My legs were tired, not sore, but my right quad was speaking. I felt parched from the dry air and complimentary wine hour. I was tired from the travels and late night out with new friends.
But I had planned to do a shakeout run. I knew my future self would have expected me to log a few miles to soak up all that Napa had to offer. I knew I needed to try.
So I looked at a map, spotted a park on Yelp and laced up my shoes.
I headed west on Redwood Road, a residential street on the south side of Napa. My stride was short and a bit labored but I took it slow and focused on the view. The homes were cute but not stately, and I wondered what it would be like to live there.
I turned north onto Dry Creek Road, as Alston Park, was my destination. Immediately, I was treated to stunning views. Vineyards lined the west side of the road and stately palm trees were on the east. Mountains rose in the distance and hot air balloons colored the sky.
A slight descent took me to the entrance of the park, and my stride opened up as I made my way. I turned in, just shy of 1.5 miles, so I decided to run a bit into the park so I could log 3 miles.
The park was a network of soft, dirt paths that wound next to the grape vines, through fields and near the Redwood Creek. My legs got a treat with a rather steep ascent from the parking lot to the path but I was more than rewarded at the top.
The hot air balloons came into the foreground, dwarfing the surrounding landscape. The grass in the meadows swayed with the breeze and a haze over the valley added an almost ethereal quality. A sense of joyful calm, which doesn't come often, came over me. I wanted to run there forever.
I cut myself off at four, though, trying to be safe and honor my body. But I spent every step grateful that I walked out the hotel door and indebted, again, to ZOOMA for the opportunity.
The week, in training:
Monday, June 23
Tuesday, June 24
RUN | 3.1 miles, 4 x 1 minute intervals
Time: 26:44 Pace: 8:38
Wednesday, June 15
CROSS TRAINING | Boot camp
RUN | 3.3 miles
Time: 30:03 Pace: 9:06
Thursday, June 26
RUN | 5.35 miles
Time: 51:11 Pace: 9:34
CROSS TRAINING | Ripped
Friday, June 20
Saturday, June 28
RUN | ZOOMA Half Marathon
Time: 2:03:00 Pace: 9:22
Sunday, June 29
Time: 39:47 Pace: 9:212
CROSS TRAINING | Walking tour of San Francisco, about 10 miles