5 Things Friday IX

Happy Friday friends, it’s almost the weekend! Yall, we are supposed to get SNOW today, here in central Mississippi. Please note that no one here knows how to drive in snow. The low is around 28 so not sure how long it will stick around (pun intended). See what I did there? Anyway, I haven’t done a 5 Things Friday in awhile, so figured it was time to bring it back. Don’t worry, my runDisney half race recap will be up Monday.

1.) 4 Magical Miles Virtual Run Recap: I participated in the Gone for a RUN 4 Magical Miles virtual race this month, and loved the great cause it supported (Give Kids the World). My run was pretty uneventful, and I was thankful it was only four miles because I have been hitting boot camp hard and my legs are really sore! Having just run the Walt Disney World Half I am still on a bit of a Disney high so it was fun to run a “magic” themed virtual race so soon after coming home. I can’t wait to share with you about the next race I will be doing in February!

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2.) Enter my Giveaway: Yesterday I posted about a giveaway I am hosting for some adorable Disney park map leggings. Be sure to enter, they are so fun!

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3.) Bath time Life Saver: Poor Emma Kate loves bath time, but HATES when I wash her hair/get water in her eyes. It was getting so bad that she would cry every time I came near her with a cup of water during bath time because she didn’t want me to wash her hair. I did some Amazon searching, desperate to try anything, and found this contraption called the Lil Rinser Splashguard  (affiliate link) that works LIKE A CHARM. Seriously, if you have issues with this like I do, this baby is a lifesaver, and very inexpensive! No more bath tears, and I’m wondering why I didn’t think to invent something like this. I want to be on Shark Tank.

4.) HEAT class: Has anyone heard of this or attended one? My gym just started doing this, and I went to a trial class on Wednesday. Basically everyone wears a heart rate monitor and you can see everyone’s zones up on the screen, and you have to hold your HR in different zones all through the class, so you work REALLY hard and it’s a great workout…and you can’t “cheat”. Ha. I liked it a lot, but my gym is charging $20 for a drop in rate, and that’s just not in my budget right now, so I will be sitting it out, but I’m curious to hear anyone else’s thoughts on this type of class?

5.) Carnival Season: This time of year I really miss home. Mardi Gras is such a fun time in Louisiana, and I miss going to parades, seeing the decorations, eating King Cake, and drinking my favorite coffee drink: King Cake Velvet Ice, from PJ’s. Fun fact that I’m fairly certain I share every year, but you get to hear it again… but growing up I thought Mardi Gras was a national holiday. Really. It wasn’t until I was in about 6th grade that I realized it wasn’t and that not everyone got out of school for it! Please note this is before I had internet access and people on Twitter to tell me that I was sadly misinformed. I felt sad for the rest of the world. You really are missing out.

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QOTD: Have you ever had king cake? Do you kids hate water in their eyes at bath time?

Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans Half Race Recap 2015

This was my 4th time to run Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans, and we were so blessed with amazing weather! I know the year before it was muggy and humid, so I was preparing for the worst and was pleasantly surprised! Low of mid 40’s at the start (very windy!) But sunny and high of 65 for the day. Perfect! We ran in the 50’s the whole race, but let me backtrack.

We set our alarms for 5:15 in hopes to be out the door at 6:15. We had to walk over a half mile to get to the Hilton which is where the VIP breakfast was being held (more on that later).

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My tutu was made my Lesley, I love the beads!

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It was dark, and cold, and very windy! Luckily we were checking gear bags so I was able to wear a jacket as we walked.

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We ate breakfast, checked our bags, and waited until the last possible minute to head out into the cold. The race was starting at 7:30, so at 7:15 we began our short walk to the corrals.

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There was no one checking bibs at the corral entrances so people from almost every corral were jumping into ours and we could barely squeeze in. Def. something I hope they change in the future.

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We only had to wait about 3 minutes before the National anthem was sung and the first corral was off!

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We slowly moved up until it was our turn.

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We started out slow, and I quickly warmed up like I knew I would. I had no idea what to expect from this race. I had only done one 10 miler and one 12 miler since having the baby, so I was just aiming to have fun and get a general idea of where my fitness level was.

We left the French quarter and headed into the garden district with the big beautiful houses.

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The miles were ticking by and I was trying to keep a steady pace. I wasn’t pushing too hard because I didn’t want to blow up at the end.

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Somewhere around mile 4.5ish, the leaders passed going the other way, and other runners slowly began to trickle past going in the opposite direction.

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We soon found the turnaround…and my hip started to ache. This was not good because 1.) It was so early in the race and 2.) I had already taken tylenol, so it was apparently hurting badly if the tylenol wasn’t even helping anymore. I have had IT band and hip bursitis issues on and off for years. I took really good care of my knee the week leading up to the race. I ran a fast for me 5 miler the Monday before and had zero pain anywhere, so why was my hip hurting before mile 5? Then it hit me. The stupid terrible roads! They were bad yall. People all around us were tripping and catching themselves. They were so uneven, so many potholes, it was difficult to run, and I think that may have had something to do with the hip issue. I trudged on, looking for people I knew going the other way. There was a section where we passed runners right next to us.

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We passed a couple of bands, and my hip pain got worse and was changing up my gait.

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We made it back to the French quarter, and there was a fuel stop. I had already taken one around mile 5, but I took another and also took some more tylenol. I must say, despite the hip pain, I was still having fun. The miles were ticking by fairly quickly and the weather was just perfect.

We passed the relay point for those running in teams, and just kept on trucking along.

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As we headed back into the heart of the city, we passed the lulu cheer crew, which made me think about some of the other really funny signs we saw…none of which I can remember now. Whoops!

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Good morning New Orleans!

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By this time we were around mile 9-10ish, and I remembered a stretch I used to do to help with my hip pain a couple of years ago. Bobby stopped to go to the bathroom and said he would catch up to me, so I pulled off to the side to stretch. I crossed my ankle over the top of my other knee and squatted into a sitting position and could feel the immediate pull and stretch on my hip. It hurt but felt good at the same time, and gave me a couple of tenths of way less painful running.

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This would begin the pattern for the rest of the race, and is when my pace slowed because of all the stopping to stretch. However, doing this every so often helped me to finish so I’m not complaining!

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We passed the French market, and made a turn only tree lined Esplanade.

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For those wondering, the Mississippi River is on the right, behind that big wall.

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The final two miles of the race I really began to struggle. I was reaching my threshold and was pushing myself a bit more and it was getting harder to keep pace as I hobbled along.

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Fake it till you make it right?

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I kept reminding myself I JUST had a baby four months yesterday, and at least I was out here trying, and that there would be better races.

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Just keep swimming…almost there!

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My breathing was getting more labored, but I was ok because I knew how close we were.

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I could see the art museum in the distance and knew he finish line was just behind it. But not before some King cake and jello shots, right?

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I stopped and stretched again, right before a final push to the finish.

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My hip was throbbing, but I was about to get to stop, wahoo!I could see mile 13 up ahead, almost there!

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Finish line. Finish line, Finnish line.

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aaannnnd DONE!

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2:27. I wanted 2:20, but I’ll take it considering the hip issues. It definitely slowed me down, but I am still proud of myself. It gives me a base to work off of and gave me the confidence I needed to keep going with future races. After having to take over 5 months off completely from running during pregnancy and starting from scratch run walking one mile after delivery, I will definitely take it. I now know I really need to focus on stretching, rolling, and strengthening my hip and butt muscles. The good news: my knee held up great!

A huge thanks to my wonderful husband who is way faster than me for running along side of me, taking pictures, and encouraging me. What a trooper! We headed to the VIP tent to enjoy the gorgeous afternoon (more on that later, too!)

Another half in the books. It wasn’t the prettiest, but I am still so proud.

Do you want to run ANY* Rock ‘n Roll race in the US and get $15 off? Enter code LOOKINGGLASS15 at checkout for the discount! Offer INCLUDES Canada!

QOTD: Have you ever been proud of a race that wasn’t your fastest?

*Does not include RnR Vegas

 

NOLA Weekend

We had an amazing weekend in New Orleans running the Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans half marathon! A fun race, great friends, and could not have asked for better weather. I will have full recaps on the blog later this week, but I just wanted to share a couple of pictures for now. I was so tired when we got home last night the last thing on my mind was writing a lengthy race or weekend recap! Soon though.

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Have a great Monday! Today I take Emma Kate for her 4 month shots and checkup. I can’t wait to see how much she has grown (but I’m not too excited about the shots!)

QOTD: What has been your favorite destination race or “racecation”?

March 2014 Confessions

Ok guys, it’s confession time again. I have a few things weighing on me and thought it was time to ‘fess up!

1.) I am SO TIRED of running. There. I said it. Gulp. This chick is totally and completely burned out. I don’t want to train, I don’t want to race, nothing. The good news is, this has happened before and I always, ALWAYS bounce back after some time off. So I am hoping that is just what I need. It’s totally my own fault, cramming Dopey, Tink, and Princess all into two months. I am excited for the day I WANT to run again, but today is not that day, and that’s ok. HOWEVER, I do have a race in April so I need to keep some of my running intact, so I will still run some…just not like I was training for all these races.

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How about cutting back on running mmkkk?

2.) Spring fever is hitting me like woah. This weekend it was gorgeous and 73. We have green grass, and Bobby even had to cut it because it was getting high! We a lot of time outside because I felt guilty being inside, and now I am bummed again because it was in the 30’s last night/early this morning.

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3.) I had to lower my weights at the gym. I haven’t consistently been lifting since Dopey, and the reality of it hit me at the gym yesterday. I have gotten weaker. It wasn’t a good feeling, but I am hoping with my running hiatus I will want to be in the gym more lifting!

4.) I didn’t watch a single second of the Oscars, and am totally ok with that. The Walking Dead was way more entertaining anyway I am sure.

5.) Today is Mardi Gras (woo hoo!) and I am sad I didn’t go to any parades this year OR eat any King Cake. I did, however have delicious King Cake flavored coffee. Fact: Until I was in 5th grade I thought Mardi Gras was a national holiday. It is SUCH a big deal to us, we even got a week off school, I just thought everyone else celebrated, too. Why not?

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QOTD: What is a confession you want to make this month?

Mardi Gras: Learn the Lingo

 

Happy Fat Tuesday! I am bummed I missed all the parades this year because I have been out of town so much, but I still got in the Carnival spirit just living here, I love it! I thought today would be a fun day to give you all non New Orleans folks a little lesson in all things Mardi Gras (fun face: until I was in middle school, I thought Mardi Gras was a national holiday. I grew up with it and didn’t know any better!) So, here is a lesson in some Mardi Gras lingo. Now, go impress your friends and eat some king cake, but be careful of the baby!

Throws: Trinkets/toys/beads thrown by the Krewe off of the floats. Other popular items are plastic cups, doubloons, moonpies, and stuffed animals. Ever hear the phrase “throw me somethin’ mister?” Smile

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Carnival: Carnival season is the time when the locals celebrate Mardi Gras. There are parades on the weekends, special food to buy like king cakes, parties and the like. Every year Carnival season starts on January 6th (my wedding anniversary!) and goes until Fat Tuesday.

Krewe: The krewe are the members of each carnival association. Most have a ball, and a parade (Krewe of Bacchus, Krewe of Endymion, etc.) The “krewe” dresses up and rides on the floats when the parade rolls. Got all that?

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Mardi Gras: Fat Tuesday, the actual holiday itself, precedes Ash Wednesday.

King Cake: A cake which is really more like a bread, in a circle with icing and sprinkles on top. Some are plain and some are filled with cream cheese or fruit fillings. There is a baby inside, and whoever gets the baby in their piece has to buy the king cake at the next party.

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Ball: A lot of the larger Krewes have a ball during carnival season. They announce a court, and the court is honored during the ball. Everyone dresses up, it’s very fancy and formal. Every year the Krewe chooses a theme, and the ball may be centered around the theme each year as well.

Doubloons: Aluminum coins that are thrown from the floats that have that particular Krewe’s logo on it. These became very popular items, and some are very rare and collectors items.

Captain: The Captain is the leader of the carnival association for that Krewe. The Captain gets his own float at the front of the parade.

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Ladders: It can be hard for small children to be seen during the big and crowded parades, so people create ladders with seats in them and wheels so their kids can see and be seen during the parades. You will see these lining the streets during parades.

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(source)

I hope this was a fun and informative post. Now, who wants to come visit me next Mardi Gras?

QOTD: Have you ever been to a Mardi Gras parade? Want to go to one?

Mardi Gras Weekend

 

Happy Monday! Normally I don’t welcome Monday’s but this one I do because I want it to be Thursday. That is the day I leave for the Disney Princess half marathon weekend! So stoked, but SO MUCH to do before I leave! Oil change, vet appointment for pups, clean house, grocery shop for Bobby, blog, call some clients for both my jobs, etc. etc. But, I am starting things off calmly this morning with some yoga at the YMCA before things get crazy. But first, this is what you missed this weekend:

Princess Pampering

RWS Features #12

Weekly Recap February: Week 3

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Friday evening, Bobby and I drove to my parents house. We were in a hurry because Orpheus, the Mardi Gras parade that goes right outside my parents neighborhood, was rolling at 7:00. We made it just in time and headed for the parade route.

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The weather was perfect, mid to low 60’s and the rain was supposed to hold off until after midnight, yippee!

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We arrived about twenty minutes early and waited for the sounds of the bands.

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Soon enough, the first floats started coming down the street. Side note: This is a small potatoes parade compared to the ones downtown NOLA we used to go to. But, it’s still fun, and so close to the house you can’t not go!

We have a roller derby club????

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The bands are my favorite part, I love the music! Lots of dancing went on…

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A Saints float!

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yay beads!

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Throw me somethin’ mister!!!

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Some guy threw me a heart, aaawww

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aaaaannddd some women threw me a hat. Specifically saw me, reached down, got the hat, and gave it to me. Not so sure what to think about that one.

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Ok, here are two short little video Bobby took of me and my dad trying to get beads from some of the floats.

Ignore the spastic dancing please. I was having fun!

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Parade night would not be complete without King Cake with cream cheese filling. yyuuummm.

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Saturday, we were supposed to do our long run, but instead spent some of the day under a tornado warning. My parents ditches are deep..and water was flooding over the driveway.

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Sunday, Bobby and I got up and ran ten miles. Mom ran as well but not with us.

We then threw a surprise princess party for my aunt who was turning 70. It was so cute. She had NO idea.

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I was in charge or decorations.

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Surprise!!!!

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There were 18 family members over, we had a really good time. All too soon, it was time to clean up, pack up, and head back to Mississippi. A great, but exhausting weekend.

QOTD: Have you ever had or thrown a surprise party? Any special theme? We threw my dad a 40th surprise “over the hill party” when I was younger, we went all out, so much fun!

*More Rouge Orleans recap coming up tomorrow!

Coming Up

 

Morning friends! Happy Valentine’s Day! Bobby bought me a piece of furniture that goes with our bedroom set for Valentine’s day. It’s a media chest and it’s so pretty! I will have to take pictures and show you.

I decided to wait and work on my Rouge Orleans recap until I have amazing photos from the lovely Erin, who happened to be on my team and who happens to be a photographer! Trust me…her photos are way better than mine and you will like the recap much better, so it will be worth the wait!

In the mean time, you can check out this recap video that Claim Your Journey put together. You can see my shoes (haha) at the 1:53 ish mark, and my team crossing the finish at at 4:30 mark! It gives you a small taste of the race.

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There are a LOT of things going down in my life in the next few weeks, so that means there will be a lot going on here on RWS! I am home recuperating the rest of this week (even after 10.5 hours of sleep Sunday night I felt spacey and groggy all day yesterday). This weekend we are headed to my parents house for the weekend for….a Mardi Gras parade! I am excited to share a bit of my growing up/NOLA area southern culture with you all. Even though I was living with my parents in LA last year at this time, we didn’t end up making it to a parade because Mardi Gras was late and we were moving and it just didn’t work out. But this year, we are going to a parade right outside my parents neighborhood and I will take lots of pictures for you all. King cake MAY be involved.

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Who ate all the king cake?!

We are also going to see some family on Sunday so it will be a jam packed weekend.

The next weekend, is the Disney Princess! We are leaving on that Friday morning EALRY and heading to Florida for 4 nights. It will be my mom, me, Karen, and her mom. I am so excited to run this race. I just had my tutu made, and I can’t wait to show y’all my outfit.

Bloggers, don’t forget, meet up on SATURDAY afternoon, details HERE.

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We get back from Disney on Tuesday night, and on Wednesday I turn around and go to my parents house and then Thursday I’m heading to NOLA to work the Running Skirts booth for RnR New Orleans (and Bobby and I are running the half.) I will finally go home on Sunday afternoon. WHEW!

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So that’s last weekend gone, then the next three. At least it’s all for totally fun and exciting things and I can’t wait to recap them all for you.

QOTD: Do you have anything exciting going on the next few weeks? Share!

Carnival Season

 

No, I’m not talking about your typical county fair. I am talking about MARDI GRAS! Here in NOLA it’s lovingly referred to as Carnival Season. Yes, it is a season. As soon as Christmas wreaths come down, Mardi Gras wreaths hit the front door. Some people even leave up their Christmas tree and decorate it as a Mardi Gras tree. No lie. Living back with my parents in Louisiana this year, I have gotten the chance to be fully immersed in the carnival season again. I am HOPING to come back into town next weekend to go to a parade that runs right outside my parents neighborhood. I haven’t been to a parade in years so I think it would be fun to blog about!

What sparked my discussion? This picture I posted yesterday:

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Ah, the beloved king cake. In grade school, parents would bring them in for our class all the time. A  plastic baby is placed inside and whoevers piece contained said baby had to buy the next cake. Well, that was old school. now, they supply the baby but you have to put it in yourself. Someone probably choked on one and sued the store that sold it, so they don’t like to put them in for you anymore. Darn.

I know I know the yummy goodness of the king cake is radiating from your screen, and you want one of your very own. Well folks, it’s your lucky day because you can have one shipped to your house! Haydels bakery who actually made my wedding cake, will ship one to you! Check it out HERE.  Fun fact, after Mardi Gras each year the whole Haydel family goes to Disney World and stays at the Grand Floridian. How bout them apples? Regular king cakes are just that, the cake with icing. But they also sell them with all kinds of filling. You can get them anywhere around here. The bakeries are the best, but the supermarkets have them as well.

You probably think we are all crazy down here, and that’s ok, because we are. I thought why not dial up he crazy and show you a few more things. Well, on my run yesterday I found just what I was looking for. Many MANY people decorate their homes for Mardi Gras. Everyone has a wreath but a lot of people go more all out that then do for Christmas. Here are a couple pictures I snapped of houses along my running route yesterday. (Oh yeah, I ran a 3 miler yesterday and felt pretty good!)

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Then you have the queen’s house. Oh, I didn’t tell you about that? Each krew of each parade has royalty. A king, queen, pages, etc. They have a big ball/party with fancy dresses and lots of alcohol. Apparently, the queen of eve lives in my parents neighborhood. Eve is an all women’s parade that is actually tonight!

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We will have some more Mardi Gras lessons for you when I hopefully go to the parade next weekend.

Here I am saying “please don’t stop reading my blog because we are crazy down here during Carnival!” as I run.

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…and this is my sweet baby Bella, and this is how I carry her around all day.

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how pathetic is that face? Love her. Ok, I have to go figure out if we are closing on our house today or tomorrow. Lots of craziness is about to go down! Have a great Friday everyone! (I know I skipped my Friday Favorites post but I thought educating everyone on Mardi Gras was way more important!)

QOTD: Thoughts on Mardi Gras?

***Enter my giveaway until Sunday at midnight!

*Don’t forget to check this out on Women’s Health and nominate me please!

Mardi Gras Rock ‘n’ Roll 2011 Recap Part II

 

It’s Monday! I hope you are having a good day. I ran some errands with my mom this morning and it’s so beautiful outside, I think I am going to have to go for a quick run later!

First things first. Have you entered my giveaway yet? It is open until next Sunday. Check it out!

But first, the second half of my recap. Before I get into the race, I have a few more pictures to share from the expo thanks to the lovely Karen.

The boys playing games at the expo.

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We won t-shirts!

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Me and Karen in our “convert to skirt” shirts

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Ok, on with race day!

We woke up about 5:00, and it was COLD! Karen had to meet her running group early for a picture, and hating cold as much as I do, Bobby and I decided to hang back and not go down until about 6:30. (Race started at 7:00)

Very sleepy.

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We walked to the start line. It’s a pretty good walk, and it was quite chilly! There were thousands of other people herding that way. It looked like everyone else had the same idea as us, to stay in your hotel room as long as possible before having to go outside!

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There was a jazz band playing, of course.

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I called Karen, and we found her and Jason and took a couple of pictures before heading to our corral!

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We moved through the masses of people and squeezed into the back of corral 10.

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Bobby was so cold he was using the hot hands I brought to try and warm up his ears and nose.

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This year things moved a LOT faster than last year. I know I complained about how slow the waves were, but this year they were super fast!

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Before I knew it we were running under the start line! It was SO much faster than last year, I wasn’t prepared!

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Because we weren’t ready, our first mile was slow. Bobby kept trying to fix his headphones, and Karen and I stopped to adjust our clothing and spibelts. It was so congested we had to do a good bit of weaving, and got trapped behind walls of people several times.

The miles FLEW by! We were making really good time, and I was feeling pretty good.

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Then we hit mile 8, and my knee/IT band started hurting. UG! I had made it so far I didn’t think it was going to cause a problem. It didn’t start hutting in Disney until further into the race, but then I thought about how bad the roads are in NOLA and running on an uneven surface probably sparked the problem. Anyway, I kept going of course, but the pain got worse. I tied not to think about it but I got quiet and knew this was going to be a big problem.

We made it downtown to the French quarter about mile 9.

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When we hit mile 10, I did some quick math and knew I would have to run at my best to PR. Under normal circumstances I would have said HECK YA I can do that! But hobbling along with my knee the way I was, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I fought back tears as I realized once again my injury was going to hold me back. Karen did a good job of telling me it was ok and there would be other races, but I was still just so frustrated with myself.

I kept going, and then all of the sudden my left hip (not same leg as the IT band problem) started to throb. I used to have this problem back before I started going to the chiropractor. It didn’t bug me at all in Disney because I had been going to the chiropractor several times a week. Well folks, the last time I had been before this race was a month and a half. Fabulous. I think that coupled with the fact I had changed my gait and was limping was making my hip pound. It was hurting more than my knee, and I literally felt like I was being stabbed with every stride. I cried on and off, just wanting it to be over.

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Luckily the last mile went by rather quickly, and we were running towards City Park.

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We ended up finishing in 2:27. Six minutes off my PR from the other half I ran in NOLA in October where my IT band hurt me from mile 2 on. I so just wanted to run ONE half with no pain, ONE half to reach my potential. Bobby found me after the race and I was so upset, I just wanted to go home. I know you can’t PR every time, but I tell people unless you have ever had a running injury you just simply cannot understand the frustration. It’s so miserable and hopeless feeling! I of course was proud to finish my 5th half marathon, but I just didn’t expect this outcome.

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Bobby didn’t run well either. We chalked part of it up to running so soon after our full, but not really sure. He ran a 2:08 I think, 11 minutes slower than his PR.

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We sat down for a minute then headed to the busses because we had to be out of the hotel at noon, and I knew it would take me a LONG time to walk to the bus. Bobby almost had to carry me because my hip was hurting so badly I could barely move. I knew I needed to walk though to work it out so I made it, just very slowly!

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We showered and all four of us drove back to my parents house, but stopped to eat lunch at Times Bar and Grill. best sweet potato fries ever!

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It was so funny, we wore our medals which of course look like beads, and in the restaurant people kept whispering. “I thought the parades didn’t start for another week…was there a Mardi Gras parade today!?” it was too funny. I decided not to correct them and just let them wonder!

So, we had a great time with our friends, and it’s always fun to race, I just had a disappointing outcome. I am so competitive with myself, I let it get to me sometimes. I just want to be well and run all out! This spring I am going to run a couple 5k’s and focus on strength training and getting better and hopefully will come back to half marathons in the fall with a vengeance! I think this all happened at a good time though because I am starting to get burnt out having been on a training plan since July. I need a break! So there you have it, thanks for reading.

QOTD: What is your best advice for coming back from an injury?

Race eve

Happy race day eve! We got up this morning, took our time, came downtown, checked into the hotel. Then we went to the expo and walked in the French quarter. Then we walked to the riverwalk and ate and hung out. It was a nice relaxing day. Now we are in the room winding down before bed.
The race is at 7 in the morning! I am getting nervous! I will try to remember to Twitter my time when I am done so either follow me on Twitter or cone visit the blog for Twitter updates. My phone will be in the room though so it will be a little while.
Hope everyone has a good night! We should have good race weather! I can’t wait!!!