Sunday, June 16, 2013

San Francisco Marathon: #100

Jimminy Cricket once said, "When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires will come to you." I like to think that a whole lot of hard work and determination helps too. Life time marathon #100 done. And you know what? I PR'ed by 4 minutes! Right now I am on cloud 9, 10, 11, 12, 100. I LOVE YOU SAN FRANCISCO!!!!!

Unless you've been living in a cave somewhere in the Appalachian Mountains, you probably know my story. In a pistachio nut shell, I am the insulin dependent couch potato turned Marathon Caped Crusader. Four years ago, I thought I was having a heart attack, so I took my dog for walk around the block. That block turned into two the following day, then three, and before I knew it, I was taking long urban hikes all over San Francisco.

Fast forward a few months. I had lost quite a bit of weight and was feeling great about myself. When a friend informed me that he was running the San Francisco Marathon, I said, "sure, I'll come cheer you on. How many miles is a marathon? 10?" I knew nothing about running! I thought that a 10k had something to do with 401k tax forms! Nonetheless, I went to that finish line and cheered him on. As I waited for him, I felt the second hand runner's high from every runner coming through that finish chute. I knew at that moment that this was what I wanted to do. Of course, it was only fitting that I chose The 2010 San Francisco Marathon to be my inaugural 26.2 mile foot race.

I trained for next 12 months for this marathon. I came into that race with about 20 half marathons under my 32 inch waist belt. All I wanted was to run one marathon so that I could tell the world that I did it. This was supposed to have been a one and done bucket list item, but when I crossed that finish line, the endorphins pumped so hard through both my ventricles that I thought my heart would explode. The pain in my legs didn't seem to matter. All I knew was that I wanted more. After I received my medal, I said to myself that I would run two more marathons so that I could qualify for the exclusive Marathon Maniacs club. I thought it would be cool to wear the yellow singlet like the varsity lettermen jacket that I could never have in high school. One month later, I ran the Extraterrestrial Highway Marathon and then a few weeks after, I earned my spot in the Insane Asylum by running the Santa Rosa Marathon, my third marathon in 90 days.What went from one and done bucket list item turned to three and done. Well, not really.

I went on to run marathon after marathon after marathon. I threw some ultras in there along with a bunch of half marathons. Every weekend I ran, and then I ran some more. The endorphins took over and I just couldn't stop. The stars all lined up perfectly for me to hit my 100th here. It is no secret that I love the San Francisco Marathon, and to be able to hit this milestone at the place that started it all is monumental. When I crossed that finish line, I really felt like my heart was going to explode. It was like the first time all over again.

Never in 26.2 million years did I think that I would ever reach my 100th marathon three short years later. Along the way, I earned Titanium status by nailing 52 marathons in 52 weeks, knocked out not one but two 100 mile endurance races, completed over 110 half marathons, and found complete peace with myself. I truly like the person I have become. A healthy dude is a happy dude. Life is good.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Trailquake 5k

Trailquake My Heart! Got a good 5k in the day before The San Francisco Marathon. These legs are all warmed up for #100!!! (No medal for the Chiweenie. The lazy butt hung out with one of the volunteers rather than running this one with me).

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Twin Peaks Loop 4 Mile

My 4 mile training run for today was a 4 mile race with my local running club, Dolphin South End Runners. This was an uphill climb and then a descent. I ran this one at a 10:11 pace (Ignore the pace on the Garmin. That pace was recorded at the very moment that I snapped this photo and not the overall average.) I'm feeling great. St. George training is coming along very smoothly!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Crissy Field 5k

On the training schedule today: 3 mile jog. Got in my 33 minute self-timed Crissy Field 5k. Feeling good!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

DSE 6 Hour Distance Classic

And there it is: life time marathon #99!!! You know where #100 will be? San Francisco Baby!!! Who's going to party with Endorphin Dude on The Golden Gate Bridge?!?!?

And you know what the best part is? Endorphin Dude DID NOT GET CHICKED!!! Yup, the results are in and The UNPRECEDENTED has happened! 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Crazy 8, Day 5

Yo Yolanda!

Guess who I bumped into on my final day of the Crazy 8? Well, since I posted the photo right before the question, it's not that difficult to figure out. What a great way to end my week, sharing some miles with the new Guinness World Record Holder for the most marathons/ultras completed in one calendar year. I believe this race was Yolanda's 109th for the year, which breaks her 106 total for 2010. What's awesome is that she's not stopping! The Walking Diva has her eyes set on 120 for 2012. Congratulations Yolanda!

I'm glad to get this Crazy 8 series over. With the pain in foot and a repetitive course, it got a little painful out there, but physically and mentally. I managed to cram in 8 races in 5 days in order to get all my bling: one marathon, four half marathons, and three 5ks. Now I have all eight pool ball medals. Woo Hoo!

Love my pool ball bling!

I'm glad I got out here this week and got. I need all the miles I can get between now and New Year's One Day if I want to with most race miles of the year. The 87.9 miles here at Crazy 8 will definitely keep me in the lead, but I cannot rest of my laurels. The competition is fierce. Last year I lost by 2 little miles, and I won't let that happen again. So as I say good bye to the Crazy 8 and head on down south to The Winter Seven, I'd like to take a look back on this tough week. Rather than showing my pain, I will highlight the good times!

First night post race dinner!
Big congrats to Amy Ellingson for completing the most miles to date! This young lady took control of her life and lost a huge chunk of weight. Keep up the good work Amy. I hope to be there at your first half marathon!

I had a great time hanging out with Teresa.
I love my pacer.
I wish I could bring Chewbacca to all my races. Love seeing this Chiweenie at the finish line!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Crazy 8, Day 4

Yay! Day four of the Crazy Eights is done. Another half marathon and 5k in the books! I picked up my pool ball medal and jumped back on the course to complete my 12-12-12 FAB Virtual Racing 1.2 Miler. This is the fourth day on this course. I'm getting really bored.

Hi all. Chewbacca here. Just hacked into Endorphin Dude's iPhone. Dang, my legs are beat. Just completed the 12-12-12 FAB Virtual Racing 1.2 Miler with The Dude. Wish he had just stuck me in the pooch pouch!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Crazy 8, Day 3

Yeah Baby.
This photo was actually taken yesterday at the start. This was when I was happy and rock solid. Then again, I'm always happy and rock solid at mile zero! Everything unraveled after the halfway mark. Hey, I got it done yesterday and today is a new day, and a good day it was! I walked a half marathon and felt great. It's nice to finish a race with others still around! I threw in an additional 5k for extra bling. Yeah, I'm a bling whore what can I say.

What a novel idea! Pool balls as bling for the Crazy 8!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Crazy 8, Day 2

Yeah, this text message exchange just about sums it up.

Halfway through my marathon, that little jab in my foot turned into a Bedrock sized JAB-BA DABBA DOO! Oh boy, did that jab dabba dabba hurt. Yes, out of nowhere, I threw in a Flintstone analogy into my race report. I am sitting here reading that opening line over and over again and am not really sure if it's a hit or a miss. However, because my legs and brain are so fried, I'm just going to go with it.

Because this course was 13.1 miles out and back, I couldn't drop! I had to get to that finish line in order to go home! By mile 20, I knew I was toast, but I kept plugging along. The worst part was I kept my ride waiting. If I had driven myself, then I would have just had my little meltdown and kept going. However, I kept Ace out there waiting for me until way after sun down. I finally crossed the finish line way after 5pm, and Ace and Chewbacca were there cheering me on. I felt so bad. Ace was such a good sport about it. I told him no more marathons for the rest of the week for me. 13.1 will suit me just fine.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Crazy 8, Day 1

The Chiweenie Meets The Manimal.

If you saw this guy on the side walk, would you let your little dog come up and sniff him? Chewbacca was curious. She thought there was a punk poodle on his face. I had to let the little one approach Mr. Fuschia Beard to see what's up. He picked her up and they instantly bonded. Well, sort of. After Chewbacca realized that there was no poodle in that beard, she got a little antsy. Good thing she didn't pee on him. Chewbacca, meet The Manimal. Yes, I know the guy with the I'm-Coming-Up-So-You-Better-Get-This-Party-Started facial hair.

Wayne Sherman is a fellow Marathon Maniac who came out all the way from the other side of the country to run the Crazy 8 series. I met Wayne last year during my Titanium quest and we quickly became friends. What I will always remember about this guy is that he called me the day of my 52nd marathon of that quest to make sure that I didn't miss my flight. Mind you, he did this during his marathon. It was great to see Mr. Sherman out there on the course and knowing that he was going to be there all week. I only did the half marathon today, and I don't plan to limit the marathons for the rest of the year. There is this nagging pain in my foot that's bothering me. This is only day two of my 16 races in 13 consecutive days quest, so I took it easy. I only have a few marathons scheduled in the next 12 days, but we'll see how this foot holds up.

Hooters dixie cups at the aid station!

Golden Gate Park 10k

Got up at the crack of dawn to run the Golden Gate Park 10k. After I finished, I zoomed off to Sacramento to run the first race of The Crazy Eights. The next two weeks is going to be absolutely nuts. I will be running five of the Crazy Eights and then off to Southern California for The Winter 7. Oh boy!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Summit Rock Half Marathon

I've become quite obsessed with time, and by that, I don't necessarily mean personal records. Without a doubt, it is my goal with every race to do the best that I can and improve. There is another element of time that has consumed me, and that is finishing within the cut off. Many races offer an early start option, and while I think this is great for hikers and slower runners, I want to be able to complete a race with everyone else. I have taken the early start many times, but now that I have reached this new level of fitness and endurance, I want to challenge myself further.

I showed up to Summit Rock with a lot of nerves. I don't love this course. The last time I ran this technical trail, I picked up an injury in my left foot. I kept thinking in the back of my mind that if I took the early start, I could just walk most of the way to avoid any possible injuries or grief. That, however, would defeat the purpose of this challenge. I stayed far away from the early start line to avoid any temptation of jumping in. I wanted to conquer Summit Rock under four hours, and with my Mafates strapped on my feet, I kept telling myself that I had a legitimate shot at this. How hard could it be? All it is up one big uphill and then down I go, right?

With my bright yellow Hokas on my feet, I power hiked up the hills, ran the flats, and sprinted my way down. I kept focus and 3 hours and 21 minutes later, I crossed that finish line. I am happy to announce that I earned a new course record at Summit Rock! The first time I ran these trails, I limped in at about 4:15. Woo Hoo!

I have graduated from the early start! The goal now is to get even fitter and faster so that I could get an age award! Ok, maybe that's wishful thinking, but as long as I have that goal in my head, I will keep working hard. Who knows, I may place in the top three Rocky Ridge next year. Hmm.

Love my Brazen Family!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

California International Marathon

CIM = California International Monsoon. Yes, that is exactly what it was like out there today. Mother Nature sent us the memo early on, so we all knew it was going to be cold and wet. Yet, we maniacal marathoners braved the harsh weather and ran 26.2 miles. Some may say this is dedication while others call it insanity. I like to think it's a little bit of both.

I have to admit, I was a bit annoyed by Mother Nature for choosing this day to water the plants. CIM was supposed to have been my PR race. Months ago, when BEAST MODE shifted into high gear, I set my sight on this race as being my first sub-5 marathon. I made that bold announcement right after The Giant Half Marathon when I nailed my 2:14 half marathon finish. Mind you, I had not seen finish times like that in over three years, so that really boosted my confidence. A few weeks later, I got that sub-5 marathon at the Two Cities Marathon in Fresno, clocking in an astounding 4:56 finish. I readjusted my goals to hit another PR at Santa Barbara the following weekend and then again at CIM a month later.

Being on that PR high got me cocky, and I went out way too fast at Santa Barbara. I did manage to squeak by with a 5:14 finish, which is my second best marathon time. I felt great about this, but I really wanted that sub-5 repeat. Hence, I put a lot of pressure on myself to do it again at CIM. There's actually more to it. You see, this is my first CIM. I have skipped this race for the past three years because I was never able to make the six hour cut off. Things are obviously different now. I fitter and faster now, and this was my year to shine at CIM.

Thanks for the down pour, Mother Nature!

With all that said, in hind sight, it doesn't surprise me at all that I did not PR at CIM. I had put so much pressure on myself that my mind pretty much imploded half way through the race. I lost my PR at mile 16 and for two miles, I pretty much gave up. Fortunately, a fellow Brazen runner caught up to me and lifted my spirits. He knew I was struggling, so he encouraged me to run with him. I still struggled, but this runner gave me enough of a boost to get my mojo back. He stayed with me to the end, and we crossed that finish line together. Even though I did not get that PR, I am proud to say that I earned my third best marathon finish time.

Thank You Stephen! You saved me!
The lens on my iPhone camera was all fogged up!

I could have completely given up and walked to the finish line and still made the cut off. Instead, I kept pushing for the best finish time I could. Am I bummed that I didn't PR? Of course. Am I going to let it bother me? No. I did the best I could and for that I am very happy. When I crossed the finish line, all my running friends cheered me on. Any negative feelings of not PRing went away.

Woo Hoo!

In closing, I'd like to share a funny little story. I can laugh about this now, but at the time it was pretty traumatic. A few miles into the race, there was major flood on the course. While some runners tried to go around it, I ran through it. Well, I slipped and face planted into that pond! I looked like seal in an inflatable kiddie pool trying to escape. After flopping around for a few seconds, I was able to get up. And yes, I swallowed some muddy water. Yuck. In no way am I saying that this fall affected my overall performance. I will say, however, that it probably does explain why I threw up after the race!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Run Turkey Run Half Marathon, Day 3

This is how day 3 of the Run Turkey Run Half Marathon started for me. Hee hee. I love that Darla Given of KXTV came out to Tracy's Racing. So random!

You figure by now I'd be used to these insane racing weekends. I've done far more extreme things than 55.5 miles in four days. The truth of the matter is that is doesn't get any easier the more you do them. It does give me comfort knowing that I've done these distances before back to back to back to back, so I know what I need to do to get the job done. Still, it's not easy. My body was pretty much shot from yesterday's marathon distance. I went into today's race still on adrenaline and actually considered upgrading to 26.2, but I realized that with CIM right around the corner, I did not want to risk anything. Smart move on part. Today was a slow as molasses half marathon day. My body pretty much said "NO MORE!" by mile 9, but I kept chugging along until I reached the finish line.

55.5 miles in four days. Yay! I can go home and take a bubble bath now. I'm so ready for CIM!