We are all alike but so different at the same time. We are married or single, a parent or not, working girl or staying at home and running a household. We reside from Waxhaw to Uptown, we are 24 years old and we are 44 years old. We all have the love of running and this one tie makes us alike, a team, and girlfriends for life.
Now, I would not consider myself a “real “runner. You know the type, kick a#$ legs and every toned muscle is highlighted by a golden bronze. The type that gets up and at it when the sun has not yet risen, it is 90 degrees plus with no breeze, the rain is coming down so hard that you can’t see your own foot in front of you and/or it is Friday evening after a long long week. I am NOT that runner. I am not afraid to admit it but I love my sleep, when it is hot you can find me at the pool, the rain translates to hitting the YMCA treadmill and on Friday evenings I am enjoying a cold beer or glass of wine.
I wish I was like those die-hard runners mainly because I am super jealous of their legs.
Earlier this year I received a phone call from a friend of a friend asking if I would like to join her team to run the Palmetto 200. If I remember correctly, the first thing I said was, “Oh thank you for thinking of me, but I am not a real runner like you.” I think she may have giggled and then told me to think about it. Their team was short one runner and they needed to fill the void and soon. I hemmed and hawed, held private conversations with myself, shared with my husband and asked friends their opinions. My friends all thought that I was more nuts than usual but I was in on this adventure.
The Palmetto200 is a unique, overnight running adventure you embark on with 11 friends and/or strangers, that you will soon consider close dear friends, because she will be the one hold up a privacy blanket for you to pee behind on the side if the road and oops, you sprinkle a little on her leg. Back to the story.
You cover 200 scenic miles from the Historic Columbia Speedway (in Cayce, SC – near Columbia) to James Island (just outside of Historic Charleston). The relay has starting times staggered based upon each team’s estimated finish. The first flight of teams started the 200-mile course around 6:00 am on Friday, April 12. Over the next several hours additional sets of teams departed on their overnight journey through the Palmetto state to James Island.
Teams split 36 legs. For instance, each person of a 12-person team runs three legs over distances varying from 4 – 10 miles. Each team had a support van, hotel on wheels, to drop off and pick up runners at designated exchange points along the 200-mile route.
“Charlotte Sole Sisters”
12 runners, all female
I was in van 2, we were awesome! Just needed to get that out of the way. Van 1 began our journey at 6:00am and we meet up with them to “leapfrog” after they completed the first 6 legs.
I did not know anyone in my van, except Carla, before the race. All I knew was that 3 of my teammates worked at Flywheel, and that scared the crap out of me. I didn’t want to let them down, they earn money exercising and have you ever been to a Flywheel or Flybarre class? Kick. Your. Butt. (Every time). So I was nervous due to the extreme differences in fitness ability. And then when I met them and saw that they were young and gorgeous too, I thought for sure my husband was going to offer to be our driver for the race or offer to replace me, just for the sole purpose of hanging out with these fit beauties.
A few weeks before the race I stopped by my favorite running store, Run for Your Life at Piper Glen. Justin is the manager there and I have known him for years. He is super nice and super knowledgeable. Justin was spot on directing me in all the gear that we would need for this type of race. One of our biggest concerns and to be frank, our fears, was running at night. We each had a night run, and each of us held some range of fear that we would need to face and conquer during this relay race.
Now, I don’t even venture into my backyard at night. I do not like the dark and all the creatures that “play” in the dark.
Reflective vests were a must! Justin took the time to sit down with me and look through a catalog of different vests to see which one would be best all around. We also need blinky lights and again he took the time to help me decide on the best fit for our team. Don’t laugh, but there is a large selection of blinky lights. (I went for the pink ones with different blink tones!) We were also able to pick up nutrition aids, visors, shoes and socks, anti chafing sticks, this funky sock for plantar fasciitis that provided arch support and blood flow and lots of other odds and ends along with his vast knowledge and that alone was priceless!
The race was an awesome adventure and one that I will never forget. I have made new friends that I may have never known otherwise. Put a group of women together in a van overnight to compete and you will find a strong force unlike any other. This was an experience unlike any other. Personally I was able to pat myself on the back and tell myself how awesome I was, but more importantly, I was able to show my daughters that I can do anything if I put my body and soul into it fully. They think that I am a rock star because I ran and “lived” in a van. They think I am awesome because they watched me train and prepare for this adventure that was out of my element. My family cheered and supported me through my weeks of preparation. If I was able to do anything I am happy to say that I showed my girls that you can do anything you put your mind to. The support and love from my family helped me finish my legs of the race when I feared that I would fail. I did this for me and for my girls. I want to always be a strong and positive source for them, even though sometimes I may not always be the best role model, I hope that my running this race with a team of unique and committed women, they will see that all things are possible if you put your heart and soul into it and give it your all.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of my Smarty Moms, and Moms-to-be!
Special FlyWheel Mother’s Day Treat!
Book a class on Mother’s Day (Sunday, 5/12) and enjoy the ultimate pampering with mimosas, healthy treats, and raffles for prizes featuring a one-hour massage from Massage Envy, Cheeky Bean and Pink Hanger accessories, Vanity Glo spray tans, $100 gc to the Little Gym, Simply Fresh organic food box and much more!
Send this to your hubbies:-) Good things come in small packages. Skip the oversized box of chocolates this year and bring your mom a gift she’ll really love – a Flywheel or FlyBarre Gift Card. Available in 5, 10 or 20 packs, gift cards can be purchased in any of our Flywheel studios or online.