Saturday, November 30, 2013

Black Friday 2013: The return of Mountain Dog!

I think yesterday was about the perfect day after Thanksgiving.  It started out with a bang when my beloved Iowa Hawkeyes trampled the Nebraska Cornhuskers.  I think my favorite part was when Bo Pelini was so out of control, the ref called an addition 15 yard penalty on the Nebraska bench!

As soon as the Iowa game was over, my parents and I headed towards Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area to burn off some of that Thanksgiving dinner.  We chose the 6-mile White Rock Loop.  It is a fantastic hike and it takes between 2-3 hours depending on how fast you move and how much you stop to play and take pictures.  It doesn't require any scrambling and is great for dogs of all sizes (as long as they can do 6 miles).  The landscape is really beautiful because it is literally a loop around a sandstone mountain.
I, of course, brought my beloved mountain dog, Maggie.  She's done this loop with me a few times and it definitely wears her out, but she wags her tail the entire time.
Maggie is kind of a chicken and doesn't really get too far from me, but at one point, she decided to follow my dad while he was playing on the rocks.  I called her name once and she realized how far away from me she was and she came running.  She's mostly a good dog.
There are a couple really fun places near the trail to stop and scramble a bit and feel like king of the mountain.  Maggie took advantage of those spots too.
The loop took us just a little under 3 hours, which is awesome.  My mom (the same one that PRed in the 5K on Thursday) is in such great shape!  There's no way she could have done that loop this fast even a year ago.  I'm so proud of her!

I highly recommend this hike as a fitness hike.  The hike is all class 1 or 2.  There are lots of parts of the hike that are excellent for trail running...just watch out for foot placement because there are definitely portions that make me nervous when I try to trail run because of small rocks in the path that are just begging to make me roll my ankle.

After finishing the hike, we were starving and exhausted so we decided a low-key night would be best. Our low-key night consisted of Cafe Rio (yum!!) and a movie.
Barbacoa Nachos - so delicious.  Barbacoa salad is also delicious, but I was in  a nacho mood.
Cafe Rio has the best ice.  I normally don't even put ice in my drinks, but at Cafe Rio, I make an exception.
(I always drink diet coke.  That is not the point of this image.)
Ender's Game is one of my favorite books that I've read recently.  The book came out in 1980 but the movie just came out on November 1.  I went to an early screening, but my husband, who also loves the book, hadn't seen it yet.
I was disappointed by the movie the first time, but isn't that true anytime you've read the book on which the movie is based?  I will say that I found it much more enjoyable the second time.  I really do think that everyone should read this book, even if you think you won't like it because it is "science fiction."  There are a lot of philosophical and moral questions that the book presents that I think appeal to anyone that enjoys a more intellectual book.

I've had a number of my friends say that they don't want to read it because they don't agree with Orson Scott Card's (the author's) politics.  If this is important to you, check the book out from the library or check out a used book stores.  I've purchased a couple copies at used books stores to give to friends in the past.  Used bookstores really are under appreciated.

I'm looking for a new book to read.  Has anyone read anything lately that they recommend?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Our 2nd Las Vegas Thanksgiving

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and were reminded that, despite the frustrations and/or disappointments in life, there is so much for which we can be thankful.  My whole day was a reminder of all the blessings in my life.

I declared that my Thanksgiving began the minute I picked up my parents from the airport on Wednesday evening.  We ate awesome (unhealthy) burgers and garlic french fries at Strip Burger at Fashion Show Mall.  You should try this place when you come to Vegas.  These french fries will seriously not disappoint.

Because we ate way too much, we needed to move around before heading home.  We decided to venture over to the Wynn, right across Las Vegas Blvd from Fashion Show Mall.  I've lived here 15 months and actually had never been inside the Wynn.  It is so beautiful!!
Right inside the main door, there is this gorgeous conservatory with vibrant trees, flowers, etc.  It was actually pretty breathtaking.  I especially loved this adorable carousel that was covered in flowers.  
Not only was it covered in flowers, it really functioned!!  
I didn't try to ride it, I suspected from the "don't touch" type signs that the huge security guards wouldn't take too kindly if I tried to touch any of the flowers.  After exploring the Wynn and a few other casinos/malls, we went home to get some sleep before our early Turkey Trot plans the next day.
The science nerd in me compels me to share the name of this bar with you.  You can find it inside the Palazzo shops.
We started out our Thanksgiving Day proper with a lovely 12k Turkey Trot on the Six Tunnels to the Hoover Dam trail.  The course followed a reclaimed railroad trail that was used to transport materials necessary to build the Hoover Dam about 80 years ago.  The run has beautiful views of the Muddy Mountains, Lake Mead, and the Hoover Dam.  And, the tunnels are just really cool.
My average pace was 10:30 over the approximately 7.5 miles.  Obviously, I'm not super happy with that, but I haven't been running much lately, so I don't really have much to complain about.  Plus, my pace isn't really important.  I was out there with my husband, my dad, and my mom!

(PS - my mom killed it. For the first time, she ran the entire 5K without walking!  She also PRed and cut 10 minutes from her 5K time at this exact turkey trot last year!!)

After the Turkey Trot and cleaning up, we headed to the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Casino for a delicious buffet lunch/dinner at The Wicked Spoon Buffet.  (Check out this article listing the Wicked Spoon as one of the top places to eat Thanksgiving dinner!)

These are just two of my many, many plates of delicious food.  Trust me, I'm not one of those bloggers that says she ate so much food, but really ate 2 tablespoons of mashed potatoes, 1 oz of turkey, and a pound of salad with fruit for dessert.  We were literally at the buffet for 3 hours and I loved every single minute of it.

After eating my weight in buffet delicacies, we needed to walk off a bit of that uncomfortably full feeling.  As we walked around, we encountered this giant shoe and I made the misguided decision that I needed a picture of me inside the stupid shoe.  Spoiler Alert:  I got stuck and needed my husband and my dad to help me out.
It seemed like such a good idea before I got in. 
The flaw in my plan for this fantastic photo op was sliding into the toe box butt first.  I just kept sliding and sliding until I was pretty much folded in half.  Unfortunately, the shoe was so steep because of the killer stiletto, it made it pretty much impossible for me to get out on my own....especially given the aforementioned disgusting quantity of food that I had consumed.

Christmas has come early, my blogger friends, because my mother was on hand to get my unfortunate predicament all on video for your viewing pleasure.
We also stopped in a spot overlooking the chandelier bar because it is just stunning with all the crystals and makes for an excellent photo background.
 Eventually, we wandered over to the Bellagio.  I've been there several times since moving to Las Vegas, but I had never encountered this:
Yes, that is a Guinness certificate for the "World's Largest Chocolate Fountain."  I just wanted to sit there and watch it and wait for my appetite to return so I could try to convinced someone to let me put my head under any one of these ribbons of melty chocolate.
And, because this is apparently a post of videos, here's a little something I threw together in iMovie of the fountain.  I've watched it a couple times and I think I'm going to need to pour some Hershey's chocolate syrup in my mouth and try to convince myself that it is a giant chocolate fountain =) 
Stay safe on Black Friday.  I think I'm going to skip shopping and watch the Iowa football game in the morning and head out for a hike with my parents!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Images from last weekend - Mimosas, Zarkana & Donuts! OH MY!

Once again, I'm a little behind....I'm noticing a trend.  In reality, I'm more behind than you even realize.  I actually did a triathlon almost exactly a month ago and have you seen a race recap?  Nope =(  which is really a shame because Adam was there and took some really fantastic pictures.  Anyway, I'm going to try to get better.  Only time will tell.

I guess I haven't really been in the mood to blog because my body hasn't really been in the mood to run or do much of anything, really.  This thing with my hip and the problems with my right arch haven't really gone away, so I've been trying to take it easy.  I'm still running a Thanksgiving

(Plus, my parents arrived last night for Thanksgiving and we've been spending a lot of time cleaning.  a lot.  seriously, my apartment looked like the bedroom of a 16-year old girl who is "going through something.")

All that being said, I did manage to have a really fun weekend (even though it seems like it was so long ago).  It rained all weekend, so this is one weekend recap where you will not see pictures of mountains.  Instead, mimosas.
Brunch is always a good idea
To cheer ourselves up on the dreary, rainy Saturday we beelined for Firefly for brunchie tapas and brunchie drinks.  Anyone familiar with the Las Vegas food scene may be concerned because there was this whole salmonella thing going on with Firefly, but rest-assured, that was going on at a different location.  Plus, the only meat I really ever order is the bacon in the bacon-wrapped dates.  During brunch, Firefly has this awesome special:  For $20, you can get all-you-can-drink brunch drinks and wells until 2pm!!  Heaven.  Come to think of it, I always wash my Firefly brunch down with plenty of alcohol and alcohol kills pathogens.  It's just science.  (okay, in reality, there have been studies that only "suggest" this, but I wouldn't recommend it as a method to avoid/cure food poisoning)

After brunch, we just ran errands in the rain and then relaxed at home so we'd be rested for another Saturday night of exciting plans!
Attending a Cirque du Soleil show on the Strip has definitely been at the top of my Vegas bucket list since before I even moved here.  So, when I decided to do the 30-30-30 thing, I knew that a Cirque show would definitely be one of the items.
There are somewhere around a half dozen Cirque shows that have taken up residency at the various MGM casinos on the Strip.  I wouldn't say that I want to see all of them (I'm not really into Criss Angel, and yes, he has a Cirque show at the Luxor! ugh. I'm also not sure how interested I am in seeing the Michael Jackson inspired Cirque show)  That being said, Zarkana at the Aria was definitely on my list to see.
Sadly, once the show started, there were no pictures allowed.  I guess that makes sense.  One wrong flash and suddenly Mr. Trapeze Artist misses his target.  I will say though, the theatre was beautiful and I really don't think there could be a bad seat in the house.  We got our seats through a "locals" discount, so, I had somewhat low expectations going in, but was *very* pleased when I saw this view.
no zoom!
I was also a big fan of the organ music,  It was a common theme in this show.
The show was spectacular, nerve-wracking, and breath-taking.  Some of the stunts/acts/performances seriously had me holding my breath and partly covering my eyes because I was terrified that I would one of the brilliant performers would fall and get injured.  Thankfully, no one did and I walked away being incredibly amazed by those talented people.  If I'm being honest, I felt like an uncoordinated oaf after the show after seeing what their bodies were capable of, especially compared to my own.

It was another late Saturday night; the show didn't start until 9:30pm.  

Even though it wasn't raining on Sunday, the sogginess of the ground, our weariness from the late night, and the extreme need to clean the apartment before the arrival of my parents convinced us that hiking all day Sunday was not a good idea...getting old sucks.  Instead, we consoled ourselves with an OMG heavenly breakfast.
This place is all the rage in Vegas, and for good reason.  
Maple. Bacon. Donut.
Maybe I should call this blog "Running and Donuts"?
My one piece of advice:  Either go early or order online (yes, you can do that! Isn't that awesome?!??!!)  I'm looking forward to introducing my parents to Pink Box Doughnuts during their trip to Vegas.  You'll be seeing many more doughnut pics on the blog soon.  Sorry I'm not sorry.

After collecting breakfast, we spent the rest of the day cleaning, watching football, and then I spent some time messing with the layout and heading of my blog.  I think I'm changing the name to, obviously, "Running and" - more on that later once I've had more time to actually think it through =)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Where I'm at right now

I've been a little overwhelmed lately.  I'm not really sure exactly why, but I have several likely culprits.

First, my husband and I have been living apart because we work in different towns and it has really started to get to me.  As you know if you are a regular reader, we see each other lots of weekends and do lots of super fun things together, but I'm being a baby lately, and I just want more.  Plus, running outside in the dark (it seems like it is always dark here except for the hours that I'm at work!) (Update:  he gets to start spending more time working from home so we'll see each other way more!!)

Second, I've had a pretty difficult relationship with running over the past 4-6 months.  This was my first full summer living in Vegas (I spent most of last summer studying for the Illinois bar in Chicago) and it was hot, hot, hot, which made it extremely difficult to get my running in outside.  Most days, I ended up on the treadmill.  Then there are injuries that I've been trying to battle: hip issues, IT band issues, and now I may be on the verge of a nasty bout of plantar fasciitis.

Finally, I think I've just been doing a lot of comparing myself to others.  I just need to admit that I'm a lawyer and I will never have as much time  to run, train, and blog as much as I'd like.  There just aren't enough hours in the day.  That's okay.  I seriously love my job, so sacrificing some time on the roads, or on my bike, or in the pool is something I can live with.....not that I have a lot of a choice in the matter, I gotsta make that chedda.

Anyway, all these things and more have led me to decide to cut back my running a bit and focus on other types of fitness that I enjoy.  I still plan on running a couple times a week, but I want to spend more time hiking, cycling/spinning, and swimming.  So, I've decided that I probably won't do the Memphis Marathon in a couple weeks.  I feel pretty terrible about this decision.  I've never had a DNS race that I can remember.  However, a DNS seems to be a lot better than a DNF.  

Okay.  That's enough doom and gloom.  On to happier topics, like my ingenious dinner.  Admittedly, it isn't the healthiest dinner and not something that would fall into the category of "well-balanced," but it was awesome and delicious and I don't have any regrets. 
why, yes...yes that is chocolate milk in my frosted mini wheats
Please try this soon.  You won't be sorry.

Also, I know the beginning of this post sounds like a whiny brat, but I did have an awesome weekend with my husband this past weekend here in Vegas.  Living so far apart always makes me super thankful for each fun activity we do.  

On Saturday morning we went on a quick-ish hike in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.  We did the La Madre Springs hike that starts from the Willow Springs Trailhead/picnic area.  The hike was 3 miles round-trip.  The first half is pretty much all uphill, but it is very manageable, and very beautiful.
I really love these mountains.
It would be a great trail for trail running.  However, we weren't really in the mood for trail running on Saturday.  We just wanted a nice peaceful walk during which we could talk, enjoy the scenery, and burn a few calories from the giant panera breakfast I had previously eaten.
Speaking of peaceful....we found this along the way
Once we got to the springs, we were surprised by just how much water there actually was.  I felt a little misled about this area's characterization as a desert...
La Madre Springs is a really excellent hike for all levels.  It isn't super long and there is ZERO scrambling.  The only catch is that the whole way to the springs, 1.55 miles, is all uphill, so be prepared for that depending upon your level of fitness.  Honestly, this trail would be fantastic for trail running, but we weren't really in the trail running mood on Saturday.

After the hike, we literally went home and took 3 hour naps.  We did this on purpose because we knew it was going to be a late night; we had BIG plans.  We ate at one of my absolutely favorite restaurants in Las Vegas, Lotus of Siam...the food is just...woah.  I don't even really love Thai food, but I think they put crack in their food at Lotus because I am hooked.  
I know, I know...I'm hopelessly behind on this project, but I still have hope that I'll pick up the pace and make it to 30 before I turn 30.

After Lotus, Adam and I headed to Hakkasan, the club at the MGM Grand, to pretend we're younger than we are to see Tiesto.  
In the interest of full disclosure, I've been to one other Vegas club, but it was just 1 OAK at the Mirage and it was small and not impressive in any way.  The real "new" part of my experience from Saturday night was seeing a legit DJ do his thing.
We arrived at 10:30pm and ended up seeing 3 DJs before Tiesto did his set.  All were fantastic but having two DJs in front of Tiesto meant that he didn't come on until 1 AM!!  This is why we needed the naps.  I am 29 years old and my husband is 32.  We aren't exactly young pups anymore.  We're so much not young pups that this is how we pre-game for something that requires us to stay up past 2 am:
Even with the copious amounts of diet coke that I drank at dinner and the 5 hour energy shot, I was struggling to stay awake by about 1:50am, which is really sad because the music was really know, if you're in to electronic dance music. =)

Around 2am I start to get a little loopy and thought that this picture was vital to my survival as a human.  Apparently there was a UFC fight at the MGM earlier that night.  I'm clearly very tough and have a bright future in UFC.....okay, I don't even know what "UFC" stands for....  Whatever, I'm tough and people were legitimately scared of me when I posed for this picture.....people laugh when they're scared, right?  that's a thing, right?

I know this post is a little bipolar, but am I a quitter for dropping out of the Memphis Marathon?  Bad decision?  I just don't know...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Magic Mountain - My Happy Return to Hiking Las Vegas

I had a very full weekend this past weekend.  After Ragnar, I was pretty low-key on Sunday to recover.  However, I had Monday off of work for Veterans' Day and I decided to take advantage of that by hanging out with my good friends at Hiking Las Vegas.  It is time for me to get back to being serious about this 52 Peak Club.  I'm sitting at 16 cards, so I have a long ways to go before I leave Vegas in August!!  Bonus: I really like a lot of these people, so it was nice to see some friends that I hadn't seen since early summer.
source: Hiking Las Vegas Meetup Group
So, Monday morning, after dropping a friend off at the airport, I zoomed over to the Pine Creek Trailhead at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.  I was a little late, due to my trip to the airport, but the group was kind enough to wait for me.  I grabbed my pack out of my car and we headed down the trail towards Magic Mountain!

Here I want to say a big congrats on becoming an Organizer to my friend Chris!!  This is somewhat belated, I think he's been leading hikes for the group for more than a month now, but this was the first hike I've been since he graduated from the ranks of the lowly hiking participants to an esteemed Organizer.

The first part of the hike was an easy hike along a trail, eventually this trail started becoming more and more steep until we encountered the sandstone at the base of the mountain.  That's when the fun began!!

Here's where I should probably admit how much I was still hurting and experiencing general exhaustion and dehydration from Ragnar.  Fortunately, I had over 2L of water and a big bottle of strawberry lemonade Nuun to get me through.

Once we reached the base of the mountain, we did about 45 minutes of class 3 scrambling and even a little class 4!!  Most of the scrambling was low-exposure.  However, now that I've been checking out the pictures from the hike, I'm realizing there was a bit more exposure in parts than I realized at the time...that's probably a good thing.

After a bit more scrambling, we got to the REALLY fun part - a 20-foot, class 4 chimney that required the use of a rope.  I'll admit, I was pretty nervous at this point because it had been awhile since I had done any serious hiking, especially anything class 4.  Seriously, the last time I did anything class 4 was probably White Pinnacle Peak in May.
 Basically, I just had to grab the rope and start climbing.  There were quite a few foot holds on the sides, but my strategy really was to just climb up and wedge myself into the chimney until I found the next set of footholds.

After quite a few moments of self doubt and thoughts of just staying wedged in the chimney forever, I finally neared the top and climbed out.   
From there, it was a five second scramble to the summit, the sign-in book, and the 5 of Clubs.
We had such a great group on the hike to Magic Mountain.  There was great conversation everywhere with everyone and my fellow hikers were super patient with my cautious movements as my body reacquainted to hiking and scrambling (of course, I was even more awkward given how exhausted I still was from Ragnar).
I love Jack's lounging pose.  I think he must be from the hiking equivalent of the planet Krypton.
It's a little belated, but I just want to say a gargantuan thank you to all the veterans, especially my wonderful husband.  Whether I've met them or not, each and every veteran has allowed me to live the life that I lead with the freedoms that I enjoy.  I thank you with all my soul and from the bottom of my heart.

"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave."
- Elmer Davis

****I know it isn't Veterans' Day anymore, but make sure to give any veterans in your life a big hug and thank them for their service!****

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My Ragnar Las Vegas Adventure

This past Friday and Saturday, I embarked on my second Ragnar adventure:  Ragnar Las Vegas. (check out my previous Ragnar experience here!)

...get ready to be overwhelmed by pictures...

I anticipated that I would enjoy Ragnar Vegas more than Wasatch Back because I obviously know the area and know lots of people in the area...aka easier to fill my stomach with food and find good places to get a decent amount of sleep.  I was so right!!
Best. Team Name. Ever. (I might be biased...)
These shirts were so cool, the awesome Nuun representative even asked to take a pic!
I've been looking forward to this event for awhile now, so when Friday morning finally arrived, I was ready and so excited!!  It was definitely an early morning.  I woke up at 4am to pack the van (after staying up until 1:30am gathering the items I needed for the 30 hour event) - before I knew it, both vans were headed toward the start line, which was located near Mt. Charleston at the ski resort at Lee Canyon.
Snow!!  I love how the Vegas course started in snow and ended in near 80 degree temperatures!!
Our start time was 7:15am.  Fortunately, we arrived at the start line in time for a little photo shoot action.
12 Excited RagNarwhals!
(4 girls, 8 guys)
I zeroed in on this mock ski lift, and we obviously needed a girls pic.
Have I mentioned that my daddy was on my team?!?!?!!!  He's the best.
Once Runner #1 and Van #1 took off (I was Runner #8 in Van #2), we displayed what gifted artists we are on Van #2 with the help of my trusty friend, window chalk.  (In reality, it was more like a display of why most of us are lawyers and not artists...)
I *love* being able to check off each leg that I've done.
It wasn't until much later that I realized that all the girls in the van went first and the boys went second.
Yes, I made a sweet Narwhal stencil to make the decorating easier, but I got pretty good at freehand drawing Narwhals by the end of the relay.
After we finished our version of Pimp My Suburban, we headed back down the mountain to do breakfast in the most Vegas way possible....a buffet at a casino.  Perfection.  

Even though it seemed like no time had passed, it was suddenly time to head towards Exchange 6 so Van #2 could take the baton (slap bracelet) from the final runner in Van #1.
Cheering on Runner #7 (the first runner in my van) - Also, check out that sweet sign (again, biased because I made said sign)!  I put velcro on the sign so we could change out the name on the sign based on who was running at the time.  I was the self-designated VP for Team Spirit of Team RagNarwhals.
My first leg was a little over 6 miles and was mostly downhill.  The only tricky part was the random gravel trails that you had to run across.  Given my excellent coordination and balance skills, I wasn't worried at all that I'd break an ankle (sarcasm).  I was also slightly annoyed about all the stoplights towards the end - they hurt my pace and rhythm a little, but not that much.

Van #2 seriously killed it on our first set of legs - we booked it.  Around 4:15pm, we handed the reigns back to Van #1.  We were pumped to have our first legs out of the way, pumped to get some food, and, at least I was, pumped to take a nap!
It felt awesome to draw those check marks!
The next major exchange was at Spring Mountain Ranch.  The last runner in Van #1 had a serious 10 mile run that was pretty much 100% uphill for the first 7 miles.  I did not envy him one little bit.  I've ridden my bike up that 7 miles and it is tough!  Nevertheless, he came into the exchange hard and amped and Van #2 was off for the second set of legs!

My second leg was refreshingly easy - 3.1 miles all slightly downhill.  It was pitch dark, so we were required to wear reflective vests, headlamps, and a flashing red light on our backs.  The 3 miles felt awesome and before I knew it, I was done and handing off to Runner #9.

After my 2nd leg, things kind of fade into a blurry haze of sleep deprivation.  I think pretty much everyone in the van was feeling similarly.
Ok, technically this photo is staged - but only because he woke up as I was getting my camera out and I had to ask him to put his head back down so I could take a pic
We handed the slap bracelet back to Van #1 for the last time around 1:45am and headed directly to Exchange 30 (where we would eventually meet with Van #2).  At Exchange 30, we happily forked over $2 for the privilege of sleeping in our sleeping bags on the hard wood floors of the Basic High School (or as Amanda called it, the Ritz Basic)
When we arrived, there were about a dozen people in the gym.  Somehow, by the time we woke up, the gym was packed!  I was so dead tired that I didn't wake up once to the noise!
After about 3 hours of sleep, I received word that Runner #6 (Matt) was starting his last leg, which meant that Van #2 third and final time to shine was nearing.  We woke up, freshened up slightly (I definitely prioritized sleep over hygiene) and headed outside.  Around 6:20am, Katie took off and we were on our way to checking off our 3rd legs!

My 3rd leg was tough.  It was 7.6 miles and the whole thing was uphill.  And it was getting hot.

I started out the leg in shorts, a short sleeve, and a long sleeve (all lululemon, but that's kind of irrelevant).  I was so grateful when I saw the rest of my van hanging out near the 5 mile mark so I could shed the long sleeve.  If they hadn't been there, that last 2.6 miles would have been looooooooong.  I finally reached the end of the seemingly never-ending hill and there was Amanda waiting to do her 3rd leg, which would basically un-do the uphill work in 3 miles that I did in 7.6.
Amanda breezed through her leg and handed off to Noah who ran down towards Lake Mead and along the shore of Lake Mead until he handed off to my daddy.
I'm just proud of this pic - it makes us look like serious relay runners.
 Obviously, the girls were super pumped to be done with our legs.  All that was left for us to do was cheer on the remaining runners and then run across the finish line!
Just in case I haven't mentioned this about 700 times, our van was the bomb dot com (so much the bomb that I had to spell out "dot").  We were very good about taking pics, so the whole experience is well documented.  Basically, I'm telling you to blame my super photogenic teammates if you're sick of the pictures.
 My van consisted of me, one of my co-workers, a friend from law school, a friend from previous work experience, an awesome friend of a friend (who is now my friend), and my daddy!  It was so fun to cheer on my daddy during his legs.
Ok, this photo was slightly staged.  My dad was really running his last leg, but I was standing there on purpose and Kyle was across the path ready to take a picture of me cheering on my daddy in the background.
After Kyle took off on his last leg, the last leg of the entire relay, we headed towards the finish line.  We got there, hung out with the members of Van #1 until we saw the amazing Kyle heading towards us.  We were super pumped to fall in line beside him and head towards the glorious finish line along the banks of Lake Las Vegas.
We finished in approximately 29 hours and 45 minutes and I can honestly tell you that every single one of those nearly 1800 minutes was an absolute blast.  We had a fantastic group of people that ran hard and cheered hard.  
As much fun as it was, I was ready for some serious amounts of sleep.  And, as if having some of the best 30 hours ever wasn't enough, I got two super sweet medals out of the deal!
Medal and bottle opener all in one?  These are going to be the most functional medals I've ever received.  Okay, okay....they might be the only functional medals I've ever received.

I got the larger medal for doing Ragnar Wasatch Back and Ragnar Las Vegas in the same calendar year.  It is the "Saints & Sinners" medal.  I especially love this because it has a bottle opener on both ends. 

The sinners side is supposed to be used for "real beer." 
 The "Saints" end of the medal indicates that it is for "root beer."
I'll let you guess which end I'll use more =)

Have you ever done a Ragnar or any other Relay?

How was your weekend?