Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Cold Weather Running Essentials (Southern Edition)

Cold weather (I mean really cold weather) and life down south don't really go hand in hand. Yes, we do have our cold (to us) days and our random and super rare snow days, but those are only a handful a winter. If there's one thing you CAN bet on with winter time in the south, it's this....

As runners, we have to learn how to deal with and adapt to all types of weather conditions - especially with traveling out of town or for a long run during one of those random really cold weather snaps. So, how does this Louisiana girl brave the cold? Here's my cold weather running essentials, southern edition!

#1 Appropriate attire

For me, this includes ear muffs, gloves, and layers!  Sometimes, it's even cold enough that I don't have to shed any of it, even during a half marathon!

This happened to be one of those super rare snow days I mentioned above - and it was my highest mileage weekend for Dopey Training! It actually snowed and the snow stuck for an additional day which I've never seen happen here!

#2 Throw away gear

This tip and tip number one go hand in hand! Raid your local stores at the end of winter for discount sweatshirts. I seriously have a bag stuffed with all different color sweatshirts from previous end of winter sales! They truly make a world of difference at the beginning of a race while standing around, waiting for the race to start. Once you warm up during the race, you can toss your sweatshirt to the side. Most race organizations pick these up to donate to those in need!

Speaking of adapting to crazy weather...how about the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend of 2010 where it sleeted mid half marathon and water stations were iced over for the full? Hello first half marathon! Thankfully, this newbie runner took the suggestion of a friend to snag a sweatshirt from Walmart literally hours before leaving for the trip! Also, I never shed any of my layers during this race and was super grateful for all of them!

#3 Treadmill

I've thought about selling it many times in the past, but it's a necessity for me. Although I'm not a fan of running on a treadmill, it definitely comes in handy sometimes, especially on super cold days!

#4 Hot Hands

Y'all, these things are life savers! You can find them in the sporting goods/hunting section of most stores and they work like a charm. They are single use packs and once exposed to air, they warm up really quickly. I use them even for races (like this past weekend in New Orleans) where it's just slightly chilly at the start and I toss them once I'm warm. If you haven't used them, seriously get some!

...and that's all I've got for now! Running in the winter months can be tricky to plan, especially because of the way the weather changes around here!

Switching topics - this weekend, y'all! We leave THIS WEEKEND for Disney World! I am so excited and cannot wait!

Stay tuned for a Princess Half Marathon costume reveal coming up tomorrow! I finally finished it last night and cannot wait to share it with all of you! Have a great Tuesday!

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Friday, February 15, 2019

2019 Rock N Roll New Orleans Recap

Happy Friday, y'all! This time next week, we will be hitting the road for our next Walt Disney World vacation and I'm so excited to share in the magic with my family once again!

Finishing up with my Rock n Roll New Orleans recaps is one from the race itself.

I ran this race with my friend Melissa and we had an absolute ball! The miles seriously flew by so quickly!

Our hotel was just a short walk to the start line and after hiding out with a few fellow runners behind a building (to avoid the wind and cold of course), we made our way to our corral.

We weren't in our corral long before we heard the start of the race and before we knew it, it was our turn to run!

One thing I LOVE about running the streets of New Orleans (especially during Mardi Gras) is seeing all of the decorated homes and beads in random places! If you look closely at the first tree in this picture, you'll see beads hanging from it!

Also, this second line band along the course - they are awesome! We actually passed them twice (once going out and once coming back in) and they were rocking it!

As per usual with Rock n Roll races, there are bands at just about every mile and the ones in New Orleans are always great!

Seriously, we were at the halfway mark in the blink of an eye. I couldn't believe how great I felt and how great this race was going for us!

I just loved the holiday decor and architecture of this home!

Y'all know me and "characters"...I couldn't pass up the opportunity to snag one with "Who Dat" Vader!

He was seriously great!!

Another absolute favorite of mine from this year's race was the Mardi Gras float. It brought back so many memories to the early years of the Rock n Roll (then Mardi Gras) New Orleans races and I'm so glad they had it here for the 10th anniversary!

The "see ya later" gator......get it?......gave me a giggle, too!

Towards the end of the race, we approached St. Louis Cathedral and Cafe du Monde. I absolutely love that these "landmarks" are close to the end of the race because once you pass them, you know you don't have much further to go!

I was worried about the Brooks guy after I saw him deflated on the San Antonio course, but it appeared that he made a full recovery and comeback!

Just like that, we were at mile 12 and almost finished with another Rock n Roll New Orleans!

Jason and Randy were waiting for us at the finish line, but they were closer up than than I thought so I almost missed them.

We crossed the finish line with giant smiles on our faces! My 9th Rock n Roll New Orleans race was complete!

This was seriously such a fun race!

After the race, runners were given a variety of recovery items such as chocolate milk (hello, runDisney...I'm looking at you) as well as Zapp's chips which made me incredibly happy. Zapp's are native to New Orleans, so I thought that touch was extra special!

We walked around for a few minutes after the race, then made our way over to the buses to take us back downtown towards our hotel.

After showering and packing up, we had brunch at the Ruby Slipper Cafe which was delicious as always!

I had the bananas foster french toast and it was simply heavenly!

After saying goodbye to our friends, we began our trip back home.

We had a fabulous weekend in New Orleans and loved exploring all this race weekend and the city had to offer! Next year, we have big plans for touring on Saturday and I cannot wait!

I hope you have a fabulous weekend! Happy running!

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