Last Sunday, 14 September, I ran the Talladega Half Marathon for the 3rd time. It was my 11th half marathon overall. I really enjoy this race – can’t beat running ON a NASCAR track! There was also a 5K which Robert ran in 33 minutes and a 1K that Ryan and Thomas walked. Fun for everyone!
This was my first race as a coached athlete and I was looking forward to it. I had only had 5 weeks with my Coach (Scott Fishman of Team All American) and I was excited, but nervous. Coach Scott and I had been texting about some time/pace goals and I was very confident that I could achieve them. And then he called me Saturday night before the race and told me he had been looking at my training and had been crunching some numbers and gave me new goals. Scary goals. Goals that didn’t include my 1 minute walk break every 9 minutes. Honestly, I thought he was crazy, but I also know that he’s had much success with LOTS of athletes in the past so I decided to trust him. After taking a picture of “Flat Lani” (I later decided against wearing my calf sleeves and I wore a lighter-weight skirt), I went to bed visualizing my finish.
Race morning came early, and the whole family was up by 5:30 to get ready, finish packing up, load up the car, grab a quick breakfast, and check out of our hotel. It was about a 15 minute drive to the Talladega Super Speedway and it was a very easy drive. Even getting into the infield was really easy and we arrived in plenty of time to park, use the port-a-potties, and get ready for the half marathon start (the 5K started 15 minutes after the half). I drank my Generation UCAN – 2 packets in 8 ounces of water, did a short warm up, and headed to the start area. I had just enough time for a pre-race selfie, and then we were off!
I started off at my nice easy pace and just continued to hold that pace throughout. It was a little hard to not walk when my watch beeped for my usual walk breaks, but I got over it and just took sips of water (with Nuun Hydration) every 10 minutes instead of walking. I was able to maintain a pretty steady pace until 11-12 and then my wheels started to fall off. I still finished with a new 2 minute PR and I’m really happy about that!! It was an awesome race and I’m glad that I trusted my coach and trusted my training and believed in myself! My splits were Miles 1-5 – 9:58, 10:03, 9:59, 9:57, 9:54, Miles 6-10 – 9:51, 10:31 (probably not that slow – last half was under the grandstand), 9:48 (probably not that fast – first half was under the grandstand), 9:56, 9:53, Miles 11-13.1 – 10:06, 10:10, 10:22, 9:32 pace for the last bit.
My unofficial-official results. . .
Here’s a picture of the 6 of us from the Fort Rucker Team RWB Chapter – 2 half marathoners, 2 5Ks, and 2 1K!
And my swag – my awesome shirt and my medal!