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Race Report: Buffalo Stampede 10-Miler

Posted Sep 24 2012 9:00am

I do this race almost every year because it’s the only 10-miler in the area and the weather is usually perfect, as it was this year.

In order to limit the impact on local traffic, the organizers divide the field in a unique way:  Those who plan to run slower than 10-minute miles head out at 7 a.m. (called the “Buffalo Migration”) while those who plan run faster go off at 8 (“Buffalo Stampede”). This generally makes me the Stampede’s tail-end Charlie.

I should have known it would be an unusual day when the off-ramp to get to the starting line was already blocked off by the police, forcing me to take a two-mile detour. But I got to the start in plenty of time.

My dream came true when I received Bib #6, and it took all my self-discipline not to dress up like this for the race

…but I made up for it by randomly shouting at other runners

I saw a vehicle with a sticker that read: “26.1 – When you just can’t commit.”

Off we went!

Mile 1 – 9:35

Mile 2 – 9:11

Mile 3 – 8:59

A little faster than I’ve been training, but comfortable.

Mile 4 – 8:59

Mile 5 – 9:02

Mile 6 – 9:01

Two major highlights to this portion of the race: 1) the perennially upbeat Donut Guy. This year I got a chocolate one, which gave me an immediate energy boost; and 2) the high school band at the turnaround point, which blew my mind by breaking into a rendition of “ In-a-Gadda-da-Vida ” by Iron Butterfly.

Mile 7 – 9:02

Mile 8 – 9:12

I’ve averaged about a 9:07 pace to this point, which put me in good shape to better last year’s time, but I was struggling unexpectedly at Mile 8. I looked at my heart rate for the first time and saw 172. Yikes. When you have two cardiac stents, you can’t screw around for two miles at about 95% max heart rate.

I slowed to a walk for about a quarter-mile until my heart rate sank below 130. I then gently picked it back up.

Mile 9 – 11:18

Mile 10 – 9:44

Official finish time – 1:34:41

175th out of 202 (another 200 participants in the Migration)

29th out of 30 in 50-59 age group

When I got home and downloaded my Garmin data, I saw I hit 160 heart rate 2.25 miles in, and averaged 159 for the entire race. That’s a good 20 beats higher than normal.

I couldn’t figure out why that happened, until I noticed my morning carvedilol sitting untouched on my sink.

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! If I had continued at the pace I was doing I could have caused myself some real problems. I’m perfectly fine now because after being so stupid I was smart enough to pay attention to my Garmin.

Anyway, this was meant to be my “speed” race so I could go leisurely through the Tower of Terror 10-Miler next Saturday night. I should still probably go easy.

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