Speaking of sleeping, the Ritz-Carlton as the host hotel for this Zooma race made it one of the best race getaway experiences ever. The Ritz of course is known for luxury and from the moment we entered the doors we were greeted with beautiful decor and friendly staff. After check-in we made our way up to the Club level. In our room we were greeted with healthy treats and a welcome note. So refreshing and unexpected!
We made our way to the club lounge where we enjoyed great appetizers – my favorite was the crab soup.
After a few nibbles we went to the race expo. It was the smallest expo I’ve attended but I liked it because it wasn’t too hectic and there was an opportunity to talk directly to all the vendors without feeling rushed.
We picked up our numbers with ease and then proceeded to the “Mocktail Party” hosted by Honest Tea.
Again, small and low-key, it was a lovely time and I enjoyed tasting the various “mocktails” and having a glass of wine. After the party, Lorraine and I made way to the Sports Bar where we watched a basketball game and enjoyed dinner. Sticking to my seafood theme, I had crab cake sliders and onion rings.Delicious! But I had to leave some behind because I was so full!
We headed back up to the Club level for cookies and then went to our room to get ready for the race ahead. As usual, we laid out all of our race clothing and got into bed by 9:45pm. I WANTED to be asleep by 10:00pm but somebody decided to keep me up (as usual)! LOL! But Lorraine and I had a ball, I was asleep by midnight but it seemed like the 6:15sm alarm came way too fast!
After getting dressed we stopped by the Club lounge for a slice of bread, peanut butter and a banana and the headed downstairs for the 7am shuttle to race start. That went off without a hitch and I sat next to a woman who was preparing to qualify for Boston the following weekend. I was quite impressed although I can’t recall her name, she has been a runner for well over 20 years and has run Boston twice! What an inspiration!
Race start was breezy. I was so glad that I decided to wear my Polar jacket and check a bag. The bag check was simple and the race was small so there was no long wait at the porta-potties. After waiting in the breeze (cold) for about a half-hour we were off! The first mile was truly breezy but I ran in my Zooma Tee and was fine. I ran with Lorraine for about the first mile or so and told her to go ahead so I could “get my mind right.” The combo of cold and not having run consistently were doing a number on me and I needed to get myself together. I soon started a cadence that worked for me and held on to it until around mile 7. I especially enjoyed running miles 3 -6 in the nature park. We were shielded from the wind and it was very peaceful.
After mile 7 we ran on the road. After about mile 7 I did a lot of walking and not much running. Honestly, I knew that the following night I was going dancing and wanted to save my legs. Seriously. If I had to prioritize my aerobic activity – dancing would be number ONE followed by running. Many times I motivate myself when I’m running by reminding myself that I dance for HOURS without leaving the floor of course I can run for an hour or more straight! True story!
The final 1/4 mile or so of the race ended on the beach. I enjoyed running on the packed sand but the final 30 feet or so were challenging because the finish line was on regular sand. I’m pretty sure I walked or wogged it in. This may have been my slowest time ever at just under 3 hours but going in I knew I wasn’t even remotely trying to PR and the legs had to save my legs! *sidenote – I danced all night the following evening and my friends were amazed I could do so after a race and 5 hour drive home!*
Here is a photo of the finishers necklace, a nice reminder of race day.
And I enjoyed having muscle milk for recovery after the race (in case you were curious, muscle milk does not contain actual milk otherwise I would have been in trouble!). I had my requisite glass of Barefoot Bubbly and we took a group shot of all of the ambassadors before Lorraine and I readied for the trip back to Atlanta.
Overall, I really enjoyed Zooma Ameila Island. The Ritz-Carlton is the perfect spot for a girlfriend getaway (as we were leaving we saw a group of women in robes headed to the spa), the course was absolutely beautiful and of course the laughs and fun times with my girl Lorraine were priceless!