Monday, February 14, 2011

RNR New Orleans - the UN-race recap

Typically a half marathon is something I've spent months preparing for. The week leading up to the race, I'm especially careful about my alcohol intake, nutrition, hydration, and sleep. Well this time, I broke ALL my rules. This was by far, the most un-race-like race.

Little did I know, I would be sweating butter and chardonnay during the race.

The proof is provided below. Has anyone topped this? I want to know! (Keep in mind, this was the end of my first week of half marathon training.)

1. Restrict alcohol intake (note: I'm not good at abstinence so I don't even try).
Photo 1. Note warning. 

  • Arrive in NOLA Thursday and go directly to Bourbon Street, proceed to go to at least five bars, consuming a minimum of one mixed drink and/or beer at each location. 
  • Friday, have dinner at fancy restaurant beginning meal with glass of Asti, eating dinner with bottle of wine consumed by two people, finish night off with two Sazerac cocktails in hotel bar. 
  • Saturday (pre-race day) have cocktails in afternoon with cousins, drink heavenly glass of red wine before dinner then share another bottle of wine with dinner. After dinner, drink beer at blues bar. This is the night BEFORE the race!! 
  • Evidence provided in photo 1. 

2. Rest, don't expend muscle glycogen before race.

Photo 2. Walk around looking at architecture.

  • Thursday after arriving in NOLA, bar hop all around Bourbon Street and ride a mechanical bull, making every muscle in legs completely sore while trying to hang on for dear life. 
  • Friday, walk ALL around the French Quarter on sore mechanical bull-riding legs, including a two-hour visit to the Rock & Roll expo (oh - and a gait analysis). Note: I showed great self-restraint and did NOT purchase compression socks, a Garmin, or Newton shoes though I think all three are in my future. 
  • Saturday, walk ALL around the French Quarter again and another trip down Bourbon Street.
  • Sunday pre-race, walk 1+ miles to start of race from hotel. 
  • See Photo 2. 
3. Get at least 8 hrs of sleep.
  • As described above, stay up late every night for three nights before the race, partying. 
  • Night before race, go to bed late, sleep fitfully due to full stomach and wine, wake up at 5:30 AM from marching band passing by hotel (random). 
  • Refer to Photo 1. 
4. Eat low fat, quality foods.
Photo 3. Seafood etouffe @ Emeril's.  

Photo 4. Bloggy meet-up with Elizabeth. 
Photo 5. Mmmm...deep-fried dough covered in powdered sugar.
  • Thursday after arriving in NOLA, proceed directly to Mother's for po-boys and eat two kinds of gumbo, rice & beans, and sausage. Drink heavily. 
  • Friday, have po-boy at Mother's for breakfast (after sleeping until 1:30 pm) along with porked-out turnip greens and a Coke, eat beignets & coffee for lunch (see Photo 5), then eat buttery rich food at Emeril's restaurant for dinner. (See Facebook page for pictures of delectables as well as Photo 3.) 
  • Saturday, eat heavy German breakfast followed by cocktails then beignets for lunch during bloggy meet-up with Elizabeth @ Running for Bling, chased by a buttery rich dinner (see Photo 4). 
  • Sunday, skip breakfast before race. 
5. Drink at least 2 L water per day.

  • Doesn't beer and whiskey count as water? Where do you even find water in NOLA??
  • Uh-oh. 
  • Refer to Photo 1. 
6. Don't try anything new on race day. 

Photo 6. T & Elizabeth in Mardi Gras garb.
Photo 7. Elizabeth & I pre-race. 

Photo 8. I don't know if this guy had tried running in this before, but it sure looks like something you wouldn't do twice.

  • Instead of breakfast, try Hammer Nutrition PERPETUEM drink for breakfast (actually this turned out to be great and will repeat for all long run and pre-race meals so I can maximize sleep). 
  • Wear new clothes never tested before on long run (refer to new running skirt & capris in Photo 7).
  • Ok, I'm not the only one who broke this rule. Check out Elizabeth & her friend T in Photo 6 as well as random Muscle Man in Photo 8.  
7. Stick with the plan.
Photo 9. We rocked! 

Photo 10. The bling.
  • The plan was to run 8 miles @ 8:46 pace as per training plan (with Elizabeth of Running for Bling) then walk or very slowly jog the rest of the half marathon. 
  • The plan was modified race morning to run the first 9 miles so I could at least run to the point where my hotel was and see Mr. F who would be there cheering for me.
  • The reality was...after 9 miles I kept running. Like Forest Gump. I was having too much fun running with Elizabeth in her sweet running tutu and her TNT friends. 
  • This part of the plan I DID adhere to:
  • I HAD A FANTASTIC TIME!! I loved my first rock & roll race and would definitely do another. Now I understand why these events are so popular: they are well-organized & well-attended, the crowds and runners have lots of fun, and the music is GREAT (refer to Photos 9, 10). Unfortunately, I didn't see Endorphin Dude (but Elizabeth did). 

The stats:
13.1 miles in 1:54:45 (8:45 pace). 
This means I made my target training run pace but went over on the distance. The consequences of my actions are that I'm SO incredibly sore today I can barely walk. I'm taking curcumin, stretching, and using the stick & foam roller. 

THANK YOU to Elizabeth and her friends for letting me crash their group & run with them! 

Tomorrow I have a massage scheduled to work out some of the soreness (and to celebrate my birthday. And wedding anniversary. Happy birthversary to me - only 38 & 8 yrs!). 

I can't believe I'm supposed to do a track workout tomorrow and a tempo run on Thursday. Hmmm...will it happen? 


  1. You are completely nuts. Like bull-riding-legs nuts. Seriously.

    I love it!

    Happy birthday and anniversary!

  2. The bull riding was my favorite as well. Even if you didn't stick to the plan, sounds like you had a fantastic trip. I figured it'd be hard to slow down and take it easy that close to the end of the race! Happy Birthday & Anniversary!

  3. Wow! What a fun time! People take running way too seriously sometimes ;-)
    I see that you are more my type of girl! I loved the bar sign!

  4. As I was reading all the things you did before the race, I was not expecting such a good time. That's awesome you were able to run that fast!! My half PR is 1:55:03 so I'm definitely in awe.

    Hmmm... maybe before my next half I should go bar hopping and bull riding...

  5. The fact that you enjoyed yourself is proof positive this is the plan you should henceforth follow.

  6. I'm with L.B. and didn't expect a 1:54:45, well done!

  7. I plan to follow your pre race plan on April 30th for my half in Eugene, since you hit my goal time! Girl, you are crazy and in amazing shape. So glad you could enjoy NO to the fullest and run well. Very impressive.

  8. Awesome job!! New Orleans looks like a super FUN location for a race. And seriously how could you not partake in all the local activities - it just wouldn't be right otherwise!!! I'm doing my my 1st full marathon at the Rock 'n Roll St. Louis... so glad to hear how fun they are.

  9. Bull riding... madness :D. Looks like a great trip!

  10. How could you run so fast after all that? Awesome!

  11. A sub-2 finish! Very awesome! You rock. And most importantly, you had fun. Question, what is it like to sweat butter? EW!

  12. It looks like you had an AWESOME time. And what a fun race medal!

  13. I've had some of my best races by breaking some of my pre-race rules. Great race! Glad you had fun in NO. :)

  14. Looks like fun! I'm bummed I missed it this year!

  15. So glad we met and could run together!! Hope you are recovering nicely and the little one was excited to see you!

  16. Master Plan for kicking ASSSSSSS in 2011 is well on its way by the looks of this recap! Girl, if you can do that after all of THAT, you've got it in the bag!

    ps. This is the Navy Wife