We had decided if we were completely miserable and didn't warm up by the 5-mile turnaround, we would just do the 5-mile option. When the turnaround came up, of course the decision was mine to make. I kept running straight.
We held steady with 10 minute run/1 minute walk intervals through about 7 miles, which is a bit further than I had previously done them. I'm confident now that I can hold them through the half of my upcoming marathon in New Orleans. Linae took a quick potty stop and caught back up to me pretty quickly. After the 7-mile turnaround, the idiot cop made us get on the sidewalk, even though we were well within the time limit of course closures. Linae said, "When did it change?" The cop just looked at her and turned around. Jerk. And about a mile and a half down the road, we watched as the cops there abandoned their post, leaving us with no traffic control or directions. Thank God we saw another racer up ahead. The Clearwater PD did fine during the first half of the race, but I can't say much for them in the second half. I've run several races in St. Pete, and the cops there are awesome, from the first runner to the last. But, whatever. Linae sent out karmic daggers to the jerky CPD cops, and I happily promised to bail her out of jail should she feel the need to smack one of 'em down. You know, if I wasn't sitting next to her in the pokey.
We hit a lovely headwind for the last five miles, where we switched first to 5/1 intervals, then to 2/2s, after walking to the top of the Sand Key Bridge. I felt like I was going to puke a few times, even after taking a couple of Lava Salts halfway through, but I managed to run (mostly) when Linae told me to. Not realizing how close we were to the finish, I wanted to walk for a minute, but Linae said, "If we keep going, we're going to beat 2:45." That was code for, "Move your ass, woman!" Huh. Okay. So we ran it in. Both of our watches said 2:44:28, but our official results said 2:45:29, or something like that. No matter; it's still a 12-minute PR for me. WOOOO HOOOOO!!
Overall, it was a nice, scenic, challenging course. The bridges were a bitch, but you expect that :) We hit the park afterward and chatted with "Slow Twin" Bill, who ran a 2:02 half a week after doing Goofy at Disney (a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday, for the uninitiated.) Drank a little beer, ate some pasta and oranges, tried to warm up in the sun a bit, then headed home.
Linae, thank you again, soooo much, for your pacing and sherpa duties. You got mad skills, girl! I doubt I could have done it without you! You ROCK, my friend!
So I'm well on my way to a PR at every distance this year! Yay! Next race: Gasparilla 15K in Tampa, February 9, where I need to beat 1:48:37 to PR.