Lacing Up, Day Thirty-Five: Going Long(er)

After a perfect bike riding day with great friends on Thursday, it was time to add some more distance to our trek to complete a half marathon by December. We had been comfortably running 5k distances for the last couple of weeks. Some quicker, some slower, and even with the occasional bad day, 5k has become very comfortable. So it was time to start tacking on some more distance to our runs.

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I stepped back from my bricks after the “knee thing break”, choosing to run exclusively on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and cycle on the days in between. Monday and Wednesday will be reserved for shorter runs (5k or less), while Friday will be the “long day”. Maggie, being allergic to two wheels, will compliment her three running days with short run/walks…she’s hell bent to melt off some pounds. More power to her….so long as she doesn’t overdue the pounding.

So, with the first “long day” on tap we were undecided whether to do a 4 or 5 mile run. It wasn’t until we were out the door that we decided on 4 miles. We headed out on our normal route, syncing our computers when we got to the bridge. This was going to be new territory so I was going to run with Maggie, holding her at a comfortable pace. It was going to be another out and back, turning at the two mile announcement, but instead of turning around, we kept on chugging along on US 82. As it turns out, it is now a great boulevard to run on. It’s very well lit and it has a totally protected sidewalk from both the vehicular traffic and the cypress slough, which you are literally running right next to. It’s almost as if you were running on an exclusive double barricaded raceway. The only con was some debris…the city of Fort Myers has been uncharacteristically slipping a bit at keeping the roadways clean, case in point, there has been a dead vulture rotting away on TreeLine for the last three weeks…odd how vultures do not eat their own. Another minor con is that this walkway is substantially narrower than the one on Colonial…think normal sidewalk vs dedicated multi use path.

There were a couple of very big unexpected pluses though, principally running right next to the slough, virtually rubbing elbows with all the critters that live there. The armadillo army was in full swing as we gave up counting every time they startled us. Ditto with the opossums and scores of lizards which were making a hasty retreat from our oncoming footsteps, but the big treat was laying around the corner near the four mile mark on Forum Boulevard.
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The treat was no less than a lazy gator laying smack dab in my path. I literally had to leap over the gator not to step on it. It wasn’t big by gator standards, just a little gator pup lost on the tarmac. Not wanting to have him squashed by a passing car, I attempted to coax him off the road and back into the slough. Although he was small, he was still more than able to keep my fingers as a souvenir, so I just gently flicked his tail with my foot. After a couple of nudges and some hissing, he reluctantly sprinted off to the side of the road chirping in displeasure as he headed to the safety of the pond…the video is below. By the way, when a baby gator starts chirping, that means that momma gator is not far away, so that was our cue to sprint away ourselves.

The new route and sights kept us very entertained as we pushed through the 4 mile mark, a new distance record for the two of us, with relative ease. By the way, we were both shocked to see that we have accumulated over 100 miles in total distance since we started this little sneakered pastime of ours…not to shabby for two newbie runners. Sure our pace was relaxed, but I’m certain that 10k is already easily in reach. Now all we have to do is double it up by December’s Space Coast half marathon. With T minus 190 days and counting, it’s looking very doable indeed.

Thursday, May 23
Route: Coconut-40
Ride Time: 2:29:08
Stopped Time: 1:23:46
Distance: 39.04 miles
Average: 15.71 mph
Fastest Speed: 26.84 mph
Calories: 1993
Cycle This Month: 521.66 miles
Cycle This Year: 2547.41 miles

Click for Ride Data

Running 10K Plan
Run Time: 58:08
Stopped Time: 2:59
Distance: 4.72 miles
Average: 12:18 /mile
Fastest Pace: 9:05 /mile
Calories: 594
Training Run 4.0 This Month: 33.66 miles
Training Run 4.0 This Year: 110.07 miles

Click for Run Data

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