This past weekend I will never forget. Saturday, Nov 3 was excellent. I can't go into details without sharing how the weekend started out with a bang. Thursday night we stayed in Parowan (3 hours from Vegas) and while loading up I dropped the ONE thing you need in Vegas... 25 minutes outside our destination we get a call, "Natasha we found your wallet in the parking lot." I didn't know what to do! My wallet had my ID and credit card, both were required to pick up our show tickets. Plus who can get around Vegas without an ID? Long story short, Ben posted an emergency status on Facebook and Matt Reschke responded 54 seconds later and kindly picked up my wallet on his way to Vegas. He saved my weekend!
The day started in the 4 o'clock hour and I headed out to Lake Mead for the race. Below are some parts of the race I don't want to forget...
- Running and watching the desert sunrise around Lake Mead was remarkable. The landscape colors and stars were beautiful, layers of orange, purple, and blue
- Bring sunglasses and sunscreen - if you're running in the desert there is going to be a lot of sun - Duh! What was I thinking?
- Everyone I talked to, including me, wished we trained on hills. I made friends with 3 people and we kept the same pace for miles 2-16. I can't forget their colorful language going up the 8 hills on the course, but it was fun cause I felt like we were in it together. Also, when us 3 had to get side by side one of the guys' sweat would splash me with his every stride. Gross, I know, but it is kinda funny now.
- Training in high elevation is a smart move. I don't know how much this helped my time, but I was genuinely happy during the race, couldn't stop smiling
- Race support. Nothing better than seeing Ben and my dad on mile 22, nothing!
- Confession: While training I would sometimes fantasize about a car hitting/tapping me so I had a valid excuse not to run this marathon. Training was really hard on me. I started to tear up when I turned into the final stretch towards the finishline. Mentally I didn't think I would ever commit to a marathon, much less finish one. I could see Ben and my dad, the last bit was exhilarating.
- Got 29th at 4:32:18 knowing my time I wish I pushed it harder, but I am just happy I am finished. Guess our friend was right, "Marathons are like tattoos, they hurt but after your first you want another."
We hit up McDonald's before heading back to the strip to rest and watch the Oregon vs USC game. Ben was on edge and I could barely nap because the game was so good! Thank you Kenjon Barner for doing so well, it made all three of our evenings. Afterwards we dined at Koi; I was starving and could not stop eating. After 3 appetizers of sushi, entrees of lamb, salmon, steak, and a sundae we were off to the Bellagio for O. The show was Oh-mazing! The stage alone blew my mind; the acrobats have to be Olympic caliber. I think Ben summed up the show with his one comment, "That was one of the most original things I have ever seen."
I am still reflecting on what a great weekend we had. So grateful for Ben and my dad's support, for our health, and time we were able to spend each other and friends over the weekend.