I had the best time this weekend and seriously challenged myself on what I affectionately call the “hilliest half in Texas!” (be forewarned there are lots of pictures in the post)
Last October I was selected to be an ambassador Zooma’s Texas race. This was by far, one of the greatest experiences of my blogging career. I had the pleasure to meet, work and network with an awesome group of ladies over the last few months.
Last Friday my friend Jennifer and I loaded up my car for a night away. We stayed in Bastrop near the Hyatt because of cost. We both decided that we are starting a Zooma fund so we can stay at the Hyatt next year. It will be worth it!
We got to Austin in time for lunch and stopped on 6th Street to find food. We found a great pizza place complete with free parking. Check out Frank and Angie’s Pizzeria or Hut’s Hamburgers while you are there. We got a slice of pizza and a salad for $7.
We got to our hotel in Bastrop, checked in, took a 20 minute power nap then headed to the Hyatt. We were going to just figure out where to catch the shuttle and get our packets but we fell in love with the Hyatt so we ended up staying the rest of the day.
We got to the Hyatt Friday and hit the expo, got our packets, did a little shopping, then walked around the resort. It has a lot to offer and will make for a nice weekend getaway. My favorite spot was the rocking chair overlooking the Colorado River.
We had plans to head out and find dinner but at the expo they were handing out pasta samples and somehow Jennifer and I were unable to leave. When we arrived for dinner we also discovered they had this chocolate fountain. It was insanely good.
After dinner we met up with the other ambassadors for a group photo.
Zooma really takes care of their race participants. We had a “mocktail party” that night with Honest Tea and our swag bags were loaded. In the reusable bag was our tech shirt, hat and Feetures Socks.
We headed to bed about 9:30, the race day alarm was early. We had to be at the bus stop no later than 6:30AM. Race started at 7:30. It was slightly warmer there than in the Dallas area, so we opted for shorts and tank top.
Since we were staying off site we had to park across Highway 71 at the high school and ride a shuttle onto the property on race day. It was nice and easy, no problems at all. Biggest downside was having to get up an hour early to make all that happen.
We got to the Hyatt and found a place to stretch and hang out until the race started. It was probably the smallest half marathon I’ve run, it was kind of odd lining up towards the front. I actually saw the starting line. I lined up with the 1:50 pacers, with the hopes of anything under 1:55 on this course. Started out with them and kept up for a few miles. The hills started getting to me a little and I fell behind but was still on target for my goal.
It was a pretty course, along country roads lined with bluebonnets. The course support was great, from the water stops to traffic control. I was very impressed.
I learned that I don’t know how to run down hills well. My toes are very upset with me. That’s something I will be working on. I also learned that when I want to quit I have to dig deep, real deep and find strength I didn’t even know I had. I love running half marathons, they are just enough of a challenge to me without me feeling like dying. Saturday was the hardest half I have ever done. I was struggling mentally and physically. My splits show where I wanted to quit and they also show where I rallied and didn’t give in to those feelings.
I’m very proud of my time. It’s not my fastest but I was trying to compare my PR to the flattest course I’ve ever run and this was the hilliest course I’ve ever run. So considering my time on this one was just over a minute slower, I’m ok.
Zooma knows how to do a finish line. There were yoga mats and foam rollers to use. The food and expo was set up, the hotel also had towels out for us to (pass out) on the hill overlooking the river, complete with a band. We laid there in the sunshine refueling and catching our breath.
And here are some of the Zooma Ambassadors post-race. This is an amazing team, several placed in their age groups. I’m proud to know them!
Check out some of the race recaps by the Zooma Texas Ambassadors:
I highly recommend this race, despite the fact that it’s hilly! It’s a challenge and we all need that sometimes. But it was so much more. It’s amazing the feeling you get accomplishing something that’s difficult. You look around you and you see all these other women smiling, laughing and crying because they just did it too. It may have been their first or their 15th but the feeling was mutual.
It was great to spend time with my friend Jennifer. You can’t go wrong with a girls weekend.
I’m looking forward to this race again next year!
Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1