On Sunday, February 2, 2014, I completed my 3rd marathon. Here’s the recap below!
A few weeks before the marathon, RnR Nola held a photo contest for King and Queen of RnR New Orleans and I was fortunate enough to win Queen!
We traveled down to New Orleans on Saturday and met up with my husband’s sister who was also running the marathon on Sunday. By the time we arrived, found somewhere to park and walked over, it was later in the afternoon and the Expo was getting close to shutting down.
After checking out all the great booths at the Expo, we headed out to go eat an early dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in New Orleans, Dragos.
We headed back to our hotel after dinner and started prepping our gear and our minds for the next day. I was actually more nervous about speaking on stage in front of everyone than I was about running the marathon. We were, however, getting a little concerned about the forecast of rain and high humidity – not exactly ideal conditions but it is what it is.
I was up at 4am (4AM!!) – not my typical wake up time on race mornings but since I had to be on stage by 6:15, I knew I’d better get started early. For someone that usually doesn’t head out to a race so early, I was really surprised at the tons of people that were already migrating towards the staging area. As soon as we got to the starting line/stage, I nervously made my way onto the stage and stood aside as they made their various announcements. I did remember to take a few pics from the stage while I waited!
Everything on stage went well and went by pretty fast. Before I knew it, I was gathering up my belongings and Jason and I were headed over to the VIP tent.
We made our way over to our corrals and got ready to tackle 26.2 miles for a 3rd time.
I was really trying to think positive and focus but in the back of my mind, I knew how bad my Plantar Fasciitis was hurting. It had gotten better in the weeks before the marathon. In fact, I was convinced that I was on the upswing and was doing much better. I was running consecutive longer runs with no pain (and that was a huge deal). But…the day before the marathon, my foot was in horrible pain. I tried to think positive. I tried to visualize myself running with no pain. I did everything I knew to do but it didn’t work. My plan was to run 2:30 and walk for 1:00. Every step hurt whether I was running or walking and I knew I was in trouble after the first mile but I tried to keep a positive attitude. I really wanted to get a PR from the year before but I knew that the weather and my foot were working against me. I had a pace band on my wrist and was very excited to see that was I on pace for the first several miles of the race. As my foot began to hurt me more, I began to notice my pace slipping a little bit. First, it was only a minute, then 3 mins, then 5 and soon 10. After that, I knew my goal wasn’t a PR but a finish. I cried a lot during this marathon. Honestly, I think I cried more this time than during my 1st. At about mile 18, I had the privilege of seeing my husband on the course. He was on mile 21 and was a sight for sore eyes!! I’m sure I ran a little faster when I had him in my sight. He reached out his hand and took mine and gave me a quick kiss. It definitely carried me through those difficult miles on the hilly bridges.
As I mentioned earlier, the weather was crazy that day! It was humid, rainy at times and super foggy out by the river. I’ve never run in thick fog like that and it was very cool! When we ran past Jackson Square, it was eery to see only silhouettes of the statue and cathedral.
Out of 3 marathons, this one was my slowest but I didn’t give up and I finished. My official time was 5:56:40. All things considered, I’ll take it.
Besides the weather and foot problems, RnR Nola lived up to our expectations, as always. You can count on a well-organized race, lots of great music, crowd support like crazy and of course, awesome medals!
By the way, yesterday was my 4th Runniversary! (This post was supposed to have gone up then – along with a run of 4 miles but a stomach bug decided to ruin all the fun.) Last year, I posted a recap of my running story that you can read here, if I haven’t bored you to tears already. 🙂
I also have an awesome giveaway going on with some great pages that you definitely don’t want to miss out on!! Click the picture and make sure you get your name in there for a chance to win!!
Good luck and Happy Running!