My 25th Birthday Run
|October 1, 2014|
This weekend I turned 25: my quarter life crisis; my quarter of a century celebration; my half way over the hill mile marker…
This year, I like to think I took the famous words of Lesley Gore to heart – “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.” Or should I say “it’s my birthday and I’ll run a half marathon if I want to.”
Yup. That’s right. Even knowing that the chances were pretty high that I’d be running alone, I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than going for a long run and getting a medal at the end. (Because running and not getting a medal just isn’t the same…)
I will begin my story most other epic birthday stories begin – we drove to Vegas.
Saints & Sinners Half Marathon Race Recap
The morning of my birthday, my alarm went off before dawn and I anxiously put on my birthday sash and Sparkle Skirt. My normal pre-race breakfast was waiting for me on the dresser of our hotel room – a slice of wheat bread, some almond butter, and a banana.
Traffic from the strip wasn’t bad at all on the way to the start line. But what was bad was the wind once I got there. Wearing a tank top and a skirt, I had no protection from the cold. Luckily, the closer we got to the race start, the more people arrived. And the more people that arrived, the easier it was to use them as a wall of protection against the wind.
When the race started, I can’t lie and say I was super pumped – because at that point I was freezing. But once we got to the first fueling station, I was pretty stoked.
The reason why they call this race the Saints & Sinners Half Marathon is because along the way they, the fueling stations have tempting snacks and goodies to help you determine if you’re a saint or a sinner. Along the course they had an array of things like brownies, donuts, and marshmallows for the sinners. For the saints, they had a variety of fruits.
As the race went on, the wind died down and the temperature settled around mid 70s. The sun began to peek out from the clouds and the weather was beautiful. I probably could have gotten a better time if I didn’t stop to take so many photos.
The closer I got to the finish line, the more beautiful the race became. The finish line was at Lake Mead so with every mile, we got closer and closer to the water’s edge. Around mile 7, we were actually running along the edge of the cliff that overlooked the lake.
The course itself, while mostly downhill still had it’s challenges. When we were on that cliff side overlooking the lake, we were in a prime spot for the wind to pick up (and it was blowing directly at me giving me more resistance). Those few miles were also on a gravel/dirt trail which I have absolutely no experience on which slowed me down.
Finally coming to the end, there were two finish lines to cross. I had to make a choice – am I a saint? Or am I a sinner?
Having PRed on my birthday AND I didn’t touch a single snack from the Sinner’s side, I definitely earned that medal crossing the Saints’ side.
Race Recovery – Vegas Style
After crossing the finish line, I snacked on some of the goodies they had for us in addition to demolishing my beef jerky waiting for me at the car.
Once we headed back to the hotel, this is what I should have done… I should have eaten lunch right away. For lunch, I should have eaten a sandwich or wrap (my usual go-to meal after a race). Then I should have taken my cold shower and changed into some clean clothes, including my compression socks. The rest of the day should have been relaxing with my feet up and occasionally going for a short walk.
Instead, after getting back to the hotel, I showered first because I wanted to look presentable. It is Vegas after all… Then I walked around for about an hour trying to figure out what I wanted to eat because the buffets were calling to me but my conscience was telling me not to. The struggle was real. After finally deciding on a place to eat (possibly the most fattening meal I’ve had all year), we headed off to the pool. We spent a few hours at the pool, enjoyed some mojitos, and then off to Pink Taco for dinner.
…We were in bed by 10 p.m. I’ve never gone to bed that early in Vegas but all the excitement from the day was finally hitting me. And the next day, the lack of my usual race recovery routine also hit me. I was hobbling like a penguin. One thing I know for all my future races is NEVER skip my post-race recovery routine.
Cheers to being 25!