LOUSIANA!!! HALLOWEEN...BUT THE ONLY SCAREY THING WAS BACK PAIN...NUMBER 28!
I was kind of apprehensive about this race, I have always heard that New Orleans is kind of a pit, crowded and dirty, not my favorite kind of place, but it sounded like a pretty fun race. I met a guy name Bobby L. in Mississippi on the bus to the start and we had arranged to do this one together, but he hadn’t responded to my repeated texts, so I assumed that he wasn’t doing it. No biggy, Brian and I always have a great time no matter where we go!!! We were flying out of O’Hare on 10/30/2015, a 5:05pm flight so Brian went to work and worked a ½ day and I decided to try the Metra to O’Hare transfer and see how that would work. I had been struggling with a sore LB for a couple of weeks, not sure what had happened and I had a 3rd appointment to get adjusted on that Friday morning. So, I started my day by walking 3 miles with the dog and got cleaned up, packed up and dropped my Trixie off with Bill for the weekend. I left my house at 10:35 to catch an 11am train to O’Hare transfer and it was right on time and just about exactly 1 hour ride to the station where a bus took us to the parking lot tram which took me to the airport where I arrived and skycapped my luggage by 1:15pm. I was on my way in the airport and got some lunch (a salad and glass of red) and sat down to read and relaxed. Other than the airport security line being long, my LB aching from standing in the line and it being super hot in the waiting area, it was pretty good. Brian called and I decided to wait for him to get my Starbucks. Then my sister, Peggy, called and we chatted until I saw Brian walking towards me. We boarded the plane on time and it was looking good until the guy behind us started talking…and he yammered on for the entire 2 hour flight about his service in the marine corp. As luck would have it, I had 2 sets of earphones on me, I handed one to Brian and took the other and drowned him out for the rest of the flight. My earphones died and I pulled up the hood of my sweatshirt and held the phone close to my ear to continue to drown out the jarhead moron. As we got off the plane, I saw people giving him the look…I understand that look. It is the look of someone who pictured themselves putting their hands around his neck and squeezing until he stopped talking, stopped breathing and stopped living!!! I had the same thoughts. I had arranged to use a shuttle bus to take us to the hotel and we collected our luggage and found the bus right away and we were the 3rd stop. Our bus driver gave us a “tour” on the way and it was pretty cool to see the rebuilding of the city post-Katrina. I had booked a hotel in the business district close to the start of the race so we didn’t have to rent a car; parking is a nightmare in NOLA. The hotel was beautiful and I commented as we checked in to the front desk that our trip had been “planes, trains and automobiles” and he took that as a complaint and gave us a voucher for free dessert (I was just commenting on it because it worked, to my surprise!!!). We got to our room, very nice and quiet and headed down to the hotel restaurant for dinner and had salmon, baked potato and spinach, DELICIOUS!!! I went to bed early, slept pretty well, but woke up to a sore back. We walked on over and got my race packet, back was pretty sore at about a 6 on that 0-10 scale, but I had to do it. Brian forgot the GoPro so we headed back to get it and then I put on my bib and gathered all my crap and lined up, but forgot my water with Brian so had to run and find him, I did and then back in the line-up but further back than I wanted so the first mile I had to get past the walkers and slow-pokes. My back was sore and as it had eased up in practice runs the longer I ran, I expected that to happen, but it didn’t. I kept getting sorer and sorer until I stopped at 6 miles and called Brian, he didn’t pick up, but I called him again at 8 to let him know that I was gonna be slow but I would finish. By 12 miles I was just walking, but a funny thing happened, at the 12.5 mark I saw a sign that said “water $1”, I thought, “what”? but then noticed the smiling hot guys next to it with the sign that read, “whiskey shots – FREE” so what is a girl in pain going to do…I stopped…I shot whiskey and I ran the last 0.6 miles after that. Brian had stuck around the park and saw me go through the water station at 3 miles, but I didn’t notice him. He was at 13, so I ran the finish with a truly sad time of 02:15:43, 850 of 2169, 10.22 pace, 364 of 1266 women, 29th of 145 females in the 50-59 AG. This is not my worst time, but it isn’t my best, it is my only race where a shot of whiskey was part of the nutrition though!!!
Brian had already sampled from the beer vendor, but he gave me a hard time about the whiskey anyway! We walked around a little, had a couple of beers and ate some of the food and headed back to the hotel for coffee and a shower. We got dressed up for walking and headed out, slowly (I had to rest every block or so because of LB soreness) to the WWII Museum that was 6 blocks away. Just walking there was hard enough and there was a line to get in that I couldn’t imagine standing in, so I took Brian aside and told him that I didn’t see that happening. So out came his handy smart phone and we found the Avenue Pub and sampled some beer until the scotch bar opened upstairs where Brian sampled some scotch, we ate a snack and headed back to the hotel where we took a fabulous nap and then had a fantastic dinner at Emeril’s 2 blocks away. Back to the hotel pretty early for Biegnets for dessert (finally used our freebee) and a great nights’ sleep for my sore back. We got up early and headed downstairs for MORE BIEGNETS (so good, this time chocolate) and coffee then we walked the 6 blocks to the WWII Museum which we toured and loved and even saw a movie in 4D (the seats vibrated and shook). We had packed up all our stuff and left them with the bellman before we left so when we were done with our museum and our fantastic lunch at the Cuchon Butcher we relaxed at a wine bar called W.I.N.O. (Wine Institute of New Orleans) where sampling wine is the protocol, super cool idea and Brian had a couple of beers. We were back to the hotel in plenty of time to catch our shuttle bus which was a little late, because the Saints played and won and traffic was ridiculous, but we had factored in extra time and made it with time to spare. Waa waa waa, back home, no more biegnets – I guess I’ll have to figure out how to make them!!! Next race FLORIDA FOR VALENTINE’S DAY!!!