Vegas, Baby

27 Apr

The official reason I went to Vegas with J and four friends was to run a half marathon. We had three runners and three pit crew members. Almost every single person who I told about the race said one of two things: Vegas is flat. It will be hot.


The race was at Lovell Canyon, about 35 minutes outside of the strip. We rented a VW minivan (which was fairly sick for a mom van), and left for the race at 6am. The runners had three hours of sleep, after arriving at Caesars at 2 am (one had slightly less sleep, after pancakes at 2am), one pit crew member opted to stay in bed, and the other two (J included) didn’t even go to bed.

It was freezing. Not freezing by New England standards, but freezing by “I’m wearing shorts and a tank top because its supposed to be hot in Vegas” standards (which equals 45 degrees or so). It was so cold that a stranger commented on the goosebumps on my BFF’s legs. It was a small race, 140 people in the half marathon, but there was also a 10K, marathon, 50K, 50 mile, and 100 mile race. (You read that right).

We froze for a bit, someone yelled “Go!” and off we went. That’s when I fully became aware of the second lie: Vegas may be flat, but Lovell Canyon is not.

Granted, we didn’t run up that particular mountain, but we ran up some big hills. The whole course was slightly, painfully, uphill for the first 5 miles or so. Then we ran down a giant hill. Giant. Like, could barely run down it giant. Did I mention it was an out and back course, so then we ran up it as well? Uh-huh.

Needless to say, it was not my best race. I was sucking wind by mile 2. I was also a bit affected by the altitude and kept getting dizzy. I walked a lot the first half, then up the giant hill. Miles 8-13 were pretty solid, despite the giant blister that was forming. The bottom line was: we finished in one piece, there were cookies at the finish line, and beer waiting for us in the mini van.

Even better than that, vacation had officially started! The roadie who stayed in bed got us a poolside bed at Caesars, where we spent the afternoon sucking down $20 beverages and tanning.

I’ll spare you the details of the entire trip. Highlights included, in no particular order:

Condom on the floor of a bar. I think this was the bar where the kid who “knows” Shawn White told us that anyone can run a half marathon. This was at 2 am the morning after we ran the half marathon. This did not go over well.

A big plate o’meat at the Bellagio buffet. Lamb in our bellies. (This is J’s plate. He’d like to point out the carrots, and a potato or two).

Lots of this.

The most dangerous place in Vegas: Carnival Court at Harrah’s. We were warned multiple times. We ignored the warnings. We got there at 3 in the afternoon, we left around 8. Much hilarity, many very strong drinks, lots of tips, a whip made out of straws, and sunglasses at night occurred in between. It was an early last night in Vegas for many of our group, but it was the best afternoon ever.

And it was all his fault:

Okay, it was more his fault:

(But not Juan’s fault)

So, there you go. Vegas in a nutshell. A great time was had by all. Everyone had fun and got along well, despite the lack of sleep (J was up for 48+ hours – I wondered why I even got a king size bed for a couple of days), and no one got arrested. I’d say it was a winner! Of course, I need a vacation from my vacation, but we’ll work on that!

I didn’t want to post my friends’ pictures without permission (and I’m too lazy to ask for it), but J is a good sport and doesn’t mind being plastered on the Interwebs, so here’s one of our favorites – a self portrait!


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