After 50 or so trips to Vegas, my focus has changed and so has my lifestyle. I've done about everything I've wanted to in Vegas, and had a lot of fun doing it. This may sound crazy, but this past week's trip was primarily taken to get some warm-weather running in. Sure, there are better venues elsewhere for this type of endeavor, but Vegas is what I know best and is an economical place to visit. Flew out of Rockford, IL on Allegiant for $150 RT. Surprisingly, both flights arrived ahead of schedule. One of the pilots told me he thought the company was starting to get their act together more. The first full day was started by losing a $50 MP (had a 20 to dealers 12 and she drew a 9) from Allegiant flt mag for Golden Gate, plus another $50 after she next dealt herself a BJ. Oh well, credit to Golden Gate for offering a $50 MP. That was the extent of my gambling for the trip. After picking up my LVA book and having an omelet and some fresh fruit at the Palace buffet, it was off to Lake Mead to begin the running vacation. There is a new 35-mile paved trail between Henderson and Lake Mead. I parked at a trailhead near Railroad Pass Casino and put in about 20 miles, running to the dam and back. What I did not notice at first was the gradual decline to the lake. I certainly noticed the incline on the way back, though. I had plans to drive into Boulder City to visit a few folks, but a bad head cold and some body chills told me to go back to Silver Sevens and sit in the outdoor hot tub. Later that night, I returned my rental car and had a mediocre buffet at the Silverton. Other than the long run, the rest of the day kind of sucked, for various reasons too trivial to discuss. Day 2 was spent laying in bed until about noon, still feeling the effects of the cold and body aches. Got to give credit to Silver Sevens (formerly Terribles) for a very comfortable bed. Between that and a daily soak in the hot tub, I couldn't have been more pleased with my $26/nite room (plus resort fees). Feeling a bit reinvigorated that afternoon, I made it over to the UNLV track for a few laps, managing to get close to 10 miles in, relishing the warm sunshine and the soft surface of the track. One thing about putting the miles in is that mucho calories get burned off, as many as 3,000 in a marathon. A bit hungrier, I walked over the Gold Coast for the buffet that night. I haven't been there for a few years and am happy to say it is better than I remember it, especially for quality. Prices have gone up, but it still remains one of Vegas' better value buffets. Day 3 started with 7-mile run and accidentally hooking up with a group of people that do timing for road/trail races. They were having a convention at the Linq and doing a practice timed run early that morning on the Strip. Organized race running (like the Vegas marathon) is a big business, as evidenced by the fact timers from all of the world were present and an entire convention could be had on just one aspect of race organization. After a short break back at the hotel, took off for another run, this time around McCarran Airport and the trails at Sunset Park (by the southeast corner of the airport). That totaled15 miles. To get the calories count back up, used the $10 off LVA coupon for the PH buffet. Maybe it was because of my cold and not quite having the taste buds up to par, but the PH didn't have much taste. Frankly, I preferred Gold Coast. Plus, I don't care for place like PH that won't heat crab legs. Another difference in the two was that Gold Coast had a perfectly cooked medium rare strip loin, while PH's prime rib was overdone. And, much better service at GC. Day 4 was travel day so I was limited to a morning run only. It was a repeat of the McCarran loop, about 12 miles. Got back in time for a quick soak, a convenient meal at the subpar-to-average SS buffet and a walk to the airport. Final totals - 60 miles running and another 15-20 miles walking. In retrospect, the saving grace for this trip was the sunny 60-degree plus weather all week. If it would have been in the high 40s & low 50s, as predicted for the following week, it wouldn't have been worth my time. It felt good to rid myself of the running tights, layered long sleeves, headware and mittens and dress only in shorts and a teeshirt. No entertainment, no drinking, only two hands of BJ, no fancy meals. It still worked for me, even being under the weather.