Today for the second time in my thirty two years I ran 13.1 half marathon style. This time I trained a lot and although I did not feel as ready as I would have liked to be, I felt like I could accomplish my goal time of three hours.
The race day did not start out quite so positive though.
At midnight some rah rah bitch was screaming and giggling and shouting outside our hotel room door. And again at one. And also at two.
On a normal Vegas stay I would be the one drinking, partying, perhaps giggling in the hallway.
But today we are not getting drunk and partying our way through Vegas.
Today we ran a half marathon through Red Rock Canyon.
We would be myself and snowflake my tiny hundred pound blond fairy looking best friend. Seriously how she managed to look so cute prerace while layered in four old sweaters of her mothers that we would shed on the trail I’ll never know.
I’ve been training for this my second half marathon for months thinking it was a trail rum. This morning at four a.m. when we pulled our exhausted bodies out of bed (didn’t sleep at all, thanks drunk cheerleader types) I learned this was not a trail run but the 13.1 would be all on pavement. The longest pavement run I have ever done before this was 8 miles.
We had considered staying off the strip at a quieter hotel with more old people and yes more disgusting cigarette smoke like the SunCoast Casino where the race pick up was, but we decided to stay on strip.
Thank god we decided to stay on the strip with the partiers and not out in the boonies with every ones grandparents because last night when we drove to the SunCoast to pick up our free packets we discovered that the SunCoast reeked of cigarettes, so old school Vegas and gross.
We reached the incredibly smokey SunCoast Casino this morning at six a.m. and now it was our turn to giggle at all the partiers still going, drinking and smoking. Yes, we turned our noses up at them in our Asic running shoes and shorty shorts. (Oh wait, that’s just me, Snow Flake says I might as well just run in my under ware) As we made our way through the smokey casino to the buses we commented that we should apply our spray on sunscreen in the casino to make it smell a little better. We also bragged that even if we are incredibly sweaty us runners earned that sweat; to a runner we smell like rainbows and unicorns!
Safely aboard the bus we were ready to make our last portapotty stop before the thirteen miles or so, have some sports drinks and a pre race snack and run.
It just wouldn’t be Vegas if the portapotties were not labeled Sin City Portapotties and believe me I left something sinful behind pre race.
After that I was ready to run.
The race began promptly at seven and we were running up the main road of Red Rock Canyon.
The views of the snow peaked jagged hills were epic as we ran deeper into the park. It had snowed the evening before the scenery was just stunning. I had been hiking briefly here a few years ago so had an idea what to expect but Snow Flake had no idea. Even though she was thirty minutes ahead of me as the race progressed I knew she had to be enjoying the fantastic views on all sides of us. The sky was still full of clouds and they stretched across the horizon as we ran these first few miles and the sun began rising behind the cloud cover.
My morning run through the reds, pinks and white sand stones of Red Rock Canyon was just so gorgeous. I had such a fantastic time, even if I did finish at three hours and six minutes. Six minutes slower than my goal.