Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Zooma Cape Cod Half Recap

I'm going to start with the punch line for this race:

I PR'd!!!!!!!!!

I came in under 2:30!!!!!!!!!!

I know the clock says 2:29:15, but actual net time was 2:28:51
The random chafing and the blister on my left foot aren't dulling my smile at all!

Ok, now onto the actual race recap :)

After getting stuck in Cape Traffic (in September?), we made it to the SeaCrest Hotel right at 6 pm. I  got my bib and bought a sweet Zooma long sleeve shirt (running at 6 am in Boston requires quite a few warmer tops!).  I chatted with Allison, Patrice, Amy and Dani during the Ambassador Q&A session.  If you picked up your bib between 6 and 6:30, I'm pretty sure you noticed my boys tasting the Honest Tea and having fun.  Unfortunately, we had to leave before the MockTail party, as we were staying with relatives and had to meet them for dinner.

We got to the SeaCrest just before 7 am and the place was PACKED! Found a coworker who ran the 10K and chatted for a bit. While in the bathroom line, I met a few women who were running as pacers, including Trish, the 2:30 pacer. I told her I'd find her at the starting line, which was super easy considering she had a yellow balloon tied to her belt.

We started off a bit fast, but it was for 2 reasons: build up a buffer and because everyone was starting fast.  Before I knew it, we were overlooking the ocean.  We slowed down after a mile to just about 11 min/mi.  The scenery was beautiful! We saw an osprey nest, a heron just standing in the wetlands, open ocean, sail boats, tall sea grasses... It was great because not only was it gorgeous, but also helped the miles go by a little faster.  We honestly hit 5 miles before I really noticed it.  Quick bathroom break and we were off.  (Of course, after the finish, Hubby asked if there was a hill at mile 5. I said no, we stopped for the porta-potty. He replied with "yeah, your pace really tanked at mile 5". Well, at least he was paying attention!)

We kept going and were able to maintain an 11 min/mi pace (+/- 10 sec) for the first 10 miles.  I was feeling AWESOME.  We walked through every water stop, which was enough for me to reset, but not too much that I started dawdling (like I tend to do on my own).  The last 5K was really tough on me, though.  Last year, I ran with Michelle until around mile 10 or 11 and she came in sub 2:30, I came in 2:33.  It was hard, but Trish was awesome and kept me from walking too much.  I even offered to let her go ahead to keep with her pacing requirement and she just laughed at me.  The last hill was killer and I got the hot chills half way up it and we walked a little.  But we started running again.  The last downhill was amazing! My legs were moving on their own (I think I said "I can't feel my legs").  Then we turned into the driveway and I saw my family and the clock at 2:28:--.  I yelled "let's do this!" (which made all of the other pacers crack up!) and we sprinted to the finish (all of 15 strides).  My boys came through the barrier for hugs and I managed to whack their heads together, but it all worked out OK.  Honestly, the finish is a blur of bright blue skies, smiling faces and numb legs :)

You can tell by Pete's crooked arm, he's less than thrilled with the hug, and it wasn't because of mommy's smelly armpit!

The course for Zooma this year was much nicer than last year.  There's a lot of turns, and you go on the bike path for a good chunk of it, so if you don't know the area well, you won't have the foggiest idea where you are.  But that added to the charm of the course, it was very scenic and there were surprises around every corner, whether a ocean view, quaint Cape houses, or the random homeowner standing in her driveway with a cup of coffee cheering on the runners (you are awesome, whoever you are!).  The water stops were well placed and just frequent enough that you didn't need to worry when the next stop was.  Even with the hill at mile 11 and change (or was it 12ish?), I still really liked the course.  You end on a downhill, which was exhilarating!

Again, like last year, I didn't get to stick around for the post-party.  Same kid who had the stomach bug last year, had it again this year.  Only difference was last year, he threw up at my father-in-law's house, this year, it was at the SeaCrest (again, I'm so sorry about that!)

I highly recommend Zooma; the atmosphere and route are both wonderful.  But the best thing I can say is that I've run their Cape Cod race both years and have come away with a new running friend both times. 


  1. Great recap Nicole! Congrats again on your PR!! Sorry I missed you all at ZOOMA but it was great seeing you last weekend :)

  2. Way to go, Nicole!! I am so so proud of you! Great race write-up. :)