Race Recap: Louisiana Marathon

Well, I am finally sitting down to do my race recap. This is a little delayed but better late than never, right?

A little background, this was the inaugural year of the Louisiana Marathon. Before I found out I was pregnant, I wanted to run this race. We have another local marathon, the Baton Rouge Beach Marathon but it is on a much smaller scale. I was really excited about having a new flagship race in Baton Rouge complete with a scenic course, fun finish line festival, etc.

The Expo:

I went to the race expo on Saturday for packet pickup. This was my fourth half marathon. With the exception of the Country Music Marathon (which has since been renamed the Rock N’ Roll series) this was the only other race expo I went to. The Rock N’ Roll expos are huge with many vendors, which is great but for me a little overwhelming! I loved the small expo, friendly staff, and being able to run in and out quickly to get my packet, shirt, etc.

While I was there, I stopped at the Gulf Coast Half Marathon booth (another local race series)  and had a chance to talk with Katie and @katierunsthis and Brenton @lsubeerunner

The Race:

My in-laws were in town this weekend (well, they left Saturday evening), and we had a busy day Saturday so by the time I got home to finish watching the Saints game Saturday my husband was still at work and I was just too tired to cook. So, we ordered pizza. Definitely not the best pre-race food but at least I got some carbs, right? I wasn’t going for a pr, I considered this more of a long training run so I took the chance.

My toddler never napped on Saturday so by 7:00 she crashed and was fast asleep. My in-laws headed back home and my husband headed back to work, so I had Saturday evening all to myself to read and watch the taped coverage of the Olympic trials. I rarely sit on the couch and watch tv so this was a treat.

By about 9:30, I was tired so I just decided to go to sleep. I set my alarm for 4:45 and was ready to go! I slept pretty well the first half of the night but the second half, my toddler woke up and needed some care to get back to bed and I just could never get back into a good sleep.

By 4:45 I was up, ready to get dressed, had my breakfast, hydrated and had a brief chat with my husband. He had a huge work deadline Monday morning so he never slept Saturday night. Yikes, he pulled an all nighter and still had to plan on working all day Sunday. So, I planned to run the race and head back home afterwards so that he could finish up his work.

I left the house at 5:45 and drove through a terrible fog to get to downtown Baton Rouge. All the parking garages were closed so I found a free spot on the street about a mile from the race. I made a quick trip to the restroom, checked my gear, and headed to the start to stretch.

At the start, I ran into some familiar faces, including @jamiecgary. He was running the full marathon but we had done some long runs together with Varsity Sports so we ran the first couple of miles together, until about mile five or so when the marathoners split off from the half marathoners.  We lined up with the 3:25 marathon group and I was feeling great on the first couple of miles, running just under 8 minute/mile pace. The first few miles took us through downtown Baton Rouge, where we had to cross an overpass and into the LSU lakes area, a place where I do my weekly long runs.

After the marathoners split off, the crowds winded down and I knew I would be running the rest of the race solo. So, I turned up my tunes, took my first chot blox and enjoyed the race. We finished winding around the lakes and hit the “hills.” Miles 9 – 11 were a gentle incline through a neighborhood and on the other side of a golf course, just past the lakes. After I finished the race, everyone was ranting about how tough the “hills” were. I had run this neighborhood over and over again when we used to do mile repeats for my high school cross country/track team, so I guess they did not bother me. I knew they were coming so I just relaxed and focused on keeping my pace even and my breathing relaxed.

Finally, in the last mile, we hit the overpass again on our loop back to downtown towards the finish of the race. By this point, my legs were a little tired and I was feeling the incline more but still felt great. I did feel for the marathoners having to run this incline at mile 25-26 on dead legs. Another reason I’m glad I did not run the full!

I kept my pace easy and crossed the finish with a chip time of 1:42:55. My chip time was a little over my Garmin time because I stopped for a couple of seconds to attempt to drink water. I can’t run and drink out of a cup. I’m just not that coordinated.

So, here are the splits:

  1. 7:51
  2. 7:42
  3. 7:48
  4. 7:47
  5. 77:52
  6. 7:47
  7. 7:55
  8. 7:52
  9. 7:56
  10. 7:55
  11. 7:47
  12. 7:47
  13. 7:44
  14. 56.3 (last .12 at 7:31 pace)

Total: 1:42:43

Yes, I think I am the queen of consistent pacing. I ran this without really looking at my Garmin (just checked it every now and then to see my mileage) because I was trying to focus on running by feel and not get wrapped up in the pace as I wanted to keep this run easy. And even with the “hills” every single mile was under 8 min/mile pace! My legs were tired at  the end but overall, I felt great for running this race at almost 12 weeks pregnant.

Plus, I could not ask for better crowd support/fans, weather, or course! I did not get to hang out for the finish line festival but it looked like a great after party. I loved this race so much, I went ahead and paid the early bird fee and registered for the race next year. I could not pass up a race for $35! I’m not sure what type of shape I will be five months post baby but I figured if I could not run, I could always give my entry to my day and he can race it for me.

Alright, so this post is way too long and sorry I don’t have pictures to share. I never seem to remember to take pictures post-race. I guess I may have to buy at least one of the sport photos from the race as a remembrance of my first half marathon as a mama to be! I’m sure baby #2 will be proud to know he/she participated in this race with me!


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