We did it! Half marathon #2 is in the books! I can’t believe that was just a few short days ago. I am glad to say that I am now walking normal again and no longer have to cling to object to sit or stand. 🙂 It’s the little things.
Race Morning. Well it started at 12:00 am, 1:07 am, and then after laying in bed waiting for the alarm to go off I got up at 4 am to begin getting ready. I toasted my bagel half and covered it in the dark chocolate peanut butter. It’s my new obsession. You should try it out: http://ilovepeanutbutter.com/darkchocolatedreams.html Then I began to drink my NUUN. As you know I am super afraid of porta potties and so I wanted to get my water in early so I would not have to go at the race. My gear was all laid out and so I taped my knees with Rocktape (huge fan by the way-it helps so much) and began the hour-long process of putting on my compression socks. Okay so maybe it only takes me 20-but sill-it feels like an hour.
Getting to the starting line. We were riding with some friends to the starting line. Our friend Jenna was doing her first full and Micah was doing her first half! So, before we knew it we were hopping in the car and heading downtown. When we got to there is was still dark and super cold/windy outside. We walked though the square and saw tables of food and water. I now regret passing by that table with all the bananas and treats. We found a row porta potties and decided now was the best time to go. Be proud-I overcame my fear! Then we found our corrals and waited for the party to get started.
*Don’t you love my new RNR hat? Adrian bought it for me at the expo and I have basically been wearing it ever since. I love it!
So really nothing that exciting was happening. We took a few pictures, tried to stretch, and just waited. By the time our corral was approaching the start line it was around 7:30-7:40 ish. The really fun thing about this race is that every corral gets to have its moment. The race announcer told funny stories, then the countdown and we were off.
Miles 1-4. For the first few miles Adrian ran with me. It was really fun having him with me. We talked about how excited we were to be running and what parts of the race we were most excited about. I was most excited about running past Jackson Square and seeing the Lululemon cheering squad. These girls are so funny and their signs are awesome. We saw our friend, Josh, who was running the full on the other side of the street and so we cheered really loud for him. By the time we hit mile 3 it was hot. Also around this time Adrian and I decided to part ways and I would see him at the finish line. (He is way faster than me-so it made me happy he ran with me as long as he did) He really is my favorite!
Mile 1: 12:30
Mile 2: 13:08
Mile 3: 13:10
Mile 4: 13:26
Miles 5-9. Remember how I said I ate breakfast at 4 am? By mile 5 I was starving. I had taken my GU chomps pre-race. But that was long gone and I was so super hungry. Here is when I regretted not getting that banana. My plan was to take my other half of the Gu chomps at mile 7 where there was a water stop w New Orleans Track Club. But buy Mile 5.5 I was tearing into my SPI belt for fuel. I ate them as I was running. That was a mistake. First, these chomps seemed to only grow larger in my mouth as I ate them. Second, it was still 1.5 miles to the next water stop. Opps.
It was at this point that I had to really get excited about the race. Don’t get me wrong. I was having a nice time and enjoying the scenery. But, in the Jazz half marathon once you have done the out and back at St. Charles you are only 2 and some change miles from the end. At this race, the loop around Audubon Park is cut out. So once you do the out and back of St. Charles at Rock’n’Roll you still have several more miles to go. So getting pumped about the next part was harder than I had anticipated. I ran through the exchange area for the relay and they were giving out beer and jello shots. It smelled like butt. I am pretty sure I ran through this area holding my nose it was so foul. Fear not, mile 8 was drawing near and so was the humming of bagpipes. This group was my favorite band on the whole course. I cheered for them and they clapped for me. They made me smile so big. Then I ran through a group of neon clad cheerleaders by the WW2 museum. Side note: if you come to New Orleans you must got to the WW2 museum. You will love it and it will make you proud to be an American. (cue:Lee Greenwood song here) As I neared Jackson Square I began to see a very large Brooks rockstar archway jamming out to a huge blow up guitar. I really wish I would have taken a picture of it. I could hear the Lululemon girls cheering and they were giving out jelly beans and Propel water. I gladly took the water and continued on. My favorite sign was here: “Why do all the cute ones run away?”
Mile 5: 13:47
Mile 6: 13:45
Mile 7: 14:03
Mile 8: 14:45
Mile 9: 14:40
Miles 10-13.1 . Wahoo. Here I was a the last 5k of the race. I had told myself “it’s only 5k left, you’ve got this“. My miles had begun to slow more than I had expected. I was really hoping to stay near a 13/mile like the last race. But I had told myself to be too worried about time this race. My goal for this race was to cheer for people, smile/wave/thank the bands/cheerleaders/volunteers. I had talked to Team in Training runner and thanked them for what they were doing. I stopped for water a lot this race and walked through the water stations. I just wanted to really enjoy the city on my run. It’s Adrian’s goal to run through new parts of New Orleans this year. And so I was sure to take in new places and try to mentally lock it in so I could tell Adrian about it after the race.
Well, like I said, only a 5k left. I was feeling okay. Not amazing, like Shera Princess of Power amazing, but okay. Then my feet his Esplanade. Oh my word. PAIN. The road was so rough. It was uneven and really hard/uncomfortable to run. I made it past mile 11. When mile 12 hit I considered walking. I did not want to be that person walking when I was so close. My feet tried to grip the ground. I looked for smooth areas to run on. But it seemed useless. My run slowed to a jog and then to a very painful walk. I jogged and walked the last two miles. It made me sad. But sometimes that’s just what you have in you. The entrance to City Park was in sight. Some ladies cheered for me and told me I could do it. I believed them and so I picked up my pace. Rounding the NOLA Art Museum there was the chute. Only a few feet in a lady told me I was so close and just to finish. So I did. I sprinted and laughed up to the finish line. I did not realize the announcer was on the ground and ran literally up to him. He gave ma a high-five and I jumped on the finish line! I was so happy to have run this race. I was glad to be on smooth pavement. Topped off with a shiny new piece of bling !
Mile 10: 14:10
Mile 11: 14:37
Mile 12: 16:26
Mile 13: 16:27
Chip time 3:07:19
Not going to lie this is the worst I have ever felt immediately after any race or run. I called Adrian and he came and met me for a few pictures. Our friend Ryan was coming to pick us up. We hobbled through the family reunion area and met up with him. Ryan dropped us off at home. I got clean and headed straight for the bed. After I woke up Adrian ordered us sushi and rice. We ate our meal and talked about the race. We were both so glad to have run.
Overall thoughts on the race:
- I was so grateful that it did not rain. The weather was beautiful.
- We ran with Olympians! Ahhhh! How cool is that? We did not get to see them running the race-but still we were straight up still in the same race! I’m totally counting it!
- If I had known how much it was going to hurt on Esplanade I would have run in trail shoes. North Face has a shoe called the Fire Road and it has the Snake Plate™ it gives ultimate protection from stone bruising without sacrificing flexibility. The snake plate really makes a difference in what you feel while you run.
- There is difference in being trained and ready for a race and just being able to run a race. Adrian and I did not train enough for this race. My Saturday long runs leading up to the race were: 4 miles, 4 miles, 6 miles, 8 miles, and 10 miles. My weekly mileage was not what it needed to be to sustain me through my run.
- I had worn compression socks during each of my training runs and for the race. Only on race day did they give me blisters. But boy did they make up for not giving them to me in the other weeks.Ouch! I am sticking to Swiftwick and Thorlo’s from here out for long runs. Maybe I’ll just use the compression for recovery only. What are your thoughts?
- One of my good friends has approached me about helping her get ready for a half once she has her baby! Wahoo! I am so excited about this! I love to encourage others about running. I am going to look at some plans for us to use this summer/fall.
- During the race I listened to the entire Muppet’s soundtrack. Y’all it is so fun!
- I wish I knew how to add the marathon foto pictures to the blog because some of them are so funny!
- Now that I am writing my recap I wish I had taken more pictures. Do you take pictures during your races?
All in all Rock’n’Roll was a great experience for us. I would recommend running it in New Orleans. Running my second half marathon was a perfect way to end out my birthday week. Turning 30 means moving to a new age division in races but I think it will be just fine. I am really excited to run in the Crescent City Classic in a few weeks. March 30th to be exact. It’s our 5 year wedding anniversary that day and we are running the race to celebrate! If you are looking for a race to run come down to NOLA and run CCC!
go and be a light,
Have you ever run a Rock’n’Roll event?
Do you take GU or Chomps during a run?
What was your favorite part of your last run?
How do you celebrate birthdays/anniversaries?