New Orleans Rock & Roll Half Marathon Race Report
After reading through Teamagee’s archives and some of his race recaps, the bar has been set high. Maybe I will get that in-depth and informative for my next race recap. :)
Since I sprained my ankle 4 weeks before this race and then stressed it by doing the Pasadena Half, I just wanted to take this race easy and hope to finish. As late as Friday night, I thought I might not run at all. For some reason my foot was really hurting on Friday and I had some bad dreams.
Luckily, by race day I felt fine, and I wanted to run with Cindy and not try for any particular time. I had my recent PR and so I just wanted to have fun. I do almost 100% of my training runs by myself (well, with Darcy, but she is not a great conversationalist), so it is a real treat to run with someone else.
My pace in Pasadena with Robb was 10:35, and our pace in New Orleans was 12:10, but I have to be honest… it did not feel any easier at the time. I think the heat and humidity must have played a role, because Pasadena had some hills, but NOLA was flat. The one big difference is that I was very sore after Pasadena, but actually not sore at all after NOLA. Which answered my question - which is worse, running faster with more effort, or more slowly but for a longer period.
I thought the race was well-organized. I have now run 3 Rock and Roll 1/2 marathons (San Diego 2011, Pasadena, and NOLA), and I have been really pleased with each one. The races are pricey, so I expect a lot. One thing I noticed being further back in NOLA was that the volunteers were having trouble keeping up filling the cups, and at the Gu station they seemed to be running out of Gu. During the 2nd half of the race, I usually grabbed 3 cups at each aid station because they were only filling them about 1/4 full. No biggie.
We ran most of the way with a few brief walk breaks. I like to take walk breaks, but I have realized that I do better when I don’t. Any stiffness building up intensifies when I’m walking, and I find it harder to restart. I am going to try to eliminate walk breaks on my training runs.
As far as the course, I thought it was great. We ran through some lovely neighborhoods. The only thing that sucked was the roads! Oh my gosh that Southern US thing where they mix gravel and random pebbles into the asphalt is horrible! And I thought L.A. roads were bad!
Anyway, that’s my race recap. The weekend itself was so much more than the race. Maybe I’ll write about that at some point, too.