Good news: I apparently broke the jinx on my running partners, because this year’s half-marathon companion didn’t get hurt in the race. Hooray!!
Good news again! Not only did I score an awesome PR, but I also beat my goal of what I wanted to achieve.
|Prep time -- my timing chip, race number, and Gu|
25,000+ individuals signed up for the Rock & Roll: New Orleans half and full marathon. I wore my running clothes to bed (out of necessity more than convenience, as I forgot to bring PJs on the trip…fail) and my running partner, Kari, and I both woke up before our 5:45 a.m. alarm. We slowly got ready, taking our time and even heading downstairs to grab a small breakfast before meeting her mom in the lobby of the hotel.
|Lauren (who ran the full marathon), me and Kari before the race|
We were half a mile from the start point, which was fantastic. Next time when I run this, I want a hotel near the start line. The marathon hosts ask that you arrive at 6 a.m. – a full hour before the race. Well, Rindy and I did that two years ago and arrived at about 5:45 a.m. You know what we did? We froze our booties off in the cold for over an hour. Last year, as Kelsey’s sister-in-law lived right beside the start line, we drove to her apartment around 6 a.m. and headed out at about 6:30 a.m. This year, we got it absolutely perfect: we started walking to the start line at 6:45 a.m.
Here’s the thing the marathon hosts don’t tell you: if you’re a slower runner (like me), you’re not even going to start running until about twenty to thirty minutes after the race begins, since they start in waves. At 7 a.m., the first corral, with the super fast runners, was released. Two minutes later, Corral 2 began to run.
Kari and I were in Corral 15. We started our race at 7:25 a.m.
|The race begins!|
Also, I’d like to add how perfect the weather was for race day. I wore shorts and a T-shirt in 50-degree weather. Beautiful. The week before had been sweltering, and, per Louisiana weather, Nola was freezing the day before the race. I was a little anxious, as I had brought short-sleeved gear to run in, but, again, as Louisiana weather goes, it was a perfect temperature on race day.
The race course itself got on my nerves. The first seven miles were a there-and-back route. We went down St. Charles Street for about three miles and then turned around and came up St. Charles Street. Boo!!! I also disliked that the halfies and full ran the first 12.6 miles together. Here’s the problem: with more than 25,000 people running, despite the corral waves, it’s congested. Kari and I dodged more people than potholes during the St. Charles part of the run. Not cool.
However, there were the usual people lined up all 13.1 miles cheering us on, which I always love. There were these cute little kiddos near Decatur holding out water for us. Kari and I did take the water. Because the kids were so cute!
|Signs Kari's mom made to cheer us on|
And, of course, the signs. My favorites (besides my own, ha!) included:
* Run faster! The Kenyan stubbed his toe!
* Haley! Your cankles can get you there!
* Haley! Your cankles can get you there!
* Worst parade ever.
Oh, and what was my time, you ask? ;) Well, let me divulge the details…
I saw the finish, and, as Kari and I had booked it the entire way, I was overcome with running madness, and I just sprinted toward the end. I can’t wait to see how awful those pictures of me crossing the finish line look. Oh! And I didn’t know where the finish was. I thought about three times I had hit the finish, and I even asked one of the emcees who was calling out encouragement to the runners where the finish was because I thought I’d already passed it. Turns out I hadn’t. I booked it and finished at 2:12:37. With a two-minute potty break.
|Kari's first medal and my third!|
Yeah. My super duper goal was 2:15, but I expected to finish in 2:20. We rocked that thing. Kari finished four seconds after me.
So, let’s breakdown the last three years’ halfie times:
Year 1: 2:49:07.
Year 2: 2:29:00.
Year 3: 2:12:37.
I kind of feel like a speed demon.