Avenue of the Vines Half Marathon 2011

Every run has it’s day .. some good and some bad … and some just average. Today was one of those just average days on the course. I was hoping for a more than average day. In fact I was hoping for a really good day when it came to this event. The Avenue of the Vines Half Marathon is not a highly recognized race, however I think it might be one of my favorite races. The course is friendly and flat, the post race festivities include wine tasting and each runner gets a finishers medal and wine glass to keep. And the ultimate kicker to make this my favorite is that the top runner gets their weight in win as the top prize. Also each age group winner gets a magnum bottle of Woodbridge Wine.

The weather like yesterday was a bit odd for a spring morning in the Sacramento area. In fact there was rain while we headed out to Lodi, Ca today for the Avenue of Vines. While we were driving we hit some rain drops but nothing major. When we got out of the car at Woodbridge Winery, there was a little cold feel to it. No matter the weather I was ready to run this morning, I packed arm sleeves, a long sleeve, and all kinds of extra goodies to be well prepared. Today I ended up not having to layer up too much when it was ready to make our way to the start time. By the way when I refer to “we” in this story my friend Efrain and I took on the run together today. He also ran with me last year helping me set my current PR of 1 hour 31 minutes and 8 seconds.

Like last year when I got to this half marathon I had hopes of setting another PR. But as many of you know, it all depends from step to step, mile to mile on these races to see what might effect the outcome. The road was as flat as it could be so no hills were going to test my legs. Today the only thing testing me was the wind. There seemed to be some head winds kicking around nearly every corner. I know it might seem odd to think that every turn had a head wind, but really this race had one kicking up pretty hard at times today. Last year the head winds were present but not this active. Even with the average run today I was able to finish at a time of 1 hour 35 minutes and 1 second. This time was good enough to finish 5th in the men’s 30-39 division and 39th overall. 

There is one thing that I is already running through my head this evening. Next year the Avenue of the Vines Half Marathon is going to be one of my main runs I focus on. The main reason I would like to walk home with the magnum bottle of Woodbridge Wine.  This goal is realistic because of the fact that the first place runner in the 30-39 men’s division finished in 1 hour 27 minutes. That is only 4 minutes slower than my PR. I know that is a pretty big difference, but I am going to work on trying to win my age group next year. 

The training starts to pick up again tomorrow with some cross training and the final week of Insanity workouts. Follow me to my next races and workouts leading up to the SF Marathon in July. I am feeling good about having a solid finish in July.

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