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Las Vegas Half Marathon

Las Vegas Half Marathon


Words cannot express what a perfect weekend! I’m running the American Dream one state at a time. The Rock’n’Roll Las Vegas half marathon is one of the top 15 marathons of all time to run and this was my opportunity thanks to 2 wonderful friends who support my goal of running.

While I’m blessed with amazing friends, you never know how people will react with one another. My best friend  Stacey would be meeting lifelong friend Maggie for a weekend together while neither tolerate your day to day girl drama. I knew they would both make the best of it because of who they are, but it couldn’t have been a better connection if they had been lifelong friends.

Friday, November 13
Mom’s birthday

Mom supported my goal too by giving up her time with me to run my dream! I love mornings when I can run and take Austin to school and this happened to be one of those blessed mornings despite the fact I was pressing my luck with time to get to airport. The great start on the day progressed as I rushed to airport… May have been running a little late. 😳
I parked the car, checked bag and security as I approached my gate.

Lay over in Salt Lake City and arrived in Las Vegas where Maggie was waiting at baggage claim… It was a nostalgic moment since it was a month ago at the same place where lifelong friends reconnected after 14 years.

Background… Maggie and I lived across the street from each other in elementary school and grew up together. Life has taken us on different paths and we are blessed to have reconnected. She is a beautiful, successful mother of 3 living in Vegas working as a CEO of a construction company.

We departed the airport and went to the convention center to pick up my race packet.
As we were driving to the convention center, a life long friend called to tell us she was getting married at mile three of the marathon and at the same time she is telling us this, we see a cab driver jumped out of his car and knock a man off his moped by hitting him… Talk about road rage… Could that moped have really been that much of a distraction to the taxi cab?? Smh

Sunday, November 15
Las Vegas Half Marathon Race day!

We have a lazy morning!

Maggie and I venture out for coffee and breakfast from McDonald’s.

Our McDonald’s picnic in the comfort of our souped up Holiday Inn style room strategically placed in an “old Vegas” hotel fueled more life story, friendship building conversations multiplying the love of friends while strengthening the true meaning of life.
We primp and prepare for Kid Rock concert and race. We proceed with cab ride to race start and puzzle walking maze along the strip searching out the start line.

 Kid Rock delivered an incredible show and I cannot wait to see him again. The concert died down as the winds picked up. It was time for me to enter my corral. Maggie and Stacey departed me.

I was corral 23 meaning 22 other groups of people would start this race before me. I believe there were at least 50 corrals.  Large races start in waves providing adequate time and space for the tuners along the course. Your corral is determined by your finishing time putting similar paced runners together. This may have been the largest populated race I’ve run.  I questioned my sanity and love for running as I froze 30 minutes in the corral for my start. It was a battle with myself to quit before I started… A common battle we have in life when we want to take the easy route. My mind played havoc when I knew I could be with my friends having fun verses pushing myself 13.1 miles in high winds and rain.

Finally, I was at the start line and 10, 9, 8… 3, 2, 1 … It is too late to turn back now… I’m owning half marathon #51 state # 15 Rock’n’Roll Las Vegas half marathon.
Despite the abuse my body had endured the last two days and the stomach virus earlier in the week, I felt great. I’m pushing through and running strong. The wind gushed through at rates of 25 to 40 mph with precipitation popping through the miles. The marquees lit up the course with true Vegas charm as the runners progressed down the strip.
At mile 3, the race coordinated a wedding where 195 couples married; one being a life long friend. Amy & Joseph were married in Vegas at a marathon… Unique style!
The course was lined with cheering spectators, music, casinos, and wedding chapels. The uniqueness of the course allowed the miles to roll by in true harmony. Mile 8 led to Fremont Street where I had zip lined the night before. The experience was surreal as I love the Fremont street atmosphere. As I pushed myself for a PR that wasn’t earned, I now wished I would have enjoyed the scenery a little more. I felt strong during the race and thought I was keeping a PR pace. At mile 11, the winds had picked up. Even though I felt I was running faster than usually, it probably took that extra push to fight the wind. I crossed the finish line pissed at myself for not Having a new personal record. The maze through the closed, crowded streets eventually led me back to Maggie and Stacey. Once we were reunited, I let go of my disappointment for a post race picture and meal. They treated me to an incredible steak and lobster dinner with wonderful conversation. It is heartening to know I inspired them to set goals as I pushed through and ran half marathon #51. They assured me it wouldn’t be to run a marathon.

Never give up…you never know who is watching you.

Cab ride back to hotel was interesting since the roads were blocked off still in some areas. While this was the last cab ride of the weekend, a lifelong bond was made between three amazingly, strong women in three short days. Promises of future events were made. We laughed and chatted as we all fell asleep in our super up holiday inn hotel room known as the stratosphere located in old Las Vegas. Maggie and I woke up to a personalized hand written message on the bathroom mirror from Stacey who was already at the airport departing for Dallas. It is the small things that make the most impact in life as I write this blog post with tears streaming down my face as my plane descends on the runway of Dallas Love Field airport.

Run your life or life will run you! Set goals and make them happen! God will provide the way and the people who are to be a part of your course! 💕💗💖

Center of the Nation Series, Bowman, ND

 

North Dakota Half Marathon Completed.

North Dakota Half Marathon Completed.

 

Population ZERO

Population ZERO

Center of the Nation Series, Bowman, ND

Bowman, North Dakota was the location for Day 2 of Center of the Nation Series.  The community was the least welcoming of all the towns we visited.  The restaurant for the group dinner wasn’t prepared for us so we decided to leave.  Those who stayed told us that they had ran out of food and had a bad attitude all together.  The town was small and our choices were narrow, we tried out a local pizza place.  Despite the poor service, the food was pretty good.  A few other runners joined us for dinner.

Daisy and Jeanine were staying with us in the host hotel called WindNorth which looked like a horror movie.   Misty had us watch the trailer from Vacancy and had us all a little scared when bed time came. The hotel actually had a real key; not a key card. The water in the bath tub had a yellow hue for our ice baths. We all chatted about the days, events, and life while preparing for the next day’s race. Daisy & Jeanine were only running two of the five days and would return home after race 2.

We woke up early, dressed, and drove 20 miles to the race location for day two.   The course was adjacent to a beautiful lake with a couple of huge hills.  We had blood hungry mosquitoes join us for today’s race but (thankfully) the first aid table had repellant. After the first loop, we each decided to stop for a hearty layer of OFF to keep the mosquitoes away.  The Bowman race seemed to fly by as I was constantly watching my Garmin to keep a 3 minute run 1 minute walk interval for us. The best part was visiting with other runners on the course and cheering each other along the way.

The volunteers were wonderful about providing a variety of food and drinks for us.  I actually tried coke while on the race today and liked it; Misty, however, not so much. I also had some M&Ms on the last loop and Misty tried olives with corn chips. I did see some marathon runners eating chili and running along. Thank goodness for the bathrooms along the course! After the race, we decided that the food made our stomachs heavy and we would stick with our GU.  There was chocolate milk at the end of each race and I loved it. Chocolate milk is my favorite recovery drink.

After completing the race, we headed to the hotel for an ice bath and so we could pack and prepare for our departure towards South Dakota. We stopped in Crow Butte (population of ZERO) for burger and fries.  Misty had a Huckleberry shake.  Huckleberry is not prominent in the south.  Crow Butte consisted of a small store/ restaurant and a gas pump. It was on sale for $250,000 and the only business establishment for miles (if you are looking for a new adventure).  While in Crow Butte, Jan and Bruce stopped to eat also.  Bruce was running full marathons in the Center of the Nation series.  They were from Connecticut and he stole my heart from the moment he shook my hand.  He was in his late 60’s and ran a fast, steady pace each day. I loved cheering him on.

We arrived in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, checked into Super 8, and rested before attending the group dinner at the Branding Iron.  Belle Fourche was welcoming to all of the runners and my favorite town of the five we visited.

 

North Dakota

State Line Selfie

 

 

 

Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans

Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans

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Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans’ weekend began with reuniting with several lifelong friends as we celebrated the life of a classmate. It was a bittersweet time. The funeral was nice and then we all met for lunch which was great. It was nice to reconnect and reminisce. I feel blessed to have so many lifelong friends and for us to come together to remember our dear friend.

I met Lisa in North Dallas and we ventured off in a Chrysler 200 rental car. The rental car was a great idea for $54 we were able to put wear and tear on someone else’s car. About midnight, we decided to rent a room to rest and finish the drive tomorrow. Seems like an easy task… Right? I called the reservation number for Days Inn, but when we got to the hotel they didn’t have our reservation and the front desk clerk wasn’t willing to go out of her way to book a room for us. So, we decide to go to the next town. When we arrive, same thing; no reservation from the reservation number. This front desk clerk was very helpful, but the area looked shady and we decide to go on. We go across the street to Red Roof Inn and the shady action in the front office set us on our way one more time. Finally, after seven tries, we find a hotel that was ok to sleep for a few hours. On Saturday morning, we complete the drive to New Orleans and eat at Deanie’s which was fabulous. I had the best BBQ shrimp. It was a gorgeous day with sunshine and perfect temperatures as we walk to the NOLA convention center for packet pick-up and expo. We check into the hotel and spend more time in NOLA eating, drinking, and people watching. We are at Masapero’s. We had the best waitress and great shrimp and catfish. Lisa has red beans with rice and jambalaya. We closed the evening with a stop at Cafe Du Monde for beignets.

Sunday morning, we parked the car near the finish line and ride the shuttle to the start line. Rock ‘n’ Roll series are always overpopulated and it was NOLA where everyone wants to hang out. I know there were at least 22 corrals. Lisa was in 6 and I was in 13. There was a light drizzle as we waited and prepared for the race with a last minute stop at the porta potty… One the not so glamorous parts of the race. 22 minutes passed before corral 13 crossed the start line and since corral 1 crossed the start line.

I had decided to dedicate this race to my friend who had passed away. Before I crossed the start line, emotions flooded me and tears began to flow. 13.1 miles in 2 hours 30 minutes were spent praying for Jason, his family, and my classmates. I was able to reminisce and strategize ideas to help the family and my classmates. My heart still aches to think of life without him and for his family. I will never understand these types of situations in life.

At mile 10 of Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans, I felt great and felt I could PR. There was a consistent light drizzle throughout the race. I didn’t PR and was frustrated with myself when I finished with the same time as the precious races when it was a flat course. Lisa PR’d with 2:09.

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After the race, we showered and rested before returning to NOLA for more food and drink. We ate at New Orleans hamburger and seafood and then Jester’s for the best drink. We were able to watch the Super Bowl at Jester’s. While at Jester’s, we met Christy, Kailey, and Mickey with Race Addicts. Race Addicts  is an app for organizing your races.
I use the app and follow them on Facebook.

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I was excited to met them and they featured me on their page. We hung out with them the remainder of the evening. They were tons of fun and the highlight of the trip. I will meet up with them again in October in Key West in October for the SOMO half.

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Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans was race 5 of 40 in 2014 to celebrate my 40th birthday.

We returned home on Monday for me to leave on Tuesday for Austin to attend a technology conference for teachers.

 

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