|Finisher - that's about all I can say for the day. :)|
I signed up for the Ole Man River half marathon last year when the rate was as cheap as many 5ks these days. Couldn't resist the bargain ! Much later, my plans changed and I decided to run the St. Jude Marathon. Ole Man River was only 2 weeks post marathon, so believe me when I say, it was going to be a training run. The weather was not kind to us ! It was hot with HIGH humidity. The kind of weather that makes you feel awful for the entire run, even a training run. I know you are thinking.....you run in this weather all the time, you should be used to it. I think that too, but somehow, when the body has a few days of cool running, it only wants cool running for a few months. I was not prepared !
My plan all along was to run pretty slow, but as we started the race, almost immediately, I adjusted my pace again (slower), and I ended the race even slower than that adjusted slower pace. With it being only 2 weeks post marathon, pace was not a goal anyway. I just wanted to get some miles in and cover the distance with other runners instead of my typical solo run.
This was my first time signing up for Ole Man River (New Orleans). Let me say I was SOOOOO disappointed the first half of the race. The race is advertised as a levee run along the river. I have signed up for other "levee races" in, or near New Orleans, where you couldn't see the river, but this wasn't even on the levee for the first 6 miles. In fact, it was in a 100% industrial area, so believe me when I say there was NOTHING pretty or inspiring to see. My spirits were finally lifted a little when we arrived back near the start and we finally started the last half on the levee, with a river view. It was HOT, I was hurting (at jogging pace), but at least there was now something to see. This part of the race ran straight across the river from Jackson Square, Cafe DuMonde, and the French Market area. Other than riding the pedestrian ferry over and back years ago, I had never had the view of the city like this. The trail is very nice and well maintained in this area. It has more concrete than I like, but other than that, it's a nice place to run. As we started this part of the race, I continually noticed the wind at my back. It's funny how many times you don't notice the wind when it's at your back. I noticed during this race because this section was out and back, so while I was thoroughly enjoying every step with the wind at my back, the whole time my mind was thinking about how tough the return would be when I was already laboring much more than I should be in a training run.
As I made the turn heading back, as expected the final miles were tough. I walked a few times, and my pace continued to slow. I ended the race at 2:08, 9:46 average. It's interesting because this is the exact same pace I ran for most of my HOT summer long runs.
Remember how I messed up my tangents so much at St. Jude (26.46)? For Ole Man River, I finished at 13.14. Sure......when time and pace totally DO NOT matter, hit those tangents perfectly Ginny. Go Girl ! Ba ha ha ha !
Soon after the race, my head started hurting. My husband had been battling a cold for a couple of days, and I was certain, soon after the race that I was getting sick. As it turned out, after Sat. I felt ok until Wed. when it finally hit me with full force. Head hurting, nose running - feeling BAD ! It was odd. I felt awful Wed. evening and all day Thursday. When I got up on Friday, I felt so much better. I still had a little stuffiness, but felt pretty good all day. I felt good enough to run by Sunday, and every Christmas for as long as I can remember, I wake up and run, but this year I decided to take another day before starting back.
Yesterday, I ran 5 miles and Chad rode the bike along with me. It's been many years since he's done that. I enjoyed the company and felt great to be running again. It's still HOT and HUMID, so it wasn't easy, but I was happy to be back at it.
Remember how I LOVE a bargain. Rock n Roll recently ran a special for the Mardi Gras marathon. $67 (including fees). Oopsie ! I think I may have signed up for the full in New Orleans in Feb. If this weather continues (HOT), I will change my registration to the half. I have no plans of running 26.2 in the steamy weather we are having now. Also, with missing a week of training from the cold, it may be impossible to get back on track for a full anyway. I have no plans of racing this one, but wanted to run 26.2 in the first half of 2017, and the price was right. We shall see.......
Final thoughts on Old Man River 13.1
While it's doubtful, I wish NOTC would make some changes to the first half of this race. Without changes, I doubt I would sign up for this one again, unless I was running with a group of friends (a fun run), or if I was really, really wanting to "race" a flat course. Most times, I would prefer my solo runs rather than the industrial route of this course - not a fan.