The race was set to start at 7 am, so mom and I got up around 5:30 to get ready and walk to the start. I had set all my stuff out the night before so I could be sure I wasn't forgetting anything.
Before we left for the race I decided to throw a long sleeve shirt on just until the sun came up. I'm so glad I did, mom and I took one step outside and it was FREEZING! I checked my phone as we made our way to Lafayette Square, and the temperature was 39 degrees and it was windy! Great.
We hung out around Lafayette Square for a good 20 minutes before the start of the race trying to do whatever we could do the keep warm. Honestly, this is our bad for not checking the weather report, but who would have thought it would be that cold in New Orleans in early November. Not to mention ,the day before the race was gorgeous! Unfortunately for us, a cold front came in that night.
Finally the race started, and I was hopeful that my muscles would warm up and the cold and wind would not bother me so much. Yeah, that didn't exactly happen. Mom and I tried our best to stay positive the entire race. The first 3 miles of the race we ran with the 5K runners, then when they were coming up on the final 2/10th of their race the half marathon course turned right and headed across the city to Audubon Park. We looped around the park and ran back to the finish the same way we came (out and back course).
Mom and I made it to mile 9 and we were completely miserable, our muscles never warmed up, and our legs were starting to stiffen up. At that point we decided to just power walk the rest of the half. I promised mom we would finish, and that was all that mattered at that point. About a mile from the finish we caught up to another walker and we casually chatted. Turns out she is going back to school to become a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist), so it was interesting to talk to her about school, and she was interested in my job as a cardiac sonographer as she has been part of transesophageal echoes in the past.
Talking with her made the last mile fly by, and finally, we turned a corner and we could see the finish. I said to mom that we should at least jog that last little bit. We started to jog, and oh my, did it hurt. My muscles were so stiff I could barely bend my knees. Once I crossed the finish line, I received my medal from the volunteer and kept walking in an attempt not to stiffen up anymore.
Mom wanted something to eat, so we walked over to the finisher party in the square. I wasn't hungry, so I just hung out in the sun. It was still windy out and it never really warmed up. I was over being outside, and just wanted to crawl back to the hotel and melt into a hot bubble bath. Before mom and I left the park to hobble back to the hotel, we did get a finisher photo together. I'm so proud of my mom for running this race with me! It was on her bucket list to complete a half, and she did it! Unfortunately, the conditions were less than desirable, so she gets extra brownie points for dealing with that.
(Glad to be done, but in so much pain)
Once we started our walk back to the hotel my right groin completely tightened up, and I was unable to bend much of my right leg. The walk (hobble) back to the hotel was pretty miserable. I was so relieved when we got back to the lobby, and just to be inside where it was warm.
In all honesty, I would consider doing this race again if I had the proper attire. The course is completely flat. There were a lot of bands along the course to entertain the runners. Seeing all the big homes decorated for Halloween was also interesting - some people have unique taste. The post race party also offered a nice variety of refreshments for the runners.
Over all, the race is worth the money you spend on the registration - but there is a way you can waive the registration fee. Runners have the option when they register for this race to set up a fundraising page to raise money for pediatric cancer. Runners looking to run the half for free need to raise a minimum of $250.00. Runners that would like to run the 5K for free need to raise a minimum of $100.00. So that is a great option if the registration fee is more than you're looking to spend, and it's for a great cause.
QOTD: Have you ever run a race when the weather conditions were not what you were expecting?