NEVADA!!!! BEAUTY AND EXHAUSTION ALL ROLLED INTO ONE! NUMBER 14!
Brian and I left Antioch at 4am on 03/07/2014 for Midway Airport. Our flight was on time but it was a 6:45am take off! YIKES THAT’S EARLY!!! We decided to stay at Red Rock Casino Hotel and Spa, just 6 miles from the start of the race at Red Rock Canyon the next morning. Now I knew that I was going to have a lot of hills to conquer on this run but I had no idea how hard it would be. We took the bus to pick up the rental car and drove to the hotel. Las Vegas looks big, but it’s pretty easy to get around in. Our hotel was about 15 minutes from the rental car place and we navigated it easily. We settled into our room, IT WAS BEAUTIFUL! Then we set out to find some breakfast and were able to sit outside and eat it, then later we bummed around by the pool. We drove around a bit later looking for a snack and picked up the race packet at the SunCoast Hotel. I’m glad they were full when I went to make the reservation, that place was a dump! We knew that we weren’t allowed to park at the start of the race so we coordinated a time to get up and get going over the SunCoast where buses would deliver us to the start and I could get on my game face and warm up to run. I got up at 4am and we were at the SunCoast at 5, we caught one of the first buses and though the bus driver appeared to not have a clue where he was going, he eventually got us to the start. I had about an hour so I walked and tied and retied my shoes, stretched, ate my Larabar and felt jittery and ready to go. We were off precisely at 6:45am and let me tell you, the sun coming up over the far mountains to the east that hit the west side of the mountains at Red Rock was an amazing site. It didn’t look real, it looked like a painting. The first 3 miles of the race were brutal up hill and unrelenting. It flattened out for a short time and then climbed again for more brutal hills until 6 miles and then we had some screaming downhill that I tried like hell to make up some time on. The uphill was kicking my ass, I couldn’t breathe, I actually stopped 3 times to walk, ridiculous, I never walk! I was so mad at myself. On the downhill after 6 miles I took my gel; that usually peps me up, I felt no better! I kept hydrating and kept going but my shoes were too tight and my feet started to really scream on the second half of the run. I just kept going and tried a gummy at 8 miles, but they were hard and hard to eat so I actually stopped a guzzled a HEED at the water station at about 9 miles. Finally got to the end and was just standing there with my legs shaking. I have no hills to train on and I did the best I could but I forgot about the altitude, it started at about 3,700 and went up to 4,700ft. It was extremely hard to breath, I have few hills to train on and I train at 680 ft. I’m standing in front of Brian taking off my shoes (blister!),
water belt, glasses, ear phones, phone sleeve and putting on my sweatshirt when they started announcing my age group. I was 141 of 389 runners, 2nd in my AG of 50-59, time was 2:08:02. This was certainly not a speedy race, but I just kept on plugging along and pretty soon it was over. The scenery was GORGEOUS!!! The prize was a beautiful sandstone piece, very nice swag!!! On Sunday after we checked out of the hotel we had some time to kill before our flight so we went back over to the park so that I could show Brian where I ran. We drove and hiked a little, not too much my feet and legs were pretty sore and Brian had an interesting observation…this was the first one of these where he actually drove the route after I ran to see where I was all morning. He appreciated how daunting this run was after that!!! Next state, Arkansas in five weeks!