EVENT: Rock n Roll Marathon: Las Vegas
DATE: Sunday, December 6, 2009
LOCATION: Las Vegas, NV
RACE BEGAN: 6:15 am
FINISH TIME: 04:20:46
While at the Run/Ex/2009 (Expo) for the Acura Bike Tour, I noticed that this race was being offered at a $15 discount and a free T-shirt for on-the-spot registration (not including the savings of the online reg fee). Upon conferencing with "The Ukrainian," we signed up!
We got to Vegas on Friday. It was a party of four with me, "The Ukrainian," M, and Tea Time. I feel like those two days before the race were full of eating, gambling, and resting. It started with holiday pancakes at IHOP. Fortunately, we made a stop at the CA-NV state line to a Nike Factory Outlet store, where I scores some capri tights for less than $30 (review to come later). Then, I had my next meal at the very crowded expo. With ~25k runners in this race, you could imagine that staying in the host hotel (Mandalay Bay) was insane!
Above: A tiara that I got from the expo + slots = ???
Besides making a crepe run on the strip (La Creperie, Paris), I did not really walk around too much to preserve my legs. I played lots of penny slots but didn't really do too well. The night before, we went to Border Grill, where I simply had a meal of chips and Spanish rice.
It was 34 degrees on race morning. In gloves, two tech shirts, capris, hat, and bandana around my neck, I had never worn so much clothing to race. At 6:15, fireworks were set off in the morning sky. It was great to be able to see the Las Vegas strip without cars! The first miles were flat, until after the half-full marathon split point. I always hate having to go on the "Marathon" side at those! Tea Time got to take the left side, finishing in 1:52.
Above: Self-taken on race morning... I don' wanna goooooo!
My fingers were freezing, but I was mostly feeling good. I managed for the first time in a month to control my breathing pretty decently, and my ab strain was not really bothering me (probably because it was frozen, lol!).
I took my first gel at mile 7, second after 13, and the last at 20. The second half was rather boring with slightly rolling hills. I had been slowly deteriorating, as you can see below, but I was really defeated after mile 20 where my legs were already spent.
At mile 25, I could see the finish hotel in the distance, but the short, steep hill they had for us there was enough to break me for good. I could not run for that last mile, no matter how much I wanted to. I managed to squeak out a running finish, but I was disappointed that I was a minute behind my PR.
Overall, though, I had a lot of fun over the weekend and even at the race. This was my first out-of-state race/marathon and my last race of the year! Of my now-four marathons, this one was probably the most subjectively easy. I think that in spite of the low energy spell I've had as of late, my week-long carbo-loading helped me run mostly comfortably and for once have a good time.
And although I just missed my PR, I proved that last time was not a fluke and that I didn't need "The Ukrainian" to get me to run this sort of time. (Not that I wouldn't run a marathon with him again, but it definitely made me feel like I really have gotten better at this all on my own.) It makes me wonder if I could improve by training better, which I admit to not really doing this time. Either way, I think this marathoning stuff is getting easier with each one I do, and for that, I don't mind my times!
Post-finish, I didn't partake in any post-race things and walked allll the way back to our hotel room just in time for the 11 AM checkout. I quickly showered, and the four of us were out of Vegas well before noon to avoid the traffic. I got a leg cramp in the car, but that was to be expected. I think I only had dinner as my only real meal of the day due to all the traveling, but as I said, it was a fun weekend!
P.S. Rock n Roll did a great job organizing this race!
P.P.S. "The Ukrainian" came in at 3:22. Maybe one day, I can vicariously live out a BQ through him (and score a trip to Boston as well).
I am posting many race photos this time, since I was smiling in many of them, for once! That's a testament to how much fun I was having. Unusual!