Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans Half Race Recap 2015

This was my 4th time to run Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans, and we were so blessed with amazing weather! I know the year before it was muggy and humid, so I was preparing for the worst and was pleasantly surprised! Low of mid 40’s at the start (very windy!) But sunny and high of 65 for the day. Perfect! We ran in the 50’s the whole race, but let me backtrack.

We set our alarms for 5:15 in hopes to be out the door at 6:15. We had to walk over a half mile to get to the Hilton which is where the VIP breakfast was being held (more on that later).

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My tutu was made my Lesley, I love the beads!

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It was dark, and cold, and very windy! Luckily we were checking gear bags so I was able to wear a jacket as we walked.

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We ate breakfast, checked our bags, and waited until the last possible minute to head out into the cold. The race was starting at 7:30, so at 7:15 we began our short walk to the corrals.

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There was no one checking bibs at the corral entrances so people from almost every corral were jumping into ours and we could barely squeeze in. Def. something I hope they change in the future.

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We only had to wait about 3 minutes before the National anthem was sung and the first corral was off!

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We slowly moved up until it was our turn.

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We started out slow, and I quickly warmed up like I knew I would. I had no idea what to expect from this race. I had only done one 10 miler and one 12 miler since having the baby, so I was just aiming to have fun and get a general idea of where my fitness level was.

We left the French quarter and headed into the garden district with the big beautiful houses.

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The miles were ticking by and I was trying to keep a steady pace. I wasn’t pushing too hard because I didn’t want to blow up at the end.

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Somewhere around mile 4.5ish, the leaders passed going the other way, and other runners slowly began to trickle past going in the opposite direction.

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We soon found the turnaround…and my hip started to ache. This was not good because 1.) It was so early in the race and 2.) I had already taken tylenol, so it was apparently hurting badly if the tylenol wasn’t even helping anymore. I have had IT band and hip bursitis issues on and off for years. I took really good care of my knee the week leading up to the race. I ran a fast for me 5 miler the Monday before and had zero pain anywhere, so why was my hip hurting before mile 5? Then it hit me. The stupid terrible roads! They were bad yall. People all around us were tripping and catching themselves. They were so uneven, so many potholes, it was difficult to run, and I think that may have had something to do with the hip issue. I trudged on, looking for people I knew going the other way. There was a section where we passed runners right next to us.

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We passed a couple of bands, and my hip pain got worse and was changing up my gait.

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We made it back to the French quarter, and there was a fuel stop. I had already taken one around mile 5, but I took another and also took some more tylenol. I must say, despite the hip pain, I was still having fun. The miles were ticking by fairly quickly and the weather was just perfect.

We passed the relay point for those running in teams, and just kept on trucking along.

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As we headed back into the heart of the city, we passed the lulu cheer crew, which made me think about some of the other really funny signs we saw…none of which I can remember now. Whoops!

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Good morning New Orleans!

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By this time we were around mile 9-10ish, and I remembered a stretch I used to do to help with my hip pain a couple of years ago. Bobby stopped to go to the bathroom and said he would catch up to me, so I pulled off to the side to stretch. I crossed my ankle over the top of my other knee and squatted into a sitting position and could feel the immediate pull and stretch on my hip. It hurt but felt good at the same time, and gave me a couple of tenths of way less painful running.

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This would begin the pattern for the rest of the race, and is when my pace slowed because of all the stopping to stretch. However, doing this every so often helped me to finish so I’m not complaining!

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We passed the French market, and made a turn only tree lined Esplanade.

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For those wondering, the Mississippi River is on the right, behind that big wall.

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The final two miles of the race I really began to struggle. I was reaching my threshold and was pushing myself a bit more and it was getting harder to keep pace as I hobbled along.

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Fake it till you make it right?

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I kept reminding myself I JUST had a baby four months yesterday, and at least I was out here trying, and that there would be better races.

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Just keep swimming…almost there!

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My breathing was getting more labored, but I was ok because I knew how close we were.

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I could see the art museum in the distance and knew he finish line was just behind it. But not before some King cake and jello shots, right?

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I stopped and stretched again, right before a final push to the finish.

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My hip was throbbing, but I was about to get to stop, wahoo!I could see mile 13 up ahead, almost there!

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Finish line. Finish line, Finnish line.

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aaannnnd DONE!

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2:27. I wanted 2:20, but I’ll take it considering the hip issues. It definitely slowed me down, but I am still proud of myself. It gives me a base to work off of and gave me the confidence I needed to keep going with future races. After having to take over 5 months off completely from running during pregnancy and starting from scratch run walking one mile after delivery, I will definitely take it. I now know I really need to focus on stretching, rolling, and strengthening my hip and butt muscles. The good news: my knee held up great!

A huge thanks to my wonderful husband who is way faster than me for running along side of me, taking pictures, and encouraging me. What a trooper! We headed to the VIP tent to enjoy the gorgeous afternoon (more on that later, too!)

Another half in the books. It wasn’t the prettiest, but I am still so proud.

Do you want to run ANY* Rock ‘n Roll race in the US and get $15 off? Enter code LOOKINGGLASS15 at checkout for the discount! Offer INCLUDES Canada!

QOTD: Have you ever been proud of a race that wasn’t your fastest?

*Does not include RnR Vegas

 

Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans 10k Announced!

it’s official! The Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans marathon and half marathon will have a fun new addition in 2015: the 10k distance! Not quite ready to tackle the half? You can still participate in the race weekend with the all new 10k.

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Here is a picture of the race course:

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***Enter code LOOKINGGLASS10k at checkout for $5 off 10k registration. ***

Also in other news, the marathon course will be undergoing some changes from last year as well. Here is the new course map:

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If you are familiar with the area, you may find the below turn by turn changes beneficial!

  • Turn left onto Carrolton, out-back to Canal (access lanes on the outside of Carrolton)
  • Marconi one way to Robert E. Lee (allowing southbound travel on Marconi)
  • East on Robert E. Lee (in eastbound lanes, leaving westbound lanes open for travel) to St. Bernard (St. Bernard will be used out-and back to Lakeshore Dr.)
  • Out and back on Lakeshore Drive to get necessary distance (past UNO/Elysian Fields, similar to the turnaround location last year)
  • From St. Bernard, we will return to City Park on the east side of the park using Wisner to Harrison Dr.
  • West into the Park on Harrison Dr. to the round-a-bout and south on Diagonal Dr. (whole road once inside the park)
  • From Diagonal, left on Magnolia by the Bark Park and Left on Zachary Taylor Dr. to Golf Dr.
  • South where Golf Dr. turns into Henry Thomas Dr. and around to Roosevelt Mall and the Finish.

As you can see, lots of exciting stuff happening as we get closer to the main event. I am so excited for the 10k addition, it means more of my running friends will be joining in! The 10k is a great middle distance if you know you can run a 5k but aren’t ready for a half marathon. You can do it! Go sign up!

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QOTD: Do you like the 10k distance?

Emma Kate’s birth story, part II will be up tomorrow or Thursday!

Finally Home

 

Hi! It’s raining here, so no running today (not that my knee is cooperating anyway, ggrr…) Anyway, I made it home about 10:00 last night, and I am still tired this morning. luckily I have the rest of the weekend to catch up on sleep and unpacking etc.

Yesterday morning we had breakfast and left early and drove about 1.5 hours to Louisiana.

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Skirted up in: Midnight RS, Sparkle hearts strappy tank, pink swift sox, and pink half zip

We DID get lost ones, because there was a lot of construction/detour stuff, but we made it to my next appointment.

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Dis-assembling and re-assembling the rolling rack 13 times got really old, but I think I have it down to a science now!

After that, we drove 3.5 hours to Lafayette for my next appointment, and then we met Karen for lunch at McAlisters! (duh, where ELSE would we eat?)

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The my mom and I drove back to my parents house…right through baton Rouge Friday afternoon 5:00 traffic. Holy moly. We sat at a standstill inching forward for 45 minutes. It took us FOREVER to get back. After being in the car since 7 am, and knowing after I let my parents I still had over an hour to drive I was getting unhappy. 3 hours later, we made it to my parents and I got to see my NOLA BEAR! She is getting HIUGE, but still just as spastic. SO spastic in fact, it is near impossible to get a picture of her being STILL!

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wwweeeee I go round and round

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sit? sit? what does that mean? I don’t kknnnooowwww

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I am a lap dog yes I am!

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I like to pounce on things like a cat, and can now jump in the chair all by myself!

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I love you and I don’t even know you!!!!

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Ok I will be still for ONE picture and one picture only…ccchheeessseee!

WHEW! She wears me out. I drove home after dropping my mom off and it was so good to see hubby and my pups! Also so nice to sleep in my own bed. Road trips are fun, but home is better.

Here is a little run down of my trip.

Stores visited: 13

Miles driven: over 1,900

Hours driven: 1 day 12 hours (my mom only drove about 3 hours!)

Number of 1 way streets I went the wrong way up: 1

Number of workouts: 1

Amount of $ spend on tolls: around $23

Number of hotels stayed in: 3

fast food eaten: too much

times we got lost: 1

here is an idea of the route we took leaving from Mississippi…yeah. A giant circle.

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Thanks so much for following in my travels! I will now be back to regular blogging…temporarily…because….

I AM GOING TO ROCK N ROLL PROVIDENCE! That’s right folks, I will be working the Running Skirts booth at the expo! I am so excited! So, who is going to be there? hhmmm?

QOTD: Do you like road trips? what was your most fun one?

Jambalaya

Happy weekend y’all!!! I am excited hubby will be home for 3 days instead of two this weekend, woo hoo! Any big plans for the 4th? I don’t have any right now, trying to figure something out though! Anyway, as you (should) know, I live in the south, love the south, and don’t know if I could ever move from the south (ok, unless I won the lottery and moved to the beach in California.)

I thought I would share with you today a true southern recipe that is easy and I absolutely love. It is a very mild chicken and sausage jambalaya. Obviously, you can omit the sausage if you want and you can add spices/seasonings, but I don’t know if some of you yankees can handle our southern spice. Smile I kid. sort of.  ANYWAY, I made this on Wednesday and love it because we are on day 3 and still eating it = no cooking for Heather = happy wife. Can I get an amen?!?  Ok, so check it out:

–   2 cups Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice, cooked by directions

–      1 can beef broth (I use low sodium)

–      1 can onion soup (I usually use french onion )

–       1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce

–       1 stick butter (I use smart balance) melted

–        1 lb. smoked sausage

–     2 lbs. chicken baked and shredded (you can use a rotisserie chicken if you don’t want                          to cook  your chicken) which is what I do.

–    1 10oz Mckenzies seasoning blend(in frozen section) cook according to directions on package (or picsweet seasoning also can be used)

Mix cooked  rice, cooked seasoning, and the rest of the ingredients in large bowl

Pour in a big pan (I use 13 x 9 glass dish, sprayed with pam) and cook COVERED (tin foil) for 1-1/2 hrs. at 350 degrees.

I would check it after about one hour and 15 minutes after you take it out. a lot of the juice will absorb while it cools.  If after 1 hour and 15 minutes it is looking dry take it out, but if still looks juicy leave it in for the rest of time.  ENJOY!

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It’s so good, and makes PLENTY of food! This is great for picnics, BBQ’s, etc. Perfect summer meal if you ask me!

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Yesterday I did some skirt selling at a few stores, and this was the outfit I wore. The gold run love top was featured in this month’s (August) issue of Runner’s World!

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Also, I got to visit with the Nola monster! She is getting so big.

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I love you and I don’t even know you!

QOTD: What is your favorite summery/picnic recipe?

Carnival Season

 

No, I’m not talking about your typical county fair. I am talking about MARDI GRAS! Here in NOLA it’s lovingly referred to as Carnival Season. Yes, it is a season. As soon as Christmas wreaths come down, Mardi Gras wreaths hit the front door. Some people even leave up their Christmas tree and decorate it as a Mardi Gras tree. No lie. Living back with my parents in Louisiana this year, I have gotten the chance to be fully immersed in the carnival season again. I am HOPING to come back into town next weekend to go to a parade that runs right outside my parents neighborhood. I haven’t been to a parade in years so I think it would be fun to blog about!

What sparked my discussion? This picture I posted yesterday:

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Ah, the beloved king cake. In grade school, parents would bring them in for our class all the time. A  plastic baby is placed inside and whoevers piece contained said baby had to buy the next cake. Well, that was old school. now, they supply the baby but you have to put it in yourself. Someone probably choked on one and sued the store that sold it, so they don’t like to put them in for you anymore. Darn.

I know I know the yummy goodness of the king cake is radiating from your screen, and you want one of your very own. Well folks, it’s your lucky day because you can have one shipped to your house! Haydels bakery who actually made my wedding cake, will ship one to you! Check it out HERE.  Fun fact, after Mardi Gras each year the whole Haydel family goes to Disney World and stays at the Grand Floridian. How bout them apples? Regular king cakes are just that, the cake with icing. But they also sell them with all kinds of filling. You can get them anywhere around here. The bakeries are the best, but the supermarkets have them as well.

You probably think we are all crazy down here, and that’s ok, because we are. I thought why not dial up he crazy and show you a few more things. Well, on my run yesterday I found just what I was looking for. Many MANY people decorate their homes for Mardi Gras. Everyone has a wreath but a lot of people go more all out that then do for Christmas. Here are a couple pictures I snapped of houses along my running route yesterday. (Oh yeah, I ran a 3 miler yesterday and felt pretty good!)

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Then you have the queen’s house. Oh, I didn’t tell you about that? Each krew of each parade has royalty. A king, queen, pages, etc. They have a big ball/party with fancy dresses and lots of alcohol. Apparently, the queen of eve lives in my parents neighborhood. Eve is an all women’s parade that is actually tonight!

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We will have some more Mardi Gras lessons for you when I hopefully go to the parade next weekend.

Here I am saying “please don’t stop reading my blog because we are crazy down here during Carnival!” as I run.

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…and this is my sweet baby Bella, and this is how I carry her around all day.

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how pathetic is that face? Love her. Ok, I have to go figure out if we are closing on our house today or tomorrow. Lots of craziness is about to go down! Have a great Friday everyone! (I know I skipped my Friday Favorites post but I thought educating everyone on Mardi Gras was way more important!)

QOTD: Thoughts on Mardi Gras?

***Enter my giveaway until Sunday at midnight!

*Don’t forget to check this out on Women’s Health and nominate me please!

Mardi Gras Rock ‘n’ Roll 2011 Recap Part II

 

It’s Monday! I hope you are having a good day. I ran some errands with my mom this morning and it’s so beautiful outside, I think I am going to have to go for a quick run later!

First things first. Have you entered my giveaway yet? It is open until next Sunday. Check it out!

But first, the second half of my recap. Before I get into the race, I have a few more pictures to share from the expo thanks to the lovely Karen.

The boys playing games at the expo.

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We won t-shirts!

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Me and Karen in our “convert to skirt” shirts

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Ok, on with race day!

We woke up about 5:00, and it was COLD! Karen had to meet her running group early for a picture, and hating cold as much as I do, Bobby and I decided to hang back and not go down until about 6:30. (Race started at 7:00)

Very sleepy.

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We walked to the start line. It’s a pretty good walk, and it was quite chilly! There were thousands of other people herding that way. It looked like everyone else had the same idea as us, to stay in your hotel room as long as possible before having to go outside!

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There was a jazz band playing, of course.

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I called Karen, and we found her and Jason and took a couple of pictures before heading to our corral!

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We moved through the masses of people and squeezed into the back of corral 10.

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Bobby was so cold he was using the hot hands I brought to try and warm up his ears and nose.

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This year things moved a LOT faster than last year. I know I complained about how slow the waves were, but this year they were super fast!

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Before I knew it we were running under the start line! It was SO much faster than last year, I wasn’t prepared!

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Because we weren’t ready, our first mile was slow. Bobby kept trying to fix his headphones, and Karen and I stopped to adjust our clothing and spibelts. It was so congested we had to do a good bit of weaving, and got trapped behind walls of people several times.

The miles FLEW by! We were making really good time, and I was feeling pretty good.

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Then we hit mile 8, and my knee/IT band started hurting. UG! I had made it so far I didn’t think it was going to cause a problem. It didn’t start hutting in Disney until further into the race, but then I thought about how bad the roads are in NOLA and running on an uneven surface probably sparked the problem. Anyway, I kept going of course, but the pain got worse. I tied not to think about it but I got quiet and knew this was going to be a big problem.

We made it downtown to the French quarter about mile 9.

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When we hit mile 10, I did some quick math and knew I would have to run at my best to PR. Under normal circumstances I would have said HECK YA I can do that! But hobbling along with my knee the way I was, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I fought back tears as I realized once again my injury was going to hold me back. Karen did a good job of telling me it was ok and there would be other races, but I was still just so frustrated with myself.

I kept going, and then all of the sudden my left hip (not same leg as the IT band problem) started to throb. I used to have this problem back before I started going to the chiropractor. It didn’t bug me at all in Disney because I had been going to the chiropractor several times a week. Well folks, the last time I had been before this race was a month and a half. Fabulous. I think that coupled with the fact I had changed my gait and was limping was making my hip pound. It was hurting more than my knee, and I literally felt like I was being stabbed with every stride. I cried on and off, just wanting it to be over.

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Luckily the last mile went by rather quickly, and we were running towards City Park.

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We ended up finishing in 2:27. Six minutes off my PR from the other half I ran in NOLA in October where my IT band hurt me from mile 2 on. I so just wanted to run ONE half with no pain, ONE half to reach my potential. Bobby found me after the race and I was so upset, I just wanted to go home. I know you can’t PR every time, but I tell people unless you have ever had a running injury you just simply cannot understand the frustration. It’s so miserable and hopeless feeling! I of course was proud to finish my 5th half marathon, but I just didn’t expect this outcome.

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Bobby didn’t run well either. We chalked part of it up to running so soon after our full, but not really sure. He ran a 2:08 I think, 11 minutes slower than his PR.

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We sat down for a minute then headed to the busses because we had to be out of the hotel at noon, and I knew it would take me a LONG time to walk to the bus. Bobby almost had to carry me because my hip was hurting so badly I could barely move. I knew I needed to walk though to work it out so I made it, just very slowly!

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We showered and all four of us drove back to my parents house, but stopped to eat lunch at Times Bar and Grill. best sweet potato fries ever!

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It was so funny, we wore our medals which of course look like beads, and in the restaurant people kept whispering. “I thought the parades didn’t start for another week…was there a Mardi Gras parade today!?” it was too funny. I decided not to correct them and just let them wonder!

So, we had a great time with our friends, and it’s always fun to race, I just had a disappointing outcome. I am so competitive with myself, I let it get to me sometimes. I just want to be well and run all out! This spring I am going to run a couple 5k’s and focus on strength training and getting better and hopefully will come back to half marathons in the fall with a vengeance! I think this all happened at a good time though because I am starting to get burnt out having been on a training plan since July. I need a break! So there you have it, thanks for reading.

QOTD: What is your best advice for coming back from an injury?