After thoroughly preparing for this race by being drunk for two nights in a row, eating everything I never normally eat, and walking all over the strip for two days in the wrong shoes, I was ready to race. But first, why not get in one more meal that would seal my doom?
I ate that delicious burger around 11:00 am, sucked down 3 glasses of water, bought a huge bottle of water, then proceeded to nap all day until it was time to get ready for the race. Around 2:00 pm, my tummy wasn’t feeling so well so I “tried on a few things in the fitting room.”
Around 3:30, Hubs and I walked down to the race start at Mandalay Bay from New York, New York and by that time I was feeling much better but my legs were stiff and my feet were still sore.
Once we got to Mandalay Bay, the marathoners were starting the race so we hung out and watched all the corrals go by.
I was never so happy I wasn’t one of them. Running a race in Vegas sounds like a good idea until you get to Vegas because all you want to do is everything else but run.
After the marathoners were off and the roads cleared, we walked down to the Finisher’s Village to hang out while we waited for Michelle and Dan to arrive. We saw a couple caged tigers along the way.
And I saw this guy with his kid strapped to his back in line for the bathrooms.
You don’t have to be creepy. I’ll do it for you. He finished the half in 4 hours and 20 minutes. < —- stalker.
We left early so we could catch a few songs from Cheap Trick but it was so cold, I wished we had waited at the hotel longer.
Once Michelle and Dan arrived, we got into our corral, got some good luck kisses from the hubbies, and set them free to do their man-thing for a couple hours. And of course we took our pre-race pictures.
I planned to run this race for fun and didn’t care about my finish time, so I didn’t bring my Garmin with me which was kind of liberating.
The race started and I felt pretty good despite the torture I had put my body through the previous 48 hours. Around mile 2, Michelle and I saw Sarah cheering her face off so hard that she didn’t hear us screaming her name or see us doing the monkey-wave.
Around mile 4, I was having some hip and left calf pain. My feet were already sore so the pain just escalated as the miles ticked away. Oh, but my knee was fine. So I guess there’s that.
Running down the strip and being able to look at all the lights was amazing. We saw a lot of interesting people along the way, including people dressed up as Elvis, people wrapped up in Christmas lights, and this guy with a broken foot scooting himself along.
The entire race was elbow-to-elbow. Michelle and I kept apologizing for elbowing each other and I yelled at a few runners for being d-bags and pushing through us. The marathoners were getting pissed at the half marathoners for not staying on their side of the cones, which were poorly marked to begin with and there weren’t as many bands as I expected. Especially for Vegas. Savannah sure. But Vegas? Oh, and the death metal band at mile 9 made me want to punch myself. I ran faster to get away from them.
Michelle and I stayed together for the first 9 miles and I really thought we were going to finish the race together (for the first time ever) but there were so many people that split us up and I lost her.
After mile 9, I was ready for the race to be over. I felt good mentally (for once), but my calf and hips were hurting. I walked through 5 water stations, including one where the volunteer was faced away from the crowd enjoying her own cup of water. The stopping and starting at water stations was really hard on me. I didn’t eat anything during the race which was a bad idea, but I was afraid to eat what I brought (a Cliff bar and some Gu Chomps) because of the sugar.
Running back down the strip was awesome because I knew the order of the hotels, so I just mentally ticked them off until I got to the end and enjoyed looking at the lights. My speed slowed down big time because of my calf and hips but I was still passing a ton of people so that motivated me.
Once I got to the finisher’s shoot, I saw the hubs! (If you saw a guy with an LED hula hoop, that was him. That hoop made him super easy to spot in the crowd.) Then I crossed the finish line to the biggest cluster f*ck I have ever seen. I had to slow down before I crossed the finish to avoid running into a standstill of people.
Finish time: 2:18:20
Once I stopped running, a wave of horrible hit me. All of a sudden my calf seized up, I couldn’t walk without limping, my stomach was in knots, and I felt like I was going to throw up. Feeling like that while packed in the middle of hundreds of non-moving people is AWEsome. I can’t even tell you what they had for post-race food because I just needed to get out of there fast and it wasn’t happening.
It took me a good 10 minutes to get out of the crowd and the whole time I was trying not to get sick. Then I found Michelle, Dan, and hubs and we started walking in the hot mess of people to Mandalay Bay. I was freezing and I had to get to the bathroom. After waiting in the longest, stinkiest line ever, I made friends with the toilet. I wanted to catch a cab back to the hotel but the lines were so ridiculous at Mandalay and Luxor that it would take less time for me to limp back than it would to wait for a cab. So, we walked. I had to stop every few minutes to sit down and get the energy to move on. The escalators and moving walkways sucked, but walking sucked more so I had to use them.
Once we got back to the room, I couldn’t walk anymore. I wanted to get room service but there was a $3.00 delivery fee and 18% tip on top of the price, so hubs got me food while I took a shower. Once I ate, I instantly felt better. I couldn’t walk, but at least I wasn’t nauseous.
Everything that went wrong with this race was my fault. The hip/calf pain was from all the walking in the wrong shoes, the stomach pain was from the giant plates of greasy food, the nausea was from not eating during the race and the dehydration from drinking like it was going out of style. But I’m still glad I did it because I had fun, and when in Vegas, do as the Romans. Or something like that.
I’m also glad I ran this race because running the strip is awesome. With that said, I am done with Rock ‘n’ Roll races. In my opinion, the two I’ve done have been the most poorly managed races of them all. I’m not sure why everyone makes such a big deal about them.
Next up is the Miami ING half marathon in January. :-)