Thursday, December 29, 2011

Across The Years

A few days before the final race of my Titanium Quest, I received an email from my publicist. My first thought was, "Huh, I have a publicist?" Apparently, the folks at Power Capes had their PR people contact me about hitting the media circuit. That came completely out of left field, but then again, it's not every day that someone completes 52 marathons in 52 weeks, so this is news worthy! I happily obliged.

I showed up on race day ready to throw endorphins at Fox News. I experienced runner's high early in the morning for two reasons: A) Across The Years was #52, and B) I was going to be on live TV! I really wanted to burst out with an emphatic "LIVE FROM NEW YORK, IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT!" but I opted to engage with the news reporters like a professional instead. Behold, here is my live interview. You be the judge as to how "professional" I am!

This Titanium Quest was a lot like a video game: you keep running marathons to move up in levels until you reach 10 stars. There have been numerous times when I saw the Endorphin Dude avatar quickly fade and the much dreaded "Game Over" warning blink before my eyes. But I never gave up. Injuries almost knocked me out of the race, but I fought to get to every finish line, even when it hurt the most.

Had I been on track to completing a marathon every weekend, I would have hit the halfway mark at the Seattle Rock 'N' Roll Marathon by the end of June. That did not happen. Capsulitis, tendonitis, sciatica, and kidney stones pushed me behind, and as a result, I did not reach #26 until the end of August. It really looked bleak for me, but I kept going. I crammed in five doubles and two triples in the fall, and that's how I got to #52!

There's my Titanium cake, and I'm gonna eat it too! Thanks Yolanda!
I may be the one wearing the cape, but I was surrounded by super heroes at Across The Years!
And away we go!

I came to Across The Years fantasizing about the 50 miler. How awesome would it have been to finish Titanium with a whopping 50 miler? Unfortunately, that was just not in the cards. Even with ten days of rest, I did have 51 marathons on those tired legs. I decided to just take my time and take it easy, as I had 24 hours to complete the required 50k distance.

As I strolled along the one mile loop, I had the opportunity to reflect on my incredible journey. I thought about every Marathon Maniac and Half Fanatic whom I have met on the race course or online this past year. I flash backed to Mardi Gras, Seattle, and Morgan Hill--the marathons that caused me grief. I smiled as I basked in the glory The Tahoe Triple, Labor of Love, The San Francisco Marathon, and Chicago. Most importantly, I went back to that day when I had my heart attack scare three years ago.

If you had told me five years ago that I would run one marathon, I would have laughed in your face. If you had said I would complete 52 marathons in 52 weeks, I would have had you seek psychological help. My life has changed dramatically, and I really like who I have become. And of course, you all know that this paragraph would not be complete unless I mentioned my dog. Rather than me regurgitating how important this chiweenie is to me, you see it for yourself here:

As the day went on, I continued to circle that one mile loop. When I reached the marathon distance, I posted on my Endorphin page that I was a tiny 10k away from Titanium. The flood of encouragement and congratulatory posts poured in. I truly felt like the whole Insane Asylum and all my running friends were cheering me on as if I were Ryan Hall going for the victory in Boston. I kept plugging along. 

With only two laps left, I caught up to Yolanda, who gave me the biggest smile I had seen all day. She said to me, "This is it, isn't it?" I quickly responded that I only had two laps left and I wanted more than anything to cross that finish line with her, the person who told me about this little club called "Marathon Maniacs." Together, we powered it in.

This is me just a few feet away from that finish line!

When I crossed that finish line, I immediately gave Yolanda a hug so big that I thought she was going to pop. I then dropped to my knees in shock. I looked up and the race director stood there with my cake. Other runners arrived at the finish line and I hugged them one by one. There was Mad Hatter Fancy Pants, Kansas, Ken Rubelli, my Endorphin Dudette of the month Kimberly, her son Zachary, Uncle Mike, and even the runners I had just met. 

And just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I looked up at the clock and was stunned to see that I completed a 52k. What a way to end this quest, 52 marathons in 52 weeks with the 52nd being a 52k. I absolutely could not believe that this day finally arrived. Endorphin Dude is a TITANIUM Level 10 Star Marathon Maniac. WOW!! WOW!! WOW!!

WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's all about heart, and this is the only part of me that never cramped up. I did it. 52 marathons in 52 weeks. I am still in shock. Peeps of the Endorphin Empire, thank you for your overwhelming support. I encourage you to dream big, but also know that you must work hard, take risks, and make sacrifices. Only then will everything fall into place. Runner's high has taken me over the moon, and right now I am dancing on cloud nine with 10 shiny stars circling around me.

Titanium Score Board: Completed. Mission Accomplished.


  1. Thanks for sharing this information and beautiful picture.. They are really stunning... You did a great job.
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  2. I heart you Tony and congrats my friend!!!

  3. I love that you have a publicist from Power Capes! You were great in that interview (I've got to believe there were some nervous people back at the station wondering what you might say).

    This is a great post to wrap up your amazing journey. I can see how it would have been hard to put this together without getting too emotional! Congrats!

  4. Very informative post for me as I am always looking for new content that can help me and my knowledge grow better.
    Gr8…Keep it up!!!!
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  5. Great job Tony! I heard on Pace Per Mile Radio that you are training for 100 Mile race... Which one? I am training for my second and third 100's this year.

  6. Tony, Great running with you at the TCM today! Let me know if you ever need a place to stay up here. Mi casa es su casa.
    Jim Oliver
    MM 1731