Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Rock n' Roll Half Marathon: New Orleans Edition

Half marathon #3

The half marathon is officially my favorite race to run. 

Even though I'm wiped out for the rest of the day...and after about an hour and a half--every time--I seriously question my decisions, I have officially completed 3 half marathons and can now declare that it's my favorite distance to race.

I love the challenge & the satisfaction equally. 

You really have to prepare your body for this one. Not like 5K or 10K. Those are important--and very fun--but if you really had to, you could throw back a few beers the night before and still wake up and perform alright. 

My husband is still convinced I'll do a full marathon, but I'm not so sure. This 13.1 mile deal works pretty well for me.

Checked out the course ahead of time. We followed my old route almost to a tee, through Uptown and the Garden District...and then ended in City Park. You all should know by now my feelings on City Park.

Fellow racers doing the same thing the day before at the Expo, held at the New Orleans Convention Center. 

They literally rolled out a red carpet for runners to walk on for packet pick up. 

Oh the festivities. To quote my husband, "It's like Disney World for runners". 

Yup. Pretty much.

Mirroring the relief spots placed along the course, the fitting rooms were made out of port-a-potties!! 

Can't forget that "free" t-shirt. This one cost $100.

Morning of: The sun had literally just risen (when my husband dropped me off to warm up, it was still dark!).
Really HUGE crowd. You'd think it was the Olympics. 
Speakers booming, people cheering. So awesome.

Finish line. This photo was actually taken the day before the race. My husband plays frisbee golf at the park where the race concluded, and the race organizers were already setting everything up, so he snapped this shot for me.

Soaking wet (mist & light rain the whole time). 
Only slightly sore. 

Extremely proud and, let's be honest: TOTALLY SATISFIED 

To the blind eye, this probably looks just like all of my post-race snapshots...but this one was different...special...at the other end of the camera was my husband. 

He made it out to the finish line--timed it perfectly based on careful research of the course, road closures and my projected finish time--but it was not to be. My speed was obviously too much for him. 
I FLEW over the finish line. He did not see me. I did not see him. 
But he was there. 

I finished in 2 hours and 9 minutes. Two minutes slower than the half I ran in December, but I couldn't care less. I maintained my sub 2:10 goal, so I'm a happy girl.

The HALF makes you work for its affection. 

The HALF calls your bluff right around mile # 3, #8, and, without a doubt, mile #11. Those are the points when you have these fleeting thoughts about what the hell you're doing but then, as quickly as those thoughts came, you're smiling to yourself because you're running a HALF MARATHON, baby. Not everyone can do this... 

Best of all, after you finish a HALF, your crazy ass wants to wake up the next morning and do it again. 

I'm totally signing up for the Jazz Half  in November. 

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