good things, part 4



In my last post, I did a lot of whining.  I apologize for that.  I didn’t have the best day, and I made you readers suffer through my race report along with me.  In the event that you got the wrong impression about the RnR Vegas experience, allow me to present you with several Good Things about running the Las Vegas strip:

  1. Actually running on the Las Vegas strip.  That’s pretty badass.
  2. I was able to cross off another state.  Where was I supposed to go to get a Nevada, Reno?  *snort*
  3. It was dark outside the whole entire time, and you couldn’t tell just how much I was sweating through my lighter-colored shirt.
  4. Running down Fremont Street while the light show was going on.  Only the marathoners get to do that, so yeah, we’re kind of a big deal.
  5. High-fiving drunk people on said Fremont Street, and having it photographed to save forever and ever.  Because that one is going in a frame on my mantel, folks.
  6. Seeing the old man from Pawn Stars.  Yep, that’s right – Eric and I totally saw a celebrity.
  7. Counting the wedding chapels to pass the time.  A drive-thru?  The one from The Hangover?  Scene of a Michael Jordan wedding?  Yes, yes, and YES.
  8. Snowing and bitterly cold at home and 50 degrees in Vegas?  Well, okay then.
  9. Being one of only 3,000ish people to actually complete the 26.2 miles!

This just goes to show you that even on the days running is being a jerk to you, there are still Good Things around to remind you why we even do this damn thing in the first place.

rock n roll las vegas marathon RR

You can read recaps of previous years’ races here and here.

The Short Version:  I did not make my sub-4 goal.  The end.

Pre-race:  I’ll cover the rest of my Vegas adventure in another post, so for the sake of this race report, we’ll concentrate on Sunday stuff.

Jakre and I got up in time for football Sunday.  Where to watch the games, we wondered.  We walked over to NYNY from our base at MGM Grand, found video poker machines at the Bar at Times Square, and plopped down.  The bartender fed me Diet Coke while I watched the Bears, so all was right with the world.

We met up with Eric and headed to America for brunch (aka pre-race meal in Vegas).  I had croissant french toast, which was just as amazing as it sounds.  And no breakfast food would be complete without a side of bacon!  We gambled for a little bit, then headed back to MGM Grand.  I left Jakre at a blackjack table (where he would seriously remain for over 5 hours), and went to my room to relax.  I got ready, met up with Eric, and then we were in the corral and ready to go.

(I wonder about the fate of the guy I saw – he had the instructions for the timing chip on his shoe, and the timing chip on his bib.  Reading is hard, yo.  I hope you got a time, bud.)

After about 10 minutes, our corral (8) was OFF!

Mile 1:  The first few miles are REALLY crowded.  Yes, there are waves.  However, RnR does a very poor job at this race of regulating the corrals (as in, checking the bib numbers as people enter said corral).  We saw 48s and 38s and 29s.  So basically we weaved around walkers until after the Wynn.  Just terrible.  9:22

Mile 2:  Still slow, but we got into a little groove where nobody was walking in front of us, haha.  8:49

Mile 3:  1st 5K came in exactly at Jakre pace, which was right where we wanted to be at that point in time.  8:59

Mile 4:  This is the point where I said to Eric, “I feel like I’m flying, but then the mile splits are soooo slow.”  In other words, what the hell is happening with my body?!  9:03

Proof that I actually did run with Eric.

Proof that I actually did run with Eric.

Mile 5:  I felt good during this mile, because there was Gatorade, but that faded once I finished my drink.  Sigh.  8:47

Mile 6:  I really thought this part of the race was darker last year, but they seem to have done a great job with making sure there is plenty of adequate lighting.  I remembered there being far more potholes last year!  As it turns out, I remembered wrong.  But we’ll get there.  9:01

Mile 7:  This is the point where I seriously considered dropping down to the half.  I knew that this wasn’t my day.  My legs felt really, really dead.  Kind of like jello.  And once the pain sets in later in the race?  I’m going to die for sure.  8:53

Mile 8:  Dreaming about my comfy hotel bed, a hot shower, and a steak dinner.  It could all be mine, way sooner than planned.  This is starting to sound better and better.  8:59

Mile 9:  I did not get stopped by a traffic cop like last year, so that’s a good thing!  Also got some other cool pics on Fremont Street, which was again one of my favorite parts (okay, THE favorite) of the whole race.  Best mile of the day.  8:39

Being awesome in front of the D.  LIKE I DO.

Being awesome in front of the D. LIKE I DO.

Mile 10:  The split was just ahead.  I stayed with the marathoners, thinking that I could just hop over a couple of cones.  But for whatever reason, feeling as terrible as I did, I stayed.  I didn’t take the turn.  I decided to run the entire marathon.  I might crash and burn, and it might take me awhile, but I decided not to quit.  Looking back, I know what it was a good decision.  9:02

Mile 11:  The fun part on Fremont is over, and now there’s nothing but darkness.  And not a whole lot of people.  In a race with over 45,000 finishers, there were only a little over 3,000 of us who finished the marathon.  Yeah.  So while I’m grateful for the extra elbow room, it’s also a little lonely.  And dark.  9:06

Mile 12:  Right before the mile marker, I separate from Eric.  He looks fresh and all second wind-y, and I feel like my legs are going to fall off.  At mile 12.  Derp.  I know that I have to switch to the run/walk, because my legs can’t handle a 9 minute pace anymore.  Guess that cold fucked me up more than I was willing to admit.  8:53

Mile 13:  Run 4 minutes, walk on the 4s and the 9s.  Repeat for 14 miles.  Derp.  9:48

Mile 14:  I hit the halfway marker at 1:59:20.  Yep.  If I had been running that last mile, and came upon a 1:58:big number when I crossed 13.1, I would have cried.  Instead, I’m taking my time and doing it right.

There was a weird trippy light tunnel during this mile.  At least I didn’t have to run under the crotch of the Brooks guy, so that’s something.  9:46

Mile 15:  There are spectators out this way, but they are few and far between…  9:47

Mile 16:  We made a turn!  A turn!  So I guess now we’re maybe heading back soon to civilization?  I can see bright lights, and they look soooo far away.  9:55

Mile 17:  There’s a group of spectators.  One of the guys is shouting at everyone, telling them they are going to break 4 hours.  This is where I cry a little bit.  10:03

Mile 18:  Last mile in the 9s.  My walking isn’t quite as swift as it was 6 miles ago.  I can’t believe I still have 8 more miles to go.  In my head, I’m imagining telling people that this race was basically a death march.  Because it was!  9:54

Mile 19:  I have to poop.  Badly.  But I just tell my stomach to STFU, have another couple of Sweet Tarts to stave off nausea, and keep on moving.  I don’t stop.  10:12

Mile 20:  I’m bored.  It’s dark and lonely and stuff.  But there are only 6 more miles to go, which seemed impossible an hour ago.  10:23

Mile 21:  Getting closer to Fremont.  There are more lights, and actual cars.  And people cheering.  So close.  10:03

Mile 22:  I had to poop.  But it was the world’s quickest break, and then I’m back out there running again.  I also feel lighter, as if I have lost several pounds.  Like maybe 40.  11:17

Mile 23:  Back to Fremont Street!  This was my favorite part of the whole entire race.  I high-fived everyone.  I smiled a lot.  WHYYYYYY did it take me 22 miles to feel awesome???  (My splits from here on our don’t really reflect that, but it’s the truth.)  10:15

Back to Fremont...

Back to Fremont…

I got my picture with the lady last year, now this one can complete my collection!

I got my picture with the lady last year, now this one can complete my collection!

High-fiving the field!

High-fiving the field!

Mile 24:  My favorite band of the race was during this mile, right after we ran a couple of circles through the ghetto.  When I ran by, the ladies were wearing poodle skirts and the men were singing Buddy Holly songs.  It reminded me of Saturday outings to Superdawg with my dad in his ’77 Mercury… we listened to a lot of oldies when I was growing up!  10:42

Mile 25:  I walked a couple more minutes during this mile.  I feel pretty good, but the bottoms of my feet hurt a lot.  I want to finish strong, and run as much of the entire mile as I can handle.  So this one was slow to make the next one fast.  At this point in my marathon, this is how I do math.  11:12

At the very least, that guy is impressed.

At the very least, that guy is impressed.

Mile 26:  I run the whole rest of the race, as quickly as my legs are capable of at this point.  I actually feel pretty good.  Everyone around me is walking, and I’m still running.  As a result, I’m weaving a lot.  But still upright, and ready to be done with this beast.  10:13

DONE!  Almost done!

DONE! Almost done!

Mile 26.51 (so. much. weaving.):  I’ve gotten a lot of high-fives and a few “wow you look great”s.  Maybe this race wasn’t where I was supposed to rock my time.  Maybe I was supposed to look like a rockstar and finish strong.  The tough ones make you tougher, kids.  4:28

FINAL TIME:  4:15:31
MEDALS/FINISHER AWARDS:  Medals!  They glow in the dark, too.
NEXT RACE:  Edison Park Turkey Trot, 11.27.2014

Post-race:  It took me forever to get out of the finisher chute.  Not only is the chute humongous, but I kept getting cut off by half marathoners.  At one point, I went off to the side and took off my socks and compression sleeves, then wore my shoes barefoot for the rest of the walk.  Oddly, I felt much better.  I felt bad for the beer guy, though, because I was trying to get a beer while holding smelly socks.  He must have not known what else to do, so I got 2 beers.  I drank one sitting down by the Bellagio Fountain, and drank the other one while I walked all by myself back to MGM Grand.

State #7 is complete.  While it wasn’t the ideal race I had dreamed, it was still something to be proud of.  I’ve said it a hundred times, and I’ll say it again – FINISHING IS WINNING.










3 things thursday [102]

1.  I’m back from Vegas!  So obviously I did not win the big jackpot.  BUT I also didn’t have to make an emergency visit to the ATM, so basically, I win.  I also tried several new restaurants and used a lot of comps.  Full recap to come.

2.  Very sad to hear of the passing of Mike Nichols.  I’ll be watching Working Girl this afternoon.

3.  THANK GOD there is hockey on TV tonight.  That Thursday night football game looks like a real snoozer.  (Raiders-Chiefs?  PASS.)

training nov 10-16 [18]

Training Stuff:

Monday:  1.16 miles (10 min, avg pace 8:38) + 0.33 miles walking (5:10 min, avg pace 15:41) = 1.49 miles
Tuesday:  3.68 miles w/ Anne (42:03 min, avg pace 11:26)
Wednesday:  1.11 miles (10 min, avg pace 9:01) + 0.12 miles walking (2:02 min, avg pace 17:02) = 1.23 miles
Thursday:  1.21 miles (10 min, avg pace 8:16) + 0.14 miles walking (2:11 min, avg pace 15:40) = 1.35 miles
Friday:  2.65 miles w/ Jakre (25:30 min, avg pace 9:37) + 3.1 miles walking (50 min, avg pace 16:07) = 5.75 miles
Saturday:  2 miles (18:52 min, avg pace 9:45)
Sunday:  26.51 miles (4:15:31, avg pace 9:38)

Total Mileage:  42.01
Total Mileage (month):  78.74
Total Mileage (year):  1558.09

Total Time:  7:11:19
Total Time (month):  12:47:38
Total Time (year):  263:01:53

Fun Stuff:

Something Interesting:
On Sunday, I ran my 12th overall marathon.  It was my 7th state, and the first time I’ve done a full marathon at a Rock n Roll event.

Books I Read:

New Beers I Tried:
Easy IPA (Flying Dog)
Super Bier (Lake Effect)
Inspiration Pale Ale (Lake Bluff)
Oktoberfest (Fort Collins Brewery)
Indica India Pale Ale (Lost Coast)
Door County Cherry Wheat (Shipwrecked)
Pivo Pils (Firestone Walker)
Ichthyosaur IPA (Great Basin)
Golden Monkey (Victory)
Citra Rye Pale Ale (Joseph James)
Saison Diego (Green Flash)
West Coast IPA 2014 (Green Flash)
Oktoberfest (Ellis Island)
Hop Ottin IPA (Anderson Valley)
Amber (Abita)


…drumroll please…

I know, I’ve kept you in suspense long enough.

So how did my marathon go?

It was crappy.  I didn’t get the time I’ve been training for this whole year.  From the second I started the race, I just felt… off.  I’d be speeding along, and then reach the mile and Garmin would say… 9:22.  What the fuck, right?

At 9 I was going to drop down to the half.  But for whatever reason, I kept going.  I may have done my run/walk thing for 14 miles, but I finished the damn race.  The sub-4 continues to elude me.

4:15:31.  State #7.

today’s the day

Yes, internet, this is the day.  18 weeks in the making, and here I am.

Marathon day.

How am I?

To be honest, I’m terrified and think I’m going to throw up.  (And have been since Wednesday.)  (No I’m not pregnant.  What is WITH you people?)  (I’m also not hungover.  Well… not TOO hungover.)

I’m really not feeling it.  I trained so hard for this, and I want this (sub-4) so badly, but I feel like everything blew up in my face.  Yes, I had a good half marathon last weekend.  I felt strong.  I wasn’t TOO tired at the end (damn wind).  But ever since then, I’ve felt fat and disgusting and OMG THIS IS WHAT THE TAPER DOES TO ME.

I didn’t put in a whole lot of miles this week, mostly because I didn’t want to.  I had every excuse in the book – it’s too cold, it’s too dark, I’m tired, I DON’T WANT TO.  Any way you slice it, excuses are excuses.  (Hah, the philosophical side of me was all like, “Do ANY miles this week really mean ANYTHING?”  Then my brain hurt, and I had another beer to calm it down.)

It’s the unknown that gets me with Vegas.  Either I’m going to break 4 hours, or I’m going to fail for the 12th time.  Can we fast forward to the part where I know the time already, and am eating a post-race burger?

My plan today is to run my own race.  Eric and I are running together, but I have to remember to run at my own pace.  It’s my day.  If I don’t have it, I don’t have it.  Either way, I get to cross another marathon state off the list, and I get a cool glow-in-the-dark medal to wear around my neck.

I know this post isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, and there is nary an exclamation point.  But you see, dear reader, life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, and I don’t pretend otherwise.

So I’m leaving my fate up to the running gods.  I’m going to smile a lot, pretend that I’m not hurting, and try and have the best experience ever.  And if it all goes to shit, figuratively or literally, at least I have mad fast walking skills in my back pocket.

See you on the other side…