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Jazz Fest 2012

I took a break from running to go on a girl trip to Jazz Fest in New Orleans. I will leave you with a few pictures.

Took a picture with a random man because of the shirt. My feelings about the shirt: Why do you think you have to choose between a marathon and Jazz Fest? Who says you can’t do both? I also don’t agree that a marathon is boring and painful. Ok…well, maybe a little painful.

Saturday crowd was huge (we heard 65,000).

I loved Jazz Fest! If you haven’t experienced it, add it to your list.

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Sights on the Run

Keep your dream in front of you. Never let it go regardless of how farfetched it might seem. ~Hal Higdon
I have always loved seeing fresh baled hay. Those big, round bales make me want to run, jump, and climb on top of them. I had visions of sitting, standing, and just lounging on top of the soft hay…the same kind of hay that I imagined had once cradled baby Jesus in the manger. 
The opportunity presented itself this past week on one of our weekly runs. We parked the car and I saw the tractors finishing the baling. Beautiful sight…
While running I kept thinking of climbing on those large bales. We finished our run and I informed Terri what our little adventure would be. I grabbed the camera and Terri posed first.
I was determined to conquer this hay bale and climb on top of an object that was almost as tall as I was. I ran, jumped, and felt like a cartoon character bouncing backwards. I ran and jumped again. Finally on the third try, I was able to scramble to the top.  
What I imagined to be soft and pillowy turned out to be scratchy, rough, and prickly. Oh well…scratch it off the list.
“You never know what a day will bring.” ~Terri
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My Other Love

 Nobody cares if you can’t dance well.  Just get up and dance.  ~Dave Barry

I had company from Texas this past weekend. I was still able to squeeze in a short run on Saturday morning before anyone woke up. After the run, I showered, made coffee, set out a large bowl of fresh fruit, and woke up the group. The guys went fishing and that left Donna and I on our own. This was her first trip to Louisiana since the 1984 World’s Fair. I wanted to take her to New Orleans for the day, but when we looked at the forecast and saw a 60% chance of rain we had to change our plans.

Instead, I told her to throw on some jeans and dancing shoes. We jumped into the car and drove to Breaux Bridge for Zydeco dancing and breakfast at Cafe Des Amis. Every Saturday morning from 8:30 am- 11:30 am, they have a Zydeco breakfast. There is a $5.00 cover charge but if you decide to try one of the tasty entrees they’ll refund your 5 bucks.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to dance. I will try to dance to any kind of music. As soon as I hear music, my toes start to tingle, my feet want to jump up, my body wants to jig and shake. This is how I felt Saturday. As we walked into the cafe, the air was electric. People were moving and shaking without a care in the world. Tables full of patrons enjoying breakfast with Bloody Marys and Mimosas surround the dance floor.

We put down our names for a table, walked to the bar, and ordered our drinks…a Bloody Mary for Donna and Mimosa for me. The pictures hanging above the bar somehow add to the expressive atmosphere.

Before we can take in all of the sights, we are being pulled to the dance floor. Thankfully, Donna also loves to dance. I love the look of carefree joy on her face.

Another face of elation…

Corey Ledet and his Zydeco Band

I know I will be going back soon. I can still feel the rhythm and different beats from the band. I could dance right now!

I’m so happy Donna came visit. We had a blast on a Saturday morning!

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Gulf Coast Half Marathon Recap

The race began at 7:00am on a windy Sunday morning. I felt good during the first 2 miles and was able to hold a steady pace. Although the wind was strong, I blocked it out of my mind and enjoyed the sights of white sand and picturesque seaside views. During mile 3 we were running along the beach and there was no denying the force of the wind. It was a struggle to push against it. Mile 4 had us running on the road near the Santa Rosa Sound surrounded by charming beach houses. This seemed to help block some of the wind.

Miles 5 and 6 led us back closer to the Gulf with no protection from the wind. My pace slowed considerably during these 2 miles. At 7.1 we had a turnaround point with a groovy support team cheering on all of the runners at this water stop. They were all dressed in 70s attire including all of the girls in white Go-Go boots.

After the turn I felt refreshed and picked up the pace and ran relaxed until somewhere between 10.5 and 11. At that point I began to slow again and had to chant, pray, and say my mantras to continue to the end.

At mile 13 (according to my Garmin) there was no finish line in sight. At 13.1, I could hear cheering but still no finish line. I finally crossed the finish at 13.27 miles.

Official Time: 1:42:48 

Division Place: 3 / 144
Overall: 67
Gender Place: 13 /903

Right after crossing the finish line, I went to the post party in search of an orange. All I could find were bananas on every table. I asked one girl if there were any oranges and she had some in her ice chest and was kind enough to give me one. When she saw I was shaky and couldn’t peel it, she peeled it for me. How considerate! I thanked her and checked my watch. I took off at a slow jog to our hotel to retrieve our cameras to get a picture of Terri coming in for the finish. I made it back and tried to snap her picture but I only caught a portion of her in the fluorescent yellow hat and shirt behind 2 other runners. (I’m not a very good photographer.)

I also got the back of her after she ran past me. (Look at those flags whipping in the wind.)  If you ask Terri what condition she dislikes running in the most, her answer will be “wind.” Despite this, she finished with an impressive time: 2:14:51.

We were able to get someone to snap our picture after Terri crossed the finish.

We went to the post party and checked out the food…red beans and rice, bananas, cookies, and granola bars. We opted for the cookie. Someone snapped this photo of us and when I looked at my pictures after getting home, I realized that it looks like the shark is biting Terri’s head. Watch out!! 😉

We mingled with the runners and everyone had a finish of over 13.1 miles. Terri’s watch showed 13.29, another runner we met said her Garmin showed 13.3 miles. It doesn’t sound like a big difference, but when you are approaching the finish every tenth of a mile seems like a lonnnnggggg distance.

After partaking in the festivities we went back to our hotel to shower and pack. Terri snapped this photo of me on the balcony with my 2nd place age group mug. I’m listed as 3rd in my division, but the first place finisher moved up to the Masters winner and that moved me up to 2nd place.

We put on our compression socks and Gulf Coast Half shirts and hit the road. About an hour down the road we found a “Mellow Mushroom.” This is one of my favorite post race restaurants. We pulled in and ordered this:

Pizza with steak, mushrooms, and artichokes. Delish!

Quick summary of the day: Run 13.1 miles, shower, eat, drive 6 hours, and arrive home. Awesome day!!!

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Gulf Coast Half Marathon Pensacola

Terri and I drove to Florida on Saturday and headed straight for the beach. The yellow flag was flying on the beach symbolizing “Caution, Strong Wind Advisory.” Winds were around 16 mph. It felt great while sunning in the white, warm sand, but we hoped the winds would die down for the race the next day.

After relaxing on the beach, we checked into our hotel. The view from our balcony was spectacular.

 We went to an evening mass later and then to “Crabs” restaurant for dinner.

 I loved the Mixed Grille with Mahi-Mahi, Grouper, crab cakes, chicken breast, and stuffed crab. All of it served with “smashed” potatoes, corn on the cob, coleslaw, and their sensational homemade honey buns. Yum!! Feeling pleasantly stuffed, we went back to our hotel to get our gear ready for the next morning.

The race began at 7:00am on Sunday morning. We awoke at 5:00am and immediately opened the balcony door to check the wind. The flag on the beach had been changed to red and the wind was feeling ferocious. We tried not to think about it as we drank coffee, ate our breakfast, and got dressed. At 6:30am we walked into the hall and found a couple of runners who snapped our early morning, scary photo. Maybe they were nervous too, because the picture looks shaky. 🙂

We stayed at our hotel until 6:45am, then walked to the start line next door. I like being able to wait until close to the start time, because it doesn’t give you a chance to think about it. The National Athem played and the gun went off. The sold out crowd of 1500 runners began to move…

Race recap to follow soon!

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Egg Knockin’ on the Bayou

Saturday was one of the very few local 5K races for our community. It is held in Cottonport in conjunction with the “Egg Knockin’ on the Bayou Festival.” (Egg knocking is a tradition in our area and several surrounding communities have egg knocking contests for Easter. In order to “knock eggs” two people will agree to knock, then one will hold a boiled egg with the small end up while the other taps on it with the small en d of his egg. One egg will crack. The person whose egg has cracked will then have to forfeit his egg to the winner. This custom is carried out in several Cajun communities throughout South Louisiana. In some areas the practice is referred to as “Pacques Pacques”, which simply means “Easter Easter” in French, but is also a play on words because the sound of an egg tapping on another egg makes a sound like “poc poc”. ~Sherry Lane Dunbar)

The 5K began at 8:00am and the weather was beautiful. It was announced that the time clock wasn’t working and we would have to rely on our watches.  

I didn’t get any pictures of the route, but Cottonport has a serene bayou that we ran around. Along the route were locals fishing in the bayou, a few spectators in front yards, and ducks swimming in the bayou. Like all 5K runs, the race flies by. Before I knew it, I could see the finish line. The race was actually only 3.05 miles according to my watch and several others.

My finish time on my Garmin was 21:02 (a PR), but I know the race was a little short so my time would have been a little more.

Terri coming in for the finish:

Results: Division 31 & older: (L to R) DeeDee (3rd Place), Me (2nd Place), Marcia (1st Place)

A picture of our Avoyelles running ladies celebrating another fun race:

Our friend, Matthew, who is making great strides and PRs at each race.

The traditional picture with my running partner, Terri:

Happy Easter and happy running!

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