Doonst runs the dual in the desert

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Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby Doonst » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:34 pm

It was a Tuesday, the second of September. After 3 months of very light running due to AT issues, I got a PM from dgrant: If I continue to improve, maybe running the half marathon in Vegas, December sixth might be fun. It took me 24 hours to commit. 3 weeks later, he "found" that there was a marathon in Death Valley California the day before the Vegas race. It took me a little longer before I signed on to run the half there too. We had done 2 in a weekend before, as part of the 2006 fall (10 in 10) tour, but I said at the time I didn't ever need to repeat it. A good stunt beats good sense anyday though.

My brother from NYC thought that a race in Death Valley sounded irresistible. He and a friend/co-worker soon registered for their first half-marathon, and in their infinite wisdom bet the price of airfare on the outcome. Nothing like a little extra pressure for your first.

On the flight down La sat with us, also running in Vegas. We arrived in Vegas at 7 local time (10 our time), grabbed a rental car and met my brother Barry and Jan at the hotel. Dinner around 10 PM was Mexican, yes less than 12 hours before the race. Dave skipped that.

Left a little late for Death Valley, around 5 AM. Stopped an hour later in Pahrump for a coffee. Moments later we stopped at the side of the road to look at the sunrise in the desert. Also because we were the first on the scene of a car rollover.

The lovely Stephanie wasn't hurt bad, minor cuts, and actually took it pretty well, just a little shaky. We got a call through (before it dropped) to 911 and police came. They decided to dispatch an ambulance, as her neck was starting to hurt. After about a half hour, we were back on our way to Death Valley. Most admitted that their first thought on stopping was that we would miss our race, but we made it in time.

It really was an amazing place to have a race. Very unique scenery, and perfect weather: 48-60 degrees F, no wind. The race director liked giving speeches, so we shivered and started late, the half ten minutes after the full.


Barry had said his goal was 1:50, but I knew from his training that he was faster than that. I was hoping for around 1:37, but hadn't run a road race since May and wasn't sure what speed to expect. The course turned out to be harder than we knew; lots of long easy inclines. Jan and Barry stayed with for the first half, running at 4:35 pace, right on track for a 1:37. First 2 K were easy downhill so it was a fast start. Then a steeper uphill for the next 2, the easy downhill to the 10.5 K turnaround. I pretty much knew that the return section would be tougher, and I was just on pace until the half. At that aid station I noticed that I might have a stone in my shoe. I tried to ignore it and it seemed to fade. When I walked at the 16 K aid station it felt like I had a nail in my foot. I stopped and took my shoe off, didn't actually ever see a stone. Cost me a minute though. Barry had been pulling ahead slightly there, but I thought he might fade towards the finish. Jan was by this point fallen way back. I had been slowing down on the constant uphill, still had hopes for my B goal of sub 1:40 until the shoe incident. It was a long 2 K uphill to the finish and I came in at 1:41:09. That was 3/11 in my age group and 27/198 overall. My brother Barry, 47 years old, ran his first half marathon in 1:38:33. Fellow physics teacher Jan limped in just under 1:50 with knee issues. dgrant figures the course was 2-3 minutes longer than a fast course like Mississauga or Toronto. So I'm really not too disappointed in my time, it just wasn't my day or an easy course. I had a toonie-sized blister on the bottom of my foot, bandaged at the finish.

We took the scenic route home, through Badwater, the actual lowest point on the continent. Very cool. It was nice but not crazy hot, being December.
Totally below sea level.

Back in Las Vegas we spent some time walking around the race expo. I wasn't too impressed, no deals. Then Barry Jan and I had dinner at a German restaurant; I had a few beers. Later Dave and I went to see Willie Nelson at Planet Hollywood. It was a good show, but I was starting to nod off. It had been a very long day.

Part 2, Las Vegas Half Marathon.

This was just now for fun, because we had run hard the previous day. Barry and Jan flew out that morning. I was in corral 2 and Dave moved on to corral 1. Today I ran alone, with 27,000 others. I had been worried Saturday afternoon, because my legs were plenty sore. My blister had burst walking after dinner, and was fine now. Start was at 6:15 AM, still dark out.
I started out very slow, 5:30 first split. By the third I was at around 5:12, and stayed there for most of the race. Easy but not lazy. My knee hurt for about ten minutes, then when that passed my hip hurt a bit for about ten minutes. After that I was fine. It was a little laboured, just getting up to start in the dark, never done that before. Some spectators out there in the cold dark. but not a whole lot. As neat as it was running down the totally closed Vegas strip, I was glad to see the turnaround. Coming back it got easier, and I actually picked up the pace for the last 5K. Ended up with a 1:51:23. Right after the finish Bunsontherun spotted me, still in the water and capes zone. We had our picture taken with a showgirl, that was fun. Didn't stick around long at all, and I was actually at our meeting spot in the warm Tropicana before Dave. By 9 oclock I was showered and back in bed. A guy can only take so much good times.
Last edited by Doonst on Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
next up:

This broken wing will fly again
One fine day
This blackbird's mute gonna sing again
One fine day

So all you sinners come out
And all you drunkards crawl out
Come into the light of one fine day

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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby DougG » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:40 pm

Sheldon, you never cease to amaze me. Back to back 1/2 marathons, is very impressive :clap: Great pics and report too.
Well done.
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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby Robbie-T » Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:49 am

Great weekend guys!! And Willie was the cherry on top.

Solid times too man.
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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby Ken B » Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:56 am

Great report, Sheldon. Running two half-marathons on successive days does remind me of the "idiot" days of a couple years ago. Great times on both races. Congratulations!!! Great pics as well!!! :D

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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby Jo-Jo » Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:57 am

Great back to back weren't wearing your knee brace :D
Sounds like an action packed weekend.
I'm sure Stephanie was very happy to see you guys!! It's a pity you weren't wearing your flame tights that day...she would have known you were a Super Hero :D :wink:
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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby jgore » Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:01 am

Nice double, Sheldon. Love the picks.

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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby HCcD » Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:22 am

Awesome comeback back-to-back, Sheldon ... nicely run (or is it ran ??) :think: :think:

Only in Vegas would those tights be considered conservative ... :lol: :wink:
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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby La » Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:24 am

Good times, Doonst. Good times. :D
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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby blank » Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:38 am

Very impressive! Good times for both races Sheldon.

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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby Marg » Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:49 am

Awesome job buddy!
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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby scrumhalfgirl » Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:57 am

Congrats X2 - impressive weekend of running!
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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby Strider » Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:25 am

Well done Crazy Young Fella - sounds like a great time. I'll have to wait till I get home to view the Pics.

Kim and I are going to Vegas in March - I now (thanks to you) have to get to Badwater for a run while we are there. Didn't realize it was so close. 8)
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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby BJH » Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:28 am

Two races, mexicanb food, beer and WIllie Nelson ... sounds like a good time. Well done. :D
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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby Darth Tater » Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:33 am

Sounds like you had quite a weekend. Congrats on the double!
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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby ian » Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:53 am

I'd say you're officially back to be able to pull off a double like this.

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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby Mid_Packer » Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:37 am

I thought 2009 was "the year of messing around"....back to back, hmm that's alot of messing....
Next you'll need to sign up for the goofy.
Well done, and loved the pictures embedded in report.

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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby richie-rich » Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:27 pm

Way to go man! I saw your Vegas time and thought you were slacking. I didn't realize you ran the day before. Well done!!

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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby JSmitty » Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:57 pm

Nice job Sheldon. Wow, brave to eat spicy the day before but what the hay!! I would say your form is still there, but take care of your blister.
Nice to see you at the nog!!

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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby AirForceRunner » Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:53 pm

Like you said...stunts are good fun. LOVE the stunts. Made even more fun with some pretty decent times.
Keep me posted on your next stunt plans. :D ... orceRunner

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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby Jogger Barbie » Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:26 pm

Great racing - those are impressive times even without having to come back from the issues you've had on and off for the year. Congratulations! And thanks for the super reporting too - I always enjoy your race reports. See you in Hamilton on March 28?
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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby klc » Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:33 pm

Well done, Sheldon! Sounds like you had fun and are still keeping up with the young folks :wink:

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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby VeloCarrie » Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:43 pm

Great times! :D Great pics! :D Great legs! :D
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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby bruyere » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:12 am

Love you guys and your adventures.
I'm glad you're back in form!!
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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby trixiee » Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:47 am

BJH wrote:Two races, mexican food, beer and WIllie Nelson ... sounds like a good time. Well done. :D

Hey! You forgot the German Food and more beer! :D

How are you feeling now? Hope there was no re-injury?

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Re: Doonst runs the dual in the desert

Postby Kristen » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:10 am

There's running. There's doubles. Then there's the Southwest. All three are incredible on their own. But running back-to-back races through the Southwest? Perfection. Thank you for sharing your races with us. Congrats on the perfect double! :D

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