Friday, December 7, 2012

Rock 'n Roll Las Vegas Marathon Recap

The marathon was really hard. (as opposed to all those easy marathons?) But it was definitely harder than the first time around.  We had heard so many negative things about last years race, I was a little nervous about everything. Race organizers nailed it this year. Other than the insane wind, I really can't complain about a single thing.

Race day! We actually slept in until almost 10 AM. Unheard of. The food issue on a afternoon race had been concerning me for a while. Our plan ended up as: big meal early, snack lightly, run race. Which is exactly what we did. Hello, insane room service order at 11 AM.

Healthy? Maybe not so much, but damn good. I ordered the margarita pizza and vegetable Thai spring rolls. Larry ordered french fries and a club sandwich. I ended up eating a little of everything except the sandwich. Thank you, Bellagio. I drank a ton of water, half a diet coke, and half a bottle of Gatorade.  (I ate another couple pieces of pizza at about 1:30). We headed out the door to take our shuttle to the start at 1:45 PM.

We got to the start village a little after 2 PM and the first thing everyone noticed was the wind. Not breezey-ness, but wind. Larry and I split a Peanut Butter Powerbar.  I was a little nervous about hydration and salt intake, but felt fine. The corrals were perfectly organized and not too crowded at all. The marathon started right on time at 3 PM in waves. 

Miles 1-8 were heavenly. The wind was at our backs and it felt like we were flying. So fun and easy. Running down the strip was incredible with live music and tons of people out cheering. I definitely got a little overwhelmed with emotion and started to tear up. The elation of being a part of this race and in the community of happy runners is just indescribable. Through all the happiness and warm and fuzzy feelings, I started out too fast. I even acknowledged it, but felt so good, that I did not slow myself down. 

Halfway through mile 8 I took down a gel. We turned into the wind and things started to get a little harder. The wind was really strong and definitely started to affect my pace. Miles 10-14 were slightly uphill. We saw our friends from Naples, so that was uplifting.  Miles 15-18 were in the middle of nothingness and seemed never ending. Larry sped up around 17 and I turned on the music. I usually never listen to music during races, but this time I brought my shuffle just in case. It helped so much. I passed more people than were passing me, but knew my pace was off. Miles 18-20 were better and I enjoyed just running along with the music. I walked for a few seconds a couple of times between miles 19-22. I drank water throughout the race but for got desperately thirsty around that time. I slammed 3 cups of water and another gel and felt a little better. 

We ran though Fremont Street towards the end of mile 21. That place is crazy. So bright and a good pick me up. At mile 22 we took a right turn to head back south. It was then the wind essentially punched me in the face. It sucked. I was frustrated and disappointed in my splits, but put my head down and thought, now is the time to go to work. No more walking. Once we got back onto the strip, the road was much more crowded. The half marathoners and marathoners were separated, which was a nice touch. I honestly thought mile 25 would never end, but then there appeared the Mirage and the finish line.

Pretty sure this is mid prayer. 
 Honestly, I was disappointed in my time. I know I ran faster than my first marathon, but I really thought I could have run a smarter, faster race.  The wind was definitely a factor, but there will be a factor at every race. It's how I deal with it, that I judge my performance on. The beauty of it all is that I did have a pretty incredible time and learned a ton. I am so proud of myself for digging in and running the final 3 miles without stopping and finished in 4:34. The coolest thing? I did it. And want to do it again.

Thanks again to all our friends and family who supported us and sent sweet texts, emails, and messages!