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Zooming to ZOOMA: In and Out of the Groove

For their fourth blog post, Bridget and Heidi, friends and business partners in the Hell Yeah Projects, interview each other about their soon-to-be-training and race experience. The two are training for ZOOMA Cape Cod. Check out their posts here!

Bridget Sprague, 41; mother of three, entrepreneur and Director of Marketing for Revision Energy (and future 10K finisher) kicks us off by interviewing Heidi Bellamente, 39; mother of two, entrepreneur and leadership coach & consultant (and future ½ marathon finisher).

Bridget: Hey girl, you just went for a long run this morning... how did that feel? 

Heidi: I feel great! I did ten miles this morning with two of my running buddies. It really flew by - time wise, not pace wise. I realize how much I love running with other people. It is so much more fun and rewarding and entertaining and we all get to celebrate that we ran so far at the end. It’s so much better than running by myself!

Heidi’s long run buddies, Emily and Jen, on their favorite trail in New Hampshire

Do you listen to music or chat the whole time? 

So far we've chatted the whole time but we have an agreement that if ever we need to, we can put on our headphones and listen to music for a little boost and no one will be offended. But so far we've been really interested in the conversation so we haven't needed to at all.

So what do you chat about? 

Everything! From kids to health issues to funny stories to where we're going to do our next run. Somehow it fills the time up and we still have plenty to chat about the next week.

I was going to ask you what music do you listen to but I guess that's not a good question. 

There is a playlist that Zooma created for their summer challenge on Spotify. I've really been loving that.

And on their way back in.

What is surprising you the most about training for this half marathon now that you're in the middle of it? 

I think that I'm more resilient than I thought I was and older than I remember.

Haha! Okay, elaborate... 

So I can run these long runs and I can do the workouts and I am amazed at and surprised by how much I can accomplish. But I also recognize that I need more rest, more nutritious foods, and quality self care much more than I did when I was running these races in my 20's.

So what happened to make you realize that you’re not 20 anymore? 

Last week I did a long run, 9 miles, and I wasn't feeling very good. I tried to listen to my body to understand what was going on. Honestly, I may have had a virus but the truth is I didn't have enough rest, I wasn't eating the right foods, and I was feeling a lot of stress. This past week I adjusted and ran mileage that felt right. I didn't eat a lot of junk and I got more sleep. Subsequently, my run today felt awesome.

How are you eating differently?

Hydration is huge and making sure I get enough vitamins and electrolytes into my body. I’ve been putting spinach in everything and making sure I'm eating enough protein.

What are you looking forward to this week?

The track workout. There's a new speed element to the training plan this week and I'm looking forward to doing that with my friend Naomi because she usually kicks my butt.

A seriously delicious breakfast made for Heidi by her friend Jess after her mid week run with Naomi. Heidi is totally spoiled.

Then our ZOOMA Duo switched roles.

Heidi: Last time I talked to you, you were going to test out a run, how’s your toe? 

Bridget: My toe is much, much better. My running has not improved much since the last time we spoke.

So what’s been going on? 

I would honestly say I have not figured out how to juggle my new full time job, which involves a lot of car travel, being a great mom to three kids, giving my husband the attention he deserves from me, and fitting in training. It’s been an incredible struggle.

WHAT? You haven’t figured out how to do all of that? Where’s your cape? 

It’s probably hidden down deep in a dirty laundry pile somewhere in my house.

Seriously, what do you think you’re going to do? 

My new plan is to hop on the treadmill in the morning before work. I’m honestly exhausted at the end of the day – it’s mental exhaustion more than anything because of taking in all the new information at the new job. So mornings seem like the best idea. Then I won’t have the time to come up with an excuse for why I can’t train after work.

It is a very hard time to train for a race given all the changes in your life. And it sounds not ideal to train in the morning but that might work with your schedule. What are you going to need to make that happen? 

The truth is I know what I need to do. I need to be prepared the night before. Every night before bed I need to have my running stuff next to my bed, the water bottle filled in the refrigerator, and my computer hooked up ready to play Parks and Rec. (Yup, I’m one of the 10 people who have never watched this series). My friend Michelle told me I’m the Leslie Knope of our group - and, honestly, after watching the first couple episodes I’m a bit offended! Haha!

What ungodly time do you have to wake up to make this happen? 

I need to figure this out. My kids get up around 6. I have to be in work around 9. My ride is about 40 minutes long. Do I get up at 5 before the kids are up or at 6 when my kids are up and I’m totally distracted?

It sounds like you are answering your own question. Maybe you should experiment with both times. You still have plenty of time before the race to figure it out. 

That’s a great idea. I want to be the person who wakes up at 5 so badly. But I also don’t want to hate myself if it’s not possible every day.

Is there anything that inspires you to keep going? 

I know how good I feel when I’m in the rhythm. I know running is not just good for my body but for my brain which is really important right now with my job. I want to be present with my kiddos and with my new team.

You’re reconnecting with your “why.” 

Yup. I always have to go back to my “why” to keep me motivated.

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