Why I’m No Longer Running the 1/2 Marathon in Las Vegas

Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve done a lot of thinking, and a lot of self-reflection. This is not a decision I came to lightly, I can assure you of that.

After careful consideration, I finally came to the decision that I’m no longer going to run the 1/2 Marathon in Las Vegas.

Why, you ask?

Because…I’m going to run the full marathon.

So where did this crazy idea come from? Well, it all started after I tweeted about how well my 16 mile run went 2 weekends ago, and Mac replied:

My initial gut reaction was to just laugh off the comment, thinking that the idea was absolutely crazy! But over the next couple of days, I really started to think more about it and seriously consider it. I even emailed Mac directly and talked to him more about it, to see if he seriously thought I could be ready for a full marathon by December. We both agreed that with the number of miles I’m currently running per week, and the amount of time between now and the marathon, it’s definitely doable.

So last week, I emailed the Rock n’ Roll Marathon folks and asked about upgrading to the full marathon. They finally just replied to me today and said that my registration has officially been updated – GULP!

I sat down last week and mapped out my training schedule, specifically my long runs. The marathon training plans I’ve seen typically have the longest run for marathon training at 20 miles. I figure if I can get 2 or 3 runs of that length in, I should be doing pretty well. Here’s what I’ve got planned as far as my long runs go – I’ll also be doing 3-4 shorter, 4-ish mile runs during the week:

Date Miles
10/9 18 miles
10/16 8-10 miles
10/23 13.1 miles (Zombie 1/2 Marathon)
10/30 20 miles
11/6 8-10 miles
11/13 20 miles
11/20 20 miles
11/27 8-10 miles
12/5 26.2 miles (Las Vegas Marathon!)

My biggest concern for training is the weather around here. Luckily, it doesn’t usually start to get really cold until January or February, and we don’t usually get a bunch of snow until November or December. So hopefully that will leave me with plenty of good training runs that are at least relatively warm and snow-free. Worst-case scenario: I have a treadmill at home, and there are a couple of different indoor tracks around town that I can pay to run at if absolutely necessary.

I know that this will definitely be a big challenge – but I’m all about challenging myself. I finished my last 16 mile run in 2 1/2 hours. The marathon time limit is 5 1/2 hours, so I figure if absolutely nothing else, that gives me 3 hours to walk the last 10 miles 🙂

I’m not going to put a ton of pressure on myself to finish within any specific amount of time (other than the 5 1/2 hour course limit). Being my first marathon, my only goals will be to finish, and to have fun.

Also, I really like the idea of having lost 90+ pounds, started running, ran my first 5k, ran my first 1/2 marathon, and ran my first full marathon, all within less than a year.

An agressive goal? Perhaps. Undoable? I don’t think so.

Bring it on.

30 thoughts on “Why I’m No Longer Running the 1/2 Marathon in Las Vegas

  1. This is a great goal man. It will be a much more accomplished feeling when you cross that finish line in Vegas. With everything else you have overcome this past year. I see no reason why you won’t rock this full marathon. Good luck!!

  2. Thanks man, I’m definitely excited about it. I know it’s going to be a lot of work, but as you say, it will be quite the accomplishment once it’s all said and done. And no matter what happens afterward, nobody can ever take that away from me.

  3. That’s pretty brave.
    You’re going to do great.

  4. Thanks for the vote of confidence Shelli! 🙂

  5. Awesome news Brandon. Can’t wait to see you there!

  6. Just picked up your blog in my reader after Mac mentioned you. You are shaming me as I slowly go through couch to 5K and think there is no way I will do more after that! I am in similar loss range as you this year. It would make sense to add more aggressive running goals. Hmmmm

  7. Hey Chris, glad you managed to find my blog. Hey, there’s no shame in slowly going through couch to 5k, that’s exactly the same place I started! And if 5k is the longest distance you ever want to run, that’s just great, to each their own!

  8. You bastard! I saw the title of the post in my reader and I was like “awwwww” and now I’m all “WooT”!

    That’s awesome!

  9. Ha ha, so I at least suckered ONE person with that title!!! 🙂

  10. That’s amazing! Congratulations on going for the whole marathon.

  11. Congrats on your decision! When we decide to run a race – it’s a big sacrifice and often a true test of our determination to reach a goal.

    I will be running my first-ever half – and maybe some year, I will join you in a full marathon.

    See you at the Finish Line!

  12. Thanks Charlene! You are absolutely right, it is a big sacrifice, and does take a lot of hard work and determination to make it happen.

    Good luck on your first half, and whatever comes after that!

  13. I know that you are used to running in the cold in AK, but I just wanted to make sure you are not deceived in LV. I’ve run this marathon twice, and both times it was colder than I expected. Yes, it is the desert, but make sure to have warm clothes & check out the wind off the strip before race morning. I don’t want to discourage you, I want you to have the best 1st marathon experience ever. What you have accomplished in the past year is a lot to be proud of! I would be 🙂 Keep up the good work!

  14. Thanks for the concern Emily, I definitely appreciate it. Yes, I do realize it can get quite cold in Vegas that time of year, and will definitely be dressing accordingly. All this cold-weather training may just come to good use! 🙂

  15. Congratulations, Brandon! This is clearly a well-thought-out decision and I have no doubt that you’ll nail it. Here’s hoping for less-cold-and-snowy-than-usual weather for you!

  16. YOU ARE SO VERY AMAZING…..and smart and planned out and….

  17. Thanks Miz! Though you may want to wait until December 6 to lay it on too thick 🙂

  18. I am on the same boat at Steve. Damn, you had me going for a minute. And now I’m just so excited for you! This is awesome man! You have just taken off with the running (quite literally). It’s inspiring. I’m so happy for you and can’t wait to hear how you do in the marathon. I know you’re going to do GREAT!

  19. Ha ha, another sucker! 🙂 Thanks so much Lynne!

  20. Didn’t have to keep a secret long, lol, that wasn’t even a challenge.
    That does look entirely doable, is there a recovery week in there? It’s weird and awesome having friends that are positive healthy influences, isn’t it?

    I’m super proud of you! I might show up, mile 21 in a hot dog costume to give you motivation to finish, you never know.

  21. Nope, it ended up getting settled pretty quickly after I mentioned it to you. I had been waiting over a week and a half to hear back from the race organizers, and then heard back later the same day after telling you.

    My last long run (20 miles) is 2 weeks before the marathon, and I’ll begin tapering after that, with an 8-ish mile run the weekend before, and then taking it very easy that last week.

    YES, you in a hot dog suit would definitely keep me going in those final miles 🙂

  22. Awesome news! I can’t wait to hear about your training!

    (And like Steve, I’m a sucker and totally thought you were jumping ship for whatever reason…)

  23. Tee hee hee, yet another victim! 🙂 Thanks Erin!

  24. Wow… what an awesome thought!
    I had something very similar happen when I decided to up my registration to the 15k from the 5k.

    You are totally going to rock this and I cannot wait to read the recap!

  25. Thanks Rhonda, I can’t wait to read the recap too – cause that means I’ll have a marathon under my belt 🙂

  26. You’ve got a great plan here. My only recommendation would be to cut out the 20-miler on Nov. 20. Two weeks before you’ll want to cut down to 12-14 miles for the long run. I think that two 20-miler weekends in a row open yourself up to risking injury and not enough time to fully recover for the marathon.

  27. Thanks for the advice David. I thought the two 20-milers in a row right at the end there might be pushing it a bit.

  28. Carolyn

    Congrats! I just found your blog off NoMeatAthlete boards. Looking forward to reading more of your blog and following your training for the full =)

  29. Hi Carolyn, glad you managed to find my little corner of the web!

  30. Awesome news… wish you the best in your training and your run in Vegas

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