Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Steph Says: Cajun Cup Recap

The Cajun Cup holds a special place in my heart.
One year ago, my friend Amy convinced me somewhat against my will to sign up for this 10k... and for that, I will be forever grateful.
That 2013 race marked the beginning of my re-inspired hatred love of running, and one year later, it's been rekindled tenfold.
After finally falling asleep Friday night, and despite waking up randomly at 3:00 a.m., I woke up refreshed and ready. My sister-in-law Erin had been peer pressured lovingly coaxed into running with me, so she came over and we headed out around 6:45 a.m. to drop off Rascal Mae with the Hubs's mom and head for downtown Lafayette. Parking was decently easy to find (win) and we headed over to Parc Sans Souci.
My Sis-In-Law!
 There were people galore, and the air was filled with excitement. There's nothing quite like a race day morning- if you haven't experienced one, I highly recommend that you do! My first stop was the Zydeco Marathon tent where I officially signed up for the full on March 8th. I got a sweet "In Training" t-shirt to prove it, too!
That says "2015" en francais. I had to look it up. Shame. 
After that, I met up with Elle Noel and was introduced to some of the girls in her run group. After a quick jog to my car to drop off my jacket and new t-shirt, we headed for the start line and ran into another good running buddy from Team RWB. It felt like everything fell into place. This was going to be a good day and a great race. 
The gun went off and we inched forward toward the start line. The first half mile was pretty tight. I mean, there were over 1,200 people fighting for space right outta the gate- but I like to think of it as run camaraderie instead of claustrophobia.
Around the first mile, everyone kinda thinned out and found their stride, so that's when it really got easy. Just after hitting two miles I recognized that I was at the same spot where last year I started to walk. That brought tears to my eyes- here I was, only one year later, and I wasn't even tired yet. Talk about empowering. Miles two and three flew by. Around three and a half, my feet really started hurting. I'm not 100% sure of these Mizunos for long distances because after three miles, the balls of my feet really start to feel like they're being rubbed raw. They're fine, but they don't FEEL fine, which may become a real problem when I start running these long distance weekends.
But as luck would have it, I finally caught up to Erin right before mile four. She is usually WAY faster than me, but due to the longer distance she was pacing herself a little slower. We finished miles five and six together.
Once we hit Jefferson Street, I said panted, "The finish line is right around the corner!" We started encouraging each other to finish strong. I remember her yelling "PUMP YOUR ARMS!" Well...Jefferson Street is a heck of a lot longer than I remembered it to be. Somehow we made it to the end and crossed the finish line!!!
Thanks for the finish line pic, Mike and Natalie!

I finished in 1 hour and 8 minutes- 24 minutes faster than last year with an average pace of 11:01. I am so stinking proud of myself, and I'm not ashamed to admit it! Four minutes faster per mile in a single year?! Holy cow, people.

 I'm also really excited to add to my collection of race bling. My Zydeco half medal was getting pretty lonely! Next one will be the Cajun Country Half! I heard their medal is an alligator-shaped beer bottle opener. I mean just what every runner gal needs, amirite?

After the race, I picked up Rascal Mae, got cute, and went out to brunch (I burned almost 1000 calories- so I cheated just a little!) and shopping with my girl MC. She's a former student/forever sister/Europe travel mate/running partner whom I love dearly. Seriously, God didn't give me real sisters, but He's given me some wonderful women to call sisters. 
This. Girl. Right. Here.

It was a fantastic weekend with some fantastic girls, fantastic triumphs, and fantastic food. Y'all know I love me some food. 
This week, I'll be running and Body Pumping- which BTW I'm one of 15 people still on track with the six-week challenge at the gym! Holla! Told ya I never back down from a challenge!

Till next time, go give ya sister a hug.

1 comment:

  1. I love the race weekend recap- you did so well! I found the race to be super crowded this year, but in a good way. It's part of the reason I love races! I would return those shoes out ASAP. I've gotten really particular about run shoes. They should be totally comfortable from the get-go. No blisters, no weird rubbing. Also if you haven't already, get some run socks. They're worth the $$. I hear there is a marathon training group starting from Geaux Run in a few weeks- I may hit that one up if you're interested! Thanks for the shout out sweet lady!