This post is a tad late in coming, as everything seems to be lately! On June 28, I ran the Zooma Napa Valley Women’s Half Marathon and I had a blast. The weekend started with the expo on Friday where I picked up my race bib, timing chip, t-shirt, Feetures! socks, Zooma hat (which saved me on Saturday) and got a free water bottle from Athleta SF! Talk about nice swag!
During the expo I attended one of their talks with Carla Birnberg. She was running her first Zooma race and first race over all and had a great presentation on goal setting and the importance of being Brazen! I also met up with some of the other Zooma Ambassadors and went to Whole Foods with Rachel from RunningRachel.com. We then attended the evening Mocktail party and had fun meeting more runners.
The following morning was race day! I stayed with a friend about 30 minutes out of Napa so I got up early Saturday and drove in for the race. I made it to the start line plenty early and suddenly realized I had forgotten my sunblock! I am about as white as can be and burn almost instantly. A big thank you to the wonderful lady who shared her sunblock with me. She saved me a lot of pain! Zooma runners are nice.
I found the Zooma ambassadors pretty quickly and we met up for a group photo. I was excited and nervous to start the race. At 8am we were off! The race started out well and I got into a groove fairly quickly. About six miles in it began to get hot and I could feel my energy dragging. Right about now is when I realized a huge mistake I had made. I had left my energy gels and Pocketfuel back in my car! I pressed on, but around mile nine I knew the last four miles were going to be a big struggle. The course was flat and the views were amazing and I tried to think about them, and not my lagging energy. Slowly the final miles ticked by and I saw the finish line.
I crossed the finish line in 2:10, far from a personal best, but considering my lack of fuel during the run, it was my own fault. I ate two bananas at the finish because I was so hungry! After recovering a bit, I got on the shuttle back to the hotel for the Zooma after party. The ambassadors met up again for a group photo and I got to see my two Nuun Hood to Coast teammates from last year, Kim and Kara.
All in all, this race was an absolute blast. I hope I get to come back next year and crush my time from this year. I would definitely change a few things I did, but as far as the course, this race was great and very well organized by the Zooma team. There were even hot air balloons welcoming us the morning of the race!
If you get the chance to run Zooma Napa Valley next year, do it! You can check out all the details here. The date is set for June 27, 2015, mark your calendars now!