Race Recap: New Orleans Marathon (Part 1)

Just over a day since my 7th marathon (8th, if we count the 50K last month) and it still seems unreal. When I posted my time yesterday on twitter, I kept starting with 4:Xx, instead of my official finishing time of 3:55:11. I have chased the 4 hour goal for so long and I’m so happy to have shattered that barrier.

New Orleans Marathon

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Let’s back up a little and start at the beginning. After packing for the race on Thursday night, I chose not to share my time goals. It was hard, but I sometimes put too much pressure on myself and I didn’t want the extra weight on this race. My un-posted goals were:

  1. 3:55 finish
  2. Under 4:00 finish
  3. Under 4:16 (still a PR time)

I felt the 3:55 was a stretch, especially as recovery from the 50k had been “slower” and I’ve had some weird issues with my foot over the past 4-6 weeks.

Rock N Roll New Orleans Expo

I was uncharacteristically nervous on Friday night, but calm on Saturday. We had an uneventful flight to NOLA (New Orleans), enjoyed an early lunch in the French Market, and headed to the Expo. I was happy that the race offered women’s specific shirts, but disappointed in the choice of white. I decided I would spend some money and buy a cuter shirt.

 

After wandering around the expos, I stopped by the Rock ‘n’ Roll (RnR) booth for my first ever #tweetup – basically a meetup “in real life” for people who are on twitter. It was great to meet a few running tweeps in person and talk excitedly about the race. The RnR folks offered us a free promotional shirt for the race, which is also much cuter than the race shirt. Thanks RnR!!

And that’s how I ended up with THREE race shirts this weekend. It’s a good thing the race turned out so well, I’m not sure what I would have done with all these shirts otherwise!

We headed back to town and found our way to the Crescent City Brewery for a sampler of their beers. Honestly, they were all mediocre and I was happy we split the sampler. After a little more sightseeing, we checked into the hotel, we spent some time relaxing and watching TV – I did have a race the next day, after all!

Pre-Race Dinner at O! Vegasm

Before heading down to New Orleans, we had done some research on the best places to eat in the area for vegan-friendly food. We had made plans for Sunday meals, but hadn’t really nailed down plans for Saturday. We used this site  for many recommendations, then confirmed using Yelp & Happy Cow. We decided to try O! Vegasm in Marigny, about a 15-20 minute walk from our hotel at the edge of the Quarter.

When we arrived at the address, there was a dive bar in its place called St Roch Tavern. Luckily, I noticed a menu taped to a window around the corner and we wandered in. It was early, so only a few people were in the building and we tried to look less confused than we were. I finally spotted a chalkboard propped against the wall in a small back room – we had found it!!

Although small, the all-vegan menu looked delicious and we had a hard time narrowing down our choices to two entrees to split. We settled on a BBQ Sandwich with a side of Jambalaya and a plate of Chorizo Nachos. As often happens when I’m hungry, I forgot about pictures until we had destroyed the presentation, but trust me, this place is awesome!!

How can any sandwich covered with Mac n Cheese NOT be incredible, right? I’m going to have to recreate this at home! The cheese sauce on the Chorizo Nachos is made in house (cashew based) and was on of the best I have had. Check out their Facebook page, which has many more pictures that came out much better than mine. According to the page, the chef has cooked in  K Pauls Louisiana Kitchen, Emerils Nola and the Marigny Brasserie to name few . He came out after the meal to see how we enjoyed everything and tempted us with the brunch spread he was planning for the next day. I was honestly disappointed we already had plans. :)

O! Vegasm (St. Roch Tavern) on Urbanspoon

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To Be Continued…

In an effort to not bore you to tears respect your time, I think I’ll review race day in a separate post. Click here to see Part 2!!

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Questions for you:

  • Do you like to plan some restaurants before you travel or do you prefer complete spontaneity?
  • Do you share your race time goals with the world before your race or have you kept them private sometimes?
  • Do you have a fitness goal you’ve been chasing for a while?
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    • says

      Thanks Carol!! I can’t wait to see how you do in your race – it’s all about setting goals against yourself and working to hit them! It’s a great feeling!! =)

    • says

      That’s what Kirk said too – so 8 marathons, with one being a 50K? I’m also okay saying 7 marathons and 1 ultra, both ways sound cool to me. :)

      One day I’m going to remember to take pictures at the beginning of the meal regularly. I hate when I miss good shots!

    • says

      Thanks Tiff! I am extremely proud, I came up with excused to tell people I ran a marathon yesterday at work all day. :) I love the non-white shirts, they are going to get lots of use!

  1. says

    Again…CONGRATS! Can’t wait to read the actual race recap – not bored on my end! :D Well done and fun to read the before-hand events – a time I most definitely would have been nervous, exciting, and experiencing so many mixed emotions at once (love it and hate it at the same time). …Can you believe what your body just accomplished?! :D
    Bonnie recently posted…Benefits of Functional MovementMy Profile

    • says

      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the pre-race activities too – it’s funny how sometimes I start to write something short and it just grows into it’s own post. And I CANNOT believe what I accomplished – especially if you remember what my first marathon time is (6:45), but more on that tomorrow. :)

  2. Liz @ Southern Charm says

    Congrats on finishing in under 4 hours!! I was at that race too (I’m from NoLa) but only did the half. It was my first one ever! I didn’t have a time goal, rather I just wanted to run the whole thing. I ended up running it in 2:40:00! I was shocked!

    Now that I know I CAN run 13.1 miles, I want to start shaving my time! So I love hearing about others shaving theirs :) Congrats again!
    Liz @ Southern Charm recently posted…My First Half MarathonMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks – congratulations on your first half marathon!! That’s awesome!! I think you had the perfect goal, the first race of any distance is really about finishing, the second one is about getting faster. :)

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