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Sunday, February 21, 2016

saints and sinners half marathon

The Saints and Sinners Half Marathon was yesterday! Let's recap.

First: I love driving through the Lake Mead Recreation Area.

Friday night, I made my way in to Vegas for the bib pick-up, then shopping at the Las Vegas North Premium Outlets. And the destruction of the above pasta.

So, I stayed at a pretty shady hotel/casino that is right outside Vegas and Boulder City. I..literally couldn't breathe even though I was in a non-smoking floor and a non-smoking room.  My advice: don't stay in a casino before a race...even if it is cheaper.  Anyway, Saturday morning..

The starting area/trailhead had random statues of animals. Many selfies occurred.

SO glad I did not see any of these during the race.

The race kicked off promptly at 8a (around 53 degrees and super sunny, perfect!).  The first three miles were completely downhill. Like...720 ft elevation loss. I was a bit nervous about this as far as relying on muscles moreso than I usually do when I run/race, and thus worried about injury. However, everything is OK today, just my legs are on fire. No big deal.

Just keep running...

Lake Mead.

So, around mile 5 or so the race turned into trail which was of course a little bit harder to run on. Then, we started running up through the tunnels that workers used when they were building the Hoover Dam.  However...around this point in the race, I got dirt in both of my contacts. Both. So, the last 4.5 miles I could not see clearly. I stopped several times to try to adjust them, poured water into my eyes at an aid station, and tried to make myself cry. None of this worked. My eyes were burning and I was worried about tripping over uneven points in the trail.  So, once I got to the final 3 mile stretch which was more on sidewalk/paved trail, I booked it. (Also, the Gatorade at mile 8.5 really helped me out!)

"Hooray! I think I'm done!! My eyes are burning!"

Lol, on a happier note, I PRed with 1:41:13 (4 minute PR), finished 39th overall, 10th female overall, and 2nd in my age group (by a mere 33 seconds).

Recovery? Dole Whip. Pineapple Park in Vegas - check it out next time you're there!

Oh, and shopping is a good recovery. I always like to keep moving after races so I hit up the strip.

Where I accidentally ate bacon.  Darn you, sweet broccoli salad. These maple roasted sweet potatoes were the bomb.

And then the snacks for the drive back home.  The medal is the size of a dinner plate.

Overall, this was a well-organized race and absolutely gorgeous.  Definitely a great race for beginners as it's mostly downhill (but don't let the first half of the race fool you..), and a fun concept with the Saints and Sinners options at aid stations and at the finish line.