California Wine Country Half Marathon, Healdsburg, 2011

Posted by Lauren

Sunday morning, alarm goes off at 5:30 am. I dart into the bathroom, change into my favorite race tank + shorts with the pockets (MUST have pockets), and tip-toe downstairs and out the door.

I drive 12 winding, back road miles; high beams are mandatory. Corazona’s Banana Nut Oatmeal Square for breakfast; low in sodium, 5g fiber, 6g protein and tasty, too!

Twenty-five minutes later I pull into the Starbucks parking lot. A tall coffee, one pump sugar-free vanilla, and non-fat milk sits near my computer. I publish Saturday’s ready-to-go post and sip the coffee.

It did the job ;) if you know what I’m sayin’. With 15 minutes to go, I hustle to the late registration booth to pick up my number and choose a shirt. Why do the women’s race tees run so small? This girl has a long torso, and I can’t rock crop tops like my beautiful sister.

Two minutes to go – I join the other runners at the front of the line and Miranda shouts over to me.

Months ago, I filled out my registration info for Events With Sole’s California Wine Country Half Marathon (in Healdsburg, CA) and passed it along to Miranda, who signed us up along with her boyfriend and her mom. We were basically a team :)

3….2…[it’s 7 am]… 1!

Mile one + thirteen: historical downtown Healdsburg, CA – residential area with 100-year-old homes + cute streets.

Mile two – twelve: winery after winery; miles of vineyards; rolling hills…. breathtaking views of Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley.

At a water station, this guy dumps his cup full of water into my shoe. Thanks, dude! N’t.

Mile 6 – I am sweaty; temps are in the 60s!

Beautiful wineries + tasting rooms. I am inspired to make a return trip.

Mile 8 – I literally stop to take this iPhone picture. Blurry photos will not do the vineyards justice.

Mile 11 – last hill-top view of the valley vineyards.

Mile 13 – The finish line!!

Ooooh bling bling citayyyyy $$$

The finisher’s medal is a wine stopper! How very practical…

Time for the post-race expo. Let’s play a game of would you rather:

Bagels, bananas, oranges, muffins, granola bars -OR- the tastiest mexican rice, black beans, grilled chicken, and homemade salsa from El Farolito?

El Farolito! C’mon, that was an easy question :) I savor every bite of my salsa-coated bowl:

Time to quench your thirst.

1. Water Only -OR- 2. Wine + Water -OR- 3. Wine + Beer + Water?

Door Number 3, please!

Beer tent on the right with Lagunitas and Sierra Nevada. Wine tent on the left, featuring wineries such as: Chateau St. Jean, Kendall Jackson, Sheldon Winery, White Oak, Wilson Winery, Waddle Creek, Silver Oak, AND Twomey. What a selection!

california wine country half marathon ipa lagunitas

Stalker photos…. don’t be creeped out Miranda haha

Lisa + Miranda

Matt + Miranda (please note the box Matt is holding – he placed 2nd in his age group with a time of 1:26!!! Speedy Gonzales!)

and… How did I do??

I was pleased :)

I took it easy for a few reasons:

  • I am still wearing the lame Kim Kardashian shoes because I’m lazy and won’t get new kicks (except I fixed that problem today!!!!! < < More on that later)
  • I have a half marathon in 7 days. In Morgan Hill. I don’t want to burn out, ya know?
  • I sort of had a lot to drink on Saturday. Epic brewery adventures don’t happen every day…

I ran with music, but without checking my mile time. I paid attention to what felt good, what felt bad, and the gorgeous scenery. After two failed half marathons in a row (damn mechanical bull + cowboy boots.… wait a sec, I’m noticing a pattern!!), I am SO HAPPY I was physically able to get out and run! The weather was perfect, the course was indescribably pretty, and the mexican food at the finish line hit the spot. If you’re reading this and thinking about running/biking/etc a race in Healdsburg (or other northern CA cities like Sonoma, Santa Rosa, etc) I highly recommend you sign up! You won’t regret it!

Questions: You get a point for each question you answer, below…

  1. Earliest you’ve woken up for a race?
  2. Coolest race medal?
  3. Water, beer, or wine?
  4. Run through the country or a big city?
  5. Tastiest post-race eats sponsored by the race itself?
1. The Relay – I woke up after two hours of sleep to run ~1am
2. Technically not a “medal,” but I love the Tim Lincecum bobble-head from the Giant Race in SF.
3. After a race? 3/4 of a water bottle and then a cup of beer.
4. I’m a country girl.
5. Post-race eats…. hmm… tie between El Farolito and the food after the Fresno Classic.

-Lauren

Comments (22)

  1. Kristine

    Woo hoo! Congrats on such a fun race!

    Earliest you’ve woken up for a race? I think in the 6am hour… which is still a pretty big feat for this 9-hours-a-night girl!

    Coolest race medal? Definitely the Lincecum bobblehead or the Nike Women’s Half Marathon Tiffany’s Necklace

    Water, beer, or wine? All of the above please. The more beer the better.

    Run through the country or a big city? Run through any city BUT the hills of SF! They kill me.

    Tastiest post-race eats sponsored by the race itself? Loved the make your own Greek yogurt parfaits at the Giant Race, but I’m usually so burnt out I just want a bagel and a chocolate milk!

    Reply
    1. Sugar Coated Sisters (Post author)

      Ooph. I agree with the hills. I don’t know how you do it! Running 15+ miles around the city would tire me the heck out! You’re a superstar Kristine!!!

      oh, and totally agree with the parfaits + San Franola granola… I’m obsessed with that stuff now!

      Reply
  2. courtney (pancakes and postcards)

    Earliest you’ve woken up for a race? 3:30AM for Big Sur marathon… followed by like, 3:45AM for SFM this year.
    Coolest race medal? I love my big sur one, but I’m biased. Love the ceramic though with the leather coord! though I did just get a tiffany’s necklace today and I dig my lincecum bobble :)
    Water, beer, or wine? If I’m out with a friend, wine. But after a run? Beer!
    Run through the country or a big city? On the ocean.
    Tastiest post-race eats sponsored by the race itself? Um, two bottles of chocolate milk after nike today?:)

    Great job today!!!

    Reply
    1. Sugar Coated Sisters (Post author)

      big sur! i’m debating adding that to my “must run” list… did you do the big sur international or the big sur in monterey?

      jealous of the tiffany’s necklace! CONGRATS!!!!!

      let’s all go run a race along the ocean… in Hawaii. :)

      Reply
  3. Sarah Garnick

    Lauren, you continue to amaze me. I went to Sonoma to drink wine and you went to run a buttload of miles. Fro yo soon?

    Reply
    1. Sugar Coated Sisters (Post author)

      hahah but i drank a buttload of beer the day before!! yes, fro yo date… i’ll text you RIGHT NOW!

      Reply
  4. The Healthy Engineer

    Mmmm that salsa chicken bowl looks so good :)

    That area is so prettyyy

    Reply
    1. Sugar Coated Sisters (Post author)

      i want to go get more SALSA!!! yummmmm

      Reply
  5. Tara

    I love how you can take it easy and still run a really great time. That’s awesome. This must be one of the best half marathons out there – the scenery is beautiful and the post race food and refreshments can’t be beat!
    1.Earliest you’ve woken up for a race? 3 am
    2.Coolest race medal? The time they gave us backpacks, watches, hats, and bags in lieu of medals. Or the time I got a mug instead of a medal.
    3.Water, beer, or wine? Water, unfortunately I’m not of age….
    4.Run through the country or a big city? Hmm I really like big city, though I’ve never done a country run
    5.Tastiest post-race eats sponsored by the race itself? None. They don’t feed us at my races and I’ve never run a race big enough to get anything besides a banana.

    Reply
    1. Sugar Coated Sisters (Post author)

      I want to run a race in Hawaii… I bet THAT would be pretty. But yeah, if you do get a chance to run a vineyards-view race up in northern CA, you have a lot to choose from. The “famous” Napa Valley race costs a pretty penny but there are a lot of other ones too….

      3am!?!?! such dedication! I like the idea of a race mug… I would use it all the time for coffee, tea, cereal…

      Reply
  6. Amelia Austin @ princessandthefrosting

    Woooooo! Good job! You’re an inspiration, I really want to run a half marathon one day. Great pictures, and I love the medal you got! I hope it will be put to good use haha. Your recovery food also look mighty tasty :)

    Reply
    1. Sugar Coated Sisters (Post author)

      you should definitely run one! i need to branch out and sign up for other distances…. I just got hooked on halfs though!

      Reply
  7. foodsweatandbeers

    Best race medal I’ve ever seen.

    Ever.

    Reply
    1. Sugar Coated Sisters (Post author)

      hahah definitely…. i think i’m going to keep the ribbon it to make it clear that it’s MORE than a wine stopper lol

      Reply
  8. Kathryn @ Flopoodle

    Congrats on the awesome race time! I love that medal!
    I would totally pick racing in the country and following the race with a beer! This looks like such a fun event.

    Reply
    1. Sugar Coated Sisters (Post author)

      I agree… as long as it’s not too hilly, I’m a wimp when it comes to hills!

      Reply
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