Monday, March 5, 2012

Rock and Roll Marathon: Recap

Two words:  Personal Record

Yeah so it was a relay and I only did 7.5 miles...
Yeah my partner, Ian, ran the remaining 5.6 mile in a little under an hour...
DubyaWife & Co.

But that means I did a half-marathon in less than 3 hours...
My pacing sub 12 minute miles which means... I was rocking it compared to the injured knee I was pushing through at The Louisiana Marathon.

Let me put it this way...
it felt good.
really good.

This was a good run. And damn I needed it.

I forgot my phone and my partner ran "techy" naked too, so we really don't know our time (and it seems the website doesn't track, RnR?) But we know it was sub 3 hours.  And that was my goal.

I'm sore this morning, slight knee (IT Band) pain, but nothing I haven't dealt with when I've pushed myself in normal running.  Today's DOMS feels right.  It feels like I should feel after running that much.  I'm proud of myself.  And that's something I couldn't say after last month's half-marathon.

There were over 22K registrants for this event, which meant it was huge.  Unfortunately due to scheduling my partner and I couldn't make the expo, so I can't comment about that.  The corral line up and starting line were very well done.  Corral's were numbered and labeled, starting horns starting a minute or so behind each other.  Seemed organized.  

I ran at a steady pace, the route was all new to me, I knew to expect some knee issues but to push through them.  Around 5K, I began leap-frogging another relay gal on the route and she jokingly said, "We'll be doing this all morning..." So I said, "Wanna pace together?" She agreed and we were off. We chatted the whole time, we ran til we needed to take a walk break, and we got to know each other.  I didn't get Ariel's info after I left (she's from Natchez and runs with Fat Mama's Tamales running group), but if she ever happens to read my blog - Thanks.  :)

Mai drumstick!
The route was unusually straight.  Down St. Charles and back for my part and my partner had a brief stint in the quarter and then was straight down Esplanade to ending in City Park... I wasn't too fond of the straight aways.  I mean this is New Orleans, the streets are crazy, wtf, RnR?

The bands weren't as numerous and rocking as I had imagined (I guess I have high expectations). Many of them weren't playing and or not there when we started, and others (like the guy with bongos) were just strange.  This is the city of jazz, where's the music?  wtf, RnR?

The crowd was FANTASTIC!  Lots of great signs ("It's ok to poop your pants!" & "Chuck Norris approves!") They yelled and screamed and cheered and there were plenty along the route.
Finisher's medal
After my baton hand off (which went really well and was organized nicely, I thought), and I got my medal, I grabbed some water, and Ariel & I set off to find the shuttle to the finish line which we were told was "right around the corner"....

...after a mile of walking... we found it.  We get on and the driver starts going towards Slidell (the 610) and I'm going wtf... poor unfortunate people on the bus are oblivious, cause not everyone is from nola. He then finds an exit to get back on I10 West, and ends up missing the City Park Ave exit and finds us turning around in a neighborhood (7 point bus U-turn) and trying to find a route back... wtf, RnR?

...this took an hour... I missed my partner's finish. :-(

He got the finisher's medal with the beads and pretty logo, I got the regular ribbon.  How'd I get stuck doing the LONG part and GET ripped on the medal... wtf, RnR?

We met up at gear check and then decided to head to the medical tent to get checked out for our aches and pains, do a little stretching in front of the bandstand, then head to the shuttle (we were hankering for cheeseburgers). (Sorry I missed the #RunLA and Claim Your Journey peeps.. we tried to find you!)

We started limping walking around to find the shuttles and couldn't locate them, even with all the signage.  After about an hour of walking around, we found an info booth that told us they were "behind the bandstand"... hmmm how convenient... wtf, RnR?

We finally get there and it's a sea of angry humanity.  Imagine grumpy spectators and smelly racers all in one big heap of people.  The bus loading was SLOW to say the least, and I'm honestly surprised there wasn't a riot.  It took forever to get on a bus to get back to the starting line and my partner and I knew we still had some walking to do after that.

Why a race would put the start and finish so far away from each other, I'll never understand.  I guess the parking in nola is more convenient downtown and the space for a "finish line party" is better at City Park, but DAMN... they knew they had to transport 22K or more people back to hotels, cars, etc. and the execution was minimal, at best., RnR?

Once we got to the starting line, it was another mile of limping walking to our car and then another hour of driving back home.  We stopped at Sonic on the way and ate the best meal I've ever had in my life.  Seriously.  I will never have better chili cheese fries in my life as I did then.  They were heavenly.

I foam rolled, stretched, and napped.

I think I have a running problem
Overall, I probably won't do an RnR over again unless bribed talked into it.  It's funny that in all the "national" races I've done (i.e. Play Dirty and RnR), I've always had issues (planning) and in the local ones, they are always very well organized (i.e. The Louisiana Marathon and Red Carpet Race).  It's unfortunate though that my better PRs are at the national races.

Perhaps one day I'll have an amazing PR and a well organized race.  When that day happens the sky will open up with rainbows and moonbeams.  Unicorns will appear showering us with pink cupcake poops and pixies will dance through the air. ;-)

Regardless, I'm holding my head high today (and popping Advil for the aches). It felt good to be racing again, it felt good to PR, it just felt good. Keep running, LA.

Get Mean. Twisted Evil Make a Decision. Exclamation Choose Health! Cool

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