Skip to main content

Clearwater Bridge Run

I'd been wanting to do a long run run out in Clearwater for some time now, partly because of its three bridges, and I finally did it last weekend. I say "wanting" with the caveat that I knew it would be good training for me; I did not think it would be particularly fun. And aside from the fact that I had good company and decent weather, I was right.

Because Clearwater is a foreign land to me (and a mere 25-minute drive from home), I contacted my friend Beth, who runs in the area frequently. She gave me very detailed directions for where to run--so detailed that I was afraid I wouldn't remember and printed them out on a piece of paper I carried with me on the run. Her route would have incorporated the three main bridges: Sand Key, Bellair, and Clearwater; but because that particular loop would have put us back at our parking spot with only 12 miles, which meant we could have been tempted to not run the four more miles we needed, we decided to just run an out-and-back, which actually mean more  bridge running, as we repeated the first two bridges twice. And that Bellair bridge is a BEAST.


The elevation chart doesn't look all that significant, but the overall elevation gain was 385 ft. and the loss was 403 ft. Also, while the weather started out nice and cool and cloudy, once the clouds disappeared and the sun rose higher, we could really feel the heat. It didn't make those bridge climbs any easier. But on the brighter side, it's a pretty scenic route, with water all around. And the bridges are good for mixing up my typically flat training runs. I was lucky to have two girlfriends who are also training for a (different) marathon with me, and also Tim, when he wasn't running ahead of us. Oh, and the one really good reason for doing this run is that it's actually going to be part of the Clearwater Marathon I'm doing in about one month. 

Finishing this run was difficult. I don't know if it was the bridges, the sun, or just the fatigue of trying to figure out a new route (yes, that fatigues me). But I was so, so happy to be done with it. And also glad I'd done it. We were all quite happy it was over:

There's a bridge in the background. It looks tiny, but I swear it was not.

I've got 18 on the books for this weekend's long run, and then 20 after. Then I taper down for two weekends, and then it's race time. It's all happening so fast. I just hope my body continues to feel as good as it (mostly) has, and that my stamina holds out.

Comments

People Liked to Read...

Surgery Chronicles: Hard Feelings

I'm one and a half weeks out from my second foot surgery, and, by all important measures, I'm doing well. But boy has the past week been difficult. In the first few days post-surgery I was in a pretty good mood; the surgery had gone well, I was in the excellent care of my mom, and I had made it past the last major hurdle of this months-long event. All I had to look forward to was recovery and progress and gradually returning to my normal life, whatever that might look like.

But even though I've gone through this process once already, it's still just as difficult this time around. There's the constant worrying about this weird feeling or that new pain, the accidental step in the middle of the night when I forgot which foot was injured, and the agonizing wait time between appointments. Now it's compounded by concern over whether I'm taking good enough care of my first foot. Did I ruin the surgery when I stubbed my toe falling off an exercise ball? Am I using …

Surgery Chronicles: Over the Hump

Two days ago I had my second foot surgery, and I'm happy to report that all went well—just as good as the first. I'm super relieved to have it done, even though I have many weeks of recovery ahead of me. The hardest part is behind me, and I'm feeling especially grateful that I only have two feet!
As a person who thrives on routine and enjoys tradition, I wanted to repeat some of the same elements of my last surgery, since it was successful (some might call that superstition, but I prefer tradition). So the night before surgery I enjoyed a dinner at the same restaurant and in the same company as last time (and even with the same bafflingly forgetful server, which I could have done without). And on surgery day, I wore the same outfit (also because how many chances do you get to wear pajamas in public?).
But there were some differences going into surgery this time, as I had a good idea of what to expect from my first one. That knowledge was beneficial in that it allowed me to p…

Surgery Chronicles: Home Stretch

I'm now into my sixth week since surgery. I'm on track, making good progress, but I'm so close to time frame for recovery—six to eight weeks. My five-week follow-up last week went well, but I left feeling overwhelmed. The doctor said he didn't need to see me for another four weeks, which is just in time for my pre-op appointment for my second foot (!).
To-Do List Since the appointment, I've no longer been using crutches (yay!), and I've been working to help my incision heal completely (I'll spare details), at which point I'll need to start treating it with a special scar gel to keep the tissue from hardening. Also during this interim, I'll need to be a bit more aggressive with my toe exercises to increase flexibility (i.e., make it hurt). And, when I feel comfortable enough, I can try gradually transitioning from the boot to an athletic shoe. Once I feel good in athletic shoes, I can resume driving. That feels like a lot of stuff to manage on my own…