I have done Vegas many different ways. My first trip in 2002 was with my mom and included taking in a show featuring topless showgirls. With MY MOM, in case you missed that. I’ve always been quick to add, “Oh, but it totally wasn’t weird or sleazy at all! It was more sort of old timey Vegas revue style.” Whatevs. We had a blast.
I have also done Vegas with friends – longer trips, road trips, short, less than 48 hour trips. And one year, my family decided to be all, “Christmas in the idyllic, snowy, wintery perfection that is Bend, Oregon? Bah! That’s so the last 15 years. This year we’re Christmasing in Las Vegas!” It was spectacular.
So what I’m saying is that I’ve seen and loved Las Vegas all kinds of ways, in all kinds of seasons. But I’ve never done it the way I’m about to this weekend.
This time, I’m gonna run that town.
No, for real.
We’re all Vegas bound tomorrow and will divvy up and tackle our respective shares of 187 miles over the course of 30ish hours on Friday and Saturday. My 17 miles look pretty great, including the last leg, which appears to be 7.7 miles of mostly trail awesomeness, possibly with a view of Lake Mead. But that’s an assessment based on my ability to accurately interpret a map, so let’s not assume I’m correct… Regardless, given that I’m squarely past Portland Marathon recovery and in the middle of an abbreviated training cycle for CIM in 32 days, I’m pretty happy that weekend relaying (which I deeply love and want to marry and have ten thousand babies with) will count as some solid marathon training.
Even better than running and becoming fast friends with five strangers in van? One of those five isn’t a stranger at all. Through the happy circumstances of my cousin Sara being a runner and our team needing to fill some slots (unintentional Vegas pun, I swear. I sort of want to punch myself in the face now), we get to hang out and run together this weekend!
Once the running part is all over, I’m sticking around in Vegas for a couple of days for a little cousin reunion with Sara and her sister Hannah who is a smarty pants grad student at UNLV. Running times, family times, gambling times (because obviously) – all in all, it’s kind of shaping up to be a pretty spectacular weekend.
AND… because we don’t want to selfishly keep all the fun to ourselves, Nuun and PRO Compression have extended a couple of awesome discount code offers that I’m happy to share with y’all now.
Nuun is offering 20% off your order through the end of this year with the discount code: ragnarvegas. Bonus tip, if you order by November 14, you get free shipping! I know I talk about loving Nuun a lot. I KNOW. But seriously, I love this stuff. I would feel super icky pushing a product that I didn’t dig, but thankfully that’s not an issue here. Nuun is tasty hydration goodness in tablet form. If you want flavor advice, I suggest giving Tri-Berry, Lemonade and/or Grape a try.
PRO Compression is also offer a kickass deal through the end of this year – 40% off your order and free shipping with the code: nuunpc. Rumor has it that the fine folks at PC are going to be outfitting us in custom Nuun compression socks for the relay and I’m really excited to try them out!
And now it’s time to very briefly and half-assedly recap the Portland Marathon. Not because it wasn’t awesome (it amazingly was, especially given my pre-marathon illness), but because that race receded so rapidly into the rear view practically the minute it was over that it feels like such old news. As a competitive (with myself) marathon, it sucked. I ran my second slowest time ever. As a training run for CIM and just an honest-to-goodness long run, it ROCKED. I left the Garmin at home, went out without a plan other than hoping I could finish and knowing that I wouldn’t beat myself up if I didn’t and just enjoyed the run. The weather was gorgeous, the miles felt good, the crowd support was phenomenal and all of it conspired to help me feel all the good running feels.
I saw some Gulls.
And some newlyweds.
And I reacted like this when I saw them, respectively.
So after a great first Portland Marathon in 2011 and a crappy second one in 2012, this year was some sweet redemption, even if my time left something to be desired. Which is where CIM comes in. I’m tired of that four hour mark. Very, very tired of it. The goal is to sub-4 in Sacremento this December and then we’re gonna have a little chat about… Boston.
But first, before all of that, there will be Vegas. Which means it’s time to hit Publish on this bad boy, pack up the neon jelly bracelets and get ready to run.