One year ago yesterday, I ran my first marathon, the Napa Valley Marathon.
NVM has a great course and is touted as one of the top 10 marathon courses in the World. Incidentally, in a recent National news piece, Napa was named the number one city in the U.S. claiming it’s the happiest city to live in. It’s the city where my boyfriend Tom, a very happy person, lives, and so an obvious and easy choice to participate in its Marathon.
Tom, ran this marathon last year too. We were not acquainted with one another at that time and little did we know that we would meet a mere two months after that race, connecting after not seeing (or hearing) of one another after 29 years. You see, we went to the same high school together and graduated the same class (a class of over 500 students), which is why we really didn’t know one another very well. My memory of him is one class that we had together, Italian. That’s it.
We got up at the crack of dawn, 5:30 a.m. and I drove Tom (because I could not run) the 26 miles to the start in Calistoga. It was a beautiful morning and perfect California winter temperatures for a race (50 degrees) with no wind.
I walked with him to the start. We had just about 10 minutes to talk and then they started the race. I felt a small ping of longing watching all the runners get fired up before they set out. After the gun went off, I walked back to my car, stopped in town for a latté and headed down the road to the 8 mile marker on the Silverado Trail to cheer Tom on.
I got there before the first of the runners arrived. This race is not so easy to watch, you can only view it from a few crossroads. The first of the runner didn’t look like they were running that hard/fast and all I thought was… Tom runs this fast, why isn’t he with these folks? I’m not sure what I thought the front runners would look like running past, because I’ve never really spectated a race before, but I guess I thought they would look like they are flying, which in reality I guess they were. About 45 minutes into the race I saw Tom approaching. I had a water bottle with his special drink in it, Hammer Heed, and he ran up and took a big swig. He mumbled something about his time not being so good, but after he left I looked at my watch and thought… what’s he talking about? He’s running in the 7 minute mile zone.
I then took off for the next meeting spot, 5 miles down the road, the halfway point.
Here I met up with his friend Diego and his girlfriend Casey. Diego planned to hop on his bike and give Tom company while he ran along. Diego and Tom are huge cyclist buddies. This time when Tom came up for a drink, he was much more ecstatic about his performance.
I chatted a bit with Casey after the two took off. She is also a cyclist and runner and has done 3 marathons; Napa and CIM twice. Ugh… CIM.
At mile 18 I captured this of the two pulling up.
Tom got one last swig of his drink from me and then gave me a kiss (a kiss during his race!!) and ran off. That was an unexpected treat, that he would do that during his race. Bliss.
At this point, Casey was joining a friend to run the remainder 8 miles to the finish. I headed back to my car again, and drove to the finish, Vintage High School to watch Tom come in. I got a little lost, ok, I missed my turn and then there was no parking and I had to run (yes, I ran a little on my PF!) to make it to the finish line. I just barely got there in time to see him run across the line. Well, he actually just stopped once he hit the line, since he was quite tired of running at that point.
I am so proud of him… he finished just a tad faster than what he had said his goal was a couple months ago. Final time: 3:10:34. That’s 14 minutes faster than CIM last December where he already qualified for Boston, although he doesn’t care about going to that race. And this isn’t even a PR for him. Still, at his ripe old age… I won’t say it, but it’s rather close to the one they call “over the hill,” he did pretty damn well. Fantastic really. He placed 99th overall in a field of 1794, 86th out of 920 men and 15th in his age group!!
So that’s it. He is done with running for the time being (maybe some easy runs with me if I ever run again.) Now he going to get back on the bike and train for some miserably long races. Tough races. 100 mile races… 200 mile races… the Death Ride later this summer in Lake Tahoe. Wonder if I will see him much now with his next training schedule? Hope so.
As for me… and the small amount of running I did today… not so good. My PF feels as flared up and shitty as it did 5 weeks ago. Super sad face. But I still have hope. In the meantime, I have started P90X that Tom’s friend Diego loaned me. So I will report on that next. I’ll just say, having done just two of the 12 videos, that it looks like a good program and even though I’m not running, maybe, just maybe I can get ripped!!