Monday, November 24, 2014

Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon and Half Marathon

Sunday was the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon and Half Marathon. We planned to just relax at the resort this day. We got a late start so we ended up having a late breakfast and therefore didn't feel like eating a lunch before we left our resort at around 2:30pm. We each ended up eating our banana from the 5K the night before as we walked to the monorail.  We were worried that we hadn't fueled properly that day before the race but we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.

Unlike the 5k the night before, we were not able to walk to this race start from our hotel. The marathon and half marathon both started at the South end of the Las Vegas Strip. We had a quick walk to the monorail ( which unlike at Disney, you have to purchase a ticket to ride. We ended up purchasing a three day pass but didn't end up using it all the other days because we found it was more convenient to just walk to where we needed to be).   As we were on the monorail, I remembered that I forgot to put the "marathon cream" on the back of my knees like I had wanted to. I had been having some pain in that area and my sister bought this cream at the expo that she said worked for her. We rode the monorail all the way to the end ( which was the MGM resort), got off and still had to walk about 3 miles to the start line.

There were 48 corrals, and it filled up 2 roads! The marathon and half marathon started in the same place and were inter mixed in the corrals. We placed ourselves in the correct corrals although there was no one monitoring it. This was evident when I was at mile 2 and I was passing folks who had bib numbers in the 30's and 40's!
  It was quite chilly that evening ( there was actually a freeze warning in effect for that night). I ended up wearing a long sleeve shirt over my tank top and my gloves.  My mom wore a long sleeve as well and Lacey wore a short sleeve with her arm sleeves.

The first corral started at 4:30 pm and a few minutes later our corrals started. I can't believe how dark it got just in the few minutes that we waited to start.  The first mile was actually behind the Las Vegas Strip and then mile 2 was when we turned on to the strip. We passed the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign, which we both neglected to take a picture of.  Running down the strip and seeing all the lights and especially the lights, tall buildings, and Statue of Liberty from the New York, New York, resort gave me a feeling as though I was really running through New York City!  I figured after this race, I don't have a need to run a NYC race now!

From what I can remember, we were running on the strip till about mile 6. We passed the famous "Gold and Silver Pawn Shop" from the show Pawn Stars. I don't know who it was but I actually saw a person sitting inside. You would think they would be out cheering for the runners!  We passed multiple wedding chapels ( I wish I would have started counting them). Although I didn't witness any runners getting married, I did witness a runner stopping in front of the Elvis Chapel to propose to another runner.

Mile 7 was in a residential area and then mile 8 was in front of Freemont street. That is where they were giving out GU and where the split off was. Half marathoners went left and marathoners went right.  After the left hand turn, the half marathoners were back on the strip again until we reached the finish line.  I ended up crossing the finish line at 2:20.  I was actually pleased with this time seeing as this was my time when I first ran 13.1 miles in 2013. My goal for that year was to try to improve that time but as you know, I ended up being injured for 7 months so my previous half marathons were not ran for time.  I may not have improved, but at least I'm back where I started!

 I had my Garmin set for intervals but did not follow it. Actually I never looked at my pace or time ( except once at mile ten). I was worried about having some pain behind my knee, but that never happened.  Since I had to be cautious on the 5K route the night before, I was worried about these road conditions but they ended up being fine. Traffic was blocked off during this race so we had the entire road to run on. The only nuisance would be those reflectors on the road that actually did not even reflect. Also, at one point in the residential areas there was a "bike lane" painted on the road and I started to run on that but there were metal pieces sticking up. I have no idea what they were suppose to be for seeing as though there was nothing reflective on them. I almost tripped over the first one. ~M
The medal on the left is from the half marathon ( the full marathon was the same design but outlines in black instead of red and slightly bigger) the middle one is the remix challenge medal for doing both the 5K and the half/full ( it's a spinner medal and I bet we walked about another mile just to find those) and the one on the right is the 5K medal we earned the day before.


 Now on to the FULL Marathon....When I first signed up for this race I was really excited. I had never ran a fall marathon and was excited to see how my training in the summer would reflect my race in the fall.  With cooler temps and a flat course, I was hopeful for a PR. But ever since MCM I have been having IT band issues and haven't gotten any long runs in. When I was at the Expo in Vegas I purchased this marathon cream that was suppose to help with soreness on the area. I don't if it was a quick fix or if it was just in my head but I thought it really helped with the pain. It was almost like a Biofreeze that smelled good. After I put it on my leg I was freezing. It almost felt like a numbing cream.  No wonder why I wasn't in any pain after I put it on! I used it that night several times as well as the next morning. I wish I would've put it on right before I left to the start but time got away from me and I was busy doing other things.
I was in corral 8 and when I started it was still daylight but not for long. I told myself I was going to be conservative since my leg had been bothering me. I kept thinking to myself I should've ran the half instead. They had the fun part up and back on the strip.  While we have to venture out into the desert. After we branched off at mile 9 we ran under the Freemont street dome. That was the most fun of the Full Marathon. There were many spectators along this stretch. After that, it just got really quite for a long time. There were a few bands along the way and a lighted arch you ran through, but nothing too exciting. During this time I became very cold and it was a bit windy. I kept thinking I was going to warm up while I was running but it was the complete opposite. I would sweat and then the sweat just made me cold. I was so glad to have chosen the short sleeve and arm sleeves opposed to the tank top I almost wore. I probably could've went with a long sleeve since I never rolled my arm sleeves down once. 

After hitting the half way mark I knew I was going slower than normal and knew I would have to pick it up a little the second half to make the time I wanted to. My leg was still bothering me a bit but I told myself I was going to feel it going slow or fast so lets pick it up. They say there comes a time in a marathon that it becomes mental over physical and I was hoping this was the time. The only other fun part was running back through the Freemont dome at mile 21. Shortly after that we were back on the strip for the home stretch. I kept thinking to myself regardless of my time I am going to finish strong and always know it could've been a lot worse. I don't regret anything that I have done during this marathon, except for not wearing a long sleeve shirt and gloves instead.
                                              After a cold but strong finish for each of us.
I am grateful for the experience,  but I wouldn't do the full marathon again. It was way too cold and no matter what corral you start, you run most of it in the dark. Lighting mostly came from street lights or the lights on the cop cars that were almost blinding. Either way, you definitely had to watch your footing at times. If you want to take part in this race weekend I would suggest the half, or the half of the half.  This was a good experience once but I don't think either one of us would do it again. As far as RnR Races go, VA Beach will always be our favorite!  ~L
Here is our Recap from the Las Vegas 5K if you are interested in reading that.
Have you ever run a race that you didn't quite know how to dress for?

41 comments:

  1. Yay! Welcome on the race.
    You are really making me miss Vegas with your posts.

    Good job I have a trip planned there next year :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congrats on all your races! I really like the medals. Very Vegas : )

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congrats on your races L and M. It was super cold for the Richmond race weekend and it was hard to know what was appropriate clothing. Thank goodness for runners who leave clothing on the side of the roads. A discarded sweatshirt saved the day for Christine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I heard about that. I wish I could've found a pair of gloves laying around. Surpirsed how cold it got.

      Delete
  4. Congrats to both of you on great races! I never think of Vegas being super cold, so to hear that there was a freeze warning shocks me! I'd love to do Vegas one day, mainly for the experience of just being able to run down the strip. But like you, it will likely be a once and done experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! It was alot of fun to be able to run the strip. It should definitely be on the list of races to run.

      Delete
  5. Yup, I lived in the desesrt and it can get pretty cold once the sun goes down. At least this course was closed off. The 5k not being a closed course made me rather concerned. That would freak me out to no end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes the course for the marathon was much better than the course for the 5k. At least we were able to take the whole road instead of just the shoulder to run on.

      Delete
  6. I've heard that the RnR Las Vegas is really challenging for the marathon group, for all the reasons you listed. Big props for getting through that race - and also for the half as well. Sounds like it was a fun weekend in Vegas for your family!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it was alot of fun for our family. It was nice that we all got to take part of it, regardless what distance we chose to run.

      Delete
  7. I enjoyed your review I have been reading all of them. Congrats on your finishes and a super cute picture! From what I have read I don't think that is the race for me, I am not a big night runner and would be baffled by the dark streets and streetlights. I do want to run a Rock n Roll race tho- I just need to pick one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RnRis a really great race series. I don't think you could go wrong with any race you chose. But I agree, this one was extra challenging bc it was at night.

      Delete
  8. Congrats! I ran the RnRLV half the first year that they switched it to a night race. It was my first half and unfortunately that race left a bad taste in my mouth about RnR events. So much so that I vowed to never do one again. Sounds like they improved a few things since then though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have heard this from other runners as well that have done it in the past. But yes, I think they did improve on many things. Overall I thought it went well.

      Delete
  9. Congrats! This one is on my list to do at some point just because of the running the strip at night experience so thanks for the review. I'm glad it was a good experience for the most part.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sounds like Vegas is best for the half and not the full. Go to know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it is! I haven't talked to anyone that had run the half of the half but I don't think that would be bad either since that is on the strip as well.

      Delete
  11. Congratulations to all of you! Your pictures are great!
    I didn't even think to warn you guys about the cold desert winds and breezes at night:) I think if they hadn't had the cold front come through, they would have made for perfect running conditions:) But it sounds like you both handled them pretty good!
    Granted I haven't run this race since they switched it to a night run. But they used to have the marathon and half run the same course until 12.8 and then they would split off. I always thought the half had the benefit because the course was all on the strip and old strip at that time and had better views.
    Sounds like they have altered the course a bit:) but seems like it still benefits the half!
    The Pawn Stars guys had probably all gone home, they lock the building up at night and only do trades via bullet proof glass, so that's probably the reason they weren't outside cheering:)
    Did you guys get a chance to visit them during one of the days you were there? I keep forgetting to go in there all the times I am there, but everyone tells me it's so much smaller than it looks on TV:)
    I'm glad they still have the course closed off, after I read your 5k review it made me wonder. But guess they only pay for the expense of having it closed for the main event races:)
    My guess is the marathon would have been the worst to have to get through in the dark. It probably would be best if they either put lights every 50 feet, or turned them all off altogether and let all your night vision kick in so you could see the holes. That would be difficult to go from lighted to dark, near impossible for night vision to help you spot the holes!
    Great job to you all! Sounds like over all you had great races and great experiences!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yes it was a great experience. There were some tricky spots along the course that you had trouble seeing. I think the lighting could have been a bit better.
      We didn't end up going down to see the Pawn Shope the next day. Maybe next time.

      Delete
  12. Congrats to both of you on great races :) How interesting the start time is so late for the marathon. It is challenging in the dark when car headlights come at you, they really do blind your footing. I like your pink shirts! It always gets a little tricky in the cold trying to get the layers right, it was super cold in Richmond for the race, of course it warmed up the next day lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I know right! It was so beautiful the next day there too. It would have been nicer if the start time was just a bit earlier.

      Delete
  13. Congratulations ladies!! I can't even imagine what 48 corrals looked like, so crazy!! I also don't think I could run a full marathon at night, I could barely do a half! It might be worth it for those awesome medals though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yes it was a bit crazy walking to the start. All the medals were pretty awesome so anything of the races would be worth doing.

      Delete
  14. I really liked the Vegas Half back when it was in the daytime. It was a yearly thing for me. I did it once at night and I won't go back unless they move it back to the morning. I just didn't like running at night. You never warm up, and a couple of the recaps I've read indicate they still haven't added lighting to the off-strip areas. As for figuring out what to wear...I've missed the boat a few times and overdressed when I thought it would be colder. The one time I ran the strip at night it was an even later start time than they have now. I think maybe 8pm? It was also in December so the temps were colder. I was so cold the whole time, then when I finally finished it started raining as I was heading back to my hotel. Fortunately I'd planned to stay near the finish by the Mandalay Bay, so I only had a block or so to go to the MGM Grand.
    It's interesting that so many people say they won't do it again after doing it once. I think that says a lot about the night time experience. As long as they keep selling entries to people who want that bucket list experience, I doubt much will change. Congratulations on finishing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Overall it was a great experience and I am glad to have done it. It was very different running at night bc you don't know how to fuel properly throughout the day or how to dress. I thought for sure I would warm up but I didn't. I am glad it didn't start any later than it did. I wish it would've started a little earlier for some daylight during the course. And yes the off the strip part of the race was not well lit.

      Delete
  15. Ok 1, 2, 3 ... testing. You know I think I'm having trouble posting on your blog ladies. I'm often not able to read after I post something so in case the previous one didnt go through, congratulations to both on some great racing.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great job! I have heard from other runners that the footing for the marathon is not good. That and the sparse crowds make it a little dicey....glad you had a good race and congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Looks like the half marathon course was great. I bet running down the strip was awesome. Love the Vegas themed medals. Nice job ladies!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. It was so much fun running down the strip. They do have some awesome medals!

      Delete
  18. You guys did great. I really love the 5k medal.
    @heatherlas

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great job! I don't know how I would do with running in the dark. Even in the daylight i get nervous that I will trip or lose my footing!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Congratulations on your races! I really like that they offered up a 5K in addition to the half and full. It would be a nice way to get in a good warm up the day before!

    I think finishing a full marathon running along the strip would have to be a pretty great experience but I'm not so sure how I would feel about starting a race that late in the day. I'd be worried that I'd have too much time to mess up my nutrition before the race!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Congratulations to both of you! This half marathon is on my bucket list! I've never ran a night race, though, so I'm not sure how well I'd do.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Congrats on the finishes! If you run another race in the dark, you might like to bring a a small flashlight like I've done in some early trail races.

    ReplyDelete

Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.