Sunday, November 27, 2016

Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon Race Recap 11/13/16

Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon Race Recap 11/13/16
I fulfilled my bucket list race of running the Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas half marathon! Despite having some issues in the last mile that I will get to below, it was an awesome experience running the Las Vegas strip. The strip only closes twice a year, one being New Year's Eve and the other this race, so it is very cool to participate in this run. The strip at night was so fun and I am so glad that I was able to complete the remix challenge.

It was my first time ever doing a 5K on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday. If you missed my recap of the 5K, you can check it out here. Info on packet pickup and the expo is also in that post. The half marathon race on Sunday did not start until 4:30pm but I was in the yellow corral and start time for us was 5:00pm. 

I'm not used to evening races so I was a bit worried about how I'd do in the half marathon. During the day, we took the kids to an outdoor playground and we did a bit of shopping at Town Square. We ate lunch at La Bella Napoli Pizzeria where I had pizza and part of a calzone. It was yummy and I probably ate more than I should have. After lunch, we headed back to my parent's place to relax a bit before the race. Plan was for Hubby to drop me off around 3 so I can make the werunsocial meetup at 3:30 while they hung around AdventureDome at Circus Circus during the race. 

Here's my flatrunner.
The plan worked out great and I was at the Strip heading towards the concert at 3pm. The Vegas Strip was already closed and here's a pic by the Luxor walking towards the concert where Snoop Dogg was the headliner. Again, I was not totally sure where to go but it wasn't hard because I just followed the crowds of people heading towards the start line festival.
Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon Race Recap
Here's a shot I got of Snoop Dogg on the stage before I found the werunsocial group by the VIP area. It was fun hearing the couple of songs I knew of his. :p
Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon Snoop Dogg
One of my favorite parts of the whole trip was meeting people from blogging and social media! It was so great meeting Emily, Steffany, Nikki, Kimberly, and Michelle for the first time over the weekend! It was also great seeing Brian and Carlee again! I also got to see my friend Minyee from New Jersey! 
Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon Race Recap
Werunsocial group pic!
Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon werunsocial meetup pic
Photo Credit: Carlee's Husband, Ryan
Here's a shoe shot of everyone wearing Pro Compression socks. My foot is the black shoe on the bottom-middle. :) You can even see my Chia squeeze green cap in the pic which was my pre-race snack. 
Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon Pro Compression socks pic
It was very cool chatting with people and catching up with my friend from New Jersey. Before I knew it, it was getting close to line up at the start but I knew that I should make a stop at the Porta Potty before heading to my corral to line up. It was great that I did that because I actually had cell service and was able to meet up with Emily. Btw there were lots of Porta Potty's and I found an area where I did not have to wait long.
Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon Race Recap
It was so nice to see Emily at the right time, perfect because we were both in the same corral. We walked over together and kept each other company in the corrals before the race started which was really nice. Our corral started right on time at 5pm and I loved that there was this neat little bit of fireworks to kick off our run.
Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon Start Line
The course started right by Mandalay Bay Casino and we headed out of the Vegas Strip and then turned around back towards the strip. I loved that we ran by the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign within the first mile! Unfortunately I didn't get a clear shot but it was really cool to see along the run. You could stop to take a pic right by it but I opted not to. I knew that this was not a course to PR but I was hoping to get under 2 hours since training had been going well. 

Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon Vegas Sign
I had put down 2 hours for my goal time and really wish that I had not after the start. There was crowding at the start and people going a lot slower than I wanted. It was hard to pass due to the crowding and I really did not want to waste energy trying to pass. I know it's my fault and I learned my lesson. On a positive note, it was really neat to see all of the big Casinos along the route. Here is New York New York and MGM. The bright lights and people cheering energized me.
Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon Vegas Course
The crowds were great but for some reason I expected more. The bright lights made up for it. So fun seeing the Paris balloon and the Eiffel Tower!
Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon Vegas Course
Here's the Bellagio and the fountains in front. 
Bellagio fountain during the run
I was feeling really good running this part of the run. 
Here is the Stratosphere.
Stratosphere during the run
After the Stratosphere we hit the 10K mark. My 10K clocked in at 54:09 an 8:43 pace so I was on track for a sub 2 and was still feeling good. It was after the Stratosphere where things got a lot quieter and there wasn't a whole lot exciting to see. There were some wedding Chapels and I remember seeing a pawn shop. Then we made some turns and more turns which looped back around. It was a boring area but they did have some nice cool music stations with strobe lights to make it more fun. After mile 9 we made a couple of turns and hit Fremont Street which is considered Old Las Vegas. It was neat seeing bright lights again on Fremont street and then we turned and headed back down South Las Vegas Boulevard.
Old Las Vegas
When I passed Circus Circus, I couldn't help but think of Hubby and the kids. I was sure they were having or had fun playing at AdventureDome.
Circus Circus during the run
I was actually doing great until around mile 11. I'm not sure what it was but my body was getting tired and into mile 12 things got worse. My stomach was not feeling it especially by the end of 12 and and into the last mile. I was hoping I could hold it but I was at the point where running would make me go so I went from a slow jog to walking and was hoping to find a porta potty soon. I finally found one and had to cross the street onto oncoming runners. I was so happy to see it or who knows what would have happened. I went and was so relieved. This is the first time ever, I've had to stop and go #2. Sorry if it's TMI but I hear it is a common runner problem. The struggle is real. Anyway, once relieved, I made for a fast finish. My last .2 of the run was at 8.02/mile pace. :) 
My finish time was 2:00.22. So close to a sub 2 half marathon. I know I definitely would have gotten it had I not had to make that stop in the last mile. My Garmin has auto stop so it was nice to get an idea of the time I could have had. 
Once finished, I got my medal and water. There was the usual goodies at the end - bananas, chocolate milk, gatorade, and other snacks. It was also really nice that they gave out a bag so you have a place to put all of your stuff in. I had to walk a bit just so I could get out but it was perfect because it opened up right by Caesar's Palace where Hubby and the boys were waiting. 
Overall, it was a great experience despite the potty break! :p Rock'n'roll put on a good race and it was really cool running the Vegas Strip at night. Loved the bright lights and seeing all they big Casinos! The crowds could have been better, but it was mainly about running the strip. The bling is pretty awesome too!
Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas Remix Challenge medals
I could definitely see myself running this race again, but would love to get my sister and a group of friends to do it too. 

Disclosure: As as member of the Rock'n'Blog team, I received a free race entry for the Remix challenge. As always all opinions are my own.

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