Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Halfie No. 3

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.

Corral 15
 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!
* 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. 


Brooke said...

very nice!!!! :) i concur on that speed-demon assessment!

Mari said...

Woohoo! I'm so proud of you!

misti said...

Holy crap. That is what we call beastmode.

Judging by your pattern here, I think you're due for a sub 2 hour time next go-round! ;)

Sommer said...

i so admire that you've run multiple halfies!!! i get inspired until my lungs start to burn and i start seeing stars after one mile and then i give up...right now, the fact that i commute 45 minutes each way to work is my excuse for sitting on my fat rump. oh but i do walk about 8 blocks to get to my office though!

Tara said...

Y'all are basically rock stars, you know that, right?

Also, I can tell that y'all are real runners by the bright shades of shorts...

And, I always fail the word verfication on the first try. Sometimes the second too. Perhaps I am a robot.

SusanD said...

You are a speed demon!!! Rock it!

Lisa said...

Awesome!! Those are marked improvements year to year! I've never, ever had sleeping issues (almost to a fault, like when I needed to get up with infants at night) but then I've run most of my life, too...never really considered the connection before.

Love the "worst parade" sign.

Ah...this makes me want to do another.