Monday, March 2, 2009

A wet Napa Valley Marathon

When I was running CCC100 last summer I had this crazy thought. I decided I wanted to try and run a sub-three hour marathon. My fastest marathon to date was 3:00 flat and I figured taking a minute or two off that was doable. I also thought if I could be on the trails for over 24 hours then I could push myself for 2:58! I did the speed work, the long runs, went to crossfit. I ran Orcas 50k 3 weeks ago to give myself a final long run. I felt ready. I flew to Sacramento Friday afternoon after school, drove to Napa, picked up some food and went to the hotel to study. Saturday I spent the morning exploring the valley and I picked up my race packet. I was feeling more nervous for this race then I had in a long time. I think it was do to my expectations. I ate a great dinner at a vegetarian restaurant called Ubuntu (if ever in Napa check it out, it's wonderful). After dinner I returned to the hotel for some more studying and an early bedtime. Sunday was an early get up to catch the shuttle to Calistoga. It was pouring down rain and the wind was blowing. Thank goodness we could stay on the buses for the hour before the race instead of standing in the rain. Even with the weather the way it was Napa truly is a beautiful marathon. 24 miles of the race are on the Silverado Trail (road not dirt) which has gentle rolling hills and vineyards as far as the eyes can see. I ran the first half right on pace for a 2:58. I consistently ran between 6:40s and 6:50s. I felt good with my second place standing but I knew it was early. By about mile 15 I started feeling my legs get heavy. My times were slowing to the upper 6:50s and I was passed by a speedy girl who did not even look tired! I was able to hold 3rd place (3:03) but I was not able to hold my goal pace. It could have been I was not as prepared as I thought I was or maybe the rain and wind got to me. Maybe it just was not my day. Whatever the reason, in running just as in life, there is always a new day. I now look forward to finishing school and getting back on the trails!


Lisa and Oliver Ochs said...

Still an amazing time though Monica, congrats on your 3rd place finish. Sounds like a wonderful weekend.

Doug McKeever said...

Monica, don't feel too disappointed to train hard and not drop your time as much as you wished. It happens to all of us, so just enjoy the process and the ability to run! The sub-three will probably come when you least expect it.
Nice run at Chuckanut too, amongst that fast field this year!