Bless me father for I have sinned. It’s been one year since my last Vegas confession and this one is a doozie! I confess to having way too much fun, way too many shots, laughing way too hard and hugging too many people…if that’s possible? I have zero regrets about my five days in Las Vegas and possibly only a few of the 13.1 miles I ran down the strip at night. Let’s discuss.
LAS VEGAS RNR HALF MARATHON 2018
As you may know, I was feeling fantastic throughout this training cycle. I was ready to tackle my third Las Vegas Rock and Roll Half Marathon but I also knew what spending three days in Vegas, prior to the race can do to race plans, and this year was especially rough. I’m not making any excuses and I take full responsibility for my actions (even the ones I can’t remember) but I’m just laying out the facts.
This year there was a bigger group of my friends and family in Las Vegas and I wanted to take advantage of spending all the time I could with the people who were there. Mission accomplished.
I usually feel like garbage on the one training run I do at the gym while at Caesar’s but this year I actually felt great! Everything went as planned getting to the race expo and with bib pick-up, which is always well organized, and my friend and I were feeling as good as we could about lining up to run 13.1 at 4:30pm on a Sunday, four days after we arrived.
Ready or not…
For the first time ever it was cold before the race. I have never even considered wearing anything but a wispy tank for this race but with temps “unseasonably cool” for Vegas (think mid-60s), and some strong desert winds, I was contemplating wearing my sweatshirt for the duration. Luckily, by the time I hit the first mile I was tossing it to the side of the road and ran comfortably for the next 12 miles. And by “comfortably” I mean I wasn’t cold.
The start is always super crowded and, when you’re running with 40,000 (yes!) people, things get jammed up. Now, I’ve run this race three times and the corral assignments are by previous finish time but there’s no one checking if you actually had that finish time or if you made it up. How do I know? Because I was in corral 3 in the first wave and by the time I took 100 steps people were walking! This had never happened to me before but the first two miles were kind of a shit show. I was trying not to weave around too much and lose what precious energy I had, but it was hard!
I fell into a good rhythm and looked for my people at mile 5 by Caesar’s but sadly no one was there. Also sadly, my husband somehow thought my finish time would be around two hours (maybe he was thinking I was doing a half ironman?) so he also missed me at the finish. Whomp Whomp.
It was a weird race in that I went though waves of feeling great and horrible but luckily the horrible waves passed fairly quickly. I decided I wasn’t going to look at my watch at all and just run by feel. In years past there has been a timing clock at mile 10 but this year there was nothing so I had absolutely no clue how fast I was running or what my overall time was.
I honestly could not even find the timing clock at the finish line! It was bizarre. Later on my friend told me it was on the ground on the left hand side. WTF? I have to say, I was genuinely surprised and disappointed to see my watch read 1:42:54 but it was quickly followed by “I did it!” time for a Lush bath bomb and dinner with Giada!
The real killer is how much walking you do when in Vegas. It’s completely unavoidable and, usually welcome, except when you have to run 13.1 miles on the next to last day you are there. My averages:
Thursday | 16,763 steps
Friday | 18,237 steps
Saturday | 13,049 steps
And for half marathon Sunday…
I should have run four more miles and called it a marathon!
THINGS I LOVED
There is so much to love about Las Vegas and this race! The crowd is truly amazing and I saw some great signs:
At mile 5: THE END IS FAR!
CHUCK NORRIS NEVER RAN A HALF MARATHON
26.2 – THE NUMBER OF BEERS I’LL DRINK WHILE YOU RUN
I seriously laughed out loud at all of these.
I obviously also loved all the time I spent with friends and family before, during and after the race…
The ladies also spent some time at the spa, natch, and my massage therapist was a little whisp of a thing with magical hands! Afterward she said “you are so tiny but have lots of tension in your back and are tight everywhere!” Yep, that about sums it up.
THINGS I DIDN’T LOVE AS MUCH
In years past this has been a very well organized race but there were a few glitches this year.
The app I was told to download gave some misinformation about starting times (which was later corrected but not for about 12 hours!) including that “gusty winds” would be a factor for the race and they were not. Had I paid attention to the race info and not my SIL’s weather app, I would have dressed differently and been way more anxious about the weather. Not cool.
I mentioned the lack of any timing on the course and a lot of runners who definitely should not have been in the first corrals, but also the start line and waiting area this year was the third different one in as many years! I realize the mass shooting was a factor last year, but it’s super annoying to have to try and find the start line every year. I’m sure there’s a good reason but I’m still going to bitch about it.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly for some runners, is the absolutely horrible race photos! We could not be running in a more photo ready fantastical environment and these are the pictures I can choose from:
Even with the “MarathonFoto” water marks all over them you can tell they are not what one would expect from running down one of the most iconic and lit up landmarks on the planet! I may as well have been running down almost any dark street in the country. #shamebell
Speaking of shame, I rang the bell for this dude at the starting village. I wish I had a picture but he was literally dressed head to toe in NYC Marathon 2018 gear, right down to custom NYC marathon sneakers! My husband said I should have asked him if he ever ran the NYC Marathon. HA!
The bling, however, did not disappoint.
RANDOM EXCHANGE OF THE TRIP
There are so many interesting looking and just plain interesting people in Las Vegas. This random exchange happened in the elevator at Caesar’s Palace Hotel, where I was trapped, with one very “interesting” couple. As soon as I got onto the elevator I could sense there was tension between them since they were standing on opposite sides of the metal box and talking with an edge – not outright fighting but not getting along either. I had no choice but to stand in the middle, leaning against the wall, with a hat on and my head down when this happened:
Him: Babe, I’ve been here several times and I know where it is!
Her: I know you think it’s down but I think we should be going up!
Him now talking to me: Do you know where the pool is here?
Her, practically flying to stand in front of me. Directly in front of me. In a closed elevator: NO! Don’t answer him! Answer this question and, when you do, don’t look at him, look at me! *now putting her manicured finger in my face* Don’t look at him, look at me! Is this a Greek or Italian themed hotel?
We are at Caesar’s. Caesar’s!
I looked at her with pity and then amusement and said: It’s Rome. It’s Italian.
Him: See! And the pool is on the ground floor and not the roof!
Yep. All true.
My coach suggested I take the next week off and, after I recovered from having a panic attack, I agreed. Now, she and I may have different interpretations of what that means but let’s just say I will need to run, bike and swim while my kids are home for the Thanksgiving break or we won’t all survive.
My next race is the Duathlon National Championship in Greenville, SC in April and I cannot wait.
Lastly, we already had our first snowstorm of the season and I love it! Skiing, snowboarding and mountain time have arrived!
Night sledding in your pajamas is totally normal, right?
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! See you back here soon…
[Tweet “VITA is back from 13.1 miles in #sincity and has a lot to confess! #train4life #therundown”]
How was your week?
What are your Thanksgiving plans?
Snow – love it or hate it?
I always love your Vegas recaps! I’m chuckling about the elevator incident. Wtf?!? And yes to snow! Now we just need to keep it coming!
It was insane!! I could not fathom what she was going to ask me, but that particular question never entered my mind! LOL!! People are cute, especially in LV.
Ugh I’m not even ready for the cold yet. I loled about the NYC outfit…it’s probably 1000 dollars worth of merch.
Right? It was like “We get it. You ran NYC.” There were a few “Ironman” t-shirts as well. *eye roll*
RnR needs to step it up with the corrals. That’s been my biggest complaint–in all their races, the corrals are really just a suggestion. It’s just so frustrating!
I’m glad you had fun1 That elevator story, tho. He needs to dump her, stat!
I was in corral one the past two years so just being two corrals back made a HUGE difference. I can’t imagine if I were in 13! They definitely need to get that under control. Otherwise – it was amazing as usual 🙂
Totally loving the post-race dinner outfit – very cool! I may have to check out this race one of these years. I love LV!
Thank you!! And if you love LV you HAVE to do this race!! They also have a 5k and 10k if you don’t want to train for the half or full. It’s really cool to run the strip!!
So far the one RnR race I’ve done has annoyed me with the corrals. But great pace – and it looks like it was fun!
I’m sensing a theme here. They really need to get the corral situation under control. You can’t have 40k runners and not or there is chaos and people won’t come back. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂
Sounds like a blast, Allie! It’s been too long since I’ve been to Vegas, but I remember all the walking…funny, I didn’t run at all;)
We are headed to the beach for Thanksgiving – have a great one!
That is very odd – you not running? HA! Enjoy the beach!! Sounds like a great Thanksgiving 🙂
For having so much fun the days before the race, you kept a great pace! I ran it this year as well and I remember running it a few years ago and it was very chilly so I was well prepared this year.
I’m glad you were prepared! I was definitely not ready to be cold at the start but luckily it’s nothing compared to Connecticut in November!
I ran the Vegas 13.1 last year, too. I’m from Iowa, so I was actually quite warm…and had nonstop thirst because of the dry air LOL My one regret was not taking a pic with Elvis near the 10-mile mark.
The dry air is definitely challenging! My friend had a nose bleed the second day there because of it. And YES! Elvis is always a great pick-me-up at the 10 mile mark. You will just have to do it again to snag that pic!
Ah Vegas. It never disappoints, does it. I think RnR picks their battles and the corral chaos is one they consistently ignore. So funny about Mr NYCM. Proud much? That couple on the elevator is sitcom material!
It never does!! Although I think that was my last RnR race there, I will definitely be back for the amusement, food and drinks. There is no place like Vegas…for better or worse!
It sounds like you had a fun race! That elevator situation sounds so awkward though. I’m ready for the snow once I’m out of this boot. All of my favorite snow things are not possible in a boot! Your boys sledding in pajamas gives me serious childhood nostalgia for sledding in my backyard.
Ugh that boot!! At least I think you are halfway there and winter has just begun so plenty of time for all things snow! And yes, I was laughing at the boys being out there and not even a little bit cold – just ridiculously happy. Ah to be 9 again…
The Vegas RnR was one of my most favorite half races for many of the reasons you mentioned. I also thought the afternoon start was great so you got a nice night’s sleep too. congrats on your finish looks like a blast!
The afternoon start is KEY, otherwise I think it would be a mess out there 🙂 Thanks so much!