February: New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon

New Orlean Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon Start Line

New Orleans was our first Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon on this adventure. Having been to New Orleans quite frequently in the past few years for business, it’s a familiar city to me; however, I still looked forward to exploring it on foot versus car. (The agency I work for, Zehnder Communications, has an office in Nola.)

We arrived Saturday, February 4, and checked into the Hyatt House downtown. Then we headed to lunch at La Petite Grocery (highly recommend) via streetcar. I had a hard time picking what to eat! After lunch, we went to the first Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon expo. It was busy, and we had to search to find the TourPass desk to pick up our credentials, which come to find out don’t really give you much except a feeling of pride.

We ended the evening at Lüke New Orleans, a favorite of mine for the atmosphere, but mostly for the happy hour–75-cent oysters fresh from the Gulf and half price wine. Yep, we had wine the night before the half. (And, it mattered the next day. I don’t recommend it. Lesson learned.)

Starting in central business district, the New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon is a flat,  course taking you past some of the historical, beautiful homes in New Orleans. We had hoped we might do better than Austin; so, we were excited to get started. The day was beautiful as you can see from the photos but warmer than we were expecting.

The course was crowded, and due to the rain New Orleans gets, the streets weren’t smooth. I found myself dodging potholes on the course while navigating other runners. But that didn’t matter, running through the New Orleans Garden District and seeing folks out to cheer us on was motivating. Note to any future runners, be prepared to pick up the pace in the French Quarter as it has a distinct smell early in the morning. (If you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about. Broadway in Nashville has a similar one.)

However, we weren’t prepared for the warmth. Even though Nashville had a warm winter, we were still used to running in the 30’s and 40’s, not 60’sNew orleans half marathon and almost 70. That took it’s toll. So, no PR’ for us, but we did finish and we were smiling when we finished and no one was injured or hurting too badly. That’s a win for me!

Yes, you’ll start to notice that I have a standard running outfit. It works. I don’t chafe, and I look a little fashionable. And my compression socks keep my IT band from hurting. (Shout out to Mary Lambkin at the Minute Per Mile blog for that knee-saving tip!)

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And, what would a half marathon be without a quick brunch before heading to the airport? Josephine Estelle in the Ace Hotel New Orleans was a pleasant end to our quick trip to Nola. After a toast to our finish, we grabbed an Uber and headed to the airport back to Nashville and work on Monday.

TWO DOWN! TEN TO GO!

Runners, what’s your go-to wear? Let me hear it. Perhaps my fashion needs an upgrade.

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