Last Sunday, I participated in the first half marathon of the Texas Wine Series at the Messina Hoff Winery with Ray and JL. This would be my second half marathon ever in my life (remember the first one), Ray's second, and JL's first. I was excited to do this run, because
- I get to see the Cordovas, my running partners for my marathon (along with the beautiful Helen).
- I'm running my second half marathon finally.
- This half marathon involves wine...duh!
- It was probably one of the most beautiful weekends ever complete with low humidity weather and Bluebonnets galore. We don't get many of these days in Texas.
|Look at these beautiful Bluebonnets and Indian Red Paints.|
|JL's picture of the Bluebonnets and Indian Red Paints on the side of the road.|
We picked up our packets at Downtown Uncorked where we talked with the helpful and friendly owner about our wine choice and cheese snack.
|Our beautiful race bibs, a great Malbec (which I bought), and some of the best Sriracha cheese spread ever.|
We had a wonderful pasta pre-race dinner at Napa Flats Wood-Fired Kitchen. I highly recommend it.After dinner, we headed back to the hotel where we started our rituals of foam rolling, taping, and massaging. JL worked on some of my pressure points to release pain in my back, which worked like a charm (more on why we don't do that the night before a big race). And then we were off to bed for a restless and anxious sleep. I mean I haven't ran a half marathon since 2011.
|Thanks Dave for the suggestion.|
Bright and early, we were up, foam rolling again (and I talked to Jim for some last minute motivational words), had some breakfast (Cheerios, a banana, and an English muffin with peanut butter), and headed to the winery. I would like to point out that it was cold...OH.SO.FREAKING.COLD!
|I couldn't stop staring at this amazing sunrise.|
When we got there, we sat in the car for awhile with the heat on and then the debate of what to bring began. We didn't have anywhere to stash our sweaters or long sleeve stuff and we weren't sure if there was a bag drop. So, I ended up wearing my blue long sleeve shirt and left my bag in the car. I found out later there was a bag drop, but they should have that information on the website since we saw lots of people coming back to the cars with their bags.
|I'm pretty sure the girl in the pink skirt had an ambulance called for her.|
|She doesn't know what she has gotten herself in to yet.|
|I love this picture.|
|And then Ray was off like a dirty shirt.|
|But apparently, we have to look at his butt first.|
I saw the one Porto-Potty coming up, but I figured there would be one at the turnaround. It wasn't right next to the road and I didn't want to lose the momentum. I was wrong; that was the only bathroom on the entire 13.1 miles. As we were running, Christi recognized another lady named Eyvonne from her area of Texas. So, she joined us, too. She had another amazing goal; she's trying to run a race at each of the counties in Texas. I thought these ladies were amazing for their running goals and I may do something similar in the future.
|We caught Ray right before the turnaround. That's Christi, me, and Yvonne in the background.|
We (now group of us ladies instead of Ray) kept up with the five minutes run, one minute walk. I was the time keeper and usually the bearer of bad news when our minute was up to run again. I got a lot of, "I don't think that was a minute."
On a side note, I really need to get the intervals working either on my phone or my watch or something. I missed it a few times.
Finally, we made it to the halfway point and I could see lots of people still behind us. YAY! We weren't last. I started to feel the areas where JL released the night before, which made it difficult to run hard (and that's why you don't do that before a run the next day). At this point, I really had to go to the bathroom, but all of the cover up bushes were next to barbed wire fences. I did find an area by a creek where I went and managed to get thorns or needles scraping my butt. When I finally caught up to the ladies, I was picking needles out of my butt. Oh they had a laugh.
|JL and I left our long sleeve shirts on the railing around mile 2, right next to a beautiful Bluebonnet patch. When we reached that mile marker again, I ran to get our shirts and stopped to take some pictures.|
|I couldn't help myself but take pictures.|
|Just after we crossed the finish line, we forced Eyvonne into a picture with us.|
As soon as we high fived and got some water, we headed over for wine and food. I was so hungry. They had Olive Garden, but it was somewhat cold by the time we got there. It was still good though. And seeing someone win a Bundt cake, made me want one so bad. I was hoping they would have those for sale, but they didn't and thus, started my quest for dessert.
|Our awesome medals...with a corkscrew.|
|Along with our awesome medals, we got a wine glass and four tasters. OH YES PLEASE!|
|And of course, we couldn't a miss a photo opportunity with Christi|
|We had post race beers at the famous Dixie Chicken.|
|And I got my dessert...yummy Drumstick.|
These are some of the other photos from our awesome trip. I swear JL and I make our exercise adventures into one hell of weekend travel getaway.
|A cool sign at Downtown Uncorked. I need this.|
|JL and I enjoying the sun and the wine. Yes, I'm sporting a fedora...deal with it.|
|I get to run with these sexy people.|
|Our wine lady pouring the Reisling (yes, I bought) at Messina Hoff.|
|Visiting the Messina Hoff Winery is actually part of my Last American Hoorah bucketlist...so mission complete.|
|My loot at the winery; I was appropriately placed by the belt buckles.|
|She bought a very cool wreath to hold the wine corks.|
|Ray and JL out in the back pond area of the winery. It was so beautiful here.|
|Well, hello there little guys. They (including about 10 more) rushed at us as soon as we showed up, which means they are used to being fed.|
|JL and I having some fun on the bridge to the back area.|
|Right by us, they were setting up for a beautiful looking engagement about to take place under the gazebo.|
|I may not be a fan of Texas A&M University College Station, but I do respect the Bonfire Memorial and what it represents. I was saddened to hear the news all those years ago and I was thankful that I saw this in my life before I died.|
|Ray surprised me with this sticker. He's so sweet!|
And now the crew is gearing up for the marathon in Scotland. There is talk of Texas flag kilts, cowboy hats, and belt buckles. You never know with us folk. The Scottish will never know what hit them...poor Scottish people.