Things got off to a rocky start here in New Orleans when I found myself huddled, a miserable shivering wreck, on the bathroom floor at 2 AM, cursing the room service club sandwich I’d ordered back when the contents of my stomach were still on the inside of my body. I truly thought I wasn’t going to be able to do the race, and I wept, piteously, into the bathmat.

I somehow managed to rally when my alarm went off a few hours later, until I poked around for my wallet and discovered it was MIA, at which point I fell into a deep terrified pit of despair, remembering the hellish nightmare when I lost my wallet in Austin last year and wondering just how in blue fuck I’d managed to repeat that kind of stupidity. I was on the verge of calling the local cab companies, thinking it must have fallen out of my backpack while I was en route to the hotel, when during one of my frenzied pacings around the room I literally stubbed my toe on it from where I’d apparently tossed it on the floor the night before.

Pro tip: if you’re thinking of running your first half marathon, I really, really don’t recommend an exhausting pukefest the night before, then a full blown panic attack the morning of. Just a little piece of advice from me to you.

I’m happy to report things improved after that, thank god. I walked to the starting area with Katie, Danielle, and Erin, and it was amazing to see so many people milling around—the race was much bigger than I’d imagined it. (I think something like 18,000 people ran today.) It took 45 minutes from the time the gun went off for our group to actually get to the official start, and I’ll know this for next time: there is plenty of time to visit the porta-potties.

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The race itself was . . . man, I don’t even know how to describe it. It was wonderful, it was hard, it was fun, it was grueling. I loved running through such pretty streets, I loved all the fantastic people cheering us on. I felt okay until the last few miles, and the last mile in particular was a bitch. I tried to pick up my speed but I just couldn’t, I was running on fumes and the repeated mental mantra that it would all be over soon.

I didn’t stop, though, aside from a couple speedwalking breaks at the water stations once I realized I couldn’t run and drink from a cup at the same time.

My final time was 2:17, and I crossed the finish line exactly how I’d predicted: hurting, but so happy. Katie took my picture for me:


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Riley will be glad to know that yes, Mommy did in fact get a medal. Never mind that everyone got one, okay?

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As far as things I do recommend when it comes to preparing for a long race, I heartily endorse putting your name on your shirt, even if it makes you feel like a total cheesebag. Because people yelled “Go, Linda!” at me, and that. Was. Awesome.

After we’d taken a shuttle bus back and cleaned up a bit, a bunch of us went and had an astoundingly delicious meal at Acme Oyster House. I got to spend time with AB and Eliza, whom I haven’t seen since Journalcon in . . . what, 2003, or some such craziness. Oh, I was in such good company today.

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Photo ganked from AB’s Twitter: me, AB, Erin, Alice, and Katie. Please note how everyone’s hair looks lovely while mine lurks, a matted rat’s nest of post-race horror, under a hat.

We ate until there wasn’t room for a single more bite, then we went and got beignets. My god. Heavenly.

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I’m so wiped out (and, um, FULL) I plan to crawl into bed soon and sleep for at least 12 or so hours, then tomorrow I’m going to explore the city a bit. I’m feeling like eight million blistered dollars, my friends, and I cannot thank you enough for all the encouragement you’ve given me, here and on Twitter. It made a difference, it really did.

Oh! I almost forgot to tell you. So you know JB’s big fight last night, well, he knocked the guy right the fuck out in the first round. It was the best fight of the night, according to the folks watching. How about that?

Comments

151 Responses to “13.1: done”

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