19.04 mi, 2:38:01, 8:18 avg, elev gain 393 feet (garmin) or 595 feet (strava)
Longest run in a little while, headed up to Suncoast Parkway near Brooksville. Something always tells me I need to come up here at least once during a training cycle but the more times the better. Weather was the best it has been, so good I slept in a bit without worry, high 50's at the start. Only a couple of cars in the parking lot. While I was getting ready a family came by on their bikes and stopped for a break, with their little boy riding in a bike trailer. I also saw one guy on a bike packed up like he was riding a long distance carrying all sorts of gear in saddle bags. Wondered where he was going.
Got going and did the first climb, a small one up and over the pedestrian bridge. Started slowly and slowly got less slow finishing first mile in 10:24, then next one in 9:05, then settled into the 8:30-8:55 range. Saw some more groups of bike riders including the sTRIders (the subgroup from the Striders that train together for Tri's), a few of them called out by my name and I was able to figure out who each person was just after they had gotten out of shouting range.
When I reached the 6 mile hill I was wondering how it be able to go faster once I got to the turnaround point. Legs were already feeling tired. But I guess that was the point. I was going to run the 9 miles back at hopefully about a 7:30 pace and hopefully with a strong finish.
I ran down the backside of the 6 mile hill which crosses the road while still going downhill. There's a warning sign on the trail. One time I was riding bikes with the kids when they were younger and I yelled at them because I wasn't sure if they were going to stop at the sign and look for cars. Probably one of the few times when it's ok to yell at someone.
I reached the 9 mile point and went just past it. The sun was out full force but the air was still cool and there was a slight breeze. Still not feeling fast I bargained with myself to just keep it under 8:00, ok if I'm not right at 7:30. So, did the next mile in 7:46, then next one after that in 7:47. Did a quick gel stop, felt better and next mile was 7:28. With the rolling hills, the run is literally up and down, so was slower the next mile (7:44), but after that was on a roll - 7:23, 7:15, 7:31, 7:27, and 7:17. Was back at the rest area now, headed south another 1/2 mile at easy pace before turning back. During the warm down I felt some cramping twinges in my legs. This was good in a way.
So, the overall run average was 8:18, but I felt like I hadn't raced my workout, just did the job.