The Louisiana Marathon Expo
After a great night sleep, we woke up ready to run!
We left the apartment fairly early and arrived at the race start in time to find a great parking spot! Score!
I loved seeing the State Capitol all lit up!
My running buddy and partner in crime, Kelli!
This race was MUCH cooler than the race I ran the prior weekend in Orlando….from 80 degrees to 45 degrees….huge difference! It was also a big difference for Kelli – she ran Houston the previous weekend in COLD RAIN! Thankfully, this race was dry!
Before I begin with a recap of the race itself, I have to say that I went into this race with no expectations. My ultimate Half Marathon goal is to break 2 hours (I’m SO close…2:01) but I didn’t have that “monkey on my back” (as my coach says) for this race. Having run Goofy’s Challenge the weekend before, I told Kelli that my only goal was to run this Half below 2 hours and 20 minutes. No pressure!
We lined up for this race somewhere in the middle of the pack. I was so excited that I had the opportunity to run this race since I missed it last year due to injury.
Lots of runners behind us!
Kelli and I began this race together and we started out slow to test our legs. As we neared the first mile, I glanced at my watch and noticed that I was keeping an 11 minute pace. Remarkably, my legs and knee felt great! After crossing the first bridge, I decided to pick up my pace.
The sunrise was beautiful in Baton Rouge…perfect weather, perfect race day, perfect course! I loved absolutely everything about this race!
I reached mile 3 and realized that I felt great! By this point, my pace was up to a 9:45 and I was going strong.
Around mile 4, I took a few sips of Gatorade and that’s when my heart went crazy into a PSVT attack. PSVT stands for Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia and when it hits, my heart jumps into a crazy super fast rhythm. It’s only happened twice during a race (my very first and second Half Marathons) and the last time it happened was after the Mandeville Half. Don’t worry – my cardiologist told me to try holding my breath until it passes. Nothing serious.
As soon as I felt my heart jump, I groaned. I was running SO well and felt SO good – why now?! I’m sure you can imagine my frustration.
I stopped to walk and attempted to hold my breath at the same time with no luck, so I crossed over to the side of the road and bent down to pretend like I was tying my shoe. I watched the minutes tick by on my Garmin as my heart continued it’s crazy rhythm. After four minutes, my heart rate returned to normal and I breathed a sigh of relief.
As soon as I felt a normal beat, I jumped back into the pack and continued running. (Smart, huh?) :0)
We reached Mile 5 at Tiger Stadium and the excitement in the air was palpable.What a fun route!
By this point, I was trying to make up for lost time. Somewhere past Tiger Stadium, the number 2:12 popped into my head. I have no clue where it came from, but it stuck and I decided that my new goal was to run this race in 2 hours and 12 minutes. I had a debate in my head – it’s 2013, should I try for 2 hours and 13 minutes? Nah…stick with 2:12!
A good portion of this race was spent running by the lake. All of this area was brand new territory to me and it was nice to run somewhere new!
Loved the banana guy! Too funny!
As the miles ticked by, I continued to glance at my watch. I kept pushing the pace, running harder and faster – attempting to reach my newly set goal.
Around mile 11, we reached this bear again – the overpass. I thought about walking, but the thought left my mind as soon as it entered. If I walked and missed my goal by seconds, I would be so upset with myself.
I did stop for a quick picture with the Mile 12 sign, though! (As usual!)
We reached the corner at Mile 12.5 and were greeted with a LOT of spectators cheering us on!
These guys were just what I needed! They helped boost me up and keep me going to the finish!
As I neared the finish line, I looked down at my watch then began to BOOK it. Two hours and 12 minutes was CLOSE. Where had I even pulled that number from? Who knows!
I crossed the finish line triumphantly!
Even with a crazy heart rhythm along the way and tired legs from Goofy’s Challenge the weekend before, I did it! I reached my goal!
I was so excited, you would have thought that I PR’d! This race gave me just the confidence I needed!
Somehow I missed Kelli crossing the finish line, but we were able to catch back up after the race. Kelli had an awesome race too, and I was incredibly excited for her!
We took pictures with our medals, then drove over to Tiger Stadium to take a few more!
Mike was out to enjoy the gorgeous weather, too!
Thank you, Louisiana Marathon!! I had an amazing day and can’t wait to see you again next year!
King Cake Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Bistro!
It was incredibly yummy and very well deserved! :0) It comes highly recommended, too!
Thanks for following along with my journey! Have a fabulous weekend!