One of the biggest running event is happening on National Running Safety Month when the Las Vegas Rock N’ Roll Marathon and Half kicks off this weekend!
Having done this a couple of times, here’s some things I learned during my previous race weekend that somehow helped me get through the gruelling 26.2 mile run, and hopefully, will still work this weekend.
My hubby and I usually arrive around noon from British Columbia and will head straight to the expo where we will collect our gear and grab some goodies. There are a lot of samples we can bring during the race like energy gummies so I will grab some and re-pack them later on, but as tempting as it is to go for the open samples like the power bars, electrolyte drinks, etc., I try to avoid having them there so I’ll have the right amount of appetite come dinner time.
Carb loading at Carmine’s Caesar’s Palace is one of the fun things we do the day before and since the race happens the following evening, and we know we have to do it again sometime during the day on race day, we don’t over-do it!
On the morning of race day, we will have a hearty brunch around 9:00-10:00 am at the Hard Rock Cafe, followed by a 3+ mile walk around the strip, then back to our hotel for an hour to an hour and a half of nap, then late and light lunch – consisting of our left overs form dinner or ABC Store sandwiches – no later than 3:30pm
I’ve done this before and will never do it again – hot tub before the race. Somehow it made my legs feel tired and jelly-like while running so I’d wait until after the race is done.
Just before the race, while at the site, I’d have a banana and avoid the bagel. I’ll also keep the water drinking to a minimum and, at all costs, skip the energy drinks!
Although we start the race together, hubby and I know very well that at some point, we will be racing on our own and we make sure that we have emergency plans in place like determining a primary and secondary area to meet up in case of emergencies and make sure we have our phones with us while running.
There are points in the route that are dark and although there are other runners, lots of elements can potentially be missed, compromising our safety along the way like rocks and slippery spots, among others so be aware of these while running. I’ve seen people wear head lights and it’s a good idea to use that if you don’t mind the extra gear.
Although we are with other runners, we’d wear gear that is visible in case we have to slow down or walk while at dark areas. This to avoid possible collisions in case fellow runners do not see us as the dark areas in the race are outside the strip already and, at that point, runners are already feeling the exhaustion.
I prefer not to listen to music while running for two things: One is so I can safely hear what’s going on around me and second, I find that I burn energy faster for some reason (somebody told me I’m probably going with the beat, making me go faster than my ideal pace or compensate if I am listening to something slower).
After all is done – crossed the finish line, collected the medal, have our photos taken, and horde the giveaways – we walk for a few more minutes to shake off the muscle tightness. Sure, it’s easy to just flop down in the middle of the strip and get some rest but we found it benefits the muscles from tightening up more. Besides, the after-race celebrations should be fun enough to make you forget how much in pain you are!
We usually stay for another full day to enjoy the city so that means more walking! Yes, more walking means more shake off, and that helps with the muscle soreness. Having trouble getting down stairs? Do it going backwards but make sure you are holding onto something!
Lastly, don’t forget to pamper yourself! While most of the benefits expire on race day, there are some which still honors them the day after! I suggest to call first but the MGM Grand spa gives discounted rate for their day pass. This is perfect to unwind and relax before heading off to prepare for the next race, but in the meantime, Explore all that Vegas has to offer!