A few months ago I registered for my umpteenth race, the Revel Canyon Half Marathon. It’s a downhill race that looks absolutely beautiful. The race is fairly close to where I spent some of my growing up years too, so that made it even more appealing. And being mostly in the mountains I thought it would be a great course to do in autumn.
As usual, before I registered I checked out the course map. Now I have to tell you. I miss read these things all the freakin time. So I should be used to the little (BIG) surprises that come up on race day. But this one … I REALLY MISUNDERSTOOD. And thank goodness I found out way before race day. YES I saw the elevation changes but none of it really looked too intimidating … until today.
This morning I had planned to check out the course for Revel Canyon. I thought I would drive up to see what I could expect on race day. I figured it would be a nice drive and I planned on running at least a portion of it.
Um … yeah … that didn’t happen.
It was a two lane highway that had no room for a pinecone let alone a runner. On one side was rocks and uneven dirt. What I came to call the “break an ankle” side. And on the other side, it had vary degrees of, “Oh my god, if I slip I’ll plummet to my untimely death.”
Yeah … NO RUNNING THERE TODAY. Clearly the only safe option was the road when it was closed, and it wasn’t, so I passed on risking life and limb.
BUT I did take a lovely 11 mile drive up the mountain. I started calculating my distance from where the finish line will be in November. Up I went. I didn’t need to go the full 13 miles up … I got the picture. Crystal. Clear.
This course is outta my league.
Don’t get me wrong. I actually love running hills. It’s a weird qwerk of mine. As much as I loath climbing a hill, it’s downright indescribable how I feel after reaching the top. Hills at a race generally don’t scare me either, especially after running Nike’s full marathon in San Francisco. That had 10 miles of hills and I survived running that course TWICE. But Revel appears to be a different kind of beast altogether … and for some reason this both terrifies and excites me.
Revel Canyon … sigh. Yep, this one is going to scare the heck out of me. But I’ll just keep reminding myself that it’s in those moments, when I am absolutely pushed to my breaking point, drowning in my own aspirations (and sweat) … that I feel … most alive.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you are happy to be in over your head!!!