I love running the Palmetto Bluff Half Marathon. To be honest I feel is my favorite half in the area.
I didn’t know that this magical place existed until about 3 years ago when I went there for work. That day I found out that they had a half marathon and I knew I had to sign up.
This was my 3rd. consecutive year running it and, even though they changed the route, it didn’t disappoint.
After having a pretty decent performance at the Tybee Half Marathon back in February I decided that I was going to start training again and try to PR on this race. I trained for about a week and then life gave me the opportunity to run the Myrtle Beach Marathon exactly 7 days before the Palmetto Bluff race.
At that point I realized that probably it was too much to do both races. I did Myrtle Beach and waited until the last minute to see how I was feeling and decide if I was going to sign up for the half or not.
That week I didn’t run at all, took a couple of Epsom salt baths and did some serious cross-training (teaching spinning is no joke!). On Saturday, after I taught spin at The Hub, I realized that I was feeling amazing so I decided to sign up!
It was too late to register online so I went to Palmetto Running Company to do it on site. I love going to that store: it’s super clean and pretty, they have tons of great products and shoes and the staff is extremely friendly.
To my surprise they gave me a free entrance to the race and a VIP parking pass… Thanks guys! (I told you they’re super friendly, right?)
Straight from there I went to a baby shower and then headed home to a very poor pre-race dinner… Grilled cheese sandwich anyone?
One of the things I like about this half is that it doesn’t start until 9 a.m. but, because of the time of the year, it still feels cool throughout the entire race… This year was no exception.
I woke up at 6:30 a.m., had my traditional brown rice cake with almond butter and banana and headed to my friend Tessa’s house to meet her, Julie and Lindsey so we could ride together to the race.
The course now starts and finishes at the village so the regular parking is a few miles away and you have to take a trolley. I definitely recommend you purchasing the VIP parking pass because you can park super close to the starting line! There’s nothing like being able to stay in your cozy car if it’s cold outside until the race starts and leaving some extra clothes and nutrition right there where you can change and refuel right after your run.
At this point I was confused about what should my goal be: should I try to PR? I just ran a marathon 7 days ago but maybe I can surprise myself… Let’s do it!
The national anthem came on and it was absolutely beautiful. I told my friend speedy Julie that I’d try to stay with her the first couple of miles but that didn’t last long… Not even ¼ of the first mile!
To PR I needed a 7:35 min/mile pace. I ran the first 3 at 7:30 and then crashed. At this point I already knew it was not going to be a good day for me. I clearly haven’t been training for this race. Yes, I’ve been running some but not training. No speed work or consistent runs. Maybe it was too much to do both races back to back and my legs finally started to feel all the mileage or maybe I just tried to hold a pace that is just simply not available for me right now because lack of training… Whatever the answer is the next 10 miles were not pretty. I struggled the whole way. I walked the water stations and around mile 5 my friend Lindsey caught up with me. I ran with her for about 2 miles but I just couldn’t keep up… I was exhausted and still had half way to go!
This new route was basically the same as the past years but it just started at a different point and they reversed it. I love how it takes you through nature… You’re surrounded by trees almost the entire time!
The whole way was cool and cloudy… Perfect running conditions! There were some cross winds here and there but at around mile 8 it hit me straight in the front, thankfully it didn’t last long. At around mile 10 we ran in front of the most beautiful pond that was covered in yellow flowers… I still have the clear image in my head. It was so beautiful that I wanted to take a pic but no energy for that.
When I had like .2 miles to go my 20-week pregnant friend Tessa slapped me in the butt and passed me… What a beast! I finally crossed the finish line in 1:44:18, not bad for so much struggling! I don’t know how but this was my fastest time in this route so I’m happy with it.
After the race we hanged out for a bit. They had a food truck with bbq sandwiches like every year, beer, coffee, snacks, tea and a great live band! It got a bit chilly so after like 30 min. we decided to head back home.
So what’s next? I was supposed to pace again the Savannah Publix Women’s Half but I’m pretty bummed that I won’t be able to… I’ll have to check my calendar, pick a race and start a serious training program! What’s in your race calendar this year?