Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Las Vegas race report.....finally!

Hey everyone!  I am sorry my race weekend recap is so late, but I had a crazy week with my dad in the hospital, but that is another post altogether.

Let me begin by saying how tremendously hard it was to leave my baby for the first time!  I knew he was in great hands, and we all survived.  We flew in to Vegas on Friday afternoon.  I wanted to get to the running expo before it got too crowded.  We were able to walk and shop without fighting a crowd which was nice.  I picked up a onesie for Bubba, a shirt for myself, Yurbuds for Todd and I, new running hat and headband, and a 13.1 christmas ornament.  We also loaded up on the numerous samples and handouts they give. They had Gu samples in peanut butter, yummy!  As we were leaving, I saw the "Penguin"! Only my running friends will probably know who he is, but his name is John Bingham, and he is a famous author and runner.  He is an advocate for all of us slow runners out there! I just had to go talk to him! I am sure Todd was mortified, but I had to meet him!  He was very cool, and Todd talked motorcycles with him for about 10 minutes.  Very down to earth guy!

Friday night, we had dinner reservations at Sushisamba at our hotel.  We stayed at the Palazzo.  Todd and I both love sushi, and we definitely indulged that night! 

After dinner, the race had a Michelob Ultra sponsored concert.  The band was called "Sick Puppies".  I didn't think I had ever heard of them, but I recognized a few songs that they play on Octane on XM radio.  It was held down on Fremont street, and we definitely got to see all kinds of people!    We went back to the hotel at midnight because our bodies were telling us it was 2 am, Kansas time.

Saturday we had breakfast at the buffet in the Venetian and then walked the strip. We had a small lunch at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. And drinks :)  My legs were getting tired, so we retreated to the room and watched a movie.  I ended up falling asleep, my body needed the sleep!  After my nap, I headed down to the spa for some treadmill time.  I needed to run to reassure myself I was ready. It was a fairly short run, I was running short on time. We had reservations at a very nice place for supper, and I wanted to have plenty of time to get ready.  We went to a place at the Bellagio called "Olives".  They had some of the best steak I have ever tasted!  I knew Lori D. would approve of that beef!  It was amazing, and I was stuffed.  We had tickets for the Cirque de Soleil show "Zumanity".  It was really funny, but pretty racy!  Do not get front row tickets unless you are prepared to be embarrassed! 

I was wiped out, so we headed back to the room for some shut-eye.  On Sunday, I wanted to lay low and let my legs rest, so we ate breakfast and lunch at our hotel.  The nerves began kicking in and I had to start getting ready for my race.  They shut the strip down, so we had to board a shuttle to take us to the start line.  It began to cloud up, and the wind started blowing pretty hard.  I felt like I was right at home!  We waited for what felt like forever.  Finally the announced for us to make our way to our corrals, so I gave Todd a kiss and ventured to my corral.  The anticipation was killing me because even though they had started the race, it took 30 minutes for my corral to even get to the start line!  I took a deep breath, and began my race.  The wind was hard to take for the first mile or so.  We made a turnaround past the Las Vegas sign, and then had the wind at our backs and it made all the difference in the world!  I was feeling great and began to look for Todd on the course.  I was able to spot him on a bridge over Las Vegas Boulevard about mile 3 or 4.  I was so excited to see him in the see of people!  His beard makes him easily recognizable.  The sights of the strip were very cool to see while running.

However, the further up the strip we got, the sketchier it got.  I was able to see inside the pawn shop from Pawn Stars, I was cheered on by a drunken tattoo artist and a few homeless people.  Normally, I wouldn't have felt safe, but there were plenty of police around.  We continued into some residential areas before hitting a turnaround and headed back to the strip.  About mile 9, I was starting to lose faith in myself and my muscles, so I started to pray.  I asked God for strength to just make it to the finish.  Moments later, a fellow runner starting singing, "God is so powerful" over and over again like a chant.  She had the most beautiful voice! Godhad sent me the encouragement I needed.  I was determined to finish strong.  Every time I felt like walking, I reminded myself that I could do this, and that the discomfort was only temporary.  I finished in 2:53.  My goal was to finish closer to 2:30.  Midweek before the race, I came down with a sinus infection.  So, considering, I feel like I did well and ran strong.  I am pleased with how my body handled the distance.  I will try and improve next time!  Yes, there will be a next time!

I was able to see Todd from the finish line, but he could not see me.  We met up in front of our hotel and I cleaned up for dinner.  My feet were sore, so we chose to go back to Sushisamba because it was in our hotel and we didn't have to walk far.  As we stepped in the restaurant, I couldn't believe my eyes!  I wanted to pass outwhen I saw this guy:

Meb Keflezighi!  He won the 2009 New York City marathon, and was the first American to do so since 1982!  He is an Olympic marathoner, and is a legend in the running world!  I restrained myself from bothering him during dinner, but I was just starstruck!  It is very cool to see someone that you usually only see in running magazines.  He also shares my birthday!  So, seeing him was definitely a cool way to end my race weekend.  Todd and I were ready to go home, we missed our Bubba terribly!

Sorry for the long post, I just had so much to tell you!

If you would like to see more of my race pics, here is the link:  I warn you, some of them are horrid!

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