I had mentally prepared myself to suffer the first three miles. I knew it would take about three to warm up – the temperature when we arrived at the race start line was 33 degrees, but it did warm up quickly. My toes were cold, my hands were like ice, and I only wore what I knew I would wear crossing the finish line. There would be no throwing the clothes on the side of the road for me.
The first three miles are also the most boring. There’s nothing to look at, really, until Mile 2. I had a great playlist set up, though. I figured we’d run around an 11-minute mile, so I had three songs that averaged around 11 minutes total, knowing that on the third song, we should be hitting the next mile marker shortly. It really helped the race to go by quickly and keep my mental state up.
Kelsey’s knee started acting up around Mile 2 or 4, I think, but she kept on running like it didn’t hurt at all. My ankle gave me a few issues, but around Mile 8, my feet were on fire, and my quads were killing me, so, no, I didn’t notice my ankle that much.
By Mile 4, I was feeling happy. We were making great time, the sun was warming all of us up, and my songs were starting to get awesome. I arranged my songs based on what I estimated my mental state to be. I listened to Maino’s “Here Comes Trouble” (the clean version) twice sometime between Miles 6-9. I knew Miles 6-10 would be my hardest because I would be hurting and knowing that I had around halfway to go. I had Ke$ha (I hate her lyrics, love her music because it’s fantastic running music), Lady Gaga, Hillsong, Jesus Culture, and some of last year’s Super Bowl songs, “Heart of the City” and “Black and Gold Super Bowl,” to keep my mood up.
Around Mile 5, though, I realized something: A bad part of nature was calling.
For about a mile and a half, I debated whether or not I wanted to waste time for a potty break. I decided that I could suffer through because I wanted a good time. However, by Mile 7, I was DYING, and I informed Kelsey that I needed a potty break.
One problem: No *(^&%^& port-a-potty around.
I felt absolutely miserable. Then, like a gold-colored halo, I saw it: Burger King.
I raced inside as Kelsey, sweet Kelsey, waited outside. Both stalls were occupied. And not by racers – by customers.
I wanted to bang on the doors and tell them to hurry the heck up and did they know I was MAJORLY pressed for time? About 30 seconds after I entered, four other runners came in, too, but I had the first stall pick.
The lady in Stall No. 2 barely made it out before I barreled inside, took care of business, washed my hands (because, yes, despite the fact that I’m racing, I still washed my hands…didn’t dry, though), and rushed back out.
I’m guessing we lost somewhere between 4-6 minutes on that, which really ticks me off, but I couldn’t wait. I would have died.
Our husbands at this time were having a delicious breakfast. Mine ate some kind of crab omelet with brie cheese. Yes, I was jealous. When we hit a 10k, Kyle got an automatic text saying that we had made it that far. He and Dustin, Kelsey’s husband, were near the Mile 8 marker, so they decided to surprise us and cheer us as we went by.
It was so wonderful to see them cheering for us as we passed by. It really pumped us up that much more. Unfortunately for Kyle, he had told Dustin moments earlier, “Watch this. She’ll come by and give me a kiss.” As I passed, he motioned me over.
I, who had Glitter turned up fairly loudly, knew I had already wasted time at the BK, so I “apparently” yelled, “I can’t! I had to take a poo!”
To which Kyle immediately turned bright red, as there were probably around 200 people who heard about my bowel moment. Me? I had no shame.
Also around Mile 8, we passed three fairly buff looking early-twentysomethings who were walking. As we passed by, I heard them say, “We may have to walk the rest of the way. I can’t handle this.”
Hehehehe. I might have bounced my next few steps.
Around Miles 6-9, we passed up Café du Monde in the French Quarter, went down Decatur Street and around the French Market, and my music was blaring. Men in red dresses (there’s an annual race in New Orleans for the American Heart Association where the men wear red dresses) handed us water. People who just wanted to watch the race offered beer and king cake. Some people took it; I wondered if they threw up a few miles later.
I felt a little tired from Mile 9 to 10, but once we hit that 11, I had my second wind.