A Painful PR: ZOOMA Atlanta Half Marathon

by tinareale on November 28, 2011

Hi, everyone! A bit of housekeeping to do real quick: I updated my subscription feeds so that those of you subscribed to FFF can still automatically get updates to the new site. Although the name changed, it does NOT HAVE ANY EFFECT on what I plan to blog. What you came to know and love of FFF will still very much be a part of my new space. I will still openly express my thoughts, candidly share my life, outwardly represent my faith, and more.

I know I received some feedback of uncertainty with the new site, and I certainly respect if you choose to no longer follow, but I hope you will give it a chance. I really struggled with making the switch, but knew in my heart it was the right move for my time. The move mainly happened so I could have a way to continue my goal of personal training with my love of blogging – in a seamless manner through one site. Thanks for listening! Hope to see you here at my new place! And for those of you that added the new feed already, you may have gotten two updates today. So, remove the old subscription and you should be all set.

Now let’s talk about my second half marathon! The brutality and surprise of it all!


Ever since finishing my first half marathon three weeks ago, I have anticipated this race. I had such a fantastic experience during the Savannah Rock N Roll and looked forward to that same excitement. To have the chance to witness my body accomplish something I used to think impossible. And, of course, to spend some time with good friends – fellow Atlanta blogging friends Kristy, Lindsay, and Lee.

The race was held at Chateau Elan, a resort and winery north of Atlanta.


I arrived around 6:30 to meet up with Lee and pick up my race number and bag of goodies. The race didn’t start until 7:30 so Lee, Kristy, Lindsey, and I kept each other company for the hour wait game. We all gave each other encouragement for whatever our goals were for the race. Then, we lined up at the start and went our separate ways.


I didn’t really have any set goal for the race. I just wanted to finish strong. I knew the course would have more hills. I hadn’t ran all week thanks to my arm and felt a little stiff that morning. I didn’t feel near as ready for the race. Plus, I wasn’t sure how Thanksgiving leftovers would go over as proper race fuel. Winking smile

After the first mile, I settled into a nice pace. The course came up on the first couple of hills and, although not the nicest things to encounter so quickly into a race, I felt like I managed them okay.

The first of MANY hills…

I continued holding a steady pace for a few miles, despite the hills, and at one point picked things up quite a bit.

To handle the hills better, I would take a moderate pace going up them and then run harder on the flats and downhill portions. It really seemed to work for me!

That is, until around mile ten. I never hit any sort of wall during my first half and after starting off so strongly this time, I didn’t see this one coming. My legs stiffened up and felt like lead poles attached to my hips. My calves and hips felt tremendously tight. Mentally, I was so over the race. Understandably, this course didn’t have near the level of crowd support…and it made a BIG difference for me.

Those last 3.1 miles felt like one hill after another after another. I tried not to pay attention to my pace and used whatever motivational thoughts I could conjure up at the moment. Once I saw the finish line, I got a little boost of energy…then, I saw my friends waiting on me and did my best to “sprint” to the finish. Picture that “sprint” in the loosest form of the word as the finish was UPHILL. That’s pure evil right there.


And in some crazy way, I finished in 1:47:41. That’s a PR by almost 2.5 minutes!


My Garmin actually measured short on the distance, but I’m going to go with that time regardless. My average pace was still a PR pace (somehow!) and that course was a beast. It deserves all the glory I can milk out of it. Especially since it also robbed me of the rest of my day. I felt terrible later on! I must have raced hard…and maybe not too smart. I think I was slightly dehydrated. Not cool to skimp on that.

I also must give mad props to my fellow running buds. Lindsay ran a 1:33 and got second overall woman!!

photo courtesy of Lee

She is a rock star! And regularly runs such crazy paces with a jogging stroller! Kristy achieved a new PR of sub 1:45 and crushed her time goal of around 1:50. And Lee placed 2nd in her age group for the 5K course. Great day all around! Even though it had some lows, I can’t complain. Any race is a good thing in my book. Don’t be shocked if you find me tweeting about 2012 races all day now. Gotta get something else on the books!  Star

Do you like having new goals or events in your fitness plans?


1 Heather (Heather's Dish) November 28, 2011 at 8:05 am

well, i’m glad you PRed, even if mentally it didn’t feel pretty. that’s an amazing race time!

2 Kara November 28, 2011 at 8:08 am

Great job on the PR. In my world, feeling rough the rest of the day means you left it all on the pavement and that’s a good thing. :)

3 tinareale November 28, 2011 at 6:11 pm

That’s what I told myself. And that certainly means you left it all on the pavement/trail for your race. ;)

4 Katy (The Singing Runner) November 28, 2011 at 8:12 am

Great job on the PR!!! I’m so proud of you! :)

P.S- I love the new site! I haven’t been able to tell you that already, but it’s fantastic!

5 Rebecca November 28, 2011 at 8:16 am

Congratulations on the PR!!! YOU are a rock star :) I need to try your hill method, my natural instinct is to gun it up and then relax on the way down, but I doubt that’s very effective.
PS — I love your new site. It is still you but in like “plus size” form, if that makes any sense ;)

6 tinareale November 28, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Haha! I like that description. :)

7 Coco November 28, 2011 at 8:17 am

Well, it is a course PR, since its the first time for this race. And, unless the distance was way off, a 2.5 minute PR probably would have been a PR over a full 13.1. What is it about Zooma races and hills? They were fierce in Annapolis, and I think Austin was worse!

I often get bad GI issues after a race. I don’t know if its just from running hard, or if I would do better if I ate differently before. This weekend I am going to try not to run to hard so I can enjoy the Ghiradelli after the Hot Chocolate 15K. ;-)

8 tinareale November 28, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Yea. I had bad issues after this one. That has never happened before and I ate the same…well minus wine alongside my water post race. ;) All I know is the stomach upset was not fun. But worth the PR. ;)

9 [email protected] Broken Cookies Don't Count November 28, 2011 at 8:20 am

Great job!

10 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes November 28, 2011 at 8:22 am

Woot Woot! Great job girly! Sorry you felt alittle off though :)

11 Katie @ Raisins&Apples November 28, 2011 at 8:25 am


Whenever I set a fitness goal, I somehow always get injured. For being goal-oriented, that’s majorly frustrating! I think I get a little overzealous in the beginning.

12 Anna @ On Anna's Plate November 28, 2011 at 8:35 am

Love the new site, Tina! And congrats on your PR!

13 Amy Lauren November 28, 2011 at 8:37 am

Congratulations on your new PR, especially on such a tough course! I think it was also easier mentally since you’d already ran one half marathon race.

All my races have been in small towns, so I’ve never really had crowd support aside from the occasional family sitting on the porch cheering or someone out in their yard, LOL. But I could imagine it being difficult out there when it looks like there’s not even much around.

Glad your arm is getting better too! The time off probably helped you run faster :) .

14 Tiff November 28, 2011 at 8:40 am

Wow! Great job! 26th female is awesome, and so is your time. I’m sorry to hear about the wall, but I know how crowds can help bust through. Cheering helps my mental game soooooo much!

15 Carly (Swim, Run, Om) November 28, 2011 at 8:47 am

This is my first time to your “new” website/web address, and I think it looks great. Also, I think it is a smart marketing move on your part.

Congrats on the PR!

16 tinareale November 28, 2011 at 6:16 pm

I didn’t want to give up myself, but also wanted it to coincide well with personal training. I think having the blog still be a personal space brings the best of both worlds. thanks for the support, Carly!

17 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries November 28, 2011 at 8:47 am

Awesome job girl! Despite the struggle of it, you should be SO proud of yourself!

18 Mac November 28, 2011 at 8:48 am

Holy smokes girl! You just keep killing it!!

19 Meghan November 28, 2011 at 8:55 am

Wow you kicked butt on that! By the way I love where your focus has gone, I am so impressed with your return to fitness post baby, and can’t wait to utilize your services after I evict our little one. I have my 2nd half marathon on my horizon 8 months post baby and want to do my first full 11 months after, but do better when someone else designs my program.

20 tinareale November 28, 2011 at 6:16 pm

And I can’t wait to do it! I really feel so happy with this change. :)

21 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen November 28, 2011 at 8:57 am

Congrats, that’s an awesome finish! I could really use a short course on a half marathon, the two I’ve done have been long by a quarter of a mile! Not cool. Hope you’re feeling better now.

22 Runblondie26 November 28, 2011 at 8:58 am

Just checking out the new site. It looks fantastic!

Thanks for such kind words. It was a great day on many levels. Hanging out with you ladies was the true highlight. Everyone had an impressive race, and this is still just the beginning for you.

Soooo when are we doing our next one?

23 tinareale November 28, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Ummmm….as soon as possible? And when its not freezing. So probably the Atlanta ING Half in March. :)

And you really are such a rock star!!!!

24 Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn November 28, 2011 at 9:00 am

OMG YOU’RE SO SPEEDY!!! My first half marathon time was a 1:55, girl I am so happy for you!! And it was at a gorgeous winery. Beautiful. xoxo!

25 Lee November 28, 2011 at 9:08 am

Great job! Where was that hill that you took a picture of? Did I run it in the 5K? It looks mean.

I need to email you the pictures that I took of you as you approached the finished line. You looked all smiley like you could keep running some more.

26 tinareale November 28, 2011 at 6:18 pm

That was because it was either smile…or cry. Haha! Seriously, I was not smiling on the inside.

And that hill was at the start. Our first one I think.

27 Khushboo November 28, 2011 at 9:11 am

PR’ing with hills…wow, way to go Tina!

28 kaitlin @4loveofcarrots November 28, 2011 at 9:11 am

Go you!! What an awesome time!!

29 Karolina November 28, 2011 at 9:21 am

Congrats on your PR. The mental game while running can be brutal, so it’s amazing that you were able to PR despite the difficult mind game AND those nasty hills!

30 Jess November 28, 2011 at 9:27 am

I LOVE that you pushed it through at the end, despite some nasty hills and managed to PR afterall!! You are awesome! PS I saw on twitter that you felt like sick to your stomach and chilly after that race. The EXACT same thing happens to me after every half marathon I’ve done. I feel like I want to puke until I force some carbs down once I get back from the race and slowly I come around. I don’t know if its a hydration problem or maybe a fueling problem (I tend to only take 1-2 shot blox at most), but I always feel pretty gross right after I finish. I’m glad you’re feeling much better now though!!

31 Heather @ Better With Veggies November 28, 2011 at 9:31 am

Congratulations again on an awesome race – especially just a few short weeks after your first half marathon! I’m thinking that course was harder than Savannah too – so your PR is even sweeter. :)

32 Kiah November 28, 2011 at 9:32 am

It finished on an uphill?? That’s crazy talk! Way to go on your PR, girl! I definitely stop checking my pace when I know my body is simply going as fast as it can.
Have you raced a shorter distance since the first 1/2? I’ve got a 5k this weekend and I’m kind of excited for how short it’s going to feel :-) <–not to jinx myself

33 tinareale November 28, 2011 at 6:20 pm

I haven’t done a shorter distance again, but definitely want to give one a go again sometime.

34 jobo November 28, 2011 at 9:51 am

Wow, that is a BRUTAL hill right there. I would have been pissed. LOL. You did AWESOME!! Despite not having as big a crowd cheering you and not feeling as ready, you kicked the crap out of this race. That takes determination and some guts. Go you!

35 Sana November 28, 2011 at 9:56 am

Not feeling well after a awesome race sucks, but running does take a huge toll on your body and sometimes it just needs to act poopy :(

36 Heather November 28, 2011 at 10:04 am

way to go! hills are the devil. So are uphill finishes. I have had two this year (both RnR races) and don’t know why the race directors want to torture us!

37 Jeannie November 28, 2011 at 10:15 am

Awesome race Tina! You are speedy and hills can really do a number on those legs. My half yesterday was extremely hilly in the last 5 miles. Couldn’t imagine what the marathoners are going through since it was their miles 21 to 26! I do love the new site. Gotta do whatcha gotta do. :)

38 Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food November 28, 2011 at 10:16 am

Amazing time!! I remember hitting my wall for my half around mile 9-10 and I know what you mean about those last 3 miles being the worst! In my head, I kept telling myself, “You have already run 10, 3 more isn’t a big deal,” but 3 miles is still 3 miles! I’m just glad I finished!

39 Rebecca @ Miss Magnolia Munches & Moves November 28, 2011 at 10:34 am

Congrats! PRing on that hilly beast of a course is so awesome!

40 brooke @B & the boy! November 28, 2011 at 10:34 am

Despite the pain, what an amazing accomplishment. Way to go!

41 Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile November 28, 2011 at 10:54 am

Wow you did AMAZING for having a tough race! That is not cool that the very end was uP hill. Overall you did awesome so congrats:D

42 Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic November 28, 2011 at 11:25 am

Congratulations on the PR! (and on the new site, btw!) You guys did all so well. After my first half this year, my next goal is to run a full marathon :)

43 tinareale November 28, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Woooohooo! Who knows? Maybe I’ll be virtually training with you. ;)

44 Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning November 28, 2011 at 11:41 am

Congrats on the race, girl!! What an awesome finish time!!
And by the way, I love the new blog!

45 Stephanie @fitmomtraining November 28, 2011 at 11:44 am

As a Canadian Prairie girl, the biggest thing we have to hills here are bridges, and even then, it’s a bit of a stretch to call it that. That picture of the hill made me weep a bit. Congrats on a strong finish!

46 Paula @ Lipstick and Lunges November 28, 2011 at 11:54 am

Congratulations Tina!! I’m sure you weren’t loving all those hills, but it must feel great to know you pushed past it!

47 Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs November 28, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Seriously, you are such a rockstar! Congrats on a great PR, even if you didn’t feel great. Sometimes I feel like you can do EVERYTHING right and still not feel 100% after a race, and this one seems like a beast with those hills!

I love that you made it so that we don’t have to change our Google Reader feeds, perfect!

48 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table November 28, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Wow – everyone did so well on a super hilly course! Congratulations!!!

I’ve started trying to “march” up hills. It was recommended to me by a friend who trains with the Galloway program – I think it’s helped!

49 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health November 28, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Wow, awesome job on the PR! I’m sorry that the race didn’t feel good though…that has to be so frustrating after feeling great during your first one! I don’t always like to have goals when it comes to fitness because I just want to have fun with what I’m doing and that seems to push me harder!

50 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat November 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm

That’s an amazing PR for what looks like a really tough course!

51 lindsay November 28, 2011 at 12:40 pm

man you are smokin fast! i am loving it. What a good PR time. So proud! and i am proud of you for taking this leap with the site. Good things are coming. <3

52 tinareale November 28, 2011 at 6:23 pm

I just have to say…I LOVE YOU!!!

53 Paige November 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm

That’s an incredible time, Tina!! Way to push through the tough parts of it :)

54 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Wow! Great job on the PR!! You did a fabulous job – how did you manage that with those hills?

55 Lindsay @ Lindsay's List November 28, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Wanna do the one in downtown ATL together?? I think it’s in March?

56 tinareale November 28, 2011 at 6:23 pm

That’s the next one I have my eye on. ;)

57 Michelle November 28, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Woo-hoo awesome job — even if it took a lot out of you. I am NOT surprised you ran this one faster at all!

I have a love/hate relationship with hills. Running them makes me a better runner — but man they can be tough.

Can’t wait to hear about your 2012 races. Maybe you guys need to take a family trip to Tampa or Sarasota???

58 Kerry @ Half Healthy, Half Nuts November 28, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Congrats on your second half marathon! That is awesome that you pushed yourself into a new PR!! Those hills look crazy! And an uphill finish? Who created that course? Not cool! :)

59 Kris @ Eclipsed November 28, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Way to go hitting a PR on such a tough course! I know you must have been psyched.

I run a *much* slower pace than you, but I was so excited to set a new pace record for myself (a 10:06 mile) in my 8K turkey trot this weekend.

60 tinareale November 28, 2011 at 6:25 pm

That’s awesome!!!! So proud of you too. :)

61 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) November 28, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Great job on the race. Sounds like it really tested you. Sometimes the mental can really take over even if the physical is there. I’m glad you came out on top though! Love that smile. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Thanks for the sweet comment you left me. Let me know if you have time soon to get together for a cup of coffee. I’d love to catch up!

62 Lindsay @ biking before bed November 28, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Congrats Tina! Somtimes you do the best when you are not even expecting it. I remember every test in college that I thought I failed I did great on!

63 Ela November 28, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Congrats! Wow, I didn’t realize you were doing another half marathon so soon after the first.

I hope you took it good and easy recovering after…

64 Kat November 28, 2011 at 2:23 pm

congrats on your PR! I ran my second 1/2 marathon 5 months preggo, so even though it was (much) slower than my first, it still felt like a PR :)

65 tinareale November 28, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Yea…that definitely counts as a PR in its own special way. I know I couldnt have ran a half (or any race) while pregnant. That’s awesome!

66 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats November 28, 2011 at 2:49 pm

I know what you mean about the crowd, I had a 10 mile race a few weeks ago and there were ZERO supporters. I felt like I was just on a normal run! Definitely made it more difficult. Good job on the PR!

67 Cindy November 28, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Tina, I love your new site! It’s a wonderful mix of professionalism for your personal trainer stuff, and still gives you an outlet for your personal blogging, etc. Good for you!

Congratulations on your PR!!! I think you’re amazing!

68 tinareale November 28, 2011 at 6:27 pm

That’s what I was going for, so THANKS!!!

69 Katy November 28, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Those hills look brutal! What a beautiful building in the background of the start.

70 Katie @ Healthy Heddleston November 28, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Congratulations Tina! And I LOVE the new site :)

71 Sarah November 28, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Yeah for the PR!!

You know, I’m very happy that you’re following your heart and making your blogging part of your career as a personal trainer. You’ll gain more than you’ll ever lose- I’m sure of it!

72 Hilary November 28, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Wow! Great work on the PR. I like having goals, but then I find sometimes they can sort of rule my life, and then I can forget why I have those goals…so that part I don’t like so much.

73 Heather (Where's the Beach) November 28, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Holy hills – that’s kind of what my last race course looked like so for you to PR the way you did???? Absolutely incredible my friend. Very impressive. So proud of you.

74 Janice- The Fitness Cheerleader November 28, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Great job Tina! I gotta admit that’s more fuel for my fire… When I grow up I wanna run as fast as you! Great job girl!

75 Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) November 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Awesome job, Tina!! You’re becoming a half marathon machine :) Sorry you struggled a bit at the end, but I’m sure a PR helped alleviate some of the pain ;)

76 Melissa @ Live, Love, & Run November 28, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Way to go, momma! What a great PR! However…how could we ever expect any less? ;)

77 Marcia November 28, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Way to go Tina!! I love the new site and your goals…. :-)
I love goals! I love to make new ones all the time..it’s what keeps me going. now that you are are a runner ( cough, cough– who woulda thought….)..i know you totally understand that. Always looking for the next race to train for…

So what do you have in your site for 2012?? :)

78 Ashleigh @ simplehonestreal.com November 28, 2011 at 10:33 pm

This EXACT same thing happened to me in my half 2 weeks ago! I was cruising for the first ten miles, then BAM! Those last three miles were tough! Love the new blog, congrats!

79 Heather @ Side of Sneakers November 29, 2011 at 8:20 am

What a beautiful winery!! Congrats on the PR- you rock!

80 Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner November 29, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Hi Tina!
Wishing you all the best with your new site. It looks great and I like the layout. You look GREAT! You should be so proud of yourself on your race. That is a great time.. way to go. A hilly half isn’t always fun during but once you cross that finish line it’s always worth it. Looking forward to keeping up with your new site!

81 Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel November 29, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Congrats!!! You did a great job :)
I signed up for my first half marathon in this coming July (technically I’m on the wait list, so I’m training in case I get a spot!). I haven’t officially started training, though, because the day after I signed up, I went to the doctor about pain in my foot and was told to lay off the exercise for a week. Ugggg!

82 Lauren @ Sassy Molassy November 30, 2011 at 5:49 pm

I love that teal shirt on you! Looks great. Nice work on the PR, Tina.

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