parts of Utah that they’re working on getting other stores involved in the benefit night.

But, if you would like to help Robert and his family while also enjoying an awesome meal from Costa Vida you can get more details about the night here. As I mentioned more stores will hopefully be added soon — and those will be posted there.

Anyways, we love you Robert! We’re praying for you! We’re running for you!


July 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 38.6 miles
Race Miles — 39.3 miles
Walking Miles — 116.38 miles
TOTAL MILES — 194.28 miles
Races in July — (3) The Hobbler Half, Handcart Days & DesNews Half.

August 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 13.5 miles
Race Miles — 0.0 miles
Walking Miles — 15.66 miles
TOTAL MILES — 29.16 miles
Races in August — (3) Elephant Rock Trail Half, Run Elevated Half and Nebo Half 

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 324.55 miles
Race Miles — 282.42 miles
Walking Miles — 795.81 miles
TOTAL MILES — 1402.78 miles
Races done in 2017 — (19) New Year’s Half Marathon, Sweethearts 5K, Jackpot Running Festival, SL Tri Club Indoor Half, March Madness Half, Lucky 13 Half Marathon, Emigration Canyon Half Marathon, Riverton Half, Saltair Half, Provo City Half Marathon, Jordan River Half Marathon, Drop13 Half Marathon, Bear Lake Trifecta — Idaho, Wyoming & Utah, AF Canyon Race Against Cancer, The Hobbler Half, Handcart Days Half and DesNews Half.


I kinda want to know what constitutes EXCESSIVE speed?

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Shopping for the morning after the apocalypse.

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He looks as beautiful as Stevie Wonder plays, and plays as well as Stevie Wonder sees.

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I must be in Utah County.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, all’s good, right?

Well, sorta.

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

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

And, that worked.

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

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

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

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


Weekly Miles

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

June 2017 Miles

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

July 2017 Miles

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

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 280.55 miles
Race Miles — 243.12 miles
Walking Miles — 644.27 miles
TOTAL MILES — 1167.94 miles
Races done in 2017 — New Year’s Half Marathon, Sweethearts 5K, Jackpot Running Festival, SL Tri Club Indoor Half, March Madness Half, Lucky 13 Half Marathon, Emigration Canyon Half Marathon, Riverton Half, Saltair Half, Provo City Half Marathon, Jordan River Half Marathon, Drop13 Half Marathon, Bear Lake Trifecta — Idaho, Wyoming & Utah and AF Canyon Race Against Cancer.


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

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

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

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Obviously, I’m her favorite uncle.

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Looking ahead toward the summer …

Summer feels like it’s finally here. Sure, we live in Utah, so the odds of a June snowstorm isn’t completely out of the question — but it’s June. It’s summer. And, I couldn’t be any more excited.

The past couple of months haven’t been the easiest. The road to recovery has been difficult at best. But, my ankle is getting stronger and I feel optimistic that I’ll get where I want/need to be sooner than later. I’ve never sprained my ankle this badly before — so it’s kind of uncharted territory for me.

I’m finding it’s easier for me for me run roads at this point. The unevenness of trails probably isn’t the best surface for my ankle at this point in my recovery. But, I found a downhill road terrain works best for the ankle right now.

I’m not sure if the downhill has any benefit other than makes me feel faster? But, compared to a flat or hilly course there isn’t much push off on my bum ankle — which makes for a happy ankle — in the long run (pun intended).

I’ve been trying to avoid running more than 13.1 miles for my races the past month — so — I sadly, had to back out of Ragnar that happened this weekend. I just know that my ankle wouldn’t have held up. Even with that — I looked at other races, but most were all trail races. A no, no for my ankle right now.

Resigned to running on my own, I was going to run Big Cottonwood with a group of friends or possibly go help at an aid station during the Squaw Peak 50. But, when it came down to it — I opted to stay closer to home. I had a few things I needed to do at home and if I volunteered at Squaw Peak, I would have been gone all day.

So I decided to get done what I needed to do and just go for an evening run.; I was going to run my usual route along Davis Blvd., but I won’t lie — it’s run it’s course. It’s a little boring for me. So, I decided to climb up to Bountiful Blvd. and run to the temple.

The climb up Chelsea Drive in Bountiful is pretty steep. It’s a half mile climb which feels like Everest at times. But, I decided it would be a great warm up — so I did my Grandma proud and mall walked up Chelsea. It got me sweating before I was half way up the road.

Turning northward I made the trek toward the temple. I didn’t have a mileage in mind, I was more in for the zen than anything else. So, I just ran. Well, it was more like a fartlek. But, I was feeling good and that’s all that mattered.

After winding around I made it 2.5 miles out before taking a moment to enjoy (and take a picture) of the sunset and temple. I debated going a bit further, but the 5 miles seemed like a good enough distance. Besides, I was just enjoying the evening, scenery and moment. So I headed back.

The run back was just as nice — I granted I ran into a deer around mile four and then a raccoon about a half mile after that. I’ve been running into a lot of wildlife lately — in a Snow White kind of way. Last week it was skunks, this week the deer and raccoons, I can only imagine what next week will bring?

Let’s just pray it ain’t snakes.

I hate snakes.

Anyways, I’m excited for this weekend. I am running the Drop13 Half Marathon down Big Cottonwood Canyon. Probably my favorite canyon here along the Wasatch Front? This course is fast. And, despite the ankle my goal is simply a sub-3 … which I am sure will happen. Heck, a 2:45 would be great, but right now I am wary of pushing that high of an expectation.

But, we’ll see. I’m just going to base my effort and push on what the ankle will give me.

I am running the Bear Lake Trifecta next weekend. Granted, it’s the half marathon, not the marathon. I am worried about how my ankle will hold up, so I am going to reassess it after each race. I should be fine. I am not going for speed and if I need to take my time on one or two of them — so be it.

But, I am not afraid of backing out of one or more of the Trifecta races if I feel like the ankle won’t hold up. I have to be. My long term goal isn’t worth ruining for short term glory. I am working toward my 100 miler and that needs to be my focus. But, that doesn’t mean I am not going to push myself.

Anyways, here is my race schedule up until the end of August. I can’t wait …

I’ve got a lot of running to do and I can’t be more excited and ready for the challenge. But, I am also willing to be patient as my body continues to heal. Two opposites that are teaching me a lesson at the moment.

Anyways — I’m just ready to run.


We make patriotism look good. 🇺🇸 #runofremembrance

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I taught Eliza how to take her first selfie today. Now we just got to work on the face. Baby steps.

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We be grillin’ … summer is HERE!

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Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 11.5 miles
Race Miles — 0.0 miles
Walking Miles — 18.52 miles
TOTAL MILES — 30.02 miles
Race(s) this week — N/A

May 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 22.0 miles
Race Miles — 26.2 miles
Walking Miles — 104.04 miles
TOTAL MILES — 152.24 miles
Races in May — Provo City Half Marathon and Jordan River Half Marathon.

June 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 9.5 miles
Race Miles — 0.0 miles
Walking Miles — 8.67 miles
TOTAL MILES — 18.17 miles
Races in May — Drop 13 Half Marathon, Bear Lake Trifecta, Bear Lake Trifecta, Bear Lake Trifecta, AF Canyon Race Against Cancer

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 236.75 miles
Race Miles — 177.62 miles
Walking Miles — 533.12 miles
TOTAL MILES — 947.49 miles
Races done in 2017 — New Year’s Half Marathon, Sweethearts 5K, Jackpot Running Festival, SL Tri Club Indoor Half, March Madness Half, Lucky 13 Half Marathon, Emigration Canyon Half Marathon, Riverton Half, Saltair Half, Provo City Half Marathon and Jordan River Half Marathon.


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My Improvised Liberty Park Run

My Grandma had a saying whenever she had to do something she didn’t really want to do. She’d exasperate, “you gotta do what’cha gotta do, when gotta do it!” And, she’d usually follow that up with, “well Josher, you can’t win them all!”

You could pretty much sum up my Saturday long run with those words.

This weekend has been on my calendar for a loooooong run. Initially, I wanted to do a self-supported ultra run — 50 miles to be exact. I wanted to run from the State Capital in Salt Lake City to the Provo Towne Center. It’s a run that’s on my Honey Bucket List — and I WILL do it one day.

But, I decided against for a number of reasons — the main reason being my back, but also I liked the idea of doing it on a looped course, like my last ultra, so that I could have an aid station every 2-3 miles or so. I decided to do 50 miles at Liberty Park where I could have an aid station and/or 7 Eleven every mile and a half or so.

After that decision the plan went from 50 miles to 50K to 20 miles before deciding that a canyon run sound better, so I organized a group run down Emigration Canyon to Liberty Park. That run is about 13 miles from the Little Mountain summit and one I used to do quite a bit a few years ago. And, even though I am running the Emigration Canyon Half Marathon next week — I love the canyon enough that I knew I wouldn’t get sick of it come next week.

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I had a good 8-9 people committed to the run, but come Friday night that number started dwindling. Part of that reason was the forecast, but others opted to stay home or get a bit more sleep — which I don’t fault or am upset about it. I get it — I’ve done it too.

So, come Saturday morning, when my friend Laura and I were the only ones to show — I knew I wasn’t going to be running down Emigration Canyon. Which I was fine with, so I just decided to just run Liberty Park. Laura had done 16 miles the previous day so she decided to just go home.

After talking for a while with Laura, I decided to get going on my run. And, I won’t lie — I really wasn’t feeling it. Especially with having planned to run 13-16 miles for the day. But, as much as I don’t mind running Liberty Park, I had my mind set on doing at least 13 of those miles down a canyon.

So, I tried to talk myself into my run. At first, I tried to justify just doing 8 miles, but after a couple of strong laps, I knew I had a bit more than that in me — so I fixed my mind on 10 miles. And, for most of my run I just planned on 10 miles — which is about 6-7 laps around the park.

And, for as much as I wasn’t feeling my run, I did feel rather strong. I alternated my laps with a running lap and a fartleked lap (walk, run, walk, run about every third or fourth of a mile … ish) and just got into a good groove. I just focused on losing myself into my music and thought.

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Well, I guess I got lost pretty good because I lost track of my laps and ended up doing an extra one. I ran to my car THINKING I just finished running 10 miles, but when I looked at my watch I noticed it said 11.5 miles. I laughed at this realization and then just thought to myself — I got one more lap in me.

So, I beasted out one more lap.

At this point it was raining pretty strong. But, I was already wet, so it wasn’t going to matter anyways — so I just cranked up my music (R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” which had been on repeat for about 3-4 miles) and went for an even 13 miles. But, of course I ended up doing laps around the parking lot to get 13.1 miles.

I did briefly entertain the thought of doing another lap, but I knew if I did that, then I’d have to do another to even it to 16 miles — and I was actually getting a little tired. But, mostly hungry — and no thanks to me craving burritos for most of my run. So, I just decided to stop.

After sitting in the car to warm up a bit my hunger grew strong — especially for tacos or a burrito. So, I decided to trek over to the Sears Burrito for lunch. It’s been a looooong time since I’ve eaten at the Tacos Don Rafas stand and I just wanted/needed it in my life at that moment.

I was wavering between getting corn tortilla tacos or a burrito, because of the gluten in the flour tortilla. But, I made the decision for the heftier burrito justifying that I SHOULD be okay this once — especially if I didn’t get sour cream or cheese on it.

Anyways, long story short — I was wrong. But, at least it didn’t stop me from enjoying it in the moment. But, I paid for the flour tortilla later. Not fun — and a lesson learned.

But, all in all — I feel good about the run. It was tough to mentally get into it, but I eventually got into it. I didn’t let the rain mentally destroy me and I forged through it for a rewarding 13 miles.

A good way to go into my race next weekend. I’m looking forward to a solid week of running and workouts now that I have my back in a place where I want/need it. And, I feel confident breaking through with a solid sub-three during the race.

And, at least I know I’ll be running Emigration Canyon next week. No plan B — and no burrito.


Weekly Review

It was another tough week for me. I got in some miles during the week, but I wouldn’t call them good or what I planned on — but I still got about 17 miles in and I am good with that right now. My SI joint flared up again and made walking just painful for a few days. I’ve been doing a lot of stretching to avoid the flare ups, but when it happens — it happens.

I really should get into a chiropractor, but I won’t lie — I’m a bit too cheap for that. It’s usually my last resort. So, I did the next best thing and found some tutorials on YouTube on how to align your SI joint by yourself. And, you know what — it works! I haven’t had any stiffness the past couple of days. Truly magical.

Anyways — I want to go into next week’s race feeling prepared with a few strong runs in me next week. I feel that’s possible and I am ready for them. I want to gain some speed back. I just need to be a patient young grasshopper.

Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 17.6 miles
Race Miles — 0.0 miles
Walking Miles — 22.34 miles
TOTAL MILES — 39.94 miles
Race(s) this week — None.

March 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 38.1 miles
Race Miles — 26.2 miles
Walking Miles — 89.05 miles
TOTAL MILES — 153.35 miles
Races in March — March Madness Half and Lucky 13 Half Marathon.

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 174.75 miles
Race Miles — 96.12 miles
Walking Miles — 303.99 miles
TOTAL MILES — 574.86 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.


Obligatory singing and lighting of the cake (with a side of 'keep Thalia from touching the flame'). #thaliaturns1

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Pinterest has got nothing on me! #thaliaturns1 #pinterestfail

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Made a new friend today. His name is Cosmo, but I changed it to Humpy. #emsizzlesinto30 #realcamelsdontsmoke

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Running 13 miles in the rain earns you a burrito from Tacos Don Rafa. It's like a rule or something … #irun4burritos

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This kid melts my heart! I can't help it that he picked me as his favorite uncle. #chubbingtatum #prouduncle

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So, putting socks on my nephew's hands isn't a good idea. Kinda like taping a cat's paws. #nobueno #chubbingtatum

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Brace yourself, the poop trees are back. 💩🌳🤢 #gagme

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CAMELBACK FRIDAY

On Friday night my friend Emily celebrated her 30th birthday with (what will hopefully become a tradition) riding camels! Here is a little video she made of the adventure. I won’t lie … I want a camel now. Anyone want to buy one for me?


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This is Bananas …

Running has become a large part of who I am — a very large part. And, it’s something I want it be a part of me throughout my lifetime. When I made my goal to run 180 races by age 40 — I did so because I wanted running to be a challenge that took me a decade or so to acheive.

Well, I am 35 — going on 36 in August — and I am some 43 races away from that goal. I wouldn’t have anticipated five years ago that this is where I would be. There are many reasons why I love running and racing — but, that’s not what this post is about. Needless to say — I love to run and it has been life changing for me.

But, as I approach the completion of this goal, I am starting to look a beyond the goal. I am starting to ask myself — what’s next? Do I simply add more races to my goal? Do I make a goal to run 300 races by 40? Or 500 by 50? Or do I take another approach?

As much as I would love to add to my number goal, I’m feeling the pull to aspire to something else. For one, I want to eventually reach my goal of a running a sub-two half marathon. And, I can’t really do that when I am running 20-25 races a year.

I also want to run more. And, I am not talking about more races, but more longer races. I love the challenge of ultra races. Having three ultra marathons under my belt — I am beyond the point of guessing whether or not I can do such distances. Because, I know I can.

There is an appeal to me for these longer distances — not just during a race, but in a personal feat. I look at a number of local runners, specifically Cory Reese and his many self-sustained 100 milers — around a track, in the wilderness and in the Salt Lake and Utah Valleys. His craziness and approach to adventure speaks to me.

A couple years ago Cory ran from the Utah State Capital in Salt Lake City to Provo (50 miles) and back — for a crazy urban 100 miler. I was in awe and inspired. He was self-sustained through friends and convenience stores. The run included a number of Slurpee stops — which again speaks to me.

When Cory did this, I wanted to try something similarly “crazy.” Albeit, my kind of crazy. That’s why a few weeks ago I decided that I wanted to challenge myself to a similar goal of running from Salt Lake to Provo — just not back like Cory. It would essentially be a 50 mile run.

The concept and route will be somewhat similar to Cory’s route. I am planning on running down State Street in Salt Lake using convenience stores as my aid stations. Most likely 7 Elevens — because where else can I fuel up on Slurpees and bananas? I am planning on jotting over to Draper and Suncrest as I descend into Utah Valley and follow State Street and University Blvd. to the Provo Town Centre.

You can check out the map I made here. Of course that’s subject to change as I vet out that route a bit more.

But, I am inviting any and all of my friends to join me in the adventure whether it’s for all 50 miles — or a mile or two along the way. I want this to more so be a celebration of running and achievement than anything else. Plus, I think it will be a lot of fun with others involved.

If you’re interested in joining me, I’ve made a Facebook event for this adventure. I am doing it Saturday, March 25th. Which is subject to change dependent on the weather and a couple other factors. But, I am pretty set on that date.

Oh, and the name of the run?

This is Bananas!

I think that pretty much speaks for itself. Because, this run is bananas.

But, it will be fun and I can’t wait.

SO JOIN ME!

[DEEP BREATH] … the fun and madness is about to go into full swing!

First off — Happy 7 Eleven Day! Happy Slurpee Day! This is truly a holiday worth celebrating. But, oddly, I am not this year. Unless there is a sudden change of rules, Slurpees are not on the Whole30 diet. Which is such a shame. Especially considering it’d probably make it the most popular diet in America.

But, alas, it is not — for obvious reasons.

So any of my Slurpee drinking friends out there — please have one for me today, mmkay?

I had a remarkably fun and meaningful weekend — with not much running. It was spent mostly with family. My niece got baptized on Saturday and so we spent the day with family and her. I probably could have gotten a run in, but I didn’t worry about it for a number of reasons.

  1. I was where I needed to be — with family and my niece.
  2. I was upping my mileage this week anyway — so I’d get a good run in on Monday anyways.
  3. I dealt with some sore calves most of the week and probably needed the rest.

I won’t lie — there was slight panic missing a run and having a low mileage run week. But, you know what? It is what it is — and I am moving on. You’re going to always have a bad week or miss a run — and as long as it’s not a habitual thing … it’s okay. I’m going to be okay.

I am going to have a good week of running though — not only do I have the Utah Midnight Run this Friday, but I am planning on doing a couple of double run days. Why? Mostly for fatigue training. But, also to motivate me to run in the morning. And, the best way to motivate me, is to challenge me.

Sooooo — I am planning on running 2-3 miles in the morning and then 2-3 miles in the evening. Along with my daily walking miles (ie-commuting, errands, walking during lunch and mowing the lawn). On those double run days, I’m hoping to get around 10 miles of running/walking.

I just want to focus on being on my feet a lot more. Especially, during the day. Having a desk job kills that goal a lot of the times. But, if I am going to be running a 50 miler — I need to be on my feet a lot more than just 5-7 miles a day. It’s gotta be more.

Anyways — odds are by the time you read this I’ll have had my first run of the day done already (if not I’ll need a better alarm). So I am not worried. But, I know I was where I needed to be and with who I needed to be with. The last thing I want to happen is my running to take precedence over family and God.

But, that’s a post for another day.

Sooooo — it’s time to really dig down and get to work. I’ve got the diet part down (that’s actually working!), so now it’s just putting the miles in, enjoying the journey and getting where I want to be.

And, I know where I am right now — I’m pointing in the right direction.

BOOM! BAM! YEAH RUNNING!


50 Mile Training Plan

I have 16 weeks left until my 50 miler! First off — YIKES! Second off — YEAH! It really is a mixbag of emotions, but more than anything — I am ready to rock the run. I wouldn’t be doing it if I felt like I couldn’t do it.

I have shared my training plan before — but, with the recent changes to my race schedule I’ve had to adapt it some. At least for my long runs. Which is fine. It wasn’t a lot of changing — thankfully. I’ll just have to get creative for my long run over Labor Day weekend since I don’t know where I’ll be running — odds are it will be trails.

Anyways.

My weekly runs range from 2-3 runs between 2-5 miles. The closer I get I’ll be doing some more double run days or evening-morning runs to work on fatigue training. My focus is also working on the core and flexibility so I’ll be doing some circuit training throughout the week as well. I’ll probably blog more about that later?

These are my weekend long runs (with other races listed as well) …

July 15: Utah Midnight Run
July 16: Neighborhood (5 miles)
July 23: Handcart Days Half Marathon
July 25: Deseret News Half Marathon
July 30: Timp Half
August 6: Beat the Heat 5K + 12 miles (Legacy Parkway)
August 13: Midnight 20 Mile Treadmill Run
August 20: Big Cottonwood (12 miles)
August 27: Run Elevated Half Marathon + 7 miles
September 3: Somewhere in Idaho (8 miles)
September 10: Big Cottonwood Marathon
September 17: Huntsville Marathon
September 24: Emigration Canyon (8 Miles)
October 1: St. George Marathon
October 8: Red Rock Relay — Park City (13.85 miles)
October 15: Frightmares 5K + 5 miles
October 21-22: Pony Express 50 Mile Trail Run

My August 20th and September 24th runs are planned group runs — so if you’re interested in coming let me know and I’ll send you an invite. But, I am excited to get into the swing of things. I am training deliberately — especially with runs that would be tough for me mentally and physically.

That is why my 20 mile training runs are designed to be TOUGH. I am running one (August 13) starting AT midnight on the treadmill. I am going to wake myself up that morning at 4am and either run or workout to make my day long and fatigued. Because, I want it to be tough.

Then on my second 20 miler (August 27) I am running Run Elevated Half Marathon and then adding on another 7 miles after the race. I am going to give my body about 30-60 minutes of rest — just to get sore and stiff enough and then I’m getting back out on the roads to get the extra miles in.

Then of course having three marathons in four weeks will be tough in its’ own right.

But, I am excited. I need these challenges! I want these challenges!

Anyone else training for marathons or ultras this fall? How do you mentally and physically prepare yourself? I’d love to hear back from you.


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There were some problems with the PodBash servers last week — mainly the system crashed. Which is a great problem to have! The Radio Ronin program is the highest listened to show and is posted on Thursday — the day before the AIIA and the Runcast. It was such a heavily listened to show the system went down.

It took well into Friday to fix the problem and get the servers back up that we decided to just wait until next Friday to post the episode. And, believe you me — you will not want to miss this one. It’s awesome. I get a sneak peek listen before it’s posted — and Coach Blu does a smash up job!

Anyways — come back on Friday for another episode of AIIA. Runcast will have another episode coming out on July 22 just in time for the Pioneer Day weekend.


PHATGRAMS

Just a boy and his Papou. #chubbingtatum #papou

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on


2667in2016

RUNNING MILES

145.6 miles

RACE MILES

137.4 miles

WALKING MILES

831.66 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

1114.66 miles

MILES TO GOAL

1552.34 miles



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

Big Cottonwood, Friends & Bart Yasso!

What a fun weekend! It’s finally June and summer has made its’ presence felt. I’m digging the heat. I actually really love dry heat. Well, I should say within reason. It has been 90 degree the past few days — anything hotter is not my favorite and one of the many reasons why I could never live in Vegas or Arizona.

But, we’re getting in the swing of the running season and that excites me more than anything. My ultra/marathon training has begun and the next 3-4 months are focusing on getting ready for them — Big Cottonwood Marathon, Huntsville Marathon, St. George Marathon and the Pony Express 50!

I didn’t have any concrete plans for running this weekend on Friday. It was probably going to be 6-8 miles around my neighborhood. Nothing too fancy — just get my miles in. But, when I got word that a group of friends was running down Big Cottonwood Canyon on Saturday morning I quickly changed those plans. I can’t miss a good Big Cottonwood run. I just can’t. I love that canyon. I live for that canyon.

So on Saturday morning I met up with Meridith, Shelley, Monte, Robert and others at the Park n’ Ride and drove 10 miles up the canyon. I really didn’t need 10 miles. My training only called for about 6-8 (depending on which training plan you’re looking at). But, I knew I could do 10 miles — especially 10 downhill miles. Plus, it’d be a great training run for the Drop13 Half happening this weekend.

As much training as I have done — it’s mainly been on rolling hills or flat surfaces — not downhill. Which is unusual for me because in the past that’s been my default choice. Besides the Ogden and Provo Half Marathons — I just haven’t ran much downhill. So this really was good training for me — I have to train my quads how to prepare properly.

I wasn’t sure exactly where I was pace wise and kinda came prepared to run solo. But, when we started running the gazelles went off blazing and a little group of four emerged — me, Dith, Shelley and Alicia. We ran about the first mile or two together and then the group became a party of two — me and Shelley.

Supporting “The Dith” while getting a little support myself! #run4dith #sportsbro #notclevage #myonlypatchofchesthair

A photo posted by Joshua Sn❆w Hansen (@josherwalla) on

I love running with Shelley. Especially down Big Cottonwood Canyon. We ran the Vigor Big Cottonwood Half together last year — and had a BLAST! Then again — anytime you run with Shelley you have a blast — race or not.

We ran pretty strong and average around a 12 minute mile — some stretches were faster than that, especially around the “S-curve” in the canyon. But, I felt strong and had good energy. Two of my biggest worries about doing Whole30 while running.

I did slow down some around mile 8-10, but I kinda of expected that, because I am trying to transition my running from run/walk method to pacing. So, I resorted to a run/walk method for those miles — while pushing the minutes in between the walking. That transition has been easier than I thought — it’s just building the stamina back to where I need it to be.

So this mishap happened today, but Josh says I get my hard core runner badge now!

A photo posted by Shelley Halverson (@sunriseshelley) on

Anyways — did a total of 10.1 miles in about 2:05-10 hours — not bad. I feel good about that. I wasn’t wearing my Garmin to track it so I don’t know the specific mileage and pace. I haven’t worn my Garmin now for over a year — not sure when I will start doing that again? But, I am starting to feel the tug to do it. Maybe after Ragnar? But, we shall see.

But, I had a blast running the canyon and especially with Shelley. She even biffed it at one point — I am proud of myself for not laughing, because I have a problem with that — but, luckily she was okay. Especially since she did it while walking. She did scrape her knee and pants up. I told her she earned her “badass runner” badge — and a Slurpee.

I don’t know if she got her badge yet, but I know she did get her Slurpee.

It was also a lot of fun running (literally) to a number of runners from Run4Fun and some of my other Facebook running groups. I ran into four runners from the groups down the canyon. It was fun. And, proof that Big Cottonwood is THE PLACE to run for a great training run here in the SLC area.

And, lucky me — I’m going back this weekend!

DROP 13 OR BUST, BABY!


AIIA PODCAST WITH BART YASSO!

Had an amazing opportunity yesterday afternoon to join Coach Blu from Addict II Athlete interviewing the Mayor of Running — and Chief Running Officer — Bart Yasso. I got the opportunity a couple weeks ago to join Bart for lunch after the Ogden Marathon which was a really neat experience. But, getting a second chance to meet him and to record a podcast — wow.

My friend Angie Pace text me on Friday morning after I had posted the AIIA episode online and told me that Bart was going to be in town and if we could make it work — we should try to set up an interview, because of Bart’s background and reasons he started running. I won’t tell the whole story here — you’ll have to listen to the podcast yourself. 

But, it’s an amazing story. Amazing. Both Coach Blu and I were in awe of how he rebounded from struggles in his youth to become an elite runner and eventually now — the Mayor of Running.

The episode will go live in a couple of weeks. Make sure to stay tuned in here and on social media for the release date. You really won’t want to miss this episode.

But, a BIG thank you to Bart for spending the time with us yesterday. And, of course Angie for making the connection. I sure love the running community. Everyone has a story and a reason — and we’re all better when we share it with others.


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AMAZING! There’s a new podcast from Addict II Athlete out today. The Runcast swapped weeks with AIIA due to some technical difficulties. But, we’ll be back this week with special guest and Pod Bash resident psychiatrist — Dr. Matt!

But, don’t overlook this episode it’s powerful. Coach Blu interviews his brother-in-law and fellow AIIAer, Jarom Thurston. They talk about his involvement with AIIA and the inspiring stories behind the athletes. Great, great episode!

Give it a listen …


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This week begins a string of consecutive race weekends for me. I’ve got a race every weekend for the next month. And, if you extend that until August — it’s 6 out of the next 7 weekends. The only weekend I am missing is July 9th, because my niece is getting baptized and I want to make sure I am not late for it. So I’m just staying closer to home that weekend.

But, I am excited for Drop13 this Saturday. This is one of my favorite races down one of my favorite canyons. I ran it in 2:37 last year — I am not exactly sure if I’ll match that this year. But, as I am losing weight and running more consistently I know I’ll surpass that at least once or twice this year.

The goal on Saturday is a sub-2:50. I think and feel like I could sneak into the 2:30s, but I need to race smart to ease myself back into there. But, after Saturday’s run down the canyon — I think I could? I don’t know? I just want to run — and do my best.

And, really, that’s all you can expect and be proud of, right?

Either way — I’m excited for Saturday!


STREAKIN’ THROUGH JUNE!

As I’ve noted last week I am run streaking this month. So far, so good. I’ve done 16.5 miles since June 1st — and planning for good mileage this week. Especially with my race on Saturday.

One thing I am planning on incorporated this week is at least one or two runs during my lunch hour. I am not sure of the route yet, but I’ve got plenty of places to run on campus — not to mention the avenues around campus. That would be good hill training. I’m hoping to do 2-3 miles during the hour. Luckily, I have access to a shower close to my office.

But, the key this week is consistency and preparation for the Drop13 Half on Saturday. I’m excited for this week — especially with how energetic I’ve been feeling doing Whole30 the past couple of weeks. It’s helped me a lot.

THE STREAK GOES ON!


2016miles

RUNNING MILES

122.55 miles

RACE MILES

77.9 miles

WALKING MILES

684.01 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

884.46 miles

MILES TO GOAL

1782.54 miles



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