Tag: vigor big cottonwood half marathon

Running in 2018 …

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about my road to 180 races. My 180th race will be July 24th — pretty much SMACK in the middle of the year. So that means I’ve got January through July pretty much covered — but, what about the last half?

What’s after my 180th race?

That’s a good question.

While I am trying to figure out my 2018 race schedule, I’ve had a couple focuses — one, my 100 mile run and, two, not doing as many back-to-back race weekends of a half marathon or longer. I know that if I am going to faster, especially during my half marathons, I am going to have to scale back on the long races.

I don’t anticipate myself PRing next year. But, I am wanting to use 2018 to set the foundation to PR in 2019. Well, I shouldn’t just say PR, but to break my long time goal of sub-two’ing a half marathon. That’s the goal.

To work on that fountain, I plan on not just scaling back on the races — but, focusing on doing two races a month. Ideally, a half marathon and a trail race, a month. This would be on top of shorter training runs on the other weekends. Runs that I want to vary between a canyon downhill run, trail run and challenge run (a mentally challenging run — run uphill, midnight all night run, etc) — but, I’ll blog about that later.

I just want to challenge myself, get faster and mentally stronger in order to attempt and achieve my goal. A goal I’d love to meet at either the Nebo Half or Revel Big Cottonwood Half in 2019. Something that seems rather doable for me.

But, 2018 will have to set that kind of success up for me. So, while I am scanning UltraSignUp, UtahRunning.com, Running in the USA, RaceEntry.com and other registration websites I’ve come up with tentative schedule for 2018.

Remember these are only races 13.1 miles or longer. I am sure I’ll have a few 10Ks and 5Ks planned throughout the year. Also, races in bold are ones that I am registered for already. And, there are a few in the later months that are planned on a projected date.

So, yeah, here’s my schedule …

1 — Revolution Run, January 1, 2018
2 — Sun Marathon, February 3, 2018
3 — Jackpot Running Festival, February 16-18, 2018
4 — Strider’s Winter Circuit Half Marathon, April 7, 2018
5 — Salt Lake City Half Marathon, April 21, 2018
6 — Provo City Half Marathon, May 5, 2018
7 — Vigor Big Cottonwood Half Marathon, May 12, 2018
8 — Drop 13 Big Cottonwood Half Marathon, June 9, 2018
9 — AF Canyon Race Against Cancer, June 23, 2018
10 — Canyon to Canyon Half Marathon, July 14, 2018
11 — Bountiful Handcart Days Half Marathon, July 24, 2018
12 — Elephant Rock Trail Half Marathon, August 11, 2018
13 — Mt. Nebo Half, August 25, 2018
14 — Revel Big Cottonwood Half Marathon, September 8, 2018
15 — Park City Trail Half Marathon, September 15, 2018
16 — Corner Canyon 25K; October 13, 2018
17 — The Haunted Half – Provo, October 28, 2018
18 — Mt. View Trail Half Marathon; November 10, 2018
19 — Thankful 13, November 22, 2018
20 — The Bakers Dozen Half Marathon, December 8, 2018

If you are planning on running any of these races or would love to suggest other races for me to do, please comment below! I love discovering new races!

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Friday Matters: Cranking up the miles, getting prep’d and mourning a loss on my race schedule …


Every year as the calendar and seasons go into spring — I am always reminded how much I love this weather. There’s something wonderfully renewing about Spring that rejuvenates my goals and resolutions better than New Years.

But, for someone who loathes the snow — spring weather — is simply the best. Whether it’s the cool morning weather, spring showers or small glimpses of summer … I love it all (I feel like I just wrote a commercial for Irish Spring soap?).

And, with each passing day — I am getting closer to the race schedule. I am less than a month away from the Provo City Half (May 7) and I feel ready. I’m working the hills of Bountiful to my benefit — basically earning my downhill. It’s just a matter of my stamina and getting the weight off that I want/need.

But, I am looking further than just May 7th. As much as I am preparing myself for Provo City — I have my eye on the goal of the whole racing season — my 50 miler on October. That’s my goal — that’s what all my effort is leading towards — and I’m getting there.

I am trying not to let the frustration of now distract or deter me from the goal of tomorrow. I know, and trust, the process of my training. I have a plan and I am working towards it.

I am extremely excited — I feel like the challenge to prepare myself for this ultra, is not just desired, but needed. I need this challenge. I need this obstacle — especially — the obstacles I’ll encounter from here until the finish line.

The same feeling I had building up to my first marathon is back. I’ve gotten this feeling a couple times since my first marathon some four years ago. It’s a good sign that I am needing and ready for a challenge. A challenge both physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Anyways — I am looking forward to my weekend. Not only is it going to be spent preparing for PrepperCon next Friday and Saturday, but I am looking forward to my therapeutic training run. The weather looks ideal for a long run.

I was wanting to run down a canyon — but, I am going to stay close to home again. I want to get about 9 miles — so I am going to run my Bountiful Temple Loop again. But, this time, I am NOT going UP 400 North. I think I’ve earned the right to down it, right?




So my best friend is getting married in May — initially — it was pitted for May 20th. A Friday — no problem. But, recently, he informed me the date was changed to May 14th — a week earlier. In the normal world this wouldn’t be a problem. But, as runner — yeaaaaaaaah — big problem. I was already registered for the Vigor Big Cottonwood Half Marathon that day.

For most races — this wouldn’t be THAT big of a deal — but, this is one of my favorite races, down one of my favorite canyons. And, the wedding begins at 11am. So there would be no way I could run it, get home, change and then get to the temple.

Well, unless I was an elite runner. Or sub-two half marathoner. But, that’s a post for another day.

There’s no question where my priorities lay — I am going to wedding. I am the best man after all — and we’ve been friends pretty much since we were toddlers.

But, I won’t lie — I am bummed to have to miss out on this race. It really, really, really is one of my favorites. But, it’s not a total loss — I am running the Big Cottonwood Marathon (September 10) and the Drop 13 Big Cottonwood Half Marathon (June 11) … so I’ll get plenty of time with the canyon.

But, still.

I am lucky that I am able to transfer my bib — and I am selling it. Sooooo — if you’re interested in running the Vigor BC Half on May 14th … let me know. I’m interested in getting an Ogden bib — so if you have one or want to buy me one — let’s talk! I might even throw in some wedding cake as part of the trade?

Don’t worry though — I will be back in 2017! And, if I’m the one getting married next May — I’ll protect that date with my life!



Well, to counter the disappointment of having to drop Vigor BC Half — I did register for the St. George Marathon (October 1) on Tuesday! I have a guaranteed entry since I did the Runner Series — so no lottery for me this year.

This will be my third St. George Marathon and 10th life-time marathon. It will also be one of three ultra training races leading up to the Pony 50 (October 21-22). I’ll also be sweeping the Big Cottonwood Marathon (September 10) and running the Huntsville Marathon (September 24).

So — a marathon every other week. That both frightens and excites me a bit. I know I can do it as long as I put my trust in training and being consistent. Luckily, I am sweeping Big Cottonwood — and I am not planning on racing hard at Huntsville. It’s all about getting time on my feet.

St. George is one of my favorite marathons. There’s nothing better than running amongst all the red rocks — it’s heaven to me.



PrepperCon Billboard - 1

PREPPERCOOOOOOOON!!! I’m getting really excited for next week’s PrepperCon. Not just because I have a hand in the weekend, but because it’s really, really fun. AND — this year — it’s going to be much more epic.

Not only will a lot of the same vendors, booths and entertainment be back — but, it will be bigger (we’re taking up two halls, not just one) and more fun. There will be a hurricane simulator there that will let you experience the 100+ mph winds you would encounter in a hurricane.

Trust me, it’s pretty dang cool.

Not only will I be there all weekend long like a chicken with it’s head chopped off — but, I also will be helping to man the Bugout Run booth again. It’s going to be a lot of fun — celebrities, classes, entertainment, etc., etc., etc.

PrepperCon is next Friday and Saturday (April 15-16) at the South Towne Expo Center and you can buy tickets now — here.



This episode Schwendy and I interview Scott Stallings — CEO of PrepperCon (and my brother-in-law). We talk about the convention, what got him into prepping, the stigmas that come with prepping and everything in between.

Basically, get excited for PrepperCon happening next weekend at the South Towne Expo Center (April 15-16)!

Give it a listen here …


Someone is treating my lap like a five-star hotel mattress. #thaliagrace #prouduncle

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During my walk at lunch today I came across this banana. If I didn’t know better … it looks like a trap. #bananatrap

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COMMENTARY: I feel really good about this week’s numbers — I had a couple really good workouts and an awesome run on Tuesday night. I would have liked to get another run yesterday, but had a pretty long 7am-11pm day. Either way, I am going in the right direction.

My current goal right now is to get under 270 by Provo City on May 7 — so basically a month to lose another 7-8lbs (or more). Doable and attainable. I am not sure what to expect next week with PrepperCon — I am going to have to do my long run mid-week since I will be running around Thursday through Saturday. 

I am going to squeeze it in somewhere, but next week won’t be a normal week for me — the goal will be to maintain or lose, not necessarily lose big. But, who knows? If that happens — I’d be surprisingly happy with it.

Anyways — good numbers heading into the weekend! 

WEIGHT: 276.8 LBS.
BODY FAT%: 24.4%
BMI: 31.7
WAIST: 45.4″
ARMS: 16″


BEGINNING (1/8/16)

WEIGHT: 277.6 LBS.
BODY FAT%: 25.2%
BMI: 33.1
WAIST: 46.4″
ARMS: 16.7″

LAST WEEK (4/1/16)

WEIGHT: 279.3 LBS.
BODY FAT%: 24.7%
BMI: 32.0
WAIST: 45.6″
ARMS: 16.2″

THIS WEEK (4/8/16)

WEIGHT: 276.8 LBS.
BODY FAT%: 24.4%
BMI: 31.7
WAIST: 45.4″
ARMS: 16″


WEIGHT: – 2.5 LBS.
BODY FAT%: – 0.3%
BMI: – 0.3
WAIST: – 0.2″
ARMS: -0.2″
THIGHS: 0.0″

Daily Shorts.fw

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RACE #91: Vigor Utah Big Cottonwood Half Marathon

91.fwI know I’ve said this A LOT the past week, but I really, really, really love running down Big Cottonwood Canyon. It really is one of my favorite canyons here in Utah. Not only for running, but it’s got some sedimental meaning to me as a kid. My grandparents would take me and my siblings up the canyon for picnics, fishing trips or simple drives just to see the colorful autumn leaves.

This past weekend was no different in those similar feelings. The forecast called for … and … delivered rain throughout the race. But, it wasn’t the typical down pour I was expecting from the forecasts. It was kind of a … Oregon misty rain? If that makes sense? It was raining, but it wasn’t a down pour or annoying. It was just misty and it really made for perfect running conditions in my opinion. It was a good reprieve from the heat of the Provo City Half last week.

I tried to capture the beauty of the scenery, but even this picture doesn’t do it justice. You really had to be there. But, just gawk at this beautiful scenery …


The clouds were fairly low so they hit the top of the mountains and the scenery was just BEAUTIFUL! BEAUTIFUL! I really wish this picture could have done it justice. But, really you HAD to be there.

But, okay, onto the race.

This was my second year running the Vigor Utah Big Cottonwood Half Marathon. And … my … 5th time racing down the canyon? But, that number will jump to 7 by the end of the year since I am planning on running the Drop 13 (June 13) and Big Cottonwood (September 12) races as well. This is one of my favorite races overall, because the race is professional, organized and runners themselves. That connection between organizers and runners cannot be understated. It really helps differentiate the races out there that put the runner first.

This is what 4:00am looks like on a Saturday morning. Well, at least the first couple of early morning races.

Going into the race I wasn’t quite sure where I wanted to push myself because of small nagging injuries from Provo City the week before. I had tweaked my knee around mile 9-10 last week and I was slightly worried how’d it react during this week’s race. So I gave myself a window of 2:30-2:45 and felt good about that, especially considering the fast course and favorable running weather.

After catching a bus up the canyon at 4:30am (collective “ugh” … seriously the worst part about racing) and hanging out in a lodge for about 45 minutes we made the 3/4 or so mile walk to the starting line. While in the lodge my friend Shelley and I started talking about our thyroid issues and frustrations. We kind of continued that talk pretty much throughout the end of the race as we ran together the whole 13.1 miles down the canyon.

It was perfect for the both of us.

Shell’s Bells and I before the race began.

I wasn’t planning on blazing down the canyon and Shelley was coming back into the groove of running after her set backs. So it really was a perfect pairing. We didn’t start at the gun since we were both in the port-a-potty line which for these kind of runs I kinda like doing. Sure you’re in the back of the pack, but your time isn’t the back of the pack … if that makes sense? Starting later, for me, really takes off that pressure to worry about my time.

The first couple of miles seemed a tad slow, I am not sure if that was because of our walk to the starting line or not? Not physically, more mentally. I kept looking at my watch every 0.2-0.3 and thinking I should be further along. But, once we got to the first aid station it really started to picking up. Having great company really helped. And, having someone that understood the same healthy issues I was experiencing helped a lot as well.

Hypothyroidism is not fun. I am not going to go into the nitty gritty of what we talked about, I blog enough about that. But, needless to say, I talked a lot about how I am just sick of trying to find an answer through doctors and just want to go about it naturally and find a way that my body will respond to. And, as of late, that’s pretty much what I have been working towards. But, that is a post for another day.

We’re such rebels.

With the weather slightly rainy and 100% overcast the conditions were just perfect for a good run. Around mile four though my knee started to act up so I did have to stop quite a bit to stretch it out. That was and is still worrisome for me. The pain is right in my knee cap. I don’t think it’s an ACL or MCL, so I don’t know exactly what it is. I really should go get it check out. But, I won’t lie, I am afraid to get it checked out in fear the doctor will tell me to stop running.

I can’t be the only runner that has that same fear, right?

This next week I am just going to swap most of my cardio with swimming. I would like to get at least a 3-5 mile run in on Wednesday to test it out. I am also looking for a bib into the Ogden Half, but a part of me thinks I should just rest. I want to fight that, but I am having a hard time saying no. Oh these internal struggles!

Anyways, back to the race.

Timothy cheering on the incoming runners. I absolutely LOVE this picture!

My knee was pretty sore between miles 4-10. I was able to run on it, but like I mentioned earlier I had to stretch it quite a bit. I don’t know what to attribute it to though … an ACTUAL injury, the cold weather, under training or my weight. I am about 40lbs. over where I like to be this time of the year and I think that really has a lot to do with that. That’s been one of the most frustrating parts about the thyroid issues. But, that’s been changing which I am grateful for.

Once Shelley and I got to around mile 10 the pain wasn’t as prevalent as it was earlier and I just pushed myself the rest of the way. So I am not exactly sure what I am dealing with? But, rest and cross training are going to be my friends for the next couple of weeks. So I am not THAT worried. If it doesn’t improve or get worse I will go to a doctor.

It was also around this time of the race that I lost my pants. Yes, my pants. At the mile 10 aid station I had to rescue my shorts from touching the ground because they decided to come undone. It was quite glorious and I know Shelley enjoyed the show. It almost happened again around mile 12, but luckily we got them secured after Shelley had to tie them for me because my hands were frozen.

I am laughing just typing that paragraph. It was quite hilarious.

Medal #91!

Luckily, we finished the race strong and both Shelley and I reached our goals for the day. I got my sub-2:45 (2:44:42) and Shelley finished the race feeling good and not completely drained. It was great.

The finish line was awesome because we were reunited with all of our friends … many who got PRs! I was very excited for them. Plus, Tim was there with his wife in uniform passing out the finisher’s medals. They are such great friends and inspirations. It was just perfect.

That’s what I love about racing, we all might be different speeds along the course, but at the starting and finishing lines we’re all equal with similar hopes, dreams and desires. It really doesn’t matter what your speed is, but all can relate what it means to get that personal best. And, that’s one of the reasons why I love the running community.

Oh, and because there are Creamies at the finish line too, that’s another reason why I love running.

But, that should be a given for a former fat kid turned runner, right? But, really, it’s about the people I’ve be able to meet, befriend and run with over the years! I’ll gladly trade in my Creamie for that! (just don’t tell Fat Josh).

Some of my favorite peeps! One of my many reasons why I love the running community.



A funny thing. As I was typing out this race report I was also on Facebook looking for an Ogden Half bib. And, well, I found one. So, now I am running the Ogden Half Marathon this next Saturday. So much for resting my legs … lol

If you’re a knee doctor you’re probably cursing me out, but really I feel like I will be fine. In fact my knee doesn’t hurt at all right now. I’ll just give it some extra love, extra time in the pool and rest this upcoming week.

But, the Ogden Marathon is one of my favorite races. This will be my fourth time running it, well actually my third time running the half. I did the marathon last year. So I am well acquainted with it. I am not sure what my time goal will be, but I want to push it some and see if I can at least beat my time from this week … soooo … 2:44:41 or bust, eh?



Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 164.5 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 110.0 miles
2015 Race Miles – 105.95 miles
2015 Total Miles – 380.45 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 72.85 miles
March – 115.3 miles
April – 76.3 miles
May  37.2 miles



The cheetah within …

A basic graph of how I feel about my running as of late.

Last week I blogged about my recent health and weight issues. I hate blogging about those things. But, sometimes that’s just life. Especially when you live with a whacked out thyroid and doctor.

This past week I’ve really been trying to focus on the mentality of what I need to do now, but more importantly, where I want to go as well. After a much needed run at Liberty Park last week I started seeing more clearly what my potential was in running. I stopped looking at running a sub-two half marathon as a one-and-done goal and more like a new standard.

Even running the Run Elevated Half Marathon down Little Cottonwood Canyon this past Saturday I felt that I had SO much within me. Actually, I KNEW that I had so much more within me. Despite my mental disposition of feeling like a slow running cow, I know that within me lies a cheetah. I’m made for speed. I’ve got the legs and with the proper training and dedication I know I can get MUCH faster than I am running now.


Knowing the current state of my body, I don’t run well when I am mixing marathons and half marathons together. Training for a marathon and half marathon are two different beasts. Marathons are about miles and half marathons are more about speed, at least for me. And, the two don’t mix very well because I don’t get faster on my half marathon times when I am training and running marathons. I just don’t.

So, I’ve made the decision that for at least the next year I am not going to run a marathon after Big Cottonwood in September. My focus is going to be half marathons, speed work and deliberate training. I really want to get that sub-two half marathon time, but more than that I want to condition myself to that standard. So that is my goal and focus from September on.

In addition to focusing on half marathons I am going to slow down the races a tad. All in all by the end of the year my race total for 2014 will be somewhere around 26 to 27. I’ve felt a need to knock out a lot of races this year, but I really can’t do that again. I need more of a balance in my life. That’s why in 2015 my goal is to run one half marathon a month with a few exceptions here and there. But, I am capping it at 15 races next year. I know that’s still a lot, but it’s still almost half of what I’ve ran this year.

To replace a lot of those races my long runs will be more deliberate. I plan on running more 8-10 mile long runs during the week and weekend. I’d love to run down the canyons more and even find some more routes around the Wasatch Front to run. I sense the need for some more adventure in my running and I am excited to do that.

But, I know that running alone won’t get me towards my goal. I am going to have to continue to work off the weight and condition myself well. I’m going to have to balance my running with strength training. I also need to do some more cross-training to help avoid burnout. Ideally, I’d love to swim a lot more. I am taking adult swimming lessons in October after all. But, I just need to focus on balance. I really feel that.

And, of course to not forget diet. I do need to clean out my diet. Not a lot, but I need to eat cleaner. I need to eat deliberately. I’m such a routine eater that I am sure this won’t be that big of an issue. BUT … you can’t avoid it either. I’ll need to eat more vegetables (who doesn’t?) and watch the processed foods. Food is such a big part of any diet or lifestyle change that I know I’ll have to address all of that in another post. There’s just TOO much to it.

But, it’s important nonetheless.

I am excited for this new focus. And, I’m not going to lie, I not going to really miss the marathon training. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but that’s not going to be my focus this upcoming year. It’s speed, it’s consistency and it’s getting a lot faster than I am now.

I want that cheetah within that mental cow that I believe that I am to burst through and take (well, there’s a thought). I know it’s within me. I know I can do it. It’s now just a matter of doing it and staying committed to the course.

So, my initial plan is to take the next couple of weeks to come up with a killer plan to get me there. I am going to focus on getting rid of the excess weight that I need to (my goal to get down to my normal weight is Thanksgiving … funny that’s the goal, because odds are I’ll need to lose it all again the following day … kidding) while pushing myself and working on the speed work and of course running form (gotta learn how to kick those legs up like a pro, right?). But, then starting December 1st (or Black Friday) my goal is to concentrate even more on the speed training working towards my first attempt at a sub-two at the Vigor Big Cottonwood Half on May 9th.

I am also focusing on other races in 2015 that will give me the opportunity to PR and sub-two … Timp, Utah Valley, Deseret News, Run Elevated and Nebo. Just typing that I got this crazy idea of a goal to run all of those in a sub-two? That would take a lot, but why not? Why not try? Why not commit myself to a crazy outlandish goal like that? Even if I don’t reach that goal I’ll at least be striving for something amazing, right?

I am excited about this new vision. I am excited to see where it takes me. I really know that I need to not just push myself in my running, but I’ve also got to balance it out with other things in my life. As hard as this it is for me to say this, on a running blog nonetheless, there is more to life than just running (GASP! … I might have just fainted). But, it’s true.

I was fortunate enough to run for the past three years without much responsibility outside of myself. And, I’m not going to be single forever. I know once marriage and kids come there will go a lot of my free time. Which would more than likely be running. I know I won’t be able to run 25 races year each year, so I’ve got to be deliberate, focus on balance and strive for greatness in the time that’s given me to do what I love.

Because I am destined to be that dang cheetah.

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!