Category Archives: race weekend

Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon (My First Marathon): Part I

I’m still a little bit amazed that my first marathon is actually finished. After putting in months of training, the day has finally passed…and I made it to the finish line!

Let me start from the beginning…

We arrived in Las Vegas late Friday night, and just went to our hotel to meet up with the friends we were staying with. We ended up staying up pretty late just talking / catching up — they live in CT, so we don’t see them very often!

On Saturday, we headed to the expo. It was held in the Convention Center near the Venetian. I was hoping we wouldn’t have to walk too much, but it is hard to get anywhere on the Strip in Vegas without walking, or paying a ton for a cab.

The expo was gigantic! The check-in process went really smoothly, and we didn’t have any issues getting our bibs or t-shirts. Afterward we wandered around to check out some of the vendors since we had never been to an expo like that before. We didn’t buy anything, but it was cool to see what was out there.

For the rest of the day, we wandered the Strip (a few friends had never been there before, so it was fun to see their reaction to all the huge casinos and lights). We got tickets to David Copperfield’s show, so we slowly made our way down to the MGM. On the way we checked out the street performers, ate an early dinner at Toby Keith’s I love This Bar, and bought a bunch of treats at the M&M store! We ended up walking way more than I wanted to (probably almost 6 miles on the day), but at least it was spread out over the day.

After the David Copperfield show (which was pretty cool by the way…better than I expected), we cabbed back to our hotel and all shared a small pizza as a late night snack. We decided to go to bed a little later than we usually would for a morning race since this run didn’t start until 3pm.

Sunday morning was spent lounging in our room. We slept in until about 10, then stretched and ate before getting ready. We decided to cab to the start of the race since our hotel’s shuttle put us about 3 miles from the starting line. We got there super early, so we found a spot inside to hide from the crazy winds until closer to race time.

About 2 o’clock, we headed to the start area to check our bags and get into our corrals. Before I knew it, the race was about to start!

Overall I felt surprisingly calm all day. Earlier in the week I figured I was going to be nervous all day about the run, but I really wasn’t to bad. I believed I would be able to make it, and tried to stay confident. The thing that made me the most worried was the wind. It had been beautiful on Saturday, so I hadn’t expected the wind — and I know how hard a windy run can be!

Stay tuned for more about the race!

I’m a marathoner!

I finished my first marathon yesterday! I am so excited to say that. 🙂

I’ll have to wait to give you all the details because I am staying in Las Vegas for a couple more days and don’t have access to my computer, and I haven’t mastered this phone posting thing yet.

But I wanted to let you know I made it and live to tell the tale. And even though I am so sore today, I am considering when should be my next race!

Thanks for all your support! Will tell you all about it soon — hopefully Wednesday!!

20 Miles…Crushed.

Today, I completed the Historic 20 Miler at the Clarksburg Country Run. It was a fun day, and I think I accomplished my race goals!

As a reminder, here were my goals based on my previous post:
1) take in adequate nutrition and hydration along the route
2) Finish with a 10:00/mile pace
3) Finish strong and not hit the wall
4) For every race, I want to be sure to have fun! 

And, here’s how I did…

1) I think I did a pretty good job with this. Ended up eating most of a PowerBar, and a few Shot Bloks. I took water at every water station. They were about ever 2 miles or so. I think it worked out pretty well.
2) Finished in under 10:00/mile pace!! Sweet!
3) Probably started the race a bit too fast, but more or less maintained pace. Was also able to pick up the pace the last two miles for a strong finish.
4) Definitely lots of fun. Such a beautiful area. Nice quiet country roads, small field of runners!

My final finish time was 3:16:26 for an average pace of 9:49/mi.

As I said above, I think I started the run a little too fast — especially for the first mile or two. But generally had fairly consistent splits. This is something I need to work on in the my last couple runs during my taper, and will be one of my big goals for the marathon.

Clarksburg was an adorable little area. I had never been there before, but it is so close to Sacramento! It is right on the Sacramento River, and has a bunch of vineyards and wineries in the area. It was pretty chilly first thing in the morning, but warmed up a little as the morning went on. Frost was on the ground this morning! The other awesome thing about this race was a hot lunch when we were done — it was pasta, salad, fruit, and cookies. Yum!

Overall, I am so proud of myself for this race. I made a couple friends on the route — one woman I ran with for about 4-5 miles! To think that my first half marathon I ran at about at 10 min mile pace, and now I’m hoping to run my first marathon at that pace is so awesome! Just got to keep putting your mind to what you want and you can make it happen.

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Other fun weekend events included:
– early Thanksgiving party
– trip to the movies to see Argo (I’d recommend it.)
– dinner out to our favorite Mexican restaurant
– lots of chicken nuggets 🙂

This afternoon, Ry and I had a second lunch of some chicken nuggets, and have been relaxing. Sunday is always the day we catch up with family on the East coast, so we were busy with some phone calls. Since then we’ve been watching the night football games and enjoying a glass of wine to celebrate our great races! Probably time to make dinner…I think I’m hungry every 3 hours after a long run. Haha!

It’s now officially taper time! 3 weeks to go.

Race Recap: Nike Women’s (Half) Marathon

Sorry about the quick post yesterday. Hopefully I can make it up to you with some nice long recaps the next few days!

Sunday’s NWM Half was pretty amazing. As my first race with 25,000 people between the half an full marathon distances it was incredible.

Not only was this my first race where Ryan wasn’t also running, but with so many people I definitely had a few extra pre-race jitters! Since I was getting all nervous in the evening/morning of the race, I ended up not bringing my camera, like I had planned here. But, I did get a whole bunch of photos during the race and after with Ry waiting near the finish line!

Let me jump back a little before getting into the details of the race…packet pickup on Saturday was a little chaotic. The line to get in to the expo was wrapped around Union Square in downtown San Francisco almost twice! Luckly, it moved along pretty quickly, and the volunteers really were on top of things for the check-in process. Ryan came along with me. We didn’t spend too much time inside, although it seemed like you could probably spend hours there if you wanted with giveaways, bra fittings, yurbuds headphones, Nuun samples and Neutrogena prettying people up. We did try out the Safeway trail mixes, and ran on the hamster wheel that was powering a cellphone charging station.

On the morning of the race, I got up just before 5 and headed over to the start around 6am. This was my first NWM experience, and overall I have to say that I think this year was pretty well organized. I had heard in the past that sometimes the pace corrals got a little crazy in the morning and some of the faster paced runners had to do a lot of weaving around slower paced runners. While there was a little of that going on, it wasn’t anything too outrageous, and I didn’t see any falls or injuries out of the starting gates.

The weather was also really nice this year — the morning was overcast, not too warm or too cold. We had some fog along the beach so you couldn’t see the Golden Gate Bridge, but it was still a beautiful day to be running.

With my training routine, I didn’t fit in much time on hills, so I was a little nervous to see how I would fare. However, based on my performance at the Urban Cow Half last weekend, I was feeling generally positive about my training, and ready to race again this weekend! I ended up walking the water stations, and just a tiny bit of part of the hill at mile 6, but ran the rest of the race.Those hills are seriously tough!

My pace slowed down a bit near around mile 10, but I tried to keep my head in the game and keep pushing with a 5k left to the finish.

The best part was seeing Ry and Jesse with 0.25mi left to go! Sprinting it to the finish.

I finished in 2:00:36. Only 30 seconds slower than last week’s race, which I think is pretty fantastic considering the difficulty of the course. My body definitely noticed a difference too, seeing as last week I wasn’t that sore, and this week my quads are angry.

At the finish, I grabbed my swag including the beautiful Tiffany’s necklace and t-shirt, then searched around for Ryan. We had a 3-mile walk back to our friend’s place (and a shower, and post-race food), so I didn’t spend too much time exploring the finisher’s area.

Even though it was a tough race, I am proud of myself for a strong finish and staying in it. It was incredible to run with so many women!

The End of a Great Weekend

Of course the Urban Cow Half was part of the great weekend, but it also included a delicious dinner out on Friday, relaxing with my hubby on Saturday, a beautiful half marathon Sunday morning and an afternoon of post-race football and pizza.

Our favorite pizza place in Sacramento is Luigi’s. We don’t get it very often, but it is seriously SO GOOD. And if you like to ranch dressing, they seriously make the best. It was a perfect race day dinner after a morning of hard work.
Official recap of the race coming soon, but overall it was an awesome course with great volunteer support. Our friends had a great time completing their first half relay! Mooooo!
What is your favorite pizza? You know I like pizza from Luigi’s. But some of my favorite toppings are pepperoni and black olives.