|En route with Maggie (left) and Kelly (middle)|
After picking up our messenger bag packets, we headed to a different conference room and caught the end of a presentation on Trek Bikes. To be honest, since I don't own a bike and don't have much interest on picking up cycling, I was more interested in the food selection available for snacking.
After the presentation (and snagging some free Sock Guy socks that I'm excited to try), we headed back to our house to start prepping dinner. We wanted to keep it simple so we cooked up some runaroni pasta and took some horrible food photos. (More to come on that later.)
|Back L to R: Maggie, Bobbi, Kelly, Sierra, Emily, Jenny (?), Kayla|
Middle L to R: Amy, me, Jackie, Marcia, Katie
Front: Kim, Kayla, Erin
Race day morning, we snapped a quick group shot before heading to the finish line where there were shuttles to take us to the start. (The race was point-to-point.) I feel this was pretty efficient way to start the race. Sara Hall gave some words of encouragement before we were on our way. I even ran into Jess who was running the Half Marathon as a training run for her marathon later this year. Erin and I started the race together with the 2:10 pace group. After a few miles and some ridiculous hills, we knew we were in for an interesting race. We got the chance to run along the lake and it was absolutely beautiful. It was hard to keep your eyes on the road with such beautiful scenery.
|Thanks for letting me steal your photo, Amy|
As we continued on, we would periodically pick up the pace, walk a few steps through the water stops and continue on our way. At the half way point, I turned to Erin and asked "I wonder if the best or the worst is behind us?" The hills seemed never-ending, but we tackled each one without walking and I felt great throughout the race. And then, we reached about the 10 mile marker and we saw the finish line party. We just had a 5k left and we made a right turn for the only "out and back" part of the course. Well, little did we know that this would by far be the worst part of the race. The elevation map gives you some detail, but the hill we had to climb up was steep and it Just. Kept. Going...
You thought it was over and then PSYCHEEEEE... there was more! It was an evil, evil trick to have at the end of the race! When the turnaround point came, all I could think about was going down the giant hill (where I was nervous I would fall as gravity kept me moving pretty quick). There were a few more teaser uphills as we made our way down, but we knew the worst was behind us. I shouted to Erin that we could make it under 2:05! She said that she'll meet me at the finish line as I sprinted off. I heard the cheers of some of my fellow blogger friends as I zoomed to the finish line as fast as I could go.
I happily finished in 2:02:34. They even announced my name as I was crossing the finish line! I knew I wouldn't PR during this race given the amount of speedwork completed (not much) and my fitness level hasn't been what I'd like given my study schedule... but I'm still REALLY happy with this time. I still had plenty of gas in the tank at the end and this was one hell of a hilly course. I just know I have a 1:4x time in these legs... I'm looking forward to getting there in January! :)
After I finished, I HAD to get a photo with Sara Hall. She was so sweet and nice and she even responded to my tweet (that makes me famous now, right??) Sara's mom crossed the finish line soon after this photo was taken. :)
Overall, here are some of my pros and cons about this race
Beautiful scenery course
Well-stocked aid stations (complete with adorable little girl scouts, happily helping out)
Enjoyed the out and back portion, just wish it wasn't on a ginormous hill
Post-race food (I think it was a good idea poorly executed. The wraps were soggy and I just kind of wanted some pretzels and a bagel.)
Course was on the side of the road, seemed dangerous as cars were still driving by
Seeing the finish line and then having to do the most challenging part of the course
I think my pros and cons mirror some of the other folks' thoughts as well. I'm not yet sure how I feel about the necklace versus medal. I like the thought of being able to wear my race bling any day of the week, but I also kind of wish I would have gotten a medal.
Overall, I had a ton of fun at this race, but I think it was mainly due to the great company. If there wasn't a group of some of my favorite people from the internet to hang out with, I'm not sure if I would have had as much fun.
|Who wouldn't want to hang out with these gals in a house for an entire weekend??|
Will I do Zooma in 2013? TBD. Will I run another race with these fab ladies? Absolutely!