Napa…I love driving into Napa because it will always feel like home to me. For the past year I have been an Ambassador for ZOOMA Napa Valley. It is an all women’s race series in great destinations all across the country. 2015 is ZOOMA’s second year here in Napa and my second time running it.
Race weekend started out at the Napa Marriott Hotel where we picked up our bibs and hung out at the “mocktail” party. Hint Water hosted the event with their yummy sparkling water. I swear I am looking at my drink as if it is really champagne. I love me some champagne! But the mocktails were good too!
Once again it was great catching up with the other ZOOMA Ambassador ladies and meeting some new faces as well!
After the mocktail party I headed to Vallejo to visit my sister, but it turns out she forgot we were coming. Which was fine…I had to go to sleep early and we were up early so I suppose it worked out for the best.
ZOOMA Napa Valley 2015 – minus a few that missed the picture 😉
The race starts near the vineyards and continues for 6.5 miles down the road along the highway (which is kinda a bummer) then we hit the turn around to run back. I have to say though, I enjoyed this course much more than last year. It is the same course, but it was much better weather (not as hot) and I was there with more company this year. So that always makes things better!
Me and my Kaia FIT Sunrise girls!
And we’re off!
Hot air balloons. This was my favorite view of the race! This race was mentally and physically hard for me. The main reason, for both, is I didn’t train for a half marathon. Luckily I have enough base mileage to be able to just go out and run one, but I am currently training for a 10.5 mile trail run. So needless to say my training has not been focused on a half marathon road race. I still did well, and my goal was to pace one of the ladies I helped train. She wanted to run under a 2 hour half. It was more like she kept me going! She put in the training & did great! I however, was unprepared that morning, forgot my electrolyte drink and so along the course they had Gatorade. Which I think was actually Cytomax? Not sure, I heard both. But I don’t drink either of those because they do not agree with my stomach. I’ll spare you the details…I’ll just say I had to make a bathroom stop and told Sarah to keep going & I’d catch up.
I had her in my sight until about mile 10 and I just couldn’t keep up. I was super happy for her because she beat her last half by 15 minutes!! She came in around 1:50. My goal was to finish under 2 hours – I also realized I hadn’t run a half marathon since October last year. That is when I ran my PR of 1:43. So 2 hours seemed easy and doable. Then around mile 11.5 I hear the 1:55 pacer coming up behind me. I COULDN’T fall behind 1:55 so I sped up at mile 12 and came in at 1:53. Not bad but not my best. And that is okay.
Sarah met me right before the end and ran across the finish with me.
We made it! Lynda, Karen and myself. Fellow Ambassadors.
And me with the Kaia ladies! I am so proud of our girls, and coaches. 2 of our team placed in their age group, 2 of the girls beat a previous half marathon PR and 1 girl ran her first 10k! Such a great day!
ZOOMA is a very fun race and I was happy to be apart of it again. Well organized and great swag (if that is your thing). It would be interesting to experience a different ZOOMA race. They are advertised at destination races. I used to live in Napa so maybe that is why this doesn’t seem like a destination race to me, and I have also never done a destination race. So I don’t quite know what to expect but I feel like there is something more that could be done to make it special. It is Napa Valley so just that alone is awesome and you can go wine tasting right after your race! I was a little underwhelmed with the “after party”. We were unable to have our girls get their prizes as they were announced since we waited for everyone to finish (but they did get them), and the food was just chicken salad and Hint Water. As someone who doesn’t eat meat, I couldn’t partake in their post race food. I do think carbs would have been a good choice to have been offered as well. This race is still new to the area, so I am interested to see how it grows. Thank you ZOOMA for choosing me to represent your race! You can check out their other races here: ZOOMA races.