Saturday, December 14, 2013

State #18! Yes!Women's Half Marathon Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Yes! I finished #18!
And I placed 1st for my age group!
This makes 14 out of 18 that I placed 1, 2 or 3 in my age group!
This wasn't an easy race. It's not that it was hilly, or challenging like without oxygen, i.e., Park City, Utah. It's because it was 38*F (3.333*C) and rainy.
Let's get this race started, I'm freeeezing!
Standing on the race line, I met the cutest young girl, Summer! Hey girl, I told you I'd give you a shout out! Congratulations on finishing the Baton Rouge, Louisisna Half! 
I don't think the race had as good a turn out as expected. The "Finish Fest" was pretty much a wash out due to the downpour. I think because of all the rain and cold, I really don't remember much of the race.
I did run it a little differently.
This time, I really took the notion of pack running seriously. 
I ran steadily for the first few miles. And tried to hold a 7:40min pace. I picked one person out in front of me, and tried to catch her. When I caught her, I hung with her for a little bit, and then focussed on another person in front of her. I did this about four times. The person in the yellow jacket standing behind me in the above picture was one of those people. I met her at the end of the race - I think her name is Kristen. I told her how inspiring she was and how I tried to hang with her the whole race.
There were also a few younger runners. 
One was being paced by their coach, male friend or boyfriend. IDK.
How do you feel when you're running in a women's race and a guy is pacing someone?
I didn't mind, but I think there is definitely an advantage. I gotta try that some time ... I think. IDK, what do you think? Do you feel it's like sort of cheating? Either way, they were helpful because about mile 5, my watch died! Ech! Don't you hate when your Garmin just flat out leaves you hanging? This is my 3rd Garmin - I am always returning my watches and they are always sending me back refurbished CRAP!
Does anyone recommend a better watch or a better system?
I'll try anything ...
So as this young "pacer pack" passed me, I asked them about how fast they were going. The young girl told me she was trying to maintain a 7:35 min/mile pace. I thought, "That would be my ultimate goal pace for this race" Since I was really trying for 7:40, I figured if I could hang with them, I would meet my goal, and finish with a 1-hour 40-minute overall time. As you can see, I was close - but oh that extra 1-minute. They took off about mile 11 - and although I thought I was running fast, some guy passed me (I know, another guy - weird, right?) and I asked him how fast he was going - he told me about 7:45. So, I guess I lost some speed at the end - even though I was still passing people. One woman, I think she said her name was Tammy, passed me at this point. I yelled out to her, "You go girl, finish strong." The woman (Kristen) with the yellow jacket was still in front of me, and I still wanted to catch her. I kept repeating to myself, "Push. Go faster. C'mon faster. Faster. I even was spelling in my head:
You can take the girl out of her High School Cheerleading uniform, but you can never take the Cheerleader out of the girl! Yes, I am Cheerleader turned runner - and the two bizarrely become one during races - and at my lowest points in life! 
So, as I was repeating FASTER, and spelling F-A-S-T-E-R, I passed both, Kristen and Tammy.
You ladies rocked it! You were my Garmin watch, my pacemakers, my Ideal pack leaders. You are the reason I pushed and kept going strong! Thank you! And thank you to Jenna. After the race, Jenna came up to me to thank me for setting a pace that she was striving to keep, as well.
Thank you, Ladies!
I hope I am getting everyone's name right. I'm really glucose negative after a race, and my brain is very slow. I was freezing cold, too, and wondering where Side-kick was. After about 5 minutes of looking, Side-kick came with tons of stories about military boats and memorials that he visited along the Mississippi River. I thought it was nice, but couldn't focus. I needed to take a hot shower! Of course we didn't leave before sharing a celebratory beer...
Purple Haze, brewed in Louisiana
A perfect way to celebrate finishing state #18
After that hot shower, Side kick and I ran back to the tents - dodging rain drops as best as possible. The volunteers were starting to pack up. They must have been freezing cold. Someone printed out a ticket - and told me I took 1st AG 45-49! And another person gave me a martini glass, etched with a generic "Women's Half Marathon". It's adorable, but I wish it had something etched in there about Baton Rouge.
LOL! You can see the rainwater in the glass!
Next stop: ACME Oyster House, French Quarter New Orleans!
RD Notes: Oysters are one of the few foods with vitamin D, and vitamin D is great for muscle soreness and recovery!
Plus Oysters are super yummy!
Of course on the way to New Orleans Side-kick was freakin' out knowing that we were passing the same stadium that Drew Brees was going to be playing at in a few hours ....
Go Saints!
The ACME Oyster House is great fun. They sit you at long tables, so you're eating with total strangers. But there are no strangers here - everyone was super friendly - and most everyone had on a #9 Saints Jersey. And why not, wasn't Drew Brees just named NFL's FedEx Player of the week for the 4th time this season?
What a great guy!
State #18, cold, rainy, but still lots of fun!
The worst part was that I missed taking pictures of my son and his date at the Winter Candy Cane Dance. I'm sorry I missed you before the dance mini-man!
My little Clark Kent! <3
So beautiful!
LOL, I don't think he missed me!
Train Smart Today!
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