I heard nothing but good things about New Orleans. The New Orleans Half Marathon seemed a good excuse to go check it all out. The trip started off great, we got upgraded to first class on the second leg of our United trip and my wife and I drank the entire way in.
The Dirty South
The “good things about New Orleans” quickly turned into “the french inspired French Quarter is totally lost on me” and this place is so freaking dirty! The architecture was somewhat interesting but largely it’s a sprawling mess of cheap sugar infused alcohol retail outlets and bars with an occasional beignet shop mixed in for good measure. Everything was filthy, I mean really filthy. At the time I was an avid W Hotel guy and this W Hotel was dingy, dark, dirty and nobody seemed to care too much. Very abnormal! So, what to do? Drink! And we did. Amazing how a few (or lots) of alcohol will numb the senses to things you don’t care for too much. We had one hell of a good time.
Friday night ended at a nice Italian restaurant, a bottle of wine and faint memories of being there. This all financed by my wife’s and my run at a blackjack table down the street about one hour prior. Good times but this fun lead to one HELL OF A HANGOVER Saturday morning. Ouch.
Holbrook 0, Dirty South 1.
Saturday night (and my pre-race prep) concluded with two glasses of red wine just to numb the last stages of the day’s hangover and a delicious pasta meal. This meal I remember. As we sat at that street side restaurant I recall thinking about the race. Actually stressing a bit about the race. To be totally honest I wasn’t so much sick as I had developed one hell of a hemorrhoid. The sick part was the tail end of a brutal hangover. Tomorrow should be a hoot!
The Road to a PR
Waking up Sunday morning was a treat since the hangover was mostly gone, not so much with the hemorrhoid. This is going to be an interesting day to say the least.
The weather was PERFECT. I recall the announcer before the race saying how lucky we were. Clear sky, perfect cool running weather. Despite the lingering hangover and other issues, this should be a good race!
The race started like any other race. Tried not to go out too hard, most people do. I noticed I was moving along pretty fast and that I had quite a bit of energy left in the tanks. About mile 9 I ran into Amy for the first time. She yelled something like, “You’re flying, keep it up!”. To kill the time I regularly do some quick math based on where I am at in the race, how much time has expired and about what time I will likely finish at. She was right, I was flying.
As I rounded the corner at mile 13, I could see the big sign with the elapsed time. This was going to be my Personal Record (PR). And it was. 1:36:38. All this hungover and with a hemorrhoid. Time for brunch and a flight home. See you soon Dirty South.