ZOOMA florida: expo and pre-race

This is a sponsored post. I am a race Ambassador for ZOOMA Florida and have received a complimentary race entry as compensation for my post. All opinions are my own.

On Friday morning, we woke up to this.



I dropped little man at school, and then Mr PugRunner took me to a last breakfast at Cracker Barrel before I had to finish packing and start the drive to the Ritz Carlton.

Molly? She was displeased.

I stopped at Target on the way up. I needed a throwaway jacket (found a hooded, zip up style for $7.48 on clearance!) and gloves. If this morning was any indication, it was going to be frigid at Satruday’s start line and I needed to be prepared.

Around lunch time, I checked in. As expected, the hotel and its staff were wonderful. We were given a room on the third floor with a coastal view, which was lovely. My roommates, Kristin and J, had yet to arrive, so I treated myself to a yummy lunch at the hotel restaurant. I enjoyed eating with a good book (The Monuments Men), just taking my time and relaxing. It’s something I don’t get to do often enough.

By that time, the Fitness Expo was open so I headed over to say hello to some of the ZOOMA ladies and pick up my packet. The Expo was small but intimate and lovely. Featured sponsors included Muscle Milk Light, Honest Tea and Altra. Packet pick up was simple and quick.

The swag bag was awesome, as promised. Adorable running hat, women’s tech shirt, a pair of Feetures! socks (these are my new favorites and I was so glad they were also for sale so I could stock up), all in a great reusable bag.

Back in the room, I closed my eyes for a bit, until Kristin arrived. We headed back to the expo to get her sorted, and met up with A. She was driving us to dinner since she lives in the area and has a good idea of the local offerings.

But not before we had some fun.

We had decided on Ciao in downtown Fernandina (incidentally, right by the start line), primarily on their claim that they make their own pasta. Our other friend (and roommate) J joined us and we shared a delicious serving of arancini, followed by angel hair pasta with a very light pesto cream sauce. Afterwards, we were tempted by Fantastic Fudge, and got some snacks for the room for later. J took us back to the hotel and we headed to one of the private rooms in the lobby for the Honest Tea Let’s Get Fizz-ical Mocktail Party.

The event was great, complete with staff members in neon and 80s wear, great 80s music and some samplings of really flavorful drinks, made with Honest Tea regular and carbonated beverages. All the mocktails were named after 80s songs. There were some games and contests and we got to meet and chat with some of the Florida Ambassadors. It was a really nice night, but all too soon, it was time to say goodbye and head up to bed.

We laid out our race outfits, packed our fuel, and plugged in our iPods and Garmins.

I was excited, but also nervous, mostly because of the temperatures. We went to bed around 10:30, but I didn’t start to doze off until almost midnight. I really need to work on pre-race sleeping. It’s obviously not my forte.

Tomorrow? My experience with the ZOOMA Florida half marathon. Stay tuned.

How do you spend your time when on racecations?

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re at a hotel by yourself?

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15 Responses to ZOOMA florida: expo and pre-race

  1. Matilda says:

    Nerves get the best of everyone, esp when you are away from home and not in your own bed. I like to wind down, either buy reading or relaxing, but my mind still goes a million miles an hour.

    If I have never been to the race location before, I love checking out the sites, and if I can check out part of the course bonus.
    Matilda recently posted…Would You Rather #5My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I woke up at about 2am and my heart was POUNDING. I could feel the blood just rushing in and out. Which, you know, is great, because oxygenation, but ugh. Certainly not conducive to good rest. I’m a bad sleeper anyway. I should be used to this.

  2. Looks like so much fun! Although that ice and then the next picture with the sun out – so confusing lol!
    ari @ whatarisaid recently posted…project 365, take 6.My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      It was so much fun. My husband and I were talking about it and I was telling him that it was just the complete package. Yes, the race is the most important part, and that was wonderful, but I am a complete package kind of person, and I loved all the details that came into play.

      I assure you. Just because the sun is shining does NOT mean it is warm.

  3. Lindsey says:

    I love the shirts this year! My dog doesn’t like it when I travel either haha! I’m glad you got some time to yourself to relax!
    Lindsey recently posted…Week 12–Check!My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      The shirts were great! I am pretty sure Molly would have packed herself right into my suitcase. Not that I would have minded. She’s pretty awesome and probably would have loved a little bit of pug pampering at the Ritz.

  4. Diana says:

    Hotel by myself = really long baths. Like, till the water is cold, then add more water. It’s the only time I get that much time to myself! =)
    Diana recently posted…SurprisesMy Profile

  5. FiddleDeeAsh says:

    I didn’t realize people actually slept before a race. I’m not sure how they do it.

    My favorite thing to do when I have a room to myself is take the longest shower ever, followed by meticulously straightening my hair, followed by watching endless Bravo reruns. It’s glorious.
    FiddleDeeAsh recently posted…runDisney Race Retreat: Is it Worth it?My Profile

  6. How fun! I’ve never traveled to a race with a bunch of friends, I am going to have to do that sometime!
    When I’m on a racecation I go and see as much as I can possibly fit in, and when I am in a hotel by myself. I love a kingsize bed, which I don’t mind occasionally ordering room service and eating snacks in bed watching some great movie:)

  7. Let’s get Fizzical – hilarious. I don’t sleep well the night before a race, and so many of them have crazy early starts that it makes it even harder!
    Cynthia @ You Signed Up For What?! recently posted…What Was In My Runnerbox Tribox?My Profile

  8. That dinner sounds amazing!
    Kelly @ Cupcake Kelly’s recently posted…Back on the WagonMy Profile

  9. This sounds like such an awesome race series, I wish there were one closer to me!! I can’t wait to read your recap 🙂 OH and I am terrible at sleeping the night before too!! It’s like Christmas eve 😉
    Sarah @ Sweet Miles recently posted…Momo Bands GiveawayMy Profile

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