Friday, December 12, 2008

Vegas 1/2 Marathon

This race is SO FUN! Yes, after you turn off the strip the only people left clapping are the homeless people who slept there the night before. Heck, even on the strip there aren't many people in Vegas up at 6AM. But who cares!?! There is so much dazzle to look at!

The race started a 6AM Sunday morning. I guess the story starts before that though. I quit training for this race November 2nd. That is the day I ran 9 miles and until December 7th I hadn't run more than 5 miles per week. I knew it wasn't going to be pretty, but I was past the point of caring how the race would turn out. I would enjoy it. I would get a medal. I would gorge myself at the buffet. I had my best girls there; no matter what I was just happy to be there with them.
Well, the race started at 6AM at Mandalay Bay. It's still dark at 6AM. There was the full Vegas strip in all it's excessive glory laid out before me.

Elvi, Santa's and veils were all around. Robin Leech was commentating. Yes. The Robin Leech. My plan: run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute, enjoy, repeat (about 1000 times). The gun went off. Nay, not the gun. The fireworks.

I cried. I was directly underneath the spot where they were lighting them off when the finale happened. What an overwhelming feeling. Amazing. Absolutely amazing to count myself amongst all these athletes. What an amazing blessing. I could be out there. I could run. God gave me that day, and I was going to enjoy it. It still makes me tingle and get a little emotional thinking about it.
So for the rest of the 4 mile or so Strip, I putzed around. I pulled over to take pictures. Several in some spots if they didn't turn out. What did I care. I wasn't in a hurry. I was in it for the long haul.
Saw the girls at about mile 3 and I lept into the air and proclaimed "Fresh as a daisy!" And surprisingly, I was. Ok. Well, things were going so well I decided to run my usual 10 minutes and walk 1.
I passed the run through wedding chapel where a bunch of Elvi were clapping for the newlyweds.
The next water stop featured wedding cake so I partook. Miles 5-8 or so were solid. Flat course. Kept on going. Was feeling ok. Around mile 9 though I started to think that maybe a little endurance training might have done me some good. My legs were getting tired. Starting to run again after the walks were getting really hard. But I was still passing people. Huh. Saw my girls again at mile ten. I puffed " daisy" and barely kicked a heal in the air. They screamed and clapped and cheered, so I sped away with a some renewed energy. My legs were shaking by that point though, so I started walking about every 1/2 mile instead.

Mile 11 I realized, I only had 2 miles left. Which meant if I kept it up, at the MOST 25 minutes. That would mean UNDER a 2:30 1/2!?!? Wha??? My April 1/2 was 2:40 something, maybe 2:45. No way. No way.

Mile 12. The marathoners passed me. Why didn't I get a picture of that? Oh yeah, because I was concentrating on trying to feel my legs. But the 1st and 2nd finishers in the marathon blew past us all. It was way cool. They? Looked fresh as daisies.

FINALLY. The finish. Nice medal. Hugs all around. I ran as fast as I could for the last .10 - which seemed like a long way. My face was all contorted with pain and lack of oxygen. 2:29:09. I never would have believed it if the chip didn't record it. I had more fun though that any race.

These girls are rock solid.

1 comment:

gohrfam said...

I love it! And I am so happy for you! Way to go, E.