AM - got up early with an invitation yesterday from Richie to run hills on the Misner Bridge down in St. Pete this morning. Much to my surprise this is some kind of major St. Pete local runners' gathering place for hill running in an otherwise primarily flat geography. The Misner Bridge is part of the causeway leading up to the Skyway Bridge - it is the last exit on 275 before the toll plaza and has a running/biking path that parallels the highway. Counted at least 20 runners who all parked at a hotel near the beginning of the footpath at 5:45 am. The path is marked with spray paint for a "start" and in .25 mile increments. Bottom to top the bridge is 800 meters and probably a 4% grade - more or less. I did 9 miles of hill drills including warm up and cool down while Richie did a tempo run. Drew was there with a college runner doing a much faster tempo run at sub-6 pace. Legendary masters runner Joe Burgasser (google him if you are curious http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=18128 ) who is probably 75 years old now was out there - can't believe he's still doing workouts at his age.
Although, this was a good hill on which to do the workout, it took me 40 mins of driving to get there. And I had to get up at 4:30 am in order to make it to work on time. The scenery of Tampa Bay is nice as the sun is rising, but the path is right next to the highway, with cars/truck barrelling along a 70 mph - quite loud. Richie was kind enough to let me shower and clean up for work at his house which was on the way back to my office. Not sure if I will make the trek next week for benefit of the hill. The Clearwater Beach Bridges are actually steeper and may be a bit longer (and closer to my home).
PM - 6 miles easy after work. Legs felt a bit fatigued when I started but were fine after a couple of miles.