Thursday, November 12, 2015

Revel Canyon City Marathon Recap

I ran the Revel Canyon City Marathon last Saturday. It did not go as well as I'd hoped but there were a few bright spots in it.

The RCC Marathon is run down Highway 39 in Azusa, CA which is just 20 minutes from where I live. Notice I said "run down"? That's because it has an elevation drop of 5100 ft!

Insane, right? But also an opportunity to maybe run a really fast race. Which is why I signed up for it. I knew that Long Beach Marathon was going to be hot and I wanted one more chance this year to PR the marathon. This seemed like the ideal place to do it.

The only problem was that by the time race week arrived, I had lost my confidence in being able to run that fast. I was tired. Maybe overtrained. Probably burnt out from racing. I really did not want to run it. I even told Joshua (@bayou) that I was thinking of bailing on it a couple of days before the race. But he was doing it too and after talking with him a bit, I decided to go through the motions and see what happened.

Since the race was Saturday, we had to pic up our bibs at the expo on Friday. I took a long lunch to drive over and pick up my bib and shirt. I met Joshua there and then it was a quick in & out at the expo to get our stuff, buys some gu (Josh), and take a pic. It was Josh's idea to pic that sign! I hoped it would be a good sign for both of us.
They only had a few booths in the expo so for once I made it out of an expo without spending any money! One ominous sign was that our race packed included a mylar blanket and gloves! It was going to be a very cold start. Yikes!

After the expo, we started our carb loading at Jimmy John's. #14 for Josh and my usual #12 for me.
Good eats (thanks JH!) and fun conversation helped me get over the race blahs a bit. After that, I went back to work and finished out my day. Had my usual pre-race dinner and went to bed relatively early. I had slept 9-9.5 hours the previous 3 days so was feeling rested.

I woke up at 3, ate a little something, and then got ready for the race. I drove over a little before 4 and made it about 4:20. Josh let me know he was there so I we met up to catch the bus to the start line. It's always kind of a mind trip to drive the course backwards. Luckily, it was dark so I didn't see too much a long the way. After more talking with Josh about strategies, I decided I was going to go for sub 4 even though I wasn't sure I had it in me. He thought gravity would help me get there and I hoped he was right.

It was cold at the top! But also very pretty. There were not a lot of people running so it made the logistics of the race really easy. Soon enough it was go time!

The race started promptly at 7 and we were off! And boy were we flying! It really was insane. I had gotten in behind the 3:55 pacer and had to work to slow down and stay with him. I managed to stay behind him for 6 or 7 miles and then found myself running ahead of him. I wasn't breathing hard at all so I let myself go just a little. I didn't want to get too crazy though so I walked the next couple of aid stations to let him catch back up.

I knew that I was running a good pace and just hoped I could keep it. When we got to mile 10, I looked at my watch to see the time and it was 1:28:30ish. Woo! 10 mile PR! My previous PR was 1:34:16 (2012) and I was disappointed I hadn't been able to beat it at the Terrifying 10 Miler so it was sweet to see it during the run.

When we hit the 13.1 mile mark, I checked again and PR again! 1:56:30ish. My previous PR for the half was 1:57:26 (2011) and I was excited to finally see that number drop too. Woo!

But after that, things went south. Way south. The next 4 miles had a slight uphill and my legs were toast. Then when we started back downhill again my quads, my shins, and my right foot were really unhappy. Extremely unhappy. And I ended up walking pretty much the rest of it. It was a slogfest to the end. I just kept moving. The course was beautiful but I didn't even pause to take pics. All I cared about was finishing.

I had some low moments. But got a nice surprise about mile 24. I thought for sure Josh had left when he'd finished. I'd told him not to wait for me and I expected him to finish fast. I didn't know though because there was no cell service up there. But at mile 24, we had to cross a big intersection and I remember thinking don't get hit by a car (which there were police there so of course I wouldn't but still!) and then I saw Josh across the street. Yay! I was so happy to see a friendly face! He ran the rest of the way in with me.
 He took these pics of me on the last stretch before the finish (the other photo is pre-race). And then I was done! Finally! 5:31ish. Boo! But yay I was done!
I had to sit down for a while after. The race had ice cold towels at the finish and I laid it over my legs which were on fire. But it gave me a chance to take a closer look at my medal. Pretty impressive bling, eh?

I think I'm burnt out on running and racing. I am happy that I set a 10 Mile PR and a half marathon PR during this race but overall, I'm left with a BLEH feeling about my run. Don't get me wrong, the race itself is awesome - great, fun, beautiful course, great aid stations, easy expo and race logistics, great bling, and FREE race pics! I am planning to do it again next year!

No, the thing I'm bleh about is that it was my last chance to PR the marathon this year and I'm mad that I didn't make that goal. I'm not happy that I have yet another 5+ marathon. I'm not happy that I walked so much. I really don't even count this as running a marathon in my own head. 4 marathons this year and 3 of them were crap. I am tired of it. I'm tired of training. I'm tired of running. I'm just tired. Not sure what I'm going to do because if you saw my last post, you know that I normally love racing and it's a party for me. But I just don't have that joy in me right now. My next race is the Avengers Half Marathon this Sunday and I'm not even excited for it. That's how bad it is.

But...I don't want to leave this post on a bad note. I am excited that I will be going to my happy place this weekend. I'm excited that I get to take my mom to Steakhouse 55 for breakfast and then to Disneyland after the race. I'm excited that I am going to Season of the Force next Thursday at Disneyland. I'm excited that I get to dress up as Black Widow on Sunday.

I just need to get excited about running in my outfit now...

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Terrifying 10 Miler - My 100th Race

The Terrifying 10 Miler was my 100th race! 100 races! Who'd have thought that the girl who spent most of her life out of shape would run 100 races. Here's the stats:

Race Distances:
Ultras - 8
Marathons - 15
Halfs - 36
10Ks - 14
5Ks - 17
Other races - 10
Races in California: 77 (not surprising since I live in Southern California!)
Races in other states: 23 (AZ-5, KY-1, NM-1, NV-4, NY-1, OR-1, SD-3, TN-4, TX-1, UT-1, WA-1)
Races By Year
2009 - 2
2010 - 4
2011 - 12
2012 - 29
2013 - 19
2014 - 14
2015 - 20

Yes, I'm a geek and I keep track of my races in an Excel spreadsheet.

But back to the Terrifying 10 Miler...

The race was held on October 25th at Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point. We could get our bibs on race morning so I drove down that morning. It was dark when I arrived and after I got my bib and shirt, I walked down to the beach to watch the sunrise. So beautiful!

Then I went back to the car to drop off stuff and finish getting ready. I only had time for a short warm up before the race started since the restroom line was long.

The race started at 8am. We only ran along the water for a little bit and then turned inland. And BAM... hills right away. I have got to look at elevation profiles before I sign up for races! It was a lot of rolling hills, a couple of short steep sections, and one big hill at the turn around.

I felt okay for the run. My legs didn't seem to have a lot of pep for the hills but I think I did pretty well running hard on the downhills. My coach had wanted me to run it at 8:45 pace but that didn't happen. I only walked one tiny bit of one hall to adjust one of my socks but otherwise, I ran it all. I tried to focus on running the downhills hard to prep for RCC Marathon which is all downhill.

A few people had passed me in the middle miles and I was able to pass 2 of those women back at the end. There was boy and his dad who I tried to catch at the end which helped me run hard but I couldn't catch the Flash (the 10 year old's costume) and he beat me. Argh! Oh yeah, I was dressed as a pirate! Lol! My time was 1:37:19. So about a minute per mile slower than I'd hoped. Sigh.

I got my medal... but wait, a Turkey Tri medal?

The trick was on us! Our medals had been delayed in customs so they handed out random medals to runners. Some people got Christmas medals and some people got Thanksgiving medals. It was kind of funny. After that, I waited around for the results to be posted. I knew there weren't that many women in front of me so I was hoping to place in my age group because the Age Group awards were cute! And boom! 2nd in my Age Group! Woo!
Some pirates have a phantom rubber ducky on their shoulders instead of a parrot.

 Close up of the AG award in front of the Haunted Mansion (where else would I celebrate?).

The 45-49 Age Group with Jack Sparrow. Lol,

Later that day, I celebrated my AG Award, 100th race, and oh yeah, hitting 2000 miles for 2015, at Mickey's Halloween Party. So fun!

It was a fun-filled Halloween themed day. I love Halloween! Speaking of... I got my actual medal for the race in the mail on Halloween, which totally seemed appropriate. Love it!
Thanks for reading! Hope you were able to do a fun Halloween run and dress up!