Zooma weekend started off with an early morning long drive from El Paso to Bastrop. It’s a good thing I wasn’t alone. My dear friend Sue decided to run this race with me and a friend of hers, Maria, who I’ve met a few times joined in as well! A girls weekend came together quite well unexpectedly.
Once we got to the Hyatt resort I was blown away. It was more than what I expected. Everything was Zooma and I felt very welcomed to be there. Any nervousness I was feeling sort of disappeared, I was just very excited to be there.
We headed to our room, got changed and went to packet pick up.
Besides all of the sponsors being there, there were also Austin running stores and small businesses that sell running related clothes and accessories.
After the expo was the Mocktail Party hosted by Honest Tea. It wasn’t all mocktails. There was also wine from Barefoot Wines. Yes, I had some.
This was the first time all of us ambassadors met each other. We all clicked right away. Of course we talked about running and how we were feeling about the race the next day. This was completely new to most of us. We heard there were hills but we weren’t really sure of how many miles of hills.
It’s funny because as we were driving into the resort Sue and I were saying wow this so gorgeous and look at all these hills…
Then we thought oh man!! This is the race route!! We may have panicked a little. It was too funny!
After dinner, we headed to our rooms hoping to get a good night sleep. I set my alarm for 6. And of course woke up at 5. That’s what happens I guess when you get used to an early morning run. I didn’t mind. I was looking forward to racing.
We got to the start and had some time to spare…
Then the real fun started. And by fun, I mean torture.
Right away we had rolling hills. There were times where it was not good to look up because all you saw was uphill and nothing else.
By mile 2 I was already wanting to give up. It takes me a few miles to warm up for a half marathon and I felt like I didn’t have that chance. But I kept powering through, slowly. It took me a while to get used to the humidity as well.
The route was very pretty to look at. So that helped me from getting bored. And every time we were approaching uphill it seemed like the common phrase from everyone was, “oh sh%#!!” I couldn’t agree more. This lasted for 6 miles. I knew I needed to change something. I wanted to get in front of the 2:10 pacer.
I got to mile 7 stopped. Saw Katherine. Drank some water. My hip was hurting. But my friend Katherine said, “Farrah, you got this. You’re a great runner.” That really set something off in me and I just took off. I didn’t stop one time after that. There were no more hills and I felt really great.
I passed the 2:10 pacer girl at mile 10 and that felt good. I hammered on to the finish. Passed so many runners and seeing the support from the spectators for the last two miles helped so much.
My official finish time was 2:08:55. Yes, it would have been nice to finish under 2 hours. But I didn’t go into this race with expectations because I had no clue what it was going to be like. I’m happy with my results especially after dealing with a few injuries.
I can’t even describe how much fun I had at Zooma. Not only the race but the events before and after it were also so great. The friendships that are already in place grow even stronger. And new friendships are formed because of this event and the love of running.
Meet my friend Katherine, who helped push me have that great finish. She discovered my blog through the Zooma site when I had only been a Zooma ambassador for a few months. She was inspired after reading my blog and decided this race would be her first half marathon! Katherine even added yoga to her workouts and said that helped her with recovery and flexibility. That makes me so happy! I can only tell people how much yoga can help runners but until they try it, they won’t know.
I recommend this race for anyone looking to have a fit, fun weekend with friends. I would love to get a group together to go next year. We can have regular training runs and make it a girls weekend. I know it will be so much fun! It may not have been my fastest half marathon but it was the best race I’ve ever been a part of. I can’t thank the Zooma team and ambassadors enough for that.
If you haven’t heard enough about Zooma, here are some more recaps from my fellow Texas ambassadors: