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Race Recap: Avenue of the Vines 1/2 Marathon

May 19, 2011

Before I forget (and things get crazy), I need to do a quick recap of the Avenue of the Vines 1/2 Marathon we did for our May race.

It’s been a few months since we had a rainy race, but weather heading into Sunday morning was looking pretty rough.  The forecast all day Sunday was for thunderstorms, rain, and hail.  Saturday night it dumped all night, but we woke up to cloudy but dry skies.  The race is held near Lodi, so about a half hour to 45 minute drive from our house.  It had a fairly early start at 7am, so we were up and in the car by 5:45 since we needed to pick up our race packets there and we weren’t sure how crowded it would be.

I tend to have certain expectations of a race when I spend (what I consider to be) a significant amount of money on it.  One of those things is light refreshments (coffee, water, sports drink) at the start of the race.  We eventually found bottled water, but not coffee or sports drink after a pretty thorough investigation of the expo.  The race itself had well-stocked aid stations every 2 miles with water and sports drink (they say online it was Powerbar brand, but the folks at the stations were calling it Gatorade).  It runs in a giant rectangle through country roads, which I thought were really pretty but P found boring and way too straight.  Be aware that about a mile runs through dairy farms which STINK.  I don’t tend to have problems with cow poop smell, and maybe it was the addition of all the recent rain, but I almost threw up and from what other people were saying, I wasn’t alone!

Mentally, this was a tough race for me.  I started out pretty strong, but had to ditch my running belt about two miles in because I couldn’t get it to stay on.  I only use it for longer runs (of which I had not done enough before this race) and I hadn’t had problems with it in the past, but now it’s a goner.  Oh well.  After that I felt really good until mile six or so when my knee started killing me.  The entire rest of the race was a huge battle to keep myself running, making bets with myself (like run past the next cow, then walk to the cow after that).  I still finished much faster than my last 1/2 marathon, and under my goal time (2:2o), but still frustrating to be in so much pain and not really sure why.

Our Times:

My Time: 2:06:17 (9:38 splits)
P’s Time: 1:40:30 (7:41 splits)

The post race expo was also mildly disappointing.  They had gross wraps, a little bit of fruit (whole apples and oranges), wine, and bottles of water.  They were selling mimosas, but it didn’t say anywhere that they were charging for them so you didn’t know that until you got to the front of a a very long food & wine line.  Lame.  I really wanted a mimosa, but I wasn’t going to wait 20 minutes in line again.

Also, I just found out today that I won entry into the See Jane Run 1/2 Marathon in Alameda on June 5th, so I seriously need to get this knee thing sorted out ASAP!

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