Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon - June 4, 2016 Time: 2:16:59
As I mentioned in my previous race, I moved my goals to my late summer half marathon in Vancouver. This race, since I was coming off injury, I just wanted to improve on my time from Nashville. I had no other goal out there but to complete it in a slightly quicker time with no pain.
And success!! I came in 10 minutes faster than Nashville so I think my approach this past month to more crosstraining and less but quality mileage was the way to go.
Breaking down race weekend, we were staying at the host hotel, Lansdowne Resort. It was beautiful, huge, and so much was going on that weekend. I checked in and then headed down to the expo to grab everyone's packets. Now Rock 'n' Roll has spoiled me for expos so I feel like I always want them to be a lavish affair. Unfortunately Destination Races didn't have a great expo. We obviously got our packets- bag, shirt, bib, and then there was a GU station, a Potomac River Running shop and a place for coffee. I was in and out pretty quick! I had some time to chill in the hotel before JJ arrived so I went and chilled by the pool with my kindle. It was lovely after the initial thunderstorm! After JJ arrived we headed down to the tavern for some carbs and protein for the race. Then it was time to lay out my flat runner and then get some sleep!!
We were up early to catch the shuttle to the race. And thankfully we got one in the middle of the time frame- we barely made it to the start line with enough time to gear check and get to the portapotties before it started! Lots of traffic on the route there. There were about 2000 runners and no real corralling. It made for cramped race start for sure.
Going into the course- we headed down the gravel path of Doukenie which is nicely tree lined and then onto the road. The route was very rolling hills friendly for the first few miles. I tried to pick up speed on all the downhills as I knew the uphills were going to slow me down. I was actually feeling pretty good through the half way point despite the 100% humidity.
Then we turned onto a gravel hilly road. This slowed me down a lot. I felt like I kept loosing my footing and tried to staying on parts of the road that were less gravel and more dirt to help. There was also no wind flow with the tree cover so the heat (even though it wasn't hot- just humid) became unbearable. I trucked on- giving it my all on downhills and trying to keep my pace in check.
At about mile 10.5 I had to walk. My energy levels were low at this point despite the GU I had taken. I walked two more times but then picked my my speed at the end to get to that finish line! It was a tough course but I felt much better about the whole race than I did about Nashville.
JJ finished about 5 minutes after I did- a good time for her also despite the humidity. And then it was time for wine!! I grabbed my bag from gear check, found a dumpster by a building and quickly changed clothes. The humidity resulted in us being ridiculously sweaty so fresh clothes were a necessity.
At the wine fest we got to sample lots of different reds, whites, roses, and ciders. All were delightful after running. I also devoured all the food in our snack bags. :) To celebrate JJ and I also got a full glass from 8 Chains North winery. Fun time after the race!
We stopped at Whole Foods for lunch on the way back and then after a quick dip in the pool, spent the afternoon and evening relaxing with wine.
Another great racecation in the books!