Monday, August 25, 2008

I Finished the Crim 10-Mile Race!

I finished!

The heat and humidty was brutal and I was sweating like a pig and drank a ton of water... but I finished and I'm proud of myself.

See that picture to the right? Yep... that's what the start line looked like. From the time the start gun went off to the time I actually crossed the start line it was about 6-7 minutes. I knew there were about 15,000 racers signed up, but you don't really understand what that number means until you're inside the crowd. Truly amazing to be part of something that huge.

I was a bit unsure about what to eat on race day. I loaded up on carbs the day before, which was fine. And I had some protein ice cream at around 5:30 am on the drive to Flint. I also brought along some sliced turkey, grapes and cheesesticks figuring I'd eat a little something before the race. Big mistake! Stupid Pam! I knew my pouch didn't like solid food in the morning, so why would I attempt meat and cheese? I should have done yogurt instead. I ate the turkey and grapes on my walk from the car to the spot I met my training group. Yep - you guessed it. Breakfast got stuck!

When I have food stuck, one of two things happens. 1) I get the dry heaves and things rearrange themselves enough to be comfortable or 2) things stay stuck for about 3 hours and I just have to suffer through it. Once I met up with my training group I stood around hoping the dry heaves would come (it's not something I can force or make happen on my own). It took about 25 minutes, but thankfully they came and my pouch rearranged itself and got the turkey unstuck. So about 15 minutes before the start of the race I was still a bit shakey and hoping all would be fine. Once the race started I was feeling normal again, but I was definitely worried I wouldn't be able to do the race at all. Stupid, stupid, stupid... no more solid food before a race!

One of the big highlights of this race is all the supports who came out to cheer us on. All along the 10 mile route residents were out on their lawns clapping and cheering as we went by. Regular old people had water stations set up in their front yards, so many people had their garden hoses out offering free showers to racers (which was wonderful!), a couple fraternities were out - one with a beer station and one handing out Krispy Kreme Donuts - lots of local bands playing along the way, marching bands from local schools too and even residents who set up personal karaoke machines in their front yards to sings for the racers. Who needs an iPod when you have that kind of entertainment to keep you motivated!

Around the 6.5 mile mark I came upon a friend from my training group. She was really struggling with cramps in her feet and soreness in her hips. She has always been one of the leading walkers in our group, so for her to be struggling was a big deal. I stayed with her for those last 3.5 miles and we walked together. It was slow going at the end, but we finished the race together. Just hitting the bricks in downtown Flint and crossing that finish line is an emotional experience.

We got our finish medals and wore them proudly around the festival grounds afterward. I'll have to snap a photo of it and post it here ... it's pretty cool!

After the race I made my way to the Festival Lot where they had pizza and beer for all the racers (I chose water and could only eat about 1/2 of a slice of pizza). The sheer number of people milling around afterward was awesome. There were food vendors and a beer tent and kid's bouncy things and a DJ then later live music -- a celebration party for all 15,000 participants.

There was suppose to be a kiosk set up where we could have our timer tag scanned to find out our official race time. It wasn't working, so I never did find out my official time. I had my stop watch on, but forgot to stop it when I crossed the finish line. But I think I was right around 3:05. The race times will be posted on the Crim website soon, so I'll update when I know more.

So that's about it. Good race. Definitely proud of myself and looking forward to starting the next round of training for the half-marathon. I can't believe that in 6 weeks I'll be doing this again!

Thank you all for you support and well wishes! You all mean so much to me!


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