Dear Second Half-Marathon: Before you, I had completed one half, one full, one 10k, and a bunch of 5ks. Saying that I've done more than one half makes me feel like a non-newbie. That in itself makes me happy, but also a little sad. There is a certain thrill about the chase.
Dear Whole Foods: I dined on your Tofu Vegetarian Satay before all but one long run during my training. I didn't break my tradition before my race. You never let me down.
Dear Nonna Mia: Thanks for having yummy shrimp pesto pasta for me before my race and tons of water. One day, I'll visit you during non-training season and be able to enjoy your great pizza.
Dear Hyatt Regency on Poydras: I felt pretty snazzy with a free upgrade to an executive suite, but once I was in my room, I didn't feel so cool. You tried to go modern, but you missed the mark. Beige is not modern, and tan tile with tan grout doesn't look clean on your walk-in shower's floor. You also might want to check the shower door because it gets water all over everything. You had a gajillion dollar renovation last year, but you did it cheaply. I am unimpressed. The Saint Hotel did it better.
Dear Race Bystanders: There needs to be more of you! Gretna Middle cheerleaders brightened my day, and someone's sign that said, "A Half Marathon is long and hard, so do it faster" made me laugh.
Dear Tastee Donuts & Cafe Du Mond: You smell delicious.
Dear Lager's Bar & Grill: I've been talking about a post-race cheeseburger for a week, and your burger was perfect.
Dear Friend Who Doesn't Want Their Name on The Internet: Thanks for sharing your passion with me when my only goal was to get over a hurdle in my life. I'm a runner too. I like being in this club.
I completed my race and met my two goals. I didn't stop to walk during the race, I beat my goal time by 4 minutes, and shaved 16 minutes off of last year's time. Thats wonderful! I started off slower, and stayed slower than I should have, but I picked it up in the end. I didn't pay attention to the clock time when I crossed the start line, but at least I didn't fall flat on my face during the first 30 feet of the race like a lady next to me. When I got a little tired, I focused on enjoying myself; looking at the pretty houses, dodging the New Orleans potholes, and waving at children. I'm happy I changed shirts at the last minute so that I could run the first ten miles in a long-sleeved shirt I don't like, then toss it, so I could run the last three in my trusty Nike tank top. It was a little awkward partly stripping/running, but I guess the awkward moments make you better too. When I was done, I felt a little like I cheated myself and that I should have trained for the full. Sure, I'm tired and sore, but nothing like after my full marathon in 2011. I believe I shall keep training towards that in the Fall. Running without a goal can be nice here and there, but running without a goal for long periods of time, for me, feels like running in the dark without a light. You're moving, but you don't know where you're going.
I'll get re-acquianted with my watch later this week.