21 October 2011

In just a week, I'll be racing in my 5th (or 6th...can't remember) half marathon, the Healdsburg Wine Country 1/2 Marathon (or "Wine Run," as I call it). Last weekend I did my last "big" training run...9 miles. Felt pretty good, I really had the legs at the end so am feeling pretty good going into next week.

This is the first time I have really trained (and I use that loosely) for a half since my first one. It dawned on me that I am not as young as I once was, and maybe trying to get some mileage in before the race would be a good idea and prevent some injuries. Imagine that!

This race will be a special one for me. I've always dedicated my races to someone -- usually someone who has passed on (except the one for my gpa, as he is still alive & kickin'.) -- this time it is for my dad.

The race starts at the Coppola winery, which is the last place I really spent time with him. It was also a place we loved to go together; we discovered it one very hot day when we decided to go wine tasting. My mom thought it was too hot to leave the river, and dad & I were too hot to stay there (and tasting rooms have airco!). We went up to hit another one of our favorites, Meeker, then Geyser Peak, then, as we were driving back to go to a few others, we spotted what at the time was called "Unnamed," now called Coppola. It is a beautiful property, and I remember standing outside, overlooking the vineyards, and telling my dad it was so beautiful, it would be one of the few wineries where I wouldn't mind having my wedding. (his response? "Let's work on the boyfriend first.") We stayed and tasted, and discovered the Sofia Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine, something he always made sure to buy me when he was there (and I will always have on hand here at my house).

When I signed up for this race, I didn't realize it started at this special place. Now, looking back, it seems pretty serendipitous. While I know he wouldn't be happy that I signed up for another half marathon ("Annie, why would you do that? You know it hurts your knees. Can't you just do a shorter race? Or just not race at all."), I know he'd be proud. The first half I ever did, with Team in Training in honor of my grandmothers, ended with him in tears as I stepped across that finish line. This one, a week before what would have been his 59th birthday, I know he'll be watching me start from the balcony where we once stood, arms crossed with a little cup of Sofia, smiling his "I'm really happy but can't show it too much because I am supposed to be disapproving of this" smile.

1 comment:

Jen Weiss said...

What a nice memory, thank you for sharing it! Good luck on your race.

Love ya Annie! -Jen