Friday, August 1, 2008

I did a (slightly) crazy thing

I just signed up to run in the Las Vegas Half Marathon on December 7.* (It would be really crazy if I'd signed up for the full marathon, but I'm not that sick.)

Is my slightly nauseous feeling due to the dozen or more Starlight Mints I've just eaten, or is it because I just signed up for my sixth half marathon this year? (With two of the first five still not done.)

Well, I'm honestly not freaked out by committing to another half marathon. It's probably more the concept of deciding to go to Las Vegas (Sin City?), a place I've never been before, even though I am double the legal gambling age.

Let me be honest. I am not a gambler. Not with money, anyway. Not in the gaming sense. I prefer to spend my funds on things I can see, do, use, or eat (regardless of how frivolous such things might be), instead of indulging in games of chance. (Yes, I do have various investments for retirement, and they're in mutual funds and stocks, and believe me it makes me queasy. When you consider the things that have happened to my IRA, I would have been better off keeping the money under my mattress at times!)

So I got this email from promoting the Las Vegas Marathon, and normally I would have just ignored it like I do all the emails about races that are too far away from home. But I noticed that the date, December 7 (see * below) was very close in time to a good friend's birthday. A friend who, just days ago, said "We should go up to the casino sometime." So I thought, perhaps, I could set aside my biases and (if the hotel rooms are not very expensive) take this jaunt to celebrate my friend's birthday and do an out-of-state run for myself. Plus, with my planned travel dates of December 5-9, we would go home the day before her actual birthday, thus allowing her to be a youthful 37 for the trip before turning a doddering 38.

So I consulted with my friend, she said "I'm in" and tonight I booked the hotel (we picked the Luxor because the Mandalay Bay was much more expensive) and signed up for the race. (See footnote ** for important registration information!) We haven't booked flights yet, and that will be slightly nervewracking until it's done. The eternal question... if I wait will I get a better fare? Or if I wait will fares just go up?

So aside from being nervous about the whole proposition, I'm a little excited too. We're going on Friday, so I'll have a couple days pre-race to settle in, but more importantly not leaving until Tuesday, so I'll have all of Sunday (race starts at 6 a.m., so I'll be done by 8 or so), plus all of Monday, and maybe a little Tuesday depending on our departure time, to play. Not gambling so much (I'm still not that interested), but food and drink and all the flashy sights of Vegas! Plus a nice hotel room to lounge in—I always bring a plethora of books and magazines when I travel.***

Half marathons—a really expensive way to do a long run!

*The website had an asterisk that said "Date subject to change." Are they serious? How can they promote a marathon, which many people have to make special arrangements to attend, and even suggest they might change the date? Or is this just a CYA maneuver in case of some unexpected emergency?

**My email from had a promotion code for a registration discount on both the full and half marathon, up through August 6. Use "lvmoffer" for $13 off the full or "lvmofferhalf" for $7 off the half. The generosity of the discount is more than offset by the ridiculously high ($9) online registration fee! But still. A discount is a discount.

***Yes, I am a librarian. Glasses, blue stockings and all.
But when I whip off those glasses....

No comments: