With this being “Throwback Thursday,” I thought it would be fun to look back at the races I’ve finished thus far.
It all started with the Inaugural Neverland 5K at Disneyland in January 2012. I signed up for this race as a way of doing something different on my journey to fitness. It was so much fun that I had to do another.
So, I went home and registered for a race I saw advertised at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Expo…the Angels 5K. That race was held in April of 2012. I trained hard using a Couch to 5K plan and improved my time over the Neverland 5K!
Next up was my hometown, Pasadena 5K race in May 2012. My current 5K PR was set at this race! By then, I started thinking of increasing the distance to 10K’s and signed up…
My first 10K race was supposed to be the Cypress 10K. It was billed as a flat course and seemed perfect. Two of my friends registered for the 5K race. So, it felt good. Then, a complete breakdown in training killed that. The race course was two laps of the 5K course. I opted to just do the 5K with my friends. However, I made sure to be ready for the next 10K on my list…
The Santa Monica 10K became my first 10K race. Although I was a little slower than in my training, it felt great to cross that finish line. It was so much fun to run by the beach!
Because it was so much fun to run through the Disney theme parks, I thought I’d give the weSpark 10K a shot. It featured a course through the backlot at Universal Studios. Much like the Cypress 10K, to get to 10K, you had to complete the 5K course twice. This course featured one of the most difficult hills ever at the end of each 5K loop. This was my last race in 2012.
In January 2013, I came back for the 2nd Neverland 5K. This time, I ran it with my wife (her first race)! We had a blast running through Disneyland and DCA!
One day later, I finished my very first half marathon…the 2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon! It was at this race that I officially caught the running bug!
My wife enjoyed the Neverland 5K so much, that we signed up for another. This time, we would run with our friends Josh and Wendy (whose son ran in the kid races) at the Knott’s Coaster Run 5K. It was my third theme park to run through!
The next race? I came back for another go of the Angels 5K. The wife was supposed to run with me but wasn’t feeling well that morning. So, I ran it by myself. Running on the field at Angels Stadium never gets old!
At the midway point of training for the Dumbo Double Dare last year, I ran in the Pasadena 10K and set a 10K PR! It was a fantastic test of my training.
One week before the Disneyland races, Brooke and I ran in the Awesome 80’s run 5K around the Rose Bowl. I signed up for the race specifically for the finisher’s medal…a Darth Vader mask. Pretty cool. Don’t you think?
After the Neverland 5K, my wife wanted to try a 10K. So, we both ran in the Inaugural Disneyland 10K together. It was her first 10K and I couldn’t have been more proud of her!
The next day, I completed the Dumbo Double Dare (even though I wasn’t officially a Dumbo Double Dare runner) by high fiving Mickey at the end of the Disneyland Half Marathon. Boy was that weekend a hot one!
Next up was the Long Beach Marathon’s Miller Children’s Hospital 5K race. I was supposed to run this with some friends who weren’t able to make it. So, I did the race solo. If only I’d known during the race how close I was to PRing it I would have pushed a little harder.
I finished 2013 with a new half marathon PR while running the Rock n Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon! I beat my Disneyland Half Marathon time by almost 17 minutes! Talk about crushing a PR! It was also my first costumed race.
Brooke and I started off 2014 by running in the Inaugural Walt Disney World 10K!
Two days later, I finished my first full marathon at the Walt Disney World Marathon. Honestly, this was my proudest moment as a runner to date! I high fived Mickey at the end of the Disneyland Half Marathon. So, high fiving Minnie seemed natural.
Yep, my proudest moment! I had to share another picture! When I began running at the 2012 Neverland 5K, there was always this thought in the back of my mind of running a full marathon. Not until I finished the 2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon did I start believing it was even possible. On January 12, 2014, I joined the 1 percent of the population who are marathon finishers!
In February 2014 (Super Bowl Sunday), I started the Beach Cities Challenge by finishing the Surf City USA Half Marathon. If not for a leg cramp in mile 9, this would have been a half marathon PR. It ended up being my 2nd fastest half marathon yet.
At the end of March, this year, Brooke and I ran in the Angels Baseball Foundation 5K with our friend Emmanuel. This year’s race was so much better than the previous 2 years. I was really glad I went out again.
In April, I ran the Hollywood Half Marathon. It was far from a perfect race. However, I had fun with it. Plus, it was the day after Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened in movie theatres. So, I got to dress as Captain America again.
That leads to May 4th, 2014…the US Bank OC Half Marathon.
So, here’s the totals…
Ten – 5K’s
Five – 10K’s
Six – Half Marathons
One – Full Marathon
In 2012 (my first year of running races)
Four – 5K’s
Two – 10K’s
In 2013 (my second year of running races)
Five – 5K’s
Two – 10K’s
Three – Half Marathons
In 2014 (my third year of running races)
One – 5K
One – 10K
Three – Half Marathons
One – Full Marathon
Of course, there are still races to complete in 2014. So, the totals will go up by year’s end. If you want to read about the journey up through the Walt Disney World Marathon, check out this post. After finishing the Disneyland Half Marathon, I finally felt like a runner. Here’s the post where I describe the journey to becoming a runner. You can check out all the race recaps in the tab titled “Races and Results.” So, if you’d like to go back and relive those moments in this journey, check the recaps out there.
Lastly, I wanted to finish this post about my running journey with remembering the day I first met the woman who has supported me through all of this….my lovely wife Brooke! We were matched through eHarmony on April 3, 2006. Between that date and May 5, 2006, there were lots and lots of emails and phone calls. Our first date was magic. I knew from the moment our eyes met for the first time that this was a different sort of first date. Although I would have never admit it back then, it was love at first sight. On our first date, we saw the Azusa Pacific University Choir and Orchestra (a group I used to be apart of) for their Command Performance. Afterwards, we talked in the parking lot of Lake Avenue Congregational Church for over 3 hours. Then, the lights started turning off and we took it as a sign that we needed to call it a night. The picture above was taken the next afternoon on our second date (May 6, 2006). The waitress at the Dave n Busters we ate at for lunch thought we were married. There were lots of signs that a marriage would happen right from the beginning. Without her belief in me, I don’t think these races would be possible. I am beyond blessed to have such an amazing and supportive wife. So, even though this picture doesn’t exactly fit into my running journey, it sort of does.