Thursday, December 16, 2021

Swamp Stomp Half Marathon 2021

Another day, another post about racing! It does my heart a lot of good to see races making their comeback. It's just been too long without them! 

As part of my training cycle for Princess, I had a 12 mile training run scheduled for the first weekend of December. Although that Saturday was smack in the middle of two very long and very early Grinch performances, I knew I had to sign myself up for this race or I'd never run the 12 on my own.

Luckily for my friends who are also training for Princess, they had an 11 mile training run that weekend and had never completed a half marathon. So, I somehow convinced them this would be good practice for Princess and they listened to me and registered! What's 13 miles when you're already doing 11, right? Am I right? :)

Although the name of the race is a familiar one, the venue was completely different and I loved it!

We ran through a large new-to-me neighborhood and it was perfect! 

One of the highlights was this giant Grinch I spotted along the way! A friend of mine took her 12 foot skeleton from Halloween and turned him into a Grinch!

A lot of this route was winding through roads, neighborhoods, and a lot of looping around.

I didn't mind the looping around so much until the end. Around mile 8, things really started to get tough.  The humidity as VERY high this day and although the course was flat, this race was just a tough one in general for me. It was a mental battle from mile 8/9, but things like the Just Breathe sign below really helped keep me going!

Signs like this were located all throughout the course and it was fabulous!

Some of it was desolate as there were only about 200 runners running this race and I was somewhere in the middle of the pack.

Don't think I didn't forget the traditional mile 12 sign photo!!

Mile 12 and literally almost done!

I tried to keep a consistent 9:30 pace as long as I could. It worked out really well until about mile 9...then all went downhill from there. Even so, my goal was to finish below 2 hours and 15 minutes and I made it! I was very proud of this time because I worked hard to get there!

All done! I kept reminding myself that I could sit down and relax when I finished running! Hah!

To the left of this photos is the physical therapist who helped with my last round of PT to my hamstring. She truly helped me get back to running and I'm forever grateful to her for that!

I was so proud of my friends for conquering something that seemed like such a huge obstacle for so long! They did great!!

My own little cheer squad was out there to cheer me on, too! Loved having them there!

After the race, we stopped by a local coffee shop for post-race brunch and it was SO good! 

Overall, it was a great race despite the humidity, but no one can control that factor. I loved running through this new-to-me neighborhood and being with my friends! It's so great to have racing back!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Cajun Cup 10K 2021

Happy Thanksgiving week! I hope you are having a wonderful week with your family as we kick off the holiday season!

I'm so thankful races are back. I was reminded how much I missed racing, the atmosphere, the spectators, and above all else the exhilaration that comes with crossing that finish line!

I knew I needed a 10K for a proof of time for princess (since mine was a year too old) but I wanted to find a good race - one I was familiar with and knew I could obtain my goal.

The Cajun Cup 10K is located in a town about an hour away. I've run it several times in the past so I decided on this one since it was familiar to me!

We left SUPER early that morning because Kim was also running the 1 miler which started about a half hour before the 10K.

My friend wasn't a steady runner prior to this, but I thinks he has been bitten by the running bug! :)

Proud of my friend!

It was in the 40's that morning which translates to SO COLD to us down here in the south. I wasn't quite sure what to wear - did I need my ear cover? gloves? a jacket?  

I finally decided on nothing extra besides what was already on me (long sleeve dry fit shirt and ankle length tights) and that was the best decision! 

This race led us through downtown Lafayette, through a residential neighborhood, then finally over to the Cajun Dome.

The first few miles literally flew by and it was the best feeling! My official goal for this race was to finish under an hour and somewhere in the eight minute per mile range. I knew I wouldn't be anywhere near my 10K PR, but that was ok with me.

I managed to find a group of people who were keeping a somewhat steady pace, so I followed them and it worked!

One thing I will say I'm annoyed about with this race - I clearly heard them say over the loud speaker that it didn't matter where you stood in the starting corral, your time would be calculated from the moment you crossed the start line. It took me a good 20 seconds to cross that start line and although my finish time was 54:44, their official clock time was 55:06 when I crossed the finish line, and that's my official time on the log. I feel like I remember this happening to me at this race before, so I stood closer to the starting line the following time I ran it. Well, I forgot all about that this go round. Oh well, lesson learned for next time!

I'm still proud of myself regardless! I achieved my goal plus some!

After the race, I asked a lady to take our picture and she literally took it crooked. I had to adjust the photo to make it straight. This photo will always make me laugh for that very reason!

Is this how all the cool kids are taking photos now-days? Guess I need to get with the program!

Despite the little time disparity, this race was absolutely perfect! You couldn't have asked for better weather, the sun was shining, the course was mostly flat, and the water supply was perfect. I will definitely be back to run this one again in the future!

Smoothie King was also out with free smoothies after the race! YUM!

Post race offerings in the south are always unique and delicious! You never know what you're going to encounter - for this race, it was jambalya and it was delicious! 

After the race, we went shopping for a little while, then stopped for a late brunch at Another Broken Egg. It was all so good! 

I absolutely love days where you can put away the worries of the week, spend time with a friend, and enjoy the gorgeous weather. A little retail therapy never hurt anything, either! It truly was a perfect day! 

Happy Thanksgiving!! On this holiday week, I'm thankful for so many things, you guys included! Have a wonderful holiday!

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