Here’s another blog from a Mississauga chiropractor…
On Sunday Feb 24th, 2013, I participated in the New Orleans Rock & Roll Marathon. This was my second Rock & Roll Marathon to date, so I was excited to tackle this flat New Orleans course. We arrived in New Orleans the Saturday before and headed straight to the Health & Fitness Expo which was being held at the New Orleans Morial Convention Centre, just north of the Mississippi River.
We found some parking and entered the Convention Centre and made our way to Hall A & B, where the Race Expo was taking place. On our way we saw the ACE Hardware convention and a Cheerleading Competition also taking place in adjoining Halls. We also decided to grab a bite to eat before getting the Race Expo. We found a food court and tried some popular New Orleans dishes. I had a Muffuletta (deli sandwich) & a Catfish Po-boy (another sandwich), Maria had the Shrimp Po-Boy.
Once I got my race bib and tech-shirt, we went straight to the official marathon merchandise section. For my past 4 marathons (Boston, Chicago, Nashville, Columbus), I have made it a tradition of picking up an official marathon jacket. Luckily for me, I found the last one that was in-stock. It was a large however, but I also got a marathon hoodie to wear inside, so the fit was good. Maria found some nice New Orleans running shirts as well.
I was also able to pick-up another pairs of racing shoes. Again, another tradition of mine is buying my shoes at the Expo discounted price. This year’s model of my Brooks ST-Racers was a nice yellow. A change from last year’s red and the bright orange & blue from 2011.
After the Race Expo, we made our way to our Hotel, The Crown Plaza on Canal & Bourbon Street to check-in. We then roamed around the French Quarters (New Orleans’ oldest district), before settling in for dinner at a local Italian Restaurant. I of course had my spaghetti & meatballs, my traditional pasta meal before a big marathon.
On Marathon day we were expecting 16,000 runners all running either the Full Marathon or Half Marathon. We walked over to Lafayette Square at Poydras Street & Camp Street, where the start of the race would begin.
In the starting Corrals, it was announced that US running greats Kara Goucher & Shalane Flannigan would be participating in the half marathon. Evidently, Kara would finish 5th overall, while Shalane would finish 2nd overall.
Personally, I was very excited about this marathon. My goal was to run under 3 hours and 10 minutes. My personal best was 3:09:17 at the Detroit Marathon in 2010. I felt pretty confident because I had dropped from 172 lbs to 139 lbs in the past 3 months and I was running over 100 km a week pretty consistently for the past 2 months.
I started out in Coral B because I had indicated in my sign-up that I wanted to run a 3:30 marathon, so for the entire first half of the race, I was passing a lot of runners with ease.
Each of my splits for the opening 35 km ranged from 4:05-4:12 mins/km. I was actually on pace to hit 2:58:00 until about 5 km to go, when I hit the infamous ‘runner’s wall’. I started to slow down dramatically, but I tried not to panic. As longs as I didn’t cramp up or start to walk, I would still hit my goal of running under 3:10:00. As I approached CityPark which was the home of the Finish Line, I was able to crank my speed back up again, and I finished strong with a personal best time of 3:03:58. I finished 50th out of 2629 marathon runners.
My next marathon is scheduled for June 22nd, 2013 in Seattle, Washington. This will be my 3rd Rock & Roll Marathon event. It is supposed to be a very hilly course, so my training should start pretty soon. No rest for the wicked! Happy Running!