Race Recap – Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon

As you may know, a few months ago I was invited to be an ambassador for the Zooma Cape Cod race.  

At the time I was living in New York and just really loved the Cape and the time we spent there each summer – being an ambassador for this race just seemed like the perfect fit for me!  Little did I know by the time race day rolled around that I’d actually be living on the Cape and I have to say it made it that much more special to me that this was now a “local” race for me!

Title Page

Friday night I went straight from work to the Sea Crest Beach Hotel for the Expo & Honest Tea Mocktail Party.  The expo was small but well organized and I quickly picked up my race bib and goodies (unfortunately they had run out of medium t-shirts so I went with a small which is a bit more snug than I’d usually go with, but still fits).

Zooma Race Goodies

I had some time before the Mocktail Party, so I headed down to the beach to watch the sunset before I met up with the other race ambassadors.

sunset

It was nice to finally meet everyone (and great to meet a few more local Cape Cod runners!).  We hung out for about an hour and before leaving that night we agreed to all meet the next morning before the race so we could get some group pictures!

I arrived back at the Sea Crest Hotel bright and early Saturday morning and was excited to see the start/ finish line literally right in front of the hotel!

Zooma Sea CrestThe race had an interesting small/local, but professionally produced feel to it that was really nice!

I arrived an hour before the race start and had more than enough time to meet up with the other ambassadors and hang out for awhile and then drop off my bag at the gear check before walking right into the start for some pre-race pictures!

Ambassadors

The 10k runners lined up and started first and we were off just a few minutes after!

Zooma Start

Now is probably a good time to discuss what my plan was for this race, and that is that there really wasn’t a plan.

I have a whole separate post coming up about this, but I’m finding I’ve gotten into a bad/ lazy habit of not really planning and preparing well for half marathons – especially when I’m in the middle of training for a full marathon, I get into this, “oh, it’s just a half” mentality.

Well, more on this later, but “just a half” is still 13.1 miles and I really need to remember that!

Since I am in the middle of training for a full marathon, I’ve been focusing on distance more than speed, so honestly a PR for this race was no where in my mind.  Sub-2 hours would be great, but with my recent training I didn’t really expect it, I would have been happy just keeping the pace around 9:15-9:30.

I started out with a few of the other ambassadors knowing they were planning on running a little faster than I was, so I figured I’d probably quickly drop back.

I was running with Dani, Jessica and Nancy and to my surprise I was keeping up with their 8:30 pace (which is definitely faster than I had any business running!).

Running Ambassadors

It was nice to have others to chat with and the views were gorgeous!

Zooma View 1

I kept with them until about the 10k mark, but it really started to warm up and I really started to fade…

As I watched the pace slowly creep up on my watch I began to think through everything I had done wrong that day:

  1. I only ate an english muffin for breakfast (I usually have oatmeal or yogurt before a race or long run)
  2. I didn’t bring any fuel with me (I don’t always use fuel for a half, but given my pathetic breakfast I really should have!)
  3. The “sports drink” they had on the course was the citrus Cytomax which I really can’t stomach (and boy could I have used some electrolyte drink!)
  4. I didn’t run my own race.  I made the bad decision to try to run with others even though I knew their pace was too fast for me

Rather than sharing the blow-by-blow of my epic downfall over the last 7 miles, I’ll give you the abbreviated version.

Had I been running a 10k I would have run a strong and fast (for me!) race and would have finished with an 8:30 pace.

However, this was not a 10k and over the second half of this race the heat and hills and turns increased and my pace decreased.

This was one of the most frustrating second halves of a race I’ve ever run.  I typically pride myself on running a strong second half and almost always run negative splits.  I spent the entire second half of this race thinking about everything I had done wrong and how had I only gone out a little slower…or only eaten a little more for breakfast…or brought fuel with me…that I’d be running my way to a PR.

Instead I continually slowed down and at one point, with less than a mile left – and maybe even a small chance of still PRing – I stopped and walked.  I was totally defeated.

I know this is going to sound sort of crazy, but I knew if I really pushed hard that last mile I maybe could PR, but for some reason I almost didn’t want to.

By this point I felt pretty terrible and I didn’t want to push myself that hard to maybe (or maybe not) PR by just a few seconds.

I finished in 1:55:09, missing a PR by 27 seconds, and to be honest it doesn’t bother me at all.

For some reason a PR after basically crashing and burning wouldn’t have really felt right, so that day it was good enough for me to know that had I paced and fueled myself better that I could PR and I’d rather try again for a strong race sometime this fall.

I got my awesome lighthouse medal and met up with the girls that I had been running with – they had finished about a minute before me!

We headed down to the post-race party on the beach which I have to say was pretty awesome!

Zooma After Party

There was food and wine, massages, yoga, an area with foam rollers and all of the expo vendors were set up!

Best of all, it felt amazing to peel off my socks and sneakers and get my feet in the water!

Zooma Cape Cod 2014

Unfortunately I couldn’t stay too long at the after party since I had to jump in my car and drive three hours to go to my cousin’s wedding that night!

PJ's Wedding

Despite my personal disaster of a run, I really did love this race!  Zooma certainly puts on a great event and I’m already looking forward to getting my redemption on this course next year!  (And I’d love to make it a fun girls weekend if anyone wants to join me!) 

Have you ever had a race totally fall apart?

How did you recover and keep going?

**Disclosure: As a Zooma Cape Cod Ambassador I was given a complimentary entry into the half marathon as well as the opportunity to try out some products from their event sponsors, however I was under no obligation to give the event a positive review!**

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34 thoughts on “Race Recap – Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon

  1. Congrats on a kick ass time! I’m so glad that you found a new race that you can PR in that doesn’t involve the horror that is the Queens course! This race looks gorgeous! I would love to give it a try next year! …you know, if I’m not in Disney lol

    “I know this is going to sound sort of crazy, but I knew if I really pushed hard that last mile I maybe could PR, but for some reason I almost didn’t want to.” THIS WAS EXACTLY HOW I FELT DURING MY LAST RACE! And I didn’t even have to push, all I had to do was NOT WALK the last mile and of course I walked like half the last mile, but then I “sprinted” (you know, your 10K pace lol) the last .1 to JUST PR. It’s so funny how brains work sometimes.

    Sorry, that was a really long rant. But yay you! Congrats on an awesome race! And EAT SOMETHING! 🙂

    • Haha, it’s funny because I totally thought that…I was like, “shoot, does this mean I need to go back and do the NYC 13.1 in Queens now?!?”

      I’m so glad you understand that mentality of not really wanting to PR at such a bad race…I’m not sure why, but it just didn’t really feel right. I’ll definitely be looking for a race in late November/ early December to try to PR though!

      • If you DO have to come back to Queens to do it, it’s slightly prettier in September when I did it with NYC runs…but that means no bottle opener medal lol

        And I definitely didn’t feel right PRing at that race. Not just because of the race itself but because of the training (or lack thereof) I felt like I hadn’t earned it, I didn’t deserve it…but then I remembered my previous PR would no longer be good for RunDisney races so I tried to book it at the end lol But I still don’t feel right about it.

  2. That water looks amazing. For whatever reason, I have this vision of LA marathoners plunging into the Pacific. I mean, why not, it’s there. To wade into cool water after a race sounds wonderful.

  3. Beautiful pictures! Congrats on finishing despite not being your best run! I’m trying my first half sometime early next year and this gives me hope that even if I do a few things “wrong”, I can still finish!

    • Hi Ashley! It’s definitely possible to finish a race even with a few mistakes, but certainly not recommended! Definitely make sure to test our your fuels and race plan during your training (and don’t get lazy like I did!).

      Good luck with your training and please feel free to ask any questions if you have any! : )

  4. Awesome race! The course looks like it was beautiful, and having the ocean to step into after running a half sounds *amazing.* Congrats on the great time despite not really feeling the second half!

    • Thanks, and yes, the course was great and being able to step right onto the beach and into the water at the finish was awesome! I only wish I had been able to stay at the after party longer!

  5. Congrats!!! Cool medal. And haha, at first I thought you were talking about the bootys of the ladies in front of you when you said the course had nice views!
    Oh yes, I’ve been there where I was cruising to a pr in a half but then crash with a mile or two to go – my own fault for not being better prepared for the race. That won’t happen at my next half next month!

    • Ha! I didn’t even realize the “view” comment could be interpreted that way, too funny!

      I’ve never quite crashed like this before, so lesson learned, hopefully it won’t happen again!

  6. That’s still an awesome time–congrats! I definitely crashed hard at my first half marathon (heat, sun, humidity, didn’t really know what I was doing), so I’m looking forward to what will hopefully be a better half on November 2.

    And yes, I want to come do Zooma Cape Cod next year! Make sure you let us know when registration opens 🙂

    • Good luck on your second half! I’m sure now that you have the experience of the first it’ll go much better, plus hopefully the weather in November will be better!

      And I’ll let you know when registration opens for Zooma Cape Cod next year, hopefully we can get a fun group to go!

  7. That is such a good time especially since you were having a rough second half! A lot of my half marathons this year have seen my pace increase steadily after the 10K mark (except Disneyland, I just decided after like mile 2 that I was not really racing that race) and I’m not sure how to fix it. I’m doing longer runs in training and getting better about fueling and hydrating, but everything still kinda falls apart after mile 7. Still! Cape Cod looks totally beautiful and that looks like a great course with awesome amenities. You should be proud of finishing! 🙂

    • Yeah, I think the reason is was so frustrating for me is that I’m usually really good about NOT letting that happen! I usually pace & fuel myself well, so this was a totally new experience for me!

      Do you think you’re going out too fast at the start?? That has to be frustrating to train that hard and have things always fall apart at mile 7!

      • I feel like could definitely be part of it. I’m going to try really hard to conserve some energy at the start of the Staten Island Half and see how that goes!

  8. Great recap! My race kind of fell apart too (mostly because of own stupidity … new shoes, what was I thinking?!) and I had to shift my mindset several times for finishing with a certain time, to finishing in a ballpark time to just finishing period. It was hard. You still had a great race and next time I’m going to try and keep up with you girls. So nice meeting you 🙂 Go Team Ambassador!

    • Hi Jessica! I actually had pretty new sneakers on too (only ran in them once!), they worked out fine, but the laces came untied twice (you know how laces need to sort of break in too??), I kept thinking “damn, I probably spent those 27 seconds I missed a PR by tying my shoes!”

  9. Love the shirt and bling! Cute!!! Yea I’ve done a couple races without enough proper training (since I was toggling between tri’s/long distance, very different training styles) and it is a bit defeating. But just think, even with a sluggish race end, at least you are able to do it! The miles are built up in you 🙂

  10. I do love the Zooma swag! What amazing scenery! And being able to jump in the water after a race is my favorite way to end a race – so refreshing. Ugh – I’ve definitely crashed and burned in a race before, probably more often than not as I tend to start out way to fast. But you still did great! Congrats on another finish!

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