Well, me and 11 other women ran 200 miles.
Ready for a photo heavy post today? Great!
This weekend was anything but relaxing. After almost 6 months of planning, the Palmetto 200 finally happened!
I am happy to report that we all survived and were all smiles… most of the time.
A lot of the weekend is a big blur, when you’re up for 31 hours running, driving, and cheering others on, you lose track of time and events all roll in together.
But I do know this… I would do it all over again.
On Thursday afternoon, Team Blisters In The Sun, met for the first time at what would be the finish line for 200 mile relay, packed up our 2 travel cars, and headed to Columbia for the night.
Kalan and Katie… we later saw a sign on a car for Kenyan On Board. Not. Fare.
I can’t say enough about these 11 women… no one knew every single person, yet we all bonded very quickly and formed tight teams.
In Van 1 (order of which we ran):
- Amanda (RunToTheFinish)
Lora, Rebecca, Ashton, Amanda, Me, Chelsea
In Van 2:
- Jeanette (Co-Captain)
- Katie (PeaceLoveAndOats)
Kalan, Lily, Jeanette, Felicia, Katie, Amanda
After some team time of dinner and sign making we dozed off nice and early. I’m sure we each savored those hours of peaceful sleep knowing that they would be the last for quite awhile.
Race Time: On Your Mark… Set… GO
That’s our official “Palmetto200″ Gangster Sign
At 7:00 am, the entire team stood on the sidelines as we cheered our first runner, Chelsea, off.
It was Van 1’s turn to get down to business while Van 2 was able to shower, relax and eat some good breakfast before meeting up with us around lunch time.
I ran 6th in my van, and by the time it was my turn I had so much energy I was about to burst!
In fact, I had promised myself a nice and steady run for the 7.99 miles assigned to me… aiming to keep each of my miles around an 8 min/mile pace. Yet, each time I looked down at my watch it was between a 7:30 – 7:45 min/mile… that pace changed when I was greeted by the hill of death that never seemed to end.
At this point, I saw the hill and seriously asked WTH?
In fact, because we were in a hilly part of the state, many of Van 1’s first legs were extremely hilly and serious muscle burners. One of us had a short 2.6 miles, but it was all uphill. We were jealous of her short miles until we were having to will the car up, hearing the engine working to get up the road. I can only imagine how Lora’s legs felt!
Some how we all made it through the hills of death and passed off to Van 2… it was our turn to relax.
I ran into one of my boot campers, Cherie. When I’m 50 I want to be just like her!
Jeanette is a pro at this race (this was her 3rd 200), so she mentioned to me the idea of getting a hotel for a day at the mid-way point. Best decision ever. We all grabbed some lunch, headed to the hotel, showered and relaxed until it was time for Van 2 to finish up.
Kalan and Felicia
Love this picture of Katie!
Amanda, all smiles as usual!
This is when things go bad…
Rain Rain, Go Away
Rain had started to come down during Van 2’s legs and didn’t stop until midway through my 3rd leg. By the end of the race, it was announced that this was the wettest Palmetto 200 race to date. Awesome.
It would pour and then let up for a bit, then pour again. Every time we thought the rain was over, it would come back with vengeance.
Happy to be done and for the rain to let up for 5 minutes!
The rain on top of night time running, made everything a bit more difficult. The only blessing was that it wasn’t freezing.
But running down rainy back roads of South Carolina is anything but peaceful. Cars flying by, unseen pot holes full of water that went unnoticed until it was too late, and some crazy wildlife noises made us stay alert from start to finish.
My second leg was my longest… at 9.67 miles I was a bit nervous. Once that bracelet was passed to me though I realized something… I love night time running! There is something almost calming about not being able to see the course in front of you. It was so black that there was no option but to run.
This was also my best run, I was in awe and thankful of the event I was able to participate in!
Amazing. The miles flew by almost quickly…
Until mile 7.5ish (not sure because I decided to not use my GPS), it was around here when my stomach started to talk to me. I focused on my awesome playlist and kept going.
But when I stopped…
It was bad.
For the next 8 hours, I was in pain. At first I thought it must have been something I ate. But after talking to my teammates we concluded that my stomach issues had to be due to the fact that I had NEVER run 17 miles in one day before, and with them mostly under an 8.15 min/mile pace I may have stressed my body out.
For hours I sat crunched over and miserable. I had to give captain’s duties to Amanda and Chelsea while I rested and prayed to be able to run my last leg.
But my teammates kept going and rocked it out! Van 2 took over and we chilled out at a church that was nice enough to open it’s doors for us until it was time to load up and get back on the road.
And yes, rain was still coming down. Hard. But at least for our 3rd legs the sun would be coming up!
Each run went smoothly. We were all exhausted physically and mentally but able to keep our running legs moving. I was so impressed by the determination and passion that each runner on our team had. We worked hard to motivate each other (which is hard to do when all you want to do is sleep) and even made sure to honk at every runner we passed on the road (which is even harder).
When it was almost my turn, the team had already come up with a plan to handle my 6.48 miles. I was in tears thinking about having to burden these already tired ladies with my miles. After they had just celebrated being completely done.
I just couldn’t do it to them. Or to myself.
The Power Of Adrenaline
I took a second dose of Pepto, a few Tums, drank some water, tried to stomach a bagel and decided that I would give it a go.
The rain was pouring down at this point so at least I had that to take my mind off my health issues. I told my teammates, I would run a mile and see how I felt. If things got bad, I would switch off at that point.
Soaking wet but loving each moment!
I ran that mile, extremely slow but I actually felt great.
It’s amazing what a little rush of adrenaline can do to you.
My miles may have been slower than normal and I may have cramped more than normal… in fact, I had to stop at one point because my quads cramped so bad I had to do squats and high knees on the side of the road… but I kept on going.
I figured could replenish my electrolytes at the end.
Coconut water and compression socks!
It helped to know that Dan and Katie were volunteers and at the Exchange site I was ending at (totally by chance), motivation at it’s finest!
Once I got to the end of the leg, words can’t describe the feelings I had. Tired. Hurt. Relieved. Excited. Done. Our van was done. All we had left to do was to wait at the finish line for Van 2.
But first we stopped by EarthFare for a photo since it was on the way.
They were so nice to donate a ton of food to the team. We never went hungry and everyone kept saying how thankful they were. I’m blessed to have this awesome grocery store in my life and to be one of their Earthletes!
After the photo stop, we went to James Island County Park where the race ended.
200 Miles Down
Prior to this race the most miles I had ever run in a 24-hour time frame was the 15 I did last year for the Palmetto 70.
I ran a total of 24.14 miles… just 2.06 miles short of a full marathon. In fact, many of my team mates ended up running more miles than ever before. I was so proud and impressed.
Personally body can tell, it’s sore, tired and mad at me still. But I don’t care.
After the race, Amanda and I picked up dinner (at EarthFare), passed out 30 minutes into a movie (Frozen) and slept for a total of 11 hours.
It was amazing.
Even with the rain, the stomach issues, and the stress of being a captain I would do it all over again (though I have already announced I will not captain next year… that torch will be handed off).
I have to give some special shout outs real fast.
Attune Foods provided over 6 boxes of cereal/granola and all were GONE by the end!
Thank you Lindsay, we missed you but loved our team goodie bag and the constant support.
Thank you Dan and Katie for stepping up to being volunteers for the race, I know the rain zapped a lot of the fun out of it but I appreciate it more than words can say.
Thank you to my entire team… you all worked so hard, gave each mile of this course everything you had, and made the entire trip filled will memories I will cherish forever. Thank you.
Okay, back to normally scheduled post tomorrow!
Running 24 miles definitely doesn’t support my muscle building goals. For a split second Amanda had my wanting to do an actual marathon this fall but then we discussed my muscle goals and we agreed this was not the time for it. This week is all about rest and recovery. Then it’s back to hitting the kettlebell!