Monday, September 29, 2014

Talladega 21000 Recap

I don't run well in the heat (more accurately the humidity)!  I. KNOW. THIS.  It is the reason I don't typically run half marathons in the summer.  But this year, I decided to do a few as I am on a mission to do 14 in '14.   And, I still believe that magically the running fairy will waive her wand [*poof*] and the heat & humidity will no longer bother me.  Still waiting running fairy...HA.

Looks like people in the stands.
I am not a NASCAR fan.  But something intrigued me about this race.  It had good reviews, so I thought -- why not?  I convinced a couple of running buddies to come with me as it's so much more fun that way!  Parking and packet pickup were a breeze.  It was cool, overcast and breezy.  Yeah!   It didn't stay that way.  Boo!

Gentlemen, start your engines!  We started right on the track.  The route took us on, above, beside, underneath and outside the track.  My favorite part was the lap we did underneath the grandstands.  On a sunny day, this would be the only shaded part.  We did leave the track for a few miles around the grounds and then returned through the main entrance.  There were lots of signs paying homage to the movie Talladega Nights.  {Shake 'N Bake}

Having run a half the weekend before, I could tell I was a little tired almost immediately.  I just did what I could.  It was mostly flat except a few very steep ramps where we changed levels.  There was also a hill or two on the outside portion.  Nothing major.  I was surprised at how long the track is...2 1/2 miles or something like that.  Holy Cow.  The steepness of the banked curves is unbelievable. 

The last few miles on the track were brutal as the sun was blazing and I was "done".  Just keep moving.  Surprisingly, I ended up doing fairly well for a summer race.  I was pleased to have come in 5th in my AG.  (Arrgghh, HoHo...couldn't you have pushed a little harder?  Why did you run that half last weekend?)

I really enjoyed this race.  There was a definite coolness factor of running on a NASCAR track.  It was very well organized.  We had plenty of fluid stops and several GU stops too.  At the after party, they had a BBQ feast, beer, ice cream and an amazing band.  See you next year 'Dega.

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