The Healdsburg half marathon was a gorgeous 13.1-mile trek through some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen in northern California. However, it was also one of G.I. “issues” and “holy crap I’m hungry” fatigue. Ladies and gentleman, I give you the Healdsburg half marathon race report.
BEEP…BEEP…BEEEEEEEP. Ugh. 3 a.m. I could really use some more sleep. But alas, I was up, showered and eating the mandatory oatmeal by 3:30. Out the door by 4 and in Healdsburg by 6 a.m. Chicken and I were efficiency machines! Bib pick-up was seamless, port-a-potty lines minimal, and t-shirts…awesome! Can I get a holla for long sleeve dri-fit shirts?! Nice works, Healdsburg.
Somehow I look like an evil alien here. It’s my Halloween costume.
Team Punk Rock Racing – Jessica, Aron, Katie, Tara, Ron and myself (thanks for the shirts, Ron!) – gathered at the stunning Francis Coppola Winery in the wee hours of the morning. The sky was still dark and the air crisp, but we chatted and giggled with the best of them. A few minutes later we were off…
Generally speaking, a majority of the race was a dream. Perfect overcast weather, stunning scenery and enthusiastic runners dressed in their Halloween get-ups provided great entertainment. But due to my own poor planning, Healdsburg got the best of me. Rather than painfully detailing mile by mile, let me break it down like this:
Miles 1 through 7: Uh oh. I have to use the ladies room. Anyone know where the next one is? No, no and no. Daft. This is going to get ugly. I can’t stop in the bushes because they are all freakin’ vineyards! I couldn’t deface my beloved vino. Thus, I’ll hold it. No, no, no…I can’t! And then, at the last moment, I saw a sweet vision from the heavens above. It only took seven miles, but at last…the blue goddess. The blue goddess and I became very close friends for what felt like five whole minutes. Five whole minutes added to my time, but damn it, I needed it.
Miles 7 through 13.1: By eating at 3:30 in the morning, starting the race at 7:30 and eating nothing in between, I definitely did myself a disservice. The last half of the race consisted of my body grumbling for food, legs feeling heavier than normal and my body shutting down inch by inch. But I think I can chalk it up to my inadequate fueling. If there is anything that I can stress here, it is to test how to fuel appropriately during training, then make sure to follow that schedule during races. I failed to do so and it kicked me a good one.
I crossed the finish line in 1:44:23 (official time). It wasn’t my best, nor was it my worst, so either way…I’m still happy. Plus, 9th in my age group is still top ten, yes? Sweet!
Overall, Healdsburg reminded me of some very valuable lessons that are easy to forget:
- Run the day before a race to help…eh hem…get it out (you know what’s I’m talking about)
- You’d fuel properly if you knew what was good for ya (this line still plays better in my head than written out)
Added bonus: the bling blang is HUGE and I’m absolutely loving it! Wait, wait…there’s more! Every finisher received a glass for the post-race wine tasting. Yes, it’s only 9 a.m. but, when in Rome…