Sunday, May 10, 2009

Third Run's a Charm


Saturday, I completed the Santa Ynez Half Marathon with my girlfriends...and I beat my Nike Women's Run time by 10 minutes! Two hours and sixteen minutes were spent busting my butt, and basking in the beauty that is the Santa Ynez valley. We wound through vineyard-striped hillsides, quaint neighborhoods, and gorgeous farmland. There were crickets chirping and locals cheering, and a nice breeze to cool our damp, salty faces. It was really the best setting I could imagine for a race...aside from maybe Napa or Tuscany.


Although I was anxious to secure a good finish time, I couldn't resist stopping to capture some of the sights. These baby cows were too cute to not stop for.


And these flowers were just too pretty to ignore...


After we rocked our way across the finish line, we took advantage of the wine-tasting (which was extremely disorganized and may warrant an angry email...) in Solvang's park, then headed to lunch in Los Olivos, followed by a very cute tasting room in Santa Ynez called Artiste.


The shop offers a lovely array of blended wines, paired with works from local artists. All of their labels are replicas of paintings. The label above was actually painted with wine. I wanted to buy a print but couldn't justify the fat price tag. So instead, I drew a picture with crayons in one of the many journal/coloring books they offered. And I couldn't help but write a little poem as I swirled and sipped...


After Artiste, we hit one of my favorite spots in the area, Sunstone. They have pretty tasty whites and rosés, and I just love the grounds.


My night ended with an attempt to make a dent in this ginormous artichoke that I bought at the Ranch Market outside Solvang. I only got through about a quarter of it. That's okay, though, I accomplished enough yesterday...

16 comments:

Jane Moneypenny said...

Seriously, people like you amaze me. I hate running with every part of my being.

L said...

What a wonderful experience all around! Congratulations to you!

laura said...

ooohhhh...that loks like fun (except for the running part!!!)....congrats on your great time!!!

Wow, that was awkward said...

As a guy who maxes out at the five mile mark, I have never had much interest in half marathons. But I guess I didn't know they include cows, flowers, wine, poetry, and trendy food. If it weren't for the cows, this sounds like a romantic date.

Wow, that was awkward said...

In contrast, give me dancing cows, leis, kegs of beer, and poetry in the form of loud rocking music and lyrics, along with anything from the grill and I am in baby!

Amy Turpin said...

Congrats, Melissa - that is quite an accomplishment. In my current life state (2 kids - one only 2 months old) I only wish I could even attempt to run a half marathon, let alone enjoy some much needed wine tasting following it. I hope when I am in town I can meet you for a glass!!!

Big Sister said...

I think all of it sounds & looks heavenly, except for the running part. Got any of that artichoke left? I want some!

Alysha said...

Congratulations once again! And thanks for inviting me. It was perfect!

SoMi's Nilsa said...

What an awesome accomplishment! Makes me excited to begin training for my half marathon later this summer. Only mine won't end with an afternoon winding in and out of wineries. *That* sounds grand!

[erin] said...

Way to go, Melissa! I have fond workout memories of us in that tiny apt rec center- you with your dumbbells and me on the treadmill? My favorite parts of this post is your stopping to take pictures, and your poem because it makes me smile that your penmanship has not changed in 20 years. :)

geekhiker said...

I think Jane Moneypenny is my new best friend. :)

Were you affected by the fires at all?

Anonymous said...

Holy Giant Artichoke, Batman! I wouldn't even know how to begin to eat that thing. You got skillz!!

Anonymous said...

The artichoke comment was all mine (TCD)

Mel Heth said...

Jane - I used to hate it too! It's an acquired taste. A bad break-up can make anyone start running, I think.

L - Thanks! I'm telling ya, you need to come out here and do a race with me one of these days.

Laura - Whatever, triathlete... I think you and your hubby should do this race with me next year.

Wow TWA - Maybe you could run with one of those beer can helmets. And yes, the race was sort of like a romantic date...that ended with blisters and starvation.

Amy - I have a feeling you could do this even WITH two kids. You were always such a natural athlete.

Sister - I'm going to get you running soon. And yes, I still have about half of the artichoke left even though I've included it in 2 meals.

Alysha - I'm so glad you came! It was such a fun weekend!

Nilsa - You're gonna rock your race this summer! Keep us readers posted on your training - I love reading that stuff.

Erin - I think you were the first person I ever ran with! I remember going to a school track or something at night. And I believe we ran around UC Irvine too. :)

Geekhiker - I used to hate it. I think you would've liked this run. The course was just gorgeous. You just have to learn to pace yourself and you'd be fine.

Anonymous Coconut - You are a crack up. The artichoke has been quite an undertaking. It could've fed a family of 5 I think.

rachel said...

love it, girl! congrats.

Dingo said...

10 minutes?! Holy cow, woman! That's fantastic. But sorry, what sounds even more fantastic is if you make artichoke spinach cheese dip and send some to me.