Zooma Annapolis 1/2 Marathon Race Recap #thisishowizooma (5/31/2014)

First off, let me apologize… This race was amazing and it shouldn’t have taken me almost a month to recap it!! Geeze!!! Slacker!!! Ok, Having never run a Zooma Race, I really had no idea what i was in for.  I kept checking the website and getting more pumped as the race day got closer and closer.  I’m from the MD/VA area anyway, so I’ve been to Annapolis MULTIPLE times and (if you’re never been – GO!!) it’s beyond gorgeous.  The historical value alone was enough to draw my ex-husband and myself down there a few times.  Anywho, beautiful seaside town with a LOT to offer.  So, naturally I jumped at the chance to run in said town.  I figured, I’ll get to run past the water (I did), I’ll get to run past the state buildings (I did), and I’ll get to MAYBE run through historic Annapolis which holds a dear place in my heart because of it’s quaint little stores and beautiful cobblestone (not fun to run on… but anyway) roads (I did!!). OK!!! For the race…

As per the usual, I laid out flat Stacey the night before with all the essentials… My BioSkin calf sleeves (which I will no longer run a long race without), my ENERGYbits that kept me fueled the entire time… My Nuun tablets to hydrate me before and (more importantly) after the race… and my race attire, including an epic shirt I won from a fellow blogger Smitha from here. See… 🙂

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First positive – EPIC SWAG!!!! I’ve gotten pretty cool stuff from races before don’t get my wrong, but I opened up my bag (yea, an actually reusable bag with a closure… not just Velcro) to find a HAT, amazing Feetures Socks in bright pink (which made me smile), my amazing shirt, and a bunch of coupons.  Happy lady… Check it out… 

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I live in Baltimore County and this race started at 0700. So we left the house a little before 6 and made it there in INCREDIBLE TIME, lol.  Helps my driver has a lead foot. (*ahem*) I had plenty of time to pee before hand, take prerace “selfies” with my gorgeous son (you can’t deny he’s gorgeous… I mean look…)

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and look around the amazingly beautiful Naval/Marine Corp stadium.  Another must, if you’ve never been.  I’d been there before for a food and wine festival the previous year, but the energy from the race made everything feel different.  Just awe-inspiring.  Of course (because I’m a goofy person, I had to take a picture of the Navy “N” with my feet… because I take pictures of everything!!!)

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Then it was race time.  Now keep in mind, this is a Women’s race series… So I didn’t know what to expect when the National Anthem came up… I’m always skeptical because I’m a singer. (no, not a “I sing in the shower or occasionally sing Karaoke” singer… like, I’ve been classically trained, Singer.)  This woman blew.me.away!! A lot of the other races I’ve been to, people will talk during the National Anthem… (which PISSES ME OFF!!!) but as soon as she opened her mouth everyone shut up and starred… it sounded like Carrie Underwood was singing. I’m getting goosebumps on my legs now thinking about it.  Her range was SPOT on, she nailed every high note and DIDN’T MESS UP THE WORDS!!! (see my Frederick half recap, lol). It was effortless.  The way the song should be executed.  Seriously, she was phenomenal.  Best singer I’ve heard at a race so far and I’ve run over 20 races. (I’ve only been running a little over year, gimme a break).  She pumped me up!!!  I had tears in my eyes (probably a combination of her amazing voice, the song, and the fact that I’m a former soldier/army wife standing in Navy/Marine corp stadium) when she finished. I was ready… 

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Go time!!! I don’t know what took over my legs but I rocketed through the starting line… It was amazing!!! The first 6 miles I was keeping a 10:30 pace! (I’m not a fast runner, this is good for me) I kept saying to myself… “Ummm, legs? Where did you come from?!!” But I wasn’t about to argue, I just kept trucking!!! I snapped a few pictures because, like I spoke about early, Annapolis is too beautiful not too!!! 

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ImageImageThen I met my newest enemy… The Naval Academy bridge… Oh.My.God…….. The 10K runners got to turn around at this point… (lucky ducks) but nooooooooo I (along with many other women) had to face this BEAST of a bridge… I can’t describe to you (unless you’ve been there the magnitude of this thing… I saw it and my heart sank. I hate hills… So my 10:30 pace?? Yea, shot that right in the ass. This bridge killed me. Killed my legs, my pace, and my soul.  I actually threw up!! (Yea, I know… that’s never happened to me before on a race…) I’m not ashamed to admit I walked (briskly) going up (after chucking…) because I felt a very unusual and sharp pain on the bottom of my foot. (later I’d find out it was a MASSIVE blister from the bridge…)

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So, my pace from here on out sucked… I made incredible time (for me) up to the 10K point… but I was screwed… I’d met my match.  Stacey – 0, Navy Bridge – 1.  I kept going… kept on trekking… slowly… because that pain in my foot was getting progressively worse… to the point that at mile nine I was limping… (not a good thing on a half marathon.) I had a few people ask me if I was ok and I just kinda nodded and kept SLOWLY jogging.  Completely disheartened… I saw people turning around!! “Oh sh*t I have to run that bridge AGAIN!!!!” OK… at this point I told myself what I frequently tell myself when I want to give up “embrace the suck Stace… embrace the suck”.  And I started to run again… as fast as my wounded feet would carry me. I thought about my beautiful baby boy waiting for me at the finish line.  I thought, “I have to get off these feet!!!”  And I ran.  I RAN up the hill going back… (not smart… puked again.. stupid hill), but going down I got this cool picture… 

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I was almost there!!! I could hear music… And then I saw him, I saw my baby boy!!! He was holding a sign and he was yelling “Go mommy go!!!” I sprinted as fast as I could! I hear a woman standing next to my ex husband say “NICE!! Strong to the finish!!” 🙂 That was nice 🙂  And then it was over… THANK THE LORD!!!! I DID IT!!! Half #2 under my belt!!! w00t!!! I grabbed water my GORGEOUS finisher medal 

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And then I went to find my “supporters”.   Time for wine and high fives!!! The wine was provided by Barefoot Winery which was just YUMMY and so much more refreshing then a beer. (and I’m a beer drinker, lol)

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Then time with my biggest fan and his amazing sign!!! Cutest fan ever!!! I love this kid!!! ImageImageImage

 

This race was incredible… I WILL be back and I WILL be prepared for the bridge next time.  I will NOT puke and I will NOT get a terrible blister that took me over a week to recover from.  Thank you Zooma for an amazing experience!!! 🙂 #thisishowizooma

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