Sunday morning I woke up at 5:30am, had 3 cups of coffee and a Picky Bar and then headed to the start of the race at 6:45am. The race started at 7:30 and I needed to pick up my bib and packet first. The cool thing about this race is that it starts and finishes at a winery.
The race started right on time and the weather was perfect running weather – mid 50’s, overcast with such a slight mist you could barely feel it.
My goal was to start out at 8:30 min/miles and work my way down to 8:15s and hold on as long as I could. The first couple miles were 8:40’s and felt tough! I thought, Man, this is gonna be a long day.
But I think I just needed a few miles to send my legs the memo that they were supposed to be running instead of wine tasting.
I passed the 7 mile mark right around 60 minutes; I took it relatively easy and enjoyed the scenery. I didn’t have any music playing so at that point, it was just like a quiet and peaceful, early morning run.
Had I been going any slower, I might have fallen asleep or slept-run through the whole thing which would be sorta awesome, now that I think about it. Good thing I stopped in the bushes at mile 9 to go to the bathroom so I didn’t bedwet my pants.
I took my first gel at mile 10 and cruised along talking to volunteers (thank you, older lady for telling me “Nice legs!”) and congratulating other runners. I’ll get into it in the race review, but the volunteers really made this a great event; everyone was so friendly.
The first half of the course was supposed to be hilly and it was, but it was more rolling hills than steep hills. I passed the halfway point and relay handoff at 1:51. On a side note, I thought the 2-person relay was a cool way to do a half marathon; you don’t see relays that often at races and it looked fun.
If you were looking to buy a winery, sorry, Owl Ridge just sold.
I took my second gel at mile 14.5 and was running around 8 min/miles and just kept ticking them off. For most of the race I ran solo so I would bargain with myself, Go one more mile and then turn on your music. Run for 2 more minutes and then turn it on…
Finally at mile 17.5 I turned on my iPod… it lasted for 2 songs and then quit. It’s been superdumb lately and isn’t working right; I need to take it to the Apple store but I try to avoid that mess at all costs hence the jank iPod.
Anyways, around 18.5 I took another gel and passed a girl in pink with a biker next to her who I’d been following for miles. Turns out she was the lead woman and the biker was her safety guy or whatever you call the person who is with the lead runner. Eloquent, yes I am.
After I passed her, Bob the biker told me I was in the lead and he’d be riding with me and watching out for cars… and I laughed. I was in the lead!? And now had a pacer biker important guy with me?!? twilight zone. team Edward.
Naturally, being a middle child and people pleaser, I apologized for farting around the past 18 miles, and then I started putting some effort in. I was running 7:50-8:00 min/miles and really wished I had some music, but I got to talk to Bob who was another super friendly volunteer.
The last 6 miles were tough but also fun because I felt like a celebrity with my own personal security guard who would say things like, Car coming up from behind; I’ll shield you. I’ve always wanted to feel like I had my own CIA agent.
I took my 4th and final gel at mile 22 and tried to keep the last few miles all under 8’s, but I felt like my kick was pretty crappy compared to the final push I usually have. oh well.
I can just pretend to be famous with my Bob the biker.
The official results aren’t out yet but my Garmin says 3:34:37.
It was really, really fun (and surreal) to feel so “important” as lead woman and I don’t want to downplay my performance, but placing in a race isn’t that big of a deal to me personally because if you run a small enough race, you’ll place; run a big enough race and you won’t. For example, last year the first woman ran 10 minutes faster than I did!
But like I said, it was a lot of fun and the people in Paso are so nice. Must be all that wine… I’ll have the race review up probably at the end of the week and official time and pics when I get them.
A couple other notes:
***I won one of the 5 monthly Refuel with Chocolate milk athlete grants so a big thank you is in order to all of you who voted. repeatedly. I know it’s super annoying to hear over and over “Vote for me! Vote for me!” I was getting annoyed with myself already so thanks again for putting up with me.
***If you want to be a winner, check out Krissy’s charity raffle where the winner get this sweet pair of Sanuks:
All the money goes to a great cause and I’ve heard that Sanuks are some of the comfiest shoes around…