Thank you for all of your kind words and support about my decision to drop down to the half! I was nervous that today, I would start regretting this decision and be bummed that I didn’t do the marathon (especially when I had to explain it to more people today)… but nope, still not mad about it. I think it was definitely the right decision.
Anyways! Time for that 2016 RnR Las Vegas Half Marathon Recap…
I flew into Las Vegas on Friday night — I love that the time change meant that I didn’t even have to ask off work and was still able to land just after 9 (our flight was awesomely early). Melissa’s was too, so we met up at the airport and headed to find a Lyft (why does Vegas make this so difficult?). From there, we checked in to The Mirage, grabbed some drinks and apps, and of course… had to gamble a little bit. 😉 I love playing penny slots, but they aren’t as fun in Vegas because it’s really hard to win. I need to get some confidence so I can check out some table games next time I’m back in Vegas.
Back to the race recap —> we woke up on Saturday and grabbed some breakfast at this place called The Pantry, which was delicious.
It was really weird fueling for this race because generally I am super paranoid about what I eat the day before, but since it’s a night race, I figured that it was enough time for it to digest. From there, we hopped on the monorail and headed to the race expo.
The expo was great in the fact that it was super spacious — there was SO MUCH ROOM everywhere! Thanks to Brooks (who also treated me to my race entry), I got to experience VIP — which included a lounge and champagne stop.
It did drive me crazy that RnR — who puts on huge huge HUGE races — required that we had to PRINT off our race confirmation. Is this 1994 (sure felt like it considering we also had to wear D-tags)? There were approximately 47,000 runners… just think about how much paper was wasted! How in the world can this not be offered digitally?!
After the expo, we hung out in the room for a bit (best nap ever) and then met up with Ashley and Ritsa for dinner at Rao’s (I really wish I remembered to take a picture of this because it was delicious. Just imagine really good pasta). Melissa and I went out on The Strip a bit to try out a few other casinos (Vegas still stole our money), and were in bed by 11 (which felt amazing).
RnR Las Vegas Race Day
I let myself sleep in and grabbed the most simple breakfast you can find in Vegas.
I really was at a loss fueling for this race because it’s so weird to have a night race. The rest of the day was spent watching football (boo Packers), drinking water and lounging on a couch (at a sports bar) to keep my legs rested and happy.
We headed over to the race start at 2:30. We opted to take the Monorail and it was tough getting across the road since we were staying right near the finish. We ended up going down to a pedestrian bridge and made it to the Monorail. Since we were on the furthest stop on The Strip to get to the race start, we got on right away (the other stops — people couldn’t even fit on because it was so packed). It was about a 10 minute ride, and then we had another 15-minute walk or so.
I was planning on meeting up with the PRO Compression Ambassadors at 3:30, but we didn’t make it in time. So, if you’re planning on running this race —> leave early.
Snoop was the headliner and VIP came in handy —> some AWESOME views right up front!
I saw Snoop in concert a few years ago and absolutely love him. He puts on a really good show, and Sunday was no different!
I left the concert around 3:50 and headed to my corral (blue, 2). It was about a 7-minute walk from the VIP section and I sat down and started stretching. I was a little meh about running the full at this point, but since it was starting to cool down, it seemed like it was going to be okay.
I love that they start the race RIGHT ON TIME… perhaps one of my biggest race pet peeves is when races start super late (in addition to paper race confirmations ;)).
For the first few miles, I felt amazing. I was hitting 8’s and it didn’t feel hard at all. My legs felt pretty fresh and there was SO much going on down The Strip that I wasn’t even focused on running.
Oh, there was a funny moment where there were some Seattle Seahawks fans with a 12th man flag. This guy running next to me let out a cheer and said “Go Seahawks!” and this woman on the curb turned to her friend and was like, “oh my gosh, with how they are running, how can they even READ anything on the side?!”
Once we passed The Wynn, we went by Circus Circus and it really started to feel dark. We ran by 1,001 marriage chapels (you can even get married during this race) and then turned down into a residential area. This is when I started to lose it. I’m not sure if it was the dark that mentally broke me, but I started to physically not feel the greatest. My legs felt like I was at mile 21 in a marathon and just could not push them to move any more than they already were. I was slipping down to paces in the 9’s and it wasn’t pretty.
I saw Ashley around mile 9, and we ran together for a minute to talk about how terrible our races felt. I mentioned how I was thinking about dropping to the half, but didn’t want people (you guys!) to be disappointed in me. We split ways, and I was still going back and forth on what I was going to do.
I finally realized that I could do the full. I was going to most likely hate every minute of it. I was going to be in a lot of pain and I wasn’t going to be proud of my marathon time.
I also realized that I could do the half. I could do the half and get back to working out faster. I opted to do this and spent the last three miles thinking about this decision.
About how maybe I push myself a little too hard. That maybe I don’t need to go after life at 500 mph and can take a backseat… sometimes.
About how maybe I should have signed up for the half to begin with.
About how I’m so excited to take a break from marathoning and get my body in peak shape so I can hit Boston Marathon training hard. And FINALLY be on track to crush my current PR.
About how it is really cool that they shut down The Strip for this race, and I’m so lucky to have opportunities like this to run in iconic places like this.
About how this was probably my favorite time I’ve ever had in Vegas, and it made me so happy to have this weekend full of memories to remember.
About how happy I was to make this decision to run the half.
And now, some time to rest these tired legs.
Would I recommend this race? Yes, but not as a PR race… it’s hard as a night race, it’s also super busy and there are some turns that are hard on the body. Even though I ended up not running it, I also would not recommend running the full. I think the half is amazing — you are mostly on The Strip and it’s a big party. If you can swing it, I would highly recommend VIP because it just ups the experience. Overall, it’s a fun way to spend a weekend — whether it’s with your significant other or a group of friends. If I do it again, I would love to do the 5k the day before, too!
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