Rock-n-Roll Marathon: Part 1

First things first…. I have the best husband ever! Even if he did share his cold before the marathon and then got me massively sick after, he’s still the best.  I’ll explain why in a minute.  Now that I’ve left you all hanging almost the entire week for this recap, here is the first 1/2 of the race for your viewing pleasure… {Apologies for breaking it up; it would have been death by words if I hadn’t.}

Sunday started off with a leisurely wake-up call of 5:46 am.  Waaahoooo, I got to sleep in!!


I’m used to being up around 4am on race day but we were only two blocks from the starting line so why not sleep in, right? {I realize that 5:46 is a random time to wake up; I don’t like getting up on even numbers. Weird, I know.}  I fully expected to experience some sort of nerves when I got up but I was remarkably jitter free.

My running girls and I got ready, stretched, and attempted to eat some breakfast but wasn’t really feeling it. The pizza from the night before left my tummy slightly unsettled (I totally went against everything I talked about with how to properly carbo-load); luckily Lorena had some Pepto. Problem solved.

Since we were running the full marathon we went ahead and checked out of the hotel that way we wouldn’t feel rushed after the race.  Then we headed to the starting line.  It was about 6:45 by the time we got there; the race started at 7. Whoops, maybe I shouldn’t have slept in after all.

Hooray for a gorgeous sunrise!

Hooray for a gorgeous sunrise!

I saw this guy before the race and chatted with him for a minute. He was doing the ½ marathon in full gear; about 150 extra pounds. I actually remembered him from last year’s ½ marathon; although, last year he had two other guys with him.

FirefighterI shook his hand, thanked him for his service and wished him luck.  Then I was off to scope out the portopottie situation. The lines were extra long and decided that I wouldn’t make it to the start on time if I waited.  So I skipped it. Bad idea! When you start a race with the urge to pee it only gets worse once you start running. My running girls had VIP potty passes from Brooks (yes, I was jealous) so while they used the nice, heated potties with running water, I spent a few minutes jogging to loosen up the muscles.

My lovely running girls.

My lovely running girls.

My time goals for this race were kind of three-fold.  My gimme goal was to beat 4:30 (I had zero doubt I could do that), my ‘I’ll be happy with’ goal was 4:22, but my ultimate goal was to get into the 4:teens.  However, with being sick the week prior, I wasn’t sure I could break into the teens.  I wrote several of the splits for a 4:17 finish on my arm just to give me an idea of how I was doing during the race.

As we were walking to the corral, we heard the National Anthem being sung.  This meant the elites were a few minutes from taking off.  I was supposed to be in corral 9 but ended up squishing (like a sardine) into corral 10.

I dug the guy's superhero cape.

I dug the guy’s superhero cape.

Before I knew it we had moved up to the starting line.  I really love the way that Rock-n-Roll starts their races in waves verses everyone starting all at once.  And then we were off!

It's hard to see but that's the starting line.

It’s hard to see but that’s the starting line.

Or so I thought.  At .36 miles into the race I almost plowed over a person walking. WTH?!? I was so irritated.  I don’t have a problem with people walking races but be polite – don’t get into a corral where people are trying to run.

Things went swimmingly well after that little hiccup and a little bit after mile 2 I noticed the race motorcyclists on the other side of the road.  This meant that the elites had made the first out and back turn.  Talk about starstruck! I got to see Olympian Mo Farrah tearing up the pavement; he would later win the race and set a new course record of 60:59.  Maybe 5 or so minutes after watching Mo run by, Shalane Flanagan appeared followed by Kara Goucher. I (along with lots of others) was cheering like crazy for them! I heard a girl behind me ask why everyone was yelling and I thought to myself ‘because we just saw three Olympians!’

Right before mile 4 I decided it was time for a potty break.  My logic that I could quickly get in and out of the potty failed me and I got stuck waiting for 4 minutes.  That may not seem like much but, trust me, it was an eternity! I watched the time on my Garmin creep up  and I was so upset knowing that it’s almost impossible to ‘make-up’ lost time in a marathon.

Miles 4-9 were uneventful except for rolling my ankle twice (and I would do it one more time later on in the race) on the uneven pavement. I fueled up with some awesome Huma Chia Energy Gel and I felt amazing; I had set my cruise control at a comfortable 9:35 pace.  The bands had been entertaining and the cheer squads were great.

Mile 10 took us through the French Quarter and had us pass by Café Du Monde home of ahhhhmazing beignets.  I joked to someone about stopping and getting one to go.

For those of you not familiar with beignets, feast your eyes on these babies.  This picture was from a different trip to NOLA but you get the idea.

For those of you not familiar with beignets, feast your eyes on these babies. This picture was from a different trip to NOLA but you get the idea.

Right after Café Du Monde I heard a guy yell my name; I looked and it was my husband!! He had been terribly sick all week so when I left Saturday I left knowing that he wasn’t going to be there.  Talk about surprised! (This is why he’s the best husband ever.) I gave him a quick kiss and kept running {and smiling}.

race pic #1
At mile 11.5 some well meaning volunteer shouted what he thought was an encouraging ‘you’re almost there’ only to be dumbstruck when I yelled back ‘Nice try. I still have 15 miles left.’  I’m hoping that he didn’t try to encourage anybody else with ‘you’re almost there’.  There’s nothing worse, IMO, than hearing that during a race.

Before I knew it, it was mile 12.5(ish) and it was time for the marathoners to break away while the ½ marathoners went in for their finish.  Last year, this race was my very first ½ marathon and I remember watching the marathoners split, I had such envy watching them that I swore that I would come back next year and do the marathon. Mission accomplished!

And this is where I leave you hanging until tomorrow… I didn’t want to overwhelm y’all with such a lengthy recap so I figured I’d break it into two parts.

Question: Don’t you hate it when bloggers break their recaps into part 1 and part 2?  Forgive me??


45 thoughts on “Rock-n-Roll Marathon: Part 1

    • I know, he’s a total trooper!! It was in the 60s so I know he got horribly hot. I didn’t get to see him on the course this year since I started ahead of him but I just the instant feelings of patriotism and respect when I saw him and the American flag on the course last. Truly humbling.

  1. That’s awesome that your husband surprised you! I can’t wait to hear more!

    Also, totally agree with you on the “you’re almost there” thing. If you say that to me, I better be like five feet from the finish line.

    • Right?!? I better be entering the finisher’s chute or at least within eyesight of it for someone to say that. It’s truly cringe worthy. But at the same time I feel bad about fussing over it because those people are so sweet to be out there in the first place.

    • Luckily for me I’ve sprained my ankles (particularly my left one) so many times since I’ve been alive that my tendons and ligaments are pretty stretched out. One doc likened it to stretching out the plastic rings on a 6 pack of soda; the rings go back to ‘normal’ but not their original state. It hurt, but I forgot about it a few minutes after it happened. I’m like Gumby.

    • Haha, I {now} feel bad for fussing at the guy. He was totally well intentioned and didn’t have to be out there cheering us on. But hearing it during the race is just such a buzz kill.

  2. HOLY SHIT, excuse my excitement but that man in the superhero outfit, almost known as marathon man….WAS AT THE EXACT SAME RACE I RAN LIKE…A WEEK AND a half ago!? I’m in awe and confused at the same time. I KNOW IT’S THE SAME GUY TOO, HE HAS an Australian accent and was in front of me in line for the potty. He was just in Washington…what a trooper! Ok I’m calming down..but seriously that’s crazy.

    • Right?? I don’t mind walkers at all, I love that they’re out there doing their thing – just don’t do it in fast corral. As far as your slow comment, one thing that I’ve learned is that slow is a relative term. To someone else you are a speed demon!

    • They are!! I always feel badly afterwards for getting aggravated because they are always well intentioned comments and the people don’t have to be out there at all. Next time I think I might take a sign with me that says “No, I’m not almost there!” and hold it up during the run.

  3. Pingback: Rock-n-Roll Marathon: Part 2 | Noshing On Asphalt

  4. I wanted beignets so bad!! Love them! :0) That’s pretty awesome of your husband to come out and cheer you on while not feeling well!! Love the first half…no on to the second! :0)

  5. What??? You started in corral 10? That’s where I started! After your text we just stayed in corral 10 with my friend’s hubby instead of fighting the crowds to get back to 15. I can’t believe I didn’t see you…ok well I guess I was crowded lol! I LOVED seeing Mo pass by..he was soooo fast! Unfortunately I missed Shalane and Kara because I was talking. Headed to read the second part of your recap! 🙂

    • I wish I had known!! I had changed my corral the day before to 9 but when I got there late I literally had to squish through the iron bar barriers. I think I’ll be a contortionist in my next life! It was so packed in there that I actually couldn’t find my friend I was going to run with; I spent the next 19 miles looking for her.

  6. So awesome you got to see some olympians compete in that race! What is a Brooks VIP pass? Are they brooks ambassadors or something? Sounds like a great thing to have to avoid the long potty lines!

    • It was truly amazing what them run! The VIP potty passes are for people who spend $100 or more on Brooks merchandise. Both of my friends got new shoes which definitely put them over the $100 mark. It’s really cool because they actually have concierge who open the door for you, hand you a towel (because the potty is equipped with running water & soap) and then you get a little mint when you leave. I got the pass last year; it’s a pretty sweet setup!

  7. Pingback: February #GoalGetter2013 Checkin | Noshing On Asphalt

  8. How awesome that you were running with Olympians?! That had to feel amazing to be a part of that! 🙂
    Can’t wait to read the rest, and hope you’re feeling better!!

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