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!


Gini Fellows

About Gini

Gini Fellows, a registered nurse, teaches health and wellness at the Biloxi, Mississippi, campus of Tulane University.  She’ll turn 70 in August, and is training for her first full Ironman in Florida in November 2016.  Her coach is her son, Patrick, who’s a huge inspiration to Gini as he schedules her workouts and helps her sort through her doubts and fears.

Gini’s always been active but only began competing in triathlons in 2007, after knee surgery.  In 2013 she competed in her first Ironman 70.3 race, and surprisingly came in 3rd in her age group, qualifying for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship.  In preparation for that distance Gini competed in Ironman Texas 70.3 and came in 1st in her age group.

Last year Gini began thinking about attempting to complete a full Ironman.  After talking it over with Patrick, who is competing with her, she decided to register and commit to her training.

Gini says she began her journey to Ironman Florida this winter by building a base and now she’s beginning to add harder and more specific workouts.

Gini’s excited to be blogging about her training – in her words, “the good, the bad, the ugly!!”

Thank you for following!!

A note about Ironman triathlons.

The Ironman 70.3 refers to the total distance in miles covered in the event, which comprises a 1.2-mile swim, a 57-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run.

A full Ironman triathlon event comprises a 2.4-mile swim, a 114-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run.

Ironman also has other events, including events for children and for women only.  For additional information, see the Ironman website.