Tag: utah half marathon

RACE #146: Provo City Half Marathon

This past week has been a struggle — to say the least. After getting sick during the Salt Flats 50K last Friday my whole weekend and most of this past week was simply derailed. I’m still not 100%, but I am past the flu and bronchitis and I feel much, much better.

Having DNF’d the Salt Flats 50K and DNS’d the Tulip Festival Half — I was ready for a race success this weekend. Not even a success, just a race. And, this was the perfect rebound race. Especially since I was pacing the 3:35 time (basically the sweeper).

I’ve always enjoyed running the Provo City Half. It’s a fun course that starts at South Fork up Provo Canyon and then drops down to University Blvd. by way of the Provo River Trail. It’s not a super fast canyon race, but it has a good combination of downhill and nice rolling hills.

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

I was excited to not just run this course, but to be pacing it with my really good friend Tricia Wilkins. This shouldn’t have been our first foray into pacing. Back in 2014 we were suppose to pace the Thankful 13 together, but we got separated in the corral and lost each other. I tried to catch up as I was pushing Elsha, but we just never did.

So this race was pretty much making up for that failure.

And, it didn’t disappoint. Especially since we were also joined by Tricia’s husband Cory. It was a REAL party now!

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

I carpooled down from Bountiful to Provo with Carla and Reese Thorne. It was nice because I got to bypass the bus shuttle up the canyon since Reese has his cart. As much as I enjoy bus shuttles up canyons, I also like avoiding losing an extra hour of sleep — it was nice not having to leave for Provo an hour earlier.

The race start at the South Fork Park up Provo Canyon near Vivian Park — and in year’s past it’s pretty dang cold. So I always come prepared with a fairly heavy and/or layers, but when we got up the canyon I was fairly surprised how warm it was — my jacket was hardly needed. Which is good and bad — bad, meaning, it meant the valley was going to be fairly hot.

But, since I was pacing 3:35 I wasn’t too worried about the heat. Plus, I brought my backpack which still packed from the previous week’s 50K misadventure. I had some water leftover along with bacon jerky, applesauce, Swedish Fish, some Honey Stingers and a first aid kit. So, I was pretty much set for anything between an empty stomach to the apocalypse.

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

After the gun sounded and we corralled everyone toward the starting line we made the decent down the canyon. I love the Vivian Park portion of the canyon, especially during the spring — not only is the canyon beautiful, but you also get some great views of Timp as well. It’s gorgeous.

We fartleked down the canyon trying to keep a good pace while trying not to frighten the people ahead of us much. As much as I love sweeping and pacing the last pacing times — I also know how much the people in the back don’t want to see you, especially early in the race. I’ve had a few run ins with runners in the past that came close to cursing me out at miles 2-3 or so. And, I don’t blame them! No one wants to be passed by the sweeper.

After our fartlek down Vivian Park the course took us down the Provo River Trail — which is even prettier than South Fork and Vivian Park. After passing Bridal Veil Falls and switching under the highway we kept the party going with dance parties (Tricia brought Bluetooth speakers), squats and plenty of laughing. It really was a party in the back.

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

It was a blast.

Around miles 7-8 the course dumped us onto University Blvd. toward the finish line. I was a bit worried about getting to this point, because I was expecting it to be pretty hot — since it warm up the canyon. But, I was relieved to see cloud cover as a storm was approaching Provo. It didn’t look particularly nasty — so the cloud coverage was welcomed.

As we got closer to the finish line we were joined by the Petrossi’s — Timothee and Jennifer — who planned on grabbing a Slurpee and running in with us. They are both a part of Team Addict II Athlete and it was really touching to have them run with us, because it reminded so much of last year’s Provo City Half when the team ran me in on that same home stretch — because nobody runs alone on Team AIIA.

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

At mile 12.5 we hopped off course monetarily and grabbed our Slurpees. Though it wasn’t scorching hot — the Slurpees were manna to my lips — and cooled me down. It was perfect. So, with our Slurpees in hand we headed toward the finish line for our victorious finish picture! And, thanks to Jorge we got some sweet photos!

But, we were done! We did it! We may of been a tad past our pace, but that didn’t matter much. We lingered a bit at the finish line to cheer in some of the runners behind us as we finished the last of our Slurpees.

I just felt great. Having finished the race helped erase a lot of discouragement of my previous week. And, being able to just get out and run was something I couldn’t imagine earlier in the week after overcoming the flu and bronchitis.

My only regret was that my ankle was pretty sore, but that was my own fault — as I realized afterward I forgot to wear my sports brace. But, after icing it throughout the weekend I should be okay. But, it is one of the reasons why I planned on backing out of the Ogden Marathon distance. That foot on pavement for 26.2 miles would just be too much.

Anyways — my next race isn’t until Memorial Day weekend at the Jordan River Half Marathon. I’m planning on getting some good running in, but at the same time I am taking it easy to let my body and ankle heal a bit. It needs it, because I feel it.

But, this race was a victory and such a fun memory I will remember among my 180 journey.


Everyone needs a Dave in their life. This past week has been pretty stressful. Between overcoming the flu and bronchitis while juggling two jobs, it’s been a tough and stressful week. Tonight after work my plan was to dive head first into some pending projects I need done by Monday, but that kind of got derailed when I got a call from Dave asking to hang out because his Mom wasn’t home. I had a million reasons to say no, but I just couldn’t decline his request. I knew he didn’t want to be alone. So I told him he could come over and watch some basketball while I worked on my computer. When he got to our house he told me how he felt sad for his Mom and how she wasn’t having a very good week. He then told me that he wanted to cheer her up and wanted to go get flowers for her. I knew this meant I wasn’t going to be spending much of the evening at home as planned, so I hopped in the car and headed to the store with Dave. My heart melted watching Dave pick out some flowers, chocolates and a card for his Mom. The love and admiration he has for her is truly special. And, as I stood next to him as he was making these choices, I just couldn’t help but recognize that I needed this pause. I needed this reminder of what life is about. Dave has provided many of these kind of moments during our friendship. I don’t know how I got so lucky to call him “friend,” but I truly cherish his friendship. And, I am truly grateful for these many little lessons and reminders he teaches me.

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

RACE #146: Provo City Half Marathon (3:35) After the previous weekend’s debacle of DNFs and DNSs and subsequent illness, this was a nice rebound race. I paced 3:35 alongside Tricia and her husband … we were essentially “the sweepers.” But, we had a blast! We had dance parties, made new friends, grabbed Slurpees at Mile 12.5 and made sure there was a party in the back! I wasn’t 100% with my lingering cough and ankle, but the situation was perfect where those weren’t a factor. I’m taking a little more time off to rest my sprained ankle. But, come later this month I should be ready for the Jordan River Half on the 27th. But, I’m still enjoying this moment and race and being able to party on with my dear friends throughout the 13.1 miles! Such a fun time! #provocityhalf #race146 #running @joshruns180 @fight4phat @josherwalla @myracemedals @ryrpacers @run13utah

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

Newborns always make the best drunk faces.

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

I always love a good graduation ceremony, but I won’t lie … five minutes into it, I’m ready for it to be over.

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

Somebody’s feeling pretty.

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

Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 5.5 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 19.47 miles
TOTAL MILES — 38.07 miles
Race(s) this week — Provo City Half Marathon

May 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 5.5 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 19.47 miles
TOTAL MILES — 38.07 miles
Races in May — Provo City Half Marathon and Jordan River Half Marathon.

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 210.75 miles
Race Miles — 164.52 miles
Walking Miles — 439.88 miles
TOTAL MILES — 815.15 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 and Provo City Half Marathon.

RACE #129: Run Elevated Half Marathon

I’ve been looking forward to this race for quite a while. Well, okay, maybe for the last three months. I wasn’t planning on racing this weekend because I needed to get a 20 mile training run in for my marathon and ultra training. I was reserving my goal half marathon race for the year for the Nebo Half which is happening this upcoming weekend.

BUT — I do a little switcheroo, because I have a family reunion this upcoming weekend in Idaho. And, as much as I love Nebo, I kinda love my family more. Don’t ask me to gauge that, because there may or may not be that much of a difference when you’re talking about the Nebo Half.

I love that race.

So, since I wasn’t running Nebo, I decided to pick up the Run Elevated Half Marathon instead — another equally fast canyon race. I’ve been running Run Elevated for four years now — ever since it’s inaugural run in 2013. I love it. I PR’d on the course in 2013. I feel intimately close to the race — well, okay — that sounds like a bad choice of words. Basically, I know the course really well and love every bit of it.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

The infamous hill — can’t remember what they call it — doesn’t phase me. I’ve gotten use to just jogging that blasted hill. It’s a pace killer, but I’ve learned it’s better to keep a slower pace up the hill then to walk the hill. Even if that pace is slower than your usual walk. Trust me — that logic makes sense to a runner.

Then there’s the whole canyon that I love — Little Cottonwood Canyon lends itself as one of the prettiest canyons here in northern Utah. It’s less traversed than Big Cottonwood and Emigrations, mainly because it’s roads don’t lend itself well to runners. They’re smaller shoulders compared to the other canyons. I’ve only ran the canyon once outside of this race.

Additionally, this is the only road race that goes down the canyon. I think it’s mostly because the community tries to limit them as much as possible — which I would understand. It is a watershed after all. All of that makes this race kind of a special treat. It’s capped off at 2,000 runners — so it’s small and intimate enough that it really feels like a special event.

The numbers felt really low though this year, which honestly wasn’t surprising. There were a number of races held this weekend. And, by a number, I mean — too many. There was besides Run Elevated — Top of Utah Half, East Canyon Marathon, High Unitas Marathon, Rivalry Relay and Lake Relay. When people point to saturation problems here in Utah this weekend is a good example. The High Uintas Marathon ended up being cancelled this past week — probably because of low registration? I’m not sure.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Either way — I really hope race directors correlate a bit better next year, because there’s still a market for these races, but you’re just going to kill yourself if you keep competing against each other like this. There are plenty of underutilized weekends for races. But, this post really is one for another day. Regardless, I noticed a difference at this race compared to year’s past.

But, to this race. So my goal — one that I’ve been trying to hit since June is that of a sub-2:30 half marathon. I try not to think too much of where I’ve been in the past. Because a few years ago — I was hitting 2:10-2:20s quite regularly. And, because of my health issues and that I’ve basically been at ground zero building myself back up. Which is fine — because I gotta get back somehow, right?

Anyways — I’ve come close to this goal. And, after not hitting it at Drop13 in June and the Deseret News Half in July — I really wanted to reach the goal at the end of summer, especially since September and October were my marathons and ultra. Speed wasn’t going to be priority — especially since that’s not my goal for my marathons.

So this was it.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Going into August — I felt really optimistic about my progress towards the goal. I had some really great runs and I felt stronger, especially as I transitioned my diet from the Whole30 to a Paleo 80/20 diet. Things were just clicking.

But, then about two weeks ago — I got sick. And, it just sucked pretty much everything out of me. For a good week I just didn’t get in the kind of runs I wanted to and last Saturday I got in less miles I wanted to — but they were still miles. Needless to say — I just didn’t know where I would be physically going into this race? Especially considering I was still dealing with congestion and a mild cough.

So the week leading up the race — I wasn’t sure how to approach the race. Do I just go for it as planned or do I go by feel and just push myself? Going through with the race as planned meant I’d be running with my Garmin watching my pace carefully as I ran down the canyon.

But, if I didn’t have it in me to reach the goal, the last thing I need is a constant reminder wrapped around my wrist of how horrible of a runner I was because I didn’t hit my goal. Normally, I would just say — let me stick with the 2:30 pacers and I’ll be fine. But, considering the race doesn’t have pacers — that wasn’t an option either.

A photo posted by @fight4phat on

I was grappling back and forth with this mentality all week long. And, it wasn’t until Friday night that I just told myself — “screw it! I’m running Garmin-less.” I just knew if I didn’t hit my goal it would have ruined my whole race. I had to run the race oblivious to the time and just go out there and with my best effort. That’s all I could ask for, right?

The morning of the race — I felt good. I did have a bit of congestion. But, otherwise I felt good. To make sure I didn’t have a coughing attack mid-race I made sure I had my inhaler. I felt good to go. I still didn’t know how my race would end out, but I was ready to take a stab at it.

After meeting up with Dith at the bus pick up I hopped on the bus with the Skinners and rode up the canyon where we hung out until the 6:30am gun time. Thankfully the weather was doable compared to a couple years ago when it was snowing at the starting line. I’ll never forget that — it was such a buzzkill. There’s nothing like getting excited for a summer race, only to be meet with snow.

Anyways — crossing the starting line I just let gravity do it’s thing. I focused on not going out too fast, because I knew how easy it was on this course. I ran the first mile somewhat fragmented. I ditched my hoodie a half mile in before retying my shoes. My legs were still a little sore from leg day on Wednesday, so I just needed to warm up a bit.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

A couple more miles into the race I started hitting my stride and feeling pretty good. I just focused on my breathing, tempo and effort. It was around this time also that my two month old headphones decided to die. Well, half of them died. I suspect my headphones were a Chinese knockoff. But, that’s a story for another day.

After I settled for one ear stereo I just ran. I felt good and I just focused on my effort. I didn’t know where my pace was and while I cared, I didn’t. I just wanted to — dare I say — my best foot forward.

I stopped at each aid station to refuel. Not only did I refuel with water and a swig of Gatorade, but I brought some an applesauce packet to eat midway through. I tried to not stop too long at the aid station. I did have to stop once. And, I took a few pictures at the stops, because the scenery was just BEAUTIFUL.

In retrospect I probably wouldn’t have taken a few of those pictures. I couldn’t have held through my pit stop, but I did take a pit stop for a posed race picture. That one I probably should have ran through, because I was much closer to my goal than I thought. A lot closer.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

The first 7-8 miles are all canyon miles and I knew once I was out of the canyon — it would be MUCH tougher. That happened to me at Timp, Deseret News and Drop13. But, when I was hitting the mouth of the canyon I just went into a beast mode. Mainly, because I knew it was going to get tough, especially as we approached the hill.

I ran into my friend Shaylee at the mile nine aid station as she was pulled off the course due to injury. I felt bad because I know how much she loves this fast race as well.  Injuries just suck. And, this course can lend itself to some fun ones if you’re not careful.

Once we got onto Wasatch Blvd. the downhill around mile 10 was welcomed, but I knew the blasted hill was around the corner. So, I just kept at it. My approach to the hill was simple — just run it. And, if I couldn’t run it, just pretending your running — even if it’s at your normal walking pace.

So, yeah, that was basically what I did up the hill. It’s not that long of a hill, but it will kill your pace if you’re not careful. Especially if you walk. So, when it comes to hills like this one, I just keep myself in the running motion so I keep the mechanics going. I find it’s easier to get back into my pace if I do this.

Now, if there’s a science to all of that — I don’t know? But, it’s saved my races in this race, St. George and a couple others.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Once I was past the hill, there was about 2-2.5 miles until I hit the finish line. I took a quick glance at my phone’s clock and realized I was making great time. I tried to do some math to see if I was on target — I figured I was, but I wasn’t sure. So, I just ran like I was going to hit my goal.

The last two miles felt strong. Both mentally and physically. I just kept moving forward. My legs were burning, but I didn’t care. I tried to numb everything below my neck and just focus on running. It honestly felt like the last two miles flew by fast. And, I am sure if I ran with my Garmin those last two miles would rival my canyon miles. Or at least it felt like it.

During the last mile as I was making my way towards the finish line, I started getting a little emotional. It wasn’t because I felt like I was on pace or that I was going to reach the goal. But, it was from the feeling that I put everything into this run. I was feeling spent. I was feeling sore. I was feeling strong. I was feeling focused.

It was around this time that OneRepublic’s “I Lived” came across my playlist. And, that didn’t help either. It’s one of my favorite songs. The lyrics, music and message — were just what I needed as I ran towards the finish line. It’s one of few songs on my life playlists.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

But, as I hit the homestretch I just hit another gear and sprinted towards the finish line. The clock said something like 2:32, so I knew I was going to be close — after considering when I crossed the finish line and all. I didn’t think I got it, but I knew not only that I was close, but that I gave it everything in me.

Once I refueled and got my drop bag I headed over to the results table and got my card. The card read … 2:31:00:03. A mere 1:01 minute from my goal. Oh, so close.

I won’t lie — I reanalyzed every pit stop, picture and aid station — because a few tweaks here and there and I probably could have gotten my goal. But, I wasn’t feeling a sense of disappointment. Far from it. I gave everything during those 13.1 miles, despite not knowing how my body was going to react after being sick the week before. Despite feeling under the weather still — I pushed forward.

Plus, it was still a year best time for me in the half marathon.  How can I feel about that?

A photo posted by @fight4phat on

Sure there are a lot of shoulda, coulda and wouldas. But, that gets you nowhere dwelling on for a race already ran. Will I learn from it? You betcha. Not just in race plan management, but maintaining race pace and pushing through pain. There’s a lot there that I could talk about — but, really, that’s a post for another day.

I feel great about my race and look forward to breaking through that goal time — this year or 2017. Looking back at my running patterns too, I ran 2:30-2:40 pretty consistently for my first year of running until I broke into the 2:10-2:20 the following year. So, in a way, I feel like I am following that pattern. Hopefully that means 2017 will be a fast year for me. I feel confident enough that it will be if I continue working hard and pushing myself.

After the race I still had to get seven more miles in for my 20 miles needed that day. I was originally planning on running seven miles in Sandy near the  finish line, but I had to get home and decided to do them at home on the treadmill.

My goal for these miles were really to simulate fatigue — and my legs were fatigued. I waited a couple hours after getting home before doing my miles — and they definitely hurt. It was hard getting into a rhythm, but I pushed through the pain and eventually found one. I really tried to visualize myself out on the course of my 50 miler going through that kind of fatigue.

A photo posted by @fight4phat on

I’ll tell you what — it’s been fun training for my 50, because it’s so different from a marathon. There’s so much mental preparedness I need to prepare myself for, that I look for way to do it. Whether it’s running 20 miles on a treadmill or running 7 miles hours after a fast paced half marathon — I always look for ways to prepare me for October 21.

This upcoming month is going to be the real test. I’ve got three marathons coming up — Big Cottonwood (Sept. 10), Huntsville (Sept. 17) and St. George (October 1) along with my miles this weekend and a special relay with AIIA on Sept. 24. So, I’ll be doing big, big miles — and really getting myself ready for October 21. I’m nervous — but, more excited than anything.

And, really it’s just focusing on one foot in front of the other — much like I’ve been doing since I ran my first 5K.


130 - Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon

My next race isn’t until September 10th. And, I’ll be sweeping the Big Cottonwood Marathon once again. I did it last with my friend Ramie and had a blast and a half (not to mention a Slurpee). This year I’ll be sweeping with my friend Chanda — I am anticipating another blast and a half (and not to mention another Slurpee).

This will be the fifth time that I’ve ran the Big Cottonwood Marathon. Well, okay — fourth for the 26.2. I did the 13.1 once back in 2013. The funny thing is that when I’ve signed up for the race — I’ve never registered for the marathon. I always sign up for the half marathon, but I either upgrade to the marathon (like I did in 2012 and 2014) or get asked to sweep the course (like I did in 2015 and last year).

Now, I’m planning on signing up for JUST the half marathon in 2017, but we’ll see how that pans out come next year.

Anyways — there’s no real game plan for this marathon other than sweeping the course. Well, okay, I lied. The first 14-15 miles in the canyon I just have to maintain a 13 minute pace until we get onto Wasatch Blvd. for the out and back. After that — it’s just being as fast as the slowest runner. So, really there is a technicalness to the course even if I’m sweeping.

And, if you’re wondering — yes — I stop for Slurpees at Mile 20. There is a 7 Eleven at the mouth of the canyon and it’s just a crime to bypass the opportunity to grab a mid-marathon Slurpee.

I love this race — and even if I’m not running it for myself, there is nothing quite like running Big Cottonwood in the fall. Totally gorgeous and worth the registration fee. Plus, this will be great ultra training being on my feet for 6:30-7 hours. It’ll be a fun loooooong day.


131 - huntsville marathon 132 - st george marathon133 - park city red rock relay134 - pony express trail 50135 - haunted half provo


I just want someone that looks at me, the way I look at Slurpees. #thatsalliask

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on



216.5 miles


206.0 miles


1006,65 miles


1429.15 miles


1237,85 miles


This is one of my favorite episodes of the AIIA Podcast. Jed was one of the first athletes I met in AIIA and seriously, he’s one of the greatest guys I know. He helped run me in at the Provo City Half back in May and, really, he just embodies everything that AIIA stands for.

This is definitely worth the listen. I love uploading these podcasts to my phone to listen during my races or runs. Sometimes I’ll listen during my morning commute, but when it comes to the AIIA podcasts, I’d much rather be inspired out there when I’m running. Really help me connect to the message.

Give the episode a listen …

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

RACE #117: March Madness Half Marathon


Running is so rewarding — it’s inspiring — it’s motivating — and, yet it’s hard. It’s easy to forget that. But, running in all it’s simpleness — is tough as — you know what.

Sure, it would have helped if I went into the race fully trained. But, that wasn’t the goal. I mainly did it to get my race wiggles out and to use it to gauge where I’m at with my training. There was no goal time or certain pace I wanted to attain — I just wanted to give my best effort and see what happened.

And, I feel like I attained that.

It was a humbling experience too. It’s been my longest run since the Revolution Run in January. I had lost a lot of speed and stamina in the later part of last year, just from complications to my thyroid/testosterone issues. So I wanted to use the first few months of the year to build up towards a half marathon.

As evidenced today — I can still run … or complete, a half marathon. It hurt. It was painful. But, I did it. But, I don’t want to simply finish a half marathon, I want to run a half marathon like I know am capable of running it.

Obviously, easier said than done.

So the goal has been to lead up my training to the Provo City Half Marathon on May 7th — so far, so good. Well, despite a couple weeks of non-running because of illness. But, I’m still on track to be trained by race day.

But, I needed this challenge — I needed this race. I needed a physical and mental challenge for me and this just seemed perfect. It was a small race — relatively cheap — and between my last race and Provo City. So I signed up — of course with no expectations.

From all indications this was a first time race — I didn’t see it on the race docket last year — so I am assuming it’s new. And, so going into the race, I was expecting a small runners field — which was the case.

So I expected to be the last runner going into the race. Especially since it was a flat course along the Legacy Parkway Trail. But, I actually wasn’t … I was third to last. Which makes me bummed that only the first three finishers get medals — I think us in the back deserve them too!

There were a few familiar faces along the course — which is always a treat. And, from miles 3-8 I was able to run with my friend JoAnna and Michael. That was much needed. It helped me stay on pace longer than I think I mentally could.

Around mile eight is when my body started to tank some — which I kinda expected. Even at mile eight. Usually I hit that wall around mile 10-11, but since my longest training so far has been five miles — I was expecting it.

So, after sending JoAnna and Mike ahead of me — I just focused on the nitty gritty last five miles. It was tough. It was hard. I might have cried. But, it wasn’t from pain — I had dropped my opened uneaten Gu on the ground.

But, I just focusing on moving forward. I did a run/walk method, but that quickly turned into a shuffle/walk — which than turned into a shuffle three steps/walk method. Needless to say, there was NO juice in my legs. None.

Yet, I was okay with that. I was expecting it. I just put my music on, zoned out and tried to get lost in my thoughts. Which worked for the most part — though I’d get the occasional biker yelling “to your left” — which totally broke my zen moments.

Anyways, once I was on the home stretch — I was just happy to be done. I found a huge plate of oranges and just sat there munching them down while drinking down water. It was pretty much the nearest to heaven I’ve been while running. I could have eaten the whole plate.

And, so I survived race #117 in my 180 race journey. It was everything expected — tough, ugly, difficult and nothing to really write home about. BUT … it was very rewarding. It gave me time to get lost in thought, experience and process what my body was telling me and be a part of the running community.

Now, excuse me while I walk around funny — looking like I have been riding horses for two weeks straight.

I may or may not have the saddle burn to prove it as well. But, that’s another story for another day.

Now to focus 100% of my effort on Provo!



As noted above — this is the race I am training for currently. This isn’t my goal race for the year, but obviously want to give it my best effort.

This will be my fifth time running Provo — which sounds SO weird saying. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been running over five years now. It all seems so new to me sometimes — and I guess some of it is, like the ultra marathons and longer distances. But, still. Five years?

I don’t have a goal time for this race … yet. I am thinking about 2:30-2:40 would be ideal, but I’d be happy with anything under 2:45 right. Since it’s mainly a downhill course I feel like that’s doable.

Anyways — PROVO OR BUST! (never thought I’d be typing that)



If you haven’t listened to the latest episode of the Runcast USA — give it a listen. We’re talking about winter running. Sure it’s now March and the weather is decent — but, you never know when a freak spring snowstorm could happen … right?

Anyways — give it a listen and let us know what you think …



36.2 miles


35.5 miles


262.65 miles


334.35 miles



Daily Shorts.fw

#cancersucks #running #run #runner #runningquotes #quotes #life #wellness #fitness #run4dith @my.run @joshruns180

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

The 88th Fartlek Friday™ – Today I eat some pasta then tomorrow I run … NEBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

By the title of today’s post can you tell that I am excited to run the Nebo Half tomorrow? I probably am … just a tad too much? Maybe? Okay I am.

But, can you blame me? In the three years I have ran the Nebo Half I have looked forward ANXIOUSLY to the race the whole year. This year is nothing different. The course is fast and holds my PR and last year’s YB times. I am anticipating the same result come tomorrow morning.

I am shooting for a 2:35 or better … which is totally doable in my books. I did 2:37 on Run Elevated two weeks ago and back in June I did a 2:36 on the Drop 13 course. Nebo is much faster than Little and Big Cottonwood so I feel that sub-2:35 is MINE! I’d love a sub-2:30, but we’ll see. I am going to push it and see how my body responds.

That’s all I can ask from it, right?

Besides being an extremely fast course, Nebo also kinda kicks off the craziness that is fall running. Some of my favorite races are coming up quickly. Big Cottonwood is next week and then the Layton Marathon, both Haunted Half races and my Corner Canyon 25K as well. Lots of running and races in the fall. I love it.

Of course they’re all leading up to my 50K in November. Which I am getting excited and a tad nervous about. Both Howloween Half Marathons were both cancelled and I planned to use both as key races for my ultra training. They were planned on October 23rd and 30th, the night before both Haunted Half races. I wanted to do back-to-back races to help with the fatigue training.

But, alas, I am going to have to find other means to doing that. I might just still run 13 miles on those nights. But, that’s kinda boring doing myself. Or I might just run more on Saturday after the Haunted Half races. I live about 11 miles away from the Salt Lake race’s finish line so many I should run home? Or maybe even run to the race?

That’s a thought. Crazy enough to be fun.

Why do I give myself all of these ideas? Sometimes I swear I am too hazardous for my own health.

Either way, I am getting excited for it. Getting the Big Cottonwood and Layton Marathons under my belt will help with a lot of that training. Plus, I know I can push through a lot of fatigue from my other back-to-back races this past summer. So I am not too worried, but worried enough to worry about it (how’s that for a sentence?).

But, the focus right now is to kill my quads, calves and whatever other muscle in my legs want to burn like a mother tomorrow morning down Payson Canyon. After some ice baths, R&R over Labor Day weekend and a Slurpee and McGriddle … I’ll start focusing on the 50K at 110%.



Since my schedule has changed for on my fall racing schedule, here is what my next 12 or so weeks will look like now …

  • Sept 05 – Nebo Half
  • Sept 12 – Big Cottonwood Marathon
  • Sept 19 – RYR Pacing Run
  • Sept 26 – Bugout Run
  • October 10 – Layton Marathon
  • October 17 – Corner Canyon 25K
  • October 24 – Haunted Half SLC
  • October 31 – Haunted Half Provo
  • November 7 – Saltair Half
  • November 14 – Antelope Island 50K
  • November 26 – Thankful 13
  • December 12 – Bakers Dozen Half

Who else is running any of these races? Let me know in the comments below!


I know that I mentioned this on Monday, but I wanted to once again thank all of those that donated to Elsha and my birthday fundraiser. We raised $1750! That was $50 more than the $1700 goal we set. This will allow us to now get TWO carts for local assisted athletes.

You really don’t know how this is going to change two lives. We are giving them the gift of running and racing whenever they want. They no longer will need to borrow a cart and that depends on availability, they can race when they want. THAT’S HUGE!



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



The 80th Fartlek Friday™ – Since this is the 80th installment can I now get senior discounts or something?

fartlekfriday54FRIDAY! FRIDAY! FRIDAY! I’m kinda excited about this Friday for some reason? Part of it is because of my running adventures tomorrow, but also it’s been my first five day work week in … like … almost a month.

I’ve been pampered too much apparently?

But, at least I get to run off that angst this weekend. Tomorrow morning I am sweeping the Hobbler Half and then in the evening I am running The Dam 15 Miler in Midway. My last race is about 150 people deep … soooooooo … I’ve kinda resigned myself to coming in last at that race as well.

But, hey, that’s still 28.1 miles of running/walking/wishing I had a Slurpee, right? And, it still beats the person who didn’t get off the couch all day. Sooooo … I’m just going to give it my best effort and knock out races #98 and #99!

And, then in two weeks … RACE #100!

Which I am getting more and more excited for! As you might already know my 100th race is going to be the Handcart Days Half Marathon in my hometown of Bountiful. The race holds a place in my heart for a couple of years.

First, this was my first half marathon, which happened four years to the day and, two, the Handcart Days celebration is something my family was intricately involved in for a number of years.

My Dad was the chairman of the event for over 7 years. This included roping the WHOLE family into the planning, execution and even clean up of the event. It was a lot of fun. We did everything, made a lot of friends and FOREVER tied ourselves to the community.

So, yeah, I am excited.

But, what’s taking that over the top is I am also pushing my friend Elsha in the race. And if that wasn’t enough, my friend Tim decided to run the race alongside us. It’s basically going to be a party! And quite a stark contrast to when I ran it four years ago … by myself.

Elsha and Tim are two reasons why I love hopelessly fallen in love with running and it will be fun celebrating my 100th race with them. It really seems fitting. Well, because it is.

But, lots of fun things happening this month. The Bugout Run is next week which we’re ready for. Jorge and I mapped out the course yesterday. The event is free so sign up! You can read more about it here.

Also, I am starting to solidify my fall race schedule. I am really debating on running Big Cottonwood in September. A part of me kinda wants to just volunteer and cheer in my friends at the finish line. Or maybe go buy a bunch of Slurpees from 7 Eleven and start handing them out to friends and runners.

Oh, that would be fun.

Either way, I have also decided to run Cory Reese’s Bakers Dozen Half Marathon in December down in Hurricane. But, I am still debating if I want to run the Ultra Marathon on Antelope Island? I want to, but I don’t know if I want to be ready for by then? Either way, I’ll run the ultra or half marathon that same day.

And, we won’t start talking about my October races yet. I’m going to be getting LOTS of miles on my shoes that month. Layton Marathon, two Haunted Half races, two Howloween races and a 25K to boot. And, that still leaves me a free weekend over the 3rd of October.

Oy. It’s going to be fun. It’s roughly 96.6 miles of racing. I should find a 10K over October 3rd to run to get over 100 miles of racing for the month.

Why am I giving myself these thoughts and temptations?

Anyways, fun times this weekend! Lots of running! Lots of friends! Lots of Slurpees (tomorrow is National Slurpee Day … if you didn’t know)!



Just of note, this past week I did a little reshuffling of my social media. Specifically with Instagram. I tried to clean out my personal account and it ended up getting deleted. Still trying to figure that one out. So I was locked out of my @thegr8joshby username.

I am back on Instagram with @mejosher, I also brought back @running180. I wrote about it all here earlier this week.

But, to make note, I did end up bringing back @back2phat by popular demand. And, by popular demand, I mean … one person asked me, I have brought it back. I think I am good with the social media shuffling for now?



utah runcast logo

Just any FYI, we’re going to be recording soon. So stay tuned. I am hoping to get the podcast up before the 24th of July. But, we’ll see. I am not doing the editing soooooooo no specific date yet.

Stay tuned.


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


The 75th Fartlek Friday™ – Diamonds are forever …

FartlekFridayWow, so this is the 75th installment of Fartlek Friday? I feel like I should celebrate it somehow? It’s the “DIAMOND” anniversary … sooooooo … I tried to Google an appropriate picture, but I found this instead …

funny-hat-pics-085Don’t laugh though, because this picture is actually quite disturbing. It makes my trypophobia quite unbearable. Gosh, it’s making me itchy. Just in case you are wondering if you are trypophobic take a look at these pictures.

But, don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.

Oh, I am going to try to just block all of what I just wrote and linked to [shivers]. Seriously. Moving on …

This past Wednesday was National Running Day and I celebrated with a run around my neighborhood with Reese. I am resolving to run with him more mid-week, because he literally lives a mile away from my house … and it’s on my usual running route.

To the outside world people might not see or recognize Reese’s emotions, but when he is out running … he is alive. That joy shows … SHINES … bright and I saw plenty of that the other day.

Granted when I’ve ran half marathons with him he falls asleep for about an hour, but I am more jealous than bummed that I don’t get to see that joy. I would do the same thing too if I had to wake up at 4am.

Gosh, I really need to stop looking at that diamond-studed head. It really is creeping me out.


Anyways, I am excited for tomorrow. I am going to be running down Emigration Canyon with a group of my friends. I am really, really excited about it. I am shooting for between 8-10 miles … depending on how I feel. But, I love a good canyon run and I am itching for a good long run.

And, the weather looks like it’s going to be PERFECT for running!



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

  • So I decided to move my 100th race from the Park City Half (August 15th — my birthday) to the Handcart Days (July 24th — the race that was my first half). It just seemed like the right thing to do considering what the race means to me being my first. This means that I will need to pick up two extra races between now and the 24th of July.
  • I am going to sweep the Hobbler Half (July 11th) and I decided to also run the Provo Midnight Run (June 26) … this will be the night before AF Canyon, so it’ll be more of a “jog” … or a 13.1 mile warm up for AF? And, on another note … I haven’t ran these races before. That seems odd?
  • If you want to feel guilty about ever eating out again just read this.
  • Okay, since we just gawked at all of that fatty and caloric food let’s pant over this street food from London.
  • You want a good laugh? Read these.
  • I had a pet hamster when I was a kid and that thing was an awry and mean SOB! It was an albino blind hamster, which you would THINK would be an epic combination. NOPE. Anytime you held him he would poop on you and then bite until you put him down. We gave him to our cousins … which … I am pretty sure fed him to their snake.
  • Speaking of rodents. My sister’s rabbit had bunnies and I’ve decided to adopt one. I adopted this little lady (could totally be a dude, but I’m not checking) and named her Cotton Face.
  • Her brothers’ names are Smudgy (the brown one) and Mama’s Boy (because he looks like his mother). Again these bunnies could be the opposite sex … sooooooooo … if they have bunnies of their own, we’ll then know for sure.
  • Life.
  • Really? Another Bush wants to get into office? I can’t wait to see what kind of mess the GOP will make of 2016. All of politics is a mess. There’s a reason I am an independent voter.
  • I love watching this girl. She is definitely full of life. Makes Uncling the most enjoyable job out there right now.
  • This is actually fairly entertaining. A must watch, especially if you love to watch cats play with their reflection in the mirror.
  • Welp, most of these are just adorable. This one is horrific though.
  • Any surprise that the In n’ Out Double Double is Utah’s favorite burger on this list?
  • I’ll be the first to admit I am a casual NHL fan. And, by casual I mean, I like wearing their sweaters and I’ll take a passing interest in teams of places I like (I know, I am the worst kind of fan that way).
  • But, with the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final I feel the need to root for them. I served my mission in Chicago and I do have one of their sweaters. But, if they were playing the San Jose Sharks that allegiance would go to the Sharks, because … well … sharks.
  • With that said … GO HAWKS … ?!?
  • Because, I know how much you want to know more about Swingline Staplers.
  • One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to mow the lawn. But, the past month I wasn’t able to get the backyard because of all the rain. So when I mowed this past week … it was jungle.
  • I also got a picture of my mower in front of the sunset. Gosh, that needs to be on a postcard.
  • I was born 30 years too late.
  • Canada Day is less than a month away sooooo here’s this.
  • So yeah, these are people cookies.
  • Count me impressed … and lazy.
  • Um … these please!



The 71st Fartlek Friday™ – Weddings, Thyroids and Downhill Races

FartlekFriday The past three weeks have been a tad cray, cray … fun, but crazy. It’s been hard getting a workout rhythm going. But, I’ve gotten a few short runs and races in during the past three weeks. Nothing that makes me 100% proud of my efforts, but enough to get me by as life happened all around me.

But, that rhythm is coming back.Especially now that I THINK I got my thyroid in a good range that I should be starting to see some change. I’ll share all those details below. But, I am on new meds and metabolic recovery plan (I’m not sure if that’s what you call it, but it sounds cool). I might have to change a few of my goals a bit, but I’ll assess that next month.

My brother and his bride (and my new sister-in-law)!

It’s been a fun week though with family. My older brother got married on Tuesday. It was really one of those … FINALLY kind of weddings. They have been dating pretty much for the past seven years. So, my new sister-in-law, Kelli, pretty much has been family FOREVER. It’s just now she is family FOREVER.

Our family was in charge of the luncheon and since it was Cinco de Mayo as well, we opted for the sweet pork salad route. A very Utah thing to do, might I add. The debate about who has the best sweet pork burritos … Costa Vida or Cafe Rio is almost as serious as the Philly cheese steak debate of Pat’s vs. Geno’s.

We should just start calling these “Utah Sweet Pork Salads” … seriously.

And, if you’re wondering what my opinion is … it’s totally Costa Vida. They have fresher ingredients, the pork is slightly sweeter and I love their pico MUCH better than Cafe Rio.

But, I digress.

The sealing was beautiful and the luncheon and reception were great. I forget how much I love wedding receptions, especially as I get older. Lots of old family friends and family members I haven’t seen in years. It was fun catching up with all of them.

Greek tradition of smashing two wine glasses. Supposed to bring good luck. Well, they didn’t cut their feet so that’s a good start.

But, we did a lot of dancing, including the traditional Greek dancing. My brother’s friend, Jimmy Chunga, even DJ’d the event for us. I won’t lie, I miss him on the radio. But, that’s a rant for another day. It was just a lot, a lot of fun.

But, now that my brother is married the focus and pressure has now placed on me. I can live with that, because I told myself early on in life that I would NEVER settle. The right one will come when I find her and I refuse to feel pressured into forcing myself into a marriage just because “it’s time.”

MD, Free and I dressed up ready to toast … well … more like roast our brother. Of course I would have the smallest and most lame mustache.


The focus now is on this weekend. I am running race #91 the Vigor Big Cottonwood Half Marathon here in Salt Lake. This is the second time I’ve ran this race, but the MILLIONTH time I’ve ran down Big Cottonwood. I love this canyon. It’s one of my favorites.

That’s why I am running this race again along with Drop 13 in June and Revel Big Cottonwood in September. I am not officially signed up for Revel yet, but I’ll get there, especially since Nebo was moved back to September 5th.

The party on the dance floor. Such a fun night!

I was a little worried about that, because I was signed up for the Volition Half Marathon in Ogden that same weekend, but I got an email from them yesterday telling me the race was cancelled. Sooooooo … now I don’t have any problem! I just need to figure out what I am doing with Revel.

If you kept up with all of that, good for you. Bottom line … I LOVE BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON! And, I can’t wait to run it tomorrow morning. I am just not looking forward to catching a 4:30am bus up the canyon. But, thanks to the advent of caffeine I should manage.




I feel like I am FINALLY kinda, sorta, hopefully in a good place now with my thyroid. After switching out my medication to go back to Levothyroxin, I am now back on Armour Thyroid. I really need the extra help for my T3 or T4 and that’s what Armour gives me and Levothyroxin does not.

But, after talking to my doctor about the change he THINKS the usefulness of the medication could be negated by the other medication I am taking, so I am spacing out those meds even more as to avoid any cross contamination. So, now I am taking my thyroid medication at night before I go to bed. And, I’ve noticed a difference so far. I am not waking up groggy, which is a BIG thing.

I also consulted him over foods and dieting, he wasn’t very particular and concerned with what I should be eating or avoiding. I talked to him about Dr. Hyman’s diet and asked his opinion. He thought it wouldn’t hurt as long as I kept my diet balanced. So that’s what I’ve been trying to follow the past week or so.

A lot of the focus is avoiding excess sugar intake, so I am trying to be mindful of that. I am also trying to eat more whole real foods, less processed foods — including the safe “diet” processed foods. It’s slow working and we’ll see how things are within the next month. But, I feel optimistic this will be a solution I am looking for.


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


fears 2