Rocking the Strip at Night

Wow, what a week it has been. I’m finally home from a very successful trade show. Within the show craziness I took a few hours to run my last distance race of the season. It started with a visit to the expo on Friday night.

I took off to walk from the MGM to the Venetian, where the expo was being held. I had apparently forgotten how far it was between the two. I didn’t spend much time there but I was there long enough to snap a few pics and grab some lights for my shoes.

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Unlike other races, I didn’t have time to lounge around or carb up since I was working. When race day came I ate a big breakfast and headed off to work. With the race starting at 4:30 pm I had no idea to what to eat the rest of the day.

So around 1pm I headed back to my hotel. I ate a Clif Bar, a banana and some Pop Chips. Lunch of champions. I left to go meet my boss, my boss’ boss’ boss and two coworkers who were running with me.

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After walking like two miles, we made it to the starting line.

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Just as the sun really began to set, we were off.

I started off taking it easy, well at least that was my plan. With really crappy training, I decided to just see how it goes as far as pace. The first 5k flew by and I was surprised when I looked down and saw 26 mins flat. It helped that we had a nice tail wind helping my pace along.

8:41, 8:12, 8:12, 8:16

I was feeling good and running with our CEO kept me at a fairly steady pace. As we continued down the strip the crowd support was awesome. The lights were shining brightly and people were  cheering with their yard margaritas in hand.

8:17, 8:23

It was going better than expected. When I passed the 10k mark (52:11) I took my first gel. The wind that had steadily been blowing decided to change directions just as we left the strip and entered an extremely dark residential neighborhood.

8:31, 8:34, 8:43

As you can see this is where I slowed way down. I hit the 10 mile mark at 1:25:04 which was still a great pace, but when I made the last turn it all fell apart. The tail wind I enjoyed in the beginning was now a nasty headwind. I overheard people at the finish line saying it was blowing at 30 mph with gusts even stronger. It was so bad it took the wind right out of me. Unflattering, trying to move forward race picture…check.

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I walked, several times, and dropped one of my water bottles which a fellow runner was nice enough to pick up and get back to me. This was also when I took my final gel and wished that I had eaten more a little bit closer to race time.

8:51, 9:28, 9:14, 9:13

I saw the finish line and decided I had to just try my best to gun it. It was the slowest sprint I think I’ve ever done: 1:24, but it was over!

Somehow, wind and all, I got a tiny PR. Final time: 1:53:57. Too bad that wind was so nasty, that 1:50 could have been mine! There is always next season.

After the race I found two of my fellow runners.

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I had to speed walk back to the hotel in order to shower and get over to The Cosmopolitan for dinner with all of the international head honchos. I was bad and didn’t really stretch, but luckily I wasn’t sore or feeling pain anywhere other than my toe which had started to bleed during the race. Dang toenail just needs to let go.

Overall, the race was pretty fun. They could have used better signage everywhere, direction to the starting line, mile markers, those would have been nice. The finish line was stocked with tons of food and drinks which was really nice. I’d do it again if I happened to be in town.

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