A little bridge work…

This morning we went out to the Memorial Bridge in Clearwater for a little bridge work. Most – okay all – of the races I have done have been a flat course. I have two coming up with bridges and decided it was time to get out there and see how I will do running the bridge. It sounds so easy, doesn’t it?

The Memorial Causeway is where the Iron Girl will be in April, my third half marathon on my list for the year…. Being totally honest, those bridges are intimidating. Not the first time over, but coming BACK over them. And it’s not just Memorial Bridge, but also Sand Key Bridge. This will be the route for the Iron Girl.

 

2013 Clearwater Course Map updated

(Source: Iron Girl)

 

There is also a bridge (or two?) on the Sarasota Half Marathon next weekend. That will also be good preparation for the Iron Girl Half.

 

SHM_2012_CourseMap_FINAL_

(Source: Sarasota Half Marathon)

 

Today we focused on Memorial Bridge. We parked below the bridge and decided we would go over and back however many times we could in an hour. We would run some, walk some. I wanted to see what I could do. It was a beautiful 61 degrees when we arrived and the sun was just rising over downtown Clearwater. Look how smooth the water is…

 

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We stuck to the bridge only. Up and over, turn around at the end, and back again. Hubby pushed me when I needed it. We would set little mini goals for running up. He’d tell me not to stop, just run a little farther. Running up the bridge is HARD. Running down the bridge is easier, but still a challenge not to let your feet get out from under you. We went over and back 3 full times in just under an hour. Amazingly, I don’t look like I’m going to die or anything…

 

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I never thought much about mileage when we started, but we ended up at 3.77 miles. And after looking at my Garmin details, I am pretty damn proud of myself. Average pace of 15:26 on a bridge? I’ll take it. And how cool is the satellite picture of our route? Florida is so pretty.

 

031013 garmin

 

You don’t seem quite so intimidating now, Memorial Bridge. I’ll be back to run over you quite a few more times before April…

 

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Our next time out, we plan to run over the Sand Key Bridge. See it there in the distance? You are next on my list…

 

IMG_6724 sand key bridge

 

After our bridge fun, we made the mandatory stop at Starbucks. Clearly I earned my hazelnut macchiato this morning. It really hit the spot! Hubby enjoyed a raspberry mocha frappuccino – he went all out!

 

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I feel fantastic now. My legs feel strong and I am so glad I went out there and got it done. And I was at 150% on my ActiveLink by 8:30 this morning, with 5 activity points earned. And the best of all… Great start to my Sunday!

 

Do you have bridges or hills in your area that intimidate you? How do you prepare yourself?

8 thoughts on “A little bridge work…”

  1. All of my races in Seattle have been on hills, over highway bridges and down under ground through the tunnels. Up down up down. My 5ks seem to average between 32-36 min.. Seems to be my average for Seattle. Not the best but certainly not bad considering the city is built on hills. WA in general is very hilly so I’ve gotten used to it. My suggestion for you is getting the incline percent that is disclosed on your race routes, jump in a treadmill. Set the gradual incline to that percent and hit go and run it hard for two minutes then down then back up again. This will help in strengthening your legs and eliminating cramps and injury. I’m jealous of your flat races. I have no idea what that’s like. The only “flat” race I had was when I ran the run ways last year in Maine. 2 miles flat before cutting uphill through the base and back. Good luck next weekend! As ive said to myself a lot this year- You got this! :)

  2. I wish I was just a little closer to the bridges! We do have some little hills over near me that we ran over this past weekend and there is always Indian Hills area that I can use for hill training. Great job and great pics :) You’re definitely going to be ready!

  3. Great idea to do bridge work in preparation of the race. Any runner knows how difficult even a slight incline can be, so getting comfortable with running up the bridge will definitely benefit you at the race. 3.77 On a huge bridge is awesome, must have felt great once you were done. How is the new hazelnut macchiato from Starbucks? Delicious I’m sure!

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