Vegas. Husband. Great weather. Good food. Time off work. All wonderful.
Running a marathon? Also wonderful! Doing it in 40mph winds? Less than wonderful.
We arrived in Las Vegas on Friday night, about 5pm. After quickly checking into the Mirage (host hotel closest to the finish line) we walked over to the expo. With 45 minutes to collect our bibs and shop before closing, the expo was relatively quiet and most vendors were starting to shut down their booths. Neither of us were looking to purchase anything, so that was no biggie. The expo seemed the same as last year, Rock N Roll always has an impressive amount of exhibitors.
Post expo, we had an AMAZING dinner at Emeril’s Table 10. The salmon I ordered was perfectly cooked, BC had a roasted chicken which he proclaimed was “the best he ever tasted”. Those entrées were too healthy so we rounded the meal out with lobster mac and cheese and a side of sweet potato puree with heavy creme. If I wasn’t planning to run the full marathon before, I sure was after this feast.
Cheers to being somewhat sober in Vegas
Saturday we slept in, spent the day shopping and strolling the strip. Out of curiosity, I wore a pedometer to see how much walking we were actually doing. All steps included on Saturday? 7.23 miles. Probably not a genius move?
We had a carb loaded dinner at Canaletto in the Palazzo and headed to MGM Grand to see Aerosmith in concert.
Who needs dessert when cappuccino is so blessed delicious?
I gotta tell ya. Aerosmith impressed me. They can still rock. RNR offered runners discounted seats and they were as close as you could get. Good times.
Sunday morning we slept until 8:30am. It was a tad past midnight when we got back to the Mirage and I fell asleep just after 1am. Fueling for an afternoon marathon with IBS? That should be……. interesting?
Hello Hash House a Go Go! BC and I split the massive pancake, I had some scrambled eggs, toast and a side of bacon about 10am. At 1:35 we got in line for the race start shuttle and I ate one Honey Stinger Waffle.
The start area was a total different scene than 2010 or 2011. Spacious, organized, labeled. The only thing I could not find was gear check signs and water stations before the start. Porta potty lines were short and the overall vibe was pretty chill considering everyone was feeling the winds.
I kissed BC goodbye, wished him luck and the race started right on schedule.
Running the first 8 or so miles was a blast. The strip is entertaining, tons of spectators are cheering, the sun is still out and the WINDS were at my back. I kept a consistent and easy pace about 9:45 and felt ok.
At mile 5 I fueled with my first honey stinger waffle (half). I consistently ate a waffle half every 5 miles to stay fueled. Almost on the dot of the 10k marker my tummy started it’s battle cry. Breakfast was in between the stomach and the GI and I just felt rotten. At mile 8 I stopped at the porta potty. Waited behind two people in line, went and got back on the road. I was still right on the money hitting 9:45 miles pace wise, but my splits got wacky and slow with the bathroom delay.
I walked to eat my stinger at Mile 10 and noticed the wind was no longer at our backs. I was still positive today was my day. Around the half marathon marker things started to get boring. Mile 12 to 19 were caught in cross winds, slow, boring. I was just putting one foot in front of the next. A lot of the mile markers had blown over, but each mile had a running clock and my garmin was right on most splits. The aid stations were plentiful, huge improvement over last years race. Tons of volunteers were ready and waiting at each station with gatorade and water. This was a nice perk during the out and back from mile 14-19, I was looking forward to each aid station and the bands scattered along the way. Clearly I was putting back enough water because I had to stop and pee just before Mile 20.
When I hit 20 I gave myself a pep talk. “One hour left. You can PR, lay it down. Only two miles until you get to Fremont. At mile 24 you are calling BC to let him know you are back on the strip. After that, it’s home free and only two miles.”
And with that we hit 40mph headwinds and my PR slipped away. The last 6 miles of any marathon stink, but the winds really tested me. All around me, runners were walking. I didn’t stop. I didn’t walk. I just wanted to be DONE.
Mile 22, we ran through Fremont. The Best. Part. Of. The. Marathon. Tons of lights, people, high fives and adrenaline. It was the best pick me up. My Garmin had died around Mile 22 and I had no idea what pace I was moving at. I could only guess it was slow. I remember nothing from 22-24 other than passing people (and I am not a speedy runner!). At mile 24 I sent a text to BC that I was at the mile marker and I would see him in 20 minutes.
Finally back on the strip, the last two miles were on the right hand side of the road and barricaded or roped off with tape from the half marathoners. My only gripe about the race, this space with spectators on one side and barricades on the other, got pretty narrow. It felt a little too real life “Frogger”. Those last two miles seemed an eternity, but I crossed at 4:39:20.
Not a PR. But a medal is a medal and my third marathon is in the books.
Rock n Roll really pulled it together and improved the race over last year. Well done, competitor group.
Quick shout of for BC! He had a great race and a shiny new half marathon PR!