Ultra Crazies

This past weekend, a few friends did something spectacular. Let’s start out by saying that running a marathon is hard. Now running two in a row, back-to-back, is insane! The San Francisco Marathon event happened on Sunday and a handful of participants, who were crazy enough to register for the Ultra - 52.4 miles - ran the Marathon course backwards from finish line to start line at Midnight and then toed the line with the rest of the field to run the course from the Start line to finish line.

@pavementrunner, @carleemcdot and @almeen8dv (17 weeks pregnant, HELLO?!) trained hard and completed what seems like an impossible feat if you ask me. And the best part? They looked liked they had a blast doing it.

I’m sure they’ll have words to say and write about their Ultra experience - after they recover, of course - but I just wanted to send a huge congratulations to my friends (and the other Ultra participants) who completed this amazing challenge. I’m in awe.

Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Race Weekend Recap

I vowed never to run the full marathon at the San Diego Run Rock 'n' Roll ever again. I kept that promise until earlier this year when I asked my good friend, Brian what his plans were for the San Diego races. Before he could answer, I interrupted by saying that I wanted one of the cool snazzy Marathon Finisher jackets by Brooks. The next thing you know we were both registered for the Full Marathon!

Did I just really do this? There I was, registered for the full marathon - which actually holds my personal best time - all for a stinkin' lightweight jacket. I knew going into this race that I wouldn't be able to come anywhere near my PR time of 3:52:xx but I still needed to go in with some training under my belt. Plus, it was a great excuse to meet up with running friends that we don't get to see too often. 

Happy #nationaldonutday! I had to partake because, Donuts!

Custom Bibs in hand: #WeRunSocial 5k and #BeerMe Full (obviously)

I ran in this box and all I got was a pair of socks. Hey, #freeninetynine

#flatrunner ready to roll

5k

San Diego has to do it big especially since it's the 20th Anniversary of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series. They have a 5k, Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay and a full Marathon all happening over the weekend. 

Team #RocknBlog before the 5k. Oh hi, Ashley!

I've never run the 5k here in San Diego before - last year some of us were crazy enough to run #Fontana2SD. I was excited to knock out two races this weekend to earn the #remixchallenge medal which are much bigger than last year. Good on ya, RnR for upping the medal game this year!

Yup, that Meb. 

The 5k was a blast and we used it as a shakeout run for the Full the next day. Best part is we caught Meb - you know, the hometown hero, Olympian, Boston Marathon Winner, legend Meb - after the race and took an epic selfie with him. Awesome dude. 

My highlight of the day was surely the brunch we had after the race. Old and new running friends walked with us down to the Hillcrest neighborhood to an EPIC place called Snooze. OMG! Let's just say my FLIGHT! of pancakes was off da hook, bomb diggity! I can't stop thinking about them. 

Smores, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Blueberry

Brunch so good we all had to take a pic of our food. As social runners do. 

We met up with Carlee and Ryan at our hotel and walked to the Expo to pick up bibs and this is when our evil plan began. You see, we have so much love for each other that we hate running alone, especially if it's not a goal race. Brian and I asked, knowing that she was already registered for the Half Marathon, what distance she was running. She smiled, we smirked and so it began. She knew our M.O.  We wanted her to upgrade to the Full and run with us. While walking through the expo, she contemplated the upgrade. Thanks to more convincing (more like Peer Pressuring), and talking to the @SparkleAthletic crew, she was in. And as a matter of fact, we also got the Sparkle Crew to upgrade also! #SCORE! 

We hit up dinner with a few close friends at BASIC pizza. Again, San Diego came through with awesome food and good beer. Knowing we had an early wake up call the next day, we picked up a couple of items for the morning and retired for the night. 

Ready for race no. 2 #BeerMe

Marathon

Our alarms were set for early o'clock and somehow I was just so very tired. We met in the lobby and caught a ride to the start. The ride was quick and easy and we had enough time to get settled, snap a few pics on the way to the front of the corrals and check our bags. I shook the legs out a bit with a quick jog on the East side of the corrals and then met up for one of the most OUTRAGEOUS group pics ever. 

The BEST Threesome Around.

Cookie Monster. Only in SD?

Yes, we roll deep. Check out @builtbybiel with the AMAZING wings in the back!

ProCompression Ambassadors came out in FULL FORCE! #keepittight

Last year, our group was big. This year, it was ginormous. There was a nice ProCompression Ambassador turnout and we were rocking the June Sock of the Month out there on the course. 

After a few selfies, hugs and well wishes, we jumped into the corral to get the 4 hour party started. That was our target finish time. Since Brian is training for a crazy ass Ultra at the SF Marathon next month, he was using this race as a training run of sorts. Remember, I'm in this thing for the jacket. 

Our dear friend, Kristin is coming back from an injury and really just wanted to see what she was able to do with the full distance. The gun goes off and we all naturally fell into our own paces. Turns out, Brian and Carlee ended up out in front and Kristin and I fell in line just behind them. I was comfortable where I was at and let Kristin know that there were no hard feelings if she decided to jump out ahead to see what her legs could do. 

Thx Kristin. My road dog for 26.2 miles. I enjoyed every minute of those 4 hours! 

We ended up running (and walking some) of the entire race together. I honestly couldn't have finished the race with the time I did if it weren't for her. The miles really did fly by since we were talking the whole time. Not until mile 21 (where I always seem to cramp up) did I feel like registering for this race was a bad idea. We had the opportunity to jump down to the half but didn't. 

Hwy 163 at mile 21. No JOKE!

After offering to punch the cramp out of my calf at the base of the uphill climb, we trudged on up the BAD ASS hill that lasted for dayz! Hwy 163 is a terrible portion of the course and will put you in check if you don't respect it. There is even a "Come at me Bro" sign on the road. I didn't take a pic of it because I was busy cursing out my calf. Otherwise I would've been cursing at the sign. 

Marathon finishers. 

We enjoyed the last few miles of gradual downhill onto the finish and crossed the line. I couldn't have been prouder of myself and my running partner. It was difficult but very, very rewarding. 

Another highlight of the trip. Finally meeting the #stuftboys. Follow @stuftmama. You're welcome.

Our pedicab driver was blasting the JAMZ on the way to the hotel! 

I picked up my coveted jacket, medals and post race snacks and we headed back to the hotel to check out and get ready for the...

After the Show its the After Party

Runmatchy with @danielecrago and @staceyannec

Enjoying the views with friends @blingwhore

We arrived at the Float Bar at the top of the Hard Rock Hotel in the Gaslamp district for the @WeRunSocial post race party. The views of downtown SD were amazing. First thing on the agenda? Get a Beer and food. We met up with other finishers, spectators, etc. and celebrated our successes. There was a photographer on site who shot a bunch of candids and some fun group pictures as well. I can't wait to see how they turn out.

Crew with @jenn13.1 and @ejag777

The Sparkle Athletic crew got hustled into running the FULL also and crushed it! @elisewallace and @thisiscarrie

Cheers! Brianne rocked 13.1 and her husband killed 26.2! Killer jackets!

Missy prefers the dirt but conquered the pavement today! EPIC photobomb by Tiffanie

I was looking forward to this the whole weekend. Finishing the race and hanging with the crew is the perfect way to top off the weekend. I don't know if I would ever do the full here again (unless I get "tricked" into it). But hey, that's what I said the last time I ran the full. Go figure. I would love to run the Half Marathon Relay with Paula and that would complete the series for me. San Diego still remains one of my favorite cities to run in. I highly recommend coming down and running one of the races here at the birthplace of Run Rock 'n' Roll. 

Happy 20th @runrocknroll

Peace, San Diego, it's been real. 

2016 California International Marathon (CIM) Recap

The marathon is 26.2 miles. That's a whole heck of a lot of miles to be traveling. On foot. Running. Or in my case this time, sometimes jogging, sometimes walking. Traditionally, people train to run these things. Call us crazy but there are thousands of us who like torturing ourselves, I guess. Why we do it is another story and everyone has a different one to tell. We’ll save that for another post. 

But before we get to the nitty gritty of the race itself, let’s first review how the weekend started out. 

There was a an official shakeout run on Saturday, which a bunch of #werunsocial folks participated in. I even got to meet Katrin, Woot! It was a nice 3 miles around the Capital on a cool sunny morning. We hit up the expo afterwards where I bought a hoodie. #treatyoself, David, you’re about to run a marathon tomorrow!

So nice meeting Heather, @runs_4reeses_pieces!

Following the shakeout run, a bunch of folks met up for coffee at a nearby Starbucks. We chatted, talked race plans, and enjoyed hot beverages. Fun times.

#CREW

Leading up to the Race

I began my training cycle for this race back in August and committed to achieving a Personal Best (PB) or Personal Record (PR) which was anything under 3 hours and 52 minutes. That time was achieved back in June of 2014. My “A” goal was to finish the race in 3:45. I felt my body was ready to take on the training cycle at the required paces. That was until about 2 1/2 weeks before the race. I developed pain in my lower left leg (calf) and just couldn’t recover well enough to be 100% on race day. 

The training plan I used this cycle was the Hansons Marathon Method. True, I may not have stuck to the plan to the exact T (for example: running a 9 mile tempo instead of a 10 mile tempo, at times). But, the plan has worked in the past. Like I said before, I used this method and even set a PR with it. This is why I thought, “Wow, that was great! I’m going to use it again and try for a faster time.” I’m glad that I had a plan but now I realize that I need to try something new. Not to knock a specific plan (to each his own, right?) but my take away is that I understand how a training plan is a necessary tool for a successful marathon. 

Race Day

#flatrunner

With fastie, @alexiaruns, at the start area.

Obligatory pre-race crew photo!

Some of the #9Run6 family. Way to go ya'll! @mcrunnerchris, @wholeheartedrunner, @bradbernel and @shibamom93

I just didn’t feel strong enough for this race. There were lots of rolling up and downs in the early miles which really beat up my quads. I was sore for days after. It’s hard to train for hills when there aren't that many where we do a bulk of our training. Also, I think that not completing more long runs - and when I mean long, i’m saying more than 16 or 18 miles - was a major factor in how I performed. My body just didn’t know what it felt like to be out there that long. 

The time it took me to run the first half of the marathon was respectable. You never want to go out too fast in a marathon. Sure, if you’re feeling good, go for it but be careful. That feeling can, and usually does, come back and bite you in the ass. Hard.

Me. At mile 25. Whatcha gonna do?

That leaves me with the second half of the race - the dreaded “wall” and the finish. My wife, as supportive as ever when it comes to training and racing, told me that she would be at mile 20 (the “wall”) to cheer me on. As I approached that mile marker, I frantically looked for her. It didn’t help that Mile 20 was a relay exchange point which meant that many people were lined up on both sides of the street. As I passed the relay exchange point, I finally saw her with running friends, cheering. I slowed down to a jog, and then a walk, hanging my head a bit low and shrugging my shoulders as if to say “well, I made it this far…” I had nothing left emotionally. I was just glad to see her. Our good friend Jen encouraged a kiss and I was happy to oblige. I needed that something to keep me going for the last 10k. Thank you Jen for capturing what, to me, was the best moment of my race. Not crossing the finish line, not toeing the start line but being supported when it counted the most. 

Highlight of the race. #TRUTH

Earned. 

Happy Birthday Pretty! #prettyneedsinstagram right @tanoshegirl?

I crossed the finish line with pride. Even after a gosh awful 14 minute mile 25. Hey, I finished twenty six point freaking two miles of running! I’ll easily take this race as a lesson learned. I’m always thankful, never taking anything for granted, that I’m able to run another day.

Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Weekend Recap and Review

5k

For the past couple of years, I've looked forward to running the #stripatnight otherwise known as the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas half marathon. While this was the first year that the crew didn't run a half marathon race the morning of, we still had a fun-filled weekend nonetheless. 

When you walk down the steps of MGM and see your boy holding the exact same GoPro setup, you know the weekend's about to be LIT! Christmas came early for us this year!

When you walk down the steps of MGM and see your boy holding the exact same GoPro setup, you know the weekend's about to be LIT! Christmas came early for us this year!

If you missed out on what I referenced above - running a half marathon the morning of the RnRLV half marathon - you can read about those ridiculous antics here and here. We just couldn't let the weekend go without running #alltheraces so we decided on running the 5k Saturday and the half on Sunday. 

Saturday we ran the 5k race which is held off the strip at the SLS resort (which is, helloooo? swagalicious!) There was a @sparkleathletic / @werunsocial meet-up at 5pm before the race which started at 600pm. If you didn't already know how we get down at these meet-ups, here are a few pics of the FABULOUS running friends I finally met in real life (IRL). 

L to R: @bengal_alumna - so fun to finally meet you!, THE @nycrunningmama - totally made my day!, eating pre-race donuts with @ejag777, @katrunsdc and @sas_rubel, @jen_wp - loves BoyzIIMen so she's cool with me!

On to the race. I was running with a little, crafty runner who likes to create out of this world running costumes. Maybe you've heard of her? It's @carleemcdot! She re-created the famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign and ran with it - around her entire body! You have to see it to believe it. 

Yup, she ran the entire 5k like that. Unfortunately we didn't "BEAT THE SIGN!" One second short.

Yup, she ran the entire 5k like that. Unfortunately we didn't "BEAT THE SIGN!" One second short.

The game plan was to run fast enough at the beginning to make for a couple great photos and then ease up on the gas a little and cruise the rest of the way, but after all the excitement, it looks like we didn't ease up as much as we wanted. 

After the race we took the monorail back to our respective hotels and met back up for dinner. 

Half Marathon

At this time the past couple of years, we we're likely running a morning race at either Disneyland or in San Diego. Instead, we had tons of time to explore other parts of Las Vegas. We heard that there was a Lululemon outlet nearby and since our homie @sharpendurance was coming to par-tay in Vegas, we decided to do a little shopping. 

$20 shorts for #RnRLV runners? Yes please! 

$20 shorts for #RnRLV runners? Yes please! 

We had more time to kill after scoring majorly at the Lulu outlet so we made a short trip to visit a very special lady and her new bundle of Joy at the hospital. This was a major highlight of my weekend. Our very dear friend, @katrinaellep had just delivered her baby girl a couple of days earlier and we were blessed to get a chance to see her and congratulate her on becoming a Mom. Her hubs, Gary was out doing the awesome Dad thang and getting stuff for mom and baby. #BEST

Congrats Katrina! She's beautiful!

Congrats Katrina! She's beautiful!

Social doing social things. 

Social doing social things. 

TRUTH!

TRUTH!

After brunching it up, we made it back with plenty of time to get ready for the race later that evening. I was so excited that I even forgot to post a #flatrunner pic: 

There was a very loud #werunsocial meet-up at the pre-race concert because how could there NOT be?! Oh and what better way to do a meet-up than with the one and only Snoop dee-oh-double-gee as the background music on stage. The lighting was much better than the night before so I snapped more pics with running friends who weren't able to make it to the 5k meet up  and / or they just came in from their morning races (i.e. Disneyland Avengers). Now you see that running two half-marathons in one day in two states isn't so crazy anymore. No?

New this year from our friends at @runrocknroll was a wave start which worked to relieve much congestion at the start in the corralls it means that not everyone in your crew gets to run together. It's okay because this race is really all about the people, partying and less about the fast race times (unless that's your goal, of course). We ended up seeing friends out there on the course anyway. 

We had all the fun out there on the course and why it took 11 miles for us to grab a beer on the strip and run is beyond me! The Las Vegas Strip is only shut down twice a year and one of those times is reserved for runners like us. Running the Las Vegas strip at night is an awesome feeling and I highly suggest you register and run it at least once. 

 

Lessons about Stroller Running

I realized the other day that by the time we have had our Bugaboo Runner (read the review here) a full year I most likely will have logged close to 1000 miles, maybe more. 😳(I need to replace the tires, I'm sure. Hey Bugaboo wanna send me some tires?!?!  😜). Not many to some, but to me that number is astounding!  That's a lot of Asher crying, laughing, and sleeping. Yet the biggest things that I've loved about becoming an almost 100% of the time stroller runner (yes even my long weekend miles have been with the stroller most of the time) is the things that I have learned about stroller runners in general:

 

1. Stroller running moms and dads are badass!!!  Come on, pushing anything at any pace takes strength, perseverance and sheer will. The desire to get those miles regardless of how much your body wants to turn around and not finish the run.  

image.jpg

2. We got speed!  Yup, when you see a runner with a stroller do not immediately assume they are slow. And remember when a stroller runner passes you DON'T say "I need to pick up the pace" or "I can't let a stroller pass me". Give a hi-5, cheer them on. Consider it a good thing they pass you, that stroller runner is putting in some serious hard work out there!  Their hard work to catch up to you only means you too are putting in hard work!  There are some speedy, quick like lightening stroller runners out there too. If you don't believe me check out (Erinamg, momslrb, littlebeastling, runfargirl, runemz and nycrunningmama) on Instagram. 

3. We hear your complaining about being behind a running stroller when you are on a training run or during a race. We are pushing a stroller, not hard of hearing. Those two are not mutually exclusive FYI. Also, if you groan about being behind a stroller please make sure that you pass them and ARE faster than the stroller. You don't want to get your ankle clipped. 😂. Just kidding, we try not to bump into anyone. Ok ok, I've thought of it before though.  

image.jpg

4. Stroller running providers a regular running partner. There is no texting or calling back and forth to coordinate the run. There really isn't any compromising on miles or pace. The running partner is sitting right there in the stroller. Heck they are probably running entertainment too. Asher has started to clap for me while on training runs. Well, at least until he falls asleep. He's like my own personal cheerleader.

5. On the flip side, Stroller running makes it hard to run solo. It's a love/hate relationship with the stroller. One the one hand, there is the fabulous opportunity to bond with your child(ren), to incorporate strength training or even ensure that afternoon nap. Yet, when you do get to run by yourself, it can be lonely. It's always a battle between making the run "easier" and having a little company.

6.  Last but not least, I've learned stroller runners love a good hi-5, a pat on back, a "good job". As I've said over and over, pushing a 25-35lb stroller PLUS the weight of your child or children is tough!  When you see a runner on the race course, training on the street give a little wave, smile, cheer. It truly does help us run a little taller, forget about the struggle for a little while and push on.

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Without Limitz

I must admit that I have always been envious of those who obtained ambassadorships from companies related to the sport of running. I thought, "One day it would be cool to be an ambassador for x." Well I'm ecstatic to announce that I, along with a handful of other AWESOME athletes, have been chosen to represent Zensah as Ambazsadors (see the nifty play with letters there?) for 2015. This is wonderful news and feels like a shot of adrenaline. I can't wait to represent and spread the word about Zensah products while doing what I love. 

Running has given me the opportunity to meet so many amazing athletes who share the love of running. A company like Zensah also shares this love and makes functional, great looking products that are perfect for an active, athletic lifestyle. It's these new relationships that motivate and inspire me to train harder, perform better, and run #withoutlimitz

I am truly honored to have been selected and can't wait to see what this year brings.

What a start to 2015

Going Goofy

All the coffee in the world couldn't keep us up after the past two weeks of runDisney racing we've completed. We started our race calendar out in cold, rainy Orlando, Florida. Wait what? Yes, the weather during the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend was not ideal and it was challenging but we sucked it up and raced the 10 Year Anniversary Goofy Challenge. This consisted of a Half Marathon on Saturday and a Full Marathon on Sunday. 

Running my 1st Marathon at Walt Disney World!  The Expo was manageable and packet pick up was a breeze. 

Running my 1st Marathon at Walt Disney World! The Expo was manageable and packet pick up was a breeze. 

Because we were running the GoofyChallenge, I just had to. 

Because we were running the GoofyChallenge, I just had to. 

The Half was so much fun. We agreed to take it easy, save our energy for the Full and snap a few pictures along the way. The course was fun running through two Walt Disney World parks. While it was tempting to run fast to escape the chilly weather we stopped at most of the character stops along the course to preserve memories. We couldn't have asked for a better race. We talked, took pics and even ran with new friends along the way. So far, a great way to start off the new race calendar.

Yeah, it was as cold as it looks. Brrrrrr!

Yeah, it was as cold as it looks. Brrrrrr!

The way @runDisney themes their picture spots was so fun. There was even a fog machine working.

The way @runDisney themes their picture spots was so fun. There was even a fog machine working.

Obligatory Cinderella Castle pic right after running down the entire Main Street, U.S.A. 

Obligatory Cinderella Castle pic right after running down the entire Main Street, U.S.A. 

The following day, after another early wake up call we made our way to the start line of the marathon. This is the Super Bowl race of Marathon Weekend and the fact that it was Paula's very first marathon made it even more exciting. I couldn't help but feel proud of what she's been able to accomplish. Registering and training for your first marathon is daunting on it's own but doing it as part of the Goofy Challenge is borderline crazy.

Mary and Bert picture spot along the Half Marathon course. 

Mary and Bert picture spot along the Half Marathon course. 

The sun started to peek out and lit up our Donald medals. Better late than never i guess. 

The sun started to peek out and lit up our Donald medals. Better late than never i guess. 

Since we used the Half Marathon to take pictures the previous day, we focused on the run at hand and kept the phones tucked away. This race holds a special place in my heart since it was my very first marathon as well and running through the four Walt Disney World parks is really something special. The course is amazing. Running around the Walt Disney World Speedway was insane. We felt good running together and could feel the challenge that was Goofy around the later miles of the race. 

It's nice that rare characters get to come out for the runners along the Marathon course. 

It's nice that rare characters get to come out for the runners along the Marathon course. 

A special thing happened at around mile 19 of the race when Paula's sister surprised her by showing up with our four sons to cheer us on. Her sister and I worked together to complete the surprise which was a perfect boost at the perfect time. We finished the race with smiles on our faces, and even jumped over the the finish line holding hands. (At least we attempted to jump. I don't think either of us got that high). We recovered from the race by exploring some of the resorts on the Disney property and walking the junk out of our legs. 

This is why we signed up for WDW Marathon Weekend. The 10 Year Anniversary Goofy Challenge Medal. Goofy spins inside the zero! Coast to Coast challenge, here we come!

This is why we signed up for WDW Marathon Weekend. The 10 Year Anniversary Goofy Challenge Medal. Goofy spins inside the zero! Coast to Coast challenge, here we come!

 

May The Course Be With You

Immediately after returning home from WDW Marathon Weekend we did laundry, packed up the suitcase and headed down to Disneyland for the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend. Since it was an inaugural race, we just had to sign up for it. Coming off of the Goofy Challenge, paula's first marathon, Walt Disney World park touring, and traveling, we vowed to have a fun race and soak up the fun of an inaugural race. 

#shutyourface! It's  @carleemcdot . Meeting friends at race Expos is so much fun. 

#shutyourface! It's @carleemcdot. Meeting friends at race Expos is so much fun. 

Since we didn't have anyone to watch the young ones on Saturday, I did the Star Wars 10k solo. It's part of the Rebel Challenge which consists of a 10k on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday. So let's stop and recap a bit: two @runDisney challenges in two weekends, two different states, 4 races and 58.6 miles of racing. It sounded like a good idea last year when registering for these darn things. The race was fun. Again, I brought my phone and took pics along the course with the cool characters throughout the parks. The course was awesome. We ran inside the parks (some backstage) for the most part and the support was excellent.

I made sure to catch a picture with Chewie! I was in the front pack so the line wasn't long at all.

I made sure to catch a picture with Chewie! I was in the front pack so the line wasn't long at all.

A little Kids Race action on Saturday after the Star Wars 10k. 

A little Kids Race action on Saturday after the Star Wars 10k. 

The Half Marathon on Sunday was exciting. The course was brand new, and we enjoyed it tremendously. Beware fasties, it's a very fast course and you could easily get carried away and throw down a Disney PR if you tried. I'm a big Star Wars fan and seeing all of the cool creative costumes put a smile on my face. The best part of these races is running them together with @prvilladelgado. When we run together, we finish together. It was an amazing race and one we will continue to do in the future. 

It's already been a fast start to 2015 and it's a good sign of things to come. We are tired. So very tired and will rest up in the mean time while planning the rest of our calendar. Was it stressful flying cross-country, and racing at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland two weekends back-to-back? Of course but we wouldn't trade it for anything. Earning a Coast to Coast medal (running at least a half marathon in WDW and Disneyland in the same calendar year) in two weeks is pretty darn cool IMHO. I'm proud of what we just accomplished and even more proud that Paula ran her first marathon. Most importantly we had fun doing it.

Meet  @jilliankmf . She's a runner and she's awesome. Oh and she PR'd her 10k this weekend. Boom!

Meet @jilliankmf. She's a runner and she's awesome. Oh and she PR'd her 10k this weekend. Boom!

I'm not gonna lie. This is a big reason why we run these races.

I'm not gonna lie. This is a big reason why we run these races.

Some people take their medal pic in front of the castle. We take ours here. 

Some people take their medal pic in front of the castle. We take ours here. 

Rockin' and Rollin' in 2014

Ever since I started running, I’ve always wanted to race in a Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series event. The logo, the bling and the fact that they’re held in the biggest cities in America all contributed to my desire to race. 

This past Christmas I received what I consider to be the best gift anyone could get in a Rock ’n’ Roll Series Tour Pass!! I already registered for the RnRSF Half Marathon in April and now I have the luxury of completing registration for the three remaining California Rock ’n’ Roll races: San Diego, San Jose and Los Angeles. I am even contemplating making the San Diego event a marathon race. 

Yes, you read that right. I will attempt to run all four California Rock ’n’ Roll Races in 2014. A Cali Rock ’n’ Roll Tour if you will. The best part is that my wife got me the Tour Pass, is 100% behind me and is extremely supportive of my goal. Heck, we’re even trying to run some of these races together!

2013 in Review

5 medals each: WDW Marathon Weekend, Dumbo Double Dare, Disneyland 10k, Disneyland Half and Coast to Coast.

We started our year off with a bang right from the start. The races at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend were our first of the year and we even created our own hashtag: #oneraceamonth2013 to boot. I ran the Marathon, Paula the Half Marathon, our two oldest boys the Mickey Mile and our youngest (at the time) the Kids Dash. Did I mention that Paula was 4 months pregnant at the time of her Half?

Next up in February was the Super Bowl Sunday Run back here in our hometown of Sacramento, CA. This was a 10k race in which we ran a relay. In March we ran a fun race named the Veggie Chase 5k where runners tried to beat the pacers dressed up as vegetables. The two older boys' first 5k of the year was the Elk Grove Running of the Elk in April. We ran this race together as a family and had a blast. 

Another 5k family race came around in May which was the Cinco de Kilometros de Mayo (5k of May). We love running locally and especially supporting our local running store. At the end of June, my oldest son and I ran the Run for Independence 5k in very hot weather. I must say, i was very proud that day. A month later and about 6 weeks postpartum, Paula and I ran the Fab 40s 5k in which we ran sub 30 min. Again, she never ceases to amaze me with the things she is able to accomplish. 

August's race was the inaugural Disneyland 10k which was the first half of the new Dumbo Double Dare challenge that runDisney has created for Disneyland Resort's main race weekend. The very next day, September 1st, was the second race of the challenge, the Disneyland Half Marathon. We squeaked in two month's races in two days, see what we did there? That entire weekend deserves a recap of it's own. Can we say Coast to Coast?

Paula ran another half marathon, a Rock'n'Roll event, in early October. I was amazed at how organized this race was and it has lead me to sign up for more races with them.  More on that later on. I ran a cool race in Davis, CA called the Oktobrewfest 5k where the medals given out had a bottle opener integrated in the design. How cool is that?! In November, Paula and I ran a Turkey Trot Half Marathon where she achieved a PR in that distance. Last but not least, I ran another 5k this month in December, and achieved a PR myself. The following week Paula and friends ran a neat Santa run where everyone dressed up as Santa, beards and all, for a good cause. 

Whew! That was a lot of racing this year and it feels like we could have done even more. We figured that signing up for races is the hardest part next to getting that first step out the door. Once you commit by registering or signing up for the race, you feel a bit more obligated to train. It was a great year of running, especially getting our kids involved in the sport. They see and feel the benefit of staying active. We set goals, finish races and earn medals. All while having a good time. Together, as a family.