6'0 tall, former athlete, mother of 3, struggling to keep up on the RUN of daily life.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Vegas Marathon Lessons Learned

WOW I was planning to have this post done Friday.... BUT... Running a Marathon then going straight a busy (successful) event is DRAINING! I ended up sick and took the weekend to RECOVER... I ran 2 easy miles in the rain with Muscle Man, the Little Studs were safe under the rain cover.. Probably not wise to do with a cold.. But it felt GOOD!!

The rest of the weekend was spent shopping (Thanks Mom for watching the boys) and decorating for Christmas. We had our annual fudge making last night...it was TOUGH without Dad to stir the Sugar/butter but Muscle Man stepped right in.. LOVE HIM!!

Hoping to find some time to get caught up on Bloggy land, but time does not seem to be on my side these days :( Without firther to do here are my Lessons Learned...


1. MOST IMPORTANT!! Run the Half Marathon.. It is a great Half course, the rest of the course is bleak and boring. Not what you need during a Marathon. VEGAS IS A GOOD HALF MARATHON!!

2. Be sure to pick a Hotel close to the Start/Finish lines. This city is a MESS, it can take 15 minutes just to find your way out of the MGM Grand and other casinos. I would recommened Mandalay Bay, Luxor or Excaliber. It may be further from the expo, but race day is more important. Think about after the race and how tired (and sick) you may be.

3. Do some research BEFORE you get to Vegas. Learn the monorail and tram systems. Many people got off the Monorail at MGM and walked nearly a mile to the start. There is a FREE Tram that will take you from Excaliber directly to Mandalay Bay. I printed a map of the strip and information on the tram system, along with the race course map, all these things came in very handy.

4. Run the race with a FRIEND or loved one. This is a fun fun race atmosphere. Destination races are meant to enjoy, and what better way to enjoy than to be WITH someone.. Plan ahead, go for matching costumes, and have a BLAST!!
5. Running a Marathon undertrained is possible but painful. Save spontaneous for a 5K. The best Marathons are those where you have taken the time (12-16 weeks) to prepare mentally, physically, emotionally and truly commit 100%.

6. Vegas is a great place for pre-race Restrooms.

7. Don't tie your shoes too tight. Your feet may swell during the race.

8. Have a hydration and nutrition backup source. Could be a friend along the course, but have someone there with oranges, pretzels, anything that might help when Gu, water and Cytomax are the ONLY OPTIONS!! The Rock N Roll Races do not have great race or post race foods.

9. The Marathon Finish Line is a Celebration..Soak it all in, even if you feel like you might pass out..
10. It is possible to complete a Marathon on well-manned water stops alone, without carrying hydration. Plan on adding some time because it is SLOWER to grab cups and keep running. If you are racing for time, I recommend a handheld or fuel belt.

11. The good part about handheld water bottles and fuel belts is you can monitor how much fluid you are taking in. This will help avoid sloshing tummy.. BUT when the climate is different than where you have trained you WILL FEEL THIRSTY..

12. Seeing Friends along a race course is AWESOME!! Hi Cynthia, Hannah and Shawna!!

13. You never know when you might need to use your Indi skills... Rolling bolders look out, I am a MARATHONER..
14. The mental side of Marathoning is so important and very underestimated. I DO NOT recommend running a Marathon within months of the death of a loved one. If you have been preparing for it that is a different story. Thinking that a Marathon will help the pain of losing a loved one go away is false, those internal pains are escalated at mile 20..

15. Do not overdress. This includes are warmers! I stripped my arm warmers at mile 6 and had to carry them the rest of the way. It is better to start a little cold then have something extra to haul around. Go to garage sales, Goodwill or ask friends for sweats and zipper front toss-away jackets, keep a few on hand for the cold months. Toss-Aways get donated to local charities and will keep you warm while waiting.

16. Pay attention to your surroundings. There are curbs, potholes, cups, slippery spots, etc.. the most important thing to note is the slope of the race course. Try to stay on the level spots and run the tangents, this will help avoid running off balance and having extra .XX miles.

17. Although you are a LUCKY person, the Running Gods may not reward you with a Million dollars.. (UGH!!)
18. Marathons where you do not focus on time are WONDERFUL. If you are planning to run your First Marathon next year DO NOT WORRY ABOUT YOUR TIME!! Yes you should have an awareness of what you are capable of, this will help for your spectators to be able to see you along the way and at the FINISH, etc.. But running without the stress of the clock is GREAT especially if you need to WALK.

19. If you WALK during a Marathon move to the left or right. Walking in the middle of the race course is bad race etiquette.

20. If you DO NOT want to get beat by Elvis, Vegas is NOT the Marathon for you..
Not Life Changing Lessons, but that is what I learned. On to the next... 5K this weekend..

  • What have you learned lately??
  • FYI Tall Mom 1,000+++ club info this week!


Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

The only downside of the Vegas half is it costs the same amount as the full. While it's an okay price for a full marathon, it's pretty darn expensive for a half. =(

Terri said...

Good lessons learned! Thanks for sharing them!

fancy nancy said...

Great lessons learned! I agree that running friends make all the difference!

Can't wait to hear about 1000+ club info!!!!! Please say you're doing it again for 2011!!!!!!

Stacey said...

Great lessons learned. I agree with DO the Vegas half marathon...the second half is just torture and I have done it twice. I don't love RNR marathons...way too big/expensive for me.

Rachel said...

Great post. I am running my first marathon in March - the National Marathon in DC. Very exciting and so scary! But I appreciate all your tips. Thanks!
PS: My running blog (that I just started) is runningtodc.blogspot.com.

Julie @ HotlegsRunner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie @ HotlegsRunner said...

agreeing with number 7, 8 and 15! =) I didn't see any food after the marathon =/

Kathy said...

Excellent lessons.....I wish I would have know 12 16 and 18 when I did my first in 2009. Starting over this year, a possible marathon in Fall :) Mel you are awesome! Thank you for sharing this!

Marlene said...

Glad you feel a bit better after a little weekend re-coop!

Love the lessons learned. I think it's important to work through these things after any race, good or bad. And thanks for sharing with all of us... some great advice here.

misszippy said...

#5--Still impressive that you did it!
#14--Had to be tough; you are strong!
#15--Yes, yes, yes! I have learned this many times over.


Kerrie said...

#6 is pretty vital. :)

April said...

I experienced some of these for the first time on Saturday!
#12 is so true! I was move to tears when I saw my hubs and boys cheering me on!
#7....I suffered for 26.2 miles with my left shoe too tight...yikes!

You are amazing Mel!

Anonymous said...

good lessons. lots of them are ones that i forget! the best one is to run with a loved one. my favorite races are the ones that i'm not alone

Denise said...

i just ran and didn't worry about time...i agree, it's so much fun!

Rene' said...

the time thing is so important. my first marathon was in November and I set myself up with a pretty fast time for my first one and didn't make it. While i was so thrilled that I had finished my first marathon I had that little sad feeling that I hadn't made my time. Also, I agree with the water/nutrition. I wish that I had brought my own.

Unknown said...

I've heard similar stories about having trouble getting out of the casino strip. Elvis just made me laugh. It's running against him or Santa, right?

Anonymous said...

I learned a great number of these lessons last week, but it's nice to see them written out so they can really sink in. Thanks!