Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday 5: Things that Make Me Happy

Happy Friday!  This is an especially happy Friday because I have a nice long break from work.  I'm looking forward to some long days at the pool!  I'm linking up with Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney for the Friday 5 all about happy thoughts.  I'm excited to read about some things that are making others happy!  It's so nice to have positive things to read about.

1. Maddux.  He had to be first.  Guys, you knew this.

2. Watching the Pirates win.  I can't wait to go to the game tomorrow!  Sorry, Nats.  I'll cheer for you when you're playing someone else.

Wish I could go to PNC more regularly!

3. Races with my nice friend.  He is an awesome sport and goes to many of my races to support me, but it's not always easy to convince him to run with me!  He ran in the Charm City Crab Run with me last weekend and although it was hot, it was a great time!  I really liked running along the water and they had so many yummy snacks after!  When we finished the race we were handed a mug for beer samples and got to enjoy lots of fun beer. (Oh, and more snacks!)  The beer fest was a little different than most we've been to because you could choose whether you wanted a full glass or a sample.  Good times!

4. Trader Joe's Mini Mint Ice Cream Mouthfuls. Oh my gosh, these are so good.  They are nice because they are tiny enough that you can eat one in the afternoon and then another one later on in the day without feeling like a pig.  Another win for Trader Joe's!

5. Mary Kay Andrews books.  I have been waiting to read this book (I have a ton of reading for grad school and knew I would get caught up in my fun book over my school books!), but it is finally vacation time.  These books are just so girly, beachy, and fun and I can't wait to dive in! (Haha.)

What is making you happy lately?  Let's spread the joy!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Friday 5: ZOOMA 10k

Guys, I really do know my days of the week.  Lately though it's just been easier to post a little late because the week days have been so busy!  I hope everyone got in a wonderful run on Wednesday for National Running Day!  It was nice and cool here, and though it was a little dreary, it really was great weather for a run!  I'm linking up with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia today--make sure to check out the link up for some good reads.

Last weekend I ran the ZOOMA 10k in Annapolis, Maryland.  Today I'm going to share with you some of my thoughts from the race.  I'm not really sure where the month of May went, but I didn't train nearly as well as I should have.  I kept putting off my longer distance runs and didn't run more than 4 miles before the race, (post-Shamrock running has been a little subpar!), but I still had a fun morning!  I was really proud of myself for running the whole race because it was a huge mental battle.  I really do believe that you can work on something in each race even if you know it's not going to be your fastest!

1. The Expo.  So a quick note about ZOOMA--it's a race geared towards women with the goal being a fun "girls weekend out" race. All of the locations are in really fun/gorgeous areas.  ZOOMA Florida is on my bucket list of runs!  The race expo was held in the Annapolis Loew's hotel (the host race of the hotel).  There were plenty of public parking places a couple of minutes walk away.  I went really early and only had to wait a couple of minutes to get my packet.  The expo was small, but they had some cute shirts.  Charm City Run had a booth, and I ended up buying a really fun shirt!

2. The Course. When I got to the Navy Marine Corps Stadium, there was quite a line for parking.  I arrived about 30 minutes prior to the race, and after I parked I decided it would probably be best to find the portapotties.  (Side note, thank goodness for car alarms, because I totally forgot where I had parked after the race.)  I'm glad I did, because the line was soooo long.  I waited for about 20 minutes in the line.  I don't remember it being that bad a couple of years ago!  The race started on time (or really close to it).  The first mile or so you just kind of wind through the stadium parking lot and the roads around it.  I think miles 2-4 were probably my favorite.  Those were the ones where you went through downtown Annapolis (which I think is super cute) and are near the water.  Around mile 5 we got to a bridge and it was brutal.  The uphill seemed to last forever and it was right in the sun.  (I remembered this bad boy from a couple of years ago!) Once you got to the downhill park though, it seemed like the breeze came back and it was lovely.  The rest of the course wasn't too remarkable.  Pretty much just winding through neighborhood streets back to the stadium for a slightly uphill finish.  There wasn't a whole lot of crowd support, but there were a ton of water stops!  It was really nice having that many opportunities to get water.  Even though the race started at 7, it was still pretty warm!

3. The Post Race Party.  After finishing the race, I was handed a medal, a bottle of water, a bag of Maryland Crab chips, and got to pick a snack box.  I went with the hummus, but chicken salad was also a choice.  My box had hummus and pretzels, carrots, and an apple.  There were some vendors available and there was wine, but since I ran it solo I felt like drinking alone at 8am was kind of not my thing and I would rather just go home.

4. The Swag.  In my race packet I received a reusable bag, a pair of Feetures socks, a journal, and my race shirt.  I actually wore the socks to the race.  I'm not sure I would say this is the best sock I've ever put on my foot, but they did seem a little more durable than some of my other socks.  As long as they last a few months without holes I'll be happy!  The medal was just a generic one for the 10k finishers.  The half marathon medal was pretty cool, but I can understand why they wouldn't want to go through the cost of making two different medals for all of their races.

5. Other Thoughts.  I left with the same impression of the race that I did the last time I ran it.  It was ok. It was fun, but not one that I feel compelled to do every single year.  I do like that it's pretty close (I was home before 9!) and I enjoy the distance, so I wouldn't rule it out completely in the future.  I also had some unfair comparisons--a couple of years ago I ran it and when I signed up they sent me a training pack that had a ton of different stuff in it and a really cute shirt that I still wear all the time.  At the actual race, I got another shirt, a water bottle, a yoga mat, and a cute necklace, AND I think the race was cheaper than it is now.  Look, I get that if they did that every year they would probably be bankrupt in no time, but when you're spoiled one year it can be a little disappointing when the next year you're not! In all fairness though, I thought the goodie bag was still great this year!

Guys, I felt kind of bad.  So they said that we would get a free race photo this year.  Pretty much every single race photo I'm in, I look like I am in some serious pain, even if I'm not.  I decided that I was just going to make a face at the camera this time so I would be intentionally crazy looking instead of the "oh that poor girl" crazy looking.  Weeeeellll, the photographer did NOT look happy.  As soon as I saw her face, I wished I could take it back, but oh well.  The past is in the past.

I think I captured the "Zombie Runner" look quite well.

Have you done any ZOOMA races?  What did you think?  What races do you have coming up? Have a great weekend!