Got the Runs

I didn’t always consider myself a runner. In my teens, 20s, and early 30s, I didn’t like running. In high school, I had a brief stint running the 800m, 1500m, and 3000m on the track team. I competed in two meets before a terrible–or terribly embarrassing–pole vaulting accident.

So, why did I start running in my late 30s?

I needed to do something. My health was falling apart. Occasionally lifting weights in the gym wasn’t enough. As I started to look for health advice online, I started reading and following health & fitness bloggers. It seemed like everyone was a runner–a distance runner. The bloggers I followed ran 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, and full marathons. In mid 2010, I decided to give it a go.

For a couple of years, I would run around the neighborhood for 2-3 miles. I didn’t sign up for any races. I guess I wasn’t mentally prepared for that. Eventually, a friend encouraged me to sign up for the Long Beach Half Marathon in 2011. I started training, then injured my knee a few weeks before the race. I already lacked the confidence and my knee problems gave me an easy way out of competing.

For most of 2012, my running was sporadic. My immune system went nuts after a failed attempt at allergy therapy. Things were even worse for me when I was given a steroid injection to try suppress my overactive immune system. I wasn’t in a good place mentally or physically. I went weeks–even months–without a run.

Then April 15, 2013 happened. Although I barely called myself a runner before, the Boston Marathon bombing evoked something in me. Despite the fact that I had never run a race, I felt the pain of the rest of the running community. When Pavement Runner called on runners around the country to run together in solidarity, I made sure I was there among my running brothers and sisters.

April 22, 2013. Long Beach, CA
April 22, 2013. Long Beach, CA

I started running regularly again. As my confidence increased, I felt more comfortable calling myself a runner… It didn’t matter how slow I was. I started signing up for races:

  • My first 5k and 10k were in May 2013 in Santa Monica, CA.
  • In August 2013, I ran three 8k trail races in Orange, CA.
  • In October 2013, I finally ran the Long Beach Half Marathon

2013 Races

Then in 2014, my immune system went haywire again. This time we realized that I didn’t just have allergies but I was actually dealing with an autoimmune disorder. During the first six months of the year, I probably had hives for over four months. But that summer, I was determined to be a runner again by signing up for a 10k and a 5k.

  • Idyllwild 10k in June 2014
  • Aloha 5k, San Diego in August 2014


I also decided to raise the ante by signing up for the Surf City Half Marathon in Feb 2015 and work toward the Beach Cities Challenge Medal. I’ve run a lot more races so far this year.

  • Surf City Half Marathon, Feb 2015
  • American Heart Association  Angels 5k, March 2015
  • Ragnar Relay SoCal, April 2015
  • Orange County Half Marathon, May 2015
  • GOTR Superhero 5k, May 2015
  • LiveWell San Diego 5k, May 2015
  • Rock ‘n Roll San Diego Half Marathon, May 2015


I don’t know if I’d say that 2015 is my comeback year… it’s more the year where I pick up where I left off. I’m running further and faster (for me, anyway). I’m running socially and making running friends in different running groups: No Meat Athlete OC, #UnitedLa, & #WeRunSocial. With my crazy health issues, I honestly don’t know how many years I’ll be able to run for, but I’m going to enjoy it while I can.

Race PRs

  • 5k – 23:36
  • 8k – 44:32
  • 10k – 56:51
  • half marathon – 1:58.48

4 thoughts on “Got the Runs

  1. What a great running story. I really loved the end – it reminded me of this quote: “One day I won’t be able to do this, today is not that day.” None of us know how many moments we have on this earth so it is vital to make sure the ones we do have count 🙂

  2. Hey Mr. B! I don’t know if you remember me, but I was in your health class in 8th grade from 2009-2010! I can still remember when you decided to give up drinking coffee, and the caffeine withdrawals were taking its toll on you. To follow your incredible health journey on Facebook has been awesome and inspiring. Keep going! You’re doing a great job, and I hope everything is going well at LV! 🙂

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