This was my 4th time to run Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans, and we were so blessed with amazing weather! I know the year before it was muggy and humid, so I was preparing for the worst and was pleasantly surprised! Low of mid 40’s at the start (very windy!) But sunny and high of 65 for the day. Perfect! We ran in the 50’s the whole race, but let me backtrack.
We set our alarms for 5:15 in hopes to be out the door at 6:15. We had to walk over a half mile to get to the Hilton which is where the VIP breakfast was being held (more on that later).
My tutu was made my Lesley, I love the beads!
It was dark, and cold, and very windy! Luckily we were checking gear bags so I was able to wear a jacket as we walked.
We ate breakfast, checked our bags, and waited until the last possible minute to head out into the cold. The race was starting at 7:30, so at 7:15 we began our short walk to the corrals.
There was no one checking bibs at the corral entrances so people from almost every corral were jumping into ours and we could barely squeeze in. Def. something I hope they change in the future.
We only had to wait about 3 minutes before the National anthem was sung and the first corral was off!
We slowly moved up until it was our turn.
We started out slow, and I quickly warmed up like I knew I would. I had no idea what to expect from this race. I had only done one 10 miler and one 12 miler since having the baby, so I was just aiming to have fun and get a general idea of where my fitness level was.
We left the French quarter and headed into the garden district with the big beautiful houses.
The miles were ticking by and I was trying to keep a steady pace. I wasn’t pushing too hard because I didn’t want to blow up at the end.
Somewhere around mile 4.5ish, the leaders passed going the other way, and other runners slowly began to trickle past going in the opposite direction.
We soon found the turnaround…and my hip started to ache. This was not good because 1.) It was so early in the race and 2.) I had already taken tylenol, so it was apparently hurting badly if the tylenol wasn’t even helping anymore. I have had IT band and hip bursitis issues on and off for years. I took really good care of my knee the week leading up to the race. I ran a fast for me 5 miler the Monday before and had zero pain anywhere, so why was my hip hurting before mile 5? Then it hit me. The stupid terrible roads! They were bad yall. People all around us were tripping and catching themselves. They were so uneven, so many potholes, it was difficult to run, and I think that may have had something to do with the hip issue. I trudged on, looking for people I knew going the other way. There was a section where we passed runners right next to us.
We passed a couple of bands, and my hip pain got worse and was changing up my gait.
We made it back to the French quarter, and there was a fuel stop. I had already taken one around mile 5, but I took another and also took some more tylenol. I must say, despite the hip pain, I was still having fun. The miles were ticking by fairly quickly and the weather was just perfect.
We passed the relay point for those running in teams, and just kept on trucking along.
As we headed back into the heart of the city, we passed the lulu cheer crew, which made me think about some of the other really funny signs we saw…none of which I can remember now. Whoops!
Good morning New Orleans!
By this time we were around mile 9-10ish, and I remembered a stretch I used to do to help with my hip pain a couple of years ago. Bobby stopped to go to the bathroom and said he would catch up to me, so I pulled off to the side to stretch. I crossed my ankle over the top of my other knee and squatted into a sitting position and could feel the immediate pull and stretch on my hip. It hurt but felt good at the same time, and gave me a couple of tenths of way less painful running.
This would begin the pattern for the rest of the race, and is when my pace slowed because of all the stopping to stretch. However, doing this every so often helped me to finish so I’m not complaining!
We passed the French market, and made a turn only tree lined Esplanade.
For those wondering, the Mississippi River is on the right, behind that big wall.
The final two miles of the race I really began to struggle. I was reaching my threshold and was pushing myself a bit more and it was getting harder to keep pace as I hobbled along.
Fake it till you make it right?
I kept reminding myself I JUST had a baby four months yesterday, and at least I was out here trying, and that there would be better races.
Just keep swimming…almost there!
My breathing was getting more labored, but I was ok because I knew how close we were.
I could see the art museum in the distance and knew he finish line was just behind it. But not before some King cake and jello shots, right?
I stopped and stretched again, right before a final push to the finish.
My hip was throbbing, but I was about to get to stop, wahoo!I could see mile 13 up ahead, almost there!
Finish line. Finish line, Finnish line.
2:27. I wanted 2:20, but I’ll take it considering the hip issues. It definitely slowed me down, but I am still proud of myself. It gives me a base to work off of and gave me the confidence I needed to keep going with future races. After having to take over 5 months off completely from running during pregnancy and starting from scratch run walking one mile after delivery, I will definitely take it. I now know I really need to focus on stretching, rolling, and strengthening my hip and butt muscles. The good news: my knee held up great!
A huge thanks to my wonderful husband who is way faster than me for running along side of me, taking pictures, and encouraging me. What a trooper! We headed to the VIP tent to enjoy the gorgeous afternoon (more on that later, too!)
Another half in the books. It wasn’t the prettiest, but I am still so proud.
Do you want to run ANY* Rock ‘n Roll race in the US and get $15 off? Enter code LOOKINGGLASS15 at checkout for the discount! Offer INCLUDES Canada!
QOTD: Have you ever been proud of a race that wasn’t your fastest?
*Does not include RnR Vegas