That one word sums up my experience at the Rock and Roll New Orleans Half Marathon. It wasn’t a great day for me running-wise. I didn’t particularly enjoy the course, except for the most scenic parts around miles 8-10. And it was my first race traveling by myself without a running buddy. Here are the highlights and low lights:
-It was unseasonably cold at race time. Runners shivered in 40 degree weather for a start that took a very long time. Not quite what I was expecting for New Orleans!
-The 3 mile up, 3 mile back run up St. Charles was sort of boring. There is a trolley track down the middle of the road that’s dirt and it was a nice break to be able to run on this for several of the miles and get off the asphalt.
-A guy passed me on St. Charles wearing a New England Patriots Jersey and juggling three deflated footballs. Everyone was laughing. But by the time I got my camera out of my SPI-belt, he was too far away for a good photo. Imagine running that fast WHILE juggling! Geez!
-I think for the first time ever, I had to use the port-a-john during a half marathon. Too much water!
-The portion of the run past Cafe du Monde and the French Quarter was the most fun. Bewildered tourists snapped photos of all these crazy runners going by.
-I got to meet a few folks from the Fifty States Half Marathon Club at my first race since joining. We had a nice italian dinner the night before the race — and it was fun to color in another state on my jacket when I got home.
-The race took longer than I expected and it was past check out time at my hotel by the time I got back. Because I was in a hurry, I pretty much skipped all the after-race activities, grabbed a banana and some water and headed straight for the shuttle bus and walk to the hotel. After showing ID, they let me back into the room to just to collect my bags. I stretched the rules and took at 2 minute shower to save my Jet Blue seat mates the agony of sitting next to me unshowered.
-No post-race pancakes were in evidence at the airport, so I scarfed some beignets — not a bad substitute. When in Rome…
-The highlight of this trip was definitely NOT the race, but a 20-ish mile bike tour of the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans designed to showcase the rebuilding effort there post Hurricane Katrina. It was fascinating, depressing, informative and neat to tour by bike. I took lots of photos, but haven’t had a chance to weed through them yet.
I arrived home to be greeted with 2 – 3 of snow with another foot on the way tomorrow. My Arizona Half is in just 2 weeks near Phoenix, so I hit the treadmill yesterday for my long run. My calves and hamstrings continue to be tight – so I will keep stretching and rolling and hope that Arizona is a better race for me! And New Orleans deserves another chance for some sightseeing — and a trip that does not include a 13.1 mile run!