I came out to California this past Thursday to Palo Alto, drove up through my old neighborhood in San Francisco on Friday, crossed the Golden Gate and on north to Santa Rosa. Saturday morning, up early and on to the starting line in the small town of Geyersville, CA. The race itself was gorgeous, utterly gorgeous, point to point south to Healdsburg. Beautiful wineries all along the course, minimal traffic & friendly kids handing out water. I wasn’t sure how fast to go out here – I’ve still been having some problems with my right ankle and my left IT band has been an issue so my race planning is pretty much guesswork. I set a realistic goal of 1:40 for myself, right about what I ran in the BAA half three weeks ago. That’s a 7:37 split, so to give myself some cushion I was thinking to try to stick a 7:30. Most of the first half I was running a bit faster than that, pushing 7:20, but I wasn’t able to finish with that strength, bringing my final split to 7:29 (my PR in Chicago for comparison sake was a 7:18 split on a much flatter, faster course). Post-race, wine, wine, & more wine. My most gracious hosts Kurt & VC came up and we drove around tasted a variety of varietals. My final assessment? It got a bit fuzzy and I didn’t really take notes but still I know that I prefer whites to reds, and also don’t care all that much much for Pinot Noirs. My palate remains unsophisticated. Full flickr set for Healdsburg Half is here.