Revel Canyon City Marathon Recap pt. 2

And... I'm back, four days later with the second part of my recap. I just wanted to give a few more details since this was the very first ever Revel Canyon City race and I know there are many out there thinking they would do this race in the future, so I want to encourage you to do it! First of all as I mentioned, it is all downhill, which means PR {personal record} time. It is also a Boston Qualifier and I would bet that many people would qualify here simply because it is a fast course.

We started at 5,748 feet of elevation and ended at 614 ft, which is a total net of -5,134 feet for the full marathon. Which basically is crazy. 

The first 13 miles are completely downhill. In the future I would probably have trained more downhill just to get my legs used to it, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Sure, downhill is much more difficult on your body and this race probably isn't the best thing for your body, but you can recover later. ;)

The first 13 miles wind back and forth a lot, so it doesn't feel like you're going straight downhill, which is nice. You can actually enjoy the view around you. Once you hit mile 14 though, there are a few straights and two incline hills that are worse than they seem. See that graph up there? The uphills look like nothing compared to the huge downhill, but don't let them fool you. You gain about 300 feet in elevation from 16 to 17, and gain a little more around mile 21, then the rest is a small, gradual downhill to the finish line.

I will say this race was super organized and I never felt like I didn't know what I was doing or where I was supposed to be. The expo was in a hotel that runners could stay at and all the volunteers were super helpful. I got this bag filled with information, some PowerBar samples, which I devoured immediately, temporary tattoos, a headband, and a technical short sleeved t-shirt. I actually ordered and paid for the long sleeve shirt, but since I was basically the last one at the expo they were out of my size. So they gave me the short sleeve version and a long sleeve pullover, which I absolutely love. It is probably my favorite thing from the race.

{tats and headband}

{pullover, excuse the awkward, poor quality photo}

And, the most beautiful piece of jewelry I've ever earned.

The medal is huge and heavy and worth every step.

The awesome thing about Revel races are the free race photos! Did I mention free? Which is really unheard of. If you want to purchase your race photos they can range from $30 for one photo to $70 for digital downloads, which is absolute crazy talk. They also uploaded them to your FB page automatically if you signed up for it. Here are a couple of the photos. You can see more by going to my FB page: arunnersgrace.

I cropped this one and blew it up for you to see my glory moment of crossing the finish line... holy muscle.

I forgot to mention that they have to bus you up to the start. So it took a little over an hour to get to the top, which basically meant a little over an hour for me to freak out and get nervous, but I honestly didn't really. I believe The Lord was providing me peace that surpassed all understanding and it was an incredible feeling. I do remember thinking that I just didn't want to be last. I wanted to finish and I wanted not to be last. Not that there is anything wrong with being last. I just meant that I didn't want to walk if I could manage to run the whole thing.

Then my goal went to finishing in under 5 hours. I figured that would be manageable, but I really didn't have a realistic mindset since I've never done this before. {Side note: the cutoff time is 6 hours.} As soon as the race started, I hit the half mark at 2:02 and thought to myself, even if I needed 3 hours to run the second half I could still do under 5 hours, and I was happy. Then when I reached 20 miles around a 9:30 pace, my goal became a little more ambitious. I knew I still had the hardest part left, an uphill, some flat, and the hardest 6.2 miles ever. I mentioned in my part 1 recap that I started slowing down some and I even walked through most of the water stations so I could make sure I was getting in the water and not just splashing it on my face.

Anyway, moral of the story, I crossed the finish line at 4:27:41 for my first full marathon. I can't believe I broke 4:30 and I am so ecstatic that I am already thinking of my next marathon... any takers to run with me?! ;)

I think that is all I wanted to tell you from the race. They also have a race in Colorado and one in Utah... look them up if you want a fast, destination race --> Run Revel.

Revel Canyon City Marathon Recap pt. 1

Well, I did it. I am officially a Marathoner! It was a whirlwind weekend and I can't believe it was already 2 days ago. Time really does go so fast.

First off, we wanted to leave early Friday to miss traffic in LA, but you know that your own plans never work out. So we ended up leaving really late into the afternoon and it took us 3.5 hours to go 100 miles. I ended up getting to the expo at 7:30 p.m. and it was over at 8:00 p.m. At least I got my packet and got to see the setup, although most of the tables were in the middle of breaking down when I got there. They had this backdrop setup and I got to take my 26.2 photo... and yes, the course really did look like this picture.

We checked into the hotel and I began to set out flat Amy to make sure I had everything ready to go before I went to sleep, and of course, I went through the bag I got at the expo and they actually gave us some really fun stuff. Temporary tattoos, a Revel headband, a technical shirt, a technical pullover, and a couple other things I'll blog about later!

I wanted to go to bed around 8:00 p.m., but due to traffic and time constraints, I made it to the hotel room at 8:00 p.m., shoving pizza into my face around 8:30 p.m. and in bed, finally, at 9:00 p.m. although I couldn't fall asleep until 9:45 p.m.

I woke up a few times during the night, but finally woke up for good at 3:30 a.m. Then, I made half a serving of oatmeal in a tiny hotel water glass, because I forgot a bowl, and ate with these wood sticks, because I forgot a spoon. Ha! Oh well, it worked. And I ate half of this bagel. So, basically I didn't eat much. I think I was nervous.

After an hour bus ride up to the top of the mountain, we finally made it to the top and it was gorgeous... and freezing! Luckily I had on pants and a fleece lined top to keep me warm until the start. I had to put my phone up after I took a few photos and they took our grab bags {the orange bag in the picture to the right of my head} down to the finish line for us to pick up after the race. Oh and at the top there is a cafe that was used for the 1980 Friday the 13th film... isn't that cool?!


Isn't this picture above just gorgeous? For the first 4-5 miles we ran above the clouds. It was probably the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. A little taste of heaven and God's absolute beauty.

Since the race was a BQ {Boston Qualifier}, it was a downhill course. The first mile was a little tight since everyone was starting at the same time, but it thinned out quickly and I looked down at my watch for the first time and we were already at mile 5. So to say it was a fast course is an understatement. The next time I looked down I had been running for over an hour and I hit mile 8. After that I started feeling a little pain since we were going downhill for the first 13 miles, but I tried to ignore it.

I was literally in a state of wonder during the first half of the marathon. The scenery around me was gorgeous and I remember just asking God how He could create something so magnificent. AND if these mountains are THIS beautiful, then how much more beautiful and majestic will heaven be?! Deep thoughts... as you can see it was a little emotional.

Around mile 14 I started slowing down a little. The decline gradually became flat for a few miles and we encountered our first hill at mile 17. It wasn't a huge hill, but it definitely was different than the downhill I was currently running so it actually felt good to have my legs do a different motion. As soon as I hit mile 20, I knew I only had 6.2 miles, but if you know anything about marathons then you know the last 6.2 is just as hard {if not harder} than the first 20 miles. So, the last 4 miles were the toughest for me, but luckily I had made friends along the way that ran with me and I stayed with a pacer for the last couple miles, which definitely helped.

And, at mile 24 I saw some of my friends and this sweet guy. He definitely gave me a push to finish the last 2 miles.

Then, I turned the corner and saw that beautiful, beautiful finish line, and I started sprinting. I couldn't even believe I had anything left to give to this marathon, but I did and as soon as I crossed that line I was filled with joy and gratefulness. I did it! Best and hardest thing I've ever done, and it was all worth it.

Thankful for this guy and all of his support throughout my crazy hours of training, and for being at the finish line when his face is the only thing I wanted to see. He is amazing and the best thing ever.
I am also thankful for all of YOU. For your support, encouragement, and prayers. I couldn't have done it without you keeping me accountable and I am so grateful. And of course, my Lord. He is more than we could ever imagine and I fully believe He carried me through this entire race. He keeps His promises to us and my faith is even stronger now after this experience. I am forever grateful.

More to come!

Marathon Playlist

The other day, I posted asking for all of your help with songs for my playlist... many of you commented and I just wanted to say THANK YOU! I took your suggestions and added some of them to my collection.

And... I finally finished my marathon playlist last night! I'm sure there are a couple songs I will repeat multiple times and maybe some I will skip if the timing isn't right, so this should be plenty to keep me entertained and jammin' out. Any I missed? Any on this list you didn't think of?

I'm excited to have a mix of songs and hopefully most will match my mood tomorrow. About to head to my favorite part of race weekend... the expo! If you've never been to an expo, you should probably just sign up for a race or just show up at an expo. It is awesome. So much excitement and anticipation filling the air and lots of yummy samples! ;)