For week 2’s 9 mile long run the husband and I ventured out to Robinson Preserve to run a few loops. Both of us had been before, both for fun runs and for Fit2Run’s annual 5K that they host there. If you’re ever near Bradenton or don’t mind a little bit of a drive I highly recommend stopping by the Preserve, even if you’re not running it.

At Robinson there is a big looped trail (about 3 miles) that has a short paved portion with the rest being hard-packed shell and boardwalk bridges. About 1/3 of the trail borders Tampa Bay with views of the Sunshine Skyway. There is a kayak launch area and a kayaking trail through the Preserve that connects to the Bay. People come out to walk, run, bike, fish, kayak, photograph the critters and climb the watch tower. Pets are also allowed (on leash of course) so that’s always a plus to me!

We were up before 6am to get fueled with the usual 1/2 of an Ezekiel 4:9 cinnamon raison english muffin with a smear of natural peanut butter and water. We hit the road and were at the Preserve running in time to (kinda) see the sun rising.

The weather was looking iffy during the entire run with thunder rumbling in the distance. Luckily it held out and despite the insane heat and humidity I really enjoyed this run! Husband was so soaked that he ditched his shirt and he literally wrung out his shorts after!

Shirtless running, I’m a supporter. (the black stripe across his back is his HR monitor)

Some more amazing views:

The above picture is my favorite spot at Robinson. You can usually spot a lot of fish off the side of this boardwalk and you can just see the watch tower between the trees. Husband ran up and then back down the stairs of the watch tower after ~7.5 miles. Overachiever.

I saw so many critters along the way including bunnies, birds, crabs and this little guy:


Hey Mom, wanna go for a run?! Hahaha! I saw this snake hanging out on the side of the trail and after doing the heebie jeebie dance I whipped out my phone to take a pic for my Mom! She hates snakes. Heh, love you Mom!

Fueling during the run consisted of 16oz of H2O, 8oz of Gatorade Endurance Formula and after mile 5, CLIF Shot Blocks. I used the same Gatorade during my training for my last marathon but have been finding it to be a bit harsh on my stomach this time around. I was hoping it was just last week’s long run but not so much. Post-run fueling was a trip to Starbucks for a chocolate smoothie and an apple bran muffin.


The splits:

Mile 1- 11:06

Mile 2- 11:36 (lots of stopping for picture taking)

Mile 3- 10:38

Mile 4- 10:46

Mile 5- 11:07

Mile 6- 12:38 (CLIF Shot Blocks break)

Mile 7- 10:47

Mile 8- 10:31

Mile 9- 10:10

Other stats: Total time- 1:39:28, Average pace- 11:03, Average HR- 165bpm, Max HR- 185bpm. Overall I felt really strong and my pace felt good. Husband did really well too, especially considering he doesn’t run that often! Even though we don’t usually run together (he likes to keep a faster pace) I really enjoy having him there. He keeps me motivated to run strong and keep pushing.

For a recap of week 2’s workouts, see this post.