The goals for this race were:
First and foremost to do the race for my husband and in awareness of prostate cancer.
To actually do it since my broken shoulder hindered me from hardly doing any running with late training.
To run as much as I could in keeping up with the run/walk program I had trained for.
Time is NOT an issue in this race.
And, to be satisfied with my results...period...as long as I finished uninjured and not in pain!
My friend, Deleica, and I went together. She had not had a good night's sleep the night before our 4 hour travel and I made it my job to keep her awake on our long drive there. Of course, she would say I talked too much...BUT...I didn't want to take a chance in veering off the road; I was really tired of talking but we made it fine. I had not had much rest either but I had a job to do, too.
We picked up our race packets before checking into the motel. The shirts are really cool looking AND V-neck...my favorite style. I love the bright lime green color with the black and white checkered flags on it. My number was 333 and thought this had to be a good sign. They also had these great buttons and I got one to wear in the race. Just perfect! There was a cool looking decal that I set on the upper left side of the shirt in order to get a pic of it. There were also lots of goodies in the bag.
I was now getting excited for about the race. I can't believe that I am actually going to be able to do this half marathon!! I asked my doctor a month and half ago about doing it [I had to sign up for it quite a while back] and he said, without blinking an eye or stuttering...a resounding "NO!" Weeeelll...after improvement with physical therapy, I thought I would ask my PT if it would be okay to run/walk it. He cautioned me by trying to run a little and see if I hurt any and that if I did to stop. Well little does he realize just what a runner is made of!!! I started out and did fine. Before I knew it, my intervals included .25 mile walk with .25 mile slow run. A couple of weeks before the race, I had increased my running interval to .50+ mile and my distance to 11 miles with no problems.
As we came up to the track we took a few pics. Excitement was building more and more. Here is the entrance...woo-hoo!
And, there it was...this huge track with amazing stands surrounding you. You felt like "somebody" on the "inside", ha!
Before the race they had a breakfast for cancer survivors as well as a devotion. They also had a special parking area for the survivors, too. The devotion was really good done by a local pastor. It was held at one of the car bays on Pit Row. So exciting!!
Here are a couple of pre-race photos. We could hardly stand up on the second lane from the bottom. The people you see had to crawl to get up to the upper position!!
http://www.besttimescct.com/results/Talladega13.txt . I finished 10th out of 19 in my age group. Success...again!!
I didn't know that there were so many aspects of racing or running. I found out that you can race with different motives and goals. I've always raced doing the best I can do...and that's not bad; just sometimes there are other reasons to pursue a good race. I worked hard to get to the point to actually be able to do a half marathon. I really didn't want to drop down to the 5k, if possible. Pushing through the training runs without causing more injury to my shoulder showed me that I can actually control and discipline myself to stay with a program that is better than just getting in fast miles. Next, I stuck with a commitment I had made months ago. And first and foremost, when you want to do something in honor or memory of someone else, you will find that you have something deep within you that you never knew you had to get you through what's important to you. I'm so thankful that I could HONOR my husband, Kent, and also, actually had a part in promoting awareness for prostate cancer. The Talladega Half Marathon and 5k was sponsored by the Urology Centers of Alabama, the very clinic that Kent went for treatment and surgery. They are amazing and excellent in their knowledge and care. Men, please take advantage of preventive testing...it saved his life and can save yours!
This race was probably the hardest race I've done with all the hills; but I can hardly wait until next year to do it again. It was not one of those discouraging ones but one that challenged me. I'm looking forward to actually racing the next one...of course, after lots of hill work and calf work preparing for it. Oh, by the way...MANY were having problems by the end of the race due to the hills we had encountered the last 5-6 miles. Even D said that she had to walk more than she expected at the end and she contracted cramps at about the same place I began to have mine.
I am trying to run a little farther in my runs since the race. It is slow but I'm going to get there. When you want to do something really bad, you will find that you will get out and
Run 4 It