110 – The Las Vegas Rock and Roll Half Marathon

I’m recording again live in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the show where I help you live stronger, thinner, healthier, and happier.

Today, I want to tell you about something I recently did. I participated in the Las Vegas Rock N Roll Half Marathon. It was amazing! I want to share with you the reason I did it, or rather the reason I believe in doing things like this. I believe that when you sign up for an event and train for it, that keeps you very healthy. I have been doing this for a very long time. I have been running races for about 30 years and have been planning backpack trips. I do it because not only do I love doing these things, but I know when I put something on the calendar I am going to be forced to make sure I am in good enough shape to complete it. If I didn’t do this and didn’t have anything on the calendar, it’s easy to get lazy. Days can go by where you aren’t walking or running. And those days turn into weeks. And then the weeks turn into months and before you know it you have lost all of your training.

So several months ago, I saw some information online that there was going to be a Rock N Roll Half Marathon & Full Marathon the same week that I had a conference. It was perfect timing. My conference ended on Saturday and the run took place on Sunday. The race is in the evening and the route is along the strip in Las Vegas. There were about 40,000+ runners. And I signed up not knowing anything about the race. My training was fair. At least good enough to complete the race or so I thought.

The race started at 4:30pm and somewhere around 2pm, I made my way from the hotel room in West Gate and had to take the monorail to MGM. Then walk across the street. This whole trip took about an hour. I got to the start line. It was very crowded but very well organized. Shortly after they announced that there was going to be a free concert given by a surprise musical artist. And who was it other than Kid Rock?! So at about 3pm, Kid Rock started. It was phenomenal and the energy from all the people around the stage was unbelievable.

At about 4pm, everyone began to make their way to the start line. I had packed up a lot of my gear and checked it at the registration desk and I was not be able to pick it up until the end of the race. Since it was pretty warm during the day, I was only wearing my t-shirt and running shorts. At about 4:30pm it began to get a little colder and a little darker. And the wind started to pick up around that time as well. I began to look around and noticed that other runners were in the same situation that I was.

So I get to the start line, and it begins to get really really windy. I look up and notice that there are dark clouds swirling around overhead. Now remember, I am in the desert and in the desert there are all kinds of extremes. Deserts are not always hot as you know. Deserts can be very very cold. So I was a little worried. Here I am in a t-shirt and shorts, no gloves or anything. Its getting colder and the skies look like they are about to open up. The race began in waves and there were groups of runners in corrals. My corral was #21 and even though the race started at 4:30pm it was almost 5pm before my group crossed the start line. So I begin running. I am running against the wind and it is getting colder and colder. At this point, I am thinking this is crazy. I was really worried that it was going to start raining. So within the first mile or two, I look down on the road and happened to notice what looked like a discarded sweatshirt. It is very common for runners to start a race with a lot of heavy gear and shed it during the race as they get warmer. Typically what happens is that crews come by and pick them up and donate them to the homeless. It’s a pretty good thing actually. So I picked up the sweatshirt and sure enough it was the right size so I put it on. And all of a sudden my body warmed up. I wore the sweatshirt on and off for the next several miles, as my body warmed up I would take it off and wrap it around my waist. I really think this sweatshirt could have saved my life.

During the run it did actually start raining. The weather was a complete mess with the wind and the rain. We then got to the point where we were running towards downtown Las Vegas. If you have never been to Las Vegas, it’s a trip! Anyhow, my body had begun to warm up and so I decided to shed my newly acquired sweatshirt. I threw it on the side of the road thinking that I would try to remember where it was since I would be coming back the same way and if I needed it I would pick it up. We head through downtown and then begin running back towards the finish line. There was about 4 mile to go in the race. As I was running south on the strip, the last 4 miles, it is just horrible. The wind was picking up, it was getting cold, my shirt was a little bit wet from sweat so it was really uncomfortable. I totally missed where I put the sweatshirt down so I didn’t see it and forgot about it. So here I am 4 miles back; shivering, cold, really uncomfortable but knowing that there were only 4 miles left and I was going to make it to the finish line. It was crazy!

So I did finish the race. I finished in a pretty slow time which was ok because I just wanted to finish. I wasn’t really highly trained for this race. I knew I hadn’t been running as much as I wanted to. I got to finish line and they were handing out the thin mylar blankets. I wrapped it around myself and began feeling a little warmer there. In order to get to where the checked bags were it was at least a half mile walk. I finally made it to the area and got my bag. I changed right then and there and put on some of my long sleeve stuff and began to feel warmer while I was there. Before that I was shivering and cold. Hypothermia can be very serious. Even in 50 to 60 degree temperatures with a cold wind and your wet, it can be very dangerous. People can die from that. It is not taken seriously enough, I think.

So I changed my clothes and had a few snacks (bananas) and began making my way back to the monorail. As I am doing that, I was feeling ok but when I got to the monorail and was getting my ticket, I felt like I was going to faint. Like I was going to drop right there. So I held on to the ticket machine and was doing everything I could not to blackout. I was able to regain my composure but it was an incredible experience.

We can’t predict the weather but we have to be prepared. And I must say, last night I was unprepared. I packed all my stuff and gave it to the bag check people with no way to get it. So here I am with nothing on in the desert. It was cold, rainy, and windy as hell and here was Dave Madow trying to run a half marathon. It was crazy. But in the end, I crossed the finish line, I got my medal, and it felt great. I went out a got a nice Chinese dinner. It was funny because at the restaurant, the Joyful House (one of my favorite places in Las Vegas), there were at least two other tables of people next to me that had done the race as well. We started talking about how bad the weather was. And even at the point, I still had a chill. I had on a couple layers, and my jacket, and I was still chilled. And then I got real hot so I took everything off. And then I got cold again. So it was very weird.

Now, the day after I am totally recovered and fine. I think one of the reasons for that is because I am trained. As I said before I wasn’t 100% trained for this race but I am still an athlete who always tries his best to stay in good shape. I am always at least half marathon ready. A marathon is a different story. A marathon requires some training.

So if you are thinking about listening to me and scheduling some type of event, look for a local 5K race and you can even walk it. Keep your calendar fairly full of these events and you’ll find your life will change because as I said you will be forced to stay in shape. Hopefully you won’t have the experience I had last night. It wasn’t horrible and I still enjoyed it. I had a lot of fun.

Today, I am having fun, relaxing, getting my work done, doing some yoga, and meditating. This is my life! I don’t take time off when I am on vacation. In other words, I don’t say to myself, “I don’t have to do my yoga” or “I don’t have to eat right”. I don’t make exceptions. I live this lifestyle every single day. Whether it is eating plant based, whether it is meditating, whether it is doing yoga, whether it is being kind to other people, whether it is being kind to other people, whether it is smiling, whether it is getting out there and running. Whatever it may be. This is the lifestyle that I live. It has helped me in enormous ways. I am not forced to do this. It is not hard to do. This is what I do all the time and it’s become a habit. When you get into these habits, they become your lifestyle. And I hope you can do it. You don’t have to do it exactly how I do. But I hope you have helped you in some small way. I hope I lead by example.

I love what I do. I love helping you! I always say if I helped just one person with the information I have today, then I am a happy guy 🙂

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