Saturday, I ran the second annual Buffalo Undy5000 5k to benefit the Colon Cancer Alliance. It was a loop course around Delaware Park and a quick jaunt around an adjacent neighborhood.
Originally, I was supposed to run this race with the husband as a “date”. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a babysitter willing to do a 7:30am-10am shift. I almost went out and bought a double jogging stroller so we could all run together, but then I remembered we’re not made out of money. Sigh.
In the end, we decided that I would run the race as I had done some fundraising for the CCA. The husband and kids would come along and cheer for me. This is the first time in four years I’ve had family at a race. The only other time was my Komen Global 5k in 2009. I have gotten so used to getting ready for races without having to worry about anyone else, so I was a little stressed getting everyone ready and out of the house on time.
Saturday was also my first time using KT Tape. I’ve been having issues with my left hip flexor and I’ve heard people rave about how KT helps all of their issues. I had to do the application myself and it’s very awkward to apply in the hip flexor area. Also, the KT site said my local CVS sold the Pro version, but I could only find the original KT tape. The tape did start to peel and I had to redo it a few times before I got it right.
We arrived at Delaware Park and parked in the Zoo parking lot (the organizers were awesome enough to include parking, thank you!) and walked over to the start/finish/staging area. Packet pick-up was super quick and easy. We were given our bibs and a pair of boxers (it’s the Undy run, after all). There were sponsor booths to browse, with pre-race snacks and a band. We milled about and let the kids run around while I waited to line up. I tried doing a few loops around to get warmed up, since I’ve been having issues with my ankles hating me for the first part of a run, but I kept getting distracted by one of the kids and never really warmed up. It was around 50 and sunny, which was perfect running weather, even if I was still feeling chilly (I have issues with keeping warm).
They even have a giant colon you can walk through to learn about polyps and colon cancer. Kind of cool, yet gross. And yes, my kid was trying to poke the colon with a stick. What can you do?
About 5-10 minutes before the start, everyone gathered at the start/finish line. Someone had a bullhorn to direct us, but I couldn’t hear anything they were saying. Next thing I knew, people were walking forward and the gun went off. I was totally unprepared. My music wasn’t started, my watch was looking for a signal and I just felt totally caught off-guard. I spent the first few minutes getting my music on, my interval timer started and getting focused.
My plan for this race was to PACE MYSELF. I have a habit of bolting out at the start and then dying out. I set my gymboss timer to a 1:1 interval and swore to stick with it, no matter how good I was feeling.
Mile 1 was rough, as usual for me. It takes me a really long time to warm up and get into the zone. Mile 1 is where I doubt myself and my ability to finish a race. This is why I tend to overdo it during the first mile. I try to go faster than I’m supposed to, just to prove to myself that I can run. It always tends to backfire, making me more tired and stressed. I’m my own worst enemy.
I stuck with my intervals, even when we hit some smaller hills. Mile 1 finally ended and I started to feel good again. We finished the loop around the park and headed onto the streets. A water stop was set up at this point, and I grabbed a water. I didn’t feel like I needed a drink, but I figured I’d take it anyway.
It was a nice run through the neighborhoods. The police and race volunteers did a great job with the traffic and we never had to pause for a car to cross the race path. I was surprised more people weren’t out watching the race and the course was very quiet. I don’t know that I could resist watching a race from my own front yard!
We hit the end of the neighborhoods and got back onto the park loop to the finish around mile 2.7. I was feeling really good at this point and decided I was going to let myself run out the rest of the course. I could see the finish line and I was really hoping to beat my previous 5k PR of 37:04. I knew it would be close, but if I turned it on, I just might be able to do it.
The only problem I had with the course was this last part. There were normal park guests all over the path, with kids on skateboards and people with bikes riding along with us. I almost ran into the same skateboarding kids twice and eventually snapped at them about not going so close to people when they’re trying to race.
Regardless, I kept my focus on the finish line and willed my slow feet to keep going as fast as they could. A few feet from the finish line I spied the husband and kids.
I ended up getting that new PR, if only by a few seconds! I had asked on the race Facebook page if there were finisher’s medals for the race and told there were, but there ended up not being medals for all finishers, which was disappointing. I think top 10 or something in each age group got medals, and awards were given to top overall male and female finishers.
We hung out in the post-race area for a while, listening to the band and watching the survivor ceremony. It’s touching to see friends and family members there to support their loved ones.
Overall, I was really happy with the race experience and my personal performance. I stuck with my plan from the start until mile 2.77 and I felt great after. It may only be a PR of a few seconds, but I’ll take it! The KT Tape definitely helped with my hip pain and I’ll be getting my hands on the Pro to use for the rest of my races for sure.
Chip Time: 36:53
Total Distance: 3.16