Skip to main content

Zooma Annapolis! A great day for a race!

This past Sunday was Zooma Annapolis Women's Race Series 10K and Half Marathon.  I was blessed enough to be an ambassador for this race.

Zooma Annapolis Ambassadors from kick off party in March (this bad blogger did not bring her camera to the race!)
On Saturday, I headed down to the expo to pick up my packet and to help with packet pickup.  I ended staying the whole afternoon!  Packet pickup was swamped all day long and needed as much help as possible.  Plus, I was happy to stay.  It was so great to see the runners who had come out for the training runs and to wish them good luck!

Later that evening, I sat to work out my "game plan" for the race. About a week before the race, I had decided to switch down to the 10K, instead of running the half marathon.  When I signed up for this race, I had planned on helping a friend run her first half marathon.  But, early in the summer, she became pregnant (yay!) and could not run the race. Originally, I planned on still running the the half, but take it easy since I had run one just two weeks before.  And because I did not PR at that race (stomach issues!!), I was not sure what to do about Zooma.  I did not think I could PR in the half.  I was not really ready to PR at it and it is very hilly.  My husband suggested I try to PR in the 10K.  And, that was a great suggestion!

So, Saturday night, I sat down to figure it all out.  My PR was a 55:45.  I made a plan to run a 8:45 min/mile pace.  That would have me finish in 54:XX . . . more than enough of a cushion to get me my PR.  I planned out my splits per mile, wrote them down, and packed it for the next morning.  I even had the brilliant idea to stay with the 1:50 pace group for the half.  They would be maintaining a 8:40 min/mile pace and the 10K did not split from the half runners until 4.5 miles.  If I could keep with them I would get my PR!

Sunday morning came quickly.  I got up a little before 5, ate, got ready and was out the door by 5:45AM.  Luckily I only live about 25 min from the race, so I knew it would not take me long to get there. I hit the port-a-potties, talked with a few of the ambassadors (And one of their sons!! Such a cute 4 yr old!!), and headed to the start.  As I made my way into the corrals, I tried to find the 1:50 pace group.  I finally saw them, but they were far enough in front of me that I could not make it to them.  I figured I would just keep them in my sights until I could catch up.

7 AM we were off!

Mile 1: 8:40 pace (just under goal pace!)
This mile went by fast. It looped out of the Navy Stadium parking lot and onto the streets.  It was hard to get into a good groove because the crowd was so thick still.  I felt like I was running well.  I searched for the 1:50 pace group, but could not find them anywhere!! I decided to forget them and just run.

Mile 2: 8:23 pace (under goal pace)
Felt good this mile.  In this mile we headed into downtown Annapolis. Near the State House and down by the docks.  It was a great mile and I felt like I was getting into a good groove.

Mile 3: 8:35 pace
By this mile, I felt like I had my PR for sure.  It was my 3rd mile under my goal pace.  It rained just enough to cool the runners off.  What could go wrong?????

Mile 4: 9:03 pace
Now, I started to feel tired.  The course was heading up next to the Naval Academy as I made my way closer and closer to THE BRIDGE.  This was a slight incline and I was starting to feel the pace.  Mentally, I began to struggle. I wanted to walk.  And, I began to have a discussion with myself fin my head.

"Oh, you can walk.  30 sec. won't hurt you.  You will catch your breath and be able to run faster.  Just walk."

"No, if I walk now, I will want to walk again and once I do that I will not be able to regain my pace.  The PR will be gone!"

Luckily, the "no walking Katie" won that battle.  I did walk for like 5 sec to get a drink at the aid station, and then I was off and running again.

Mile 5: 9:25 pace (way off my goal pace)
Not much to say here except that the bridge leveled me!!  I felt like I was crawling up it and the turn around felt like it was miles away.  I struggled up and over the bridge, only to turn around and head back up it for a short distance before I could enjoy the down hill.  Once I turned around, I knew I needed to really start running fast again. At this point, I figured the PR was gone.

Mile 6: 8:47 pace (pretty much right on pace!)
Once off the bridge, I really started moving again.  I was focused.  I had the 54 min time limit stuck in my head and I kept thinking, I had to get into the finish under 55 min to PR.  This part of the course was fairly easy, just a few turns, before we headed back to the stadium for the finish.  I felt like I was running well.  As we approached the stadium, I began to run faster. At this point, I really thought my PR was gone, but I kept telling myself not to give up.

Last .2 : 8:27 pace
We turned up into the GRASS (who planned that . . . that really was miserable) until we hit the straightaway to the finish.  Once off the grass, I began to move!  I was running hard, and I obviously threw all form out the window (as seen by these pics) to cross the finish strong.
Isn't it strange, this is a women's race and the only other person in the picture is a man!

Warning: Do NOT run like this! I could be picked apart for poor form!
I hit my Garmin: 55:25

First thought, darn, did not make my PR.

I went to go get my finishers necklace (which I love!), and my lunch and ran into another Zooma Ambassador and asked her how she did. (She took 2nd overall in the 10K!!! Not only is she fast, but she is one of the sweetest runners I have met!!)  I then walked around the vendors a bit and then went to check my offial time:

Um, wait. What was my PR again?  It hit me in that moment.  I PRed!!  I was thrilled!

After that, I was on cloud nine! I hit the Barefoot Bubbly Wine tent (awesome wine!), had a great converstaion with another runner and then sat and talked with a few other ambassadors before I headed home to get ready for a meeting about the Marine Corps Marathon Run for Voactions team.

This was an awesome race! I am not just saying that because I PRed.  The weather was perfect. The atmosphere was awesome.  Being an ambassodor and getting to meet so many awesome women who run for so many different reasons, inspired me.  It made me fall more in love with running and racing.  I do not race to win.  I know I will not be fast enough for that.  But, being a part of Zooma helped me to see more that I am surrounded by so many amazing women when I race and that each has an incredible story.

So, with that being said, I challenge all you runners out there.  Whether at another Zooma race or just a local 5K, start a conversation with another woman at the race.  Encourage her and cheer her on.  And have fun!

BTW: Zooma has added several more great races.  Check them out, there may be one close to you.  I really, really, really want to run Zooma Cape Cod!


  1. It sounds like a great race! I love your conversation with yourself. I do that too. And congrats on your PR! I love that you were an ambassador. What a great way to connect with other women and encourage others. Running is a give and take thing.
    And I shouldn't be surprised that you practice that book. It clearly shows.

  2. Wow! Congrats on the PR. So awesome that you were an ambassador too! Zooma was my first ever 10k (last year) and oh, how I remember the hills, bridge, and crazy heat/humidity! I'm sort of kicking myself this year not doing it b/c you guys had such great weather.

  3. Good for you! I don't ever think I'll be that fast. I love that feeling of doing your best. Congratulations!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Gift (Our NFP story) Part 2

(You can read  Part 1 here

     So, by the time Andrew was 18 months old, we knew God was saying no to having more children at the time.  And, as mentioned before, He provided so much peace about it, that we knew we had discerned correctly.  Yet, even with that peace, I had to mourn the fact the we might not ever have any more children.  Yes, we were still open to life, of course, but from the time after Andrew’s birth, until today, we practiced NFP faithfully to avoid pregnancy.  And it took time to accept that we might not have any more children.  There were times when I would hold a friend’s new born baby and then go home and cry because I knew I might not ever know the joy of holding my own baby again.  We live in a community where life is celebrated and families are large.  Usually more than one friend is pregnant at a time.  In those early days, each pregnancy announcement was met with great joy for the friend, but often left me with an empty feeling.  I understood, in many way…

My verse for the year

But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.   Isaiah 6:48

There are boxes being unpacked in our home.  Boxes packed and meant to be unpacked in a different home, our new home, in a matter of two weeks.  

About two weeks before Christmas things changed.  Situations changed.  And what we were convinced was God's will just months before, seemed so unlike it now.  Things beyond our control happened and suddenly we were praying and we felt that the best and only solution was to walk away from this new house.  And at the end of  a week of uncertainty, anxiety and tension, once the decision was made to walk away from the house, there was a great deal of peace.   But, as the dust settles from the decision, even though we know it is the best for everyone involved, there is still sadness, still this sense of loss.  As we have prayed again and again, we know each of all of the steps we have made in this whole house journey …

On Waiting

This past weekend we went to a book party for a priest friend who had his second book Living the Beatitudes:A Journey to Life in Christ published last fall.  The party was hosted by another Catholic author.  And, after the cake was cut and people were sitting quietly, the host of the party began to speak.  He began to talk about how great this book is and how insightful so much of it is.  Then he began to share quotes from it.  And I felt as if he chose two of them for me:

"Waiting is the training ground of trust."

"Beauty is the crescendo of waiting"
Now, although we have this book and my husband has read it, I have not (sorry, Fr. B).  But that night, I sat with the book while my hubby and I sat down to attempt to watch a movie and I scoured the book for the above quotes.  Too shy to ask the host for the pages for these quotes, I skimmed page by page until I found them.  And after I found the first quote, I was confronted with line after line about waiting.  I read…