Aug 142011

On the rock-hard mattress in a Lassen Hall dorm room at California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo my brother woke me up.

He stumbled to the bathroom.

“Are you ok?” I asked.

“I don’t feel so good,” he said. 

And then it came . . . this grotesque vomitting noise from the bathroom . . . the dry heaves made me nautious.  I went to check on my brother.  He was shaking violently.  This was not good.

Earlier that day, my Mom, sister, brother and I had packed our bags and were headed for San Luis Obispo.  We have been to San Luis Obispo every Summer for as long as I could remember.  My Dad runs a two-week journalism workshop for High School students who live all across the United States, the California Scholastic Press Association workshop.  

The CSPA Workshop has been conducted at the Cal Poly campus every Summer.  And this Summer was its 60th Anniversary.  My Dad has been running the workshop for the past 30 years.  He attended the workshop himself when he was in High School.  

He came back every Summer since then, first as a counselor, then an instructor, then as the man in charge. 

It was as a counselor that he met my mother.

Eleven or so years later, I was born and three years after I popped out the Running Brothers were complete.

My Mom grew up in San Luis Obispo and although she moved down south for college and eventually settled in Chino Hills, she still loved making her way back to her home town.  As kids, we would stay for two weeks at my Grandmother’s House.  My Grandma passed away roughly a decade ago, but my Aunt and Uncle still live in the city. 

Needless to say, The Running Brothers have a strong connection with San Luis Obispo . . . (If you’re a real Running Brother hero, then you’d know that this is where our Running Brother’s journey began)

The trip from Chino Hills to San Luis Obispo was as smooth as could be.  Although, afterwards, my brother complained that I talked way too much and that I didn’t listen to anything he said . . . but that’s besides the point. 

We reached our destination after 9 PM and quickly headed to bed. 

And that’s when I knew that something was wrong with my brother.  Watching him shiver while dry-heaving into the toilet at the dorms at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo scared me.  He said he was fine, but deep down, I knew that he wasn’t.  I was hoping that it was something that would go away by the morning.  Eventually, Rocky made his way to bed and with two days until our Triathlon in San Luis Obispo, I feared that he wouldn’t make it.

Jan 102011

ZebFor those of you who are unfamiliar with Mitch Roberts, I would love to introduce him to you. Mitch wrote the very first comment on The Running Brothers blog, so I guess you can say that Mitch is our first hero. Mitch knows a thing or two about training and competing in Ironman events which is why his comment to the question, “When can I call myself an Ironman?” . . . was so invaluable.

Mitch Roberts, a man with many passions, loves spending time with his family, the Washington Huskies, long bike rides with friends, training with his wife, having beers with friends, competing in iron man events, cooking, golfing, road trips, traveling, and anything that allows him to spend time with his son.

He got interested in triathalon training while in Hawaii during the Ironman competition in Kona. He completed his first Ironman in 2009 in Canada. His wife is also a triathalete and their son has started competing with them as well.

The greatest thing about blogging, Mitch said, is making friends and “virtual friends,“ from all over the world. His wife also has her own blog, her article entitled A Girls Guide to Farmer Flow, in which she was finally able to “farmer blow” while running as a girl, Mitch says is hilarious.

(Never heard the terms farmer blow, or farmer flow, perhaps I should research this further, but it doesn’t sound like the sort of thing one should be posting articles about . . . 😉 . . . )

Mitch is affiliated with an online group,, he began blogging with them when he began training for his first marathon. He knew the owners and now can update his blog daily with the progress he is making in his training.

One success story that Mitch shared with me was about a friend of his who had weighed 320 pounds before beginning to train. Through diet and exercise, his friend lost 140 pounds and is now a triathalete.

Mitch has completed three Ironman Canada events and has signed up for a 4th in Idaho. “Crossing those finish lines is such an amazing feeling,” Mitch said.

He loves the training because it has become a social event for him. Every Friday three of his friends head to the local YMCA for a swim and then grab a coffee.

In 2007, he trained with his wife for their first event, “it was one of my most favorite moments in my life to not only finish, but to be able to run down the finish line chute with my wife and son.”

After completing three Ironmans, Mitch definitely knows what he is talking about. Mitch recommends finding a plan and sticking with it, listening to how others train and listen to your body. If you are constantly tired or sore, something is wrong, fix it before it gets worse. He also said not to be a victim, if you’re complaining about running or training then this lifestyle may not be for you. He thinks athletes should experience the full enjoyment of the training and the completion of the goal.

As this is not just a blog about running, but a blog about making life more enjoyable, I asked Mitch what is something that he would recommend that everyone get the opportunity to do in their lifetime. For Mitch, he said to travel to Europe, London, Paris, southern France, Italy, and Ireland, to love as if you will never get hurt, to “go Gluten Free” (another phrase I am unfamiliar with) for two weeks, don’t buy frozen pizza. As far as running is concerned, “sign up for something, anything, and train fully.”

If you are interested in finding out more about Mitch Roberts, I recommend that you check his blog,  Mitch, you are our hero.  Keep up the good work, we’ll be checking in with you frequently. 

Jan 082011

ZebWhat is a hero? Is it a guy who dresses up in a tight spandex suit who battles evil-doers?  Is it a man distinguished by exceptional courage and strength?  Is it a Greek demi-god?

The word hero has become overused so much so that it has lost it’s meaning entirely.  We want to help bring the word to it’s true fruition, it’s true meaning, it’s true purpose.  The word, “hero” should only be used for a select few, the chosen ones, the righteous. 

Therefore, we have reserved this sacred word for those that mean the most to us, “YOU.”  Forever and always, YOU will be our heroes, for YOU help to motivate us, encourage us and inspire us.  YOU are the true heroes. 

Be prepared for future installments in our blog where we profile one of our readers and share their experiences to The Running Brother world, which in case YOU haven’t noticed, YOU are now a part of.