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The Long and Short of It - Diva DC Wine Country

The Long and Short of It

My half marathon season is officially over! I ran my last half of the year on Sunday, and I have to say I'm looking forward to some down time.

I still have a few races I want to run, but none longer than a 10k. I'm super excited for The Parks 10k!

I am getting ahead of myself. I want to talk about Diva DC Wine Country

The short of it is - I will not be running this race again.

The long of it includes a number of disappointments.

I was looking forward to this race, because I was running it with my friend and its a totally girly girl race. Who doesn't love tiaras, tutus and medals? Oh and bubbly. They promised bubbly. Of course, I thought, bubbly was champagne. It wasn't. It was sparkling apple cider. Fail number one.

I'm getting ahead of myself - let me start at the beginning. The expo was small, but enjoyable. I picked up some tiny tiaras for the girls and I. Also got some shoe swag. I love the happy skulls!

Happy Skull Shoes

As per my usual routine, I painted my nails for the race and figured out my race outfit. You have to coordinate. Ok, you don't, but I'm persnickety like that.

Pre-Race Prep

Race day started redonkulously early. My first alarm went off at 3:30 AM. I rolled out of bed at 3:50 AM, and hurriedly got dressed, and did my hair. I was actually really impressed with my race day hair, and will definitely be repeating that hairstyle.

I may have to do a Fit 4 Thursday post on workout hair, because I know it doesn't really affect guys, but it's a real thing for us females.

Anyways, I also tried a new twist on my overnight oats, and they were amazing. I am definitely doing that again. I'll have to do a follow-up post to my overnight oats with all the variations I enjoy.

My friend picked me up at 4:30 AM on the dot, and it was off to the race.

We got to the high school where a shuttle would then ferry us to the starting line just about 5:15, and we were on the bus shortly thereafter. There should have been some worry that our bus driver didn't know where he was going and was trying to program his phone all the while trying to get out of the way from the busses that needed to be filled behind him.

We got to Tarara Winery about 5:45 ~ 5:50, and were greeted with one lone light. There were porta-potties at the drop-off, and we waited in line for them for a few minutes, before we noticed a sign that said there were more potties at the start line. We decided to try our luck at the start line potties.

We were rewarded with no lines! Although getting there was not so much fun. It was a rock strewn path  with no lights, before we veered off to the right a bit and walked along a gravel road. After our rest, we walked back along the unlit gravel road to gear check, and proceeded to freeze for the next 60 minutes. Ok, it wasn't that bad, but it was chilly and boring.

Music didn't start until almost 7, and people were just milling about. The waiting irked me. If you're going to ask people to show up so early before a race, maybe you should have snack, water, or something at the start line. Grumble.

One of the high points of the day was after the National Anthem had been sung, and the Wobble came on. A group of us in Wave 2 all just started dancing. That was pretty fun. Then our speaker cut out and the magic was gone. Sadness.

So the race started out to mediocre fan fare, and then we started, and didn't go anywhere fast. We were clogged up at the start, and the road we'd walk down to get the start line was not made for 750 racers.

There's maybe 1500 racer in front of my in this picture. Super exciting times right there, I tell ya!

The race did start to open up around the 1 mile mark. My friend and I were off to an easy pace. The first mile was 11:36.

Mile 2 flew by! 9:54! No wonder it felt like I was pushing! Oh look we're going to turn into a neighborhood. Maybe it has cool houses. Nope. Just your average subdivision.

Mile 3 contained a hill that we'd been warned about. It was the "worst" one of the race. Little did we know that they were lying. 10:39 - very respectable for the terrible hill. Please try to imagine the massive eyeroll here.

Mile 4 was good. Settling into a good groove. 11:10.

Mile 5 was glorious. It was downhill. Oh wait? What's that I see? People are coming back up the hill? WTF? They said that the hill at mile 3 was the bad hill. I'm going down this hill and I know that coming back up this hill is going to suck. What the hell were they talking about? We pass the marker for Mile 11 on the way down this hill. 11:04.

Mile 6 was still going downhill, but starting to flatten out. Oh look another subdivision. Where are the sights that we're supposed to see? Beautiful Loudon wine country? If I wanted to run through subdivisions then I would have stayed home, pocketed my $100 and run through any of the many subdivisions I live near. 11:27.

Mile 7 included another hellish hill - the one we'd just run down on mile 6. Rolling hills my ass. These are small mountains. I ended up power walking, because my legs were getting a bit heavy. The funny thing was I was walking, but my friend was still jogging. Yay for long strides, and conversation about the inaccuracy of the hills. Oh we did get to see some cute EMT's at the turn-around. 12:26.

Mile 8 we take a right off the terrible incline and are rewarded with actual rolling hills. Not much to look at, but it wasn't terrible. Close to the end of this mile, we enter another subdivision. Yay. Another eyeroll. 11:24

Mile 9 included a new hell. A half pipe. A really steep half pipe. WTF? Seriously. Mile 3 was the worst hill?!?!? LIARS! Oh and at the top of the half pipe was the 15k split. The just evil. E.V.I.L. Although my split time was 1:47:52 for an average pace of 11:33. Not terrible. 11:26 mile time.

Mile 10 we left the subdivision and waved to the nice police officer that was directing us and traffic. I knew we were headed back out to that small mountain. I was in my head. My friend was reminding herself to keep form. Good idea. I am having the same problem. Oh look we're at the small mountain. I'm power walking that one. She kept jogging. I didn't keep up with her, but I didn't lose her either. 10 mile time - 1:53:22. I'm cold. Why the hell am I cold. Damnit - my breakfast is not lasting me. I guess that'll happen when you eat 3 hours before your race! 12:17 mile.

Mile 11 Stupid small mountain. They're a bunch of liars! A lousy bunch of liars! I hate them. This sucks. Only 2 miles encourages my friend. The longest two miles ever, I retort. My legs hurt. I hurt. I want to be done. I hate this race. 11:42

Mile 12 sees my friend pushing through and me falling farther behind. She tells me that she's not stopping and not finishing without me. I love her. I hate her. I love her. I want to hate her, but she's right. Stupid friend. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. I hate gravel. Who the fuck thought it'd be a good idea to have a race on gravel? At mile 12? Don't they know how freaking tired we're going to be? Stupid rocks. I think I've kicked that rock 3 times now. Oh now my friend is kicking it. She kicks it twice and then it disappears. Where the hell is the end? Another racer, who is already done, stupid head, tells me it's only a quarter mile away. Oops, didn't realize I was talking out loud. Where the hell are our boas? I want a stupid feather boa. Oh look there it is. Almost done! Yay! I hate them. They're all smiling. Stupid smiles. 12:43

Mile 13 where the fuck is the finish line? Oh look more arches that look like the finish. I hate whoever thought that gag up. they all suck. I want my champagne. There's the finish! Yay! I'm sticking with my friend. We're gonna finish together. We're gonna die! I'm so done. My body hurts so bad. Why aren't we done? 11:52

Finish line - Why are they handing me SPARKLING APPLE CIDER? It said bubbly! Bubbly is champagne. Bastards. I totally downed in one gulp. Stupid heads. I'm going to throw their plastic stupid flute into the garbage with gusto. So there. It probably looked like a suffocating fish flapping around on the sand, but it felt good!  The food line was yummy. Plates would've helped. There's only so many foods that you can cram under your arms and into your armpits before it's just weird. Do you think we have the strength, or, more importantly, the coordination to carry all of this delicious crap? I hate you. I love the banana though. I gave away my cookie. It was upsetting my tummy. It went to my friend, so I know it got a good home. Why the hell is she so perky? Ugh, she's not a perky runner (and I still love her) but she's a perky finisher. Stupid perky head. How is she so capable right now? Ugh. I want to die. I want to die and get a massage and some water dumped on me. Oh god? What's that smell? Ew. Its me. I'm really sorry friend. I smell me, which means you smell me. I'm very very very sorry. We should've brought towels for your husband's car. Ew. Official time 2:32:47. Not my best. Not my worst.

Here we are. Moments after finishing. She's the smiling one. I'm the one smirking. I tried smiling. That's what came out. She looks so pretty. She thought to take off all her crap and arrange it all. I'm still standing. Score 1 for me!

Seriously. I did not enjoy this race. I won't be doing it again.

The downsides include lying about the hills, lying about the scenery, lying about champagne, and having terrible bus drivers who don't know where the hell they're going. Oh and no official photos. I'm going to have to comb through the photos they're staff photographer took. Boo.

The upsides include pretty awesome swag, doing the Wobble before the start of the race, and talking about food intermittently on the way home. Totally went out with the kids for Panera after I got home and showered. Oh, I did want to raise up the spectators that came out. You guys rock. So do the volunteers. You were up just as early as we were, and you cheered us on. You guys are amazing, and I appreciate everything that you did.

What I learned from this race is that I'll never do it again, and I need more down time between half marathons. My body hurts. Its exhausted. I'm taking 2 weeks down time. I'm not going to run, but I am going to cross train and I'm going to reevaluate my winter training to make sure I'm working my core enough and adding weights. There's work to do. I will snag a sub-2:30. Its going to happen. I just need to figure out how to do it.

Happy Monday all!

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