Continuing from Part 1:
So we chose to drive ahead to the next major exchange after eating at another Subway (We did see Kathrin run past on her leg over I-95, so she got a little cheer). Time just seems to fly on these - there is never enough time to rest. We got to the church,
Alex and Charles set up a tent while the rest of us tried to snooze in the van.
It was a little warm and I got zero sleep, but did rest for a while before giving up and heading outside around 9:30pm. Chris and I spoke to a volunteer for a while which was nice. I probably wasn't going to run until 11pm, so I just milled about, got my stuff out of the van and laid it out on the ground to re-organize. Eventually - Van #1 showed up and I was ready to run my night leg, #19, 7.7 miles along Old Hwy 6 towards Cross.
I was a little worried because the shoes I have been trying to break in and wore on the first leg had given me the beginnings of a blister on my right heel. The shoes had 2 runs of 7+ mile each and did fine the previous week. Luckily - the discomfort disappeared soon after I started and I thought no more about it. The run was fine - basically flat, but more heavily traveled than I had expected and had knee high weeds to run in just off the road. That and the numerous potholes at certain points made my headlamp come in handy - dodging trash in the weeds and trying to save my ankles on the road. Passed two little bars (one was the Cross Sportz Bar - Crabs on Thurs & boxing on Sat!), a large pack of dogs that were well off the road and never seen, and little else. After a minor issue with a runner being harassed earlier in the evening, all vans were shadowing their runners to some extent, even to the point of staying beside them the whole way. After getting a little side stitch after 5 miles or so, I worked thru it and still finished in ~1:02. Alex went out for his 5.3 miler to a boat landing and we went to go meet him.
It took about 40 minutes for me to settle down after my runs and get to the point where I was getting sleepy/tired. By the time we got the the next exchange (another boat landing at Lake Moultrie where the frogs were Loud!) and Chris was coming in - I was ready to crash hard. We almost started to worry about him after he was a bit beyond our planned time for him, but then he showed up and both Dave and our van were on the way.
So it's now 2am and Dave is running 6.9 miles towards Berkeley HS and Moncks Corner. I think at this point I tried closing my eyes as I do not recall the next 2 exchanges or our drive to the next major one - an Elementary School. I didn't sleep but was just exhausted. (No pictures during the night!)
We got to the school,
the tent went back up, and we all slept a good solid 2 hours. It was wonderful. Woke up at 7am feeling refreshed and had 3 hours before my last run, leg 31 - a 7.3 mile run going over the Isle of Palms Connector Bridge and over to Sullivan's Island. I chose runner #11 just for that reason! Was getting restless after our trip to Dunkin Donuts, so I wandered around, spoke to some of the other teams (Amelia and Bowen, the runner from my 1st leg and her husband) until Van #1 showed up at 9:45am. Jeff had a short run coming in and he was consistently faster than we predicted - so I was ready early.
Good thing, because he surprised just about all of us and I was off.
I had mentally broke it up into 4 sections - from the school, a quick right then a 2.3mi stretch to the IOP connector road (517); leading up to the bridge (~2.5mi); Over the bridge (~0.5mi); and over into Sullivan's Island (2mi).
1st stretch was fine. Little warm, but the clouds were out and there was some shade. Another runner was up ahead and I knew at our current paces that I would catch him at some point. He started walking pretty soon though and I passed him quickly. My calf was tight again (did I mention it tightened up during my night leg?) and I knew at some point I would be walking. I had to put it off as long as possible as I told myself once I started taking walk breaks, I'd continue taking walk breaks.
(Looking back at the IOP Connector Bridge during the next leg).
I made it to the corner and turned onto the long, straight connector bridge road. Good wide shoulders for once, but a Fierce head/cross-wind pushed me back the whole 3 miles to Palm Blvd (703). I decided I would walk once before the bridge started to climb. 30 seconds and I was back at it. Another team we saw frequently had stopped on the bridge before the top and asked if I needed anything. I said no and got a laugh when I asked if they could do something about the wind. It was ridiculous. Oh yeah - the sun came out too as I turned onto this section. Now it was downright Hot. My water situation was fine thankfully. I willed myself over the bridge telling myself (yes - I talk to myself, but not out loud. Usually.) that I asked for this leg and I wasn't going to walk up the bridge. I continue to run until I crossed the street and made the turn for the last 2 straight miles. My water at this point was on the warm side, but still drinkable. I got going again and knew I'd get there soon. It was too bad they didn't have us run a block over so we could glimpse the ocean. Passed a yard sale (said I looked good - I said I didn't feel like it) and after another walk break - came upon the most wonderful thing - a sprinkler! I stopped, stuck my head over it and let it soak me for a good 30 seconds. That helped tremendously. I knew I'd run the last mile in as I felt my body temp come down in that short shower. Passed another walker before the Sullivan's Island bridge (the competitive juices do flow - even in the heat when we aren't really racing for anything). Going over that bridge had the best view - a beach and inlet on my left, and the marshland of the intracoastal waterway on my right. I was hoping to go take a quick dip in the ocean after I passed off to Charles, but that didn't happen. My time of 1:04 was a bit slower than my 7.7 miler, but I was still pleased with it considering my walks and the heat.
Next post - the conclusion of the Palmetto 200 Relay!