Running · Sport

Races in New Places, NOLA Edition

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?!

Beignets!
Beignets at Cafe du Monde

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!

TIP: when phone-less (as I was here), ask a stranger with an smart phone to take your picture and text it to you, worked like a charm for us!
TIP: when phone-less (as we were), ask a stranger with an smart phone to take your picture and text it to you, worked like a charm!

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…

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