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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 – Days 11-13

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

Day 11 – Talladega Half Marathon, Talladega Super Speedway, AL, September 2012
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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
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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
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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

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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 ourĀ  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

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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

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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 – 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

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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

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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!

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.

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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!

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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.

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My unofficial-official results. . .

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Here’s a picture of the 6 of us from the Fort Rucker Team RWB Chapter – 2 half marathoners, 2 5Ks, and 2 1K!

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And my swag – my awesome shirt and my medal!

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Talladega Half Marathon report

This past Sunday I ran the Talladega 21000 (Half Marathon) for the 2nd time (last year being the 1st). Race morning started with a 5 a.m. alarm and after I had gotten mostly ready, I woke the rest of the family. We all finished getting ready, packed up, and were checked out of the hotel and on our way to the Talladega Super Speedway by 6:15. It was only about a 20 minute drive to the track and we had no problem finding parking. I had my 2 packets of chocolate GenUCAN (mixed with 12 oz of water) and then hit the porta-potties. The line wasn't bad at all – maybe 10 minutes from getting in line to being done. And then it was time to say goodbye to my guys and head to the start line. I took a couple of quick pictures with my phone and then we were off!

Race Start Selfie before start

The race started just after turn 4 (it's a NASCAR track, so think like a race car driver) and then we ran down pit lane. My guys were waiting for me near the end of pit lane, and I handed my jacket off to them – I started with my jacket because it was only 55 degrees out and it felt chilly after not having anything below 70 for months. I had zipped my phone into my pocket of my jacket, so I didn't run with it.

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The race continued around the track and then near turn 3, we headed up on the outside access road around to turn 4 again where we exited and headed out on the roads for a few miles. We were still on track property, just running around the parking areas. Part of it was on a crushed gravel road and that was a nice change. Around mile 6.5, we had a short steep climb to the grandstands and we ran under the grandstand on the front stretch, continued around the track on the upper access road, and under the back grandstands. My Garmin went a little wonky under the grandstands, but it all averaged out in the end. After the back grandstand, we headed back onto the track via the tunnel that goes under the track!! It's a short steep downhill and then a short steep uphill, but oh so cool to run under the track! Then we ran on the infield access road back to just past the start/finish line for our final lap around the track – this time we went all the way around. And it was during these last couple of miles that my knee decided to remind me that it was hurting. Up until about mile 11.5, I was on pace for a new PR, but then my knee started hurting and I had to slow down and walk a little bit more.

I did manage to finish though, and with my 3rd best half marathon time! I finished in 2:17:34, which was 49/78 in my age group, 188/399 for females (yay for top 50%!!), and 503/813 overall. My mile splits were 10:29 (had to stop and retie my shoe), 10:18, 10:13, 10:18, 9:48, 9:58, 11:10 (end of 6/beginning of 7 was under the grandstand, so may not be accurate), 10:15, 10:15, 10:08, 10:46 (that's when my knee started hurting), 10:58, 12:04, and 9:10 pace for the last .1. I had no fuel during the race except for water at the water stops – yay for my 2 packs of UCAN before the race!! Other than my knee, I felt really good the whole race, and given my knee, I'm really happy with the results.

After getting my medal and some orange slices, I found my guys and we headed to Victory Lane for post-race photos. We got a family picture in Victory Lane and then headed to the garage area for the post race party. I guess I should mention at some point that it was post race for all of us! Ryan and the boys did the Talladega 1000 – a 1km fun run/walk. Yay for them!!!! Robert wants to do the 5K next year. On the way to the post-race party, Ryan stopped to talk with one of the track employees for a little bit, so I took a minute to take a selfie of me with my medal.

Selfie after

Jim n Nick's BBQ provided the food for post-race and it was really good – pulled pork or turkey sandwiches, chips, and coleslaw. After we ate, we let the boys go play in the kids' play area for a little while – they both had a lot of fun in the bounce house!! I think Thomas almost had too much fun because this happened about 10 minutes after we got in the car to head home:

Sleeping Thomas

It was a really fun race and a fun family weekend, and I hope that I'll be able to run this race again next year! It was also a good training run for the Marine Corps Marathon in October, and a good trial for my fueling!

I'll leave you with a shot of the race shirt and medal. . .

Race Shirt and Medal

Marathon Monday

Here's my recap of this past week's training. . .

Monday – On the schedule (OTS): 4
                What I did (WID): 4.1 – Yay for a great start for the week!!

Tuesday – OTS: Rest or XT (cross train)               
                 WID: Rest. Unplanned. I had wanted to do 30-Day Shred.

Wednesday – OTS: 6
                      WID: Nothing. I'm sure the extra sleep was necessary. Again. I really need to start getting these midweek long runs in.

Thursday – OTS: 3
                   WID:2.7 – I didn't get up in the morning (and it was pouring rain). I waited until afternoon, but I left work later than I had hoped to and did a quick run in the little time I had. As a bonus, it had stopped raining and the sun was out!

Friday – OTS: Rest or XT
              WID: Rest. This one was planned since I had a half marathon the next morning.

Saturday – OTS: 16               
                  WID: I ran the SACF Half Marathon here in Dothan. My plan was to use this as a 13 mile training run, but I ended up getting a new PR! I had a super relaxed run for the first 10 miles, and that was a real confidence booster! Read my complete RACE REPORT if you want.

Sunday – OTS: Rest or XT
               WID: Rest – planned, since I had the half yesterday. I was going to run an easy 2-3 miles depending on how I was feeling from the race, but my body told me it would rather have the rest.

Total miles for the week – Scheduled: 28, Actual: 19.9
Total miles run for this marathon training cycle so far – 90.1

Overall I'm really happy with how this week went. I was a little upset at myself for not getting my Wednesday run in again, but it all worked out with the accidental PR at the half marathon. Let's see if I can actually hit 26.2 miles next week!!