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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!

Stop Being A Tourist

26 Jan

I know you.

You are the person who looks at all your running friends with amazement. You listen to their Monday morning recaps of races and secretly wish you had a story of your own.

You are the spouse or significant other of a runner. Always present at the finish line, holding the camera and ready with a hug. The whole time you are waiting, you wish you were on the course too.

You are the person who jogs once or twice a week but never signs up for a race, fearing that it might make you “too serious.” Heaven forbid you get on a training plan and push yourself!

You are the person who looks at super star runners like Dean Karnazes or Deena Kastor and thinks that because you cannot run like that that you should not even try.

You are the person who looks at people with their race medals, secretly wishing you could feel the weight of that hardware hanging on your neck.

It is time to stop being a tourist and to start being a runner. Today is the day.

You are not too fat/skinny to run.
You are not too tall/short to run.
You are not too black/white/purple/polka-dotted to run.
You are not too busy to run.
I have no sympathy for you if you do not even TRY.

Running is not as intimidating as it seems and this former Chunky Monkey is living proof that anyone can do it. In fact, I am currently in the oh-so-humbling process of getting my runner mojo back. Hell, we all have to start (or re-start) somewhere. Living on the sidelines is not nearly as fun as being in the game.

Lace up your shoes.
Find a running group.
Hang out at the local running stores like a big ol’ nerd. (We all do it.)
Sign up for a race.
Get in the game.

We all need a swift kick to the rear sometimes.
You are welcome.
Now go…get running!

Inaugural 2012 Louisiana Marathon

20 Jan


The inaugural Louisiana Marathon was last weekend and everything seemed to go off without a hitch. Race directors, committee members, and volunteers worked tirelessly for over a year to help bring this first-class event to Louisiana. I could not be prouder to have served on the committee for this race and I am super, crazy excited about next year! I will be posting a video soon about what the Louisiana Marathon meant to me on a personal level soon, but if you are wondering how it all went, check out this recap I wrote for!

If you are seeking a destination race or if you are a Marathon Maniac or Half Fanatic, I seriously urge you to consider adding this race to your bucket list. I am not just saying that because of my involvement with this race. I am suggesting it as a fellow runner. In fact, I ran it too.  Do it…you will not regret it!

2012 Louisiana Marathon

History was made in Baton Rouge last weekend with the running of the inaugural Louisiana Marathon. Drawing over 2,800 runners from 46 states and 12 countries, the Louisiana Marathon presented runners with Louisiana’s first multi-format race.

In creating the event, Race Director Craig Sweeney made sure to present a race that runners of all levels could participate in. The Louisiana Marathon featured a 5k, Half Marathon, Marathon, and Marathon Relay, allowing it to seem approachable for runners of every ability, from seasoned runners to newbies.

Photo courtesy of Gulf Coast Half Marathon Series

Everything about the Louisiana Marathon dripped with our rich culture and history. The scenic route of the course took runners through downtown, around the LSU lakes and LSU campus, and through Mid-City with the start and finish line near the State Capital. For 26.2 miles, runners were greeted with warms smiles and signs of encouragement from volunteers at water stations and supporters who camped out along the route. At the finish line, runners were awarded with a beautiful medal (which happens to double as a bottle opener!), delicious food, and incredible music from New Orleans locals, the Bucktown All-Stars!

Runners could not have asked for more perfect weather on race day. Cloudless skies and temperatures in the mid-40s made for an ideal start at 7:00AM. The mild elevation of the course allowed runners to race hard and fast around the Capital City. For the runner looking to set a PR, this seemed to be the perfect event.

Photo courtesy of The Lousiana Marathon Company

Top finishers in the race posted some incredible times. For the marathon, Baton Rouge native, Matt Manning, was the first-place finisher with an impressive time of 02:33:42. Karen Meraw, hailing from Detriot, MI was the first female finisher at 2:58:54, pulling in 7th place overall. For the half marathon, the top male award went to Jonathan Granger of New Iberia with a powerful time of 01:17:45 and the top female award went to Kelly Nicholas of New Orleans with a time of 01:29:52.

For an inaugural race, the Louisiana Marathon was extremely well executed and clearly surpassed everyone’s expectations. Don’t believe me? Just check out the comments left on the Louisiana Marathon facebook page. Compliments abound and many out-of-towners and Marathon Maniacs have said they eagerly anticipate returning next year! But don’t think for one second that all of this great response means that race directors plan to sit back and relax.

“Based on the feedback, we plan to fine tune what worked and overhaul things that we need to in order to make adjustments regarding the course. The goal is to make everything tighter, more defined, and even better for next year,” says Sweeney. The 2013 Louisiana Marathon is already in the works and over 330 runners have already registered for next year’s race! There is no doubt that an event of this caliber will grow and continue to attract runners from all over the world. The Louisiana Marathon has put our state on the map for the running community and for making strides to promote healthier lifestyles!

For more information on the race and to register for next year, be sure and check out

Complete race results can be found at

To see photos from the Louisiana Marathon, check out

Ultramarathon dreams really DO come true!

5 Jan

Some little girls grow up wanting to be like this…

I, however, want to be like this when I grow up…
Catra Corbett
…and, no, even at 29 years old, I still do not feel like a grown up. By the way, that is Catra Corbett. If you do not know who she is, look her up. She is amazing and is a total inspiration! Also check her out on Twitter…@dirtdiva33!

While my goal one day is to complete an ultramarathon all on my own, for now, I think it is safer to stick with a relay team. I certainly will not have the time to devote to ultra training this year with Baby Key being so young and demanding so much of my attention, but I can still participate in the fun with a team!

A few weeks ago, I was recruited by a team called the Krewe of the Slow and Chatty to run the Rouge-Orleans with them. I was stoked! As I have mentioned before, I wanted to run this race last year, but we had just moved back to Baton Rouge and I did not have a chance to find a team. This was going to be my year! HEYO!

Then I got the e-mail…

My team captain sent me an e-mail saying that for various reasons (injuries, other commitments, etc.) several team members had to pull out of the team and we would no longer be able to participate. Sad face! I was so disappointed. With the race now only being a month away, I thought the idea of getting a new team together was impossible. But alas, it was not!

I immediately sent out a call to arms across the interwebs! Twitter! Facebook!

Within one day, I had formed a new all-girl powerhouse team…with members from all of the Gulf Coast…from Baton Rouge, LA on over to Biloxi, MS! I guess I am now the team captain of the Girls On The Geaux! We are PUMPED!!! Meet my new team…

Jenn Macha (@jmacha)
I met Jenn this past summer at the Rocketchix Triathlon. I volunteered for the one in May and she stood out to me. At the time, I was pregnant and Jenn had the only other baby bump I saw! I had to say hello! Then, it turns out that we were both selected as bloggers for Woman’s Hospital!

Erin Parker Skinner (@erinparker)
I originally met Erin at the Sunday Runday group run but more recently we connected over some photos for 225 Magazine. Erin was my photographer! You can see her photos in the magazine every month.

Lindsey DeBlieux (@ldeblieux)
Lindsey and I went to the same high school but only sort of knew each other. When Brent and I moved back to Baton Rouge, we made some new friends and Lindsey just happened to be in that group! Yay for coming full circle! Over the past year, Lindsey has been working really hard to improve her fitness and has competed in races of varying distances and has also done a couple of triathlons!

Heather Montgomery (@runningwithsass)
Heather and I were Twitter friends first and then became “in real life” friends. She is an avid distance runner and routinely visits Disney World. When she’s not running or visiting/planning trips to Disney, she is repping the Gulf Coast area for Running Skirts!

Kristyn Gunter (@KristynKG)
So far, Kristyn and I are only Twitter friends, but I am anxious to meet her in real life! Heather and Kristyn are a tag team and will be joining us all the way from the MS Gulf Coast! Yay! What better way to get to know someone than by spending 24 stinky hours with them in a van!? Am I right or am I right?

And you know what is even awesomer than awesome? We have sponsors! These generous folks have stepped up to help us out with registration, transportation, fuel, gear, and raising money for Girls On The Run! Team Girls On The Geaux is so excited to have these companies supporting them as well! We are so fortunate and appreciative!

The Rouge-Orleans is coming up quickly with only one month left! I will be Tweeting and blogging in real-time so you will not miss any of the action. It is going to be an adventure!

Have you ever run an ultramarathon or ultramarathon relay? Did you have fun? Would you do it again?