It’s kind of crazy to think It has been a whole year since I volunteered at Zooma Cape Cod, and now I have successfully finished the 2014 Zooma Cape Cod 10K. I am really lucky that I have been able to be an ambassador for this race two years in a row. The race is run by a great group of women, they not only enjoy what they do, but they make sure you enjoy your race. They have been nothing but supportive of me in the past year and I am extremely grateful for that.
I am also really lucky to have these women beside me as ambassadors.
L-R: Jessica, Danielle, Dani, Amy, Nancy, Angela, Me, Jessica
I trained for the race, admittedly a lot of it was non-running stroller miles which ended up being a lot of walking & jogging. I stuck to my training plan for the most part while listening to my body, and I felt prepared. My goal going into this race was to finish. I needed to know that my body still had the ability to finish a longer race, I wasn’t prepared for a half, I knew that, but a 10K is still a long distance after I had been out of racing for over a year.
I made my way to Falmouth on Friday afternoon, I met up with Jane and Anna, we went to the Expo, had a celebratory drink and dinner at the hotel, and hit up the Zooma Mocktail Party courtesy of Honest Tea. I went to bed super early and my room was right next to the start line so I woke up periodically through the night because I could hear them putting the starting line together. I ended up waking up for good at 5 am feeling well rested. I fueled and tried to mentally prepare myself for the day. I hadn’t put on my Garmin since September 7, 2013 and it sort of hit me then, that this was my day for redemption. I didn’t need to feel like running a race was going to mess up my body or that running was bad for me. Today would be the day where I would prove to myself that getting back on the pavement would be good for me.
The 10K started right on time at 7:30, I started out way to fast, and it was so hard to rein it in. I knew that I needed to slow down but I couldn’t, the excitement, the people around me, I had a hard time. Of course about 10 minutes into the race my GI issues started flaring up and I started my run/walk plan of run 90 seconds walk 30 seconds. I made it to mile 2 on my target pace and that’s when the wheels started falling off. My nausea was making it really hard for me to keep on target pace, but I had someone waiting for me between mile 3 and 4 so I had to keep going. I ended up walking most of mile 3, I started run/walking about a quarter-mile before mile 4.
I saw my friends and they gave me that boost I needed, that reminder that I could do this, and I would finish strong. Once the course came off the bike path it wasn’t very shady and it started to become extremely hilly. I knew the course had hills, but I hadn’t trained very well on them, and it did a number on my quads and hips. I started walking more than running. I was a little bit frustrated with that, but I never let the negative talk creep in. I just kept reminding myself of everything my body has accomplished and this whole past year, I could make it another 1.2 miles.
Once I started seeing a ton of spectators on the side of the road, and I could hear loud cheering I started to pick up the pace, even if I felt a little sick I was going to run through that finish line, no matter what, and that is exactly what I did.
I ended up coming in at 1:46:19 which is a pace of 17:10 min/mile (at mile 5 my pace was a full minute faster, ugh). And that time may be some people’s half-marathon personal worst, but for me it wasn’t about the time, it was about the race, and my mind, and finally letting go of the fact that running a race ruined my life.
It wasn’t just the physical running of the race, I was working with Feetures (one of the race sponsors – everyone got a pair of socks in their swag bag) on a video project and they asked a lot of questions about my running and where I started and my goals for this race, and mentally it just got me into the right space to think clearly about what my real goals were. Mary Mac, Matt and Joe were an amazing team to work with and I am grateful that I was given this opportunity! (And if you noticed someone following me around with a video camera at the race, that’s why!).
I am also super thankful that these ladies, and a few other unpictured friends, were at the race with me this weekend. Nick and B couldn’t make it, but I was a lot calmer than I thought I would be, and I definitely attribute that to these three. They all pretty much know what’s been going on personally with my miscarriage and pregnancy frustrations, so I didn’t have to explain how I was feeling. We all were there to have a fun time, and that is what we did, zero pressure. Having a girls weekend at a race is by far one of the best things I have ever done, and I hope that this is not the last one. The Zooma motto is Run. Laugh. Celebrate. I think we nailed this one.
If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know my favorite cross-training is Pure Barre. As I was hanging out near the finish line I ran into one of my favorite teachers, Kelly, who rocked her first half-marathon. It was refreshing to see so many familiar faces on Saturday!
Like I said initially, I love Zooma, I love the women that put these races on. The volunteers are always amazing, and the hotel is beautiful and accommodating. That being said there are a few things I wish were different. Those that run the 10K don’t get a location specific medal. The half-marathoners got a cute Cape Cod scenery medal, while the 10K participants received a generic Zooma one. I also wish their was a more breakfast friendly option post-race. Last year I got a lunch when I was done volunteering, which was around lunch time. This year I got my food by 9:30 am, and the last thing I wanted was a chicken salad or hummus wrap. Overall, I couldn’t have had a better weekend, I am already looking forward to 2015!
So what’s next? I am ready to get back into running, or at least try to. I think I might start a bit smaller with 5K’s and try to get my speed back to where it used to be before I tackle another long distance. This weekend, however, was everything I needed it to be. I feel ready to get back into running and I feel confident that my body is mine again.
Thank you to Zooma for covering my race entry in exchange for a review about my experience!