Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Manolog- Week 8 & 9 (Napa to Sonoma half marathon)

Finally getting some traction on my training. Last two weeks filled with some pretty decent mileage- 20 and 23 miles respectively. Most of my injuries are vanishing and finally after a long time I have no pain after running. Absolutely elated at this unforseen development. I also know that I can easily blow this new found luck by increasing training intensity- so making a conscious effort not to run any faster than a 9:30 pace.

Week 9, exactly half mark of my training program- ended with a Napa to Sonomo half marathon run (http://runcarneros.com). I got attracted by the description of the race- running through the vinyards. The starting line had about 1500-2000 people anxiously shifting legs and forming long lines in front of the few portapotties. Those who didn't have have the luxury of waiting- decided to relieve their bladders by giving the vines an organic shower. Soon the loudspeakers announced the imminent start of the race and quite a few gents/ladies (including yours truly) emerged from the stalks. The race started unceremoniously and I shuffled along.

Thanks to my weekend runs at Los Gatos creek trail, the heat this morning didn't bother me much. Ran strongly for the first 4 miles, until the excess from previous nights dinner started to shift ominously in my stomach. A sensation that I knew could only be relieved by - ahem! - crapping. With no porta-potties in site, I reduced my speed for the next one mile and ran slowly scanning the horrizon. By mile 5, I couldn't take it anymore- without revealing too much details, lets just say "I had a field day".

Feeling immensely relieved but having lost about 5-8 minutes, I started running slightly faster. One of the problems of this course- absolutely no spectators till mile 12. It didn't matter much to me- but if thats important to you, then this is not the race for you. Several houses had garden hoses and overzealous kids spraying us as we ran by. One really funny kid along the route was shouting thirsty in a voice that emoted thirst beautifully. A few laughs and we were on our way- soon we neared the finish and I started cranking out a 8:30 pace and finished strong. Overall pace 10min/mile- I'm satisfied.

Will I run this race again? I'm not sure, lack of porta-potties until mile 7 is a big negative. On the other hand the course is beautiful and the medal is awesome. So the answer is a maybe.


Blogger Saumya said...

What an ingenious method to acquire natural manure for the vineyards!

Manu - you reach new heights/depths everytime man - the Napa valley vineyards - :)

Anyway....good progress. Keep going - the marathon is almost there!

7/19/2006 11:50 AM  
Blogger Manohar said...

Thank you. I try....

7/19/2006 1:50 PM  
Blogger Meera Manohar said...

My eyes wandered aimlessly until I hit the 9.30am spot since I knew I would see that red shirt sporting runner any minute then.

As I shifted nervously, I finally saw the man and ran towards him and boy-- was it wonderful to see a running finish or what!? I ran along with him the last 300 odd yards and increased my speed just to give him the "oomph"! And, off he went on to finish and also gulp a glass of wine on the sly *smirk*

I smiled @ the former and not so much for the latter!!

I am eager for Oct 29th now (thank god they will not have vine/wine there;-)

Congratulations on your selfless distribution of natural organics to the world and incidentally on your finishing the race *LOL*

7/19/2006 4:11 PM  
Blogger Manohar said...

tee hee!

7/19/2006 4:49 PM  
Blogger Saumya said...

where is the 19 mile log, and the rendezvous with snakes?

9/12/2006 3:41 PM  

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