Sunday, March 6, 2016

RnR NOLA (WW # 31)


Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!


This linkup is hosted by yours truly and my good friend Tricia at MissSippiPiddlin.    The purpose of this link is to connect with and support other active women.  

You can summarize your whole week or just a small portion of it.  It's up to you!  Race recaps are also encouraged!  {See rules}  We hope you'll challenge yourself to come back later in the week and interact with more women.   It's a wonderful way to make new friends!  Don't forget to comment on all blogs you read and remember to support your hosts



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Rock N' Roll New Orleans
February 28, 2016
Half Marathon # 37
State # 8




It's Time to Rock and Roll!

I didn't have a chance to finish my recap last week so bear with me as I wrap it up here.  After stopping at the expo Friday night (read about that HERE) we checked into our hotel and then walked to Oceana Grill for supper.  It was slammed, but we were able to sit at the bar and eat. The Louisiana Crabmeat Cakes were delicious!  We met up with Tricia and Mr. Sippi later at Ole Saint and closed that place down (you know, in a geriatric kind of way --- but not you Sippis!).

PoPo and I hanging out on our first night!

Saturday was spent sightseeing including a carriage ride tour pulled by Gus the mule.  Surprisingly, all of the "horses" are mules.  We browsed in shops and art galleries, strolled Bourbon Street a few times, enjoyed the street musicians, checked out the local artists at Jackson Square, ate beignets at Café Beignet and supper at Oysters Divine.  En route back to our hotel for the night, we visited again with Tricia and her family where they had stopped for pizza.  {Thanks guys for humoring us!}


Our view behind Gus.  This was also what much of the race course was like.

Tricia met me at the hotel Sunday morning and we walked the short distance to the start line.  It felt wonderful to have a friend by my side at the start of a big race.  So many I've done solo.  The corrals were jammed and in silent agreement we lined up together.  The corral starts ticked off smoothly and our start was just after 8:00.  We stayed side by side for about 4 miles. Early on I asked if she wanted to know what pace we were running, since she doesn't look at hers.  She didn't!  But then curiosity got the better of her.  When she caved, I reported it was 10:11.




My plan was to use this as a long training run.  If I felt good later, I could always speed up. My first 4 miles were just that: 10:21 / 10:29 / 10:26 / 10:38.  The next 5 miles were faster: 10:02 / 10:19 / 10:01 / 10:13 / 10:08.  I still felt very strong and pulled down the last 4+ to:  9:46 / 9:50 / 9:53 / 9:22 / 8:28.  My official time was 2:13:11.  My Garmin pace was 10:05 (including that ever present extra length I always run -- darn you weaving).  Anytime I can run that coveted negative split I am thrilled.  I feel it's a great starting place as I work to get some speed back.


I'm on cloud nine to have felt strong for the entire race!

This is not the largest event I've participated in, but it sure felt that way.  It was crowded for much of the race.   Many streets are narrow and there was a lot of weaving required all the way to the end.  The bands were impressive and great entertainment for the wonderful crowds of spectators.  (Obviously, the runners don't hear but a few seconds of music as they pass by.)  I found the band of Scottish bagpipers very interesting.  Some of the water stops could not keep up with demand.  I  had to jump up on the curb and stop momentarily to help myself a couple of times.  I needed plenty of fluid since I was taking salt capsules, as usual.  However, the volunteers were working feverishly!  


Photo Credit:  MissSippiPiddlin
The pavement in New Orleans is not smooth.  I was prepared as we had experienced this first hand.  PoPo equated it to walking on the moon and had tripped several times during sightseeing, accompanied by many choice phrases.  I ran with my eyes on the pavement.  The scenery seemed much like Mobile and I forgot a few times I was in New Orleans.  By this, I mean the houses were very lovely with their ironwork and their grand oak trees magnificently draped over the streets.  We ran through the French Quarter and by Jackson Square, which the finisher's medal is designed after.



I hung out in the finisher's chute waiting for Tricia and drank a water.  Her friend Lea stopped by.  I had met her once before in Tuscaloosa.  After photos, we drank chocolate milk, ate a banana and a lemon pound cake Power Bar (yum!).  There were many vendors and the after party was a hub of activity. You could also have your medal engraved.  A rockin' band was playing and it would have been heavenly to stretch out in the sunshine and listen for a while. But, it was getting late and our already extended check out time of 1 pm was fast approaching.  After standing in line to catch the shuttle back to the start line plus the awful traffic congestion, I almost did not make it.  Next year, we will stay on Sunday night!



Overall, this race is very well organized.  Everything went smoothly.  It's also very reasonable if you can commit to extremely early registration.  New Orleans is a fantastic city to host a race.  The crowd support was amazing.  The bands were aplenty.  The weather was perfection -- well, except a little warm toward the end.  It is definitely one I would repeat.  Hmm...maybe the full marathon next time?


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My Week of Training:

Monday - Physical Therapy
Tuesday - 5 Miles
Wednesday - Rest
Thursday - 5 Miles and Physical Therapy
Friday - Rest
Saturday - 3 Miles (5k Race)
Sunday - 8 Miles

Total Week - 21 Miles

As part of my "run more 5ks to work on speed" plan, I participated in Saturday's Footprint to the Finish benefiting families with children in the NICU.  I was thrilled to take 14 seconds off my pace from 2 weeks ago.  My splits were 9:01 / 9:06 / 9:03 / 7:34 for an average of 8:58 (<< see that 8 right there?  Whoot!).  The last half of this race hurt like heck!  But, 5ks always do.  I was very honored to receive 2nd place in my age group (the let's-lump-everyone-over-50-together-because-it-doesn't-matter group).




Oh, and I have another half marathon Saturday!  Tricia and I will be at it again.  And that's a wrap!


Have you ever participated in a Rock N' Roll race?


93 comments:

  1. Look at you comeback! Sounds like a great race. And I'm jealous that you and Tricia get to run together again. We'll have to make something happen.

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    1. I'm still working on that comeback and have a long way to go. Let's make it happen!

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  2. Sounds so fun (except for the uneven pavement on some of the streets)! Congrats on your AG place on your 5K this weekend. Sounds like HoHo is bbbaaaccckkk!!!

    Thanks for the linkup!

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    1. I'm working on it Deb. At least I'm headed in the right direction.

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  3. This sounds like fun! I love the medals and the beads! I also have the issue of running more than I am supposed to on a course. I have done 1 RnR event before in DC. I didn't love it because the weather was miserable and it was a point to point and the gear check on the buses didn't work very well so it really sucked standing around shivering in the rain waiting for out stuff. I think it would be fun to try another one sometime!

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    1. The weather plays such a huge role in whether we enjoy a race or not, even if it is executed perfectly! I'm usually happy if it's sunny. LOL.

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  4. Looks like such a blast. How fun to be able to hang with Tricia. I haven't been to NOLA since high school. I need to run this one next year!

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    1. I'm thinking a NOLA experience now versus high school would be two totally different things. Maybe we can all do this next year!

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  5. Lots of great races for you! Sounds like a fun time in NOLA and Im glad you ladies were able to start the race together!

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    1. I'm glad I decided to go. It was great to run the first leg of the race together.

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  6. Nice! Cute medal too! And so much fun! Awesome on your 5K too!

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    1. I think the beads add a special touch to the medal. That 5k hurt so bad! But, it's the only way to make myself attempt some speed.

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  7. Great job with an impressive negative split! So glad to see you back to kicking butt in races. Congratulations!!!

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    1. I always feel if I can go easy at the beginning of a half, everything will turn out OK. It's hard to do, but I think I'm getting better at it.

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  8. Never done a RockNRoll race, but have wanted to. The timing just has never worked out. I love that medal. I've done some biking in the NoLA area & the pavement was a nightmare, so I would suspect like you said, running is the same. What a shame you couldn't spend your time looking around rather than eyes glued to the pavement.

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    1. I'm one of those runners who look at the pavement anyway! I do glance up occasionally though. I can tell you about all the cracks, potholes, sewer caps, etc. in my neighborhood. LOL.

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  9. Sounds like a fun race. Negative splits are the best...not that I would know but I have heard LOL.

    Congrats on your speed. I knew that it wold take long - You rock.

    Anther race with Tricia ...jealous!!!

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    1. Just pick a race down south, Darlene. I'll show up. I'm still working on that speed. That 5k HURT!

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    1. Ha! No worries, I read it like you meant it.

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  11. This sounds like so much fun! And that medal is really cool! Great job on you faster pace! That's always a good feeling!

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    1. I thought the beads added extra flair to the medal. I hope to really work on my speed this summer when there aren't many races to do.

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  12. Congrats on what sounds like a great race for you! I wouldn't like the weaving though that's for sure! But, I do want to run a RnR someday soon hopefully!

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    1. The weaving is never fun, but unfortunately sometimes necessary.

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  13. That sounded like a great race! I've never done a Rock N Roll race but I'd definitely consider going to New Orleans! Congrats on a negative split as well - that's some excellent pacing!!

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    1. I wanted to treat it as a long slow training run since the race was a last minute add in. But, I couldn't help pulling down the pace a little in the last few miles.

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  14. YEAH Nola!!!! so glad you had a great time and got to see Tricia!!!

    Good luck to you both next weekend!!

    -Tamieka@fitballingrunningmom

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    1. I will definitely need a lot of luck this weekend. It is a tough course and it looks as if it will be warm and humid too. Geez.

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  15. Great job on the pacing! I'm seriously impressed!

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad I did not overdo it at the beginning. It's very easy to do that.

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  16. Love Rock'n'Roll races! New Orleans sounds like a fun one! Great job and congrats on your 5k AG place! You rock! Good luck on Saturday!

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    1. I worked really hard on my speed at that 5k. I was really happy with my consistency and that little kick at the end.

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  17. Wow, nice job on your splits at the end of the race! Those are speedy!! I love that you had Tricia at the race with you. It's always nice to have a buddy. :) -C

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    1. Running with Tricia was so much fun. I was happy I didn't go out too fast, which allowed me to run the last miles a little faster.

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  18. Great race! I've only done one Rock N Roll run but I've heard they have the best on course entertainment. Can't believe you're back at it again this weekend- I'm jealous! I read on Tricia's post that you took the sunset picture- it's BEAUTIFUL!

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    1. I'm on a mission to do a few HMs before it gets too warm around here. I took that picture sitting in our car waiting on the Jamestown Ferry to arrive. I couldn't believe the result!

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  19. Wow another half marathon? You ladies are so impressive! Keep it up and hope you're feeling good this week!

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    1. I feel a pressing need to do a few more before it gets too warm around here (very soon!). I'll then have withdrawals, I'm sure.

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  20. Sounds like you had a great time, except for the traffic! I haven't done a Rock n Roll, but I hope to some day, they always look like a lot of fun.

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    1. I was pretty impressed things went smoothly, considering. You just have to understand going in that it's going to be crowded and there will may transportation delays.

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  21. I'm totally jealous! I wish I could have been there with you ;-) Congrats on a great race! (I have a had band that is an exact match to your skirt....where did you get it?)

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    1. Funny you mention the headband. I HAVE the matching headband and had it with me! When I decided to put on black arm warmers I forgot and just picked up my black headband instead. I bought both at an expo from Gypsy Runner. We all need to pick a race and just go!

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  22. Congrats on your race. I love New Orleans. It sounds like you all had a fun time.

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    1. It's definitely a fun city to have a race in!

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  23. Congrats on a great race! Its always fun to see friends at a race and to be able to have a buddy to hang out with before the race starts. It makes for an extra exciting race day.

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    1. It is wonderful to share the experience with another runner!

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  24. awesome! great work! I need to get back to New Orleans. I would consider doing this race as well - I need Louisiana for my 50 states!

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    1. It was a state I did not have either, so I'm glad I decided to go.

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  25. Congrats on running the Rock n Roll Half- Marathon. How fun that you and Tricia got to run it together. You logged in some pretty good miles in the week after as well. Great job!

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    1. I have another half marathon this weekend, so I wanted to still build mileage. It's been pretty low since returning from injury.

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  26. Yay for negative splits and feeling strong! It sounds like a great race. Though the uneven pavement sounds tough. I'm doing RnR DC this weekend and am excited because all my big races have been solo in the past and this is the first one I'm doing with friends :)

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    1. Feeling good during a race trumps speed any day! It's all about enjoying yourself. And you will definitely do that this weekend at RnR DC!

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  27. I think I'd watch a RnR but not participate since I'm not a runner.

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    1. RnR would be an excellent race to spectate at because of all the bands they have on course. It would be a free concert!

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  28. Congrats on two strong races! I'm in awe of your negative splits on the half and your 5k was really strong after that long injury. I'm excited to follow along this spring. :) Oh -- and I've never participated in a RnR event. Someday!

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    1. This weekend's course will be much harder. But, I will aim for the same negative split. I'd like to get my 5k miles (at least) back into the mid 8s. It may or may not happen! I've aged!

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  29. Oooo, you are back at racing at full speed! Nice work with the negative splits! I wonder if the full course stayed that crowded, too? The medal is SUPER cool!

    Congrats on the 5K! :)

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    1. I'm sure once the half and full split, it got better. I guess I need to run the full next year to find out! LOL. The beads make the medal very cool.

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  30. Great job on your splits, and overall!!! My first half was a rock-n-roll! Tons of fun!

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    1. It's a great event to pick for your first half! They are very good at entertainment.

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  31. Way to go in your race! Sounds like such a great time in New Orleans and so cool you got to hang out with Tricia and run some miles with her. Always great when you see negative splits! Congrats on your 5K too!

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    1. I hope I can repeat the negative split pattern this weekend. The course is much hillier. It will be a challenge.

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  32. Congratulations, those negative splits had to feel good! Running with a friend on a race can really be motivating and push you do even better than you anticipated! I love New Orleans and need to make a trip back! Maybe I'll look into this race for a racecation next year!

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    1. Tricia was a calming influence at the beginning of the race which I contribute to my being able to hit the negative split. NOLA would be a great long weekend trip.

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  33. That looks like a blast! I wish we had some more fun runs where I live. Ah well, guess I'll just have to travel ;-)

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    1. This was probably a four hour drive for us (maybe more). We have several local half marathons, but I wouldn't consider them high on the fun factor chart. LOL.

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  34. Congratulations on a strong "long training run" race and way to pull out those negative splits! You and Tricia are so adorable! Isn't it amazing what a difference it makes to run with a friend? Love your race outfits. RnR NOLA is on my list of races to do in the future. I love New Orleans so much - the food, the jazz, the people, the scenery!!! Yes on staying Sunday night next time. =)

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    1. That was not my original race outfit. I'm glad I stuck that skirt in my suitcase at the last minute! We loved just strolling around checking out the food, drinks, music, the art, the "acts". FUN!

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  35. Nice 5K! I really hate practicing 5Ks... they hurt.

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    1. They hurt so much! I thought I was dying in the last half of that race. I'm always so glad when they are over!

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  36. I forgot about the Lemon Pound Cake bar, that thing was so good! I'm gonna look for some! We did have a fantastic weekend for sure! I'm so looking forward to a repeat!!! Wow look at that pace in Saturdays 5K! The 5k's for speed work is surly paying off for you! Congratulations!!! I have a feeling this week is going to drag by until Friday of course! ;)

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    1. I hate to admit I ran that same race much, much faster a few years ago. I still have work to do! And, I've aged! Ugh. We will have a tough race course this weekend! So, we'll just double up on the fun to make up for it.

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  37. LOVE!!! I have done 6(?) Rock n Roll races! NOLA is on my list to do! Especially since it isn't too far away from Houston. It always seems to conflict with a large local race that I do every year, so maybe next year I can sneak it in!
    Love the recap and the medals! Way to go with your time!
    I hope you have an awesome week!

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    1. Wow six of them! I hope to be able to do another one soon. Maybe Savannah.

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  38. Wow! What a strong comeback! Look at those numbers! this race is on my bucket list- I am making my first trip to NOLA in June and I am super excited about it. Great job on that 5K- I think 5K's are fun (hard when your coach still says you have to get all those miles in for the long run too) but I am getting the hang of it! You two will have a great time this weekend!

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    1. I've always run a 5k on Saturday and then my long miles Sunday. It's my own variation of the Hanson's Method. LOL! Good luck at your race!

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  39. Yes! Lots of them (RnR races). I like that they are always held in cool places to visit. When we did NOLA we stayed for 8 days...ate and drank EVERYTHING in sight! Great place to hang out and I can't wait to go again. Since you like 5ks you should totally come out here for the 20k all day race in Carlsbad! It's 4 5ks in a row!! How about that for working on speed?!?! It'll be my first so I'll wrap it up here on the weekly wrap! Have a great week!! Good job on your half and your 5k races!!

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    1. Eight days in NOLA is a long time! Is it really broken into 4 separate 5ks? Do you get a rest in between? I can't wait to hear how that goes.

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  40. Great job on #37! What a fun trip too!
    FYI, love the running skirt so fun!!!!
    Its been a few years since I ran this race, but I did love that they provided transport back to the start, not every race does that!
    Your such a good runner, you have definitely recovered nicely from your marathon back in January to be pulling off such great splits and races!

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    1. The way this course was laid out, the start and finish were very far apart. You really didn't have any choice but to use the transportation. Some of them can be walked -- not this one.

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  41. What a nice medal! Glad you guys had a good time!

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    1. The medial is definitely different than any other than I have!

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  42. Even though the RnR series has not come to France yet, many many races have bands. It ads to the whole atmosphere.

    Uneven Streets can be a killer. You have to be so attentive to what is in front of you, the constant eye / foot coordination I find tiring sometimes, especially with so many people.

    How fun is that to start a race with a friend ! You are Lucky. Have a great week.

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    1. I've always run with my eyes on the pavement, so it really wasn't much different. The worst thing is when it rains and the craters will with water! You really had no idea where you are stepping.

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  43. great job on the race-I am loving all of these recaps! I signed up for RNRNOLA for next year-Super Bowl Sunday-I could not pass it up!

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    1. I saw that is was going to be earlier next year. I haven't signed up yet. It depends on if I decide to run the Disney Marathon again.

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  44. Congrats on RnR NOLA - that race is on my list for maybes for Louisiana. The medal is beautiful!

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    1. I think that's probably your best choice for LA. It would be a great weekend of sightseeing.

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  45. You and Tricia are adorbs. Also, totally LOLed at the "geriatric kind of way" comment. Haha. :)

    Have fun at your next race, ladies!!

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    1. I'm serious! They had to unlocked the doors to let us out! It's pretty sad when the oldest people in the joint are the last to leave.

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  46. It sounds like a great event :) You gals do look mighty fresh in your race pics for just running 13.1 in the heat! Are the streets cobblestone? or just not level? I think your PT work and patience is paying off, you are running very strong.
    Congrats again on the 5K! Hey, you have the AG place, even if they lump you lol :) I love the medal.

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    1. I've figured out that when your face (and body) is covered with salt, it will hide imperfections. Truth. The streets are pavement but full of cracks, potholes and buckles. I'm not sure if that was from the flooding or what.

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