2016.059-060: Rollin’, Rollin’, Rock ‘N’ Rollin’ on the River

Hello, hello! Happy Leap Day!

I had a wonderful weekend in New Orleans! Technically, it was more like a wonderful day in New Orleans, but regardless of duration, it was indeed wonderful.

I started the weekend off with an easy 4 mile run Saturday morning and then mom and I got a quick walk for coffee before we left to head to NOLA. We loaded up and dropped Brookser off at the Dog Ranch Resort. We had to get a road trip selfie before we left and Brooks jumped on the opportunity to give mom and big ‘ole kiss! He got her good.

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Our hotel wasn’t quite ready when we got there, so we went straight to the expo. We stayed at the Omni Riverfront Hotel. The location couldn’t have been better. We were only a couple of blocks from the expo and a couple of blocks from the start line, and we were right across from the Riverwalk Market. There was a cruise ship docked right outside of our window.

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The expo was fairly crowded and we were there for quite a while. We ran into Larisa and some of the other Crescent City Classic blogger crew right when we walked in! It was really cool to get to meet some of them before the race, which is coming up in a few short weeks! We had a little mini photo shoot in the lobby of the Convention Center. A couple of us even ended up doing interviews with Rock ‘N’ Roll media team.

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I picked up my bib and we did a little bit of shopping. I love race expos! I think that basically boils down to the fact that I really just love running gear and there are large quantities of running gear at race expos and therefore, I love race expos.

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We ended up heading straight to dinner after we left the expo. We met Rebecca, her mom, Savannah and one of Rebecca’s friends, Meggan (who won the marathon this year!), for dinner at Drago’s. We ate fairly early because we are all wanting to get back to get back and get a decent night’s rest before the race. We forgot to get a picture at dinner, which is a major bummer (and a major blogger fail).

I slept great and woke up bright and early Sunday morning ready to run. I fueled up with some coffee and UCAN and was good to go. The race started at 7:30. I left the hotel around 6:45 to get a 2 mile warm up in and have time to get into the corral for the start. I think I mentioned this before, but I had an “elite” bib for this race. I didn’t really think too much about it until we went to line up at the start. The elite runners have their own corral, and for some reason, I was really hesitant to go into the elite corral. I didn’t feel like I “belonged” in the elite start (even though I qualified to be there) and I was also worried that if I started with them, I would go out too fast (which I tend to do if left to my own devices, without any other outside influences anyway). Bottom line is that there was a lot of doubt floating around in my head. Ultimately, I decided to just go for it and start with the elite group. I promised myself that I wouldn’t start too fast.

I didn’t! I think this is the most consistently paced race that I have ever run. My splits were: 6:33, 6:33, 6:31, 6:29, 6:33, 6:31, 6:29, 6:40, 6:30, 6:38, 6:32, 6:29, 6:25, 1:08 (for the last .2 (side note: I really need to work on running the tangents a little bit better)). I finished in 1:25:59 (barely squeaked under 1:26!) for 9th female. This isn’t a PR, but I am very happy with the time! I ran smart and I felt really, really good (i.e., strong and healthy).

The course is amazing. It’s really flat and really fun! The start is at the corner of Camp and Poydras. You run down St. Charles for about four miles and then you turn around and come back, before weaving over to Magazine and Tchoupitoulas. You turn onto N. Peters around mile nine, run through the French Quarter (by Jackson Square and Cafe Du Monde), before turning onto Esplanade Avenue. You stay on Esplanade for the last three miles of the race and finish in City Park. 

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Lower Alabama was very well represented at the race. We were all over the place! I absolutely loved seeing so many familiar, friendly faces along the course! Once I settled into my pace, I pretty much ran with the same group of 3-5 runners the rest of the way. There was one man that decided to draft off run with me. He stayed on my left shoulder from mile 5 on. His goal was to go under 1:26. I told him that if he stayed with me, I would make sure that he met his goal.

I felt really good at mile 11 and I knew that we only had two miles to go, so I picked it up a little bit. There was a man running in a banana costume that had been about 100 yards in front of us the whole way. There was no way that I was going to let banana-man beat me, so at mile 11 I decided that it was time to go catch the banana. Thankfully I caught him and passed him. There was a decent gap between the 8th and 9th place girls, so I didn’t really have any other people to chase, but by golly I caught the banana.

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How someone could run ~ 6:30 pace wearing something like that is beyond me. I told him great job as I passed!

Mom met me at the finish line and we walked over to do some spectating around mile 15 of the full marathon course. We saw several friends run by. I ran a few cool down miles with Rebecca as she passed and then headed back to meet mom. We caught a bus back to the French Quarter and walked around a little bit.

Check out the awesome finisher’s medal this year. It’s the St. Louis Cathedral, which overlooks Jackson Square. We walked over and got a picture with the Cathedral in the background.

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After that we hit up Cafe Du Monde for some coffee and beignets. I knew Daniel would be really excited if I brought him home some beignets … He was! He spent the weekend at home with his family, loving on our new niece.

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We wandered around on the Riverwalk for a while and enjoyed the beautiful weather. I was singing Creedence Clearwater Revival in my head the whole time. Rollin. Rollin. {Rock ‘N’} Rollin on the River.

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Daniel beat us home and when I got out of the car, we discovered that we were #twinning in our “Home T” shirts. That was definitely not planned! Great minds think alike I guess ❀ I had a great time in New Orleans, but it is so good to be. HOME. Y’ALL.

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Congratulations to everyone who raced this weekend! I have really been enjoying seeing all of the posts from NOLA and Seaside.

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11 thoughts on “2016.059-060: Rollin’, Rollin’, Rock ‘N’ Rollin’ on the River

  1. Congrats on a great race! I loved the course and the crowd support was really awesome.
    Good job on beating the guy in the banana suit. I had my own personal race (way further back in the pack!) with a guy in a crawfish suit.

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  2. I am bummed I missed you at the race. I was supposed to go to dinner with Rebecca too but missed it because I had a late lunch and was not hungry at dinner time. I did see Rebecca after the race. Also, I looked for you both on the course but then found out later that you both did not have the outfits I thought you would be in. πŸ™‚

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    1. Dang! I hate we missed you! We didn’t get into town until kind of late Saturday afternoon and so after the race we headed to the French Quarter to at least soak up a little bit of NOLA before we headed home!

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  3. very cool πŸ™‚ All those places that we’ve visited- makes me want to go back there to visit my husband’s family and also fit in a race! this is so cool πŸ™‚ and awesome job on your race!!!!!!

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