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Month: November 2013

November 2013 in Review

This month I ran 104.65  miles compared to 77.39  in October.  That’s the longest I’ve ran in a month! In July I ran 96.99 and since then I have not been able to surpass it till now.  One of my Top 40 things is to run 1,000 in one year.  To date I’ve ran 872.20 which leaves me with 123.80 miles to run in December to order to meet that goal.  Part of me tells me to go for it but then another part of me tells me to take it easy since Goofy Challenge is around the corner and I do not want to get injured.

I also ran two races:  Manchester City Half Marathon and Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon.  I enjoyed both races and would recommend everyone to run them.  My favorite one was the one in Las Vegas because it was so cool to run on the strip!  It was a different experience for me because I was not sure how to hydrate and fuel for an evening race.  But I took it easy and had a great race.

I love a great deal.  Who doesn’t?  I stocked up on my favorite pairs of Brooks shoes-Pure Flow 2 and Pure Connect 2.  I found them for $69.93 on Running Warehouse.  These shoes last about 300 miles so each pair should last me about 3-4 months.  I think I will purchase a few more pairs before someone else does.

Speaking of deals I purchased a new suitcase for my traveling trips.  This one was on sale for $65 (original price is $129.99).  I am so excited to use it but my next trip isn’t till January.

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Who doesn’t love free race pictures?  I was able to download  all of my pictures from the Manchester City Half Marathon.  Now, I did not like all of them but at least I had the option of selecting the photos I did like.

On the weekends I usually run along the lakefront and love it there.  However, I’m ready for a change of scenery.  Plus, the wind from the lakefront is not so friendly and sometimes discourages me from running there.  So someone mentioned Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve which is about 30 minutes from my house.  I went there today and enjoyed it very much.  It was a beautiful day and there were a few people along the course.  I am planning to go there again tomorrow to run 12 miles.

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I am excited and looking forward to December!  I have three more weeks of school and then I am off for two weeks.  I plan to run, rest, eat, drink, and have fun!!

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon

Done, state #29 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This was my last race in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series.  Last year I bought a TourPass which gave me “free” registration to their races this year.  I ran almost each one and the TourPass was the best deal ever!  I know it is being offered again for next year but now you have to pay a $7 processing fee for each race.

I got into Las Vegas after 4pm and my friend, DB, picked me up at the airport.  DB is a Swirlgear Ambassador and I met her this summer at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon.  From the airport she dropped me off at the convention center to pick up my bib.  Her daughter was with her and since they had already been to the convention center, DB told me that she would wait for me.

Once I got to the front of the line, I was told that my packet was on the 2nd floor.  I did not but went upstairs.  Imagine my surprise when I found out I had VIP status. Apparently I’ve ran 15 or more RnR races.  I got a backpack with more goodies inside, a wristband that gave me access to the VIP lounge before and after the race, and champagne to enjoy.  Amazing!

Fast forward to race day.  The VIP lounge was amazing!  Food and more food was everywhere.  Plus, there was water, coffee, and a bunch of other stuff.  I did have to go to the bathroom and did not have to wait long.  Score!  Before I knew it, it was time to head over to the start line.

It took me 10 minutes to cross the start line.  There was so much energy and excitement around me. Everyone was pumped up for the race.  I took it easy because I had stomach issues.  The first mile was not exciting because we ran away from the strip.  But once we got to the strip everything changed.  It was already dark but the lights along the strip were just breathtaking.  There were so many supporters along the route.  It felt amazing knowing that the strip was closed to traffic but open to us runners.

Miles 7-9 took us away from the strip.  I did not like that at all because it was dark, boring, and no spectators at all.  I paid close attention to where I was running to make sure I did not trip.  It did go by fast because then we were back on the strip towards the finish line.

The last 3 miles were difficult for me.  I would run and walk.  I was not sure what was going on because I was fine up until mile 10.  Somehow I got some energy and made it to the finish line for a finish time of 2:27:16.  There were so many people cheering there and I felt so happy but sad at the same time.  Despite how I had been feeling the last three miles, I was sad because it was my last RnR for the year.  This year had been amazing with so many wonderful races.

Once I was done my next stop was the VIP lounge at Serendipity 3.  I knew it was by Caesar’s Palace but getting out of the secure zone was a hassle.  Finally I found the place and the food was ever better than what was offered before the race.  I wasn’t too hungry but ate some pizza and drank a beer.  I chatted with a few folks and left about an hour later because I was cold and tired.  The walk back to the hotel was NOT fun at all.  It was about 2 miles to the Luxor and there were so many people out there.  I received compliments on my socks and someone asked me if I had won the race. When I told him that I didn’t, he told me that maybe next time.

This is the best RnR race I’ve ever ran and would definitely run it again!!  This race should be on everyone’s list.  A few things I would do different:

  • Arrive early to take advantage of the expo
  • Check into hotel early to avoid risk of hotel not having non-smoking rooms available
  • Do better job to hydrate and eat properly prior to race
  • Stay at a hotel halfway between start and finish line
  • Go see a Cirque du Soleil show

Again, every runner MUST do this race.  I promise you will have a wonderful time!!

This race was my 49th half marathon.  Now I am on a mission to run a race possibly next month in Chicago for my 50th half marathon.  If I don’t, then my next half marathon will be in January for the Goofy Challenge.

Manchester City Half Marathon

Done with state #28 in NH!

I will admit that the course description scared me.  It is described as “hilly, challenging, and scenic”.  I almost backed out but am glad that I did in fact run this race.

The expo was really small.  The highlight of it was meeting Kathrine Switzer.  She is so friendly and down to earth.  She hugged me and I felt like we’ve known each other for years.  I bought one of her books and can’t wait to read it.

The race began at 8:50am.  I woke up at my normal time of 6am.  I tried going back to sleep but couldn’t.  I went downstairs to get coffee and began getting ready.  The weather was  41 degrees and I was not sure whether to wear pants or a skirt.  I decided to go with the skirt and my ProCompression socks.

It was windy and cold and I almost regretted not wearing pants.  I got in line to use the bathroom and made it to the start line with one minute to go.

The course is exactly as mentioned on the website: hilly, challenging and scenic.  Beautiful course!  I love running during the fall because of all of the colors.  There were plenty of water stations and they were not crowded at all.  There were some places with a lot of crowd support.  There were houses in which families were gathered outside having their own little gathering and cheering for the runners.  And yes it was hilly and challenging!  My legs were screaming at me to stop!  I took some walk breaks, especially during the hills.  There was just no way I could run up all of them.

My finish time is 2:25:57.  I am very happy with it because the course was not easy.  The weather helped too.

Next race is Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas which will be by 29th state.  Plus, it will be my 49th half marathon.  After Las Vegas my next race is the Goofy Challenge in FL.  But you know for sure I will be planning a 50th half marathon in my hometown, Chicago.