Yet again a long overdue post, even longer than my pregnancy announcement since we went to Las Vegas and did the Rock n Roll Vegas Half before I even knew I was pregnant!
It is seriously my favorite race though. I’ve done 6 half marathons so far and this is the only one I’ve done twice. It’s great because I can use it as an excuse for a vacation, and take part in an awesome fitness event!
The first time I ran this was in 2011 and it was my first half marathon ever. I raised money with CCFA’s TeamChallenge which is a great organization that helps support research in finding a cure for Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis. That trip was obviously amazing and I was so overwhelmed with emotion from the adrenaline, the atmosphere, the accomplishment of raising money for a cause that meant something to me, and becoming a runner (which I definitely WAS NOT before). I almost started crying before mile 3 just from all of the emotions!
I actually ended up being super emotional during the race expo and at the beginning of the race again this year, but I think that all might have been a hint at the fact I was pregnant and didn’t know it!
We stayed at the Cosmopolitan this time and it was amazing. We got a fabulous room that overlooked the Bellagio fountains. I also surprised Jordan with a limo pick up because when in Vegas why not! We also had a beautiful Japanese soaking tub in the bathroom which you could see the fountains from… I definitely took advantage of that.
The first night we arrived we went to the amazing Chandelier Lounge which is a 3 story bar inside a 3 story chandilier. Here’s the view walking up to it on the 3rd foor:
My parents actually ended up flying to Vegas for this weekend too which was a big deal for me since this is the first half marathon I’ve run that they’ve been too! They also stayed at the Cosmo & loved it. They had some good friends in town for a conference for the weekend which was nice because it meant we were both able to do separate activities, but got to plan some fun activities & meals together! Jordan & I met my parents for coffee (naturally) Saturday morning, then headed to the Outlets. We spent a few hours wandering the shops and I was able to get some great Christmas presents for my sister-in-laws from Kate Spade & Tory Burch. I also snagged an awesome silk crepe crop blouse from Seven for all Mankind. After a day of shopping Jordan & I headed back to the hotel, got cleaned up and went to happy hour at Koi in Planet Hollywood. I’m so in love with some of their decor, I wish I could figure out a way to use it in my own home. After our great dinner we met my parents & their friends at Absinthe. After reading reviews for the show I was excited to go, but only agreed to go if we could sit separately from my parents. It’s pretty raunchy & hilarious but I did not want to sit next to my dad while a lady did a strip tease 200 feet away. I think that decision made the show much more enjoyable for all of us. It was really great. We are big fans of Cirque du Soleil type shows, but it was nice to have some humor included with the amazing acrobatics. I would absolutely recommend seeing it to anyone who is looking for a show in Vegas. We were supposed to meet some co-workers at OMNIA after the show, but decided to gamble a little then head back to the room instead.
Race Day – Sunday
Sunday was the day of the race! I wanted to take it easy since I knew I needed to feel fresh and energized at 4:30 when the race started. We wandered the strip a little bit and gambled a little, but most of the day was low key. I have to say the weather was absolutely amazing the whole time we were in town, especially considering that it was November – it didn’t really hold out for the race though unfortunately! The race as a whole was great. The route had changed since the last time I ran it and I liked the new route a lot better – the start line and finish lines were also so much more organized! The weather was still ok pre-race. It was starting to get windy but it was mild so I was really torn on what to wear, I finally decided no cover-up since it was warm enough that I would have needed to dump it aft 3 miles and I didn’t really want to lose it. I did keep my gloves though since my hands always go numb on longer runs. About a mile in to the race the weather went crazy. There were 40-45 mph wind gusts and it down poured for almost my first 7 miles. I was actually really happy with my pace up until mile 9, I was on track to finish within a few minutes of my goal which was 2 hours. That did not happen. At mile 9 the sun had gone down and I started cramping really badly in my legs which slowed me down and I finished 20 minutes behind my goal. I was really disappointed about this until a week later when I found out I was pregnant – I’m sure that affected my performance in one way or another. I was very emotional at the pre-race party and the expo to the point where I almost cried for no reason… it all makes sense now!
Post-race I was FREEZING. I’m so luckily I had my little cheer squad to meet me. Jordan brought me warm dry shoes, a vest and an extra sweatshirt on top of the coverup I decided to leave with him at the starting line. We took pictures as fast as possible since it was still insanely windy (they turned off the Bellagio Fountains due to wind), then headed back to the hotel. Jordan being the best husband ever had bottled water, Powerade AND champagne waiting for me in our room, as well as a warm bath filled halfway so the other half would still be warm & fresh. Finally we met my parents at Holsteins in our hotel for late night burgers and shakes!
Initially I was signed up for the marathon so we planned on returning Tuesday so I could have an extra day for my legs to recover. Since I switched down to the half marathon it was honestly a little bit too long in Vegas for us. We both spent some of Monday working, then headed to the Sahra Spa for massages which were amazing. To anyone looking for a place to relax in Las Vegas I would absolutely recommend this place.
We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around, I wanted to take a trip to the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM, and we found some $5 blackjack tables so we gambled a little. We ended up spending the rest of our trip very laid back with my recovering/stretching etc. in our room.
It was definitely a very successful trip to Las Vegas even if it was a little bit too long. I’m a little bummed that I’m not able to sign up for any of the summer runs I normally do, especially Hood to Coast! And i don’t think the Vegas race will be on my list again for the next couple years with a little one… but I can’t wait to sign up for my first runDisney race when she’s old enough to understand Disney. It will be so fun seeing a cute little face added to my awesome support system. My goal is to run the Portland marathon for the first time in 2017 – I’m thinking that should be enough time post-partum to be able to train properly.
I’d love to hear other Moms stories of when they were able to get back to running after baby and your experiences with it!