Several weeks ago I had the idea to create an event on Facebook and invite my friends to run with me in New Orleans while we were at ALA. It was last year at ALA that I really reached my breaking point. I felt like this was a way to celebrate what I have done this year. I ran with a couple of friends at Midwinter in San Diego. It was fun and we were able to spend some time together. I was not quite sure who would join me in New Orleans since I knew it would be hot and humid and I was planning to run at 6 a.m., which is early for some folks. Several people said they might but I knew there were breakfasts and meetings that began early. In the end four of my friends showed up at 6 a.m. Saturday morning to run with me. I really appreciated that they made the effort to do this. Each of them has a great story too. Mary began running about 12-13 weeks ago and completed her first 5k last week. Lisa recently ran a 5k in 28 minutes. (And she completed the Emerging Leaders program at ALA.) Nancy runs marathons and has run Boston – I am so impressed. Karen is getting ready for a relay in August and is training. They are all fabulous women and fantastic librarians too.
They were also very good sports to let me have a photo so early in the morning. It was 87% humidity on Saturday. We were all dripping long before we finished running from near the convention center through the French Quarter and back. It was certainly a unique experience to be yelled at by the drunk folks who had not been home from the night before and run past the smelly trash. Anaheim will be cleaner. I have had a few people ask me to do it again but not so early. The early hour in NOLA was to try to avoid some of the heat. It did get up to 100, I think, while we were there. If not, it was close.
The rest of ALA
ALA always takes place in a large convention center as well as a lot of hotels spread around the city we are in that year. Most of what I had to do this year was either in the Morial Convention Center, the Hilton Riverside or the Marriott on Canal. The catch is that the Morial Convention Center is a mile long. I know I probably walked at least 10 miles back and forth in the conventional center and in the exhibit hall. At least.
It was kind of fun to have people I have known for several years walk by me, not recognize me, and then realize who I was. One friend said he only knew who I was after I spoke. Another said, “I know I recognize your face.” It was gratifying to have people tell me that my blog and facebook posts have inspired them to exercise or improve their diet. I’m glad.
ALA is much easier than it ever has been because I really didn’t struggle to get from place to place. The last time we were in New Orleans I weighed at least 100 pounds more than I do now. I remember being miserable trying to get from place to place in the heat and humidity and being totally exhausted once I arrived at a meeting. On top of the heat and my weight that time, I was interviewing so I had to look decent. This year was much better. It was certainly hot and humid but I didn’t feel as exhausted by the whole process or getting from place to place.
The added bonus was my first trip in years with just carry on luggage – no sleep machine!
Meetings and other things
The real purpose of going to ALA is for programs, meetings and to talk to vendors. I had committee meetings:
And as an added bonus, I was invited to tell a story on the PopTop Stage: