15.03 mi, 2:10:09, 8:39 avg, elev gain 86 feet
Today's run was supposed to be on Saturday and was supposed to include 4x3 miles at marathon goal pace, but instead turned into just a regular long run at an "easy" but not lazy pace. I also decided to go ahead and give the Pinellas Trail another chance for long runs. I have not been having super successful runs on it recently. Weather was in the 70's, and if I had started an hour sooner just before the sun came up I would have had some low 70's to run in.
Took the shortcut out of Westlake, running past the Y and then over to the Pinellas Trail. One nice thing about running at this time is that the crossing guards are out for the kids but also stop traffic for runners as well. Headed south and then crossed Alt-19 where the bridge is closed, but at least they have a flashing light pedestrian crossing which some cars actually stop for. Paces were slow so far - 11:01, 10:02, 9:05, 9:31.
Miles 6 and 7 were a slight pick up to 8:17 and 7:56, I was getting excited about the turn around at 7.5ish miles. But, just as things were going great, my mp3 player battery died. There was a guy on his bike who had stopped and he had his dog not on its leash, so I stopped a little bit and walked to assess the situation and started going again once the dog and owner were back together.
Then just after the turnaround I had a moment of running despair, like I was about to be doomed to a long and slow return trip as it got hotter and hotter. I was struggling to hold a 9:30 pace. Then, as my thoughts went elsewhere, I halted the slowdown and made up some of the pace and finished that mile at 9:11. After that things got better and back to being faster with paces going to 8:18, 8:03, 7:58, 8:00, 7:34, 8:44, and 7:52
The water fountain at Alt19 and Curlew was more refreshing than expected. It's not cold water, just whatever the ground temps happen to be. It's a new three level fountain - the bottom level for dogs, a middle level for traditional fountain drinking and the top level for water refilling.
So, after my mile of despair and the refreshing water fountain, I saw my average pace drop from 9:05 to 8:39 at the end.
I did not do the 4x3mile repeats, but the run was done so my schedule was clear to watch Tom and the cross country team at the meet in Ocala on Saturday morning.