Saturday, March 01, 2008

RR: Mardi Gras Marathon

Friday, 2/22 - Flew into New Orleans Friday afternoon. Kay got in a bit before me, so she waited for me at the airport, and we rode over to the hotel. Headed to the expo, which was about 1/2 mile from our hotel, and wandered around there for a while. We met Mary, Dudley's wife, but Dud wasn't there yet. We wandered around a bit and I spent WAY too much money, including on this cute little guy:

Then we headed off to the French Quarter. We took a carriage ride, which was cool, and very informative.

We wandered around Bourbon Street for a while, then we decided to find something to eat. We were basically dragged into an Italian restaurant called Tony Moran's, which had excellent food, so it was all good. We saw people walking around with these huge drinks called Handgrenades. Kay asked someone what was in it, but all they could tell us was it was melon-y tasting and really strong. I decided that I would have one after the marathon. We wandered around a bit more, then headed back to the hotel.

Saturday, 2/23 - Kay and I hung around the hotel most of the morning. Jan from Mississippi and her daughter Caroline, who were staying in the same hotel, dropped in on us for a few minutes, then they went to their room. Kay and I headed back to the expo to meet up with Dud for our group tour. We finally met Dud, and ran into Mary again, and Geri and Moose, so we chatted with them for a while. Then Dud, Jan, Caroline, Jan's other daughter and her hubby, one of Jan's friends from Joy of Running and her daughter, Kay and I took off for lunch. We went to a place called Mother's; the line was pretty long, but it was worth it. The food was FAB-U-LOUS. I had a debris po'boy. Sooooo delicious! After some bread pudding, we went on our Dudley-led tour of the French Quarter.

We went to Jackson Square,

we saw the Faulkner house, which is now a bookstore,

some awesome architecture,

the Lafitte Blacksmith Shop, which is one of the oldest buildings in New Orleans,

and we visited a voodoo temple. Dudley did a great job; if you ever get a chance to tour New Orleans with him, jump at it! We finished up with beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde. Yummmm. Everybody else took off back to their hotels, but Kay, Dudley, and I walked over to the Mississippi River and walked along it for a while. We walked over to the Riverwalk Mall, bummed around for a bit, then we dropped Dud back at the Hilton, and Kay and I went back to our hotel.

Sunday, 2/24 - Race day! We met Jan and Caroline in the lobby and walked over to the start at the Superdome. We ran into Dud and then lined up to start.

We spotted Moose and Geri, but couldn't get to them easily. I ran with Kay for the first five minutes, then sent her on her way. I planned on quite a few more walk breaks than she would be doing ;) I caught up with Moose and Geri and ran with them for nine or ten miles. They told me about their Mardi Gras parties and their Katrina stories, and about the sights on the course. They're so much fun to hang with. And running with Moose is like running with a rock star! Everybody yelling out his name at water stops and such. He even stopped for a martini on the course. He's quite the crowd favorite! I couldn't keep up with their run pace any longer, so I let them go on just before the halfway point.

I started walking more than I should, but it got me through. I met a Maniac and a 50 Stater once we got into City Park, and hung with them for a while. Both very nice people. I really should become more active on those lists, especially the 50 States list. I stopped to get my picture taken with the local Hashers in red dresses, who offered me my choice of beer or water (I took the water--still had about 7 miles to go.)

I picked up a guy who had run Cowtown in Fort Worth the DAY BEFORE. And he had driven down from South Bend, IN, to do it. He's usually a 3:30 marathoner, so he was having a REAL bad day. He eventually dropped back, and wound up finishing about 10 minutes behind me.

I managed to pass a few people in the last few miles, and I finished in 6:28:47. It was a nice course. The weather was cool and overcast for the first hour and a half or so, then it warmed up and the sun came out, and the back half of the course wasn't too shady. I got a hellacious sunburn because I forgot my Holy Grail sunblock at home and just had some inferior stuff. Won't make THAT mistake again! I'm also thinking of trying a visor to shield at least the top part of my face from the sun.

(No, I'm not drunk. Just loopy from 26.2 miles...)

Shirt and medal. BLING!!

Sunday night - After a shower and a nap, Kay and I headed back to Bourbon Street. We found a steak house, and I found a Handgrenade. For recovery purposes only, of course ;) Quite tasty, but very strong.

We wandered up and down the French Quarter (working out the lactic acid,) and I got my palm and tarot cards read. Interesting....Then it was back to the hotel to crash, and we flew back home on Monday morning.

Monday was my mom's birthday, so since it was just us, I got a small cake. Tuesday it was back to school, Wednesday back to work, and Thursday I got The Plague :-P I currently have a sore throat and practically NO voice. But otherwise, I feel fine.



From Here to There said...

So sorry you came down with the plague, but so glad it came after the race! Looks like an amazing time you had!

Congrats on another marathon!

Nancy Toby said...

I'm not so sure I would want to be the one to stand in front of the sign about big asses...

Looks very fun!!!! Sorry I missed it!

Ellie Hamilton said...

What a fun race, great people, wonderful pictures! I'm so glad you had a blast. And you are looking GREAT, by the way!!

Ellie Hamilton said...

And because you're so much fun, I tagged you.... check my blog :-)

Ellie Hamilton said...

And because you're so much fun, I tagged you.... check my blog :-)

Team Boustead said...

Hey Shawn,

I'm so computer illiterate that I just posted my comment in the wrong place on your blog - what a dork! Oh well, I said that I loved your pictures and was jealous of your marathon so early in the year. We're having a snowstorm today. Blech!

You DO look great by the way! Keep up the good work,

Jo in To