This morning I ran the Buffalo Half Marathon. It is state #36. My flight was at 10am but with the long lines at security, I decided to get to the airport early and avoid the long lines. The joke was on me because I was done in 5 minutes and had to wait over 3 hours at the airport. While I was waiting I realized I had forgotten my belt with my water bottles along with my bottle of Nuun tablets. It was tempting to go back home since I leave so close.
It was a quick flight where I attempted to take a nap but I couldn’t. Once I landed I ate a quick lunch at the airport because I was very hungry. Then I took a cab to my hotel. I had a nice room. The only bad thing was that I had to pay for wifi. I was annoyed because I was already paying $250 for the room and I still had to pay for Internet. I didn’t pay.
The expo was about a little over half a mile. No big deal. Except that it was HOT. Once there I bought two bags of Honey Stinger Chews (orange blossom and pink lemonade) and two bottles of Nuun. I only needed one because I have quite a bit at home but I wanted to try some new flavors (orange and strawberry lemonade). I quickly saw Bart Yasso at the end of his presentation but did not get a chance to say “Hi” to him because there were people waiting to take pictures with him.
After the expo I headed back to the hotel. I took a quick break to cool down.
Then I went to my room to watch TV. Luckily I did not need wifi to watch some shows on Netflix. I did not want to get up but realized I still needed to eat dinner.
For dinner I went to a restaurant around the corner from the hotel. It was crowded but found a place close to the bar but even better because I had a much better view of the Mexico vs. Paraguay soccer game.
I did not stay too long because I knew I had an early wakeup call since the race started at 6:30am. Gorgeous sunset!
I did not sleep well last night and did not want to get up. I struggled. I made coffee and quickly changed. I wore a tank top because I knew it would be hot and indeed it was. I got to the start line at 6:15 but went to the convention center to use the restroom. Of course there were long lines. Once I was done I went back to the start line and could hear the end of the National Anthem. Of all of the races I’ve run, I don’t think I’ve ever missed the National Anthem. Apparently there were also fireworks which I missed too.
Finally it was time to run. I knew I was in trouble before Mile 1. I was too HOT. More hot than usual. Plus, I had a headache. I started too fast and my first 2 miles were my fastest (10:45 and 10:04). After that it was downhill (mile 6 was 10:36 which I am surprised). I struggled the rest of the way. I was literally running one mile at a time and counting down each mile till the finish line. I thought about dropping out because I was feeling horrible. I felt better (and did much better) at my previous race in WV and that course was even more difficult. But it wasn’t as hot like today. I knew dropping out meant I would have to come back (or pick another race in NY) and I did not want to do that (nothing wrong with coming back here but I did not want to cough up the money). Plus, I had been attempting to do this race for a few years and this year was the year to finally do it.
I did not like the course. The one thing I did like was that most of it was shaded. I am thankful for that because I know it would have been much worse. It is also flat but nothing gorgeous or exciting to see along the way. There weren’t many spectators but there were great volunteers. There were plenty of water stations and a few even gave us cups filled with ice. Plus the locals used their water hose to cool us down and that felt wonderful. I did see three runners on the ground needing medical assistance. Scary!
Seriously, why make us run through this?
My favorite sign.
Done. I was very happy when I crossed the finish line. I drank a cup of Gatorade, got a water bottle, and ate a few orange slices (delicious) and walked back to the hotel. It felt like a LONG walk back to my hotel.
I know every race will not be a great race and this was definitely one of them. There was nothing I could do about the weather. I did my best to enjoy the race and to finish it.
Next race: Elmhurst 4 on the 4th, July 4.