This weekend was the 2015 ZOOMA Women’s Series race in Austin hill country and I was there proudly as an ambassador. I ran the race with a group of girlfriends last year and had such a great time that I couldn’t wait to head back. As is life, not everything went exactly as planned for this year’s race. I had a hip flexor injury that took me out of training for a couple of months, so I ended up switching from the Half Marathon that I ran last year to the 5K course. A group of friends that I was running with had similar life issues that came up, and by race week, I was heading to Austin solo. I absolutely LOVE the Hyatt Lost Pines and at the last minute decided to take my 5 year old son out of preschool for the day for a special mommy + me trip. And it was the BEST TIME EVER.
We spent the afternoon on Friday enjoying the gorgeous property. The wildflowers are in bloom in Texas and everywhere you look there are bursts of bluebonnets. The resort is full of fun areas to discover for kids and for grown ups. It’s so rare that I get to spend one-on-one time with my little boy, so this day was extra special for us both. We tuned into a slow pace and just enjoyed being together.
We hung out for a while near the alpacas and long horns on the property, naturally, as my little boy is quite the creature lover. The weather was picture perfect (literally, not a cloud in the sky. Not one.) and the swimming pool was warm and inviting. My son had a great time going down the slide all by himself like a big boy!
After a yummy dinner al fresco, we hung out for a while with my fellow ambassadors at the ZOOMA Mocktail party before roasting s’mores at the fire pit and heading to bed on the early side. It was past bedtime for my little guy already, and I wanted to get a good night sleep before the run. I woke up feeling like a million bucks and energized for the race. I checked Bennett into the incredible Kids Camp at the resort and met up with my ambassador friends in the lobby for a quick picture before the air horn. (We all look a little possessed! we.are.running.bots.)
The morning run was so…magical, honestly, that’s the best word to describe it. The way the morning sun was coming up behind the hills made the dew on the grass all sparkly. There was a dreamy mist over the lake and a crisp chill in the air. I ran the 5K with no pain at all. I think I am healed and can start my regular running schedule again, which is good especially since I’m signed up for the ZOOMA Nashville half and running a Ragnar relay with 11 other friends this summer.
I met up with my sweet little boy after I finished running and we indulged in a little post-race breakfast. I enjoyed every single bite of this cinnamon roll, and every single bite of the one I ate immediately after I finished this one. They were baked in a cast iron skillet and so buttery and warm, oh man, I could have eaten the whole pan.
I had one proud little cheerleader who wore my medal around the rest of the day. My final time for the 5K was 30:14. That’s 9:44 pace and placed me at 26th overall, and 7th in my age group. WOOHOO! That is the fastest I’ve run in a while! I was aiming for under 30, but I just barely came in after that. Next time, right?
Thanks so much to the entire ZOOMA team. It is so wonderful to represent you and I love being a part of this experience. I can’t wait for next year!
Author: Candace Thomas