Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans

By:  Sam@Empire

I did it. I ran my first Marathon.

26.2 Miles. Crazy right?

Earlier this month I met up with Kat (whom I ran with last year in DC) and decided that I wanted to make Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans the destination of my first marathon! No it’s not as glamorous as the famed Chicago, NYC or even our very own San Francisco Marathon, but it was a marathon in a city I’ve never been, with good food and drinks!

I choose races based on destination, and being a Nike Pacer in my past, the views get a bit too familiar. Ever runner can agree that a city is best explored by foot, and by running 26.2 around NOLA, I got to view a hefty chunk.

As a pre race tradition, Kat and I did a shake out run by the Bayou St. John and a couple miles around City Park. I noticed New Orleans away from Bourbon street was strangely quiet. I don’t know if it was because everyone was out in the French Market or people just don’t go “out” on Saturday mornings.

I also almost got attacked by angry geese during this morning run.

During the morning of the race, my parents who spontaneously decided to tag along for a day drove us to the start and waited for us by Cafe Du Monde.

It was cold, and here’s what really went down…


This being Kat’s third Marathon, she wasn’t too focused on time but really wanted to make sure I was doing okay. I felt okay, and we were talking water/nutrition strategy.

We get to mile 7.. and my left foot was feeling uncomfortable. I let Kat go ahead cause I knew this wasn’t gonna end well for me.

I try unlacing and re-lacing my shoes, but something was just irritating.

side note: I got to speak with a podiatrist and he brought up that it may have been from previous injury. I remembered I sprain my ankle in middle school..yikes. I guess it came back to haunt me..

Mile 9, I made it to the French Quarter and my right quad started getting tight. It’s not excruciating pain, but its uncomfortable since I was trying to get weight off of my left foot. At this point, I’m texting Jr, and my parents it doesn’t feel right.. somethings off but I take it easy.

Around Mile 10 is where I see my parents at Jefferson Square after their 2 hour extended breakfast at Cafe Du Monde.  Let me tell you, it made me so happy to see them, and they got a lovely video of me on facebook. 😉 This was the first run since middle school, where I walked the third lap of the mile, that they’ve ever come out to support so it was special.

Mile 13 was a sight to see, oh yea, I have 13.1 more miles to go.

After that split, the race got quieter. At this point you start to think about why you signed up for a marathon in the first place. At this point, you become a statistic of people crazy enough to run a marathon.

It wasn’t until mile 18 that I saw Kat passing back at mile 20. She lifted my spirits and I knew I had to keep pushing!

I got nicknamed “radio girl” from groups that I was continuously passing during walk breaks. Shout out to Demi Lovato’s “Sorry Not Sorry” for being the song of the RUNway.

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At Mile 23, I was wondering why 3 miles felt like eternity. Bless the family that called me cute and fed all the runners pickles for salty pick me up.

Mile 26.2 I did it. I didn’t do my best but I did what I could. But you know what, I’m Better For it. I achieved what I set out to do, and I am thankful for everyone that supported not only me but my fundraiser towards St. Jude. 26.2 miles is tough and if I learned anything from this race, it would be to train harder and smarter. I wasn’t happy with my time, and that just leaves me with motivation for a PR in the future.

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“You just can’t be perfect.
So this mile, this run, this marathon, this journey between these start and finish lines can be life changing.
It can be inspiring.
It can be a triumph.
It can be so many amazing things.
it just can’t be perfect.
But it doesn’t have to be perfect…for it to be extraordinary.”
– Coach Bennett

Up next, The Speed Project 4.0 this weekend…

-Sam@Empire

Let me know if you want a NOLA food blog, because.. I’ve got so many recommendations!

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