It turned out to be my son, who’s 16, and me who went to New Orleans on Saturday after his hockey game. The expo at the Convention Center was awesome! I was so excited to find out I was in Corral 3. There were 2o, count ’em 20, and I certainly didn’t want to have to start back there! Our hotel was about a ten minute walk from the race start/convention center. We quickly got our stuff in the room & headed out to Jackson Square. Time to eat! We at at a little cafe right near the Cathedral, on the square. I think it was Cafe Pontalba’s. Very good pre-race meal of fried shrimp & french fries!
As we approached the Quarter/Jackson Square, I was reminded of the fact that I gave up BEER for Lent! I’m Roman Catholic & that’s how we roll for Lent – give up something, more importantly, do something, and equally important, change something. I absolutely LOVE Lent because for me, it’s a time to really reflect and become enlightened all with the help of God. I mean, at any other time during the year, I do the same thing – what can I do better? Who can I help? What can I change? But at this particular time of the year, Lent, I feel like I have a whole team on my side, helping me recognize the answers to these questions.
Anywho, as I saw person after person walking with beads around the neck, big, cold, frothy oversized beer in hand, I thought, “Oh, yuck.” No beer. No beer today. No beer tomorrow after the race. I’ve already sworn it off for Lent, so no going back on that; no way. Then, as quickly as I had this thought, I recognized God’s words in my heart – ‘be faithful to me and I’ll be faithful to you.’ I knew I was making the right choice to uphold my Lenten promise and I knew God would come though for me; He always does.
Sure enough, as I was going to sleep that night, eagerly anticipating the race in the morning, I wondered, like all runners, had I done enough? Was I truly ready? Could I keep the pace I was secretly hoping for? Over the last several weeks, I realized I could run under 9:00 miles fairly easily. I hadn’t strung 13.1 of them together, but I was hoping. I knew that’s what God meant. I slept wonderfully that night!
As it turned out, I did keep my hoped-for pace of under 9:00 miles and finished the half in 1:55. I am very happy with that. I ran a whole marathon on December 5 and felt like I had plenty of time to recover & get busy getting ready for this and it worked.
Next…I’ll get through this week trying to be as ginger as I can be with my legs – I’m not hurting, but I know I need to be kind to myself so I can get busy with new running goals. Oh, and I’m so not a ginger-type person, unless we are talking organic ginger snaps. Then, look out. Those are one of my faves…anywho, for now, I’m satisfied. But I’m already plotting my strategy…isn’t that the fun part about running? There is always something to anticipate right around the bend!