Sunday, November 22, 2015

Three Reasons to Run the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Strip at Night

What happens in Vegas definitely isn't going to stay in least when it comes to runners. You think we're going to run Las Vegas and then not come back and blab all about it? I don't think so. The first rule of running club is you always talk incessantly about running club.

I had the unique opportunity to run the Las Vegas rock 'n' roll half marathon for free because I am a member of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Rock 'n' Blog team. That just means I help them promote their races and they are kind enough to allow me to run a few races with them. I ran the Dallas rock 'n' roll half earlier this year and decided to run Las Vegas because...d'uh it's Vegas...and my lovely and brilliant sister moved there earlier this year.

I've wanted to run this race for years but the timing never seemed right. I never could find a travel and/or running companion who was able or willing to go on a racecation in November, so close to the crazy holiday season. The great thing about rock 'n' blog is that I suddenly had a whole group of running friends going to Las Vegas!

las vegas rock 'n' roll marathon expo
at the rock 'n' roll marathon expo

Check out this awesome 15 second Las Vegas video that the rock 'n' blog team made of me at the expo! When they asked me to dance...I was awkward! No big surprise there.

Three reasons to run the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon strip at night

1. The Strip.
Forget New York. Vegas is the city that never sleeps, with the strip that never closes (except for New Year's Eve and this marathon). The strip is closed down to make way for the runners in the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. It is the only time that you can run up and down the center of the street on the strip (you know, legally and sober). I have to tell you the weather was a little less than desirable this year, it drizzled most of the race, it was much colder than I expected and the wind (oh, the wind!). The last few miles felt like running directly into a wind tunnel...but I honestly barely noticed because I was so distracted by the amazing views.

rock n roll vegas marathon
Vegas, baby.

2. At Night.
Running a race at night has its own challenges. Usually when I run a race it is after a full 7-8 hours of sleep (i.e. not on my feet). By the time I was lining up in my corral at 5pm I had already done Yoga for runners at the Four Seasons with Lululemon (with my blogging friend +Enjoying the Course), watched part of the Kid Rock concert (that guy cracks me up) and walked nearly 20k steps according to my FitBit...all before I set out to run 13.1 miles. I tell you all of that to tell you it was all worth it for the opportunity to run the strip at night. It was such a unique amazing experience and it just wouldn't be the same in the morning. Every time I started to have a negative thought about how tired I felt all I had to do was look up and take in the lights and views to feel re-energized. It's hard to complain when running on the strip at night.

3. The Party.
I'll be the first to admit that my definition of party may vary greatly from the typical weekender in Vegas, but when you finish the race and are spit out of the runner's shoot into the middle of a Vegas post-race party on the strip it's hard to compare to any other experience. Although I was in bed by 10pm (in my defense I was on Dallas time) it sure felt like the whole town was celebrating my 13.1 accomplishment.

Show me the pictures! It was such a whirlwind of a weekend, that I barely remembered to take any pictures, I was too busy soaking it all in, but I got a few that I would like to share with you.

As I mentioned, Sunday morning I attended a free Yoga for runners session at the Four Seasons hosted by Lululemon with my blogger friend Clarinda from Enjoying the Course. It was a little more intense than I expected given we were running a race later, but it was fun! I had sore shoulders a few days later. Clarinda and I have been blogging friends for years and it was amazing to meet her in person. She was as kind and fun as I imagined.

Sunday morning Yoga for Runners at the Four Seasons with Lululemon.
I ate pizza for lunch at New York-New York (carbo load for the win!) and headed back to my hotel to take a nap before the Kid Rock concert. Here I am dressed and ready to run. I'd love to show you the picture that the MarathonFoto people snapped of me before the race, but I couldn't bring myself to drop the $85 they wanted for seven digital downloads, so a hotel mirror selfie will have to do.

Relaxing at the Rid Rock concert before the race. 
Kid Rock: "Y'all are... by far...the healthiest crowd we've ever played for". 

Cold and windy at the start. The sun is setting and I am ready to run!
las vegas elvis rock n roll marathon
You can't run Vegas without an Elvis selfie. Huddle in a little closer Al Bundy...I mean Elvis...It's cold!

Before you think I am officially a bad blogger and send the blogger police to revoke my national blogger membership card because I am about to post the worst photos you've ever seen, I need to explain myself first. Have you ever seen that movie 'Yes Man' with Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel with jogging photography? There is a funny scene when Zooey's character leads a group of people who take blurry pictures (on purpose) while jogging.

This looks like a case of life imitating art because maybe I was inspired by Zooey Deschanel's character in this movie (not just her bangs). I inadvertently tried my own hand at jogging photography while running the Vegas rock 'n roll half marathon. My blurry pictures cracked me up when I looked at them at the end because God forbid I actually stop to take a decent picture....gotta keep moving!

Paris Las Vegas Hotel

New York-New York Las Vegas Hotel and Casino

Hey look! It's the Welcome to Vegas sign (I think). Ha. Yes. I think I'm funny.
If that doesn't let you feel exactly what it is like to run in strip at night in Las Vegas, I don't know what will. My phone battery eventually died and any hope of a decent race picture was gone. I met my sister for a yummy carb-replenishing Vegas buffet and then headed back to my hotel to recharge (literally and figuratively) and unwind before turning in.

three reasons to run the rock n roll vegas strip at night
the medal and the reward
I finished the race in 2:20something. Slow and steady wins the race. Well, technically, it doesn't win the race, but it gets me across the finish line without any injuries!

I went home with chapped lips and a big smile. See you next year, Las Vegas! Will you join me? Registration is open!

Stay tuned for my last race of 2015. I'll be running the San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll half marathon on December 6th.

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  1. I've read so many awesome recaps of this race. Now it's on my to-run list. Loved your video debut!

  2. Id love love love to WALK THIS one year.
    Would I be one of the few walkers??

    1. I think you can walk it! I think there is a 5 hour time limit??so speed walk! lol!

  3. Love the blurry photos! I often think "Oh pretty, I should take a picture!" But then I think "No, I'll have to dig out my phone, get it out of the plastic baggie, *STOP* running..." and then I just keep going :P Congrats on the race! I'm glad they've worked out the water problem from a couple of years ago.

    1. I didn't stop to take a picture and I didn't stop for water either! LOL. didn't notice any water problems! lol!

  4. That looks as though it could be one of the best races ever... It's definitely going onto my bucket-list of half marathons. I'm hoping to do my first RnR in Dublin next year, they seem to be a very well run event, but Vegas is a place I've always wanted to visit.

    Oh and that jogging and photo video looks hilarious, I'll have to check out the film :)

  5. I can't believe I missed getting to say hi to you!! Glad you had a great time!


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