Sunday, November 29, 2009

Run Wild For A Child

Let's call it what it is: I did *not* run the turkey trot. I like to think that I did, but the bottom line is that I only ran 40% of it. I think I even cheated, and took a shortcut home! Because of this guilt, I made up for it by running the "Run Wild For A Child" 5k after Thanksgiving.

Joining me was Christine Clark, Mary Castillo, and Luis Rodriguez, members of "The Chew Crew." If I hadn't mentioned it before, I formed a little exercise club to people who were in the same shoes I was get back into shape. The name is a derivative of my dog Chewbacca, the little chiweenie that got me off the couch out walking her for hours on end. I am very happy to announce that the Chew Crew did an awesome job. These guys get props just for showing up, but to cross the finish line really shows commitment.

I give double kudos to Mary for being brave enough to show up in costume! Because this race benefits the San Francisco Firefighter's Toy Program, runners can dress up in their favorite child hood toy and compete for two Southwest Airlines tickets. When Mary showed up at my door step at 6am in full Minnie Mouse gear, she nearly had a stroke when she saw me in regular running clothes. I had changed my mind about going in costume because I wasn't too satisfied with my Monopoly Man Get Out Of Jail get up. When I saw that Mary was about to break down, I knew I had to throw on that jail bird suit. I'm glad I did, because both Mary and I walked away with medals for participation!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Cancer Report - Episode 72: "Cancer Awareness Run & Ride"

On this day after Thanksgiving, I'd like to take this time to quickly break away from my goofy self and post something serious. I am so thankful to have my health. I worked so hard to get my life back on track and as a result, I am proud to say that I have extended the expiration date on my mortality. I am all about outreach now, and my goal is inspire others to get off the couch and make changes in their lives.

Recently, I was featured on a local television show in Modesto called "The Cancer Report." Although the main focus of this series is cancer awareness and prevention, I was invited to participate because my quest to get healthy was noticed at the Cancer Awareness Run & Ride 10k. When I crossed the finish line in under one hour, the endorphins took over and I showed everyone there how happy I really was by smiling and dancing and pretty announcing to the world how much I loved life. An oncologist congratulated me and asked for my contact information. A few weeks later I received a call from the Memorial Medical Center and was invited to share my story. When you get a chance, check out the episode here. My segment starts at 14:01.

I'd like to dedicate this to the three people I know who either have cancer or have a loved one who does: Jeff Crispi, Tony Flandrich, and Saskia Pardo. I'd also like to thank my two best friends, Charlie and Daniel, for kicking me in the butt all these years to get healthy! Good health is something that should not be taken for granted. I had it taken away from me and I fought to get it back. Now I just have to firmly hold on to it. My life is good, and every day it gets better.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving all. This is the one day in the year when you can be at gluttonous as you want without consequence! I will admit that I fell prey to all the food on the table. But it's all good because I did the turkey trot this morning! Well, I did half of it. I ran 1.2 miles and walked the rest. My turkey trot turned out to be a turkey flop! No worries, I'll get back on track after Thanksgiving. Below is a picture of my family. Why the heck did I decide to wear my skinny jeans on the day when I knew I was going to over eat?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The 18 Miler

My marathon training is coming along very well. I managed to pull out an 18 mile run today. The first 13 miles were relatively easy. Once I hit 15-17, things got shaky. My body ultimately told me to stop at 18. I walked through the Tenderloin to Geary and jumped on the bus. This was my first run over 13.1 miles, and though I hit the wall, there's no shame in running 18 miles under 4 hours! I am very lucky to live in this city. Below is the course I took.

Lands End
Sea Cliff
Baker Beach
Golden Gate Bridge
Crissy Field
The Marina
Fort Mason
Fisherman's Wharf
Pier 39
The Embarcadero
AT&T Park
Potrero Hill
The Tenderloin

Friday, November 20, 2009

Evan Donn, The Muay Thai Guy, recently introduced me to Nerd Fitness, a blog that "helps nerds and average joes get in shape the right way, one day at a time." If fit into this category perfectly. Check out Endorphin Dude's on Nerd Fitness!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


60086. That's my bib number. For what? The 2010 San Francisco Marathon!!! I just registered!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chicken Soup For The Soul

A few days have passed since the Eye-Q Two Cities Half Marathon, and I am not embarrassed to say that I am still on runner's high. My body is almost at 100%, and hopefully by tomorrow, I will be able to get back on Ocean Beach for a run. I am so motivated, and am looking forward to the Las Vegas Rock & Roll Half Marathon in about 4 weeks.

I have proven to myself that I am the real deal. I am a runner! My performance in Fresno proved that I am not a fluke, and that the San Jose Rock & Roll Half was not a one shot deal. I believe I was able to achieve my PR of 2:11:26 because of these modifications:
  • Replacing the iPhone with a Shuffle. The lightness of the clip on mp3 player probably saved me a few seconds.
  • Applying chafing cream to the thighs. Oo-wee, this made a world of difference.
  • Contact lens! Yes, it's so nice to see where you are running.
  • Nip Guards! Yes, I know, TMI, but I have to put it out there. Two Band-Aids on the nipples will save you so much pain once you hit mile 8.
  • Keeping a steady pace all the way through.
I am very confident and motivated now. My sophomore effort was a huge success. I will continue to challenge myself. I am healthy, happy, and loving life. At this time, please allow me to offer up some chicken soup for the soul: Smile until your face aches. Laugh until your lungs collapse. Become your own biggest fan. Appreciate, respect, and love yourself, and everything will fall into place. Life is sweet so go ahead and take a bite out of it. No worries, it's sugar free, low-cal, and carb-less!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

No Fluke

I am relieved to announce that my success at the San Jose Rock & Roll Half Marathon one month ago was not a fluke! I ran that race--my first--in 2:15:15, a time that far exceeded my expectations. I was ecstatic. Imagine how I feel now, having just broke that time to earn my PR. That's right, I completed the Eye-Q Two Cities Half Marathon in 2:11:26 at a 10:02 pace. I had initially thought the time was a little faster based on my Garmin watch, but I am totally ok with the final result. I am getting better with every race and my confidence continues to soar. The icing on the cake is that I got my brother-in-law excited about running. He, too, had runner's high all the way home. We're going to get the whole family into this running thing.

Lap 1, 7:00am - 8:58 per mile.
I keep thinking back to my first 5k when I shot out of the starting line and ran until I lost my breath at the 0.8 mile mark. I have since learned to control my adrenaline and excitement and slow down the pace upfront. I wanted to crank up the speed, but I kept telling myself to slow down, which helped me in the end.

Lap 2, 7:09am - 9:30 per mile.
One thing I did differently this time around was that I switched iPods. Instead of strapping my bulky iPhone to my arm, I clipped a Shuffle to my shirt instead. The smaller size was definitely more physically comfortable, as well as it allowed me to fidget with the play list as needed. I couldn't do this with the iPhone. The first three miles are always the toughest for me, so being able to play DJ helped.

Lap 3, 7:19am - 9:30 per mile.
Amazingly enough, I was able to keep up at mile three. I distinctly remember singing along to The Beatles as I soaked in the scenery. "If there's anything that you want, if there's anything I can do, just call on me and I'll send it along with love, from me to you." I probably looked silly lip synching during my run, but it helped get my mind off of any possibility of bonking!

Lap 4, 7:28am - 9:41 per mile.
I had to stop to tie my shoes!

Lap 5, 7:38am - 10:18 per mile.
By mile five, I was getting a little concerned because I didn't feel like I was getting into my groove. Janet Jackson was not getting the job done for me, so I exited the Rhythm Nation and entered Motown. Stevie Wonder saved me.

Lap 6, 7:48am - 10:09 per mile.
At the halfway point, I looked at my Garmin and realized that there was the possibility of me achieving my personal record, so I picked up the pace! I looked for my brother-in-law at the turning point, but I couldn't find him. Everyone looked the same in their running uniforms!

Lap 7, 7:48am - 9:24 per mile.
The endorphins started to kick in and the adrenaline allowed me to kick it up a notch.

Lap 8, 8:08am - 9:41 per mile.
No pain, no mental break downs, no drama. I did have to stop to tie my shoes again, but I was able to keep a 9:41 pace in my eight mile. Not bad!

Lap 9, 8:18am - 9:40 per mile.
Endorphin Dude showed up at mile 9! I WAS FLYING!!!!

Lap 10, 8:27am - 10:32 per mile.
...and then there was that hill.

Lap 11, 8:38am - 10:05 per mile.
I recovered after climbing the hill and was able to get my pace back down to 10:05. My legs were beginning to give out, but I was in a much better mind set at the 11 mile mark here in Fresno then I was in San Jose. I did not allow myself to bonk, and I kept plugging long.

Lap 12, 8:48am - 10:40 per mile.
To keep a 10:40 pace at the 12 mile mark is quite a feat. I cranked up the music and kept pushing to get to that finish line. I was so close to the end and that coveted personal record. I kept soldiering on.

Lap 13 - 8:59am - 10:18 per mile.
My legs were cramping up, my thighs were throbbing, and my heart felt like it was about to explode, but I cranked it up to a sprint once I saw that the finish line was within striking distance! I ran and ran and ran, and when I crossed, I raised my arms in victory and limped my way over to the medical station to get iced up. Sheer euphoria. It felt like the first time all over again.

Running 13.1 miles is not easy, but I love it. I am so ready for the Las Vegas Rock & Roll Half in four weeks!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Intestinal Fortitude

I'd love to call our next documentary "Intestinal Fortitude." When we interviewed ultra runner Charles Wickersham this afternoon, he came up with these two words in a sentence. I don't remember what context they were in, but it was funny. The past couple of projects that It Donned On Me put out, we ended up using titles that were direct quotes: "A Place Like This...," "Intrinsic Self," and "Sur Mesure." Why not "Intestinal Fortitude for this documentary short on ultra running? Maybe not.

I spent the day in Modesto with the IDOM crew to film the interview portion of our upcoming documentary on ultra running. The timing was impeccable, as I am running a half marathon tomorrow! We filmed at Dr. Wickersham's home and then at the pharmacy where he works. We got some great footage, which will fit in perfectly with the footage we got two weeks ago at the San Francisco One Day, the 24 hour ultra running event at Crissy Field.

I'm loving this project. I am able to combine the two things I love: filming making and running. We will head into post production now, and hopefully "Intestinal Fortitude" will make it's debut in December. I know my director and editor is cringing right now, reading that ghastly title! Ok, ok, ok, we'll leave it untitled for the time being.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Great Highway Halloween 4M

I donned my Endorphin Dude suit for today's Great Highway Halloween 4 Mile Run. It was definitely a challenge running in the towel cape, but I managed to finish the race with a 9:32 pace. My legs held up fine, and I do hope that they will continue to hold up through 13.1 miles at next week's Eye-Q Two Cities Half Marathon in Fresno. I'm feeling good!

I feel like a kid every time I am handed a ribbon. I don't care what race I am running, I cherish every ribbon, medal, trophy, or award that I receive.