Secondly, this was my first "girls trip" and I have to admit I was a bit anxious. It's been a looong time since I'd been to a slumber party and I didn't know what to expect. Sweet Deleica, who got us all together to race this one, did a fantastic job in getting a very nice hotel room close to the race start and finish, as well as to downtown so we could walk every where we wanted to.
Thirdly, this is the first race, and a half marathon at that, that I did without Kent at my side at the end. All in all, I was a little bit on edge until each thing was checked off the list. As these happened, I became more relaxed. That is, when we woke up the next morning and didn't oversleep, ha!
When we got there, we headed on over to get our race packet and take it to the hotel. Here is a pic of Devon, Serina [who met us there with her family], me and Deleica. We were so disappointed in our shirts. Oh, they were nice tech shirts and we liked the design but they HAD to be youth sizes!!! Not a single person could come close to fitting into their shirts and that's AFTER we had asked for a larger size. This was pathetic, to say the least. I really felt sorry for Devon, the one on the left, as this was her first half marathon and now she will not get to enjoy wearing her shirt.
After this, we hit the streets...well...maybe that's not the proper word for New Orleans; but we did start out walking from the hotel, down several streets, through the French Quarter [where we partook of wonderful Beignets-you've GOT to have some of those when you go to NOLA] and on to getting dinner. We ate at Mulate's where we were entertained by an eccentric band using instruments that people used over 50 years ago, like an accordian, washboard and a kazoo type thing.
I got a grilled chicken po-boy. Just couldn't see going to NOLA and not getting some of their fantastic bread!! I am NOT a bread eater but I can't resist theirs. I really kinda worried about the eating the night before the race. I mean I stick with pasta in every long race I've done. As a matter of fact, I'm just now getting to where I'm loosening up on this "rule" when it comes to 5k's. Hoping I didn't overload on protein and cause any stomach ills during the race, I rested in what was going to happen was going to happen. And, it was really, really good. Here is a pic of my meal. Doesn't it look delish?? Devon and Deleica's pic follows. They got blackened fish and it looked good, too.
We tried to sleep but as with most runners, sleep usually evades you when you need it most. But when you get up for the day, the butterflies start fluttering. I loved that our names were on our race bibs. We dressed in costume, too.
As the race started, I focused on my own race and tried to keep an eye on my pace. I was so afraid I was going to start out too fast and peter out at the end. I felt so good...the best I'd felt for a race in a very long time. I noticed off and on that my pace was faster than it should be and I "tried" to slow down; but again, I really felt good and thought I'd run my race as I felt with some caution on my speed. The course was really pretty and I enjoyed every bit of it. The roads were not the NOLA roads I was familiar with in past races. These were nice and, yes, there was construction off and on throughout. Photographers were all along the route taking pics. Though I was sent the link to mine, I couldn't get them copied to put them on my blog...ugh! [Well, I don't take good pics anyhow.] Anyway, I had begun to pick up my speed at the 10-11 miles and as I got to the 12th, I sped up a little more. I came up to the 13th mile and knew I only had .10 to go. Then, I saw the clock in the distance. I felt great and looked at the clock; I had gotten a PR!!!! Oh, my!! I had not expected to see that.
When I got something to eat, I sat down and looked at my watch again thinking that I had mis-looked at the numbers. With my phone in one hand, dialing Kent as fast as I could, I couldn't believe that this had really happened. I was almost hyperventilating, I was so excited...really! I thought I had beat my PR by a lot more at first; but...I STILL had a PR by 53 seconds!!! That's almost a minute and I had about decided that I wouldn't get another PR in a half marathon...that I had peaked. Well, here's my info: http://www.jazzhalf.com/results/2012/half-marathon?first_name_op=starts&first_name=Robbie&last_name_op=starts&last_name=Headrick&division= I, also, came in 9th out of 43 ladies in MY age group alone. That is a great thing by itself in such a big race. There were 2083 runners and I came in 1078th. There were lots to eat after the race: chicken/sausage pasta, chili dogs, Blue Bell ice cream and drink. The only thing I thought was unusual was I saw NO fruit at the end of the race.
This was an amazing race and weekend to say the least. Thoroughly enjoyed being with the girls, great food and nice race festivities and I worried over nothing. I left so stoked I was probably intolerable to be around, ha! I loved every exciting, unnerving moment. One thing I learned from this half that I will take with me in the future is that always do your long runs as scheduled even if you have to/need/or do walk some. The time on your legs will make them strong and all of this WILL pay off in the end. And, second, to keep a positive attitude. Do NOT let a single negative thought enter your mind that you don't have a postive one to replace it with before it takes root. I never would have believed it, but I do now. So, if you're thinking you're not prepared but yet you've done as your program says, have faith in your training, keep your head up and nurse a positive attitude. It will pay off. After all, not everyone can run 13 miles!! Now, go
Run 4 It