Race Report: Run into Buffalo 15 (USATF Master Championship) or Your Grandmother showed up to race and kicked my ass:
Initially I was going to run this as my Fall A race but my sister convinced me to run Wineglass in October so this race became an estimate race to see how my training was going. In addition to being a local 15k, it serves as the USATF Master Championship so you get a bunch of superfast masters runners from across the Northeast and Country. The fun part is they wear their age-group on their back so you can see just how old that guy is as he pulls away. My goal was to run 1:00:30 which would indicate I'm in good shape for my marathon. My super goal was sub-60.
Pre-Race: The weather in Buffalo was mid 90's and humid for the days leading up to the race but it broke the night before and I won't up to a nice 62 degree day with a little breeze. I also woke up to a moderate stomach virus that had me questioning if I was gonna be able to make it an hour w/o a pitstop. Luckily, modern medicine is avaliable and got me to the start, though my stomach still wasn't happy with me. Got to the start and jogged a nice 2 mile warm up to get loosed up. Had some water but I was grumpy becasue I forgot my powerbar/gel/chomps. The race is held downtown on the Buffalo waterfront and the course is a 8 mile lollipop with an extra little out and back added at the start along Lake Erie to make up the full 15k
Race: Lined up where I thought was good. Super nervous as I waited for the start and off we went. The course narrowed down pretty fast and ended up tripping over a couple people but it wasn't too bad
1st 5k in 20:10 (miles 6:31, 6:30. 6:27): My goal was to not go out too fast and get settles into a nice pace which I accomplished. It felt easy but I knew if I pushed it to much I'd be hurting later. Managed to start picking off people who started a little fast.
2nd 5k in 20:19 (miles 6:38, 6:22, 6:35): Just wanted to maintain pace and was using the people in front to drive the pace in an effort to get to them. This 5k had some long slow hills which shows in the pace. Overall felt good, starting to feel the burn but I know if I could get past this chunk, the last 5k would be a snap
3rd 5k in 19:51 (miles 6:31, 6:26, 6:17 with the last 0.3 at 6:00 pace). We were headed to the finish and had a slight net downhill to help us out. My goal was just to maintain and push a little towards the end. It was going great until about mile 7. At an intersection, a cop was directly traffic and a taxi tried to sneak through but ended stuck in the middle with the slower people headed up and the faster people going back down. I thought he was gonna hit the group of us (maybe 4 runners). As I ran by I slapped the hood pretty hard in anger as I had to run around the front of him. In hindsight it was probably unnecessary but he was frustrating that he couldn't wait the extra 20 seconds. I see it a lot when I bike commute, people always in a rush in their cars. But in the end no one got hit and that's all that matters. I was pretty pretty gassed at the end but kicked it up for the last mile to try to stay with a couple people that passed me I came in at 1:00:37 (gun) and 1:00:30 (chip) for a 55th place finish and 6th in my age group.
Overall: I hit my goal time right on the nose and this was one of the better paced races I ran. I think I could have easily squeezed out an extra 30 seconds if my tummy wasn't angry and I was fully tapered. Definitely happy with my results and it confirms that I'm in good shape for my marathon in a month. I keep doubting my fitness despite hitting my times in training so hopefully this is the last nail in the coffin for that.
I'm also not sure if I should shoot for sub 3 at Wineglass or sub 3:05. This race puts me at like a 3:03 marathon but it's untapered and I wasn't feeling great. My training milestones put me all right between the 2 goals. Something I need to think about