When I do a race recap, I really try and combine the entire trip/race into one post. But I feel like New Orleans deserves a post of it’s own…mainly centered around the food. There was way too much to combine into one post. So, here is a pre/post race recap…
For the past four years of heading to Nola for this race, Mardi Gras has already ended. I LOVE Mardi Gras. I grew up with it (it started in Mobile) and miss getting to go on a regular basis. I also miss the KING CAKE. To sum it up, a king cake is a delicious pastry with gold, purple and green icing that you typically only get during Mardi Gras (pre-lenten season). It has a plastic baby in it and if you get the baby you will have good luck and the responsibility of providing the next king cake (or so tradition says).
Somehow this year, the race was BEFORE Mardi Gras.
It became a joke, but I basically spent 4 days in New Orleans on quest to find fabulous king cake around the city with a race expo and race in between. NOT KIDDING. I had 5 different types of king cake in 4 days. This is by no means the way to eat properly before a race. Any smart runner knows to not try new things and stick to simple diet before a race. I definitely know these things and threw it all out the window. Running in Nola doesn’t exactly make for easy “proper” eating anyway and I decided to enjoy every minute (and bite) of the entire trip.
1. I took an early flight to Nola Friday so that I could enjoy the day shopping and wandering around. My cousin Amanda and her husband Mike drove over for the night and we had a late lunch at Domenica (one of John Besh’s restaurants for you Top Chef fans). His version of King cake? AMAZING. It actually had a layer of caramel, bananas and marscarpone topped with a praline glaze and gold flecks.
Friday night the ATL girls, Abby, Kristin and Lauren got in town, and we went to dinner at Annunciation. It was early to bed because Saturday was going to be a long day.
2. After a team shakeout run to Cafe du Monde for beignets, I had an easy day planned.
I wanted to spend my morning at the expo on Saturday to participate in the #RNRTweetup and meeting a few bloggers I feel like I’ve “known”, meet up with Holly and Batch, hear a few lectures, and then show Abby, Kristin, and Lauren around the race expo (two first timers!).
I stocked up on Sparkly Soul bands, got a new fitletic belt (formally ifitness-left my old one in ATL by accident), stocked up on GU, and managed to ride a mechanical shoe. To say I spent more time at an expo than I have in long time is an understatement.
We were ravenous by the time we made it to Cochon Butcher for lunch. By far one of my favorite meals in New Orleans. I had the mufaletta and mac and cheese, followed by their version of king cake. Original, cinnamon style. Only fitting that their “baby” was a pig. This was a classic style king cake and did not disappoint.
Saturday night I had the Team in Training inspiration dinner followed by my real dinner out at Maximo’s with Abby, Kristin, and Lauren. Somehow along the way I realized I forgot to get a bagel for breakfast, couldn’t find one in the city after dinner, and paid $8 for a room service bagel. Yes, one bagel for the price of 2 whole bags. Total experienced runner fail.
RACE RECAP COMING SOON….on to the post race…
3. When you run a race with TNT, you have to check in at the TNT tent post race. The New Orleans chapter really knows how to do a post race party. They had all the essentials: Zapps chips, pralines, and KING CAKE. Yes, my post race food involved a banana, chocolate milk, Nuun, and more king cake. I got the lesson from the locals on who had the best cake…and the one I had lived up to the hype. How insane that I was the first one to have a piece and I got the baby!!?!
4. After the race, I went to brunch with Abby, Kristin, and Lauren. It was close to 2 by the time we ate at Coquette and low and behold they had their version of a king cake sunday. Three different donut type balls with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream. I told yall we ate a lot.
We spent the afternoon on walking around Jackson Square and Bourbon Street before watching the super bowl.
5. I flew home early Monday morning and at my sisters request, brought her a king cake. This time, it was from the airport. Surprisingly, it wasn’t terrible. But it definitely wasn’t the best.
To say I needed a sugar detox is a major understatement. Each and every calorie was worth it. Kinda. Skipping the scale for the next week or so. Bring on lent!
Do you follow a strict diet before a race? Have you been to New Orleans? Ever had a king cake?