Running Your First Crim Race Tomorrow? Here Are AJ’s Tips
Tomorrow will mark my 5th Crim race, so I feel like I can finally pass along my experience.
I love the Crim. I'm jazzed for it every year. In fact, it was the first event that we worked here at Cars 108, one week after we went on the air. On that day, I was still making the "if I'm running, call the cops cuz somebody is chasing me" jokes. Never thought I'd run the 10-miler one year later.
I've got that super-duper excited feeling in my gut right now, so let's talk about the CRIM!
Here are my tips if tomorrow is your first Crim race:
1. Wear something that you've worn before
I hear ya cluckin', my fellow running chickens - it's tempting to buy something new and cute for a big race like this. Guilty as charged here. But I highly suggest wearing stuff that you've run in before - one year, I wore a new pair of shorts and my inner thighs chaffed LIKE CRAZY. Another year, I wore a new tank top that kept riding up and I was pulling it down the entire damn race.
As fun as it is to wear something crisp and new, it's also important to wear something you're comfortable in.
2. EAT EAT EAT AND EAT BEFORE THE RACE!
Again, I feel ya - I'm NEVER hungry before a race. I'm nervous and the last thing I want to do is eat, but trust me - you will HATE the cramps you get if you run on an empty stomach. Oatmeal, a banana, an apple, a shake, whatever. Put something in your tummy before the race.
3. Beware the runners trots
If you know what this is, bless your heart. If you don't, I'm so sorry to tell you that sometimes, runners get upset stomachs. It's a phenom called "the trots." It can be from a million things: nerves, too much food, not enough food, the constant shaking of your insides while you run an insane distance, etc.
Take it from me - when it happens, you don't have much time to get to a potty.
If you see a port-a-potty and you have to go, STOP. Do NOT keep going. You don't know where the next one is, and you don't want to have a finish line photo with diarrhea running down your leg.
4. Run your pace from the start line; don't run faster than you normally would.
I know that it's tempting to jet out of your corral like a bat out of hell, especially when you're surrounded by faster runners, but DON'T DO IT. You're gonna wear yourself out early in the race and you likely won't be able to keep your pace.
5. Eat and drink at your own risk
And you KNOW I'm not talking about water stations. The Crim is a party race - some people run it for a PR, some people take it slow and stop for every jello shot, beer and piece of bacon.
My first year, I stopped for a jello shot on the Bradleys...and I felt like crap afterwards. Stop at EVERY water stop, but be wary of the party stops. You never know how your body will react.
6. Get stretched out beforehand at the Advanced Physical Therapy Tent
APTC has a big tent on the flat lot (with red carpet access for those in the training program) before, during and after the race. Make it a point to get there about a half hour early, warm up with a short walk and make your way over to the tent. They'll stretch you out, tape you up (if needed) and you'll feel like a million bucks.
7. By mile 5, keep an eye on the people in front of you
You've likely set your pace for the race at this point. I always find it helpful to notice who has been in front of me for the first five and I try to keep pace with them til the end. Mentally, it helps.
8. Walk up the hills and run down the other side
The Bradleys are legendary. They're NO JOKE, and they're not the only hills on the course. Of course, if you can keep pace, go for it. But if you're feeling fatigued, walk up (try to keep straight posture and not lean forward, it's better for your breathing) the hills and run down. The time makes up for itself.
9. Tired at the end? Walk to Saginaw St. from the White Horse
You're ALMOST there, for real this time, but you're exhausted. I've always found it helpful to take this few block stretch down 5th Street to catch my breath, cool off a bit and relax. Once you turn the corner onto the bricks, it's a mad house with big crowds and you're gonna wanna run the last stretch, especially over the finish line. So if you're worn out, walk that 2nd to last stretch and finish strong.
Overall, have a GREAT TIME! And remember this: 99% of us won't "win" the race, so just focus on finishing. You're still lapping all the people who slept in!