Medals 15-19

Hmm. I guess my medal a day for all of March didn’t work out so well, but I still want to share the rest of my medals with you, so I’ll do a few a day for the next few days.

Tasty Tiger Trot 5K, Dothan, AL, July 2013, 2nd place F35-39


This was a small local race to support a local high school cross country team. I’m all about supporting local sports teams, so despite the heat and humidity (end of July in Alabama, anyone?), I headed out to run. I was pleasantly surprised at placing 2nd in my age group, so that was a nice bonus!

Talladega 21000 (half marathon), Talladega, AL, September 2013


Year number 2 running this! Half marathon #10. I was suffering from what I thought was knee pain leading up to this race, and my doc gave me the ok to double up on the pain meds I was taking so I could get through the race. I was actually on pace for a PR until about mile 11 when the pain hit full force. I managed to finish and went back to the doc on Monday after. She sent me for x-rays and an MRI and it turned out that I had a stress fracture in my upper tibia. AACK!!! 7 1/2 weeks of no running after this, but at least I could cross train to my hearts content, so I got a LOT of bike riding and swimming in during that time.

Boll Weevil 100 Bike Ride (25 mile finisher), Enterprise, AL, May 2014


I was a lot more prepared for this bike ride than I was for the El Tour de Tuscon in 2010. I had actually done two 25 mile rides prior to this – a stand-alone ride and my Olympic triathlon, so I felt very comfortable with the distance. I’m awed by those that completed both the metric century (62 miles) and century (100 miles) rides. Someday. . .

Marauder Mud Run, Enterprise, AL, May 2014


I ran this mud run with several of my coworkers and a wife. There were 6 of us and we ended up breaking into 2 groups of 3. I wanted to stay with my Soldier and his wife since this was their first time doing an obstacle course run of any kind. The first half was a lot of fun – lots of mud and fun obstacles. The second half had a LOT of running and no obstacles. And the course was about 2 miles longer than advertised, so it made for a really tough day (especially after having marched a parade that morning). We were all glad to be done and be able to go get some food.

Army Strong Triathlon (sprint), Fort Rucker, AL, June 2014, 3rd place F35-39


This was my second year running this, so I knew that it was a murky/seaweed-y swim with a hilly bike and run. It was also HOT – 72 degrees at race start and it was almost 80 by the time I finished. But due to better training, I was able to better my times in all 3 events and both transitions from the year previous. I also secured a 3rd place finish in my age group, and that was a nice surprise! The preliminary results were showing me in 4th. Again. I was pretty excited when they called my name for 3rd!

Come back tomorrow to see 4 more of my medals!

#MedalADay – Day 14

Here’s today’s medal. . .

Day 14 – Country Music Marathon, Nashville, TN, May 2013


Marathon #4. I set a huge new PR at this race, taking my 6:24 down to 5:06:24. It was an awesome hilly but rainy race. It rained for the first 4 hours and I figured I was already soaked, so I might as well have some fun! I splashed through puddles, “flew” like an airplane around corners, and generally just acted like a kid. This PR still stands, but WILL be going down in my fall marathon this year.

#MedalADay – Days 11-13

Hi again! Here are another 3 days of my medals!

Day 11 – Talladega Half Marathon, Talladega Super Speedway, AL, September 2012
Half marathon #8 and my first race in Alabama. It was really fun running ON a NASCAR race track! Part of the race was around the parking area, but the majority of the race was on the track itself, around the grand stands, and across the infield! Post race party was in the garage area!

Day 12 – Black History Month 5K, Fort Rucker, AL, February 2013, 3rd in F35-39 age group
This was a new 5K PR for me and I placed 3rd in my age group so it was a doubly good race! This PR would only last for 2 1/2 months, however; my current 5K PR (26:13) was set at a race I placed 4th in my age group and don’t have a medal from.

Day 13 – SACF Half Marathon, Dothan, AL, February 2013

Half marathon #8 came just a week after my 5K PR and this race ended up being a new PR as well! It was an accidental PR on a super hilly course – I had just planned this to be a training ruin with support and a medal for my upcoming marathon. But by mile 10 I had figured out that if I maintained my current pace, I would PR. Once that thought is in a runner’s mind, it’s pretty much going to happen. My time was 2:14:03.

Check back soon for more medals!

#MedalADay Days 8-10

Hi again, everyone! I’ve missed a few days with my move to Missouri (more on that soon), so I’ll give you 3 days here. Enjoy!

Day 8 – Ragnar Del Sol, Wickenburg to Tempe, AZ, February 2011


OK, so this should have been #7 and Warrior Dash should have been #8,but oh well! This was my first relay and was an amazing experience! My best friend Kristin was the only other person I knew on the 12 person team, although we became great friends with the others the few weeks before the race and during the race! I ran 3 legs over the course of 200 miles. My legs totaled about 15 or so miles. The only downside was that I had a sinus infection and was feeling pretty miserable most of the time. Of course, my meds helped me get more sleep than the rest of the team, so there was that. Oh, and I was about 10 or 11 weeks pregnant at the time and we hadn’t officially announced our  pregnancy to anyone including family yet, so my Ragnar team was among the first to know! (Sorry mom and dad)

Day 9 – Rock n Roll Arizona Half Marathon, Phoenix, AZ, January 2012


This was my first post-Thomas half marathon – he was not quite 4 months old! I ran as a member of Team in Training and the support from the coaches and other Team members along the way was awesome! Finished in 2:33:08, only 9 minutes shy of my PR at the time.

Day 10 – Valley of Gold Half Marathon, Tucson, AZ, March 2012


Thomas was 6 months old for this one. It was a very hilly course, but I had a great time and I enjoyed the beautiful views in Tucson. Like always on hills, I passed a lot of people during the climbs!

Be sure and come back tomorrow to see what’s next!

#MedalADay – Day 7

Day 7 – Warrior Dash, Arizona, April 2010


Ryan did this race with me! I was also 4 months pregnant with Thomas. It was a lot of fun, especially running it with Ryan. I got some looks with my prego belly, but I had cleared it through my midwife and I took it easy and was careful with the obstacles.

#MedalADay – Days 1-6

Since I had to pack up all my medals for our move, I thought that I’d showcase one each day through the month of March. In typical Lani fashion, I’ve already managed to get to the 6th of the month without a post, so you’ll get 6 days off the bat.

Day 1 – Incheon Half Marathon, Incheon, South Korea, April or May of 2003


My first half marathon. Training for this was interesting since I lived on a base that was only about 4-5 miles around the perimeter. I ran the perimeter a lot, and I also spent a lot of time on the treadmill in the gym. My First Sergeant ran most of the race with me, but left me around mile 10 or 11. I finished in about 2:25 – not bad for a first half.

Day 2 – New York City Marathon, November 2007


My first marathon! Yes, there really was 4 1/2 years between my first 2 major races. Running NYC was an amazing experience, and I had the added fun of running as a member of Fred’s Team. However, the excitement of the BIG race atmosphere got a hold of me and my anticipated 5 1/2 hour finish ended up being 6:35. I got too caught up in the excitement and forgot about my planned walk breaks until an hour and a half in and it made for a very long day.

Day 3 – Oshkosh Half Marathon, Oshkosh, WI, April 2008
This was an interesting race. My parents and brother came with along with my husband and son (just had 1 at the time) to watch and cheer me on. We had figured out several places along the course where they could see me, but the weather had other plans. It was around 32 degrees and was precipitating – a combination of snow, sleet and rain, or as I call it, precipi-yuck. The family stayed in the vehicle the whole time, although my husband did venture out with our son to a nearby fire station to see the fire trucks. On a positive note, although chilly, it was nice weather for the kids’ race the day prior and my Big Kid ran his first race there!

Day 4 – Veteran’s Day 5K, Sierra Vista, AZ, November 2009, 3rd place F30-34
There was a race on post the same day as this one and that race would have been free, but I chose to pay to run the one in town because it was closer and started an hour earlier which fit into my schedule better. I ran a decent race and was surprised to find out that I had placed 3rd in my age group!

Day 5 – Rock n Roll Arizona Marathon, Phoenix, AZ, January 2010

Marathon #2. I didn’t really train well for this – my longest run was a whopping 13 miles 2 weeks before the race. But I finished and with a new PR – 6:25. The best part about this race was finally getting to meet my friend Sara in person! Her training had gone really well and we decided to not run together as originally planned. I’m thankful for that decision as she qualified for Boston during this race!

Day 6 – El Tour de Tucson, 40 mile bike, Tucson, AZ, November 2010
My first bike race, and the farthest I’ve ever ridden. Rode with my best friend, Kristin. We had an interesting and challenging 40 miles – I had a flat not even 2 miles in and at about mile 17 or 18 one of her pedals decided to disconnect itself from the bike. With course support help, we were able to get it fixed enough that we could finish.

Check back tomorrow to see which race is next!

Fun Friday Survey!

mustache-1024x1024Lots of my blogging friends have been doing this survey this week, so I thought it would be fun to play along. I’ve not been tagged by anyone, but I’m still going to go along with the fun!

Four names that people call me, other than my real name:

  • Mommy – definitely my favorite!!
  • Honey – what my hubby calls me
  • Sergeant – my name at work (I’m a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army)
  • Kiddo – what my Mom calls me sometimes

Four jobs I have had:

  • Fast food – Hardee’s, KFC and Arby’s
  • Babysitter – hard to believe that many of the kids I used to babysit now have kids of their own!
  • Waitress – Cracker Barrel and O’Charley’s (but not at the same time)
  • Soldier-Musician

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

  • The Little Mermaid
  • The Sound of Music
  • Aladdin
  • Titanic

Four books I’d recommend:

  • Marathon Woman
  • Total Money Makeover
  • The Kite Runner
  • Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother

Four places I have lived:

  • Gwinn, MI
  • Carthage, NY
  • Sierra Vista, AZ
  • Fort Rucker, AL

Four places I have been:

  • Australia
  • South Korea (lived there for a year)
  • Afghanistan (lived there for 6 months)
  • Iraq (lived there for a year)

Four places I’d rather be right now:

  • Sleeping in my nice cozy bed
  • At home in MI playing in the snow
  • Out running with friends
  • In Las Vegas (Rock n Roll Vegas is this weekend and I’d love to be running The Strip!)

Four things I don’t eat:

  • Liver
  • Anchovies
  • Mango – I love most fruit, but mangoes are just eeeww.
  • Poptarts – used to love them, but nowt that I’ve been eating healthier, I can’t stomach them anymore

Four of my favorite foods:

  • Spaghetti
  • Pizza
  • Ice Cream
  • Fruit

Four TV shows that I watch:

  • The Biggest Loser
  • Survivor
  • The Amazing Race
  • Jake and the Neverland Pirates (one of my 3 year old’s favorite shows!)

Four things I am looking forward to this next year:

  • Going home to MI for Christmas
  • Completing the Dopey Challenge and adding 6 (SIX!!!) more medals to my collection
  • Moving to Missouri
  • My 10 year old crossing over from Cub Scouts into Boy Scouts

Four things I’m always saying:

  • Smile! It’s almost Friday!
  • Everything always works out.
  • Please put your toys away (to the 3 year old)
  • Is your homework done (to the 10 year old)

Four People I Tag:

I’m not going to tag specific people because I really have no clue who reads my blog, but if you do read my blog and want to play along, please do so!!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Marine Corps Marathon Recap

Ok, so the Marine Corps Marathon was now almost 2 1/2 weeks ago and this race recap is definitely long overdue, but I’ve still been processing the day and trying to figure out what went wrong. I still don’t have answers and I probably never will, but I’m ok with that, so without further ado, here are my thoughts on the Marine Corps Marathon. . .

We arrived in Washington, D.C., on Friday afternoon and took the Metro from the airport to our hotel. We got checked in and decided to head to the Expo that evening instead of having to rush Saturday morning. It was super fast getting through packet and shirt pick up and then we headed to check out all the vendors. It was fun seeing everything, and stopping to chat at a few booths. Ryan stopped to talk to some people that provide PTSD dogs and got some info from them. I stopped and chatted at the Nuun booth and got to meet one of my fellow Nuun ambassadors. Then I met my fellow Generation UCAN Ambassador Gary who was working at The Stick booth. It was nice meeting him in person finally and chatting with him for a little bit. And then I finally got to meet Varun, one of the head guys at GenUCAN!! He hooked me up with a few samples of UCAN’s new hydration/electrolyte mix and even gave Ryan a shaker bottle. It was really nice meeting him finally after being an ambassador for the company for a year and a half now (and yes, I’m still am ambassador for them). I’m sad that I didn’t get any pictures at the expo, especially of my Nuun peeps, Gary, and Varun, but my phone was dead.

So we finished up at the expo just as they were closing and headed back to our hotel. Thankfully there was a Subway right as we got off the Metro, so we grabbed dinner on our way. We also stopped at a Giant grocery store (the name was Giant, but it also reflected the size) and got a few things for the room.

Saturday morning I did my 2 mile shakeout run on the hotel treadmill and then we headed down to the restaurant at the hotel for breakfast before heading to the Pentagon for the Kids’ Mile races. Robert was in the last heat and we got there in plenty of time (unlike some other families). He ended up lining up near the back, but finished near the middle of the pack! I got some pictures from that, but I’ll save them for another blog post. After chilling in the hotel room for a while, we headed out again to go to the Team RWB pasta dinner, sponsored by the DC chapter of RWB. We kind of went the wrong way when we got off the Metro, despite having a map and directions, and we ended up walking well over a mile more than we needed to and through a rather sketchy part of town, but we eventually found the place and had a great dinner of all kinds of pasta and pizza. We figured out the right way to get back to the Metro and it turned out to only be maybe a half mile walk. Oops! After we got back to the hotel, I laid out all my gear and took my “Flat Lani” picture (yes, I really used just about all of that pictured) and then we headed to the hotel pool for a little while. And then it was time for bed.


My alarm went off at 4:30 and I headed to the bathroom to get ready – that’s my usual getting ready spot so as to not wake up the guys. I had my English muffin with peanut butter, mixed up my UCAN (2 packets for before and 2 packets mixed into a gel put into 3 gel pouches for during), and got ready to go. I dropped my Nuun tablets (all 4 of them!) into my hydration pack, double checked to make sure I had everything and headed out. I stopped at the ice machine to fill the hydration pack and then the bathroom in the lobby for water and then headed to the Metro. Holy crowded!! And it was even worse when we got to the Pentagon stop and EVERYONE was trying to get out. Metro rides really should be free on race mornings and then we wouldn’t have to worry about the turnstiles. I ended up missing the Team RWB group photo because of the backup at the metro, the long walk to the start area, and security getting into the start area. I basically had time to check my bag, hit the port-a-potty, grab a selfie and head to the start.


While walking to the start, I was able to grab a picture of the skydivers bringing in the American flag (a 7800 square foot one!!!). This was actually a tandem and one of the skydivers was Medal of Honor recipient Kyle Carpenter (not only did he jump in with the flag, but he went on to run the marathon and finished in 5 hours and 12 minutes!).


They also had some Marine Corps Ospreys fly over during the start, so I grabbed a quick picture of them before I shut my phone off to save the battery for after the race.


The first 5 miles were a lot hillier than I expected. I had looked at the course profile, but the elevations didn’t register. The Army 10 Miler is pretty flat, and I was kind of basing my expectations off that. Bad idea. At least it prevented a too-fast start. For what it was worth. . .  I felt pretty good for the first half of the race and was on pace for a PR. And then the wheels fell off. Hitting a wall at mile 13 of a marathon?? Huh?? What kept me going was knowing that I would see my guys along the Mall. There was a long stretch (a couple of miles maybe? Everything kind of ran together for most of the race.) where there was a motivational sign every few feet. It was fun reading all of them. And then we got to the Mall and there were my guys – on the side opposite where I expected them. That was a wonderful surprise seeing them there! I got some hugs and some encouragement from them and headed toward the Capitol building and around to the Carousel side of the Mall where I knew I’d see my guys again. I passed off my empty gel pouches to them, got more hugs and encouragement and headed off again. I already knew at that point (maybe mile 17 or 18?) that a PR wasn’t going to happen, but I was bound and determined to finish no matter what. I was reduced to walking lots and lots at at time – some of my splits were in the 19 minute per mile range. I did, however, “Beat the Bridge” and finally got a second wind about mile 25.5 or so and I was able to finish strong (at least strong compared to what I had been doing). The final hill to Iwo Jima was a lot steeper than I expected, but I charged right up that hill and crossed the finish line!

Here’s a picture that I had another finisher take with my phone while I was waiting in line for the official photos.


Here’s my official finisher’s photo (I bought all my pics in digital version, so they’re mine to use as I like).


The Iwo Jima Monument actually does have a flag on it. 🙂


Here’s my Garmin time – official time was 5:50:49. And yes, it was 26.7 miles – the extra half mile came from not being able to run the tangents and weaving around people. It’s all good. Despite it being over an hour slower than my goal time of 4:30-4:40, it was still my 2nd fastest marathon. There’s always next time for a PR. It just wasn’t my day. Here are my splits:

Miles 1-5 – 11:07, 11:09, 10:41, 10:25 (huge downhill), 10:53
Miles 6-10 – 10:47, 11:10, 11:03, 10:59, 11:01
Miles 11-15 – 11:21, 11:06, 11:26, 12:17, 12:11
Miles 16-20 – 13:11, 13:05, 14:05, 13:58, 16:25
Miles 21-26.2(7) – 15:51, 18:10, 18:51, 15:10 (got a small second wind), 19:49, 14:36, 11:08 for the last .7 (at least I finished strong!)


After the race, I got my medal from a Marine and my goodie box with food (nothing much I wanted to eat in there) and a bottle of water. I stopped and sat on a pile of pallets with a fellow Team RWB Eagle – he actually helped me sit down because I was about to fall down. After sitting for a while, I felt better and went off to find my guys. They were easy to find with their RWB shirts on, and we walked through the rest of the finishers area together. I got my “jacket” – a paper-ish/cloth-y zip up jacket with a hood. It was actually pretty nice and definitely helped keep me warm after! We finally found the baggage trucks and got my bag and headed to the Metro to head back to the hotel. It was a long wait, but a well-maintained line to get there. Once back to the hotel, I took the boys to the pool for a bit. They played and I sat on the steps with my legs in the cool water. I would have loved to have taken a cool and/or epsom salt bath, but our bathtub drain stopper wasn’t working. The pool worked. After about 1/2 hour or so, we headed back to the room. I grabbed a nice warm shower, put my compression sleeves back on (clean ones, though), and we headed out to go to the Silver Diner for dinner. We had heard a lot of good stuff about them and they were one of the race sponsors, so we figured we’d check it out. It was about a half hour Metro ride, but I managed to keep my feet up while we were on the train.


We finally arrived at the right Metro stop and after a short walk, we were there! It was a very short wait for a table and it was definitely worth the Metro ride and wait for a table! I ordered a burger with mushrooms and Swiss on it, fries, and a local craft beer!! It was all delicious.


After we ate, we made our way back to our hotel and headed to bed. I definitely slept good!! I’ll leave you with a picture of me wearing my shirt and my medal.

Selfie of shirt and medal

Talladega Half Marathon Recap

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!


From Sneakers to Sundresses

Yesterday morning I got up early and into my Team RWB Shirt and patriotic running skirt, got Thomas up and dressed and brought him to my friend C’s (Ryan & Robert were at Scout camp this weekend). Then I headed to the gym on post for the Fort Rucker Ten Mile Run Off and Team Relay. I had a lot of fun chatting with my fellow runner friends before the race for a little bit, and then we were off on a hilly 10 miles! There’s a mile-long downhill around mile 3, but since it’s an out and back course, that means there’s a mile-long climb (about 115 feet elevation change) at mile 7. It was a beautiful morning for a race – and decent temps instead of the usual insane heat we have this time of year. My original goal was a 10:30 pace, but when I hit 5 miles in less than 50 minutes, I figured I’d shoot for a sub-10 pace. I killed the uphill climb and finished out the last 3 miles. With a 1/4 mile to go, I started my final kick to get in under 1:40. My watch beeped at 10 miles and the finish line was still off in the distance. Ugh! Race was a 1/10 of a mile long. Ok, so you non-runners are like Big deal. But when you’ve already run 10 miles, especially with that big hill and you start your kick when you need to, you’re done at the distance and the extra seems like forever. I did finish with a 9:56 pace and my time was 1:40:05 – so for all practical purposes, I ran a sub-1:40 10 mile. LOL!! It was still about 2 minutes slower than last year on this course, but last year I had been training for a marathon (which was the week prior) so I was in a little better running shape. Here’s a pic of me heading to the big downhill at mile 3:

Fort Rucker Ten Miler 3 May 14 Crop

After the race was over, I hung around and chatted with my friends and stayed for the awards. They don’t do age groups for this race – just the top 12 males and females. I was like 18th or so, but I’m ok with that. I was pretty much just using it as a long run. Once everything I was over, I headed home to eat and shower and relax for a little bit before getting dressed and headed back out.

I had been invited to a bridal shower for my friend S and it was a Kentucky Derby-themed one, and the invitation said the attire was sundresses and fancy hats. I had to borrow a hat from my friend K at church. It was a lot of fun getting dressed up and hanging out with other ladies (some of whom had also run the 10 miles in the morning) and showering S with jewelry (that was her request in lieu of gifts). She’s going to be making a jewelry bouquet for her wedding and she wanted to have little pieces of all her friends! We played some fun games and ate some delicious food. The hostess had punch and mojitos in small mason jars, so they were all pre-portioned. Really neat idea! They also had mint juleps, but I didn’t have any of those. I did have a jar of punch and 2 mojitos. Here’s a picture of me in my finery!


After the bridal shower was done, I headed back to C’s house to pick Thomas up. He had had a lot of fun with little E, C’s daughter who is 6 months older than Thomas is. They played and ate and took a nap and when I got there, they were out back in E’s little pool. After I got changed, we headed to the Children’s Festival in a local park and got to go on some bouncies and sit in a firetruck and play on the playground for a while. It was a fun way to end the day.