Aug 032011

The day prior my brother raced and completed is first normal sprint triathlon. Now I had a race of my own.

I was gonna pee, gosh darnit. After several attempts  the day before with no success and the unpleasant use of a catheter. I was ready and I was gonna win this race. I whimpered my way to an upright position then slowly and with a grimace I eeked to a standing position. I wheeled my IV pole to the bathroom, lifted the thin vail that covered my special region and pushed like the dickens….. nothing! I was bummed.

I was not ready to give up, so with steadfast effort I leaned against the wall and gave it the old steady sustained push and eventually a small dribble turned into a glorious stream. It was relief to my ears to hear the sweet sound. I exited the bathroom, hunched over with stomach pain but arms raised in celebration, fully filled bottle in one hand and my IV pole in the other. Very rarely have I ever experience such joy. 

I quickly thought the hospital staff wouldn’t appreciate a crazed patient fist pumping his own urine in the hallway. So I quietly returned to my room, set my bottle down where the nurse could see my success and went for a victory lap around the hospital. I like to think the hospital staff could see the joy in my eyes but they probably felt sorry for me with my hunched shuffle walk.

I returned to my bed and my Dad came. He gave me a fist bump after seeing my proudly displayed bottle and we knew it was only a matter of time before I would be out of there.

While I didn’t get to race in San Luis Obispo, I think I got that sense of accomplishment that finishing my first normal triathlon would give me. Even though it was a bit unorthodox, I finished my race and I was proud of my brother. Now, well after two weeks of light exercising (doctor prescribed), the Running Brothers will be training for their next event.

Aug 012011

I was stuck to a bed in French Hospital and my brother was about to start the SLO Triathalon. I was going to missing my brothers Race. My sister managed to find an Application (Qik Video) for ourAndroid Smartphones which was like a video calling application and as my brother started the race I got an alert from my sister.

After acepting the alert I was pool side, hearing the  splashes and seeing my Brother completethe 36 laps in the pool. He was looking good and halling but especially when I compared him to his lane partner (an elderly lady with a good kick and medicore swimming form). To save her phones battery my sister said she would check in with me every so often as the race progressed.

It looked like such a wonderful day, I was stuck in a hospital bed and it was so great out. Zeb finished the swim and I got my next alert from Lacey. I watched Zeb on his first transition to the bike and watched him pedal off out of site to Orcutt Road.

Lacey’s phone died after that but Zeb looked good and I knew he would finish.

 After about an hour my Mom came into my room and told me my brother would be running infront of the hospital. I had an urge to get up and see if the staff would let me out the front door to watch him but, by the time I knew he was close it would have taking me a good 30 minutes to get disconnected from everything and out the front door. He passed the hospital and went on to finish the race.

He must have immediately crossed the finish line, loaded up his bike and came to the hospital. He was there very quickly with my whole family. He gave me his metal and I got to ask him about the race. He said it was tough and a lot more difficult than he expected, even slightly boring. I wish I could have ran with him to keep things more lively.

My brother did great and I am really proud of him.

Jul 312011

With less than 24 hours the start of the the SLO Triathalon where Rocky is going beat Zeb, Rocky is consummed with stomach pain.

After a few hours of resting with stomach pain and no fever the Running Brother Family meets and decides it would be best for me to see a doctor. My family is absolutely fantastic, they were all immediately on the phone trying to find a place for me to see a doctor without voiding my health insurance. Very quickly we determine their is no Kaiser on the Central Coast and French Hospital is the nearest facility for me to get a check and a quick dose of something to get me ready for my big race.

The CSPA workshop was having their 60 Anniversary gathering. Where my Dad and my number 1 hero was named to the organizations Hall of Fame.  My Dad, Brother and Sister go to the Anniversary and my mom and I are headed to French Hospital.

My mom and I walk into the ER doors and immediatly are talking to the check in desk folks and they immediatly get us to a bed, within 15 mins of walking in the doors our doctor was at talking to use and attempting to diagonis the problem.  He quickly orders a Cat Scan which is completed and sent to the Radiologist.

Within minutes we would have our answer and I was hoping to get a shot or parscription and be out of there. Unfortunently it was not my day… I had an appendicitis which required surgery. My race was over and hospital stay was going to be a lot longer than originally desired.

Fortunently for me the best doctor and anateialogist in the State were called in to perform my appendectomy. We had only walked into the doors about 3 hours before and they were wheeling me in to surgery. My brother, never being a person to miss a joke, gave me a, “if I never see you again….” joke. I was a little scared so while I laughed I didn’t paricularly appreciate it.

I schuffled over to the opposite table and before they could tell me all their names the sleepy doctor had  worked his magic. I was out. I came to in a completely different room and they were wheeling me to my overnight room where my family joined me, here is a picture of as they were wheeling me out of surgery:

My racing goals changed there: instead of beating my brother it was now to pass gas and pee as fast as possible to get out of there and watch my brother race.  I was told I could be out of the hospital the next day if everything went well.

Well everything did not go perfect for me. My body had a difficult time whipping back in to shape. I got the passing gas thing down, but hey needed me to urinate to show I was not retaining water. Either by body knew I was supposed to be swimming or it really liked that hospital water, my body retained water like a champ. After not being able to urninate on command the doctors decided to hold me one more day, which meant I would miss my brothers race.

Jul 292011

We arrived to San Luis Obispo Friday night at about 10:00 and felt great. We stopped for some In-N-Out Burgers in Santa Maria and made it to Lassen Dorms where the CSPA workshop was staying. We meet our Dad and unload all of our gear to our room for safe keeping. Our our heros (our mom and Sister) who made the trek up north were about and hour behind us.

After everyone arrived it was nearly 11:00p.m. and I was paricularly exhausted I resorted to room after saying hello to a few of our long time family friends and was gonna call it a night.

My stomach was starting to get a little upset and I thought, we are still two days away from our race, this can’t be pre-race jitters. So I toughed it through the night with some chills and other discomforts, and my brother was great in getting me something to drink and just being a caring, concerned person.

The next morning we woke up and the CSPA cats (actually volunteer instructors) were heading to Lazy Cats a local resurant in Downtown SLO, that has good breakfest and cat themed decour.

Everybody was getting the breakfast specials with plenty of food, good chunks of bacon and hash browns at affordable prices. I was stilling hunched over from the night before so I stuck with a small fruit cup and a water.

Throughout breakfast we got to decribe how the Running Brothers came about and the success we have had thanks to our Heros. One of our family friend and heros, Fred Schoemehl (editor of the Tombstone Epitaph), began asking us questions about the triathalon. We quickly realized we may be in over our heads.

We didn’t know where or when to check in, what the course was going to be like or even where it went. Maybe we were overly coinfident and didn’t bother to do our research but I like to think its because we have been very busy for the past several weeks. Zeb has started a new company with our Sister and I have, well…. just been busy.

Immediatly after breakfast we decided we needed to get serious. So we had a lesuirly strolled around downtown looking for a place to buy new swimming goggles and then we would figure out how to check in for the event.

The old Copeland Sports which had two locations in downtown SLO is not a Sports Authority with a very wide selection of swimming googles. We picked the $9.99 pair and we were on on our way.

Now, off to check in. Well…. my stomach was hurting and I needed to rest especially if we were going to be racing tomorrow. My brother and sister took me back to our room and hit my bed like a sack a potatoes.

I feel like I am person that never quits, I sometimes don’t give it my best effort, but I never quit. I was really looking forward to this race because I thought I would have a chance at beating Zeb. I have steady lost weight, I am playing Racquetball weekly and I generally felt pretty fit.

So now, I am not feeling that great and our race is in less than 24 hours. So I resort my mind to just giving enough effort to finish and I would beat Zeb on another day.

Jul 282011

We have been gaining some popularity and followers along with a little coinfidence so we thought we would go to our first out of town event. The San Luis Obispo Triathalon. This event sounded exciting, it was a modest sprint triathalon, it was a staggered start because everybody started in a Pool at the SLO swimcenter, the bike took the racers on to Orcutt Road which we were told is a country road with near the busy San Luis Downtown and the run was arround local streets infront of French Hospital and other neat San Luis sites to Sinsheimer Park Baseball Stadium.

The event was held last Sunday on July24 and we were excited. This was our first normal triathalon (the Race at the Base was a backward sprint triathalon) so we were interested to see how we would do with the swim (our worst event) being first.

 The friday before I got of work, meet my brother and we packed his truck with our bikes, helmets and other gear and started on the scenic 4 hour drive out of LA and up the Pacific Coast Highway.

As a family we used to make this trip every year to visit my Dad who runs the CSPA workshop our of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and other family members who live in the city. SLO is also where we started our training program only a few months ago.

So to find out if SLO was slow,  fast, or other to us… stay tuned….

Jun 112011

The Running Brothers are returning to their roots. We started our running in one of our favorate Cities, San Luis Obispo. You can read our previous running advantures in SLO, all the way back in December.

That was our first real training day and I think we have come alot. Now we are going back for our second triathalon. The 32nd Annnual SLO Triathalon will be on July 24, 2011 and the running brothers will be there ready to run, bike and swim.

You may have read that our family has a pretty close connection to San Luis Obispo. Our mother grew up in SLO, our father attended the California Scholastic Press Association Workshop and subseqently lead for work show for nearly 30 years. Our parents meet at that workshop at the California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. My brother, Sister and I all attended the workshop. Our family made regular trips to SLO to see our family. So needless to say SLO has a special place in our hearts.

If you want to join us let us know, if you want to make the drive or are a local and want to cheer us on that would be fantastic.


Jan 182011

Stephen Colbert is right.  Bears are a huge threat to America. If America is at war with Bears the front lines are in San Luis Obispo, and the running brothers experienced this first hand.

When my brother first brought up this project, my first thought was, “what about the bears?” But I eventually accepted that we may run into a bear or two throughout our entire training program. I told myself, that risk was acceptable in comparison to the enjoyment and fullfillment we would get from this project. On our very first run through San Luis we arrived at the Mission and encountered the first Bear of our training program, a gigantic Grizzly jabbing at the water.  He wasn’t bothered by us but we kept our distance.

After surviving our first close encounter, on our very first run, we continued on our run. Fully satisified by the laws of statistics  that we would not encounter another deadly creature we continued our run along the stream that runs by the San Luis Mission and through downtown.

I am leading the way,  on this dark gloomy rainy night at about 11:00 pm we emerge from behind a building and….. BEAR!!!! It was croached in an attack position waiting for anyone to come out from behind the building only a few feet away. Startled I jump away from the bear, Zeb seeing me follows in my cat like evasion tactics but we quickly are frozen in our tracks.

After further investigation we confirm that this bear is as harmless as the bear at the Mission. An obviously hilarous jokster placed this bear in this particular location to startle people like us. IT WORKED.

So one day into our training and we have already encountered my full anticpation of bears for our entire training program. Unbelievable. We will keep you abreast of any future close calls with bears.

Jan 042011

ZebOne of the reasons I started training for the Iron Man was to give me something to do other than drink.  I realized that alcohol had caused me numerous problems and decided to end my use of it entirely. 

It has not been easy.  I had tried quitting numerous times before, which I did, but never for good.  I would quit for a month or two, but I made the commitment to stop entirely and have done so.  Over the holidays, it has become even more difficult as constant get togethers with old friends brings me in to situations that encourage drinking.  During these social occasions drinking is almost always involved.  It is difficult to find people to do activities with that do not involve drinking.   I decided to make the commitment to become an Iron Man and hope to meet friends along the way. 

My brother is my best friend and it is great that he and I can do this together, but I want to help establish a community of people where health is what we put our focus around and not alcohol.  So, if any of you are up for it, feel free to contact and join us in improving our health and making friends along the way.

This picture was taken in downtown San Luis Obispo. 

After turning 21, I spent a lot of time inside of bars,  and San Luis Obispo has an amazing bar scene.  But, on Saturday night instead of stopping in for drinks, I decided to run past the bars instead. 

Watching the young people, dressed up and ready for a night of drinking, I realized how much my life has changed.  Running past those bars on a rainy night in downtown San Luis Obispo symbolized a defining moment in my life.  Instead of stopping in for a drink and passing time, I turned my focus towards accomplishment and achievement, to setting goals and completing them.  I turned my back on my past, the life that I had known and headed toward the future I desire, the future I deserve.

Dec 272010

Our run in San Luis Obispo took us by a lot of childhood memories and historic landmarks. One relatively forgoten story about San Luis Obispo that I never really got to experience was the tragic football team memorial for the 1960 football team. On my last visit I drove by an odd area with a large bronze bucking mustang and several pillars surrounding it.  

Since my last visit I did some research and found out, the odd looking structure was a memorial for members of the Cal Poly Football team that was killed in a plane crash in the 1960. A very interesting story that seems to be untold.

We ran through the campus on the rainy night and wievered our way through the new science building asking for directions to the football stadium. As we ran through puddles, ducked under trees and squeezed our way between a building and a chain link fence, all by moon light in the midst of the biggest rain storm of the year the memorial appear in front of us. Only 50 yards away the beaming lights, each signifying a Cal Poly Student, Coach or Staffer, who past away in that tragic event.

The atmosphere was very surreal for us. In the middle of the night we were the only people insite and were able to read each of the memorials on each podium, describing each player/coach. In a moment like that, you can’t help but think, what could those men been able to accomplish if they were given the chance, or what if something , out of control, affected your life negatively in some way.

As it relates to our goal, running a marathon seems small but it is part of life style that we all need to cherish: having dreams,  setting goals and accomplishing those dreams.

Dec 252010

ZebOne of our stops along the run was the San Luis Obispo Mission.  The mission was founded in 1772 by Father Junipero Serra, located at the center of downtown San Luis Obispo.

One of it’s most interesting features is the Child & Bear Fountain that appears in the front of the mission.  The fountain has several bears appearing to play in a pond, next to a girl who is wading her feet in the water.  The fountain was installed in 1988.

As a kid, I used to always visit the mission and hang out there with my mother.  I especially remember playing with my little brother and sister in the creek which runs alongside the mission.  After soaking ourselves in the 2 foot deep creek, we would go have yogurt at the local mall.  The Mission at San Luis Obispo is definitely a great place to build memories for you and your family.