From James Daniel (http://hubcitytri.blogspot.com )
I got up early this Sunday morning following a wonderful Saints playoff win. I went over to Jim's house and watched the game. Charles was there also. Jodie made a cool Saints cake for the game. I ate too much and drank a couple of beers.
For the 25K race in New Orleans I had to get up at 3:10 AM. I thought to myself – Who's idea was it to do these races. Such an early morning after a Saints playoff win – remember, you have to celebrate these – this has only been the 3rd win in history.
So, we got to New Orleans at 7:00 AM about an hour from the start of the race. I was definitely not feeling good for the race. I was a little scared about the distance. Sure I had run 15 miles before but I have never raced the distance. I was unsure of my pacing.
I decided to set the GPS watch for the same time as last week – 6:55 minutes per mile. This would be a challenge. This 25K race (15.5 mile race) is on a levy along the Mississippi River. This means that there will be a wind – a strong wind. I started out and tried to follow the virtual trainer and I was successful for the most part. The wind was brisk but tolerable. I soon found myself in a group of strong girl runners. I tucked in behind them to break the wind. I kept with them for several miles. They started to break up and slow just a bit and I had to take the wind on by myself. This was brutal. I got caught up in no man's land. I trudged along. As I neared the half way point the wind got even stronger. It was in your face. Another runner caught up with me. He was wearing a 70.3 New Orleans shirt from last year. I started to get chatty. We talked about the race for a couple of miles. I asked him his age to make sure that I would not get beat out – he was 30 – 34.
As we rounded the turn around the wind just stopped. There was no wind on the way back – the air was still – it almost got hot. As we talked he said he was from Hattiesburg – we had not really looked at each other but I quickly realized that this was Chris S. – a local triathlete – I know this guy. This is a small world.
I had been chasing a guy in a purple Louisiana shirt for all of the race and he was a few hundred feet ahead of me. Chris and I had run along for a couple of miles but I picked up the pace with 4 miles to go – Chris fell back a little bit.
I was on my own but my pace quickened. I was making good time and gaining on the man in purple – just not gaining quick enough. According to the virtual trainer guy I had lost 200 feet to him at the turn around but I was making time now. At mile 11 or so I broke even with the virtual trainer guy. And I just tried to put more time into him. I never caught the guy in purple – he finished 15 seconds ahead of me but I did put 300+ feet into the virtual guy. I finished 10th overall with a 1:46 57 time for the 25k averaging 6:53 minutes per mile. I saw one of the girls after the race and thanked her for breaking the wind the on the way out – she got a kick out of that!