The Palmetto 200 Relay Race

Ok, I’m going to do my best to recap the Palmetto 200 Relay Race that I participated in this past weekend. It’s all a bit of a painful zombie-postapocalyptic blur, but I’ll do my best!

The Setup: I was part of a 10-person team whose job it was to get from Columbia, SC to Charleston, SC. We started at 7am on Friday morning, and finished up at around 2:30pm on Sunday. The race is divided into different legs, and the only real rule was that no runner could run consecutive legs. The 10 of us would run through the night, separated into 2 vans (I was in Van 1), and meet at the finish line.

How It Went: Our race started and our first runner had knee pain pretty soon after starting, which meant that we started shuffling around running responsibilities pretty early on. Eventually, it broke down that my runs turned out like this:

  • Run 1: 9.4 miles at 9:04am. This was my first run, and I wanted to make it a good one. I started out at a good clip, and was able to maintain a pretty consistent pace even though there were some hills involved. Unfortunately, around Mile 6, my van pulled up next to me and gave me the bad news that I’d missed a turn. I cussed loudly a lot, got in the van, and got driven back on course. I was especially mad because I was making good time! I was put back on the course roughly where I would have been if I hadn’t gotten lost, so I only really lost time that I had to sit in the van and get driven, but I was still pissed. Overall, 9 1/2 miles at just below my expected pace was a solid start.
  • Run 2: My 2nd ride was roughly as long, but considerably more difficult! It started at 9:41pm and I finished up the 9.68 miles in 1:17:50. It was definitely one of my strangest runs ever. It was dark, and I mean very dark. It was entirely on rural SC roads, with no street lights. It was spitting rain, not a downpour, but just enough to be seen in the light of my headlamp. At night, all runners have to wear reflective vests, headlamps, and blinking lights. So, this run was basically like this: Run-see a bobbing red light ahead-try to catch and pass bobbing red light-repeat. I managed to pass a few people, and got passed at the very end by a strong runner, so I was happy with the run, overall. The exchange point was a church…a very kind church! They were selling meals, which I didn’t try because I wouldn’t have time, and they let runners sleep in their chapel. People were just passed out on the floors and pews. I had enough time to rinse off with my hobo shower (a 64 oz. Gatorade bottle filled with water), blow up my sleeping pad, and catch an hour nap before we left to head out to the next exchange point.
  • Run 3: My 3rd run was around 7 1/2 miles at 5:29am, which took me about 1:05 to complete. You’ll notice a pattern here: my pace was slowing. I was giving the same effort, but my legs were definitely lacking speed as time went by!
  • Run 4: This one was a real struggle. It was drizzling, so I just ran in my shorts and shoes, with my bib number pinned to my shorts. I went out feeling all right, turned left and was cruising along…then realized I had no idea where I was. I was in the middle of a 4-way intersection and there were no signs. I was lost…again! I ran back out towards the main street, and saw a runner ahead of me, so I decided to follow him. Well, about a mile later a volunteer van stopped and told me that we were both running the wrong way. Apparently, some kind souls were pulling up directional signs! The van dropped us back onto the course, and we headed out. The other guy said that his time expectations were pretty much dashed and that we could finish together, which was awesome! I ended up really needing that. I was gassed by the last mile! Everything in me wanted to just slow down, but I also wanted to keep going with my race-buddy. I told myself to remember how much it was hurting, because that’s exactly what Ironman Chattanooga is going to feel like! I toughed through it and finished, but it was not easy! I finished with around an 8:40 pace, which I was happy with, considering the fact that my legs felt like concrete!
  • Our Results: My team, the Slack-A-Letes, finished the race in 31 hours and 34 minutes, 54th out of 78 teams. We averaged 9:26, which is pretty good, all things considered.
  • My Thoughts on a Relay Race: It felt good to be a strong team member, but I would’ve liked it more if other runners had been a little more prepared. It’s tough when an entire team’s performance hinges on the collective effort of 10 different people. You can have weak links, but you can’t have any break. I’d do one again, but I’d do a little more research first.

The Van 1 crew after the race

 

Pre-Race Injury Update

Earlier this week, I posted that I had hurt my right foot. After talking with my PT girlfriend, we figured that my problem is peroneal tendonitis, so I haven’t run since Tuesday, which is the longest break I’ve had from running in months. My best guess as to the cause is that I ran too long in my last pair of shoes, about 300 miles.

Other than taking a break from running, I also got a new pair of shoes. I went to my LRS and tried on a few different pairs, and settled on a pair of Brooks Ravenna 5′s. They’re super-comfortable, but not too soft and squishy. I also replaced the insoles with a new pair that give more arch support. I’ve been told I have high arches, so I figure some more support will do me good.

Lastly, today I bought some KT Tape and taped my leg, using instructions from this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnN2VVj9qmA

I really don’t know if it will make a difference, but it’s worth a shot. To help the tape stick, I also shaved my legs, which is a first for me!

Smooth as a baby’s butt…

So, now my legs are crazy smooth, which is a weird feeling, and I’ve got the tape on to add some support.

I’ve got my first triathlon tomorrow morning, the Columbia Downtown Triathlon, which should be fun. It’s short: 500m swim, 10 mile bike, 5 mile run. Fingers crossed the foot feels fine!

 

Running Injury…

I know, I know…

You mean I can’t run???

I had such a great run on Sunday, 13.1 miles in a little over 1:50, and I never even felt like I was working that hard. Monday came around, and everything still seemed all right. Then, sometime on Tuesday, I noticed that my right foot was hurting just under my outside ankle. I thought/hoped/assumed it would go away. So, I went for a run…

Self-infliction!

My foot was hurting, and it kept hurting. I ran 4 miles at a good clip and knew something wasn’t right. The rule I’ve always heard is that something is a problem when it still hurts when you’re done running. Well, my foot still hurt.

sigh

I went to eat dinner, came back, and talked to SuperWoman (my Amazing Physical Therapist Girlfriend) and, over the phone, she said I most likely have Peritoneal Tendonitis. So, no running for me! I have a Sprint Triathlon this Sunday, Columbia Downtown Triathlon, that I’m hoping I’ll be ready for. I swam tonight, and the foot didn’t bother me at all, so I’m hoping that some stretching, ice, and rest will take care of it!

All I can do is wait… :(