It's Race Day! (Kinda)

Ninety-nine days to go.  I know we’re not supposed to complain about the weather, but what the hell?  Retrospect may be a coping mechanism or an outlet for airing complaints, but I felt like prior winters allowed for an occasional 40 degree day to sneak into the mix.  My training continues to remain indoors.   On the off chance, I decided to hit a long run on actual pavement it’s been met with 30 degrees and rain.  Fun.

Today brings me to my ‘C Race’ for the Buffalo Marathon:  The Lockport Y10.  I typically gauge a little fitness with an effort that’s too strenuous to do during training, but one that won’t destroy me for the next few days.  Today’s 10 mile race rounds out a 55 mile week.  The mindset is to make it a moderately challenging day.  Loose footing and a hard climb to the finish can be an open invitation to injury.  I’ll  air on the side of conservatism.  I’ve always been good at sticking to the plan. I rarely get caught up in the hype of race.  My plan is structured to peak on race day, not today and not next month.

It’s important to remember this as you move through your training.  You’ll be tempted by other races, but keep your eye on the prize.  Too often we flip the competitive switch and refuse to let someone pass us.  We look ahead and plan to catch one runner after the next.  A planned moderately hard day can easily transform into an all-out effort.  You will certainly get away with this a few times, but the result is nothing short of feeling flat on race day—or worse, not starting due to injury.  Frequent hard running is certainly not sustainable, particularly as 99.99% of us can’t solely focus on running.  Our post runs aren’t dedicated to perfect recovery as we slip runs into lunch hours, before shuffling off to work, or prior to heading home. 

I’ve managed to continue my plan of running six days a week with a single day of strength (I’m currently building "run-specific strength" via BaseSix Strength Program on  As for the next few weeks? Both my long run distance and total weekly distance will climb. Next week brings a 16 miler, rounding the weekly mileage just under 60.  I still feel good (knocking on wood).  Nothing hurts and I hope to keep it that way.

For now, everything continues to be a grind.  I’ve found the value in power naps and stretched my comfort zones with time management.  I’ve also been challenged to welcome interruptions into my daily plan.  I’d like for this article to be longer, but time was shifted to changing a dirty diaper and feeding a “hangry” baby.  Now… it’s off to Lockport!  Bring on the cold (not).

Steve Gonser PT DPT
Physical Therapist

First time Dad, Husband, Physical Therapist at Buffalo Rehab Group, Boston Qualifier, Ironman, and founder of Join me as I balance training, work, and family on my journey to the start line (and hopefully a PR).