Gambling at the track

First, it was off to San Fran on an early Tuesday morning flight.  After landing, I ping-ponged back east again over the Sierra Nevada mountains.


We descended past the bright red rocks of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area.


And after a big ole’ loop around the city, we lined up to runway 7R and glided over the end of the strip before touching down…in Las Vegas.

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My workout for the day was a relatively short track workout, only about 9 miles (compared to the usual 13-15).  So I figured I’d just take care of it when I got to Vegas.  The only problem was finding a track. 

I did some initial reconnaissance using satellite imagery, looking for the telltale oval.  There were only a couple anywhere near the strip (within a 10 or so mile radius).  One at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and another at some random school.  Given my two choices, I went for the UNLV track.


That…however…was a mistake.  At was at this juncture I wish I just had woken up at 4AM or so and simply taken care of the workout in DC, but alas, I didn’t.  I also found myself in more a less a deserted area near the athletic fields.  I decided to see if I could make some lemonade from the lemons.

I scoped out a perfect half-mile length, which was exactly 1 mile round trip – just what I needed for my mile repeats.  And then I measured out a few 100M and 200M segments for the various parts of my track workout that required them.  Before I knew it, I had myself a little track venue…well, one that looked kinda like a starfish anyway.  I had 400M chunks figured out.  I was good to go!

Here’s my work of art.  The yellow line is where I did my mile repeats, the blue line is for 200M sprints.  And the 100M and 100M Grass lines are for various rest intervals and technique things.  Perfect!

LasVegasRunOf course, looking at the above you’d mentally think this happened during the day.  Um…no, it was dark.  It’s that at 9PM apparently.  I figured there were those little blue emergency phones just about everywhere, so at worst I’d run to them if something odd happened.  And I also decided there would be very few people who could outrun me…so I felt relatively safe.

Here’s a high quality photo taken during one of the last interval sets.


What was funny is to know how close to the Las Vegas strip all this was.  I was only a couple of blocks away.  The spillover of lights easily provided plenty of lighting for my makeshift course.

After getting back to the room and showering, I headed out to go take a few photos (yes, around 11PM or so).  Here’s a few I took.




The $70 swim

Wednesday brought a full day’s worth of work and lots of standing around and talking (actually, first it brought the (@#$(*# continuous 4:30AM flights of Janet Airlines 737’s, just outside my Mandalay Bay window – 31 floors below).  Anyway…I was actually fairly excited to get into the water.  The only problem?  Finding a lap pool.  My only real choice after much consulting with SwimmersGuide was the 24-hour Fitness place – a gazillion miles away.  It cost $30 taxi to get there, then $15 to swim, and then a $2 bus ride to get back to civilization I could catch a taxi (that was a plan-fail) and then another $23 taxi back to my hotel.

The pool was blah, 4000 yards of well…blah:


My middle-of-nowhere bus stop experience was efficient however:


After all that, around 10PM I went out and grabbed a solo dinner at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon.  Great food – as expected.



Now…now I’m simply exhausted.


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  1. You totally crack me up!! You are like a direct ancestor of inspector gadget, so I have to ask why you didn’t just program that track workout into one of your Garmins and roll down the strip doing your intervals!! It’s VEGAS, I’m sure there would be many people doing way more crazy things than intervals!! 🙂 Have a safe trip back!

  2. Hey this was great post showing the other side of Vegas enjoy the rest of it

  3. SLB

    Vegas baby, damn you like 300 miles away that’s it!

  4. Is that french onion soup? It looks yummy.

  5. wow! Not that’s someone ready willing and able! I think me (being a lesser person) might have given up at any number of points along the way, but you didn’t! I’m going to have to flag this post for myself – considering I nearly gave up on my workout last night and went home simply because they had closed the track for a soccer game!

  6. Jeez… there is no way I would ever be dedicated enough to do all that research and pay all that money.

  7. You are like a triathlon super hero with the phenomenal power to workout anywhere night or day! You locate tracks in the dark or make them up – you leave Vegas to go to East Egypt to swim… You are a-mazing.

  8. You have more motivation than anybody I’ve ever known.

    THat is…well…incredible and nuts at the same time!


    I didn’t realize he has a Bouchon in Vegas…he has one in Napa, too. I heart Bouchon, it’s so yummy, I’m sure your meal was just as awesome as the one here!!

    Hope you get some good rest…

    (p.s. you should’ve stayed through the weekend – there’s a marathon in Vegas next weekend you could’ve done!)

  9. Wow you are dedicated indeed 🙂

  10. Laughing at “there would be very few people who could outrun me.” So true. You must feel pretty safe all the time!

  11. Now that was quiet the little adventure you went on. Sadly all my Vegas stories have something to do with alcohol. Great perseverance there.

  12. $70 to swim? And it was just blah? Too bad!

  13. you really need to shake it off and step up your motivation.