I’m still a marathoner. Ok, I just needed to pinch myself to make sure that title didn’t vanish overnight.
In yesterday’s post, I wrote about my initial experience with the Rock ‘n’ Roll series and day 1 of the expo which was great, but overwhelming. My original plan was to just hit up the expo on Friday to beat the crowds. Then, a bunch of fellow running bloggers who would be running RnR NOLA got to talking on Twitter and decided to plan a little Tweetup. Rock ‘n’ Roll decided to get in on it and advertise our social media mashup!
I was very skeptical about Twitter when I first signed up for it months ago. I thought it was silly and didn’t think I’d have a purpose for it. Since then, I’ve found it to be a great resource and a way to "meet" fellow runners and bloggers. It’s also a great avenue to hold yourself and others accountable and to learn from one another. I have learned so much since I joined and have met some great runners in the process like this girl…
|@KatieRUNSthis, Tweetup host!|
Katie was our host for the event. I’ve been reading her blog for a while and if you haven’t checked it out you MUST. This girl ran all the way through her pregnancy. Way to go, Katie!
It was great to put faces to names and to meet some new to me bloggers as well. What was even better was talking to likeminded people. Runners just get it. I’ve written about how running is like my secret crush. I try not to talk about it too much in my everyday life because some people just don’t understand – not in a bad way just in an "I don’t know what you’re talking about" and an "I don’t really care" way. Splits? Pace? Tempo runs? You ran HOW MANY miles? It’s kind of lost on the non-runner crowd. But, on Saturday I completely felt in my element. I like meeting new people but can be somewhat reserved so this was a great opportunity!
|Me and @cajun_runner|
I also had the chance to meet up with Erica, the Cajun Runner. We chat on Twitter occasionally and it was so fun to finally meet. She considers herself "just a jogger" but she JOGGED RnR NOLA, her first half marathon, in under 2 hours. Great job, Erica! (Thanks for supplying the pics!)
I was also lucky enough to meet Samantha, Heather, and Kristyn. All of these women are spectacular. Samantha set a marathon PR by 42 minutes, Heather ran her 7th marathon hoping to BQ and RnR NOLA was Kristyn’s first half marathon – and she killed it! Everyone has a different story to tell and is at a different place in their training. There’s so much to learn. Thank you, all!
After saying goodbye to everyone (sniffle) RM and I tried to catch a cab back to our hotel so I could get off my feet. No dice. There wasn’t a cab to be found so we took a pedicab. Even though I’m originally from NYC I’ve never taken one. It was fun although the weather was pretty undesirable – chilly, a little rainy and a lot windy. Still, we had a good time. Luckily, we didn’t hit any potholes along the way. And we gave our driver (pedicabber?) a very generous tip since he was from nearby Massachusetts and had to haul RM through the streets.
While I rested my feet, RM headed over to the Quarter with my friend Mary’s husband and their daughter so they could pick up their bikes for race day. The plan was to bike the course and meet the both of us at certain points to make sure we were fully hydrated and doing a-okay. Once they came back we all set out to grab dinner together – carb loading time!
Now, typically I do best with a big bowl of pasta and some bread the night before. I’ve had horrible experiences with protein so I just stick with what I know. In case you didn’t know, NOLA is NOT an Italian food kind of town. Even though we planned ahead of time plans quickly fell apart. Restaurants were packed and/or weren’t picking up the phone for us to order takeout. So, we had to improvise.
|Appetizer – split among 4 needy runners.|
|Best around town? That’s somewhat subjective. ONLY AROUND TOWN!|
In the end, we wound up ordering everything off the small bar menu at Mary’s hotel – anything that had a carb in it we ordered. By that point I think we were all ready to go Survivor on one another. It turned out to be fine and we made it work. Not the Survivor part, the dinner part.
|No more hungry gremlins here.|
After talking over our plans for race day we headed back to our hotel so I could lay out everything I needed. I was calm and relaxed the entire day but getting my game face on the night before started to make me excited and nervous. In less than 10 hours I would be at the starting line of my first marathon. Unreal.
|Race shirt (didn’t wear it) and my bib signed by Frank Shorter|
What’s on the menu for you the night before a race? Any staples you MUST have? How do you get your game face on and prepare yourself mentally?