Sunday, May 31, 2015

This week in running 5/24 through 5/30

DayMileage / WorkoutComments
Sunday3Just a shake-out run. Race tomorrow
Monday6.5Race for Grief 10K in 49:13
Tuesday7Easy miles today
Wednesday10Would've went further. Cranky knee. Solid effort throughout though.
Thursday4Easy - GI issues
Saturday13.25Oquirrh Mountain Half Marathon in 1:50:17
Total miles for the week: 47.75 - YTD: 1028.75

Week's Summary

Not a bad amount for my weekly mileage.  I also raced twice this week.  Both races were decent, but not stellar in terms of performance.

I had a bit of a scare on my Wednesday run.  About 4 miles into it, my knee just felt off.  Like the tracking was off or it felt weak.  I was suddenly wishing I was wearing my neoprene wraps.  I dialed down the pace and after a few miles it behaved.  It was also off on Thursday.  I was suddenly worried about my downhill half marathon on Saturday.

I am happy to report by Friday though it was fine and I never had any problems with it on Saturday.  Crisis averted.

Oquirrh Mountain Post Race Soreness

Simply put, I am sore.  I almost feel like I ran a full marathon yesterday.  

Utah is really big on downhill half marathons.  There are a ton of races which boast the fastest time in the country and probably rightfully so.  It does take a lot less effort to run while being assisted by gravity.

That being said, however, your quads take a beating.  Going down hill uses an entirely different set of muscles than uphill or even flat running uses.  I'll be fine, but if you see me cautiously walking down a set of stairs, you'll know why.

Helena Marathon

In two weeks time I'll be running the Helena Montana marathon.  I am totally looking forward to this race and more importantly the trip.  It looks like a fairly small event and I've never stepped foot in Montana before.  I am told Helena isn't that exciting, but getting the opportunity to knock out another state and see some place I've never been to before definitely has me pumped.  I am not sure what my performance is going to be like, but the course is primarily downhill and appears scenic.

Upcoming Races

Here's my schedule:

06/06: South Jordan CountryFest 5K (very probable)
06/13: Helena Governor's Cup Marathon (definite)
07/11: Dam 15 Miler in Jordanelle / Park City Utah (definite)
09/5: Jackson Hole Wyoming Marathon (very very probable - I booked the hotel)
10.18: Denver Rock n Roll Marathon or Duke City Marathon (planning stages, but probable)
11/15: Las Vegas Marathon (definite)

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Oquirrh Mountain Half Marathon Race Recap

Official Time: 1:50:17
Placement: 6th place overall
Results:  Facebook Page
Race Website:Here
Weather: Upper 50's / low 60's. Upper 60's at finish. Sun with no wind.

Mile Time Comments
1 7:38 Nothing but downhill. 350 feet of it. Start at 6800 though.
27:28Trying to hold back, yet going with the flow. About 250 feet downhill. At 6180
37:41Another 300 feet of elevation drop. At 5864 feet.
47:35Another 300 feet of elevation drop. At 5481 feet
57:46Some up hill here but at 5262. Done with the massive downhill.
67:56 At 5074 feet. Having to rely on my power. Have I gone out too fast?
79:28Have to climb here and it sucks. Overheating at 5203.
811:00 Worst part of the course. Can I quit? At 5405 feet.
99:32At the turn around, stopped and gulped two drinks. Felt woozy at 5448 feet
108:14Starting to pick up steam -- 5384 feet
117:56At 5174 feet. Glad I caught a break and getting back into the groove.
128:15At 5044. My legs are dead, but I am still holding steady.
138:10Slight downhill, 4881 feet. Managing to hang on -- barely.
13.171:16Done -- thank goodness!
Total Miles: 13.17

Results from Facebook Page for the Half Marathon:

115 SPENCER HOLT 1:25:55
129 JOHN PERKINS 1:31:16
126 JAY MILLER 1:36:59
105 CHARLIE BUTTON 1:46:02
143 JOE VASQUEZ 1:47:46
157 EDWARD GAUL 1:50:17
176 NO NAME 1:50:54
142 WHITNEY TERRY 1:53:45
165 MARIA FLORES 1:53:55
113 EVAN HARRISON 1:54:46
81 KIMLY BAIR 1:55:05
169 RON CRAGUN 1:55:55
125 AUDRY MAIERS 1:57:58
166 LORI DRAKE 2:01:42
82 MATT BEST 2:05:06
167 JERRY NELSON 2:06:57
163 TAMI SEARLE 2:08:54
135 TRACY SCHAFFER 2:09:11
175 NO NAME 2:09:56
123 ADRIANNA LAIRD 2:10:48
132 KRISTEN ROGERS 2:12:53
128 JINNIFER NAY 2:12:55
136 COREY SKINNER 2:19:43
72 KIM AAGARD 2:20:39
139 LEONA STEELE 2:22:13
174 SANDRA HADLOCK 2:24:52
134 JORGE SALFIVAR 2:25:30
131 KELI RHODES 2:26:52
161 DAVID ANDERSON 2:27:15
124 KAREN LAYTON 2:27:58
130 MIST PERKINS 2:29:59
162 SUSAN ZALAC 2:30:18
172 DAVID SWAN 2:43:08
141 VANESSA TAYLOR 2:56:23
160 CEVAN SKINNER 3:00:11
173 SHAWN MILNE 3:07:02
116 ANNE JENSEN 3:14:38


There were a bunch of races today and ultimately I settled on the Oquirrh Mountain Half Marathon (you can see my reasons here).  Located in Tooele, Utah, this race was cheap, fairly close by and I had a friend of mine running it so we would up carpooling.  Also, I haven't really had a chance to explore much of Tooele so it would give me the opportunity to see the sites, so to speak.


I woke up at 3:30 AM and quickly powered down a breakfast consisting of Wheaties, some ice tea and of course a can of beets.  I drink as much as I can in terms of the juice, but I know my limit.  I really wish they would make a better tasting juice.

By 4:30 my carpooling friend swung by and we headed west.  The trip there went by super quick and by 5:15 I was picking up my bib.

The race was headquartered at an LDS Church and they had clean, flush bathrooms.  I made a visit or two there and by 5:45 the bus loaded to take us to about the top of Middle Canyon.  This was a pretty small race and the entire contingent of half marathoners fit into one large school bus.  The drive seemed to take a while but we arrived around 6:10.

There were no bathrooms up there.  Luckily us guys (and some girls) could easily take care of business behind a tree.  Without much fan fair, the race started at about 6:30 (thank goodness there wasn't a huge wait up at the top).

Waiting at the top of the canyon

The Race

The first five miles are simply stunning -- and fast.  I hadn't really looked at the course profile other than it was primarily downhill and that I'd have a climb around mile 6 through 9.  I knew I was capable of something like a 1:47 - 1:52 but I never know how to race a primarily downhill race.  Do I hold steady? Do I take advantage of the hills? Do I blast down the hill?

I took a fairly conservative approach.  I put forth the effort that I would put forth if I was running a flat half, but didn't let the hills slow me down.  It seemed to work for the most part, but after nearly 2000 feet of elevation drop in five miles, my poor quads were shot by the time I hit the hills.  I think there is still some residual soreness from the Ogden Marathon in my legs as well.

I went out with a group of people and a few people got a head of me, but I managed to reel them in.  I felt comfortable in my pace, despite it being closer to 5K pace.  I didn't feel like I was working hard, but I was taking advantage of the hills.

Please note: All photos taken while running:

After going down the canyon you are greeted with a beautiful site of Salt Lake and Stansbury Island in the distance.  

After the first five miles are so you have to make a turn onto Smelter Road.  This is a lonely road looked harmless when we passed by it on the way to the top, but the evil lay right around the corner.  There was a good mile or two of incline.  It was just painful to go up it -- especially after your quads got beaten down on the downhill part.  You also had the sun in your eyes (I had completely forgotten about my sunglasses) and my 7:30 pace quickly turned into a marathon shuffle.  

I looked around though and saw that most of the other people were walking up this hill.  I kept running and post race a lot of the leaders said "I looked strong and good" but to be honest I felt like quitting at that point.  To feel so exhausted and beat up at mile 7 of a half marathon is just plain outright bad news:

On my way to Smelter Road

Hills await

I ran from the houses in the distance -- and still more to go

Where is the turn around point?

Finally at mile 9 (I thought I would never make it) I hit the 3rd water stop (they were kind of stingy with water stops: one at mile 2, one just after 6, one at 9 and finally the last at 11.25)  I was starting to tell myself this was a throw away race and the Smelter Road hill had totally killed me.

I was really dehydrated and I sucked down a bunch of Gatorade and water at the stop and started to make my way back down Smelter.  The guys at the water stop said it was mostly downhill to the finish and it certainly was.  By mile 10 I was finally back down to low eight minute miles.

At this point, too, I was largely running solo.  A slew of runners were behind me but the nearest front runner was at least three fourth's of a mile away.  I figured I was in the top seven and I just simply wanted to beat the 1:50 pace setter (they did have a pace setters there).

I was a bit worried that I wasn't going to be able to find the LDS church but I am happy to report that the people organizing this race had it down to a science and I crossed the finish line in 1:50:14 (or so).

Also what was a nice tough was that nearly every quarter mile was a large American flag.  It gave you reassurance you were going the right way and was just a nice touch to mark the miles.

Basic finish line for a small race

Backyard view at the church


After the race I drank a TON of Gatorade.  I think I started out the race slightly dehydrated and there were only 4 water stops on the course.  They had some basic food at the finish too: ice cream sandwiches, bananas and some protein bars.

You didn't get your finisher's medal until after everyone finished the race, which was sort of bummer.  They also only gave away awards to the top 3 overall.  Given the size of the race that is understandable though.  They also had printed certificates, but we didn't hang around for them.

I'd do this race again.  It isn't an easy course but it is a stunning course.  The price for the race was cheap ($45 with the 10% service charge), it started without any huge waits and while course support could use an additional water stop, I felt like I knew where I was going throughout the race.

Post race, I have some soreness and my plantar fasciitis is really bothering me.  I am not a huge downhill racer fan, but I can certainly understand why they lead to fast times.  I was hoping to get around 1:47 but I think the massive hill on Smelter took a lot out of me and my legs had a hard time rebounding after nearly 2000 feet of descent.  If I do this race next year, I'll know how the race works and be more prepared for the challenging section.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Reached a Milestone Plus More Running News

Milestone Reached

Faithful readers may recall that I set out a rather ambitious goal of running at least 2000 miles for the year.  While there are still a lot of months left, I managed to reach 1000 miles yesterday (5/26).  This is probably the most miles I've ever run over the course of nearly 150 days.  I think the benefits are showing up in my race times: I am quite a bit faster than where I left off in 2014 and shorter distance races "seem" easier.

I still have a ways to go to my grand milestone, but I am really pleased with the results of boosting the mileage.

I also think that doing planks and core exercises after nearly every run has also helped make me injury resistant.  It doesn't take much time and I sort of enjoy the cool down effect and hanging out in the park after my run.

Also, having a safe and level place to run has helped.  In Illinois, I often ran on banked roads and I really think that made me very injury prone.

New Shoes

I am sucker for a tech shirt and I am a sucker for Brooks Adrenalines.  I think I have about 5 pairs that I am currently cycling through.  Women are into heels ... I am into running shoes.

The other day I got an email from the Competitor Group who seem to be in cahoots with Brooks that if I bought at least $75 worth of merchandise I'd get a free tech shirt (from Brooks Running).  Looking at my current shoes, I figured I had maybe another month left on them and decided to fork over the money.

I am definitely a fan of the new colors and designs that Brooks offers.  I always hated the silver and blue ones from years ago.  My podiatrist highly recommended these shoes and they seem to work for me.  So for the last 10 years I've pretty much worn nothing but Adrenalines (I do buy an occasional pair of New Balance though).

Race Chosen for this Weekend

I had a choice of three races (well I had a lot more, but these were the best) and I wound up settling on one Tuesday night:

1) Jordan River Marathon (or Half):  I really wanted to do this race.  I was toying with doing the full but I started to get a head cold on Sunday night.  It graduated to a scratchy throat.  I felt fine, but I technically had a cold.  This race was also a little pricey and at the last minute they changed the course from a point to point (which I would've loved) to an out and back (bah).  Since the course was pretty much every place I'd already run before, I opted out on this one.  And to be honest, I'd feel like a puss if I "only" did the half.

2) Boys Chase Girls Half Marathon I totally wanted to do this one.  Logistically though it would've been painful.  I would've had to be on a bus with my packet no later than 5AM.  Factor in an hour drive and it meant leaving the house at 3:30 (at the latest).  That also means I'd have to be up no later than 3AM to get ready.  I really want to run in the Morgan area though.  Heartbreaking.  Morgan does have a marathon in the summer, so I may do that.

3) Oquirrh Mountain Half Marathon This is the race I chose.  I've driven by Tooele a ton of times on my way to Wendover but never really explored it.  Basically the Oquirrh Mountains are the mountains to the west of the Salt Lake Valley and I have yet to explore them (a lot of the area is private property) It is only about 30 minutes away.  It will be an early morning but the course is primarily downhill and promises spectacular views.   I am bringing my camera -- whether permitting.

Monday, May 25, 2015

2015 Race for Grief 10K Race Recap - West Bountiful, UT

Official Time: 49:13
Placement: 4th out of 7 (40 - 49 age group), 19th place overall
Results: Here
Race Website:Here
Weather: Low 50's, a little bit of rain at the start. No wind.

Mile Time Comments
1 7:45 Felt in control and about what I wanted to run
27:31A little fast but I was on the bike trail and there was a tiny bit of downhill. Also was making ground on people ahead of me.
38:05GPS lost track in a tunnel and I didn't click the lap until 3:06 miles.
48:10Ditto here... clicked lap at 4:04 miles
57:07Clicked it at 4.90. Geesh, I am all messed up.  Early on I got a bug caught in the back of my throat, had to pull off the course and try to be sick to get it out.
68:49Clicked it at 6.03
Total Miles: 6.23


I've seen this race on my race calendar show up and I've never gotten a chance to do it. I've always got a marathon planned or a "bigger" race during this time and it just never seemed to work.

However, with 2015 being the year "I run all the races" I decided to pony up $40 some odd bucks and jump into the 10K.  I was definitely looking for something to do and anything to get me out the house would suffice.

I don't think my legs would've held up in a half marathon situation so a 10K worked out nicely.  A good amount of speedwork coupled with some distance.

Also, West Bountiful, the race's location, is flat.  I think I've run on most of the course's spots at some point during the many races I've done in the Bountiful area.

The Race

I rolled out of bed at 5:30 and had my pre-race meal of Wheaties, an Arnold Palmer and a can of beets.  I wound up killing some time around the house before taking off at 6:30.  I got to the race site at about 7:00.  I am glad I gave myself some extra time as they are doing construction and I wound up missing my turn once I got into Bountiful.  Let's just say I took the scenic route to the race's location.

I picked up my bib / t-shirt without any problem and sat in my car until 7:45, when I began some light jogging and drills.

At this point it started to drizzle.  I definitely wasn't looking forward to a downpour, but a drizzle I'd love.  However, it did stop by the time the race started at 8AM.

Cotton race t-shirt.
The race started a little late.  Being that the race had a 5K component as well as a 2 mile walk, there were a lot of rookies.  I think people hadn't anticipated that it would take a fair amount of time to get their goodie bag, timing chip, t-shirt.  I would also guess the great majority of people were casuals but they did have a good crowd.

My goal was try and get under 49 minutes.  I wasn't sure how my post marathon legs were going to hold up but the weather situation as well as the flat course made it feel like it was doable.

The first two miles went by pretty quick and when I hit the 5K mark, my marathon-tested legs felt like they were just getting warmed up.  The distance felt like child's play, but the pace was definitely punishing.  How long would I be able to hold it?

After running 26 miles the week before, running 3 seemed so much easier.  However, what makes the 10K so challenging is that you are definitely pushing the pace, so the pain level is definitely upped a notch.

Mile 1 was on a residential street without a lot of traffic.  They had the corners and main traffic points manned, which was good.  Around mile 1.25 we jumped on the Legacy Bike Trail.  I've run a TON of races on this, so I knew exactly where I was and what the bike path was going to do.

However, what I didn't count on was how BAD the gnats were going to be.  They seemed to be even worse on the way back and around mile 4.5 I got one lodged in the back of my throat (after getting them lodged in the eyes and face).  I tried to clear my throat and get it out, but I was rewarded with a bout of the dry heaves!  Aha -- just like I had experienced at the Ogden Marathon.  I pulled off the course and tried to throw up but it wouldn't come.  I had to slow my pace and I never really seemed to recover after my rhythm was broken.  I suspect that this cost me an age group award, as the next guy ahead of me finished within 11 seconds!

The course was an out and back and I couldn't tell how many 40 - 49 year olds were in front of me, but I felt like I had a shot at an age group medal.  However, in the last mile, two guys my age drifted by.  In fact, the three 40 - 49 year olds that finished ahead of me were all within shouting distance.  So I was doubly pissed about the gnat situation.  I deal with gnats every day on the bike trail near my house, so I should've known better.


The finish Line at the Race for Grief

Finisher's Medal

So close
I wasn't really sure what my performance was going to be on this race.  Usually you aren't supposed to race for a good month after a marathon, and here I ran a fairly normal training week plus a race.  My pace felt really solid and in control for the first three miles.  I think the bothersome bugs threw me off my game as I was on fire working on solidifying my position and gaining on the folks ahead of me.

They had a lot of post race vendors and even some popcorn, but being that I was so close to my favorite Golden Corral, I just sucked down on a water, chatted up a few people and took off.  

Drown my sorrows in cheap carbs

I'd do this race again.  If I had run the 5K I would've easily nabbed an age group award, but I definitely wanted to run longer.  I liked the course and there was no confusion as to where to go.  They had plenty of volunteers on the course.  I was also happy to get a finisher's medal.  The t-shirt will probably be donated. I have a gazillion t-shirts and the cotton ones are more or less used as pajama tops these days.

 Overall, I am satisfied with my time.  It could've been better but it is on par with all the other 10Ks I've done this year.  Also the race supported a good cause and I was glad to take part in it.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

This week in running 5/17 - 5/23

DayMileage / WorkoutComments
SundayOffOff -- recovery from the Ogden Marathon
MondayOffOff -- recovery from the Ogden Marathon
Tuesday7Surprisingly went pretty far. Still a little sore, but needed some active recovery
Wednesday10.75Super good run. Not sure where this came from, but I went with it
Friday8Morning run... pretty good for about 6 miles, then faded.
Saturday5Easy running - just enjoying the weather and scenery
Total miles for the week: 37.75 - YTD: 985

Week's Summary

Well most rational post marathon plans say you aren't supposed to run a whole lot -- if any after a marathon.  Usually, I can't contain myself and am running the first day I possibly can.

In that regard, I am not too surprised with the volume this week.  However, nearly 38 miles with two days of rest is still quite a bit.

There is still a little bit of residual tiredness in my quads and I can feel my plantar fasciitis get a little cranky if I sit for long periods of time.  But overall, I feel really good.  The weather has been cool-ish here and I am coming off a fabulous race, so it is a bit hard to contain myself.  My pace on Friday morning was good as was my pace for Wednesday evening's.

To get my miles in, I did opt to run 8 on Friday morning -- at 4:45 AM.  I just sort of woke up, threw on some clothes and started running.  It wasn't until it started getting light out that I realized that I had put on two different shoes: one orange and one gray.  Luckily there weren't many other runners out there to catch my gaffe.  If the summer heats up, expect more morning runs.

Upcoming Races

I am not sure what I am doing next weekend.  Do I push the envelope and run another full?  Do I take some down time in preparation for Helena?  Maybe just a half?  It will likely be a game time decision and we'll see what the weather and my energy level holds for me.

Here's my schedule:

5/25: Race for Grief 10K in West Bountiful, Utah
5/30: Jordan River Marathon & Half Marathon (maybe -- not sure what distance)
6/13: Helena Governor's Cup Marathon (definite -- hotel book, registered)
7/11: Dam 15 Miler in Jordanelle / Park City Utah (definite)
9/5: Jackson Hole Wyoming Marathon (very very probable - I booked the hotel)
10.18: Denver Rock n Roll Marathon (planning stages, but probable)
11/15: Las Vegas Marathon (definite)

5/23 West Wendover Trip With Vixen and Slaughter Concert


Last weekend, Shari and I were sitting around trying to figure out what we wanted to do this weekend.  We talked briefly about making a day trip up to Wendover but we weren't really due anything (no free buffet nor any comp multipliers, etc).  

So we just said, why not live it up a bit this weekend instead?  I found rooms were still pretty reasonable, they were running 5X comps on Friday and I could see the (early) 90's metal (hard rock bands) Vixen and Slaughter on the cheap too.  So a few minutes later I booked what I needed to and the plan was set.

Friday Night

I had been counting down the hours (literally) until we left starting on Wednesday and once the clock struck four at work, I rushed home, threw together my stuff and we headed west.  The trip there was pretty uneventful other there were a TON of cops on the road.  We rolled in Wendover just before 6.

We had talked on the way out there where to eat.  Shari isn't a seafood person, so the pricey $27.99 seafood spectacular didn't appeal to her and I wasn't terribly hungry when we left.  However, when we rolled in, I was famished (big surprise, huh?)  We decided to see how bad the cafe was versus the buffet.  

I was pretty jazzed to be there and while Shari went to the bathroom I jumped on the nearest Fu Dao Le machine.  I threw in a twenty and before I knew it, I was hitting bonus round after bonus round.  I guess I hit the machine just in time and before it, my twenty had turned into nearly a hundred bucks!

After the machine went cold (and I could hear the rumbling in my stomach) I decided to cash out.  I checked the time and I was within ear shot of the sports book and discovered that if I wanted to bet on any baseball games, that now was the time.  It was fast approaching 6:30 and soon the final games would be locked out.  I studied a prop sheet and decided to take the Giants over the Rockies for $25.

This ticket would be a winner
We ate dinner at the buffet.  There was a bit of a line up but it moved quick enough.  It was expensive -- about $60 with tax for the two of us.  I pigged out on plate after plate of crab legs and got myself a tuna steak and other premium seafood.  

After dinner we got back in the car and headed on over to the Rainbow.  Our room was there and checkin was fairly painless.  I didn't get the upgraded room, but for all intents and purposes it was nice.  On the way to the room, I stuck in a few more bucks into Fu Dao Le and at first I was losing, but got some hot bonus rounds that brought my initial losses back up.

By the time we made it to the room and got settled, it was time for me to head on over to the concert hall to see Slaughter and Vixen.

Slaughter and Vixen

First off, I am not a super huge fan of either group, but I do own, I think, all of Slaughter's albums.  I also vaguely recall seeing Slaughter open at the Hard Rock Casino's "The Joint" before the hotel was officially open (I worked for a company that did a lot of work for the hotel and got to be in a pre-opening party).  Vixen, the all female hard group from the early 90's, is a group I didn't really know anything about.  If I was on a hypothetical trivia show, I would not be able to name any of their songs and I pretty much know a ton of 80's metal trivia.

I got a pretty decent seat at the last minute for $10 plus $5 service charge.  In fact, it was just down the row from where I sat at for the Bret Michaels show.  I guess it pays to go solo, as you get these one off seats:

Vixen turned out to be a pretty good show.  Again, I didn't know any of their songs, but they still looked pretty good.  

Vixen taking their final bows

Slaughter seemed to have gotten off to a slow start.  They jumped on around 10:15 and it would seem that the Peppermill concert hall has a very strict cutoff time.  From what I am told, Slaughter pretty much finished a song, just prior to eleven, walked off the stage and the house lights came on.  No encore, no farewell, nothing.  My guess is that if they are late, they have to pay the employees to stick around -- just a hunch.

I had left at that point though.  My reasons were thus:

  1. Vixen was loud, but you could understand everything they said and make out what they were singing.  However, during the intermission, the sound engineers totally turned up the volume.  To the point where it hurt.  Once Slaughter came on, all I could hear was "noise".  Maybe I am too old (they say if it is too loud, you are too old), but I could only make out a few of the words they were screaming and half way through a song, I'd be like, "Oh yeah, that was their big hit".  It just sounded like "noise".  I looked around and people were covering their ears so I wasn't the only one worried about their hearing.  Either way, I am already half deaf from too much metal in my younger years.
  2. The casinos were having drawings and at 11pm they were having their final drawing.  Now, I didn't have any huge hopes of winning anything, but I would've been upset had I been drawn and not been able to claim my prize.
  3. My ears were hurting (did I say that already)

Slaughter singing God knows what.

Post Concert

After the concert I headed on over to the Peppermill. My baseball ticket was nearly a sure thing, with the Giants up 11 to 6 or so in the bottom of the ninth, but the Rockies made it interesting and there was a length rain delay. It wasn't until close to midnight that could officially cash it.

I wound up playing some Fu Dao Le and circled the casino for a good hour.  I did dabble in some video blackjack, sometimes winning a few bucks, sometimes losing.  By the time I left the Peppermill though I was down to about a $20 profit.

I headed on over to the Rainbow.  Shari had already gone to bed and I was still sort of jacked from the show and gaming.  I tried my lucky machine that I had hit for $1000 a few weeks ago for another $40 and didn't get anything.  I tried a few others and wound up winning a few dollars, but nothing to write home about.  By 1AM I crawled into bed and turned out the lights for the night -- or so I thought.

Knocks in the Night

Around 3:30 in the morning I was jarred awake with Shari exclaiming that someone was knocking on our door.  I was like WTF.  I had taken a sleeping pill and in a daze I walked to the door and peeped out the hole.

Someone indeed was standing there.  They were about to knock again and I was like, "You've got the wrong room".

They replied, "Are you the owner of a purple Mazda?"

I replied, "Yes"

They said, "There was an incident with your car and the police are here and want to talk to you.  Someone damaged your car and we need you to take a report"  Apparently it was hotel security.

Shari was panicking saying it was a hoax and I was going to get jacked.  To make a long story short, I told them I'd meet them in the parking lot.  So I put on my clothes and bleery-eyed made it down to the parking lot.

Sure enough the West Wendover police were parked behind my car.  I thought at first that my car's front windshield had been broken but it was just the rain (it was raining lightly).

Turns out a drunk was wandering through the parking lot, figured it would be a wonderful idea to throw rocks at peoples' cars.  Mine was one of the two he apparently chose.

There was a tiny nick / gouge on the back window.  The drunk apparently was willing to pay for the damage and the police wanted my information and they also wanted to know if I wanted to press charges.

To a fault, I am a very forgiving person and the damage was pretty minimal.  So I declined to press charges.  I'll have to see if the window will pass inspection as I have an inspection coming up.  If it won't hold up, I'll  have to replace it (with the vandalizer paying for it) but I think I can live with it.  It is really minor:

You can see the scratch in the middle of the photo
To say the least, I didn't sleep particularly well the rest of the night.


Normally I go for a run in the morning and I was sort of regretting that I hadn't.  It was a really nice, damp morning.  However, running out in the desert on the damp ground means there is a HUGE likelihood of running into rattlers.  That, and I was really really tired.  

I wound up sleeping until 9:20 despite initially being up at 7AM.  I did get a chance to check out the Rainbow Hotel's pool area.  The jacuzzi's jets are a little underwhelming and it could've been hotter.  Also, it was kid's city, so it was hard to relax with kids jumping from the pool to the Jacuzzi and back:

Just shy of eleven, Shari and I headed over to Montego Bay for the breakfast.  Since it was Saturday, we weren't eligible for the 2-for-1 buffet ticket, but we did have enough comps for one of us to eat for free.  I did myself well there and inhaled a ton of food:

Faux pose of me pigging out.

Pineapple cake... so yummy
After eating, I wound up having a VERY nice run on another Fu Dao Le machine.  Be and some other woman were dueling with competing bonuses.  She was clearly the winner though and managed to turn her initial $200 into $600.  Me, I turned my $20 into a $100 and then some.  

I played for nearly an hour too and wound up hitting a $90 Minor Jackpot:

Nice $90 win
I almost got the red envelope jackpot twice.  My heart always skips a beat when I get the first column with a red envelope.  Unfortunately, the second envelope never appeared all weekend long.  I am WAY overdue for hitting that one.

We wound up circling the casino for another hour and I wound up putting in a few bucks more.  Nothing too outrageous happened though and just shy of 2 pm we hit the road and headed back to Salt Lake City.


  1. I ate like a pig.  It's all good though. It had been a while since I've had crab legs and my weight has been down.
  2. Vixen turned out to be a good show. Slaughter -- not so good.
  3. I played nothing but Fu Dao Le -- the entire time. Word kept on being loyal to this stupendous machine. Other machines tempted me, but I never left it.
  4. I won another baseball bet! 2 and 0!
  5. I left with about $320.  I came home with $304 and a pocketful of change.  I gave Shari $20, and I probably tipped about $20 throughout the time.  I am calling this a largely break even trip.
  6. I really wish the Rainbow security had called, rather than knocked on my door.  It scared Shari and to be honest, I thought I was getting conned and I was gonna get mugged in the parking lot.
  7. West Wendover police were very professional and I am glad they nabbed the guy and that the damage was minimal.
  8. Next trip is in early June. Can't wait.