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!


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#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!


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