Monday, December 5, 2011

What Happens in Vegas Gets Reported in Train-n-Tri

The Las Vegas Rock-n-Roll half Marathon is an EVENT....not a race.  People are commenting left and right on Facebook about all the problems - too hard to get to the bathrooms at the beginning (thank you Subway), no bathrooms to be seen along the run (thank you McDonalds), so many walkers that runners had to weave in and out and around making for more mileage and unsafe running conditions, thousands (yes, THOUSANDS) of wet paper cups littering the street at the watering stations where volunteers were using their hands to dip cups into buckets of water to fill them up (YUCK!)

And these were just MY complaints IF the Las Vegas Rock-n-Roll is supposed to be considered a race. Go on Facebook and look at everyone elses' complaints.  In 5 minutes there were about 300 complaints.

But as an EVENT, well, I had a rocking great time. As an EVENT, mine started before we even got in the car to drive to Las Vegas.

I haven't been to Vegas in a while and really, I am not much of a gambler. To get ready, I took my change to Coin Star at Stater Brothers.

Plus, I had a little it of pocket change - so I had about $90 to gamble.

Robert and I left early Saturday morning and I drove. He slept. I played music really loud. He slept. I pulled into a Coco's in Barstow and woke him up for breakfast. I made him pay because no way was I dipping into my gambling money. When we got to Vegas, we parked the car in the hotel lot and called my friend E who was already there with her husband and son. Robert and I walked past HOOTERS and a few drunks lying in the bushes on our way to the Coco's where E and her family were eating breakfast and I remembered why I don't come to Vegas very often.

After Cocos, we headed to the Rock-n-Roll expo.  In the 3 hours we were there we picked up enough freebies and won enough prizes to fill up several tote bags.

Then back to the hotel to check in and unpack and GAMBLE. 

Here's how the gambling went. I would win, then Robert would win. Then I would lose and Robert would win. Then I would lose and Robert would win and give me money. Then I would win and Robert would win. And on and on and on.  My man is LUCKY in Vegas.

We spent the day gambling and watching all the cowboys that were in town for the rodeo. Cowboys had come in from all over the country to watch a rodeo that was being televised to Las Vegas.There were thousands of cowboys (okay, some may have been wearing cowboy boots, but they didn't look like they had ever ridden a horse) everywhere.

That night the though crossed my mind that maybe I sign Robert and I up for EVENTS so we get out of town and away from out kids and everyday lives and get to stay in a nice hotel room where no one calls me Mom or Robert Dad and wants us to do something for them or fix something.

The next morning we gambled and ate at The Peppermill.

Nerve Magazine called The Peppermill the "swankiest old-school lounge in Vegas". It was named one of "America's 10 Best Make-Out Bars." Just sitting in the plushy seats by the fire can get one's imagination going.......but, I have a run in a few hours.

So back to the Hotel for a few hours of napping (YES, napping).

 The alarm clock went off about 3:15 p.m. and we piled on our clothes. It was windy and cold outside - about 45 degrees Fahrenheit, but with the wind chill factor it was just darn COLD.

We walked to the start and found our corral. We may be people, but when there are so many of us they put us in holding areas called corrals, just like they do for cattle waiting to go off to slaughter. We stood in our corral for a bit, then discovered we weren't just cold, we needed to pee. The worse combination. We left our corral and found a Subway to stand in a line 30 people deep to use the bathroom. Back in our corral we were just cold. We were entertained by the Blues Brothers, though they did not have any tattoos on their knuckles, so I am guessing they were impersonators.

The half marathon started and 5:30 p.m. and at 6:15 p.m. our corral was let loose to stampede down the streets of Vegas. But it is hard to stampede when you are hobbled. The road was curb to curb people and most of them were going SLOW. Maybe they were in a daze from the cold. We jogged, trotted, skipped and weaved our way in and out of people for about 3 miles. Then I cut out to hit McDonald's. Back in the pack I continued to jog, trot, skip and weave my way in and out of people for another 7 miles. At mile 10 I hit a watering station that was out of control. The two sides of the street were lined with tables, but no cups. All the cups and their contents littered the road for about 100 yards. As people ran along they kicked the cups left and right. Except for me. I slid on the cups and in an effort to right myself before I fell on my face, I wrenched my knee.

I still had a bit more than 3 miles to go. I walked about half a mile and the cold started getting to me. Everyone around me was being sucked into a cold, slow walking daze. I needed to break free and save myself so I started to

I disregarded all the rules and barged into the marathoner's lane and ran with them. I ran faster than some of them. I just wanted to get done. I ran for about 1 1/2 miles until my knee said "NO MORE!" and I was forced to stop running and start walking. For the last mile I went back and forth between being a fast walker and slow runner.

At the finish line I found Robert and E and we shivered our way back to the hotel. Later at dinner I said I would never run that race again. Then Robert and I both said we would do the EVENT again. Robert even suggested that next time we dress up in a costume. Uhm, I thought about all the Elvises I had seen, my favorite being the SpongeBob Elvis, and emphatically told Robert "NO!" to a costume.

But the Rock-n-Roll is a good excuse to go to Vegas and have a fun time! 

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