May 302011

For the past several months I have been in the process of applying, interviewing, waiting, and transfering my old job duties for a new position. I was in the engineering department in a nice cubicle, air conditioned, computer, 9 to 5 hours, you know all that good stuff. I traded all that great stuff to go to our operations department, its smelly, hot, phsyical labor and its hot. I am learning a lot and I really think it is a better postion for me, I am very excited about it.

As you may have read from my early posts I am in the midst of a weight-loss challenge that I set for myself, when my doctor told me to lose some weight. I attribute a lot of my weight gain after college to sitting in a cubicle and soda. Now I am outside and very active at work, I think this will be good for my weight loss goal.

Beside that my normal shift starts at 6:00 AM. I am not gonna lie and say “you get used to it,” That is early! But the bright side of that is that I get off early at 4:00 PM.  There is still plenty of time to get home, rest my feet and then decide to workout or do some chores. As much as I hate waking up that early, I am much more productive and I like that.

So hopefully the combination of longer days and getting off  work early will result in a more convinent workout time to start getting really serious about this training thing.

May 182011

I was heading toward the OC Fairgrounds by mile 24 and it felt good. I was still trying to do the math, was I gonna make it by the 7 hour time limit? My brain was not cooperating and I resorted to counting on my fingers which were pretty fat by this point from all the sweeling. About the 100th time I tried to do the math I was gonna be 30 minutes short. Then on the 101st time I did the math I was going to finish with 30 minutes to spare.

Then I came to one of the final water stands and they were playing some great motiviatonal music: Journey, Eye of the Tiger. By this point I had walked for about 8 miles straight but the music found some energy in my legs. I managed to run for about 2 minutes and my calves started to cramp up again.

Now I was a mile away from the finish (walking) but I knew I was gonna make it and knowing that made me feel great. It didn’t make my legs feel better but I had a smile, at least I think I did. Then I saw one of our supporters, Dusty, walking out of an adjacent parking lot. Dusty started to walk with me and it was great to have someone to talk to.

He really underestimated the distance to the next streetlight but it was nice to have someone to chat with. I crossed the final street and was heading into the OC fairgrounds, only a quarter mile to go. Then I saw the metal gates to separate the runners from the spectators and the spectators started getting more dense. Then I saw a few limping runners with medals arround their necks. I WAS CLOSE!!! I looked arround with the group I was going to be finishing with and decided I wanted to have my own finishing moment at the finish line and saw a large gap infront of the group I was in. I started to get up on my toes and take a few running steps then I was actually running. After 10 miles of nearly nothing but walking I was running.

One final turn and my support crew was running along the finish shout with me cheering me on. They announced my name on the loud speaker, I raised my arms in pounded them to the sky with excitement. The final step across the line I HAD DONE IT!!! I finished my first marathon, under the time limit, with a cold, in new shoes and on some pretty woobly legs.

I had ran and walked for 26.2 miles and now I could barely walk to see all of our support crew. My legs were toast. Our athletic trainer was on top of it and had plenty of ice for all our aches and pains. Zeb meet me at the end of shout. We both had our medals, body aches, and a great sense of accomplishment. Zeb finished nearly and hour ahead of me, he just keeps impressing me and he has a bunch more planned for his running career.

It was an incredibly experience and I made it to my goal but I think I have some more goals. Like improving my time, walking less and beating my brother next time. I guess we just have to see where we will end up.

May 172011

The next several miles were through business and industrial parks and it was a definently quite a contrast from the first 10 miles.

Coming in to mile 16 to the South Coast Plaza I had started to walk and my calves were starting to cramp. When I started walking I started to try to do the math. If I did make it to the finish line, would I make it in time? The course was shutting down in 7 hours. Based on my math and my walking pace, I was going to be cutting it close.

Then I saw our support crew again. They could tell I was struggling but they were great. Danielle was ready to massage out any cramps if I needed it and the rest were fully of encouragement. I couldn’t stop because I already did the math and I didn’t have any time to waste. 

As my calfes wouldn’t cooperate I decided I was walking the rest of the course and I tried to walk with a brisk pace but I was getting paced like crazy by other walkers. I just keep turning my legs and drinking at every water stop.

By mile 20 we were heading on to the Santa Ana River Trail. Zeb and I rode the bike trail a few months before. Let me tell you, walking the trail takes alot longer than biking it, especially when you walking miles 20 to 24 of a marathon. The sun was beating down on us, my nipples and other areas were chaeffing pretty bad, but I kept moving my legs.

The turn off the Santa Ana River Trail through fairview Park was sweet relief. Every step from that point on was actually straight toward to finish line and relief.

May 162011

The countdown was over and we were walking to the startline. As we crossed over the automatic timing sensor we were taking our first step toward one of my major goals. The course started at Fashion Island and quickly headed down across PCH and down to Corona Del Mar. The views were spectacular, several runners stopped for pictures, I was just trying to keep up with Zeb. My cold was getting to me but my legs were turning.

The course lead us though some of the most expensive neighborhoods in California. The residents came out and cheered it on. It was about 7:00, they were still in their robes and we 4 miles into our race. Zeb had started to pull away from me and was well on his way to finishing his first marathon, I however was debating the desicion I would have to make at mile 12, to turn in toward the OC fairgrounds with the half marathoners or go straight with the full marathoners and see how far my body could take me.

By mile 5 we ran into our support crew, Jaclyn and Danielle were cheering us on with smiles and they let me know that Zeb wasn’t too far ahead, yet. After running through the Backbay, and ecological preserve, we encoutered our support crew again, this time it was a little larger, our parents and sister made it out and were cheering us on.

We were coming up to mile 11 and our support crew were out again and I had made my decision I was heading in with the half marathoners and attempt my marathon another day when my body cooperated a little more. At 11.75 miles the crowd started to get a little more dense and they were coming out with some great signs, very creative and I got some good chuckles from them.

I was with a large group of half marathoners and thought I could slide under the rader and turn in with them. I was about 200 feet away from the turn and I saw the race officials directing the half marathoners to turn, then 100 feet and I started to get a little nervous like I was cheating or something. then 20 feet from the turn and an official points me out and says “marathoners go straight.” I guess I wasn’t fully coinfident about my previous decision, and I went straight. With every step I was getting farther from the OC Fairgrounds but I was doing it.

May 152011

Like Zeb said we had to get up super early to get there in time for the 6:00 start. I like to get to these things early so I can hit the restrooms before the crowds and try to relax a bit. So I was up at 3:30 packing a small bag of pre-race supplies (waters, fig newtons, sun screen, bandaids and mole skin). I mole skinned my feet in all the places I usually get blisters and it paid off. After packing my bag and joing our personal driver (Jaclyn) it was off to pick up our athletic trainer (Danielle). They were the best support crew.

Driving to the race was a fun experience. We were anquious and excited, I think this is when Zeb realized I had a pretty good cold working, I was determined to at least start the race with him and then when he was out of sight I would slow down and see how long I could last.

We got to the start line and meet some really cool people. We headed to the restroom facilities which were crowed andthen to the start line  trying to find people that looked like runners and stand next to them for the start.

This was our first race with a waved start and it was a little different. The really good runners started at 6:00 on the dot and crowd started to do the bunch up thing and push toward the start line. Several minutes later they announced it was about our time. Zeb and I high fived and wished each other luck. I was a nice feeling that we were doing this together. I knew Zeb was gonna do great I just hoped I wouldn’t have to call our support crew for a ride somewhere on the course.

May 132011

By now you have read a lot about the Orange County Marathon from my brothers. I thought I would describe some of my experiences that were slightly different than my brothers. We registered for the race several months ago but it really didn’t feel like we were going to run a marathon until about a 2 weeks before the race.

Our training really fell off in the month leading to the marathon (we called it peaking). So with two weeks to go I felt everything really had to go perfectly for us to have a chance of finishing.  With 12 days to go I decided I should try to get miles on my new Sacony’s to make sure my feet fit them. A lot of people say getting new shoes before a big race is a mistake but I really felt like it helped us out. My old running shoes felt flat and unresponsive and I really felt a difference in the new shoes.

The weekend before the race I started a yard irrigation project (digging trenches, installing irrigation pipe and that kind of stuff). I finished the project but the next day i could bearly move my back, I pulled something in my shoulder. My body can usually recover from anything in about 3 to 4 days so I wasn’t too worried that it would affect the marathon but it did disturb my sleep.

So about 3 days later my back started to feel better just like I knew it would but I had another problem. I started to feel my throat getting sore and my nose started to run. I caught some sort of cold and I only had 3 days to tell the marathon. We already made our mind up that we were gonna do this marathon and we paid the entry fee. Backing out did cross my mind because I was feeling pretty crappy because I didn’t want ruin the day for my brother. We were in this together and I was gonna atleast start the race with him.

I was still feeling pretty bad the Friday and Zeb was on a little get-away and we needed to pick up our race packets. Other than crossing the finish line I think those pre-race exhibits are the funniest part of the whole race experience, everyone is excited, friendly and helpful, you also get all kinds of cool freebies.

I picked up race numbers which had our team name (runningbros)… pretty sweet!!! After picking up the race packets and mooseing arround the exhibit hall I decided I was near Newport Harbor and I might put my resently obtained sailing certification to the test. I drove down to Newport Beach Boat Rentals where they had a nice 14`Capri sailboat. Sailing in Newport Harbor was a little complicated because it was pretty narrow but checking out those water front houses was pretty cool. It was nice and relaxing, although I still had that pesky cold thing.

I also got to see one of the coolest boats ever…. the Vigrin Oceanic Catamaran.  I have heard about Richard Branson doing some pretty cool things like the Space X prise for private space flights but the Virgin Oceanic mission also seems pretty cool. If you space/exporation junky check out the link to read Virgin Oceanic mission to explore the deepest parts of our oceans.

Apr 242011

I really like Top 10 lists, Sportscenter does a great job with plays-of-week and their other lists. So recently I saw a list of the 9 Biggest Sports Meltdowns, Temper Tantrums and Blowups. Running and other more cardio personal events didn’t really make the list. I thought these temper tantrums and blowups were limited to team events but John McEnroe proved that theory wrong. So maybe it is more about events where you can compete against a clock that leaves people to only look inword when them reach their goal or fall short.

To find some motivational stories about running, I wanted to find some motivational running stories. These stories, for a lack of a better description, were BOORRRRRING. The number 1 on the list of “The 10 Best Moments of the Decade for U.S. Distance Running” was ……drumroll……Olympic Marathon Medals for Kastor and Keflezighi. While it seemed like a motivational story it was not that exciting.

I also think every runner has their own best or most favorate moments, so far in my career I have a few high school memories and crossing the finish line at my two half marathons. Hopefully, there is more to come.

Do you remember any of your favorate running or sporting moments that maybe didn’t get the aclaim they deservered.

Apr 212011

I have always been a sucker when it comes to shopping. I buy some stupid things and I get excited when I get something new, I think everyone does this to an extent. I also understand that it is not a financially healthy addiction. Nonetheless when I am trying to get motivated to do an activity, I usually buy something to get me excited about it.

To start studying for a test I will order a special book, to start a home improvement project I will buy a new tool when another tool I have would work, and when I need to start working out I need something new. This time I got new running shoes. I can think of a few other things that I can resort to when my motivation is getting a little low:

  1. Running watch
  2. New shorts
  3. Swimming googles
  4. New handle bars for bike that allow me to stretch out a little more
  5. Icy-hot (I have never used it but people say it really helps mucsels and I want to try it)
  6. A new gym membership

So when I am losing some motivation I may resort to some of these. I should probably try to keep my motivation beacause of the good workout feeling but I guess I am a shopping addict. Is there anything that you buy or use that help to keep you excited about working out?

Apr 202011

I have to admit, my training has taken a bit of a hit or as some people call it a haitus. I have not trained, other than soccer for about 3 weeks. It is easy to make excuses and most people are above naming them…… but I am not, so here is a list of the things that I blame for cutting in to my training time:

  1. I had a professional exam that required a lot of studying,
  2. Fish weren’t going to jump on to hooks themselves,
  3. Golf balls needed to be lost at a few golf courses,
  4. (I think the most common) Work is crazy; and,
  5. I had a blister on big toe and it really really hurts.

So I took my test and the results don’t come back for three months, work is still there but I am getting off earlier and I used some mole skin for my toe blister (btw- whoever created moleskin is a life saver). So to keep my training going I will have to let the fish be and save some money on golf balls.

Zeb at A Snails Pace

One other thing helped me get going. As you read in Zeb’s post, we got new shoes!!!! I have been an Asics shoe guy since they semi sponsered/supported or gave discounts to my high school cross country team. After our visit to A Snails Pace the highly informed and helpful staff told us Saucony’s would work best. They feel good so far. I already got about 4 miles in them and they are still working.

Mar 232011

Recently my body has been really sore, I have not been running super hard or working out beyond my limits. I really can’t say why I am sore but it really affects how much I am able to train.

Usually I am the guy that just pushes through being uncomfortable, I rarely every take a pain killer but I think my body is telling me something. So I have decided I am gonna go get a massage and see if that gets me on the right track. I tried to do some research and found out that there are tons of different massage types. I am having a difficult time determining what kind of massage is best for a runner. I do know that I need to go to licensed massage therapist but out side of that I really don’t know what to ask for.

There is a massage called a sports massage but the reviews for these are pretty scattered. Can anyone provide me any feedback or what I should look for?