Instead, my friend Kim and I loaded up the car with Brayden and all the essentials at 5:30 a.m. and set off for Lafayette (it's about an hour plus a little drive). Thankfully, we met ZERO traffic and were able to make it to the race start about an hour before the race began.
After finding a parking spot (that was NO easy feat...I mean, how does one even use a parking meter??), I headed over to packet pickup. This is a large race, but the directors have got it going on!! There's PLENTY of port-a-potties, a really nice race start/finish area, vendors to see, the whole 9 yards!
We ended up parking in that parking garage. It was open and others were doing it so we did too! Also, the parking meters only took quarters. I mean...I don't ever carry change on me anymore. Lordy.
Kim and Brayden walked over to the start line to see me off!
It was a bit cool outside which was perfect for the race! I loved the weather! I was also still coughing like the week before but not quite as bad...thankfully it had calmed down a little bit and I was able to breathe a little easier.
I decided to line up somewhere mid-way through the pack. This race was chip timed so I knew the timer wouldn't start until I crossed the start line. I also decided not to place a goal on my back for this race. I wanted to just run it and see what happened. Last week's race kinda traumatized me....
After the race began, I had to weave a little but once I found my groove, it was on! I kept trying to debate my pace. Last week, I started out waaaaay too fast (on top of being sick and not being able to breathe) and fizzled out in the end. I didn't want to do that but I kept reminding myself that I was breathing a bit easier than the week before.
I even managed to hit a mile that was under the 9 minute mark (I think it was 8:58 or somewhere around there). Once I saw that, I knew I could at least beat my time from the week before, so that's what I focused on.
This course ran by the local University and all throughout the streets of Lafayette. It really is a pretty course and it doesn't go out and back so you never see the same thing twice.
Another huge perk this race has going on for itself is the water stops. Y'all, there were FOUR water stops on the course along with gatorade! Now that is what I'm talking about!!
Somewhere around mile 5, I spotted the back of a runDisney shirt. (That happens almost every race I run!) As I passed the girl, I glanced to see which race she ran. It happened to be Dopey of 2016 and I knew if I saw her at the finish line, I wanted to stop and congratulate her on her awesome accomplishment. Little distractions like that really help me get through a race and I love it!
Also, my music was turned up loud in both ears which also helped me stay focused. Last time I ran this race, I remembered hearing the finish area, then running way far away from it before finally looping back to it. This time, I was prepared....my music was so loud, I couldn't hear anything else!
As I neared the finish line, I knew I hadn't given this race my all because I had WAY too much left in the tank. Ah well...I'll get this right one of these days!
Another fun addition to this race this year were medals! The shirt and artwork designs are always done by a local artist, so that's what went on the medals as well! I loved it!
This was my third time running this race and I feel as if they just keep getting better and better!
As mentioned before, there were several vendors out and about to enjoy after the race. The first was Smoothie King!
This was the perfect post-race treat! Loved it!
Also, the Great Harvest Bread Company was out there giving away samples of their delicious bread. One of these just opened in my hometown and I can't wait to try them out! This bread was so yummy!
Remember the Dopey Challenge girl I mentioned earlier? Well, she crossed the finish line not long after I did, so I stopped to talk to her. She was so nice and we chatted about Disney and runDisney for a little while! I loved it!
After the race, Kim and I were going to eat breakfast at Another Broken Egg Cafe, but the line was insane. Instead, we went to Super Target and had our first red cups of the season!
The Chestnut Praline Latte is SO good!
We might have also enjoyed lunch at McAlisters. They seriously need to return to Lake Charles. For real.
I can't thank my friend Kim enough for coming along with us and watching Brayden while I ran this race! I certainly couldn't have done it without her!
Next race: The Cajun Country Half Marathon in December!! :) Can't wait!