Needless to say by the title, my race didn’t go well. I will get into that in a moment.
First a little about our trip. Saturday we woke up early and left Memphis to New Orleans. The drive through Mississippi on I-55 was beautiful with tall trees and beautiful landscape most of the way. Almost into New Orleans the high way crosses over the swamp and lake area and then we were finally there! We were surprised to see how large and busy New Orleans really is. I had it in my mind as a smaller area, instead it was busy like Chicago area.
We stayed at the Ritz Carlton on Canal Street. The hotel is gorgeous and grand like something in Las Vegas. We ran into a snag to get settled into our room and to the Expo. We had asked for early check-in, but they were very busy and behind in rooms being available. We were on a waiting list, but that meant we had to walk to the expo with a couple of our bags that we didn’t want to check and Coco. The expo was set to close at 5pm and we couldn’t risk missing getting our packets. We took turns watching Coco and grabbing our bibs, so we didn’t hang out in the expo area. It was a crazy way to start off our time in New Orleans running around with Coco and bags in tow.
The race shirt was white, not cool. Apparently the people designing the shirts don’t run longer races and understand that you get water, gatorade, whatever on a white shirt it looks terrible really quickly. A light color of green or grey would have been better. They have at least offered a women’s cut of the shirt now and I did love the design, just would have been better not as a white shirt.
Bourbon and Canal Street
Finally back to the hotel we finally got our room and settled. The room was large and beautiful. I would definitely stay there again. Here are a couple grainy pictures from my phone.
We had a view of the outdoor courtyard from our room. They were setting up for a wedding that evening.
A small picture of the bathroom, that was actually a good size.
A sitting area in the hallway.
For dinner we had to pick something that was readily available. We chose Bourbon House, which looked beautiful. The menu was very limited. This may be a good point to mention my stomach was already in a bad way. I knew that running tomorrow was going to be a complete challenge no matter what. With that said, I chose to at least enjoy my time in New Orleans and try the food in the area instead of concerning myself with gluten free since my stomach was already ruined.
We headed out to see Bourbon Street to see it before heading to bed early.
We got up at 4am for Rock and Roll New Orleans to get in the car by 5am to drive our car to the Finish Area. The Start and Finish were actually 4 miles apart at this race so we paid $20 for a Premium Parking Pass which allowed us to park in the parking lot of the college by the Finish Area and ride a shuttle to the Start that was actually close to our hotel. It was easy to find the parking area and we were on a shuttle bus no problem. This race started early, 7am so we waited around for about an hour. It was a perfect weather day, the high would be 60s and sunny. It was about 45-50 degrees, but breezy and cool before the race. We froze waiting around in our throw away shirts that were short sleeved, wishing we had throw away sweat pants. We goofed around to keep our minds off being cold and before we knew it we were lined up in Corral 1 ready to roll.
My stomach wasn’t well and I knew I would have to stop at least once if not multiple times. I actually didn’t take any fuel because the last thing I needed was more food on my stomach. I had stomach cramps the whole way and finally had to make a long pit stop somewhere around mile 7. I finished the race running very easy and tried to enjoy the people and race route as much as possible. There are some gorgeous homes on the race route and everyone was super nice. I would definitely run this race again.
After my race was finished I immedately made another pit stop, stupid stomach. Then I headed back to the car, which actually was a far walk from the finish, I would guess a mile away. And the finish chute for the full marathon was complete separate from the half, which was something I hadn’t seen before. It was very easy to find my way around though, I got to the car and back to watch for Rob on the race course.
The RNR New Orleans Half Marathon Finisher’s Medal. So cool! One of the best medals yet, great idea to have the ribbon be Mardi Gras beads!
Rob coming towards me just before mile 25. Not a great picture because I put away my phone so I could shout at him and tell him that I love him. 🙂
Picture of the beautiful trees in the park area.
Rob all finished in 3:44. He said that around mile 17 he saw wild parrots in the trees, how cool!
Then we made the long walk back to the SUV, went back to the hotel for a quick shower and then headed out to Felix’s Seafood for lunch.
Us at the bar.
We had the grilled oysters (pictured) and sweet potato fries for appetizer. The grilled oysters were amazing, and are my favorite way to have Louisianna Oysters. The sweet potato fries were good, but nothing special. I had the crawfish etoufie and it was milder than I expected. I wouldn’t order it again. I would just go there for grilled oysters next time.
Afterward we walked through Bourbon Street, doing very important Bloody Mary research along the way. 😉 Bloody Mary at La Bayou uses vodka that is marinating in olives, pearl onions and green beans, super yummy!
The Courthouse Liquor “to go” Bloody Mary claimed to be the best, but they were way off. I wouldn’t order it again.
After Bourbon we made our way to Decatur Street to enjoy the arts in Jackson Square and to check out Cafe Du Monde.
They are famous for their Beignets so we had to try them out. We foolishly requested two orders (3 each) because I thought they would be the size of a dougnut hole, so needless to say we didn’t eat them all. This was my first Beignet and it tasted good, but I’m not a doughnut or pastry fan so it wasn’t anything I would normally order. I at least had to try one so I could say I had it. I can see what people who love doughnuts would fall in love with them though.
After enjoying sitting outside and sipping our coffee we walked around Jackson Park and took some pictures. St. Louis Cathedral.
Louisianna State Museum.
We then walked back for an hour nap and then later went out to dinner at ACME Oyster House. This place is a MUST do in New Orleans. The line can be up to 2 hours to wait, but so worth it.
ACME’s Voodoo Bloody Mary has merlot in it, it was the best Bloody Mary I found on this trip.
We orderd the grilled oysters and they were outstanding! Definitely get them!
Then I ordered fried crawfish tails and crawfish hush puppies. Rob had the fried shrimp platter with sweet potato fries and regular hush puppies. We shared bites and I would say the crawfish tails and sweet potato fries were my favorite. Rob loved the crawfish hush puppies.
Afterward Rob got a rootbeer float and let me steal a couple bites and a sip. 🙂
The cook grilling oysters, yum!
So the weekend was a so enjoyable, but my race wasn’t. I knew what to expect based on how I felt prior to the start so I wasn’t surprised. I have doctor appointments up to see what my options are to get some relief. In the meantime I keep working on my training at a much easier pace than last year and know that Boston will be all about the weekend than just the race, so no matter what it will be a great time! 🙂