I flew into Vegas on Friday, December 1st, and promptly checked in to my hotel — The MGM Grand. I couldn’t wait to get over to the Expo – located at the Sands Convention Center, inside the Venetian, so I unpacked and organized my clothes as quickly and neatly as humanly type A possible, and then made my way to catch a taxi.
I forgot how expensive taxi’s are in Vegas. Ridiculous!! At any rate, I made my way over to the Expo and found it to be well organized. A huge open space to pick up race numbers according to your corral (I was in corral 2), then onto picking up my tech T — by Brooks! Finally, the swag bag, full of mostly brochures, but I like them empty so I can fill it with goodies from the expo.
First stop, Brooks Cavalcade of Curiosities!
Have I mentioned how much I love Brooks? I won a t-shirt and tried my hand a new pair of shoes (I didn’t win the shoes).
I made my way through the expo, had a few healthy protein nibbles and was back at the hotel and ready for bed by 8:30 pm. Exciting for Las Vegas right?! But hey – I had a race to run!!
The next morning, I met my friend from Virginia and we made our way to the Expo so she could get her race packet. I chilled all day in this attire (not very Vegasy, I know):
(I love this Brooks Run Happy Cupcake Tech T — so soft and comfortable. I also wore my CEP compression socks all day!)
So the race didn’t start until 4:30 pm. I knew I didn’t want to eat much of anything, so my last meal was around 10 am and consisted of eggs, ham, and an english muffin. Nothing more until after the race.
Resting my legs before the start.
So … the start::
I almost missed my corral. I was in the longest porto-potty line EVER! By the time I got out, they had just started Corral 1. I sprinted nearly 1/2 mile, dodging and weaving and about 100 “excuse me’s” through the masses of other runners and spectators. By the time I made it to the start, Corral 2 had already taken off and the runners were at least 300 feet down the road …. ACK!! So, I started … SOLO …. as Corral 3 was still being held back at the start line. hee hee … 🙂 Why not?
I quickly found my pace and held stead fast.
WHOA — wait …. what’s this?
Sideways, hard, pushing. UGH. This is not going to be fun. Stay focused I told myself. Get in behind others and keep moving forward. So, that’s what I did. I felt good during the entire race and enjoyed seeing the STRIP AT NIGHT! At about mile 8, I had 1/2 a gel, and I only took in a few sips of water. At mile nine, I was coming into the back side of Freemont and saw a spinning stiletto heel. ….. LOVE!
Turning back towards the Bellagio, total headwind, HARD, for the final 3 + miles. Everyone I tried to get behind was slowing way down, so I just pushed harder to catch someone else to run behind. I found a skinny dude and followed him for about 2 miles, until he stopped to walk. WHAT?! We are almost done!! I kept at it, pushing, knowing that I would PR. And, a PR, I did!!
Now for the nitty-gritty:
Yes – I did PR … but, I almost started crying when I finished. I looked down at my GARMIN, which showed I had an average pace of 7:45 and 13.23 miles in 1:42:44. How is my time not closer to a 1:40:00 ??? I was shooting for a 1:40:00. A 7:51 average pace should have given me a 1:40:00. What the heck?
I asked other runners what their Garmin’s read. Everyone I talked to said their Garmin’s showed 13.2 something. That’s it — the course was long!
Wait — it could haven’t been another 2 minutes. Still dumbfounded — I just couldn’t get past why I didn’t come closer to a 1:40:00, especially after running a solid 7:45 average pace. DANG!
I tried to brush it off as best as I could and feel great about my performance and my PR, but still …..
I met up with my old high school buddy, Eric, and his wife, Sharon, for a night of fun. Here is our after race photo:
It wasn’t until the next day that I found my training mistake ….
For whatever reason, my last few runs were at marathon pace, not at 1/2 marathon pace. So I had 7:51 stuck in my head, not 7:36 …
This, my friends, is what I call my DUMB ASS training moment #537
Overall — this was a fantastic race and I’m glad it was a solid effort and performance. No injuries – great running – and awesome friends to train with.
This is what I call SUCCESS!