Saturday, December 31, 2011

the december running recap

total run mileage: 66.9 miles
highest weekly run mileage: 22.52 miles
# runs: 10
# rest days: 15
# xtraining workouts: 6
favorite run: the come run with santa 5k plus miles! i got to run with antlers and fun argyle socks, how could that not be fun?? plus i placed 3rd in my age group!
most hardcore run: the rock and roll vegas half marathon for sure. 2nd one in 8 weeks made it something that was really an accomplishment plus to be able to push through 44,000 of my closest friends and still score a pr, wow.
current reads: i finished hope in a jar by beth harbison! it was super good, definitely recommend:)
current shame-inducing guilty pleasure:
current obsession: christmas! decorations, holi-dates, traditions, lights, anything to do with my favorite time of the year!
current drink: water and sweet tea hehe.
current song: last christmas by wham! it’s the time of the year when these type of songs should only be played:)
current wish-list: things for my england adventure! im hoping for some good sales on wintery items so i can stock up on things i need to hop the pond in march.
current need: to make some race decisions for 2012. i have a couple planned out but have quite a few lulls in the in between. it is only the 1st month, i know they’ll come:)

current triumph: continuing to train through the holidays! i know this sounds silly but this is the 1st year i have actually done it, and done it well.
current bane of my existence: not so drastic, but i am a little surprised at my low mileage this month. i did miss a few days from being sick and my body was loud and clear when i needed an extra rest day, but that seem very far from previous months. looks like january is going to have to kick it up a notch!
current goal: keep with my scheduled training plan. the previous 2 weeks were tough on my body and while i need to take the time to take care of it, i also do need to make sure i am getting all my training in for tinkerbell.
current indulgence: all things christmassy. cookies, 1 glass of eggnog, peppermint, and chocolatey goodness.
current excitement: the new year! i cant believe its 2012 and january is here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

the season of the holi-dates.

in the spirit of the holidays there comes traditions. each year i think we add a new tradition, it's one of the fun parts of a fairly young relationship. you get to add or subtract things as you wish. this year we decided to not do the lights at the speedway. the year before it was at sunset park and soooo cool, when it moved north to the speedway, it just wasn't the same. this season we added 2 new ones. but I'm getting ahead of myself.

i have wanted to go to opportunity village for years, i mean forever. yet it never seemed to happen in multiple years past. finally this year tiffany, richard, and i made a plan to go and really get in the spirit. it was soooo beautiful! you go through the magical forest where each tree/set up is sponsored by a local business and decorated for the season. each one is sooo different and very cool.
its cold and wintery and makes you feel the full warmth of the season. after wandering around taking loads of pictures we warmed up with hot cocoa and funnel cakes, my favorite. it was sooo much fun and very christmassy. perfect to do the week after my race to get into the season.
while adding new things to our holiday season we took full advantage of living in las vegas and went to winter in venice at the venetian. they decorated the inside of the hotel and set up an ice skating rink outside near the gondolas! i had been wanting to go since i found out about it and when a holiday party we had planned on going to got cancelled the weekend after opportunity village we decided to go:)

richard had to pick up a gift card for my dad as his christmas present so it worked out perfect for a date night! we went to a new restaurant called I heart burgers, delicious. i had plans to take a picture of the fantastic chocolate shake with the cool spoon, but i was wayyy to hungry. after picking up the gift card we headed out front to pay for our skating passes, it was only $10 each for locals. our skate time was about 45 minutes away so we hung around people watching for awhile and i actually got a little nervous. im pretty sure i haven't skated since i was about 14 and wasn't really good then haha.

we got our skates and laced up all ready to go. we stepped out on the ice, except it wasnt really ice. it was more like puzzle pieces that fit together and could be found on a cruise ship. you got a 1/2 hour to skate and that was plenty. richard fell pretty quickly and was really good on his skates. he did turns and was wayy faster than i was. i was the slow one that looked down to make sure my feet were still there and going forward.
showing me his skills!
it was soooo fun! the 1/2 hour was a perfect amount of time and i of course waited till the very end to fall haha. i was a little sore afterward and definitely ready to go. im so glad we went and got to do something a little different in las vegas!

of course no holiday would be complete without a visit to the conservatory at the bellagio:) last year we made the huge mistake of going on christmas eve, this year we had to fix that. the problem was we kept running out of time. with richard working sundays and still trying to fit everything else in we decided to wait till the day after christmas and go during the day when we were both off instead.

it's totally different when you go during the day, and i don't think we ever have. it was busy monday but not as crazy as the year before thank goodness. the conservatory is seriously one of my favorite places on earth! we ran into jodi and her adorable boys but were only able to chat for a minute because there were so many people everywhere! i was hoping to go out to the water show before we left, but decided there were too many people and we would do it another time.
thats probably what i looked like skating the weekend before!
sometimes i take living in las vegas for granted and dont appreciate the cool things we have here. i know one day when i move on to my next adventure i will look back with fond memories of it. until then, its time to enjoy our holiday traditions, new and old:)

Monday, December 26, 2011

the 6 weeks to tinkerbell recap.

merry christmas everyone!!!! dont worry i didnt spend christmas writing this to you, i did it saturday instead:) this week didnt exactly go as planned and my body definitely got the brunt of it saturday morning for my long run. but you live and learn and know what to do for next time!


after making my long run the day before i was more than willing to sleep in and relax. later in the day i headed to my parents house for christmasy things. we have a long standing tradition of decorating sugar cookies for the season. the boys get one color (red this year) and the girls get the other (green this year). my parents frost while my brother and i get to make them pretty. we have been doing this forever and sadly didnt last year so we made sure to make it happen this year. richard was at work so it was just the 4 of us, it was amazing. we dont get that very often anymore and laughed the whole time:) especially when my mom went to make more green frosting and dropped the bottle into the bowl splashing green food coloring all over her face and neck! luckily none got on her clothes, but it was sooo fun.
this is how we roll.
those are only some of the sprinkles!
monday~4-5 miles.

after cookie decorating the night before we took erik out to dinner at olive garden for his birthday. i had just been there the week before but didnt even care, its sooo good. it was my family and his, which is often like one, and we had a great time. until the next morning when i got up for work and had the worst stomachache of my whole life. i couldnt stand up straight or lay down flat. so i called into work and spent most of the day in bed and on the couch instead.

tuesday~4 miles. 
5.2 miles = 47:06 minutes/9:03 min/mile

well it sure didnt feel that fast! after my unsuspected rest day monday my body felt creeky and a little sore. i was definitely not expecting to pull that kind of pace. goes to show, sometimes its alll in your head:)

6am spin class

this class felt good this week. i thought she was going to take us a lot harder the way she was talking about all the extra calories we were going to eat on sunday, but it was pretty normal. now by normal i mean your legs are on fire from climbing one track and then the speed work the next track plus your sweating like crazy haha. her new favorite thing is when a track comes on to turn your resistance all the way to the turn before you cant pedal anymore and then we work to take the resistance all the way back down. its not so much my favorite.

thursday~body pump.
6am body pump class

after my soreness last week i was well prepared for it to happen this week, but i was all clear. this week was tough and we had a sub. the cool part about her is that (a) she reminds me of megan over at apartment thrifty chic, like im pretty sure she is megans doppleganger! and (b) she takes the class with us every week as a participant so its easy when she subs. i think next week though im ready to add another weight to my bars!


i decided to do my long run saturday since there was no way i would be able to contain my excitement on christmas to go out and do 8 miles! friday was technically a holiday for us, but we had a skeleton crew working to cover the office and i took the late shift 12p-4p. it went really quickly and i had to make a last minute stop out in the crazy shopping land on the way home that wasnt nearly as bad as i thought it was going to be! then i came home and curled up on the couch to watch the family stone, hands down one of my favorite movies and so christmasy.
saturday~8 miles.
8.17 miles = 1:18:15 minutes/9:34 min/miles

this distance seems to be tough for me. its like my body realizes we are really in training and this is the first long run of the cycle. i mean i do a 5 miler almost every week and so i think 6.5 miles is a stretch, but not a crazy stretch. but then i get to 8 miles and my body starts to freak a little. i looked back and it did the same thing in my vegas cycle. my mind was all ready to go and i start off really well. then i get about 3 miles in and my body is just ready to be done. i was hoping for a pace closer to the 9:20s, then i just was hoping to get done. it was also really cold, maybe that didnt help. but at the end of the day i got it in and at a pretty decent pace!
had to bust out my gloves and new headband i bought at the
vegas expo to keep my ears warm, it worked awesome!

totals for the week = 13.37 miles + 2 days of cross-training.

i realized this week the value of mileage. as i was stretching from my run this morning i remembered that this week and last week i have only run 2 days, its not enough to be really ready for tinkerbell in 6 weeks. now yes, i was sick monday and the 5k last weekend threw a quirk in my plans, i wouldnt trade the rest day or the fun of running in antlers at all. but it made me remember why this is a 5 day a week habit. its important to get in my planned mileage and cross-training. its important to get the sleep i need and to eat the right food (there may have been a small lapse on thursday i didnt mention, oops lol). now its time to be jolly and christmasy for the next weekend and then back to the running on monday! these 2 weeks have been a great reminder of why i have a training plan:)   

Sunday, December 18, 2011

the 7 weeks to tinkerbell recap.

i actually realized it was really christmas this week! i was able to get a lot of shopping done and its finally cold around here. i even decided to do a local santa 5k on saturday to really get in the spirit! with that i kept my training to 4 days this week just to give my body one more day to recover and it was the first week in my new class so i had to learn to juggle.
coal popcorn? hilarious!

monday~4-5 miles.
4.72 miles = 42:55 minutes/9:05 min/miles.

back to the runner group! it was cold all day and rain was threatening, plus there were only 4 of us this week. my friend sandy came from work to join us just as the rain started when we headed out. this was my first rain-time run! it was actually kinda cool and definitely different. we chatted a lot about our stories from the race and where we were all headed next. i really liked being back with the group!

tuesday~5 miles.

after deciding to run the 5k plus miles on saturday i knew i was going to get my long run in and tuesday just wasnt going to happen. my body was still recovering and needed the extra day of rest. it was not going to take 4 days in a row of training well haha.

6am spin class.

this week my class was actually really good! the music was good and even festive. the instructor seemed to find a groove finally and really make the sweat good!

thursday~body pump.
6am body pump class.

man oh man did this class make me sore! i havent been there for a few weeks and i definitely paid for it in my muscles the next day. this cycle was a little different than the last time i was there and it was nice for the change.

friday~4 miles.

had to rest up for the 5k saturday!

come run with santa 5k = 26:56 minutes/8:41 min/miles
3.5 miles = 33:15 minutes/9:25 min/miles.

it was a super cold morning and my goal was just to run to keep warm. i met jill at the start line and was definitely one of the only ones dressed up, oh well. i had run this course a few times, so i knew what i was getting into, its not the funnest course ever i wont lie. i did notice i am in much better condition than when i ran it in june because the course came pretty easy and i was actually able to pass people! i saw the crazy fasties which included the gorman kids (our mortal high school enemy) on my 2nd loop and could not even imagine running at their speed. i finished strong and almost near the front part of the pack, a new feeling for me. i knew it wasnt a pr but it was a really strong run for me:) i caught up with jill after and we waited around for the awards trading war stories from vegas and both scoring 3rd place in our age group!
afterward we said our goodbyes and i called mom to let her know i was headed out for my next couple miles to meet them for breakfast. i never understood how people could add another few miles after doing a 5k or why they would want too. now i get it! the 5k was a great start but i need to get in miles for my training week. i kept on my silly outfit and played christmas music all the way there. it was actually kind of a fun way to get in the 6.5 miles i wanted for the day, plus i had the promise of breakfast at the end!

totals for the week = 11.35 miles + 2 days of cross training.

i felt good this week and was glad i listened to my body and took an extra day. next week though i need to make it to 5 days of training! 

42 days to the tinkerbell 1/2 marathon!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

the grad school update

back in june i began my masters program (if you havent heard, check it out!) and i can't believe it's been that long already! i decided it might be time to clue you all in on how it's going:)

i am now in the 1st week of my 4th class, crazy i know. i think i may have finally figured out a schedule haha. i started with one, then threw it out, then started another and continued till i finally found one that worked. the problem wasn't school, it was fitting the 2 other important thing of training and work into the equation.

long run
blog/homework if absolutely necessary

work 830a-530p 
blog/clean up from the weekend/do things at home
 sin city roadrunner group @6p 4-5 miles
work 11a-8p
read/research if needed for class
rest (training)

work 9a-6p
6am spin class
work 9a-6p
6am body pump class
work 830a-5p 
clean/homework if needed
run 4 miles

(i do work once a month and some 
saturdays we do have open house too)

as you can see this doesn't leave a lot of outside time for well a life haha. or rest from everything/life lol. i am also extremely lucky to be doing this before i am married and/or children come into my life. i have noooo idea how moms handle all this, mad respect, seriously. also remember that richard works nights. so i try to get everything done during the week so the days we do get together i don't have to worry about fitting in homework. he is also extremely supportive and makes sure that im getting everything done on time, it's very sweet.
i have now completed the intro class, leadership in education which I actually really liked, and the god awful law and policy in higher education. as soon as i saw the last one on the curriculum i knew it was going to suck to be honest. that coupled with the horrible professor i had made the class a terrible experience all the way around. i for sure celebrated when that class was over, after fighting tooth and nail to get my last 8 points to keep my A and 4.0 gpa.

after this class i will be just about halfway! it's super fast. each class is only 8 weeks total, it runs 7 1/2 weeks then you have the last half of the week off before starting again. which for the last 2 classes and this one as well, have had the final due the day after my big races. it makes for a crazy race week to say the least. i am set however to finish january 2013:)
then its time for one of these!
many people have asked what that means i will do when im done? i want to work at the staff side of a state university somewhere. i have absolutely no desire to teach, i also have mad respect for those that do, seriously. it's just not my gig. i would love to get into student affairs/orientation/tours and events/residence life something along those lines. im not exactly sure where or in exactly what department, but do know that is the path i want to go down. i can't wait to see where this all takes me!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

the 8 weeks to tinkerbell recap.

what a crazy week! it went from race week to my the final days of my awful class to the christmas season now in full swing. also with the end of one race we enter into the 3rd and final part of my nutty idea to do 3 races in 15 weeks! we are now in the official countdown to the inaugural tinkerbell all womens half marathon in disneyland on january 29th. i am sooo super excited and cant wait to have a girls weekend with my mom! if you havent heard all the details check them out.

sunday~vegas rock and roll half marthon!
13.1 miles =2:00:38 minutes/9:12 min/miles

this is the day i spent the last 8 weeks training for and looks like my experiment worked:) all the mornings and evenings i spent training and logging miles really worked. i originally didnt go into this race with a goal, i figured if i made it across the finish line it would be a miracle. as the day got closer and closer though i realized i could actually get a pr out of this one. then i came up with my dream goal of sub-2hrs. in the end though there were just too many uncontrolables in making that one happen. i decided i kinda dig the night race and the carbo-loading for 3 days before. i told ya this was an experiment;) if you havent read all about it, here you are! 

i gladly took the day off and spent it sleeping in and celebrating my dads birthday! i did a little christmas shopping and got to indulge a bit:) my first stop before shopping was to starbucks. i hadnt had any fun coffee since the day after long beach and it was long overdue. it was also my first red christmas cup and peppermint mocha of the season! jessica had been waiting as well since she had originally planned on being here for the race so she had her for first one of the season the same day. it was super cute!
from phoenix, az :)
to las vegas, nv. sharing the christmas spirit!

it was time to head back to work, you know since i had been there since thursday, haha. i woke up with a real bad stomach ache and couldnt figure out what that meant. i had heard a lot of people had been getting sick from the race and was really hoping i wasnt one of them. i also had a sore throat and a cough that wasnt bad, but i didnt feel good either. i went to work and decided if i couldnt hang all day i would use some sick time. after i got there though we had lunch delivered and i ate like i hadnt in a few days! i realized i just hadnt refueled enough from the night race.

wednesday~3 miles.

i had already planned to let my body decide if i was going to hit the pavement and it definitely told me no. with the refueling issue and the fact that i was still sore made the decision easy. i slept in one more day before heading into the office.

thursday~body pump.
4.22 miles = 41:16 minutes/9:46 min/miles

since i didnt run the day before i made sure to do it thursday instead of body pump. it was a very cold morning but my legs felt good after the 3 days of rest. i kept the pace easy and just wanted to feel good at the end. i was surprised my body kept it under 10 minute miles all on its own. i felt good the rest of the day as well, very accomplished. plus the extra calorie burn made dinner a bit easier;)
i have been waiting sooo long for this!
and it was definitely worth the wait.
friday~4 miles.

i decided to run saturday morning instead of back to back days and glad i did. sometimes you just have to listen to your body in order to do the right thing. 

5.2 miles = 48:28 minutes/9:19 min/miles.

work at 9am meant an early alarm to get in my planned miles. i think this morning was even colder than thursday morning! wished i could have met my runner group since they were on my side of town, but you cant always have everything you want. i had a busy day ahead and was really glad i was able to get up and get them in. i felt good and my pace seemed to come easily. plus my peppermint mocha afterward warmed me up right away!
i went to a family friends 3 year-old bowling birthday,
bonus of not being in training for a week!!

totals for the week = 22.52 miles + 0 days of cross-training.

this was a good week and i definitely am now in the christmas spirit! i did some more shopping today and started the present wrapping:) this week also got me very excited about tinkerbell. if i could do that well, physically and time-wise, i know i can make it through the happiest place on earth! i also know that this new pr, that by the way is now 2:00:38 hehe, is safely intact for awhile. that race is going to all about girly-girl fun!

46 days till the tinkerbell 1/2 marathon!!! 

Friday, December 9, 2011

the rock and roll vegas 1/2 marathon recap.

so i know it's been a few days since the race and most of the other bloggers have already posted their recaps, but i had to take a couple extra days and recover. by that i mean physically and mentally. physically i had to get to the point where i could walk around not looking like an 85 year-old woman. also i have been feeling sick ever since. first i don't think i refueled enough in the days following, which didn't help the recovery. with the mental side of things this race was a lot. there were sooo many people there it was overwhelming. but before we get that far, let's rewind to last friday.

i LOVE expos. seriously i do. it is one of the best parts of the weekend. it's crazy and packed and there are so many running things all in one place. i always go with lots of time and usually on the day before a race. since this one was in vegas though, we got to go on the 1st day and was sooo glad we did. recently at work the company decided to change the way we do vacation time, so we had to use quite a bit of time before the end of the year. i had already taken the monday after the race off but also scored the friday before as well! i thought i would be finishing up my final for the end of my dreaded class, but was able to knock it out the few days before. so that meant sleeping in and hanging out on my couch till my mom got off work and we could go to the expo.
once we arrived at the venetian it was already a crazy amount of people in the casino because it's a friday night in vegas and the rodeo was also in town. we trekked our way to the convention center and found that the expo was busy but not nearly as crazy as normal. we got our bibs and headed over to the corral change station since we both wanted to move up. i wanted to be up with the 2hr pacer and mom was shooting for a sub 3hr and needed to start with a faster group. i moved up from #18 to #9 and could not be more excited! mom moved up from #36 to #33. we grabbed our tees (so excited about women's sizing!) and headed into the fun part. there was soooo many booths.
yay zappos!
we browsed around and mom kept trying to pull me in different directions other than the laid out aisles. we both bought a few things, small stuff like socks and headbands. but it wouldn't be vegas without meeting a showgirl! when we got to the end of the expo, we were tired and definitely ready to go. we met up with my dad at outback to strategize our plan for sunday. my aunt was coming into town and staying at a hotel just off the strip. we decided to meet there at 3p so we could avoid the traffic and hang out for awhile before walking over to ballys to take the tram toward the start line.

saturday we laid low, slept in, went to the grocery store, and i went to my 1st blogger meet up! it was at the eyecandy bar inside mandalay bay and i was definitely nervous. i didn't know anyone and wasn't even sure who i was looking for. the group was actually easy to find and i inserted myself very well into a conversation, yay me! the 1st 2 girls i met were super nice and we decided eventually we should get up and meet others. we joined another group and they were also really nice. after that we ended up splitting to try and meet others and thats about where my fun stopped. i felt like everyone knew each other and i definitely didn't. so i headed home so i could get some good sleep.

sunday morning i decided to get up early (8am is early for me lol) so i could carbo-load with pancakes and bacon for a little protein. the plan was stay awake for awhile then nap around noon till 1p before getting up to get dressed and leave around 230p. about 11a my mom called to tell me that my uncle had gotten really sick and they weren't going to be coming out. that meant we had nowhere to meet/park easily. we decided to park at ballys still and stick with the tram idea. i had heard people were getting there crazy early for the good spots and i didn't want to play around with it. with the problem solved i headed in for a nap.
all i kept thinking about was this!
i didn't sleep well but got about a 1/2 hour. when i got up the nerves really started to set in and I was starving. i had a bagel and started getting my stuff together. we left on time and made it to the strip pretty easily. i decided to take my chances and try to park at mgm because it was wayy closer to mandalay bay and the start line. success!! richard and i decided to wait inside for vanessa since she was so close rather than trying to find her at the start line. she got there pretty quick and we all headed to the start line. runners were pouring in from everywhere and the full marathon was just about to start once we got to the start line. i started getting super excited!
at the start line!!
we found my parents after they had moved 3 times to hang out together before the race. i was really glad they were there so we didn't have to worry about a gear check, just the porta potty lines. we made it in plenty of time and headed to our corrals so we could stake out a good place. mom and i said our good-byes and good lucks and went our separate ways. our race crew waved good-bye and headed down the street to hopefully see us as we went by. once in the corral i knew there was no turning back. i was hoping i was in the right corral, my plan was to stick with the 2hr pacer and the cross the line just ahead of him. i had just recently decided to actually set a goal after my training went really well and the encouragement of my runner group. problem was i couldn't find the pacer.
last plan of action pep talk.

the wind kicked up a little right as we were about to start and we all knew it was going to a cold one. we were being released in waves and i was sooo glad I moved up, i was ready to go! finally it was our turn and we were off, now by off i mean across the line. there were soooo many runners it was hard to get any space. then the full marathoners came out of nowhere and joined us in the left. we found out they were there after they started screaming to move out of the way. i kept looking around for our race crew but couldn't find them, plus i had to keep moving around runners. before i knew it we were passing the 5k mark. i figured by then the race would open up and I could finally find my groove, not sooo much.
right after the start!
the water stops were sooo packed and i was afraid to get run over but muscled my way through. we hit the ghetto and then downtown and i knew we were almost halfway. it was still crowded as all get out and we were still bobbing and weaving like crazy. people started using the sidewalks and move through bushes to get around other runners. as we headed out of downtown and literally only had to run back to start line we got our gu packs about 2 miles early, it totally threw me through a loop. really the whole race threw me through a loop.

at mile 10 i decided to look at my ipod, just to see where i was and if i really could break the 2hr mark. it read 1:31:35, to make it i needed it to read 1:30:00 or below. i knew in that moment i wasn't going to make it, but decided i was going to get damn close. i picked it up as we hit the fun part of the strip and kept telling my body, it only has to hurt for 3 more miles, then 2 more. mandalay bay finally came into view and i knew the finish line was just after that. when we hit mile 11 my body was done. i had bobbed and weaves for 11 straight miles, never finding a groove or pace, and i was ready to be finished.

my plan was at mile 12 to turn on whatever i had left or once i hit the luxor, whichever was going to carry me through. i saw more people fade and stop right in the middle of the road in mile 12 than i ever have in a race. it was crazy! as I turned the corner into the final chute i swore i heard my dad scream my name but couldn't see and didn't dare turn around as i would probably lose it if i did. the finish line was there, i could see the flags, oh wait that's not it. finally i got to the line and grabbed my ipod to stop the stopwatch and saw it was 2:00:45. i prayed i started or stopped it too late and i really did hit my goal. about 10 feet after crossing the line the traffic started and continued all the way back to the car. the medal station was too close to the finish line and they weren't handing them out fast enough so there was a huge wall of people that didn't move.

finally getting my medal and a space blanket i made my way through to the food which all looked terrible except the bagged pretzels. i started heading out of the secure area to find my own race crew only to find hundreds of others doing the same thing. i realized we never made a place to meet and this could be difficult. a minute alter i saw richard trying to flag me down and was really glad he was so tall. my dad and vanessa werent far behind him and there were sweaty cold hugs all around. i finally looked up after trying to catch my breath and asked what my time was. i knew I hadn't hit it or they would have said something immediately, they all knew I was trying for the dream sub-2hr goal. richard broke it to me 1st, 2:00:38. i hung my head for a minute, sad that i didn't get under the 2hr mark. then i realized i had made up a minute in the last 3 miles and that was a 3 minute pr from long beach! hell yeah!
i found them!
my mom was still out there and my dad said she was doin really well so we crowded into the convention center across the parking lot for some warmth and do they could sit down for a little bit. i felt a little weird, knew i needed food and gatorade so my dad came with me to the snack store to get some. pretty soon it was time to go back out to the cold. somehow with the crazy mass of people we lost my dad and couldn't get through on cell phones so we headed back to the finish line because we knew my mom should be finishing soon. i got the text that she had crossed the line just after her sub-3hr goal, in 3:01:55,  but still couldn't find my dad. we waited and waited for her to come out of the secure area finally getting a text that he had found her! just before it had started to rain slightly and i was so glad we could go through the convention center to get into the hotel so we were out of the rain and warm.

she and i hobbled up front sharing all the crazy stories from the road. like there was no water at the 1st stop she got to, the full marathoners screaming at both of us because we were in their poorly marked lane (which i do really feel bad for), that after corral #15 they just let everyone go without a break in groups, the runner traffic never let up, and there was never enough space since we were only allowed on one side of the strip at a time. as we got closer to the casino we started slowing down, then we were stopped for no reason. turns out the cirque de solei show was letting out into the same traffic path causing a huge backup. all of sudden people right behind us started yelling for a paramedic because someone had fainted, but there was no way to get anyone through. people started going to the side and throwing up and everyone tried to help each other by handing over water, pretzels, bags if they couldn't get to the side to throw up and standing around each other to make sure no one tripped over the people on the ground.
finally we got out to the open area of the casino and could not have been any sooner. i was starting to feel really hot and kind of nausea and really didn't want to be another one of the people on the side. we had originally planned to eat in mandalay bay but all we wanted to do by then was get the heck out. richard, vanessa, and i took the tram back to the mgm parking garage and my parents headed to their car at townsquare. we were trying to figure out somewhere to eat together but it was past 10p on a sunday and even in vegas not everything is open. vanessa went to the nearest fast food place because she was soooo hungry, my parents went to ihop near their house, and richard and i ended up at roadrunner by our house. it was sooo good. i had a raspberry lemon drop martini, not exactly the yard margarita i wanted but it was delicious just like the rest of dinner:)
we made it home after nice, full, and exhausted! it was near midnight and i was sooo glad i was off the next day. i took it to recover and start reading all of the other crazy things people went through. it was also my dads birthday so my parents and i went to dinner to celebrate his day and our 2 prs:) looking at the whole thing now im honestly not sure i will do the race next year. there's tons of things people are saying about getting sick, and not being taken care of, im grateful that i was able to complete my race without issue. i am also pretty confident that i could have reached my goal if there hadn't been so many uncontrollables. im glad i participated this year, especially being the 1st year at night. i have now heard they want to grow it to 60,000 in the next few years, it's too many. if they do, they need to make it a half marathon only. in the end, there were just too many people. i definitely will continue participating in rock and roll half marathons and continuing racing with other companies. i just might start paying a bit more attention to how big the race is supposed to be:)
1/2 marathon #6!
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