I will start by telling you that I love this race. I loved it last year (my PR race 1:46!!) and since it is so close to where I grew up and it’s in a town I love, I decided to run it every year, even though I have “crossed” LA off of the states to run list. So go ahead and get ready for March 11, 2012, K?
Pre-Race/Heading to the Start
Our hotel was very close to the start, so Allison & I only had to wake up at 5:45. I had my usual bagel (sad to say minus the peanut butter this time) and got dressed. I was nervous to run in a tutu-I try not to run in anything new on race day-but was excited to be in the Mardi Gras spirit! We met Andy, Cameron and several other Atlanta TNT alums (around 20 ran the race!) and took the 10-15 minute walk to the start.
I was originally scheduled to run in Corral 4 but moved back to 5 to run with Andy and Sally (another TNT alum). We also met up with Alma again. I had a goal to stay under 2 hours, but not push myself too hard and everyone with me was working towards something similar. Right before our Corral was starting I saw a camera guy off to the side. He took my pic and then a group one…and turns out we made the pics on the Competitor website for highlights from the race. Too bad my eyes are closed!! And we were off!
My eyes just had to be closed
Andy, Sally, Me at the Start
And we are off!
I was so excited to start that I realized about 1/2 a mile in that I forgot to use my inhaler-I quickly took 2 puffs and was good to go. I managed to keep the mask on for a mile, but after that I was too warm and the feathers were tickling my face
The bands were really good-especially at the beginning-not sure if I just noticed it more or not-but they definitely had my spirits up! There was even a little fist pumping as I ran by. I was also very impressed with the cheer sections-the cheerleaders were very into it. There was one group of “KISS” fans..granted the girls were so young I doubt they know who KISS is but they still rocked it, and I believe won “Best Cheer Section” from RNR.
My favorite part of the first 8 miles was running down Magazine Street. I love this part of New Orleans (and wished I was shopping)! Our group stuck together and talked throughout the race. I had originally planned on listening to my ipod but ended up giving it to my mom when we passed her at mile 5.
The crowd support was great-Andy had on a Mardi Gras hat, I had on my tutu and Sally had on her TNT shirt with her name on it so we received lots of cheers all along the way. Several locals had beer and donuts along the route, and they looked tempting, but I resisted and just kept on trucking.
At the 5K mark-Alma (in white), Andy, Me, Sally
Bro-in-law Chris did a good job catching us in action!
My IT Band didn’t bother me until mile 9. And it wasn’t even that bad-it actually only lasted for 2 miles. My calves/shins actually bothered me more and I think that is because the last 3 miles or so of the course were terrible-you literally have to watch every step you take in order to not hurt yourself. I had not forgotten the potholes and road conditions from last year and the city of New Orleans didn’t do any repaving in 2010 to improve the situation (one can only hope for 2012).
As we rounded the corner to the finish Andy and I decided to kick it up a notch and sprinted towards the finish. 1:54:31. We had the exact same time and managed to have pretty decent negative splits.
I love that the camera people caught all 3 of these (tons more but trying to spare you)
As hard as it was for me to not train for (and run for) a PR (gotta love injuries) I had one of my best, and most fun, runs. It was supposed to be a training run anyway (12 miles on the schedule for Big Sur training) and I did my best to treat it like one. Talking the entire time and still leaving enough to sprint the end was a blast.
After race goodies were great as usual-Rock and Roll Races have plenty of fruit, water, granola bars etc. We all met up, took some pics, got our medals engraved and then lounged in the sun with our post-race beers for a bit.
Ryan, Me, Andy, & Cameron
Me & Alma
Me, Andy, Sally, Alma
We headed back towards the French Quarter after the race and grabbed lunch at the first place we saw. I can’t remember the name…but it was good! A grilled shrimp & avocado poboy. Yum. Then it was back to the hotel for a nap.
Since most of the meals we had weren’t fabulous-we (big group-Ryan, Cameron, Andy, Chris, Allison and myself) scheduled a nice dinner at Dickie Brennans on Sunday night. I had the House Filet–it came with creamed spinach and fried oysters and was unbelievable. We left dinner and headed to Bourbon Street! First stop-Pat O’Brien’s for a Hurricane and the piano bar. We then bar hopped down Bourbon. A very fun way to end a race day.
I obviously love the RNR races. This was my 6th one and like I mentioned before, this specific race will be one I do year after year. I loved it and I love the medal! I can’t decide if I like last years or this one better…I’m already looking forward to seeing what RNR comes up with for next years Mardi Gras bling.
The flat course (elevation gain only 4ft!!)
seeing my family
running with friends
running in costume
RNR (organized, plenty of H2O stops, bands, cheering, pre/post race & expo)
Alma-how cool to meet a fellow blogger & run the race together!!
The pics-I bought all of them
Not So Much:
The quality of the streets
the headliner band (didn’t stay because I didn’t know who they were)
cost of pictures-insanely expensive & I swear went up in price this year
The drive back to Atlanta Monday wasn’t so fun, but the weekend was! My body is still recovering a bit with some minor IT band issues (odd it didn’t hurt at all Sunday night) and I am looking forward to my next race in March, GA Publix 1/2 marathon.