Viva Vegas

I really don't like Las Vegas. Is that OK to admit?  It's everything I'm not, or at least don't think I am.  Flashy. Over the top.  Glitzy.  Glamorous.

Vegas stays up all night.  I go to bed by 11.  Vegas bets the house.  I take calculated risks.  Vegas is all style.  I try to be all substance. (OK, maybe there's a little flash involved, too, if I'm being totally honest here!).

But one thing we can see eye to eye  There's a lot of it here.  And that's good, because I'm frickin' hungry.

Especially today. Find me a buffet!  I caught the 7:20 a.m. flight from Burbank to Sin City.  Up at 5:30 a.m., along with my lovely neighbor Trudy.  Just in case my alarm wasn't loud enough, she had me covered with her usual circus act of stomping and drawer slamming.

I know some children read this blog now, so I'll refrain from writing what I'm thinking.

I'm honestly not sure which I can't stand more...Vegas, or Trudy.  It's close.

Once I checked in at the Red Rocks Casino (room pictured above) and caught up on emails and text messages, I decided 9:30 a.m. would be the perfect time to fit my running time-trial in.  The nice concierge pointed me to a windy, concrete path in a wash basin just a few miles from the resort.  It did the trick.

At first, I felt quite sluggish.  I couldn't tell if it was the air travel, the early wake-up, dehydration, lack of nutrition or general fatigue.  But it definitely took me the full 20 minutes to warm-up before I began the TT portion.  My right calf was stiff and it affected my stride.

Fortunately, the actual TT went much better -- even if I labored through it a bit more than usual.  My 20-minute average heart-rate bpm remained the same from four weeks ago, 168.  However, if I calculated correctly using, then my pace improved by nearly a full minute.  Four weeks ago, I ran an 8:44 mile.  Today, my pace was 7:21!

I may have to visit Vegas more often.

Following the run, I crammed in a shortened strength training session.  The 45-minute workout felt like an hour-and-a-half, with the following usual suspects involved (2 sets, 15 reps unless noted):

-- Lat pulldowns, squats

-- Flys, lunges

-- Rows, leg extensions

-- Shoulder press, leg curls

-- Push-ups, calf raisers

-- Tricep extensions (1 set)

-- Arm curls (1 set)

-- Plank

As Brady Quinn said in the cheesy EAS TV spots, "Now I'm done."  Lots of pasta, with grilled chicken, followed by a Muscle Milk.  Sorry, EAS.

The rest of the day and evening has been and will continue to be work-focused.  But that will be easy considering I'm at a conference. Conference calls and schmoozing with colleagues are the order of the day.

I will rest easy knowing I found the discipline to train hard in a town like this.

Ironman. An exercise in willpower.

279 days and counting.