Monday, August 29, 2011

Crim III

If you can say one thing about me, I'm a "gamer."  In (what I consider) big races, where I really want to tear the course up, I show up.  Maybe I failed in practice last week, and neither of my 10 mile practice runs went particularly well or as planned.  Maybe I didn't do everything I had in mind to get ready for this race leading up to it.  Maybe I didn't even do particularly right by myself the night before either, but let me just say, "who really cares?"

I'd like to be perfect all the time, and there's no doubt in my mind I'm doing better, but things like "good night's sleep" and "complete race preparation" are just not in my repetoire.  However, there's also little doubt about the fact that the mere existence of the Crim has changed my life.  I may run half marathons, and I may run fulls in the future.  I don't know how far I'm willing to take this, because I haven't gotten to a point where I feel I can't do more, or even that I don't want to.  I also have no idea what life will throw at me in the future.  What I do know, is that no matter what other races I do, the Crim is my anchor baby of racing.  It's the reason for all of this running mess and keeps me a part of runner nation, and I'd like to think that, no matter what, even if I move, I'll find a way to do this one every year.

Going into this year, I had a game plan in my head, and not only for the race itself.   I had one for each individual mile, and, oh baby, did I execute.  I hit my mile marks pretty much to the exact mark for the first 3 miles; mile 1 being to the exact second of my desired 9:45 minute mark.  All this while talking to someone I haven't seen since High School for miles 2 and 3.  Mile 4 and 5 I was way under anticipated time, and the Boo-Radleys  were over before I knew it.  Mile 6, as expected, was a little rubbery and the slight uphill on Miller Rd isn't exactly the best recovery after the hills, but I allotted for a pretty slow mile there.  That didn't happen.  I think I ran a cool 9:15.

I started to over-think a bit, though, and I skipped a water stop along 6, thinking I was good and didn't want to lose time.  That led to a bit of slowing on 7 when that sun hit, and a little bit of worry that I was going to fade out completely.  Then, I got a water intervention.  A man with a short white beard, a blue button down shirt, and a big tan-colored hat to block the sun was giving out ice cold bottled waters in the middle of 7, and I took one with me.  Whoever you are, thank you for supporting me and all the runners.  You may have saved my Crim for me.

I carried that bottle and it carried me through the next quarter mile of struggle.  After fighting that off, I felt wonderful.  I decided to break for the end as hard as I could go, passing the guy I was talking to earlier, who had just now come back into sight (and must have pulled ahead at some point when I lost him).  I kept choosing targets ahead of me and eating them up.  Eventually I latched onto the man who came in 2nd for the 10 mile walk up ahead and tried to beat him.  I finished just behind him by 1 second on the clock.  I don't even understand how walking that fast is humanly possible.  Leon Jasionowski, I gotta hand it to you, you're pretty awesome.

My clock time was a 1:36:01, so the goal of breaking into the 1:30s was hit, and my loftier goal of hitting 1:36 was as well.  I knew that much at the finish line, which was easier on the mind than waiting for my chip time and biting my nails about whether I hit it or not.  That was pretty much my plan at the end anyway, when I hit mile 8 at 1:17ish (clock) and earlier the best we'd done was 1:20.  Besides, I've learned my lesson dealing with clocks, as I swear when I started the Legend it was at 17 minutes in, and I also swear we crossed the start of the Crim at about 3 minutes.  I never trusted digital clocks anyway, especially at 1:38 when they look like the pringles man.  Perhaps I went 2 minutes faster just because of a subconcious drive not to see him on the clock when I finished.

Admit it, you see it too. 
The eyebrows, the mustache, and the bowtie, it's all there.

I popped into Churchill's, who gave us a free beer (Michelob too, not the real cheap stuff), and Jason picked up his debit card that was left there from Thursday night (ha!).  That was chased by our free slice of pizza and a free MGD from the beer line, both of which you can get from your bib tabs.  Honestly, if you hang around where the runners are leaving, they'll hand you them asking if you want them.  You could probably get an entire pizza and a gallon of beer if you were even the slightest bit pesky about asking for them, and are a master of disguise.  The line usually gets too long for that business, though, especially when the 8k and 5k people start filing in.

Officially, I ran a 1:34:03, which is pretty much right in the middle for my gender and a little south of center for my age group.  I don't think there's much I could have done to be any better than that.  That's a 10 mile record for me (not that it's a common distance), beating the 1:38:28 at Solstice Run, and taking over 16 minutes off the 1:50:25 of last year's Crim.

No good race pictures yet.  My friend Ken didn't come down, my family mistook some guy in a white shirt and a hat for me, and my lady slept through her alarm, so no pre-race, during (action), or post-race photos from them.  So, unless the official guys came through enough for me to actually pay for one, all you get is Jason and I in the living room.  As an added bonus if you read this now, I'll throw in a shot of the medal, which has some nice detail on it.  You probably can't see, but it even says "Flint" and "Vehicle City" on the arches, just like downtown.
Living Room After Shot
Up Close
What the small print on the arch of the medal, that you can't read, because I don't have a nice macro lens like my soon-to-be-wife, is supposed to mimic.  Yes, I realize that was an awful "run-on" and way too long to be a picture caption.


  1. Well done on the maja PR!!!! Love the medal this year too. I had this one on my "To Do" list as well and well, obviously I couldn't do it but I spectated my boyfriend running it last year and know what a great race it is. Flint really gets a bad rap but it's actually a cute little town, once you get downtown. I hope you're still rocking that PR glow today!!!

  2. Rocking the glow, but back to work today, putting in some miles. I'm still rooting for you to get back out here. I think when you finally get back and do your first race, me and your other followers are going to crash this site with congratulatory comments.


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