Friday, August 31, 2012

Crim 10 mile : Race Report

I'm writing my first blog post on a deadline.  I've been in kind of a funk recently and haven't wanted to spread my negativity to my lovely readership.  (I do have like 5 posts in draft that I just can't seem to finish).  So this post is my Crim race report, which is on a deadline because the Milford 30K is in less than 12 hrs and I can't be two race reports behind!  It sure would help if Molly would stop barking incessantly in the basement.  She's just standing down there barking nonstop.  I think she likes the sound of the echo.  The door is open so she's free to come up, and her food and water are full, so my only conclusion is she likes to hear herself talk.  I know people like that.  Anway, the Crim.  10 mile, to be exact.

This is the first race where I've gotten to "represent" the 501 running club in the "official" race singlet.  I have wanted to get one for a while, but every one I tried on was either too small (women's M and L), or ridiculous looking (any of the men's sizes, thanks to giant arm holes and being too long).  I wanted to try on a women's XL, but there were never any in stock (I guess runners aren't supposed to be fat, who knew?)  I finally special ordered an XL and it fit okay, but it was super long.  I went ahead and bought it, thinking I could just bunch it up or tuck it in or something to run.  I tried that for one 16 mile run, and it was ridiculous.  The tucking in didn't stay put, and the leaving it out it ended up like a tight minidress all the way down past my butt.  So I took matters into my own hands, and busted out a pair of scissors and dusted off the sewing machine.  I have never hemmed anything before in my life.  Came out pretty good though I think:
The Crim is a big deal for the 501 club, lots of people go.  So many that our regular Saturday long run was cancelled, and we had our own private bar booked right by the finish line.  Thanks to my newfound tailoring skills, I was able to pose for an awesome group photo, without sticking out like a sore thumb.  See me?  I'm right there, in the blue and white tank top: 

As for the race itself, it will never be my favorite because it's in August.  That said, there is great spectator support and I like the course too.  And they give you ice cold wet towels and popsicles at the end.  That's pretty great.  Especially the cold towels.  Rubbing popsicles all over your face and neck just doesn't end well.  If you live in Michigan and haven't been to the Crim, you should definitely add it to your to-do list.   It's a pretty big race, and very popular, especially for a race taking place in Flint.  Here's a stolen start photo: 
My bib said wave C, based on my projected finish time, but I started in wave D, because Jeff wanted to.  This was a good decision because A)I wasn't suckered into too fast a pace by keeping up with the crowd at the start and B)It feels good to pass people throughout the whole race.  The only regret I have about starting in D (we were about 10 minutes after the gun) is that I had less time after the race before the start of the 5K, but more on that later.  

The race itself was pretty uneventful.  I never really felt like shit, which is a huge win in the sun/heat.  I carried my handheld water bottle + Buff combo, and effectively had a cold wet towel throughout the whole race, which made a HUGE difference.  I also wore a visor, which is new for me, not sure if that was part of the help or not.  I walked through most of the water stops, and took water wherever it was offered.  In addition to the "official" aid stations, lots of spectators set up their own water stations.  Even if I didn't need to drink it, I at least took it to dump on my head.  I did have one incident where I ALMOST dumped a cup of beer on my head, but heard the guy say "beer" just in time to look in the cup as it was on it's way up to my face.  Close call.  Jeff got a Krispy Kreme somewhere along the way.  You run through UM Flint's student housing, frat houses, etc, so there are always some interesting things being given out.  One guy had a piece of toast on a plate, which appeared to have a smiley face etched into it's surface.  He kept asking "why doesn't anybody want toast??" as people ran by.  There were also people with hoses and sprinklers on the sidelines, though not quite as many as I remember from 2010.  I am grateful for all of them.  Although I probably added quite a bit of distance to the course by zig-zagging back and forth across the street to be able to hit the sprinklers.  

My finish time was 1:35:58.  (I beat Jeff by 4 minutes!)  Here are my splits and pace/elevation chart.  (I was planning on having heart rate data too, but my monitor fell out of my bag in the car, and I didn't want to go back to get it.)

I'm really pretty happy with the consistency of the splits, allowing for a little pace finding at the start, and the obvious slowing on the hills.  In a perfect world, I would have liked to beat my Hell time for 10 mile PR, and it was definitely possible since the Crim is a less hilly course, but the temps were just perfect in Hell (50's) so it wasn't going to be easy to do on a day with a high of 90-something at the Crim.  I did try to step on the gas a few times during the race, but each time was very brief, as I immediately felt my heart rate shoot up, and my legs start to burn.  I knew it wasn't going to be sustainable that day.  I'm really starting to love the 10 mile distance.  I basically run it the same pace as I would a half marathon, but it ends while I'm still feeling good, before those pesky last 3-4 miles of the half.  Unfortunately, all three of the 10-milers I've done are on varying degrees of what I would call hilly courses, but I guess that's okay).   

Here is the race swag: 
5K medal
10 mile medal
Irina modeling the T-shirt
I really like the shirts.  They're a nice fitted women's cut.  (You can't really tell on Irina, because she's vertically challenged, but take my word for it).  My only beef is that they're white, but other than that I do like the design.  Non-white shirts and an earlier start time and the Crim would be about as good as it gets for a summer race.

Irina found me after the 10 mile because she was running the 5K.  I decided to run it with her.  I grabbed a banana, a popsicle, a bottle of water, and my race medal, and it was time to start the 5K.  (This is the one reason I wish I had started in wave C!)  I made the mistake of eating the stupid banana, and was juggling all this crap as the 5K was starting, all the while trying to take off my bib (I didn't want my crossing the start mat again to somehow screw up my 10 mile time or something).  And I was still hot and out of breath from the 10 mile.  Needless to stay I didn't make it very far.  0.6 km to be exact, before I left Irina to finish on her own.  It was hot as balls.  10am on a 90+ degree day is inhumane.  I wish I would have finished it though, it would have been good mental training for the marathon.  Too late now.  I migrated to the finish line to cheer for Irina, where I failed miserably at getting video.  (I pressed record, held the camera up, and followed her with it down the home stretch while cheering, but apparently I didn't actually press record, because it was still in still photo mode, and I just ended up with one picture where you can't even see her. )
I'm sure she's in there somewhere.  
Then we got to hang out and eat at the private 501 bar (before the race too, though Irina wasn't there yet, just me and Jeff and the cajillion other club members).  It was pretty cool, but really crowded.

So yeah, it was fun.  I didn't have a time goal, and I'm happy with where I ended up.  Once again I tell you, no more time goals for me!  Tomorrow is the Milford 30K, and I'm simply hoping not to die.  I expect anywhere from 3:00 to 3:45.  I am thinking my pace will give me a better idea of what to expect at the marathon in October.  Really, I think it will be a "worst case" pace, because Detroit will be much cooler and much flatter, so I expect to be able to go faster, despite the extra 7.6 miles.  I downloaded an audiobook to try to listen to tomorrow, since my music hasn't really been working for me recently.  I will have music too, but maybe the book will help me dissociate from the misery.

Photo from Irina, probably from somewhere between where she parked her car and the start line.  

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