Hey everyone!!! Yesterday I participated in the ZOOMA Women’s Half Marathon. It was so much fun, and I really had a good day. This was not a race I had originally planned to do, but it appeared one day on Groupon and I couldn’t pass up the Groupon (instead of paying like $125 for entry- I paid $50) – yeahhhhh.
I couldn’t resist this for a few reasons: 1) I remember seeing this race advertised last summer – and it seemed like fun 2) it was so cheap (thanks groupon) 3) I am a lot more motivated with my training when I am able to incorporate races into my training.
Overall it was a well organized, and well executed event. The course was perfect for the amount of people signed up. Packet pickup was simple and and easy. There were two packet pickup days/locations, I went on Friday, and Pat came with me it was at the Aqua Building (which Pat and I are obsessed with – if you have ever been on a Chicago Architectural tour – you know the building – if you haven’t it is the building in downtown Chicago that has the curvy/mismatched balconies)….Anyways…. Packet pick was fast and easy, the “expo” wasn’t huge, it was nice that there were vendors there all the same. The goodie bags were awesome -they are small reusable bags, with a tech shirt, a hat, and some socks (nice swag).
Aqua’s restaurant Filini was having a pasta special for both the packet pickup, and Lollapalooza goers staying at the hotel, so Pat and I decided to eat dinner there.
It was delicious, and the restaurant is really cool on the inside!
After that I went home, and Casey and streamed some Lolla shows, she helped me tape my knees, and I did my usual pre-race prep (set out my clothes, set out my food, pack my bag etc).
The morning of I got up and had breakfast. My long run for the this weekend was a 16 mile run for my Nike training program. So with doing a half marathon I knew a majority of the 16 miles would be done in the race. Therefore I would need to run three another time – either right before or after. I ultimately decided to do a light 3 mile jog/run from my apartment to the start line.
The race itself was small, and well organized – the course was familiar- the Lakefront Trail, and for the amount of runners – the trail was perfectly accommodating- and perfect because the day was a bit humid, and the breeze off the lake was really nice. Additionally the course went through on of my favorite areas of the trail -Promontory Point Park.
Overall – it was a fun race, it was well organized, there were aid stations a plenty, the volunteers were wonderful (at a few they even offered to fill my hand-held), the course was accommodating to the amount of individuals registered, and the post race party was nice as well – even though I didn’t really capitalize on it (at the end I was hot, and tired, and just wanted a cold muscle milk, and a cold bath). I did bump into some ladies from run club along the course, and at the end, so that was nice as well. They also offered a shuttle back to the downtown area from the race site.
In terms of my performance – I was very pleased, it was another humid day (typically something that screws with me), and I ran 3 miles prior to the race starting. My time was 2:16:33 – which is only a minute slower than my best time – AFTER running 3 miles. I was pleased to say the least!
My goal was to run all 16 miles, at a consistent pace (which I did), and fuel adequately along the way. I had my hand-held, and a pack of Margarita Clif Bloks. Goal: met. The bonus of the race being so cheap, was it was a lot easier for me to think of it as “just another training run” – only with a bib. I think that mindset really helped me be successful.
I would do this race again – however at the time I signed up, if I had paid full price it would have been pretty expensive. The medal was cool, and the small piece at the bottom is detachable (it’s a necklace).
Afterwards I made a little recovery cocktail with some Nuun and La Croix, and Pat treated me to a sushi extravaganza.
Since there are various ZOOMA events across the country – I would definitely recommend a ZOOMA event. Stay tuned this week for some more Marathon Training updates, and neat stuff.