The night before the race I was exhausted and then I had a sleepless night filled with some lovely coughing fits. So race morning, I woke up to lungs that were already very, very tired. But I got up and got ready anyway and took the short walk from my hotel to the race start. Lucky for me it was a beautiful day, wind free and already in the 40's at the 6am hour.
Being a part of the "Rock and Roll" race series, this was one of the larger races. I don't know exactly but I think over 20,000 runners. I lined up in my corral (#17 of 27), and although the race started at 7am, I finally got my turn to cross the starting line around 7:29am.
First the race runs through part of the city, I was actually doing okay the first couple of miles. Around mile 2, I noticed all the coughing the night before tired the lungs out worse than I thought.
We did an out an back into some beautiful neighborhood area's just outside of the city. Large gorgeous plantation homes, and cute homes with wrap around upper decks. Great community out cheering and supporting the runners.
By mile 6, I was already feeling done in. I had no energy, I was exhausted and for the first time EVER I was contemplating pulling out at the 1/2 way point. Anyone who's ran a marathon before knows, that thoughts like that are horrible and should be avoided... Especially early on with 20 miles to go.
I noticed as I looked up in the tree's along the course, they looked as if decorated like Christmas. Except they were covered, no littered and decked out in Marti Gras beads. Just about every branch on the tree's had dozens and dozens of multi colored beads hanging from them.
By mile 8 we were back into downtown New Orleans. As I passed my hotel my thoughts were, of how nice it was going to be in a few hours when I would return to it.
Then we headed directly into the French Quarter. After passing some "quite interesting" looking sidewalk shops, we ventured into cute neighborhoods with antebellum type homes.
I don't know why, but I love the homes of the South, they just have so much character to them...
As I passed that point where the half marathoner's turned to end their race, and the rest of us moved on. I just kept thinking "I hope I made the right choice".
Around mile 15 my lungs really started to show the signs of what the race was doing to them. It was like a sharp pain at times when I would breath in, and coughing was killing me.
So I slowed my pace a little.
The good thing about being sick and having other issues is it was taking all of my attention away from my hip bursitis that also due to re-injuring it recently was also painful. But for the most part out of my mind during this race:)
When I got out to the lake (Lake Pontchartrain - the lake that's Levy's broke during Hurricane Katrina) I was beyond tired but I was enjoying the views. The lake was beautiful, huge and covered in white sailboats... Kind of a different kind of shoreline, they were like concrete steps down to the water.
We ran through a beautiful neighborhood on the lake shore. Massive huge plantation like homes, to just gigantic two story wrap around decks. To be honest some of them were large enough they could be hotels, but I saw a lot of college kids in them, so maybe they are also rented out for spring break??
I even saw some real parrots in the palm tree's. Couldn't figure out if someone just put them there for the race, but they were fun to see.
Mile 22 we headed back from the lake down the (what I called "pretty" but long) road. It was in the mid 60"s so the temp was really perfect, and the skies were a beautiful blue. I loved being able to get cups of ice at the water stops. Since my throat was so sore and on fire from whatever cold I had that ice was fabulous!!!
That said, I also LOVED the Otter Pops they handed out around mile 23, in some ways they were a lifesaver on my throat.
I wont' lie, I struggled those last miles of the race, but being tired from running was one thing. I was just sicker than sick and ready to be out of the misery!
When I finally came into the park, and circled around it to get to the straight shot to the finish, I was so thrilled I actually made it, and well let's be honest... That nothing bad happened to me, since I was obviously too sick to have been running.
So it was a very happy moment to run through the finish line and have the metal that of course was Marti Gras colors with beads put around my neck!
I wasn't going to mention this, but oh well I am. So on my bus ride back I was having such a difficult time breathing. Actually I was having extreme difficulty getting a breath into me and only could do short shallow breaths.
When I finally got back to my hotel, I was still having a lot of trouble breathing. Very annoying when you need a deep breath but cannot take one!
It took me several hours and well into the evening before I could breath deep again. Probably gross to mention, but I had a lot of junk in my lungs that took actually an entire 2nd day to get out.
(On a side note: When I got back to Utah, I visited the Dr. I had a lung infection, Bronchitis and a bad sinus infection. No wonder the race hurt so bad! I consider myself a lucky girl to be able to have finished!)
New Orleans was a beautiful city. I enjoyed eating on the Riverwalk next to the Mississippi.
Even though I was sick I did get out and see a few things enjoyed the food and ate a few yummy Beignets.
I'd really like to go back to New Orleans sometime, when I am not sick, of course! :)
I am looking forward to my next race, just a few days away actually. I am finally starting to feel better, all the medications and antibiotics are doing their thing. I am hoping for a fabulous next run!
- Sorry the pictures are poor quality this time. I was an idiot and took off without my Camera charger, and ended up having to take all my pictures with my cell phone this trip:(