Rose & Thorn [39]

2:06 PM

Napa is pretty magical...

Rose: Running my 2nd marathon!
Thorn: Running A marathon :/ a I'm poor, but still love wine kind of way. Napa is as gorgeous and as alluring as its wine soaked visitors become! However, everything here comes at an expense. It's no wonder trips here are few and far between, but each one leaves me wanting more!

Only working half days are basically my fave! You get a little work done, but then you head out before the dreadful, long afternoons. Especially Friday afternoons, they are the worst. You're so close to the weekend you can almost taste it, but those minutes before the clock strikes 5PM seem to move by exponentially slower than any other day!

J was even able to leave work earlier than expected, so we were on the road and out of Sac earlier than we expected. However, not before we packed - which took me a little longer than he would have appreciated. But, packing for a vacation and packing for a RACEcation are slightly different. If you forget something on vacay, no biggie, just go buy it. If you forget something for a race, you're basically screwed!

On the road and starving, we pulled over to Rubio's so I could get something to grub on since I was non-stop since leaving work! Then we were back on the road and in Napa, in record time. The good thing about leaving during the middle of the day is you miss all the awful traffic that the 80 is known for! We checked into our home for the weekend and then relaxed for a bit. I took a moment to get some Vitamin D and lay by the pool, but in all my clothes. The sun was out, but not warm enough to wear a bathing suit, the breeze was strong.

A little fire pit in front of the hotel!
We decided to take advantage of the RACEcation and go exploring for a bit, before our dinner reservation with my running friends. We made our way to Oxbow Public Market. This place is a jack-of-all-stuff! They have pretty much everything you could ever want to snack on, eat, or drink! It was really cool to check it out and try some of the stuff there.

Coconut & Choc/PB
CA flight vs International flight
After, we made our way closer to where dinner was and walked along the Napa Riverfront. Looked into renting bikes, peeked in the window of Morimoto Napa, and finally found our way into The Pear Southern Bistro, with five minutes to spare for their happy hour. So you know we ran in and ordered two glasses of house red and two appetizers. I knew J probably wouldn't like the dinner menu, so we got him so extra food! After we sauntered over to dinner at Angele, but not before we made a second stop at this touristy, over sized wooden chair. It just begs to be played on, even though they have a sign asking you not too!

The Pear Southern Bistro - Popcorn shrimp w/ creole aioli & a brie and pear quesadilla
A gorgeous evening with my Boo
The entrance into the parking lot of the restaurant.
Dinner was with the group I kinda ran with for training. They had made the reservations and last minute, J and I crashed the party. It was at the end of the Riverfront and was a cool vibe. A little pricey, but overall great taste. It being a Friday during lent, meant that I ordered something from the sea. So I had the scallops and their macaroni gratin (fancy way of saying mac n cheese). J had the most basic salad ever, and we both washed it down with adult beverages. I also ordered the most decadent dessert, coffee pot creme and a lavender donut!

Coffee Pot du Creme, Whipped Creme Fraiche, Lavender Glazed Donut
Besides getting to know everyone a little better, we basically talked about the marathon for the entire dinner. It was exciting and daunting, I think we all were in the same boat. We headed straight back to the hotel after dinner, since this is the night they recommend you get the most sleep, since the night before a race is usually hard to sleep.

Up at 6:30 as usual, but was able to find a way to stretch it to about 8:30. Although there was a free breakfast at the hotel, I always want to try new spots when I am out of town, so that's exactly what we did. From a suggestion from the bartender at the Oxbow, we made our way to Alexis Baking Company. Such a random set-up; you order at the counter, they tell you to chill until a seat opens up, they seat you, then start your order, then serve your food. All the staff are your waiters/waitresses as they all take turns walking around and checking-in on everyone. The food was great, a little overpriced as is everything in Napa.

Fell in love with this little art piece!
Waiting for our table w/ our coffee
Juevos Rancheros
Breakfast Burger
Then we were off to the Expo, I won't inundate you with redundancy, since that will be in the recap tomorrow! The Expo was at the Marriott Napa and was fairly small in size, since the race only accommodates 3,000 runners! After about an hour there, we headed back to the hotel so I could change real quick and then we were off to explore more of Napa again. We didn't have much time, since J had to drive back to Sac to attend his Grandpa's surprise birthday party that evening.

We decided to check out the Menage a Trios/Napa Cellars/Folie a Deux winery, since we love the Menage cheap wine from Costco. We shared a flight of each and people watched, as there were a few limo parties there. They don't taste the Menage, because that is their marketing label, re: cheap wine! I was finally able to cop a wine glass from there, supposedly they are pretty popular and sell out fast! 

Next, we made our way to Domaine Chandon for some bubbly. J didn't taste since he had a long drive, but I sure did. I loved that their tasting included the logo'd flute. I felt super under dressed here, this place is pretty fancy. It feels like a theater, with its two floors and fancy set-up. I enjoyed the lady who was serving us, she was super sweet and wanted to talk about the marathon. I don't generally love bubbly, but I'm getting better at liking it. I'd had their label before, but the ones I tasted were pretty delish.

Since we had a late brunch, a snack was in order, before J left. We rushed back over to the Oxbow to grab a snack to share, which ended up being a BLTA on gluten free bread. Again, tasted decent, but over priced. I also tried their apple fritter, but I want a truly fattening one, not a boughie fancy one!

Back at the hotel, having said bye to J, I took a nap. But it didn't last too long, as my friends from Sac were grabbing us dinner and picking me up shortly. So, I showered and then they were there. We all headed to their other friends spot, which was where Shell and I actually stayed when we did our Sister Napa Spa Weekend. It has a full kitchen, a living room, and the rooms for sleeping. It was fun to meet their friend and her mother, as well as hang out with them all, especially baby Malcolm. Three of us were running the race, so again, dinner talk was mostly centered around the race. Come to find out Amy, the girl who's place we crashed, is friends with some of the fellas from Midtown. We were on Malcolm's schedule and by 6:30ish he was ready to head home, so we all obliged.

Ganeeban - Steph - Amy // All running Napa Marathon
Filippi's Pizza Grotto - Chicken Parmigiana
Back at the hotel, my heart was racing and I was so nervous for the upcoming race. I knew it was going to be hard, due to my lack of training, but I didn't realize it would set in like this. I waited up until J got there around 9:30PM, since I couldn't sleep anyways. It was nice to just have him there to ease my worries and racing heart.

Relaxing with the Blind Side
Slumber came somewhat easily...

Alarm set for 5AM for race day. Again, tomorrow's post will recap the race.

So let's fast forward to 5:28 later and me crossing the finish line. Hot tears of disappointment streamed down my face as I saw my Mom, then my Dad, and talking with J. There were so many damn photogs at the end of the race and my eyes were all red and swollen from hot tears. I'll have the same sentiment for tomorrows post, so I'll stop with the pity party.

J went to get us all the car and then we ran to the hotel, so I could get a quick shower in before we got something to eat. I would have loved nothing more than to go checkout Morimoto, but that's way too expensive. So we went for my fave post race treat - burgers at Gott's Roadside, which is right next to the Oxbow. I'd seen it all weekend and was excited to try it out. The wait was long, but in the end we all left happy. Burgers, onion rings, and a coffee shake were the perfect post race to wallow in my sadness and caloric deficit!

Blue Cheeseburger & onion rings
The parentals dropped us off at our car and we were off on our journey back home. They were off to extend their trip for the night. I was pretty uncomfortable for the ride home, so I couldn't sleep, like I normally would. But we made it in great time, just in time before the cramping really started! Basically, I didn't get out of bed the rest of the afternoon/evening. J spoiled me, as he did all weekend, and picked up dinner and we ate it in bed (eek) and we watched a lot of random TV and worked our way through our DVR!

I had a lot of time to reflect and think about the race. I can't begin to tell you the amount of encouraging words that people have sent my way, especially since everyone knows how disappointed I was with my results. It's such a profound feeling to know so many people, who I don't talk to often or ever, went out of their way to congratulate me, say the kindest things ever, and to remind me to keep my head held high! As an athlete, I know the pressure I put on myself, so when I don't get what I'm working towards, I am the hardest on myself. However, there is something to be said when you put yourself out there, all the time, good or bad, and people respond in the most thoughtful, uplifting  and positive way! I don't feel like I deserve the messages that were sent, but I appreciate the hell out of them. They all made me smile from ear to ear, even though there was a dark could of disappointment over my head! All that being said, I have this strength of people that I didn't even know I had. 

So, maybe this won't be how I go out as a marathon-er...maybe...

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