Monday, June 11

A breathtakingly beautiful run

Last week was a long week. So, no long run. In fact, no running at all.

Which didn't go very far towards making it a better week. If there hadn't been yoga and sailing, it would have been a terrible week. As it was, it was just very long.

Today, though, was a really good run. I'd made plans to run with a friend at 8:30, since it's finals week and we didn't need to be anywhere at 9. (Or so we thought. Turns out one of us did. Oops.) Plus, I was pretty tired after last week, so the idea of getting up any earlier just wasn't appealing. Plus, high tide was at 7:45.

I woke up this morning with my phone ringing, and my alarm clock blaring--as it must have been doing for the previous 30 minutes. My friend was outside, waiting for me. By 8:45, we were on our way to the beach. Despite the late hour, no one was manning the entry gate, so we went in for free.

We parked in a different spot than usual. By that, I mean that we parked further north than she had ever been in that park, and where I've only gone a handful of times. Instead of a dirt path to the beach, we ran along a wooden walkway. At the top of the cliff, the path breaks away, and becomes a dirt path as it winds along the very edge of the cliff, instead of immediately descending to the sand. Breathtakingly beautiful, even with June gloom.

Eventually, the path turns to a set of awkwardly spaced log and wire steps. We walked those, then ran north on the beach. My friend had never been there before. I'd never thought to ask her to run there, mainly because the beach isn't as nice to run on there--it's at a steeper angle, which is something to keep in mind when you're running on sand. Since the tide was just past high, though, we had some nicely packed sand. Still, our feet and ankles had very complete workouts--everything from the knee down was exhausted for the rest of the day, from stabilizing us in the sand.

We turned around where the cliffs extend to the water--going further requires getting wet, doing some rock climbing, and trespassing on a private beach. I've done all three before, but it's not the way to get in a good run. We turned back, passed our point of entry, and passed it, slowing to work our way over some wet rocks that break up the sand at one point.

From there to our turnaround point, it was a simply amazing run. The beach is at a very low angle to the water, so there was plenty of room on the newly packed wet sand. The sun was up, but obscured by a fairly light marine layer, keeping us cool. The light cloud layer also made the light especially nice, the kind of soft lighting that professional photographers create through a myriad of artificial means. The tide was going out, so the waves were small, and creating the light sounds that people record for white noise machines... the pale imitations. Just one sailboat a mile or so off shore, coming toward the harbor. Tourists from the rental bungalows all within about 50 yards of their rentals, taking photos of children with buckets, entire families trailing around with each other. No dolphins showing off, but pelicans doing their delicate dances of riding the winds along the cliffs and the crests of waves. A practically perfect run in every way.

I could have done without stepping on the very edge of a shell filled with water, though. It flipped up and tossed all the water on my sock and shoe--not enough water to make a big difference, though. L didn't understand at first when I said what happened, but then it happened to her, too. There were also a couple of blisters from bad planning with my shoes. Still, a very relaxing run. Even the clamber back up the stairs at the end was fun.



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