Back in January I signed up for the Buffalo Marathon. After running the Marine Corps Marathon in October and not hitting my goal, I was determined to run another marathon. Enter Buffalo! I wanted to train for a spring marathon and Buffalo seemed right–it was flat, decently-sized and not too far (4.5 hour drive from Albany).
My friend Jenna also signed up, with Buffalo being her first marathon. We arrived in Buffalo Saturday afternoon with enough time to hit up the expo (decent expo!) and enjoy the pre-race party. I got a free beer at the party with a purchase of a Buffalo Marathon pint glass. Score!
We grabbed dinner at a restaurant near our hotel. We stayed downtown so we could walk easily to and from the start and finish of the race. After doing this race thing a few times, I’ve learned what I like to do–and paying a little extra to stay right near the race is totally worth it.
The race started at 7:00am on Sunday. We got up around 5am so we could eat and get dressed, and get to the start at about 6:30. I wanted to exchange my race shirt for a smaller size and starting at 6am I could see if they had any left. Thankfully, they did!
Buffalo kind of reminds me of a bigger version of Albany.
And we were off! My main goal for this race was to enjoy it. After having such a miserable run back in October, I wanted to enjoy my next marathon. My training didn’t go as well as I had wanted, but I knew I got two decent 18 milers in and was hoping that was enough to prepare me for another 26.2.
The course itself was great. It was flat and had some very pretty areas. We ran by Lake Erie and through some nice neighborhoods and parks. It was a good tour of Buffalo!
The red bibs were half marathoners. They were everywhere! Marathoners were few and far between. Especially once we broke off at the 12.5 mile mark. It was a dead zone!
I believe this was the 10K point, which is also downhill, and mile 25! The next time I’d be seeing this stretch I’d almost be done.
Starting from the beginning I felt really good. I kept telling myself “today is going to be the day” because I felt so strong and positive. I never hit the wall! Miles ticked by pretty quickly and soon I was at mile 20 with a 10K to go. I didn’t carry water, so I drank a mix of Gatorade and water at every stop. On the course I ate a Belvita bar, two Honey Stinger Waffles and a Gu + Caffeine. I’ve finally figured out that I need to eat real food during really long runs because Gus just don’t provide me with enough energy. Belvita bars and Stinger Waffles seem to work great.
At mile 25 we were running downhill and I actually had energy and picked up my pace. One volunteer told me how strong I looked and that “I had this!” –I felt amazing. We rounded a corner and there was the finish.
The time on my Garmin said 4:44:22, a 10 minute PR! (My previous marathon PR is from Vermont City in 2012–exactly two years ago).
Jenna finished not too far behind me. She did AMAZING for her first marathon! So proud of her!
It’s pretty crazy that my fastest pace was at the end of the marathon, but I’ll take it. Overall, I was extremely happy with this race and I really enjoyed it. Another one for the books. And another marathon pint glass for the collection!