Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans, baby!
I remember loving this one from the 52 half marathons in 52 weeks. And it was just as lovely as I remember it…
I mean… I’m pretty sure the route had to be different, because I remember some streets that were something that wasn’t normal road – cobblestone maybe or something like that?
Anyway, the point is, I don’t remember seeing that this time around. I know my last Nola race was 5 years ago, so what would I know really about the route? But I think there was a change and somebody can tell me if I was right – if they want. 🙂
Aaaaaaaaanyway, the gist was the same though – all those fantastic jazz bands. Horns everywhere. I love the vibe.
I also forgot how much New Orleans wants to eff you up – even early in the morning. The alcohol is always flowing. There was a stop with vodka martinis. There was a stop with a sign that said “Beer free, water $5.” There was a stop with mimosas. (All unofficial race stops, just for the record.) But if you wanted to be drunk while you did your marathon… New Orleans had your back!
The crowd was great. Bands were great. Everything was great.
Since I did the half last time (and wanted to do something more/new/exciting), and since I’ve gotta get 882 miles in this year, I was going after the marathon!
I did mentally give myself a *bit* of an out. I knew that if I switched down to the half, I could still make up those miles. (I’ve got room in my schedule.) Also, I’m trying to do 3 Rock ‘n’ Roll full marathons this year (because they have a sweeeet new heavy medal for doing 3 in one year). And I knew I had 3 other marathons that were possible…
But that meant, if I didn’t do this one, I was painting myself into a corner. I’m leaving no space for a bad day or a sick day or what have you in any of the three possible ones in the future (the ones that have the long time limit – San Diego, Savannah, and San Antonio). And quite honestly, I’m kinda hoping I get the three marathons in before San Antonio so I can switch down to the half (since I’ve already done the full), and have more time to enjoy the city.
Anyway, I knew a marathon was preferable, but a half was possible. And of course, as I keep saying lately, work had been busy, life had been busy, whatever. My sleep schedule was a bit messed up (as per usual).
I’d heard from a number of people that you the New Orleans full is awful – that you split off so close to the half finishers that you can *hear* them finishing and all the cheering and everything… and that the back half is lonely and boring – many spectators aren’t around, etc.
I mean, I heard it over and over and over from so many people. “That’s the worst half of the series. Don’t do it.”
But I thought, “It cannot be that bad.” And in my opinion, it really wasn’t. I don’t know if it’s because I was told to expect the worst of what. But I didn’t think it was so bad.
I mean, yes. I did hear the half finishers. But that happens in other marathons. That tooooootally happens at my favorite marathon (the San Francisco marathon). You know. It’s whatever. And yes, technically, it did feel like there were fewer spectators in the second half. But there was this out and back that had awesome blaring upbeat pop music. I felt they were really making a party, as much as they could, out of those back miles.
I actually felt I really found my stride around mile 19. I saw runners coming back from the other way, so I felt their energy. The music was great. I got a jolt of energy!
That super energy did not last though… As we will get into next time.