Running Your First RnRNOLA (Half) Marathon

1 Mar

I am so excited that the Rock and Roll New Orleans Marathon is almost here! I have run this race as a half and full before and it is one of my favorite races! I am really looking forward to seeing all of my friends who will be going for their first half or full marathon on Sunday. As their friend, it thrills me to see them training hard and achieving their goals.

However, with so many of my friends attempting this race as their first “big” race, my e-mail inbox has been on overload with questions, comments, and general chatter from all of the excitement!

What will the weather REALLY be like?
Let’s face it, “winter” weather in Louisiana is just tricky. At the start of last year’s race I was FREEZING but I ended up being comfortable in capri pants, a tank top, and a pair of arm warmers. Sunday’s weather is looking pretty good and should make for some ideal race conditions. If you are traveling to the Big Easy, plan on packing option of layers. You will most likely end up in short sleeves and shorts though. And pack some rain gear. When traveling to Louisiana, ALWAYS pack rain gear. It is a necessary evil here.

Photo courtesy of

What is some advice you have regarding the route?
My biggest advice here is…mind your footing! The race course takes you down some streets that are in desperate need of repair. They are potholed, cracked, and terribly uneven. If you are not careful, you can easily land your foot wrong on a slant and get an injury. Obviously, you want to run your fastest race, but you don’t want to be looking so far ahead that you accidentally step into a crater-sized pothole.

Please don't step in this!

When I feel like stopping, what will keep me going?
This one is EASY…the music and spectators. There will be a local band/aid station positioned at a little over each mile. All you have to do is this…run one mile, as you are approaching the band/aid station, pull out the head phones, grab a quick sip to hydrate, toss the cup, and GO! Run another mile and repeat the process. Just keep doing that over and over again until you are done. Whatever you do, don’t become a slave to your Garmin or RunKeeper. That will only make the race seem unbearably long. And if you need a mental/physical break, take a second to high five a spectator! They are all along the route and they are there to cheer you on!

I have never done a race this big. I am nervous.
There is nothing to be nervous about. It is time to get ready for the party. You have put in the time training and now it is time to pass the test! On race day, let yourself get caught up in the excitement…let the music and energy from the other runners suck you in! Whatever you do, remember that you are running YOUR race. Run for yourself and no one else. And if this is your first half or full marathon, you are guaranteed to PR…how about that!

And if you get really nervous or feel like you just can’t go on, just picture the sweet race bling waiting for you at the end…


If you will be at the Rock and Roll New Orleans Expo tomorrow or Saturday, be sure to come and find me! I will be working the booth for the Gulf Coast Half Marathon Series all day, both days…except for the #RnRNOLA Social Media Mash-Up on Saturday from 1PM – 2PM! Can’t wait to see you there!

4 Responses to “Running Your First RnRNOLA (Half) Marathon”

  1. Katherine March 1, 2012 at 4:06 PM #

    As someone who lives in New Orleans, I feel like the New Orleans pothole myth has gotten a bit out of hand. Generally, we don’t really have potholes on major streets like St. Charles (majority of the half course) like the one in the picture above. Many portions of New Orleans’ major streets have been repaved in the past year. I’ve lived with enough road construction to tell about it.

    Of course, there is a slant to our streets, there might be some cracks (nothing major, though), and you should always watch your footing. The latter part of the course is where this will come into play.

    • katieRUNSthis March 1, 2012 at 4:10 PM #

      While St. Charles doesn’t have super size potholes, it definitely has some cracks and it is certainly uneven in lots of areas. With all the road construction that has been going on and still needs to go on, I don’t know how you deal with it! I can’t even imagine what a huge headache that is…especially in some areas where streets are so narrow. I agree that this will definitely come into play on the back half of the course! Either way, I won’t be moving speedy enough to trip over myself! 🙂 Thanks for the comment, lady! Looking forward to seeing you at the expo!

  2. alli March 5, 2012 at 3:10 PM #

    I had so much fun running my 1st 1/2, and you’re right, I now have an offical PR to try to beat (2:12:41, not too shabby for not being able to run for the last 2 weeks leading up to it!) And I’m glad I got to see you at the expo, need to find me some other running buddies to do the Gulf Coast 1/2 with me.

  3. David H. March 6, 2012 at 11:09 AM #

    That’s an awesome medal! Have fun!

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