Healdsburg Half Marathon
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.
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It’s almost the end of August and I’m realizing that specific resolution #3 (a race every month) is at risk. So poking around the internets I’ve come up with a solution, the Greenbelts Beverly Commons Trail Run this Saturday. This race starts in Bev Farms, a community close to my own heart as it’s where I slept on my kind sister’s couch without dollar one to my name when I first moved to Massachusetts some 11+ years ago. Long before I had any thoughts of road racing I spent that summer running back and forth along Route 127 from Bev Farms east to Manchester by the Sea, and west back to Beverly proper. Rinse, repeat. Mostly happy memories from a simpler time. I’m more than happy to be returning there for 7.3 miles this weekend.
Since I’m thinking about it, here are the other seven qualifiers this year from my own personal monthly race series for 2012: January was Boston Prep 16 miler; February, the Super Sunday 5; March, the New Orleans Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon; April, Ring Around the Neck in Marblehead; May, the Bayshore Marathon; June, the Squantum 5; and July, the Mad Marathon in Vermont. And looking forward, September will be the Chicago Half Marathon & New England Double Marathon; October the BAA & Healdsburg halves + Newport whole; and November the Philadelphia Marathon. December is the only remaining blank spot – I’m holding out some small hope for the Hoover Dam Marathon.
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No NYC, go grapes
I didn’t get accepted in the non-guaranteed lottery for the New York City Marathon this year. The odds were against me (something like 9 to 1) and honestly, I’m really ok with the outcome. I’m going to be running in Newport, RI a few weeks before and again in Philadelphia a few weeks afterward. If I don’t get in next year there’s always the Brooklyn Marathon to try. And since there’s a month-plus of free time in my fall, I’ve decided to go out to California for a while & run the Healdsburg Wine Country Half. All said & done a similarly priced & reasonable consolation prize.
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