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17 miles of San Antonio Hills

by Meghann on March 24, 2012

No, I’m not in Texas. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚ ). 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.

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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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

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Done!

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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.

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I also had a Gatorade on the drive back to Tampa.

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And stopped for a post-run bagel.

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Pumpernickel with bacon, egg, and cheddar cheese.

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Totally hit the spot.

The leftover chocolate baklava also found its way to my belly.

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Yummy ๐Ÿ™‚

I have no further plans the rest of the day. Just me, my remote control, and my couch. Life is good. ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Saturday everyone!

1 Sana March 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm

When I used to run, I hated running on slanted hills. It felt terrible.
Sana recently posted..Dinner At Costco

2 Kristen @ notsodomesticated March 24, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Awesome job!!! I ended up downing some potato chips after my 10 mile run this morning … my body was craving salt!!
Kristen @ notsodomesticated recently posted..You put WHAT in my food?!

3 Emily@SavoryandSavage March 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Hills are tough! Grats on powering through a tough run.

I love that photo of the fog:-)

4 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries March 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm

strong work on your hilly 17 miler! it sure sounds brutal. hills are my worst enemy! where did you get your running skirt? it’s so cute!
Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..A Date Night In

5 Meghann March 25, 2012 at 4:49 pm

It’s from Lululemon ๐Ÿ™‚

6 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats March 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm

You’re lucky it went so well! I trained completely flat and then did a very hilly 12 miler when staying with friends in upstate SC. I pulled a muscle behind my knee and it’s still giving me a lot of trouble! But awesome job!!!!
Katie @ Peace Love and Oats recently posted..Taper Time!

7 Victoria (District Chocoholic) March 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Just do a couple more badass training runs like this and you’ll be fine for your race. Way to stick with it.

8 Dusty @ Running to Healthy March 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Hills are tough. Great job.

9 Megan @ Megan's Munchies March 24, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Now that is a fun way to start a weekend! Enjoy your couch time!
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10 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More March 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Haha! I was thinking it seemed like the zoo from “We Bought a Zoo” too! And that was a cute movie! ๐Ÿ™‚
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11 Army Amy* March 24, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Sitting on the couch is my favorite post long run activity!*
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12 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife March 24, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I love a long run–oooh those hills sound SO hard. WAY to go gettin’ them in!
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13 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama March 24, 2012 at 8:41 pm

I’m not a fan of hills at all and where I live (seacoast of NH) is pretty flat. My 10 miler this morning had an elevation gain of only 300+ feet and it sucked!

I’ve never done it but I think a packet of salt at the end of a sweaty long run would be amazing!
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14 Jen March 24, 2012 at 9:18 pm

I live in Greenville SC now (land of cray cray hills) but my parents live in San Antonio (right by that fire station and park) so whenever I’m in town I run around there and the hills totally remind me of SC. I’m not a fan! FL is supposed to be flat! ;D

Glad you made it through your run and I hope the San Ann people were kind to you guys!

15 Socal Rachel March 25, 2012 at 2:05 am

Way to go on 17 miles! Hills are sometimes brutal.
Socal Rachel recently posted..Return to Bangkok: Plan B – Jan 20

16 Anne March 25, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Dang girl, I don’t know how you did 17 miles of hills!! We ran a half marathon this morning and I can barely move ๐Ÿ™‚ My dreams of a full are always squashed after I realize how much stronger my body needs to get!
Anne recently posted..1/2 PR!!!

17 Natasha @ Moody Girl in Style March 25, 2012 at 10:43 pm

That’s pretty amazing that you ran 17 miles with hills. I still can’t imagine myself running more than 13 miles let alone hills. I run some of the local bridges for my hill workouts and I think that’s brutal. I love Munchies too…it’s definite must during any road trip.
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18 Emily March 26, 2012 at 10:08 am

Don’t worry so much. The Pig course is ok. I mean, I hear its tough, but doable. And all the hills are in the first 13, and the last 2 are at a slight downhill the whole time!

(So I hear…)
Emily recently posted..FedEx Delivers

19 Jill March 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Just curious if you have tried any other type of GPS running watch, or why do you love your garmin? I am in the market and I just dont know what to get.

I had the Garmin 305 BUT i hate how it went dead so quickly.

any advice would be great! ๐Ÿ™‚

20 Meghann March 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I’ve only ever run with a Garmin, so I guess I really don’t have anything to compare it too. Just love how easy it is to use and is (mostly) reliable. It’s never done me wrong. *knock on wood*

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