Monday, November 11, 2013

2013 Cajun Cup 10K Recap

Today, I am incredibly excited to share a race recap with you. The day of the Cajun Cup 10K began like any other ordinary “long run” Saturday. I went through the motions and decided I wouldn’t pressure myself.

It’s just a 10K, go out and run it for fun…

In fact, I was so confident I wasn’t going to push myself, I didn’t even look up my current 10K PR (this race held that PR back in 2011). In the back of my mind, I assumed my PR was somewhere around 55 minutes. When I hit that time back in 2011, I was marathon training (which I’m not doing now), so I knew I didn’t even have a chance.

If you know me, you know I’m competitive with myself. Running is totally a mind game. Apart from training runs, positive thinking is SO important when preparing for a race. Negativity can defeat you before you even defeat yourself. I didn’t go into this race with negative thoughts,but I certainly wasn’t pumping myself up or being positive, either.

This race also holds a special place for both Kelli and I. Back in 2011, this race was the start of a great friendship between Kelli, Heather, and I. We call it our “runiversary”!

Kelli and I had about an hour drive to the race from our hometown. (Yet another reason why I wasn’t setting myself up for a PR.)

When we arrived, I began foam rolling immediately. On the sidewalk.

Cajun Cup

I’m sure that was quite a sight. Thankfully most people knew what I was doing…

We arrived at packet pickup and I received my number, no problem. My ONE complaint with this race falls in the race shirt category. (Isn’t it always about the race shirts?) I PRE-registered for this race about two months ago and they were out of shirts in the size I ordered. I was offered an XS or an XL. I needed a Medium. My race number was added to a list of about 15 others who also needed a medium. How many of those on the list also pre-registered and didn’t receive the size they requested? In my opinion, if someone PRE-registers,that shirt should belong to them and them only. Extra shirts should be ordered in each size for those who aren’t pre-registered and once those “extra” shirts are gone, those who did not pre-register should be added to the list of shirts to order. Another problem, I don’t live in Lafayette. Which means I have to drive an hour to pick up this shirt once it arrives at the store. Not cool. I don’t know about you, but I love wearing shirts of races I’ve run…and I’m even more proud of the shirt if I did well in a race.

Ok I’m off my soapbox and have no more complaints about this race, I promise! :0) I really truly do love this race and highly recommend it, especially if you live in or near the Lafayette area!

Despite the shirt situation, I brightened up when I saw CHRISTMAS decorations throughout the downtown area. Yes, I know Thanksgiving deserves it’s own holiday I completely agree, but I do love Christmas oh so much…

Cajun Cup 1-1

Cue: Toby Mac Christmas on Pandora. Yep. For the entire race. Happy Karen!

This race began at the same location as 2011, but I noticed they divided runners out by the time frame they expected to finish the race. I LOVED this idea!! It definitely helped with congestion at the start line.

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Also, something new from 2011 - my bib had a chip timer on the back. With 1500 runners, it’s difficult to get an accurate time recording without chip timers. Great idea!

Cajun Cup 3

Kelli and I ran into fellow Go-Runner (Erin) during our walk to the start line! Erin, Kelli, and I are all in the same running group back home.

Cajun Cup 2

Ready or not, here we go! This is when the nerves started to hit me. No matter the distance, I always seem to get butterflies at a race start.

I absolutely love this race. Growing up, I lived in Lafayette for several years and this race always brings back such fun memories for me!

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We ran past the University of Lafayette campus and several other UL landmarks. On major roads, lanes were closed off for the race. Despite traffic, there were plenty of law enforcement officers monitoring the course.

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Mile 1 met us as we entered a neighborhood. I looked down at my watch and saw that I ran the first mile in 8:43. I was worried that I started out too fast and wouldn’t be able to keep up that pace although I felt great at that point. I was following a girl in a bright pink tank top – she continued running, so did I!

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Made it halfway!

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There were several points on this course where I ran on the sidewalk. When the outside lane had a slant to it, I noticed tightening in my knee – that was my cue to hop on the sidewalk. Worked every time!

Cajun Cup 9

Halfway there, feeling great.

I have to laugh – moments after I took this picture, a giant truck pulling a huge trailer turned into the parking lot entrance RIGHT in front of me. As he began turning, I said aloud “I KNOW he is NOT!” Sure enough, he did. He caused me to come to a dead stop. I paused my watch for all of 5 seconds but it still ticked me off. Other runners were laughing at me because I yelled at him, “You’ve GOT to be kidding me!” Not cool truck dude. Not cool at all.

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The weather for this race was clear, cool, and beautiful. An absolute PERFECT day for a race.

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By mile four, I started counting in my head. Could I PR? Possibly. Wait, how could I PR if I didn’t even really know my current 10K PR? I decided to stick with 55 minutes as a PR and go from there.

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Remember the girl in the hot pink tank top? Well, throughout the race, I found another girl in a hot pink tank and by the end of the race, I was trailing both of them. They really helped keep me on pace.

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Approaching downtown and the finish!

Don’t stop now! You’re almost there….

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I crossed the finish line at 54 minutes and 29 seconds! I knew it was a PR of some sort…or at least I thought…

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As I waited for Kelli, I checked my 2011 time and sure enough, I PR’d by much more than I thought! My time from 2011 was 57 minutes which means I PR’d by 2 minutes and 30 seconds this time around!

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There’s Kelli! She ran a great race, too…and she accomplished her goal. I was very proud of her!

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After the race, we HAD to make a stop by the Great Harvest booth – we remembered their amazing bread from the last time we ran this race.

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Another new feature this year was the Cajun Timing instant results booth. Runners could type in their race bib and print their results instantly.

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I was super excited about this feature, until my receipt printed blank. I really did run this race, guys!! Hah!

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That’s a wrap! Another Cajun Cup 10K in the books…and a PR to boot!

After the race, Kelli and I enjoyed breakfast at Another Broken Egg followed by lots of shopping time in Lafayette. Actually, we spent most of our day in Lafayette and really enjoyed it!

I stayed on a PR high the rest of the weekend! What a great day!

I hope you all had a great weekend as well! Have you ever run a 10K? What’s your favorite race distance?


  1. Sounds like a pretty great race. Congrats on your awesome PR!! 10ks can be fun. :)

  2. Congratulations on the PR! You are awesome. And I love the idea of instant results. I wish more races did that.

    I also agree about the shirts. If you pre-registered, you get what you put on there. Separate which shirts are extra, and leave it at that.

    Hope you are still riding that PR high!

  3. Congrats on your PR girl! And unexpected PR's are the best!!!

  4. Congratulations on your PR! I'm looking forward to the Turkey Trot in Charlotte and hoping for Christmas decorations!

    1. Thank you!! running Christmas time races!

  5. Congrats on the PR! I completely agree with you about the race shirts. If you pre-register, you should be able to get the size you ordered. It seems like this kind of thing happens with the local races. One of my races this year, the organizers not only had problems like this with the race shirts, but also ran out of finishers medals before everyone had finished. They did do a great job of rectifying the situation and had correct t-shirt sizes mailed out to those who didn't get them within a week or two (same with the medals). Hopefully, the same will happen with you.

    1. Ran out of medals, too? Wow...that's crazy! Glad you received your shirt anyway! Thank you so much! :0)

  6. Congratulations on the PR Karen! I've only run a few 10K's. It's a hard distance for me. I love that you ran the race while listening to Christmas music!

  7. Congrats on your PR! That's awesome. I hardly ever know my exact PRs, I just know "about" when they are.

    I agree. If you pre-register, you should get your size. I have no idea why it's just a hard concept for race directors to grasp. Boo.

    1. Thanks so much, Abby! I don't understand it, either...

  8. Great job! I agree about the shirt situation. The same thing happened to me earlier this year and I never did receive my correct size in the mail.

    1. Oh no!! That's really frustrating...sorry that happened to you! Thank you!! :0)

  9. Congrats on the big PR! Sorry about the shirt though. I don't get why they ask you what size you want, but then can't guarantee it.
    I ran a 10k a few weeks ago- also a PR and I listened to Christmas music, too! I wonder if there's a connection. :)

    1. Yay Christmas music!! Must be a connection somehow...hmm... :0) Thank you!

  10. Great job :) The shirt thing is annoying, I have never had an issue, but would be mad if my size i had pre ordered wasnt available

    1. Thanks, Sarah! Yeah the shirt thing was not cool at all!

  11. Looks like a great race Karen!!! I love that little printout, my last race I stood there forever, just wanting my time as they didn't have it up on a screen like they usually do.

    1. Thanks, Karen...that's annoying! Hope it eventually showed up!

  12. Oh wow that race looks like so much fun! I love Lafayette and spent a couple years in college there. Beautiful campus! Maybe next year I'll think about this race!

    1. Yes, it was a great race!! :0) you should consider it!

  13. Congrats on the PR!!! Sounds like a lot of fun!


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