Sunday, March 24, 2013

Alpha Delta Pi-athlon Race Recap

   Today was my first race of the season - the Alpha Delta Pi-athlon, which benefitted the Ronald McDonald House.


   As I pointed out in Friday's post, I wasn't really sure how this race was going to go down. In fact, when going to bed last night, I wasn't even sure if I was actually going to show up to race this morning. My first tri of the season is always a nerve-wracking thing for me. Then add in the minimal sleep, and the cold and potentially rainy (and dangerous) weather...well, let's just say I wasn't all that excited to race when my alarm went off at 4:30 this morning. But after thinking about it for a bit  coming up with every excuse I could think of not to go, I decided to apply Rule #5 and race. After all, triathlon is a sport that is meant to be raced in all conditions. It's supposed to be hard. Quit being such a wuss, deal with it and move forward.
   So, off Dudley and I went to Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, which is about 45 minutes away. (Just FYI - if you ever go to the MTSU Rec Center, don't use the directions on their website. They're wrong.) I went to go check in / get body-marked while Dudley dropped my bike in transition. 


   Funny story about the transition area... I saw the spot where I wanted to rack, and told Dudley put my things next to the guy in the red & grey jacket. That guy happened to be East Nasty Kevin Gammon. Next to him was Jim Schwan and Allie Miles. I had no idea at the time that I was telling Dudley to rack my bike next to my friends, but I was. Funny how things work out like that, huh? There ended up being about 8 East Nasties there together. It was cool.
   The race organizer wanted everyone there by 6:30 am, but the race didn't start until 8:00 am. So there was a lot of hanging out in the cold, damp weather. Fortunately, it was in the 40's and the rain was holding off for the time-being. The original forecast had it as in the 30's and storms. 
    One nice thing about having to wait for so long was that I ran into a ton of people I knew who were racing that day! Annie and Drew from TNT, Robin and Ken from the Nashville Tri Club, Jason from J. Alexander's and everyone from FTP and East Nasty. Of course, this would be a much better blog if I actually got photos of all of these people, but I didn't. Fail. 

FTP ready to throw the hammer down! 
SWIM:
  The race started right on time. Being that I was #189, and this was a time-trial start, I had about 20-30 minutes before I would hit the water. No big deal. We were able to stay in the pool area while we waited so we didn't freeze. The only thing I didn't like about the swim was that you had to jump in at the start, rather than already being in the water. So you had to deal with the sudden shock of the water, but then didn't have the benefit of a wall to push off of to get started.
   But once I got in, my swim felt good. I didn't push it - just swam my race. I wish I knew how to do flip-turns because I know I lose time there. It's hard to get to the wall, go under the floating lane divider, and then start swimming again without losing your momentum. I'm not graceful doing that AT ALL. Flip turns might help. 
   The swim was very well-organized and they spaced people appropriately. Not too many clusters of people at the wall that I have seen at other time-trial races. I was able to pass three or four people in the water, and didn't get passed, so I was happy. 

No one really looks good coming out of a swim. But because I love you all, I'll sacrifice my dignity and post a photo.

BIKE:
   I come out of the pool area and start running to my bike. And what's the first thing I realize? It's raining. Basically, the ONE THING that I really didn't want to happen, happened. Not that I cared about getting wet - I had just been swimming. But rain means slick streets, which can make for some dangerous riding conditions. Not fun. But what are you going to do? Quit? Nope. Gotta keep moving forward. So off I went. 

Notice all of the empty racks? That's what being #189 will do.

Trying very hard to get my feet clipped in. Everything was so slick!

   After getting on the bike and FINALLY getting clipped in (seemed like it took forever), I immediately noticed that I had forgotten my sunglasses. I didn't need them for the sun, but rather to keep the rain out of my eyes. Again - what are you going to do? Can't go back, so I just plowed on. I took it easy getting out into the main roads. My main goal for this race was to not fall on the bike, so I was pretty conservative. There were several speed bumps we had to go over, and a lot of white road markings (which are extremely slippery on a bike). I didn't really try to get any real speed until I got out of the MTSU campus. 
   I liked the route. Wasn't too hilly or technical. It'd probably be a fun route when it wasn't raining. I brought Big Red (my Litespeed), rather than my tri bike because I had heard the route had a lot of turns. Plus, it's better in the rain. Sure, I might have sacrificed a minute or two because of this (tri bikes are faster), but I'm OK with that. One thing that surprised me is that I wasn't cold. I thought I would freeze on the bike, but it wasn't really that bad. 
   Unfortunately, it was on the bike that I somehow messed up my Garmin, so I had no idea where I was on the route, or how fast I was going. There weren't any mile markers, either. I didn't really care about the speed, but I really wanted to know how many miles I had to go. It helps me mentally to know.

RUN:
   I hit transition and start to rack my bike, and what do I see? Kevin. Just hanging out. 
      Me: "Are you done?"
      Kevin: "Yep."
      Me: "Done - done?"
      Kevin: "Yes."
      Me (internally): "AAUUGGHH!!!!"
I'm sorry, but there is nothing more demoralizing than having someone FINISHED with their race when you still have the run to do. Yes, I know, Kevin is faster than I am. Yes, he was #9 and started at least 20 minutes before I did. I. Don't. Care. All I knew was that he was done and that I wanted to be done, too! UGH! But, alas, I wasn't. So I threw on my shoes and started running. My toes, which I hadn't really noticed before, were now FREEZING. Have you ever tried to run with frozen toes? I don't recommend it.
   As I'm running out of transition, I hear Dudley yelling "stay to the left, there are bikes on the right. Stay to the left." So I did. That was a bit of a cluster, having the bikes and the runners go out of the same exit and travel in the same direction, but I made it out unscathed. 
  Again, due to my Garmin being messed up, I had no clue how fast I was going, or how far I needed to go. The route was generally flat. A couple of small false-flats that you probably wouldn't notice unless you were running them, but nothing you could call a hill. I haven't done any brick training this season yet, but I didn't feel as bad as I usually do when running. It was hard, but I kind of found a comfortable groove and stuck with it. At some point, it has stopped raining, which was nice. Of course, you're still soaking wet, but at least the rain isn't in your eyes anymore. 
   Finally, I made the turn for the finish. I tried to kick it in, but I really don't have a kick. I wish I did. I saw this one girl just fly by me and hammer it at the end. She probably passed 5 people. So jealous.

POST RACE:
   As I crossed the line, I heard all of these voices: "Go Kristine!" "Yay, Kristine!" "EAST NASTY!" I have no idea who was yelling, but thank you (I'm assuming a good portion of it was from FTP, because they're all supportive like that.). What I thought was odd was that the one voice I didn't hear was Dudley's. So I started looking around for him and he's nowhere to be seen. After a few minutes, I went back to the transition area, and there he is - STILL directing people out of the transition area. "Runners left lane! Bikes right lane! Runners left lane! Bikes right lane!" He kills me. Apparently, exiting the transition area was more of a cluster than I thought it was. People were riding IN TRANSITION, which is a HUGE no-no. He saw that someone was going to get hurt, so he stepped in. Because that's what he does. :-)
   I went to go pack up my gear, and met up with all of the East Nasties. They all had great races.

Yes, I was the only one not smart enough to leave warm clothes in the transition area.

   In fact, both Allie and Jim finished second in their age groups, and I actually got third in women's masters! Yes, I was the third fastest old lady there (Masters are 40+)!  ;-)

Umm - my name is pronounced "miles," not "mills."  (No, I didn't actually correct them.)

YAY! Certificate!

East Nasties bringing home the hardware...or paper, in this case.
   
   Of course, don't think I don't see the connection of this being a race that I was scared of doing nervous to do, but actually did pretty well in. But even if I didn't place, this race would have been worth it. It was definitely a learning experience for me. It was some of the worst tri conditions I've had to race in so far, but I did it. And I feel really good about that.

Swim: 6:28:9 (126/303)
T1: 1:08:9 
Bike: 37:38.0 (114/303)
T2: 1:16:2
Run: 22:27 (177/303)
For the record - The course was short. I'm not that fast. Someone mentioned something about a road closure due to rain/flooding, but I have no official verification.

Friday, March 22, 2013

What? It's Race Season? Already?!

   It's March and officially the end of the off-season. Which means my first triathlon is right around the corner. As in Sunday. Which is two days from now.
   Yes, yes...in TWO days, I'll be swimming, biking and running my little heart out all over the Middle Tennessee State University campus. One of their sororities, Alpha Delta Pi, has a charity triathlon and I'm in it. (Sidebar - how cool is it that a sorority has a triathlon?! I'm sure my sorority had fundraisers, but they were probably bake sales. Pretty much the OPPOSITE of a triathlon. But anyway...)

They even have a catchy name - ADPi-athon!

   The kicker is with this race is that I'm nowhere near prepared - either mentally or physically. Sort of like the NOLA Half-Marathon from a few weeks back, but even more so because there are three sports. Now, this is completely my fault. Did I obey the workouts that Andrew from FTP so diligently planed for us every week? Ummm - no. Here's kind of how that all went down.
 
How I talked myself out of swimming:
   Good, Motivated Me: "Hmm - the schedule says I'm supposed to swim in the morning."
   Evil, Lazy Me: "But it's cold! And the swim is EARLY! You worked the Preds game last night! Aren't you tired?"
   Good Me: "Yes, I'm tired, but I should really go."
   Evil Me: "But the smell of chlorine makes you sick. And it's not like you have a race on the schedule."
   Good Me: "True..."

How I talked myself out of cycling:
   Good Me: "I need to get a ride in."
   Evil Me: "But it's cold."
   Good Me: "I can get on the trainer."
   Evil Me: "But the trainer sucks."
   Good Me: "True..."

   While it's true that my day job went into hyperdrive over the past few months AND my second job kicked in full-swing (so I'm not a COMPLETE slacker), the sad fact is that the number of times I've been to the pool and/or been on the bike since the Augusta Half-Ironman is in the single-digits. The good news is the Evil Me never talks me out of running, so I'll have that part down. I'm still not "fast," but I'm faster, so I'm happy about that. And fortunately, it's a sprint tri: 300 meter swim, 10 mile bike and a 3.14 mile run (3.14 as in Pi...for Alpha Delta Pi.  Cute, huh?), so while it'll be a painful race - the pain won't last that long...I hope.
    So LOOK OUT Alpha Delta Pi-athon! I'm gunning for you! Well, sort of. At least I'll get a t-shirt out of it.
   And though I've met my $5,000 goal, cancer doesn't stop, so neither do it. Please help my fight against blood cancers by clicking here. THANKS! http://pages.teamintraining.org/tn/nikewhlf13/kmylls


Monday, March 18, 2013

I Want to Ride My Bicycle. I Want to Ride My Bike.

   Saturday was the first really nice day of the year. Nashville got up into the mid-70's and you know what that means - BIKE RIDE!! Unlike running, which is very doable in colder weather, cycling is best experienced in warmer temperatures. At least for me it is.
   So I get up and load up the bike (well, Ok, Dudley loaded up the bike) and I met up with the gang at FTP up in Sumner County. I admit, I was a little concerned about how this ride was going to go. It was only the night before that Dudley had changed my tube and tire from a flat that I had LAST OCTOBER. Yes, it had been that long since I'd been on my trusty Litespeed. Sad, I know.
   The group was to ride about 26-miles, which was a 13-mile course repeated twice. The route was really nice - rolling hills with one or two harder climbs, but nothing crazy, and not many cars. Kicker was - it was WINDY. Seriously. Flags flying straight out kind of windy. (Sidebar: when did Nashville get so crazy windy? I've lived here for 15 years and I've noticed a significant increase in wind over the past year.) Anyway, we start riding and immediately broke up into groups, with Carissa and I riding together since we're close to same ability. It was just the two of us having a nice ride for about the first ten miles until we hit Long Hollow Parkway...when we hit a headwind.
   Now this was no ordinary headwind. This was the type of headwind where you're pedaling but don't really seem to be going anywhere. The kind where you have to pedal DOWNHILL because the wind is so strong. I mean, come on! That's not fair. You kill yourself to get up a hill and then you still have to pedal downhill? Not cool wind, not cool.
   We finally make it one loop and Carissa and I decide to take a different route this time to avoid Long Hollow. We couldn't completely avoid the wind, but we could at least have a little buffer from the trees. So we get going again and we're about two miles I realize that I'm hot and want to remove my arm-warmers. In theory, this should be an easy task that I can do without stopping. But my Garmin and my Road ID (don't ride/run without it!) were over my arm-warmers, so pulled over to remove them and told Carissa to ride on. My plan was to hammer it and see if I could catch her once I got going again.
   That plan lasted about one mile. Did I catch her? Uh no. Not even close. But what I did do was bonk. All of that riding in the wind completely depleted my energy, but I didn't realize it until I started climbing the main hill on the road. I knew I was hungry, but I went from hungry to shaky in a matter of a few minutes. Then I turned and had to face that stupid headwind again...UGH! I almost didn't have the energy to stay on the road. It was terrible.
   The worst part about bonking like this is that it's completely avoidable. I know you have to eat something every 45-minutes or so. But I thought "oh, it's only 26 miles. I'll be fine." Nope.  Lesson learned.
   But there is some good news that came out of my bonk. In my "Must. Eat. Now." frenzy for food, I went to the closest non-fast food restaurant I could find. I ended up at a great little restaurant called the Chef's Market and it was FANTASTIC. If you live up there, you must go. It's basically a locally-owned Panera/Bread & Co., but everything is made in-house. It's really, really good.
   And on a quick update for TNT - I'm currently at $5,050! I missed the group training because of the bike ride, but I did go out and volunteer with TNT at the local St. Patrick's Day 5k/10k - "Kegs & Eggs." I love volunteering at races. If you race, and you have never volunteered at one, you really should. It'll give you an entirely new perspective of a race-day experience.

GO TEAM!
   Even though I've met my goal, I'm still fund-raising!  If you care to donate, click here! http://pages.teamintraining.org/tn/nikewhlf13/kmylls  Thanks!




Monday, March 11, 2013

TNT Week 10 UPDATE!

   BIG, BIG news people!!  I'm going to cut right to the chance - I MET MY $5,000 GOAL THIS WEEK!!  I'm totally thrilled and amazed and just...WOW! I'm so very thankful for your support!!

ALL PURPLE!!  BAM!  

   Again - THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I'll, obviously, still be updating my training here and I'm also going to keep fundraising. I still have a month before the fundraising deadline closes and it's not like cancer is going to go on hiatus because I hit my personal goal. I read a blog recently about a child fighting cancer. He celebrated his "half-birthday" because he didn't know if he would live long enough to celebrate on his actual birthday. That REALLY brought it home as to why I'm out there asking begging people and companies for donations. No child should ever have to celebrate a half-birthday. Gotta keep fighting! Click here to help!! EVERY little bit helps!  THANKS!  http://pages.teamintraining.org/tn/nikewhlf13/kmylls

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Happy Anniversary, East Nasty!!

   Today is a special day in my running history. You see, today is the Tom King Half Marathon, and it was three years ago at this race where I became an East Nasty. While I had run with EN a handful of times on random Wednesday nights before this race, THIS race is when I felt like this group was home.
   What's really funny about this race is that I have no idea why I signed up for it. I had literally just run the Princess Half-Marathon with my college running gang the week prior. I really had no business signing up for Tom King. I didn't know anyone running it when I registered - it was just a little, local race that sounded fun, and I signed up.

Yes, I've been taking photos of bibs and race shirts or a long time!

   I showed up on race day and met up with Holland Carley. We had met at a bike ride a few months prior and she was the one who told me about East Nasty originally. She was kind enough to let me run with her and her friend Polly Alexander. Of course, at the time, I didn't know that these were two of the most popular / awesome / inspiring East Nasties out there, or that I would still be running with these amazing ladies three years later. I was just happy to have someone to run with that day.

Totally jealous that I don't have an East Nasty shirt.  

  So the race starts and we're running along and we hit the first-mile water stop, which HAPPENS to be the East Nasty water stop. If you ever want to feel the true power of East Nasty - run through one of their water stops with people wearing East Nasty gear. They start cheering for you about a quarter of a mile before you get there and cheer, scream and clap for you the entire time. It's truly awesome. And, unbeknownst to me, it also happened to be Holland's birthday, so the cheering was EXTRA loud AND they had signs for her. It was very cool. 
   This was also the first time that I REALLY wanted an East Nasty shirt. I had seen Holland and Polly's shirts before the race, and thought they were cool, but I realized during that water stop that there was more to East Nasty than just running. It was about supporting and celebrating each other, while having one heck of a fun time doing it. And I wanted to be a part of it. 
   So the race goes on, we did have 12 more miles to go, and we're just running and chatting - chatting and running. It was great. I had never run a race where I laughed so much. My running career was still less than a year old at this this time, and I did most of my running solo, so I didn't really understand the camaraderie that is built over the miles pounding the pavement with friends. Plus, the miles pretty much flew by! Before we knew it, we were passing through the East Nasty water-stop again on the way back in to the finish. Again, there were cheers and claps, and group sing of Happy Birthday for Holland. This was probably the most fun I have ever had while racing. Granted, we approached it as more of of a long training run rather than a race, but that's OK. No way would I trade the experience for a faster chip time. 
   I made a few realizations that day. 1) Some races are for time and some are for fun. You need both. 2) Running with friends is a lot more fun than running solo. 3) East Nasty was definitely an awesome group of folks.

Post-race happiness
   
   I guess you might say that the rest is history. I started running with East Nasty on a regular basis and have never looked back.  Well, except in pictures...

My first time coaching in the East Nasty Potato to Tomato 5k program.

One of my favorite running moments ever - and one of my favorite photos.

Just, you know, getting an Age Group award from Ronald McDonald!

Somewhere along the way, I became a triathlete. (Pretty sure Holland is to blame for that, as well.)

I'm in a truck! With the Mayor! (Singing the National Anthem at the 2012 Tomato 5k)


I've met some amazing people along the way.

   So Happy Anniversary, East Nasty. May we have many more years of sore legs, ice baths, foam rollers, bad tan lines, hill repeats, horrible race photos and breakfast sandwiches after long runs together. 

ENFL!!


















Sunday, March 3, 2013

TNT Week 9 Update!

   This week, TNT met up at Percy Warner Park (PWP) for group training. It was another cold, snowy morning in Nashville. Weird how it's only been snowing on Saturday mornings recently.

Pretty snow.
   
  TNT has people training for several Spring races, including the half and full marathons of Country Music, Flying Pig and San Diego, and my race - the Nike Women's Half. The plan was to have those running a half-marathon to run the 5.8 mile route of PWP, and those running a full to run the 11.2. As one who has run the 5.8 a few times and recently completed the 11.2, I know how hard those routes are. And BECAUSE I know how hard those routes are...I didn't run either one of them.
  Let me back up a bit. Yes, I showed up to run and met the group. I always enjoy talking to the other runners, and listening to the Mission Moment is always inspiring. However, my legs were still fried from the NOLA Half. There was no way I was going to be able to make it 5.8 extremely hilly miles without getting injured. So when everyone turned left to run in the park, I turned right to run Belle Meade Boulevard. It was cold, lonely and I only got a few miles in, but at least I was out there. Next week will be better when I've recovered a bit more.
   Now for the amazing news - check out my chart!

I'm on the last row!! 

   My total now is $4,780! That's 96%, people! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I'm only $220 away from my goal. That's only 22 more little runner girls! I'm seriously blown away. And I still have my incentive going. Anyone who donates between today and next Sunday will have the chance to win a J. Alexander's Dinner for Two! Click here to help! http://pages.teamintraining.org/tn/nikewhlf13/kmylls 
THANK YOU!  

 

Friday, March 1, 2013

NOLA Half-Marathon Recap - RACE DAY

   Race day began with a 5:00 am alarm. The race didn't start until 7:00, but some of the EN crew was meeting in our hotel lobby at 6:00. I always like to get up at least two hours before a race. Gives me time to really wake up, down a Diet Dr. Pepper and start feeling like I WANT to run. Due to injury, Dudley wasn't running, so he slept in until about 10 minutes before we left. So jealous.
   How to dress was a bit of a concern. It was supposed to get into the 60's and be somewhat sunny during the race, but that's not how it was that morning. It was cold and really windy. Of course, every runner knows to dress like it's 20 degrees warmer than the actual weather, but it's hard to put on shorts and a t-shirt when it's 40 degrees out. So I split the difference and went with the EN t-shirt and capris. And speaking of the EN shirt - is this not one of the coolest running shirts ever? Love it. Kudos to Duane for the design.   

The front...

and the back.  
   So we all head down to the race start, which was only a few blocks away. Again, I'm a huge fan of being able to walk to the start. Makes it so much less stressful (remember our Metro debacle from the DC Rock & Roll Half last year?).  It was SO COOL to see all of the East Nasty shirts at the start. 

Cheesin' it before the race. I still look asleep.

Me Vannaing it outside of Corral 5


I'm the green shirt in the middle.  Hi Dudley!
   The original plan was to have Ashlee pace me, Alicia and Allison. Ashlee is THISCLOSE to qualifying for Boston, so today would be an easy day for her. Unfortunately, while we saw Alison right before the start, we immediately lost her in the crowd and we didn't get to start with her. However, Duane (designer of the EN shirt) and Gunjan joined our group.
   After a pre-recorded instrumental version of the National Anthem (couldn't find an actual singer or player in New Orleans? REALLY?), the race started. After an awesome LIVE rendition of the National Anthem (oops - sorry lead guitarist of Pearl Jam who played! I was told it was a pre-record!), the race started. For those who haven't seen an elite start, here is what it looks like:


video


The cars kind of block him, but winner Mo Farah is in the black singlet.
I also want to know what the deal is with Mr. Green Shirt who jumps into the race at the end of the clip.


   And here is my start. I'm in the second group of squeals you hear after Dudley yells "East Nasty!"  Allison, who we lost earlier, is in the first group. Turns out, she wasn't that far from us!

video

I always feel like I'm going faster than I look.


     So we start running what feels like a good pace - nothing too crazy but decent. Ashlee wanted us to start out at around 9:30 minute miles and then ramp up at the end. I was following Alicia for about the first half-mile when I looked down at my watch. WOW- we were running 8:00 minute miles. WAY too fast for us. Then I looked behind me to find Ashlee, Duane and Gunjan and they were nowhere to be found. Yep - a half-mile in and we were already off the plan. Heck - I don't even see those three in the video above, so we pretty much blew the plan from the get go. So Alicia and I kept slowing down until we finally saw them, when we got BEHIND them so we wouldn't be able to run off again.
   Unfortunately, the problem with running behind someone is that if you need to stop - they don't know and keep going. Duane, Alicia and I all slowed down to get water at the mile 2 water stop. Ashlee and Gunjan didn't. Bye-bye Ashlee and Gunjan. Didn't see them again until after the race. For the second time in two miles, my race plan was blown. Oh well.
   Duane, Alicia and I continued on at a pretty good pace. I wanted to break 2:00, but I really didn't feel today was that day. The 10 miles or so of walking Dudley and I did the prior two days really tired out my legs. They felt like lead. I was still hoping to PR though.
   The course was an out-and-back for the first 9 miles. This was awesome because we got to see Mo Farah, Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher on their way back. So cool. I was a complete germ and cheered and yelled for them. Whatever. How often am I in a race with Olympians? 
   Our little trio continued on for a while. It started getting hot though. The sun that had avoided us the entire weekend decided to show for the race. Fantastic. The only time I want it to be overcast, and it's bright sunshine. I tried to stay in the shade as much as I could and drank water at every stop. Alicia dropped back right after mile 6. Duane was still going strong, and I was still in contention to PR, so we kept going. I was hurting though. My legs felt better than they had, but they still were really tired. I'm so happy Duane was there to keep me going. He was all "you got this," when I KNEW I didn't. But it's nice to hear.
   Unfortunately, I needed to take a pit-stop right before mile 9, which is where Duane and I separated. I was hot, tired and pretty much ready for this race to be over. I hit the wall earlier than I thought I would. I figured it'd be around mile 11 before I really started to fade, but no. Mile 9. I slowed down a bit without Duane pacing me, but I still knew I could PR if I could tough it out. 
  My Garmin was killing me because it was about .2 miles off of the race mile makers. It would beep and I'd think "YAY! Another mile!" but it wouldn't actually be true. So frustrating! However, four-point-one miles later, I was done - WITH a new PR! 2:07:05.  

DONE! 

Me with pacer extraordinaire Duane

ENFL! 

The bling

   Two random comments about the course. 1) I was surprised that more spectators weren't out cheering. There were some pretty dead spots with no bands, cheerleaders or spectators. However, after thinking about it - these people have Mardi Gras. Random strangers running through their streets isn't anything new to them. But I do want to give a shout out to Jesuit High School who dressed like KISS for their water stop. That was awesome. 2) NOLA streets are terrible. They were pretty dangerous to run on; potholes and uneven pavement for the entire race. I actually stepped in a hole and somehow didn't break my ankle. You really couldn't take your eyes off the road to look at the scenery because of this. I'm sure I missed out on some cool sights.
   But even so, this was a great race and an amazing weekend. I ate great food, hung out with some really fantastic people and saw an authentic New Orleans wedding second line through the streets of the French Quarter...



Seriously, how cool is this?

   And sure, Mo Farah might have won the actual race (in a BLISTERING 60:59!), but did HE go home with Elroy the Solar-Powered Corgi? No? I win.



Mo is British after all. He probably digs Corgis.

   Loved the race. If you're at all thinking about racing New Orleans next year - do it. You won't regret it. Good chance we'll be back.  Thank you, Dudley for the pics and for being just awesome in general!