My race rocked.
My second half-marathon, which again was the New Orleans Rock and Roll Half, was 20 minutes faster than last year’s. I attribute this much faster time to having run a year and a half now instead of just six months, as before; knowing what to expect; and training better because of that knowledge. Instead of running one 10-mile route once before the halfie, we ran two, just to be safe. We ran more, we ran harder, and our time showed our resilience.
We seriously carbo-loaded the whole day before. For breakfast, I had an omelet with hash browns and toast; lunch consisted of Juan’s Flying Burrito’s blackened redfish tacos; and dinner was an early helping of Reginelli’s ham pizza and pita chips with hummus. I know what you’re thinking – no New Orleans cuisine while down south? Nah. (Though I did stop at PJ’s Coffee for a pound bag of their King Cake coffee – it was a must have, ha!)
Lights were out at 8:30 p.m. Seriously. I tried to sleep, but sleep was hard to come by. The night before, I had a nightmare about missing the race, so the night before the race, I rolled over my poor half-asleep husband to check the time because I had woken wide awake and just knew it was time to get up.
It was 12:20 a.m.
|6:15 a.m. "mug shots"|
I tossed and turned all night, but I did get some decent sleep. We awoke at 5:16 a.m., four minutes before the alarm clocks (yes, that’s plural) went off. I took my time to dress, having neatly placed everything out the night before. At 5:45 a.m., we were on our way to meet Kelsey and Dustin, whose sister literally lives across from the starting point.
We were about .3 miles away at 5:54 a.m. when we realized this was going to be a bigger hassle than anticipated.
Of course, everything was blocked off. Seventeen thousand runners were trying to get to this one location. A cop motioned us over and tried to get us to go the other way, and we insisted that we were simply “visiting” a friend of ours who lived at 123 Local Drive (we actually did give her address and name, though I covered up my racing shorts with my jacket). “No, we’re visiting our friend. She lives right over there,” we insisted. And the cop told us another route to take, which was about a three-mile loop around St. Charles Street, which included some dudes rolling down their window and asking us if we knew where “Sheenay’s” was. Nope. Did they know how to get to Annunciation Street? Of course not.
|Freezing before the race -- 6:45 a.m.|
We finally made it there and to an outstanding parking space at 6:15 a.m. Race started at 7 a.m., and, yes, the race officials *might* have asked us to be there at 6 a.m., but after freezing my booty off for about two hours last year, I decided against arriving too early this year. We arrived there around 6:40 a.m. and found a couple of people we knew who had also driven down for the race.
Kelsey’s husband and mine waited for us at our corral until a little after 7 a.m. The race starts in waves, so we didn’t start running until 7:21 a.m. according to my watch.
I flipped on my pink Shuffle, affectionately named Glitter, and let Crash Kings’ “Mountain Man” begin my race.