2014 Crescent City Classic
Last week was quite a week. Our pup Spike was in the vet a few days because he got into rat poison. He is almost 100% better now. My husband and I didn’t sleep much worrying about our fur child in addition to work. He finally came home Wednesday evening but we still had to monitor him and give him medicine every few hours.
Friday finally came and I got off of my detail at 10:30pm. I forced myself to get up early that day so I could readjust my body from nightshift. I planned to sleep all night and wake up fresh for the race. I went to bed around 11:30pm and was sleeping soundly until my husband and dog came barreling in the door and woke me up. I tried and tried to go back to sleep but it never happened. My hopes of a PR and top 500 female was not looking good with a little over an hour of sleep.
I think the sleep deprivation made me really hungry and I tore apart the kitchen at 5:00am. I won’t even say what I ate but it was not the right food and definitely way too much to eat 3 hours before a race. I finally tore myself from the pantry and refrigerator and headed to the race.
The last time I ran the Classic was in 2011. The start was at Jackson Square. The only problem was people would never start in their proper area. This made it hard for some of the runners because they would have to dodge the walkers, strollers, and slower paced runners. I could never run under a 9 minute mile for mile 1 because I was running sideways most of the time trying to go around people. The Classic was never a fast 10K for me.
This year I got to experience the start at Champions Square. We were dropped off outside the Superdome and walked through the security gate. This was a new addition with the tragic incident that happened at the Boston Marathon last year. We met up with the rest of our group in the Square where they had lots of port-o-potties and water stations. Definitely a better set up than the days of the Jackson Square start.
It was 7:50am and time to start lining up in our corrals. Another new feature of the race this year was closed corrals and wave starts. There was confusion on my part because the only flag I could see was the purple group flag. With the thick crowd and my short stature I could not see anything. I found a volunteer who directed me to where I needed to go.
The elite groups (A-C) started at 8:00am and my group (D) (Green) was moved up to the starting line shortly after. I did see some other color bibs starting with us but not nearly as many as the years past. I squeezed my way, being small does have advantages, to the very front of the start. And we were off!
The start was fast and there was no sideways running or going around people like an obstacle course. I was very happy with the new wave system, probably too happy though because I was running a 6:30 pace for the first half mile. I made myself slow down……who am I kidding I would have slowed down anyway…..and finished mile 1 in 7:12 as we passed the original start near Jackson Square.
I slowed down a lot on the second mile as we turned onto Esplanade Ave. My goal at this point was to stay under the 8:00 mile mark. I finished mile 2 in 7:42.
The crowds of people holding signs, playing music, and trying to solicit beers and mimosas to us definitely helped me keep my morale high and keep me on pace. I finished mile 3, near Broad St. and Esplanade Ave., in 7:44. My 5K time was near 23:30. The race felt like it was flying by and the cool temps definitely helped.
Fatigue started to set in for the next two miles but I managed to stay under 8 minutes with mile 4 at 7:58 and mile 5 at 7:52. We finally entered City Park and I started doing the math in my head to see if a PR was possible. All I had to do was run the last 1.2 miles under a 9 minute pace and I would have it.
The final trek took us around the front of City Park and the New Orleans Art Museum. I could feel the excitement of the runners around me as we made the final turn towards the finish line. I finished mile 6 in 8:00 and just had .2 to go. I was not sprinting to the finish but I was not going to let anyone pass me either.
I crossed the finish line in 48:23, a new PR! My last PR was 48:56 set in 2012 at the Ozone 10K. I was beyond thrilled and excited to share the news with one of my fellow 15th Street Flyers who I saw at the finish line.
I got my race medal and headed into the after party. I was still unsure if I made the top 500 females but first things first, I needed my post race celebratory beer.
The post race party was bigger than I had ever seen before. Besides the usual food tents (Blue Runner, Chee-Weez) and beer tents (Michelob Ultra) there was a village of inflatables for the young and young at heart. The Army also had a large set up and a pull up bar for a pull up contest. Definitely did not enter that. There were also over a hundred port-o-potties which is always good. I never had to wait in line.
I made my way over to the 15th Street Flyers flag and met up with my club. A lot of our runners had PRs and were in the top 500. Go Flyers!
Next I went to the results tent. There were laptop computers that you could punch your bib number into and it would give you your official time and place. Here are my stats:
1143 overall out of 18964 finishers
150th female overall out of 9880
30th female 30-34 age group out of 1559.
Guess what that meant? Top 500 poster!!!!!!
I met up with my fellow Loyola Wolfpack Cross-country alumni at the NOTC tent. Even though we graduated college over 10 years ago these girls are still posting incredible times. It was great to catch up and run together.
I finally found my other Wolfpack and enjoyed the rest of the post party. We had a great time together as always.
Next up is the Raffle House 5K in Terra Bella Village in Covington, LA this Saturday. You can win a chance to win a gorgeous home on the Northshore!! Follow this link to register: