Buffalo Half Marathon

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.

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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.

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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. 

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I did not stay too long because I knew I had an early wakeup call since the race started at 6:30am.  Gorgeous sunset!

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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.

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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.

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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.

Trip to Portland, Maine

A little late with this post but better late than never right?

Two weeks ago I flew into Boston to meet up with Kim, Elizabeth, and Sonya.  We were all running the Old Shipyard Port Half Marathon on Saturday morning.  Elizabeth flew in from Atlanta and both Kim and Sonya flew from Portland, Oregon.  I was the last one getting in so I was hoping that my flight would not be delayed.  I must have jinxed it because even though it was not late (we did arrive at 5pm) there was trouble at the gate and we did not get off the plane till a little after 5:30pm.  Thankfully they were patient and kind enough to wait for me in the rental car. Finally, I was outside the terminal, they picked me up and on our way to Portland, ME.

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First thing was dinner.  We made it to Portsmouth, NH and found an amazing place for dinner. We all wanted lobster and that’s what we ate.  It was delicious.  And I did forget to take a picture of what we ate.  Once we were all satisfied, we continued on to Portland.

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Photo credit: Kim. “Flew to Massachusetts, dinner in New Hampshire, will sleep in Maine”.

Thanks to Sonya who found a nice 2 bedroom apartment via Airbnb.  I was so tired and was asleep by 11pm.

The next morning I was up at 6 and wanted some coffee.  Sonya and Kim were still sleeping (it was 3am their time) so Elizabeth and I found a cute coffee shop not too far from our apartment. Elizabeth wanted something different so we kept walking to look for another place and ended up at Portland Pottery Store & Cafe.  I did not order anything because I had my bagel but E had a delicious breakfast.  We ended up going back with Kim and Sonya for brunch.

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Afterwards we visited several shops in downtown Portland until it was time for our Maine Lobstering Tour with Lucky Catch Cruises.  One of my favorite stores was the Stonewall Kitchen. Pretty much everything looked delicious! There were a few samples for us to try out and I took advantage of it.  I did not buy anything but for sure will order something online.

A piece of The Berlin Wall on our way to the boat.

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Ready for our Maine lobstering experience with my 3 lovely roommates.

We caught a few lobsters but had to throw them back into the sea because we were on a demonstration boat.

Finally time to eat!

Bon Appétit!!

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I had a great time at the tour and highly recommend it.

The next day was the race but I will write another post about it.  Another fun place we went to after the race is The Holy Donut.  It is seriously the MOST AMAZING donut place!!!  We wanted to try all flavors but it would have been a little too much.  Plus we were kind of full from brunch but yet had some room to try a few of them.  We bought half a dozen donuts so we could each sample 6 different flavors.

  • Dark chocolate and sea salt
  • Fresh Lemon
  • Maple Bacon  <===== MY FAVORITE
  • Maple Blueberry
  • Old Fashioned Coconut
  • Sweet Potato Ginger

I had a blast in Portland.  As for the race itself, well, it was very hot on Saturday and I did finish the race and that makes me happy.

I hope these girls invite me again to go on another trip.