Race day is finally here! Resting, icing, biofreeze, and naproxen might have paid off because my knee was feeling limber when I woke up. B, me and H stretched a little before walking the mile to race start.
Pre race photo
Mile walk to the start was breezy. One thing about downtown New Orleans is that the tall buildings block out the sun, so you're constantly in shade. Knowing that the weather was going to be sunny and mid sixties, I decided to brave it with just my tank and athletic skirt. This was my first time wearing an athletic skirt (all others were running skirts therefore I wore my own compression shorts underneath them, whereas the athletic skirts have them built in) and just by walking around it was falling down. Literally every minute I was having to pull it up- I desperately hoped that when I ran it would stay on due to movement.
Finally get to the start line and us three girls depart to our own corrals. I was originally in corral 8, but decided to start in 9 since I knew I wouldn't go out as fast.
While waiting around for our corral to be able to approach the start line I found out my Ipod shuffle won't play. Apparently it never charged over night- decided to use my phone for music and just hold it (we'll see how long this lasts)
Finally we get called up and the gun goes off. I feel great for about 30 seconds and then the pain in my right knee kicked in. Seriously?!?! I tried to push through it, but gave in and started walking at 3:45. I felt so stupid having to walk so early in the race as people are breezing by, plus this is going to take me FOREVER to finish if I walk the whole thing. To add to my frustration, my stupid skirt had to be readjusted every minute or so, AGH!!! I had no idea there would be such a difference b/n having briefs vs. built in compression shorts.
On a more positive note, my yurbud earphones were staying in place as promised, AND I looked around and noticed I wasn't the only one walking!! Its been awhile since I've run a race of this size (about 30k), so I forgot there would be a lot of people doing the Galloway method. Since it doesn't hurt at all for me to walk, I figured I'd walk for a min or 2, then run for a few min, and go back to walking and repeat. When I hit mile 1 it was 10:18, although thats a slower time for my normal mileage, I was stoked that I could potentially pull off this whole walk / run routine the whole race. After I finished my 2nd mile I was so excited I texted both my parents- dorky I know, but they were worried about me actually trying to run, thus causing further injury.
My mom texting me throughout the race + people cheering "you go girl" when they read my shirt kept me moving on. As time went on the running part got easier and I was able to go longer before walking to give my knee a rest. Around mile 7 something happened inside my knee. I could run fine, and I could walk fine, however when I would try to do the transition from walking to start back up running again the pain was intolerable. It felt as though something was 'caught' and it took almost a full min of me 'hobble running' before it loosened up and I got full function of me knee again- strange. Because of this i tried much harder to see if I could run a whole mile without walking- pain while running is much easier to deal with than the walk to run transition. Due to my slower pace- I was able to enjoy the whole experience of the race vs. just the running part. The weather was perfect, so many happy spectators, runners in great costumes, even talked to a few people along the way. The race was actually going by quickly, and once mile 10 hit I saw there was a possibility to run around the 2:10 range (originally I was planning around 2:30). Unfortunately miles 11 and 12 were 2 of my slowest miles- wear and tear was finally getting to me and the terrain was actually getting worse (guess thats what happens when you're below sea level). As soon as there was the last 1.1 left to go I decided no more stopping and to just give it my all so I can finish. The last 1/2 mile was breathtaking- made all the pain and love of running worth it. As I picked up the pace going through the chute to finally see the finish line in view I was overwhelmed with a great feeling of accomplishment. Although I've run 7 half marathons prior to this one, this was the first time where I ran for me- to prove I can do it despite being injured. Some people may say I was stupid to put my body through it and I could have further injured it (which is true), but it wasn't until this race that my true love for running and seeing what I can accomplish shone through.
After crossing the finish line and waiting in line for my picture, I called my mom so excited that I finished.
My official time was 2:11:00- I find it awesome that I ran faster in this race injured that I did for Women's 1/2 back in september when I was just starting out- goes to show how in a few short months I've transformed into a stronger runner!
Shortly after I finished, B found me stretching and we decided to bask in the sun and walk around while waiting for Heidi to finish.
Even strangers were cheering me on!!After asking around I found a tent to get my knee wrapped in ice- wrapped it so hard I couldn't walk- which was ever more painful!
Wasn't in the mood for beer but thought it was a cool pic
The best pic we could get of us- I think the guy we asked to take the photo was on something.
Guy wanted to take a photo of my knee
Heidi finished (her first 1/2) all of us after we're done
We grab a shuttle back toward our hotel- bus driver got lost and what should have been a short trip turned into quite the opposite. Finally make it back to our hotel and we are STARVING. Game plan was to eat lunch downstairs at hotel restaurant, Cafe Luke hot tub it, nap, then get ready for our dinner reservations. Apparently it is encouraged to have reservations at Cafe Luke, and since there were now 5 of us (Heidi's college friend Maggie came in the day before) we ended up waiting 1 hour before we were sat- oh and the best part is that we had to stand the whole time- ugh. We were already annoyed by the time we were shown to our table and it took literally an hour from the time we sat down till the time our food came. Our waiter was incompetent and when it came time for the bill I told him how to split it- even said "I'm by myself, thats the green card, the couple is the grey card, and the two girls together have the orange card"- naturally he screwed that up and I got charged for Mike and Beccas meal and he charged them for mine- although it was 2.5x more than what my meal was, I didn't bother having him fix it because they covered meals earlier so it wasn't a big deal- more so annoyed that the waiter couldn't follow simple instructions. <off my soap box>
Our whole lunch extravaganza took 3 hours, we hot tubbed, rested, then made our way to our dinner reservations at Emeril's NOLA.
The ambiance was great, the service staff was super friendly and funny, and the drinks/ food were right on par- definitely made up for a crappy lunch (although it was delicious)
drinks before dinner
The gang- B, Me, Mike, Maggie, Heidi @ NOLA
Just the ladies
After dinner we were wiped. Heidi and Maggie left to go dancing- Me, B, and M went to go back to hotel and got entranced by a cool looking gazebo bar so stopped in for a drink then got to hotel. We all were so sleepy I think we passed out around 11 or so.
Up early again the next day, grabbed some coffee from PJs, then hit the road back to Nashville. Great but exhausting trip. Happy to be getting closer to double digit states, and now time to rest until Disney's Princess 1/2 at the end of the month!