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 :)




Self-Doubt Before Race Day | Rock N Roll Half Marathon Nashville

So, as I type this I should really be packing for my trip to Nashville, since we'll be out tonight.  My flight leaves at 6am tomorrow, so I have an early wake up call.  Anyhow, I'll get to it before I have  to get into mommy-driver duty! 

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I'm super excited to be running the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Nashville this Sat. Not so much because I love country music, hilly courses, and humidity, but because I'll be running alongside my BFF since high school! This will be her first half marathon and I'm thrilled I was the one who motivated her to sign up.  I was asking if maybe she'd like to run the 5K, but she surprised me and said she'd join me in the half marathon! You can imaging my excitement!!! She's been training for about 12 weeks and I've been supporting her via text messages and phone calls. This got me thinking about my own first half marathon and how my cousin, who's an avid marathon runner, came to run alongside me for my first half marathon.  I remember how happy I was to have someone with all of her experience running with me and supporting me.  It really helped make my first half marathon experience such a good one! As excited as I am to now be the one paying it forward and being the "experienced" runner, I'm also nervous about my own performance.  Hills aren't my jam, I mean, let's be honest, they aren't anyones jam! I'm also not as fast or fit as I was a few years ago and it's messing with my head (see what I did there?).  I've put in the miles and ran hills in my training, but I'm afraid I'll be seen as a fraud.  Like, yea I call myself a runner, but then I'm huffing and puffing at mile 10.  I'm afraid I won't be the best support for her or worse yet, that she'll be the one supporting me! Won't that be embarrassing!?! 

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I'm working on keeping a positive mindset and trust that I won't fail.  I need to trust that it's going to be a fun experience, no matter the outcome.  I admit, this is hard to do.  It's hard to feel your best, when you know you could do better because you have done better.  Ok, I know I am overreacting to a hypothetical situation and it's silly, but it's the truth and I can't be anything but honest.  Have you ever felt this way before? Be it running or another aspect of your life, I bet you have. I can also say from experience that things aren't usually as bad as you think they're gonna be.  Am I right? So, I am leaving it all here on the blog.  I'm typing it out here but then I'm going to think of how happy I'll be seeing my best friend, who I haven't seen almost 5years.  I'm going to focus on how awesome it is that I'll be running my 14th half marathon in 2 days.  I'm excited to visit and explore a new city and eat some pretty good food too!! And, I'm gonna go pack...

Who's been to Nashville? Any recommendations on must-see or must-eats? I'll be back next week to let you know how it went and if you are struggling with feelings of self-doubt too, stay strong and know you aren't alone. XO 

 

2017: A Year in Review

Here we are at the end of yet another year.  Most years go by really fast for me but, I think 2017 didn't go by as fast as other years.  We definitely had some busy seasons with work and travels, mostly during the summer and October, but the rest of the year felt smooth and less rushed than others. I'm so not complaining about that! I am not one to glorify busy and enjoy taking time to enjoy my days and not feel rushed.  

A big highlight of the year for me was becoming part of the Rock N Roll Marathon Series ambassador program, called Rock N Blog and I'm excited to be a part of the team again for 2018!  This definitely set the tone for my running schedule for the year.   I ended up running 18 races!  Seven of these were virtual 5Ks, but they still came with some awesome race bling!! One was the Run Love Virtual 5K by Running Skirts and the other 6 were with the Rock N Roll Race Series!  I also did a fun non-competitive community 5K with the kiddos. And 2 more 5Ks, one at  Rock N Roll San Diego and the other at Rock N Roll Las Vegas as part of the Remix Challenge.  I ran 2 obstacle course races, the Vegas Spartan Super and the Badass Dash.  Lastly, I ran a total of 6 half marathons this year. By far, the most half marathons I've ran in 1 year! My favorite was the San Diego Half Marathon, not because I PRed or anything, but because it was such a fun race! If you want to check out any or all the race recaps, you can do so HERE

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Traveling and getting out to explore new places, near and far, is a big part of our lives. This year, 3 of our trips were race-cations! We traveled to San Diego, Seattle, and Napa for me to run half marathons + we got vacations out of it too, I'd say it was a win-win for everyone!  For Spring Break we visited the Getty Center in Los Angeles, Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Malibu. We took our summer family vacation visiting the Pacific Northwest. We spent 2 days in Seattle and rest of our week was spent in Oregon.  We stayed in Portland and saw the main sights in the city, as well as visiting the Oregon Coast and the Colombia River Gorge, including the famous Multnomah Falls.  We also took a kid-free weekend getaway trip to San Diego, mostly to run the Rock N Roll 5k + half marathon but also to unwind a bit.  It was great.  Another trip we took was to the Sonoma/Napa Wine Valley.  That was a fun trip we took with our friends without the kiddos too.  I ran the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon and the rest of the time we visited some amazing wineries and ate some delicious food! 

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We also planned smaller weekend and day trips throughout the year to Southern California, Valley of Fire, Willow Beach at the Arizona border, and Sand Hollow State Park in Utah.  We had a great Summer Bucket List, full of activities and even though we didn't finish everything on the list, it was a ton of fun!  This year we also celebrated my parent's 50th wedding anniversary! 

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This time of year, I always like to reflect on all aspects of my life and really take note of what worked, what didn't, where I can improve, and start planning for the upcoming year.  It can be difficult to balance life and I know it's impossible to get it all right, all the time.  The best I can do is learn from my experiences, grow, and start off with a good plan. I hope you too take the time to reflect and learn from this past year and not just dwell on what didn't go right, but really embrace and appreciate all the good too! XO Jessie