Thursday, 29 October 2015

Las Vegas

Las Vegas is not the best city for running. There are several reasons for that.
First of all, there are too many people. That is, if you want to run on the Strip. It's doable, probably between 5 and 9 in the morning, otherwise - way too crowded.
Although, it's ok to run on the side streets - there are almost no people there. One may think that Las Vegas consists only of one street - that is, if you removed countless cars from all the other streets.
In general, seems that Americans do not walk. Tourists do walk sometimes, but locals apparently don't find walking an interest-worthy activity.

The second reason that Vegas is not a running city, is that you usually don't feel physically fit for that. I arrived at Vegas on Wednesday evening. Since I already did my easy Wednesday run in Flagstaff in the morning, I went on exploring the city. It's a really interesting place, in a way. I mean, it's extremely cheesy, but it's cheesiness is mastered to the level when it becomes a form of art. It's just amazingly well done. Everything is nice, shiny, colorful, all over the top.
And also it seems quite pragmatic. You don't need to travel the world, all you need to do, is go to Vegas, and you'll see pretty much everything there is to see in the world.
You dream of Paris - here you go. They have one here. Ever wanted to visit Rome? Longed to visit Coloseum - look no further. Statue of David? Sure, they've got one, forget about Florence. Or maybe you fancy New York, with it's skyscrapers and Statue of Liberty? Why, there is one here, just a few minutes walk from Paris. Seems the only significant landmark that is missing, is Warsaw's Palace of Culture and Science.

But back to running. After walking a bit, I got thirsty, so I stopped at Hard Rock cafe for a pint (or two). That kind of refreshed my vital energy, so I decided to visit the (apparently) only really cool pub in the city - Double Down Saloon. It's not on the Strip - actually, it's about an half an hour walk. Seriously, if you're ever in Vegas, go there. Super cool, laid-back rock/punk pub. Not too many people, nice, relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Apparently quite popular among Vegas' dancers to come for a drink after a night's work. Good selection of beers too (although it seems to be the case in quite a few places in Vegas).

After visiting Double Down I went home, as I was planning a half-session on a track next day.
And here we're - finally - getting to the point. Seems that there's something wrong with the air in Las Vegas (maybe it's the hotel's air-con?). One wakes up in the morning, and feels tired. His head hurts, he's thirsty, doesn't really feel like running. Or like getting out of bed, to start with.
So it took me some time to get myself into the mood for running. Finally I set off to the track (there is one at University campus, about 2 miles from the Strip - really close to Double Down Saloon. Later on I've seen a couple more from the plane).
Since I was supposed to race on Saturday, I decided to do a very light workout, just 5x400m, accelerating the pace from about 10k to something fast in the last lap. With generous 400m jog recovery.
It didn't went well. First of all, I was still under the weather. Second of all, it was windy as hell. And finally, my leg is still not very well after the fall...
I did 5x400m, accelerating from 1:26/lap to 1:14/lap, which is not really fast (in my last 1500m race I was doing 69s/lap on average...), and I jogged back home. Actually I had to walk the last bit, as my leg was quite unhappy about me forcing it to run...

More walking and taking pictures in the evening. For some reason I didn't feel like drinking beer on the second night, maybe I had too high minerals concentration already?

All right, and here are some pictures. I don't really know how to take a proper picture at night when there are neon lights everywhere, so most of the pictures are quite blurry. Sorry about that, but it actually gives you a good idea of how Las Vegas appears to a visitor...

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