Yesterday I finished my 3rd Half Marathon ever and my 2nd in 2013! I was excited for this race because this was my first smaller Half Marathon with about 200 participants, it took place in the country which promised some beautiful scenery and the post-race party, which consisted of live music, a pasta lunch and wine tastings from four local wineries using the race themed wine glass all finishers received. Emphasis on the wine tastings! Here are my top three from the North County Wine Run:
1) 10 AM Start Time. Some runner’s relish in an early morning run. I do not. I enjoy sleeping. So having a race time start at about the same time as my typical weekend training runs was great for me. It was a sunny morning in Battle Ground Washington as the runners milled around the start line and when we started running:
2) The scenic country course – with all the pine trees and hills, it felt like a trail run. I also got to see a lot of animals during the run: horses, cows, alpaca, goats, sheep and dogs. The course was challenging with all the rolling hills. I ended up walking most hills, but for the first 10 miles, I felt great and had a blast! After mile marker 10, I started to have some stomach problems. This happened during my last Half as well. I guess it sort of makes sense – my training runs went up to 10 miles, and I feel great on race day up to 10 miles. While my training plans indicate I should be fine without training the full 13.1 miles, clearly that doesn’t work for me. Lesson Learned – When training for my next Half, build in time for more longer runs, maybe even one that is longer than 13.1 miles.
Even though the last 3.1 miles were a challenge (I had to walk a lot and it started to rain), I sucked it up and finished strong once I was able to see the finish line in the distance. So while my time (2:44:19) was slower than my last race, I felt good about since this route had so many hills and I was still able to cross the finish line running at a good clip (even managing to pass a few people):
3) The post race party – both at the race site and at home. I don’t have any pictures from the wine tasting since it was raining, but I was able to enjoy a few bites of pasta and all 4 wine tastings. I received a cool finisher’s medal shaped like a wine bottle that I wore the rest of the day at my “personal” post race party with the Greyhounds and Matt. We tried to get a photo with both dogs, which is really hard since they never wants to stand still and pose for pictures. Matt made deep dish pizza, I put on my compression socks and filled up my race wine glass with a local Pinot Noir, the dogs chewed on bully sticks and we all enjoyed a relaxing evening.
Matt suggested I keep training and find another Half in the next couple of weeks, perhaps with a flatter course so I can beat my last time. I’m considering it since I’m not too sore today. But running 2-3 mile runs during the week and sticking to 4-5 miles on weekends sounds really relaxing right now!
Question for you: Are you running any fall races? When is your next Half Marathon?