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Losing Our Half Marathon Virginity!

by Meg · 15 comments

For the entire year of 2012, Tony and I traveled the world without a plan. Beyond our airline tickets (that we bought a few weeks in advance of our desired travel dates) and the occasional hotel room booked out, we explored the globe not knowing what came next.



It was liberating and thrilling… But weirdly, once our 12 month RTW trip ended, we were in desperate need of exactly what we had ignored for so long…

A plan.

But what kind of plan?

Upon returning home, Tony and I realized that we were the same people returning from our trip than when we had left. We were the same people that weren’t ready to start a family. The same people that didn’t want to work in a corporate job. The same people that didn’t want to buy a home.

The same people who didn’t want to live conventionally.

So for our first longterm plan since our travels started, we decided to go small. In fact, a “half plan” sounded good to us…

And so in true “half plan” form, we signed up for a Half Marathon!

But not just any half marathon: Always being lead by our stomach (and our livers), we signed up for the Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon on October 26th in California…. And if there is anything that is going to motivate me to run 13+ miles, it is knowing that there is a wine tent at the end of that dark half marathon tunnel!

Healdsburg Wine Country 1/2 Marathon

As if the race could be anymore badass, it also is hosted in wine country on the weekend before Halloween and is therefore costume themed.

Immediately upon discovering this, Tony and I took the leap and registered for this fabulous run.

Next step:

Finding friends to embark on this running journey with us… After all, a Halloween themed wine run is fun as a couple, but with friends? 10x BETTER.

Luckily 8 of our friends immediately hopped on the bandwagon to join us:

  • My sis and bro-lo, Kat and Brian
  • My childhood bestie and her awesome husband, Martha and Jose
  • Italy wine buds Allie and Jim
  • Globe-trotting soulmate couple, Leah and Leanne

With 10 of us registered and ready to start a drinking team (with a running problem), the emails back and forth became legendary. The biggest email chain debate seemed to revolve around what costumes we would wear for the run. After passing around some funny, quirky, and downright disturbing ideas, we settled on teaming up as the Mario Kart clan for the run.

Mario kart

Our inspiration around Mario Kart stemmed from our groups mutual love (and previously heated battles) of Mario Kart. And not only will we be suiting up in Mario Kart attire for the race, but some MK Olympics may be in the works back at our Airbnb rental where we will all be crashing for the race weekend.

But enough about the shenanigans, Tony and I now need to get our running shoes on and start training!

With 78 days left to go until the race, we are already well into our half marathon training plan and enjoying every second of it. It helps that our regular trail runs near where we are housesitting in the Sierra Nevadas have this as a backdrop…

Sierra Nevadas

What I also love is that Brooks Running is partially sponsoring our training and recently mailed me a pair of their uber comfy and fun Adrenaline ASR 10 Running Shoes… and I am OBSESSED.

Brooks Running Shoes


Prior to receiving these shoes in the mail, I went to a sports store with Tony in Sacramento where we each tried on a plethora of running shoes.  Out of all the shoes I tried on, these were by far my favorite, so when Brooks offered to sponsor some of our training, I couldn’t resist!

I have always been a New Balance gal, but after one day in these light-as-a-feather running shoes, I have converted and may never go back. It is though I have upgraded from my reliable Toyota to the Rolls-Royce of sneakers. As soon as I tried them on, I felt the immediate difference from your average running shoe. The Adrenaline ASR is a versatile off-road running shoe with the lightness of  a high performance running shoe. To add to its awesomeness the ASR’s have “crash pad plus Omni Grooves” to keep them flexible on wobbly terrain… Yes, I am wearing the SUV of all shoes.

Brooks Running Shoes 2

During week one with my new running shoes, I think Tony got a little sick of me repeatedly shouting out mid-run that I felt like I was running in slippers!

As an added bonus, I am in love with their bright green coloring – And it just so happens that I am running the Headsburg Marathon as TOAD… These shoes will go perfectly with my cute Toadette outfit, don’t you think?

Super Blast Toad

The only thing I am worried about now is getting these pretty shoes all dirty on our trail runs!

With beautiful mountain scenery to train in, incredible Brooks Adrenaline ASR running shoes to run in, and the best team we could ask for, Tony and I are counting down the days till the Healdsburg Half Marathon. It’s gonna get WILD.

1/2 Marathon Training

How’s that for a plan?

Your Turn: Have you run/paticipated in any races – marathons, Tough Mudders, etc.? What was your experience? And what should Tony and I tackle next??? Please share below in the Comments section!

Thanks Brooks for partially sponsoring our training for the Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon. As always, our opinions are our own!


About Meg
Exhausted from traveling every week as a Business Management Consultant early in my career, I took a year off in 2012 to travel at my own pace. I am a high-energy girl that loves being active, eating food, drinking wine, and exploring the world with my partner-in-crime (and husband), Tony! I now reside in Portland, Oregon and continue to write about travel, food, wine, and the awesome adventures we have in the Pacific NW!

Mary Beth August 9, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Good for ya’ll!! I love your theme too. I was ALWAYS Toad :) Good choice!

Meg August 10, 2013 at 8:30 am

Toad is the best! Not sure how I am going to make the outfit comfy enough to run in for 13 miles, but LOTS of pictures will be taken regardless… Stay tuned!

Michael August 10, 2013 at 8:28 am

That’s awesome! I hate running but I want to do this.
Good luck!!

Meg August 10, 2013 at 8:29 am

Join us Mike! That would be so fun. With Leah and Leanne there, it would be a BA reunion…. #onetoomanysausages! :-)

Scott Intagliata August 10, 2013 at 9:16 am

Have run a marathon and four halfs, also lots of triathlons, including a half iron this summer (Racine WI). Doing three halfs in three weeks this fall. Good luck!

magz August 11, 2013 at 4:29 pm

LOVE the team costumes!! You’ll make a fab toad :) What’s Tony’s character??! (Princess?? hehehe)

Meg August 12, 2013 at 12:41 pm

haha he would make a GREAT princess! I think he is going to Mario of Luigi just so he has an excuse to grow a creepy mustache lol!

Barb August 12, 2013 at 3:08 am

I just bought a pair of Brooks DNAs and love them. You should check out upcoming races in the Hawaiian islands. There are different distance options and a walking option at each event. My friend Tamara and I did the 8-mile walk from Ha’ena to Hanalei Pier in June. The race started at sunrise and the scenery was spectacular! Your event in October sounds fun and what a great group of people you’ll have with you. Give Martha and Jose a big hug from me!

Meg August 12, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Hawaii is next on our list for fun runs to participate in – It sounds stunning! Thanks for commenting and so glad to hear you like their new Brooks!

Wade August 13, 2013 at 11:09 am

So awesome!! I’ve done 4 half marathons and a tough mudder…all really rewarding experiences! Still waiting to satisfy my full marathon ambitions though…it just seems a bit too torturous for the time being! Good luck with your training!!

Meg August 13, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Thanks for commenting Wade. I think a tough mudder would be SO fun! We did a muddy buddy in Miami back in 2011 and it was a great time.. Although much more tame. I would love to someday do a full marathon but the training seems like such a time suck!!

Caroline @ Traveling 9 to 5 August 15, 2013 at 10:42 am

Wish we could run along side – and Yes, I am jealous of your training location :)

Meg August 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm

We wish you and Josh could be there too Care – But there will always be more opportunities to run races and drink lots of vino with the Eddy Out group! 😉

Ivan Phillipsen February 24, 2014 at 7:43 pm

I just ran my first Half Marathon on Feb 16th. It was a wonderful experience! I’m proud to say I ran in Five Fingers.

I hope your race was fun!

Meg February 28, 2014 at 10:59 am

Awesome Ivan! Running 13+ miles in Five Fingers is insane! Major kudos to you :-)

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