May 112011

Many people had given me tips on how to run a marathon.  Many of our heroes provided comments on and others did so on Facebook.  My Dad even had a few pointers to share with us after talking to some of his running friends, including our fourth hero, Greg Hardesty.  In response, I developed a game plan as to how I was going to conquer the Orange County Marathon. 

  • The first part of my plan was to run extremely slow.  In the gym, I frequently run under 8 minute miles on a treadmill, and recently, even a few under 6 minutes, but they are all in 1 or 2 mile bursts.  I decided not to worry about my time and just run at a consistently slow and steady pace.
  • My second strategy was to stop at every water station along the way and relax when I grabbed some water or gatorade.
  • My third strategy was to take ibuprofen before, during and after the race.

I ran slowly with my brother at the start of the race, talking to him along the way and after a few minutes of blabbering on to him, I could tell that he was struggling already, most likely because he was sick.  A couple of times he did mention that he wasn’t feeling well and we were only on mile 1.  I stopped talking, thinking that he was exerting energy just listening to me and just set my own pace.  He kept with me for about 2 miles until we made it to the first water station. 

For the most part, the Orange County Marathon was well planned, but I did have two complaints and the first complaint was at the first water station.  At the first water station they only had two tables with a handful of staff pouring water for the runners.  At the beginning of the race, thousands of runners are coming through that point and most were stopping for water, it took several minutes until we made our way to the front of the line to get water. 

From there, I began to pull away from my brother.  The second watering station was a little more organized although not much more and upon leaving I saw my brother coming down to the hill.  I waved to him as I finished drinking my water and continued on my run.  That was the last time I would see my brother until the end of the race.

Before the race I did all kinds of stretching, especially on my knee, but for whatever reason it took a long time for me to get warmed up on my run.  My calf muscles and the muscles that went up and down my shin were extremely tight.  I actually don’t think I warmed up until about the 5th or 6th mile, but once I reached that point, it was smooth sailing . . . at least for a while.

The race weaved in and out of residential communties and briefly along the beach which was pretty cool.  We had many supporters who came out to cheer us on.  At around the 5 mile mark (I’m guessing), my brother’s girlfriend, Jacklyn and her sister, Danielle cheered me on and took pictures . . . it sure was nice to see some friendly faces.  At the 9-mile mark, Jacklyn, Danielle, my Mom, my Dad, and my sister, Lacey were there to show their support and take some high quality photos. 

Zeb High-Fiving Dad at The Orange County Marathon

At the 11th mile is where the half-marathoners split off from the full-marathoners.  I did not realize how many more people were doing the half-marathon than the full.  When I crossed that threshold, it seemed like much more than half of the people made the turn to complete their half-marathon.  The halfway point was marked with a large blow-up gateway type thing along with some inspirational music.  I was half-way done with my marathon and with one step into the second half of the marathon had run farther than I had ever run before.

May 092011

My brother picked me up at 4:30 AM Sunday morning.  Yes, you read correctly 4:30 AM.  Luckily, we were being dropped off by my brothers girlfriend, Jacklyn otherwise we would have had to arrive in Orange County at that time.  Which would have meant being picked up before 4 AM.  Typically, I don’t wake up before 9 AM. 

I couldn’t sleep the night before, which is usually the case when I have something important planned and need as much sleep as possible.  For some reason I get this overwhelming sense of anxiety and can’t sleep the night’s when I need the most sleep, although, I did get 3 hours of sleep which is better than usual. 

Jacklyn and her sister, Danielle, our personal athletic trainer drove us to Fashion Island in Orange County and dropped us off shortly after 5 AM on Sunday morning.  Thousands of people were making their way towards the start line of the race and we followed along side them.  We made sure to hydrate before the race and drank a couple bottles of water, and with the drinking of water came the need to urinate.  It looks like many others had the same idea of hydration because the lines for the toilets were LONG.  Fortunately, the organizers of the Orange County Marathon had the forsight to order a ton of port-o-potties so we were able to find one with a small line and did our business.

We then made our way to the start line.  The Marathon was scheduled to start in waves and according to our paper work, we were placed in wave two.  When we looked at the signs strewn around the marathoners; however, we soon realized that there was no wave 2.  The actual waves were broken down into letter, A, B can C as far as we could tell so we jumped in with the B’s. 

Our bib numbers were pretty sweet as everyone who was running the race and spectators alike commented on our good fortune.  Mine was 2222 and my brothers was 2221.  Also, when we signed up for the race we were allowed to sign up as a team, so, my brother signed us up as The Running Brothers which was largely displayed on our bib numbers.

I was very active Twittering in the days just before the race and one person actually recognized us from our tweets, which was very cool.  He introduced himself as Cory and asked which one of us was training for the Ironman.  Unfortunately, I forgot to ask what his Twitter name was so we could be sure that we connected with him after the race, so Cory, if you’re reading this . . . let us know.

One last thing I need to mention was that my poor brother came down ill in the days preceding our marathon and was not looking good on the day we ran the marath0n.  It was awful timing to be sick on that day and I totally would have understood if he didn’t want to even attempt the race, because in all honesty, he looked terrible.  But, being the trooper my brother is, he attempted to run the race anyways.  Not only that, but he never made any excuses and secretly I think he even was trying not to let me know that he was sick.  Running a marathon is hard enough, but doing it while sick and running in 80+ degree temperatures . . . now that’s what I call guts. 

The first wave went off around 6 O’Clock and the second wave began around 15 minutes later.  Just before we were about to begin my brother turned to me and said, “I’m not sure this is such a good idea.”

I looked back and him and smiled . . . I knew he was right.

Zeb Running at The Orange County Marathon

May 082011

Without our Mother, we would not even be here . . . well, Rocky might be because I think he might be adopted.  But, without the support and love of our mother we would probably be in jail or doing something innappropriate for a living.  In honors of mother’s day we would like to present this album to our Mom.

Mom, you are the best mother The Running Brothers could have ever asked for.  Thank you for your support, guidance, wisdom and self-esteem boosting.  You are truly one in a million.

May 072011

Weekly Amount:

Running = 19 miles
Biking = 66 miles
Swimming = 4000 M or 2.5 miles
Total Amount: 87.5 miles

Overall Amount:

Running = 259 miles (156 miles to Las Vegas)
Biking = 842 miles (131 miles to Seattle)
Swimming = 69,200 meters or 44.2 miles (66 miles to San Diego)
Total = 1,146.5 miles (1,623.5 miles to New York)


Zeb Runs to Vegas

May 062011

I think it’s important to establish exactly how I prepared for the Orange County Marathon, so that in the future I know exactly what not to do. My whole plan in training was that I was going to attack this marathon as a complete novice, knowing nothing about running and continue to do events until I learned a valuable lesson about training properly. Up to this point, my brother and I have completed a sprint triathalon and a half-marathon and we completed both with relative ease. In preparing for the marathon we made a variety of mistakes, take a look at the things we did prior to preparing for the race and see if you can offer up any suggestions for improvement.

  1. Most of my running was done at the gym on the treadmill or the elliptical.  I knew that I would have to practice doing street running, but every time I ran on the street I ran into problems with my knee.
  2. I ran about 15 miles per week up until about the middle of march and then I took some time off from running.  I wouldn’t say I got burnt out, but I would say that I lost motivation for a brief period of time. 
  3. I did run during April a few times trying to build up my endurance running in the street, but it was sporadic at best. 
  4. I forgot to eat dinner the night before the race. 
  5. For some reason, whenever I have some big event to do in the morning the next day, I have a tough time sleeping.  The night before the race, I fell asleep at 12:30 and woke up at 3:30 in the morning.  I don’t think 3 hours of sleep is too good the day before you run a marathon. 
  6. I did drink a lot of water the day before the race.
  7. I took some ibuprofen during the morning and during the race.  I heard that this was supposed to reduce swelling.
  8. We bought brand new running shoes and socks the week before the race.  We were told that was a bad idea.
  9. I did not have breakfast the morning of the race.
  10. We remembered to apply sunscreen before our race thank goodness.  Had we not that would have been disastrous.
  11. I wore boxers underneath my shorts.  I soon realized this was not the best idea.
  12. I did not do anything with my nipples prior to the race . . . led to bleeding nipples.  Ouch!
  13. We did bring some energizing food that we used during the race. I think the name of the type of food that I enjoyed the most was Shots, although I’m not sure if that’s what it’s called.  It’s basically energy food for runners.

I think that was it as far as our preparation for the race.  Please comment on things we did well and things that need improvement.  I know that my preparation for our next marathon needs to get better.  What are the best things we can do to improve our times and our capabilities for our next marathon?

Zeb High-Fiving Mom at The Orange County Marathon

May 052011

Weekly Amount:

Running = 18.5 miles
Biking = 64 miles
Swimming = 4000 M or 2.5 miles
Total Amount: 85 miles

Overall Amount:

Running = 240 miles (2 miles to Las Vegas)
Biking = 776 miles (197 miles to Seattle)
Swimming = 65,200 meters or 41.7 miles (68.5 miles to San Diego)
Total = 1,059 miles (1,711 miles to New York)


May 042011
  1. – The now world famous Running Brother’s is up on our website.  We had to break the movie into two parts.  David Archuleta even wanted to audition for the next Running Brother’s movie.  We told him we’d think about it.  The movies have received wide acclaim by critics everywhere and has reached almost 450 views on
  2. – This month we interviewed two new heroes, Greg Hardesty, who works with my father at The Orange County Register and Peter Engwall from 
  3. – Rocky Duran and Chris Sydow joined The Running Brothers team.  We ran for several miles together and are planning on running together a lot more often.
  4. – We decided we needed to buy new running shoes and headed to A Snail’s Pace in Brea.  We were helped by the friendly staff on hand who set us up with our brand new running shoes.
  5. – Rocky wrote three amazing posts this month.  “I’m Back” announced his return to The Running Brothers blog after a mini-hiatus.  “Novelty Running” focused on his obsession with shopping for useless gadgets.  And “Melt Downs and Blow Ups” asked our heroes for their favorite racing experiences.
  6. – We completed our series on the 2011 Los Alamitos Race on the Base where we discussed the race, our preparation for it and how we felt afterwards.
  7. – We took a leisurely bike ride along the Pacific Electric Bike Trail, find our opinions about it here.
  8. – I posed the second installment of our Mystery Challenge Series to Rocky.  He has no idea what the mystery challenge will be, but everyone is welcome to join us for the mystery challenge.  If you would like to participate you won’t need to run, bike or swim, although you can if you want to.  Please contact Zeb if you want to get in on the mystery challenge.
  9. – Running in the week before the Orange County Marathon I came across my favorite animal, a Zebra, in my hometown.  It’s amazing the things you can see when you run, bike or swim around a city.

Apr 292011

Just got back from a lovely vacation in Temecula . . . well, semi-lovely.  Turns out it’s not the greatest place for someone who has quit drinking alcohol.  Temecula is known for it’s vast arrays of wineries.  As a younger man, I have been there on several occasions and dabbled with a little wine tasting here and there.  It was a good experience back then, s0 I figured, what the heck, let’s go back again.  While I had a good time in Temecula, it was definitely a different kind of good time.

I do have a recommendation for all of you planning on visiting the wineries or spending time in Temecula. . . Don’t Drink and Drive!  Within the first 10 minutes of arriving in Temecula we saw 5 different cars pulled over by police officers and that was the theme of the trip.  Every time we left our hotel were cops pulling people over on the side of the road.  And not only at night, but at all hours of the day.  If you’re thinking about visiting the wineries in Temecula, make sure you have a designated driver, hop aboard a shuttle or take a limo. 

Temecula even has it’s own casino . . . well, Indian casino.  This indian casino has blown up in the past couple of years and has a wide array of table games and slot machines.  A true gambler’s paradise.  We didn’t do much gambling, but we did slip in a twenty and won two bucks . . . that’s a ten percent profit!

Overall, we had a great time visiting Temecula and would recommend it.  It was great to stop my training altogether the last couple of days and let my legs rest.  My brother and I are hoping that we’re ready for the Orange County Marathon, although, to be honest with you, neither of us is sure that we are.

Apr 262011

I’m scared! 

Not really, but I quit training for our first marathon in 6 days.  My knee was bothering me on each run, so I decided to rest it entirely until we run in the Orange County Marathon. 

I have been getting a lot of advice the last few days about my knee and the consensus is that it is a problem associated with the IT Band.  Wikipedia had some information on the IT Band which you can find by clicking here:  But basically, it is what my sister and my brother’s girlfriend’s sister, an athletic trainer, had told me all along.  That I would need to stretch the IT Band and the more stretching that I could do to it, the less likely it would be that it would hurt me in the future. 

Starting tomorrow, I think I am going to go to the gym to lightly work out my upper body and stretch my IT Band and maybe do some brief elliptical work.  With just six days to go I’m a little stressed about the prospect of running a full marathon, but I’m excited as well.  At least I will know that I will have a time to improve on for future races.

Apr 232011

I’ve grown up and lived in Chino Hills for almost my entire life.  And all of my running, biking and swimming has taken place in other cities.  This past week; however, I have been running through my hometown . . . and you’d be amazed at the type of things you encounter when you run through the town that you call home.

Can you guess what my favorite animal is?  I’ll give you a hint.  The first three letters of the animals name matches mine . . . This is Zeb writing by the way.  Have you guessed it yet?  No???  Man, you’re slow.  Ok, this animal also has black and white stripes all over it and looks like a horse.  Wow, finally you guessed it.  Don’t think you’re some kind of genius now.

Anyways, I thought Zebras only lived in Africa, or at that zoo.  I had no idea that Zebras actually lived in my hometown, but they do.  And it was awesome.  When I went to take it’s picture it was standing about 15 feet away from me, but as soon as it realized that I was taking its picture, it came right up next to the fence to pose for a picture. 

Running has it’s advantages, as you are likely to encounter things that you would not normally see.  For me, I was able to see my favorite animal up close, like I had never seen one before.

Chino Hills Zebra