Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans Recap 2016

At the end of February, I ran the Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans half marathon once again. This race would be a little different for me as I was running it by myself for the first time, and I was coming off of a challenge weekend (10k and half marathon) in Walt Disney World. I was still excited to run my hometown race, and the weather was looking perfect!

RnR New Orleans medal

What was it I said about the weather? It was COLD that morning. I much prefer to run in the cold though, and I knew it would be warming up quickly as soon as the sun came up. I left my hotel room and made my way to the VIP hotel. I went in and grabbed a little coffee and a bagel, and met a girl from new York who is running a half marathon in all 50 states! It  was really cool to hear her story.

RnR VIP

The best thing about the Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans VIP package that you can purchase is being able to use real bathrooms before the start, and being able to hang out in the warmth of a building and then just walk right out to your corral.

RnR pre race

I sat in the hall in my jacket and stretched for several minutes then used the restroom one last time (thanks, coffee, I guess I had too much liquid!) and then handed over my bag for private gear check before walking a block down to my corral only five minutes before the 7:30 start. I was in corral 7, so I knew I wouldn’t miss anything, but wanted to get out before the start so I could cross the street to get where I needed to go.

RnR KT tape

Well, one thing I wasn’t expecting was utter chaos! There were still SO many people trying to get into their corrals, and since Rock ‘N’ Roll doesn’t enforce what corral you get into, all of the first corrals were so jam packed that people couldn’t even get into them. I finally found the sign for corral seven and jumped through the opening. As we were singing the national anthem, I looked around and realized I had accidentally jumped into the back of 6 instead of the front of 7. Dang it! I made my way to the very back of 6 as to not impede any runners, because there was no way I could get out onto the street and back a corral at this point, as you can see from the below photo.

RnR crowd

We made our way up to the start, and it was time to go! I was SO not mentally prepared for this race and had a moment of “oh, wait, I have to run 13.1 miles now!” right as our corral took off. Well, nothing I could do now but put in my headphones and run for a couple of hours!

RnR start line

My first mile felt really good and I ran the pace I wanted to run the whole race in. It was a little crowded, but I have run in much worse so it didn’t really bother me too much. The course is very familiar to me, and I was most concerned with the road conditions so I kept my head down a lot.

RnR mardi gras tree

We were running on St. Charles where the beautiful old mansion are, and right after we hit mile two, I got a pain in my right hip. uh oh. This is what I was afraid of. When I ran the Glass Slipper Challenge the weekend before, I did fine in the 10k, but about midway through the half my hip started to hurt. It got worse and worse as the race went on, but I was able to finish. The whole week prior to this race, I didn’t work out at all, and just foam rolled and stretched in the hope of it getting better and not bothering me. No such luck apparently. I had taken Tylenol prior to the race start and it was already hurting me at mile two…this was going to be a long race.

RnR house

I had a quick moment of panic where I wanted to just sit on the curb and cry. I thought to myself…you have three choices here. One, you can quit now. Two, you can keep going at a run walk as to not be in pain and finish sometime tomorrow (haha) or three, you can SUCK IT UP, fight through the pain and finish as strong as possible and be proud of your effort. About that time, I saw a med tent. I grabbed some more Tylenol, and decided to just got for it. I picked a number, 10:00 pace, and decided to just try and hold that pace for as long as I could. About that time, the song “Fight Song” came on, and I started tearing up. I CAN do this, I WANT to do this. YES I was frustrated because I have been working really hard and despite running one day a week and running two races the last weekend, I was on track and had the ability to PR in that race, and now I knew it wasn’t going to happen, BUT, I knew I still had a lot of fight left in me, and I wanted to run to the best of the ability that I had for that day. So I pushed, and I pushed, and I struggled. I would run on the dirt street car tracks in the median, then jump down to the road, trying to figure out which felt better on my hip. I stopped occasionally to try to stretch out my hip. I took some GU. I counted down the miles. I gave myself a lot of pep talks. I started at the road, one foot in front of the other. I finally made it into the French quarter.

RnR cathedral

I REALLY wanted to stop at Café du Monde, but I kept going Smile

RnR french quarter

We made the turn onto Esplanade, and I knew I only had 3-4 miles left. This is where I was unable to hold onto my pace any longer. This is also when the pain started growing and moving from my hip to my glute, and would occasionally seize up the entire muscle group, which was super fun. I had to stop and walk more often and stop and stretch on stop signs. I was DETERMINED to finish as hard and strong as I possible could. It was starting to get hot outside, and I just kept staring at the ground in front of me (I nearly rolled an ankle a few times, yall, the roads in NOLA are BAD.) and kept glancing at my watch to see how far away I was.

When I made it to the museum of art, I knew I was close, but boy did that last half mile seem like the longest of my life. Normally this is where I would kick it in, but I had no kick in me. It was more of a hobble/limp to the finish, but I went as hard as I could. I didn’t even raise my hands when I crossed the finish, I was just so ready to stop running to stop the pain. I crossed in 2:14:59. Not exactly what I was expecting, but I also surprised myself considering all the things I had going against me.

RnR post race

My watch said I ran 13.36 miles with average pace of 10:06 if I remember correctly. It’s not what I wanted but at least it’s encouraging that if I can do my PT/get stronger and run more than once a week I will PR. Here are my splits:

  • mile 1- 9:31
  • mile 2- 9:55 —> stopped at med tent
  • mile 3- 9:39
  • mile 4- 9:54
  • mile 5- 10:00
  • mile 6- 9:48
  • mile 7- 9:45
  • mile 8- 10:06
  • mile 9- 10:30 —> took a GU
  • mile 10- 10:06
  • mile 11- 10:54 —> took another GU
  • mile 12- 10:18 —> almost died
  • mile 13- 9:12

I made it out of the chute and ran into Mindy and Jenny. Was great to chat with them for a bit!RnR friends

I then walked over to the VIP tent and immediately put my name down for a massage, then got some food. The weather was wonderful, and it was nice to just sit and listen to the music and enjoy the day.

RnR after party

RnR bling

I got a text from Megan and we met up for a quick hello. Great to see a fellow ASICS ambassador!

RnR megan

rock 'n' roll new orleans

Around 12:00 I knew it was time to head back to the hotel to checkout and drive back to my parents. I didn’t want to leave because I was just enjoying being still after such a stressful morning, but I also knew it was a trek back to the hotel. (Rock ‘N’ Roll has bus transportation back downtown for participants).

My struggles with this race were not the fault of Rock ‘N’ Roll, it truly is a great race and my favorite Rock ‘N’ Roll so far. My one qualm is the terrible roads which I am sure contributed to the early onset of hip pain I experienced. The after party, the bling, the bands, everything else was wonderful and I hope to always get to run this race.

Also, if you have the chance to purchase the VIP package for Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans I would recommend it! The pre race breakfast, bathrooms, private gear check are worth it to me, but then you also get the post race food, alcohol, massages, gear pick up, charging station, and VIP bus (no waiting in line) back downtown. Let me know if you have any questions about this event, I would be happy to answer!

PS: If you want to save $15 on Rock ‘N’ Roll half and full marathons, use my code at checkout! Some exclusions apply such as San Antonio, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and a couple of others.

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QOTD: Have you ever had to fight through pain to finish a race?

Disclosure: I received free entry and VIP package as a Rock ‘N’ Blog member, however I was not asked to write this post, and all opinions are my own.

Weekend Fun in New Orleans

When Bobby and I were in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago, not only did we have a great time running, but we also got to experience some new things I wanted to share with you. Since I am from the area, I don’t get to experience New Orleans hotels very often, we simply just would drive home, so I was stoked to be staying at Hotel Monteleone for two nights. We dropped off the baby with my parents Friday afternoon then drove into the city.

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We found the hotel and valet parked. (Please note if you plan to stay here, valet parking is the only option and it’s $40 a night plus tax).

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The lobby was absolutely gorgeous, and had a very Victorian vibe to it.

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Hotel  Monteleone also houses a rare oddity, it’s called the Carousel Bar. It’s the only moving/rotating bar around, how cool is that?

It was late so obviously our room was ready. We requested a king which is always nice to have but one thing I have learned when requesting a king bed is that the room itself is usually smaller hence why they can only fit one bed in it. While our room was very fancy, it was by far the smallest hotel room I have ever stayed in.

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In the above photo, the left wall is right at the edge of the photo, and on the right side you can see the curtain for the window.

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The bathroom was nice but really small, too. Oh well, we weren’t planning to be in the room much, we had lots to do! But not before a glorious night of sleep not listening for the baby monitor. We slept 9.5 hours! It was amazing.

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robes in the closet

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view from our room

Saturday was beautiful but very chilly in the morning. We knew we were getting breakfast at Café du Monde so we bundled up and walked towards Jackson square.

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We wandered around the French Market before the Rock ‘n Roll Tweet Up

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After the Tweet Up and charity event, we headed to the expo then walked over to the Riverwalk for lunch.

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We both wanted different things so we hit up the food court before walking back to our hotel. We were having an early dinner with Megan and her husband Gabe, so we just chilled in the room until dinner time. Bobby actually took a nap while I read over the final event information for the half marathon the next day. The restaurant we were eating at, Mr. B’s Bistro, was literally right across the street from our hotel so we headed down when Megan said they had arrived.

Yes we had a half marathon the next day, but we all knew none of us were in shape to do our very best, so we decided to have a drink. I tried out the Mardi Gras martini and WOW it was delicious!

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We had good food and great company, it was a blast!

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We said our goodbyes fairly early so we could get to bed. It was nice just walking back across the street to our hotel!

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One thing I forgot about when staying in the French Quarter: it’s loud at night. Not to mention, we forgot the fan we always sleep with! Luckily I had a white noise app, but we heard non stop honking and had an ambulance parked outside our window for awhile at one point (we were on the 7th floor).

The next morning was of course the race, and we had just enough time to come back and shower before our late check out. While we wish the room was bigger at the hotel, the service was excellent and everything was beautiful. I hope we get to come back and stay again sometime!

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Our weekend in New Orleans couldn’t have been much more perfect. I am so thankful for the beautiful weather, and a weekend just the two of us was just what we needed. Also I am glad I got to do some of my favorite things: race, hang out with friends, and hang out with my husband. I can’t wait until next year!

QOTD: What is your favorite spot for a racecation?

Disclosure: Our room was paid for by Rock ‘n Roll, but no further compensation was received. All opinions are my own and I was not asked to write about my hotel experience, I just like to share about my travels and great places to stay!

Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans VIP Experience

Bobby and I were able to take advantage of the VIP experience at Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans a couple of weekends ago. I have never done VIP for a Rock ‘n Roll race, and was excited to compare it to others I have done with different races.

The morning VIP breakfast and lounge was at the Hilton New Orleans. When we picked up our bracelets we were told it was “right next to the start line” but we ended up passing it up because they were doing construction so we saw no signs for the VIP or anything outside the hotel which would have been helpful, also it wasn’t exactly right next to the start, we saw a bunch of people a couple blocks down but turns out that was the 10k start so it was kind of confusing It was freezing so we were really happy to get to go inside once we finally found it!

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The race started at 7:30 and the VIP lounge opened at 6. We had the option of driving to the finish and parking our car and taking the VIP shuttle back downtown, but the shuttle left the finish at 5:45, which means we would have had to leave the hotel around 5:15 to make sure we didn’t miss the one shuttle, so waking up at 4:15 didn’t sound fun, I wanted that extra hour! So we decided to walk to the start, and take the VIP shuttle back downtown after the race instead. (We were able to get a late hotel checkout at Hotel Monteleone, so we had until 1:00).

We were directed upstairs where our wristbands were checked for the second time, and they had food for us. (Yogurt, bananas, bagels, coffee, water).

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Then they had a room with tables for us and plenty of room to stretch as well.

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It was really nice to just relax and sit in the warmth and drink some coffee before heading outside. At 7:00, I decided to go to the bathroom because I knew the line would get long, and I was right, it was already out the door and some of the stalls were running out of toiler paper. I was very thankful to not be using a port-o-potty though! After that, we shed our outerwear (reluctantly) and got our gear bags ready. We turned them in to the VIP gear check, and hung out in the lobby area as long as possible. Well, until 7:20. We then walked out to the start and it wasn’t so bad standing outside for only a few minutes.

Fast forward to after the race.

We crossed the finish line, got our medals and snacks, and headed to the VIP tents.

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We picked up our gear bags at our own private gear pick up, went ahead and got on the list for free 10 minute massages, and went to change. My hip was hurting so badly I didn’t even bother having Bobby take a picture of me with my medal. I realized it and then took a selfie inside the women’s changing tent.

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They had separate men’s/women’s changing tents as well as own our bathrooms. I was so glad I brought a full change of clothes, I felt way more comfortable and warm having on a comfy outfit. By time I came out and went to the bathroom, they were calling my name for my massage woo hoo! I was really excited about it since I was hurting, and was sadly disappointed. Fail.

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They had 3-4 tables with two people doing each 10 minute massage, and I just am glad I wasn’t paying for the massage or I would have asked for a refund. The massage was so light they were barely touching me. The stretching felt good, but that’s about it. Sad smile

Oh well, moving on, it was time to EAT! I have been thinking about food and mimosa’s all morning and it was time! The food and drinks were under the big white tent, along with a charging station with lots of different phone cords. I thought this was a nice touch!

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The temps were in the low 60’s with a light wind. I was comfortable in my long sleeves, but just in case, they had heaters stationed near some of the tables, another nice touch!

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To the left is the massage tent, to the right the gear check tent….Complete with Bobby hovering waiting for his massage (in the red shirt).

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We had a great view, too. The stage was just off to the left of this picture with the live music.

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The drinks were yummy, the food was alright, but the day was absolutely gorgeous. It was so nice to sit and relax and unwind while listening to the music.

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After I finished my first plate (and second drink), Megan came hobbling up. Poor thing didn’t have a great race either and was injured as well.

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We chatted for a bit and then said our goodbyes. I got to talk to a few more of my runner friends, and then lunch was brought out. Lunch? I thought the food I had already eaten was it. Nice! They put out pulled pork, dessert, and a few other things, so…another plate for me!

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The VIP shuttle was running every thirty minutes, and since we had to checkout at 1:00 we decided to take the 12:00 shuttle. I would have loved to stay longer (VIP was open until 2:30) but we had to go shower and check out. We we led out as a group by a competitor group employee to the VIP bus and so there was no waiting in line for the other buses which was really nice!

We headed back into the French Quarter, and the driver stopped along Poydras St. to let people off where they wanted, so we literally only had to walk one block down to our hotel, whereas the regular busses were only dropping off at one point. I was expecting a much further walk so it was nice!

We showered and we re out at 12:58, perfect timing! We had a really great day and a fun race made even better and easier by the VIP experience. Sure there are a couple things I would have changed, but overall we had a really good time and were thankful for the ease of the day due to being a VIP. Also, all the extra food and drinks didn’t hurt!

The only problem is now I am spoiled and want to do it for every Rock ‘n Roll race!

QOTD: Have you ever paid extra to do something like the VIP experience?

*Don’t forget you can use code LOOKINGGLASS15 and save $15 on any RnR US half or full marathon except for Vegas, and also save on Canada races!

Disclosure: I was provided with VIP entrance by Rock ‘n Roll, however all opinions are my own.

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).

rock n roll NOLA

 

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 Expo 2015

After we attended the tweet up and Feed the Children charity event, we were dropped off at the convention center to pick up our bibs and explore the expo.

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Packet pickup was very organized. We went at kind of an odd time of day towards the end of the expo so it wasn’t very crowded.

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After we got out bibs, we were funneled out into the official merchandise area.

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They had plenty of things to choose from, and some fun photo ops that we didn’t feel like standing in line for ha! About that time, Karen texted me asking where I was, and I told her we had just arrived. We were able to meet up for a quick hello. I hadn’t seen her since my baby shower in July!

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I also got to meet a couple of blog readers and chat with them for a bit which was fun! We took a look at all of the heavy medals for Rock ‘n Roll, and WOW they are so cool! Way bigger in person than I imagined they would be!

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I had some friends working at some of the booths so we stopped and said a few hellos, and also picked up our VIP packets at the VIP booth.

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About that time I was feeling a little shaky, and I realized Ii t was 2:30 and we hadn’t had lunch yet! We decided to go ahead and leave and get some food.

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We walked the length of the convention center (which is a LONG way!) out to the front where the Riverwalk is. We went inside and grabbed a late lunch before our early dinner, bibs in hand and ready to go!

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Final thoughts: I’m not sure what it was, but the expo seemed a lot smaller and not as exciting as in years past. There was no stage or speakers which bummed me out, and it just had a bit of a different feel than in previous years that I can’t quite explain (anyone else that was there feel the same way?) It also felt kind of dark in there, was it just me? Don’t get me wrong, it was very well organized and had it some great vendors, but I didn’t leave feeling as excited about the race as I have from other expos I have worked or visited in the past. I do hope next year the expo is larger and that they have a stage/speakers!

***Use code LOOKINGGLASS15 at checkout to save $15 on ANY US or Canada Rock ‘n Roll 2015 race! Share with your friends!***

QOTD: What is your favorite thing about race expos?

Lately…December 2014

December is such a busy (but fun) month. Here is a peek into what we have been up to lately at the Montgomery house!

Decorating for Christmas

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Getting lots of smiles from this little girl

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Going on runs preparing for the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans half marathon.

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Dressing Emma up in ridiculous outfits

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that happen to also be adorable

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…and making her visit with Santa.

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which she was not a big fan of doing.

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BUT, we are LOVING bath time and splashing in the water!

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QOTD: What have you been up to this month?

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:

NOLA2015

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!

Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Here I Come!

I mentioned awhile back that I would be running the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans half marathon, but I finally got my rear in gear and officially registered!

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Bobby is registered too, so we will both be running the half in January. I am admittedly a little nervous as it will be my first half after having baby M, and since I haven’t really run since sometime in the second trimester, I will literally be starting from scratch. But that’s ok! I’m going to CELEBRATE being able to run again and have already started brainstorming costume ideas. Oh yes my friends. I WILL be running in a costume. It’s all about fun at Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans!

Voting has ended on the finisher’s medals for this race, but the design will be announced on the 18th! I will be posting pictures on Instagram as soon as I get my hands on a photo so be sure you are following me.

Another thing of note: There will be a price increase on September 19th, so hurry and register NOW! Be sure to use code LOOKINGGLASS at checkout for $10 off registration.

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Be sure to follow along with Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans race info and news by using #RnRNOLA, and following @RunRocknRoll on Instagram and Twitter.

QOTD: Are you running any Rock ‘n’ Roll races next year? Which ones? Have you run any in the past?

Race News

Good morning! Still no internet so I am blogging from my phone, which is super fun…not. Anyway, just a little news on two of my favorite races!

1.) the RunDisney Tinkerbell half marathon registration opens today at noon eastern! This will sell out fast, especially the new pixie dust challenge, so I highly recommend registering right at noon. The weekend takes place over Mother’s Day weekend, May 7-10 2015. I really enjoyed running the 2014 race and wish I was doing this one!
Visit RunDisney.com for registration details.

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2.) Rock n Roll New Orleans is giving YOU a chance to design the 2015 medal! How cool is that? I will be running this one so I can’t wait to see the chosen design.
Here’s the scoop of what must appear on the medal:

-The name of the event (Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon & Half Marathon) and the event date (January 25, 2015) must be included
The medal design
-must be New Orleans themed
-Designs may be submitted in any format (written description, drawing, graphic design, etc.)
-All designs most by submitted by midnight on 8/25/2014 in order to be entered
-Winner will be announced September 19th *subject to change

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QOTD: If you could design a medal what would it look like?

Rock N Roll New Orleans Half Marathon 2012

 

Sunday, I ran the Rock n Roll New Orleans half marathon (formally Rock N Roll Mardi Gras) This is the third year I have run this race. (You can check out my recaps from 2010 and 2011 1 and 2)

Last years race was not the best experience. My IT band was VERY angry, and I ended up crying during the race and hobbling across the finish line. This year, I was determined to do well. Then I realized it was the weekend after the princess half, so I would be doing back to back races. crap. THEN, I ended up working the Running Skirts  booth at the expo. hhmm…not shaping up to be a PR race I would say! With the odds stacked against me, I signed up due to a super discount and an awesome New Orleans saints win. ($37 or so dollar entry fee!)

My already tired legs became exhausted (specifically my knees and heels) after a day of expo set up, and two long days of working the expo. We didn’t finish until almost 8 pm on Friday and after 6 on Saturday. Walking around for an hour looking for a place to eat, I was really feeling it and it was not looking good.

Sunday morning I woke up fairly easily and was ready to race. The start line wasn’t far from the hotel, so we waited to go down until 6:45 for a 7:00 start.

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We got into corral 12, and I heard a voice behind me say my name. It was Samantha!

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She was running the full, and I tried to fill her in a bit on the course. It was time to move up, and so we said our goodbyes and good luck.

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Before I knew it, I was running under the start sign, Garmin started, an running.

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Poor Bobby was getting over a nasty cold, so he knew he wasn’t going to PR. He decided to run with me and make it his goal to help me PR.

My first goal for this race was to not start out too fast. Mission accomplished, it was sooo crowded I couldn’t go fast even if I wanted to. Since I was running with Bobby, I didn’t do as much weaving so we could stay together. I immediately got annoyed though because we started in between some tall buildings and my Garmin was off from the start, so I had to keep subtracting from my distance the whole race.

I felt really good starting out, an since the course was different this year, I was distracted having new things to look at, and trying not to plow into the back of someone. We made a turn and I was able to jump up in the median on the street car tracks/grass. My knees were killing me and this felt so much better (plus I was able to pass without weaving.) We were sure to jump down when we needed to in order to cross all the timing mats.

We passed these guys about mine four and told them to keep it up and that they were awesome.

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Soon, I saw the first runner coming back the other way. NO WAY! but yes way, the lead car was right there with him. Unreal! Granted, I started twenty minutes after the gun, but still unreal. I kept trucking along, only stopping at water stops to drink. Bobby kept at my pace (I told him nothing over a 10:20 to PR) and we stayed pretty quiet.

About mile 5, we hit the sunshine and I instantly got very very hot. I was in a long sleeve shirt and felt like I was suffocating. I decided to pull it off and tie it around my waist. I didn’t care that my bib wouldn’t be on the front anymore, I needed to stay focused and didn’t want to stop and waste time re-pinning it.

About mile 7 I was still feeling really good, which almost made me nervous. I hadn’t even taken a single walk break except for water stops, and aside from tired legs, I felt great. We came back through towards the French Quarter and down Decatur street. We passed Café du Monde and the French market before turning onto esplanade. This is when it got hard.

I think I officially REALLY for the first time ever hit a wall at mile 10. It got MUCH harder to keep the same pace I was keeping  before, and I started to panic. I wanted to stay focused, so I tried to block out the pain and keep one foot in front of the other. The streets at this point had a LOT of pot holes so I literally just looked straight down and ahead, like I was in a tunnel. I was really feeling the fact that I had been on my feet and lifting heavy objects for the past three full days, and that I had run a half marathon a mere 7 days earlier.

Normally in races I look around and soak it all in, look at spectators, signs, etc. This race, I did not. I kept repeating things to myself like “if God brings you to it, He will bring you through it” and “you are stronger than you think” and “fight through the pain”. Bobby was a GREAT encourager telling me I was doing great, and my pace was good, and I had this, that I WOULD PR. I took one short walk break to catch my breath and my bearings, and took off again.

We hit mile 12, and I knew I could do it. I kept thinking “You have busted your butt for over two hours, you CANNOT give up now!” we headed towards City Park and I kept ticking down the tenth’s in my head. At about mile 12.7, I saw a familiar face on the sidelines. Brandon from Claim Your Journey was there taking pictures. I got his attention and waved as he took my picture. I gave him a thumbs up, but really I felt like I would keel over at any second!

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We were SO CLOSE I could taste it. I told Bobby I could NOT go any faster and he told me I didn’t have to, that I was going to make it at this pace. I really needed to hear that, but, still kept asking periodically if I was going to make it. We hit mile 13 and rounded the last corner.

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I kicked with everything I had left (which wasn’t much!) and grabbed Bobby’s hand as we crossed the finish line.

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I looked down at my Garmin, and I had done it. Not only did I PR by over 2 minutes, but I met another small stepping stone goal of mine, to run a half in 2:15.

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We got our medals and funneled out of the way (more like shuffled, it was so crowded!) and headed into the after party area. We immediately put our mylar blankets on the ground and laid down. It was an absolutely gorgeous sunny day in the mid 60’s.

Number 11, in the books.

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As I was sitting there taking in everything, I happened to notice someone familiar. It was my sister! She is super speedy so I figured she would be gone by now and never would I have imagined I would pick her out of thousands of people. She, too PR’ed by about 5 minutes and was very happy with her time.

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We chatted for a few minutes and then she left, and we hung out on our blankets snacking and stretching before deciding to head to the busses and back to the hotel.

I would definitely say this years race was a BIG improvement over last year’s for me. Last year I was very injured, and hobbled across in about 2:26. Elven minutes faster even with back to back weekend halfs and being on expo legs? I’ll take it! Did you know I haven’t run a half NOT on expo legs since this race last year? Well except for Princess but we weren’t racing that one. I can’t wait to see what I can do on fresh legs!

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A huge thanks to my sweet husband who paced me, and to everyone else who has helped me along my journey. I am starting to feel strong, and determined. (My word of the year). I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store!

QOTD: How are you doing on your goals for the year, now that we are three months into 2012?

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***I have been nominated for a Fitterati award for Fitness magazine in the category of best running blog! I would LOVE it if yall would vote for me!***