Sunday, May 29, 2011

Buffalo Half Marathon

For months we all have been complaining about the crappy WNY weather. Snow, cold, rain, clouds, etc, etc, etc. Well, today we finally got exactly what we asked for, 70's and sun. Unfortunately, this is not the best marathon weather. Regardless, I'll take it!

I must say, after reading about some other people's experience at the marathon last year, I was a bit skeptical as to what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised how well things went off. Nice job Buffalo!

On to the race...

This race wasn't one of my target races this year, but as with any races, I wanted to go as hard as I could. In my mind, I set a rough goal of 1:30:00. The first five miles of the race meandered through the lakefront area of the city. I felt strong and was able to push pretty hard: 7:09, 7:03, 6:49, 6:53, 6:44, 6:52.

Once we headed out of the lakefront area we got into south Buffalo, full of abandoned factories and not many spectators. I've run a few races in this part of the city and I always feel the same. It is kind of sad how this city has died over the years. Once a booming industrial city, it is now a skeleton of what it once was. As the sun rose in the sky, I felt the energy slowly being drained by my body. Miles 6-8: 6:52, 6:57, 6:58.

I hadn't really thought too much about what the 1:30 goal meant for my mile split pace (6:51). I begun to calculate in my mind what I'd need to get to this goal, realizing that 1:30 would be tough. I pushed on.

From mile 9 on, my pace suffered due to a combination of fatigue, heat and a couple of little overpass climbs. 7:07, 7:10, 7:06. Mile 12 (7:30) was the weakest for me, the more I pushed the slower I moved. I was able to pull it together for the last mile (7:02) and kept strong through the finish. There was a guy wearing a Frosted Flakes bike jersey I passed around mile 4 in the race. He passed me in the 12th mile, but I was able to chase him down and keep him behind me. Chasing "Tony" helped me keep my pace up at the end, but it wasn't enough to hit my goal. I was close and all things considered satisfied with my finish time and my fresh, new half marathon PR: 1:32:21.

Rest day tomorrow, light work this week and all out next Sunday at Keuka Lake!

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