Tuesday, November 26, 2013

NEW MUSIC VIDEO: Greenhorse - "Grim City"

A while back I was excited to have the chance to film one of my favorite bands: Greenhorse as they played a show at The Echo in Los Angeles. They were opening for the band AM & Shawn Lee, and the show was completely fantastic.

Some fun stills from the night:

Along with the band, we put together a video from the performance to go with one of the songs on their latest album The Shapes of Dragons. The song we used for the video was "Grim City" which is one of my favorites on the album.

Here's the video:

To make it even cooler, they got a sweet writeup in Indie Rock Review:

More great stuff coming from the band (as well as myself), just need to get my stuff together in-between prep for my feature.

Will post more later...

Sunday, November 10, 2013

See You On The Other Side

Rockin the 2013 St. George Marathon
Howdy folks. Been a while and a lot has changed. Rather than go into big details droning on about everything - I'll give you the penny version:

Late September my wife and I quit our jobs in Los Angeles. In October we moved to Utah and are now living in my parents basement. This month (November), I will be directing my first feature film. (More on that in a later post.)

What possessed us to do such an insane and bold thing? I can't really tell you. It's not a secret, it's just really hard to explain. If you see me sometime, I'll try and give you the full story.

Either way, here we are and this is what we're doing. I might fail. I might succeed. I might go mad. Whatever happens, I think I feel vindicated in my attempt and all the experience that will come with it.

Another big aspect of my decisions lately have been to improve on my running. I want to be a better runner, but mostly I just want to be the best runner I possibly can. This means training properly and becoming more of a regular season runner. As of now I just hurriedly train the few months before a race and feel really awful when I miss certain workouts or have a lapse in my proper dieting. The 2014 season is going to be different for me I hope. The plan is to train the full year and beat my time by at least a full half-hour.

I am also planning to drop 30 pounds in the next three months. It has been going really terribly. Every time I get into the swing of the diet, an event or a restaurant comes around and I engorge myself, enjoying it, but hating myself for it. This needs to STOP. I need to learn to say "NO!"

This is a life-changing time. It is a scary time. Please help me feel like I'm not insane. Tell me I'm going to be fine, because I am still unsure.

Thanks for listening. Sorry to be cryptic and for my ramble. I'll be better.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Prepping to Direct a Feature Film

Lately I have been busy prepping to direct a feature film that will shoot primarily in August. Since a lot of my time has been spent working on getting it ready, I thought I would spend a moment and discuss the different items on my agenda. This isn't a how-to, it's more of the beginning to a production journal.


For the last year my co-writer and I have been working on a script. We started writing a completely different story in November of last year, but it proved to be more difficult and more budget-involved than we could really handle. Over the course of the next six months we wrote and rewrote, then completely changed the story again.

My co-writer (who also happens to be my producer) took it over one week and just completely rewrote everything. He changed the storyline and a ton of characters to what we had discussed in conversations here and there. It came out pretty great. There was something in the script that hadn't been in there before and it was completely filmable on our meager budget.

We have one more set of revisions to make and then I'm going to call it a lock on the script. That's when we're going to do our budget and breakdowns.

Budgets and Breakdowns

Production Breakdown

A lot of the time, when you do a production for real, you have a production manager break down the script for every single element. We are hoping to have a PM on board for this production, but since we are running on a no-string budget, we can't really afford anyone.

Our PM (or one of the producers) is going to break down the script by scene and extract information on what we need to find resources for - things like locations, costume, props, effects, etc.

Hopefully we can write out any of the higher budget items in the script and just focus on resources we already have.


Our budget consists of zero dollars. Seriously, we have no money. But what we do have is a lot of resources. We are hoping to use what we have and borrow/beg/plead to get everything else. From what I can tell without seeing a full breakdown, I would say all that we really need to worry about is props and effects.

Props can be cheap, especially if we buy them on a credit card and return them when we're done. Effects however, are really difficult. We don't want to leave too much for post-production, but we also don't have the type of budget that most Hollywood films have. We are going to just play it by ear while storyboarding and choreographing our action scenes, maybe we can focus on what we have in those scenes and use tricks of the camera for most other effects we'll need. We may need to bust out our pocketbooks for a few effects, but we're going to have to be really sure those effects are worth it.

Director's Breakdown

Once we have a locked script, I'm going to do my director's breakdown. This will consist of not only camera angles and a shot list, but also moods, motivations, and notes about how I want something to look or feel. This breakdown will travel with me throughout the production and will serve as my personal journal for the film. It will help me remember what I wanted during the times when making a decision will be very difficult (i.e. when I'm very tired).


One of the most difficult things to do on an independent movie is to cast. It's fairly difficult when you have such a low budget, and damn-near impossible without any money at all. For this movie we are going to go with people we know. When we run out of people we know, we're going to turn to Craigslist.

We will be pulling in favors from all sorts of friends, neighbors, co-workers and family. With the combined strength of all the producers and myself, we should be able to find enough people to fill all of the roles.

We have one main character, three supporting characters, a villain and his two supporting, followed by a whole slew of extras and day players.

When you live in a place like Los Angeles, there is plenty of talent waiting for a chance to be a part of something, so you'll find more resources and more actors willing to work for no money or deferred pay. But it's still really hard.


We are filming in August, but we can only film during nights and weekends because most of the production crew work full-time (including me). This causes some major complications, but needs to be worked around since we are all trying to keep our livelihood until we get paid to do this full-time. (We're not quitting our day jobs... yet.)

We have a total of eight days for production. Even in a professional environment, when we have everything in place and all cast and crew ready to go - this is a very difficult amount of time. It's just too fast. Once we get going, we're going to have to turn around and wrap it up. How will we keep ourselves on target to get everything we need? Scheduling.

Scheduling is going to be our biggest asset. With a great breakdown of what needs to be filmed each day and a good First AD, we can get the schedule running like clockwork.

It will also help to have all of our locations planned out beforehand. If we can stay in one location for the entire weekend, we will be saving ourselves several trips and time-consuming setups. We can just light the one location and get crazy filming.

Set photo from a short film directed by my friend Spencer.

So that's pretty much everything I'm focusing on right now. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are ready and willing. I'll keep you updated on the blog as much as I can, as well as featuring behind-the-scenes on my YouTube page.

If you are interested in helping us with the film, are currently in or can be in Los Angeles, and are available in August - leave a comment below or write us at splanderson (at) hotmail.com.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Behind the Scenes: Memorial Day 2013

The video for today will be delayed until tonight when I can get home and upload it to YouTube. We had some technical difficulties last night once the video was done (i.e. compressing the video incorrectly), so we have to get it all sorted out before we can post.

Here's a bit of extra backstory for the video, written by Tiffany:

Memorial Day 2013

We decided on the drive to Utah over the Memorial Day weekend that it would be most appropriate to do a video for Memorial Day. We both come from military families and have seen loved ones go to war. This was a big day for us. What we didn't realize is how big it would be for our family and how we would react to attending such events.

The first thing we filmed was Eric's brother running, which was a lot to ask since he'd done a 5K that morning with us. But he's a former Marine, and can push through anything. He did great especially since we made him chase his truck up a rocky dirt road. His wife was such a trooper during the shoot, she drove the truck and did behind-the-scenes video on Eric's iPhone.

The next day we filmed at a Marine Corp. cemetery (Camp Williams) for the shots with the tombstones and mini flags. It was beautiful and as I walked through the grounds and saw the flowers, pictures and other decorations I began to tear up. I was so overcome to know that there were people out there that had lost dear loved ones in various wars. My own father served in the conflict with Panama. It was a scary time and there was a time we thought he might be gone. Thankfully he was spared, but I couldn't help but feel their pain of fathers, sons, husbands not returning home. Such a heartbreak.

That night we searched in two houses for Zach's dress blues and couldn't find them anywhere. It was quite the drama, but expected since a lot of their non-essentials were still in boxes since they'd just moved. Finally they found it, but much too late for us to film anything that day. So bright and early the next morning (6am, I think) we all got up - kids and all, and headed to the grave site of one of the soldiers that died in Afghanistan while Zach was there. It was really emotional for me. I was in charge of watching the kids in the truck during filming so I walked over as they got ready and checked out his headstone. It was beautiful and patriotic. I nearly lost it when I saw a picture of the Marine on his tombstone. I knew by the decoration and attention to detail just how much his family loved him. And losing him must have been the hardest thing in the world. I quickly walked back to the truck and played and talked with the kids so that I could find joy and happiness again.

This was one of the first Memorial Days where I really paid attention and offered my respects for lives lost. The video is a bit emotional, but I think it's appropriate. I can only imagine the tears shed and heartache suffered at the loss of loved ones and comrades. It is important we remember them and know that it was for our safety they perished. They served and many died because they believed in the greatness in our country. So no matter how we feel it's a good reminder that it's not all bad. It's a nation worth fighting for.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Achievement Unlocked (aka Bucket List)

Image from a very good blog post that kind of deals with the same issues
we want to tackle in our show, check it out: Something Barrett Blog
We've had our ups and downs as of late, but we're still going strong with our plans to release episodes of our Bucket List show. We've decided to change the name. We're going with something that is more personal and a bit more targeted to what we are trying to accomplish. We've settled on the name:
The name comes from the gamer industry, specifically from XBox 360 when you accomplish certain tasks of each game. In our context though, we are saying that your life achievements are being unlocked. These achievements are more than just a trophy, or points, they are the very rewards that make life more fulfilling and exciting. We want to encourage others to go out and live their life, to find what it is that will make them happy, to go out and achieve their life goals. Hopefully we can help.

Help Wanted

With the beginning of the show on the horizon, we are still in need of help on a few aspects of the show:

  • Graphic Design and Motion Graphics
    • We are just starting to formulate an idea of what we want the show to look like and could use some helping hands to craft a great visual style for the show. If you are proficient at this sort of thing, or know someone who is, please get in contact with us.
  • Show Ideas
    • Although we have had such a great response to the show and many ideas already given to us, we are still in need of filming more episodes. We would love to experience you fulfilling your life goals and will even do all we can to help you accomplish this. We can contact companies and get to know them so we are able to go and film you while you do what it is that you dream about. We want to focus on the story, and help uplift others as we tell them the story of your life goal.
    • If you know of anyone that has a great story and would like us to invite them to be on the show, please get in contact with us.

Future Videos

On location of our Memorial Day 2013 video
Up until now we've been working hard behind the scenes to create various content to show on our YouTube page. We're having fun and seeing so many wonderful things. Even while doing the Achievement Unlocked show we'll still offer other types of content, but of course feedback is always appreciated. Let us know what you like and what you hate, we want to hear your opinions and ideas.

We're excited to be getting closer to the release of the first episode in the series, no date finalized yet, but it's coming. Until then you'll still get content and it's fun for us, so we hope it's fun for you.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Falling Backwards and Moving Forward

It was just this past weekend that our laptop took the last adventure of its life.

It's been camping, to the beach and through the woods. However, it was a quick trip to our friends place to finish up an edit of a music video (just you wait to see that) that it decided it was done. So, with much sadness it has died. Resurrections were attempted as you saw last week.

It was like losing a much prized anything. Or more like losing a job. Your hopes and dreams for the future are destroyed in that moment. We were left without the proper instrument to do what we love and share it with you. We had just returned from our wonderful trip to Utah, been thrown back into work and were exhausted. This was the final blow that decimated our week. We felt deflated and wanted to just throw in the towel. It's so early on,  but we knew we had to keep going. We had to find some way with limited resources to obtain something that would let us continue.
Through much prayer and pleading we found an amazing deal with a co-worker. We were able to get a comparable, but upgraded version of what we had for a very reasonable price. So yay! It's good to know people.

We're back and it took much less time than we thought it might. Life can be really hard sometimes, but then in those moments of frustration we can receive tender mercies that truly remind us we're not alone in the world.

So, let's keep going. What do you want to see? What bucket list items do you want to do? What can we film? Any cool things you're doing? We want to be there. Let us be a part of your amazing stories!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Utah and/or Bust

From StGeorgeNews.com

We're heading to Utah!

We'll be traveling Friday up to Provo and will be in Utah until Tuesday morning. Although we have some plans, we would love to see you and film some fun videos for YouTube.

If you have anything you think we would love to film, or just would like to help out, send me an email or tweet (@splanderson).

As a result of our trip, the video for tomorrow may not get finished in time, but we will for sure have something up tomorrow morning before we embark on our journey - so stay tuned!

Until then, here's a fun little behind-the-scenes shot of Eric working with the Flycam:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Happiness Only Real When Shared

We have a desire to experience everything in the world. To see what is out there.

This weekend we were drawn into the movie Into the Wild. We were fascinated by what it was he experienced and what it was he was exploring in his life. Although he was in search of something that he did not find until the end of the film, his goals and dreams are similar to what we already know we want. Happiness in this life is only really experienced when it is shared.

Malibu Canyon - May 18, 2013

There is no time to be wasted on a solitary life. No exploration will be truly satisfying if found alone. We embark on this journey together. Not just the two of us, but with you, our audience in tow. The world offers experiences too big for individuals or even a couple to take in alone. They will be exciting and breathtaking.

It is our privilege to be able to bring the people and places we explore in this world to you. This is the pursuit of our life. While we didn't wander into the wild as Chris McCandless did; we have gained insight to our goals and purpose. It is to be free to experience what is out there.

Camp Chula Vista, CA - May 12, 2013

Below is a clip from the movie - WARNING: if you haven't seen the film, there are slight spoilers in this clip. Please watch the full film before viewing.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mormon Helping Hands - North Hollywood, CA

This Tuesday's video is about wheelbarrows.

Er... Let me try that again.

This Tuesday's YouTube video is about service:

And Wheelbarrows:

And using wheelbarrows for service:

Every year, a group of people from my church in every part of the globe get together to do some community service. This year the North Hollywood Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints met at the Hansen Dam in Sylmar to help lay down sod for a portion of their park.

It was tedious, hard, smelly work (of which I contributed but little since I was snapping so many photos and recording video).

The opportunity seemed like a fun short subject for a new aspect of my YouTube channel which will be called "Mini-Docs" - which are miniature documentaries of almost any subject.

This particular Mini-Doc features the spirit of teamwork and the joy of putting yourself out there to help out the community.

Look for the video to be posted on Tuesday!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

BTS: The Tatooine Lightsaw Massacre

Welcome to the delightful world of Star Wars fan films! Er... Horror film homages! Uh... let's try that again:

Welcome to the world of Star Wars horror films. Awful, awful horror films:

The video today is a fun trip through the past. It marks almost two years since filming.

In the fancy days of May 2011, a group of friends and I set out to film a scene from a feature film called The Gilliam Effect. It was going to be directed by my co-writer Spencer and I. We both synced in what we wanted and it was a team effort from the beginning.

The scene was a small cutaway that would serve as a joke to the type of campy films that the filmmakers in the movie would make. It was only intended to be a 15-20 second spot in the whole feature-length film.

After traveling up to Utah, we gathered a small cast and crew. Spencer's co-worker Eric provided the costumes - and also played the menacing Tusken Raider.

We drove everyone out to the Little Sahara sand dune national park in Western Utah. After several hours of affixing the complex costumes to our actors, and after losing a lot of light, we were able to get the few shots that were needed to complete the video.

Because of the difficulty from the loss of light, both Spencer and I had to direct two different actions at the same time to finish up the last few shots. I directed the screams of the hopeless innocents. Spencer directed the terrible wrath of the lightsaw wielding menace.

We shot a majority of the footage on a Canon T2I that we borrowed from our good friend Anthony Ambriz, but when our battery ran out we had to resort to filming with a crappy Canon PowerShot camera I had brought along to take stills. When placed together, it's obvious which camera was better, but since it was supposed to look crappy (with a VHS filter) anyway, we didn't really care.

After the sun went down and we couldn't film any longer, we went through the process of taking off the complicated costume and wrapping everything up. We were all starving by this point. The few crackers and veggies we had for craft services didn't cut it. We all headed to a local diner to relax and enjoy the fun day. The owner of the diner was really cool and the food was super fantastic.

This was seriously the most fun I have had shooting a video since film school and unfortunately it didn't continue on like my initial filmmaking dreams (more of that story to come later). Hopefully this sort of magic can happen again soon, and I have now made a commitment to post at least one video each week on my YouTube page.

With the development of my YouTube channel, and all the exciting stuff that we've been filming lately, it looks like we'll have a lot more goodies for you in the near future.

Stay tuned, and hit subscribe on my YouTube channel :)

(Behind The Scenes photos and video below!)

BTS Photo Slideshow:

BTS Video:

Friday, April 26, 2013

We Need Your Bucket List

Yes. That is a shot from the 2007 Jack Nicholson/Morgan Freeman film The Bucket List. And no, I am not promoting that film in any way.

This post is about you. It's about the things you want to do in this life. Your absolutely positively can't-wait to do list. What are your ultimate dreams? Can you share them with me and help us get a new series on YouTube made?

The Show

A series of 3-5 minute videos chronicling a new person each week fulfilling the best items on their bucket list. We have already begun filming and are now reaching out to a wider group of people to get them involved. The show will be on my YouTube channel, the first episode will premiere on June 10th, 2013.

Our last shoot went extremely well and we all had a really fun time together. (Here is a totally selfish photo from that day to show you how awesome it was.)

My Bucket List

The idea for this show came about just after I finished the 2013 Los Angeles Marathon. After fulfilling that item on my bucket list, I took an inventory of what was next. My list was so large, that I couldn't even figure out what was next.

After asking around to several people, I realized that the more they spoke about what was on their list, the more my list grew. I knew right then that there was a chance to be able to fulfill the items on my list through others. I felt the need to document it all.

Need You Now

We need you now! We need your stories and your ideas. Please get your mind working and help us by letting us come and film you fulfilling your dreams.

You can comment below with your bucket list ideas, or you can send me a personal email. I will reach out to you as soon as possible, and we will begin working out logistics for filming you for our show.

(Not every idea can be filmed, even though I would really love the opportunity. There are no guarantees that we will be able to film you, and you should do your best to be patient with us while we figure everything out.

Also need to note that although we will do our best to find sponsors and partners to help finance each activity, a majority of the costs of your activity will need to be coming from you the individual. The crew that will be filming will be paid for by the production company, so you will only need to account for your individual expenses.)

This show will be better with you! So please, don't hesitate to speak up and contact me!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

LA Marathon 2013 (aka First One Down...)

That's right folks. I'm blogging. (I know, I'm scared too.)

This time about something that I have recently accomplished and I'm incredibly proud of. Something that I want all of you to know about, but more than that, something I want to remember.

A friend of ours sent us her race journal from when she ran the Ogden Marathon a few years back, so I thought I would mimic her style because of the great way it informed and entertained. (Thanks Debbie!)

The Night Before

Although looking back it may not have been such a great idea, I spent the day before the marathon at Disneyland with my wonderful wife, mom and sister. My wife had asked to go for her birthday, and since this was the Saturday closest to her birthday, it seemed like the best time.

Side Note: Getting wet on Splash Mountain may have contributed to the blisters now on my feet.

Anywho, the constant walking and standing in line may have tuckered me out a bit too much before the race.

We ate dinner at the Storyteller's Cafe (which is pretty great if you haven't been), I had the spaghetti with meat sauce for the carbs. I also ate the chicken corn chowder, just because - and it was such a good idea. Very delicious meal, ate enough to be full, but not too much to want to puke on the course.

We stayed until around 10pm, we made it home around 11:20pm, and I was in bed by midnight.

The Morning Of

I woke up around 4:00am. Not sure why. Just woke up. I looked around a bit and wondered if my race was starting and if I'd missed it. Saw the time, went back down and snoozed for another two hours. I felt pretty well rested. My wife woke me up around 6:00am to get ready and get going. Most of my stuff was ready and laid out the night before, once I was up I was able to just throw it all on. I scrambled a bit to try and think of anything that I would forget.

Side Note: It was deodorant. Deodorant is the thing I forgot.

We piled into the car and drove to Dodger Stadium. We took the 5 freeway and it was pretty smooth until our exit when we hit total gridlock. This was the marathon traffic and we kind of expected it, but it was still kind of disheartening to wait in traffic for a half-hour. We got through alright and headed to the dropoff area. Once there, it was "drop-all-and-run" situation as I had to get out of the way of other drivers.

The first thing I did was walk straight to the port-o-potties. There was a huge line (even though there were dozens of them in the parking lot). I waited for probably 45 minutes to use the bathroom. The people behind me struck up conversation and it was fun and light which made the wait easier. I tried stretching, but I was too nervous to do it well. Seriously, I had to wait for 45 minutes.

Side Note: I used all of the toilet paper. I feel horrible, but it's just the way it is.


All I had before the race was a banana and some water. Looking back, I probably should have had more. I tried to get to the stadium in time for some of the bagels, but I was too late.

During the race I had a packet of GU chews with me. I had one at mile 3, 5, 7, 10, 13, and 24. During the race there were several water stations, I tried to take advantage of at least every other one, but I missed a few because I felt my stomach was sloshing with too much liquid. At mile 20 they provided Clif shot gel, I made sure to grab a red packet (during my half marathon in Santa Barbara I accidentally grabbed a mocha flavor gel - blech!), it was raspberry flavor so I was pretty relieved. There was Gatorade, orange slices, bananas, and pretzels along the course. I was able to grab a few orange slices and some Gatorade in the later miles. Oh what joy those orange slices were to my mouth!

After the marathon I grabbed a banana and a bagel in the finisher's area. My family brought me Powerade and chocolate milk (my wife's recipe!). For lunch I had a huge Belgian waffle, ham and eggs, and a giant cinnamon roll.

The Race

My initial goal was to finish at or below 4:00.00. That's a pretty fast time for a first marathon, but I felt like my training was leading me to that time. As I'll explain later, I was pretty much on course to complete well under that goal until mile 18.

I'm more proud of being able to finish, let alone get a good PR time for my first marathon. My goal for the next few years is to accomplish my under 4 hour goal. Maybe I'll be able to do it next year?

After I had finished at the bathroom, an announcer got on the P.A. and told everyone to line up. I started to panic - I hadn't lined up with my pace group. How will I be able to get out of the starting line and run with those who will be at my pace?!? I got to the entrance of the starting corral and it was pretty much human cattle. We all just meandered in and lined up were-ever we could. The Star-Spangled Banner was being sung, but I was too focused on my pre-race checks: phone, earbuds, chews, sunglasses, hat - I think I'm ready!

Miles 1 - 6

The huge wave of people launching out of the corral was so slow that it held me back from my goal pace for about a mile. When my RunKeeper app announced the first mile and my pace - about 10:00 min/mile, I felt really upset I didn't get closer to the front of the start line. Thinking back on it now, it was probably appropriate because it gave me a gentle easing into the run without pulling any muscles or wearing myself out.

These miles were very familiar and fairly easy going. The sheer number of supporters along the course was the most amazing thing to see. It helped boost my confidence and strength throughout the whole race. I don't think I could help but smile through 90% of the race.

At mile 3 I found a pace buddy who I was keeping up with, I'll call him "pony-tail" for now. We stayed pretty consistent together. There were a few times when he would drop back or I would drop back and we would look for each other to get back in sync.

Mile 7 - 11

This is when I felt the absolute best in the entire race. I was on pace, I was feeling great, I had my race buddy with me, and there was an incredible view of the city before us.

At mile 8 my race buddy pony-tail dropped back. He stopped at a water station and I didn't want to lose my pace, so I just kept rolling through. I didn't see him at all after that. I wonder if he was able to finish at a good time...

Throughout these miles I was looking forward to seeing my family at Hollywood and Highland - where we said they would stop to cheer me on before heading to the finish. I didn't see them so I figured they would head to the next stop which would be the Los Angeles Temple. My twitter noise kept going off on my phone, so I figured it was her telling me she wouldn't be there. Even though I felt a bit down about not seeing them, it was more important for them to be at the finish line than anywhere else on the course.

We had one of the longest downhills during mile 11. It was so long and so far down that I was just dreading the uphill that we would have to run next.

Mile 12 - 16

This portion of the run is kind of a blur. We were heading through West Hollywood and I remember seeing a few places I recognized. Two people on the sidelines of note were: the cross-dresser in a cheerleader outfit giving us all high-fives, and a guy dressed as the pope blessing us all as we ran.

I listened to music about half the time during the run. I would go about three miles with and then three miles without. I had a pair of sunglasses on through most of the first half, but as we headed into Santa Monica I took them off because it was getting cloudy (also, I didn't want them on in any of my race photos).

Mile 17 - 23

Right at the peak of mile 17, I hit what most people refer to as "The Wall." I couldn't run any longer. I absolutely, positively had to walk. After walking a minute or so, I decided I just needed to keep going.

Side Note: We ran down Rodeo drive. Take that rich people!

At mile 18, when things looked like they were about to get better, disaster struck... I felt a pain in my thighs that I had never felt before. It was so extreme and so painful that I had to completely stop. It was right after "Cheer Alley" where they had tons of cheerleaders cheering us on, but it didn't matter. As soon as I got past them all, I had to stop.

The pain pretty much paralyzed my running. I stretched and massaged. I walked. I couldn't believe this was happening. My first thought was 'what if I can't finish?' Not a very productive thought, but it was there. A feeling of doom.

I started thinking of my family. I thought of seeing their faces at the finish. I thought of passing the Temple and maybe seeing them there. I decided I needed to finish, even if I was walking.

These thoughts got me back up and running, but only in spurts. I had a pain threshold meter that would fill up after running about a mile. Once it hit the threshold, I had to stop and walk a few minutes. I figured that this would be the best way to finish the race if needs be. It kept me going.

Side Note: This is also about the time I decided to text my wife and let her know that my goal time had changed. I was now planning to finish around 4:25.00. I did it as fast as I could and tried to get my phone back in my holder before I lost too much time - very hard to do. I came to find out later that the text I sent threw my wife into a panic that I was injured or something and maybe wasn't the best of ideas.

Passing the Temple was one of the best moments of the race. I prayed throughout the entire stretch of Santa Monica Blvd that I could see the Temple and well after. I prayed for help to keep going, to finish, and to not die.

Around mile 22, someone kept calling my phone. I thought maybe it was my wife and that she was calling to tell me they weren't going to be at the Temple or that she needed information from me (not very likely, but I was in a weird head space). Finally I answered and some guy got on the phone asked for a "Mr. Eric Anderson" - a telemarketer!!! How dare he!? I hung right up and didn't answer anymore, no matter what.

Mile 24 - 26.2

This is when things started to get a lot better. I didn't feel like dying, (bonus), and I was actually able to run a bit more than a mile before stopping to walk and stretch.

All I remember about the road to the finish was thinking about driving down that very road with my wife several months ago looking for yard sales. I thought about how far we've come and how different our lives are now. I was grateful and humbled. I started to feel a calm and determination.

When the finish was in sight, I decided that I wanted to sprint... I just didn't know when I would physically be able. I kept my slower pace up until the very last bit. The bit with all the crowd standing behind the guardrails and where most cameras were on me. I broke out into a full-on sprint that felt like a 5:00 min/mile pace (but was probably closer to 9:00 min/miles or something). I laughed, posed for the cameras and sang along to "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis which was playing as I crossed the finish line.

Side Note: Several of my co-workers - who helped me have the money enough for the entry fee, were on my mind at that moment. We had listened to that song so much in the vault that it was only appropriate it would be playing when I crossed the finish.

Thank you to Sid, Jessica, Brittany, Ben and everyone in the vault who supported me!!!

As the volunteers were presenting us all with finisher medals, I asked "Am I still running?" which got a bit of a laugh. The long walk to the family reunion area had begun. I grabbed everything I possibly could from the swag tables and as much food as I could carry.

I had finished!!!

My Times

Place (AgeGroup)664
Place (Gender)4184
Place (Overall)5601
LocationNet TimeClock TimePacePace BetweenTime of Day
10K Split54:4059:078:488:25:45
20K Split1:50:071:54:338:518:559:21:11
30K Split2:57:353:02:029:3210:5210:28:40
40K Split4:13:344:18:0010:1212:1411:44:39