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 :)




Rock N Roll San Diego Remix Challenge | Race Recap

During the first weekend of June I completed my first Rock N Roll Marathon Series Remix Challenge in San Diego!  The Remix Challenge medal is earned when you complete two days of running during a Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series event. Any combination of distances qualifies for the Remix Challenge Medal. You need to complete one event on Saturday and one event on Sunday during the same Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series event weekend.  I chose to run the 5K distance on Saturday and the half marathon distance on Sunday.  

 This is my first year as a member of the Rock ‘n’ Blog team and I am loving it so far! As part of the team I received a Global Tour Pass, which allows me to run any of their races worldwide (travel costs not included). My next tour stops will be Seattle, June 18th for the Half Marathon and  Las Vegas on November 11-12 for another Remix (5K and Half Marathon).  

We left a little later than we wanted to on Friday afternoon from Vegas, so we arrived for packet pickup with just under one hour before the expo closed.  The good thing about cutting it so close was that there was no line to get my packets :) I was given a specific wrist tag with my bibs and was explained that I was to wear it on Sunday’s race to pick up my Remix Challenge medal after the race (woohoo!).  Afterwards we walked around the Gaslamp Quarter and grabbed some sushi for dinner before checking in to our room and crashing! 

This was my first really big 5K event and it was a great experience. The atmosphere was relaxed and everyone was ready to have a good time. Although, I told myself I would take it slow, I couldn’t help but get carried away by all the excitement and I took off a little faster than I wanted to.  But after the first mile or so I slowed myself down and started to enjoy the sights of Balboa Park. Jason was right there cheering me on at the finish line and then we made our way to the beer tent.  As ya'll know, I am much more of a wine girl myself, but after a race there's nothing better than a cold beer.  Trust me on that one!

The rest of the day was spent doing a little shopping and catching a movie, which is a rare treat for us to do without the kiddos.  We then made our way to Ocean Beach for burgers and beers at Hodad's and to catch a glimpse of the ocean!  Do yourself a favor and check it out next time you're in the San Diego area.  It's got a great vibe and the burgers are delicious! 

The next day, was a little less relaxed, as thousands of half marathon and marathon runners made their way to the starting line.  But, it was still a Rock N Roll event and the atmosphere was one of fun, if not a little more focused on the longer distances to be conquered that day.  I know I was feeling nervous and excited too! The half marathon course was a blast and although my legs felt a little sluggish the first few miles, I found my groove and had a strong finish!  The best part of the race was running through the Normal Heights neighborhood, where the neighbors were out supporting the runners with everything from jolly ranchers to alcohol.  Loved the makeshift bars they set up serving beer, mimosas, and even shots of liquor! I chose to pass on the libations, but it was super entertaining to run by and see other brave runners take their shots! Another favorite was when we finally got the the nice downhill area along the park! Running downhill is my favorite, so a downhill finish was a great relief from an otherwise kinda hilly course.

As with all big races, the finish line area was crowded and busy.  Jason was looking out for me so we met up soon after.  We made our way to the festival area and to the Heavy Medal tent for my Remix Medal! And then of course, it was another race so another beer at the finish! It was also great to see some friends at the festival who had ran the relay race.  We chatted a bit with them before we had to get going to check out of our room and make our way back to Vegas! 

But, first we had to stop at our favorite Temecula winery, Wiens Family Cellars, for some wine tasting.  We brought a few bottles home with us too and way may have also signed up for their wine club (again!) 

If you’ve never ran the Remix Challenge, I definitely suggest you try it at least once.  Not only do you leave the weekend with 3 awesome medals, it really makes it for a fun-filled running weekend.  Plus, you get to doubly enjoy what the Rock N Roll Marathon races are all about: fun, community, bling, music, and just an all-around good time!  

Even though it was a weekend with 2 back to back races, the hubs and I still got to spend a much needed weekend away without the kiddos.  It was the perfect start to summer break and I think we may have to turn it into a yearly tradition, with or without a race ;)