On Sunday morning I ran my first race of the year. I was in New Orleans in 2012 for the marathon and this time I ran the half marathon. I left Saturday morning along with my two sisters and my nephew. Lola wanted to join us but had to stay at home. She was definitely missed.
Time to hydrate at the airport. Seriously, Contigo water bottles are the best.
Once in New Orleans, I went to the expo to pick up my bib. I was in there for 20 minutes. My goal was not to buy anything. Mission accomplished! I was tempted to sign up again for next year. I mean, $50 is seriously a great deal.
This little park was next to our hotel.
Later I met a few friends for lunch. I was so hungry because I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast early in the morning in Chicago. We went to Pierre Maspero’s and I had a beer along with Fettuccine Alfredo with Blackened Shrimp. It was delicious. Then we went to a couple of bars to check out the music and to drink. Well, I did not drink but my friends did. I did see the cutest cat.
For dinner I had made plans to meet with Rebecca. I met her in 2013 in San Diego when she ran the full and I the half marathon. My goal was to finish before her and indeed I did. 🙂 She is so much faster than me and her race began 30 minutes before mine. I did not meet her for dinner because I had a late lunch but I did see her after the race.
Race day. I had coffee and a waffle at the hotel.
As for the weather, it was perfect!
For some reason I thought the race started at 7am (that was the start time for the 10k) so I left the hotel at 6:30 since I still had to use the bathroom and check in my gear. I then found out that it started at 7:30. Oh well. I looked for Rebecca and Sam but I did not see them. I did see Jaime and a few minutes later it was time to go.
When I began training for this race, my goal was to finish under 2 hours (Goal A). Let’s say I had bad and good runs throughout this training period. However, I did have great runs during the month of February. I was confident but was still prepared for Goal B which was to finish under 2:17. That is my PR from 2013 and I came so close to it last year.
I was feeling great till about mile 6. That is when my legs began to hurt. They felt tired too. I took an ibuprofen and stopped at the medical tent for some of that pain spray (cannot remember what it is called). None of that worked for me and I ran/walked the rest of the way. I was disappointed. The weather was great. It was a flat course. Some parts of the route was sunny but for the most part it was all shade and it was WONDERFUL. I did not understand why I could not pick up the pace. By mile 10 I was around 1:46 and with some quick math I figured that I could still PR as long as I ran the rest of the miles at 10:30. That did not happen. My last 3 miles were done at 12:00, 11:36, and 11:51.
All this time the marathon and half marathon runners were running the same course but it was time to split up around mile 12.5. By then I just wanted to be done. There were people giving jello shots and you bet I took one. Why not? I was almost one.
Official finish time is 2:24:26. Done with race #138 and half marathon #63. I am disappointed with how my race went on Sunday. I know I should be happy that I finished the race and that I ran another half marathon (and I am). However, I can’t help it knowing that I trained for this race for months and then for it not to go as I expected.
My coach told me “Shake it off. It’s not a reflection of your hard work or self worth”. So true. I am not giving up. I still have a few more half marathons this year and I know I will get my sub 2 this year.
Next race is the Live Grit 10 Miler on March 19.