Showing posts with label ZOOMA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ZOOMA. Show all posts

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Three Things: Fun & New

Today I have some fun and new things on my mind.

It's almost time to announce the winner of the Chilly Challenge. All miles must be logged by midnight EST tonight to count for Team Escapades. Check back tomorrow to see which team won!

My friends at ZOOMA have launched a Personal Best Program. The program challenges runners or walkers to complete a distance best or set a personal record. If they achieve their goal, athletes will receive a special “PR” medal at the finish line party, offering the opportunity for extra bragging rights.

There's a brand new race happening in one of my favorite places. The Newport Ten Miler has a fantastic course lined up that takes runners down scenic Ocean Drive, past beautiful mansions, and through the gates of Fort Adams. Best registration price ends today! 

What fun things are you thinking about?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fitness Friday: Q & A with Sara Hall

Last month I had the privilege to serve as a ZOOMA Women's Race Series Ambassador for the Cape Cod Half Marathon

With Founder Brae Blackley at ZOOMA Expo

Sara Hall, a Muscle Milk sponsored athlete, our 2012 USA Cross Country Champion, and of course Olympian Ryan Hall's wife, was supposed to run the half marathon with her mom. Unfortunately, she had to change her plans and will now be running the ZOOMA Great Lakes Half Marathon instead. 

from Sara Hall Facebook Page

Ambassadors had the opportunity to submit questions to Sara and today I am sharing her answers:

1.    How often do you and Ryan run together and how has running strengthened your relationship and how do you make each other better runners?  
   -Bethany from Our Love On The Run (

We are fortunate to run together usually ever day. Fortunately our training run pace is the same, though our hard workout paces are vastly different! It’s been a great thing for our relationship to have that quality time together. As we all know, on a run conversation flows differently than anywhere else, and we love talking about our goals and dreams for the future as well as what God is doing in our lives in the moment.

2.    I have been following your Steps Foundation for a few years now after reading about it in a magazine. I'm curious if beginning this foundation has changed your perspective on running and its potential impact on the world.  - Nancy from Living the Dream (

Thanks for following Steps! Ryan and I feel very honored to have a community of supporters that are committed to running for a reason- bettering the health of underserved communities world wide. It has been amazing to see the tangible impact a race can have on a community halfway around the world, whether bringing basic health care or clean water. It’s added to our motivation and given our running more depth to have a cause we care so much about.

3.    What does an "average" in season training week look like for you? -Jessica from 30 Something Mother Runner (

An average week of training involves 80 miles for the week with 3 hard workouts and lots of easy training runs around 7-8 min/ mile pace. My hard workouts are usually some form of interval session on the track where I am running paces specific to my race, a tempo run that is at “marathon pace”, and a long run around 15 miles.

4.    You train with your Olympic Marathoner husband and you will be running ZOOMA Great Lakes with your mom, what do you think are the benefits of running with loved ones? - Amy Caine from Running Escapades (

Being able to share running with people you love is such a blessing! My husband and I have been able to travel the world together and explore so many areas, making life-long memories. It has really helped our relationship to have the consistent quality time together on runs. And now having my mom start running has been a fun way we can connect in a way that we never related before! All of a sudden she understands me so much better, as she goes through the same things. The health benefits of running are well known, and it’s always comforting knowing the ones you love are staying fit. Doing something that improves your health together is a great way to show love to your friends and family.

5.    How do you deal with race performance disappointment after training so hard to achieve a goal? - Michelle from Running With Attitude (

It’s definitely a process learning to deal with disappointment. One thing that has helped me is realizing just how much God loves all of us regardless of how we perform, and that we never have to perform for His love, that it is unconditional. I always knew this in my head, but getting a full revelation of it in my heart really helped me to no longer fear failure, and when I did failure, helped me keep my performance in perspective. I’ve learned to separate my identity from what I “do”, that is a part of who I am but my performance does not dictate my value as a person. I also love to be around friends and family after a disappointing race because you see how little changes when you’re around people who just love you for who you are. I think it’s ok to be disappointed though when you’ve invested a lot in a goal. But after letting myself grieve for a bit I like to choose a new goal and start working towards that.

6.    Do you and Ryan enjoy running/training together or do you each workout separately? - Marcia from Marcia's Healthy Slice (

Ryan and I are fortunate to run together usually ever day. Fortunately our training run pace is the same, though our hard workout paces are vastly different! It’s been a great thing for our relationship to have that quality time together. As we all know, on a run conversation flows differently than anywhere else, and we love talking about our goals and dreams for the future as well as what God is doing in our lives in the moment. We have also been able to travel the world together and explore so many areas, making life-long memories.

7.    What strategies do you have for getting past the discomfort of your hardest workouts and races so you can perform your best? - Kim from

The best way to work on pain tolerance for a race is talking yourself through it in practice. One mantra I like to use “Relax and Roll”. For some reason, that works for me to relax into the pain, but keep my legs rolling at a fast pace. My workouts often feel more painful than the race itself since I don’t have the race-day adrenalin and endorphins. I also get extremely deep and painful massage on a weekly basis that has made anything I do in running feel easy!

8.    What do you think about during your runs?" - Maggie from Mag Mile Runner (

Since I began running I have always cherished the time of letting my mind wander in a way that only happens when on a run. Often I am replaying things in my mind of note from the days prior, bringing up things that are weighing on me and praying about them. Sometimes I’m seeking God for a specific thing and trying to get His perspective. A lot of times I’m thinking about my training, how I’m responding to it, and what I need to change in the coming days. And I like to visualize my upcoming races!

Thanks to Sara for taking the time to answer our questions and to ZOOMA for putting us in touch!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fitness Friday: ZOOMA Cape Cod Half Marathon

Last weekend I ran the ZOOMA Cape Cod Half Marathon in North Falmouth, MA. I had been looking forward to this race since June when I found out that I would serve as an Ambassador. I didn't get to attend the training kick-off in Boston, so I was excited to get to finally spend some time with the rest of the race crew.

On Friday, my husband picked me up after my last class so that we could beat the traffic to the Cape. We stopped for a quick lunch and arrived easily in North Falmouth just after 3:30. The Sea Crest Beach Resort, the host hotel and location for all of the weekend race events, was gorgeous. We took a walk around after checking in to get a peak at the pool, patio, beach access, restaurant, and courtyard.  

After touring the resort, we headed to ZOOMA Marketplace to pick up my race packet and check out the vendor booths. Similar to the Cox Rhode Races Half Marathon, this was a small expo, but the BIG difference was the interactions. Tricia, ZOOMA's social media director, immediately greeted me and helped me get checked in. Then I met Dimity of Another Mother Runner, and immediately loved her positive energy. While talking to Dimity I also met Heather, who has read my blog at least once (thanks Heather), and lives in the town next to me! 

After making a couple of purchases we made our way to sit in on the presentation by the team behind Another Mother Runner, but not before meeting Brae, one of the founders of the ZOOMA Women's Race Series. Sarah and Dimity shared tips on preparing for your race, how to get the best race photo, and recovery. Then Brae walked us through the course and pointed out some changes. Runners stood or sat comfortably on the floor during this cozy and intimate chat.

We made our way to dinner at Red's located right inside the resort after a quick room change because of a small problem (great customer service by the resort staff!). We started with the yummy Local and Imported Artisanal Cheeses spread. I ordered the delicious carb-loading Brick Oven Pizza and my husband chose the huge Big Red burger. The three season dining porch gave us great views of the approaching sunset over Old Silver Beach on Buzzards Bay and was perfectly comfy. 

The Mocktail Party sponsored by Hint Water was set up on the Sunset Pool Deck overlooking Old Silver Beach and we met up with the other Ambassadors on the big blue lounging chairs. I got to meet Felice, Michelle, and Bethany for the first time IRL and see Nancy who I met at the Boston Saucony Party back in April. We had a great time chatting about our families, running, and packing tips. We also had a chance to meet Brooke, the other founder of ZOOMA. 

Race morning arrived, but there was no stress since this race started literally steps from the resort entrance. Thanks to my husband for remembering to bring our toaster from home, I was able to have my normal pre-race breakfast of PB&J toast with a cup of coffee. On our way to the start, we ran into Felice in the elevator and then I spotted Sandra, another NH runner, who I have been trying to meet IRL but we've kept missing each other. Outside the organizers had music playing and were getting runners pumped up for the start.

Right on time, the race began. ZOOMA worked hard on the course design to have the start and finish right at the resort doors, which meant some normally not-so-runner-friendly maneuvers, but it was nice knowing these in advance and the reasons behind the choices. We turned left out of the resort for a quick 1.5 mile out and back. The nice thing about this is that we got to run past the resort and see our family and friends again. My husband took this video of me running by him:

My goal for this half was to finish in 2:10. My legs were still feeling the miles from last weekend and so was my sleep-deprived body. I read somewhere that it takes about 8 days to fully recover from RTB. Well, here I was on day 8 running a half marathon! 

I made a rest room stop at about mile 3 and felt pretty good until the hills came. My legs were just not in the mood for hills. I ran again with the Rock My Run playlists, and it helped a little to keep my mind off the climbs. I got a couple of bursts of energy from runner Joan, an Ohio girl from DC who ran with me for a couple of miles, and Nancy, who was working the ZOOMA Ambassador Aide Station around mile 10.5. 

When we turned the corner to head back up Quaker Road my gas tank was near empty. All week I'd been struggling with a lack of appetite and I think it caught up to me on this run. I took a walk break and caught this pretty picture of Buzzards Bay.

The rest of the race was a mixture of feeling like crap and being determined to finish with my head up. One final mental zapper was a short jaunt we had to take on a side street just after mile 12...but I knew that this was one of the course adjustments to allow for an awesome finish in front of the resort. As I neared the finish, I was giving all that I had left in me when I saw Dimity cheering. Then I heard the announcer say my name and saw my husband waiting. Somehow I pulled out a 2:08 finish according to my Nike+ GPS (my official ZOOMA race time said 2:10?).

I had some water, a banana, and some Muscle Milk and then we walked to the Sunset Courtyard to enjoy the ZOOMA After-Race Party & Expo. ZOOMA thought of everything: massages, chiropractic adjustments, foam rollers, instant results look-up, food, wine and live music by Mighty Groove.  

Photos from ZOOMA Facebook Page

It wasn't until we got home, that I recognized some of the notable differences this race offers. First the finisher's medal. It's not one that your going to hang on your display rack and forget about. This one is going to hang from your neck so you can show it off all day long!

Second the finisher's video on the ZOOMA results page. Most of us are lucky to even get a race photo of ourselves, let alone a finish line photo. ZOOMA goes above and beyond by making the video available the same day. (Here's a iPhone recording of mine)

This running adventure ranks on the top of my favorite's list. If you have the chance to run a ZOOMA event, do it. You will have a blast. The ZOOMA ladies will make sure of it!

Have you run a ZOOMA yet? What did you think?

Are you planning to run a ZOOMA event? Which one?