Saturday, August 6, 2011

Salinas Valley Half Marathon

I wasn't planning on running the Salinas Valley Half Marathon this year.  It really didn't fit into my schedule.  I'm trying to pursue 52 marathons in 52 weeks this year, so why would I stress out my body doing a half marathon that won't count toward Titanium?  Thankfully, Ultra Woof talked me into it.  This is the race where we met.  Well, sort of. Woofie and I ran the Salinas Valley Half Marathon last year, but didn't meet until much later.  I had posted on their Facebook page that I woke up at 3am to drive to all the way to Salinas for the race.  Ultra Woof commented that she had done the same.  We quickly became Facebook friends and the next thing I know, this ultra dawg is pacing me to the finish line at all my marathons, ensuring that I get that medal every time!  Happy One Year Running Anniversary, Ultra Woof!  Well, sort of.

Waiting for the farmer to charge at us with a hoe threatening to beat us silly if we didn't get off his property...

If you've been following the adventures of Endorphin Dude & The Chiweenie, you will know that your marathon caped crusader missed a few weeks of running due to injuries.  That damn sciatic nerve caused me so much grief, but I am very happy to announce that I am once again injury free and healthy.  I've fallen a little bit behind on my quest for Titanium, but I am confident that I will reach my goal by the end of the year.  I have a few doubles and two triples coming up in the fall, so whatever I can do now to prepare my body those races I will.  The Salinas Valley Half Marathon provided me with a great opportunity to run a Goofy Challenge this weekend.  After this half marathon, I headed down to southern California for the Run The Forest Marathon, a very small and low-key race in Lake Forest, CA.

Aside from me shocking my body into thinking it can pull off doubles and triples, I was very happy to be in Salinas Valley.  I had an awesome time here last year, and this year was even better because a bunch of my Half Fanatic friends ran it too.  I came into this half marathon expecting to take it easy and having a lot of fun, and indeed, that is exactly what happened.

You gotta love the Half Fanatics!
Elizabeth and Ultra Woof in action!
Love that they put out these signs.  I would not have known that those were cucumbers.
Jennifer in action!
Bwa ha ha!  I am Count Endorphula and I want to suck your sweat!  Ok, that's just gross.  I can't believe I just wrote that.
Mile 8!  That's me doing my Chinese number dance.
At about mile 9, Chris Bliss caught up to us!  What an action shot.
Endorphin Dude & The Moving Molecules.  ROCK ON!

You can probably figure out that I had a lot of fun at this race, stopping along the way to take fun photos.  With another marathon the next day, I figured why kill my body?  I did get serious toward the end though.  At about mile 9, Chris Bliss caught up to us.  This was Christine's 15th half marathon, and she looked strong at mile 9 when she ran up to us.  I took a quick look at my Garmin and saw that she was on track to a PR!  I told Christine that I could pace her to a personal record, and she agreed.  Christine stayed focused the final 4 miles, consistently pulling in a 16 minute pace!  When we reached mile 13, she, Ultra Woof, and I sprinted in hand in hand in hand.  The three of us were ecstatic to earn huge PR's: Christine broke her record by 3 whopping minutes and Woofie and I got our big PARTY RACE!  Woo Hoo!

I don't care that this is the same medal that I got last year but with a different ribbon.  I love this race regardless!

Good times.  I will definitely return to Salinas Valley to run this half marathon again.  Aside from me being legacy, this race is a lot of fun.  It's well organized and the people are awesome. Two endorphin thumbs up!