The Half Marathon that Never Was

I was so excited to run the National Nurses Half Marathon in Las Vegas!!

My friend, Kim, and I planned our trip. We were going to run in the Half Marathon and stay a few extra days in Vegas. But as my luck would have it, Kim had a family emergency that came up and she was not able to make it. I had to go it alone, because you can’t get a refund on airfare.  DSCF6081-001

I flew out there and stayed at a hotel & casino that was off of the strip. My niece, Jessicca, lives out there so I contacted her to let her know I was in town.

I went to packet pick up Friday and planned to catch the shuttle bus in the morning to the starting line. Again, as my luck would have it, I missed the shuttle bus. I totally miscalculated my drive time and got there 15 minutes late. So I decided to drive to the start line. I called Jessicca to let her know that I would need a ride back to my car after the run and she said she was planning on coming out to cheer me on. But….

…as my luck would have it again, I was late for the start and there was no place for gear check at the starting area which meant I had no place to put my stuff while I ran.

Frustrated, I drove back to the finish area and signed up for the 5k. I got on the shuttle bus and was taken to the 5k starting area. The run was along the Red Rocks area and it was so pretty out there. But as any runner knows, the bladder shifts into overdrive and you suddenly have to pee. portapotty Of course there is only one outhouse out there but luckily the shuttle bus has a toilet on it.

So I emptied my bladder and was ready to run. I took off at an easy steady pace. I ended up running the hole way with only 3 walks to the count of 10. I PR’d at 36:11. My best time for a 5k. I received a finisher’s medal and then waited for Zumba to begin.

It was so much fun, but I was a little disappointed I didn’t run the half. Jessicca came out with her boyfriend and brought signs they made to cheer me on. How sweet!!

After all those festivities, we went to IHOP and had breakfast. Then Jessicca and David played tour guide and took me to The Strip and we hit some of the shops. It was so cool. Who know the M&M store was 4 levels and that the Hershey store had 3 statue of Liberties; one carved from chocolate, one made out of Twizzlers and one made out of jelly beans.



The Shuttle Bus

Have you ever taken the shuttle bus to the start of a run?

Riding the shuttle bus to the starting line of a run can prove to be quite amusing.  It’s a plethora of enthusiastic runners full of anticipation and excitement.  The awkwardness of sitting next to a random stranger is short lived.  One of you says the first thing to the other and, bam!, the silence is broken. For the duration of the ride the conversation is run-a-muck with dialog of previous runs, family members, children and training.  The shuttle bus could be considered a contrast for The Who’s Magic Bus song with the subject of “baby” being  replaced with “run”.


You step up on the bus and it is filled with chatter, faces that are adorned with smiles, and heads that are decorated with headbands and ponytails.  The chance you will find an empty seat is pretty much slim to none.   You are forced to share a seat with a random stranger. Suddenly you are feeling more like an awkward elementary student sitting next to a kid who just might be the nerd of the 5th grade class than a confidence half marathon runner.

So you scan the faces until you find that one lucky person whose eyes lock with yours in an unspoken invitation to share a seat. You meander your way over to the vacant spot and smile politely at the person sitting next to the window.  You sit down and there starts the conversation that will carry you thru to the starting line.

When you arrive at the destination you wish each other luck, and part ways.  Chances are, you will never see that person again nor remember most of the conversation due to the adrenaline that suddenly enters your body as you meet up with the rest of your group.  And then your nervous bladder kicks in and the line to the porta-potties exceeds the time till the start of the race.  But that’s a whole nother blog .


Running is fun….sorta

I have been running since the summer of 2012.  Crazy to start in the summer, yeah, but that’s just what I did.  I actually couldn’t even run at first.  I had to start out walking a couple miles a few times a week.  After 2 weeks I could jog for a minute or two then walk again, then jog again, then walk again.  It took me about 6 weeks before I could run (incredibly slowly) for 3 miles.  Then in October 2012 I ran my first 5k.  I finished in 46:11.

Talent Harvest Festival 10-06-013

My first 5k

It was such a euphoric experience, I immediately took membership with the local running club, Southern Oregon Runners, and the local training group, Southern Oregon Running Enthusiasts (SORE).  I have been running ever since.

Not all runs are fun, motivating, or great but all are invigorating.  I recently trained so long and ran 5 events in a 5 week period (3 of them were half marathons!) that I totally burned myself out.  After that, I think I ran 4 times in two and a half months and when I finally did run my next 5k, my finish was 49:22.  My worst time ever!  Should I mention that I was also nursing a chest cold and coughed and hacked the whole time?  But it doesn’t matter what my time is, I am always glad I signed up, trained, and finished.