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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon Recap!

I slept really well the night before this race despite being woken up at 4:30AM by the cruise ship horn...and our neighbors deciding that it was a good time to do you know what! New Orleans is definitely a city that doesn't sleep! Every night we could hear people partying in the street....or right next to our window it seemed. So to feel rested after all of that was a good thing.

As soon as I woke up I immediately looked outside the window. The forecast was calling for 50% chance of rain. And sure enough it looked very drizzly, foggy, and humid out there. :-(

We all got ready fairly quickly. You could sense the nervousness in our room. I was pretty calm but everyone else was nervous due to one reason or another.

We had about a 10 minute walk to the start line from our hotel. Immediately I knew it was going to be a tough race. The air was thick with fog and humidity. My goal for this race was to run it with Holly and Sarah. They both talked about not being trained as well as they should have been. I was ok with having a great time running with them versus racing the race. So that's what I did!

We made it to the corrals and stopped for a quick picture and to say good luck to Abby since she was running the full marathon and starting in a different corral.

As we were walking to our corral I heard someone say my name. I looked up and it was Kristin from The Smith Summary! I was so excited to see her! We wanted to meet in Memphis at the St. Jude race but since it got canceled that didn't happen. So we had hoped to meet in New Orleans. It was a miracle we found each other considering all the people that were there!

We finally made it to our corral...and Abby showed up! She decided to come back to our corral because she couldn't find the pace group she was looking for. And she was looking for Cecilia and Debi so they could run the full together. So one last picture was taken!

Before we knew it our corral was at the start line!

As soon as we started running it was tough. The air was so thick. It was really hard to breathe. It was misting rain and the streets were slick from being wet.

We did see this guy running along the course!

I knew he had to be so hot in that firefighter uniform! Since Sarah's husband is a volunteer firefighter she had to take a picture with him!

I felt really bad for Sarah because she lives in New York and there was snow on the ground when she left. It was very hard for her body to acclimate to a humid 70 degrees. Plus she had a bad cold and her throat and chest were hurting. But I didn't want to leave her. We were in this race together! Around mile 4 we took our first walk break.

From that point on we ran and walked when we needed to. I didn't mind though. This race was more about being with friends to me than finishing fast.

There weren't as many spectators out for this race as there have been in previous years. But there was still quite a few. It always helps to have people cheer you on.

Finally we reached the 6 mile mark...which meant we were almost halfway done!

You can see how wet the roads were and how foggy it was in this picture.

Finally we made it to my favorite part of this course! We were about to enter The French Quarter. The huge Brooks Inflatable was there just like I expected! I always get a picture at this point of the race! It was just so foggy that you can barely see him!

We passed another band playing on stage (one of the best parts of a Rock 'n' Roll Race)! It was really weird because at this point in the race it got super foggy and the temperature dropped! You could feel really cold air as you were running through the French Quarter. It felt great since we were so hot!

And then we passed Jackson Square (but you couldn't see anything due to the fog) and Cafe Du Monde! The beignets smelled so good as we were running by!

There was a water stop right after this and I just had to take a picture. They were promoting the Red Dress Run (a New Orleans race in which everyone wears a red dress). This guy posed so nicely for me lol!

And then we saw the best sign ever...the mile 10 marker!!!! Only 3.1 more miles to go!

We passed more bands.

More awesome cheerleaders.

And yes...even a cemetary!

Around mile 11, Sarah got a call from Abby. Cecilia was suffering from dehydration and had decided to turn and run the half instead of the full. We told them we were on our way and we headed to get Cecilia so she wouldn't be alone since she was feeling so bad. It was very emotional seeing how sad Cecilia was (this was her first full marathon). But I'm glad we were not far from her and could lead her to the finish line.

Finally we reached the point where the full and half courses split. I remember two years ago when I veered left to run my first full. I was glad to be going right today...especially with these weather conditions.

We were entering City Park...which meant the finish line was not far away!!!

We turned the corner and there was the finish line!!! Holly and I started sprinting and finished strong! My official time was 2:50:51. Pretty awful. But I had fun running with my blogger friends! And fun is what counts!

And the bling is pretty sweet too!!!

QOTD: Have you even run a Rock 'n' Roll race?



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