So I’m in Las Vegas. I have arrived. Actually, I arrived at 9:30 am Vegas time on Friday. I’ve done some stuff since getting here, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Right now I’m slowly entering Race Day Mode.
I’m not feeling super confident about tomorrow’s half marathon. I’m just not. I’d really love to be like, “I trained hard, I followed my plan and I’m feeling rested and ready,” but that’s not quite the case at this moment.
The fact is that I trained only kind of hard. I had some really great long runs and some decent speedwork sessions, but I also trained for this race entirely through a Crohn’s flare-up, and that really sucked. Most of my training runs were interrupted by bathroom stops and serious stomach pains.
And I didn’t follow a plan. I ran what I felt like running. But that’s fine.
As for feeling rested — I took a rest day yesterday. My only exercise was standing up, walking to a different slot machine and then squatting back down to throw away my precious $20 bills.
Someone is getting very lucky at the slot machines. Someone else is not. You can place your bets on which of the Ali/Brian pair you think is up money and which one of us you think is getting ready to call his/her bank and beg for a gambling loan.
As I was saying…
Brian and I went for a little shakeout run this morning. We banged out two slow miles with a few pickups every so often.
Did you know that it’s windy in Vegas? It’s really F-ing windy. I hope the wind goes away for the race.
I’m not sure why I’m not feeling confident about the race tomorrow. I should be psyched, and mentally I’m pumped about the event, but I’m also worried about how my legs will feel. I’m worried about getting a cramp, like I did during the marathon. I’m worried it’s going to be crowded. There are 44,000 runners doing this race. Yikes.
I hope I wake up with legs that feel like feathers and a stomach that feels like lead. Or something. I don’t know? What does a strong stomach feel like?
Aside from the racing things, Vegas is great so far!
Yesterday was Brian’s birthday, so we did lots of celebrating. First we rode on a plane, and I let the birthday boy have the middle seat!
Just kidding. I told him to take the window, but he insisted he’d sleep just fine in a middle seat. And then he slept for two hours and I stared out the window.
We arrived in Las Vegas at 9:30 am, which was pretty stellar. Maximum playing time! By playing I obviously mean slot machine playing. Did I mention I haven’t won much money during this trip?
The energy in Vegas is crazy this weekend. These signs are everywhere:
The rodeo is in town, too. Pretty much everyone here is either wearing compression socks or a cowboy hat. I prefer leg warmers and a sparkly headband, but that’s just me. Yee haw and giddy up.
After arriving, checking into our lovely suite at THE Hotel (part of the deal for being a top fundraiser — I’ll explain shortly) and stuffing our faces with food, Brian and I went to the expo.
Normally I’m not much of an expo girl. I don’t really need to shop at expos and they don’t typically fascinate me, but I loved this expo. Good job, Rock N Roll.
We picked up our bibs, got our corral assignments moved around (see you in Corral 3!) and then explored. Tomorrow is Brian’s first half marathon and I think he was a little overwhelmed by the expo in the best possible way.
We did a little walking around and shopping…
…and we spotted a certain someone chatting it up with the crowd.
After the expo, it was time to shower and attempt to look fancy for the Team Challenge VIP Top Fundraiser cocktail party.
The party was at Mix, which is the lounge on the top floor of THE Hotel. Convenient? Yes. Open bar? Also yes.
The views were incredible. I really like Las Vegas. I think it’s pretty. I like sparkly things.
We stayed long enough to snag a free drink and then it was time for our next destination: Caesar’s, for Brian’s birthday dinner.
We ate at Spago, which is one of Wolfgang Puck’s restaurants. My brother recommended it — good job, Ry Guy — and it was fantastic. Brian and I both loved the atmosphere, loved the food and especially loved seeing a lady walking to her table who totally tripped and bit it in the middle of the restaurant.
Does that make me a bad person? No. Because seeing people fall is hilarious, and she didn’t get hurt. I love spotting a good faceplant fall.
I also loved dessert.
Birthday boy got his own dessert. Ali doesn’t share food. You all know that by now.
And then we saw some running celebrities as we walked off our dinner.
And then we gambled. Brian played craps and won. I watched and got tired.
Today involved sleeping in, taking a bath and going for that little run I mentioned. Brian and I scoped out the local bathroom scene…
…and the “OMG You’re In Las Vegas Now Don’t Lose All Your Money” sign.
We met up with two cool chicks for lunch…
…and soon it was time for dinner. This trip has largely revolved around meals so far.
Tonight’s dinner was courtesy of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. CCFA is the charity sponsor for the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon, which makes me feel like this disease is totally legit. That and the fact that 1.4 million other Americans have it.
So Brian and I joined Team NYC — and 1,300 other Team Challengers — for an intimate meal.
The “Inspirational Pasta Party” was, as always, really amazing. And inspiring. So I guess they named it correctly.
There were a bunch of speakers, and plenty o’ carbs. Plus, we learned some fun facts, like these ones:
- The senate passed a resolution the other day for Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week, and it’s happening now! December 1–7 will forever be the week during which we all think about digestive diseases. It’s sexy and informational! But also pretty cool.
- There were 2,032 people at the pasta party, and 1,226 of them are running the race tomorrow as Team Challenge participants.
- This is the largest Team Challenge group ever!
- 40 percent of Team Challenge participants have Crohn’s disease and/or ulcerative colitis.
- 90 percent of Team Challenge participants have a personal connection to these diseases, such as a friend or family member who is affected.
- And the kicker: The total amount raised by Team Challengers in preparation for the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Marathon and Half Marathon is $4.5 million. Pretty cool, right? I was excited about it. Take that money, doctors, and go ahead and find a cure. Thank you in advance.
Also cool? I was announced as the 7th highest fundraiser in the country!
I can’t wait to use the VIP Porta Potties tomorrow!
After the pasta party, we had a team meeting and now I’m blogging and Brian has mysteriously disappeared, so I think I need to go downstairs to check the craps tables.
My next post will either say, “The race was amazing, I PR’d, and I’m hammered right now!” or “That race sucked, and I’m hammered right now!”
Place your bets. This is Vegas, after all.
Good luck tomorrow, runners!
I still can’t believe we ran into you in the middle of Vegas! So random but I am so glad it happened 🙂
I’m so glad I finally got to meet you in person! I hope you’re still having an amazing time, but rollin’ in the big ones from your mad slot machine skills. Have a great rest of your vacay!
so, you didn’t pr, but you still kicked ass! remember you weren’t only running this race for yourself, but for the beneficiaries of the crohns and colitis foundation. you helped this cause SO MUCH! and if it makes you feel any better… my friend’s 50 year old mom, who is not a runner, ran this half and beat my half pr by almost 15 minutes. i took a hot bath and ate a lot of dessert after this discovery.
Your tweets are making me sad! I know it’s disappointing not to PR but you should still be so so proud of yourself!! I try to tell myself this when I’m having a bad run or a bad race – people get out there and cheer during races because running is hard and PRing is even harder! It wouldn’t be special if it were easy. Congratulations on a great race (made it to the start and finish + gave it your all = great race in my book) and on raising so much money for such a great cause.
I heard the race was super crowded..tough to PR!
Love the pics and love that snazzy blue dress you have on! I saw the tweets too but I’m sure you enjoyed yourself and had a great time! Looking fwd to reading the recap.
I NEED DETAILS about the race!! I loved meeting you…it really was meant to be and you two make the most gorgeous couple ever!
From your tweets I already know the answer to this, but I really hope you had a great race nonetheless and had an even better time living it up in Vegas! I still can’t wait to hear your recap!
Twitter tells me that the race didn’t go as planned and I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been there (ohhhh 2 weeks ago to be exact!). I am convinced our half marathon PRs will happen eventually…and that are going to feel SO awesome when they do.
Until then, booze for all! J/K
Not really kidding.
Ooooh my gosh, I actually thought that was you running naked at first. Your face fits into that photo a bit too well! Haha
Happy birthday Brian! And good luck to you!!
Can’t wait to hear how you PR’ed! Go kick some A$$!!!
Good luck and congrats on your fundraising!
Sounds like an awesome lead-in to an awesome race! I think you WILL PR because you are going into this with some expectations but not totally freaking out about it either. Which is good. Can’t wait to hear how you did! And you look gorgeous in your dress! happy birthday Brian 😉
Caged animal, grrrrr, just enjoy the race; no pr necessary and if it happens it is icing on the cake.
I think you are going to do AMAZING Ali, you’ve got this!
My bet: you wear leg warmers, sparkly headband, and you have fun!
Run a mile for me!
Good luck, Ali! I know you’ll rock the strip tonight! Just focus on having a good time!
You are going to ROCK it, Ali!! Trust your speedy legs and let them fly 🙂
Wait, wait, wait. 7th HIGHEST FUNDRAISER IN THE COUNTRY?!?! You rock! I am honored to be your friend. PR or no PR, you amaze me and I’m so proud of what you’ve done this year. Enjoy the rest of your time in Vegas, and now you need to return to NYC to run with me, thanks 🙂
Good luck Ali and Brian! I saw the report from Competitor.com that the race officials were worried that the temperatures were low and going to cause problems for runners, but it’s perfect for you New Yorkers — 40’s!
PR or not, you seem to be having a great time and that is really what matters in everything we do in life.
congrats on the fundraising and man, im jealous already of the vip toilets!
PR or no PR you are holding a bag from Tiffany (what’s in that btw?!), you are in Vegas (baby!) and you have a handsome boyfriend with whom you are very happy! 🙂 All of that is AWESOME and you raised a shit-ton of money for a wonderful charity. Ali, my friend, you ROCK!
Enjoy the race!
Hi there! I saw you linked on Paige and Aron’s blogs and wandered over. My best friend has Crohn’s and I ran Las Vegas with Team Challenge in her honor last year. Good luck tonight!
I find it kind of fantastic that this week is happening – and it starts on my birthday! Ha. The disease that tried to kill me gets recognition on my day of birth. Tripppyyy….
Good luck!! Just stay confident – I personally think your training has been great and speedy. You can do it! I bet it feels so weird to not race until tonight – I’ll be thinking of you later on!
I suck at gambling too. It’s so not fair. I hope Brian shares some of his winnings with you 🙂
Ali, don’t doubt yourself now! You can absolutely PR! I have faith in you, I really do. Half of the battle with running is mental and if you tell yourself that you can’t do something, you have already defeated yourself. Don’t do this. You know you are fast and you know that you can do this. Go and have fun!
Besides, PR or not, you are still a rock star in all of our eyes. Your current PR is a time I can only dream about. 🙂
Good luck! I’m sure you will kill it on the strip.
PR for sure!! You trained hard, even through your flare up. Go out there and get your PR!! 🙂
Stop the lack of total confidence thing. You trained your hardest despite some tough challenges and feeling less than pumped isn’t worth the energy. Now go win back some money and then win the race. Oh, and if you see him, please tell Elvis I send my best.
Good luck Ali! Whether you PR or not (but I’m sure you will!) make sure you enjoy the race! It sounds awesome.
Also, I want to hear about how you dealt with the afternoon/evening start time. How does that even work?
Is Brian a Rhode Islander? He’s wearing a Thanksgiving Pie Run shirt
Good luck Ali! You will do great no matter what
Vegas is a fun city, and it looks like you’re having a great time. I hope you have fun racing today, regardless of if you PR or not. GOOD LUCK!
Good luck with the race today Ali! And congrats on being 7th in fundraising! That’s awesome!
Good luck! You deserve the special portapotties!!!!
You trained through a flare-up and now your meds have kicked in so you should be good. If you can run those long runs during a flare up, you can totally kick some Vegas and Chron’s booty!! Good luck with your race and just remember to have fun and enjoy it! Maybe focus on the fact that this is Brian’s first race and you want to make it fun for him too. 🙂
Here’s to a PR!!
Go Ali! PR or no PR, you’re a winner for raising money for a cure! (But I will send strong PR vibes. )
Hey Ali! Ive been following your blog for a little while now and this is my first post! My dad has Crohn’s and a few of my friends so unfortunately we are very aware of C&C!! Good luck tomorrow! You’re definitely gonna rock it!!!!!
How about stomach of steel? Ha – whatever it is, I wish you that and legs like feathers. GOOD LUCK and have a great race!
Good luck Ali!!! 7th highest fundraiser in the country is amazing… and thats a prize I would love to. hehe.
Can’t wait to hear how you do, which I’m sure will be fabulous!
Good luck today, Ali! PR or not, I’m certain you and Brian will have an awesome time! Kick some 13.1 ass!!!
Good luck today, Ali! Go kick some half marathon ass.
Good luck, Ali! And congrats on being 7th highest fundraiser!!
Good luck Ali! Have a great race!!
PR or no PR: Have a great race!
Good Luck tomorrow, Ali! (well today in Florida, but tomorrow in Vegas) ..it’s 4am, give me a break.
I’m racing today too, i’ll have a similar titled post in a few hours. Let’s hope they both say, “Yippeee I PR’d!”