Santa Barbara Wine Half

-edited to add photos at the end of the post-

Oh my goodness, we had so much fun! Before I get to all that though a few thank you’s. Dad for gifting me the registration, Mark/Jan and Gentry for making sure Sky was taken care of while I was gone for 4 days!, Michelle for committing to going with me, Bob for supporting her in training and being single Dad for 4 days, Kim (and boys) for sharing your living space with us, and making us feel welcome, and Amy for hosting the gang on the farm while Michelle and I were running our hearts out!

It was funny to me, but a blessing really, that it was overcast and cool the whole time we were in Santa Barbara, but it was sunny and 80 back home. Thankfully we like running in cool weather so it worked out perfectly.

The race itself, and Destination Races in general were pretty great. The second half of the race is where all the hills are, and the majority of the elevation gain is between miles 6 and 7. Like, almost all the elevation gain is on crazy steep mile long hill right at mile 6. That sucked, but it is what it is. We got it done and we finished, and Michelle got a big PR out of it, so that’s awesome! I had trouble with the heat towards the end (it cleared up and the sun came out), and tummy trouble after accidentally taking in nuun instead of water. But, I stuck with it and got my 2nd best half time, so I’m happy with that.

Finisher medal and commemorative bottle of wine, that we had to drink before flying home since you can’t carry one wine. BTW – that medal caused security issues at the airport. It was mildly amusing.
 
I don’t have any before, during, or after pics of us because I didn’t run with my phone. Michelle took some, but blogger doesn’t like the download of them, so unless you want to follow her on IG or twitter you won’t get to see them.
The race actually isn’t anywhere near Santa Barbara. It’s up in farm country near Solvang, a Bavarian town in the Santa Ynez Valley. Beautiful vineyards, orchards, and farms from start to finish. It made for scenic running, and plenty of distraction which was nice. I can’t speak highly enough of Destination Races and how spoiled they made us feel.
While this was the most expensive race I’ve ever done, it’s easy to see what that money gets you. I could get used to running like that! The best part was the emails they sent letting you know you started the race, your 6 mile split, and your finish time. It was really nice to have an instant email with our finishing time rather than having to wait to look it up later. The expo, shuttle to the start, finish line/wine tasting area were all well done, well marked, and so much fun. From start to finish we felt pampered and like every penny had been well spent.
Enjoying our celebratory glass of wine in the wine garden.

 

 For once it’s a race shirt that fits, and I love the grape cluster bib!
 
While I have a few things to work on/figure out before running any more half’s I’m already planning on saving my money and registering for the Woodinville Wine Half Sep 2016. I’d love to run with Destination Races again, and it’s only a few hours away rather than a few states away. 🙂
The rest of our time was spent visiting with Kim, and enjoying Santa Barbara.
 Enjoying a walk on the beach that evening. 
 
Easily the most active I’ve been post half and you know, I think it works. The leg and knee pain was gone fairly quickly, and while my legs were still tired, they were not all that sore.
 Sweet little flower growing up through the cracks.
 Not a bad way to enjoy our last lunch in Cali. Kim was able to get away from work for a bit for a walk on the beach before we flew out.
 

 

 I now have dreams of stepping out my back door and picking fresh lemons off my lemon tree. So fresh.

 

 Mimosas the day after, and the best pulled pork nachos I’ve ever had, not to mention the prices were similar to Tacoma, and that’s saying something if you know how pricey SB is!. Santa Barbara Brewing Company

I was so hungry after this race. I usually am after every race, but I was ready to eat full meals every 30 to 45 minutes this time around. And, the funny thing is my taste buds were a mess. None of the wine at the wine tasting was good, I dumped it all, and believe me when I say I don’t dump wine. We went to an Irish pub for lunch after and I ordered a Ruben sandwich, my all time favorite, and I hardly ate any of it because it didn’t taste good. The beer was good, and oddly enough the asparagus pasta Kim made us…I don’t really care for asparagus or tomatoes, this pasta had both, and I LOVED it! I mean, I could have eaten it all by myself! It was sort of crazy really. I don’t crave sweets either, but we felt the need to go get cake at a GF/Vegan bakery we found. It was perfect.

 Raspberry lemon and Berry patch cake…amazing! Lilac Patisserie
Legs up and enjoying 805 Blonde at Fitzpatricks Irish Tavern in Solvang. At this point we’d been up since 4 am (7 hours) and finished the half…I was ready to fall asleep.
 
The pillow cocoon Michelle built. Easily the best sleep I’ve had with all the pillows and comfy bed, plus no munchkin waking me up.
 
Racing aside, it was refreshing to get away for a few days. Enjoy my own schedule and whims, and have time to spend with Kim without the distraction of being Mommy. Everyone needs a reset and this was exactly that. I came home feeling refreshed, rested, and ready to get back to “real” life.
Next up Rainier 2 Ruston Relay in a few weeks. Another bucket list race!

Got the photos to work…thank you Michelle for sharing!

 Start Line.
 Finish line!
Yummy asparagus pasta and wine…I think I had 4 bowls of it!
 
 

 

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