Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lagoon Valley Half Marathon

It got wet out there at Lagoon Valley. Wet and muddy. It was also very cold. Mother Nature had fun watching us freeze, slip and slide today. To say that I ran this race would be a big misnomer. I trotted along with another fellow Brazen walker. What I love about Brazen is the early hiker's start. This allows the turtles like me to finish the race in a timely manner. I'm trying to work my way back to pre-Titanium form, and one day, I will run again. For now, I will plug along with the other walkers and hikers. I love being with my peeps in the back of the pack, but I do also miss running the race as well.

I registered for Lagoon Valley because I wanted that creature from the black lagoon medal! Oh the things I will do for bling. Had I known that this would turn out to be a mud bath, I would have draped myself in Hefty bags. This was a very tough but fun race. Half way through my misery, fellow Brazenite Chris Jones showed up. I remember seeing this guy's Facebook post that he was running a different race that morning, so it surprised me to see him run up the hill. He explained that his race got canceled so he zoomed over to Lagoon Valley to help sweep the course. That didn't bode well for me because that meant that the sweeper was on my tail! It worked out in the end because this Chris is pretty funny. I hung out with him after the Modesto Half Marathon so it's not like he's a complete stranger to me. I get really nervous around sweepers.

Having Chris around was pretty hilarious. This guy takes pictures and videos during the race. Lots of pictures. Normally, I would be all over it, jumping into every photo. However, Mother Nature didn't really make it too much fun for me. I was cold and covered in mud, and climbing those mountains nearly killed me. Fortunately, my sweeper injected some fun and a lot of humor into this otherwise miserable and laborious muddy chore.

At the end of the day, I got the job done. I finished dead last once again, but that's ok. My finish time would have been a lot longer, but thanks to the my sweeper's instructions to slide down the hill toboggan style, I saved myself about 10 minutes! That Chris Jones cracks me up. I can see myself hanging out with that dude. In any case, after I crossed that finish line, I hosed myself off, changed into some dry clothes, and I proudly displayed that creature from the black lagoon medal!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Virtual FAB Celebration 5k

Feeling FAB! Chewbacca and I completed our 5k for the VIRTUAL FAB CELEBRATION EVENT. Woo Hoo!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Oakland Half Marathon

I've gain some weight, I am not at the fitness level I was pre-Titanium, and I'm still somewhat mentally burnt out from last year's insane 52 in 52 quest. Somehow, I managed to pull out a sub-3 half marathon, a finish time I haven't seen in months. I am deliriously happy. Half marathon #51 completed. Woo Hoo!

I'm not the only one who gained weight. Check out Chewbacca in the front row. She's so ashamed that she turned her back to the camera!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Modesto Half Marathon 2012

Once again, Tony Nguyen emerges from the port-o-potty as Endorphin Dude to save the world, one couch potato at a time!

I hit a major milestone today: 50 life time half marathons. I accomplished this in Modesto, the place where it all started. I ran my first 5k and 10k in this town back in fall 2009. To get #50 here is special. Since October 2009, I have run, jogged, walked, crawled 50 half marathons, 50 marathons, and 10 ultra marathons. I'm not going to be stopping any time soon. Life is sa-weeeet!!

Woo Hoo!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Badger Cove Half Marathon

I am a self proclaimed bling whore and I am not ashamed to admit it. What the finisher's medal looks like will decide if I run a race or not. It really doesn't matter how difficult the course is or if Mother Nature throws a temper tantrum that day, if the bling is cool I am there. That's why I will always give my business to Brazen.

How could you not love this medal?

The Badger Cove Half Marathon is my first race in the Brazen Ultra Half Series. To be a series finisher, I am required to run four of the nine races in the series, plus the mother of them all, Rocky Ridge, at the end of the season. What makes these races in this series challenging is that they are 13.1-plus miles of "serious ascents and descents and variety of tough trails." Badger Cove definitely lived up to these expectations. What made this race even more challenging is the fact that it rained the night before, so the dirt path turned into a slippery mud trail. The last thing I needed was a sprained ankle from an accidental slip on the mud. For that reason, I took this race very easy. Oh, who am I kidding, I took it easy because the rolling hills killed my quads!

Graphical representation of what I had to climb.

Actual representation of what I had to climb.

I was one of the last to cross the finish line. I'm totally ok with this. Badger Cove is a tough course and I'll be running the Modesto Half Marathon tomorrow. I wanted to leave some energy for that race as it will be my 50th life time half marathon. I have come a long way since my days as the insulin dependent couch potato!

And there's the Brazen Badger Cove gang!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

St. Patrick's Day 5K

Happy Early St. Patrick's Day, Peeps! Slowly but surely, I'm getting back to pre-Titanium form. I got out there and ran a 37:54 5k, which is 56 seconds better than the Conservatory 5k four weeks ago! Yes, it's less than a minute, but every second counts. I'm still very far from where I was two years ago, but I'm taking those baby steps toward that ultimate goal. I am very proud of today's accomplishment. Woo Hoo!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hellyer Half Marathon 2012

My plans to take home the biggest marathon medal in the land got changed at the last minute. Fear not folks, there is no injury or drama! I had to pull out of the Little Rock Marathon for a very good reason. 

For those who do not already know, when Endorphin Dude is not saving the world one couch potato at a time, he is out there making movies. Your marathon caped crusader is part of a film making team named It Donned On Me, and we compete in timed film races. What this means is that we are given a time constraint (usually 48 to 72 hours) and required elements (usually a prop, a line of dialogue, and a genre), and we must complete a film given those requirements. I had planned months before to run Little Rock, so I told my team that I wouldn't be available for this weekends International Documentary Challenge. However, when we received the required elements, my director said that I was needed. This weekend, It Donned On Me created "Endorphin Dude And The Quest For Titanium"! Yes! Endorphin Dude has his own documentary!

Woo Hoo! My own documentary!

Fortunately, the Hellyer Half Marathon was not sold out, so I was able to get registered two days before. My film team met up at the crack of dawn to get video footage of me running Hellyer. Of course, I had to appear in full Endorphin gear! It was fun having the team out there. This project gave me the opportunity to combine my two loves in life: running and film making. Often times, my non-running friends don't understand why I do what I do. Different strokes for different folks, some people golf, I run. My film team understands my passion for film, so it was awesome for them to be here to witness my other love. It's a shame that my other non-running friends couldn't be here.

The race itself was pretty grueling. I'm still working at dropping weight and getting back to pre-Titanium form. I struggled through this 13.1 miles, and it didn't help knowing that camera adds extra weight! Nonetheless, I got out there and had fun. 

It Donned On Me's camera guy, Mike Paunovich, capturing footage.
Action shot!
Allen Lucas made this sign. Love it!
I ran with Mohan most of the way.
Yup, they captured the runner's high.
Woo Hoo!
And of course, you gotta have the bling shot.

After the race, we got some more footage and then headed back to the city to get the interview shots in. It was definitely a long day and night in the studio. We wrapped up at about midnight and then jumped into the editing room. I can't wait to show you all this this documentary. 

Yeah, this is how I felt at the end of the weekend.