Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Half Marathon (part 2)

So we finally got to the hotel after our long walk dragging our luggage.

After a quick bedbug check (anyone else creeped out by the possibility of those in hotels? Eww the thought sends shivers down my spine...), we relaxed a bit and started talking dinner.

We decided on the hotel buffet (called "More" haha). It was $30 for both of us and very good. So many different things to try. I'm the type of person who gets a tiny amount of every single thing that looks good. I was happily surprised at the inexpensive food in Vegas - I was expecting to spend much more.

After dinner we went right back to the room. The plan was a very early bedtime because the race was so early. Plus we were beat. With the time change, it was midnight EST by the time we turned out the lights.

We both had weird dreams about the race and we were up before our alarm, which was set for 5:30am Vegas-time. Breakfast for me was brown sugared oatmeal and some fresh fruit from a certain popular coffee place. The lines were crazy! At that hour, none of the buffets were open and everyone wanted to fuel up before the race. I also ate some nuts for some extra protein.

Back at the hotel room we finished eating and got ready to go. The race started at 7am but being in the second to last corral we were looking at more than a 30 min wait. The start and finish were at Mandalay Bay. We jogged over from our hotel, stretched a little (tough since there were so many people and no good places to sit on the ground), found our corral and waited.

This is me in my pink shirt, waiting in the corral :)
Our shoes with orange timing tags - I'm wearing capris, C is wearing long pants
The view ahead of us (looking south)
The view behind us to the last corral

We heard the tail end of the national anthem (the starting line was pretty far from us) and the race started but our corral didn't move. We were anxious to start.

Then I realized I really had to pee. Uh oh.

I tried to ignore it. All the corrals were lined up going south on the strip and curled around to the north side. While we waited we watched the runners, that had just started, going past us in the north lane. It was fun to watch all the different costumes. So many Elvis-es? Elvi? haha

I still really had to pee.

I decided the feeling was not just in my head and told C that I was going to run and find a porta-potty. Much hate for those (yuck) but it was necessary. C was worried but I was optimistic. I'll be back in time! By that time we were slowly moving forward toward the starting line. I ran as fast as I could, was in and out super fast, and back with C before she moved very far at all. Whew. I can't even explain how happy I was that I chose to go then. I would never have made it.

The purple banner is above the starting line - getting closer!
I was extremely excited at this point - almost there!!
And we're off! The sea of jogging heads in front of us
The guy above the G in the starting line pic above was the singer, dressed as a blues brother, in a band that was playing. There were bands scattered throughout the race but less than I thought there would be. It was still so much fun jogging up the strip. There were a lot of spectators and cheer leaders.We slowed down at the second or third water station for a quick drink and kept going. I had my garmin and I was keeping an eye on our pace to make sure I wouldn't totally burn myself out. My goal was to jog for half of the 13.1 miles and I REALLY wanted to do that.

Once we got past the actual strip and on to some of the side roads, there were a lot less people on the sidelines and it almost seemed like we were at the very end of the whole thing - kind of deserted. But, there were thousands of people behind us. We kept checking ;)

This is heading back south, you can see the stratosphere in the distance
MILE 8! We had not taken a walking break at all at this point!
This guy was at approximately 8.5 miles if I remember correctly

It was a little before this point that things started getting tough. My goal was to run for half, which is 6.55 miles. We had passed that by a long shot and were so amazed at ourselves already but we wanted to push on for as long as we could. It was getting difficult.

Part 3 coming soon!

Half Marathon (Part 1)

I am glad I bought a crappy camera to bring with me (I would have felt terrible if I damaged or lost my good camera) but whoa boy, did I take some crappy pics. Posting them anyway - bad pics are better than no pics, right?

C and I had non-stop flights to and from Vegas. We got stuck sitting in a full 3-seat row both times which was a pain but we survived :) When we landed on 12/4, we took a shuttle right to the health and fitness expo to pick up our race packets.

red carpet into the expo

the line for our corral
The expo was interesting but was a lot more sparse than I imagined it. At least some of that was probably due to the fact that we were there at the tail end of it. We didn't stay long. On our pass-through we found stretchy belts with a zipper pocket to carry things while jogging. I bought one to carry the camera the next day and it worked well.

We thought about catching a taxi to our hotel (we were going from the venetian to the luxor) but decided not to. It was a lot longer of a walk than we realized. We had to cross the strip back and forth for construction areas and large crowds. Really it would have been fine but we both still had our luggage. I was soooo happy to finally see the hotel.

the view of the strip out our slanted window

This is taking me forever to post so stay tuned for part 2! :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

So Awesome

We finished! We did much better than we ever thought we could and we completed it in a lot less time than we thought too :)

It was an awesome experience and I'm totally thinking about doing another one in the future. I have more pics and want to share more details but I've been annoyingly busy (with work, buying xmas gifts, housework, etc.) since I got back and the times I haven't been busy I just haven't felt like blogging.

Another post coming soon I hope!

(and I'm behind again - 285 posts in my reader - time for some more catch-up)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

1 Day Left

Whoa baby - 1 day until the half marathon on my ticker. I'm not nervous really but I am worried that I won't be able to do this. I'm freaked about not being able to finish or hurting myself trying.

I bought a new crappy camera (so I don't mind too much if it breaks, gets stolen, lost, etc.) to take on the actual run with us so I plan to have pics to show when I get back!

Speaking of pics, this is one I took on our last run with my new crappy camera. We do long runs at a local bike path and it looks so dreary now that winter is here. I know it's a pretty bad pic but I took it while I was actually running and I think the way it focused is interesting. Makes the path look neverending, which is how it feels a lot of the time :) haha

Our flight to Vegas takes off in 9.5 hours. I hope this turns out to be awesome.