Monday, August 26, 2013

race recap: the crim 10-miler in flint

this past weekend i participated in one of the more famous races in michigan; the CRIM 10-miler in flint. not going to lie, i was nervous about running in flint, but everything i've heard about this race was positive so i tried to put my doubts behind me. plus, this race was perfect timing for a 10 mile training run in my preparation for the detroit women's half marathon next month. so if anything, this was a training run with about 10,000 random running buddies :)

this course is notorious for two things: excellent crowd support and the bradley hills. the bradley hills are three hills one right after another in a residential area. they are no joke, and they're so infamous that each hill is now sponsored - which is pretty funny. there was also a "king & queen of the hills" challenge, which was new this year. if you ran through the hills the fastest, you were awarded the title! pretty neat, because you didn't have to be an elite runner to win this title. (this is also why i have a "hill split" in my finish time)

elevation of the race, from

me, my sister and her boyfriend planned to run the race, but i had prepped myself ahead of time to run solo in an attempt to gauge where my race pace is for the half marathon. my other goal was to try and beat my dad's best CRIM time of 1:33, which was a slightly aggressive goal given my goal pace range was between 9:00 - 9:30. this race also marks the first long distance race i've done by myself since the chicago rock & roll half in 2010, so i was a little nervous about making the trek on my own. 

shot of the start line

trying to relax before the start

come race morning, my stomach was a disaster again. part of this might have been because of the weird dinner the night before (long story) but i'm sure most of it was anxious nerves. i need to have a better strategy to deal with race nerves because its really making pre-race anything a nightmare. i was able to get in my three scoops of accelerade before the race, despite an upset stomach, so that is a big win. i wasn't going to be under fueled for this race, no sir!

brandon made me a sign that would be easy to spot :)

the race itself made me feel a variety of things. first of all, no one was lying about the awesome crowd support. there were people cheering on the sidewalks for the entire race. not always a full crowd, but a peppering of people everywhere. on some corners you'd have bands or church choirs signing. on others you'd have frat kids handing out beer, or even champagne in one neighborhood. neighbors brought out their sprinklers for runners to go through and had coolers full of water. it just amazed me that the community was really into the race and providing support to us runners. at one point in the last two miles, when i was really struggling, this woman saw me and made me run by her and slap her hand. the fact that she wanted to give me that nudge of support made me smile and pick up my stride a bit. moments like that were happening all over the course and it was incredible.

the bradley hills, as promised, were tough. all three hills are close proximity to each other which meant that crowd support was strong. so really, the hills went by quickly, even though they were pretty steep and took a lot out of me. i feel lucky that i get a lot of hill practice living in ann arbor so i didn't think these hills were all that bad. it did take me a bit to recover from them, however, and every small hill for the rest of the race really added up and started to wear on my body. my legs were pretty damn tired at the end and it was hard to keep them feeling fresh.

the other thing that added to the heavy legs was my choice to stop the two times i took my gu (4th and 8th miles). stopping during a race can really be hard on the legs and a lot of times they never fully warm back up to where they were while they were running. i think this led to a lot of the exhaustion i felt at the end. i really noticed it at the 8th mile, when it felt nearly impossible to get back going at my race pace again.

the last two miles of my race were ugly. i was very thankful that the last quarter mile is the main street in downtown flint where the crowd is strong again. everyone is cheering and yelling and it was just the boost i needed to get to the finish line. i was so thankful when i saw brandon with my "goomba" sign a tenth of a mile from the finish. he was the reassurance i needed to give in that extra kick at the end. 

right before the finish, seeing brandon and getting a
shot of adrenaline to kick it in

breakdown of splits:

mile 1: 9:19
mile 2: 8:48
mile 3: 8:40
mile 4: 8:45
mile 5: 8:40
mile 6: 8:48
mile 7: 8:48
mile 8: 9:03
mile 9: 9:19
mile 10: 9:12
(according to garmin)

official time: 1:30:07
(according to bib chip)

all in all this was a really strong run for me and i am really proud of how i did. PLUS i beat my dad's time by three whole minutes! i felt like a freaking rockstar. end of story.

for as hard as i pushed, though, i was really spent at the end of the ten miles. i'm sure the hills added to a lot of my exhaustion, but it has me a little worried for the half marathon next month. if i feel the way i did for this race at the ten mile mark in the half, i'll be in really bad shape for a strong finish. i need to practice going out slower and work on taking my gu while running. i've got a few important things to practice in the next few weeks of training!

smiling and sweaty with my popsicle and medal. 


  1. You rocked it!!! Way to go girl!

  2. Amy @ Long Drive JourneyAugust 26, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    GREAT TIME! That's awesome!! I think you're right - if you slow down in the beginning, you'll be able to push through to make those last three miles. It's so tempting to go screeching out of the gate, but I always regret doing that.

  3. I love screeching! Haha its so hard - when I'm feeling good in my stride, I don't want to slow, especially at the beginning of the run. I'll get there, someday!

  4. Awesome time!! There is nothing like a popsicle at the finish line of a summer race.

  5. This was the first time I've ever seen a popsicle at the end of the race! It was awesome. I wish more races had them. They also had cold washcloths at the end, which was new to me. That hit the spot!

  6. I hate hils. I pretend they don't exsist. This is why I can't be a runner. nice job :)

  7. Lots of runners walk the hills, too! Its easier than biking up a hill, if you ask me!

  8. Congrats on a great race and for crushing your goal time! Sounds like a really tough course with all the hills but you did awesome :)

  9. Well done!!! I'm very impressed with your pace and fuel strategy. It takes a lot to keep up pace on a long run and you crushed it! I hate that feeling when I stop running and then start again! Way to push through it! You inspire me. Congratulations!!

  10. Thanks so much!! It took a long time to figure out race fueling and I'm still tweaking things, but it makes a huge difference on how I feel. And you're right; pushing through it when you stop is the hardest. I experienced that yesterday on a run but was so proud of myself when I finished the entire route. :)

  11. Great job! We were in the same corral group!...though you finished about 20 minutes before me! haha It was SO much fun, I'll have to put it on my to do list for next year! :)
    if you're interested, my Race recap is here:

  12. Thank you!! Going to check out your race recap now!


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