Friday, August 8, 2014

Embracing the wino in me

While on maternity leave, it should be no surprise that I was sleep deprived. Now that I'm working, wait, I'm STILL sleep deprived. Anyway, for those of you who have experienced this you know that your brain turns to mush. And you might understand how you could be susceptible to suggestions, including those that may not be the wisest.

In such a moment of susceptibility, probably around 10 p.m. sometime in mid-October 2013, I received a text from my then-pregnant and super fit friend down in California asking if I would be interested in running the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon in July 2014.

I read the words "Napa" and "Sonoma" and my brain understood "wine."
I read "next July" and my brain translated that to "a long, long time from now."
And my fingers texted back "Sure!"

About a month later, I got a call from this friend saying she had registered for me (it sells out fast) and could I PayPal her the registration fee. That's when I realized what I had (over-)committed to.

Fast forward to June 2014 and I'm in a mental fog from being back to work 6+ months but still not sleeping or running more than once/week because 1) our babies don't sleep through the night early and 2) I'm working a ton of overtime which has to occur between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. because I only have limited child care to cover my "part time" work status.

By July I was in panic mode but resolved to run the half, walk as needed, and try to finish feeling good enough to enjoy the 26 wineries that would be waiting with open bottles at the finish line.

Let me tell you, there is a lot to be said for the motivation that a glass of wine at the finish provides! The race was tough but fantastic. I had a blast. If there weren't so many other races I want to try, I would register to run it again next year.

In addition to great company, the scenery was gorgeous.

Heading to the race start at Cuvaison Carneros Winery

Mid-way through the race, I saw a gentleman wearing a t-shirt for a competitor company of my employer so of course, I ran over and chatted him up for a couple miles. His coworkers run this race nearly every year, this was his 9th year! (Maybe I need to change teams?) 

I also got to spend a number of miles running with a close friend who was also there from Seattle, a great time to get caught up. (She PR'ed by 10 min, her second half mary!) 

And since I only had the goal of finishing with a stomach solid enough to drink wine, I went ahead and partook of in-route festivities: A shot of Guinness at mile 8 and some chardonnay at mile 10!

Wine at mile 10? Why not! Although I have to admit, the Guinness sample at mile 8 gave me super powers while the wine at mile 10 actually slowed me down a bit. 
Medals & wine glasses = check! 
Your friends just might get photobombed by happy tasters. Nice pigtails! 

After a few hours of wine tasting post-run, I was a happy girl indeed!
Me & the ambitious friend who got my family down to California for some running fun. Thanks T! 
 Last year at Eugene, I was disappointed to find that they weren't selling race posters because I really like having my Maui Half poster up in my office at work and wanted more. Lucky for me, this race offered posters, which, if I had been more organized at the expo, I may have been able to have autographed by Meb, Lauren Fleishman, or the Halls. Next time?

Hopefully NYC will offer posters so I can break up more of the white space at work. 
Next up? I really don't know what will come before NYC, but I'm definitely hoping to squeeze in something fun before November!


  1. Sounds fun. You had great goals and met them!

  2. Love this! And the posters look great. I bet Eugene had posters this year...stupid July race.

  3. That looks like a gorgeous route! I'm focused on this 50-state thing, so I don't need any more CA races, but this and Big Sur are really tempting!

  4. So glad this race turned out better than you thought. Good job on keeping it fun!

  5. this one has been on my list and i hope to do it one day! i'm glad you were able to go and looks like a blast. LOVE the posters!! I have some from my RNR ones but those are MUCH cooler. I plan on getting an NYC one, too! congrats on your half back post baby!

  6. thrilling and motivating .. where is it?
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