Thanks to the advice of some fellow runners in New Orleans I found a scenic, but safe, route for my long run on Saturday. I was initially nervous running down the "neutral lane" which is the route for the trolley cars and, well, I didn't know if it was okay to cruise along between their rails. It just looks like I'm going to get hit. However, they move relatively slowly, stop frequently, and after I saw several people running the same route I realized I was neither risking being run down nor impeding the flow of New Orlean's mass transit system.
Most of my run took me through the Garden District, which had many old oak trees lining the streets and some beautiful old homes. I did a loop through Audubon Park and circled back to my hotel along a route that took me along the river and through a hip looking area on Magazine Street. It was a great way to see the city and I feel like I got to see a good cross section of a very interesting place.
I did complete my goal of 40 miles in New Orleans with a 20 mile run on Saturday and a 6 mile run on Friday. Saturday was HOT. I mean HOT. I nearly emptied my 70 ounce hydration pack, before stopping at a Walgreen's for 20 additional ounces of Gatorade and a Starbucks espresso doubleshot (I love those things). I also confirmed that Thermotabs (salt tablets) really can stop heat related nausea and, by mile 17 or so, was strongly regretting skipping the ice cone stand at the Audubon Park. While I felt a little flaky at the end of the run, the heat didn't really bother me as much as I thought it would (I didn't really discover salt tablets until the end of last summer) so I'm looking forward to a good summer of training.
Also, lest I forget to mention food. The fine folks who organized the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Conference came through with a very tasty "Seafood Extravaganza" held at the Mardi Gras Museum, which helped me to recover nicely from my long run.