I had signed up for NOLA a month after Chicago in-spite of my husband’s reluctance. I was running this not to race for a perfect time, but I was running it to prove to myself that I was mentally stronger than my “wall” at 8-12miles at Chicago.
Expo and Pre-Race
I was still nervous, but gave myself permission to be nervous quietly instead of freaking out ‘OMG, I’m doing a marathon again and what if … !!’ (if that makes any sense). And that nervousness manifested itself in the form of obsessing whether to wear a singlet or a short sleeve shirt; and wondering what skirt I should wear; etc, things in general you know that are super super important to a marathon 🙂
|Barry ready to take on his first Marathon|
|Carbo-loading breakfast of Beignets at Cafe Du Monde|
|Good thing I had prepped up everything at home in ATL.|
When we started, I had expected the first mile to be slightly faster just because of the crowd and adrenaline. I thought we were going slow but at the first mile marker the Garmin read 12:15(!!) and I was a good 20 paces behind Barbara, Olga, Barry and Michelle. I gave up trying to keep with them or even to yell and get their attention and also moved to run on the dirt by the tram tracks on the road divider. I saw Meghan blaze by before my mind could even register her and Yvette gave me a shout out.
love how natural and easy I am in this photo. No stress
After we passed Café Du Monde at about 10miles, briefly wondering if beingnets could substitute a Gu, the road got progressively worse. Am I to keep my eyes on the ground watching for pitfalls or keep my eyes in front and plan to weave around people? A tad too much to think about while running a marathon, IMO. When the split for the half and full came at 12 miles, I gave a huge sigh of relief that I had gotten through my Chicago nemesis point (although it really was 10-15F cooler than Chicago). And … I was still feeling good.
The lake path was beautiful, hot and direct sun, but the wind (66F and 14mph as weather.com told me) made it feel not as bad.
The first turnaround on the route wasn’t that bad, but the next one – just WHERE was it??! Finally I thought I spotted it, but it was a d$#% f$#%$#@ traffic circle and there were TWO bridges beyond it. TWO!!! I told a race volunteer that this was NOT mentioned in the elevation chart and that I wanted my money back.
Barry’s photo of this stretch captures miles 17-22 perfectly – lonely, hot, and no end in sight.
I was still running, but frowning more than smiling; forcing myself to smile since that seemed to make the pukeys feel better. And so reached mile 23, but there was no water station nearby and I told myself that there was no way I was puking without water nearby. Plus chocolate milk at the end would taste yucky if I puked now.
W.T. F – Where’s The Finish
Why did Phideppiddis have to run to announce the victory? Couldn’t they find him a spare horse? Did he stop to puke?
Guru is right, I am completely bonkers. I am NOT doing this thing again.
Is that couple really holding hands and running, let me get nearer and see. Aww, Lovebirds!
Why doesn’t Chicago allow race number transfers? Because I know one number that is going to go waste and tons of people who missed out.
Are those girls really running dressed as matching zebras? Let me catch up and see. Why yes they are! Zebra Tshirts and Zebra tu-tus. How cute! But I still want to puke some.
So many people missed out on Chicago. I stole a spot from someone.
How come I have a Gu left on my belt? Did I not take them as I was supposed to? Let me count where I took them – 4, 8, 12, … what comes after 12??
THE Finish Line
The band is giving someone a huge drum roll and telling bystanders to applaud. Oh my, that was for me!
And how many benches can I count on this side now?
Hey look the photographer, the photographer! Smile, smile!
And another one! Smile some more.
|Congrats to Barry – First Time Marathoner!!|
I bet I didn’t stop talking for the next hour or 5. Celebration time that night as we met up with the Mississippi crowd for dinner and beignets and then saw all the amazing Reds partying the night away J
Post Race Analysis
When I look back at my splits – I love how it worked out perfectly with a great last 10k time inspite of that mess in my tummy and head. I ran exactly as I had trained, and with the same conservative pace I had trained in (the race pace was conservative, not the training pace). So this was more of the usual training run with 5.2 extra miles added in.
And 2 days later, while I still remember those pukey miles and sometimes feel that I do not want to run even a single mile ever again, I’m already looking to see how I can bring down 5:46 to 5:30 (which I feel is doable with some concentrated training, confidence and a decent race day like Sunday). But thats another post for another day 🙂
Perhaps because my goals were conservative and not an all-out, I had a great experience and learnt to trust my body in being able to maintain and then pickup towards the end – just like I had trained it to.
Traveling down and rooming with similar minded people was a fabulous experience. Having an entire group come down to do the half after running 50k in mud the day before – a great booster and put things in perspective. And being able to share Barry’s experience with his first marathon was great (I do feel bad about going ahead at the split though; I was on autopilot and was zoned out on so many things that morning).
There was good crowd support and a huge crowd for the first half and of course, the other Get Fit people. I was on my own for the second half, but I was prepared for that and did not freak out even when the sun was blazing.
|These girls had some amazing enthusiasm on the half route|
|This girl was there before the half split when I took the picture AND
towards the end when I told her ‘I AM about to do some epic shit’ 🙂
|Running underneath felt – … weird|
|They were the only cheering squad I saw on the lonely stretch along the lake.|
Right now …. I am too exhausted to think beyond (unlike Chicago when I was itching to sign up for another one right then). Chicago is 8 months out and Philly is 9.5 months out.
In another 2 months, when Chicago training starts, I am sure I’ll started pestering the coaches with more questions and more planning. I guess the good thing is I expect to fully regain my insane mind after a couple months of break.
Until then – Stretching, Swimming and getting back into some basic Strength Training.
And of course some TLC to my husband and kidlets who put up with this craziness.