Monday, February 14, 2011

RnR Mardi Gras: Race Report, Blogger Meet Up, AND food.

Date: February 13, 2011
Time: 7 a.m.
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

This girl is ready to run her first race of 2011


It was a tad chilly in the morning (about 30s) as I hung out in my corral, waiting for the race to start. I had one of those "Hot Hands" in my hand, but try "lukewarm hands" instead.

I was in Corral #19, which was waaaaay in the back.  We finally started a little after 7:30ish a.m.
And we were off.

Mile 1 and 2: 
Splits: 11:04/mile and 11:25/mile
My toes were kinda frozen and numb. But I was feeling pumped and good. I kept my "lukewarm hands" until past Mile #2.  


Mile 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Splits: 11:21/mile, 11:06/mile, 10:40/mile, 10:47/mile, 11:05/mile
Warmed up and getting kinda hot. I contemplated taking off my half-zip but that would require me to take my race bib off and tie that half-zip around my waist. Too much trouble. Takes too much time. Even though I started getting something like a side stitch but it was more in the front of my belly, I kept a good pace. I think the entertainment (the bands) were good along this stretch. I don't know any of those bands that played though, but the music was upbeat. :) 
 
 Pretty trees provided a pretty canopy

 Probably my favorite cheerleading/spirit group throughout the entire race.




Mile 8, 9
Splits: 11:12/mile, 11:44/mile
I remember needing to stretch my belly very badly at Mile #8.  But I decided against it when I stopped to take a sip of water.
 Joan of Arc.
Give me some power.

Mile 10, 11
11:36/mile, 11:32/mile
Finally stopped at the drink station to stretch. Ahhhh! I am starting to feel tired too. But I wasn't quite ready for this to be over. Maybe I do. I don't know. Seriously love/hate relationship going on right there!

Mile 12, 13, 0.1
Splits: 11:56/mile, 11:25/mile, 9:16/mile
Still tired on Mile 12. I also realized that this is the last chance I have to get a PR. Did you notice that I didn't set a time goal for this race? The only thing I wanted was to run this for the bling. But, I have a shot at PR. So I sped up and kept going.  



What I thought about my RnR experience?
I expected a big big expo and a big big race. So, that's what I got. I would love to hang out at the expo a little longer, but the boyfriend had just dropped me off to go grab my race packet so I didn't want him to wait too long.  I got lost trying to find the exit the expo.

Race morning: The vibe was awesome! Excitement definitely filled the air. I thought to myself, this is one big party and I am part of it. I love it! There's no other party I want to be in.  

The route: It was a pancake flat route. You gotto be careful on some parts of the road because it was a little uneven/bumpy. But it's not a big deal.  You go through some nice residential area and their Mardi Gras decorations were just splendid. Love the purple, gold and green. Love the Fleur-de-lis. 
The RnR Experience: This is my first RnR race ever, so I can't exactly compare it to other RnR. Going into this race, I thought there would be enough music to carry me through the 13.1 miles.  I was a tad disappointed because it felt like there were a few stretches where there was no music at all. Maybe I was in a run-coma? I don't know.  I remembered a band playing those big band music - that was good.   I also remembered another band doing a cover of Lady Gaga's song. Other than that, I didn't know what was going on. 
Drinks: A station was out of water. Go figure. The volunteers did their best. Some were better than others. But overall, it was adequate. :) 

Bling: The bling was worth it! It's pretty! Love it! 

Will I do it again? 
I'm done with New Orleans now. Moving on to another RnR in another state? Definitely will do another RnR race just for comparison sake.  I think I would do RnR Las Vegas at some point in time because running down the Strip seems like a great idea. 

I met up with a blogger, Kelly, from Houston. She finished fabulously with a PR in 1:59:02. 
She texted me and patiently waited for me.
I am sorry I didn't get to stay longer. A combination of needing to go find a bathroom, getting back to the hotel to check-out, finding a college friend who encouraged me to registered for this race, and looking for the boyfriend kinda made it difficult for me to stay and hang out. In fact, I even forgot to take a picture with her.  ARGH! Check out her blog and congratulate her for her accomplishment! 

After a quick shower and check out, we went to Deanie's seafood restaurant in the French Quarter for lunch. Yummo! 
 Shrimp bisque. Very good flavor.
Probably made with shrimp stock. 
Not as good as Pappadeaux but still very good.

Crab meat salad with very good remoulade sauce
Salad with blue cheese dressing
Very good dressing. Tastes like it's made with real sour cream.

 Crawfish etouffee. It's a good standard crawfish etouffee.  
It needed some "magic" 

Half seafood platter: Fish was fresh, hot and not overcooked/dry.
Soft shell crab was good. 
Fried oysters were fresh-tasting.
The crab ball thingy was excellent!
Batter was crispy with little flavor other than cornmeal.

Deanie's is definitely worth a stop when you are in town.

*****

In case you missed it .....
What Was Ahead: Rocking and Rolling in New Orleans - The Day Before
 Coming Up: Looking Back.










11 comments:

  1. Christina,

    I found your blog looking for other runners.

    Good job on finishing the half marathon. The atmosphere surrounding races is one of the things that I really enjoy about racing and it's easy to meet people too before, during and after. Keep it going and try some shorter races too.

    If you get a chance, stop by my blog and say hello. I'm following you now.

    BTW, why the French music? Because you're in the French Quarter? Do you speak French?

    For now-Bon Soir,

    Ken

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great race recap! I'll try to get mine up soon. I can't believe we both forgot to take a picture! And thanks for reminding me about the Kiss fans - they were awesome. My favorite was a little girl about 4 years old holding a sign that said "Skinny Jeans Ahead". She was so cute!

    ReplyDelete
  3. congrats!

    i'd like to do one of the RnR HMs sometime

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great job!!! I liked the Kiss fans. You had a good write-up, and looks like a delicious, well-deserved meal afterward. Hope you have a great relax/recovery week!

    ReplyDelete
  5. great race recap. u did so well.
    i am so happy for u. and so very proud! yay. and i love that you wore red!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yay! Congrats on a great race!! I'm so happy you liked it and thought it was a big party. I'm doing Vegas this year (so obviously you should, too!) and I am wanting just that.... a fun, flat party feel up and down The Strip!

    I bet the whole Mari Gras feel was really cool! I've never been over there, but maybe some day!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Congratulations!!!! I knew you will do it!! So proud of you!!!I ran the RnR in Virginia Beach and had the same experience with the music!

    ReplyDelete
  8. How can you take pics and run???
    Congrats :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Way to go!! Sounds like you had an awesome race. :) I'd love to do the R&R New Orleans race one day; scenery looks great.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for reading! Do leave me a comment or two. They keep me motivated.