Zooma Cape Cod 10K Recap with Feetures!

Zooma-logo-FINALcrop.jpgIt’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.

ZoomaCapeCod2014AmbassadorsI 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.

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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.

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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!).

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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.

pblzoomaIf 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!

Weekly Updates: 09/01/14 – 09/07/14 (Zooma Week 5)

Before we get to this week workouts, I just wanted to share some information on the Zooma Cape Cod Race! There is a 10 Mile Training Run hosted by Marathon Sports of Mashpee, it is this Saturday, September 13 at 8 am in Mashpee, make sure you RSVP if you plan on attending!

There is also a Mocktail Party sponsored by Honest Tea on Friday, September 26 from 7-8 pm at the SeaCrest Hotel, and you will get the chance to mingle with all the ambassadors as well! Make sure you RSVP for this event as well! Now on to how I handled this weeks training plan!

weeklyworkouts.jpgMonday, September 1 – Cross Training. We were having a few people over for a BBQ so I was cleaning and prepping since 8 am. I didn’t get a chance to get to barre for a class since they had a modified schedule.

Tuesday, September 2 – 50 minutes. I took a barre class at 6am and had planned on getting my 50 minutes in after the fact, but I had a marketing call and by the time I was down it was too gross out for B in the stroller.

Wednesday, September 3 – Cross Training. I took another barre class. I am participating in their Fit for Fall Challenge, similar to the one I completed in March, it is to complete 40 classes in 60 days, starting September 2 and ending on October 31.

fitforfallpurebarreThursday, September 4 – 50 minutes. I had planned on getting this in after B’s preschool orientation, but I started feeling really sick on Wednesday night. I went to bed at 9 pm, woke up at 11 to change out of sweat soaked pj’s and take my temp (100) and then went back to bed until 7:30 am. I got B ready for school and off we went. With no AC and lots of kids and parents wandering around, I started feeling nauseous and my temp started to rise back up. I went back home and laid low.

Friday, September 5 – 5 miles. I was still feeling pretty weak, so I ended up taking another rest day.

Saturday, September 6 – Rest  Day. I felt like I had taken enough rest days, so I took a Pure Barre class with Jane, then in the afternoon I did 50 minutes at a very slow pace, just to get the time in.

Sunday, September 7 – 80 minutes. I got 50 minutes of slow walking in, I had plans for most of the day, and I couldn’t fit in the entire 80 minutes, unfortunately.

FOOD: Again, I am keeping mum on this for a bit. I had some test results that were unexpected, so until I get all results I will be postponing this section.

Are you planning on attending the Zooma Mocktail Party?

My Goal Race for 2014

I have an exciting announcement, for you all today. It’s official, I am an ambassador for ZOOMA Cape Cod again!

ZOOMA Ambassador Badge 2014

 

I know a few months ago I talked about taking a break from running and focusing on yoga, studio classes, and my mental health. Those things will still be a focus for now, as I won’t even start training until mid-June and I am going to register for the 10K, not the half. I need an event to push me and make me get out of the house and run. However, I think a half-marathon would not be ideal as I haven’t run since September 7, and I don’t have any intention on running until June. I don’t want to burn out or get injured. I am still pushing for a PR as my current 10K time is: 01:30:11 (from the Tufts 10K in October of 2012), I’d like to get it down by at least 10 minutes. I have the tools and the knowledge to do this, I just need to put in the work this summer and fall.

For me, this is about coming full circle, not being able to run due to the miscarriage and everything that happened in early September was frustrating, depressing and made me question a lot about my body. I want to get to toe the line in September 2014 and have a fun race. Even though, I didn’t run in 2013 I did have fun volunteering!

If you would like 10% off either the 10K or the Half, use discount code CCAMB9!

 

Have you run a ZOOMA race? Are you going to be running ZOOMA Cape Cod?

 

Hyannis Sprint Triathlon II

It’s been a long time since this event even happened (September 7), but the day after was when my miscarriage started and I have had a hard time blogging about it, even just thinking about without feeling guilty.

The triathlon was on a Saturday morning and packet pick up was the night before. Unfortunately, I could not make it in time, but one of my relay team mates could get everything except the bib. I met the rest of my gym family at a local restaurant for dinner.

I had some ziti and bread and we made our way back to one of the gym owners families house that was down the street from the race. We had a fun slumber party, and the next morning we were out the door and at the race start bright and early.

There were about 12 people who did the entire triathlon and 4 relay teams. I was part of one of the relay teams, I was going to be tackling the run. We had a teammate that had a work conflict, so at last-minute we got a swim replacement.

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Our Team and J’s husband!

As soon as we got my bib, our team got marked up, with our number. We sent our swimmer to the beach, while the biker and I waited back in transition. I will say the race was not over crowded and it started on time. It was certainly efficient and well run.

With no training, our swimmer gave us a great start, he came in right after the elite and collegiate level swimmers, I was impressed.

Our biker took off and I started to get race nerves. No one knew that I was pregnant, and I knew my running would be slower than normal. It was also getting warmer out and I ate breakfast long ago. I tried to gauge when the biker would be coming in and took some honey stinger bites.

As soon as J came in from the bike, I took off running. I saw Nancy during the first mile and that made me smile, her daughter was cheering and giving high fives, definitely a mood booster.

After that first mile, I felt pain in my stomach and was having a hard time keeping hydrated. I ended up walking until the last .2 miles of the race. I saw the majority of my gym family cheering at the finish.

We waited until everyone was done and we took a bunch of group photos.

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YAY! We are all finishers!

I obviously did not complete 2/3 of the race, but I will say the sand at the finish was extremely difficult to run in. I know the swimmers had some difficulty with waves and the bikers had some difficulty with not being able to pass on the road due to obstructing vehicles and those who didn’t understand the rules of the road.

I am extremely grateful to have done this race with Lauren and Jason (owners of Achieve Fitness) and other members from the gym. Everyone was extremely encouraging and helpful, not only on the course but during training. I was even more thankful with the days that followed, as they were all rocks for me to lean on when I was going through the miscarriage.

For a triathlon, the race was efficient and without any major hiccups. They had plenty of pizza and other food post-race (although no regular water, weird). If I ever get the balls to do an entire triathlon, I will definitely want to do this one.

Photo’s courtesy of my gym family!

Have you ever ran a full or part of a triathlon? What was your favorite part?

Zooma Cape Cod 2013

It took me awhile to get back into the swing of things, and unfortunately blogging just took a backseat for a while. I am not “healed” of course, and so that might affect some things. Some of what I blog or share and the other being people who I followed before the miscarriage. While I am not angry or hating on anyone, sometimes it’s just HARD for me to see your cute squishy baby photos or your 12 week pregnancy announcements, and I may have decided to not follow you on IG, twitter or Feedly for the time being. I will be back, eventually, I just can’t bear with it some days.

With all that on my mind, I really wavered on whether or not I should even go to the ZOOMA race this past Saturday. After what had happened at the triathlon (which I still need to blog about) I knew that even the 10k would be too much on my body, after the miscarriage, not only was my body physically not in, my heart wasn’t either.

I talked with my husband and doctor and eventually broke the news to the women who run ZOOMA. They were incredibly gracious and supportive of my decision, and understood if I couldn’t make it. I decided then that I would volunteer. I’ve never been on “that” side of racing and I thought it would lift my spirits.

I wasn’t able to make it up to the Mocktail event hosted by Honest Tea, but I was sent many of their products, so I will have try some the cocktails on my own.

I headed up bright and earl on Saturday morning. I mean it could be considered Friday night…I was up by 4:30 and out the door by 4:45.

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At least I got to take in this gorgeous sunrise

I helped Allison at the runner information tent, and then took over once the race started. I have to say, the amount of those who came to the tent to pick up their bib and swag, even though the website clearly indicated no day of pick up, that morning was surprising.

The race started on time and as soon as the runners took off the women behind ZOOMA went to work turning the start line into the finish line and making sure everything was ready at the post-race party. These ladies, and the help with the many volunteers, made it a seamless transition.

I LOVED being a volunteer, I loved seeing my friends race and seeing those that I didn’t know get excited to run and see the high they had after they finished.

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One of my best friends and his wife. She trained hard and earned one of the sought-after Personal Best medals!

Even with the ups and downs that will happen in any “job”, I loved volunteering and spending so much time with runners and on the other side of the race.

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The Swag!

An awesome yoga mat, tech tee, bag and water bottle. The finishers also received a necklace!

I will most certainly be at ZOOMA Cape Cod 2014, whether I am a runner or a volunteer is yet to be determined, but I will be there.

Have you ever volunteered at a race? Love it or hate it?

Summer Craziness and Running Updates

I know that my blogs have been inconsistent as of late, and I want to apologize.

These summer months, and the nice weather lasts only so long, I like to spend the majority of my weekdays with B.

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Fill me up with gas please

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You’re taking to long, let me handle it

He received a bunch of wonderful outside toys, and before you know it, it is going to be brutally cold, so I want to make sure he has ample time to play with them.

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It’s also only about 8 weeks until the Zooma Half Marathon (by the way you can still get 10% off with the code: CCAMB9) and I don’t think I have had a great training so far. I am getting the miles in but I feel slow, and my last long run was supposed to be 7 miles and I had to tap out at 4. My left hip, right leg and left heel were bothering me and instead of hurting myself I decided to take a break.

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I am still doing a ton of strength training and metabolic conditioning at Achieve, so I am hoping that I will be able to log some serious miles these next few weekends, I really want to PR at Zooma, but I know that I need to set myself up for success.

I know I will be out and about the next 3 or 4 weeks so I need to make sure that I make training a priority.

How is your summer training going?

Finding the Confidence and Inspiration

Thank you for all your comments on yesterday’s post. You know how to make a girl feel great, even when she is sick.

I have some really great news, I am going to be a mentor for Team In Training this season. I am a mentor for the Massachusetts/New England Chapter. Not only that, I am the mentor for all those who are running the Nike Women’s Marathon (Half and Full).

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{before NWM 2012}

A huge part of me is super excited about this. I can’t wait to meet and help my mentees with their fundraising, running, pretty much anything they need. I know that I had a great experience with TNT all the mentors and my coach were amazing sources of inspiration and information. I had some really low runs and some really great runs, and through all of that I had the support of my mentors and coach. However, I have talked to some friends who had a not-so-great experiences. I know how much it helped to have these people supporting me and I want to be that person for the women who I am mentoring.

There is this 10% of me that feels like I do not have 100% of the qualities it takes to be a mentor. I am not ashamed that I am a back-of-the-pack runner. I am not fast, but that doesn’t bother me, as a mentor though, I feel like I should be faster. I know that I am qualified to be a mentor, but sometimes the insecurities get the best of me.

As a mentor I am raising money for LLS, I am working on a few giveaways with some of my favorite companies and any donation gets you a virtual raffle ticket. You can donate here or click on the image on the sidebar.

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{Coming through the finishers chute, NWM 2012}

The great thing about mentoring is that the NWM 2013 race is about a month after Zooma 2013 and 2 weeks before my next half marathon, so the training lines up pretty close to my training and will help keep me accountable.

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If you want to register of Zooma Cape Cod, you still can, and get 10% of your race cost, this works for the 10K or Half, with the code CCAMB09!

Have you ever mentored for an event?