Monday, October 1, 2012

Feeling UnstoppaBrooksie

As usual, my race prep. for the 5th Annual Brooksie Way Half Marathon left much to be desired.  The race itself is fairly early and about a 45 minute drive from me, so it was an early up.  I was up earlier than needed because I thought the 13.1 started at 7:30, but it was 8:05.  I didn't tuck myself in until about 1am, and it's usually at least an hour to get to sleep.  Saturday night it was more like an hour and a half, because I was either still wound up from MSU losing to Ohio State, or because of pre-race excitement.

Either way I didn't get enough sleep when the cell alarm came on at 5am, and it made me wonder for a split second why the hell I set an alarm for Sunday.  Luckily I was just alert enough to remember I had a race, and get ready.  I felt pretty good considering just hours before I had just downed a truckload of Little Caesar's pizza and went to the Double J for two PBR 40s after the Spartan loss.  Hopefully that's the last of the losses to hated teams this year, because the MSU/U of M game is the day before the marathon.  Maybe I'll just not watch.

J got here just as I was finishing up the whole get ready routine, including the new addition of "swaddle the foot and stuff it in a shoe," which you too can play at home.  On the way down he shared his story of parking right in front of a Dodge Ram who pulled horizontally across 3 handicap parking spaces to run into the gas station.  J pulled into the next open parking spot, immediately in front of the truck, so he would be forced to back out like everyone else, just to make a point.  That point being, "Being a lazy prick does not make you special."  He then waited in the gas station until the man got into his truck, visibly upset, and had to back out. Personally, I found this hilarious.  What makes it even better is that I kind of view the Ram as my nemesis vehicle.  Most of the people that have one seem to have no real functional use for it, so it's a complete resource waster.  On top of that, I just seem to have more problems with that make and model than any other vehicle on the road.  Their drivers seem to be universally dickish (even Esquire, which is only written and read by dicks, agrees, so they must be the dicks of even dick island).

Anyway, after many long tangential conversations of laughter, we arrived at Oakland University.  Packet pick-up was really quick that early, and there was literally no waiting.  It was still somewhere in the 40s, temperature-wise, so we went back to the car and sat until 7:15.  Then we sat in the corral just in front of the 10 min pace mark for 15 minutes wondering what was going on and where everyone was.  I didn't find out they actually listed an 8:05 start until today.

This was my first half since The Legend and I wasn't about to sit back and not go for it.  The goal was to do like the Crim, start moderately quick and just try to hold that pace for as long as I could.  I pulled ahead of the 2:10 pacers about a mile in, and when I saw I was pulling up on the 2:00 pacers, I throttled back a bit.  J was pacing for his marathon, so he didn't run away like usual and stayed with me.

Official Pacer Outfits
Eventually, about 2 miles in I actually passed the 2:00 pacers and got some bright idea about getting a 2:00 monkey off my back like one of my fellow bloggers did.  Then the 2:00 pacers passed me back at 6 1/2 and started pulling away at 8, so that was the end of that.  For the record, the 2:00 things is not a barrier I consider beatable or realistic this year, so it's not even a mini-monkey.  I just wanted to see how long I could fight them off.

The second half of the race is a tough non-stop barrage of hills, and the first big one took a big cut out of me.  My legs felt dead, and I was starting to feel sorry I pushed so hard the first half, knowing what was to come for the rest.  I shook off a lot of negative thoughts and tried to keep pushing through that hill as hard as I could.  I think for the first time I actually told myself it would be okay if I had to stop, as long as I ran for as long as I could.  I really slowed down and sputtered up that hill.  I think for that sliver of time, it was probably pushing a 11/12 minute pace.  I was really worried that that was how it was going to be for the rest of the way, which would have just been brutal when I was putting everything I could into it.

You think you're doing good the first half, and then...

Luckily I snapped out of it and even found by the 3rd big hill I was starting to drop back into my running zone.  I was taking well to the hills and actually picking up a few spots again.  Still no sign of the the 2:00 pacers, though.  So I set my heart on not letting the 2:10 ones pass me, or holding them off as much as possible.  At least I'd finish in my usual range, or maybe, just maybe, push somewhere close to my 2:09 PR. Never did find anyone with a beer like last year, though, and I could have used a little hair of the dog.

I still had J with me, and the hills kept coming.  I was feeling pretty good the rest of the race, other than a little bit of a tight hammy that kicked in about mile 11.  With only 2 to go, it wasn't a big deal, though.  I'm sure it was from over-compensating for the heel, even though I didn't feel it that much during the race.  I just kept running, looking for that 12, then the 13, and then the time clock.  When the clock came up, I knew there was still a zero up there as the second number, and as I came into my push, realized it was reading 2:05.  I made a huge push to the finish.

I pulled in crossing at about 2:06:15, knowing I had a PR in the bag.  I got my medal and grabbed a water and an orange slice, and wrapped myself in a nice space blanket.  I met back up with J, who crossed when I did (and who could have went faster, but still set a PR), and immediately started to feel my heel.  Adrenaline is amazing, sometimes.  I didn't feel the thing at all until then, because I was all jacked up on the race juice.

We walked back to the race tent where they scanned our bibs with some fancy phone and it showed your time.  Officially, I was 2:05:15, which was absolutely fantastic and about 10 minutes faster than I had honestly expected.  It was a good run, and I did about all I could out there.

Today everything was sore.  My whole body hurt, especially my stomach muscles (yes, they're in there somewhere), my legs, and my back muscles.  Even my arms are a little testy.  I just feel like I put my whole body into this race, and I haven't felt this tired from a halfer since that first Martian Race.  I'm very content with ending 2011 with a 13.1 PR to go with the 5K and 8K.  I still wish I'd stepped up a bit more for the Crim and grabbed the 10 mile one too, because there won't be another ten.  I still have a shot at a 10K, maybe.  Of course, this year is still all about 26.2, and it may be my next official race.  Not a lot of time left, and I can attest to the fact that the anticipation is killing me.  It feels like Crim #1 all over again.

Post Race Medal Pose
Front (this medal's awesome)


5 Shirt, 5 Medal


  1. HELL YEAH! Congrats on the HUGE PR buddy! That is so awesome. The weather was perfect on Sunday and I was hoping your heel would give you a break so you could have a good run. You must be on Cloud 9 over there!!!


  3. way to fight the monkeys off and earn a PR! the medal is pretty sweet too :)


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