Sunday, March 7, 2010

New Orleans 1/2M – Great Time!

New Orleans – Great Time!

Our story begins on Thursday night when it started snowing in Cleveland. I shoveled the snow before going to bed around 1 am. At 5 am the phone rang. It was the school, letting us know that school was cancelled. I got up and shoveled the snow again and then got dressed and left for the airport.

The flight was on time (unbelievable!)  See a picture of our plane among the snow above.  Of course, we were happy inside the plane, knowing that we were going to a warmer place.  We arrived in New Orleans around noon to a sunny day, and 60F. Quite a difference!   Here is a picture of us in New Orleans:

Friday afternoon/evening we went out for drinks and dinner on Friday (French Quarter, Bourbon street, quite interesting!) On Saturday we went for a long walk, ate the obligatory Beignets, then signed up for a Bus tour of the New Orleans neighborhoods.  The picture below shows Liz sipping a "Hurricane" at Pat O'Briens famous bar in New Orlean's French Quarter.  She is in double not because of the effects of the cocktail, but because the picture is in 3d!

Sunday (race day) we got up at 5:30 got dressed and walked to the start line. The weather was warmer than I had expected, around 50s, warming to 60-70 by noon (the sun felt good - we needed the vitamin D). I was going to wear this silly hat I had bought but the last minute I decided to skip it because it was too hot.  I did wear it before and after the race:

Both Liz and I had signed up for the 1/2 Marathon. I was in coral 1!! (Liz put down 1:32 for my expected time), she was in coral 9 (out of 24).  Here are pictures of both of us by the start line of the race:

This race was my Liz's idea to keep us motivated through the winter. But, as she said, the running was hard to train for in the winter, but there was no problem with the eating and drinking!! So here I am in coral 1, all 170+ lbs (vs. 160 in November).

I started running 7 min miles but gradually my pace slowed to 7:30. Got passed by a lot of runners, struggled a bit, but enjoyed the run. My time was 1:36:29, which is 5 minutes slower than my PR (the 10 extra lbs are showing), but I managed to finish 9/282 in my age group and 260/9300 overall.

Liz had a nice race. She started at 9:06 and slowed down to 10 min/mile but she did not suffer as in her first 1/2M (this was only her 2nd). She finished at 2:06:54, a PR by less than a minute. 54/407 in her age group. Interestingly, there were 3 times as many female as male runners in the 1/2.

After the race, we stayed around, ate the food, drank the two free beers per runner and enjoyed the festivities.  The beer was Miller 64, served in bottles slightly smaller than this one:

Just look at the race photos and think that in Cleveland there was a snowstorm on Saturday with temperatures around 25F.  Ha!

Then back to the hotel, took a quick shower and went out to enjoy the very nice (sunny and warm) day. We ended up at the Casino, drinking free Hurricanes and winning $50 (to pay for tomorrow's cab ride to the airport).

Overall, we enjoyed the trip and the race. New Orleans gave us a good impression and the race was very well organized and fun. We might do it again in the future, or aim for another R&R race next year.

In addition, I took 985 stereo pictures with my Fuji 3d digital camera (pictured above, and also seen in all official race photos). These turned out very well. Last Tuesday we had a stereo club meeting. I entered 3 pictures and got three awards. So the trip was productive in more than one ways for me.

1 comment:

Clara said...

Congrats to you both! Sounds like it was a fun, warm trip.