May 012011

In honor of our first marathon, the OC Marathon, I wanted to post some pictures of my brother and I running which you may or may not have seen yet.  Thank you for following our blogs and wish us luck.  Today is a big day for The Running Brothers.  Our race starts at 6 AM at Fashion Island in Costa Mesa and not really sure where it finishes, but keep us in your thoughts and wish us well.

Apr 052011

The race was a success.  It was a lot of fun watching Rocky cross the finish line and swimming in the pool.  Quite a crowd had developed cheering on people in the pool and my brother entered the pool just as I was getting out, so I got to watch him make the 200 meter swim in the pool.   He did a great job and my family and I came to meet him as he crossed the finish line. 

Zeb and Rocky Finish The Race on the Base

Afterwards we traveled to a local hamburger shop and were able to talk about the run with our family.  It’s great to have such strong supporters and to be able to involve them in our accomplishments together.

We had completed our second event together and with our next event, the Orange County Marathon, we still have a lot of prep work to do, but we are The Running Brothers after all, so I’m sure when May 1 comes we will be ready to complete our first full marathon together.  It’s only one month away, but I know that this is going to be the toughest thing I’ve ever done, I just hope I can last.

Mar 302011

I hustled my way over to the pool to perform my 200 Meter swim.  And I had been practicing for months and really thought that I was going to demolish my swimming time from the year before.  I jumped in the pool and immediately began to pass people, until I got behind some idiot who was doing the breast stroke. 

Everyone was swimming at his pace and there was no way that I could get past the guy because his legs were continually spreading out like you would imagine a frog would in the pool of water.  I kept trying to get past him and that really sapped my energy. 

Zeb Race on the Base Swim

The pool that I had been training in was half the size of the pool that I competed in.  I did not think it would make that much of a difference, but it did.  Each lap felt so much longer than the laps I had been used to and when I sprinted the last 50 Meters in the pool, it just seemed like the end was never coming.  But, eventually I made it, completed the swim and ran into my Dad, Mom, sister and Dusty.  They congratulated me on a job well done, but man . . . was I tired. 

Now, it was time to wait for my brother . . . who I had not seen since I pushed him at the beginning of the race.

Mar 292011

After reaching the staging area, I was in good shape and rushed out with my bike and took off . . . but that didn’t last long as bicyclists began to pass me left and right.  I do remember passing one bicyclist who looked like he was either drunk or had never ridden a bike before . . . as he riding a mountain bike which was wobbling all over the road.  Had the police been following him, they would have made him perform a sobriety test for sure.

Overall, people were passing me pretty consistently on the bike, but they were not flying past me like they had the year before.  I’m still not quite sure why I was getting passed though.  I’m not sure if it was because of my bike or because I am not riding my bike using the proper technique.  Either way, I know that my legs were working faster than many of the other riders. 

After evaluating my results for the race, I saw an interesting statistic for the race.  Almost everyone who finished ahead of me had a better bike time, while my times in the run and the swim were in the middle of the pack compared to those who performed better than me overall.  So, it appears to me that my bicycling skills need to improve if I’m going to be able to compete at a higher level in these triathalon events.

I knew that a lot of people had passed me by the time I made it to the staging area for the second time.  But, I had a feeling that I was still outperforming myself from the year before and made my way to the pool.

Mar 222011

My brother and I only had a few minutes to spare when we made it to the starting line.  My parents, sister and good friend, Dusty Edwards were there for support.  They got in positions with their cameras and my brother and I pretended to stretch prior to the race.  The starting pistol went off and the race was underway.  I immediately pushed my brother to knock him off-balance so that I could have a clear path ahead.  From that point on, I never looked back. 

I felt like I was keeping a really good pace, passing people left and right.  Although, I began to tire after about the second mile and the last mile was a bit of a struggle as people began passing me telling me to keep going . . . I guess I looked like I was about to keel over or something. 

I made it into the staging area and was well ahead of most of the runners, I quickly gathered my bike and sped off in my brand new Cannondale bicycle.

Mar 212011

I told my brother I would pick him up around 830 to head to Los Alamitos from his house in Corona.  Los Alamitos is close to an hour away, so I assumed that we would have plenty of time to make it to the military base . . . and boy, was I wrong. 

It had rained heavily the night before and three roads were closed or altered on the way to my brother’s house when I arrived at 845.  He was sitting in his garage waiting for me and we left almost immediately from his house.  The drive to Los Alamitos lasted an hour, but the line to enter the base was enormous and moved slowly.  I was nervous and my blood pressure was rising as I did not want to be the cause for us to miss our race.  We had to run to the check-in tent which seemed like it was a mile away from where we parked. 

We rushed to check-in and realized that we were one of the last people to do so.  The staging area was probably another half-mile away from the check-in tent so we were rushing to accomplish everything on time and eventually did, but I was stressed out.  The good thing about being late was I didn’t really have any time to think about the race, we just set our stuff up, rushed to the starting line and within minutes we were off. 

Everything worked out in the end, but it sure was hectic.  I learned a valuable lesson at The Race on the Base and will be sure taht I am always early to my future events to make sure that all goes according to plan and that I am nice and relaxed on race day.  My brother played it off pretty smoothly, but he did tell me we should leave earlier.  I’m not going to say I’m stubborn and Rocky would never say “I told you so.”  But, if I were him I sure would have.

Mar 132011

I finished my first triathalon and I felt good. Our support crew was there and everybody was all smiles. I found out Zeb didn’t have to wait too long for my which was a relief. He was training really hard and I should have trained more.

Zeb and I felt great and after grabbing a few waters it was time to start getting out of there. We tippy toed back to the transition zone, trying to avoid the smallest of pebbles but I think I found everyone. I immediately got my shoes back on and was able to walk normal. We cleaned up our area, gave our support to the competitors heading to the swim and walked our bike to the exit station.

I was getting close to lunch time and we wanted to try a local resturant. We headed down Katella Avenue looking for anything that looked unique and good. So we ended up at what looked like most exciting resturant in town, “BEST BURGERS.” Whoever thought of that name, brillent. So we tried a few burritos at “Best Burgers.” They were good and but the company of our support crew was the best.

My first triathalon was completed. Zeb finished his second and the running brothers were one step closer to our goals.

Thanks to all of our supporters and we look forward to keeping you informed of our future activities.

Mar 122011

As you know by know from our previous posts, I am not a swimmer. Infact I would probably make a better anchor. But I was about to enter a pool for the very first time in a race situaiton but for me, swimming is more of a survival situation.

As I entered the tranistion from the bike i sent immediately for my spot. I locked up my pick threw my helmet on the floor, lost my shirt, shoes and socks and started to jog toward the pool. A few racers who already had finished gave me some words of encouragement and I ginger tried to avoid small pebbles on the path over to the pool.

Tip toeing over the asphalt, I looked very intimidating, I though sandels would be very nice. After nearly 50 meters of cringying and incredible foot pain I was at the pool. It seemed like hundreds of people where splashing, I surveyed the crowd and found found my support crew at the far side of the pool with my brother waving their arms.

I told my self just jump in and pretend like you know what you are doing. It was only there and back twice, but there was a long way and back was long way. The frist lap went well and to my surprise I caught the person in front of me. For the time being I was better than some of the other “swimmers.”

At the end of the pool a lot of people collected to catch their breathe. I didn’t want to wait I could see the finish line. I weaved through the resting swimmers and started down the next stetch and half way down I started to feel it. My legs stopped kicking and I started getting passed. I made it to the next wall and this time I need to catch my breathe. I saw Zeb montioning his arms to get me going. I wasn’t quite ready but I pushed off and started on the next leg.

I made it to the final wall and the crowd was cheering us on. It really helped, it was the final stretch and I had some open water infront of me. I headed for home and with 25 meters to go I realized I may not make it. I did one or two doggy paddles and then said screw it. I put my head down, kicked as hard as I could and pulled hard.  Then I looked up and I it looked like I had 30 meters to go.

I eventually got there and I was helped out of the pull. I quickly got my anckle braclet over the timing sensors and then tried to stagger for a place to sit. My legs were wobbley but I finished and I felt good.

It was a little cold but I grabbed a water and headed for the racers exit. Just then my sister found me and started a post race interview. I have seen some post race interviews and think those guys are not good talkers. Well I didn’t give the best interview either, being exhausted and cold means I was not thinking very well. After a few questions and some lackluster responses the rest of the support crew meet up with us. It was really nice to have them all there and to chat about the race.

A few high fives and some hugs and we were left to chat about some of the race specifics.

Mar 112011

As I entered the transition zone my shadow fell off my pace and I knew where I was going. Our bikes were on the second to last rack  on the end. I was hoping by the time I got there all the bikes would be gone. I ran so fast most of the bikes were still there.

I tried to set up my bike and helmet so I would have a quick tranisition and it worked out pretty good. I grabed the helmet put it on and unhooked my bike and started running with it. I didn’t buckle my helmet and as i started running I tried to buckle it one handed. That did work, so I stopped and tried the two handed buckling technique. My hands were shaking from the run and it took me a few tries. I got it and headed for the exit of the transistion zone.

Immediately out of the transition zone was the mounting area (FYI Its not as fun as it sounds).  People were backed up here. Many people had the fancy bikes with pedels that required locking in shoes, I had the generic flat pedels and didn’t have this problem. As people stopped in the path and tried to mount their overly complicated bike I found a path through the mess and did a running leg throw mount and I was off and going.

It was three laps on the runway and I felt like I was moving. But I was gettin passed by everyone. As we headed into the wind I changed gears and tucked my head down. Going downwind I sat up and got to my fast gear,  I  was started moving or i thought I was. I was getting lapped my many of the good triathletes and I was expecting that but I was getting passed by a lot of people on mountan bikes and I felt like I was pedaling my road bike much faster. But at least I was knocking off those miles.

At the end of the second lap after the downwind stretch there was a 90 degree turn on to a taxiway and everyone slowed down for it, but we wanted to carry as much speed as possible.

Well the girl on the Huffy who passed me was carring a little too much speed and went over the side of her bike, sliding to a stop. I would like to know the etiqute on situations like this. She immediately got up as I managed to miss her fallen bike and race staff were running to her aid. Should I have stopped? Keep in mind I wasn’t setting a course record or tring to place but I wanted to try to catch my brother. What should I have done?

After one more lap I was coming back to the transition area and it was time to get mentlally prepared for the swim. I am not a swimmer and I didn’t train at all for the swim. I was just hoping that I would not need help from the lifeguard.

Mar 082011

You already know our times but by now I’m sure you are eagerly awaiting our commentary and play-by-play of the Race at the Base.

The 2011 Race at the Base was my very first triathalon and while I was excited about it I was a little nervious. I didn’t want to be embarassed by my performance, since the Rose Bowl Half Marathon I missed a lot of training. But running brothers stick together so I was doing it with my brother.

At the start line we are excited and do our normal joking arround and pick the people we are gonna beat (in my case it was try to beat). Before we know it the race blow horn sounds and people are moving. Only a few step past the finish line we run into our first hurdle, who gets to the front of the pack at the start line and starts WALKING. Literally 5 steps after the start line people were already walking. Don’t get me wrong they were walking good but they were really clogging up the running path.

The road block kept zeb by my close for a little while be we managed to squeeze by the walkers and were on our way. Zeb took off. I tried to keep up and I did for about 10 seconds. The course lead us on the Los Alimitos Base runway. Which sounds exciting but let me tell you aircraft runways are very boring. It was long and straight (thats what she said) it was also windy.

After what seemed like 5 miles I finally came by the mile 1 marker, this was going to be a long run. Then we ran by the supporters area and we got cheered on by our supports it was nice. I knew they would have cameras so I wanted to make sure I looked strong and had good running form. I puffed out my chest, opened up my stride and really swung my arms.

However, there was one problem. I looked around at the people who would be in the picture with me. I was running next to a stomper not wearing running shoes, a 9 year old boy and a lady with one leg. I am a perfectly health 26 year old man and these people are looking much better than me. I am not trying to be mean about these people but on paper I should be farther up in the pack. I tried to pick up the pace.

We made it to the end of the runway an made the turn back to the transition area, which meant we were running right in to the wind. Thise was an US track and field qualifiy event apparently so the rule is that there is no drafting. I thought drafting was only NASCAR. I was running pretty fast but i think I was about 180 MPH slower than needed for drafting.

None the less that did not stop a lady from finding the biggest person possible (me) to run directly behind. She was very polite about it though, she said “I hope you don’t mind”. I told her “Don’t worry about it” after I caught my breath I told her to “Enjoy the view.” Which didn’t get the response I was expecting, oh well.

Having someone follow me made me pick up my pace even more, I have no idea why but I really picked it up. We were passing people like crazy. I am sure my shadow was super impressed. Before I knew it, we were making the final turn for the transistion zone and I started to metally prepare for the bike.