Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon | Health, Love & Fire

Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sunday I ran my 4th half marathon with my parents and some friends. Our team name was Will Run For Wine, in honor of the Wine Country Half Marathon we took part in. If you ever have a chance to travel to Oregon Wine Country, DO IT! I am so blessed to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Plus the fact that there are literally probably 300 wineries within 15 miles of my house is even better!!
The half marathon we ran was part of Destination Races running series. They host runs all over the country at different destinations to give you not only a beautiful place to visit, but a reason to do so! I hope to do some of their other races in the future, but since this one is about 10 miles from home, its by far the most convenient. My Mom and I had run this race last year with Dan, and liked it so much we decided to do it again this year, only this time my Dad ran it and Dan was our photographer.

The run starts at 7am at Stoller Vineyard. You run through back roads near wheat fields and wineries till you wind your way out to the small town of Carlton.  It's a gorgeous course that distracts you with glimpses of the beautiful sunrise, farmland, and vineyards. Once you reach mile 8, you are greeted with a small sample of pinot gris from a local winery to spark your taste buds for what awaits you 5 miles later. This run is exceptionally fun because not only do you get an awesome medal at the end, but also a commemorative wine glass. At the finish line, over 20 wineries are set up for you to taste as much as you want post race. I know wine might not sound that great after finishing 13.1 miles and at 10 in the morning, but after a brief cool down and the first sip, you realize just how great an idea it is!
The morning sunrise at the start! 
Dad and I waiting to start! 
Dad and I at mile 3! 

This was the first time I felt really good about running. I ran the first 4 miles along side my dad, which was a lot of fun. His pace is considerably faster than mine, so after a few miles I gave him the go-ahead to leave me in the dust. After Dad continued on, I ran a couple miles with my mom and her coworker. It was nice to break up the time with a little conversation and company. By about mile 6, I was feeling like I could speed up, and really had the urge to try to push myself. I ran the next 3 miles alone, listening to my *nsync pandora station for encouragement. Between mile 9 and 10 I ran into our other teammate Kelsey who was running her first half marathon that day. She and I ran together for a little under 2 miles, catching up, and keeping each other going. When I got to mile 11, I was excited to push myself harder to get to the finish line!

Me, Mom, & Dad with our medals! 

This run felt easier than it's ever felt before. Finishing the half marathon, over 40 minutes faster than last year felt amazing. I have never felt the sense of pride about my running that I did that day. While of course I was exhausted and even a bit dizzy for a bit at the finish, I was excited and happy about running more than I have ever been before. I'm already looking for my next races and thinking about how I can continue my new found enjoyment of running and pride in my accomplishment. I never thought I would be the type of person who would enjoy running or want to run more. I'm excited that I've found this new hobby and excitement in my life. It's taken me a few years to get here, but I'm so happy to finally be here!
Dan & I at the Finish!