Alternatively titled: The good, the bad, and the gross.
This is a tough race report to write. I'd really been looking forward to race weekend and, overall, I had a good time. But I also had a hard time in the race and I've been trying to deal with that, which, admittedly, is not easy.
Anyway . . .
I left for Cape Cod early Friday afternoon. It was a good trip -- a little traffic, but nothing major. I got to the hotel around 5, cleaned myself up a bit and headed down to the expo.
|The view from my room.|
I grabbed my packet and hit the SkirtSports booth to meet Sandra. We chatted about running and marathons and running skirts -- of course! Then I spotted Tricia, who is the director of social media for ZOOMA. I've known her in the virtual world for quite a while so it was great to finally meet her in person!
It was also super to meet Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea, the authors of Run Like a Mother (and frequent Runner's World contributors). Sarah was great -- we chatted about race goals and long runs and our shared love of Minneapolis. She's running the Twin Cities Marathon in two weeks and I'm feeling a little jealous!
After the expo, I met up with all of the other ZOOMA ambassadors for a cocktail party at the outdoor bar, which was so pretty. When we got there, the sun was setting and the view was gorgeous.
|At the ZOOMA party: Brooke,me, Tricia, Amy, Michelle, and Brae (the ZOOMA founder)|
I didn't sleep all that well but that's to be expected the night before a race -- especially the night before a race when staying at a hotel! I woke up at 5:30 and ate my peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread, rested a bit longer and then got going.
|Ready to keep going!|
The race started right at the hotel -- so perfect! I found my friend and fellow Strong Running Mama, Sheila, and after snapping a quick pic, we lined up together.
|That's me with Sheila before the race.|
Sheila and I had different goals for this race: Sheila was gunning for a PR (sub-1:48) and I was going for a strong run, with a finish of under 1:50 if I felt really good, under 1:55 if I felt just regular.
Right at 7:30, we took off. And starting running uphill. The course was described as having "rolling hills" but, you know what? After running it, I don't think those hills were so rolling. It was hilly. Period.
So, we ran. I felt good. Sheila and I ran together for about the first mile and then she started to pick up the pace a little and I knew that I needed to run my own race, so I dialed back a smidge and soon enough Sheila was a good 10 steps ahead of me, which was as it should be.
The first two miles were great. And then I got a side cramp, but it was no big deal. I can handle a little cramp. I kept running, poking my cramp now and then. After mile 3, the cramp seemed to go away. Only to come back with a vengeance.
Things get a little fuzzy around miles 4 and 5 . . . I felt terrible. I had goosebumps all over my body and felt like I was alternately freezing and boiling and then . . . it happened. I threw up.
Yup. I had to zip to the side of the road because it just came over me so quickly. (Although, thinking back, I know it was building for a while.)
Gross, I know.
I felt ridiculous. And angry with myself. And scared about what it meant. And then I wondered how I would make it through the rest of the race.
Remember my bracelet? The one telling me to Just Keep Going?
Well, thank goodness for that because I must have looked at it 100 times over the course of the remaining miles. And I kept going. You can walk, but you've got to finish.
I have to admit that I struggled and, like a fool, kept trying to push myself to get under that 1:55. So I'd try to pick up the pace, only to have the gawdawful cramp come rushing back. It was like that for miles. At one point, probably a mile from the finish line, I stopped. The cramp had gotten so bad and I felt like I was being stabbed with every step I took. I think I was a bit doubled-over when a fellow racer came up from behind and put her arm on me. I don't remember exactly what she said but it was uplifting and it helped get me started again.
I ran on. Up the hills toward the finish. As I got closer, one of the volunteers told me that if I hustled, I could break 2 hours.
So I hustled.
|Squeaking in just under 2 hours!|
After I crossed the line, I was given my finishers' necklace -- which I LOVE!
|Love, love, love.|
And then Sheila found me (she also snapped the picture of me crossing the finish line) and we talked about the race. Sheila rocked the race and set a HUGE PR -- she finished in 1:46:41 and was 2nd in her age group!! I was really happy for her and quite impressed! I can't wait to see how she does in her marathon in two weeks!
As for me, well, the race didn't go as planned. Not at all. I walked around after the race and then went back to my room to lie down and take a warm shower. Within an hour I was fine. What a weird experience.
Here's my race stats:
Official time: 1:59:57
Overall place: 81 out of 245
Age group place: 11 out of 31
Before heading home, I spent some time with Tricia and even remembered to get a picture of the two of us. Nice frizzy hair I have there, huh?
Thinking back about what happened, I place some blame on my food choices. I think the whole wheat bread and peanut butter didn't sit well. I can't imagine what else it could be. So, for my next race -- the Mohawk Hudson half in less than two weeks -- I'll make some fueling changes. I don't need a repeat of my side-of-the-road antics!
All in all, I had a very good time in Cape Cod for the ZOOMA race. I would totally do it again! The race was well organized and it was a pleasure to work with the team as an ambassador. I recommend this race series, for sure.
And now, I'm back. My Sunday recovery run was good and I'm hoping that I can get a few more good runs in before the next race.
In the meantime, let me ask this:
I'll take all the advice I can get!
Thanks for reading. Have a good day!