Monday, March 19, 2012

What Happens Outside Vegas

Weeks ago, I contacted a travel agent.

"I need to book a flight to Vegas," I announced. "I'm going to Vegas to run a race."

Silence. Then giggles. "No one goes to Vegas to run a race," she laughed.

Well, I did.

This weekend, Chris and I and friends, the Brinkruffs jetted down to Vegas sans kids. (Thanks to our wonderful babysitters, Memaw and Papa!)

Claudia and I spent our first morning in Vegas running the "Six Tunnels to the Hoover Dam" mini marathon. The race course cut through the beautiful southwestern landscape around Lake Mead.

I started the race with optimism, soaking in the gorgeous scenery with each stride. My gaiety waned midway as pounding winds; gravel, dusty trails; and sharp inclines proved to be formidable adversaries. Even as I panted, I remained in awe of our surroundings as we cut through abandoned railroad tunnels and steep, rocky paths.

When I finished the race, I experienced the sensation one feels after childbirth: grateful it's done, but then missing the beauty of the experience and even forgetting some of the pain.

Although the race did pass by the Hoover Dam lookout, we wanted to experience the Dam and new Colorado River Bridge firsthand. Chris stepped into Arizona for the first time.

Finally, we landed on the Vegas strip. We ate good food. Watched a great show. Won $14 in a casino. Had a good time with friends. Hated to say goodbye, but missed our boys too.

I'm thinking about calling my travel agent back. I want to tell her if people don't go to Vegas to run a race, they should.

Thanks so much to my parents for watching the boys! Thanks also to all our friends that offered to help with the boys.

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