Sunday, April 20, 2014

Peoria 1/2 Marathon Race Report... I won

Today I ran the prestigious Going the Distance 1/2 Marathon in Peoria AZ and....  ...  ...  I won!

My time massively sucked for what I wanted to (and frankly should have) run, but hey, run a small enough race and magical things can happen  :-)

 As with most of my widely read blogs (ba-ha-ha!) I offer a video/song to set the mood for the blog entry.
And since the name of the race was the "Going the Distance" marathon, 1/2 marathon, and 4mile run, can there be any other song then the following....?   I think no.

 This song is the jam!  Love it.

So anyway - now with my huge victory in one of the World Marathon Majors  -  which as everyone knows are comprised of;  The Boston Marathon, London Marathon, New York City Marathon, Berlin Marathon, Chicago Marathon, Tokyo Marathon, and The Peoria Going the Distance Marathon  -   I am thinking I will start trolling/writing on Wilson Kipsang, Tsegaye Kebede, & Ryan Hall's blogs (do they have blogs?) and smack talking them and all of the other pretenders out there.

Err wait... hold that.  I hear there's rumors on the Internets that:
- The Peoria Going the Distance race is in fact not one of the World Marathon Majors
- That because I only ran a 1/2 marathon that my results do not count
- That most of those guys would demolish my 1/2 marathon time by over 2 minutes a mile (which is so much it is funny).
and accordingly my massive victory will not count toward World Marathon Major's points.
Ahh well, I guess I will have to continue to be a data flunky in Corporate America.

So anyway, on to my awesome-ly lame race report;

The fam drove up with me this morning to Peoria  -  it is a hall to get up there from The Ahwatukey Foothills where we live these days (just moved back from Japan to the US - it is awesome to be back in the US and re-honing my stellar English skills).

So we got there after I briefly bungled the directions on the Internets, I went to the bathroom about 6 or 7 times, and blah blah blah soon enough it was time to start.  So I started hamming it up with folks around me, and getting my stretch on;
Curses... I thought shaving my melon the night before would hide my receding hairline...

Trying to psych out the competition lined up near the front with my impressive array of stretching maneuvers - judging by the fact that no one is paying me any attention I think a fail.

Trying to look cool in my new Oakley's I got from awesome work friends in Japan as a parting gift (I would never shell out for such nice shades).

Soon enough the race was underway, and a group of about 7 of us were out running off the front together the first mile or two.
A shirtless dude who had on an Ironman hat and looked really strong, two ladies, one in really good shape, one small prototypical running looking girl/lady, an ultra looking dude, a wily veteran looking dude, some youngish guy, and myself.
We went out around 6:35 in the first mile and I kept thinking... "There is no way this can be the top pace in this race, somebody is going to pick it up here or come racing from behind us".  But then into the 2nd and 3rd mile nobody did.
And my coach (yes I have a running coach now - I am a dork), told me to go out in 6:40's which I thought was really lame but did so.
Around 4 miles we had circled back and our oldest snapped off a few pictures as we went by, here is one:

Note there is one dude ahead of me in the picture in the top left in the white shirt, it was the ultra-marathon looking dude (he had a beard and was running with is own hand-held water to solidify his ultra look - I had him pegged).
So I went by the girls and the Mrs in 2nd place flashing them the "Can you believe I am in 2nd place?" sign / hand signal.
I couldn't believe it!  I was having delusions of grandeur that if I could just run down Mr. Ultra I would take this thing.
And the leading pace at this point was slower than I planned to run, thus I figured I could make a little noise here!

Around mile 5 I caught up with Ultra-Man and confirmed that my stereotyping was indeed correct and he primarily ran ultras (not a good thing, could lead to continued stereotyping on my part).  I started up a conversation with him and he was a real cool dude.  We talked for a bit and he said he was trying to run around a 1:26 or 1:28 (I think that is what he said).  And I told him I was trying to run a 1:24 to 1:25 but thought the 1:24 was not going to be in the cards given our current pace.
Side note... I always complain about my race times but my results for this race - from a time perspective - were lame & disappointing.  I have gotten in really good running shape (for me) and my careless use of money investment in a running coach is really paying off.  I have really been putting in some good runs and this race did not reflect my current fitness and was/is a bit of bummer.  I think not tapering at all prior to the race, it being a little hot, the course having all of these weird drainage up-downs, and my not putting out for some lame reason contributed to my lame time.  I am going to need to put out much better if I am going to break 3 hours in a full in a bit here later this spring.  The good thing is that I know I have it in me  (I think...)

[re-reading the above after I wrote it is pretty funny - I can make excuses with the best of them]

Anywho, after Ultra-Man and I ran together for a bit I slowly pulled away from him.  Although I could not get my splits/times to go down.  I kept putting in like 6:50 min/miles and thinking "That was a lame mile, you run better than that in tempo runs all the time lately, pick it up lame-a**", but I then I wouldn't and didn't.
On the one hand no one was around to push me, and it was getting hotter, but on the other hand I was thinking that my coach was going to see my times and get a little pissed at my lame-ness'ed-ness.
But I didn't / couldn't respond for some lame reason.

There was a turn-round at about 7 or 8 miles and I could see that it was really only me and Ultra-Man in the hunt, with Ironman dude a bit back in 3rd.  So I just kind of lame-a**'ed it in from there.  And when we took a turn a small bridge with about a quarter of a mile to go I couldn't see anyone behind me so I knew I was going to win - lame time and all.

So I rounded the last turn and then did my Chris McCormack #1 finger pointing pose - lame time and all - as I neared/crossed the finish.  I mean what the heck... I was about to win the prestigious Peoria Going The Distance 1/2 Marathon!

 Macca's got nothing on me!

 And with both hands / index fingers for full effect!  
and check out the throngs of fans...

And here is how Macca himself gets the double #1 victory point done!
Copyrighted I am sure...  
The man himself getting it done!

Only minor differences between me and Macca... He was at the end of hammering the entire world at the Kona Ironman World Championships at the end of a full marathon after a 2.4 mile swim, and a 112 mile bike ride.  And I was at the end of hammering a (very small signed up) bunch of mostly middle-aged pudgy office workers who didn't qualify for Boston or want to run a full.
Details, details...

And so after I was done even though my time (1:28:16 official time, can't get wireless Garmin to upload for some stupid reason) sucked, I thought it was kind of cool and funny that I had won.  I was so full of myself... (I am often full of it  :-)  )

Anyway, I then got my handshake with the race director dude:

I skipped the ceremonies as they were going to be like over an hour later and I needed to get back to the house to write this blog get ready for a dance recital our girls have tonight.
Too bad, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and US AZ Senator John "The Maverick" McCain were on hand to present me with my $5,000 USD winners check...  NOT!  (ba-ha-ha!)
Will have to catch up with them next time.

So lame time and lame effort aside it was pretty humorous and fun to win.  Can't decide whether to laugh at myself or be proud.  So I think I will go with both!

I think it is good for me though as I have been putting in some really good runs (for me) lately and have been getting cocky that I am going to go under 3-hours in my full in a bit here in the spring and this puts me back in my place and will force me to keep working!

Running is Awesome!


  1. Congrats Ted. The blog entry is quite amusing.

    1. Thanks Paperwhite. Any day out running is a great day!!!

  2. 1. It's the Oakleys dude. They smoothen out the eye sockets for a wind resistance free passage.
    2. 1:48 = 2:56. Believe it��!
    3. Next time ditch the sleeve tee for a sleeveless top for the gun show.
    4. Nagano was warm today. Didn't have salt prints on my top but certainly on my face.

    1. Hope you enjoyed the Nagano full and sorry we missed getting together for that one.

  3. My sincere congratulations, Mr. Braun! You are the man to whom Iook up! Way to go!! After a massive brain tumor removal procedure, I am training hard to return to my old self to; (1) complete an 80-mile bike ride in August 2014 and (2) participate in the 2015 Walt Disney Marathon in Orlando, FL.

    1. Thanks Jun-san. Hoping things go well for you.

  4. Great job, Ted. So sorry you are throwing money away at some lame running coach :-)

    1. Ha! Liked that one did you - you know my sarcasm knows no bounds! You can take it out on me in our next session. Also note I did use cross-out font :-)
      Gonna have to pick it up to get under 3. Ugh.

  5. Running IS awesome. Way to go Ted. You deserve all the accolades (especially from David, Pam and Cathy at the finish line). This indeed was your day after all the hard work. Super effort.

    1. How did you know all of their names...? :-)
      Any time being out running is a good time!

  6. I won an untimed 5k on New Year's Eve, welcome to the winners' circle.