As a REVEL ambassador, I have run most of the REVEL races, except Canyon City in Azusa, CA (just outside of Los Angeles), but since I was not running The New York City Marathon this year, my schedule opened up and I was super happy to finally get to run this one.
Now, since I already have a few marathons run in California, I thought I might just run the half here, but after running a 4:27 at the Chicago Marathon (a week after the Yeti 100 Mile Endurance Run) with little effort and lots of walking and just having fun, I wondered how far off my fitness was from that 2019 Boston Qualifier?
I did not have the best year of running this year with all that went on with me physically and emotionally, but I have worked hard the last few months getting my groove back. I have dropped a lot of the weight I put on and started training on a more regular schedule outside of just running races. So, I decided to give the Canyon City Marathon a go, just to see where I was.
I flew into Ontario, CA Friday morning. My plan was to just get and Uber to the expo, but when I saw that I could rent a car for $37.57 for the whole weekend (less than a one was Uber from the airport), I just rented a car. I was so glad I did.
They were out of economy cars so I got a free upgrade. I think it suits me. 😂
I drove straight to the expo and picked up my race packet and looked around before starting my shift at the information booth.
Got my compression on at the expo. I NEED these for home!
Selfie at the expo!
After I got my stuff and looked around, I had an hour or so to kill, so I drove around Azusa and hit a grocery store for some quick breakfast items.
I got back to the expo and started my shift early just to have something to do. I was fun answering all the runner's questions from "Where are the buses picking us up?" to "How cold will it be at the start?"
So great to see fellow Manaic and REVEL ambassadors, Maria and Ed! This was a special race for Ed as this would be his 100th marathon!
After the expo, I went and had dinner at a place called Papa Pizza Pie. It was a pizza and pasta place that was pretty informal, but they had great pizza. I ordered a small pizza and took the rest back to the Airbnb I was staying at.
Since I wasn't sure I would be able to come until pretty much the last minute, I didn't book a hotel. That was OK, because I have been having great luck with Airbnb and saving a lot of money on hotel expenses. I found a tiny little private room in a house about two miles from the start. There was nothing in it, but a twin bed and a desk, but I would just be sleeping and showering there, so for $25 a night, I grabbed it. It was clean and quiet so that was all I needed.
I needed to be at the bus to the start no later than 4:30AM, so I was up at 3:45AM. I got dressed, made a bagel and cream cheese and stopped at the 7-11 to for a cup of hot tea for the bus ride.
When I got in line for the bus, I saw my friend Jenn Pellegrino and her friend Stephanie! We got on the bus and started the most frighting bus ride EVER!! This had nothing to do with the bus or the driver, but the road is very crooked and steep. Every turn looked like the bus was going over the edge and when you are afraid of heights, well it was pretty scary!
Jenn, Stephanie and I trying to not look out the windows. Can you see the fear in our faces?
The start area was cold, but REVEL always does a great job of having extra Mylar blankets and gloves up there to keep as warm as possible. There were plenty of port-a-potties with pretty short lines considering I was on one of the later buses.
Just before the start we gathered as many Manaics as we could find and took a photo, loaded our drop bags on the truck and the race got started!
Maniacs at the Start!
From the very start the scenery is gorgeous! Looking at the elevation chart, it looks like you just have a nice straight downhill run to the finish. If you believe that you would be wrong. Yes this has some great downhill sections on the first half, but the course has a lot of bends. I tried to run the tangents the best I could, but it was tough.
Looks easy right? No.
It is so crooked!
The downhill sections are fast, so it can be hard to hold back. I was warned by many people about the hills in the second half, so I did my best to take it easy. If Big Cottonwood has taught me anything, it is to hold back enough to have legs left for the hard parts of the course.
The course is gorgeous!
I the first half felt great. I wasn't going hard and was staying well under my BQ pace!
Mile 1 -8:49
Mile 2- 8:22
Mile 3- 9.15 (Bathroom Break #1)
Mile 4- 8:09 (EASY GIRL!)
Mile 5- 8:26
Mile 6- 8:40
Mile 7- 8:41
Mile 8- 8:30
Mile 9- 8:27
Mile 10- 8:29
Mile 11- 8:25
Mile 12- 8:27
Mile 13- 10:09 (Bathroom Break #2)
Stephanie and I having fun!
Can you see the runners?
Love these plants!
Still feeling GREAT!
The second half of the course is where the hills were. Now when I look at my elevation stats, the hills here didn't seem that significant. I guess they weren't if you were going in a straight line, they were long switch backs that made them feel twice as long and even going easy, 13 miles of real downhill still takes a toll on the legs.
Looking at my splits, the first climb came at mile 14.
Mile 14- 8:44
Mile 15- 9:35
Mile 16- 10:51
Just past mile 15 and still feeling good.
I felt OK on this hill and even the smaller climbs. Even though my pace slowed, I was still able to run them.
Mile 17- 9:20
Mile 18- 8:17
The next long climb started at mile 18.
Mile 19- 10:11
Mile 20- 10:31
Now going into this race, my intention was not to BQ, but to see how far I needed to be to get that 2019 BQ this year, but once I knew I had a really good shot at it, I didn't want to lose it! I knew if I could get to mile 20 in three hours, I would just have to maintain just under 10:00 miles for that BQ. I hit mile 20 in 3:00:18! YES! I HAVE GOT THIS!
Mile 21- 9:03
Mile 22- 8:54
Mile 23- 9:49
JUST STAY THE COURSE! YOU HAVE GOT THIS!!
At mile 23, I could feel my legs wanting to quit, but I pressed on the best I could.
Mile 24- 10:34 NOOOO! YOU MUST STAY UNDER 10:00!!
I am starting to struggle.
Then out of nowhere just before mile 25, my legs just would not move. COME ON LEGS GO!! They said no and I had to walk. I ran a little and my legs violently protested.
Mile 25- 11:37
Mile 26- 11:35
Last .2- 11:15
And just like that, in the last 1.5 miles, my BQ was gone. Final time 4:04:16. 😢
After I finished, I sat down disappointed, but I realized that over the past year I had lost a lot of speed and fitness. This was the fastest marathon I had run since May of 2016! I immediately felt gratitude for where I am now. Am I where I want to be? Not yet, but I am headed in the right direction and for that I am proud of myself and I will celebrate that!
Jenn, Stephanie and I at the finish!
Robert and I at the finish!
Finally got to see Run It Fast founder Joshua Holmes at a race!
Celebrating with my Cali friends!
I got the Triple Reveler Medal for running my 3rd Revel race this year!
This was definitely the hardest of all the REVEL courses, but it is still a MUST DO! REVEL races are so great. The course is beautiful, the swag is great, you get all your high quality pictures FOR FREE! What more could you ask?
I can't wait for REVEL Mt. Charleston!!