Sunshine Skyway Trail

Knowing that this upcoming marathon will have some amount of elevation gain, I decided that my long runs need to happen somewhere not pancake flat. For the OBX Marathon all my training consisted of flat terrain and the 3 miles of trail in the first half and the giant evil bridge at mile 23 killed me.  A trail on the north side of the Sunshine Skyway has always interested me and I’ve always thought it would be fun to run it but just never found the time (or motivation) to do so.

So this morning I got up at 530 am in order to be fueled and out the door for an 8 mile long run before the heat got too intense. I ate half of an Ezekiel 4:9 cinnamon raison english muffin with natural peanut butter and drank half a bottle of water. I was on the trail just after sunrise and the view was absolutely stunning. (sorry for the picture quality, they were all taken from my turdblackberry)

Sunrise over Tampa Bay

There are two bridges on this trail, one medium sized bridge and one large sized bridge. I ended up going over the large bridge twice and the medium bridge four times.

The Skyway from the big bridge

After my cool down I ate a few Sharkies, drank half of a mini G2, and had one serving of Chocolate Hammer Recoverite in Soy milk. I fueled with 16oz of water, 8oz of Gatorade Endurance Formula (Fruit Punch Flavor) and a Gu (right after mile 5) during the run.

Drinking a mini G2 while sitting on a retaining wall

A run recap wouldn’t be complete without the splits! A quick note on pacing- I’m following a modified Hal Higdon training plan and Hal suggests running the ‘easy’ runs at a pace 60-90 seconds slower than your goal marathon pace. For this marathon I hope to pace 10 min/mi so my long runs will usually be in the 11-11:30 min/mi range but will sometimes be a tad faster. Some people have asked me how I run that slow (uh thanks for calling me slow…) but it’s easy. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the adventure!

mile 1- 10:45

mile 2- 10:59

mile 3- 11:38 (big bridge and stopped to take pictures)

mile 4- 11:29

mile 5- 10:55

mile 6- 11:48 (stopped briefly for a Gu break)

mile 7- 11:05

mile 8- 10:18 (picked up the pace for a strong finish)

Other stats- Total time: 1:29:00, Average pace: 11:08, Average heart rate: 167bpm, Max heart rate: 187bpm.

That completes week 1 of training for Marathon #2!! A quick look back at the week: Monday- CrossFit (legs and back)

Tuesday- Easy 3 mi

Wednesday- Pace 5 mi

Thursday- Easy 3 mi and CrossFit (leg heavy)

Friday- CrossFit (arm heavy)

Saturday- rest

Sunday- Easy 8 mi

Happy Father’s day!

I pretty much have the best Daddy in the whole world. I know, I know, everyone says that, but he IS pretty darn awesome! One of my favorite memories of just me and Dad is when he let me stay home sick from school (Mom, the nurse, was out of town) and he still took me to see The Nutcracker that night (even though I was ‘sick’). Fun fact: my Dad’s nickname for me is Little Juan.

Me and Daddy before the ceremony

Happy Father’s Day Daddy! I love you!

Another Happy Father’s Day shout-out to my Step-Dad Chuck, aka W. My parents are divorced and both are happily remarried. I’m very blessed that I not only get along with my step-parents but have great bonds with both of them.

Chuck, Mom, Me, Husband and my brother Michael

This upcoming training week looks pretty tame. I plan to drag the husband out for the long run so look forward to THAT recap.