The Long Run

Pinellas Trail Challenge

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Member Since:

Mar 20, 2007

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Boston Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

PR's:

  • 1 mile : 5:43 (3/2017)
  • 5K : 18:34 (12/2011)
  • 5 mile : 32:03 (5/2010)
  • 10K : 39:29 (11/2013)
  • 11K: 46:47 (July 2008)
  • Half Marathon : 1:26:47 (11/2012)
  • Marathon : 3:06:34 (02/2010)
  • 50K Trail: 4:34 (01/2012)
  • 50 Mile: 8:34:48 (4/2012)
  • 100K: 11:06 (2/2012)
  • 100 Mile: 29:03:39 (6/2013)

Marathons:

  • Marine Corps Marathon - 3:27:00, Oct 2016
  • Marine Corps Marathon - 3:28:12, Oct 2015
  • Pocatello Marathon (ID) - 3:32:25, Sept 2015
  • Chasing The Unicorn (PA) - 3:31:20, Aug 2015
  • Run for The Red (Poconos) - 3:30:40, May 2015
  • Boston - 3:24:42, Apr 2015
  • Clearwater - 3:27:04, Jan 2015
  • Clearwater - 3:16:17, Jan 2014
  • Boston  - 3:27:00, Apr 2011
  • DesNews - 3:10:57, Jul 2010
  • Gasparilla  - 3:06:34, Feb 2010
  • Space Coast - 3:11:29, Nov 2009
  • Estes Park  (7500' and up) - 3:52:19, Jun 2009
  • Boston - 3:17:22, Apr 2009
  • Niagara Falls - 3:19:21, Oct 2008
  • San Diego RnR  - 3:24:18, Jun 2008
  • Jacksonville Marathon -3:21:24, Dec 2007
  • Chicago Marathon - 3:35:08, Oct 2007
  • Disney Marathon - 3:52:34, Jan 2007

 

 

 

 

Short-Term Running Goals:

 

  • Sub 40:00 10K
  • 2:59 Marathon
  • 1:25 Half Marathon
  • 18:30 5K

 

Long-Term Running Goals:

Maintain my health and continuously seek to improve my fitness. Maybe someday get under 3:00 for marathon. More importantly, I'd like to figure out what my maximum ability is and reach that.

I'd also like to find the right balance in life and use running to enhance and improve myself.

 

Personal:

Dad of  two awesome kids.

Also, have one wonderful brown dog named Sammy and just added a grey tiger cat whose life started out rough but now has a better home.

I've recently started another blog so I can easily add lots of pictures and so other non-FRB users can leave comments:

Forward Progress!

 Also, for 2012 I started a blog to write down each day one thing that I am grateful for

Grateful Blog

 

Love living in Florida but love to travel and see the country and rest of the world.

 

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 20.26 Month: 95.22 Year: 1732.29
Brooks T7 Lifetime Miles: 199.33
Brooks ST5 Lifetime Miles: 403.91
GoMeb Speed3 Lifetime Miles: 483.77
Brooks Pure Flow Lifetime Miles: 160.60
Brooks Launch(lobster) Lifetime Miles: 776.70
GoMeb Razor Lifetime Miles: 446.08
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
216.880.001.000.000.000.000.00217.88
Pearl Izumi II Miles: 77.50Pure Flow (green) Miles: 28.19Skechers Go Run Miles: 24.71
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
7.280.000.000.000.000.000.007.28

7.28 mi, 1:03:14, 8:41 avg

Standard run in the neighborhood, out and back to golf course as well with stop at the water fountain.  Left ankle was rolled slightly earlier this week, can't remember when but it feels stiff at first and then gets better.

Temps were really nice again this morning.

Pearl Izumi II Miles: 7.28
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
25.260.000.000.000.000.000.0025.26

25.26 mi, 3:51:38 , 9:10 avg

5:00 am start from my house then met Joe at the back gate just before 5:10.  Continued on to Diane's house where we met up with the group including Jamie (and her triumphant return to running after a short hiatus), Cynthia and Renee.  Stayed on an easy pace to the shelter in Starkey Park. 

Jamie was heading back, only doing 8, so Joe and I went with her back to Diane's house.  Headed back out toward Starkey and ran into Cynthia, Renee and Diane, then ran back to Diane's house.  Filled up my drink bottles one more time and headed back towards the house.  Took the long way home and overshot a little to get over 25 miles.

It wasn't easy but it was a good stepping stone to get ready for 46 miles at the end of August.

Pearl Izumi II Miles: 25.26
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
6.580.000.000.000.000.000.006.58

6.58 mi, 58:13 , 8:50 avg

Decent run this morning, easyish pace mostly throughout.  Weather decent, not bad for pre-rain which is usually more muggy feeling.  Could hear some thunder in the distance but didn't come close until after the rain.

Neighborhood route and out past golf course then back home.

Three separate groups of Sandhill cranes by the bridge, each group spread out about a 100 yds from each other having a squawking contest.

Pure Flow (green) Miles: 6.58
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
7.370.000.000.000.000.000.007.37

7.37 mi, 59:20, 8:03 avg

Ran at the Y with the Striders, no intervals but did a pretty good pace most of the way through.  A bit warm this morning.

Skechers Go Run Miles: 7.37
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
3.330.000.000.000.000.000.003.33

3.33 mi, 30:48, 9:15 avg

Ran along the water in Santa Barbara.  Didn't get in until 1:15 but fortunately didn't have to start that early.   Was pretty cool out, low 60's and very pleasant.

Pearl Izumi II Miles: 3.33
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
3.500.000.000.000.000.000.003.50

3.5 mi, 32:22, 9:15 avg

Day two in Santa Barbara.  Same route as yesterday but a little bit farther.  Went to the end of the beach paved trail and onto a dirt path for a bit.  I couldn't get my garmin to get past the start page so I ran the same route and I think it was about the same pace.

Pearl Izumi II Miles: 3.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
6.580.000.000.000.000.000.006.58

6.58 mi, 59:46, 9:05 avg

Garmin was down once again so I ran the same route as last Monday and just brought a stop watch for the time.  No music again either, that was broken also.  Weather was good though.  Pre-rain humidity but a slight breeze, almost didn't feel like summer.

Skechers Go Run Miles: 6.58
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
7.200.000.000.000.000.000.007.20

7.2, 58:49, 8:09 avg

Ran at the Y with the Striders.  Arrived just as everyone else was starting so played catch up during the run.  Picked it up the last three miles.  Ankle started bothering me a little bit toward the end of the run.

Coolish (not really cool, but not sweltering either), humid and a little damp

Pure Flow (green) Miles: 7.20
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
6.180.000.000.000.000.000.006.18

6.18 mi, 53:51, 8:43 avg

Ran around the nbhd loop, out to golf course water and a little beyond, then reverse route home.  Started out at what felt like a shuffle averaging 10:11 for the first mile, but last three miles were much faster.  Typical humid and warmer this morning than yesterday (also because I started later!)

Pearl Izumi II Miles: 6.18
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
8.100.000.000.000.000.000.008.10

8.1 mi, 1:12:13, 8:55 avg

Ran at Longleaf w the Striders group, specifically with Joe.  Told him I needed to start slow it keep it pretty easy while ankle gets better so he stuck with me and we did just that.  Warmish 80 degrees at the start, after about 3 miles it cooled a little and there was about 15 minutes of very light rain which felt good.

People stuck around a little bit longer as this is the last Thursday for a while when people don't have to rush off to get kids ready for school.

Pure Flow (green) Miles: 8.10
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
3.250.000.000.000.000.000.003.25

3.25 mi, 28:04, 8:38 avg

Short and quick run - by quick I mean I was pretty efficient in getting out the door, doing the run and getting in the shower.  Ran out to the fountain and back.  Pre-rain clouds and some thunder grumbling but it wasn't oppressive at all, kind of nice out.

Skechers Go Run Miles: 3.25
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
20.120.000.000.000.000.000.0020.12

20.12 mi, 2:26:50, 8:47 avg

5:30ish start at Longleaf by myself (although lots of other people starting just before me).  Ran into group of Dixie, Jammie, Jorge, and Victoria just leaving from Diane's house, so turned around and ran with them to the park.  Stopped at the shelter briefly then headed out farther into the park.  Turned around with Diane and then ran with her and Beka back to Diane's house.  Refueled there and headed back to Longleaf with a little extra down and back Towne Ave to get over 20 miles.

Felt pretty good overall, first mile was 10 something, then 9:10, then the rest mostly around or in the 8:30's

With 76 degree start temperature and some cloud cover once it got light out, pretty good conditions for running.

Joined the group at Havana Dreamers for a coffee before heading home.

Pearl Izumi II Miles: 20.12
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
10.050.000.000.000.000.000.0010.05

10.05 mi, 1:31:07, 9:04 avg

Ran w Renee and Cynthia on the Upper Tampa Bay trail.  This was a tired legs run for me but definitely needed it.  Haven't been out on this trail for a long time.  Nice with lots of shade and good water stops.  Started out slow, then mostly just under 9 for the rest of the miles.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
6.510.001.000.000.000.000.007.51

7.51 mi, 1:01:11, 8:09 avg

Ran at the Y with the Striders.  Ran first couple miles with Joe and Michelle, then mostly by myself.  Picked it put for the 4th mile, runing 6:51 which felt pretty good despite 80 degrees and humid.  Felt pretty good overall.

Skechers Go Run Miles: 7.51
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
3.050.000.000.000.000.000.003.05

3.05 mi, 26:31, 8:47 avg

Just a short run around the neighborhood block this morning, late start again and needed to drop off a book at the bus stop for Thomas.

Hopefully some more tonight.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
6.740.000.000.000.000.000.006.74

6.74 mi, 58:00, 8:36 avg

Run around the neighborhoods and past the golf course.  Yes, a bit warm out again this morning.  Beautiful in a Florida summer morning way.

I wore old ghosts again which I had retired a while ago but are feeling good these days vs running in just light shoes.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
8.140.000.000.000.000.000.008.14

8.14 mi, 1:17:01, 9:27 avg

I ran with Joe this morning starting at 6:00 and meeting him along the way.  When we reached the water fountain at 3.1 miles I was thinking about how easy the run felt and then I realized the average pace to that point was 10:01.  The remaining miles were a little bit faster but still at a very relaxed pace. 

This morning felt a lot cooler and less humid than the past few mornings.

Pearl Izumi II Miles: 8.14
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
12.200.000.000.000.000.000.0012.20

12.2, 1:44:27, 8:33 avg

Ran from Coachman Park in Clearwater with the Striders group.  Started at 6:00 am, still dark but was already kind of warm.  Got cooler slightly as it got light out with a nice breeze starting.  Ran across the Clearwater bridge, over the Sand Key bridge and about a mile past S K park, then turned back around.  Made it to 10 miles after crossing Clearwater bridge.  Headed back one mile to run across the bridge again then down the helix back to the parking area, then spent some time socializing with the other runners.

I wore new Asics Nimbus which I bought last night.  $89 for the Nimbus-15 vs $149 for the Nimbus-16, so $89 made sense to me!

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
3.750.000.000.000.000.000.003.75

3.77, 33:31, 8:53 avg

Quick morning run in the neighborhood.  Getting back into the back to school routine.

 

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
6.310.000.000.000.000.000.006.31

6.31 mi, 56:39, 8:58 avg

Ran at the Y with the Striders. 5:30 start, a few degrees cooler this morning than yesterday.  Stuck with Joe for the run and talked about this Saturday's race.  I somehow rubbed off on him and got him to sign up for 46 miles.  He can definitely do it, he's a mentally tough runner.

Pure Flow (green) Miles: 6.31
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
3.690.000.000.000.000.000.003.69

3.69 mi, 31:08, 8:26 avg

Abbreviated run in the neighborhood.   Basically out and back to the golf course water fountain and just a little bit past.  Was in the low 70's, teaser hint of fall.

Pearl Izumi II Miles: 3.69
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
5.430.000.000.000.000.000.005.43

5.43 mi, 49:42, 9:09 avg

Ran at Longleaf with Joe during the 5:30 Striders run.  Kept it easy and cut it slightly short so I could get back home early enough.  Nice morning out again - although the mesquitoes were kind of thick after the run was over.

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Race: Pinellas Trail Challenge (46 Miles) 09:54:30, Place overall: 13, Place in age division: 11
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
46.260.000.000.000.000.000.0046.26

Pinellas Trail Challenge

46.26 miles, 9:54:30, 12:51 avg pace

The name of this race had new meaning after I finished it.  The challenge is to run the entire length of the Pinellas Trail - a seemingly innocent looking rails-to-trails bike/running path which starts in downtown St. Petersburg and finishes in John Chestnut park in Palm Harbor.  I've running many sections of this trail.

Last year only about 14 people participated for its first year.  This year they had over 70 people sign up, 58 starters and 39 finishers.  Course time limit of 13 hours and a 6:30 start.  I talked my friend Joe into giving it a try.  Although he'd never run this distance before, he's done well in marathons and is also very mentally tough.  I did however underestimate the severity of the heat and humidity.  I had reasoned that since I've run the Key 50 mile ultra in May one year and last year did the Western States 100 where it reached up to 100 degrees that this wouldn't be so bad, because it's mainly flat and "only" 46 miles.

Miles 0-9

These miles were great, especially for Joe.  For some reason my legs felt tired the first mile (slightly uphill the whole way but not by much).  I told him we would take a walk break for 1 minute each mile, do that as long as we could until we had to take more walk breaks.  He loved that idea.  So, things went exactly as planned.  We reached the first aid station at 8 miles.  Getting a little bit hot but the pace seemed reasonable.  First two miles were just under 11:00, followed by a bunch right about 10:00, then 11:00 for mile 8 which included the aid station, followed by 9:21 just after.

Miles 10-16

My dead legs feeling had gone away.  Next two miles were under 10:00.  Things started to change about mile 12.  It was getting hotter and I had a new problem - hip flexors were bothering me.  Maybe a combo of the slower pace and more bridges than I had expected.  Maybe 6 or 7 so far.  About mile 13 I realized that 10:00 was too ambitious for today and we should go with closer to 11:00.  So the next few miles were 10:50 to 11:20 range.

Miles 17-21

Miles were getting slower now.  At mile 19 Joe wanted me to go ahead.  I told him we'd at least go to mile 20 together.  When we got to 20 he told me to go ahead.  I felt pretty good through mile 21 and reached the next aid station where they had our drop bags.  Refilled my bottles there and had an ice pop.  I looked in my drop bag, thought about putting on more sunscreen and taking a muscle milk but decided to just go.

Miles 22-27

Miles got even slower but things weren't too bad.  At almost mile 25 I stopped in a small store on the trail called the Dunedin Boxcar and bought a bottle of water and a cola (Blue Sky natural soda).  The store guy asked if I was running today, yes 46 miles, the whole trail.  He gave me a cup of ice for the soda, I dumped the bottled water into my water bottle and went on my way.  Just after leaving the Boxcar, I ran into Didi (Joe's wife).  He had already texted her that we had slowed down and that I had gone ahead.  She had some ice and a cold towel and I took a handful of peanuts which tasted very dry which worried me a little.  I had slurped down the cola already and still had the ice cup, so I poured a muscle milk over it.   I thanked Didi and then headed out again, but at a walk.  With the stop, mile 26 was about 18 minutes, the next mile was 17 minutes.  It felt like I'd never run again for the rest of the race.

Miles 28-36

After I finished the muscle milk a guy came up behind me, asked how I was doing - hot and tired.  He said he had started out too fast, had a rough patch and was better now.  Just up ahead he said his friend had an unofficial aid stop with water, ice, beer, and pork sandwiches (it did not sound odd to me at all).  He also invited me to run with him sometime  - they meet on Wednesday nights at the Tarpon Tavern, he also knew some people from my group as well.  Next, from behind comes Oliver.  I've seen Oliver at a lot of races - (he's a very tall fit guy and a dead ringer for Yul Brynner as pharoah in the Ten Commandments movie).  This was his first ultra and he had a goal pace of 12:00 and seemed to be right on track.

Finally I started running again after a good two miles of pretty much not running.  Actually, these were short bouts of running.  Go as far as I could without my heart rate shooting up too high (I was not wearing a heart rate monitor but I could hear the pulse in my ears telling me to slow down).  I ran into Joe's brother Tony, said hi to him and told him Joe was maybe 10 minutes back.  Went over the last pedestrian bridge for the trail and then saw Didi again, grabbed some more ice, thanked her and went on.

There were several miles of mainly open trail and almost no cloud cover.  At one point I saw shade from a cloud up ahead but it kept on moving, just staying out of reach.

As I got near Wall Springs Park, there were two women and two little girls with an impromptu aid station - ice, water, ice pops and a chair with a shade umbrella.  I sat for maybe a minute while they filled up my bottles with water and ice.  Got going again with two nice cold bottles against me.  Still felt like a long way to go to get to the Tarpon Tavern at mile 36.  Stuck for a little bit at the traffic light crossign Klosterman, but once I did was feeling closer - at least no longer impossible far.

At about mile 35 another couple had a small aid station.  They had fruit, so I at a slice of pineapple which had never tasted so good as this one.  They asked how I was doing and if I knew who the president was - I really had to think about the answer and pretended that I was joking when I told them I almost said Bush.

And then finally, the Tarpon Tavern aid station, just past mile 36, only ten miles left to go.

Joe was there, he had dropped out at mile 29, had eaten lunch and had a beer at the Tavern and was in great spirits.  I apologized for dragging him into this but he was ok and having a good time now.

Miles 37-46

I left the Tavern and continued heading north, looking forward to when the trail turned to the east in just a little while.  It felt like there was a small rock in my shoe so I stopped at a bench and sat down to check it out.  Right calf charlie-horsed on me and I actually screamed a bit and then waited for it to go away.  At that point a young lady (later found out her name was Tracy) who was just behind me at the aid station went ahead of me.  I followed her for a bit but then she disappeared.  Like all the other runners (and volunteers) she was very friendly and encouraging.

The trail went under US 19, then headed south a bit, and then east again.  I was not looking forward to the stretch on Tarpon Ave with its rolling hills (which although somewhat small would feel like mountains).  But soon I saw Joe again and Didi- more water, ice, gatorade and encouragement.  As I was moving again I saw a green pickup truck which beeped and then pulled over.  It was my long time friend Dixie.   He knew I was running today and wanted to find me.  He had driven to the finish line, asked about me and was told I had made it through mile 36.  He ran with me just a bit and pointed to the hill up ahead and told me the downhill would feel easier and when I turned onto East Lake Road there would be shade.  It felt like a blessing of sorts.  Shade did not come right away but it did eventually.

I also stopped again at someone's SUV and took a banana from them along with some more ice, one last top off.  It was another couple of volunteers who were hopping from place to place to help out the runners on the course.  I talked to them after the race and thanked them and found out I kind of knew them.  Had seen them at other races - the guy is usually about 10 minutes ahead of me at half marathons - super awesome people who know how to give back.

6 miles left, 5 miles left, 4 miles left...  These miles felt like I was getting closer but still too far away to feel almost done.

Joe intercepted me a few more times but I was pretty well stocked up and hydrated.  The last two miles there was some cloud cover with a storm not too far away.

And then finally I saw the brown and white sign with the words "TRAIL ENDS"

That was it, I had made it (although still about 3/4 of a mile into the park to get to the finish line).

It was great to hang out with the other runners, volunteers and friends.  Saw a few more people finish.  As I was leaving later, saw a few more people making their way down East Lake, on their way to finishing their races.

Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance
216.880.001.000.000.000.000.00217.88
Pearl Izumi II Miles: 77.50Pure Flow (green) Miles: 28.19Skechers Go Run Miles: 24.71
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