Las Vegas, part 2

The half marathon.

This is the part of the trip I have been dreading to write about because I'm not sure what to say.

Since we immediately flew to Jamaica on Sunday night after the race I never had a chance to recap the race and consequently had plenty of time to read everyone else's race experiences. It seems as though everyone else had the experience I was hoping for... the awesome race energy, the "wow this is so cool" feeling running down the Las Vegas strip, new PR's, feeling great throughout the run, and just an over all awesome experience. But that, for whatever reason, wasn't in the cards for me that day.

I'm not sure what to contribute it to. It has sort of bummed me out because I was so excited about this race. I felt so much more prepared than I did before my last half marathon and I know I could have PR'ed. I was excited about running in a new city...a famous city.. a fun city. I was excited about doing my first Rock 'N Roll race. I was excited about giving it my all, pushing myself, and getting a new PR. And I wasn't even nervous.

So I suppose it could be the fact that I ate a little differently on race morning than I normally do before my long runs... but not that differently. Or that I went to bed kind of late and didn't get much sleep.. although I got much less before my first half marathon. Or maybe the fact that I had to wait an hour in the cold before the race started and then once I started running it warmed up to like 50.. drastic temp change. Or the fact that I went to the porta-potties right before my corral started to move so I ended up in the back of the pack.

All of those could be factors I guess. I know the real kicker was when my knee started shooting pain down my leg around mile 6. Not sure what I did to it. I felt pretty great miles 1-5. The miles seemed to pretty much fly by. And then somehow things just all went downhill. My knee started to hurt with every step I took and pain would shoot down my leg (Josh says this is my IT band, not exactly my knee...which is different for me.) I tried to suck it up for awhile, but each mile seemed longer and longer and I got slower and slower.

Around mile 9 or 10 I was starving so I took a pretzel from someone handing them out. Stupid. It made me thirsty for the rest of the run... luckily they had water/Cytomax stations at each mile, but it became a cruel game waiting for the next one. The last few miles I was really struggling... but it was a strange feeling because I felt like I had so much in me yet my knee was holding me back.

I think another thing was difficult, compared to my last 1/2 marathon, is that I didn't have my family there in the crowd to cheer me on and I guess last time I also had the "holy cow I'm running a half marathon for the first time" adrenaline that I didn't have this time.

After I crossed the finish line I pretty much chugged down a bottle of water (seriously, I have never drank water that fast) and proceeded to look for Josh. We finally found each other and I learned that the race didn't go super great for him either.

He felt nauseated at the starting line and it apparently never went away. He still managed to run a super fast 1:37 though.

Then I hobbled my way back to our hotel...which was only a couple blocks from the finish line... and I actually had to stop and sit on the side of the road because my leg hurt so bad.

At least this time I had a mylar blanket (isn't that what they're called?) to keep me warm.

Fun side story: Waaaay back in April when I was a half marathon newbie and I was looking over all the awesome things that the runners got with their registration, one of them was a "mylar blanket" and I legit thought they were giving us blankets. Like fleece blankets. I was pumped. Josh laughed at me and explained what they were.

Fleece or not, I was still pumped. And I never even got one.

After the race I was pretty much starving, and so was Josh even though he had already eaten like 12 donuts, drank some coffee, some beer, and had some Snickers energy bars while waiting for me to cross the finish line. He's a growing boy, that's what he tells me. So we got changed and then walked (okay, I was still hobbling) to In 'n Out Burger where this happened..

We kept passing a place called Fat Burger on the strip that Josh wanted to try until we were recommended the In 'n Out Burger... definitely not a let down although Josh was still hungry afterwards and we almost went to Fat Burger as well. However, I protested because our mode of transportation was by foot and my IT band wasn't down with walking 3 more miles for another cheeseburger.

So anyway. Over all, I'm still definitely glad I did the race, even if it didn't go quite as planned. I still finished and got my medal and that's all that matters. And hey, I ran (ok, maybe hobbled) another half marathon... and whether or not it still feels as awesome as it did the first time, it's still a great accomplishment and I need to remember that.

And my favorite part is this half marathon then Jamaica trend we got goin' on. I will share it all soon.

P.S. A week in Jamaica can cure pretty much anything... even random IT band issues.

For now, a preview:

Oh my gosh, most def one of my favorite parts of the trip. Unbelievably awesome.

And that, my friends, was my Las Vegas experience.

(annnd... #8? done.)

my favorite slot machine... because of the penguin, duhs.... that i never played but felt the need to get my picture taken with because slot machines are so las vegas.

Las Vegas Half Marathon
December 5, 2010

Distance: 13.1 miles
Time: 2:32:16