On February 2nd, I ran my 19th (WOW…19!!) half marathon at the Rock & Roll New Orleans Marathon. I finished with an official time of 2:51:45 (a time that is neither my fastest nor slowest).
The weekend started with my flight to New Orleans and getting to our hotel. Once my friend and I checked our bags into our hotel, we took to the streets of the French Quarter to find lunch and go to the expo.
Picking up our packets
I made the mistake of keeping my flip-flops on while we were walking around and by the time we returned to our room after packet pick up, I was feeling the twinge of my runners’ knee. I immediately switched to my sneakers for our walk to find dinner.
In line for dinner at Coop's Place
Walking around Jackson Square
The next morning, we dressed and walked to the starting line to check our bags and await the start of the race. We were in Corral 13 so we had to wait awhile to cross the starting line. Once we did, we wished each other luck and set out to conquer 13.1 miles.
Up early & ready to run!
Almost to the starting line!
I started running with a little more effort than my comfortable pace requires just like I have done before on my faster runs (about 11:00-11:15 per mile). When I got to the first mile marker, I looked at my watch and saw 11:35. I was so confused by this because my effort level usually produces a faster pace than that. I honestly thought the mile marker was off.
I continued running at the same pace/effort level and continued to feel like I was not getting anywhere fast. This should have been my first clue that this might not be my PR race.
When I got to about mile 8, I started to feel uneasiness in my stomach. I was able to focus elsewhere for the next couple of miles but had to stop around mile 10 and walk. I was hoping that the walking would calm my stomach but it did not and I found myself on the potty watching my PR tick by.
Luckly, I felt better after that but when I tried running again, my left knee (same knee as the night before) was hurting and angry with me so walking it was. However, I did manage to run most of the last mile and across the finish line
2 finishers on the bus back to our hotel! Yay us!
Looking at my splits, I basically lost my race in the last 5K. I probably would not of PRed but I would have had a time close to my current PR if it weren’t for the potty break and the walking.
Looking back, I definitely feel that all the walking the day before (especially in flip-flops) caused me to start my race on already tired legs and a mad knee. The tummy issues are still a mystery. I have never had that happen before and I did my best to eat pretty basic the day before and morning of the race.
I am not mad or upset at the outcome because it was a learning experience and the tummy thing was out of my control. Besides all of that, I really enjoyed spending time with my good friend that I had not seen in about 2 years and I was able to explore a city I have never been to and those are priceless experiences.