I’m in Las Vegas this week. The weather is as good as it could be — highs in the mid 50s, lows in the 40s. It’s been a nice change to the cold we’ve had in the east, as well as the slush and cold I suffered through in Detroit last week.
I’m not a big fan of Las Vegas. I mean, I love to eat and drink. And I love seeing kids barely out of college on the verge of vomiting. In a crowded elevator.
There are some great things about the town, to be sure — I work with some great people here, and this is a great place to have a convention or produce a show. But for runners, it’s rough on the strip.
It’s counter-intuitive, because you’d think a big part of the Las Vegas strip would be maintaining a pedestrian-friendly environment, so people can walk between casinos (er, sorry, themed resorts). Places with sidewalks are usually perfectly fine to run through, as runners have, in general, a symbiotic relationship with walkers. However , the strip is filled with drunks, whores, and strollers. And escalators. Every couple of blocks, in order to keep the drunks (and presumably the whores and the strollers) from throwing themselves in front of 50 mile an hour traffic, there is an escalator to take you over the street. These things are like fly-paper for the drunks. They hang out at the bottom and mutter to themselves. The strollers prevent a real obstacle. As do the whores.
These logistical problems aside, it’s too crowded to really go beyond, say, a 15 minute pace. Handy. I often do hit the strip around 6am, when there are at least less strollers.
But for my long run this week I tried going West, away from the strip. It was rough at first, but the middle miles were great. Residential neighborhoods, even some hills. McMillan’s plan this week suggested several one minute pickups during the run to break up the monotony. It really did help. I had a good run, not sure what the pace was overall, but it felt great. The only real problem was that on the way back I seemed to find myself on some sort of freeway. My new iPod nano (paid for by the loss-prevention department of Marriott) has a video camera. So I shot a little video. I think it says a lot about running. And Las Vegas.
Viva Las Long Run.