Okay, I haven't run 40 miles yet, but I plan on getting 40 miles in before I head back home early Sunday morning. I just got back from my first 6 miles a few minute ago. I'm staying a hotel right next to the French Quarter so I decided to circle in and around that historic area for my first run. Of course, I forgot my GPS and got a tiny bit lost, but I like to think of it as an opportunity to spontaneously follow the flow of the city.
I took off around 7 and was back a little after 8. Here are my impressions:
1) Running in New Orleans (at least the French Quarter) is difficult. The streets are narrow and relatively crowded.
2) People here don't run. People here do drink. A lot. There are plenty of bars, package liquor stores, and people strolling around with open containers. They look at you funny when you run by wearing a hydration pack.
3) The French Quarter is cool. Among the restaurants, bars, live music, art galleries, people out strolling, people hanging out in balconies, and general liveliness of the area I am reminded of why the Saginaw area feels a little stale at times. Before my run I had jambalaya at a place called Mother's. Very yummy. I look forward to trying the crawfish etouffee.
4) The remnants of Katrina are still very visible. You don't have to get far from the French Quarter to see houses that were damaged (I assume) by the storm. I also saw several of the markings that were spray painted on houses when they were evacuated.
My rough plan is to do a couple of 7 miles runs in the next two days and then get a 20 mile long run in on Saturday. It will be a tight squeeze since the conference I am at will keep me busy most of the day, but I'm feeling determined. I'm also going to look up some potential running routes on the internet to see if I can find a route that involves fewer crowds. I'll keep ya'll posted.