In true Buffalo fashion, you could not predict the weather. What was suppose to be thunderstorms and rain turned into blistering sun and 75+ degree weather. And did we mention humidity? Okay just checking.
Last Sunday was the Buffalo Marathon. Yes I still did it. Bum knee and all I completed the half in under 3 hours which is a new injury PR. Not a real PR, but an injury PR all the same. Let me just say I was there for a good time. After screaming, crying, and throwing a few fits I knew I couldn’t stick it out for a full with a bad knee. I am so glad I didn’t because the day was sweltering. My recap of the race is better than most though. I didn’t get dehydrated or throw up (my poor friend did). Here is how it went.
I started in the back of the pack with someone from my training group. It was his first half and I have to admit I was more excited for him than myself. I’ve been lucky enough to have seen Mike through his whole training experience. I knew he was pumped for this. Me-I just wanted to survive and have a decent fun time on the course. If nothing else, I enjoy the race experience. We stuck together for the first two miles and then I took my first walk break. My plan was to run 2 miles, walk a bit and repeat until mile 7 and then go by feel for walk/run intervals. I did not want to ruin myself even more. I knew I was pushing my knee by asking for it to race. So we broke off and I just focused on my run. I broke a clip on my water bottle and ended up carrying it for the rest of the race. Turned out to be a good thing, because it was handy enough that I could refill it at waterstops to stay hydrated. So travelling through downtown the crowd support was lovely. We headed out to the waterfront and I was really enjoying myself. The knee wasn’t too much trouble and I was keeping a moderate 11’30 pace. Comfortable and safe. I passed the Fleet Feet cheering section. Of course I waved at my coworkers and smiled big. Took some fuel in and kept on going. Stopped for a bit at about mile 6 to pet an adorable baby Great Pyrenees. I had to stop! My little baby was 8 weeks when I got her and this little girl (named Savannah) was a tiny 6 week old. They are so cute at that age. Anyway, travelling on. We headed into first ward area. No crowds. Waterstops were far apart and it was a lonely and dirty back stretch for about 5 miles. No shade from the heat either. I just kept trucking. My knee was giving me a bit of trouble and I considered stopping to pull on my cleverly packed brace (i was quite prepared for the worse). Then about mile 9 it stopped hurting. It felt wonderful. I took off at a jog and was shocked to see Mike walking up ahead. I caught up to him and realized he needed a little bit of support. For the last few miles we chatted and did a walk/run combo. Approaching the finish it was time for the kick. I’m a big fan of finishing kicks because they really give you that triumphant feeling and make you feel fast. It doesn’t matter what happens on the course, as long as you finish strong! We starting kicking it about .2 out and really pounded it out, crossing the finish line at the same time. Just under 3 hours. I was really happy for both of us. Especially because I finally got the chance to help someone else meet their finish line. My training partner Deb has pushed me through more times than not. Her dragging me across finish lines and long runs has made me the best runner I can be right now. It’s nice to pass it on.
BTW did I mention I have KT Tape tan lines? URGH! At least the medal is pretty…. (and yes I have a pic of Kara Goucher next to my mirror!)
Overall, I felt really nice on the race course. I didn’t even mind the heat because I was properly hydrated and I’ve run in worse. I felt that if my knee had been healed I would have had a banner day. I felt strong, had good nutrition and hydration and a great attitude. It would have been a PR for sure. But I am happy none the less. I had a good time by myself and with my friends. That being said, I probably won’t run Buffalo again. Maybe if they change the course, but there are too many other better races that I could be doing. This one left something to be desired. 20K water stop was out of water, no food left at the finish line and some really poor organization. I do appreciate the race, but it definitely could use some improvement. I’m not going to whine. I heard enough of that today at work from fellow racers. I’m just stating that it isn’t as amazing as others. The only thing that made it awesome for me was the familiarity and friends I had with me.
Looking toward the future, my next big race is the Komen 5K on the 11th of June. I plan on PRing in that race and will probably start up training again on Saturday. Now I’m just doing some active recovery. Walking and weight training. Marathon training starts up again towards the end of June when I get back from Hawaii. I’m aiming for the Hamilton marathon in November. All downhill and a fast course. I’ll be in Hawaii from the 18th-26th for my cousins wedding, so look forward to hearing about the runs I go on down there! I’ll be packing the garmin! Then I really have to get down to business. I have two(technically 3) HUGE races in July. Tuscarora 10K is July 9th and I plan to PR and place in my age group (its a small field). Then the next weekend I’m doing the 1st Annual Twenty Valley Run, Wine & Dine Weekend Challenge. 10K on Saturday followed by Half marathon on Sunday. It’s going to be a crazy challenge. And don’t even get me started on August……
Stay tuned running fans! Love you guys!