It was an amazing weekend! I met facebook friends who I have known for 18 months but never met in person who were inspirational, sweet, funny, and amazing. It is the most supportive group I have ever been in!
The 5K was Saturday night and it was fun. For me it was a temperature check and just get moving kind of race after flying all day Friday. My roommate had had some issues so it was a great night to walk honestly. By the end of that day however I already had 8 miles in on some tired feet, maybe not the best way to prep for a 1/2 marathon, lol.
So Sunday rolls around and we decided to spend the morning in the spa pools just to get moving without a lot of foot time. We skipped the Kid Rock concert although we could hear it from our hotel room at Mandalay Bay! It was a hike and a half to the start line, then our corral. Eventually we found our group and slowly it started to come together…just in time for the rain to come. Yes, in the desert. Ah well, not too bad just enough to make you wet and cold. I however had enough layers on it wasn’t an issue….all those long runs all Fall in the rain helped for sure.
So the race gets started and about 2 miles in, the hydration plan for the day caught up with me. Ridiculous I know but the 20 minute port-a-potty stop killed my race but in someways was a blessing. Although it was ridiculous to have 1 yes 1 portalet at mile 2, it forced me to change my mental game plan without falling apart or getting down.
As a result I ran negative splits the rest of the race, with my last mile being my fastest, despite 50 mph winds….those were ridiculously hard to run in and the best part, it was a head wind the last 3 or 4 miles so might as well have been running in a hurricane! I have new respect for Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel.
What I learned in part was that if I get out of my nerves and my head in those early miles I can have a good solid race thoughout. This is new to me as the last 2 halves I would die at mile 10 and gimp, limp and just try to survive my way in to the finish. This time it was 12 before I started to crash (late game nutrition may still need some work), so that is huge!
While I don’t like it, I have also learned I must obey the foot. If I start out too aggressive and don’t run/walk it, I am in far more trouble than if i just set the ego aside and listen to my body – all of it.
Lastly I finally got that 13.1 is not 13.1 for me. The race is still 13.9 by my app so plan for it. And to get into the start corral and out of the race completely you’d better plan on 17 miles, 18.1 this time to be exact but it is Vegas, they do everything big!