Oh boy, where to start with this one. Well last year I ran the Revel Big Bear marathon here a week after running Javelina 100k. I really wanted to go for a BQ but my legs just weren’t up to it and I ended up coming in just a bit over 4 hours, it’s still my second fastest marathon but it wasn’t what I really wanted.
So, we signed up for this year, my goal was again to BQ. But the summer happened, crewing/pacing/traveling for all Sean’s Great Eight races & I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be runningwise.
We ran Mount Laguna marathon the week before (recap here) and I knew as soon as we finished that one that running the marathon was not in my best interests so I decided to drop down to the half.
Sean & I had a friend pick up our packets because the packet pick-up closed at 6pm. Which would mean taking a half day off work in order to get our packets because Redlands is about 2 – 3 hours from us depending on traffic. We got to the Redwoods area around 8:30p or so and had a 2:30am wake-up. The buses would leave between 3:30 – 4:15a for marathon and 4:00 – 4:45a for the half.
Fortunately we were staying pretty close to the parking area so we got there pretty quick. But we ended up parking really close to the half marathon buses but quite a bit away from the marathon buses. By the time we got over there for Sean to take the bus, there was a really long line. He was a bit frustrated but made it to the start .
I walked back to the half marathon buses, grabbed my drop bag & then headed to the buses where I met up with some of my WeRunSocial friends. We all chatted for a bit and then got on the buses.
It was a little chilly when we got to the start but not too bad. We got ready, dropped my drop bag off & then headed to the start line. The waves or times were like 10 ft apart which was really funny. I jumped in around the 2:00 mark and then had to re-tie my shoe. I tried to get something out of my shoe & fix my sock & while doing that the race started.
I quickly put my shoe back on, stopped behind a guy trying to take off his throwaway gear and then started running. It was the most anti-climactic race start I’ve ever seen. There were still tons of people coming towards the corrals, kind of weird that were no announcements that the race was starting.
Last year, but the time I got to the half marathon it was kind of foggy and grey and I didn’t love this part of the race. This year it was good weather, the sun was coming up and I just got into a good rhythm. I didn’t want to go out too fast because I honestly didn’t have any idea how my body was going to handle the miles and any kind of speed. I hadn’t run fast in months.
I saw my friend’s Richard & Brian pass by me along with a bunch of other people but I just kept moving at my own pace.
I didn’t really look at my watch too much, only at the mile markers if I remembered, mostly to make sure I didn’t run too fast.
It was pretty out there, there was a mountain that we were running towards that had a really nice single track looking trail that I was like wow that would be nice to run down too lol.
The volunteers were amazing but the aid stations seemed sparse. There weren’t that many of us, I finished 226th overall and was 281 at the 5k so it wasn’t like there were 1000s of people ahead of me but they had a hard time keeping them stocked. A few of the aid stations that they were filling cups when I went by.
I felt pretty good for the first few miles, a little tightness in my left calf and my foot was a touch stiff but nothing bad. Around mile 6/7 I decided to take off my long sleeve. I took it off and heard buzzing around my head, I took off my hat and there was a fuzzy bee on my hat! I pushed it off, put my hat back on and took off, maybe that’s why mile 7 was my fastest of the race LOL at 7:50.
Right after that I was starting to look at my watch more and I kept thinking that I only have to maintain 10 minute miles and I can PR. My previous PR was 1:57 and change.
I got to mile 10 and was starting to get tired, I passed a friend from IG, he was asking me if I was trying for a PR, I was like yep trying and then just kept moving.
Around mile 11.5 I saw my friend Willem at an aid station, I was like I am close to a PR, he got a photo and then was like go get that PR.
I made the turn, hit mile 12 and I suddenly got really tired. I was drinking water & powerade but I didn’t have any gels so I was pretty calorie deficient by that point.
I wanted to walk so bad, but I was soooo close so I just kept trucking along, I saw a guy ahead of me and just kept following him, I eventually would pass him.
The worst part about this race is the last mile, you make the last turn and then have to go about 3/4 of a mile to the finish. You can literally see the finish line and it just feels like it takes forever to get to.
I struggled to get to the finish line, I was literally slowing as I got to the finish line, but I did and it was under 1 hour and 46 minutes! I had done it! I got a PR in the half marathon, I was in literal shock! I couldn’t believe it but I did it!
And not only that I ran every single step of that half marathon and I did it with no speed training, the week after a trail marathon and with having barely run in months. I’m still shaking my head but it woke me up and made me wonder, what if I actually trained. What could I do then?
Now back to the race…Revel gives a decent shirt, I upgraded to the cotton version but it was a bit thicker than usual and felt pretty hot. They also gave a pair of goodr sunglasses along with a pair of gloves and an emergency blanket (which wasn’t in my bag for some reason).
After the race they had water, bananas and chocolate milk for runners. You could also get a sweet treat, which this year was from Snow Monkey. It was good but my tummy didn’t love it after the race. They also had pizza which I never found and some sort of drink, maybe hard seltzer? instead of beer, which people were upset about but I don’t drink so I don’t know exactly what that was about.
After the race I got my card with my stats and then high tailed it over to the Normatec booth to try them out. I was able to get in pretty quickly and whoa, they are awesome! Definitely being added to my Christmas wish list!
Then I chatted with some friends and waited for Sean to finish. He was moving quite well and I didn’t have to wait long.
After Sean finished we took the bus back to our car, got some Starbucks and then headed back to San Diego, where we hit a LOT of traffic, ugh. But we made it back in time for lunch at Plant Power. Then it was time to relax before our next race.
The best part about Revel races is the free photos! Also they start really early, which sucks when you have to get up at 2am but it means that the race is over pretty early so you have the rest of the day to relax, fuel up and enjoy the rest of your weekend!