Rock 'n Roll Las Vegas | November 17, 2013
Las Vegas, NV
I was not expecting this race to go well. I was not expecting it to be pretty. I was not expecting to hurt that badly, however, at the end. I was undertrained, underprepared... and still fighting the last of my bronchitis. Recipe for disaster, right? Well the good news is that I finished. And I didn't die, though my tweets may have suggested otherwise.
I digress. I was anxious to run RnRLV for quite some time -- it was my first RnR race, part one of earning the Desert Double Down, first run in Nevada to make for State #9, and obviously, an awesome ladies' running weekend (check out #ladiesrunvegas on Instagram if you missed out). I needed some girl time, some fun, frolicking race time to find my running groove again and feel like I was back in the swing of things. Goals for the race? Don't die, have fun, and find that groove.
My only major gripe about pre-race was the lack of marking about where exactly bag check was. Thankfully, we had a spectator in our group who volunteered himself to hold our bag(s) (thank you Kevin!) since we were already pressed for time as it were. Otherwise, finding our corral (sooo many corrals) wasn't terrible and the wait was tolerable.
Whoever that lady was at the start line was absolutely phenomenal -- she had just as much energy for the Corral 29ers as she did for the Corral 10ers, and you couldn't tell there was any sign of slowing down. She certainly got me pumped for the race ahead and made me excited to finally be there (up until about 2 minutes before go time, I really could have cared less, truthfully).
The crowd was certainly fantastic and had a major buzz going on -- not the Vegas kind, just the pre-race, pre-energy, pre-excited kind!
Trista's cabbie had mentioned that this was one of the more dead weekends he'd seen all year, which took me by surprise given the 30,000+ runnerrs that were there for the weekend and the fight and all the general shenanigans. It wasn't until we were along the course that I kind of saw what he meant...
|Running selfie because why not?|
Given the shape I was in, or lack there of, I wasn't sure what my game plan was. I could run with Tina and try and pace her to a PR. I could run with Heather and Trista and maybe get them to PRs. Our corrals were all over the place (I was 15, Tina in 26, HP and T in 29), and while we all ended up starting in the same corrals, I started with the plan of hanging with Tina and Erica just to see what I could hold on to. If I was feeling terrible (thank you, bronchitis), I could back off and hang with HP and Trista.
I was good until Mile 5 or so -- Tina was taking walk breaks every little bit, and my lungs didn't feel as though they were on fire! I called it a success. I goofed around, stopped for photos along the early parts (including my first-ever photo with the Welcome to Las Vegas sign) and generally tried to ensure I was just having fun -- part of the goal, keep in mind.
Around Mile 5, I stopped and let Tina and Erica go ahead. I hung back longer than I planned, but Heather wasn't far behind, so waited on her and walk-ran with her and Trista for just under a mile. When they stopped, I realized that I was already starting to hurt so badly (mind you, Mile 7!) that I knew if I a) kept stopping and b) walk-ran, that I'd likely end up walking the entire last half of the race. Out of shape or not, that's not how I roll.
I jogged at a decent pace (10:40s, 11:10s) through Mile 9 just to keep hustling and found myself very (happily) distracted by the Strip. I mentioned the crowds, or lack there of, because I expected there to be a lot more people on the pedestrian bridges and along the sides of the Strip -- not nearly as crowded as I had expected! And was kind of disappointed.
Whatever mile it was, I think about 9, we head east of the Strip into a residential/industrial area. While I knew this was coming, many thanks to blogs I've read and generally knowing the downtown Las Vegas area, I was not expecting it to be as pitch black as it were -- there were TWO flood lights in a dark, dark, dark, 1.5 mile stretch. Not okay, yo, not okay. I ran with my head straight down that entire time in sheer fear of putting my toe into a crack and face-planting.
Mile 11 is where I wanted to stop. Honestly. I walked, shuffled, and half whined through the last two miles and shuffled (literally) through the finish. Done and done. That was miserable.
Personal worst mostly-solo half marathon time ever (official chip of 2:54:13) and a major, major, major foot pain that's still lingering almost two weeks later. Of all of us, we all had a pretty lousy race day. It happens. And I knew it'd be coming for me, so though it sucks to see such a time, I also know I couldn't have asked for a ton better considering the circumstances.
For the reputation that Rock 'n Roll has (especially with their Las Vegas race), I've got a few thoughts.
a) The quality of bands was great, but the number of bands? Not so much.
b) Glow in the dark metals sure are a way to win my heart.
c) Sketchy areas need to be lit (and secured) with more than two flood lights.
d) Running a half marathon in Vegas (and taking care of yourself the way you should pre-race) certainly makes it hard to have a Vegas weekend in Vegas).
e) Expo was awesome.
f) The full ran through Fremont, the half didn't -- and that was my major course disappointment! I had looked forward to it all weekend, running under the tunnel of lights. Boo.
g) If you're not used to large races, this can be really overwhelming.
I'm not sure I'll run Vegas again. Truthfully, after Phoenix, not sure I'll run a Rock 'n Roll again (though I DO want to do San Diego, but that's just 'caus it's San Diego!). But it was a good time, all things considered!
Did you run Vegas, or have you? Your thoughts?