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!

An Open Letter to My Son : Running Your First Half Marathon

At 13 years old, you're just one day away from running your first half marathon.  You've always been an overachiever.  Potty trained before you were 2, skipping the baby babble and going straight to complete sentences.  You can't just solve a rubix's cube, you can solve it in under 30 seconds.  Kendama, guitar, card tricks, algebra, reading, drawing, the list goes on and on.  You've excelled in all you set your mind to do. 

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Except running. Because all those other things have come easy to you, but not running. Running has been hard.  It's been slow.  It's been chock full of complaints, struggles, and failures.  Running has beaten you down.  It has irritated you.  Running has made you hurt.  It's frustrated you.  Running has made you feel less than. It's humbled you.  And for this I say, thank you, to running.  I thank running for teaching you that it's not always easy to reach your goals.  Running requires discipline and endurance and grit.  These are all things I hope you've learned through running.  

You complained about waking up early during summer break to run, but you did it anyways.  We argued along the road many mornings, but it never stopped you.  During moments of frustration, you still endured.  So many times you wanted to give up, to turn around, but you never did.  You kept going.  May this be a lesson you take with you always.

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I hope that running will always stay with you.  I hope you find a love for running, as I have.  But, if you don't, that's ok too.  But I do hope you never forget the lessons learned during your training.  Because, whether you realize it or not, running has taught you so much about life.  It's taught you to never give up.  Wether you go fast or slow, what matters is that you are moving forward.  Never forget that.  Never forget that although there may be pain and it may be difficult, chasing your dreams is always worth it.  Life won't always be easy, but sticking to your goals and being true to yourself will always be worth it.  Never forget that feeling of accomplishment you get after a long or difficult run.  Let that stay with you and let that guide you. There is power in perseverance.   

Running alongside you all these weeks has not always been easy, but neither has being your mom and I wouldn't trade any of it for the world. I am so proud to be running with you tomorrow and sharing 13.1 miles with you.  Crossing that finish line together will be a moment I never forget. I love you beyond words.   

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PS. I can't forget to give a shout of of thanks and appreciation to the hubs for all those early mornings of driving him up to meet us at the mountain so he could get his long runs in.  And to Valerie for all the rides up the mountain and encouraging him and me along the way.  To all our friends and family who've also encouraged him, it doesn't go unnoticed! XO