Monday, September 17, 2012

Overdue Recap #3 - The Crim

In Brent vs. The July I had vowed to get off my sorry ass and make myself accountable last month. With The Legend making me look like a complete jackass, I didn't think I was off to a very good start.  Just looking at my Crim time last year and how good and perfect I ran (for me), I just didn't see how I was going to get there.  The two weeks prior I had to shut down the "long runs" because 20+ miles was just more pain than I could bear.  Still though, I was doing 13ish and this was only a 10 mile race.  The main problem was I was pretty much carrying myself with my left leg, and by the end of Wednesday right before the race, it definitely felt like it. 

Despite all the "Accountability August" stuff, I wasn't going to make pre-wedding weight.  I dropped some poundage, though, and 10 lbs down in a month was nothing to sneeze at.  All things considered, I was about as ready as I thought I could be for the race.  So it was time to get into the mindset for it.  I went downtown to the all you can eat charity pasta dinner.  I'm not sure the charity made any money off of me, because I had a lot of food.  After my third plate, and realizing everyone I came into the tent with was long gone except one old woman, who i swore had 4 plates in the time I ate 3.  I am not a slow eater, or a light one.  I have mad respect for that woman.

I decided to stop into the Torch and get a quick Huma Lupalicious pint before heading home.  I saw two brightly dressed girls that I figured were going to the 80s events, but you can't tell with kids and their dressing these days, so I didn't want to ask and risk offending them.  So I quietly finished my beer and walked home to put my wonky leg up.  My wife was "Up North" camping with her work girls, so I had the place to myself for the weekend, but there was no excitement.  I take the Crim too seriously for shenanigans.  So I spent the rest of the night watching Patrick Troughton era Doctor Who episodes and working on finishing up Bill DeSmedt's novel "Singularity."  I turned in very early while our dog Renfield waited at the door all night waiting for my wife to come home.  He's a big time momma's boy.

J arrived right on time in the morning.  I had woken up right on time and stepped out of the bed to the usual heel pain, but went through my morning race prep routine anyway.  I was all ready with my blue Flash shirt on, and we headed on down.  He still had to pick up his packet and check what in it he wasn't wearing, but that didn't take too long.  We were in seperate waves (him in B and I in C), but we couldn't move once we got in the corral, so he had to stay back in C with us slackers.  We were reminded this was the last year they were doing the beer at Cashew point, pretty much daring us to all drink a beer there.  Then they let the groups ahead of us go, and finally it was our turn.  We hit the start gate while Genesee Towers protesters  uselessly waves signs to our left.  Not the time or place, guys.

Two miles in and my heel hadn't numbed up yet.  I was not near the pace I needed to beat last year, and it felt like I was still doing all I could.  Here I was only a 1/5th of the way through, and I felt winded, sweaty, sore, and tired.  No shocker that when I saw the man holding the doughnut box on University Ave., I didn't partake.  One of these years...but not this one. 

The third mile up and downs down University didn't do me any favors, but I felt inspired by the fact I was still catching people in my heat, and I was pushing up the hills, and cutting loose down them.  Still wasn't feeling great, but I was coming out of a it a little. 

In the stretch of the 4th mile, a little discouraged with the fact my heel and my speed weren't allowing me to beat last year, I gave in to the temptation at Cashew point and I had a beer.  I'm not sure which beer it was.  If I had to guess it was a Bud Light or Coors Light.  Whatever it was, I'd like to thank Denny Donlan and his family for doing this for the past 20 years, and giving the race some added charm.  I'm glad I got to partake at least once.

Miles 5 and 6, despite the Bradleys were just awesome for me.  I gave up trying to baby my foot.  I figured it was going to hurt no matter what I did, so I started making my right leg work again.  Just before hitting the second hill of the Bradleys was the 5th mile, and I realized I put up a flat 9:00 between 4 and 5.  Apparently my body reacts positively to beer during exercise.  So, what'd I do?  You guessed it.  At 5 1/2 there was another group of bros handing out beers, and all the bushed post-Bradley chest-heavers refusing them, left and right.  When they heard a "beer me" coming from this big dude there was a fantastic reaction from them, especially after I chugged it in one gulp, let out a warrior's scream of "hell yeah," and gave the tail-end guys in their group high fives.  I was all jacked up now, but I took a bottle of water immediately after and chugged that just to avoid any dehydration issues down the line. 

Through 7 and 8 I was still cutting off time.  I figured I still didn't have much shot at another Crim PR, but I kept up what I could.  The heel pain was really noticeable now, and getting worse.  I had to get done and get off of this thing.  I really wished I wasn't hurting.  Other people were hurting out there as well, just from being tired, hot and exhausted.  It wasn't a cool day by any means, and I spent a lot of this stretch talking to people and trading encouragements.  Then, I saw Bobby Crim near the back half of mile 7, and had to turn out of my way to take the chance to thank him.  The 81-year-old founder of the race said that this may be his last year running it, and there was no passing up the opportunity to be one of the many people that stopped to thank him before going on their way. 

The last two miles just sort of went.  I pushed through with about all I had left, and came down the stretch looking for familiar faces.  I didn't see or hear any, so I had to encourage myself into a sprint to the end.  I crossed a sweaty, sore, and tired mess to find one familiar face in J, who had already grabbed me a water and was waiting for me knowing I'd need it.  I admitted defeat, pretty much knowing I was not faster than last year.  My best guess at the time said it was 2-4 minutes slow, based on my clock time.

We grabbed our free pizza slice, and choked down some free Miller 64.  I think free was still too expensive.  It's awful, awful stuff.  I still maintain that they are cutting Old Milwaukee 50/50 with water ("you mean, like, in the toilet?").  We had to stop in to The Torch for a beer just to wash that out.  I went with my Huma, J with his newfound love for Sam's Boston Lager.

 On the way back I saw a couple (complete with ginger girl, like my wife) that had just got married that day walking around Flint getting their wedding photos by the Cultural Center.  I mentioned to them that I was doing the same just about a year ago and congratulated them.  We got back to my place to check times.  He wanted to know if he beat another guy we know.  He didn't, and missed him by only 20 seconds.  I checked my time only to see I averaged a 9:30/mi with a 1:34:55, and missed my PR by only 52 seconds.  You know, about the amount of time I probably took between taking two beers, goofing off, and thanking a certain race dignitary. 

Even knowing that, I have no regrets.  I ran a great race, considering, and had I known that a PR was still on the line, I might not have participated so much in the race stops (especially the beer), talked to so many of the other racers exchanging words of encouragement, and stopped for Mr. Crim.  Maybe I could have done a little better had I drew out a race plan like last year, but I didn't because I didn't know what to expect with the heel.  There's not a lot of assurance that it would have helped me, either.  Sure there's a little nagging voice in my head that's still screaming, "A measley 6 seconds per mile.  You could have taken that off," but I said before I'd be lucky to get under 1:40.  So coming that close was really surprising, and I'll take it.

My apologies for no pictures.  The official photographers didn't get anything of me worth posting and, as I stated, my shutterbaby was out of town.  So here is a picture of the dog wearing my Crim medal instead.


  1. Considering all that you had working against you, coming up 52 seconds short of a PR ain't half bad! How's the heel now? Any better? Am I being to impatient trying to figure out how Detroit training is going?!?!?!??!?!?!?! :)

  2. Congrats on the near PR! And Ein doesn't look too happy at having a hunk of metal draggin' him around. And I'm glad you enjoyed the race (aside from the heel issue). I wish they had beer at the aid stations for races around here. I think I'd be running more races with that incentive. Unless, of course, it's that crap Miller 64! God, that stuff ain't anywhere CLOSE to being called beer!

  3. Beer stops and almost a PR? sounds pretty solid to me, nice work!


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