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Monday, February 25, 2008

New Orleans Mardi Gras Half Marathon

Yesterday Jaime and I participated in the 44th annual Mardi Gras Half Marathon in New Orleans, LA. The race started bright and early at 7 am. As Jaime and I have been very busy for the last couple of months with holidays, moving and starting clinicals—not to mention the freezing cold weather and snow—we have not had much time or desire for training. I have done about 5 short runs since our last half marathon in October and Jaime has had fewer than that so we were ready for punishment. Our race began beneath a foggy ceiling. The air was cool and the crowd was pumped. After the anthem was played over a loud speaker the race director gave us the “Runners set…” and then the horn. We raced around a few roads before ending up on Bourbon St. Anyone familiar with New Orleans knows that Bourbon St is known for wall to wall bars and people staying up all night and walking around with beer in cups which spill all over the road along with other fluids that are washed off the street each night. We were lucky that the street had been cleaned although I think the runner high I thought I had was actually a high from inhaled alcohol fumes wafting up off the pavement. We passed a couple of bars that had not closed and people were lined up outside with drinks in hand cheering us on. No joke. Next, we ran up St. Charles to Audubon Park. The halfway mark was inside the park where runners were surprised with a beer and martini stop at the halfway mark. Only in New Orleans would you find such a thing. The town is known for its partying and drinking is a way of life here. At this point I was feeling good in my run and did not indulge in any spirits. But I did think about it! Haha. About 9 miles into my run my calf muscles started to ache. I was on target for my best time in a half but the last few miles were difficult and I ended up finishing at my worst ever half marathon time on the easiest course ever. The ONLY incline I can remember is a step up to get into Audubon Park. New Orleans is pretty much all BELOW sea level and sinking deeper and deeper with every storm. Needless to say I was really happy to finish, collected my finishers medal and found Jaime who I had seen cheering me on near the end of my run. I’m sure he could see I was willing my way with every step. It was a completely mental effort at that point. We didn’t have time to stick around after the race because we had to go over the 26 mile bridge over Lake Pontchartrain to my sister’s house to pick up Julian. Jaime’s race was better than mine. Although he was pushing himself near the end he finished at a time better than his first half marathon. His finishing time was 1:43:48 and mine was 2:00:26. Next year we will train and do the full marathon.

2 Comments:

  • Great thing about running is that you can do it anywhere! I imagine a mini marathon is easier in LA that on Nevis!

    By Blogger Wayne, at 11:30 AM  

  • Your time is great without training. Keep it up girl.

    By Blogger Dusti, at 7:11 PM  

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