Monday, February 14, 2011

Half Marathon in New Orleans - Part 3

Afterwards............ Boy do my knees hurt.  I did take an ice bath to reduce the soreness.  Then, hot shower and quick nap.  Have I mentioned that my knees still hurt?

We went back to the French Quarter and ate at Cafe Pontalba.  I was starving and hoping that the restaurant we chose was within close walking distance.  We couldn't decide if we should go to Pat O'Briens afterwards.  So, we flipped a coin.  Luckily, the coin told us to go.  We all had a hurricane!

It was great sitting outside visiting with different people who had run in the race.  Afterwards, we made a stop at Cafe Du Monde.  But, our eyes were definitely bigger than our stomachs.  We order 24 beignets, but had about 16 left over.  They were so good - what a sugar rush.

After sleeping late, we made the trip back home.  To celebrate Valentine's Day, we went Macaroni Grill for lunch in Mobile.  When we got home, Kelly Bennett had decorated our house with this congratulations sign.  It was a great weekend and a fabulous experience.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Half Marathon in New Orleans - Part 2

In order to make it to the 7:00 a.m. start, I had to get up at 4:45 a.m.  But, I didn't really sleep that night anyway.  I sure didn't was to oversleep and miss the race.  I had come to far!  Luckily, I was able to park at the finish line (Delgado Community College) and take a shuttle to the start line.  I sat next to an older gentleman from New Orleans who was running the full marathon.  He gave me a great pep talk and escorted me to the start line.  Our racing coach had told us to wear old clothes to stay warm at the start line.  I ditched my old pajama pants at the start line.  But, I wore AJ's long sleeved shirt through mile 3.  Race officials collect the discarded clothes for the homeless.

The corral start was a little overwhemling, but exciting.  My legs and feet were so cold and numb through the first 2 miles.  I was amazed at all the spectators cheering.  One local cheerleading group was dressed like KISS with full make-up.  Another group of men were outfitted in red dresses passing out water.  Along the route, people were handing out slices of king cake, Krispy Kreme donuts, beer, mimosas, oysters, etc.  Some people were standing in front of their homes cheering in their pajamas, drinking coffee.  I am so glad that I wore my DetermiNation shirt.  There were DetermiNation coaches and supporters throughout the race.  They had cowbells and a few ran alongside me for a bit.  On the back of my race shirt, I put all the names of my supporters.  It felt good to know that so many people were "behind" me.

At mile 5, I saw the Dybas.  They took my picture and cheered me on.  It definitely gave me a lift to see someone that I knew.

I felt pretty good through mile 7.  Then, my left knee started feeling a little sore.  Kelly Bennett had given me gummy bears and told me to have a couple every few miles.  That gave me a boost too.  I had 2 gummy bears at mile 6 and 4 at mile 10.  I didn't eat anything else during the race.  I also didn't want to have to stop at any of the porta potties.

At mile 11, both knees were really killing me.  But, only 2.1 miles to go.  I felt really good cardio-wise all the way through the end.  I saw AJ at what ended up being .02 from the finish line. I saw him before he saw me.  Seeing him definitely pepped me up.  He told me that the Hodos were about another .01 down the route.  They took this picture.

At least I had some people still behind me.  I finished in 2 hours and 46 minutes.  I had hoped to finish in 2 hours and 30 minutes.  But, I DID FINISH. 

I met AJ and the Hodos at the finish. Then, we went to the DetermiNation tent. The literally had a red carpet out for us and cheered us into the tent. That was very special. They had a goodie bag for me and were so welcoming. I met up with my other teammates and with other runners who had raised money for the American Cancer Society.  These are some pictures that they took for the ACS brochure.

My team raised $22K+, the second most amount raised.  We were only behind the American Cancer Society home office... and they had 24 members.

When we left the tent, I was interviewed about why I ran.  To see my story, see this:
I am glad I have a supportive husband.  And, my bib and medal!  Yea.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Half Marathon in New Orleans - Part 1

We left Auburn for New Orleans at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 12. The closer we got to the city, the more nervous I became. We stopped off at the condo in Metairie to drop off our bags. One of my construction alums graciously let us use his corporate condo for the weekend. Then, we went to the convention center to pick up my race packet at the Expo. Wow - the Expo was overwhelming. There were tons of people everywhere.

David and AJ were patient at the Expo

With the sign at the Expo


We had dinner at Cafe Masperos in the French Quarter and then went for a walk. I ordered pasta to "carb load" for the race.  A Carnival cruise set was setting sail on the river.  It was pretty cool to see.  We also saw a fiverboat and 3 of the largest rats I have ever seen.  Yikes!