Sunday Morning turned out to be lovely weather to race in. It was cool, the rain stayed in the clouds, and the wind blew itself away just in time for us to gather up at the starting line. Racing locally is amazing. We woke up, walked the dog, and made it down to the starting line with plenty of time to spare. It was a nice change from the past few races with so many people and with traveling long distances!
That morning, we decided to race solo for the first time. I think I was a bit more into it than Ellie, as I wanted to get a real race-day check to see where I was at. I haven’t run a 5K race at full speed since April, and I knew I had improved a bit since then, so I was itching to go. I really like running with Ellie, don’t get me wrong, but for this race I wanted to prove something to myself.
The race course itself is plotted through some of my favorite parts of Buffalo. We started in the Cobblestone District and navigated our way around the back of the Buffalo Sabres Arena, around a train depot, and out into the small boat harbor. Once we hit the turn around point (which was along the water), we did a switch back again and ran back to the arena, this time in front of it, wrapping up the race. It was amazing to me how different it felt knowing every foot of the race course ahead of time. I knew exactly how far it was to go, how much farther I had left, and what needed to be done.
I hit the first-mile guy (there were no mile markers . . . just a guy with a watch shouting the time out) at 6:46. Way, way, way faster than I had intended, and honestly probably one of my fastest miles ever. I was pretty winded from my fast start, so I toned it down a bit. By mile-marker guy #2, the time was 16 minutes even. My recovery pace was pretty good, I guess. I was able to increase the tempo slightly the rest of the way, passing by the Ice Yeti pointing the way home. I crossed with a 25:35-ish clock time, which is definitely a new PR, but I’m hesitant to come out and say it because the official times aren’t yet posted at the time of writing this. I grabbed a bottle of water and headed to the finish line just in time to see Ellie sprinting across with what we think is a PR of her own. (I’ll update the time as soon as they are posted!)
The race went pretty well for both of us. We grabbed our post-race donut and headed to the grocery store . . . which is another benefit of racing locally. The whole thing wrapped up, and for the first time I really don’t have runner’s remorse afterward. I didn’t leave much, if anything, on the race course. A pretty successful outing.