Tag: Utah Valley Marathon

A whole lotta ughs …

The past couple weeks have been tough. Heck, this past month has been tough on me. I’m not using it as an excuse. But, I’d sure like a break or two once in a while.

I’ve been trying to get myself into a groove with my running and fitness and it just hasn’t materialized the way I envisioned it. Granted, I did meet my sub-three time goal a couple weekends ago during the Emigration Canyon Half Marathon. But, that’s about the only success I feel like I’ve truly met.

I’ve been dealing with bad backs, sprained ankles and this past week — a root canal. An expected root canal. My tooth started hurting during my race last weekend and then by Monday morning it was throbbing in pain.

I couldn’t go to my regular dentist, because this was the same tooth that they couldn’t get numb. So they referred me to an endodontist so they could knock me out to do it. And, that wasn’t cheap. But, that’s a whole other story for another day.

I finally got my root canal yesterday — and it really just killed my week.

But, despite all the road blocks, I’ve been trying to keep on track, even if my runs are short and my workouts shorter. And, for the most part — it’s working. I’ve lost about 10lbs. this past month. A lot of that has to do with my diet. So, that’s progress.

I thought of mixing up my diet and routine again, but I think I am going to stick with what I planned this past month. One, because I wasn’t able to get into a good groove or it and, two, I think I can see bigger improvements with a better focus. I’d really like to lose about 30lbs. and I feel like this is a good road. Especially for my thyroid.

I’m going to get a good run in tonight before my race this weekend out in Magna. I’m hoping for a sub-three. But, I’m not sure if I want to push it TOO hard since I’ve got my 50K coming up in the next couple of weeks. But, honestly, I think I’ll be fine. I think the variables that will determine my result really will be my ankle and back.

The focus right now is all on my 50K on the 28th of this month. I am a bit worried about it with my current mileage the past couple of weeks. But, honestly, I know I’ll be fine. The race director knows I’ll be a bit slower — 10 hours or so. It’ll be fun and that’s my only goal (besides finishing).

Plus, the 50K will be good training for my upcoming marathons in Ogden and Utah Valley. Along with my Bear Lake Trifecta races. I’m going to have a crazy spring and early summer schedule, so kick starting it with a 50K is an usual and — I think — good way to launch my schedule.

I won’t lie — I do worry about my back and ankle a bit. But, honestly, I think I’ve cared and rested both well enough that they shouldn’t be a factor. But, it’ll be on my mind for sure — I just don’t want to downgrade from the 26.2 to 13.1 if I can avoid it. But, that’s my last resort and something I don’t really want to entertain right now.

Anyways — I’m focusing on Saltair right now and focusing on getting my groove and consistency back. I just want to pull some big weight-loss numbers in the next month so I can go into marathon season lighter on my feet.

At least I know I’m on the right track.

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?

My 2015 Half Marathon Schedule

halfSo, I blogged about this sometime in November or October (I could look it up, but honestly too lazy to do it), but since I was named an Ambassador for Extra Mile Racing some of my races have changed. Plus, my goal is to hit 100 races by my birthday (August 15) by running the Park City Half Marathon. So, I’m actually restricting myself on races between now and mid-August.


But, don’t worry, after August I am going to crank out more. The restriction will be lifted and I will run to my heart’s delight. All will be right in the universe.

Okay, back to the task at hand. Here are the half marathons I am planning on running this year. The ones with an asterisk are the ones I have already signed up for, which obviously means the ones that don’t have an asterisk are ones I haven’t signed up for yet. I’m not sure why I wrote that last sentence, because it’s pretty obvious.

Anyways, I digress.

Oh, also note that this doesn’t include any marathons. This upcoming year is a no-marathon year. I also haven’t included any 5Ks or 10Ks. I will be running a few next year, but I am not counting those since my 180 race goal is for anything ABOVE a half marathon distance.

Got it? Got it! GOOD!

Here are my races …

NOTE: The races in BOLD you can use “EXTRAMILEHANSEN” at checkout to save yourself an extra $5. Plus, $1 of each code used will be donated to the Kyle Pease Foundation by Extra Mile Racing. You can actually use that code of any their road or bike races

SECOND NOTE: Some race dates are subject to change, especially the October races. And, who knows maybe there will be a December race added later on next year.

THIRD NOTE: Another great way to save yourself some money with races and other running things you can sign up for a Runners on the Go membership. It’s $19.99 per year and it gives you discounts to a number of the races on this list and local running stores. I am going to blog about it a bit more next week. I’m a member and it’s pretty cool. It’s not just local it’s also national. Who doesn’t love to say themselves some money?

  1. New Year’s Revolution Run; Kearns, Utah (January 1) -*
  2. New Year’s Half Marathon; Pleasant Grove, Utah (January 3) -*
  3. Dogtown Half Marathon; Washington City, Utah (February 21) -*
  4. Riverton Half Marathon; Riverton, Utah (March 21)
  5. Lagoon Half Marathon; Farmington, Utah (April 4) -*
  6. West Mountain Half Marathon; Benjamin, Utah (April 18) -*
  7. Logan Half Marathon; Logan, Utah (May 2) -*
  8. Vigor Big Cottonwood Half Marathon; Salt Lake City, Utah (May 9) -*
  9. Alpine Classic Half; Alpine, Utah (May 23)
  10. Jordan River Half Marathon; Draper, Utah (May 30) -*
  11. Utah Valley Half Marathon; Provo, Utah (June 13) -*
  12. American Fork Canyon Half Marathon; American Fork, Utah (June 27)-*
  13. 13.1 miles of Bacon; Copperton, Utah (July 4) -*
  14. Dam 15 Miler; Soldier Hollow, Utah (July 11) -*
  15. Timp Half; American Fork, Utah (August 1) -*
  16. Park City Half Marathon; Park City (August 15)
  17. Murdock 13; American Fork, Utah (August 29)
  18. Nebo Half; Payson, Utah (September 12) -*
  19. Pink Series Half Marathon; Park City, Utah (October 10)
  20. The Haunted Half; Salt Lake City, Utah (October 24)
  21. Howloween Half Marathon; Provo, Utah (October 30) -*
  22. The Haunted Half; Provo, Utah (October 31)
  23. Saltair Half Marathon; Magna, Utah (November 7) -*
  24. Thankful 13; Lehi, Utah (November 26)

So there you go. That should leave me at around 25 half marathons for the year and 109 races towards my goal. That means between 2016 and 2021 I will need to average about 14-15 races over 13.1 miles per year. That’s about where I want to be anyways.

I know I can’t average this many half marathons forever so I’ll take advantage of my youthful legs while I still can.

So now that you know what my races are, what are you racing? I want to know! Comment below! And, hopefully we can run together at one or more of these races!

HAPPY 2015!

The Joshby Awards: Top Ten Race Medals of 2014

TopTenMedals I ran a lot in 2014. I mean a lot. I ran four marathons, 25 half marathons, Ragnar and three 5Ks. And, those are just races. Of this past year, I don’t think I ran on the weekend just 2-3 times. In all I am sitting about 1150 miles put on the ‘ol legs. Needless to say, that’s a lot of running.

Starting out in 2014 I really didn’t go out to race so much, especially marathons. In fact January 1st of this year, I wasn’t planning on any marathons. At all. Now, a year later, I ended up running four. I’m a running whore. What can I say … you offer me a t-shirt, somewhere to run, a medal and free Creamies after the race and I’m there! (even if you just had free bananas I’d even show up for that).

Having ran over 30 races, I’ve gotten a lot of medals … or as I like to call it … BLING. And, as part of the Joshby Awards week I’d like to make it an annual tradition to rank my top ten race medals from the past year. There’s no real set criteria for my rankings, mainly my personal opinion on the design, look and feel of the medal. And, to some degree what that race meant to me. The Big Cottonwood and Ogden Marathons were very sentimental to me, so they may have received bonus points in my rankings.

But, anyways, without any further adieu, here are my top ten race medals of 2014 starting with number ten …

10) Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back

IMG_6722Last year’s Ragnar Relay medal was much bigger and heavier than the 2014 version, but I still like this one for a couple reasons. I do like non-traditional medals (meaning they’re not round) and I love detail. I dig the cut out of the relay motto of “connect, conquer, celebrate.” But, I wish it was bigger or at least the same size as the 2013 medal.

9) Timpanogos Half Marathon

IMG_6723I really like the Timp Half bling. It’s very sparkly and the logo is ingenious with the 13.1 incorporated into the design. But, the biggest knock on this medal is that I WISH it was much, much bigger. It’s relatively small. But, I absolutely love this race and had a blast pacing in my friend Jill for a new PR!

8) St. George Marathon

IMG_6724I am a sucker for red rock. Like, bad. I went to school in southern Utah and was able to enjoy the red rocks on a daily basis. But, now that I am back up north I don’t get to enjoy them much anymore. But, running the St. George Marathon you get red rock OVERLOAD … and I’m not complaining one bit. That’s why I love the race medal. It’s very St. George and very southern Utah with the red rock feel to it. My only knock about it though is that it is small and it kind of feels like a kitchen counter tile or something. And, it hasn’t changed for a while (at least since 2012). But, still, one of my favorites!

7) Howloween Half Marathon


I am usually not into the gimmicky race medals, but this is one of the exceptions. Not, only is the medal designed well, but it also glows in the dark (the race shirts did as well). Plus, the design is simple and not over done. It’s great. I am also keen on this medal because this was the second of two medals I got that day after running two half marathons the same day. Quite a feat and something I will always remember.

6) Deseret News Classic Half Marathon

IMG_6715The Deseret News Classic Marathon stepped it up this year. The past couple of years the medals were hardly noteworthy. In 2012 when I ran my first marathon the medal was small and extremely simple, almost like something you’d buy at a thrift store. Last year when they added the half marathon they improved on the 2012, but it was still small and relatively plain. But, this year they made the medal BIG, HEAVY and DETAILED. Plus, I love how they made the medal a wagon wheel in commemoration of Pioneer Day (the day in which the race is held). I sure hope the race doesn’t regress next year, because I loved these medals.

5) The Haunted Half Marathons (SLC & Provo)



It was hard for me to rank one of these medals above the other. I absolutely love both medals. Plus, I love the fact that the race didn’t just pass out the same medals at both races. They actually took the time to have two different medals and race shirts. MAJOR bonus points for the attention to detail. Plus, I really dig the spider medal (Provo race) and amount of detail that went into it, pretty non-traditional which is a plus. The Haunted Half never disappoints with their medals and they’re never the same either.

4) American Fork Canyon Half Marathon

IMG_6718Besides the weight, size and detail that goes into a medal, I am also a sucker for twirly things on the medal. And, the American Fork Canyon Half didn’t disappoint in that regard. The “THRIVE” on the medal twirls … which … may or may not have entertained me for a while post-race. Plus, I love the detailed mountain on the medal, it doesn’t do the actual race scenery justice, but it makes the medal very recognizable and fun.

3) Ogden Marathon

IMG_6716I really like this medal for many, many, many reasons. It was my secret marathon that I kept from many friends and social media so I could surprise my friend Becky at the starting line. It was a tough race for both of us and many others. But, I am so glad that I was able to finish the race with Becky and our friend Katheryn. It was a very special moment and something that helped change my perspective and attention towards running. The one thing I love about this medal is the “Ogden” sign arch that greets drivers to the city. You run past it during the marathon during the last couple of miles of the race. Plus, as you can see it’s very big and detailed … AND … it’s heavy. Very awesome medal and one that I will cherish forever.

2) Utah Valley Marathon


Another great race and one that I ran the whole way with Becky. It was our redemption run for the Ogden Marathon (we both tanked). But, what I love the most about this medal is that it not only hits all of my personal preferences in a medal (heavy, big, detailed, non-traditional and twirly component), but I love the color and design. As a graphic designer I love the center logo and use of color. I am sucker for orange and blue. Such a great color combination.

1) Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon

IMG_6717This was my favorite race of the whole season. This was the race that I ran with my friend Jill every step of the way. It was her first marathon and I told her I would run along with her. Most of the way we ran with our friend Tim and were later joined by Susette. It was such a special experience to be a part of that moment. Not to mention capturing THIS on my phone. Even though it doesn’t have a twirl component, the size and detail of the medal is perfect. I love the cut and simplicity to it, yet there is great detail to the leaf that I just love. It’s such a perfect for medal for a perfect moment.

A special thanks to my Mom for providing the wonderful Christmas tablecloth backdrop for the medals.

Looking ahead at 2015 …

????????????????????????????????????????I know that we still have less than five months left of the year, but I am really feeling the need to focus on my 2015 goals and races. This year I really felt the need to knock out a lot of races towards my 180 goal.

I’ve felt this for a number of reasons. For one, I know I can’t keep up running 20-25 half marathons a year as I get older, but I also know I need be more balanced in my fitness. Believe it or not I am interested in more than just running to keep myself active.

Then there’s the threat over getting injured by over running that I worry about as well. I want to keep running for a long time and I do need to be smart about it. So … I am giving myself restrictions.

Yes, dreaded restrictions.

Next year I am going to run a half marathon a month. I am also seriously debating whether or not to downgrade my Utah Valley Marathon entry to the half. Marathons just take SO much out of me, but at the same it’s good motivation as well. So, we’ll see on that.

But, I am going to run 12 half marathons and give myself three extra to play with … just in case. You know … just in case I get a pacing gig or the urge to run a tad more. But, I also plan on volunteering more at races, something I’ve wanted to do for a while and couldn’t … because I am running them.

So looking towards the race schedule I’m looking at the following races. These don’t include 5Ks, 10Ks or Relays (ie-Ragnar). Of course these are subject to change, but from what I’ve ran in the past these are the races I want to run the most …

  • JANUARY – New Years’ Run Resolution (01/01/15)
  • FEBRUARY – Washington City Dogtown Half Marathon (02/21/15)
  • MARCH – Riverton Half Marathon (03/21/15)
  • APRIL – Salt Lake City Half Marathon (04/18/15)
  • MAY  Vigor Big Cottonwood Half Marathon (05/09/15)
  • JUNE – Utah Valley Marathon (06/13/15)
  • JULY – Timp Half Marathon (07/18/15)
  • AUGUST – Park City Half Marathon (08/15/15)
  • SEPTEMBER – Mt. Nebo Half Marathon (09/05/15)
  • OCTOBER – Haunted Half Marathon (10/31/15)
  • NOVEMBER – Thankful 13 (11/26/15)
  • DECEMBER – Nothing locally, might be a good one to travel for.

Some of my reserve races …

  • Tulip Festival Half Marathon (04/25/15)
  • Ogden Half Marathon (03/16/15)
  • Famous Idaho Potato Half Marathon (03/16/15)
  • American Fork Half Marathon (06/20/15)
  • Big Cottonwood Half Marathon (09/12/15)
  • Haunted Half Marathon (10/24/15)

Anyways … we shall see! 2015 is really coming faster than we realize!

Fartlek Friday XXV: This should be kind of quarter life crisis, right?


If you haven’t noticed I’ve spruced things up a bit with my Fartlek Friday post. A new banner and post image. I thought it was somewhat fitting for this being my 25th FF post. I’d break out some bubbly as well, but I hate soda … so … that’s out of the question.

This past week has been a bit relaxed. No running. I worked out at Firehouse Fitness, but decided to not run at all since I am running the American Fork Canyon Half Marathon tomorrow morning. I felt like my legs can handle the post-marathon grind, but I really should ease into it to avoid injury.

Chopsticks and ice cream, an unlikely pair, but a delicious one nonetheless.

My goal is to get back into running 3-4 times next week in preparation for both the Big Cottonwood Marathon and my quest for the sub-two half marathon time. I am going to go for the sub-two at both the Run Elevated Half Marathon (August 23) and Mt. Nebo Half (September 6) both are pretty fast courses. Depending on how I do tomorrow though I might even try next month at the Timp Half (July 19).

We shall see.

I just need to get some great training in. I am working on a training plan that will combine strength training, run/walk training, interval training and good ‘ol long training runs. I have never really done a lot of interval training so that should be … fun? Not sure yet. I am excited to do the run/walk training though. That Jeff Galloway knows what he is doing.

It’s been kind of crazy that I am starting to plan my fall and winter races. Not to mention I am starting to plan out some of next year’s races as well. I signed up already for next year’s Utah Valley Marathon. I wasn’t planning on running it again, because I wanted to run the Drop 13 Half Marathon that same day. Guess not. But, I really fell in love with the Utah Valley Marathon course. I’ve got to run it again. I just have to.

I wonder if I can get this on a t-shirt?

Also this past week I signed up for another August race. The Porter’s Half Marathon, that I ran last year, was slated for September 6 (the same day as Nebo), but they ended up changing the date to August 30th so my running group got a team together and got a nice little discount. I’ll be using that as a training tune up for Nebo the next week. Should be fun.

But, I am know I am going to need to sign up for the Haunted Half and Thankful 13 here soon as well. I do not want to miss out on those two races. I might be pushing my friend Elsha at the Thankful 13 as well. She’s checking with her manager (aka Mom) to see if that works. I hope she gets clearance!

Just looking at 2015 I am getting more and more excited. I kind of want to run the St. George Half Marathon again. I did that in 2012 and would love a little redemption on that course. The same with Dogtown down in Washington. I’d like to run some races I haven’t done before, but I also plan on sticking to some of my friends … Salt Lake, Provo City, Utah Valley, Ogden, Big Cottonwood and Nebo. But, I still have some time to REALLY figure that all out.

I love running. If you couldn’t tell.


I love my Momma. She’s the best.

But, I’m excited for tomorrow!!! I also excited for tonight. Some of my friends from our running group are going to go hiking around Silver Lake up Big Cottonwood Canyon. We’re going to go picnicking. I think I am going to take my favorite carb-load food … SUBWAY. It’s just so fitting. I’ve really fallen in love with hiking and nature lately.

Plus, it’s so much fun to photograph. I know it’s very cliche, but there is something about trying to capture something immensely beautiful and share that with others. How do you capture some of the emotion you’re feeling and convey that to others?

This is some pretty deep stuff.Especially for me.

But, I captured a few pictures of the sunset the other day. Totally gorgeous, or as the kids say it these days … totesgorgs! I even made one into a quote graphic. Totescool.

Oh, speaking of quotes (and totes) a friend of mine and I started a Facebook page of quote graphics called TotesQuotes. It’s nothing fancy, just a page to post quotes we come across. In fact if you want to contribute we’d love to have more people posting on it. Just let me know.

But, I am getting pretty excited for my run tomorrow morning and my hike tonight! I am hopping to PR with my friend Sonja … soooooooo … we shall see. YEAH RUNNING!!!

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

  • I went to Petsmart last night. BIG MISTAKE. I wanted to adopt all the cats. Luckily I didn’t, because my mother would quite literally kill me.
  • Like, seriously, she would.
  • Plus, I don’t know if I really want to have a pet right now. I kind of want to wait until I have kids old enough to clean up it’s poop. Isn’t that what kids are for?
  • Well, that and to mow the lawn.
  • There’s probably more you can add to that list as well.
  • I just know that when I have kids I am having all of my serious talks with them in a Cosby sweater. When I break it out they’ll know that they’re either in BIG trouble or about to get “THE TALK”
  • Speaking of Cosby my brother and I bought tickets to Bill Cosby for my Dad for Father’s Day. I’ve never seen Bill Cosby live, but I’ve seen him in Jell-O pudding pop commercials … so that counts for something, right?
  • I am really excited. I practically consider Bill a second Dad.
  • Oh my gosh, I want to adopt all of the baby koalas in the world! IN. THE. WORLD.
  • Speaking of koalas. My niece got a toy koala from my brother who just got back from the land down under (that means Australia).
  • I have this desire to someday visit Australia, but then again I don’t.
  • I think I just want to box a kangaroo that’s all. I don’t really want to visit.
  • One place I do want to visit and stay there for a while is Prague. I have no reason to do so, just that I love saying the name Prague (you’re repeating it to yourself aren’t you? … SEE!)
  • Oh, I should add Greece, Norway, Great Britain and Jerusalem to that list as well. I don’t know why I am sharing this list, but for some reason I feel the need to share my future travel agenda with you.
  • If you need any more reasons to NOT eat fast food read this.
  • This soldier needs his dog back.
  • I won’t lie, this made me laugh quite a few laughs.
  • I hate when my Mom does this.
  • Like, seriously, I hate it. M&M’s and Skittles should NEVER be mixed together. NEVER.
  • I find this somewhat fascinating.
  • I’m am happy to hear the news that the Washington Redskins’ copyright to the name has been cancelled. It will still be a long process before the name actually changes, but this is a GREAT start.
  • I have always been against the use of generic Native American names used as mascots. I took a Native American culture class in college and as part of an assignment I held a week long event exploring the use of Native American nicknames in sports.
  • I also explored the use of the local high school’s nickname. They are the Cedar Redmen. We had a panel of community members that talked about the name and whether it should be changed. A lot of people agreed it should, but I feel like there isn’t enough local pressure or desire to pursue it.
  • But, I am all for the Washington Reagans!
  • I don’t see deer on here.
  • I really need to watch Friends. Thanks, Becky.
  • I am in the middle of watching Prison Break. I just started Season Three. I loved the first two seasons, but the third one seems to be a tad of a drag. Still, I love it.
  • I need some more Netflix shows to watch. Ideas? Suggestions?
  • Why do I find this so mesmerizing?
  • I’m not really a soccer fan, but you’ve got to love this reporter’s American pride, right?
  • While we’re on the topic of soccer there’s this. Consider that a “now you know” …
  • Then there is this too. I don’t know what to think about it? I just feel like I should acknowledge the World Cup in some way?
  • Oh, but this gives me the feels.
  • So, Greece and Japan played yesterday to a 0-0 draw. This is why I don’t like soccer. All that energy spent on cheering the Greeks to victory and they tie?! How can you sit there and be thoroughly entertained by hours of scoreless soccer?
  • But, I feel the same way about NASCAR. How can you sit there for hours watching 50 cars make left turn after left turn? Seriously? How is that fun.
  • Oh, I think I just understood why you should drink and watch NASCAR at the same time. That TOTALLY makes sense now.
  • This is kind of interesting. Makes you think about the music you are listening to.
  • Oh, Canada.
  • Speaking of Canada, every year I want to throw a Canada Day party, but I don’t
  • I love that this is a list. Because I could care less. But, still, here I am posting it.
  • Sometimes I feel lame. But, meh.
  • I kind of want my future cat to be famous like these cats.
  • Well this is giving me the feels.
  • So this happened the other day.
  • I hate this, because I love sharks.
  • In fact I want to cage dive with great white sharks sometime. It’s on my bucket list.
  • And, I can’t wait until Shark Week!
  • I seriously need a pet shark at some point in my life.
  • Maybe my shark and three-legged cat can be BFFs?
  • Or better yet maybe my shark can help me get a three-legged cat?
  • Such brilliant ideas that PETA would crucify me over.
  • In my 12 year old like maturity I actually think this is kinda funny.
  • I know we are like three months from April Fools Day … but this is pretty good.
  • Oh my gosh … this is how NOT to mommy blog. SAD. SAD. SAD.
  • Interesting.
  • Some of these headlines are pretty funny.
  • Okay, maybe half of them?
  • Okay fine, 4-5.
  • Ooooo … I love this. Batman looks exceptionally delicious, no?
  • Seriously, I want noodles now.
  • One of Fat Josh’s favorite meals was making Ramen Noodles then sautéing them in a pan of oil, frying up 4-5 eggs and then topping it with who knows how much cheese.
  • Oh, yeah, and then I would top it with ranch dressing. Fat Josh dipped almost everything in ranch dressing. In fact, Fat Josh ate a lot of veggies. Just drowned in Ranch dressing.
  • That’s how I rolled. Buttered roll that is.
  • Sometimes I forget about some of my stupid little habits in my bigger days. Maybe it’s a good reason I have forgotten?

Well, I think that’s about it for me this week. Make sure to have a great weekend … and of course … HAPPY RUNNING!!!

RACE RECAP #64: Utah Valley Marathon


Welp, my love/hate relationship with marathons is still going strong. I love marathons in the moment, but then afterwards I always find myself questioning my decision and vow never to run another marathon again in my life. After the Ogden Marathon last month I just wanted to die. And, I was out of commission for a couple days. Well actually a week.

But, yet, I upgraded my Utah Valley Half Marathon registration to the full marathon.

Becky and I running the Ogden Marathon last month.

Why? Partly because I swear that runners have the most cases of amnesia per capita of any other kind of group. And, well, we’re stupid. We defy all logical sense knowing what we’re putting our bodies through for 26.2 miles. I remember the pain we caused our bodies. We remember how we hurled at mile 8, 16 and 23. We remember how horrible we feel days after.

Yet, we do it again.

We want to prove ourselves wrong. We want to prove to ourselves that we can do better, that we can run faster and that we can better than our past. We push aside those fears of failure and uncertainty and run. And, then that cycle just keeps turning.

Becky and I riding the bus up the canyon.

This race was no different. After the Ogden Marathon I could have happily waited until September to run the Big Cottonwood Marathon, but after tanking after mile 20-21 I knew I could do better. I knew it. And, that week after Ogden I decided to finally upgrade my entry to the full. Especially after Becky decided to run the full as well to give herself some redemption after running Ogden as well. We kind of planned to run it together to make sure we redeemed Ogden.

The fun part too was that Becky kept her entry a secret. She told certain friends, but she kept it a secret from Facebook, family and others. I think she kind of felt that she put too much pressure on herself running Ogden by telling everyone so she didn’t want to deal with that kind of pressure again. She really just wanted to have a better experience, which was my goal as well.

I love this shirt.

Leading up to the marathon was tough for me. The three weeks in between the two marathons didn’t include a lot of mid-week runs. Heck, I didn’t run for a week after Ogden. But, it was really hard to get into a groove. I had no problem with my long runs on Saturday, but I just couldn’t get motivation I needed to stay as consistent as I was leading up to Ogden. But, talking to other runners in my group that have done both Ogden and Utah Valley they said not to worry about that, but on the long runs. So, that gave me some confidence going into the marathon.

Since I didn’t want to wake up at 1:30am to drive down to Provo to catch my bus, Susette was kind enough to let me crash at her place. Becky, Christy and her daughter stayed as well (who were volunteering at the half way point). It wasn’t much of a sleepover since we pretty much crashed so we could be up and ready by 3:15am to get ourselves to the buses. All I have to say about that is … ugh. Luckily though the excitement of running is kind of a natural caffeine that makes race mornings doable.

This is how you keep yourself warm on a cold race morning. Just find me.

Once we loaded the buses we were on our way to the starting line. I have a love/hate relationship with these bus rides. I love them because of the excitement, especially when you’re sitting next to a friend. But, especially when it’s a ride up a canyon for 26.2 miles you just kind of dread it just wanting to get there. Plus, on Becky and my bus we had this complete stranger explaining to another stranger about finding black cysts on her rear and other regions from biking. I know that runners are pretty well known for sharing too much, but this was TOO much. Usually when people ask you how you got into running you don’t say it was because of black cysts on your rear, you just say … because I hated biking.

My bloody nipples don’t compare to this runner’s TMI.

Once we got to the starting line and through the port-a-potty line we met up with other runners in our running group. I was kind of sad that I wasn’t able to see why friend Elsha who ran her first marathon! It was still a party and I just love the excitement that comes from the starting line of races. The nervous energy is addicting, especially when you’re enjoying it with friends.

Becky and I conquering our first hill.

Becky and I had a difficult time coming up with a race plan. Our biggest problem was deciding whether or not start off slow or fast. But, in the end we kind of decided to just … go for it. So we did.

Words can’t express how much more enjoyable this race was compared to Ogden. We ran alongside Justin, Tim and Kaylynn to name a few. This was Kaylynn’s first marathon and I have to say it was beyond awesome seeing how excited she was to run. We saw her throughout the marathon and that excitement didn’t change. I love seeing these simple things throughout my running journeys. It’s just a reminder how much running changes lives.

The course is fairly downhill for the most part with a few hills and the scenery is downright GORGEOUS, especially with Mt. Timpanogos in the foreground and Deer Creek to your side. I took this beautiful panoramic picture showing both in the frame. It’s just gorgeous. I love running. I love nature. I love Utah.


Becky and I decided to tackle each hill as it presented itself. We took the downhill and ran with it and with the hills we did more run and walk. The efforts sound fairly easy, but we dealt with some pretty nasty headwind during the mid-miles. The wind really took a lot of energy out of us, especially around mile 17-19.

I can’t emphasize enough how gorgeous this course is.

But, along the way we ran into a number of friends. At the mile 13 aid station we saw Christy and Bella who were giving out drinks and cheering us on. They were such a welcome sight and relief. Throughout the race both of them showed up along the route to cheer us on. Bella even made a sign for us. Having that kind of support is such a blessing.

We even had unexpected support from strangers along the way. There was a man named Chuck that we saw pretty much every 2-3 miles. He came to support a co-worker of his. He carried a sign and a Japanese flag. Everytime we saw we would chat with him and joke around. We were instant friends. His appearance was a welcome sight throughout the race.

Christy, Becky and I at the halfway mark. What a relief to see this face!

We kind of had a goal to finish around 5:30, but that was kind of blown away in the nasty headwind. But, once we got out of the canyon and onto University Ave. it wasn’t much of an issue, which was a relief. The only thing we didn’t have going for us anymore was a downhill course.

We kept going on strong until around mile 23 until Becky started getting sick. I was worried that she was going to have a repeat of Ogden and my all means I didn’t want her to have a repeat of that. So, I made her sit down on the side of the road and eat and drink something. I also fueled up on some Zeal as well to take me home. The quick refuel did the trick and took us the remaining three miles without too many problems besides tired legs and sore muscles.

Our new friend Chuck!

The coolest part of any races is the last 0.2 miles. Becky and I were greeted by our friends. Katheryn ran in with us and Ty was there with Peeps for me! It was just an awesome experience. But, the one thing that really got to me was seeing Chuck running up to the side of the coral to cheer us on. It really almost brought me to tears, because he had no idea he was there to cheer on more than just his co-worker.

Once I got my medal and stumbled around the finish line for food I made my way to our little party of friends. I made Pina Colada Rice Krispy Treats to share with the group and my friend Camille who’s birthday it was on Saturday. I also gave Vince a Costco sized bag of Gummy Bears. Since he can’t eat gluten I always feel bad when I make my RKs. Plus, this was also for him BQing at Ogden … well … and because he’s just an awesome guy.

Running it in with Becky at the marathon!

I really do have some awesome friends.

All in all, this marathon really was MUCH better than Ogden. Both physically, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically and the everything else -ally. I was happy with it. I didn’t get a PR, but I finished under six hours which was good enough for me.

But, this one was one of, if not, the best marathon I’ve ran. Sometimes you can’t grade races on just timing. There’s so much more to it than just time. Plus, I loved this course. The downhill was welcoming, the hills a challenge but doable and the scenery gorgeous. If it wasn’t for the wind it would be much, much better.

Mission accomplished.

But, I know that’s not an every year occurrence. With said, I want to run this marathon again next year. I loved this marathon. I’m not sure yet (and I probably won’t know until my legs recover) if it was the company? The course? Or the day? Either way it seemed like on Saturday the stars aligned.



Total Mileage Breakdown for 2014

2014 Training Miles – 422.3 miles
2014 Walking Miles – 35.45 miles
2014 Race Miles – 172.6 miles
2014 Total Miles – 630.35 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2014
January – 100.0 miles
February – 100.0 miles
March – 130.0 miles
April – 140.5 miles
May – 108.65 miles
June – 51.2 miles