Monday, April 23, 2018

Race Re-cap: Wine and Roses Half Marathon

As I opened my eyes this morning, took a minute to take in the beautiful blue sky outside the window, and finally hobbled out of bed and to the closet to change, two things happened. One, I thought about how busy but fun this last weekend was, and two, I instantly regretted not taking an Epsom salt bath yesterday night.

On Earth Day, April 22nd, I ran the Wine and Roses Half Marathon put on by the good folks at the Messina Hoff Winery in Bryan, TX. I drove the 1 1/2 hours in from Houston the day before, and I'm so glad I did! It started raining and never stopped. By the time I got to the Hilton it was about 50 degrees and the thunder and lightening had somehow set off the 2nd floor alarms, so the front desk was busy checking in everyone manually. I got to the room, set out my race gear for the next morning, got ready for bed, set my alarm for 4:40 AM (yikes SO early), made some tea and settled in to watch TV and have a super chill Saturday night.

Hoping the weather would dry up soon, ALL the fingers crossed! 

All ready to run! 

The next morning I got dressed, ate some quick breakfast, and drove to Rudder High School to catch a shuttle to the winery and pick up my race bib. Since I wasn't sure if I would be in the area until race day, I paid an extra 10$ for the morning of option. I probably won't next time and will just get a hotel again and pick up my packet Saturday, but it's all a learning experience. The shuttles ran until 6:45 AM, and since it was 49 degrees out, I tried to time it to leave on one of the last ones so I could hang out in my car and stay warm. It worked haha!

SUPER nice drivers on the shuttles

Me on the bus freezing and regretting wearing shorts

We made it to the winery a few minutes later, and they had a table laid out with plenty of breakfast items and hot coffee for anyone who wanted some. I grabbed a few GU gels (Tutti Frutti flavor - it was pretty tasty), and found a spot to stand by one of the service doors. It was next to a fence which blocked the wind, and every time the door opened so would a blast of warm air. It was the perfect spot to stand in! 😎

The race started right on time, and we took off down the road. After about a mile or so I was really happy I wore shorts and a tank top, because it felt like the perfect temperature. Some runners who had been wearing jackets, long sleeves and tights started taking off layers or rolling sleeves up. We ran almost the entirety of the course on country roads. We were supposed to run through the vines as well, but the race detoured our course due to all of the standing water. My ankle bothered me a bit the whole race, but I paid attention to my body and it was nothing that was really bad so I just kept running, and it's fine today.

Despite not being able to run on trail, the whole course was beautiful. It really showed us more of Bryan, TX, which was nice since the school was the only area I was used to seeing. It was peaceful and the pacers did such a great job. There were plenty of aid stations with water, Gatorade, snacks and port o potty's along the route. We only ran on the side of one busy road, I believe it was Hwy 21, for about a mile, but it was coned off well, and then we turned back in to more country/farm land.

After about 4 miles the runners began to thin out, and I began to notice the beauty of everything around me. Despite the 50 degree weather and wind I was sweating, but it was a great temperature to run in. The last few miles were tough, since it was the highest mileage I've put in this year, but I thought of Des's quote about when it's a grinding day, just keep showing up, and I just kept on grinding and not giving up. I'm proud to say I ran 98% of that race to my best ability!

I could hear the race announcer about a mile away from the finish, and that also just kept me pushing forward. IT was the BEST feeling crossing the finish line and receiving that medal. I ended up finishing in 1:58. There was a runner who was even with me for the last few miles, and we congratulated each other at the end. I love making new running friends!😊 The wine glass line was close by, so I headed over, got my free engraved wine glass, showed my ID, and got a wrist tag. The wine was delicious by the way, I had a dry red with my breakfast, but forget what it was called.

Runner's coming in to the finish (the start and finish were in the same place)
Love this medal!

The wine line! Yippee! 

The winery also had a hot breakfast for all the runners (if you didn't run you could pay for a breakfast), consisting of everything you needed to make breakfast burritos. It was hot and exceedingly good!

After I ate and took a few pictures, I walked across the road and caught a shuttle going back to the school, got in my car and took off for the hotel for a hot shower. I know ice would have been better, but the warmth felt great. After that, I took off for Central Texas BMX to pick up my bike, but that will have to be another blog. Happy Monday everyone. My legs are beyond sore, but it's the good kind of sore, the type that makes you proud that you accomplished something and tried really hard! That said it is VERY hard to stand and sit. 😂

If you like races where you run in large crowds and go by lots of cheering sections, this is definitely not that race. However, if you like smaller sized runs through beautiful backroads and lots of room to maneuver, with a kick-@ss medal, nice people and great food at the end, I would highly recommend this run (they also have a 5k option).

What has been your best accomplishment race wise? 

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