Saturday, December 8, 2012

Run Like the Dickens

With the void left by not being able to kick out my Turkey Trot and get a PR, I took to the streets of Holly, MI this morning with just that goal in mind: PR that sh*t.  Mind you, this race was not on my radar.  The Santa Run is usually my bookend for the year, and I usually don't even think about any more races located in this calendar month.  Last night I saw there was a 10K for this race, and got a little twinkle in my eye, though.  I decided to text J about it and, told myself, "If he texts back that he could go and wanted to go, it's on.  I'll take another swing at PRing the 10K"  I don't need a running buddy for every official race, but having him join in pushed me over the hump.  I was on the fence, and I probably wouldn't have went on my own.

It's better with friends
Parking and registration was quick and painless for us, being 45 minutes early, but I'm sure it was a little harder for those that came later.  There was a good chunk of people wearing festive attire.  I was as well, but it ended up hidden beneath my new waterproof jacket, due to the rain/sleet that turned into snow that began just before the race (I was being a wimp).
Just Before Race Start
When we started it was a little crowded, but cleared up really nice, really quick.  Probably because it was a pretty fast crowd out there, and I was in the back.  My goal was to keep moving as hard as I could and bank a little time.  Then J passed me, and I thought if I could tail him, I would easily PR.  That didn't happen.  I started losing ground to him by the second mile, and then I had to stop and retie the drawstring of my windbreaker pants.  By then he was gone, and within the same mile I had a shoe come untied.  So I stopped to tie it and double knot that one and the other.  Pretty much every race I make sure everything is in place and tied tight and my shoes are doubled so the don't come undone, but, nope, not today.  

At this point I'm figuring a PR is out of range.  I thought about slowing up and enjoying the run, but I told myself to keep pushing and think positive.  That didn't work.  I felt exhausted after 3 miles.  I could feel my strides shortening and my pace slowing, but I kept pushing myself anyway.  At this point I'm thinking there's about a 4% chance a PR is on the table.  I was just mentally and physically in a bad place, and I figured my time was going to turn out equally poor.  

By 4.5 miles, I wanted to be done, but I saw someone's "If it doesn't challenge us, it can't change us" quote on the back of their shirt, so I kept pushing as much as i could.  By mile 5 I still wasn't doing much better, but I decided to see if I could kick it up any, and I was absolutely shocked when I could and started picking up some people that just passed me.  I thought I saw the street with the finish line at probably 5 1/2-5 3/4 and made a mistaken mad dash toward an oasis of "plenty more race to go you idiot," and had to back off a bit.  

Finally we made the last turn, and I saw 5-:--, with the rest of the numbers being pretty much indeterminable from where I was, but I knew I was still under an hour.  I also knew I just needed to beat a 59:20.  I gave about all I could down the stretch, and crossed right about in that 59:15-59:20 range on the clock.  I figured with chip time I probably had it, but I was too busy sucking air and feeling my muscles burning to think or talk to J, who met me at the end.  

We went inside to grab a water and some of the holiday goodies (apple and orange slices, bananas, cookies, cupcakes, etc.).  I went apple, orange, chocolate coconut cupcake (burned calories recovered).  I didn't sign up for the heavyweights to avoid any potential prizes we had to stay for, and we didn't even look at times.  I've made J late for work twice already by suckering him into runs on days he has to work early afternoon, I wasn't going to make him late again.  We left almost immediately.

I didn't know my time for sure until about an hour ago, but I got it.  I ran a 58:46, which isn't a big chunk off of 59:20.  I'll take it, though, especially on a run that felt horrible the entire time and one where I had to stop and tie my stuff up twice.  I can't believe I actually got it, but that's why you keep going and don't give up, even on the bad days.

Everything's wrong....well it's all right.  

Nail a 10K PR up next to all the distances I've improved upon this year.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Frehley Claus is Coming to Town

The Flint YMCA Santa Run was a fantastic experience as always.  It's just special to go out and do a run, and know there's no time going on your permanent record.  You can go out, dress up, have fun, and be merry.  This year I decided to separate myself from the masses a little bit, and add a little more flair to my Santa suit.  Last year I saw a little personalizing of the traditional suit by people, and I thought I would do a little of that this year.  Then the little seed in my head grew a little out of control, and I decided that I was going to go for being a ho ho holiday version of Ace Frehley.

Being a man, I've never painted my face, and also, because I'm a man, I didn't really think of how I'd be modifying the outfit, or if I'd actually do so at all, until i got out of work on Friday.  Luckily, I was able to make use of a previous year's Santa suit, an old space blanket, the left-over Halloween Wayne's World wig, and some silver duct tape and made something presentable the night before.  The face painting, I decided, would be left to my wife in the morning.

The only problem with that was, she was really tired, and I decided just to leave her alone and try it myself, which, even in my head, sounded like a horrible idea at the time.  However, I thought I did a really decent job of making a red and white version of the spaceman make-up.

J got here, saw my madness, and then we left, hoping nobody would pull over two Santas, one of which was all painted up, for looking suspicious.  On the way there was a part of Court Street blocked off for an accident investigation where an MTA bus hit a 72-year-old woman who, last I heard, was in critical condition.  Hopefully she makes it.  When I saw it, I was sure she was already dead, but last I checked the news she's still holding on.  That with the other blockades that came up late, blocking most of the decent parking, made it hard for us to get anywhere near the run.  So we just parked out on the other side of Saginaw and started running to the YMCA. As I was running, I was mistaken for a "Juggalo" by a Flint Security Guard.  I immediately said "OH HELL NO..." and explained myself, and what I was supposed to be, and expressed my displeasure with ICP in general to him.

For the record, I'm actually really happy Juggalos are listed as a "gang" by the FBI, because this is the first time the American government has discriminated against someone, not on the basis of race, sexuality, or any of the other things I feel discrimination is unwarranted, but on the basis of stupidity.  I'm proud of my country for that.  It might mean we're starting to get things right.

Anyway, we got to the YMCA 5 minutes before the 1 milers started, and I was trying to find some of my other friends while people kept asking me for a picture with them.  I grabbed one with J along the way, so I would at least have one of me before the run, in case my face got ruined along the way.

Then I saw a Slash Santa, and he wanted to get a picture with me as well, so that absolutely had to be done.
Guitarist Santas Unite!!!
Shortly after getting that photo taken, I found the rest of my people...

After that, there was less than a minute before we had to start.  I haven't timed out a 5K in a while, and J hadn't run in a while, and my other friends are not regulars, so it was kind of a crapshoot how it would go.  I really didn't care, I just wanted to try to run semi-hard, and enjoy it.  I was surrounded by a record number of over 2000 Santas (yes, it pretty much doubled again this year), so it would be hard not to enjoy.

Of course the enjoyment proved a little more difficult once I realized that a sweaty man and face paint for a run may not mix too well.  My paint started melting before a mile in.  It was over 50 degrees out, and I was wearing a fairly warm outfit, over track pants and a shirt, with a space blanket on my shoulders.  I could see paint running off of me, and see some of it bubbling and cracking.  Then I realized I was starting to get a little bit in my mouth, along with the red lipstick I had going, so I had a lot of good red spits along the way.  About 2 miles in and I was starting to get a little in my eyes, so I throttled my speed down just a bit to stop melting so much.

By the time I saw my mother-in-law and wife at the side of the road, I knew it was pretty bad, because while cheering me on, they were both laughing that "oh god, you poor man and your leaking face, but that's hilarious and this is what you get for being such a dork" laugh.  Oh well, I only had a little hill to run up and get this thing done, and I came in with the clock reading just over 26 minutes.  So, even though it was not chip timed, I still ran decent, and got some style points.

Here are some aftermath photos of me...

I'm melting, melting, oh what a world....

Me and the lady
 Afterwards, we grabbed some food and beers downtown at the Torch, after watching a little of the parade. No, I didn't bother stopping home to wash up first.  Why would I?  It's fine.  There were other Santas there anyway.
Not one of the "other Santas" I'm referring to
Me at home just before washing all of this off
If there's one thing I've learned from this experience, it has to be: don't use face paint in a road race, even a 5K.  It is a bad idea.  This is my public service announcement to you all.  Stay safe, and keep your digestive tract paint free.  Frehley Claus out.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Santa Run: Last Training Day

Here is how you train for the Flint YMCA Santa Run:

 Milk and Cookies

I'm eating a Ginger Family!
The pictures of all the fun and joy from tomorrow's race will be coming your way in blog form soon...

Love this run.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Jive Turkey

Waking up at 5am after spending a night with your friends at a dinner, drink, and Singstar engagement (we always have a day before Thanksgiving pot luck with friends) is tough.  What's worse is when you realize that even that wasn't early enough.  

I was out the door by 5:30, and had no traffic trouble whatsoever on the way down.  Then I finally hit the crowd downtown.  I ended up in a wrong lane to park down there, and instead of dicking my way into a lane, I decided to keep going at come back at it from the other side.  So, after getting to Detroit by 6:30, I didn't manage to be officially parked until 7:45.  Even then, I questioned the legality of my parking spot, even though it was supposedly paid for when I gave money to a homeless-looking old guy.  

So I officially missed my "Blitzen" heat, and from the look of things, so did half of the runners down there.  Figuring it wouldn't matter, I took the liberty of a downtown restroom stop before I started my race.  Having that out of the way, I ran up to the start and began my journey of trying to zig-zag around the rainbow of bib colors, from all different speed heats, trying to navigate their way through the course.  Walkers, slow runners, run-walkers, and speedy runners all lined the road as an impossible to navigate asteroid field.  Collisions were almost inevitable, and I consider myself lucky to have only had a few grazes here and there.  Most of came along with headphone people that made completely erratic moves right in front of me, without knowing I was coming fast behind them.  

About a mile in, I saw the finance guy from work and said hello to him, and moved right along by.  I was determined to knock off my 10K PR.  It wasn't going to be hard, given the record was a 10 minute pace.  Even with the congestion, I figured I was going to have it anyway.  

Then, things got ridiculous.  I ran into a wall of people right by the Detroit Princess, just before the last turn to go into the finish.  The finish line was so congested that we all had a nice slow walk to the finish line at the end.  I don't know how many minutes I was waiting there...5, 7, 10.  It seemed like an eternity.  My PR hopes were completely dashed by then, and I think I officially came in at a 1:05, which is still, sadly, somewhere in the middle of my 10K times.  

By the time I got across and got my medal, my only thought was that I wanted some water.  I had skipped the last few water stations to save myself some time, so I was really thirsty.  I never did find it.  I'm not sure if it was gone, or temporarily gone, or what.  I could have a bagel...but that was pretty much worthless to me (but I still had one).

So I went back to my car, where I had my own water, and not knowing whether I could stay parked there or not, gave up on spending a few hours down in Detroit and drove home.  I was already in a semi-pissy mood, and the best cure for that is spending time with my wife, who was still sleeping when I got back at 10am.  So I decided to join her for a bit, before we had to get up and go to Thanksgiving part 1 of 2.  

I just don't know about this race.  I think their organization needs to step up.  The route, the costumes, the people, and the atmosphere are electric, but every time it seems to be some sort of logistical nightmare.  If they don't fix this, they will really be losing out on a huge opportunity.  This race could easily be the crown jewel of Detroit, and who knows, maybe even the entire state.  You need to find a way to continue to hold the crowds you're getting, and maybe even draw more.  You can't run out of room or supplies, and you most certainly shouldn't run out of medals.  I don't care if you need to get some criminals that need community service hours down there, you need more volunteers.  What's the worst that could happen?  

I did get mine, though, and it is quite fantastic.
Trust me, I want to do this every year, but now I'm telling myself that I won't for another 5 years.  I love Detroit, but if I'm not going to the game, it's not really worth this much hassle.  So, with the game being too expensive, and the NFL continuing to have stupid rules unnecessarily protecting people that get paid millions to play a child's game (not to mention the other idiotic rules that my Lions seem to always find and figure out how to use to cause them to lose a game), it may be a long time before you see me again.  That is, until you're ready to change.  I'm sorry Detroit Turkey Trot, but I think it's time for me to see other races.  I hope this isn't our last time together, but if it is, know that you'll forever be in my heart, even if you handle yourself in a manner befitting of your Parade Company sponsor's mascot. 

You see this, that's you!  Clowns!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Brent vs. The August/September/October (way overdue, I know...I suck)

1) Pick 12 things of social importance that I've had limited exposure to, but decided I didn't like and immerse myself in each of them for 1 month.

I actually made good on my promise to try Budweiser products again.  I think I had at least a few of each one.  Sure, maybe I was going for a badge on Untappd, (not really, I don't think I ever entered them yet, actually) but it counts.  I still dislike them a lot, and the Platinum isn't any better.  However, the Platinum bottle is pretty, so I'm going to keep it in the garage, because I know it won't exist in a few years.  It could be the Crystal Pepsi of the Bud world (I'd love to see Platinum vs. Select in a Bud Bowl IX)

Bed and Breakfasts.  I'll admit it, I was afraid to do one of these.  It just seems like a set-up for some sort of horror movie where the old people you stay with brainwash you into doing their bidding or chain you up in a basement dungeon full of homemade projects they saw on Marth Stewart.  It just didn't seem like a good fit for our anniversary.  Even if you take away the creepy factor of knowing you're in a stranger's house, it still seems like trying to be romantic while you're staying at your grandmother's house.  However, all of these surroundings are easily ignored when you and your wife really, really like craft beer.

Grandmotherly Nautical Room

Back to the Future.  This was supposed to be my October one, but I will be playing make-up this month.  Everyone loves this series.  I do not.  It may be because I watched it too late in life when I first saw it.  I'm not sure.  I'm giving it another roll of the dice, though.

2) Learn 12 new recipes (1/month).

I figured out how to configure the perfect buffalo chicken wraps (awesome)

I made my first ever ghost pepper chili, and made it vegetarian for J, but he didn't show up to run because he's all busy with continuing his education or some crap, so my wife and I had to eat it all.  It was fantastic and super spicy.  I've also made a second batch this week that was hotter and just plain better.  I wish I had discovered the beauty of crock pots earlier in life.  I would have been a lot further along in my crock potting experience.

Love this stuff
I figured out how to make a pretty decent standard curry sauce.  In the past I have failed at this horribly, but it was also years ago when I couldn't cook worth anything.  So my avoidance fear of it were unfounded and now I can make chicken and veggie dishes with it.

I also made some sort of bogan chicken parm hybrid (not shown) involving half a leftover jar of Ragu, cream of mushroom  soup, a few ounces of mozzarella, and a bunch of spices.  I'm not sure I invented it, but it was actually really good.  Sometimes I just go and randomly start making food out of nothing at all (cue the Air Supply).  I do this less because I like experimenting and charting unknown recipe territory, but more because I don't feel like going to the store, and there's not a lot of food choices in the house.

3) Do 12 home improvements/repairs (1/month).

I did manage to get 3 windows fixed over the last 3 months.  I have 2 more to go, but winter is here, and they won't be happening this year.  I know it's not much, but it will be something to the drafty upstairs and to the heating bill.  Old window panes are hard to get out, then you have to get them measured, cut, back home, glazed in, wait for that to harden, sand that down, and then paint them to match the rest.  Usually one is a full day job (with breaks to watching Michigan State do just enough to lose, make pancake breakfasts, stroll down to the farmer's market, and/or watching Kevin Nolan do the chicken dance for West Ham)

4) Try 12 new restaurants (1/month).

I think I overdid it...

Motor City Brewing (Detroit)-Mediterranean Brick Oven Pizza is fantastic.  Muge of beer are huge.

Woodbridge Pub (Detroit)- Fantastic brunch food

Champs Pub (Brighton) - Met some friends from AA here, being it's halfway between both of us, for Monday Night Football (Lions/Bears) a few weeks back.  Decent beer selection (Rogue Dead Guy, Warsteiner on tap) and some weird meat burgers (Elk, Yak, Ostrich, etc.).  Good place to watch a game.  Not a lot of people, but enough to make a little atmosphere.  More importantly, you don't have to shout over music or the play-by-play of the game while watching.  Good volume control is important for a bar.

PM Steamers (Ludington)- Pretty decent pasta dishes.  Nothing to die for, but the restaurant has a really nice atmosphere, whether you're sitting inside where the lights are low or outside watching the ships go by

House of Flavors (Ludington) - Two words, Ice Cream.

Old Hamlin Restaurant - Crazy huge delicious breakfasts that are delicious enough to want to finish, but impossible to finish.  Skip the breakfast bar, and go from the menu.  You'll still end of full and end up with better food.

Le Serving Spoon - Really good place to grab a wrap or sandwich.  It is what inspired me to go off and figure out how to make delicious buffalo chicken wraps myself, but I still haven't perfected mine to their standards

August/September/October Extras
Running Highs-

August - It's a toss up between getting my 8K PR at the Blueberry and running my 3rd straight 10 mile Crim (despite not PRing it again...).  Next year is going to be tough to keep the streak going, as I'm going to be Best Manning it up that day.  Hopefully I will have no morning duties (or previous night hangovers).
September - Taking down my Half-Marathon PR at The Brooksie Way was amazing.  That race is very hilly, and to have it be my best one right now feels good (mostly because I think I have it in me to take this tiem down again)

October - Finishing my first marathon.  Let's face it, I'm super proud of this one.  If I were to never do another 26.2 again, this one can't be taken from me.  Getting it done and getting in the paper for what is pretty much the namesake of my blog just felt like one of those time when life lets you know you are where you're supposed to be.

Running Lows- 

August - The Warrior Dash-related costs.  I'm sorry, but the realization that it isn't worth it and knowing I probably won't go again next year upsets me.  It's a fun event, but at some point you have to take a stand against price gouging.

September - The Legend Trail Run.  I still can't get over how I was slower in this one again this year, and didn't even really try hard.  it was embarrassing.

October - About the only moment I can point to is the part after the Detroit Marathon where I felt like I was going to hurl and had to sit down and get my bearings.  I've felt that way before, but not at a race where there's nowhere to go off by yourself and where you'd basically be throwing up in the middle of a crowded street.  Luckily I didn't.
Mileage- August 118, September 117, October 102

That will most likely be my end of the 100-Club this year.  This month I've ramped down to 5 and 10K-ish distances, and my running buddy is busy with school.  Don't expect any long runs or any attempts at getting to 100 this month.  I've earned the rest, and so have my legs.  I'll be shocked to see 50+, honestly.


I'd just like to extend an early Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in case I don't get the chance to later.  I'm lucky enough to be running the Detroit Turkey Trot (I've put my differences with them aside this year) in the morning and then going to two family Thanksgivings (her family and my family) with my wife.  I don't mind the running around, it just makes my life seem fuller.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

And now, a guest blog post from "Doctor X"

Doctor X here, sending Halloween greetings from undisclosed location, because, as I've stated before, if they knew where I was, they'd shut me down.

Doctor X
Nobody can stop the candy train from chugging into the station on our block, though.  Sure those folks with their new SUVs and perfectly manicured lawns can shut off their lights and hide, but we'll stand tall, because as we say "It's the children, stupid."  If it's a crime to unload a $20 bag of candy on smiling children, then you can cuff me and take me away.  The problem is, you don't know who I am, or where I am.  You didn't even think I was real.  You thou simply an alter ego of a character played by Josh Radnor?  Nay, I am the true phantom of the airwaves, and I sail with a horde of candy giving pirates, because in today's society of taking, it's the giving that straddles the fences of legality.

My favorite pirate
Those of you not adhering to traditional authoritarian candy policies, and still out and about after the 8pm Trick or Treating "deadline" can still get your bucket filled here.  We have a bounty of sugary goods still left for those willing to brave the winds and rains.
Extra Booty
Just look for the Professor Chaos pumpkin and come up the stairs in disguise.  The password is "Possimpible."  We'll be waiting for you...

"Everyone knows it's Butters...."

...Doctor X out, and remember X marks the spot....

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Detroit Marathon 2012 Recap

I admitted very freely at the front half of the weekend that the race was really starting to get to me psychologically.  J and I headed down to the marathon expo Saturday morning without my wife.  She had way too many photos to edit, because, lately, her photography business is starting to get pretty busy.  So she couldn't burn two days just for me.

Ren Cen w/Marathon logo

We got down to Detroit without any issue, and I found a really nice, close, parallel parking spot for the expo.  We got in and out quick, and would have been out even sooner if J didn't need a RooSport pouch for his passport.  I tell you what, their business blew up big at that expo.

I'm standing in the "Stargate"
We goofed around in Hart Plaza for a bit, taking pictures and looking at the Cobo reconstruction before going over to our friend's place to watch Michigan/Michigan State.  That was so incredibly boring that we all quit watching and went to Motor City Brewing Works to get a personal pizza (I recommend the Mediteranean) and a very large Oktoberfest.  We managed to walk back to his place just in time to see Michigan's kicker, "Beef Supreme," hit the winning field goal for a 12-10 win while he was most likely thinking of "brunette girls."  It was a sad day for the Big Ten and both teams, and a horrible display of futility.  What's worse is being the loser of that kind of debacle.  Oh well, at least nobody from the other side actually thought it was worth rubbing in.

After that we watched "Ninja Assassin" with K-Pop star (and Stephen Colbert rival) Rain, a few episodes of Burn Notice, and it was time to hit the hay.  I had three things working against me getting a good night's sleep, other than the fact we went to sleep at about midnight when we were waking up at 4:30am.  Those were:  strange place, no wife, and sleeping on a floor.  I don't know about you, but I think sleeping on your buddy's floor before a marathon is going on my "Murtaugh List."

I did get some decent sleep, but I was lethargic, a little sore, and not really eager for running the next morning.  We found our way in the morning dark to the corral downtown, and about the time J's corral was going, we parted ways and I dropped back with my (slower) people.

I wish I would have had my camera ready before the Ambassador Bridge, because there were a lot of weird things going on in that first mile, but most importantly, there was a lady dressed up in a fluffy pig costume.  Sorry I missed that photo op.  I'll let the pictures do the rest...

Heading up the Ambassador Bridge 

Sunrise over Windsor 



Circling back near the Ambassador Bridge

Leaf Police 
Hello Big D

Heading into the Detroit/Windsor Tunnel

Gratuitous Tunnel Border Shot (actually stopped to get this one)

Back in the USA

Parade Co. has the Clown for the Turkey Trot Up

Second oldest running Catholic Church in the U.S.  (I've been here before)

Thaddeus Kosciuszko statue on Michigan Ave. heading back into downtown


Fall Colors in Indian Villiage
Entering Belle Isle

Leaving Belle Isle

Now looking at Windsor from Detroit

Heading back into town

Almost Finished

My Support System (Father-In-Law not shown)


Comerica Shot with the sign my wife made for me.

 Outside of the photos, the story is that marathons are really hard.  I know we've trained for this distance, but  we did stop for water and bathroom breaks, and we never did just go out and try to run 26 straight.  That is a completely different animal.  I came in at a 4:53, which means absolutely nothing to me.  The goal was to finish running the whole way, and not stop to walk.  I did that.  J did that.  We hit our goal.  I know I could have been faster had I not taken 126 blurry photos along the way (not all shown, and most don't deserve to be, hell the "good ones" are still bad).

I know this was the major goal of the year, and I thought I would do this and I would be good for life.  I'm not happy.  I know with a good night's sleep in a real bed and leaving a camera behind, I can knock a lot of time off this.  I pulled an oblique in mile 18, and I pretty much tanked all of 21-26.  I'm still incredibly soft.  I get that.  I gained a big chunk of weight after the Crim, again.  I have to stop that.  I kept running, but I didn't keep my caloric vigilance up.  Sad thing is, I guarantee the most likely contributors calorie-wise are liquids.

The other thing I hadn't counted on was how much of the Detroit Marathon was just you and the road.  Sure there were others out there, and spectators, but that second half of the marathon is much deader than the front half.  There's a lot less fanfare on the way to Indian Villiage and on the way back.  I had a lot of time with my thoughts, and they wandered all over the place.  I thought about my family and hoped they had good weather for the charity golf outing in honor of my cousin who recently passed away.  I thought about what my dad would think of my running craziness if he were still here.  I thought a couple times about what would happen if I collapsed dead.  My brain was just running wild to occupy the silence.

The demand on my body got so incredibly overwhelming in those final miles, I could have quit, but I didn't.  I had some wonderful encouragement from people zipping by me.  Some people get discouraged when people do that to them, but I needed to hear those "c'mons" and those "keep going, you can make it."  Seeing my wife, good friend, and father-in-law at 25 was so necessary for my finish.  I'm not kidding.  I could have quit this thing with less than a mile to go.  It hurt that bad, and a quick kiss from my wife was like a resuscitation bringing me back to life to make it that last little bit.

I felt better after that and had a decent push at the end.  Seeing that 26 and that finish line helped a lot.  When I got nearer to the finish, I thought about busting out Gangnam Style the rest of the way, but I just hurt too much for that.  When I did get really near the finish, though, I changed my mind and went for it...and I pulled my right calf just before I crossed the finish, having to hobble-run across.  I kind of felt like a moron.

After crossing, and getting the best medal ever, Bill Laitner from the Detroit Free Press grabbed me for a quick little interview, taking note of my shirt, and how I'm a pretty big dude running a marathon.  That lasted about 2 minutes, he snapped a shot of me, and said it might make it to the online version of the paper...maybe.  Still baffled that I made it to print, with all the other people out there running for important causes, family members, etc., and here's my dumb ass just goofing off with my "National Erectile Dysfunction Awareness" shirt in the paper (see previous post).

After I was done, the muscles started to hurt, the dehydration came in, and the granny smith apple I ate at the end felt like it was trying to escape the confines of my gut.  After finding my wife, her dad, and my friend, I quickly switched into the dry clothes they had for me, and took a seat on the sidewalk trying to get my bearings.  Then we old man walked our way back to the car, took a few camera shots at Comerica, and went to the Woodbridge Pub for some awesome brunch and beers.

So that's it.  First one's out of the way.  Now I know what it takes and what to expect when I do this again, but for now, until the end of the year, I'm ramping things down a bit.  There will be nothing bigger than a 10K until 2013.
Shirt, Medal, Bib

'53 Corvette Medal

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