I hate running. Hate it with a deep burning passion. Why do I do it? Still trying to figure that one out. It all started in 2010 when I decided to run my first 5K. I ran the Jolly Jaunt through downtown Boston. It was cold and I thought I’d never make it, but I did and it felt great. So, I started training to run a half marathon, I mean why not? I ran one in July of 2011 and crossing the finish line was unreal. I wanted to bottle that feeling and carry it with me. But you can’t and you are left with sore legs and a cool medal. Next step? Might as well run Boston, right? So I did. On the hottest day ever. I crossed the finish line in a brisk 7 hour and 9 minutes. Friends, I have yet to replicate that one.
After running Boston last year, I just lost something. I had to quit at the half marathon and felt terrible about it. I also caught a lot of shit for not finishing. People can be pretty mean on the internet. Fast forward a year – I’m ready to go again.
It’s the 2013 Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon Destination Race on July 21st and training has started in earnest. And by earnest I mean training runs on Saturdays, and many week days spent making excuses as to why I’m not running that day. (I blame Netflix for my inability to lace up shoes on workdays.) Last week we hit up DW Field Park which, to quote my coach, is a beautiful spot in an otherwise not so pretty place. It is a hilly three and a quarter mile loop which circles Brockton Reservoir and the day was perfect for it. We start as a group but packs quickly pull away and I’m usually on my own. In my patented run til I can’t breathe, then walk for a bit training plan, I took on these almost 4 miles with gusto. The weather was perfect, the scenery was so beautiful and everyone I passed said hello. This is what I love about running in these types of places… real runners don’t go here. Real runners can be assholes. I do understand it, charity runners like me are slower, don’t know all the etiquette, and take numbers that a qualifier could have. But seriously, running is for everyone, don’t be a dick. But I digress…
Why did I choose this half marathon? First off, I’m running with Team Challenge helping to fight Crohn’s and Colitis – both diseases are horrible, so any little bit I can do to help is great. Secondly, the race is in Napa and there is wine at the finish line. WINE AT THE FINISH LINE. The finish line is at Cuvaison Carneros Winery, which is a sustainable estate that produces distinctive chardonnays and pinot noirs and now I’m drooling. I plan on soaking up all Napa has to offer while I’m there and squeeze that half marathon in between tastings. In fact, I plan on having my post race meal delivered to the amazing tasting room.
Back to reality… I finished up my lap in a little under an hour. Let’s hear it for a 14 minute mile! Next Saturday it’s 6 miles, so I better get my butt in gear with the weekday runs, binge watching will be postponed to the next rainy day. I’ve got a ways to go in this journey, but it’s always the first step that is the hardest. And friends, nothing feels better than keeping a promise to yourself.
Recovering lobbyist and wanna-be sommelier, Michele Patsos believes that most great memories are made at the kitchen table – or bellied up to at the bar with loved ones. This avid home cook found her love of food at an early age, pulling weeds in her family’s garden and watching her grandparents while they canned, pickled and baked bread from scratch. While not eating or looking up recipes, the wife of Siena College head coach Jimmy Patsos can usually be found crazily cheering from the stands at every basketball game, where he passionately commands the court. She also enjoys running in the woods, especially in the fall and winter and owns an extensive collection of wine corks that she hopes will someday be a part of an important art installation. Her shellfish allergy bums her out and she finds picky eaters really irritating. And she firmly believes no meal will ever surpass her mother’s pho.
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