Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sweet Redemption

I’ll be back tomorrow with a full race recap of my experience with the Rock n Roll New Orleans Marathon – but for now, I want to share a few thoughts I had while running this race.

For starters, I looked to Rock n Roll New Orleans as my “redemption run”. This was my 4th Full Marathon and up until Sunday, I had yet to achieve my goal. With two fun Disney fulls and one injured full under my belt, I knew Sunday had to be different.

Last year, I trained for the Houston Marathon. I put everything into training and only weeks before the race, I became injured. I developed tendonitis and swelling in my left knee which led to 8 weeks of Physical Therapy and subsequent ITBand issues.

I was crushed that I couldn’t run the Houston Full. Along with the average marathon, Houston also hosted the Olympic Trials that weekend. Watching Kara Goucher, Shalane Flanagan, Meb Keflezighi, Desi Davila, Ryan Hall, and all the other Olympic Trials hopefuls compete for the title was incredibly inspiring. I stood on the sidelines with my leg wrapped in an ACE bandage and I wished with every fiber in my being that I could go the distance, too.

On race day, I wanted to cry as I pinned the Half Marathon race bib on my shirt. I was advised by my physical therapist to run the Half Marathon instead of the Full. At the time, I knew it was the best decision but my stubborn brain didn’t want to accept it.

As I ran the Houston Half, I kept thinking back to Kara who pushed through her pain to qualify for the Olympic Trials. I hobbled along, pushing through my pain as best as possible and I gained a whole new respect for professional athletes. No, I’m not comparing myself to them AT ALL, cause I’m not. I’m not even saying that I understand them because I’m definitely not that caliber of a runner, I simply gained a new found respect for them.

I finished that Half in tears, disappointed in myself…disappointed my body let me down….disappointed at life in general. How could running, something I love SO much hurt so bad?

Flash forward to Sunday. A few weeks prior to the race, I heard that professionals like Kara Goucher, Shalane Flanagan, and Mo Farah were on schedule to run the Rock n Roll NOLA Half Marathon. I could not believe I was about to travel a very similar path, just a few (or maybe more) minutes behind such greats! My running buddy Heather and I examined the course to see if we might catch of glimpse of these awesome athletes run by and as it turns out, WE DID!


There’s the pace truck followed closely behind by Mo!



Shalane and Kara!!


As the athletes flew by us, we stopped to cheer them on. I could not believe that I was running on the same roads as these incredible ladies (and gentlemen)!

We began running again and that’s when the realization hit me. THIS DAY was IT. Last year, I couldn’t even run 2 miles without excruciating pain and here I was running a marathon at a great pace with no pain at all! I kept thinking about Kara and how ironic it was that she was in New Orleans, too…just like Houston last year! I’ll admit, I told Heather my thoughts and I teared up a bit - I honestly could not believe everything that was happening at that moment. Kara will never know how much of an inspiration she’s been to me. I held onto my thoughts for several miles and continued to let them roll around in my mind.

Here it was…my redemption run….I promise you, redemption never tasted so sweet!



  1. So awesome!!! I'm so glad you had such a great race! I saw Mo but missed Kara and Shalane. I turned my head a brief second to say something to my friend and that's when I missed them. :-( It's funny because I was searching for them so hard and you can see it in some of my race photos! I had a hard look of concentration on my face lol! It was awesome to run knowing they were there too!

    1. That's such a bummer! I'm sorry you missed them but glad you got to see Mo!

  2. The only thing I like about our local races that go up and back St. Charles is that you get to see the leaders run by on the opposite side of the street. I'm glad you had this experience during your PR race. That's so cool! I believe everything happens for a reason and the fact that you saw your running idols during this race as you worked for a PR is pretty cool.

    1. Thanks so much, Katherine! I agree-that is a very cool feature of races in Nola! :0)


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