FleetFeet Run into Buffalo 15k

If you don’t know by now (after all my blubbering on social media! sorry!), I ran my first ‘race’ since high school on Monday! I ran XC all through school and also ran a few local competitive races throughout the year, but largely stopped running competitively after I stopped doing XC my junior year. You can read more about my decision to stop running competitively here.

Since then I’ve just run for myself. For my love for it and for fun. I love running longer distances rather than short, fast ones and I never really thought I’d get into racing again. But then it hit me…total race fever! I think it has to do with all the other runners who I’ve connected with. Seeing them train, have fun at races, and celebrate new PR’s just seemed so enticing! I knew I wanted to get back into it. But I have to admit I was pretty nervous. Not for the distance or anything like that, but just because of how anxious I used to get on race days! Not a great feeling. With this race however, I told myself it was all for fun. No time constraints, strict training plan, or really even any goals. I just went into it to finish…that’s it.

FleetFeet Run into Buffalo 15k

So Monday morning I woke up bright and early. Since I haven’t raced in so long I didn’t really have a routine or plan. Should I eat a normal breakfast? How far in advance should I eat? (Usually I can run comfortably in about an hour after eating) What should I wear? What time should I get there? Should I warm up? Should I listen to music or a podcast? All these questions ran through my mind.

FleetFeet Run into Buffalo 15k

I decided not to stress too much and just go with what felt most comfortable in the moment. The race start was 8 am so I woke up at about 5:20 to make sure I had enough time to digest my breakfast before the race. I’m not someone who can run on an empty stomach but I decided to have a little less food than I normally have in the morning just to make sure I didn’t get cramps or anything (or have to make any emergency bathroom breaks!). I went with my typical pumpkin oatmeal mix! I also drank some extra water to make sure I was hydrated for the humid temps.

FleetFeet Run into Buffalo 15k

Since the news called for rain, I wore spandex and a race singlet. I wanted to wear as little as possible so I didn’t get too weighed down incase it poured! Lucky for me though, when I got to the starting line around 7:40, the sun was peaking through the clouds and it looked like we were going to side step the expected storms! Score.

FleetFeet Run into Buffalo 15k

A lot of people were stretching and doing warm up runs, but I usually don’t do any of that before I run so I decided not to change that up now! I just put in my earphones and started to zone out to a mix of Jay-Z and John Mayer. Can you believe I was actually worried about running with music!? I thought I might get bored or something because I usually listen to podcasts! But it ended up being really motivating actually and the right songs just seemed to come on right when I needed them!

FleetFeet Run into Buffalo 15k

At about two minutes to 8 we lined up at the start and the gun went off not too far after that! I started pretty close to the front and went out at about an 8 minute pace. I really wanted to make sure I didn’t get caught up in the swell of people and end up going out to fast. Luckily I was able to maintain a pretty easy pace for the first mile just to ease into it. We started running near the water and it was so nice. Since it was a holiday there were hardly any cars around and it was just so peaceful.

FleetFeet Run into Buffalo 15k

The race was kind of an out and back route from the waterfront to my neighborhood by way of one of the major streets leading to and from downtown. It was so cool to be running in the middle of a street that’s usually SO busy. The route was pretty much a gradual up hill for the first half and then a gradual down hill on the way back.

FleetFeet Run into Buffalo 15k

I tried not to look down at my Garmin too much because I usually don’t like being aware of pace while I’m running. But by the 2nd and 3rd mile when the crowd had thinned out a little I realized I could pick up the pace a bit. From then on, I didn’t let anyone pass me. It was really motivating to be running with other people because the whole time I would set my sights on someone in front of me and then work to pass them! Definitely a factor that kept my pace up I think!

My legs felt good for pretty much the whole race, but around mile 7 I was really starting to feel how much running at a faster pace takes out of you! Even though I usually run longer distances than a 15k I felt like I had been running forever!

At around mile 8 I was pretty alone on the course with about two people behind me and two people in front. I hadn’t seen any other women for a while so I knew I must be pretty close to the front. I saw one women about a quarter-mile ahead of me and just decided to go for it! I knew I only had about a mile left and that if I could pass her, I was pretty sure I could maintain a lead.

In hindsight, I probably started my kick a little early but I was just so pumped and filled with adrenaline to possibly place in the top three! I passed the women at about 8.56 and then SPRINTED the rest of the way to a final distance of 9.36!

My lungs were ON FIRE at this point and my heart was racing! But I did it. I finished my first race and was told (unofficially) that I was the third women overall! I was totally ecstatic.

My final chip time was 1:02:22 and my Garmin time was 1:02:23. I don’t technically know if this a PR because I’ve never raced this distance before, but I know it felt like the hardest and fastest I’ve ever run in my life! Here are my splits:

FleetFeet Run into Buffalo 15k

A few minutes later I took a .64 mile 5 minute cool down jog to end on an even 10.00 miles for the day! Then I waited around for a bit while some other runners finished and then for the awards. I ended up coming in 3rd for the women, 1st in my age group, and 26th overall! Not bad for my first time back on the pavement.

FleetFeet Run into Buffalo 15k

Overall, it was a great experience. It was so nice being surrounded by people that love an activity as much as me and the camaraderie was awesome. Everyone was so nice and congratulatory!

My legs felt pretty good the next day too! I was surprised I wasn’t more sore. On Wednesday I took my first run outside post-race and it ended up being a major struggle! Not because my legs were tired or anything, but because of the EXTREME wind. It felt like I was being held back by a team of football players the WHOLE run. This run was even more exhausting than my race if you can believe it! But it still felt good to be back out on the road.

FleetFeet Run into Buffalo 15k

I wanted to thank you all for the positive comments and congratulations I received this week! You’ve all been a great source of support and I really appreciate the kind words!

FleetFeet Run into Buffalo 15k

It’s safe to say…I’ll be racing again.

If you race, what’s your favorite distance?

Do you ever get nervous before competitions (of any kind!)?

Have you entered my giveaway and submitted a #healthyhelp for tomorrow?


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  1. says

    YOUR SPLITS. Oh my God…I always have the slowest first mile as well, but I never pick things up to that extent. And YES I will live vicariously through your speed because you’re much faster than me – I don’t know where you got the idea that I’m speedier than you are because it’s absolutely not the case. My fastest half was 1:30:22 and with your pace for a 15K, you’d be under sub 1:30 by some considerable margin. I really don’t think you realise how good you are. I mean, it’s a nice change for a runner, particularly a blogger, to be so humble, but you’re so much better than you give yourself credit for. I’m stunned at that debut race. And just because I run mostly marathons, doesn’t make me a ‘better’ runner – you have years to build up to that distance if you so choose. I didn’t run one until I was 24!

    Oh, but marathons are indeed by far my favourite distance – they always will be, I suspect. I prefer running for longer at a slightly slower pace :P And I will always be nervous to the extent of either wanting to puke or run to the portaloos before every race, no matter what the distance!

    Nice to see someone else actually eat before a run too – these days it all seems to be about bragging rights regarding how far you can run without any food. Makes you more efficient at using fat for fuel, apparently…actually it did quite the opposite for me.

    Jess recently posted…WIAL – Déjà vuMy Profile

    • says

      Wow Jess, what a nice comment! Thank you for all the words of encouragement! I guess I just don’t really know what constitutes a ‘good runner’ or ‘good times’ since I never really worked with a coach and obviously haven’t raced a lot, so it means a lot that you think I’m making some good times! I hope to be as talented a distance runner as you are someday…hopefully I will run a marathon at some point! Oh and I cannot even imagine not eating before a run…I wouldn’t make it a mile without collapse! I need my energy!

  2. says

    HOT DAYUMMMM girl you are fast! congrats on the race, that’s so exciting! i always get a little nervous before a race/event/competition, but usually the second i start going it all disappears. and the race bug always gets ya.. the second i run i race, i’m signing up for another one! too bad they’re so dang expensive, i need to find some cheaper local ones down by school.

    congrats again! so proud of you!
    Julianna @ Julianna Bananna recently posted…Moxie Madness {My First CrossFit Competition}My Profile

    • says

      Thanks Julianna! I feel ya on the expense aspect! That’s one reason why I was so hesitant to race again! Luckily this one was cheap…but I don’t know if my wallet can handle a super expensive race!

  3. says

    Congrats on a great race!

    I’ve done a bunch of races this year and have 5 coming up the next 5 weekends in a row. All I’ve ever done are 5Ks and 2 obstacle courses (also 5K distance). I’m training to extend my distance to 10K and eventually half marathon by next year.

    I get nervous before EVERY race. I’m just an anxious person in general.
    Courtney @ Don’t Blink. Just Run. recently posted…Weekend Shenanigans Part 3My Profile

  4. says

    I’ve just started running – like, about two weeks ago. I only did sprints at school, so learning to slow down is a big thing for me! I’m enjoying it so far (though I have no idea how this will work through the winter)

    Congratulations on your race :) And nice to meet you via Sharefest.
    Rachel Cotterill recently posted…Infusing Cranberry GinMy Profile

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