Monday, November 17, 2014

Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon 2014 Race Report

I didn't even come close to my expected finish time.  I will try to keep this from turning into a whine fest.  I'm still really happy that I finished a marathon.
I can't seem to flip this picture over.

From the get go, 8:00 minute miles were harder than I expected them to be.  I stayed positive throughout the race.  I went into this race knowing that I would hit a low point or two  and that I should push through them because they will eventually pass. This ended up becoming the theme of the day....

Before the Race

I was driving myself nuts during the week trying  to decide what to wear.  I ended up wearing a tank top (base layer), a long sleeve top, a vest, shorts and calf compression sleeves.  The starting temp was 50 degrees and when we finished temps were in the high 30's I had been worried about the cold. I ran the Las Vegas Marathon in 2007 and I under dressed and I froze my butt off.  I didn't want that to happen again.
Vegas 2007-Windy and Cold that day.

I didn't have any trouble eating or fueling before the race.  Here's what I ate that day.

Breakfast (5:30 AM)- One small slice of pizza two eggs over medium, and a banana 30 minutes later

Lunch- (10:30 AM) Burrito bowl-Spanish rice,  a little shredded chicken, a little cheddar cheese, and a flour tortilla

Snack (2:00 PM)- One slice white toast  with peanut butter, 1/2 of a banana.  I also had a few bites of a cliff bar.

I also drank a bottle of Powerade Zero, 2 liters of water, a diet coke, and 16oz of Fruit Punch Gatorade throughout the day of the race.

I really liked how organized the race was, from the starting village, but I had to walk almost two miles to get from the monorail station to my starting corral.

The Race
I lined up in corral 5,  I think I should have asked to be moved to corral 3-4 because  it seemed like I got stuck behind a few half marathoners during the early miles.  The first mile was really clogged, and I had to run around several walkers.

During the 2nd mile of the race. Meb Keflezighi ran by me.  I realized that it was the pace group for the 1:45's  I thought of trying to hold on them, but, I didn't feel warmed up yet, and I wanted to ease into faster miles, later in the race.

I got really pissed off when I saw a runner run right up on Meb to take a freakin selfie... Who does that?!  If you want a picture with Meb, you should have taken one with him at the expo.  I think it was really dangerous move, and what would have happened if they would have tripped him?

I opened up my first gel between miles 3-4 and I nursed it over the next mile.Running along the strip was pretty neat, but after 4 miles my feet and legs were still feeling sluggish and at mile 5 I decided to turn on my music (I had wanted to hold off until mile 10).
Mile 1-8:54
Mile 2-8:08
Mile 3-8:04
Mile 4-8:16
Mile 5-8:00

The music was a welcome distraction.  I began to hit my goal marathon pace and  I told myself to be patient.  I was confident that I would be able to pick it up on the way back. I had a few Gatorade Energy Chews and some water around mile 7. We kept on running on Las Vegas Blvd. and we were headed towards the Fremont Street experience and the older downtown section of Las Vegas.  At mile 9 I pulled out another energy gel.  I wasn't feeling the greatest and when we passed the turn around point for the half marathoners to split off, I toyed with the idea of running just the half....
Mile 6-8:02
Mile 7-8:06
Mile 8-8:02
Mile 9-8:03
Mile 10-8:26

It was actually a welcome relief to split off from the half marathoners, the course was a lot less crowded and I felt like I finally found my rhythm We were now headed up MLK blvd.  I was already trying to divide the race up into chunks.  I kept telling myself that I would feel stronger and open up on the way back in.  My calves were starting to burn, and my feet were hurting too.  But, I still had wild fantasies of catching the 3:30 pace group during the final miles.  They weren't too far ahead of me at this point.

Mile 11-8:12
Mile 12-8:09
Mile 13-8:18
Mile 14-8:32
Mile 15-8:19

We were heading up Carey and that road has a slight incline (105 feet over two miles). I thought this was going to be NBD and where I would be able to let my calves relax a little because my stride would change a little running up the grade.  I kept feeling like I had to pee, I was looking along the road for bushes but, I didn't want to get arrested for flashing my butt, so I used a port-a-potty at mile 16.  When I went inside the porta-a-potty I noticed that my upper body was soaked in sweat and peeing was very difficult.  I realized that I was dehydrated and I started drinking a lot more fluids...

My Friend Pam, who I met at the Saints and Sinners Half marathon in September went flying by me with her brother along this stretch of road.  She looked so strong...

I tried to eat another Gel around  mile 18, but the texture and the sugar was making me gag.  I stopped to walk through the aid stations starting at mile 18...   We were headed back down the grade and I told myself to just hang on, at mile 20 we will try to pick up the pace.
Mile 16-9:39
Mile 17-8:59
Mile 18-8:40
Mile 19-8:58
Mile 20-9:01

Around mile 19 we were back on MLK Blvd and I could see the downtown area.. I was getting excited because I could finally try to hustle and make up some time.  Well right around that time my left calve seized up on me.  It hurt so bad that I stopped to stretch and I told myself,  "Just make it to the next aid station and you can walk through it while you drink some water and Gatorade".
Rinse and Repeat.  I had that strategy for the last 6-7 miles just survive and run your ass off to the next aid station.  I was actually grateful that it was dark and I couldn't obsess over slow Garmin data.
Mile 21-9:05
Mile 22-9:12
Mile 23-9:23

Where the hell are the mile markers?  We were running through the downtown arts district with a whole bunch of 90 degree turns. I kept turning the corner hoping for a fresh mile marker.  But, I didn't see any mile markers except Mile 21 and mile 25.  During this point of the marathon.  I appreciate every last mile marker and this really messed with my head.

I felt like I was picking up the pace,  I was back on the Las Vegas strip, I had started passing people but, I kept having to stop to stretch my stupid calves.  The marathon ended in front of the Mirage hotel and casino, and it seemed like an optical illusion, I could see the hotel from two miles away and it never seemed to get any closer.
Mile 24-9:48
Mile 25-9:45
Mile 26- 9:44

It's crazy how bad I imploded those last three miles.... They didn't seem like they were that slow.  I felt like I was working hard, and I was passing people...  My calves were just so knotted up.

Garmin Time 3:49:13
Official Time 3:49:06 avg 8:45 pace
103rd woman overall (out of 1265)
19th in my age group (out of 229)
507th finisher (out of 3208)

I crossed the finish line and I was in a world of hurt.  I was honestly close to tears, my calves hurt so bad.  I'm guessing that I became dehydrated from sweating so much during the race.  I never felt cold, which is good. But now that it's Monday afternoon. I'm wondering about all of  the things I could have done differently or executed better.

There will not be a redemption race for me.  I'm looking forward to not training for a marathon for awhile.  I don't have the extra money or time in my budget to try to find another race.  I'm almost second guessing if I want to run another marathon.  I can kick some ass at the half marathon distance and it doesn't seem to be as emotionally draining/taxing on myself or family.

I know that's crazy post marathon talk.  But I know that I don't want to run another marathon anytime soon....

Thank you for reading.


  1. I'm sorry your race didn't go well. I feel you after having my own disappointing marathon last month. I go back and forth about whether I want to do another marathon or stick with improving my half marathon time. Right now, I don't have a marathon on my schedule and like you, I'm glad to not be marathon training.

    Hugs to you. Hope your legs feel better today.

  2. Wa. Sorry. Marathons can be so tricky - if one little thing goes wrong, you're stuck with it for hours. And I think dehydration or cramping is one of the worst things to reverse. A similar thing happened to me during a 30k that was much, much warmer than I expected; I had terrible calf cramps throughout the final miles and when I finished I had salt crust on my neck, wrists, shorts - you name it. I couldn't get my electrolytes and water stabilized even once I knew what was wrong - it's just so hard once you get behind on replenishment.
    No shame in tackling other distances next - I'm a believer in racing the distances you love.
    Still, all in all, you had a good race; you were 19th in your AG - so a strong race and congratulations.

  3. No bueno with those crazy calf pains, but you made it!! Its another one in the books girl!! Congrats on your age group, that says a lot!! **Pat yourself on the back** I'm still an aww you have successfully completed 17 marathons in your career thus far and I'm so happy to hear your going to focus on 13.1 moving forward... selfishly speaking of course! This just pushes me to train harder and ultimately having more opportunities to run with you now!