Mardi Gras Rock ‘n’ Roll 2011 Recap Part II


It’s Monday! I hope you are having a good day. I ran some errands with my mom this morning and it’s so beautiful outside, I think I am going to have to go for a quick run later!

First things first. Have you entered my giveaway yet? It is open until next Sunday. Check it out!

But first, the second half of my recap. Before I get into the race, I have a few more pictures to share from the expo thanks to the lovely Karen.

The boys playing games at the expo.


We won t-shirts!




Me and Karen in our “convert to skirt” shirts


Ok, on with race day!

We woke up about 5:00, and it was COLD! Karen had to meet her running group early for a picture, and hating cold as much as I do, Bobby and I decided to hang back and not go down until about 6:30. (Race started at 7:00)

Very sleepy.


We walked to the start line. It’s a pretty good walk, and it was quite chilly! There were thousands of other people herding that way. It looked like everyone else had the same idea as us, to stay in your hotel room as long as possible before having to go outside!


There was a jazz band playing, of course.


I called Karen, and we found her and Jason and took a couple of pictures before heading to our corral!



We moved through the masses of people and squeezed into the back of corral 10.


Bobby was so cold he was using the hot hands I brought to try and warm up his ears and nose.

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This year things moved a LOT faster than last year. I know I complained about how slow the waves were, but this year they were super fast!

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Before I knew it we were running under the start line! It was SO much faster than last year, I wasn’t prepared!


Because we weren’t ready, our first mile was slow. Bobby kept trying to fix his headphones, and Karen and I stopped to adjust our clothing and spibelts. It was so congested we had to do a good bit of weaving, and got trapped behind walls of people several times.

The miles FLEW by! We were making really good time, and I was feeling pretty good.



Then we hit mile 8, and my knee/IT band started hurting. UG! I had made it so far I didn’t think it was going to cause a problem. It didn’t start hutting in Disney until further into the race, but then I thought about how bad the roads are in NOLA and running on an uneven surface probably sparked the problem. Anyway, I kept going of course, but the pain got worse. I tied not to think about it but I got quiet and knew this was going to be a big problem.

We made it downtown to the French quarter about mile 9.



When we hit mile 10, I did some quick math and knew I would have to run at my best to PR. Under normal circumstances I would have said HECK YA I can do that! But hobbling along with my knee the way I was, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I fought back tears as I realized once again my injury was going to hold me back. Karen did a good job of telling me it was ok and there would be other races, but I was still just so frustrated with myself.

I kept going, and then all of the sudden my left hip (not same leg as the IT band problem) started to throb. I used to have this problem back before I started going to the chiropractor. It didn’t bug me at all in Disney because I had been going to the chiropractor several times a week. Well folks, the last time I had been before this race was a month and a half. Fabulous. I think that coupled with the fact I had changed my gait and was limping was making my hip pound. It was hurting more than my knee, and I literally felt like I was being stabbed with every stride. I cried on and off, just wanting it to be over.


Luckily the last mile went by rather quickly, and we were running towards City Park.




We ended up finishing in 2:27. Six minutes off my PR from the other half I ran in NOLA in October where my IT band hurt me from mile 2 on. I so just wanted to run ONE half with no pain, ONE half to reach my potential. Bobby found me after the race and I was so upset, I just wanted to go home. I know you can’t PR every time, but I tell people unless you have ever had a running injury you just simply cannot understand the frustration. It’s so miserable and hopeless feeling! I of course was proud to finish my 5th half marathon, but I just didn’t expect this outcome.


Bobby didn’t run well either. We chalked part of it up to running so soon after our full, but not really sure. He ran a 2:08 I think, 11 minutes slower than his PR.


We sat down for a minute then headed to the busses because we had to be out of the hotel at noon, and I knew it would take me a LONG time to walk to the bus. Bobby almost had to carry me because my hip was hurting so badly I could barely move. I knew I needed to walk though to work it out so I made it, just very slowly!


We showered and all four of us drove back to my parents house, but stopped to eat lunch at Times Bar and Grill. best sweet potato fries ever!




It was so funny, we wore our medals which of course look like beads, and in the restaurant people kept whispering. “I thought the parades didn’t start for another week…was there a Mardi Gras parade today!?” it was too funny. I decided not to correct them and just let them wonder!

So, we had a great time with our friends, and it’s always fun to race, I just had a disappointing outcome. I am so competitive with myself, I let it get to me sometimes. I just want to be well and run all out! This spring I am going to run a couple 5k’s and focus on strength training and getting better and hopefully will come back to half marathons in the fall with a vengeance! I think this all happened at a good time though because I am starting to get burnt out having been on a training plan since July. I need a break! So there you have it, thanks for reading.

QOTD: What is your best advice for coming back from an injury?

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26 Responses to Mardi Gras Rock ‘n’ Roll 2011 Recap Part II

  1. 1

    I love your race outfit! How perfect for Mardi Gras.

  2. 2
    jude says:

    Dealing with my first injury right now – and the Princesss is less than a week away! I am freaking out – because I truly don’t know if I will be able to mentally suck it up and get past this injury to finish. Your post gave me the inspiration to keep trying…

  3. 3
    Brian says:

    My best advice for IT band syndrome is rest. I’d go 2 weeks cold turkey and then carefully come back with short runs. If you feel any hint of pain, stop immediately and walk. The thing with IT band syndrome is that the pain is caused by the fibrous tissue of the IT band rubbing on the lateral lateral part of the femur where it connects to the knee. When it rubs, it gets inflamed and swells. When it’s swollen, it’s more likely to rub against the femur, making the inflammation and swelling worse.

    Once you’ve rested enough that you don’t feel any pain, Try doing the single leg deadlift:

    2-3 times per week. The exercise strengthens your stabilizing muscles so that your IT band doesn’t get as tight. When it’s not tight, it doesn’t rub against your femur and therefore doesn’t hurt.

    I had a lot of problems with IT band syndrome when I started running, but I’ve been pain free since I started doing this exercise 3 years ago.

    Good luck!

    • 3.1
      Heather says:

      thanks so much! I rested for 4 weeks during marathon trianing and it seemed to help. i ahve been icing foam rolling and doing some leg exercises, but I got lax on it after my full marathon which is probably why it came back with a vengence!

  4. 4
    Meredith says:

    Hey Heather! I think you did awesome considering all the obstacles you had to endure. I wrote you a while back & told you about my IT band. I had been doing physical therapy and I added massage with a certified medical massage therapist. Those things have helped tremendously. You already know that rest & strengthening is what you need. But I will say the massage helped a lot! Also strengthening, stretching, & rolling. I stretched & rolled on days I just rested. I found that on days I didn’t exercise & didn’t stretch, it just got tight again. But I understand your frustration. After about 10 weeks of running while doing physical therapy & adding massage about 5 weeks now, I don’t have any pain. I pray the same for you, because I know how disappointing it can be not to be able to do something that makes you happy, like run, because of an injury. I hope it gets better for you & I think you did amazing!

    • 4.1
      Heather says:

      thanks so much for the encouragement! I know I should have kept up with my stretching and rolling after the marathon but I was so tired of it all hhaha.
      I would love to get massages, its just ssooo expensive and I don’t think my husband would go for it. Maybe I will get him to do it for me haha. I am glad you are doing better though!

  5. 5
    Jason says:

    Hey 5 pound. That was the hardest raced I’ve ever tooken pitchers fer.

  6. 6
    Candice says:

    Way to go!! my best advice coming back from an injury.. take it slow and listen to your body. When you can run and not think about whatever is hurting.. your better!!
    time heals all.
    love your blog!

  7. 7

    I can imagine how frustrated you must have been. My last 1/2 was a bit of a disaster and I wanted to walk off the course at least 4 times during the race but I managed to convince myself to focus on the positives and that finishing was a huge accomplishment.

    My only advice is to take it easy, give your body the rest it needs and ease back into runnign when you are ready.

    Congrats on another 1/2 in the books!

  8. 8
    Becky says:

    Congrats on completing your fifth half marathon. I’m sure you’re feeling really frustrated. I hope you are able to rest and recover quickly. I think it’s a good plan to take it easy and stick with shorter races and cross training until you’re feeling 100%.

  9. 9

    Ugh…sorry to hear about your IT bands. I definitely had my fair share of problems with them during my Disney training. I took almost 2 complete weeks off and it seemed to help.

    I TOTALLY sympathize with you on the injury front. My shin injury is seriously putting me through all sorts of emotions right now. I seriously have mood swings about it every day, but in the end, I always remember my ultimate goal- Chicago. It’s amazing how much a running injury can affect someone. Patience is key I know, but there is such a drive and passion in us that we don’t want to stop. It is always disappointing when we know that we can perform well, but our bodies can’t at the time and don’t want to!

    Hang in there and just know, I’m right along there with you!

  10. 10
    Christel says:

    That sparkly sweaty band is perfect for Mardi Gras! :)

    Coming back from an injury takes patience. It’s hard. (Sorry, I’m not going to lie and say it’s easy…). But…you WILL come out of it stronger. Promise!

  11. 11
    Jen says:

    I’m so sorry you had a bad race experience. I still think you’re awesome for finishing! A half marathon is still a huge accomplishment!
    As far as completely healing from an injury, I’d personally take a month or so off running. I took 3 months off to heal my knee and came back much stronger. Totally sitting out from your sport for so long sucks, but sometimes it’s the only way to get better. Any time you run, your IT band or hip may not hurt, but you still may be causing damage :(

    • 11.1
      Heather says:

      I know. I really really want to run a couple of 5k’s though, and it will be so dang hot soon i wont be able to run anyway, so i thought that would be a good time to rehab. I have been doing leg strength and stability exxercises everyday and stretching. I did a short run yesterday and it didnt hurt at all, and was careful to stretch really well after. I was doing so well with it before the full then stopped cold turkey after, thats prob. why it was so tight for the half. I am stupid. haha

  12. 12
    Savannah says:

    Sorry the race didn’t go as planned – hope you are able to recover quickly!

  13. 13
    Jenn says:

    Congrats on the half! :) You guys all look awesome and I LOVE the outfit! We seriously need an ‘I hate my IT Band’ club or something. Mine started hurting during my race on Sunday too, but I wasn’t wearing my strap. Have you tried to wear the strap a little lower and closer to your knee cap? In the pic in the hotel room it looks much higher than where I usually wear mine. I usually upt mine 3 finger widths above my knee cap. Not sure if it will help but I know how crappy the feeling is of being held back by the pain so I’m trying to think of ANYTHING that might help! :(

    • 13.1
      Heather says:

      I wear mine between 3 and 4 fingers up above my knee cap. it just depends. sometimes it slides a little b/c I sweat a lot, no matter how tight I put it, so is tart it a little higher.
      GL with yours!

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