March 4, 2010

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

Posted in Running at 7:50 pm by savorencyclopedia

Who would have imagined that I would be followed by my newfound goal of running while on vacation?  That’s exactly what happened when I traveled to New Orleans and I took it as validation for what I am trying to accomplish!  The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon took place on Sunday, February 28. By sheer coincidence, I was vacationing there that very weekend.  Although I was treating this weekend as a chance for bacchanalia, I saw it as a positive sign that my new goal was following me even on my weekend off.


I was inundated with marathon signals throughout my weekend.  Even as I boarded the plane Friday afternoon, I noticed a couple of men already on the plane intently reading the magazine Runner’s World while sporting Chicago Marathon attire.  At this point, I made note of the connection, but was unaware of the actual marathon taking place in NOLA that weekend.  I almost felt compelled to strike up a conversation with them about my new goal, but decided that even I wasn’t so bold as to hold up aisle traffic on the airplane to chat. My status as a novice runner also made me more hesitant to discuss the subject; what if my utter lack of knowledge or skill was apparent after the first sentence out of my mouth?  I could not face such humiliation. I was happy with the small sign of validation and was content to move forward with my weekend.


On the shuttle from the airport to our hotel, I sat next to a woman who was running the half marathon.  From that point on, I was aware of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and the signs could not have been more blatant throughout the rest of the weekend!  They may seem small but for me, someone who needs constant motivation to continue working out, it was as if someone was whispering to me not to forget my goals.

Sunday morning the restaurant at the hotel was serving breakfast to multiple tables of runners.  They were discussing their experiences and as it was late in the morning/early afternoon there were not many other patrons for breakfast.  It was hard not to hear some of their conversations.  I couldn’t even imagine the pride they must have felt after finishing, but they were very nonchalant about these accomplishments. Many of them were more focused on the partying aspect of the Marathon (which I imagine is fun, but don’t think I could focus on while running.  Breathing would be my only concern!) I guess for some people, once you start running often it is no big deal to finish a half marathon.  I can’t conceive of the notion, but clearly it exists.  As we returned to our room after breakfast, the elevators were not working.  An unfortunate couple was forced to walk up many flights of stairs to their room after completing the marathon.  My body literally ached for them.  Ouch.

That same afternoon, while waiting for the streetcar to take us to the Garden District, I noticed legions of marathoners out and about, proudly still wearing their numbers or changed into their Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon t-shirts.  They all looked so happy and surprisingly mobile.  I would assume standing upright would be worth celebrating at that point!  There were also many runners eating at the diner we stopped in later in the day.  I can only imagine how satisfying a plump, juicy burger must have been for those particular diners. 

Although I never expected to have clear reminders of the workouts I was missing during my trip, there they were, motivating me to get right back at it!  And it worked!  My first day back I was on the treadmill running.  The second day back I was inspired to workout lightly on my rest day, so I walked on the treadmill and then kicked it up a notch on the stair-climber.  Tonight I am back to running again, trying to close the gap on what should be my recovery time at this point and what actually is. Maybe one day I will run a Marathon in the Big Easy.   Any city will do, but if I’m going to go for it I might as well dream big!  Thank you New Orleans!


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