The Vegas Gold Elite Half Marathon - A Recap by Angel Ramirez

This race recap is brought to you by Chaski Resident Coach Angel Ramirez. We hope you enjoy!

I was relaxed and ready for this race as I always try to be. My fiancée and I drove out the day before and also beat the snowstorm meant to wreak havoc on our beloved Flagstaff town over the weekend. We arrived into town (Henderson NV), and thanks to the hour fall back time change I was able to pick up my bib number and go on a course preview shake out. The weather was good, but a strong wind and mild drizzle started began and it brought concern to my thoughts. "Would this be the weather in the morning?" I thought.

We then went to go get dinner, and run a few errands to clear my mind from any distractions other than racing. After all this, my fiancée and I made our way back to our hotel room and began to eat our dinner, while watching a Star Wars movie marathon, (Star Wars is my all-time favorite). I did the remaining last-minute pre-race prep and then found myself dozing off by 9 pm. I abruptly woke up at 3 am, only wanting to sleep a few more hours. I kept waking up every hour on the dot until I finally decided to get myself out of bed around 5:30 am.

I then went to find the hotel gym to get on the treadmill for about 10 minutes to wake the body up and get the blood flowing. Afterward, I had my usual pre-race English muffin with butter, strawberry jam, and honey. As well as my pre-race drink. I then did what I needed to do to get ready and we took off to the course around 7 am (it was only a 5-minute drive). During the warm-up, I felt great. No indication of any hindrances at all. I then did my pre-race plyometric, and band work, as well as last-minute restroom breaks.

Putting on my shoes, I made my way to the start line and did some pre-race strides. The race began around 8:03 am and we were off. I found myself getting into my pace (while trying to push myself to that next level). I went out in a comfortable 5:15 first mile and starting clipping 5:10s - 5:15s, followed by a 5:22 6th mile. Everything was feeling great up to this point. I had found myself in a pack with 3 other guys, and we were doing our best to help each other share the lead. I came through 10 miles in around 52:33 and then all of a sudden my legs felt super heavy and I slowed dramatically from a 5:08 10th mile down to a 5:37 11th mile, then a 5:33 12th mile, and finally a 5:20 13th mile, with the 0.1 left to go. I really don't know why after mile 10 my body and legs just gave up and I could not keep with the pace. I told myself if I just ran a 15:30 to 16 minute last 5k I would have PR and come close to breaking 1:08! That wasn't the case as I ended up hitting a 17:06 last 5k and finished with a time of 1:09:39.

I had run this same race and course back in October, and I went 1:09:51, so it was a course PR. Still, I was disappointed with my end results but happy to have been able to race. I have huge goals and ambitions and I know I am better than this. Next up on the table is another half marathon in about 5 weeks at the Woodlands in Texas (my home state). I am looking forward to the next couple of weeks of training and hopefully will run really fast there! The goal is to break my PR of 1:08:39, but most definitely a time of 1:05 is my A-goal.