Just when I thought I had put my injury prone past behind me, I sustained another setback. I wish I could say that this injury happened while trail running or getting chased by zombies at a zombie 5k or something cool like that, but the truth is – clumsy, groggy/melatonin-filled-me stubbed my toes/foot in the middle of the night on an antique iron doorstop. UGH!!! The pain was intense. Yes, it hurt as bad as it sounds. If you have ever had this type of injury, you know EXACTLY what I am talking about.
I was hoping for the best, but after a week of pain (and bruising that went from lovely shades of green to red to purple), I finally hobbled into the doctor’s office, got an Xray and heard the bad news- broken 3rd toe, no running, etc. for 6-8 weeks(!). Great- I have 4 races to get my Greater Rochester Track Club “50 miles in races” patch for the year, and now I can barely walk without limping/pain. Nevertheless, I buddy taped my toe, popped an advil and decided to head to Williamsville (not as a runner tho) to see what the 5k was all about.
I was very bummed about the timing of all this, but wanted to do a race report anyway- minus the full course details of course! Plus, I wanted to get my tshirt. I mean, who wouldn’t want a t shirt with a pumpkin on it – not just any pumpkin either, but a running one wearing a headband and dressed in a track suit. I like to picture the green track suit as being made of velvety soft velour, but you can use your own imagination. Do pumpkins even sweat?
Silliness aside, since I had already paid for the race, I shuffled off to Buffalo (so to speak). Fall races and those close to Halloween are usually a lot of fun (other than the actual running of course). You can dress in costume, see creative costumes and running this time of year is also appealing – fall leaves, perfect weather (not too hot/not too cold) and you can enjoy the sound of crunching leaves beneath your feet.
This was the 4th annual Pumpkin Run 5k. Proceeds benefitted Gateway-Longview, a non-profit, child and family service organization “that has been providing care, counseling and support to hundreds of at-risk children and families since 1890.” Good cause – check. Travel time – about an hour from my house. Not too bad, especially since the race did not start til 10:30. Love later morning races, especially now that it is getting colder and is darker in the morning.
I left my house at 8 and got there in plenty of time. It was very easy to find and there was plenty of parking. I went in, got my bib (no timing chip for my shoe, I would not need one, sigh…) and just hung out til the race started. I went solo to this race and ended up taking to a few nice people. I decided I would try to do the 2 mile walk. I have been walking on my heel to relieve pressure and avoid re-injuring the toe. I was not wearing my GPS watch, since what was the point?
Around 10:30, we started. It was crisp out – 20s when I left the house, probably 30s by the time the race ended. I can only speak to the first mile of the course, since I walked that and then all of us walkers turned around and walked the mile back. We walked thru a residential type area with apartments/condos on either side. We must have been close to the airport because I could see planes in the air. It would have been ideal running weather. Anyway, my toe seemed ok and I limped along. Walking does nothing for me and I don’t even break a sweat, but considering my injury, it was fine.
It took over a half hour to slowly walk the 2 miles. It was then time to head inside for the post race festivities. This was a nicely organized race. They had a catered lunch – buffet style line-pasta, salad, bread, apples, soda and water. In the gym they had massages, balloon making for the kids, pumpkin painting and you could buy tickets for sno cones, popcorn and cotton candy (loved that!). They also had an animal place there and puppies! And, best of all – there were 2 mascots- one a giant toothpaste tube (promoting a dental office and handing out toothpaste- but only to kids) and Billy Buffalo, the Bills mascot. Of course, I had to get my picture taken with both mascots.
After eating, they handed out awards. The medals had the running pumpkin on it. One man over 70 won in his age group after running another 5k earlier that morning. Very impressive! After the awards, they held a costume contest. Kids and adults dressed up in costumes.
The Whoopie Cushion guy won for funniest, a little boy dressed as the tin man won for most eco friendly and a mom and daughter dressed as pilgrims won for most creative – the stroller was also decorated. Buffalo-known locals were judges – Kevin O’Neill, (from WGRZ), food blogger Brenda Alessi and, of course, Billy Buffalo from the Buffalo Bills. It was funny to see the mascot judging and holding a baby in costume. After that, it was time to head home. I wish I could say another race in the books, but it was really a non-race for me.
I do think it was very well done and the organizers can be pleased. They had over 350 runners. I think they said that only 200 turned out the previous year- weather was rainy.
Pros: Liked the starting time, t shirt, post race spread and activities.
Cons: The fact that I was injured and could not run!
Details: Chip timing, USATF certified.
Race results can be found HERE.
As for my future running, I’m trying to remain optimistic that I will be able to heal and complete 4 more races by the end of the year. I’ve come too far to back out now. But, I have not run since the Marathon Relay and I am not sure I can just jump back into it. Plus, even after 2 weeks, my toe is not feeling better and is still quite swollen. I feel my fitness slipping away. I cannot even do my fallback exercise – the elliptical. I am looking for a recumbent bike and exploring other exercise options like walking in a Hydro Worx pool – even though that involves a bathing suit and I am so not bathing suit ready. I am bigger than ever. I could lie and pretend otherwise, but the truth is the truth. For now, I am focusing on rest and recovery. Hope your Fall running and other active pursuits are going well. I added more photos from the race today below. In the meantime, stay injury free my friends!
If you want more race info, click HERE.