Tag: vacation races

RACE #168: Joshua Tree Half Marathon


After picking me up from the High School, Julianna, Michelle and her daughter booked it out of town so we could get to Joshua Tree in time for the Joshua Tree Half Marathon. Crystal was going to make the journey with us, but she ended up going to the ER to get some fluids after her race. Sadly, she didn’t make the trip at all.

The trip down was fairly uneventful. It took us about five hours as we passed through Vegas and Barstow. We knew we were going to cut it close to make sure we got to the race on time, so we only stopped once for gas.

We made it into Joshua Tree with about an hour or so to spare. But, we were met with a 1.5 mile long traffic jam as the other 2300+ runners were all parking for the race. The jam made us sweat a bit. But, we made it on time — and it helped that the race also moved the start time back a little because of the traffic.

Since I killed my legs in the earlier race my plan was to just stick with Julianna and Cheryl who were sweeping the race. The plan was for a 4 hour sweep time, which would be perfect ultra training — especially with the tired legs. So it was an easy game plan.

In the first mile we met up with a runner who was coming back because she started getting a headache and felt nausea. I felt bad. She was in tears. Being the professional pacer that Jules is — she immediately hugged the runner — and told her that she’d get her to the finish line. The hug and reassurance stopped the tears and our new friend Anita joined the party in the back.

About another half mile or so, I started feeling nausea again. I was trying to figure out why — because I hadn’t eaten much in the past couple of hours after lunch — and it didn’t bother me then, so why now?

Either way, I ended up throwing up just a mile and half into the race. I couldn’t believe it. I did have the brief thought that I should turn back. But, I couldn’t. This was a race I wanted to do — and I wanted to run my name. I wasn’t going to give up.

The course was gorgeous as the sun finally disappeared behind the mountains and the full moon made its’ appearance. I felt like I was running inside a U2 music video. Which I kinda did as I turned on U2’s Joshua Tree to get me into the mood of the run. But, after I threw up a second time — I stopped with the music altogether.

I couldn’t believe I was still throwing up. It didn’t make sense. Especially, when it felt that I didn’t have anything on my stomach. It started making me wonder if I had a second stomach I was unaware of?

Despite my caution, it seemed like a few minutes after every aid station, I would get nausea and then throw up. It was like clockwork at this point. It was beyond bizarre.

The course didn’t help my situation at all. It was tough. Very tough. It was very much a trail race. There was only about 1.5 or 2 miles of pavement.

We climbed a lot, which isn’t much of an issue for me, but it was on hills that were VERY sandy. It made for a tough hike. And, soon the party in the back collected quite a few people. We had a good 10 or more people well behind the 4 hour pace.

But, we all kept going.

And, I also kept throwing up as well.

Having thrown up five times during this race, I had enough. I was done puking. So, by the Mile 9 aid stations I came to the revelation — from Julie and my friend Jill (who I was texting) — it was my Powerade Zero making me sick.

I am not sure why it took me so long to figure that out? Probably out of denial? But, it made sense. This was the 5th race I’ve thrown up at after starting my keto diet. I contributed a lot of that to not being able to eat the proper fuel I needed that early in the morning.

But, it wasn’t necessarily that food.

It was what I was drinking. It made perfect sense. And, after saying a quick farewell, I resolved then and there to stop drinking it. So, at the Mile 9 aid station I dumped out my Powerade Zero and filled my pack with water.

And, that was the difference.

My stomach felt fine. And, in fact, I just drank as much as I could, because at this point — having thrown up 12 times that day — I was worried about hydration. So I was very mindful to keep drinking.

Having gained a second wind, I was ready to finish this race. I was beat up — not just by my Powerade Zero, but the course as well. Our little party in the back started resembling a zombie march. It seemed like the hills kept climbing and the sand never ceased.

But, honestly, from a roadrunner’s perspective it was miserable, but from a trail runner’s perspective it was that bad. And, that’s what I was trying to focus on. This was a trail race.

But, the course was extremely tough for everyone, even for the runners in the front and middle of the pack. I felt bad for some of the pacers who struggled to keep their pace because they had to work almost twice as hard. It was just a tough, tough race.

The course limit was four hours, but we were far from it. We hit the four hour mark at 10 miles. And, because of the permit and course limit we were all driven about a mile and a half ahead so we could finish sooner. They had to take a couple car loads and as much as we wanted to resist — we were grateful. We all just wanted to be done.

When I finally made it to the finish line I was just grateful to be done. I was drained. I was sore. I was depleted. I was stinky. I was so many things. But, I did it. This was much tougher than my last double race day — mainly thanks to the puke and sand. But, I survived.

Once I was done, I knew I had to make up my distance in order for me to count the race toward my 180 — so I paced around the finish line, parking lot and went back out to the race course to meet up with Julie as she brought in the last runner.

That last 1.5 mile was tough. I could have easily not done it and been fine with it. But, I’d have that nagging on me if I didn’t. 13.1 miles is 13.1 miles.

We were going to drive back to St. George that night, but it was midnight and we were all bushwhacked from the course and day. We made the smart decision to crash at the local Marriott Courtyard where our friend Melissa was staying. It was the best decision, even though that gave us a 10 hour ride home the next day.

After not getting my hooker shower earlier that day and running two races in the same clothes — I was so ready for a hot shower. And, it was definitely one of the best showers I’ve ever taken — definitely in the Top 3.

It seriously was the best.

After a great sleep and good sized breakfast the following morning, we were off heading for home. I had no ill affects from the night before. I kinda wished I had a scale I could jump on, because I could have sworn I lost nearly 15lbs. from the day before.

But, going away from the race — I was just grateful for the ability to be able to do what I can do. It was a tough day. It was a demanding challenge. And, despite the obstacles — I finished what I started. There’s a lot of pride in that.

And, as I reminded myself often during the day — it was GREAT ultra training. Puke and all.


The year is winding down for me. And, I won’t lie — I am looking forward to some rest the next few weeks, before going headstrong into my ultra training for Jackpot. But, before that — I have one more half marathon for the year.

This Saturday I am running the Mt. View Trail Half Marathon on Antelope Island. I grappled with the idea of doing the 50K — which I have done the last couple of years. But, not only do I feel like not doing it, but I’m just not ready for it mentally and physically. I just don’t trust myself at meeting the needed cutoffs on the 50K.

So the half marathon it is for me!

The course isn’t that bad. It’s basically the last 13 miles of the 50K course along a gorgeous part of the island near Garr Ranch. It should be fun. It will be a different challenge. And, really, I am just going for time on my feet at this point in my training — so — I’m going out there to just enjoy myself.

And, after this race — I’m basically taking a three week break from running to recharge, recalibrate and refocus. I’ll be heading to Europe for a few weeks and I can’t wait. I’m heading to Paris, Rome, Athens and Crete. I’m going to FINALLY meet cousins and family in Greece I haven’t met yet. And, of course — I’m making my pilgrimage to Marathon.

There was no way I could go that far without stopping for a visit.

Once I am back in December I am jumping into my training for Jackpot and I’ll blog more about that next month. It’s not a lot of sexy training. It’ll mainly be time on my feet and lots and lots and lots of long hours roaming my streets, the Olympic Oval and the treadmill.

But, right now the focus is on Antelope Island this weekend!

Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 8.0 miles
Race Miles — 26.2 miles
Walking Miles — 23.08 miles
TOTAL MILES — 57.28 miles
Races This Week — (2) Snow Canyon Half & Joshua Tree Half

October 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 37.69 miles
Race Miles — 52.4 miles
Walking Miles — 95.89 miles
TOTAL MILES — 185.98 miles
Races in October — (4) The Haunted Half – SLC, SoJo Half, Howloween Half, The Haunted Half – Provo

November 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 4.0 miles
Race Miles — 26.2 miles
Walking Miles — 16.81 miles
TOTAL MILES — 47.01 miles
Races in November — (3) Snow Canyon Half, Joshua Tree Half & Mt. View Trail Half.

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 423.24 miles
Race Miles — 453.77 miles
Walking Miles — 1140.31 miles
TOTAL MILES — 2017.32 miles
Races done in 2017 — (32) New Year’s Half Marathon, Sweethearts 5K, Jackpot Running Festival, SL Tri Club Indoor Half, March Madness Half, Lucky 13 Half Marathon, Emigration Canyon Half Marathon, Riverton Half, Saltair Half, Provo City Half Marathon, Jordan River Half Marathon, Drop13 Half Marathon, Bear Lake Trifecta – Idaho, Wyoming & Utah, AF Canyon Race Against Cancer, The Hobbler Half, Handcart Days Half, DesNews Half Marathon, Elephant Rock Trail Half Marathon, Run Elevated Half Marathon, Nebo Half, Revel Big Cottonwood Half Marathon, Huntsville Half Marathon, Timp Elk Run, Jordan River Half Marathon, The Haunted Half – SLC, SoJo Half,  Howloween Half, The Haunted Half — Provo, Snow Canyon Half Marathon and Joshua Tree Half Marathon. 

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RACE #116: 2016 New Year’s Revolution Run


I love the new year — new possibilities, new goals, new focuses. It’s like a new clean slate. And, then on the other hand — it’s a great time to just refocus and recommit to your goals as well. I love this time of the year, because there’s a lot energy that carries me into the new year.

In what has become somewhat of a tradition once again started off the new year running the Revolution Run. Back in 2011 it was my fifth half marathon — and I’ve ran it ever since. It’s not necessarily about the miles, pace or time — it’s about being around friends, being active and just starting the new year off right.

When I ran this back in 2011 — I ran it alone. I didn’t know anyone at the race — at least … yet. And, I won’t lie — it was kinda boring. I wasn’t planning on running it again — because running around in circles on an indoor track ISN’T the most attractive workout for me.  But, over the course of the following year I got more immersed into the running community and made a number of new friendships. And, it was those friendships that made me continue to sign up for this race.

It’s just a big fun run party.

This year wasn’t any different. Going into the race my only goal was to at least get 13.1 miles — so it’d count towards my 180 races — and stay for the whole five hours of the run. Pretty simple goals. And, since I am not a huge New Year’s Eve party animal I was ready to go for the 8am gun time.

And, this year’s run compared to year’s past? Still just as fun. One thing I really love about it is being able to run with running friends of differing speeds — the cheetahs and turtles alike. I ran mostly with my friend Camille — but, I was also able to do laps with friends like Susette, Cory, Greg, Sonja, Matt, Shaylee, Melissa, Robin, Shelley, “The Dith” … etc., etc., etc.

It was just a lot of fun.

It really was a party.

It was 48 laps to do a half marathon — and I ended up doing just over 50 laps. I ran quite a bit, but I also walked quite a bit as well — I stayed on the outside lane so my actual mileage for the race was 16.2 miles. Which is great especially considering I need to do 2,667 miles for 2016.

And, while I did get 50 laps in, I probably — and should have — gotten in more laps. I am just grateful that I wasn’t running with the flu as I did last year. Though I was probably just as slow. But, there’s a reason that my next race isn’t until March. I am starting a half marathon training plan next week to get me prepared for the Provo City Half Marathon in May — along with my summer races. Most notably Drop 13 and Deseret News.

I really want to focus in the next 3-5 months on getting leaner (lose about 40 lbs. or so) and faster. I’d love to shoot for a PR (2:08:25) or faster at either Nebo or Revel Big Cottonwood in September. But, I’d be just as happy getting myself back to consistently running within the 2:10-2:30 range.

I know there’s more into me than what I’m doing right now. Sure my health issues have a lot to do with that — but, I am emotionally getting tired of using that as an excuse. And, I don’t care what others say — to me it feels more like an excuse than a cause. I just have to be relentless in battling my thyroid and testosterone the way it needs to be tackled.

I am excited about what 2016 has in front of it. The future is bright — I am very optimistic of what’s going to happen. It’s going to be a great year of running on and off the course. I am a part of some awesome projects with The Bugout Run and a few other organizations — which I’ll share in the near future.

Count me in to be back again next year for the Revolution Run — well — actually, it’s not next year. Since January 1st is on a Sunday the race will be held on New Years Eve 2016. So I guess my race schedule for this year is now 17 races? Like it makes a difference any way. As long as this race is still on and I’ve got friends to run with — I’m doing it.

Anyways, Happy New Year! And, as always  — HAPPY RUNNING!


NEXT RACE: The Zion Half Marathon


The Zion Half Marathon is my next planned race — I got a free entry last year. I won’t lie — there is a possibility I’ll have to defer to another Vacation Race. Besides specifically training for the Provo City and Drop 13 races, I am also going to be extremely busy with The Bugout Run, PrepperCon and a few other projects. There is a possibility I might be needed for the weekend of March 12th — when this race is planned.

But, until I know whether or not I’ll be able to run it — I’m still planning on it.

This will be my first Vacation Race. Despite having a number of races in proximity to Salt Lake — I just haven’t done one yet. A number of my friends have ran or paced them — and rave about them. One race that has always caught my eye is the Yellowstone Half Marathon in June. I just haven’t been able to do it because it’s the same weekend as Utah Valley and Drop 13.

But, really, from what I’ve heard from others — you can’t go wrong with any of them. That’s why I am not too worried if I have to change my entry to another Vacation Race — it’ll be fun either way.

If you’ve done a Vacation Race which one(s) have you done — any recommendations? 


As many of you are aware of my Facebook challenge that garnered 889 ‘LIKES’ — I will be running/walking 2,667 miles in 2016. For in depth and up to date mileage you can follow my miles here.

These are my numbers from just this past week —


0.0 miles


16.2 miles


11.95 miles


28.15 miles


2638.85 miles

Daily Shorts.fw

  • I started a “#run4dith” team for the AF Canyon Run Against Cancer — if you use THIS LINK — you can join our team. It will give you a $5 discount + if you share your registration on Facebook you can get an additional $5 off. Our team is in honor of our friend Meridith “The Dith” Ethington who is battling breast cancer — along with all other cancer survivors and fighters.
  • Like most Netflix subscribers — I’ve been mesmerized by “Making A Murderer.” I mean, WOW! There are so many ups and downs throughout the series. I won’t give anything away — because you have to watch it. But, if you don’t care or what more information — this gives you a bit more detail into the case.
  • Um, a burrito vending machine? Why is this not in Utah … like yesterday?
  • This was from earlier this year — but it’s probably just as applicable this time of the year. If we are really serious about losing the weight for once and for all — it’s not a matter of just running — it’s about being active — walking, running, stretching, etc. I really want to take that to heart.
  • If you ever wanted to know how much a fart weighed — you can find out here.
  • I am a fan of weird news — and retrospective pieces at the end of the year. Sooooo — this was pretty fun to read. I want to go over it all my second time around and see how many happened in Florida. Lots of strange stuff happens in Florida. (actually only one on that list — there were more from Oregon, which makes sense).
  • Oft times as runners we neglect strength training — and I am just as guilty as anyone. That’s why I found this piece pretty informative and spot on. I know when I am at my best — it’s when I am balanced between strength and cardio training.
  • The Bundy standoff in Oregon is pretty crazy — especially considering the ones behind it are members of — my church — the Mormon Church. It’s not a Mormon issues — but there are undertones of our belief system throughout the Bundy’s cause. That’s why I find this piece on BuzzFeed actually pretty spot on about Mormon history and their battles with the government. Fascinating.
  • I really love this — this lady gives some great advice on how and why she stuck to her New Years resolutions and ran a 10K. There’s a lot that can learned from her on how to start running and the mentality one should have training for a race. Good stuff.