Wednesday, July 22, 2009

13.1 miles to Sonoma

7 comments
 
It was certainly an experience to remember.



Completing the Napa2Sonoma half marathon made me realize the potential there is in all of us.

Sappy, I know.

But I saw runners that finished the race in just over an hour.

And I witnessed people who walked the route as if it were the last 13.1 miles they had in them.

I was utterly amazed by the breathtaking views.

This picture was taken at the starting line right before I saw Valerie Bertinelli



The race began with an uphill climb. And right off the bat, I began thinking of my friend Amy, whom I called my "honorary teammate." I was running the race for her.

Once I conquered the hill, I encountered several rolling hills through the vineyards of Napa County.

Beautiful.

And I was averaging a 12 minute mile.

Spectacular.

I was on pace for a decent time.

By mile 4, my iPod was playing Around the World, a favorite of my buddy John who's an avid cyclist.

It seemed I was thinking about a lot of my friends throughout the course because at mile 6, I was cursing Susan. She discouraged me from wearing my Camelbak, citing the many water stops along the race route.

Yeah too bad they ran out of water at mile 6. I had to beg a woman from New Jersey to allow me a swig of her Vitamin Water.

I was off to a good start. And I was feeling good.

But by mile 10, I was well into Sonoma County. The vineyards disappeared. I was running at a much slower pace surrounded by homes that reminded me of suburban Cleveland.

And all I wanted to do was sit on the pavement and quit.

"You're doing this for Amy and all the good people that donated to your cause," I reminded myself.

Then I could hear Lance Armstrong saying, "Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever." And that made me snicker since I have no idea what Lance Armstrong sounds like.


So rather than allowing some California State Trooper to escort me back in a cruiser, I walked.

I think my elderly dog could have walked faster than I did at that point in the race.

And that's when I saw it.

Brockman Avenue.

I of course thought of my friend Jen, whose last name was blazed across that street sign.

And I knew I was a mile away from the finish.

I began to jog.

Then as I approached Sonoma Square I recognized shops and boutiques I had visited the day before.

If I leisurely shopped the area just 24 hours prior, I knew I had to run to the end.

So I did.


I finished a few minutes over what I had hoped. I started strong and ended less spectacularly.

But I finished.

And I couldn't be happier.

Note: My apologies to Heather for stealing her Mile 12 picture. I didn't know how I would possibly take pictures along the race route. But luckily, Heather is way smarter than I am.

7 comments :

  1. Hooray for Mom2Amara! No matter how you got there, you crossed the finish line and that is a tremendous accomplishment! I beem with pride when telling my friends about your dedication and success!

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  2. So proud of you. What's next...Marine Corp Marathon?

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  3. Thanks all!

    And Jen, no marathons for me!! I'm pretty sure of it! 13.1 was enough!

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  4. Mo
    It doesn't matter if you walked you finished!! 13.1 miles....unbelievable lady!! You endured 13.1 miles for a great cause and more importantly, yourself. You can do anything you set your mind to. I am so proud of you! You are truely an inspiration to me. I have been injured, tears in a tendon, and haven't been able to run in a few months but you and your accomplishment have encouraged me to begin to walk everyday until I too can run once again. If you decide to do this one next year I will be beside you!The views are breathtaking! And ironically enough yesterday I came home to a pile of mail that include a brochure from Team Challenge!So proud of you!

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  5. Mo
    It doesn't matter if you walked you finished!! 13.1 miles....unbelievable lady!! You endured 13.1 miles for a great cause and more importantly, yourself. You can do anything you set your mind to. I am so proud of you! You are truely an inspiration to me. I have been injured, tears in a tendon, and haven't been able to run in a few months but you and your accomplishment have encouraged me to begin to walk everyday until I too can run once again. If you decide to do this one next year I will be beside you!The views are breathtaking! And ironically enough yesterday I came home to a pile of mail that include a brochure from Team Challenge!So proud of you!

    - Claire

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  6. Congratulations! I remember the feeling after finishing my first 1/2 - such an accomplishment!

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