Sunday, 13 April 2014

Palmetto Half Marathon

So half number three in 2014 done. Saturday I ran the Palmetto Half Marathon in Columbia, SC. This one was close to home with only a twenty minute drive across town. 
I drove up on Friday evening after work to Sports Academy to get my bib and t-shirt. There was no expo of any kind but there were discounts on some other races and products through a virtual goodie bag. I really liked the medal for this race and the t-shirt design was nice.

The race:
The race started in the Sandhills Village outdoor mall. We left the mall and after a mile had a long descent down an entrance ramp onto another road. After couple of miles of pretty boring scenery we entered a residential area with beautiful houses, very fancy. Interspersed throughout this neighborhood was a golf course and a number of ponds. We looped around these ponds for around 2 miles. 
Other than that loop this course was an out and back. Besides 3 decent hills (including a run back up the road ramp) most of the course was small rollers, pretty standard for most of Columbia. The aid stations felt like they were a bit more spaced out at points than other races (but that could have been me) but there were plenty of volunteers and medics along the way.

I was really worried going into this that I'd have an awful run. I haven't run most of this week to give my stupid IT band etc a chance to relax. However, I've had some lower back/hip pain in the last few days so I really thought I'd be walking most of this. 
Once I got going I felt pretty good. I just went in with the plan that I'd run as much as I could and not worry too much about time. I made it to just over the half way point before I felt any knee pain. Then it was ok, I was able to maintain pace, so I knew it wasn't too bad. On the loop around the ponds I speed walked up a short but steep hill and that seemed to stretch something out, as I had another few miles before the pain kicked back in. When it got to mile 8 I told myself I could walk up the next big hill. Well that didn't appear until after mile 10. By then I'd been looking at my watch and doing some math....I could come in under 2 even running relatively slower. That cut down on any walking I did!!! 
The way back up the ramp wasn't as bad as I thought, I think all my hill training last year has given me some long term ability to run hills a bit better than I should. I only let myself walk for 10-20 seconds to catch my breath at the end of the ramp...knowing I could make myself start again at the top.
From there it was slightly downhill/flat to the finish. The loop must have added a half mile to the course because despite the out and back most of the way the finish was much closer to the entrance to the mall. than the start....amazing feeling realizing that. I felt much better at the end of this run than the other halfs I've done this year. Either I'm getting fitter (no idea how since I'm not really training fully) or the effort I made to drink more Gatorade and water during the race really helped.
 That did have one unfortunate side effect. When I push the last couple of miles of a race I retch right after I cross the finish line. At this race I felt like that at the beginning of the finishing chute but luckily I held it in until I crossed the line and hid behind a tent where someone had already puked.The lady handing me my medal should have been afraid very afraid...she came very close to being spewed on. Normally I just retch up air or snot (gross I know) but today it was two large volumes of liquid, sorry volunteer who had to hose that off. However a lovely lady brought me some Gatorade, to replace what I'd just lost, and a zip lock bag full of ice in case I was over heating.
Lets not even comment on the hair except to say my styling gunk literally fell into and went down the toilet the night before the race..
There was lots of food and water at the end, I skipped most of that since I was going for breakfast with my sweet friends who came to cheer me on at the end.
The rest of the day was spent lounging, well after a dreaded ice bath and some stretching. I've also made a point to take in a bit more protein.
I like how this sticker from the marathon I ran looks like it belongs with my shaker.

Overall I feel good other than my knees and hips, which were acting up anyhow. Today I'm gonna double up the yoga classes, morning and evening to really try speed up my recovery and hopefully allow me to get some miles in this week.

Chip time 1:59:14
Splits: 9:26, 8:59, 9:04, 9:03, 9:01, 9:04, 8:49, 9:30, 8:48, 8:44, 9:22, 8:59, 8:58

It's a sun catcher

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe you have already run three half marathons in 2014. I have yet to run ONE! Congrats for finishing strong and under two hours. My husband's dad and step-mom live in SC and I am hoping to visit in the near future and plan a time that coincides with a race.