It’s been 406(as of April 17th) days since we last ran an in-person race. March 7th, 2020 we ran the OLOL Amazing 5k. So much has happened since then. I had not evenrealized it’s been more than a year since we laced up our shoes and hit the streets for a road race. I get it also if your hesitant still to be around large groups of people. Racing I feel like is just good for my soul. I am not the most social runner but I still love being around all the other runners and challenging myself. I gained some weight during the pandemic and was kind self conscious before running race but I wanted to get out finish the race. I finished 10k Runner and I wanted to finish this race as a defacto graduation.
Goals for the Mardi Gras Mambo 10k
- Just get outside and be active.
- Keep the pace under 13 minutes per mile.
- Finish strong.
This is my first race during the pandemic. The race had a rolling start and I originally thought the race started at 8:30 but on walk to the starting line I checked my race details email. It said the race started at 8 am. So yeah my stress level started to rise thinking I missed the start of the race. Another minor inconvenience was I forgot my headphones. I was in wave 4 and as I was making my way to the start line they were calling wave 5. I just slid right in like nothing was wrong.
Once the race got started I wasn’t really feeling it. As usual I went out too fast about 3 minutes faster than I normally run. So I was thinking this is gonna be an epic fail I’m going out to hot and the bridge is coming! I even had thoughts of am I going to have to walk some of this. In this mile I was just at the mercy of my adrenaline. I made it over the bridge relatively well and completed mile 1.
We made our way into the Garden District. I love the beautiful scenic streets of the Garden District it’s always a pleasant way to take your mind off the miles ahead for a moment. I packed my own water bottle but I got water at the first aid station to stretch out my water supply. Mile 2 started to open my eyes to the possibility that I can maintain my current sub 12 minute pace. Even though it’s been a while since I comfortably ran these paces.
During this point I’m starting to see the blazing fast leaders. I am also learning to just do my best and not focus on people passing me up. I also so. Incognitly attached myself to a group of loads runners who eventually left me I just could not hang with them. They helped me build some confidence though. More of the scenic views a tree top canopies across the street are amazing. Somewhere in mile 3-4 there is an unsuspecting hill that I forgot about.
At this point everyone has pretty much found their place in the race. At this point I am in a secret race with several people. There’s a guy with a double stroller and his family. The run walk guy who we must have passed and got passed by at least 30 times. There was the lady who said she was just starting to run again today after her pregnancy. So we were in for a battle. Mile 4 I was sort of waning but also knew I could hold. It was going to be tough but it’s what we wanted to do.
We are just holding on trying to push it. We know the bridge is coming at the end of this mile so I am trying to bank as much time as possible. There’s was a lady cop who cheered me on both ways shout out to her!
One turn and the bridge is here. There’s a gradual elevation and I’m thinking I would hate to lose my pace goal because of this stupid bridge. So I put the hammer down and just go. I want to finish with a sub 12 minute per mile pace so I have to go now not leave it on the course. I break away and find some open space and take what I hope are awesome race pics.
We hit six miles and there’s a mom and daughter taking a picture mid race at the 6 mile sign. It was refreshing to see them just having a good ole time during the race no concern for a time. Just out having fun with family. It starts to get heated at this point the sharks start passing me but who cares. I am on my goal and pushing it home. I cruising I see the 15k turn and think I could do that but I’m glad I decided not to today. The finish line is in sight. I cross the finish line and here Mike on the mic say my name and it is a welcomed thing to hear that again after such a long hiatus.
I had a great time and am inspired to lose weight, train, and race more. I didn’t even really realize how much I missed racing since the hiatus. I definitely want to get some more races in this year. My next race I am currently signed up for is in January of next year. I want to lose some weight and train some more and do some races this year but summer is coming. I imagine getting in better shape will make the heat more bearable. So conclusion from this race is I want to do more and run faster!