Road Grit

When I head out for my weekend runs, I cover some fairly diverse terrain. There are concrete sidewalks, cobblestones, sandy gravel parking lots, asphalt, small patches of grass, etc. In addition, we’re restricted in the dates and times we can water lawns here in St. Petersburg, so it works out that I run during a watering time. My ankles tend to get little spritzes here and there as I traverse the neighborhoods.

By the time I arrive home, I typically find my ankles to be covered with various pieces of these landscapes. I think that’s really cool. It’s something I don’t get when I run on the treadmill. It’s a little memento of conquering each piece of terrain. It may sound crazy, but it’s an inspiration for me.

Planned workout

1 mile warmup

6 miles at 10:05 pace

1 mile cool down

Actual workout

1 mile warmup

6 miles at 10:18 pace

1 mile cool down

I make it out of the house at about 6:30 am. It’s still dark outside and I carry my sunglasses in my hand. I walk my mile warmup and start my run. It’s still dark, so it’s hard to monitor my pace. I take glances at my Garmin under streetlights. I wind my way through some residential streets and past a golf course. I pass the 1 mile mark in 9:48, comfortable with my pace.

I cross a bridge and continue running across the waterfront. I’m maintaining a pretty good pace and my plan is to stop at a water fountain around the 2.75 mile mark for a 1 minute water/walking break. The sun is rising over Tampa Bay as I pass the 2 mile mark in 19:42. I reach the water fountain and take a few gulps before walking on my course. I start running again and reach the 3 mile mark in just over 30 minutes.

I quickly turn and run back to the fountain. I take another 2 gulps and walk another minute. I’m a little more tired at this point than I had hoped to be. My quads feel weak. I start running again and make it to the 4 mile mark in about 40:30. I take another walk break, this time walking for 1:30 before running again.

I start running again,vowing to make the 5.25 mile mark. I cruise along the waterfront and come back to the bridge. The incline up the bridge kills my quads and I wonder what the two overpasses after the 20 mile mark of the marathon are going to feel like. I stumble down the other side of the bridge, and wait for a car before crossing the street. Now that I’ve stopped, I can’t convince myself to run again, so I walk across the street and give myself another 1 minute walk break. I start running again and make the 5.25 mile mark.

I walk for 1:30 and then run my way to 6 miles, focusing on putting 1 foot in front of the other to the end. I cross the 6 mile mark in 61:53.

I took a few more walk breaks than I wanted to, but I was pretty happy with the run. My foot felt good and so did my knees. I’d much rather be tired than injured.

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