ZOOMA Annapolis Hotel & Mocktail Party

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Annnndddd”¦ I’m back in Boston. Just like that. Holy moly. My trip to Annapolis (and back) was a whirlwind adventure for sure!

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[Disclaimer: The folks from ZOOMA covered the cost of my flight, hotel, rental car, and race registration during my time in Annapolis, but, as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed on CNC are all my own.]

Yesterday afternoon, I arrived safe and sound in Baltimore after a quick flight from Boston. It was one of those flights where you have just long enough to enjoy a few sips of a complimentary beverage before the cabin crew comes back down the aisle to collect your cup to start the plane’s descent. Up and down.

When I arrived at the airport, I rented a car (a Volkswagen Beetle – so fun!) to drive to Annapolis, which was about 30 minutes away.

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The host hotel for ZOOMA was the Loews Annapolis Hotel, a luxury hotel within walking distance of downtown Annapolis and about a 20-minute walk to the race start.

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The lobby was gorgeous, and I loved the nautical-themed décor throughout the hotel.

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After I briefly met a couple of the ZOOMA race organizers, I checked in to my hotel room for the night. Theodora and Anne joined me a little while later. I invited them to crash in my room for the night since they were running ZOOMA too. Friends + races = the best!

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Once we all got settled in the room, we headed down to the hotel atrium for the race expo. There, we picked up our bibs, tech shirts (they were super cute – gray with chevron), and checked out the race vendors and sponsors.

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I loved that the expo was right in the hotel. It made all of the pre-race activities quick and easy!

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How cute is the shirt below?! (FYI: it’s from Run Pretty Far.)

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After spending some time at the expo, Theodora, Anne, and I took a walk to explore downtown Annapolis, which was super cute. I had no idea it was such an adorable place! (The only other time I’ve visited Annapolis was when I was 23 for the 4th of July, and I drank my face off, so I don’t remember much of it. I’m almost positive I had a blast though!)

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The three of us kept saying we should have stayed an extra night in Annapolis because it would have been a lot of fun to go out to dinner, have some drinks, and enjoy the downtown area. Next time!

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It was almost time for the Pre-Race Mocktail Party, so we prettied ourselves and then headed back to the atrium to get our (non-alcoholic) drink on.

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Honest Tea provided the beverages for the event, and each one was made with fresh fruit (or veggies) and incorporated their new Honest fizz, a naturally sweetened zero calorie soda.

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The “Light Foot Lemon-Limey,” which was made with Lemon Limey Fizz, sliced cucumbers, and fresh lime, was awesome. It was light, refreshing, and not sweet. (I’m always a little wary of drinks like this because they’re usually super sweet and loaded with sugar, but this one wasn’t at all.) I loved the Light Foot mocktail so much, I ended up drinking three cups of it. Side note: It would probably taste really good mixed with vodka. Just sayin’.

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After the mocktail party, Theodora, Anne, and I headed over to the hotel restaurant for dinner. We heard the food was excellent, and it was just steps away (from our beds), so we were all about it.

The restaurant offered some delicious-sounding specials for the ZOOMA race (salad + entrée), so all three of us took advantage of it.

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I loved the candied pecans on the salad!

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And the herb-crusted salmon was to die for. Anne and I both ordered it and could not stop talking about how delicious it tasted while we chomped away. (P.S. If anyone knows how to cook salmon like this or has an easy recipe, please let me know. I want to recreate it at home so badly!)

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Race recap coming next!

Questions of the Day

What’s your favorite thing about race expos?

What’s your favorite kind of car? Have you ever driven a Beetle?

Do you have a good grilled salmon recipe for Anne and me?



  1. Please post if someone sends you a fantastic salmon recipe! The whole weekend looked like fun! I haven’t been to Annapolis before but would live to go now! Fun!

  2. Grilled salmon baked all sealed up in the tin foil to keep the juices!!!!

    Funny enough… I have never ever enjoyed all the little “perks” of the expo before OR after a race!!! I am just always in a hurry! I hope to enjoy the Richmond Marathon expo in November though!!!

    right now.. my car of choice is any little hatch-back. Where my bike can easily fit… yet I can still whip it around town 🙂 I have never driven or been in a bug… can’t say that that is my style at all!!!

  3. That was one whirlwind trip! Those mocktails sound great; I don’t drink alcohol anymore so I’m always interested in yummy alternatives when I’m out! I LOVE beetles! Ever since that Mandy Moore vid where she has the green one…(10 years ago?!?)

  4. I’m very interested in your race recap. I’m a local and was very disappointed with the race. I ran the half and thought that it was one hot mess. The lack of water stations and guidance on the course really ruined the event for me. Any insight on the course debacle (it was mapped out .25 miles short)?

    1. I heard the half was a mess. Ugh. No idea why the course was short, but I know a lot of people are upset. Agree with you about the water stations. I was so thirsty!

  5. I never was a Beetle fan, but the new ones are so retro cute, I’m curious how you liked it!?

    There are few things on earth better than a good race expo. I love being surrounded by runners and fun, cool running gear!

  6. i am SO jealous of all the fun events you attend! looks so fun! and i LOVE your dress. you girls are so cute.

    and as much as i love salmon i rarely cook it at home. SO lazy. I had a wonderful teriyaki grilled salmon with pineapple salsa at a restaurant that I’m sure could easily be recreated at home!

  7. It looks like a really nice hotel. I have only been to two race expos but my favorite part was the excitement of getting my bib and learning about all the cool running products. I tried using a packet of Justns nut butter on a training run after hearing another runner talk about using it.

  8. I so wanted a VW Beetle when I was younger it was my dream car, I wanted it in a convertible and even had a keyring of it 🙂

    I love salmon with a mango salsa made with cherry tomatoes, chopped avocado, chopped mango, diced red onion and then a dressing of lime, cilantro and salt and pepper it is delicious.

  9. Love the black dress you wore! Where is it from? Annapolis looks so cute too, I had no idea either!

  10. Race expos just KILL me (in a good way) because I love trying new products, especially health/ fitness related ones! But with my sensitive stomach, I know I shouldn’t be trying new stuff before race day. I usually restrain myself :). I also love the dress you wore!

  11. I purchase Cedar Planks at Target in the “summer/grill section”. Soak the boards in water (or wine), and grill your salmon on top. We’ve placed lemons on the board and the salmon on top, and that was amazing, too. Salmon picks up flavor really well, so this simple recipe worked, and the clean-up is unbeatable! Oranges have also been suggested instead of lemon, and we’ll try that this summer.
    Here is my favorite baked salmon recipe.

  12. So glad you enjoyed Annapolis! I go to school at the naval academy so have spent a lot of quality days (and nights!) downtown. You should definitely go back and explore all Annapolis has to offer, especially the bar scene and great running routes along the bay.

  13. It sounds like you had a fabulous time! Annapolis is awesome — we spent an afternoon there last fall, and it’s gorgeous. Also, hooray for a successful race! 🙂

    The Beetle is freakin’ adorable, too; I really wanted one in high school (although really, I was just excited to have a functional set of wheels), but I eventually caved in to my inner grandma and started to love SUVs. Granted, a huge factor in my SUV-lovin’ ways comes from the fact that when I was 23, an 8-point buck ran in front of my dad’s car (which I was driving) and, since I had no time to react, I hit and killed said very large deer. {Insert paroxysms of guilt here — I felt awful.} However, my dad’s car, a Ford Explorer, sustained no more damage than a crack in the grill and some fur in the hubcap. I was told that driving an SUV saved my life, and they’ve held a special place in my heart ever since. Whoda thunk it? 🙂

  14. Looks like such a fun time! I would love to do a ZOOMA race! I love seeing all of the people so pumped for a race! It makes me so pumped for the race! I have rented a Cube once, it was awesome! I would never ever buy a Cube but to drive one was pretty fun and funny!

  15. My last rental car was a Fiat. Loved it!
    McCormick has a lot of good fish recipes/rub ideas.
    A favorite I often make is to mix smoked paprika, a little garlic salt, about a tsp of cinnamon, and a tsp of brown sugar. Pat that all over the salmon, then marinate in olive oil, balsamic, and orange juice. Grill it up!

  16. Best recipe ever!

    Grilled Salmon with Red-Wine Butter

    1 shallot, minced
    ½ cup red wine
    ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
    ½ stick salted butter, softened for an hour at room temperature
    1½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
    Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
    2 fillets of salmon (preferably wild), 6 oz each
    Olive oil

    Combine the shallot, wine, and balsamic vinegar in a saucepan over medium-low heat and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Allow the wine reduction to cool and then add the butter, along with the thyme and a few pinches of fresh cracked pepper. Use a spatula to thoroughly mix the ingredients and then scoop the mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Roll it up, twist the ends to form a log and store that in the freezer while you cook the fish. (You can do these first steps ahead of time. The wine butter will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge.) Preheat a grill or grill pan on medium high. Rub the salmon with olive oil, salt and pepper and lay the fish, skin side down, on the grill. Cook it for 4 to 5 minutes, flip, and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer for medium. Serve the hot salmon with a slice of the red wine butter melted on top. Makes 2 servings.

  17. This race expo and mocktail party looks super fun. Perhaps I’ll have to sign-up for the Zooma race down the Cape in September. Hope you had a good race and it wasn’t too warm!

  18. My favorite thing about race expo’s has to be the samples they give. I kind of love it more when they give sample bars or packages, too.
    Love the hotel! Looks swanky!

  19. The Historic Inns of Annapolis are another awesome place to stay and they often have discounted rates, we spend a lot of time in the area!

  20. Looks like a fun lil tripski. I visited a friend in Annapolis last month and absolutely adored it – had no idea it was such a cute, fun spot. Loved the summery, almost-vacation-y without being too relaxed vibe I got there.

  21. Hi! I love your overnight bag (shown in a picture above). Do you mind sharing the brand name and if you remember, where you purchased it? Thanks in advance, I love reading the blog!

  22. Fun! I’m interested to read your race recap after hearing about the distance mishap! It looks like the mocktail reception was fun-I can’t wait to go to the Chicago one! I’m an Ambassador as well.

  23. Probably going to sign up for the Cape Cod 10K–this sounds like a blast! Just want to see how I do in my 3.5-mile race on June 20 first.

  24. Glad you liked Annapols … I live 15 minutes from there. We spend many an evening in Annapolis eating, drinking and shopping :). Next time you’re in town you gotta go to Middleton’s Tavern for bloody Mary’s and Storm Bros. for ice cream.

    I debated doing the half marathon but I got scured and chickened out … Maybe next year 😉

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