Nov 23, 2014

12/16/14: Las Vegas Rock "n" Roll Half Marathon

We really enjoyed the race because it was our way of celebrating our 15th anniversary. We were looking forward to the little getaway even if it was just for a few days. We arrived in Vegas on Saturday afternoon and headed over to the expo right at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
We picked up our bibs and quickly found the KT Tape booth. He got his calf and ankle taped and I got my knee taped. We were both kind of a mess so this made life a little bit easier.  I will talk about that topic later. Overall the expo was an easy and fast pick up and very organized.

We had originally signed up to run the full marathon but my other half changed his mind. We tried to change to the half a few weeks before the race but they told us to just run the half and the timing chip would automatically pick us up as running the half. It did so I guess it works. 
This was my first night race and it was a different experience. I wasn't sure how to fuel before the race so we had lunch around 11:30 am, had a small snack in between and then ate bananas right before the race started at 4:30 pm. 
It was cold at the start. We had to take a potty break at Mile 3 because we were cold. It was also a little windy at times during the race. 
There were like 4o corrals and they counted each one of them down and released them one at a time. We started in corral 14 so it took us about 20 minutes to cross the start. By Mile 3, we were pretty warmed up and we ended up taking off our jackets for the remainder of the race. The course has a small incline from Mile 9 to the finish so I slowed down a bit because I was worried about my knee. We kept a 10:00 pace for most of the race and that felt comfortable. 

The course was pretty crowded the entire time. We were weaving around runners the entire time and I was surprised at how many people who started in the same corral as we did were actually walking. It made it difficult for others. I am not sure why people do not start in the correct corral. The time went by really quickly because the course is never boring. Most of the race is on the strip and there is lots of lights, lots of crowd support and bands for entertainment. 

My other half did really well. He never walked like he thought he was going to need to do and he felt strong the entire time. I think he could have done better without me but I told him that I didn't want to push it because of the knee pain that I have been dealing with for the past few weeks. My knee felt good the entire race but I grabbed some ice for my knee at the finish because I was afraid that if I didn't I was going to be in trouble.
The snacks at the finish line were great. They gave chocolate milk (my favorite post race drink), Gatorade, pretzels, beer, Justin's nut butter, Pure Protein bars and bananas. The food wasn't bagged so it was hard to carry it all if you didn't have a bag.

We finished in 2:13:22 and I was very grateful to have been able to run this race. My other half doesn't care about time so we were really able to enjoy this race. The medal is nice and heavy and I think it even glows in the dark. The race was well organized and had plenty of water stops, porta potties and course entertainment. We would definitely run the half marathon again but I am not sure if I would enjoy running this full marathon at night because a large portion of the marathon course is off of the strip and I heard it gets dark and lonely out there. 
It was about a 4 mile walk back to our hotel and it was cold. I was really glad that I decided to run in pants and not my shorts. I would have froze on the way back to the hotel had we not stopped at a Starbucks for a little break. I think the hot shower I took after the race was one of the best showers ever!

Have you ever ran a night race?

Do you run with your significant other?

Nov 10, 2014

It's Race Week and Why it Pays to Dress up Like a Pinata!

It is hard to believe that another year has flown right by! November means that the year is almost over and all of the Christmas decorations are already displayed in the stores. Starbucks already has the seasonal red cups and I start looking forward to the two weeks off of work that I have at the end of every year! I kicked off November by cutting off my hair and donating it and I even won a free entry to race of my choice from the Lexus LaceUp Running Series for posting my Pinata costume on their Facebook page and collecting votes. These are a new series of local races that I have been thinking about signing up to try and now I have the opportunity to run one of their races for free! 
Life is Good except for one thing....

I do have something to share with you that I haven't mentioned because I was hoping that it would go away. After my last run with the club, which was two weeks ago, I started feeling some pain in my left knee. The pain is on my knee cap and I am not really sure what happened but I think I might have a case of runner's knee. I promised myself that I would not run as long as I feel pain and I have survived because the break was very much needed. The knee pain is still here but has gotten about 85% better if I had to guess. I am supposed to be running the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon with my other half on Sunday so I am hoping for the best. We planned this race in celebration of our 15 year anniversary so I am kind of bummed that I might have to miss my first freezing cold night run. I am pretty sure that snowflake means COLD!
I did go for a short 3.3 very easy run yesterday to test the knee out and it wasn't what I would call super painful but it wasn't how it should be.
The plan is to play it by "ear", or should I say "knee" and see what happens but my other half will be running with or without me. He has put in his training and I will be there to cheer him on no matter what. I am still excited for the race even if I end up sitting it out and saving myself for my half in December. It is what it is, right?

                                        Anyone else running Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas?

Nov 3, 2014

GUESS WHAT I DID?

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram then you probably already know this.... I CUT OFF MY HAIR!

My hair has been really long for over ten years so I felt like it was finally time to cut it off. It is a lot of work and most of the time I have it up in a braid or a ponytail because of running. When I finally let my hair down, people are actually shocked to see the length of my hair.

One of the main reasons why I cut my hair off was to donate it to a child who needs it more than me. My first thought was to donate it to Locks of Love but I had several people recommend against it. Apparently there are some issues with them so I also looked into Pantene Beautiful Lengths. Pantene does not accept hair with color so I will not be able to donate to them. I  will have to donate to Locks of Love but my hopes are that a child with cancer will be happy to receive a wig made from my hair. Cancer has made it's presence in my family and I know what it is like. I simply wanted to give something that could make a difference in someone else's life.
I cut off more than 12 inches of hair and my only condition for my hairdresser was that I would still be able to put my hair in a ponytail for running purposes. My kids did not want me to do it! My son actually likes it but my daughter was not too excited about it. My hairdresser was more than excited to cut it off and she told me to sit down and let her cut it off before I changed my mind.
It is a huge change for me but change is good. I actually like it but I am going to have to figure out how to make it look the same day it did on November 1, 2014 when my hairdresser did it! The good thing is that it will grow back and then I can donate it again!
What do you prefer? Long Hair or Short Hair?

Have you ever donated your hair? 

Oct 22, 2014

My Plans for the Remainder of 2014 and a Race for 2015!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been feeling a little less than motivated lately. I am still running but not really following any type of schedule or plan. I guess you can say that I just run with no particular pace or distance. That has kind of been my spot lately and it feels like of nice to take a little break from it. I feel like I have been in a consistent training cycle and maybe I need a break. Not a break from running but maybe just a break from the pressure of training for a race.  

So what are my plans for the remainder of 2014? I have only committed to one race for the remainder of the year and I will be running it with my other half. It will be his second half marathon and he will be running it in one of his favorite places.
 
I have also thought about running a Turkey Trot (5K) on Thanksgiving Day but I have not committed to one yet. I can sign up at the last minute without worrying about a price increase so I will wait on this one. This is a fun one and I love that I get to see some of my local running buddies, like Megan, who also run this race.
Sometimes I feel like signing up for a race is the answer to getting yourself motivated so maybe these races will get me back into the groove. Having that said, I am going to commit to one more race that is more than six months out. I ran this race with a friend this year and paced her to a sub-2 half marathon PR. After experiencing the race, I really thought about running it to see what I could pull off on my own. I call it a cheat race because it is downhill but sometimes it is nice to fly without needing a pair of wings. It is local and cheap so what the heck. I am going to give it a try!
My running club also runs some local races that they incorporate into their training so they might twist my arm to sign up. I say no, but we will see.
 
Who else is thinking about signing up for some year end races? 

What about races for 2015?