My mom and I were at it again last weekend, running another race in a new place! This time around it was New Orleans for the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon. After training through the winter, I was so ready to head down south and run in warm weather!
The trip did pose a bit of a challenge for me pre-race as it seemed like there was a new drink or dish to try around every corner! A friend of mine at Tulane was running the race too so I stayed with her Friday night and we had some authentic southern cuisine – alligator cheesecake anyone?! New Orleans has so much character and spunk, it was impossible not to indulge. And when I say indulge, I mean having 3 beignets the day before the race….carbo loading right?!
Race day morning we woke up and checked our phones, 64 degrees an hour before the start! YAY! I rolled out of the comfy hotel bed and put on my running shorts and tank. The race start was only a few blocks from our hotel so we finished our pre-race breakfast (Zone bar for me, banana for mom) and followed the other runners toward the festivities. It was cloudy, foggy, and a bit misty – perfect running weather!
The beginning of the course was an out-and-back, running uptown toward Tulane and then back downtown, before making our way to the finish at City Park. It was a great race, with bands playing music at about every mile or so (a trademark of Rock ‘n Roll races) and fantastic scenery. My mom and I ran together for the first 7 miles or so before losing one another at a water station; we were on our own! I was feeling good, but knew I could pick up the pace a little bit, so I had my chocolate GU at mile 8 and made a push for the finish. I kept visualizing the 3 beignets I had the day before converting to energy in my body and making me go faster – whatever works right?! I motored on to the finish line with a time of 1:56:47, average pace 8:55 min/mile!
Rock ‘n Roll NOLA 1/2 Marathon: Tara Tested, Mother-Daughter Approved! This was my first big race in a city and I loved it. The music, the spectators, and the course were all great! Everything was very organized and well put-together, we were never lost or confused. I will be running a full marathon some day (date TBD) and would definitely consider a Rock ‘n Roll race – so much fun and energy! We couldn’t have picked a greater location either – New Orleans is fantastic. Can’t wait to go back! Next up – Wrightsville Beach 1/2 Marathon in North Carolina in March! Let the training continue…