Vegas Update

I emailed the race director:

To Whom it May Conern:

I am writing to express my extreme discontent over the decision to change the official finish-time cutoff from 7:00 to 5:30 for the RnR Vegas marathon. I do believe that ranks right up there as one of the cruelest cases of bait-and-switch I have ever witnessed. How many other people besides myself registered under your false claims of a 7:00 finish? Congratulations, RnR. You successfully duped us out of your $145 registration fee. I would not have registered for this race had you advertised your 5:30 finish from the start.

This is to be my first marathon. I and two friends registered in April thinking we would have a no-pressure marathon in an awesome city. We and our husbands are taking time off work and flying across the country to participate in your race, and now I find out that there is a chance that we will not even get an official finish or medal for our efforts.

This does not sit well with me.

And I don’t feel like I am speaking for just myself. Did anyone bother to look at the results from last year? I certainly did. Out of 5905 finishers, 1087 finished in over 5:30. That is 18.4%. You are in essence telling 18.4% of your finishers from last year, “You are not welcome here this year.”

Your web site states, “Our staff is always interested in hearing your feedback in our attempts to make the event better every year.” Well, here is my feedback. And if your goal really is to make this event better every year, well then you have already failed miserably this year. My excitement and joy over this trip and this event have been replaced by worry and anxiety.

Great job, RnR.

And believe it or not, she actually emailed back:

Hi Pam,

Thank you for your e-mail. We are sorry for the inconvenience that this change has caused. We have created a new course, and because of this, we have had to work with the city to create new time limit changes. The course/The Strip must be reopened after the 5 ½ hour time limit. We contacted every person that gave us a predicted finish time of over 5 ½ hours (less than 300 people when we made that change) to inform them of this change and have given them 4 different options: Switch to the ½ Marathon, Change their predicted finish time for the marathon, Full Refund (which we don’t usually allow), or a transfer to a different Rock ‘n’ Roll event. With this new change, the runner must maintain a 12:40 pace in order to compete the marathon in the allotted time. If they are behind this pace they will be asked to divert to the ½ marathon at mile 12.8. Although you did not originally fall into this group, if you would like to make a change at this point, you can. Please let us know what you decide.

So there are my options.

But now that I really think about it (and after consulting Vegas Running Buddy), I think we are going to leave it as is and let the chips fall where they may! (No Vegas pun intended.) I KNOW beyond the shadow of a doubt that we can hold that pace through mile 12.8. Hell, that’s slower than any of my long runs have ever been, even when training and completing my first half mary a year ago. So I’m confident that I can train my way to 20 miles below that pace, too. Miles 20-26.2 still give me a little concern, but hopefully we will have enough time banked that we can still finish with no problems.

Vegas or bust, baby!

SUCK IT, R&R VEGAS!!!

I’m more than a little bit worried/pissed right now.

I just checked my email and saw the Rock n Roll Vegas August newsletter.  At the very top of the newsletter is a big red exclamation point followed by a very important announcement.

They are implementing a new marathon time limit.  Five and a half hours.

When I registered, the time limit was seven hours.

GREAT JOB, RNR!!!!  How many other people did you dupe into registering under the pretense of a seven-hour finish??????

Everyone says, “Don’t set a time goal for your first marathon.”  Well, that just flies right out the window here, doesn’t it? 

I’ve been HOPING (and training) for a sub-5hr finish, but realistically I know that may not happen.  LOTS of people don’t finish their first marathon in 5-1/2 hours.

But what’s a girl gonna do?  I’ll either get my medal or I won’t.  The only thing I can do is train my ass of between now and then and pray for the best.

***SIGH…***

Three Things Thursday

1.   I am starvin’ like Marvin these days!
My marathon training is only just beginning and my mileage is already where it was in the final weeks of my half-marathon training when I noticed an increase in appetite.  If it’s like this at 20 miles a week, HOLY CRAP, what’s it gonna be like at 40?!  I’m keeping my calories in check and doing a good job of avoiding the junk and instead going for the more filling raw fruits and veggies and such.  But I would really love to bury my face in a chocolate cake the size of my house.
2.   I was a little concerned about some shin pain that showed up after Saturday’s ten miles.  It hung around all weekend.  I attributed it to my shoes’ mileage and hoped that replacing them would do the trick.  I wore the new ones for a short three miles Tuesday night, and my right shin was pretty angry at me afterwards.  I iced it then took a warm shower and some ibuprofen and it was fine.  Then I ran five miles in the new shoes again last night with no discomfort whatsoever.  Hopefully Tuesday’s pain was a little residual inflammation from the weekend and won’t show back up.
3.  I woke up this morning and my contact lens was gone.  Just like completely not in my eye and I couldn’t find it on my pillow.  I’ve had it slip before, but I could always feel it riding high on my eyeball or feel it stuck to the back of my eyelid or something, but this one is just GONE.  Weird.

Mama Goes Masters!

I’ve already told y’all about my 10-mile run Saturday, but what I COMPLETELY FORGOT to mention was that the first 8.25 miles of that run were dedicated to MCM Mama!  (She might be the one going masters, but I seem to be the one with early-onset dementia.)

See, Mama is turning the big 4-0 this week and hosted a virtual race in her own honor.  (I’m seriously thinking of stealing this idea for my 31st birthday in January.  How convenient?  31?  3.1?  As in 5K?  Sounds like a virtual race just BEGGING to happen!!!  Now if I just don’t forget about it before then…)

Participants had three choices:  4.0 miles (for her age), 8.25 miles (for the actual date of birth), or 40K (for the crazies, a.k.a. T and G!  I don’t think they’ll be offended that I called them crazy.  They freely admit they are runners first, logical thinkers second.  And I want to be just like them when I grow up.)

On to the important stuff!

Mile 1 – 10:07
Mile 2 – 10:55
Mile 3 – 11:34
Mile 4 – 11:53 (water/chat stop)
Mile 5 – 10:56
Mile 6 – 11:07
Mile 7 – 11:53 (water/chat stop again.  strange that it’s the exact same split as the first stop)
Mile 8 – 11:04
Mile 8.25 – 2:40

Total time – 1:32:02

Happy Birthday, Mama!!!!

10-mile "Group Run"

And I use that term “group run” VERY loosely. I basically drove an hour and a half this morning to run 10 miles by myself.

Only about 30 or so people showed up. Maybe less. I don’t know what kept them from coming out. Maybe the forecasted rain? (Which it never did do, by the way…) Maybe the fact that it was 78 degrees with 80% humidity at 6:30? I don’t know. But they weren’t there.

In the emails the chair person told me not to worry about pace because they had members of all levels. BULL. CRAP. I started out with three chicks but by mile 1.5 I knew I had to let them go on ahead. Their LSD pace was 10:00. And they were the slow ones of the group. :/

There were a few ladies out there training to walk the Women’s Half Marathon in Nashville, but that didn’t do me any good either. Slower than the runners but faster than the walkers. That’s me.

All was not lost though. The route was on the same course as the Clarksville HM that I ran last year and that I will be running again this year, so it does give me more experience and familiarity with the course.

It wasn’t a HORRIBLE run. It wasn’t my fastest 10 miles, but it wasn’t my slowest either.  (Overall pace was 11:24, which is actually at the fast end of McMillan’s calculated spectrum for what my LSD should be. So I’m not too broken-hearted.)  My legs just felt heavy and sluggish from the get-go. After I thought about it, though, it really didn’t surprise me. Last week I did my long run on Sunday, then I ran Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and now today too. That’s five out of seven days, which is more than my body is used to.  I’m READY for these two upcoming rest days! I will probably throw in some light cross-training one day, but for the most part I’m taking advantage of the downtime.

Another reason it wasn’t a wasted trip is that I had to go to Clarksville anyway to get these.

And my club membership got me a sweet 10% discount!

Yep, it was that time. Today’s run put my Mizuno Wave Rider 13s at 302 miles, so it’s time to start working a new pair into the mix. They’ve been a good shoe for me, so I stuck with them.

I knew I was going shoe shopping after the run plus still had a 90-minute drive home, so I at least had the presence of mind to take a change of clothes with me. Alas, after the run there was nowhere to change! Let’s just say I relived some very old memories. It’s been a long time since I stripped down in the cab of a Z71!

I’m not writing off the club just yet. I’ve got things going on next week and the next that will keep me from being able to go, but I’ll probably head back the following week and give it another go. If I gave up on everything the first time it sucked, I wouldn’t be running anyway!

Too Good To Be True

I was really looking forward to running this week because of the forecast. Cooler temps, lower humidity, just better running conditions all around. I was able to run a midweek run outside Tuesday for the first time in three weeks. And yesterday’s forecast? High of 84, cloudy, with scattered thunderstorms. And they hit the nail on the head. Until 5:00. Which COINCIDENTALLY was about five minutes after my run started. I quite literally had only gotten about half a mile into my scheduled five-mile run when the clouds magically disappeared giving way to crisp blue skies with wispy white clouds and a brilliant shining sun. Like something out of a freaking cartoon, really.

It was disgusting.

It qould have been beautiful if it hadn’t immediately turned my running route into a sauna. The rain water was steaming up off the asphalt. I thought I was going to DIE. I left the house with no water and no sunglasses because — HELLO! — it was cloudy and cool when I left and I was only going five miles! Yeah. I gave up at three.

Pathetic. But I COULD. NOT. BREATHE.

And we’re back to our 95-degree/105-heat-index bull crap today, so back to the gym I shall go today. And since I turned my five-miler into a three-miler yesterday, that means I get to turn today’s three miles into five. On a treadmill. Five miles on a treadmill. I’m dreading it already. I did four last week, and that pushed me to the brink of insanity. Five just might do the trick.

Sweaty Band Giveaway… Take Two!

A few weeks ago I did a Sweaty Bands review and giveaway and mentioned that I had another one that I was putting back for a rainy day. Well guess what! It’s raining! AND I just hit 50 followers! So today sounds like a great day for another giveaway.

Here’s what’s up for grabs this time:

(This is one of the wider bands at about 1-1/2 inches.)

Same rules as last time.

1. Go to http://sweatybands.com/ and look around. Come back and leave a comment. What’s your favorite one? I got the hot pink one, but there are a bunch more that I really like.
2. Like Sweaty Bands on facebook and leave me a comment letting me know that you did (+1 entry).
3. Spread the word! Give a shout out to this giveaway on your blog (+1 entry).

Feel free to become a follower, but it’s not mandatory and it won’t gain you any extra entries.

Entries will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. CST on 8/25. Winner will be selected using random.org the next day.

Looking Ahead by Looking Back

Do any of you guys (especially those of you who are still relatively new to the sport like me) ever look back through your log just to see how far you’ve come? Isn’t it a wonderful feeling??? I did just that tonight.

I went out for a short three-mile run this evening (FIRST OUTDOOR WEEKDAY RUN IN THREE WEEKS! HELLO SUB-90-DEGREE EVENINGS! Until Thursday anyway. It is a very quick break, but a very welcome one!) The heat index was still 89 degrees, but I still set a personal best for myself. It was a good, solid effort, but I didn’t feel like I was killing myself out there. When I was logging the run, I was just browsing back through my old three-mile times from when I started this craziness last summer. They started out in the 12s, then dropped into the 11s, and I distinctly remember the day I broke the 11 min/mile. I was so excited. How endearing… (Sub-9, you WILL be mine by the end of the year.)

It’s a good feeling to look behind me to see how far I’ve come. It makes me excited about moving forward and continuing to improve and grow stronger and faster. I have consistently surprised myself over the past year, and I can’t wait to see what I still have in store for myself.

Just Another Day…

Nothing spectacular to report these days. S.S.D.D.

I’m two weeks into marathon training now, and so far so good. I’m getting all my miles in. I can’t say they’ve been enjoyable, but I’m getting them in. It’s still INCREDIBLY HOT here (we’re STILL under that excessive heat warning!), so my midweek runs have all been on the treadmill. I REALLY am trying, but I just do not love it. I just can’t seem to be able to channel my inner Emz! I’m still getting my weekend long runs done outside in the early morning, but even then it’s pretty miserable. I started my 9 this morning at 6:30 at 76 degrees with 89% humidity. By the time I finished it was already 83 with a “feels-like” of 89. But I still managed to pull out a personal best! To the tune of over 6 minutes, no less!

I’ve really been trying to educate myself on this whole training thing the past couple of weeks. Going through training for my previous two HMs, all of my training runs were basically the same thing, just of varying lengths. This time, I’m trying to make each run really count for something. Hopefully today’s time is an indication that I’m on the right track.

I’m really looking forward to next weekend. I’ll be going to Clarksville for my first group run with the Clarksville Running Club! I got my membership card in the mail this week, so I’m official now! They also sent me a schedule of their group runs, and it falls in line with mine PERFECTLY! They’ve got a bunch of women that are training for the Women’s Half Marathon in Nashville next month, and their scheduled long runs line up with where I’m at in my training exactly. I’m really, really looking forward to meeting some new people who can push me. 🙂 However, I’m NOT looking forward to the early start! Group run starts at 6:30, and it’s an hour and a half from my house. Hello 4:00 wake-up call! Blech!

The things we do…