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January 9, 2006

Napa Here I Come

I’ve neglected to mention yet that I signed up for this year’s Napa Valley Marathon, coming up in March. I have a somewhat star-crossed relationship with this race, which I will explain in more detail in later posts.

The race is eight weeks prior to the Big Sur Marathon, which is the main focus of my training this spring. The timing works out almost perfectly to do Napa as a 90-95% max effort race, to see how my race pace feels and to gauge my fitness leading up to the main event in April.

As recently as one month ago, I didn’t think I would be in shape to try a marathon prior to Big Sur. But I’ve done a handful of 20-milers between now and then, and my body hasn’t completely blown up from ramping up my weekly mileage, so those are good signs.

Plus, Napa’s a beautiful race. Most of the miles are on Silverado Trail, the road that cuts through the heart of some of the largest and most gorgeous vineyards in the world, just as the fields are coming into bloom.

I would highly recommend Napa to anyone looking for a “destination” marathon. Luckily, it’s only a few hours away from where I live, so I usually make a quick weekend trip to do the race.

One of these years I’ll take my wife up with me and stay for a few nights in a nice bed and breakfast, and give the area more of the attention it deserves. We considered it this year, but those types of plans just don’t materialize too easily yet, with three little ones to consider. Maybe next year. Or the year after. Or…well, you know how it goes.

For this year, I’ve got just over seven weeks to round into shape for my first major race of 2006. That might be cutting it a little close, but it certainly sharpens my focus. It’s time to get my groove on.


robtherunner 1/10/06, 2:24 PM  

I have heard Napa is a beautiful marathon as well. One of these years I need to start hitting some California races, but like you said, it is hard to do these things with kids. I need something close to home. Good luck ramping up for Napa.

Anne 1/10/06, 3:06 PM  

I'd planned to do Napa this year because it falls on my birthday and I have a daughter at nearby Sonoma State University. Alas, my job interfered with plans so I'll have to run it vicariously through your always-excellent choice of scenes and words. And I'm eager to here about your special relationship with this race.

BuckeyeRunner 1/11/06, 4:34 PM  

Sounds amazing. Napa Marathon would be awesome. I took a bike trip this past April into the Russian River Valley, and it was awesome. There are some pictures on my blog. It's great country.
Good luck in your Napa training.

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