My friend Betty, my husband and I flew into New Orleans on the Thursday before the race. We picked up the car and headed to the hotel. The hotel was on Canal Street. Before we could check in, we went to have “linner”, too late for lunch and too early for dinner. When the hotel finally had our room ready we checked in. After a while we went to find a local market for some snacks and drinks, which ended up as our dinner.
Friday morning we went down to the hotel breakfast, which was rather lacking. A little after 11 we headed over to the convention center to the race expo, where we picked up our race packets and did a little shopping.
Betty, John (my hubby) and me at packet pick-up
It was then lunch time and we walked to the Riverwalk Mall next to the convention center to eat and walk through the mall and of course do a bit more shopping.
Wally World (Wal-Mart) was our next stop for groceries for the weekend. Then back to the hotel for a little rest. About 6:15 we headed down to meet up with other Sparkers. Unfortunately, they changed the meeting place at the last minute, so we just walked back to the hotel.
Saturday we spent most of the day off our feet. Betty and I were finally able to meet up with Suezette, Coach Nancy and some others from Spark People, that evening. It was great to meet some of those we communicate with frequently on Spark People.
Me, Coach Nancy & Betty
Sunday we were up about 4:45a, up, dress, breakfast and out the door to walk over to the shuttle. When we got to the race start we were surprised at how few people there seemed to be. We hit the potties and then just waited for the race to start; the potty line a second time and then into our corral. Just minutes before the race was to start the corrals filled up – they had a good sized race field after all. We finally started to move forward. When we got to within viewing distance of the start line, it was potty time again with the hopes of not having to stop during the race.
We crossed the start line and John was off using his race walking technique. Betty and I hung together for about half a mile and then she was off. Me, I had been having ankle problems during the weekend, so I kept to a little slower pace than even my usual race start pace. I loved seeing the Mardi Gras floats along the race course. About mile 3.5 the potty was calling so I had to stop, so much for going just before the start line. The course was nice and flat, the only drawback was the poor condition of the roads, so I had to keep my focus a little closer than usual. The bands along the course were great. I didn’t hear one that I wanted to get away from. There weren’t as many spectators as some races, but those that were out were quite enjoyable. I felt pretty strong throughout my race even though my time didn’t reflect it. I crossed the finish line at 3:28:30; nowhere near my best of 3:09, but still under the 3:30 I strive to beat. The best part is I felt good at the end. My husband, John finished in 2:52 and Betty did a 2:57 walk/jog.
Betty, me & John after the race
When we got back to the hotel, we headed out for lunch. The afternoon was for showers, rest and a bit more shopping. We had salad and TV dinners for dinner, packed and then spent the evening watching movies before going to bed.
Monday we finished getting ready to leave after our yogurt breakfast. After checking out of the hotel, we went to lunch, did a little walking around and then headed to the airport. The flight was late leaving New Orleans, but it was a good flight anyway. As always it was nice to get home.