I am so happy to say that I completed my first half marathon in the beautiful Napa Valley! Months of training finally paid off while running through gorgeous mountains in California.
I was extremely surprised at just how mountainous the trail was. I knew it was a trail marathon, so I didn’t think it was going to be a walk in the park. But the first three miles were completely rocky, rough and uphill! Some parts were nearly impossible to run, and luckily we weren’t alone.
There were no water stops along the way, which had me a little anxious at the start. The way the half marathon was structured was that you run up the mountain for about three miles, run down it for about another three and some change (through streams, over rocks, under branches, etc.), then you reach the starting point, where you turn around and do it all over again.
I’ll be honest, after the about the first two and a half miles up the side of the steep mountain, we almost decided to stop when we made it to the halfway point. At that point, we would get our 10K time and call it a day. However, after having just run down the mountain (which was way harder than you would think) and having a few minutes of flat(ish) terrain, we made the decision to turn around, do it again, and complete the half marathon!
It felt amazing to be able to push my body to new limits. I knew I was capable of running it, my training had proved that. But, being able to say I took on one the most vigorous and challenging runs of my life during my very first half marathon was one of the greatest feelings. Runner’s high is real, people.
Being able to do it with my best friend by my side, surrounded by the most beautiful scenery and incredible views, made the experience even better. Not to mention, the promise of a delicious brunch and mimosas in downtown Napa once we reached that finish line!
I guess I loved it so much that I wanted to take on another challenge back home on the East Coast. This Saturday, I’ll be running the Runapalooza Half Marathon.
Wish me luck!