Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Las Vegas RnR Half Marathon Recap

Oh where to start on my fun Vegas trip... Let's start with the race recap since I know that's what you all want to know first :) then i'll back track on a later post on the rest of the weekend :)
This is a long post so I won't feel bad if you skim thru for the results.

So Sunday we decided to have breakfast at the Cheesecake Factory. I had a little bit of eggs, potatoes and a bagel with cream cheese. Delicious and a perfect breakfast, just enough to fill me up that I almost wasn't hungry before the race.
 After breakfast Tiffany and I decided to do some shopping at the Forum Shops. Maybe walking for the last few hours before the race wasn't the best idea but it was Vegas! And I would have never found these beauties...

I had planned to wear them after the race but that didn't happen, more on that later.
After shopping we decided to head back to the hotel, we stayed at the Flamingo. I had a cliff bar back in my room so we decided to get some bananas at the coffee shop in our hotel. Yea I paid $2 for it. Most expensive banana I've ever eaten. I already had all my clothes laid out and ready to go...

I couldn't decided between my under armour skirt (top with pink lining) or my ruffled Lululemon skirt (bottom) I went with the UA skirt cause it had a bigger pocker for gels.
We all met in the lobby for some prerace photos...

Tiana, Tiffany. We were taking flight or something :)
We finally got on the monorail that took us to Excalibur which we then had to walk to the start at the Mandalay Bay. Not sure on the distance but it didn't feel like a long walk. Right as we got off the monorail I realized I had left my ipod in my hotel room :( That really bummed me out cause I had spent so much time downloading new songs and arranging them in the order I wanted. The longest I have ran with no music is 12 miles. That was at the Seattle RnR marathon. But this was different. I knew I would want to zone out to try and hit my goal pace or better. Oh well it happens so no reason to stress over it I told myself.
Once we got there we took a prerace photo

Tiana, Tiffany and Will

 and then headed to find the porta potties. The lines were long and I still had to find my way back up to corral 6 so I decided just to try and hold it in (I should know better than that). By this point there was so many people I could hardle move. I still had to find Gene to give him my phone and stuff in my pockets. I finally found him trying to squeeze his way thru the crowd and make his way to the hotel. I also was going to give him my jacket but it was so cold and windy I decided to hold on it, which I then ended up taking off during the race cause I got pretty warm. After we said our goodbyes I tried again to squeeze my way thru all the crowds. There was so much pushing and shoving I tried to squeeze thru openings and finally made it to the back of my corral just after they sang the National Anthem. Before I knew it we were running forward.
I started with this guy that was pretty much naked except for a thong type thing he was wearing attached to some suspenders that were holding in his junk. It was actually funny. Wish I could have taken a picture haha. I saw him walking about a mile into it posing for a picture and drinking a beer.  
I was struggling to find my pace with the amount of people and all the weaving I was doing. And the constant feeling of having to pee wasn't helping either. I finally saw a porta potty, can't remember what mile it was at but I know it was before the 3 mile marker. I could hear someone puking in the stall next to me so I hurried and got back on course.
I looked down at my watch to try and figure out how much time it took me but I realized my garmin had freaked out and wasn't even recording my time :( I figure it took about 1.5 minutes total. I tried to reset it but it wasn't cooperating, I think it was frozen. At the 3 mile marker I reset it and it finally worked, figured I'd have something to go off for the last 10 miles.
My official 5k split time was 28:07 or a 9:03 pace, which is more than 30 seconds off my goal pace.
With all that weaving I felt like I was using up so much energy. The water stops were littered with cups and I saw one girl slip :( I was trying to alternate water/cytomax but I would always be on the wrong side and of where they were offering it and I was trying to stay on the right side cause marathoners were coming thru on the left. I saw the 3:10 pacer and the guy on the bike yelling at half marathoners to stay to the right of the cone, no one really listened. I felt bad for those speedy people.
Official 10k split was 54:25 or a 8:45 pace. Speeding up but still not my goal pace of 8:29 or better
The part off the strip was pretty boring especially with no music. I focused on everything around me. People complimenting my outfit, the outfit of other runners (lots of sparkling skirts but only a few Elvis costumes) and some random guys saying I was a cute little girl, not sure if that's a compliment or not haha. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn't get into the grove and speed up the way I wanted. I never find that perfect "zone". Once back on the strip I just tried to focus on my surroundings and walking them the previous days and how it wasn't too much further.

Official 10 mile split was 1:27:46 or an 8:46 pace.

The Mandalay Bay seemed to take forever to get to. I could feel the previous 2 days of walking plus the earlier hours of shopping in my feet, they were hurting the way they would for the last few miles of a marathon. I just wanted to be done. I knew it wasn't a PR but that wasn't going to stop me from trying to speed up that last mile. My legs didn't really want to go any faster. But I started to think about our Soldiers who are no longer with us, their families, about Wear Blue Run to Remember; I was dedicating that last mile to them and remembering that I GET to run. While I was thinking about this I looked up and saw a person up ahead with the Run to Remember shirt on. It was such an inspirational moment to look up in a sea of thousands of runners and see that shirt at that exact moment. I tried to speed up to chat with him but he was just too fast.

It did help me speed up and I finally crossed the mats:

Official time 1:55:58
Pace 8:51
3807 out of 33123 overall
214 out of 3177 in my age group
1218 out of 21051 in my gender

Once I crossed it was a complete stop. I got to the side figure that was my best bet to get some water/food and get out of there. I got water, my medal, stood in line for a bit for my finishing photo, got some food beyond that then waited for a bit for Tiffany. There was just to many people that I didn't see her when she passed so I went to the letter H where we had decided to all meet. Our friend Tiana came in next then Tiffany's husband Will. It was so so cold and windy out there I was freezing! I was glad I decided to keep my coat even if I had to tie onto my waist during the run. It help me keep just a little warm.

Tiana is such a sweetheart, she wrapped her space blankets around us so we would stay warm.

We went back to Mandalay Bay where Gene was waiting, that seemed to take forever! Gene was such a good man and had some jello shots waiting for us :)

 Once we were in there it was warm but so crowded. We decided on taking the monorail. It would have been quicker to walk but it was so cold I didn't want to go outside again. The monorail was obviously extremely crowded. There was no space between you and other people. Once it would arrive people would start to shove and push. It took 3 times for us to actually be able to get on. But not before the lady next to us was about to pass out. I started to get really warm and didn't want to pass out myself so I took off my coat and space blanket I had wrapped around me. When we finally made it back to the Excalibur things cleared up a lot more and there wasn't so much congestion. We took our time walking back and stopped to get a drink and another jello shot :)

Pina Colada anyone??
Post race kisses

Will enjoying his Foster's

By the time we made it back to the hotel it was after 10pm. My feet were hurting so I knew there was no way I was going to wear my sparkly new heels. Which by the way I fell on my ass when I was trying them on. I went to sit on the bench and it slid from under me causing me to land on my right cheek. It still kind hurts :/ I think the lady next to me probably thought I was drunk haha. We showered and met for drinks in our friends room then headed down to have a burger at the Burger Joint in our hotel.
I may not have got to wear my sparkly heels but Tiffany and I loved our Team Sparkle Skirts so much we decided to wear them after the race over our jeans.

After that we were all tired so we headed up to bed. Not the ended I had planned for finishing a race in Vegas but staying off my feet felt so good.

Final Thoughts...
 Running on the strip was so much fun. The worst part was obviously the over crowding. I think if I ever ran this race again I would stay a lot closer to the starting area to avoid any type of transportation to take at the end. I would also arrive the day before the race instead of 2 days before.
 I've seen both sides of feed back of a great experience, but more negative feed back on the race. I have only ran one other Rock n Roll series which was the Seattle RnR and I loved it. I think they have a lot of improvements they need to make for this one next year.  Not sure how it will all work out if they rumors are true that they want to increase the participant size to over 60k.

Love my glow in the dark medal!

Here are my race day photos, I tried to do a little posing :)

If you read all the way to the end thank you :) And thank you everyone for the sweet comments on my last post. You guys are awesome!


  1. Love your outfits!!! We had to bundle up because we were walking & COLD!

  2. I've been anxiously awaiting this recap because I'm a blog stalker.

    Ugh all that weaving sounds horrible and hearing someone puke would have made me throw up or start dry heaving. Gross!

    Sorry you didn't reach your goal but with all those people and the overcrowding issues, I'm sure that was the reason.

  3. Your outfits are so perfect for a Vegas race - I love them!

  4. Looks like overall you had a great time, and your race time was amazing! Such an inspriration girl! See you at the Christmas Fun Run!?

  5. Great job girl! You looked spectacular in your race outfit! Glad Vegas was good to you and I'm so happy I could see you!

  6. Your guys looked so great in your race outfits! And I'm super in love with your glow in the dark medals! I know I already told you on dailymile how proud of you I am, but I will again. I know it sounded like a crazy race, but you still did a great job. Just consider Vegas a nice warm up for the xmas race! ;) See you next week friend!!!

  7. LOVE the gorgeous peep-toe heels!!!
    congrats on an awesome half! Vegas looks like a blast! xoxo!

  8. You did awesome and looked super cute doing it :)

    I saw the man in the thong! That was funny.


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