This picture is of Lady Liberty at the New York New York resort across the street from my hotel, the Tropicana. A great symbol for the Memorial Day Holiday coming up.
I was in Las Vegas this week for a sales call at a local tissue mill. Yes, they have a tissue manufacturing plant in North Vegas! I am 58 years old and this was my first trip to Vegas. I had been to the airport numerous times, but never left the secure areas, so that does not count. By the way, as I left the secure area to get my bag, there was an interesting sign overhead coming down the escalator. Two words and two arrows. Baggage to left, liquor to the right. Pretty simple I think. The bars do not close, neither do the carry out stores, restaurants, casinos, etc. Around the clock action--that is Vegas.
I had never had any interest in going to Vegas, but I made the most of my chance this trip. I did not gamble, because it is impossible for an amateur such as I to do anything but give them money while learning. I can stand to the side and spectate for that kind cash. The hotels rates during the week are quite reasonable, the resorts are gorgeous, the shopping is top shelf--Harry Winston diamonds for one--and walking around the city is a joy. I spend one evening doing a walk about and had some dinner at an outdoor Irish Pub. It was just a very enjoyable evening for one. I would like to go back and take Linda. I think with some good planning, we can have a reasonably priced vacation and also meet some of our other adult friends for a good time. We would play cards, but for fun and conversation.
Yesterday, the local shoe store, Fleet Feet, had a track meet for all comers. I ran in the 100 m, 200m and the 400 m races. We ran in that order as well. I think close to 150 people actually ran and some of the athletes were definitely elite. Some of the elite Senior Olympians were in attendance and the quality of the middle distance people was exceptional. One young college runner did a 10.9 second 100 meter and ran about 22 flat in the 200, he was really quick. I was chatting him up a little and he indicated he had never run the 400 meters but had signed up. I was trying to help him figure out how to pace himself, which is a big part of the race. He said that he runs about a 22 second 200 and I told him to go for a 26 or 27 second first 200 and then see what was left, and see if he was being pushed and let it rip after that. He ran a 26 second first 200 and finished in 52 seconds--perfect right out of the box. He looked great and of course, had some really good coaching as well. That was a fun race for me--just watching.
The track was quite fast, it was a six lane black synthetic with the temperature in the low 80's and party sunny. The first race was the 100 meters and I ran a 13.55 seconds and took first. I felt pretty good and won my heat. I was not challenged and basically ran my race. The race promoter gave the winners a $15 gift card--cool. The next race the 200 and I ran it in 28.2 and took first place. I ran it hard the last 120 meters and felt good. That also yielded a $15 gift card--I am liking this pro stuff. Those times are near my best for the last couple of seasons, so my training is on track to be competitive at the state championship in 4 weeks. I will continue to concentrate on my speed work, which I have been doing for only three weeks. I think this strategy is working and I will continue my current training. I have been really trying to avoid the over training related fatigue and injuries.
I also ran the 400 m late in the day and was out of gas so to speak. I ran 70 seconds and finished 4th in the heat. I was fine with that time, I was dehydrated and knew it. The easiest time to get hurt is during periods of dehydration, so the 400 was just a practice lap. I drank 4 bottles of water and had no inkling of needing a potty break. After the race I had a 24 ounce smoothie, a cup of warm coffee that was in the car, more water and finally worked up a little stream, I was dehydrated.
While in Vegas I worked out on the UNLV track. In the background of the picture you can see the top of one of the hotels on the strip. So, if you go to Vegas and need a place to workout, check out the UNLV track, it is close to The Strip and has a nice red synthetic surface. The wind was really tricky at this track. A storm was brewing to the West and it did sprinkle a little during my hour on the track. I was trying to run with the wind so I would not work my muscles that hard with a meet coming up in two days. The wind switched 180 degrees about every minute or two and it was hard to get in a 200 meters without hitting the wind somewhere in the run. But I felt pretty good and my stretching was really good.
Have a great Holiday.