(#23) Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon – Part 3 (Fun Spectators)

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Some alpacas

I left off yesterday in mile 5.

So, I was walking pretty slowly. Every mile I’d give it a little go, and try to jog again. My legs would shut me down. “Yeah, we’re just not gonna do it.” Well, okay then.

I did enjoy little bursts of running here and there. I kept telling myself, “This may be the only time you get to run this week. And you desperately need it.” I can tell when I’ve run lately and when I haven’t.

When I have, I’m more awake, productive, happy, clearer, smarter, pleasant to be around – generally all around better. (Note: That doesn’t necessarily always mean I’m great. I still do dumb things, trip up on words, obsess about things in my life, and obviously have bad qualities. But they are definitely minimized when I’ve gotten a good run in recently. For sure, for sure. (Of course, this isn’t only my opinion. It’s biology. But definitely, on a personal level I can always tell.)) So, anytime I needed a burst of energy, I’d think, “Do you want to be fun and have fun, or not?”

I’d give it my all for a short distance, then saunter on a while longer. There were areas where we had to stop for traffic in this race. And, though I wasn’t going for time, I don’t like to stop my momentum – even if that momentum is very, very slow. There were a few times when I would see a traffic stop coming up with a group all bunched up going together. I knew they’d probably stop the runners again after letting a big group through, so I would straight up sprint until I reached the stop, through to the other side of the road. Those little, crazy sprints were really fun.

There were a few houses spread out along the course. The residents around the area seemed really were super welcoming. In mile 8, this family with two little girls came out with chocolate chip pancakes! Yum. It adds even more joy to the day that these strangers cared enough to be so sweet to all of us.

There were also a number of families who came out and cheered, and little boy who excitedly high-fived every runner who passed him. He yelled out to everyone, “Thanks for running!” How sweet, right?

I loved the vibe of this race.

There was one family that was hilarious. They had set out a little makeshift station for everybody. As some people in front of me stopped, the woman said, “We got beer and we got water.” The runners took the last beers, and the woman said, “Okay, now we’re just down to water.” The man seemed super surprised as he said, “We went through a lot of Guinness today!” The woman added “I didn’t know beer would be so popular!” I thought it was hilarious that so many runners enjoyed drinking while running. I guess what do you expect at a race through wine country, right?

There were also tons of people from Team Challenge everywhere. This must’ve been a big race for them, ’cause I’d say the majority of the people I saw were wearing Team Challenge shirts. Boy oh boy, did they have cheerleaders! A lot of people seemed to be doing their first half ever, which was so sweet to witness. Someone was near tears at mile 10 as the coach said something like, “Can you believe this? Look! You’re at mile 10! Double digit miles. I’m so proud of you.”

That’s magic – someone’s first every distance race. It’s magic, and I love seeing it. It makes me really want to figure out how to convince more people to do their first race! A race is always more fun when I have people to share it with – always.

As the morning wore on, the clouds started to part. Dum, dum, dum (scary chords)! The sun began to shine down on us. Uh oh. (In case you’ve forgotten, I forgot my hat!)

This is where I’ll pick up on Thursday (after Wednesday night’s series continues).

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?