January 6, 2011

Runnin' the Strip and Rockin' into 2011

Happy New Year everyone! Life seems to be settling back into somewhat of a normal state now that we have the 2010 holiday season behind us. I made the terrible mistake of weighing myself at the end of last week. Let's just say I won't be doing THAT again for a couple of weeks! Why must sugar be so evil?

For the 2nd time since we have been together, my husband and I decided to spend New Years Eve in Vegas. Decided probably isn't the way I would describe it - HAD TO is the way I saw it. One of my favorite bands, 30 Seconds To Mars was playing an NYE show at The Palms in The Pearl Theater. This wasn't your ordinary concert experience either. Aside from the fact that the theater holds a maximum of about 1,500 people, the ticket package included a Meet and Greet with the band, concert shirt, bag, pictures with the band (woo hoo!!!) and early VIP entry into the theater. 

That's nice Vera, but what the heck does this have to do with running? Two things, the first is that I LOVE to run the Strip, especially early in the morning when the all-night partiers have already cleared the streets and sidewalks. Some are still out in full force. Last summer some young drunk guy tried to pass me his drink as I ran by like he was at a water stop. Meh.... moderately funny.  

The second thing is that the lead singer of 30 STM played Pre in the movie "Prefontaine" (I did not know this when I was starting to become a huge fan of the band) so for me, 30 STM and Running go hand in hand. Their music is great to rock out to whether I'm on the treadmill or at the beach.

So enough gushing about this band... let's get to the Strip! I decided to do something different for this first new blog of the New Year - a short video diary of me running. The pictures and video I took during the run were captured with a new camera I got for the hubby for his b-day last November. We've used it a few times, but not as a "sport" camera. I am really impressed with the quality of the still pictures and the video. The camera is a Kodak Playsport High Def Waterproof Pocket video camera. Aside from this picture I took of the Stratosphere (where we were staying), the other pics I've embedded here were all taken while I was running. I mean literally running - and none of them came out blurry. Impressive!!!  

I used some very simple software, Windows Live Movie Maker, to make my very first video. Trust me, if I can figure out how to import, edit and add text and effects, it means small children are likely capable of figuring out how it works. :-) The camera will record in 1080p, but I used 720 since I wasn't terribly concerned about the quality of my home movie.  The still pictures are 5MP quality. Several of my friends have told me they felt like they were with me on the run, which was exactly my intent in doing this in the first place!! I guess I know what's it's like to run with me now too! I'm a huge dork, as you'll see, but this is one of the funnest runs I've had in a while. It's the fastest 8.25 miles you'll ever run - 4 minutes in length, taking us from the Stratosphere to the MGM Grand and back again. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I loved making it!!!

I think this is at the Venetian. 

I love this pic not just because NY NY looks so cool from this angle, but check out that surveillance camera in the upper left corner. Classic Vegas. I didn't even notice it until we got home.

Not exactly sure which hotel this is in front of. Maybe the Palazzo?

Believe it or not, I did not stop to take this picture. This is a "drive by" shot as I was running past the hotel.

Ooooooh, clear sidewalks!!!!

The front of Caesars Palace (facing the Strip).
The stage likely had either a band or dancers during the NYE celebration. 

And now for the really cool part of the day.... meeting the band and rockin' into 2011. Aside from our wedding, this night ranks high on my list of "The Best Day Ever". The band announced early in December or late November that the theme of the night would be related to a video of theirs recently released. Let's just say it was a Masquerade of sorts. Here's me and the hubby in our masks. FUN!!! I had the band sign the concert shirt we were all given. John had the band sign his mask which I thought was a fantastic idea!!  You can see the where the lead singer signed his mask in the center where the sheet music piece is placed.

The Triad necklace I'm wearing is a symbol used by the band. Fans wear them, Jared wears one.
I mentioned I was a dork, right? :-)

And now for the moment I've been waiting YEARS for.....  me and the band!!!!
From left to right: Tomo Miličević (lead guitarist), Shannon Leto (drummer), ME!!!!, Jared Leto (Lead singer, guitarist)

Of course our camera died while John and I were taking pics of ourselves in the hotel room before we left and we didn't have an extra battery for it. We didn't think security would let us bring the the pocket video camera into the venue with us even though it also takes stills, so the concert pics below were taken with John's android. We were front and center in the Pit, about 2 people back from the stage. It was INSANE. With my claustrophobia, I made it about 25 minutes until I just couldn't take the people squeezing and body odor. And you can bet I wasn't wearing tennis shoes with that dress. Heels all the way baby!!!

I hope everyone had a safe and fun-filled New Years weekend!  My training has really kicked into high gear this year. As of this coming Sunday, I'll already be up to 30 miles a week. 'Tis the our season, right? ;-)


Kelly said...

Ah Man! AWESOME! I had the hugest crush on Jared in high school. My So Called Life! In Love! Great mask by the way...you look great! Happy New Year!

Pavlos Athens said...


Anna Walker said...

They are a great band I am so jealous you got to met them!


Vera said...

Thanks everyone! I still haven't watched My So Called Life, Kelly - but it's on "my list". ;-)

Detroit Runner said...

Great run down the strip!

Rachelle said...

You've inspired me to run on the strip when I go to Vegas in February except that I go after we get done running 11 miles on the 11th. We'll see! And yes, you should check out My So Called Life. I had a big crush on Jared Leto in that. He plays a high school dyslexic and Claire Dane's love interest. It's probably kind of dated now though. Thanks for the post Vera!

Vera said...

Thanks D-R! And Yay Rachelle! Good for you - can't wait to hear all about it!

mr. pineapple man said...

love the pics! i need to start working out now...