ZOOMA Annapolis Race Recap

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

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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.

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Good times with Anne and Theodora!! I’m so glad I had the chance to hang out with them in Annapolis for the ZOOMA race this past weekend.

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The three of us woke up bright and early on Saturday morning for ZOOMA Annapolis. I originally planned to run the half marathon, but I ended up dropping down to the 10K because I took so much time off from exercise this past spring, and I wasn’t properly trained. Basically, running a half marathon wasn’t a smart idea, and the 10K was a much better option for me.

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Both the half marathon and 10K races started at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at 7:00 AM. I loved that the races started at the same place and time, which made coordinating with friends easy, especially since we weren’t running the same race distance. (Anne and Theodora ran the half.) And, of course, it was nice to have some buddies to start the race with.

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Even though the weather was hot and humid on Saturday morning, and I hadn’t run very much in the past several weeks, I still felt pretty optimistic about the race. I didn’t think a PR was possible, but my spirits were high after doing the whole pre-race ritual with my running buddies””setting up my gear the night before, eating my usual peanut butter and banana breakfast, and having those excited-nervous butterflies in my stomach on race morning. I love everything that goes into racing, so I was happy and upbeat going into it. I blasted the David Guetta station on Pandora on my iPhone, and the first couple of miles went well for me.

  • Mile 1: 8:20
  • Mile 2: 8:25

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As I approached mile 3, however, I was really starting to feel the heat and humidity. My pace slowed down, but I was still trucking along and having a great time.

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I was also really enjoying the scenic course, which went through historic downtown Annapolis (adorable!) and then along the waterfront. It was a gorgeous race route!

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As I approached mile 4”¦ well, the wheels started to come off, and I slowed down a ton. I’m a total wuss when it comes to running in hot, humid weather, and I just can’t push through that gross feeling that goes along with it. Much of the race was out in the open, blazing sun, so I was dying of heat. My legs didn’t want to run, and I was so thirsty. There were only two water stops on the 10K route, which probably would have been fine if it wasn’t so hot. Seeing the second water stop was like seeing an oasis in the distance. Haha! I grabbed two cups of water and walked through the water stop to give myself a little time to recover.

Mile 4: 9:39

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Running across the scenic Severn River on the Naval Academy Bridge was the hardest part of the race for me. It was a long, gradual incline with no shade, so my body just didn’t want to move quickly. I saw a bunch of people walking, which made me want to stop and walk too, but I didn’t let myself. I was shuffling along at a pretty slow pace, but I didn’t stop.

  • Mile 5: 10:19

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The 10K turnaround was almost at the top of the incline on the bridge, and I was so happy to see it. (The half marathoners continued on over the bridge.)

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Running downhill across the bridge felt awesome and gave me a second wind, which helped me pick up the pace for the final mile.

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A spectator dressed as banana made me smile during the final stretch. Obviously. Bananas at races = the best.

  • Mile 6: 9:16

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I finished the race in 54:43 (9:08), which is my slowest 10K to date, but that’s okay because it lit a fire under my butt to get back into running. More about this later.

The ZOOMA After-Party was really great. There was live music (Doug Segree Band – excellent cover band), food, wine, shopping, laptops to check your race results, and 20-minute recovery yoga sessions. (Race participants received a free yoga mat to practice.)

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I looked everywhere, but never found the post-race massages. Whomp whomp.

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I did, however, take advantage of the foam rollers provided by Muscle Milk to roll out my tight lower back and legs. Loved this idea!

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Instead of a medal, finishers received a ZOOMA necklace.

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I loved the boxed snack. We had the option of hummus or chicken salad, and it came with crackers, baby carrots, and an apple. It was the perfect post-race fuel.

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Post-race with Theodora and Anne! Doesn’t it look like I just went swimming? I AM SO SWEATY!

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After the race, the three of us walked back to the hotel, showered up, and then headed out in search of food. And iced coffee. Naturally.

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We all wanted crab cakes for lunch (when in Rome), so we asked the hotel concierge for a recommendation, and she suggested Phillip’s Seafood, which was a great pick.

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It was right on the water with open, airy dining and a fun, laid-back atmosphere””totally my type of place.

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I ordered a crab cake with coleslaw, which was incredibly light and fresh (not drenched in mayo), and French fries, which I sprinkled with Old Bay seasoning (love that stuff).

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After lunch, we walked back to the hotel, grabbed our stuff, and said goodbye. Our girls’ weekend was over.

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All in all, I had a wonderful time in Annapolis this weekend! Thanks, ZOOMA, for a great time!

Question of the Day

Who do you typically run races with? Friends? Your significant other? A running club? Solo?

What’s the coolest “perk” (or swag) you’ve ever experienced at a race?

P.S. The dog owners will love this video: Sad Dog Diary. It’s a little slow at first, but give it time. Mal and I were crying because we were laughing so hard!

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83 Comments

  1. I ran a mile race this past weekend in Mass. It was brutal. Surprised your 10k only had 2 water stops.

  2. I ran the half and should have turned around at the 10k point. The heat was awful and I felt the same way you did starting about mile 4. Honestly, I’m so glad to hear I wasn’t the only one struggling.

    Best swag from a race? 2013 Anthem Shamrock Half Marathon where they gave out finisher’s blankets! Especially helpful when the temps were in the 40s and windy at the finish. But, I’ll be honest, this race always does a great job with their swag. I recommend this race to everyone!

    1. @Chris: Hearing that made me feel so much better too!! I never walk and I can’t decide if I gave up mentally or physically. Either way I’m still beating myself up over it…

  3. Great job on the race, even if you didn’t get your personal best time! I think running any race is an awesome accomplishment.

    When I was running, I usually ran with my husband. Now that I’ve just had a baby, I need to get back in to it!

  4. I ran this race (the 10k) this weekend too! I was really disappointed that the course was actually mis-measured. It was 6 miles instead of 6.25 miles. The race swag was great, but it’s upsetting that some people may have trained for the race and didn’t technically get to race the proper distance! P.S. The massages were sort of hidden, over to the left of the wine behind another gate!

  5. Wow! You had such a good race even if you say you didn’t do all too much training. I wish I could run a 10k that fast ;).

    I think it was a good decision, though, to listen to your body and do the 10k instead of the half.

    Great job girl! You rocked it!

  6. What a fun race! I love the healthy and awesome fuel boxes following the race. The rest of your day looks pretty awesome as well 🙂 I think the coolest race “prize” I have received is a 6-pack of beer a few years ago at a beer run in Minneapolis!

  7. It was so steamy on Saturday. Blech. I spent the afternoon watching my nephew playing soccer not too far from Annapolis. I lasted all of 20 minutes and bailed when I got to feeling not-so-fresh. :-/

    Good job on the race! Here’s a virtual high-five for running and finishing. When it comes down to it, who really cares about the time? You’re lapping all the others who are just sitting around!

  8. I used to think I was a ‘lone wolf’ when it came to running. There are a handful of people I truly enjoy running with… my sister, and a couple guys I’m friends with that are serious runners so they really push me. However! I started running with my sisters Boston marathon training team this past season (she runs for MS every year) and I LOVED it!!! I never realized how much I would love running with a team. For some reason it always made me nervous? She is in an 8 minute pace group which is perfect for me. The camaraderie, the support, the water stops, Swedish Fish snacks haha, and new friendships have been so awesome! I cannot wait to run for MS in 2014 now! Though I run every day, running with sam’s team renewed the excitement!

    Best swag? A bottle of wine! And frozen yogurt bars after Falmouth last year. Sounds lackluster but I freaking loved those frozen yogurt bars after that race. very fond memories haha 😉 So both were pretty rad. Imagine a bottle of wine AND frozen yogurt after a race!?

  9. I like to run by myself, but I like having friends there and knowing that they are running too, if that makes sense. Basically, running is something that I love to do by myself, but it makes me sad to think of celebrating a finish by myself…so I like to know that I have someone there who’s looking for me/waiting/still running and that we can celebrate our accomplishments together.

    Massages, pizza, and beer are always good choices 😉 I loved Disney because there were characters all throughout the course and at the end so that you could take your picture with them.

  10. I’m just like you – I’m terrible in the heat/humidity!! It’s like I have never run before at all. Glad you enjoyed some Maryland deliciousness at Phillips! We had our rehearsal dinner at the Phillips in Baltimore last summer 🙂

  11. Yuck, the humidity of Annapolis can be a killer, nice job finishing strong! Best race swag I’ve gotten so far are lululemon shorts from their SeaWheeze race. They also gave us a decent pair of flip flops, free massages, and an amazing brunch. I was super impressed with that race. I’m a solo runner for the most part, I’ve tried running with friends but I notoriously start off too fast and lose people.

  12. Yikes I am not a fan of the heat either (even though I’m from Florida!)

    That is definately the coolest post-race celebration I have seen that looks like do much fun!

  13. well done! Your slow 10K is still faster than my fast one 😉

    I don’t know – I see so many blog posts from races in the US that have way better swag/after race refreshments than the races that I run here in Ottawa. The last race I did had only yoghurt and fruit leathers for a refreshment and apparently food ran out for the half marathon. Normally it is just bagels and fruit. Warrior Dash gave you a free beer though!

  14. That necklace is awesome!! Good for you for sticking out the race…those poor half marathoners who had to run through that heat and humidity 🙁

  15. The last half marathon I ran alone, but I signed up for the color run in NYC this summer with my boyfriend! He’s a swimmer and I think it will be funny to see him try to be athletic on land 😉 I’m so excited for it.

  16. I’d love to find a fun group to do races with, I’ve been researching clubs in my area. Out of my close group of friends I have to twist their arms to walk to the grocery store so a race is sort of out of the question.

  17. Nice job on the 10k!! Props to running in that heat…can’t imagine that was fun. I don’t mind running in the heat, as long as there is no fresh cut grass – kills my breathing due to allergies.

    PS, where did you get those shorts? I’m looking for a pair similar to those for the Falmouth RR.

  18. Usually I run races with friends. It’s always nice to have someone do the race with you.

    I think the best thing I received at a race was a sweatshirt. At the Hot Chocolate 15k, instead of a t-shirt participants received sweatshirts. I have way too many t-shirts so it was nice to have something different.

    That Sad Dog video was hilarious! I’ve already shared it on Facebook lol

  19. That is such a well set up race! Well done on trucking through the heat..
    The 10k night run in Dublin in April was so badly organised…all we got at the end was a powerade which I turned my nose up too! 🙂

  20. I love the necklace they gave instead of the typical finishers medals. I’m excited to hear more about your wanting to get back into running. I am just starting crossfit (I got a groupon unlimited for a month for only $20) and after only 1 session I am so excited to do more! I think it has to do with changing up your workouts to keep things interesting.

  21. Great job running in the heat! I love to run with my husband for a race but we make a pack to drop each other if one is feeling better and the other is not 🙂 I also love to run races solo and meet people on the course. When I was running the Walt Disney World Marathon they passed out M&M’s at mile 23 or so. Pretty cool! And mile 20 they had a huge surprise! I ran a race in May and at the end they give you a flute of champagne!

  22. I love bananas at races too, what could be better!? And that is a great time for not keeping up with running. Im just getting back into running too and my pace is about a ten minute mile right now, but Im hoping to get faster too!

  23. awesome job finishing in the race in that heat! I need to get my friends on board with running long distances .. I want to run a race in friends! .. anyone in the north jersey area who wants a running buddy?

  24. I got a Camelback water bottle at the Men’s Health Urbanathlon in SF. That was pretty cool swag.
    Looks like a tough race to run if you didn’t train in the heat and humidity! I’d wimp out and completely fall apart by mile 2, haha. Great job getting through it and I’m glad it lit a fire in you to start running again!

  25. I absolutely bonk out when I run in the heat too. My body just can’t handle it! I’m a winter runner through and through. I had a Tough Mudder race on Saturday, with highs at about 92. It was 12 miles in the grueling sun, with only 6 water stops. I was basically dying for water every time I came up to a water stop. It was brutal! At least a hundred people were apparently treated with heat related illnesses, and that doesn’t include the people who were throwing up on the bus ride back.

    Yea, running in hot weather is no freaking joke haha.

  26. Oh my gosh I can’t believe they sent you to Phillips! I’m sure it was decent but I am from Annapolis and the best crab cakes is definitely Boatyard Bar & Grill in Eastport (a 5 min walk from Phillips). That is where Mayor O’Malley takes Obama when they meet, so def check it out next time! Tip: always avoid chains for crab cakes! Anyway, had to put in my Maryland 2 cents…I’m glad you enjoyed our humid little city and hope you make it back to explore it more soon!!

  27. I usually start with someone else and then finish and run most of it solo. Well, actually I run until I find someone at my pace and then strike up a conversation. We try to stick together for most of it and encourage each other along the way. Nice way to meet new people as well! I do hate going to races alone though…no fun!

  28. That’s great that you recognized you weren’t ready for the half and moved to the 10k! It’s so hard to make that move sometimes because we want to push ourselves, but I think it’s important to be ok with admitting this to yourself. I usually run races with my significant other or solo. I’ve always got my mom cheering me on!

  29. I can completely relate to being totally sapped by heat and humidity. It really does a number on my ability to run, so I give you a lot of credit for doing the whole 10K (especially with only two water stops — oy gevault). Also, the spectator in the banana suit? Freakin’ fantastic. If there were more things to make people crack up during a race, I feel like it’d add to the experience. 🙂

  30. Congrats on the race- it is so hard running in the heat and humidity! I like running solo although it is so fun when I have friends (or family!) running in the same race as me. It doesn’t happen often but when it does, it is a real treat rather than being the only person I know racing…the best race by far for me in terms of post race swag has been the Hershey Park Half Marathon – do I even need to say why? lol

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