The Palmetto 200

Third!!!! Our team took third place in our category for the Palmetto 200 relay race. I’m so stoked. There were 25 teams in our division. I’m so proud of all of our runners. But really our place isn’t what matters. Rather, what matters is that we all had an absolute blast. In fact we’re all very fortunate that South Carolina’s laws against having fun are so laxed, because if they weren’t, we would all be behind bars and probably facing the death penalty. Up until now, running had never really been a team sport to me. I was never athletic or even mildly active growing up so I never ran track and field, or participated in any other team sports. I never even ran my first 5k until 2007. But when I did eventually pick up running, I did it for myself. It was always a solitary thing. It was my time, and I enjoyed the solo nature of it, and this was so different and I loved every minute of it.

I’m all for anything that brings people together and at the same time promotes healthy active life styles. I now have 8 new friends who’ve given me memories that I’ll never forget. I hadn’t even met some of them until the morning of the race. Running really does have the power to connect and unite people.

Our team was really fortunate to have some great sponsors. Lael’s dental clinic Goedecke Family Dentistry, and Army Wives both made very generous donations.  We couldn’t have done this without them!

I shot a little video while we are out running around. Don’t expect Oscar worthy material from my Nikon Cool Pix. Click Below!

The whole experience was like a big mobile 30 1/2 hour party. Our team was divided into 2 vans with six and five runners. This way, we always had a “resting van” and an “active van”. Though to be honest none of us did much resting. Instead of one van leap frogging ahead several exchange points and resting up, we kinda just stayed together and hung out for most of the day. We were having too much fun to be concerned with resting.

We did manage to get a few hours of sleep towards the end of the first day. We were moving well ahead of pace the whole time. We actually beat the check in volunteers at my last exchange point of the day. After I knocked out that last leg our van drove ahead 6 exchange points to sneak in a little shut-eye and let the other half of our team stumble around in the dark for a bit. We ended up at some random middle school just east of the middle of nowhere. It was such a nice night that a few us decided to spread out on the lawn. I can shut off anywhere so I promptly passed out. I guess there was a bit of commotion while I was asleep. I guess there was some guy in a bronco doing donuts in the parking lot and apparently he lost control and hopped the curb and nearly killed us all. I was fast asleep the whole time.

I was actually really lucky with all of my legs. They were relatively short, and I avoided the mid day heat. That said, I tried to knock my sections out as fast as I could. I managed to keep about an 8:20 pace and even sneaked in a few sub 8 min miles. I felt pretty good the whole time, save for a nasty stitch that was with me throughout my entire last leg. I was on some random dirt road, and it got really foggy at one point and I almost ran right smack into this dude standing at the end of his drive way sipping on a brew. I’ve no idea what he was doing standing outside drinking a beer at 3:30 in the morning, but then again, I’m sure he was pondering what I was doing running down his road at 3:30 in the morning.

We met some great people along the way, including a team with just two people! It took us about 30 1/2 hours to finish. Unfortunately I didn’t get to stay for the after party. I had to zip up to Charlotte for a Union meeting, the outcome of which was not exactly on par with the outcome of the race. More on that in a later post I’m sure.

So what’s next? Well first, you may want to go ahead and lower yourself into a seated position. I’m hanging up my running shoes for a while. I’ve had a lot of difficulties over the past year and a half and I’ve been in hardcore training mode since November. I just feel like I need some time away. Over the next few months I’m going to be focusing on cycling, yoga, and overall strength and fitness. But I’m not going to do much running if any at all. I’m just not making the kind of progress I want. I think if I switch things up for a while and take a bit of a break, my body will be more receptive to running, I’ll actually end up making much faster progress. I’ll be back, rest assured, but for now, the shoes are going in the closet. I kind of have my eyes on a Marathon in September, which would mean ramping up the training in mid June or so (a lovely time to train), but I haven’t decided just yet.

Miles for Smiles


~ by glennikin on April 14, 2011.

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