II thought after 10 full marathons that I was officially in “marathon retirement”. I transitioned to half marathons and Ragnar relays and was happy as a clam. In the back of my mind I had considered doing a 50k someday, but wasn’t sure that would ever happen.
As I watched one of my running besties easily make the leap, I thought “ok, maybe this is a possibility”. Then I realized It would be a cool tie in for me to run my 50k the year I turned 50. As I planned out my training, I thought I should probably cover the marathon distance as part of my training. The Marathons2Beach marathon in Ventura, CA fit the timing and was the easiest for me to get to. So I went to sign up, and it was sold out with a waitlist. I decided to join the waitlist. Less than 2 weeks later, I got an email saying I had gotten in off the waitlist but would have to confirm my very expensive spot within 48 hours or so. I took it as a sign that this was meant to be.
Another reason I chose this race is because it has a net downhill. I needed all the help I could get from gravity! A month or two later, my friend Connie saw me wavering on making this trip by myself and agreed to do the half and join me on the road trip.
We made the 6 ½ hour drive to Ventura on Saturday morning. It was long. We headed straight to packet pickup at the fairgrounds. Small expo. No gear check bags! Say what? We were told you can get them at the start line. After that we walked around, had lunch and checked out the boardwalk and beach.
Because I registered so late, all the later shuttles had been taken, so I was stuck with a 4am shuttle to the start in Ojai. This caused me much stress. Worrying about getting downtown, and finding parking in time for the shuttle. We decided to uber which was great. The alarm was set for 230 am (yikes!) and after heading to dinner, I actually got a decent night of sleep! As I was fairly quiet the night before and lost in my own thoughts, Connie noted “you’re so much different than during a Ragnar”. Well duh! Ragnars are all about fun and no stress. Marathons are serious business, whether it is “just a training run" or not.
We caught our shuttles in plenty of time. Ojai is a very pretty, laid-back town. The temps were low 50’s at the start and would warm up to low 60’s. I ended up with almost 2 hours to kill at the start, but was happy to meet up with my fellow BibRave Pro James for a nice chat
Then it was finally time, after finding real coffee and a real bathroom (yay!), to head to the start. I ditched my throwaway jacket and felt ready.
The first 6-7 miles were a loop around Ojai before heading down the mountain. Very scenic and easy running. First few miles were fast. For the first hour, the 4:10 pacer was behind me. It gave me an unrealistic sense of confidence. I’m like “maybe I could actually PR!” Finally around Mile 10 or so we started heading downhill. For about 5 miles we were on a shaded trail which was great. Around the half way point I felt very fatigued. I clocked the first half at 2:06, but every mile was taking progressively longer.
I alternated between sport beans, my honeystinger waffle, some Ucan, and a gel. During the second half I stopped at every single water stop and took in both water and electrolytes. The breeze was amazing. Plenty of shady parts. It became harder to push forward during the straightaways and I longed for more downhill. I ended up not using music and kind of regret that decision – I could have used the inspiration.
I was taking more and more walking breaks, and that 4:10 pacer long since passed me by. My running turned into an awful shuffle that came in around 11 minute miles. I had a lot of conversations with myself along the way and each mile passed was one mile closer to the beach and finish line. After a long section on roads, we were back on a trail again, but this time fully exposed and through a more industrial area. The last 2-3 miles were through downtown Ventura full-on into the sun and it felt like a death march. I stopped caring about my time.
I rolled in at 4:39, and felt strong at the finish. Connie was there to high five me.
Finish line food was not good. We had some local post race beers that I had pre-purchased, and the breeze from the ocean was great. We ubered back and headed to lunch, then hopped in the car for our 6.5 hour drive home. Ugh.
While I’m glad I got the miles in by doing this race, I’m quite nervous about the 50k in 5 weeks. I won’t have the benefit of a downhill course to help me. I’m happy to have finished with absolutely NO knee pain whatsoever, and happy to know that I can still do this, even at the ripe old age of 50!
"Disclaimer: I received a pair of Rydon performance glasses from Rudy Project NA to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"
I have reviewed Rudy Project sunglasses in the past and was eager to try another style. If you are not familiar with Rudy Project, they make incredible eyewear and cycling gear. Top quality. The Rydon model is my first experience with photocromic lenses – basically “transition” lenses that can adjust with the light. They came clear, but as soon as I step outside they are brown. Cool!
The legendary Rydon performance sunglass is Rudy Project’s all-time bestselling sunglasses model. Incredibly lightweight, stylish and completely adjustable via a flexible nosepiece and temple tips, the Rydon sunglasses can be configured in thousands of ways and customized for any face shape. They were comfortable enough for a 17 miler!
As with other models from Rudy Project, These sunglasses also utilize an interchangeable lens system, an optics solution for managing various weather and light conditions, and are available with durable ImpactX-2 lenses. With rapid activation, increased photochromic range, and the ability to automatically lighten and darken from a semitransparent tone to a specific color (Red, Black or Brown) according to light conditions, these are some of the most revolutionary lenses on the market. The Rydon sunglasses come in a variety of colors, and can accommodate prescriptions.
They come with a hard impact case as well as a soft case which doubles as a lens cleaner. Rudy also offers a 2 year warranty. You can save 30% off with the code GODSPEED, which is the name of the inspiring cycling documentary they were featured in.
"Disclaimer: I am promoting the Missoula Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"
A perfect summer race
Who wouldn’t want to come to Montana in July? Cool, starry nights – picturesque sunny days? I personally visited Montana many summers ago, and can’t wait to go back! I was blown away by its natural beauty. If you are looking for a great “racecation”, look no further! And if you’re on the hunt to run all 50 states, this is the biggest race you’ll find in Montana. This year’s race weekend will take place July 13-15.
The Missoula Marathon is one of Missoula’s premier events. It has twice been named as the Best Marathon In The U.S. – in 2010 by the readers of Runner’s World Magazine and in 2017 by The BibRave 100. Runner’s World has also named the Missoula Marathon as a Top Marathon For Back-Of-The-Packers (2017) and a Top 10 Bucket List Marathon (2018).
A distance for everyone
There is a 5k, kids marathon, a half marathon, full marathon, and a wheelchair half & full. Also a free beer run on Friday night. Now that sounds fun! It’s a 3 mile social run, all along the river! Entry is free, but beer is available for purchase at the finish.
Register now and Save!
Use code BibRave18 for $5 off your entry! Visit http://www.missoulamarathon.org/ to register today.
"Disclaimer: I received a private screening of the documentary Godspeed: The Race Across America to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"
The inspiration to overcome is the backbone of “GODSPEED” as it chronicles a first-time race team – Jerry Schemmel, noted author, speaker and sportscaster for the Colorado Rockies and Brad Cooper, a eleven-time Ironman triathlete – as they compete 24 hours a day for seven days covering 3,000 miles of deserts, mountains and plains overcoming physical exhaustion, sleep deprivation and extreme mental anguish competing in the world’s most difficult cycling race – The Race Across America.
The duo Cycled 168 hours non-stop across 12 states coast to coast, on the journey of a lifetime - a race that would provide an extreme test of physical endurance and dependence on faith, all for the greater purpose and personal calling to raise money for the orphans of Haiti.
I will admit, it is kind of cool to be one of the FIRST people to see something. I received a link to watch the documentary, and wow the time flew by.
I’m not a cyclist, but I can appreciate the amount of sheer determination/insanity/heart that went into making this a reality.
The documentary Godspeed: The Race Across America showcases the journey of two athletes with inspiring and tragic stories who come together to compete on a 2-person cycling team to bike 3,000 miles from California to Maryland. Nonstop.
It is a faith-based movie, which the title eludes to. The duo and their dedicated crew do rely on their faith to get them through the hardest part of the journey. The documentary chronicles two men, who both have had their own tragedies in their lives. They relied on each other with strength and grit to pedal 168 hours nonstop across 12 states from the west coast to the east coast. All in an effort to raise money for orphans of Haiti.
This documentary will appeal to your competitive side, but also provide endless inspiration for when times get tough. Godspeed: The Race Across America is in theatres for ONE DAY ONLY – May 22. Visitfathomevents.com to find a theatre near you and pre-purchase your tickets! Below is a trailer for the movie, check it out!
"Disclaimer: I received an Amphipod Purerun minimalist vest to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"
I recently started ultramarathon and marathon training and I live in Arizona. These things are not a great combination, so when I got the chance to review the Amphipod purerun minimalist vest, I jumped at it! I am still experimenting with hydration solutions to get me through the longer distance in the hot weather.
When I received the pack, I was first struck at how lightweight it was ( less than 8 oz when empty), and the second thing that I was impressed with was the incredible amount of pockets and functional storage areas that it has.
Product specs (from amphipod.com)
• Ultralight and Minimalist
• Cooling free-flow Air Mesh™ construction
• Versatile storage pockets provide easy-access to hydration, nutrition and essentials
• A secure custom body fit with CinchFit™ design
• Lateral stabilization system™ provides bounce-free stability and custom fit
• Patented Hydraform flasks - ergonomically engineered (includes two 12oz. bottles)
• Ergonomic soft-contoured construction with stand-up bottle utility & Jett-Squeeze™ caps
• 2L Bladder compatible roomy storage pack
Ok now it was time to put it to the test! I took it out for a 9 miler at 90 degrees in Phoenix. It provides a pretty snug fit in terms of no bouncing – but I think I need to play around with the fit a little more across my chest. It felt pretty light, which I liked. It felt like I wasn’t wearing anything. I also liked having the flexibility of using just the bottles or the bottles PLUS a hydration bladder. That way I can put an electrolyte or energy drink in the bottles and not get the bladder sticky or dirty.
I set out on my first longer run with 2 bottles, my phone, an energy gel, and car keys. Everything had its place. It is small, but mighty.
I did experience a few things that I didn’t love: the mesh rubbed my neck and caused chafing. The bungee loops were kind of in the way and would catch on my hands when I was swinging them occasionally. I found that if I cinched the straps as tight as possible, I experienced less chafing.
When it came time to run a 17 miler, I wasn’t sure that my bladder would fit inside. Holding the bladder up to it, the area just looked too small – but there expanders there, and it really can accommodate one!!! It's a pretty snug fit, but it works.
On my 18 mile run, I had the following in my pack:
- 2 full bottles with generation ucan
- car key
-glukos energy gel
- honey stinger waffle
This product retails for $100.00. I totally recommend this! It’s great for longer distances and I can bring everything I need to be out for a long time.. It comes in two sizes and I opted for the smaller size. I recommend giving this a try!
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!