Palmetto 200–Race Recap

Well hey there!

Yes, I am still alive! I had such a great time running the Palmetto 200 this weekend and I’m excited to share our experience with you all! Our race took about 31.5 hours, so I won’t be recapping every entertaining moment, but I’ll try to get through the gist of it.

I arrived in Charleston around lunchtime on Thursday and Taylor, our team captain, picked me up from the airport. We went to get team 1’s van (team 2, my team, just rode in an SUV), ate lunch, grabbed Amanda from the airport and then met up with everyone to drive to Columbia where the race started! That evening we just had time to grab dinner and make some signs before heading to bed!

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If you’re new to the relay race concept (ours was not a Ragnar but put together in a similar fashion), then here is how it works: 12 members of your team run 200 miles combined, from Columbia to Charleston. You have two vans, each with 6 runners and one runner is always on the road, supported by their van. While one van is completing their 6 legs, the other van is eating, showering, changing and attempting to get a couple hours of sleep (I totaled 3 hours the whole race). When one van is almost done, the other van meets up at the next runner exchange point, and they switch. Each runner has 3 legs total, all different distances. We were assigned our legs and total mileage based on what we told our captain we thought we’d be capable of running.

Our start time was 7:00am so we were all at the start line to support our first runner and start the race!

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Once she was off, those of us in Van 2 went back to the hotel to pack up, get ready and then we grabbed breakfast while waiting for our turn.

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I must note that we ate at a restaurant called Le Peep and then all had stomach problems and pains during our fist legs. Never again…

Around 1pm it was our turn! We cheered on Van 1 as they came in and then our first runner was off! For each runner we would meet them one or a few times (depending on the length of their run) on the side of the road to hand them water and cheer them on. Then we’d drive ahead to the next exchange point where runner 2 would be ready to take the slap bracelet (our version of a baton) and start running.

I was runner #4 in our van and had 3.84 miles for my first leg. It started raining about halfway through, but I loved this run because it was through the countryside and ended at a cute little white church. From my run on, it rained continuously until about 11:30 the next morning…

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My second leg (3.8ish miles) was at 2:00am somewhere near Monk’s Corner (north of Charleston). This was definitely the most interesting because after passing two runners I saw no one. I actually thought I was lost at one point! The ginormous puddles that I sloshed through didn’t help either – but at least now I know that running in a downpour (or in the middle of the night…) isn’t actually that bad!

My final leg was the next day in Old Mt Pleasant, 3.1 miles to the bottom of the Cooper River Bridge. This was by far the hardest because it was SO humid and my legs were just done. Luckily some of my friends from college were there to cheer me on while running this leg. It was a great distraction and I definitely appreciated them coming out to support me!

We followed our last two runners through downtown and then over into West Ashley and finally headed to James Island County Park to meet up with Van 1 and finish the race as a team.

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It’s hard to explain all the funny stories, the ups and downs, and friendships that developed during the race. With the tight quarters we had and constant time together, Van 2 became close very quickly and I started missing my team hours after leaving them. I think what I loved most was the simplicity of it: all that mattered during the race was running, getting a little sleep, eating, and having a lot of fun. No other life worries mattered or entered my mind.

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The whole race was run very smoothly with plenty of volunteer support at every exchange (as well as local police support during night legs). We met a lot of interesting people and had fun seeing the same vans over and over again (we may or may not have picked out “race boyfriends”). I absolutely loved my experience running the Palmetto 200 and would recommend the race to anyone looking to try out a relay race.

Oh, and we won Overall All Female Full Team! (blisters in the sun #bits)

Palmetto Race Results

 

 

Have you or would you run a relay race?

If you could pick any state to run a relay in, which state would you pick?

 

For more on our race and a lot more great photos, check out Taylor’s recap at Lifting Revolution!

Rock N Roll Arizona Half Marathon Race Re-Cap

Well, this happened!

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Honestly, I still can’t believe it, I feel like it never even happened! I guess that’s what happens when you approach a race by trying to NOT think about it or prepare!

 

Let’s take a look at my goals for the race again:

1. Finish the race: CHECK!

2. Don’t make my injury considerably worse: CHECK! More on this below.

3. Be okay with a DNF: Unnecessary!

4. HAVE FUN! Close enough. Awful but fun all at the same time. Runners are a weird breed…

 

Alright – so back to my weekend in AZ! It all started bright an early: 3:00 am to be exact. My flight was at 5am and I decided to take a cab. I first intended to take the train (I’m a cheapo) but then I realized I’d be on the El at 2:45am and that didn’t seem safe…

After arriving at the airport, getting on my plane and attempting to sleep for an hour or two, I was greeted by this out my window:

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I love the west! And after three and a half hours, we arrived in Phoenix:

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I was SO EXCITED to see Ari and Nicole ! Once they picked me up we grabbed breakfast at Snooze (new to Phoenix!) and then headed to the race expo. We grabbed our gear, took some photos and I may or may not have ridden on a mechanical shoe…

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Nicole was hosting a baby shower that afternoon, so Ari and I did one of my favorite activities: browsed Target. Haha, that and a couple other stores, as well as lunch before meeting back up with Nicole. For dinner we met up with Kristi at Pita Jungle, which is a healthy restaurant chain in Phoenix and I absolutely loved it! I ordered the Chicken Tikka Masala over brown rice and it was the perfect pre-race meal. We had a great time catching up with Kristi and afterwards I headed back to Nicole’s for some much needed sleep!

Oh, I cannot forget to mention that I made a new friend in Phoenix and I hope Molly isn’t too jealous… Meet Tink!

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I die. What a cutie!

Race morning we were up at 6am and all huddled together putting KT tape on our various injuries – we were quite the colorful bunch! After a breakfast of a rice cake with PB and banana (and a little coffee) we headed off to the start. When we got there we barely made it to our corral in time (let’s just say RNR AZ needs to work on getting more than 10 porta potties for the start line… we may or may not have found our way into a men’s bathroom in a building nearby). But we were the first people to start in our corral which was really cool because we got to stand at the start line!

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The race took us through a couple areas of Phoenix, but to be completely honest I wasn’t really paying attention… My IT band started bothering me in the first mile and I got really nervous I’d be done. I knew we were seeing Nicole and Ari’s husbands after mile 3 so I hoped I could make it there. Good thing I did because we got a great running photo, and then a hilarious photo-bomber.

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Check me out, totally oblivious!

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Luckily my IT band would hurt on and off, but never long enough or painful enough for me to stop running (just random pains for a minute or two every couple of miles). After about 7 or 8 miles I didn’t feel it again and was SO grateful!

However, the problem with not running for weeks before your half marathon is that you are not physically fit enough to run the whole thing… Ouch. This race was HARD! I definitely was running slower than my usual pace but even then it was tough. I felt great miles 1-4, started to feel it miles 3-8, weirdly felt awesome during our hill on mile 9, and then by mile 10 I was loosing some serious steam.

My quads felt like rocks and each step was a struggle. Starting around mile 11 I started run/walking because I just couldn’t run anymore. I’d pick a point in the distance, make it there and then turn around and walk backwards (a trick I learned in marathon training). Thankfully Ari and Nicole were a little behind me and every time I turned around we waved to each other! They caught up again with me about halfway through mile 12 (we’d run together for the most part up until 9.5ish) and headed for the finish. Thank goodness for them or I would not have run the rest of the way, actually I would not have run a lot of this race! Knowing they were there with me definitely kept me going.

We crossed the finish line in 2:12:47, celebrated and then immediately started complaining about our injuries, our tiredness and the EXTREME HEAT. Goodness gracious, Phoenix, get some shade over your roads! I would have appreciated it. Then, true to runners, about an hour later we had it in our heads that it was so much fun! Haha, all the pains forgotten.

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After showering, we headed out to get some pizza and wine. I cannot remember the place that we went but they had gluten free pizza crust and it was AMAZING! After sitting and chatting for a bit, and then looking around their shop (they had a ton of cute little items) we headed home, regrouped and then went out on Mill Street for some celebratory drinks.

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The next morning we had BIG plans. After an oatmeal bar for breakfast (SO fancy, Nicole), Nicole’s husband drove us out into the Arizona desert for some target shooting! Sounds a little odd, yes, but I was thrilled. I did riflery quite a lot at summer camp growing up but hadn’t since I was about 14. We had brought some expired beer bottles with us, which we set up and were a blast to shoot because they exploded when they were hit.

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If you want to see a video of my mad skills (I was surprised at my aim, even shooting a hand gun with one hand), head to my instagram account.

Once we left the desert we headed to In N Out for lunch (protein style cheeseburger and fries, and a little bit of a strawberry shake):

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Then I went back to Nicole’s, packed up my stuff and we were off to the airport! On the way we stopped at Bahama Bucks for shaved ice. I’d never had shaved ice but Nicole and Ari insisted it was amazing, and they were so right. Seriously, this far exceeded my expectations! I got half pineapple and half cherry.

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After our shaved ice it was off to the airport and then back to Chicago. After 3.5 hours of flying and 2 hours of commuting I was back home by midnight! It was a much needed weekend of fun and friends and I miss them already! Oh, and pretty proud of myself for finishing my third half marathon!

 

Have you ever been to Arizona?

Any other target shooters out there?

Have you ever run a race without training for it?

Mizuno Wave Rider 17 & Turkey Trot

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno

I mentioned yesterday that on Thanksgiving, my dad and I did our third Turkey Trot 5K together. What I didn’t mention was the shoes I wore!

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I had the opportunity to try out the new Mizuno Wave Rider 17 shoes and since I loved the Mizunos that I ran in last year I jumped at the chance.

What I loved most about the shoes was how light they were. I’m used to a heaver shoe and when I first ran in these it didn’t feel like I had heavy shoes on my feet. I must be really smart because I later found out that these are Mizuno’s lightest Wave Rider shoe that they’ve made!

Other fun facts:

– The New U4iC midsole is 30% lighter than standard foam, but for someone who wears a more supportive shoe, I found that this gives me just as much support.

– Another reason the shoe is so light is because they use blown rubber rather than carbon for the outsole. This makes the shoe only 8.8oz!

– And the colors – SO MANY COLORS! I have to say I do love the white ones that I received! I probably would have chosen them, or the bright blue!

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After testing them out on the treadmill in Chicago, I laced up my Mizunos Thursday morning for the Turkey Trot!

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The race is held at Sprint Center in Overland Park, KS and was much bigger this year than the previous years we’ve run. They tried to separate the start by walkers and runners, but the area they had the runners line up was much too small. We had to stand outside the barriers and slowly work our way in once the gun went off.

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They changed the course from last year and I think it had more hills (my Dad disagrees). Either way, it was mountainous compared to Chicago but I pushed through and paced my dad for a PR!

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We finished in 26:52 and I was so proud of him! He’s been cutting MINUTES off his 5K time every year that we run!

I also tried to teach him the importance of stretching after running, but he chose to just take pictures of me stretching…

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I was so glad I had my lighter Mizunos to race in rather than my heavier long-distance shoes, it made for a fun race! The Mizuno Wave Rider 17 will be released on December 5th so they are the perfect item to add to your holiday wish list!

 

Have you ever done a race with a family member?

What kind of shoes do you run or workout in?

Chicago Marathon 2013

Hey everyone! You all (well, those of you who’ve been reading for a year) got to follow me through training for and running the Chicago Marathon, but now you get to see what it’s like to be a volunteer!

Marathon weekend started off on Friday when I headed down to the expo at McCormick place with Lindsay. We took a shuttle to get there (I took a bus downtown to get on the shuttle) and it was free and surprisingly quick!

Lindsay and and I walked around, sampled things at the booths, got her bib and t-shirt, and she did a little shopping in the Nike Marathon Shop!

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We also made sure to get a really good shot “with” Hal Higdon for her…

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Since the water station we were volunteering at (mile 18) was probably the furthest point from my apartment and we had to be there at 6:30am, I ended up having a sleepover at Kelsey’s apartment so we could just grab a cab together in the morning. We had some snacks, made some posters, and before we knew it we were up in the morning and off to Mile 18!

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It was at Taylor and Loomis, which is in Little Italy and an area I’ve never explored before. It was REALLY cute and I definitely want to go back!

By the way, check out those great track suit jackets… I felt like a male basketball player in mine. Probably won’t be wearing that again.

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We got assigned to a water table and had to place all the little cups out, fill them all up, and then layer cardboard on top and do it all over again.

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Look at that beautiful table. We were quite proud of ourselves.

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Our job, as I’m sure you guessed it, was to hand out water! Perk of being friends with Erin, a site coordinator, is that we got water as opposed to Gatorade. I was afraid of getting Gatorade all over me from people spilling, but water I was okay with!

Our job, however, was more difficult than anticipated. Mostly because there was an over-achieving man standing right in front of me. He would stick his arm out so far and kept edging over the line we were supposed to stand behind that I not only couldn’t hand my water to people until it started getting really busy, but I couldn’t SEE anything. Serious pet peeve.

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As you can see above, he also ruined my photos of the elite coming through…

Anyway, despite wanting to murder one of my fellow volunteers, once the crowds of runners started coming through, time really flew by quickly! We saw Lindsay and then Bethany, but I missed a couple other people I was looking for. It was really hard to spot people out of the crowd, especially when you’re trying to focus on passing out water, not spilling and going back to grab more cups!

And of course one of my favorite parts was watching the elite runners come through. Seriously, these guys look like they are on a Sunday stroll, just jogging along.

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Once the crowds started to thin out, Kelsey and I were sent to clean up cups. She shoveled the cups and I held the trash bags… let’s just say all I wanted to do after that was wash my hands…

One thing I didn’t realize about volunteering was, although time flew by, it was EXHAUSTING. I may not have run a marathon but I was on my feet for 8 hours on Sunday and I just collapsed when I got home!

Congratulations again to all the runners who were there, it was so fun to cheer you all on! And yes, it totally gave me the racing bug again…

 

Have you ever volunteered or spectated a race?

What is a pet peeve of yours?

Which would you rather drink, Gatorade or water? I hate Gatorade… so water for me!

The Race That’s Good For Life 5K Recap

Hey everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend! I had a pretty awesome weekend, lots of time with my friends, including a fun 5K! There may have also been some nut butter making thrown in there somewhere too…

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On Sunday morning, Lindsay, Kelsey and I headed out to Oak Park to run the Race That’s Good For Life 5K! The race is put on by the Oak Park Runners Club, which Erin is an active member of, so we had to come out and support her race! (By the way – Erin ran her MARATHON on Saturday and rocked it!!! Congrats Erin!!!).

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Anyone notice what shirt I’m wearing? After last week’s Thursday Thoughts and all your comments on how I needed to wear my animal shirts out in public, I thought I’d bring one out for the race!

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So stylish…

Anyway, the race was pretty small, and separated into men and women. I really liked this because then it was even smaller! We ran through the neighborhoods in Oak Park and it was really beautiful and a very well organized race. We had nothing but good things to say about the 5K!

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Lindsay was super excited! Haha

It was definitely not my best race ever, but I expected that since I haven’t actually been running much lately… The last mile was rough on me, I had a hard time keeping up and my stomach was seriously cramping. But, as Lindsay said, at least I know where I’m at now so I know what I need to do to work on my 5K PR!

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My IT band/hip isn’t thrilled… there will be lots of foam rolling this week. Thankfully, Lindsay and Kelsey pushed me to the finish I came in seconds behind them at 26:22. Not shabby!

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With all that being said, I’m glad we all decided to run the 5K and I had a lot of fun, plus we loved the carnations that they gave us at the end of the race! I highly recommend checking out this 5K next year if you live in the Chicago area, we all want to run it again!

 

Have you run a race recently?

What’s a fitness/physical goal that you’re working on?

Did you do anything with friends this weekend?

All photos in today’s post are courtesy of the lovely Kelsey.