On February 13, 2011, I ran my first marathon (26.2 miles). I chose the Mardi Gras Marathon to be my first marathon. The marathon was held in New Orleans, LA, where my mom lives. I was able to con my mom into running the half marathon (13.1 miles). Susan and I stayed in a historic hotel, the Le Pavilion, near the French Quarter. The hotel was very nice. My niece, Nicole, drove from Montgomery to cheer me on. This was Nicole’s first time in New Orleans. Susan took some time on Saturday to show her around the French Quarter.
This was the largest run that I ever participated in. I was amazed at the expo. Mom got a gait analysis for the first time. She learned she was wearing the wrong type shoe. Brian and Aaron enjoyed playing the games at the expo. Both of the boys won Brooks pillow shoes and medals. The lower photograph is Brian and Aaron at the expo with some of their winnings.
The morning of the run, I walked to the start line from the hotel. UPS trucks took care of the gear check. I was in corral eight. Mom was in corral 22. Mike streamed his run via Runkeeper. Two of my friends and Susan watched my progress on the Internet. I was able to see Susan, Nicole, Brian and Aaron at the start, half way point and the finish line. At mile 15, I hit the dreaded wall and started to slow from a 8:30 pace. At mile 23, my calves cramped and I was unable to run for long periods. I alternated between walking and running during miles 23 through 25. At mile 25 I was able to pick up a slow pace all the way to the finish line. I finished in 4 hours and 33 minutes. I hoped to complete the marathon in four hours or less. Mom had knee pain around mile three. She completed the half marathon in 3 hours 23 minutes. Mom actually completed seven minutes earlier than she estimated she would.
Click on either photograph to view the entire gallery.