As you all know, last night I ran the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon. It was a blast!
Official finish time: 1:59:04. Woop! My current half marathon PR (personal record) is 1:51:47 from the DC National Half Marathon in March, so this was definitely not a PR, but that wasn’t the aim yesterday! What was the aim? To have fun. And that was most certainly achieved.
Let’s back things up a bit to the start of the day! As I mentioned, this was a night race — the half marathon didn’t start until 5:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. EST!) I’m not a night runner at all, so I was a little worried about what to eat/do the day of the race. Meghann (my roomie for the weekend) and I decided that our approach would be brunch around 10 and lunch around 2. We figured that would give us enough time to digest before the race start (as well as enough calories to fuel us through)! I also had a packet of instant oatmeal and a piece of toast with some almond butter at 7 a.m. when we first woke up. Yes, I travel with instant oatmeal, bread, and packets of almond butter. No big. Gotta save money somehow in this expensive city!
We met up with friends Monica and Stephanie (and their husbands) for brunch at a place called Delights Delicatessen in the other side of the MGM Hotel, where we stayed. Christmas tree photos obviously needed to happen.
Meghann and I decided to share brunch — we are good eating buddies since we seem to want to order the same things a lot! We got the lemon and berry pancake — which was more like a pastry:
And the veggie omelet with fruit.
Meghann and I spent the rest of the day relaxing in the hotel, catching up on emails, and napping before the race. I wanted to go out and play/explore Vegas more, but we figured it would be best to rest before the race. On the way back from brunch, Meghann and I swung by a place called Wichcraft to pick up sandwiches for lunch later on.
I went for something basic in hopes my stomach would handle it okay before running — turkey, avocado, lettuce, tomato, mustard on a roll:
It was REALLY good! Hit the spot.
A short nap later, it was time to get ready to head over to the race site! We got suited up while listening to pump up music. I felt like I was heading out to party, not to run a race! It was so weird to not have to get up super early to run.
As I mentioned, Attune Foods was awesome enough to sponsor me and Meghann this weekend for the race and they gave us cute shirts to show our Attune pride.
Meghann and I met up with Stephanie (sequin skirt) and Rosa (far left) to head over to the race, too. We met Rosa at the Ghirardelli blogger meet up on Saturday — she’s 13 weeks pregnant and ran the half marathon! I was impressed. She bought her future child the cutest Vegas half marathon onesie at the race expo. Baby’s first half marathon!
We crossed a bridge to take a tram over to Mandalay Bay, where the race start was. The streets were all blocked off!
The tram waiting area was packed with runners, but we were able to get on the first tram. Win.
We arrived at Mandalay Bay in plenty of time before the race and chilled out in their casino while waiting for the race to start. There were runners everywhere!
Check out this hilarious shirt that Stephanie’s husband wears to all of her races as a good luck charm — lol! And yes — he’s very tall and she’s very short.
Before we knew it, it was time to head to the starting line!
Luckily, Meghann and I were able to easily find Monica, who we had made plans to run with. Yay! Here we all are at the start, getting pumped (and trying to stay warm). It got cold fast once the sun went down!
There was really great energy at the starting line of this race — everyone was so pumped and all the bright lights and music didn’t hurt, either.
We were also able to see and hear the TV race pre-show going on!
The picture of the screen didn’t come out well, but a guy with an electric guitar played the National Anthem and the best thing was that you could see on the screen that the guitarist was wearing a Garmin watch!
Excited to start:
On your marks — ready, set, goooooo!
From the moment the race started, I knew it was going to be awesome. It was so cool to be running on the strip with all the bright lights and music everywhere!
Action shot — weeeee!
As I mentioned, Meghann, Monica, and I had decided to run together and just have a good time and not worry about pace. We started out a bit fast with all the excitement and then settled into a steady pace once the crowd cleared a bit.
Surprisingly, given that I did basically everything this weekend you shouldn’t do before a race (drink alcohol, stay out dancing all night, not get much sleep, walk a bazillion miles, eat out of the norm food, breathe in a lot of dumb secondhand smoke, etc.) — I actually felt awesome the whole time! Granted, we weren’t pushing it on pace, but still! I was very pleasantly surprised.
My stomach held up okay, too! I have a sensitive stomach when running and was a bit concerned since it was already upset earlier in the day from eating heavier food than normal, etc., but it was totally fine during the run. Hooray! My legs also felt great, shockingly.
The girls and I spent most of the race chatting and between that and all the distracting lights and scenery, the miles FLEW by. The temperature was perfect too — for once, instead of the weather heating up at the same time as I did, the weather cooled down as we heated up! It was perfect. Maybe there’s something to this whole night race thing!
- Mile 1: 8:36
- Mile 2: 8:44
- Mile 3: 8:47
- Mile 4: 8:50
- Mile 5: 8:54
- Mile 6: 9:10
- Mile 7: 8:49
- Mile 8: 9:16
- Mile 9: 9:06
- Mile 10: 9:16
- Mile 11: 9:26
- Mile 12: 9:18
- Mile 13: 9:05
- 0.1 miles nubbin pace: 8:36
Official race time: 1:59:04. Average pace according to my Garmin watch: 9:00 min/miles. Yay!
I can’t wait until the finish line photos come out — I hope they got one of me, Meghann, and Monica all crossing holding hands! I loved running with these two.
Aren’t these medals cool?!
I’m kind of obsessed with the space blankets they give out, too. I feel so hardcore with one wrapped around me. 😉
Feeling happy and tired, Meghann and I headed back to the hotel. We were able to take the tram again with no problems.
We had some cool views of everyone still running while going back over the bridge to MGM, too!
A super quick shower later, we met back up with Monica and her husband Ben for a post-race dinner celebration at Serendipity 3.
Loved the sculpture out front of a sundae made out of a bush!
I’ve always wanted to go to this place… I still need to hit up the NYC one someday, though.
They are most famous for their frozen hot chocolates. Meghann and I shared a frozen peanut butter hot chocolate — SO GOOD!
As for my entrÃ©e, I ordered a chicken sandwich… but then Meghann ordered a hot dog (apparently they are famous for their hot dogs, too), and I got really jealous. Order change! Chili dog or bust.
Don’t worry, it was the size of my arm. Seriously.
Lol. I only made it through half of it but it was SO good. Sweet potato fries on the side — which I only ate a few of since I was a bit busy with my enormous hot dog. (TWSS)
Whew! What an awesome day and an awesome race. I hear that those doing the full marathon and half marathoners who finished later than we did had some serious logistical issues (it got crazy crowded apparently, which is not surprising given 44,000 people ran this race), but we got lucky and had a great experience. Thanks for the good time, Vegas!