Thursday, October 3, 2013

Brooksie Way: End of the Streak

Well, my delusions of grandeur of being a course record machine and renaming myself "The Iron Clydesdale" is over.  The Brooksie Way, and my still-standing half-marathon PR, is to blame. 

Honestly, I was ready to just sit back, run the Detroit Marathon with my streak of course PRs intact and hope for the best.  I did try to get in a last minute Brooksie registration in, but, by then, online registration was closed.  "Oh well, I'll just save the money, and not do it this year.  No big thing."

Wrong.  My friend signed up for it, and, with his vehicle not being able to go expressway speeds, he needed a way to get to the race.  He assumed I had been signed up for weeks and would take him, because, "We always do this race."  Not one to leave a friend hanging, or put someone into a position for a DNS for an already paid for race, I drove down to Oakland University for the expo and signed myself up.  Since I had to drive down there, I actually tried to participate in the expo and talk to some of the booths instead of seeing how fast I could navigate through the human asteroid field to my race packet, and then leave.  I scored a few free goodies, but no $50,000 home make-over (unless the drawing's still going).

Bear Tracks on OU campus

On the way home I think I stopped off at every good craft beer store on the way, and grabbed a burger from this gas station deli that supposedly had good ones (it was okay). 

Pepperjack and Jalapeno Burger

The next morning I woke up really easily and all ready to go.  Both J and I were pretty excited to get the show on the road.  This year they had color coordinated time corrals, and the gatekeepers of those were really strict.  J jumped back a corral to hang out with me, and they kept telling him to move up.  It was like a runner apartheid up in there.

Once the race got going, we were off at a killer pace.  Unfortunately, for the first time ever in a run, I actually had to make a porta-john stop, and that killed about 2 minutes and took me out of rhythm.  I got it back for the next mile, but for some reason I started tanking about mile 6.  I'm not sure if it was the stop or just that it generally wasn't my day, but I completely lost my mojo there for the second half of the race.

I was still passing most of the people around me, so I should have felt encouraged, but the mile beeps of the Garmin kept me in my funk, knowing damn well that I was doing my best and still gaining more time than I wanted.  I knew a PR was out the window by mile 7, and I tried to tell myself just to enjoy the race.  On the bright side I knew it would be my best half-mary of the year, but that wasn't a lot of consolation. 

The only real consolation was the encouragement of the crowd, and of the fellow runners around me.  I'm not sure what it is about the Brooksie race and the people in Rochester Hills, but this seems to be one of the most chatty races you can be in.  Every time I run it, I end up in several conversations with the people around me.  Maybe it's because it's late in the season and people finally have the wind to do it, or maybe it's just that the spectators are nice and even throughout the course and they keep us alert and give us things to talk about (honestly, they're some of the best I've seen).  Either way, just that part of this race makes it enjoyable, not to mention all the nice fall colors starting up, the nice mix of nature and city, and the challenge of the hills.  

At about the 12 1/2 mile area, I got a sudden burst of second wind, and honestly, I would have felt better had it never come.  I guess it's a good thing to know is there for the upcoming marathon, but on a day where I was wondering where it had been the last 6 miles, I would have felt better struggling through the rest of the entire race and just knowing I stepped up and struggled through one of the worst, longest, roughest tanks of my running career.  Instead, I'm pulling like a 9:10 pace again for the last half mile and wishing there was more race ahead of me.

Chip time was a 2:11, so a far cry from threatening my 2:05 there from last year.  Still my best of the year, and below the running average, but, again, when you have a streak going, you really only care about that.  I was pretty upset with myself, and my meddling bladder, and probably would have went home right then and there, but they were hooking us up with a free beer, so I went back to the tent.

Disco Cover Band
Sure, the beer was a Bud Light, but it's free.  We sat around and listened to the disco cover band, and scanned our bibs with our phones for our times.  Then we snuck back to the car to pop the trunk and have a good beer (Right Brain WillPow!er), and headed home in defeat.  At least in defeat, there is still beer.
Post Race Medal Photo


  1. Even with your lack of training, you're still pulling in awesome pace times! It pisses me off! I'm gonna have to take you outta my five!

    But seriously, 2:11! I want to be able to pull that kind of time (or better) next year for the Salinas Valley Half Marathon. You're still kicking my ass when it counts Brent! Great going! Looking forward to hearing about your marathon when completed.

  2. Still a valiant effort! Bud Light... not sure that's worthy of hanging around for. Cool feature with the bib scanning for results though. Way to tough it out, they won't all be PRs!

  3. Races like that built character, but I think you're already a character. Hey, it looks like we're headed for a collision now with Detroit coming to Boston to play. My wife and I are going to the first game of the ALCS. Eat your heart out!

  4. They can't all be PR's and races like these keep us honest and humble. The important thing here is to never let how far you've come go out of sight. You may have not had the best day but it was still better than your worst day.

    In other news, we're setting up a "cheer station" around mile 11 of Detroit, so keep an eye out for us! Good luck!

    1. Crap, I didn't see this until just now. Hope I didn't run past and not recognize you guys.

  5. You never cease to amaze me and make me laugh...Your time is awesome time is 2:31 for my first half ever...and it probably won't get much better because I am slow and don't plan on getting any faster. Congrats again bud! Rock on!


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