Race Recap: Revel Marathon | Big Bear

On October 14th I ran my 2nd marathon. I said I would never run another marathon after the LA Marathon in 2016 because it was one of the hardest things I’d ever done. But, I don’t think anyone believed me. So, this summer while training with my son for his first half marathon, Cedar City Half Marathon, I caught the bug to run another marathon. Mostly, because I felt that my time was so slow, I had to beat it. I decided I’d sign up for a fast downhill marathon and I would be almost guaranteed to finish faster than LA! The good news, I did! I beat my time by almost a full hour! The bad news, marathons are still hard.

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 Look at all these goodies that came in my swag bag!!

Big Bear was my first Revel Race Series race and I gotta tell you, they put on a great event! I had volunteered at packet pickup last year for the Mount Charleston race here in Las Vegas and felt they did a great job with the expo here and I think the expo for Big Bear was also excellent. Everything went smoothly, the volunteers were friendly, and I loved their free photo booth and photo ops! When we got to our hotel room, I went through my bag and I was super impressed with the swag. I really liked that they provided a space blanket and even some gloves since the start line was going to be cold! They also had all kinds of other goodies and coupons!

I had listened to Coach Paul’s videos on their facebook page and those videos were awesome. Coach Paul is the online training coach for Revel Races and he gave a lot of really good and useful information about downhill running, what to expect from the course, nutrition, etc. I highly recommend checking out those videos!

On race morning the weather was perfect for running! Cool and overcast most of the way. The course was as expected, thanks again to Coach Paul’s video! At the expo, I grabbed a pace band and was really impressed that it wasn’t a generic bracelet, but rather the pace was calculated by the actual course. So, the sections towards the beginning of the race that were uphill and had rolling hills were accounted for and the downhill parts too. Now, this is the first time I had used one of these bracelets, so I honestly don’t know if that’s the norm or not, but like I said, I was impressed! I can also say that it was really helpful to me! Thanks to the hubs for insisting I check them out!

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Most of the course was beautiful and although I was nervous about there being no spectators cheering us on from the sidelines, I don’t think it affected me too much. I had my curated playlist to help me along and the volunteers at the aid stations were all cheerful and friendly, so that helped too! The first 9 miles were pretty hilly (as expected) and not the fast downhill start I was used to from my training. I stuck to my pace band times and was pretty on track until I had to use the lovely port-a-potty so that was 3 minutes I lost. I tried to make them up and by mile 13 I was back on track. This was also when the course started to get “faster” and downhill! I don’t know if I pushed too hard trying to regain those 3 minutes or what but by mile 18, I started to lose my momentum. By mile 22 I was really struggling! I tried to pull it together and find some inner strength but there just wasn’t much there! I was grateful to my playlist for keeping me going, but it didn’t stop the tears from coming! What is it with me and crying during a marathon!?! Tell me I’m not alone! I managed to pull myself together and thanks to a few friendly runners who cheered me on and the spectators once I reached the finish line area, I finished strong. Or as strong as possible and I even managed to not cry again when I got my medal and saw Jason at the finish line! I came close, though!

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One thing I didn’t like about the race was that once we got into the town, the drivers were not too careful of us runners! Although we kept to the right of the cones on the street, some cars still drove on the side that was for us and came super close! We mostly ended up running behind each other on the shoulder to not risk getting run over! No pun intended! I know the race directors can’t control the drivers, so I can’t fault the race itself for that. The town was not scenic either and this is is the end of the race so I could have really used some nice distractions, since I was beat!

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All in all, I would recommend this race or any of the Revel Races to anyone looking for a downhill marathon or half marathon course. It’s not a huge race event, like the Rock n Roll events, but it’s not a small bare bones event either. Personally, I think it’s just the right size! You get great support on course, have a fun finish line festival area with music, beer, pizza, and donuts, FREE race photos, and even a video slideshow for you to share on social media!! I’m looking forward to adding another Revel Race to my calendar for 2019, but most likely it will be a half marathon :)




Race Recap: Cedar City Half Marathon

Oh hey! It’s only taken me a month to jump back on the blog and share how our race actually went! My bad! It took me a while to figure out how I would approach this one. Since I was super open and honest in my last post about what it was like running and training my 13 year old son, I figured I’d keep it open and honest here too.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect on race day. I didn’t want to have high expectations of what running a half marathon with my son would be like. I didn’t want to dream of bonding while on the course and such! I just wanted him to finish and most importantly, to enjoy the race. I’ve been running races, mostly half marathons for about 5 years now and my family travels with me pretty often, so they know about packet pick up, early morning start times, banana for breakfast, long lines for port-a-potties, etc. But it was still pretty cool to actually be experiencing these routine and normal pre-race activities with my son and seeing his reaction to them for the first time as a runner. EEK! I just called him a runner :)

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We’d been training together all summer, so running alongside him was nothing new, yet it still felt like a completely new experience anyhow. I couldn’t help but smile when I thought that we were finally doing it. After all those months of training together and the ups and downs, we were finally running Cedar City Half Marathon together. It was pretty cool to think about and really made it a special race for me!

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I could not have been happier with our experience. Diego pushed hard and enjoyed most of the race. Unfortunately, his phone battery died at about mile 10, so he was pretty bummed out about that since that meant he’d have to run the last 3 miles without his music. When we realized it happened, I braced for impact. I was pretty sure he’d be super upset since he depends on his music so much for running and honestly so do I! So, I was really proud of him for not overreacting and just going with the flow. He was upset, sure, but he took it in stride and moved forward. I took my headphones off too in solidarity and we finished together with big smiles on our faces!

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The actual course was great! It was a nice downhill run. The scenery was pretty, the weather was cool, and the aid stations were plenty. Even when we ran outside the canyon and into the town itself, we ran through trails and sidewalks in parks that were nice and even provided some shade as it started to warm up towards the end of the race for us. The race medals and shirts were also excellent and the post-run snacks were great! We especially liked the ice pops they were handing out! I would highly recommend this race to anyone who is looking for a fast downhill half marathon in the fall!

Rock n Roll Half Marathon Nashville : Race Recap

I can summarize my trip to Nashville in two words: running + eating! What could be better, right? 

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If you read my last post, you know that I was nervous about running the Nashville Rock n Roll Half Marathon because the course promised to be hilly and I am not a fan of hills! Plus, my friend was running it too and it was her first half marathon, so I was nervous I wouldn't be able to support her like I wanted to. Well, to make a long story short, we rocked that run! I felt strong throughout the entire race, which I was nervous about due to the hills. Plus, I paced my friend and we made it right under her goal time! I was so happy I felt good running those hills and it was proof that you have to trust the process.  I made it a point to train hills and it paid off! 

My flight to Nashville was super early in the morning, but it gave us the opportunity to grab some yummy lunch at Husk when I arrived and still make it in time for packet pickup afterwards! As usual, the process was smooth and easy.  There were all the usual, easy to follow signs and awesome volunteers.  The actual expo didn't seem as big or as busy as some other cities, though.  I didn't mind this, as we don't stay too long at the expo.  We got our beer wristbands for our free post-race beer and picked up our parking pass, that I prepaid for online.  Since we were driving ourselves in the morning and this was my friend's first experience, I didn't want her to feel overwhelmed with having to search for parking and deal with the traffic too! It was a great option and one I think I will use again for sure if I plan to drive and park for a race and not get dropped off.  

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After checking-in to our hotel and relaxing for a bit, it was time for our carb loading dinner! I traditionally have pizza before a race so I looking for some Yelp suggestions and found Slim + Husky's .  The reviews were amazing and it did not disappoint! They have local, fresh, ingredients and all the pizzas are made to order.  They also carry local craft beers, which is also part of my carb loading dinner ;) 

Like I mentioned above, the race itself was amazing! It was fun and we enjoyed the music, the scenery, and all the folks who came out to cheer us on! Running through some of the neighborhoods and seeing the residents making a morning out of it reminded me of the vibe from the San Diego Rock n Roll Half Marathon last year.  They too were out cheering us on, drinking mimosas, and even handing out drinks and snacks to us runners too! 

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After the race, we spent our day exploring some of the neighborhoods and of course, eating some delicious food to celebrate our race finish!  I highly recommend this race for it's fun atmosphere, challenging course, and who doesn't want to enjoy all the Nashville has to offer both before and after the race!