Not just any run, THE CRIM. It is a very popular race in Flint and it is my favorite.
The Plan: To Pace Joan at a sub 8. I was trying to get her between a 7:45-8/mi.
- NOT to INJURE MYSELF for training. I still have a 32 mile run in a couple days. Trying so hard to not be stupid. Marry myself to the watch, pay close attention to my body and LISTEN to it. And again, don't be STUPID. I am really good at that.
- This summer I did a weekly running club prepping the kids to run the 8K at the Crim. I really wanted to be there with them. I not only wanted to see their victory but I also felt responsible to make sure they all found their parents afterward.
Cloud cover and 65' degrees gave a very welcoming Crim Day.
Austin brought his friend Nick and Alec brought his friend Gauge. Gauge was now a 51 year old man! My friend Claudia gave me her hubbies bib because he couldn't run.
We parked by the YMCA, this was closer for my parents to walk. It was great, We must remember this for next year.
My coffee kicked in and I had to hit the bathrooms. The bus station had public restrooms with low lines. Only I didn't see the 15 ladies INSIDE the bathroom.
By the time I did my business, gagged down the smell of someone elses's business and found Andy, he looked irritated. I just do what I do best, put on my big smile, say "Sorry, I had no idea" and move along!
We located Joan and her family about 20 minutes before the starting line. We gathered together to pray. I love this part. Knowing God is hearing us and with us gives me so much comfort. Running one step without seeking him just doesn't make sense. It is like trying to start your car with no keys. I work better seeking him.
Joan and I squeezed our 5' frames in between the bars to our B Corral.
I didn't feel nervous, I was anxious, Lets get this show on the road.
At 8:05 we crossed the starting line. I noticed the 8/mi pacer, "Joan, we need to be in front of them."
I didn't think closing that 75 foot gap was going to be as difficult as it was. It took over 3 miles to catch up to them. They were clearly NOT running on pace. I knew how wiped out I was, I wondered how they must be feeling.
We were running next to this Mexican looking guy with bright yellow high socks. He was laughing and cutting up with us. I nicknamed him "Smiley". He smiley, I want to see that smile through the Bradleys!"
I was still trying to catch my breath as we hit the Bradley hills at mile 4/5. Desperately trying to locate some energy, I coaxed the guy next to me to not let me pass him. Well, he hung on and after that 3rd hill, he never looked back!
I did hear a voice to my right, It was Ken H. He spewed a couple jokes then dropped back.
And Smiley, he too was no where to find.
It took 6 miles to come into myself. I could breath, think and enjoy the Crim for all it was.
I had been letting Joan take the lead. A few times I had to remind her to bring it down.
It was at the 6 mile mark she was starting to feel it. She was reminding me to bring it down. We were walking the water stations. I kept reminding Joan how great she was doing. She was bound to have a Personal Record for the Crim (PR).
As mile 7 approached, I saw a familiar pair of socks, It was SMILEY. "SMILEY! Come on, stay with us!"
He did. I could tell he was toast. He was probably mad at me for making him pick it back up. "Smiley, are you are boxer?" He had a boxer body. "NO, I'm a RUNNER." He replied winded. I loved the way he said that, "NO, I'm a RUNNER." Right on!
He stayed with us. There was a girl to Joans right who was struggling. She was beautiful, she was black, tall and strong. I drew her in trying to encourage her as well.
At mile 8, I saw Kris K. She is a local runner. Running up to her I said "HI Kris". She passed me a smile, but you could see the strain in it. I actually felt bad passing her. I wanted to string her along with us, but I also didn't want her to beat me. She beat me at the last race, Wings of Mercy 5K. So opted to encourage her instead of invite her.
We were all still hanging on at mile 9. All Joan and I had to do was maintain. Joan was killing it.
"Two more lights, then turn and your on the bricks to the FINISH!" one of the volunteers cheered.
I looked up and started counting them.
I assessed my body and began making my plan for the FINISH.
The final turn was behind us. The girl picked it up and headed in. Smiley followed suit in the excitement. Joan too began to turn it over. "Joan, it is a lot farther down there than it looks, settle here a bit more."
There is something magical when your shoes hit the bricks. You can not be tamed. Joan and I went after it.
Smiley should have stayed back with us. He slowed up, using too much energy too fast. I picked it up one more gear and passed him right before the FINISH.
|My 10th Crim, My first CRIM I ran a 9:09|
I was able to plant a smile right before I thought I was going to PUKE. I swallowed it down and turned around to get Joan. Joan hugged me and I could tell I was holding her up. She ROCKED it.
Joan knocked 6 minutes off her time.
And the guy that passed us up the Bradleys..he was there at the FINISH line holding up his hand for a fist pump!
Laughing in Joans victory we filled our arms up with post race food and beverages, apples, bananas, popsicles, chocolate milk and whatever else they were offering.
Javon, her fiancé was on the sidelines. "Andy is at the starting line for Alecs race."
OH CRAP. I took off, I had to get to the starting line.
This summer I did a running club and trained the kids all summer to run the 8K at the Crim,I had to be there.
I could hear the speaker doing the count down. He was moving the runners forward. "1 minute until start!"
Where was Andy? I was looking everywhere. I spotted Austin, there was Andy taking pictures of Alec with his friends. I came up behind Andy. I startled him. I dropped all my food at Andys feet and started ripping off my timing tag off the back of my bib. "I am going to run with them."
Andy gave me that half crazed face "What, Your going to do what?"
With my popscicle still in my hands, I was squeezing myself between the bars again!
Then I got the SAME look from Alec!
It was too late to think about turning back, we were running across the starting mats.
A grave MISTAKE. At mile 1.2, I was barely hanging with the kids. "Anita, TURN back NOW!"
"NO, You have got to run with the kids."
"You can NOT maintain this 8/mi pace, you will surely die."
"NO, I know that a couple of the kids will drop back, I can't loose them, they shouldn't be out here alone with all these people."
I argued this for over 2 miles. At that point I had to stick it out.
So I waited for a couple of the kids to drop back and they DID!
"I have a side stitch.."
I gently replied,"Oh, do you need to walk!" Say YES,SAY YES...
A few minutes later, "Can we have a walk break, my stomach hurts?" For SURE!
It went like that all the way to the FINISH. My legs were JELLO, my body was fatigued and the sun showed up blazing on me.
BUT I FINISHED! And I had the kids in check up against thousands of runners.
Even though I was hurting really bad, it was WORTH it to be able to locate and find the kids. Being part of their victory was like part of mine as well.
THIS year was my 10th CRIM. And it was perfect. Victory is not just a pace, or a place in a race. Victory is sharing someone else's victory, helping others in their successes. I love helping others achieve their Victory. It is undeniably full of AWESOMENESS.
|Tim Hortons at the FINISH line, Simply the BEST!|
RUNNING on a PRAYER:
- 16 miles on Saturday.
- 3 miles on Sunday to try and "Shake it out".
- 2 nights of complete crap for sleep and I had to get up to meet Ken H for my long run this morning.
- My legs have been restless, my body feels overheated, I am kicking the covers off, tossing and turning. Andy is very patient. I wish I was.
- I ran 10 with Ken H.
- I Met Claudia at 8:50 and headed to Holdridge trails to meet a group of runners.
- My legs were so sore. I had NO idea how I going to pullout 20 miles on trails. I was RUNNING on a prayer. LITERALLY.
- I have a lot of people praying for me.
|Me, Paula, Matt and Ken, Missing is Claudia|
I just ran one mile at a time. Prepared to bail at any mile. I stayed back. Listened more than I spoke. I know, hard to believe. I was conserving as much energy as I could. Besides, I was afraid if I spoke it would be about all the pain I was in. I thought I better just keep my mouth shut.
I twisted my ankle, like a hundred times. Hardly graceful like Paula in front of me. She just danced around the roots, rocks and pickers. I was behind getting slapped in the face with tree branches, falling over roots, tripping in crevices and trying so hard to hang with the big dogs!
But I finished, as UGLY as it was, I Finished. The only thing cute were my New Hokas. There is NO returning them, they are totally BROKE IN! But even after 30 miles in them they looked better than I did!
Less than 3 weeks. Please keep me in prayer. I need to stay healthy. Running on prayers. Asking God to protect me and keep my strong.