On Monday, a post from a friend floated across my FB feed offering her bib up for the Santa Rosa half that coming Sunday.
In a moment of sheer madness–it is wedding season, after all AND I hadn’t run more than 6 miles in…4 months?–I decided to take her up on her offer. A weekend to stay with my brother and SIL, snuggle my 7 week old niece, and hang out with one of my runner girls for 13.1 miles? Yay!
I drove up on Saturday, and my brother’s family joined me for packet pickup at DeLoach Winery. So beautiful.
And the best part:
We had a lovely dinner at Lagunitas Brewing Company, and headed back to my brother’s home to get some sleep.
Except this happened:
It was crazy–it felt like being on a train. But it woke me up in time to enjoy the Simpsons 138 Episode Spectacular hosted by Troy McClure on FXX.
After a 530 am wake up, a quick 5 min to sleepily get dressed, including my shiny new LLL pacesetter skirt (because that’s not madness–wearing something you’ve never ran in for a half. Spoiler alert: exceedingly positive review to come!), I jumped in my car and drove the half hour to Santa Rosa.
It was really easy to find my running friend–she’s a diehard Team in Training member and fantastic fundraiser! I don’t get to run with her much anymore, so it was awesome to spend the morning with her.
Plus, her husband is very tall and rumor has it that you look skinnier if a tall guy takes your pic.
It was an easy course–mostly flat along the trail next to a river. Every now and again I would look out and see cows and think “This is Just like Wisconsin!” Three seconds later, I’d run past a vineyard and be snapped back to the California reality.
My friend (who is FAST) had run another half just 8 days earlier, and her tired legs were happy to join me at a solid 10:34 pace for most of the race. I have never settled into a pace like that before–it was this weird comfort zone that inspired a heavenly chorus.
My original goal (remember, it had been a very long time since I had a long run) was to run the first 9 and walk whatever I needed for the last 4. We made it to mile 11 before settling into a comfortable walk .1 miles, run .4 interval.
My right knee started acting up at mile 11, so the all breaks were welcome.
I finished in 2:18. TWO FREAKING EIGHTEEN!!!! I am so, so happy with that.
The aftermath was….unpleasant. Once I stopped moving, my body freaked out and everything I ingested the previous 24 hours wanted OUT. The finishers jackets were at a completely separate pickup location (rather than right in the finishing chute) and waiting in line for a half hour was pure hell. All I wanted to do was lay down so I wouldn’t throw up.
Finally, I got my jacket and sat down.
Then I lay down.
Then it was a half hour later. I now can say I passed out after a race.
I felt AMAZING on the flip side of my nap.
I have no idea if there was food or anything like that afterwards (other than the Dixie cup of water they gave everyone at the end:/ ). That was largely irrelevant–I met up with my family for an amazing breakfast atthe Left Coast Depot in Notavo.
Overall a fantastic race and fantastic weekend. Looking forward to next year!