Elvis is in the Building (and running)

If you are one of the lucky one’s, you are gearing up for an amazing running weekend in Las Vegas.  Just a few short days away, all of the glitz, glamour and compression socks await you!  Maybe even a medal, or two, or three.

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So, get ready!  Get your bags packed, and don’t forget your gambling money!  Las Vegas is one of my favorite places.  I’ve been countless times over the years, twice this year.  This weekend though, I will not be there.  I really have had an issue with jealousy these past few weeks leading up to this years event.  It is so much fun, I really hate the fact that I cannot participate this year.  Well, for one reason or another (namely trips to Salt Lake City and Chicago) the wallet couldn’t afford another trip.  Believe me, I thought about how I could make it work.  Best be frugal enough to race a few cool locations next year and save up.

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With Elvis in the building, or at least the spirit of Elvis, and about 200-300 look a likes running the Strip this weekend, you better just absorb all of it.  Do it for me!  I first ran this Rock ‘n’ Roll event back in 2011.  It was just my third Half Marathon, and being sick with bronchitis, my overall finish in 1,306th place was a triumph.  My finish time of 1:43:23 put me well ahead of the pack of 33,253 finishers.  That is a top 4% finish.  Interesting to note, the winner on the women’s side of that event was Amy Hastings.  My finish time allowed me to just eek out the post race carnage and bottle necking that made that race so noteworthy.  It’s the reason why the course was changed, the finisher village changed, and a lower cap instituted for runner safety.

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I skipped the event in 2012, but made an amazing return to Las Vegas in 2013 to run the Full Marathon.  I used that year (2012) to fine tune my distance running, and became a marathoner.  With six marathons under my belt, Las Vegas became my lucky #7 last year.  Everything about the race was epic.  From start to finish I loved it!  I finished in 315th place out of 2,927.  Top 10% this time and still awesome.  My time of 3:41:41, puts that finish as my fourth best marathon out of 16.  I guess the flat course, and excitement of Vegas helped.

So, as I sit here a bit dejected that I am missing the race this year, I have to make a plan to be there again.  Maybe in 2015.  I think that is the only thing that will help my jealousy issues right now.

To all of you heading to Las Vegas to run, let me live vicariously through you this weekend.  Have an incredible time, and just enjoy every neon-filled moment!

Vegas Vacation

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That’s it folks!  I am officially on vacation.  A running holiday.  My favorite place and my favorite activity, rolled into one.

I just got home from work, and don’t have to think of that place for another week.  Isn’t vacation time grand?  Not that I don’t enjoy my work, because I do, but we all need breaks.  Having a break right before the holidays get rolling is even better.

The rest of the day today will involve packing.  It’s always tougher to pack for a Vegas trip during the colder months than it is in the Summer.  It could be warm during the day, but once the Sun goes down, it’s a different story.  Plus for this trip, I have to pack for a 26.2 mile run.

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This time tomorrow I will be there.  Getting on the plane tomorrow morning at 6am, flying through Atlanta, arriving in Vegas before most folks get up.  The first day is always a long day because of the three hour time change.  Then, relax!  Take in the sights and sounds that are exclusive to Las Vegas.  My plan is to hit the Expo early on Friday to avoid the crowds.  I do look forward to this race expo because it is absolutely huge, loaded up with vendors.  I must try not to spend too much money.

The race starts at 4:30 pm on Sunday evening.  I am gong to thoroughly enjoy it.  I am going to try not to worry too much about my pace, and just enjoy the experience.  Of course I will try to blog again before then, but you must excuse me now, as this guy is on vacation.

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Two Marathons/Two Weeks

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I’ve spent days in recovery mode.  I feel like I’ve barely run in the past week.  In fact, I only ran seven miles the entire last week.

It feels good to have some down time.  It feels good to relax, and let my post marathon legs and feet recooperate.  The rest is over though.

It is indeed time, time to get the game face back on.  Time to lace up the running shoes and pound the pavement.  I’ve got three days of running to do.  Three days before leaving for Vegas for another marathon.  Once I board that plane, the final rest before the 26.2.  So, until that time, I have to get in a few low mileage runs.  Some speed work, some hills.  Now that the muscles are alive again after the City of Oaks last Sunday, I must prepare them and my mind for another journey to the finish line.  That long 26.2 mile journey out in the desert in Nevada.  Sin City.  This Sunday.

I am excited, and somewhat overwhelmed by the adventure at hand.  Two marathons in 14 days.  I am up for the challenge.  Recovery is over, and the preparations begin.

Look out Las Vegas, here I come!

Countdown to Las Vegas

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Every day that passes, my upcoming trip to Las Vegas is more and more on my mind.   Let’s face it, I love the place!  I’ve been going to Las Vegas about twice a year for over 10 years now.  Las Vegas has changed so much just during the timeframe that I have been visiting there.  I used to gamble in the Sahara, the Stardust, the Frontier.  All of which are now closed, or completely gone.  City Center, and the Cosmopolitan are some of the latest additions to the Famous Strip.  I have just as much fun now, if not more so, when I visit than I did back then.

The overall feel of Las Vegas, from stepping off the airplane, is just truly unique.  If you’ve never been, I highly recommend that you make the journey there at least once.  There is world class food everywhere, beautiful sights to behold all over, and of course it’s the gambling Mecca of the world.  I’ve been there in the height of Summer, when temperatures soar over 110 degrees, and I’ve been during all of the other seasons, as well.  They all are unique.

This trip coming up will be a combination trip for me.  Time to relax, and enjoy the food and the gambling, but also to run.  I am registered for the Rock n Roll Marathon on 11/17.

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I am really excited about it!  We fly in on the morning of the 14th, so will have plenty of time to adjust to the time change, and be rested before race day.  This race is run in the evening, so that is different for me.  Race day fueling will be a challenge.  When to eat?  It should be great fun.  It will be a crazy, crowded, electric race.  My main goal is really just to enjoy every moment.  Run my race, and take in all the sights of Vegas.  There are plenty!

Three weeks from today will be the day before the race.  I will not be dressing up as Elvis for the run, but I’m sure there will be plenty of them on the course.  There is also a run-thru wedding chapel, for runners who want to get hitched during the race.  There will be tutu’s, and wigs, and costumes, oh my!  Truly unique, and what I just love about Las Vegas.  Over the top, and awesome!

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As the excitement builds, so does my energy for running Vegas again.  This race will be my last race of 2013, so hopefully I will race it with gusto, and much enthusiasm.  So get ready Las Vegas, I am heading your way for the ultimate party with thousands and thousands of my running comrades.  Shutting down the Strip to everything but runners on November 17th during the race.  Don’t be mad at us, cheer us on.  This only happens once a year.

If you’ve never been to Las Vegas, Nevada, you must go!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon

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Triumphant return?  Well, I haven’t registered yet, but things are shaping up for a trip to my favorite place to take part in one of my favorite things.  Running the Strip at Night is amazing, and this time I would be running the Full Marathon.

I took part in the infamous race of 2011..  The one talked about for months based on negative experiences by thousands of runners.  Over crowding, under equipped aid stations, lack of barriers between full and half marathon runners, running out of water at the finish, green bananas, the list goes on and on.  Let me be clear, I had a great time.  It was my third half marathon, I had no issues.

I remember thinking that if I were to go back again, I would run the marathon.  Well, that will probably happen.  Running this marathon would mean three marathons this Fall.  It would also mean two marathons in 14 days.  Maniac material?  I can do it, I believe in myself, and think it would be an utterly fantastic time to run a full 26.2 in one of my favorite destinations in the world.  LAS VEGAS!!!

This is a picture of me after the 2011 Half.

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Who wouldn’t want to run…..especially when there are showgirls around!

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Now, to book a flight, hotel, car, and register!

Runcations

ImageIt’s been a few days since my last post, but all for good reasons.  First we had a bad storm roll through a week ago today, with straight line winds of 80mph.  It knocked out power to my home for almost 48 hours.  Then I got food poisoning, and was down for the count for a few more days.  Now, with only two more days until I go on vacation,I wanted to blog again and post a question.  Do you run while on vacation?

I have made several trips for the sole purpose of running a race.  A couple of years ago I flew to Philadelphia to run a Half Marathon with my brother and a few friends in Jersey City.  I’ve also flown to Las Vegas to run in the 2011 Strip at Night, the first Rock ‘n’ Roll event out there on the Strip with the evening start.  I love running while on vacation, but sometimes we just need the rest.  This trip I am not planning on running at all.  I am using it as a small break to rest, and get my body ready for Fall Marathon training, which begins when I return home.

I pose a few questions.

1. Do you prefer a runcation or a traditional vacation?

2. Where have you traveled to race?

3. What distance is the furthest you’ve traveled to race?

My answers?  I love to take vacations period, but love to be able to include a race because it may be the only chance I have to run a race in that area.  I’ve traveled to NY, SC, VA, NJ and NV to race.  The furthest away being Las Vegas twice to race.  The other race I did just north of Vegas was in Area 51.  The E.T. Midnight Half Marathon in Rachel, NV.Image