September was such a whirlwind! It’s hard to believe October is here along with the much cooler temps. Seems like there is no gradual drop in temperature; we just drop 30 degrees and soon the snow will be flying. I definitely feel like I channeled my inner Clint Eastwood as September unfolded.
I started the month by running the Biggest Loser Half Marathon here in Buffalo during Labor Day weekend. Biggest Loser puts on a pretty good race but it was so hot that day and the race is almost exclusively in the sun, so it was tougher than I expected and my finish was slower than I expected. Since I ran the 5k last year, the inaugural year in Buffalo, I received a legacy medal which was nice. I think what struck me most was the lack of community support compared to races I have done in other cities/states. I wonder if, since we have such a short race season here with a lot of races crammed in, the non-running community is just sick of the disruption.
After the race my husband Dave and I walked over to the annual Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival where he completed a hot wing eating challenge, we enjoyed a local craft beer, and then headed home because the heat and dehydration were starting to affect me. All in all this was a good day.
My 52nd birthday fell in here. Even though I miss seeing my girls on my birthday and all holidays, Dave made it a great birthday as always.
The following weekend I travelled to my sister’s home in Richmond, where we would be driving together to Baltimore, Maryland to race the Run 4 Shelter. This race takes place mostly on flat trails. Unfortunately we got carried away the day before the race exploring the area and put in about 5 miles, so my legs got pretty tired at the end of the half marathon. We did find the beach so it was worth it!
Race day was chilly and rainy. Prior to the start some skydivers came down and they were awesome!
The race had a late start, which I find annoying, but the worst part for me was around mile 11 or 12 when you actually run past the finish line then circle around back. I don’t really like that. My sister rocked her 10k and with my tired legs I did okay with the half.
Since it was pouring when I got done we decided to head out because we were going to stay at the inner harbor for a few nights. As we were sitting at a red light I heard what sounded like a shot behind us and twisted to look in my side view mirror to see what happened. Then we were hit from behind, twice! The vehicle behind us had been hit twice by the vehicle behind her somehow. My head bounced off the headrest two times but luckily my sister was able to keep us from hitting the car in front of us. A fire truck and two police cars later, we were back on our way.
Baltimore’s inner harbor is a wonderful place to visit and I hope to go back soon. We water taxi’d all over. It’s very impressive, especially the aquarium. All in all, this trip was good with a bad.
The next week my neck and back pain increased but I had a local half marathon on Saturday and a dinner with some fellow 50 State Half Marathon Club members who were in town for the race, so I decided to go for it. Dinner was wonderful because we got to meet some new people.
The race was in Lewiston NY, the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon. Such a nice route but halfway in I knew I was in trouble with my back. I even considered quitting but instead decided to add a lot of walking. The scariest part was a feeling like I couldn’t breathe. I texted Dave at mile 9 and told him it was going to be a while! I was crying the last 1/10th of a mile and after finding Dave just headed home. This was especially disappointing because I missed what looked like a great after-party and a chance to see the 50 Staters again. This day was ugly, but I’m going to try again next year.
Two goods then occurred. I was able to find a chiropractic wellness office to treat my cervical and thoracic strains. Unfortunately X-rays show that I have underlying arthritis throughout my back, but I am hopeful Dr. Steve can improve things for me, and he says he wants to make me a pain-free and better runner. So we have the same goals. I was really afraid of the adjustments at first; the cracking noise really scared me. I seem to be getting used to it though.
The best good was hearing that I was accepted as an Ambassador in Kathrine Switzer’s 261 Fearless program. 261 was Kathrine’s number when she was the first woman to register for and run the Boston Marathon. As most know, race officials tried to physically force her out of the race but with help from her friends she was able to finish and go on to have a most successful running career. I really feel this program is a perfect fit for me and I’m excited to make the most of this opportunity.
My last race of the month was Beat the Blerch in Morristown, New Jersey. I was meeting my daughter Morgan there as she was taking the train from New York City. Unfortunately I had decided to drive prior to the car accident, which ended up causing a lot of discomfort. Morristown ended up being one of the most charming towns I have ever visited and I could imagine myself living there (or somewhere similar).
Beat the Blerch ended up being a legitimate trail race. I never had run a trail race before and I absolutely loved it. My mind was constantly engaged in trying not to trip and fall, and the scenery was beautiful. There was so much to concentrate on, I didn’t have time to think about my back. Poor Morgan the city girl was not as enthused but we both came out unscathed. Morristown – good, race – good, drive – bad, seeing Morgan – wonderful.
I have a lot scheduled again this month that I probably would not have if I had known about my back problems. I’m just going to take it easy, do my exercises, and have the best time possible.
My goal for October is really to get on a schedule. Being disorganized leads me to feeling overwhelmed and then I tend to give up. Wish me luck!