Steve’s Buffalo Run Race Report
A Little Beat Up Just Past The Finish Line
I believe that you learn the most on Race Day. You learn about what you are made of and how you race as evident in Roni’s and Gary’s previous posts.
My experience last Saturday taught me a few things. First, my competitive spirit needs to be reigned in. Second, I take unnecessary risks. Third, I love a hard challenge. Fourth, I dislike being passed. Fifth, I really appreciate the support of my friends and supporters out on the course. Sixth, food, food food. Seventh, Gary found his race gear.
I know I wrote I would take it easy and enjoy myself last Saturday. Well, if that is going to happen in March at the Catalina Marathon, I better find different running partners, Gary is just too strong for me right now. We unintentionally pushed each other. The truth was the first five-mile of uphill was great pacing by both of us. We met all sorts of people on the course. At mile 3 John from La Mesa ran with us and we talked about shoes. John, looking for a deal told us about how his shoes were two sizes too big but he got them for half price. it didn’t effect him, he was a good runner. Then I ran with Gretchen. She had great form and a quick cadence. She was fun to run with and finished on the podium. She passed me at mile five and flew downhill. I didn’t see her again until I crossed the finish line. At about the same time I told Gary to go on without waiting for me and he flew by Gretchen.
At, mile seven it got steeper and I started passing people. With only one more mile of steep hills I had to make the most of it. People ahead of me were walking. One goal I hade was not to walk anywhere in the entire race. I succeeded.
Then the downhill came. I knew I had to go easy for my back’s sake. I did not know what I was in for. I should have figured it out considering how steep the uphill sections were.
This race really benefits the fast downhill runners like Gary. I was and had to be cautious with my back. By mile 11 I let the negative self talk creep in. I had been passed by 14 people in the last 2 miles and I did not like that. I knew I should probably walk yet my competitive nature would not let me. I was going slower and reducing the impact, trying to protect my back and for good reason, it was feeling strange. I cannot afford another injury. As a coach I should know better yet I kept a fairly strong pace and was only passed by a few more people. All I could think about was what a dumb thing I was doing and for what, the glory? I had already been past by 17 runners on the downhill.
Ok, three days later (as my coach says)I am “feeling well trained,” better known as sore. My back is ok and I already spent this beautiful morning running with an athlete I train. I hope I learned my lesson for next month. One other lesson I learned is that I bonked a little. Next time more food or a gel on the course. I had to eat a lot after the race just to feel better. Yes, I was a little grumpy after I crossed the finish line.
I have to say that the Buffalo Run attracts very strong runners. It was the most difficult half marathon I have ever run in and very rewarding. Look out for Gary in the American Trail Championship. Thanks to my running buddies, my friends that called me to wish me luck, the volunteers and all the mother nature for providing the beautiful scenery and perfect day.