I was a man on mission at the Quarry Turkey Half Marathon. I came into this race determined to get that PR. I showed up incognito once again: no cape, no headband, now fanfare. It was important for me to bring my best for three reasons. First of all, CIM is right around the corner, and I want more than anything to come into that race with a personal record under my fuel belt. Secondly, I wanted to show my Brazen Family that I am capable of running a good race. Finally, and most importantly, I needed that PR to validate my dedication and hard work this year. I got all those things and so much more.
What most people don't realize is that I was a runner before I had to slow down. When I pursued my 52 marathons in 52 weeks Titanium Quest, injuries hit me left and right. I had to slow my pace down to what another walker in the marathon community referred to as a "Costco stroll pace". This quest burnt me out physically and pretty much killed me mentally three quarters of the way into the goal. Nonetheless, I kept plugging along at my turtle on crutches pace at the back of the pack. When I hit my Titanium goal, my mind and body pretty much spiraled back onto that couch. I never wanted to run ever again, and the scariest part was that I was still eating large quantities of food as if I was still doing a marathon every weekend. I put on a lot of weight and I knew I had hit rock bottom at Surf City when I painfully dragged my way through a 3:46 half marathon. After that race, I told myself that I needed a reboot.
Truth be told, I really didn't think I would be able to run ever again. I kept telling myself that I was fine in the back of the pack, hanging out at aid stations and stuffing my face with junk food. I was ok with that Costco pace, stopping to take pictures at every kilometer. I had no problems being dead last crossing the finish line and then zooming off to In-N-Out Burger for two 3x3 animal style meals complete with animal style fries. The sad thing is that my power walk pace from the parking lot to the In-N-Out front door was often faster than my pace on the course! As difficult as it was, I knew I had to start all over again. When I returned from Surf City, I went back to the basics and took Chewbacca for a walk around the block. This is what I did three and a half years ago, and it is how I got healthy. For the next few weeks, I increased the distance and intensity of the walk. I then started to jog again. I quickly felt better and before I knew it, I was running again.
On April 9th, my Titanium Brothers, Jonesy and Pete, flipped the switch on me. I had lost 8 pounds since Surf City, but it was on this day that BEAST MODE kicked in. Since then, I have dropped another 32 pounds, PR'ed at the half marathon distance twice, earned my first sub-5 marathon finish, and legitimately nailed that elusive 100 miler. Along the way, I completely changed my nutrition by becoming vegetarian, added cross training to my workout routine, and uncovered that confidence that got buried deep in my soul. The beast has now been unleashed and I am unstoppable. I am very proud to earn that PR on my home turf. Having my Brazen Family cheer me on was icing on this GU cake. (Special thanks to Allen Lucas, Chris Jones, Peter Beck, Ryan Baird, Bernadette Dayrit, and Patrick Mckenna for the photos!)
|Even before I started, the fight broke out. So I didn't show up in my Brazen scarlet letters, so what! This chick accused me of giving GU to her husband! I am a good pilgrim!|
|And there's my illegitamate GU child.|
|No, I am not corrupting these children!|
|Amanda is my aesthetician.|
|I know so many Dianes! There's Diane Lucas, Diane Adele, Diana Saur, my sister Diane, and Dianne Chan! This is Dianne Chan. I like saying "Dianne Chan." It's like poetry.|
|I saw the paparazzi and smiled. Many runners told me I looked possessed out there. I really really really wanted that PR! I was focused!|
|I only had seconds on the clock! I had to book it!|
|Woo Hoo! 2:06:21 baby! PR!!|
|Rocco impresses me so much. This guy helped me get to my PR! Thanks Rocco!|
|Jonesy: "If I can position my sweaty butt just right, I might be able to shart on Tony." Yes, he really said that.|
|Pilgrim Rage! No, personal record! PR!!!!|
|A bunch of bling whores!|
|There's GU child's biological father Ryan.|
|Bernadette got to hang out with Chewbacca!|
|Me and my chiweenie. This is the dog that got me off the couch. I heart Chewbacca!|
|Very happy peeps!|
|Leila got to hang out with Chewbacca too!|
|The Doggie Nanny!|
|Photo bombed by a chiweenie!|
|We really should have our own reality show. "E-Dude & Jonesy Run A Marathon."|
3:46:02 - Surf City (2/6/12)
3:15:28 - Hellyer (2/18/12)
2:53:09 - Oakland (3/25/12)
2:41:31 - US Half (4/8/12)
2:33:23 - Pleasanton (4/29/12)
2:14:49 - Giant Race (9/16/12)
2:07:04 - Oktoberun (10/13/12)
2:06:21 - Quarry Turkey (11/25/12)
I have not only returned to pre-Titanium form, but I am better than ever. Flip the switch to BEAST MODE, peeps, and you too will see results.