I had signed up for the Jazz Half Marathon a couple of days before the deadline for registration. I’ve mentioned how it’s been a goal of mine since April, and even in spite of that, I was hesitant to run it. Three guys died running a half marathon in Detroit a few weeks ago, so since then I couldn’t help be worried what would happen to me. I mean, I’d been training for the race, I had run TEN MILES with no problems, surely I could run a HALF MARATHON with no issues. I thought about sending a FB message pretty much saying “if something happens to me, tell my story” (REALLY!), but didn’t. I thought about leaving a note in my garage with instructions for divvying up my stuff, but didn’t. Part of me wanted to believe everything would be fine and I would run the HALF MARATHON and come out alive.
I got dropped off before the race about 6:35 am, and the race was supposed to start at 7 am. It was still kind of dark, and a little cold, which was fine because I got to wear my long sleeve Nike compression shirt. I LOVE that shirt. Other than that I wore the same ensemble I wore for the TEN MILE race. I borrowed a pen to fill out the back of my number of my medical history. With that done, I walked over to the start area and waited. I met up with my friend Megan and we shared a fist bump before the race. We were going to do this.
The course was going to go from the Warehouse District, out to Audubon Park, then back. Starting off I wanted to keep a slow pace, and even that was too fast for some people, so I had to do some weaving and passing of people. Once we got onto Poydras, things loosened up. Not that I was trying to run faster, but it was easier to run without a lot of people around me.
Running along St Charles was interesting. They told us not to run on the median, which I remembered, but it was weird to see streetcars passing with the passengers looking out at us. It made me feel good that I was RUNNING down the street while these people were lazily taking public transportation. (BTW that’s a joke) We passed a bunch of restaurants I’ve been to, Loyola, Tulane, then came the big loop through Audubon Park. I had told my parents that I’d like them to come out to see me, and initially my mom told me “it might rain so we might just stay home”. After a couple of days, I finally told them “it would mean a lot to me if y’all would come.” So right before the race turned into the park, there were my folks on the right side of the street. My dad fished his cell phone out and approached closer to get a picture. The result is below:
The loop in the park was along the running/bike path, which was fine, up until we started seeing people out jogging who were not in the race. They didn’t even try to get over. One set of like three guys was jogging against the flow of the race and we had to avoid them. WHAT? Anyway, once we got back out to St Charles, all I had to do was get back to where the race started. There were little kids along the route who were trying to high five people as they passed, so since I was running close to the neutral ground the whole time, I was able to high five almost everyone. I even high fived a kid that was probably 3 or 4 years old, even if I did have to bend down while running.
We got back to the Warehouse district and ran past the D-Day Museum and then finally to South Peters, the final straight away. There was the finish line. I clicked on my powersong (which is The Veil by DCB) and somehow found the strength to finish strong after 13 miles. Once I started speeding up, I kept it up. I passed 4 or 5 people in the final block. It was great! I got my finishers’ medal and found the water. It was over, and for now, I was alive.
I drank water, then found the beer, pizza, jambalaya, fudge bars, smoothies, I ate it all! I realized after I was dropped off that I was going to have to figure out a way to meet up with my sister after the race. I telepathically sent her a message, hoping it would work, and it did! I was walking around in the post race area and there she was! I was still alive!
On the way home we stopped off so I could get three bags of ice so I could sit in my bathtub in my shorts in really cold water. I had gotten the tip from Megan, and had tried it after the TEN MILE run and a 7.5 mile run last weekend. I have gradually gone from one bag to two bags, to yesterday THREE bags. My legs were sore after the run, but after sitting in the ice and then a hot shower, they were fine. They were tired, but they were not sore.
I ran it faster than I thought too. I had run the TEN MILE race in 1:37, so I figured probably 2:15 would be good. Yesterday, according to the racing chip, I ran 2:04. Awesome. They had people at each mile marker with stopwatches who were supposed to be calling out times, but not all of them were. The times I did hear that I remembered, I realized I was running less than 10 minutes per mile, but I didn’t think I’d be able to keep that pace the entire time. I did though. Awesome.