Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ah, Running in Wine Country...

windsor green half marathonI am mad impressed with myself because this time last year, I had only run two races and after next Sunday I will have four under my belt. I am awesome.

I am also enjoying soooo much my strategy of just running a half every couple of months & seeing what happens as I continue to train & build mileage (err...sort of). I was incredibly happy with where I was at Oakland in March, and in the two months since then I still feel like I've made a ton of progress. I have never been one to get the "taper itch," and I still wouldn't describe it that way, but I'm definitely more excited about this race than I am about most. This has been one of those pre-race weeks where I've felt like a cooped up, high-strung thoroughbred.

Friends, I cannot. WAIT. To run.

If I am completely, totally honest with myself, I really do think I'm capable of a 1:40 right now given favorable conditions. Just barely, but I've been stunned by too many of my recent workouts (particularly my HM pace runs) to be all modest and humble and pretend I don't know what kind of shape I'm in. However, it's not clear how favorable conditions will actually be on Sunday:

(Late spring in wine country and all that. At least they're calling it partly cloudy now; earlier today it was just a big ol' sun.)

So I'm not "calling my shot" as it were (which is fine, considering the whole point of this just-run-a-bunch-of-halfs strategy was to avoid putting that kind of pressure on myself in any one race). Since we start at 8 and I'm planning to be done by 9:45 absolute worst case, the heat shouldn't be too bad, but I know I tend to run a tad warm, and once the sun comes up you just never know. All you can really do is show up as naked as your dignity will allow and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Barring issues from the heat, I do have a plan. In Oakland, my goal was to go out at around a 7:50 pace, stay there as long as I could, and speed up after the halfway point if I felt good. I wasn't able to speed up that much, but I definitely held a 7:45-7:50 pace no problem. This time around I'd like to try to start out around 7:45ish for the first mile or two, then see if I'm able to wind it down into the high 7:30s (which has been working well in my pace runs). If I'm feeling good with that around mile 9, I might try for the sub-1:40.

I am still tentatively planning on running the Healdsburg Half in October (put on by the same group), but slightly bummed that I won't be able to run Water to Wine in August & get the extra-special three-peat bottle of wine. (Though let's be honest; the last thing we need around here is another bottle of wine.) But the reason I can't do it is because we'll be road tripping / camping up the California / Oregon coast that week & weekend, so I can really only be so bummed about it. :)

To take its place, I'm seriously considering the Santa Rosa Half on 8/26. Yes, another warmish wine country race, but it turns out there aren't a whole lot of options in that time frame. At least it's flat, and from all reports relatively well-run & -organized.

In the mean time, if you're one of those bloggers that gets all uppity about what other runners wear and have strong opinions about what is decent and proper, you may just want to sit this race report out. I think we're probably looking at Bad Bass levels of nakedness. Which is to say not full-on Bay to Breakers levels, but...y'know. There will be booty shorts.

10 comments:

  1. You know when you feel like a cooped-up thoroughbred, you're ready! Have fun in wine country! I must admit a bit of jealousy:)

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    1. Heh, thanks. You should totally do one sometime, just for fun!

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  2. Go for the sub 1:40!!!! I know that you can do it.

    Running in wine country is definitely on my "bucket list". There is a run called fueled by wine near Portland that I might run this July pending on if I can get healthy by then. The course is supposed to be hard, but fun. I guess it isn't a PR course, but I would run it for the wine! :-)

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    1. At least it should be a pretty course!

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  3. I did the Healdsburg Half last year and loved it. The three races together seem fun. Another year. Good luck this weekend.

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    1. Thanks! Glad to hear you enjoyed Healdsburg. :)

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  4. Hahaha. I like that last little part...the dig on what's decent and proper. Your schedule looks fun! I'll be at the Healdsburg half with my co-worker who will be running her very first! Can't wait.

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    1. Yay! I'm hoping that we'll have a good crowd, given how many people are running Windsor Green and/or Water to Wine. :)

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  5. So funny...that is exactly what I was going to advise... running as close to naked as you felt comfortable with!

    Good luck! Sounds like you'll do awesome :)

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    1. Thank you!! My heat wussy-ness definitely outweighs my modesty. ;)

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