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Yet another half marathon is in the books with the completion of the Clearwater Halfathon last weekend. This was my 4th half for the season (or ever for that matter) and by far the toughest. The 3rd half marathon of 4 in this series had us running over both the Sand Key bridge and the Clearwater Memorial bridge, twice each. Evidence:

The crazy inclines combined with the unseasonable heat made this race brutal. Good thing Jena and I were running it for fun (aka the 5th medal for completing all races in this series) so time was not of the essence here.

So another race, another 6am meet up with Jena in a random parking lot before running our little hearts out for fun. No folks, we’re not normal. Jena even brought her camera so we could document the fun. (therefore all photographs are courtesy of Jena @ lifeisbeachykeen.com)

We started at 7:05am, just in time to see the sun rising. While I cursed each of the  4 bridge climbs we had to make, I have to admit that the views were amazing!

Clearwater Memorial bridge- the 1st and 4th climbs

Sand Key bridge- the 2nd and 3rd climbs

We settled into a moderate (conversational) pace and just cruised along. Occasionally we would make random observations and chit chat and of course we whined the whole way up every bridge. I hung out in my favorite spot when running with someone, just behind and to the right. I’m not sure why I like this spot so much but it’s my happy place. Maybe because I got to stare at Jena’s butt the whole time? 😉

This is me, running behind Jena (and yes, I’m sticking my tongue out).

Jena offered to pause so that I could do burpees at the top of our third bridge climb but I respectfully declined. Mostly because I didn’t want to hold her up, partly because I hate burpees.

I was feeling good up until the last 2 miles or so. I started to struggle with heat, bridge climbs and digestive issues all being contributing factors. I’m so thankful that Jena was running with me because otherwise I probably would have walked the majority of the last 2 miles. Instead we rocked it out and ran up all 4 bridges, run being a relative term on the last one.

The official details:

We collected our awesome medals (they’re sparkly again yay!) and walked/stretched for a brief cool down under the shade of a tree.

Then we stuffed our faces with some post race goodies before watching part of the awards.   We left a bit early so we could have brunch before heading over to Sports Authority to register for Gasparilla. I’ll be doing the 15K again this year and I plan to destroy it. Last year’s race didn’t go so well for me so I’m out for course revenge!

In summary- I had a great time with Jena at another great race put on by Chris Lauber at Florida Road Races. I can’t wait for the last one in March, mostly because I can’t wait to see our 5th medal. I sure hope it’s sparkly!