Two weekends ago I embarked on a journey to the city of lights and sin. More lights, less sin in this case. I have finally completed my first marathon, Rock N Roll Las Vegas, and I have left there with a sense of accomplishment and pride.
My trip started on Friday night, we decided to drive 12 hours to Las Vegas through the night, me, my mom, Lilly, and my aunt. It was a long tiring 12 hours through dark mountains and whatever is in Utah.
Finally around 8:30am we made it to Vegas and were ready to shower, eat and pass out, but that wasn’t on the agenda right away. We get into The Mirage and we’re told courtesy check-in isn’t until 10:30, with that I figured we’d go to the expo to get my race number, look around a bit then it should be time to check-in. The expo was at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, behind The Venetian. We weren’t exactly sure how to get to the Expo walking so we used the “trusty” GPS to get us there. We got there but it didn’t find us a place to park. That was another task within itself. We drove around the building and found we had to park in The Venetian parking garage, with every other person that needed to be there, the place was a packed mess with people honking at each other. After hunting down a random walking back to their car, we got a spot to park. We didn’t know where we were going so we followed a group that looked like runners and made our way into The Venetian. From there it was a circus, people everywhere, while trying to find the convention center and an elevator, since Lilly was in the stroller. After walking about 5 miles from the car, through the resort, down a long hall, we finally made our way to the expo. The loud Black Eyed Peas music gave it away. I guess it is called the Rock N Roll Marathon after all. After that I was ready to grab my stuff and leave, forget all the abundant shopping and freebies. I was in my purple velour sweatsuit and Lilly was still in pajamas with Hello Kitty slippers from the drive. We were not in the most presentable outfits walking through a casino.
I received my race bib and nearly teared up, this was starting to become reality. I made sure as I was making my way to the next station to get my race shirt and bag, I flashed my bib to make sure others were aware I was running the marathon. The marathoner’s bibs were black while the half marathoner’s sported purple. Black made it seem more bad ass and I was ready to brag. After picking up my stuff I bought Lilly and I matching t-shirts, because that is what we do, and also some compression arm sleeves, which were probably the one the best running purchases I have made besides my Garmin, which by the way, still needs a cool name. As we were making our way out the expo, I caught a glimpse of 2009 NYC Marathon winner, Meb Keflezighi. I was hoping to see Josh Cox but he wasn’t on until 1:30 and I was not about the wait due to being hungry and smelly I’m sure. But in the end I got the best seat in the house to see Josh Cox on race day.
Making the 5 mile trek back to the car and out of the parking garage, we realized our hotel was across the street, so I guess we could have walked and saved a lot of time, but also added on another 5 miles to our walk. Those resorts are massive. I also yelled at some chick as we were getting off the elevator in the parking garage. I don’t know what it is, but people don’t let you get off before they get on, and this happened all over Vegas. Do they not see the child in the bright orange stroller? I don’t mean to get all Mama Bear, but the second someone is trying to jump over my kid to cross the street or get into an elevator, don’t be surprised when I let you and the rest of the world know that you’re an asshole.
We get back to The Mirage, grabbed our bags and finally checked-in. It was nice to finally lay down for 5 minutes. It would have been longer but I was starving and was getting worried about my water intake since I hadn’t been drinking as much as I should have. So we decided on where to eat, showered, and ventured out onto the strip. Not far though, we went across the street to Harrah’s and ate at Chipotle. I wasn’t ready to eat somewhere unfamiliar the day before the race. And I just love Chipotle, maybe I should open my own franchise because I love it so much. But this Chipotle, not so much. This was 3 different restaurants in one, Chipotle, Panda Express, and some pizza place. It was crowded and loud, and everything I hate. The line was 20 people long and I was grumpy from hunger. The tortilla steamer/bean and rice scooper received the Ivebeenontheroadfor12hoursandImhungry attitude after skimping on the beans and rice. Do I look like I want a sample on my burrito? No, so I tried to politely ask for more. I also asked if they had kids meals and when he replied that they don’t like I’ve never ordered from Chipotle before, I replied “Well they do in Colorado”. So I give you this Mr. Cheap Bean Scooper, I can visit the original Chipotle whenever I want since Chipotle was started in Colorado and gave you your job in a dinky Las Vegas franchise. This is all hungry anger speaking of course. Oh yeah, let’s add onto the fact that the meat scooping lady had the nerve to tell me that the steak is spicy, in the same YouhaveneverhadChipotlebefore voice, well guess what? Read the previous sentences and know that Chipotle is not exclusive to Las Vegas. This is not Mario Batali, Emeril Lagasse, or Tom Colicchio’s famous Las Vegas restaurant that you must visit before you leave. Needless to say, I will not be stopping by that Chipotle again, no matter how much love I have for a steak burrito with black beans, cheese, sour cream, and guacamole and can eat in one sitting.
After a mediocre meal, we walked down the strip, mainly to see how far the walk is to the race start at Mandalay Bay. Quickly I realized walking to the start was not an option, and Las Vegas is not for me. It’s crowded, smells, and dirty. I have no clue what the fascination is, considering I don’t drink all day and night, I don’t drink until I pass out and have no clue why I’m not wearing pants, and walking up and down the strip gets really old, really fast. If anyone would like to change my point of view, go ahead and give it a try. I can be very stubborn.
We walked as far as the Monte Carlo and decided to turn around and go back. We stopped at the Monte Carlo concierge to see about the Jabbawockeez show Sunday night and had to stop and take some touristy pictures of Lilly. Finally we made it to the Bellagio Fountains since Lilly was fascinated with the dancing water in front of the Aria. Well, she made a scene and cried because they were loud and reminded her of fireworks which she hates, which was a loss for her at Disney World since they put on some pretty amazing firework shows.
I tried to enjoy the show while I had a crying kid in my ear, then made our way back to the hotel. I was getting worried about being on my feet for so long, along with sitting in the car for 12 hours. I forgot the mention we drove my car and it’s not made for tall people. I couldn’t even stretch out my legs in the front seat. So I was worried with how my legs were going to react the next day. Before going to the hotel, we looked for the closet monorail station since that was going to be my race day transportation. So that added another 5 miles walking through Harrah’s to the monorail station behind the casino. Again with the legs, and the filthiness of Las Vegas. We took the elevator up to the stop and I was eyeballing the inside of the elevator and couldn’t figure out why there were hand and footprints all over the inside of the elevator. I mean, a lot. My aunt offered her insight which quickly grossed me out. Uh, moving on.
Getting back to the hotel, I was exhausted and Lilly was passed out in the stroller. She needs to share that thing. At least her legs were rested. When we got back it felt later than it really was. Only 6:30. I had plenty of time to get my race stuff together and get plenty of sleep. But I figured I wouldn’t get much sleep since I usually don’t sleep well before a race, thinking I’ll sleep in and miss the race. Thank God for Lilly’s wild sleeping, there was a chance I would have missed everything that I had worked for.
Until next time, and I promise it won’t take 2 weeks to post.