The last 48 hours have been a total blur. I just got back from a weekend in New Orleans with Travis and it is very likely I will be asleep by 9 p.m.. The weekend started Saturday morning when we drove over to New Orleans and checked into our hotel, the International House Hotel. I stayed there last time I was in New Orleans and loved the location. It was .4 miles from the start line so it was perfect for us.
We walked about a mile away to get our packets and decided to wander around the French Quarter for a bit to kill time before dinner. Travis hadn't been to New Orleans before so I wanted to show him a few of the 'best' parts of the city (I personally like the non-touristy parts more but we didn't have time to go outside the quarter.) We went to Cafe du Monde so he could have some mouth watering beignets!
We were back at the hotel around 7 and I showed Travis some yoga poses and put him through a few. He did great! I doubt he'll ever practice regularly but whenever he complains about his back hurting I'm hoping he'll let me put him through a few moves that should help.
Our alarm went off at 5:30 and we quickly got ready to grab breakfast downstairs at the hotel before checking out, checking our bags, and walking to the start. It was 40 degrees out and I was freezing! I didn't want to overdress since I knew it was going to get in the low 60's by the time I finished. Thankfully we weren't out there for very long before they started letting the corrals go. Since I knew Travis was going to take about 5 hours to finish the full I planned to take a while on the half course to kill time. I ran slow, walked a lot, and stopped to take photos and just have FUN on the course. I really wasn't sure what it would feel like being in the back of the pack, but guess what? It was just as fun and felt just as good as being ahead busting my butt!The course wound around downtown New Orleans and the French Quarter. By the time we got to some of the musical stages they were wrapping up and that was pretty depressing, but the aid stations never ran out of cups/drinks (I've been to a race this has happened at) and the volunteers were still super energetic and helpful when we were passing through.
The course split for the half and full runners at about 12.5 miles in, and a few people who ran the full told me the second half was pretty painful. An out-and-back that was windy, hilly, and in the blazing sun.
Since I work with Rock-n-Roll marathon series as an ambassador I scored a VIP wristband to take advantage of the VIP perks. The only thing I used it for was to score some great post-race food at their buffet. It was right next to the stage so I was able to eat lunch while listening to Trombone Shorty play!
I signed up for text alerts to follow Travis and my friend that was running her first. About 30 minutes before I anticipated Travis crossing I went to the finish line to start cheering people on. That was by far the BEST part of the day to me. I could see people starting to get emotional as they saw the finish line and I almost cried at least a dozen times. I tried to cheer on every person that passed and it felt great to be the person cheering on since I'm always the one receiving of it. I know when I'm close to the finish a stranger could just say "Good Job!" to me and I'll practically start to bawl like an infant.
I saw Travis approach and snapped about 25 photos, of which 2 turned out. He took 6 minutes off his last marathon time! After Travis picked up his food and finishers jacket we hopped on the shuttle to go back to the start, and headed out of town. We stopped at an applebees about an hour outside of town and ate ALL THE FOOD. It was amazing.
I really loved this race and would definitely recommend it to anyone thinking of running it. Just be sure to wear sunscreen even if it's cold out, and enjoy the scenery!