RnR New Orleans Recap (My first half!)


February 25, 2013 by toheaveninahooptie

Hello, half marathon runner speaking. 🙂 As a newly dubbed half marathon runner, you can call me lead legs because that’s what’s going on over here.

Today we woke up at 5:30, walked to the start (about a 10 minute walk), stretched, checked my bag, then got in the corral (for an estimated 2:10 finish) and before I knew it, we were running shuffling along for the first mile until the pack thinned out (which it never exactly did.) The race was so much more crowded than I expected- 16,000 runners makes for some tight spaces! The first mile was something like a 14 minutes because it really was that crowded. Even with the crowds, it was an awesome race and an addictive experience. (addictive as in I already have future races in mind ;))

Five minutes before the start! (At 6AM you don't realize things like pictures being too blurry)

Five minutes before the start! (At 6AM you don’t realize things like pictures being too blurry)

My dad ran ahead of me after the first mile which, I must say, I didn’t really expect. It turned out for the best because he ended up running an awesome race and was much faster than me, but I was a little bummed to begin with. I was surprised that I was running much slower than I had anticipated at the height of my training, but after my “baby-injury” with my achilles, I was okay with taking it easy. I kept telling myself not to get hung up on pace and remember that today would be a PDR no matter how fast I ran. I was itching to bolt and run the race I had hoped for, but my body just wasn’t having it. After the first 5 or 6 miles I fell into the run and stopped getting hung up on pace. I ran until I stopped thinking- once I got to this point I began really enjoying the race! 🙂

I took a Gu at mile 5ish, bathroom break at mile 6 (that I really didn’t need and that ate up about 10 minutes…), and another Gu at mile 9. They gave out free Gu of all flavors at mile 9 and being the curious little free-loader I am, I grabbed the fun looking flavors that I want to try in the future and stashed them in my bra. Um, bad idea. The $5 it would cost to buy the flavors would be worth the cuts I got from the bra Gu! I was all cut up and sweating into my cuts-NOT a pleasant experience for the last 4 miles.

OUCH! (PS it was really hard to take this picture for obvious reasons)

OUCH! (PS it was really hard to take this picture for obvious reasons)

Mandarin orange and Strawberry Banana better be damn good flavors.

Anyway, BREAKING -GOOD- NEWS!! When I crossed the finish line, I thought my time was 2:38:48 because that’s what the clock said. (I didn’t have a watch time since my watch screwed up in inexplicable ways) I sort of felt extremely-very-alot-tremendously embarrassed that I finished nearly 40 minutes slower than projected, but check out these (official) apples:



Aw yeah, aw yeah. Well, rollin’ with the good things, the post-race party thing was fantastic. I got water, chocolate milk, and a banana in the chute literally 5 seconds after finishing. (I didn’t eat them until about 20 minutes later on account of I was still coming off of Gu stomach and probably would have thrown up)

.5 seconds after the finish line- he didn't run with me but I was beaming with happiness that he waited for me at the finish!

.5 seconds after the finish line- he didn’t run with me but I was beaming with happiness that he waited for me at the finish!

Maybe this one is better? No? Okay.

Maybe this one is better? No? Okay.

IMG_6254[1]Oh and I’ve discovered the two most important recovery tools, listed below in order of importance:

1. BEERpreferably the free variety that they gave out to not-quite-21-year -olds

preferably the free variety that they gave out to not-quite-21-year -olds

2. Flip flopsmy socks began chafing and changing into these babies was sweet relief

2. Flip flops
my socks began chafing and changing into these babies was sweet relief


Now for the things that will be helpful for future comparison:

1. Breakfast: english muffin with pb and a banana (no coffee)

2. Dinner the night before: Pasta with tomato sauce and an ocean of water

3. Sleep: 11:30PM-5:30AM

4. Previous preparation: late night the Friday night before, no running for two days before, last long run was 9 rough miles, minor achilles injury

5. Recovery: 3 mile walk from the finish back to the condo (yes, seriously. I wanted to kill), ice bath, ibuprofen, and chocolate milk/banana/power bar


Now for the ushy-gushy: I love running. I love it. I love waking up early in anticipation of a race, I love logging miles of a long run on lead legs, I love bracing my face as I slide into an ice bath, I love carb loading, I love surprising myself, I love making process and testing myself, I love that running gives you a constant place to improve; always a future to do better. The finish line for RNR New Orleans was in City Park, where many of my away meets were during Cross Country. It was in these meets that I first saw people throwing up, having muscle cramps, and falling out all for the sake of running. It was in this park that I first saw the passion for the sport of running alive in the gritted faces of the hell-bent runners. It was here that I first raced and learned the thrill of it, and it was here that I finished my first half; a long set goal that required the same hard work and commitment that I gave to Cross Country.

Walking back from the finish line, I realized that we were walking on the exact course that I ran for Cross Country. Usually things like this don’t mean much to me, but for this I got sappy about it. It’s like my running is building on tradition and keeping itself going. This got me to thinking, and I’ve realized that (at least for the time being), I don’t want to give up running. I want to keep this little “phase” alive and see how far it can take me and what I can surprise myself by accomplishing. I’ve got a couple races in my mind, so stay tuned 🙂

What was your first half/marathon like? Any advice?

Recovery beer or no?

Do you have any weird pre-race/recovery methods?





2 thoughts on “RnR New Orleans Recap (My first half!)

  1. […] first time in over a week, had beautiful weather, and was really excited about running again after the half. Clearly nothing could go wrong, […]

  2. […] not actually lazy) today since I’m taking today off as a rest day (after yesterday’s half marathon), so I decided to look into what lazy actually is because if you know the why, sometimes you can […]

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Time Machine Blog Edition

February 2013
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Hannah who?



Hey, I'm Hannah! I'm 18 and a senior at an all girl's high school in Baton Rouge. I plan on joining the Navy and fulfilling my dreams to live in different places- hopefully leading me to the University of Colorado in Boulder to become a nurse. I love working out, running, and having a generally healthy lifestyle with the added dash of "wait I'm still a teenager so this is a good idea." I'm a vegetarian and eat a mostly plant based hippy foods. My life is as hectic and hormone rich as any other teenage girl, although I'd like to say that I add a couple miles and some extra spunk to the mix while skimping on the drama. Welcome to the show, and thank you for reading my blog!

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