A quiet day at work left me longing for a great run to do today. I decided on a run I had done once back in early November. It incorporated most of this run plus the adjoining Quonset Bike Path. Here's the map:
A great day - mid 40's - except for a stiff northeast wind that was in my face for most of the first half. The run begins on the bike path. It is newly paved and flat. It has mile markers (every .5 miles) which is not a great thing for me. I'm better off not looking at my watch as I am always trying to out do myself. But, I can't help myself with the mile markers. 7:01 first mile and 7:15 second. After another .3 miles the bike path ends, but connects with the Calf Pasture Beach park.
With the wind in my face for almost 4 miles, I was happy to turn south onto the beach. One catch - I forget to check the tides and the tide was almost full. Besides narrowing the beach, I knew I would have trouble jumping the largest stream. I reached it, stopped my watch, and assessed the situation. Following the stream up into the reeds, I found a spot I thought I could make. Before jumping, I tested the bank and it immediately began sinking into the water. I pushed enough sand in to make it safe to leap off. I made it.
It felt warm with the wind at my back and the sweat was pouring into my eyes - thanks to the increasing baldness of my head. I need to remember my headband now the days are getting warmer. The waterline was lined with brant - probably a couple hundred. At the turnaround point, I startled a large group of gulls and as I got closer I noticed that they were eating starfish that washed up. My time was 34:41.
Immediately, the wind howled in ears. My pace was slow. I couldn't wait to get off the beach. I approached a narrow stream crossing. I didn't think much about it and stepped over it. Upon impact, my left leg sank in the sand almost up to my knee and I fell down. I wasn't injured and I had to laugh at myself.
Hitting the pavement, the wind subsided and my legs relaxed. Using the mile markers, my last two miles were 7:00 and 6:28. My total time for the 9.5 mile run was 1:09:13 - 7:16 pace. Last November, I did it in 1:09:50 and I was in good shape then.
I was pretty happy with myself, and as a reward I picked up a coffee before returning to the office.