|A section of the beach, where the slant was decent|
Miles for the day : 13
Total miles : 31
The barman downstairs calls me “ironman”... After 3 days of watching me go out the lobby and come back hours later, he finally asked what I was doing and where I was going. His conversation starter? He said I was the guest that drank the most water he'd ever seen :)
He is a cool dude despite his jaded look (Trust me, I'd look like that if I had his job, too) and he added several blocks of ice to my bladder so my water stays fresh for the run. Some drunk fat guy having 7:00 am drinks was getting a little too interested in what I was doing, so I left my barman buddy with a high-five and headed out the door.
As soon as I reached the beach, I decided to run towards town instead of the tip of the peninsula. I was curious to see how long that huge beach went, and I figured I'd follow it until I'd run out of sand, turn around, do the same on the other side and get a pretty good run for my day. I was a little worried to do longer mileage completely barefoot, moreover because the sand is slanted and pretty soft, so I took it easy.
The day started off pretty badly. The sand was actually so soft that my feet would sink about 2 inches at every step, making this feel exactly like running in snow, which I know soon takes a toll on hip flexers and other muscles not so used to yank your feet up at every step. I started to see a lot of broken glass, too, and some of the beach was actually not sand, but tons of what I guessed was crushed seashells. The ground was too soft, felt like sandpaper and the slant was already getting to me. Not good.
I kept going anyway, allowing myself to walk the worst stretches. There was almost nobody on the beach, so it was a nice quiet moment, watching super quick little crabs scramble before me, chased by running seabirds who always looked to be 5 steps behind. Maybe it's a sport they play together?
After some miles, the beach is severed by a large man-made canal, so I had to turn around and go back the way I came. Remembering the effect of passing in front of my hotel yesterday, I started thinking today wouldn't be that long of a run, either. Lucky for me, I kinda lost sight of where I needed to exit the beach. The sand got increasingly packed, the slant gentler and soon enough, I was trotting at a pretty good clip with a big smile on my face.
I started spotting landmarks far away and telling myself I would run to them before turning back, then I'd spot another one and just keep going. I played that game for a pretty long time, until I literally ran out of beach, several miles later. I paused for a little seaside snack, drank some water and took off in the other direction.
I thought I was doing pretty decent mileage, but I guess the heightened difficulty of running on sand got me confused. I ended up running 13 miles. How do I know? Well, my friend Dan left his GPS at my place last summer, and I decided to take it with me on the trip. It's a Garmin model I've never seen and it's super easy to use. It's lost its bracelet, too, so you just throw it in your pocket or your vest and forget about it. Then when your run is over, you get to have a reality check :)
It might not have been a super long run, but I'm excited about a couple things. First, that was a 100% barefoot beach half-marathon, and my feet feel great. Also, my knees have ran like champs ever since I got here, and the miles are piling up under less-than-ideal conditions (asphalt, soft sand). Finally, my body feels great and my energy level is good, too. So I'm very happy with this little trip so far. We'll see what tomorrow brings, but I'd love to find some shaded trails somewhere, if that's not too much to ask. I'll probably try and talk to some locals, see if I can get any luck :)