2.1 mile run: 18:21
9.83 mile bike: 47:22
2.1 mile run: 19:02
Same bridge, different style. The next morning.
Saturday June 8 I ran the Crescent City Connection Bridge Run. June 9th was the Bridgeman Duathlon, over the same bridge. Although it’s not part of the Louisiana Bridge Series, I feel like I should get bonus points for this race!
This is another repeat race for me, but it holds a special place in my heart because it was my first multisport race! It was nice to return to this and feel significantly more confident in my ability to get across the finish line.
I picked up my packet Saturday morning at the race start at the Gretna Farmer’s Market. Turns out that an outdoor farmer’s market makes a great transition area. I was pretty pumped about this year’s shirt (women’s fit, nice design) and the really nice bag they had.
And thank goodness I got another koozie! We were starting to run low on them…
Sunday morning I got up super early to load the car and head out. I wussed out on racing with the new pedals on my bike, given my grace, after having visions of myself tumbling over the bridge to the depths of the Mississippi. And since I’m less than confident in open water I opted to let Mo put the cages back on my bike.
The sky was leering at me the whole way to Gretna. Once at the race, the announcer joked that it can’t be the Bridgeman without lousy weather. There is plenty of close parking for this race and although it has sold out both years, the field is kept to a comfortable size. I set up in my transition, chatted with some of the other Steel MagNOLAs (shout out to Hayley, Gel, Dennis, Deirdre, E2, Cassie, Shellie, Dennis, Ashley, Cindy, and anybody else I missed! We really represented!) Even after just a short warm up, I was drenched so I knew it was going to be rough.
Last year the two mile run legs were in different places but this year they were both along the levee so the start was shifted to in front of the Farmer’s Market, which was also transition. The Farmer’s Market made a great covered transition area, but the start was pretty crowded with different waves bunched up trying to listen.
Once we were off the run was pretty, along a running/biking trail next to the Mississippi River. There were a few “New Orleans” hills, so basically lumps. My Garmin timed the course as being 2.1 miles, which after looking at the times people posted, seems accurate, which means maybe next year they can move the start a little so it is less congested.
T1 was pretty standard. Helmet on and go. It’s about 2.5 miles from transition to the Crescent City Connection Bridge. Although there weren’t really any crowds along the course, there were plenty of police officers and the course was easy to follow. We were warned about a large puddle just before the bridge and sure enough, just as I approached it and prepared to move around it, I got passed and was forced to ride straight through it. Wah wah.
The bridge was the same as it was the night before but I’d rather run up a hill than bike it any day. About halfway up I remembered that I swore last year I wasn’t doing this bridge again. Finally I peaked, went downhill for a bit, and then turned around. At the turnaround there were two cyclists who looked like they had crashed and again, wussing out, I took my feet out of the cages and walked the tight turn. I certainly wasn’t going to win this race and I got a lot of respect for heights.
I rode my breaks for a good bit of the downhill because it is intense! The rest of the ride was smooth sailing as was T2. The Garmin measured the bike part as 9.83 miles. The second run was pretty much the same as the first.
Overall I was pleased with my time. I did a good 6 or 7 minutes better than last year’s race and was a lot less anxious. However, after all these bridge races, I might be ready to hang my medals and rest on my laurels!
Congrats to all the Steel MagNOLAs racing and placing!
Saturday 10K run / 56:59 minutes
The Bridge Run is the third in an epic four week block of races I am participating in. Originally, it wasn’t a part of my plan, but I added it in because it is the first race of the Louisiana Bridge Run Series.
A, F, and A’s dad JH committed to doing the series also. The race had a 10K, which was only for runners (you had to be able to run 13 minute miles to do it) and a 5K which was for runners and walkers. A and JH decided to walk the 5K and F had to drop out at the last minute for the 10K.
The 10K started about 5K back from the start of the 5K on top of the levee. If you are not from Louisiana, you need to know that there are tons of man made earthen levees along the Mississippi River and its tributaries throughout the state. In high school, we had a levee for a marina in our backyard. They are fantastic to run on because they are either dirt on top or the city will sometimes pave them to encourage people to walk, run, and bike there. They can be very hot in the summer because they usually are so tall they don’t get a lot of shade. They can also be tricky to include in a race because the tops are narrow, maybe 4-5 feet across.
This 10K was small, maybe 100 people so it was fine on top of the levee. I had a plan to run slow and not race this because CCC10K last week was my PR and next week’s Rocketchixis more important to me. I decided to run the whole thing in 9:30 minute miles.
The race started about 25 minutes late, which was obnoxious. It also started very unceremoniously, since the announcer had regularly been updating us on how long we would be waiting but then suddenly shouted, “On your mark, get set, go!”
The race had timing chips, as usual, but there was no timing mat at the start of the 10K, which makes the timing chips pretty useless because they all start at the gun time. The start was also not well marked so I missed starting my watch at exactly the right spot because I was looking for the timing mat.
Once we finally got going, it was so hard to keep a 9:30 pace and let people pass me! I concentrated on the scenery and holding myself back. The scenery was really pretty. We passed Ormond Plantation, and were running along side the Mississippi River so it was very pleasant. I made a deal with myself that at 4 miles I could run however fast I felt like running.
As we neared the 5K start, I could see that a lot of the race was walkers. This was definitely a community race where lots of families, church groups, or other organizations came to walk in groups and have a nice morning. The race director let most of the 10K leaders pass before starting the 5K. I kept trying to spot A and JH and they said they kept looking for me but we didn’t see each other til much later.
Before the 5k mark, we ran down the levee and onto the road, passing Destrehan Plantation, which is where A had her wedding reception! Between miles 3 and 4 we started the ascent up the bridge and I got really glad I ran slow for the first three miles. We went up the bridge on ramp (going 310 South off of River Road, if you know the area). From there the ascent got even steeper because the bridge went up quite a bit more.
By this point I was running through mostly 5K walkers, which was fine. A bridge run is not some place to PR and everyone was just having a good morning. I didn’t have to do too much zig zagging and even got to see A and JH walking.
We passed the four and five mile mark on the bridge. Coming down the other side of the bridge was fun! I had saved a lot of energy for the descent so I just let myself go. When we reached the bottom of the bridge there was still another half mile and short hill to go.
I was pleased to finish in 56:59 and pick up a medal. I later heard the race had over 2000 walkers and runners. Only the first 1000 got a medal, which was disappointing.
The post race fest was big. There was music, bananas, oranges, water, coke, beer, hot dogs and chips. There were also a few booths for other races set up, including the Huey P Long 5K and a few organizations that had groups participating had their own tents set up too. We hung around for a bit before catching a yellow school bus back to the 5K start where JH had parked.
One bridge run down, two more to go!
Have you ever done a bridge run? What was your very first race?
Saturday 10 whole k’s / 55:24
121/ 1442 (30-34 year old women)
Saturday was the Crescent City Classic 10k, a New Orleans Easter weekend tradition. I ran this race last year with my bestie F and it was very different this year.
Packet pickup was nothing too special. Mo and I went to lunch in the French Quarter (Cafe Maspero’s) and walked to the Hyatt Regency where the expo was. We had taken the streetcar down and hoped to catch the new Loyola line back home but we never saw a single car on the line.
There has been lots of talk about how the race would be organized differently than it had in the past. There was a new start near the Super Dome, a new route, and color coded corrals so that runners could run, walkers and strollers could stroll, and people dragging kegs in little red wagons could roll. This is New Orleans after all.
I’m not speedy enough to get a seeded spot in this race so I signed up for the first corral you didn’t need a previous time to get into.
My friend Allison, who ran her first 5k at the Super Dome in September, met me at my house so we could ride the streetcar together. This was her first 10k and she was so excited! Congratulations Allison on being so awesome.
We ended up catching the streetcar with the group from Louisiana Running Company, most of whom were seeded so their bibs were cool colors like gray and pink. Wish I had brought my phone to take a picture because one guy was dressed as an Easter Bunny and another was wearing a banana costume.
One thing you should know about New Orleans. We love an excuse to wear a costume and drink.
The race started 15 minutes late, which was lame, but the corral system worked decently. I didn’t have to do too much dodging in the first mile or so and everyone around me was at least running.
Interesting Things I Saw During The Race
1. At least three bands. One was playing outside CC’s Coffee on Esplanade and another in front of the New Orleans Museum of Art. Oooh, and a Navy band near Cafe Du Monde
2. The Drago’s Fire Truck: Around 2.5 miles, near the underpass at Claiborne. This truck was there last year too. They were costumed and handing out beer and offering to pour a shot of tequila in your mouth as you passed.
3. Lots of participants spectating: All along the route I saw people wearing bibs for the last two corrals watching the race. Maybe they lived near the route and just wanted to jump in when it got good and walk to the finish party?
4. Lots of community: This race is a tradition and people who live and work along the route come watch, cheer on their friends, and PARTY. There were legitimate tailgating parties going on. Full on cook outs and drinking while wearing crazy costumes (see note about New Orleans above). There were several people handing out beer, donuts, crackers, Jell-O shots, and playing music on speakers loud. It was super fun to take in while running.
There was bling this year! Mo, it’s time to put a new row on my medal rack!
The Post Race Festival at City Park was pretty big. There was fruit, jambalaya, red beans and rice, beer, water, and Gatorade. I ran into my friend Jason who ran the race in 38 minutes?! He is a beast by the way. After that I walked myself home.
And the finish. After a disappointing Mardi Gras Mambo, I was looking for some validation in this race. Last year I ran CCC10k in 64:29, but I wasn’t sure that a race this big was the right one t be looking for a big PR. The corrals paid off for me and I was thrilled with my 55:24 finish.
Now I just have to wait for all the sponsorship deals to rolllllll in.
Swim 300 meters / 7:39
Bike 10 miles / 39:35
Run 2 miles / 17:42
Girl Power was Sunday. This is a very well managed, well organized race, and is a great one to participate in if you are new to triathlons or just in the New Orleans area.
I overslept a little and had my usual rice cake with peanut butter pre-race breakfast before loading the car. I wanted to manage all of my stuff on my own and let Mo sleep so I loaded my bike and gathered my transition bag and post race bag. I am usually more anxious about a race the night before than the morning of, so Mo had already done his support team part in helping me pack.
In my transition bag I had: two towels (one to lay my transition stuff on and one to cover it with in case it looked like rain), water bottle, fuel belt with race bib, three Cliff Shot Bloks, goggles, the Girl Power swim cap, helmet, and my running shoes.
In my post race bag I had a towel, a sundress, a jacket, Toms, a hat and sunglasses.
I got to the now too familiar Lakefront Arena around 6:40 and ran into Eve and Angele from Steel MagNOLAs unloading. We got over to body marking and I realized this was the first race I have done in my new age bracket, 30-34. It really sunk in when the body marker joked about me being ancient.
It’s cool. Whatever.
I played around at my transition and talked to a few other Steel MagNOLAs. I love love love being with this team because everyone is so friendly. I feel comfortable hanging out with any of the girls in red jerseys!
We all made it inside and picked up timing chips. Coach C had fussed and fussed that I needed to get in the pool and warm up until the officials made us get out, but Eve said we were short on time. I’ve never swum a warm up before a tri, just jogged, and I managed to get in 2×50 and 1.5×100 before we had to get out. I ate the Shot Blok that I had swum with in my pocket (not as gross as it sounds) and lined up.
I lined up with the 7:00-9:00 minute group. Coach C made it over and I think, maybe, he was more anxious than me. We talked a lot of strategy and he went over a lot of turning tips as we waited to start.
The line snacked most of one side of the pool and the race organizers were starting women every 5 seconds. It was an out of pool start and Coach C and I had talked about jumping in close to the wall and pushing off.
Once I was in the water, I felt good. Seriously, I wish swimming always felt that good. I passed a fair number of women, Coach said at least 8. At the second turn, I was right on someone’s feet and she was pausing at the wall. I paused for just a second and hurt C’s voice shouting, “Touch and go! Touch and go!” and I was off.
I got to the end of the 300 meters went to get out of the pool using the wall and the lifeguard yelled at me to wait in line to use the ladder. Wha??? Regardless I checked my time at the end of the 300, as opposed to at the timing mat, and it was 7:16. HUGE success.
I forgot to hit the lap button to switch my watch into transition and just pushed stop at the timing mat. I didn’t figure that out til I was almost out of transition.
By the way, this was the race that last time I lost my bike so I had walked the transition area a few times and checked out landmarks which made finding my rack and bike a breeze.
The lakefront was obscenely windy. Like 18-25 mph winds. Boo and hiss. The first six miles were into the wind, and the last four with a tailwind. It was really obvious in the data the kind of effect the wind had on the race. I was however, very grateful for the trainer sessions I did in January and February because I felt better than I expected on the bike.
I took a Blok in T1 and then another on the bike.
T2 was quick and easy. The two mile run was disappointing though. It’s the slowest run split I’ve posted. Mo pointed out though that is a good problem to have, because I already knew that I was light on brick workouts prior to this and I can change that before the next tri.
I was pretty bent on passing everyone I could, but especially passing anyone in my new age group. I ended up 13th out of 48 for my age group and 62 out of 290 overall. For a tune up race, it was a good start to the season!
Sunday 13.27 miles / 2:14:13
Sunday morning started entirely too early. We were supposed to be on a bus from the Art of Animation Resort by 4 am and in our corrals by 5 am. Those are scary early times!
We set our alarms for 3 am and I slept in most of my running clothes. For that evening we wisely decided to sleep mostly a boys room vs. a girls room with A’s husband and cousin Kevin sleeping in one room and me, Mo (who is very practiced at going back to sleep after I get up to run, A and F in our adjoining room. I say wisely since the boys didn’t make it to bed til 2 am.
We hit the bus line at 3:30 in the morning and ate sandwich thins with peanut butter on the way to the start. Everyone was pretty excited on the bus ride. We got to the parking lot and I was kind of shocked to see how many people there were. I mean, I knew there were 26,000 runners in this race, but seeing the waves of people constantly meandering towards bag check and the stage was astounding. It was no doubt the biggest race I have ever run.
After some photos and some hemming and hawing, we started walking towards our corrals. It was about a 20 minute walk from where the bus dropped us off. There were tons of porta potties around and almost every single person was wearing some kind of costume. I was skeptical if all of the wigs and costumes would make it through 13.1 miles. Never have I ever been so grateful for Corrals as I was when I realized that I was in Corral A and there were 26,000 runners. Don’t think that I am some kind of speed demon though: Corral A was for 2:15 and less.
There were big screen TVs up and tons of costumes to look at. Corral A at least was not too crowded so there was room to spread out and sit for a bit. I’m not sure how crowded the other corrals were. I was still very glad that Corral A started at 5:35. F was in Corral G and she said they didn’t start til 6:35, so she had to wait for an hour and a half to start.
This next part was very cool: Disney shot off fireworks as each corral started. How fun is that???
As you can see, it was still dark when I started. The first water stop was less than a mile into the race, which I thought was weird until I realized it was for the later corrals that would have been waiting for much longer by the time they passed. Within the first few miles we passed a marching band, a whole group of Disney princes, Captain Barbosa and his ship and a bunch of other cool stuff. I didn’t stop to take a picture until I got to this group:
I was so glad that I gave my phone to the volunteer to use to take a picture with at the same time as the professional photographer, because this picture didn’t show up on the MarathonFoto site!
The first half of the race was so exciting. We ran through Magic Kingdom and saw Prince Mickey and Princess Minnie, the Mad Hatter, Belle, Buzz Lightyear, Aurora with Prince Phillip, Jesse, Tiana and Naveen, and that was just in Magic Kingdom. Running through Cinderella’s castle was AWESOME. There were tons of people in Magic Kingdom watching and cheering. It was probably the most fun I’ve had in half marathon ever.
Once we left Magic Kingdom, it stayed good for awhile. At the halfway point there were speakers playing “This Girl is on Fire” on repeat. We saw several Mary Poppins characters and outside the Grand Floridian, there were a group of guys in tuxedos holding the glass slipper. That’s a photo opp I wish I hadn’t missed.
After around the halfway point it got tough. The music and characters were fewer and farther between. At 8.7 miles there was a Clif Shot station.
Around the 15k mark, I passed the Disney princes again. They were still facing the 2 mile mark and the very last runners were passing them. I considered crossing the median and getting in line, but the photographers were warning runners that the ‘sweepers’ were coming. Beyond them I could see guys on bikes marking the 16 minute mile pace necessary to stay in the race and tons of vans ready to pick people up as well as several street sweeping trucks to pick up all the trash. I didn’t want to risk getting swept after having run over 9 miles and just kept going.
The last 5k was tough. There were very few characters and most of the race was on highways between parks and included several exit ramps (aka HILLS). The last mile was through Epcot and there was a fairy godmother cheering runners on.
There were tons of people in bleachers set up at the end and more characters at the finish. I got my massive gorgeous medal and went to collect my bottle of water and Powerade and my snack box.
Soon after A and F finished and we got all the necessary post race glow pics:
I was disappointed to find out that apparently the chip on the back of my bib didn’t work so I didn’t get an official time for almost two weeks. My watch time was 2:14:13, but I stopped it a few times to get in picture lines. When I finally got my official time it was around 2:18. But I did get my Snow White picture!
Overall, the Disney Princess Half was a great experience. There was tons of support on the course with water stops at almost every mile and frequent medical tents too. There was a lot of entertainment, although the second half definitely had less than the first half. Magic Kingdom was a blast to run through. There were lots of photo opportunities, but you should take your camera/phone to take pictures with too (the Snow White picture was another one that didn’t show up on the official site). If you can run a fast enough race in the year before, get as good a corral placement as you can. I actually updated my best time with Disney so that I could get a closer corral. I’d recommend it if you have time to make a vacation out of it, or if you live close enough to do it without taking a lot of time off.
Have you ever done a Disney race? How about a themed/costumed race?
This weekend was the Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend. My friends and I made a plan to run this race last April and it was A and F’s very first half marathon.
A came with her family (husband, cousin, mom, and dad) early and F followed a day later. Mo and I taught Friday and then drove halfway Friday night and the rest of the way Saturday morning.
The first thing I wanted to do when I got in was go to the expo. I’ve only done a few races big enough to have a real expo, and this one would be very girl focused. The expo is usually at Disney Wide World of Sports but was moved to the Coronado Springs Resort, which made transportation a challenge. You were only allowed to take a Disney bus there, even if your were coming from off site. No driving your own car, no getting dropped off.
I forgot to print out my race waiver in advance which A said I should definitely do. Thankfully the lines were short to print yours out.
Actually, all the lines except a few were short. We walked straight over to my bib booth and picked up m
We walked straight up to the bag pickup, which was clear on the other side of the expo, and got my bag. I wanted to wander the expo a bit but the booths were right on top of each other and crowded so we didn’t stay long.
The only booth I wanted to go in was the official merchandise booth. I’d been looking for official merchandise online and they hasn’t released any of it before the race and the booth had curtains all around it so you couldn’t even see in. And about 200 people waiting to get in. Mo said I could stand in that line but he sure wasn’t.
By that point, we were hungry and grumpy so we grabbed lunch at the resort and jumped on a bus to meet our friends at Hollywood Studios. It was great that part of the swag was a drawstring backpack so that I could stuff everything in there and be ready to Disney it up.
Have you done any races with big expos?
If you could be one Disney Princess/character, who would you be?
Look for Part II: Race Day!
Saturday 6.28 miles / 65:28
Before getting the flu, when all of my half marathon training was still intact, I had the brilliant idea to run the Mardi Gras Mambo 10k in Baton Rouge with my fellow princesses the weekend before Disney Princess Half Marathon. At the time, it was a great idea.
Well, it was still a good idea even though I have a hacking cough and posted a time that was less than what I know I’m capable of. It was still a good plan for a couple of reasons:
1. They have good swag bags.
2. It was the longest distance I’ve run in about a month.
3. Who can resist running with your besties?
This was also a cheap race. I think I paid $25 for it. When I did it for the first time about 8 or 9 years ago, it was a typical local race.
Well, somewhere in the last 8 or 9 years ago, this race blew up. It was staged in a casino/hotel lobby in downtown Baton Rouge. No clue which one, but it was big. It needed to be big, because it. was. packed.
One thing you have to know about Baton Rouge races. Pre-race festivities include like 35 minutes of Zumba followed by the wobble. I couldn’t handle that, so I ducked into a bathroom line and stashed my swag bag in my car.
I liked that at the start line, there were pace groups posted. It’s always nice to know where you should stand. In no time we were off!
For Louisiana, it felt especially cold and windy. The course went from downtown and then through LSU and out to the levee along the river. LSU is a pretty campus to run through and normally I would enjoy running on the levee, but by that point I was so cold and tired, I wasn’t paying attention to the scenery.
I was disappointed that about .25 mile into the race I got a side stitch and then two random waves of naseau during the race. I just never felt good the whole time. I was pretty grateful to be finished and had a lot of fun cheering on F and A as they finished the race.
They both did awesome! It was A’s first 10k and F’s second and they are both such rockstars for it!
The medal from this race was cool: a large custom Mardi Gras bead style medallion. I love when races come with drawstring bags too. In the bag were a couple of granola bars along with some coupons and race fliers. There was also a long sleeved cotton race t shirt. I liked that when I filled out the entry form, I could have upgraded my cotton tee to a long sleeved tech tee. After the race, there was jambalaya, power ade, granola bars, and fruit. Lots of race had booths set up inside the casino/hotel lobby to check out which was fun.
All in all, if you like running in big races, this is a quality one. The course is pretty, the swag is good, and there was a lot of bang for your buck. I am not a huge fan of big races, so I will probably skip it next year… unless my friends talk me back into it!
Do you like big races? Or do you stick to small races instead? Does the size of the race influence your decision at all? Do you prefer to race with friends or alone?
Tuesday: 1.75 mile run/ 15:44 min
Another successful Mardi Gras day and Mardi Gras season in the books! This was an especially amazing Mardi Gras to me, and it started off with a new style of celebration (sidebar: I love that you can celebrate Mardi Gras in a thousand different ways, just in NOLA, let alone if you include Lafayette Mardi Gras).
(Double Sidebar: One of my all time favorite Mardi Gras memories is from high school in Monroe Louisiana. Monroe has one Mardi Gras parade and it’s not on Fat Tuesday. It’s called the Krewe of Janus and it rolls on a Saturday night, I think. Monroe doesn’t have the street cleaning system that NOLA does, so the beads and debris were still littered all over the parade route the next morning. My dad and I went running the morning after the parade and followed most of the parade route. Along the way, we collected every nice looking bead we saw until our necks were so stacked with beads that we couldn’t take any more.)
This Mardi Gras started with the Royal Run. I had no idea what that was when Eve from the Steel MagNOLAs emailed everyone Monday. I wasn’t sure I would be able to make it to a morning run uptown and then back to my house in time to deploy the rest of the day’s plans, but Eve assured me that the run started at 7 and it wasn’t only one lap around Audubon Park; approximately 1.75 miles around. The catch: you got to be there early if you want a tshirt.
I got to the Magazine Street Park Shelter at Audubon Park around 6:20 in the morning. There was no registration, no sign up. Just a line to stand in when they started to pass out t shirts around 6:30. Oh, and King Cake and mimosas.
After we picked up our t-shirts, the lady handing them out told us to thank Mr. Riley because he pays for the whole event every year. I wonder if he started the event or if he was once a runner? An announcer got on the microphone and explained that this was a run, not a race, so there was no timer, no awards, and only one rule: The Queen of Rex always wins. Don’t get in front of her until she peels off the path into the grass, which he assured us she would in about a tenth of a mile.
In just a few minutes, the Queen of Rex rolled up in her black stretch limousine and got out along with her parents. Often times, the queen of a krewe is very young, maybe 19 or 20. This family had a sense of humor, since her mom was sporting a sign that said “Queen Mother” and the Queen herself was wearing furry purple, green, and gold leg warmers.
Then Rex’s (I’ve always heard the King of Rex referred to as just Rex) limousine arrived and Rex toasted his Queen and the city. The Steel MagNOLAs got together and snapped a quick picture just before the cannon went off and the Queen started the race.
As promised, the Queen peeled off quickly and everyone else continued. At various points along the way, some people peeled off as well, no doubt running back home to start their Mardi Gras Day activities. Audubon Park is very pretty to run at, though I rarely make it to that side of town to run, since City Park is so convenient to me. The running/biking loop around the park is paved and there are lots of birds and plants, along with a lake and a golf course to look at. It was the first time I had run hard since the flu, and it felt great to push myself, even if I really wasn’t going very fast.
The race organizers packed really quickly after the start. At the end of the course, I looked for the table of bottled water, and there was nobody left! I was so impressed that the Rex organization and the king and queen had time on their big day to come out and put on this community run though, that I couldn’t mind.
This was such a fun way to start Mardi Gras day, and just another example of the million different celebrations and traditions that go on all over the city and state. It’s pretty amazing, considering that to the rest of the country, it’s just another Tuesday.
I even made it home in time to celebrate one of our Mardi Gras day traditions: Popeye’s chicken for breakfast!
How was your Tuesday? How do you celebrate Mardi Gras?
Saturday: 13.19 miles / 1:59:02
I did it! I did it! I did it! I’ve been bursting with pride over this race since yesterday. I knew that my big A goal was to break two hours for this half marathon and I wanted to be redemption for a disappointing Rock N Roll Half in February but I just wasn’t sure I was in shape enough to do it. All the calculators I poured over throughout the week predicted a 2:01-2:05 finish.
But let me back it on up.
I signed up a few weeks ago and picked up my shirt and number on Tuesday.
Apparently if I had signed up earlier, I could have gotten my name printed on my bib, which would have been cool, but at least I registered early enough to the right sized shirt.
I like getting up way before a race so that I have time to relax and not feel rushed, so I got up at six for this 8:00 am race. I wore my Steel MagNOLAs jersey, even though it is so small. When I brought it home for the first time, Mo asked why I got a kid’s size. It’s a women’s large.
Right before the race I ran into a few other Steel MagNOLAs and told the Captain that I would love to break to 2 hours but would probably more reasonably run 2:05.
Secretly, my plan was to start at a 2 hour pace (9:09 minute miles) and just see how long I could hold it. I figured just lay it all out and see what I’ve got.
Mile 1-I felt pretty strong. The weather was cool and there was no sun beating down.
Mile 2- I had a lot of trouble settling into a pace and finding someone to stick with. I got passed a lot.
Mile 3- I’M KIDDING. I’m not doing a mile by mile report because you would be even more bored than you usually are.
In a nutshell, I struggled early on to find a pace and a person to hang with. By around mile 5, I’d settled down and found a women who seemed steady until I got a cramp.
I took half a gu at mile 2.5 and another half at 5 miles. I decided to take the whole second gu at mile 7 since I wasn’t sure there would be a water station when I needed it. I slowed down to drink two cups of water.
From miles 5-9 I stuck close to two women on about the same pace. It seriously helps me to hang with a group to keep my pace. It helps me stay motivated.
Starting at the mile 8 marker, the markers weren’t matching my Garmin. It was about the same difference each mile marker and it didn’t seem to make a difference overall, but it would have been so annoying if I didn’t have the Garmin.
At mile 9, I decided to start pushing the pace since there were only 4 miles left and I was in a peanut butter gu haze. I dropped the two women I had stuck with and kept pushing. It was really tough from that point on because I never found anyone else running my pace. I knew at that point that I could make it under 2 hours, as long as I could just hang on to the pace. When I came onto Roosevelt Dr, which was the end of the course, I could see the clock and could barely contain myself.
I felt so amazing crossing that finish line and knowing I had finally met this goal. I haven’t run a sub 2 hour 1/2 marathon since I was 18.
It’s been a few days and I’m still a little sore. I iced my quads on Saturday and stayed off my feet as much as possible. I took Sunday and Monday off and am planning to ease back into running this week.
Disney Princess Half countdown has begun!
Do you have any big goals left to accomplish before the end of the year?
Thursday: Turkey Trot 5 miler / 43:11 minutes
Starting Thanksgiving with a Turkey Trot seemed like the best way to start a day about being grateful for what I have. Amy came with for her very first timed road race. It was pretty great getting to see her cross the finish line. Congrats A!
We also met up with Cate and her mom who were walking the race, which made me seriously looking forward to running another race with my dad.
My plan was to run 9:00 minute miles. All week I have been running so slow so I wasn’t sure I would make that today. There were also 2500 runners/walkers! Fortunately, a flat course and excellent weather was on my side. I skipped both water stations because they were too crowded. The Garmin was pretty great for being able to keep up with my pace and note the mile splits. The 910 is still getting 2 thumbs up.
This race was a total win though and I will definitely run it again.
Today I’m thankful that you are reading this! I could make a much longer list, but I’m too busy wearing stretchy pants. Enjoy your day however you choose to spend it.