Such A Diva … The Race That Almost Wasn’t

Melinda, Linda, Richelle, and I … 4 Divas. I *LOVE* this picture!!!

I have to admit, this wasn’t on my list of “must do” runs for 2012.  I saw that a few of my frunners had signed up to run it, and I was happy to let it go.  I had a friend, though, Melinda, who asked me to help keep her in check, to give her a goal, and a little bit of motivation, and to suggest a race for her.  I suggested a few, then casually threw out that there would be a Diva Run in SF that she could sign up for.  Low and behold, Melinda signed up and said that she was “IN.”  Then our mutual friend, Rosie, wanted to run it as her first half and it was at that point that I felt somewhat obligated to sign up and run with them, so … I did what a good frunner would do, especially since it was MY idea, and I signed up.

Run Like A Diva, the SF race, is a popular women’s only race series held in several cities throughout the United States.  This race would be no different, and it filled to capacity fairly quickly.  There was a waiting list of about a thousand women that they took and were able to accomodate, once they got the “okay” from the city.

I wasn’t going to run this race. Remember, I was initially just merely suggesting races for my friend, Melinda, to run. I never believed that Rosie would sign up to run though! Not only that, but I had injured myself two weeks prior in Calistoga by running on uneven pavement.  I really tweaked my ankles running that one. So I was *this* close to bailing out on them.  But … I did not.

My Diva Race outfit!

Fast forward to one week before the race.  Rosie bails out as she has overbooked her schedule and has been working so much overtime to fund her daughter’s Quinceneira.  She tells me that she wants to give her bib away.  Easy … so I ask Cory to run with me, and she’s “IN.” But at the last minute decided that her heart was not in it and eventually bowed out …

My friend, Linda, had initially sold her bib, but in the end wound up running after all.  She wanted to run. She needed to run. And it worked out for her so that she could run, and even had a friend who asked her to stay with her in SF! Talk about twists of fate!

Melinda and I.
Linda and I …
Richelle and Linda!

I rode up to San Francisco, really it was the city of Burlingame, not San Francisco with my friend, Melinda, who is an awesome, badass runner!  This would be her third half, but her times are amazing!  The drive up was uneventful and conversation was nice. We lucked out with parking as we were able to find close parking to the hotel where Linda and her friend were staying!  We were fortunate enough to meet Rischell, Linda’s friend, who is an awesome runner.

Sea of PINK!!!

After our pre-race primping, we made our way down to the start where we were greeted by a sea of women dressed in – what else – PINK!!! It was somewhat nauseating, but it was, after all, the Diva Run, so it was expected that women would come decked out in their best Diva running outfits!

The run itself was not a bad run.  It reminded me a lot of running Alameda’s See Jane Run.  Flat, fun, and mostly all women.  As I was running with Linda, who was 2 weeks post full marathon, I knew it would be a good run because we dubbed ourselves “Gimp and Limp.” The first mile was somewhat rough for me – just trying to get my footing, and making sure that my ankle supports would hold up.  (Let me tell you, BOTH ankles were ace wrapped, had ankle supports, and had calf compression sleeves on!)  Once I got my footing, it was an uneventful first half.  By the turnaround, I had to remove the left ankle support, it felt slightly “off,” and felt as if it would fare better if I just removed it.

Mile 7.5, I was belting out songs to my running partner, Linda.  Mile 8 was the “water” incident – where they ran out of water and were scooping it out of a large community barrel.  When Linda asked where the water was from, the volunteer, who thought he was funny, stated, “The Porta Potty!”  Ugh. Stupid!

Miles 9 and 10 were getting rougher for Gimp and Limp.  I was starting to feel pain in my right foot.  Linda had to stop a few times, but we continued to  plug away.

I lost Linda somewhere at around mile 10.5.  I turned around and Linda was no where to be seen.  I’m thinking she stopped somewhere and didn’t yell out to me?!? Aaaah. I dunno.  All I knew was that I was alone with the tunes on my iPod …

At mile 11, I had had enough.  I wanted it to be over with so I began to pick up my pace despite the throbbing pain in my foot. It was still tolerable, and really, really wanted to be off the course.  The temps were starting to rise, and it was gettin’ HOT. Oh. My. God!  I believe that Mellie Mel caught up to me at mile 11.5 – I felt a tap on my shoulder and was surprised to see her because I believed that she would be way ahead of me!

Diva Row. – Complete with Tiara, Boa, Medal!
Melinda, Richelle, Linda, & I … Post Race DIVAS!!!

It was a lot of work to get to the finish for me.  I remember grabbing my tiara and boa at around mile 12.5, but I was workin’ hard to maintain.  I was happy to be finished! I went thru the nutrition line and got my post race food on! I was so hungry, but I lost Mel. I did find Melinda and Richelle, and then Linda without incident.  We were all happy to be finished.

Overall, I enjoyed the run, but I don’t believe that I’ll run it again.  Although I did enjoy the company of my friends, I’m not that fond of running with ALL women. I ran injured, but it was okay because I was

Linda & I – I believe that we both wanted to kill ourselves after that run!

pretty careful and I ran slowly.  I felt as if I could run slightly faster, but I really didn’t want to push it.  I truly enjoyed running with my friend, singing out loud, and just chillin’.  There really wasn’t anything “exciting” about running thru industrial Burlingame, nor was it pleasing to run to the smell of early morning ocean smell … LOL! I thought that the tiara and the boa was a nice touch that my daughter would enjoy, and she did!  =)  Thank you, Diva Run, for bringing me closer to my friends, for reminding me that I’m not alone, and that my friends ARE important.

Post race Diva bling!

Festival 500 Indy Mini Marathon 2011

Wow … Where do I begin with this post?  The Festival 500 Indy Mini Marathon.   This half marathon was chosen on a whim.  I saw it, I

This was taken by Brightroom. I love this pic!

thought about it, I asked my husband if it would be okay, then I registered.  I didn’t put that much thought into it which I should have.  I know!

My travel buddy!

Everyone always asks me, “Why Indianapolis?”  Well, the answer is easy … my brother, Joe, lives in Indy, so I made it a run with a dual purpose – visit my brother and run a half while I’m there!  I hadn’t been to Indy since 2006, and since then my brother has bought a new house and has a new girlfriend, etc.  The decision to go was easy,  just the logistics was not, but I made it work.  I was fortunate enough that my husband had some frequent flier mileage that he got on his new SouthWest Visa Card, and that my daughter’s ticket was fairly inexpensive.  So we were off on a girl’s adventure!

We left on a Monday so we had plenty of time before the race on Saturday.  We didn’t do much while in Indy, just hung around my brother’s house because he had to work and it would’ve been crazy to ask him to take vacation days off to spend time with us.  Besides, I didn’t want to do much other than chill out, and neither did Grace (she just didn’t know it then).  We loaded up of groceries and necessities and just holed up for a few days!  It was nice to just do nothing!

Course map ... where's my GPS?

My brother and his girlfriend, Lucy, did take the day off on Friday so we could explore the expo.  The expo was held at the Indianapolis Convention Center as it was a large event with many (try 30,000 runners).  Packet pickup was well organized.  They sent out postcards with our bib numbers already on them, so all one had to do was head to the correct line with your bib #.  Fast and easy.  I always love perusing the vendors at the marathon expos.  They almost always have great deals and there are always good race discounts.  The last time I went to one, I entered all of the drawings because my running BFF did, and I ended up winning a bunch of stuff so I did it again, and once again won a bunch of stuff – Free pizza, a boat trip down the Ohio River, a stay at a resort,

Checkered flag! =)

water bottle, etc.  Not bad.  It was while I was at the expo that I learned that one of my Twitter buds, @alamarcavada, was running this event.  Unfortunately, I was literally walking out as she was walking in, so we didn’t get to meet.  We were able to exchange numbers and were going to meet at the start or at the finish for sure!  I wanted to meet @halftrain while I was there also, but that didn’t happen either!

Carb loading happened at one of my favorite places … Buca di Beppo!  Love that place … tons of carbs, and more carbs.    The food is awesome, and you know that carbs and I are BFFs … well, except my hips don’t think so!  Lol!  Oh well … I love their food!  The rest of the day was pretty uneventful.  My brother and Lucy took out Grace and I just chillaxed some more after I laid out my race gear.

Race day, game face on!  Heehee!  It started at about 0500  I had my ususal reheated Starbucks Mocha (Triple, tall, NF, no whip), and my toasted bagel with peanut butter.  Start time was 0700 and we weren’t sure about parking downtown, so we left at 0600.  Parking was not an issue.  Downtown Indy had lots of parking!  There were TONS of runners and spectators.  I expected chaos, but surprisingly there was NONE!  I thought I’d get lost trying to find the start, but I didn’t.  Everything

Hundreds and hundreds of porta potties!

was well marked, no one was panicking.  I met a really nice lady while waiting to use the porta potty who told me that this was her 10th Indy Mini race.  That was another thing … there were tons of porta-potties!  When I had to go right before my corral reached the start, there was no issue, no long ass line like there usually is at races!

Beach ball warm up! So cool. I tossed my daughter one when I took off!

I was in Corral M … so you can imagine how many people there are.  The corrals are arranged in the order that you registered, NOT by how fast you are.  I registered “late” in November for this race.  I loved how there was time to warm up and get acclimated to the weather, and how my family could find me easily.  I love how we played beach ball while we waited at the start!  It was fun!

Mac imposter, but she made me feel as if I was running with her!

I was worried about running “alone,” however, I was able to spot a girl that had a “Mac-do”  – the crazy ponytails that my running buddy Mac sports at our races!  Too much fun.  It took about 15 to 20 minutes to get to the start once the gun went off!

While “racing” I’m not really racing.  To me it’s just running as I am only competing with myself.  I only strive to improve my own times as I know that that is where the real competition is … inside my head!  Running thru the streets of Indy was amazing!  The weather was perfect – cool in the high 50’s to 60’s with some drizzle.  I had no issue with crowding in the beginning … just running.

Super cool to be running on the track!
I'm not a good runner & photographer, but I tried.

I hit the midpoint on schedule as discussed with my awesome Coach @SpeedySasquatch.  My times were spot on, and I felt really good.  Mile 7 is where we were actually

On the Speedway!

running on the Indianapolis 500 Speedway!  It was such an awesome,awesome experience!  I even took a few self portraits of myself while running … !

Miles 9 – 11 is where it got a little “weird” for me.  I know, what am I talking about?  Well, I’m not exactly sure what happened.  It was almost as if I blacked out for those 2 miles or so because I don’t remember them at all.  Seriously.  I just remember that I was thinking that my playlist was kinda weird at the mile 9 marker, then the next thing I knew, I was at mile 11 with a huge gash on my leg bleeding.  I don’t remember falling, but I don’t remember how I got to mile 11 either.  It was as if I just blacked out, but kept moving.   So … not to worry, I’ve been working with my doctor on trying to figure out WTHeck happened.  I’m thinking that it’s either my thyroid that’s off, or my electrolytes were really off.  I really believe that it was my electrolytes.  I dunno.  Just know that I’m okay, and I’ll figure it out.

So … since I lost two miles, my times were slightly off.  Even though I somehow managed to keep moving, I guess I was

I love this pic!

moving slowly.  Oh well, at least I was upright, and not vertical or on an ambulance gurney, right?  And the gash wasn’t bad, but it did scar.  I wasn’t going to try to even make up the time difference.  At this point I just wanted to finish.  My finish time looks weird, but remember that I started like 15-20 min after the gun time, and I lost time when I passed out or something.   I looked good at the finish though … smiling for the camera …

Post Race Cheezin'!

The end was fun!  Lots of people!  Lots of crowd support – from random people on the street, to cheerleaders from every school, volunteers, bands on street corners.  There was more than enough water, and porta potties throughout the course.  While running to the finish, the announcer made

Team Sasquatch reppin' in Indy!

it seem as if you were racing each other to the finish!  You know, like you were a race car.  Fun!  It took awhile, but finally caught up with my Twitter friend, Alamar … OMG, she’s awesome and beautiful.  She finished that race like it was nothing, and she looked fab!

Would I run it again?  Heck yeah!  That race was fun!  I’m thankful that my brother let us stay and chill out at his house.  I’m thankful that the weather was nice.  And I’m thankful that whatever happened from miles 9-11 were not that serious.  I loved that race!  Just don’t tell Chris that I already signed up for 2012 and am hoping that things workout so that I can make it back there again. =)  Thanks for a great race, Indy!!!

Fresno Eye-Q Half Marathon

It’s been a busy month for me, this month of May.  I opened my eyes and it’s just about over now as we are in its last full week!  Wow!  So much to write, so little time.

Last weekend was my second half for the month for me.  (Since I’m a very S L O W blogger, it’s now 3 weekends ago!)  I’d never really done that before.   I take that back, I have, just not “formally” as in signing up for a race.  I’ve logged as many as 150 miles/month, so running 2 13.1 mile races is a piece of cake!  I haven’t done it in the past because it can wreck havoc on a family schedule and also a schedule in which one works every other weekend.  However, one race was a “must run,” while the other one was one in which I had the opportunity to see my college boy, and spend the weekend meeting new Twitter friends, and seeing an “old” one.  Win/Win!!

Fresno … Ah, what’s good to say about Fresno?  Probably not much as I live in it’s cousin city, Stockton.  That’s another blog in itself, so we’ll save that for another day.  Fresno is located in the middle of California’s Central Valley, and I didn’t realize that it was so HUGE!  I mean HUGE!  It has a population of about half a million people for gosh sakes!  Yeah, that’s huge!  From what I know and have experienced of Fresno, it’s like any other California city … it has its good and bad points and parts.  I’m not a good one to comment as I have not really spent any real quality time there.  I know that it’s the home of the Fresno State Bulldogs (Go Dogs!), and that it’s HOT there.

I’m not sure how I even found this race.  Probably from my time spent trolling websites looking for races to run.  Wait, I remember … I was looking for biking events for my hubby to participate in as he’s new to biking and was looking for organized rides.  This particular race was made into an entire weekend … The Eye Q California Classic Weekend.  I thought it would be fun if my husband could ride on Saturday, and I could run the half on Sunday.  It ended up that I would be the only one participating as for some reason he didn’t sign up.  Oh well … that was okay with me.  I sent out the link to my friend, Linda, who spends a lot of time in Fresno and asked if she would consider running with me.  That link was consequently viewed by Penny (@southbaygirl) who convinced Kristy (@kristylpants) and a weekend was planned!

We left for Fresno on Saturday morning.  Uneventful drive, one short stop to get gas and some In and Out Burger  for some much needed fuel of a different source.  (Yeah, I know it’s not exactly the right source of nutrition, but the burgers are awesome and the french fries are to die for so bite me!)  One and half hours later we’re in Fresno looking for our hotel and getting lost in the not so finest part of town!  Good times for Chris and I  as he wants to throttle me more times than he let’s on as I am so NOT a good navigator!  In my defense, I have never claimed to be a good navigator, nor do I ever want to be.  The majority of the time on our road trips, I can be found sleeping in a reclined passenger seat, reading, or messin’ around with my iPhone.  If it’s truly a navigator that he wanted, then it’s what he got the Garmin for, right?  That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

45 minutes later, we find the Holiday Inn that we’ve booked for the weekend, but it’s too early to check in.  We park in front of the Casino next door, and we head out to packet pick up at Chuckchansi Stadium … Home of the Fresno Grizzlies!  Really?  Yep, true story.

Chuckchansi Stadium - Home of the Fresno Grizzlies
Chillin' like a villian as I wait for Penny and Kristy.

Packet pick up was no expo …. just a very small event with a couple high school girls handing out bib numbers, and a few volunteers handing out the goodie bags and tech shirts.  I walk up to pick up mine, only to be informed that the only size shirt in womens that they have is a large!  What?  Are you kidding me?  When I registered, I requested a small shirt and you’re telling me that you only have a large?  Minor SNAFU … let it go.  It’s not like I wear my tech shirts anyway!  Penny and Kristy were close to arriving to Fresno, so I told them that I would wait.  No big deal.  I rummage through the goodie bag to find absolutely nothing exciting!  Lucky for me, Penny and Kristy arrived a few minutes later.  To me, it’s always such a nice feeling to meet people that I have been communicating with via Twitter and/or Facebook.  It reminds me so much of the pen pals that I had when I was a child, however, I have yet to meet them IRL (in real life).  After introductions, we head off to our Hotel – the Holiday Inn – which is within walking distance from the race start.

At the Holiday Inn Hotel Lobby - Impersonating Lonette the Clown from the Big Comfy Couch.

After we get settled, I call my son, Sam, who is a Junior at Fresno State University.  Penny, Kristy, and I had plans to meet up with our friend, Linda, later, so I suggested to Chris that we take Sam out to eat as I knew that he would be hungry.  He was.  We ended up walking around close to where we were staying and asked a Police Officer his suggestion for a good lunch spot … He suggested a sports bar up the way called     .  Good choice in terms of food, just the service was somewhat slow and, no, it was not busy at all.  We got caught up with Sam, and headed back to the hotel where I got ready to go to dinner (I know, I just ate), and Chris and Sam were to spend some time together doing what Sam enjoys … playing poker at a local casino.

Penny, Linda, Me, & Kristy
Five Restaurant, Fresno, CA
OMG! Carb loading at it's finest!

Dinner with Linda was at a restaurant called Five.  Italian fare, perfect for pre-race carb loading.  Linda was there, along with her “Harley Guy,” Bill.  Conversation was great, and the company was even better!  I ended up ordering a seafood pasta with red sauce which was absolutely delicious!  Alas, race day the next day was a bright and early 0700 so as much as we were having fun, it was time to head on back and get some rest.

No issues with me.  I got back, laid out my race outfit, and called it a night.

Race day.  Game face on!  Gah!  I had no “real” pre-race nutrition!  I did have a banana, and a coffee, but I was hoping for my usual bagel and peanut butter.  I had to make do with some of my left over pasta, and my banana and coffee, which seemed to satisfy me enough.  I get a text from Penny that they were ready to head out at 0615.  Perfect timing!  I’m ready to go!  The excitement between the three of us is evident.  We have our complimentary Punk Rock Racing gear on from our friend Ron (@PunkRockRunner).  We are happy to be representing our friend!  I’m even happier that Ron was able to make it white with purple!  Awesome!  We head to the start to be amongst the others who anxiously await the start.

The race began on time.  It started early because they feared that the weather – which is normally HOT at this time of year for Fresno, would once again creep up to some high temps.  Thankfully, it did not.  It was around the low to mid 60s the entire time which was perfect for me.  By looking at the course map, I thought for sure I’d get lost running thru the streets of Fresno, but I knew that I’d be okay because I’d be with other runners – some ahead of me, some behind me, but I knew that unlike small trail races, I’d never really be “alone.”   I “lost” Penny and Kristy at the start.  They were going to run together.   The run was surprisingly nice for me, but it got even better at around the half mark because this is where we entered the Fresno Zoo!  Wow!  It was perfect for me that the first animals that I saw were kangaroos, zebras, and giraffes.  If you’re wondering why, it’s because my father always loved Australia and always brought me back something from there that was animal themed.  I still have a koala coin purse that he brought me when I was around 8 or 9.  Running among those animals reminded me of my dad, and how he loved to watch me run!  I needed that at this point.  Not that I was struggling or anything, just sometimes I think I’m forgetting my dad when it’s only been 3 years.  It was kind of a nice to remember that his memory surrounds me.

The rest of the run was fairly “easy” for me.  I was pretty much on track hitting about 10 -1030 min/miles which I was happy with.  I still have a lot of plantar fascitis issues, and I could feel my left foot and ankle a little, but not enough to bother me.  I knew that I was a little off in my gait, but I still ran fairly well.  My friend, Linda, told me later that she was at the mile 12 marker, however I didn’t see her.  I think she got there late and I had already finished.  I would’ve loved to have seen her, she is the BEST race cheerleader!!!

I loved that race.  Not only was it a good run for me, but I so enjoyed meeting my Twitter friends!  I have met some really nice people on there and meeting them in real life is a bonus!  The *blng* (medal) was nice, as was the post race fueling!  Com’mon … Stone Cold!  Heck yeah!  There was also beer, and the usual fare of bagels, and bananas, but Stone Cold was definately my fav!  The only complaint that I have was that I did not see one porta-potty out on the course.  Seriously, not one!  Lucky for me, I was smart enough to use the one at the zoo, but really, not one out on the course.  The water stations were pretty scarce, too, but I can’t remember.  I have been trying to teach myself to run without a water belt, so I have only been carrying a very mini one from iFitness which I LOVE.  However, did you know that Nuun, the flavored water tabs, will explode under pressure?  OMG!  I didn’t, or I wasn’t paying any attention that they were effervescent so I put one in my water bottle when I refilled it at one of the stations.  At mile 10 when I wanted a sip … I got a face full!!!!  Holy cow!  Thank God I am able to laugh at myself because I’m sure it was amusing to all those around me who heard me yell out then bust out laughing!

Would I run it again?  Yes!  It was a very nice run.  I enjoyed myself!  So … Fresno … see you in 2012!

My New Friends - Penny & Kristy
It's all about the *bling*!

2010 Goal Attained and Expectations Exceeded

1/1/10 Our first run of 2010 - Resolutions Run, Auburn, CA

In all honesty, for Mac and I, it started as a goal to join Half Fanatics.  We had run a half together last August 2009, and we were virtually training together, keeping each other in check, sharing our training schedules, websites, what worked for us, etc.  We were sitting and chatting via FaceBook one night bouncing ideas off each other when I casually blurted out that we needed to join Half Fanatics, and I asked if she thought that we could do it?  Three halfs in three months … was this something possible for us?  Oh yeah, we decided that it was, and began planning and came up with our the three half marathons that we would run.  In the midst of all this planning, I’m not sure exactly who’s idea it was (I believe that it was Mac’s), we decided why just three, why not make it a half EVERY month?  And so there you have it … the seed was planted, and we went to work plotting out the logistics and calculating costs.  Here is the list of what we came up with and ran for 2010:

For January we decided to run the Auburn Resolutions Run on January 1st – to start our year off right!  It was not a half because we only ran 10 miles, but it was a great start our year.

Feb 2010 - Kaiser Half Marathon, San Francisco, CA.

February – The Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon in San Francisco, CA.

March - Shamrock n' Half, Sacramento, CA.

March – Shamrock N’ Half Marathon, Sacramento, CA.

Artichoke Half, Pescadero, CA. April 2010.

April – The Tsunami Half Artichoke Half Marathon, Pescadero, CA.

American River Parkway Half, Sacramento, CA. May 2010.

May – American River Parkway Half Marathon, Sacramento, CA.

See Jane Run, Alameda, CA. June 2010,

June – See Jane Run, Alameda, CA.

Our first tutu run - Hernia Hills, July 2010.

July – The Half From Hell Hernia Hills Half Marathon, Vallecito, CA.

Modesto Midnight, August 2010.

August – Modesto Midnight Half Marathon, Modesto, CA.

Fall Showdown, Sept. 2010.

September – Wolf Pack Events, Fall Showdown, SanPablo, CA.  This was our very first trail run and we absolutely LOVED it!!!

October – Nike Womens Marathon, San Francisco, CA.  We actually wanted this to be our FULL marathon, but for Mac, injury took it down to a half for her, while I ran the full.

Dirty Girls ...

October – Merrill Down and Dirty Mud Run, Folsom, CA.  This was not a half, rather a 10K trail run with obstacles.  It was something that we did together!

Mile 9 of Stockton's Inaugural Half.

November – Inaugural Stockton Half Marathon, Stockton, CA.

December – C.I.M. Relay Challenge, Sacramento, CA.  We were Team MiniRow and The MACHine.  Mac ran legs 1 and 2, while I ran legs 3 and 4!

We could not believe that we were actually crazy enough to set this goal, let alone achieve it.  Yet here we are … still standing … and smiling.  We both had our share of injuries, and frustrations, yet we both gutted it all out, ran thru whatever aches and pains we were experiencing, and did it.  We know that others run full marathons or half marathons EVERY week.  Our goal pales in comparison, yet it’s large for us because here we are:  Full-time Health Care workers, wives, and mothers.  We have actual lives.  Running is not our lives, it is a big part of our lives, but we don’t let it run our lives.  Taking the time out to train, then to actually run the races was big for us.

Training was done mostly on our own as we both live about a good 1.5 hours away from each other.  Although we both had people we could run with, we learned quickly that these individuals were not always reliable, so most of our running was alone.   Keeping track of each other was done by mostly by text and Facebook.  This was a must to keep each other motivated.  We could tell when one was waning and needed a fire lit underneath (mostly me, I am not ashamed to admit, as Mac is very self-motivated).  We were very good about holding each other accountable.  We shared tips.  We shared websites.  Recommended nutrition – Gu vs. Gels, etc.  We included our husbands in races when possible.  When one of us was down, the other would motivate and prod gently.  But we ALWAYS had fun.  ALWAYS!  We knew that if the time came that it was no longer fun, then we would reconsider.  We NEVER reconsidered.  We took breaks when we needed them, but jumped back on the band wagon quickly as the “need” to run was never that far away.

All in all, I have to say that it has been a very good year for MiniRow and The MACHine!  2010 was a great year for running for both of us as we hit some pretty high mileage months during training.  We learned much about resting when we need to because injuries suck.  We have both spent time in Physical Therapy.  We have spent countless dollars on race fees, race gear, shoes, outfits, food, hotels, insurance co-pays, etc.,   However, we would not trade it in for anything.  Through it all we have bonded and developed a great friendship.  Our ending to our 2010 season could not have ended any better than by the two of us being chosen and receiving Inaugural Endorphin Dudette Status!!!  (Read about that here.)

To our families – thank you for allowing us the time to train; for putting up with our antsy-ness when we really needed to get out there and run it out; for allowing us to use our hard earned money to pay for race fees, buy expensive shoes, outfits, gadgets, gear, and what-nots.  Thank you for allowing us to take the time (away from you) to run races all over Northern California.  Thank you for watching the kiddos.

To our friends:  Thank you for putting up with us.  For listening to our stories and shop talk of running.  For encouraging us, and for reminding us that there is life outside of our insane madness to run.  Thank you for running with us when possible.

If only others could be so lucky as to find their ideal running mate.  I know that I could not have asked or have been blessed with a better one!  I look forward to an even better 2011 Running Season.

Mac, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being not only my running partner, but my friend, my confidant, my cheerleader, my pace-setter, my Co-Endorphin Dudette!  I love you, Mac!  See you in 2011!

Our last run of 2010 - CIM Relay Challenge, Sacramento, CA. Also sportin' our Endorphin Dudette status headbands!!!

Endorphin Dudette Status

Endorphin Dude is a persona created by our FaceBook friend, Tony Nguyen.  He tells the story that in 2009 on April Fool’s Day, he believed that he was having what he thought was a heart attack, and quickly decided then to make some serious life changes, one of which included walking, which eventually led to running.  He dubbed himself Endorphin Dude because he says that when he runs, he “feels like a superhero!”

Tony is a Half-Fanatic, and a Marathon Maniac.  I cannot count the number of 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, or full marathons Tony has participated and run in.  Just know that it is an outrageous amount.  It is an amount that Mac and I are envious of because we always long to run in so many more races than we do.

We became friends with Tony via FaceBook in early summer when he befriended Mac as he saw that she was also a Half-Fanatic.  We followed him, exchanged banter, motivated each other, and are slowly getting to know him as time passes.  We have been trying to find a race that we can meet Tony in real life (IRL), however we have not yet had the opportunity or pleasure to do so.

In mid-November, Mac and I were contacted by Tony via FaceBook email, in which he wrote the following:

“I created the Endorphin Dude persona because I want to show people that running a marathon or a half marathon is fun! I am very proud that I have inspired many people to get out there and make healthy changes in their lives, and now I want to conquer the world! I am expanding the Endorphin Dude Empire. I am introducing Endorphin Dudettes. Every month, I will feature a powerful endorphin-filled dudette to spread the word fitness, fun, positivity. The Endorphin Dudette will respresent the Endorphin Empire at a race in which Endorphin Dude will not be running. For the month of December, I would really like you two to be my E-Dudettes. You two will be the first! If you’re up for it, let me know. I have pink head bands for you. I would love to see you sport them at CIM while I’m in Vegas!”

Needless to say, Mac and I were bothe very thrilled and honored to have been chosen FIRST by Tony, out of all of the other runner friends that he has IRL and on FaceBook, many of which he has known for quite some time.  Longer than the two of us.  We were both “IN,” of course.  Inaugural Endorphin Dudettes?  Oh, hell yeah!  We have admired Endorphin Dude from the get go – his love and passion for our sport of running, his infectious smile, his boundless energy, and his cape and headband!  Endorphin Dude emboides the sport and encourages others to “join the revolution.”

We were to make our inaugural appearance as Endorphin Dudettes at the California International Marathon (CIM), where Mac and I would run the relay as a team of 2.  We dubbed ourselves Team MiniRow and The MACHine.  Tony sent out our headbands with instructions to keep quiet until his official announcement after our race.  On race day, Mac and I dressed and wore our Endorphin Dudette headbands with pride.  Everyone at CIM could see our pink headbands as we ran through the streets of Sacramento!

At times we wondered why we were chosen ad the very first Endorphin Dudettes.  The answer came shortly as we read the caption to our picture which was posted on the Endorphin Dude FaceBook Fan Page: 

“So many beautiful dudettes applied for December that I ended up choosing more than one incredible super woman to represent the Endorphin Empire! Please meet Row.Wallen and Machelle Crist Donahoo. These two definitely exemplify the true essence of the Endorphin Dudette. I love that they run together and finish together. Their enthusiam and love for the sport makes me want to put on my Mizunos and run a marathon! Congratulations Row and Machelle on your CIM finishes. You two ROCK!”

What an honor to have been chosen first!!!  You can imagine how proud Mac and I were for Tony to have done this for us.  Mac and I also run for the love of the sport.  True, it keeps us in great shape, but to be honest we run because we love it.  We encourage our friends to run.  We do our best to motivate others in our sport.  Most importantly, we run because it’s fun.  It keeps us happy and sane, and looking HOT! 

Thank you, Tony – Endorphin Dude, for gracing us with this honor!  We will forever embody the spirit of Endorphin Dudette and keep it alive within us! 

You can read more about Tony Nguyen and Endorphin Dude by clicking the above link.  Endorphin Dude also has a blog, which you can read here.