Lena and I took our son Max to his first Mardi Gras parade this past weekend in Bogalusa, LA! I know what you’re thinking, WHERE??!! Bogalusa’s a small town located in, where I like to call, the “toe of the boot” due West of Poplarville, MS. The town is known for is distinctive paper mill odor and is , coincidentally enough, nicknamed “The Magic City”! The majority of my Dad’s side of the family either live or grew up there. My grandmother, Maxine, was VERY involved in Mardi Gras activities. So, a very popular time for us to go visit was during Mardi Gras. They have a rather large and EXCELLENT parade for a small town. They also normally have a 5K, the Milltown Classic 5K, the Saturday morning of the parade. My grandmother used to beg me to run, but when I was younger and actually fit, I always made up an excuse not to run. Well, in ‘07, my family and I decided to run!
The plan was to simply run in the 5K, NOT TO RACE! I was in no shape to actually race! We all loaded up and went to the start. It was a chilly morning, which effected the turnout a bit. As we lined up, the competitive juices began to flow a little. The gun went off! Of course, the 12 year olds took off to the early lead. I just kept a smooth pace that felt pretty comfortable. I was stunned when I heard the first mile split! 5:40!!!!! I was thinking, “That had to be short! OR Man, I’m going to pay for that shortly!” Anyway, I kept the same pace and tried to stay relaxed. There was one guy out in front of me, so it was decision time. Go after him and take a shot at this thing or just cruise it on in. Well, the competitive juices got the best of me! I picked up the pace! At a mile and a half, I was right behind him. I knew if I was going to pass him, it was going to have to be a strong move to get a good gap. If we were neck and neck at the finish, it was going to be ugly! Another surge, and I put about 30 meters on him. We take a left and pass mile 2. I couldn’t hear the split from all the PAIN! Here’s the good part! Another left and I run right into the back of the police car leading the race! Why? There was a train coming!!!!!!!! I’d love to type exactly the words that came out of my mouth and were going through my head, but I know this is a PG blog!
So, there we stand! Me and the guy I just tried to get away from waiting on the stupid 4 car train to pass! The gates rose, and off we went! Once again, I knew I had to get away from him. I took off thinking I could make it at a pretty steady pace for a little less than a mile. To my surprise, the guy didn’t hang with me! I make it to the finishing stretch by myself. Focused on the finish line, the only thought I had was don’t fall down! The legs were a bit shaky! I crossed the finish line in 18:14 in first place! Certainly not a blistering time, but hey, a win’s a win! The Martinez Krewe took home some serious hardware! Lena was 3rd overall, my mom was 1st in her age group and my sis was 2nd in her age group!
I’m seriously disappointed in myself for being “too busy” to run that 5K when Maxine was around! I’d like to think she was watching in ‘07! Hell, maybe she even had something to do with the weather that scared the fast boys away!