Having spent the last week in the Delta of the Mighty Mississippi, I had not only the experience of running 3 southern state marathons in 5 days but the unique cultural experience of the deep south as well.
Lynette and I dovetailed a quick trip to New Orleans before the last race. We got a fantastic room at the French Corners Sheraton right on Bourbon Street. We arrived at 9:00 pm and headed out for dinner. It was like an 1800 version of the Las Vegas strip. The word wild doesn’t even begin to describe Bourbon Street at night! More like insane!
The streets were closed to cars because of the French Quarters Festival. Lynette and I along with a few hundred other people were walking along the center of the road sight seeing when Lynette said,” Oh my Gosh, look at that!” What I saw were several young half naked women in lingerie hanging outside of a bar enticing customers to come in for fun and (use your own imagination here). It reminded me of the Sirens in Ancient Greek mythology that would cause the sailors to crash their ships upon the rocks. My head turned to look then immediate looked away. I am a man however and so I took one more quick look when apparently one of the young women noticed me and while looking directly into my eyes motioned at me with her finger to come over to her. My face turned 50 shades of pink and I quickly turned my head away again and didn’t look back until we were far enough away.
This kind pedi taxi driver gave a a fantastic tour of the city
Boiled Peanuts anyone?
I don’t know what boiled peanuts have to do with anything but my last race in Winnsborough, Louisiana was my fastest of the Riverboat Marathon series. I ran it in 5 hours 14 minutes. I knew that if I didn’t pick up the pace I would probably miss my plane to Utah. I came out like a hound dog chasin a Jack Rabbit through the bayou.
This marathon was flat and fast. The weather was great and the trail we ran bordered a small Bayou.This was my third marathon in 5 days and I was feeling great. The only problem was that we had a 5:30 flight we had to catch after the race and a 4 1/2 hour drive to the Memphis Airport. Speed was of the essence if we were going to make that flight. The first two marathons were hampered by bad weather and bad courses. That would not be the case today. Yes there was nothing to slow me down.
I had already decided to try for a PR. I started out with a really good stride. Everything was just perfect. It was the kind of day all runners dream of until mile 9 mile that is. I had been on a special diet for 2 months before the marathon series. When we got off the airplane all that went out the window.
The food I’ve eaten this week…I need not say more
The only way to describe it is it felt like my lower intestine had instantly transformed into the Atom Bomb Test Facility in Alamogordo, New Mexico. All I can say is thank goodness the portable potties were just steps away. As I sat there on the seat of woe I realized it might not have been the smartest thing to throw my entire diet out the window and consume mass amounts of bar-b-qued alligator, fried catfish, dirty rice and very spicy southern beans! Two rolls of toilet paper and 10 minutes later I emerged a mere shell of the man that had entered only minutes earlier.
Gators, gators, gators !
To my surprise and delight however this did not slow me down and only served to make me faster and feel better. Sadly I did not get that PR I was hoping for mostly because of the extra 10 minutes I spent on the John but I did have a very good time. Knowing it was going to be close I literally ran through the finish line and into the back of our car in which Lynette had been waiting for me. She also had clothes for me to change into, a foot long sub sandwich and three bottles of water.
I can only imagine what the locals thought as they drove past our car…hey Ma, lookie there. It’s a one legged naked city slicker eating a giant sandwich! The south turned out be be an amazing adventure. So grateful for the experiences we had and we even made it back to Memphis to catch our plane. I felt blessed for the way the coordinators took care of us and how well organized it was.