Tag: utah midnight run

This should be my 2017 race schedule …

Okay, I think I’ve got my complete 2017 race schedule figured out.

I think.

Which is a definite maybe.

But, let me explain it a little bit. I have a race each month except December. I might add a race in December, but I am not planning on it. It’s a good rest month after a long year of running.

My busiest month is June. I have seven races planned for the month. Yes, seven. I have Ragnar during the first weekend, the Utah Valley Marathon on the 10th, the Bear Lake Trifecta (three half marathons in three days) the following week and then the Utah Midnight Run (Friday night) and AF Canyon Race Against Cancer (Saturday morning) the following weekend.

I have three total back-to-back races planned. My first being the Salt Flats 50K (April 28) and Tulip Festival (April 29), Utah Midnight Run (June 23) and AF Canyon Race Against Cancer (June 24) and then the Utah Midnight Run (July 7) and Hobbler Half (July 8).

The biggest of those back-to-backs the April one with my 50K and half marathon. Not sure how that’s going to go, but I am betting I’ll walk a lot of the Tulip Festival Half. A lot.

In total I have 32 races planned — 23 half marathons, 5 marathons, 2 ultra marathons, a 25K and the Ragnar Relay. This includes one indoor race, 5 trail races and the rest road races.

Lots of running.

And, if you’re trying to estimate miles — that’s about 525-530 miles. Just in racing miles.

So, yeah — it’s going to be a big mileage year.

Anyways here is my schedule … what’s on your schedule?

RACE #125: Utah Midnight Run

I’ve said this a lot the past week — but, I’ll say it again. It’s kinda hard to believe that I’ve ran 125 races in my 180 race goal so far. I’ll be celebrating the fifth anniversary of the beginning of this little journey this weekend when I run the Handcart Days Half. Not only was that my first half marathon, but it was my 100th as well. So, naturally, it has a special place in my heart.

But, really, it’s hard to believe five years has now passed. It’s been quite the journey and one that still has many, many more races left to run. During my race on Friday night I actually looked back at each race — like, each and every race from 1-124. It was kind of fun (and a good way to pass the time in the dark of the night) and a good reminder of the ups and downs I’ve experienced along the way.

I’m just so grateful for the gift that running has been in my life. Whenever I hit milestones — big and small — like race 125 or date of certain races, I would be remiss if I didn’t look back. I’ve been extremely blessed by the people that have come — or ran — into my life. And, it’s those relationships that keep me going.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

But, enough of that — one or two more paragraphs of that and I’d expect us all to start holding hands and singing kumbaya. Let’s get onto the race and my experience this past weekend.

I have ran the Utah Midnight Run five years in a row now. I like this race. It’s a fun race and a different change of pace, mainly because it’s a night race. And, it frees up a rare Saturday morning. Plus, On Hill Events does a good job at it. There are a few other night half marathons around here in Utah, but by far the best are the ones put on by On Hill Events.

Despite running this race often, it’s still a hard race for me to prepare for. Especially fueling up correctly. You’d think I’d have it down to a science by now — but, nope. In the past I’ve tried eating normally, not eating for 6-8 hours before fueling (to simulate sleeping and then eating light before the race) to just eating light throughout the day. I haven’t found anything that works 100% for me, because I either over do it or under do it.

This year was probably somewhere in the middle?

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

I wasn’t so worried about my Whole30 diet, but the timing of eating and amount of food I should be eating. So on Friday I ate mainly fruit and veggies throughout the day. I also ate some steak for lunch for some protein. But, nothing heavy or overly complicated. I just tried to make sure to eat every 2-3 hours and focus on eating my fruits and veggies.

And, like I said, it kinda worked. I probably could have eaten more to be honest.

But, going into the race my goal wasn’t a PR or benchmark race. I was using it as a training run — with effort. Which for me meant anywhere between 2:45-3:00 for that distance. But, I wasn’t holding myself to that time goal as a maximum or minimum. I just wanted to be out and run with friends and have fun.

The race is a point-to-point course the packet pickup and finish line are in Farmington and the half marathon runners get bussed to North Salt Lake to start there. So, I went extra early to pick up my bib and to also record an episode of the Runcast USA with Jim who was also volunteering at the race. It was a good episode and of course lots of fun (it will air this upcoming Friday by the way).

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I nearly missed the buses because our episode ran right to the minute the buses were starting to roll out. Luckily, I didn’t miss the bus or race. That would have been a total buzzkill for the night.

The race started at 10pm so we spent about an hour at the starting line. Instead of the usual sunrise like most races, we got treated to a killer sunset. Not only that, but killer mosquitos as well. Thankfully, we were provided with bug spray by the race. Otherwise I’m sure I would have been sucked dry.

When the gun sounded and we set off I started running with my friend Tish. We ran for the first couple of miles together at a pretty good clip. It’s always nice to have someone to run with. It sometimes is the make or break of a run.

About 2-3 miles into the race we came upon my friend Jason who was somewhat hobbling. He was pacing the 2:20 group, but bowed out after his back started spasming. No beuno. He biffed it at a race a few weeks ago because it spasmed so I stayed with him for a couple miles until we could get him to an aid station — and eventually his wife, Tammy, who was volunteering.

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By the time Jason was taken care of — I was pretty much in the back of the pack. Or — the caboose. There was 1-2 other runners behind me, so I kinda became the defacto sweeper. Oddly, there wasn’t a sweeper for the race — a role Tim and I had last year.

I didn’t walk the whole thing — in fact, I got some great stretches of running between runners. It was nice. I’d check up on them and then just run my race. I didn’t care that my time was going to suck. But, it definitely didn’t reflect my effort and performance. The race was more of a fartlek than a run to be honest.

I did start to cramp up a bit around mile 10 — not sure why? I think part of it was fueling. I was drinking water at every aid station, but I definitely should have ran with a banana for the mid-way point. And, I started to get a headache. Not a normal headache, but the ones that eventually turn into a migraine.

No beuno.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

To counter that I just sat at an aid station a bit longer and drank a couple more cups of water. Some Advil would have been nicer, but I wasn’t sure if I was a bit dehydrated or not fueled properly? Probably both? But, my headlamp was also kinda tight so I readjusted that. After that I was fine. So odds are I was just cutting off oxygen to my brain? Wouldn’t be the first time.

It was a few minutes after 1am that I ended up crossing the finish line. After getting my medal I headed right to the water and bananas — naturally. I ate a couple slices of banana, but really couldn’t stomach it at the moment (sad, I know), so I took some with me for the ride home.

My time didn’t record and I didn’t really look at my time, but I think I ran somewhere between 3:10-3:20. Not bad for the stops throughout the race. I got a good workout in and good stretches of running — really the only thing I needed.

But, also, I got some GREAT fatigue training. When I was running with my headache I kept thinking — “okay, just push through this, this probably will be nothing compared to what you’ll encounter at your 50 miler.” I really tried to revel in the moment of misery and discomfort, because I know I’ll encounter that a lot more in the next few months leading up the 50 — in my training runs and marathons.

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Anyways — race 125 is done! I am happy with my experience. It definitely wasn’t what I was expected to experience. But, at the same time — I wasn’t really expecting anything going into it. So, I got what I prepared for, right?

The focus this week is get some good balance of training runs and circuit training. I am planning a good workout focusing on my core tonight. That’s something I KNOW I need to do better at. Plus, I’m prepping for my double race weekend — Handcart Days Half (Saturday) and DesNews Half (Monday).



126 - bountiful handcart days.fw127 - desnews half.fw

I’ve got a double race holiday weekend coming up this weekend. Not to be confused with a back-to-back race. I am basically running a half marathon on Saturday and Monday. I am running the Handcart Days Half Marathon (Bountiful) on Saturday morning and then the Deseret News Half Marathon (Salt Lake City) on Monday.

Both races hold personal significance to me. The Handcart Days Half was my first and 100th race — and this Saturday actually marks the 5th anniversary of my first half marathon. Kind of a special milestone. And, then the Deseret News Marathon was my first marathon four years ago. Though I am not running the marathon, the race still holds a special place in my heart.

So lots of personal milestones for me this upcoming weekend.

But, I also have to wonder why in the heck I picked July races for my first half marathon and marathon? Seriously. I remember how hot both of them were and how much I wanted to die after them.

Regardless, I am really looking forward to the DesNews Half — this is a fun, fast course. I am not expecting to PR. But, I want to do well. So, I might slow it down a bit at Handcart Days to save some energy for Monday morning’s race. I really kinda, sorta, maybe want to break 2:30. That’s the goal. Just putting it out there.

I know I can do it.

Anyways — that’s the focus this week. But, I’m just excited for a great weekend of holiday running. I love Pioneer Day. And, I love these two races.


128-timp half.fw 129 - Run Elevated Half Marathon 130 - Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon



Okay, we were going to post this last week before the servers over on PodBash crashed thanks to an awesome day of listening (really this is a good problem to have).

This has pushed back the Runcast to July 29th. Why two weeks? Because, “Are We Prepared, Yet?” will be returning next Friday (July 22nd) to the Friday circuit. Schwendy and I recorded this past week — and it’s a good episode. I’m excited to launch it next Friday.

But, give listen to the newest episode of Addict II Athlete. This is a great story. And, please if it strikes a chord with you — share it. You know never know who you are going to inspire to make the change they need to make in their life.


My second round of @whole30 is DONE! This go around I lost 10.8lbs! Not bad. That’s a total of 28.6lbs the past two months that I’ve lost. Or an average of 14.3lbs. per month. That’s good! I won’t lie, I was trying to not let the number on the scale affect my feeling of progress. A part of me REALLY wanted to be out of the 250s. But, it is what it is. This is a result of work and dedication and I’m fine with that. Every loss isn’t going to be a Biggest Loser record. But, 10.8 is really great when on average about 8 is on average (2lbs per week). So I am still above average, which is good! I am going to do one more round of @whole30 that will take me to my birthday on August 15th. I’m going to work hard in the next 30 days, because I’d love to see at least another 10lbs if not more. The goal is 10lbs., but I’m pushing for 12.7lbs so that scale will read at least 239.9 on my birthday. My mileage will be going up the next month in my ultra training and I’ll be adding in some more circuit and strength training. I’m going to give this a go! But, I am happy with these results, maybe not initially but the numbers don’t lie when they show the whole picture. And 28+lbs in two months is HUGE for me. I haven’t had a loss like that in years. That feels good. And, the pictures don’t lie. I’m looking good! #whole30 #round2 #day30 #complete #weighin #scale #weightloss #fitness #health #wellness #progress #weightlossjourney @whole30 @josherwalla @fight4phat

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My young apprentice. #proudunclejosher #calliekoko

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on



152.6 miles


150.5 miles


860.7 miles


1163.8 miles


1503.2 miles

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#FitnessFriday: A Midnight Run, Pokemon Go and some Whole30 fun …

FRIDAY, FRIDAY, FRIDAY! I haven’t been this excited for Friday — since — last Friday! I definitely work for the weekend. It’s been a good and productive week, but I am ready for a reprieve. And, summer weekends are the best at providing that.

It’s actually been a really good week — had a few really good runs. Not so much the physically great, but the emotionally great runs. I had a double run day on Monday and then did a couple of miles yesterday while also doing some needed circuit training in the days between my running days.

Then tonight I am racing the Utah Midnight Run in Farmington, doing some running tomorrow morning and then mowing the lawn. I know I should really add mowing as a workout — but, I do. When I do the whole lawn it’s about 3.5 miles of walking. It’s a great workout. Now if I could just run and mow at the same time that’d be ideal.

I am really starting to focus on my 50 miler in October (October 21-22). Like, getting excited about it and planning out my race plan. I am in the process of organizing my crew, meals and schedule. I don’t want to do overdo the planning, but this being my first 50 miler — I kinda think I should? It’s the prepper in me I guess?

I’ve already started making a list of food I’ll need (want) to get for the race. As expected bananas are pretty much on the top of that list along with grapes, pretzels and canned potatoes. I know canned potatoes sound nasty, but during a long arduous run there is nothing better than canned potatoes dipped in salt. Seriously. It saved my life last year at the Antelope Island 50K.

So, yeah, I’ll need plenty of that in my life when October comes.

Anyways — I am going to be blogging more about that all next week or so. So stay tuned for that. But, if you are interested in crewing or pacing me, let me know? I am thinking of getting a crew of 3-4, but if I can find a big vehicle — let’s make the party bigger, right?

Anyways, stay tuned next week for more on all of that. Just know, I am getting really excited for October!

So it should be a good weekend coming ahead. Lots of running, family time and SUMMER loving! But, make sure to come back tomorrow for my race pictures of tonight’s race and my Whole30 results from my second round!

Make it a great weekend! Go running!

125-Utah Midnight Run Legacy

Wow, only 55 more races until I hit my goal. It’s really hard to believe that tonight’s Utah Midnight Run will be my 125th race! That’s 25 races just in the past year. Which has been pretty much my pace since 2012.

People ask me why I race so much. The first answer is well — because I love it. I obviously wouldn’t be doing it this much if I didn’t love it. But, also, because I want to get as many of my races done (if not all) before I settle down, get married, have those kid things and all that jazz. Because, I know with great responsibility comes a lot less running.

Anyways — I am looking forward to tonight’s race. This is my fifth year running this specific race in Farmington. The original one. There is another Utah Midnight Run in Provo and I ran that last year. But, ever since 2012 I have ran this race. I’ve had some up and down experiences with it.

It was the first race I ran after my first marathon. I had some pretty nasty shin splints the first couple of miles to deal with during the race. Not fun. It was also the first race I puked during back in 2014. I was pacing and just got — sick. I felt better eventually, especially after barking at some spiders. But, it wasn’t fun. It was just too hot for my liking.

But, races like last year’s were a lot of run. I ran with Tim and pretty much had a party and a half. We swept the course of runners and glowsticks. We made some pretty fun glowstick get ups from all the fallen ones. It was a great time.

So, with the race — I am not sure what to expect? I am not sweeping it. I am just running it. Well, I am actually using it as a training run. Because then tomorrow morning I am going to run 3-5 miles to get some good fatigue training in. But, I won’t lie — I’m half to tempted to turn the run into a hike. I’m kinda craving a hike.

But, I digress.

If you’re going to be there tonight, come say hi! Jim and I are recording an episode of the Runcast during packet pick up! And, if you are the first person to come say “I PARKED THE CAR IN HARVARD YARD” you’ll get a free entry into the East Canyon Marathon (August 27).

So who’s running with me tonight?


Okay, we were going to post this last week before the servers over on PodBash crashed thanks to an awesome day of listening (really this is a good problem to have).

This has pushed back the Runcast to July 29th. Why two weeks? Because, “Are We Prepared, Yet?” will be returning next Friday (July 22nd) to the Friday circuit. Schwendy and I recorded this past week — and it’s a good episode. I’m excited to launch it next Friday.

But, give listen to the newest episode of Addict II Athlete. This is a great story. And, please if it strikes a chord with you — share it. You know never know who you are going to inspire to make the change they need to make in their life.


I just had one of the scariest experiences this morning — and I’m not afraid to chalk it up to the paranormal. When walking from my room to upstairs this morning I heard something in the family room near the grandkids’ toys, etc. I walked in to inspect the noise thinking it could be the turtle’s filter going out or something. Nope. It was my toy horse Clip Clop swaying by itself and “clopping” as it does when ridden. But, that wasn’t the worse part! After a few seconds of trying to process what was going on — IT NAYED! The only time it nays is when it’s ridden long and hard (TWSS) for an extended period of time! After it nayed it stopped. It’s never done this and I’ve had since I was a toddler — so about 30-33 years? WHAT AN EXPERIENCE! #paranormal #horse

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Oh look, I got one of those things. #ihavenoideawhatimdoing #butthisisfun #pokemongo

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

When autocorrect makes you giggle like a schoolgirl. #polemoms #gottacatchemall

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

I think I was just crowned Prom King by the munchkin? #nowwhatdoido? #calliekoko #unclejosher

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on


Well, today is my LAST day of my second round of Whole — which means tomorrow is my weigh-in! I’m eager to see my progress. Also a little nervous.

Mainly nervous because I don’t want to be disappointed. But, I shouldn’t be. I’ve been spot on with the diet plan, I feel great and I am looking thinner. So, really I shouldn’t be disappointed.

I am trying not to go into the weigh-in with an expected number. Part of me wants to lose another 17.8lbs. But, I feel that wasn’t the case this go around. Ideally, I’d like to be in the 240s. But, what if I am not? What if I am at 250.1?

I don’t want to go away from the weigh-in disappointed, because that’d still be 13lbs. dropped since June 15th.

You see why the Whole30 only has you step on the scale after your 30 days is over? There’s wisdom in it. Otherwise this madness would be an everyday thing. But, that’s a post for another day.

I am not going to delve into too much more — because I am going to share my results on the blog tomorrow after my weigh-in. PLUS — next week I am going to share some of my thoughts on the Whole30 diet plan.

I wanted to write it after my first round, but felt that getting two rounds of Whole30 would give me a bit more insight. So, stay tuned for that around Wednesday or Thursday next week.

Anyways — DEEP BREATH — we shall see what tomorrow brings.

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RACES #101 and #102: Utah Midnight Run & Timp Half

Fall colors cover the backside of Mt. Timpanogos along Utah's Alpine Loop in American Fork Canyon.

A funny thing happened this past weekend. I went into the weekend planning on just running the Timp Half. Well, actually, I was planning on pacing it. And, then come Thursday night I added another race to the docket and ended up doing another back-to-back all-night half marathon.

I might have a running problem.


I really didn’t mind doing it for a number of reasons. First, I was sweeping the course for both races so I knew it would be easier on my body compared to running both at full effort. If I did that, I am pretty sure I would have died or at least had a pretty good story about the time my legs completely fell off mid-race.

I was planning on being at the Midnight Run anyways as a volunteer, so it wasn’t that difficult for me to rearrange my schedule. I ended up volunteering before the race with registration, packet pick up and answering runners’ general questions, etc. So it worked out pretty well.

Plus, I got to run with Tim again, which is always a bonus! I always love running with him, because we always end up laughing too hard or thinking too hard. I don’t know if there’s any middle ground? I really enjoy his friendship, especially when we’re out on the course, because he’s really taught me a lot about the runners’ psyche and how to connect with them on a personal level to help them push pass mental and physical road blocks.

And, not to mention it gave me another reason to run in a kilt. Can’t go wrong with that, right?

If I wasn’t sweeping both courses I wouldn’t have agreed to pace the Midnight Run. I am glad it worked out that way because I really enjoyed running both races. This past week has been a week of emotion leading up to the Timp Half. After my dear friend, Meridith aka “Dith” was diagnosed with breast cancer, it was inspiring to see the running community come together on her behalf and in her honor.

The Timp Half was her last race before starting her cancer treatments later this month, so we wanted to overwhelm her with love and support. Cancer royally sucks and there is no such thing as TOO much love and support when dealing with this vicious disease. And, we wanted to let Dith know that we were with her and would do anything for her during this uncertain and dark time.

I will blog more about what we’re doing and planning on doing a bit later this week … because I want to give it the time and space it warrants.

But, it was a great moment. We all wore pink for her and I even FINALLY got myself a (pink) sports bra to save myself from chaffed nipples and to show support to Dith. It was quite a surprise for everyone there when I took my shirt off at the starting line. I did put my shirt back on, but I did run the whole 13.1 in the bra. And, I will have to say … I loved the support. But, again, that’s a post for another day.

Here are my race reports for my two races this past weekend …



As mentioned above, I was originally planning on just volunteering at the race, until I was asked to sweep it earlier in the week. I waited until the last minute to see if anyone else would jump onto the spot. But, I was more than happy to fill the roll, especially after Tim said he’d run alongside me. Plus, I wouldn’t have agreed to sweep the course if I wasn’t sweeping the Timp Half as well.

Since I was volunteering in addition to running, I arrived at the Legacy Center (bus pick up and finish line) to help with last minute packet pickup with Tim. It was interesting seeing the other side of races from the perspective of the race director. A lot of people waited (myself included) for last minute packet pickup, not to mention about 20-30 people who registered on site.

Tim and I either really excited to be running or really excited to be sitting at the back of the bus.

After helping the majority of the runners with packet pick up and general information Tim and I hopped on the last bus to the starting line. Unlike the Provo Midnight Run that I ran in June this was a point to point race along the Legacy Parkway in Davis County. The starting line was located around the I-215 interchange in North Salt Lake and ran along the trail back to the Legacy Center in Farmington.

The race started at 10pm the usual suntan lotion was swapped out for bug spray. And, it was needed … well … at least at the starting line. There were lots of mosquitoes at the starting line. Fortunately they tapered out further into the run. But, they were pretty thick.

My brother’s girlfriend said before I left for the race that I looked like a Catholic Schoolgirl. I can’t say I disagree …

Since Tim and I were sweeping, we literally swept the course. Not of runners, but of the glow sticks the runners were required to wear. A number of them simply fell off, but there were a number that were simply removed because the runner didn’t like the feel of it on them. Whatever the reason was, Tim and I, picked up pretty much all of the glow sticks along the course.

We literally were sweepers.

Literally sweeping the course …

Most of the glow sticks we picked up were in the first three miles of the race, so it wasn’t that bad. We weren’t obligated to pick them up, but it was easy for us and made a lot less work for Joe and the On Hill Events crew. Plus, Tim had fun trying to make a neon stick flower while picking up the loose neon sticks. So we basically all won.

Since the half had around 200-250 runners the sweeping pace wasn’t that bad. I’ve noticed in my sweeping that the smaller the course the less walkers there are. There are a number of reasons for that, but that’s a post for another day. But, we did come across a couple of runners who were struggling during the last three miles of the race. Which is pretty normal for any race regardless of size.

Tim and I showing off our bling!

I felt really bad for one of the runners. We came across her when she was flat on the trail in agony. Both of her calves seized up and she couldn’t get herself out of the cramp. So Tim and I gave her aid. He stretched the calves for her and I have her some water and salt tablets. Once we got her up we walked the last two or so miles with her to the finish line. Luckily, they didn’t seize up on her again during the race.

But, once we got to the finish line and I got myself hydrated and fed (bananas of course) I hurried home to get ready to head south to American Fork for the Timp Half. Once I got home around 2:30am, I had about 15 minutes to shower, change and get something a bit more substantial to eat. Not an easy task. But, somehow I did it … [THIS ENDS SIDE ONE OF JOSH’S RUNNING ADVENTURES, PLEASE FLIP THE TAPE TO PROCEED TO SIDE TWO]



Once I got showered, changed, fed and out the door I hurried down to Salt Lake to pick up my friend Joycelynn who was running the Timp Half as well. We were running a little late, but luckily traffic at 3am is fairly dead between Salt Lake and Provo. We just had to pick up our packets between 3:45-4am before the busses picked us up.

We made it despite a traffic jam of giant proportions in the middle of American Fork. Joycelynn hopped out and walked the half mile to the school while I fought traffic to get into the parking lot. I always laugh about these kind of traffic jams, because when has American Fork ever seen a traffic jam INSIDE of town, in the wee hours of the morning? That’s the crazy world of runners for you, I guess?

Despite the jam and rush, we made it in time and got on a bus up the canyon. It was a bit hectic, but what race morning isn’t?

My favorite start line. Can’t go wrong with this view!

Once we got up to Tibble Creek at the starting line we started rounding up all our running friends together. This past week has been an emotional one for all of us, after learning of the diagnosis of our friend Dith’s breast cancer. This was going to be her last race before she starts chemo soon, so we really wanted to make it special for her. A huge contingent of us runners wore pink in her honor while a number of other friends not running came out to support her along the course. It was awesome seeing the out pouring of support she got.

I even surprised Dith with my own sign of support. I finally got my long discussed sports bra and wore it in her honor. When I took off my shirt at the starting line I am pretty sure I got cat called … I was flattered. But, seriously, the one thing I learned through my Mom’s journey is you HAVE to have humor in your journey. And, that was my contribution.

Showing Dith a little support.

Since I was sweeping the course I waited at the top of the starting line for the majority of the runners to cross the starting line. Since I wasn’t in any hurry I calmly used the bathroom and moseyed around taking pictures of Timp and the reservoir while the masses were funneled through the arch. This also allowed me to start off at a good pace for the first mile, because I knew I would be much slower than the night before.

The one thing about the race though I had to be mindful of was getting everyone out of the canyon by 7:30am. This gave us an hour and a half to run about 7.5 miles down and out of the canyon. I was on pace for that, but I got some bad information from one of the Forest Service support vans. They told me 8am instead. I questioned that, but they were adamant it was 8am. So I slowed down my pace to that time limit.

I make this look good, right?

I told the runners around me that it was 8am and not 7:30am as well. And, apparently he had told some other runners ahead of us that it was 8am as well. So, it really caused quite the confusion. I wanted to check my phone, but I didn’t have any reception since we were in the canyon. So, I just went with it. And, I should have gone with my gut instinct.

But, we started to get swept off by the saggin’ wagon. I was upset about the miscommunication, especially since I was pacing a few runners during their first half marathon. Plus, we were only a mile away from the mouth. But, luckily they were just dropping the runners off at the mouth of the canyon instead of taking them to the finish line. I ended up hopping in the Race Director’s car for the mile.

Dith, me and Shelley. That hat on Shelley makes me laugh. I just picture her stealing it off the head of a circus monkey.

Once I got out I told the runners with me we’d make up the distance up at the end, since we ended at a track. I wanted them to get their 13.1 miles in anyway possible. This was my goal too. I ended up not having to run the track in the end though, because as I was sweeping the course I had to run around chasing some runners who were going the wrong way. Some of the runners were convinced they were going the wrong way and went the opposite way. It made up for the distance quite adequately.

The last few miles though of the race were great. I paced alongside a couple of runners and I was able to listen to their story. If there is anything I love more than running it’s listening to people’s stories and learning about their backgrounds. People fascinate me. People’s stories inspire me. And, that’s one reason I love pacing, especially sweeping, because oft times you have enough time to listen and share.

After the race Joycelynn and I were in DESPERATE need of calories and all we could think about was McGriddles. These change lives folks. Change LIVES.

Once we got to the last quarter mile of the race I was greeted by Dith, Shelley, Rendi and others who waited to see me cross the finish line. I really think Shelley just wanted to get a picture with me in my bra. But, it was really nice to see them. I was hoping to see them again, but thought since I was sweeping they would have been long gone. It was a great way to finish the race. I have some awesome friends, friends I’d do anything for, since they’re more like family. Family members you get to choose!

Seeing Dith going through these early stages of her cancer journey brought a lot of memories back to me about my Mom’s journey and I know how important family and friends are during the many stages of cancer. My heart goes out to her and I’ll be dedicating the rest of my miles this year to her! Heck that sports bra might not be coming off!

Race #102 in the books! I will always remember this one!




This originally was going to be my 100th race when I planned it out earlier this year. I chose it for a couple reasons, well okay, one reason. August 15th is my birthday and it felt right to celebrate such an accomplishment on my birthday. But, after I signed up for the Handcart Days Half and came to my senses … I changed that goal.

But, I am excited nonetheless to be running on my birthday! This will be my first time I raced on my birthday and it will be a party. I am going to be staying in Park City with my family for the weekend. We’re staying up there from Thursday night to Tuesday day. It’s become kind of a semi-Family tradition. Now I am throwing in running a race at the same time.

The Park City Half also kind of starts the summer to fall racing transition. I’ll be running or racing pretty much every weekend leading up to my 50K in November. Lots of back-to-back half marathons, fatigue training and a couple of marathons as well. I am excited about the challenge and getting my body — physically and mentally prepared.



Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 188.0 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 241.65 miles
2015 Race Miles – 259.15 miles
2015 Total Miles – 688.8 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 72.85 miles
March – 115.3 miles
April – 76.3 miles
May  97.4 miles
June  131.15 miles
July  101.65 miles
August  13.1 miles



RACES #96 & #97: Utah Midnight Run and AF Canyon Race Against Cancer


Go ahead and push play on the AC/DC video above. I might have gotten this song stuck in my head two to too many times the other night. But, it is a fairly fitting theme song for the back-to-back feat. Because there was NO sleep going Friday night. Just running. Along with some Denny’s, but mostly running and waiting around for busses.

This is the third time I have attempted this feat. And, the second time I have accomplished it. Back in 2013 the Gabicas and I were going to do the Utah Midnight Run in Davis County and then drive up to Idaho Falls for the half marathon there. But, we had to scratch the second leg of that trip after Jill got a migraine after the Midnight Run. You really can’t do anything about those kind of situations so I attempted it again last year.

So last July I did the Utah Midnight Run and Farmington Days Half Marathon back-to-back. In fact both courses overlapped SLIGHTLY. And, I mean slightly. But, the starting lines for both races were literally only 0.7 miles away from each other. It was very confident to say the least.

It wasn’t an easy challenge. I had gotten sick during my first run … eventually throwing up (my first time doing so in a race). It was HOT. And, then once I started my second race I was STIFFER beyond STIFF and by mile four I wanted to quit. It was tough.

But, here I am doing it again.

I swear us runners just block out all the pain. It’s a gift the running gods have given us. You can have the worst and most painful run in the world and by the time you are done with it you forget about that all. Within hours you can’t wait to do it again.

And, I needed to tap into a little bit of that this week after getting heat exhaustion after Ragnar that knocked me out of work for a couple of days. In the back of my mind I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able run my back-to-back half marathon. But, further back in my mind I knew that wasn’t an option. It might turn out to be miserable, but I knew I can power through it one step at a time.

So this past week in preparation of this race, I didn’t run at all. It wasn’t entirely on purpose, but half of my week was wiped out because of my illness and it just happened that way. I did get a three mile hike in on Thursday evening with friends, Jorge and Joycelynn, but that was the extent of my running and workouts this week. I needed the rest. Both from my illness and for my back-to-back.

It was a good decision.

On Friday, my plan was to drive down to American Fork after work to pick up my packet for Saturday’s race in route to Provo for my Friday night run. The traffic was horrific after there was an accident on I-15. So what is usually a 40-45 minute drive took me just under two hours. Not fun. I was anxious enough to get to packet pickup on time. Luckily, I got there with about 10 minutes to spare before they closed shop.

After getting to Provo for my first race I met up with the Gabicas for dinner. Neither of them were running of my races, but since Jill is pregnant and not running as much we don’t see each other as often. I chose a simple dinner of an egg white and cheese six-inch sub with Powerade to drink. I usually drink water, but not wanting to tank out during my race I was bound and determined to pump myself with electrolytes and sodium throughout the night.

And, as you can tell from the tone of this post I succeeded in that goal.

Anyways, I’ll tell the rest of the story of my all-night marathon through my race reports …


Of the races I was doing, I was most nervous about my first race, the Utah Midnight Run in Provo. It basically set the tone for how my second race went and how I felt after the feat was done. Going into the race I wanted to take my time and not push it too hard. I knew I was going to be over three hours, but as long as my legs stayed fresh that my biggest concern.

There were about 300 racers running so it was definitely small compared to most other local races. The Legacy Midnight Run (run by On Hill Events as well) is much larger, but that’s been around longer compared to the Provo race. I believe this was only the third year of the Provo version? Don’t quote me on that, but it’s been around shorter than Legacy.

The starting line of the Midnight Run with a lovely shot of someone drinking some water.

So, I had a pretty good idea I was probably going to be one of, if not, the last runners to cross the finish line. And, I was okay with that. Heck, I am always okay with that. Having swept a number of races I’ve realized the miracle sometimes is JUST finishing what you started.

Since the race started at 10pm, I brought my head lamp along with me. I also strapped a couple glow sticks on my ankles for decorations and safety. We weren’t running on public streets so cars weren’t an issue, but running along the Provo River Trail there was the possibility of bikers and other runners. I probably should have worn a reflective vest for extra safety? Good thing this wasn’t Ragnar I would have been kicked off the course.

Pre-race selfie. The head lamp really accentuates my manly features.

I didn’t run with my Garmin again. I just went by feel. There were some uneven stretches of trail where tree roots had bulged through the road. That kind of broke my stride a couple of times. But, I just kept running along. I felt pretty good about my pace for the first five miles, but then the sweeper caught up with me. Which was totally fine because it was Laurie Pope and I knew her.

But, still, the sweeper caught up with me at five miles. I was kinda expecting more of a buffer of people between me and Laurie. But, that’s the thing you run the risk against at these smaller races, most who sign up I’ve sound are between 2-2:30 finishers. Not too many back of the packers.

Good thing there aren’t laws against running and texting … 😉

Apparently there was a three hour course time limit. I wasn’t aware of it, so instead of taking my time I picked it up a bit and stayed with Laurie for the rest of the race. I laugh about that, because I never thought I would (even mildly) complain about running at a three hour pace. But, I really, really, really wanted to keep myself fresh for the morning’s race.

Laurie and I had a lot of fun though. Especially after I got attacked by a giant moth. She laughed at me. But, I kid you not, this moth was the size of a small bird. It was a monster. MONSTER. But, that is the price I guess I had to pay for wearing a headlamp?

Picking up trash along the race brings new meaning to the term, “Sweeper”

Also along the way we picked up trash from the runners. I am somewhat surprised at how careless us runners are with our trash. I get throwing your cup down on the side of the road at a large race, but at a minimally supported race or trail run … why throw your cup in the brush half a mile from the aid station? Larger races have LOTS of volunteers that work on sweeping the cups and cleaning the area up. The smaller races don’t. It creates more work per volunteer.

Just throw it away in the provided trash can at the aid station. It’s not that hard. Or use your own water bottle. Because, not all trash is found, so if you throw it off the beaten path … don’t expect it to be found. Keep it until the next aid station or plan better.


Sometimes you just ask to get photobombed.

But, the run wasn’t that bad. Running in Provo past midnight is … um … interesting … to say the least. We did run into some “interesting” individuals along the trail as well. All I am going to say is I really don’t understand the night culture down there. I’ve walked around downtown SLC past midnight, but Provo is just different. I wish I understood it better.

Either way, we finished around 3:18 hours, which is actually where I wanted to finish anyways. So it worked. I was tired and sore, but I pumped some Advil and Sports Legs in me along with a lot of Powerade and that seemed to help carry me into my next race.


I had a couple of hours between my two races. I finished my first race around 1-1:30am and had bus pickup for my second race at 4am. I thought about sleeping in my car for a couple hours before catching the bus, but instead I opted for probably the best option. Food.

I headed to Denny’s with the Provo Midnight Run’s race director and I am glad I did. I loaded myself up with biscuits n’ gravy, hashbrowns (extra crispy of course) and sunnyside up eggs. It was a perfect re-carb meal that I knew wouldn’t upset my stomach before my second race. Plus, Denny’s in Provo at 2am is quite an experience to say the least. Like I mentioned above, I wish I understood the Provo night culture better. But, it’s probably best that I don’t … right?

I got TWO raffle tickets for being on the early bus. And, I missed out on winning my BlendTech. Some jerk won it instead. ONE DAY! ONE DAY!

After catching one of the first buses up AF Canyon I rode up solo. Which felt strange, but I figured I would try to sleep a little bit on the way up … which didn’t end up happening. I actually made friends with the strangers around me and we ended up talking all the way up. It was neat because one was a cancer survivor and another a recovering alcoholic and they each shared a little about the reasons why they run. It was cool and humbling. Just an extra reminder that we all run for different reasons.

The starting line queue is one of my favorite of all the races I ran. The St. George Marathon queue is fun, because of how festive it is and how many people surround you at any given time. The AF Canyon race queue is not just festive and energetic, but when the sun starts to rise the scenery is just … BEYOND gorgeous. You get awesome views of the surrounding mountains including Timpanogos. It feels very intimate and really adds to the race experience.

This year it wasn’t any different.

Cevan with a C and I before race #2. He ran the night before as well … but being the one uper he always is, be also did the Spartan later that day. I’ve got some work to do.

After hanging out with friends for about an hour and a half the race started at 6am. The plan all along was to simply run what my body gave me. But, I also wanted to run somewhat smart. So the first couple of miles I really tried to restrain myself so I wasn’t going out too fast. The last I wanted to do was tank out after mile five and walk the rest of the way. So I kept a dilberate steady pace and just enjoyed the scenery.

Around mile three I started to pick up my pace some and I was surprised at how well legs felt. Last year when I did my back-to-back around mile four is when I just wanted to give up. I was sore, tired and cranky. This go around it was quite the opposite. I know the canyon and downhill course had a lot to do with that. But, having taken precautions to avoid heat exhaustions and overextending myself helped a lot as well.

Wearing my Snuggie to the starting line kinda makes you feel somewhat like a man of the cloth. If I had a mic, I probably would have preached.

It also helped that aid stations were spread out about every two miles after three miles. That helped me A LOT with hydration and electrolytes. I followed my rule of two cups of water for every Powerade cup. It’s a good ratio, especially considering sometimes the drink is made pretty powerful. It helps temper it some, otherwise it makes me burpy and while that might be cute it gets annoying when you’re trying to keep a good pace.

Throughout the race my focus was real simple. It was just to put one foot in front of the other. I knew I would be okay, but there was a two hour cut off out of the canyon, so I focused on that for a while. I got out in less than an hour and a half. Nothing to worry about, but sometimes its’ good to have smaller goals like that to focus on for a while.

This picture doesn’t do the canyon justice, but the filter I used sure helps.

While we were protected by the shadows of the canyon for the first seven miles, the last five miles of the race were out of the canyon and the sun was very much beaming down on us. I was a little worried about that, so I doubled up on my water at aid stations. I also walked UP any hill to save my energy while taking advantage of any down or rolling hill. But, I also walked a lot.

During my last three miles traded off on the walking and running. I ran all of the mile 11 and then walked pretty much all of mile 12. Well, I take that back … I mall walked mile 12. The difference between walking and mall walking? I swung my arms and kept my walking pace above that of a strolling stranger in the park. If I had two pound weights I am sure I would have utilized them.

Miss Ruthie is one of my favorite runners. She dedicated her run to her brother who passed away from cancer this past week. Not only did she get a sub-two, but she got a 1:55 PR! Some of her running friends wanted to do something special for her, so we chipped in and got an extra medal for Bernie and a plaque she ran remember this race with.

But, after my nice little mall walk between mile 11-12, I picked up the pace from mile 12 to the finish line. It was REALLY hot at this time and I just wanted to be finished. I also noticed I was close to getting a sub-three time. It wasn’t my goal for the race, but was something to shoot for once I realized I was close to it.

I didn’t get the sub-two, but I still got in two minutes over three hours which I was happy with considering that would give me a 6:20:32 marathon time. I am happy with that.


So after refilling on a couple bottles of water, some chocolate milk and fruit. I tried to each some of the french toast they had, but it just didn’t sound good. But, after hanging around with friends for a while I made it back to my car and headed back home. Of course after a pit stop to 7 Eleven for a much needed and much deserved Slurpee.


98-hobbler 99-dam15

So yeah, I’m kinda doing this again in a couple of weeks. Luckily, I am not doing an overnight back-to-back, it’s going to be all in one day. I am going to be sweeping the Hobbler Half in the morning and then later that night I am running The Dam 15 Miler in Heber City.

I think I am ready for this? I think.

Well, okay, this past weekend gave me confidence that I can. But, it’s those two extra miles from the 15 miler I am somewhat worried about.

Luckily, I’ll be sweeping the morning race and then have several hours in between the two races. So, really I shouldn’t be too worried about it. I’ll just view the Hobbler Half as my warmup to The Dam 15 Miler.

But, this is also the price I paid to make sure I get to my 100 races by the 24th of July. SO BRING IT!


Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 188.0 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 198.25 miles
2015 Race Miles – 185.55 miles
2015 Total Miles – 571.8 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 72.85 miles
March – 115.3 miles
April – 76.3 miles
May  97.4 miles
June  131.15 miles


RACE RECAP #67: Utah Midnight Half

67-Utah Midnight Half

Ugh. Can I say that again? Ugh. Triple ugh. Quadruple ugh. Fiftruple ugh? I’m pretty sure I just made that word up … but I don’t care. This run was just miserable. I’ve ran this race twice before and it’s really not THAT bad of a race. I just don’t think I want to really do it again in the future.

Let me explain myself here.

One of my favorite friend selfies. Ever.

When I ran it in 2012 I did as a post marathon half and because it was something different. I never really ran a half marathon in the evening before so it was something new. The race wasn’t horrible, I just hurt since it was a post-marathon race. Eh, I let that slide.

When I ran it last year all I wanted to do was best my time from the previous year, which I did, but it was hot and pretty miserable. Plus, there were a few aid stations that had warm water which didn’t help matters. The heat didn’t help, but I pushed through and didn’t do that bad.

Then there was this year.

Pure (runners) love with Tim.
I love this picture. You can tell who likes to be in front of a camera and who doesn’t …

The heat wasn’t bad at all. In fact it was pretty nice. I was pacing alongside Susette for the 2:30 time. I wasn’t too worried about that time, because that’s around my range, especially for flat half marathons. I was pretty excited to run, because Becky was also going to be running alongside us and there were a number of other friends running the race as well.

Ideal racing situation.

Once we started I knew something was wrong. I felt it with every fiber of my being, but mostly in the gut. The combination of running late in the evening and the heat did not help me at all. Thinking it was because I was wearing layers I decided to take a quick pit stop to take my black shirt off and just run with my pacing singlet. Not a bad decision. The bad decision came when I tried to catch up with Susette after the pit stop.

The moment I tossed the cookies or …

I ended up just getting sick and well there are many ways of putting this … I ended up …

    • throwing up.
    • barfing.
    • ralphing.
    • blowing chunks.
    • chucking.
    • seeing my dinner again.
    • kaking.
    • liquid laughing.
    • tossing my cookies.
    • laughing at the ground.
    • barking at ants.
    • spewing.
    • chundering.
    • yawning in Technicolor.
    • heaving

Whatever you want to call, I think you get the idea now, no?

After that happened, I knew I was going to have a hard time catching back up with Susette. I tried, but it just didn’t happen. I feel bad about that because I committed to pace the 2:30, but at the same time I am glad we paced in a team, because Susette just took over.

Plus, I didn’t run alone either. Becky ended up staying behind with me and ran the last 10 or miles with me. It helped a lot mentally to have a friend right beside me. Especially knowing that I wasn’t feeling that good.


But, it was fun as well, even though we weren’t running that fast we still got to cheer along other runners and we met a couple people running their first half marathon. I love coming across first time marathoners and half-marathoners, it’s a feat to do one. And, I love finding out why they got into running. There’s always a reason and it always seems to vary.

The course really was pretty flat. There were a couple places that I swear we climbed like 2,000 feet, but in reality was probably like five feet. The Legacy Parkway Trail is really flat as well as being pretty bare with very few trees. Running it at night is the best way to run it. For the cooler temps and lack of scenery. Which really isn’t that bad, because I’ve ran this race both with friends and by myself. When I ran this by myself I just plugged in my earphones and lost myself in thought. Either way, I felt more focused.

When you’re feeling sick this is one of the last pieces of graffiti you want to see.
I love this picture. So appropriate.

The aid stations were welcome oasises throughout the run. I was particularly happy that the water was cold. They had problems with that the past couple times I ran it. But, the cold water helped make me feel better as well.

In all, the run was tough. Mainly because I got sick. I knew what to generally expect because I ran the course before, but hurling did not help things at all. At. All. And, even though I tanked my pacing time, the race was redeemed in the time I got to spend with Becky and making a few friends along the way.

Bling #67!

After the race Becky, Sonja and I then went to Village Inn for food before I got ready for my second race. But, I won’t go into all of that, because I wrote about it yesterday which you can find here.

You can view more pictures of my running adventures during the All-Night Marathon here.


All-Night Marathon: COMPLETE


Welp, I did it. I accomplished my goal of running a back-to-back half marathon. That’s … TWO. HALF. MARATHONS. In two days. I’ve wanted to do this for a while and I can now finally checked it off my Honey Bucket List.

IMG_3051I won’t lie folks, this was one of the toughest things I’ve done. Tougher than a marathon even though I ran the same distance. I underestimated the the affect of running a half marathon after taking a five hour break from your previous half. It’s tough, because you’re telling your body during that second run to basically shut the heck up and forget the pain.

It’s easier said than done.

My first half, the Utah Midnight Run, on Friday night felt like a disaster. I was pacing the 2:30 group with Susette. A VERY manageable pace for me. But, from the get go I had a hard time getting into the run. The heat was getting to me and I ended up throwing up at mile three. NOT the ideal situation, but I did take a selfie out of it soooooo the opportunity wasn’t totally wasted.

IMG_3080I ended up running the last 10 miles with Becky which was a blast. We laughed, talked to other runners and talked about nonsensical things between my occasional cramp or dry heave. I really don’t know what my issue was, but the heat was probably to blame. In fact I ended up taking off my shirt and just using the pacing singlet … which was too small for me, so it ended up looking like a sports bra on me (I won’t lie, this didn’t bother me, when it probably should have?).

Having Becky run beside me the whole race really helped. And, made my run. We ended up running the race in 3:11 hours. Horrible, especially considering I was 40 minutes off my pace. But, I really felt it was just a fluke situation. I’m pacing the Timp Half next week for the 2:40 time, something I am not too worried about. Well, actually, I am worried that I might go too fast. But, that’s a whole different story for later.

IMG_3073Once we were done with the race Becky, Sonja and I headed to Village Inn for food. Much needed food. I had my semi-traditional hashbrowns and eggs, but I also added a cup of cottage cheese to the creation. The waitress was so nice to make it the way I liked it (extra crispy hashbrowns and the cottage cheese and sunnyside up eggs on top) that I tipped well. I also might have felt that we had “A MOMENT” so I couldn’t tip crappy. I can’t when there’s a connection there.

I did get home at 3am and I had about an hour and half or before I had to leave for my second half, Farmington Days Half Marathon. I toyed with the idea of sleeping in my car in Farmington since the races were only 1.4 miles apart. But, I decided going for a little bit would be better. So, I ended up showering and changing my clothes before leaving. I was going to try to sleep, but knowing that I pretty much go into a coma for a minimum of 2-3 hours when dead tired I decided to not tempt fate. So, I just stayed up.

IMG_3082After making the commute to Farmington I picked up my packet at the City Hall and then just chilled for a half hour in the lobby. I was hurting from the last race, but was ready for the challenge. So, after sitting in the lobby for a while I kind of meandered over to the starting line where I ran into my friend Dave (naturally took a selfie) before the gun sounded.

I was one of the last runners to cross the starting line and looking back at retrospectively I probably shouldn’t have done that, because as soon as I started my legs were yelling obscenities at me and I was just hurting. I didn’t feel like I was running, it felt more like a jog. Which scared me, because I knew if I slowed down to a jog I was bound to get hit by a car, find a dead body or get chased by a creepy man in a windowless rusted white van. So, I had my goal was to simply keep going.

IMG_3086Thankfully the course was a bit more hilly than the previous race. It wasn’t 100% flat. There were some hills up and some hills down, the variation helped. I wasn’t sure if I was the last runner out on the course. From about mile three on I didn’t see or pass another runner. Usually a good indication that you are pushing up the rear. I was afraid that they’d pull me off the course so I just kept running hoping that wouldn’t happen (obviously it didn’t happen).

But, at mile four I was done. I won’t lie, I cried. I was just mentally and physically DONE. At that point I had ran 17 miles in that short time and my legs simply wanted to fall off. But, I got some much needed encouragement from friends and from an attitude shift brought by a change of music. I was listening to my running playlist, but I felt like it wasn’t doing anything to calm my nerves or mental state, so I switched it to my Mormon Tabernacle Choir playlist. I know that sounds kind of cheesy, but just the calmness of the choir help calm me down.

IMG_3128But, seriously, I wanted to quit. And, I glad I didn’t.

My goal going into the race though was not just to finish, but I also wanted to beat my time from the night before. And, I did! I came in at just over 3:07 hours. Which made my marathon time for the two races about 6:18. Not, bad in books considering they were two flat races AND with that five hour break between each other.

After the race all I wanted was something salty and a nap. So I ended up going to Taco Bell and getting a Quesarito before heading home to take a three hour nap (not a long enough time, but worth it) before my Grandma’s Birthday party with family.

IMG_3129In all, I never want to do this again. Never. The races were too close to each other. I am signed up for two half marathons on the same day in October, but they will be about 9-10 hours between each other. That’s manageable. This feat was insane. I’m glad I did it. I felt like I needed that reminder during my second race to never give up a goal no matter what the consequences might be or how you might feel. Sometimes you just got to suck it up and do it. I needed that lesson.

I will post both of the race reports throughout the day tomorrow. I’ll go into a bit more detail about my races and probably more than enough detail about me throwing up on Friday night. So stay tuned.

But, if you really want to know how I feel after running these races I’ll leave you with this picture. It says it all …