Monday, February 21, 2011

NOLA's onioninvasion and Mardi Gras 1/2 Marathon Report

I am going to try to make this short and sweet...hehe...but as an "Onion" it is in our blood to ramble and tell you every little detail "just in case" you want to know.
NOTE: My maiden name is Cipolone which is Italian for the Big Onion (hence @bigonion75)

What started out as a 6 day race vacation turned into a 9 day trip with a mix of race/play/work...I love New Orleans, it is one place I could live besides Jersey. Yup, Jersey (I am fist pumping as I type). I have been there every year since I graduated college either for work or to see my brother who moved there during college and never came home...He thinks he did that all on his own accord but in reality, I was there for a convention the year before, visited some voodoo shop and made him do it. I mean what if I couldn't get down there for work, I needed some way to be able to have crawfish and Abita's right?

If you have only been to Bourbon St and ONLY had Gumbo and Hurricanes when you went to New Orleans you have been missing out!! We still hit those touristy things though....

In addition to the race (I'll get there...) here are just some of the highlights:
  • Vacationed with my best friends and my sister so we could see my brother (#onioninvasion).
  • Went to some favorite places on Decatur - Pravda (great drinks and homemade pierogies), Angeli's (best hummus and red pepper spread), Molly's (bar) and Coop's (great New Orleans food).
  • I had my first "tweet-ups" where @big_onion introduced me to @Nola_Eats and @bugeyedguide - all of whom were awesome- on the #TourduPho! Yup New Orleans has the 3rd largest Vietnemese population in the country. We went to @Pho_Hoa on the West Bank (apparently we are the 1% of tourist that have been to the West Bank) which was our "pre-race" dinner and I even won a T-shirt! (other New Orleaners to follow - @juliapretus, @eatmenola and @nolamaven).
  • Visited New Orleans Rum Distillery.
  • Ate and drank on Magazine Street - Juan's Flying Burrito and the Bulldog. We also had some other good local beers besides the Abita Amber - LA31 Pale Ale and the Abita Andygator.
  • Pre-race activity of doing yoga at the Lululemon who had fantastic employees and one of the best cheerleaders during the race as we ran down Canal St besides the kids dressed up in KISS make-up singing Motley Crue.
I have never been so unprepared for a race and yet it was one of the best races. After the mishaps with plantar fasciitis and then a sprained ankle. I calculated that I took a total of 7 weeks off of running since September, not to mention the ice/snow we have had in NJ. My longest run since early November was 9 miles about 2 weeks prior to the race on a treadmill. I decided that this was going to be vacation and while I was there I just HAPPEN to be doing a long run that Sunday.

I have never done a Rock-n-Roll series race but if this is what they are all like - it was amazing. From the expo...
to the race it was by far the most well-run races. It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the 50's, it was flat, no wind, sunny, couldn't be more perfect and I was running with my best friends. We didn't start on time since we were (cough, cough) running late as usual....we had to use the port-a-potties which had a 20 min wait so we missed our wave. We weaved in and out of the crowd during the first 6 miles pacing went from 9:10 during the first couple to a pretty stead 9:45. We slowed down a bit during the middle walked some water stations and jogged, and then finished with 10 minute miles during the last few. We finished at 2:11 and the Garmin read about a 9:51 moving pace.

We relaxed with some free beers at the park and then headed back where the other festivities would occur.

The post-race party was BBQ at my little brother's @big_onion and @kerath's home. It was a great time and I was also really excited that I was able to meet a favorite blogger - Heidi Austin - TriAngel. Definitely check out this FAST girl that PR'd during the race with a 1:34!

My brother - the chef - made his own sausage and many other goodies (check out his blog - mronionsneighborhood)...

Nicole got the piece of king cake with the baby...

Christine, John and I drank hot sauce...

Christine cryed...

and...we somehow had bottomless lemoncello...

Needless to say, the trip was fabulous but I was tired and couldn't wait to get home and see Mike and Axl and Ozzy :)

NEXT UP - I found out I am number 65 on the waiting list for Vineman 7o.3!!
This week starts training and nutrition crack down....I am actually really excited for this! Off-season is officially over...

And last but not least...I will be starting my new blog - "MissFancyPant's Closet" - which is NOT a triathlon blog, not that this really is....


  1. Sounds like you had an awesome time! And Heidi is so awesome! Glad you guys where able to meet up!

  2. Oh my gosh... sounds like you had a great trip and a fantastic race! :)

  3. Congrats!! sounds like a great trip!


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