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Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Las Vegas, Nevada
United States
Competitor Group, Inc.
70'sF / 0C
Total Time = 1h 48m 58s
Overall Rank = 1082/22087
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 153/1378
Pre-race routine:

Night time race in Las Vegas...So much time to get into trouble. Get stuck at a table, cave in and have "a couple" with lunch, stuff my face in one of the many awesome restaurants or buffets.

Luckily, none of the above happened. Slept in late on Sunday relaxed and went to IHOP for a stack of harvest nut pancakes, eggs and hash browns. Stayed hydrated and relaxed.
Event warmup:

Showed up to the race with just enough time to use the bathroom and find my corral. Mind you, I showed up an hour early, but with 22,000+ runners an hour was barely enough time. By the time I found my corral, the first two had already taken off. I did jog a little bit to warm up my legs...I was loose and my heart rate was high. (My heart rate is always raised in Vegas pre-race or not.)
  • 1h 48m 58s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 19s  min/mile

I've never done a stand alone half marathon...I wasn't nervous about this race distance, but I was planning on pushing myself harder than I ever had before on a run this long so pain was inevitable. I don't fancy myself a runner, so I kept a modest goal of a sub 1:50. Las Vegas is weird for me...For some reason it fills me with anxiety; The energy is too high, the lights too bright and the crowds too big. Not sure what I was thinking deciding to do a race there, but the thought of running down the strip at night was just too tempting to pass up. That, and I always meet my friend and his wife in Vegas this time of year anyways, so the timing was perfect. My starting heart rate was high...maybe 100-110 BPM resting. This could have been due to the crowd of 22,000 people, the "Vegas Experience", pre-race jitters or all of the above. Needless to say, with all this pent up energy, I was ready for the race to start.

The first mile or so, I got into my rhythm...The wind was especially heavy. In fact, the whole city was under a wind advisory all day long. Depending on where you were at on the course, it was either blowing directly at you, pushing you along or hitting you sideways blowing the feet out from under your legs. At the start, however, we were running right towards it. I did my best to "draft" behind bigger people who were going my pace to cut down on the headwind, but even then I working hard for a pretty slow pace. But after the first turn around, about a half mile in, the wind was at our backs and I was flying. At one point I looked down at my watch and I was going 5:49/mile with less effort than I was before going 10:00/miles.

The run into the city was awesome...1000's of silhouettes with a front row view of the Las Vegas strip as a back drop. It was insane and had I not been going for a specific time I would have stopped to take a picture or two. I ran this race as I had planned; hard, but sustainable effort and keeping a sub 8:24 pace when I could. My increased heart rate didn't help...However, I did calm down as the race went on. I'd say it was right around 170-180 at the beginning of the race, but then "calmed down" to 160-170 as the race went on. Not too far off from what it would be in a normal environment pushing that pace...Average heart rate was 172 which was actually a lower number than what I was expecting to see.

I felt strong the whole time...lungs were a little tight, but the legs held up beautifully. (They'd better after the training that I've been through this year.) Without the wind at my face, I was cruising so I was a little surprised to see that I only beat my goal by just over a minute. I guess a lot of that can be contributed to the wind coming directly at me during the last 2-3 miles. Fun experience, and a decent (for me) time.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing...take a shot of Jagermeister to calm the nerves.
Post race
Warm down:

Waited for my fiancee to finish (She was the cookie monster for any other runners out there who may have saw her.) And then found our friends. Walked 2 miles to the Hooters and got down on some wings, had a few cocktails and won about $100.00 at a Blackjack table...

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I guess I was monitoring my heart rate a little too much...after dealing with SVT a long time ago, I may be a little overly sensitive to it getting too fast. But even without that, I probably couldn't have taken off more than a minute or so from my time...I was very happy.

Event comments:

Not many people can say they've ran down the strip at night...well, at least not sober without any traffic in the way. Race was really fun and a cool experience. It was hard for me to get into a comfortable race mode in Vegas, but I dug the experience. I may not do it again, but I'm glad I was able to enjoy the experience.

Last updated: 2012-11-01 12:00 AM
01:48:58 | 13.1 miles | 08m 19s  min/mile
Age Group: 153/1378
Overall: 1082/22087
Performance: Good
Course: Night time race starting right on Las Vegas BLVD just south of Mandalay Bay.The course went right right through the heart of the strip, packed with drunken spectators and flashing lights...A fun course.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2012-12-04 4:56 PM

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Chandler, AZ
Subject: Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon

2012-12-04 5:07 PM
in reply to: #4521946

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon
Way to go Jasen!  It sounds like your legs held up so soon after IM AZ better than mine.  I agree - it is a weird but memorable place to run a marathon or half.  Unfortunately, while you won $100 at BJ after the race, I did the opposite and lost about $100 playing Blackjack.  Oh well.....  Congrats!
2012-12-05 10:17 AM
in reply to: #4521946

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon
Good job, Jasen, sounds like fun at Vegas.
2012-12-06 6:25 PM
in reply to: #4521946

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon
Nice job. It sounds like a good time and a good time Smile
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