Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New Orleans Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon 2012

So! The time has come for my race recap. And what a race it was!

I woke up Sunday morning at around 4 am. I meant for 3, but I slept through two alarms! whoopsy. I set four alarms, since I know I can turn them off in my sleep. I popped out of bed after some water. I had made two jars of oats the night before, and I proceeded to eat one of them. I made the mistake of buying fatted yogurt, and it was in the oats, so that made me feel a teeny bit funny. I got over it pretty quick.

I did some internet things for a while, and then I left the house at around 5:20. I’m a little crazy about getting to races with enough time to spare. I almost missed the start of last year’s turkey trot. I biked the 5 miles to the start, and it was a lovely ride. I didn’t get killed at all! The only cars I saw on the road were going to the race as well. I also saw the official race people setting up mile markers. I live a half mile away from where the turn around on St. Charles was, so I rode along all of the St. Charles leg of the race.

I got to Lafayette square at around 6:00, parked my bike, wished a nice lady happy birthday, and ate a bagel. I ate it very slowly over 15 minutes or so. I had a lot of water and I peed 2 times before the start. I wish I could have peed once more, since I suffered an uncomfortable fullness of the bladder for the first 7 miles.

The internets and I took a group photo or two, and then I got a bit worried about cutting it close to the start of the race and I rushed off to find the corral. In the process I lost the internet (sorry!). I found them again when we were a couple waves from the start line.

At about 7:25 we finally got across the start, and I ended up running with Brenna for the first couple of miles. She really set the pace for my entire race! I settled into a comfortable pace. I was so surprised at how fast I was maintaining, and I figured I could keep this pace for the entire race. I did, too.

It was around mile 3 I was keeping a keen eye out for porta-potties. It was a bit rough, since all the ones I saw had long long long lines. At mile 4.5 ish, where the turn around at Loyola was, my dear friend Tess was there to cheer me along! She was surely the only one awake to do so. I got some belated text-cheers after the race from some friends who didn’t realize how early races start. It was cute, indeed.

I’m not sure when I started using my Gu, but it was pretty early. I decided to fuel myself really well for this race since I was undertrained. I think I made it through 6 Gu for the entire race. Call it a lot, but I burn upwards of 1,000 calories in an hour. I’ve checked. It’s not the standard “100 kcal per mile” for me. I also wanted the caffeine that was in a few of them.

I kept zipping along St. Charles, grabbing water and gatorade when I wanted it. Someone accidentally spilled their water on me and I was startled! It was strange. When I turned off St. Charles, around mile 7, the relay exchange was coming up. And there was the sweet sweet site of 4 porta-potties with only 1 person waiting! I peed really quick, and then I was off running again! There was a guy with a huge Chicago flag around mile 8! That was cool!

Turning into the quarter onto Decatur, I felt really good. And then I found Claire, who was awesome cheerleader lady! She has mad picture-taking-while-running-backward skills! She took the best running photo of me, too. Actually a bunch of them.

Going onto Esplanade and out of the quarter, in the last 5K, my knee started to tell me that I was indeed undertrained. My pace slowed a little bit, but I kept with it. I had one last Gu at mile 11. At this point Jason found me, I forgot his real name, and I didn’t realize it until I called him Justin. Whooooops. That was a bit after the race though. I still feel really stupid about that name mix up. I’m usually really good about names. I think it was just the miles.

At the half/full split, I playfully toyed with the idea of keeping onto the full, just to see how far I could get, and then my rational brain kicked in and said it was stupid. I definitely agree. I made it around the New Orleans Museum of Art, and then I was in the final straightaway. I didn’t have the same overwhelming relief that I did on my first half, but I was still happy to see the finish line. Some random dude cheered me on (“go Jazz! Come on!”) ( I was wearing my Jazz half shirt) (They call me...Jazz)(Cause I’m so cool).

I sped up for the end. I made stupid faces at the cameras--all of which went unnoticed, since there aren’t finish line picture of me. I made it across the line with a finish time of 2:37:35, which if you didn’t hear, was a super PR for me! Nearly 20 minutes down from the Jazz half! Absolutely crazy.

I got shuttled through the finish line recovery area. I got a pretty medal! And I got water, fruit, CHOCOLATE MILK <3, marathon bar (it was protein-full), and a space blanket! I got a space blanket of my very own! It’s out of this world!

The space blanket, paired with my marathon designated bib, had magical properties. Among them was the ability to elicit “congratulations” from marathoners that actually did the marathon. I think this is in part due to the fact that if I had actually run what my bib said in the time it took me to run the half, I would be one freaky quick lady. I had to take off my bib cause I couldn’t handle it. I felt like I was lying.

I cheered at mile 25 with the rest of the internet. We cheered everyone.

Eventually, when we were all done, we took the shuttles back to the start. I rode my bike home. I attempted sleep. I ate everything.
I’m going to attribute a lot of my success with this race to the internet. I also think there’s something to riding my bike right before. I warmed up my cardio system really well! And Gu. There is something to be said for that sticky stuff.

Thanks for a great weekend, y’all.
Until next time.
Love, Trish.

[Originally publish on my tumblr on March 7, 2012]