vegas


Hola, D here. I SHOULD be studying for my Thursday final.. but, I’m blogging instead!

SO many people complained about the Vegas Rock n Roll half & full marathon. While I agree that it was poorly managed for such a large run, here are some of the things that made MY awesome:

1) I stayed at Mandalay Bay! When I was booking our hotel, I was debating between Mandalay (where the race started and finished) and the Venetian (where the expo was held). I eventually decided on Mandalay because I’m lazy and the idea of leaving my hotel 2 minutes before the race start sounded amazing! A lot of people ran into trouble after the race trying to get back to their hotel — long lines for cabs combined with the strip being closed meant that it took HOURS for runners to get back. I was able to get back to my room in 5 minutes. Awesome.

I heart Mandalay ❤

2) I started in an earlier corral. Tons of runners had issues with overcrowding, being stuck behind slower runners/walkers, and running out of water towards the end. Most of these people were in a later corral, but I happened to start in corral 8. While it WAS crowded, there was still room for me to dodge around slower runners. I passed through the course early enough so that there was plenty to drink. This also helped me a lot after crossing the finish line. My sister finished a while after me and she said it took her forever to walk through the back of Mandalay Bay, back into the hotel, and up to the room. A ton of people said they didn’t move once they got into the hotel. I didn’t have this problem AT ALL. I walked along the tables, grabbed some food, and got to the place where I told Emily to meet me. Super quick. No problemo.

3) I didn’t run the full! I felt SO bad for the people who ran the full marathon. They ran the first (boring) 13 miles with plenty of room to run their pace. Then BAM! they meet up with 39,000 half marathon runners! The full marathon lane was hardly marked and the faster paced full runners (3:30 pace) met up with the 2 hr half runners — not a good combination!

So, if you feel like running the strip at night (it’s definitely worth it!), do NOT run the full, stay at the start/finish of the race (or close to it), and try to get into the earliest corral as possible. The race is flat so, even though it’s crowded, you CAN PR! And you CAN have a fabulous race 🙂

-D

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Welcome back to the Vegas recap!

SUNDAY:

I woke up at 8ish feeling super nervous. My stomach didn’t feel right and I felt anxious for the race. The girls eventually woke up and we went on a trek to find breakfast. We totally should be planned ahead because it took over an hour and a half (!) to get breakfast!!! All I wanted was a bagel with peanut butter. Should be simple. Not so much.

First.. we called the front desk to see if they knew a bagel place. They said Starbucks had bagels, which was awesome because it was in the casino of our hotel! Buuuut, no pb. And there was no way I was having dairy (butter or cream cheese) so it was on to plan 2 — explore breakfast places downstairs. There were a few places but the lines were psycho everywhere! And no one had peanut butter. Messed up. Eventually, I agreed to wait in line at Starbucks for just a plain bagel. This was the line:

While I waited, the girls decided to check Red, White, and Blue where we ate the night before. And guess what? Success!!! They had exactly 3 plain bagels left and plenty of PB. Phew!

After eating, we kind of just hung around the room and watched tv until it was time to get ready. Afterall, can’t use up whatever energy we had, right?? I agree, we were lame.

Anyways, I loved our hotel room because we were able to see the full marathoners start at 4!

It got me SO excited and pumped!!

I knew it was cold outside, so I suited up with capris, a cold wear long sleeve pink shirt, and my “Twinning 2 Stop MS” t-shirt over. Completed with my Run to Stop MS headband to cover my ears.

The shirt:

I couldn’t stop jumping up and down — we were finally running the strip!!!!

We headed downstairs around 5:15 (the race started at 5:30), jogged a little to warm up, and then found corral 8. It was PACKED with people. I felt really claustrophobic and couldn’t wait for things to get going.

Em and I planned to try to run together as long as possible so we linked arms as we started moving towards the start. And before we knew it, we crossed the start line!

I ran the entire thing with my phone plugged into Cardio Trainer. (It’s about time I get a Garmin, don’t you think?). The race was extremely crowded so Em and I tried to weave together as much as possible. It worked pretty well and we were going pretty fast in the beginning. The cold was getting to Em.. she’s from Florida and isn’t used to running in cold weather so it was bothering her lungs and eventually, she also got side cramps, probably from breathing differently. She was a trooper though and stayed with my for the entire first half of the race! But it got to be too much for her and she ended up hanging back more.

I took a Clif shot blok at 6.5, but it didn’t settle well with my stomach. So I ditched the 2nd one that I had brought with me and decided to stick with water for the rest of the run. I felt really strong through the whole race until the end. I’m not sure if my phone was off or if the course was longer than 13.1, but I started getting frustrated when I saw 13.2, 13.3, 13.4 tick by with no finish line in sight! Finally, I crossed at 13.6 and the phone said 1:57:36! YES!!! I felt so happy and relieved and ECSTATIC!! I finally beat 2 hours and it didn’t even feel that bad. I wasn’t dying. I finished strong and felt so alive! But it was a little depressing having no one to celebrate with at the finish line.

I made my way back into Mandalay Bay and waited for Michelle and Em to finish. Em crossed the line at 2:01:29 (awesome, since she didn’t really train AND she ran a half marathon 2 weeks earlier!). And Shelly crossed at 3:01:35 — a PR for her!

After tracking down the girls, we went upstairs to shower (ice baths for Em and Michelle.. I tried but couldn’t handle it) and get ready. I kind of wanted to go out, but Mich wasn’t feeling great so we stayed in Mandalay. They had a little bar with only frozen drinks so we went there. I got a huuuge pink drink to share with the girls and we actually had a good time — the bartender put on a crazy show to music and it was awesome. Flipping cups and bottles all over the place. Plus, free shots! Can’t complain.

The night was a fun laid back time, but I was sad that the trip was ending :(.

MONDAY:

The day I dreaded. Time to leave.

We got up early, packed up the room, and headed to the airport. In the cab, I realized that I didn’t have my phone! I called Mandalay on Shelly’s phone, but they said they had to send house keeping up to my room to check for it. Bummer. I had plenty of time to go back if they told me it was there right away. Instead, it took them an HOUR to call me back and then another 30 minutes to transfer from the main desk to fedex to the front desk again to lost & found to the front desk AGAIN. Then, I got hung up on and it took another 10 minutes to finally get confirmation that my phone was being shipped home. Ridiculous. I loved Mandalay Bay until I had to coordinate my phone haha.

At the airport, we grabbed a quick breakfast with Emily before she had to go to a different part of the airport. It was sad to say goodbye to her :(.

The flight home was a tad bumpy again and our landing was super foggy, but we got home quickly.

GREAT race. And I cannot wait for another Vegas trip when I can actually go out and enjoy TYPICAL Vegas haha.

My splits according to my phone:

With an official time of 1:57:22! Can’t believe I had a 7:42 mile!

Aaaaand, that’s Vegas!

D

One of my best friends and I have been talking about doing a half marathon together for MONTHS and we finally registered today! On December 4, we will be running in VEGAS!

 

 

She lives in Tampa and I’m coming from NJ so it’s going to be a really fun long weekend. I can’t wait!

 

 

Em and I being silly 😛

 

So that adds to the list:

3/20 St Patty’s 10 mile in Freehold

4/10 Tough Mudder PA

5/29 Boston 5-mile Run to Remember

9/24 Hamptons Half Marathon

12/4 Vegas Rock n Roll Half Marathon (btw, it’s on the strip AT NIGHT!!!)

 

Oh, and in a temporary moment of insanity, I entered the lottery for the NYC MARATHON. Um, pretty sure the knee wouldn’t appreciate 26 miles, but I probably won’t get it this year anyway..

 

Danielle