Did you miss me yesterday?? I am still in New Orleans (I fly back this afternoon) and have had the BEST weekend.
Awesome good luck drawing from my talented roomie! Spoiler alert: I did not do this at the finish line, sorry.
I flew in on Friday evening after a 2 hour plane delay… thankfully I knew ahead of time and didn’t have to sit at the airport for too long! I had breakfast for dinner at Starbucks (spinach feta wrap, duh) with a That’s it bar. It was pretty good but not super filling.
And good news, y’all. Sky Mall still lives. What will we do on the plane when it’s gone?!
Hart and I stayed up chatting before bed past midnight (whaaat?!)… so good to catch up with her! We have been good friends since high school and both moved to New Orleans/Nashville at the same time last summer.
Luckily, she is an early riser like me, and we got up to do some exploring on Saturday morning. Started off with breakfast at Surrey’s. I went with the smoked salmon/cream cheese scrambled eggs (substituted egg whites) with sides of toast and grits. SO yummy. Give me all the capers.
After breakfast, we drove to Audubon Park near Hart’s house for a chilly (but sunny, YAY) 2-mile walk.
So pretty out! This was my effort at “breaking in” my new running shoes… don’t think I’m supposed to do that before a race, oops!
Met up with this guy but couldn’t keep up with him with those long legs…
We swung by the convention center to pick up our race packets after the walk. The expo was not too exciting, but I did get to hang out with more fake people (not you, Hart).
Next it was time to be tourist-y in the French Quarter!
The high was about 65* over the weekend, and it was amazing! I don’t want to go back to the Nashville cloudy gloom just yet :)
Saw a magic trick and then we sat and watched the Dragon Masters perform. They are hilarious. I was almost crying I was laughing so hard! They did some cool tricks too
It took us forever to find where we parked (both of us are directionally challenged… not helpful), so in the mean time, we grabbed some coffee.
Annnnd stopped by lululemon. I hadn’t been to the New Orleans one yet, so I obviously had to peruse.
BOUGHT NOTHING. High-five.
Hung out with Z-bo when we made it back home (finally found the car, phew!).
Then got ready for dinner at Peche. Amazing restaurant! Hart and I had a glass of wine at the bar before our other friends joined us.
And I tried something else new before race day: cup of decaf coffee after dinner (new shoes, fish for pre-race dinner, decaf dessert coffee… three strikes, you’re out). I learned this trick from a girl I met at my Girls On The Run training. I love how being a runner automatically means you can talk about all types of issues and bodily functions with perfect strangers (or maybe I just think that…I’m so much fun).
Our awesome running group: Jackie, me, Hart and Whitney
Since our dinner was so early (5pm! Love it!), Hart and I decided to take advantage of our Memphis Tigers being in town and bought tickets to the game!
We only stayed for the first half, but it was fun to see them play and good to see some other friends at the game supporting the Tigers!
I don’t understand the black/gray stripe shirt with black pants combo… come on, coaches
We left early so we could get some good rest, but we also realized we forgot about pre-race breakfast… DISASTER. We walked to a grocery store and after shopping while waiting on a cab, I found this:
BEST GROCERY STORE EVER!
Gelato?! Yes, please. I decided on a cup of the Cream Cheese King Cake (when in New Orleans…). It was delicious and even had little sprinkles in it! Just had a few bites and then it was bed time!
Woke up around 5am yesterday to get ready to run! Said some prayers since my training was spotty at best and my three new things on race day per above.
Arm sleeves, calf sleeves, winning.
Oatmeal and a banana for breakfast. Packed my delicious Gu and margarita Shot Bloks (used the little safety pin baggie to hold the chews… that’s about as creative as I get in the 5am hour).
We called a cab and were ready to go!
We had about 45 minutes to hang out before the race. It was FREEZING.
TIP: Save your space blanket you get after a race and wear it to your next race. That way, you don’t have to throw away any sweatshirts, jackets, etc! It kept me decently warm. This one was from the Rock n Roll Savannah race, so I tried to convince some people that I already finished the race, and I think one guy almost believed me.
Heading to the portapotty line! Whee!
I was very concerned for Whitney’s health pre-race. She was shaking she was so cold, so I invited her into my space blanket.
The race was set to start at 7:30am, and the four of us crossed the start around 7:45. My Gamin watch wouldn’t locate me (I’m RIGHT HERE!), so I missed tracking the first half mile. Oh well! My goal was to try to stay with Jackie and Whitney as long as I could (they run a little faster than my usual pace). They really pushed me during the race, and it was awesome to get out of my comfort zone!
Good news: she didn’t freeze to death. Hey there, Superman! They have a relay option, and relayers hand off drum sticks to teammates!
It was around 45* when we started. Of course, I was overheating by mile 2 (a little over-exaggeration there, but really, #humanfurnace). It was a beautiful day, and I think I got a slight tan which was definitely a goal of mine.
The course was pretty packed at the beginning, and it took us awhile to pass people (we started at the back of our corral, and Jackie and I agreed that starting at the front next time is the way to go). I have never run an entire race with friends, and it was SO great. We all pushed each other the whole time, and the race really flew by. My playlist was a hit too (with, well, me). I turned on a Chalene Show podcast around mile 4, and it was all about motivation and energy! Almost every sentence applied to me running the race (positive self-talk, mentality, and she even said “pretend you’re running a race” at one point.. she obviously recorded this for me. Thanks, girl).
I was slightly uncomfortable the entire race, but Jackie and Whitney’s pace was maintain-able (is that a word?). I can’t thank these girls enough for motivating me! My fuel also helped: I had a margarita Blok at mile 3.5, Salted Caramel Gu at mile 6.5, Strawberry Banana Gu (handed out on the course) at 9-ish, and then my other Blok at 11. Probably more fuel than normal for a half, but I was getting worn out and I was glad I had snaaacks! I said no thanks to the King Cake someone was handing out during the race… vomit.
I finished in 2:02:34, a PR by about 28 seconds!! Woohoo! The best part was seeing this ginormous dog after the race. I wanted to ride him over to the beer tent.
Everyone had a great race! The weather was perfect after the run, and we had a blast recapping it with our group (or maybe it was the beer that was fun).
So happy to be finished! Jackie’s husband, Michael, PR’ed with a time of 1:25:08!! Holy crap! We were all about ready for a nap after that. But first was the walk back to the car… more moss trees!
After cleaning up and napping (22 minute nap for me… perfection), we all regrouped for brunch at La Petite Grocery. Wow. This place was incredible!
Started off with a mimosa (that’s some fresh OJ!)
Had the Blue Crab & Eggs Florentine
biscuit, lacinato kale & smoked crab butter, WHOA
It was a perfect meal to kick off our race celebration/Sunday Funday! We continued on to The Bulldog for a couple beers. And get this, there was a BULLDOG at The Bulldog. He was so cute. I love that you can bring your dog to some bars here!
I was so excited to see my good friends Casey and Lisa who were in town for the race, too! Casey was one of my instructors on a clinical in PT school (God bless her), and we’ve kept in touch ever since. She’s an insanely fast runner.
Our grand finale dinner was at Pizza Domenica. I loooove Domenica, so I was super pumped to try this more casual version of the restaurant. Wine time!
Hart and I split the head of roasted cauliflower (comes with sea salt feta dip). We absolutely demolished this thing. Please contact me immediately if you know how to recreate this appetizer.
Finished off the margherita pizza too. Basil is my best friend.
It’s safe to say we replenished (and over-plenished) all calories burned during the race!
Hart and I grabbed a Jamba Juice smoothie to detox a little today :) We are planning on hopping into a few shops on Magazine Street today before she takes me to the airport.
No rosé all day today!
If you made it to the end of this long post, congrats! I had such a fun weekend with my awesome friends. Thanks to Hart to being a great hostess!! And congrats to everyone that ran yesterday – fun bands, great weather, and a PR for my 7th half marathon… not bad!
Now it’s time to get back to Nashville to see this guy. I miss him a little. :)
Did you eat as much cauliflower as I did this weekend?
Favorite restaurant in New Orleans?
Do you like running with friends or alone better? I usually run alone, but I loved running with friends yesterday!!