My mom, sister and I decided we needed to get away for a girls weekend to Vegas, baby! And why not add a 5k and half marathon while there?! I flew into Vegas from Milwaukee and my mom and sister met me at the airport about 20-30 minutes later from KC.
We checked into our hotel, hopped onto the tram and headed straight to the expo on day one! My mom and sister hadn't been to a really big race expo yet, so we spent our fair share of time walking around and exploring all the vendors. We tried some "food," had a massage with a BFF and a few new rollers, and played a few games to try to win entries and who knows what else.
We also happened to see a booth with the Army National Guard trying to challenge anyone to pushup, pull-up and plank competitions. If you know me... you know I can't pass up a competition!
I had to meet or beat 6 pull-ups to win a free t-shirt, so I figured I'd give it my best shot! Immediately after I said yes, I had a huge surge of adrenaline and it felt like my heart rate was sky-rocketing!
Regardless, I was able to complete 6 full pull-ups and another half a dinky one. They were nice enough to still give me that t-shirt!
After we left the expo we walked up and down the strip to explore a little bit. My sister was the only one of us who had been to Vegas before so she showed us all the necessary sights. There was so much walking already!
Friday we decided to do a quick run from our hotel to the "Welcome to Vegas" sign. It was such a beautiful, sunny morning too! What a perfect day for a quick run.
We spent the rest of Friday doing some more exploring of the strip, hitting up a few penny slots (literally the only gambling we did!), and checking out the hot tub, spa and sauna in our hotel. That evening we also decided to attend a Cirque du Soleil show. They are some serious athletes. I don't know how they are capable of about 90% of the moves they did! If you haven't seen a show before, I'd highly suggest attending one. It's so neat!
Saturday morning we prepped for the 5k right away. We knew we weren't planning on coming back to our hotel room until after the race that evening. Our sparkly skirts and bright colors matched perfectly well with the rest of the Vegas strip anyway! We took an Uber outside of the strip area and found a neat little running store. After spending some time shopping around we decided to get some pedicures. I know, I know... You're not supposed to get your feet massaged, lotioned, and nails trimmed the day OF a race but we just couldn't help it!
We headed to the 5k start a little early to try to meet up with some friends of my sister. They are in the same running group in Kansas City. The sun was going down so we also decided to have some fun with the big blow up Garmin guitar and the light up "light sabers" they were handing out!
The 5k started and our whole point was to just have fun! The course was about a mile out and back, then through a big field with a bunch of blow up arches and lights. Since it was mostly out and back we were able to see everyone's costumes. We definitely weren't the only ones dressed up. We also saw Meb run by! After the race we grabbed some pizza on the way back to our hotel and crashed. We were pooped!
Sunday morning we woke up and just weren't really feeling like walking around much, knowing the half marathon was that evening. We decided to have breakfast, then catch a movie instead of exploring more. The only bad part was what we chose for our pre-race meal... popcorn!
As we left the movie theatre we noticed the temperature really had dropped and the wind picked up. We packed up our post-race bags and headed to the start line area. Kid Rock was playing on the stage behind us, but we didn't feel like staying close to the stage.
I was supposed to line up in a corral closer to the front than my mom and sister, so I headed there. I had heard that Meb would be starting in the third corral (which is where I was supposed to be!) so I searched for him only to hear the announcement that he started with the first corral! Ah!
Once the race started I took off! I wanted to run with the group who ran with Meb for a little bit! I ended up catching him around mile 3 (that sounds so funny... I caught Meb!)
That's pretty much where my race went downhill. We were on the strip at this point (after running to the Vegas sign and back) and the wind had really picked up! Between that, the not-so-great fueling, and walking about 10 miles each day my legs and stomach were already toast. I tried to keep my mind off things by looking around the strip, being entertained by the spectators and listening to the music of the bands on course.
We turned around and headed back with the wind around 10 miles in and the skies opened up! It was raining and cold... in Vegas! What was going on?! I was struggling mentally and physically and starting the trudge/ walk/ run/ cry to the finish. It was a long last 5k for sure.
But... finish I did! What was neat is that my mom and sister were passing by the finish line about 6 miles into the race as I finished! There were SO many start corrals that they didn't start until about an hour after me, which means they were just starting as the wind and rain began.
Even with having to walk, I finished in 1:46:48 (8:09 pace). Meb had passed me in the last quarter mile, so I saw him at the finish line and was able to catch a quick selfie with him! We had tried during the race but they were all very blurry.
After the race I walked the MILE (it seemed like) long finisher chute, grabbed my clothes and headed into the Bellagio Hotel to change clothes and grab something hot (French onion soup!) to warm up while I waited for my mom and sister to finish. Once they finished we Uber'd back to the hotel... we were so tired! Nevada is done, and onto the next one!
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