Tag: motivation

Fitness Swellness: Race report on the 2015 Rock n Roll Las Vegas Half-Marathon


Am I racing too often? Am I just that out of shape? Could my thyroid be acting up again and making my muscles tire out? Do I just not want to PB badly enough? Is it the little sleep I’ve been getting?

These are just some of the questions flooding my brain ever since crossing the finish line in the Rock n Roll Strip at Night Las Vegas Half-Marathon on Sunday.

The weeks leading up to the race weren’t the greatest in terms of training. But I wasn’t stressed since I’d already completed my goal race, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (so this half in Vegas was just an extra race I added on thanks to a work opportunity). In addition, one week after Scotia, I raced the Adidas #RunMore10k (another disappointing race), which left my legs sore for days. In that time, I also traveled to Jamaica and Southern California, which threw off my training schedule and diet while also making life generally hectic. On the plus side, these two trips did temporarily get me back on a healthier sleeping schedule.

But then came the night to pack for Las Vegas (three days before the race). I attended a gala for work and stayed much longer than I intended, and I got home, napped two hours and then got up to tidy up and pack and then I realized it was 7 a.m. and time to get ready to go to the airport. Complete sleeping fail.

In Vegas, the days before the race were fairly busy, and the day of the race I had to up at 5:30 a.m. to meet for an early yoga class (whoever had made this itinerary obviously doesn’t race or they’d know we need our sleep).

With the race starting at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 15, we had a late brunch at Lago at the Bellagio and I was a bit perplexed as to what to eat (I’m more used to morning races where I know what to eat for breakfast). I opted for a macaroni carbonara starter and then a veggie frittata, both of which I didn’t finish as I was afraid of eating too much beforehand making me feel sluggish.

At 3 p.m. we were dropped off near the race start and made our way toward the lot where Kid Rock was performing on the main stage. A large line was forming, and I never found out what the delay was but for a long while no one was being allowed into the lot. Once we finally made it into the lot, we quickly checked our bags, used the portapotties and then realized we were at the very tail end of the corrals: we were in corral 47 and I was supposed to start in corral 7! So we started moving through the crowd slowly. I realized I was running out of time, though, so I started rushing and weaving my way through the crowd. I managed to get to corral 8 and settled in there rather than push through to corral 7.


My goal for the race was to PB if I could (I was thinking 1:50, which would call for a consistent 5:12 pace), and my B goal was to match my current PB of 1:52 (which I ran in the Nike Women’s San Francisco Half-Marathon last year). I figured in my recent marathons, I’d managed to reach the halfway point in 1:52, so going a bit faster for a 21.1k distance in which I don’t need to conserve any energy for another 21.1k should be fairly easy.

The weather didn’t play its part in helping me PB, though. First off, it was insanely windy, I believe there were wind warnings of gusts of 25 miles per hour. The temperature was low, too, but I was fine with the temp during the race since I warm up very quickly and sweat a ton. It rained lightly for part of the race, which I think upset some runners (“We’re in the desert!” I heard many runners complain), but it was quite light so I wasn’t upset.

I started at a slower pace (the route was slightly uphill) at about a 5:18 pace, but eventually was running several kilometres on pace or faster than 5:12…and then about halfway, I started to lose focus and just felt weary. I don’t even recall my legs feeling like they were exhausted, but it was more a sense of my heart not being into it, and I progressively became less enchanted with racing as my pace with each kilometre got slower and slower. I was also frustrated because this is a large race and I’d say a lot of the runners in it seem to be in it more for fun, dressed in costumes and whatnot. And while I’m all for people doing a race for fun, I do have issues with  runners disregarding the corrals they should have been in. The entire race I had to work my way around runners slower than me who had no business being in corrals 1 to 8.

When I reached the section where the marathoners break off from the half-marathoners, I’d never felt more appreciative to be running the half rather than the full. I shouted (in my head) a little whoop of joy. Making my way back down the Strip towards the Mirage where the finish line was, it seemed to take an eternity until I could make out the finish line. But finally, I crossed the finish line and knew immediately from the time on my Nike+ that it was a very slow race for me, nowhere near 1:52.


After making my through the extremely long finish chute and gathering a ton of food in my arms (her, race organizers, give us a bag to collect these goodies!), having my photo taken, changing out of my wet singlet and wrapping myself in a heat sheet, I stood shivering and listless. It was a long walk back to the Mirage, and I was frozen and cranky and didn’t want to walk alone. And so I just stood there, too cold to get out my phone to text my fellow runners. And somehow, iRun managing editor Anna Lee stumbled upon me. I was so relieved to see her and have company for the cold walk (and I was also cursing myself for bringing only a thin Nike Drifit long sleeve rather than a thermal winter top). We trudged together as quickly as our tired, cold bodies could take us back to the Mirage where our car would bring us back to our hotel.


Once inside the Mirage, I checked my time: 1:58:49 (which is just a handful of seconds faster than my Rock n Roll Las Vegas half in 2012). I can’t say I’m happy about this, but I take some comfort in the rest of the stats: I finished 147th in my division of 2576, 907 out of 14260 women, and 2843 out of 23070 runners. And there’s also this crazy good medal I earned (the slots flip!) and the insanely good nail art by Tips Nail Bar I got for the race.


It does leave me pondering what to do with training come 2016; whether I should train for halfs to improve my speed or stick to the marathon distance so that I can continue to try to qualify for Boston.

And call me crazy but I still have one more race to go this year. On Sunday, December 6, I race the Cayman Islands Half-Marathon. With the warm temperature in Grand Cayman and my current level of exhaustion and general weariness when it comes to running, I’m hoping I can manage to enjoy this race and treat it as a fun race (and not pressure myself so much that I can’t help but try to race it as fast as possible and I feel inevitably disappoint myself again). I think there’s a level of disenchantment I’m experiencing with running and I’m going to guess it’s tied to doing too many races and the plateaus and setbacks I’ve been experiencing all year long (compared to 2014’s PB after PB).

For now, I will focus on the two weeks of training I have to complete, another 21.1k to race, and then I’ll use the latter half of December to figure out my running plans for the new year.

Leave a Comment November 19, 2015

Fitness Swellness: Nike Women #betterforit Inner Thoughts

Yep, I’ve had almost every one of these thoughts as I work out.

Leave a Comment April 14, 2015

Fitness Swellness: Countdown to the Chicago Marathon and Nike Women’s San Fran Half-marathon

long training run by Sugar Beach, Sept 2014

Wake up on my own, well rested and then I enjoy a satisfied yawn as I stretch. Ahh…Then spring out of bed and go out into the glorious weather and enjoy the fresh air as I run, run, run carefree and like it’s the easiest thing in the world for me. Get home and shower, and eat something yummy. Eventually sit down at the computer and write…

This is how a friend of mine told me she envisions my days. It made me giggle, but it couldn’t be further from the truth.

It’s usually more like: Get jarred out of sleep by my alarm and resist crawling out of bed until I feel too guilty to still be in bed. Then fret and put off my run most of the day. And why’s that?

Because I don’t love running. And it doesn’t come easy to me. I know. Most everyone assumes I love it. I don’t. What I do I get from running is a sense of accomplishment and I am motivated to continue running as my main fitness regimen as I’m driven by competing against myself, but it does not bring me the immense joy I know it brings some runners. It never has.

And now, with less than three weeks until my fall races–I run the Chicago Marathon on October 12th and the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon in San Francisco on October 19th, it’s go-time, and I’m struggling more than I have in ages.

A little update on my training: Ever since I ran my first marathon in 2012, I’ve been running one each fall and spring season (with the exception of last fall when I ran two marathons one month apart). Every year, I run the race, take a few weeks off and then start the four-month program from the beginning again to run the following season’s marathon.

It can be a grind, but for the most part, it’s so much a part of my routine now; it’s like I’m on auto-pilot. I practically know the four-month training program off my heart.

This year, I decided to enter the lottery to run the Chicago Marathon as the Windy City is one of my favourite cities and I was in need of a fall goal race. I got a spot through the lottery, yay! And one of my good friends is now joining me so we can take in the art, eat amazing food and frolick together, double yay! This will make the Chicago Marathon my seventh marathon. And then the opportunity came up through Nike Canada to run the Nike Women’s Half in San Fran and I couldn’t turn that down (triple yay!), even though the race is one week after the Chicago Marathon. I’m trying to consider the Nike San Fran half as one I’ll do for fun (although when it comes down to it, I know my competitive side will want to PB).

I’ve been lucky enough to train with my running buddy for most of these 3.5 months; she is a similar pace, and somehow she doesn’t mind doing nearly all of the training, even though she is not registered for a race. Her motivations are different than mine when it comes to running. I need to have that goal race.

I’ve been very consistent with my training. I’ve even added the occasional 4th run a week here and there (I usually can manage only three runs a week — remember? I don’t love it!), and I’ve been attending Nike Training Club classes on a weekly basis, and have noticed a difference in my strength. My pace and endurance seems similar to me, but my running partner says I’m faster.

The last few weeks, though, have been difficult. Life has thrown a few curve balls, and I’ve been distracted and stressed, my focus is not on that finish line in Chicago. Getting proper sleep, hydration and fuel has gone out the window. The one thing I have been able to maintain is fitting in my training runs consistently, and that’s even with the travel that has kept me busy. And this I consider nothing short of a miracle since all I feel like doing is curling up in bed. I guess if there’s one thing I am it’s diligent when it comes to sticking to the actual runs that my training calls for. Some days, the running helps to clear my mind and relieve some anxiety, and some days it doesn’t help at all.

With 17 days to go until the Chicago Marathon, I’m uncertain if a personal best is within reach. As I spend the next couple of weeks tapering, I know I will be agonizing over what my body can achieve, but more so what my mind is capable of on October 12th.

On the bright side, this weekend, I travel with my #werunSF Nike run crew to New York City for a training run in Central Park, so maybe this can help me feel more motivated, race-ready and focused. Follow me on Instagram (I’m @healthandswellness) for updates from the Big Apple.

17 days until the Chicago Marathon…

24 days until the Nike Women’s San Francisco Half-Marathon…


Leave a Comment September 25, 2014

Previous page

Recent Posts


Recent Comments