Disclaimer: I received a VIP entry into Napa Valley Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
I knew Napa Valley was going to be interesting, I just had no idea how much that was true.
In other words- a new personal worst! And a PR for port-a-potty stops.
Race morning dawned early and a little chilly. I dressed and headed off for the start line. My stomach literally spasmed the moment I got out of the car. Um, what?
I headed to the tasting room at Conn Creek Winery which was the VIP area. People- a warm room and real bathrooms are so worth it. However my stomach felt ok again. Hmmm.
I met up with Stephanie from Run Strong Run and we headed to the start. Actually a little late- most runners had already started- we crossed the start line with the 3:00 hour pacers. We soon separated but it was nice ststarting with someone.
Miles 1-2 11:35, 12:16
I was feeling ok, but I knew I was out of shape so after about half a mile, I turned on my run/ walk intervals. I was enjoying the perfect cloudy weather and watching hot air balloons rise with the sun over pretty vineyards. Exactly what I had hoped for.
Mile 3 12:49
We had reached the first aid station, water bathroom and electrolytes- but I was fine. Half a mile later I was not fine. Not at all.
Miles 4-6 12:45, 12:27, 17:20
Oh dear lord- where is next aid station?!?? This is a problem. Oh look pretty views, oh, ow, stomach bad. Just before mile 6- oh, hallelujah- an aid station.
Miles 7-8 12:45, 16:45
Ok, that was rough and I’m still not feeling great but let’s keep moving. Nope. Stomach doesn’t agree and now I’m worried there’s not another station until mile 9. Oh lord. Except, wait! Another station just before 8!
Miles 9- 11 12:50, 13:09, 13:51
Again I tried to run on. Nope- mostly walking. Stomach cramped again, badly a little after mile 10. And yes there was a station, but I decided to try and walk it out. I think I walked for 10 minutes straight somewhere in there.
Miles 12-13 13:07, 13:37
I am so close! Oh, here come the first and second marathon runners- ok that was kind of cool. Wouldn’t have seen them if I wasn’t having issues, right??? Trying to find the bright side here. The weather was still good, and I still loved looking at the scenery around me even if we were in town now. Oh— there’s the high school!! The finish!
So yeah, that was not my best showing. Oddly enough, as rough as it was, I never once thought about quitting. I knew I was going to finish- eventually- it was just taking more energy than I thought. More energy to move slower but I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and kept moving forward.
The course was so pretty, I really do love running by vineyards, I really do. Also this course is very PR-able- flat in a way that didn’t feel flat to me. I kind of feel like I need vindication- this is definitely a race I will run again. There were also VIP perks I missed out on post race- my stomach was not cooperating at all. Boo.
Napa Valley- I will run you again.
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