Mardi Gras in Florida (I’ve got some beads to prove it)

Last weekend we traveled to Florida to see my mother-in-law. She had had cataract surgery and we went down to say hello. By coincidence, it also happened to be the weekend of Panama City’s Mardi Gras celebration, a two day festival on Friday and Saturday replete with Zydeco and Cajun bands and a couple of parades. Living in Monroe, LA, the past few years, I found that all that city can muster is a single parade a week before fat Tuesday (that’s what Mardi Gras means when translated=Fat Tuesday). [To be fair to Monroe, no one goes there for Mardi Gras anyway]. P.C., while their parades weren’t so impressive, at least had several of them and a 2-day festival. Not a bad job at all. It was fun. And the Gyros tasted incredible.

They also put on a 5K race. So, knowing we’d be there I signed up. I really don’t enjoy 5Ks. I am no distance running elitist mind you, but I have a tendency to go out too fast and overstride, which generally results in shin tightness and a not-so-fun race. I’ll run them, but I have to muster the discipline to run MY race, not the race of all those in the field with me. Well, I did it again, I scooted out at close to a 9:30 pace and by the time I reached the half mile mark, I was already tired and my shins were tightening. I ran it in 33:00:06, which is the best 5K since I ran a 30:33 PR almost two years ago. Hence my quest for speed while training for the Country Music Half-Marathon in April.

The start/finish line.

Very pretty course. We ran right along the Bay.

The Bay.

Imperial Stormtroopers have a long Mardi Gras connection, I suppose.

Zydeco Band from my part of Louisiana, LaFourche

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