2017 New Orleans Rock – n – Roll Half Marathon 2/5/17
OK Devolve Revolutionites! I wanted to do a short race recap of the New Orleans RnR Half from earlier this month.
Overall…great race! If you haven’t done a Rock-n-Roll race in the past, put it on your list. They do a great job organizing, communicating, and facilitating these races. This was only my second RnR but I am a fan.
New Orleans was a fantastic venue. The city is neat. Food can be awesome if you are not prepping for a race but the post-race noshing can be most epic! Beignets…yes please. I recommend Café Beignet on Bourbon Street.
Ok on to the race report. Flat course! If there was 10 feet of elevation gain I would be surprised. Super flat so that made it easy to get into a solid, sustainable pace. Part of the course ran along a trolley track that was turf between the tracks and I was able to knock out about 6 miles off pavement. My knees appreciated that for sure!
The crowds were great. I am always amazed at the amount of people who are out in their yards or parking lots cheering us on. That so makes the run worth it. There was plenty of police traffic control which is always appreciated. I try to thank as many as I can throughout the race. The aid stations were plentiful. They were spaced just right for me and had huge volunteer support. People don’t always understand the importance of the volunteers at these events. As a racer, it means the world to have them there.
I was a tiny bit disappointed that the race wasn’t as picturesque as I had hoped. It was mostly a residential type run, a little through downtown, and we skirted the edge of the French Quarter. After running a practice run the day prior through the French Quarter, I understood the impossible logistics of trying to run the race down Bourbon Street. In addition, the vendor expo was lacking to say the least. This is usually one of the highlights of the weekend but this expo seemed very congested and full of similar items. No real variety. Garmin did have a nice setup.
My goal this race, being my first race of the year, was to find and hold a sustainable pace I want to run the first half of the Chattanooga Ironman in September. I was able to do that. Yes, it was considerably slower than my previous half mary’s, but it worked perfectly into my race plan and training. I found I just was not comfortable in my shoes. ON changed the model on me and while I do like the shoe for short training runs, longer distances don’t work for me in them. Luckily, I have been able to find my old model out there through my shoe guy (yes, I have a shoe guy) Graham Paxton with Swift Athletics in Evansville, IN.
There were a couple of things I learned at this race. I have to live with slower race times. My strength training goals in 2016 have impacted my speed. Can I get back to sub two hour races? Yes, I am confident I can, but it will be work and I need to be patient. Secondly, two years makes a difference in my ability to recover efficiently and I need to really spend time valuing my rest, stretching, and overall body maintenance. I am a huge proponent of post-race massages and chiropractor therapy. If you add these things into your routine, do it.
Additionally, I am really trying to be very specific, almost scientific, with my nutrition and supplementation. Hammer Nutrition has been very supportive in giving me the products I need and direction in how to use them to their maximum benefit. I didn’t quite hit my race weight goal for this one but I am heading in that direction and by the time I get to my training camp at the end of March (www.jenharrison.com, @JHCTriathlon) I will be on track to hit my race weight goals throughout the year. Trust me, squeezing into a wetsuit or tri-suit is unforgiving, I am going for good race photos this year!!
But the very best thing about this whole race was I was able to take my awesome, supportive, beautiful wife with me this time! So, I list this as my number one favorite race experience in the last 4 years!
Ok team, race hard, train hard, eat clean!
Previously Fat Guy