The Connection Runners + ZOOMA

ZOOMA Austin 1/2 marathon recap, and a GIVEAWAY!

While Saturdays race is called ZOOMA Austin, it is actually located in Bastrop, which is southeast of Austin. Since the start was about an hour from our house, we decided to spend Friday night in a hotel in Bastrop.

I spent Thursday relaxing, packing and going to packet pick-up. That night I decided to unwind with a beer (hey-I needed carbs, right?) and a book in the bath tub. Luckily I had been sent Marshall Ulrich's book "Running On Empty".

Billed as "An Ultramarathoner's Story of Love,Loss, and a Record Setting Run Across America" I figured it would be the perfect thing to get me into the racing mood.

I got through the forward by Chris McDougall and into a background on Marshall. In the interest of brevity,with the realization that I'm generalizing so don't sue me for misleading information, lets just say he has ran every important endurance race and set records for a lot of them.

At the age of 57 he had one thing left on his running bucket list: he wanted to run across America,and hopefully break some records along the way.

JUST as he was getting set to embark on this madness adventure, my three year old interrupted my bath tub reading and I had to put the book down.

Talk about suspense! The next day was all about packing/preparing, driving to Bastrop and getting settled into the hotel. Saturday was race day.

Here it is Sunday and I was FINALLY able to finish the book. Sure, I could've guessed that he completed the trek, the suspense wasn't about how it ENDED, but instead about all the gritty details along the way.

I can honestly say I WISH I had finished the book before my race Saturday. The glimpse he gives us into his mind as well as tips for dealing with negative thoughts and pain probably would've helped me during the race. (oooh... foreshadowing much?)

Beyond the "wow,he ran a bajillion miles that's so inspiring" there is a deeper story that really makes you question WHY you run. Are you running from something, or away from it?

His story is honest and raw and relatable on so many levels. I was inspired and fascinated at the same time. Outside of his story, he shares with us the logistics we're all dying to find out. From his training schedule, to caloric intake, injuries, it's all there to satisfy our curiosity.

This book really is a "must read" for all athletes. You can find out more about the book and the author on

GIVEAWAY: I'm giving away one copy of Running On Empty. Simply leave a comment on this post.

FRIDAY: We got into Bastrop about mid-day. After checking into the hotel we made a quick trip to the store for my pre-race breakfast of choice: bagels. After the store we got dressed and headed to the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort for dinner.

On the drive in, I saw this guy. I figured a roadrunner sighting the night before a big race was a SURE sign I was going to be super fast.

Before dinner I had a chance to talk with the authors of "Run Like a Mother".

We then met some of the ladies from our training group.The Hyatt had a carb buffet for all the runners.

The food was actually... not so good. :( They redeemed themselves with the dessert buffet though.

It all LOOKED great, but I was afraid to eat something new and rich before the race. So I settled on a tiny sliver of carrot cake. Yum! While the dinner was only 'ok', the company was FABULOUS. I love my training group!

All to soon it was time to head to our hotel rooms and get some rest for the next day. I 'dressed the chair' (Sparkle Hearts from and tucked into bed by 9pm.

Almost time for ZOOMA!!!

(part 2 coming soon)

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ZOOMA Austin 1/2 marathon recap, and a GIVEAWAY! + ZOOMA