Race Report: Rock N Roll Marathon New Orleans

Listen, this race was so much fun.  Steff literally carried me to the 17th mile of this marathon.  It was hot, it was gorgeous.  It was typical of Rock N Roll events, as in it was over priced and underwhelming.

So, let’s get to it.  Oh and if you to skip all the flim flam, there’s a tl;dr if you scroll all the way down.

I rolled up to New Orleans for the first time ever after fretting over the dumb snow and getting up at 3:45 in the morning.  I tried to take a little nap but I was way too excited to see Steff.  And to eat.  Because of course I was starving.  Since I ran with TnT, I got put in the super nice race hotel.  We had plenty of space for Steff and her friend Jaime, who lives near by,  to stay over before the race.

10926783_10204816104036833_2171287325199072475_o

I took a shower {?} squealed with delight when Steff arrived and I met Jaime and we headed to the expo.

When I got there I realized that TnT had registered me for the half marathon.  After a little bit of hubbub, Rock N Roll upgraded me to the marathon, I collected my shirt, and we were on our way.  Overall, the expo was well organized and all the staff were helpful and kind.  Next, we did what always needs to be done before a marathon.

10943786_10204816104076834_5599126361211576434_o

JUMP!

1507149_10204816100236738_7438150043816620340_n

We had some seriously tasty pre-race food in the French quarter, $1 daquiris, and a little later, some pizza.  We hit the hay early and were up before the sun.

1511088_10204816158638198_8717070136792865570_n

It was too cold in the morning to get there with the type of clothes you need for 62 degrees in full sun.

1779039_10204816100196737_8068512709658350447_n

We waited patiently for our turn to start in corral 7 and, with TURN DOWN FOR WHAT blaring we started my sixth marathon.

Once upon a time, I was training for my first marathon.  There was this man that was always at the track when I was there.  He wore a shirt with this saying for every track workout.

Marathon (noun)

I think of that shirt every time I get past the 14 mile mark.  My back starts to get sore.  And then my tummy starts to hurt.  This time at mile 14, I stopped at Subway to use their bathroom, because I just don’t use portapotties, I also grabbed a soda.  I thought that might perk me up.

10526050_10100314585291075_4216507209044786971_n

We also stopped to get Steff a beer on the course.  The people at this stop were also handing out candy and martinis dressed as Star Wars characters.

We got past the 15 mile mark in the park and I started to need more walk breaks.  Until this point we were averaging around 11:30 which would have put me on track for a major marathon PR.  Of course, I usually go ahead and let myself and everyone down around 17 mile, which is exactly what I did.  Cue the ridiculous crying.  A TnT coach rolled up and asked me who I was running for.  I mentioned Papa Ritchey one of my favorite Leukemia survivors.  The coach then told me, you’re also running for me, I’m a survivor.  That honestly didn’t help with the sobbing at this point.

10644719_10204816100036733_1174069768066212147_o

Thanks guy!

We trotted a few more miles and I told Steff to get a move on, my walking and crying wasn’t getting this marathon finished.  I needed to work a few things out for myself, and I promised I wouldn’t sit.  So I popped in my headphones and headed over a disastrous bridge, right along a lake.  The head winds were a little gross.  The sun was beating down and I could feel myself starting to char.  I was so hot and miserable.  My hips were killing.  It just wasn’t my day.  And friends, that’s what’s real about the marathon.  It’s not always awesome.  It’s definitely not easy.  Sometimes, regardless of how many races you’ve run, how many training miles are on those legs, it’s just not going to go the way you want, the way you expected.  And sometimes it hurts like a motherfucker.

ouch face

I love this photo.  It’s the reality of the marathon.

This might be one of my all time favorite marathon pictures, it’s so real.

Ok so, I was crying hurting and generally feeling bad for myself.  Then I started thinking about the people that helped get me here, all the friends and family that donated and all the people we were helping that might not ever get to run a marathon.  I got some pretzels and gatorade from some TnT coaches and was back in the game.

better face

this photo was taken maybe 20 minutes after that last one near mile 21

As I tried to plow through those last 6 miles, I giggled to myself.  The marathon is such a ridiculous thing.  We put ourselves through emotional and psychical hell to prove to ourselves over and over again that we are stronger than we think.  I run marathons to help end cancer.  I run marathons because they are there to run.  I run them because I like the medals and I like the challenge.  I run marathons because it brings me closer to people, it has brought amazing friends into my life.  Marathons who me what I’m made of every time.  I love running marathons.  Even when I’m baked by the sun, overheated and my hips are aching.  Give my Brooks, a little 2Chainz and I’m ready to go.

OK where was I, oh yeah, then I finished the marathon.

239761_184408459_XLarge

I had met up with a TnT coach who helped get me close the finish line.  Including my friend from before.  After leaping across the finish line, I was pretty stoked to get my medal and be done.  The joy sometimes gets lost in the mania.  But it was there.

insane face

sorry  volun-told kids behind me that i scared half to death.

And that’s what I love about the marathon, you can hit every emotion from crying, to running, to leaping to elated/crazy.  That’s why I will keep coming back.

So, I found Steff, some chocolate milk and my sweet finisher’s jacket.

1622303_10204816101076759_1055015902056467343_o 988472_10204816099996732_5724566432896695767_n

Jaime drove us back to the hotel and the girls headed back to Baton Rogue.  Then I had nachos.  It was amazing.

OK, tl;dr?

  • Steff is an awesome friend and an amazing runner.  I’m so honored to have her as a friend and I couldn’t have done this race without her.
  • Marathons are hard.  They are rewarding.  The pictures are ridiculous and funny {scroll up}.
  • Rock n Roll races are not what they are cracked up to be.  They are expensive, the medals, t-shirts and other swag are just so-so and there is never enough on course entertainment.
  • New Orleans in beautiful in an old kind of way.  It also smells like college.
  • Team in Training is an amazing organization.  Their support is unparalleled on race day.

More on the aftermath of marathon #6 later this week.

Ever been to New Orleans?

14 thoughts on “Race Report: Rock N Roll Marathon New Orleans

  1. chocolaterunnergirl says:

    You are amazing! You are such an inspiration to me…and I hope that when I do a marathon one day you will be there with me…at least at the finish line!

    I have been to New Orleans many times. One of my BFFs lived there. It is a 45 min flight from Houston, so of course I went as often as I could!

    Rock on my friend, rock on!

  2. Lauren Hopkins says:

    I love this post and everything about what you said is inspiring me in my quest towards my first marathon!

    I am going to NOLA next month for the first time for a conference and I am so excited! I am planning to run the Great St Charles Avenue Road Race (probably the 10k, maaaaaybe the 5k) and I met a new runner friend this weekend from Louisiana who said St Charles is an AWESOME street to run on, so I’m pumped!

    • lnrbailey says:

      I am so excited for you to start training for that first marathon 🙂 It will change your life. And you’re already pretty gangster!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s