Thursday, August 14, 2014

Zooma Half Marathon Race Recap

So this recap is coming a bit later than I usually would have written something up, but work has been crazy, I've been planning Patsy's first birthday party and I've been trying to enjoy the last few days of summer as well. Wow.

The plan for this race was to survive. I did a few 8 and 9 mile runs beforehand so I thought I had this thing in the bag. Boy was I wrong (<--foreshadowing). I think I forgot how hard half marathons can be, and I went into this cockier than I should have been.

I headed to the city the night before for packet pickup and a mocktail party. Packet pickup was easy and the drinks were delicious. The mocktail party, however, coincided with dinner time. I enjoyed my evening hanging out with the other ambassadors, but by the time I got home, it was 9pm and I hadn't eaten anything since lunch. That isn't really conducive to great pre-race nutrition.
Enjoying a mocktail with Patsy at packet pickup

The morning of the race, I decided not to take the shuttle. They said there wouldn't be parking at the start but I found a spot. The race started south of the city so I didn't want to drive past the start, to get to the loop, then to take a shuttle back south, etc. etc. I found parking about a mile from the start but it made for a great pre- and post-race walk.

Before the race with fellow Zooma ambassadors!
Meghan and I had planned to run the race together so we started off by the 2:20 pacers, hoping that we would finish before then. Something that I don’t think I was very prepared for was the course. It was out for 3 miles, back for 3 miles, out for 3 more miles, back for 3 miles. We started off the race with a solid 10:30 pace and we were feeling good. We ran with Amanda W for most of the beginning of the race. We also ran into Amanda C (adorable mother-to-be runner) and Emily while out there too. The first few miles were solid and I had confidence that things were going to go well. That is, until, we reached the halfway point and the end of the 10k. The crowd began to thin, the sun warmed up, and we were heading out for the 2nd and more challenging half of the race. I asked for a quick walk break to recharge and then we started on the 2nd half.

Something that I don’t think I was prepared for was how the course required us to still be going out at the 8 and 9 mile markers. Mentally, that really did me in. Any miles beyond that were a real struggle. I’m so thankful that Meghan was there to offer some words of wisdom and motivation. The sun got to be too much and I lost the singlet at around mile 9. That was a freeing moment where I felt a second wind coming. That didn't last long as I was hit with a wave of nausea around mile 10. By this point I felt that I hadn't fueled properly. I had only had water and Picky Bars during the race and I needed something with salt. Water just wasn't quenching my thirst the way I needed it to. At around mile 11, I took some Cytomax for the first time during the race and it seemed to work out well. But by this point, the race was just about over. When we hit the last mile, I still felt like I was dying. Meghan pushed me to run to the end and finish strong.

I crossed the finish line with my hands in the air, extremely humbled. Our official chip time was 2:22:43. My body was beat up and done. I now realize that I was probably a little undertrained for the half marathon, so I’m not quite sure what I was expecting. Getting back on the running saddle after having Patsy has definitely been an interesting ride. Now I know what I need to work on for next time!

Hanging out with fellow Oiselle runner from the Flock, Mary

I had a fun time being an ambassador for the Zooma race. I got to meet some more great local Chicago bloggers and hang out with old friends too. As far as the race goes itself, I enjoyed the course for the most part, but I think it would have been better to just have an out-and-back course as opposed to the out and back, out and back. Mentally, that was quite challenging, especially with the 10k runners disappearing at the halfway point. The wine after the race was delicious and I like that they still had a wide selection, even after we stumbled in as late as we did. Depending on how next year goes, I just might sign up to be an ambassador again!

Next on the race calendar is Spartan. What have I gotten myself into??


  1. Congrats on the finish and your first half back after having Patsy! Glad they had some good wine for you after the race was over!

  2. Hey I think you did great! It has got to be hard coming back from having a baby and a busy schedule!! It's hard to know what to expect going in to any half at any time. And I think everyone struggled the last 1/3 of that race. I finished at 2:18 and I've run like 7 halves this year. Never easy! Great job at the post baby distance PR!

  3. Good for you for powering through! 2:22 is nothing to sneeze at. You have different priorities now, and running isn't as high on the list ... and that's OK! But you still get out there and that's awesome.

  4. Wendy@TakingtheLongWayHomeAugust 14, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    I was there...the humidity was a killer. I struggled on the back half too!

  5. Thanks Maggie! I think I like an 8-9-10 mile race versus a half marathon. Those last few miles are killer!

  6. Thanks Amanda! Yes, I'm enjoying the post-baby PDR :)

  7. Yes, the humidity was brutal. I was glad I wore a hat!

  8. I agree! 15K - 10mi races are ideal.

  9. I think you did AMAZING!! And seriously your first half post Patsy? You Rock!! The heat was brutal. I walked most of the race. :-)

  10. Thanks! I'm glad I'm not the only one who was roasted by the heat!

  11. It was just one of those days. And I do agree about the out and back AND out and back. Did not like it at all.