2013 Long Beach Marathon Weekend

2013/10/14 at 8:19 am | Posted in Cycling, Discipline, Exercise, Health, Inspiration, Life, Milestone, Motivation, Running, Victory, weight loss, weight loss blog | Comments Off on 2013 Long Beach Marathon Weekend
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First of all, my apologies if I have not posted here in a long time. I’ve just been sidetracked by other things and starting to catch up.

Secondly, before we get into this past weekend, I seem to have forgotten to mention that I did one more event in between then which was the OC Fair 5k in August. I had an overall time of 39:51 but this included the time I stopped to play a game and win a stuffed animal for Anthony, so you can probably deduct a good 5 minutes from that. In fact, my time was 33:47 on Endomondo with the time stopped.

At any rate, here I am with the stuffed animal, ready to throw it over to Anthony who was waiting for me.

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Shortly afterward I made it to the finish line.

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So that’s the one I forgot but the big news was what happened over the weekend.

Being that I’ve ridden in previous Long Beach Marathon events, I was part of a handful of participants who were eligible to register their child for the Aquarium of the Pacific Fun Run on Saturday for free. I asked Anthony if he wanted to do it and he said he was up to the task of running one solid mile around the aquarium and beyond, so I signed him up. In the meantime, he was proud of telling me about the “training” was was doing for the event while at school – running away from other kids. I told him sprinting is fine, but you’ve got to find your pace.

He did, and 11 minutes after the start, he crossed the finish line.

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He was sweaty, he was thirsty, he had his medal. He now knows the glorious feeling of crossing that finish line and having hundreds of strangers cheering him on. Yes, he is officially a runner! We’re so proud of him for what he did and he’s told me he wants to do it again, and I have no problem with that. Congratulations, Anthony. You did a fine job!

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Now onto Sunday. In this post I mention that this year I would tackle riding the VW Think Blue Bike Tour as well as running the 5k. I made the commitment and signed up for both without much hesitation and not knowing exactly what I had gotten myself into. With the bike tour starting at 6 am and the 5k at 8:30, I figured I had plenty of time to do both events.

But, as has been the case since 2010, the bike tour started about 20 minutes late. I would just have to step things up a notch to make it back in time to run the 5k. This would be easy since The Powers That Be decided to chop a whopping 10k from the bike tour route, much to the disappointment of myself and may other riders. Sadly, it was the most scenic part of the route but in order to accommodate the runners (as was the reason given), the tour was reduced to 20 miles.

The route also started in a different direction as well as through a smaller starting gate. This made for a traffic jam just as things got underway and many cyclists almost fell since they were clipped in and ready to roll. Not a wise choice by the organizers.

But with all of that out of the way, I crossed the finish line at 1:19:28 according to Endomondo (official times are not tracked).

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One down, one to go. I had just enough time to do some stretching and prepare for the 5k.

The 5k started at about 8:35 (or at least that’s when I started my time). I felt pretty good going into it but about 1/4 miles my legs started to cramp horribly. I walked a little bit then picked up the pace and again, more cramping.

This continued until about Mile 2.5 at which point I decided to not let it bother me anymore and jog all the way to the end. Once I saw that finish line ahead of me I turned it on and sprinted as fast as I could to cross it, proud of what I had just accomplished.

After waking up at 3:30 am, getting on the train to the event at 4:50, walking to the venue and arriving at 5:10, waiting for the bike tour to start then riding 20 miles at 6:20, then finishing up and running 5k at 8:35, I had set out what I planned to accomplish last year at this same time.

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Two events, two medals. Done and done.

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But more importantly, the joy of sharing the weekend’s accomplishments with my son.

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And before you ask, yes, I…well, WE plan to do this all over again next year! It was a great weekend and something the family would love to experience all over again.

Stay motivated, guys!

More pictures from this weekend can be seen on this Flickr set.

Doing It Again

2011/03/16 at 8:23 pm | Posted in Health | 2 Comments
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It may not be until October but I’m getting the word out now.

Last year, I rode in the Long Beach Marathon Bike Tour and raised about $300 for Special Olympics of Southern California. It was my first ride and I had a great time doing it and knowing that it was for a great cause.

I’ve already registered for this year’s event and I’m am also doing it for charity: Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach, CA. As a father, if there is anything that makes me melt, it’s seeing the little ones in this hospital bravely battle whatever ails them–most with smiles on their faces. I wish I could be as strong as they.

But I can never be, which is why I’m doing the next best thing by raising money to help the hospital care for these courageous children. If you would like to support me, you can donate by going to this page.

Thanks in advance for your support. The kids will appreciate it.

My Major Award!

2010/11/10 at 7:01 pm | Posted in Discipline, Exercise, Health, Inspiration, lifestyle change, Motivation, Photos, weight loss, weight loss blog | Comments Off on My Major Award!
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Finisher’s Medal

Note: This was posted on my personal blog the day I completed the event. Read on to find out more and let this be an inspiration to you if you’ve been putting off events like this. You can do it–no excuses!

Also, I will be running (or walking, depending on how I feel) in my first 5k on Sunday!

Done and done! 1:48 finish time or so. Fantastic day for a ride 🙂

UPDATE: As if you couldn’t already tell, today was the Long Beach Marathon Bike Tour. The picture you see to the left is a self-portrait I managed to take with my phone since I didn’t bring a camera with me. I did think about it for a bit but realized that once I was off and running, carrying one more thing around (along with my phone) wouldn’t have been the wisest thing to do and that there wouldn’t be too much else to take pictures of. I was right.

It was an early day, too. I woke up at 3 am so that I wouldn’t have to fight the parking situation in downtown Long Beach which, marathon aside, is pretty bad to begin with. I left about 3:45, parked around 4:15 after a stop at Carl’s Jr. for some French Toast Sticks, and then stretched and roamed down to the event.

Then I had to wait until 6 am for the start but oh, what a start it was.

I was near the front of the group and right at 6 am (after the usual introduction of local dignitaries and Grand Marshals), we were off and running. If you’re interested, here’s a map of the course so you can see how crazy it was.

It was a drizzly, dark morning here in Long Beach but the course was absolutely magnificent: riding along the beach and hearing the waves crash while taking in the smell of the ocean, riding through neighborhoods and having residents cheer us on, being in the middle of streets I only normally see while behind the wheel. Just a great time all around.

I managed to finish the tour–it was anything but a race–at a time of 1:45 or so. And while I was feeling pretty good most of the ride, right at about 17 miles (and uphill, I might add) I really started to feel it but it was at times like that when I looked at my handlebars and saw Anthony’s stickers:

“Go Dad!” and “I hope you win!”

I also felt as if the spirit of Dad was with me the whole ride. Just before we started the race, I closed my eyes and sort of channeled him and let him know that he’d be proud of me for doing this. I also threw a kiss upward to the sky, then kissed Anthony’s “Go Dad!” sticker and we were off.

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I think it helped. Not long into the race, there were countless cyclists with flats, dropping water bottles or other items, breaking chains, etc. Whether this is the norm is beyond me since this was my first race but I know that I wasn’t afflicted with any of those things and kept on going. It was almost as if he was riding with me and making sure everything went right.

Upon crossing the finish line I raised my fist in victory, which then turned into me pointing to the sky and smiling. Dad, you’re amazing. I was then given my finisher’s medal and a bag of post-tour fruit for refueling.I then walked around the booths for a little bit and realizing there was nothing but overpriced food, I decided to head out and get a meal cheaper elsewhere. That was, unless, King Taco would have been there because then it would have so been on!

So yeah, it was a great day all around and the Trek 7100 held up brilliantly. I’m now tired and need some sleep badly. I held on as long as I could but man, I’m feeling it now.

And yes, I’m looking forward to doing it all again next year 🙂

The Unofficial Results!

Doing for Others

2010/09/04 at 11:21 am | Posted in Exercise, Inspiration, Life | Comments Off on Doing for Others
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Long Beach, California at night

Image via Wikipedia

Note: This is a post from my personal blog but considering it’s for a good cause, I figured I’d post it here as well so as to get the word out. Read on!

Let’s face it: things have been pretty crappy on the job front for a long time now.

And aside from doing the acting thing now and then, something I chose to do just to put a smile on my face (and the extra money helps) , there’s been little else to celebrate. It’s just been that kind of year.

So rather than sit and sulk about it even more, I’ve decided that if employers don’t want to do anything for me in order to help me out, I’m going to do something in October that will help bring a smile to the faces of others.

Riding my bike in the Long Beach Marathon was something I had planned on doing a long time ago but like my attempt to run the Disneyland 5k, it never came to fruition. The reason for not running was simple: unlike the treadmill and despite losing 100 pounds, concrete does not play well with my knees. It’s a lethal combination.

That leaves the Marathon which I have decided I will definitely participate in this time. I’ll be 26.2 miles riding around the street of Long Beach starting at 6 am and while I’m definitely ready for it, here’s what’ll be different. Continue Reading Doing for Others…

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