Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

You start as runner, You Finish as a Boston Marathoner!

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 I’m unsure where to begin my recap. The Boston Marathon is more than a Finish Line and to simply recap the Race would be missing the journey. For me, that Journey began when I was invited to join ‘Cops for Kids with Cancer’. Its a charity that helps families cope with the devastation and heartbreak of cancer in children.

Being invited by the Charity, meant that I was accepted by that BAA.org as an official runner in the Boston Marathon. My Marathon time wasn’t close to BQ, so being able to run in the 118th Boston Marathon and raise money for a great cause was a dream come true. Some runners may scowl at the thought of running Boston without BQ’ing. To those athletes that BQ’ed, You have my eternal respect and admiration. Your commitment to training and sacrifice is astounding!

I arrived at LAX Friday morning to fly into Boston. You could easily spot those who had run before by past years Jackets and Shirts. Its a badge of honor to wear the jacket and I extended a smile to everyone I saw. I got into Boston that evening and headed to the expo. It was packed with athletes from 30 different countries and all 50 states. I got my Bib and T-shirt and headed to the expo for additional race SWAG. 5 minutes later my wallet was $300 dollars lighter!

It was great running into fellow runners Where-ever I Wonder, Justin Stone and See Sharp Run.

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Afterwards I called Bill, the head of my charity so I could stop by and say ‘Hi’. Bill told me to exit the expo and He was outside on the left. I walked outside and the only thing on the left was a Police Command Center! I knocked on the door and Bill answered and invited me in. I got to hang out and chat with other charity runners before heading back to my hotel for the night.

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Easter Sunday was spent relaxing as well. I woke up and planned to attend Old South Church in Boston, only to stand in line for 20-minutes and be turned away at the door due to capacity issues. I headed next door to the official marathon store to browse more swag and to admire the finish line. I walked up and down the finish chute, making sure not to cross the finish line. It was bright and beautiful, but I made a vow I wasn’t going to cross until Marathon Monday.

Boston Marathon Finish Line


Next to the finish line was a tribute to the Martin family. I said a prayer for the family and dropped off a magnet in their memory. I found myself starting to cry standing next to the memorial. Not only for the heartbreak of loss, but for the grit and spirit of all the runners who had come back to honor the family and finish the race from last year.

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I then headed to pick up food for race morning and headed back to the hotel to finish my playlist for the marathon. After that, it was time for the pre-race pasta party. On my way to City Hall, I passed Park-Street Church that had just begun an afternoon Easter service. I knew feeding my soul at that moment, was more important that the pasta waiting at City Hall so I went inside.

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The Resurrection Service was beautiful and moving. More tears flowed as the Pastor shared a scene from Elizabeth The Golden Age. It was the perfect scene at the right moment. You NEED to stop reading this recap and watch the Clip!! Even if you’ve watched it before, you need to see it again and put yourself in the shoes of a Marathoner the Day before the race.

Below is my edited transcript, its how the scene spoke to me.

“Can you imagine what it is to run a Marathon? For hours you see nothing but road. You running in the grip of fear. Fear of injury, fear of sickness, fear of immensity. So you must drive the fear down deep into your belly, study your chart, follow the runners in front, adjust your playlist and pray for a fair wind & hope, pure, naked, fragile, hope… At first, it’s no more than a haze on the horizon, so you watch, you watch, then it’s a smudge, a shadow on the far water. For an hour, then another hour, the stain slowly spreads along the horizon taking form until on the final hour, you let yourself believe. You dare to whisper the word: Finish, completition, life, resurrection”

After the service I went and asked for prayer. My prayer was for health, determination, grit and pleasure while I run! It was after 5:30 when I left so I found a local italian eatery and enjoyed my last supper before the big race.

That night, as with most nights in Boston I struggled to fall asleep. When I did finally drift off, it seemed like moments later my 4:30am alarm was buzzing. I got up, had breakfast then made my way to the buses. Being part of Cops for Kids with Cancer, we got a Police Escort to the starting line. Our buses parked a block away from the start, which was much nicer than having to walk almost a Mile from Athletes Village.

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Since we still had an few hours before the first waves, I walked down to the Start Line and was able to meet Team Hoyt! I still had 4-hours before my wave so I did whatever I could to keep my nerves calm. Jeff Galloway stopped by our Bus to say ‘Hi’ and offer some words of encouragement before our race.

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11am finally rolled around and it was time to corral up. This was the moment! It had finally arrived. I was herded in with the other runners as we waited for the gun shot. BANG! Now it was a slow shuffle to the start. As we got close, I couldn’t contain my emotion. I let our a scream of excitement and watched as my feet passed over the start line.

“This is it”, the reality sank in. I’m running in the 118th Boston Marathon. Now to keep the course and run my race. The first half of the race trends downhill as you run through Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick and Wellesley. I forced myself to take walking breaks and be mindful of the journey ahead.

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Things felt great up through Wellesley, where you’re cheered on by hundreds of screaming college girls. At this point you start to encounter the rolling Hills of Newton. The Hills were tough and combined with the fact that I ran out of Gels, I felt fatigue and the possibility of failure sink it. I posted a message to twitter and the response was overwhelming. Friends, families and complete strangers started to send me prayers and encouragement.

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The pain didn’t go away, but I was filled with new persistence! Along the way, strangers offered orange slices, Oreo cookies and I even got a Crustable!

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This helped fuel me until we hit the PowerAid section on the course and I was able to refill on my Gels.

A mile later and the hills were done! My knees and legs were throbbing but I was more determined than ever to push on. I entered Boston with a few miles remaining. The famous CITGO beckoned me!

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I then passed under the overpass where all the runners got stopped last year. 1k to go!

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The anticipation was building. I turned onto Boylston Street and the finish was in sight. The smudge grew bigger as I approached!  The pure, naked, fragile hope became real! The crowd kept getting louder as I got closer. The last 100 feet I looked to the heavens and thanked God for the strength to finish. More Salty Discharge from my eyes as I crossed the finish and become an official Boston Marathoner. I got my medal, heat blanket and wobbled through the finishers corral.

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I had done it! The journey that started months ago was complete. A Marathon is hundreds of miles. The finish is the last 26.2!

Its Friday, and I’m still having trouble with stairs. A small case of post race blues have set in, but thinking back to the memories of Boston helps to elevate them. I’m excited for my other races this year. I hope to see some of you on the course! For those considering to run Boston through a Charity next year, I’d start applying and building relationships early. Post a comment once you start fundraising and If I’m able, I’d be glad to help you in your journey!

Thanks for reading my recap! #BostonStrong #BostonMarathon #RunAsOne

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I’ve run numerous runDisney Marathons, Half Marathons and 10k’s. This was however my first 5k. Why has it taken me so long to do a 5k? Because I haven’t had the desire to wake up at 4am, get dressed, drive to Disney, pay for parking, take the shuttle, walk to my corral, wait for the race to start and then run 3-miles. (The outrage! I know a 5k is longer than 3 miles but I round down) 

If the 5k was part of a challenge (I’m doing Dopey in 2015) then the extra bling is enough to motivate me. Lots of families run the 5k and I think its a great distance for a ‘Fun Run’. 

Here’s a list of my Five Favorite things about the Neverland Family Fun Run 5k!’

1.) Its a 5k!

Its a fun distance! You can sprint, jog, walk, skip or prancercise to the finish line. For me, there’s always a bit of intimidation when I start a Half or Full Marathon of ‘Will I Finish’ and ‘I hope I don’t get injured’. With the 5k I didn’t have this feeling.

*Disclaimer* These are my personal feelings. If running a 5k is your first race, then having those feelings is normal and there’s nothing wrong with it. I’m sure there’s runners with injuries or disabilities that make 5k their preferred distance. I commend those who run, regardless of the distance.

2.) Corralling on Main Street U.S.A

Waiting for a race to start can be intimidating! Waiting on Main Street USA makes it more enjoyable. I was in Corral B and was next to the Castle as Tinkerbell flew in to wish all the runners good luck!

3.) Families 

I ran the 5k by myself but it didn’t stop me from vicariously living through other people’s smiles and laughter. I loved seeing families run together. From matching costumes to high fives, you could see the joy that runDisney brings. 

4.) You run through both Disney Parks

You run through both Disney parks in the Half Marathon as well, but you also run through the streets of Anaheim or Santa Ana. I love Disney so given the choice between a blocked off street in the city or Cars Land, I choose Cars Land. The 5k started in Disneyland and ended in California Adventure and you never left the parks! 

5.) Never Never Land

Peter Pan is a whimsical charming character and a perfect theme for the family fun run!

I hope you enjoyed reading. Remember that #LifeIsDandy and every Mile is Magic with runDisney! 

Click Here for the rest of the photos including a Video of Tinkerbell Flying in to start the race.

“Arrrr, I thought they said rumDisney!”

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2014 Race Schedule

What are your Race Goals for 2014? I’m signed up for the following races. Leave me a comment and let me know what race you’re most excited about this year.

Tinkerbell 5k – Jan 17th
Tinkerbell 10k – Jan 18th
Tinkerbell 1/2 Marathon – Jan 19th
Surf City Half Marathon – Feb 2nd
LA Marathon – Mar 9th
Hollywood Half Marathon – Apr 5th
OC Half Marathon – May 4th
San Francisco Marathon – July 27th
Disneyland 5k – Aug 29th
Disneyland 10k – Aug 30th
Disneyland Half Marathon – Aug 31st
Long Beach Half Marathon – Oct 12th

I need another 15 races to round out my schedule! Any suggestions?

Drag across the finish line

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It’s been a while since my last post. Here’s the good, the bad and the upcoming.

1.) Me and some good Friends entered the ‘Crash the Super Blow‘ contest and our commercial Sling Baby won 1 Million Dollars from Doritos! It was an honor getting to work with so many amazing people and I’ll never forget the night we found out we won.

Dorritos Baby

2.) I injured my Shoulder Skydiving (sounds worse than it is) and haven’t been able to do many runs for the last 3-months. I’m on the mend and should be back to running, cycling and risking my life in new and adventurous ways.

3.) I did the SoCal #2 ‘Tough Mudder’ last Sunday and I can finally walk again. Anyone else do it? By far one of the toughest runs I’ve done. The 10 mile challenge course took place at Snow Valley and involved lots of elevation gain and obstacles.

Tough Mudder

Nothing like pushing your body to the point of death and getting an orange headband. I think Disney needs to talk to them about getting medals.

Orange Headband

4.) I’m heading to Zion (Utah) in a few weeks to tackle the most scenic and classic Slot Canyons they have. We’re planning to do Das Boot, Subway, Mystery Canyon and the lower Narrows. Can’t Wait!

Here’s a photo from last year when we hiked The Narrows. Its hard to find a hiking site that doesn’t include The Narrows as one of the top-10 hikes in the world. Once you experience it, you’ll know why.

The Narrows

5.) I’m doing a Tuesday Taco Trail Run on July 24th at Riley Wilderness Park

6.) I’m hoping to add ‘Deep Diver’ and ‘Navigation’ to my Open Water license this summer while I’m in the Caribbean.

That’s all the updates for now!

Remember, The Journey is the reward; not the destination!

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National Veterans Day Race

The National Veterans Day Run was last Friday, 11-11-11. It was an 11k through the bike paths of Irvine. The race was smaller in size compared to most events I do, but it was still an enjoyed event.

National Veterans Day Run

The run started at 4:11pm in Irvine. The route was a little boring as we had to backtrack once we passed the 3-mile mark. We had electronic bibs but there was no strip to run across at the turn around point so hopefully no one cheated.

11k Course

My splits for the run averaged 8:15 per mile. My next race is the Dana Point Turkey Trot, followed by the Xterra trail run challenge. Only 7-weeks left until my first marathon! 🙂


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Camp Pendleton Mud Run

I’ve done multiple (5k) Mud Runs but never the world famous ‘Camp Pendleton Mud Run‘, which is double the length. Every year I’ve wanted to run the event its been sold out so this year I decided to register on Midnight of New Years Eve, since registration opens Jan 1st.

I registered for a team and convinced 4 buddies to come along for the adventure. I’m glad I registered at midnight because registration was sold out when I checked in the morning. (Less than 9-hours later)

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Our run started around 8am but they recommended you get on the base up to 2-hours early to avoid traffic and find a parking space. Traffic getting off the freeway was a nightmare but thanks to a friends advice we passed our intended off ramp, got back on the Freeway going ‘North’ and quickly entered the marine base.

The races were a bit delayed and as we were ushered into the starting corral, you could feel the anticipation increasing. We were finally let go and to start off the course they spray you with a huge fire hose. The run then stays mellow for the next 5 to 6 miles through some dirt trails, sand, across a river bed and up a HUGE hill.

It wasn’t until the last 2-miles that the obstacles and mud pits appeared. My favorite obstacle was a lake we had to wade across followed by a huge muddy hill we had to traverse up.

Mud Run Finish (Team Photo after the run. Not as muddy as I thought we’d be)

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Disneyland 1/2 Marathon (2011)

I’ve done a handful of 1/2 Marathons and I still haven’t ran a race that compares to the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon. Its my favorite race for many reasons including.

  1. Getting to run through both Parks (Disneyland & California Adventure)
  2. The race is normally the day before my birthday which makes it special to me
  3. Running down Main Street and through Cinderella’s Castle Sleeping Beauty’s Castle
  4. The course is relatively flat aside from a small hill when you pass over the 5-freeway
  5. Running the bases at Angels Stadium, crossing Home Plate and seeing yourself on the Jumbo-Tron
  6. There’s a certain positive energy in the runners that is contagious. I’ve noticed it more at this event than other races I’ve done.
  7. Water stations and entertainment line every mile of the race
  8. Being awarded with major Bling for finishing

This was my 3rd year running it and it seems to get better every year. My training regiment wasn’t as intense as last year due to a knee injury so my only goal this year was to try and break 2-hours. Since I wasn’t trying for a new PR I thought I’d give Jeff Galloway’s Run-Walk-Run a try. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of energy I had throughout the race and I my body didn’t hit the 9-mile slump like it did the previous two years. I ended up finishing the race in 1:52:39 which was less than 3-minutes from my PR. 🙂

Disneyland 1 2 Marathon Results

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Disney 1 2 Finish

Celebration followed by Me and my friend John by going to to Story Tellers Cafe where I enjoyed a Farmers Market Breakfast Buffet.

Victory Breakfast

Now with the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon done, its time to start training for my next few events.

Oct 22nd & 23rd – MS-Ride (150 Mile Bike Ride)

Jan 7th & 8thGoofy’s Challenge @ WDW (1/2 Marathon + Full Marathon)

Jan 29thTinkerbell Half Marathon @ Disneyland

If anyone else has race recommendations between now and the end of the year, let me know.

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