Revel in it ALL!

When I was in fresh out of high school I remember taking a weekend trip with some friends to Denver.  We spent time eating at great restaurants and relishing in the wonderful city.  I fell in love.  Since then I just always knew someday (still in progress) that I'd end up living in Colorado.

There are some great marathons to run in Colorado but I set on Revel Rockies.  Known for its fast finish times and mostly downhill (extremely downhill) course, I figured I'd give it a shot.  My friend Jaime (pictured below) has actually ran it and won the women's overall category for this race so I picked her brain and got tips on training for this race.

My running buddies, (me, Mikey, Jaime)
Elevation chart from
Downhill racing is MUCH different than any other race.  When someone says "oh that's easy because its all downhill", while the exertion factor may be less, the recovery for me was almost unbearable.  I've never had such a tough time recovering from a race than this one.  The first half started off great and I actually PR'd my half time the first half.  Then came mile 16 where there was some hills.  This changed the dynamic and I wasn't prepared for it.  I hadn't realized until then the harsh downhill pounding my legs were taking and it became almost unbearable to run.

I trudged through to the finish and ended up with a finish time of 3:45:31.  So there it was, Marathon number 9 completed.  The course overall was beautiful.  I love being in the mountains and starting up in the mountains with snow still on the ground was refreshing.  Overall the race was well organized and enjoyable.  However, (never say never), it is highly unlikely that I'll run a race of this type again.  It literally took me 3 weeks to feel back to normal.  The recovery was long and harsh.

Reflecting back, I realize one of my mistakes was this race.  I went in with high hopes of a stronger finish time and even though I tried to train on downhill runs, I just didn't realize how intense this would be.  Having already scheduled my next marathon for 3 weeks later, I never got the recovery I needed and kept pounding away.  

There were still local races I was doing and even though I was enjoying it, I didn't realize I planted a ticking time bomb that would shock my motivation (and not just in running terms), in the coming months.  More to come as I'll give you the insight on Marathon 10 in the next post!

Along the course

Currently things are still progressing.  Learning more each day and as Thanksgiving is on the radar this week, I'm just thankful that I have the opportunity to run and continue being able to go after things in life that make me happy.  Those things continue to change.  Even at this stage in my life I realize people, things, the world itself keeps changing.  I'm always learning to adapt to it and try to embrace the change rather than hold onto old thoughts and ideas.  The biggest struggle now is learning to memorialize and mourn some of those changes.  Losing friends, concepts and ideas of loved ones, even something so simple as a new season of baseball!  All of it, in its beautiful complexity, I'm just thankful for it all.

This thanksgiving week I'm thankful for my family who will be coming to visit.  We plan to do one of the local thanksgiving day runs.  Last year I was fortunate to run and my 3rd overall female finish earned me a pumpkin pie!  Not sure I'll press that hard this year, but I anticipate I'll defiantly be eating some pie this week!

Thank you all for being on this journey with me.  I wish you all the happiest of Thanksgivings!

Hobbler Gobbler 10k 2018 Kellie 1st, me 3rd, and Jaime 2nd overall female finishers
 Thanks for reading!  Marathon 12 is less than 2 weeks away and I'm REALLY looking forward to this one.  St. Jude has a special place in my heart.  If you'd like to support them, please consider making a donation.

On the drive home leaving CO after the race, full double rainbow.


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