Napa Valley Zooma and My First Half Marathon

It is official …. I am a Half Marathoner!  I can actually call myself a “runner“.  Well okay, I have been a runner, only I guess my head never let me believe it until I completed something as big as a half or full marathon.  This past weekend I ran the Zooma Womens’ Race Series Half Marathon here in Napa Valley, CA.  This was the inaugural race for Napa and is actually right in my own back yard {I live in Sonoma}.

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I could not have been more excited when Zooma had notified me that I was one of the women who would be an ambassador for their race series.  The experience has been awesome, they take care of their runners and have a great time doing it.  The support is amazing, the other ambassadors are wonderful and the brands they work with are just superb.

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The race morning had me anxious, excited, nervous and a bit emotional.  Some of my random thoughts …

  • What am I thinking, why on earth did I sign up for the “half”?
  • The other ambassadors have completed tons of half marathons AND they are years younger than me.
  • The longest run I have done training was 8 miles.
  • There is NO way I can do this.
  • I am going to panic and give up.
  • I did not poop enough this morning, I will most likely have to on the course.
  • Oh crap {pardon the pun} I WILL not stop to use a porta potty.
  • I have 8 minutes before they start, I can TOTALLY get in one more pee before heading off.
  • Did I hydrate enough?
  • Did I eat right?
  • Those girls have really long legs, they are so going to run great {I hate them}.
  • Can I run and apply my chap stick at the same time, I should have practiced doing that.
  • I am so excited to be running with Rachel, how cool she came and stayed with me.
  • I am getting my 13.1 sticker finally!
  • I know the course, we drove out here last week and checked it out while placing signs {keep landmarks in your head}.
  • I know the course, so I know just how long that first stretch is before the turn!
  • I have the MOST supportive hubby ever, I am SO glad he is here for me

I have gotten such great advice and tips from other runners and bloggers out there about running this and the majority seems to have said to just enjoy, relax and have fun, not worry about time.  I do agree, we need to embrace the moment and enjoy.  Being relaxed sure helps.  Only I knew in my head that I had a goal and I wanted to focus on running the ENTIRE route, pacing my body when needed, cry when I felt I had to, and talk myself out of any negative thoughts.  I have a competitive personality and I knew that there was no way I was walking to the finish and really hoped to complete in about 2 1/2 hours {knowing that would be pushing it}.

The start was great, I purposely fell back to slow myself and adjust my phone and Nike + run app.  I took it all in as runners were passing me and I just paced myself {we have a long ways to go}.

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As expected, the route was pretty and the views and scenery beautiful {we are the wine country after all}.  We had more shade than I thought we would and that was a plus.  I loved being able to keep miss Rachel in my site as I used her as my pacer throughout the race.  Just having someone out there to inspire to be was helpful.

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Still feeling pretty happy

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Photo Bomb! She looks like she is touching my boob!

There were plenty of water stations on the route and I could not have been happier.  The Cytomax team was also out there, so having the combo of both was great.

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Filling my hand held water bottle was key

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Making sure to get water down the back

I remember feeling the wall around mile 8 or 9.  My body just felt so heavy, my legs just felt like heavy cement blocks and I had known about this from my training.  I just could not bring myself to stop and walk, no way, no how.  I would have a much harder time starting back up again, so the only option was to slow myself down A LOT!  Just a really slow jog, while I did some self motivating, worked on my breathing AND had a good long chat with God.

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I would find myself in between pockets of people throughout the race … it was all good

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My hubby telling me at Mile 10 that I “was NOT done” yet! What?? There is more?

The last 3 miles were the longest EVER!  I swear that finish line was moving on me.  But I came up on it and saw my hubby waiting for me.  I was over come with emotions.  My body had chills, my eyes were filled with tears.  I had DONE IT.  I just saw myself through a goal that I had set some time ago and never thought I was going to get it done.  I was wrong.  I am stronger and more determined that I think and I can’t wait to take on my next half marathon.

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2 Hours and 33 Minutes!

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Me and Rachel

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My fellow Zooma Race Ambassadors

*A HUGE thank you to the following …

*Have you done a half marathon?  Are you a runner?  Have you ever doubted yourself about racing and running?

 

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Comments

  1. Congratulations! I ran my first half marathon just over 3 years ago and I can still remember the excitement, nervousness and emotion of that day. I am currently registered for my first full marathon, which is exciting but less exciting when I realize I have to run twice as far as I have ever run!! However I love running and I can’t wait to experience all the feels when I cross that finish line!
    Stephanie @FoodFit4real recently posted…Today I RanMy Profile

  2. So fun meeting and hanging out with you. And YOU DID IT!! You rocked! Way to go!
    {Running} Rachel recently posted…ZOOMA Napa Valley Half Marathon Race RecapMy Profile

  3. Thanks for the recap! Ican’t wait to do this race next year! I jope I get to meet my fellow #sweatpink sister. That is you by the way! Was it super hot??
    Smitha @RunningwithSDMom recently posted…Yelp Art and a Bulu Box reveal & GIVEAWAY!My Profile

  4. This is SOOOO great! Congrats and how awesome! You definitely already were a runner but it’s cool to have a race to mark it with. Rachel is absolutely lovely and this post makes me smile huge!
    Running Hutch recently posted…It’s Relay Day!My Profile

  5. Congratulations!!! I remember feeling many of the same things (and thinking the same things) as you! It felt AMAZING to finish and I couldn’t wait to sign up for my next one! Now, I’m training for #4 and ready to crush some goals 😉
    Kaella (KaellaOnTheRun) recently posted…A Race, A Missing Run & Half Marathon Training UpdateMy Profile

  6. Yey!!!! So excited and happy for you!! Congrats on being a half marathoner, I knew you would do great! So when’s the next one??

  7. Congrats! So exciting!!! Can’t wait to complete my 1st half in Nov!
    Annmarie recently posted…Time to #MoveItMonday!My Profile

  8. I was looking forward to reading your recap and know I will share the same exact thoughts on my first half race day! Super job! I’m so happy for you!
    emily recently posted…That MomentMy Profile

  9. Congrats half marathoner! Looks like another fun race by ZOOMA.
    Jennifer recently posted…NYC Marathon Training 6/23-6/29 – Week 2My Profile

  10. Congrats girl on your first half. And many more to come.
    Neel recently posted…Get Back In Shape DietMy Profile

  11. I’m so excited for you! The first one is always the best. Those last few miles do seem awfully long don’t they? Congrats!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Tempeh Edamame Rice Noodle salad & June Foodie Pen PalsMy Profile

  12. Congrats on your first half! It’s such an amazing experience finishing your first one! Are you signing up for other ones now? That’s the first thing I did after finishing my first! Haha!
    Kristen recently posted…Try New Things Tuesday: Dogsledding!My Profile

  13. LMFAO!!! I LOVE all your random thoughts!!!! HA HA HA AH HA HA! Amazing 😉
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted…Traversing Los Angeles with Stacy! #ChevyFitTripMy Profile

  14. WTG Lynda! You never forget your first 🙂
    jill conyers recently posted…5 Healthy Food SwapsMy Profile

  15. I am so inspired by you and your dedication! You amaze me everyday! Way to go my friend <3
    Heather @floridafitnessmom recently posted…July 2014 Challenge Packs/ BeachBody SaleMy Profile

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