Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Can you imagine trying to swim with this much hair?

Can you imagine trying to swim with this much hair?

It is time for Mardi Gras. My life is not all work and training. There are times for just plain “mindless fun,” and that time of year is during Mardi Gras.

Many people think Mardi Gras is the 4-5 days before Ash Wednesday and occurs in New Orleans. Actually it begins on the Epiphany and the parades in our cities began yesterday.  For the next couple of weeks there are parades in most cities along the Gulf Coast from the Florida panhandles to Texas. Some other “inland” cities also have parades. I am a member of a group of women called the “Chili Pepper Queens.” We participate in two parades each year, a Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day parades.

Beauty pageants are a thing in the South, but most of us don’t qualify. The group began after most of us read a book by Jill Conner Brown called the Sweet Potato Queens Book of Love, a very funny book, where everyone is a Queen. The premise of the book is, don’t take yourself and life so seriously and have some fun. With that in mind we wear a short red dress, “BIG HAIR”, fishnet hose, tall boots, and of course a Chili Pepper crown. We drink mimosas, a few jello shots, eat fried chicken fingers, and discard any clean eating, and throw Mardi Gras, and Chili Pepper beads, stuffed animals, and other assortments of treats to all of our adoring subjects. It is truly fun!

Yesterday was our first parade of the year. We will have a rest before the St. Patrick’s Day parade next month. Yesterday was a great day of mindless fun, however I still ran 4-1/2 miles before the parade and got up early and road my bike in the trainer for an hour, before church this morning.

I am almost back to my pre-injury pace for running. I had a medial meniscus tear, and sprain from my New Year’s Eve 5k, and have been easing back into running. My bike and swims are harder than last year at this time. I have been told by more than one person that my bike ride at Kona is going to be the most difficult. It will be hot and windy. The winds will probably be 20-25 mph and could be as high as 50 mph.

I better enjoy my mindless fun now because I have lots of work to do. Happy Mardi Gras, laissez le bon temps rouler!