Category Archives: Races

Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon Recap

Post Zooma Cape Cod | happyfitmama.com

I did it!

I ran Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon on Saturday and showed my Achilles ache  who was boss!

All the rest, ice, stretching and fingers crossing must have did the trick because I felt really good on race day morning.

We arrived in North Falmouth early Friday afternoon. We lucked out so much with the weather. The Sea Crest Beach Hotel is the race headquarters and where we stayed. It was perfect to have the beach, an outdoor heated pool and an indoor pool. We spent the afternoon soaking in the warm temps and sunshine. I don’t know how many times I said “I can’t believe it’s late September and we are swimming outside!”

Sea Crest Beach Hotel | happyfitmama.com

That night I got to meet up with all of my fellow Zooma Cape Cod Ambassadors. It was so nice to meet everyone in real life although Amy and I go way back to the days of the water slide at LoziLu. You know I’m all about sunrises but this sunset was breathtaking.

Sunset on Cape Cod | happyfitmama.com

I woke up Saturday around 6 a.m. My Achilles felt good walking around the room and with a few bounces so I thought I’d give it a go. From there it was a scramble to find where I’d put all of my running gear. When I packed I must have been in the mind set that I was not going to run. I forgot so many things and didn’t really think about my race day outfit too much. Thankfully I had packed my favorite Saucony shorts/tank/shoes and Feetures socks. At least I had the essentials!

Our room was right at the starting line. No really, it was right there! (That’s our room to the right of the picture below). I had woke up around 5 a.m. to the sound of clinking metal and found that the barricades and starting line Zooma arch were being put up. My own private bathroom for any last minute potty breaks was so nice. I think I had my fill of port-a-potties after Reach the Beach!

Zooma Cape Cod Ambassadors Starting LineZooma Cape Cod Ambassadors – Jessica, Danielle, Dani, Amy, Nancy, Me, Kelly, Jessica. Photo credit to Nancy.

The 10k runners were starting first at 7:30 a.m. They started a short walk away on the main road. At 7:35, it was go time for the half marathon. I had lined up near the front of the pack and took off. In the back of my head I knew the pace I needed to PR. Instead of focusing on that, I was pacing by feel. If at any time I felt any type of pain from my Achilles, I was going to stop. While I would hate to have a DNF, I knew I had to think of the bigger picture too. I’ve still got a busy fall ahead of me!

The first few miles were right along Buzzard’s Bay with beautiful views. It made me feel like I was at home running my favorite route. I was shocked how open it was from the start. There was no congestion or running in and out of runners which is typical for most races. I think I had my slowest race start ever too – which is a good thing since I tend to positive split like it’s my job.

There were a few small hills but nothing really large – at least they didn’t seem like it with fresh legs. We did a short out and back to a point before heading to the Shining Sea Bikeway. It was great to see the other girls and give out some cheers at this point.

Mile 1-3 – 8:01, 7:48, 7:51

At mile 3 I caught up with 3 ladies, The Skirt Crew, as I called them in my head. They turned into my pacer bunnies. They kept me entertained with their chatter even though I was behind them and not included in the conversation. Just call me #CreepyLurker. The bikeway was awesome. It was pancake flat and shaded. I was anticipating hearing some sort of protest from my Achilles but it was comfortable and quiet. And can we just talk about my mile splits? How’s that for pacing? I don’t think I’ve ever been that right on. My hopes of a mega PR started to grow.

Mile 4-9 – 8:09, 8:05, 8:05, 8:05, 8:04, 8:07

At this point we got off the bikeway and the route meandered through residential neighborhoods. Things started to get hilly and hot. At one point I came upon a girl who did not want to be passed. We played a little back and forth game before I lost her up a hill. Once I lost her, I was by myself. The course became quite lonely. The next runner was at least 1/4 mile ahead of me and there was zero crowd support. I was thankful for at least the one runner ahead because the race signage became sparse. Hopefully she knew the way! I was getting tired and my motivation was lacking. As I trudged up the endless last hills, I felt my mega PR crumble. A girl finally did catch up to me but she breezed past me so fast that my legs didn’t have time to even think about speeding up. Thankfully, there was a little down hill at the end to at least make it look like I finished fast.

Mile 10-13.1 – 8:13, 8:31, 8:34, 8:34, 6:30

Finish – 1:47:06. A 38 second PR!

After finding Ron and the kids, we headed to the after party where I promptly found Amy “icing” in the water. It felt so good!

Ocean Ice Zooma Cape Cod | happyfitmama.comAnd then drank wine. Because wine at 10:00 a.m. is perfectly fine after running 13.1 miles. Wine not?

Post Zooma Cape Cod Wine | happyfitmama.com

I had a blast running Zooma Cape Cod! It truly was a marvelous mini racecation. While I would have loved to have felt 100% confident going into the race, I’m very happy with my squeaker PR. The little added bonuses of running this race make it really special. From the sweet swag bags to the after party massages, wine and yoga, it really was like going to a spa to get pampered.

It’s just like Zooma’s motto – Run. Laugh. Celebrate.

Check. Check. Check.

Disclaimer: As a Zooma Cape Cod Ambassador, I received a free race entry and products from their sponsors. All opinions, as always, are my own.

The Last 20 + Horne St. School 5K

Morning Run | happyfitmama.com

I’m still trying to remember if this weekend even happened.

At some point on Sunday afternoon, I asked Ron what day it was. It just didn’t seem possible that the weekend was almost over. Where was I?

The short answer – running.

It was a marvelous weekend in running.

On Saturday I ran my last 20 miler before Baystate Marathon.

My original plan called for it to be this coming weekend (the 27th) but I’m running Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon that day. I debated about adding on the extra miles before and after the race to get me to 20 but in the end decided that I didn’t want to miss the after party or leave Ron and the kids waiting for me any longer than need be. BTW – thanks for all the feedback from everyone when I posted my #RunnersProblems on my Facebook page.

I had to do the whole 20 miles solo this week. I wanted to get it done as early as possible so I stared off dark and early on my treadmill. I cruised through 7 miles thanks to the distraction of watching the episode of Extreme Weight Loss where the contestant runs the Honolulu Marathon. I can’t believe I’ll be running there in less than 3 months!

From there, I took to the streets. I was kind of shocked how chilly it was – 35 degrees! I’m sad to say I had to pull on the long sleeves, capris and gloves. It just seems way too early.

I picked a favorite route that took me down to the Bay. Running near water just makes everything better in my mind. Maybe it was the views. Maybe it was the colder temps. Whatever it was, I had a really great run.

My fueling was great.

Nothing hurt.

My pace was great. I even managed goal marathon pace from miles 10-15.

I got so into adding mileage that I didn’t realize I’d hit 20 miles way before reaching my house. Initially I thought about calling Ron to come get me once my Garmin said 20.00 13.00. But then I figured out I was about 2 miles from my house. I could run the rest of the way and walk if need be. It would be good for muscle recovery anyway.

I finished with 21.6 miles.

The last 1.6 were a slow pace. I walked up two big hills and just took it easy.

I’m glad I did it just to be over the mental hurdle of 20 miles.

I was feeling so good that I raced a 5K on Sunday.

Ha.Ha.

Horne St. School 5k | happyfitmama.com

I had registered for the Horne St. School 5K before mapping out my marathon training plan. It’s the 8th race of the Dover Road Race Series that I started in March. I felt like I would do it with the expectation of not even coming close to racing it.

I woke up Sunday morning to pouring rain but at least the temp was near 60. What a difference a day makes!

I was pleasantly surprised that my legs were feeling pretty good other than my calves being a little tight.

I still wasn’t feeling too confident in racing even when the rain let up as Mariette and I warmed up. As with most 5K’s, my plan was just to go by feel and do what I can. Keeping the negatives away is always the hardest part.

The first mile consisted of downhill followed by an uphill.

Just before the one mile marker, my shoe became untied. I always, always double knot by shoes but for some reason did not this day. Gah! Time lost.

Mile 1 – 7:27

More gradual rolling hills. I was dreading this section just because I run it often and it sucks every single time. I tried to remind myself after the hills came the flats.

Mile 2 – 7:56

The race course changed a bit to include a short out and back section. I saw Mariette looking strong up near the front of the pack. Once we got through that section it was almost pancake flat with a downhill to the finish line.

Reminder to self – don’t check out now!

Mile 3 – 7:21

Thank you race organizers for the downhill finish!

Mile 3.1 – 23:10

Not a PR but I’ll take it after running 21.6 miles the day before.

Oh and super speedy Mariette had a photo finish for a close 2nd place overall woman. Woohoo!

I’m going into this last full week before taper feeling good about where I’m at with my running. I hit another mileage milestone – 54.

Wow – I can’t believe I ran that much! To some it may not seem like much. To me it’s huge.

I’m not sure of what my goals for Zooma will be yet. Maybe go for a new PR? And my goals for Baystate have changed too but we’ll talk about that later.

But then again, who knows? Everything can change on race day!

Did you run long or race over the weekend?