Rock and Roll Las Vegas 1/2 Marathon Race Recap

I think this might be my first race recap. It has been a crazy busy week and I am finally getting to it…so here we go (and apologies if its long):

Allison and I went to bed around 10pm I think and both woke up around 5:30am. We got ready and ate our day old bagels that we bought the night before. Allison said she never wanted to see a bagel again after that. I wanted to agree, but this is my typical pre-race/long run meal-so not an option. We headed downstairs around 6 am and noticed a different type of marathon-the gambling marathon-because there were definitely people up who hadn’t been to sleep yet and we had slept all night and were off to run a 1/2 marathon. Different lifestyles, huh? We left Aria and walked towards the start at Mandalay Bay. I think it was a little over a mile or mile and a half walk-not sure though.
Compared to other Rock and Roll events, the start line and gear check area was kind of a mess. The lines were really long at gear check (well, they were for my last name at least) and it took longer than I had expected. I didn’t need to use the restroom but Allison did and I was glad we had gone our separate ways for a few minutes. We met back up and headed to her corral to drop her off. For some reason the corrals looped around (last corrals first) and the whole area was really congested. Runners were moving really slow for a race that was going to start in 15 minutes. Maybe its because it was the slower corrals and they didn’t have to worry about it-but I had to drop her off at 10 and I had to get to corral 5. Allison had told me before she wanted to run her own race and me to do the same. We made a plan to meet up after. I think she didn’t want the pressure from me and I totally understood that.
This gave me a chance to run my own race and shoot for a PR (1:45). I made it to my corral with just enough time to stretch and get the Garmin set (I was a little nervous to push too hard though-I ended up with hamstring and hip pain after getting a massage on Thursday before we left and I think he worked my legs too much-it wasn’t as bad Sunday as it was Friday but I could still feel it). It only took a few minutes and we were off. Whoever was managing the corrals didn’t separate 4 and 5 so we all ended up starting together. It surprisingly wasn’t too congested.
I took a pic of the start and ran with my Iphone with every intention of taking pics but I am too competitive with myself to stop and take any more of the race so this is all you get. Sorry 🙂
Miles 1-8
I liked the fact that the course was straight at the beginning–even when I had to weave in and out of other slower runners (not sure how walkers get into corral 5???) it didn’t make too much of a difference on my watch. In all honestly I found this part of the race to be pretty uneventful. And so did some of the other runners because they were yelling at the spectators “I can’t hear you” and asking them to cheer. Kind of sad. It was here I remembered that no one actually LIVES on the Strip so local cheerleaders weren’t going to be an option. And those who came to Vegas to party had probably just gone to bed. Yep. Very quiet course (compared to other RNR events). I loved seeing the run through wedding that happened around mile 5-but no one was actually getting married when I went by.
I knew by mile 8 that a PR probably wasn’t in my future. I was happy that I was maintaining a 8:30ish pace but couldn’t seem to step it up much more than that and was more scared of burning out. I took my GU around this time. One thing I wish RNR would change is the options for GU-I guess its “free” so I shouldn’t complain but I’m a no-caffeine-kinda-girl when I run. Just plain please. And this is never an option. Oh well. Just a thought.
Seeing the “other side” of the strip was interesting. It’s definitely a little sketch. The course had a few more turns than I had expected and I guess I didn’t look at the map well enough to notice that it wasn’t a complete out and back. Oops.

This is when it started to get a little more tough. A friend of mine ran this race last year and had warned me the tough part was feeling like you would never get to a certain casino, spot etcx because the casinos are so large and you could see them from far away. She wasn’t kidding-I could see Mandalay Bay–and I knew it was close, yet so far away!! I started to try and pick up the pace (or at least it felt like it) around mile 10. I was able to pass several people and I just kept my head down and focused.
The Last mile was nice to run because there was an actual crowd and you could begin to hear the music at the finish line. I pushed pretty hard at the end-I saw on my Garmin that if I ran hard I could keep it at 1:50. And I did. Just barely 🙂

OvrPl SexPl DivPl Bib First Name Last Name City State Chip Time
1884 523 117 5284 Elizabeth Kalifeh Atlanta GA 01:50:57

And I JUST noticed that the medal engraving company at the end had a different race time than RNR. I mean, it’s only 2 seconds but if that were to break my PR or to change the minute then I would be pissed. I’m just annoyed that my medal will forever be wrong. Oh well. Obviously not the end of the world. I’m just sayin…
Overall very happy with my time. 3rd best 1/2 marathon time. I think there were over 19,000 1/2 marathon runners so my place wasn’t too shabby.
Garmin Data:
Decent at maintaining pace, but need to get better at negative splits.

Avg Pace
Summary 01:51:01 13.21 08:24
1 00:08:33 1.00 08:33
2 00:08:31 1.00 08:31
3 00:08:24 1.00 08:24
4 00:08:23 1.00 08:23
5 00:08:22 1.00 08:22
6 00:08:14 1.00 08:14
7 00:08:21 1.00 08:21
8 00:08:26 1.00 08:26
9 00:08:28 1.00 08:28
10 00:08:34 1.00 08:34
11 00:08:26 1.00 08:26
12 00:08:25 1.00 08:25
13 00:08:14 1.00 08:14
14 00:01:34 0.21 07:41

Post Race (ended up being my fav part of the race)

After the race I waited on Allison. She kicked ass for her first 1/2 marathon! 2:10:20!! We went on to have our picture taken together (went to the lady in orange to compliment our navy Auburn outfits–sad, but true) and then went to stretch and get our medals engraved. I was thrilled to see Meb next to the medal engraving (I missed him at the race expo & wanted to get his book). He is the nicest guy! I bought the book and he autographed it and told me he was hoping to run the Peachtree in Atlanta this year. If only I was in his start group…
Then we iced our feet. AMAZING. The most pain I had after the race was on the tops of both of my feet. They were bruised. I asked several people what they thought it was and they all said that I probably had my shoes tied to tight. Hmm. Who knew. This has never happened.
And then onto the after party…Bret Michaels. And confession time. I am by no means a hard core fan. I didn’t watch his show on VH1 and I didn’t watch the Apprentice. But I ended up on the front row for this after concert (my friend Andy finished and went straight to the stage to wait). Yep. I knew some of his classics but not all of them and was most excited to sing along to “Sweet Home Alabama”. But regardless–FRONT ROW. Always so fun. We may end up on his new show on VH1…and that is scary after seeing myself in pictures-I was a bit of a hot mess.
And then the painful part. The walk back. 2 miles to lunch. OUCH. But we treated ourselves to Serendipity3….
And then the later after party….
Tequila. Yes Please.
And dancing & laughing…
We look much better cleaned up 🙂
Allison, Andy, Me–yes-Go Go dancers in the background…

All in all this was one of my top 3 races:
  • Taking a trip with my sister. Our first trip without her husband or any friends or family members. And we will definitely be doing it again. (I think she is going to do RNR Mardi Gras-it will be with a group but glad she now has the running bug)
  • The medal
  • The post race concert and party (best of all 5 RNR races this year)
  • Meeting Meb
Not so Much:
  • The Start area
  • crowd support
  • bands on course (didn’t seem to have as many as other RNR races)
  • my pics that RNR took (they are awful)
There ya have it. The Rock and Roll Las Vegas 1/2 marathon. My 5th Rock and Roll Race of the year. I’m officially a Rockstar. I met my 2010 running goal. And even though my bank account may have taken a hit for all the traveling…it was worth it. A great feeling and accomplishment.
Time to set the 2011 goals….

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