Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

So, I'm going to start this by saying I sprained the hell out of my ankle.  Was it running?  Well, that depends if running away from your dog in the house, slipping on a rug, and going down in a heap counts as "hurt while running."

Anyway, I still hurt, but screw it, I'm running on it.  You know how I work by now.  Tuesday was my first day back.  It was dicey, but at least it was dry.  However, that was just a test run to see if I wanted to run the Mott Park Turkey Trot in Flint.

News is here :)
There was no way after last year I'd do Detroit.  I just didn't want the hassle.  I also didn't want the hassle of going to the bank, so I partially paid my $10 entry fee in change.

When I got there (only about 10 minutes before the 9am start), I was in shock.  There were a lot of people there.  Last time I did this race, there were maybe 100 or so.  This year there was over 450, and they completely ran out of shirts, except for 2X, which I gladly accepted, because I'm too lazy to pick up an XL from Bauman's next week.  Oh wait, I have to pick up my Santa suit for Santa Run anyway...dammit!

I saw one of my old classmate's parents.  They're always running together still, and they're in their 60s.  I think that's awesome.  They're still pretty fast too, and tend to win their age groups, which is more than I can say.  

Running Path

My wife and my first apartment together was in that brick one back there.

We were a little delayed by the kids' races (1 and 2 mile) and, of course, all the extra people that showed up, but we still got rolling only a half hour late.  Being worried about the ankle on frozen ground (off-roading on an old golf course) I ran my first mile very cautiously and came in over 10 minutes.  However, I made up a little ground on 2 to come in at 19:30 and finished at 28:30.  

After Photo
Since I was actually thinking I'd be lucky to even do the Santa Run when I hurt myself, I'm putting this one in the win column.  Also in the win column, getting a t-shirt and a medal for $10, not having to drive to Detroit, and being able to cross a finish line unimpeded.

Shirt and Medal
Honestly, if this race is this solid every year, I'm going to just keep doing it, because, in the words of Stefon....

"...this race has everything:" dogs in sweaters, a crazy wolverine fan man with a block M painted on his sweatshirt, people in turkey hats, people in bad Christmas sweaters, cheering 4-year-olds, registration in an abandoned golf clubhouse, free pie for winners, & an old man that's barking instruction loud enough for everyone without a megaphone

Afterwards, I had to rush home and start letting people into the house, because Thanksgiving (also my 34th birthday) was at our house this year.  Thanksgiving was as good as it could be, and we made our first turkey ever.  I hope yours was wonderful.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Tailgate Challenge

After the Detroit Marathon, I took some a little vacation.  The vacation was mostly from my diet.  I cut myself loose for about two weeks, and today's my first day starting to wrangle things back into control.  Surprisingly, I didn't take any time off from running.  That I was back at Tuesday, just two days after the 26.2.

Now when I say I cut myself loose, I don't mean any cute "oopsie, I had a carb" business.  I've pretty much been subsisting on corn dogs, buttermilk waffles, pizza rolls, every high calorie coffee-adjacent concoction from Tim Hortons, and any form of cherry cola I can get my hands on.  Anyway, I needed the break, and I deserve it.  However, I don't expect to continue this the entire winter like last year.

Saturday, I ran my first race since Detroit.  The Tailgate Challenge is not the biggest, best, or most organized race ever, but it's fun running around with the other racers decked out in their Michigan or Michigan State gear.  As a Spartan (Michigan State), with this race literally running through one of the University of Michigan's satellite campuses (which, in addition to MSU, is also my Alma Mater), you can expect to be completely outnumbered by Michigan Wolverines.

Like last year, they've abandoned the fanbases running against each other, clock-wise and counter clock-wise.  I wish they'd bring it back, but when you do see the rival colors ahead of you, it does make you want to catch and pass them more.  However, there wasn't a lot of that going on for me.

Not to sound like a total wuss, but 5Ks are harder than I remember.  Sure, I've ran that distance, lately, but not actually going for speed, and certainly not in the race environment, where you push just a bit more.  As far as that goes, my last 5K was in July.  I think I was about a 1/2 mile in when I started to get tired.

In the two loops of the 5K, by the end of loop one I was starting to feel pretty tired, and could feel the lactic acid starting to build up.  It felt like I was running in slow motion, and if I had to guess my time during the race, I would have guessed somewhere in the 30-32 minute range.  I couldn't close the gap and catch J, and I was shocked when the time was still well within the 20s when I finished.

I put up a conveniently rounded 27:30.  That felt good.

After, we tried to find an open bar, not realizing it was only like 10am.  Then we tried to find an open coffee shop, trying Brown Sugar and then Good Beans.  That didn't go well either.  J gave up and we decided to meet back at my house for a few beers and to watch some Premier League.  I worked my way over to Flint Crepe Company for a Butter Pecan Latte (again with the coffee calorie count), and met him back home for some Founder's Harvest Ale and some Bavarian Inn Dark (for the record, both are fantastic).

Oh, and, most importantly, Michigan State crushed Michigan so hard their team looked ready to break down and cry.

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