No, I’m not in Texas. 😉
San Antonio, FL is a teeny-tiny town about 40 minutes outside of Tampa. It’s a town I didn’t even know existed until a couple of weeks ago when Mary and Stephanie emailed me asking if I would be up for a 17 mile training run in the San Antonio hills with them. Looking to get in as much training as possible, I said hell yeah!
Florida doesn’t have many hills, but we do have some in the central parts. The Clermont area is famous for their rolling hills, but I think San Antonio could give them a run for the their money. This route was not easy by any means. The hills were brutal and a true eye opener to how much I need to step up my hill training game ASAP.
Since San Antonio isn’t a safe area to run in the dark (rolling hills + sharp turns + no shoulder <- bad combination before sunrise), we had a later start than usual for our long run. Not that I’m complaining, waking up at 6 instead of 5 is a-ok in my book.
I had two pieces of toast with honey peanut butter, pumpkin butter, strawberries, and walnuts on my way out the door.
With our late start, we really lucked out with weather. There was a nice hazy fog when we started and a good amount of cloud coverage for the majority of our run. It was only in the last couple of miles that the sun really made its presence known and by then we were just ready to be done anyways.
Mary is currently training to BQ in Nashville next month, so she took off early with her husband Marcus peddling by her side (they’re so cute 🙂 ). They left Stephanie and I with rough directions on where to go, but we figured if all else failed we could rely on her phone to get us out of there.
We did really good for the first few miles. We made a left at the light, a right at the dead end, and a left when our Garmins hit 5.5. It was after that, that the rough directions got a little fuzzy. We got to a fork in the road and decided to consult Mr. Google Maps on where to go next. We thought we were making a good decision by going right, but it turns out we should have gone left (or, as Marcus put it, ‘kept going straight’ hmmm…). It wasn’t too big of deal. We just ended back at the car a couple of miles before we were supposed to and ended up running a few loops of the park to get us to 17.
The little detour was actually pretty fun. We even ran into a random zoo on the way.
It was very random and just appeared out of no where on a road of farmlands and houses. I told Stephanie it reminded me of the zoo from ‘We Bought a Zoo,’ but she never saw the movie. That’s a shame too – it was such a cute movie! 🙂
The hills were kicking our butt right from the start, but they really started to get to us around mile 9. Our water bottles were getting pretty low and each climb just kept getting harder and harder. I had my package of Sports Beans, but they didn’t seem to help. We went from being really talkative and energetic in the first half of our run, to counting down the miles with mild grunts in the later part.
My body was not ready for those hills. My left knee was giving me trouble and having to run on a slight slant in the uneven grass didn’t help. Most of the roads we were on didn’t have shoulders and the grass to the side was our only option with heavy traffic. My legs were not a fan.
We found the car again at mile 14.5 and had a chance to take a slight break and refill our water bottles before continuing on. I was not looking forward to the final 2.5 miles. I kept telling myself that it was just 2.5 miles and I could run that with my eyes closed. Ughh…. no I couldn’t. Those 2.5 miles were rough. I wanted to give up so many times and – if I were by myself – I might have.
Stephanie and I both pushed through the best we could. We walked a bit up a couple of hills, but neither of us ever let the other give up. The 17 miles weren’t easy – they were tough – and we earned every mile of them.
And now we’re both scared out of our minds about our upcoming races. Nashville? Flying Pig? Hills? Gulp.
When we finished Marcus was eating a bag of Munchies and offered us both handfuls. I usually don’t like Munchies, but at the time I would have ate anything. Turns out that Munchies are freakin’ amazing right after a run. Salt? Cheese? Yum! Stephanie and I ended up buying our own bag and splitting it. So. Good.
I also had a Gatorade on the drive back to Tampa.
And stopped for a post-run bagel.
Pumpernickel with bacon, egg, and cheddar cheese.
Totally hit the spot.
The leftover chocolate baklava also found its way to my belly.
I have no further plans the rest of the day. Just me, my remote control, and my couch. Life is good. 🙂
Happy Saturday everyone!