Saturday morning I had an early wake up call – my alarm was set for 5:15, baby of course had other ideas and woke me up at 2:30 and then at 5:15a. It was a rough night to say the least – mostly started by the fact that I had a hard time falling asleep and didn’t turn off my laptop til about 12a.
Still though, I showered, toasted my bagel and fed baby. Thankfully my gear was all laid out, my garmin and phone charged so I was ready to go and for the first time ever…we left the house on time.
I was super impressed by how easy it was to park – we took a back way rather than risking the traffic on Rowe Blvd, and it took us only about five minutes to get to the stadium and park. We took this as a perfect photo op for me and baby – it was baby’s first race as a spectator!
Ten weeks post partum and back to toeing the line!
We walked over and i headed towards the back of the pack. I had a general idea what my pace might be but I didn’t want to push it so I didn’t push my way too far forward. I started just behind the 2:30:00 half marathon pacers and felt really good about that. The race started on time and we were off!
They saw me just after mile 1 at the corner of Rowe Blvd and Taylor Ave – while I was still feeling really good! I was clocking about an 11:30 pace in the early miles and was walking for 1-1:30 minutes every 5-6 minutes or as needed.
Miles 2-3 were really good and were down Rowe Blvd, around Church Circle, down Main Street and over to King George Ave. This is where things got tricky and where I noticed my garmin was off by about .2 miles once I hit mile 4. Miles 4-5 were over the bridge and it seems as if there were no mile markers for that part of the course – or at least I saw mile 4 but don’t remember seeing mile 5. Maybe I just missed it. There was a water stop at the start of the bridge which was super helpful since the last water stop was just after mile 2 – running almost 3 miles without water was rough. I had anticipated more water stops on the course so I didn’t bring my fuel belt which I normally would have done in the heated circumstances. My bad.
I was expecting Adam and baby to be at the corner of 450 and King George but he texted me as I was hitting the turn around on top of the bridge saying they were at the finish on the left. The lululemon ladies at the top of the bridge gave me the extra boost to keep going – my feet were aching by this point in time and I was just feeling really hot but in my head, even though I said I didn’t have a time goal, I saw a sub 1:20 time – my slowest 10k was back in 2011 at 1:16 something which was the first race I ran with Adam so I largely stayed back with him. So I feel good knowing that I can get back into fighting shape back into my comfortable pace.
I finished strong, picking off people in my head, like “okay, they’re walking. If you keep running, you can pass them.” Then when I saw the 6 mile marker, I thought, okay less than 3 minutes left of running if I just push it. And I did. And I finished. Strong.
Official Time: 1:17:23
Average pace: 12:54 – yay! Sub 13 minutes!
As for the race, I love the Zooma race in Annapolis. I’m willing to pay a bit more than I normally would for a 10k based on the convenience and the fact that I don’t have any added expenses. As for the issues that many participants have aired their grievances about on the facebook page, I agree that $5 to park at the Loew’s for an ah-hem…lackluster expo was a bit ridiculous but, no matter where you park downtown, you’re going to have to pay so that’s a non-issue for me. The distance issue, however it came about that it was .25 miles short was just absurd. I heard there were issues with Annapolis PD; I heard it was misdirection (which I heard there was actually a lot of considering Jenn finished the race about 2 miles short because the course marshalls weren’t directing correctly), but whatever the issue was, it’s not acceptable for a race of this caliber, if it was a “direction” issue as many say, make sure your volunteers and course marshalls are trained properly. As one person mentioned, this race is more expensive than some marathons, so having these issues just seems like a rookie mistake in a race that’s been in Annapolis for a few years now (as a friend of mine said later that day… they’re a Northern Virginia based organization and the fact that they couldn’t come out to their hearing for their permit is disappointing). As for the swag? I definitely agree with the comments that it should be handed out at the expo. Carrying it around is a pain – unless you have a bad ass stroller to haul it in…like me.
That all being said, will I run Zooma again? Likely, mostly based on the sheer convenience and because I do believe that any organization can overcome obstacles like the ones this year. Five minutes from my house? A course that I run regularly? Why wouldn’t I? I had wanted to apply to be an ambassador this year (they had some awesome ones this year) but given that baby was born in March which would have been the beginning of my training, that was nixed. Maybe next year?
All in all, a successful first post-baby race. I can’t wait to start upping my distance in preparation for Army 10 miler training, and to find my NEXT race.
Did you run Zooma Annapolis? What did you think? Will you participate again next year?