Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Runaway Groomsman (Crim #5 [4th 10-miler])

Things have been nuts around here lately.  A lot of it's just general life stresses, including the up-in-the-air job thing right now.  When I'm stressed, I tend to run more.  That's good in at least one way, because I have a marathon coming up.  The major bad thing about that, though, is I've had mild ulcer problems before.  I'm hoping they're not coming back, but when your gut burns from drinking water too fast, you kind of have to accept that they might be.

It didn't really help things when, as my wife and I were getting ready for work Thursday morning, our Corgi, Renfield, went into a seizure.  A half-dressed morning trip to the vet for me, and a half day of work missed, and we're not sure what caused it.  It could have been something he ate.  He could have eaten breakfast too fast and that could have caused it, or he's at the age where, if he's going to have them regularly, it will start.  So, a couple doggie pills and a bill later, we're just watching and waiting for if or when it's going to happen again.  Depending on how things pan out, we'll take the necessary action/inaction.

He's okay now

Friday was the rehearsal for my friend's wedding.  The rehearsal went smooth, and we all met up for dinner at Wolverine Brewery in A2.  The groom and bride's family made the food, and rented a room there, while we had a few drinks and watched the Tigers game.  We all got our bridesmaid and groomsmans' gifts.  I have no idea what the ladies got, but the men all got some sweet comic-inspired cuff-links.  I got Iron Man, and the others got Hulk, Captain America, Spiderman, and Superman (one lonely D.C. guy).  Even the ushers got some really good, rare bomber bottles of beer.

I know I never set up the drama of Saturday, but I was running the Crim, knowing that I had to co-best man a wedding at 12-noon that same day in Ann Arbor.  For the record, the Crim starts at 8am.  To run 10 miles, get out of the crowd, get home, and drive to a church over an hour away in the span of 4 hours is a pretty daunting task.  That's not even mentioning the fact that I really was supposed to be there at 11am (an hour early).  

The morning of the Crim hits, and I have this ominous feeling that I shouldn't be running.  I considered dropping it right then and there and just heading to the wedding.  J showed up, and gave me a little pep talk, and suddenly I was ready.  I didn't know how I was going to do it, because my practice times have sucked lately, but I was going to go out there, run my best Crim ever, and get home in time.  I was going to do it for my friend and his wife-to-be.  I wouldn't let myself down by missing the race, and I wouldn't let them down either.  I was going for the two win day.  Besides, this was the friend that tried to talk me into doing the Mackinac Bridge Run on my wedding day (though I chose otherwise).

J and I walked down to the race, got into the corral, and the race started five minutes late (five minutes that I felt I desperately needed).  Group A and B went before us, and then we were off.  The first two miles were changed slightly from the year before, and, to be honest, I missed the spot on Saginaw St. where the big crowd used to cheer us on.  I get why it was changed, though, and I think that same crowd will eventually set up shop on the UM-Flint campus.  It will be an improvement eventually.

One thing's for sure, I went out way too fast at the start.  My first mile was an 8:33.  That is not exactly setting up shop for the long term.  I had to cool it down a bit, and even then #2 was an 8:39.  From there I just kind of did what I could.  I figured whatever I could squeeze out of me, I was banking some good time to make it to the wedding on time.  I kept thinking that I was doing it for the bride and groom.  I was going to push as much as I could, and just ignore how much it hurt.

Crim Stats

That's exactly what I did.  I even strained harder during the second half, to the point where my split at the first half was not much faster than my split time for the second.  Everyone around me seemed to be able to tell how hard I was pushing too.  I had a lot of moral support out there.  Even some cool high school dudes were trying to get me to stay with them and keep up.  That's also exactly what I did.
I crossed the finish with an official time of 1:31:19 for the ten mile race.  That's a 9:08 per mile, a course record, a PR for 10 miles, and pretty much a race of general ass-whipping by yours truly.  I took 16 seconds per mile off my personal best, which was two years ago, and I haven't even been working that hard.  Just like Allen Iverson, I only seem to show up on gameday (practice?), and that's 5 course PRs in a row for my last five races.

Crim Route
I rushed through the finish, grabbed my medal, cut through some people to grab a water bottle, and made my way through the crowd to open space.  I immediately began running side-by-side with the 5K runners to get back to my house as fast a I could.  I'm sure people were wondering what the hell I was doing.  I cut through Mott and got home at 9:53.  J beat me home by just about a minute, as he also ran one hell of a race.  We were showered and suited/tuxed up by 10:05.  My wife couldn't believe that we made it back before she even left, and we all rode down there together (saving a half tank of gas, woohoo!)

I made it to the church at 11:08, and I was the first groomsman there.  Great success!  I also chose to wear my Iron Man cuff links, which I thought was a rebellious move, but apparently so did ever single other guy.  Even the groom went with his X-men ones.  

The ceremony was beautiful.  The priest even read a few passages from what they wrote about how they first met.  That was adorable.  We all were able to walk up and down the aisle with our bridal party partners without falling.  I was present to hand off a ring.  All was well.

After my co-best manning duties, it was time to jump back into husband duties.  I was back to carrying around the camera bag as my wife did the photo-taking for the wedding (at least when I wasn't in the pictures).  We stopped at Ashley's pub with the bride and groom for a pint or two and some food.  Then we went cruising around Ann Arbor taking photographs, me still carrying a camera bag and also, now, the bride's veil.  I'm one heck of an assistant.

Photo someone took of the wedding party that I borrowed from the facebooks.

After that, we went early to the reception hall to make sure everything was going well before the guests arrived.  A trip to Meijer and a few trips to the gas station for ice, and everything was perfect.  We had a nice dinner, and as soon as the real music started, having a couple Yuenglings in us, there was a party on our hands.  There was also a plastic goose that spent half the night on the dance floor and may have made more photo appearances than even the bride and groom.  There may also be a few photos of me holding a goose going "Gangnam Style" (no maybes about it, they exist, see one below).

Goosenam Style

It was the perfect day for the perfect couple, and we all had a great time celebrating their union.  Not only that, but all the friends and families were really good to each other.  They just have so many good people in their lives, and I'm glad we could all get together for them, and get to know each other over this past weekend.  I even ran into the groom's brother Sunday.  We were both returning our tuxes at the same time, and I popped into the mall bar for a few pints with him and his uncle, and talked about how wonderful the wedding was.

Happy Couple

This year's Crim shirt and my four medals.
2013 Medal


  1. Well freaking done sir!!! That is a helluva PR and now the scene is set for a monster PR in D-town. Woot!

    P.S. Despite the fact that I just assumed you pulled it off and made it in time, I was still nervous! You cut it pretty close there.

  2. NICE work!! Lot of congrats are in order 1. For the PR, 2. Making it to the wedding first. 3. Not falling while walking down the aisle 4. The action shot with the goose. I approve!


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