Monday, March 31, 2008

10 things I learned at the Laughlin Half Marathon.

The scenery doesn’t much matter. It might seem like a good idea when you sign up to be running alongside the majestic Colorado River but, once there, there’s very little time spent gazing at much more than the dusty, bumpy path ahead.

When you gotta go, you just go. And, on Mile 8, I had to go ... and did. It’s just too bad the lone port-o-potty sat at Mile 9. I borrowed some toilet paper out of it shortly after, but ... yeah. Moving on …

My knees are almost 34 years old. In a past life, my left one was a cantankerous growly 90-year-old with a bad back. The growling started about Mile 10 and lasted all the rest of the day, really, making me hobble something fierce. My old man of a knee would have killed for a cane.

Sometimes, guacamole dip is the answer. There was a big burrito and a bottomless Diet Coke to go along with that delicious action, but dropping $6 for that dip on the night after the race? One of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Mexican food never tasted so good.

Dissecting someone’s love life along with them is better than an iPod. Aerosmith might make me run faster, but Linda helped me forget I was even in a race. Muy importante.

One slightly purpled toenail and one blister are better than two. My feet no longer hurt, my legs aren’t exactly screaming for mercy and the tanktop and bandana tan lines have all blended in rather nicely. Two days later, I’m practically recovered.

Laughlin is weird. It really is. It combines some kind of small town mentality with trying to be a second Vegas, but it never quite succeeds. Still, 80+ degree weather certainly beats a Salt Lake City snowstorm. If I could have bottled some of that sunshine up and brought it back with me, I would have returned a hero. Sigh.

Staying at a casino motel? Also weird. Nobody much cares that you’re staying in a room that looks like one of the maids took a shower and a nap there before you showed up (with the unwrapped mini-soap, hair in the sink and wet towel on the floor to prove it). In addition, nobody cares that you’re so close to the casino floor that you can hear the golden oldies playing All Night Long. Slot machines receive top priority.

Time flies. First half marathon = an average of under a 10-minute mile. As for this one, my second ... let’s just say I’m not especially proud to have added over a minute-and-a-half to each mile, on average. Even so, crossing the finish line still sounds like the Chariots of Fire theme music in my head. And that’s enough for me.

One mediocre run deserves another. Anybody else wanna tackle another half in three weeks? I might be crazy enough to make my knees mad all over again.


tim & brandi said...

We and some delicious thai peanut chicken waited eagerly for you to show up on our porch. Guess the legs were more tired than the stomach. Maybe next time.


Dainon. said...

Really? Ah, man ... sorry about that. I'm pretty sure you two were churchin' about the time we were skedaddlin' out of town. It took us a good long time to amble our way home, but we rolled in about niner or so. Next time, tho, YES ... fer sure. That chicken sounds better than anything we collected at various convenience stores on the way back, too ... sigh.

cropstar said...

1- Congrats on the race! Great report.
2- Laughlin IS a very weird place. A friend and I drove there one day just to see what it was all about. 3 hours was more than enough time to realize that we never need to go back there again.
3- I'll be running the SLC 1/2. See ya there!

Dann said...

I feel sheepish because in all my race training, I've never once thought about what to do when nature calls. Shows you how far I must be running. Nevertheless, this post has enlightened me.

Ashley said...

I don't even know how to get to Laughlin, and I live in the NV. Glad you had a good one; thanks for saying hi, even if it was only via text.

Dainon. said...

Next time, Ash, I'm picking you up and bringing you along for the run/ride. For some reason, I thought you were still in the City of Salt for spring break, doing your version of Teachers Gone WILD ...

eped said...

you look great. keep going