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10 things I learned from my first HM

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

1. Consistency is key

Not to long ago I read that there's some formula you multiply your weekly mileage by to see where you'll hit the wall - and that had me worried, because I don't think I ever ran more than 20 miles, and many weeks, while nursing injuries, significantly less.

I never hit the wall. I think being consistent - and cross training - are the keys. I am not the sort of person who lives to run. I like variety. I like the challenge & endorphins of running, too, which is why I do it.

2. Cw-x tights are worth every penny to me

Between swimming, yoga & my cw-x tights, my achy hip mostly stopped bothering me in that last month of training. I wore them for my long runs & would stay in them for at least a half hour afterwards.

YMMV

3. Don't try ANYTHING new before your HM

I knew this & I was going along pretty religiously respecting it. Or so I thought. Until I thought it would be a good idea to do a new yoga DVD the Tuesday before the race.

I'm not sure that's what caused my knee to be so funky, but it started shortly afterwards.

4. Research, people!

It's amazing to me the number of people who have no idea that Vegas can get cold. It was, in fact, colder here on the day/night of the race than it was back home in NY. I've been here in winter so I knew it was a possibility. It can even snow. Weather.com is your friend, but give it +/- 10 degrees because forecasts change.

Research the race itself. I'd read plenty of stories of RnR events being disorganized, so it wasn't a huge shock to me.

Research hotels. I switched partly because the Luxor had no wifi. The wifi here worked great. How far away from the start & finish lines are you willing to be? Will you drive? How far will you want to Walk after running 13.1 miles? I was riding my runner's high so we walked the mile back to the hotel, including having to go up & down the non-working escalators.

Research restaurants. What do you want to eat? I knew I wanted a goid pancake breakfast on race day. Blueberry hill did not disappoint.

5. Don't rely on the kindness of strangers

I'd read about races where they run out of water or food for the slowpokes like me. Yes, it would be way easier to run without carrying four 8 oz water bottles or GUs and a post race snack. I didn't have to struggle with the aid stations or wait hours for food afterwards - priceless.

Not to mention the many aggressive runners basically elbowing their way thru you - and the walkers walking so close together that you couldn't run around them. Or the street littered with gloves & hats & even sweatshirts.

6. Options are nice

Half my suitcase was taken up with running gear - that is not an exaggeration. Even with research, weather is variable. Pack a variety of tops. You won't regret it. A variety of running snacks isn't a bad idea, either. You never know what you might crave race day.

7. Check your bib AND chip

Well, anything where the numbers need to match - check em. Really, who would've expected my chip to not match my bib?

8. Go to the talks

If you have time, of course. They're interesting. You will learn new stuff. You could have your photo taken with an Olympian - I didn't, but I could have!

9. Goals are good, but running IS the goal

Goals are good, they motivate us. But you won't always meet your goal - I know I most definitely didn't. But in the end, I did: I ran a HM. It impresses the hell out of people. It's what I set out to do.

10. Finishing is winning

Kate Gosslein's shirt said so. Did you know this was her first marathon? I didn't until afterwards.

There will eventually be photos. Lots & lots of photos. Just not yet.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ONMYMEDS 8/13/2012 10:39AM

    I know this blog is dated, but the advice still applies. Every race, if not every run is it's own learning experience.

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HONBAD 12/7/2011 9:19PM

    Great blog! I am toying with the idea of a HM and if I do, I will be sure to heed your advice!

Thanks for sharing :) Liz

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PUDLECRAZY 12/7/2011 5:40PM

    emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 12/7/2011 5:32PM

    I'm impressed! Thanks for sharing these lessons-learned. One day I'll run an actual race... and I know the first person I'll be asking advice from is you!

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NATPLUMMER 12/7/2011 3:28PM

    Great lessons!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 12/7/2011 2:02PM

    AWESOME lessons learned, it sounds like you were very prepared. You put a lot of planning and training into it and it paid off. Can't say enough times how proud I am of you. You totaly inspire me in many ways. Gonna have to invest in those tights, they are on my wish list, hoping Santa will bring some, lol.

Can't wait to see the pics.

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HEALTHY4JEANNE 12/7/2011 1:58PM

    Judy, loved this blog!
Congrats on finishing and excellent job on summarizing what you learned. I love to research before hand!
So proud of you

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KAREN_NY 12/7/2011 1:29PM

    SWEEEEEET!! Love this. "Running is the goal." It was for me too. I just signed up for my 2nd. :)

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/7/2011 1:30:40 PM

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LEONALIONESS 12/7/2011 11:42AM

    SP won't let me edit!

I wanted to add HUGE congrats for doing so well on what sounds like a really rough and rocky course.

I guess the general consensus is that they doubled the race field but not the support, which meant they couldn't handle the extra runners well (or at all)

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KKINNEA 12/7/2011 11:35AM

    Nice conclusions - I agree wholeheartedly about weather.com and clothing options.

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LEONALIONESS 12/7/2011 11:34AM

    So, a bunch of people on the runners Livejournal group I'm part of did this race and all of them agree it was an absolute nightmare of a race. Incredibly poorly run and slipshod. I'm reading their race reports like this D:

I'm glad you had a good experience, it seems most folks really did not. I know I'd be just as frustrated as the folks on runners are. I hate poorly run races!

Your next one is not a R&R again, is it?

I'd be interested to see how you think this one compares after running a smoothly run, well managed race. My local race company is just amazing so I'm super duper annoyed but poorly done races now. First world problems! ;)

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KATIEKATE11 12/7/2011 10:33AM

    THANK YOU for your suggestions. I start training in January for my first HM. I hope I can go back to your blog before I run my race in June to make sure I have all of my ducks in a row! :)

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DDHEART 12/7/2011 10:22AM

    Yes! You do impress the hell out of me! Not that I didn't think youu could do this, far from that! I know you're one very very determined and accomplished woman, but I'm not so much a distance runner...I have run the 13 plus miles but in a training situation and it's hard hard hard! So you impress me and of course I envy the experience and knowing you had a chance to see some of our mutual friends....well yes I'm envious. Congrats on your great finish!

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TERRYT55 12/7/2011 10:22AM

    Great information! I know I wouldn't have thought about the cold in Vegas without my sister and brother in law, who are locals, reminding me to bring warm running gear.

Congrats on your first HM

emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 12/7/2011 9:48AM

    Awesome!

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/7/2011 9:32AM

    Woohoo! How exciting and fun!

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KASHMIR 12/7/2011 9:02AM

    Excellent!!

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SHEILA1505 12/7/2011 8:45AM

    Great stuff, Judy!

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Kara Goucher said I should . . .

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Fair warning: if describing food makes you wan't to eat, you might want to skip this blog.

My husband & I always seem at odds when it comes to food in Vegas. He wants cheap eats - not so easy to find anymore, but not impossible. I want good food - there are SO many amazing restaurants here.

OTOH, he has just been ridiculously proud of the whole HM thing - which came as a huge surprise because he's come to very few of my races. I am not one to toot my own horn in general. Before we left, tho, every time we told someone we were going to Vegas he made sure they knew why. I think I didn't usually mention it because a) I didn't wan't to jinx anything and b) like I mentioned, I don't really like that attention.

He almost immediately posted a photo of me before the race on his facebook page & kept urging me to post my photo here.

And then he consented to go to the Wicked Spoon buffet with me at the Cosmopolitan - and didn't even complain TOO much when we had to stand in line for an hour. If you go, go early - it's well worth the price but it's very deceptive. You stand in line to pay, which is normal, but it's only once you've paid that you see the line you REALLY have to stand in - to be seated.

I have eaten at quite a few Vegas buffets over the years, and this one ranks right up there with the best. And I let myself eat everything I wanted to - I left totally stuffed, but not uncomfortable. The portion sizes of everything was quite small - of course you can get as much as you want, but I didn't get seconds of anything - I ate 3 plates of food as it was!

Now, I know you're thinking you just ran a HM & you damn well ought to be able to eat anything you want, but here's the reality: if I'm lucky I burned 1400 calories. But I consumed about 600 - 700 calories during & immediately afterward. And this is why it's so easy to gain while training for long distances: IDI syndrome (I deserve it).

I had:

Pecan French toast - usually I'm disappointed by French toast at restaurants, but this did not disappoint.
Caesar salad
Spinach salad
Pasta with eggplant sauce
Butternut squash ravioli (almost got that at Spago)
Gnocchi
Mac & cheese (holy yum!)
Garlic bread
Breakfast panini
Cheddar hash browns

I also had a taste of my husband's eggs Benedict

I know, I know. Sounds like a huge amount of food - and it was - but the portions were small & I didn't completely finish anything.

I stuffed some bananas & apples in my purse - should've grabbed the bananas at the end of the race yesterday but I just didn't think of it.

The good news was I wasn't too hungry for dessert . . . I got a chocolate covered marshmallow that had some sweet crunchies on the bottom - nothing at dessert was labeled so I didn't know what it was. And 2 chocolate dipped strawberries that had crushed oreos on the bottom - thank you so much for placing that idea into my mind! Some of the chocolate fell off as I was eating it & I didn't even finish off what fell off; I was that full.

There seriously wasn't a bad dish there & there was way more I didn't try.

I stopped off at Ross on the way back but continued my non-buying streak. We'll see if I break it today.

I finally showered after I got back & then I kind of crashed. I was going to do some yoga - got into my pjs after the shower - but couldn't find the motivation. We were going to get together with NATPLUMMER & her husband for dinner, but frankly I was too tired, not hungry & couldn't muster up the energy to get dressed again. I had an apple, protein bar & some cookies in the room.

Well, Kara Goucher DID say at the expo that it's important to refuel after a long run even if you don't feel like it, after all.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSIQZER 12/10/2011 6:32AM

    Who are we to argue with Kara? ;)

So awesome that your husband was so proud! That's so sweet!!!

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DDHEART 12/9/2011 10:37AM

    Love the expression of pride that your husband showed...I totally understand your not wanting to jinx or draw the spotlight but it is a very very nice feeling to know you are being proudly touted by your number one fan!

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NATPLUMMER 12/7/2011 3:27PM

    YUM!!! You didn't want those green bananas from the race anyway.

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SLEEPYDEAN 12/7/2011 2:49PM

    My eating was so messed up in Vegas because I had stomach issues from the time I got there. I'll have to live vicariously through you.

I heart Kara. I got my picture taken with her at the Nike Women's race expo - I was soooo happy. I've been looking into Nutrilite lately because of her promotion of it.

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MARGARITTM 12/7/2011 2:20PM

    WOW we will have to go to the Cosmo next trip! Tony roma's has a decent prime rib on Freemont Street too.


I also gave myself full license to eat what i wanted to on Monday!!!

After being soooooooo careful before the race!

I highly recommend hitting the Walgreens for a case of water and some bananas for your room ... most hotels/casinos charge $2.99 a bottle! and Starbucks $1.59 for one banana! Stock up at Walgreens and save that money for something you will really enjoy!


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KASHMIR 12/7/2011 8:59AM

    Be very glad you DIDN'T grab the banana at the end of the race...they were GREEN! I read one statement they might have been the reason many people after the race were having severe stomach issues.
Kara is so right...I never feel like eating after a race, but know I must.
IE. Cheap Eats for hubby...Hooters has a $9.95 Prime Rib. I was very happy with my post race dinner except having to wait until after 1am to be seated.


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KANSASROSE67 12/6/2011 4:13PM

    LOVE your new pic. Great job!!!

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LJCANNON 12/6/2011 10:45AM

    It really is all about Portion Control, even at the Buffet. And you did stop before you were STUFFED.
emoticon emoticonSounds to me like you did pretty good!

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/6/2011 10:03AM

    Those are great choices at the buffet. Really cute new photo. Again, congrats! It's very cool.

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A great time at HM, but so frickin cold!

Monday, December 05, 2011

I slept fine sat night, the night before the big race - other than waking up at 4 am, but that isn't really terribly unusual for me these days. I don't get nervous. I know there are many, many things that can go wrong - but I've done my training; I'm ready - just a bit concerned about what the body will throw at me.

We got together with NATPLUMMER & her husband for brunch. I had chocolate chocolate chip pancakes - because pancakes are my go-to breakfast/lunch on long run days. The upside of not getting nervous is I don't usually suffer with GI issues (other than my body protesting the lack of veggies this morning).

I hung out with Robin (aka KASHMIR) & her buddy Jackie for a little while before the race. They were sooooooo nice & helpful to me. Kind of rushed thru getting dressed, only to discover I had the wrong timing chip! Which gave DH fits, but I knew we'd get it straightened out. The bad part is he'd signed up to get tracking for me, which he couldn't get so he was po'd. NATPLUMMER had signed up to track me, too - sorry Nat!

I must say the prerace organization was sadly lacking. Trying to figure out where to go to straighten out my chip wasn't easy, but robin was really helpful & we got it done. I didn't see her again, sadly, altho I saw Jackie briefly. They just gave me a new bib & chip.

So we hung out, listening to Cheap Trick a bit. I didn't really feel hungry, but it'd been a loooong time since brunch so I ate some of the chocolate covered pretzels I'd brought with me. Didn't really need a portapotty, either, but used it anyway.

DH was very sweet & stayed with me the whole time right up until we began to move (a little), so I could wear my coat over my racing gear. And thank god, because it was really, REALLY cold having to stand around for basically 2 hrs from the time we got there. Yeah, we could've gone later but I figured earlier was probably better - and I don't regret that decision.

It took half an hour to get to the start - literally - but that was pretty much what I figured. I'd like to give you a mile by mile recount, but quite frankly I found the mile markers very poor & often had no clue how far I'd gone or how far I had to go.

I haven't run that slow in a long, long time. Just the sheer humanity of about 40,0000 or so runners. It really wasn't as bad as I'd expected. The bands along the route were fun, but you only hear them very briefly & I was really glad I had my MP3 player. I was also really glad I carried all my own water on my fuel belt - getting to the water would've been a pain & I like to take sips every 15 minutes.

The good news is my knee never really bothered me! Oh, there were twinges here & there all over my body - 13.1 miles will do that to you, even at that pace - but no outright pain. I saw so e running brides, but didn't see the run-thru marriages. I was sad I didn't see any running Elvi (Elvises) - but finally did somewhere around mile 8 or 9. Walking.

The walkers really slowed me down. I have nothing against walkers - I take walking breaks myself. And really, if you walk 13.1 miles, that's pretty cool. But many times it was just impossible to get thru them. My official time was 3:07:44 - WAY slower than I anticipated. But I'm cool with it - I finished, not in pain, & those were my goals.

I was shocked that about 95% were walking those last 3 miles. I ran. I really wish I knew my time from the last mile . . . I really ran . . . made me really feel like a runner. I had made sure to run the first 10 miles at a comfortable pace, and then I tried to pick it up.

DH was waiting for me in the reunion area - with a big kiss & my coat & honeystinger bar. I wasn't ravenous - long runs tend to suppress my appetite - but I ate it anyway since that, along with my 2 GUs consumed along the route & most of the honeystinger waffle I ate around mile 11 because I started to feel a bit light headed, were dinner. DH had a steak dinner while I was running. I never did hit the wall, thankfully.

I felt good afterwards. I almost always feel good afterwards. Really, it was a great first HM experience. The medal is cool - my first running bling! This morning my legs are really sore, but not painful.

Would I do it again? You betcha. Oh wait, I'm doing it again in 2 1/2 months! Any interest in a full marathon? No thank you very much. Maybe someday just to say I did it . . . maybe for my 60th birthday . . . and maybe not. Would I do THIS one again? Absolutely!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARGARITTM 12/7/2011 1:20PM

    nice blog! I enjoyed the race a lot - I hope next year I can get a couple of my running peeps to come out and do it! Of course i live on the east coast so it's not so easy!


OH one more thing to mention - When the weather is a question..... I bring a "throwaway top or sweatshirt" either pick one up at the GW (good will) or if you are like me have a ton of racing shirts that I DO NOT love. Wear it till the start and then toss TO THE SIDE PLEASE - most races pick up the abandoned clothing and donate to a shelter after the race.

Comment edited on: 12/7/2011 1:26:51 PM

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SLEEPYDEAN 12/6/2011 6:27PM

    Glad to hear you had a good race overall. You were very lucky to have your husband there for you before and after.

I was plagued by stomach issues from the start of the weekend and missed out on doing many fun things or eating out with any fellow Sparkers. The race was tough for me and I was pretty disappointed that I didn't meet the goal I'd been training for. The crowds and obstacles to dodge were very distracting. I'm not sure I'll be back next year...

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TYKXBOY 12/6/2011 1:49PM

    Sounds like you finished before the big wind gust picked up and the few minutes of drizzly rain! Glad you had a great time. :)

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KKINNEA 12/6/2011 12:24PM

    Nice job! I saw a little bit of the ceremnoy as I went by. I agree about the bands - if it weren't for my iPod I wouldn't have had enough music.

The problem with the walkers is they were on the left side of the road so if you wanted to run, you had to dodge a lot of people.

The cold was worst at the end I thought - there were big gusts of wind around 3:15 after HM gun time - brutal!

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SHEILA1505 12/6/2011 8:04AM

    Well done!
Congratulations
Hugs xxx

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JESSIEJUICE 12/5/2011 7:38PM

    emoticon!! I would LOVE to see some prancing Elvi. It sounds like you guys were packed in like sardines! I'm glad you finished pain-free and that you really got your run on in the last 3 miles— sounds like a very smart pacing plan to me. Now I have such a craving for chocolate chip pancakes... mmmmm. emoticon emoticon

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FRECKS96 12/5/2011 7:18PM

    AWESOME!!! A HUGE congrats to you Judy! I am SO glad you had such a good experience.

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TEMPEST272002 12/5/2011 6:45PM

    Glad to hear you had a great race & the knee didn't bother you. I can't imagine what it's like to run in sea of 40,000 people... no surprise you weren't moving that quick at points. I'm in awe that you picked up the pace at mile 10.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IMSMILEY88 12/5/2011 5:29PM

    Wow! I hadn't heard how cold it was. Burr! But, congrats! You did it! Great job!

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PAMATX 12/5/2011 2:51PM

    Congratulations! I want to be like you!

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PUDLECRAZY 12/5/2011 2:34PM

    Wow, way to go!!!!

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 12/5/2011 1:53PM

    I am so proud of you!!

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HALFFAST 12/5/2011 10:13AM

    Woohoo! I'm so proud of you! I only wish I could have been there too :( I saw a lot of comments on Facebook about how poorly organized this race was so I'm glad you still had a good time. There was even an uproar that they ran out of medals!

I also have no doubt that you WILL end up doing a full ;)

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LJCANNON 12/5/2011 10:01AM

    emoticonSo happy to hear about your race!! It was hard to believe the TV Weather Guy when he said it was nearly as Cold in Las Vegas as it was in Oklahoma!!
Congratulations on your Success!!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 12/5/2011 9:55AM

    Which one are you doing?
Awesome job on the first! I know what you mean about the last three miles - it's even worse in a marathon. That's when I'm glad I'm doing Galloway, because I'm still doing what I was doing to begin with, though maybe a tad slower.

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NATPLUMMER 12/5/2011 9:50AM

    emoticon emoticon at least now I know why I never got updates. I think you did great!! I am so proud of you. emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/5/2011 9:19AM

    Oh, what fun! I thought of you when they said on the news that it was 36 degrees in LV. It's been cold here in the mornings as well. So glad all went well. Don't they give walkers their own lane as not to obstruct? If not, they should. Honestly, I give people credit just for getting out in the cold in the early morning. Then, to run, wow! Congrats to you, JLITT.

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SKINNYPOWELL1 12/5/2011 9:15AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
So proud of you, sounds like it was a great experience and I am so thankful you didn't have any knee issues, that would have certainly made a miserable race.

A million more emoticon's to ya. Ya did good.

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Another day @ expo & met more spark buddies

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Last night we went out to dinner with NATPLUMMER & her husband - I think we were all a bit tired, they with their long drive & us with the jet lag & running around. NATPLUMMER is so sweet tho - she brought me peanut butter chocolate brownies because she knows they're my fav - but not enough for me to really get into trouble with!

I laid around again this morning, iced the knee some & did some runner's yoga. The knee ached a bit toward the end - but I do think it's a bit better, if not normal yet.

Then I set out on a mission to find Spago at Caesar's Palace. While I usually get where I want to go, I also have an unerring ability to go the wrong way, but I managed to find the restaurant without too much trouble.

I'd looked up where to go for pizza & while the reviews were somewhat mixed they were generally favorable. I got a Greek pizza & demolished almost 3/4 of it - sad part being I could've eaten it all, but I restrained myself.

I don't usually go to Caesars because it's too high end for me - think gucci & tiffany's. But there's also Ann Taylor & Banana Republic, do I shopped some more - but left empty handed again. Just nothing that said buy me - at least not at my price point.

I mused some on the sadness of the hordes of people traipsing thru all the artificial environment of the casino shops - but I do love to do it. And I love to be out in nature. And I know I feel better when I look better . . . I guess it's just about balance, yet again.

I did stop at one of my favorite chocolate shops - Vosges - and bought sone chocolate for the pet sitters & a small box of chocolate PB bon bons & drinking chocolate for myself. Sadly the PB GU was all gone when I got to the expo.

I sat thru a couple of speakers again - really interesting. Too bad they don't stream live!

Then I was time for the meet up! I didn't know how i'd ever find anyone there, but eventually I found them. Many of them are already buddies in RL becaus of their races - things like hood to coast. So I was sort of on the fringes, but so many were soooo nice, too & I have some people to maybe look out for tomorrow . . . but with 40,000+ runners I've no doubt it will be a zoo.

Didn't manage to hook up with NATPLUMMER at all today, sadly, it just didn't work out. Waiting for DH to get back so I can get some pasta!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KKINNEA 12/6/2011 12:19PM

    I went to Vosges too - great chocolate. Sad I missed the meet-up - I'm one of those myopic types so unless someone was wearing something distinctive and called out that detail, I wouldn't find them at all.

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SKINNYPOWELL1 12/5/2011 7:34AM

    Glad you at NAT got together, can't wait to hear the race report.

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DDHEART 12/4/2011 1:41PM

    Oh I can just imagine you meeting nancy and Robin nd so many others I am sooooo envious! By now the verdict is in on your knee and the whole experience. My heart is with you!

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TEMPEST272002 12/4/2011 1:18PM

    40 thousand. Yikes. I had no idea it was that large of an event. I sure hope your knee holds up for you. I know you've been taking good care of it. Cool that you got to meet some sparkers. Hope your run goes smoothly!

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LJCANNON 12/4/2011 8:56AM

    emoticonWill be sending Cheers for you from here!! Looking forward to hearing all about the race tomorrow!!

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XFITSTRONG 12/4/2011 7:58AM

    How fun!!!! Thinking of you!!!!!

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PUDLECRAZY 12/4/2011 2:21AM

    It is so wonderful to get to meet with our Spark friends live.

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NATPLUMMER 12/4/2011 12:04AM

    We had a great time meeting up with you. I'm glad you found the restaurant. Greek pizza sounds very good. We ended up getting Nathan's hot digs. We got very lost looking for the expo. Yay for meeting more Sparkfriends. Yay for chocolate. Did you finally get your pasta?
Would you be happy to know those brownies have whole wheat flour and flax in them?
Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/3/2011 11:11PM

    Is she running too? How cool to have met! I really don't like Vegas at all. However, it was one of the last times I met my cousin there before she passed. We had three wonderful days together. Do not venture into the Harrah's buffet! (smiling) We have one in San Diego County and it award-winning also. Good luck tomorrow.

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RnR Las Vegas expo experience

Friday, December 02, 2011

First, let me say what a crazy place Vegas can be. NOT a good town if you don't like crowds, altho DH doesn't but he still limes it. He went off to gamble yesterday, I was going to watch a movie, do some shopping, then we'd meet up at todai, a sushi buffet we lime to frequent, altho they've really raised the price lately.

As I set off to the miracle mike, as they call it, right before it the strip was blocked off. Turns out it was a NASCAR victory parade. In addition to that, there's a rodeo in town & of course the marathon. Only in Vegas! The weird thing is that DH & I ran into each other right where it was blocked.

So today I made my way to the expo to pick up my packet. If you get a monorail pass, from the south take the monorail to the harrahs stop. Find your way to the strip, turn right, walk past the palazzo & turn right on Sands. When you enter the expo, you'll take the stairs up one level & turn right & go straight back.

I changed my corral to 2:45. I hope I don't slow too many people down. I hope too many people don't slow me down! I hope that's not overly optimistic.

The expo was way crowded - and it's only Friday! - and a bit overwhelming. The goodie bag was a bit underwhelming - really not a lot in there: your technical tee, which is nice. Some GU chomps, a flashing light thing - not sure where you wear it, but that is kind of cool, and pain relief gel samples. A few discounts.

I got a couple more samples walking thru:more pain relief gels, marathon bars, sport beans. I haven't used sport beans in a while, but I have in the past, so I'll probably bring them with me since I know the honeystinger gels get hard in the cold. Man, I really wish honeystinger was there with some samples . . . speaking of GU, they have a new flavor out: peanut butter. Seems to be a big hit; I almost bought some - maybe tomorrow. Now, if they'd come up with chocolate PB . . .

I listened to a lot of the speakers - very inspirational. Sadly there wasn't a big crowd for anyone but Kara Goucher.

I also struck up a conversation with a woman sitting next to me . . . maybe more on that tomorrow. The short story is she's running the marathon, trying to qualify for Boston & her husband has leukemia . . . Aimee could use your prayers!

I am constantly rethinking what to wear . . . Walking back from the expo at about th start time . . . not so bad . . . but Sunday is supposed to be colder. The cw-x tights; that's a given. Maybe my half zip top & the light running jacket - not the hoodie. I'm sure I'll either back & forth about it!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNJEWELRUN 12/4/2011 1:28AM

    Way to go! I didn't know you were doing vegas

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HEALTH4LYFE 12/3/2011 8:28PM

    Wishing you a safe run and respectable PR! Looking forward to hearing all about your race. emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 12/3/2011 7:08PM

    Good luck!!!!!!

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DDHEART 12/3/2011 6:46PM

    OMG! I can't believe it's time for your half and I spazzed out about it...I have a lot of cheering to do to make up for the lack of support up till now! Right now, I'm filled with a mixture of admiration, awe, yes and a little bit of jealosy but mostly joy....joy for the girl who not so long ago would have scoffed at anyone who even suggested a run much less a half! Luv ya pal and best of luck!

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NATPLUMMER 12/3/2011 5:37PM

    At least you got a chance to look around. It was way too crowded this morning.

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TEMPEST272002 12/3/2011 12:48PM

    I'll be thinking of you too! This has been a long time in the making. I hope you sleep well tonight & run like the wind tomorrow!

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LALAFLOWERS 12/3/2011 8:24AM

    Enjoy it! There will be lots to watch during your run!

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/2/2011 11:57PM

    Woohoo...will be thinking of you. Have fun. Happy trails.

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LEONALIONESS 12/2/2011 10:34PM

    You'll do great! Stay off your feet as much as possible.

Also, I literally gasped at peanut butter Gu! YES PLEASE. ;)

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