Race: Cajun Cup 10k
Date: November 10, 2012
Place: Lafayette, LA
Total Time: 1:05:11 (PR!)
Saturday morning, I was up early for the Cajun Cup 10k in Lafayette. A week earlier, Josh’s mom asked me to come along to this popular race. It sounded like fun and matched my running group training schedule, so I said yes.
Josh and his dad came along too and a few minutes after 8:00 a.m. we were off. Barbara, Josh’s mom, walks, but at a 13:30-ish/mile pace, she’s faster than several runners I know. We separated and I started running, keeping my 10k PR in mind (1:06 and change from this year’s Mardi Gras Mambo), but also wondering if that speedy time was a fluke. On training runs, I average around 11:00 – 12:00/mile, so running another race around 10:45/mile seemed a little impossible.
The course takes you down several major Lafayette streets, past ULL’s Cajundome, though a cute residential area and back downtown. Thankfully, this race is in November. There’s very little shade and I fear what that course would feel like in summer with sun beating down. Even in November, temperatures were still in the 60s when we got started and only got warmer.
The race is actually pretty boring. I loved the residential area, but Johnston and Congress were just a bit boring. I wasn’t feeling my best, after a late-ish night with friends (Skyfall is awesome, btw) and a 5:00 a.m. wake up to drive to Lafayette, so I didn’t expect much… and then I heard her. Just behind me, starting around mile 2, was a woman singing along to her iPod. Very loudly. And very badly. Songs I didn’t know, which made it worse.
So I ran a bit faster to get ahead of her…That worked for about two miles. When she caught up, I ran a bit faster again, throwing a couple of dirty looks over my shoulder. (What’s protocol for this situation?) So the last two miles, even though I wasn’t feeling it, I kept up a good pace to stay a bit ahead this lady. I walked through water stops (at 1.5 miles, 3 miles, 4 miles and 5 miles), along with a couple other 30 second walking breaks.
The last 0.2 miles of the race were brutal. I was sure the finish line wouldn’t come. The final half mile or so takes you around a couple of turns and when I finally saw the finish line, I went for it. Finally, I crossed the finish line. The clock time was 1:06 and change, which I knew meant I probably had a new PR.
Once I finally caught my breath and said hello to Josh and Jim, I checked my results on the race website and discovered the Mardi Gras Mambo wasn’t a fluke! My chip time was 1:05:11, a full 1:35 faster than my previous 10k time! Woot! A couple of differences in the Cajun Cup might have helped, like a single, tiny hill and that crazy singing lady, but I’m pretty pleased none the less.
After a great race experience, I’m getting really pumped about December’s Woman’s Half Marathon. It definitely has a few more hills (and that extra seven miles), but I know I can do it. And I can’t wait to see how I do in February’s Rock and Roll New Orleans Half Marathon! No hills and a great course. Don’t forget: you can save $10 when you register for the RnRNOLA half or full with code ROCKNOLA1.*
Back to the Cajun Cup, Josh, Jim and I cheered in more runners while waiting for Barb. Weird event of the day: I was sitting on the ground when a woman came barging down the line and threw her cell at me. I amazingly caught it, despite my surprise and she came back a few minutes later after making it down the finish chute. I still have no idea why she chunked the phone.
Barbara finished about 20 minutes after me. She walks all her races AND was fighting back pain Saturday. She STILL averaged 13:41 a mile. She is a beast!
After cooling down and cleaning up, we walked across the street to my favorite Lafayette eatery, The French Press. It definitely get bonus points for serving delicious, classy food (and drinks) at 9:30 in the morning. I celebrated my PR with amazing cream cheese and banana stuffed french toast with a blueberry champagne compote. It hit the spot and I napped on the hour+ drive home from Lafayette.
After a shower and another nap, Josh and I headed to the LSU game and watched the Tigers trounce Mississippi State. We met up with my brother and nephew at the end of the game. My nephew is just shy of eight, but he knows his football. It’s fun to watch and talk sports with him.